29 March 2007

Unsurprising? Not Really. . .

John McCain, for all that he's not exactly a person I could actually vote for unless the alternative was, I don't know, Nancy Pelosi or something, gets it right here.

“All of us want to bring our troops home, and to do so as soon as possible. None of us, no matter how we voted on the resolution authorizing this war, believes the situation that existed until recently is sustainable. But there is a new situation, a new reality in Iraq. This amendment ignores that reality and ignores the consequences that would flow from its adoption. When Congress authorized this war, we committed America to a mission that entails the greatest sacrifice a country can make, one that falls disproportionately on those Americans who love their country so much that they volunteer to risk their lives to accomplish that mission. And when we authorized this war, we accepted the responsibility to make sure they could prevail. When we voted to send them into battle we asked them to use every ounce of their courage and fortitude on behalf of us.

“This body unanimously confirmed General Petraeus. Why would we now deprive him of the opportunity to pursue the strategy he helped design and believes can work? Why would we hand our enemies a victory when we have finally taken the initiative and they are on the defensive? Let us give him and the soldiers he has the honor to command, Americans who are risking everything so that this new plan can succeed, the time necessary to achieve its objectives.

“And let us, elected officials who have the honor of overseeing the conduct of our soldiers’ mission in Iraq, exercise a lesser magnitude of courage – our political courage on behalf of them and the country they serve. If any Senator believes that our troops’ sacrifice is truly in vain, the dictates of conscience demand that he or she act to prevent it. Those who would cut off all funding for this war, though I disagree deeply with their position, and dread its consequences, have the courage of their convictions, and I respect them for it.

“If, on the other hand, you believe, as I do, that an increase of U.S. troops in Iraq, carrying out a counterinsurgency mission, provides the best chance for success in Iraq, then you should give your support to this new strategy. It may not be popular nor politically expedient, but we are always at our best when we put aside the small politics of the day in the interest of our nation and the values upon which they rest.

“Those are the only responsible, the only honorable choices before us. There are no others, Mr. President. I wish there were. But here we are, confronting a political, military and moral dilemma of immense importance, with the country’s most vital security interests and the lives of the best Americans among us at stake. May God grant us the wisdom and humility to make this difficult judgment in our country’s best interests only, and the courage to accept our responsibility for the consequences that will ensue."

This is just too much common sense to require excessive discussion on my part.

I'm disappearing off the net for a couple days. Have fun, remember my comments are moderated. They'll show up early next week when I actually think about the internet again. :)

Gray Dog, haven't forgotten your award/challenge. I'll get to it when I return. Having some thoughts about it. Fortunately, one of my 'thinkers' has returned to his personal blog. :)

28 March 2007

A Little bit of gun education for the Masses.

Here we go. A little education. It's pretty mickey-mouse to me, but given your average Joe Citizen doesn't know diddly-dick about firearms (and your average urban citizen knows less.) it's pretty good for starters. Brought to you via Xavier Thoughts.)

27 March 2007

British sailors and Iran

Well, everyone knows the substance of this story, which is that Iran snatched some British sailors, and is accusing them of espionage.

Certain elements of the Blogosphere are up in arms about this accusation, claiming that it violates "Article 46 of the Geneva Convention" which specifically excludes from charges of espionage those gathering intelligence data while in military uniform.

Let me point out a clarification.

First, Article 46 of the Geneva Convention is an imprecise identification of the treaty. There are 4 Geneva Conventions plus annexes. There are 2 Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions. The article 46 in question actually comes from Protocol Additional I. Neither the United States nor Iran are party to that Protocol.

Iran is a signatory to the four Conventions.

Article 5 of Convention IV states that protected persons "including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause" (definition from Article 3) can be treated not a prisoners of war, but as criminals under a few circumstances.

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be.

OK, that's fine, but can these folks be detained as spies or saboteurs?

That's where Article 46 of the Protocol Additional I comes in. But that hasn't been signed by Iran. What has Iran signed that applies?

Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907.

Article 29 states clearly that a person can only be considered a spy when, acting clandestinely or on false pretences, he obtains or endeavours to obtain information in the zone of operations of a belligerent, with the intention of communicating it to the hostile party.

Somehow, operating a pair of inflated boats from a UK-flagged warship doesn't seem to meet the definition of using false pretences. Of course, saying "This violates the Hague Conventions" doesn't have the same ring to it, because your average person knows far less about international law of armed conflict than he thinks he does, even folks in the military. I had someone try to tell me that invading Iraq violated the Geneva Conventions! That's ridiculous on the face of it, but most people who reference the GC don't actually bother to READ the damn things.

My favorite is the people who try to tell me the GC are "outdated" but when pressed, cannot clearly distinguish between the Geneva Conventions and the Rules of Engagement. . .

Anyway, this particular piece of the Shaat al-Arab is and has been disputed for a long time, the Islamic Republic of Iran not having much truck with the 1975 Algiers Accord between Iraq and Persia.

In short, this is 'business as normal' for a regional power feeling its oats and wanting to engage in some penis-waving in the general direction of a Great Power. After some posturing, they will almost certainly be returned more or less intact. Moral of the story?

Keep your frigate closer to your RIBs, engage in a big impressive reprisal raid, or expect this sort of thing to happen.

New York Times

New motto:

All the news that's fit to print, padded with whatever fiction gives our editorial board a warm fuzzy.

OK, I got this story from a blog who pointed to a FOX News article on the subject.

But the New York Times Editor's Note references as the basis of the Fox story is here.

The original story requires registration, and I don't feel like it. Don't need it anyway, because I have a pretty strong feeling about the original story. Unlike the New York Times, I'll tell you I'm speculating here that the original story was pretty slanted, "blahblahblah, the military is full of sexists and rapists, blahblahblah."

Don't get me wrong: Rape happens in the military. It is more or less inevitable that when you have half a million or so young, healthy males, some tiny percentage of them will be the sort of scumball that would sexually assault someone.

It's also true that you're safer as a woman in the military than at a college campus.

The military sexual assault rate is 70 per 100,000 members, as of 2003. That's only reported sexual assaults, and many sexual assaults aren't reported. Any numbers other than those of REPORTED sexual assaults are what we call "Wild Guesses". You can find "estimates" of sexual assault frequency which suggests between half and 90% of sexual assaults go unreported. Do note, however, that is all sexual assaults, which is basically any incident in which a person is touched in an unwanted sexual manner, whether there was an actual rape or not.

Forcible Rape happens at about 34 per 100,000 in the civilian world. That's defined as forcible intercourse with violence or threat of violence. I can't find national-level statistics for any other types of rape (so-called 'date rape' or similar instances) or for sexual assaults that don't involve penetration that meets the definition of rape.

