Monday, February 19, 2007

I guess I moved

When I changed over to the new blogger.

Now at

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Will Part II

Why are so many against the war for so many reasons? Victor Davis Hanson is prescient in his book "An Autumn of War" in describing the reasons why we should not go to war. He also predicted the next step would be Iraq. His assertions about academia match those of Walid Phares in "Future Jihad."

A great topic for investigative journalism would be to check the funding by fundamental Islamic groups, both organizations such as CAIR, academic programs and special interest. Also look at the various demographics of support and opposition to the war.

Raphael Patai in his book "The Arab Mind" shows how Arab Historians recognized that the Arab world went static and then into a decline in the 16th century. That colonization and Israel are excuses for a culture that is anti-modern in so many ways.

The point of citing the sources up above is to show that I've been doing a lot of research. Part of me really does want to be guilty of what we are being accused of, American Imperialism and Empire. But J.R. Dunn shows the problems with this. And frankly, it is against the values of freedom that we hold. But is supported by the values of security.

President Bush is playing a long-term game. By establishing a Democracy in an Arab Muslim country he is hoping they will begin to reform themselves and join the 21st century. The problem, is keeping our will long enough to make this work.

No one should doubt the American Military's ability to lay waste to the Middle East. Look how quickly we defeated the Iraqi Army. The reason Israel didn't clean house in the last brief war, is their military was constrained from doing so. Whether it was internal constraints or American, I don't know. I do know that America does not have the will to commit genocide and try to wipe out whole countries. This is one of the things that makes America great, even though our enemies see it as a weakness.

Hanson argues for more force. Using a variety of examples including the Civil War and the outcomes WWI and WWII he shows where a crushing defeat makes for a lasting peace. And America goes into places like Bosnia and Panama, gets rid of the dictator and then lets the local population take it from there. That is not Empire Building. If we did build empires, Japan and Germany's official languages would be American English and they would be very different countries today. And so would Canada and Mexico for that matter.

I believe we should get rid of Political Correctness. Basically is says you can't have a discussion if you offend someone. To shut down an argument, all someone has to do is say I'm offended. You can't have Democratic discussions and values in an environment like that.

I believe we need to concentrate on effective actions, not things that sound good. You can put measurements around effective actions.

We need to realize this war is against Islamofacists. They do not fight by the rules of war; they are not protected by the Geneva Conventions. We need to quite hassling grandmothers from Minnesota with knitting needles in the bag at the airport and concentrate on young males from the Middle East, and of Middle Eastern descent (This is unfortunately expanding also to females, as the plot of husband and wife to help bomb an airplane over in London showed.) They are the majority of the problem. This will cause many innocent people to be discriminated against. I ask for their understanding and their help. Islam needs a reformation that will support existing in the 21st century. Not only do they need to abandon violence, but they need to adopt some Western values including the equality of women, freedom of speech, and treating all people with respect. As you sow, so shall you reap. You can not get respect if you don't give it.

I believe we need to quit supporting dictatorships and theocracies in the name of stability or some other misplaced ideal. We need to support governments that we would want to live under.

We need to drive the use of nuclear power and alternative energy sources, especially for transportation. To cut down or even eliminate the need for oil is vital. Our petrol dollars fund our enemies.

We need to quit worrying about what other countries say about us. You can't please everyone. Only the US is concerned about US security. Over half the UN is worried that they are on our threat list, and they could be next. Of course they will talk about how mean we are.

We need to secure our boarders (and yes we need a guest worker program, but that is an economic discussion).

We need to start teaching some history in schools and that American Democratic and Capitalistic values are what made this country great. The only way you can make sure everyone is equal is by pulling down the guys on top. The guys on the bottom are there because they don't know how to climb, you can't pull them up. Capitalism is a meritocracy, it rewards success. We can't be responsible for Every Tom, Jose and Abdullah. They have to take responsibility for their own success or failure.

Most of all we need our Congress and Senate to stop worrying about who is in power and concentrate on the future and safety of our children. We need open and honest discussion. This also means that our MSM needs to facilitate the discussion. Blogs are great for allowing people with the same thoughts to discuss and refine their ideas, but there is very little real debate taking place.

I think 50 years from now President Bush is going to be regarded as a great leader for overcoming so many obstacles and doing the right thing.

