Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Are You Remembering What I Remember?

Looking at current war disbelievers, I fear this country has such a short memory that it will end up back where it started, i.e., a fledgling nation struggling to be free from tyrannical rule. American pioneers and founders knew it was worth the hardship and loss of life because we mutually new that death here, though hard for those left behind, meant life eternal for those in the righteous cause of freedom.

At this memorial day , I remember... heroes. Hope is remembering great people by loving and sharing stories of real heroes with our young, about what the heroes left behind, a legacy of thought, word, and deed. The top of the list for me Dad, Lt. in the US Navy, WWII. Lord, let me leave a legacy such as his: traditional American heart, a family man, love of Jesus, and courage to speak out and tell the truth.

Legacy applies to all great heroes, those who stood up for freedom! Top of the list of heroes of today are our brave soldiers born in the USA; bottom of the list - political pseudo-leaders who defame American military and honor evil in thought ,word, and deed!

We rarely see the masterful things our soldiers accomplish but we certainly get massive amounts of media attention to their "job" - fighting evil, the undeniable force whose only mission is to seek, to kill, and destroy unless heroes remain committed to vigilantly seeking, killing, and destroying evil at its beginning moments. I honor the ongoing legacy of today's soldiers with prayer and sending as many emails, pictures, and movie clips displaying the good they are doing that I possibly can.

From the beginning of time freedom has been bought by lives lost; we must remember. I tenderly remember and take comfort and glorious remembering for the memorial days, events, and monuments The United States of America sets aside for us to continue honoring our legacy of focused, passionate heroes.

We must remember! Freedom is not a willy nilly ride; it does not mean that we allow evil lovers to illegally break-in to our country, manipulate and mock our judicial system, or infiltrate our neighbors! We are a merciful people, not a welcome mat for evil; we need to commemorate our freedom fighters and remember the difference in good and evil. Evil thrives when good folks do nothing.

Today is creating the legacy for all our tomorrows.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Al Gore for President

In my small way I have been supporting Hillary Clinton for American President. All of four articles on my blog show my personal vote. As can be seen the American Presidency is not at the top of my list of priorities. The lack of enthusiasm is probably due to the fact that the Americans showed such bad judgement during the last two elections. I love the American people, they are a great nation. I just have no time for their current Pres. He is guilty of crimes against humanity.

I do have one little good thing to say about Bush. It's rare I know. He sticks with his friends through thick and thin. The fact that his friends, such as Wolfowitz and Holsinger the new Surgeon General by the looks of things, are not the right type of friends to have, is not so good. Wolfowitz had to resign from the World Bank due to irregularities and Holsinger has been accused of incompetence and neglect that led to deaths of patients.

One therefore looks to the next American elections in the hope of finding a leader with the ability to speak well and a smidgen of general knowledge, have some ethics in terms of not going to war on a country under false pretenses and working with the rest of the world on global warming issues, amongst a whole bunch of other issues obviously. No President of a global power is only going to be faced with a few hugely important issues.

My personal vote, and would have been two elections ago, would have been for Al Gore. It was a pity that Clinton's little dalliances with Ms I kept my stained dress as an investment, hurt Gore as much as it did. I also think that Gore's heart wasn't actually in it. I never saw him sparkle during his campaign speeches or debates. He seemed 'heavy'. It was a huge surprise to see this amazing speaker then on the award winning documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth'.

At least Al Gore was against the war in Iraq before the war, and not as the current candidates for Democratic nomination who are suddenly all sprouting forth against it. They should have spoken up as Al Gore did at the time. Gore's recently published book 'The Assault on Reason' sounds like it will be worth getting. His argument is that the media has managed to stifle democratic processes and he is hopeful that the internet, especially within the blogosphere, will continue to support strong democratic debate.

It seems unlikely that Al Gore will change his mind and run for president. This is a great pity as I think he would have a good chance of finally making it. And the United States will be the better for it. According to the article in the Washington Post, it could be that he won't stand because he is clearly enjoying himself these days and that's probably why he won't run for president. Maybe if enough people actually encourage him, it might still happen.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Successful Iraqi Exit Strategy

Jimmy Carter was right. George W. Bush has been the worst president! Who the hell invades a country and just brings democracy? When you go to a friend's house for dinner, you bring a bottle of wine, some dessert, right? You don't go to your friends and say, "Hi, we didn't bring anything, but we were thinking that the pork chops should be divided evenly and let's take a vote on whether we eat the salad before or after the main course."

If I were president I would have brought brownies for the Sunnis. And not just any old brownies, the good ones with huge walnut chunks and maybe with some caramel spread on top. The Shi'ites would have gotten chocolate chip cookies like only Americans know how to make them. And I may have even put a Hershey's kiss on top of each cookie. How can anyone hate you when you've given them a kiss?

Now everybody loves us, except maybe the Kurds. I forgot about the Kurds. They get to have a little sampling of both. Let's face it, the Kurds have had a rough century; they could use two desserts.

I can't stay forever making cookies and brownies. I have other countries to feed and will need to car pool my daughter to her ballet and soccer games. So here's our exit strategy. The Sunnis love their brownies and the Shia love their cookies. So we do a little reversal and give the Sunnis (who love the brownies) the recipe to make the cookies (and perhaps ask Hershey's to send a few million kisses wholesale) and give to the Shia (who love the cookies) the recipe to make brownies. Now, next Thursday when the Sunnis want their brownies, they're going to have to ask the Sunnis to make it for them. Of course, they'll agree to do it since their going to want the Shias to make them their cookies.

We have created interdependence. And we have finally brought some good desserts to a region that has suffered far too long from some pretty boring desserts all made with honey. What if you don't like honey? You can't have baba ghanoush or hummus for dessert!

Now I've still forgotten the Kurds. O.K. we will give them the recipe for both so that if the Shias are busy one weekend, the Kurds can make the brownies. But the Kurds can't have any ovens, because if they have ovens and both recipes, they're going to want to be an independent country.

You know how around Christmas time you melt some chocolate and then spread crushed candy canes over it? I think the Iranians would love that. Maybe even enough to give up their nuclear program.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Un-Fairness Doctrine

If you were to ask a stranger on the street to name the top talk radio personalities in the country, you would inevitably receive an answer that included the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. The problem with all of them, according to some Democrats, is that they only represent one side of the political spectrum. And, of course, it's not the side the Democrats prefer the public to hear.

So, in order to level the playing field, many on the left are calling for the return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine to give opposing viewpoints an equal opportunity to be heard by listening audiences. The problem with the Fairness Doctrine, though, is that it's not really what it claims to be-fair.

There's little doubt about the assertion that most talk radio programs lean toward conservatism. But there's a reason for the ever-growing popularity of the Limbaughs and the Hannitys of the airwaves: it's called the marketplace. Simply put, successful radio programs are the ones that attract advertisers. Period. Limbaugh is the top-rated radio personality in the country because a large segment of the public likes what he has to say. Therefore, they tune in to his show. Advertisers then buy time during his program to pitch their products and services to his audience. If nobody was listening, the advertisers would take their business elsewhere and the Rush Limbaugh show would be but a distant memory. Case in point: Air America.

Leftists like Al Franken tried desperately to make their challenge to conservative talk radio dominance work. But they failed. They failed because their message did not resonate with a large enough segment of the radio listening population to attract the advertisers necessary to fund the programming. Talk radio is just like any other product. You make it attractive to an audience and it sells. If you can't do that, you're out of business.

Having failed at radio in the free marketplace, Democrats now want to impose their political ideology and viewpoints on a listening public that has already, for the most part, rejected their opinions. Prominent Democrats like Senator Byron Dorgan and Representative Dennis Kucinich want radio stations to make comparable time available for opposing opinions, regardless of whether or not that programming is profitable to the host stations. Having failed to sell you their message, they now want to force you to listen to it through congressional action.

Now, I've had a few people tell me that equal time would ensure that both sides of an issue were presented, thus enabling the listening audience to develop a better informed opinion about a given topic. That's ridiculous. People who listen to the radio listen to programming that appeals to them. They listen because they like what they hear. What do you suppose a listener will do if he or she disagrees with or dislikes what is on the radio? Odds are that the listener will tune in another program or just stop listening altogether.

The return of the Fairness Doctrine would be nothing more than another government infringement on our ability as citizens to exercise individual choice. By telling us what we will listen to on the radio, Democrats take away our ability to choose what we will listen to on the radio. Democrats who demand equal time under the Fairness Doctrine are keenly aware that they fail at talk radio when it comes to the free exchange of ideas. That is why the leftist agenda must be force-fed to the talk radio listening public, and that is why guys like Dorgan and Kucinich want to use the Fairness Doctrine to take away your ability to tune them out.

Friday, May 18, 2007

U.S. Senate to vote on whether to cut off money for Iraq war in 2008

WASHINGTON: The Senate is expected to vote as early as this week on whether to cut off money for the Iraq war next year, as well as on a softer measure calling for U.S. troops to leave by October.

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday the two measures would be offered as amendments to a water projects funding bill being debated this week. While the Senate had planned to take up Iraq legislation this week, Reid had previously been unclear what specifics members would consider.

The first amendment, backed by Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold, would require that combat operations end by March 31, 2008, by cutting off money after that date.

The second measure would provide more than $120 billion (€88.5 billion) to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as various domestic projects. It would call for troops to begin leaving Iraq by Oct. 1, but allow the president to waive that requirement.

Passage of the $120 billion (€88.5 billion) in war spending would not allow the Senate to begin negotiating with the House of Representatives and send President George W. Bush a bill by the end of the month, said Rodell Mollineau, a Reid spokesman. Nevertheless, he added, "these are important votes. This will give members an opportunity to debate these issues and have up-or-down votes on these."

Today in Americas

The House last week approved, 221-205, legislation that would fund the war in two-month installments, giving Congress a chance to cut off money for the war after July. The House measure was considered unlikely to survive in the Senate, where Democrats wanted to fund the war through September.

"On our side of the aisle, Democrats believe they should do something very, very close to what was done in the bill that was sent to the president to be vetoed," said Reid.

Reid's strategy is likely to appease party members like Feingold who say they will not vote for legislation that funds the deeply unpopular war without binding language demanding U.S. troops leave. While Reid co-sponsored Feingold's proposal, he has said he would not push it as a caucus position.

"The American people deserve to have the Senate go on record about whether or not it wants to end our misguided mission in Iraq and safely redeploy our brave troops," said Feingold.

However, Feingold's tough anti-war measure is unlikely to pass the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority and several oppose using the budget to end the war.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Robotic Wars of the Future - What about Isaac Asimov's Three Laws for Robotics

The future of human wars is changing and it is obvious to see that unmanned vehicles will continue to invade the battle field and eventually our wars will be fought by robots and not humans. We have all heard the saying; All is Fair in Love and War. Indeed it is amazing how many people believe just that and in the heat of battle ones strict adherence to rules will be challenged more often than not. What about Isaac Asimov's famous Robot Rules? (source: WikiPedia).

The Three Laws of Robotics:

  • A Robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
  • A Robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • A Robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law
  • *Later a Fourth Law was added (The Zeroth Law):

    A Robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

    Apparently current military philosophers and thinkers are not the only ones contemplating the future reality and the use of robots in warfare. It appears that Isaac Asimov's rules for robots is totally out the window or perhaps we might say that the future force robots will soon be coming thru an international terrorist window near you?

    Have you given much consideration that a potential enemy of the United States might build a bunch of robots to come to America to kill you and your family? Are you ready for the future? Is resistance really futile? I mean we can simply build our own more superior robots to protect us and/or kill our enemies first? What say you?

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    German Memoirs in Asia - US President Herbert Hoover in the Post-World Wars Era Europe

    Philipp Staebler, a first year student of business economics was narrating the difficulties in the reunification of the separated Germanys.

    He said after a brief pause "Well, it is difficult for sometime for some people in West Germany, but East Germany is also part of our nation and somehow or other way we will have to bear the burden".
    Philip elaborated some stories of the Second World War era, which separated Germany, and many yet unresolved chaos.
    When our discussion turned on the rehabilitation of post-war Europe, a German university student referred to one person who left a lasting legacy.
    It was none other than Herbert Hoover, an American of German ancestry and was the 31st President of the United States of America (1929-1933). He had taken bold initiatives which saved the lives of millions of Germans and other Europeans in the Second World War that ravaged Europe.

    Hoover was born into a Quaker family of distant German and Swiss descent, in Iowa.

    He helped millions of starving people by his charismatic negotiations between the opposing parties on relief assistance in post-war Europe.

    He exemplified the Efficiency Movement component of the Progressive Era, arguing there were technical solutions to all social and economic problems - a position that was challenged by the Great Depression that began while he was President.

    When Belgium faced a food crisis after being invaded by Germany in the fall of 1914, Hoover undertook an unprecedented relief effort as head of the Commission for the Relief of Belgium (CRB). The CRB became, in effect, an independent republic of relief, with its own flag, navy, factories, mills and railroads. Its $12-million-a-month budget was supplied by voluntary donations and government grants.

    In an early form of shuttle diplomacy, he crossed the North Sea forty times seeking to persuade the Germans in Berlin to allow food to reach war victims.

    After the United States entered the war in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Hoover as head of the American Food Administration, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. He succeeded in cutting consumption of food needed overseas and avoided rationing at home. After the end of the war, Hoover, a member of the Supreme Economic Council and head of the American Relief Administration, organized shipments of food for millions of starving people in Central Europe. To this end, he employed a newly formed Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee to carry out much of the logistical work in Europe.

    He extended aid to famine-stricken Bolshevist Russia in 1921. When a critic inquired why he should help Bolshevist Russia, Hoover retorted, "Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!"

    In June 1931, Hoover issued the Hoover Moratorium that called for a one-year halt in reparations payments by Germany to France and in the payment of Allied war debts to the United States to deal with a very serious banking collapse in Central Europe that threatened to cause a worldwide financial meltdown. The Hoover Moratorium had the effect of temporarily stopping the banking collapse in Europe.

    Based on Hoover's previous experience with Germany at the end of World War I, in the winter of 1946 - 47 President Harry S. Truman selected Hoover to do a tour of Germany in order to ascertain the food status of the occupied nation. Hoover toured what was to become West Germany in Field Marshall Herman Goering's old train and produced a number of reports sharply critical of U.S. occupation policy. The economy of Germany had "sunk to the lowest level in a hundred years".

    As the Cold War deepened, Hoover expressed reservations about some of the activities of the American Friends Service Committee, which he had previously strongly supported.

    He impartially helped not only his distant German relatives of the German Nation but the Russians, and other Europeans as well and showed great human kindness.

    Europeans who survived in the Second World War used to praise him that they were still alive because of Hoover's meals. The Belgian city of Leuven named a prominent square after him. In addition, the Finns coined a new word hoover, meaning "to help," to their language in honor of his humanitarian work.

    Sunday, May 13, 2007

    Amid Friction, Plans for U.S.-Iran Talks on Iraq

    CAIRO, May 13 — The diplomatic tussle between and the United States intensified Sunday as leaders from both countries toured Middle Eastern capitals seeking to shore up relationships, even as signs of new cooperation over emerged between them.

    Iran’s president, , arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday afternoon, the first trip there by an Iranian leader since the country’s founding in 1971, seeking to improve a strategic trade partnership just as Vice President landed in Cairo as part of a Middle East tour meant to mollify America’s regional allies and strengthen support against Iran.

    The visits occurred as officials from both countries announced that Ryan C. Crocker, the American ambassador to Iraq, would meet with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad in coming weeks to discuss Iraqi security efforts and cooperation between the countries.

    In the Emirates’ capital, Abu Dhabi, Mr. Ahmadinejad met with Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the president, and with Dubai’s ruler, Sheik Muhammad bin Rahid al-Maktoum, the Emirates’ vice president, seeking to emphasize the importance of Iran’s relationship with the Emirates, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

    “We consider progress and prosperity of the U.A.E. as our own,” Mr. Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

    But the Emirates’ leaders sought to ease the confrontation between the United States and Iran. Sheik Khalifa told Mr. Ahmadinejad that the Emirates sought the “elimination of the causes of tension in the Middle East,” especially in the Persian Gulf, the Emirates’ official news agency WAM reported.

    “He is on a damage-control mission,” said Abdel Khaliq Abdallah, a professor of political science at United Arab Emirates University, referring to Mr. Ahmadinejad. “So maybe it’s about time for us to be as frank as possible that we really think he and Iran are playing a dangerous game with the world community.”

    Later Sunday, Mr. Ahmadinejad went to Dubai, where he met with members of the Iranian Business Council, an Iranian trade group, and members of the Iranian community. Dubai is home to more than 500,000 Iranians who rely on the emirate as a focal point for trade and travel.

    Speaking to several hundred people, many of them flag-waving Iranians, in a highly unusual political gathering held in a soccer stadium, he called for America to leave the region, The Associated Press reported. “The nations of the region can no longer take you forcing yourself on them,” he was quoted as saying.

    At almost the same time, Mr. Cheney landed in Cairo for three hours of talks with President and top military officials to discuss Iraq as well as Iran’s growing regional influence. The vice president made no public comment after his visit here, part of a swing through the Middle East that included visits to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and an American warship in the Persian Gulf.

    Mr. Mubarak’s spokesman said Mr. Cheney had “focused especially on the situation in Iraq and the gulf, the security arrangements of the gulf and the relation with the Iranian nuclear program.”

    Despite the growing tensions between the United States and Iran, the announcement of planned talks on Iraq brought new hope for cooperation to help stabilize Iraq. A previous plan for talks fell through.

    “Following consultations between Iranian and Iraqi officials, Tehran has agreed to hold negotiations with Washington to relieve pain and suffering of the Iraqi people, support and strengthen the government of and stabilize security and peace in that country,” said Mohammad Ali Hosseini, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, in comments reported by IRNA.

    White House officials said the talks flowed from an effort by the two countries, including meetings on the margins of conferences on stabilizing Iraq that were held in Baghdad in March and in Cairo last week.

    “The purpose is to try to make sure that the Iranians play a productive role in Iraq,” the White House spokesman, Gordon D. Johndroe, told reporters on Air Force One en route to Virginia. “This is an ongoing process of trying to make sure that Iraq’s neighbors, of which Iran is obviously a major one, play a constructive role.”

    Michael Slackman reported from Cairo, and Hassan M. Fattah from Beirut, Lebanon. Nada El-Sawy contributed reporting from Dubai, and Sheryl Gay Stolberg from Air Force One.

    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    Arianna Huffington: Tony Blair's Legacy: George Bush's Iraq Trump Card

    Arianna Huffington 47 minutes ago

    With on his slow-bleed resignation, we can expect the floodgates to open on stories analyzing his ten year run as prime minister and the impact he had on America.

    "Hand on heart," he said in announcing he will leave office at the end of June, "I did what I thought was right. I may have been wrong. That's your call. But believe one thing: I did what I thought was right for our country."

    Maybe so, but his hand-on-heartfelt convictions had dire consequences for U.S. foreign policy. Blair was exactly what George W. Bush needed to sell his fraudulent and immoral war in to the American public: a seemingly reasonable and non-partisan stamp of international approval (after all, he'd been bosom buddies with , hadn't he?). Blair enabled the Bush myth that the invasion of Iraq was a coalition effort, that it wasn't just Mongolia, Moldova, Singapore, Poland, and Tonga making up the Coalition of the Willing to Go Along. It was Britain. Great Britain.

    More than being just Bush and Cheney's cheery wingman, Blair was one of their top salesmen, pitching dossiers, Nigeran yellowcake, and the specter of chemical weapons "" raining down on Europe. Although Blair was far from the only enabler to Bush's Iraq fantasies -- spineless Congressional Democrats and a wildly compliant press certainly did their part -- the impact of his unwavering support was enormous.

    Iraq is 's war, but Tony Blair's legacy will be forever tainted by the part of it he claimed for his own.

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Blair made Bush's ordeal in Iraq less lonely, but it cost him

    WASHINGTON: The Iraq war has been a lonely quest for President George W. Bush, but it has been less so thanks to the unwavering backing of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    Blair is stepping down on June 27 after a decade in power, and no issue during his tenure is leaving a more indelible imprint than his no-apologies support for the U.S.-led war effort.

    Bush seemed optimistic Thursday about the possibility of continuity on Iraq between Blair and his likely successor, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, the government's financial chief.

    The president told reporters on Thursday that he believes Brown "understands the consequences of failure" in Iraq. As Bush sees it, a U.S. defeat would give a boost to terror everywhere.

    Britain ranks second, after the United States, in terms of troops committed to Iraq. The British total is 7,100 but a reduction to 5,000 is planned for late this year.

    Today in Americas

    With Blair's announcement, Bush faces the final 19 months of his term in office without his closest ally and, as the president described him, "good friend."

    The two appear to have a relaxed relationship. In Russia last year, unaware that a nearby microphone was on, Bush was heard to greet his colleague with a "Yo, Blair," leaving the prime minister embarrassed.

    While there was shared anguish over the maelstrom in Iraq, neither leader has given any hint of regret over the venture. Both have paid a dear price politically, scoring under 30 percent in polls, the fallout from a war that is highly unpopular in both the United States and Britain.

    Julianne Smith, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said there is no question that Blair's legacy "will suffer from the stain of Iraq."

    Blair, she said, was content to "cozy up to the United States to the bitter end, refusing to look back and question his choice."

    Charles Kupchan, of the Council on Foreign Relations, said Blair "leaves under a cloud, having lost the confidence of his own party and with the Conservatives well ahead in the polls."

    A month ago, Brown met with Bush for the first time without Blair being present. The two men spoke for a half-hour after Bush dropped in on a meeting between Brown and U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley. Brown was in Washington for meetings at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    "I have found him to be an open and engaging person," Bush said, also describing him as an "easy-to-talk-to, good thinker."

    On Iraq, Brown had promised to "spend what it takes" to disarm Saddam Hussein's Iraq. He is expected to keep British troops in Iraq for the near future, and to maintain Britain's strong relationship with America.

    While Brown's ultimate course on Iraq is unclear, Europe has been generally projecting a friendlier image toward the United States. The latest concrete example is the recent election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France, which followed the accession in Germany of Chancellor Angela Merkel in late 2005.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2007

    Pe-Trae-Us Rhymes With?

    General David Pe-trae=us has, by suggesting he can accomplish mission impossible, winning the so-called war in Iraq, which in truth and fact is not a war, but rather an armed occupation. At times what is going on in Iraq has been confused with the war on terror which itself is a misnomer. Petraeus, a four star general who has been tasked with rebuilding Iraq's security forces and running this latest surge, wrote Counterinsurgency 101, the army handbook on fighting insurgencies. Given the fact that we are in the middle of a civil war in Iraq, as well as a strong insurgency, his own handbook would suggest our chances of succeeding are slim to none. Gen. Petraeus is said to have a superior intellect and a knack for politics, all of which will be needed to succeed. Unfortunately, it appears to be a case of too little too late. It is therefore unlikely, his ego and track record notwithstanding, that he will succeed in Iraq, where others have failed.

    According to journalist Kristian Williams, who recently wrote a feature article on Gen. Petraeus, "Mounting a successful counterinsurgency is a dangerous balancing act. Any sign of weakness benefits the insurgents, who will exploit the atmosphere of uncertainty and insecurity in their effort to discredit the government. But if the military is overbearing and oppressive, the insurgents can use public resentment and sincere grievances to gain support and justify violence. It is not enough to win battles if the government loses the backing of the population in the process." The real war in Iraq was won with the dissolution of the Iraqi army and the capture of Saddam. What has proven far more difficult is the occupation, which has cost our soldiers' lives and horrific injuries, not to mention the civilian casualties.

    In the Petraeus handbook there are dos and don'ts, most of what has occurred in Iraq has been in the don't column. From the outset the generals requested a troop level sufficient to accomplish their mission, which wasn't always clear. Under former Secretary of Offense Donald Rumsfeld, the requests for more troops were repeatedly denied. In Mosul where Petraeus had distinguished himself in 2003, with his hearts-and-minds approach, Rumsfeld thwarted his good work in 2004. Petraeus used the 101st Airborne to establish and overwhelming presence in the city. This was supported by foot patrols. Local elections were held and reconstruction money was liberally dispensed. Under Petraeus, Mosul became one of the few pacified areas in Iraq. Unfortunately, Mr. Rumsfeld, in typical fashion couldn't leave well enough alone. He replaced the Airborne with a much lighter Stryker force. The stryker Brigade halted the foot patrols and the local government efforts. Shortly thereafter Mosul was in chaos. As Williams puts it, the question facing Petraeus now is whether that process can be reversed three years later, on a much larger scale. Williams notes, "It is as important to meet the population's needs as to hunt down the enemy. We are not winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people who rightfully see us as an occupying force. The ultimate aims of the counterinsurgency program, as outlined in the Petraeus handbook are political winning legitimacy for the government and undermining the claims of rebels. A counterinsurgency program could best be described as armed social work, according to Williams and it may be too late for social work.

    The list of generals who have criticized the war effort thus far, reads like a who's who of the armed forces. Most have waited until they were safely retired to comment. Those who have had the courage to speak their minds while still in have been forced into retirement. Major Gen. Paul Eaton was the first to speak out. He rightfully blamed Rumsfeld for complicating the U.S. mission. Marine Lt. Gen Gregory Newbold charged Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith with a casualness and swagger that is the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions or bur the results. Brig. Gen. James Marks said, "Clearly the presence of more combat forces on the ground would have been needed." Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who likes the others, spoke from practical experience in Iraq said, Rumsfeld did not seek nor did he accept the counsel of field commanders. Maj. Gen. John Riggs and Maj Gen.Charles J. Swannack, former field commander of the 82nd Airborne, supported his statement. Retired Marine General Zinni said Rumsfeld should be held responsible for a series of blunder, starting with throwing away 10 years worth of planning, plans that had taken into account what we would face in an occupation of Iraq. The war to date has been so mismanaged it's amazing that we haven't had a coup, with the generals temporarily taking over the government until such time as the people can find a competent leader. If Gen. Petraeus were to be honest, which he might well be forced to do by September, he would have told the President, who apparently lives in a bubble, the war isn't winnable.

    This is not to suggest that it wasn't winnable at one time, but the strategy was flawed. The ratio of troops to population that Petraeus suggests in his handbook is not being met, even with the surge. As we are witnessing daily, we may secure one area, only to see another explode. We do not have enough troops to effectively police all of Iraq. Petraeus is entertaining a fool to suggest that he can succeed where others have failed. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result. At the risk of being redundant, the war aspect of the Iraq debacle has been won. Our troops have done all that was requested of them. There is no reason for them to remain. There are upstanding American citizens like Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy on the no fly list, it is seriously doubtful that a rag-tag bunch of terrorist hell-bent on following us here to blow themselves up, could escape scrutiny. Chaos exists in Iraq now, how bad does bad have to get before the President acknowledges it? Petraeus, has become his latest acolyte, saying what the leader wants to hear, instead of what he needs to hear, in so doing, he betrays the men and women in uniform who are being asked to carry out a fools mission.

    Copyright 2007. All rights are reserved.

    Tuesday, May 8, 2007

    Will George Bush Be Remembered like Abraham Lincoln Was?

    With so much emphasis on what a bad president George Bush is, and the recent firing of Don Imus over a racist comment regarding the black women on the Rutgers basketball team. I decided to take a look at Abraham Lincoln.

    There is no doubt that George Bush thinks what he is doing in the Middle East will have an everlasting effect on America long after all of us are dead and gone. Imus' comments brought to light the fact that people still say and do stupid things when it comes to race.

    Almost 150 years ago Abraham Lincoln had to handle a internal civil war that was far more than name calling and shouting. This was a dispute that could have torn the country in half.

    With his leadership America found it's way through a civil war and then to begin to heal as one nation again. One of the little known leadership styles that Lincoln used to his advantage in the organization of his presidency was his appointment of talented national figures from opposing political parties to be part of his cabinet.

    Today Bush is facing the same challenge of how to work with Democrats to solve the challenges of the war in Iraq. Lincoln felt he needed advice from the opposing viewpoint to keep from having his presidency from becoming one sided.

    Bush is only coming to realize that a Congress controlled by his opposition, and elected by a majority of Americans, is going to be important to how his presidency is remembered years from now.

    Lincoln's opposition to slavery was his greatest contribution to the history of America and indeed to world history as well. By issuing the Emancipation Proclamation to make the end of slavery permanent, Lincoln followed that up with the passing of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments which made permanent the freedoms that were hard fought and won in the Civil War.

    The freedom that was won for so many black Americans in that war forever made Abraham Lincoln one of our greatest presidents of all time.

    Bush continues to press on to protect Americans from the threat of terrorism and he has made Iraq the stand we are taking. This has become a very unpopular choice and is threatening how he will be remembered and how America views what he has us doing in this war.

    If someday Bush is to be remembered as a great president, like Abraham Lincoln, he is going to have to become a uniter and that means working with Democrats to make America safer and end this unpopular war.

    Sunday, May 6, 2007

    General Washington Addressing the Troops - A Message for Today

    For some time now, my friends,

    I have wanted to share with you

    the understanding that has come to me

    about the war that we are fighting with the British.

    This war did not begin with the sallying forth

    of the first shots from the muskets of the British,

    Nor will it be won by the triumph of will, vigor,

    and persistent courage by those who have less support to back them,

    but a mightier force of destiny.

    No, this war will only be won when all nations

    who seek to conquer, or who hold sway over the rights of others

    to exist in freedom, shall perish,

    and when all nations discover that the one true interest

    that holds them together is a common one -

    an interest that lies in the freedom and self-determination of each.

    You, who have been fighting so valiantly during this battle

    for which so many have given their lives,

    need know that after this victory is won and this fight is over,

    there will come a time of peace and of

    being able to retreat to our homes and farms

    to enjoy the fruits of liberty.

    But after this time shall come another time of war,

    and another time of travail for this nation

    that we are so courageously building.

    For the time has not yet come when all men

    can lay down their arms and proceed through life as brothers.

    This will be, some day, in the scheme of Divine Providence,

    but it is not now, and it is not within the foreseeable future.

    Therefore, what we do here today, what we give here today,

    we do and give in order to stave off the destruction

    that would be brought about by forces seeking to dismantle

    our present social structure and free government.

    We cannot allow this to happen.

    For we, as a free people, must defend our right to exist as such.

    We must not allow tyranny to prevail or the fear of reprisals

    to dissuade us from our calling.

    Nevertheless, this war, when it ends, will not end war.

    It will be one in a series of other wars that this nation-to-be will fight.

    Yet, in the end, after much travail and much pain and suffering,

    this nation shall finally be free to live in peace,

    and shall be a representative of peace to a world that is tired of war

    that has come, finally, to a place of being able to live in harmony.

    May that day come soon, my friends,

    and may we all be enabled to return to our homes quickly,

    to resume life in its daily quiet joys and in its daily moments

    of ease and tranquility.

    Friday, May 4, 2007

    What Happened to the Marines?

    Rivalries aside, most people agree the Marine
    Corp trains some of Uncle Sam's toughest

    Sadly, the Marines, like so many military
    organizations, have fallen prey to political
    correctness in modern times.

    In 2001, the Marines switched from their battle
    proven close combat methods in favor of a system
    that is designed to "subdue" rather then kill an
    attacker. Funny, I never thought the Marines had
    a problem with killing people before...And the
    scumbag terrorists sure don't seem to have a
    problem killing us.

    Since the Marines were first founded in 1775 at
    Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, PA, Close Quarter
    Combat (CQC) training was heavily emphasized in
    their training.

    Although many people know about their skilled
    sharpshooters who fired from the rigging of
    ships, it is important to remember that the
    Marines also pioneered close combat techniques as
    they boarded enemy ships using rifles and swords.

    For over a century Marines fought in every major
    conflict battling pirates, guerillas, and other
    enemies of the United States. The Marines were
    tough fighters, but when the United States
    entered World War I, some new training would make
    them lethal.

    The First World War brought a number of changes
    to the Marines. The Corp grew rapidly in size
    and the Germans would give the Marines the
    nickname "Devil Dogs." To meet the challenges of
    trench warfare, the Marines also improved their
    close combat training.

    The man largely responsible for the new training
    was Anthony J. Drexel Biddle who joined the
    Marines as a captain at age 41. Though he was new
    to the military, the wealthy socialite was an
    experienced boxer and began to share what he knew
    with the Marines. He taught bayonet and close
    combat techniques based upon fencing, boxing and

    During the inter-war years, other men joined
    Biddle to improve the training. Captains W.M.
    Greene and Samuel B. Griffith who had been
    stationed in Shanghai trained with British police
    officer William Fairbairn.

    Fairbairn had been in over six-hundred street
    fights and authored several books on close
    combat. He eagerly shared what he knew with the
    American Marines. They also learned shooting
    techniques from Fairbairn's best friend and
    firearms expert Eric Sykes.

    The Marines learned well, and soon Fairbairn's
    techniques became part of the Marines' CQC

    The Marines' close combat system would be further
    influenced by others during World War II, as the
    Marines fought in a brutal island hopping
    campaign in the Pacific.

    Marine John Styers who was a student of Biddle's
    took what he learned and wrote Cold Steel.
    Originally, a series of articles in Leatherneck
    magazine Styers showed Marines how to fight with
    a knife and a rifle with a bayonet. He showed
    that unarmed combat training could help Marines
    perform even better with their weapons.

    The Marines also learned from another student of
    Fairbairn, Army Colonel Rex Applegate. Though a
    crack shot, Applegate made it clear that
    hand-to-hand combat training was necessary part
    of CQC.

    While the Marine Corp close combat system went
    through a number of other changes and names, each
    reincarnation of the system held on tightly to
    the lessons and methods of Biddle, Sykes,
    Fairbairn, & Applegate as the concept of
    battlefield survival was always kept in mind.

    In the 1980's the system began to fall. With the
    rise in popularity of various martial arts, many
    Marines began abandoning the authentic,
    documented, and proven "simplistic" methods of
    combat in exchange for the mysteries of modern
    martial arts and psuedo science (aka completely
    unproven crap).

    In 1996, the Marines began evaluating their close
    combat training and determined that a new system
    would be developed to deal with Missions Other
    Than War (MOTW).

    Previously all training (even the junk in the
    80's) was designed with the concept of "kill or
    be killed". The new system is more concerned with
    peacekeeping operations and non-lethal
    force...EXTREMELY stupid for men trained to be our

    The new Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP)
    is like a piss poor combined version of Tae Kwon
    Do and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

    Not only is it nothing like the battle tested
    techniques the Marines have used successfully for
    over 200 years, but by mish-moshing together two
    martial sports (neither of which have battlefield
    proven documentation) someone is going to get

    Listen, in Iraq and Afghanistan its all about
    close combat and engaging the enemy in tight
    quarters. The Marines need a solid CQC system not
    a politically correct way to play patty-cake with
    the enemy.

    Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    International Panel to Launch Campaign for Accountability for U.S./Israeli War Crimes


    Campaign for Accountability for U.S./Israeli War Crimes
    55 W. 17th St. 5th Fl.
    NY NY 10011

    August 24, 2006

    Media Contact: Dustin Langley 646-354-8056

    International Panel to Launch Campaign for Accountability for U.S./Israeli War Crimes

    Where: United Nations Church Center, 777 UN Plaza - 44th St. & 1st Ave, NYC
    When: Wednesday, August 30, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
    Who: Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, eyewitnesses from Lebanon and Palestine, human rights activists

    (New York) The Campaign for Accountability for U.S./Israeli War Crimes will hold its initial meeting on Wednesday, August 30, at the UN Church Center in New York City. An international panel will present testimony including video footage, eyewitness reports, expert witnesses, photo displays and written reports.

    Research will be gathered in many areas to support the charges, including inhumane treatment of civilians and prisoners, and deliberate destruction of the Lebanese and Palestinian economy and infrastructure.