Egypt and the Middle East: Through the Fog

English: Countries with muslim majority França...

English: Countries with muslim majority Français : Pays à majorité musulmane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hat tip to Power Line Blog for this What’s Going On In the Muslim World? | Power Line. Read the link as well, John Hinderaker has some good insights as well.

Michael Ledeen is an awesome observer, at least in my opinion. And I’m not a kid that uses that word twice in every three sentences. He’s been doing some observing and thinking about what going on. Let’s look over his shoulder a bit.

It’s hard to get our minds around the dimensions of the slaughter under way in the Middle East and Africa, and harder still to see that the battlefields of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria and Mali are pieces in a global war in which we are targeted.  For the most part, the deep thinkers zero in on the single battlefields.  What if anything should we do about the big fight in Egypt?  Should we assist the Syrian opposition?  What to do in Lebanon or Jordan? Should we respond positively to the Iraqi government’s request for security assistance?  Is anyone thinking hard about Tunisia, likely to be the scene of the next explosions?

This is always a problem, for us and even more for the so-called professionals, we get buried in information. I mean for writing this blog, I have 200+ sources in my RSS feed, and I skim each of them at least once a day. How much worse would it be if I did this for a living and had that many sources in say Egypt. It’s hard to get out of the box. But we must.

Any serious attempt to understand what’s going on has to begin by banning the word “stability,” much beloved of diplomats and self-proclaimed strategists. If anything is fairly certain about our world, it’s that there is no stability, and there isn’t going to be any.  Right now, the driving forces are those aimed at destroying the old order, and their targets (the old regimes, very much including the United States) have until recently showed little taste to engage as if their survival depended on it.  But things are changing, as always.

The war is easily described:  there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that includes Russia, at least some Chinese leaders, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua).  The radicals include the Sunni and Shi’ite terrorist organizations and leftist groups, and they all work seamlessly with the narcotics mafias.  Their objective is the destruction of the West, above all, of the United States.

What if they win?  Some of them want to create a  (Sunni or Shi’ite) caliphate, others want Castro- or Kim-style communist dictatorships.  Like the five Mafia families in The Godfather, they have made their war plan, but, as with the Corleones and the Barzinis, they are riven by disagreements, some of which are fundamental.

War is foggy, and alliances are often very unstable, especially at moments when the whole world is up for grabs.  Look at Egypt, for example.  At one level, it’s a sectarian fight:  the “secular” military vs. the “Islamist” Muslim Brotherhood.  So nobody should be surprised when the Brothers burn churches and murder Christians.  But the top military dog, General Sissi, has some pretty impressive Islamist credentials.  Indeed, his elevation at the time of the Brothers’ purge of Mubarak’s generals was frequently attributed to his close ties to the Brotherhood.

This makes sense to me, all of the Middle East, maybe the entire world is in flux at the moment, nearly anything is possible but nothing is foreordained. Except change, of course.

Does that picture give you mental cramps?  Then move on to Syria.  You’ve got Bashar Assad on top in a neighborhood of Damascus, supported by Iran and Russia, fighting against a variety of insurgents including Al Qaeda units, Salafists, former members of Assad’s military, and the usual mob of adventurous souls, including Americans and Europeans, who believe they are waging jihad in the name of Allah.

Assad is actually a figurehead, the real capital of Syria is in an office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.  A leader of the Syrian opposition made this clear, saying that Hezbollah and Iran were the real powers in Syria, and there’s plenty of evidence for his assertion, including dead Hezbollahis and Quds Forcers.

So Al Qaeda’s fighting Iran in Syria, right?  That fits nicely into the Sunni vs. Shi’ite meme, thereby relieving a mental cramp or two.  But wait:  our very own Treasury Department, which is as good as we’ve got when it comes to deciphering the crazy quilt network of global terrorism, told us in no uncertain terms a couple of years ago that there was a secret deal between AQ and the mullahs.  Moreover, the tidal wave of terrorism that has crashed on Iraq is universally termed a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has been Iranian-sponsored since Day One (just ask the late unlamented Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, sent to paradise by US Special Forces).  Which gives us a big mental cramp indeed:  an Iranian (Shi’ite)-sponsored (Sunni) Al Qaeda assault against (Shi’ite) Iraq, and right next door an Iranian-assisted (Sunni) Al Qaeda, alongside other (mostly Sunni) foreign and domestic fighters against a (kinda Shi’ite) regime under the control of (totally Shi’ite) Tehran.

