American Elephants


The Story Behind the Official Stories Is a Lot More Plausibile by The Elephant's Child

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Everybody who saw this picture thought it was — odd. Something fishy here. Clearly the official U.S. story did not make sense. American Thinker thought so too. Here are their explanations:

“Barry and the Pirates” by William Levinson.

It is particularly telling that Barack Obama spent part of his State of the Union speech telling us that the state of our Union is strong while Iranian pirates seized two U.S. Navy vessels and then, as pointed out by Rick Moran, violated the Geneva Conventions by publishing a photo of the captured sailors on their knees with their hands on their heads.

The Iranian action was both piracy and an intentional act of war against the United States.  If the boats strayed into Iranian waters due to navigational or mechanical problems, Iran was obliged under international law to render them assistance.  “Accidents in international air or sea traffic, even those involving military vessels, generally require nations to assist the victims and keep hands off the stricken planes or ships, the experts said.”  Note also that “Iranian officials searched [the boats] for advanced technology and sensitive communications.” …

“The most plausible explanation for the 10 riverine sailors captured by Iran” by Thomas H. Lipscomb

No, they are part of a Rivierine Squadron based in San Diego. Further they are support crews for SEAL missions from the US Navy and highly trained. The Iranians probably mistook “Riverine” for “Marine” in doing the story.

So that explains several things. Why the captured sailors were so much more fit than the average sailor these days, and how a woman could be among them. While not special ops personnel directly engaged, they have to be extraordinarily fit and well-trained, as indeed these sailors appear to be. …

“Calling BS on the official story of the Iranian capture of two US riverine boats” by Thomas H. Lifson

Flash! A former Navy SEAL, Matt Bracken, just blew up what I have been calling “a pack of lies from the US and Iran” on what the hell happened that got our boats captured and taken to the Farsi Islands.

Remember: the single most dangerous area in all the Persian Gulf is a small group of Islands in almost the middle of the heavily traveled shipping lanes that is a major naval base for Iran and the HQ of the radical IRG for special operations of their own against all the countries abutting the Gulf. A top Marine told me our two boats were special ops boats with crews that delivered our own SEALS… the direct rivals of the IRG on Farsi. …

“10 US sailors held by Iran confirmed freed” by Rick Moran

The U.S. claims one of the small Riverine Command Boats experienced mechanical difficulties, strayed off course, and then disappeared from radar.  The Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured the boats and took the sailors prisoner, accusing them of “snooping” and demanding an apology from the U.S. government.

Initially, the Iranians said they would release the sailors and their boats at dawn Iran time.  But after an “investigation” that confirmed the navigational problems, the sailors were let go mid-afternoon Iran time. …

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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.



Here’s The Preliminary Debate Tonight Which You Probably Didn’t See by The Elephant's Child

I watched the debates tonight, and though they were extremely well handled by the Fox Business channel, I was distressed again by the “undercard,” “kiddie table,” treatment of those who weren’t measuring up in the polls. We have too many outstanding candidates. But where they rank in the polls is largely determined by the attention of the media.When the media speaks of no one but Trump, it is not surprising that he leads in the polls.

I’m not ready to choose a candidate, and I’m not at all convinced that early caucuses in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are helpful. It’s not so bad when there are just a couple of candidates, but when there are still ten, some of the better ones may be forced to drop out, and we’re left with temporary crushes that we don’t really know enough about.

I’ve seen a number of campaigns, but I have never seen anything like the excess and adulation for Barack Obama in 2007. Anyone would have to admit that the Nobel Peace Prize for campaign speeches was wretched excess. It was a skillful campaign that revealed nothing real about the candidate at all. But the love affair has grown stale, and the promises didn’t work out. I fear that we may be facing that again.

I read a lot of news, and from the last debate to this, Carly Fiorina simply disappeared from the news. The progressive media didn’t want another woman in the news, when all Hillary had to run on was her gender. I don’t know what it is Hillary is supposed to have done for women, though she did make some speeches abroad about educating their girls. Nikki Haley, successful governor of South Carolina, gave an excellent response to the State of the Union, and the Progressive media turned it into a hit piece on Donald Trump (it wasn’t) and a hit piece on all the Republican candidates.(it wasn’t)

Carly Fiorina is a government outsider who actually has real applicable experience. (But she was fired?) Her tenure at HP was the same length as the average major corporate CEO — six years during a very difficult time for the industry, and she managed to leave the company far better off than when she took over. She essentially saved the company. She’s done really hard things — having to lay off large numbers of employees is very very hard.  I suspect she may be another Margaret Thatcher, but will we be allowed to find out?



“Wish I Was at Home for Christmas” by The Elephant's Child
December 24, 2015, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Military, Music | Tags: , ,

Jona Lewie— Can’t Stop the Cavalry

I’m a sucker for tuba bands. A Christmas Favorite, there are many versions, especially the Cory Band version which has no video.



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.

 



Concern Over Terrorism is a Preoccupation of Right-Wing Troglodytes by The Elephant's Child

kirc70wl1dnhqclmcaekIt has been reported that Obama told the National Security Council and the FBI to ‘downplay‘ any terrorist angle of the attack in San Bernardino. Sources indicated tension between President Obama and FBI Director James Comey about the nature of the attack in San Bernardino that left 14 civilians dead, and 17 wounded.

The FBI instantly believed that the shooting was a clear act of terrorism, but the White House moved quickly to squash the terror classification.

This source added that as soon as the shooting took place, Obama convened a meeting with the National Security Council and the heads of other federal enforcement agencies to discuss a public relations strategy.

Part of the reason for trying to avoid the designation of the shootings as terrorism is because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria. A case of Islamic terrorism in the U.S. would put additional pressure on the administration to play a much more active role in the conflict.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s initial statement about responding aggressively to any Islamophobia was probably an outgrowth of that meeting, but someone reminded her of the First Amendment and she backed off.

“Because it threatens to upset the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria.” What strategy? The White House strategy seems to be doing as little as possible, while looking as if they are doing something, so they can pass the whole problem off to the next administration.

Obama spent his childhood in Malaysia, and undoubtedly never played Army as lots of little boys did. When kids were playing games and sports and learning about strategy, he was busy with his Choom Gang. I suspect that he never read any military history or military novels, and probably never saw any military movies. I wonder if he even saw  Saving Private Ryan? I may be way out in left field here, but telling the enemy just when you will be leaving the country, readjusting the Rules of Engagement so they are more ‘fair’ to the other side, and consequently losing more of your own men is an exhibition of a complete lack of understanding of the nature of war.

Obama made it very clear from the first that he was deeply opposed to the Iraq War, and to the War in Afghanistan. He clearly thought that our response to 9/11 should have been limited to getting bin Laden. Yet the Rules of Engagement he imposed in Afghanistan meant that twice as many American troops were killed under his administration than there had been under Bush. He lied to the American people and to Congress about releasing Gitmo detainees for Bowe Bergdahl, yet thought that the American people would be delighted at getting one of their boys back.

In his Oval Office speech, Obama admitted that the attacks were an act of terrorism, but hedged by saying the war is not on Islam, but on ISIS ISIL

He added that sending ‘boots on the ground’ into Syria or Iraq would be a huge mistake, though he had authorized 50 Special Forces into northern Syria, Kurdish territory.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest insisted that the troops didn’t really count because they are not part of a combat mission.

It has long been clear that this president does not accept blame for anything. He seems incapable of saying that something was his fault and he made a mistake. That’s odd enough on its own, but the rest of it is just bizarre. He agrees to some bombing of ISIS, but most bombing runs return to base with their bombs intact because they couldn’t get permission to bomb the target. A hell of a way to conduct a war.

A former Department of Homeland Security agent says that an investigation he was conducting into a fundamentalist Islamic group operating in this country, might have helped to stop the Jihadi in San Bernardino, but the State Department and the HSA Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties shut down his investigation.  The ostensible reason was because the federal government did not want to profile Islamic groups.

In the process of shutting down Haney’s inquiry, the feds also deleted his files, which included information on an organization with ties to Farook’s mosque, San Bernardino’s Deobandi movement-affiliated Dar-al-Uloom al-Islamia.

And Farook’s wife and accomplice, Tashfeen Malik, went to school at Pakistan’s al-Huda, which also has ties to the Deobandi movement. …

Talighi Jamaat has been linked to a number of attempted terrorist attacks targeting the U.S.

The Left’s new attack line is that people on the right are unfairly and unduly concerned about Moslem terrorism. The second attack line is that the Islamic State wants American boots on the ground. We are “playing right into their hands.”I keep noticing that the Left all says the same words as instructed by their talking points. They don’t even pretend that it was an idea that just occurred to them. Constant repitition will accomplish their ends.




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