Counter Terror

Russia, the Trojan Horse for Shia Islam

Thursday, August 25, 2016

       Of the fifty Muslim nations on Earth, only four are majority Shia: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan.  The last two are geopolitically irrelevant.  Shia Muslims are, at best, fifteen percent of the total Islamic population on the planet, the other 85 to 90% are Sunni.  Iran, of course, is the flagship for the world’s Shia Muslims.  Syria, though it is a Sunni-Majority nation, is run by the powerful Alawite Shia tribe, to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.  Iran supports the continued presidency of Assad.  Given the Shia grasp on the Prime Minister’s office in Baghdad, its majority in the Parliament, and the ouster of Saddam Hussein’s Sunni Baathist Party, Iran is the dominate Islamist power in an unbroken swath of land stretching from Tehran, west through Baghdad, down to Damascus.  Throw Lebanon's Shia Hezbollah troops into the Syrian civil war and we have a burgeoning Shiite military force arrayed in support of Assad’s Shia regime.    

Still, Assad’s government was in danger of collapse and defeat in mid-2015.  The Syrian Army was exhausted by five years of combat against an eclectic collection of rebel forces, some of it populated by defections from Assad’s own army.  ISIS was also chewing on the outskirts of Syria’s carcass as it had captured Aleppo, Ar Raqqa, and Deir al-Zor to extend its Sunni caliphate from its Iraqi origins.  Assad’s future looked grim as his neighbor and once friend, Sunni President Recep Erdogan of Turkey, permitted foreign fighters to cross its border into Syria and join with ISIS.  It certainly looked as if President Barack Obama would get his wish.  Assad would go away.  

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin, following a series of secret, high-level meetings, clandestinely joined the fray in support of Assad in the last quarter of 2015.  Fortunes reversed.  Putin deployed sophisticated surface-to-air missile defense batteries and politically incorrect air power on Assad’s behalf.  Russian airstrikes were conducted against anti-Assad rebels, indeed, with much less regard for civilian casualties than was the case with tepid sorties by the United States against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, both terrorist groups engaged against Assad and simultaneously in contention with the United States.

The triangular conflict would just as often see Russia and the United States bombing the same jihadists, as it would Russia bombing Syrian rebels whom the US trained and equipped.  All the while, Turkey, a nominal NATO ally, played both ends against the middle because Erdogan was more concerned with the Syrian Kurds accumulating territory on his border than he was with either ISIS or Assad’s loyalists, even though the Kurdish YPG was fighting Assad as well.  Messy, yes, but then, this is the Middle East.  Russian airstrikes were soon followed by ground operations conducted by a coalition of Syrian Army units, Shia militia from both Iraq and Syria, Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, and the Iranian Quds Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  Assad was rescued by Russians leading a newly constructed Shia vanguard.    

The Iran-Russian connection exploded in the faces of the watcher community last week after Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-34 fighter-bombers carried out a series of strikes in Syria using Iran’s Shahid Nojeh Tactical Air Base north of the city of Hamadan.  It was the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iran has permitted a foreign power to use its territory for military operations.  The usually secretive Russian Ministry of Defense was a bit over zealous revealing this diplomatic coup, which forced Tehran to issue a declaration stating the Russian use of its air base was a temporary measure and has been halted.  The arrangement could possibly have violated a provision of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the (SIND) silly Iranian nuclear deal.  Billions of dollars were at stake for Tehran.  Some of those dollars were likely destined to go to Moscow, and Putin is desperate for a cash infusion into his struggling economy.  Consequently, Lord Russia accepted the public spanking from its vassal, Iran.  

In other developments, IHS Jane’s 360, on 23 August, reported Kalibr cruise missiles fired by Russian’s Black Sea Fleet from the Mediterranean at targets in Syria.  The 3 missiles destroyed facilities used by al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise.  Additionally, Iranian General Mohammad Ali Falaki, in an interview reported by the Long War Journal on 24 August, revealed an Afghan component to the hostilities.  Apparently, Hazara Shia Afghanis, have been involved in the Syrian civil war since 2012.  The Hazaras fight with the Fatemiyoun Division of the IRGC, a force estimated to be as many as 10,000, but most likely 4 or 5,000.  Falaki called them the Shia Liberation Army.  Whatever their numbers, they fall under the command of the notorious General Qassem Soleimani, probably the best know warfighter of the 21st century. 

Summary:  The balance of power in the Middle East has shifted from Washington, D.C. to Moscow.  The Sunni dominance in world diplomacy, via the U.S.-backed House of Saud, is in danger of total collapse given the ascendency of the ancient Persians versus the manufactured status of a Kingdom created from the rubble of World War One by British and French diplomats.   At this juncture in history, a Muslim nation is better served by the resurgent Russians than a feckless United States.  Saudi Arabia was riding the wrong horse.  Iran saddled up with Russia.  What of Iraq?

Brian Fairchild of Reuters wrote:  In early October 2015, Iraq secretly established a new Russia-Iran-Syria-Iraq intelligence center in the middle of Baghdad that surprised and angered American military commanders.  Worse, after Russia’s increasingly effective Syrian air campaign, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for Russia to begin unilateral airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq.  The Pentagon became so alarmed by the possibility that Russia might get a strategic foothold in Iraq that on October 21, 2015, it dispatched Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford to Baghdad to deliver an ultimatum to the Iraqi leadership.  Dunford told the Iraqi Prime Minister and Defense Minister that Iraq had to choose between cooperating with Russia or the US.  Upon his departure from Baghdad, General Dunford told the media that he received assurances that Iraq would not seek Russian assistance, but just three days later, Iraq officially authorized Russian airstrikes in-country.

This analysis does not touch on the machinations of Turkey, following a failed coup of suspicious origins, the Saudi invasion of Yemen to combat rebel Shia forces, or the effect of these fast-moving developments on Israel, still the ultimate infidel.  Whatever the indeterminate outcome of these peculiar alliances, the one conclusion apparent to even the casual observer is, in the absence of United States leadership, American capitulation to Russian diplomacy has opened a door through which Vladimir Putin boldly walked.  After a decade and a half of combat operations and billions of dollars expended by the United States, the future of the Middle East will be determined by Russia, and this monumental reversal was accomplished by Putin in less than a year.

This week President Putin met with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Kremlin.  Putin’s intends to broker pace talks between Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinians.  Even more curious than Russia supplanting the United States in this most intractable negotiation is the source of the information:  Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.  Why?   Because President Obama has been at odds with Egypt since al-Sisi kicked Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhamed Morsi out of office in 2013.  Somehow the former KGB officer is able to work with people with whom the Community-Organizer-in-Chief, cannot.  Somebody has to do it.  

The Terrorist Threat Defies Analysis and Common Sense

Sunday, July 31, 2016

        The Obama Administration is right.  ISIS is clearly losing ground in Syria and Iraq where our fighting forces have all but disappeared, however the Taliban is gaining ground in Afghanistan where our troop strength has increased.  Just today, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported that 65% of the country’s 407 districts were under government control, opposed to 70% at the beginning of the year.  Fortunately, ISIS is too busy dodging Russian bombs to concern itself with invading the United States and the Taliban never cared to in the first place; still, the threat of domestic terror has multiplied dramatically.  A Department of Homeland Security National Terrorist Advisory System Bulletin dated 16 June 2016, stated:  In the current environment, DHS is also concerned about threats and violence directed at particular communities and individuals across the country, based on perceived religion, ethnicity, nationality, or sexual orientation.

Conclusion:  Americans are probably safer in Kabul or Baghdad than they are vacationing at Disney-World.  That said, the average American isn’t in imminent danger, that is unless he or she travels to Europe.  NATO may be pretty much useless in the War on Terror, but Europe is apparently America’s first-line-of-defense.

Nonetheless, I concur with Senator Marco Rubio, among others, who are worried about a retreating ISIS inspiring an spate of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks on the Homeland.  Though there is no evidence of an Islamist linkage, domestic terrorists in the United States appear to be assaulting our ‘thin-blue-line,’ local police departments.  This is particularly disturbing because the dynamics of the Dallas and Baton Rouge massacres introduce a heretofore unmeasured and unpredicted set of variables.  Perpetrators of both multiple murder crimes were African-Americans.  Mass murder by black men is single-digit rare:  Colin Ferguson in 1993, Nathan Dunlap in 1993, Maurice Clemmons in 2009, Omar Thornton in 2010, Aaron Alexis in 2013, and Christopher Dorner also in 2013.  And in just one month, the incidence of this phenomenon has spiked an improbable 33%.

Accurate analysis is impossible due to a lack of research on the subject and because serial killers are often confused with mass murderers.  The distinction is important because a serial killer, by definition, gets away with homicide at least once.  Mass murderers have to expect to die at the scene of the crime as did Micah Johnson in Dallas, and Gavin Long in Baton Rouge.  Thus, a mass murderer is also suicidal.  Again, suicide is not characteristic of Black folks.  Indeed, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, for the period 2000 to 2014, indicates that blacks commit the lowest rate of suicide of any identifiable American demographic group.  Furthermore, in data released this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the highest suicide rate in the United States in 30 years and found that only two groups experienced a decline, one of them was black males.  (the other:  those over age 75)

Consequently, to absorb the cop shootings in Texas and Louisiana, as reported, I must combine two unlikely phenomena:  Mass Murder, and Suicide, by African-American males.  When you also factor in the commonality of their recent military backgrounds, the acceptance of coincidence falls beyond the realm of common sense.  

Russia Forges American and Turkish Terrorist Policy

Sunday, July 03, 2016

In October of 2014, I wrote an article titled:  Turkey is a Major Key in Stopping ISIS and the Rogue Caliphate

In it, I said:  . . . no one in D.C. is putting any serious pressure on the only Muslim nation in NATO, Turkey.  If the West, is going to stop Caliphate 9.0, as established by ISIS and the excommunicated al-Qaeda madman, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, we have to drag Turkey, back onto the playing field.  For too long the Turks have been playing both sides against the naive middle and getting away with it.  Though Turkey is predominately Sunni and has helped al-Baghdadi in the recent past and sneaky present, ISIS will surely turn on them too.  Indeed, no nation in the Middle East, the Magreb, or sub-Saharan Africa is safe from ISIS.

As of last week, the Russians have done what our State Department could not:  Force Turkey to confront the reality of their situation.  Yes, of course the airport in Istanbul was hit by ISIS terrorists native to the former Soviet Union, but that is not my focus.  Let’s review the diplomatic impasse between Moscow and Ankara precipitated by Turkey’s shoot down of the Russia aircraft last year on 24 November.

Immediately thereafter, I wrote: It is my opinion that Turkey will eventually strike a deal with the strongman in the region, Russia, to protect it’s 730 mile border with Syria and Iraq from the establishment of a greater Kurdistan.  Conclusion:  Though there will be more blood shed and trade relations will suffer, Turkey and Russia are not likely to go to war.

No I am not prophetic, I just waded through the muck, silenced the noise, and hit the target most obvious in my crosshairs.  Furthermore, I am not encumbered by the mysterious delusions of the Obama Administration and the restraints it places on the intel community.  In the last month, according to open source reporting from multiple outlets, to include STRATFOR, RT, and the Institute for the Study of War, the following has taken place:

Russia - Turkey

  • 15 June: A letter from Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, expressing a desire to repair bilateral relations is rejected by Vladimir Putin because it omitted an official apology for the November shoot-down of its Su-24. 
  • 27 June:  President Erdogan apologizes to President Putin for the downing of the Russia jet.
  • 29 June:  Presidents Putin and Erdogan agree, by phone, to a future face-to-face meeting as bilateral relations are established in trade and tourism.  Cooperation in the fight against terrorism is also discussed.  
  • 01 July:  Foreign ministers of Turkey and Russia meet in Sochi, the Black Sea resort city, to pave the way for the presidential rapprochement.  

Russia - United States

  • 16 June: Russian aircraft struck U.S.-backed New Syrian Army forces, at Al Tanf, close to a border crossing between Iraq and Syria, near Jordan.
  • 19 June: The Russians unilaterally announce a bilateral agreement with the USA to increase coordination in Syria.
  • 01 July:  U.S. SECDEF, Ashton Carter, makes silly Russians ‘should do the right thing’ speech pretending that the agreement to cooperate in Syria was an American initiative.  
  • 02 July:  Top diplomacy officials Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry meet in Vienna on fresh ways to cooperate in ending the conflict in Syria

Forced Checkmate  

  1. Turkey is joined in the War on Terrorism against ISIS, and for once, Erdogan’s feet will be held to the fire, by Vladimir Putin.  
  2. Turkey has been removed as a chip in any game NATO might want to play in the GWOT; and by extension, mitigated whatever leverage the United States may have had in the playing fields of Eastern Europe.

My Concern:  It is the same as I articulated in this blog months ago:  . . . in exchange, Russia will facilitate the eventual removal of Assad.  But only after Putin has permanently established military bases in Syria and completely humiliated President Obama.  Again the Kurds will be sold out by the World’s leading nation as it was by England, later by the United States, and soon, by Russia.  That was a rather forward leaning statement, the last part of which I hope is disproven.  The first part is prologue. 

My Conclusion:  The Soviet Union was never given the credit it was due for the role it played in World War II as the most essential United States ally.  The indomitable Brits were broken and France was useless by the time the Third Reich was invaded.  Without Stalin, who knows how much greater the cost or how disastrous the outcome would have been.  I would suggest that our American leaders leverage the assistance Putin can give us to make up for the mistakes we’ve made in the Middle-East.  To win, the winnable GWOT, and halt the international expansion of ISIS, large nation-states have to become as diplomatically nimble as Muslim warlords, . . . and as deadly.    

The Feminization of America's Armed Forces

Monday, June 06, 2016

((I render a hand salute to the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy 72 years ago, today))

The U.S. Selective Service Act of 1917 was the mechanism that fed civilian boys into World War I.  Secretary of War, Newton Baker declared over 25% of the male population of the country between ages 18 and 31 was in military service.  In World War II, 9% of our nation served under the sword of conscription legislation that lasted from 1940 to 1973.  The percentage of men in uniform remained about the same for the Viet Nam War, the last in which our boys were conscripted.

Even men who weren’t drafted lived with the possibility that they might be.  In the wake of World War II, American boys generally believed they had a standing obligation to defend the nation.  Many enlisted after high school as routinely as they went to the prom.  Today, however, we know that less than one percent of a populace twice the size it was in 1945, serves.  Cumulatively, our 22 million vets represent just a little above 7% of America.  That means 9 out of 10 Americans have never taken that oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  There are hard and soft consequences to this sea change in American male culture, mostly negative.  

The national mindset, even before the fall of Saigon in 1975, was that the boys who fought in Nam were either brain-washed fools or knuckle-dragging baby-killers.  That made it convenient for pampered college-campus draft-dodgers to justify their resistance to serving.  Later, their war opposition was validated by President Jimmy Carter’s unconditional pardon, in 1977, for those that broke federal law evading the draft.  Furthermore, the 1992 election of the first president, after World War II, not to have served himself: Bill Clinton, validated these ‘men.’  College student, Bill Clinton, who evaded the draft, wrote a scathing letter, dated December 3, 1969, in which he said he ‘loathed the military.’  His ascension to Commander-in-Chief assuaged the guilt of all those who felt the same.

You see, though It is in a man’s wiring to be a warrior, a protector, we have slowly become a nation of men who aren’t.  In the fifteen year interim between our exit from Viet Nam until the 1990 invasion of Iraq, the American military labored under the shroud of a national contempt for our Armed Forces. The derisive attitude was fueled by constant Hollywood and TV images of crazed officers (Apocalypse Now) and criminal NCOs (Platoon).  Then, Desert Storm’s quick and decisive victory over Saddam Hussein in 1991, and our troops’ triumphant return home became a pivotal point in national attitude.  Most of America, except for college faculties (William Ayres), embraced the vets.  However, disaster struck in late 1991:  the U.S. Navy’s Operation Tailhook scandal took place just before President Clinton and Lady Hillary took over the White House.

In short, Tailhook, a private Navy convention of aviators got overly raucous and some female naval officers attendees were sexually ‘assaulted,’ even though those same female naval officers attended the equally raucous event the year before.  Result:  the Navy, under pressure from the Clinton White House, integrated women into aviation combat training in 1993.  The consequence: the first female carrier-based fighter pilot in Naval history crashed into the sea in an attempt to land on the USS Abraham Lincoln in 1994.  You can research Lt. Kara Hultgreen’s aviation credentials for yourself.  You will see that standards were lowered to permit her to continue on to advanced flight training.  I lament her loss, she was a sister officer, but I denounce the situation and circumstances leading to her needless death.  Warning:  I don’t waste time, energy or page space on political correctness, let it suffice that I have served with, and even under, several fine women during my 29 years in the military, but not with them in combat roles.  Let’s move on.  

My point:  There has been a constant creep of female integration into the last bastions of male responsibility and privilege: Combat.  From Hultgreen’s suspect training record, to the coverup of Major Rhonda Cornum’s gang rape after her helicopter crashed in the first Gulf War, to the Private Jessica Lynch-in-wonderland tale of her heroism under fire while unconscious in the second Gulf War, to the awarding of the first Ranger tab to a woman last year, elected officials on Capital Hill have been pushing the Pentagon to feminize the Lean, Green Machine despite a plethora of physical and biological evidence that would suggest otherwise.  Just last year, the ban on women in combat was lifted by the only other president in the last 100 years who never wore the uniform.  The campaign against our military traditions by the only presidents who have not served is no coincidence.  It is planned to degrade the male ethos in the military and demoralize our fighting men for political gain, . . . or worse.     

  Whether women are equipped for combat is a debate I will delay until the first body bags filled with our mothers, wives, and daughters arrive at Dover Air Force Base after we have engaged an enemy more equal to us than raggedy Afghans and undernourished Iraqis.  Those sad sack mopes don’t even have boots, much less an Air Force or a Navy.  For the record, research the Israeli myth of women-in-combat.  They tried it in 1948 and it failed miserably for all the obvious reasons.  If you want women combat stories, read the Russian history of World War II or google the Kurdish Women of the YPG.  They fight and they fought because their nations were, and are, on the brink on extinction.  It is not the same in the United States.  There are plenty of men who aren’t pulling their share of the load.  The deeper women are integrated into the American military and sheltered by frightened male superiors who haven’t the guts to expose the charade, the less cultural pressure American men will feel to fulfill their warrior obligation.  Yes female integration provides an attractive facade of gender parity, but it also undermines national security.  America is at war with terrorism, we cannot afford the luxury of deceit.  

Let’s rewind the tape and reflect on the Army Ranger tab I mentioned.  In the course of a year, 25 hand-selected and pre-trained, good women began the rigorous nine-week course.  They all failed within the first 72 hours.  Then from out of nowhere, a couple of female officers began and finished the course without drama or complication.  Yeah, right, 100% of the first 25 fail, but 100% of the next two, do not.  What was different about them?  The Marines, anticipating political pressure, permitted 29 women to begin the Infantry Officer Course; the result:  0 for 29, they all failed.  And female Marines are typically much more fit than female soldiers.  Furthermore the tough IOC is still not as rigorous as Ranger School.  All that said, there will be female Rangers, Recon Marines, Special Forces, and even SEALs.  Why?

For those of you unfamiliar with military culture, there is something called Command Influence.  I believe it got Lt. Kara Hultgreen killed and Major Rhonda Cornum sodomized, . . . just to make an untenable political point on gender parity.

Am I an alarmist, a dinosaur discontent with change and uncomfortable with progress?  Yep.  I rung the bell in 1972 and no one heard it.  I’m cool with change but not when it subverts national security, that ain’t progress.  For the morons out there who are quick to make comparisons between the integration of blacks into the military to the integration of women, take note:  Standards, methods, tactics, and procedures were NEVER changed to accommodate President Truman’s 1948 executive order to integrate the Armed Forces; if anything the brothers were held to a higher standard.  My father was the first African-American Army Liaison Pilot (1943).  Believe me, no one lowered standards for him.  As far as the possibility I may be unduly concerned, the Army Times reported that male Army cadets at Temple University (Philadelphia) were forced to wear women’s high heel shoes (while in their uniforms) in a school sponsored WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES EVENT.  The same thing occurred at Arizona State.  ASU’s commanding professor of military science Major Michelle Bravo was unavailable for comment.  So I am.  

Apologies to my Korean War brothers, I just could not find reliable draft statistics for you; no wonder your conflict is called:  The Forgotten War.

American Strength vs American Weakness: The Presidential Election

Sunday, May 29, 2016

       There was a day when both the democrat and republican party  were locked at the hip on national security.  No longer.  Because of the great philosophical and demographic divide in the United States, our November choice could adversely affect how we cope with the international threat of terrorism.  It will be a choice between strength and weakness.  I am watching this election closely, as are America’s enemies:  ISIS, al-Qaeda, North Korea, and Iran.  And America’s ‘friends:’  the UK, Israel, Japan.  And America’s adversaries:  Russia, China, Pakistan.  Saudi Arabia too, I just don’t know how to categorize those guys.

  Last summer, I attended the ‘Red State Gathering’ in Atlanta and was in the audience when Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio spoke.  I went home most impressed by Cruz, but decided his countenance and demeanor weren’t attractive enough to persuade the low-information voter into his camp.  American elections are, in the final analysis, beauty contests.  Rubio was my man.  Donald Trump, originally on the fight card was scrapped after a row with the event organizer.  I was disappointed because I wanted to get a read on the man.  I don’t watch reality TV and had never seen Trump’s hit show, The Apprentice.  My casual sense of Trump was that he was a cartoon character, clever but harmless.  I needed to see for myself.

A few weeks later, I attended a Trump rally in North Georgia.  It took place well before George Soros hired his army of professional protestors to create chaos at his events.  The excitement was palpable and the peaceful crowd was intoxicated with a patriotic enthusiasm.  Contrary to biased media reports, the attendees weren’t knuckle-dragging neanderthals.  They were more akin to the, as then presidential candidate Barack Obama called them, those that cling to guns or religion.  I left the rally, a tepid Trump supporter.  I have since solidified my thinking.  I voted for him in our republican primary, and hope he goes all the way, flawed though he may be.  

The political eggheads, pundits, and elites within the republican party got it wrong, as did almost all of the TV talking heads.  They were analyzing Donald, the man, and saw a gaffe machine, a buffoon, and policy lightweight.  Not that their erudite assessments were entirely wrong, however, they were focused on the wrong target.  I, instead, assessed the electorate, the people, and saw:  The Answer.  Trump’s success is a pure reflection of our 21st century failures.  We have never recovered from 9/11, and have been on a debilitating losing streak since Viet Nam.  The America that I love is broken.  I want it fixed.  The America my ‘baby-boomer’ generation inherited from World War II’s ‘Greatest Generation’ no longer exists.  I want it back.  So do others, the Bible and gun clingers, we want America back.  Not so, all of us.

If not indicted, Hillary Clinton will be Trump’s opponent.  Again, do not waste energy in evaluating her, the woman. There is little to see and nothing to learn that we have not already known for two decades.  Look closely at her supporters, they define the other half of the electorate, not her.  She, like Trump, is a symbol.  There are those among us that prefer our weakened state and embrace a crippled ‘Uncle Sam.’  Indeed, there is a sub-set of that population that will do everything they can to put our nation on its knees, keep it there, and apologize for where its been.  Who are these people?

  • Feminists:  Since the invention of the ‘pill’ and the sexual revolution that followed, half of our electorate has been at war with the oblivious other half.  I don’t blame them, women have been exploited and marginalized since Eve fumbled the apple.  The impetus behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign is millions of wives, daughters, and moms who want ‘payback’ from their husbands, fathers, and brothers who enjoy ‘male privilege'.  
  • African-Americans:  Already a 92% monolithic vote for democrats, it is now a hostile, mobile, and agile opposition movement financed by Soros: Black Lives Matter (BLM).  Blacks see the republican party and anyone in it as ex-slavers, and the 8% of Blacks that vote for them as ‘Uncle Toms.’  That cannot be fixed, changed, or adjudicated.  Negroes want ‘payback.’  They will never get it, so they’ll remain animated in hate against ‘white privilege,’ and also remain a pawn in a game they are doomed to lose.  
  • Hispanics: I have long been amused at how my Mexican brothers and sisters have quietly reclaimed California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona.  The American victory in the war ending in 1848 has been vacated.  Of course they want ‘payback.’  They wave the Mexican flag in protest at Trump rallies.  That said, they are not permanent pawns of the democrat party, as are blacks.  This population is religious, hard working, and because they aren’t integrated into the ‘Fortune 500,’ they are small business owners.  If the ignorant republican party can ever figure out how to free these natural conservatives from the gravitational pull of the marketing programs of the democrat party, they will switch allegiances.  But, for the moment, this group is afraid of Trump even though the billionaire’s economic initiatives would be good for them, that is, the legal ones of them.  
  • Homosexuals:  The intellectual and cultural tip of the feminist spear, a battle-hardened contingent that is in mortal combat with the ‘John Wayne Syndrome’ within the body politic.  Trump represents the ghost of Strong-White-Men-Past, an apparition slowly fading from view following decades of assaults from the victims of their excesses and achievements.  The strong silent type is mostly muzzled, contained, and   disparaged.  In my youth, homosexuals, like blacks, were beaten up for sport by bored Chicago policemen.  I know, my dad was a cop.  Gays want ‘payback.’  I don’t blame them.
  • The Fourth Estate:  By any measure, media outlets are leftist, and consequently, anti-republican party.  Except for a single TV network, and most of talk-radio, American messaging is liberal.  It is impossible to watch a movie without having to endure a warm/fuzzy about the wonderfulness of homosexuality or an endorsement of global warming.  Hollywood is making a fortune releasing old movie scripts with women in the heroic lead.  We’ve got 110-pound blondes beating up men twice their size.  It reminds me of the ‘blaxploitation’ films back in the day.  Fantasy that leads nowhere.
  • The Fifth Column:  This term, from the 1936 Spanish Civil War, refers to a group within a nation that is working against that nation on behalf of foreign interests.  I will posit the communist party has been the invisible agent exploiting the grievances of women, blacks, Latinas, and gays.  It does so via activist organizations like the ACLU, BLM, La Raza, and environmental whacko clubs in pursuit of civil rights.  Their infiltration of emotionally charged institutions with very real social concerns gives legitimacy and political currency to enemies-of-state.  You have only to look at the history of communism in the black community for verification of this thesis.    

These six groups, in aggregate, represent an easy majority of the voting public, and each one of them has an ongoing, if not disparate, interest in keeping its foot on the neck of the dreaded white man, a weakened and bowed species, an ever declining segment of the population.  I see each of these identity groups as a ideological combat unit working in unison under the flag of the democrat party, against an opposing force, republicans, that feels too guilty to fire their heavy weapons in self-defense, and have, in 2008 and 2012, been overrun by a collective of weak sisters.  The democrat party is genius at making their diversity, their strength, and simultaneously making America weak.  You have only to look at our national debt and foreign policies for evidence.  

    These converging forces of political correctness are manifest in surgically infused accusations of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia.  The result, two democratic presidents who have never served in the military, and republican presidents so timid that their service was irrelevant.  Failed opponents of Barack Obama: John McCain, and Mitt Romney, were weak and ineffectual despite a heroic military record for one, and a fabulously successful business career for the other.  Both subjugated the John Wayne components in their character to seduce an effeminate electorate with their gentler sides.  The result of their failure to do so:  international chaos and domestic malaise, measured in body bags and lost jobs.  America is in peril, the planet in panic.   

Enter, Donald Trump.  He represents and speaks for a strong America, and has resurrected the phrase:  America First.  After nearly eight years of social justice under Barack Obama, Trump, with his many shortcomings is refreshing.  He has become the voice for the American patriot that has been long silenced and broadly ridiculed by the Fifth Column and its, as it is called in Soviet doctrine, ‘useful idiots’.  Trump has turned the process inside out and may very well secure the White House for those of us who care about this country and are not obsessed with our skin color, origins, or plumbing.  The patriots will have to come together to retake ground loss to vindictive feminists, confused Negroes, illegal aliens, and angry homosexuals.

Uncle Sam, the symbol of America that brought us to the dance, that fought and won the wars, that did the bleeding and dying, that built our industries, and made us the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world, is, for the most part, a white man. Yes, Sam is also the guy that disenfranchised women, enslaved my people, humiliated homosexuals, and eradicated the native American.  There is no argument known to mankind powerful enough to contravene history, nor is there any debate that can rectify the wrongs of the past.  I cannot presume to tell the ‘sisters’ how to think or vote.  I can only implore them to set aside their very legitimate hostility for the sake of the nation.

Uncle Sam, I fear, may go down for the third time:  McCain, Romney, Trump.  If Sam goes down, it is not the strong among us that will suffer: “oh the irony.”

Mullah Mansour’s Assassination Will Trigger Chaos and Death

Sunday, May 22, 2016

         The Taliban didn’t bring down the Twin Towers in New York.  The Taliban wasn’t a part of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.  There weren’t any Taliban sleeper cells in San Bernardino.  The Taliban’s sin was in harboring Usama bin Laden and giving him safe haven from President George 43 Bush.  Had Mullah Mohammad Omar, the late Emir of the Taliban, relinquished bin Laden, an argument can be made that the United States would never have invaded Afghanistan.  Were it not for a pledge Omar made to Prince Turki al-Faisal, Chief of Saudi Intelligence, to keep bin Laden under control so he would not attack the Kingdom, Bush could have taken the renegade terrorist into custody for a few thousand rupees.  Say what you will about their peculiar looking man-dresses and the abhorrent bacha bazi tradition, the Pashtun tribal code of honor, Pashtunwali, is inviolate.  Allegiance to that code precipitated the fall of the Taliban in 2001, as well as America’s endless entanglement with the neanderthal Government of Afghanistan.

