American Elephants


Democrats Voted for The Iraq War, Changed Their Minds When Combat Ended, Launched a 5 year Propaganda Effort to Discredit Bush by The Elephant's Child

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Reposted from June 2015: Did you wonder why Obama pulled Out of Iraq Abruptly And Caused the Rise of ISIS?

I usually have the radio on in the daytime, because I can listen and get other stuff done. This morning I was startled by a caller who said: “I’m 22, and the people my age would never vote for a Bush because of the stigma attached to his name.” He added something to the effect that he didn’t dislike President Bush personally, it was the stigma. Stigma.

Liberals were as shocked and horrified as everyone else at the events on 9/11, the first attack on America since Pearl Harbor.  The 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, (before 9/11) under Clinton, calling for regime change in Iraq, and supporting a transition to democracy passed the House 360-38 and unanimously in the Senate. Under the Bush administration, and after 9/11, there was a 1991 Resolution for the Use of Military Force against Iraq which passed the Democrat-controlled Senate 52-47 and the House 250-183. That was followed by the 1992 Iraq War Resolution that authorized military force against Iraq which also passed Congress with significant margins.

The invasion of Iraq began on March 20, 2003, Baghdad fell on April 10, Coalition forces moved into Baghdad ending the 24 year reign of Saddam Hussein. On May 1, President George W. Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq over.

That month the Democratic Party launched a national campaign against America’s commander in chief, claiming that he had lied to the American people to lure them into a war that was “unnecessary,” “immoral, and “illegal.”

Until that moment, the conflict in Iraq had been supported by both parties and was regarded by both as a strategic necessity in the war launched by Islamic terrorists on 9/11. Saddam Hussein had launched two aggressive wars in the Middle East, murdered three hundred thousand Iraqis, used chemical weapons on his own citizens, and put in place a nuclear weapons program, thwarted only by his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Over the next decade, his regime defied sixteen United Nations Security Council resolutions attempting to enforce the Gulf War truce and stop him from pursuing weapons of mass destruction. In September 2002, the Security Council added a seventeenth  resolution, which gave Saddam until December 7 to comply with its terms or face consequences. When Iraq failed to comply, Bush made the only decision compatible with the preservation of international law and the security of the United States by launching a preemptive invasion to remove the regime. Two days prior to the invasion, the Iraqi dictator was given the option of leaving the country and averting the war.

In June 2003, just three months after the fighting began, the Democrats turned against the war and launched  a five-year campaign to delegitimize it, casting America and its Republican leaders as the villains. This betrayal of the nation and its troops on the battlefield was unprecedented. Major press institutions following the Democrats’ lead conducted a propaganda campaign against the war, blowing up minor incidents like the misbehavior of guards at the Abu Ghraib prison to international scandals, which damaged America’s prestige and weakened its morale. The New York Times and the Washington Post leaked classified documents, destroying three major national security programs designed to protect Americans from terrorist attack. Every day of the war, there was front-page coverage of America’s body counts in Iraq and Afghanistan designed to sap America’s will to fight.  (David Horowitz: Take No Prisoners)

There’s your “stigma.”

Did you read the newspaper accounts of the doubling of the death toll in the war in Afghanistan under Barack Obama? Thought not. “Bush lied, People died,” was the chant. Propaganda designed to discredit the American president, who they were still furious with  for defeating Al Gore, illegally, they were sure. A five year long propaganda campaign to be sure Bush got no credit. The ends justify whatever means you have to use. Americans are inclined to like Presidents who win wars. Can’t have that. Remember Bill Clinton complaining because he didn’t get to be a wartime president?



Strange Times, Strange War, Strange Announcements by The Elephant's Child

Headline: The Washington Post: “Elite U.S. targeting force has arrived in Iraq to fight the Islamic State”

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – An elite U.S. Special Operations targeting force has arrived in Iraq and will carry out operations against the Islamic State, part of a broader effort in 2016 to strike at the militants and that also includes U.S. Special Operations troops in Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Wednesday.

