Monday, 14 June 2010

AFGHANISTAN & THE NONEXISTENT COMMANDER IN CHIEF

Ken Berwitz

Here is the New York Times' entire lead editorial this morning.  See if you notice anyone missing from it:

Editorial

Taking Stock in Afghanistan

Published: June 13, 2010

 

There are not a lot of good weeks in Afghanistan. But last week was particularly bad. At least 26 American or NATO soldiers were killed in attacks by insurgents. The commanding general, Stanley McChrystal, announced that his long promised offensive in the Talibans home base of Kandahar would be delayed for months.

 

Then The Times reported that Afghan officials say President Hamid Karzai is trying to strike a secret deal with the Taliban and Pakistan and doubts that the Americans and NATO can ever defeat the insurgents.

General McChrystals counterinsurgency strategy still seems like the best chance to stabilize Afghanistan and get American troops home. His aim is to push militants out of key cities and towns and quickly build up effective local governments so residents have the incentive and means to help stop extremists from returning.

That theory ran into harsh reality the first time General McChrystal tried to apply it, in the city of Marja, a lesser Taliban stronghold. Four months after American troops drove fighters out of Marjas center, there is no functioning government, international aid programs lag, and the Taliban are coming back. A surge of assassinations of local officials in Marja and Kandahar has made Afghans all the more fearful about cooperating with the Americans and their own government.

We have not seen a full assessment of the Marja operation. General McChrystal said that he now plans to spend more time in Kandahar cultivating local support, improving public services and building up local governance. Building competent Afghan army and police forces has clearly proved far harder than expected. The same is true for fostering and protecting honest and committed Afghan officials.

Western officials and experts also say that the American military found it hard to read and in some instances they misread the complex tribal and societal relationships in both places. Nearly nine years after the Americans arrived in Afghanistan, American intelligence agencies, civilian and military, seem to be flying blind. That is intolerable.

Then there is the fundamental question of whether President Karzai can or is interested in building an effective government. Mr. Karzai got what he wanted from a recent national peace conference a mandate to appoint a government commission to begin talks with the Taliban. That makes reports that he is trying to cut a private deal especially worrying.

We are also very concerned about his decision to force the resignation of two top security officials. Both were seen as competent and honest. And we found it bizarre that Mr. Karzai is telling aides that he believed the United States, and not the Taliban, might have been responsible for a rocket attack on the conference in Kabul.

The Americans still havent figured out how to manage Mr. Karzai. Reviving a public fight with him isnt going to work, but they need to make clear that theres a limit to American patience and that they will only support peace talks that have a specific set of red lines.

The basic civil rights of Afghans particularly women and girls cannot be up for negotiation. There can be no place in Afghanistan for Al Qaeda or the Talibans worst abusers. It is way too soon for Mr. Karzai to be pushing to remove the Taliban from the United Nations terrorist blacklist.

We dont know if the Taliban leaders will ever compromise. But we are sure that they will consider it only under duress. General McChrystal is going to have to do a much better job in Kandahar. Mr. Karzai is going to have to drop his illusions and commit to the fight.

Incredible beyond belief.

Do we have a commander in chief running the show in Afghanistan?  Or are the orders - like, for example, two troop surges in 2009 - coming from the man in the moon?

The Times publishes an entire editorial on the disaster that is Afghanistan, and not one word about President Obama?  Not even a mention of his name?

 

Isn't Barack Obama the guy who said that, unlike Iraq, Afghanistan was a necessary war?  A winnable war?  And that he was the man to do it? 

 

President Bush, whatever else you might think of him, understood that the best we could do in Afghanistan was keep the Taliban out of a few major cities - which could be accomplished with a limited number of troops, thus a relatively low casualty rate.

 

President Obama, by contrast, is giving us a reprise of the USSR's strategy:  send in lots more troops and futilely try to control parts of the country that either are not controllable at all or that cost us horrifically in casualties, while yielding only marginal, transitory gain - if any gain at all.

 

This is what happens when we elect a Chicago machine politician with no qualifications for the presidency, who clearly is in way over his head, and give him a lopsided majority in both houses of congress to support his actions.

 

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.

Zeke .... We now have more troops in Afghanistan than the Russians did, at their peak. .... .... .... KarGuy is in this for his personal enrichment ... ... Afghanistan is a collection of tribes who share a common flag -- it is not a nation; it is a geographic area in contention by various warlords. (The Taliban being the strongest).... ... The main economy of the Afghans is Opium Production .... ... (It was just announced that significant mineral deposits have been discovered..... ..... Large deposits of lithium, iron, copper, cobalt and gold have been found ..... ..... Lithium is a key component in laptops and cell phone batteries. A Pentagon report says Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium.") ... ... .... Afghanistan is the longest war the US has fought. ... ... We are no closer to 'victory' now than ever before. ... .... The terrain is horrible to fight in. ... .. No Western power has ever defeated the Afghans ... British (twice in the mid 1800's), Russia (1980's) or the US (last dozen years). ... ... We are taking more casualties in Afghanistan right now than in Iraq. .... ... (06/14/10)


MALICIOUS ETHERIDGE: HIS "APOLOGY"

Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I blogged about the extreme, violent attack congressperson Bobby Ray "Bob" Etheridge visited upon a student (at least that's what he said he was) who asked him whether he supported President Obama's full agenda.  I put up a video which showed just how violent his reaction was.

The video has, as they say, "gone viral" today.  It is everywhere on the internet (which means that mainstream media almost have to show it tonight whether they want to or not). 

Congressperson Etheridge has now issued an "apology".  Here it is:

Washington, DC, Jun 14 - U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) released the following statement on the viral video which appeared on the internet today:

I have seen the video posted on several blogs.  I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved.  Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response.  I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.

Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC-02)

You have to love it when someone says "I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved" -- then, two sentences later, implies that the person he assaulted was "intrusive and partisan".  That's some kind of contrition, let me tell you.

And let's not forget his characterization of the physical attack as being just "a poor response".  That's it.  Nothing more.  In other words, open-handing the questioner, then grabbing him, by the arm, then by the neck and pulling him isn't physical assault, it's a "poor response".  I wonder if this genius thinks that the revolutionary war was a friendly disagreement too. 

Finally, we have the unintentionally laughable comment that "I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse".  The physical assault is part of "always", isn't it?  Sort of makes you wonder how Mr. Etheridge defines civility..... 

One last point, which I suspect you don't need me to tell you:  without the blogosphere, this incident would be buried and forgotten. 

After all, Bob Etheridge isn't a Republican, is he?

free` One last point, which I suspect you don't need me to tell you: without the blogosphere, this incident would be buried and forgotten. After all, Bob Etheridge isn't a Republican, is he? Or a TEA party member. I haven't figured out how they will blame Bush for this. (06/14/10)


WHILING AWAY THE HOURS WAITING TO SPEAK TO BP......

Ken Berwitz

On Tuesday, President Obama will make a major address to the nation, presumably about the oil rig disaster.

On Wednesday, TWO MONTHS AFTER THE DISASTER OCCURRED, Mr. Obama finally will speak with BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and, presumably, other executives of the company.  This will be his first meeting with BP management.

It stands to reason that the discussion with BP would be 100% germane to what he will be talking to us about on Tuesday.  So what was occupying his time so completely that he could not speak to Mr. Svanberg and his cohorts before addressing us? 

Here's your answer.

Excerpted from Bridget Johnson's article at thehill.com:

President Barack Obama spent four hours on the golf course Sunday in temperatures that peaked in the low 90s.

The White House pool reported that they left Andrews Air Force Base as it started to rain after 4 p.m.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was among the group golfing with Obama.

Also reportedly in the golfing group were White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson and photographer David Katz.

That, folks, is what took priority over meeting with BP. 

This is our fault.  Ours.  We elected this Chicago machine politician to the presidency.  If we don't like Mr. Obama's priorities, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

The 2012 presidential election cannot come fast enough.

free` Ken wrote: "This is our fault. Ours. We elected this Chicago machine politician to the presidency. Us. If we don't like Mr. Obama's priorities, we have no one to blame but ourselves." ---------- Sorry Ken but i can't agree with you on this one. Most adults are very busy and do not have time to gather info from many sources. Because of that the rely on the msm to get their info in a 30-60 minute news program. The media committed fraud during the election of obama, I blame the media more than the voters themselves. (06/14/10)

steve schneider i wonder if michael moore will film a "documentary" about this disaster and show obama playing golf while the oil continues to spew.......don't hold your breath. steve (06/14/10)


PROVOKING A 12TH IMAM EVENT

Ken Berwitz

This is from Reuters today.  As you read it, remember two things:

1) Iran has been developing nuclear weapons (with the rest of the world doing nothing substantive to stop their creation), and may well be a lot further along than the so-called "experts" think;

2) The fraudulently elected President of Iran, mahmoud ahmadinejad, is a religious fanatic who believes in the "12th Imam" -- the "hidden Imam", or "Mahdi", descended from Mohammed, who will save the world when it falls into chaos. 

TEHRAN, June 14 (Reuters) - Iran is sending aid ships to blockaded Gaza, state radio said on Monday -- a move likely to be considered provocative by Israel which accuses Tehran of arming the Palestinian enclave's Islamist rulers, Hamas.

 

One ship left port on Sunday and another will depart by Friday, loaded with food, construction material and toys, the report said. The boats would be part of international efforts to break Israel's isolation of the Gaza Strip.

 

"Until the end of the Gaza blockade, Iran will continue to ship aid," said an official at Iran's Society for the Defence of the Palestinian Nation.

While Israel has long suspected Iran, which rejects the Jewish state's right to exist, of supplying weapons to Hamas, Tehran says it only provides moral support to the group.

Will the UN, or the US, or some combination of countries move decisively to prevent what inevitably will happen if these ships try to break the blockade?

Or will they sit back, watch it happen, and just sort of hope it doesn't result in some kind of nuclear conflagration?

These are very scary times -- made even scarier by the inaction of countries whose action is imperative.

free` 1) Iran has been developing nuclear weapons (with the rest of the world doing nothing substantive to stop their creation), and may well be a lot further along than the so-called "experts" think; ----- Back in Jan. 2006 the head of the IAEA said [ELBARADEI: Sure. And if they have the nuclear material and they have a parallel weaponization program along the way, they are really not very far - a few months - from a weapon.] Since that time iran has been caught a few times hiding nuclear programs. It is long past time for the free world to wake and help the people who oppressed by these awful governments. Link to ElBaradeis quote, you should read the whole thing and remember this was back in 2006. iaea.org/NewsCenter/Transcripts/2006/newsweek12012006.html (06/14/10)


THE ALVIN GREENE FIASCO (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Alvin Greene, a man who is virtually unknown, has no apparent political skills, did little if any campaigning and has painfully obvious personal limitations, won the Democratic nomination for Senate in South Carolina.

There appear to be three key reasons for Greene's win:

-His opponent, Vic Rawl, is almost as anonymous as Greene;

-Assuming he couldn't lose a primary against Alvin the Unknown, Rawl spent little time or money campaigning;

-And, according to several Democrats whom I heard on various cable news shows, Greene benefitted strongly because the ballots were alphabetized, so his name came first.

Can we agree that if this were a Republican primary, and an unknown candidate won because his name came first on the ballot, media would never let us hear the end of it? 

Well, this was not a Republican primary  It was a Democratic primary.  It was Democrats, not Republicans, who didn't know what the eff they were doing or who the eff they were voting for.  It was Democrats who nominated a disastrous candidate primarily (bad pun there) because his name came first.  So, at least for that angle of the story, we barely heard the beginning of it.

Then they wonder why people call them biased?  Yikes.

Ed Morrissey at www.hotair.com has written an excellent analysis of the South Carolina fiasco.  I urge you to take a look.  You won't regret it.


RABBINICAL RE-EVALUATION

Ken Berwitz

This is what drives me nuts.

From www.israelnationalnews.com:

Liberal Rabbi who Exposed Helen Thomas: I Have to Re-Evaluate


by Maayana Miskin

Rabbi David Nesenoff made headlines recently when he inadvertently exposed veteran American journalist Helen Thomas' virulently anti-Israel views. In an impromptu video interview, Thomas told Nesenoff that Jews living in Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go home to Poland and Germany. Under strong attack for her remarks, she announced her retirement just days later.

Nesenoff said Sunday that his background and motives had been misunderstood. Far from attempting to expose Thomas, he told CNN, he was a supporter of hers who had been unaware of her anti-Semitic views.

When he approached Thomas and asked her for her thoughts on Israel, he was not expecting her response, he said. Of course, there might be anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian [opinion]. That's very different than anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish and wanting to cleanse a piece of land, he explained.

Nesenoff described himself as a New York Democrat Jewish liberal supporter of Obama who is now reconsidering his political views in light of what has happened.

"Now I have to reevaluate totally," he said, "...because if I was part of a team where their agenda was that Israel and the Jewish people don't have a connection... I have to really reevaluate liberal and conservative [views] and really find out where I stand, because I think I've been a little blind.

Nesenoff has received 25,000 hate messages since the incident, many of which he has posted online. Worse than the hate mail, he said, is the hate media I'm beginning to learn about. When asked to clarify, he explained that he was referring to those who blindly attack him without asking questions. They have to attack me and find, maybe we'll say he did something on purpose or he filmed it a certain way... why don't they actually ask me and find out maybe I liked Helen Thomas? he asked.

 I guess I'm supposed to be impressed with Rabbi Nesenoff's re-evaluation.  But to be perfectly honest, the single greatest impact his story had on me was as a reminder of how many mindlessly liberal Democratic Jews there are.  

I don't know about Rabbi Nesenoff specifically, but I can tell you from personal experience that for a lot of Jews, including Jews who avidly support Israel, the fact that helen thomas was a liberal democrat (and hard-left to boot) meant there was nothing to think about.  She was one of the good guys.  Thought process ended.

Just as there is no thought process necessary to support the Democratic Party, even as it becomes more and more anti-Israel (and anti-Semitic, if you ask me).

It would not surprise me even one little bit if the Rabbi, at least until a couple of weeks ago, was in that frame of mind.

But now, after hearing the hatred from his left wing icon helen thomas - then getting thousands of hate-filled emails because he taped it - Mr. Nesenoff finally is starting to realize there is something to think about.

I wander if some of the others in this community will ever come to that same realization. 


MALICIOUS ETHERIDGE

Ken Berwitz

What happens when congressperson Bobby Ray "Bob" Etheridge (D-NC) is asked if he fully supports the Obama agenda?

Here is your answer, via an excerpt from Mike Flynn's article at biggovernment.com:

Last week, Democrat Congressman Bod Etheridge (D-NC2) attended a fundraiser headlined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was asked by some students on the street whether he supported the Obama Agenda. He didnt take it well.

NOTE: Here is the full video all the way through from two different camera angles (via DCCameraGuy and Moe Lane). This comes from the www.stumbleupon.com web site, because the video I originally posted has suddenly been pulled from youtube.com.  Wouldn't you love to know why?***

Expect more of this. A hard, progressive left captured the Democrat majority in Congress and forced them to enact a fantasy grab-bag of legislation that is increasingly unpopular with the American public. Were on the cusp of a deeper recession, millions of unemployed Americans have no prospect for work, taxes are about to spike higher and weve maxed out the national credit card. The Democrats were given a chance to run government and theyve only succeeded in running it into the ground.

So, yeah, Democrats who are up for reelection this November are a bit testy.

Fortunately, Rep. Etheridge isnt one of those gerry-mandered political welfare queens. According to the Cook Report, his district is an R+2 district.  He has a credible opponent. Check her out here.

What you just saw - a violent, out of control Democratic congressperson assaulting a young man for daring to ask if he supported the Obama agenda - occurred a week ago. 

Tell me:  amidst all the reporting about how "violent" and "dangerous" Tea Party people, and Republicans are, did you see even one report about this?  

The partisanship in our mainstream media is strunning, and disgusting.  It makes me wonder why I would believe their reports on anything at all.

=================================================================

NOTE:  Now there are conflicting reports on whether youtube.com did or did not pull the video, so I don't know the real story.  However, it is irrelevant because I have a video - two different angles, up there. 

Take a good look at both videos.  Then, if you hear one or more Democratic flaks tell you that the questioner aggressively shoved a mike in Etheridge's face, you will know it is a lie.

free` I don't believe anything the msm reports, I verify any story of interest I run across from them. (06/14/10)


WHO IS ALVIN GREENE

Ken Berwitz

This is harsh, even cruel.  But funny as hell.  So I'm posting it.

From Doug Powers, writing at www.michellemalkin.com:

"Alvin Greene: Obama without the teleprompter"


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