Who’s on first?  Is Iran sponsoring AQ in Iraq and killing AQ next door in Syria?  Is it some sort of trick (Iran using AQ to penetrate the opposition in order to have some control over whatever follows a defeat of the current Syrian regime, for example, or a deception, using AQ in Syria to subvert the opposition)?

Yes, I promise to ask Angleton if I can just get the ouija board repaired.  It’s a wilderness of mirrors worthy of him at his most antic.

Got all that? Yeah, hurts my head too!

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that they’re divided, and slaughtering each other.  And it’s not always possible for us to sort out what “each other” even means.  But one thing is quite clear, and I know it’s an unpopular idea, but it’s a true fact:  they’re not an awesome force.  The radical left has failed everywhere, and so have the radical Islamists.  Both claim to have history (and/or the Almighty) on their side, but they go right on failing.  The left is now pretty much in the garbage bin of history (you can hire Gorbachev for your next annual meeting if you can afford his speaking fee), and the “Muslim world”–sorry to be so blunt–is a fossilized remnant of a failed civilization.  Look at the shambles in Iran, look at the colossal mess the Brothers unleashed on a once-great nation.

So we’ve got opportunities, lots of them.  We’ve already passed up many:  failing to support the Iranian people against the evil regime that is the central source of terror against us and our would-be friends, failing to support Mubarak against the Brothers, failing to quickly support the opposition to Assad at the outset, before the enterprise got buried under a heap of jihadi manure, and so forth.  OK, we’re human, we’re led, if that’s the right verb, very badly, by ideologues who think we are the root cause of most of the world’s problems.  Which is the same thing our enemies believe, as luck would have it.  But this will pass, and even now we could transform the big global board by doing the strategically sound and morally correct thing, and support the Iranian people against the regime.  Don’t bomb them, don’t invade them, just tell the regime we know who and what they are, and start talking to their most dangerous enemies, the overwhelming majority of the Iranian nation.  We may not know exactly how to do it, but they do, and if we showed up, they would tell us.

Read it all: It’s War, You Idiots

And that I completely agree with, I don’t completely know if the young people in Iran are the key or not. But you know, Persia has been a major actor on the world stage for thousands of years, so why not. The last time we passed this way, we got a hostage drama, and Ronald Reagan.

And there’s this. You remember this morning I commented that much of the troubles in the Middle East, at least with the indigenous (in the broadest sense of the word) seem to be between the urban young who want the western lifestyle, and the older, rural folk who are afraid of modernisation? Looks to me like He’s looking in the same neighborhood I am, and he knows a lot more than I do.

Keep looking and thinking, and praying won’t hurt either. Cause

It’s a Mess

 

Stupid (P.J. O’Rourke)

Stupid – P.J. O’Rourke

“You’re stupid,” is not something even his most severe critics usually say to President Barack Obama. But on Friday morning I picked up the Wall Street Journal and learned that the president had given a speech about the war on terror saying, “This war, like all wars, must end.”

.

That story was at the top of the front page. Immediately below was a photograph of flowers being laid at a makeshift memorial near the Woolwich Royal Arsenal where machine gunner Lee Rigby was hacked to death by terrorists.

This war, like all wars, must end when someone wins it. The president – speaking at the National Defense University, of all places – said, “the core of al Qaeda… is on the path to defeat.” And so it may be. But meanwhile, the core of al Qaeda, its aims and its beliefs, is also on the path to Boston and London and any number of other places.

On page 7 of Friday’s Journal was the headline, “Suicide Bombings in Niger Linked to Mali Islamist Group.” On page 9 was a report of terrorist Hezbollah militias aiding the terrorist Assad regime in attacking the rebel-held Syrian city of Qusayr where the rebels themselves are allied with yet more Islamic terrorists. And on pages 4 and 8 were more bad tidings from that perpetrator, abettor, and friend of terrorism, Iran. Iranian fundamentalists, in the chokehold they have on the country’s political system, are improving their grip. And, “according to current and former U.S. officials,” Iran has “escalated a campaign of cyberassaults against U.S. corporations… The hackers were able to gain access to control-system software that could allow them to manipulate oil or gas pipelines.”

All that on a slow news day.

In 2001 Congress passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a declaration of war on terrorists and nations that harbor them. In his speech the president said, “I look forward to engaging… in efforts to refine and ultimately repeal the AUMF’s mandate.”

