Quick question about arming rebels

Does the administration’s decision to arm the Libyan rebels remind you of anything?  It does me.  It reminds me of the Reagan administration’s decision to arm the rebels in Afghanistan.

Back then, the rebels were not our enemy, and they were fighting a sworn enemy against whom we’d been engaged in myriad proxy wars for decades.  This time, the rebels are our enemy, killing our civilians and soldiers all over the world, and they’re fighting a government that hasn’t does us any active harm in recent years.

Somehow, despite our pure and fairly reasonable thinking back in 1980s, I seem to recall that our decision to arm and train radical Islamists proved to have bad and lasting consequences for us.  (Hint:  the Taliban.)  This time around, we don’t even have the excuse of ignorance.  The Libyan rebels we’re arming, comprised of useful idiots, Al Qaeda operatives, and Muslim brotherhood members, were our active enemy yesterday; they’re our active enemy today; and tomorrow, pumped up with our weapons and supplies, they’ll still be our active enemy, only more dangerous.

The fun never ends at the Watcher of Weasels place

In a sec, I’ll link to the cool blog posts I get to read today as part of my gig on the Watcher’s Council.  However, I also wanted to give you a heads up about a debate the Watcher’s Council hosted on the merits of the President’s decision to repeal DADT during war time.  Since the debaters — Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye and Tom White of Virginia Right! — are civil and logical, you’ll probably find it very interesting.

And now to this week’s nominations:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Happy Day.

I started wearing contacts when I was twelve.  In those days, hard contacts were so thick they were like little pebbles in ones eyes, but I didn’t care.  I was finally out from behind my coke bottle-bottom glasses.  Over the years, I switched to soft lenses, which didn’t correct my astigmatism, and finally ended up with gas permeable lenses:  more comfortable than hard lenses, with all the vision correction lacking in soft lenses.

For 24 years, I wore contacts from morning ’til night.  Then I got pregnant and things started going wrong with my eyes.  Apparently pregnancy triggered dry eyes.  I could still wear contacts, but it was an effort, because they just hurt too much.  By the time my son was born, I gave up.  I retreated behind my glasses again.  Glasses worked — no pain, good near and middle vision, adequate far vision. For martial arts, I got a very special pair of expensive soft contact lenses that sort of corrected my vision without interfering with my dry eye.

Early this year, three things changed.  My astigmatism worsened, I got to the point where I needed bifocals (or trifocals, depending on my vision goals), and I started taking Omega 3, ’cause a friend’s doctor recommended it to her after Lasik surgery.  My new options seemed to be limited to ever more complicated glasses, whether bifocals or trifocals, or two or three pairs of glasses.  Since glasses for me are always hellishly expensive, and since my health care eye benefits don’t kick in for several months, I decided to see what could be done in the contacts world.

It turns out that a lot could be done.  The Omega 3 treats my dry eye so well I effectively have no dry eye.  That dramatically increases the types of soft contact lenses available for me.  (My eyes are still too sensitive ever to return to gas permeable.)  I ended up walking out with contacts that, while they don’t directly correct my astigmatism, nevertheless mask its effects.  Also, to solve the long range/short range problem, my dominant eye is corrected for long range vision, and my other eye is corrected for close vision.  For the first time in over a decade, I can see both far and near without putting glasses on or taking them off.

Next week, I go back in to check if my eyes are happy with the new arrangement.  I know that I’m happy.  I don’t think I’ll ever again be able to wear contacts 12 or 16 hours a day, but I might be able to wear them a significant part of the day and see really well, whether I’m doing far sighted things such as driving a car or watching ballet, or near sighted things such as reading a book or working at my computer.

There are a lot more crow’s feet around my eyes than the last time I seriously wore contacts, but I’m still thrilled at the thought that I’ll be able to wear eye make-up again.  I’ve always liked eye make-up (applied with subtlety, of course), and I’ve missed it for the past decade.

So this has been a very happy day.

Pregnant girls, by guest blogger Lulu

There is a pregnancy epidemic right now at the high school where I used to run a girls’ group. All the time I am shocked and saddened to see another young girl with a growing belly or another with babe in arms.

There is no stigma at all. Whatever happened to shame or pressuring boys to “do the right thing”? Gone are the rumors, the marginalization, the “slut” comments, the judgment of others, the pressure of peers that encourage waiting and responsibility. There simply is no stigma. In fact, the boys strut like proud roosters with their girl. The girl basks in the attention of her friends as they swarm around the mommy to be and kiss her belly.

And thanks to enforced ‘tolerance” and a determination not to marginalize girls who get pregnant in high-school, there is no longer any shame in it at all. That stinks because I believe shame is a very important emotion and shaper of our behavior.

The boys need to feel ashamed of themselves for using girls like objects, impregnating them, and then thinking their role as father is to drop in and buy pampers once in a while. The girls should be ashamed for casually bringing life into the world for their own selfish reasons (someone to love me, etc) instead of waiting until they could create an environment for the child that could provide stability and proper care.

I am angry with the school for not enforcing its own dress code. The low cut tops. The short shorts. The spaghetti straps. These are against the rules, but no one says anything. No one insists the girls cover up with an old hideous shirt from the lost and found, or old gym shorts. But they should.

Where are the staff to stop the fondling and making out on steps in full view of everyone on campus? Boys and girls. Girls and girls. No boundaries. No values.

So sad.

One exercise I did with my girls’ group a month or so ago was designed to have them explore their values versus their behavior. I wrote on the board these words:

Marriage
Sex
Relationship
Love
Dating
Living together
Baby

I asked the girls to make two lists. One was to put the words in the order in which they thought they should take place according to their values, and the other was to put the words in the order that they saw people actually following. They were allowed to leave words off if necessary.

Without fail, and to my surprise, all the girls wrote that the order things should take place in was this:

Dating, love, relationship, marriage, sex, living together, baby.

This is a very traditional view and I hadn’t expected it.

The list of what was actually happening was less sunny:

“Dating”, sex, relationship (all admitted this stage sometimes did not occur), baby.

I pointed out to them that there was a huge discrepancy between their values and their behavior. I asked them why they thought that was. Some looked so sad as they described the pressures to perform sexually or to end up alone. (Of course, they were alone anyway as these “relationships” did not last).

Will these kids ever be able to have a healthy relationship? A sex life with a caring and loving partner? What about their children who will grow up in a world of single moms, with children from multiple dads, all with different last names?

I can’t help but look at this and want to scream at the faculty, at the entire educational institution, for failing these children so egregiously, for failing to teach any moral standards at all. These kids are steeped in political correctness. Lord knows, they’ve had tons of diversity education, safe sex talks, say no to drugs, global warming awareness, and Identity politics. But at home and at school, no one seems to be willing to provide moral standards. No one is willing to upset the darlings by reminding them that having a baby too young is grossly irresponsible and even tragic. Shouldn’t society put some peer pressure on them to remember that a baby is a human being and not a doll? It’s not a Paris Hilton Chihuahua status symbol to dress nicely and neglect. A baby is a human that requires immense amounts of time and energy to raise.

They forget that a baby doesn’t stay a baby for long. Soon it will become a child that will require discipline, education, supervision, guidance, a future. What kind of environment is best for raising this child? Would it be a fifteen year old girl, no longer with the baby’s father, leaving the bulk of child rearing to her own resentful mother, and bitter because she can’t do fun teenage activities any more, or a stable, committed, financially secure, adult couple?

No one has told them how a baby interferes with fun and parties. Young mommies either have to stay home and care for the baby or drag it along- but it hasn’t occurred to them that their friends won’t want a baby along screaming in McDonald’s or an arcade. Babies are demanding, not logical, and if young mommies or daddies scream and ht them will only cry more. Once a teen has a baby, life will never be the same again. Finishing school and achieving life goals are do-able mainly for those girls who have parents willing to care for the baby for them.

Maybe if pregnant girls were once again shuffled off campus to a pregnant girl school it would be less glamorous and rewarding. Maybe the dads could be instantly shuffled into family court to be forced to take responsibility. Maybe along with sex ed the kids could get some values. Maybe the church should rise to the challenge and let young men know that impregnating girls is not a sign of manhood. Having sperm is no great accomplishment. Waiting to make a baby until you are mature and self-sufficient, and creating a whole and intact family, however, is a sign of manhood and maturity. We need to return societal pressure and judgment. Kids are falling apart from a lack of boundaries and moral standards. And they will take society with them.

I have yet to meet parents who say they wish their daughter became pregnant in high school (or even middle school), or that their son became an absentee father.

A final thought. In the past, and not so very long ago, girls were expected to marry as virgins. OK, many didn’t make it, but many did. Fear of pregnancy, social stigma, and wanting to be a “good” rather than a “fast” girl had a lot to do with it. But beyond that, by withholding sex and making the guys work for it- earn it, really- by getting a job and by marriage, the girls were forcing the guys to become civilized. Sex is a huge human drive and guys will work very hard to get it, and if becoming a responsible man and provider is the way to get it, by golly, guys will do it.

Now there is no incentive to be civilized. All the sex a guy can get without even buying her a soda, getting girls pregnant is a notch on a guy’s studly belt (so to speak), and he really has no parenting or financial obligations. Hey, it’s optional. And everyone is degraded. The babies suffer because they are born to a child and a shadow.

Has this generation degenerated to the human equivalent of dogs humping?

So very very sad.

I will keep you posted. I, for one, plan to react and bring in a series of speakers, former teen moms, their moms, and so on, to bring the kids a taste of reality. How will they know, if no one teaches them?

How does the military feel about Libya?

Under George Bush, our troops were told that they were going to Iraq and Afghanistan to protect American interests.  One can, of course, quibble with whether those wars have served American interests (which is not a quibble I want to have at this post).  But the point I want to make is that our young men and women were told that they were putting their lives on the line for their country.  They were protecting and defending.

In Libya, Defense Secretary Gates has stated explicitly that Libya itself has nothing to do with America’s vital interests, although it’s in a region that is important.  As best as I can tell, he hasn’t taken the next step, which is to say that what happens in Libya, though, will necessarily affect America’s interests in that region.

Obama has come out with a mountain of mush which boils down to a claim that the U.N. thinks this is a good idea for protecting some people in Libya, and we want Qaddafi out of there, although we won’t do anything actually to get him out of there, because that’s not our mission, even though we plan on having him leave.  We’ve since learned that significant sectors amongst the people who want Qaddafi out even more than Obama does — i.e., our allies — are Al Qaeda. For people with long memories, we’re fighting Al Qaeda all over the world, with American troops actively under fire in Afghanistan.

With those thoughts in mind about Libya — it’s an internationalist mission with no clear goals, that doesn’t necessarily benefit America, that sees us helping the same people who are trying to kill our guys in Afghanistan, one has to ask whether American troops have a sense of mission here?  Are they feeling the warm glow of altruistic humanitarians who are in the line of fire for people who have little to do with America and her interests (or are even routinely trying to kill Americans?  Do they have any sense that they are fulfilling their mission to protect and defend” if the people they’re protecting and defending are neither Americans nor American allies?  Or are they simply people who are doing their jobs, without a whole lot of mission analysis?

I’m a highly politicized, conservative, anti-Obama, pro-American, middle-aged armchair warrior.  With that bias, I know that I would not be happy to have my life on the line so that Libyan oil can flow to France and Al Qaeda can take over the Libyan government.  But that’s just me.  Do any of you have any sense about the boots on the ground thinking?

Michael Yon takes on Rolling Stone

Years ago, in another life, I dated a man who had worked for Rolling Stone and personally knew Jann Wenner.  (My ex-boyfriend claimed that a well-known Rolling Stone photographer was the one who introduced him to and got him hooked on cocaine.  I have no idea if he was telling the truth or not, but it made for a good story.)

My old boyfriend had cleaned up his act by the time I met him, and was decently reticent about his past, but it was pretty clear from the few stories he told that (a) Rolling Stone personnel, at least at one time, had embraced the drug culture with gusto and (b) that it was a sleazy, counter-culture magazine.  Today, all you need to do to know that it is still a sleazy, counter-culture (read:  anti-American) magazine is to buy a copy at the store — or, better yet, leaf through one and then abandon it without bothering to buy it.  As for the drug issues that were once a part of the magazine’s culture, perhaps the drugs’ legacy lives on and helps explain the shoddy, vicious journalism that routinely emanates from that saggy, flabby, 1960s era hangover.

Don’t believe me about shoddy, vicious journalism?  I understand that.  My old boyfriend’s stories about the magazine’s past are pure hearsay.  But right now, today, Michael Yon has actual percipient witness journalism on his side when it comes to challenging Rolling Stone’s most recent smear piece about our troops in Afghanistan.  Read Yon and your blood will boil.

Huge kudos to Yon, not only for his own journalism, but for his willingness to take on one of the old media’s sacred cows.

Yes, there is an Obama doctrine

Ed Morrissey has put together a very useful post summarizing various liberal media attempts to understand the Obama doctrine.  Morrissey concludes at the end that, try as hard as one likes, “There really is no doctrine.”

Morrissey is correct that there is no doctrine if one is looking for a verbally articulated doctrine.  Obama says everything, and Obama says nothing, and Obama says it all as boringly as possible.

The mere fact that the greatest communicator since Abraham Lincoln (that’s sarcasm, by the way) is incapable of articulating a doctrine, though, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one.  Indeed, if one buys for one minute into the whole greatest communicator shtick, it’s pretty clear that, as I said in my earlier post, that Obama intentionally obfuscates in his speeches because he doesn’t want people to know what the doctrine is.

Fortunately, because actions speak louder than words, we can arrive at the Obama Middle Eastern doctrine without any actual verbal help from Obama.  Here goes:

America can no longer selfishly engage in wars that directly affect (i.e., improve) her national interests.  To prevent her from doing so, she must always sublimate her sovereignty to the U.N.  A small number of U.N. players, most notably Europeans who are dependent on Libyan oil, have decided that Qaddafi must go.  Even though the number is smaller than the number that joined with Bush on Iraq, they’re the “in” crowd, so Obama must follow where they lead.  Hewing to the popular kid theory, these “cool” U.N. players matter more than the American Congress, which is made up of rubes and hicks, who lack that European savoir faire, even the useful idiots who hew to Obama’s political ideology.

A subset of this Obama doctrine is that, while America must never mine or drill her own energy resources, it is incumbent upon America to dig into her pockets to enable other countries to get to their energy resources, which America will then buy back at a premium.  This is American charity at its best.  If you want to feed a man for a day, buy him a fish.  If you want to feed him for a lifetime, teach him to fish, buy all his fishing equipment, stock the lake with trout, break all your fishing equipment, make it illegal to fish in your own lakes, and then buy that man’s fish back from him at the highest possible price.

And whatever else you do, make sure you kick Israel around . . . a lot.  That will make the cool kids (e.g., the Euro-trash and the Mullahs) happy.  It never pays to lose sight of your true constituency.