So if you are going to do a story on sexual assault in the military, there's plenty of women out there to interview. If they aren't comfortable giving personal details you can slap a pseudonym on them. But this female with a lurid tale of combat, IEDs, brain damage, and multiple forcible rapes makes great press. So of course, the New York Times will run her story even though they can't verify it. Even though the Navy tells them, before the deadline, there is no record of her being in Iraq. It takes the Navy a couple more days to track down the details of where the female was and what she was doing, and it turns out that she was indeed deployed.

To Guam.

Where she never reported any sexual assault of any kind.

And certainly never saw combat or IEDs.

My favorite line in the correction:

"Since the article appeared, Ms. Randall herself has questioned another member of her unit, who told Ms. Randall that she was not deployed to Iraq. If The Times had learned these facts before publication, it would not have included Ms. Randall in the article."

Ummmm. . . Are you trying to tell us that Ms Randall is either stupid or brain damaged to the point that she can't tell the difference between a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean full of friendly Guamanians, and a huge freakin' desert full of Arabs trying to kill you?

What in the name of Gloria Steinem makes you think she's a reliable source? Even after the Navy can't confirm she was actually in Iraq?

Oh, yeah. She's a victim of the horrible oppressive patriarchal military blahblahblahblah.

Wake me when the New York Times starts reporting news again.

I wonder (just speculating here folks) whether the original story addressed the way the military actually handles reported sexual assaults or discusses the mandatory sexual assault prevention classes we conduct quarterly. Not sure what else we can do to prevent that sort of thing.

26 March 2007

In honor of Colonel Jeff Cooper. . .

Today, I would like to try an experiment. If you care about gun rights, spread this around and let's see if we can get wide adoption.

Hoplophobia is the fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against weapons or weapon owners. It can also mean hatred, hostility, or disapproval of weapon-owning people, weapon-related behavior, or cultures, and is generally used to insinuate bigotry. The term hoplophobic means "prejudiced against weapon-owning people," and a person who is hoplophobic is a hoplophobe.

Internalized hoplophobia (or ego-dystonic hoplophobia) refers to hoplophobia as a prejudice carried by individuals against self-defensive manifestations in themselves and others. It causes severe discomfort with or disapproval of one's own right to self-defense.

Gun Rights supporters could use the terms "hoplophobia" and "hoplophobic" to imply that all opposition to gun owndership and self-defense is irrational. Whether viewed as prejudices or legitimate moral opinions, attitudes frowning on weapon-owning orientations and lifestyles have been reflected in legislation and these attitudes have had a profound impact on political debates over firearms in general. Some look at people holding negative attitudes about gun-owning people and assign blame to them for a creating or perpetuating a climate of prejudice that has resulted in violence and legal sanctions against gun-owners, by individuals, states or other organizations.

After all, it worked for the GLBT crowd. . .

24 March 2007

And that was BEFORE my coffee

Jen is off at Drill this weekend, so I've got some time to think and write. The previous entry was composed before I had my coffee. Took about an hour to write and rewrite and link and edit.

The rest of today's anti-anti-war screed is going to be about the folks that are out there demonstrating.

It is a popular myth that the "majority" of the "anti-war" crowd is composed of reasonable Americans who believe that the Iraq War was a mistake, and that these folks are the ones out there demonstrating against the war.

Let me dismantle this in detail.

First, stop calling these irresponsible bastards the "anti-war" crowd. I'm anti-war. Every rational human being is anti-war. I'm also anti-slavery. I'm a bit stronger on the anti-slavery than I am on the anti-war front. And sometimes, you have to choose between these two. I made my choice a long time ago.

Call these jackasses what they are: Pro-Defeat. Anti-Victory. Pro-Jihadist. Anti-Western. Enemies of Freedom.

Or simply, The Enemy.

Second, while the reasonable, patriotic, misinformed honest citizen may be a majority of those Americans opposed to continuing the war in Iraq to the point of victory, it is not, by a long shot, a majority of those who are marching, demonstrating, and holding rallies against the war. It is not the majority of those actively pressuring politicians to betray Soldiers in the field by cutting funding for ammunition and spare parts.

They are the Useful Idiots about whom Lenin is alleged to have written,

The so-called cultural element of Western Europe and America are incapable of comprehending the present state of affairs and the actual balance of forces; these elements must be regarded as deaf-mutes and treated accordingly....

A revolution never develops along a direct line, by continuous expansion, but forms a chain of outbursts and withdrawals, attacks and lulls, during which the revolutionary forces gain strength in preparation for their final victory...

Who is really out there, forming the driving element (dare I say, 'Vanguard') of this Revolution?

Instapundit tells us in a four-part series who HE saw in DC on the 17th of March.

The short version is that there was a main march run by ANSWER, with participation from the Troops Out Now Coalition, World Can't Wait, the International Socialist Organization, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, and CODEPINK. Keeping notes? There will be a test. I'll discuss the other organizations later, after briefly mentioning that CODEPINK is a front organization for Global Exchange.

There was also a "Black Bloc" contingent formed of radical anarchists (note for Mr. Language Usage Man: Anarchists don't actually believe in freedom. It is a radical branch of communist ideology. Most of them are actually anarcho-syndicalists) and the re-established Students for a Democratic Society. More on THEM later. :) Because, as you will see, the SDS and ANSWER have common roots in a big incestuous Communistic circle jerk.

Oh, yeah. And there were the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, but most of them are mentally ill so I won't address them here. We can also discard the casual racists which historically have always attached to Communists and use Communist ideology as a platform to expound their anti-Semitic nonsense. Again, diseased minds need no elaboration, other than to note that ANSWER did not have any objection to having them present at their rally.

So. . . who is ANSWER? Or more correctly, what is ANSWER? You could root around Wikipedia, which gives the basics. You can try to dig through the morass of propaganda on their website. But wait, I've done it already.

ANSWER is a front organization (technical term here, folks! Not a slur) originally founded by the Worker's World Party.

For those of you scratching your heads, yes this is the same Worker's World Party. If you wish to wade through a jargon-heavy discussion of the origins, here it is. For those of you with less patience (or those without a desire for an education in the politics of Communist parties of the 1950s) the WWP was founded as a radical Trotskyite splinter which embraced the supression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 arguing that the uprising was a fascist counter-revolution. They have remained true to their roots in supporting the Tienanmen Square Massacre.

Fun people. Note the next-to-last line, where the discussion of the origins of the WWP mentions that the WWP participates in mass coalitions as the most militant wing. Fun people, aren't they Gospodin?

This is the same WWP which created the front youth organization Youth Against War and Fascism during the Vietnam War.

