Then and Now: Fingers vs. Fingerprints

September 14, 2012


 Iraq 2009  Libya 2012
 Thank you, George Bush  Thank you, Barack Obama

This is what the election is about.


Bin Laden Dead: Curb Your Enthusiasm

May 2, 2011

On the surface, the news is what we’ve all been waiting to hear for nearly 10 years: Osama bin Laden, the founder of the jihadist terror organization al-Qaeda and the monster behind numerous terrorist attacks, including the 9/11 attack on the US is dead.

All devout Americans celebrate his departure from this light and his descending directly into the bowels of hell.  Michelle Malkin has done her usual stellar job in listing some of bin Laden’s most dastardly deeds, in addition to 9/11. No person with a soul will miss the vicious bastard.

But before we declare today a national holiday, let’s take stock in some additional points that should be taken into consideration:

  • In a report from, as of last week-end, 4683 American soldiers have died in the combined conflagrations in Iraq and Afghanistan since the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) on October 7, 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom (beginning with the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003).  This does not take into consideration the number of deaths to coalition soldiers from other countries fighting in support of US Troops.
  • According to a March 29th report from the Congressional Research Service, Congress has approved a total of $1.283 trillion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). This estimate assumes that the current CR level continues through the rest of the year and that agencies allocate reductions proportionately.

Looking at the above, bin Laden’s death comes with a mighty high price tag. But it shows the world, that the United States will not shrink away from a fight when we’ve been attacked. And whether it’s Afghanistan, Pakistan or Any-other-stan, you can’t hide indefinitely.

With the completion of the bin Laden mission, many will deem it time for American troops to leave the region. However, former President Bush added to the agenda as we moved forward. That goal was to establish a democracy in the middle-east region in hopes of creating some level of stability the region. Whether this was his Achilles heel, an idiot’s folly or a shrewd move will be debated for years. The bottom line is American troops are still there and will most likely still be in harm’s way in the middle east for years to come.

The Bottom Line:

When America was attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941, most of the Japanese celebrated their victorious moment. Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was the only one who saw the bigger, more ominous picture as he (reportedly) said, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Osama bin Laden has now learned the meaning of the term “Terrible Resolve.”  However, we would be fools if we didn’t acknowledge that Muslim extremists are also filled with a terrible resolve now that bin Laden is dead. It would not surprise me if the word goes out from whoever no leads al-Qaeda, to seek revenge on the United States for bin Laden’s death. And the options they could possibly have in their possession already  include dirty bombs, nuclear weapons and who knows what kind of chemical poisons. Perhaps worse, given the porous American border (thank you Congress, Presidents Bush and Obama), these weapons could already be in place in numerous locations around the United States… perhaps even in your town or city.

Now, more than ever,  we need a true leader in the White House, one with the kind of experience and ability to make the right decisions in a timely manner. If President Obama was ever looking for the chance to prove his leadership capabilities, that opportunity now lies at his feet.

I’m glad the monster (bin Laden) is dead. But we’re a long way from being safe, my friends.

Gerry Ashley

Iraqis To US: “Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out”

April 10, 2009

Saddam Toppled 2003

Saddam's Statue Toppled 2003

Years ago, when I was dating a young lady who worked in a travel agency, a huge poster on the wall beside her desk always intrigued me. It said, “Come Visit The Middle East… Where It All Began.” There was actually a series of these posters, each featuring a different middle eastern country. This particular one featured photos of Iraq. It did the trick. I longed to go there and visit this strange, but alluring country.

This morning’s Christian Science Monitor reports tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr converged in Firdos Square in Baghdad, to demand that U.S. President Obama “fulfill his promise to withdraw US troops.” This happens, no coincidence by the way, on the sixth anniversary of the day US Troops and joyful Iraqis pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein that had stood guard in this same square for years in tribute to the former leader.

File this under, “Allah never lets any good deeds go unpunished.”   Tt comes as no surprise to me that the Iraqis would eventually demand US troops vacate the country they liberated from the hands of  murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein.  It should further be pointed out that people in this region were deep into America Bashing long before it became so in vogue that even our current President loves to participate by apologizing for virtually everything this country has done since liberating Europe in WWII. 

Reading between the lines, however, this poses an interesting conundrum for the Obama administration.

  • When he was campaigning, Obama repeatedly announced he would end the war quickly and bring the troops home. He often refused to give a specific date or define “quickly.”  This was done principally to give him an edge over Hillary Clinton (really an unnecessary campaign promise, as ACORN had pretty much cleared the way for his nomination through their alleged voter registration fraud in numerous key states).
  • Obama announced on February 27th of this year: “Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31st, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.” 
  • But in the same speech, Obama added he plans to leave a force of 35,000 to 50,000 to advise Iraqi security forces, conduct counter-terrorism missions and protect U.S. personnel.  That’s about half of the number of troops we started out with in 2003.  I’m not sure the Iraqis will see this as a full withdrawal of troops.  Perhaps more of a problem for Obama, those who elected him based on his alleged commitment to end the war and bring all the troops home are bound to be disappointed.

The fact is, history will eventually show that Bush was right to go into Iraq for reasons too numerous to go into in this short space. Key among those reasons, however, was to install some sense of a democracy in a region where the vast majority of people live in the 14th century or earlier based on religious beliefs. These are a people who have fought amongst themselves with sticks and stones for centuries.

Until they caught up to the technologies of war. Now, government and religious radicals in this region have (or are developing) weapons that can essentially wipe the entire Middle East of the face of planet earth. And, unlike western nations, they don’t care if that happens, because it’s an honor to kill and/or BE killed for Allah.

Stability in this region isn’t an option.

The bottom line? It’s not a popular one, but here it is, boys and girls: Bush was right. And Obama would be wise to stick to his guns about maintaining a presence of 20,000-30,000 troops in the area.

It’s been years since I dated that young lady, and I don’t know whatever became of her.  But I can visualize the poster that would be in that office today… “Come See The Middle East. Where It All Began. Before It All Ends.”

Gerry Ashley

Comfort and Joy

December 24, 2008


Via Hugh Hewitt comes today’s uplifting story from the mainstream media. It actually portrays President Bush as humane and caring! I thought that was against the Journalists’ Credo or something.

In my years in the West Wing, I read many horrible things about this president. Some were by former military officers who ought to know better, especially the one who accused him in print of not caring about our war dead. More frequently, legitimate differences over the war led some to indulge in hateful accusations about the man who led it. Few came from people like Julie, who spoke directly with the president about a subject painful for both: the brave young lieutenant who was born to one and laid down his life under the command of the other.

You should read the whole thing;  you’ll be glad you did.


The Iraq War – Finally Finishing the Discussion

December 15, 2008

I was talking with a friend a couple of days ago, and he mentioned how much he hated the Iraq War. By his way of seeing things, nothing could justify the loss of young American lives over there. It’s an old stance that I’ve heard from other friends before. Often I don’t get to respond, because people “don’t want to get into politics” even though they’ve spelled out their misguided beliefs. Well, all you guys started this discussion, and at last I get to have my say… Here’s why we were right to go to war with Iraq:

  • Saddam did have WMDs. But hey, what’s 550 tons of enrichable uranium between friends? (Forget about enriching it! Just make terror warheads and launch them into Israel… You’ll volunteer for the cleanup team right?) And then there’s the tiny issue of Saddam being just 12 to 18 months away from a nuke once the UN inspectors stopped meddling in this “non-issue”. And Saddam’s head nuclear scientist even wrote a book about his work.
  • Saddam was a genocidal maniac who used WMDs against his own people.
  • Think of Saddam giving the raspberry to 17 UN resolutions.
  • Hussein started a war with Iran that cost roughly 250,000 casualties and achieved nothing. (He used WMDs there too.) Yeah, he was a swell influence in a very volatile region .
  • The Butcher of Baghdad tried to kill the President of the United States. (Bush Senior)
  • If you think he didn’t bury stuff out in the desert, you obviously haven’t seen this picture.
  • Iraq routinely tried to kill American pilots as they patrolled the “No-Fly Zone“. (All we were trying to do was stop the butcher from slaughtering the Kurds in the north.)
  • Saddam brutally raped Kuwait. (If you don’t know the details on that one… You’re way out of the loop.)
  • And then there’s the little issue of his barbaric environmental terrorism which caused global repercussions.
  • His successors (sons) were perhaps more savage than he was. (How is that even possible?)
  • He harbored terrorists including Abu Nidal.
  • He funded terrorism against our ally Israel.

But tell you what my liberal friends… Take all of the above barbarism, psychotic lust for power, regional and global destabilization, and just throw it all right out the window. Forget about terrorists. Forget about scuds lobbed into Israel…. Forget all that stuff…

If for no other reason, the fact that the war in Iraq is just is explained by two simple things – one sentence from JFK and a single photograph of a brave people starved for freedom and liberty. The quote:

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

And the picture:

Iraqi voters wait in line to cast their vote at one of the polling sites in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 30, 2005

Iraqi voters wait in line to cast their vote at one of the polling sites in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 30, 2005

And if you can’t understand the concept behind that quote, that photo, modern Germany, Japan, Italy, and even today’s Iraq, the core value of selfless decency is lost upon you.

There… Now I don’t want to “get into politics”.

Alan Speakman

Shoes Fly, Don’t Bother Me!

December 15, 2008

President Bush once again displayed his usual sang-froid in a difficult situation, when during a press conference in Baghdad with Iraqi Nuri Al-Maliki, a reporter threw shoes at him. Handling the situation with grace and good humor, the president reportedly said, “I’m OK…  If you want the facts, it was a size 10 shoe that he threw.”

President Bush ducked when the first shoe came flying directly at him; Maliki went for a high block as the second one whizzed by Bush’s head. Incredibly, the Secret Service was nowhere to be seen until after the reporter had hurled the second shoe. Had he been throwing shoe bombs, or even simply shooting a gun, it seems likely that the president could have been badly injured or even killed.

If you haven’t seen it already, watch for yourself:

The shoe-throwing reporter, Muntazer al-Zaidi, is from Egyptian station Al-Baghdadia, which broadcasts from Cairo. Interestingly enough, this seems to be the very same Muntazer al-Zaidi who was kidnapped last month in Baghdad, held blindfolded and questioned by captors for two days, and then suddenly released at 3 a.m. on a dark street, with no ransom paid.

I’d dismiss this as coincidence if it weren’t for the fact that American presidents named Bush seem to fare poorly with certain segments of the Iraqi population.

H/T Michelle Malkin


Bear Any Burden?

September 6, 2008

Sen. Obama’s schooling for today comes courtesy of this must-see video (h/t American Thinker). Watch the whole thing. I’ll wait.

Did you watch? Good. Here’s my question: what the heck has happened to the Democratic party? How could anyone not support an effort that results in this?

Iraqi voters wait in line to cast their vote at one of the polling sites in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 30, 2005

Or this?

Or the capture, trial, and execution of a dictator called “The Butcher of Baghdad?”

I just don’t understand where Sen. Obama and his party are coming from on this. According to the Iraq Resolution, passed by Congress in October 2002, there were so many reasons to do what needed to be done! And by finally having the Surge strategy succeed so well, I can’t understand what is inside a person that will not allow him to admit: We were right. We did a good thing. We are Americans and this is what we do.

Democrats used to be the party of John F. Kennedy, another man of soaring rhetoric; a man whose words truly did mean something:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge—and more….

The man in the video above understood Kennedy’s words. Millions of Americans understand them. Sadly, today’s Democrats seem instead to be the party of “what have you done for me lately?” and “here’s what you get if you vote for me.”

It’s my opinion that President Kennedy would be weeping for his party and for his country.