Hot in Herre — Obama Video Address: August 29, 2009

When Nelly sang “Hot in Herre”, he wasn’t talking about the weather but this week, President Obama was. In this week’s video address, Obama addresses his renewed commitment to emergency preparedness as we approach the fourth anniversary of hurricane Katrina.

I distinctly remember being on vacation in a hotel room in 2005 watching a grown man cry on TV as he pleaded to the government for help down in New Orleans. Of course, we all remember then President Bush’s accolade “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” to his incompetent head of FEMA, Michael Brown. One of Obama’s campaign pledges was effective government in times of crisis and it is good to see him reinforcing this in this week’s message.

Of course, when we talk about the weather, we can’t skip the topic of “global warming” or perhaps the more accurate term “climate change”. That so many are still climate change skeptics is truly frightening for our nation. In Monday’s “Huffington Post”, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry makes a clear and chilling case for the impending crisis.

Facts, as John Adams said, are stubborn things. Here are a few you need to know: Atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels have risen 38% in the industrial era, from 280 to 385 parts per million (ppm). Scientists have warned that anything above 450 ppm — a warming of 2 degrees Celsius — will result in an unacceptable risk of catastrophic climate change.

The truth is that the threat we face is not an abstract concern for the future. It is already upon us and its effects are being felt worldwide, right now. Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now. — via John Kerry: We Can’t Ignore the Security Threat from Climate Change.

Kerry goes on to say that this ecological deterioration is not only a biological threat but a security threat as well. Groups like al-Qaeda will use any weakness to attack our country and an ecological destabilization could be just the opening they need to strike us again.

There are those who stubbornly call climate change much ado about nothing. As Kerry points out, the memo “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” was viewed similarly and we see how that ended up. This is definitely an instance where “better safe than sorry” is the best way to go.

And now the President of the United States of America:

Afghanistan — A Different Kind of Heat

I kind of thought hell would freeze over before I found myself agreeing with conservative pundit George Will but he has hit the right note where Afghanistan is concerned. In Tuesday’s Washington Post, he writes:

Even though violence exploded across Iraq after, and partly because of, three elections, Afghanistan’s recent elections were called “crucial.” To what? They came, they went, they altered no fundamentals, all of which militate against American “success,” whatever that might mean. Creation of an effective central government? Afghanistan has never had one. U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry hopes for a “renewal of trust” of the Afghan people in the government, but the Economist describes President Hamid Karzai’s government — his vice presidential running mate is a drug trafficker — as so “inept, corrupt and predatory” that people sometimes yearn for restoration of the warlords, “who were less venal and less brutal than Mr. Karzai’s lot.”

Mullen speaks of combating Afghanistan’s “culture of poverty.” But that took decades in just a few square miles of the South Bronx. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, thinks jobs programs and local government services might entice many “accidental guerrillas” to leave the Taliban. But before launching New Deal 2.0 in Afghanistan, the Obama administration should ask itself: If U.S. forces are there to prevent reestablishment of al-Qaeda bases — evidently there are none now — must there be nation-building invasions of Somalia, Yemen and other sovereignty vacuums?

via George F. Will – Time for the U.S. to Get Out of Afghanistan – washingtonpost.com.

I’ve said before in the comments section of this blog that I’m all for stopping al-Qaeda but lately there is talk of nation building in Afghanistan and Will points out with unusual humility and all nationalistic pride put aside, that we still have nation building to do in our own country (can you spell Katrina?). There has been talk of the right war and the wrong war. The typical construct is that Iraq was the wrong war, Afghanistan is the right one. But Afghanistan was the right war. Time changes everything. We squandered our riches on Iraq. We no longer have the money to pour into Afghanistan and at this point in time we’ve reached the point of diminishing returns. al-Qaeda has been pushed into the Afghan-Pakistan border so, as Will points out, bringing the fight to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is no longer critical. With Afghanistan’s tribal structure, bringing democracy there is next to impossible. For that matter, we are not even nation building in a grateful nation. As I pointed out in a May article, Hamid Karzai is very quick to criticize American military strategy in his country, not realizing our presence there has been a substitute for his incompetent leadership.

Our priority should be working with Pakistan to ensure that neither al-Qaeda nor any other terrorist organization gets hold of Pakistan’s nukes. As for Afghanistan being another Vietnam, no, it is worse than that. In Vietnam we had the bogeyman of communism to fight. The enemy was clear, if over dramatized. The mission, easy to define even if we were nosing into another country’s business. With Afghanistan there is no clear end-game and  no government worth defending. The enemy is elusive and in my opinion better defeated through effective intelligence and selective strikes.

You know the old saying about if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen? Afghanistan has become too hot. It’s time to get out.

A Michele Bachmann Aside (or Should That be Ass-ide?)

The dumber half of the dumb and dumber Bachmann-Palin Overdrive, dropped another brain-turd Monday night when she said:

What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes.

“This thing” was opposition to health care reform. Is Michele aware that blood brothers prick fingers? Suicide pacts slit wrists. The only explanation can be that in her daily conversation with her Lord, she was instructed to go to any length not to say the word “prick”.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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147 thoughts on “Hot in Herre — Obama Video Address: August 29, 2009

  1. I’m in U of M hospital for the long hall. My wife is doing great and in good spirits. They are inducing labor, so this is going to take a very long time.

    So, why not b.s. some?

    I am really starting to agree with Rutherford about nation building in Afghanistan. I had my doubts with the neo-conservative idealism from the beginning, being the Bismarck, realist motherfucker that I am.

    While I feel the war in Iraq was unavoidable, (The world thought Saddam had chemical weapons and Saddam wanted the world to think he did too) trying to build Iraq into a “Japan” of the middle east might end up being impossible. Of course, I hope I’m wrong. This will take a decade or two to pan out.

    If Iraq is such a bitch, I can’t imagine it working in Afghanistan.

    Imperial Japan was much more western then the middle east. While vile, the notion of nationalism in Japan was a necessary stepping stone to democracy.

    The notion of nationalism or anything stemming from the Western Enlightenment is nonexistent in Afghanistan.

    Islamic culture itself, while you guys try to kid yourself by denying the obvious reality Elric posts daily, is so diseased, that it complicated matters exponentially.

    As for the marathon that is the daily debate on health care, I just found out that 25% of all poor people who are uninsured simply do not have insurance becuase they didn’t turn their paper work in.

    The more I learn about the insured in America, the more I am learning that the “uninsured” part is just not an issue.

    Remember, facts are stubborn things. Go to sensico’s own data that she posted with the graphs on uninsured and income.

    Add the fact that many people choose not to pay for it or are too ignorant to even fill out a few forms.

  2. Glad to hear Mrs. Rabbit is doing well and the new arrival is imminent.

    Sadly, if one of the reasons for uninsured is laziness and stupidity (i.e. not filing paperwork), then it does confirm my long held suspicion about a sizable part of this country. For a country as advanced as we are to have so many, let’s just say it, dumb-f*cks is mind blowing. Of course, this coming from me sounds like the elitist dissing the “common man” but let’s face it, Rabbit strips it down in the light of day by quoting Sensico’s stats.

    There’s a sizable chunk of this nation that just tries to get through the day without driving through the closed garage door.

  3. Thuggish Hamas-linked CAIR tries to use Muslim victimhood incidents to shut down Internet and talk radio resistance to jihad

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which the Baltimore Sun never gets around to telling you is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding case, has claimed that “anti-Muslim hate crimes” have risen sharply in the U.S. since 9/11. In fact, the rate of such crimes has actually dropped. They know well that victimhood is big business: insofar as they can claim protected victim status for Muslims in the U.S., they can deflect unwanted scrutiny and any critical examination of how jihadists use Islamic texts and teachings to justify violence and supremacism.

    That’s most likely why CAIR and others have not hesitated to stoop even to fabricating “hate crimes.” They want and need hate crimes against Muslims, because they can use them for political points and as weapons to intimidate people into remaining silent about the jihad threat.

    And that is what is happening here. The behavior of the non-Muslims in these two incidents, if reported accurately here, is wrong, inexcusable and unjustifiable by any standard. It is likewise inexcusable and unjustifiable to claim, as CAIR’s Honest Ibe Hooper does here, that these jerks were fired up by the Internet or talk radio, and not by the many, many acts of violence and hatred committed by Muslims in the name of Islam around the world every day. Not that one act of violence and hate justifies another, but if Hooper really wants to see these incidents stop (and as I explained above, he actually needs them), he would address the roots of jihad violence within Islamic communities, and not try to get non-Muslim anti-jihad outlets shut down.

    His statement here, meanwhile, is of a piece with the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s jihad against free speech. Nor is it the first time CAIR has revealed itself to be an enemy of free speech.

    “Muslim organization blames talk radio in attacks,” by Matthew Hay Brown for the Baltimore Sun, August 31 (thanks to Islam In Action):

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/027430.php#respond

    islam and the left have more than in common that I thought.

  4. Elric … what about timing is everything went past you? 20/20 hindsight: we should have devoted all our money and strength toward Afghanistan from 2001 on instead of fighting someone who posed no danger. Now, with the coffers empty, and al-Qaeda basically in a different country the time to leave Afghanistan has come. By the way, there never was a good time to nation build in Afghanistan, not under Bush or now. Our mission there should be limited to wiping out terrorist training camps.

    By the way, last time I looked Obama was in favor of increased presence in Afghanistan. I hope he changes his mind.

    Regarding Rabbit’s comment about Saddam bragging about WMD’s … I’ll give you this. If you come to me with a banana in your pocket and tell me it’s a gun, I’ll probably blow your head off if I can’t find any way to verify what is in your pocket. The trouble is, shouldn’t our intelligence be better than Rutherford’s judgment? Seems we saw what we wanted to see, and Saddam’s foolish bragging was just the topping on the cake.

  5. Obama’s Green Czar: “White Polluters” Steered Poison Into Minority Communities….

    Sounds like this guy attended Thuggy’s church.

    Ohh and something for Dodger to ignore. A normal person would call this guy a racist.

  6. “There’s a sizable chunk of this nation that just tries to get through the day without driving through the closed garage door.”

    lol……so very true. that cracked me up.

    Hopefully I don’t get my head ripped off by some of the vets in here that have truly served, unlike peace time Rabbit who did nothing but chase women in Iceland and Northern California, but i am still shocked to this day how unbelievably stupid some dudes were I was in the service with.

    They literally had problems tying their shoes and washing their ass.

  7. “Elric … what about timing is everything went past you?”

    Nothing. Thuggy and the left were all gung ho about leaving Iraq and winning in Afghanistan. Now under Thugy’s “leadership”, its really deteriorating there.

  8. “There’s a sizable chunk of this nation that just tries to get through the day without driving through the closed garage door.”

    And they voted for Thuggy. But you know, the libs have controlled our education system for decades. You have no one to blame but the libs.

  9. Elric, I have a slight peeve which is comparatively trivial compared to other things I could bark at you about.

    When you post links, would you please stop including the “#respond” or “#comment” in the link? If you haven’t noticed this takes the “clicker” to the comments section of the post and then we have to scroll up to read the damn thing. I wouldn’t mention it but for the fact that you do this 90% of the time.

    Update: on your last jihadwatch link the page did not jump to the comments section … just to be clear … although I expected it to since that usually happens with your links.

  10. I was one of millions who agreed that our involvement in Afghanistan was worth fighting. I have since come to realize that that time has passed.

    What has been said by everyone for far too long is that the 9/11 attacks were made possible by a training “sanctuary” in Afghanistan.

    Remember when President Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona last month?

    “But we must never forget,” Obama reminded the veterans, that the Afghanistan conflict “is not a war of choice.” It is a “war of necessity” because “if left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.”

    I only have to ask myself some simple questions…

    Where did 9/11 “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 1996 present his plan to bin Laden for these attacks. In what “safe haven” Bananastan did he plot to kill Americans?

    He was in the Philippines.

    Where did the six hijackers who controlled the airplanes received their flight training?

    In the U.S.A. of course.

    The “muscle hijackers” came from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and I think one came from Yemen.

    Modern terrorists don’t need sanctuary in Afghanistan or anywhere else to plan and launch their attacks. All they need is a fucking cell phone.

    From today’s perspective the fact that bin Laden was in Afghanistan at the time of 9/11 is irrelevant and only serves today to provide a narrative of our “good intelligence” in that part of the world which amounts to believing the lies that Afghan and Pakistani intelligence agencies feed us. Our intelligence in that part of the world is pathetic. We don’t have a clue what al-Qaeda is plotting, or thinking, or where any of its members actually are or even how many of them exist. If we did we would not be dropping bombs on so many wedding parties, and even if we could find a way to run them out of Afghanistan or Pakistan, they’d just go somewhere else.

    It is well written that Brzezinski, who was Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, manipulated Afghanistan into the Soviet Union’s Vietnam. He now says “The West should not repeat the mistakes that the Soviets made. We are now running the risk of unintentionally duplicating what the Soviets were doing.”

    As for the new Army wonderboy General McChrystal who serves Obama like General Patraeus served Bush, I am so far not impressed. Does it not seem like we are going through war strategies for Afghanistan like they’re M&M candy. I find it disturbing that General McChrystal’s new report on Afghanistan admitted that the current strategy, which was itself a new strategy presented only five months ago to replace the previous new strategy, isn’t working and that yet another new strategy is needed. At least we are being consistent in our policy of sending more American soldiers to war without knowing why or what they will do.

  11. “Seems we saw what we wanted to see, and Saddam’s foolish bragging was just the topping on the cake.” -Rutherford

    No. That isn’t correct. Every world intelligence agency worth its salt thought Iraq was riddled with WMD.

    Add this to a smoldering Manhattan grave site of 3,000 Americans, and the war was unavoidable.

    Hell, even Clinton thought long and hard about invading.

    I wonder how different the war would have been had we first made contact with upper level Ba’athists, let the Ba’ath party exist and even sponsor a dictator friendly to America.

    Instead we took a bat to a hornet’s nest.

    That being said, we did kill a ton of Al Queda in Iraq. That theory, while dismissed by the left, holds a ton of weight in my eyes.

    We basically created an arena to fight Al Queda.

  12. “I only have to ask myself some simple questions…”

    How about asking about what drives the ideology of these terrorists and why is it so wide spread?

  13. Now under Thugy’s “leadership”, its really deteriorating there.

    Please tell me you’re not saying the situation in Afghanistan started deteriorating under Obama.

  14. “Please tell me you’re not saying the situation in Afghanistan started deteriorating under Obama.”

    Nope. But their wasnt talk of leaving until Thuggy took over and Thuggy said he would be even tougher there. Like anyone with a brain thought he would.

  15. Curator, great comment. A couple of things to address:

    If we did we would not be dropping bombs on so many wedding parties …

    Thanks for picking up on that. I neglected to mention the number of innocent lives (collateral damage) that are being lost due to our unmanned drone approach to battle. Karzai objected to that of course, and I’d sympathize more with him if he weren’t such an ungrateful, incompetent knuckle head. But the point still holds. I don’t have the numbers but I fear we’re killing more civilians than bad guys.

    It is well written that Brzezinski, who was Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, manipulated Afghanistan into the Soviet Union’s Vietnam.

    I assume you are referring to the mujahideen. Funny how our fight against communism ended up further destabilizing Afghanistan. Who knows? Maybe if the USSR had been successful, we might have a civilized nation there today? And since communism ended up falling everywhere else, it would have most likely fallen in Afghanistan also.

  16. “Of course, when we talk about the weather, we can’t skip the topic of “global warming” or perhaps the more accurate term “climate change”. That so many are still climate change skeptics is truly frightening for our nation.”

    Whats frightening is Thuggy wont let us drill but will give Brazil tax payer money to drill. Doesnt seem Thuggy is too concerned about “climate change” just oppressing America.

  17. “I don’t have the numbers but I fear we’re killing more civilians than bad guys.”

    uhh….if you don’t have the numbers might i suggest you withhold making such claims?

    I thought facts were stubborn things.

  18. DR,

    And of course taking into account these jihadists hide among the civilian population. And of course locals sheltering them into their homes.

    And of course some of these dumb asses fire guns into the air at these “weddings”

  19. oh please, I think the times haven’t changed a bit on Afghanistan. Terrorist are still recruiting and a major threat, at the same time, the military is seeing much success with taking out the appropriate targets. Though it costs a lot, this is good for everyone in the long run.
    It be ironic if more conservatives start pushing against the Iraq war and then once another attack happens then they’ll say well obama had a chance to get ’em
    At least anti-war democrats are being consistent. As for me, I had no problem with getting rid of Saddam. That man tortured and killed his own people, he wasted our money even when he was alive. But the Iraq war didn’t have to last as long as it did, we should have re-focused more on Afghanistan earlier.

    As for Bachmann, her followers should take Beck and his followers to a ranch somewhere and drink the kool-aid. She’s a nut and brought nothing but craziness to the republican party which doesn’t benefit anyone unless you’re looking for a quick laugh.

  20. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for pulling out out Afghanistan. I just question the notion of making that Mad Max, savage land a functioning democracy.

    What Curator fails to acknowledge is the danger in letting these barbarians think they have won.

    The left is always talking about how collateral damage draws more into the jihadist movement.

    These stink beards only respect power. The defeat of the USSR gave the stink beards their gusto. Pulling out and letting the monsters shoot their rifles in the air in celebration would come back to haunt us, big time.

    There is a huge special report in the Economist on Afghanistan. I plan on reading it this weekend.

  21. “But the Iraq war didn’t have to last as long as it did, we should have re-focused more on Afghanistan earlier.”

    general sensico….please do tell, how would have shortened it?

    I’m interested in Gorilla’s take on this. After all, the man has actually fought this war, unlike the rest of us pussies.

  22. It’s not my job to come up with how to end a war quickly. None of us have intelligence info, that’s my opinion on it. I could easily take most of your statements and say they’re “general”.

    Anyways, I agree with the notion that we cannot let terrorist and people supporting them feel as though they won anything. People fail to realize that starting a war and not finishing properly or leaving a country complete destroyed does more destruction them anything. It causes resentment, amongst the people. At least in Iraq we made sure they have a strong enough force to protect themselves instead of leaving them to dry.

    People in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t all anti-U.S. There are good people there that want the same freedom we have. The reason why most don’t voice their support of catching terrorists is because they’d be kill by them. That concept isn’t hard to understand as it happens here in the U.S. with gang related crimes.

    I think a democracy over there is key to success. The problem is getting someone in there that would uphold the demands of a free democracy. It’s frustrating at how hard this is to achieve. It’s not impossible, I just think the anti-American sentiment of some of high rank and religious/cultural factors make this hard.

  23. dude….i meant general as in general patton.

    you said “it didn’t have to last as long”.

    well, why/how do you make such a claim? it just shouldn’t have? seriously, I’m not even trying to be sarcastic.

  24. “The problem is getting someone in there that would uphold the demands of a free democracy.”

    Problem is islam is very anti-democracy.

    “I just think the anti-American sentiment of some of high rank and religious/cultural factors make this hard.”

    Religious factor? What other religion is playing a factor except islam? You afraid of saying islam?

  25. ha! how am I a neo-con? I just feel like the country would be better under a democracy. What other government type would you suggest? I know a democracy might not work for everyone, but it’s hard not to think it’d be great. I think after a certain point it became clear the we weren’t having much success in finding Bin Laden and we should have focused more on Afghanistan. What more do you want me to say?

    I’m not afraid to say Islam? I meant religious and cultural, to me theres more to a culture then just religion.

    Anyways, I’ll be off to work soon and I’m slightly panicking after seeing my class syllabus in which I’ll eventually have to give a 10 minute speech in Aquatic Ecology on … water quality 😛 With Calculus 2 and Spanish 2 I might start making fewer appearances here to make time for other things. I’m sure some here would love that 👿

  26. DR

    Would it matter if we left in 12 months or 5 more years? How would the “barbarians” celebrate any differently? Most Afghans view the current Afghan administration as more corrupt than any other in the past two decades. Bribery, corruption, and a hesitant military will infect the Afghan government for decades.

    How could we change any of it?

    Bananastan (noun) – A banana-republic style regime in Central Asia ruled by a U.S. backed puppet government.

    The Bananastans will always be warlord-ruled with a weak central government.

  27. Rutherford,

    I’ll leave this in this thread, because the last one had grown too long. I’m glad you’re impressed Curator can quote the Bible because though he got the verse right, his application was entirely wrong.

    When Christ was speaking of prayer with the Heavenly Father, it was in condemnation of hypocrites called the Pharisees who did it for personal favor and enrichment. Unless you assume that our national day of prayer is to enrich our nation, then you would be incorrect in your assessment.

    Christ publicly prayed many times, including teaching all of us the Lord’s Prayer on the side of the mountain. So if you are to believe Curator, there would never such thing as worship, never such a thing as revivals, never such things as the Sabbath, Moses would have never prayed from the cliff, no need for a Jewish Temple, and being that our own Congress opens each session with a prayer should be obvious to even a heathen like you that Curator’s application of the said verse while correct in quote incorrect in application.

    Let me help Curator out so that he doesn’t continue to show his ignorance and his backside about Christianity:

    Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.–Matt. 18:20

  28. Oh, and this may surprise and may be a first as I find myself agreeing with Rabbit, Curator, and Rutherford in one swoop.

    I too agree that Afghanistan is a lost cause. Not because of the failure of our military as it has time after time established itself as the single greatest stabilizing force at present. I just feel that Afghanistan’s own citizens are not willing to commit to a peaceful existence. Therefore, it is a waste of our time and resources. I also believe Bin Laden is dead and has been for sometime.

    But I add this caveat. We should leave, but on our own terms with the promise that we will be back if necessary, and the next time not to nation build, but destroy. If we simply walk away, it would only provide the perception that the Taliban won. One huge surge, butchering as many bad guys as possible, using the big guns – then pack up.

    It will leave that part of the world with a demonstration of our power and our resolve, if necessary.

  29. “I’m not afraid to say Islam? I meant religious and cultural, to me theres more to a culture then just religion.”

    The religion there is islam and Afghani law is based on Sharia. So saying religious is a bit disingenuous because you dont want to paint islam in a bad light so you just say religious.

  30. At some expense, I am going to open up somewhat on my personal life. I am an intelligence officer and was in Iraq. I won’t get into my thoughts on why Iraq had to happen, but we can certainly discuss that is someone wishes, but I was in Iraq for 15 months during the surge, from August of 2006 to November of 2007, this timeframe was essentially the worst time to be in Iraq.

    Now, my role was basically as a senior advisor for the northern portion of the country, from Baghdad north. When we got in country, we had some serious consternations. I am a very vocal opponent to Gen Casey, who I felt should have been thrown out on his ass for the ass he is. The change in strategy that came from Petraeus was important and necessary, though I’ll say that if it had not been for Gen Odierno (the Corps CDR) none of Petraeus’s ideas would have really come to fruition.

    Anyway, one of the key changes in strategy that helped mitigate violence in Iraq was the anti-AQ efforts that were coming from the tribes and other former insurgents. Without sounding pretentious, I was actually the guy who briefed Odierno on the anti-AQ phenomenon, which was the catalyst for the shift in our strategic policy in Iraq in early 2007. There were a lot of really good people involved in this effort and it was a humble experience to be involved in the development of the policies still used today on what is now known as the Sons of Iraq (SoI) program.

    The SoI program, and the anti-AQI initiative in general was successful because there was a confluence of environmental factors. Tribes had tried to push back against AQ before, but had been viciously assaulted for doing such. We managed to convince the government that they had to help, which helped turn the tide. Secondly, AQ’s indiscriminant killing of Muslims as collateral damage seriously blew up in there face. It not only alienated the population, but it infuriated what we called the honorable insurgency, or the non-jihadist types. Thirdly, the sectarian violence that had been sparked by AQ’s bombings spiraled to such a point that both the Sunni and Shia populations had reached what I call kinetic exhaustion- they just wanted the violence to stop, period. Finally, the surge. The surge allowed us to shift the security situation from general patrols to true population security. It also allowed for us to effectively man and conduct offensive operations against AQ, which we were able to do in a very lethal manner. AQ was unable to reconstitute its attrition, it had lost its freedom of movement in the population, and it was suffering serious financial strain from its very poor image.

    Now, is AQ still in Iraq- yes. Are they still dangerous- absolutely. Are they strategically defeated- definitely. They cannot possibly hope to achieve any of the strategic objectives that they have set out for themselves. To this, for those really interested in AQ strategic thinking, there are two letters that should be read. The first is this http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2004/02/040212-al-zarqawi.htm which lays out Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s strategy for Iraq. The second is this http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/report/2005/zawahiri-zarqawi-letter_9jul2005.htm which is Aymen al-Zawahiri’s rebuttal to AMZ’s strategy and his guidance for further action. We intercepted this letter and in one of the few (I mean very few) brilliant acts of PR released it after AMZ declared war on the Shi’a- in direct contradiction to Zawahiri’s guidance.

    Afghanistan is completely different. It has no material value to build against. At least Iraq has oil. The demographics of Afghanistan are ridiculous- no one likes each other, let alone speak a common language. And it has one road- ONE FUCKING ROAD!!! Everything else is little better than a goat trail. And it has no infrastructure, and it will take generations and hundreds of trillions of dollars to catch this state up with the rest of the regional community. So, we need to decide on what our mission is in Afghanistan- counter-terrorism or nation building. They are very different problems sets with very different solution sets. We also need to get the chain of command issue fixed. What most people don’t realize is that McCrystal is not in charge of all of Afghanistan, there is the NATO contingent which is separate. If we can’t unify the various ‘good guy’ op plans, then we’ll continue to work against ourselves.

  31. 800lbGorilla,

    Thank you for sharing that – very interesting read. And me and my family thank you and your family for your service. I don’t really have heroes, but guys like you and your comrades are at the top of my most admired.

    I told a PHD today at my medical school (probably at my own personal expense somewhere down the road) who was bad-mouthing about our Imperialist nation led by Bush to “shove it up her ass and never say anything like that again in my presence.” I admit to a personal weakness of being about as jingoistic as they come, and for all our countries foibles and they are legend, we are still the greatest nation the world has ever known for agents of good.

    Without guys like you, I wouldn’t get the chance to say that.

    ~ Tex

  32. speaking of war, i feel like i’m witnessing one. my wife has been in labor (induced) for 20 hours…and were not close yet.

    She just got an epirderal (spelling terrible)

    the hormone that induces labor was causin contractions without any breaks. looked like the hindu-kush mountain range on the read out.

    i am exhausted.

    women seriously are the toughest son of bitches on planet earth.

    u of m hospital is an amazing place. just seeing how it all works is amazing.

    those in the medical field are heroes.

    the nurses amazing.

    the food fucking awful…but o well

    i don’t understand why they can’t give us dudes a cot or something.

    is the Rabbit actually complaining about being uncomfortable while his warrior wife in labor?

    no he is not….rabbit takes it back

  33. please, the Bush administration embraced neo-cons. I happen to think middle of the road liberals and republicans both don’t like neo-cons. The difference between me and a neo-con amongst others is that I don’t believe we should have went to war to spread democracy, I just thought it’d be a good idea if they have a strong democracy.
    On a slightly different note, if we have proof that Bin Laden is dead, which seems to be more likely then ever, then we shouldn’t continue the war but instead help with things like infrastructure and education. If we help destroy their already poor country and just leave without helping them rebuild then it would give the terrorist more ammo to spread anti-American sentiment and, something about not helping them rebuild seems just wrong.

    And, ew really don’t want to read about contractions and crap like that. I have fear of giving birth after watching some TLC show about birth and heard nevermind, it would be inappropriate at this time, I’ll wait til afterwards maybe.

    Anyways, toodles, ahhhh first day of classes tomorrow and I haven’t picked out an outfit yet or a matching purse or decided on a hairstyle.

  34. Gorilla,
    Regarding Afghanistan, I agree very much with what you say, and I feel sort of cheap saying it because you’ve done the heavy lifting while I sat comfy in my suburban home. As Curator said, kudos to you for your sacrifice and your bravery.

    However I do have what may seem like a vulgar question for you regarding Iraq. One of the themes among liberals is that the surge worked partly because we simply paid some of our enemies to stop fighting. Is that true and was Odierno behind that strategy?

    Also when you talk about chain of command, is it true that Petraeus commands the entire theater (Iraq and Afghanistan) and does he have any influence over the NATO contingent? Also, for that matter how sizable is the NATO contingent? Aren’t we really carrying the brunt of all these wars on our shoulders?

  35. Rabbit 😆

    This is my first running commentary on having a baby. This is great!

    I’m guessing they are using this to speed up the process:

    http://pregnancy.about.com/od/induction/f/pitocin.htm

    Give you something to read for your enjoyment. Don’t feel bad about the cot.

    I’ll tell you a story to pass the time about old Tex about getting thrown in the pervert sanitarium after getting a good beat down during his wife’s induced labor of our second child.

    I was bored as hell after about 10 hours and my whining was getting on my wife’s nerves, so I took a walk out of the room and was staring out the window, only to be met by two police officers. Seems some nurse had reported a pervert was walking the delivery hall (oops). After you witness your baby born, you and I will have a discussion about the amazing stretching ability of unmentionable female parts and how anybody could get off watching that. I was traumatized for months…and came away thinking “and I thought I was making a dent in that???” 😉

    Congratulations and good luck to your wife and to you to a smaller extent.

  36. Sensico, while your idealism has always appealed to me I think on this one you need to get your head out of the clouds. We have no business nation building, period. Should we help education and infrastructure in countries that welcome our help? Absolutely. Should we build roads and schools in countries where they are shooting at us and each other? Hell no.

    Saddam was gassing his own people. Who the f*ck cares? Seriously. We sat by and let genocide go down in Darfur. We can’t be the savior of every nation on the planet. We sit by while in our inner cities, people “gas” themselves on a regular basis. Don’t we have enough fixing to do at home?

    There was only ONE reason to go into Iraq and that was to prevent Saddam from harboring those who might attack us, or from his attacking us himself. What we learned later was there was a zero likelihood he would attack us. As for harboring those who might, Gorilla testifies to the truth of that. I’ll go along with the Iraq war on those grounds but that being the case, I say we should have “surged” the minute we got there. If you want to blame anyone for how long we were there, blame Rumsfeld who wanted to go slow.

    As far as I’m concerned, Tex uses the macho swagger approach to foreign policy. I do agree with Tex’s statement, “We should leave, but on our own terms with the promise that we will be back if necessary, and the next time not to nation build, but destroy.” but I don’t agree with his conclusion “It will leave that part of the world with a demonstration of our power and our resolve, if necessary.” Anyone doubting our power in the 21st century is brain dead. We don’t need to do anything simply to flaunt our power.

    We should leave Afghanistan with a variation on the Schwarzenegger promise … “if we think you’re harboring terrorist training camps again, we’ll be back, and they’ll be gone.”

  37. Tex, I’ve only ever seen child birth on film but I do have to agree with your assessment of the “stretch” factor. Truly one of nature’s wonders.

    Rabbit, I remember when I was in junior high school, a social studies teacher whom I never expected to be particularly sadistic said to the boys in the class “I hope one day you all get kidney stones so you can experience what child birth is like.”

    Damn.

  38. This is my first running commentary on having a baby. This is great!

    Now that Tex mentions it, Rabbit if you’d only given me some warning I would have turned you on to my live blogging tool that I’ve used in the past to live-blog some Obama speeches. You could be “live blogging” the delivery as we speak. Talk about a great way to piss Mrs. Rabbit off. 🙂

  39. Anyways, toodles, ahhhh first day of classes tomorrow and I haven’t picked out an outfit yet or a matching purse or decided on a hairstyle.

    Ahhhhhhh, youth. 🙂

    LOL you wrote that line just to piss the guys off, didn’t you?

  40. R,

    We should leave Afghanistan with a variation on the Schwarzenegger promise … “if we think you’re harboring terrorist training camps again, we’ll be back, and they’ll be gone.”

    Elric is very right in at least one regard about you. For an educated man, how little you understand radical Islam. You never have understood my analogy to the Shinto religion because you understand little concerning the power of both good and evil with respect to faith. While I do not yet advocate fusion, I believe that threat should remain a very distinct possibility. Fool us once, shame on you.

    I can give you 10 reasons for removing Saddam that have nothing to do with WMD by the way. And we can start with something called 16 U.N. resolutions constantly flaunted for twelve years.

  41. my wife thinks its cool I’m reporting the details.

    Tex, you nailed it. That’s exactly the stuff they are giving her.

    We’ve been here over 24 hours and the actual end game, a healthy baby, seems almost an abstraction.

    my wife’s legs and ankles are so damn bloated right now. if they can change so much, I can’t imagine….err…

    The worst thing for her is being confined to the bed with all the bags/ivs.

    The epidermal was not fun. I actually had one before when I got knee surgery and it was nothing like the ordeal my wife went though.

    she was getting rocked by contraction after contraction and the first attempt failed. she was fricking miserable.

    Rutherford, I’m not sure the live blogging thing would work…i have no energy to remotely proof read anything i write.

    Captains Log. 0109 03 SEP 09

  42. However I do have what may seem like a vulgar question for you regarding Iraq. One of the themes among liberals is that the surge worked partly because we simply paid some of our enemies to stop fighting. Is that true and was Odierno behind that strategy?” — R

    Yes and no. I have actually met with tribal sheikhs and insurgents on countering AQ and my impression from those meetings was that they couldn’t not do something when we invaded- something about testicular fortitude- but they certainly didn’t have the same ideological bent of AQ. Iraq is really a pretty secular place. Sure, religion is important and there are many religious shrines (mostly Shi’a) but it is fairly tolerant. THe sectarianism we were dealinf with in ’05 and ’06 was mostly identity politics based, with the Shi’a relying on Shi’a militants for security and vice versa. The ;atest elections showed, as predicted, that when the security environment improves, the drive for identity politics diminishes significantly.

    Back to your question, was he behind the strategy- hard to answer. I worked closely with his staff on developing the strategy and policy of reconciliation. The problem we had was that commanders didn’t trust or believe in the sincerity of the movement, rightfully so. Consider, we were having between 100-200 attacks a day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shot at, rocketed or mortored and that does play on your willingness to chat. Anyway, this truly was a grass roots movement, and after some serious explaining and some verification (through intel), we began to by off on the strategy.

    I’ll say this, levels of violence hit their peak in June 2007 and are now at all time lows- so something is working.

    Also when you talk about chain of command, is it true that Petraeus commands the entire theater (Iraq and Afghanistan) and does he have any influence over the NATO contingent? Also, for that matter how sizable is the NATO contingent? Aren’t we really carrying the brunt of all these wars on our shoulders?

    Petraeus is the CENTCOM CDR, so Iraq and Afghanistan fall under his perview, but their are specific theater CDRs for those countries. NATO is seperate and he certainly has some influence, but this is where diplomacy comes in. Now, I have Bachelor’s in Diplomacy and Military Studies, a Master’s in Diplomacy (concentration Conflict Management and Resolution) and an asdvanced Counter-terrorism certification. I had looked to joining the State Department had one point, and still do to a degree, but when it comes to support in a hot zone- State is the absolute worst. So, if your diplomats are arrogant twits who’ve been around for about 5 minutes and don’t really understand the notion of armed conflict or the ramifications of its actions, then you’re going into a discussion with partner countries at a disadvantage, because they sure as hell understand this stuff.

    Our State Depatment sucks- its under funded, under manned, and struggling to find its own testicular fortitude. I have a lot of blame that I place on Colin Powell. You hear these excuses that he was bullied by Rumsfield and Cheney, but we’re talking about a 4 Star general, the former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the number 1 cabinet position. He couldn’t push back on that? Or more like he wouldn’t. We had no phase 4 (reconstruction) plan for the war and it wasn’t because Rummy wanted to go slow, in fact he wanted to go fast, too fast. Powell didn’t push back and didn’t ensure that his State department was prepared for the aftermath. One of the key lessons learned in Iraq is that we can’t rely on the State department. We had soldiers who essentially had to learn diplomacy and international relations through OJT- not a good training plan. Our diplomats would leave tyhe compound unless they had a ridiculous amount of security around them and I can remember hearing foreign service officers (FSO) complain when there was TALK of forced deployments to Iraq- and these assholes were bitching while soldiers were on their 2nd and 3rd rotations and had just been bumped from 12 month tours to 15 months.

    As for the brunt, yes, simply because no other state in NATO has the resources. We are the NATO alliance, and they’ve been able to coast for some time on their laurels while we’ve done the heavy lifting in general. We’ve invested in our military and it has paid dividends for both our armed forces but also for our society. The internet, this medium, was developed by the military. Until the NATO states begin truly investing in their armed forces, we’re going to be doing the heavy lifting because we’re the only ones with the resources to do it.

  43. Nice links on the other thread. Either you were being cute with the cats, or you were calling me a pussy. I don’t think you’ve got the wherewithall to go for the latter, so we’ll assume the former. Cats are cool, especially with a little salt and soy sauce (Hong Kong story for later 🙂 ).

    As for the hockey kid, I found that pretty indicative of you. Spoiled brat (because seats by the glass ain’t cheap) immaturely insulting from the comfort and safety behind the glass. You noticed the players back was turned- you think he’d pull that with the player facing him? I don’t. So, like a seagull, you swoop in, dump a turd of a post, and then fly out to the safety and comfort of your mind-numb blog. Just did a cursorary look, and saw what, maybe 5 comments (one of them from R, so charitable…) and the one comment that actually came close to challenging your foolishness was… R’s comment on Conyers needing a couple lawyers to read the bill. I mean, the lefty has to correct you on common sense, logical thought.

    Truly, this has been insightful…

  44. please, the Bush administration embraced neo-cons. I happen to think middle of the road liberals and republicans both don’t like neo-cons. The difference between me and a neo-con amongst others is that I don’t believe we should have went to war to spread democracy, I just thought it’d be a good idea if they have a strong democracy.
    On a slightly different note, if we have proof that Bin Laden is dead, which seems to be more likely then ever, then we shouldn’t continue the war but instead help with things like infrastructure and education. If we help destroy their already poor country and just leave without helping them rebuild then it would give the terrorist more ammo to spread anti-American sentiment and, something about not helping them rebuild seems just wrong.
    ” — Sensico the Child

    Neocons love Obama
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/4/30/17583/8350

    Obama ‘Continuing and Expanding’ Bush’s Foreign Policy
    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/waroniraq/134087/top_neocon_max_boot:_obama_'continuing_and_expanding'_bush's_foreign_policy/

    Neocon 101
    http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/neocon101.html

    What proof do you have that bin Laden is dead? I’m really curious how you would come to this conclusion.

    Rebuild what exactly? We bombed caves, should we send some drilling rigs over and make them some new caves?

    There is a VERY large body of information that explains the challenges of Afghanistan, reading just one of them would have likely prevented you from making a complete ass of yourself with this post…

  45. “What proof do you have that bin Laden is dead? I’m really curious how you would come to this conclusion.”

