Sunday, May 30th at 9:05AM EDT
from the diaries by haystack
I have missed interacting with my Redstate family for the last 6-8 months. Rest assured, I have been reading Redstate as often as I can and think of all of you often.
For the last 6 years of my life, each Memorial Day has had new and powerful meanings to me. This year, tragically, is no different. On Easter Sunday, our battalion lost a Soldier that I knew rather well, someone who had been with my unit for longer than I have. He was not the first comrade in arms I have seen lost, but the first one that I had known for so long.
SGT Kurt Kruize – Father, Husband, Son, Citizen Soldier
11 June 1974 – 04 April 2010
SGT Kruize lost his life in a motor pool accident while he worked late hours to ensure that Soldiers going outside the wire the next day had reliable vehicles for transportation and protection. His sacrifice was no less than that of any other man or woman who has given their lives in the 230+ years that men have taken up arms in defense of Liberty and the Constitution of the United States of America. He left behind a wife and four children.
Much has been discussed recently about American Exceptionalism, maybe a confusing concept for some, a difficult ideal to explain for others – SGT Kurt Kruize’s life and sacrifice together display the definition of American Exceptionalism in flesh and blood.
This Memorial Day is mixed – even as I sit in silent contemplation of SGT Kruize’s loss, I see more hope this year. Over 4000 American service members have given the ultimate sacrifice here in Iraq. This is my second trip here, and the differences are clear. Our interaction with the Iraqi Army is continuous and an inseperable part of how we do business now. Casualties are way down. Three years ago, virtually every convoy suffered an IED attack, now most convoys see no action.
Our Iraqi interpreters live on post with us in the same housing we live in. Speaking with them gives me the greatest satisfaction about the job we have done here. I spoke at length one night with one man and learned about his hopes and dreams. Under Saddam’s regime, he had no prospects because he was not from the right part of Iraq. When Saddam was in charge, only those who came from Saddam’s home town of Tikrit or were somehow related or connected to Saddam’s family or the Ba’ath party could succeed. Now, this man makes decent money as an interpreter, and he is saving it in hopes of buying a small shop in the future. Does that not sound like our American dream?
His main concern is the corruption in the governement (as if that waqn’t nearly universal to the human condition). He views our American Democracy in almost mythical terms, as if as Americans we have some magical formula that allows us to rule ourselves. He does, however, have hope for a future of self-rule for his country. He also now has the desire and the will to do what he can to make it happen.
Our sacrifices are now paying dividends. Our Commander-in-Chief for the majority of this conflict stood his ground and fought on when the going was tough. As a result, those of us in uniform did the same. Because of this, Iraq is free, terrorism has one less safe haven, and the Middle East is beginning to see what true freedom is.
On Monday, Americans will go to the lake or the park, they will eat hot dogs, bratwurst and hamburgers. There will be parades, fireworks and concerts. Please enjoy this Holiday which marks the beginning of summer. Just remember that my fellow Soldiers and I will spend the day running convoys, kicking down doors, training Iraqis and doing whatever else Uncle Sam requires of us in this war zone. As our Battalion Commander reiterated recently after an Explosively Formed Projectile attack missed killing two of our Soldiers by less than a second, “The enemy is still out there and he still gets a vote on what happens.” We will gladly do our part for the country we all dearly love, and all that we ask is that you recognize our fallen, rejoice in the triumphs those sacrifices have bought, and never forget those of us still fighting.
SGT Kruize’s unit, the Forward Support Company, 367th Engineer Battalion’s motto – “First Up, Last Down.”
God Bless America
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Saturday, May 29, 2010
What can our president say about his own lackadaisical response to the BP oil spill catastrophe?
As pointed out by Toby Harnden in a devastating piece in the Telegraph , Obama’s only recourse is to lie:
Even judging Obama by his words, he has fallen woefully short over what has now eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez wreck as biggest oil spill catastrophe in American history. He may have described it as an “unprecedented disaster” in last Thursday’s press conference but a week into the crisis he was blithely stating that “this incident is of national significance” and rest assured he was receiving “frequent briefings” about it.George W Bush’s unpopularity and perceived incompetence was encapsulated by the way he dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Candidate Obama branded it “unconscionable incompetence”.
Central to Obama’s appeal was his promise to be truly different. His failure to achieve that is now at the core of the deep disappointment Americans feel about him. At the press conference – the first full-scale affair he had deigned to give for 309 days – he appeared uncomfortable and petulant.
His approach to the issue was that of the law student suddenly fascinated by a science project. He displayed none of the visceral indignation Americans feel about pretty much everything these days – two-thirds now say they are “angry” about the way things are going – resorting instead to Spock-like technocratic language and legalese. “I’m not contradicting my prior point,” he stated at one juncture. During those 63 minutes of soporific verbosity, about 800 barrels of oil poured into the Gulf.
Harnden includes the Sestak scandal as adding to the perception that whatever claim Obama had to being “competent” has flown out the window with the twin scandals.
Is this wishful thinking on Harnden’s part? There is a segment of the press that appears to have given up on Obama and feels no compunction about highlighting his shortcomings. But as long as most of the major media is willing to carry water for the president – covering for his mistakes in these and other matters – the public will be satisfied with pretty much whatever Obama does.
In short, the media has not deserted Obama. It remains to be seen whether the continued environmental disaster and the government’s inadequate response to it will become obvious and unleash anger in the president’s direction. If that happens, the press will be forced to change its tune and the president’s already low approval numbers will sink even further.
Unfortunately, as British Petroleum struggled to “plug the hole,” crude oil continued to flood into the Gulf of Mexico. The “top kill” process is a familiar one. In fact, “top kill” methodology should have forewarned BP engineers that addressing problems, the top down, Obama-style oftentimes delivers disastrous results.
BP expressed hesitancy to forge ahead with the “brute force” approach because of fears that “things could get worse.” Smart decision, especially since “Barack force” compounds political damage daily.
The sun must have been hot on Fourchon beach because, in a moment of candor, Barack made a comment about government’s response to the oil spill saying ” not every judgment we make will be right the first time out,” which actually could be applied to all government efforts.
Continuing on, the President added, “There are going to be a lot of judgment calls here. There are not going to be silver bullets or perfect answers.”
For a second there it was hard to tell if Obama was talking about personal governing efforts, or administration of BP “top kill” technique.
Later in the day, an official acknowledged something Obama is yet to admit about his first two years in office, “The effort [is] no closer to succeeding than when [it] started.”
Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production said, “We’re going to stay with this as long as we need to. We’re not going to rush.” One hopes Obama wasn’t within earshot of Suttle’s statement. The last thing America needs is Barry getting the idea to readjust term limit restrictions.
Obama appeared very comfortable walking the beach. Especially because BP, in addition to “top kill,” also employs a method called the “junk shot.” “Junk shot” works similarly to the Obama administration where “in the operation’s control room” trial and error is used to “sift through various theories… about the best way to clog the ‘internal geometry’ of damaged equipment.”
Good thing BP officials decided to mix golf balls with mud to “plug the hole,” which likely made Obama feel at home. It wouldn’t have gone well if the President personalized certain comments to be sentiments about his presidency. Like, “I won’t say progress was zero” but, “everyone is disappointed at this time.” Or, Doug Suttle’s statement that, “Many of the things we have done have never been done before.”
Unbeknown to Mr. Obama, the President spoke prophetically about both the leak and the nation adding, even if the leak is stopped “we face a long-term recovery and restoration effort. America has never experienced an event like this before.”
Mr. Obama also said, “I ultimately take responsibility for solving this crisis. I’m the president, and the buck stops with me” –which is a scary thought in light of all that Obama “top kill-junk shots” have done to this country.
After finishing the Gilligan-style, 3-hour beach tour Obama commenced with weekend festivities. Leaving behind tar balls on the sand of Louisiana, President Obama headed toward Elwood Cemetery in River Grove, Illinois. On Monday, after Memorial Day commemorative ceremonies Elwood could be the place to provide the President a green where a committed golfer like Barack Obama could get a chance to knock around a few golf balls.
Author’s content: www.jeannie-ology.com
The question isn’t why Sarah Palin is helping John McCain. The question is: What are you doing to stop him from cementing his Big Government Republican legacy?
