All bad in Iraq?

Have you seen anything like this on the main stream media outlets? Is it all bad in Iraq?

http://www.glennbeck.com/realstory/iraq-video.shtml

I guess it doesn’t play as well.

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Just some thoughts this morning

How do terrorist and criminals that bomb their own population more than their enemies win a war?  This goes against all rules of an insurgency.  But then if you have a media machine as large CNN, Al Jazeera, and the BBC pushing your agenda and propaganda it becomes possible, when political parties have member that would rather separate Americans to win seats in Congress instead of unite to win a war it’s possible. 

Another note:  What could we accomplish if the money spent on political campaigns was directed toward the problems of our country?  I am not suggesting that we should take this money for the Government, just saying a lot of money is wasted and a lot of people have some strange priorities. 

New War Tactics?

Today the President will speak with his military advisors on Iraq. There are hints of a change in tactics in Iraq. It seems the crackdown in Baghdad hasn’t worked as we see killings daily. Will there be a change in tactics? What kind of change? There are lots of criticisms of the war effort out there but not so many ideas on how to fight this war more effectively.

I’ve been pretty supportive of this administration. It has been a long time since we had a leader that said publicly we will do something about this and actually implement a course of action. I have a lot of respect for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and feel he has made huge contributions to make a better military. This does not mean they are infallible. I also believe we have some of the best military leaders in a century. Yet they are often still locked into a strategy mindset from sixty years ago. The all volunteer military has changed a lot about how we must train and fight. The reality of asymmetrical warfare (always wanted to use that term) is not easy for many conventional commanders to grasp and it’s hard to write and OER (Officer Evaluation Report) support form for modern combat.

In both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns it sometimes appears we are in too big of a hurry to turn the mission over to others and too eager to say combat is done. A determined enemy cannot be dealt with but must be destroyed and we are not prepared to do that just yet. In war, I believe you either go in big or go in small. The middle road is the road to disaster. In other words don’t half-ass the mission. In today’s political climate it’s tough at many levels to completely commit. But that is what wins wars. The enemy knows this and we had better figure it out soon.

The country must decide if we are truly in a fight for our lives. At this time I think it will take more attacks on US soil before the public realizes how serious this war is. The seeds of doubt are winning out right now. The administration had better remember not all wars are fought on the battlefield.

RIP, CW2 Scott Dyer

On Thursday I attended CW2 Scott Dyer’s memorial services. I’ve been to numerous funerals and services in my life but military services are a little different. They seem harder for some reason. The small chapel on Fort Bragg doesn’t hold many and I stood with many others outside viewing while the services were shown on a large screen Television. As I stood there I thought of Scott’s family, his wife, daughter and son. I also thought of my family. It’s a punch in the gut reminder of what we do for a living. Then you look around at all those there beside you and I’m not sure if you cry from sadness or pride or both. One interesting thing, they played the Ballad of the Green Berets and I’ve always liked the song but found it a little corny, It didn’t seem corny that day.

De Oppresso Liber

More on CW2 Scott Dyer

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Freddy Fender gone

At 69 Freddy Fender has died.  Fender was like a reminder of my past.  In the mid 70s when outlaw country was just coming to it’s own Freddy was there too.  I was a kid then listening to “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and Before the Next Teardrop Falls”.  I’ve caught him now and then on specials and his time with the Texas Tornados.  He had a unique sound and I liked it.

Will Afghans switch back to the Taliban?

NATOs Afghanistan commander Gen. David Richards says the population could turn back to the Taliban if major improvements are not seen this winter.  In recent months we have seen the reemergence of the Taliban in mostly southern Afghanistan.  What happened?

“They will say, ‘We do not want the Taliban but then we would rather have that austere and unpleasant life that that might involve than another five years of fighting,”‘ Richards said. 

I don’t know if the population would truly turn to the Taliban and organization that terrorized the country during their reign but it’s true that basic needs must be met to consider Afghanistan a success.  This can only be accomplished when security is sufficient to allow more reconstruction. A major problem continues to be the ability of Taliban forces to cross in and out of Afghanistan from Pakistan.  While Pakistani President Musharraf hawks his new book Taliban forces move in and out of Afghanistan nearly at will.  The Waziristan area of Pakistan continues to harbor the majority of these forces.

The Gen. is correct in stating NATO forces must take advantage of this winter to make improvements.  Historically winter brings a lull in fighting as cold weather sets in.  Afghanistan and coalition forces working with NGO’s and private companies need to exploit this time to complete useful projects that will help the population.  This does not mean huge projects but small sustainable (sustainable by locals) projects the average person personally feels.

Nuclear test in North Korea?

Has North Korea tested a nuclear weapon? It seems they have. Now what will we do? What will the international community do? Apparently North Korea notified China who in turn notified the United States just prior to the detonation. In a few hours the UN Security Council will meet to discuss this event.

What we are seeing with North Korea and others is the complete inability for diplomacy to stop rouge nations from conduct that is against international will. Why is it so hard to enforce International will? There are a couple of reasons. One is the fact that there is no real threat from the UN. Ignored resolutions generally result in more talk and on rare occasions more resolutions giving states like North Korea more time to develop anything they want. Do you think Iran is watching this closely? I would bet they are. Without the backing of actual action the UN is nearly useless.

Diplomacy is only useful when backed up by action. Whether it’s economic or military Nations must believe threats will be carried out and the consequences will be more than they are willing to accept.

So where do we go from here? Today may be an interesting day in the news.

Foley post first and last

The Mark Foley incident certainly has stirred up the news media.  It’s interesting how this is playing out.  I wonder do any of these reporters really care about the pages or do they smell blood in the water?  Well, we know the answer to that question don’t we?  Some in the Republican Party are praying this doesn’t ruin any chance of holding both the Senate and the House.  Most Democrats finally see some real hope.  Hey they’re right.  It’s not that this will actually effect the election though; I don’t think it will dramatically but it’s a distraction for the Republican message. Luckily the Democrats still have no message at all. 

 

Fact is this event like all the others scandals recently just confirm the publics perception of the US Congress.  They are seen as over indulgent, lying, cheating scum.  Unfortunately most probably fit right into that mold.  It appears they are all slimy worms who make a living with no decision making and lots of finger pointing while taking money on the side and getting that nice check for life.  Hell we could probably win the War if we weren’t so busy destroying each other.

 

I’m not even sure Foley has committed a crime.  They may get him on a state charge I suppose.  It’s not that I don’t condemn his actions, I do.  You know if we just said hey you don’t have to be a saint to do the job, we would probably get a better class of people than we have now.  Too many of these guys have no idea what the truth is anymore.

 

The one good point is that this will all be forgotten after November, at least until 2008.

New place for a while.

Ok, this is my new place for a while.  I’m not sure how long.  With all that’s going on I may be looking for a place to write.  So if anyone out there needs another opinionated poster let me know.  Till then I’ll plug along here until work dictates otherwise.