Friday, May 30, 2008
CIA Director Michael Hayden gave a noteworthy interview to the Washington Post this week. According to the Post:
Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda’s allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group’s core leadership. While cautioning that al-Qaeda remains a serious threat, Hayden said Osama bin Laden is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world and has largely forfeited his ability to exploit the Iraq war to recruit adherents.
As far as the metrosexual as President question goes though, you need to read Grim's well written post Masculinity and Martial Courage that is up over at Black Five to help you further evaluate what an Obama Presidency would mean.
- Jimbo is right to say that Obama is wrong for a dangerous world. Let's talk about exactly why he is wrong for it. The key clue comes from listening to some of his supporters talk about why they don't want Senator Jim Webb to serve as Obama's Vice President. I supported Webb for the Senate, and would have no problem supporting him for President -- but to them, he is a bad choice.
Well worth the time to read, in my opinion.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Anyway, I've come to the point where I really need to figure out who he is and what is in his core. He's trying to help in that regard, too.
Earlier this year he claimed that the march in Selma, Alabama was a personal connection for him. His claim was that his parents met and were so inspired by all of it that they got married and had a little Obama. Nice connection actually, except for the fact that he was born in 1961 and Selma happened in 1964.
This past weekend he presented his family connection to World War II and the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by claiming his Great Uncle was attached to Patton's 3rd Army and he was one of the first in to liberate Auschwitz. There were two problems with this one though. One, his Great Uncle enlisted in the Navy and Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army, not Patten's third. So, Patten must have been packing a his own Navy along with him, and then loaned them to the Russians, or it's possibly not true.
There ya have it. Obama is?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This article shows that they are wrong and that, in fact, solar energy is and always has been the overwhelming primary driver for global temperature with CO2 such a minor component that it should be ignored. Due to the differences in scale between the solar effect and the effect of CO2 the latter is only ever going to have a marginal effect at and around the peak of any natural warming trend and is unlikely to activate any tipping point that would not have been activated by natural cause. Indeed, during natural cooling spells CO2 will be a wholly beneficial mitigating factor.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
- Iraqi security forces, backed by US forces, are pressing the offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq and allied insurgent groups in Mosul and Ninewa province. The operation, which initially was called Lion’s Roar but has morphed into Operation Mother of Two Springs, has netted more than 1,100 al Qaeda and insurgent operatives. Today, the Iraqi Army reported it captured the “Prince of Ninewa” during a raid. The Iraqi government is planning an amnesty and may be forming an Awakening in Mosul proper, a source told The Long War Journal.
Operations are now underway in Mosul to rid the city of al-Qaeda. The streets are calm, indicating that the terrorists realize they are too weak to fight.
- The Iraqi minister of defense pushed the debate with the Iranians over their provision of weapons to Shia militias one more step on Monday. Minister Abdul Qadir Obeidi indirectly confronted the Iranians, without naming them, with new findings that prove their involvement in the arming of Shia militias.
On Monday, state-owned al-Sabah published a statement by the minister in which he spoke of the capture of a certain type of rocket that was never found in militia-held caches until now:
For starters there is Mohammed over at Iraq The Model who posts Do Iraqis Want an Arab Nuclear Bomb? which is a pretty interesting read on some Iraqi viewpoints on Iran wanting to develop a nuclear bomb, not that they'd ever consider doing that...
- The change that took place in Iraq was not only a political one but also, and more importantly, a change in awareness; something that isn't easy to detect.
This is what I see clear in the nature of Iraqi dialogue among the public, and I'm always pleased by the degree of awareness and open-mindedness that emerged in the years that followed the change. I believe it is an important indication about the future.
Recently I've been reading through one of the BBC forums whose topic is basically "do Arabs have the right to possess nuclear weapons?". I didn't hesitate to read all the contributions, which numbered over 600 from various Arab countries. I wasn't surprised by the nature of Iraqi contributions to the discussion. I had always called these "singing outside the Arab flock".
This "singing" is almost always faced by attacks from the rest of Arabs who often generously use the word "traitors" when addressing their Iraqi counterparts just because they have different views about one issue or another.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Iraq is where ideologies go to die. Arab nationalism, Baathism, anti-Americanism, al-Qaidism, Donald Rumsfeldism, and Moqtada al-Sadrism have either died there or are dying. Conventional liberal opinion, more or less correct about the foundering American war effort from 2004 to 2006, has been severely bloodied—along with Iraq’s worst insurgent groups and militias—by General David Petraeus’s leadership of the American troop surge. Even post-9/11 fear of Islam has proven unsustainable for those who regularly interact with ordinary Iraqis. Independent journalist Michael Yon, who has spent more time embedded with combat soldiers in Iraq than any other reporter, is a refreshingly unideological analyst of the war. His self-published dispatches have earned him a loyal following around the world, and he has set out to reach even more people with the publication of a terrific new book, Moment of Truth in Iraq.
