By Dan | December 1, 2008 - 1:07 pm - Posted in Liberals, Media & Marketing, Stars & Stripes

Psychiatry defines a delusion as “a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact”.  That is the perfect definition for what is happening to the far left (in which, I of course include MSNBC).

Over the weekend, an MSNBC host, Alex Witt, was incredulous that the mere election of Barack Obama was not enough to stop the dispicable attacks in Mumbai.  The correspondent she was talking to agreed with her.  The exchange, via Newsbusters:

ALEX WITT: You know, John, and it’s interesting because there are many who had such an optimistic and hopeful opinion of things, and you certainly can’t expect things to change [snaps fingers] on a dime overnight, but there are many who suggested that with the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration there would be something of a lull in terrorism attacks. There had been such a global outpouring of affection, respect, hope, with the new administration coming in, that precisely these kinds of attacks, it was thought — at least hoped — would be dampered down. But in this case it looks like Barack Obama is getting a preview of things to come.

JOHN YANG: He’s — it’s a rude awakening, a very, sort of, sober reminder of what he’s going to be facing in just a few weeks. And there is some concern also, there had been some concern, that during this period, during this, the transition period, between Election Day and Inauguration Day, that the enemies of the United States, those who don’t care for the United States no matter who’s leading it, would try and test the United States, would try to take advantage of this period, and I think that may be one thing that we’re seeing right now.

WITT: Okay, John Yang there in Chicago, following President-elect Barack Obama’s Thanksgiving Day dinner having been interrupted by all of this news from Mumbai. John, thank you very much.

I realize that I do not live in a perfect world, but I always hope that I live in a world where people are confronted with their mistakes and shortcomings and are able to learn from it.  You have crowned Barack Obama as leader of the free world based on this?!?  The assumption that he would warm the cockles of the hearts of our enemies?

First off, who on Earth has been predicting a lull in terror attacks?  Both attacks on the World Trade Center occurred within several months of a new president taking over, Clinton in February of 1993 and Bush in 2001.  And foreign terrorist attacks have also come during election cycles (Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005).  Anyone who was predicting calm and a winter of love is either not paying attention or, well, delusional.

Secondly, who are these people that are this disconnected with reality?  In the unlikely event any of you happen across this blog on the way to Daily Kos, let me explain something to you: al Qaeda does not care who we elect as president, they want us all dead.  All of us.  Not just the George Bushs and the John McCains, the John Boltons and Condi Rices, but the Barack Obamas, the Hillary Clintons, the Sashas and the Malias as well.  They want every single one of us killed.  Your liberal sensibilities are as meaningless to them as an ant’s menstrual cycle is to you.

If they could, they would come into your house at night, slit your children’s throat and hack off your head with your own kitchen knives.  The only reason that they have not yet is because 2,284,698 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have been kicking their ass for seven years.

Thank You
By Dan | November 11, 2008 - 11:27 am - Posted in Stars & Stripes, Today in History

For God and soldier we adore. In time of danger, not before.
The danger passed and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.

-Rudyard Kipling

Through the travail of the ages,
Midst the pomp and toil of war,
Have I fought and strove and perished
Countless times upon this star.

In the form of many people
In all panoplies of time
Have I seen the luring vision
Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.

And I see not in my blindness
What the objects were I wrought,
But as God rules o’er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.

So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.

Through a Glass, Darkly
– George S. Patton, Jr.

Let’s Roll
By Dan | September 11, 2008 - 12:42 pm - Posted in 9/11, Foreign Affairs, Stars & Stripes

Seven years ago this morning, America was awakened from its complacency by 19 little men on four planes armed with little more than small knives and a determination to kill innocent people. Through the heroism of a small band of heroes, only three of those planes met their targets. The names Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, and Tom Burnett do not play nearly the role in everyday life that they should.

In the past seven years, the world has become a very different place. America no long plays victim on the world stage. Nor should it. The wave of sympathy and compassion that embraced us seven years ago is gone. We have spent that capital, along with our blood and treasure, making the world a safer place. Since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq there have been no attacks on U.S. soil, and only two terrorist attacks in Europe. We have taken the fight to our enemies and the results are clear.

