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 »

TSSA – coming to a highway near you


I don’t know which is more chilling – the reported news, or the headline.

Tennessee Becomes First State To Fight Terrorism Statewide

You’re probably used to seeing TSA’s signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).

“Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate,” said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.

Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state.

Anyone harboring any illusion that 21st century American media is anything other than the propaganda organs of Big Government is delusional.

But enough criticism of the lapdog media’s fawning. What we have here is the dreaded “next step” in the so-called War on Terror.

Our rulers have moved beyond herding us about at airports. Now they want to slowly get us used to being spot searched on our highways. They start small, with truck inspections at weigh stations. And before you can say, “WTF! Fourth Amendment violation!”, it’ll be random traffic stops of ordinary folks in passenger vehicles.

As if another reason to hate the failed War on Drugs is needed, the power for state police to stop a motorist on the most minimal (or invented) probable cause is already in place, courtesy of “law and order” judges ruling in favor of police in the majority of random stop cases to “stem the flow of drugs”. I suppose our rulers figure that since the War on Drugs has been such a phenomenal success [/sarcasm], they might as well extend those benefits to the far more successful War on Terror personal freedoms.

Like the proverbial frog in a pot of water that is slowly brought to a boil, we sit in bovine stupor as our freedoms are stripped from us. As long as we have American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and tons of televised sports, we’re content to pretend that we live in the “freest nation on Earth”.

But pretending doesn’t make it so.

New video from the makers of “We Con the World” – Guns, Guns Guns! #flotilla


If you liked the Flotilla Choir in We Con the World last year, you’ll want to see Latma’s latest offering, the Audacity of Dopes band with Guns, Guns, Guns! 

An encore of last year’s Flotilla Choir masterpiece:

(via Big Peace)

Environmental activists “too polite and well behaved”; urged to “get tough”


You know what the Warmy activists’ problem is? They’ve just been too gosh darned polite & well-behaved so far. Really.

“Have we failed to slow global warming pollution in part because climate and environmental activists have been too polite and well behaved?”

Via climatenonconformist, Steve Goddard take a look at a Rolling Stone article which announces that “It’s time for climate activists to get tough.”   Because you can’t slow global warming pollution [global warming pollution??] without breaking a few eggs!

“Is it time to take to the streets, express some outrage, maybe engage in a little guerilla [sic] warfare against Big Oil and Big Coal?”

It’s not violent extremism if you’re on a mission from God Gaia.

Plus, bonus Crazy Eyes!

“In the letter by Bill McKibben, he is asking protestors “to do something hard,” which is to come to Washington ”in the hottest and stickiest weeks of the summer and engaging in civil disobedience that will quite possibly get you arrested.” ”

Yeees, Biiill.

Now here’s a thought:  What would the reaction be if those of us who don’t believe that there’s enough scientific evidence to claim that man’s CO2 emissions are heating the world to hell, and don’t believe that the government can control the world’s climate through “carbon tax” or “cap and trade” schemes, were to propose engaging in “a little guerrilla warfare” against the government and academic institutions which are threatening our economy, our jobs, our quality of life, and our childrens’ futures with their various expensive but futile plans to “stop catastrophic man-made global warming”?

We were already tagged as “extremists” (and worse) simply for holding a peaceful rally in opposition to the carbon tax.  What if we were to promise to stop being so polite and well behaved and engage instead in a little guerrilla warfare*?

Happily, that’s not our way.  But it’s evident that as their CAGW scam continues to fall apart before their very eyes, the Warmies are getting more and more frantic and more and more militant.  I just hope this doesn’t get real ugly before it’s all over.

*That was not a “death threat,” Warmies.  No need to evacuate to your secure bunkers.

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).

And it begins…


(Cross-posted from The Vulture Lurks)

You knew it was coming. After all, you can’t just kill Usama bin Laden and declare victory. Oh no. You have to milk the sumbitch for all it’s worth. Welcome to 2001, the sequel.

An advisory has been sent to law enforcement officials advising them to be vigilant about train security based on information uncovered after the death of Osama bin Laden, officials said.

Officials stressed the advisory is general in nature and the information apparently uncovered from the bin Laden compound dates back more than a year.

According to NBC News, U.S. officials say they have not found reference to specific plots. Instead, they say they’ve found what they call “aspirational” items — events al-Qaida operatives were interested in trying to make happen.

I see. So…we’re in a heightened state of alert and expected to endure God-knows-what in the name of “security” based on…al-Qaida’s wishlist????

*bangs head on wall*

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