    My guess he has been dead for a few years. Last video he made was Oct 2004.

  46. Since we are talking foreign policy in this thread, and in light of the recent decision by the Obama administration to investigate and prosecute interrogators, I just wanted to drop a thought or two.

    Now, the general premise is that we needed to use the enhanced techniques because following 9/11, there was a dearth of information on al-Qaeda. Ponder that for a minute- a lack of information on al-Qaeda post 9/11. Consider:

    — Feb. 26, 1993 The first World Trade Center attack and the first terrorist attack on America.

    — April – June 23, 1993 Militants plan a series of near simultaneous bombings in New York. On June 23, as terrorists mix chemicals for the bombs, FBI agents raid their warehouse and arrest twelve.

    — Oct. 3-4, 1993 In a battle for the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, a unit of U.S. special operations forces gets pinned down after two U.S. helicopters are shot out of the sky. Eighteen Americans die, killed by Somalis reportedly trained by al-Qaida. The attack leads to the U.S. withdrawal from Somalia, a move hailed by bin Laden as a great victory for the Islamic world.

    — June 25, 1996 In an attack whose authorship is still debated by intelligence and law enforcement officials, a truck bomb is detonated at the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American servicemen and wounding 400. Although an indictment in early 2001 pins blame on Shiite Muslims backed by Iran, many U.S. officials still believe bin Laden is responsible.

    Khobar Towers needs to be placed in context with this:

    — June 1994 Imad Mugniyeh, the military chief of Hezbollah during its 1980’s attacks on U.S. personnel, meets secretly with Bin Laden in Khartoum. Mughniyeh, at that point the most wanted terrorist in the world for his role in the Beirut embassy and Marine Barracks bombing, advises Bin Laden on planning.

    Ali Mohamed, the al-Qaida security director at the time, later tells U.S. officials that Mughniyeh told bin Laden how the Marine bombing in Beirut led to the U.S. withdrawal from Lebanon and how such a campaign could eventually lead to a similar route of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and the whole Islamic world.

    — Aug. 8, 1998 Al-Qaida sends suicide bombers into the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Truck bombs kill more than 240 people, including 12 Americans at the Nairobi embassy.

    — Jan. 1-3, 2000 U.S. and Jordanian authorities thwart attacks planned to coincide with the Millennium celebrations. In mid-December, Jordanian authorities arrest more than 20 al-Qaida operatives who are planning to bomb three locations where American tourists gather. Later in the month, U.S. authorities seize Ahmed Ressam at a border crossing in Port Angeles, WA. He is carrying bomb-making equipment and later discusses his plan to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on New Year’s Eve.

    — Oct. 12, 2000 A bomb on board a small Zodiac-like boat detonates near the USS Cole in the port of Aden in Yemen, killing 17 U.S. sailors and wounding scores more. The bombing also kills two al-Qaida operatives in the boat. The United States later learns the Cole was the second destroyer targeted by al-Qaida. The attack was originally planned for Jan. 3, 2000, when the USS The Sullivans was in the same port.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4677978/page/3/

    All of this prior to 9/11 and I haven’t even put in the bulk of stuff thwarted or targeting our allies. So again I ask the question of how could we have a dearth of information relating to al-Qaeda?

    Well, let us consider this.
    “On Tuesday, Attorney General John Ashcroft declassified a four-page directive sent by Ms. Gorelick (the No. 2 official in the Clinton Justice Department) on March 4, 1995, to FBI Director Louis Freeh and Mary Jo White, the New York-based U.S. attorney investigating the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In the memo, Ms. Gorelick ordered Mr. Freeh and Ms. White to follow information-sharing procedures that “go beyond what is legally required,” in order to avoid “any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance” that the Justice Department was using Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants, instead of ordinary criminal investigative procedures, in an effort to undermine the civil liberties of terrorism suspects. “

    Jamie Gorelick’s wall
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/apr/15/20040415-094758-5267r/

    Next time someone says political correctness doesn’t hurt anyone, smack them in the mouth.

    The premise in the Clinton administration was to treat terrorism as a law enforcement issue, not as a national defense issue, and as long as the bulk of the US casualties were service members, Clinton apparently wasn’t going to change that policy.

    Fast forward to what Obama has just done. Moving interrogations under the control of the White House with an FBI guy in charge does what? Makes terrorism a law enforcement issue again. There are things that cannot be exchanged from the intelligence community to the law enforcement community, this limitation does not apply the other way around, so by doing this, Obama is removing key information and he is significantly tying the hands of interrogators. I do not like déjà vu, especially when it comes to national security issues.

  47. Gorilla,

    I’ll tell you why I made the comment Bin Laden is dead and have been saying for at least five years now. And I admit, it may be wishful thinking as I do this from the comfort of my rocking chair knowing a fraction of what you do.

    Bin Laden shares a common trait with Obama. And this is simply speculation on my part after listening closely to these demons from hell and their message for the last 25 years. I believe Bin Laden to be a megalomaniac who enjoys the spotlight, and while obviously charismatic in some warped way, not terribly bright. I think he’s an idealist in the strongest sense, who not only believes his own glorification, but is willing to die for it. If I’m not mistaken the last real confirmed video (at least the one I believe to be for real) was taken shortly after he made the run from Tora Bora. In observing him, it was obvious to me that he appeared to be in very poor health, appeared to have a badly injured arm, and was very gaunt with gray coloring. While agitated and defiant in message, the same bravado wasn’t there.

    Knowing the resolve of our military to kill this bastard, and at the very least knowing Bin Laden has had to remain in hiding and on the run for some years now, it would require that he never be stationary. Even Bin Laden with his warped mind would be under considerable pressure to simply exist. I’m guessing that Bin Laden died some ignominious death in 2003-2004 and they buried him in some paupers grave.

    If Bin Laden were alive, I don’t think his narcissistic nature would allow him to remain in hiding and silent, further confirming my suspicions when as the war in Iraq turned badly for AQ, he was no where to be found.

  48. There was only ONE reason to go into Iraq and that was to prevent Saddam from harboring those who might attack us, or from his attacking us himself. What we learned later was there was a zero likelihood he would attack us. As for harboring those who might, Gorilla testifies to the truth of that. I’ll go along with the Iraq war on those grounds but that being the case, I say we should have “surged” the minute we got there. If you want to blame anyone for how long we were there, blame Rumsfeld who wanted to go slow.” — R

    There are more than one reason to go into Iraq.

    Iran:
    – #1 global state sponsor to terrorism
    – 65% of population is 35 or younger and don’t identify with the revelution
    – Huge unemployment and inflation creating significant tension
    – Vast majority want a relationship with the US

    A democratic Iraq has by far the best chance of influencing the population of Iraq. I predicted about 3 years ago that Iran was about 5-10 years away from another revelution, I stick to that assessment. The current elections fiasco is indicative of the underlying tension that exists in Iran. If they begin to see significant socio-economic growth in Iraq, which they will, while remaining stagnant, well, lets just say the natives will be restless.

    Syria:
    – Behind Iran, the second largest sponsor of terrorism in the region
    – A fringe Shi’a regime in a mostly Salafist Sunni state
    – Desperate for international legitimacy and recognition

    Will continue to support Iranian policies and proxies for as long as Iran is their prime beneficiary. Iraq has the ability, if they can work through their relations, to significantly influence Syrian politics.

    Saudi Arabia:
    – #1 private financier to terrorism (private donors, charities, etc)
    – #1 exporter of oil

    Iraq arguable has #2 or #3 known reserves of oil. This is important in that the al-Saud monarchy has had a symbiotic relationship with the Wahabi sect, but this relationship is begining to runs its course. The regime wants to modernize, the clerics want to maintain thier sway and “purity”. We get 17% of our oil from the Middle East. Europe gets 65% and Asia gets close to 90% of its oil from the region. We support regional oil exports not because we need the oil, but because of the 2nd and 3rd order effects that would come from Asian and European economies collapsing. Iraq can act as a pressure valve, compensating oil exports and allowing us to increase pressure.

    Afghanistan has no strategic importance. Iraq clearly does and if you are going to truly engage in a Global War on Terrorism, you have to address all of these issues. Iraq can essentially act as one stone for three birds.

  49. About Afghanistan having no strategic importance, let me rephrase that. Sanctuary is very important, so in that vein, yes, Afghanistan is important, especially in preventing AQ from reconstituting a training and C2 capability.

  50. “Afghanistan has no strategic importance.”

    It borders Iran and Pukeistan. It has strategic value. Especially if the Paki government falls to jihadists who will enjoy its nuclear arsenal.

  51. THOUSAND OAKS — A 65 year old man had his finger bitten off Wednesday evening at a health care rally in Thousand Oaks, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

    Sheriff’s investigators were called to Hillcrest and Lynn Road at 7:26 p.m.

    About 100 protesters sponsored by MoveOn.org were having a rally supporting health care reform. A group of anti-health care reform protesters formed across the street.

    When someone from the pro-reform side crossed over to the anti-reform side, a fist fight ensued, which resulted in the man’s pinky finger getting bitten off.

    It’s believed the man was on the anti-health care reform side.

    He took his finger and walked to Los Robles hospital for treatment.

    Police don’t know who bit the man’s finger off, but they’re investigating the incident.

    http://www.weaselzippers.net/blog/2009/09/obamacare-protester-has-his-finger-bitten-off-by-moveon-goons-during-rally-.html

    The thuggery never ends.

  52. “The blaze has destroyed more than five dozen homes, killed two firefighters and forced thousands of people to flee… Biologist Ileene Anderson with the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental organization, said burn permits should be difficult to get because of the potential damage to air quality. Clearing chaparral by hand or machine must be closely scrutinized because it can hurt native species.

    How’s that air quality now? Oh, by the way, raginf wild fires hurt native species too shit head…

  53. my wife is still in labor. 36 hours now. nothing goes easy for the rabbit family. c-section is a possibility right now. the damn hormone keeps making her contractions to close together and messing with the baby’s heartbeat.

    She has an oxygen mask on right now to get more air to the bay. his heartbeat has stablized.

    morale of my wife is sinking a bit and i’m trying to keep it up by humming terrible 80’s band tunes. she acts very annoyed but does answer correctly.

    the last ones was
    1.Safety Dance
    2. Hot for the Teacher
    3. Nightshift.

    I have been having major anxiety myself but I’m keeping that to myself. kind of like panic attacks which make me stress that i’m not healthy.

    God speed.

  54. DR,

    Sorry its taking so long. Well you can always take it out on the kid later on for what he/she is putting your wife through. 🙂

    Hang in there and Im praying for you and the wife.

    PS

    Dont hum “Do you really want to hurt me”. She really might after all this. 🙂

  55. lol…good point on that song.

    she’s actually sleeping and the latest shift has been doing a good job on keeping her pain down.

    man, i just hope this all works out.

    after all my wife has been through getting pregnant, and then this bitch of a delivery…

    yeah…this kid going to get an ear full from me for what a pain the ass he was..(literally….my wife’s ass is killing her) 🙂

  56. yeah…your right about that…

    dude….we tried to have a baby for 6 years….it is a blessing….just hope this all pans out.

  57. Funniest video you ever will see. Sad part is, these are the environmentalists of today. You feel comfortable with them telling you whats good for the planet?

  58. i’m getting her off that drug. squeezing the damn kid senseless, heartbeat suffers. we could go through this song and dance for another 10 hours`and still have to get a c-section.

    we’re demanding a c-section.

  59. There are things that cannot be exchanged from the intelligence community to the law enforcement community, this limitation does not apply the other way around, so by doing this, Obama is removing key information and he is significantly tying the hands of interrogators.

    Either you mistated this or you’ve got me real confused. If the FBI can share all its stuff with the CIA and not vice versa, then better to have the FBI do the interrogation and freely pass this info to the CIA for their use.

    One of our problems, I believe is that we had intelligence doing something they’re not supposed to be doing … interrogation. Hence, they’re given free reign by Bush’s looney lawyers and we’re off to the races, No way any experienced FBI interrogator would have put a running drill up to some guys head, or faked the death of a “co-conspirator” in the adjacent room.

    I don’t really blame these shenanigans on the CIA interrogators. I blame Cheney and the lawyers he put up to this total destruction of legal standards.

  60. “No way any experienced FBI interrogator would have put a running drill up to some guys head, or faked the death of a “co-conspirator” in the adjacent room.”

    And they would have got KSM to cooperate either. But thats what you would want isnt it?

  61. I think he is alive, that’s all I’ll say.

    Having no authority on the subject, I’d conjecture on the side of Gorilla.

    First of all, I could have sworn a recording of Bin Laden was released within the past 12 months. I don’t know if the voice was ever verified as his but I’m pretty damn sure we’ve heard his “statements” since 2004.

    Tex, you’ll skip no chance to dis Obama, comparing him to Bin Laden and hinting at similar ill intent. You’ve been reading too much Elric and it’s turning you into an ass.

    As I’ve written in prior comments threads Christiane Amanpour has stated that Bin Laden is not only alive but living high on the hog in a secluded resort community … I don’t recall where.

    I’ve also seen reports, that I admit have a left wing nutjob sound to them, that our boys had Bin Laden cornered and were ready to take him out and our government called it off. Perhaps Bin Laden is more valuable to us alive as a propaganda tool than he is dead? In the words of my buddy Sensico, “I’m just sayin'”. 😉

  62. Sorry R, seems I’ve pontificated quite a bit this morning. I appologize…

    Please …. no apology needed. In all honesty and without a hint of sarcasm (which I resort to now and again), I am so excited (and maybe even a bit honored) to have someone on here who has walked the walk and knows what he is talking about. I’m not going to say that your facts aren’t colored by perception … all of ours are .. but you have lived this stuff.

    I love all my readers, truly, and the comments section gives me a constant kick but 90% of us including me are bloviators who have opinion with very little experience to back it up. Virtually none of us (including me) have day jobs in politics or the military (Elric is a glaring exception — Air Force — retired?), so while I value all the opinions expressed here, it is very cool to have someone with your background share your insights with the rest of us.

    I must admit G, that while I don’t share your politics, I’m blown away by your willingness to put your money where your mouth is here. I think I speak for all the Rutherford Lawson Blog regulars in saying that your contributions today were mind blowing.

    Now with that said, I will attempt, at every turn to oppose your conservative slant! 🙂 😀 👿

  63. A 65 year old man had his finger bitten off

    ROTFLMAO!! Elric you really had me there. I was positive I was gonna read about some Californian getting his finger bitten off by a member of the Taliban. I’m so used to your anti-Muslim stuff, that I forgot you hate pro-reform folks too! 😀

  64. ROTFLMAO!! Elric you really had me there. I was positive I was gonna read about some Californian getting his finger bitten off by a member of the Taliban. I’m so used to your anti-Muslim stuff, that I forgot you hate pro-reform folks too!

    You think its funny because some guy had his finger bitten off one of your “pro-reform” guys? You are a more pathetic POS than I thought.

  65. Either you mistated this or you’ve got me real confused. If the FBI can share all its stuff with the CIA and not vice versa, then better to have the FBI do the interrogation and freely pass this info to the CIA for their use.” — R

    Actually, intel is heavily involved in interrogation and should be- its another way we get information.

    You’re wrong on this point though, a key element of interrogation is knowing stuff the detainee doesn’t know you know. That way, when he lies, and you call him out, he begins to doubt the strength of his position- this is critical. These guys traing to withstand interrogation, just like we do so you have to find a way to break down these walls. A GITMO detainee talked once, providing extremely valuable information when interrogators placed a catapillar in his cell- he had a deathly fear of insects. He was never in danger, but his perception was such that he was willing to tell us what we needed to know.

    Cops are allowed to lie to suspects all the time to get them to confess- I don’t hear you crying about that and it has been upheld many times in court. Acting out an execution is simply that, a lie, which causes doubt in a detainee’s mind and breaks down the walls he has erected to protect the information in his head. Fear can be just as powerful a motivator as compasion or love, and regardless of how the information comes, whether through fear or compasion it has to be verified anyway so again, no harm, no foul.

    So, back to my point, it would actually be better for the CIA to interrorgate because one, he has the intelligence so he/she will know when the story is fishy (quick, call the white house!!!) and two, he doesn’t have the same restrictions that a law enforcement officer has. Cops have to abide by Miranda, intel officers don’t. If I’ve pulled your ass off of the battlefield, you are fair game.

  66. Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it.

    As for the challenge, you and I both know you can’t beat me in a debate- I have the truth on my side. 😉

  67. “R”,

    Tex, you’ll skip no chance to dis Obama, comparing him to Bin Laden and hinting at similar ill intent. You’ve been reading too much Elric and it’s turning you into an ass.

    😆 😆

    Got to remember that there is great satisfaction in being an ass as long as I don’t become like the hole you invariably find yourself “R” having to justify and defend here Mr. Lawson.

    President Blamba ain’t worth two dead flies and the dismal results indicate as much. He’s about as popular as a case of the clap and I am thoroughly enjoying witnessing the failure. Was it the incomparably brilliant Ann Coulter that said Blamba hadn’t even managed as much as a Dairy Queen? Well she was wrong.

    What she should have said is Blamba couldn’t have managed a Dairy Queen. He’s the consummate free loading activist and shill, who happened to hoodwink a bunch of rubes who are now beginning to rue the day they pulled the lever for he and and his jack booted staff.

  68. You think its funny because some guy had his finger bitten off one of your “pro-reform” guys?

    Oh Elric lighten the f*ck up for goodness sake. What I found funny was that after hearing about the Taliban cutting off fingers of voters in Afghanistan, I assumed that is where your article was headed.

    No Elric, I don’t think it’s funny that an anti-reform guy got his pinky bitten off by a pro-reform guy. In fact it was in poor taste … very poor taste considering that most anti-reformers have their finger up their ass most of the time. 🙂

  69. As for the challenge, you and I both know you can’t beat me in a debate- I have the truth on my side.

    Sadly, almost tragically, no one seems to have a monopoly on the “truth” right now. The world seems full of doubt and ambiguity.

  70. Mr. Lawson,

    Sadly, almost tragically, no one seems to have a monopoly on the “truth” right now.

    That’s not what Jesus said… 😉

  71. I’m closing off tonight with good vibrations for Rabbit and his wife.

    Rabbit, even though I think about the politics of this blog often while I am away from it …. and I think about some of the personalities from a political point of view, you and your brave wife have been on my mind from a personal point of view the past day or so even when I’m not at the keyboard.

    Despite the harsh words that have passed, I have no hard feelings and I wish you both all the best. My kid went to her first day of Kindergarten today. One day you’ll send the little bunny off on the bus for the first time and wonder how the hell the years went by so fast. 🙂

  72. Quotes of the day
    posted at 10:45 pm on September 3, 2009 by Allahpundit
    Share on Facebook | printer-friendly

    “The Department of State announces the termination of a broad range of assistance to the government of Honduras as a result of the coup d’etat that took place on June 28…

    The Department of State recognizes the complicated nature of the actions which led to June 28 coup d’etat in which Honduras’ democratically elected leader, President Zelaya, was removed from office. These events involve complex factual and legal questions and the participation of both the legislative and judicial branches of government as well as the military.

    Restoration of the terminated assistance will be predicated upon a return to democratic, constitutional governance in Honduras.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/03/quotes-of-the-day-148/

    Why does Thuggy side with tyrants and despots? Really makes you wonder.

  73. Bronson Marshall Rabbit
    Born 9/3
    7 pounds 11 ounces
    21 inches

    Apgar scores 9
    Two minutes later: 9

    Warrior. Can lift his head up on his own.

    bites breasts

    The hospital was awesome.