I like the president’s use of the word “efforts” here, as though he’s merely trying to be stupid. He doesn’t need to try. Earlier in the week he signed new policy guidance for drone strikes. In the future we will use lethal drones only on terrorists who are a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people” and not on terrorists who are a “significant threat to U.S. interests.” Although, assuming tremendously stupid efforts will be made to tell the two kinds of terrorists apart, maybe I’m wrong about the president not needing to try. The policy guidance also stipulates that there “must be a near certainty” that civilians won’t be killed or injured in a drone strike. Imagine how stupid a WWII Army Air Corps briefing officer would have had to be to say that to his B-17 pilots.

Maybe we pundits don’t tell President Obama, “You’re stupid,” because we are proudly showing off our sensitivity to the negative stereotypes that hurtful language engenders in a way that we didn’t feel was necessary when we were telling Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, “You’re stupid,” even though actors, WASPs, and Texans are burdened with their fair share of negative lamebrain stereotypes.

More likely it’s because we pundits prize signs of intelligence. We take every opportunity to display our own signs, and President Obama exhibits the same wordy, wonky, academic intelligence indicators that we do, so we don’t call him stupid.

As if the two things were mutually exclusive. I know quite a few fellow members of the news analysis and commentary business, and I have it from the highest-placed sources, on the record, that each and every one of our children is a genius. And yet, if we pundits were to gather together our sons and daughters, during their teenage years, and close them for a night in a dimly lit room full of beer and drugs and comfy futons, I can assure you that evidence of stupidity would be found the next morning.

But the most likely reason that we don’t call President Obama stupid is that it’s such a cul-de-sac of a word. Stupid gives the pundit nothing to perform punditry upon. Call a man ignorant and you have license to show the world your vast fund of knowledge and wise him up. Call a man misguided and you transform your column or blog post or TV appearance into a valuable and beneficent German shepherd with a handle on its back and you lead the poor soul in his blindness. Call a man, best of all, wicked and you get to don the sacramental vestments, climb into the pulpit and thunder forth with such a sermon as to bring him weeping to the font of righteousness or cause the Lord God Almighty to strike him with a thunderbolt in his pew or something fun like that. But call a man stupid and… there it is.

And there it is: Dopey stimulus, obtuse bailout, noodle-headed Obamacare, half-wit Dodd-Frank, damfool IRS Tea Party crashers, AP and Fox News beset by oafish peeping Toms and the Benghazi tale told by an idiot. One could go on. Stupid is a great force in human affairs. And the great force has a commander in chief.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Hat tip to Stupid (P.J. O’Rourke).

 

Thoughts on Boston; and the Stans

Ethnic Russians in former Soviet Union states ...

Ethnic Russians in former Soviet Union states in 1994 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK continuing on the central Asian theme, mostly, and it’s relation to us. As I have come to expect, Ooobie has some relevant, and pithy observations. Why do we as Americans tend to look down on the Russians? Sure, we won the cold war but it took a long time, and I’m not entirely sure that it wasn’t a case of they tried harder to lose. It seems as if our government people have a very dangerous case of hubris, either that or our intelligence agencies are either having a really good time, or have become politicized beyond repair. You pays your money and takes your choice, here. I’m not sure any of them are the predominate cause, nor am I convinced it really, in a tactical sense, matters. It is, deal with it.

Or is it that they just know as little of the area as I do? That’s possible, I suppose, although they couldn’t hardly know less than I do, unless knowing wrong stuff is negative knowledge. Cause I know next to nothing, that’s what these posts are all about, I’m taking what I can find of a crash course on the area after Boston, and I’m taking you, if you’re willing, with me. Because I see little point to having an opinion on something that I don’t understand.

So, here’s Ooobie:

Thoughts on the Unknowable

Just some musings on various topics today, after long days of watching obsessive coverage of the Boston bombings, their victims, and their perpetrators.

I’ve been shaking my head about the fact that Russian intelligence tried to warn Americans about the Jokers six months ago, but the FBI couldn’t find a thing on these guys. Apparently, there was so little reason for concern that they did not maintain surveillance, either. Or keep up with their social media antics. It wasn’t rocket science, it was simple due diligence.

There is an underlying problem here that I feel ought to be mentioned. It is called hubris. The Americans far more than the Europeans are contemptuous of Russia in all manner of ways, perhaps because the Europeans, from Sweden to Germany to Poland to France, have been tussling with the Russians in one West European-concocted war or another for centuries and they have yet to win one. We Americans especially suffer from arrogance in the military realm. We have shiny new lethal weapons of every variety and the latest design, and Russia is still burdened with an old-time Army and Navy, unable to invest the gazillions of dollars necessary both to modernize their economy and show off their weaponry in Kremlin parades. At least I guess that is the reason behind our sneering attitudes when it comes to things military and security. But Russia’s intelligence services are still excellent and given the neighborhood they live in, they have to be. As far as the military hardware, it’s true that Russia doesn’t have the money to turn out all kinds of new models of all kinds of new weapons, but it knows how to upgrade what they have and come up with new generation critical weaponry. It still knows how to focus its first-rate scientific community on such projects. Most significantly, they are not talking about unilateral nuclear disarmament, although they’d love to encourage the USA and its destructive president to go right ahead with such a project.

America, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has ignored Russia’s warnings on various foreign policy conundrums. We have been condescending and all-knowing, playing Oliver Hardy to Stan Laurel, or Moe to Curly and Shemp. We have ignored Russia’s warnings about the folly of intervening in the Middle East and in North African countries for no clear reason other than to showcase our big bombers, leaving behind unstable governments and huge pools of actual and potential jihadists that nobody can keep under control. That was a luxury the US could once, briefly, afford — the terrorists were concentrating on Russia and Israel, not America. Not anymore.

Maybe you’re not aware of the fact that long before 9/11, when Al Qaeda was a destructive whirlwind in the second bloody Chechen war and the terrorism that ensued all around Russia, the Russians tried to warn the Americans about the group. But we Americans always know better. Thanks for the information, we’ll get back to you. Al Qaeda wasn’t a big problem for us. And then there came 9/11, and suddenly we were Al Qaeda experts. Now we send drones after the jihadists around the globe and are on to their every move, unless they are up to no good in the United States, in which case we are close to stupidly ignorant.

Continue reading Thoughts on the Unknowable | Ooobie on Everything.

I think I’ve got nearly enough information to have an opinion, so maybe will start talking about going forward soon.

Patriot Day 2012

It’s September 11 again, and again, as if we ever forget, we commemorate the lives lost on 9/11. This is what I wrote last year, so some of you have seen it, I hope you will read it again. I was going to write something new but when I reviewed this, I decided I was very unlikely to find a better way to express my feelings on that day or now. I have not changed anything. I will say that of the 700 odd articles that I have published, I think this one moves me the most, even as that day moved me more than any event in my lifetime has moved me. So, I hope that you enjoy (if that is the word) what I have to say here whether you were one of my early readers who are reading it again or one of the more numerous, who have found something worthwhile here since that day a year ago that this was published. Thank you for joining me in commemorating the victims of many nationalities who gave their lives in New York, in Washington D. C., and in a successful counterattack in Pennsylvania on that awful day.

Ten Years Ago Today

An American flag flies over the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 13, 2001

There isn’t one of us who doesn’t remember what we were doing. I was having a day off and was watching Good Morning, America and I will remember to my dying day Diane Sawyer’s “Oh, my God!”.

I was very lucky though, although I have family working in the financial district, I lost no one close to me. But in a very real sense they were all my family; the workers, the Firemen and Police doing their everyday heroics, the passerby. They were all our family: the family of the free. For this was an attack on freedom. For this was an attack on the free market system and the military that protects it.

To me then and now it hearkened back to another ‘Day of Infamy‘: 7 December 1941, both in the manner of the attack, a sneak attack on a peaceful country, and in how I instantly understood, as I never had, what my parents and their generation had felt on that awful Sunday afternoon.

And I knew something else, even as they had, I now lived in a country at war, where nothing short of victory was acceptable. I thought my country was united in that, I still think most of it is. I also knew that the retribution of America and her allies would be terrible and no interference by anyone would be tolerated. For indeed “They had sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat”.

And I was heartened by the reaction of the world, especially this:

Nobody ever showed their support better, which is not surprising, after all the Queen has known us well since she was Princess Elizabeth driving an ambulance in the Second World War.

Another thing I understand now was my Dad’s and his generation’s respect for Roosevelt even if they disagreed with almost all of his policies, he was the war president. I now have that feeling, even love, for George W. Bush.

We really are an exceptional nation, nobody in the world, outside of the Anglosphere understood our determination, in Bevin Alexander’s words “to proceed door to door in the very heart of the Arab-Muslim world, to make clear that we were ready to kill and to die to stop our society from being undermined, and to say, gun in hand, to the people, and to the governments who permit terrorists to exist, “What is it that you don’t understand about leaving our country alone?”” And I find it notable that those stalwart Allies of the Anglosphere are marching forward to the battle in step with us, as it has been for nearly a century now.

And so, almost before we knew what was happening the first counterattack was underway. It ended in a smoking hole in Pennsylvania, it was a very expensive counterattack but it was successful. And like the targets of the attack itself, it was conducted by ordinary Americans, no different than you and me.  The counterattack launched with that simple command, “Let’s Roll”.

The time for our superb military had not yet come. But it would, with dire consequences for our enemies.

Bin Laden should have studied us better, for indeed the man who said this was half American:

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.

The American people are difficult to turn into an enemy, for we much prefer to be everyone’s  friend, but attacking the homeland will do it, every time. There is no more fearsome enemy in the history of the world than the aroused people of America.

A quick look back will show this. On 7 December 1941 the battleship USS Arizona was sunk on battleship row in Pearl Harbor. 35 months later, the other old battleships of the 7th Fleet, also sunk at Pearl Harbor, sank the Japanese fleet at Leyte Gulf, in the last surface gun action ever fought. The new battleships in 3rd fleet were off chasing the IJN’s aircraft carriers. Moored close to the Arizona is the USS Missouri on whose deck 11 months after Leyte Gulf, in Tokyo Bay, Imperial Japan surrendered. Yes, we are impatient, and sometimes fickle, but do not mess with our homeland.

It never fails to amaze me how much the enemies of the United States rely upon the goodness and restraint of the United States. The Taliban who supported al Qaeda knew that their sheer existence beyond the next 30 minutes depended exclusively on the forbearance of the United States.

If we were the imperial power that we are so often accused of being, Afghanistan would now be the world’s largest sheet of glass. If a city rebelled against Imperial Rome, the retribution was that every living thing, right down to the dogs, was put to the sword, the city was destroyed and the ruins sown with salt, so nothing would grow. I dare you to find Carthage on a current map.

Instead we very carefully target our retribution on those that we believe are guilty. Indeed, we have developed weapons that allow us to target an individual  from several hundred miles away. Instead of our massive air raids in World War II we now use a stealth aircraft with individually targeted missiles. I have seen reports that say that the Pakistanis, when they see one of our drones overhead, calmly go about their business, knowing that only the target is in danger, as opposed to the panic when their own air force is attacking.

This is the way that America, a country that values each and every human life makes war.

This is America the Avenger. Not on the innocent people of cities and countries, but upon the malefactors hiding in its back streets and hills.

This is America at war. Not destroying cities and countries but only individual enemies.

This is America, the superpower that can destroy any country on Earth in an hour, but chooses to put its own sons and daughters at risk to find only the guilty.

This is America, where steel from the World Trade Center now is incorporated into the bow of the USS New York, leading the ship into harms way.

This is America, the first revolutionaries, who learned to control the revolution, but not to let it die and slip back into tyranny, about whom our President said, long ago:

  We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

and who later that day also said:

  Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.  Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

  In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

This is the America that I grew up in and love, and I will not allow the destruction of, from without or within. For above all others, this hill, with its city gleaming bright, is worth dying for and worth living for.

Many things have happened since President Kennedy said those words on a cold January morning.

The Berlin Wall was built up and torn down.

The World Trade Center was built up and knocked down.

The specter of the Soviet Union no longer threatens the world.

The threat of Islamofascism has arisen from the shadows.

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain that had descended across the Continent, has now been lifted.* Old and proud states of eastern Europe have been liberated. Many having seen what America believes, in action, have become proud allies of America.

Al Qaeda decided that the old American will had been eroded and has had that illusion shattered, and is on its way to destruction. Almost weekly we hear of the demise of more of its leadership as America again sorts out the guilty from the innocent.

Many things have happened since 9/11/01 also. How will it all work out? We will never know. This is the eternal war between liberty and slavery.

As Cassandra of Villainous Company put it on 27 June 2005:

Our own Revolution was not without blemish. Innocent men were tarred and feathered. Families torn asunder. People bled, and suffered and starved. There was even [shudder] terrorism. But it lit a flame that has burned brightly for over 200 years. There are signs that this is happening in the MiddleEast: Arabs are looking at election day in Iraq and Afghanistan and demanding democratic reforms in Egypt and Lebanon and Kuwait. The fire in men’s (and women’s) hearts is spreading.

We would like certainty. We would like painless progress. We would like closure. We will not get any of those things.

On July 4th we must ask ourselves, what do we believe? Our military – brand new immigrants who enlist before the ink is dry on their visas – believe in those words so strongly that they will lay down their lives to spread the fire of democracy. They also believe (as I do) that their purpose is to serve American foreign policy aims, no matter how abstract and long-term they may seem. No matter how difficult to explain to the American people. No matter how frustrating in the short term.