The targeting force is now in place and is prepared to work with Iraqis to begin going after militant fighters and commanders, “killing or capturing them wherever we find them,” Carter said, speaking to about 200 soldiers at the home of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, which is expected to deploy about 500 soldiers next month to Iraq and Kuwait as part of the campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

Is it standard military procedure now to announce everything we are doing or going to do in advance? Or is this Obama, stung by the response to his State of the Union everything is dandy speech trying to show that he’s not either a weak doormat, and does too send needed troops, but can’t manage to do anything without bragging about it first? Seems odd. But then Obama has had a habit of always telling the enemy what we’re going to do, then tacking on restrictive rules of engagement to make sure nobody gets hurt so that he cannot be blamed. But what do I know, I’m just a civilian worrier.

The training the U.S. soldiers will provide to both the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces will prove critical, with the peshmerga approaching Mosul from the north and Iraqi troops coming from the south in a “pincer movement,” Carter predicted. Some analysts, however, say that communications between regular Iraqi forces and the Kurds need to improve significantly before any kind of joint operation can be undertaken.



There Is A Mysterious Mindset Here, But It Makes No Sense. by The Elephant's Child

barack-obama_1Before President Obama left for his Hawaiian vacation, in a meeting with news columnists, there was one quote that made the president look especially bad.

In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments.

Made the president look more than a little out of touch. The Times quickly removed the passage. Add that to the claim that ISIL was “contained” only hours before the Paris attacks. He assured the public that his anti-ISIL strategy has hit a wall. “There’s only so much bombing you can do, he added, in a bid for sympathy about how hard he was working.

Yet it seems that only 25 percent of American bombing runs resulted in releasing at least one weapon. It appears that Mr. Obama really doesn’t want to hurt anyone, and the air force is scattering leaflets to warn the jihadis that they are about to be bombed. But we apparently cannot do much of anything more than we are doing to prevent mass killings in the West.

Mr Obama has been eager to share his plans for closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. There are 107 jihadists at Gitmo. The president thinks that’s too many. Andy McCarthy firmly believes that’s not nearly enough. Two former detainees are leading the fight against the West in Afghanistan, and another, Ibrahim al Qosi has a leading role in al-Qaeda in Yemen.

I don’t believe that Americans are frightened of terrorist attacks. I think they are frightened that their government seems to have no understanding of the situation, no idea how to deal with it, and no idea how to protect the American people from more attacks. Clueless.

A truism about the Left is that they too often believe their own propaganda. Democrats were as frightened as the rest of us by 9/11, and most voted for the Iraq War. Three months into the march-up to Baghdad, President Bush declared the combat phase over. Once we were in control, the Left turned viciously against the war. Obama has insisted that he was always against the war, thought it was wrong, and clearly that became a part of his hasty pull-out from Iraq and, by failing to get a status of forces agreement, led to the rise of ISIS.

Obama’s response to terrorist attacks is, at best, odd. He’s much more comfortable with mass attacks, preferably with assault style weapons, and with a shooter who is clearly an evangelical. It was only in recent days that they decided the shooting in Chattanooga was really a terrorist attack.

The administration just doesn’t seem to get it. There is an odd disconnect, as if it all isn’t really that serious. Obama, I think, believes that the problems of the Middle East have arisen because of Bush’s war, and the presence of Israel. He believes that he can just turn over the Middle East and all its problems to Iran to handle, and we can depart and have nothing more to do with it at all. And it’s only the warmongering Republicans that are making his retreat from the Levant so slow. He believes that Iran would never use a nuclear weapon, and he has said so.

He wants to close Guantanamo, because he believes that the world thinks it’s a place where we torture enemy soldiers. Democrats believe that the prison’s existence serves as a recruiting tool for Islamist militants, though there is no evidence that this is so. He wants to give it back to Cuba, because there’s no other point in releasing detainees who will immediately go back to the fight. The Castros have no intention of relaxing their despotic control of the Cuban population, and intend to pass the prison state on to the next generation — still a prison state.

Obama wants to release “non-violent”drug-dealing prisoners from our jails, in spite of the fact that the significant drop in crime is clearly a result of their being out of circulation. This seems to be a gesture to the black community who are sure that their friends and relatives are only in prison because of police misconduct.

There has been a remarkable lot of agitating racial resentment, especially the assumption that any deaths are the result of police brutality. ‘Black Lives Matter’ activists have been busy on college and university campuses, along with community organizers from ACORN  and protesters from Ferguson and Baltimore. Surely you didn’t believe that this was simply political correctness gone amok. Poor kids have trouble coming up with actual reasons for their protest, and a lot of the racist incidents simply never happened. Democrats are afraid that the black vote that Obama drew, may not turn out for Hillary, unless they think Republicans are sufficiently racist.



Strategy? What Strategy? by The Elephant's Child

The Obama family has headed to Hawaii for their Christmas vacation. The president  stopped off in San Bernardino to meet with the families of victims after a lot of murmurs in the press about why he seemed reluctant to do so. Someone said something about his remarks before he left, so I went to the White House website to see.
……………………………………….…………………..

What I ran into was a major posting  titled : ISIL STRATEGY: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat ISIL and Combat the Terrorist Threat. (headed with a picture of an empty presidential podium.)

WHO WE’RE FIGHTING • WHAT WE’RE DOING • MORE TO DO

Here’s a look at the evolution of ISIL and the terrorist threat.
Our nation has been at war with terrorists since al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. We answered that tragic attack by hardening our defenses and critical infrastructure, disrupting countless plots and pursuing terrorist networks overseas, disrupting safe haven in different countries, and decimating al Qaeda’s leadership, including the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. …

(Is that the weirdest recitation of our history since 9/11 — ever?)

Here is a link to the whole document. I urge you to read the whole thing (won’t take long) because it is simply bizarre.  And truly frightening. Under the subhead Here are some of the actions we’ve taken:

Since the November 13 attacks in Paris a number of Coalition partners including Belgium, Germany, Kuwait Tunisia, made arrests to break up ISIL and ISIL-inspired terrorist cells.

Notes of small attacks,plans, announcements, plans, deployments, even airstrikes by the coalition, destroyed 283 ISIL oil tanker trucks, 120 ISIL oil storage tanks and “a significant amount of oil field infrastructure” in Eastern Syria.

More plans, announcements, plans. France deployed an aircraft carrier to the eastern Med., humanitarian efforts, humanitarian support. A reinvigorated political track in Syria with a “path towards a Syrian-led political transition process.”

Frequent big colored background boxes announcing the desperate need to make sure that no one on a NO Fly List is able to buy a gun or buy powerful assault weapons. (aside: The New York Times said today that the “powerful assault weapon” was nonsense). Video at the bottom, of Obama saying once again the “Our fight to defeat ISIS is not a war with Islam.”

All sorts of people who are not dangerous end up on the NO FLY LIST. it is clearly useless. Michael Medved’s 11 year old son was on the list, Nobody knew why and it was hard to get him off.

Journalist Deroy Murdock wrote on November 27 that “America’s role in the Global War on Terror grows stranger by the hour. President Obama’s fight against ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorists — such as it is — has entered the Twilight Zone. That is the only explanation for Obama’s increasingly bizarre tactics and statements against these existentially dangerous savages….”

“After 15 months of airstrikes against ISIS, America finally managed to bomb 116 trucks that smuggle oil out of ISIS territory, generating some $1.2 million in clandestine cash daily. ”

“This is our first strike against tanker trucks,” Operation Inherent Resolve Colonel Steve Warren told journalists from Baghdad on November 18.”
“To minimize risks to civilians, we conducted a leaflet drop prior to the strike.” Each leaflet reads, “Get out of your trucks now, and run away from them.” It continues, “Warning: Airstrikes are coming. Oil trucks will be destroyed. Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life.”

If someone is driving an oil tanker to earn the money for ISIS to buy the materials for more suicide vests or bomb-making materials they are welcome to get blown up along with the tanker. Let’s have a nice war where we don’t have to kill anybody? Surreal.

Wars are about killing people and breaking things until the enemy is so decimated and broken that they have to abjectly surrender with no ability to ever renew the fight. It’s hard to imagine that someone can turn 50 years old and not know that, but the president is a Progressive. When Hollywood gets closer to the truth than the White House, we’re in trouble.

Recommended Reading: “‘Degrading’ ISIS Is Not a Serious Strategy.” by Douglas Feith & Mario Loyola. Feith, the author of War and Decision, was Under Secretary of Defense for policy from 2001 to 2005. Loyola is a former counsel for foreign and defense policy to the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee and a former special assistant at the Pentagon. They do know something about what they’re talking about.


