Why Is This Not an Act of War?

September 12, 2012

The U.S. Ambassador to Libya was murdered in the “turmoil” in Benghazi yesterday, along with another Consulate staffer and two Marines. The New York Times didn’t even bother to report this on its front page this morning, while the White House issued a statement from the President which read in part:

“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens…”

If the Libyans aren’t careful, Obama might get outraged enough to send them a sternly-worded letter. I’m sure Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Infomation Officer Sean Smith, and the two heroic Marines who were slain will take comfort in that, as will their families.

Our Consulate attacked, our Ambassador murdered. Our embassy in Egypt attacked. I cannot fathom why these deeds are not considered acts of war against us. At the very least, President Strongly Condemn ought to immediately cut off all aid to both countries.

The real outrage is that apparently the Obama administration had information on the possiblity of attacks as early as June of this year, and did… nothing. No beefed up security, no strong statements warning against attacks. Nothing. The president was too busy desperately trying to keep his job to actually do his job.

If only Obama had some passion, some fire, some sympathy for those murdered yesterday. He might sound something like this:

Nah. That would interrupt his campaign trip to Las Vegas.


Running Out Of Time To Thank “The Greatest Generation”

June 2, 2011

When I was trying to come up with an appropriate tribute to our Vets for Memorial Day, I recalled reading a wonderful piece by a good friend of mine, publisher Curt Scott on the west coast.  I contacted Curt (who is, himself, a Vietnam Vet) and asked if he would allow Grand Rants to publish his tribute as a guest writer and he graciously agreed to let us do so.  It is with considerable gratitude to Curt that I offer his Memorial Day tribute to the rapidly dwindling number of Vets referred to as “The Greatest Generation” – those brave men and women who brought this country through World War II and defined American Greatness.

Gerry Ashley

Photo by Mike Fuller

Colleville Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, looking north towards the English Channel and the southern coast of England. 9,387 American fighting men—representing only about 1/3 of all Americans killed fighting in Normandy in the summer of 1944—are interred here at Colleville. Among them is Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt, Jr., who was the only General officer to land on any of the Normandy beaches on D-Day (Utah Beach), and whose weak heart finally quit on July 12, five weeks after D-Day. His brother, Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, a pilot who was killed in France in WW1 in July, 1918, was reinterred to Colleville and rests beside him.

Incidentally, each of those 9,387 Americans is resting in American soil. You see, France ceded the cemetery’s elegantly manicured 172 acres (69 hectares) to the United States after the war.

The opening and closing scenes of Steven Spielberg’s epic “Saving Private Ryan” were filmed right here at Colleville Cemetery.

In the spring of 1944 millions of allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen… British, American, Canadian and expatriate Europeans [Free French, Poles, Czechs, Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Belgians and others] gathered, bivouaced, trained and trained and waited and trained in Britain for the inevitable invasion of France to free Europe and the world of the tyranny and the threat of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi war machine.

Perhaps the worst-kept secret in the world was that the allied invasion was coming; on the other hand, the best-kept secret in the world was precisely where and when the allied forces would storm ashore. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Obama Needs To Keep McChrystal

June 22, 2010

Or Will America Turn To A “General Contractor” In 2012?

Gen. McChrystal

Something tells me that when General Stanley McChrystal (the top U.S. General on the Afghanistan war) arrives at the White House to meet with President Obama today, he will not be offered a beer in the  Rose Garden. There will be no warm and fuzzy “teaching moment.”

What there will be is attitude, ego, and bluster. Probably a few profanities, possibly an obscene gesture or two (depending on whether or not Joe Biden is allowed to attend).

This, of course, stems from General Hoof-In-Mouth’s comments to a free-lance journalist writing an article to be published in Rolling Stone this coming Friday in which he refers to “The wimps in the White House,” alluding to some of Obama’s aides. He referred to Joe Biden as “Joe Bite-me” and made other similar disparaging comments about other White House staff members as well as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Gen. Karl Eikenberry.

This isn’t the first time Obama has called McChrystal on the carpet. In October of last year, Obama went head-to-head with McChrystal over a similar incident where McChrystal wasn’t able to keep his thoughts to himself. At that time, our own Stoutcat pondered whether Obama would force McChrystal out. Ultimately he did not, and it’s to the benefit of every soldier in Afghanistan that he didn’t.

But will Obama fire McChrystal this time?  Not if  he’s smart.

In the Fox Forum today, James P. Pinkerton writes:

My guess is that McChrystal will survive in his post. The words attributed to him and his team in Rolling Stone–he felt “betrayed” by the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan; James Jones, the national security adviser, is a “clown”; and, perhaps most stark of all, he regarded “the wimps in the White House” as an enemy–were pretty strong, bordering on insubordination, and yet his apology was pretty abject.

And Obama really can’t afford to fire McChrystal in 2010, as Lincoln fired McClellan in 1862, and as Truman fired MacArthur in 1951. If the president does fire McChrystal, his administration will then see an enormous blow-up over Afghanistan policy, with critics on both the hawkish right and the dovish left pounding away at the commander in chief in the muddled middle.

Moreover, Obama might think to himself that if he fires McChrystal, he will be minting a possible new Republican presidential or vice presidential candidate to oppose him in 2012. 

But what about McChrystal? Is he, like General George McClellan in the Civil War, uncontrollable? Is he, like General Douglas MacArthur, so outspoken that he will openly criticize his commander in chief?

President Obama would be wise to keep on General McChrystal and listen to his evaluation of life on the ground in Afghanistan. And McChrystal would do well to learn that sometimes generals should be seen and not heard.

As to Pinkerton’s comment about Obama possibly creating a political opponent for the 2012 election, that’s not a comment to be taken lightly: McClellan ended up running against Lincoln in 1864, and MacArthur tried (unsuccessfully) to get the nomination to run against Truman in 1952. But Truman did eventually see the White House go to another general in 1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Gen. Petraeus

If  history does, in fact, repeat itself, Obama may find himself facing a noble challenger in 2012, but not from McChrystal.  Like Truman, it may be another general that takes the spotlight and wins the hearts of Americans. And that might just be General David Petraeus.

Something to think about… Something very good, indeed.

Gerry Ashley

Flanders Fields Are Not Just In Belgium

May 30, 2010

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army


UPDATE: Memorial Day 2009

Why Obama’s Dismissal Of Arlington Is Unforgivable

May 28, 2010

I hear that Barack Obama has better things to do than leading the tradition of honoring the soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery (as is normally the case for a President each year). It’s especially significant during the years we are at war.

And I hear that Barack Obama will stop by a cemetery while he’s on vacation in Chicago. Make no mistake, he will undoubtedly have the Press Corps with him.  Hell, he might even have “Teleprompter One” with him so he can say some well-rehearsed “impromptu” comments which, we all know, won’t really be heartfelt except for how it might help his image.

Maybe this is because Obama has no investment in our freedom.

I detest the message Obama’s actions send our youth. “It’s just another tradition, kids… nothing important.” Especially to someone who apparently finds it necessary to travel the world (at our expense) living lavishly while he trashes the very country he purports to lead. The very country so many hundreds of thousands of young men and women have died in order that the country may endure. It’s more than “just a tradition…” Some traditions are important as reminders to all, and this is one of them.

A real leader doesn’t ignore the thousands of neatly rowed crosses marking the final resting places of young men and women who never got to share the promise of America… but whose sacrifices made sure WE did.

And Obama apparently doesn’t see the importance in that. I do. I have friends lying there. I resent – and I want to emphasize that… I RESENT a President who  chooses not to be there on the one day we set aside to stop and remember the years of life each one sacrificed. It just doesn’t seem right. And do you know why it doesn’t seem right? Because it isn’t. It speaks volumes about his lack of respect for this country… and that lack of respect will continue until he re-makes America into his vision.

The arrogance

But Obama will undoubtedly make a speech wherever he is. No doubt he’ll be impressed with himself. But fewer and fewer of Americans are. And this snub of our heroes will only make it worse. At least it should.

There’s a scene at the end of “Saving Private Ryan” where a now-retired James Ryan travels back to France to visit the grave of Captain John Miller who died making sure Ryan was safely returned to his family… a family that had already  lost  3 sons in World War II. It is a most moving moment that sums up what it’s like for those of us who did survive and got to live our lives because of the sacrifice of others. It also shows the reverence we should all have… especially the President of the United States.

To all of you who have served in the military and, like me, was lucky enough to complete your tour of duty, you know what this week-end means to me, because it means the same to you. Thank you, brothers and sisters.

To those of you who have relatives serving today, thank you and your loved ones. May they come home soon and safe.

And to all of those who never made it home, thank you for your service and may God hold you always.

One final thought: We have been given the gift of freedom thanks to the sacrifice of so many. But it is still up to each one of us to EARN it by being respectful of each other. By being respectful of those who fought, and sometimes died on our behalf.  Live GOOD lives, lives with meaning. Because you/we are not just living our lives, but carrying their share of the American dream on our shoulders. Earn what we’ve been given, so when we pass it on to the next generation, they too will understand and appreciate how special freedom is. And next time, maybe we can elect a President who understands what an HONOR it is to attend the ceremonies in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day and to be the one to lead the display of respect and appreciation.

Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day Week-end. Please find a way to show respect and appreciation for our men and women in the service of our country.

Gerry Ashley (Veteran, USAF)

Update: Michelle Malkin has a number of moving articles in honor of Memorial Day. Start here.

The Hammer: Nuke Policy “Insane or Ridiculous”

April 7, 2010


Charles Krauthammer pinpoints the problem with Obama’s new nuclear policy:

Honestly, I think the policy is both insane and ridiculous. What’s the point in having the biggest guns if you’re going to pinky-promise never ever to use them?

The phrase “peace through superior firepower” may sound silly; may sound hackneyed; may even sound hawk-like; but the fact remains that it has stood America and her allies in good stead for over half a century.

Peace through throwing away half our guns and promising not to use the other half” doesn’t inspire confidence, nor should it. It’s a wimpy, wussy, kum-by-yah viewpoint unworthy of the United States Commander-in-Chief.  

But it sounds just exactly like something President Obama would try to implement.


Go, West!

February 16, 2010

Now here’s an example of change we can believe in!

If Col. West were to run for President in 2012, I believe I’d vote for him. Does that make me a racist?