Posted by TFG on 8th June 2006
Archive for the 'Wartime/Politics' Category
June 8, 2006
June 3, 2006
Posted by TFG on 3rd June 2006
Seventeen Canadian residents were in custody Saturday on terrorism- related charges, including plots to use explosives in attacks on Canadian soil, authorities said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they arrested 12 male adults and five youth and foiled plans for terrorist attacks against targets in southern Ontario.
Officials showed evidence of bomb making materials, a computer hard drive, camouflage uniforms and what appears to be a door with bullet holes in it at a news conference Saturday morning.
“This group took steps to acquire three tons of ammonium nitrate and other components necessary to create explosive devices,” said assistant Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner Mike McDonell said.
McDonell said that is three times the amount used to blow up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Motherscratcher. Let’s replay that: three times the amount used to blow up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Once more, with feeling: three times the amount used to blow up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Yall remember that, I’m sure.
Damn. Way to go, Mounties.
January 7, 2006
Posted by TFG on 7th January 2006
Beginning in February 2000, the CIA recruited a Russian scientist who had defected to the US years earlier. His mission: Take the nuclear blueprints to Vienna to sell them – or simply give them – to the Iranian representatives for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Dubbed “Operation Merlin,” the plan was supposed to steer Iranian physicists off track by incorporating design flaws in the blueprints that would render the information worthless.
But in what may turn out to be one of the greatest foreign policy blunders of all time, Operation Merlin backfired when the Russian scientist spotted the design flaws immediately – and even offered to help Iran fix the problems.
Right? Right??? It’s something from a Clive Cussler-wannabe off the racks at the bus-station news stand, right? Somebody, somewhere is making this shit up, RIGHT?
It’s safe to say that I’m just speechless about this. Or inarticulate with rage and disgust. One or the other.
Via Ace, who asks: Think the New York Times will give this part of Risen’s story above-the-fold, three-column treatment? Sure, if they can figure a way to blame it on Gov. Bush. His dad was CIA before, you know. Not that big a stretch.
January 5, 2006
Posted by TFG on 5th January 2006
First off, Mark Steyn with, It’s the Demographics, Stupid:
Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries. There’ll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands–probably–just as in Istanbul there’s still a building called St. Sophia’s Cathedral. But it’s not a cathedral; it’s merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West.
Then, by way of answer or extension or response (or hell, an outright manifesto), Francis Poretto’s Dark Gods:
In a way, Steyn’s focus is broader than mine, for he concerns himself with the whole of the developed world. My concern is for America. In another way, Steyn’s focus is narrower than mine, for he concerns himself with visible threats to our present age. My concern is with the prospects for freedom and justice down the centuries to come.
They’re both long essays, so print them out if you must, and take them along on your next visit to the WC. But do read them both — they’re vital documents towards understanding the struggle we, The West, are facing, and what we, America, must do.
SMART GUY UPDATE: Tom Barnet (“Pentagon’s New Map”) chimes in on Steyn:
Wow! Somebody get a lynching party together. We better hang some of them dark-skinned pagans before they start screwing our women! You there–start having some babies for Der Fatherland!
Which means he’s utterly missed the point of Steyn’s article. Frankly, I’m starting to have my doubts about TPMBarnett, because if you’re a published author, advising the Pentagon, and you read the Steyn essay, and that’s what you get out of it? Hello?
January 3, 2006
Posted by TFG on 3rd January 2006
I like the way Alan puts this:
Patrick Henry meant he would fight for liberty literally, not figuratively. He sought to win liberty by force, risking death in combat. Though he doesn’t realize it, Crawford seeks to surrender liberty suicidally, through bureaucracy, granting maximum legal protection to international terrorists, and stripping constitutional authority from Americans who are truly fighting for liberty in our time.
And so we get back to the necessity of stating that we are in the uniquely American position of having a couple of things:
a) a military comprised of people who have made war-fighting a profession, thus relieving the average citizen of that duty, and the concomitant daily realization that freedom is not free, and that it is worth fighting for.
b) mind-bending technological advances that allow us to do the drudge work of spying, connecting dots and marking connections, with code.
And of course it is decidedly not outside of the realm of possiblity that any one of us could end up literally fighting for our liberty. Some people pooh-pooh that notion, that terrorists even care about striking America anymore or that us’ns here in Jeebusland would ever be a target. Obviously, I don’t. I’m not out checking the hedges every night for an Aknad with an AK before I hit the hay, but I realize that it’s possible and even desirable to the blackhats.
Another way of looking at it, do you think any of the Founding Fathers, like, say, Gen. George Washington, would have turned his back on an Mystickal Automated Methodology that dropped a parchment in his lap every morning that listed who, in the newly independent nation, had corresponded, verbally or written, with known agents of Court of King George (now that was a King George) last night? I suspect he would not reject it, and neither would most of them.
December 16, 2005
Posted by TFG on 16th December 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Final results in Iraq’s parliamentary election may not be known for two weeks, but early indications show the Shiite tickets doing well in traditional Shiite strongholds, election officials said Friday.