Impressions From Last Night’s Debate by The Elephant's Child

20151219_blp903I mostly listened to the debate last night on the radio. My CNN connection kept going haywire, so I only saw a small bit on CNN. Apparently that makes a difference. Whatever their political viewpoint, viewers could not help but be impressed with the quality of the Republican field. The discussion was serious, well-informed and lengthy. The candidates were well informed on national security, and on how to deal with ISIS, Syria, Russia, Iran and domestic terrorism with real differences of opinion, which is as it should be.

Several pundits declared Donald Trump the debate winner, but I thought it was clear that he was just not prepared to go beyond his usual bombast. He did manage to tell the audience innumerable times that he was leading the polls, he had the highest approval, he was winning. He just doesn’t understand the very complicated situation, and has no strategy at all.   “I have 41% in the polls” is a brag, not a qualification.

Lindsey Graham was terrific in the earlier debate. He had just been to Iraq again, and spoke to the situation on the ground informed by the troops on the ground.

Carly Fiorina is clearly one of the best informed, and gives the most responsive and responsible answers to questions — yet has not really managed to break through to the top, where she belongs. Her tenure at HP was impressive. She handled some really difficult circumstances with courage, put the company on a path to success, and frankly has a better record of experience than most of the other candidates. I have wondered if , since Republicans are uniformly unimpressed with the “first woman to” idea, and invested in merit and qualifications just can’t get past the fact that candidates for President of the United States have always been men.

Chris Christie excels at tough-talking campaigning. He can be very assertive and very believable. John Kasich corrected from his angry, grumpy appearance at the last debate. Jeb Bush was better, but not breakthrough better.

I am far from picking a candidate, and in spite of the media’s insistence on making this all a horse race and proclaiming winners and losers, most Americans are just getting acquainted with the candidates. I was really enthusiastic at the beginning with so many governors who had real accomplishments in the running — but Scott Walker, Rick Perry and  Bobby Jindal have all dropped out. I am not enthusiastic about one-term senators. Been there, done that. And it didn’t work out well.

 



President Obama Spoke to the Nation From the Oval Office. by The Elephant's Child

obamacarePresident Obama spoke to the nation from the Oval Office, intending to assure the public that he is absolutely correct in his strategy for, um, fighting ISIS; great tragedy in San Bernardino, killing a diverse group of Americans, which proves we need more gun laws, and though these two killers may have been radicalized by false notions of Islam, we mustn’t blame any Muslims because Islam is a religion of peace. Blaming Muslims would be a denial of our true American values,

His strategy, which is absolutely correct, is bombing ISIS ISIL with such strict rules of engagement that most flights never release their bombs. We cannot risk killing any civilians, so don’t go bombing any trucks that might be driven by a civilian. That would be a denial of our true American values. Remember that he killed Osama bin Laden. He has sent in Special Forces, all 50 of them, to train someone there how to fight ISIS ISIL We tried that before, but it ended up costing about a million dollars per fighter, and there ended up being only five of them left, anyway.

Above all, Obama promised that we weren’t going to have any war boots on the ground, because he wasn’t going to be George W. Bush and do any stupid stuff.  Our present policy of admitting large numbers of Syrian refugees from an assortment of Middle Eastern countries will not change because Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims mostly vote Democrat.

Here is an actual transcript of the speech. Obama said that we will defeat the real threat of terrorism, but didn’t explain how the “real threat” differs from the present threat, and we will “destroy” ISIS ISIL or any other organization that threatens the country. He just didn’t say how.

The President spoke at a podium in the Oval Office, not from his chair with his feet on the desk, as pictured above.  It was a formal speech to the nation,  only the third time he has addressed the nation from the Oval Office. He apparently thought it was important to say the same old things once again.  I may not have been entirely fair here.



The Real Hard Questions About Syrian Refugees by The Elephant's Child

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The question about Syrian refugees — is not a question of just how much empathy we have, nor is it about whether or not they are actually Syrian and actually refugees. President Obama insists it is all about compassion, and we are a nation of refugees, and rejecting widows and 3 year-old orphans is just not who we are as Americans.

At a moment in history when Paris has just been attacked by jihadists, and the example of supposed Syrian refugees are flooding Europe with the most dire results, we need to think very clearly about just who we are inviting in as refugees. There is, in spite of pious pronouncements from the State Department and Homeland Security, no way for us to screen those who seek admission. There is no effective government in Syria, and Syrian Americans say that one can buy any kind of credential they want or need in Syria if they can  pay for it.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, writes that it is morally wrong to relocate refugees from the Middle East to the U.S. Welcoming refugees is not about making us feel good. The five year cost of resettling a single Middle Eastern refugee in the United States is conservatively estimated to be more than $64,000, compared with UN figures that indicate it costs about $5,300 to provide for that same refugee for five years in his native region.

