Thursday, March 31, 2011

Toppling Tyrants: Then & Now

(Image by Gary Varvel)


On 28 March, our Teleprompter-in-Chief gave a speech defining our role and objective in the "kinetic military action" in Libya.

You can read the text of Obama's speech here, courtesy of NPR:


Or you can watch the rerun on YouTube:


Either way, the odd part about this speech is that it is unlike what Senator/candidate-for-president Obama said a few years back.  Amazing how things change in four years.

Matt Cover, of CNS News, reminds us how Obama thought toppling dictators was a dumb idea:


Victor Davis Hanson (VDH) rolls-in on this from his view in The Corner:


Comrade Karla makes a good point about future "kinetic military actions," (which by the way use to be called "wars"):

In a way, this is good—next time a US President—say a Republican—needs to act quickly in the interests of the US, the Dems will have to shut up or make a case NOW for why they don’t like what is going on now—the same way they didn’t like what Bush did.

Sean Hannity and Mark Steyn discussed this issue a couple days ago:

http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/transcript/white-house-credits-president-obama-libyan-uprising

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thankfully We're Not the Only Ones Lost in Libya (Humor)


Note:  "Muti" is Arabic for "jackass."

(Comic captioning available from Comic Life).

Just When We're Needed the Most (Humor)

Disclaimer:  The idea that there's an "American safehouse" owned by one of our intelligence/special ops groups is purely conjecture on my part.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Obama's Kinetic Military Obfuscation

(Image by Beeler)

Apparently our Teleprompter-in-Chief will address the nation to explain his decision to launch a "kinetic military action," that is lib-speak for "war," against Libya.  I guess it would be unseemly for a Nobel Peace Prize winner to start a war, so our actions in Libya had to be called something less offensive to peacenik ears.

Now I'm all for taking out tyrannical despots, especially one as whacky as Ga-Daffy.  But if you're going to wage "kinetic military action," then do it right and conduct these kenitic operations to win.

What also disturbs me is the hue & cry generated by liberal groups, like CodePink, Moveon.org, along with the lame-stream media facilitators is absent.  Unlike the nearly 8-year long bleat-fest conducted by these very same groups when Dubya went to war in Iraq.

Victor Davis Hanson, (aka VDH), rolls-in on Obama's political contortions over "...the shores of Tripoli:"


Since Obama wants nothing to do with his role as Commander-in-Chief of NATO, he seems to have pawned the job off on to a Canadian general.  Mark Steyn speaks out from The Corner:





(Image by Ramirez)

Steven Hayward from Powerline, adds his $0.02 on why it's a bad idea for Obama to abdicate command & control authority of NATO: 


The coalitions Bush the Elder and Bush the Younger created to wage war in Iraq (x2) and Afghanistan, were robust, not to mention getting Congressional support, than the "Coalition of the Wobbly" Obama managed to scrape together.

Will the real community organizer(s) please stand up?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Who Owns the Skies Over Libya?


Good question, especially since Obama would like to wash his hands of this "overseas contingency operation."  However, outsourcing the Libyan no-fly zone may not be that easy.

Stephen L. Carter of The Daily Beast explains:


While none of us conservative-ish types will shed a tear if Ga-Daffy should have an unfortunate encounter with a Tomahawk missile, we don't like the namby-pamby way Team Obama has been running the show.  Once again, it's amateur hour in the White House. 

Mark Steyn rolls-in on some of the wrongness of doing the right thing, at the wrong time, with the wrong people:


Meanwhile, hear at home, we're able to hear crickets chirping because there's been no massive hue & cry, from the Code Pink Crowd over "Obama's War," like there was when "Bush lied, kids died." 

Here's a humorous, hypothetical debate on YouTube between a liberal and conservative over Libya vs Iraq:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who Are These Guys?


No one is quite sure who these Libyan rebels are:


Not only are we unsure who the rebels are, but who's going to be leading the war effort after the US pulls out, or subordinates our forces to a foreign command.

One of my on-line friends sent us his thoughts on the Libyan Airstrike Issue.  I loved the title of his message:

HOPE IS NOT A COURSE OF ACTION

That's the phrase we liked to use at Joint Forces Staff College to describe creating and implementing a plan that was not well thought out.


It came to mind reading an article just now that reported that "France said on Monday it hoped the Libyan government would collapse from within." I think Obama is thinking the same thing, and thus is making a cardinal mistake in warfighting. I told a coworker yesterday that this is the first time I can remember in my entire life that I thought military action was a bad idea (I do tend to be a warmonger and I like seeing "fire go down range.").


