Per an email I received, veterans are organizing to clip the wings of an anti-military Commander In Chief

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicleI cannot vouch for the following email’s veracity. That is, I do not know whether it’s true that there’s rising distress in the military about the Obama administration or whether it’s true that troops and veterans are beginning to share political information amongst themselves directed at clipping Obama’s wings in 2014. A lot of the information about ROEs sounds old, but the reference to the 2014 election indicates that this is a current email. All I can say is that I got this and found it interesting enough to pass along:

You may not be a veteran but you might know someone who is to pass this on to.

VET’S BACKLASH AGAINST OBAMA, A movement has been started by our armed forces, to get out the vote in 2014. They are organizing themselves, but this can be done by all of us. The President, the Commander in Chief, has made the Rules of Engagement (ROE) so difficult, that our troops are often killed before they can even get permission to fight. Nothing has been done to stop our troops from being murdered by Afghanis they are training, either. Now, the President wants the US to sign on to the UNs International Criminal Court (ICC), which would allow the UNs ICC to arrest and try US troops for War Crimes, without the legal protections guaranteed under US Law, and from which there is no appeal. The President, with his Democratic control of the Senate, has nearly all the power. If the Non-Establishment can take back the Senate in 2014, our troops can once again be protected from unnecessary danger. Please consider this, and send it on to your mailing lists. Thank You and Semper Fi,

Interestingly enough, when GWB was president you heard about the military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan almost daily. With Obama in the White House, the mainstream media has been strangely quiet. More than 1,000 American soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan in the last 27 months. This is more than the combined total of the nine years before. Thirty have died in August. During the last month, over 50 additional NATO and US servicemen have been murdered, inside jobs by those who are hired to be a force for good in Afghanistan .

The commander in chief is AWOL. Not a peep, although he ordered the White House flag flown at half-staff for the Sikhs that were killed. There is a deep disgust, a fury, growing in the ranks of the military against the indifferent incompetence of this president.

It has taken on a dangerous tone. No one knows what to do about him, but the anger runs deep as the deaths continue with no strategic end in sight to the idiocy of this war. Obama has had 4 years to end this futile insanity, during which time he has vacationed, golfed, campaigned, and generally ignored the plight of our men and women in uniform. But, there is now a movement afoot in the armed services to launch a massive get out the vote drive against this president. Not just current active duty types, but the National Guard, Reserves, the retired, and all other prior service members. This is no small special interest group, but many millions of veterans who can have an enormous impact on the outcome of the November election if they all respond.

The million military retirees in Florida alone could mean an overwhelming victory in that state if they all show up at the polls. It might not keep another one hundred U.S. troops from dying between now and November, but a turn out to vote by the military against this heart breaking lack of leadership can make a powerful statement that hastens a change to the indifference of this shallow little man who just lets our soldiers die.

(Thanks to Caped Crusader)

Missing headlines: Obama’s Pentagon kills American troops

On November 7, 2011, the Army sent out a tweet.  It forgot to tell anyone that the Obama ROE's made this tweet a lie.

On November 7, 2011, the Army sent out this tweet. It forgot to tell anyone that the Obama ROE’s made this tweet a lie.

Do you remember how, during the Bush years, Democrats and Progressives wept every night for those poor American troops being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan? Those tears are dried now that Obama is in the White House, but the troops are still dying — and worse, they are dying in increasing numbers because the Obama Pentagon has put into place rules of engagement that ensure troop deaths:

[I]t is clear that the rules of engagement, which restrain troops from firing in order to spare civilian casualties, cut back on airstrikes and artillery strikes — the types of support that protect troops during raids and ambushes.

“In Afghanistan, the [rules of engagement] that were put in place in 2009 and 2010 have created hesitation and confusion for our war fighters,” said Wayne Simmons, a retired U.S. intelligence officer who worked in NATO headquarters in Kabul as the rules took effect, first under Army Gen. Stanley M. McChrystal, then Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.

“It is no accident nor a coincidence that from January 2009 to August of 2010, coinciding with the Obama/McChrystal radical change of the [rules of engagement], casualties more than doubled,” Mr. Simmons said. “The carnage will certainly continue as the already fragile and ineffective [rules] have been further weakened by the Obama administration as if they were playground rules.”

Read more here.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:  I support the military, but Obama is hell bent on changing it into a military that is hard to support.  It’s becoming a metrosexual death trap, if you will.

Uneasy about Libya?

First, let me say that I am absolutely delighted that Qaddafi is no longer with us. Good riddance! For me it’s personal, as I had many Libyan college mates that were refugees from and victims of the early days of his dictatorship. I wish them well in building a bright future for their country.

Still, I feel somewhat uneasy about how this played out. For decades (centuries?), countries have operated under a written or unwritten rule that you don’t assassinate other heads of state in a “we don’t do it to them so that they don’t do it to us” understanding. Kings don’t kill kings. Technically, it is illegal for the U.S. to assassinate political leaders with whom we are not in a state of war, if I recall my history properly. If I am wrong on this point, please correct me (DQ? Book? You’re both attorneys…help me out).

Now, this does not apply to illegal terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda, of course. In Libya, however, Qaddafi was the leader of a government with whom we had diplomatic relations and upon which war had not been declared. In the case of Saddam Hussein, he was arrested by the U.S. army in a theater of war, approved by Congress and operating under a United Nations mandate. He was put on trial by a legitimate Iraqi government. The case of Diem in South Vietnam was also highly problematic.

Now, technically, we didn’t kill Qaddafi…he was killed by a Libyan citizen. However, the argument could be made that we (i.e., NATO) set up the killing, especially if his convoy was hit by a U.S. drone or British warplane. We may not be dealing so much with the letter of the law as with the intent of the law.

Again, I don’t mourn Qaddafi. However, my unease about what transpires stems from the fact that the official and unofficial international rules on war, political killing and assassination appear to have undergone a major phase change.

Am I right or wrong to be concerned on this issue? Please let me know.


Don’t shoot until you see the red of your own blood; or, liberal rules of engagement

“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”  — attr. to various generals at the Battle of Bunker Hill (although it has a longer pedigree than that).

Liberals have been orgasmically excited by a video that Wikileak published showing a 2007 shootout in Baghdad, during which two Reuters stringers died.  Wikileaks contends that the video shows ordinary guys just walking down the streets with cameras, when suddenly blood-thirsty U.S. troops rained horror and death down on them from the skies.  That’s certainly how it’s being sold in the liberal American and European media.

My liberal husband, who saw the story in the New York Times, was “shocked” at the type of killing machines the U.S. troops were.  After he admitted that he hadn’t actually watched the video, I explained that the video took place in a moving battle zone, and that the photographers were embedded with non-uniformed combatants who were carrying guns, including what looked like an RPG.  I also said the vehicle that pulled up later was unmarked and that more men, also out-of-uniform, came spilling out.  My husband fussed and fulminated about the fact that this was “no excuse” for what the Americans did.  My son was more to the point:  “RPGs?  Those photographers were idiots.”

If you’d like details about the combat zone; the weapons; the lack of identification on the photographers, the combatants and the vehicles; and the explicitly stated, on-the-ground perceptions of the American troops, Bill Roggio and Rusty Shackleford have been all over this one.  You can read Rusty here, here and here.  Roggio’s analysis is here and here.  (Bob Owens chimes in here too.)

I wanted to talk about something different, which is the liberal perception of rules of engagement.  It’s very clear from the coverage that liberals believe that American soldiers should not be firing if they merely perceive themselves to be at risk, no matter the amount of evidence supporting that perception.  Liberals would rather see a battalion of soldiers die, than suffer the loss of one Reuters photographer who deliberately places himself in a battle zone, and goes about without any identification or advanced warning. (Of course, the lack of advanced warning arises because the reporters and photographers who have embedded themselves with combatants hostile to the US can’t exactly let the US know in advance where the combatants will be.  That is one of the risks of embedding with one side or another during a war.  You take the same strikes your new comrades take.)

Given their sensibilities, the liberal ROEs are simple:  You can’t know that someone wants to kill you until they actually try to kill you.  American troops, therefore, should not fire until one of their own has been bloodied or killed.  Only in that way can they be absolutely assured that they are firing at a legitimate military target, and not simply firing at something that looks like a legitimate military target.

These ROEs, of course, get expanded to world conflicts.  Just because Iran is busy building a nuclear arsenal and has spent the last 30 years stating explicitly that it believes Israel should and will be destroyed in a tremendous Holocaust is meaningless.  Because there are good people in Iran (true), it’s simply not fair to judge Iran by its words and conduct, if those words and conduct fall short of actually launching a nuclear missile at Tel Aviv.  Only when Iran follows through on its threats, and actually launches that nuclear missile, can Israel be justified in taking the chance that any defensive actions might kill innocent civilians.

Rage from the Right — by guest blogger COL. USAF (RET)

In this world of instant messages, communications, and news coverage, where nothing held back from the viewer and where the phrase “The public has the right to know” is seen as some sort of sacred trust, we have profaned our selves and our society to the god of success. When this is matched with the ubiquitous left slant of anything with a major audience, I tend to suffer periods of rage. Success seems to be defined by the ability to have YouTube, facebook, media, and twitter followers in the millions and enough cash on hand to spend extravagantly without recourse to any sort of “common sense” (which I have become convinced is not at all that common). To continue this diatribe I have seen some things over the past few weeks that have really set me off.

1. There is no restraint because, after all, we might miss some critical element if we used such a thing.  Nothing is out of reason.

A young man, mortally wounded and lying on the battlefield has no privacy. This is a picture worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, or whatever award there is for morbid photography.  After all this is NEWS! “What about his parents and other family members?” “Forget it, this could…get me money, make me famous, increase my circulation, set me up for life.”  Just pick one of the responses that some despicable, cockroach of an editor would use.  “Humanity, dignity…PAH! just gets in the way.  How can I get rich and famous if I have to play using those outmoded rules?  Rules are for suckers, and I know better.”

I don’t know if thoughts of that sort went through the minds of those who were responsible for the despicable act of printing those pictures, but I believe that the media gods of news, “right to know” and fame all went through those minds. What is truly a sign of the times is that the people responsible actually heard from the family who requested that the picture not be published and after considered review some still printed it.

Maybe the ideal of a genteel society is way 1950s, but a certain amount of restraint and civility would be nice to see once in a while.  In the same way, but not as tragic, I just don’t need to see three days of funerals for people I would be ashamed of calling my friends.

2. The same week had news stories about UN lawyers (who are worse than ordinary lawyers, some of whom I’ve learned aren’t all bad), with true malevolence in their hearts (or whatever substitutes in them for that organ), from some country or philosophy that has a bone to pick with the US, see our military as the perfect way to get back at any real or imagined slight or offense they think America has committed. Their target is conduct by troops in battle.

If you have never been in combat, it is exhilarating and scary at the same time.  My combat was not as close in as the ground troops, but I understand that feelings run hot in combat.  Occasionally things go wrong, and I certainly would not condone that, but the best people to review / punish the wrong doer are not those who have never been shot at, never seen that life or death moment up close and personal.

When these … UN parasites came to Bosnia (yes, I was involved in some of that also) they did not really go after the man in the field, they went after the bosses, the generals, the Secretary of Defense, and even the President. They accused them of “war crimes” because we were on the other side of the political fence.  The International Criminal Court is an unspeakable mockery of what used to be justice in the US.

It used to be said that the winning side wrote the history of the conflict.  No more.  Now, it is the Left leaning historians in conjunction with the Left leaning National Education Association of teachers that explain how we, even if we did win, were the worst sort of humans possible.  Well, there is some solace, I don’t think that the UN will go after our President this time, even if he probably intends to leave the Afghanistanis out to hang.  This will give the terrorists such a boost that all we can expect a future with more and more of the same.  Next it will be 3 or maybe 4 Al-Quada groups in the US, and the really horrible thing is that some of them will be US citizens.  Enough!

3. I delayed writing this third point so I could get some of the violent passion out of it, but passion doesn’t go away when the news (or maybe rumor) is about a US unilateral nuclear disarmament.  I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent in airplanes on airfields that weren’t nice, cushy, American garden-spots, but were, instead, hell holes, defending and being an integral part of our nuclear force.  I spent a sizable portion of my life in some not very nice places displaying a military presence, and I don’t like it that someone is trying to give up that protection because of a distorted and profane view of the world.

One of the reasons we have such a difficult time in the world is that Americans generally tend to judge people in other countries against a very Ameri-centric viewpoint.  It doesn’t work when judging the efforts of other religions, nor does it work while judging other countries who view us as the enemy to be defeated.  With just a little travel, open mindedness, observation, and a smattering of intelligence, that childish world view should go away.  The world is not a very nice place.  People are not our friends.  I do not advocate sending the military in for every little thing and beating up friends and enemies alike (as Clinton did).  Far from it. The most pacifistic people I know are those who have to go and risk their very lives defending our country. I know that I don’t know many Left wing pacifists, but I have eyes and ears, and I can recognize them when they make the news.  I guess it’s good that I no longer watch much TV, although football season is here.

4. One of the worst things that I have heard about recently has to do with our troops on the ground.  I am one who advocates that unless we get those dirty boots on the ground, we win nothing.  Anyway, in this bright new world, in the combat zones, we are overly concerned with Rules of Engagement (ROE).  We need rules of war (engagement) so that we do not become like the ones we are fighting.  What has to be taken into account, though, is that the ROE’s have to adapt when your enemy violates every precept of the accepted ROE and fights from churches and schools.  Instead of adapting so that we can fight these tactics, wee go out of our way to add more and more restrictions, effectively handcuffing our people.

Not only that, but when we send them to untenable situations, we don’t protect them when they do get in a fight. Currently, in Afghanistan, we have some of those added ROE.  If there is a possibility that some civilians may be in the field of view of our weapons, we hold weapons tight (no expending).  What does that do? Well the enemy just needs to be in the vicinity of civilians and fire at will.  We cannot counterattack, we can’t use artillery or air support because there is a chance — mark that, a chance — that some civilians will get hurt. In the case of ambushes, we lose.

All of this is especially difficult when our enemy look just like the civilians, not just physically, but in manner of dress also.  A precept of the Geneva Conventions that many in this great country seem to disregard is that the enemy has to be uniformed to get Geneva Benefits.  If they are fighting in civilian garb, they are outlaws and have no Geneva Convention Benefits. I do not believe that we can or should go in and kill everyone in an area, but we must be able to protect our young men and women in combat situations.  They are OUR CHILDREN.

5. Lastly, recently there was a NYT reporter who went where he was warned against going.   He just had to get the story, and maybe become this generation’s Ernie Pyle. Did he get his story?  I guess he did.  Was it worth it?  Ask the family of his translator who was killed, or the family of the young British soldier who was killed during his rescue.  This was so utterly pointless.  Why did he go where it wasn’t safe for a story that will be forgotten in a month?  Was this bit of journalistic grandstanding worth two, maybe three lives?  Did he know that if he got into trouble the military would get him out?  This was a reporter from the NYTimes, not a credible newsprint organization and one that has a definite anti-military/anti-American outlook.  What the heck was he doing there, and what the heck was his goal?  Do you think he and his employers even appreciated that we, the capitalistic, repressive, just plain bad military, risked our people to get him to safety?  I actually had someone in my office send around his report and say how good it was.  That was followed by a reminder of the cost and comment on whether the story was worth it.

It has not been a great couple of weeks.  My hope is that, even if congress (nope won’t capitalize it) passes Obamacare, that before it can be enacted to any great degree the next Congress, with considerably fewer Ds, will rescind it. Maybe we can get SCOTUS to take a hack first.  But the former will only occur if we vote the … buggers out.  So get your neighborhoods organized and tell the real story of what is going on.