American Elephants

You Really Don’t Want to Make the American People Angry! by The Elephant's Child
October 6, 2021, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , ,

It is getting really weird out there! The American people are deeply unhappy with this president. It’s not just the rude shouts in sports stadiums, that’s appearing wherever he turns up. The columns online are ubiquitous. President Biden was told early on that ice cream cones were a “good symbol”, and I haven’t seen him without an ice cream cone in months! He’s still desperately trying to blame anything and everything on Donald Trump. Not going to work. Donald Trump was a very good president and accomplished a lot for the American people.

I am deeply troubled by Biden’s immigration problem. Inviting the rest of the world to come, sneak across the border, and suggesting that we will promptly make them citizens seems like an unbelievable error. We have an orderly process for those who want to come to America and become citizens. You go to your nearest American consulate or embassy, sign up, and wait your turn. Thousands from Afghanistan, thousands from Central America, thousands from Haiti, Africa, and South America. We’ve now just had an example of a man convicted of murder in Florida, caught again at the border trying to get back in.

President Biden’s approval ratings continue their steady decline. We’re still trying to get our people out of Afghanistan, our latest, greatest failure.

Democrats are trying to convince the American people that the people who entered the Capitol Building on January 6, were “rioters” viciously attacking the legitimate members of Congress. Curious, I looked up the word “riot”, which by definition includes “violence.” Only violence was when a Capitol policeman shot Ashli Babbit. The people who went into the Capitol building, reportedly walked around, respected the red velvet ropes there to guide visitors, did no damage whatsoever, and, by the way, are as citizens, the owners of the building. We now have films of their incursion, which make it pretty clear that there was no riot, and certainly no violence. Keep that one in mind when you are listening to Democrats sound off.

Today’s major flap seems to be that School Boards all over the country have had parents turn up (Parents!) to protest what is going on in the schools, protest some of the curriculum, and suggest that the school boards are not doing their job. Apparently astonished that parents would assume that they have anything whatsoever to say about what their children are being taught! How interesting to learn that school boards are unaware of who elects them, and who can fire them. I’m getting a sense of citizens slowly becoming aware of an establishment that does not understand who is in charge, and the power that they have. We’ll see.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken: by The Elephant's Child
August 28, 2021, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

President Joe Biden’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken delivered remarks on Afghanistan yesterday at the State Department, he discussed the evacuation of Americans and the department’s calculation of “relevant numbers.” The numbers conflicted with earlier briefings, but they were characterized as “dynamic calculations.” The Secretary concluded that their efforts are a great success.

“Thus from this list of approximately 1,000, we believe that the number of Americans actively seeking assistance is likely significantly lower. Sort of blaming Americans who remain stranded for being stranded. Supposedly everybody has to be out by the 31st, but he added that “There is no deadline on our work to help any remaining American citizens who decide they want to leave to do so with the many Afghans who have stood by us over these many years and want to leave and have been unable to do so. That effort will continue every day past August 31st”. Daniel Greenfield notes that “The United States keeps making the mistake of treating Jihadist groups like representative of some legitimate government. Even aside from the fact that they are our sworn enemies, it’s like assuming that you can stop gang violence in Chicago by meeting with a top gang leader.” House Republicans have filed impeachment articles against Secretary Blinken.

So it’s all up in the air. Nobody knows what will happen, but it doesn’t look good. We seem to have Democrats who believe that all the troubled and unfortunates of the world are thus entitled to come to America and be offered asylum and a job and benefits and whatever else they might happen to need because they are troubled and unfortunate. Without any realization that taxpayers might not be willing to support the rest of the world arriving to be cared for at their expense.

Joe Biden is suffering from increasingly dropping approval ratings, understandably. I don’t know. A large percentage of people seem to get their information from TV news. occasionally watched. I’m of the opinion that our schools should be turning out students who are hungry to understand the world and what is going on, and have failed if they do not , but that may be just me.

ADDENDUM: Blinken said this morning that they believe that the Taliban will continue to allow people to leave after the August 31st deadline. I hope he’s right, but if so, why is there a “deadline”?

