Pick Your Staging

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why wasn’t President Obama in the photo of world leaders at the massive Paris march protesting the Charlie Hebdo killings?

Maybe he was at the REAL march and missed the fake photo staged at a completely different place?

No, he wasn’t, but I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t have blown off a golf game to fly over for a lame photo op, either.

It’s all Potemkin Villages with these people, nothing is ever what it seems.

Joe Doakes

Potemkin it’s not just a battleship anymore.

All Alike

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When someone says “Not All Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims,” Liberals respond “What about Oklahoma City bombing?”

The Oklahoma City bombing occurred in 1995 – twenty years ago. Since that time, Wikipedia lists nearly 100 terror attacks by Muslims.

The blast in Oklahoma City killed or injured about 800 people. Muslim terrorists killed and injured more than that in following 5 years alone.

McVeigh and Nichols were Lone Wolves, unaffiliated with any larger movement seeking to change American policy. Tim McVeigh was executed and Terry Nichols is serving 161 consecutive life sentences in federal prison. They pose no future risk.

Muslims, on the other hand, commit fresh atrocities with disturbing frequency. They are expressly following a long-range plan to convert America into a Muslim nation under sharia law. Their on-going risk is palpable.

“All Muslims are terrorists” is exaggeration for conversational effect . . . but not much

Joe Doakes

i’m going to disagree with Joe, but only in the last paragraph. It is a big exaggeration.

The worlds two largest Muslim states – India and Indonesia – have very little in the way of secular terror. Or at least not in the sense that you see it in the Middle East. Oh, yes, Hindus and Muslims go added hammer and tongs in India – but that’s less a religious than ethnic dispute. As, indeed, are most “religious wars”.

And while we in the Twin Cities have seen some concerning signs among some Somali immigrants, the vast majority of Muslim immigrants to the United States came here for the same reasons many of our forefathers did; to scape the internal, debilitating, petty squabbling in our ancestral homelands.

Rules Of Chaos

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Everybody knows warfare has changed since David’s tribe fought Goliath’s tribe.
Persians, Greeks and Romans developed large-group tactics for soldiers and ships.
European nations adapted tactics to weapons (volley fire for muskets, artillery fire when machine guns made marching in rows suicidal, then rapid movement by horse, truck or helicopter to outmaneuver and encircle the enemy).
Earlier generations of warfare depended on draftees forced to obey orders. The Geneva Conventions are based on the notion that common soldiers aren’t the driving intellect behind the war and so should be treated decently when captured.
What to make of groups that don’t fit this model? Take the Vietnam Anti-War “movement:” Students for Democratic Society held teach-ins, Weather Underground bombed government offices while Symbionese Liberation Army robbed banks and blew up police cars . . . all generally intended to change American policy at home and abroad, but fought with no conscript soldiers or top-down organization.
How should we deal with groups united by a common belief, staffed with volunteers, trained and willing to kill to influence policy but wearing no uniforms and following no “Rules of War,” selecting their own targets and loosely affiliated with – but not controlled by – any central authority? American Revolutionary Minutemen. French Resistance. German Wolverines.
Muslims Jihadis?
Joe Doakes

The traditional answer? Fight them with more of the same…

Pick Your Battles

In the days since the Paris Charlie Hebdo and Jewish Deli massacres, it’s become fashionable in media circles to say, in one language or another, “I Am Charlie Hebdo”.

I’m not.

The French paper was sort of like the American satirical institution South Park – with an unhealthy dose of that traditional drug of the European idle elite, mindless and often nihilistic pseudointellectualism.   And among that class’ fatal conceits in the days since the massacre is the idea that free speech will win out over terror.

It’s BS, of course:

Freedom and individual liberty can, and must, win over terror; “The pen is mightier than the sword” could only have been written by someone who never had to bet his life, and certainly not his family’s lives, on it.

Against civil, political opponents, speech is fine; against those who’d kill you, our freedoms need a more aggressive, tangible defense.

But Charlie Hebdo was not the criminals; the terrorists were.

