By Christmas?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The military is the smallest its been since WW II which makes sense as the Founders feared a standing army would become a tool to oppress the citizens and there is no threat to the United States that would justify maintaining one.

 So why is our military engaged in so many wars around the globe?  Aside from Afghanistan, we also have boots on the ground in the Middle East and in Africa.  What national security interest are they defending?  Why not pull them out, bring them home, stand them down?

 Joe Doakes

Dunno.  Ask the guy with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Neerja Bhanot

It was thirty years ago today that Neerja Bhanot won India’s highest honor for bravery in peacetime, the Ashoka Chakra Award when her jetliner, Pan Am Flight 73 from Mumbai to the US, was hijacked by terrorists from Abu Nidal, who were specifically targeting Americans.

Wikipedia takes up the story:

After 17 hours, the hijackers opened fire and set off explosives. Neerja Bhanot opened one of the doors. Although she could have been the first to jump out of the aircraft and flee to safety when she opened the door, she decided not to and instead started helping the other passengers to escape. Neerja was shot while shielding three unaccompanied American children from a hail of bullets of the hijackers. Out of a total of 41 American passengers, two were killed during the hijacking. A child on board, then aged seven, is now a captain for a major airline and has stated that Neerja Bhanot has been his inspiration and he owes every day of his life to her. 

I’m including the story partly due to its historical value…

…and partly to counter the notion that the cultural left continues to push – the idea that the individual is helpless in the face of adversity, to say nothing of aggression, without “the village” – the suffocating fog of government there to protect and validate them.  This thesis is trashed on a nearly-daily basis.  Faced with imponderable evil, against the most daunting odds, ordinary people do the most extraordinary things.  To attempt to has always been considered one of the greatest virtues of mankind.

And I’m here, in part, to keep reminding you of that.

So that, more importantly, you can remind others of that.


It’s gotta be frustrating to be a terrorist, trying to actually get PR for attacks in America.

It’s gotta feel almost like a scene from Monty Python and the Life of Brian – they keep launching attacks in the US (via proxies, for the most part) and the government keeps blaming it on…others!

  • Nidal Hassan’s attack on Fort Hood?  Workplace violence!
  • The attack on the recruiters in Little Rock?  Street crime!
  • San Bernardino?  Why, that was workplace violence too, silly peasants!
  • Omar Matteen?  Whose ISIS sympathies were so clear that the Administration felt the need to clumsily redact them from public releases on the subject?   Apparnetly his victims were killed by self-animating Republican guns.

It’s gotten to the point that Al Quaeda (remember them?) is telling its lone wolves to try to focus on WASPS, to try to prevent the American social-justice grievance industry from co-opting their attacks for their own purposes:

In the June 12 attack in Orlando, Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 inside a gay nightclub. Although Mateen, who was later killed by police, told hostage negotiators he pledged allegiance to ISIS, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has characterized the attack as a hate crime against gays.

“I cannot tell you definitively that we will ever narrow it down to one motivation,” Lynch told reporters last week. “People often act out of more than one motivation.

“This was clearly an act of terror and an act of hate,” she continued. “We will look at all motivations and hope to come to a conclusion there.”

Although Al Qaeda does not take credit for Mateen’s attack in the online article, it urges more “lone wolves” to take up arms. Jihadists should target “areas where the Anglo-Saxon community is generally concentrated,” it states. “This class of the American community is the majority and it is the one that is in the American leadership.”

On the one hand, it makes good PR sense; strip out as many hooks for the left’s exploiting the narrative as possible.

On the other?  They’ve tried it once – and it didn’t end well for them.

Rumor Of Anything But War Nosirreebob

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A general in Iran claims Iran has been preparing for all-out war on the US and its allies for years.

No doubt the Obama administration is pondering this message for subtle clues.  What could it mean?  Is it a plea for carbon credits?  Living-wage jobs?  What do Iranians really want?

Joe Doakes

It’s something about launching nukes if any state implements Voter ID, I think.

Happy Easter. You’re Dead.

Read this piece, from MPR, about the bombings in Lahore, Pakistan.

Horrific?  Yep.

What’s missing?

The fairly pivotal fact that the the Pakistani Taliban targeted the park because it was a major center for Pakistani Christians celebrating Easter.

To do so would interfere with the narrative that we’re not involved in a battle to the death with a millennarian, eliminationist death cult (and no, I’m not referring to every Muslim, or even a majority).

Show me a charity that seeks to train, and ideally arm, Christians around the world – especially in Nigeria, ISIS territory, and Pakistan – to resist genocide, and I will hold a fund-raiser.

UPDATE:  Let’s put a hotfoot on that charity providing arms and training to Christians in harm’s way.  And, if we can swing it, tanks and jets and napalm.


(Hat tip to Kel in the comment section)

In The Changing Fashion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Read the Old Testament.  War was constant in ancient times, tribe against tribe.

Read Medieval history.  War was constant in Medieval times, family against family.

The Treaty of Westphalia, signed in 1658, nationalized war.  From that point on, “war” could only be conducted by nations.  All other violent conflict was “crime.”

We’re still operating under that intellectual framework.  President Obama doesn’t consider terrorism to be “war” because it’s not being waged by a distinct nation.  It’s just “crime.”  That’s why he sent the FBI to investigate the Benghazi consulate bombing – to look for clues so they could prosecute the criminals who blew it up and murdered our ambassador.

At some point, we need to shed our antique notion.  Military historian William Lind theorizes war has moved into a new generation characterized by smaller groups loosely affiliated in furtherance of a long-term goal.

That’s what Belgium looks like to me.

That’s what war looks like today.

Joe doakes

The good news:  we’ll never see another World War 2 again.

The bad news:  we’ll never see another World War 2 again.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There has been recent discussion about requiring women to register for the draft.  Failure to register carries threat of prosecution, but nobody has been prosecuted in decades.  Despite lack of enforcement, compliance is 99% in Idaho but only 34% in Washington, DC.  We must address the factors causing voluntary non-compliance.  If threat of prosecution carries no weight, how can we give young people a meaningful incentive to obey the law?

Joe Doakes

It’s time to end selective service registration.  It will never be used, the military doesn’t want it (ever), and it’s major problem isn’t that we don’t draft women; the problem is that the draft puts the onus of defending the nation (especially in the enlisted ranks) entirely on those who don’t have the means to avoid the lottery.

“Selective” service is an abomination to a free society.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

North Korea claims to have detonated a nuclear weapon.  There is much consternation: a rogue state with an H-bomb would be dangerous.

The report is false.  It’s simply not possible.  President Clinton solved the problem of North Korea nuclear weapons decades ago.

And North Korea has nothing to do with Iran.  To even hint that President Obama is repeating Clinton’s mistake – that he’s not only enabling but actually funding a rogue state’s acquisition of a weapon of mass destruction – is totally raciss and therefore an unacceptable topic of discussion.

Joe Doakes

To the governing class, it’s not the facts that matter; merely that the process was followed.

What A Terrorist Wants

SCENE:  December 8, 1941, in the well of the House of Representatives – in an alternate universe.    President Barack Delano Obama is addressing a joint emergency session of Congress.

OBAMA:  Yesterday, December Seventh, 1941, is a day which will live in infamy.

Now, let me be clear:  this attack did not represent the Real Japan.  Japan is an ancient, honorable culture, dating back over 2,000 years; Shinto is a religion of peace, famous for its pastoral scenes and transcendental poetry.

And this attack does not represent the real Japanese people; a people who invented sushi, and baseball, and the number zero, named after their fighter plane.

We know the attackers were the junior varsity; who even knew the Japanese had aircraft carriers?

The lesson of yesterday?  We must not give in to fear, or bigotry, in framing our response to this attack.  We must not let fear drive us to launching an air raid on Tokyo, or a two-pronged offensive through the Solomon Islands, or an island-jumping campaign through the Central Pacific, because that is exactly what the attackers want.  If they force us to attack them, we are playing their game, their way.

We must respond to the parts we control – to the National Rifle Association, which has, through the intransigence of Congressional Republicans,  made it easier for criminals like the attackers to buy bombs than books in Tokyo.

I urge Congress also to accelerate passage of the Affordable Defense Act.

Thank you, and let’s not waste this crisis.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Larry Correia writes the Monster Hunter series, which are pretty good SF.  He’s also a Gun Guy, truly one of us.  His column about Paris:

I like this line, talking about the Obama administration failures in the Middle East:

“. . . the western world was literally cheering Putin getting involved. How badly do you have to f**k up that your allies are happy the Russians moved in instead?”

Joe Doakes

Correia’s a sharp guy.

And the answer to the rhetorical question is “Badly.  Very badly.”

A Lesson From Paris

In the Charlie Hebdo attack, Muslim terrorists slaughtered some deeply unsympathetic characters; “journalists” whose entire milieu involved whizzing in other peoples Wheaties.

And they attacked a kosher market – in other words, Jews.

So if you’re not a smug confrontational “journalist” or a Jew, you may have felt you were safe.

And their targets in the US, so far, have been similar; military installations of various types, full of unarmed servicepeople and dependents, for the most part.

Last Friday’s attacks “targeted” nobody; they were completely indiscriminate.

But the casualties were disproportionally younger people in the hipster parts of the 11th Arondissement of Paris; patrons at bars and sidewalk cafes, heavy metal fans at Baclaban, and soccer fans.

In other words – not only pretty much anyone, but especially at the four different attacks on bars and shopping areas, disproportionately people who, it seems likely, were likely than average to support aggressive, anti-ISIS policies.  I’m going to speculate, not without good reason, that many of the victims would have been actively hostile to hardline politics.

In any case, certainly none of the victims were within spitting distance of the French power structure.  Being neutral, or even opposed to the French counterterror policy, was no protection; any random passerby it was a bone to be chewed.

Moderation Is No Virtue:  If you read about the Middle East in any depth, you know that the single most dangerous thing to be is a “moderate Muslim”; it is they that the radicals kill off first, before the Americans, before the Brits, before even the Israelis.

That is pretty standard behavior among radicals; the Bolsheviks killed the Mensheviks; the Nazis muscled out lesser fascists; the Obama people turned the rhetorical long knives on Hillary.

But it is, literally, a matter of religious doctrine for ISIS; not only is failing to follow the Koran a crime, but failure to exact punishment by Koranic standards is punishable under Koranic law.  That includes the leadership; the Caliph must wage war on apostate Muslims (Shi’ites, and secular Muslim governments, to say nothing of secular government of any type), or be subject to penalty under a strict reading of Islamic law.  Don’t take my word for it; read this.

Your own moral neutrality on the subject is no defense.

Doakes Sunday: The Straw

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails about a rather aggressive-sounding statement from a hitherto-pacifistic churchman:

But surely there is only one logical conclusion to be drawn? He sighs, and answers slowly. “You are asking me how we can deal radically with Isis. The only answer is to radically destroy them. I don’t think we can do it by dropping bombs. We have got to bring about real change. It is a terrible thing to say as a priest.
“You’re probably thinking, ‘So you’re telling me there should be war?’ Yes!”
I am shocked by his answer, because this is a man who has risked his life many times to bring peace.
“It really hurts. I have tried so hard. I will do anything to save life and bring about tranquillity, and here I am forced by death and destruction to say there should be war.”


The minister finally has reached the same place where Urban II stood in 1095, when he preached the First Crusade, and where Ann Coulter stood in response to the Twin Towers, when she wrote her column:

joe doakes

War, like self-defense, is the second-worst possible outcome to any given situation.

And ISIS is leaving an awful lot of people at the brink of the first-worst outcome.

For Paris

Dear France, Paris and Parisiens,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you – knowing you’ve been through much worse, but that that doesn’t help much.

I’ll send back to you a few minutes of the second-greatest gift this nation ever gave you (after D-Day):

And this – from your own history, and heaven forefend not your future:

More tomorrow on the show. Much, much more.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is where I plan to flee after the Zombie Apocalypse.  Because there’s nobody to stop me from moving there and living like a king.



The epitome of the European ideal: welfare for all, retirement at 42 after working a few hard years of 30 hour weeks, universal medical . . . but of course, none of it can be supported if you also defend the country.  So obviously . . .


Joe Doakes

Watching the disarmament of Europe – as if history really did end in 1991 – has been amazing; the typical continental European state, Germany and Norway and the Netherlands, has about 1/6 the military power it had in the Cold War.  Sweden (and Belgium) are worse; France and the UK, better.  Only Poland and Finland – Russia’s neighbor and enemy – and Greece and Turkey, who hate each other, are the exceptions.

It makes 1940 look positively stable.

Track Record

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

What President Obama and his “advisors” seem to have forgotten is that Iranians are not like other people living in the Middle East such as the Palestinians or the Libyans. They’re not a motley bunch of towel-headed A-rabs waving AK’s in the air.

They’re Persians.  They are the physical and intellectual descendants of the people who ruled the known Earth for centuries, under names like Darius, Xerxes and Alexander the Great.  They are the religious descendants of the Umayyad Caliphate that conquered Europe as far North as Tours, nearly to Paris.

Giving them nuclear capability is not a mistake.  It’s a blunder.

Joe Doakesd now mu

One of the reasons that other Arab countries – Syria, Egypt, Iraq and the like – have been such relative military pushovers against the likes of Israel and, in the case of Iraq, the US, is that none of them have a tradition of being anything but beaten senseless at war.  The Egyptians and Syrians are 1-4 since World War II (their only wins coming as they sided with the US against Hussein in 1991); the Iraqis were a Tampa Bay-like 0-7, and seem to be headed for 0-8.

The Iranians – and to a lesser extent, the Jordanians (who are 2-1-2 since 1948 notching a win against Syria and another against Iraq, and a loss and two draws against Israel; they were beaten, but alone among Israel’s Arab foes never humiliated) have no such history.  In addition to their storied history of dominance through history, Iran (fighting via proxies) fought Iraq to a draw in the Iran-Iraq war, and, fighting through proxies, have essentially conquered Yemen, Lebanon, Libya, and are in a good position to be the dominant power in Syria and Iraq today.

My Telethon

The usual suspects in the media are soiling themselves over this story – Americans who are going to Iraq to help teach Iraqi Christians how to fight against the ISIS butchers who are shooting, beheading and burning them alive.

Mainstream Christianity has not been an especially martial faith for the last 500 years or so. Mainstream American Christianity in particular fairly wets itself at the thought of individual self defense; I can see an ELCA Lutheran congregation in Edina shooting steam out it’s ears at the thought of arming and training fellow Christians against those who, you know, are killiing the men, raping the women and selling the children into slavery (when they’re not burning them alive).

The Jews – and for that matter, Irish Catholics – haven’t had the leeway to be as stupid over the centuries.

My million dollar idea for today: a national telethon of Christian radio stations to raise money for the Christian resistance in the Middle East.

We are, indeed, our brothers keeper. Mercy and forgiveness are wonderful qualities – when your children, and Our children, aren’t under immediate threat.


Even if the United States were not being led by the pusillanimous and incompetent Obama administration, it would be high time for Middle Eastern and NATO countries to start picking up some of the burden of dealing, financially and militarily, with the terrorist threat they face.

And time will tell whether this story checks out, or is more than a token effort.

It’s worth noting that the Reggimento San Marco is the Italian version of the Marine Corps.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The media is full of news about ISIS attacks. The President wants authority to bomb ISIL.

Wait a minute – that’s not the same name. Did I miss a corporate merger, or is the President using shyster tricks to limit his request to The People’s Front of Judea while ignoring the Judean People’s Front and all the other Crack Suicide Squads? “So sorry, can’t do anything about that group, they’re not ISIL, hands are tied, damn those Republicans.”

With George Bush, I never had these doubts.

Joe Doakes

On the one hand, it’s good to bespecific about ones’ enemies, since it’s easy to create more of them.

On the other hand, one doesn’t get the impression that’s why the Obama Administration is being obtuse…

Everything You Know About ISIS Is Probably Wrong

And me, too.

This piece – “What Isis Really Wants“, by Graeme Wood, in that noted conservative tool The Atlantic – explains ISIS in political, social and theological terms better than any single thing I’ve ever read.

It’s a long read, but a valuable, even vital one.

The entire piece is essential, it was almost pointless to pull out a quote.  But in a nation that is tired of war, with significant antiwar political movements on the left and right, and with people from all political perspectives engaging in much wishful thinking about ISIS, I thought this was the essential bit:

We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

One can neither reason with nor rationally deter an inbound kamikaze pilot.

I try to avoid the old blogger’s crutch “read the whole thing” – so when I say it, I mean it.  By all means do.

Too Good To Want To Fact-Check

The rumor spread yesterday that Jordan’s King Abdallah, enraged by the grisly, medieval murder of Jordanian fighter pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, is personally leading, or even flying, combat missions.

It’s apparently not true, causing at least part of the US media to spring into action against an enemy they hate vastly more than ISIS.  And I can’t imagine many air forces that’d be too keen on having a 53 year old fighter pilot (even if he were rated on combat aircraft, which according to several Arabic newspapers, he’s not; he’s an infantryman who is rated in civilian aircraft and unspecified helicopters), to say nothing of their chief executive flying directly into harm’s way.  .

On the other hand, after six years of a President who can’t be inveigled to condemn extremist Muslim terrorism today without comparing it to Catholic terror from 700 years ago, who equivocates between all sides in every issue (unless it’s Democrat vs. Republican, naturally), who is like hot air in that he equalizes himself across all available intellectual and moral space, I can see why the idea of a leader who leads, who makes moral judgments and personally drops 2000 pound GPS-guided judgment on the guilty, is so seductive.