Thursday, 10 June 2010

MARJAH: THREATENING A NON-EXISTENT "U.S. WIN"

Ken Berwitz

Here is the headline, and first section, of an article I just read at msnbc.com which, apparently, was taken from the Washington Post.  The headline appears to be a concoction of MSNBC, not the Post:

Resurgent Taliban threatens U.S. win in Marja

'There's still a long way to go,' Marine commander says amid daily firefights

 

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran

updated 1 hour, 57 minutes ago

 

MARJA, Afghanistan - Residents of this onetime Taliban sanctuary see signs that the insurgents have regained momentum in recent weeks, despite early claims of success by U.S. Marines. The longer-than-expected effort to secure Marja is prompting alarm among top American commanders that they will not be able to change the course of the war in the time President Obama has given them.

Firefights between insurgents and security forces occur daily, resulting in more Marine fatalities and casualties over the past month than in the first month of the operation, which began in mid-February.

Marines and Afghan troops have made headway in this farming community, but every step forward, it seems, has been matched by at least a half-step backward

Two-thirds of the stalls in Marja's main bazaar have reopened, but the only baker fled the area a week ago after insurgents kidnapped his son in retaliation for selling to foreign troops and the police.

Men have begun to allow their burqa-clad wives to venture out of their homes, but an effort by female Marines to gather local women for a meeting last week drew not a single participant.

Slow progress
The Afghan government has assigned representatives to help deliver basic services to the population, but most of them spend their days in the better-appointed provincial capital 20 miles to the northeast.

"We've come a long way," said Lt. Col. Cal Worth, the commander of one of the two Marine infantry battalions in Marja. "But there's still a long way to go."

The slow and uneven progress has worried senior military officials in Kabul and Washington who intended to use Marja as a model to prove that more troops and a new war strategy can yield profound gains against the Taliban. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, told officers here in late May that there is a growing perception that Marja has become "a bleeding ulcer."

Maybe I'm just a little dense.  Can someone explain to me where the term "U.S. Win" comes into play here?

That headline can mean one of two things:  either than the U.S. won and its victory is being threatened after the fact, or that the "resurgent" taliban is threatening the likelihood of a win the U.S. has not yet attained.  Two points jump out at me:

1) How can we have won if the Taliban is still a significant force and is still effectively fighting our troops?  That's no "win" by any standard I know;

2) Of course the enemy threatens a win.  That's the definition of what enemies do.  Warring sides each try to win at the expense of the other.  It would be just as true to say that the U.S. is threatening a win by the taliban.  The claim, therefore, is meaningless blather.

So what we have here is either a bunch of baloney or a bunch of meaningless blather.

What we don't have, is any logic behind trying to go beyond what President Bush accomplished in Afghanistan.

Does this administration really think that tribal leaders - even the ones who say they will - are going to side with the hated United States?  Especially when the President has made it clear that he is committed to taking our forces out in the next year or two? 

These people aren't leaving with the troops, they will have to stay where they are and face the taliban without US protection.  Look what the taliban does to women who wear western clothes and men who shave their beards or get the wrong haircut, for god sake.  What does this administration think they will do to collaborators? 

The sad truth is that our window of opportunity in Afghanistan ends at keeping the taliban out of the major cities (no small feat in and of itself).  We are not capable of doing more. 

The USSR paid dearly to find out how limited its prospects were in Afghanistan.  President Bush learned from their experience, so his strategy minimized our exposure, thus our casualties. 

But President Obama didn't learn a thing.  He is leading us down a dead-end street in that woebegone country.  And our wonderful "neutral" media still cannot bring themselves to call him on it. 

Maybe they eventually will do so, but are waiting until after the November elections, so Mr. Obama's party won't suffer the consequences of his Afghanistan policy. 

Is that how far our media have fallen?


MIKE PENCE ON THE OBAMA POLICY TOWARDS ISRAEL'S BLOCKADE OF GAZA

Ken Berwitz

Mike Pence (R-Indiana), speaking about President Obama's reaction to Israel's blockade of Gaza:

 

We all grieve the loss of life that occurred last week when a flotilla designed to challenge Israels effective blockade of Gaza ended in military confrontation. But Israel has a right to defend itself.

The history is clear in that region; Gaza is controlled by a terrorist organization known as Hamas. Hamas used Gaza as a launching pad for thousands of rockets that killed innocent civilians in Israel. Israel responded with military force and has instituted a blockade that has saved lives in Gaza and in Israel. And theres no humanitarian crisis. Ten thousand tons of food and medical supplies are transferred into Gaza every single week.

Remarkably, yesterday the president said it was time for Israel to sharply limit its effective blockade in Gaza, saying the situation in Gaza is unsustainable.

The truth is, Mr. President, your policy in Israel is unsustainable.

The American people are on the side of Israel and Israels right to defend herself.

Mr. President, whose side are you on?

Amen.

Now, when do we hear something like this from a Democrat?


EXTREMIST VIOLENCE MOST MEDIA SOMEHOW DON'T NOTICE

Ken Berwitz

How many times, especially in the past couple of months, have you heard that rhetoric from the right is promoting extremist violence? How many times have you heard that Tea Partiers, in particular, are a prime cause of such violence (even though the video from their events never seems to show it)?

Well, here are excerpts from two blogs at www.newsbusters.org today that may be of interest to you:

From Tom Blumers blog, about President Obama's constant talking-down of BP:

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds employed sarcastic irony this morning when he wrote that "Obamas hate speech is promoting violence against BP." Well, it's at least clear that the blame game out of Washington isn't helping the situation.

Reynolds is referring to a report from TV station WREG in Memphis about an incident involving property damage at a local BP station, and other instances that have occurred in other parts of the country (video is at the link):

Bullets Shatter Glass at BP Gas Station

(Southaven, MS) -- Windows at the BP Gas Station on Highway 51 at Custer Drive were shot out overnight. Folks who work at the store believe the suspects were expressing anger over BP and how it's handling the oil spill.

"I believe that would be the reason," said Alex Saleh. "We don't have any enemies." He said nothing was taken from the store after the windows were destroyed.


From Noel Sheppards blog, about keith olbermann's attack on the Rabbi who taped helen thomas:

The rabbi that caught her disgusting comments on videotape and put them on the Internet has received 25,000 hate-email messages - and counting.

Hours after MSNBC's Keith Olbermann actually called Rabbi David Nesenoff one of his "Worst Persons in the World," CBS-TV in New York reported the vicious electronic attacks streaming into the rabbi's inbox like a "ticker tape"

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: As we're talking here, right now, the emails on my email are like a ticker tape. It's been this way for a week. It's going, going, going. 

MORRISON: 25,000 and counting -- messages like: 

"The Jews need to go home just like the filthy illegals that plague America, same (expletive)." 

"I know your type you gentile hating Jew boy. Come and face me turd. I'll smash u under my boot." 

"Hitler was right. Time for you to go back in the oven." 

Most of the senders not even bothering to hide their email addresses. 

Where are the vast majority of our wonderful "neutral" media on these rhetoric-inspired instances of extremist violence?  The answer is.....elsewhere.

Then they wonder why people call them biased.


OBAMA'S REFUSAL TO ACCEPT HELP WITH THE OIL RIG DISASTER

Ken Berwitz

I sit here slack-jawed, as I post the following article from www.foreignpolicy.com .  Please note the date of its publication.  Then pay special attention to the paragraphs I have put in bold print:

U.S. not accepting foreign help on oil spill

Posted By Josh Rogin Thursday, May 6, 2010 - 10:52 AM

When State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley refused to tell reporters which countries have offered assistance to help respond to the BP oil spill, the State Department press corps was flabbergasted.

"As a policy matter, we're not going to identify those offers of assistance until we are able to see, you know, what we need, assess the ongoing situation. And as we accept those offers of assistance, we will inform you," Crowley said.

Reporters pointed out that the Bush administration identified assistance offers after the Katrina disaster, so what is this, a new policy? They pressed Crowley, but he refused to budge.

Then they mentioned Iran's offer of assistance, through its National Iranian Drilling Company. Crowley said there was no Iranian offer of assistance, at least in any official capacity. The reporters kept on it, asking why it was taking so long to figure out what was needed in the first place? That's the Coast Guard's decision, Crowley explained.

 

Late Wednesday evening, the State Department emailed reporters identifying the 13 entities that had offered the U.S. oil spill assistance. They were the governments of Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations. 

"These offers include experts in various aspects of oil spill impacts, research and technical expertise, booms, chemical oil dispersants, oil pumps, skimmers, and wildlife treatment," the email read.

"While there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet, the U.S. Coast Guard is assessing these offers of assistance to see if there will be something which we will need in the near future."

The Obama administration has been relentless in its messaging that it is doing everything possible to aggressively respond to the oil spill. But for the record, the current message to foreign governments is: Thanks but no thanks, we've got it covered.

 

A State Department official, speaking on background, said that the decision not to initially release the names of offering countries came directly from the State Department leadership.

Can this possibly be?  If so, why the hell is President Obama refusing this help?

And, why the hell have our media not been all over it for the past month?


A SALUTE TO HELEN THOMAS

Ken Berwitz

Who says helen thomas disgraced herself with those comments about Israel and Jews?

Look at how strong her support is from at least one source, as reported by AFP (Agence France Presse):

Hezbollah on Wednesday saluted veteran US reporter Helen Thomass courage for her controversial comments against Israel, which sparked a furor and forced her to retire.

 Respected American journalist Helen Thomass answer shows a courageous, bold, honest and free opinion which expresses what people across the globe believe: that Israel is a racist state of murderers and thugs,  Hezbollah MP Hussein Moussawi said in a statement.

Hmmmm. Courageous, bold, honest and free opinion.....isn't that what a lot of our wonderful "neutral" media are also saying about thomas? 

Kinda gives you something to think about............


ALVIN GREENE: REPUBLICAN???!!!

Ken Berwitz

Say you're a Democrat in South Carolina.  What do you do when the voters in your primary nominate an unknown, unemployed nobody who is facing felony obscenity charges?

You blame Republicans, that's what.

I swear this is real.  Let me show you, by excerpting from an article at thehill.com:

Clyburn says S.C. Dem Senate candidate is a 'plant,' calls for probe

By Michael O'Brien - 06/10/10 07:37 AM ET

 

The man nominated as Democrats' candidate for Senate in South Carolina might have been a "plant," a high-ranking Democrat suggested Thursday.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called on the U.S. Attorney's office in South Carolina to investigate the circumstances that led to Alvin Greene winning the Democratic primary for Senate in the state earlier this week.

"There were some real shenanigans going on in the South Carolina primary," Clyburn said during an appearance on the liberal Bill Press radio show. "I don't know if he was a Republican plant; he was someone's plant."

 

The third-ranking House Democrat said he found it strange that Greene, a relative unknown prior to Tuesday, was able to produce the money to register and run for Senate, despite being unemployed. Greene allegedly tried to pay in cash, and Clyburn said he wondered whether or not an outside party might have funded that and Greene's campaign, in violation of federal campaign finance laws.

Despite having no real campaign or prior political support in the state, Greene won the primary to face Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) this fall with nearly 59 percent of the vote -- almost 100,000 votes.

The South Carolina Democratic Party called on Greene on Wednesday to drop out of the race after the Associated Press reported that the candidate is facing felony charges for having allegedly displayed pornographic images to a college student.

Does Mr. Clyburn think we are all brain dead?  Based on what he is saying, it is hard not to make that assumption.

Alvin Greene won the Democratic nomination in a landslide.  By almost 100,000 votes.  Does he think that it was Republicans voting in the Democratic primary?

Look, I don't blame James Clyburn and other Democrats for being as embarrassed as they are about Greene.  But does he make things better by blaming Republicans for the nominee his own party's voters selected?   Or does he just sound like a complete idiot and/or someone who thinks his party's voters are complete idiots?

You tell me.

free` Why not blame the R's, hell the president and top leaders of congress do it all the time. (06/10/10)


FOR THE JEWS WHO VOTED OBAMA IN 2008....

Ken  Berwitz

From www.gatewaypundit.com:

Obama Poses For Photos With Abbas But Banned Cameras With Netanyahu

Posted by Jim Hoft on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 6:16 AM

 

Do you remember when Jesse Jackson said that under Obama Jews would lose all of their clout?
He was right.




U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) at the White House in Washington, June 9, 2010. Obama hosted Abbas at the White House on Wednesday seeking to ensure that fallout from Israels Gaza flotilla raid does not derail fragile U.S.-led peace efforts. (REUTERS)

 

Barack Obama would not allow any photos taken of him with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he came to the White House for a visit in March.

It figures.



(AP)

 

Abbas probably didnt have to wait for him to go eat, either.

According to the exit polls, 78% of US Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008.  Presumably, most of them support Israel.

I hope they're happy with what they got.  Speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you I am not.


WHY WE FIGHT RADICAL ISLAM (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Why do we fight radical islam?  Every now and again it's good to remind ourselves of the answer. 

From an article in today's New York Daily News:

A 7-year-old boy accused of being a spy was hanged by Taliban militants, according to published reports Thursday.

The child was allegedly put on trial by the militant group and later found guilty of working for Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's government, reports the Daily Mail.

Karzai called the act a "crime against humanity."

"I don't think there's a crime bigger than that that even the most inhuman forces on earth can commit," Karzai said.

The child was publicly hanged in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province, a local official told The Associated Press.

"A 7-year-old boy cannot be a spy," Karzai added. "A 7-year-old boy cannot be anything but a seven-year-old boy, and therefore hanging or shooting to kill a seven-year-old boy... is a crime against humanity."

Violence is on the rise in June as the U.S. prepares a major summertime operation to cleanse the region of Taliban commanders.

At least 17 U.S. service members have been killed in the past four days, including four Americans who died Wednesday when insurgents in Helmand province's Sangin district - one of the most volatile in the country and where the 7-year-old boy was hanged - shot down a NATO helicopter.

As news of the hanging unfolded, the war-torn country was hit with further tragedy as a suicide bomber hit a wedding party, killing at least 40 and severely wounding more than 70 people.

Several children were among the dead and wounded. Bits of flesh and severed limbs covered the site.

If we fight radical Islam we may win and we may lose.  But if we don't fight, we will most assuredly lose, because radical Islam will fight regardless.

And if we lose, our culture will be ended.  To be replaced by what?  A world in which 7 year olds are "tried" by religious fanatics and hung for being spies?  A world in which suicide bombers kill people by the dozen at wedding receptions?

That is why we fight radical Islam.

And that is why we play political games - like declining to even use the term "radical Islam" and sending terrorists through the civil court system - at our own peril.


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