An April 8, 1972, internal letter "To All Branches" of the party urged participation in "antiwar" demonstrations in support of a Viet Cong offensive in South Vietnam. The letter's author, John Catalinotto, remains in the party as managing editor of its weekly Workers Worm "newspaper," and occasionally represents the IAC. Remember Mr. Catalinotto and the IAC, they will show up again.

They were also one of the most dangerous organizations, from the perspective of the preservation of the Republic due to one man, Andy Stapp, the founder of the American Serviceman's Union. Hard to find much on the internet about this bastard, but that's the best overview I could dig up.

In the 1970s, said stupid bastard went to North Korea, and met with the Lunatic In Chief of that asylum, and was quoted as saying,

"As instructed by Marshal Kim Il-sung, the outstanding leader of the international and working-class movements, the No. 1 target of all the revolutionary people in the world is U.S. imperialism. In order to avenge the many oppressed people who have died a bloody death, and in order to build a new society in America in which everyone enjoys happiness, as in Korea, I recognize the great juche idea of Marshal Kim Il-sung as the Marxism-Leninism of the present time."

Stapp committed himself and his organization to armed violence and to promoting mutiny within the U.S. military. According to the transcript of his speech broadcast over Radio Pyongyang, Stapp stated, "The American Servicemen's Union will study as documents, that must be read, the works of genius of Marshal Kim Il-sung. ... With the juche idea as the guiding compass of struggle, we will consolidate the branches of the American Servicemen's Union in order to rally more soldiers around the organization. In this way the American GIs will fight against their real enemies, against the policy of aggression and war enforced on them by the U.S. ruling circles and the fascist military officers."

He added that his goal was "to build a powerful American Servicemen's Union that will turn the guns against their fascist officers.... If the American Servicemen's Union cuts the windpipe of U.S. imperialism inside the army while at the same time it is mutilated in all parts of the world, U.S. imperialism will surely perish forever."

At this point, Mr. Stapp was married to Diedre Griswold Stapp, who was the editor of the Worker's World. Interesting. . .

Mrs. Stapp, or Comrade Griswold-Stapp, or however she prefers to be adressed, made a statement in April of 2002 denouncing President George W. Bush's "notorious antiterrorism war" and demanding that "the Korean peninsula be reunified without fail under the wise leadership of the respected leader Kim Jong-il following the banner of the Three Charters for the national reunification set forth by the great President Kim Il-sung." Very interesting. . .

What is the agenda now? Let's let the stupid bastards answer this one:

As the saying goes, "Mayors, governors, presidents, congresses, forms of government come and go, but the army stays." That's where the real power lies. Understanding who is in the army and what their true interests are is vital to those who are in the movement for progressive or revolutionary social change.

Sooner or later getting this right is crucial to your chances of success. Simply put, you win over the troops to the side of the movement and your chances of winning go up 10,000 percent. But if you are going to win them you have to believe they are winnable.

Bam, there you have it. The anti-war movement is, in essence, one prong of a campaign intended to damage the Army to the point where it is susceptible to Communist agitation with an eye towards eventual revolution.

Is that realistic? No. Not even privates are that stupid nowdays. Back when we were drafting drooling slackjaws that could barely tie their shoes, maybe. Back when we couldn't kick out disaffected perpetual adolescents? Quite possibly. We're too professional for this sort of nonsense to affect more than a tiny percentage of the worst Soldiers. But I'm damned offended that anyone would even consider it or try it.

Anyway, WWP has a looooong history of front organizations. So, when Gavrielle Gemma recruited Ramsey Clark for the WWP, the logical thing to do was to set up a front organization with Mr. Clark's focus on "US Imperialism" in mind. That front organization was the International Action Center. Take a moment to browse around and notice some of the links.

There's an online petition in support of the DPR of Korea--which is unsurprising given the WWP's alignment with the Kim regime noted above. There are statements of support for Marxist guerillas in the Philippines.

There's a bit about the Cuban Five, who were convicted of espionage and conspiracy to commit murder. See, they engaged in espionage against both the United States and the anti-Castro organizations in Florida which resulted in at least four deaths of Brothers To The Rescue pilots.

There's more, but you get the point. Same-same.

Wait, John, how do we know IAC is a front for WWP?

Mr. Brian Becker.

Interesting, isn't he? His relationship to Mr. Clark and, incidentally Lynne Stewart, makes for good reading. Ya'll remember Ms. Stewart? That would be the psycho loon who said, "I don't believe in anarchistic violence, but in directed violence. That would be violence directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, and sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions, and accompanied by popular support." In furtherance of this belief, she defended Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, which is a lawyer's job. She went way beyond her job by passing messages for the blind terrorist to his followers in the US and abroad, and for this she was arrested, tried, and convicted.

Lovely people, these.

But we're just getting started!

Shortly after 9/11, ANSWER is founded by the IAC and the WWP, jointly. How can you jointly found an organization with yourself (since, as we have seen, IAC is WWP)? I don't know. I do know that within 2 weeks ANSWER could throw a rally against the impending invasion of Afghanistan. Note this well, boys and girls. If you are fellow-travelling with ANSWER, please do not tell me you support the war in Afghanistan. You don't. You are fellow-travelling with card-carrying Communists who agitated against the invasion of Afghanistan.

Since then, ANSWER has been the primary organizer of anti-war protests, and also has staked out a position on immigration, namely immediate amnesty without conditions. The question of funding has been raised, but never adequately answered. I point to the organization's support of Cuba and North Korea as a potential answer to this question.

There has been a split, however, in the ranks. In 2004, apparently in response to a tactical question of whether to support Kerry or run a seperate presidential campaign, the San Francisco portion of the WWP split from the New York faction. The SF crowd is now calling themselves the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Bounce on down to the bottom of the page and we meet our good buddy, Brian Becker AGAIN. Isn't that cute? PSL kept the ANSWER directorship.

The WWP founded their own anti-war organization, the Troops Out Now Coalition. As I mentioned above, TONC participated in the 17 March demonstration. Let's see what their own website says.

Some of the key activists at the summit included Comrade Shahid, Pakistan U.S.A. Freedom Forum; Charlotte Kates, New Jersey Solidarity/Activists for the Liberation of Palestine; Ardeshir Ommani, American-Iranian Friendship Committee; members of FIST-Fight Imperialism, Stand Together-student and youth group; Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; former Pennsylvania death-row inmate Harold Wilson; Mexican activist Brian Barraza; and a delegation of Latino immigrant workers representing the Freeport, Long Island Day Laborers. Elena Everett from Raleigh FIST spoke about the inspiring two-day wildcat strike carried out by a majority of Latin@ workers at the Smithfield, N.C., hog processing plant on Nov. 17 and 18.

Isn't that a lovely crowd. FIST, Mumia abu-Jamal, a death-row inmate, and a fellow calling himself, "Comrade Martyr".

In a preliminary report on the Nov. 18 meeting, a TONC statement read, "Participants in the meeting felt very strongly that notwithstanding important political differences within the broader anti-war movement, including past difficulties in working together, that it was most critical at this time when the mass struggle in the streets against the war needs to be revived, that all coalitions reject fragmentation, unnecessary divisiveness and competition around protest dates and national protest, and instead pull together so that the movement in the U.S. can do what the world is waiting for it to do and shut down the war machine."

What kind of a movement is being built? Connections must be made between Iraq , Palestine, Lebanon , Syria , Sudan , and North Korea . We have to look at the struggle globally; we can't allow the imperialists to criminalize and demonize the liberation movements.

Please help us educate the immigrant communities about [Hugo] Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution because we have not been allowed in that door in spite a lot of the work you all have done. Chávez is someone that we need not only in the U.S. but all over the world.

Right, you all get the point. Same tired Communist rhetoric, different color background on the webpage. Moving along!

I'm not going into the depths that I plunged into in regards to ANSWER/WWP. I'm just skimming the rest of the anti-war groups.

There's World Can't Wait. Skipping around their website, I see a video clip of Ramsey Clark. . . Scroll down a bit, it's there. Not much ideological difference if they will put his ugly mug on their website.

"If Bush is not removed from office and his program repudiated, not only will the death and destruction in the Middle East continue for two more years, but everything Bush has done – torture, evisceration of habeas corpus, secret spying, a doctrine of pre-emptive war, moves toward theocracy – will be legitimated and continue. "

But who is World Can't Wait? Oh, it's the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

Or at least, Sunsara Taylor seems to be both a spokesperson for the WCW and a writer for the RCP, USA paper.

The RCPUSA is a splinter organization that formed out of the Revolutionary Youth Movement which was a faction of SDS when that organization fell apart in 1969.

Wheee. . .

The International Socialist Organization states their agenda rather plainly on their website.

A world free of exploitation--socialism--is not only possible but worth fighting for. The ISO stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialists Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky in the belief that workers themselves--the vast majority of the population--are the only force that can lead the fight to win a socialist society. Socialism can't be brought about from above, but has to be won by workers themselves.

I have to give them props. No front organizations or bullshit. They have a link on their main page to "what we stand for" and this is five paragraphs down. They don't pretend to care about democracy or anything else.

The Revolutionary Internationalists are an international front organization which contains the Sendero Luminoso of Peru. 'Nuff said there.

For Code Pink I will just link to their parent organization, Global Exchange. To understand Global Exchange you have to speak a whole separate language.

For instance, where you or I see parents and legal guardians, Global Exchange sees:

Adultism Oppression of Young People (from the day they are born), based on their age, by care givers (who are used as the oppression agents) and by the society and its institutions. Because of the long history of adultism and its pervasive nature in our societies, essentially all people suffer from this oppression, and the resulting internalized oppression and distress patterns are severe. The oppression is expressed, for example, by treating the young person as weak, helpless and less intelligent. For many, there is verbal or physical abuse and sexual abuse. Oppression of young people conditions them to accept all other oppressions that exist in the society.

Here's the Program Summary, and this gives more info.

I find it fascinating that besides Iraq and the Middle East, their other concerns focus on the Mexican government's supression of the Zapatistas and support for the Castro regime. Noticing a theme? I am.

Well, John, what about the Anarchists and SDS of the Black Bloc? Surely, they can't be all horrible.

Well, I'll say this. They don't much like ANSWER. As Indepundit noticed, while they were at the protest, they didn't march with ANSWER and horsed around a lot, including a juvenile stunt on a bridge which broke up shortly after the cops told them to disperse. Even the Washington Post can't take them seriously.


"I feel when you demonstrate on the government's terms, you're not really protesting, you're part of the allowed dissent," says Green Bandanna, who gives his name as Jasper, 19, a student at George Mason University. ("Can you spell that with a smal 'j'?" he asks. Why? "It's my attempt to be a non-dominant white male.") "We don't want to be part of the allowed dissent."

"Pick up your trash," one of the protesters admonishes, and the polite young anarchists do, leaving only a duct-tape peace sign stuck to the pavement.


Right. These "anarchists" seem like basically stupid kids who would probably shit themselves and lock themselves in their mommy's basement if someone actually used pepper spray or tear gas on them, never mind live rounds. Their own press releases sound moronic. The new SDS doesn't seem much better.

What do they believe?

"The term anarchy comes from the Greek, and essentially means 'no ruler.' Anarchists are people who reject all forms of government or coercive authority, all forms of hierarchy and domination. They are therefore opposed to what the Mexican anarchist Flores Magon called the 'sombre trinity' -- state, capital and the church. Anarchists are thus opposed to both capitalism and to the state, as well as to all forms of religious authority. But anarchists also seek to establish or bring about by varying means, a condition of anarchy, that is, a decentralised society without coercive institutions, a society organised through a federation of voluntary associations." ["Anthropology and Anarchism," pp. 35-41, Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed, no. 45, p. 38]

OK, opposed to capitalism, the state, and religion. Nice.

In Kropotkin's words, "the origin of the anarchist inception of society . . . [lies in] the criticism . . . of the hierarchical organisations and the authoritarian conceptions of society; and . . . the analysis of the tendencies that are seen in the progressive movements of mankind." [Op. Cit., p. 158] For Malatesta, anarchism "was born in a moral revolt against social injustice" and that the "specific causes of social ills" could be found in "capitalistic property and the State." When the oppressed "sought to overthrow both State and property -- then it was that anarchism was born." [Errico Malatesta: His Life and Ideas, p. 19]

Anarchism, therefore, is a political theory that aims to create a society which is without political, economic or social hierarchies. Anarchists maintain that anarchy, the absence of rulers, is a viable form of social system and so work for the maximisation of individual liberty and social equality. They see the goals of liberty and equality as mutually self-supporting. Or, in Bakunin's famous dictum:

"We are convinced that freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice, and that Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality." [The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, p. 269]

You folks get the point? This is all from Infoshop.org, which seems to be your one-stop shopping point for all things anarchistic.

One last point:

All branches of anarchism are opposed to capitalism. This is because capitalism is based upon oppression and exploitation (see sections B and C). Anarchists reject the "notion that men cannot work together unless they have a driving-master to take a percentage of their product" and think that in an anarchist society "the real workmen will make their own regulations, decide when and where and how things shall be done." By so doing workers would free themselves "from the terrible bondage of capitalism." [Voltairine de Cleyre, "Anarchism", Exquisite Rebel, p. 75 and p. 79]

(We must stress here that anarchists are opposed to all economic forms which are based on domination and exploitation, including feudalism, Soviet-style "socialism" -- better called "state capitalism" --, slavery and so on. We concentrate on capitalism because that is what is dominating the world just now).