Along with big media outlets like the AP and the NYTimes, I’ve been asked why I don’t run Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons.  Unlike the AP and the Times, I’m not a hypocrite – I don’t get any particular kick out of offending peaceful, law-abiding members of any faith just because I can.  Most Muslims, especially in America, want nothing to do with violent Shi’ite or Wahhabi extremism; I feel no need to piddle on their faith to stick it to terrorists…

…especially because my “beat” in Minnesota, and we have plenty of thin-skinned personality cultists in this state who don’t take satire well:

Anyway – just as the best defense against bad speech is better, louder, good speech (which this blog and my show are), the best defense against a bad guy with a gun remains…:

…a good guy, or gal, with a gun; uniform optional and, in extremis, not strictly necessary.

Satire is many things; it is not bulletproof.

We Are All Charlie – In More Ways Than One

Some say last week’s attack in Paris underscores a change in terrorist tactics – from high-overhead, difficult attacks on “hard” targets (targets that are in some way defended), like the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, the USS Cole, and even US airliners on 9/11, to “soft targets” like the Nairobi Mall, schools in Pakistan and Nigeria, tourist hotels and synogogues, and rooms full of recalcitrant journalists in cities where guns are banned in fact or effect.

It’s a trend that intelligence officials say makes the fight against terrorist threats more complex and potentially more disturbing because the kinds of attacks now grabbing global headlines require far less planning and are harder to detect and disrupt.

It’s not a new trend, of course; after 9/11, Al Quada attacked a disco in Bali, buses and trains in London and Madrid, and countless other “soft” targets.  And the PLO was massacring Israeli school children in their kibbutz classrooms and buses (the 1970 Avivim Massacre, the Kiryat Shmona massacre, and the Ma’alot Massacre) over forty years ago.

There are those who say the answer is to give police and intelligence even more power than they already have – which makes sense on the one hand, and pushes us further down the slippery slope toward having no freedom at all, in which case the terrorists will have not only won, but they’ll keep killing people anyway.

The Israeli examples are instructive, of course; after the three heart-wrenching massacres I list above (which killed 42 school children altogether), the Israelis started allowing teachers to carry legally-permitted guns in the classroom.  Over time, that morphed into security guards, which I think is a step back, but the point is they turned “soft targets” into “hard targets”.

In parts of the US, “soft targets” are a little harder; many, many people have made themselves into “harder targets” with their legally-permitted firearms, to the chagrin of not a few murderers (spree killers rather than terrorists, although to the would-be victim, the distinction is secondary).

And Minnesota is one of those places with a fairly enlightened civilian carry permit law.  It could be better – see Arizona, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming – but it’s gotten better over the past decade.

So Minnesota targets should be just that little bit “harder”, right?

Oh, no.

(Sad trombone).

Back to the drawing board there.

Double Shot Of Doakes:

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New password standards going into effect on January 1st, no fewer than 8 characters, no more than 16, must contain numbers and special characters. Can’t be anything easy or memorable or significant to me, and can’t be written down.

In other words, my log-on password must be a complex string of gibberish that changes every month. So how am I going to remember it?

I’m guessing asdfjkl; isn’t going to cut it. How about “ihatepasswordsecurity?” Oops, forgot the 1. And the special character @.

All this to protect me from logging into my assigned computer in my own office, to access public data on a public server.

The terrorists have won.

Joe Doakes

if we could get the worlds hackers and spammers to target the terrorists, the war would be over pronto.

Packs Of Lone Wolves

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Muslim terrorist killed in the Australian siege is being called a “lone-wolf” and not part of an organized terror group.

He’s the latest in a long line, so many that Mark Steyn suggests they form the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves.

A single incident is an incident. Two incidents is a pair, three is a few and twelve is a dozen incidents. All single incidents.

When does a string of incidents become something more, such as a trend or a movement or perhaps even enemy action: when we reach a certain number of “isolated incidents?” Or when we admit to ourselves that they’re not?

Joe Doakes

When?

When a Republican is president, of course.

