American Elephants


Uncertainty, Indecision, Naivety, Doubt, Worry II by The Elephant's Child
October 23, 2009, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Islam, Military, Terrorism | Tags: , , ,

toon102109_FULL2
On August 30, 55 days ago,General Stanley McChrystal submitted his request for 40,000 more troops in Afghanistan, and outlined his counterinsurgency strategy. President Obama is still reviewing the strategy and what everybody thinks of the strategy and who is for it and who is opposed, and playing golf and making speeches and having fundraisers. A decision has not been forthcoming, but he said maybe in another two weeks.

(h/t:  the marvelous Michael Ramirez)



Gravitas. Dick Cheney Speaks at the Center for Security Policy. by The Elephant's Child

Vice President Cheney gave a speech last night at the Center for Security Policy.  Once again, he proved why he is probably the most consequential vice president in the Nation’s history.

An excerpt from the speech:

Most anyone who is given responsibility in matters of national security quickly comes to appreciate the commitments and structures put in place by others who came before. You deploy a military force that was planned and funded by your predecessors. You inherit relationships with partners and obligations to allies that were first undertaken years and even generations earlier. With the authority you hold for a little while, you have great freedom of action. And whatever course you follow, the essential thing is always to keep commitments, and to leave no doubts about the credibility of your country’s word.

So among my other concerns about the drift of events under the present administration, I consider the abandonment of missile defense in Eastern Europe to be a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith.

It is certainly not a model of diplomacy when the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic are informed of such a decision at the last minute in midnight phone calls. It took a long time and lot of political courage in those countries to arrange for our interceptor system in Poland and the radar system in the Czech Republic. Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved, just like that – with apparently little, if any, consultation. Seventy years to the day after the Soviets invaded Poland, it was an odd way to mark the occasion.

You hardly have to go back to 1939 to understand why these countries desire – and thought they had – a close and trusting relationship with the United States. Only last year, the Russian Army moved into Georgia, under the orders of a man who regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Anybody who has spent much time in that part of the world knows what Vladimir Putin is up to. And those who try placating him, by conceding ground and accommodating his wishes, will get nothing in return but more trouble.

What did the Obama Administration get from Russia for its abandonment of Poland and the Czech Republic, and for its famous “Reset” button? Another deeply flawed election and continued Russian opposition to sanctioning Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In the short of it, President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won’t be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.

Big events turn on the credibility of the United States – doing what we said we would do, and always defending our fundamental security interests. In that category belong the ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need to counter the nuclear ambitions of the current regime in Iran.

A full transcript of the speech is available here.



Uncertainty, Indecision, Naivety, Doubt, Worry, Maybe… by The Elephant's Child

description07borrow650

This painting by San Francisco artist Ed Ruscha is one selected by President Obama to be loaned to the White House.  It would seem to indicate some level of self-awareness on the part of Mr. Obama of characteristic indecision.  The world is  taking notice of Obama’s dithering regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan, and worrying.

The word “dithering” has gained a spot in current vocabulary that it has never previously occupied.  In a campaign speech on September 9,2008, Obama said:

His plan comes up short. There’s not enough troops, not enough resources and not enough urgency. What President Bush and Senator McCain don’t understand is that the central front in the War on Terror is not in Iraq and never was. The central front is in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the terrorists who hit us on 9-11 are still plotting attacks seven years later.

On March 27, according to Charles Krauthammer, with his secretaries of state and defense at his side, the President said “Today I’m announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.” He made it clear that he had not arrived at the decision casually.  The new strategy, he said, “marks the conclusion of a careful policy review.” The conclusion of an extensive review, the president assured the nation , that included consultation with military commanders and diplomats, with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan, with our NATO allies and members of Congress.

Dr. Krauthammer continued: “The general in charge was then relieved and replaced with Obama’s own choice, Stanley McChrystal.”

On August 30, Obama’s handpicked general submitted a request for 40,000 more troops which he said were necessary for the counterinsurgency strategy the president wanted, and to avoid losing to the Taliban.

General Petraeus, Admiral Mullen, General Zinni, and Ike Skelton (chair, House Armed Services), Diane  Feinstein (chair Senate Intel) agreed.  Six weeks later, Obama is still dithering.  Rahm Emanuel was on the Sunday shows using the uncertainty in Afghan elections as the latest excuse.  Robert Kaplan wrote in the Atlantic:

The Afghan people have survived three decades of war by hedging their bets.  Now, watching a young and inexperienced American president appear to waiver on his commitment to their country, they are deciding, at the level of both the individual and the mass, whether to make their peace with the Taliban — even as the Taliban itself can only take solace and encouragement from Obama’s public agonizing.  Meanwhile, fundamentalist elements of the Pakistani military, opposed to the recent crackdown against local Taliban, are also taking heart from developments in Washington. …This is how coups and revolutions get started, by the middle ranks sensing weakness in foreign support for their superiors.