In other words, each refugee we bring to the U.S. means that eleven others are not being helped with that amount of money. Mr. Krikorian uses the analogy of sending a luxurious one-man boat rather than twelve life jackets. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)  reports a $2.5 billion shortfall in caring for Syrian refugees in the Middle East. The five-year cost of resettling just 39,000 Syrians in the U.S. would erase the entire current UNHCR shortfall.

Europe has cut a deal with Turkey regarding refugees. Turkey will shelter more Middle Eastern refugees within its own borders so fewer of the will head for other European countries. Turkey, in return for tightening its border control, will get several billion dollars from the EU, and assistance in Turkey’s efforts to join the coalition of 28 countries. President Obama  wants to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees next year and every year thereafter. He says a “robust vetting process” will be in place. The State Department and Homeland Security obediently agree.

When questions about refugees from the Middle East arise, the word “Islamophobia”also arises. If you worry or object to a 10,000 yearly influx of refugees in perpetuity, you are Islamophobic and a bad person. Americans (excluding the college faculty) feel pretty strongly about free speech, even if college kids don’t understand. The kids are currently up in arms about words that might give offense. If they were properly taught, they would understand that a government that can put you in the gulag, or execute you for something you said—means that you are no longer free. You have no freedom at all. You are totally subject to the will of a bureaucrat who does not have your best interests at heart.

A little history should teach that is the rule in North Korea, was the rule in Stalin’s Russia, and in China, and in dozens of other socialist countries. In the Moslem religion, words that can be construed as insulting or denigrating the prophet get the death penalty. American college campuses have become a hotbed of politically correct speech. Kids have been driven out of school, their future ruined because someone took offense at something they said that  someone else considered politically incorrect. Here in America we have the First Amendment to the Constitution that protects your right to free speech. The amendment is always under attack from those who are ignorant of its meaning and those who have a wish to become tyrants and rule.

And there’s the rub. Sharia is classical Islam’s societal framework and legal code. “It involves the organization of the state, comprehensive regulation of economic and social life, rules of military engagement, and the imposition of a draconian criminal code.” This is from Andy McCarthy.  “Unlike the Judeo-Christian principles that informed America’s founding, classical sharia does not abide a separation of spiritual from civic and political life. Therefore, to rationalize on religious-liberty grounds our conscious avoidance of Islamist ideology is to miss its thoroughgoing anti-constitutionalism.”

“Sharia rejects the touchstone of American democracy: the belief that the people have a right to govern themselves and chart their own destiny. In sharia governance, the people are subjects not citizens, and they are powerless to question, much less to change, Allah’s law. Sharia systematically discriminates against women and non-Muslims. It is brutal in its treatment of apostates and homosexuals. It denies freedom of conscience, free expression property rights, economic liberty, and due process of law. It licenses wars of aggression against infidels for the purpose of establishing sharia as the law of the land.”

“Sharia is also heavily favored by Muslims in majority-Muslim countries. Polling consistently tells us that upwards of two-thirds of Muslims in the countries from which we are accepting refugees believe sharia should be the governing system.” Islam stands for submission. You must submit.

To the extent to which we are screening refugees, we are screening for terrorism, not adherence to sharia. We are not only vetting for the wrong thing, “we are ignoring the dynamics of jihadism.” The question is really “are we admitting Muslims who are apt to become violent jihadists after they settle here? (See Boston Marathon)

This is not meant to be alarming, but to approach the matter honestly. If people are worried, this is why. These are serious questions, and the administration is not interested in giving serious answers,  but in slandering those who dare to ask, because they want their way. Muslims are said to be reliable Democratic voters.

For Further Reading:

“Refugee Resettlement Is Immoral,”Mark Krikorian, National Review

“The Controversy over Syrian Refugees Misses the Question We Should Be Asking” Andy McCarthy, National Review

“Je suis…qui?”Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review: A visit to the Banlieues and Muslim immigrants in France.

The photo at the top is from Dabiq, the Islamic State magazine, of Syrian Refugees leaving for Europe.




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