Category Archives: Afghanistan

Mother Of All Bannons

mother of all

The U.S. dropped the biggest non nuke bomb ever on ISIS caves in Afghanistan last week. The bomb is so huge it has to be loaded into a C-130 transport and then shoved out the back door over the target (here’s a good ABC video if you don’t mind a 16 second commercial). The name of the bomb is GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB). Or Mother Of All Bombs.

Mother Of All Bombs

There’s speculation that Steve Bannon’s career in the White House is also turning into the mother of all bombs. He’s the guy most responsible for bringing in the “deplorable” vote which got Trump elected. But for now Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and economic advisor Gary Cohn seem to be pushing him out the back door. Meanwhile they’re pushing the president in a more moderate direction.

That is if you consider dropping the Mother of all Bombs moderate.

Infamy II

Infamy IIInfamy II was my cartoon in the Akron Beacon Journal on September 12, 2001.

Iranian Conventional Arms Embargo

150715-iranian-conventional-arms-embargoAs part of  the Obama nuclear agreement, Iran made a last minute pitch to end the conventional arms embargo.  Grinning Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif got what he wanted and more. The deal calls for the E.U. to also lift sanctions on the Iranian Republican Guard and the Quds Force.

At least 500 Americans were killed in Iraq by Iranian made Explosively Formed Penetrators. EFP’s are a more sophisticated version of improvised explosive devices or IED’s.

Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute explains here “Why They’re Cheering in Tehran”.

 

Not a Terror Group

150204-terror group

The White House won’t negotiate with Islamic State because it’s a terror organization. President Obama swapped five Gitmo terrorists with the Taliban for deserter Bo Bergdahl because the Taliban is not a terror group. It’s an insurgency group. The president does have a strategy.

Name that Enemy

150119-name-that-enemyEli Lake thinks he knows why President Obama won’t name the enemy. In a Bloomberg column Lake says it’s because many of our allies in the Muslim world share the same beliefs but not the violent tactics of Islamic radicals. He cites a 2013 Pew Survey that says 74 percent of Egyptian Muslims favor Sharia law for Muslims and infidels alike.

Three-quarters of Pakistani Muslims support laws banning blasphemy. A majority of Muslim Iraqis said they supported “honor killings” of women who engage in premarital sex or adultery.

All of this gets to a paradox of the war on terror. It has never been a war on the tactic of terrorism, and it has always been a war against networks of radical Islamists. But in order to wage that war, the U.S. has had to ally with Muslim countries and people, many of whom believe the state should punish apostates, adulterers and blasphemers.

Can’t have a War without an Enemy

The administration doesn’t like to call it a war either – try overseas contingency operations. John Kerry in his 2004 run for the presidency called it a nuisance.

That would explain the detainees at Gitmo. If there’s no war they’re not POWs. If they can’t be prosecuted they have to be released.

Here’s a link to Roosevelt’s Day of Infamy speech.