Iran, Israel, and the Inevitable

In 1938 it was Czechoslovakia. This week it was Israel. The Wall Street Journal lays it out in detail. We capitulated to Iran. It will lead to more instability and inevitably to war.

Here’s my predictions

1. Iran will develop a nuclear bomb. Sooner rather than later.
2. This will lead to one of two outcomes:
….a. Iran will deliver a working nuclear weapon to Israel and detonate it. Israel will respond.
….b. Israel will see the threat for what it is and launch preemptive strikes against Iran.
3. After 2a or 2b, there will be a larger war in the Mid-East.

The other thing you can count on is U.S. Presidents and their Secretaries of State announcing Middle East peace initiatives that fail. Every administration tries it. It looks good, and since the people they are dealing with don’t mind lying and signing papers to advance their positions, for a few press cycles it gets their current domestic problems off the front page. What is different this time is that we have left Israel to twist in the wind alone.

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Twelve Years of Blood and Treasure

2300 dead, more than 17,000 wounded. 650 billion dollars and counting. That’s the estimates for what it has cost the United States for our operations in Afghanistan so far.

But it was worth every drop of blood and every dollar, right? We routed the Taliban. Rebuilt the infrastructure. Established a democracy. Created a new country where the freedoms we all believe are essential to living a life of value are protected. Where minorities and women live lives of equality. Where religious diversity is celebrated.

Oh wait. You say we got rid of the Taliban, but not really? Afghanistan has a state religion? Women are oppressed? They have decided to reintroduce stoning as a punishment for adultery?

Then I would say it is a total, epic failure. That we have accomplished nothing. That it was not worth the first American life. That the effort, blood, money, and equipment could just as easily been dumped in the ocean for what we did with it.

70 years ago it took less than 4 years to beat the Empire of Japan. Now we can’t even manage to keep the Afghans from murdering people with rocks.

Where Were You?

There was a time when everyone knew what the question was referring to and had an answer.

I was a 1st grader at Culbertson Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois. We heard the news from Dallas while we were in class. A little while later the janitor came in and put black cloth over the American Flag. The teacher put her head down on the desk and cried. That night at home there were black and white images from Dallas on the television.
john_john_salute

The NYTimes Talks About Obamacare

So the Affordable Care Act isn’t affordable, isn’t going to provide care, can’t be signed up for, and generally is one giant sucking ball of fail. The Grey Lady has finally accepted that reality cannot be ignored any further. They need to get out front on this. So what do they have to say? The link itself tells the tale. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/us/politics/parallels-to-bush-in-toxic-political-mix-threatening-obama.html That’s right. The most important thing they can find to say about the destruction of the health care system is BUSH! REMEMBER BUSH! KATRINA! BUSH!

Click the link and read it all. Remember it’s been 4 years and 303 days since George Bush left office.

HOOAH!

This blog hasn’t ever talked about the U.S. Army, but that changes today. The Army is huge, has a lot of history, and many noteworthy units. The 10th Mountain Division is one of them. Captain Swenson wrote a new chapter in that history on September 8th, 2009 and was recognized for it last month. I know that many men would have done the same, and that many times acts like this occur and no one survives to tell the tale. But this time, it fell to Bill Swenson and he was ready.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to

Captain William D. Swenson

United States Army

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Captain William D. Swenson distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as embedded advisor to the Afghan National Border Police, Task Force Phoenix, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in support of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on September 8, 2009. On that morning, more than 60 well-armed, well-positioned enemy fighters ambushed Captain Swenson’s combat team as it moved on foot into the village of Ganjgal for a meeting with village elders. As the enemy unleashed a barrage of rocket-propelled grenade, mortar and machine gun fire, Captain Swenson immediately returned fire and coordinated and directed the response of his Afghan Border Police, while simultaneously calling in suppressive artillery fire and aviation support. After the enemy effectively flanked Coalition Forces, Captain Swenson repeatedly called for smoke to cover the withdrawal of the forward elements. Surrounded on three sides by enemy forces inflicting effective and accurate fire, Captain Swenson coordinated air assets, indirect fire support and medical evacuation helicopter support to allow for the evacuation of the wounded. Captain Swenson ignored enemy radio transmissions demanding surrender and maneuvered uncovered to render medical aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Captain Swenson stopped administering aid long enough to throw a grenade at approaching enemy forces, before assisting with moving the soldier for air evacuation. With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the wounded and search for four missing comrades. After using aviation support to mark locations of fallen and wounded comrades, it became clear that ground recovery of the fallen was required due to heavy enemy fire on helicopter landing zones. Captain Swenson’s team returned to the kill zone another time in a Humvee. Captain Swenson voluntarily exited the vehicle, exposing himself to enemy fire, to locate and recover three fallen Marines and one fallen Navy corpsman. His exceptional leadership and stout resistance against the enemy during six hours of continuous fighting rallied his teammates and effectively disrupted the enemy’s assault. Captain William D. Swenson’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Task Force Phoenix, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and the United States Army.

H/T to Daddy Bear’s Den