Category Archives: Military
NATO fighter jets scrambled last week as Russian bombers probed European airspace. US officials think President Putin is making a “show of force”:
“It’s concerning because it’s moving in the wrong direction,” said one U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the air activity publicly. “It’s not helping to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. It’s not helping to improve relations between NATO and Russia. It’s not helping anybody.”
Also last week a NASA resupply rocket for the International Space Station suffered a “catastrophic anomaly“. Normal people say it blew up. The rocket used a 40 year old Russian engine. The U.S. relies on Russia.com for all manned space travel needs.
Update: It was a bad week for private sector space flight says, National Post. The Russian engine powered an Antares rocket designed by Orbital Sciences. NASA hopes to outsource payload flights to private companies like Orbital Sciences.
A Virgin Galactic rocket also blew up last week killing the co-pilot. Virgin is planning to offer sub-orbital flights to private paying customers.
President Obama was all kisses and hugs for civilian Ebola workers returning from West Africa. As for the military he’s all 21-day quarantine.
The rest of us got the usual stern Professor Obama lecture about “The Science”, complete with docs in white coats as props. Obama says “The Science” tells us we don’t need to quarantine Ebola workers because they’re doing “God’s work”. And, like the mayor of Toledo drinking a glass of Lake Erie, he shook hands and hugged his doc props to prove his point.
So why are the apparently Godless troops he sent into Ebola harms way going to be quarantined? Joe Scarborough calls this “Obama’s Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker moment”:
…for the president on the Ebola front. I know there are people that like to feel superior to others and say the American people are just hucksters or idiots.
James Taranto in the WSJ (Doctors Without Scrupples) notes that 80% of respondents in a CBS poll want to quarantine everyone coming into America from Ebola Land. So why opposite policies for civilians and military?:
What is at issue, then, is the administration’s purely discretionary decisions to order quarantines for servicemen and lean on states not to order them for civilians—a contradiction with no obvious basis, and no basis the World’s Greatest Orator and his spokesman have managed to articulate, in philosophy, law or science.
Either servicemen are being subjected to burdens with no basis in “science or best practices,” or the administration is risking public health by prioritizing the personal comfort of civilian medical workers. Why in the world are they doing this?
Ebola Workers and God’s Work
Taranto answers his own question with two possibilities: 1.) He didn’t want to make a decision to overrule his Joint Chief of Staff. 2.) The Scarborough analysis – he’s a snob:
The second is snobbery. Recall that quote from Nurse Hickox’s lawyer: “She’s a very good person.” She and others like her, according to the president, are doing God’s work, and—in pointed if inaccurate contrast to military servicemen—are “experts.” The logic would go something like this: You can’t quarantine her. She’s one of us.
It turns out that Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction when President Bush invaded Iraq. It’s just that they were old weapons the NYT reports. Whatever their age some of the weapons are now in the hands of ISIS and may have been used against the Kurds.
Professor Victor Davis Hanson points out that President Obama is now preemptively bombing ISIS. As usual he’s not asking Congress for approval. He’s relying on Bush’s 12 year old congressional authorization.
Turkey seems content to allow ISIS to wipe out the Kurds on its border in the Syrian town of Kobani. The Kurds have threatened to renew guerrilla war against the Turks if they don’t give a little help.
Meanwhile tribal forces in Iraq’s Anbar province say they can’t resist Isis without American ground troops.
David Ignatius, in the Washington Post, says that limited conflicts have a way of ratcheting upwards. He adds, “since the days of the Romans limited warfare has rarely been successful”.
Barack Obama called George Bush’s war in Iraq a dumb war. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, doesn’t think his old boss’s own war was so bright either. He says Obama “sort of lost his way”. Panetta’s predecessor, Robert Gates, has said pretty much the same thing. He didn’t think the president “believed in his own strategy”.
Speaking of believing in your own strategy, how come these two guys didn’t speak up when it would have made a difference? They both have books to peddle now. They may not be loyal, but they’re not dumb.