Our blindside….

Richard Fernandez has a great post on the inside job. 

One of the Taliban’s favorite tactics has long been the “inside attack”, in which the enemy first gains your confidence or pretends to be one of you and then attacks from within. In 2006, a Canadian Civilian-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) officer sat down to talk to villagers “about access to clean water and other basic needs under Canada’s area of responsibility”.

After the soldiers removed their helmets, a common practice and show of respect, Abdul Kareem, a sixteen-year old boy, almost split Greene’s brain in half by hitting him with an axe. Kareem tried to hit again but was instantly shot -and killed- by other members of the platoon. The platoon then came under heavy fire while waiting for a US Army medical evacuation helicopter.

The Canadians had the advantage of combat power, training and goodwill. All of that lost to just one thing: duplicity. The sucker punch is an awesome thing. The inside attack has been widely employed in the past. An Afghan policeman killed 5 British soldiers in 2009. In 2010 a double-agent Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, blew himself up while attending a meeting inside a CIA installation killing 7 agency personnel. In April 2011, a man wearing an Afghan police uniform shot and killed 2 US trainers. In May 2011, “eight American troops and a U.S. contractor died Wednesday after an Afghan military pilot opened fire during a meeting at Kabul airport”. These are just a few examples, but there are many, many more.

It’s not just the article but the comments that are a great read. 

UPDATE related. 

On Saturday, a Taliban suicide bomber wearing a police uniform blew himself up inside a heavily guarded compound in northern Afghanistan as top Afghan and international officials were leaving a meeting.

The blast killed two senior Afghan police commanders and wounded a German general in command of coalition troops in the region. Two German soldiers and two other Afghans were also killed in the blast that came just weeks before a planned drawdown of U.S. troops begins this summer.

The bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest inside the governor’s complex in Takhar province, where high-ranking Afghan officials were meeting with members of the international coalition.

Among the dead was Gen. Daud Daud, regional police commander in northern Afghanistan. Daud was a former deputy interior minister for counternarcotics and a former bodyguard of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic Tajik leader who commanded the Northern Alliance and died in an al-Qaida suicide bombing two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that provoked the U.S. invasion.

Also killed in the Saturday blast were provincial police chief Gen. Shah Jahan Noori, a secretary to the governor and one of Daud’s bodyguards, the health director said.

Gen. Markus Kneip, the NATO force’s commander for nine northern provinces, was among the wounded, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in Berlin.

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Thoughts for the memorial weekend


It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. – Norman Schwarzkopf

The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. – Aaron Kilbourn

Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He’s the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war.” – Allan Massie

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.” – Thomas Jefferson

Ain’t it funny how many hundreds of thousands of soldiers we can recruit with nerve. But we just can’t find one politician in a million with backbone. – Will Rogers

by Paul Gentry

Tears of Gratitude
An old cowboy
Was out working one day
His skin was wind worn
His hair shaded gray

He was mending some fence
Along an old country road
His hands hard as iron
His eyes sharp and bold

He saw a man walking
Down that dusty hot road
A slow walk he had
He didn’t look very old

The cowboy was curious
As the man walked by
Dusty and tired he looked
He had to ask why

Hey there young fellow
He called out friendly like
Are you headed for town
Or just out for a hike

The man turned and stared
His eyes sad and drawn
He said nothing at first
Then began to walk on

The cowboy stepped along
With the man on the road
I’m mighty good at listening
Maybe it would ease your load

The man looked over
He started to speak
His lips quivered a bit
A tear track on his cheek

He cleared his dry throat
Then began to talk
I guess I can tell you mister
Why I’m taking this walk

I’m headed to town
To meet the evening train
I’ve made this walk before
But this one’s a strain

My brother’s coming home
He’s on that train today
He’s had a long trip
He’s been far away

I’m picking him up
In a truck that I’ll borrow
We’ll both ride back home
But not till tomorrow

I’ll carry him back home
To our old family house
It’s a few miles away
Around the mountain down south

Our folks are at home
Waiting for us both
I told them I’d fetch him
I made them an oath

My brother’s coming home
For the last time you see
He’s been away at war
He’s a hero to me

He fought for his country
And for other folk’s rights
To live free with liberty
To bring freedom to light

He gave up his life
For what he believed in his heart
He was a man among men
Strong, courageous and smart

I’ll be taking him home
In a box made of oak
We’ll lay him to rest
Near our home of which I spoke

Under a tall old tree
That’s where he’ll lay
So this walk is a sad one
But I’ll make it this day

It’s with pride and honor
That I’ll meet that old train
But to know we can’t talk
That brings me great pain

We take for granted
All the freedoms we have
The men and the women
Who gave all they had

This country we live in
It’s yours, ours and mine
We should always remember
Our stars forever shine

I’ve got to go now
It’s getting kind of late
Got to meet that old train
It comes in at eight

He turned and started back
On that long, sad walk
The cowboy was silent
But he had a quick thought

Hold on there son
He called the man’s way
This fence ain’t so important
It can wait another day

Let me run get my truck
I’ll give you a ride
His chest got tight
It swelled with such pride

I was a soldier one time
Though long, long ago
There’s one thing about that
And it’s always been so

All soldiers are brothers
No matter the years
We understand honor
We’ve shared the same fears

They drove along in silence
Headed due west
To bring home a hero
To lay him to rest

Remember this story
When a soldier you see
Offer your thanks
For you and for me

They defend this great country
For all of our sakes
They deserve our respect
They have what it takes

Don’t take for granted
All the freedoms we share
They were won with many lives
Somewhere over there

The next time you hear
That a soldier gave their all
I hope from your cheek
Tears of gratitude gently fall

I hope you all enjoy the weekend. Think of those that gave their lives and those the felt the pain of their loss.

