Monday, January 6, 2014

An Epic Expression of Failed COIN Strategy; Fallujah falls to Al Qaida Factions.

For the better part of five years, I have been decrying the unconscionable use of the historically failed strategy of Counter Insurgency (COIN) in the midst of an ideological monolithic culture; principally of Islam.

In the past few days and just two years after the final elements of US forces withdrew from Iraq, stories are emerging, bringing to completion the seemingly prophetic message I and others warned of two years ago; that Al Anbar has fallen back into Al Qaida hands with a self-neutered Iraq government seemingly powerless to stop it. I also made the case, then, that Al Anbar was not won by General Petraeus' conjuring up the spirit of COIN specifically, but by the infusion of some 30,000 American uniforms into the region.

This process is more akin to the scientific theory of displacement than battlefield strategy. If you fill a region with men bearing one set of Colors, the unit marching under a different Banner, will be forced to displace - and they did. The effort to liberate Fallujah, twice, yielded a temporary reprieve for the non-combatants living there which now seems to have been reversed with Al Qaida and other like-minded cells and tribal components, retaking that city and Ramadi.

What is so damnably frustrating about this is that too many of us to list, foretold of this, years ago. And if there were any left in this country who still held onto the belief that either our civilian leadership or the left-listing General Grade Officers which populate the upper echelon of our Military structure were somehow visionaries and intellectuals, this latest manifestation of a failure of foresight should hopefully drive a spike through the heart of that lingering belief.

Not once - but twice, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers were asked to lay down their lives, "liberating" Al Anbar and most specifically, Fallujah; the second time being tightly restrained by the rigid ROE (Rules of Engagement) borne of the incomprehensibly idiotic paradigm of COIN! And now, two years later, that effort and all that blood, proves to have been for naught!

My argument against applying the rigid stricture of COIN - on any battlefield was multi-faceted and immutable. First, if the hope of armed conflict is to convince your enemy of the futility of continuing on his chosen path then historically it has failed to some degree or another, each and every time it has been employed.

Second, the principle reason for dragging it out of the dusty archives of failed ideas has been the desire to mitigate collateral damage among the "innocent" population. The Pentagon assigned that misnomer to the Iraqi and Afghan populations due to a very poorly managed assessment of the human terrain in both countries which concluded the general population was innocent and not party to the calamity that was their culture. This assumption was made possible due to a systemic ignorance of the dominating religion and its likely effect on the daily actions of the people or their potential sympathies with the "insurgency".

Third, it is not our place, constitutionally or even morally, to save any people from themselves. Civil wars and internal strife are, by definition, internal. In our haste to re-establish some semblance of order in a country we had invaded, choices were made which changed the dynamics of the balance of power, giving control to the Shiite majority, placing that nation in league with Iran and at odds with Al Qaida which is principally Sunni.

It is clear, these years later, that Al Qaida and the Sunni population in Iraq do not intend to sit idly by, allowing the status quo to stand. Attacking Al Anbar, taking Fallujah and the capital, Ramadi, sends a clear message to Baghdad. It also should cause the "dead" in DC to take note. Where there were assurances made about the strategy shift to COIN and the naïve compartmentalization of Iraqi society during the war, it ought to be crystal clear now that those assumptions were wrought with error. It should also be clear that interfering in another nation's governmental business or trying to fix a perceived problem in that regard can yield unintended consequences.

Our only legitimate reason for our incursion into Iraq was to stop Saddam Hussein from building, stockpiling and using "weapons of mass destruction" which every single intelligence agency agreed, was the case and a clear and present danger to the US and our western allies. It is entirely incidental to the argument that those weapons were not found after the initial incursion. As history mockingly reminds us, waiting 6 months to carry out the threat of a military strike, gives ample time for the intended target to redistribute war materiel and in this case the WMD's which gave impetus to the incursion in the first place. The Monday morning quarterbacking that has taken place since those early years of that war, has been shamelessly enjoined by specific political figures for political gain. In recent months, it has become evident that at least some of those weapons components and systems may well have been transported to Syria, as suspected years ago.

The point being, if those weapons existed as multiple intelligence agencies, reported, then that was the only possible legitimate reason for the initial incursion. Being as Saddam Hussein and his government were of Iraq, it fell to the Iraqi people to change the political structure in Iraq and destroy those weapons, IF, they truly felt building and keeping them was wrong. There remains only two legitimate reasons why they didn’t act; cowardice or collusion. Our concerns early on should have factored in those two possibilities and come to the only conclusion one can, it is not our place to imbue on a people our hope for them, but rather to accept them for what they are, finish the mission utilizing a strategy with the greatest hope for success and then come home.

Having tried yet one more time to re-envision the ideological genetics of a people and then modify sound battlefield tactics to accommodate that vision, we are now seeing, one more time how that effort can fail. As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. No amount of hoping or conjuring or beneficent pandering to a people ideologically aligned against you will change their minds or their adherence to their ideology, even if that ideology has helped cause their misery.

Every effort to minimize damage among the civilian population through the unreasonably rigid tenets of COIN which by design, place our American born War Fighters; our Sons and Daughters, at exponentially increased risk, was both immoral and unconstitutional! The simple answer for the security of the Iraqi people was something that should have happened before it was deemed necessary to attack them - they should have revolted! The truth is that the condition of any nation is the primary responsibility of the people who bear its name. To that end, the Iraqi people failed, and are failing once again after we wrongly wasted the blood of our current generation to do something that was not our business; sparing the lives of a people who hate us ideologically!

This conversation needs to happen right now, even as this Administration has committed troops to Sudan, has made the effort to commit resources to Syria, continues to flounder in Libya, is attempting to negotiate reason in Iran, has inserted itself into the Israeli/"Palestinian" conflict and is still puzzling over Egypt.

Clearly the Administration is fighting with one academic arm tied behind its back and is sending folks holding diplomatic credentials who are equally challenged when it comes to understanding the complexities of Islamic culture and Islamic doctrine.

These continued ill-advised efforts to massage the troubles of cultures in the Islamic world are proceeding with bad advice about those cultures and their religion and continue to threaten the well-being of American War Fighters who are continually compelled to act as a highly restricted police force rather than this nation's Warrior Guard.

We have literally wasted the lives and the wellbeing of far too many of this generation, chasing after something that cannot be achieved; improved relations with a people who will only be satisfied when the last vestige of Infidel's corpses are rotting in the ground.

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Benghazi Disaster reduced to Definitions of Affiliation, Ideology and Philology, with the Shameless Intent of Giving Cover to the White House.

The controversy ignited by the latest story emanating from the decaying carcass that is the New York Times and it's writer, David Kirkpatrick, playing the amateur philologist on NBC's "Meet the Press", magnifies the ludicrousness of political discourse in the second decade of this twenty first century. In one of the most nauseating displays of familial fawning to date, David Gregory all but kissed Kirkpatrick for the dubious conclusions drawn from his investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack.

The centerpiece of Kirkpatrick's report is his conclusion about whether or not Ansar Al Sharia was in fact affiliated with or led by Al Qaida agents. He draws his conclusion, which conflicts with standing testimony and conclusions in DC, from "months of interviews conducted by the New York Times". He also concluded that the attack itself, while conducted by a small disparate, unconnected militant group, was in fact launched in retaliation for the now famed YouTube video about Mohammed.

The two things which dissolve the credibility of his conclusions and NYT's investigation are the amount of time that had transpired between the date of the attack and the interviews and his counter claim about the affect of the video tape.. Clearly the interviews had taken place some months after the attack and certainly far enough removed to give the interviewees an opportunity to fine tune their comments utilizing information gleaned from the internet and other venues thereby making the content of those interviews unreliable.

Second, the claim that the video was the reason for the attack, even hours after the attack was unbelievable given that the video had only been viewed by a particularly small number of people anywhere in the world, much less from the war torn wasteland that is Libya.

Predictably, Kirkpatrick launched into a diatribe on the practical use of the word affiliation saying that it can mean different things to different people. Of course he was trying to drive a spike in the heart of the allegation that the militants who attacked the Benghazi compound were "affiliated" with Al Qaida. What is so spectacularly unintelligible about this point is that it had been determined during Libya's revolution that Al Qaida agents were helping and coordinating efforts during that fight. To suggest they simply abandoned the effort after the fact defies logic; making this a focal point of his conclusions does nothing to bolster his credibility or that of those months of NYT interviews.

The more important indication of an apparent affiliation with Al Qaida was apparently not obvious to Kirkpatrick and it may well be because he has never sullied himself in a uniform and therefore has little practical understanding of military strategy, alliances and affiliations. He also seems to have missed the fact that anyone adhering to an established religious doctrine, at least academically, forges an unspoken alliance with likeminded adherents to include any divine exhortations to action. His dismissal of the affiliation charge clearly indicates his having discounted the years of investigation, messaging interception and ground reconnaissance which has placed Al Qaida in the midst of far more militant cells and specific attacks than any of us would like. His dismissal of Ansar Al Sharia as a first hand, trained, ideological affiliate, frankly, belies his political leanings more than his investigative gut about the likelihood of such an affiliation given the years of collective action by Al Qaida nearly everywhere in the world.

His assertions that Ansar Al Sharia was not "affiliated" with Al Qaida central simply because NYT's late-to-the-game interviews indicated so, puts the entirety of history on its head. Using his logic, The United States effort in the European Theater in WW II, was a unilateral act by virtue of our not being "of Britain". In addition he either doesn't understand the difference between a temporary, military alliance between member nations and an ideological coupling or, was determined to lose his audience in the fog of semantics for another purpose; I respectfully suggest the latter and David Gregory, was more than happy to accommodate him in this most dubious effort by not questioning him on anything tangential to the story.

For instance, even if Ansar Al Sharia was neither ideologically nor legally bound to Al Qaida, it still does not explain why Ambassador Stevens was some thirteen hours away from his appointed place of duty, in Tripoli, meeting with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin an hour before the attack. Every story printed or spewed across transmission lines and satellite signals has managed to omit any discussion about this meeting some thirteen hours away from the United States Embassy in Tripoli, across very hazardous roads and in the midst of a very unstable Benghazi and even Congressman Darrell Issa, neglected to mention this when afforded the opportunity to counter Kirkpatrick's claims.

The lack of forthrightness by the Administration over these many months indicate the attack itself served more as a convenient cover for the White House and whatever else was going on in Benghazi that night and in the weeks prior, than it did for Ansar Al Sharia or Al Qaida.

This is the true travesty of this event; that something untoward or illegal was underway at the compound in Benghazi and is being conveniently sidelined by lesser "concerns". It is equally appalling that after 14 years of intense, national exposure to this same enemy and his ideology that we cannot muster a simple majority in Congress which agrees, at least fundamentally, that the ideology that links all of these cells together with some member states like Iran and Libya could give impetus for these unprovoked attacks.

It seems some men cannot help themselves but to continue to give more credence to the actions of men than the doctrines of their 'gods' which compel those actions. It is also clear that the academic investment necessary to truly understand this simple point will never be made at the behest of any Federal agency even though it provides a very specific and accurate understanding of the "why" in these attacks. At least an honest academic debate about Islam would help render a more coherent statement than the mushy love-fest we witnessed this past Sunday on Meet the Press. It might also take this part of the discussion off the table long enough for Congress to ask the truly important questions, like what the CIA was up to in Benghazi, what compelled Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya, to meet with a Turkish Emissary thirteen hours away from the Embassy, what connection there might be between this event and the Libyan flagged Vessel Al Entisar laden with ill-gotten weapons just weeks before the attack.

You know, little things that actually affect US National Security and any vestige of righteousness which might yet remain in the United States of America.

And why does this matter? Because somewhere in the musty corners of this misguided Administration festers the next vile plan which includes the unwarranted killing of more American Service members for some yet to be revealed and dubious effort.

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Reason in the Age of the Flail-Ex


I once heard a quote attributed to Aristotle that says; "The Law is Reason, Free from Passion". While this may be the theoretical desired handling of legal matters, it is never-the-less apparent that only a percentage of any given legal and political population actually practices this.

What we have been witnessing is an era in which the sitting political party has displayed Compassion, Free from Reason. In their effort to "solve" some of the more troubling issues present in all cultures, those of our left-listing brothers and sisters have chosen, rather to adopt a stance known as the "flail-ex".

The Flail-Ex (flailing exercise) is defined as the natural response by some to the recognition of a condition, problem or symptom of a general breakdown in what they consider the natural order. It is characterized by a simple wringing of hands to the more flamboyant flailing of arms and legs accompanied by verbal outbursts of hysteric utterances generally exclaiming; "Oh God, Oh God, what are we to do?"

What typically follows are emotional remonstrances leading to not very well thought out edicts, legislation and restrictions which always come with a heavy price tag and almost never solve the actual problem.  The Affordable Care Act aka ACA, aka Obamacare is nothing more than the most recent example of this.  The ACA is the spasmodic attempt to rectify a perceived shortcoming in health insurance among the poor which the flailer defines as a lack of health care.

The left is always trying to solve the problem of poverty and while that desire is commendable, what is not is their insistence that if you disagree with their proposals, you are simply dispassionate and hateful.  It is also curious that they insist on oversimplifying the issue by determining poverty exists because of a disproportionate distribution of "wealth" as though it is a natural resource mined from a finite source within the earth.

But the most relevant reason they seem intent to tear down our entire society and reconstruct it, is because their perception of poverty is diametrically opposed to those thinking with the other side of the brain.

Poverty for the conservative minded individual is a temporary condition which may require reconsideration of how you conduct your business to improve your lot in life while the liberal sees poverty as an incurable disease, like cancer, which also requires an eternal injection of money into each individual case.

The result of the enactment of the several programs flinched into existence to reactively "treat" poverty is several generations of people who have come to believe their condition is in fact incurable and that it is someone else's responsibility to simply carry them - not help them. The sitting party has done a remarkable job convincing the ever burgeoning, left-listing voting block to keep them in power simply by promising to give them that continual infusion of money and trinkets as an answer to their "incurable" condition.

This same inexplicably corrupted vision of both the human and cultural condition affects every vestige of thought and vision as the liberal mind looks around the globe. It has certainly affected our foreign policy and especially as it affects conduct on these current battlefields.

Within 6 months of the World Trade Center attack, the flailers were already mounting arguments that the culprits were not in fact Al Qaida agents but the US government which detonated pre-staged explosives at least in building 7. That particular theory never fully explained how the aircraft which hit the towers managed to be on site precisely at the moment the government determined to detonate their treasonous load but that was hardly important. What was important was insuring that a spark of doubt was placed within the minds of those voters most likely to buy into the theory and do one of two things; sit out elections or vote for the other party. While the momentum of anger toward our Islamic brethren fueled the conservative voting block in the short run, by the end of George Bush's second term, the conservatives were prepared to sit one out while the flail-ex crowd, was energized.

At about the same time complaints began emitting from various segments of society decrying the unreasonable and hate filled speech toward the Ummah. As time has marched on, those complaints have found a home in all of the suspect acronym bearing "human rights" organizations which have since worked overtime to correct any actual or perceived injustices done to the Ummah by out of control Americans seeking justice. These complaints also found a willing ear in a new President in November of 2008 and the damage that combination has yielded has bled out a generation both figuratively and literally.