My take on Libya is that Qa-daffy will try to slow roll the coalition, such as it is. There is already a food fight going on as to who will be in charge -- no one wants it. The Euros like having the U.S. in charge.


The U.S. does not want it, as Obama made crystal clear. The Turks, Greeks, Germans and others will block NATO from taking it. I won't bother to consider the Arab League. So, bottom line on the coalition of the unwilling is that no one wants to be too closely identified with it. Not a promising start.


Back to Qa-daffy, he sees all this. He also sees the Chinese and Russians calling for a cease fire. He sees that the Arab League was for the war before they were against it (I feel OK using a Kerry-ism since he was so vocal about intervening early on). Knowing that the coalition has feet of mud, Qa-daffy's new paramount challenge is two-fold:


1 - Avoid getting killed, either by a TLAM or a bullet from a disgruntled employee


2 - Avoid a land campaign to oust him


He is working the first by disappearing (as of a few days ago), dispersing his successors, taking a defensive posture, positioning human shields (like Nic Roberts of CNN, whatever he says) and avoiding any excuses for more airstrikes.


Work on the second overlaps. He really needs to avoid doing the things he no doubt would love to do, like taking Western hostages, terror attacks outside Libya, firing Scuds into Europe, chemical weapons, etc.  Fight clean against the rebels (and not the West) and give no excuses for any drastic action.

So, if he does those two things, all he has to do is maintain control over what he holds and maybe push carefully on the ground where he can.


Sooner or later the coalition will fizzle (I guess sooner). The rebels are poorly equipped, untrained, etc. Short of a significant push by outside countries to give the rebels some backbone, they will fail, sooner or later. Once the rebellion is over, so is the real danger to Qa-daffy.

Qa-daffy also must realize that the Europeans are unlikely to introduce combat troops without U.S. involvement. Obama will not introduce troops unless forced to do so (it would be political suicide for him to do so after his very vociferous claims to that effect). So, he could possibly overreach himself and go too far - that is the big variable, to my mind.  Additionally, he has reacted to attacks in the past by striking back via terrorism (he has the convenient patsy of al Qaeda to provide plausible deniability if he does). Still, if he is patient and careful, he will survive and we will look pathetic.


Oh, BTW, if he deployed/dispersed his chemical weapons and the U.S. decided to go in on the ground to stop him, can you imagine how Obama would look "repeating Bush's mistakes?" It would be hilarious (though very bad for us).

Another friend posted this response:

Rhetoric matters - POTUS has said that "Qadafi (sp?) must go." When you say the leader of a foreign nation must go and then start dropping bombs on his country you have committed to a policy of regime change and all that it entails. However, nothing we are doing suggests we are committed to a policy of regime change and all that it entails.



That makes things very simple for Mr. Qadafi - all he has to do is survive and still be in power when this thing ends and he can call it victory. All we will have proven is that yes we are quite capable of taking down the air defenses in a third world country.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Not Just Bombs We're Dropping...


...Obama plans on dropping out of our leadership role against Ga-Daffy.  We're suppose to relinquish command of the coalition "within days." 

So who's going to take over?

That hasn't bee decided yet.


The command & control confusion almost sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine.



What's the end-game in all this?

Mark Steyn rolls-in from "The Corner:"


And what are some of the "usual suspects" going to learn from this?  Once again, Mr. Steyn provides some answers:


Speaking of answers, some of my friends weighed-in on the We Don't Know What We're Doing article, I posted yesterday.  Here's a sampling of comments:

I have an unscientific observation. The CNN website's poll on U.S. support for a no-fly zone was 80% in favor on Friday. That has dropped to 60% now that we are actually doing it. That means a large portion of people say they support it, until the moment that something starts, then they change their mind immediately. It probably does not help when the Commander in Chief is not even in the hemisphere to kick things off, and has to do an audio message in between sightseeing activities.

That's a pretty good observation. [Comrade Karla] and I have mused on this characteristic of the all-too-fickle American public for a long time. I believe [Comrade Karla] said it best one day about 5 years ago (and this is a paraphrase)......."The people with the 'Free Tibet' stickers on their cars never stop running their mouths off about how we don't do enough.  But they suddenly wouldn't be OK with what we'd actually have to do to free Tibet."

Speaking of the good comrade, here he is now:

The same goes for Sudan/Darfur or any other "humanitarian disaster" du jour. In fact, we have less reason to nail Ghaddafi than we did Saddam--but if the whining hypocrites of the UN and Arab League bless it, suddenly you have an imprimatur of legitimacy. Derived from what basis, I know not.  Expect the 'coalition of the wobbly' to collapse within the week, especially as the Arab League will utterly lack the stones to fly combat missions (if not the actual capability) and assorted Euros will begin whining when stuff gets blown and people die.  Our President will play another round of golf.

Actually, we had every reason to kill Qa-daffy...in 1988! We should've ended his existence after the Pan Am bombing. However, because of GB1 inaction, I agree with you about Qa-daffy vs. Saddam in the 21st Century.  I agree that this coalition was in serious trouble from the get-go.  Obama should've sat this one out because it is not going to end well, short of a bullet to Qa-daffy's head from one of his peeps. The UN mandate does not have any provision for regime change, so any attempts to nail Qa-daffy personally are going to exceed its authority and generate a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. The Euros are so gung-ho because it provides a fig leaf for their disgusting appeasement of him for oil contracts.  I never thought I'd be so opposed to military action, especially against someone like Qa-daffy. Either I am getting older and wiser, or older and softer!

What bugs me is the surreal nature of the whole thing. I realize we are trying to let our "coalition partners" do as much as possible but when was the last time we got ourselves involved in a major military action with so little public debate? Agree with the actions or not, Gulf Wars I and II and the interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s were heavily discussed and debated in the media and in Congress.

I notice that the Arab League is already against it, claiming they signed on to a no-fly zone, not a bombing campaign. The African Union is against it as well. So much for our current head shed's "unique" name and ethnicity carrying weight with those folks.

This evening, John Bolton was on Greta Van Sustern's show, On the Record.  He pointed out the following, which I'm paraphrasing:

The biggest threat to the Libyan people is Muammar Gaddafi. 

If we don't take him out personally, he'll cause trouble for us later, with terrorist attacks or revamping his WMD program.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ga-Daffy's Threats

(Image:  Gaddafi's compound bombed in 1986--and again in 2011).

While allied air and naval forces launched a second strike against Gadhafi, the Libyan dictator promised a "long war" in return.  Yahoo News has the story:


But will our actions do any good?  David Warren brings up some good points in Real Clear Politics:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/03/20/barack_obama_united_states_libya_war_109284.html

Doing something for the sake of doing something is not always an effective strategy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

To the Shores of Tripoli...

(Image:  Raymond Massey's To the Shores of Tripoli limited edition print)

...then and now:

(Image:  Tomahawk missiles launched from a US warship)

Two days after the UN imposed a no-fly zone over Libya, American and British warships launched a cruise missile strike, while French warplanes began patrolling the Libyan skies. 

From the Washington Post (WaPo):


From Yahoo News:


From the Seattle Times:


“We have every reason to fear that, left unchecked, Gaddafi will commit unspeakable atrocities,” Clinton said in a Paris.

Maybe establishing a no-fly zone will help Libyan rebels.  However, someone should inform Hillary about that unspeakable atrocities weren't prevented in Bosnia and Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), when no-fly zones were established over those countries. 

Meanwhile in America's Dairyland...


For several weeks, Wisconsin has captured the nation's attention.  (Because of other news and personal issues, I haven't reported on this until now).  Facing a deficit, newly elected Governor Scott Walker (R) submitted a proposal to the state legislature, largely composed of (R)'s, thanks to last year's election, to limit the collective bargaining tactics of government employees--union employees.

Rather than face the music, about a dozen (D)'s in the state legislature, fled to Illinois in order to avoid the vote.  Since the Democrats deserted their posts, the bill to curb bargaining rights was easily passed, but WI's capital building was the scene of on-going protests for several days.

But the saga hasn't ended yet.  Now a judge imposed a temporary restraining order against the bill to accomodate a lawsuit filed by the state's Democrats.

Yahoo News has the story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110318/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions_lawsuit

Comrade Karla rolls-in:

So why do we even bother having legislators when judges seem to be making all the decisions?


Why indeed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The UN "Gets Tough" on Libya...

(Image:  The Team America Osprey)

...well, sort of.

While the Fukushima 50 continue their valiant efforts to cool down their reactor, the UN Security Council votes to establish a "no-fly zone" over Libyan airspace.  Such a tactic hasn't worked in the past (see Bosnia and Saddam Hussein's Iraq), but hey, it's worth one more try.  Right?

From FOX News:


One of my on-line friends sent us these scathing, but accurate remarks:

I hate to say it, but it seems like we're going to get the worst possible outcome here: we'll impose a no fly zone and air strikes too late to change the course of the conflict (which I have doubts would've been effective anyway short of killing Qa-daffy outright, but whatever).  Then, when Qa-daffy is secure on his throne, we'll look like the impotent, wishy-washy, Euro-do-nothings that we have become.


Now, if Qa-daffy nails some ships or planes in the Med, all bets are off and he's toast. He's crazy, but not stupid enough to invite direct attack like that. He's winning and a no-fly zone will do little more than stave off a complete collapse in rebel morale.  Anyone remember how the rebel leadership said they did not want a no-fly zone a few weeks ago? Funny out that changed.

Also, while I'm ranting, do we even have a policy? The Sec Def says no way to any action; Sec State says not only a no fly zone, but airstrikes. The President says "Qa-daffy must go" then goes on radio silence. WTF? This is not amateur hour any more - it's a freakin' free for all!

I'm sure Obama will make a statement from Rio about all this, or maybe between the 13th and 14th hole.


The Fukushima 50


The crisis in Japan continues unabatted.  However, 50 workers from Fukushima's Daiichi powerplant valiantly stayed behind and are desperately trying to cool down the reactor.  The LA Times has a short piece on the "Fukushima 50:"

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/asia/la-fgw-japan-quake-fukushima-50,0,690133.story

Meanwhile, Yahoo News has a more generalized story about the continuing crisis and the world's reaction:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110318/ts_nm/us_japan_quake

Yahoo News also has a running slideshow, which now contains 450 photos:

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Japan-hit-huge-earthquake-tsunami/ss/events/wl/031111japanquake#photoViewer=/110315/ids_photos_wl/r238054960.jpg 

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


Mark Steyn rolls-in on critics of America's "faux Irishness:"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan's Nuclear Woes Continue...


...but compared to the damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami, how bad is it?  The folks at Brave New Climate posted a narrative explaining what happened and what is currently being done to minimize the radiation hazard:



Wikipedia has an entry, along with some historical data on the Fukushima reactor:



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan's Nuclear Facilities Suffering Shutdowns--Or Worse


The earthquake and tsunami that devestated Japan a couple days ago is now wrecking havoc with the nation's nuclear power plants.  From Yahoo News:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake;_ylt=AuNPOtIpJtk8re2PpDXf94Ss0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNqMjhlY20yBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMzEyL2FzX2phcGFuX2VhcnRocXVha2UEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMyBHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNmb3JiYXR0ZXJlZGo-

The Seattle Times has a similar story:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2014473724_apasjapanearthquake.html


(Image: From NOAA, illustrating the power of the Japanese tsunami)

On this side of the Pacific, the tsunami caused some damage, especially to coastal regions in Northern California.  But certainly not on the same scale of destruction that hit Japan: 


Now folks are getting concerned about radioactivity reaching these shores.

Photo Gallery from The Seattle Times:



Slideshow from Yahoo News:

Friday, March 11, 2011

8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan



I woke up to this news before heading to work:


From The Seattle Times:


Earthquakes can have an impact far beyond the epicenter.  The coast of Washington State has been under a Tsunami Advisory for several hours:


When I first woke up and read the initial report the number of casualties was reported at 32.  Now, unfortunately, it's climbing rapidly as relief and rescue efforts get underway.  From FOX News:


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Move Along, Nothing to See Here in Frankfurt


Three days ago, two USAF airmen were gunned down at a shuttle bus at the Frankfurt Airport. 

Here's the breaking story:


The gunman, Arid Uka, a German Muslim, whose parents emigrated from Kosovo, was heard yelling "Allahu Akbar!" as he opened fire.
Despite the obvious connection to jihad, Our Telepromter-in-Chief can't seem to bring himself to say this was an act of terrorism.  Mark Steyn rolls-in:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Retreating from the High Seas

(Image:  The USS Connecticut leads The Great White Fleet in 1907)

I've posted before on the tragic decline of Britain's Royal Navy (RN).  Unfortunately, our navy has set course for being "laid up in ordinary."  Mark Helprin, novelist and member of the Clairmont Institute, rolls-in on what's at stake if America abdicates control of the seas:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not Our Great-Great-Grandfathers' Revolution


Niall Ferguson rolls-in on why Egypt's "Facebook Revolution" of 2010 may be nothing like the American Revolution of 1776.  His key point is, most revolutions since 1776 haven't been anything like America's: