13 April 2010

Cagey's reading this week (long digest edition)

Directions: Print this out and post in your office latrine.

Top story

National Security Strategy will not include "Islamic Extremism" within its lexicon.  This story is on Sen. Lieberman's complaint.  How could this be?!  Savage puts it best: "Spineless, myopic leaders."

The Connecticut independent revealed that he wrote a letter Friday to top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan urging the administration to "identify accurately the ideological source" of the threat against the United States. He wrote that failing to identify "violent Islamist extremism" as the enemy is "offensive."
Damn right, it's offensive!  And not only is it offensive, it is dangerous.  Our cultural pendulum has swung so far left off track that it's broken the clock.

In language & linguistics

Being a language buff, I couldn't resist posting this story:

"Croatian teenager wakes from coma speaking fluent German"

Flashback  - 16 OCT 2007

Your American president:  The 2nd Amendment and the Christian canon are somehow bad.

"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Source: http://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2008/04/12/barack-obama-bitter-pennsylvanians-cling-to-guns-or-religion/

Politics & the military
A response to Wikileaks' anti-American slanted commentary toward a leaked video of a U.S. counter-insurgency assault:

I have had three instances where an “anti-war” person insulted or offended me, and those I remember with clarity. Unfortunately the nice strangers who said encouraging things to me over the years tend to merge, melt, and fade away in memory. Kind of the nature of the beast, so I am not surprised that so much attention is given to these situations where civilians are killed even though situations where our troops have aided, assisted, protected, sacrificed, and defended vastly outnumber these instances. It’s common sense so I won’t enlist that as a defense.

I have no problem with people that never served having an opinion, but what I do have issue with is the prescriptive manner in which they criticize. Much like a lady I saw on the news that was angry with the police because her son was killed in a shootout with police because he was caught robbing a bank. “They could have shot him in the leg!” she said.

Most people who have never been to Iraq wiki the Geneva convention, and the rules of engagement, and don’t understand how it is applied. Nor do they understand the escalation of force. They are entitled to their opinion, but until you are in a situation of being fired at, IED’d, RPG’d, or receive IDF while you are trying to sleep you may not understand the frustration. Strap on 60 pounds of IBA, Sapi Plates, gear, and a weapon and jog/walk/ride in 100 plus degree heat for 6 to 8 hours at a time you will understand frustration. Trade shots with, attempt to encircle, and run about 6 city blocks in the dark with all of that crap trying to catch someone who you saw with thermals trying to set an IED, and when he gets away and you have to ask yourself, “Damn, is someone gonna die cause I couldn’t get that fu**”?

You also don’t understand that troops are generally where an Iraqi policeman cannot be. There is a difference between a Soldier and a policeman. A vast difference, and many times the mission focus is not on capturing. I’m not sure about what happened in the hours of days before this event, nor the hours and days afterward. I do know that some troops have behaved dishonorably and many of them are serving time. Some events are not crystal clear and “fog of war” is so cliche it almost hints at cover up. In my last unit I was a Platoon Leader and my Platoon Sergeant said, “Sir, sometimes you have to make a quick decision and hope it’s right. I think I would rather ‘ere on the side of living’ and explain myself later.” Not to say that this fits the bill, but even those of you that think that we are cold-blooded and heartless, and dishonorable have to admit that more than likely we want to live to see home again.
Source: http://www.oliverwillis.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-collateral-murder-video/#comment-217316, by Dkelsmith

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