Wednesday, January 31, 2007

There's trouble brewing...

...with Iran (as if that weren't obvious).

A while back, I wondered if the end of our kid-glove approach with Iranian meddling in Iraq wasn't an omen that a new Gulf of Tonkin incident might be in the offing. Since this post, there has been the very sophisticated kidnapping and execution of 5 soldiers (h/t Protein Wisdom, and others). The speculation is now running that the Bush administration is soft-playing this story for some reason.

But now the MSM is putting two and two together and wondering if these forces moving behind the scenes aren't about to break out into a more public war.

I certainly don't wish for a wider war, but I cannot ignore the fact that Iran must be confronted. They're the ones pushing their apololyptic vision of the future, and we're kidding ourselves if we think this will just go away.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hey, Hillary....

Look! The circus is back in town!

h/t Glenn.

A Good Move...

"Troops allowed to kill Iranians in Iraq". This is an overdue move, and bringing heat to those who are fomenting trouble in Iraq is a good thing.

It amazes me that this might in any way be viewed as controversial.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Democrat's problem...


Kerry isn't so dumb (or, more correctly, those who might contribute to a Democrat Presidential candidate aren't so dumb) that he can't see that he can't be elected. He screwed up his '04 run, never answered his Swiftboat critics, never provided full and open review of his military records (as he promised), never lost his reputation as a flip-flopper, and spent the remaining 2+ years further tarnishing his own standing. A Kerry '08 candidacy was doomed, and not entering the race is just about the only rational thing he's done.

But, as John at Powerline notes (and I noted yesterday), Kerry's problem with how he crafts his message on Iraq is exemplary of the broader problems of the Democrat Party on Iraq. Nobody--not one--Democrat has a public vision of how to win in Iraq. Ignoring this question, in the hopes that it will all be blamed on Bush, is not the way to win an election.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union...

[I confess that I slept through most of the SOTU speech last night. I didn't sleep particularly well the night before, got a good workout at the gym in the morning, then spent the afternoon making concrete. Therefore an evening nap was unavoidable.]

But, I did see much of the post-speech discussion (on FNC, of course). And, I cannot help but agree with the strength that Jules Crittenden sees here.

We are at war. For all that the Democrats try, they cannot ignore this point. They've been trying to snatch defeat out of the hands of victory as they pursue their own political agenda, but when it comes to Iraq, they offer nothing, and are proud of their "nothingness" as long as Bush gets the blame for Iraq. Eventually, either today or when their candidate wins in '08 (God forbid), they're going to have to deal with the problems in Iraq, the Mid-East, and the Muslim world.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Gym...

Update: I get very few readers to my humble blog, but more than a few of you come in looking for a photo of Havasu Falls. It appears that the photo I hoarked from some .edu site is now unavailable. I invite you to look around a bit, but if you're interested in Havasu photos, you can see plenty in my report on our hike. You can access it here.

OK. So, as we're now well into our middle ages, we have to admit that we've managed to put on more than a few pounds. Further, since we have committed to a family hike down to the Havasupai Falls...

...loosing weight has become part of that committment. Therefore a membership at the local gym has been added into our lives.

With that prelude, I was impressed by the sight of a 75-or-so year-old white-haired grandmother on the treadmill next to me this morning. She didn't go fast, or very long (20 minutes or so), but she was there. She left the treadmill for the "hand-bike", and I lost track of her. I hope that we're still in the gym at her age.

Friday, January 19, 2007

"...if [the Americans] get out of Fallujah,..."

"... Washington itself will be a target."

As usual, read the whole thing.

Also, Michelle Malkin, after her embed in Iraq, has gained new optimism that this thing can be won. Also, don't fail to read the report of her colleague, Bryan Preston, that winning is not impossible. Both believe that the Iraq War has had far more mistakes than we naively believed we would encounter, but that the media is misleading America on the progress there, and that, with patience and perseverance, this thing can be won.

These two reports jibe with that of Michal Yon, posted a couple of days ago.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sandy Berger...

...has more questions to answer, if he were an honorable man.

h/t Scott at Powerline.

"Saddam was...


At least according to Charlie Rangel in a discussion of MLK day on this morning's Fox News broadcast. Link here.

Geez. Is....

...this cover photo creepy, or what? Gore looks like a James Bond movie villan.
Plus, take a look at Gore here, doing his "Dr.-Lara-Croft's-Legitimate-Brother" look-alike pose.

Oh. And global warming? Bunk.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bush's White House=....

...Faux Klingons. Allah is all over it.

Now that I think about it, having a Democrat majority is going to be fun. These guys are a hoot!

After all he's said in public... Joe Wilson is on the road to being forced to speak under oath. Heh.

The President is moved... tears during the award of the Medal of Honor.

Those who say he declared war in Iraq to avenge the attempt on the life of his father, "Blood for Oil" or any other ridiculous reason are daft.

I dunno....

...but am I the only one thinking "Tit for tat"?

It's quite possible that Greece has any number of characters who might do this, and certainly America has made enemies around the world, but the timing of this attack on the embassy makes me suspicious.

Update: Via Scott at Powerline, I see this (the NY Sun, again!), which includes this nugget...
...Another administration source yesterday said the White House and State Department do not consider the Iranians arrested yesterday to have diplomatic immunity because the building that was raided was not a consulate....
Hmmm. No diplomatic immunity. Candidates for Gitmo, perhaps?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The quickest money...

...ever made.

I finally got around to renewing my CCW last week. The renewal is much simpler than it used to classroom, no shooting, no nothing. Just fill in the application, attach your $65 renewal fee and....

...Get fingerprinted.

I went to the place I've done all my CCW training for the fingerprinting. It took all of 3 minutes, and the fee? $30.

I don't begrudge the proprietor his right to make a buck, and frankly I expected to have to pay something. But I did think this was a bit much. If I can remember at my next renewal, I'll shop around a bit.

Payback, Ops Normal, or Prelude to another Gulf of Tonkin?...

Who cares? In any event, this is something that's been sorely needed.

h/t Rightwing Nuthouse via Allah and Ace.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In preface to...

...President Bush's speech on the addition of troops to Iraq, I found this article relating Tony Snow's thoughts on the speech. I have to wonder, if the focus is in Baghdad, are they thinking about the dangers posed by Iran (which I've earlier written about)?

Michael Yon... back in Iraq. His post on entering is here.

Although I won't at all pretend to be the writer or have the experiences that Yon does, I will echo one of his points...that it is the senior enlisted guy who gets things done.

This was one of the lessons of my (humble and entirely peacetime) military service that was difficult, and came late to me. Air Force officers--especially pilots (and most especially, fighter pilots)--are taught to be arrogant. The world turns around them, and the enlisted are there to make sure it does. While I enjoyed being a FAIP (First Assignment Instructor Pilot), the AF does a disservice to these young officers by creating a work environment where they are almost completely segregated from enlisted and especially non-commissioned officers.

It wasn't until my last year or so that I began to learn that the enlisted can and will make or break an operation. It doesn't really matter what the General, or the Colonel, or the Captain may think about something. Until the Master Sargeant thinks that an operation or a new program makes sense, it'll never get off the ground.

Yon's attraction to the CSM is just an extension of this. The CSM is a badass guy, who is also smart. The press make the same mistake I made as a young junior officer by ignoring him.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Predicting a result of Iran's acquisition of nukes...

Michael Totten notes that...
Six Arab governments – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Tunisia – say they will pursue nuclear weapons programs now because Iran’s atomic bombs need to be countered. None of these Arab countries sought nuclear weapons to offset those acquired by Israel. They fear and loathe the Shia of Lebanon and Iran (and most likely Iraq, as well) more than they worry about the Zionists regardless of what they may say....[emphasis mine]

h/t Glenn.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Persian Gulf of Tonkin?...

Yesterday, on my NYC layover, I was able to score a New York Sun [Yeah!] (but not this morning--Boo!). On the front page of this issue of the Sun, I found this article (now under discussion widely in the b'sphere), which reports that we've captured intelligence that Iran is supporting both Sunni and Shiite militias in Iraq. [For the record, Iran is Shiite as is the majority of Iraq. Saddam was a Sunni. Saudi is majority Sunni.]

This kind of blows apart the whole meme that religion rules over pragmatism. Iran sees that chaos in Iraq--regardless of the source--is in their best interests. Tieing down the Great Satan to where he is viewed to be impotent is in their interests, more than pursuing their views on Islam.

Also, Stennis is headed for the Gulf.