American Elephants


For Some Reason I have The Housemartins’ “World’s on Fire” running through my head by American Elephant
January 28, 2011, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Music, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , , , ,

Hmm. Wonder why.

At least Obama is on top of the situation!  Paper: “[events] moving too fast for Obama administration”.

Sigh. The country’s in the very best of hands. “Smart Power!”



Putting Things into Perspective. by The Elephant's Child

From Richard Fernandez, blogging at Pajamas Media:

With regional enemies challenging the new Iraqi government by sending car bombs against the police it is interesting to note that in many ways the upheavals are worse even closer to home.  Seventy two persons, perhaps illegal immigrants drawn by a border which politicians refuse to close, were found dead in a Mexican ranch close to the US border.

Things are much, much worse than Mexico in that socialist paradise Venezuela, which the NYT says is far more dangerous than Iraq.  So bad in fact that the government has ordered the newspapers not to report any more killings.

In Iraq, a country with about the same population as Venezuela, there were 4,544 civilian deaths from violence in 2009, according to Iraq Body Count; in Venezuela that year the number of murders climbed above 16,000.

Even Mexico’s infamous drug war has claimed fewer lives.

Sometimes a few statistics help to put things in perspective.   It is a complicated, difficult world out there; and it is incumbent on us to struggle to understand what is going on.  A  job most of us have far too little time for.



Can We Have a Little Clear Thinking Here Please? by The Elephant's Child
January 5, 2010, 1:22 am
Filed under: Islam, Military, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: , , , ,

Just an observation.  We are a nation at war.  It is not a bunch of separate wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and so on.  It’s not an “overseas contingency operation,”and their actions are not “man-caused disasters.”   To claim that the war in Afghanistan is a “good war” and the war in Iraq was a “bad war” shows a lack of understanding of either effort.

We call it the War on Terror.  Terror is their chosen weapon.  We have no trouble referring to the air war or the submarine war. Prissy complaints about language are out-of-place.

They want to kill Americans because we will not submit to Islam.



There is More Good News from Iraq. by The Elephant's Child

U.S. combat deaths in Iraq are at a 6 year low. Three Marines have been killed in combat since last August.  The Navy has not lost a member to combat since February of 2008.  The Air Force hasn’t had a combat death since last April.  In some weeks the number of non-combat deaths for U.S. troops has topped those killed in fighting.

Iraqis’ faith in government institutions has vastly improved.  84 percent of Iraqis feel good about their security, 78% feel positive about crime protection, and 74 percent are positive about their freedom of movement.  These figures come from an ABC News/BBC poll that documents the improvements in Iraq.

64 percent of Iraqis prefer Democracy as the political system for Iraq.  Only 14 percent prefer a strong leader and only slightly more, 16 percent would prefer an Islamic state.  George Bush was right.

A poll finding that was particularly interesting was that 53 percent of Iraqis say they “never” attend mosque, while another 11 percent attend “several times a year”.  This is certainly not what we have been led to believe

The people have confidence in the Iraqi Police and the Iraqi Army at 74 percent and 73 percent respectively. 61 percent have confidence in the National Government.  And Iraqis are optimistic about their future.  That is very, very nice to hear, and we wish them well.



A Letter from General John Kelly, from Iraq. by The Elephant's Child

Michael Ledeen posted a letter, at National Review, from Marine General John Kelly which was sent to Blackfive after the recent Iraqi elections.

This is what everyone should see, and what President Obama should be celebrating — the incredible American victory in Iraq.  Kelly writes of Anbar Province, as Michael Ledeen says, “once the most dangerous province in the country, and now the most peaceful, thanks to the Marine Corps, the Army, and a lot of brave Iraqis.”General Kelly said:

I don’t suppose this will get much coverage in the States as the news is so good.  No, the news is unbelievable.

Something didn’t happen in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, today.  Once the most violent and most dangerous places on earth, no suicide vest bomber detonated killing dozens of voters.  No suicide truck bomber drove into a polling place collapsing the building and killing and injuring over 100.  No Marine was in a firefight engaging an Al Qaida terrorist trying to disrupt democracy.

What did happen was the Anbar Sunnis came out in their tens of thousands to vote in the first free election of their lives.

Read the rest of the letter here.  It’s not long, but oh my, it is heartwarming.



What sounded good in the campaign doesn’t work so well in the White House. by The Elephant's Child
January 21, 2009, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, Military, Terrorism | Tags:

President Obama said on Tuesday that we would leave Iraq to the Iraqis.  The Obama White House website has apparently transferred all the campaign rhetoric directly from the campaign website to the White House.  The “permanent campaign” has begun.

The website brags that Obama, as an Illinois state senator, supported keeping Saddam Hussein, the ‘Butcher of Baghdad’ in control of Iraq.

Judgment You Can Trust

In 2002, Obama had the judgment and courage to speak out against going to war, and to warn of “an occupation of undetermined length, with undetermined costs, and undetermined consequences.” He and Joe Biden are fully committed to ending the war in Iraq.

A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal

Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in.   Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq ending the war. …

This is just the same boilerplate that was posted on his campaign website, so he hasn’t taken the time to look into things a little further, or investigate the national security implications.  I guess they wanted the White House website to look “up-and-running” right off the bat.  There is really no big rush to make big declarations, and it would be very advisable to do a little studying of the situation as he settles into the job.  But then he announced during the campaign that even genocide was not a good enough reason to keep US troops in Iraq.

The Iraqi government told Obama today that by the way—legally Obama cannot withdraw US troops for one year after they are notified, and only after Iraqi officials agree to the withdrawal.

21/1/2009

BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Legal expert Tareq Harb on Wednesday said that new U.S. President Barack Obama can not withdraw his troops from Iraq before one year from notifying the Iraqi side, noting that he can withdraw the forces only if the Iraqi government agrees.

Commenting on Obama’s speech upon taking office, Harb said “the president vowed to withdraw troops from Iraq but he did not mention the articles of the agreement in this respect.””The agreement stipulates the withdrawal of troops in one year after notifying the Iraqi side,” he said, noting that the agreement does not allow the withdrawal before this period unless the Iraqi government agrees.

New U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the United States will leave Iraq to Iraqis.

In a speech upon taking office, Obama echoed key promises from his historic election campaign by saying:  “we will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people.”

It had seemed that Barack Obama was beginning to talk more sensibly about Iraq, but perhaps that is not the case. The frantic rush to seem to “take charge” from day one might be better postponed in favor of wise decisions.



A Very Happy Anniversary! by American Elephant
December 13, 2008, 10:05 pm
Filed under: History, Iraq, Military, News | Tags: , , ,

Five years ago today, Saddam Hussein was captured by US military forces nine miles south of his home town of Tikrit, hiding like a rat in a six- by-four foot hole in the ground.   The announcement (above) was met with jubilant cheers from Iraqi reporters, who leapt from their seats shouting,  “Death to Saddam!” and, “go to hell, Saddam!” Upon hearing the news, Iraqis took to the streets, dancing, honking their horns and firing  shots into the air in celebration.  And they celebrate today, in freedom and very hard-won stability.

War may be hell, but so was life under Saddam’s murderous tyranny. Today, both are over — the latter because of the former.

(h/t Hot Air)




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