AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

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Obama’s Afghanistan Policy: The Hokey Pokey

“You put your left foot in
You take your left foot out
You put your left foot in
Then you shake it all about
Do the Hokey-Pokey and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!”

That’s the song that comes to mind upon reading this about the Ditherer-in-Chief’s Afghanistan policy, which he finally — after 10+ months of dithering on it — announced tonight:

Now, he says that his dithering didn’t cost any troops any reinforcements because, supposedly, not a single plan presented to him called for troops before 2010.

First of all: What?

Second of all: It will take about nine months just to get these surge troops into place (I base this on the Iraq experience taking five months — and they had seaports and good roads). So there will be a delay — McCrystal said we had a year to win this thing, and that was three months ago. Obama’s dithering means that we won’t have the troops in place before McCrystal’s war’s-over date.

Third: He says in almost the next breath all troops will be out of Afghanistan in 2011.

As a commenter points out — this means the troops will just be built up in-country by the middle/late 2010 and then he’s going to immediately start evacuating them out again.


Most of the speech was directed to the left, which I guess is expected. I don’t mind explaining this to the left. I mind throwing them substantive bones like cheaping out on the military and promising, effectively, to begin evacuating the moment we’ve just gotten all the surge troops in place.


“You put 30,000 troops in,
you pull 30,000 troops out.
You put 30,000 troops in,
And then you shake them all about.
Have them do the Hokey Pokey
and then turn them right around.
That’s what it’s all about.”

Yep, that’s what it’s all about: Obama using 30,000 troops as political pawns to do the hokey-pokey in Afghanistan.

You know, every time that Obama and his frat-boy spokestool Gibbs say “unprecedented”, I think they mean to say “Un-Presidential”.

What an absolute piece-of-sh!t Obama is to use our military in this manner. God help them, and their families, survive this Un-President.

Is it 2012 yet?

December 1, 2009 , 9:23PM Posted by | Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Liberalism, Military, Operation Enduring Freedom, Terrorism, US Military | Comments Off on Obama’s Afghanistan Policy: The Hokey Pokey

Someone Found Time to Visit and Thank America’s Wounded Troops

When was the last time you heard anything like this coming from a Democrat politician? Barack Obama? The mass media? The Left?

That’s what I thought.

Via Matt Burden at Blackfive: Someone Special Visited the Wounded at WRAMC to Thank Them

Mrs. Greyhawk: Someone Made Time for Our Wounded Troops

Why isn’t this in the news?…

Iraq’s Interior Minister Thanks U.S. Troops for Liberating Iraq — [CNS News]

A top Iraqi official visited wounded American troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to thank them for their part in ending Saddam Hussein’s rule in his country.

“We have come … to express our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by these great warriors, soldiers, in freeing the Iraqi people and in helping us in Iraq recover from tyranny and dictatorship,” Jawad Karim al-Bolani, Iraq’s minister of the interior, said through a translator to a handful of journalists in the lobby of the medical center.

…probably because all the major networks are following some other guy

But those at Walter Reed are glad to be appreciated and supported;

“We also want to express our gratitude to the families of all these great men and women and express how important their sacrifices are for our nation,” he added.

[ . . . ]

And the Iraqi PM didn’t make a political brouhaha about it.

The Iraqi government official, who didn’t mention presidential politics, said that he also wanted to visit Walter Reed because it was a “great institution.” “(We wanted) to witness firsthand the level of technical (and) medical sophistication that is being practiced here so that we may learn from it to help our foreign wounded and the many, many victims of terrorism and violence in Iraq,” Bolani added.

This is great, our troops deserve this and so much more.

Indeed.  Kudos and many thanks to Jawad Karim al-Bolani, Iraq’s minister of the interior.  If only our own so-called leaders had the integrity and gratitude you showed to our troops.

July 31, 2008 , 12:49AM Posted by | Honoring the Fallen, Military, Military Veterans, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Patriotism, US Military | Comments Off on Someone Found Time to Visit and Thank America’s Wounded Troops

War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

So, everyone, by now, has probably heard allllll about Scott McClellan, President Bush’s former Press Secretary, releasing a book which bashes President Bush. He is now the darling of the Left, the mass media and all the ignoramuses who think President Bush has mucked up the war effort in Iraq in one way or another (nevermind that it is the most successful war effort in history…).

However, you are probably not aware of another book released recently, which did not get the adoring, orgasmic coverage of the mass media: Douglas Feith’s War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism. For those of you who do not know who is Douglas Feith, he served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from July 2001 until August 2005.

Now, whom do you think has more credible information when it comes to the details of the war effort: an incompetent Press Secretary who was fired (whose book was funded by Leftist, America-hater George Soros) or a respected former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Well, unless you are suffering from BDS, you chose the latter.

The gentlemen at Power Line have been doing a great series of posts about this book, which, unlike the hit-job with nothing new to say by McClellan, has many revelations that should be of interest to anyone who has any true intellectual curiousity about the war effort. This would obviously not include anyone who rants about “Bush Lied! People Died!”, “No WMDs!”, “War for Oil!” and “Bush had no plan for post invasion!” Those are people who choose to form opinions based on their biased emotions instead of opening their minds and using their logic.

For the rest of us though, this is an amazing opportunity to get an idea of what went on at the highest levels of our goverment “at the dawm of the war on terrorism”.

So I hope you will all stop reading about the disgruntled putz McClellan and spend your time reading about this book by Douglas Feith. Hopefully these discussions at Power Line will also intrigue you enough to purchase the book and learn all the details provided by Mr. Feith. I know it is already on my Amazon Wish List.

Also, if pure interest in getting the facts about “the dawn of the war on terrorism” does not convince you to purchase the book, you should know that Mr. Feith is donating all proceeds from the book to charities which help military veterans and their families. (Probably another reason why the mass media and the Left have downplayed and slammed this book.)

War and Decision: A word from Douglas Feith (1)


We invited Mr. Feith to preview the book in his own words for our readers. He has graciously responded:

I’ve been doing many interviews about my book in recent days – and I’ve heard from many journalists and others that the book surprises them. It tells a story that contradicts key parts of almost all the major books about the Iraq war.

For example, it refutes the notion that President Bush came into office determined to go to war no matter what – that the administration refused or failed to consider the arguments against war. In fact, as my book reveals, the most serious analysis of the downsides and risks of war was produced in the Pentagon by Rumsfeld and his top advisers – not by Colin Powell, Rich Armitage, George Tenet or other officials who are reputed to have been the voices of caution.

My book contradicts the common allegation that Pentagon civilians did not plan for post-Saddam Iraq. It explains what is wrong with the charge that the State Department had a plan that Defense officials discarded. It explains what is wrong with the charge that Rumsfeld and his advisers were dupes of the Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi – and what is wrong with the assertion that we intended to “anoint Chalabi” as the leader of Iraq.

My book quotes extensively from previously classified documents – from numerous memos that were exchanged among Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Tenet, General Myers, VP Cheney and the President. It recounts numerous meetings ? and it does so, not on the basis of after-the-fact interviews in which officials remember (or pretend to remember) years after the fact what occurred in those meetings, but on the basis of the notes I took while attending the meetings. In writing the book, I made the radical decision that words would be put in quotation marks only if they were actually spoken by the characters in my history at the very time and place described.

Among the main topics covered in the book are:

· The development of the strategy for the war on terrorism in the hours and days after 9/11 – a strategy that broke with US counter-terrorism policies of the previous decades – a strategy that aimed not simply to punish the perpetrators of 9/11, but (much more ambitiously) to prevent follow-on 9/11-scale attacks.

· For all the errors the administration has made and the terrible problems we have encountered in recent years, especially in Iraq, it is a notable achievement that we are six and half years past 9/11 and the United States has not been hit again as we were hit then. This owes something, I believe, to our strategy.

Another major topic covered in the book is the rationale for the Iraq war. I explain what the President and his top officials were concerned about – why Iraq was a problem made more urgent and more worrisome by 9/11 even though we did not believe that Saddam was responsible for the 9/11 attack itself.

The book reviews the issue of politicization of intelligence – and the accusations of manipulation of intelligence. It explains the actual controversy between my office and the CIA over the intelligence on the Iraq-al Qaida relationship. The actual controversy was not a clash in which Defense officials argued that there was an intimate Iraq-al Qaida relationship while CIA officials argued for a more sober assessment. Rather it was an argument about methodology and professionalism. It was about the criticism by Defense officials of the CIA’s politicization of its own intelligence.

And perhaps most newsworthy, the book explains for the first time anywhere the key postwar plan developed by the administration – the plan for political transition in post-Saddam Iraq. It was a plan developed in the Defense Department – and it aimed to prevent a prolonged US occupation of Iraq. It was a plan to put Iraqis in charge of their own government promptly after Saddam’s overthrow. It was a plan that built on our experience in Afghanistan, where the US overthrew the Taliban regime but did not establish a US occupation government. As I say in the book, it was a plan “which my office drafted, Powell and Armitage tried to delay, President Bush approved, Jay Garner began to implement, and L. Paul Bremer buried.”

Much of the latter part of the book deals with how this plan was undone and the harmful consequences that resulted.

While the book recounts controversies and debates, it does so in a way that I think is far more fascinating than the snide and shallow self-justification that is typical in memoirs of former officials. I refer in the book to the “I was surrounded by idiots school of memoir-writing.” I don’t like that school. I find it boring and bad history. While I was in the administration, I had many disagreements with other officials, but I generally thought that their arguments had important merits. When I disagreed, it was usually because I thought that an alternative strategy or policy had even more merit.

Throughout, I have tried to be critical of all the work I discuss in the book – that of other agencies, that of the Defense Department and that of my own office and myself. Washington Post reporters apparently assume that former officials’ memoirs are inevitably finger-pointing, blame-laying books. Some have asserted this about my book, but they did so without actually having read it. If they eventually do read it, they will find that they were wrong.

I’ve been pleased that writers who did read the book have written favorably about it ? for example: Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal, Lawrence Di Rita at NRO, and Frank Gaffney in the Washington Times.

I tried to make my book a useful, accurate account – as accurate as one man’s account can be. I care about accuracy. That is why I relied so heavily on the contemporaneous written record. That is why I provided footnotes and endnotes so extensively. The book is 530 pages long, with around 140 pages of notes and reproduced documents. And I want readers to pay attention to the notes – to read them. I’d be happy if they challenge me on my use and interpretation of the documents. I have created a website – War and Decision (5) ? where anyone can go and easily pull up the unclassified documents and articles and other material that I cite.

I was very pleased the other day when Professor Dan Byman joked at a talk I gave at Georgetown University that my website will strike fear in the hearts of professors across America. The idea of someone making it easy for people to check one’s footnotes ? a terrifying idea, he said, but he complimented it as the essence of scholarship.

I want to invite all of you to read my book and visit War and Decision to plunge into the actual record of the fateful decision of the Bush administration at the dawn of the war on terrorism.

It should be noted that in addition to the book’s contribution to history, the book is responsible for another contribution. Mr. Feith is donating all the proceeds from the book to charities that help veterans and their families.

Our Interview of Doug Feith (2)

Doug Feith on the Northern Alliance (3)

Debunking the received wisdom about Iraq war policy-making (4)

June 1, 2008 , 9:27PM Posted by | Bush Admnistration, Douglas Feith, Iraq, Military, Terrorism, The Long War, US Military, War Effort in Iraq | Comments Off on War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism

WWII: $16 Trillion ; GWOT: $2 Trillion

I was going through my old saved e-mail and came across this comment I had e-mailed to myself to make into a blog post later. I don’t think that I ever did make that blog post. Oh well. I still think it is apt today, since the Left is *still* putting forth these tired memes against the war effort.

[This is a comment left at the military blog Blackfive. I haven’t Googled to get the URL yet, but I may put it into an update if I find it.]

Comment below written by: Rich Casebolt

Allan … you and I could find more common ground if …

1> … you didn’t start out every post with “Iraq is a debacle/Bush is an idiot” or words to that effect.

Chuck Z. pointed out some interesting statistics which IMO puts things in perspective:

As far as current casualties in Iraq goes, Looks like some of my detractors like to post casualty numbers. Here’s a number: ~4000. That’s roughly the number of US casualties in the European theater of operations after WWII ended. Too bad nobody pointed that out after all those 1945 “Mission accomplished” Parades down Broadway. Four thousand, after a war that lasted from 1938-1945, and cost $1,600,000,000; or, in Current money $16,790,400,000,000 (2004 dollars, adjusted using consumer price index calculator at Sixteen Trillion, for a war that we only fought for four years, versus two trillion for a war we’ve been in for going on five, hell, it’s a discount.

Add that to what Victor Davis Hanson wrote in “History’s Verdict”, and this President looks at least a little better in the light of history.

Could you name me one electable leader today, for whom you can reasonably make the case that they would do better than this President regarding this war … while still having the will to engage our enemy in Iraq and “stop the clock” on the machinations of Saddam & Sons before they could make a Baathist sequel to 911?

Or … is the mere fact that we did engage Iraq, the problem?

2> … you made it clear that your view of “more troops” is not an invocation of the Powell Doctrine.

In an asymetrical war, where the enemy is embedded in the midst of a noncombatant population, more troops does not necessarily mean a shorter war … unless your intent is to grind the people to powder, to get at the enemy.

Unless you are willing to do that, more American troops can mean more targets for the insurgents … and will almost certainly mean more “American Infidel Crusader” propaganda for the enemy.

We are increasing troop levels in-theater … Iraqi troop levels. You know that … and the “Crusader” label above doesn’t stick to them.

I am all for increases in American troop strength — modest-to-moderate increases in-theater, and a deeper “bench” to back them up and reduce rotation length and frequency.

I also vigorously support something equally important, in my view … The American and Iraqi leadership giving all the troops — American and Iraq — in-theater, a “hunting license” that is not restricted by political correctness or just plain politics.

Not doing that, is what I consider the most egregious error on the part of this President … and more significantly, an Iraqi Chief Executive who is more interested in pleasing the voting bloc that elected him, than in routing out some of the thugs that are killng his constituents.

Wtihout that, more troops WILL mean more targets … and not much more.

Now, how do we get there?

How about starting with some “sacrifice” that will not take this economy … whose strength and innovation contributes in a major way to our ability to wage this war … into the toilet with tax increases and (especially) a draft.

How about compensating our troops, not just for increases in the cost of living, but at a level equivalent to college and tech-school graduates in technology/engineering/the sciences …

… and paying for it by the Congresscritters sacrificing their pork — instead, treating the support of our professional military as the priority it is?

Maybe, when the Congresscritters can no longer “bring it home” to their constituents because they’re TRULY supporting the troops, the people will begin to understand …

… instead of trying to compel that understanding by imposing a draft that will degrade the professional military you serve, and push people to make the error of NOT supporting this necessary and just war in any way at all.

Now, there would be some “leadership” for you.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt | Nov 21, 2006 6:34:50 AM

June 1, 2008 , 2:41AM Posted by | American History, Military, Military History, Operation Iraqi Freedom, US Military, War Effort in Iraq | Comments Off on WWII: $16 Trillion ; GWOT: $2 Trillion

Prison Does Not Rehabilitate. Very Often, the Marine Corps Does.

The American Left and the mass media like to use the issue of waivers granted by the military as a club with which to beat down the war effort. They do this by saying that the military is having such trouble recruiting members to fight in the war (supposedly, by their logic, because the vast majority of Americans are against the war and the military), that they have to lower their standards.

Well, GRIM at Blackfive and Armed Liberal at Winds of Change give the details about the military waivers that the mass media and the dishonest demagoguing hacks on the Left and in the media fail to give when they speak on the issue: On Waivers

The vast majority of the conduct waivers are misdemeanors and a litany of three-or-more traffic offenses. And with that, there are some felony arrests and a few felony convictions. Together they total to about a half of one percent of the intake.

In the past year, the Army increased its numbers, almost doubled them. But they are so small that it equates just for scale to fewer than one per congressional district, insofar as felons that were waivered in.

The kind of person that we’re talking about is someone who doesn’t appear to be morally corrupt. Rather it was perhaps a prank gone terribly wrong, a grotesque error in judgment.

But in every case, if their community has joined behind them and said, this is really a good kid, and offered their support, then the recruiter might, if we’ve got a strong candidate in terms of their other attributes, send it up for a waiver.

A two-star will look at it. And let me say a general officer. I’m not sure if it’s always two-star. But a general officer or flag officer will look at it, look at what they read about this person, what their parents, teachers, coaches have to say, and then make a judgment.

[Cross-posted with more discussion HERE]

April 26, 2008 , 1:08PM Posted by | Media Bias, Military, Military Recruiting, US Marines, US Military | Comments Off on Prison Does Not Rehabilitate. Very Often, the Marine Corps Does.