Category Archives: War Commentary

Religion Of Peace Update

I know it’s become a sad joke, but when I heard last night about the execution of the two cops in New York, I thought “When will we find out that the perp was a Muslim”? With the last name “Brinsley,” I figured that we’d finally found a random murderous criminal act that wasn’t Jihad related — it was just from rage whipped up by the hateful race baiters like Sharpton (and de Blasio).

Well, it turns out that my relief came too soon:

In my previous posts on assassin Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who murdered two New York Police Department officers on Saturday, I noted that he had posted on Facebook a page of the Quran with a notorious verse calling on Muslims to “strike terror into the [hearts of] the enemies of Allah,” and another post about a fight he recently engaged in with an Atlanta panhandler when he discovered the panhandler was a “Muslim too.”

But an Instagram message posted by Brinsley during Ramadan five months ago may indicate that he visited one of America’s most terror-tied mosques.

Sigh.

Chanukah

A dangerous holiday:

For those liberals who believe that Jewish identity should be limited to donating to help Haiti, agitating for illegal aliens and promoting the environment; Chanukah is a threatening holiday. They have secularized it, dressed it up with teddy bears and toys, trimmed it with the ecology and civil rights of their new faith. Occasionally a Jewish liberal learns the history of it and writes an outraged essay about nationalism and militarism, but mostly they are content to bury it in the same dark cellar that they store the rest of the history of their people and the culture that they left behind.

Holidays aren’t mere parties, they are messages. Knots of time that we tie around the fingers of our lives so that we remember what our ancestors meant us to never forget. That they lived and died for a reason. The party is a celebration, but if we forget what it celebrates, then it becomes a celebration of celebration. A hollow and soulless festival of the self. The Maccabees fought because they believed they had something worth fighting for. Not for their possessions, but for their traditions, their families and their G-d. The celebration of Chanukah is not just how we remember them, but how we remember that we are called upon to keep their watch. To take up their banner and carry their sword.

History is a wheel and as it turns, we see the old continents of time rising again, events revisiting themselves as the patterns of the past become new again. Ancient battles become new wars. And old struggles have to be re-fought again until we finally get them right.

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

Our Dependence On Russian Engines

continues:

“Certainly the NDAA places future restrictions on the use of the Russian engines for national security space applications. Our application is in civil space. There’s a long history of U.S.-Russian cooperation in civil space, dating back to Apollo-Soyuz in the 1970s at the height of the Cold War. Since our immediate objective is in civil space supporting the International Space Station, it’s got a slightly different twist or perspective than supporting national security space. NASA already relies on cooperation with its Russian partner in other ways to execute the ISS program [including] crew transport. Certainly it would not make sense to restrict the use of engines manufactured in Russia on a program that’s already inherently dependent on cooperation between the United States and Russia.”

In other words, civil space isn’t important. We cooperated with the Soviets during the Cold War, but we were never dependent on them. I assume this means more INKSNA waivers.

Nice People

make the best Nazis.

Whenever I point out that Islam is a problematic ideology/religion, people say, “You bigot! I know many Muslims, and they’re very nice people!” Well, I also know many nice Muslims, and in fact most of them don’t necessarily agree with Al Qaeda or IS, but Al Qaeda and IS would (rightfully, in my opinion, though I’m no more of a Muslim scholar than Barack Obama) consider them apostates. The point is that most people are “nice” by nature, but that doesn’t prevent them from adhering to beliefs that aren’t very nice at all. I suspect that if you’d lived in Germany during the war, you’d have thought most Germans “nice,” except for that support-of-Hitler thing. Just don’t let them know you’re a Jew.

Putin’s Kremlin And Oil

He’s losing the price war:

Well before Crimea, European nations resented Russian natural gas price gouging. The Kremlin used pricing threats to bully Ukraine, Poland and even Germany into political concessions.

After the Crimean travesty, the Baltic States and Poland demanded alternative gas supplies. The Obama administration quietly agreed to permit U.S. gas exports and the development of a liquefied natural gas exporting facility.

American LNG supplies might reach Poland in three years. That’s good news. Here’s the bad news: Putin has three years to exploit E.U. divisions and politically split NATO.

Or he had three years. Enter Saudi Arabia. America’s “fracking” success challenges Saudi global oil dominance. What’s the price point where fracking becomes unprofitable? Estimates run from $55 to $70 a barrel for oil. The Saudi oil ministry intends to find out and says it will not cut production. The market will determine price.

Though Russia can strangle Ukraine by denying gas supplies, the stunted and corrupt Russian economy survives on energy sales. Without its cash crop of oil, and gas, Russia is a big cabbage farm with a second-rate armaments industry. Cabbage, tanks, ICBMS and nuclear weapons mean Russian is not quite a petro-emirate writ large, but the cruel analogy has instructive utility.

If Russian nukes mean open war with Moscow is too risky, then attacking the Kremlin’s cash generator is war by appropriate means.

The question is, how long will the Saudis be able and/or willing to try to break the US energy industry? Regardless, OPEC is dead. Which is bad news not just for Russia, but Venezuela and Iran. It’s a shame that the administration has been doing almost everything it can to hamstring us.

That House Benghazi Report

Twenty ways the media completely misread it.

Shocking, I know.

[Update a few minutes later]

This is a key point for those who think the report “exonerates” the administration:

…if you were to ask people who aren’t reflexively defensive of President Obama (as the media tend to be) what their main concerns with Benghazi were two years ago, they’d probably say something along the lines of:

  • That we allowed an ambassador to be assassinated by Islamist militants in Libya.
  • That we didn’t quite seem as concerned as we should have been, as evidenced by our commander-in-chief heading off to a Vegas fundraiser hours after it happened and a general patience about seeking justice.
  • That we claimed that an attack on September 11 probably actually had something to do with a silly video and nothing to do with Al Qaeda.
  • That we officially told the world that “since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” as President Obama said.
    That our Secretary of State said of a video made by an American that “We absolutely reject its content and message.”

  • That these statements were dangerously untrue. In America, you’re actually totally allowed to disparage any religion you want. (I myself have fun targeting Methodists.) (Sidenote, check out how our Secretary of State gave a rhetorical beatdown to the Nazis when they complained about a mock trial of Hitler held in Madison Square Gardens in 1934.)
  • That our media seemed more obsessed with covering for Obama than investigating what the heck happened that night.

Now, the report whitewashes, excuses or glosses over almost all of this and fails completely to get at any of the deeper and troubling questions about what’s wrong with our intel community. It only “debunks” claims if you think that bureaucratic ass-covering and rather strained justifications of what I would hope all Americans would agree was a clear intelligence failure count as “debunking.”

Yup.

Lest We Forget

Today’s Remembrance Day is particularly poignant, the first one on a century anniversary from the beginning of the war. And I think that no one who fought it is with us any longer. My paternal grandfather was a veteran. He had emigrated from Eastern Europe as a young man, and then returned to fight in France.

Poppies In England

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The Problem With Ebola

It isn’t the virus, it’s the incompetence. Not to mention the venality.

[Update late morning]

Amazingly, left-blogger Atrios (aka Duncan Black) agrees:

Ultimately the point is that as of now, Ebola is a small problem in the United States overall, if a very serious problem for the people infected by it, and we have failed to deal with this small problem. The lack of clearly established systematic responses to potential deadly disease outbreaks is extremely worrying. If a genuine epidemic occurs, there’s no reason to think the response will be any better.

At least as of now, there’s no reason to be frightened of Ebola. Turn off cable news and go about your day. A small number of infected people is not an epidemic. But there is reason to be frightened of the apparent inability of our institutions to deal with an actual epidemic, or true national emergencies of any kind.

Yes. As has been pointed out ad infinitum. when the government (and particularly the federal government) tries to do too many things, it ends of doing none of them well.

The Disintegrating Obama Presidency

Steve Hayes has a long piece (necessarily, because it’s such a target rich environment) on how it is chock full of fail.

[Update a couple minutes later]

This isn’t from the essay, but rather from Jonah Goldberg’s latest “newsletter” (so no link), but it seems apt:

Islamic State took Fallujah and Mosul months ago and he kept calling it the “jayvee team.” As recently as August, he was telling Tom Friedman that it was ridiculous to arm the Syrian rebels. In September, he was wistfully complaining that the Islamic State made a mistake in beheading those Americans because it aroused U.S. public opinion for war. In other words, doing nothing about the Islamic State was Obama’s foreign policy until the domestic political situation made his foreign policy untenable. Chess Masters think many moves ahead, novices respond to whatever their opponent’s latest move is. Total amateurs just move pieces based on shouts from the crowd watching the game. Obama’s like a kid looking for approval every time he touches a piece.

It’s sad because it’s true.