The American Kafir

2010/06/26

The COIN Nightmare Continues

I have seen this time after time, my father in the Korean War, my youth in the Vietnam war, politics constantly going where no politician should go and that is to tell the Military how to fight a war. As in my fathers war of Korea, my youth of seeing the atrocities of the hippies and far left progressive thinking left, take over the war instead of letting our knowledgeable military personnel fight the war, we pay and train them to do. I do not want another generation of soldiers coming home spat upon and called baby killers, these young soldiers have paid a price that many have never seen or been through and probably never will. Have we not learned from our history??

Walt

The COIN Nightmare Continues

Written by:Diana West 6/25/2010 5:46:00 AM

Source: Diana West


This week’s syndicated column:

So Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his job. Does it matter?

Aside from the fact that with Wednesday’s announcement the nation’s capital could finally exhale for the first time since news broke about the profanity-laced Rolling Stone profile in which the now-former Afghanistan commander made disparaging comments about members of President Obama’s Afghanistan team (including Obama himself), absolutely nothing of consequence resulted from the whole breathless melodrama.

Why not? Half the world by now has read the magazine article describing senior staff behavior more Animal House than conduct becoming the average adult, let alone officers and gentlemen. But despite the scandalous headlines, what we mainly gleaned was: most of the f-words salting the copy came from the reporter; the general’s actual antics weren’t so much disparaging as childishly indiscreet (“‘Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke,’ he groans …”); and crude (“McChrystal gives him the middle finger”); and his top aides sounded like a bunch of dorks (“Make sure you don’t get any of that on your leg,” an aide jokes, referring to the Holbrooke e-mail). Even McChrystal’s most egregious “insubordination,” as media ecstatically called it, came down to second-hand descriptions of the general’s distress over the time it took for Obama to approve McChrystal’s “surge” of 30,000 troops (not 40,000 as requested), and Obama’s apparent unfamiliarity with The Stanley McChrystal Story (“He (Obama) clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was” said an aide describing Obama’s and McChrystal’s first face-to-face meeting. “The Boss was pretty disappointed”).

More significant is the fact that the article revealed no policy difference where it counts between McChrystal, a self-declared Obama voter and zealous adherent of counterinsurgency doctrine (COIN) — the nation-building, hearts-and-minds strategy Obama inherited from George W. Bush and, after review, approved and intensified — and Obama himself. In other words, this was all so trivial. No life-and-death issues here; no philosophical divide. It was just a collision between vanity and coarse indiscretion. And with or without McChrystal, with or without his mouthy staff, the COIN nightmare continues.

And why is it a “nightmare”? Like the frustrating dream in which cries of “Look out!” are stifled, like the cult whose high priests make reality a taboo, COIN doctrine overrides all comprehension of the Islamic crucible of laws and practices in which the peoples of Afghanistan and the greater umma (Islamic community) are forged. Instead, COIN-deployed troops are ordered to execute fantasies of cultural relativism that make lefty sense in a PC classroom, but are nothing short of appalling on the front line. And McChrystal admitted as much in the infamous article. After spending 20 tense minutes in front of a white board diagramming COIN concepts for soldiers at an outpost where COIN’s restrictive rules of engagement (ROEs) had recently led to the death of a corporal, Rolling Stone reported, McChrystal sensed the men’s frustration: “‘This is the philosophical part that works with think tanks,’ McChrystal tries to joke. ‘But it doesn’t get the same reception from infantry companies.'”

That’s because COIN doesn’t work, and the men on the ground know it. Founded on a deadly pretense — namely, that fundamental cultural differences don’t exist between Islam and the West — COIN proposes that elevating generic “population protection” over generic “force protection” will someday, some way, convince that generic, protected population (in this case, grossly primitive, Islamically oriented, female-oppressing, girl-molesting tribal peoples) to fall in with the American Way — or at least to support the U.S.-propped Karzai government. It is this COIN theory that is directly responsible for the unconscionably restrictive ROEs that have been attracting media attention, a postmodern form of human sacrifice staged to appease the endlessly demanding requirements of political correctness regarding Islam. There is no separating the two. If we have COIN, we have these same heinous ROEs.

It is this COIN travesty that should have made Washington hyperventilate, not tidbits of glossy-mag gossip. And it is for ramping up this COIN travesty that McChrystal should have been fired, as I first wrote back in September 2009.

But no. And there is no sign of the COIN nightmare ending anytime soon. Alas, the new commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, is the man who literally wrote the COIN book.

