Memorial Day quote of the day: Iraq veterans edition

May 30, 2011

From the great Walter Russell Mead:

[Osama’s] dream died in Iraq.

But on this Memorial Day it is not enough to remember, and give thanks, that Osama’s dream died before he did and that the terror movement has been gravely wounded at its heart.

Because the dream didn’t just die.

It was killed.

And it was killed by coalition forces.  They killed it by fighting harder and smarter than the enemy and they killed it by winning trust and building bridges better than the enemy.  They did it because they were better, more honorable warriors and better, more honorable partners for peace.  Mostly American and mostly Christian, the coalition forcers were more compassionate, more just, more protective of the poor and more respectful of Arab women than the crazed thugs who thought setting off bombs in the market was fulfilling God’s will.

We must continue to honor and thank the Arab allies and tribal leaders who made the choice for America in a dark and a difficult time.  But especially on this Memorial Day we must honor and remember the American heroes who by their lives and by their deaths brought victory out of defeat, understanding out of hatred and gave both Muslims and non-Muslims a chance to get this whole thing right.

The story of America’s victory over terror in Mesopotamia needs to be told.  In justice to those who sacrificed so much, and for the sake of those who may have to face similar dangers in the future, somebody needs to tell the real story of how, against all odds and in the face of unremitting skepticism and defeatism at home, our armed forces built a foundation for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.

All wars are tragic; some are also victorious.  The tragedies of Iraq are real and well known.  The victory is equally real — but the politically fastidious don’t want to look.  The minimum we owe our lost and wounded warriors is to tell the story of what they so gloriously achieved.

On this Memorial Day, a truth needs to be told.

We have not yet done justice to our dead.

Read the whole thing.

PS: Guess that resolution went the way of all things…

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This can’t be good

January 13, 2010

A White House so paranoid and nervous that they’re blaming their handpicked (and highly respected) general for the slowness of the surge deployment to Afghanistan?

The Blame Game – Part XXVI

“WASHINGTON — Senior White House advisers are frustrated by what they say is the Pentagon’s slow pace in deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and its inability to live up to an initial promise to have all of the forces in the country by next summer, senior administration officials said Friday. [snip]

One administration official said that the White House believed that top Pentagon and military officials misled them by promising to deploy the 30,000 additional troops by the summer. General McChrystal and some of his top aides have privately expressed anger at that accusation, saying that they are being held responsible for a pace of deployments they never thought was realistic, the official said.”

Ask yourself this: what possible motive would President Obama’s hand-picked general have for misleading the President about the pace of deployment to Afghanistan? There is none.

Now ask yourself what possible motive would the Obama administration would have for selling the public on a pace of military deployments that was unrealistic?

Yet we find administration sources accusing members of the United States military of lying to them in the pages of the New York Times. It’s more than tacky. More than dishnorable. It’s downright scary.

Yeah, you ain’t kidding. Click through to read also about the “speculation” that the intelligence community set Obama up to look bad by withholding information about the Pantybomber. Some of these guys must be wearing tinfoil hats:

Not that I think it’s impossible for elements of the intelligence community to sabotage an administration’s agenda, but typically this is done to conservative administrations. Witness all the leaks against the Bush policies, the controversy over the execrable Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, and the laughable 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that torpedoed Bush policy toward Iran and now is disavowed by the Obamatons.

In Obama the intelligence bureaucracy got the guy they wanted and, while they are very unhappy with Obama’s willingness to let his creature Holder torment them, the kinds of things they’re being accused of don’t fit the pattern.

And to accuse a well-regarded general of placing petty revenge ahead of the nation’s interests and his solders’ safety? Scary and crazy.

Sometimes I think Obama may be a replay of the worst of both Carter and Nixon.

(hat tip: Ed Driscoll)


The Afghanistan speech Obama wanted to give

December 4, 2009

Iowahawk finds the first draft:

I Am Proud to Lead You Men to the Nearest Off-Ramp

general minivan

Brigadier General Barack H. Obama
Supreme Allied Commander-in-Chief, Operation Minivan Pool

At ease, men.

As your battalion commanders and General Axelrod have already briefed you, you embark today on an important mission to the Af-Pak Theater. The success of this mission will not only insure the future of democracy and human civilization, but also my Gallup net favorable index. I have every confidence that you will succeed in this great educational field trip, because you represent the finest right-sized, nonviolent time killing force ever assembled.

Arrayed behind me are the mighty Minivans of Democracy that you will soon be loading. These are America’s great 5-star crash rating arsenal of multilateral understanding. And as your supreme commander-in-chief, it is my great honor, privilege, and turn to serve as your pool driver, because Michelle has her Pilates class this afternoon. Now, as our rendezvous with destiny approaches, let me say that I am every bit as proud of you fine young soldiers and Marines as I am when I take Malia and Sasha to gymnastics. Okay, let’s all pair up with a buddy and line up double file for the vans.

Read the rest if, like me, you’re in need of a good laugh these days.  Rolling on the floor


In other words, they were lying

December 1, 2009

Byron York looks at the Democratic discomfort over President Obama’s (grudging) decision to sent 30-34,000 more troops to Afghanistan and comes to a conclusion: when they all said during the campaign that the war in Afghanistan was the good war they could support, they lied:

Other top Democrats adopted the get-tough approach, at least when it came time to campaign.  In September 2006, as she was leading the effort that would result in Democrats taking over the House and her becoming speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said George W. Bush “took his eye off the ball” in Afghanistan. “We had a presence over there the past few years, but not to the extent that we needed to get the job done,” Pelosi said. The phrase “took his eye off the ball” became a Democratic mantra about the supposed neglect of Afghanistan — a situation that would be remedied by electing ready-to-fight Democrats.

But now, with Democrats in charge of the entire U.S. government and George Bush nowhere to be found, Pelosi and others in her party are suddenly very, very worried about U.S. escalation in Afghanistan.  “There is serious unrest in our caucus,” the speaker said recently.  There is so much unrest that Democrats who show little concern about the tripling of already-large budget deficits say they’re worried about the rising cost of the war.

It is in that atmosphere that Obama makes his West Point speech.  He had to make certain promises to get elected.  Unlike some of his supporters, he has to remember those promises now that he is in office.  So he is sending more troops.  But he still can’t tell the truth about so many Democratic pledges to support the war in Afghanistan: They didn’t mean it.

And then they wonder why so many people don’t take the Democrats seriously when it comes to national security.


Palin on Afghanistan

October 6, 2009

From her Facebook account:

For two years as a candidate, Senator Obama called for more resources for the war in Afghanistan and warned about the consequences of failure. As President, he announced a comprehensive new counterinsurgency strategy and handpicked the right general to execute it. Now General McChrystal is asking for additional troops to implement the strategy announced by President Obama in March. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers in harm’s way in Afghanistan right now. We owe it to all those brave Americans serving in uniform to give them the tools they need to complete their mission.

We can win in Afghanistan by helping the Afghans build a stable representative state able to defend itself. And we must do what it takes to prevail. The stakes are very high. The 9/11 attacks were planned in Afghanistan, and if we are not successful there, al Qaeda will once again find a safe haven, the Taliban will impose its cruelty on the Afghan people, and Pakistan will be less stable.

Our allies and our adversaries are watching to see if we have the staying power to protect our interests in Afghanistan. I recently joined a group of Americans in urging President Obama to devote the resources necessary in Afghanistan and pledged to support him if he made the right decision. Now is not the time for cold feet, second thoughts, or indecision — it is the time to act as commander-in-chief and approve the troops so clearly needed in Afghanistan.

– Sarah Palin