Thousands more men and women have given their lives willingly to save those they don’t know. In the words of the dearly departed Tony Snow, “love can propel a man to run into a burning building to save a complete stranger; but a man motivated by hate cannot save even himself.” Because of the sacrifice of brave men and women, Americans, Brits, French, Spaniards, Poles, and not least of them, Iraqis, the Middle East now has an exemplar of democracy and a secular levee against the tide of Islamic fascism. Young American GI’s have once again reshaped the face of the world for the better.

The United States and its allies will continue their struggle against Islamic fascism. It is a long fight against a determined enemy. The alternative for us is not a fragile peace, but certain death. As the threat of attacks at home fades, however, so do the raw emotions of that day. The sinking fear has been replaced with a clear sense of awareness, but recessed in our minds; behind our families and work; behind worries about taxes, health care and bailing out failed bureaucracies.

Terror may never completely die, but it is on the run. It hides in remote regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It shouts impotently from the safety of cassette tapes and grainy videos. It squanders its youth and rage in clean, quiet cells in Cuba. It dies futily alone in the streets of Iraqi villages and the rugged trails of Afghanistan. As the allies who liberated the world from European fascism and soviet communism, we have a duty to see terrorism find its place on the ashheap of history. Let’s Roll.

The Obama That Could Have Been
By Dan | September 7, 2008 - 7:57 pm - Posted in Edukashun, Politics & Policy, Stars & Stripes

The Obama campaign, facing a slight and diminishing lead in the polls and an immensely popular Republican Vice Presidential nominee, has announced a list of things Obama “once considered” doing.  The list follows Senator Obama’s assertion to George Stephanapoulous that he (Obama) had considered joining the military.  Indeed, Senator Obama even went so far as to reveal his primary motive for not joining the military: the lack of opportunity to fight in combat.  “Had I been able to kill someone, I think, certainly, that might have made this decision more difficult for me.”  The campaign has noted that the decision was so painful for the Senator that he decided never to mention it again, not in either his two memoirs, and not in the hundreds of interviews, speeches or town hall events.

The list of “unfinished dreams” released by the Obama campaign include:

  • Selecting Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate.
  • Actually developing a track record showing a commitment to change, hope or anything other that typical Chicagoland politics.
  • Clinging to guns, religion and antipathy to others not like him.
  • Attending a church that didn’t preach vile, racist, Antiamerican rhetoric.
  • Making friends and connecting with neighbors who aren’t terrorists or racketeers.
  • Getting shot down over enemy territory and denying his captors propaganda victories by staying in captivity for 5 1/2 years.
  • Making any kind of executive decision that may reveal judgment, character, or even his decision making process.
Why McCain Will, and Should, Win
By Dan | June 23, 2008 - 8:58 pm - Posted in Foreign Affairs, Politics & Policy, Stars & Stripes

This election season, pundits will argue over recent polling data, “bumps”, key demographics, “Reagan Democrats” and “Hillary Republicans.” People will claim that the economy or the war on terror or gasoline prices are the “most important issue in this campaign.”

In the end, though, the next leader of the free world will (we hope) be picked by voters in secluded booths in their local school auditoriums, church rooms and the odd apartment basement or VFW/KOC meeting hall. And that is why John McCain will win.

John McCain is, by any objective measure a war hero. When a missile was accidentally fired into a neighboring aircraft on the U.S.S. Forestall, he didn’t bail out and run for cover. He fled the relative safety of his cockpit and rescued a fellow pilot in danger, put himself in harms way and subjected himself to serious injury. Faced with a free-ride home, he transferred to the carrier that relieved the damaged Forrestal, the U.S.S. Oriskany. That fateful and selfless decision lead to his being shot down over Vietnam three months later. Even the manner in which he was shot down is telling of his character: his plane was seriously damaged and he nonetheless completed his mission before bailing out over the target he had just bombed. Needless to say, his captors did not welcome him openly.

John McCain spent six years in brutal captivity. His commanding officer and fellow POW in the Hanoi Hilton asked him to serve as chaplain, and he did, reciting scripture from memory. When his captors offered him freedom so that they could claim a propaganda victory, he refused. At a time when America was fighting an unpopular war, John McCain could have been home in months. He followed the code he believed in, and endured years of torture. He never broke.

When Americans go into the voting booths this November, they will choose between a charismatic, young politician and a cranky old war hero. Their heads will, no doubt, be spinning as they consider universal health care, global warming, Iraq, Iran and the seventh anniversary of September 11. No doubt, Jeremiah Wright’s new book and race relations will be in their minds as well. But when they go to pull that lever, I am willing to bet that, when faced with a choice between a man who, even under torture, would not turn his back on his principles and Barack Obama, Americans will pick John McCain.

