Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


*posted first on Friday Feb. 10, here*

In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000  28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

So which one?


Which Republican presidential nominee?

Having just spent an hour or so watching the New Hampshire GOP Republican debate, having gleaned various tidbits over the internet since a while back, I can honestly say I don’t know.

Yet.

In comments at that link, Ron Paul’s supporters come across as a tad too fervent, as does Paul himself. He just comes across as a bit whiney. Quick to complain about a problem but a bit wishy washy with any solutions.

Romney arguably won, but he comes off as Obama-lite+religion. He’s big government but I will say he’s tending to own his opponents. He does look presidential and has the establishment’s backing… not necessarily a good thing when up against Obama who REALLY has the Establishment’s backing and REALLY (at least) talks presidential (except here where he sounds about as formidable as Julia Gillard). Read the rest of this entry »

The fix is in


During the 2008 presidential election cycle, I wrote over 60 posts — including extensive analysis of the primaries and conventions — at my personal blog, The Vulture Lurks (recommended by 4 out of 5 curmudgeons). So far this election cycle I’ve written a handful of minor posts. Why the drop-off? That’s easy. This isn’t an election we’re witnessing. It’s a coronation, at least on the Team Elephant side of the ledger.

Why would I call it a coronation? How could I call it a coronation when there is no clear front-runner and the first primary hasn’t even occurred yet? Follow along as I read the tea leaves.


Conservative media: Fox News (“fair” and “balanced”) is in the tank for Romney. Big time. Some of Fox’s so-called analysts are so far up Romney’s butt that they taste his lunch mere seconds after he does.

Fox has proclaimed Romney winner of nearly all of the debates. Yet after one of the debates, Michele Bachmann surged into the lead in the polls. After another, it was Herman Cain. After yet another, it was Newt Gingrich. You should be getting the idea by now. No matter Romney’s showing, he’s the winner.

Every time Fox gets on the subject of the “Primary front runners”, Romney’s name is first on their lips. No matter where he is in the latest polling, first, second, even FOURTH, he is always “a front runner”. Meanwhile, if he is first or second, NO ONE beyond second place gets a mention. Hell, when he was in fourth place in an Iowa poll recently, the candidate ahead of him, Ron Paul, was omitted from mention in the front runners discussion. But not Mitt.

Talk radio isn’t quite as blatant; in fact, many talk show hosts are reluctant to be seen as endorsing anyone, such is the general distaste for Romney among the listening public. But almost without fail, all talk show hosts assert that no matter who the Republican nominee is, no matter how much they might deviate from conservative principles, we HAVE TO vote for them – ANYONE but Obama. Never mind that a vote for Romney is a vote for “Obama-lite”. You gotta do it!

Columnists of various stripes have wandered hither and yon regarding Romney. But two powerhouse conservative pundits have lined up foursquare behind him: Ann Coulter and Charles Krauthammer. Both of these two alleged conservatives have shelved principle and gone with “electable” as be-all/end-all for their candidate. Never mind that it was said of Ronald Reagan in 1980 that he was unelectable. This is different.

Bang the war drums: Every candidate still in the race, with the exception of Ron Paul, is obsessed with proving their warrior bona fides. “I would go to war with Iran NOW!”, one after another will thunder. The audience (God help us!) eats that shit up. It would appear that so-called conservatives have bought into the propaganda that never-ending pre-emptive war is “defense”. Again, God help us!

One is left in amazement that a candidate can spew vitriol with regards to all of the wasteful spending in Washington, and yet opine that the military, estimated to hit around $1.4 TRILLION in spending in 2012, needs to be beefed up. We’re drowning in debt, but without war-without-end and the trillions of dollars it requires, we’re going to be overrun by cave-dwelling terrorists, and conquered.

The military-industrial complex lives and thrives.

The Team Elephant elite: They’ve made it clear for over a year – Romney is their guy. I suppose they’d settle for Gingrich in a pinch (much as they settled for McCommie last cycle, when Rudy Giuliani was their preference). But they’re adamant. It WILL be Romney or an equally conviction-free statist. Period.

