Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

LinkSwarm for March 21, 2014

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Enjoy your complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, and be sure to tip your waitress!

  • Fourteen different ways you can you can avoid the ObamaCare tax.
  • Joaquin Castro to boycott Buc-ees? He should have almost as much luck in Texas boycotting air conditioning and football. Hey, when Castro can offer outstanding fudge and the largest, cleanest restrooms in the state, let me know…
  • Democratic Senators decide they’d like to avoid committing political suicide by voting for Obama’s gun-grabbing Surgeon general nominee.
  • Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall proves once again that taxes are for the little people.
  • Democrats recruit the perfect candidate for congress: an 86-year old ex-felon.
  • Rich liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer is 100% opposed to Keystone pipeline. Well, except when endangered Democratic Senators are involved.
  • What liberals are leaving out of their hagiography of Cesar Chavez: he opposed illegal aliens and would have hated amnesty.
  • Liberals hate the Koch brothers so much they freak out even when they’re donating money to a hospital.
  • How dare some racist Americans call some Muslims pedophiles just because they want to marry 8-year olds?
  • America could hurt Russia by lifting natural gas export restrictions.
  • Swell story of resurrecting a badly damaged B-2. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • It’s gotten to the point I can no longer tell liberal ranting from parody of same.
  • More Yelp hilarity for the Backstreet Pub and Grill owner who went out of his way to insult gun owners.
  • Supporting Neil Young and Scarlet Johansson against the Israel haters.
  • “Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue….” Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stopped reading.
  • Solider adopts dog. Dusty room ensues.

  • Morning Ukraine Update for February 20, 2014: Mass Gunfire and Violence in Kiev

    Thursday, February 20th, 2014

    So much for that truce:

    Central Kyiv turned into a war zone on Feb. 20, with indiscriminate shooting, burning fires and the mass evacuations of government buildings.

    At least 35 people were reported dead by noon, bringing the total count to at least 61 persons this week.

    It became increasingly clear that both sides have lost control of the streets across Ukraine as reports of deaths, looting, and violent attacks poured in.

    Foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland, walked into a meeting with President Viktor Yanukovych around noon with one message on the agenda: you have to stop the violence now, and the quickest way to do it is to resign.

    Yanukovych’s snipers are now shooting people in the streets:

    Death toll now over 50 in latest clashes. I’m sure it will go higher. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    Livestream:

    Tweets:

    Ariel Sharon, RIP

    Saturday, January 11th, 2014

    Former Israeli General and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died at age 85 after being in a coma since 2006.

    While Sharon was a hugely important and influential political figure, I want to highlight his brilliance as a general. Israel’s swift and sure destruction of numerically superior Egyptian forces in the Sinai (with a total area significantly larger than Israel itself) under the leadership of Sharon, Israel Tal and Avraham Yoffe in a mere four days in 1967 are a big reason it’s called the Six Day War.

    Here’s a History Channel show on The Six day War, complete with Machinima recreations of the battles.

    The World Peace Treaty: A Look Back on the Kellogg-Briand Pact

    Thursday, December 26th, 2013

    I got one of the most amusingly ridiculous pieces of political spam in my email box recently:

    DEAR SANTA

    please can be seated in your nice wormchair and email to the rest off the world to forward the red note to their head of state, if the world peace treaty ever take place (with your help and those that read this), there are enough monie spent on each country on defend budgets (that %30 off our taxes monie) we can all have 3 presents each every day for the rest of our lives the and also our great great great grand children lives, not including the ten year early retirement which we should have

    together we can kindly ask the world top 20 leaders to sign a world Peace treaty
    please can you copy and paste the message in the red below then email it to your local Members of Parliament (MPs) or someone who s head of state
    in your country or county
    do this once (mean you r a true beliver))
    copy and email all the text to a hundred people (mean this will happen, 100x 100 x 100x 100= 1 bilion people

    Etc. etc. etc., at great length.

    It would be the height of laziness to take potshots at a naive piece of badly-spelled spam, but since it’s the day after Christmas, and I’m feeling very lazy indeed, let’s grab the pump-action Remington and stroll out to the pike barrel, shall we?

    Putting aside the fact that this particular email seems to have been dictated by a Nigerian Prince to someone for whom English was not their first (or even second) language, let me concentrate on the underlying idea animating the missive, namely a world peace treaty to end war.

    Hate to tell you sparky, but it’s been tried. It was called the Kellogg-Braind Pact:

    WHEREAS a Treaty between the President of the United States Of America, the President of the German Reich, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, the President of the Republic of Poland, and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy, was concluded and signed by their respective Plenipotontiaries at Paris on the twenty-seventh day of August, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight, the original of which Treaty, being in the English and the French languages, is word for word as follows:

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE GERMAN REICH, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THE BELGIANS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF GREAT BRITAIN IRELAND AND THE BRITISH DOMINIONS BEYOND THE SEAS, EMPEROR OF INDIA, HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF ITALY, HIS MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF JAPAN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND THE PRESIDENT OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC,

    Deeply sensible of their solemn duty to promote the welfare of mankind;

    Persuaded that the time has, come when a frank renunciation of war as an instrument of na tional policy should be made to the end that the peaceful and friendly relations now existing between their peoples may be perpetuated;

    Convinced that all changes in their relations with one another should be sought only by pacific means and be the result of a peaceful and orderly process, and that any signatory Power which shall hereafter seek to promote its ts national interests by resort to war a should be denied the benefits furnished by this Treaty;

    Hopeful that, encouraged by their example, all the other nations of the world will join in this humane endeavor and by adhering to the present Treaty as soon as it comes into force bring their peoples within the scope of its beneficent provisions, thus uniting the civilized nations of the world in a common renunciation of war as an instrument of their national policy;

    Have decided to conclude a Treaty and for that purpose have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries

    [List of Plenipotentiary signatories omitted]

    who, having communicated to one another their full powers found in good and due form have agreed upon the following articles:

    ARTICLE I

    The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

    ARTICLE II

    The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.

    ARTICLE III

    The present Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties named in the Preamble in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, and shall take effect as between them as soon as all their several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington.

    This Treaty shall, when it has come into effect as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, remain open as long as may be necessary for adherence by all the other Powers of the world. Every instrument evidencing the adherence of a Power shall be deposited at Washington and the Treaty shall immediately upon such deposit become effective as; between the Power thus adhering and the other Powers parties hereto.

    It shall be the duty of the Government of the United States to furnish each Government named in the Preamble and every Government subsequently adhering to this Treaty with a certified copy of the Treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence. It shall also be the duty of the Government of the United States telegraphically to notify such Governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.

    IN FAITH WHEREOF the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty in the French and English languages both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.

    DONE at Paris, the twenty seventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight.

    The brainchild of French foreign minister Aristide Briand and U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg, the Pact was conceived as a way of constraining future German aggression and eliminating the horrors of war for all time.

    Didn’t work out so well.

    Like all Utopian schemes, the Kellog-Briand Pact failed because it assumed human beings were both perfectible and rational in large numbers, neither of which is the case. Forged in a time of relative economic prosperity, when Hitler was an ex-con running the fringe National Socialist German Workers’ Party, no one could foresee the Great Depression and the conflagration of World War II just around the corner.

    Wars happen for a variety of reasons, none of which can be derailed solely because the countries involved signed a piece of paper saying war is bad and naughty and they’re having none of it. Treaties work when they either benefit both nations (see, for example, the Rush-Bagot Treaty, which demilitirized the Great Lakes), or because one party to the treaty has the obvious ability to completely beat the snot out of the other.

    Treaties with non-democratic regimes are only as good as the obvious willingness of democratic nations to use force to back them up. Which is why I have little-to-no faith that the recent treaty with Iran will have the slightest effect on Iran’s nuclear program beyond accelerating it…

    Lazy, SuperTiny LinkSwarm for December 6, 2013

    Friday, December 6th, 2013

    It’s Friday, and I’m feeling to lazy to put up a real LinkSwarm, so here’s the Mini-Me version:

  • Anger among Democrats over the rollout of ObamaCare is deep.” It’s nothing compared to the anger among voters…
  • An example of why Rick Santorum wasn’t the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012, and won’t be in 2016.
  • Once again, a super-secret military plane started under Republicans is revealed by a Democratic Administration.
  • Austin Attorney Marc Rosenthal, who helped bankroll the Williamson County Democratic Party, including gave $58,000 in donations to (now ex-) state rep Diana Maldonado, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for “racketeering, conspiracy, bribery, extortion, tampering, and mail fraud.”
  • Charles Barkley rides the New York City subway: “If they never see me again, tell my family I love them.”
  • You know that whole “I’ll never have to buy music ever again” thing? Yeah, not so much.
  • Texans fire head coach Gary Kubiak. It was time. Thy also fired Special Teams coach Joe Marciano, which was many, many years overdue…
  • Man survives two days in air pocket in overturned ship:

  • No Content, Tanks

    Thursday, October 10th, 2013

    Busy working on a book catalog, so here’s some low calorie Content Substitute in the form of M1A2 tanks blowing things up:

    Also provides a distinct contrast in music, rap vs. (I think) Hans Zimmer…

    Just For the Record: Rep. John Carter Against Syrian Intervention

    Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

    It looks increasingly like a moot point, but since I previously mentioned it, I wanted to confirm that my own Representative, John Carter, is a firm “No” on bombing Syria, as per this letter from him:

    Dear Mr. Person:

    Thank you for contacting me about President Obama’s proposal to launch a military strike against Syria.

    President Obama has asked Congress to authorize a U.S. military strike in the wake of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces use of chemical weapons on August 21, 2013.

    My constituents and the majority of Americans have voiced their opposition to this ill-conceived proposal and I stand with them. The President has not provided a solid reason as to why he believes the United States should attack the sovereign nation of Syria or how this action would deter al-Assad in the future. A political agenda is no reason to put our sons and daughters in danger or involve our country in another costly war while dealing with a budgetary crisis, the President’s damaging sequester and reduced troop levels.

    The lack of a legitimate foreign policy since the beginning of this administration has placed America into the situation we face today. I believe the President’s decision to attack Syria is not based on defending the security of our nation, but is based on defending his political agenda and his ‘red line’. The administration’s plan to support and aid the rebel faction which include members of Al Qaeda and the assumptions that they will call America their friend after attacking President Bashar al-Assad is a misguided strategy at best. There are many issues that the country should be focused on and kicking a hornets’ nest is not one of them.

    Nothing has proven President Obama’s proposal would be effective and he has not given specific timetables for a resolution to the crisis. I believe we should work with the world community through diplomatic measures that will protect others from the deplorable use of chemical weapons. The central question for policy makers remains how best to bring the conflict in Syria to a close before the crisis consigns the region to one of several destructive and destabilizing scenarios.

    You can be sure I will keep your strong views in mind as I monitor developments in Syria and surrounding regions. If given the opportunity to vote on this matter, I will oppose the President’s dangerous request. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the U.S. House of Representatives. Please feel free to visit my website (www.house.gov/carter) or contact me with any future concerns.

    Sincerely,
    John Carter
    Member of Congress

    Yes votes to bomb Syria seem mighty hard to come by

    Fig Leaf Syrian Strike Cancelled Thanks To Fig Leaf Deal

    Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

    Who knew stopping a war could be so easy?

    Not the Syrian war itself, of course; that grinds on unabated. But Obama’s ill-advised attempt to directly involve the U.S. in it seems to have been derailed.

    Now, instead of the fig leaf of an unbelievably small attack on Syria to assuage Obama’s wounded ego over Assad waltzing all over his red line with a chemical weapons attack, now he gets to climb down thanks to the fig leaf of what will be a laughable, easily circumvented UN supervision of whatever chemical stockpiles Assad wants to turn over to them. We’ve seen how ridiculously ineffective UN oversight was in Iraq even with US force to back it up; there’s no reason to assume it will be any more effective in Syria.

    But make no mistake: This is a better outcome than an attack that would be various parts ill-advised and laughable, depending on the size. Now Obama gets to accomplish exactly as much as he would before (namely nothing) without the risk of going to war.

    It’s a win-win solution.

    Not Too Syrious Roundup

    Friday, September 6th, 2013

    Obama’s call for attacking Syria is meeting such heavy opposition that he already has a domestic quagmire on his hands getting it approved. Here’s a mini-roundup of Syria news:

  • I can’t really start quoting this Charles Krauthammer takedown of the incoherence of Obama’s Syrian policy, because there’s so much good stuff here that it will be hard to stop. OK, one quote: “There’s no strategy, no purpose here other than helping Obama escape self-inflicted humiliation.”
  • There’s a word for what Obama and Kerry want in Syria: War.
  • Iran wants to attack us if we attack Syria. If this is Obama’s masterful scheme to jujitsu Iran into giving him cover to take out their nuclear program I may have to revise my opinion of him. But how likely is that?
  • Obama’s serial Syrian blunders. “The only nation contemplating joining the United States in military action is France. That’s 38 fewer allies than joined the United States after the supposed unilateralist George W. Bush, with congressional authorization, ordered troops into Iraq.”
  • Obama has changed the military’s strike plans against Syria 50 times. Does he think he’s planning the perfect Zerg Rush in Starcraft?
  • The world set a red line in Syria? Well then, let the world enforce it.
  • Democrats in congress will be dragooned into voting for war to “save the president’s hide.”
  • Was Samantha Powers really dumb enough to think that Iran would abandon Syria over chemical weapons? (Hat tip: Ace.)
  • Obama’s road to Damascus. The goal of the POTUS: “ultimately we have a transition that can bring peace and stability, not only to Syria but to the region.” Peace and stability in the Middle East. Well, nothing too naive or ambitious about that goal, is there?
  • When John Kerry says that the Syrian rebels are “mostly moderates,” he’s using the rhetorical device know as lying.
  • The New York Times has some disturbing intelligence on some of Kerry’s “moderates.”
  • Lindsey Graham continues his downward spiral into irrelevance by declaring that failure to bomb Iraq would mean an Iran-Israel war within 6 months. Honestly, I’m a lot more enthused about that possibility than us bombing involved in Syria, if only on the off-chance an Israel-Iran war might actually accomplish something.
  • As I’m not one who credits the left for, well, much of anything, really, let’s give credit where credit is due and give the anti-war types some points for consistency: Moveon.org opposes a strike against Syria.
  • George Mitchell of The Nation says no thanks as well, citing Obama and Kerry’s many Syrian lies.
  • Even Obama’s own OAF is twiddling its thumbs rather than voicing support or opposition.
  • Syria’s war spills into Lebanon.
  • Whip Count: Texas Congressional Delegation on Syria

    Friday, September 6th, 2013

    It’s taking a while to get back up to speed after Worldcon, but here’s a little content to prove I’m not dead (just dead tired). And it’s proven a moving target that took longer to put together than I expected

    The Hill has an an ongoing whip count on those who oppose or support a strike against Syria. Huffington Post has another count. This is shaping up to be a case of actual Americans on both the left and right opposing Obama’s Big Adventure, while the Permanent Party of Washington Insiders is supporting it.

    Texas Congressmen On Record Opposing A Strike On Syria

    (if no link from their name, they’re on the Hill or Huff Puff lists)
    Republicans

  • Sen. Ted Cruz
  • Rep. Joe Barton
  • Rep. Kevin Brady
  • Rep. Michael C. Burgess
  • Rep. Mike Conaway
  • Rep. John Culberson
  • Rep. Blake Farenthold
  • Rep. Bill Flores
  • Rep. Louis Gohmert
  • Ralph M. Hall
  • Rep. Sam Johnson
  • Rep. Kenny Marchant
  • Rep. Michael McCaul
  • Rep. Randy Neugebauer
  • Rep. Ted Poe
  • Rep. Lamar Smith
  • Rep. Mac Thornberry
  • Rep. Roger Williams
  • Rep. Randy Weber
  • Democrats

  • Lloyd Doggett
  • Texas Congressmen On Record Supporting A Strike On Syria

    Republicans
    None.

    Democrats

  • Rep. Joaquín Castro (Huff Puff says neutral, The Hill says leaning yes)
  • Rep. Henry Cueller
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
  • Rep. Marc A. Veasey
  • Here’s a list of Texas Republican Congressmen who were listed as undecided in the Huff Puff piece, along with contact info:

  • Sen. John Cornyn (Contact form, 202-224-2934, additional office contact locations)
  • Rep. John Carter (Contact form, (202) 225-3864, Round Rock (512) 246-1600, Temple (254) 933-1392)
  • Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Contact form, (202) 225-3484, Athens, (903) 675-8288, Dallas (214) 349-9996)
  • Rep. Kay Granger (Contact form, (202) 225-5071, Fort Worth (817) 338-0909)
  • Rep. Pete Olson (Contact form, (202) 225-5951, Pearland (281) 485-4855, Sugar Land (281) 494-2690)
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (Contact form, (202) 225-2231, Dallas (972) 392-0505)
  • Steve Stockman (Contact form, (202) 225-1555, Cleveland (409) 883-8028 Orange, TX 77630, (409) 883-8075, Pasadena (281-478-2799)
  • Contact information for Texas congressional critters from Dwight’s blog.

    So, for those of you playing along on the home game: Both Ted Cruz and Lloyd Doggett oppose attacking Syria. That’s a pretty broad coalition.