Recently concerns have been raised that Muslim G-Grade Officers were being assigned positions within the Pentagon; the concern being that a Muslim Officer, could incongruously affect policy that will affect future strategy and ROE decisions for our War Fighters in future engagements. What these concerns fail to consider is that it had already happened during President Obama's first year in Office.

The flail-ex created by the perceived irrational national distrust of Islam and its adherents found its way into the DOD and compromised the proper decision making ability of the then Deputy Secretary of Defense who inserted himself into an assessment process designed to reconsider our posture in Afghanistan. The result was a "cleansed" assessment which produced a highly controversial strategy, Counter Insurgency which always yields a lethal ROE. The number of tragedies associated with the introduction of COIN and its natural child, a rigid ROE are too numerous to name and I have written about them in previous entries spanning the past nearly five years.

Another example of Passion without Reason is General Amos reacting out of irrational anger and trying to influence the actions of the JAG Officers responsible for investigating and eventually trying the USMC Snipers accused of urinating on the corpses of the demonically inspired enemy they had killed in an earlier engagement.

Would any Marine Corps Officer lash out irresponsibly and unprofessionally at men in his command for a perceived breach in ethics like this under normal circumstances? Unlikely, but add the tension introduced into the situation by the wailing and flailing crowd who hold the bodies of a gaggle of dead, non-uniformed dirt bags over that of the well-being of American Marines facing the inhuman acts of these 7th century heathens and you have the recipe for yet one more example of passion running amok, dictating political and legal action to the detriment of those these very institutions should naturally hope to defend.

Frankly I couldn't care less how the health care debacle turns out in the short run. The fact is, the present model is as unsustainable as the present application of Social Security funding and both will fall into disarray if our current crop of DC Miscreants doesn't get their several parts wired straight.

But I do care about the unhinged meanderings of the flail-ex crowd because without Reason, there is little hope that either their hysteria or their reactive legislation will produce anything of lasting value. In the case of decisions being made within the Pentagon based on veiled whispers emanating from the White House and their appointees, the end result has been and will continue to be devastating for the several Services and those who serve.

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Are we Seriously Still Stumping to Bomb Assad Even With Apparent Evidentiary Contradiction?


Even with a clear 70% of Americans polled saying they don't want the US involved in the Syrian civil war - even to stifle alleged chemical weapons usage by the Assad Regime, President Obama and his entourage of faithful servants are pressing on anyway.

One of the few truly staunch allies we have, Great Britain voted to stay away from the controversial subject in its entirety giving David Cameron a tough job; telling Obama he was going to have to follow the will of the British Parliament.

Maybe President Obama should take a lesson from his contemporary in merry ole' England.

As you look at this try to consider the motivations for such an attack. For Assad, there isn't one. The Regime has clearly made substantial gains in their effort to crush the rebellion. In addition, President Obama and the world, really, have made it clear that the introduction of chemical weapons would be a game changer and not one that would favor Assad or his Regime.

On the other hand, the Rebels have everything to gain from any evidence of chemical weaponry. It really doesn't matter whether the Regime, the Rebels or some third party agency is responsible, this Administration has made it clear for at least a year that they have wanted to arm the Rebels and would strongly favor a Regime change in Syria.

The Saudis, whom the AP story implicates, are largely Salafist (Sunni) and thus unnatural enemies of Assad who is Shiite and "stranger" in the larger Sunni population of Syria. Being as Iran favors Assad, Saudi Arabia's natural proclivity is to oppose him. Should he prevail against the rebellion and remain unchallenged by outside forces, the generous help offered by Iran and their ally, Russia, could by Saudi measure destabilize the region; a fact that is still not a good enough motivation for a US attack. The reality is, whether Sunni, Shiite, Salafist, Wahhabi, True Soldier or Apostate, any Islamic-centric nation in the region will remain unfriendly to the US and to Israel and until they pose an overt and existential threat to the US, we have no horse in the Syrian's unseemly race.

The absence of National Security issues aside, the problem for the White House is its lack of proof, or at least a persuasive argument in the light of conflicting reporting by the AP and scientific proof presented by Russia both of which place the blame for the chemical introduction of Sarin on the Syrian Rebel forces.

The AP report includes conversations with Rebels and family members both accepting blame for the release while castigating Saudi Intel agents they claim gave them the weapons without actually telling them what they were or how to employ them. In fact, the Rebels told the AP reporter that the release was accidental.

In the Russian report, Scientists gutted the Administration's claims by providing information about the nature of the delivery system as well as the explosive - neither of which, they said, were elements commonly found in the kinds of chemical weapons found in the Syrian arsenal. They followed up by stating that those elements were typical in the kinds of weapons used by the Rebels.

If you will recall, the UN Inspectors had originally entered Syria to follow up on allegations that the Rebels had in fact fired chemical weapons in the first place. And we should keep in mind that they dismissed the allegations having only been on the ground for many hours and then cast their own allegations against the Assad Regime - without ever having reached the site of the attack to collect samples.

We should also keep in mind that the Rebel forces in Syria are largely infiltrated by and in some cases led by, Al Qaida operatives as the Rebel forces in Libya were during their civil war.

You know; Al Qaida. The same Al Qaida we have been fighting for the past 14 years and who everyone in DC blamed for the attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.

That fact alone should give every red-blooded American pause. Do we really want to sidle up to the very people who launched a bloody assault on American citizens, on US soil and who are partly responsible for the deaths of several thousand American Service Members and Allied and NATO members these past 14 years?

For those who don't see any particular conflict with this; fighting them in one theater while arming them in another, take a closer look at this Al Qaida saturated rebel force and their sense of fair play on the battlefield. If anyone can still justify supporting these cretins in any way; materially, financially, morally or militarily, there probably isn't anything that will dissuade you.

Speaking of troubling, the vociferous and theatrical spewings of John Kerry would cause Shakespeare to convulse. The fact that he is supporting a strike on Assad should cause all Americans to question the validity of the Administration's claims. Let's face it, Kerry has not exactly been consistent throughout his years in the public arena. His own Service time has been marred by claims made by hundreds of his fellow Service members whose collective memories of his service time differs greatly from what Kerry has told us. In the years following his release from Active Service, Kerry was a clear detractor of our involvement in Vietnam. Decades later, he challenged George W. Bush on Iraq using the some of the very arguments we are using to challenge him on Syria, today.

Based on his retorts, Kerry doesn't like being challenged.

John McCain's little faux pas with an Iphone during hearings this week didn't draw much more than a wink and a bit of pleasant joking from either the mainstream media personalities or, sadly, McCain himself. Considering it is McCain who is campaigning to send America's Sons and Daughters into the midst of a civil war, raging in another Islamic nation with still no discernible plan, makes his dismissive attitude that much more disgusting! I can tell you if a Staff Non Commissioned Officer or even a Private acted this way during an operational briefing, the flame protruding from the rear area of their trousers would be burning brightly weeks after the application of Non Judicial Punishment and healthy dose of attention getting additional duty.

As is so typical with this Administration, there are far too many questions unanswered and far too many entangled entities to be able to declare so definitively that the Assad Regime which had the most to lose in this, is guilty.

And if this is truly that complicated, how is it that this President, his Administration and apparently a growing fan base in Congress is so convinced that striking out at anyone, at this stage will provide the "encouragement" the strike is intended to provide?

And if they are wrong, how does this not give impetus for the Assad Regime, Iran and even Russia to retaliate in some fundamental way against US forces in the region, and Israel.

And is the American population going to stand for one more blunder by an Administration that is defined by incompetence in Foreign Policy?

Semper Fidelis;
John Bernard
 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Does the; "The World will be Better Without Him…" Argument Still Work as We Approach the Hour of Inevitable Intervention in Syria?


Incredible! Even as United States Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Coastguardsmen continue to be sacrificed in Afghanistan for a failed understanding of that culture, we are speeding toward the likelihood of doing the same in Syria.

Yes; the Administration has repeated the mantra; 'no boots on the ground' until I can hardly sleep without hearing it, but, that was also what was supposed to give us peace of mind as we intervened in Libya.

Remember Libya?

We were chided by the "save the world folks" that the Rebels in Libya simply wanted "peace" and "freedom" even though we knew they were littered with Al Qaida operatives.

Libya.

It is approaching one year ago that the CIA black house in Benghazi was hit - by Libyan rebel elements whom, we were told, would be grateful for our intervention or at least, that was the premise.

Four dead Americans later and not one single question answered, and this nation herds its way toward yet one more intervention in yet one more fundamentalist Islamic culture sans any evidence that we have learned a thing about the driving force in all of these cultures; the religion!

And make no mistake about it; the religion is key!

If you are a person who thinks religion doesn't matter, then you are a person not given to a religion or who has lost understanding of your own. Our God(s) instruct us, direct us, compel us. We are given to their admonishments and exhortations, led by their Pastors, Teachers, Rabbis, Clerics, Imams, Leaders and we willingly conform to the image of the one God we claim to serve.

If the God of that religion teaches compassion, we will strive to be compassionate. If that God displays anger and violence or even instructs his followers to propagate by the sword, we are very likely to comply.

Choosing to ignore a person's religion or his adherence to it is both insulting to him and foolish. A man given to his God is someone whose character and walk is disciplined by his teaching and compelled to act on his commands. It is both an act of faith and a sense of responsibility. It is internal, external, eternal and all encompassing. Even when that person seems not to exude the nature of his God or to be living the perceived teachings of his religion, he is never-the-less, personally hounded by the knowledge that he has fallen short and is content to change even the midst of "moral" failure.

So how is it that the 'best and brightest' in our government can't seem to comprehend this? Why would military strategists intentionally ignore so vital a piece of information about the enemy they are about to face? When in history have men ever purposefully suppressed information about a man's religious proclivities? And most important; why would the citizens of, arguably, the strongest nation in the world not demand that its elected leadership do a better job of assessing its enemies before embarking on an adventure that will surely lead to the shedding of the blood of its Sons and Daughters?

The answer is simple; the people have become lax and far too many no longer hold to any principles steeped in the teachings of the God of their Fathers. We are a people without a compass and sadly, without an historical perspective of our current enemies. Many in this nation carry with them a sense of compassion but compassion by itself can be a deadly and foolishly applied emotion if not followed up by "personal" action. If a person feels so compassionately about something, they should feel compelled to act accordingly - and personally! If you truly believe intervention on the part of the "innocents" in Syria is of paramount importance, then prove it; mount an aircraft bound for the Turkish/Syrian border and help, don't demand that this government send in War Fighters whose religion is denied them and who have been denied the right of self-defense. If you feel morally bound to help those "innocents"; then go if you are so convinced.

My point; there has been a growing concern about Syria and the "innocents" there without a corresponding understanding of the government, the makeup and belief of the rebel forces or even the "innocent civilians" our actions are purported to help.

Do we actually "know" who the bad guy is in this fight? How is it we can be so certain that the "good guys", are good; measured by their perception of us and their future plans, based on their religious convictions about interpersonal, interfaith and international relations? Even as the "innocents" who have been rushing toward the Turkish border were pleading for our help, they were also defiantly clear, 'don't send in your troops'. There were also embedded threats that inaction would likely turn the "good guys" into bad guys.

So how good is good, if it can so easily be turned into bad? Isn't this beginning to sound, just a little, like Libya 2.0?

The only supportive evidence that Chemicals were used has been in the form of Administration commentary ending with "trust me". Keep in mind that the UN, at least initially, was responding to accusations that the Rebels had used these weapons. One day later, without any definitive evidence and having not reached the site of the attack, the UN had predictably changed its tune and lodged accusations of their own against the Regime. As of this writing, there still isn't any hard evidence of a chemical, or which chemical or the delivery method or even the culprit.

And yet, there remains a strong and steady voice to intervene, militarily; a voice that says; "send them - not me". And even if the Administration's tarot cards are correct, the truth is we cannot know what the unintended consequences will be once we unleash one or many Cruise Missiles into another sovereign and fundamentalist Islamic land; keeping in mind that the internal strife in Syria is not a clear and present danger to the US….And knowing we possess not the will to fight definitively!

For as we now know by gleaning our recent history, in Libya, our War Fighters can wind up paying a price for our willful blindness of the more egregious doctrines of a religion we have so vehemently scrubbed from our assessments of this enemy.

So, should we feel compassion when women and children and the aged suffer during combat? The answer is, yes. But that is not the question to be asked in this instance. Rather the question is whether our compassion should lead to unstudied, unshackled, historically voided aggressive action against someone - anyone, in our knee-jerk attempt to stop ravages against an element of society we have deemed, innocent. For as we have seen in Afghanistan, parsing the good from the bad, the innocent from the guilty, those deserving of our compassion from those deserving of our wrath, is no easy task and far too often we get it wrong.

Until the time comes that we are ready to again come to terms with what we have always declared to be our religious heritage and until we decide to make proper and complete assessments of our enemies, we will continue to make decisions based neither in morality or historical fact and we will continue to flounder as a legitimate military force in the world.

And our War Fighters will continue to pay the price for our arrogance, our ignorance and the selfish demands of people who do not possess the courage or tenacity to send themselves.
Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why are the President and Members of Congress Giving Aid and Comfort to Known Enemies of the United States?


This is a good question and one that no one in the media seems willing to ask. Even Fox news seems ambivalent, rather skirting the issue in favor of more…"compassionate" questions.

We have known for a long time that Al Qaida has been an integral influence within the Syrian Rebel forces in much the same way they were, in Libya. If you will recall, the very same DC voices played down the likely effect of Al Qaida's particular virulent influence on the people of Libya and look how well that worked out.

Allegations of atrocities against non-combatants in Syria have been leveled against rebel forces and the sitting government alike and none any more horrifying than those committed against the Christian community in Homs and yet John McCain, Lindsey Graham, this President and a legion of followers remained silent about that. Only when it seemed plausible that Assad's regime might be complicit in bloody acts against the mainstream Muslim community there, have any of these fine upstanding "servants" bothered to show concern.

When they drew the "red line" at the use of chemical weapons, it seems they began to work overtime to insure some evidence could be found. Even before trusted agents of the UN determined that some small amount of chemical (possibly Sarin), was used against the "innocents" in Syria, the administration was busy elevating the rhetoric and the effort to "educate" the American population about the horrors of the Assad regime and heartbreaking "fight for freedom" of the brave rebel forces.

What is really irksome, is that we have been hearing this same mantra for years now and in every single case, the Administration has been proven wrong in all of their estimates of who have been populating these rebellions and what their core desires were.

In Egypt, we were virtually guaranteed that the people simply wanted to rid themselves of a barbaric Mubarak regime which had oppressed its people for decades; that they simply wanted Democracy. We were also all but guaranteed that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a political entity and did not have political aspirations. When the MB fielded its candidate, we were then told the people would never get behind a fundamentalist candidate, much less an MB agent and that the society in Egypt was really much more secular.

All these months later and what has grown out of that particular misjudgment or Administration deception, is a Morsi Presidency, with the real face of the MB exposed and clearly a population which leans far more to the fundamentals of its insidious state religion, than we were told. The Copt community has suffered at least as much since, as before with almost no discernible concern from either the Administration or the likes of McCain, Graham and their like-minded counterparts in Congress.

