Category Archives: Military
Back when President Obama was bragging that core Al Qaeda had been destroyed, he dismissed ISIS as a terror JV team. Now the JV team is rich and armed with American military hardware. It controls territory in Iraq and Syria. And it’s as comfortable with social networking as it is with beheading.
Last week Defense Secretary Hagel had this to say about the JV team: “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen” … “The sophistication of terrorism and ideology married with resources presents a whole new dynamic and paradigm of threats to this country.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Dempsey added, ““This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated.” He also said ISIS would have to be attacked in Syria to be destroyed.
By Monday it wasn’t clear that the White House was on board with Dempsey’s assessment.
Apocalyptic though it may be, Dempsey now says ISIS is not a “direct threat” to the U.S. and he won’t propose bombing in Syria until it is.
The president is evolving.
The New York Times reported that ISIS wanted $130,000,000 ransom for James Foley. European countries have paid ransom in the past. It’s a major source of income for ISIS. The US policy is not to pay ransom for hostages, on the theory it encourages more hostage taking.
The same theory doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to swapping terrorists for American hostages. We gave up five of GITMO’s worst bad asses to bring home alleged deserter Private Bergdahl.
Bergdahl’s parents were flown in from Idaho to celebrate the joyous occasion with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden.
James Foley met his grim fate with courage. His parents showed the source of that fortitude in their meeting with the media to discuss their son on the day of his death.
Obama played golf.
Governor Nixon called in the National Guard to quell the violence in Ferguson, Missouri. The local police aren’t trusted by looters in Ferguson. It turns out the looters aren’t local either. Most of those arrested were not from Ferguson.
Victor Davis Hanson wonders why some shootings spark violence and others don’t.
On average, more than 6,000 African Americans are killed by gun violence each year. That startling figure is nearly equal to all of the U.S. combat fatalities incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq over some 13 years.
The violence usually begins with a white man killing an unarmed black man. In Trayvon Martin’s case the NYT described his killer as a “white hispanic”.
The media almost invariably distort the facts, sometimes deliberately seeking to incite tensions. In the Trayvon Martin case, journalists published photos of Martin as a diminutive adolescent, not more recent pictures of Martin as a 17-year-old who was much taller than (George) Zimmerman (Martin’s killer)… In the Brown case, the media has rushed to portray the victim as a “gentle giant” who was almost certainly gunned down by a racist, trigger-happy cop… NBC edited a recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call to police in a way that suggested Zimmerman was a racist.
Next up for blame are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the New Black Panther party.
Almost immediately, they incite tensions by issuing wild, unfounded charges. Jackson said of the Martin shooting that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” Jackson just called the Brown shooting a “state execution.”
Then come the politicians cashing in for advantage.
…usually in ways that only make things worse. Libertarian senator Rand Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, blamed the police for their overt military appearance and their crowd-control tactics. Yet street violence still persisted days after police in military-style riot gear were pulled from the scene — until finally there were requests for National Guard intervention.
Finally we get racial finger pointing.
Liberals acknowledge high black violent-crime rates but cite poverty, racism, and unfair police enforcement as the catalysts. Conservatives counter that high rates of single-parent families, dependence on government entitlements, and glorification of misogyny and violence in popular culture account for inordinate black violent-crime rates.
And the country becomes more divided.
Meanwhile, we might remember that the American experiment to unite various racial and ethnic groups into one culture is as noble as it is rare in history. When it has previously been tried in the modern world — Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Iraq, Rwanda, Syria, Congo — it usually has failed spectacularly.
The American people don’t want the US military policing Ferguson, Missouri any more than they want it policing Mosul, Iraq. Besides it’s kind of illegal. But that doesn’t keep the Pentagon from shipping free military hardware to police forces all over the country. Your local cops are armed to the teeth with everything from assault vehicles to grenade launchers. The Washington Post says half a billion in free gear was handed out to cops last year. That doesn’t sit well with Rand Paul. Or Mark Steyn. Not to mention, cops in camo look ridiculous on main street.
Shouldn’t a ‘Ferguson’ camo pattern be, like, 7/11 & Kool-Aid logos?
The single bullet Barney Fife policing method may not be the way to go, but more dashboard cameras and fewer MRAPs might not be a bad idea. A convenience store camera showed that Michael Brown wasn’t the “gentle giant” he was made out to be, as he strong-armed his way to a box of Swisher Sweets. But as Steyn notes, we’ll never see the way he was killed because the cop who shot him lacked a dashcam.
In other news, local cops aren’t the only ones we’ve armed to the teeth.
Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Saudis want Hamas out and Fatah in in Gaza. So what did John Kerry do? He met with Islamist Turkey and Qatar to come up with a cease fire agreement that keeps Hamas in power and its rockets and tunnels intact. The Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected the deal. Israel has Hamas on the ropes. Hammas is without friends – save for Turkey and Qatar – which is why Krauthammer called Kerry Hamas’s lawyer.
Here’s David Harsanyi in The Federalist:
Perhaps because of tragic loss of life, the United States would rather see a ceasefire than Hamas dealt a mortal blow. And that is almost certainly one of the reasons Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.
Thomas Sowell , looking way back, says ” ‘Cease-fire” and “negotiations” are magic words to “the international community.” But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish?”
In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression…
At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage.
Looks like mutual assured destruction all around is the key to world peace.
The Washington Post’s David Ignatius calls this Kerry’s big blunder:
Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza.
The State Department’s response to Kerry criticism? Well, this is “not the way allies treat each other.”