Not a Day Like All Days, But a Bit Different! by The Elephant's Child
August 15, 2021, 3:50 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Headlines at Frontp : “Biden Sends 5,000 Troops to Afghanistan, Blames Trump”

Taliban insurgents add the capitals of Herat, Kandahar, Badghis, and Helmand provinces to their string of conquests in about 12 hours.

That kind of sums the whole thing up, doesn’t it?

I went looking for some pictures to illustrate the post, and discovered that all the pictures show people on bicycles. No cars, no trucks. I imagine there are, at least, trucks. They need some foodstuffs and things from other countries, don’t they? Imagine fighting a war on bicycles. It’s a fairly dicey part of the world, constant wars and attacks, dicey neighbors. Greenfield says that Afghanistan was never going to work. :”There Was Never a Solution to Afghanistan” It seems to be a very religious part of the world, and religious wars are even nastier than the other kind if that’s possible.

So is America supposed to accept the role of being the world’s policeman? I thought we were in the midst of some kind of bright ideas about one world government, or something like that. And then there are the Climate Wars, where we have to drop everything else and just panic because the changing climate is going to end our world in just a few years anyway. Maybe Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown has the right idea after all. Just don’t teach the kids how to read.

OK, fire Kate Brown, We got rid of Andrew Cuomo, even if for the wrong crime, bottom pinching is clearly far worse than killing off a bunch of old people who were getting up there and going to die anyway. Recall California’s governor Newsom. We are Americans, a powerful people, and we can get the important things done. The University of Wisconsin at Madison just removed a Very Large Rock that students deemed “racist” though I’m not clear on why it was racist. It was HUGE! 75 Tons! Cost $75,000! to please the snowflakes on campus, who apparently graduated from Kate Brown’s high schools in Oregon and never learned to read.

So there you have Sunday, August 15th, 2021.

ADDENDUM: Speaker Nancy Pelosi chimed in on Twitter to compliment President Biden on his clarity of purpose up there at Camp David.

Nancy Pelosi@SpeakerPelosi·The President is to be commended for the clarity of purpose of his statement on Afghanistan and his action. The Taliban must know the world is watching its actions. We are concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls.

Obama’s Touchy-Feely Foreign Policy Isn’t Working! by The Elephant's Child

As the United States plans to complete the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the US military and its Coalition partners are increasingly shifting security responsibilities to Afghan forces.  If the transition is going to succeed, it depends a lot on the competence and strength of the Afghan military and security forces. So training has become a major focus of Coalition strategy, which depends on the work of the trainers with Afghan security forces.

The US Army has been ramping up instruction in the languages of Afghanistan, and in Afghan customs as well. Key installations have added several hundred speakers of Pashto and Dari to their ranks, more than doubling the number of soldiers trained in Afghan languages.

Attacks on Coalition forces — called green-on-blue attacks — have increased dramatically and emerged as a major threat, accounting for 14% of Coalition casualties. Commanders estimate that attacks are due to cultural differences and personal disagreement, but others estimate that about half have been carried out by Taliban infiltrators. Nevertheless the US military has become so concerned that they have ordered a designated ‘guardian angel” whose job is to provide security for troops working with Afghans. ISAF commander John Allen has recently directed all US and NATO troops to carry a loaded weapon at all times. They were previously forbidden to carry magazines in their weapons as a sign of trust, while Afghan trainees carried loaded weapons. There have been a total of 57 attacks. 

The US consulate where the American ambassador to Libya was killed is an “interim facility” which was NOT protected by the contingent of Marines that safeguards embassies. It was an unfortified building in a volatile city that has been targeted by jihadis before— and it was the anniversary of 9/11.

According to Marine blogs, the US Marines defending the US embassy in Egypt were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition, limiting their ability to respond to attacks such at the storming of our embassy in Cairo this week. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “did not permit US Marine guards to carry live ammunition. She neutralized any US military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the American Embassy. The Pentagon denies this and says no restrictions have been imposed. Reports indicate  the Obama administration was relying on Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood-backed government to ensure American security.

