AP(!) reporter rakes State Department over the coals for double standards involving Israel(!!).

What’s more startling? That the State Department can’t keep its spin straight anymore? Or is it that the freaking Associated Press is now calling them on it?

…Associated Press reporter Matt Lee caught deputy State spokesman Mark Toner by surprise at a briefing this week. Lee asked about Saturday’s US bombing of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that left 22 patients and staff dead.

The administration has called the attack a tragic mistake. But Lee recalled Israel’s August 2014 shelling of a UN school in Gaza — which State immediately labeled “disgraceful,” adding: “The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.”

Lee asked: Does that policy still hold?

I mean, really, that’s a question with a heck of a lot of teeth to it.  Needless to say, the policy is neither still being held, nor abandoned; and that’s because the State Department doesn’t have one policy. It has two policies, or more accurately, standards: one for the Jews, and one for everybody else.  Although, admittedly, I would have said the same thing about the Associated Press.

Via Instapundit.

Let us stop pretending that the Iraq War was the Worst Thing Ever.

(Via Instapundit) This is a pet peeve of mine, and it got triggered by this otherwise not-as-bad-as-it-could-have been article on Obama’s Syria debacle (the NYT prefers the term ‘nightmare’):

American interventionism can have terrible consequences, as the Iraq war has demonstrated. But American non-interventionism can be equally devastating, as Syria illustrates.

Stop. Freeze-frame. Rewind.  Look at those two sentences. Also look at that word ‘equally,’ which means that the author of this piece wants his readers to conclude that there are two separate military situations here, each one of which was, well, equally disastrous. Continue reading Let us stop pretending that the Iraq War was the Worst Thing Ever.

Three things about this Bowe Bergdahl / Taliban prisoners swap.

Short version:  Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009.  Today, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reported that the US government had made arrangements via the government of Qatar to exchange five Taliban terrorists held at Gitmo for Sgt. Bergdahl. The swap was duly made and Sgt. Bergdahl is now on his way home.

I say the following fully respecting the fact that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl*and his family/loved ones might have an extremely understandably different opinion on the situation:

  1. The people we exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl will end up running terrorist operations in Afghanistan if we’re lucky, and Afghanistan and abroad if we are not. And they will likely be doing it considerably sooner than a year from now.
  2. The Taliban will step up their kidnapping campaigns, because from their point of view said campaigns have been proven to work.
  3. Democratic, liberal, and progressive partisans will freak if you point out either #1 or #2 to them.  That particularly smarmy freaking that the more obnoxious examples do when they think that they’ve got the moral drop on you.

Continue reading Three things about this Bowe Bergdahl / Taliban prisoners swap.

So what *should* the President do about the CIA officer his fumble-fingered staff outed?

I got a real easy answer to this one.

The White House has launched an investigation into who is responsible for mistakenly outing the top U.S. spy in Afghanistan over the weekend.

Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has asked the White House counsel Neil Eggleston to look into what happened and report back to him with recommendations on “how the administration can improve processes and make sure something like this does not happen again,” according to White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

Continue reading So what *should* the President do about the CIA officer his fumble-fingered staff outed?

Robert Gates inadvertently gives us a good look at @barackobama’s war insecurities.

I’m going to show my readers this paragraph, than walk them through it.  Background: it’s part of Robert Gates’ memoir on his time as SecDef. Specifically, Gates (with the help of the military brass) was trying to keep Afghanistan from sliding off of the beam under the new administration, and running headlong into the Obama administration’s apparent inherent inability to understand that wars are messy and not subject to control.

Oh, and the fact that the Democrats advising the President on military affairs were also, by and large, clueless idiots.  But you knew that already.

Anyway, after apparently trying one too many times to make the President understand that warfighters need support staff, Barack Obama threw a tantrum:

[JCS Chairman Admiral Michael] Mullen and I repeatedly discussed with the infuriated president what he regarded as military pressure on him. “Is it a lack of respect for me?” Obama asked us. “Are [Petraeus, McChrystal and Mullen] trying to box me in? I’ve tried to create an environment where all points of view can be expressed and have a robust debate. I’m prepared to devote any amount of time to it—however many hours or days. What is wrong? Is it the process? Are they suspicious of my politics? Do they resent that I never served in the military? Do they think because I’m young that I don’t see what they’re doing?”

Oh, dear. This is rather exquisite narcissism, isn’t it? – And no, not self-reflection, either. The President was ‘infuriated,’ remember? That suggests that the President took the entire thing personally, in precisely the way that one should not. It’s not the military’s fault that Barack Obama was not mentally prepared to be Commander in Chief. Neither is it their fault that Obama apparently does not take constructive criticism well.  Or at all. And it certainly isn’t their fault that the man thinks that the military updating their needs is somehow an indication that they dislike President Obama.

But I digress.

Continue reading Robert Gates inadvertently gives us a good look at @barackobama’s war insecurities.

Well, we cannot PROVE that Obama was fiddling as Camp Bastion burned. :pause: I GUESS.

So, last Friday 15 Taliban fighters managed to successfully [conduct] a raid where they traded 15 fighters for 2 dead US Marines, moderate to severe damage to the British-run Camp Bastion’s facilities… and 6 of our Harrier jump jets destroyed/2 damaged, which last is going to have severe consequences on our ability to conduct and support military operations in Afghanistan.  Despite the best efforts of Wired to suggest otherwise (H/T: AosHQ) this was NOT due to any stupid Youtube video.  I don’t care what the movies tell you, successful commando raids of this level  of sophistication and planning (the attackers wore American uniforms, had clear objectives, and met them) do not get thrown together and launched because a bunch of people without reliable electricity are upset about an online movie clip.  In short, last weekend we got an honest-to-God, no-fooling black eye that will eventually get more NATO troops dead.  Oh, and almost forgot!  Prince Harry is serving at Camp Bastion right now! So we almost had that to worry about. Continue reading Well, we cannot PROVE that Obama was fiddling as Camp Bastion burned. :pause: I GUESS.

Interesting article here. (Language warning)

Three lessons to take away from it.

  1. The AK-47, while an excellent automatic rifle, is perhaps not best-suited for keeping up the high standards of marksmanship and fire discipline that used to be ubiquitous in countries like, say, Afghanistan.  In fact, there is much to be said about the venerable Lee-Enfield in that regard.
  2. Do not fuck with the British Army, because they will drop a laser-guided Hellfire missile on you if you annoy them enough.
  3. Do not fuck with the British Army, because they will drop a laser-guided Hellfire missile on you if you annoy them enough.

To paraphrase Kryten from Red Dwarf: Now I realize that, technically speaking, those last two were only one lesson; but I thought it was such a big one, it was worth mentioning twice.

Via AoSHQ Headlines.

Moe Lane

PS: We will now pause to give everyone inclined to wage war over the statement “the AK-47 is an excellent automatic rifle” – pro and con – time to prepare.

Kicking the can that’s Afghanistan.

Well, it’s official: there will be no withdrawal from Afghanistan prior to the 2012 Presidential election.  Not that there will be a withdrawal from Afghanistan after the 2012 election, either – and I invite anyone who wants to argue that point to first remember how the closing of Gitmo went, or more accurately, didn’t – but there are rules to this game, and the first is to pretend that you believe the press releases.  NATO did President Obama a favor on his domestic front by endorsing a 2014 plan; I have no idea what the President gave up in exchange, but with any luck it was something that he should have been offering them anyway.  That’s one of the few advantages to having an administration as weak as this one is on foreign relations; expectations are, as they say, lowered.

If one is wondering why Reuters was reporting that no decision had been reached on a 2014 timeline hours before the President himself confirmed that a 2014 timeline decision had been reached (and a week after  it was reported {via @DavePoff} that a 2014 timeline solution had been reached), that’s actually easy to explain.  Reuters must have talked to an administration official affiliated with the antiwar movement.  Those poor unfortunates are locked out of any meaningful policy oversight and generally given the mushroom treatment; it’s no surprise that they end up with a generally skewed vision of the universe. Continue reading Kicking the can that’s Afghanistan.

#rsrh Jen Rubin enjoyed last week.

It shows.  This one was probably my favorite:

This is what an eloquent first lady’s writing looks like: “Though some Afghan leaders have condemned the violence and defended the rights of women, others maintain a complicit silence in hopes of achieving peace. But peace attained by compromising the rights of half of the population will not last. Offenses against women erode security for all Afghans — men and women. And a culture that tolerates injustice against one group of its people ultimately fails to respect and value all its citizens.” Yeah, I miss her too.

Who doesn’t?  Well, the antiwar movement, of course.  Then again, they hated the liberation of Afghanistan, too – so we already were aware of their lack of judgment*.

Moe Lane Continue reading #rsrh Jen Rubin enjoyed last week.

MoveOn.org Memory Holes ‘General Betray Us.’

Weasel Zippers has the details – and, more importantly, the screen shots: essentially, what happened was that MoveOn.org did a little cleanup once General Petraeus stopped being a would-be whipping boy for Senator Obama and started being President Obama’s last, best hope for not mucking up the Afghanistan war.  This behavior would normally cause cranial explosions in anyone with the slightest appreciation of irony: fortunately for MoveOn, they are comprised pretty exclusively of hardcore antiwar activists, which means that they are as dead to irony as they are to the sufferings of non-European-Americans during Republican Presidential administrations.

On the bright side: since they’ve repudiated their own ad, they shouldn’t mind at all revisions to it.  My humble effort, after the fold. Continue reading MoveOn.org Memory Holes ‘General Betray Us.’