Gun grabbers treat criminals as victims

Filed under: Lies and more Lies, Obama, Progressives — Tags: , , — - @ 11:39 am

Groups appalled at use of concealed firearms in self-defense

By THE WASHINGTON TIME

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center (VPC) are peddling the notion that concealed-handgun permit holders are a danger to society (I guess I am guilty then,  I hold a concealed Handgun Permit and have for 10 years now. Obtaining a permit is no easy task, you go to class that you pay for out of your own pocket, you are tested both written and the accuracy of your shooting skills, listen to an Attorney about the legalities of holding the permit where you can and cannot carry, then you are fingerprinted and a background check is done on you with the state police and the Feds., unlike a criminal who can just buy a gun on the street and use it in a crime or murder someone.) (Emphasis Mine). Last month, the center released a report claiming that in the past three years, 166 people were killed by holders of concealed-weapon permits. A closer look at the evidence suggests that many of the so-called victims of gun violence were criminals. Because more than 6 million Americans hold permits, it is important to set the record straight.

As one of the most populous states with a right-to-carry law, Florida has the most concealed-handgun permits. Between Oct. 1, 1987, and May 31, the state issued them to 1.8 million individuals. So far, just 167 permits have been revoked over any type of firearms-related violation. Most of those involved trivial, nonviolent infractions. To put that figure into perspective, the annual revocation rate is a minuscule 0.00017 percent, with just three revocations since January 2008. More people are killed every year by falling vending machines than by holders of a concealed-weapon permit.

You wouldn’t know that from the rhetoric of the gun-control groups, which portray Florida as a dangerous place to live because of its laws. According to the VPC report, the Sunshine State accounted for 17 of the 96 “killer” permit holders nationwide, far more than any other state.

A recent Fox News investigation shot holes in the study. No charges were ever brought in seven of the Florida cases. One case clearly did not involve a permit holder – the person was, in fact, charged with illegally carrying a concealed handgun. Two cases that are still pending apparently involved self-defense, with one local newspaper account suggesting that the permit holder had a “strong case” to show that he had acted properly. Another case involved the accidental discharge of a firearm. The gun grabbers score all of these incidents as kills, but at least nine of them are examples of right-to-carry laws being used by permit holders to protect themselves and their families.

Three cases did result in “convictions,” but they hardly represent clear-cut examples. One involved an accidental discharge and a conviction for involuntary manslaughter. In another case, a convicted felon sparked the incident by confronting the permit holder. According to the prosecutor, the permit holder “was in some way defending himself during an escalating altercation between the men caught on the security video” and that, “People can look at that tape and interpret it two or three different ways.” His conviction rested on the question of whether he had done enough to avoid the confrontation.

The Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center show their desperation by twisting legitimate examples of self-defense into crimes. The simple fact is that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens. Suggesting that burglars, rapists and other hardened criminals are “victims” of permit holders is a stretch, even for these groups. The real statistics show that America is a safer place thanks to more of its citizens having a right to protect themselves and their families.

Obama zones out

Filed under: Lies and more Lies, Obama, Progressives — Tags: — - @ 11:27 am

Source: Washington Times

Search for president’s core uncovers – nothing

By Mark Steyn

What do Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and BP have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re both Democratic Party supporters.

Or they were. Gen. McChrystal is a liberal who voted for President Obama and banned Fox News from his headquarters TV. That may at least partly explain how he became the first U.S. general to be lost in combat while giving an interview to Rolling Stone. They’ll be studying that one in war colleges around the world for decades. The managers of BP were unable to vote for Mr. Obama, being, as we now know, the most sinister, duplicitous bunch of shifty Brits to pitch up offshore since the War of 1812. But, in their “Beyond Petroleum” marketing and beyond, they signed on to every modish nostrum of the eco-left. Their recently retired chairman, Lord John Browne, was one of the most prominent promoters of “cap-and-trade.” BP was the Democrats’ favorite oil company. It was to Mr. Obama what TotalFinaElf was to Saddam Hussein.

But what do Gen. McChrystal’s and BP’s defenestrations tell us about the president of the United States? Mr. Obama is a thin-skinned man and, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, White House aides indicated that what angered the president most about the Rolling Stone piece was “a McChrystal aide saying that McChrystal had thought that Obama was not engaged when they first met last year.” If finding Mr. Obama “not engaged” is now a firing offense, who among us is safe?

Only the other day, Sen. George LeMieux of Florida attempted to rouse the president to jump-start America’s overpaid, overmanned and oversleeping federal bureaucracy and get it to do something about the oil debacle. There are 2,000 oil skimmers in the United States; weeks after the spill, only 20 of them are off the coast of Florida. Seventeen friendly nations with great expertise in the field have offered their own skimmers; the Dutch volunteered their “superskimmers.” Mr. Obama turned them all down. Raising the problem, Mr. LeMieux found the president unengaged and uninformed. “He doesn’t seem to know the situation about foreign skimmers and domestic skimmers,” the senator reported.

He doesn’t seem to know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t care. “It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all,” Richard Cohen wrote in The Washington Post last week. “For instance, it’s not clear that Obama is appalled by China’s appalling human rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia. … The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

“This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?”

Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses.

And even today, Mr. Cohen is still giving President Whoisthisguy a pass. After all, whatever he feels about “China’s appalling human rights record” or “continued repression in Russia,” Mr. Obama is not directly responsible for it. Whereas U.S. and allied deaths in Afghanistan are happening on his watch – and the border villagers killed by unmanned drones are being killed at his behest. Mr. Cohen calls the president “above all, a pragmatist,” but with the best will in the world, you can’t stretch the definition of “pragmatism” to mean “lack of interest.”

“The ugly truth,” wrote Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, “is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it.”

Well, that’s certainly ugly, but is it the truth? Afghanistan, you’ll recall, was supposed to be the Democrats’ war, the one they supposedly supported, the one from which the neocons’ Iraq adventure was an unnecessary distraction. Granted the Dems’ usual shell game – to avoid looking soft on national security, it helps to be in favor of some war other than the one you’re opposing – candidate Obama was an especially ripe promoter. In one of the livelier moments of his campaign, he chugged down half a bottle of Geopolitical Viagra and claimed he was hot for invading Pakistan.

Then he found himself in the Oval Office, and the dime-store opportunism was no longer helpful. But, as Mr. Friedman puts it, “no one knew how to get out of it.” The “pragmatist” settled for “nuance.” He announced a semisurge plus a date for withdrawal of troops to begin. It’s not “victory,” it’s not “defeat,” but rather a more sophisticated melange of these two outmoded absolutes: If you need a word, “quagmire” would seem to cover it.

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, the Taliban and the Pakistanis on the one hand and Britain and the other American allies heading for the checkout on the other all seem to have grasped the essentials of the message, even if Mr. Friedman and the other media Obammyboppers never quite did. Mr. Karzai is now talking to Islamabad about an accommodation that would see the most viscerally anti-American elements of the Taliban back in Kabul as part of a power-sharing regime. At the height of the shrillest shrieking about the Iraqi “quagmire,” was there ever any talk of hard-core Saddamite Baathists returning to government in Baghdad?

To return to Mr. Cohen’s question: “Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?” Well, he’s a guy who was wafted ever upward from the Harvard Law Review to the state legislature to the U.S. Senate without ever lingering long enough to accomplish anything. “Who is this guy?” Well, when a guy becomes a credible presidential candidate by his mid-40s with no accomplishments other than a couple of memoirs, he evidently has an extraordinary talent for self-promotion, if nothing else. “What are his core beliefs?” It would seem likely that his core belief is in himself. It’s the “nothing else” that the likes of Mr. Cohen are belatedly noticing.

Wasn’t he kind of unengaged by the health care debate? That’s why, for all his speeches, he could never quite articulate a rationale for it. In the end, he was happy to leave it to the Democratic Congress and, when his powers of persuasion failed, let them ram it down the throats of the American people through sheer parliamentary muscle.

Likewise, on Afghanistan, his attitude seems to be “I don’t want to hear about it.” Unmanned drones take care of a lot of that, for a while. So do his courtiers in the media. Did all those hopey-changers realize that Mr. Obama’s war would be run by George W. Bush’s defense secretary and general? Hey, never mind: Moveon.org has quietly disappeared its celebrated “General Betray-us” ad from its website. Cindy Sheehan, the supposed conscience of the nation when she was railing against Mr. Bush from the front pages, is an irrelevant kook unworthy of coverage when she protests Mr. Obama. Why, a cynic might almost think the “antiwar” movement was really an anti-Bush movement and the protesters really don’t care about dead foreigners, after all. The more things “change you can believe in,” the more they stay the same.

Except in one respect. There is a big hole where our strategy should be. It’s hard to fight a war without war aims, and in the end, they can only come from the top. It took the oil spill to alert Americans to the unengaged president. From Moscow to Tehran to the caves of Waziristan, our enemies got the message a lot earlier – and long ago figured out the rules of unengagement.

Mark Steyn is author of the New York Times best-seller “America Alone” (Regnery, 2006).