American Elephants


Ideologies, Obama says, Are Not Defeated With Guns. Hell of a way to win a War. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama dropped by the  Pentagon today, for a rare visit for the first time since October 2014. Military leaders including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and General Martin Dempsey provided an update on the campaign against ISIS. Obama spoke to reporters from prepared notes (n0 teleprompter). He said coalition operations have scored successes in Iraq and Syria, but the battle against “the extremist group” promises to be a “generational” one.

Obama stressed “we’ll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam while fighting terrorists who distort Islam and whose victims are mostly Muslims.”

We’re going to work day and night with allies and partners to disrupt terrorist networks and thwart attacks and to smother nascent ISIL cells that may be trying to develop in other parts of the world. This also includes remaining vigilant in protecting against attacks here in the homeland,” the president said. “Now I think it’s important for us to recognize the threat of violent extremism is not restricted to any one community. Here in the United States, we have seen all kinds of home-grown terrorism and tragically recent history reminds us how even a single individual motivated by a hateful ideology with access to dangerous weapons can inflict horrendous harm on Americans.”

He mentioned the attack in Garland,Texas, and added:”And because of our success over the years in improving our homeland security, we’ve made it harder for terrorists to carry out large-scale attacks like 9/11 here at home. But the threat of lone wolves or small cells of terrorists is complex. It’s harder to detect and harder to prevent. It’s one of the most different challenges that we face.”…”The good news is that, because of extraordinary efforts from law enforcement as well as our military intelligence we are doing a better job at preventing any large scale attacks on the homeland.” Apparently he was worried about the warnings of threats over the Fourth of July weekend.

He said the broader “twisted” ideology behind ISIS and al-Qaeda must be “discredited” and “ideologies are not defeated with guns they’re defeated by better ideas, more attractive and more compelling vision.”

Tell Adolph Hitler and his crew that ‘ideologies are not defeated with guns,’ or tell the militarists in Japan. The “twisted” ideology of ISIS is opposed to modernity and everything it represents. They intend to return to the pure Islam of the Prophet, and eliminate everyone and everything that stands in the way. Obama wants to bomb oil and gas facilities that fund their operations, “We’re going after the ISIS leadership and infrastructure in Syria, the heart of ISIS that pumps funds and propaganda to people around the world.”

Although they knew the seven buildings in downtown Raqqa in eastern Syria as the main headquarters of the Islamic State, the buildings have gone untouched  during the 10-month allied air campaign. When convoys of heavily armed ISIS fighters paraded through the streets of the provincial capital of Ramadi after they forced Iraqi troops to flee, they rolled on unscathed by coalition fighter-bombers. Most bombing runs, it is reported, return with their bombs still aboard. because of the rules of engagement.

American and allied warplanes are equipped with the most precise aerial arsenal ever fielded. But American officials say they are not striking significant, and obvious, Islamic State targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians. Killing such innocents could hand the militants a major propaganda coup and alienate the local Sunni tribesmen, whose support is critical to ousting the militants, and Sunni Arab countries that are part of the fragile American-led coalition.

Obama will not risk harming any civilians. Drones are fine, though there is sometimes”collateral damage.” Strange way to run a war. Really strange.



Terrorism, War, and The Rules of Engagement. by The Elephant's Child
January 17, 2010, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Iraq, Islam, Military, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

The Defense Department released a report on the Islamist-terror massacre at Fort Hood yesterday.  Ralph Peters comments:  “There are two basic problems with the grotesque non-report on the Islamist-terror massacre at Fort Hood.  1) It’s not about what happened at Fort Hood.  2) It avoids entirely the issue of why it happened.” Here are some of the points he makes:

  • “Protecting the Force: Lessons From Fort Hood” never mentions Islamist terror. Its 86 mind-numbing pages treat “the alleged perpetrator,” Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, as just another workplace shooter.
  • The teensy bit of specific criticism is reserved for the “military medical officer supervisors” in Maj. Hasan’s chain of command at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As if the problem started and ended there.
  • The answer is straightforward: Hasan’s superiors feared — correctly — that any attempt to call attention to his radicalism or to prevent his promotion would backfire on them, destroying their careers, not his.
  • This is a military that imposes rules of engagement that protect our enemies and kill our own troops and that court-martials heroic SEALs to appease a terrorist. Ain’t many colonels willing to hammer the Army’s sole Palestinian-American psychiatrist.
  • The Fort Hood massacre didn’t reflect an intelligence failure. The intelligence was there, in gigabytes. This was a leadership failure and an ethical failure, at every level. Nobody wanted to know what Hasan was up to
  • To be fair, there’s a separate, classified report on Maj. Hasan himself. But it’s too sensitive for the American people to see. Does it even hint he was a self-appointed Islamist terrorist committing jihad? I’ll bet it focuses on his “personal problems.”

At PowerLine, Paul Mirengoff reports on the Reclaim American Liberty conference in New York on Wednesday, and key panelist Col. Allen West

Col. Allen West (U.S. Army Ret.) was blunt about our military’s rules of engagement — they are not suited for the 21st century battlefield and they put our troops in danger.  On the 21st Century battlefield, our enemy has removed its uniforms and taken to hiding among the population.  Our rules of engagement enable them to obtain an advantage by adopting these tactics.

West noted that in a fire-fight, our troops typically have about five seconds before the dying starts.  Yet, we require them to hold their fire until the intentions of the enemy have been verified and the potential for collateral has been assessed.  This can’t be done in five seconds.  Thus, our troops are at a significant disadvantage.

In addition, when the enemy holes up in a mosque, we cannot attack.  Thus the enemy is able to use our own “politically correct” rules against us .  (…)

The same lesson applies to the homeland, which West correctly considers part of the 21st century battle field.  The Fort Hood massacre illustrates the point.  In this instance, political correctness prevented us from dealing with the enemy before he dealt with us.

Victor Davis Hanson comments:

We are back in a such a sorta, kinda war against radical Islam — whose name we almost never reference. We send more troops into Afghanistan, but only on the condition that we announce deadlines when they will start leaving. We damn the now-successful Iraq War as ill-conceived and not worth the effort, even as we stay in Iraq and consider the present calm and enduring democracy a (quiet) success.

The president has libeled tribunals, renditions, the Patriot Act, Predator attacks, wiretaps, and intercepts as either shredding the Constitution or unfairly persecuting Muslims — only to keep all these protocols intact. Obama loudly promised the whiny Europeans and the angry Terrorism, WarIslamic world that he would close the supposed gulag at Guantanamo within a year — and then found he could not do without its apparent utility. (…)
So when Barack Obama had his administration scrap the Manichean “war on terror” for “overseas contingency operations” aimed against “man-made disasters,” we understood that he had not signed up for a serious effort against radical Islam.




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