Long days.

Hey folks I was traveling this weekend so working 12 hours days to make the time up.  That hasn’t left me much time to reflect on the events of the day (week).  Some of the events like the Presidential toast in England would be just too easy to take pot shots at so I’ll just say, that was a bit awkward.  

In other news:

A campaign on Facebook is calling for Saudi men to beat women who plan to drive cars in a protest next month, AFP reports.

"The Iqal Campaign: June 17 for preventing women from driving" advocates a cord be used to beat women who plan to drive. Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.

Wait that really isn’t news is it. 

Anyway just something to let you know I’m still kicking but barely till the weekend.  So with that feel free to comment on anything you like. 

Who’s side is he on?

DEBT CEILING? Obama calls for billions of dollars in aid to Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan...

OBAMA: U.S. must ‘change approach’ to bridge division with Muslims…

Pakistan rushing weapons-grade nuke reactor…

China Gives Pakistan 50 Fighter Jets…


Obama Wants Israel to Cede to Palestinian Demand for 1967 Border

"We face a historic opportunity," he said. "We have a chance to show that America values the dignity of a street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator."


I don’t know what Gingrich is thinking…

Gingrich reaction: Republicans livid, accuse former speaker of hypocrisy in attack on Ryan

Why is Newt Gingrich running for President? Does he really think he has a chance? I used to think Newt was a smart guy but lately he seems way off the reservation. In fact he has become exactly what the American public doesn’t need. His flip flopping is starting to make John Kerry look consistent. I wonder if he is just so caught up in the Washington mental institution he can’t see what he’s doing.

Newt’s latest mistake besides announcing his candidacy was to attack Paul Ryan’s budget as “right wing engineering.” He could have just said he didn’t agree with parts of it. Does he think this will endear him to the standard Republican base? Newt has become another politician that puts his finger in the air and positions himself where ever the wind appears to be blowing. Unfortunately he’s been wrong about that wind a lot lately.

On Libya “Exercise a no-fly zone this evening… “All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening…. All we have to do is suppress his air force, which we could do in minutes.” Then he changes up to, “I would not have intervened…. I would not have used American and European forces, bombing Arabs and that country." Which is it brother?

Then there is his global warming stance with Nancy Pelosi. Yep, that was a good move. Even as Global Warming scientist David Evens writes, “I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic.” It seems Newt followed the wrong wind there too.

I’m sure there’s more but that enough for me to mark Newt off my list of potential Presidents. I would add that his negative ratings are pretty high. This doesn’t even take into account his personal life, which really doesn’t matter to me but would be more for the left to use. Another one marked off my list.


good Job Newt

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Mike Huckabee will not run for President


I like Mike Huckabee, well to be more specific I like his FOX program. It’s has a great feel to it. He’s a warm host and often has good guests with a light but sometimes serious angle. The show is a great contrast to Bill O’Reily and Sean Hannity. Both of which at times can seem more host centric. Huckabee has a much quieter tone. Something I think is needed in today’s news commentary programs. Mike Huckabee for President is a different matter?

It would make little sense to give up the position he already has to run. He’s successful and brings some sanity to all the yelling in the pundit world. Why give that up?

While he may do well in the Republican primary polls, I don’t believe would have been the choice.

Unfortunately I’m not sold on anyone else yet.

Fighting to win?

America as Jackie Chan

Richard Fernandez of the Belmont club takes a good look at the Pakistan policy.  Are we fighting our wars to win or just to keep allies stable? 

Georg Friedman’s article should be viewed also.

George Friedman argues that by fighting terrorism with allies — and not just Pakistan — who are themselves part of the terrorist nexus, the U.S. has enmeshed itself in an insoluble contradiction. It has denied itself any chance at victory as the price of having to fight terrorism. He asks whether America, by the choice of its allies, has implicitly adopted the strategy of not winning, lest it destabilize its friends. Nowhere was the problem more evident, Friedman said, than in Pakistan. Pakistan objectively supports terrorism for both domestic political reasons and to use as a weapon against India. But it also needed American help for domestic economic reasons and as a weapon against India, so it lied to everybody to get what it wanted…

..Like Islamabad, Washington would very much prefer to lie to everybody. At a time when it is doing exactly what the the congressional authorization specifies — expanding the war to Pakistan and perhaps to Libya, Yemen and elsewhere, while remaining in part in Afghanistan and Iraq — it doesn’t want to be held to the mission of defeating terrorism decisively. It only wants to proceed insofar as it doesn’t upset the rest of the apple cart. It needs to fight the bad guys, but it doesn’t want to break any vases.

In order to do this, it has to sever the last links between the traditional concept of decisive warfare and the current spate of kinetic military activity. That includes minimizing its origins in congressional authorization. This is necessary because it has to keep fighting without any intention of winning. Winning would destabilize Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the truth is that nobody could afford that.

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More thoughts on the Pakistan fall out

High Noon in Pakistan..Walter Russell Mead

A very interesting read on the Pakistan situation. 

The taking of Osama was a defeat for Al Qaeda. It was a disaster for Pakistan.

The Assassination in Abbottabad was a strategic catastrophe for the military rulers of this slowly and painfully failing state. On the one hand, it leaves the reputation of Pakistan as an effective partner against fanatical terror groups in ruins. The debate in Washington and around the world now is whether the Pakistani state is in league with Al Qaeda or whether it is so weak, divided and incompetent that rogue factions within the state have escaped all control. The rich intelligence haul the US gathered in Osama’s lair will help the US learn more about Osama’s protectors in Pakistan; in the meantime it is transparently clear that whether incompetence or malfeasance is more to blame, the government of Pakistan cannot safely be trusted — by anyone, on anything.