Obama’s wobbliness also has a corrosive effect on the Indians and the Iranians.  India desperately needs a relatively secular Afghan regime in place to bolster Hindu India’s geopolitical position against radical Islamdom, and while the country enjoyed an excellent relationship with Bush, Obama’s dithering is making it nervous.  And Iran in observing Washington’s indecision, can only feel more secure in its creeping economic annexation of western Afghanistan.

At the White House, the dithering goes on.  The meetings are now referred to as “seminars”, but strategic decisions seem to be left, not to the world’s best generals, but, of course, to the president and Rahm Emanuel, Joe Biden and David Axlerod.

As the painting says: I THINK MAYBE I’LL…MAYBE…YES…
xxxxxxxwait a minute…
xxxxxxxxxxxxx On Second Thought…
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx MAYBE NO..
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxyet



One of These Things Doesn’t Go With The Other, One of These things Just Doesn’t Belong. by The Elephant's Child
October 5, 2009, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Islam, Terrorism | Tags: , , ,

William Kristol  doesn’t understand the agonizing over Afghanistan:

I think that’s pathetic.  The president said this is a war of necessity.  He said it’s a war we have to win  He said we have to think about it regionally and that we have to think of Afghanistan together with Pakistan and that we can’t have a stable Pakistan unless we hold the line in Afghanistan, and an unstable Pakistan in unbelievably dangerous since they have nuclear weapons.  Why is this a tough call?

Max Boot summarizes E.J. Dionne Jr.’s column in the Washington Post:

In essence, he writes, we should accept a high risk of failure in Afghanistan because trying to win the war will take away momentum from Obama’s domestic agenda, notably health-care reform.  “The last thing he should do is rush into a new set of obligations in Afghanistan that would come to define his presidency more than any victory he wins on health care.”

Well, that kinda sums it up, doesn’t it?



Is Obama waiting for Blair? by American Elephant
October 2, 2009, 1:54 am
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Military, National Security, News | Tags: , ,

Update: Welcome Red State Readers!

Thanks to Moe Lane for the link! While you’re here, we hope you’ll have a look around our humble little blog and tell us what you think.

Obama has taken ownership of the war in Afghanistan. Since the presidential campaign, he has characterized it as the good war while he calls the Iraq war (despite liberating 24 million people, and turning an avowed enemy and a rogue dictator into a democratic ally) a mistake.

Meanwhile, things have not been going well in Afghanistan of late. Restrictive rules of engagement are getting our troops killed while the president hems and haws about what to do.

On the one hand, the loss will be Obama’s — he cannot blame it on President Bush — and no president wants that kind of legacy. On the other hand, our allies continue to leave the theater, and Obama’s base, the left, have finally gotten the courage up to admit that their prior support of the Afghan war was always a lie (Imagine that!) and they want to bail on that war as well.

With that in mind, come two headlines today:

White  House: Obama to take ‘Next several weeks’ to review strategy and,

Tony Blair to head the EU within weeks.

Now we all know Tony Blair has his head on straight about both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and resolutely so. Is Obama then waiting for Blair’s leadership to give him the political cover to send more troops to Afghanistan? Or are the stories unrelated, and Obama simply finds himself too busy trying to secure Olympic contracts for his Chicago cronies and seizing the American health-care system for his union thugs to bother himself with little things like terrorism, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and our troops lives?

Let’s hope it’s the former.

Time will tell.



Wars Are To Be Won, They Are Not Playing Fields for Theorists. by The Elephant's Child

Japanese Surrender

President Obama has long seemed to believe that the only reason for our presence in the Middle East was to get revenge on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda for the attack on 9/11. He has put Afghanistan high on his foreign policy list, and he even stated in the past, that invading Pakistan might be necessary.

On Thursday, in a TV interview with ABC News, President Obama said that “victory” in Afghanistan is not necessarily the United States goal.

I’m always worried about using the word “victory” because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

The enemy facing U.S and Afghan forces isn’t so clearly defined, he said.  “We’re not dealing with nation states at this point.  We’re concerned with al Qaeda and the Taliban, al Qaeda’s allies,” he said.  “So when you have a non-state actor, a shadowy operation like al Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can’t attack the United States. So that is defined by what, precisely?  Seems like a shadowy goal for our troops who are fighting in Afghanistan.  It’s a very odd statement from a president when we are in the middle of a war.

