Thursday, August 8, 2013

Infantile analysis: Counterterror "expert" says terror alert is "crazy pants"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

This is part of the reason why we are in such a fix: because children are dictating the direction of counterterror policy. Nor is this problem restricted to counterterrorism: we now have a military and diplomatic culture in which it is forbidden for the United States to have "enemies" or to refer to those who are at war with us by that term. Thus we have seen the United States Secretary of State and Generals at the top of the chain of command talking like fifth graders, referring to the "bad guys" we are fighting.

Meanwhile, because of politically correct restrictions on telling the truth about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, mediocrities with the same infantile mentality rise to positions of responsibility and influence, because they reflect the views and opinions that are deemed respectable.

The same phenomenon prevails in the larger culture, so that we have an immature, foul-mouthed creep like Reza Aslan being treated as a knowledgeable and respected pundit, and serious news articles quoting mainstream counterterror analysts talking like fifth graders and making analogies to childrens' movies.

This is not surprising coming from McCants in particular, who shares Aslan's taste for Twitter abuse and who contemptuously dismisses (without bothering to refute it, of course) the idea that Islamic texts and teachings could conceivably inspire violence, or that the nonsense he gets fed by people like Aslan (who is a Board member of a lobbying group for the Islamic Republic of Iran) might be worth examining critically. No wonder he has risen so high in today's politically correct counterterror establishment.

"Broad U.S. terror alert mystifies experts; ‘It’s crazy pants,’ one says," by Hannah Allam for McClatchy, August 6 (thanks to Lucianne):
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials insisted Tuesday that extraordinary security measures for nearly two dozen diplomatic posts were to thwart an “immediate, specific threat,” a claim questioned by counterterrorism experts, who note that the alert covers an incongruous set of nations from the Middle East to an island off the southern coast of Africa.... 
“It’s crazy pants – you can quote me,” said Will McCants, a former State Department adviser on counterterrorism who this month joins the Brookings Saban Center as the director of its project on U.S. relations with the Islamic world....
“It’s not completely random, but most people are, like, ‘Whaaat?’ ” said Aaron Zelin, who researches militants for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and blogs about them at
“I’m not going to argue that it’s not willy-nilly, but it’s hard for me to come down too critical because I simply don’t know their reasoning,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a counterterrorism specialist at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington research institute....
“I’ve been ignoring all of it because there’s an infinite range of possibilities,” said Gartenstein-Ross. “It would be like speculating on the reboot of the ‘Star Wars’ series.”...
"Al Qaeda Conference Call Intercepted by U.S. Officials Sparked Alerts," by Eli Lake and Josh Rogin for the Daily Beast, August 7:
This was like a meeting of the Legion of Doom,” one U.S. intelligence officer told The Daily Beast, referring to the coalition of villains featured in the Saturday morning cartoon Super Friends.

One Week Of Shock, 68 Years Of Awe

by / Personal Liberty Digest

One Week Of Shock, 68 Years Of Awe
People put colorful paper lanterns around the Atomic Bomb Dome to mark the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan.
As a phrase, “shock and awe” appeared in the lexicon of the U.S. Military in the late 1990s, following the 1996 publication of “Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance” a strategic doctrine developed for the National Defense University by retired Naval Commander Harlan Ullman and former Jimmy Carter Administration adviser James Wade. Most of us first heard the phrase in reference to the fast-forward beating we delivered to Iraq’s military in 2003. But the concept is ages old. In the 20th century, the world called it “Blitzkreig” — although the Nazis’ high-speed success could well be attributed to the rest of Europe’s failure to comprehend that the millennia of trench warfare and fixed emplacements like the Maginot Line had ended 20 years prior to World War II.

While the Nazis conducted a strategically sound campaign of rapid dominance against the Benelux nations and France, it’s worth remembering that they were operating against the Benelux nations and France. Give me the 1st Ranger Battalion and some air support, and I could march in the shade on the Champs-Élysées. If the purpose of “shock and awe” is a swift end to hostilities, I would argue that the greatest show of “shock and awe” happened just more than five years and two continents away from Herr Hitler’s party in Paris.

By late July 1945, World War II was trudging toward a conclusion. Adolf and Eva checked out of their bunker more than two months earlier, leaving Japan as the lone Axis power still standing.

Nonetheless, the Japanese ignored the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, despite already considerably shocking and awesome firebombing campaigns over Japanese cities. In fact, the March firebombing of Tokyo remains the single most destructive aerial bombing raid in military history. Nearly six dozen Japanese cities were similarly leveled in the first six months of 1945, all as a result of conventional-weapon campaigns necessitated by the ultimately futile Japanese strategy of dispersing military and industrial assets throughout civilian population zones.

But still, they refused to surrender. As Allied commanders prepared for Operation Downfall, the potential invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, the Japanese remained defiant, planning their defensive Operation Ketsu-Go. Conservative casualty estimates placed total military and civilian losses in the millions. The world steeled itself for what could well be the bloodiest fighting yet to come.

And then, the defining example of “shock and awe” debuted on the world stage. Sixty-eight years ago this week, at 8:15 a.m. local time, the people of Japan — specifically, the people of the city of Hiroshima — met “Little Boy.” As many as 100,000 people died in an instant, with thousands more doomed within months. Lest the shock not be awesome enough; 68 years ago tomorrow, the people of Japan — specifically, the people of the city of Nagasaki — met “Fat Man.” Six days later, the U.S. Navy prepared the U.S.S. Missouri for a famous photo op.

Sixty-eight years later, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the lone combat detonations of nuclear weapons in history. Despite wreaking unprecedented destruction, they prevented many times more. The world has rolled to the edge of nuclear madness repeatedly since then, with brushfires nearly raging out of control from Berlin to Cuba and virtually all points in between.

Arsenals have filled with destructive force beyond the worst nightmares of Hiroshima survivors. But none have been detonated.

Thanks to the proliferation of the progeny of Little Boy and Fat Man, the world sleeps every night underneath a nuclear blanket. But thanks to four days of “shock and awe” 68 years ago, the world doesn’t sleep underneath 6 feet of radioactive dirt.  In defining “shock and awe,” Ullman and Wade assert that such a campaign must include “the threat and fear of action that may shut down all or part of the adversary’s society or render his ability to fight useless short of complete physical destruction.”

As a direct consequence of one week in August 1945, the threat and fear of total nuclear annihilation have shut down human society’s desire to inflict upon itself complete physical destruction. Though we can use nuclear power for war, we mostly use it for energy these days. That’s a bit shocking; it’s absolutely awesome; and, most importantly, it’s historical fact.

The Affordable Care Act -- aka ObamaCare -- is off to a very rocky start, and according to the law's biggest defenders, the blame falls squarely at the feet of Republicans.

It's an odd claim. Republicans did not write the law. They did not support the law. And they are not in charge of implementing it. Yet, it's got to be the GOP's fault, right?

Now it is true that Republicans have been trying very hard to kill the law. The GOP-controlled House has voted 40 times to repeal it. Conservative activists dedicated to repeal have refused to shut up and lie down. Some Republican governors have declined to expand Medicaid. Some Republican senators have leaned on outside groups, such as the NFL, to not help promote the law. And some ambitious Republicans want to use the upcoming budget and debt ceiling negotiations to force Democrats into defunding ObamaCare.

Let's go through each. Trying to repeal a law you didn't vote for and think will be bad for the country is entirely legitimate. Sometimes, it's morally compulsory. One needn't cite the fugitive slave law to demonstrate this fact. In a mid-presidency conversion, Barack Obama decided that he would do whatever he could to nullify the Defense of Marriage Act. In 1989, after a backlash from seniors, Congress repealed a Medicare reform law that didn't work as planned.

There's also something just plain weird about criticizing politicians for trying to get rid of a law that is, has been and continues to be unpopular with Americans. If ObamaCare were wildly popular, the demonization of Republicans as out of touch and radical would have a bit more plausibility.

Also, the fact that activists won't give up may be annoying to supporters of the law, but just talk to any one of them and they'll be the first to tell you that so far they've failed utterly. Similarly, asking the NFL to stay out of a bitter political controversy may be unseemly, but such actions haven't done anything to stop ObamaCare. Indeed, the GOP governors who've declined to sign up for Medicaid expansion aren't obstructing the law; they're exercising their discretion under the law.

In fact, the only person openly defying ObamaCare is Obama himself. His Department of Health and Human Services declared it would delay the implementation of the business mandate, despite the fact that nothing in the law empowers it to do so.

And that's just the most egregious part. The administration has been issuing thousands of waivers -- including to favored constituencies -- exempting various parties (such as congressional staffers) from complying with the law because it turns out ObamaCare can't work as written. That conclusion isn't mine; it's the administration's. That's why, for instance, HHS and the IRS won't bother with verifying whether applicants for insurance subsidies are eligible under the law.

In short, Republicans are on the right side of the argument in every particular, save one: the effort to force the Democrats to defund ObamaCare by threatening a debt crisis or government shutdown. The Democrats will never agree to such a demand, and the resulting crisis would surely be blamed on Republicans.

There is a bizarre irony at work here. Both the right and left are convinced ObamaCare will eventually become popular if implemented. Conservatives fear the "ratchet effect," a term coined by the great libertarian economic historian Robert Higgs. Once government expands, goes the theory, reversing that expansion is nearly impossible. Liberals have their own version. They point out that once Americans get an entitlement -- Social Security, Medicare, etc. -- they never want to lose it.

They hope that if they can just get Americans hooked on the goodies in ObamaCare, they'll overlook all the flaws.

There's a lot of truth here, to be sure. But it's not an iron law either. Sometimes, bad laws get fixed. It happened with Medicare in 1989 and welfare reform in 1995. Many of the boneheaded laws of the early New Deal were scrapped as well.

Republicans should have a little more confidence in their own arguments. If you believe that ObamaCare can't work, you should expect that it won't. Forcing a debt crisis or government shutdown won't kill ObamaCare, but it will give Democrats a lifeline heading into the 2014 elections, which could have the perverse effect of delaying the day Republicans have the political clout to actually succeed in repealing this unworkable and unpopular law.

The problem with bad ideas from Europe is that they eventually become bad ideas in America too.

And so it goes with the latest nitwit scheme from Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party, which is cousin to our own liberal Democrat Party, separated not ideologically or by a vast ocean, but only by accents.

The Lib Dems want to outlaw gas and diesel powered cars from the United Kingdom with a goal to create a “zero-carbon” UK by 2040.

No word yet whether they will allow people to “breathe,” which-- incidentally to Lib Dems it seems-- also pushes carbon into the atmosphere.

“Only electric vehicles and ultra-efficient hybrid cars would be allowed on UK roads under the Lib Dem plans,” writes the UK’s Telegraph. “However, petrol and diesel vehicles would still be allowed for freight purposes. The plans will be voted on by members at the upcoming Lib Dem conference in Glasgow and could become party policy if approved.”

Nice to see that Lib Dems also approve of group assisted-suicide. I wasn’t sure if it was legal in Glasgow.

Oh, but wait. It gets better.

Because the UK’s Labour Party, which often runs just a little left of Josef Stalin, may capture the government in 2015, and they love bad ideas like this almost as much as Nanny Pelosi loves to pass unread bills.

Which brings us back to America. Our own liberal Democrats love bad ideas that don’t work in Europe so much that they make them even worse here, say, like with… Obamacare.

And the problem we have is that as bad as Obamacare is for healthcare, it’s even worse for our economy and, you know, incidentally it seems to our own lib Dems, the people who live and earn a living in it.

The auto industry- and the economy- here in the U.S. is completely dependent of course upon the internal combustion engine despite steps by the Obamanauts to put a million electric cars on the road by 2016.

The problem they have with their scheme is that electric vehicles just don’t go farther today on a charge than they did say in 1914, maybe even less.

“In 1914 a Detroit Electric went 241 miles on a single charge setting a new record,” reports Detroit Electric, a website dedicated to old-fashioned electric vehicles. “To be fair the car had a top speed of 25 MPH but that was almost 100 years ago and the new electric cars can go maybe 100 miles on a charge, on a good day, downhill, with a little breeze and a nice smooth road.”

Today the vaunted hybrid, the Toyota Prius, one of the top-twenty selling cars in the United States, brags that the EV settings “allows Prius to run on battery power alone for up to one mile.”

Imagine that: One whole mile on electric! From the best selling EV hybrid!

Which brings us to Ransom’s First Theorem of Electric Vehicle Dynamics: The popularity of an EV today is in reverse proportion to the number of miles you can drive on one full charge of electric.

That’s why the Prius, at one mile per charge, is much more popular than say, the Volt, at 38 miles per charge; 38 miles that is, if you don’t use things like the power windows, charge your phone on the auxiliary power or fight a headwind of more than 8.37 miles per hour.

It would also explain the continuing popularity of TRUCKS, which, under Ransom’s First Theorem of Electric Vehicle Dynamics, get ZERO miles per hour between charges.

Then of course there is price.

Electric vehicles are pricey compared to the internal combustion engine. And in 100 years the economics haven’t changed much for electric versus gasoline vehicles.

“The price of a Detroit Electric in 1914 was about $2,650,” says Detroit Electric, “and if you wanted to upgrade to the Edison Nickel Iron batteries that went up about $600. At the same time you could buy two new Model T's for that same $600.”

Too, electric vehicles back then were made for women, it seems, and were not considered very manly.

“In fact,” says the site, “one of the downfalls of early electric cars is that they were thought of as a women's car and men did not want to be seen driving them.” Kind of like a scooter is today: Fun to drive, but you wouldn’t want your friends to see you on one.

But the liberal Democrats won’t let any of these disadvantages stop them from foisting electric cars on a public who they believe doesn’t know what’s good for them.

Europe’s Liberal Democrats are providing leadership to the liberal Democrats here in the USA. 

Obama said the other day that he “actually [believes] in the free market.”

And when the millionth electric car - that no one wants - rolls off the assembly line, he will tell you it’s proof of that belief.

So don’t be surprised when he proposes to ban gas-powered cars in an effort to boost the popularity of electric vehicles.

This much I know for sure: If he doesn’t do it, someone from his liberal Democrat party surely will. 

Guilty as charged...NO trial needed
By: Diane Sori
And the joke that is the Obama administration continues to be perpetrated on ‘We the People’…

Case in point is the just underway but called to an abrupt halt after only one day Fort Hood Massacre trial…a court-martial actually for the man charged was and still technically is an Army Major (who is receiving his military salary which as of now stands at $300+ thousand). And what a farce of a trial this is as it’s based on a charge of ‘workplace violence’…which we all know it was anything but ‘workplace violence’ for what this miserable excuse of a man did was commit a terrorist attack on American soil and NOTHING less.

A terrorist attack committed by a muslim jihadist who called himself a ‘mujahedeen’ (a muslim holy warrior), Nidal Malik Hasan freely admitted he committed the attack calling it jihad…a muslim holy war against Americans…yet this administration…this president… refused to classify it as such even after the murderer’s (and I refuse to say ‘alleged’) own admission as proof of his intent…refused it because this equally miserable excuse of a president sides with those out to kill us.

And guess who is actually footing the $5 million bill for this charade of a trial that could take months to complete…yup you guessed it…”We the People’…the American taxpayers…are getting taken to the cleaners yet again.

And adding insult to injury is the fact that when military judge Col. Tara Osborn ruled that this most vile man could defend himself, and thus call the victim’s families and those who survived his rampage to the witness stand to be cross examined…allowing Hasan to taunt and ridicule those whose lives he changed forever…this became NOT a trial for murder…in fact for 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder…but a stage for proselytizing and in defense of islam and NOTHING more for this man is guilty as charged…and NO prolonged expensive trial is needed to prove it.

Proselytizing and defending islam even though the media and the Obama administration still refuse to acknowledge that islam had anything to do with the murders, even though Hasan has claimed that he shot his victims in defense of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan.

Can’t get any more islamic or jihadist than that now can you.

And in Hasan’s opening statement before a panel of 13 senior Army officers including nine colonels, three lieutenant colonels, and one major….islam very much was in play as Hasan’s very words laid the ground work for the crux of this trial being all about islam and NOTHING else. “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter…Witnesses will testify that war is an ugly thing. Death, destruction and devastation are felt from both sides, from friend and foe. Evidence from this trial will only show one side. I was on the wrong side, but I switched sides” he said…switching sides and following the tenets laid down in the qur’an…’kill the infidels wherever you may find them’ (Sura, 9:5).

And the infidels Hasan chose to target were military ‘supposed’ infidels for he seemed to spare civilians, all while yelling the standard jihadist battle cry, ‘Allahu Akbar’…’God is great’…as he mowed them down one after the other…one after another and all because he was about to be deployed to Afghanistan and didn’t want to go. So instead, he took it upon himself to follow what he believed to be his jihad call to duty to kill as many US soldiers as possible in his self-described war between America and his so-called islamic faith.

And while Hassan faces lethal injection if convicted of all the murder charges (a unanimous guilty verdict is required for execution but keep in mind that the military has NOT executed an active duty US serviceman since 1961) that decision would be subject to years…maybe decades…of complex legal appeals as he sits in jail and grows old…and again guess who foots the bill for all this…none other than we American taxpayers.

But what of the families of those murdered and the survivors who are going through hell having to sit through this sham of a trial with many still bearing the scars of that day…they get NOTHING from our government for surviving a terrorist attack…NO Purple Hearts that would have allowed them to get medical aid and benefits many still need…and all because Barack HUSSEIN Obama said this attack was ‘workplace violence’ and NOTHING more, thus giving more considerations to the shooter than to the victim’s families and survivors.

Par for the course for this administration I’d say.

And now with Hasan’s court appointed standby attorney Lt. Col. Kris Poppe accusing Hasan of deliberately trying to secure a conviction and death sentence (thus completing his wanted circle of jihad), because by acting as his own attorney in the way that he is in a manner that "we believe is repugnant to defense counsel and contrary to our professional obligations”…the trial came to an abrupt halt after only one day.

And so this farce of a trial is to be continued whenever…

Get your popcorn ready folks, because this trial will be long, drawn out, and one for the books for sure.