Category Archives: It matters to someone

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. 

Amnesty In The Drug War

Today, the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon commuted the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey. He was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a third offense that amounted to a half a dozen bricks of cannabis. From what I understand, a brick is a pound — sometimes a kilo. Eithe way, the state of Missouri had seen fit to take this man’s life and put it in a box, with absolutely zero recourse to regain his freedom. 

Today, a glimmer of compassion was shown in an increasingly divided state. Many have spoken out against this heavy handed response to a non-violent offense. Although it was a glimmer, it was brought about through the hard work and relentless efforts of many people. Ray Downs first wrote about Mizanskey’s plight and later Aaron Malin. Upon finding out, Malin simply said. “I’m speechless”. Danny Wicentowski reported Malin’s first reaction was “We’re not sure if Jeff knows yet.”  He’s worked with many activist and even politicians like Paul Curtman. Who is on the record speaking about re-examining the drug war through more compassionate eyes—and specifically the story of Jeff Mizanskey. The director of Show-Me Cannabis, John Payne could only say “I am kind of overwhelmed right now.” Along with Malin and others, Payne has been at the forefront of correcting what many call an unconstitutional use of state power. Unconstitutional because a life sentence for a non-violent crime is, by most rational peoples standards, cruel and unusual. Which violates the 8th amendment. I even made my own plees to the governor.

@GrantGambling: Great long read by @RayDowns. (I knew most if this, but this would be an easy win for @GovJayNixon) goo.gl/9ylB1K

But all the credit goes to the writers, lawyers, and activist working behind the scenes. Our state has had a very rough spell, this was much needed good news. 

   

Some Tweets

I recently was given words of encouragement hash tag: humble brag .  So, let’s get to it. 

My Senator, Claire McCaskill made a deceleration of the most moral stature. 

@clairemc: Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended.

It’s an odd thing to say, the show is saturated with barbarism, by all accounts. War lording incestuous royals don’t do it for me, I guess I’m odd. However, her subtle commentary did not go unnoticed. She had obviously watched the show. As she follows up here. 

@clairemc: Ok,winter is definitely coming.I just expressed an opinion.Cumulative effect violence & brutality took its toll. Sansa rape last straw. 

It’s absolutely a veiled commentary on the larger sexual assault debate brewing on campuses across the country. Quietly, it’s in her state. Title IX… We will get back to that momentarily. She squeezes this little number in between those two tweets. Natsec, short for national security, is what she wants us to discuss, not her opinion on a show she paid to watch. Not the ridiculousness of her acting as if this was shown on federally regulated networks. No, her concerns with national security. 

@clairemc: We should take up House passed(338-88) USA Freedom Act this week. Important reform of program for national security.

She seems to be juggling.. And this gem

@clairemc: Kinda depressing that so many more people have opinions about  than reform of US intelligence gathering that I also tweeted about ystrdy

Yes, I suppose it is depressing. This comes hour befor Rand Paul’s “stand”. Not a filibuster, but more a rant. So saith the twitter. The reader can search it. It also came around the same time as this story out of The Joplin Globe. A far flung publication in flyover country, with a New York Times contributor writing for it. In it, it talks about another sexual scandal in Jefferson City, et la John Diehl

@Eyokley: Will update w/ Levota statement just got: “I understand the need for universities to look into rumors, even unsubstantiated rumors.” 

Paul Levota, made that statement. I can’t think of a dumber thing to say.. If it is unsubstantiated, than it’s un-fucking-substaintiated. It can’t be supported. It smacks of the vapid hands up, don’t shoot narrative, a democratic dolt falling on the sword in the name of progress. It gives McCaskill an example from her own party to hang on the cross of public crucifixion. Except, he will probably come out unscathed. 

The kicker is the injection of Title IX into an investigation of an elected official. The progressive rot has spread, to steal a phrase from Buchman Sexton, from the campus on to the state capital. 

The most disgusting part is she tried to backdoor a national agenda, that makes her state’s students — and now politicians– lab rats. The tweet, was just a tweet, it’s what she’s fostering on Missouri’s college campuses that should raise eyebrows. This is what George Will speaks out about, over a year ago, it’s what made Noah Rothman clearly declare this was the line to be drawn. It’s a complicated web of federal authority, but isn’t it always? Perhaps these 2 sharp minds saw something coming, that most of the media didn’t, despite, telling the world her intentions. It took a tweet to make more people notice. 

This fight will grow.. Hide and watch.