Well done Yon and to all of you who contributed to keep him in camera's and equipment.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
No one said a word about it until Obama decided it must have been aimed at him. Instead of doing the wise choice and just letting it go he responded thusly.
"It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack," Obama said.
"knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally ,"
White House reaction to Obama.
- The White House said Bush's comment wasn't a reference to Obama.
"It is not," press secretary Dana Perino told reporters in Israel. "I would think that all of you who cover these issues and have for a long time have known that there are many who have suggested these types of negotiations with people that the president, President Bush, thinks that we should not talk to. I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you. That is not always true. And it is not true in this case."
The Democrats are all up in a tizzy now, which is even more entertaining since this part of his speech is exactly the same thing he's been saying for years. Obama just went ahead and put the shoes on...
A meal a day! Ah, life is good for The Mustang.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
If the idiot had just looked in his mirror he'd have seen a very hungry Mustang just tagging along.
Anyway, we came to a right hand turn and he was the first in line and the road was clear. He "ran to daylight" and I had to push the Mustang about 3/4 throttle to keep up (chuckle, chuckle). He ran it about a block and backed off, then looked into his mirror and got that "smile" from the front of my Mustang. I slid around him as if he was slowing me down and just cruised on down the road...
The Mustang has been fed...
Maliki has been much maligned in the press as unable to create unity or at least put Iraq on the path to reconciliation. Much of that criticism ignored the fact that reconciliation is near impossible during sectarian violence and until the people could feel safe in their homes and markets nothing was going forward. Well, we accomplished that and lo and behold old feckless Maliki turned out to have a whole bunch of feck.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
- Who's up for some war stories? Ok, maybe not *exactly* war stories, but I've been mumbling through old memories of Iraq recently. This post will be pretty much stream-of-consciousness, so continue reading only if you want a look inside.
7. I believe America is the greatest nation yet to exist on this earth, and anyone who disagrees can kiss my ass.
8. I believe that bacon is actually a vitamin
Even without that though, The Sadrists are getting beaten badly and Mookie has tried to make peace again. The jury is still out, but it looks as if the ISF and coalition forces are continuing to thin the Mahdi army ranks. Mookie is becoming lesser and lesser as each day goes by.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
- An unconfirmed report from the Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman said al Masri has been captured in the northern city and is in Iraqi Army custody. The US military has not confirmed al Masri’s capture.
Some folks have asked if I plan to do book signings in stores. None are planned because I need to take care of business here before heading back to the war, but I have been making dozens of media appearances and many more are scheduled this month. The big issue at hand is the launch of my book Moment of Truth in Iraq. Doesn't do any good to spend all that time on the battlefields if I do not take time to convey the facts to folks at home.
I'll try to sign one more gigantic stack of Moment of Truth before heading back to the war, but for those folks who were buying signed copies for Christmas presents, now is the best time as we still have about a thousand signed copies.
Amazon.com is fully stocked and has the lowest current price--$17.97 as I type this.
Moment of Truth is available at all Barnes & Noble stores and at BN.com at a reduced price. Please click the link and enter your zip code to check availability of Moment of Truth in Iraq at nearby stores. This function maps nearby stores with copies in stock.
Great to be back in America but sure comes with a lot of work before heading back to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Next time you see a service member in an airport, please say "thank you" to him or her. Those simple words go a long, long way. Back in the war, I often have heard combat soldiers saying how good it made them feel when someone in an airport simply said "thank you" and kept on walking. Very powerful words. They hugely appreciate those words.
While it's important to promote his book (even without reading it yet), that last point is a great one for us to pass along to everyone we know.
Friday, May 2, 2008
The sound? Excellent. Nice deep throaty rumble at idle, and mean and nasty at wide open throttle. Sounds hungry. I took it out for a feeding but didn't run across any "game". I'll park it for the night and feed it another night. I swear I heard it mumbling "Camaro....Camaro..." . Might be my imagination.
Now, for the well deserved beer reward.