Meet The New Terrs, Same As The Old Terrs

The Administration’s comforting tale – that terrorism is no longer the centralized juggernaut we faced from the nineties through 2001 – might be as inaccurate as any of the Administration’s other claims:

After 32-year old Canadian Muslim Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stormed the Parliament building in Ottawa, shot a soldier on guard duty fatally in the back, made his way into the Hall of Honor, and opened fire before eventually being gunned down himself, Canadian officials said there was no evidence tying him to Islamic State.

But in late November, Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay told me in an interview that not only did the Canadian government believe that Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, a Muslim who drove over two soldiers only days earlier, were radicalized by the Islamic State, they now suspect both men may have been in direct contact with the group.

“They were influenced by ISIS there is no question,” MacKay told me at the Halifax International Security Forum.

Clearly, the Canadian Justice Minister a conspiracy theorist of some kind.

 

Christian Charity…

…inveighs me to pray for a safe outcome for everyone in the siege in Sydney, where latest reports say the police have stormed the Lindt cafe where Iranian cleric named, according to press accounts, Man Monis has been holding between 15-30 hostages.  According to Australian press reports, Monis is on bail after being charged with murder and sexual assault, and has spent the past several years sending hate mail to families of Australian service people killed in action - sort of a Muslim Fred Phelps.

And I do pray for exactly that.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit part of me hopes the sonofabitch got two shots in the head.

UPDATE:  Clearly the entire story is BS.

Mr. Monis, the alleged hostage-taker, was allegedly armed with a pump-action shotgun – which is, at close range, more deadly than any ”assault rifle”.  Monis has been convicted of harassment, and was out on bail on murder and sexual assault charges.  In addition, Australia has strict civilian gun control.

There’s just no way a person with Monis’ record could get a gun!  That would be illegal.

Prayers, Eh?

Word arrives to us that there’s been a shooting at the Canadian War Memorial, with more shooting apparently inside the Canadian parliament building. 

We are reminded that two days ago, one Canadian soldier was killed and another injured when they were run down by a car in Quebec.  The driver, according to Canadian news sources, had “Jihadist sympathies”.

UPDATE:  Here’s the CBC’s live blog:

UPDATE 2:  From the blog, a CBC reporter tweets:

2 men with long hair and scarves ran off after man wearing ceremonial guard uniform shot at War Monument this morning. #ottnews

UPDATE 3:  Highly unconfirmed reports from Twitter say one shooter is dead.

UPDATE 4: CVT news is rpoerting another shooting on Parliament hill.  This is unconfirmed. 

UPDATE 5:  Reports say “several dozen”, perhaps “30 to 50″, shots were fired in the Parliament after the shooting of the Canadian soldier at the War Memorial.   As of a minute ago, it’s still an active shooter situation.

UPDATE 6:  Following situation on Twitter.  The Ottawa Police don’t have any better luck with perimeters than CTU does on “24″; the perimeter for an apparently second (or more) gunman/men has been widened.  Photos of police searching cars on bridges around Ottawa.

UPDATE 7:  Reports say one shooter is on the roof of a building about a block from Parliament.

UPDATE 8:  A reporter shot this video from inside Parliament as the police found one shooter.

All that marble – the echo alone is a weapon…

I can’t imagine the training it’d take to make one run toward that noise.

UPDATE 9: The shooter in parliament was apparenetly shot by the Sergeant at Arms, a Mr. Kevin Vickers.

UPDATE 10:  The NYTimes reported that the Canadian soldier shot at the War Memorial had died.  This is disputed by Canadian sources.  I’ll bank on the Times being wrong, as always in these situations.

UPDATE 11:  The CBC is naming the shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. 

Clearly a Parté Québécois terrorist.

Kurd Is The New Pole

I can write off most of what the Obama Administration has done as stupidity born of extremist ideology, or incompetence. 

But his Administration’s betrayal of the Kurds?  That’s beyond stupid, beyond depraved.  I’ve added emphasis. 

While we spend tens of millions bombing “ISIS oil refineries” that are little than moonshining stills costing thousands of dollars

As these lines are being written, some 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away.