    My wife has completely changed the way I view women.

    I want to make sure Bronson respects women.

    I’m at home right now to let the dogs out and take a shower

    I’m over come with emotion as its all hitting me.

    Rutherford, that was an incredibly kind thing to say. While the internet has a dehumanizing element to it, for you to over come that element and, for that matter, my cruel comments, is an example for how I want my boy to grow up.

    I don’t give a damn if this is a cliché, there is no way that God’s work isn’t involved in what I witnessed.

    Tex and Elric and everyone else, thanks.

    I’m going to be gone for a couple days, but I will email Rutherford a pic of the baby with the Rabbit as soon as they are uploaded. (Believe it or not, I don’t refer to my self in the 3rd person in real life nor do I call myself the Rabbit) Feel free to email them to any patrons here that use their real email.

    I can tell I’m the type that will bore everyone on a plane with pictures in my wallet.

    Later.

  74. Congratulations D.R., 😯

    Trust me on this one as old Rutherford will attest – your life will never be the same. You will (and Rutherford hasn’t been totally there yet) experience the highest highs you’ll ever have watching your kids do the ordinary things. I can still remember holding my oldest child and watching her touch a leaf for the first time, then smile like only a child can do. Twenty years later, I can close my eyes and see that little smile. Kids don’t care if you’re a millionaire or have a single dime – they love you just the same.

    And I agree, it does lend more appreciation to woman watching that experience. It is the biggest blessing that God has bestowed on the fairer species and the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

  75. “R”,

    Well, despite my delusions of grandeur, I never did claim to be Jesus.

    😆 😆

    You dolt. That’s not what I was insinuating. Dang Rutherford, you and have a communication gap about as big as the Grand Canyon. The message was one about who had the “truth”. It ain’t you and me.

  76. Hope that makes more sense now.

    LOL … Tex, despite our Grand Canyon communications gap, after some 8 months, I have become adept at reading through your typos. Making sense of your typos is child’s play compared to making sense of your politics. 😉

  77. To follow on a comment made by Tex, I just wanted to observe that one of the big thrills of parenting is when the kid exceeds your expectations. I’ll spare you the maudlin examples from my own experience but trust me, the day will come when Bronson does something, like defend a weaker kid in his class, and you’ll know deep down that it didn’t have a damn thing to do with you …. it’s just because he’s a really cool kid. And your spirit will soar.

  78. Rutherford,

    Yeah, ever since I switched to this fancy little notebook, my posts lack shall we say the “crispness” of correct editing. Hell, I have to wear my reading glasses to see the font anymore. Next to go will be the spelling.

    However, while your posts virtually error free of grammatical or spelling errors, the “matter” therein is the proverbial black hole (no pun intended). And because of the emptiness of matter yet full of incredibly hot air, I have since quit trying to make sense of your politics. I now recognize that you live in the perpendicular and skewed universe of liberalism, where the gravity sucks the life out of the party. 😉

  79. (CNSNews.com)– Cass Sunstein, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), has advocated a policy under which the government would “presume” someone has consented to having his or her organs removed for transplantation into someone else when they die unless that person has explicitly indicated that his or her organs should not be taken.

    Under such a policy, hospitals would harvest organs from people who never gave permission for this to be done.

    http://www.weaselzippers.net/blog/2009/09/another-insane-obama-czar-regulation-czar-advocated-removing-peoples-organs-without-explicit-consent.html

    Not only Thuggy surrounds himself with racists, thugs and marxists, we can add ghouls to the list

  80. Congrats Rabit, not to knock girls (unles its boots :)) but there is no feeling like having a boy. Probably will be recieved as sexist, but it isn’t, there’s just a pride associated with knowing the name and family will continue.

    Congrats!

  81. In no particular order….
    Congrats Rabbit.
    Afghanistan has value. It’s potential for narco state status impacts the world in general,the USA specifically and believe it or not absolutely tweaks the nipples most heinously of the folks in Tehran and believe me they respond to it.
    State Dept…has an agenda on it’s own that goes a long way in perpetuating it’s negative image.
    Back to Afghanistan. Throughout it’s history it’s recoiled from anything resembling central authority. I don’t see that ever changing. With that said even a figure head central entity that can come to the international table is a good idea. Is it worth any more blood and tears ? That’s a question that has so many possibilities.

  82. pretty unusually dead in here. Do I need to make a couple of inflammatory statements to keep things going? btw happy you like the cute cat pictures Gorilla, the first one was my cat. That last picture is what I think of you whenever you seem to comment about me.
    Normally my firefox addon prevents me from seeing Elrics youtube videos unless commanded otherwise, for some reason my netbook is acting weird and showing the videos on this thread. Anyways, that emotional hippie video was hilarious.
    hmmm, what else shall I say?? um, I’m not sure and have only read one news story on Van Jones but didn’t he also make rude comments about Obama at one point? Anyways, whoever cleared him as acceptable enough to even interview for a job was on something. I think the guy should be fired but is this any worse then having GOP congressman that are “birthers” and “deathers”? no. So firing Van Jones for his whacked out conspiracy theory would be good cause to fire congressman for their conspiracy theories.

  83. “Anyways, whoever cleared him as acceptable enough to even interview for a job was on something.”

    Thuggy has a pretty piss poor record vetting people. Thugs, tax cheats, racists, ghouls, eugenic advocates. Whats going on?

  84. Who has been accused of being eugenics activists? just curious though I highly doubt that accusation can pass the B.S. test

  85. btw, I remember when I visited a while ago and first known of Mr. Elric, I thought the Weasel Zipper site was his blog since it was linked to his name at one point.
    Do you “know” the owner of this Weasel Zipper site?

  86. I thought the Weasel Zipper site was his blog

    Yeah I thought it was Elric’s blog also back in the day but in a prior thread Elric indicated he is just a pimp for WZ. I do hope at least that he is compensated fairly for his advertisement efforts. 🙂

  87. The short answer is Ezekiel Emanuel.

    If you can get over the title of the blog, this blog entry is actually very interesting and well sourced: http://sarahpalindeservesourvote.blogspot.com/2009/06/here-we-go-nazi-eugenics-part-of-obamas.html. It focuses on the efforts of Ezekiel Emanuel and the eerie similarities it holds to Nazi eugenics.

    Now, I don’t subscribe to the Obama is Hitler rant, however I do think it is interesting how similar tactics and premises are utilized by socialist entities.

    Just read this by Emanuel. He blames how good our system is, how readily available higher technology and newer drugs are, and how comfortable our medical system is.

    Ahhhh, I didn’t think these were bad things.

    He (Emanuel) also blames the Hippocratic oath, which calls for Dr’s to do everything they can-regardless of cost- to help the patient. It also calls for Dr’s to ‘do no harm’. Considering how Emanuel has premised, if not proposed, that medical treatment should not be applied to all (patients with dementia would not get certain treatments because they are not ‘constructive’ members of society) then it is fair to say that he is a eugenics supporter.

    The Perfect Storm of Overutilization
    Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD

    http://www.ipalc.org/Healthcare_Policy/The%20Perfect%20Storm%20of%20Overutilization%20(JAMA%202008).pdf

  88. I’m sure the science tzar could fall into this as well, considering he is a proponent of population control.

  89. You know Rutherford, Gorilla brings up an interesting point and one that I feel like you have never really addressed in your defense of Obama.

    I don’t think you have been very convincing in argument as yet. And though I hate your politics, I really do not believe you to be dishonest and I would like you to give me your best honest without pointing to the sins of the Republican party, or the foibles of George Bush, or the racial transgressions of previous days.

    How many of these bad apples Obama appointed; how many of these bad apples Obama has at the very least had association professionally with; how many of these white hating churches with race baiting phonies masquerading as reverends, are you going to allow before you’ll admit at the very least that Obama apparently has some poor judgment in picking friends and cabinet members?

    I am going to tell you something that you will both deny and defend, but I think in your own bias and the fact that Obama is black, you are turning a blind eye to some very obvious character flaws concerning Obama.

    I give Obama the nod for elegant speeches – his delivery no doubt a gift, he obviously is charismatic for a great many people, and I myself give him kudos for being a self-made man. I admired that trait in Clinton too, being Clinton came from nothing to become the most powerful politician in the world. I can not deny both Clinton and Obama consummate politicians.

    But I would find your arguments far more effective if you were willing to simply admit that so far, Obama’s record and performance has been less than stellar. Can you give me a few important items you believe Obama has accomplished in his short time that are worthy of your loyalty?

  90. “just curious though I highly doubt that accusation can pass the B.S. test.”

    Would it matter? You drones ask for proof and then when you get it, it doesnt even matter anyway. Seems nothing Thuggy does ever bothers you. Besides Gorilla answered it.

  91. “I am going to tell you something that you will both deny and defend, but I think in your own bias and the fact that Obama is black, you are turning a blind eye to some very obvious character flaws concerning Obama.”

    I think its because they are both leftists. Being a leftist trumps everything else. Just look at the so called “feminists” for example.

    Oh and Thuggy is biracial, not black. 🙂

  92. Let’s look at the latest polls.

    Zogby shows:
    Aug 31 Jul 24
    Dem 75% 88% Approval -13% Change
    13% 10% Disapproval 3% Change
    12% 2% Unknown 10% Change

    Lib 86% 95% Approval -9% Change
    4% 4% Disapproval Same
    10% 2% Unknown 8% Change

    Black 74% 83% Approval -9% Change
    21% 17% Disapproval 4% Change
    5% .4% Unknown 4.6% Change

    18-29 41% 59% Approval -18% Change
    41% 38% Disapproval 3% Change
    19% 3% Unknown 16% Change

    http://www.zogby.com/Soundbites/ReadClips.cfm?ID=19052

    Rassmussen show:
    Overall approval at 48% versus 52% disapporive. 27% strongly approve while 38% strongly disapprove.

    In a generic ballot, the GOP beats the Dems, 43% to 36%. A year ago, it was nearly the exact opposite.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    Another interesting article on Obama’s numbers http://www.redcounty.com/obamas-approval-rating-sinking-fast

    Many have commented on how the youth vote, significantly for Obama, was a key to his victory. The problem with the youth vote has been how fickle they are. Seeing an 18% drop in approval in the youth is important and telling. Obama’s ratings among the elderly are 41/52 approve/disapprove- and they are much more reliable to vote.

    What is interesting is that this has occurred with the media continuing to essentially not question Obama, his administration or his agenda.

  93. Fox Will Not Broadcast Obama Speech

    As expected, Fox will not broadcast President Obama’s speech on Wednesday.

    Here’s a statement from the network: “The Fox Broadcasting Company will not air the Presidential Address to Congress on Wednesday, September 9 at 8:00 PM (ET). FOX’s sister networks, Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network will air the presidential address in its entirety. FOX will alert viewers with an on-screen graphic at the top of the 8:00 PM (ET) hour that the presidential address is available on Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.”

    http://www.wilshireandwashington.com/2009/09/fox-will-not-broadcast-obama-speech.html

    Heh 🙂

  94. Van Jones: I’m Part of the “Global Struggle Against the US”….

    Van Jones, Barack Obama’s Green Jobs Czar, produced a record album entitled “WarTimes: Reports from the Opposition” a few years ago that was narrated by convicted cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal and featured a clip of an interview Jones did where he slammed the United States and Israel and proclaimed his stand with a “global struggle” against the United States.

    http://www.weaselzippers.net/blog/2009/09/van-jones-im-part-of-the-global-struggle-against-the-us.html

    Israel too? Must have attended Thuggy’s “church.

  95. Israel too? Must have attended Thuggy’s “church.

    Once again Elric, you have me puzzled. It’s almost as if had Jones only dissed the US and not Israel you’d have no problem. What about dissing Israel is the tipping point for you?

    As far as I’m concerned the story begins and ends with Jones being a “truther”. Obviously Obama needs to start vetting folks better.One could argue what does green jobs have to do with Jones’ past political bombasts, but just the appearance looks slimy.

    I’d need to do more research on Jones from balanced sources before I completely committed, from what little I’ve heard, he’s a liability.

  96. “Once again Elric, you have me puzzled. It’s almost as if had Jones only dissed the US and not Israel you’d have no problem. What about dissing Israel is the tipping point for you?”

    Umm no. Ive posted his marxist racist BS earlier. But you were too busy dodging them I guess. Kinda funny you only comment when you think you might have some kind of point. 🙂

    “Obviously Obama needs to start vetting folks better.”

    Gee you think? Nominating a tax cheat to head the IRS wasnt enough of a clue for your leftist dronish mind?

    “I’d need to do more research on Jones from balanced sources before I completely committed, from what little I’ve heard, he’s a liability.”

    His videos with him speaking not good enough? You really are hopeless.

  97. Van Jones Sends Thrill Up MSNBC’s Leg
    MSNBC just cannot stop covering and cheering for the Obama administration. Either they don’t understand their own news biases, or they don’t care, or both. This blog post by several of MSNBC’s news staff, including reporter Chuck Todd, says it all:

    *** Remind us again how the media is biased…: Finally, here’s one more thought about the entire controversy over Obama’s education speech on Tuesday: Since the White House has said the text of the speech will be available for 24 hours before he delivers it and since they altered the lesson plan language, why is this still a controversy? The ability of the conservative media machine to generate a controversy for this White House is amazing. In fact, this is an example of a story that percolates where it becomes harder and harder for some to claim there’s some knee-jerk liberal media bias. (Does anyone remember these kinds of controversies in the summer of 2001?) The ability of some conservatives to create media firestorms is still much greater than liberals these days. How effective is the conservative media machine? Just ask Van Jones…

    The reporters at MSNBC are not stupid. They know that the speech was controversial precisely because of the accompanying materials for use in the classroom, which were creepy in asking school children to serve and help Obama. Telling school children to work hard and stay off drugs is one thing, pulling them into a cult of personality is another. The fact that the White House changed the script after the controversy proves the protests were legitimate, not the other way around.

    And Van Jones being the victim of a faux conservative media storm? Is it not worthy of controversy that a White House adviser signed a 9/11 Truther petition, and had other ties to Truther organizations? And called Congressmen “assholes.” And called George Bush a “crackhead.”

    http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2009/09/van-jones-sends-thrill-up-msnbcs-leg.html

    PMSNBC send a thrill up Dodger’s leg.

  98. Two questions for Gorilla:

    Since we are on the topic of Afghanistan on this thread I’d like you to weigh in on two things:

    First, what is your opinion of mercenaries like the firm that used to be called Blackwater. Are they worth the trouble? A help or ultimately a hindrance? I’ve seen a lot of Jeremy Scahill who has written extensively on the subject and he basically says we could not wage war without them … we just don’t have the manpower anymore, however, they operate by their own rules, which is a major liability. Your thoughts?

    Second, and I know this is a terribly simplistic question, why don’t we just firebomb the Afghan poppy fields? Completely wipe out the crop? I read today that 90% of the worlds heroin comes from Afghan poppy. It finances the Taliban big time. Sounds like we could make more impact avoiding the collateral damage civilian casualties, and have some agricultural casualties instead. Force Afghanistan to find some other form of income.

  99. Here is a simplistic question.

    Is Thuggy so incompetent he cant vet such a piece of work like Van Jones or he agrees or sympathetic to his radical ideology?

    We do know its the later but be interesting if the drones would weigh in. We also know they wont. Too scared.

  100. (NAACP.org)- NAACP Continues its Support of Special Advisor of Green Jobs Van Jones and the White House Green Jobs Initiative. The NAACP is calling for civility in the national discourse on safe, clean communities and sustainable sources of domestic energy. It is time to end the personal attacks on administration officials as a distraction to crucial discussion on our nation and our world’s environmental conditions.

    NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous:

    “It is sad and unfortunate that our nation’s precious airwaves and cable television time are being occupied with the unscrupulous, diversionary tactics launched by right wing extremists such as Glenn Beck.These desperate tactics divert America’s attention and intellectual resources away from issues affecting our families and communities. These life-and-death concerns are being overshadowed by employing ruthless attacks against Van Jones, White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs and dedicated advocate for safe, clean and healthy communities.

    Why does the NAACP back such a radical? Well we know, dont we?

  101. First, what is your opinion of mercenaries like the firm that used to be called Blackwater. Are they worth the trouble? A help or ultimately a hindrance? I’ve seen a lot of Jeremy Scahill who has written extensively on the subject and he basically says we could not wage war without them … we just don’t have the manpower anymore, however, they operate by their own rules, which is a major liability. Your thoughts? — R

    Can we wage war without them, absolutely. In fact, they have no bearing on actual combat. They become critical to elements like the State Dept who relies on them extensively for security. If Private/Personnel Security Detachments (PSDs) were not in country, then our combat forces would have to dedicate resources to provide security for State personnel attempting to get into the population.

    Really, the ultimate question is what kind of conflict are we fighting- Counterinsurgency (COIN) or Counterterrorism (CT). Commonly, what I see is a confusion on the difference between the two.

    CT is the tactical application of force targeting terrorist operations. This is where the boot meets the door, flash-bang, pop-pop-pop. It is the defensive application of force through offensive operations. Ultimately, it is reacting to events, intelligence and threats.

    COIN is the strategic application of policy that focuses on the environmental conditions that breeds terrorism. It is the application of financial tools, political tools, socio-economic development and security. Ultimately, it is driving, prescribing, and nurturing the environment.

    So in Iraq, following the change in strategy, we focused much more on COIN, but for COIN to be effective, it requires much more integration and interaction with the population. Thus, State- which was/is technically responsible for the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT)- along with the Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), needed to get into the population. The BCT’s do not have the resources to effectively maintain certain levels of combat operations as well as provide PSD support to the PRTs. Thus, the PRTs- and State in general- employs private security firms.

    Personally, I think 99% of the private security firms are good folks. You can tell which firms were thrown together to capitalize on the rapid expansion of the contracts being awarded, but they don’t last very long. Blackwater is a unique entity. First off, understand who is employed by these entities- overwhelmingly prior military. Blackwater particularly employs a large number of prior Special Forces, so you have a cadre of folks who have experience under fire, with very unique and special skill sets. Now, put this in the context to the environment they were operating in, especially prior to mid 2007. They have good equipment (armored vehicles), but its not nearly as good as the military’s, so there is that. So you have convoys being hit with IEDs and small arms fire and the perpetrators blend in with the population. Let that happen a few times and you get a bit fidgety to say the least.

    Have they made mistakes, absolutely. Do they require monitoring, damn skippy. Are they evil war mongers out to rack up kill notches on their gunbelts? No.

    Second, and I know this is a terribly simplistic question, why don’t we just firebomb the Afghan poppy fields? Completely wipe out the crop? I read today that 90% of the worlds heroin comes from Afghan poppy. It finances the Taliban big time. Sounds like we could make more impact avoiding the collateral damage civilian casualties, and have some agricultural casualties instead. Force Afghanistan to find some other form of income. — R

    We’ve tried herbicides and what not, not very successful though. Again, we need to consider what kind of war are we trying to fight in Afghanistan: COIN or CT. This is important in a country with no industry. How do you win over a population that relies heavily on poppy cultivation. You talk about forcing Afghanistan to find an alternative form of income, what industry? There is no agricultural crop that can even come close to the return on poppy. Any other industry requires significant infrastructure: transportation, energy, manufacturing, assembly, etc. I would prefer we find a way to capitalize on the poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and reinvest the proceeds into infrastructure development.

  102. “The truth is that the threat we face is not an abstract concern for the future. It is already upon us and its effects are being felt worldwide, right now. Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now.”-Kerry

    “Senator John Kerry makes a clear and chilling case for the impending crisis.” -Rutherford.

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