Do you really think the attacks on Governor Perry Gardacil, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann happened because Big Media (the BM for short) hates “real” conservatives and wanted to destroy them? Those attacks were friendly fire. Those attacks were orchestrated. Don’t be surprised if Newt succumbs to something similar to what happened to Cain between now and mid-January.


“Okay, Vulture. You believe there’s a coronation afoot. What do you say we do about it, smart guy?”

What CAN we do? Truthfully, we in the West have gone so far down the slippery slope to ruin that I don’t think it matters any more who we elect.We might crash and burn and start to recover sooner with one candidate over another.

But crash and burn we shall.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition


Unexpectedly, the mainstream media did not expect Obama to end up making such a hash of the American economy…

Aurelius at Pundit Press fingers the MSM for apparently being in a constant state of shock that the completely expected is happening, and that Obama-nomics simply isn’t delivering.

“Whenever poor business, house, or job news comes out, they are quick to throw on the word ‘unexpectedly,’ pretending that the economy is actually doing great, but this one time it hiccuped.”

Unexpectedly.

via iowntheworld.com

Andrew Klavan’s One-State Solution for the Middle East


In an effort to bring peace to the Middle East, President Barack Obama has proposed that Israel should return to its 1967 borders in exchange for being annihilated by its enemies.  PJTV‘s Andrew Klavan has a better idea:

So. Much. Win.

Acknowledging the obvious (sort of)


Lapdog MediaSometimes something is so apparent that even Big Media (the BM for short) has to acknowledge it. Okay, so in this case it’s ex-BM. But it still stands as acknowledged.


Several veteran and prize-winning journalists who covered presidents from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush say that the current crop of White House correspondents are too timid and deferential and have played a role in killing the impact of presidential news conferences.


Unfortunately, what DIDN’T get acknowledged is the lapdog deference the press corp has for Il Duce.  I guess you can’t have everything…

The BM’istas try to create the illusion that the deference shown Il Duce was also extended to King George the Dim.


“If you watch an Obama news conference, and watched a Bush news conference previous to that, where correspondents sit in their seats with their hands folded on their laps, [it’s] as if they are in the room with a monarch and they have to wait to be recognized by the president,” says Sid Davis, the former NBC Washington bureau chief who covered nine presidents. “It looks like they are watching a funeral service at [Washington funeral firm] Joseph Gawler’s and it shouldn’t be that way.”


Nothing could be further from the truth. Bush was treated with a hostility previously reserved for Richard Nixon by the BM during his 8 hapless years in office.

I have no love for George Bush. But let’s tell a straight story, shall we? The deference issue is specific to Obama. Period.

It remains to be seen if the White House press corps’ behavior will change [/sarcasm].

The truth is, the only thing that will make the White House press corps return to a position of asking tough questions and being confrontational is a change of president.

Finally: The Obama SEAL Team 6 Action Figure


Seriously?

Obama SEAL Team 6 Action Figure

"Gutsy Call!"

Navy SEALs have become national heroes since news broke that they took down Osama bin Laden, so it’s fitting that the newest action figure from a Connecticut company is a fierce-looking President Barack Obama as a SEAL.

The minute Obama said late on the night of May 1 that the U.S. had found and killed bin Laden, Emil Vicale knew which his action figure company’s would make next — Rambama.

On Wednesday morning, Hero Builders released the Obama SEAL Team 6 action figure — a muscular President in fatigues armed with an M1-A4.

Wait, asks @JammieWearingFooldon’t those buff, toned, glistening biceps look familiar? 

Hmmm…

.

UPDATE [Friday]:  The entire Google ‘Blogger’ platform  is currently pretty much munted. JammieWearingFool’s post at the link above, along with one presumes millions of other posts from the past 24-36 hours, is AWOL as I write this.  One hopes Blogger gets its chit together soon.  Or we’ll have to call in IT Support Superstar Blogbama. (Please, no more action figures – we beg you).

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