Let’s Not Forget Reality

With the news last week that President Obama intends to have all troops out of Iraq “by the holidays,” many of the major “news” outlets have begun a campaign to give the President an inordinate amount of credit for what many Americans feel have been foreign policy wins. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Even here at SUFA we had folks give him more credit than he deserved for foreign policy actions in the past. But before we start just handing out “Obama 2012: Tough on Terror”campaign buttons, we really should take a look at how we got to where we are before we start pretending that the President is somehow a foreign policy savant. Because the reality is that the media’s plan to paint Obama as having victories in the foreign policy realm are really nothing more than an attempt to pretend that the economic ineptitude of his administration isn’t a reason to not re-elect him….

Allow me to first say that I am quite pleased to hear that the troops in Iraq are coming home. As many of you know I have embraced a defense only policy, which means that I don’t want our troops out there at all unless we are facing a direct threat from someone, which is pretty rare these days. So let me first give the President credit for following through and bringing those troops home, which is happening later than he initially promised as candidate Obama, but is still within his first term, so he deserves some credit.

However, let us not forget that the ability to make that happen can be directly attributed to George W. Bush, who despite all the naysayers, put forth the troop surge that turned the Iraq war around and moved it from a loss, which the Democrats were fervently pushing towards, into the win column. There is little debate around the success of the troop surge and there is no questioning the fact that the troop surge was the turning point in the war. Without it, we would have ended up bringing the troops home, but would have done so with their tails between their legs, and we certainly wouldn’t be giving Barack Obama any pats on the back for “ending the war.”

And one of the Senators that fervently opposed that troop surge was  then Senator Barack Obama. He actively opposed the troop surge and claimed that it would actually increase the sectarian violence in Iraq:

So I am not quite ready to give him all the credit for a foreign policy victory. Had we followed his advice, we wouldn’t be leaving Iraq with a win, we would be leaving with a loss. It is less a victory for Obama in the foreign policy realm than a victory for President Bush despite President Obama.

Meanwhile, the war that Obama said was “the important war, the right war,” Afghanistan, hasn’t really been moving along in the way that we would like. US soldier casualties are higher and the effect we are having as we attempt to turn that country around is coming in at a draw at this point. This was the war that Obama pledged to fight and win while on the campaign trail. However, he hasn’t really done much to make that happen. There have been several areas where he ignored the recommendations of leaders within the military. One could say that his leadership in regard to the war he thought was important has been dismal.

In fact, his leadership in Afghanistan has been so bad that the President of Afghanistan said this weekend that if there was a war between the United States and Pakistan, Afghanistan would stand with…. Pakistan! The government that the United States put in power would side with our enemies! You can read about that statement here:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/10/23/karzai-says-afghanistan-would-back-pakistan-if-us-attacks/

Then there are the killings of those we don’t like. We can start with Bin Laden. I don’t think anyone thinks it is a bad thing that he is now dead. I sure would have liked to see a body or some evidence though… You have to admit that the entire episode simply doesn’t pass the sniff test. No verification. A burial at sea within 24 hours. I won’t go as far as to say it didn’t happen that way, but unlike the 9/11 hoo ha, this conspiracy theory is at least plausible.

Regardless we will operate under the assumption that everything is as it seems and it was a perfectly normal idea to bury him at sea so quickly that no one could verify anything. Following through on the US promise to hunt the guy down is a good thing. At least he didn’t abandon that declaration. However, that he happened to be the guy in office when it all went down doesn’t impress me that much. I don’t believe that he made a single decision that any other President would have made. “Hey, the guy that the voting public wants dead more than anyone else in the world happens to be in our sites. Should we take the shot?” What President would not have said “Yes”?

Add to this a few drone bombings that took out high level targets. The American born cleric and the rogue leader of Libya. I am not sure what credit he does or does not deserve in these strikes. He basically gave the order to use drone strikes throughout the area where the cleric was hiding out. And in Libya, we made a big point of claiming that we were NOT taking the leadership position there. Even addressing the UN a few weeks ago, Obama noted that the US was playing a limited supportive role in Libyan operations.

Add to that the fact that the US didn’t have nearly the role in his death that was initially claimed. A single US drone was among those who launched the first strikes on the convoy, after a Royal Air Force jet spotted the convoy. The French fighter jets came and did the majority of the damage, and NATO aircraft did the rest. Important to note is that no one knew that Qadaffi was in the convoy until after the fact. And as the video shows, the strikes on the convoy, at best, contributed to the capture of the ousted leader. He was killed by a gunshot to the head. So I am not so sure that Obama should really get any credit at all for what happened there.

That being said, I will give credit for one aspect of the Libyan conflict that many are ignoring: the fact that we weren’t involved heavily in it. As someone who does’t want us fighting wars that aren’t really ours, I applaud Obama for not having the US take the lead on Libya. I would have preferred we stay out of it altogether, but this was a step in the right direction.

I could go on and further give my thoughts on Obama’s foreign policy record, but I will leave that to the discussions. In my opinion, the reality is that what foreign policy success we have had since Obama took office has largely been in spite of him rather than because of him. Sure, he is great at standing in front of his teleprompter and telling us all what a great job he is doing (while simultaneously giving NO ONE else any credit for what happens), but the reality is that when it comes to foreign policy, he has been as inept as any President I can remember.

But with an economy that he continues to fail to improve (mostly because of his piss poor ideas for affecting any economic recovery), the “I Heart Obama” media has to find something to say that he did well on, so this is what they are going to run with for now. Hopefully, most Americans won’t be foolish enough to fall for any of it.


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Comments

  1. Good Morning, USW and welcome back.

    First, I am glad to see that the troops are coming home. They are doing it the wrong way but they are coming home. I will give Iraq about 18 months and it will be under the Iranian influence to the point that anything we did was useless. Wasteful in lives and materials and useless in the foreign policy realm. Iran does not have to “invade” it does not need an army. It will do it through Parliament and no one is watching Sadr.

    Second, you wrote “That being said, I will give credit for one aspect of the Libyan conflict that many are ignoring: the fact that we weren’t involved heavily in it. As someone who does’t want us fighting wars that aren’t really ours, I applaud Obama for not having the US take the lead on Libya.” I will have to get you to explain leadership role. The fact that 71% of the air power deployed in Libya belonged to the United States seems to indicate a leadership role and the fact that the United States had “advisers” on the ground controlling air strikes and logistics, seems to indicate otherwise….but you may know something or have a different philosophy on leadership than I……however…..that said….if you remember I call it earlier this year that Libya will go the way of Shariah…the militant side of Islam….and today I read this…”Leader of Libya’s transitional government says Sharia law will be ‘basic source’ of all legislation”. I have also called Syria, Somalia, and Yemen….and today I read this….”The Obama administration pulled its ambassador out of Syria over security concerns, blaming President Bashar Assad’s regime for the threats that made it no longer safe for him to remain.”…This is step one.

    Then I read this..”Afghan President Hamid Karzai says if fighting starts between Pakistan and the U.S., his country will back Islamabad, despite Washington and Kabul repeatedly saying Pakistan is providing sanctuary to groups launching attacks in Afghanistan.”

    Then I read this, “It may be time for military intervention in Syria. Time will tell. Syria, a long time ally if Iran, will do good not to go the way of Iran in their Islamic fundamentalist Sharia way.”

    Sigh………then there is Egypt.

    • Morning Colonel,

      On Iraq, I give Obama credit, they have refused to give troops that stayed immunity. In my mind, to leave any there under those conditions would be to make them legal hostages. I can’t think of anything else he’s done on foreign policy that has been good for the US. He’s still very popular in France, but has tanked our relations with nearly every ally and enemy alike. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, Yemen all seem poised to become strong Muslim strongholds. Those who embrace Sharia law cannot condone US influence, if for no other reason than we dance. Their values and ours are so far apart, they would kill everyone at a “Dancing with the Stars” show.

      It really looks as if Obama has done everything he could to destabilize the US and the world while trying to stay in office…….

      • @ LOI…….I agree about the immunity. That really left no choice….but the immunity issue could have been easily avoided…however, it is what it is.

        The new ruler of Libya has now changed the banking laws and who knows what is next. They also refer to him as the “temporary” leader….care to wager?

        Hope you and yours are doing well……go Rangers. This series is entertaining.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        “A country’s foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu.”

        I like that definition.

        Would make it impossible to state that Obama has either (a) done nothing positive for the U.S. and (b) that he is trying to destabilize the U.S. / world – just seems too over-the-top

        • Ray,

          Would make it impossible to state that Obama has either (a) done nothing positive for the U.S.
          Well the French really seem to like him…..your call if that is a positive or negative…….

          and (b) that he is trying to destabilize the U.S. / world – just seems too over-the-top
          Why? Take any personal feelings out, no Repug/Dem or Lib/Con, has he helped the US in any way with any action he has taken on foreign policy? Has he helped the US/world economy in any way? Note, the recovery without the stimulus was projected to be better than it has been with the stimulus. Has he helped jobs, cut red tape, etc?

          It could be argued that Iraq and Afghanistan should be laid at Bushes feet, he started them and Obama only continued the same policy because there was no other viable option, but the Bush policy was to stay until both countries were safe and reliable allies, no deadlines.
          When Obama pulls out early, it becomes his legacy. Hope he right……

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @LOI – I have to point out first that you have slightly changed the argument / question from (paraphrasing) – has he done anything to help the U.S. via foreign policy to has he done anything to help the U.S. economy. You can probably always create some six degree-ish linkage there but not always inherently so.

            So – at minimum – the foreign policy decision to provide humanitarian disaster aid to countries like Japan would seem like something positive for the U.S.

            My issue is that the constant over-the-top “he’s to worst person on Earth” or “he is deliberately trying to destroy the world” comments tend to preclude even marginal improvements for our Country. Any “change” becomes a boil the ocean prospect since “negotiation” becomes a four letter word.

            • Sorry Ray, may be what I meant, not what I said. I’m just trying to look at the numbers, 2+2, and how they add up…. I have thrown out the number of around 10% chance of the US dollar going into default, hyperinflation, economic doomsday. Today I’m willing to raise that to 20% based on domestic uncertainty and the situation with the Euro. And give credit, Obama bailed out the Euro with TARP, so maybe he staved off disaster for a few years. I’m not saying ha has done no good deed, but he doesn’t seem to have helped in the Middle East. I have yet to hear a reason for us attacking Libya that passes the sniff test. John McCain is floating the ideal of armed intervention in Syria, not Obama, but that doesn’t alter we are overextended when we cannot afford these wars. I’m not opposed to pulling out of Iraq or Afghanistan. I will say as that general stated, we will lose the peace when we do. That doesn’t mean it was realistic for us to “win” with a 50 or 100 year occupation. They have been killing themselves there for thousands of years, what makes us think we can change that is ten years?

              Bush got us into the wars and the economic downturn. I just haven’t seen Obama do anything that hasn’t made it worse. Am I wrong?

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            If I were the French I’d love him too. He wrapped up all the oil contracts for them in Iraq and Libya. I mean, how neat is that. Before WW 2 it was said by the isolationists that the British and French would fight…… to the last American. Has anything changed? Have they learned anything from carving up the middle East at Versailles?

    • D13,

      They are doing it the wrong way but they are coming home.

      I agree.
      The right way should have been to board the ships and planes yesterday and leave within hours of the announcement – not in weeks or months.

      I will give Iraq about 18 months and it will be under the Iranian influence to the point that anything we did was useless.

      Bull.

      Iran isn’t even under the influence of itself – let alone export it.

      Iraq has no interest in becoming a colony of Iran any more then becoming a colony of the USA.

      Wasteful in lives and materials and useless in the foreign policy realm. Iran does not have to “invade” it does not need an army. It will do it through Parliament and no one is watching Sadr.

      Sadr has a following, true,but his veteran, hardened gang of fighters are barely under his control.

      Most likely a civil war like in Libya will settle the politics of Iraq.

      • Good point on Libya……also, I will insert a caveat on the 18 months….This is going to depend on the outcome of the current conflict between the Clerics and A jad…however,neither will maintain control without the guard…….wonder where they will fall in? I have my suggestions..

  2. Ray Hawkins says:

    I guess I may be missing the breathless coverage that is anointing President Obama as top foreign policy dog in recent history.

    Iraq

    Who cares who takes credit for what here?!?!? The American people want their soldiers home – check. Unless there is a reason for the millions struggling economically to give a shit about Iraq beyond the boys and girls coming home then I’m all ears. As SoS has offered – we still have significant presence in that area.

    Afghanistan

    We could write/talk for hours on this – my simpleton view is that any traditional war in Afghanistan is un-winnable. The sheer lawlessness (ahem – in terms of Western law) of a land that has existed this way for centuries inherently means that any framing we’d want to do around strategy, tactics, success criteria and the such should have been thrown out years ago. Obama inherited a mess that he has turned into – a different kind of mess.

    Killing of Osama Bin Laden

    (1) The reality is that Obama was far more than “just the guy in the office” when this all went down. He ultimately had to make the call to send dozens of American soldiers into a sovereign nation (a “friendly but hostile” nation no doubt with nukes and a ton of folks up and down the political/military food chains that hate our guts) to capture/kill the most wanted man on Earth – who was equally worshipped and vilified the world over. Anyone making a decision to send our men and women into that mess deserves a little more acknowledgment than simply being the warm-bodied-waste-of-sperm that happens to be in the Oval Office when it all went down.

    (2) How the hell is it plausible that OBL is not dead? There is nothing to this – to even suggest it possible sans any evidence undermines your credibility. (I find it interesting that the same people who have carped about this OBL thing have been silent with respect to most any other announced captured/killed target).

    At the end of the day – or better yet – at the end of 11/6/2012 – the litmus test of foreign policy with respect to most of this will be from an economic perspective (unless the war pigs decide we need to invade Iran or Syria) – and that perspective being on the homefront. SoS Clinton should receive far more credit for any FP successes than POTUS at this point (cannot believe I am saying that). Obama’s problem is right at home – he’s been right at home (versus being heavy on FP) and his work at home ain’t helping him much.

    • Ray,
      Iraq

      Who cares who takes credit for what here?!?!? The American people want their soldiers home – check. Unless there is a reason for the millions struggling economically to give a shit about Iraq beyond the boys and girls coming home then I’m all ears. As SoS has offered – we still have significant presence in that area.”

      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/10/key_general_labels_obamas_iraq_pullout_absolute_disaster.html

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        LOI – to adhere to General Keane’s line of thinking – I’d have to suspend the notion that POTUS (and realistically – many many others) act with the counsel of Generals and other military leaders on the ground (and others as well with operations in Iraq – e.g. State, CIA, etc).

        Maybe Keane should follow his own advice?

        JIM LEHRER: “……General, are the generals who are speaking out doing so? Is it wrong for them to do so?”

        Keane: “I think it’s inappropriate. It’s disturbing. And I think it’s somewhat unprecedented, as well, to have retired general officers cross a line, I think, that many people have been reluctant to cross.

        And by that, I mean they’re using the influence that they have and the esteem that the American public give to the military at large, and as a result of that, the respect and admiration they have for generals who lead this wonderful military.

        They’re using that kind of moral support they have for the American people to leverage the media and influence the people in helping to remove a cabinet-level officer who’s been duly appointed by an elected president. And by doing that, you are directly involved in political confrontation in this country. And I think that is wrong and inappropriate for retired general officers.

        If they object to policies, there’s a place to do that when they were on active duty. They can resign, if it’s so compelling, and they can even make a statement to that effect, if they really feel the moral obligation to do that. The people would understand. They would register it, but this I think is wrong.”

        http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/jan-june06/rumsfeld_4-18.html

    • “At the end of the day – or better yet – at the end of 11/6/2012 – the litmus test of foreign policy with respect to most of this will be from an economic perspective (unless the war pigs decide we need to invade Syria(McCain may be making that pitch)) – and that perspective being on the homefront.”

      I agree, but the US is looking at another downgrade because the debt commission hasn’t been able to make any progress and some of the rating agencies say the 1.4 trillion is a few trillion short of what is required. And then there is how the world economy affects the US economy.

      http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eu-bank-failures-will-crash-wall-street-again-2011-10-18

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Agreed LOI…..

        11/6 will be like being forced to go to the movie theater and deciding which shitty movie I have to spend my money on.

  3. 😐

  4. Good Morning SUFA 🙂

    I will give Obama credit for one important thing, he is absolutely the worst President this nation has ever had to endure. I have nothing good to say about him or anything he has said or done.

  5. However, let us not forget that the ability to make that happen can be directly attributed to George W. Bush,

    Yeah, no kidding.

    If he didn’t attack a country that was no threat, the whole mess would have been avoided.

  6. “Hey, the guy that the voting public wants dead more than anyone else in the world happens to be in our sites. Should we take the shot?” What President would not have said “Yes”?

    None, of course.

    …which is why the Presidency is a sick, immoral, dangerous institution.
    By merely a wave of hands in the air, anyone is subject to death by a whim.

    • Or anyone in charge the world over….should have been tacked on after the word whim….don’t you think?

      • D13,

        All governments, bar none, hold the exclusive right to kill anyone, including those who have done no crime – as a Lese-majesty or under the guise of “sedition” or “enemy of the state”.

  7. D13,

    Wasteful in lives and materials and useless in the foreign policy realm.

    It was set to be wasteful from the day the war was started. How could you expect any other outcome in the long run? I don’t see one western style democracy existing in any of the Persian or Arab nations. They have completely different beliefs in the structure of governments than we do. Hint: It’ll end up being the same in Afghanistan when we finally leave there (the sooner the better).

    and today I read this…”Leader of Libya’s transitional government says Sharia law will be ‘basic source’ of all legislation”

    Again, what would you expect? Islam maintains sway regardless of who leads any repressive government in Libya. The best the US could hope for would have been another dictator that would have been more of a “friend” than Qaddafi was. Now one wonders if the US will stick its nose into Syria and declare a NATO “assistance” program (even though NATO violated it’s own charter to go to Liby.a) and help a new Islamic government come to fruition there?

    Leave these nations to fight out their own civil issues – it is not any of our business.

    Then I read this..”Afghan President Hamid Karzai says if fighting starts between Pakistan and the U.S., his country will back Islamabad, despite Washington and Kabul repeatedly saying Pakistan is providing sanctuary to groups launching attacks in Afghanistan.”

    Duh! Only makes sense. Afghanistan has little in common with the US and must co-exist in the sphere of influence of both Pakistan and India. It makes me laugh when I hear statements of “shock and awe” over this comment by Karzai.

    LOI,

    they have refused to give troops that stayed immunity

    Why should US troops have immunity? Does the US provide immunity to foreign troops studying/training in the US?

    **********

    I agree with BF, our troops should have been loading up for the trip home as the announcement was being made. Iraq isn’t the only place we should pull our troops from either.