For all the yapping that both sides are doing about “boots on the ground”, the Kurds are there, and are more than ready and capable of doing the job. 

But can our idiot administration get even that right?   While we pour arms and supplies and aid into the centralized Iraqi army – originally formed to help perpetuate the lunacy of unified Shi’ite/Sunni/Kurdish Iraq that has never existed except as an administrative boundary enforced at gunpoint by successive waves of Ottoman, British and Ba’athist rulers - we’re letting the Peshmerga, the motivated, experienced, capable Kurdish military, die on the vine:      

 The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave.

The author, Robert Zubrin, compares the situation with the Warsaw Uprising, where Stalin sat on the banks of the Wisla River across from Warsaw and let the Nazis kill off the Polish freedom fighters for him. 

Mr. “President”:  Get the Turks in line, or kick them out of NATO.  Let NATO and the Israelis arm and help the Kurds, if you’re not smart and brave enough to do it yourself. 

For most of Obama’s cosmic stupidity, I can nod my head and say “see you at election time”.  That’s American politics.

This?  This is depravity. 

And for this?  If you support this clown car of an Administration on this depraved policy, then my contempt for you is a seething, visceral, boiling-hot mass you are not ready to face. 

More on this on the air Saturday.  Much, much more.

Line Up That Second Peace Prize!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember when all President Obama planned to do was cure the sick, end joblessness, slow the rise of the oceans, heal the planet, end war, secure our nation’s borders and restore our nation’s image abroad?

That was nothing.

Now he’s going to “eliminate the the schism between Sunni and Shia that has been fueling so much of the violence in Syria, in Iraq.”

As Powerline asks:“Whoa! We are going to ‘eliminate the schism between Sunni and Shia?’ The schism that goes back to the 7th Century? And we are going to “eliminate the schism” through diplomacy?”

No. Not “we.” President Barack Obama, possibly assisted by Secretary of State John Kerry. After all they have promised to accomplish so far, why would you have any doubt? Nobel Committee, call your office.

Joe Doakes

In a side note, in re last night’s speech, a friend of mine texted me in re the President saying ISIS – the “Islamic State in Syria” – “wasn’t Muslim” [1]; apparently their name is…

“Innocent Separatists Impacted by Sophistry”.

Naturally.

Continue reading

Defense

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama will address the nation Wednesday, September 10th, outlining his plans to fight Islamic terrorists.

Islamic terrorists have hit America twice on September 11th. If they have something lined up and hit us again on Thursday, right after President Obama tells the world his grand plan to fight Islamic terror, the entire world will him revealed as a clueless but arrogant poseur. No Greek playwright would have written a character with that much hubris, the audience wouldn’t have believed it.

Do I want to see American interests hit by terrorists just to see Barack Obama humiliated? As Jack Benny used to say: “I’m thinking.”

Joe Doakes

I get Joe’s point – but I’m not thinking about it.  Of course not. 

The problem, of course, is that the questions “to attack or not to attack?”, and “where and when?”, are questions that belong to those who are on the offensive; those who have what in strategic and tactical circles is called “the initiative”, or in sports circles “momentum”. 

Say what you will about the US’s actions between 2002 and 2008 – the human, financial and moral costs, the politics, the morals of the tactics and methods and the whole enterprise – but we were on the offensive.  We, largely, chose when and where the war would be fought. 

We’re on defensive now.  We – Barack Obama – lost the initiative; squandered the “momentum”. 

The other side chooses whether Barack Obama spends tomorrow in the Situation Room or on the Golf Course. 

I’m praying for Golf. 

The problem is, they’ll choose it the next day, and the week after that, and the month after that…

…and “ensuring that we’re the ones who make that choice – and make it a moot one through sheer force of diplomatic, moral and if necessary military power” is one of precious few legitimate reasons to have a government.

Two Steps Back

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The UN has peacekeepers acting as a buffer in the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel. Syrian rebels associated with Al Qaeda demanded UN troops from Fiji surrender, which they did. The Fijian troops were taken hostage.

Syrian rebels also demanded UN troops from the Philippines surrender, which they refused to do. The Syrian rebels attacked the Pilipinos, who retreated into Israel as Irish UN forces covered their retreat and Syrian government forces shelled the Syrian rebels to prevent pursuit.

The captured Fijians remain captured. The Pilipinos want an investigation into why the UN commander from India ordered Phillipino and Fijian peacekeepers to surrender to terrorists. Now the officer who refused to surrender to terrorists has been placed on leave.

And that’s the problem with the UN peacekeeping idea in general. Nobody cares if the other country’s guys get killed defending some worthless land in somebody else’s back yard. It isn’t our country so we’re not going to let our guys die for it. But if yours do, well, that’s okay.

Bad enough when it’s UN troops. Worse if it’s American troops. Let Israel off the leash and the problem will be solved in days, if not hours.

Joe Doakes

“Peace” is not always synonymous with “absence of shooting”.

I’m Trying. I Really Am.

To be a nicer, more civil person.  I truly am.

Here’s the deal.  I left the Libertarian Party in 1998 largely over the LP’s complete illiteracy on foreign policy and defense.

Now, many “Libertarians” are drawn to the belief, and the party, by the reductionistic magical thinking that all of the world’s questions break down into binary, black-or-white answers.  The right answer to everything lies in unbending, unyielding adherence to “principles”, any deviance from which for any reason is an unforgiveable impurity.

Which is a fine and dandy thing, if your “principles” are so well-thought-out as to account for all of the myriad gray areas life, human nature and history throw into one’s path.  For example, the idea that some “libertarians” have that one is either an isolationist peacenik…or a “warmonger”, with nothing in between.  Too stupid to mock.

Anyway.

What I’m trying to do is figure out a way to write “if everything you know about history and foreign policy is stuff you read from the inside of Ron Paul’s anterior colon, you probably are not going to be a partner in a serious debate”.

And I got nothing.

I’m open to suggestions.

Jeffersonianism By Omission

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The US has become so impotent in the Middle East that Egypt and United Arab Emirates have stepped up to fight Muslim terrorists, without bothering to mention it to us. The Obama Administration was taken by surprise.

This might be a good thing, in the long run. Washington and Jefferson warned against entangling alliances. Classical Liberals argue it’s not the federal government’s job to be the world’s policeman; we should let other nations sort out their own problems.

President Obama might end up implementing the most libertarian foreign policy since the founding.

Or he might be a clean, bright, good-looking, articulate Black man who has been promoted above his level of competence.

Hard to say at this point what his legacy will be.

Joe Doakes

It is indeed.

But I have a hunch both Jimmy Carter and the Neville Chamberlain estates are deeply thankful for it.

The larger point?  Obama may do for our foreign policy what his economic policy will inevitably do for the economy at this rate; bring them back to their Jeffersonian origins through the sheer unsustainability of their Obamian reality.

Death Cult

In the lulls between Palestinian/Israeli combat, I sometimes forget how very, very depressed I get at how very ill-informed Americans are about the recent history of the Middle East.

I’ve even seen relatively intelligent acquaintances of mine claim that both sides, Palestinian and Israeli, are morally equal.  One trumpeted “both sides are run by extremists!”, by way of excusing the Palestinians.

I’m going to link to this piece by Dennis Prager – the best, simplest explanation of the last seventy years I’ve ever seen.

“The Israelis want to have a state.  The Palestinians want the Jews dead”.

There is no moral equivalence.

Intellectual Trust Fund Babies

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

As politicians try to lay blame for losing Iraq on Bush’s flawed Mid-East vision instead of Obama’s flawed Mid-East vision, Fernandez points out:

“As recent events in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iraq show, the problem with Obama’s conception is it doesn’t work.  It is so bad that it makes GWB look good by comparison.

Joe Doakes

One of the standard jokes four years ago was that “everything about Obama’s foreign policy that’s succeeding [continuing Bush's hard line in Iraq and Afghanistan] is a continuation of the Bush policy”.

Simplistic?  Maybe.

Simplistic enough that Biden believed it:

And it’s gotta be simplistic for Biden to buy it.