Friday, April 24, 2009

So what's happened?

Now that President Obama, and his administration, have kicked the tires and taken the USA around the block, what stands out in foreign policy and national security? Here's my take:

The foreign policy method of the current administration is becoming increasingly dangerous. Changing policy and attitude is one thing, putting America second, is wrong. Also, the Executive is focusing on the wrong problems, to wit:

1) The Taliban has taken control of the Swat region of Pakistan, and is 60 miles from Islamabad. Should the Taliban obtain control of Pakistan, they will now have access to nuclear weapons. The Taliban's actions over the past decade indicate they have no regard for anyone who does not subscribe to their bizarre interpretation of Islam. Additionally, they have the inclination to strike at their neighbors, whether India, Iran, or perhaps to create a single country out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Unfortunately, the US is putting more troops in Afghanistan.

2) North Korea is re-starting its nuclear program. While the North Koreans only pose a regional threat, their continued research and development efforts are in high demand on the world market. Perhaps China might see fit to restrain NK; however, Kim Jong Il is acting more to poke Obama in the eye, than in most other self-interests.

3) Apparently, the administration's p.c. buzzword for the area south of Lebanon, northeast of Egypt, and west of Jordan is Palestine. Two senior bureaucrats, in two separates sessions, described "the events happening in Palestine" and "the human rights issues in Palestine" to a class of senior Marines. If the Executive has issued a mandate to name a region that has not existed in over 60 years, then Israel should be on notice (which it likely is), that this administration is NOT committed to its security, and perhaps not even to Israel's existence. Frankly, words, speeches, and reassurances, are insignificant tripe compared to actual actions.

4) The vapid accusations and accompanying statements of the Department of Homeland Security regarding "right-wing extremism" have been discussed to a point of near nausea. Secretary Napolitano netiher understands her job, the security situation in North America, or who might be involved in a plot to overthrow America. The calls for her resignation are well-founded and the correct thing for her to do is step down. She is out of her league and it shows.

Hopefully, these are just cases of Executive naivete. Perhaps the next 100 days (though I do think this is an unfair standard) will be better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Anti-Goverment Wacko

According to the recent report from the Department of Homeland Security, veterans, particularly those returning from combat tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, represent the some of the most attractive recruits to right-wing extremists. As if vilifying veterans wasn't enough, the report suggests that both federal and state law enforcement target people who sport bumper stickers supporting third-party candidates such as Bob Barr and Ron Paul.

Based on my veteran status (though not of OIF or OEF) and my belief in the text of the Constitution and its Amendments, I am possibly a "person of interest" to the DHS. Lovely.

Apparently, the policies of President Obama and the legislation getting forced down the throat of ordinary Americans has little to do with the perceived "increased threat" to the Homeland.

What's next? A bilateral exercise with the Civilian National Security Force (proposed by Senator Obama during the '08 Presidential campaign) and the Iranian Religious Police? Perhaps the President does in fact have a way to bring the Iranians to the negotiation table...

On a brighter note
, hats off to Texas governor Rick Perry for endorsing a State Resolution affirming the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. By the way, no implementing legislation is needed for the 10th Amendment. Constitutional law scholars - gird thy loins, the war is coming, the battlefield will be the Federal Courts and Legislatures.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Did John Galt Arrive?

The intrusion's the latest from the House Financial Services Committee, whom most of you know the chairman, Barney Frank. Yes, Mr. I-helped-create-the-financial-crisis himself has quietly brought back the proposed (and unconstitutional) tax on compensation. But, this bill goes a step further by giving Comrade Secretary Geithner the right to set compensation for any employee in a company which has received government funding.

What's more is the quote from the bill' s author, Rep. Alan Grayon (D-FL)

"you should not get rich off public money, and you should not get rich off of abject failure." Grayson expects the bill to pass the House, and as we talked, he framed the issue in a way to suggest that virtuous lawmakers will vote for it, while corrupt lawmakers will vote against it.

"This bill will show which Republicans are so much on the take from the financial services industry that they're willing to actually bless compensation that has no bearing on performance and is excessive and unreasonable," Grayson said. "We'll find out who are the people who understand that the public's money needs to be protected, and who are the people who simply want to suck up to their patrons on Wall Street."

With proposals like this bounding out of our Congressional Politburo, there won't be an employee on Wall Street left. In case he forgot, four of Congressman Grayson's top five campaign contributors are large unions. Most union pension funds are heavily invested in the stock market. Hmm...

Also, whose virtue does Congressman Grayson espouse?

I'm looking for John Galt.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Who's Genuinely Qualified to Manage Money?

All the credit to Mark Steyn over at National Review Online for spelling out how bad things are getting in the economy and the market.

As much as I've been attempting to stay out of commenting on purely political issues; however, I can remain silent no more. This is out of your Congress member, make this a critical issue in their world.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Decisive CT Operation Barely Reported by Press - Surprise?

CT operations occur all over the world. In the States, we only hear about a select few. In Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger operations have been bloody, brutal, and frequent over the last ten years. Recently, the Sri Lankan government took decisive action to defeat the Tigers, but still no headlines. Perhaps an oversight? Maybe a more sinister agenda is afoot? What would you have done if you were the President of Sri Lanka?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gold Wings

Yours truly reached a career-long goal this past weekend. I earned my Marine Parachutist insignia, more often known as "Gold Wings".

When I was a young 2ndLt. at 1/1, the Regimental Supply Officer sported these shiny gold jump wings on his uniform. If I remember correctly, he was one of maybe five Marines in the entire Regiment who had any type of wings, much less gold ones. This Marine, Capt McNamara, helped me survive my first deployment cycle. He also taught me the importance of supply operations and how it could directly affect the infantry's mission accomplishment. As a professional mentor, I could not have asked for better.

After my first tour, I transitioned to the Inspector-Instructor Staff 3Bn/23rd Marines. There, my I-I, LtCol Ferraro was dual-cool. [For the uninitiated, this means he had both his gold wings and a dive bubble]. LtCol Ferraro is one of the most impressive officers I have ever worked with. For years I've remarked that if he called and asked me to serve on his planning staff to invade the Gates of Hell, I'd be there within 48 hours. He's that type of leader.

I owe a considerable amount of gratitude to these two Marines. They never said I should jump, encouraged me to jump, or even casually remarked I should jump. But, they are both officers whom I wanted to emulate. Accordingly, getting gold wings was always on my radar.

So now I've got 'em! I have to thank all my friends and family for their kind congratulatory words. Also, I'm thankful to all the jumpers and jumpmasters of 4th ANGLICO for helping me learn parachute operations and bettering my abilities. This is a great way to start 2009!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Break in the Action

Today, Israel's Defense Ministry announced it would halt offensive operations in Gaza to permit humanitarian aid to get through. Even though the operational pause will only last for three hours, and the IDF reserved the right to defend itself if Hamas attacked, one must wonder why the humanitarian crisis needs to be avoided in the first place?

Hamas created this situation by launching over 8000, yes EIGHT THOUSAND, rockets at Israel's southern cities, over the past eight years. Hamas is the freely elected government who chose to purchase weapons, rocket parts, tunnel materials and engineering expertise, as opposed to, additional power plants, waste removal services, recycling centers, school improvements, hospitals, and other infrastructure items. Where are the social services Hamas was (in)famous for prior to its election? Why is the West Bank acting as if the action in Gaza is in another country?

The short answer is Hamas is reaping the harvest of its terrorist actions. This is the end state of non-state terrorist actors, such as Hamas (and possibly Hezbollah), when they have finally pushed too far. Unlike the United States in 2003-04 in Iraq, Israel has thoroughly planned its operation into Gaza. Overwhelming force has been deployed to the Gaza Strip. Israel's mission shall not end until it has degraded Hamas' ability to launch rockets. As Israel's Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, has said, the operation may go on for an extended period of time.

Currently, the world watches what happens when governments get fed up with terrorist actions. Turkey took similar action against the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) last year. Russia launched operations into Chechnya. The United States operates in both Iraq and Afghanistan to counter terrorists. India has a newfound interest in extending its operations. Israel is no different and has every right to pursue Hamas into every hole, school closet, hospital operating room, and mosque where they attempt to hide.

p.s. Where are Hamas' supposed leaders? Oh that's right, they don't even live in their own region, they hide in Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah controlled Lebanon.