Category Archives: GWOT

Imperial Islam

By Lex

Posted on April 5, 2006

 

Shortly after 9/11, and before the warship upon which I then had the pleasure to serve departed for an extended deployment to the Arabian Gulf in the winter of 2002, I read “The Middle East – A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years,” by Princeton Professor or Near Eastern Studies Bernard Lewis. It’s an impressive book if you haven’t had the chance to read it, and Lewis deals with his topic in scholarly – but accessible – detail. He demonstrates not just an understanding of his subject, but also a genial admiration of Islam’s many social, scientific and medical triumphs during a time when all of Europe was in darkness.

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Revolting

By Lex

On April 21, 2006

 

Many students of American history are aware that George Washington put down a nascent officer’s revolt during the Revolution – the officers had sacrificed a great deal for the country’s benefit, and a dilatory Congress had for far too long delayed in making good their compensation promises.

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Is it always a gaffe…

By Lex

Posted on March 8, 2006

 

When, under pressure, a politician blurts out the truth?

The people doing the fighting think it’s going pretty well. The people doing the writing think the whole thing is doomed. Has been, really, ever since that sandstorm. That was when the tide shifted:

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Hero

By Lex

Posted on April 7, 2006

 

The local crab-wrapper gets it right:

Navy petty officer third class (Nathanial Leoncio) was on patrol with Marines in southern Ramadi on Oct. 4 when they were struck by a series of roadside bombs. The explosives killed one Marine and seriously injured three other men, including Leoncio.

At least two of the bombs detonated under the 6-ton Humvee that carried Leoncio, flipping it upside down and on top of him, severing his right leg just below the knee.

Although his right thighbone was shattered and he was bleeding internally, Leoncio refused to be evacuated. He ignored his wounds and cared for a severely injured Marine, likely saving the man’s life.

BZ, Corpsman.

 

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A long war

By lex

Posted on February 6, 2006

All weekend long this post has been bubbling inside me, asking to be let out. All weekend long I demurred, procrastinated, changed the subject, argued with myself. It’s a deep subject, susceptible to error, even to over-generalization. It might be long to write, uncomfortable to think about and challenging to get my mind around.

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All kinds of leaks…

By lex

Posted on December 17, 2005

 

So for a year the NYT sat on the story of the Presidential authorization permitting the NSA, normally proscribed from domestic intelligence collection, to intercept phone calls to and from suspected al Queda telephone numbers overseas. I guess they weren’t all that concerned about privacy or civil rights. But they finally ran the story yesterday, because, well: A year is a long time. Plus the Patriot Act was up for renewal in Congress, only now it’s not any more, because the NYT ran the story about an NSA and presidential administration run amok, tracing terrorist phone calls, didn’t matter where they came from.

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Eyes Wide Open

By lex, on November 18, 2005

 

I said a couple of days ago that no serious political figure on either side of aisle was agitating for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. I also fretted in comments that the Republican leadership of the Senate sending what could only be read as a presidential rebuke on the conduct of the war in Iraq (albeit non-binding) could only lead to a race to the bottom.

The fact that I’m now hitting .500 as a prognosticator is one that I take no pleasure in. John Murtha is a serious man, a respectable member of Congress and a lion of the Democratic Party. He is a distinguished combat veteran and a reliable friend to the troops. He’s no lightweight, neither is he a rabid partisan, nor any week-kneed jelly belly – not with a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. So when he advocates for a quick return of the troops in Iraq, it is incumbent on those of us who support the effort to set aside our knee-jerk reactions and think for a moment about what the man is saying.

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