Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Military Matters

Grandson Johnny Walton has arrived in Kuwait preparing to return to Iraq with the Army 82nd Airborne:

“I'm in KWT and getting ready to start training again. The heat's not as bad as I remember, but it's still hot. Figured I'd let you know I was all right and when something begins to happen I'll let you know. Tell Nana I said hi. I Love You. John.”

This tour is planned to last a full year. Let’s hope the Iraqis are in charge well before then. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (Iraq Will Be a Graveyard For Terrorists) sounds determined to fight the war against the Islamo-fascists to the bitter end.

Thanks to the generosity of Karen Wickline, Erin Lamonte, Dori Medina and Jill McNamara we now have a supply of soccer balls to send to Brian in Djibouti (and cash to pay for the shipping.) You guys are the BEST. Brian must send us some pictures of the Little Guy and his buddies playing soccer. I figure that in the 2022 World Cup they will be beating up on the US team.

PalosVerdesBlog has a new reader stationed in Guantanamo, Cuba and I am just delighted. At his request I will not reveal the brave soldier’s identity, but hope that he stays in touch. He says that PalosVerdesBlog and Little Green Footballs are two of his favorites. Beef jerky (thanks to Lori Ernster) and books are on the way to Gitmo.

Speaking of Little Green Footballs, the blogmeister Charles Johnson lives in Palos Verdes. Compared to LGF, I’m just a pipsqueak. I was just there and was one of 3194 online visitors. The site had 123,332 visits yesterday.

Charles has excellent pieces every day. Here is one about Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams.

Speaking to an audience of schoolchildren at the Earth Dialogues forum in Brisbane, Australia, Williams said she would “
love to kill George Bush.”

“I don’t know how I ever got a Nobel Peace Prize, because when I see children die the anger in me is just beyond belief.” Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.

Another piece in LGF relates the conspiracy theory propounded by Sheldon Drobny the founder of Air(head) America. Drobny says the anti-Semitic and/or anti-Israel posts erupting out of the liberal blogosphere must be a plot.

Probably masterminded by Karl Rove.

Because true “liberals” would never hold such opinions.

Gotta be a plot.

“I came to the conclusion that the hostile comments about Israel on these liberal blogs are not coming from true liberals. Most of the anti-Semitism comes from racism and most of the racism I have experienced has come from the far right, not the left.

“So my conclusion is that the bloggers who violently hate Israel and see it in black and white terms are not really liberals. They may even be anti-Semites, but they are not representative of the liberal community that was so active in achieving racial and ethnic equality. It is a contradiction for a true liberal to be an anti-Semite.

Furthermore, I would not put it past the right wing to flood the liberal blogs with hateful criticisms of Israel to advance a perception that liberals are anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. And I see Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over this.”

Sheldon “the brain” appeared on the Dennis Prager show and admitted that his statement was “tongue in cheek.” Seems it’s just too much for a far left Jew to admit that the Jew-hatred in the world comes from leftists as well as Muslims. Cognitive dissonance is what it’s called.

LGF expounds on anti-Israel insanity bubbling up from Daily Kos, the heartbeat of the lefty blogosphere:
Daily Kos: Does Israel Have a “Right to Exist?”

This is what the left thinks about Hamas. Daily Kos: In defense of violence?

“Palestine is under the brutal occupation by a racist regime which treats non-Jews as second class citizens. Every illegal invader is a legitimate target, whether roaming the streets or sitting in “settlements”. The Palestinians have every right to use the tactics of guerilla warfare to drive the invaders out.”

In closing, it is to our peril if we ignore the words of “my struggle” embraced by both the Nazis – “Mein Kampf” – and by the Islamists – “Jihad.” Hitler meant what he said and so does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Allowing Iran to develop a nuclear bomb is to put that bomb in the hands of Hezbollah.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will keep him in my prayers and hope he stays safe and well! Tell him to learn Arabic and if he can, there are jobs at $175,000 for translators!


1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

July 26, 2006
Why is the U.S. in Iraq?

The sectarian violence that's taking place in the Baghdad probably the gravest threat to stability that there is in the country right now.
-- General John Abizaid, chief of US Central Command
July 25, 2006

It is a new challenge. This isn't about insurgency, this isn't about terror, this is about sectarian violence. And it's a new challenge for the government. And they recognize that.
--Stephen Hadley, national security adviser
July 25, 2006

The greatest threat Iraq's people face is terror; terror inflicted by extremists.
--Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi prime minister
July 26, 2006

Why is the United States in Iraq?

That is question that is increasingly difficult for the White House to answer coherently--and honestly. This past week, George W. Bush, appearing at a press conference with Maliki, noted that the horrific and intensifying violence in Iraq of recent weeks is "terrible" and that more US troops will be deployed to Baghdad. But who--and what--is the enemy? And what can US troops do about disorder and violence there?

Sectarian violence, according to Abizaid and Hadley, is now the main problem in Iraq (which was predicted by some experts before the invasion). Maliki, for obvious reasons, does not concede that. He wants US troops to remain in Iraq. Consequently, when he spoke to the US Congress on July 27, he depicted the fight in Iraq as a struggle pitting lovers of democracy (his government and the United States) against "terrorists" connected to those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. ("I will not allow Iraq to become a launch pad for al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations," he declared, in a line rather reminiscent of the previous work of White House speechwriters.) In a fact sheet, the White House noted that when Maliki met with Bush, the Iraqi leader "made clear that he does not want American troops to leave his country until his government can protect the Iraqi people."

Mission creep is under way. The cause--despite Maliki's Bush-like rhetoric--is no longer combating jihadists (which replaced weapons of mass destruction as the reason for the war). It's making Iraq safe from Iraqi religious extremists. Maliki's government cannot protect Iraqis from their own neighbors, so he is looking to Bush to be his nation's cop-on-the-beat. But can the US military be an effective police force in a society increasingly plagued by sectarian violence that has little, if anything, to do with the fight against al Qaeda and Islamic jihadism? Maliki's own government is even part of the problem. Death squads connected to the Shiite-controlled Interior Ministry have been lead players in the current killing spree. If Maliki cannot control these elements, how can the US military? (In his speech to the US Congress, Maliki didn't address the knotty matter of the government-linked death squads. He briefly referred to "armed militias" but claimed that the rule of law and human rights are "flourishing" in Iraq.)

Sunni leaders--who once called for US forces to quit Iraq right away--now fear the ascendancy of Shiite killing squads so much that they have quieted their demands for a US withdrawal, fearing such a move would leave the Shiite militias even more unfettered. But should the United States remain in Iraq in response to such concerns? If so, US troops would be risking and sacrificing their lives to assist a government that is tied to death squads in order to prevent (Sunni) opponents of the leading (Shiite) bloc of that government from being killed by (Shiite) supporters of that leading bloc. Yes, politics in the Middle East have always been notoriously complicated and Byzantine. How many books--or intelligence reports--has Bush read about the intricacies of Arabic culture, history and politics?

Bush, all too obviously, has no good ideas how to navigate these shoals--which may not be navigable. After saying that more troops would be deployed to Baghdad, Bush was asked by an Iraqi reporter what could be done to improve the security situation in Baghdad. "There needs to be more forces inside Baghdad who are willing to hold people to account," he replied. "In other words if you find somebody who's kidnapping and murdering, the murderer ought to be held to account. And it ought to be clear in society that that kind of behavior is not tolerated....We ought to be saying that, if you murder, you're responsible for your actions. And I think the Iraqi people appreciate that type of attitude."

In other words, just say no to killing. That's not much of a plan. And there's not much of a role for US troops in such a plan.

Bush has led the United States into a rough thicket in Iraq. It has taken him months--perhaps years--to acknowledge the troubles there. And his inadequate description--it's "terrible"--is far more upbeat than the depictions shared by reporters and others who have come back from Iraq in recent weeks bearing depressing and ugly tales of a society falling apart.

Iraq is a mess. Bush bears much of the responsibility for that. He invaded the country supposedly to defend the United States from a threat that didn't exist. He did not ensure that there were proper plans for the post-invasion challenges. He did nothing as his national security aides bungled one key strategic post-invasion decision after another. Now he has to contend with a violent sectarian conflict that his elective war unleashed. He has, to a limited degree, acknowledged the problem. He hasn't yet admitted there may be little he can do about it.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone needs to do Betty Williams a favor and shut her mouth!!! Bill why do these people hate President Bush so much? He is one of the nicest & kindest and I will not leave out SMARTEST presidents we have ever had!! I will be the first to admit that he has not done everything perfect but neither did SLICK WILLIE!! Our military would be a lot stronger if it wasn't for him is just one example.



7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bill, please tell your Johnny that Dori prays for his safety and thanks him for his service. And thank you for sharing his stories.

To the mom and's apparent you raised a good American citizen. Thank you.


OH, and thank you Bill for your and Lee's part in this whole family thing! :-)

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Rose. Our President is basically a genius who has made our world a hell of a lot safer than Slick Willie. He reads tons of books and clearly understands the nuances! I say, change the Constitution so that he can run for president a couple of more terms!

8:31 PM  

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