Mr. Obama’s historical gaffes are numerous.  He thought the Berlin Airlift was a collective European effort; seems to think that Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East is somehow responsible for the backwardness of it’s neighbors; and when he was in Moscow, he received a lengthy lecture on the Cold War from Vladimir Putin. The Russian version, that is.

The Emperor Hirohito, of course, did not come down to the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremonies.  To misunderstand that demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Pacific War and the relationship of the Emperor to the Japanese people. In their 2000 year history, the Japanese had never surrendered to anyone.  Japan was determined to fight on, even after Okinawa was lost.  The Japanese navy had effectively ceased to exist, but an all-out defense of the homeland beachhead was planned.  Rebellious army officers planned a palace coup which was put down.  On August 14, 1945, the Emperor recorded a speech which was broadcast to the nation at noon on the following day, August 15.

The Japanese people were stunned.  They had never before heard the Emperor’s voice.  The formal surrender ceremony took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. The Japanese representatives on board the Missouri were Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.  Behind them are three representatives each of the Foreign Ministry, the Army and the Navy.

Japanese Surrender2

Worth noting is an article from The New York Times that quoted  Toshikazu Kase, a 100-year-old veteran of the Imperial Japanese government. (Second from right in middle row in the top hat).  He would write in his memoirs about the surrender to MacArthur on the deck of the Missouri:

Here is the victor announcing the verdict to the prostrate enemy.  He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires.  And yet he pleads for freedom, tolerance and justice.  For me, who expected the worst humiliation, this was a complete surprise.  I was thrilled beyond words, spellbound, thunderstruck.

Understanding the history of our relations with Japan is crucial to understanding our relationship and friendship with Japan today. Understanding the history of Israel and Palestine helps to keep from making mistakes about who our friends are and why.  Understanding the history of Latin America keeps a president from siding with some of the region’s worst dictators, and confusing our Constitution and laws with the constitution and laws of Honduras.

These things matter, and if the President does not have the background, it should be included in briefings. If his speechwriters don’t have the background, they should look it up.  And if the State Department doesn’t have the background, God help us .

(the headline comes from a quotation from Ralph Peters)


Here’s a Really Heartwarming Story. by The Elephant's Child
May 9, 2009, 12:03 am
Filed under: Freedom, Heartwarming, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Enough gloom and doom. Let’s have a little pride and heroism and gratitude.  A lot of hope and prayers, and a lot of hard work.  Our very best to the Brennan family.

(h/t: Gateway Pundit)



A French Infantryman’s Impressions of the Americans He Serves With. by The Elephant's Child
November 22, 2008, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Military, Terrorism | Tags: ,

Jean-Marc Liotier has posted a piece written by a French OMLT (Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams) infantry man in Afghanistan, about the Americans soldiers with whom he serves.  It is a rare glimpse through the eyes of a Frenchman of how European soldiers see them.  Anti-Americanism sells papers in Europe as well as here,  so it’s refreshing to read some heartfelt words from someone who serves with our boys.

Here we discover America as it is often depicted; their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by lack of privacy and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley.  Honor, motherland — everything here reminds of that: the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels.  Even if recruits often originate from the heart of American cities and gang territory no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner.  Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location: books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission.  And that is a first shock to our preconceptions: the American soldier is no individualist.  The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

And they are impressive warriors!  We have not come across bad ones, as strange as it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be.  Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how.  Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest.  On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger.  No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days.  At night, all movements are performed in the dark — only a handful of subdued red lights indicate the occasional presence of a soldier on the move.  Same with the vehicles whose lights are covered — everything happens in pitch dark even filling the fuel tanks with the Japy pump.

And combat? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all — always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay.  That is one of their tricks: they switch from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes.   Arriving in contact with the enemy, they way they fight is simple and disconcerting: they just charge! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later — which cuts any pussyfooting short.

We seldom hear any harsh word, and from 5AM onwards the camp chores are performed in beautiful order and always with excellent spirit.  A passing American helicopter stops near a stranded vehicle just to check that everything is alright; an American combat team will rush to support ours before even knowing how dangerous that mission is — from what we have been given to to witness, the American soldier is a beautiful and worthy heir to those who liberated France and Europe.

Do read the whole thing which you can find here.



Not exactly a foreign policy you can believe in… by The Elephant's Child

There’s a perennially popular genre of literature which might be called “Kids Say the Darnedest Things”. Small children, in all innocence, give charming answers to questions because they know so little.

