Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Cruising the Web

For those trying to figure out whether giving the gutsy order to send the SEALs in after Osama bin Laden will guarantee victory for Obama next year, Michael Barone reminds us that there is no one-for-one correlation between leading a country to military success and political victories. I suspect that next year people will be focused once more on the economy and that will be the determining facts underlying the election.

One other group that deserves praise in Sunday's takedown of OBL was the coordinated activities of our intelligence communities. We tend to focus on their failures, but should credit them when they achieve a major success.

Of course, there is a major irony that the intelligence that led to what may be Obama's finest moment as president came from the enhanced interrogation techniques that Obama has so often criticized. And the other delicious irony is that the group that carried out the raid, Naval Special Warfare Development Group is the same group that Seymour Hersh called "Dick Cheney's personal assassination squad.

Congratulations to the Canadian Conservative party which run a major victory in yesterday's elections. Meanwhile the Liberal party suffered a crushing defeat. And the Quebec separatist party, the Bloc Quebecois suffered what may have been a mortal blow.

The WSJ writes about Jimmy Carter's weird moral compass.

Wake County schools, the county where I live, has made a decision I wish more school districts would make - they've scrapped the whole "zero tolerance" approach to school discipline and insert a modicum of common sense.


pumping-irony said...

The trouble with "common sense" in this day and age is not that no one has any but that using it has become "RAAAAACIST".

mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mark said...

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."
- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabout­­s,
3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

"And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority." - Barack Obama (2008 debate)
PolitiFact | In 2008, Obama vowed to kill Osama bin Laden

So, which one of these guys gave the kill order?

equitus said...

Re: Obama's re-election

The main reaction I observed from quietly watching my lefty friends on FaceBook mostly had to do with Obama's electoral invincibility.

Yeah, let them think that. heheh

mark said...

I have no doubt that Bush put in place some things that helped get OBL (after seven years and billions of dollars, I would hope so). We don't know if torture was part of the equation:

“It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance,” Rumsfeld said during an interview with the conservative magazine Newsmax. “But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”

As for re-election, I would like to see a serious challenge to Obama. Stop being duped (yet again) by frauds such as Trump, Palin and Bachmann (as fun as it would be to watch). Go for intelligence and competence this time (give Huntsman a look).

tfhr said...


I saw an earlier comment you authored in another thread in which you proclaimed, "Perhaps we can just celebrate the occasion (knowing full well the war on terror continues) and leave the criticisms and cheap shots towards Bush and Obama for another day."

It didn't take you long to get to "another day" but that's no surprise given that the war you really care about is actually just partisan election politics. It has always been this way with you.

But there is a real war being fought on a global scale against radical Islamic fundamentalists - Wahhabists, Jihadists, you take your pick. Those quotes from 2002 that you provided were the response to attacks from the left wing media directed at Bush on the premise that since UBL had not yet been captured or killed that the effort to continue the fight was in some way failed or unjust. The death of Osama bin Laden does not end this fight and when Bush made those statements it did not mean there were no other threats at the time or that they could be ignored. The lack of actionable intelligence about one figure in a global war does not mean we simply ignore all other threats. Your comments were just cheap shots driven by low politics during a time of war.

There is a lot of hand wringing going on right now about whether or not to release photos of UBL's corpse or to keep it in the file cabinet that once stored BHO's long form birth certificate. The risk, supposedly, is that the photo will enrage some Muslims. Those particular Muslims are the same people that had, as far as they were concerned, all the motivation they needed to bomb the USMC barracks in Beirut, the US embassy in Beirut, invade the American Embassy in Teheran, burn the American Embassy in Pakistan, bomb the WTC in 1993, bomb Khobar Towers and the SANG headquarters in Saudi Arabia, issue a global fatwa in 1996 against all Americans everywhere, demolish two US embassies in Africa, attack the USS Cole, kill thousands of human beings, and continuously profess their hatred for the "Great Satan", long before thousands more were killed on 9-11. There is also a long list of foiled attempts to create more bloodshed.

The point is that we are at war and have been for more than thirty years with various factions of Islamic lunatics, their supporters and state sponsors. The fight spans election cycles by it's very nature and also because our nation rarely displays the unity and resolve needed to carry the fight well enough to end it decisively.

The fight has been dubbed by some as "The Long War" and with the petty political sniping you've displayed here (once again), it's easy to understand why.

mark said...

What partisan sniping? I accurately quoted Bush, Obama and Rumsfeld.
The fact is that Obama took a huge gamble, and it paid off. Of course the military deserves huge credit. So does Obama. Disagree with him all you want about every other issue, but to ignore his role in this acheivement shows how petty and partisan people here have become.
Nice job, btw, in parroting the Pakisani govt all those times you insisted that Osama was "probably dead". You never let a lack of evidence stop you from that claim. No matter how many times you're wrong or disgrace yourself, you come back and pretend you're the smartest guy in the room. Good for you for believing in yourself.
And despite your mock-concern for pizza deliverers, I never disparaged food service workers. I was merely mocking the idea that the CIA (or other "3-letter" agencies) would consider (let alone recruit) an inept fool such as yourself to aid us in the war on terror.

tfhr said...


You misquoted Rumsfeld and you obliterated the context of Bush's remarks.

Here's Lannie Davis on the very point about cheap shots taken at Bush:

"But even now, even this one moment when Red and Blue America felt pride and unity, the strident voices on the left and the right -- the usual suspects -- couldn't resist, just couldn't resist, taking partisan cheap shots and shamefully trying to play politics.

Some evening TV commentators could not resist the temptation to refer snidely to comments made by then-President George W. Bush, including running TV clips of Bush apparently diminishing the importance of killing bin Laden, saying his death should not be the measurement of America's success or failure in its war against terror.

But this ignores the fact that his comment reflected a general-consensus strategy recommended by both the intelligence community and the Defense Department, i.e., that al Qaeda should not be allowed to declare victory because bin Laden had not yet been caught and/or killed.

You should read that article, mark.

I do give Obama credit for rolling the dice and authorizing the mission. It was the right thing to do. Find where I have ever criticized him for pushing forward in this fight. Anything? No.

I did believe that UBL was dead. It was my conviction that his personality would prevent him from discontinuing his previous pattern of issuing public statements. We have not heard much from him in recent years and those statements were highly suspect. I was wrong and I'm glad that this was the case because it is a far greater accomplishment in the conduct of this war in a strategic sense, that his death was confirmed and better still at the hands of US forces.

Oh yeah, just so you don't worry about my current cash flow - I do work for one of the three letter agencies I referred to last year. I resumed my employment with them as a civilian after serving in uniform with them in a similar capacity starting in 2006. I'm like thousands of others here in the DC area that make up a large slice of the Intelligence Community. Most of us have prior service experience and frequently follow the same path - take the uniform off, put on a tie, and go to work at our old desk the next day. Well, OK, I took nearly a year off and most days I'm not wearing a tie but I'm back on shift with the other "fools" you despise and guess what? Abbottabad is not a new name for us.

Pat Patterson said...

But at least now you can let your hair grow out by at least a half an inch.

tfhr said...

I'm way overdue for a haircut at the moment. I try to get a haircut in conjunction with trips into work when I'm on nights because I can hit the barbershop on base when it isn't crowded but I've been on the day shift for the last month and nothing is open when I'm commuting. I didn't do the beard and ponytail thing like quite a few military retirees do - I wouldn't want to become an object of desire for guys like mark - but having hair again is almost as bad as having to pick out what to wear when I'm headed to the job. I don't know how you civilians do it year after year!

mark said...

Sorry, tfhr, I know you enjoy people here lapping up your b.s., but you're trying a bit too hard. Try toning it down: it's more believable (and dignified). Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm not into phonies (with or without ponytails).

MarkD said...

After Desert Storm, the elder Bush was invincible.

At the end of the day, the economy will decide.

Pat Patterson said...

I would guess that mark has no mirrors in his house?

tfhr said...

Pat Patterson,

Sure he does - they're just all fun house mirrors and when he looks in them he thinks to himself, "Ah, diversity".


I have no idea why you think I would have to lie to someone like you or anyone else but I've come to accept that your standard response to anything you don't like is to label it a lie. Life must be very hard for you.