Archive for War

Kung Fool

Some say President Obama has been beaten up for his lunch money by Vladimir Putin. We reject that charge.

Beating him up for his lunch money is what China is doing:

China is waging political warfare against the United States as part of a strategy to drive the U.S. military out of Asia and control seas near its coasts, according to a Pentagon-sponsored study.

A defense contractor report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon’s think tank on future warfare, describes in detail China’s “Three Warfares” as psychological, media, and legal operations. They represent an asymmetric “military technology” that is a surrogate for conflict involving nuclear and conventional weapons.

The unclassified 566-page report warns that the U.S. government and the military lack effective tools for countering the non-kinetic warfare methods, and notes that U.S. military academies do not teach future military leaders about the Chinese use of unconventional warfare. It urges greater efforts to understand the threat and adopt steps to counter it.

“The Three Warfares is a dynamic three dimensional war-fighting process that constitutes war by other means,” said Cambridge University professor Stefan Halper, who directed the study. “It is China’s weapon of choice in the South China Sea.”

The study concludes that in the decade ahead China will employ unconventional warfare techniques on issues ranging from the Senkaku Islands dispute in northeast Asia to the disputed Paracels in the South China Sea.

For the United States, the Three Warfares seek to curtail U.S. power projection in Asia that is needed to support allies, such as Japan and South Korea, and to assure freedom of navigation by attempting to set terms for allowing U.S. access to the region.

The use of psychological, media, and legal attacks by China is part of an effort to raise “doubts about the legitimacy of the U.S. presence.”

Let us amend our assertion that China is beating up Obama for his lunch money. He’s handing it over of his own free will, saying they deserve it more than he does. Besides, China is just a “regional power”, acting “out of weakness”.

If this were a good world in which everyone could be trusted, there might be no need for the US to project its strength around the globe, But his is a world with China, Russia, Iran, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, etc. in it. There are consequences for weakness, perceived or real, but unless the Russians lob a nuke onto the 17 green at Andrews Air Base, Obama will never have to face them.

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Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

I don’t have a lot of time for John McCain anymore—haven’t since 2008—but he makes a point worth pursuing here:

Giap was a master of logistics, but his reputation rests on more than that. His victories were achieved by a patient strategy that he and Ho Chi Minh were convinced would succeed—an unwavering resolve to suffer immense casualties and the near total destruction of their country to defeat any adversary, no matter how powerful. “You will kill 10 of us, we will kill one of you,” he said, “but in the end, you will tire of it first.”

Giap executed that strategy with an unbending will. The French repulsed wave after wave of frontal attacks at Dien Bien Phu. The 1968 Tet offensive against the U.S. was a military disaster that effectively destroyed the Viet Cong. But Giap persisted and prevailed.

The U.S. never lost a battle against North Vietnam, but it lost the war. Countries, not just their armies, win wars. Giap understood that. We didn’t. Americans tired of the dying and the killing before the Vietnamese did. It’s hard to defend the morality of the strategy. But you can’t deny its success.

He’s right. Giap was right. And it is a strategy adopted without change by jihadists around the world. Islamofascists play the long game, long as in eternity.

[A]s I turned to leave, he grasped my arm, and said softly, “you were an honorable enemy.”

America may have been honorable, My Lai and Agent Orange notwithstanding. But how honorable is the strategy of burning human life like cordwood? Worse, that was Communist ideology in peace as well as war—see Russia, China, Cambodia, Cuba, etc., etc. “Immense casualties” and “near total destruction” are tenets of totalitarian beliefs, Marxist or Mohammedan.

This is not “honorable”; it’s not humane. Is it even human? But this is the nature of our enemy. And by “our”, I mean everyone.

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Obama’s Big Speech

Got the popcorn ready to go? We’re going to be treated to a Very Important Speech™ about Syria this evening. Our hapless Secretary of State appears to have handed the reigns of the Middle East off to Vladimir Putin, and it looks like we can all pretend that the “international community” will scoop up the WMD’s and no one will ever, ever, ever use poison gas in war again. Ever.

But I have a dream to share. President Obama stands before the television cameras, clears his throat, and begins the usual long-winded, pointless pronouncements, filled with faux feelings and unintelligible thoughts. He’s rambling, you’re dozing.

“My administration has avoided war,” blah, blah, blah… when Wait!! Seriously, Wake Up! Holy Moly, he’s talking about needing to spend more time with Michelle and the girls. He’s tired. He’s given it his all, but his all just isn’t enough. No one man, no matter how brilliant, could do all this.” (He’s in over his head, and he’s letting us know he knows it.)

“And so, I have decided to hand over the Presidency to my able Vice President, Joe Biden.” (Biden runs up to the podium, fists punching the air, like Rocky.)

Oh, I hear you. Aggie, what are you drinking? That’s none of your business.

I can dream, can’t I?

- Aggie

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Arnold Palmer for SecDef!

Like UFO sightings and panda matings, pictures of President Obama playing golf while the world around him plunges into chaos are few and far between.

But the truth is out there:

President Barack Obama faces a high-stakes week of trying to convince a skeptical Congress and a war-weary American public that they should back him on a military strike against Syria.

His administration came under pressure Saturday from European officials to delay possible action until U.N. inspectors report their findings about an Aug. 21 chemical attack that Obama blames on the Assad government.

Foreign ministers meeting in Lithuania with Secretary of State John Kerry did endorse a “clear and strong response” to an attack they said strongly points to President Bashar Assad’s government. Kerry welcomed the “strong statement about the need for accountability.” But the EU did not specify what an appropriate response would be.

They didn’t? No way!

But let me skip ahead a couple of paras (the 12th to be exact):

Dozens of people opposed to Obama’s call for military action demonstrated outside the White House. Speakers chanting “They say more war. We say no war,” said the picket line marks a line Congress should not cross as it prepares to vote on the issue.

Obama left the White House during the protest, traveling by car to Andrews Air Force Base to play golf with three aides.

There it is! That’s our man!


We’ll march into Damascus! And then Tripoli! And then Beirut! We’ll be greeted as liberators!

Maybe if he were seen playing soccer instead of golf. It’s a more global game. These excitable folk in Brazil, for example, might be less promiscuous with the lighter fluid:

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One, Two, Three, What Are We Fighting For?

Don’t ask the Pentagon, because they don’t have the slightest idea:

The tapes tell the tale. Go back and look at images of our nation’s most senior soldier, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and his body language during Tuesday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Syria. It’s pretty obvious that Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, doesn’t want this war. As Secretary of State John Kerry’s thundering voice and arm-waving redounded in rage against Bashar al-Assad’s atrocities, Dempsey was largely (and respectfully) silent.

Really? Is that fair? Can a picture really tell a tale?

Yikes! It seems it can. I’ve seen more eager expressions in a dentist’s office.

This was Dempsey in his own words on August 19:

In an August 19 letter to Congressman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Dempsey writes that the US military had the capability to destroy the Syrian air force and thus shift the balance of the two year old war in favor of the rebels. The General however doubts the reasonability of doing so.

“The use of U.S. military force can change the military balance,” Dempsey said. “But it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict.”

In his letter, Dempsey points out the factionalism of the Syrian opposition, not all of which shares the Western vision of the country’s future.

“Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides,” Dempsey says. “It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not.”

Dempsey described Syria’s war as “tragic and complex”, which has been supported by the recent developments there.

“It is a deeply rooted, long-term conflict among multiple factions, and violent struggles for power will continue after Assad’s rule ends,” he wrote. “We should evaluate the effectiveness of limited military options in this context.”

Dempsey thus supported the Obama administration’s current policy of providing humanitarian assistance and some limited help to moderate opposition, saying that would be “the best framework for an effective U.S. strategy toward Syria.”

Doesn’t sound very gung-ho, does it? (Though it does sound exceedingly well-informed.) Off topic, but one reason the film Dr. Strangelove falls flat for me is the one-note tune it plays on the US military. Portraying generals and servicemen as psychos and cowboys may have been just the thing in the early 60s, but it’s as dated as Myrna Loy’s hemlines.

This is today’s army:

[W]hat follows represents the overwhelming opinion of serving professionals who have been intimate witnesses to the unfolding events that will lead the United States into its next war.

They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.

They are repelled by the hypocrisy of a media blitz that warns against the return of Hitlerism but privately acknowledges that the motive for risking American lives is our “responsibility to protect” the world’s innocents. Prospective U.S. action in Syria is not about threats to American security. The U.S. military’s civilian masters privately are proud that they are motivated by guilt over slaughters in Rwanda, Sudan and Kosovo and not by any systemic threat to our country.