We were also guaranteed that Al Qaida's influence on the rebel factions in Libya was minimal and that those fine folks simply wanted Democracy. To date; that new "government" has proven to be impotent. Let's recall that US Embassy security was supplied by the little known, Blue Mountain Group, a British firm who, essentially, subcontracted to a Libyan Security firm, manned largely by former Libyan Rebels who were, infiltrated by Al Qaida and who were carrying weapons without ammunition per US mandate!

Are you feeling better or worse about our prospects in Syria?

From Tunisia, to Algeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Egypt, the one common denominator has been this Administration's astounding ability to get it wrong, every single time. Why is anyone under the impression that they have it right this time?

Why is there anyone left, given the endless bloodletting by all sides in every one of these internal disasters, with any hope that the Obama administration or McCain, Graham, Congress or any element in any one of these poor excuses for elections can possibly get it right?

Why isn't Congress asking the right questions about Benghazi? Why are they so easily distracted, almost hopefully so, from the single investigation that could bring it all crashing down?

The reason is because if they clarify the why, it will ultimately lead to questions about this Administration's understanding of the enemy and his religion. This will then logically lead to questions about the true motivations for defending the indefensible, and so willingly casting the lives of America's Forces so callously into harm's way.

Benghazi is the lynch pin in this Administration's perverted wagon train of deception and following ill-conceived battle strategy; take out Benghazi and every single related foreign policy venture becomes questionable.

Could it actually be that Smedley D. Butler was correct in his summation of the motivation for war? Could it really be that simplistic - and evil that it is far more profitable to stay at war, than to end it, with ferocity and determination?

Could it be that this President is so emotionally compromised, having been abandoned by both Fathers that he has been left to seek solace in the only vestige of paternal memory he has left; Islam? Could this be why he is so determined to convince us that our eyes and ears cannot be trusted; that the atrocities and endless ravages against Western society by Islamic forces are mere aberrations in the midst of an otherwise stable, loving, peaceful ideology?

Could it be the convergence of the very worst of two polluted motivations; the mentally ill and the morally corrupt?

What is certain is while there is very little evidence that Congress is going to get this right. I firmly believe they are as morally compromised as this President is mentally and emotionally challenged by his experiences growing up in a broken home.

There is zero justification for having abandoned Americans under siege in the wasteland known as Libya. There is not one single bright spot in this debacle that isn't centered on the selfless and heroic acts of two Navy SEALs. Literally everyone else in this story is tainted in one fashion or another and because those who have so willingly compromised their names, their souls, and American security, they have left the door open for yet one more grave mistake, in Syria.

We know the Rebels in Syria are littered with Al Qaida agents. We have known this for months. We know Al Qaida and their affiliates, hate the United States and our Western Allies. Abandoning them to their fate - wherever that might be seems the most logical choice; supporting them with arms is both counterintuitive and even treasonous.

For those who have not grappled with this next question, let me help you; the United States of America is a unique culture. We are not the world's fighting force we are not obligated to secure life and liberty for the blood-lusting cultures of the world. Whether Syria's present government stands or falls, is of little security concern for the United States right now. What is certain is that Al Qaida and it's agents are a clear and present danger to the United States and our holdings.

Supporting them has not proven to be a sound decision; supporting them in Syria makes even less sense.

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Friday, June 14, 2013

Benghazi, Agency Scandals and Syria; The Most Perverted Shell Game Yet.


The stories of government agency corruption and the blurring of Constitutional guidelines has certainly caused a storm of consternation and outright anger in the past many weeks. It seems each day has provided us with yet one more glimpse into the seedy world of a government which has clearly lost its way, and shed even the appearance of concern for maintaining the public trust.

While the debacle in Benghazi had dominated the national media stage for a few months, it was quickly shifted to the back burner to make room for far more salacious tales starring State Department appointees and prostitution as well as a litany of stories detailing every manner of corrupt behavior.

Learning that the IRS abused its power and deliberately targeted a groups with a very specific political leaning was just one more.  Certainly the American public has a right to be concerned when the single most powerful agency in government, shamelessly exerts its influence and authority against the very Americans it collects money from in order to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States".

It was as disconcerting to learn that the Department of Justice was gleaning Associated Press documents for who knows what purpose, as it was ironic that the media which has acted as a pro-bono ad agency for this Administration and its agencies, should take issue with this particular infringement on our Constitutional "Rights".

The NSA digital surveillance program really isn't news except to those who haven't been concerned about it since the last time it was discussed some 6 or 7 years ago. The fact is, that program really hasn't changed, it just happened to come to light again but this time in the midst of a list of other abuses of authority and power, levied during this seemingly teflon coated administration's second term.

There is no doubt that all of these things give reason for concern. It does however remain to be seen which, if any, of these things will be deemed to be truly illegal or unconstitutional if not arrogantly applied.

The real problem is, these things, while troubling have served a much darker purpose and it appears that purpose is now all but accomplished; Weapons to the Syrian Rebels.