What kind of world will we bequeath to our grandchildren? It may be that long before we know. But our actions today will have an incalculable effect on that far-off tomorrow. And if our policy is not firmly grounded in the spread of those long-ago words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

…then I wonder if we shall not be the first Americans who fail to pass the blessings of liberty on to the next generation?

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph. is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

And so as we remember and celebrate the lives of the victims of that horrible day ten years ago, so we must also renew our determination that their sacrifice and the sacrifices of our military since shall not have been in vain. For as another President said:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

A note to our Comrades in Arms, that Band of Brothers (and Sisters) that fight alongside us for freedom. We remember your contributions and mourn your losses as our own. For truly you are partaking in the American dream even as we are. For that dream is nothing less than freedom itself.

Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis ætas;
Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo.
iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,
iam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.

From the  Eclogue of Virgil:

which translates as follows:
Now comes the final era of the Sibyl’s song;
The great order of the ages is born afresh.
And now justice returns, honored rules return;
now a new lineage is sent down from high heaven.

* Adapted from Sir Winston Churchill at Fulton, Missouri.

Editor’s note: at the time that this was written Villainous Company was not in service so this year I can provide the link to the article that the except come from. It’s entitled: Why I Am Patriotic: A Love Letter to America It is one of my favorite sites, I cannot recommend it too highly, although I don’t get there as often as I should.

Moral Relativism, Patriotism, and Al Qaeda

I have some serious problems with the author’s equation of Al Qaeda‘s suicide bombing with US drone strikes. To me AQ are terrorists and the US drone strikes are a legitimate function of a just war, the suppression of terrorism by decapitating the terrorist organization. Would it be better to do it with a sniper from a  ½ mile away? Or simply arresting them? Possibly, but it’s not practical.

So his conflation of the two strikes me as the worst sort of moral relativism. A mass murderer with a defender of the innocent.

That said, later in this article he makes some very relevant points on how we legitimize the government even when it badly overreaches its authority. He uses the example of the collapse of the Proprietor’s government in Pennsylvania in 1684. It a very good example which is not well enough known. Enjoy.

Over the weekend, a suicide bomber suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda struck a funeral in Yemen, killing forty five individuals.  The funeral was attended predominantly by members of a militia which aided the Yemeni Army in recapturing a town held by Al Qaeda.  The attack was rightfully condemned by major media outlets.  Viciously killing mourners at a funeral is the very definition of terrorism as it sends a message that no time or place is off limits from a surprise attack.  It shows a complete lack of respect for the sanctity of life.  Al Qaeda has become known for these attacks in recent years.  American national security officials and politicians have reacted by denouncing such attacks as a sign of the utter savagery of the terrorist group.

Read more of this post

Sometimes, We Just Kill Traitors

Lockheed Martin Longbow Hellfire.

Image via Wikipedia

Not to put to fine a point on it, since Awlaki had his meeting with a Hellfire the other day, there has been a fair amount of handwringing about due process and citizenship and such.

My own view that is that if you decide to make war on the United States, you shouldn’t be too surprised when the United States decides to make war back. Nothing much here about what citizenship you make be able to make a claim on. We were perfectly OK with killing the Dutch, and Norwegians that enlisted in the SS.

I strongly doubt that the Confederate Generals, nearly all of whom had taken the Oath of Office as United States Officers expected trial for making war on the United States Treason instead of bullets coming their way across the battlefield.

Anyway Great Satan‘s Girlfriend has a post up that pretty well describes my feelings.

Oh Snap!

Those attorney free Drones Gone Wild and the recent sweet al Yemenilicious hit on al Awlaki brought some funintended consequences at a recent event populated by all the populars. As ppl lol’d another Hellfire event that incinerated not one but 2 American born hajies in a foreign land several inappropriate handwringers kept bringing up the something Amendment.

“No ‘Merican shall be dissed/deprived of life, liberty, bling or property w/out due process of law.”

If Awlaki was in fact the architect of terrorism attacks then perhaps his demise is to be welcomed. But we don’t really know, do we? There was no xparent, legal, reviewable process by which he was placed on Great Satan’s hit list. There was no judicial procedure, nor any public airing of the charges against him. He had no opportunity to respond to specific allegations.

Read the rest here.

My end verdict: Good riddance to bad garbage.

My only complaint is that: dead men tell no tales.

%d bloggers like this: