Thursday, December 07, 2023

Finally, some high-ranking, active-duty, public pushback against the Petraeus-McChrystal-Mullen-Gates-Kilcullen-Bush-Obama world of COIN. From Defense News:

The U.S. military's counterinsurgency tactics increasingly place too much emphasis on protecting local peoples and not enough on fighting enemy forces, said U.S. Special Operations Command chief Adm. Eric Olson.

While the U.S. military has adopted a population-focused strategy in Afghanistan, Olson said May 26 he "fears counterinsurgency has become a euphemism for nonkinetic activities."

The term is now to often used to describe efforts aimed at "protecting populations," Olson said during a conference in Arlington, Va.

The military's top special operator, in a shot across the bow of modern-day counterinsurgency doctrine proponents, then added: "Counterinsurgency should involve countering the...

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From Fjordman, a story about the Obama administration's new security strategy. Call it the rope the Obama adminstration is selling -- sorry, making us buy -- to hang ourselves.

From today's Telegraph report

"We've seen an increasing number of individuals here in the United States become captivated by extremist activities or causes," said John Brennan, deputy national security advisor for counter-terrorism and homeland security. "The president's national security strategy explicitly recognises the threat to the United States posed by individuals radicalised here at home," Mr Brennan said Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Major Nidal Hasan, an American-born army psychiatrist who is the only suspect in the killing of 13 people at Fort Hood army base last year, was allegedly drawn to radical thought while serving in the armed forces.


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More encouraging vital signs from the body politic via the LA Times:

Out Wednesday is a new CNN/Public Opinion poll indicating that even more Americans want:

-- The number of illegal immigrants decreased (76%, up from 73%).

-- Illegal immigrants removed from the country (41%, up from 37%).

-- To halt the influx of illegal immigrants and deport those here (60%).

-- To assign more federal agents to security on the Mexico border (88%).

-- To fine employers of illegal immigrants tens of thousands of dollars (71%).

As you may know, frustrated...

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It so happens I recently received a copy of Betrayed from author Joseph D. Douglass, Jr, a national security scholar and consultant I have come to know since reading his truly mind-blowing book Red Cocaine,which makes the extremely persuasive case that the international illegal drug trade that has consumed so many lives in this country, shredding the fabric of American society in the process, had origins, support and direction as a weapon of communist, mainly Soviet aggression. 

Betrayed is no less sensational, investigating the case that after all of our wars even secondarily involving the Soviet Union, which include even World Wars I and II when we were "allies" as well as Korea and Vietnam during the Cold War, thousands of American servicemen were captured and "left behind," with some horrifying number of them subject to atrocities, including medical and drug experimention ...

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Photo: Johannesberg's Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes


Chalk one up for sharia in South Africa:

From the Mail & Guardian, an update on -- really, a walk-back from -- the South African Motoon story:

"This is not the Muhammad of the Danish cartoons"

Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes reiterated this week that the decision to publish Zapiro's controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad on Friday did not imply that the newspaper supported the "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" Facebook group that had sparked outrage in Pakistan and other Muslim countries. ...

Get ready for Nic Dawes, free speech hero:

"I've consistently said I do not support the Facebook group, and would not have run the cartoon if it was racist or islamophobic. It is neither. It is a gentle attempt to enter the debate," Dawes said. "This is not the...

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It may or may not not have bullets, but COIN is on the march.

From Navy Times:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has directed the military services to adopt a set of counterinsurgency tools modeled after ones instituted in Afghanistan by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said a senior Pentagon official.

Gates signed a directive on Monday ordering the services to “take McChrystal’s COIN training and proficiency standards ... and adapt those for the whole force,” Garry Reid, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combat terrorism, told Defense News on Tuesday.

The idea is to take the kinds of COIN training and “proficiency” standards that McChrystal, the top American general in Afghanistan, implemented there with his “AfPak Hands” program.

They're working so well?

The “Hands” effort...

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Zapiro is a South African cartoonist, who drew the above riff on Muslim protests of "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Zapiro's cartoon may be in flagrant violation of sharia (Islamic law), but  South Africa is not under Islamic law. Or is it?  

From Saturday's Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg:

A Zapiro cartoon published in the Mail & Guardian has angered Muslims countrywide and the SA Muslim Judicial Council on Saturday called on its followers to express their condemnation and disapproval of it. "The Muslim community takes this opportunity to express the deep hurt it feels at the caricaturing of the Prophet Muhammad in the M&G," the council's website said.

"The Muslim leadership appeals to all Muslims to express their condemnation and disapproval  ... Muslims in South...

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From the May 20th press briefing at the State Department:

QUESTION: Do you have any comment on Pakistan’s blockage of – Pakistan’s – to YouTube and other web – internet sites?

MR. CROWLEY: I do. Obviously, this is a difficult and challenging issue. Many of the images that appear today on Facebook were deeply offensive to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We are deeply concerned about any deliberate attempt to offend Muslims or members of any other religious groups. We do not condone offensive speech that can incite violence or hatred.

The page at issue was posted anonymously at the website of a private company. It is now a legal matter between Facebook and the Government of Pakistan. But that said, we also believe that the best answer to offensive speech is dialogue and debate, and in fact, we see signs that that is exactly what is occurring...

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The above photos show (left) a US border patrolman escorting 105 aliens (right) apprehended in the mountains southwest of Tuscon, Arizona on April 28, 2010.

From the Arizona Daily Star report:

They were taken to the Tucson station to be fingerprinted and set up for return to their home countries.

Through the first six months of fiscal year 2010, agents in the Tucson Sector had made 119,000 apprehensions, up from the 112,000 they had made...

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The Christian Science Monitor reports that the Pakistani ban on Facebook over Draw Mohammed Day now extends to Youtube, Blackberry and Wikipedia, while Business Week notes 450 sites have also been blocked for "blasphemous" material.

From the CSM story:

Pakistani politicians have either remained silent or expressed support of the ban. On Wednesday, Talha Mehmood, chairman of the Senate standing committee on interior affairs,...

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One of thousands of Mo-toons up and about the web today.


The gal who thought it up may have wanted to call it back (she's from Seattle), but it was an idea whose time had come. So while Holly Norris has actually "joined a Facebook page that decries the "Draw Muhammad" campaign -- "AGAINST Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" --  and is "reaching out" to local Muslims (whatever that means), the Mohammed draw-a-thon continues, drawing tens of thousands of participants on blogs and, movement-like, on Facebook around the world.

Western world, that is.

Indeed, if ever Kipling's line about East and West and never the twain shall meet had graphic illustration, it's today (again).

Pakistan -- you know, our "ally" in the war on whatever (insert primal scream) -- has erupted in protests over Draw Mo day (naturally), and the government...

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The House Armed Services Committee today approved an amendment to the 2011 defense authorization bill that declares the 2009 shootings at the Little Rock recruiting station and at Ft. Hood to be acts of war. Or at least a lawyerly equivalent as acts "of an enemy of the United States." This provision will enable the government to provide, as Marine Times reports, a "one-time payment equal to what those killed and wounded would have received if they were in a combat zone at the time of the shootings."


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It may take some of the sting out to refer to the Obama administration as a "regime," but it also absolves us, the electorate, of complicity in enabling this top-to-bottom revolution to be lawfully, democratically advanced.

Before reading up on some of its fruits below, via Reuters, bear in mind that next month marks the 25th anniversary of the Hezbollah beheading of CIA Beirut station chief William Buckley (after more than a year of torutre) and the Hezbollah beating/murder of Navy diver Robert Stethem aboard Hezbollah hijacked TWA 847.

"Hezb" "Allah," or Party of Allah -- "the spear of Iranian influence in the Levant," as the Wall Street Journal has called...

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Photo: Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna and his family


Today is Michael Behenna's 27th birthday, which he is marking in military prison. He is there, wrongfully, unjustly, serving a 25 year prison sentence for, in essence, fighting the war in Iraq. Details at Defend Michael, the website his parents have set up on his behalf.

Today, the Behennas sent out the following birthday message to Michael's supporters:

Today is Michael’s 27th birthday.  While he won’t be ‘celebrating’ it in any real sense (no cake and candles in prison), his spirits have been incredibly lifted by the hundreds and hundreds of cards of letters he’s received in the just the past week alone.  He is overwhelmed by your support and personally wanted us to tell you how much it means to him. As mentioned...

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The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe published Part 2 of a revealing series on COIN in action, the focus this time on the aftermath of the disastrous attack on COP Keating in Kamdesh, Afghanistan last fall, discussed here.

Keating itself -- indefensable, exposed -- was COIN in action,  "nation-building at a local level," as a reporter noted in 2007. What's interesting (chilling) here is how even after the disaster waiting to happen happened -- the attack by 300 Taliban that left 8 Americans dead -- COIN just picked itself up and marched on.

Some excerpts:


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Robert Conquest, eminent British historian of the Soviet Union, writes in his 2005 essay collection, Reflections on a Ravaged Century:

It has sometimes been suggested that the Cold War was a conflict between two "ideologies," equally (or so it appears) closed. But the Western approach was not an "ideological" one at all. It is important that this confusion of the issue be ended -- if only because it features in low-level comment even now. The Western culture had, in a general way, a view of politics which included policitical liberty and the rule of law. It did not have a universal and exclusively defined mind-set.

A significant point, but one that is lost to us, and not just in "low-level comment." I was reminded of this distinction in considering that Miguel Estrada has written a letter  endorsing the candidacy -- sorry, appointment -- of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Writing at the Weekly Standard, Jim Prevor explains why this letter was "ill-advised."


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I am late posting video of last week's Islamic assault on Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, which turned his Uppsala University lecture on free speech (naurally) into a melee. How late am I? Before I could get the Tuesday attack online, his home in Scania, Sweden was firebombed Saturday night. There is something rotten, and not just in Denmark, when it is unarmed, bespectacled, sometimes elderly cartoonists who are the ones laying it all on the line for free speech in the West. Video and an account of the arson attack from the Danish Free Press Society's Sappho below:

"Arson Attack on Cartoonist's Home"

By Uwe Max Jensen,

During the night of May 15 unknown perpetrators smashed a window in Lars Vilks' house in Scania, Sweden, poured gasoline into the bouilding and proceeded to set fire to it.

By coincidence...

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This week's syndicated column:

The second attack on the World Trade Center is coming. It will stand 13 stories high, cost $100 million dollars and include a mosque. Known as Cordoba House -- the name echoing an early caliphate that, of course, subjugated non-Muslims -- it will be located two blocks away from where our magnificent towers crashed and burned, easy wafting distance for the Islamic call to prayer.

How demoralizing is that? Let's step back for some historical perspective. With the U.S. military preparing its assault on the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, there's a not-too-wild comparison to be made between the mind-blowing reality of New York City approving a mosque at Ground Zero and the unthinkable notion of Honolulu authorities, with GIs massing for the ultimately unnecessary invasion of Japan, approving Shinto shrine construction adjacent...

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A: The American Academy of Pediatricians' statement on female genital mutilation (FGM). The AAP now, shockingly, advocates "the ritual nick" as a compromise position between that of Western civilization, which safeguards girls from such barbarism, and that of the Third World, largely but not exclusively Muslim, communities, that practice such barbarism on girls.

It's called losing out civilization, one nick at a time.

From the AAP statement (which, in calling female genital mutilation (FGM) female genital cutting (FGC) is already neutralizing the practice):

Most forms of FGC are decidedly harmful, and pediatricians should decline to perform them, even in the absence of any legal constraints. However, the ritual nick suggested by some pediatricians is not...

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Arizona is suffering from the failures of the federal government to secure America's border with Mexico. The Arizona legislature has passed a law designed to bring state law into conformity with unenforced federal law, which already, for example, makes it a crime to be in this country illegally (duh).

It also stipulates that “For any lawful stop, detention or arrest* made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…”

*This phrase, as Byron York reports, has been added...

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In Gen. Petraeus' lengthy AEI discourse on military bureacracy last week (discussed here), he didn't much talk about how, exactly, the "big ideas" of COIN work in the military theater. Here's a recent example from CBS, which is following Third Battalion, First Marines, currently in Forward Operating Base Karma in Helmand Province:

In this part of Helmand province almost all of the Marines' patrols are on foot - the few roads that run north-south parallel to the river have been heavily sewn with IEDs, which makes travel in vehicles dangerous, or very slow if they have to sweep the roads in front of them every time they go out. But on foot the Marines are far more maneuverable, they can walk through fields and over ditches along unpredictable routes to minimize the IED threat. The Taliban generally don't plant IEDs in fields, as that alienates the local population.


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Last week, Gen. David Petraeus delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as the recipient of the annual Irving Kristol Award. After brief introductory acknowledgements and an anecdote concerning Caesar (?), he said:

I've thought long and hard about what to discuss this evening. I thought, for example, I might provide an update on the Central Command area of responsibility, a region that clearly encompasses many challenges.

Uh-oh. I wonder if there was even minimal squirming in the audience at this point. After all, the general's recent comments echoing the Arabist narrative on Israel as the culpable driver of regional unrest must have penetrated some corners of AEI. Then again, maybe not. Anyhow, he steered clear, saying:


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A fellow journalist wrote in recently and told me he, too, believed that COIN-driven nation-building in Afghanistan was a futile strategy but asked how I thought we could pull out without withdrawal becoming a Vietnam-style disaster?

I wrote back and said:

In a nutshell, there is no Good way to stay under current conditions and there's no Good way to get out under current conditions  -- at least so long as we fail (in spades under Obama) to face global jihad and declare and set policy accordingly. (I actually wrote a "speech"  in two successive columns in 2006 for GWB to do exactly that and leave Iraq due to the incompatibility of our strategic and philosophical imperatives. ) If we wait for the perfect way out, we'll be...

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UPDATE 5:23 pm: CNN may be rearranging their schedule again. In all honesty, I'm sure not sure when the Lakin interview will appear.

A reader points out that at yesterday's White House meeting of the national security muckety-mucks, not one in the illustrious assembly did a thing to secure the nation on Times Square Bomber Day, at least not until after a couple of street vendors named Duane Jackson and Lance Orton (above) noticed smoke coming out of what turned out to be the car bomb. Why? Because they, and the rest of our elites, can't, don't, and don't want to see the national threat.

This week's syndicated column:

There were some big losers in the national guessing game over the identity of the failed Times Square bomber this week. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the booby prize for picking "someone who doesn't like the healthcare bill or something."

That was before Pakistani-born, 2009-naturalized Faisal Shahzad was apprehended Sunday night trying to flee to Dubai. Even after that point, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel was holding out for "a right-wing militia man," while an array of MSM...

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I just happened to revisit an end-days campaign flap that I had forgotten over Joe the Plumber's completely accurate, instinctive understanding that then-Candidate Obama would be a disaster as president for Israel. The media, from ABC's Jake Tapper to Fox's Shepherd Smith and Carl Cameron, piled on him for it, repeating Obama's hollow assurances of support for Israel, while ignoring Joe's logic: He just knew that someone willing to negotiate with Iran without preconditions couldn't be an ally of Israel. Their unprofessional gullibilty, of course, goes forever unremarked.      

Joe the Plumber more famously i.d.'d Candidate Obama as a Marxist -- another unappreciated public service -- but it turns out he also had O's foreign policy nailed, too.


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Margaret Hemenway writes in to report that LTC Terry Lakin will be appearing live with Anderson Cooper tonight on CNN at 10 pm EST, 7 pm PST.

From the American Patriot Foundation's press release:

Army Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, who is being court-martialled by the Army for refusing to obey orders to deploy to Afghanistan because the President refuses to prove his eligibility under the Constitution to hold office, will appear with his attorney tomorrow night in a live interview on CNN’s top-rated “Anderson Cooper 360” program.

The American Patriot Foundation, a non-profit group incorporated in 2003 to foster appreciation and respect for the U.S. Constitution, in the one month since establishing a fund to provide a legal defense to LTC Lakin, has received generous donations from more than 1,200 separate individuals. See the Foundation's website for details.

Margaret adds:

Please watch Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday at 10p Eastern and email us...

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Medal of Courageous Restraint: Will they be eligible?

Ruth King sent along this AP report featured at NRO:

FORWARD OPERATING BASE RAMROD, Afghanistan – NATO commanders are weighing a new way to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan: recognizing soldiers for “courageous restraint” if they avoid using force that could endanger innocent lives.

The concept comes as the coalition continues...

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Above is a photo from Fitna, Geert Wilders' remarkable short film about what we know but won't admit: Islam is waging jihad on the West to bring sharia to the world.

As acts of jihad in this country have become commonplace, so, too, are acts of cluelessness about jihad.

I wonder if there's a connection.

Just another example from the AP today:

NY car bomb suspect cooperates, but motive mystery NEW YORK – A man accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square spent a decade on the path to respectability before abandoning his house in Connecticut and deciding to supplement his business degrees with explosives training in Pakistan, authorities say. ...

Gee. Homeowner, business degree, explosives training -- what kind of career path is that?

It's called "path to jihad," duh, but far be it from "authorities"...

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I'm checking into this story late -- via Gates of Vienna -- about Dudley, England and its proposed mega-mosque. Yesterday, members of the English Defense League barricaded themselves on the roof of the derelict building that, despite local opposition, had been slated to developed an 18-million-pound mega-mosque in the town center of Dudley, England. Here is today's Daily Mail story about the "far right protestors," and here's a further update on the story that reports that the mosque plans have been scrapped. The...

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U.S. Army Capt. Casey Thoreen talking to "village elders" before a US-initiated "shura" begins in the Maiwand district of Khandahar Province. To the locals, the AP writes, "he is the `King of Maiwand' district, testimony to the fact that without the resources the young captain and others like him provide, local government in much of insurgency-ravaged southern Afghanistan could not function at all." It's testimony to some other things, too. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)


From the AP, "US Army captain beomcs`king' in Afghanistan":

HUTAL, Afghanistan — In the U.S. Army, Casey Thoreen is just a 30-year-old captain. Around here, he's known as the "King of Maiwand" district — testimony to the fact that without the young captain and a fat international wallet, local government here as in much of the insurgency-ravaged south could not...

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Writing at the NewsRealBlog, John L. Work brings us "The Day the Quincy Cops Saved Obama from the Tea Party Grandmas,"  which practically sounds like an old Disney title co-starring a floppy-eared dog. But, as Work describes it, it's not at all funny to see a SWAT team deployed to "protect" Dear Leader, speechifying inside the local civic center,  from a "God Bless America"-singing tea party crowd.

(Update. As Michelle Malkin points out,  what the President said inside that SWAT-protected Quincy civic center were "the most revealing and clarifying words of his control freak administration...: `I think at some point you have made enough money.'")


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