Category Archives: iraq

More on the squandering of airpower

As a followup to the earlier post, here’s an email making the rounds from an A-10 driver.

Subject: A-10 driver perspective
Date: March 6, 2015 at 4:16:21 PM EST

FYSA
The squadron is doing fine. Everybody is happy to be here and we are doing some good work. The A-10s are holding up well and the technology we have have on the jets now (targeting pods, GPS guided bombs, Laser Guided bombs, Laser guided missiles, tactical data link, satellite comms), and of course the gun, make the A-10 ideal for this conflict. We are killing off as many ISIS as we can, mostly in ones and twos, working with the hand we are dealt. I’ve never been more convicted in my career that we facing an enemy that needs to be eradicated.
With that being said…I’ve never been more frustrated in my career. After 13 years of the mind-numbing low intensity conflict in Afghanistan, I’ve never seen the knife more dull. All the hard lessons learned in Vietnam, and fixed during the first Gulf War, have been unlearned again. The level of centralized execution, bureaucracy, and politics is staggering. I basically do not have any decision making authority in my cockpit. It sucks. In most cases, unless a general officer can look at a video picture from a UAV, over a satellite link, I cannot get authority to engage. I’ve spent many hours, staring through a targeting pod screen in my own cockpit, watching ISIS perpetrate their acts until my eyes bleed, without being able to do anything about it. The institutional fear of making a mistake, that has crept into the central mindset of the military leadership, is endemic. We have not taken the fight to these guys. We haven’t targeted their centers of gravity in Raqqa. All the roads between Syria and Iraq are still intact with trucks flowing freely. The other night I watched a couple hundred small tanker trucks lined up at an oilfield in ISIS-held northeast Syria, presumably filling up with with oil traded on the black market, go unfettered. It’s not uncommon to wait several hours overhead a suspected target for someone to make a decision to engage or not. It feels like we are simply using the constructs build up in Afghanistan, which was a very limited fight, in the same way here against ISIS, which is a much more sophisticated and numerically greater foe. It’s embarrassing.
Be assured that the Hawg drivers are doing their best.

One of the prime arguments the Army Air Force used to have air component commanders co-equal to ground component commanders as far back as the campaigns in North Africa in World War II was that airpower benefited from centralized planning, but decentralized execution.

That is, where land component commanders tended to want an umbrella of fighter cover over deployed units all day long, air component commanders, taking a broader view of the air battle, would be able to see which target sets would take priority and be the highest payoff targets. That is, one day, airpower might best be devoted to knocking back enemy airfields, and the next interdicting bridges and trains. The inherent flexibility of airpower could, in the hands of a capable commander, be better used by shifting the priorities, something ground component commanders were not always cognizant of.

Of course, the flip side of that coin was that the execution had to be decentralized. If a raid on an airfield found it empty of enemy planes, the raid leader would call an audible and find other targets worthy of attack.

But today, the increasing trend of the four star squad leader is surely at play here. No one wants to be responsible for a massacre of civilians. But in the example given in the letter, the tanker trucks, laden with oil, are no doubt going to be used to smuggle illegal oil and fund the ISIS state. That makes them a legitimate target, whether they’re manned by civilians or not. Which, let’s face it, our enemies here aren’t exactly adhering to every nicety of the laws of warfare. Why should we unilaterally and arbitrarily handicap ourselves with an overabundance of caution, particularly when the laws of warfare were set up to encourage reciprocity, not reward one side for violations.

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Israeli News Report: Obama Threatened to Shoot Down IAF Iran Strike

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From Israelnationalnews.com via Drudge.

The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Not for the first time, Carter-era National Security Advisor (and anti-Semite/anti-Israel) Zbigniew Brzezinski advised shooting down Israeli aircraft to prevent them from striking the nuclear facilities of a mortal enemy that has vowed the destruction of the Jewish state.  It appears, if this report is true, that Obama actually agreed to such a notion.

Israel is far from a perfect ally, and they can be a thorn in the side of America even at the best of times.  But they are the only western-style free democracy in the Middle East.  They are also a valuable friend.  Conversely, Iran is an oppressive theocracy that has promised the destruction not only of Israel but of the United States, as well.  They are a destabilizing force in a strategic region, hostile to American interests and to those of our allies.

That Obama chose to heed the advice of the National Security Advisor of a pathetic weakling of a President speaks volumes (though Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Bismarck). That he chose to make such a strong threat against an ally rather than our myriad Islamic fundamentalist enemies is positively thunderous.  Obama hates American power and influence, just as he does that of Israel and the UK.  He is an Islamist sympathizer and a statist communist, just as Rudy Giuliani had the courage to say publicly.   Obama is positively hot for a deal with Iran that would cede to them the ability to develop nuclear weapons, which they have promised to use against Israel.

The notion that the US would threaten an ally who wanted to strike Iran would seem preposterous under any other President.  I don’t know if it is true now, either, but such a thing is much more plausible with an anti-American, anti-Western communist in the White House.

What would have been the effect if Ronald Reagan had made a similar threat and stifled the Osirak strike?  Or George W. Bush had threatened Israel into canceling the attack on Syria’s nuclear facility in 2007?

There are 600+ days left of this malignant cabal of anti-American ultra-liberals in the Executive Branch.  One hopes there remains something resembling the United States of America on Inauguration Day, 2017.  And that our credibility and relationships with our allies around the world have not been irreparably damaged.  On Tuesday I will listen to Benjamin Netanyahu carefully.  I hope others do, too.

 

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The Blaze: Senior State Department Counterterrorism Director Arrested For Allegedly Soliciting Minor

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Here be the linkie.

Senior State Department official Daniel Rosen was arrested for allegedly soliciting a juvenile Tuesday afternoon, a Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman told TheBlaze.

Rosen, the State Department’s director of counter-terrorism, was arrested at his home for the “use of a communication device to solicit a juvenile,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.

The (LinkedIn) page says he “oversees $300 million per year in CT programs related to Countering Violent Extremism, Anti-terrorism Assistance, Counter-terrorism Financing, Counter-terrorism Engagement and Regional Initiatives. Manages the Office of Plans and Policy including oversight of 20+ personnel.”

He also “represents the Office of the Coordinator and the US Department of State in interagency and international meetings, conferences, congressional briefings, and other fora.”

…And not a peep could I find on NBC or CNN online news content.

Things that make you go “Hmmmmm”.

“If [Daniel Rosen’s story] disappears, you know that we are living in a government that is run just like the German government was run in the 1930s, one with the worst kinds of people.”

Beck said the nation is in “dire, dire trouble” if the repeated claims that senior State Department officials are soliciting sex with minors are ignored.

But don’t worry, now that the government is running the internet, the story of a senior State Department official responsible for counter-terrorism in the Obama Administration soliciting children for sex suddenly disappearing from major online content is much more easily explained.  Just ask Lois Lerner.

Especially when white right-wing extremists are the REAL threat.

Bill Clinton was vacationing in the Caymans and could not be reached for comment.

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The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here

The Washington Free Beacon, via Fox News:

Shame on everyone that voted for this empty-suit charlatan.  Especially the second time, when it was clear what he was.

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Lyin’ Brian Williams and Hillary’s Hokum

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NBC News anchor Brian Williams is being beaten about the cranium and shoulders quite a bit in the last few days.  He deserves every last lump and then some.   He is apparently taking a few days away.  Perhaps he hopes that, when he returns, people will have forgotten all about the fact that he is a despicable liar who cannot be trusted to tell the straight story about anything.  Juan Williams, formerly of NPR and hardly a solid Republican, believes this will be the end of either Williams, if he is fired, or NBC News if he is not.  He had a point.   NBC knew that Brian Williams’ account of his experience in Iraq was a fabrication, and had even warned him to knock off perpetuating the lie.  But, of course, he persisted.  And now he is due all the scorn that comes his way.  Reporting on Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Williams’ accounts of the horrors in his area of the French Quarter are also likely hogwash.  His dramatic description of a body floating by face down, and other lurid stories (contracting dysentery) never happened.  How do we know?  The area around his hotel never flooded, and nobody responsible for mass medical care can recall ANYONE having a reported case of dysentery (a sentinel disease) throughout Katrina.  NBC knew these facts, as well, and issued no retraction.

Williams and Jeffrey Lord (American Spectator), guests on Hannity (which I don’t normally listen to, but was waiting at a highway exit and had little else to do) on Friday, also thought that the increased focus on those who are found to be lying about their “combat experiences” will turn back toward presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  At issue again is Hillary’s tall tale about landing “under sniper fire” in Bosnia, and the ceremony that was supposedly canceled because of the extreme danger.

Below is an image of Hillary covering the fire-swept ground on her way to the protection of a bunker.

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Here is a still image from the dramatic combat footage of the same incident.

Hillary Bosnia

For all the contempt for the US Military  expressed by the far-left, they sure seem to want to paint themselves into the tales of combat against our enemies.   The RNC should play a continuous loop of Sheryl Attkisson’s CBS report about Hillary’s fabrications between now and 2016.   (Yes, that Sheryl Attkisson.  The one who wanted the truth about Benghazi which cost her job forthwith.)  Hillary claims she was sleep-deprived, incidentally, and that was the reason she lied through her teeth.   Let’s hope when the next “three in the morning” call comes she is not as sleep-deprived then, and whoever is on the other end of the line will have better luck than Ambassador Stevens.   And that the results of that call will be reported a tad more honestly than was Benghazi, by people more honest than Brian Williams and Hillary Clinton.

But don’t bet on it.

Oh, and in my haste, I forgot the most important thing.  H/T to Delta Bravo.

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Whose Side are You On?

It is the question Joshua asked before the walls of Jericho.   Asked today of the President of the United States, a truthful answer augurs terribly for the People of Israel.  And for America.

This President is willing to have his State Department meet with members of the Muslim Brotherhood.  For the uninitiated, the Muslim Brotherhood is the spiritual inspiration for Al Qaeda, and for ISIS, and are open supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah.  In the 1940s they were an eager ally of Hitler’s Third Reich.   The Muslim Brotherhood enthusiastically supported the Final Solution, the Holocaust against Europe’s Jews, and still do, never having renounced that position.  But into Foggy Bottom they go. Imagine if, with American servicemen fighting against the Third Reich, the Department of State would have been hosting Primo de Rivera or Francisco Franco from among Spain’s fascists, or Leon Dagrelle from the Rexists, both highly sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazis.  

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Amin al Husseini und Adolf Hitler

This is the same State Department that, with the blessing of the President, sent operatives into Israel to help tip the election against the Prime Minister of an ally nation.   An Administration who took to the pages of the New York Times to threaten that ally with “consequences” should they decide to democratically re-elect Benjamin Netanyahu as their Prime Minister.

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The President is desperate for a deal with Iran regarding their development of nuclear weapons, undoing decades of precisely the opposite policy against the advice of virtually every one of America’s allies in the region.   The President believes we should trust Iran, an Iran whose supreme leader has vowed very recently the destruction of both America and Israel, and an Iran that has already begun testing nuclear detonators.

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The President refuses abjectly to even give name to this enemy who slaughters Christians and Jews, and shrieks hatred for the infidel and vows punishment and destruction on the non-believers.  The President declared long ago, in his autobiography, that he would “stand with the Muslims” should the political winds blow against them.  Nobody specified if those winds carried the odor of the burning flesh of their victims.   When those victims included cartoon illustrators in France, murdered in cold blood by Islamists angered at depictions of Muhammed, the President was very conspicuously absent from the world leaders who marched in Paris to show their support for France and condemn Islamic extremism.  Instead, the President vowed to set aside the First Amendment to keep the press from running stories critical of the Islamists.

paris

This Administration was complicit in the overthrow of the government of one American ally (Egypt) and another country whose dictator had long been cowed into behaving (Libya).  Both countries saw the scourge of radical Islam cause uncounted pain and suffering.  When the Egyptians had had enough of the bloodbaths of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and took to the streets by the millions to topple him, Obama turned his back on Egypt, complaining that the Al-Sisi regime that replaced Morsi was “not democratically elected”.  No matter that Morsi’s first act was to abrogate Egypt’s treaty with Israel, and his next was to formalize the systematic slaughter of the Coptic Christians who had lived in Egypt for millenia.  From the White House came not a word of rebuke for the Muslim Brotherhood or Morsi.

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With the bloody two year-long rampage of Boko Haram in full swing, publicity as to the plight of the mostly-Christian victims of the Islamists there came only when the group kidnapped young girls.  Then, and only then, was the First Lady moved to hold up a hashtag sign, which apparently takes the place of actually doing something.

MichelleObamaBringBackOurGirls

Those who have sided with this President can spare me the outrage over the horrific death of the brave Jordanian pilot at the hands of ISIS.   How many hundreds of Americans burned similarly on 9/11 at the hands of Islamic extremists?  How many children lay screaming and bleeding for hours in Beslan?  How many in the flames of the churches in Nigeria and Cairo?

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If you are outraged over what you saw today, you should be.  If it is the first time you are outraged, great shame on you.  Had they the technical means, our enemy would engineer another holocaust, this time to the entire world, until every nation was destroyed or had submitted.   The willful blindness of the American people aids in the success of this enemy.  Those who labeled Chris Kyle a psychopath and a racist for calling these people barbaric savages, and who condemn him for killing them, need to go and smell the charred bodies of the victims of the Islamists.  They also need to ask themselves why our President refuses to identify our sworn and active enemies by name.   Why he has provided support and succor to that enemy.  And why he has invited that enemy into our country, our cities and towns, and into the halls of power of the United States Government.

Though a truthful answer would never be forthcoming, the question Joshua asked at Jericho should be asked of our President.

Whose side are you on?

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Our Jihadist President

prayer curtain

The Daily Caller outlines a very disturbing notion emanating from the White House regarding our Constitutional liberties and Barack Obama’s predilection to render them void any time he sees fit.

“The president … will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men and women in uniform” whenever journalists’ work may provoke jihadist attacks, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House’s daily briefing.

“Steps necessary” up to and including disemboweling our First Amendment rights, apparently, for some notion of “protecting” our armed forces.  You know, the ones who risk and give their lives to uphold that First Amendment?  Yeah, them.   One should not be shocked at the criticism of free speech by this Administration, nor the rationalization of the violence perpetrated by the militant Islamists.  Despite the usual platitudes about how such violence is never justified, Obama and his minions have consistently provided just such justification by siding with the Jihadis in their public condemnation of criticism of Islam.

Obama’s willingness to pressure media outlets, to quit defending First Amendment rights and also to mollify jihadis, reflects Obama’s overall policy of minimizing conflict with militant Islam.

He also repeatedly praised Islam and Muslims, and criticized criticism of Islam. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” he told a worldwide TV audience during a September 2012 speech at the United Nations.

This President wishes to disarm law-abiding Americans and abrogate our Second Amendment rights, ostensibly so we can all be “safer”, leaving the government with a monopoly on violence and a citizenry without a last redress against tyranny from that government.  Now, Obama wants to stifle the Press, and one presumes, other manners of free expression that criticize Islam, once again for the “safety” of our men and women in the armed forces.   The intellectual fascism of the Leftist Establishment will be codified as a legitimate power of government.

The chilling effect* on free speech by the actions and threat of actions by government at any level, long identified as unconstitutional, will be a cornerstone of Barack Obama’s erosion of our liberties.  It will be a favored tool used for the stifling of political and social dissent not just by leftist social organizations and academic institutions, (and Hollywood), but also by a government already practiced in these six years in using regulatory and statutory powers as extralegal coercion to suppress political dissent.   Hillary Clinton’s remarks in the wake of the Benghazi terrorist attack smack of such suppression.  Martin Dempsey disgraced his uniform and forfeited his credibility by doing the same.

Of course, Barack Obama could protect our armed forces by halting the willful destruction of the moral fiber of those who serve our country with social experimentation, and ceasing the blunting of the readiness of our operating forces in order to feed yet more tens of billions into a $1.7 trillion dollar welfare furnace.  But he will not.  In fact, he will not even name America’s enemy, militant Islam.  Instead, the only term his Administration will use to describe those who actively seek our destruction, “violent extremists”, is applied as liberally to the Left’s political opposition as it is to those Islamic extremists who would perpetrate another 9/11.

Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech was exactly what it sounded like.  It was a klaxon to our Islamist enemies that one of their own was now in charge.  He will not criticize them because he is philosophically one of them.  The frequent visits by members of the Muslim Brotherhood to the White House, a foreign policy more accommodating to Iran and Cuba than Israel and Britain, and an undeviating record of foreign affairs decisions resulting in maximum damage to US power and prestige have long since passed the point of being viewed as coincidental blunders.   How do we know?  Because Barack Obama claims the power to keep American citizens from saying so.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

(*The chilling effect occurs when any Constitutionally-protected activity is unduly discouraged by actions or threats of action by the government against those individuals and groups as a consequence of exercising that activity.)

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