    • PS,

      You only agree with Bf because he’s smarter and better looking than me, and usually right….. But this is apples and oranges, what foreign troops has the US requested to assist us in peacekeeping? And Interpol police officers are accorded the same immunity as US police when on US soil at our request. But in Iraq, with a significant portion of the population trying to destabilize the government and US relations, having soldiers who have no business acting as police in the first place to do so without immunity from possible trumped up charges would be folly. It would be offering hostages to any rogue judge or police officer. And remember, they are still operating under US code of conduct, so rape, murder, etc should be punished by US due process.

      • LOI,

        You only agree with Bf because he’s smarter and better looking than me, and usually right

        I can’t comment – insufficient information…………… 😉

        But this is apples and oranges, what foreign troops has the US requested to assist us in peacekeeping?

        Was that request received BEFORE the US invaded and knocked down Iraq, or did it comes afterwards when we effectively had a gun to the Iraqi peoples heads?

        Interpol police officers are accorded the same immunity as US police…

        We’re not discussing civilian cops, but armed and combat capable military troops.

        having soldiers who have no business acting as police in the first place…

        EXACTLY! They are not cops and shouldn’t be expected to be cops. Ergo, they shouldn’t be there in the first place.

        they are still operating under US code of conduct, so rape, murder, etc should be punished by US due process.

        That is beside the point. Obviously the Iraqi government isn’t willing to accept the legal code of the US to resolve what their laws consider a crime. Further, much like the USA, the Iraqis wish to punish themselves and not have someone do so for them.

        Another reason that military troops shouldn’t be there in the first place.

        Not all countries with SOFAs with the US grant immunity to the service personnel serving within the host nation. Personally I wish none would, then maybe more of our troops would return to US soil.

        • PS,

          I’m not saying the troops should stay or go, I’m saying without immunity they cannot stay or we will have another Iran hostage crisis or like Israel had, one soldier held for five years used and abused as a political tool. I do favor fewer US troops in foreign countries, Japan, S. Korea, Germany, a large part now is to supplement their economy. How is that good for the US?

          • LOI,

            I understand what you are saying. Though let me add that even if immunity was granted it means nothing if the host nation chooses to ignore that immunity. All we have to do is look at the 1979 taking of the US Embassy in Tehran to see that.

            I know that the immunity is desired to prevent those trumped up charges from happening, but there are always two sides of a coin, what if the charges aren’t trumped up? US citizens get upset when some diplomat gets away with a crime because of immunity, why shouldn’t the citizens of another nation?

            Anyway, and luckily, it is not an issue. The Iraqi’s refused so troops come home. I’ll settle for that since we can’t undo all that we did in Iraq.

            I agree with you that so many troops in Europe and Asia are nothing but economic boons to the host economy. Sixty-six years later Europe has no need for the “defensive” troops of the US. The bad old commies are dead and aren’t that kind of threat. Ah well, we can wish in one hand and spit in the other…….

    • Plainly….I am not arguing in favor of staying anywhere. We should not be there. My point, is simply, that I called this months ago. I could see it coming and people argued and argued. There is nothing to stop Sharia Law and it will take over…..AND it will be controlled by Iran whether A Jad is in control or not. Iran’s influence, in the region, will take over to a greater extent. Just watch…..it is happening as we speak. I know that right now, no one wants to believe me, but that is ok….you will see. Just check part two of my articles months ago….(part three has not been written because I am watching the Revolutionary Guard very closely)..it was predicted each and every country and its demise so far.

      Now as to this statement, “Why should US troops have immunity? Does the US provide immunity to foreign troops studying/training in the US?” Answer is quite simple…We do provide immunity to foreign troops just as we provide diplomatic immunity to all embassy personnel and dignitaries. You must understand the concept in the United States. For example, Interpol and its associated “civilian” police officers have total immunity from our laws, including wire taps without warrant, shadowing, theft, rape, murder. Read Executive order 12425. Another example is NLE 09.

      Foreign troops are granted diplomatic immunity status and are assigned to the consulates over here and the US agrees to it.

      Understand this about diplomatic immunity: ” It applies to diplomats in their host countries, ensuring that they can’t be arrested or criminally prosecuted by the host country for any violations of local law.”

      In the United States, the State Department maintains a twenty-four-hour hotline for use by local law enforcement to verify the current status of any arrestee who claims diplomatic immunity. Once his identity as a diplomat is established, he must be released. The most the host country can do is expel him, declaring him persona non grata, or a person no longer welcome. If he remains in the country after being “PNG’d,” his diplomatic status may be revoked and he may be arrested like a mere mortal.

      The diplomat is still covered by the laws of his home country, and may be prosecuted under those laws for any crimes he commits in the host country. Moreover, the privilege of immunity belongs to the home country, not the individual diplomat. The home country may choose to waive immunity for one of its diplomats, leaving him open to prosecution by the host country. This VERY RARELY happens.

      Now, to further exacerbate the problem, I am currently “in charge” of 16 foreign officers assigned to me for training in our border techniques on the Mexican border and what we are doing in Texas. I have 3 Egyptian Officers, 1 Ethiopian Officer, 2 Iraqi Officers, 4 Dutch Officers, 4 Turkish Officers, and 2 French Officers. They have total and complete immunity to our laws. They can commit any crime they wish without fear of local prosecution, including slavery, if they wish. As stated, we can declare them as PNG. We cannot even send him/her out of the country unless the visiting country takes them out. However, as previously stated. he CAN be arrested but is rarely so.

      • Thank you for the explanation D13, but I am already conversant in diplomatic immunity and what it entails. Let me make a few observations though:

        1. I disagree that foreign military have diplomatic immunity as a rule. If they did then I would never have been able to take a Saudi military aircrew into custody once upon a time for passing counterfeit $100 dollar bills and holding them for the Secret Service. But hell, what do I know?

        2. Why are we continuing to compare the issue of military troops with civilian Interpol officers? First, foreign law enforcement officers are liaison personnel generally assigned to embassies or consulates and are limited in number (just as we have FBI agents as Legal Attaches in US embassies worldwide). While they have diplomatic immunity, they do not and are not on the streets enforcing any laws (either ours or theirs) in the host country (though they may go with host nation police forces as “observers” at times). Further, they are not normally authorized to be armed in any manner. But hell, what do I know?

        3. As to the foreign personnel training with you – when or where did I say that foreign personnel NEVER had immunity protections? Answer – I didn’t. Also it sounds like – again – the example of civilians is being used in place of armed and combat capable military units?

        4. Like you I have served in the military and I served on overseas assignments. I know that military personnel were not granted immunity in all of the countries we served in. I recall one young airman locked up and eventually tried in a case that would could have resulted in a long prison stretch in prison had he been convicted (as his direct supervisor I was intimately involved in his case). But hell, what do I know?

        5. Lastly, I do not believe I ever said you or LOI were supporting maintaining troops in Iraq. I was discussing the immunity portion of the issue.

        • Dale A. Albrecht says:

          I agree with bullet (4) I was stationed in Sicily 33 years ago, and there was no immunity to their laws. If the US investigation showed the US personnel were at fault, they were turned over to the civilian authorities for prosecution and had “no” legal support, other than what they could provide themselves. Unlike the incident years ago at Aviano with the A6 cutting the wires on the cable car, the US shipped the Marine aviators home. Tried them here, found not guilty, but then after the trial the flight crew showed the video they took proving the charges against them. Caused quite a diplomatic dust-up.

  8. But of course the US means business in Iraq:

    Inspector General: U.S. wasting cash in Iraq

    As the U.S. prepares to withdraw its military from Iraq, only 12 percent of the funds in a State Department program to train police there will be used for that purpose, a government watchdog group reports, warning the program could become a “bottomless pit” for American taxpayers.

    The “vast preponderance” of the $500 million program will instead be going to things such as security and “life support” for trainers, according to the report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Only 12 percent will go toward “advising, mentoring and developing the Iraqi police forces” the report said.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66680.html

  9. Good to have you back, USW. I figured you’re as busy as I am (maybe more so).

    Now … on to it. The SAGE (I have been thus christined in your absence) says …

    we really should take a look at how we got to where we are before we start pretending that the President is somehow a foreign policy savant

    Brother, I don’t know ANYBODY who thinks he’s anything more than a lousy leader and absolutely in over his head (and I travel in much more liberal circles than you). So that is a bit mystifying.

    put forth the troop surge that turned the Iraq war around and moved it from a loss, which the Democrats were fervently pushing towards, into the win column.

    You will have to explain “win” to me … right now I’m completely baffled … I usually respond a poke at a time so you may well explain this one further on.

    No explanation yet … you surpress me, USW.

    You have to admit that the entire episode simply doesn’t pass the sniff test. No verification. A burial at sea within 24 hours. I won’t go as far as to say it didn’t happen that way, but unlike the 9/11 hoo ha, this conspiracy theory is at least plausible.

    Now you really surprise me. Wow.

    I’ll give you my take. Iraq remains a disaster on just about every single front. The foreign policy of George Bush (which Obama continues to follow) “democratically elected Hamas” and I doubt anything has changed much on that front.

    I figure you’re very busy, USW, because usually you put up something to argue against. This is somewhat weaker than I expected. We (America) haven’t won a thing. These wars, all of them, have been absolute wastes of lives (our soldiers and innocent civilians) and let’s not begin to get into the economics of them. Obama stated we were in the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time, then waited until just before an election year to start to dial out.

    He’s a disaster … the problem you righties have is there’s nothing to run against him. Clowns, just about all of them. And the one guy I can agree with on “most everything” except that capitalism/free market nonsense) is Ron Paul … and he’s as likely to get the nomination as the two conspiratory parties are likely to let a socialist or Ralph Nader into their circus-like debates.

    • Hey “Sage” 🙂

      It won’t matter what idiot gets elected, nothing will change. Our system is totally corrupt and needs replaced. Until that happens, all the end capitalism BS will just keep the sheeple from seeing the real problem 🙄

      • The real problem is capitalism, G-Man!

        How are you these days?

        • Charlie,

          The real problem is capitalism, G-Man

          That is like saying the “problem with criminals is because there are honest men”

          • @ Charlie

            I’m fine my friend, hunting hard and enjoying the mountains. Rural life is great! As for blaming a non-living entity for the woes of our nation is rathe silly don’t you think? It was capitalism that made us a Super Power and it is socialism and theft that will destroy us.

  10. Question?? What happened to Part III from James Adams, Author of Waffle Time.

    • Fred,

      Short version:

      “It ends badly”

      • Of course it does!!

        One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferior . . . Plato
        >
        > Oil Anyone??
        >
        Cruz Construction started a division in North Dakota just 6 months ago.
        >
        > They sent every Kenworth (9 trucks) we had here in Alaska to North Dakota and several drivers.
        >
        > They just bought two new Kenworth’s to add to that fleet; one being a Tri Drive tractor and a new 65 ton lowboy to go with it.
        >
        > They also bought two new cranes (one crawler & one rubber tired) for that division.
        >
        > Dave Cruz said they have moved more rigs in the last 6 months in ND than Cruz Construction moved in Alaska in the last 6 years.
        >
        > Williston , ND is like a gold rush town; they moved one of our 40 man camps down there since there are no rooms available.
        >
        > Unemployment in ND is the lowest in the nation at 3.4 percent last I checked.
        >
        > See anything in the national news about how the oil industry is fueling North Dakota ‘s economy?
        >
        > Here’s an astonishing read. Important and verifiable information:
        >
        > About 6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. Was the guest.
        >
        > The host said to Forbes, “I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer;
        >
        > How much oil does the U.S. Have in the ground?” Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, “more than all the Middle East put together.”
        >
        > The U. S.. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big.
        >
        > It was a revised report (hadn’t been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota ,
        >
        > Western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana .
        >
        > Check THIS out:
        >
        > The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska ‘s Prudhoe Bay , and has the potential to
        >
        > Eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates
        >
        > It at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable( 5 billion barrels), at $107 a barrel,
        >
        > We’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.
        >
        > “When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor.
        >
        > They had no idea..” says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst.
        >
        > “This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,” reportsThe Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
        >
        > It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin , but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’
        >
        > It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada .
        >
        > For years, U. S. Oil exploration has been considered a dead end.
        >
        > Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago.
        >
        > However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves,
        >
        > And we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil,
        >
        > Those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL !!!!!!
        >
        > That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight.
        >
        > And if THAT didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should – because it’s from 2006 !!!!!!
        >
        > U. S. Oil Discovery – Largest Reserve in the World
        >
        > Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006
        >
        > Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world.
        >
        > It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction.
        >
        > In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted.
        >
        > With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off- shore drilling?
        >
        > They reported this stunning news:
        >
        > We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth.
        >
        > Here are the official estimates:
        >
        > 8 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
        >
        > 18 times as much oil as Iraq
        >
        > 21 times as much oil as Kuwait
        >
        > 22 times as much oil as Iran
        >
        > 500 times as much oil as Yemen
        >
        > And it’s all right here in the Western United States !!!!!!
        >
        > HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy. WHY?
        >
        > James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East, more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.
        >
        > Don’t think ‘OPEC’ will drop its price even with this find? Think again! It’s all about the competitive marketplace, it has to.
        >
        > Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?
        >
        > Got your attention yet? Now, while you’re thinking about it, do this:
        >
        > Pass this along. If you don’t take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time
        >
        > you complain about gas prices, by doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain.
        >
        > Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if everyone of you sent this to every one in your address book.
        >
        >
        >
        > By the way, this can be verified. Check it out at the link below !!!!!!
        >
        > http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911
        > http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911
        >
        >
        > Curz Construction:
        > http://www.cruzconstruct.com/services..php
        >

  11. Some great graphs at the link, the graphs are by FRED, who must be very busy…..

    Liberals, especially, should be almost desperate to shrink government to a size that’s sustainable in the long run. Here’s a graph–one of many documenting the public’s declining faith in government efficacy, in this case that of the federal government. It shows that in 1986 Americans estimated that the government wasted 38 cents of every dollar it raises. Now they estimate it wastes 51 cents. It’s not hard to read the inevitable death of even Clinton-style liberalism in the rising slope of that chart, and others like it. Surely at least part of the voter’s disdain for government comes from their (accurate) perception that it’s bloated and keeps bloating, with new agencies and inefficiencies simply layered in on top of the old ones. Meanwhile, the private sector has used computer technology to streamline itself, eliminating layers rather than adding.

    Democrats, as the party of government, need to turn that perception around by. Obama, by dedicating his stimulus to preserving bureaucracy as we know it, has by and large missed this opportunity. (Clinton would not have missed it.)

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/24/blow-this-graph-matt-yglesias/#ixzz1bng3YnVD

  12. Hee Hee Hee-I love it-talk about saying NO to being PC. 🙂

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/281179/laughing-all-way-white-house-robert-costa

  13. Aid-Aid-if we are going to give them the money-how about give it to pay down our debt. I am outraged and dumbfounded at the stupidity 😦

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/1238016126001/outrage-over-us-foreign-aid-to-china/?playlist_id=86858

  14. Another story explaining why -we have such a high unemployment rate.

    Obama Is Played for a Fool by MacArthur ‘Genius’ Who Turns Out To Be Out of Her Depth
    President Is Warned by Fellow Democrats John Kerry, Deval Patrick, Barney Frank, Charles Schumer

    By IRA STOLL, Special to the Sun | October 24, 201

    The next battle over President Obama’s job-killing regulations may take place on the Atlantic Coast, where fishermen, and the senators and congressmen who represent them, are voicing mounting frustration at the Obama administration’s “catch-share” rules for the fishing industry.

    The Republican senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, on Saturday stood with fishermen in Gloucester and called on Mr. Obama to fire the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Jane Lubchenco.

    But the frustration at Ms. Lubchenco, who also serves as under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, extends well beyond Republican, Tea Party-backed senators or libertarians for whom the idea of a federally enforced “share” program sounds like some nightmare out of an Ayn Rand novel.

    A surprising and growing number of Democratic elected officials are also expressing annoyance and outright opposition. Senator Kerry, the Democrat of Massachusetts who was his party’s presidential nominee in 2004, said Friday, “Because of federal regulations limiting fishing in our waters, a lot of our fisherman have been put out of business or pushed the brink.” Also last week, he sent a stern letter to Ms. Lubchenco, warning her, “tensions between federal regulators and the fishing community have reached a boiling point beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed in my 26 years in the Senate.”

    Earlier this year, the two senators from New York, Charles Schumer and Kristin Gillibrand, both Democrats, joined with Democratic congressmen Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Frank Pallone of New Jersey to write the secretary of commerce a letter “to express our concern that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) catch share policy will further endanger the economic vitality of the already-struggling fishing industry.” A Schumer press release warned that the “flawed catch share policy…. could irreparably damage our fishing industry.”

    The Democratic mayor of New Bedford, Mass., Scott Lang, denounced the catch-share policy. “We’ve got the worst economy since the Great Depression, and we’re keeping people from working. … It’s really, I think, done a tremendous amount of damage to the fishing community.”

    And earlier this year, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat who socializes with Mr. Obama when Mr. Obama is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, filed a brief in support of a lawsuit against the catch-share regulations, calling them “poorly thought through and poorly implemented.”

    The story hasn’t yet hit the New York Times, Politico, or the Drudge Report. But when it does, it won’t be pretty. At the center of the storm is Ms. Lubchenco, whose official biography fits what to the Obama administration’s critics will seem like a familiar pattern. Like President Obama himself and like Mr. Obama’s initial economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, Ms. Lubchenco has an advanced degree from Harvard. Like Mr. Obama and Mr. Summers, Ms. Lubchenco has little private sector experience, but spent a lot of time teaching at a university — in her case, more than 20 years at Oregon State University. When President Obama nominated her to the NOAA job, she was vice chairman of the board of the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental advocacy group that promotes catch shares, which are kind of like a cap-and-trade emissions scheme transferred to fishery management. When her appointment was announced, EDF’s president, Fred Krupp, praised her by saying, “her depth of understanding of climate change is unmatched.”

    Her official biography also notes that she is a recipient of 14 honorary doctoral degrees and of one of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” awards.

    Which raises the question — if Ms. Lubchenco is such a “genius,” how has she managed to so thoroughly frustrate, irritate, and annoy so many small fishermen and the politicians who represent them?

    Partly it is by displaying a kind of arrogance towards those not blessed with her genius. She reportedly minimized the job losses under catch-share by describing them as “marginal jobs where people are squeaking by.” She snubbed Massachusetts elected officials by departing early from a subcommittee hearing to go meet with the Boston Globe editorial board. A representative of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association, in a letter to the Gloucester Times, called Ms. Lubchenco’s testimony about one of their own programs “disingenuous, dishonest and disrespectful to all our community’s fishing fleet.”

    I tried to get Ms. Lubchenco’s side of it, but her communications and legislative teams didn’t return my phone call.

    Memo to President Obama: When Charles Schumer, John Kerry, Barney Frank, Deval Patrick, and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association are all warning that your regulations are destroying jobs, maybe it’s time to start putting prioritizing people ahead of fish. And, along with that, to start wondering whether your NOAA administrator may not be such a genius, after all.

    http://www.nysun.com/national/obama-is-played-for-a-fool-by-macarthur-genius/87537

  15. Mathius™ says:

    Actual Quote from Protester Occupying Bay Street of Toronto’s Stock Exchange

    “It’s weird protesting on Bay Street. You get there at 9 a.m.
    and the rich bankers who you want to hurl insults at and change their worldview
    have been at work for two hours already. And then when it’s time for me to go
    home, the bankers are all still there. I guess that’s why they call them the
    one per cent. I mean, who wants to work those kinds of hours?”

    I have no idea if this is real or not. I have no idea if it was in jest or not. I don’t even know if anyone is actually bothering to protest in Toronto.

    I was really on the fence about this whole thing (mainly because I have no idea what the protesters actually want, but this really gave me a good shove toward hating their guts.

    • Mathius™ says:
    • Buck the Wala says:

      The problem here is that those ‘rich bankers’ who really are in the 1% are NOT working those crazy hours. Those ‘rich bankers’ working those hours, are generally extremely hard working, and generally very well (if not, in some cases, too well) compensated, but they also aren’t the ones in the 1%. 2% maybe, but not 1%.

      I’ve been on the fence a bit as well in supporting them but, even absent a specific goal, they are doing a lot to raise awareness of the economic disparity in America. That’s something I can support.

      • Mathius™ says:

        I work those crazy hours. Great.

        But the honchos in my firm, who are assuredly in the 1%, don’t say as late as me, or get in as early as me. But I will say this. I get emails from them at all hours of the night. They take reams of work home with them. I get emails on the weekends and holidays (I refuse to check my work email on the weekend so I don’t see them until first thing Monday).

        They may not be at their desk, but the 1% are working 24×7.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Fair enough – some do work non-stop as you suggest. But given the sheer magnitude of the economic disparity this country is facing, shouldn’t they also pay a bit more in taxes?

          • Buck,

            So your theory is, if a man has a lot of stuff to steal, its ok to steal more of his stuff……

            • Buck the Wala says:

              No my theory is one of progressive taxation….for the greater good, of course.

              • Buck,

                my theory is one of progressive taxation….for the greater good, of course

                Yes, that is exactly what I said – without the lipstick on a pig.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                By the way, once again, taxation is not theft. Hate to break it to you. Even the senile old fart of a colonel was able to get past that one! 🙂

              • Buck
                Of course it is theft!
                The action does not change simply because you were a funny hat and a shiny piece of tin on your chest!

              • Buck the Wala says:

                :::sigh:::

                Bizarre, really.

              • Buck
                I totally agree.

                To change the definition of an action by merely substituting a uniform is utterly bizarre.

                It’s akin to calling a red rose “a red rose”, except if you wear a uniform, you call it a blue violet instead.

                Makes no sense, does it?

      • l, they are doing a lot to raise awareness of the economic disparity in America. That’s something I can support.

        Why does the size of my wallet so important to the size of your wallet?

  16. @ Buck…..good day to you, counselor. I have a question that no one will answer. I have seen your responses but I have yet to see a reason so I will ask you this…..concerning taxes.

    First, to stop the issue of all taxes being theft….I understand where that is coming from….for the purposes of this question, please assume that there are going to be taxes.
    So, I am going to ask a simple question. Why is not a flat tax fair?

    My reasoning is going to be this. We all live in the same world. Some are rich and some are poor. That is a fact of life. I will pick a number out of the air……say 10% for easy figuring. Why is it not fair that a person making 25,000 per year would pay 2,500 in income tax and a person making 100,000 per year would pay 10,000 in income taxes…no deductions…nothing. The person making more is paying more and the person making less is paying less but both are paying income tax on their earnings. A person who makes 500,000 per year would pay 50,000. Someone please try to explain to me where this is unfair. Everyone, and rightly so, has a dog in the hunt…equal in tax percentage upon income.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      The reason I am for a progressive tax rate is simply because it is more ‘fair’ (perhaps ‘fair’ is not the best word in these debates) than a flat tax. Having someone earning $25K pay $2500 (to use your 10% example) is a much bigger burden on that individual than having someone earning $500K pay $50K. Higher earners are in a much better position to pay a higher percentage of their income.

      • Buck

        is a much bigger burden on that individual than having someone earning $500K pay $50K.

        How can you make such a bizarre claim?

        You have no idea what “burdens” people carry, regardless of the size of their wallet.

        To argue that one man can carry a larger load based on some bizarre calculation you make about fantasy of burden comes from a pretense of knowledge that you do not have.

        In other words, you are a man claiming you know something only God knows, thus making you greater than God, for even God does not dabble in swapping human burdens!

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        G–dammit! What do you not understand about 10 percent of $25,000 being $ 2500. and 10 percent of $ 250,000 being $ 25,000? Talk about fair! The $ 250,000 guy would already be paying as much as the $ 25,000 guy makes in a year! The reality now is the $ 25,000 guy pays nothing and the $ 250,000 guy, even if it is all capital gains, pays $ 37,500. Don’t give me the stuff about payroll taxes too, they both pay them if they work.

        Everybody lives here, everybody benefits from living here and yet some would have others along for the free ride. Why? What benefit is there for society where I am supported by you? What incentive is there for me to advance when I can “play” the system and mark me my young friend, the system is played, each and every day.

        • There is no such thing as a “fair” tax – it is an oxymoron statement

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Of course, but we are dealing with the world we actually live in here, not the one we would like.

            • SK,

              we would like

              ….and still, there exists no such thing as a “fair” tax. It is an utter fantasy to believe this.

              All tax MUST place a burden on someone so to benefit another who did not earn such a benefit.
              This cannot be avoided – it is the essence of all theft.

              What is incredibly dangerous is justifying this theft by some irrational, lofty, articulation – you put lipstick on a pig, and act as if it is a beauty.

              See what it is as it is.
              Yes, men with guns will still come and steal your money, but trying to justify them makes them come back for more.

              Call them thieves at their face while they steal their wallet – it does make them uncomfortable – and it does make them think twice about it. Even a thief does not like to be seen as an immoral man.

              I mean, look at Buck. He hates it when I call tax what it is – theft. He does back flips and twists and irrational “redefining reality” so to avoid calling it what it is – because his goals depend on the theft, but yet…he does not want to be seen as an immoral man.

    • Mathius™ says:

      First, it isn’t true that we all live in the same country. My neighborhood has a better police department, better road, better fire department, better schools, etc, etc. And, even on the federal level, it’s not the same. If someone invades the US and they attack North Dakota, they had some seriously faulty intel. To that end, the defense department is really protecting the wealthy/powerful/industrialized areas of the country – the rest is just along for the ride. If the US were (somehow) taken over, it is the wealthy who have the most to lose. The poor would hardly notice any change in their quality of life. I’m just picking defense because it’s the most obvious, but on a host of issues, it is the wealthy who benefit the most from our government and, importantly, have the most to lose if it fails.

      Secondly, it’s a question of the “pain” of tax, not the amount of tax. If I tax Bill Gates $1,000, he’s not going to flinch. He might not even care enough to complain. If I take $1,000 from the guy who works the counter at the Piggly Wiggly (or Wawa, if you prefer), it’s going to devastate him financially – it might mean that he can’t afford to feed his family. So, yes, this is highly subjective, but the idea is that you can take proportionately far more from the rich than from the poor without severely impacting them. My taxes are huge (and annoying) – I pay my share and the share of a dozen other people.. but I still live in a nice house with a wife and dog and yard and an acre of land on a quiet street, I have a big screen tv, nice computer, nice car (and another one for the Mrs.), etc, etc – I am not suffering. Whereas, if you eliminated a progressive taxation, I might be even better off the that other guy would be in really bad shape. (Assuming the same amount of revenue in the flat vs progressive systems, obviously, if you lower revenue in the process of switching from progressive to flat, this all goes out the window, as you are now talking about apples and mangoes).

      • Hmmmm…so your litmus test is burden…no other reason than burden and who can better carry that burden.

        • Mathius™ says:

          I know where you’re going with this…..

          But yes, generally speaking, it is a question of who can carry the burden.

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            Fair, is all carrying the burden . Pain is not an issue. Birth is pain, life is pain, death is usually pain. Pain goes with the territory. To be human is to experience pain. To expect no pain is delusional at best and makes you weak. Last week you admitted a type of pain in that you support yourself and your siblings do not. You evidenced a belief that this was unfair. Perhaps your parents are in fact taking the same approach with your sister and brother(s) as you do on taxes. Perhaps they believe in the “progressive” sharing of their wealth rather than in flat grants! I pointed out that what you did gave you “grit”. Your siblings lack that. Are they better for it? Are they even equal to you for it?

            You touched a nerve with me. This week I was flirting with my schizophrenic view of the draft. It is not “fair” for only some to carry the burden of defense but then again it is not fair to an individuals rights to be “press ganged”. Was being drafted to fight in Vietnam less fair than being drafted to fight Nazi and Japanese imperialism? Assume the VC and the North Vietnamese never posed any real threat to the US itself but the Japanese and Germans did. Therefore, was the draft more “fair” in one instance than the other? It’s been driving me crazy for the past 40 years now I can share that burden with you.

      • At Mathius….so your litmus test is pain of tax and impact? correct?

  17. Rules of Engagement for law abiding Americans!

    Some very good and sound advice……

    Shooting advice:

    Never let someone or thing that threatens you get inside arm’s length and
    never say “I got a gun”. If you feel you need to use deadly force for
    heaven’s sake let the “first sound they hear be the safety clicking off” and
    they shouldn’t have time to hear anything after that if you are doing your
    job.

    ‘The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes….the response
    time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.’

    Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch, is a drill instructor (Thunder Ranch
    is a firearms training facility in Arizona ). Here are a few of his
    observations on tactics, firearms, self-defense and life as we know it in
    the civilized world.

    “The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win and cheat if necessary.”

    “Don’t forget, incoming fire has the right of way..”

    “Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. You may get killed
    with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it, cause it’s
    going to be empty.”

    “If you’re not shooting’, you should be loading’. If you’re not loading’,
    you should be moving’, if you’re not moving’, someone’s going to cut your
    head off and put it on a stick.”

    “When you reload in low light encounters, don’t put your flashlight in your
    back pocket.. If you light yourself up, you’ll look like an angel or the
    tooth fairy… and you’re going to be one of ’em pretty soon.”

    “Do something. It may be wrong, but do something.”

    “Shoot what’s available, as long as it’s available, until something else
    becomes available.”

    “If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That’s ridiculous. If
    you have a gun, what in the hell do you have to be paranoid for?”

    “Don’t shoot fast, unless you also shoot good.”

    “You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work, but
    I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much
    the universal language.”

    “You have the rest of your life to solve your problems.. How long you live
    depends on how well you do it.”

    “You cannot save the planet but you may be able to save yourself and your
    family.”

    “Thunder Ranch will be here as long as you’ll have us or until someone makes
    us go away, and either way, it will be exciting.”

    More Excellent Gun Wisdom…….

    The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense.
    The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than
    either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.

    1. Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just
    kill you. (my favorite)

    2. If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    3. I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy.

    4. When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

    5. A reporter did a human-interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter
    recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him ‘Why do
    you carry a 45?’ The Ranger responded, ‘Because they don’t make a 46..’

    6. An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.

    7. The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on
    his wearing his sidearm. ‘Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you
    expecting trouble?’ ‘No ma’am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have
    brought my rifle.’

    8. Beware of the woman who only has one gun, because she probably knows how
    to use it very well.

    ‘The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but
    because he loves what is behind him.’ G. K. Chesterton

    A people that values its privileges above its principles will soon lose
    both.

    “Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not….” –
    Thomas Jefferson.

  18. Weapon: I just wanted to stop by and offer my offical kudos for what is one of the most refreshing articles I have ever read. These kinds of articles show America that you are indeed a fair-minded man; yet, at the same time lets keep our focus on the truth. If you don’t mind I would be honored to place a few of your themes, positions, and arguments within my article for today.

    I know it’s not much notice but as we both know these sorts of things happen; moreover, it is the content that I admire so much insofar as it is fair. Please rest assured that I will be giving credit to you and your magnificent site and everyone who makes SUFA….SUFA!

    Kindest regards,

    jps

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