Well, now that we have discussed the ideologies of the various components of what is most accurately called the pro-surrender protest movement, let us ask whether or not Americans can support these organizations.

Make no mistake, by marching with, donating money to, or otherwise supporting these organizations or their protests in any way, you are support the organization. That's called forming a Popular Front. Even other anti-war agitators recognize this. Znet has an excellent article on the subject. Here's what they have to say that's relevant to my point.

If past experience is a guide, IAC demonstrations will have programs skewed in the direction of IAC politics, but without excluding alternative voices. In general, the IAC speakers will not be offensive so much for what they say, but for what they don't say. That is, they won't praise Saddam Hussein from the podium, but nor will they utter a critical word about him. However, as long as other speakers can and do express positions with a different point of view, the overall impact of the event will still be positive, particularly in the absence of other options. Most of the people at the demonstration will in fact be unaware of exactly who said what and whether any particular speaker omitted this or that point. What they will experience will be a powerful antiwar protest. And most of the public will see it that way too. (As was the case during the Vietnam War too: few demonstrators knew the specific politics or agendas of demonstration organizers.)

The article concludes that in order to stop the war, it is acceptable to form a popular front with the WWP. Not in so many words, of course.

Here's my point. If you don't want to be associated with a Communist agenda, then don't demonstrate under a Communist banner alongside committed Communists.

Have a nice day.

I'm sure they mean well. . .

One of the most frustrating things about a certain type of person involved in the debate on the War in Iraq is the person who just gets fuzzy-headed, sighs, and says, "Well, I just want the troops home safe." or the equivalent.

What sort of patronizing garbage is this?

Let me be perfectly clear on one point.

I hate going to Iraq. Iraq sucks in a way that I am simply incapable of communicating to anyone who hasn't been there. You know what sucks more than Iraq?

Sending your wife to Iraq.

You know what sucks more than that?

Going to memorial services.

You know what else sucks?

Dreaming about Iraq.

Now that we have established that I am aware that Iraq sucks--because, you know, my chops on THAT score after 2 tours totalling 25 months and my wife's 12 month tour aren't automatically assumed to be up to the level of some civilian who watches the war on CNN--let me move on to an analysis of how much I think this should influence United States foreign policy.

About diddly-shit.

That's right, let me say it again and in full.

I do not think that casualties (actual or potential) nor psychological problems nor stress in relationships nor any other negative consequence Soldiers experience from deployment should have the slightest impact on decisions on how the United States conducts foreign policy.

Don't get me wrong--I believe that if the United States chooses to use armed force, the United States has an obligation to take care of the Soldiers and their families as best they can once they return. But we cannot permit fear of the consequences of using armed force to deter us from doing so.

If we are deterred by the prospect of casualties, any casualties at all, then we are defeated. That's what defeat is. Americans have this idea of defeat that says that a nation is defeated at war when the enemy rolls into the capital city, arrests the national leadership, etc.

Ask the Finns. It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes you find yourself incapable of continuing resistance and end up with a humiliating peace treaty where you lose large chunks of territory, pay millions of dollars in reparations (back when that meant something), lease naval bases to your former enemy, etc. Of course, for the Finns to get to this point required them to
suffer about 60,000 casualties, get pushed back out of their fortified border positions, and for their allies to be thrown back so far that they could no longer offer meaningful support.

Could the United States suffer 60,000 casualties without surrendering?

Actually, we already know the answer is no.

Sometimes surrender doesn't look that way. Sometimes surrender is merely a Great Power allowing another Great Power's proxy state a free hand to overrun an erstwhile ally while that Great Power withdraws its citizens in humiliation.

Carl von Clausewitz said that 'War is an act of force to compel the enemy do our will." When writing about the aim of war he said, "The aim of war should be the defeat of the enemy. But what constitutes defeat? The conquest of his whole territory is not always necessary, and total occupation of his territory may not be enough." Read some Clausewitz sometime, if you never have. Well worth your time if you are going talk on the subject of armed force.

War is, to a certain extent, a zero-sum game. If the question were resolvable by discussion or debate, then it would be before the shooting starts. Once the shooting starts, it will continue until one side or the other decides the price of fighting is so high that they will resume negotiation from a position of weakness rather than continue to pay the price. Note that it is a generally safe assumption that negotiating from a position of weakness is a Bad Thing, and that therefore the price of continuing to NOT negotiate must be high. Since we are all rational players, we wish to negotiate from a position of strength and thus to inflict a higher cost on the enemy than he is willing to pay to continue in a manner contrary to our will (cf the Clausewitz quote above).

The entire point of the above paragraph is this: That the enemy wishes to inflict casualties upon the United States armed forces in order to break our population's will to continue to pay the price of not doing the enemy's will. The will of our civilian population was correctly identified as our Center of Gravity by Ho Chi Minh and Võ Nguyên Giáp in a development of 'Mao Zedong Thought' on People's War.

So, how does one defeat this sort of enemy? Counterinsurgency theory in general is beyond the scope of this essay. But the single most important element is this:

Don't Lose.

The counterinsurgent is in a position of strength. His strength may be exceedingly difficult to apply correctly to end the insurgency, but the insurgent's strength is vastly inferior to that needed to overthrow the counterinsurgent through main force.

The only way to lose a counterinsurgent war is to surrender.

If you stop fighting, you lose. The insurgent's goal is to inflict casualties in a splashy manner that shocks Joe and Jane Citizen watching the evening news. Then Joe and Jane Citizen say to themselves, "This disturbs me. I don't like seeing this. I'd rather watch American Idol."

The insurgents have just defeated Joe and Jane Citizen. How many little defeats, how many little Chamberlains are needed before it infects enough of the government to make defeat the policy of the State?

Well, if you ask Nancy Pelosi, we've already lost. She has been defeated and in order to avoid paying a further price, will do the insurgent's will.

Just like everyone else who says, "I just want the troops safe."

"But John! That's divisive! You're saying anyone who doesn't support the War supports terrorists. You're a Karl Rove operative! You're horrible! You probably kick puppies!"

Actually, no. I don't kick puppies. I have shot stray dogs with pistols, rifles, light machine guns, and grenade launchers. But that's an essay for another day.

And due to professional ethics, I could not accept money from Karl Rove. I will accept anonymous contributions to the Pay Off the Land Note Fund or the Down Payment on the Construction Loan Fund. Drop me an email and I'll send you a payment method. If I'm going to be accused of shilling for the Republicans, then someone ought to give me money.

I am, quite likely, horrible and divisive. Deal with it. My left breast pocket says 'United States Army', not the Happy Joy-Joy Peace and Love Foundation For Rainbows and Smiley Faces.

I am not saying, however, that anyone who doesn't support finishing the job in Iraq supports the terrorists. No one who was raised in America and remains mentally stable (and not a Muslim, but I repeat myself) could support folks who cut off other people's heads for kicks. The terrorists are horrible bastards, and not even Murtha and other collaborators really, deep down, think they are really cool people.

You merely advocate surrendering to them. Zero-sum game, remember? War is by definition a zero-sum game while it is in the shooting phase. Either they are going to negotiate from a position of weakness or we are. Either you support killing the bastards where ever we can find them when ever we can until they come to the table, or you support giving them Iraq to do with as they please. Do you remember how that turned out last time?

Now, that's all well and good. Big, logical argument on why you shouldn't say, "But I just want the troops safe."

Let's talk it from a different angle. Most of those I hear this argument from are, frankly, of the female persuasion. One of the many fun things I have learned from being married is that women are less affected by big, logical arguments than they are by a discussion of feelings. So, let's talk about how I feel when some person makes this argument.

I feel patronized. I feel insulted. I am a professional Soldier. I joined the Army knowing full well the potential consequences of my decision and the obligations I would assume. I chose to risk what I risk because I believe in the United States of America, and my Army.

So did everyone else who joined the Army since 1973.

I do not appreciate being treated as if I am too stupid to be aware of the consequences of continuing to fight in Iraq. As I mentioned above, I have 25 months time in Iraq. That's April 2003 to March 2004 and January 2006 to February 2007. I've lost friends and comrades. I scan the Army Times casualty lists looking for names I recognize, and I've seen more than a few.

I got notified of a close friend's death via the internet while I was home on leave during my last tour.

I found one of my old Drill Sergeants on a list of casualties just skimming for fellow Engineers. I hated that bastard, and it was a real shock to see him killed in action. For one thing, I figured he was way too mean to die.

I could go on and on. I could discuss some of the nightmares I had after my first tour. We could discuss a lot of things. If I haven't made my point already, I never will.

I know about the Suckage that is Iraq. But I'm an adult, and I made my choice. Going on and on about it makes me feel like certain members of the American Public think I'm perpetually four years old, and need to be protected and coddled to prevent any injury. Soldiers don't need to be protected. If you want to protect people, you don't have an Army. You have an Army to train and equip people to protect others. This is an inherently dangerous proposition, and those of us who have chosen to take up that calling know that. We are OK with it. None of us wants to die, but we have agreed to take that risk so that those of you without our training, equipment , discipline, and leadership don't have to run that risk.

I also suspect that the current concern over military casualties is false. It is fake. It is not real because it is driven only by current public awareness of military casualties. There's the really interesting chart I'd like to call your attention to. In 1985, there were 2,252 deaths in the Armed Forces. 2/3 of those were in accidents. Even now, you are only 50% more likely to die of hostile action than in an accident. Where is the big public drive for better funding for equipment maintenance to reduce the accident rate? How about increasing manning levels so we have more bodies to do the work so there are fewer accidents due to fatigue? Oh, wait.

Those deaths aren't on CNN. They don't serve anyone's political purposes.

Nobody fucking cares.

Now, to be realistic, serving in the Military is an inherently dangerous proposition. You use heavy equipment that moves at a high rate of speed. That equipment is mechanically complex and sometimes, it breaks. This is bad when you are driving a tank (500 M-1 crewmen died in fires during the first 10 years the M-1 was in service) but it is far worse when flying a helicopter or running around the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. You use explosives, shoot firearms, and run on pavement (proven to destroy knees). By the time you retire after 20 years of that crap, most Soldiers have hearing loss to some degree, and bad knees or a bad back. If they are extremely fortunate, that's all that is wrong with them.

Your recruiter may not tell you this.

By the time you graduate Basic Training, you've probably figured it out for yourself. If not, there are easy ways out of the Army if you are willing to live with the consequences of a General Discharge, which honestly probably aren't that bad. Personally, I give props to anyone willing to wet himself in formation, which is a quick ticket out of the Army.

Where am I going with this?

I feel that anyone who attempts to throw the danger inherent in my profession back in my face (even as prettily phrased as 'I just want the troops to be safe') as an argument for forcing my country to submit to the will of a pack of punk terrorists is dishonoring me, my profession, and my nation.

Do I make myself clear, boys and girls?

I made my choice to protect your freedom to blither on like an idiot if you so choose. I am not required to either agree with your opinion, nor even to respect your opinion as something worthwhile. You could have the opinion that the sky is stunning shade of puce, but just because it is your opinion doesn't mean anything to me. Your right to hold that opinion has nothing to do with whether that opinion is based on facts or on falsehood and bad logic.

23 March 2007

Two heros in southern Iraq.

Her Majesty just handed out medals to an unusual pair,
the first female to receive a Military Cross, and the first American to receive a Distinguished Flying Cross since World War Two. Seems 19-year old Private Norris basically crawled out of an armored vehicle to treat a casualty and drag him back under cover while half the neighborhood shot at her. One of the things I rather approve of (because it is an attitude that Engineers must cultivate as well) is an indifference to enemy fire when there is a task at hand that is more important. Private Norris did what a medic should do, under extremely difficult conditions and at risk to her own life.

Major William Cheserek is an American Marine officer who is an exchange officer with a British Navy helicopter squadron. Flying a Lynx helicopter, he made repeated low-level passes in an attempt to disperse the crowd that was threatening the British troops on the ground. He did this in the face of heavy small arms fire and at least one near-miss from an RPG. He also coordinated other air support to target insurgents and to 'buzz' the crowd to attempt to disperse the civilians. Upon being informed of the seriousness of the casualty that Private Norris was treating, he landed and evacuated that individual to an aid station.

Compare with the heroic martyrs of the Jihad. How are we losing the PR war with these scum-sucking savages?

22 March 2007

Things I have discovered today on the Internet.

Taxonomy of Leftists.

I find this to be broadly accurate, at least to a point. I have to grant that treating all members of the American left as if they were radical anarchists and communists is not entirely accurate.

I don't know if he actually said these things, but the thought makes me giggle.

A new history of the Crusades that I might have to read.

The Gathering of Eagles homepage.
Apparently these folks are planning another round at the end of next month, in Florida. Scroll down to the bottom of this interview.

21 March 2007


So, what the hell in is the water in Milwaukee?







Supporting the Troops

How a leftist "Supports the Troops."

More Troop-supporting.

There's also stuff up at Little Green Footballs, but their website appears to be down.

At least these bastards are being upfront about it. Whenever someone says, "I don't support the war, but I support the troops," I walk away feeling like I want a shower.

Fuck, I hate these bastards. I hate this war.

19 March 2007

A couple tidbits.

Don't have time to give this stuff the justice it deserves, but my readership is largely capable of thinking on its own, so I'm just going to post the links, and then go cuddle my wife.

Cool Aviation Stuff.

Uncool Aviation Stuff.

Cool Blog full of political goodness.

Interesting book with recommendations.

Essay on Liberals and Clausewitz.

Gathering of Eagles



I'm sure there are more links with video clips, pictures, and the thoughts of those who participated, as well as commentary.

Heck, you can even get the Washington Post story, though it minimizes the counter-protests and picks the most obnoxious photo possible as the icon.

Wow. I really don't have words. I knew this demonstration was in the works, Ponsdorf is a buddy of mine and he kept me informed. Honestly, I figured it would be a couple hundred folks out there protecting the Vietnam Memorial. After some vermin spraypainted the Capitol steps during a "peace" march, that was a reasonable fear. And I would hate to see a giant yellow peace symbol on the Wall.

Instead, almost 30,000 folks turned out to express their support for America, and for the Soldiers fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the little hellholes that don't make the evening news.

I'm just blown away and I don't really have words to express how grateful and how honored I am for this show of support. The vermin have dominated the national discussion of the war for too long.

On a related note, I think I've really found my Message on the War. A very nice lady at church asked me my feelings on the subject, and I found myself really going into depth. I think the argument that resonated best was a bipartisan attack on the folks in Congress who are using the war for political gain. Mostly Democrats, but I didn't phrase it that way. Just reminded her that WWII was 'FDR's War' but once it started, it became America's war and both Democrats and Republicans had to focus on doing what was best for the country, which was to win it. I talked on consequences of withdrawal and a couple other aspects of the war, and at the end she told Jen that I had changed her mind on Iraq.

One down. Lots of Blue to go. . .

17 March 2007

Three items of note

First, a clarification on a previous post. On the House "emergency" appropriations bill needed to fund the war in Iraq.

First, there are the obvious absurdities. The spinach funding. The increase in the minimum wage. All the other non-essential riders being tacked on. That's insane, but it is politics as usual.

They also cleverly tucked into the law a provision attempting to mandate surrender in Iraq and a unilateral withdrawal commencing 1 March 2008 and ending no more than 180 days later.

Friggin' wonderful. Excerpts and linkage to full text is here.

The Republic has survived one war wherein the Armed Forces were betrayed and had their efforts deliberately overthrown by treasonous conduct at home, including by members of the political institutions. I wonder what the second war will do?

On the other hand, we can always supinely surrender like Europe. That causes other problems, but liberals would be far happier, as long as police brutality involves brown folks shooting and beating white folks.

16 March 2007

Frickin' Cool

Army Public Affairs Goes YouTube!

That freakin' rocks. Outstanding initiative on the part of some guy, probably a PA Soldier whose chain of command has appropriated lots of credit and will appropriate more as this gets more popular. Hope he or she at least gets a Certificate of Achievement or something.

Anyway, near as I can tell, the point is to put short videos of varying quality--some are really good--on the internet of actual, boots-on-the-ground operations. You want to know what Iraq sounds and looks like?


Compare with this Guardian video, which takes a really cool, upbeat story about the massive progress in al-Anbar Province and does its level best to hammer it into a neat little pessimistic box with vauge concerns about the "civil rights" of al-Qaeda operatives.

Speaking of Army Public Affairs, one of my wife's compatriots from Oregon did an excellent story on the last combat veteran from World War I. While there are seven more veterans from that war still living, none of them deployed overseas before the shooting actually stopped. Unlike the glosses found in most places, this actually goes into a bit more depth about who he was and what he did. Interestingly, he was a truck driver whose duties varied from driver's training (this was 1917 and most US recruits had probably never driven a motor vehicle) to ambulance driving, to chauffering high-ranking officers. He volunteered for service, was refused due to being underweight, and gorged himself on bananas and water before trying again.

This is the end of an era. It is fitting that we should recall this. Soldiers are a tradition-driven lot, aware of the weight of centuries upon our shoulders and the contributions of our past. Now, after the passing of our eldest brother, is an appropriate time to reflect on the contributions of that generation of Soldiers.

15 March 2007

The Religion of Peace

Now, the headline says it all.

Mohammed says responsible for 9/11 attacks.

Now, I've been saying that since mid-afternoon on 9/11/01. Although, to be fair, this isn't THE pseudo-Prophet Mohammed (may he burn in hell forever) confessing to a couple thousand counts of murder, but some scruffy sheik who's been in Gitmo since 2002.

Former Sailor arrested for terrorist activities.

Sharp Federal investigators noticed that he changed his name to, and I'm freely translating here, "Son of Holy War".

So, can I change my name to Crusadeson? And keep my security clearance? Frankly, being Muslim is probable cause in and of itself, but deliberately renaming yourself with a nom de guerre reminiscent of those used by terrorists and de facto announcing your intent to kill the infidel where ever he is found? Give me a break. . .

In other news, the families of the USS Cole casualties have received a favorable initial ruling in their case against Sudan.

What's interesting to me is this. Iran is giving the exact same sort of support to terrorists operating in Iraq. That makes for some potentially interesting lawsuits, doesn't it?

Two clips that speak for themselves.


14 March 2007

General Pace

General Pace is, well, a general, four-spot type, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

I am not going to slam him in a disrespectful manner. That would be a violation of the UCMJ. I have nothing but the deepest respect for General Pace as a leader and as an officer. Full-stop, no questions asked, no caveats.

He made some comments. To the press, who loves this sort of stuff.

The 'Money Quote' being, as everyone who hasn't been living under a rock for two days, is now aware:

"As an individual, I would not want [acceptance of gay behavior] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior."

Of course, the Professionally Indignant Queers [tm] launched off into cheetah flips with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

General Pace's aides have stated he has no plans to apologize, but he did issue a clarification, the full text of which seems to be difficult to find. To wit, he mentioned that this was his personal view as to why the current policy is a good thing.

So the Indignant Queers are up in arms, and the politicians have to scramble. The Democratic line seems to be that which is being talked up by Moonbat-in-Chief, Nancy Pelosi. To wit, that the MILITARY should change the Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue policy.

Nancy is apparently unaware that the policy is not the Military's policy, but United States Code.

How freakin' stupid can you be? Dear Nancy must have forgotten her own vote back in 1993. I understand, she's been busy getting botox injections. She managed to hit two of my own pet peeves in one statement.

1) DO NOT suggest anything that would tend to support the weakening of civil control over the military.

2) DO NOT pander to a vocal minority of your electorate by attacking a policy that you voted for, without having any intention to introduce legislation to alter that policy. You're Speaker of the House. You have the ability to introduce legislation. Use it, or get your artificially constructed face out of the spotlight.

As for the General, I'm of two minds on this subject. Obviously, I don't believe that members of the Armed Forces should be restricted from expressing their opinions, even controversial opinions. On the other hand, while everyone who reads this blog knows that I am in the Army and the rank I hold, I very carefully disassociate my personal political, religious, and moral views from my official position. If I were in uniform, talking to verdammt media weenies, I would NOT rpt NOT venture to offer opinion on anything, other than in my professional capacity. It's called 'staying in your lane'. My lane, as a buck sergeant, is pretty narrow. The Chairman of the JCS's lane is pretty broad. Further, a professional does not speak.

As for the policy itself, I've got better things to do than concern myself with sexual orientation or proclivities of any of my Soldiers unless and until it becomes an impediment to military discipline. That's the whole Don't Ask and Don't Pursue issue. I've been Told a time or two in the past, but I didn't see the issue as affecting discipline as the Soldier in question was doing his job and doing it well, and his orientation was not negatively affecting morale or cohesion.

And that's all I have to say about that.

13 March 2007

Good stuff.

Because it is loosely political in nature,

And because I'd get moral outrage[tm] if I put it on LJ. Some people don't think this is quite as funny as I do.

Anyway, Ann Coulter has such a lovely reputation that some people disregard her commentary BECAUSE it is her commentary.

Folks, she's an entertainer. She makes a LIVING off having her face in the news. Guess what the fastest way to get your face in the news is? Yeah, bet you all reached the same conclusion I did.

Anyway, when she is good, she is Very Good. It is criminal to be a Republican in many jurisdictions, Palm Beach among them. Then again, Palm Beach apparently lets the mentally retarded vote and gets outraged when their votes get thrown out because they can't operate a voting machine.

But of course, she's a heartless Conservative bitch, and Liberals are all wonderful people.

I wasn't planning to see 300, but if it offends the Iranian Government, I'm considering it.

11 March 2007

If you support the troops,

If you really do support the troops,

and you live in any district of any Congresscritter mentioned in this article or in the district of any other congresscritter engaging in this despicable behavior, I am asking you to contact him and tell him to get his stupid bullshit out of my funding bill.

Time Now.

Gun Rights

I usually don't Gun Blog, because honestly, there IS no controversy about gun rights in my mind.

To mimic the Protestant Fundamentalists, the Constitution said it, I believe it, 'nuff said.

Anyone who argues that the Second Amendment does not say what it very plainly says is either stupid or evil, depending on whether they are arguing from ignorance or belief. Whether or not the Second Amendment SHOULD say what it very plainly says is another topic, but let me point out that I happen to agree with it for a very simple, if archaic, reason.

If you do not have the legal right to arm yourself for self-defense, you are a serf. You are servile. You are unfree or semifree, depending on other rights.

Anyway, until recently, the inhabitants of the District of Columbia were, legally speaking, serfs.

The United States Court of Appeals, in a recent decision reversed this fact. In an argument which appears to have been written by an NRA member, the DC statues prohibiting owning, moving (even within one's home) or keeping assembled a handgun were found unconstitional. The preceeding argument efficiently and with great thoroughness demolishes the arguments used by advocates of reducing the citizens of the United States to serfs. It's nice to see a court arguing that the law means what it says, rather than what some politically motivated asshole wants it to say.

09 March 2007

Stuff and Things

I'd like to open with a video I found on Mudville Gazette (link to the right) of the Glorious Martyrs who Die for Allah. Praise Allah!

We'll follow it with some guys from 1st Brigade, 3rd ID being, well, Joes. They got an excuse to shoot the Mk-19, so they not only did so, but filmed it and stuck it up on the internet. I'm not so sure it was a good idea, but it looks like no serious OPSEC violations were committed, so I'll link to 'em.

There's a couple MNC-I stories I'd like to call attention to, one about IP Recruiting and one about Baghdad.

Compare and Contrast with the Mainstream Media. If these yoiks can't figure out how to write a negative news story, that's OK. You can write a news story more or less neutral in slant, and then the editor can slap a totally bogus headline on it that has nothing to do with the actual story. H/t to Castle Argghh! (link to the right) who linked to Fuzzilicious Thinking.

Also on Fuzzilicious Thinking is one of those stories making the rounds about military families. :) To be fair, not all our Joes comes out of homes like that, but most of the best ones do.

Finally, a heartwarming tale of an amusing prank which, the Royal Family swears, has NOTHING to do with Subaltern Windsor being sent to Iraq.

06 March 2007

Well, here's the orficer heads, and a retrospective

So, the Secretary of the Army and the two-spot commanding Walter Reed have resigned/retired.

Nice going. For once, I'm just barely coming down with the idea that the perhaps the dismay in the Walter Reed scandal might (MIGHT!) actually be motivated by a desire to do right by the Soldiers in question rather than throwing a Designated Scapegoat to the wolves. Secretary of the Army isn't someone you just casually jettison.

In other news, you know what isn't in the news anynore? Ninewah Province. . . Funny how that happens. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing it in the news lately. I don't remember seeing it in the news since we left there. Hrmmm. . .

The Brigade Commander made an interesting assertation about Ramadi today. He stated that we left Ramadi like we found Tal Afar. Unconsolidated victory--the insurgents no longer control huge pieces of territory. 2,500 Iraqi Police are in uniform and either on patrol or in training--a stark contrast from the perhaps 70 terrified IPs huddled on a tiny post just outside the American camp that we found. 1st Brigade built 18 Combat Outposts and 5 IP Stations, extending American and Iraqi Security Force reach out into every single neighborhood. We spent $32 million dollars on over a hundred reconstruction projects.

Ramadi has a mayor, who is supported by a council of tribal sheiks who actually are working to secure Ramadi for their own people.

Approximately 1,200 terrorists were put down, and nearly the same number jailed.

We lost 95 Soldiers, Marines, and Sailors.

The terrorists continue to execute suicide bombings, but that's going to be the nature of things. Suicide bombers are hard to stop, but suicide bombings do not control territory or populations. It is the least effective (though flashy) technique available, and one which alienates the uncommitted elements of the Iraqi population, and even those friendly to the insurgents.

I honestly believe that we came out ahead in Ramadi, and that the combination of agressive patrolling, dispersing units into bad neighborhoods and denying the enemy sactuaries, plus building of relations with local leaders and creation of security forces will, in the long run, prove effective. If we are permitted to win.