Archive for September 2011
That would be today.
Between Afghanistan and Iraq (and Libya I suppose) there is one living POW from the US armed forces, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Read about this on MArooned:
To help support the work of Soldiers’ Angels Project Valour-IT, SIG SAUER is auctioning this engraved reverse two-tone 1911, featuring the Soldiers’ Angels logo and brand. 100% of the money will go toward Project Valour-IT, which provides voice-operated computers to U.S. servicemen and women who have lost the use of their hands or vision. For more on Project Valour-IT, please visit http://www.soldiersangels.org/project-valour-it.html
I just bought myself a 1911 a little while back, so I’ll be giving what I can to Soldiers’ Angels directly. If you want a 1911, or even another 1911, please make a bid for this wonderful cause.
They shoot, they score!
A senior administration official tells ABC News that officials have confirmed that al Qaeda’s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri, was killed earlier this week in Waziristan, Pakistan.
The administration does not confirm the use of predator drones, but on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a drone fired two missiles at a car as it entered a compound in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, killing three militants.
“Abu Hafs’ death will further degrade al Qaeda’s ability to recover from the death last month of AQ’s number two, Atiyah, because of his operations experience and connections within the group,” the senior administration official said, referring to ‘Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman, the deputy leader of al Qaeda killed in August.
“Abu Hafs’ death removes a key threat inside Pakistan, where he collaborated closely with Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan to conduct coordinated attacks.”
Nobody is going to mistake me for an Obama fan, but the President has been kicking an awful lot of al-Qaeda ass, or at the very least, putting competent people in charge of doing it for him. “Eight of the network’s top 20 leaders were killed this year alone, according to the Pentagon’s undersecretary for defense intelligence, Michael Vickers.” Like AllahPundit said, credit where credit is due.
A couple weeks ago, John Sexton wrote a piece for HotAir’s GreenRoom, Obama Would Make a Good CIA Director in a Perry Administration, and it really doesn’t sound so crazy now.
AttackWatch being deservedly mocked:
Update: There is a site now up called AttackWatchWatch
Funny stuff. A sample from their news feed:
August Jobs Report is Great News!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The August Jobs report shows the US gained 150,000 jobs this month dropping the unemployment rate to 5.4%! Americans are going back to work and… Oh, crap. We were looking at the report from August 2004!
I know this is supposed to be a gun blog, but there is a possibility of a full blown war here, so it kind of has my attention.
Via Big Peace:
Ankara’s Star Gazete says country’s new F-16 radar system modified to recategorize Israeli targets as hostile. Order said to come directly from PM Erdogan’s office; naval, submarine radar systems to be changed next
Yes that is the same Prime Minister Erdogan who is in the midst of an anti-Israel speaking tour of the Middle East.
Before going to Egypt, Erdogan fired off rhetorical broadsides against Israel, saying in an Al Jazeera interview taped last week and broadcast on Sunday night that the Mavi Marmara incident was a casus belli.
“The May 31, 2010, Mavi Marmara event, the attack that took place in international waters did not comply with any international law. In fact, it was a cause for war. However, befitting Turkey’s grandness, we decided to act with patience,” Erdogan said.
His interpretation is completely at odds with that of the UN Palmer Commission report, a commission the Turks pushed hard for, which said not only was Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza legal, but so was its interdiction of ships trying to break the blockade.
Erdogan also repeated what he said immediately after the Palmer Report was issued, that Turkey’s warships will be seen more often in the eastern Mediterranean.
And yes, that’s the same Prime Minister Erdogan who said Turkey is prepared for war.
One theory is that Erdogan’s saber-rattling is an attempt to distract from Turkey’s dire economic circumstances. Blaming Israel for, well, everything, is a longstanding tradition of Muslim leaders, with a few exceptions. Another theory is that Erdogan has aspirations towards reviving the Ottoman Empire by manipulating the “Arab Spring” (because the Arabs sure did love that old Ottoman social order /sarcasm). It could be both, but whatever his motivation he might not actually be trying to provoke a war. Simply put, Turkey can’t afford to lose any Turks.
Turkey’s economic problems are a discomfort; its ethnic problems, by contrast, present an existential threat in the long run. In a quarter of a century, Kurdish will be the cradle-tongue of nearly half of all Turkish children, as Kurds have four to five children per family while Turkish-speakers have just 1.5. At some point, Turkey in its present form will cease to exist. Kurdish nationalism is stronger than ever; as Omar Aspinar  of the Brookings Institution wrote on September 11 in Zaman Online:
Kurdish political aspirations have reached unprecedented levels in the last 10 years … Kurdish ethnic, cultural and political demands are fueled by a young and increasingly resentful generation of Kurds who are vocal and frustrated not only in Eastern Anatolia but also in Turkey’s large Western cities including Istanbul, Izmir, Mersin and Adana. Turkey’s nightmare scenario is Turkish-Kurdish ethnic violence in such western urban centers.
The Kurds know that the demographic future belongs to them, and that Erdogan’s frantic calls on Turkish women to have more babies will do nothing to change matters. “The Kurdish issue,” warns Aspinar,” remains Turkey’s Achilles’ heel.”
Of course, Turkey is also part of NATO now, so that muddies the waters too.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I awoke to begin my usual morning routine before going off for my day’s classes. As I came down the stairs to see about breakfast, I saw on the television the first image so many of us saw on that fateful day, the World Trade Center’s North Tower burning. I stood there, on the stairs, eyes fixed on the TV, trying to get my mind around what was going on. Each new piece of news fell on me like a blow: a plane had hit the WTC, a second plane had hit the WTC, a plane hat hit the Pentagon, a fourth plane had gone down.
It felt like the world was ending.
As we came to learn what had happened, the fear and confusion was replaced by shock and anger. It was more than I wanted to face; I needed someone to blame.
I have heard and read many stories about how 9/11 was the event that galvanized many into shedding the comforts of liberalism for the harsh reality of conservatism. I was, unfortunately, not one of those people. I was too far invested in my liberal worldview to give it up. Somehow, this had to be our fault.
Eventually I found what I wanted. “We were attacked because of American imperialism,” I was informed of by my liberal college friends. “Bush’s incompetence allowed this to happen,” came the rallying cry of the left. I wanted easy answers and these were them. “War on Terror? You can’t have a war on an idea,” came the empty catch-phrase that gave me an excuse not to think. “Religion of Peace,” wailed the apologists. “Makes sense,” I told myself. “Islamophobia,” they wailed again. “Shame on us,” I thoughtlessly agreed.
By October, when we invaded Afghanistan, I had walled myself off in ignorance. I had convinced myself that there was no need to go to war over what I told myself was only a handful of bad people, maybe a few dozen. I did not know, had not bothered to learn, that al-Qaeda was a thousand strong and growing rapidly. It never registered that al-Qaeda had been making war on America for years. An army stood ready and eager to destroy us and I wanted to treat them like a street gang.
I gobbled up every anti-Bush and pro-terrorist lie put in from of me short of “it was an inside job.” I got all my news from The Daily Show on Comedy Central and considered myself well informed. Needless to say, I didn’t support Operation Iraqi Freedom. I allowed myself to be convinced by the left that despising my country and my countrymen was “patriotic.”
It was so easy. The years would roll by, September 11th would come and go, and it all served to keep me numb to the memory of that day, to the fear I had allowed the terrorists to inflict upon me. I wanted to believe that the terrorists didn’t matter anymore. I remembered the dead, but only abstractly. They became a number felled in a tragedy, like an earthquake or a tornado.
They were murdered. For years I let myself forget that, but that is the truth. In the spirit of the unity our nation briefly held I give my thanks to President Obama, under whose leadership the most notorious of the al-Qaeda murderers, Osama bin Laden, has been brought to ultimate justice. I also offer my belated thanks to President Bush and the troops under his command for being strong when I was weak, for turning the tide of a war America had been losing since 1992, for breaking the back of al-Qaeda, for crushing the dreams of blood, pain, and dealth bin Laden had in store for us, and for capturing the men who ultimately lead us to bin Laden himself.
My thanks to the first responders of New York City, who in the face of hell on Earth did not waiver in their courage and selflessness. When we needed you, you were there.
To the majority of American Muslims, whose love of our country and way of life is strong, and who are working to keep the radicals and militants out of their mosques and communities, I thank you.
There are no thanks I can now give to the crew and passengers of Flight 93, whose bravery saved untold lives in our nation’s capitol. May they rest in peace and in honored and blessed memory.
My heart goes out to those whose loved ones were the victims on that terrible day. They will be remembered.
They will always matter.
A week ago I mentioned this:
Netanyahu has warned he would not be able to satisfy all the protesters’ demands, ranging from tax cuts, to expansion of free education and bigger government housing budgets.
And I asked:
You want the government to spend a bunch of money on a load of new goody programs, and you want them to cut taxes. What, are you people stupid?
Well J.E. Dyer over at The Optimistic Conservative did all the heavy lifting to put it all together.
What possessed NBC-Universal properties MSNBC and TWC to feature protests in Israel in their news coverage this morning? That’s an interesting question. It is not, shall we say, made less interesting by the report of Maariv’s Kalman Libeskind, referenced by Arutz Sheva on 3 September, that American Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg orchestrated the protests in Israel’s major cities this weekend.
Greenburg is apparently responsible for “what happened in Bolivia in 2002, when a group of US consultants helped a candidate win the presidency only to see the country slide into near-total chaos.”
Why does this matter? Because it is of a piece with the manipulative, media-theme-building approach to politics Greenberg keeps being associated with. He doesn’t have a history of being anti-Zionist; that’s not the point here. Although he bills himself as a triangulating, “Third Way” centrist, his affiliations are very much with professional left-wing manipulators of public sentiment, and that is how he comes off in the latest instance with the protests in Israel.
To the question, “Why now? Why in the summer of 2011?” the obvious answer would be, “Because the UN vote on Palestinian statehood is coming up in September.” But I don’t assess Greenberg to be a mastermind here. He’s a hired strategist. His specialty is positioning politicians to be the turn-to guy. Something else is going on. As usual, the fact that GE-owned NBC networks are pointedly reporting faux “social ferment” as if it’s the real thing suggests a manufactured-news campaign. Rockets from Gaza aren’t the only thing coming at Israel as the UN vote nears.
Take the time to visit the link and read the whole thing.
And as long as we’re talking about Israel…
Egyptian police made no attempt to intervene during the day as crowds of hundreds tore down an embassy security wall with sledgehammers and their bare hands or after nightfall when about 30 protesters stormed into the Nile-side high-rise building where the embassy is located.
Back on August 18th PRC (Palestinian Popular Resistance Committee) terrorists wearing Egyptian uniforms staged a series of attacks on Israel. During the Israeli counterattack targeting the PRC, a number of Egyptian soldiers were also killed. Now, almost five weeks later, someone managed to work a group of Egyptian protesters into enough of a frenzy over the issue that they attacked the Israeli embassy.
I imagine these are the same sorts of people, if not in fact the same exact people, who burn down Egyptian Coptic churches and then turn around and blame that on Israel too.