Iraq: Why Does It Feel Unfinished? Also, A Poll.

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Most Americans want our soldiers home. From Iraq. From Afghanistan. From every American-hating country in the world. It stinks being places, spending taxpayer money on ungrateful people.

Is it wrong that I have hope for Iraq and I don’t want to see it become Iran’s pet?

Here’s what Governor Perry said about Iraq:

“I’m deeply concerned that President Obama is putting political expediency ahead of sound military and security judgment by announcing an end to troop level negotiations and a withdrawal from Iraq by year’s end. The President was slow to engage the Iraqis and there’s little evidence today’s decision is based on advice from military commanders.

“America’s commitment to the future of Iraq is important to U.S. national security interests and should not be influenced by politics. Despite the great achievements of the U.S. military and the Iraqi people, there remain real threats to our shared interests, especially from Iran.

“The United States must remain a firm and steadfast ally for Iraq, maintaining an ongoing diplomatic, economic, and military to military partnership with this emerging democratic ally in the Middle East.

“As a veteran and commander-in-chief of national guard forces, I cannot express enough appreciation for our military service members who have protected and defended American interests in Iraq. Our Iraq war veterans made enormous sacrifices to make our nation and world safer, and I know all Americans will welcome them home with great pride and appreciation.”

Mitt Romney’s opinion here. Herman Cain’s statement here.

Newt Gingrich had an interesting statement:

The former U.S. Speaker of the House said he was critical of Bush’s decision to stay in Iraq after the initial 2003 campaign toppled Iraq President Saddam Hussein. Since then, he said, he has tried to support a solution, but none came.

“We won the first Iraq war in 1991 and very effectively, in four days driving them out of Kuwait. We won the second Iraq War in 2003 in defeating Sadam in 22 days,” he continued. “And then for reasons I don’t understand we tried to occupy and try to change Iraq and that eight-year campaign is now ending in failure. The fact is the Iranians are now stronger in Iraq than we are.

“This is not about Obama,” he continued. “This is about the general effort that far trensends Iraq. That we have to really reassess our strategies in the region and what we think we’re accomplish. The president is right. You can’t just leave 3,000 or 5,000 troops there. They would simply become targets. If you’re not going to occupy the country, you have to withdraw.”

Gingrich said he feels the same way about America’s effort to occupy and attempt to bring stability to Afghanistan, and said the same lessons “apply to the whole region.”

“We need to think very carefully about what we are doing there,” he said of Afghanistan.

His comments also came after new reports about Gadhaffi’s death suggested he may have been summarily executed by rebel troops.

“Vicoius dictators who torture and kill people are not in very good position to ask for mercy,” Gingrich said.

I don’t feel like Iraq is a failure, do you? It just seems like it could be more successful. It seems like the little sapling needs time to grow.

I’m curious about what Iraq vets feel about the draw-down. Do they feel like it’s the right thing to do? Informal survey for everyone. If you are a veteren, please share your opinion.

Should America leave Iraq?
Yes
No
  
pollcode.com free polls 



A 9/11 Round-Up: Please share links in comments, too

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

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I just put up my post about 9/11. It’s not exactly sunshine and daisies. Anyway, I’m posting other reactions here, too:

The sun rises — Picture of the 9/11 memorial this morning.

MUST READ: Raina Williams — Round Numbers Don’t Mean Anything

Reuters — Slideshow of pictures.

Wall Street Journal — Round up. Worth a look.

Erick Erickson — In memoriam. All the names.

Michelle Malkin — All the wrong 9/11 lessons

Peggy Noonan — We’ll never get over it

Israelly Cool — 9/11 Ten Years On (good videos)

Washington Post — F16 pilot willing to give her life on 9/11

Hugh Hewitt — President Bush’s moving tribute to Flight 93.

Gatewaypundit — Mayor Bloomberg dissing the clergy and first responders

Mark Steyn — “Let’s roll over” [Must read.]

Kerry Picket — “It’s insanity all over the city.

Blazing Cat Fur — Until tomorrow.

The Other McCain — On September 10th.

Cracked — 4 Reasons we need to start making fun of the terrorists.

Maggie’s Farm — Son made video for 6th grade classmates. Never forget.

Brendan Loy — Video of patriotism with audio from great American leaders’ speeches.

Yid With Lid — I remember, but too many forget.

Rick Reilly — A tribut to Flight 93: Let’s keep rolling.

Instapundit — A blog revolution begins.

The Telegraph, Toby Harden — Washington D.C., the other city attacked.

The Blaze — Celebrating the terrorists in art. In Germany.

Breitbart — President Clinton’s tribute to Flight 93 heroes.

Marathon Pundit — A time to celebrate.

Midnight Blue — Honoring soldiers.

Girl on the Right — Keeping the vigil.

Thoughtful Conservative — Identifying the Dead.

Chicago Sun Times — A survivor’s perspective: “I’ve already had the worst day.”

Carrie Underwood — National Anthem

Alexa Shrugged — I am overcome.

Bryan Myrick — For out enemies, the target will always be us.

Letters from Glome — A mighty fortress is our God.

Smitty, from Afghanistan — Arguably the best thing written on 9/11.

Warner Todd Huston — 9/11 Still infuriates.

Dan Spencer — A day for remembering.

Dan Spencer — A space commander remembers 9/11.

Viral Footage — Various videos to remember 9/11.

Karol Markowitz — We’re free, even to be over 9/11.

The Jersey-Texan — Never quit.

Pat Gohn — 9/11 and the ever-present Christ.

Pirates Cove — Another wrap-up.

Andrew Malcolm — Most Americans expect it again.

Lilac Sunday — I remember everything.

Mike Chamberlain — Never forget.

The Anchoress — Another link around. Also note, “The forgiveness gene.”

Father Robert Barron — Why we should forgive.

Chris Hitchens — Pure Evil.

Stephen Green — A look back.

Marco Rubio — Remembering 9/11.

Bookworm Room — I remember. (Pictures.)

James Taranto — Too soon to forget?

Michael Gershon — The Ugly Gash of 9/11

Don Surber — We shall fear no evil.

Seth Mandel — Why we won’t forget Giuliani’s leadership.

Michelle Malkin — The Littlest victims. Remembering the children who died on 9/11.

John and Joe — A firefighter father remembers his son .

Examiner — Lawsuit by 9/11 victims against Iran.

Lileks — The end of the world.

A Tribute — Watch it.

John Derbyshire — Barbarism v. Civilization via @Instapundit who has more



Podcast: The Take That! Wrap-Up Of Chrysler, The Crotchbomber And Poor Ben Nelson

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

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The “crotchbomber”, Chrysler, Blackwater, Healthcare, and the fact that Ben Nelson is in serious trouble are the topics of this week’s show.

Download

You can also subscribe to this podcast via iTunes by clicking here.



Napolitano’s TSA: Grab Those Evil Rich White Women, They’re Threatening

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

ivana3

Good grief.

Could it get any more absurd?

UPDATED:

Amy Alkon has more [Read the whole thing.] She says:

Clearly, in TSA-think, the way to remedy this is not to do better on catching the obvious terrorists; it’s to make Granny Johnson diaper up before getting on a plane, because she’ll no longer be able to get up in the final hour of flight to use the restroom. Or keep a personal item in her lap. Or bring more than one carry-on. And never mind that all of these new measures would have done zippo to stop this particular member of the “religion of peace,” had his explosive underpanties been wired by people a little less incompetent.



What Really Happened On Airtran Flight 297?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

So what happened on this flight? Certain accounts are being called into question, but the notion that something happened on that flight is not in dispute. Rusty Shackleford says this:

If after 9/11 native Arabic speakers don’t get why the rest of us get nervous around them on an airplane then they are living in a fantasy world.

Yes, you make us nervous. Especially when you behave in ways normally considered rude. We tend to overlook rudeness to varying degrees depending on the context of the situation.

And the language you speak does add an extra layer of context.

I certainly don’t approve of racism. But I’m also quite aware that hijackers are thousands of times more likely to be Muslims than of any other religious identity. And that a great number of Muslim hijackers are also Arabs. Like, all 19 on Sept. 11th.

So, note to readers: Arabs speaking loudly and ignoring the requests of stewardesses are probably not hijackers, just assholes.

But note to native Arabic speakers: show a little self control and sensitivity. You make a lot of people very nervous when you behave rudely. Some might call this fear irrational and they may have a point. But no more irrational than, say, instructing passengers how to use the airplane cushions as a flotation device. The odds of being hijacked and surviving a crash long enough to need them probably being similar.

Yes this sucks. We don’t live in an ideal world. It could be much worse. Embrace the suck.

From the witness I spoke to, Dr. Keith Robinson, the only people comfortable on the flight were the Arabic speaking men. They engaged in questionable behavior on the flight. They yucked it up at the baggage claim, as if the whole experience was humorous. The people on the flight seemed traumatized, according to him, and his job is to intervene in crisis situations.

Certainly, airlines want to avoid lawsuits. The TSA wants to avoid hijacking situations. And Americans don’t want to be perceived as being intolerant, even when they’re nervous (which is rational).

This seems like a cocktail for disaster.



Another Terrorist Dry Run: Part II Interview With Witness Dr. Keith Robinson–UPDATED

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Yesterday, I shared the account given by Tedd Petruna about Air Tran Flight 297 from Atlanta to Houston Hobby. Today, I interviewed Dr. Keith Robinson, Corps Commander of the Houston Regional  Community Chaplain Corps, as he actually took the flight, with the Arab men after Tedd and many other passengers got off the plane, once it was clear that both the TSA and Air Tran were going to allow the threatening passengers to stay on the flight.

Over at RedInk Texas, you’ll see how distorted the actual news accounts were of this incident. This incident was not just a matter of an unruly passenger refusing to hang up on a phone call. The whole flight crew refused to fly and had to be replaced.

Air Tran 297 is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Recall the Flying Imams controversy where the men sued the airlines and passengers and won a settlement from the airlines.

This circumstance occurred shortly after Major Hasan killed twelve soldiers at Fort Hood. The passengers were sensitized to a terrorist threat before the flight.

Dr. Robinson gave his first-hand account [find link here], typing up his impressions during the flight:
The flight crew hurriedly walked past me leaving the plane with their baggage.  The flight
attendants were emotionally shaken, red faced, in tears and were sobbing.  A new flight crew
was ordered for the flight.  All remaining passengers awaited their next crew, unsure of the
ultimate destiny of this flight.

When I boarded the plane the air was tense and filled with emotion.  Many of the passengers
were obviously upset and at wits end.  Often passengers would look back then forward to

assess any change in the suspicious activities of the 10 hostile Middle Eastern passengers.
Although my seat was 22D I moved to the back of the plane to gain a better view of any actions
that might take place in front of me.  Some of the Middle Eastern men were in the Business
Class area and the remainder was seated in the back of the plane. They spoke only Arabic and I
did not understand what they were saying although a strange burst of laughter would erupt as
they spoke.

His conclusion from the plane flight was thus:
Obviously, in Atlanta the officials from Air Tran had been placed in a difficult ethnic position  that directly resulted from the inappropriate, threatening actions of these 12 Middle Eastern men.  And, obviously vacillating between appropriately removing these men permanently off the plane and sequestering them for the threats they made toward these passengers on the flight…or taking the “politically correct” action of taking them off, questioning them and then putting most of them back on the plane…Air Tran took the easy way out and put most of them back on board.  As in most dilemma situations both parties are never equally affected by the resulting action.  By putting 10 of the men back on the plane, Air Tran decided that it was better to emotionally traumatize each and every one of the remaining passengers on Air Tran Flight 297 for the remainder of the flight.  They had a chance to remove the offenders…but didn’t.

Please listen to the podcast for a 45 minute detailed account. The first many minutes are Dr. Robinson giving his background. He gets into the meat of the experience around the 20 minute mark.

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When Melissa isn’t on the radio, you can find her at melissaclouthier.com and on Twitter. Her username is MelissaTweets.

UPDATED:

Ace has this analysis:

They seemed to make every effort to draw attention to themselves, which makes me think it’s unlikely this is really a terror-deal, or even a dry run for terror. Perhaps “probing,” but again, they seemed to really go out of their way to get some TSA lovin’.

Not necessarily terror, then, but the demonstrations of a thin-skinned bunch determined to fuck with the legitimate fears of infidels. And prove some stupid point. And maybe get a nice fat lawsuit out of it too.

I wrote recently — about the shootings at the Texas army base — that it is the ambiguous and contradictory orders, the confused and deliberately confusing orders from the policymakers and bureaucrats, that force those attempting to execute their intentionally-baffling non-policies to err on the side of not rocking the boat and not getting fired.

I don’t see anything changing this. Even after 14 people were killed at that army base, it’s not going to change.

Thanks to rockhead.

He also links to the Canadian Free Press (notice how many stories they’ve been breaking recently?):

On November 17, an incident took place aboard AirTran Flight 297 scheduled to fly from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to Houston that the media does not want to cover and everyone from the airline to the TSA and other government agencies want to keep very quiet. The reasons, I have been told, is fear of predatory lawsuits, negative publicity from accusations of religious profiling, and the obligatory subjugation to mindless mandatory Muslim sensitivity training that make a mockery of our American system of values. Interestingly, one airline official told me “we don’t want to become another flight 300,” which is a reference to a very similar scenario that took place aboard US Airways Flight 300 exactly three years ago.

I was first contacted about this incident two days after it happened by a passenger who was aboard AirTran Flight 297. Based on the allegations made by this passenger, we conducted additional research, interviews and investigation, all of which takes time to insure accuracy, and are now able to release our report of the incident that took place aboard that aircraft. Be prepared to be shocked, angered, and perhaps saddened by our national and corporate acquiescence to mafia-type tactics by Islamists who are engaged in a full frontal assault, and laughing about it.

It’s also hitting airline industry blogs.



Another Terrorist Dry Run

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Remember the flight from Atlanta to Houston that got turned around because of the guy who wouldn’t get off the phone? That’s not what happened. From the website Nobody Asked Me via Pierre LeGrand:

I was in 1st class coming home. 11 Muslim men got on the plane in full attire. 2 sat in 1st class and the rest peppered themselves throughout the plane all the way to the back. As the plane taxied to the runway the stewardesses gave the safety spiel we are all so familiar with. At that time, one of the men got on his cell and called one of his companions in the back and proceeded to talk on the phone in Arabic very loudly and very aggressively. This took the 1st stewardess out of the picture for she repeatedly told the man that cell phones were not permitted at the time. He ignored her as if she was not there.

The 2nd man who answered the phone did the same and this took out the 2nd stewardess. In the back of the plane at this time, 2 younger Muslims, one in the back, isle, and one in front of him, window, began to show footage of a porno they had taped the night before, and were very loud about it. Now….they are only permitted to do this prior to Jihad. If a Muslim man goes into a strip club, he has to view the woman via mirror with his back to her. (don’t ask me….I don’t make the rules, but I’ve studied). The 3rd stewardess informed them that they were not to have electronic devices on at this time. To which one of the men said “shut up infidel dog!” She went to take the camcorder and he began to scream in her face in Arabic. At that exact moment, all 11 of them got up and started to walk the cabin. This is where I had had enough! I got up and started to the back where I heard a voice behind me from another Texan twice my size say “I got your back.” I grabbed the man who had been on the phone by the arm and said “you WILL go sit down or you Will be thrown from this plane!” As I “led” him around me to take his seat, the fellow Texan grabbed him by the back of his neck and his waist and headed out with him. I then grabbed the 2nd man and said, “You WILL do the same!” He protested but adrenaline was flowing now and he was going to go. As I escorted him forward the plane doors open and 3 TSA agents and 4 police officers entered. Me and my new Texan friend were told to cease and desist for they had this under control. I was happy to oblige actually. There was some commotion in the back, but within moments, all 11 were escorted off the plane. They then unloaded their luggage.

We talked about the occurrence and were in disbelief that it had happen, when suddenly, the door open again and on walked all 11!! Stone faced, eyes front and robotic (the only way I can describe it). The stewardess from the back had been in tears and when she saw this, she was having NONE of it! Being that I was up front, I heard and saw the whole ordeal. She told the TSA agent there was NO WAY she was staying on the plane with these men. The agent told her they had searched them and were going to go through their luggage with a fine tooth comb and that they were allowed to proceed to Houston. The captain and co-captain came out and told the agent “we and our crew will not fly this plane!” After a word or two, the entire crew, luggage in tow, left the plane. 5 minutes later, the cabin door opened again and a whole new crew walked on.

Again…..this is where I had had enough!!! I got up and asked “What the hell is going on!?!?” I was told to take my seat. They were sorry for the delay and I would be home shortly. I said “I’m getting off this plane”. The stewardess sternly told me that she could not allow me to get off. (now I’m mad!) I said “I am a grown man who bought this ticket, who’s time is mine with a family at home and I am going through that door, or I’m going through that door with you under my arm!! But I am going through that door!!” And I heard a voice behind me say “so am I”. Then everyone behind us started to get up and say the same. Within 2 minutes, I was walking off that plane where I was met with more agents who asked me to write a statement. I had 5 hours to kill at this point so why the hell not. Due to the amount of people who got off that flight, it was cancelled. I was supposed to be in Houston at 6pm. I got here at 12:30am.

Recall, this post from Michelle Malkin and her thoughts on Anne Jacobson about the James Woods incident where Mohammed Atta was in a “dry run” a month before 9/11.

This has happened before. It could happen again. Will a country so cowed by political correctness, like the Army was, be unwitting dupes in their own demise yet again? If people in the Army were afraid to call out a psychotic superior, will common citizens resist?

I don’t believe we can count on the “officials” here any more than we’ve ever been able to count on them. Americans must be self-reliant. They must stand up for common sense. They must resist the social pressure to ignore threats because it might offend someone to do so.



The KSM Show Trial

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

I keep thinking that the Obama Administration is smarter. It’s painful thinking that they’re this stupid:

Of all the infuriating aspects of the decision to transfer five 9/11 war criminals to civilian federal court, the one that grates most is the contention that the Obama administration is finally moving forward after “eight years of delay” — as Attorney General Eric Holder put it at his Friday press conference — during which the Bush administration managed to complete only three military-commission trials.

This is chutzpah writ large. The principal reason there were so few military trials is the tireless campaign conducted by leftist lawyers to derail military tribunals by challenging them in the courts. Many of those lawyers are now working for the Obama Justice Department. That includes Holder, whose firm, Covington & Burling, volunteered its services to at least 18 of America’s enemies in lawsuits they brought against the American people. (During 2007 alone, Covington contributed more than 3,000 hours of free, top-flight legal assistance to our enemy detainees.)

Read everything from Andy McCarthy about this. And listen to this podcast to get all the background from McCarthy.

There is no defense for moving the trial to federal, civilian court in NYC. Jim Geraghty pulls some testimony from Eric Holder’s testimony today:

Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa): “I don’t think you can say that failure to convict is not an option, when we have juries in this country.”

Attorney General Eric Holder: I have thought about that possibility. Congress has passed legislation that would not allow the release of these individuals in this country. If there is not a successful conclusion to this trial, that would not mean that this person would be released into this country . . .

So, no matter what, KSM is going to be convicted and/or held? And how much money is going to be spent on the show trial?

Instapundit puts forth the theory that this is all a diversion to distract from the stealth care bill–Harry Reid is trying to bring the bill up for debate.

A distraction? An attempt to “regain moral stature”. A bone thrown to leftists?



The Tough Liberal: NY Is A-OK With Being A Terrorist Target–Updated

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Glenn Greenwald and his sock puppet said this on Twitter today, articulating, the self-congratulatory meme within the leftosphere:

RT @AnonLib “Strange that being ‘tough on terror’ = publicly soiling yourself at thought of being in same state as an imprisoned terrorist”

Newsflash lefties: You can’t have it both ways. Either these guys are scary dudes wanting to kill everyone and have buddies wanting to do the same or they’re hapless criminals who aren’t terrorists at all–they’re just misunderstood criminals. If it’s the latter, there’s no reason to be concerned which really means only a lame-o would be afraid. Therefore, you can’t claim extraordinary courage and bravery out of one side of your mouth, while diminishing the threat of these hardly-dangerous petty criminals out of the other side.

At least people who see terrorists for what they are–homocidal maniacs driven by psychotic ideology–rationally see the implicit threat to other innocent Americans, too. It is not cowardly to note a threat and protect the innocent from it. It is smart.

Sending KSM and his terrorist minions to New York City doesn’t demonstrate the lefts’ bravery, it demonstrates their stupidity. They would put innocent citizens at risk while costing the state millions. Oh yeah, brave.

UPDATED:

And this goes for you, too.

UPDATED AGAIN:

Brian Faugham notes that Mike Lupica has turned against the terrorist transfer to NY for civilian trial:

Is it truly so hard to see – as Lupica does – that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is getting exactly what he wants – the attention of the world as he mounts his own defense? Recall: the first thing Mohammed said after his capture was that he wanted to go to New York to consult with his lawyer. Rather than keeping him buried in a cell, the White House is rewarding him with the show trial of the century – one which will allow KSM to make his case to the entire world. How does this further American interests?

The great irony in this is that this process began when liberals told us that the prison at Guantanamo Bay had to be closed because it was the greatest terror recruiting tool Al Qaeda had ever had. Thanks to Barack Obama and Eric Holder, they’re getting a better one.

And that’s why the libs like Greenwald are so disingenuous. They lick their chops at making Bush look bad and fail to recognize that they kill the country in the process and feed Al Qaeda along the way. Or, maybe they do see those implications and seek the destruction of their own.



The Khalid Sheik Mohammed Folly & The Obama Administration

Monday, November 16th, 2009

For the best analysis, listen to this Brass Balls Radio podcast. The lawyers Clyde Middleton and Bill Dupray, Jimmie Bise of Sundries Shack and Steve Schippert of Threatswatch discuss the trial and what is up with Obama. I encourage you to listen.

James Joyner says this about the civilian trial:

First, these men are not citizens of the United States. Second, they’re accused war criminals. They simply should not be tried in U.S. civilian courts. Rather, they should either be held accountable in a Nuremberg-style international forum or treated as war criminals by a U.S. military tribunal under the mechanisms provided by Congress and approved by the Supreme Court.

Aside from the virtual certainty that the trial will devolve into a media circus, there’s an incredibly good chance that Mohammed and his comrades will go free. The fact that KSM was repeatedly waterboarded would seem to taint any subsequent evidence, including his own confession.

It’s only a head-scratcher if you don’t consider that this is an indirect way for the Obama administration to put the Bush administration on trial without putting Bush directly on trial. Although, I can see the defense wanting to depose President Bush about his decision to okay water boarding. This is a bone thrown to the hard left.