One final thought. If we do not support the President's strategy, then that limits our options to continued attacks. We will either continue to live with those attacks, or we will adopt a scorched earth policy. I think he has chosen the hardest choice, and the best one.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Visiting with family over the holidays we discussed the situation in Iraq. My mother remarked she hoped we were done by the 2008 elections. My reply was this has been building since Turkey turned Secular in the 1920's. This problem has been building for 80 years, and we are not going after the heart of it.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote a very interesting article for the Military History Quarterly discussing how it was Sherman, not Grant, which ended the Civil War in the most human terms possible. In short, Sherman was not a murdering rapist. He did plunder, but he was careful to take and destroy from the Confederate Government and the Slave Owning Gentry who in his view started the war. While he did burn and steal, he tried to leave the poor alone; they did not kill women and children, and only returned fire when attacked. Yet Sherman brought war home in a way that broke the Confederacy, attacking not the manpower, but the ability to support the manpower.

Further, there are reports coming out of Iraq of success. Slow, to be sure, but success. However, Iran is supporting the insurgency. Iran is working towards obtaining nuclear weapons. No one seems to dispute either of those 2 claims, and yet we are not addressing either issue militarily. Diplomacy hasn't worked to date. There are reports that predict the economy of Iran will collapse in 5-10 years because the infrastructure that supports oil export is being ignored. Most of the money is going to Iran's nuclear program. Also, Whabist Oil Money, read Saudi Arabia, is still out there funding a lot of the backbone of the Islamofacists.

Attacking either Iran or Saudi Arabia seems unthinkable in the current scope of things. Saudi is supposed to be our friend after all. But, let's face it, they have their own agenda. But I don't know as much as President Bush. We do have limits, and I don't even know all of the limits he faces. But one limit we are currently facing is the will of the American People.

Having the will to win might not guarantee that you win, but it will prevent you from losing by giving up. 30 years latter, the picture of Vietnam is becoming clear, we were winning militarily in Vietnam, we lost our will at home. Will Iraq become another Vietnam? In a fight, you get hit. In a war, you loose soldiers even as you are winning. Just because the other side is fighting back does not mean we are loosing.

Be clear, the Islamofacist goal is to spread their brand of Islam world wide. They want the world to look like Afghanistan under the Taliban. Today is just the latest chapter in the ongoing history to spread Islam. The US and the Western World are just the most potent adversaries and the ones they are focusing on, but the goal is world domination.

So why are we not fighting harder. I've asked in an earlier post, are we at war?

One of the big limits in our Democracy is the support of the public. Our press aids and abets the enemy. How much coverage has been given to what motivates the Islamofacists? How much has been aired about their goals? How much has been aired about our soldiers being killed, and our setbacks? How much about our enemies set backs? How much of this has affected public perspective and support?

Our grandparents defeated Germany and Japan in WWII in such a way that their children and grandchildren would not be required to do it all over again. We are not thinking about our children. We whine about our imperfections and refuse to look at why the US is so much better than Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. We are not perfect, but we are worth fighting for.

Little problems grow to be big problems, and big problems can grow to defeat if not hit with everything you can muster. In a shipboard fire, you don't use a graduated response. You hit it with everything you can as fast as you can, until the fire is out. The consequences are too severe otherwise. Islamofacism is the fire onboard our ship-the planet earth.

In the end, I don't believe Islamofacism will win. The question is what will be the final cost? The less you fight the fire, the more it burns and destroys.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Putting It All Together

The defining issue of our time, and our Children's is the war with Islam. Not the war on terrorism-Islam. I hate writing that as at one point I had an excellent friend who was Muslim, and I have wrestled with this issue. But at its heart, with Shira, with convert them by intimidation or the sword, we can NOT coexist with Islam. These are core values of Islam. I know that is not PC, more on that in a moment.

People aren't perfect. The Christian Ideal is Jesus, and some of us are much closer than others, but we must learn to forgive. My daughter is at that stage where "It would be a lot easier if people would just..." So I try to teach her the Dilbert Principle "We are all idiots” and the Christian Corollary to that is we all need forgiveness.

Now, we are all responsible for our actions. A beaten wife cooperates with her husband who beats her. This is harsh, but read the literature. The struggle is to get those women to believe it and to get enough confidence to leave. At that point, you can help. But you should only forgive the SOB when he admits it, and when he changes. You can't excuse him because he grew up in a house where it is normal (cough sounding like Shira).

Sara has a great blog about the change in our country between 1940 and 1970. We lost faith in ourselves. My own pet theory is we saw Utopia, or Camelot coming, and when it didn't show, our balloon burst. We couldn't forgive ourselves for not reaching perfection.

It took Christendom a long time, and some pretty poor behavior before we integrated Christ's message. We are all brothers and sisters, treat others as you want to be treated, love your neighbor as yourself. But we kept falling down on the job. Finally some people got fed up with a variety of things and moved to the new world. Look at the statistics, much more dangerous than joining the Army and going to Iraq. Yet men brought their whole families. My God! What were they thinking? That ideals are worth dying for, that making the world a better place is worth sacrifice? There's a Professor in Tennessee that might have forgotten some of his history.

But those settles, when framing the constitution, let experience be their guide because "Reason can lead us astray" (Wish I could remember who said that-but I love the quote). Essentially, we can out-think ourselves, we need to be practical. One of those major practicalities was-The Separation of Church and State. The Islamofacists see us as a Christian Nation, and that is our history. And, we weren’t always as tolerant as we are today; we had to grow into our ideals. But today, we are the most tolerant society. (Some may point to some of the European countries, please don't mix up apathetic with tolerance. Americans by every know survey are much more religious and therefore much more tolerant). This is important point because our laws are our best wisdom to date and accommodate this tolerance. It is important to understand our laws are our ideals. We have law breakers, botched court cases, imperfect judges and juries, and slanted reporting ( a whole nother subject). But here's a secret, for the most part our justice system works pretty good. Life isn't perfect.

I'm not saying we can't improve, we can. But it is a struggle, a mountain we will never climb to the top, and we will become tired and discouraged from time to time. But we still need to climb and not condemn ourselves for not making it to the top.

Between Korea, Vietnam and Watergate we lost our confidence and we haven't gained forgiveness. We haven't gained, or re-gained our ideals.

And because of this, we have people who ignore our 400 years of American History to make this the greatest nation on Earth by almost any measure. That progress on built on top of 1600-1900 years of European History including the Enlightenment and the Reformation. Islam is still stuck in the 7th century. Professor, do you want your daughter to only be allowed to wear a tent and to be some yahoo's property? Not the world I want my daughter to live in. Mom doesn't either. Yes, I admit it; I'm an unabashed American Patriot. One who believes that America is not perfect, but one who believes we have room to improve if We Don't Give Up.

Now a little subject jump that fits in. Last week at work I came in to the break room just as a guy took the last cup of coffee, put the pot on the back burner and left. I glared at him, he saw it, and neither of us said anything. He was not WASP, it was potentially my job if I said anything and he objected. The PCers have put the fear in us WASPS (I can't help it, I was born this way). My wife works in HR, and HR in big companies is about protecting the company, period-end of statement-the employee has very little place in that statement and we know it. I can't call a jerk a jerk without fear of being fired. The rumor mill has stories and I have responsibilities with a daughter about to go to college. This bugs me. I feel I didn't live up to my ideals in a way, but my family has to come first. At least, I keep telling myself this.

The point being Political Correctness will not let us call a spade a spade. We can't say that there is a major problem with Islam. The Islam of the Islamofacists Terrorists is a lot more widespread than a lot of people want to believe. It is not a minority, it is a majority. Most people are sane enough to avoid conflict As David Grossman points out in his book On Combat, fighting is the universal human phobia. Doesn't mean they won't support others who do go to fight through. I'm willing to coexist with Islam if they go through a Reformation-they have to get past converting people with the sword. I agree with Pope Benedict on that. (His message was that simple, and look how pissed Muslims got about it)

The President of the US does not have unlimited power. He has quite a few limits. Our country quite rightly would not accept a religious war. (Doesn't mean that one can't be made against us however.) I think Bush is very smart. But just as every Greek Hero has his flaw, Bush has a few too. But if you resort to name calling, you're not dealing with the substance of the argument. Which, by the way, is what kind of world and what kind of decisions are we leaving our kids and grand-kids? The point is Bush is trying to do the best he can. Europe isn't helping themselves. Congress is more about who holds a majority than doing the right thing (Congress' approval rating is way below the President's). We haven't mobilized the way we did for WWII. Heck, Defense spending is half of what is was for Vietnam just based on GDP. The thing is, we are NOT AT WAR. There has been no Declaration Of War by Congress. The President has many expanded powers during war. I would love to see the New York Times who publishes classified documents routinely prosecuted for sedition, but we need a Declaration Of War for that to happen. And we haven't done it. Congress hasn't even dealt with the legal status of the Detainees in Gitmo. We are hiding from the problem. Sounds like WWI and WWII to me-all over again.

We need to be free to discuss these issues openly. The Islamofacists think they brought down Russia, and that we are next on the list. Sorry, most of America is still engaged in their normal lives. Other than gripping about air port security, the majority of population is not much effected. My real concern with Iraq is have we placed too many limits on ourselves. There are too many good reasons to be there and to try to do what we are doing.

One scenario that has occupied my imagination lately is what if the enemy gets and uses biological weapons. Nukes and Chemical weapons are area limited. A biological weapon could spread across the country. How would we react? I know I would loose any moral limits I have, and I don't think that is a good thing.

But the point is we are not discussing what we are doing. Too many people on both sides resort to name calling. If the best you can do is make fun of the President's grades, you aren't discussing, you're not arguing. You are just being pointlessly mean. (The press loves name calling, it makes people pay attention to the reporter or the article. Few things are more polarizing than name calling. Of course, it is counter productive to the overall issue-but it sells)

The problem here is the sheep and sheepdogs operate on different fundamental assumptions. The same input goes in, different answers come out. Until we can discuss some of the assumptions and some to grips with those, the answers will continue to be different.

Well, this has gone on long enough. But I still haven't answered how we come to grips with different assumptions (morals). You don't suppress free speech (Which by the way is different from the NYT publishing classified documents). I haven't touched on the plethora of faults of the MSM in covering these issues. We haven't touched on how to conduct such a war (way over my pay grade, but like any good red blooded American I have opinions). We haven't discussed border security or illegal aliens (yes, related issue). We haven't discussed energy policy (our petro-dollars fund our enemies). We haven't discussed...well, you get the idea. This is a central issue, but not the only important one, and they all tie together. And as much as I read and study, I'm still ignorant of what is truely going on.

So for now, God Bless America, God Bless our Troops, and God Bless the President.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Are We At War?

I haven’t blogged in a long-long while. Mostly because what needs to be said is being done so by others, some because it has been busy at home, and some because I’ve been doing some reading and thinking. Usually after this much time, I’ve figured some things out, but mostly I still have questions. One, as you can guess from the title of this post is, Are we at War?

I’m not pocking fun of our service members when I ask this, but of our politicians. I don’t get to listen to Rush Limbaugh every day, usually only if I have to go to a meeting that requires driving. A couple of weeks ago, I heard some Aussie filling in and he said exit strategies are for losers. In economics, you never throw good money after bad, as soon as you realize that it was a bad decision, you quit the project and cut your losses. I think it is obvious though that war is different than building condos or some other investment. In a war, you don’t quit until you are forced to quit. And remember, people make mistakes and the enemy will (not try) hurt you in a war. If you are of a mind that war is wrong no matter what the reason, quit reading now. I do believe that the only justification for war is self-defense, but I also believe in acting preemptively. This may cause you to win a battle, but you will get hurt in war.

Many people seem to believe we should withdraw from Iraq because we never should have invaded in the first place. WMD was a lie and all that. But let’s take a step back and try to bound the problem with our two extremes, do nothing or declare war on all Muslims (What Osama wanted).

If we do nothing, we let the barbarian fascists run amok. Afghanistan would still be under the Taliban and Hussein would still be killing hundreds of his own citizens a month. They are people over there. Should we be the world’s policeman? Ideally no, but look at the corruption and ineffectiveness of the UN. It’s kind of like letting the mob run the New York City Police Department. Or, you can take the cowboy approach, it needs doing, I’m here and can do it, I’ll do it. Not in our national interest to do this? The terrorism we face is multi-national. No nation has stood up and declared war on the US in the sense of delivering a declaration or war to our ambassador, but there are nations supporting the terrorists and the madras that indoctrinate future terrorists. Regardless, if we do nothing, our citizens would continue to die in the kinds of attacks we saw in the 90’s, with a World Trade Center type attack, every so often. Our citizens would NOT be safe at home or abroad, which is, lets face it, part of the government’s job. The 9/11 memorials made me remember the anger, but that is past. What is not past is the determination, never again. Do we leave our children as random targets?

The other alternative is to wipe out every Muslim on earth. I hope everyone finds that as distasteful as I do. A holocaust for Muslims, we know what that would make us.

And so, we are left with a middle ground.

Now, if you have made the decision to go to war, the only thing left is strategy and tactics. I won’t go into the tactics, but let’s look at some of the things that effect our strategy.

FDR made the decision in WWII to get the European powers to spend their manpower, we would supply the materials and as few people as we could get away with. We still lost almost 500,000 men, but this was a pittance compared to other European countries. We emerged a super power because we were the only country with an industrial base and a population. Cold blooded to be sure, but that is what the President gets paid to do. But as a super power, we have limits. Less of our GDP goes to the military now than during the Vietnam War. We aren’t rationing like in WWII. None of my neighbors have a kid or husband over there. Being former Military, some of my friends who have stayed in are effected, but I can see whole groups of people who aren’t effected. There is no special war-time tax. And worst of all, it seems to be more of a political event. The Democrats use every mistake (and there are lots of them in a war, because people are involved) and every setback (our enemies keep fighting, darn them) to say the Shrub is incompetent, dumb, etc.. I hear they would do better, but they don’t release a lot of details other than they would do better at building an international consensus. Here’s some news, Countries act in their own best interest, and the European Powers are doing that. The Democrats are not asking how can we do things better, win the war faster. They are just throwing sand in the Republican Gears. I call that aiding and abetting the enemy.

I’m not saying that I’m not for a healthy debate. I am; problem is I don’t see any healthy debate. In this instance, I mean that if we all agree on the goal (which I don’t think we do), then how do we get there?

But let’s take the goal first. I see bumper sticker that say “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kerry” or the people who say “Bush isn’t my President, I didn’t vote for him.” Well, I didn’t vote for Clinton, but he was my President. In a Democracy you go along with the majority, even if you disagree. After 9/11 we declare a war on terror. It is no longer open to debate and everyone needs to support it. Sorry, but it is that simple.

So a healthy debate is - how do we carry out the war? We had lots of debate before the Iraqi invasion. Hussein had plenty of time to either prepare his WMD for use or hide it. Lots of other posts by others have covered every aspect of our decision to invade Iraq. Here is something else that is simple-we did it, so how do we deal with the situation? I don’t see any good information coming out of Iraq, at least not in a condensed and reliable form. If we withdraw from Iraq, we will appear weak to our enemies. This is fine if it is part of a strategy, but a very bad idea if it is real weakness. It is okay to embolden our enemies if that will cause them to attack us, specifically to attack our troops. That is our soldier’s job after all, to kill our enemies. How do we get our enemies to show themselves? Invade a country maybe?

One of the things that makes the 21st century so different is the internet, because of the freedom of information that it brings. Satellites, CNN, etc all play their part too. Our press has shown way too much willingness to publish things that help the enemy and hurt our efforts to fight (NSA programs for instance). The question then, is how much health debate belongs in the public eye. I would like to say none, but then you only leave the unhealthy stuff, of which we hear too much. One thing I guarantee you, the President has access to a lot more information than you or I do. He has a lot more time in his day to study what is going on, and a lot of time to debate what we are trying to do. But I do have to say I worry that he gets enough healthy debate. When all you face are bad decisions, you have to pick the lesser evil; this is where the debate comes in.

But I do believe our oil money is going to fund a lot of these terrorists. I do wish the President would do more to divorce us from foreign oil. We need a national energy policy, one that makes more use of nuclear energy. With nuclear you can make hydrogen and from there you can have cars run on alternative energy. But we don’t hear any debate about that, not even from the tree hugging Democrats. And yes, nuclear energy is safe, and would be even safer with newer technology. Nuclear waste, we need to process it, not bury it. A war time tax of $0.50/gal would go a long way to making that happen.

I would also like to see the New York Times prosecuted for leading classified information. The media as a neutral reporter is a myth. Anyone, who has ever done an investigation, has to sift through people’s viewpoints. Even people who mean to be helpful and truthful are biased, it’s a people thing. What I’m trying to say is journalists and newspapers are biased and any pretense of neutrality is just that, pretense. An honest paper would at least have two reports with two different points of view. And let’s not even start with in-depth investigations (they take so long and are so expensive, Photo Shop and Palestinian stringers are so cheap). Democracies are very prone to information wars, and we are in one, from the inside. The press is a watchdog on our government, but there is no courage or integrity without consequence. Many civil rights activists went to jail or were beaten - their moral stand had unpleasant consequences, which in the end made the country a better place. But how does outing an NSA surveillance program make us safer? It had oversight, it was legal, it was against non-citizens. But the NYT publishes this information, and there is no consequence-other than maybe declining readership. There was no moral stand here, and no courage. And worse, in no way did this help America, it helped our enemies. During a war, don’t you go after traitors?

And so I ask, are we at war? What are we going to leave to our children, our nieces and nephews, the kids down the street we see growing up?

As I proof read the above, I see lots of places to elaborate, but I’m already at 3 pages, which I think is a blog limit. Buy hey, maybe I’ll gets some comments and we can get a debate going.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Operation Iraqi Children

Please head over to Michael Yon's site and read about this cause. Great comment towards the end of the article: "It’s not just about enlightened altruism; the Iraqi children struggling to learn in poorly supplied schools today are the same leaders that our own children will deal with tomorrow. Today’s generosity can characterize that relationship for generations to come." This is why the terrorist attack the children and the humanitarian missions. If they can prevent education they can prevent progress.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006



Maybe cool only for Submarine Bloggers but check this out at Chapomatic. BZ! Hat tip to Bubblehead