Category Archives: The Long War

In Lieu of Rough Handling

By lex, on October 11th, 2011

Roger Cohen has second thoughts on the killing of an American citizen abroad by agents of the US government:

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Freak Flag

 

By lex, on September 27th, 2010

The boys from Langley are flying it:

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Long War metaphor?

 

By lex, on February 9th, 2008

From the time of the Spanish Armada until today, naval warfare has been about firepower and mobility: Put the most firepower you can on the largest ships that will hold them and row, sail or steam them as fast as you can into harm’s way.

Where weight and accuracy were matched, tactics held sway – Drake used fireships and the weather gage to sink what Spanish ships he could before their survivors dashed themselves to bits against the rocks of Ireland. Hundreds of years later battleship sailors conjured the ghosts of Jutland and Tsushima by maneuvering to “cross the T” at Cape Esperance and the Surigao Straight.

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Afghan Politics

Posted by lex, on July 18th, 2011

dangerous business to be in:

A close adviser to President Hamid Karzai was killed on Sunday night after two gunmen stormed his walled home here. It was the second killing in less than a week of one of the president’s trusted but controversial political allies.

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Drinking the coolaid

By Lex

Posted on April 24, 2006

 

It’s amazing what the poor, deluded kultists of the Dear Leader can talk themselves into:

Today, we are in the midst of a great struggle between the forces of terror and the forces of freedom. The greatest weapon that the free world possesses in this struggle is the awesome power of its ideas.

The Bush Doctrine, based on a recognition of the dangers posed by non-democratic regimes and on committing the United States to support the advance of democracy, offers hope to many dissident voices struggling to bring democracy to their own countries. The democratic earthquake it has helped unleash, even with all the dangers its tremors entail, offers the promise of a more peaceful world.

Yet with each passing day, new voices are added to the chorus of that doctrine’s opponents, and the circle of its supporters grows ever smaller.

Critics rail against every step on the new and difficult road on which the United States has embarked. Yet in pointing out the many pitfalls which have not been avoided and those which still can be, those critics would be wise to remember that the alternative road leads to the continued oppression of hundreds of millions of people and the continued festering of the pathologies that led to 9/11.

Oh, come on: What does Natan Sharansky know about “freedom” and “oppression” ? *

 

** Link was gone; new one added – Ed.

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Roommates

By lex, on May 28th, 2011

Travis Manion and Brendan Looney were roommates at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Rugged athletes who wanted into the fight, shared private jokes, intermingled their families. They were both killed, separately, fighting the nation’s wars  – Travis as an officer of Marines who died exposing himself to sniper fire while coming to the aid of wounded comrades in Iraq, Navy SEAL Brendan in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Separated in life, they now lie united again in death, interred side by side at Arlington National Cemetery:

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Ironies Abound

By lex, on May 2nd, 2011

I’m pretty sure that the DEVGRU bubbas sent to capture or kill Osama bin Laden didn’t mind skipping past option one, and moving directly to option two. Trying a captured OBL would have been, 1) better than he deserved and, 2) intensely problematical. Pre-trial confinement anywhere but at Guantanamo would have been a security nightmare for the site chosen, and GTMO isn’t taking in any new customers. So maybe it’s a little ironic that a president who came to office promising more of that good old rule of law unleashed the hounds of direct action, not that I take objection.

But today we learn that the intel which led to OBL’s death was generated by the same “enhanced interrogation techniques” that the President Obama eliminated:

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful. Former president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama closed the prison system.

Hat’s off to President Obama for pulling the trigger on the assault. Hat’s off to President Bush for doing what had to be done to start the kill chain.

OBL dying a natural death in his sheltered compound was never an acceptable alternative.

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