Never Forget
By Dan | June 6, 2008 - 9:26 am - Posted in Best Of, Foreign Affairs, Stars & Stripes, Today in History

Sixty-four years ago today, nearly one and a half million British, American and Canadian free men risked their lives to rid a continent and the world from Nazi oppression. These were the boys of Point du Hac, Omaha, Juno, Sword, Gold and Utah. These were the boys who jumped, for the first time, from perfectly good airplanes into combat with the most feared military force in history.

These young men had lived through the Great Depression, emerging just in time to see the world being swallowed by two brutally evil forces, spreading across Europe and Asia. They strapped on their boots and marched bravely into the face of an overwhelming, undefeated enemy. Their journey would take them through Normandy, Holland, Bastogne and, eventually, the horrors of Buchenwald and Dachau.

Having defeated Nazism in Europe, they turned, without flinching, to aid their comrades in the Pacific, ridding the world of Japanese imperial aggression. Only when a group of scientists harnessed the power of the atom, were they relieved of duty and able to return home.

On the backs of these heroes, America, and eventually the world, prospered. They took a society that was only one generation from horse-drawn carriages and the Wright Brothers, and they landed a man on the moon. Their contributions to our freedom, our economy and our history will never be forgotten.

Obama’s Uncle at Auschwitz
By Dan | May 27, 2008 - 3:56 pm - Posted in Edukashun, Op Ed, Politics & Policy, Stars & Stripes

I had a uncle who was one of the, um, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz, and liberate the concentration camps. And the story in our family was, is that, when he came home, he just went up into the attic and he didn’t leave the house for six months. Now, obviously, something had really affected him deeply. But at that time, there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, Las Cruces, New Mexico, May 26, 2008 (Memorial Day).

For those without access to the “right” wing of the internet, I will let you in on an open secret, U.S. troops never entered Auschwitz. The concentration camp at Auschwitz (Poland) was the largest in the German-controlled territories. Being east of Berlin (the furthest advance of U.S. and allied troops), it was liberated by the Soviet Union’s Red Army. Of course, Obama’s recent gaffes on geography may be signs he has “lost his bearings” completely, and he may have forgotten that Poland is east of Germany, just as he forgot that Kentucky borders Illinois. (Obama is apparently channeling Haley Joel Osmet in seeing dead people, so perhaps he’s not fit for the rigors of such a long campaign.)

It is true that the United States Army did, however, liberate several Nazi concentration camps, and I am sure that the horror of uncovering these camps in April of 1945 was overwhelming and lasting. It’s still early days in the latest Obama gaffe/whopper, but time will (hopefully) tell as to whether Obama was (a) merely misstating a (presumably true) family legend (certainly a mere gaffe, confusing Auschwitz with Dachau or another camp); (b) unknowingly repeating a false family legend or (c) making this up out of whole cloth (as he did his “claim on Selma“).

The first two are not so troublesome, as many of us take as gospel that which our grandparents told us (even if they are typical, white racists). For example, my grandmother (not a racist) told me that my late grandfather liberated the town in Italy where she was born. It’s a heart warming story, and I may repeat it in public one day. There’s no reason to issue a FOIA request for Grandpa Al’s records, but then again, I’m not claiming he liberated Auschwitz.

There are some troubling side stories here. There are questions as to whether Obama even has an uncle on that side. In addition, the fact that he would mention his grandfather’s tenuous connection (again to the wrong Nazi camps) in a 2002 speech and this (apparently long lost) uncle’s direct connection in 2008 also undermines the credibility of the uncle’s story. And finally, much like outing grandma as a racist, where is the compassion for this uncle’s suffering? If you had lived through the Great Depression, seen your country attacked by Japan, marched across Europe and Africa, watching your best friends die in combat, only to discover the truly disgusting depths of the human capacity for evil, would you want your slick nephew airing your dirty laundry, bragging about the most trying times of your long life to score political points?

In any case, I am sure that, if and when the media picks up on this gaffe/lie, we will be told that this is a “distraction” meant to keep us from “focusing on the real issues.”

On a less personal scale, of all things not to be taken lightly, the Holocaust should be at the top of anyone’s list. Auschwitz is a name that will live in the annals of evil for as long as humans walk the planet. If you’re going to raise the issue, if you’re going to connect yourself with those who, when earth’s foundation fled, took up arms against evil on Earth, you really need to get your story straight. Those who fought Germany and Japan, those who endured the Bataan Death March, the landings at Normandy, the shivering cold of Bastogne, they all deserve our loyalty and respect. To offhandedly make a claim on their legacy to make political hay is despicable. To fabricate such a claim is neigh treason to their memory.

Thank You
By Dan | May 26, 2008 - 6:30 am - Posted in Art & Music, Foreign Affairs, Stars & Stripes, Today in History

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth’s foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages, and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

-A.E. Housman

Iran: WWRD?
By Dan | May 21, 2008 - 8:54 pm - Posted in Foreign Affairs, Op Ed, Politics & Policy, Reagan, Stars & Stripes

Obama supporters continue to cling (perhaps out of bitterness) to the notion of direct diplomacy with Iran. Their retort to the tidal wave of criticism is, “well, what would you do? Invade Iran.” This is part of the Democratic strategy of criticizing U.S. foreign policy. It takes an incredibly narrow view of the history of Iraq. Perhaps many Obama supporters cannot remember that far back, but the United States imposed sanctions on Iraq for 12 years. For many Obama supporters, this dates back to their kindergarten days. The notion that the United States reflexively invaded Iraq after 9/11 is as absurd as the most deranged Obama fantasy.

Iraq is a separate animal from Iran. Iraq was a brutal, but secular, dictatorship run by an aging psychopath. Iran, though run by equally brutal psychopaths, has a growing populist democracy movement. There are reformers, in some cases openly calling for democratic reforms in Iran, such a pro-American base did not exist in Iraq, certainly not with nearly the same strength.

Invading Iran is not a plausible scenario for many reasons. So what would I do about Iran? More importantly, what would Ronald Reagan do? Toppling an evil empire, as the old Cowboy from Tampico showed us, requires determination, restrained aggression, compassion and cooperation (and a little bit of luck).

Reagan showed us that determination (some would say “Cowboy diplomacy” or “stubborn refusal to be reasonable”) is not a weakness in the face of evil. A president needs to convince the enemy, the people under its oppression, U.S. allies and the global spectators (the United Nations, for example), that the full power of the United States will be brought to bear so that freedom, not tyranny, will win the day. Certainly, a president must be willing (and plausibly so) to commit the full might of the U.S. military to destroying Iran. This commitment must be broader than that. It must include economic policies and diplomatic efforts with other countries. Most importantly, this determination cannot waiver, it cannot be subject to the whims of pollsters or pundits. In 1987, after six years of “preparations”, Ronald Reagan demanded that Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall. His speech writers objected. His Secretary of State objected. The media mocked him as a dottering old fool. Two years later, the wall came down.

Reagan knew that naked determination, however, was not enough. Just as in high-stakes poker, restrained aggression is key to brinkmanship. Reagan knew that placing Pershing II missiles in Europe would provoke the Soviets. He also knew they deserved it and would see it as a sign of strength. Reagan was roundly mocked for the Strategic Defense Initiative, a futuristic system that now protects the United States and its allies. But the old man knew that the floundering Soviet economy and years of brain drain meant the Soviets could not possibly keep up.

Reagan also knew that there was a fundamental difference between a Soviet and a Russian. He often spoke warmly of the Russian people, with compassion and empathy for their plight. He knew, and he was able to convey, that every man and woman were born with the same rights and that communism is an affront to basic human dignity. He said so, sincerely, publicly and often.

Finally, Reagan was a great communicator. He knew that, as powerful as the United States is, it cannot take on the entire world. Nor can the United States prosper in a world where our allies become embittered or isolated by our unilateral foreign policy. He knew that, even though the United States would bear most of the burden of promoting freedom, our allies and those who remained neutral should always feel welcome in the fight.

So, what would Reagan have us do?

  • He would never, ever, meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As former Reagan adviser K.T. McFarland points out, “negotiating without leverage is not negotiating, it’s begging.” You will know it’s time to meet with the Iranian leader when the Iranian leader is a moderate, not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Patience is a passive form of determination. Reagan would spend his first term in office publicly criticizing and ostracizing Iran until regime change became its only hope for survival. He would promote an aggressive domestic policy for energy independence and a strong U.S. dollar, along with sanctions crippling the Iranian economy (just as cheap oil crippled the Soviet economy).
  • Reagan would use our military gains in Iraq to occupy and frustrate Iran along its common border with Iraq. No Iranian would be able to cross the border without seeing an impressive display of American hardware and clear-eyed GI’s just waiting for Mahmoud to try something stupid. Just as the Soviet Union was unsettled by the Pershing II Missiles in West German, so Iran will be unsettled by 10 battalions of the U.S. Army amassed on its border and two carrier groups loitering off shore. Moreover, any Iranian agent found in Iraq will be treated as an invading force. Overly aggressive Iranian speedboats will experience the devastating accuracy of the American Navy, just as Gaddafi’s air force learned in the 1980s.
  • Reagan would also find compassion for those suffering in Iran. Radio Free Iran (and Video Free Iran) would give Iranians hope, and kind words appealing to the Iranian people’s basic humanity would embolden reformers and give the Iranian Lech Wałęsa the courage to challenge the mullahs. Americans would open their doors to Iranian families and word of American compassion and the benefits of freedom would be trumpeted throughout the broader Middle East.
  • Finally, direct diplomacy would be used, but not with Iran. Reagan would meet with our allies and those who trade with Iran. We would apply pressure against those who would deal with Iran and reward those who turn away.
“The Don’t Criticize Us” Dems
By Dan | May 15, 2008 - 1:03 pm - Posted in Liberals, Politics & Policy, Stars & Stripes

One of my coworkers here was surprised the other day when I mentioned I was in favor of a strong Democratic party. “You’re joking, right?” he said, impressed with my apparent deadpan. No, I’m not. While it’s true that I tend to vote Republican, and I support Republican principles of limited government, a strong military and I take pride in American values and history, I know that a strong Democratic party is necessary to keep the fat bloated idiots who represent us in check.

After six years of a Republican-controlled executive and six years of Republican-controlled legislature, the Republican party had become a disgusting reminder of the corruption of power. Look no further than yesterday’s interim election loss in the former stronghold of Mississippi. (A Democrat won the open seat by running on a limited government, socially conservative agenda.) Republicans have taken the American taxpayer for a ride, forgetting who it is that brought them to power. They have greedily stolen money from the public coffers in the hopes it would insure them against negative public opinion. Instead, it foments it.

Of course, had they had a true adversary, one who could stand on opposing principles and provide a legitimate challenge to their claimed authority, well, maybe the fall could have been prevented. In any event, two strong political parties provide Americans with what they really want, a government so tied up by political machinations it doesn’t have time or energy to screw with us.

Sadly, the Democratic party is as much a spoof of itself as the Hollywood liberal elitists it represents. Several commentators have noted in the past several days that the Democrats and the media are attempting to redefine “negative attacks” as any criticism of Obama (Abe Greenwald for example). And, as if to prove the point, the entire Democratic party has gone into a tizzy about President Bush’s comments today to the Knesset.

President Bush, without pointing to Obama or anyone else, noted that “Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along.” Obama was quick to object (too quick, if you ask me). But what is telling about Obama’s (and Nancy Pelosi’s and Joe “Foul Mouth” Biden’s) response is the complete lack of denial. Obama has campaigned, in part, on the promise to hold talks with Iran and others without precondition (Robert Malley, one of his advisors has even gotten a head start). Isn’t it fair for someone, anyone, to question the validity of such an approach? Didn’t Carter fail miserably as president and later, as Palestinian stooge? Why is it, exactly, that this is unfair and out of bounds?

Nancy Pelosi: the comments are “beneath the dignity of the office.” Okay, that’s your opinion, but do you deny that the Democratic party, (including you) have advocated direct talks with terrorist nations?

Rahm Emanuel: Notes that, “The tradition has always been that when a U.S. president is overseas, partisan politics stops at the water’s edge,” and whines that President Bush is not abiding by this time-honored tradition. Mr. Emanuel must have an exceedingly small capacity to recall recent events as the Democratic party seems to delight in attacking President Bush when he is overseas, even when he is visiting active war zones.

Joe Biden: Well, he’s nothing but a cranky bastard in need of a nap. There again, he blames Bush for an increase in terrorism, but doesn’t even attempt to defend the Democratic position of diplomacy at all costs.

Again, this speaks volumes of the weakness of the Democratic party. They are either unable, unwilling or unprincipled to such a degree that they cannot even bear to see a plank of their own presidential platform questioned by one of the least popular presidents in modern history. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic.