Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mourn Not For General McChrystal


The liberal-progressive dominated media is praising President Obama's firing of General Stanley A. McChrystal and the subsequent choice of Iraq War hero General David Petraeus as his replacement as a brilliant decision. Considering the debacle that is the Obama administration, a decision that pretty much made itself in a manner that the president couldn't screw up probably does qualify as brilliant. After all, Obama keeps setting the bar lower with each passing day. Still one has to question how firing someone that he hired qualifies as anything other than further proof of his incompetence and ineptitude.

Just over a year ago General McChrystal replaced General David McKiernan as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan with much fanfare and praise. The media wet itself in excitement over this new president's excellent choice to replace what was essentially a holdover from the Bush administration. Poor David McKiernan was never really given a chance to be anything other than a steppingstone for the new strategy that was to be implemented by a bold new president.

McChrystal for his part appeared eminently qualified. This was the man who as Commander of Joint Special Operations Command was responsible for the capture of Saddam Hussein and the later killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. There is nothing to indicate that he was anything less than a stellar soldier. However, everyone must inevitably succumb to the one law of nature that ultimately rules our society...The Peter Principle.

And just what is the Peter Principle? I'm glad you asked. The Peter Principle is the principle that in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. In other words, you will get promoted until you finally reach a job you cannot do and there you will stay. If there is anything "brilliant" in Obama's decision to accept General McChrystal's resignation it is that the General will be put out of our misery faster than normal.

General McChrystal achieved his level of incompetence by giving an interview to Rolling Stone magazine in which he and his staff made some disparaging remarks about the president and some of the civilian leaders assigned to work in the Afghanistan theater. This was the moment that brought the general's incompetence to light, however, he had long been hard at work trying to get there. You see, the problem with McChrystal has been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that result in the deaths of American and coalition forces. The Rolling Stone interview was particularly damning:

The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers. Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars. But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. “Nobody was coming back to live in them.” - Rolling Stone

These rules of engagement were entirely the work of General McChrystal himself...but why? On September 4, 2009 there was an international uproar after an American F-15E Strike Eagle bombed a group of Taliban fighters who had apprehended two tanker fuel trucks. The trucks, naturally, exploded, and the Taliban fighters were killed along with several civilians. General McChrystal was angry over the civilian deaths and determined to tighten the American force's already-too-strict rules of engagement still further to avoid them in the future. When the general met with local leaders in Kunduz, a few days after the bombing he fully expected to get an earful of criticism. He got an earful alright...but not an earful of what he expected. What he got was a totally unanticipated sort of criticism:

McChrystal began expressing sympathy "for anyone who has been hurt or killed."

The council chairman, Ahmadullah Wardak, cut him off. He wanted to talk about the deteriorating security situation in Kunduz, where Taliban activity has increased significantly in recent months. NATO forces in the area, he told the fact-finding team before McChrystal arrived, need to be acting "more strongly" in the area.

His concern is shared by some officials at the NATO mission headquarters, who contend that German troops in Kunduz have not been confronting the rise in Taliban activity with enough ground patrols and comprehensive counterinsurgency tactic

"If we do three more operations like was done the other night, stability will come to Kunduz," Wardak told McChrystal. "If people do not want to live in peace and harmony, that's not our fault." McChrystal seemed to be caught off guard. "We've been too nice to the thugs," Wardak continued. - Washington Post

Instead of receiving an angry lecture on America's disregard for Afghan life, the general received an angry lecture on America's hesitance to kill the enemy. Wow! How many of you knew that Afghan leaders were actually upset that the Americans are too passive in their pursuit of the war? That is not the way the war has been portrayed in the American press and for good reason: It doesn't fit their agenda...and that is General McChrystal's problem...he does fit their agenda.

There have been a lot of foolish comparisons of his dismissal to that of General Douglas MacArthur by Harry Truman or even General George McClellan back in the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln. The better comparison is the later firings of both Ambrose Burnside and Joseph Hooker by President Lincoln. Both of these were Generals who allowed politics to interfere with the prosecution of their battles largely because they received their commissions based upon...political connections. They were both subsequently routed by General Robert E. Lee who possessed a smaller, ill-equipped army. A political agenda is a liability to any commander. That, unfortunately, seems to be a weakness that General McChrystal likewise possessed.

