Tag Archives: Islamist terrorists

ISIS Strategy for Victory By The West

Saddle up and let’s go for a ride through the headlines and old times.  Still the cheapest ride in town.

Many rightfully bemoan the lack of a comprehensive strategy to defeat the ISIS scourge.    It doesn’t need to be that complicated from a grand/political view.  The Commander in Chief (Lords knows we could use one) would issue orders to our military and such allies that will join with us to seek and destroy ISIS and all is cohorts and supporters.  Defeat being defined as utter destruction of organized fighting capabilities of the enemy.  Eisenhower’s orders when invading Europe in 1944 were that straightforward.  In 1945 when Germany surrendered he simply advised the Combined Chiefs of Staff that the “mission of the Allied Expeditionary  Forces  was completed on May 8, 1945 at 02:40 hours”.

The bigger issue among the effete left is collateral damage and winning hearts and minds.  As Twain said history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.  The Nazis and Japs were pure evil and deserved to be destroyed root and branch which we accomplished and the world became a better place for it.  We can’t eliminate every evil heart in the world but we can stop any organized mayhem and slaughter.  Sure there will still be bad guys down the road but they would fall legitimately into the category of criminal activity rather than and organized assault on western civilization.  Only the naive or ideologically bent would deny that this is a war to preserve our Western culture.  Because the foes certainly are clear that that is their aim.

Don’t be sucked into the false argument that this would be a racially motivated war against those with dark skins.  Several have made that argument before and try to give the impression that Allies were harsher against the Japs than we were the European Nazis.  That is simply incorrect.   Check the actual facts for yourself.  We killed many more German, Italian, Hungarian and other assorted European Nazis than we did Jap soldiers.  That is a fact.  Many argue that we only used the A Bomb on the Japs and never would have on the Nazis.  Again check that facts. We bombed the stuffing out of Germany and killed many more German civilians than we ever did in Japan even including the two A Bomb drops.

To be successful we need to not be squeamish about collateral damage.  It will happen if you want to wage a military campaign that will succeed.  War is nasty and messy business.  It is not laser brain surgery.  It is digging a big hole with pick and shovel.  We killed with our bombing during the War tens of thousands of French, Czech, Danes, Dutch and Belgians and assorted others from North Africa to Berlin.   As our troops advanced from the west into Germany we would destroy with artillery any village or town that put up any resistance.  Those where there was no resistance were allowed to stand.   No one stopped the fight for victory because of concern over collateral damage.  This is not to say that many involved in the bombing and artillery salvos weren’t depressed or disturbed about the cost in human life and suffering but that was the price for victory.   We should have an announced and public policy that any town, village or neighborhood that shelters or condones any ISIS or affiliate will face destruction.  They outnumber that bad guys  by huge amounts (or so the moderate Muslims always tell us) and don’t have to harbor them.

Any occupying army must have cooperation or at least fearful acquiescence from the local population.  Yes, I admit the locals might be fearful but they need to have some courage too if they truly believe these are evil guys doing the Devil’s work.  Going along to get along with ISIS is the same as supporting it.  By refusing to resist at all the locals are in fact harboring the people who behead and burn those they perceive as infidels.  The locals need to fear us more than the fear the Islamic radicals if that is what it takes.

The Allied military should move how, when and where the military commanders direct to complete their mission.  Their mission is to destroy a fighting force, not to engage in any nation building project.  The Allied countries should also not embark on any Marshall Plan as some have suggested.  Let the Arab world and Mid East determine their own future and build it themselves with their own resources.   We should likewise make is fundamentally clear that we will come back and do it all over again any time a similar threat arises.  If the Muslims can behave like a civilized society they can peacefully participate fully in the community of man and practice their religion as they see fit.  This is a war about evil actions not the religious thoughts of anyone.  Like all wars of great enduring significance this is one of ideas and taking the higher moral ground as difficult and abhorrent as that may be.   We don’t always get to choose the era in which we dwell.

“The moral forces are amongst the most important subjects in war.  …”There is only one decisive victory; the last “.  olcranky.wordpress.com

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Wonders And Amazements

We have so many wonders around us every day that we don’t notice and it is amazing the current events and historical occurrences that are ignored by our media.  It must be that old adage at work about hiding in plain sight as the best way to remain unnoticed.