Speaking of dated, who remembers this president?

Our most respected soldier president, Dwight Eisenhower, possessed the gravitas and courage to say no to war eight times during his presidency. He ended the Korean War and refused to aid the French in Indochina; he said no to his former wartime friends Britain and France when they demanded U.S. participation in the capture of the Suez Canal. And he resisted liberal democrats who wanted to aid the newly formed nation of South Vietnam. We all know what happened after his successor ignored Eisenhower’s advice. My generation got to go to war.

General Dempsey, in his own words, echoed the wisdom of Eisenhower. But as a soldier, he’ll do as he’s told, no matter how callow the commander in chief:

Over the past few days, the opinions of officers confiding in me have changed to some degree. Resignation seems to be creeping into their sense of outrage. One officer told me: “To hell with them. If this guy wants this war, then let him have it. Looks like no one will get hurt anyway.”

Soon the military will salute respectfully and loose the hell of hundreds of cruise missiles in an effort that will, inevitably, kill a few of those we wish to protect. They will do it with all the professionalism and skill we expect from the world’s most proficient military.

President Obama is a fool. How many missiles do we need to fire to tell us and the rest of the world, including our enemies, what we already know?

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Syria Fatigue

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting to the point of not giving a [bleep] whether we do or we don’t bomb the damn place. Wearing my ass out.

So, now I just want to have some fun with the story:

A statement issued Friday by a bare majority of the G20 — 11 of its 20 members — said that “the evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.”

I guess that “evidence” wasn’t so “clear” to everyone, was it?

Putin said the leaders in St. Petersburg were split nearly “50-50″ over whether to intervene militarily.

He said that action against Syria without U.N. Security Council approval would be illegal. Russia and China, which has also opposed military intervention in Syria, have veto power.

Citing Security Council “paralysis” on the issue, Obama said countries should be willing to act without the council’s authorization.

“If we are serious about upholding a ban on chemical weapons use, then an international response is required, and that will not come through Security Council action.”

But he said he was encouraged by the discussions in St. Petersburg. “There’s a growing recognition that the world cannot stand idly by,” Obama said.

A growing recognition: maybe tomorrow 12 countries will sign his worthless piece of paper.

Hey, I’m really sorry the Syrians got gassed (if they got gassed—I wouldn’t mind actually seeing the inspectors’ report), but this is great theater. Obama is like Nick Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream, complete with donkey head. As with the weaver of the play, we should call this “‘Bottom’s Dream’, because it hath no Bottom”.

Just an ass.

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John McCain or Lucas McCain?

I don’t ordinarily cite Mother Jones as a source, but they’ve nailed it:

Untitled

Even before he was caught playing poker on his iPhone at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had already sent a message: Anything less than an extensive aerial assault on the Syrian regime by American forces would be an unacceptable approach to the conflict in the Middle East. This was hardly surprising. Over the last two decades, McCain has rarely missed an opportunity to call for the escalation of an international conflict. Since the mid-1990s, he’s pushed for regime change in more than a half-dozen countries—occasionally with disastrous consequences.

Here’s a quick review of McCain’s eagerness for military action and foreign entanglements.

SYRIA

Fighting words: “Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. The only realistic way to do so is with foreign air power.”

What he wanted: Airstrikes, culminating in regime change.

What was it good for? TBD.

Angry McCains: Five

Who can forget?

IRAN

Fighting words: “It’s that old Beach Boys song, ‘Bomb Iran’? Bomb bomb bomb…”

What was it good for? Unspecified air strikes; unspecified support for dissident groups.

What he got: TBD.

Angry McCains: Three

Many more, and very enjoyable! Though it has to be said that this one’s a bit of a reach:

CHINA

Fighting words: “The Arab Spring is coming to China.”

What he wanted: Totally unclear.

What was it good for? Nothing.

Angry McCains: One

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Saving Private Assad

Sweet New Year’s sentiments dispensed with (see Aggie’s well wishes below), back to the salt mines.

Only this administration could turn a hawkish, bloodthirsty neocon like BTL into a pink-wearing, Medea Benjamin wannabe:

“You ever been to the cemetery in France? Ya know, above those beaches? Why’d those guys have to go do that?” Kerry said.

In response to Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), Kerry said those who died in Normandy did so while “standing up with people for a set of values and fighting for freedom.” He said “no country has liberated as much land or fought as many battles as the United States of America and turned around and given it back to the people who live there and can own it, run it.”

Kerry said America was, in that sense, the “indispensable” nation and that a lot of moderate people in the Middle East “count on us.”

We have John McCain translating “Allahu Akbar” as “thank God” and John Kerry likening a limited missile strike on Syria to D-Day. Has the entire Washington establishment OD’d on molly?

You know me, I’ve never met a war I didn’t like. But there are no good guys in Syria, only worse guys. Bashar Assad could distribute anthrax-laced animal crackers at Aleppo orphanages and still be Mother Teresa compared to some of the beasts in the rebel movement. How can I support the taking of lives just to save President Obama’s befuddled face? That’s what ObamaCare will do domestically; why should the Syrians be subjected to his death panels?

When mob guys decide to to whack other mob guys, they don’t blow up their patio furniture or disable the spark plugs in the snow blower. They put two in the hat. President Obama has assembled the entire Mafia Commission to seek permission to toilet paper Syria. What a complete clown. Just say no.

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Present Arms!

To paraphrase the uncouth expression, opinions on Syria are like a**holes: everybody has one.

Everyone except the junior senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that is!

Republican Sens. John McCain, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker joined Democrats Bob Menendez, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Ben Cardin, Chris Coons, Tim Kaine, and Jeanne Shaheen in supporting the measure. Two Democrats — Chris Murphy and Mark Udall — voted against it, along with Republicans Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jim Risch, Ron Johnson, and John Barrasso. In his first major vote since joining the Senate earlier this summer, Democrat Ed Markey voted present. Markey told the Boston Globe that he needed more information before making a final decision. Markey was appointed to the seat of John Kerry, who as secretary of state has been lobbying lawmakers this week to support the authorization.

Hey, I wonder where he learned that trick!

But Markey has to be forgiven, so new is he to the complexities of Washington and global politics. He’d only been in the House for 37 years.

See what boobs we are in Massachusetts? Markey reached the pinnacle of his abilities behind the wheel of the Mister Softee truck he used to drive.

Chocolate or strawberry, cone or dish, Ed! It’s not that hard!

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Hey, How’s Obama’s Most Excellent Libyan War Working Out?

Is Libya a better place today?

A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.

Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.

As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.

Hehehehehe. Let’s start another war!

- Aggie

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His Dinner With “Hitler”

Well, not really “Hitler”. Maybe it wasn’t really “dinner”:

An astonishing photograph of John Kerry having a cozy and intimate dinner with Bashar al-Assad has emerged at the moment the U.S Secretary of State is making the case to bomb the Syrian dictator’s country and remove him from power.

Kerry, who compared Assad to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein yesterday, is pictured around a small table with his wife Teresa Heinz and the Assads in 2009.

Assad and Kerry, then a Massachusetts senator, lean in towards each other and appear deep in conversation as their spouses look on.

A waiter is pictured at their side with a tray of green drinks, believed to be lemon and crushed mint.

How refreshing!

While President Barack Obama has softened his military threat against Syria by putting the question to Congress and guaranteeing at least a week’s delay, Kerry remains outspoken about the dangers posed by the Syrian regime.

He said that Assad ‘has now joined the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein’ in deploying chemical weapons against his own people.

During a passionate speech in Washington last Friday, he called Assad a ‘thug and murderer,’ and urged the world to act. ‘History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator,’ Kerry insisted.

We all say things we later regret, don’t we? I’ve said Asma Assad is smokin’ hot, for example.

What was I thinking?

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Nous Avons Vôtre Dos

“We’ve got your back,” in French:

France is still ready to take action in Syria alongside the US, despite UK MPs blocking British involvement, President Francois Hollande has said.

He told Le Monde newspaper a strike within days could not be ruled out.

The US says it will continue to seek a coalition, and President Barack Obama is meeting his national security team.

Mark Steyn:

What was the old gag from a decade ago during those interminable U.N. resolutions with Chirac saying “Non!” every time? Ah, yes: “Going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.”

I would ask what it would be like to go to war with the French, but no one living has had the experience.

Just use the French word, guerre, President Obama. You’ll win over all the chicks and Chris Matthews.

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