Now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really. This puts to rest another false rumor: that McChrystal deliberately precipitated his firing because he wants to run for President. - The Atlantic

And now you know why President Barack Obama chose General Stanley McChrystal as his commander in Afghanistan. He chose one of his own kind. Can you say...political connections? It was only a matter of time before this political alliance led to disaster. That time has arrived. How brilliant does the president's firing of HIS own man look to you now? Even worse, he has been forced to turn to Bush's man, General David Petraeus, to salvage his Afghanistan strategy...a man he essentially called a liar back in September of 2007.

This was General McChrystal's incompetence: He brought his liberal politics to the battlefield. To be sure he was a well loved and respected general...but so were many generals in the past that failed. There was no excuse for announcing to the world who you voted for in an election. Particularly when a majority of the military backed the other guy. However the worst thing he did was to author rules of engagement that reflected his political views over the practical realities of the fight. This is especially inexcusable when you learn that the Afghan leaders themselves were encouraging him to be more aggressive and not to worry so much about civilian casualties. He willingly chose to put the interests of Afghan civilians, many of whom by their proximity to the targets were likely Taliban allies, over the safety of the soldiers under his command...and the soldiers didn't like it.

One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. "Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force," the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that's like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won't have to make arrests. "Does that make any f-king sense?" Pfc. Jared Pautsch. "We should just drop a f-king bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?" -Rolling Stone

The soldiers know...they ALWAYS know.

He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword but he who lives by liberalism is always betrayed by it. General McChrystal allowed the ultra-liberal music magazine, Rolling Stone, to have full access to him and his staff for this interview. Any soldier in their right mind would know not to let this military-hating magazine anywhere near them, but since he too is a liberal like them he thought everything would be OK. Fool. They don't even like the KISS Army. How could they pass up the opportunity to embarrass the United States Army? They couldn't.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nurturing A Crisis


"We were stepping on the neck of BP to do everything we can do. Our job is keep our boot on the neck of British Petroleum and make sure they live up to their responsibilities." -Ken Salazar, Interior Secretary

President Barack Obama and his bureaucratic henchmen proudly boast that they intend to keep their boot on the neck of a major corporation even as they are entirely dependent on their intended victim to stifle the escalating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It would almost seem an idiotic statement were it not coming from a president who promised that "change is coming to America." Rest assured, the apparent incompetence of the Obama administration is far more nefarious than the "Keystone Cops" illusion that they are gleefully promoting to the American public.

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste" -Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief Of Staff

No, a crisis must be nurtured and cultivated to fruition. The Obama administration's animosity toward capitalism and big corporations has found the perfect vehicle with which to attack the United States economy. Just as surely as the allied bombers of World War 2 destroyed Germany's ability to survive by killing its fuel supply, so too do today's social engineers intend to cripple our economy by professionally mis-managing both the spill and its subsequent cleanup.

No one could fairly argue that President Obama could have in any way prevented the accident that has led to this disaster. Likewise, no one can suggest that anything within the president's or the federal government's power can realistically alter the situation at the point of the oil leak. This is simply something outside of their area of expertise. Therefore when it comes to containing the leak 5000 feet underwater they are entirely at the mercy of British Petroleum. Lest we be too hard on the unfortunate company, we should all realize that there is no reason that BP should want to prolong the uncontrolled release of the valuable crude into the Gulf. Every day the oil flows represents hundreds of millions of dollars in loss. Bottom line: If they could stop it they would...and they will stop it as fast as they can.

Yet, in an attempt to appear as though it is in command of the situation, the Obama administration announced that it intends to open criminal investigations into the disaster before it has either plugged the leak or made significant efforts to begin cleaning the massive spill.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in New Orleans that he planned to “prosecute to the fullest extent of the law” any person or entity that the Justice Department determines has broken the law in connection with the oil spill. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 120 points shortly after Mr. Holder’s announcement as energy stocks tumbled on expectations of the federal investigations. BP lost 15 percent of its market value during the day’s trading. - New York Times

Only an ideologically puritanical leftist could see the logic in rushing in a bunch of lawyers while the well is still spewing. You can always count on this administration to cultivate as much harm to the business climate as possible. Various elements of the American left have even gone so far as to suggest that the administration should seize British Petroleum's American assets. Considering the fact that they have already nationalized General Motors, Chrysler, AIG and the entire student loan business this is certainly not an unreasonable possibility. However even this administration, in spite of all its bumbling, is not foolish enough to seize the company until after the leak is stopped. If they did that then Obama truly would own a hole in the ground. But once the leak is plugged...BP should take the threat of seizure seriously.

The damage to the Gulf Coast economy was apparently not disastrous enough to suit the Obama administration, therefore they cleverly decided to make matters worse as fast as possible. With the seafood and tourist industry reeling from the effects of the spill the administration moved in for the kill by issuing a moratorium on new offshore drilling in the Gulf. This moratorium immediately affects 33 rigs and places a still greater burden on the flailing economy of the Gulf Coast states.

First, there are the immediate consequences as tens of thousands of oil industry workers are instantly put out of work by the moratorium. But then, there are the far more sinister long term consequences:

Brazil could benefit from the BP Gulf of Mexico spill as a U.S. moratorium on offshore drilling boosts available rigs for the country’s deep water oil exploration program. Even as an ecological catastrophe makes the future of U.S. offshore drilling less certain, Brazil is plowing ahead with a $220 billion five-year plan to tap oil fields even deeper than BP’s ill-fated Gulf well, which is still leaking crude.

With an estimated 35 rigs idled in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil is already receiving inquiries from companies looking to move their rigs here, where vast discoveries in recent years may soon turn the country into a major crude exporter. “What is bad for some may be good for others,” said Fernando Martins, Latin America Vice President for GE Oil and Gas, which provides services to drillers in Brazil.

“Since operators are shutting down at least temporarily in the U.S. Gulf, some companies are planning to move their rigs to Brazil now,” he said, without offering details.
- Reuters

These consequences are sinister in that the Obama administration is well aware that once these oil operations are moved away from U.S. waters...they won't be coming back. In his attempt to give the appearance of doing SOMETHING (anything?), this administration is further enabling our country's dependence on foreign sources of oil. Is it likewise another coincidence that the democratically controlled U.S. Senate is currently pushing to pass the presidents cap and trade energy bill?

Many others in the conservative media seem puzzled and perplexed at the environmentalists who have apparently given the president a pass on this "mother of all environmental disasters." After all, how can they be silent? If this were a republican president they would be spraying oil all over innocent bystanders at the capitol. What gives? Perhaps they are rejoicing over the fact that those operations currently shut down will be leaving for good...and with them goes the last of the "drill baby drill" crowd's political momentum...or so they believe.

Though this may be the hope of the environmentalists, this will not ultimately lead to the defeat of the "drill baby drill" movement. If you will recall, this movement came about in 2008 when gas prices at the pump were pushing $5.00 a gallon nationwide. The country may very well be lenient on Obama for his inability to stop the leaking oil but if gas prices surge again it will be as a direct result of HIS actions. He is very aware of that fact. He has other motives. It should be noted that all five Gulf Coast states have republican governors and four of the five voted for McCain in the presidential election. Coincidence?

If the president is powerless to stop the leaking oil then he should be focusing on that which his power can have an influence: containing and cleaning the oil that has escaped. This is where president Obama "appears" to be at his most incompetent. Governors from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have been clamoring for more floating oil containment booms from the very beginning of this catastrophe. These devices, in sufficient numbers, would have been able to protect the beaches and the marshes from the oil that is now ruining them. Inexplicably these booms have not been forthcoming. For some reason, the Obama administration would like for us to believe there is a shortage of these devices as this exchange with Admiral Thad Allen, the man in charge of the administration's cleanup operations, demonstrates:

Jake Tapper, ABC: I talked to a guy who runs a company in Maine that offers boom, and he has — he says — the ability to make 90,000 feet of boom a day. High quality. BP came there 2 weeks ago, looked at it, they are doing another audit today. He is very frustrated, he says he has a lot of high quality boom to go and it is taking a long time for BP to get its act together. Don’t you need this boom right now?

Admiral Thad Allen: Oh we need all the boom wherever we can get it. If you give me the information off camera I’ll be glad to follow up.

Hmm... I hate to come down on a serviceman, but his answer is particularly disingenuous. There was no need for the admiral to ask for the information from Jake Tapper. It’s contained in a letter that has been sitting on the admiral’s desk since May 21st. Copies of letter were also sent to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. The letter proudly touts the Auburn, Maine company Packgen and its capability of supplying the necessary boom and was written and signed by both Maine senators, Olympia Snow and Susan Collins. Unfortunately for the Obama administration this letter is widely available to the public.

Apparently Packgen has miles of floating oil containment boom in warehouse right now and they say they can make lots more on short notice. Packgen owner John Lapoint said his company is ramping up production to make 90,000 feet of oil boom per day. Packgen first alerted the government 4 WEEKS AGO that they can produce more boom than anyone in the US and abroad. And yet the governors of the Gulf states have been denied these resources even as the oil was encroaching ever closer to their shores. Did I mention that all five Gulf states have republican governors and four out of five of them voted for McCain?

Florida's state Senator, Bill Nelson, worries about yet another problem that is not being adequately addressed by the Obama administration. State emergency officials say there are not enough skimmers out in the Gulf catching oil.

“Three days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch government offered to help. It was willing to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms, and it proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands.
The response from the Obama administration and BP, which are coordinating the cleanup: “The embassy got a nice letter from the administration that said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’” said Geert Visser, consul general for the Netherlands in Houston.”
- Houston Chronicle

Now, after over 50 days of oil flowing freely into the gulf, the question must be asked: Why do effective and proven foreign clean-up ships remain unused and their offers to help unaccepted? Could it have something to do with the Obama administration’s close relationship with labor unions?

Suspicion revolves around the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, sometimes referred to as the Jones Act. The Act requires that ships that do business within the US be staffed with at least 75% American Citizens. In addition, ships that operate within U.S. waters have heavy restrictions placed on foreign manufacture. In its day, the law was made in order to protect American seamen. Today it has become a nuisance to the effort to clean up the oil spill. There are skimmer boats that wish to help clean up the oil, but the problem is they aren’t owned and operated in the United States. Therefore, under the Jones Act, they cannot work.

This is a big deal to the unions. They see it as protecting jobs. Or, more to the point, protecting UNION jobs. They don't like it when the Jones Act gets waived, and they take revenge on the politicians that do it. So is the Obama administration placating the unions and not doing everything he can to advance the cleanup of the spill? The administration continues to say that no one has requested a waiver of the Jones act. Perhaps it is simply because all foreigners and most Americans are simply unaware of the need to request a waiver. It should be noted that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina President Bush granted a general waiver of the act so that all help that was available could be utilized...regardless of the source. But G.W. was not beholden to the unions. It should also be noted that the Obama administration has never acted against the wishes of the labor unions. The trend continues.

And then there is this...

Pursuant to 14 CFR section 91.137(a)(1) temporary flight restrictions are in effect for deepwater horizon/mississippi canyon (mc252) incident cleanup and reconstitution operations an area bounded by: 290500n/0904000w or the leeville /lev/ vortac 258 degree radial at 30.1 NM to 300000n/0890000w or the gulfport /gpt/ vortac 169 degree radial at 24.7 NM to 300000n/0870000w or the crestview /cew/ vortac 196 degree radial at 52.2 NM to 280000n/0870000w or the panama city /pfn/ vortac 208 degree radial at 149.6 NM to 280000n/0904000w or the leeville /lev/ vortac 201 degree radial at 76.3 NM to the point of beginning at and below 3000 feet AGL excluding the airspace outside of 12 nautical miles from the us coastline.

All aircraft operations are prohibited except those flights authorized by ATC, routine flights supporting offshore oil operations; federal, state, local and military flight operations supporting oil spill recovery and reconstitution efforts; and air medical and law enforcement operations.

That's right, The Federal Aviation Administration has banned all flights over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. After all, some of those flights could lead to nasty photos and more bad press for the thinned skinned Obama. The president has nurtured this catastrophe to make sure it grew to calamitous proportions...but he doesn't need for us to see a photograph of it lest we become fully aware of what he has done.

"In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11, I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come." - President Barack Obama

By comparing this disaster to the 9/11 attacks he is telling you that he fully intends to use this opportunity to push his already discredited climate/energy plan. The infamous cap and trade bill has been sitting lifeless in the senate for a year. His plans for placing huge cost increases on energy have not went away just because they are unpopular with the American people. This crisis is not going to go to waste!

America is now coming to understand that this president’s sense of identification lies not in American exceptionalism but in a belief that America is a force of evil in the world that needs to be destroyed. He never sounds convincingly like the leader of a great nation, because he is, in his heart, the product of his ideological upbringing. If you were at war with America, you could hardly do better than he has done.
He has increased the federal debt by more than all of his predecessors...COMBINED! He has coddled America's enemies even as he is undermining the alliance with our two best allies, Great Britain and Israel. He has attacked American capitalism by nationalizing companies and passing a stimulus bill that took 800 billion dollars away from the private economy and used it to bail out government unions...and he has had the audacity to ask the congress for another 50 billion to bail them out again!

By exploiting the Gulf oil disaster to promote his own, and his benefactors, political agenda he has placed the United States further into the clutches of dependence on foreign oil. If you were out to destroy America you could hardly do better than he has in just 18 months. Obama promised to change America. He never implied he had the slightest interest in running it. Destruction is change. And did I mention that the five states directly affected by his intentional mis-management of this crisis all have republican governors?