Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Body Counts Trump Political Speeches in War on Islamo-fascism

I read an article from Foreign Policy magazine yesterday after it was mentioned at length on the Rush Limbaugh show and the text was later posted on his website.

It was a good article by a War College professor named David Stoker, pointing out that the so-called "Surge" of additional infantry and Marines to take back Baghdad and put a hurting on both the insurgents and sectarian fighters in Iraq has a great chance of succeeding.

In arriving at this conclusion the author refers to one of my pet peeves, an issue I have written and lectured about many times in the past, when he notes that America has learned the wrong lessons from Vietnam, specifically that the Viet Cong, who in reality were annihilated in that war, were invincible, and that we can't defeat similarly constituted insurgent organizations now. I agree with Prof. Stoker's conclusion, and would add that America has this impression both because of biased reporting from the media at that time and from constant reinforcement of that falsehood by the media and Hollywood in the decades since the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.

But a comment in the article, concerning "America's collective misunderstanding of its defeat in South Vietnam," concerns me. My primary objection is that use of the words "America's defeat" is nearly universally seen as meaning a military defeat - due to the continuing media and entertainment industry bias and misinformation.

I believe this concept of America's "military defeat," is widely assumed to be true not only in the general public, but throughout the modern military at all levels of the officer and enlisted ranks. I have written about this many times in the past, but it bears repeating as often as necessary, especially if command decisions are being made today based on misunderstandings of events from a generation ago.

In fact, America was never defeated militarily in Vietnam. It isn't just rhetoric to say that we won every single battle. We did and for all practical purposes America eliminated the Viet Cong guerillas from the fighting by early 1969 after inflicting horrendous losses on them in the Tet Offensive of February 1968 when about 50 percent of the VC were killed in action in a matter of weeks.

In fighting during May of that year, dubbed Mini-Tet by those who were there, the VC continued to use disastrous tactics, and they continued to lose throughout the remainder of that year. The VC and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) attempted to launch another Tet Offensive in February 1969, with the same disastrous results that they encountered a year earlier, and the VC disappeared from the battlefield.

Coincidentally, the Phoenix Program, which successfully sought to capture or kill the members the VC political infrastructure ran through this period, thus by 1969 the war on the communist side was being fought entirely by North Vietnamese regulars who also were killed in astounding numbers.

Nonetheless, US news organizations, including the vaunted CBS "60 Minutes" TV show still maintain that the VC were instrumental in the US "defeat."

When Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded all US forces in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968, died in 2005, his obituary in the Washington Post claimed that he was outsmarted by his communist opponent Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Westmoreland was faulted for attempting to maneuver the North Vietnamese into a conventional winner-take-all battle, while simultaneously working to eliminate the VC guerillas.

During 1967 the validity of that strategy was questioned, but its soundness was proven in the Tet Offensive of 1968. That offensive was the stand-up battle that Westmoreland had wanted and we won it in such an overwhelming fashion that it should be taught as model of how to defeat an insurgency - guerilla war - with a conventional army.

There were mistakes from that time of course. War by its very nature includes both sides making mistakes. But the genius of the warrior is the ability to recover from mistakes on your side, while capitalizing on mistakes by the other side. Marine generals had long urged Westmoreland to institute a pacification program in the civilian populace, a tactic with which the Marine Corps has a long and successful history.

The Marines instituted civil action programs on a limited basis under Westmoreland, but expanded them with tremendous success under Gen. Creighton Abrams, Westmoreland's successor. The US also would have benefited from a massive troop buildup early in the war, instead of the piecemeal increases that went on year after year, which as much as anything else wore down the public's patience.

The NVA and VC never capitalized on the US mistakes, while in Tet we definitely capitalized on theirs. But the upshot of the US victory was trips to Vietnam by American newsmen, with CBS television anchor Walter Cronkite in the lead, to falsely report back that we were not only beaten in Tet, but that we could never win the war there.

Sound familiar? Have we been hearing something very similar about the war in Iraq? Yet every returning troop I have spoken with, including Marines and Army infantry who have been right in the middle of the fighting, say we are making great progress there and killing terrorists by the thousands. But all we ever hear about is the deaths of American troops and Iraqi civilians.

The truth of Vietnam is that military successes there were either squandered or sabotaged by US politicians and bureaucrats. I realize there are some in Washington now who were there then, and feel a tremendous sense of responsibility for what happened to our allies in South Vietnam and millions of others throughout Southeast Asia who were slaughtered by the communists after we pulled out in 1975.

I share that burden, and not a day has gone by since 1975 when I have not thought about friends I made in that country and what happened to them. But much of what I write now, and what many others write now, is based on the wisdom gained from 20/20 hindsight. Whatever anger I feel about those events is directed at people like Cronkite and Sen. John Kerry, both of whom it was later revealed were communist sympathizers and supporters, and who worked to achieve that disastrous outcome.

I did not walk in the shoes of those who wanted the best results for Southeast Asia and the US, but were working in an environment of misinformation from the media and duplicity from their counterparts in our own government, so I hold no animosity toward them, nor do my friends in the veterans' community. However, we have definite hard feelings toward those who knew exactly what they were doing in the 60s and 70s, and deliberately sabotaged our successes in Vietnam, and then blamed the military for the resultant disaster.

I knew when I left Vietnam in 1969 that we were winning. I had seen it on the battlefield and I saw it in the villages and cities. But I didn't know the extent to which we were winning. The overall commander of I Corps, Marine Gen. Raymond Davis, had a very good handle on the big picture and tried to communicate this to the media at the time, but they weren't listening.

Westmoreland's detractors say that his "War of Attrition" was unsuccessful, but they never mention that an estimated 1.4 million communist North Vietnamese troops were killed and that the communist military leadership was talking surrender until political missteps in the US worked in the communists' favor.

The "Vietnamization" program launched in Pres. Richard Nixon's administration is derided in the same media that ignores the overwhelming success of the South Vietnamese Army when it stopped an all-out northern invasion launched at Easter in 1972. Estimates of communist troops killed by a combination of South Vietnamese ground forces and US air power range from 75,000 to 150,000 out of a total invasion force of 250,000.

When the wounded are included in that equation, even using a very low ratio of three wounded to one killed, it means the entire invasion force was eliminated. Try finding mention in the Main Stream Media that communist "genius" Gen. Giap was fired by his political bosses in Hanoi after that disaster.

To this day the media derides the body counts of enemy soldiers killed in battle with us, claiming that the numbers provided by the military were inaccurate. Yet they never mention the total numbers of communists killed.

Which is why we need to give the American public a more specific view of what our troops are accomplishing in Iraq, and Afghanistan. When US and Iraqi forces engaged a regiment-sized force of insurgents, foreign terrorists and sectarian fighters north of Baghdad this past weekend, and killed up to 300 of them while capturing more than 100 more and stopping a terrorist attack that would have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, the positive energy that ran through America was palpable.

The foes of US policy in Iraq and elsewhere don't want the public to know these figures because they tend to solidify support for our efforts there. So we need them, and we need them every time we win a battle.

It is beyond hypocritical for the media to do a daily story saying how many American troops have been killed in action, which not only provides battlefield intelligence to the enemy, but also gives aid and comfort because of its intended aim of wearing down the support of the American public, while purposely ignoring enemy losses.

A running tally of terrorists killed would have the exact same results with the Islamo-fascists. How long do you think their recruiting efforts would be successful if the potential recruits know that alliance with the terrorists is a one-way ticket to death?

If there were any inaccuracies in the Vietnam body counts, we erred on the low side, not by over-reporting. If the world had known what the American military, the communists and the American media knew back then, there is more than sufficient historic evidence to strongly suggest that the outcome would have been much different.

That is the truth of Vietnam, those are the lessons that should have been learned and they are the factors that should shape our strategy and tactics in Iraq today.
Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pitiful Jane Fonda: Still Irrelevant After All These Years

A friend and I were discussing which movies we like the best and for what reasons the other day and the discussion eventually worked its way around our favorite stars.

Since I am a Vietnam veteran, he eventually got around to asking me what I thought of Jane Fonda.

I replied that I don't think about Jane Fonda, and am barely aware that she even exists. In fact, she usually comes to mind only if someone sends out a new supply of those urinal targets that say Jane Fonda, Traitor, Whore, Bitch on them with her picture in the middle.

When he asked why I feel that way, I replied that she has done nothing of note, nothing original, nothing of lasting value in her entire life, and once she is gone she won't be remembered for anything except being a traitor.

This comment spurred my friend to retort, "Well, Oh yeah? She's an academy award winning actress, what do you think of that?"

I replied that the Academy Awards may have meant something on a professional level many decades ago, but in my lifetime they seem to have degenerated into a contest to see who will prostitute themselves the most for the privilege of claiming to be something they aren't.

He thought about this for a minute, and then responded, "Well, Oh yeah?" (We are Smothers Brothers fans, and his response was taken from one of their routines.)

I finally asked what she received an academy award for, since I didn't want him to go away angry. He replied, "Klute!"

I am not familiar with that movie, so I asked what kind of role she played.

He said, "A whore!"

I said, "I see."

We decided to let the subject go at that, and went on to unrelated topics such as whether art imitates life or life imitates art.

I had forgotten about our conversation until Saturday afternoon when another friend called to ask if I had seen Jane Fonda on the news, sabotaging and undermining our troops in Iraq, the way she sabotaged and undermined our troops in Vietnam a generation ago. When I said I hadn't, he asked why not, and my reply was similar to my reply a few days earlier.

"Because she is irrelevant, and is only trying to get some attention. Apparently her daddy didn't hug her enough when she was a child and she still has a desperate need for attention and approval."

"That," I added, "is why I never write about her. She went around college campuses in the 60s telling college kids how great communism is compared to capitalism, yet she spent a lifetime accumulating as much personal wealth as she could get her hands on, even though much of it was from her ex-husbands, and she hasn't seen fit to share it with the rest of us.

"She went to Vietnam to prop up the communists after they got their asses kicked by South Vietnam in the Easter invasion of 1972 and were considering surrender. She claims her visit was to protest the war, but it really was to reassure the communist north that their friends in the American Congress and the American media would help get them control of the south as long as they didn't surrender.

"Then she called the POWs liars when they came home and said they had been tortured by the communists. It took two decades for her to come up with a phony apology, but she has never admitted that her actions helped launch a holocaust that killed millions in Southeast Asia. She is a hypocrite and a traitor, she has nothing intelligent to add to the debate and it isn't fair to pick on the intellectually challenged."

Nonetheless, he asked if I would check out the news and report back on what I saw.

Okay, here it is. What I saw was irrelevance. A bunch of anti-American groups, some pro-communist, some pro-terrorist, some just anti-democracy and capitalism, got a relatively small group of like-minded lemmings to gather on the mall in Washington, D. C., in what can best be described as a mere shadow of the 60s anti-war movement. They used the exact same tired, worn, inaccurate, extremist rhetoric that was used back then, and ultimately did nothing more than get themselves some face time on the evening news, on a really, really slow news day.

In her speech to the group, Fonda claimed "We did not learn the lessons of the Vietnam War!"

To which I am forced to ask, is this moron for real?

I wrote two days ago about how her fellow communist sympathizer, John Kerry, chooses to ignore the terribly inconvenient deaths of four million residents of Southeast Asia after we left, all because of him, and her and their minions. Four million innocent men, women and children slaughtered because Fonda, Kerry and their racist friends were successful in convincing a majority of the US Congress to withdraw all aid and support for the South Vietnamese government.

The communists, reeling and on the edge of defeat, literally got a life-saving transfusion from Fonda and Friends, and the result was wholesale slaughter throughout Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for the next decade. Entire communities were murdered, entire sections of Cambodia annihilated and the population vanished without a trace except for the millions of bodies dug up two decades later.

Killed why? Some worked for the government. Some listened to radios. Some had been educated in western countries. Some wore glasses. Many worked in offices or in non-physical labor. But not a word of protest from Fonda and Friends.

You know what this makes Kerry and Fonda don't you? Proponents of mass murder, of the type perpetrated by the likes of Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, and Hitler. And she has the nerve to demonstrate on the mall in Washington claiming to hold the moral high ground?

This leads astute observers of the international scene to ask, "Who do Fonda and Kerry think would be killed in the US if the communists took over?"

They'd probably start with mindless buffoons like Jane Fonda and stooges like John Kerry, who actually believe they would be allowed a place in the hierarchy of the new world communist order! Their only real chance for survival if the communists took over would be if the firing squad was laughing too hard at their gullibility to aim properly.

Who do they think would be killed in the US if the Islamo-fascist terrorists took over? They'd definitely start with mindless dupes like Jane Fonda. I guarantee she would object to the terrorists telling her, her daughter and her granddaughters to clothe themselves from head to foot in burlap, to stay in the house unless accompanied outside by an approved male escort, to quit work, and to quit school.

These are the people she wants to succeed on the world stage, and she would be one of their first American targets, because she not only is a woman, she is a woman with a mouth that spews uninformed, uneducated, illiterate tripe of the kind she used on Saturday. The Islamo-fascists don't like women very much, but women like Fonda are especially despised.

Speaking of Saturday, what disappointment she must have felt, knowing that the population of the United States has burgeoned to more than 300 million in the years since Vietnam, but her audience has shrunk to less than the crowd that still attends the average concert by the average 80s era heavy metal band. Early estimates on crowd size were 10,000 but then the news media gave the organizers a hand, and absent an official tally from the capital police they started claiming it was actually 100,000 - still exponentially short of the communists' glory days in the 60s. The Simon and Garfunkel reunion in Central Park did much better.

Does Fonda think for a minute that Democratic Presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama didn't notice the paucity of the turnout Saturday? Does she think for a minute that she will be seriously courted by any serious presidential contender, especially after our troops lambaste the terrorists and Iraq settles down?

There are nearly two years left until the next presidential election, and my money is on Iraq being a non-issue, except for Republican office seekers - not the turncoats currently in Congress, but the ones who supported our troops the whole way. I predict they will have a field day bringing up the spinelessness of Democrats and Republican turncoats who tried to sabotage our troops when they were in the field locked in battle.

Face it, Jane Fonda is a 69-year-old relic of a bygone day. She, and those she consorted with, are responsible for helping create the conditions that led to a holocaust that killed an estimated 4 million people. She considers that era to be the high point of her life and now is engaged in an effort to repeat that travesty in the Middle East.

After spending her life as an avowed communist, Fonda claimed to have 'found' Christianity about five years ago. But now she is back to the same pitiful activities that she was engaged in 40 years ago.

Earth to Jane. I don't know what Christian God you found, but the one I was raised with can spot a hypocrite from the other side of the universe, and doesn't allow them into heaven. Sorry Jane, you blew it on that count too - so to speak.

Fonda was gullible and pliable in the 60s, she is gullible and pliable now, has some terrible self-esteem and judgment issues and most important, won't be kindly remembered when she is gone. Any reputable news organization that writes her obituary is going to be honor and duty bound to report that she betrayed her country, and the armed forces, by providing aid and comfort to an enemy country, in person, when we were in a war to prevent the genocide that devastated Southeast Asia after we left.

She can say and do anything she wants from now until the day she dies, but the phrase "was considered a traitor" still is going to be in her obituary. Long after she is gone, and those who helped her or used her are gone, the history books will look back on this era, and if they mention her at all, will refer to her the same way modern history books look at Benedict Arnold.

When Americans in the 22nd century want to learn about the war in Vietnam and the War on Terror, if they look up Jane Fonda, it will come under the heading "traitor."

Other than that, she was, is, and will be irrelevant.
Friday, January 26, 2007

John Kerry: A Liar and Racist Then; Buffoon and Racist Now

About the only thing that Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry has said in the past 40 years that I agree with is his decision this week to bow out of the 2008 presidential race.

Good. Although I might have enjoyed seeing him humiliated, by his own party no less.

But hidden in the news clips of his announcement that he wasn't running was another Kerry quote, this time in a Senate hearing on a resolution condemning the war in Iraq, in which he resurrected his infamous 1970 denunciation of American forces in Vietnam; "Who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake!"

That little quip of Kerry's has been a sound bite for decades, but the World Terrorist Media - WTM - and its local affiliate the American Terrorist Media - ATM - never play it along with scenes of the carnage that ensued after the United States abandoned our ally in South Vietnam. Members of the WTM and ATM have built careers around the concept that the US was beaten militarily in Vietnam, even though the facts showed otherwise.

For the record, and for new readers, the US won every single major engagement in the entire war, took 58,000 losses (killed) while killing an estimated 1.4 million communists. The North was on the verge of surrendering to the US in 1969 until political missteps squandered that opportunity, and the communist army was demolished by South Vietnamese forces backed by US air power in the Easter invasion of 1972. That opportunity was squandered by US negotiators at the Paris Peace Accords. Why? We still don't know and probably never will. Only Henry Kissinger who accepted the Ignoble Peace Prize for heading those negotiations really knows for sure and he has never confessed.

But when the South fell in 1975 and communist forces went on a rampage of murder, rape, pillage and genocide, Kerry and his cohorts tried to make it appear that somehow it was all the fault of the United States. They even went so far as to say that by standing up to communism and fighting to stop its expansion, WE caused the wars that the communists were waging on every inhabited continent.

When the Khmer Rouge, the communists in Cambodia, were running the tally of the murdered up to 3 million or so, roughly half of the entire population of that country at the time, the WTM turned a blind eye and tried to make believe it didn't happen. When that didn't work the strategy was to downplay the numbers of people slaughtered, and then attack the victims, giving the impression that 3 million murder victims caused their own demise by supporting the despised capitalistic system.

That approach also was used to explain the one million boat people who fled the carnage and concentration camps in South Vietnam.

The real mistakes that were made in the Vietnam era included not jailing for treason the journalists, (especially CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, a communist sympathizer and puppet), who deliberately lied about or distorted the successes of not only the American military, but the South Vietnamese too. The real mistakes of Vietnam included letting craven cowards and liars like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and the late Senator Frank Church, co-author of the Case-Church resolution that cut off all economic and military aid to South Vietnam, push their agenda to success, sealing the fate of millions of Southeast Asians.

When Kerry makes the claim that the last person to "die for a mistake" in Vietnam was an American serviceman, he exposes his own latent racism, by not only discounting, but completely ignoring the deaths of some 4 million Asians, Orientals for the unaware, as insignificant and not worthy of mention.

And now he wants to do the same thing in Iraq. The comments that came out of that Senate hearing on the resolution the Democrats are pushing to sabotage the war effort in Iraq are sickening. How can these people who deliberately created the conditions that led to a Holocaust in Southeast Asia a generation ago, once again set the conditions that will lead to a Holocaust in the Middle East?

The Senate Democrats and their Republican turncoat supporters are deliberately sabotaging the troops, and hoping to end the new strategy before it begins. This is not a SURGE by the way, as it has been widely portrayed.

This is an OFFENSIVE! And good for us for doing it!

It is good to see that Kerry won't be out on the national stump for the next two years, and I am especially grateful that the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth won't have to gear up again. Those gentlemen, heroes one and all, took a horrible pounding in the 2004 election campaign, for the horrendous crime of telling the truth about Kerry. Many of them were even sued personally for speaking out, which has been all but ignored by the WTM and ATM since it doesn't speak well for either Kerry or the Democrats to sue people for exercising the First Amendment.

They won't have to go through that again and I am happy for them.

Maybe if the US is truly fortunate the citizens of Massachusetts will take a new look at Kerry and send a better person to the Senate next time around.

In the meantime, Congress doesn't have the votes or the power to cut the legs out from under our troops, other than in the morale department. I believe our guys are going to smack the daylights out of the terrorists in Iraq in such a major way that by the time the Democrats and their turncoat Republican supporters stop talking to take a breath, we will have emerged from this offensive victorious.

And you can take that to the bank.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Congressional Republicans Are an Embarrassment! Chavez - Eat My Shorts! No Juliet Huddy, No Mike!

First things first. I didn't watch the State of the Union address last night because for me it has become just another example of how embarrassing our Congress can act when the cameras are rolling.

I am interested in what President Bush considers his priorities and how he would like to deal with them, but I can't stand this choreographed applause, or lack of applause, or the standing ovations, or the refusal to stand for ovations.

This is so childish and irrelevant that it was preferable from my point of view to watch previous seasons of 24 - no kidding I really did - than to waste an hour of my time on Congress. I went to the internet this morning, called up tapes of the president speaking on the issues I care most about, and that was more than enough.

I also could care less about the 'other' party's response. Why do we have to even consider that? The State of the Union address is about the Executive branch of the government discussing its priorities with the Legislative branch and setting an agenda that both branches can work on. It isn't, or didn't use to be, about Republicans and Democrats, and I have no interest in a 'rebuttal' regardless of who is delivering it or their political affiliation.

But what really embarrasses me about the Republicans in Congress is the transparency and gutlessness that accompanied the recent decision by some of them to come up with an anti-Iraq War resolution accompanying the Democrats' ongoing efforts to sabotage our troops and the War on Terror. The Dems say they are certain they can pass a resolution taking President Bush to task for the recent change in strategy on Iraq, and the increase of combat troops.

They plan on doing this while our men are in combat, going into another inner city street fight, which is right up or down there with jungle fighting for complexity and difficulty. They are saying with a straight face that it is only a political repudiation of the president's policy, not a slap at the troops or an attempt to undermine their morale!

Bull! If you want our troops to do the job they signed up to do, and if you want them to succeed, and if you want a shot at a truly peaceful world, and if you want to avoid another entire generation of fighting men and women spending the rest of their useful lives arguing that they really won the damn battles while the stupid, gutless politicians screwed up the whole effort, then you shut up until the operation is over! That is how you support the troops.

They are there. That is a fact, that is reality. No amount of Congressional feel good, knee jerk resolutions is going to change that, or accomplish anything other than giving another group of manipulating politicians some wiggle room when the war is discussed in their next reelection cycle. This in no way supports the troops, because these resolutions serve only to stiffen the resolve of the very enemy our guys are fighting against.

The terrorists, regardless of which group they belong to, are watching us closely, looking for any indication of weakness. Until last summer they only had to look to the American Democratic Party to find lack of resolve. Now they have a group of spineless Republicans to add to their data bases.

If the initiative fails, if our troops aren't properly armed, led, supplied, motivated or directed, then raise hell. But I haven't heard one talking head or one member of Congress who actually has served in combat in a senior leadership role talking about this with anything remotely resembling actual experience or training. Because there are none. So shut up and let the troops do their job without being sabotaged on the home front ... again.

I joined the Republican Party not because I grew up in New York farming country, a Republican stronghold, nor because most of my immediate family members were and are Republicans, some for nearly a century. I joined because as I understood it the core philosophy of the Republican Party is for limited government, no more than is necessary to do the work of our country, and limited taxes, no more than enough to fund the limited government, with a reasonable contingency for emergencies.

That is not what the Republican Party stands for any longer, at least not in Washington, D.C. Is there something in the water down there that turns people into such spineless, ineffective, mindless wimps? Are these people high, or are their brains deteriorating?

In Iraq, we have told the elected government in no uncertain terms that we are going into the worst areas to take out the baddest of the bad guys. We have told Iran and Syria that the party is over, and we will eliminate their weapons supplies, their training facilities and their reinforcements wherever we find them. This is a major shift in direction, but it can and will be done. Count on our troops. Arm them, equip them, give them direction and an objective and they will never let the country down.

But Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, is letting them down and undermining their efforts before they even get off the ground. This is 100 percent political opportunism, created by the 2007 elections, and fear on the part of some in the GOP that they won't get to keep their plum posts for another term.

America didn't accept the Democratic viewpoint in November. It rejected the GOP. Americans are tired of scandal, insincerity, lip service, and phonies. The Dems got in because nature abhors a vacuum, not because they are preferable to the Republicans. Want to win in your next election, win in Iraq! Then tackle immigration and don't give us some sugar-coated excuse for letting a bunch of illegal aliens into the country with full benefits. Do it and do it right. That will get you back into office.

This is another argument in favor of term limits. I have outlined it before, and every time I see something like this it reinforces my belief. Two terms down there and out! Go back home and work for a living like the rest of us.

I've come to expect pro-communist, pro-socialist, and pro-totalitarian initiatives from the Democrats. We have international punks bad mouthing us all over the world and the Dems cringe and agree with the worst that is said about us, rather than standing up for this great country and all the opportunities that exist here.

The Dems act as if any flaw short of absolute perfection (their definition, not mine) is reason to scrap the entire concept of democracy. Now we have Republicans joining them.

Where is the one person in Washington D.C. who will stand up to that pipsqueak in Iran - Green Bean Almandine - and Chavez the communist bully in Venezuela?

OK, our Senators and Representatives are gutless, and have never been in a bloody battle where they took some big time hits and still came out winning. They have no experience in this area. So I'll do if for you.

Chavez, you loudmouthed punk. Eat my shorts! I hope the Saudis drive the price of oil down to $20 a barrel, not because it will make that much difference in my heating oil prices (I use more wood off my own property than oil anyway) but because I want to see you driven right into insolvency. Then we'll see what you're made of.

Regarding our Republican turncoats in the Congress, go take some knitting classes will you? Get out of government. You had your opportunity. You could have done something great. You could have been contenders.

Now, you just make me sick.

Missing Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick

For all I have written about the new morning TV news show on the FOX network, starring Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick, I found out Monday morning, much to my chagrin, that I won't be able to watch it.

When Fox & Friends was over at 9 a.m. Monday on Fox cable, I tuned in to the Fox Network affiliate Channel 61 in Hartford, all ready to see the new show. My wife and daughter came in to watch because the wanted to see Chris Daughtry, the American Idol finalist from last year who was their favorite, and was a guest for the first show.

But what I got was the same morning show that has been there for a while now. Sorry, I can't remember the hostesses name, I don't watch those shows.

We were understandably disappointed and so I went to the Channel 61 website and sent in an email asking what was going on. I got a reply in pretty short order, which I did appreciate, along with a viable explanation of the station's programming priorities.

It seems that since Mike and Juliet are syndicated, the local stations aren't required to air their show. Since the show that currently is on the local station is a money maker, the management sees no reason to scrap it for an untested show that may or may not be profitable.

OK, I understand TV programming needs and can accept that.

But I still would much rather see Juliet and Mike. So all I can say is "Good luck" and I hope they do a phenomenal job. That way, when Channel 61 reviews its programming again, if Juliet and Mike are doing well, I may finally get a chance to see them again.

I'll be waiting. And that will be my final word on the subject. For now.
Sunday, January 21, 2007

Juliet Huddy is Back on FOX! Yahoo!

I'm going to take a bit of a detour from my usual writing today, to get to the heart of an issue that has been foremost on my readers' minds.

First, let me explain a bit about writing a blog from my point of view. I have been a writer and commentator for more than 30 years, and in the past have written columns in the so-called mainstream media on political and military matters, as well as a column on outdoor activities in New England.

In that world I was limited by space, someone else's deadlines, and to a degree the opinions and priorities of various editors and publishers. In the world of blogging, however, I am on a self-imposed deadline, and the subject matter is limited only by what interests me at the moment.

A friend told me the other day that although she also is an accomplished writer, she has never tackled a blog because she doesn't have the ego for it. That is a valid observation.

I can say with honesty that the part of daily journalism that I miss the most is having some input on the issues of the day. I like to talk, to debate, to discuss and to write. I have deeply held beliefs about our country, our alliance with Israel, treatment of the military and our veterans, all of which I address here.

But, from a strictly business perspective, the primary reason why I write this column is to draw readers to my website with the expressed intent of convincing them to buy my books.

If you like what you read here, you may well want to see what Masters of the Art, A Fighting Marine's Memoir of Vietnam is all about. Soon, there will be two more books to choose from, one that is finished and is being compiled, another that is in the final writing stages.

Nonetheless, I do have just enough ego to believe that what I write here has some validity and if read by the right people and passed on to others, may just have a tiny bit of impact on the national and world stage. Maybe.

I have a biography on my website for readers to peruse that also accompanies news releases about my book and other activities, but it is only a partial biography. It doesn't tell you that I was the son of a Scottish immigrant father, and second-generation Irish immigrant mother; working-class people who maxed out at high school for formal education but had street smarts beyond compare. It doesn't tell you that I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from four years of college. And it doesn't tell you that long before I was a journalist, a college professor, or even a Marine, I fought far more than my share of street battles as a teenager growing up just outside Troy, New York.

My official bio doesn't tell you that throughout my entire elementary and secondary school education I was the youngest and one of the smallest students in my class, because my mother placed me in kindergarten when I was four instead of waiting until I was five. I also did well in most school subjects, which pretty much guaranteed that I would have to fight for security, status, and pride throughout most of my formative years

This all matters in the opinions I voice in this column because in my view of the world scene, countries like Iran, Syria and even China view themselves as underdogs fighting against the bully United States. Therefore I have a unique understanding of their motivations, just as I understand Al Qaeda, the Taliban and similar terrorist organizations. Long ago I had a very good handle on the mindset of street fighters, both what makes them tick, and what they use for tactics, and the guys we are up against are street fighters of the first order.

Now, why on earth did I tell you all this and what does it have to do with Juliet Huddy? This.

Back in early December I wrote a column on the subject of diversions, and how the communists are using the War on Terror to their advantage to keep the US focused on what the terrorists are doing, while they advance their agendas. In the second part of that column I wrote a tongue-in-cheek article chiding Fox News because Juliet Huddy was no longer co-host of the "Dayside" show at 1 p.m. She and Dayside co-host Mike Jerrick who also had been on the weekend edition of "FOX & Friends," just disappeared from the network, and my son asked me what had happened to them.

So I put it in the second part of my column, and offered to pay a ransom to bring her back. (No offense Mike, I like you too, but Juliet ... well, you know.)

Anyway, the Google search engine people offer a service to bloggers whereby they let you know how many people are reading your blog every day, and what subject areas are drawing the most people.

So, after dozens upon dozens columns on national and international politics and military issues, the consistent number one draw to this blog site is ... Juliet Huddy. So much for my background and input. So much for my ego.

Wow! I mean, people really like her and want to read about her.

This blog is by no means a main-stream must-read, not by the media and not even by other bloggers. But if you do a Google search on Juliet Huddy, thousands of entries come up, and somewhere in the first three or four pages, you'll find a reference to this blog!

Holy moly! I'm in the wrong business! I should start a new "official" Juliet Huddy fan club! I should write about Juliet Huddy every single day of my life.

And if for any reason I find that interest in Juliet drops off, I can start mentioning other celebrities.

I have mentioned President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney previously. I have talked about my admiration for Charles Krauthammer. But I should add others to that list. Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke and Mary Matalin for instance. I have yet to say anything about Barack Obama, although I have mentioned Bill and Hillary Clinton.

But let's go for some big time name recognition. How about Beyonce, Mel Gibson, Paris Hilton, her clone Brittany Spears, American Idol contestants, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, Ice-T, and Fifty Cent? Let's talk about Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Chris Sparks, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton. Help me out here. Who is the hottest celebrity out there right now?

24. I'll do a regular column on both Juliet Huddy and 24. Every time I post it will have a reference to Keifer Sutherland, Jack Bauer, and the ongoing story line on 24. I have the previous seasons on DVD, so I will be an absolute fountain of information and opinion on 24. I can throw in a few references to Donald Sutherland just in case, as well as Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Robert DiNiro, Robert Duval and Michael Caine. And don't forget Kevin Costner.

Elvis! I'll write about Elvis! And Frank Sinatra! The Chairman of the Board. Wow!

Want to sell books? Get some second-hand attention from the celebrity world. Can't get an appearance on Fox News to discuss things you have expertise in? Hell, get an unintended endorsement from Barbara Streisand or Danny Glover.

Did you notice that I have never written about Cindy Sheehan? I have a reason. But it no longer is valid. Every time I want to increase interest in this site, up will pop Cindy, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson.

Did I mention Rush Limbaugh?

Ok, I've been playing. But the way this works out on Google's analysis program is going to be very interesting.

See you next time, when I give you the inside dish on Jessica Simpson.

Oh, wait. Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick! They are back on FOX with a new show tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 22, 2007. Check your local listings for time and station. (Do you think Juliet will send me an autographed picture?)
Friday, January 19, 2007

Chinese Checkers? National Security Threat of the Highest Order

Both before and after his service in the US Navy during World War II, my father worked in a defense plant, the US Army Arsenal at Watervliet, New York, just a couple of miles up the road from Albany.

He spent 33 years there before retiring and for most of those 33 years I had little to no idea exactly what it was he did. I knew he was a machinist and that over time he was promoted to foreman and then general foreman in charge of the 'minor components department.' That was it.

But every May on Armed Forces Day, the normally secure Arsenal would open its gates to the public, and we could go in to see military displays and demonstrations. There were tanks, artillery pieces, armored personnel carriers, and one year there was a rope slide that simulated one used in the training to become an Army paratrooper. I spent more than an hour in line that year, waiting to be fastened into a harness, then stepping off the tower for a five-second flight.

But on those days I also had an opportunity to tour the machine shops where Dad worked, and view the weaponry that the Arsenal produced. In the late 60s, after I was in the Marines, that included refitting the huge 16-inch diameter barrels for the guns on the USS New Jersey battleship that was firing support for ground operations in Vietnam.

Before that though, there was a year when my Dad showed me the barrels for 'Atomic cannons.' He said they were specially built artillery pieces that could accommodate low-yield atomic shells. We talked about using 'The Bomb' on the battlefield and how dangerous it would be to our troops. We discussed how foolish it would be for an enemy to force us to use such weapons, but more important was what my father told me about my opportunity to see such displays.

"If you can see it," he said, "it is already obsolete."

Dad's observation came back to me with an unexpected force when the news was released this week that the Chinese used a land-launched rocket to destroy an old weather satellite in outer space. Their satellite orbits are at roughly the same altitude as many of our weather, communications and military intelligence satellites, meaning they could destroy our satellites too, if so inclined.

Regular readers of this column know that observers of the international scene have been warning repeatedly that the Chinese and Russians are pulling strings behind the scenes in the War on Terror, keeping us focused on the North Koreans, the Iranians, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Somalia, Bosnia, and other hot spots du jour. Meanwhile, the Chinese have been making great strides in weaponry and building their land- and sea-based forces to a point where they can challenge the US military.

In the last 15 years, specifically during the Clinton Administration, the Chinese were given electronic technology that enabled them to move ahead exponentially in missile guidance systems. This technology was characterized by the Clinton Administration as useful only in video games, but it also could be, and was, quickly adapted for military use. The Chinese also got docking rights at former Navy installations on the West Coast including San Diego; they stole the stealth technology for our fighters and bombers rendering that technology obsolete; and they stole the technology that enables our SONAR operators to hear their submarines trying to sneak up on our ships.

Prior to that, during the Carter Administration, that former president gave up our control over the Panama Canal, potentially risking our abilities to quickly move ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific if necessary; and he altered our treaty with the Nationalist Chinese on Taiwan, much to the favor of the mainland communist Chinese who want to take over Taiwan and eliminate any form of a democratic Chinese government.

All these blunders, concessions, lapses, missteps and manipulations not only have put our troops at risk, they have put the entirety of the US mainland at risk. The capability to destroy satellites doesn't have to stop at military communications and spy satellites.

They can destroy civilian satellites eliminating cell phone communications, wireless computer networks, business and banking transactions, and global positioning for everyone from interstate truckers to recreational hikers.

Also, in the last couple of months the Chinese have been getting more and more aggressive.

As I wrote last month, short shrift is given in the media to a Chinese submarine evading our best sonar capabilities and sneaking up to well within torpedo range of one of our aircraft carriers in the Pacific. Reports say the US Navy didn't know it was there until it surfaced.

The media also glosses over the revelation that a naturalized US citizen gave our stealth aircraft secrets to the Chinese, making the Stealth bomber more like a bull in a China shop than the ultimate sneak attack weapon; we hear nearly nothing of the successful test by India of an anti-missile system while ours is hung up on a technicality; and it was only last month that the Chinese had advanced as far as shooting a laser beam at one of our satellites.

They have come a long way in just one month.

I repeat. We are focusing on the small screen while the real threats to our country and form of government are being studiously ignored. This doesn't mean that the Islamo-fascists and other terrorists aren't dangerous. They are, and we should kill or neutralize every last one of them.

But I maintain that the missile and bomb testing in Korea, and the on-again, off-again threats from Iran were diversions engineered by the Chinese and Russians trying one last time to impose a new world order of communism on the religious zealots who just can't seem to find enough room for each other to exist peacefully. If we eliminate the source of the money and arms that keeps the terrorists going, we will have made great strides in ending this round of terrorism.

So what do we do about the fact that the Chinese have advanced in one short month from "painting" a US satellite with a laser to blasting one of their own to smithereens with a rocket?

Well, I suggest we come out and admit that we are in a global struggle with communism, again or still, and that it is time to let the Chinese know that despite the allure of their potential markets, we are taking the gloves off. They have a foreign trade balance, thanks primarily to us, while we have a foreign trade deficit, thanks in great part to them.

We have had two simpering pro-communist presidents in the last three decades, which is two too many, and they have put us back on our heels in a dangerously defensive position.

So, make a good offense our best defense. I say, sail ten "Boomers," those huge ICBM carrying subs, right up to the Chinese coast, underwater of course, put one in Hong Kong Harbor, one in the Huang He (Yellow) River; one in the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) River; a couple in the strait between Taiwan and the mainland, and a few others in locations that would shock the Chinese leadership simply because we could put them there without anyone knowing it.

Then, on a pre-arranged signal, surface simultaneously, and open up the missile ports. I believe there are 16 per sub, meaning 160 nuclear missiles looking right at the communist heartland.

Then President Bush should instant message Hu Jintao, the leader of China's communists with one word. MIRV.

Remember MIRVs. Multiple-Independently targeted-Reentry-Vehicles. A MIRV-tipped rocket carrying five separate warheads sends an unmistakable message.

Let's say that we do that. 160 missiles, times 5 warheads each, equals 800 warheads, of Oh, let's say 10 MEGA-tons each. Can you say Ta-ta?

I'm not kidding. Our leftist Democratic party loves to call Bush a cowboy, and they don't mean that in a positive way. OK, cowboy, it's high noon. Let's see what you got.

In a street fighting environment, what the Chinese have done amounts to strolling down someone else's turf, insulting everyone you come in contact with, shoving people around, and bad mouthing the guys who claim control over that area.

In a street fighting environment, the way you handle a situation like that is to round up every badass in your group, surround the intruders before they can get back to their territory, kick the living crap out of them, kill their leader, kill the entire next level of authority, and bash the leaders of the second and third tiers hard, really hard, so they'll remember it and won't try that crap again.

If we don't send a real and unmistakable message, right now, the Chinese will assume that we have been bluffing all along and the next time out they won't take out one satellite, they'll take out a few dozen. And it won't be one of theirs, it will be a few dozen of ours.

In the meantime, it is high time to launch our killer satellite killers. Whatever happened to President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative? Remember Star Wars, his initiative to make space safe for us that the Democrats and the left ridiculed and then ended as soon as they had the votes? Remember that? Where is it now that we need it?

Does anyone have an answer? Mrs. Pelosi? Mr. Reid? Mr. Franks? Ms. Boxer? Mr. Obama? Mr. Murtha? Mr. Kerry? Mr. or Mrs. Clinton? Answers please!

I took a ride up Route 787 in the Albany area last month. My route took me right past the Watervliet Arsenal, which you can see from the highway. My Dad retired from there in the mid-70s, he has been gone for nearly 8 years now, and it has been nearly 50 years since I took those Armed Forces Day tours of the Arsenal.

But the building where he spent about a third of his life is still there, and there even are some huge battleship gun barrels stacked up right in front of it.

I don't know what they make there anymore. But whatever it is, I hope that they still show some of it off on Armed Forces Day. And I hope it is far more advanced than what the Chinese have. And I hope it is already obsolete. I fear we are going to need everything we have, right now.
Monday, January 15, 2007

Analysis of the Analysts?? Crossword Puzzles For Peace!

Did you ever notice that the first four letters of analyze are a-n-a-l?

Just one of those weird quirks of the English language I guess, but it fits with what follows.

A friend sent me an email the other day linking to a New York Times Op-Ed piece that painstakingly went through President Bush's speech on Iraq last Wednesday, dissecting it paragraph by paragraph. I read it in its entirety, which probably says more about me than the writer, but I felt I at least owed him that much.

Normally I would have responded to my friend, and let it go at that, but as it turns out this was only one of many, many analyses of the speech, most of which were in the same basic tone ... "Well, he is missing this point, or he is missing that point, or the polls say this, or the Sunnis are doing that, or the Shia won't go along with something else, there are too many troops, there aren't enough troops, Congress is opposed, Republicans are wavering, the public doesn't support him, etc. etc."

I believe it is one of the more wonderful aspects of life in the United States of America that anyone from the newest arrival to a multi-generation descendent of the Mayflower voyage can weigh in on matters of this nature and take the president to task privately or publicly without fear of retribution.

I also believe that the bulk of such opinions, writings, and discourses are no more or less valid than the opinions voiced by the regulars at the neighborhood bar at 9 p.m. on a Friday.

In the case of the President's speech and his actions, two things matter. First, he said we will now enter Sadr city, the sector of Baghdad ruled by Muqtada Al Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia, with or without the approval of the Iraqi government, especially Prime Minister Maliki.

Second, the president said we are going to eliminate the threats and the actions of both the Syrians and the Iranians who are providing manpower, materiel and expertise to the terrorists and the religious warriors who are wreaking havoc on Iraq's capital.

Those two issues are the most important. They signal major shifts in the diplomatic arena, but most important, they signal that the gloves are off. No longer will our troops be exposed to terrorist warfare from inside and outside of Iraq without the means or approval to set matters straight.

Don't think there are enough new troops going? These are riflemen, mortar men, machine gunners, and grenadiers. In other words, infantrymen. One man, many shots. The last report I heard on the strength of the Mahdi army put it at about 12,000. Some of them to be sure are fanatical followers of His Rotundness, and will fight fiercely. But you also can be sure that many of the militiamen are there because there is no other security in their neighborhoods, and they either feel compelled to join to protect their homes and families, or they have been coerced.

Either way, that element will not be all that anxious to mix it up with American infantrymen with an attitude. I don't know the percentages of each type of fighter, but that division will be a factor in any fight with our forces.

On the second front, the president didn't say we would invade Iraq or Syria, but he didn't say we wouldn't either. He said we will be attending to them (my words) which leaves a host of options open. We already have started dealing with Iran. Syria is next. It is good to hear an American president finally come right out and tell the world that if we have to cross an international border to protect our troops and disrupt our enemies, we will.

The real issue here is one of execution, and by that I don't mean Saddam or his half-brother. I mean execution of the battle plan that will eliminate the interior, secular militias, and execution that will stem the flow of outside interference. Gloves off, no-holds barred, keep the diplomats and media at the feeding trough somewhere else so we don't have to listen to their whining, and kick some ass.

If we execute that plan, President Bush finishes up on the plus side of the effective presidents' scale when his second term is over -- and we will have won in Iraq to boot. If he throws in more Rules of Engagement, or let's the media get away with that "civilian casualties" crap that they just pulled in Somalia, the effort will wither on the vine. This is all or nothing, and if we go all in and all out, we win. Anything less is unacceptable.

So for those who enjoy dissecting speeches, hey, have at it. At the very least these are great intellectual exercises.

But in the real world of battlefields and street fights, that speech is nothing more than an overall guideline. Events and circumstances will change by the hour if not the minute once we start rolling, and the individual field commanders and riflemen will win or lose the day. My bet is on our side. I have seen these guys before when no one is holding them back. They are the best.

As for the response to president's speeches and other emanations from Washington, well, I guess it's interesting and a nice use of time to tear them up and second guess them.

Personally, I prefer crossword puzzles.
Friday, January 12, 2007

What Went Wrong in Iraq? The Vietnam "Syndrome!"

In the mid-1980s, more than a decade after my last year on active duty in the Marine Corps, I was invited by the Marines' New England recruiting region to take a tour of Parris Island, South Carolina with other journalists and educators to see what had changed, or not, since I went there as a recruit in 1966.

The intent from the Marines' point of view was that we would then write or broadcast our experiences, and give potential recruits a realistic view of the military, as opposed to the incessant negativism that was rampant at the time, and is still part of the media fabric today.

We were flown to the island on the Commandant's plane, and spent three days perusing the training facility and nearby Beaufort, S.C. Marine Corps Air Station. For some it was a first-time experience, for others it was a return engagement without the intimidation.

One area that I was insistent about seeing, but had not been on the itinerary, was a visit to the recruit depot classroom area to observe a Marine Corps history class in session. It wasn't as exciting as watching Drill Instructors go about the process of training their troops, it had none of the thrill of the rifle range, but I believe that the Marines' focus on the history of the Corps is one of those intangible qualities that separate us from other services.

Every one of us who has ever gone into battle or prepared for battle is certain of two things: there is no command in the Marines' handbook for 'retreat'; and we are carrying on our shoulders not only the weight of freedom and the future of our nation, but the weight of more than two hundred years of proud tradition usually against formidable odds.

Vietnam had just gotten started from an historic standpoint when I was a recruit, but I still remember my drill instructors teaching us the exploits of the Marines who had gone before us in earlier wars. Therefore it was imperative for me to see how the Corps was treating our contribution to our history.

I was disappointed to find that I would not be allowed to attend any such sessions, however. The explanation was that there were no history classes scheduled for the time we were there.

No problem, I responded. I am, after all, a Marine. We're used to things not going as planned. Having a backup plan, as well as a backup for the backup, in addition to thinking on the run, are all part of our legacy. So, I asked, "Could I have a copy of the syllabus for the history classes?" figuring I could write an article from that.

I was told that I could, but there wasn't one available right then. They'd send me a copy, I was told. Nonetheless, for one reason or another weeks passed after my visit ended and still no syllabus. My generally benign nature and pleasant demeanor finally had enough and I made some phone calls to friends in Washington, and voila, eventually a syllabus arrived in the mail.

Then I found out why it had been so difficult to get one. I had made no secret of my intent to write about the way the Marine Corps treated the history of our fighting in Vietnam, factually and thoroughly I presumed, as opposed to the ongoing communist propaganda that permeated the news reports on that war.

But I was shocked, no maybe dismayed, no maybe appalled, no maybe all three and some more, to find that the way the Marine Corps of the mid-80s treated the history of its fighting in Vietnam was to -- not treat it at all. OK, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but here is what I found.

After nearly 15 years of war, in which the Marines were there at the beginning, and were there to evacuate the American compound at the end, after participating in some of the most ferocious battles of the war, after suffering total casualties on a par with those of the Corps in WWII, the recruits' exposure to Marine involvement there was limited to a total of five operations.

The Marine landing at Da Nang in 1965 was lumped in with Operation Starlite that same year, in which Marine infantry locked horns with a full strength, main-line Viet Cong regiment near what became the Chu Lai air base, and kicked their asses; then the syllabus jumped to the Battle of Hue and the siege of Khe Sanh in 1968; then it discussed Operation Dewey Canyon in 1969 in which the Marines, led by General Raymond Davis, applied proven war-fighting concepts to destroying the North Vietnamese Army in the rugged jungles of northwestern South Vietnam; then it jumped to Operation Frequent Wind in 1975, when the Marines were ordered to conduct the evacuation of the American compound in Saigon, and provide security against advancing communist forces.

That was it. Despite the fact that in between those mileposts there were literally dozens of other operations, virtually every one of which was overwhelmingly successful, only those five were mentioned.

A few years after that visit I helped arrange the first reunion of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161, (HMM-161) the unit I served in both in the states and during most of my Vietnam tour. Our commanding officer, Lt. Col. Paul W. Niesen, who had joined us in 1967 in New River, North Carolina, and led us for nearly 18 months, including through intense combat in Vietnam, was one of our honored guests.

It was the first time I had seen him since late 1968, when he had been promoted to Colonel and left our squadron to run the entire Air Group at Quang Tri. In mid-1969 after we returned home, Col. Niesen was named Marine Aviator of the Year for his outstanding leadership and tremendous successes in the previous year.

But I was again dismayed to find out that the colonel's Marine career had been cut short when he was passed over for promotion to Brigadier General. Why? Colonel Niesen who died two years after that reunion, was then, and remains to this day, the most accomplished, well-versed, and inspirational leader I have ever had the pleasure to serve with.

Col. Niesen had started his Marine career in the Korean War, and had been an exemplary leader, but he was denied promotion on the basis that he had not quite completed four years of college! Despite all that he had done in our tour, and a subsequent tour in Vietnam, the Marine Corps went 'politically correct' on him.

Bowing to the pressure of the media and Congress, our Marine Corps' leaders believed they had to do something to offset the false claim that those of us who served during the Vietnam era were the uneducated, low-class dregs of American society. So they canned one of the most accomplished aviators on active duty!

What does any of this have to do with Iraq? Everything. Instead of standing up for what is right, and telling the truth as it was, the leaders of a generation of American Marines were trained in an atmosphere that allowed the lies and distortions of our service in the Vietnam War to take precedence over the truth. Thus every good tactic and every overwhelming success was swept under the rug, along with the lessons that should have been taught to future generations of fighters so they wouldn't have to be re-learned on the battlefield.

If you think I am blowing this out of proportion consider this. On that same visit to Parris Island, at a cocktail reception at the Officers' Club, I saw an officer wearing Vietnam ribbons. I approached him and learned that he had been with the 4th Marine Regiment at the same time I had been in Vietnam.

When I mentioned that I had been on several operations with the 4th Marines and began to query him further he halted me in mid-sentence and told me "We don't talk about Vietnam around here." To say I was stunned is an understatement. I saw that visit to Parris Island as a homecoming of sorts, and to be shut out that way was deplorable.

But back to Iraq. For three years now we have been hearing those tired old refrains from the communists and their supporters in Congress regarding our efforts there. "Bogged down." "Quagmire." "Another Vietnam."

We have heard it said repeatedly. So we don't do body counts, even though some of our troops say we have killed some 40,000 to 50,000 terrorists in the last three years, and we didn't take a hard look at the defeat and hold tactics that were so successful in Vietnam, and we don't listen to the people who fought back then, because 'What could we possibly know that will help now?'

There have been some bright spots along the way. Marine Gen. Al Gray, a Vietnam veteran and no-nonsense Commandant in the early 90s made great strides in bringing back the warrior culture. Gen. Peter Pace, who fought in Vietnam and now is the first Marine ever to chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the immediate past Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee both have shown through the outstanding performance of the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan that they know their military history.

But we had to wait three years until the President of the United States was forced to reassign two key generals, increase troop strength and make a public announcement that he was ready to implement successful strategies that were tried and proven in Vietnam before we could get to this point.

The good news is that the president did adapt. The good news is that he is going in with a set jaw, a clenched fist and a no-nonsense attitude. It is going to be kick ass and take names time in the Middle East. If I were a terrorist, Iraq is the last place I would want to be, except there are very few other places left to go.

But we shouldn't have had to wait three years for this to occur. The lessons were there all along and the people who lived that history have been here all along, trying to get someone to listen to them.

The issue now becomes one of fortitude. Don't expect it to be easy or bloodless. Vietnam was neither, yet we won all of those battles. This won't be easy or bloodless, but Iraq and the War on Terror both can be won if Congress doesn't turn traitor on us and sell out the troops and our allies again.

The danger now is listening to people who never learned or don't remember their history. It has already been shown that to ignore history is to repeat it, and the leaders of the Democrats in Congress, whatever their motivation, are salivating at the opportunity to create "another Vietnam syndrome."
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Defining Moment For George W. Bush; A (New) Low Point For Ted Kennedy

By the end of the day we will hear in detail what President George W. Bush has planned for our military effort in Iraq. His speech to the nation also is supposed to include details of additional infrastructure rebuilding as well as renewed diplomatic efforts.

But it is the military effort, the so-called "Surge" in troops that has garnered the most attention and the most hot air from Congress.

If the cacophony of voices emanating from those hallowed halls is to be believed, Bush may just as well not appear and speak tonight because the Democratic majority intends to sidetrack his new plan, and put it all out to pasture before he can even implement it.

Fortunately, that isn't going to happen. Congress can't do any such thing without exposing our troops to an unspeakable level of vulnerability, to say nothing of exposing the Iraqis themselves to another genocide reminiscent of Pol Pot's attempt to exterminate all non-communist Cambodians in the late 1970s.

Among the chief proponents of the effort to sabotage Bush's new plan, and thus our troops, and thus our country, are Senators Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy, neither of whom has anything remotely resembling expertise on military matters. That doesn't stop them from running their mouths though.

Kennedy claims Congress has to approve the new direction in our military efforts in Iraq, and has the means to halt the deployment of the added troops Bush is expected to order to that country. Wrong.

Congress, if all the Democrats as well as a majority of Republicans agree, can vote to cut off military funds for the War on Terror. But they can't decide how to apply the funds that exist now, nor can a governmental body that has only a smidgen of members who even served in the military micromanage the ongoing operations.

If they did this, and overrode an expected veto of such action from President Bush, the result would be a media fest of anti-American news organizations filming our troops jumping into the nearest military vehicle and fleeing for the nearest friendly border with the rag tag terrorists chasing after them firing the AK-47s in the air.

I am relatively certain that most Republicans don't want that, and probably most Democrats either.

Kennedy also claims there is no military solution for Iraq, and to bolster this erroneous assessment, claims there was no military solution in Vietnam. Wrong on both counts. Not only was there a military solution in Vietnam, it was achieved twice, as I have written many times in the past.

But in both cases American politicians, from both parties, squandered and sabotaged our military successes, ultimately leading to the fall of South Vietnam and the deaths of some 4 million Southeast Asians who were butchered, tortured, and raped by the communists.

Kennedy was among the members of Congress who approved cutting all aid to South Vietnam, military and otherwise, setting the stage for the communist takeover and the resultant carnage.

Obviously, in his warped view of the universe that was the resolution he anticipated and worked toward. Others who helped included the late Sen. Frank Church, co-author of the Case-Church resolution that stripped the South Vietnamese of all American help, military and otherwise; John Murtha, who was first seated in the House of Representatives in 1974; and John Kerry, who wasn't elected to anything yet but had been secretly meeting with the communists to undermine America.

It is simply amazing to hear this bellicosity from Kennedy of all people. He is nothing special, just the last living son of a prohibition era criminal, who would be far more in character rubbing elbows with the offspring of Al Capone if Capone had been less flamboyant and more willing to pay off the feds, than trying to pass himself off as landed gentry.

Kennedy is doing nothing more than using his Senate platform to spread the Big Lie, much the same as the German Nazis did in WWII, hoping that enough people will accept his warped view of events, rather than investigate and find the truth for themselves. I don't spend too much time worrying about the likes of Ted Kennedy, but you can't help but wonder why he is so hell bent on destroying America.

Does he blame the country for the deaths of his two far more capable brothers, and see his continual efforts to undermine and weaken us as a form of payback for their deaths? Fortunately, in this case, he is just so much wind.

It was noted recently that Saddam Hussein was the worst living mass murderer in the world at the time of his execution. As an individual perhaps, but the members of the US Congress and their supporters who set the stage for the debacle in Southeast Asia in the 70s have a far worse record than Saddam. They created the conditions, they encouraged communist aggression, and then they looked the other way as outright genocide occurred. Some are still in power, and they are trying to create conditions that would duplicate the 70s. That should not be allowed.

But this is really about President Bush, and how he intends to proceed in Iraq. Even the miniscule minority of congresspeople who actually came out and opposed his decision to invade Iraq before it happened know that we can't just up and leave without some real success. To do otherwise is to invite disaster, not just for the Iraqis, but for our foreign policy efforts, and ultimately for our homeland as well.

Ceding Iraq to another generation of terrorists and giving them another platform to launch renewed strikes against us is far more than irresponsible, it is treasonous. Most in Congress know this and won't go for it, at least not now.

President Bush has been under incredible pressure to deliver results in Iraq, viable results that not only look good on the evening news, but also show that his policy is truly moving forward. He has had setbacks, to be sure, and the new government, especially Prime Minister Malicki, have given him more than his fair share of headaches.

But the president would do well to remember that George Washington wasn't really the first president of the United States, regardless of what children learn in public school history classes. He was just the first under the current Constitution.

John Hanson was the first, under the Articles of Confederation, and there were seven more before Washington came to power. It took the US a while to get it straight, and the country wasn't even under attack from inside and outside as Iraq is. Iraq is harder, and will take more determination.

George Bush is taking a huge gamble, to be sure. But if he were a betting man, I would advise him to bet on the troops. Take off the shackles, suspend these asinine Rules of Engagement, remember that the enemy we are fighting did not sign and does not support the Geneva Convention.

I would advise the president to bet the farm on the American troops. We didn't let this country down during Vietnam, hell we won that war handily. Take a good look at what really happened in the late 60s and early 70s and don't make the mistakes that Nixon and Kissinger made.

Go in big, hit hard, eliminate any forces that oppose us, whether terrorists or internal factions, hold the areas we take, and give that country a real shot at independence and democracy.

Bet on the troops. They are the best, and they will never let this country down. Do that Mr. President, and history will see this as a moment when you passed the supreme test. America is looking for three things from its president. We want a leader, a victor, and a champion.

Bet on the troops and all three will be the legacy of the second Bush presidency.
Monday, January 08, 2007

Saddam Execution Protests - It's a "Street Pride" Thing

Ever since the late Iraqi mass murderer, dictator, and president for life - almost - Saddam Hussein, decided to join the swinging lifestyle, there have been street demonstrations, mostly in the Sunni Muslim areas of Iraq, protesting the manner in which his execution was carried out.

These protests have been intense at their epicenter, but unlike issues that evoked universal outrage across the so-called Arab "street" in earlier years, there has been little in the way of wider affects.

The columnist and television commentator Charles Krauthammer noted on a recent Fox News appearance that the vindictive and amateurish manner in which the execution was conducted had undone years of steady progress in the world view of the new Iraqi government. He expressed concerns that the execution, that was more like thuggery gone amok (my opinion,) would have lasting ramifications that we in the US will be experiencing for years.

I agree that the execution was flawed beyond the mere description of flawed. To have his hangmen gloating that Saddam was being executed in the name of Muqtada Al Sadr, the wannabe Muslim cleric who heads an army of vigilantes, and himself is wanted for murder, is akin to executing John Wayne Gacy in the name of Jeffrey Dahmler.

The execution was an embarrassment, not for the United States, but for the Iraqis. Hussein was on trial forever it seemed, as the fledgling Iraqi legal system took great pains to show that he was as guilty in the eyes of the law as he was in the eyes of public opinion.

After allowing him to rant and rave throughout his court proceedings, after allowing him to denounce the new system and the manner in which he was removed from it, after allowing his displaced minions and henchmen to create and expand a religious war of terror on their countrymen who already had been victimized by decades of Saddam rule, suddenly the government hustles him up on the gallows, and drops him through the trap door, taunting him all the way.

Very few conscious, thinking, sane and rational people have a problem with him being executed, aside from those who oppose the death penalty universally on moral grounds. But few can find rationale in the manner in which Saddam was dispatched.

As Krauthammer put it, the only person on the gallows who showed any restraint or dignity was Saddam himself. That is indeed regrettable.

But I don't think the long-range ramifications will haunt us. The Iraqis who benefited from Saddam's rule did so because they were part of a hybrid system of religious and ethnic beliefs that put them in power, with the majority of the Iraqi population at their mercy.

That there have been repercussions from the once-victimized majority is obvious. It goes on day after day. That many on both sides have embarrassed their religion, through, for instance, using mosques to store ammo and as headquarters to launch raids on their foes, is equally obvious.

If the religion of peace is to have any credibility on the world stage, its most vocal and aggressive proponents will have to stop blowing up each other's places of worship first. The hypocrisy of using holy ground to wage war, not on "infidel and crusaders" but on each other, just doesn't get it.

But I don't believe the inconsistencies in the positions taken by the various factions in Iraq, and their backers from elsewhere in the Muslim world, will do any more long-range damage to the western world, specifically the United States, than the most aggressive members of these factions already have planned for us.

Rather, I believe the demonstrations are nothing more than the expected "in your face" actions of a society of street fighters who not only have been beaten and removed from their once impenetrable positions of power, but also have seen their number one champion executed, in an especially callous and disdainful manner.

The Sunni Muslims in Iraq have little left that they can use to maintain some sense of pride and status in their own community. When they were the minority in power they had the guns. Now, the Shiites and Kurds have guns too, and every intention of using them.

The Sunnis are outnumbered and outgunned, and there is little they can do to change this, especially given the penchant of the new well-armed majority to inflict payback on Saddam's followers.

But in the world of the street fighter, there is a code that is as inviolate as anything written in all the writings of all the religions in the world. That code is based on one thing, and only one thing - pride.

That code says that if you are beaten, but aren't dead, you can not let your opponent know how badly you were beaten. You can not be cowed; you can not slink off to a quiet corner to lick your wounds.

Like a football player who is leveled by an opposing player within an instant of making a great catch, and who then bounces right back up and jaws at his tormentor all the way back to the huddle, the street fighter must, absolutely must, be back on the street the day after taking a beating, strutting, jawing and loudly threatening what will happen "next time."

To maintain his pride, the street fighter has to come back from a beating, or he will lose his status forever. And for most street fighters, status is all they have, which is why it is worth dying for.

The demonstrations protesting Saddam's execution already are dwindling, and even at their height weren't that much.

The remnants of Saddam's supporters have done what they have to do to maintain their own status on their own street, on their own block. For most, that is the extent of their world and their influence.

In time, their numbers will dwindle to a pitiful few, and when they appear in public they will be seen in a manner similar to the old drunk who sits at the bar and mumbles about great exploits in great battles in previous times that few others remember, and fewer still care about. In time, the remnants of Saddam's supporters will have no status, no power, and no sympathy.

But for the moment, they have to play out the dictates of the code. They have done that, and may do more in the near future. But their champion is gone, they have no chance to regain what he gave them, and many already realize this.

So they will demonstrate, they will posture, and strut and shout. They will play their part, but when seen for what it is, that part is no longer to rule or misrule, but to simply to salvage their pride.
Saturday, January 06, 2007

Congressional Democrats Gone Berserk! Bring on the Body Count!

President George W. Bush has not formally revealed the overview of his revised plan for victory in Iraq yet, and won't until the middle of next week, but Democrats in Congress already are bouncing off the walls with denunciations and declarations that they intend to cut off funding and end our military efforts there.

I would remind the Congress Run Amok that the last time they did that was through the Church-Case Amendment back in the early 70s which cut off funding to South Vietnam even as that country showed it was capable of standing up to the Communist north as long as we stood by them. As a result the communists overran South Vietnam, enslaving hundreds of thousands in concentration camps, an estimated 60,000 of whom died, creating the mass exodus of one million 'Boat People,' an estimated 300,000 of whom died, and the deaths of some three million Cambodians and Laotians at the hands of the communists.

For the past 30 years these Congressional losers and their allies in the American Terrorist Media have slavishly stuck to their dogmatic view of world events to make it appear that Vietnam was lost militarily due to the ignorance and incompetence of the Americans who fought there. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and unfortunately, many of the very people who were directly responsible for creating the conditions that led to so many deaths are still in the Congress and still preaching the same lies.

This media generation's version of the Big Lie is that Weapons of Mass Destruction constituted the primary, and as far as they are concerned, only reason why we invaded Iraq. Although evidence abounds that the defeated Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters who were fleeing Afghanistan were relocating and reforming in Iraq to continue their attacks against us, the ATM and the Democratic Party refused to acknowledge the truth, preferring to lie to the public and push their agenda of total withdrawal.

A generation ago that agenda led directly to the slaughter of millions of innocent people. This time around, it is safe to conclude that a similar policy will not only lead to the deaths of untold numbers of Iraqis, but also will directly lead to more attacks on American soil and more American dead as the terrorists once again are emboldened by the spinelessness of our government. The Democrats and the ATM apparently have a secret plan to keep their heads on their necks while the rest of us lose ours should the terrorists win.

There are those in and out of Congress who have grave reservations about the president's new plan. This is supposed to be a democracy where all points of view have a right to be heard, and we would do ourselves a favor by listening to them.

One of the arguments is that more troops only create more targets. I would have more faith in this argument if John Kerry wasn't one of its most vocal proponents. That aside, however, I believe that the main issue that should concern us prior to any increase in troop strength is the mission of these additional troops.

If there is a clear and attainable military objective, and the president and his military advisors can articulate this objective and how the extra troops will help attain it, then he and they deserve the opportunity. I will be listening very closely when the president addresses the nation next week to hear just what that objective will be.

I don't expect the president to tell us exactly what is going to transpire because that obviously will alert the terrorists and others in Iraq who are perpetrating the violence. But there should nonetheless be a clear overview, a discernable goal that our troops can define and attain. And when they have done so, we should be able to turn a secure area over to the Iraqi armed forces, police and government.

Until then, this berserk behavior in Washington is just plain nuts. We were hearing all through the recent election cycle that the Democrats really didn't want to just leave Iraq, that they wanted to finish the job, secure the country and then leave with a victory under our belts. Their claim was that Bush didn't know how to get the job done, but they did.

Well, all I see down in D.C. now is a bunch of Chicken Little's running around screaming "The sky is falling, get out get out!" What, more lies??


One other thing. In Vietnam the media continually and inaccurately discounted the American military's estimates of numbers of communists killed, often because we didn't produce piles of bodies. Of course, looking back, we now know that if we had produced mountains of bodies the media would just have claimed that we were ghoulish, but that is 20/20 hindsight.

The media skeptics refused to acknowledge that when a 500-pound or 1000-pound bomb or artillery shell lands on a group of enemy troops many are vaporized and there simply is nothing left to display, or bury for that matter. In the end, however, the communists revealed that they had lost more than 1 million troops to our 58,000 and that every single major engagement with us, not to mention their disastrous Eastertide invasion of 1972 when the south wiped out more than half the invading communists, resulted in a total victory for us and a devastating defeat for them.

I say this because I have been writing for some time now about the lack of viable evidence from Iraq on the successes of our troops. I saw a news article some time back that the commanders in Iraq didn't want to release estimates on the number of terrorists we were killing because they didn't want to end up in a Vietnam-like argument with the media every week.

Well, screw the media. They were wrong, inaccurate, full of it, and playing out their own agendas in Vietnam. Walter Cronkite flat out lied in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive of 1968 when he told the American public the war was unwinnable after the communists had been soundly defeated.

Don't let that same approach deny the American public their right to hear how our troops are doing. If we get daily casualty counts on our losses, we should also be getting daily casualty counts on enemy losses.

Sooner or later the word will get around that signing up with Al Qaeda and the Taliban is a one-way ticket to a death sentence. Potential terrorist recruits should hear the facts as well as Americans.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Surge Hell, How About an Iraqi Tsunami?

Congress is set to reconvene and one of the biggest and most talked about items on the agenda is what is going to happen in Iraq.

According to an email I received from some veteran friends this week, the answer was already disbursed last week through a news release from Fred Barnes, the conservative columnist and commentator.

According to the release, if it is actually from him, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, President Bush is strongly leaning toward employing a strategy in Iraq similar to the strategy employed in Vietnam after the Tet Offensive of 1968 by Gen. Creighton Abrams, who succeeded Gen. William Westmoreland as the head honcho there.

Although completely ignored by the World Terrorist Media, and its local subsidiary, the American Terrorist Media, both then and ever since, Abrams' strategy was hugely successful at eliminating the remaining Viet Cong military and political elements, as well as inflicting massive casualty counts on the North Vietnamese communist army.

That strategy, which employed a defeat and hold approach, also gave the South Vietnamese the much needed time to establish a pro-democracy government presence in the cities and countryside.

I was there at the time, and I remember two things about the 1968-1969 operations in northern I Corps where the U.S. Marines were the dominant military force. First, there were vicious battles from the coast to the Laotian border from mid-1968 til February of 1969. Then, by the late spring of 1969, although battles continued, and were intense in some places, the North Vietnamese were no longer as strong or as widely dispersed as they had been a year earlier.

The reason is because more than a hundred thousand of their troops had been killed in that period, and the US forces had finally reached their peak strength of nearly 540,000, which gave us battlefield parity, if not outright superiority in the numbers department.

That enabled the US and South Vietnamese forces to not only defeat the communist armies in battle, as we had been doing all along, but also to hold the areas where we had been successful, thus giving the south the chance to permanently secure areas that previously had been under communist control.

We have been hearing for many months now that one reason why the sectarian violence continues in Iraq, as well as the operations against outside terrorists, is because American troops are spread too thin to hold the areas where they defeat the terrorists. Thus, as happened in Vietnam, as soon as Al Qaeda or whichever group of whack jobs is operating in an area can reinforce their fighting units, they come back and take over the area again, not because they defeat our troops, but because neither US nor Iraqi forces are there to oppose them.

You can't expect the local populace to have any faith in us or their new government if the terrorists can melt away whenever we show up in force, and then slink back in to wreak havoc on our supporters when we leave.

The way to defeat this tactic is to kill terrorists in numbers so large that it becomes impossible to reinforce, as we did in Vietnam, and to have enough American troops in place to hold the areas. This is not an indefinite fix. The ultimate goal is to have a reliable Iraqi Army in place to take control of liberated and pacified areas so we can leave with confidence that the area will stay secure.

Another facet of the Vietnam War that has been totally ignored by the ATM is that the South Vietnamese forces did become capable of standing their own ground, and they showed it in the spring of 1972 when the North Vietnamese communists launched a full-force, all-out invasion of the south and got their asses handed to them on a silver platter by the South Vietnamese ground troops supported by our air power.

This was all given away by the US Congress in the following two years, leading to the ultimate collapse of South Vietnam. There are still people in Congress who were leading the retreat, names like Kennedy and Murtha come to mind, and Kerry was lurking around there someplace although he hadn't been elected to anything yet.

You can bet these guys still don't want the world to know just how close the south was to defeating the communists. Because then they will have to face up to their complicity in the events that led to the four million or so innocent Southeast Asians, including Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians who were butchered, not to mention the millions more who were enslaved, tortured, and forced to flee by the communists in the region.

If you weren't born then, or were just a child you probably don't remember hearing a lot about that because the WTM and ATM all but ignored it. Congress was only too happy to spend its time boosting then-president Jimmy Carter's "reforms" which led to such a disastrous period in US history that the voters kicked him out the very first chance they got.

But it happened, not because of failures by the US military, but because of the spineless, craven, cowardly actions of the US Congress that willingly handed an emerging ally over to a sadistic, brutal enemy, and then blamed the military, not to mention the Vietnam veterans, for the resultant catastrophe to cover up their cowardice.

This can and will happen again if we don't show decisively that we can and are winning in Iraq. So, as I said in a previous post, let's not tiptoe around this issue.

News reports today say that the Democrats in Congress already are planning to pull the financial plug on the War in Iraq, the same exact tactic they used to reverse our victory in Vietnam. These have to be some of the most traitorous, despicable individuals in our government, and they have to be stopped before they make sure that history repeats itself.

So rather than the "surge" of troops that the media is talking about, Come Big or Stay Home. Bring in a tidal wave of troops, a tsunami. Flood that place, kick the living crap out of any terrorist forces and any local militias that are supporting them or working against a unified Iraq.

History has shown that this approach can work, so let's stop screwing around and get to it. It's going to be damned hard for a bunch of dead terrorists or their supporters to take an area back after we secure it. Want a non-United States example of just how successful a determined army can be when it is unleashed against these terrorist monsters?

Check out Ethiopia. Took them less than two weeks to clear the scum out of neighboring Somalia. Remember that place, the one where President Clinton put our Army Rangers, Marines, and Delta forces in harms way, then didn't support them, and then cut and ran?

Remember Somalia, the place where the Humvee armor problems first surfaced but the Democrats didn't say a word about it until Bush got elected eight years later? Remember that place? Stop by some time in the near future. But be careful you don't bump into fleeing Islamo-fascist terrorists running like hell for the nearest border.

Oh, you may not recognize them as terrorists anymore. They were dragging Somali men off the streets a week ago if they didn't have beards and approved hair styles. This week they are shaving their own beards and trying to hide in the bushes.

Don't look too freakin' invincible any more do they?


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