In Mosul, capital of the predominantly Sunni Arab province of Nineveh, indications were that the Sunni coalition came in first, said a representative for the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, Hameed Shabaky.
He said the Shiite governing party apparently came in fourth behind the Sunni coalition, the Kurds and a bloc led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite.
Turnout in what was a mostly peaceful election was overwhelming. Election officials estimated up to 11 million of the nation’s 15 million registered voters took part in Thursday’s vote, which would put overall turnout at more than 70 percent.
Every American should be thrilled beyond belief that this election is happening. An absolutely hellish tyrant* has been deposed, and democracy is gaining a serious foothold where it was once judged to be impossible. That democracy will be a beacon to the other peoples in that misbegotten part of the world. And that, my friends, is an enormous victory in the global war on terror.
Oh, yeah…that. Ring a bell?
* And of all possible outcomes, he’s on trial, wearing a suit, in a court, with lawyers and judges. He should still be swinging from a lamp post. Cooler heads than mine prevailed, of course, and word of his savageries will be spread far and wide. That is to say, spread far and wide if our pothead friends from j-school can be bothered, which I doubt with about as much doubt as it is possible to doubt and still leave a crack open for possibility.
November 19, 2005
Posted by TFG on 19th November 2005
John Cole actually types something funny:
*** Update ***
I have learned some interesting things in the comments. Apparently, without the word ‘practicable’ in the resolution, what is going to happen is that military commanders all over Iraq will come out in to the middle of their compounds with bullhorns, and state the following:
“Attention troops. This is a retreat and an unplanned withdrawal. Throw down your weapons and head for the border. Congress called for immediate withdrawal, and failed to tell us to do it when ‘practicable.’ Therefore, we are going to throw aside all of our training and years of logistics experience and just run like hell.”
That’s probably why the Immediate Surrender Act got trashed something like 400-4. I think there was one Republican vote for it, and I can guaran-damn-tee you that it was that nutso Libertarian Ron Paul from TANSTAAFL, TX, who basically hates everything about Modern American Government (can’t say as I disagree with him that much.)
Watching the debate was actually rewarding to me — most of the Congress-critters are outwardly decent people. Nancy Pelosi is an utter ass with a giant Hefty bag of ancient Cindy Sheehan leftovers, but outside of her, I was pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming majority of speakers. Guess they’ve got me fooled all over again, at least for tonight. And someone ask MEL ALLEN TO STOP YELLING EVERYTHING HE SAYS. Is that poor man deaf?
November 17, 2005
Posted by TFG on 17th November 2005
Matt Welch writes this:
Meanwhile, here’s a January 2003 column I wrote, entitled America’s Secret Weapon: The Facts, in which I urged the Bush Administration and the Foreign Service to point out and correct provable anti-American lies in the media, even if it “might help Bush out.” I still think it’s a good idea, and I still think they’ll never do it, for the same reason I predicted then:
Washington’s drive for better public relations is motivated far more by expedient operational concerns than anything so high and mighty as telling the truth. The administration would rather manipulate than fact-check, and the Foreign Service reserves the right to cozy up to local despots by bashing America’s free press.
Which reminded me of this Weekly Standard column by Stephen Hayes (recommended by I can’t remember who) that seeks to explain why the White House is unwilling to start talking about facts (yet, like Matt, urges them to do so strongly):
The experience of the “16 words” controversy, however, led the president’s aides to purge any fact or piece of evidence that could possibly be challenged–whether by vetters in the speechwriting process itself or in the media. “We didn’t want to have a pissing match with the [Central Intelligence] Agency on the front page of the New York Times every time we put something out,” says one former Bush administration official.
The default position was to refrain from publicly asserting anything that could possibly provoke a public debate, and the result has been that each new Iraq speech the president gives–however well written–ends up sounding a lot like the last speech the president gave. For the most part, the speeches have been heavy on assertions and light on arguments. So for most of his second term the president would claim that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror without stopping to explain why Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.
This reluctance comes not from a lack of arguments to make but from a fear that if the administration aggressively makes its case, the CIA will promptly seek to undermine it through leaks that wind up on the front pages. But this self-censorship is keeping the administration from making full use of the information at its disposal. Here are three examples.
No real connection ‘twixt the two except in my grease trap of a brain. Note that the Weekly Standard column came before what Matt (and everybody) calls the President’s Pushback (the term for the latest set of speeches and pundit circle-jerks over the Iraq war.) Except that exactly what was to be avoided has come to pass — it’s a pissing match, and now it’s happening in the Congress which guarantees front-page coverage (even on this waste of pixels). All while the President is overseas, which should never effing happen.
Posted by TFG on 17th November 2005
The President needs to go to war on the Senate. He comes back; he calls the republican leadership into his office; he shows them the pen. You know the pen I mean too, the veto pen. He tells them “ Kiss my ass if you think I’m signing a goddamned thing for anyone at anytime. We’ll just sit here for the next three years and we’ll see which of you figures out that the Executive branch actually means something in this government”.
To my own personal embarassment, this was voted for by both of the senators from the Great Republic of Texas.
Look, I’m a very simple guy, and I don’t have a whole wall of the house covered in sheepskin. Someone explain to me what the heck these blowhards think they are going to achieve with this kind of horsepoop. For your convenience, I’ve got it all under the READ MORE button. It’s nothing more than an ineffectual middle-management-ish time-wasting hand-waving, trying their hardest to look like they’re actually Doing Something. Reports, reports, reports — on everything under the sun, from our Iraqi community outreach to what kind of training the cops are getting.
Let me tell you right now, we’re not going to win anything because of reports. We’re not going to have a staunch ally in an utterly essential region of the world because of reports. Besides, it’s not like the blowhards are going to even read them. They’re going to turn it over to a bunch of ass-kissing interns who will then tell them what they think Sen. Gasbag
needs to know wants to hear. They’ll be used to nitpick and sound-bite for the cameras. Bush should just tell them to go straight to hell, in the most forceful terms possible.
November 15, 2005
Posted by TFG on 15th November 2005
The Bush administration “needs to explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission,” say resolutions introduced separately by both Republicans and Democrats.
Frankly, this is desertion, to my way of thinking. I expect such silly resolutions from the party out of power, but not from the ones in charge, and especially not with three years left to run in the President’s term.
Furthermore, placing any restrictions on how long the American military will stay in Iraq is just crazy talk. Drawdowns, sure, but we kept thousands of troops in Europe for decades to face down the Commie Russkis. I certainly expect that we will do the same to face down the jihadis. In fact, I expect the Iraqi government will be thrilled to host American bases for the forseeable future. Like it or not, the concept has worked in the past, and it looks like the Iranians, as intractable as ever and rapidly becoming nuclear, are going to need some, well, re-assurances that we’ve got an eye on them. And, not to be discounted, an eye toward the Saudis, as well.
November 2, 2005
Posted by TFG on 2nd November 2005
So sayeth your friendly, local, on-the-record, for-attribution Democrats.
Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an “Uncle Tom” and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.
Really gives you a warm feeling deep in your heart, doesn’t it?
Anybody care to stand up and defend that kind of bullshit?
October 7, 2005
Posted by TFG on 7th October 2005
You might have heard about the suicide bomber right across the Red River in Oklahoma. Gates Of Vienna is the place to go for the best blogospherical look at what’s going on. And it seems to be one hell of a lot more than the “news” is telling us…at least the nationals.
Now, with what is easily the biggest day at the venerable State Fair of Texas, and the biggest regular-schedule game in the Big 12, you might think that our local Snooze might have something to say about the Paki roommate, the recent spasm of visits to the mosque, the physical evidence of TATP explosives, etc. You would be wrong. But the Baron lays it out for you:
Islamic terrorist bomb attacks, whether suicide or otherwise, are coming to America. Everyone knows that; it’s only a matter of time. What the mujahideen have done in Iraq and Bali and Madrid and London they would dearly love to inflict on us, and we must assume that they are trying, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, to do just that.
Eye on the ball, folks…don’t expect the authorities to catch them all, every time. Be prepared.
August 22, 2005
Posted by TFG on 22nd August 2005
I would say that I am a fan of national security very much more than generally, and it does seem that government regulation pretty much completely screws the pooch most every where you find it. So, no thanks.
In this instance, Ace is talking about energy policy and great-googly-moogly — Peak Oil. But, feel free to apply this reasoning to everything that’s not highways. I’d say the military, too, but that’s a direct function of our form of government, not The Government. Crikey, at any point in time, fully 75% of The Government is actively engaged in hosing the military. There’s likely something I’m forgetting, too.
Oh, great — King Tut-Tut is on the PO bandwagon: A combination of greed, increased demand, political inaction and an unwillingness to conserve, and rejection of science has helped to create what will truly be the biggest crisis of the next century. Hint: it’s a rejection of science that will make this doomsday scenario come true. As most oilmen want to pump oil, they won’t reject science.
All this from one story in the New York Times by a guy peddling a book (so it’s most likely to be at least half wrong). Can you say “profit motive”? I knew you could.
August 17, 2005
Posted by TFG on 17th August 2005
The Texas Army National Guard will supply most of the 17-hundred-soldier force going to Kosovo this fall for peacekeeping operations.
Just a reminder: there are exit strategies, and then there are exit strategies.
August 16, 2005
Posted by TFG on 16th August 2005
Watch for this — the Drumettes, and most assuredly legions of Lefties, will now proceed to try and move the lens from Jamie Gorlick’s infamous Wall to the whatever they end up calling this “withholding.” The permutations are many, but my bet is on roping Rumsfeld in on some great Pentagon coverup. We’ll have to wait and see what comes out in the blogger conference call.
Fortunately, every American with two brain-cells knows that the 9-11 Commission was nothing but a bunch of ass-covering political theatre. So, like, FUCK the 9-11 Commission, Kevin, and what they might or might not have been told. Stay tuned, my big white ass. Maybe to see what spin they can gin up, and call bullshit.
P.S. The story of Able Danger & Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer…beware, NYT, so who knows if it’s whole?