Tweet of the Day, Things They Didn’t DARE Do Under George W. Bush edition.

Specifically: chemical gas attacks.

Once we had boots on the ground, anyway. You see, we used to have this policy: nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons were all classified as something called ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ or WMDs. If you used a WMD on us – or our buddies – we would respond in kind. And since it is American policy to only maintain war stocks of nukes, well… a lot of people figured out that it probably wasn’t safe to use any of that stuff while American troops were in the vicinity.  Bad luck, in an actuarial table sort of way.

But that was in the Good Old Days.

White House will try lecturing governors in conference call.

I know that they’re calling it something else: “The White House will hold a call with governors Tuesday evening about Syrian refugees as a growing number of state executives are saying they will not welcome resettling them in their states over terror concerns.”  But we’re all adults here, right? We can handle some plain-talking.  And the plain-talking here is that the best-case scenario for the White House here is that they can claim later that hey, guys, we tried.

The worst-case scenario being, mind you, that Barack Obama actually gets in on the conference call.  If that happens he’ll bounce the number of governors opposing our Syrian refugee asylum even higher than the 30 governors (CNN’s latest count) that are opposing it now.  The man has a positive gift for pouring gasoline on fires.

This Syrian Refugee Relocation thing is going to be the story of the week*.

Oh, this is entertaining, in its way: “More than half a dozen state governors have come out against President Obama’s plans to relocate several thousand Syrian refugees within the United States.”  Link is not to Think Progress; it’s to Memeorandum, which will lead you to TP.  Because I feel like being That Person, tonight.  Sorry.  …Well, no. Continue reading This Syrian Refugee Relocation thing is going to be the story of the week*.

Maggie Hassan doesn’t think she can win NH-SEN next year.

Seriously, this is pretty much diagnostic.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said the federal government should “halt acceptance” of Syrian refugees until U.S. authorities can assure the vetting process keeps Americans safe.

The governor’s position is a harder line on the issue than a statement from her office Monday morning, reflecting a growing concern among New Hampshire and U.S. elected leaders after the terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night.

Either that, or it reflects a growing concern among the Maggie Hassan for Senate campaign that taking a soft line would be effective political suicide next year. To the best of my knowledge, Gov. Hassan is practically unique in being a governor running for an elected office next year – but not as an incumbent. I wonder what she would have said if it was just her governor’s seat at risk. I wonder if she wonders, too. Continue reading Maggie Hassan doesn’t think she can win NH-SEN next year.

Welcome to Barack Obama’s Syrian War.

Ah, sorry: ‘conflict.’ That’s what we call wars when we don’t want to call them wars. It’s sort of a tradition, for Democrats: see Korea, Vietnam, and Serbia. At any rate: …and so it begins.

The White House will announce Friday that a small number of U.S. special operations forces will be sent into Syria, according to a senior U.S. official.

The senior U.S. official said that the forces will be stationed in northern Syria and work alongside groups with a proven track record of fighting ISIS. The move will be described as a “shift” but not a “change” in U.S. strategy against ISIS, the official added.

Continue reading Welcome to Barack Obama’s Syrian War.

Why the Obama administration can’t admit that we’re at war in Iraq and Syria.

So, last week we and the Kurds and the Iraqis – or the Kurds and the Iraqis and us – went and did a hostage rescue mission in Islamic State (IS) territory.  It was, by all accounts, a highly successful mission: hostages were freed, the base the hostages were in was then obliterated by the US Air Force, and ‘we*’ lost only one man to combat (Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler). As combat raids in a war zone go, this one ended very well.

Assuming, of course, you’re allowed to call it ‘combat,’ and you’re allowed to call it a ‘war.’ Which is to say: you’re not a member of the Obama administration. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, courtesy of Andrew Malcolm: Continue reading Why the Obama administration can’t admit that we’re at war in Iraq and Syria.

Some idiot Obama administration official opened his/her pie-hole on arming Syrian Kurds.


Last weekend, the White House announced that the U.S. had dropped 50 tons of ammunition to Syrian Arabs fighting the Islamic State. Some officials now say that the new Arab coalition was a front and that Kurdish groups received most of the weapons — as the U.S. intended.


One senior administration official who works on the issue told us that the White House knew that the coalition was likely to pass on most if not all of the weapons to the Kurds.

Continue reading Some idiot Obama administration official opened his/her pie-hole on arming Syrian Kurds.

Russia deciding to get involved in the Syrian quagmire.

What’s Russian for “Never get involved in a land war in Asia?”

Russia signaled deepening intervention Monday in the Syria war, strongly hinting that its “volunteer” ground forces would soon be fighting there, as NATO officials warned the Kremlin after a Russian warplane invaded Turkey’s airspace.

Mind you, that rule should be asterisked with a ‘Unless you’re a Republican President.’ But, since Vladimir Putin is not… well.  I’m sure that the folks over at the Ministry of Defense have already figured out how to get in, get whatever it is that Vladimir Putin wants done done, then get out again before their operating forces are all addicted to heroin.


Moe Lane

PS: I didn’t miss the Cold War once it was over, but I will admit that things were a good deal more straightforward back then.

Germany starting to reestablish border controls, ‘thanks’ to refugee crisis.

I don’t know what’s more fascinating: that Germany is reestablishing border security with Austria, or that The Guardian thinks that it’s a good idea.

Germany’s decision to re-establish national border controls on its southern frontier with Austria deals a telling blow to two decades of open travel in the 26-nation bloc known as the Schengen area.

The abrupt move to suspend Schengen arrangements along the 500-mile border with Austria will shock the rest of the EU and may spur it towards a more coherent strategy to deal with its migration crisis. Yet there will be little sympathy for Berlin from Hungary, Italy or Greece, which are bearing the brunt of the mass arrivals of people from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Afghanistan.

It’s a fascinating time to be a Pan-European, nu? The Austrians are insinuating that the Hungarians are Nazis. The Swedes are yelling at the Danes because the latter is firmly moving refugees right along to Sweden (which is apparently a popular refugee destination spot). The French (and most of central Europe) are dealing with mutterings from its own populace that maybe they should be accepting Christian refugees first. The Italians (who have lots of ports, remember) are screaming for everybody else to start taking refugees like they’re supposed to. And the British are digging in their heels on refugee quotas while support for leaving the EU entirely continues to grow.  In short: it’s not really going well for the aforementioned Pan-Europeans.

The entire thing would be quite the knee-slapper, except that I have children who will be of military age in about, oh, ten years or so. I would rather that we not be faced with yet another general European war in that time – and, no, I don’t think that we can avoid getting sucked into one. We have yet to avoid getting sucked into a general European war. Why would we change our losing streak in that regard now?

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: I have sympathy for Europe with regard to their refugee problem.* However, if Europe would like my advice, here it goes: next time, mind your own business when it comes to our election process. You’re in this mess because Barack Obama doesn’t know how to fight a war properly. So maybe you shouldn’t have been so accommodating in 2008 when he wanted to use your countries as backdrops to his campaign commercials?

*I also have a great deal of sympathy for the refugees themselves (including the young males, or at least the ones who are just trying to get away from being forced to join Islamic State).