Conservatives: Beware of McCain Regression Syndrome
by Michelle Malkin
Pay attention: In the afterglow of the Massachusetts Miracle, there are flickers of peril for The Right. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but like Paul Revere’s midnight-message, consider this warning “a cry of defiance, and not of fear.” Conservatives have worked hard over the past year to rebuild after Big Government Republican John McCain’s defeat. But McCain isn’t going gently into that good night.
Red Flag Number One: A reader from Arizona informed me the day after the Bay State Bombshell that he had received a robo-call from Massachusetts GOP Sen.-elect Scott Brown. “He basically wanted me to vote for John McCain in November,” the reader said in his description of the automated campaign call supporting the four-term Sen. McCain’s re-election bid. “No wonder [Brown] said he hadn’t had any sleep…he was busy recording phone messages!”
Red Flag Number Two: Also in the wake of the Massachusetts special election, the nation’s most popular conservative political figure, Sarah Palin, announced she would be campaigning for her former running mate in Arizona in March. Palin told Facebook followers that she’s going to “ride the tide with commonsense candidates” and help “heroes and statesmen” like McCain. Facing mounting conservative opposition in his home state and polls showing him virtually tied with possible GOP challenger and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, McCain welcomed the boost: “Sarah energized our nation and remains a leading voice in the Republican Party.”
Savor the irony: After a career spent bashing the right flank of the party, Sen. McCain is now clinging to its coattails to save his incumbent hide.
And pay attention to the hidden, more troubling irony: While he runs to the right to protect his seat, McCain’s political machine is working across the country to install liberal and establishment Republicans to secure his legacy.
In Florida, McCain’s Country First Political Action Committee is supporting the Senate bid of fellow illegal alien amnesty supporter and global warming alarmist, GOP Gov. Charlie Crist, whose crucial 2008 primary endorsement rescued McCain from disaster. Grass-roots conservatives support former GOP statehouse leader Marco Rubio – who is hitting Crist hard for lying to voters about his embrace of President Obama’s pork-laden, fraud-ridden stimulus package.
In Colorado, McCain and his meddlers infuriated the state party by anointing former lieutenant governor Jane Norton to challenge endangered Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet. She’s a milquetoast public official who has served on a lot of task forces and GOP clubs – and who happens to be the sister-in-law of big Beltway insider Charlie Black. An estimated 40 percent of her coffers are filled with out-of-state money (and much of that is flowing from the Beltway).
The mini-McCain of Colorado claims to oppose “special interests,” but has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from D.C. lobbyists at McCain’s behest – stifling the candidacy of strong conservative rivals led by grass-roots-supported Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, an amnesty opponent whose aggressive illegal immigration prosecutions have earned him the rage of the far Left and big business Right. A recent Rasmussen poll showed Buck and another GOP candidate Tom Wiens beating Bennet – despite the huge cash and crony advantage of front-runner and blank-slate Jane.
In California, McCain’s PAC supports former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina – a celebrity name with deep pockets of her own, massive media exposure, and a checkered business record. Fiorina served as the economic adviser to McCain, who supported the $700 billion TARP bailout, the $25 billion auto bailout, a $300 billion mortgage bailout, and the first $85 billion AIG bailout. As GOP rival and grass-roots-supported Chuck DeVore’s camp notes, Fiorina has also vacillated publicly over the Obama stimulus. With taxpayer “friends” like this, who needs Democrats?
With all due respect to McCain’s past noble war service, it’s time to head to the pasture. As the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, he was wrong on the constitutionality of the free-speech-stifling McCain-Feingold campaign finance regulations. He was wrong to side with the junk-science global warming activists in pushing onerous carbon caps on America. He was on the wrong side of every Chicken Little-driven bailout. He was wrong in opposing enhanced CIA interrogation methods that have saved countless American lives and averted jihadi plots. And he was spectacularly wrong in teaming with the open-borders lobby to push a dangerous illegal alien amnesty.
Tea Party activists are rightly outraged by Sarah Palin’s decision to campaign for McCain, whose entrenched incumbency and progressive views are anathema to the movement. At least she has an excuse: She’s caught between a loyalty rock and a partisan hard place. The conservative base has no such obligations – and it is imperative that they get in the game (as they did in Massachusetts) before it’s too late. The movement to restore limited government in Washington has come too far, against all odds, to succumb to McCain Regression Syndrome now.