Speaking of adages, the next time you are trying to learn the origin of one, start with the Bible.  There is a very good chance you’ll find it there.   Remember Hamlet  “our fate is not in the stars but within ourselves”?   Well, the Bard was paraphrasing Job.  There when facing the common lament that God caused some misfortune Job responded “why persecute Him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?”  How many times have you said something like “you are the apple of my eye”?   Well, take a gander at Psalms 17:8.   There really isn’t much new under the Sun.  Even that comes from Ecclesiastes.

We worry about global warming and all manner of natural disasters but are ignorant or choose not to face facts that the laws of physics and astronomical facts harbor  enormous changes in relatively short order.  The global warming debate is primarily forecasting conditions roughly a century from now.  A long time compared to a human life but a blink in the grand scheme.  You want to worry about something then try to understand the implications of precession.   That is a term that describes the wobble of the earth as it rotates on its  axis.  You know that the earth tilts at a 23 degree angle that gives us our seasons.  And as it does it also wobbles just like a top slowing down.   For several centuries and for a few more we have had our North Star found using the far end of the pot of the Big Dipper and taking an imaginary line four times that length to find it.  It has been very reliable for a long time.  But, but, but as the earth moves on its wobble the North Star is moving and a few short centuries down the road it will not be the “north” star any longer.  The complete precession takes 23,000 years but not that long to move quiet some distance.  What does that portend for our climate down the road?  No one knows for sure, but perhaps another ice age.   Neanderthals and Cro-magnons made it and hopefully homo sapiens will also.

These modern punters have such big averages per punt.   Not all that impressed with them.  Those punters back when had it much rougher to get a forty yard average for punts.  They changes the rule a few decades ago to make it easier.  The rule used to be that the kicking team could not down the ball inside the opponents ten yard line.  The punter had to be much more accurate to kick it out-of-bounds to achieve those really good numbers.  It was a penalty if the ball was touched or d0wned by the kicking team inside the ten and the receiving team got the ball out on the 20 yard line.  Not like now where the kick team can have guys run down quickly and down the ball near the goal line.  That change immediately pumped up the numbers for the modern kickers.  So when you see the averages from some old punter back in the ’40’s, ’50’s or ’60’s remember the rule he had to work under.

We notice that Apple  and Google and others are using new encryption methods to protect users’ privacy from government surveillance.    A great idea.  The Feds already have too much access to our everyday lives as it is.  I recognize the occasional need to track down a missing child or elderly person or similar emergency.   Fine, let those and other extraordinary circumstances be exceptions.  Require the Feds to go to a judge and lay out those facts and then get access, otherwise leave us alone.

I don’t recall any big feasts for Thanksgiving when I was small after the War.   We had very modest circumstances.  But we had as roof over our head and food on the table.  I guess we had a turkey or maybe a big chicken.  I do know we had pies and cakes.  Mostly even then I knew I had a remarkable Dad and Mom and I never doubted that Dad would take care of us.  I do remember when I was about 5 and we lived in a rented house with an ice box.  Yes, a real ice box where Dad brought home a block of ice every few days to put in the special drawer and my job was to empty out the drip pan every day.  Those were modest days but abundantly lived.   May each of you be so blessed.

“Barbarism is like the jungle; it never admits its defeat; it waits patiently for centuries to recover the territory it has lost”  Will Durant, American historian.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Benghazi Blemish On American Heritage And Tradition

The events in Benghazi last month were not only a tragedy for our country and the families of those killed; it was a humiliation to the dignity and respect of our nation.   It is a sad and disturbing example of the world-view and attitude of the current administration regarding the standing of the US vis-a-vis the Muslim world.

First and foremost it is dangerous and disheartening to note the failure of BO and cohorts not to immediately come to the defense of our right of free speech.  There is no problem with stating they regret that some in the world may find items published, produced or written in the US via any medium offensive but the right of free expression is inviolate in our nation.  It is in the first of our Bill of Rights for good reason.  Rather than bowing and scrapping to those perhaps offended they should have been vigorously been defending the right to speak and take positions on any matter.    Rather than talking about offending a “great religion” the administration should have been talking about a great right being threatened by violence.

It is painfully obvious except to the die-hard Democrats that the narrative of the spontaneous protest against the little known youtube video was put out to support their publicly stated position that bin Laden was dead and that Al Qaeda was on the wane.     This myth and lie they viewed as helping their crippled foreign policy story of success and acceptance in the Muslim world.   It is quite apparent now that a planned attack was under way against our consulate and that this engagement lasted for a number of hours.    One can only imagine the horror, fear and hopeless feelings of those trapped in that consulate during those hours.   As bad as the lie about the spontaneous protest (which was repeated as late as BO’s appearance at the UN over 10 days later) is the lack of any effort to mount some rescue effort.

Panetta and other in the administration have said that there simply wasn’t enough time to attempt any rescue effort and that there wasn’t enough intelligence to justify sending the military into harm’s way in Benghazi that night.   One can appreciate the theory that there were lots of messages coming into the State Dept and the White House and that such cable or email traffic can be confusing.  Got that.  But, but, but….every organization has priorities.   Yes, probably hundreds or even thousands of communiques reach State from all over the world every day but only a fool would believe that there are certain embassies and locales that have a much higher priority than others.  Messages from Benghazi would have a higher priority than one from Japan for example where things are calm.  Libya, Syria, Iraq etc. would be looked at before others.  If they aren’t then it is gross incompetence.  There is another factor in those first messages from Benghazi that are telling.

The first critical email from the consulate used the word “attack”, the phrase “under attack”.  It didn’t say protest or demonstration.  Now how many messages from our embassies and consulates around the world would use that word or phrase on any given day or month or even year?   Talk about a red flag or a screaming SOS.  This is especially true when those folks sitting safe and comfortable in Washington knew that there was no military protection for our consulate there.   It was unusual enough that we know Panetta et al were meeting at the White House by 5 pm shortly after the first message.   Yet they made the decision not to send any aid.

One can understand that the military likes to have all the intelligence it can acquire before mounting a mission–the number of the enemy, location and types of weaponry they have.  They like to practice and train for the specific mission.  Again, all understood and makes sense when circumstances permit.  But there are a few problems with the argument they couldn’t do anything because of that lack in this case.  One of the oldest adages in military lore is that you always “march to the sound of the guns”.  It means just what you would think.  When in the field with an enemy and you hear the gun fire you go there immediately.  That is where the fight is and guess what–that is your job!   The military is in the risk business.   Yes, some missions are going to be very difficult, almost suicidal but that is your duty and job description.  Remember those dive bombers at the Battle of Midway.  They knew they really had little chance against the Jap fleet when first spotted but they attacked anyway and none made it back.  But their attack opened the way for the later formations to sink 4 Jap carriers.

I know any mission sent to Benghazi might not have resulted in a successful rescue.  But success in saving those guys was not the only purpose of such a mission.  We could have done something.  Maybe we couldn’t have gotten special forces there in time.  Maybe planes from Sicily would not have been able to identify enemy targets when they got there.  Our planes could have gotten into the air.  Ask anyone military guy and they will tell you there is always a “ready team” at those air bases that can be activated very quickly, minutes not hours time.  We should have tried.  Even before we knew all the details they should have been sent to Benghazi.  If it turned out that things were not bad they could have been called back.  Maybe they would not have been able to see targets.   They could have at least flown low over the consulate.  Maybe strafed the area around it.  At least they could have dropped flares.   We’ll never know now if such action could have helped.  Maybe those jets flying right over would have scared off some of the bad guys, maybe not.  You can rest assured it would have made those men inside feel better even if only briefly to know they were not alone, they had not be abandoned or forgotten.  Ask any old vet who was a prisoner of war of the Japs or Germans during WWII  how they felt when they saw American planes overhead even though they knew it didn’t mean they were rescued yet.

The point is dammit–we should have tried.  That is what we do.   Americans don’t just keel over or bow to adversaries or at least we didn’t used to do that.   The Demo left probably don’t even remember the words but our national anthem ends with “the home of the brave”.  Not the timid, the pusillanimous.   Shouldn’t we expect bravery and honesty from the White House rather than political calculation and lies?   This treachery against American values and tradition should not be forgiven or forgotten.   If you agree pass this message along.

“If all that Americans want is security they can go to prison.   They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and roof over their heads.  But if an American want to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government.”  Dwight Eisenhower.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Let’s reach into the lottery ball container and see what we can pull out for rumination or amusement…..

Notice that Datsun is going for a comeback with an ultra cheap care.  It will sell in the  3k to 5k range and is directed to the third world market.  It is a car with all the basics but eliminates those electric windows, electric seats, minimal air bags, etc.  Hmm, with our economy continuing to head south one can’t help but wonder if they might want to consider selling a few of those in the USA.  For getting around town for routine errands it beats a Vespa and sure is economical to operate.  Give them some cutesy distinctive paint jobs and there is as segment that would take pride in flaunting their down-sizing life or some would just appreciate the cheap transportation.   There might be a bigger market here than they think.

Is there any worse feeling in the whole world than when you cause an injury to your own child?  If you have raised kids then you know what I mean.  Sooner or later when you are tired or distracted for just that couple of seconds you will do something that hurts your child.  It could be as simple as not noticing them when you are mad and slam that door to the laundry room without noticing that they are ankle-biting their way right behind you.  I did it a couple of times.  Once my second daughter was getting out of the car along with her three brothers and sisters and Mom pregnant with number 5 on the way, we were tired and wanting to get in the house.  I shut the car door and heard her cry.  I had shut in on her hand, her fingers were caught in the door jam.   Thankfully, there were no broken bones, her little fingers were so small that she only had a really bad bruise.  But I had a huge bruise on my heart.   Had could I have been so careless?  Once I also made my oldest son wait much longer than necessary when he fell on the tennis court and cut his chin.  He wailed. I went over and checked but didn’t see any blood and calmed him and told him to sit still and we continued our tennis.  He kept crying really loud and I went back and looked closer.  There was a huge gash just under his chin and obviously needed stitches; it was bleeding, strange but true.  Why didn’t I look closer the first time.  We did get him to the ER right away for those stitches.  Even after 40 years you can still feel that sinking feeling of being the worst parent in the world.

Maybe you noticed that another solar panel outfit with Dept. of Energy loans just filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy ( a liquidation process).  It had recently renegotiated its 465 million dollar loan with the Feds.  It publicly blamed unfair competition from the Chinese for its failure but an internal memo indicated it might have been, er, a faulty product.  It said that their panels worked just fine except in sunlight!

How can Bernancke stand there and lie through his teeth that the Fed’s buying new Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities is not “printing” money nor enabling the Feds from continuing the deficits and running up the national debt?  Does Ben have a secret room at the Fed with Trillions of dollars just lying around for him to use that the rest of us Hoi Polloi don’t know about?   Yeah, it is technically true they don’t “print” the money, they just hit the keystrokes on the computer.   This to the tune of at least 40 billion per month, forever apparently.  What is really deplorable is that the business press and media will not call him out on it.   Make him explain where the money comes from that he uses to buy all those instruments.  From the thin air of the Fed Wizard of Oz machine is where.   Oh, and by the way, the revised numbers show that in the last year the Fed bought 77% of all those new Treasury bills, notes and bonds.   Not that many folks wanting to loan us money any more, at least not at the current ridiculously low rates of interest.

Because of the dangerous world we live in with the threats from Islamist terrorists I urge you to read just a little of the history of the early days of the Prophet.   There are ample sources available to you.  For a Prophet of peace he sure engaged in lots of warfare and battles with those who opposed his message.  Yes, he won over some very devoted and fanatic followers but he also subdued many, many more with brute force.  It wasn’t the message that won over most of the people it was the sword of Islam.  Please don’t take my word for it, read just an hour or two of his and Islam early history.

Rather than debates on TV I really wish the modern way of our Presidential candidates to present their arguments, positions and policies was with written essays if you will.  You know as well as I do that these modern campaigns are all about appearance, sound bites and platitudes to appeal to the base and the frankly uniformed.  I would much prefer if each candidate would issues thoughtful and meaty essays on the various issues of the day.  Take tax matters for example, wouldn’t we all be better off if each candidate wrote a really long, 5000 words or so, piece on his view of what tax policy should be.  I am fine with him having as many aides, experts and whoever helping him write the article.  It would be so much more detailed and it would be in writing.  He could only change it with a really good explanation.  Sure they would nuance their words and try to be as vague as they could on lots of points but they couldn’t get by with nearly the flippancy now that is used to cover important topics of the day.  They could do the same thing foreign policy, Immigration, judicial appointments, national security, etc.  We would be so much more informed and have a better idea of what would happen under the administration of each of them.  Those articles could be published in the newspapers, online, etc.  They would have to be thoughtful, precise and forthcoming.  Boy, I wish that could become the new tradition in Presidential campaigning.    They should have all their written pieces published by the time of the conventions and then debate which written and detailed approach is best for the future.  Ah, but then they slew Socrates.

“fanaticism obliterates the feelings of humanity.”  E. Gibbon, English Historian extraordinaire.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Sleep a couple of nights and then read the news and all sorts of issues come to the fore whether you wanted them to or not.  The politicians keep talking and proposing and add fodder to the bin regularly.

Note that the guy in the WH has been touting the Chinese model for high speed rail on a consistent basis and has offered his own grand scheme to spend billions on such lines throughout selected portions of the US.  It is the wave of the future per our guru in chief.  The footnote is that China has recently halted a substantial portion of such construction and high speed rail systems.  The announced reason was for “environmental” concerns.  With the Commies you’ll never know the real reasons but if you believe that is the reason they are halting the projects then sign up here for my personal lotto reward after you send in only $20.00.  Some in China may think it is costing too much and that has the country grows richer its people will prefer their own cars to public transport, surprise, surprise.

Speaking of the Chinese, the news is full of their apparent desire to become the dominant influence in various regions of the world.  It is held out as a threat to US interests.   Supposedly they want to be the business partner and bulwark of Pakistan, Iran, Brazil, huge swathes of the African continent and other selected countries in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia.  Sometimes one’s eyes are bigger than one’s stomach.  Frankly, why don’t we let them take the lead role in all those areas.  We could cut off all our foreign aid and support with our military and let them look to the Chinese for money and even military support.  The Chinese might find that their new best friends are not as thankful or cooperative as they might have expected and that the appetite in those regions for money is voracious.   The Chinese want the raw materials but I betcha there is a limit to the price they are willing to pay.  Running a Chinese Empire would be much more expensive than they think and they might rethink that strategy down the road.  A good defense is sometimes also a great offensive strategically.  They can’t afford that Tiffany price for the Wal-Mart products they want.

Ah, the sophisticated French!  Monsieur Strauss-Kahn apparently hasn’t gotten the memo about flings being voluntary.   It is interesting to note that a majority of the French apparently believe that he was the victim of a conspiracy.  Um, exactly what was the conspiracy?   Is it their assumption that certain temptations can’t be resisted and therefore putting them in front of someone is tantamount to consummation of the event?   Was Seal Team Six used to make sure he stayed naked and in the room?  I am sure that a mysterious “someone” could have paid a maid to tempt DSK but just because the music is playing you don’t have to dance.

Mass hysteria is alive and well.  Linkedin opened at 45 on the market and reached 122 during the trading day.  That is some 1600 times earnings.  A little bit of hype, some herd mentality, some greed and off you go.  Last I read this is an outfit that has less than 2000 employees and doesn’t own anything–that you can touch, feel, eat or put in your car.  It is essentially a huge public billboard for all to jot down their messages and graffiti.  How can it possibly be worth tens of billions at this time?  Count me as an observer on this one for now and I’ll let the others jump in to join the parade.  Hope they know where the parade is going.

Goodbye Newt.  If a Republican can win the WH then we should establish a new department of Ideas and let Newt be the Secretary.  He could be like the wizard behind the curtain in Oz.  He is full of ideas and some are very worthy of attention and study and maybe implementation.  He writes very well but his tongue has too many backflashes.  A backflash was the  phrase during the days of muzzle loader guns when sometimes if everything was not just right the explosion in the powder hole would blow back into the face of the shooter when he pulled the trigger.

A few months ago we were paying Egypt a couple billion a year to keep the radical Muslim element in their country at bay.  We thought it best for us and our ally Israel.  Now we offering to pay the radical Muslims who control what passes for a government in Egypt a couple of billion a year for—what exactly are we expecting to get out of this?  One of you really smart folks explain the advantage to me.   We and even other Muslims in the region have viewed the Muslim Brotherhood with dread and caution for decades with good reason and now we are going to give them money to foster love and peace?  Ask the Coptic Christians in Egypt how that is working out for them.

One good dad is worth ten great teachers or a 10% increase in any school budget.  

The end of the world is predicted for tomorrow by the folks in California.  I have no idea about that.  I have opinions but no firm convictions.  Of course what is interesting to me is the thought that maybe a few thousand years ago a giant super nova occurred that could arrive tomorrow or next year.  We wouldn’t know until it hits because the gamma rays can only go as fast as the speed of light.  One day we could wake up and the world would end because of something that happened long ago.   Where is the EPA when you need them?  Why aren’t they regulating these errant super novae events?  We need some rules to protect the ordinary consumer.

“The ideal state is not that in which each gets an equal amount of wealth, but in which each gets in proportion to his contribution to the general stock.”  Henry George.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Is This Turkey Done?

If you think back over a few years or even a couple of decades how often to remember seeing anything about Turkey in the news?  It is a good guess you can’t recall any. Don’t feel bad there weren’t that many anyway.  But if you are a person who does keep up with the news a bit then you will surely have noted that Turkey now appears regularly on the back pages of the paper.   It doesn’t make headlines but there are the little bits here and there.  This has accelerated since the Islamists have increased their power in the government in the last decade.   That increase in power is working its inevitable influence on the Turkish government and policies both domestically and on the diplomatic scene.   These changes have and will have a profound effect on the US and its European allies and present the West with another set of challenges in dealing with the Islamist around the world.

Hate to bore anyone with a geography lesson but it is essential to understanding the importance of Turkey.  It truly is the epicenter of where East meets West and where the Mid East meets West.  It is the bridge between those two worlds and has been for millenia.  From the time of Troy to  Alexander the Great and the World Wars that has been vital territory for empires, kings, tyrants and rulers of all stripes.  It has also been the historic melting pot for cultures and religions over the history of Man.  The US is a new comer relatively speaking as a melting pot compared to Turkey.  It fell under the influence of Islam centuries ago and that conquest was completed when Constantinople fell to the Islamist in 1453 and allowed a permanent foothold on Europe proper for the Muslims that has endured to this day.

Istanbul controls the entrance to the Black Sea.  You may not think that is very important but ask the Russians, it has been their dream for centuries to have power over that vital outlet to the world by access to the Mediterranean Sea.   The Sea of Marmara at Istanbul separates Europe and the Mid East by only a few miles.  You can see across the expanse from one land mass to the other.   Whoever controls that passage controls the Black Sea.  They even have a back on a few miles to the southwest in the Dardanelles and the Hellespont where once again the seas narrow so much you can look across from one to the other.

Think of the hot spots in the world today and Turkey either shares a border with it or is within a relative stone’s throw away.  The obvious ones are Iraq, Iran, Syria, Armenia and Georgia.  Israel is only a short drive to the south as is Lebanon.   The Ottoman Empire waxed and waned for centuries but the critical mass of Turkey has been under Muslim domination for lo these centuries.  When the Ottoman Empire was weakened by the events of WWI the young and ambitious in Turkey led a revolt to modernize the country and bring it into the 20th century.  They were successful and although they did not ever come close to abandoning Islam they were mostly secular in their outlook about government and economics and politics.  It was not a theocracy anymore.   The advances they made were so profound that the European Union began to give serious consideration within the last decade to admitting Turkey as a member state.  Recent developments have put that idea of hold if not killed it for a generation of more, depending on the near future events in Turkey.

Under the rule of the Young Turks and their successors Turkey was mostly a civilized and westernized state with basic freedoms and prohibitions on allowing Islam to dominate the government or its policies.  The new party in Turkey has begun to change that and it is rapidly moving to return Islam to the forefront of power.  From schooling to dress to allowing westerners to dress and drink in their many tourists attractions they are clamping down with Islamist injunctions on behavior and culture.   The secularists in Turkey are under assault on all fronts and many have been recently arrested for alleged plots to revolt and eject the current religious party.   You don’t have to be a member of some fancy think tank to observe and realize they are winning and likely will have total control of the country in the very near future.

The new Muslims in charge are already playing more than footsy with Iran and Syria and are suspected of having support groups for Hamas and Hezbollah both covert and overt.  Historically Turkey has been a supporter of Israel out of perceived self-interest but that perception appears to be changing.  Now the thinking there is they are better off in partnerships with the more radical Islamists governments in the area.  That carries serious implications for the US and Europe.  You think it is hard now to travel from Pakistan or Yemen to the US then just imagine how much easier it will be for new radical Islamist terrorist to travel in and out of Turkey to destinations in the West.   Turkey has a well-armed and funded military thanks in large part to the US and NATO.  One wonders if we have been supplying our future enemy.

Once the Islamist have a firm grip on total control of government the reliability as an ally will be questionable at best.   They will be having a new effort to rewrite their Constitution this year.  If that succeeds the US and Europe need to treat Turkey as not an ally but an adversary to be dealt with firmly and looking only to our own protection and interests.  Name one place where the Islamist once in power have ever willingly allowed civil liberties and western rights without a war?  For our own best interest we need to recognize that this Turkey is done and stick a fork in it.   We don’t need to invade or anything that dramatic but we should never turn our back on them for one minute and treat them as hostiles with whom we have a truce.   They will be in the enemy camp or at least their informal allies.

“Almost any man worth is salt would fight to defend his home, but no one ever heard of a man going to war for his boarding house.”  Mark Twain.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Bombs Plots Then And Now

The recent attempt by a foreigner to bomb Times Square should only remind us of the need for continued vigilance from those with a strong foreign influence in their backgrounds including religious motives to oppose the current culture and society.  Like many of you I have been to Times Square several times over the years to see a Broadway show or just traveling through New York.  I have even stayed at the Marriot right across the street from where this Shazhad character left the car bomb.   His intent to kill and maim hundreds is apparent from the location and timing of his attempt.   He isn’t the first religious terrorist and sadly won’t be the last I fear.

In 1605 there was an attempt to blow up the House of Lords by a Catholic extremist.  He believed the Catholics should be restored to power over all Great Britain.  It is unclear if he was born and baptized a Catholic but he was greatly influenced by a stepfather who was a Catholic and was baptized as such in his teens.  His devotion to the Catholic church and dedication to its return to power was strong.  After he inherited a little land he sold it and then went to the Netherlands.  The Spanish who were leading Catholic supporters had been engaged in a was with the Dutch for some time in the late 16th century.  The Dutch didn’t want the Spanish and the Catholic church to have dominion over their lands and an insurgency was in process and often resulted in outright clashes of armed forces in addition to the insurgency actions.  The Duke of Parma was leading the troops for Spain in these battles.  Some of the Spanish mercenaries had revolted due to lack of pay which added to the troubles of Spain and the Catholics.

Our young hero left Great Britain and went to the Lowlands and joined the Spanish army to fight and kill the Protestants who were fighting for their freedoms and religious freedom.  He did well there and was eventually in command of a company of men.  While with the Spanish he received training in the use of explosives.  He was so enamored with his Catholic cohorts from Spain that he took another name–Guido so he would sound more Spanish and more Catholic.   He fought with the Spanish for ten years and then returned to England.

After the death of Elizabeth  I many Catholics thought they saw and opening to return Catholic rule to England.   Henry the VIII and then Elizabeth had ruled since the rejection of Catholicism by Henry.   The religious fervor of the Catholic believers had not waned over the years.    This young man along with several others began a plot to assassinate the King and as many of the Lords as they could and then have a new Catholic King take the throne.  They clearly weren’t paying attention to the public opinion polls of the day or they would have realized what a fool’s errand this would be.

Into the basement of Parliament they secretly planted kegs of powder in the fall of 1605.  The plotters were concerned that some Catholics would be in attendance at the House of Lords and one of them sent a warning note to a relative telling him not to attend the session.  The letter was shown to the King eventually and he ordered a search but nothing was found the first time.  The young man was there but he said he was a servant and doing a chore for his master.  The King ordered another and more thorough search.  This time the kegs of powder were found.  The young man was still there and had matches and a clock with him.

At first he refused to divulge any information and gave a false name.  The King authorized torture since they were concerned that other plots might exist and others were involved and that harm would come to the country.  After some more direct persuasion he confessed and revealed the names of the co-conspirators.  They were quickly rounded up.  They all were hung except for two who died with the troops arrived to arrest them and they resisted.  Even those however had their heads severed and stuck on a pike for all to see what happens to traitors.

Our young man was Guy Fawkes for those who didn’t stay awake during world history class.  To this day the English still celebrate Guy Fawkes day or the Gunpowder Plot as it was known with fireworks and children playing.

So we have a “citizen” who goes to foreign lands to fight with an enemy and receives explosives training and adopts a new name to show his enthusiasm for his religous buddies.  He returns intent on terror and in fact despite his ordinariness he does attempt the bombing.  Only a little luck and quick work by the authorities prevented the disaster from occurring.  Maybe history can teach us a few lessons.

If the Greeks aren’t that excited about reforming their welfare system and getting their deficits and debt under control why should the rest of the world rush to their aid?  The riots in the streets there indicate the people aren’t willing to take care of themselves but want “someone” else to pay for their nanny state.  That is the problem with Socialism like M. Thatcher said–sooner or later you run out of people to pay for everything.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Lockerbie and Enhanced Interrogation

The release of the terrorist who was involved in the Lockerbie bombing to Libya has certainly brought front and center the depth of the Muslim hatred for the West and their undying adulation of anyone who is responsible for killing Infidels.  Hard on the heels of that news is the Holder announcement that there will be an investigation into the alleged use of torture or abuse of prisoners by the CIA to obtain information regarding the threats of Al-Queada against the US.  Those two events do clearly frame the two opposing boundaries of the limits of the rules of war.  Yes, there have always been rules of war during recorded history.  Often those rules were very loose and pretty much anything was acceptable except defeat.  Through most of history those rules have not been written or subject to enforcement by any national government or international body.  But going back several centuries there were standards that applied to the use of military power.   During the last century the world body decided to codify most of the rules and at least implied enforcement powers to the international community.   There are several different standards in force at the moment.  Some  by treaty such as the Geneva Convention and others by use of the International Court at the Hague.

From earliest times the struggles by opposing armies and nations have been fought with unimaginable cruelty.  Read your Old Testament.  Time and time again the Jews when they defeated a people they would destroy them all, every man, woman and child and even sometimes they would kill the cattle and destroy the crops.  The destruction was total.  There is even the famous story in the Bible where the God told them to do that and He was not obeyed; they didn’t kill all the cattle and God challenged them and punished them for their disobedience.   Moving forward to the Greek and Roman eras it was fairly unusual for the winning army to destroy entire cities or peoples.  Normally, it would a contest between the armies and winner take all.  There was many exceptions to this such as the infamous destruction of Carthage after at the conclusion of the Punic Wars.  But those were exceptions.

Some are concerned that waterboarding or other really scary and uncomfortable methods of interrogation are cruelty even if they didn’t result in death or lasting injury.  I can understand the displeasure with such methods and the repugnance.   But the first “rule” of any war is to win.   All the other rules pale in comparison.  War always has its dark and degrading aspect.   I know some don’t believe we are at war now with the Muslim world.  I don’t know how to communicate or reason with those who deny the obvious implications of 9/11, the attacks on our embassies, the Cole, the London and Madrid bombings, and the literally uncountable attacks over the past 60 years from Entebbe to Mumbai.   Imagine that scum who helped with the Flight 103 bomb was in your custody and you had determined already the planting of a bomb but didn’t know the flight or time of flight but he did.  I frankly wouldn’t care what they had to do to him to obtain the information that might have identified the flight so almost 300 lives could have been saved.  I am sure the families of those victims would have been glad to trade his life in a flash for their loved ones who were innocent.  After all it is our opponents in this war on terror who routinely violate the modern rules of war by intentionally targeting innocent people–including women, children and those merely going about their routine affairs of life.  They have no regard for life if it stands in the way of their jihad and martyrdom.   I wouldn’t care if they cut off a leg or let ants crawl down his ear.  I would be mad, very mad that such vermin had made us indulge in that kind of behavoir to thwart his evil intentions.  Such people are pure evil.  I would be sickened by any form of torture and would be miserable practitioner of such an art.  But I would have no trouble at all justifying such action under such circumstances.  The life of one rogue terrorist for 300 innocents is a no brainer for me.  Nothing to be happy about, nothing to rejoice in except for the overwhelming  joy of saving those lives.  Ask any cop, fireman or soldier how they feel when they have a direct hand in saving an innocent life.  Don’t take my word for it but take theirs. 

We have a wonderful record of decency to those we have opposed in wars over the years.  Sure there have been instances of cruelty, rape, pillage and murder by our troops in every war but those are definitely the exceptions; we have never had a policy of wanton destruction or killing as have some of our enemies.  Our record compares very well with our opponents over the years.  The Germans, the Japs, the Muslims, the North Koreans, the Viet Cong all fall very short of our standard of treatment for prisoners and those caught as terrorists.  It has always been a “rule” of law that those fighting out of uniform and not in a regular military unit are considered either spies or terrorists and have been dealt with in a summary fashion.  The foes we face now fall into that category.  They are not entitled to the POW treatment.  The Lockerbie terrorist is not entitled to anything in my opinion except summary death. The Scot’s minister has a different opinion.  Eric Holder has a different opinion than mine.  I put protecting Americans foremost and above all other considerations.  The loss of any innocent American life is not justified on the altar of some elitist vision of “values”.  What is more valuable than innocent life?  

Kennedy is dead.  Mary Jo is at last revenged.  His selfish venality was never punished sufficiently.  A clear case of manslaughter at least and he walked with a charge of leaving the scene of an accident.  He left that poor gal to drown and went to call, not for emergency help, but to get legal and political advice.  Later, when it was too late he allegedly dived to find her after she had been under water for more than 45 minutes at least.   Our sins may be forgiven by a Higher Power, but s0me are so despicable that they will not be forgotten by our fellows.   www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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