— When the elite Border Patrol tactical unit known as BORTAC late on the night of Dec. 14, was working Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales, they were hunting a predatory criminal gang that targeted drug couriers and illegals being smuggled over the border.  They ambush the victims for their drugs or possessions sure that it will never be reported.

The team, with night-vision equipment spotted five men carrying rifles moving through the canyon. One of the officers demanded that they drop their weapons. The suspects did not, so two Border Patrol Agents deployed their “less than lethal” beanbags at them. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was hit with one bullet and died shortly after. One of the suspects was also hit. Agency policy: beanbag rounds are one of the “less than lethal” shotgun rounds designed to deliver a stunning, momentarily incapacitating  blow to allow officers to rush in and physically control an ‘uncooperative’ suspect.

The standard doctrine is that less-than lethal weapons will only be used in situations where the suspects are not armed with deadly weapons of their own.

Filled with less-than legal shells, the shotgun is still a shotgun, when fired, a shotgun blast is heard, a flash and puff of smoke and the weapon recoils. Any person not immediately incapacitated is apt to return fire. Border Patrol officials lied at least once about the order to use beanbags, in an effort to cover up the murder of Brian Terry with “fast and furious” weapons.

— There is a discernible pattern here — born of notions that the United States must be just one nation among many, no more exceptional than any other nation, never throwing our weight around, appreciating diversity, respecting other cultures, and above all not being judgmental. People who live lives of apparent safety and comfort have difficulty appreciating how fragile the world is. We are always in more danger from our fellow man, and from bad ideas celebrated by those living their lives of safety and comfort.

Worse Than Carelessness. Needless, Heartbreaking and Just Wrong by The Elephant's Child

U.S. and NATO troops have fallen to attacks by Afghan insiders— trainees or  Afghan police — in increasing numbers.   The troop deaths from so-called green-on-blue attacks have climbed past 100, and it is only now becoming clear why it is happening. There has been a standing order from military brass requiring troops to remove the magazines from their weapons while quartered inside their bases with their “trusted Afghan partners.”

Jihadist Afghan soldiers or police have easily gotten the jump on their trainers, shooting them in cold blood with the rifles and ammunition issued by the United States. Ten of our troops have died in just this way in the past two weeks.  Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 32 attacks that have resulted in 40 deaths.  Last year there were 21 insider attacks.

Earlier this month, an Afghan security commander ambushed U.S. troops. The officer, who was helping U.S. special forces train the local police force, lured elite U.S. soldiers to a Ramadan meal at his outpost to talk security. He then opened fire on them at close range, killing three and wounding one.

The Taliban took credit for the attack. The terror group released a video indicating it has heavily infiltrated the Afghan national army and police force.

“I opened fire on three Americans who were sitting together,” a rogue Afghan soldier, identified as Ghazi Mahmood, says while smiling for the camera. “The reason I killed them is because they have occupied our country. They are enemies of our religion.” He said that there are many other uniformed Afghans “looking for the opportunity to kill infidels.”

This was conceived as a “gesture of trust” toward Muslim partners.  Commanders ordered U.S. soldiers to remover their magazines from their weapons while training and working alongside them. The Afghans were allowed to remain armed. Most troops generally removed their heavy Kevlar body armor once they got inside the base, making them even more vulnerable to “friendly fire.”

Investors says:

Disarming the Afghans would have been the obvious solution. But of course that would expose this whole “training partnership” as the farce it really is. Training and standing up a national security force in Afghanistan is the linchpin of President Obama’s withdrawal strategy. He has set a 2014 deadline for troop pullout.

But the Pentagon is already reducing troop presence by 30,000 by the end of the summer. Many of the remaining soldiers will switch from fighting to training and advising Afghan forces. This means even more of them will be exposed to insider attacks.

But we’re not just training Afghans to replace soldiers. We’re hiring them to protect our soldiers right now, and many of them have also turned on our soldiers. Obama has insisted on using Afghan security guards for base security as a way to limit the size of the U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan.  Hiring local Afghans to protect troops obviates the need to deploy some 20,000 additional troops as MPs, or to move existing troops out of combat roles.

Obama’s rush to withdraw has needlessly cost at least 100 soldiers’ lives and wounded countless others.

Obama Said the Troops are Fighting on His Behalf. Not really.. by The Elephant's Child

Uncle Jimbo, from Blackfive, takes exception to President Obama’s ‘strategy’ in Afghanistan. He wouldn’t have gone for the idea that the troops were fighting on Obama’s behalf either. The administration’s plans to ‘dialogue’ with the Taliban seem to be some vague part of the ‘strategy,’ whatever that is. It seems to be about— getting out before the election. There’s certainly a lot of rather large problems that must succumb to electoral politics.

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!”

Bush was right/Democrats lied #379: by American Elephant

Democrats unanimously confirm the four-star General they previously accused of lying about the Surge and referred to as General “Betray Us.”

How anyone who votes Democrat can even face themselves in the mirror is utterly beyond me.

I’m Posting this Because I Like It a Lot! by The Elephant's Child
March 15, 2010, 12:03 am
Filed under: Freedom, Military, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear | Tags: , ,

(h/t: Ace of Spades)

Some Welcome News from General David Petraeus. by The Elephant's Child
January 26, 2010, 12:42 am
Filed under: Freedom, Military, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Nearly all of the U.S. Combat troops slated to deploy to Afghanistan to take part in the military buildup there should arrive by the end of August, General David Petraeus said. Everybody engaged in this deployment is making an effort to get there as rapidly as possible.

Army General Stanley McChrystal is leading the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan. His strategy includes the securing of the Afghan people against insurgent violence and reprisals and improving citizens’ quality of life through reconstruction and infrastructure projects.

Afghanistan is experiencing a building boom as part of efforts to support incoming troops, Petraeus said. There is a huge amount of construction to develop additional airfields, additional ramp space, additional forward operating bases and combat outposts.

Pakistan, Gen. Petraeus says, has committed to the right side, and deserves the unwavering support of the U.S. in its battle against Islamist groups.  He noted a “true change” in Pakistani public opinion last summer, saying that political leaders and even clerics began to recognise the Pakistani Taliban as a threat to the country, when the Taliban challenged the government’s writ in the Swat valley.

“So this became Pakistan’s war on terror, not Pakistanis fighting America’s war on terror.  That is an enormous shift in thinking.”

Getting to Know the People of Afghanistan. by The Elephant's Child
January 12, 2010, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Heartwarming, Military, National Security, News | Tags: , ,

The American military in Afghanistan is intent on protecting the Afghan people. To win the confidence of the people and get their cooperation, the people must feel safe.

According to a new BBC poll, Afghans are much more likely than Americans to think that their country is on the right track (70% approval).  They think more highly of their President Karzai ( 72% approval) than Americans do of President Obama.  And they really don’t like the Taliban, 90% prefer their present government over the Taliban.  And 68% say they support the presence of American troops.

Afghanistan has many tiny villages in hard to get-to places, so it’s hard to know how representative such a poll is, but the results are better than one might expect.

The Weekly Standard has a most interesting article on the military’s move to engage the people of Afghanistan.  An important innovation are the Human Terrain Teams (HTTs).  These teams consist of five to nine civilians with military, intelligence, or social-science expertise, analytical skill, and cross-cultural training.  The teams are embedded with units in the field, and ideally, each team includes at least one Afghan-American, one or more women, and a PhD-level social scientist.

Their mission is to “fill the socio-cultural knowledge gap” in ways that are valuable to the soldiers they advise.  They are specially charged with helping devise non-lethal approaches to improving security in a given place.  These are not civil affairs units, off building schools and digging wells, but eyes and ears for the military officers who plan and lead operations.

HTTs are to learn all they can about the people among whom their units operate — their tribal background and power structures and livelihood, their recent experiences with local government and with Kabul, their contacts with the Taliban and warlords and coalition forces, and any matters of special concern to the commander.  They do this by developing personal relationships in the surrounding communities and systematically interviewing Afghans.  As they go, they are to analyze their findings and then package them in forms digestible by soldiers.

The article explains the rationale for the innovation, and the training the teams receive before they deploy.  It’s very encouraging, and will give you a much better understanding of the military’s mission in Afghanistan.

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.

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