It seems just a little too convenient that all of these "scandals" should appear on the scene right in the middle of Congressional hearings to determine exactly what happened in Benghazi. And being as Congress has yet to learn how to multi-task, they have been oh so easily side-tracked from that most important investigation to these sideshows. What this has managed to do is take the spotlight from Benghazi and away from any suggestion of Administration guilt in order to focus on what may be determined to be not much more than poor judgment in some cases and horrible supervision in others.

Since September 11, 2012, Benghazi has been a mine filled with potential evidence of wrong-headed vision, Administration malfeasance, upper echelon military incompetence, Pentagon and Administration collusion, Administration protectionism and a list of bald face lies.

Let's look back at the events just days before, during, and following the attack by members of the Al Qaida splinter group, Ansar Al Sharia on the compound in Benghazi:

1. August 30, 2012 - Jamaa Islamiya, a State Department-designated terrorist group, called for an assembly at the US Embassy in Cairo to protest the ongoing imprisonment of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman. This story was reported by USA Today, September 12th. If a reporting agency could find this information, it stands to reason intelligence agencies were already aware of it which means, the Embassy knew of it. If the Embassy knew of it, it also followed they willfully lied having released a statement which included language blaming the home-made video in California for instigating the protest. They, and the Administration continued to lie about the motivation for this protest and the attack in Benghazi - for weeks even though it was well established not to be a byproduct of a protest about a you tube video which only had a few hundred hits by the day of the attack.

2. September 6, 2012 - The Libyan-flagged vessel, Al-Entisar laden with weapons, docked at the Turkish port of Iskanderun, bound for the Syrian Rebels. The only active question is whether or not the Administration tasked either the CIA or other US agencies with collecting these weapons with the intent of circumventing the desire of Congress, to arm the Syrian Rebels.

3. September 11, 2012 - It has been reported that Ambassador Stevens met with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin just hours before the attack. One pertinent question is why a sitting US Ambassador to a very volatile Libya whose principle office is in Tripoli, risked driving thirteen hours through "indian country" to meet with a Turkish Emissary at what seems to have been a CIA black house?

4. September 25 2012 - President Obama speaks to the UN Council, in large part to recommend a resolution which would make any speech considered blasphemous to Islam or Islam's founder, Mohammed, illegal. It is important to know that President Obama had been collaborating with the OIC for some time prior to either the unrelated protest in Cairo or the attack in Benghazi. Diana West Provided some insight within hours of the session.

It is also important to recall that the President had already announced Al Qaida, essentially, irrelevant due to the effects of policies his Administration had operated under for nearly four years. Openly declaring that Ansar Al Sharia, a known Al Qaida affiliate had attacked the compound for reasons that would seem to suggest autonomy, unit cohesion, planning and commitment would cause this President and his Administration to look just a little foolish so close to an election.

Those Congressmen who have led the investigation into the events leading up to the attack and the abysmal failure of the Administration and high ranking military Officers to provide any kind of fire support or rescue operation during this entire seven hour fight seem to have become fixated on questions which would indicate the President and his cohorts acted as they did simply to buy time and win the election.

If this is the case, they are either incredibly narrow sighted, or politically motivated, themselves. The truth is, there was no single issue which motivated the Administration to act - or rather not act to defend the American personnel in Benghazi on 11 September 2012; there were several reasons not the least of which was a need to cover any suggestion of this Administration's attempts to funnel weapons to the Syrians without public scrutiny. Another reason was the need to protect the Administration's narrative about the disposition of Al Qaida.

There was one other reason, however, that has not received as much attention as it should and this may have carried as much weight as anything else; the need to build a pool of sympathy here in the United States for the Ummah and the support it would then lend President Obama's desire to see anti-blasphemy legislation enacted in the UN.

He has made his loyalties quite clear over these past years; Islam first, US security and the lives of War Fighters, second. And this is where a great disservice is being done to our Service Members right now.

For as we speak, there is every indication that this nation is poised to supply arms and munitions to the rebels in Syria, in spite of the fact they are associated with Al Qaida; in spite of the fact they have committed attrocities with religious zeal; in spite of the fact they are almost certainly responsible for the murder and disposition of the Christians in Homs and in spite of the fact the rebels are fundamentalists and doctrinally, no different than the sitting government.

The point being, there are no good guys, once again, in this fight. For once the smoke clears, whoever lands on top will hold within their hearts the very same animosity toward the US, the West and Israel, that the vanquished holds. Once again, President Obama has proven he either doesn't understand the fundamental influence of this religion on its followers or worse, he does and is acting to support them anyway. And what makes it even worse is that nearly every single sitting member in both chambers of Congress, are acting or, not acting, out of the same ignorance.

What these latest scandals have done, is to keep Congress, the Media and most of the Public focused on lesser things while allowing a true travesty, the debacle in Benghazi fall from view.

If Benghazi falls so far out of view that Congress and the people lose their desire to find out what truly happened, it will do nothing less than vindicate this sitting President's policies and his vision of Islam and neither of these will be good for our War Fighters.

As it seems almost certain that this country is poised to deliver weapons to a known enemy of the United States, it is also then highly likely that American troops will be asked to once again shed their blood on another sand swept, Islamic landscape working within the failed paradigm of Counter Insurgency doctrine and within the parameters of an ROE that continues to take American War Fighters lives.

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard