Category Archives: Different Perspective

Absence

In luei of my favorite writer, Noah C. Rothman, I’m gonna write from his sober perspective. At Mediaite, he’s talking about Iran almost 3 years ago and the entire scope of the power of the Islamic world. He focuses mainly on the region; that is in flux, as Mr. Rothman stated while he was at HotAir.com.

Two years later, White House officials would tell that same reporter that they believed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a “chickens***

 You see, Rothman calls the proxie player, Iran, out directly in the HotAir piece. He’s been saying the region is in flux for quite sometimes. It seemed dire for a while. However, good news was circulated.  

Cut that supply line #Kurds and then roll into Raqqa. Put those sons of bitches to bed.-Me

And they did. 

#UPDATE Syria Kurds cut key supply road to IS-held Raqa: commander u.afp.com/Z4aT

Check the time stamps, I’m almost 24 hours ahead of that major publication. That’s just a display of my own ability to pay attention. While good news, no doubt, the region is in no way out of trouble. The Islamist-Baathist fused factions, Daesh or ISIS, are fracturing but have an uncanny ability to regroup. Which they will no doubt attempt to do. The more they’re driven from Raqqa, the more they’ll move towards Ramadi which fell a few months ago and Mosul, which was taken by them last year. 

“Let them rot” via @selectedwisdom.
Hopefully, the Kurds sped that up by cutting the supply line to Raqqa. 
1:07pm – 15 Jun 15

Clint Watts, another foreign policy expert, said

The recipe of the the “Let Them Rot” strategy should be followed: contain ISIS advances, starve them of resources, fracture their ranks, and exploit through alternative security arrangements. 

Which is a slightly less depressing way of saying, the United States and it’s coalition shouldn’t/isn’t going to do much more than it already is to intervene in Iraq and Syria. It’s too costly and neither Obama or the country can stomach a full scale return to that theater of operation. 

Here’s the really exciting news. 

If they got this guy and Belmokhtar, that’s huge.  longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/… 3:07pm – 15 Jun 15-Me
This guy is Nasir al Wuhayshi, al Qaeda’s (AQ) number two. 

Now we have this, confirmation of the afore mentioned Wuhayshi’s demise. That, with rumors of Belmokhtar’s death shows an end to the structure of AQAP and it’s affiliates. Mokhtar Belmokhtar did most of his dealings in the Maghreb, the north west part of Africa. Lybia is pretty Far East for his sphere of influence. 

To hit Yemen and Lybia in one day is quite a feat for our military and intellegence agencies. Rothman says:

The president did his best to shift blame for his failure of leadership onto Pentagon commanders. Obama claimed that Defense Department officials had not yet presented to him a “finalized” plan for victory in Iraq that consists of relying on Iraqi Security Forces to serve as the primary ground combat forces. But what if the plan that the president wants is simply unfeasible? The U.S. was reportedly caught “off guard” by the spectacular implosion of the ISF in the summer of last year, as waves of ISIS forces poured over the Syrian border and sacked city after city including Mosul, the second largest urban center in Iraq. By November of 2014, U.S. troops began speeding the training and equipping of Iraqi Security Forces in preparation for an assault on that city that never came. Now Ramadi, the capital of restive Anbar province and a city located just 70 miles from the seat of Iraqi governance, has also fallen to ISIS. The return on American investment in the ISF seems a long way off.

That’s Iraq, which I’ll mourn, but will celebrate the possible elimination of Belmokhtar and Wuhayshi. It may bring new obstacles, especially now that AQ seems to be decentralized, but I have faith in our imperfect military machine. Despite it’s Commander in Chief having no discernable strategy for that country, he so hastily pulled out of Iraq in 2011 and then blames his department of defense for not providing him with a strategy. I’m gonna guess the DOD did have a strategy, he probably just didn’t like what it was. That country is in deep trouble, for the most part our only reference to it is to blame the people who got us there in the first place. On one hand, people skreetch and bellow about the previous president, Bush the Younger, going in based on shoddy intel. He’s called stupid and brash. On the the other hand, we have our current POTUS, Barack Obama, who followed the strategy and policy to withdraw from Iraq drawn up by the previous president. It’s natural, except, Obama campaigned hard on not following Bush’s policies. Which is exactly what he’s doing. That’s the defense offered up by the White House and it’s supporters when Mr. Obama is criticized for the withdrawal. “He was just following Bush’s plan”, they’ll say. Well, if the criticisms of Bush are true, Obama followed the policies of an idiot, that hardly makes Obama some sort of exhalted intellectual. It makes him seem lazy, to be frank. I don’t think Obama, or any serious people, ever thought Bush was actually a highly functional simpleton. They just didn’t like his party or his willingness to fight and unwillingness to apologies for Americas exceptional ability to wage war. 

Getting AQ’s number two and their most effective commander in northwest Africa are bright moments for our military, even if they continue to take the blame for an increasingly bleak landscape in the region by the person who is suppose to be leading them. 

That’s my sober look at the info at hand. That’s my analysis. It didn’t seem hard. There is an absence, an absence of strategy. 

The Good Stuff 

I recently saw someone I follow on twitter proudly introduce a gorgeous babygirl to the world. He was so proud. It naturally made me think of my own girls at that age. Soft and sweet, totally unaware of the world they had been born into. This person covers national security and counterintelligence. No, I won’t give you his name, that was his moment. 

Most of the time this man gives us the ugly truth about American foreign policy. All it’s flaws and fleeting dreams of peace. But he stopped. What could stop a man so obsessed? Well, a baby. He, like I did, relished in the moment. Forgive me while I waxpoetic, but his baby and my own, reminded me of why the US goes to great links to stop extremist. We currently do little to prevent atrocities abroad, but how quickly our reluctancy to act would fade if our own babies were subjected to what’s being done throughout central Iraq and most of Syria — not to mention a half-a-dozen other places around the globe. How quickly non-interventionism would go out of vogue. 

Then…

It hit me. People strive to protect those who can’t protect themselves. As much as we’d like to believe in an invincible American military machine, it has it’s limits. Which is why we must become smarter, more innovative, and more resilient than those who would see our nation collapse to it’s knees. Leaving our new babies to face a real war we avoided. We must adapt rapidly, something every new father experiences. You have to adapt and develop a way to cope and be an asset to the women who just delivered your child. Because let’s cut the shit, you’re useless when a new baby comes, as a man for a while. Sure, you can help, but you aren’t equipped to to meet the child’s needs at the first sign of a whimper. You can be supportive and there for your new family, but you just don’t have the gear to completely care for this new life. It’s not a detraction, just a fact. 

It’s so rare that these streams cross; national security and beautiful new babies. But they did. I’m glad they did. It gave me a weird sense of a renewed purpose. It remined me that I once adapted to a situation I was completely ill-equipped to handle, but I dug my heels in and wouldn’t quit. Perhaps I have more of that in me, then again, perhaps rising to the occasion of fatherhood, will be my greatest accomplishment in life. I’d like to be more, do more, contribute more. However, if all I ever become is a good dad, I have done something. I have lived. I have loved. I gave something that I didn’t know I had. 

And that is the secret, redemptive qualities of a child. They hold a magic all their own. It’s an amazingly beautiful thing. Let’s hope it keeps happening. 

######

Editor’s update: we over look disturbing baseball affiliations when celebrating a new baby. 

Forced Pivots

There is complete nonsense dominatining the largest journalistic outfit in the Western World, The New York Times. It’s all about a boat purchased by a U.S. Senator with all the wrong optics for the progressive movement. A first generation Cuban, by the name of Marco Rubio. He’s unpolished, common, and boring — those are his finest attributes, given the current stench bellowing from the nation’s Capitol. It’s nearly the opposite of journalism, it certainly isn’t page-one stuff. A different presidential candidate was showing his face in much more perilous places. Namely Eastern Europe, what some call the Soviet Space. That candidate was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He was in Poland, but planned on visiting Estonian.  Most of what he’s doing is optics, except his vist in Tallinin. There he’ll be discussing security. Why choose that particular small Baltic state to discuss a hot button topic? Well, because Estonia is having counterintelligence officers snatched off it’s borders by the FSB, the Russian equivalent of our own intellegence agencies. With the actions in Georgia and Ukraine, it seems Putin is hellbent on forcing the global community to pivot to Easter Europe. 

It was brought back to light by Commentary Magazine’s Noah Rothman, it’s a quiet tension growing between a David and a Goliath. Estonia is small and is a NATO member. While Russia, is the undisputed regional power. What Mr. Rothman surmised in his piece, was that Turkey could have invoked section 5 in Syria over a downed recon jet. Section 5 obligates Nato members to come to the aid of a member in defense of an act of aggression. Strength through numbers and all that jazz. Used only once, at the behest of the United States in the wake of the September 11th attacks on New York City, by who is now considered the mellow terrorist up against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria– al-queda– but I digress. Turkey only got as far as section 4, which Rothman describes as a largely symbolic measure. Turkey has much larger defense capabilities than the small peaceful Baltic state of Estonia, and by comparison ISIS is nothing compared to the Russian military machine that now encroaches on it’s former soviet satellites. 

Estonia hasn’t declared an article 4, per the NATO members agreement, but it’s certainly what Bush is doing. He’s discussing security, which is what is done when a NATO member invokes section 4, without being urged or pressed to do so, maybe to not cause a panic. So, perhaps the brother and the son of a president may have some insight as to what may come. Those biological facts certainly don’t make him a viable presidential candidate, but policy wise, it can’t hurt. Whether you despise his family name or not, going to a place that has regional tension is what leaders do. 

If Estonia rings the section 5 bell would the US answer it?  Are we at the level of  an informal invocation of section 4? We shall see. Let’s hope we never find out. But propaganda and masakirovka (translated from Russian, it roughly means a bunch of bullshit) are thick these day. It’s hard to know what to believe, at times. However, it’s this authors opinion that these are the question that should be pressed to a potential president. 

Whether it’s Rubio, Bush, or the other umpteen republican candidates; they have to flip the questions on the most recent former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. On all fronts: Cuba and South America. The Middle East. Nigeria. The Horn of Africa. A quiet China. And last but in no way least, Russia. Laying out what their plan and vision is for America’s role on the world stage may be helpful for the GOP, but to win — any candidate — will have to show how their plan is better than what was implemented while Clinton was at the wheel, directing our foreign policy for four years. It’s not likely that the public will get to see a lengthy interview with the former SOS, where she explains all in a mea culpa moment. So, each camp challenging the de facto incumbent will have to do their own research. Stay clear of the silatious conspiracy theories and truly dissect the information that is already available. It will not be easy. 

Missouri’s Meltdown: A Political Lanscape In Flux

In this humble publication’s previous post, it discussed the unfortunate situation Jon Diehl had found himself in. 24 hours later, he has resigned and will return to his law practice. Which wasn’t surprising, other than most people suspected a quiet weekend resignation. However, that was made impossible by the eagerness —that’s being kind— of the Missouri political journalism class. Intrepid young reporters roaming the capital looking for dirt and wonking out on policy. They tend to lean towards a more progressive agenda, but I digress. 

What made this story really odd was what Jessica Lussenhop reported after the resignation. You can read her work here. In it she notes, that Diehl went out and had drinks with his colleagues, even some on the other side of the partisan fence. Which, isn’t all that surprising if you follow DC politics. This incestuous paradigm is, I’m sure, all too common in all 50 of our states capitols. What did raise a train eyes eye brow, was a savvy political move by republican candidate Cathrine Hanaway, who had been all but written off after the suicide of her opponent, state auditor Tom Scweich. Hanaway took the young, put upon 19 year-old under her wing, so to speak. To what end, remains to be seen. Theories exist, but nothing clear at this point. 

It’s been a grueling year for the state of Missouri — Akin reemerging with a book and then the tragedy of Tom Schweich. In between those two difficult moments for the state GOP, are the many scars of Ferguson that occurred and were inflicted upon the whole state, our piece of flyover country was not accustomed to such national scrutiny. Now, Jason Kander’s entry into the senate race to oppose the incumbent Roy Blunt has assured our political landscape will remain in the national spotlight for sometime to come. It is a politcal landscape in flux. 

Strange bedfellows and major money pouring in, it’s got everything political junkies love. With these recent events, I don’t see Missourians catching a break anytime soon. I don’t know that we can ever return to “normal”. To be frank, it was always weird, it just can’t be hidden any longer, and neither can the fact that the epicenter of the weirdness is clearly Jefferson City. Flanked by two metropolises, Kansas City and St. Louis, both on the far ends of the state, that provide the bodies, for the lack of a better term, to keep the strange charade going. Perhaps, that is why many have high hopes for Jon Diehl’s replacement, Todd Richardson. From neither flanking metropolis, he is from a small town called Poplar Bluff in the southern part of the state. He, and many others, have a hefty task of restoring some semblance functionality and credibility to the state. He seems to be off to a good start by addressing the intern program in Jeff City. I wish him well, because as Ms. Lussenhop so eloquently put, “Jeff City is weird”, he’s gonna need more than well wishes. We shall see… 

Dear God, Another One

It is the second suicide in a short time… Merely a moth ago the state auditor took his own life. It all hinges around the gubernatorial campaign of Tom Sweich, who the St Louis-Post Dispatch called the front runner.  The auditor recently ended his own life. Now—it was his close aid, Mr. Spence Jackson who made a decsion that leaves us all asking questions. He decided to end his own life. It’s a strange time in Missouri.. It’s just a fact. 

A screen shot of a St. Louis-Post Dispatch online publication linked above. 

My heart is heavy. My resolve is weak. The rural and urban squabbles. Ferguson and beyond. The infighting among both parties. The constant tension. It’s taken it’s toll, everywhere and everyone invested in the region and the state. I have lost only some people, and a friend, one whom I regret losing dearly. One who matters, Mr. Hizer. The rest can go to hell–they were fake, closet addicts who wrote very poorly of Mr. Hizer at one point. (Needles and whatnot, long story)

But I speak of him fondly. To separate him from a destructive herd. This is what I said to him regarding the fierce debate borne of Ferguson. 

It’s a narrative constructed on a lie

It comes from people beating the drum of democracy, but they can’t handle simple questioning of their platform and tactics, from people also citing democracy and the right to speak freely. People have been asking me, as if I would know, “why are my comments being deleted?” What can I tell them, other than you’re hurting a political movements platform, which uses mob/bully tactics to throw their weight around, like suppressing speech. They deem someone, unfit for debate. Mostly veterans, from what I’ve seen.  When essentially, it’s people we all know, our friends and family, who are silenced by an elitist academic mob. Who grabbed the microphone for a moment. But how? Another post, I promise. Some may not even read this, but I sincerely would count this friendship, with Mr. Hizer, as a tragic casualty of the events that none of us created. It was thrust upon us all, but some stoked the flames and some tried to calm the waters. 
I was happy in my world national security and foreign policy, I didn’t know this local moment of fate would irrupt into a national debate and months of protesting and eventual riots that turned into looting. I didn’t know the protestors would use tactics that intentionally make authorities nervous, but I went to the protest, I know the people who got the audio of people chanting about wanting dead cops—last year.
There are two sides too what happened last year. 
Now, the “movement” wants to move onto consolidating the county–after 18 buildings burnt, Zemir Begic beaten to death with hammers, 2 cops shot, and now metro link beatings of white people over NOT AGREEING WITH the mob—people want to distance themselves from it all. Which I get, but they can’t, because they helped cultivate it.


One friend, who will remain nameless, only because he is a teacher—had his students, along with 1000’s of other teachers, doing hands up, don’t shoot pictures—which is now proven to be a bold face lie. 
As a responsible adult, and a parent who sends their kid to a Missouri public school, that is reprehensible to me. That is politicizing children, while instilling fear in them. It makes me sick. 

I have earned the reputation of saying precisely what I think of something. If you check the international headlines, you’ll find that my analysis of what was occurring in the Middle East, is quite accurate. Why would my same deductions of a local dramatis personæ, in a racially charge movement, be any less valid? (I talk about the use of American power a lot—long story)

Because I was free-lunch kid? Because I didn’t have family who could afford a lawyer to keep my trouble off the books, as it were? At the end of the day, if that’s your rationale for dismissing my observations of the media-industrial complex and how it effects the world at large and our local lives, than you aren’t as righteous as you think. (Mr. Hizer is often called righteous) 

I did not engage my good friends to win, I engaged to try and prevent the calamity that has befallen us. I certainly didn’t do it to impress my wife, she hates it all and all of you. Well, most if you. She admires Mr. Hizer. T’was hubris on my part maybe, but it was worth a shot. I regret NOTHING but the disruption of this friendship, with Mr. Hizer.

I do hope things return to their boring mundane reputation.

 What a day…. 

This has ballooned. The whole culture and climate. God help us on where ever it is bound to take us.