Another version is based on the answers that college students write on exam questions. These are more often hilarious in their utter stupidity. The entire genre is based on the fact that we, as educated adults, know the subject well, and they, groping for an answer to a question on which they are poorly informed, make silly mistakes. It is usually enough to remind any adult that a simple “I don’t know” is a wise answer.

There are degrees of knowing about any subject ranging from superficial to mastery, and those who reach true mastery recognize that there is always more to learn. But as the old saying goes: “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

Which brings me to Barack Obama’s op-ed in the New York Times.

The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.

Must have seemed like a gift when some news reports claimed that Maliki had called for a timetable for removal of American troops. Obama’s insistence on removing troops was becoming increasingly untenable. He’d just removed all his previous statements on the surge from his website, assuming that voters were unfamiliar with Google.

Unfortunately, that’s not what Maliki said.

The BBC reports that in an audio recording of his speech he did not use the word “withdrawal”. Elections are coming, and Maliki’s speech was directed to that audience. Some Iraqis are anxious for us to leave: Some are fearful that we will not be patient enough with them to allow them enough time to learn how to be a democracy. A US official close to the talks with the Iraqi government said “the troops will leave when the Iraqis are ready to take over. …It is politics — how you package it, how you sell it to your people. They want our support, but they also want to show that there’s progress towards sovereignty.” Obama goes on:

Only by redeploying our troops can we press the Iraqis to reach comprehensive political accommodation and achieve a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country. Instead of seizing the moment and encouraging Iraqis to step up, the Bush administration and Senator McCain are refusing to embrace this transition — despite their previous commitments to respect the will of Iraq’s sovereign government. They call any timetable for the removal of American troops “surrender,” even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government.

But this is not a strategy for success — it is a strategy for staying that runs contrary to the will of the Iraqi people, the American people and the security interests of the United States. That is why, on my first day in office.I would give the military a new mission; ending this war.

Sigh. If Obama had been paying attention and keeping informed, he would be aware of the recommended force reductions and mission shift broadcast by General Petraeus during his testimony to Congress in September of 2007. And he might be aware that all of the important benchmarks have been met.

In San Diego, Obama argued that “just because Sen. John McCain had made multiple visits to Iraq, that does not mean that he has the correct perspective on the region”. Well, at least McCain is well informed.

Obama also remarked earlier that he knew more about foreign policy than Senator McCain or George W. Bush because he had lived in Indonesia (from age 6 to age 10).

Obama is still trying to validate his big moment when he opposed the Iraq War while he was still in the Illinois legislature, which endears him to the anti-war crowd. He didn’t understand the reasons for going into Iraq. He didn’t understand the reasons for the surge. He doesn’t grasp the nature of Islamic jihad. And he has apparently never studied a map of the region. Along with announcing how many brigades he’s going to move around, he’s now attempting to push the tired old Democrat spin that the real war is only in Afghanistan in pursuit of bin Laden.

I find this endlessly fascinating. How do the Democrats do it? Do they all get together in a meeting and someone says — “I know, let’s say that the war isn’t in Iraq, that we’re really supposed to be chasing Osama in Afghanistan. I’ll bet we can get away with that.” Or perhaps they get a memo from MoveOn.org with the talking points, which they circulate, because they all say the same thing in the same words. Do they have rehearsals?

And how do they all manage to forget the same things at the same time?

Obama is going to great lengths to appear “presidential”. There are the sets designed to look like a presidential press conference, the array of flags in photographs, and of course, his “presidential seal” (quickly disposed of when it evoked more humor than awe). There’s the decision to deliver his acceptance speech at Invesco Field in Denver rather than at the convention site. Obama says he wants to give the common folk more “access” to the process. Uh huh. Visions of Leni Riefenstahl.  Do you think there will be torches?

And then a demand to give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate like Presidents Kennedy and Reagan (he might wait until he’s actually a president, and it is usual for those things to be arranged quietly behind the scenes). German officials were not too keen on allowing their historic spot to be used as a prop for a candidate. It puts the German government in the awkward position of appearing to favor one candidate.

Obama’s now backed off on that, but seems unaware of the foreign policy gaffes he is making, or the problems he is creating. The rewriting of NAFTA created big problems with Mexico and Canada, opposing a free trade agreement with Columbia, invading Pakistan, the embarrassing Jerusalem gaffe all presented foreign policy problems that had to be soothed. And his pronouncements on getting out of Iraq aren’t going down too well in Europe.

On his upcoming trip abroad, he is making it clear that he isn’t going to Iraq or Afghanistan to learn, but to enhance his image. It’s (as usual) all about him. With a crew of star liberal TV anchors along to interview him at significant sites (looking presidential) he expects to raise his foreign policy qualifications. Oh, so that’s how it’s done.

Let me be clear. People may differ on the war. People may be opposed to the war, but if they are going to make pronouncements about the war, then they need to know what they are talking about. For Obama, this is a problem, and it is a problem for America. He does say the darnedest things, but it’s not funny.



Winning the War on ALL Fronts! by American Elephant

Reports from the Pentagon, CIA, the British, and corroborated by independent terrorism experts conclude that the United States military, under General David Petraeus and President Bush is winning the war on terror, and winning big:

Al Qaeda virtually defeated in Iraq, Saudi Arabia:

Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda’s allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group’s core leadership. [read more]

Taliban in Afghanistan on brink of defeat:

Missions by special forces and air strikes by unmanned drones have “decapitated” the Taliban and brought the war in Afghanistan to a “tipping point”, the commander of British forces has said.

The new “precise, surgical” tactics have killed scores of insurgent leaders and made it extremely difficult for Pakistan-based Taliban leaders to prosecute the campaign, according to Brig Mark Carleton-Smith.

In the past two years an estimated 7,000 Taliban have been killed, the majority in southern and eastern Afghanistan. But it is the “very effective targeted decapitation operations” that have removed “several echelons of commanders”. This in turn has left the insurgents on the brink of defeat, the head of Task Force Helmand said. [read more]

US Troop Deaths in Iraq at All Time Low:

BAGHDAD, June 1 (Reuters) – U.S. troop deaths in Iraq fell to their lowest level last month since the 2003 invasion and officials said on Sunday improved security also helped the country boost oil production in May to a post-war high. [read more]

US-Backed Government and Army May be Winning the War:

THERE’S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks — which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington’s attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have “never been closer to defeat than they are now.”

Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained “special groups” that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans. [read more]

Bin Laden, Al Qaeda Losing Support Among Muslims:

Important Muslim thinkers, including some on whom bin Laden depended for support, have rejected his vision of jihad. Once sympathetic publics in the Middle East and South Asia are growing disillusioned. As CIA Director Michael Hayden said last week, “Fundamentally, no one really liked Al Qaeda’s vision of the future.” At the same time, and potentially much more important over the long run, a new vision of Islam, neither bin Laden’s nor that of the traditionalists who preceded him, is taking shape. Momentum is building within the Muslim world to re-examine what had seemed immutable tenets of the faith, to challenge what had been taken as literal truths and to open wide the doors of interpretation (ijtihad) that some schools of Islam tried to close centuries ago. [read more]

Let’s be sure to give credit where credit is due. This is all due to the hard work of our military men and women, to the strategy of General Petraeus and military leadership, and to the vision and steadfast leadership of President Bush, his administration, Republicans and the independant Joe Lieberman. Let’s also be clear, because President Bush will never say it, but this success is also very much despite the Democrats and their ceaseless efforts to sabotage the Commander in Chief and the war effort itself for political gain.



The Perilous Fight by American Elephant

For over 230 years, far better men than I have risked everything fighting for our independence, fighting to keep us together, putting themselves between America and the evils of the world. They are doing so now.

To a man they knew the dangers. To a man they went anyway.

Today we honor those who have fallen to keep us safe and free. We are forever in their debt.

We must always remember what they’ve done for us. Too many take it for granted. Still others really have no idea. That makes it even more important that the rest of us remember and honor them.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Of all the Memorial Day tributes I found, this was my favorite, but it is one that I can’t embed on our page, so I hope you’ll click the link and watch it. These were also very moving tributes…

Thank you to all who serve. God bless and keep those who gave all.



A Word for our Friends by The Elephant's Child

John Howard

John Howard, the former prime minister of Australia, was honored by the American Enterprise Institute last Wednesday at a gala dinner, where he delivered the Irving Kristol lecture.

In the protracted struggle against Islamic extremism there will be no stronger weapon than the maintenance by western liberal democracies of a steadfast belief in the continuing worth of our own national value systems. And where necessary a soaring optimism about the future of freedom and democracy .

We should not think that by trading away some of the values which have made us who we are will buy us either immunity from terrorists or respect from noisy minorities.

If the butter of common national values is spread too thinly it will disappear altogether.

We should not forget that it is the values of our societies that terrorists despise most. That is why we should never compromise on them.

The entire speech is available here. It is worth reading the whole thing. Prime Minister Howard has been a very good friend to the United States. We don’t express our appreciation for the Aussies often enough or loudly enough, just as we often forget to show our gratitude to our own family members. Thank you, dear friends.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,433 other followers

%d bloggers like this: