Saturday, January 26, 2013

Intervention in Libya Shows Weakness of NATO and US Decision Makers

US and NATO intervention in the overthrow of the Gadhafi government seems to have turned into a fiasco.

From AP:
Fears are growing that post-Moammar Gadhafi Libya is becoming an incubator of turmoil, with an overflow of weapons and Islamic jihadi militants operating freely, ready for battlefields at home or abroad.
. . .
More worrisome is the possibility that Islamic militants inspired by — or linked to — al-Qaida can establish a strong enough foothold in Libya to spread instability across a swath of North Africa where long, porous desert borders have little meaning, governments are weak, and tribal and ethnic networks stretch from country to country.
. . .
Already, Libya's turmoil echoes around the region and in the Middle East. The large numbers of weapons brought into Libya or seized from government caches during the 2011 civil war against Gadhafi are now smuggled freely to Mali, Egypt and its Sinai Peninsula, the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. Jihadis in Libya are believed to have operational links with fellow militant groups in the same swath, Libyan fighters have joined rebels in Syria and are believed to operate in other countries as well. 
One wonders if NATO and US decision makers will try another Libya intervention, and this time do a better job of it. Or if the reason Afghanistan is such a mess after so much effort is because of their difficulty in making good military and geopolitical decisions.

ABC Can't Figure Out Details In Its Sarah Palin Story

UPDATE: In the comments section, Max pointed me to an interview with Sarah Palin in which she clearly says why she left Fox News:
I encourage others to step out in faith, jump out of the comfort zone, and broaden our reach as believers in American exceptionalism. That means broadening our audience. I’m taking my own advice here as I free up opportunities to share more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation. We can't just preach to the choir; the message of liberty and true hope must be understood by a larger audience.

The bright lights at ABC news wonder why Sarah Palin is "out" at Fox News as a political contributor.

Maybe it's because she did not choose to renew the contract (as was actually mentioned in the report--see transcript below).

Which isn't really being "out" at Fox. Actually, it's "moving on" or "leaving".

But, who expects ABC reporters to understand the difference. Though apparently they know that Hillary Clinton is not "out" at the Obama cabinet. That she actually is leaving her position as Secretary of State. And, of course, nobody knows all of Clinton's reasons for leaving. Still, ABC hasn't trumpeted the "it's not exactly clear why" conundrum regarding Secretary Clinton.

Somehow stories about Palin turn reporters dumb.

That's why reporters have such a low public trust score.

ABC's transcript:
Moving on to what seemed like a match made in political heaven. Sarah palin and fox news. This morning, the romance is over, after three years as an on-air political contributor for the cable channel.
Palin is out. And it's not exactly clear why. Abc's gio benitez is on the story.
Reporter: Fox news' self-proclaimed momma grizzly bear is leaving the den. She is parting ways with the cable news giant, just three years after joining the team as a contributor. I'm grinning today.
And I'm so appreciative of the opportunity to get to work with you and the other team members here at fox news.
Reporter: She quickly took on her critics. They don't like the common sense conservative solutions that I think I represent. Reporter: Palin even showed off her home studio on tlc. This is my office where I do my fox news hits from here. Reporter: But overnight, the sudden news.
Palin is out at fox. A source close to palin told abc news, it was her decision. A fox news executive said this, we have thoroughly enjoyed our association with governor palin.
We wish her the best in her future endeavors. It seemed to be tension at times between sarah palin and fox news. Reporter: Fox news president roger ailes was reportedly angry, when instead of fox, a syndicated radio show host broke the news that palin was not running for president in 2012.
And in august of last year, she criticized fox on facebook for cancelling her appearances during the republican national convention. The sense I guess is she has other media opportunities in the future. And we'll see her more on camera, rather than behind the camera.
Reporter: And palin reportedly made $1 million a year at fox. Why she's out is just pure speculation. We don't know exactly why.
But we're told her contract had expired just a few weeks ago. We'll see more of her. Thanks, gio
[emphasis added]

Friday, January 25, 2013

Women in Combat?

Neither the New York Sun nor Victor Davis Hanson are against the possibility.

New York Sun:
In other words, we had no problem with the idea of women in a war zone. As to whether they should be in combat, we don’t have any objection to it in principle. It does, though, strike us as illogical to think in terms of a “right” to be in combat, whether it is a right for women, men, or anyone else. Once war has been levied, our own view is that the right policy in filling out our combat units is to give the commanders such a pick of our population as they in their best judgment reckon would be best to win the fight. If they want to include women, we’re all for it, and if not, we wouldn’t take umbrage. Victory in the war is the over-riding thing.
Victor Davis Hanson:
In a larger sense, with the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and women in front-line combat units, we have decided that the military is one with all other civilian institutions and without a particular code or caste. Fair enough — in the past, there certainly have been excellent male soldiers who were romantically attracted to one another (cf. the Theban Sacred Band) and plenty of brave and effective female pilots, snipers, and infantrywomen (cf. the Russian front after 1942), and we shall soon discover whether our more recent reluctance to follow those clear examples was absurd.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

5 Heroes Who Died December 22, 2012 to January 16, 2013

The personal nature of these losses was again brought home to me not long ago. A young military man was home for Christmas and visited our Sunday School class. He said this was a harder return from Afghanistan than his other tours. I asked him why, and he said because he lost three friends in an attack in September. I asked him their names. He didn't seem to want to talk about it, but mentioned one name: Sgt. Sapuro Nena. This was a reminder to me of the richness in each one of these heroes and the loss they are to their family, friends and country.

December 22 - Cdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa., died of a non-combat related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. This incident is currently under investigation.

December 24 - Sgt. Enrique Mondragon, 23, of The Colony, Texas, died in Baraki Barak, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when his unit was attacked by small arms fire while on dismounted patrol.

December 29 - Pfc. Markie T. Sims, 20, of Citra, Fla., died in Panjwal, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

January 10 - Sgt. Aaron X. Wittman, 28, of Chester, Va., died in Khogyani District, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, from injuries sustained when his unit was attacked by small arms fire while on mounted patrol.

January 16 - Sgt. David J. Chambers, 25, of Hampton, Va., died in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he encountered an enemy improvised explosive device while on dismounted patrol.