Indeed, if there was a saving grace about Afghanistan it is that none of their indigenous insurgent groups or warlords were interested in exporting their Holy Wars or opium mischief beyond the greater Khorasan region.  The United States and its mythical 63 allies were free to combat ISIS and al-Qaeda on battlefields unknown to either the Taliban, or its primary ally in mayhem, the Haqqani Network.   

       After I was flown into Kuwait, the staging area for the GWOT, my group was sorted and shuttled to either Bagram or Baghdad.  The two conflicts were mutually exclusive; one had absolutely nothing to do with the other.  I know, I was deeply immersed in both, during different time periods.

       Unlike the philosophical Usama, whose goal was worldwide Islamic domination, Omar, possibly illiterate, likely never traveled to any other country besides Pakistan.  Omar was not interested in nations other than the one he saved from the excesses of the Mujahideen and replaced it with the excesses of Sharia Law.  Nonetheless, Mullah Omar was deemed Amir ul Momimeen (Commander of the Faithful Believers), a title that put him at the pinnacle of the global jihadist pyramid.  

Omar’s successor, Akhtar Mansour, was not so myopic.  The UK’s Dailymail, reports that Mansour was killed on the very day he returned from Iran.  Nor was he as parochial, the New York Times’ Helene Cooper reveals Mansour had repeatedly taken flights in and out of Pakistan to Dubai, where he has a house and several investments under different names.  I doubt that he could accomplish these foreign intrigues in the short time since he acknowledged Omar’s demise, but then with the ISI, much is possible. Mansour’s Pakistani passport stamp shows a March 28 entry date.  I find this single data bit most alarming, and somewhat improbable.  The Pashtun tribe to which Mansour belonged, is Sunni.  Iran is unrepentantly Shia.

       Does this mean that Mansour was reaching out to Iran, a rogue nation that flaunts their exportation of Islamic Jihad all across the Middle East?  Actually, it was Iran that extended the terrorist hand of friendship.  STRATFOR reported that a Taliban delegation headed by Tayyeb Agha spent three days in Tehran as far back as July of 2013.  Agha was a close confident of Mullah Omar.  Something sinister is afoot, and has been for a couple of years. The Taliban may well have been planning to take its show on the road under the auspices of the Ayatollah.  Washington Post reporter, Dan Lamothe relates a 2008 exchange between Iran’s infamous Qud’s Force Commander, General Qassem Soleimani and subsequently disgraced American General David Petraeus.  Qassem sent Petraeus a note that read:

“General Petraeus, you should be aware that I, Qassem Soleimani, control Iran’s policy for Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan.”

Petraeus, via a messenger, replied:  “Pound Sand.”  That was 2008, this is now.  The sand sits unmolested.  

      What I see as improbable is that Mansour could be out of Afghanistan for six continuous weeks!  Recall that Mansour only recently took control of the Taliban in July, of 2015.  His ascension was hotly contested for many reasons, chief of which was that he was accused of concealing the 2013 death of Omar and secretly running the Taliban under Omar’s imprimatur.  There was even open conjecture that Mansour may have killed Omar.

      Though he was the most logical successor, powerful factions opposed him, including Omar’s son.  Mansour could have been assassinated just as easily as coronated.  It is a testament to his Machiavellian skills that he wasn’t.  It is his travel agent’s fault that he was, as multiple U.S. drones found him on Pakistani side of the border immediately upon his return.  

Adroitly, Mansour appointed Omar’s eldest son, Mohammad Yaqoub, to the executive council known as the Quetta Shura, and he named Omar’s brother, Abdul Manan Akhund, head of the Dawat was Irshad, known as the Preaching and Guidance Commission.  Both relatives swore allegiance to Mansour, a reconciliation all to quick to be anything other than expedient.  

       More strategically, Mansour elevated warlord emeritus, Sirajuddin Haqqani, as his deputy.  Still there was not time enough for multiple rival and suspicious elements to congeal behind him for Mansour to leave home base for 40 days and nights.  I would suggest that there were sojourns to Teheran (by military aircraft) that weren’t recorded in his passport.  Those uncomfortable and probably still at odds with Mansour’s succession include, Abdul Niazi: a provincial governor, Abdul Qayyum Zakir: former GITMO prisoner and head of the military shura in the south, Abdul Razaq: interior minister, Tayyab Agha: head of office in Qatar, and commanders Hasan Rahmani and Mohammad Rassool.  The gaping incision that is Mansour’s death will surely resurrect power plays by Omar’s brother and the formidable Haqqani.  This dance will be produced by the ISI, choreographed by Agha, and completely misinterpreted by the UN.

Obviously, the UN-led peace initiatives in Afghanistan must fall fallow until the leadership question is resolved.  Not only will that take an indeterminate amount of time, but the security of the civilian population will be at risk until the tremors die down.  To begin with, for months, our erudite State Department was in peace negotiations with a dead man, and then his doomed replacement.  I don’t think peace has much of a chance here, or anywhere else in this region.  

       On a broader scale, in the bigger picture, Mansour’s death will likely provoke ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to reassert his outlaw claims as Caliph.  Mullah Omar surrendered the title of Supreme Leader of the Faithful upon his inconvenient death.  Despite its undisputed religious significance to Muslims worldwide, Omar was a regional entity and did not meddle into the affairs of other jihadist leaders.  Still Usama’s successor, Ayman Zawahiri, was deferential to Omar’s station.  Accordingly, Zawahiri criticized Baghdadi for his exalted claims to title as he excommunicated him from al-Qaeda.  This raises the question and infuses doubt into spiritual hierarchy of the jihadist community.  Though Zawahiri did pledge allegiance to Mansour, Omar’s successor was only able to secure the title Supreme Leader.  Who is the top dog now?  Whom will prevail and for how long?  

To review: the top of the terrorist pyramid was Mullah Omar’s Taliban, followed by al-Qaeda, from which ISIS was spawned as al-Qaeda in Iraq and later denounced by Zawahiri.  ISIS is organizing in Afghanistan, has lost ground in Syria after the Russian’s entered the fray, and is suffering defections by experienced fighters as well as a reduction in oil revenue.  Baghdadi could use a promotion. The way terrorists ascend is to do bad things.  Mansour’s assassination could very well open the flood gates to greater chaos and transnational death in the areas of conflict as competing factions vie for leadership of Islamic Jihad.    

Comprehensive Plan 1.0 to Defeat ISIS

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

At speaking engagements, the only question I do not answer is:  How do we defeat ISIS?  Why?  Because a combat strategy has a very limited shelf life, and the administration of President Barack Obama isn’t going to do anything, under any circumstances.  Furthermore, war, absent a foreign policy imperative, has no purpose.  Thus, the question is less than moot.  However, were my Commander-in-Chief to surprise me and commit to taking out our most virile Islamic threat, I would gladly advise him.  What follows is my 90-day plan to defeat ISIS. Due to space limitations, it is schematic and the reader must infer the obvious.  Commencing tomorrow. . .

Domestic Front

Close down the southern boundary with Mexico to illegals by federalizing the National Guards of  California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and posting them on their respective borders.  Work with Canada to make sure there is no residual leakage in the north.  

Unshackle the FBI and direct them to openly post agents in large mosques, and to circulate aggressively in Moslem communities in Michigan, Minnesota and elsewhere.  Permit all federal agencies to, gasp, PROFILE. 

Order the Treasury Department to monitor all outbound financial transactions destined to cities, villages, and towns with Islamic populations greater than 3 percent.  At least get eyes on Western Union.  Detain any mope wiring unduly large amounts of cash.  Sleeper cells require liquidity.   

Direct the NSA to identify the origins of jihadist message traffic on social media, and to turn over evidence of sedition to Homeland Security, uh, on second thought, give it to the Ferguson Missouri Police Department.  They shoot.  

Withhold all federal funds to sanctuary cities until they present documentation of punitive action against illegals.  That action must include a list of all incarcerated foreign nationals, who will be hastily deported behind the National Guard Wall.     

Diplomatic Front

Send Henry Kissinger to Moscow to meet with either Vladimir Putin or Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to negotiate a deal whereby Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can remain in power and Russia can retain their airbases in-country.  In exchange, Moscow will assist in enforcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aka S.I.N.D., the Stupid Iran Nuclear Deal.  The deal should be suspended immediately, Teheran’s funds re-embargoed, and sanctions re-imposed until Lavrov secures a binding  promise from the Ayatollah to cease all missile testing and micro-aggressions aimed at America, especially the name calling.  Funds can begin to flow after the four American prisoners are set free.  If Putin resists, admit the Baltic States to NATO and challenge the Russian National Hockey Team to play the Chicago Blackhawks.  Hah!  My hometown is good at sports, at least.

Resurrect General David Petraeus and assign him to liaise with the French in fortifying combat initiatives already in play in West Africa to contend with ISIS affiliate, Boko Haram.  Just make sure the General’s aids are either men or ugly women.  Looking eastward, the Libyan problem is not ISIS-centric.  It does, though, concern the French.  It will have to remain a back-burner issue for the near future. Boko Haram is nothing more than an L.A. street gang run amuck.  It can be wiped out in a month as long as the new government in  Nigeria under Muhammadu Buhari keeps its promise to eliminate its leader, Abu Bakr Shekau.  And if Buhari regresses to the ADM, African dictator mean, . . . then do what ya gotta do.  War is not nice, especially in Africa.

Send me back to Uganda to determine what needs to be done to establish an American (joint forces) military base up north in Gulu.  President Yoweri Museveni has just extended his 30-year grip on Uganda by winning a 61% to 36% victory over the Washington Generals, aka, his perennial rival Kizza Besigye.  Okay, if not me, then activate disgraced General Kip Ward, former commander of Africom.  Return his fourth star and let him work his butt off to redeem his reputation.  He’ll need a good Warrant Officer who knows the lay of the land.  

Ask my old boss, General Ray Odierno to come out of retirement and mediate a deal between Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani. He knows them both. In exchange for Erdogan truly closing his borders to ISIS recruits and the USA operating freely out of Incirlik Air Base, Odierno will dissuade Barzani from colluding with the PKK to form a Kurdish nation, at least temporarily.  For this Barzani gets another presidential term with backing by our usually useless State Department.  Odierno, who was on the ground during the ‘Surge,’ will provide the KRG Peshmerga (there are two of them) with every logistical, tactical, and operational piece of equipment they need to join in on a pending combat assault on Mosul, the Kurds’ second largest city, currently occupied by the terrorists.  

No, I haven’t forgotten Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, or the UK.  Given the bad blood of the last seven years, it is best that these nations sit in the penalty box until our November elections are over.  Hmmm, perhaps England can occupy itself looking into the Yemen mess the Saudis stirred up.  Finally we have some place that the Brits can’t make any worse.

The War Strategy

Frankly, the Pentagon doesn't need advice from me.  They always have a plan in waiting.  That’s what they do.  What they do need is for the politicians and bleeding hearts to get the hell out of the way.  Nevertheless, here is what I believe should happen.

We have two major battle areas:  Mosul in Iraq, and the ISIS Corridor in Syria that runs from Aleppo, in a southeasterly direction, over to Raqqa, and down to Deir ez Zur.  


      The Kurds, once unimpeded by the mopes in Baghdad have the prowess to defeat ISIS.  Of course the terrorists are embedded in the city, which imperils civilians that are not permitted to leave.  Special Ops teams on Search-and-Destroy missions into the populous will take months to eradicate the vermin.  There will be civilian casualties, but then, this is war.  Conventional forces can isolate the city and choke off enemy reinforcements and resupply.  The time this will take is totally dependent on the ‘will to fight,’ of the ISIS thugs, a factor that would be influenced by success on the second front.  

The ISIS Corridor:

Yes, we all must sell-out the Free Syrian Forces arrayed against a tyrant that has killed a quarter million of his own people.  Grow up and get a pair!  This is the bloody Middle East.  If you can’t handle deceit and carnage, don’t go there.  Besides, I don’t think anyone can accurately define who those free forces are.  I have tried to maintain a real-time chart of all the shifting allegiances and newly formed groups and can’t do it.  Let Mr. Assad offer an amnesty to these guys and wreak havoc on those that don’t accept it.  This is his civil war, leave it that way.  Whether Assad stays or goes has absolutely no effect on the United States.  It ain’t like we will lose any prestige, is it?

Tactically, I see Iranian ground forces under the direction of Quds Force General Qasim Soleimani, given permission to set up operations at Baghdad International Airport. Hey, he’s already there anyway.  With Russia airpower, a forward operating base on the Syria-Iraqi border at Qaim, could easily be established.  That is about 20 minutes flying time in an SU-34 loaded with air-to-ground ordinance.  Fact is, the northern end of the corridor, Aleppo, is virtually surrounded by Assad’s forces today.  A forced march following the banks of the Euphrates River from Qaim into and through Deir ez Zur should meet little ISIS resistance.  However, the Shia Iranian militias may well encounter Jabhat al-Nusrah, the Sunni al-Qaeda affiliate indigenous to Syria.  There will be blood, most of it from Jabhat.    

The United States of America:

My plan minimizes the use of infidel forces not just because I hope to avoid spilling American blood, but because large numbers of of our troops going in means, inevitably, large numbers going out.  When that happens, precious gains are lost.  The ground war should be left to the people who live there.  Consequently, our combat involvement must be selective and specialized.  For this I select our most effective warrior general, Stan McChrystal, removed from command for PPI, Public Political Incorrectness.  The general can redeem himself the old-fashioned way.

With this task completed, I can return to my life of wanton leisure and finally, everyone can stop asking me for the solution, . . . that is, until our politicians cause the next crisis that requires military intervention.   

President Obama is Right, Europeans Are “Freeloaders”

Sunday, March 13, 2016

        Actually the term President Obama invented was ‘Free Rider.”  I am pretty sure he meant ‘freeloader,’ that’s much more poetic, and certainly more Chicago.  In a series of interviews with Atlantic Magazine, he lamented American allies’ penchant for dragging the United States into sectarian conflicts that sometimes have little to do with American interests.  Specifically he named Britain and France relative to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.  Obama excoriated both nations for failing to meet their NATO target in dense spending, an issue I addressed in an article I posted on this blog just a month ago, on 10 February.  

To reiterate, the NATO Treaty requires its 28 member nations to contribute two percent of its gross national income to defense.  Few members do, consequently the manpower and material deficits fall on the shoulders of the United States.  That is freeloading.

On a personal note, I was first stationed in West Germany in 1968.  I was drafted at the end of 1967 and was not particularly enthused about military service.  So when I arrived in Frankfurt and soon realized that there were 400,000 Americans living and working in the Bundesrepublick Deutschland, I was appalled.  Hell, they didn’t need me!

For nearly four decades in the last half of the 20th century, a quarter million U.S. troops were billeted in Germany, with their families.  There were dozens of full-service military bases, separate recreation sites, and its own separate K-12 dependent school system.  

True, the WW2 allies didn’t too much want Germany to rebuild its military to withstand an invasion from Moscow, but the point is, German defense costs were born by the United States.  And though Charles de Gaulle kicked American Forces off of French soil in 1966, the USA provided a cost-free Maginot Line at the German border with Poland.  Indeed, all of Western Europe has been relieved of first-response combat responsibilities in the air, sea, or on the ground since Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were defeated in 1945. Freeloading.

Stay with me now, the United Kingdom, God Save the Queen, has but one aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth One.  The nation, upon which, at one time, the sun never set, the once greatest sea power on earth has just one carrier.  Worse, since England doesn’t have any fixed-wing aircraft capable of flying off of or onto the Elizabeth, that carrier is useless.  According to, the Harrier Jump Jet, of British origin, was quietly taken out of operational service in 2011 when the entire fleet was sold to the United States for spare parts. 

The French also have but one carrier, the Charles de Gaulle.  Rafales and Super Etendard aircraft do take off and land on the decks of the de Gaulle.  Whew!  To be fair, Russia has just one, but then, they don’t have any permanent warm water naval ports.  The United States has more aircraft carriers than the entire rest of the world’s meager inventory of 12.  The United States has 19, if you add the helicopter carrier vessels to the ten full-sized aircraft carriers in our arsenal.  In effect, America’s allies are useless.  How useless?

Let’s say Mexico ‘officially’ invaded California.  I don’t know why it would want that silly state, but go along with me.  If NATO member nations lived up to the treaty, they are required to come to aid of the United States.  But How?  Only three nations manufacture large military transport aircraft, capable of hauling soldiers, and two thirds of them aren’t in NATO.  The United States, Russia, and China are the only nations on Earth with large transports.  By the way, Russia’s Ilyushin transports are constructed in Ukraine.  The Russians rent them out for much-needed cash.  Connect-the-dots.  Sorry for the digression, my point is that even if a NATO ‘ally’ wanted to help push back the coyote force from Mexico, it has no way to get its troops to North America.  The very concept of an American ally is an illusion.  

Not only does the United States defend the west without compensation, or even appreciation, but our allies have neither the intention nor the means to return the favor.  President Obama is right, our allies are Free Riders.  

Note that republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, has said very clearly that the rest of the world should compensate the United States for the defense it provides.  Trump has observed: “I keep asking, how long will we go on defending South Korea from North Korea without payment?”  Though Seoul does pay us over $500 million a year to offset our costs, Trump’s head is angled in the right direction.  Others do not.

The United States spends 3.6 percent of its GDP on our defense forces, most of which protect other nations.  It has been suggested that those nations, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Illinois, et al, should pay one percent of their GDP to the United States.  Doug Bandow of the CATO Institute has crunched the numbers.  The U.S. Treasury would reap $737 billion annually in receipts, easily eclipsing our $570 billion defense budget.  

Compensation is long over due.  Research published by Tim Kane of the Center for Data Analysis reveals for the period from 1950 to 2003:

  • On average, 22% of all U.S. active duty servicemen were stationed on foreign soil
  • American military contingents of 1,000 or more have been posted in 54 foreign countries

            In August of 2004, then President George W. Bush announced the withdrawal of 70,000 American troops from Europe and Asia.  He said, “The world has changed a great deal and our posture must change with it.”  That of course was before he converted our quick 2003 victory in Iraq into a long tortuous defeat.

    Nonetheless, President Obama declared, “What has been a habit over the last several decades in these circumstances is people pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game.” I applaud President Obama for opening a door that a future President Trump can walk through.

The Trump-GOP Campaign Crisis

Thursday, March 03, 2016

       Understand that the American choice of a president has explosive national security and counter-terrorism implications.  The election of President Barack Obama led directly to our evacuation of the Middle East in 2011, which gave birth to ISIS in the midst of an Arab Spring that has left us all in the dead of a terrorist winter.  In this election season note that republican (GOP) presidential candidate Donald Trump embraces Vladimir Putin.  Two of his three remaining GOP opponents, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, whose Cuban parents all fled a Soviet-influenced satellite, are contemptuous of Putin.  Perspectives matter.  

Recall that republican candidate Mitt Romney was ridiculed, in 2012, in a tabletop debate with incumbent Barack Obama when he declared Russia was our number one enemy.  Mr. Obama’s smug response was:  “The Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”  Three years later, Russia has military bases in Syria, has annexed Crimea, and is threatening several NATO-member countries in Eastern Europe.  Speaking of Europe, East and West, it is in the throes of the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, precipitated by Obama’s failure to back up his red line threat in Syria. Whom Americans elect this November has far-reaching, and deadly consequences for the world entire.  It always does.  

This blog is read on every continent except Antartica.  Since I do not usually mention China, I am surprised that it is read more often in Beijing than in the United States.  Look, I’ve lived in England and in Germany during election cycles.  I was able to follow the big themes but had difficulty with the nuances.  The nuance of choice in this Republican Party primary season orbits the meaning, definition, and ownership of the title, CONSERVATIVE.  So, for the 119 countries that have been reading my articles, this blog is for you.

While elected and wannabe republican officials both celebrate and obsess on the 1980 to 1988 administrations of conservative republican Ronald Reagan, the truth is, the truly conservative Reagan was hated by establishment republicans.  Worst, the GOP is frightened by pure-blooded conservatives and have been since the party was obliterated by liberal-democrat Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 when ultra-conservative, republican Senator, and former Air Force General, Barry Goldwater was its standard bearer.  LBJ won 44 of the 50 states with 61.1% of the popular vote.  General Goldwater managed a meager 38.5%.   LBJ’s electoral votes:  486.  The General:  52.  The GOP was beheaded.  

The specter of Goldwater reappeared 12 years later as former California Governor, conservative Ron Reagan, challenged a sitting GOP President, the establishment prototype, Gerald Ford.  By the time the ugly primary season collided with the Republican National Convention in 1976, neither the moderate Ford nor Reagan had garnered the 1130 delegates required to secure the nomination.  In a series of twists and turns in a nasty convention stacked by the establishment against him, Reagan lost on the first ballot.  The uninspiring Ford went on to lose the White House to whiny democrat Jimmy Carter.  

Reagan, in 1980, cruised to the nomination on an agenda that was so conservative it rejected and excoriated the Nixon-Ford-Kissinger doctrine of detente with the Soviet Union.  He crushed his closest competitor, George H.W. Bush, in 29 of 33 primaries.  It was reported that Reagan was disturbed that the establishment choice, Bush, did not withdraw from the race until June, just before the mid-July republican convention.  Reagan, with a surge of crossover voters to include what we call Reagan Democrats, was easily the people’s choice.  The only question at the convention was the selection of a Vice President.  

I was too young and dumb then to understand the behind the scene machinations in play.  In retrospect there were establishment forces at work that promoted an unheard of co-presidency with former President Ford.  Though it appears as though Reagan did entertain this stupid idea, he finally, at the last moment, rejected it.  Then pressed for an alternative late in the day, 11:38 PM on July 16th to be exact, an accommodation was reached, by phone, wherein George Bush agreed to support the full Reagan agenda.  The Reagan-Bush ticket emerged.

I am illustrating some parallels between the Reagan chronicles and the insurgent Trump.  Both men were once democrats, and both men encountered heavy internal resistance from the GOP establishment. I am currently reading Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Reagan and would have preferred to wait until I’d finished before writing this article, however events force me to paint this picture a bit prematurely.  

Recall that Reagan was shot and very nearly killed by John Hinckley, Jr. just 69 days into his presidency, on 30 March 1981.  

  • Hinckley’s father, John Sr., was a major financial contributor to the 1980 campaign of George Bush, as reported by the Houston Post 31 March 1981.  
  • Hinckley’s older brother, Scott, according to an Associated Press article dated 31 March 1981, was to have dined with Neil Bush, the third in the series of four Bush brothers, on the day after the assassination attempt.  The report was corroborated by ABC News TV reporter Stephen Geer.  (You Tube)

The Good Old Party prefers moderates:  Bob Dole, John McCain, Romney, and yes, the Bush Mafia.  The GOP’s moderates tend to lose, which brings into question the party’s aversion to real conservatives.  Thus we have on Capital Hill, what we call RINOs.  Republicans in name only.  

True, Trump is no conservative, he is an opportunist that has tapped into a populist desire for conservative rhetoric.  Hopefully, conservative action follows.  Trump is a creation of the GOP elite, a man born of republican establishment failures to present an opposition voice to the Obama Administration after the republican base delivered majorities in the House of Representatives in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.  The absence of a conservative opposing force exposed the RINOs for what they weren’t. The establishment isn’t conservative, it is just power mad and greedy.

The conservative rank-and-file have figured out that they were being used and exploited by republican politicians that pretended to be conservative.  Consequently, many of us find a born-again, uncouth, and erratic celebrity like Trump preferable to another establishment sell-out.  You know what republican emeritus Abe Lincoln said before he was assassinated:  

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

Trump’s Right: Bush did not protect us

Monday, February 15, 2016

         I have not voted for a democrat presidential candidate since I did so for Jimmy Carter when I was wearing an Afro during my wayward youth, and then just that one time.  I recovered, apologized, and voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. I am certainly not a plantation democrat, despite my Chicago origins.  I am a registered republican.  For the record, I fully support the Donald Trump campaign even though I have not yet decided to vote for him in the March 1st SEC primary.  I’m a long-time conservative and have no doubt that Trump is not.  But I am not looking for a pure breed nominee this election cycle.  I need someone who can fix what President Barack Obama has broken.  I see Trump as that fixer.  However, my first priority is to deny the White House to whatever democrat escapes indictment.  The photogenic Marco Rubio is the man I figure can best do that.  Secondly, our choice of president has national security implications, deep and dark.  I am a soldier.  I measure success or failure with body bags.  I take this election seriously.  America must reverse both domestic and international fortune.

When a new national leader is selected, be it an Ayatollah, prime minister, or a king, the rest of the world assesses whether that individual is strong or weak.  A weak choice invites immediate diplomatic mischief and possibly even a foreign invasion.  It was after the John Kennedy-Nikita Khrushchev summit in Vienna in June of 1961 that the Soviet Premier determined JFK was too young and too weak to keep him from erecting a missile site 90 miles off of the Florida coast.  The result was the October, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that I well remember.  The world entire held its collective breath as it waited to see whether nuclear war was at hand.  I was afraid.  Rarely have Americans feared enemy hostilities on our soil.  Today, once again, we do.  

Look, history, to me, isn’t a science studied under coercion or a periodic box-office hit.  I lived it as a soldier, I loved it from childhood, and I remember it easily.  Recall the angst and consternation of the too-close-to-call 2000 election contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore.  For the first time in my life, the country I loved struggled for six weeks without a peaceful transition of power.  A study conducted jointly by the Miami Herald and USA Today revealed that the 537-vote Bush victory would have widened to a 1,665 margin if the Florida Supreme Court would have allowed a complete recount.  A more comprehensive analysis was undertaken the next month by no less than eight media organizations, to include:  CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune Consortium, and the Associated Press.  No evidence was uncovered to suggest that Gore had prevailed by any measure.  Nevertheless, for the bulk of 2001 democrats, abetted by an uber-liberal 4th Estate, whined vociferously about being cheated by the Supreme Court decision that gave the election to Bush.  The media’s sustained Bush-bashing was damaging and instructive.  Dangerous actually. 

W. Bush, like his younger brother Jeb, didn’t want to run for president.  it was a family obligation imposed on him.  You could see it in his demeanor during the campaign and he said as much in his inaugural speech.  The result was a weak, ineffectual, and damaged president that stayed out of sight.  Bush did not get his sea legs until after America was attacked on 9/11.

Therein lies the rub.  Osama bin Laden was also reading the New York Times and watching CNN and saw the same thing I did.  So OBL struck.  There were 575 more Americans killed on 9/11 than on December 7th, 1941.  Worse, virtually all of the 9/11 dead were civilians whereas the vast majority of Pearl Harbor’s casualties were military.  Trump is right, George W. Bush did not protect us.  Oh yeah, Bush’s security team pumped it up and did well afterwards, but so what?  2,977 of us perished on 9/11.  Had Bush 43 been a resolute leader, able to govern strongly in the face of a terribly biased media, OBL might have had second thoughts about sending his fellow Saudis to blow up New York City.  Even Emperor Hirohito, with the entire Imperial Japanese Navy at his disposal, didn’t try that.  

Furthermore, Bush misled us in 9/11’s aftermath.  While I do not believe he lied, I have, instead, concluded he was mistaken about Saddam’s nuclear arsenal.  A mistake is not a lie, but a good leader does not make those kinds of mistakes.  Again, for the record, WMD includes chemical and biological weapons, so technically Bush was correct, but the impetus to invade Iraq was based on the public perception that Hussein was contemplating nuclear misdeeds, for which he would have to have nuclear weapons. (those weapon systems likley secretly transported to Syria)

I do not have space in this venue to enumerate George W. Bush’s mistakes in Iraq that transformed a military victory into a resounding defeat with his insipid efforts to democratize a medieval nation.  It was the compilation of this series of miscues that rendered his Iraqi campaign a failure.  If Bush would have executed an effective post-war plan-of-action, we might have succeeded well enough to prevent the collapse that occurred when his successor, Barack Obama, cut-and-ran in 2011.  Consequently, I have no option but to agree with Trump again.  The 2003, invasion of Iraq, in which I participated, was another Bush mistake, of epic proportions.    

Furthermore 43’s financially disastrous second term wherein his weak republican White House permitted democrat Senator Chris Dodd and democrat Congressman Barney Frank to mislead Bush on the strength of Fannie Mae, launched the worst mortgage/housing crisis since the Alaskan heat wave of 1929 melted sub-prime igloos.  You see, if you count body bags and track the national debt, Bush was no more a conservative than Trump the First.  So where is the value on insisting on a conservative? 

All that said, the feckless foreign policy of the Obama Administration presses me to agree with Trump on another issue:  Vladimir Putin.  Trump says he can work with Vlad, and Vlad apparently has said nice things about Donald.  Though I keep one eye open at night because I am concerned about a resurgent and aggressive Russia, my concern is, today, a moot point.  When Putin outmaneuvered President Obama and inserted troops and aircraft into Syria last September, Russia became the controlling adult in the Middle East.  I suggest that a positive relationship between Putin and the next American president is essential to putting the lid back on the sandbox.  The antagonistic relationship that exists today has not profited the United States one bit.

I think I may have talked myself into voting for Trump.  We shall see.

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