BACKGROUND & CHARACTER
JUDGES & COURTS
Media’s War Lies
By Ralph Peters
New York Post | 4/18/2008
LIKE many Americans, I get angry at biased “reporting” about Iraq and the spin from dishonest pundits. Usually, I get over it quickly, since my expectations of the media are pretty low. But sometimes a Big Lie just won’t let go. And the lefty lie that the Iraqi military is a hopeless failure must be answered.
Yes, we all know that left-wing media outlets, such as the dying New York Times, need Iraq to fail to redeem their credibility. They’ll do all they can to dismiss any sign of progress.
But the perverted gloating over recent Iraqi military operations in Basra combines willful ignorance of military affairs with a shameless manipulation of the facts. Yes, some local Iraqi police and new military recruits ran away. But that was all that the media reported.
Where was the coverage of the 95 percent of the Iraqi security forces who did their duty? Some fought superbly. The Iranian-backed gangs and militias took a beating.
Muqtada al Sadr – not the central government – asked for a cease-fire. The Iraqi military remains in Basra, still pushing (and freeing the occasional kidnapped journalist). The government now has a presence where lawlessness prevailed – and it took control of Basra’s vital port facilities, the country’s economic lifeline.
But all we continue to hear about is the one Iraqi cop or soldier in 20 who ran away.
OK, consider our own military history – which isn’t short of ultimate victories:
* During the American Revolution, George Washington repeatedly had trouble with troops fleeing the battlefield and with desertions. Militias remained unreliable all through the war. Yet, we defeated the British – a global power – in the end.
* In the War of 1812, American troops broke again – and more than once. Yet, at the war’s conclusion, it was redcoats seasoned in the Napoleonic Wars who fled from the US Army’s “Cottonbalers” at New Orleans.
* In the Mexican-American War, Gen. Winfield Scott’s march on Mexico City was the most brilliant campaign ever fought by American troops – yet, earlier in the conflict, an entire troop of US Cavalry (new immigrants) deserted to the Mexican side. That’s why there’s never a J or Juliet troop in a US Cavalry regiment.
* After a few hours of fierce fighting, the Union Army broke at Bull Run, fleeing in panic at the start of our Civil War. Even two years later, when the Army of the Potomac was well on its way to becoming the first great industrial-age force, the XI Corps – more than 10,000 men – disintegrated when surprised by Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville. Guess who won the Civil War, anyway?
* As other writers have noted in regard to Basra, the green US forces in North Africa in WWII fell apart when struck by Rommel’s Afrika Korps at Kasserine Pass. At Vossenack Ridge, two years later, US troops cracked under heavy shelling and ran again. Guess who won that war, too?
* At the outset of the Korean War, the US Army’s Task Force Smith collapsed as it was overwhelmed by North Koreans. But we came back with a vengeance. Should we have just quit?
And should we demand more of the Iraqis, who have so many internal obstacles to overcome, than we ourselves could deliver in the past?
Few battles have perfect outcomes. No wars do. Not all soldiers will measure up. And no human endeavor is more complex than warfare.
Soldiers break and run in three basic circumstances: when they’re new and are asked to do too much too soon; when they’re surprised; or when they’re ground down to the breaking point by overwhelming odds.
Show me one country whose troops have never fled a battlefield – I can’t find any.
In the past, when we still honored military service, even the literary set understood that wars are fought by fallible human beings. Stephen Crane’s American classic, “The Red Badge of Courage,” is about a young soldier who runs away in terror from his first taste of combat – yet returns to fight bravely later on.
The Iraqi military, which now has 190,000 troops in uniform, is getting along pretty well by historical standards. These troops are taking responsibility for their own country, allowing us to do less and less of the fighting and dying. Yes, they’ll need our help for a while yet – but we needed the “technologically superior” French to help us get to Yorktown.
Meanwhile, why don’t the noisiest critics of the situation in Iraq, from the Times’ silly Frank Rich to Sen. Barack Obama, go to Iraq to see things for themselves?
Are they afraid?
If so, they really shouldn’t question the courage of others or mock their sacrifices.
I’ve always admitted that Iraq could fail. Despite real, measurable progress, that remains the case. I only wish that those on the left would have the integrity to acknowledge that Iraq also has a chance to succeed.
It is with a heavy heart that we are reporting to you that the attacks against our troops by American governmental bodies are continuing.
Copy and paste links
The Mayor of Toldeo, Ohio has told the Marines to get out of his town:
In Arcata, California City Council member Dave Meserve is leading an effort against military recruiters:
This is why Move America Forward has chosen to make a stand in Berkeley, CA this Tuesday, February 12th to stand our ground and let it be known that we aren’t willing to give up ANY American cities to those who would dishonor and disrespect our military.
And we’re going to let all these other towns across America know what is coming to them if they even THINK of trying to go down the Berkeley route.
FINALLY – and perhaps most importantly – you simply MUST watch this video of the comments made by the Code Pink protestors in Berkeley, CA to understand what we’re up against this Tuesday when we conduct our pro-troop demonstration and protest of the Berkeley City Council.
WATCH THIS VIDEO AND MAKE SURE EVERYONE ELSE YOU KNOW WATCHES IT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmdrkmtkCw4
Join us for part or all of the day this Tuesday, February 12th when Move America Forward conducts an all-day pro-troop demonstration (and protest against the Berkeley City Council) at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley, California.
We need you to come join us. Complete details of when and where are located at our website: http://www.MoveAmericaForward.org
By Joseph Puder
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 21, 2007
The Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership Conference attendees meeting in Washington on Wednesday, May 16, 2007, received U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) with tumultuous applause and a standing ovation. The 160 Republican Jewish leaders who assembled at the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce building, a block away from the White House, were visibly moved by Senator Lieberman’s principled stand on the Iraq war and national security, and delighted in his victory last November over Ned Lamont, a wealthy businessman who was supported by the Democratic party, and his Democratic colleague from Connecticut, Senator Christopher Dodd.
Senator Lieberman expressed his gratitude to many in the audience for having supported his 2006 race for re-election. Injecting dry humor, he said, “I know there are some who are probably wondering what a nice independent Democrat from Connecticut is doing at a Republican event like this? Well, a funny thing happened on the way to reelection last year… And as Rabbi Hillel said, the rest is commentary.”
Assuming a more serious demeanor and quoting President Ronald Reagan, Lieberman’s message to the audience was “Now is the time for choosing.” He continued: “If we stand united through the months ahead, if we stand firm against the terrorists who want to drive us to retreat, the war in Iraq can be won and the lives of millions of people can be saved.” “But if we surrender to the barbarism of suicide bombers and abandon the heart of the Middle East to fanatics and killers, to Al Qaeda and Iran, then all that our men and women in uniform have fought and died for will be lost, and we will be left a much less secure and free nation.” He added, “That is the choice we in Washington will make this summer and this fall. It is a choice not just about our foreign policy, our national security and our interests in the Middle East, it is about what our political leaders in both parties are prepared to stand for. It is about our very soul as a nation. It is about who we are, and who we want to be.”
Interrupted by repeated applause, Senator Lieberman went on say that the Iraq war has become a “defining issue” for both Congress and the presidency” and that the consequences of the decisions made in the next few months will have an impact “far beyond the terms of anyone now in office.” He asserted that part of the disagreement we face over Iraq is a genuine difference of opinion. Lieberman provided the prevailing views on Iraq and the threat of Islamic extremists: “There are those who believe as I do, that the struggle against Islamic extremism is the central challenge of our time, and that, as General David Petraeus – our commander in Iraq – recently said, ‘Iraq is now the central front of the war against Islamic extremism.’” Others (mostly Congressional Democrats, J.P.), Lieberman said, believe that the threat of Islamic extremism is “overstated” and that Iraq is simply a distraction from the “real” war on terror, and that the war in Iraq is either lost or not worth fighting to win.
“It is my deeply held conviction,” Lieberman said, “that these people are not only wrong, they are disastrously wrong – and that the withdrawal they demand would be a moral and security catastrophe for the U.S., for Iraq, and the entire Middle East, including Israel, and our moderate Arab allies.” An American defeat in Iraq Lieberman said, would be a victory for Al Qaeda and Iran, two of the bitterest enemies the free world is facing. It would vindicate our enemies’ perception of America as “weak” and as easily driven by the threat of terrorism. Moreover, it would confirm the fears of our friends – not only in Iraq, but also throughout the world – “that we are unreliable allies who will abandon them in the face of danger.”
Lieberman admonished the politics of partisanship, calling on the Democrats to end their spiteful attitude towards President Bush. “For many Democrats, if President Bush is for it, they must be against it. If the war in Iraq is going badly, that is bad for him and good for Democrats. It is as simple as that, and it is as wrong as that.”
Lieberman then turned to the Republicans saying that the unpopularity of the Iraq war has begun “to shake their will.” He criticized Congressional Republicans for thinking that they have no choice but to abandon General Petraeus and his strategy because “the American people tell pollsters they want out.” Lieberman added, “If previous generations of American leaders had allowed their conduct of war to be shaped by partisanship or public opinion polls, we would not be the strong and free nation we are blessed to be today.”
Citing the transformation of the Anbar Province in Iraq, deemed by the Washington Post as “lost” five months ago, Lieberman, who recently returned from Iraq and visited Anbar, said, “Thanks to the bravery, ingenuity, and commitment of our men and women in uniform, shops and schools have reopened, Al Qaeda is on the run, thousands of Iraqis have joined the local police, and yes-the New York Times reports that we have turned the corner there.”
Concluding his address, Lieberman stated, “My friends, now is not the time for despair. Now is the time for resolve. Now is not the time for reflexive partisanship and pandering to public opinion. Now is the time for the kind of patriotism and principle America’s voters have always honored. I ask you to plead with every member of Congress – Do not surrender to hopelessness, do not succumb to defeat, do not give in to fear, rise above the political pressures of the moment to do what is right for America.”
Scott M. Feigelstein, Director of the Pennsylvania/NJ chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition had this to say about Lieberman speech, “I have known Joe Lieberman for a long time and his appearance and remarks were historical, statesmanlike, highly principled and totally in character with who he is as a person and a leader. Senator Lieberman, like President Bush, recognizes the serious threat facing our nation and the world emanating from radical Islamist forces. Making tough policy decisions without regard to political polls is a hallmark of leadership and the Senator is one of the few members of his party demonstrating such quality. It was an honor to see and hear his remarks.”
Philadelphian Lance Silver, founder of the Forum for Middle Eastern Understanding (FFMU) and Board member of the Interfaith Taskforce for America and Israel (ITAI) who also attended the conference added, “It is obvious that the Senator knows the difference between right and wrong in today’s world, and to that I can only say Amen.”
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By Catherine Moy
Friday, May 18, 2007
Protestors and “surrender monkeys” marched on the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday opposing the Democrats retreat-and-defeat policies in the war against Muslim Jihadists in Iraq and around the world.
The “surrender monkeys” – played by two chimpanzees in San Francisco – wore the uniform of the original surrender monkeys from France: a beret and a waving white flag.
Move America Forward (MAF), the country’s largest pro-troop group, sponsored the “Surrender is Not an Option” protests in three cities: San Francisco, Las Vegas and Carson City, Nev. The protesters included Iraqi veterans, Vietnam veterans, Gold Star parents, Blue Star parents, American patriots and special guests: two chimpanzees and one French monkey dressed as “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.”
Following the protest, 10 people were allowed inside Pelosi’s San Francisco office to discuss the issues with a staff person. The media were prohibited from witnessing the meeting; cameras and recording devices were banned, with no explanation. Guards kept an eye on the rally and strictly controlled entry into Pelosi’s office.
Sen. Reid’s office did not take kindly to the 100-plus protestors at his Carson City office. A handful of people, including a war veteran carrying a flag, went to the office and asked a Reid worker if they could make a formal complaint to the Democratic Senator. The group, led by Eric Odom of www.opposereid.com, asked her if she agreed with Reid. The woman slammed the door in their faces. (Video is at www.MoveAmericaForward.org).
Neither Reid nor his office could be reached for comment on the incident.
MAF chairman Melanie Morgan spoke at the San Francisco event, which drew more than 70 people. Morgan, who is also cohost of the popular Lee Rodgers and Melanie Morgan show on San Francisco’s KSFO, explained the “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” were meant to mock the cut-and-run politicians in Congress.
“Commander-in-Chief Nancy Pelosi and her sidekick Harry Reid personify the retreat-defeat-surrender mentality that is typical of what the Democrat party stands for today, “Morgan said in an earlier interview. “I might lump in Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska in that column.ÊNo matter what party,ÊAmericans do not stand for defeat.”
The chimpanzees in San Francisco were treated with great care at the rally. Their handlers ensured they were safe and content. Jake, one of the chimpanzees, carried a flag that said, “Surrender is not an option.”
The temperature in Las Vegas reached 97 degrees, which drew a complaint to the Humane Society of America, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
“It’s a shame that Move America Forward is exploiting animals to score political points,” Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement to the Sun. “Bringing monkeys into a crowded situation – especially in 97 degree heat – is potentially dangerous for the animals as well as the public.”
It is unclear who complained about Hobo the “surrender monkey’s” performance, which included him energetically riding a scooter. Hobo’s handler ensured that the French monkey was hydrated and comfortable.
MAF spokespeople said Hobo was safe and appeared to enjoy his shtick.
“We treated the animals with love, compassion and respect,” said Joe Wierzbicki, MAF spokesman who was at the Las Vegas rally.
“What’s truly inhumane is how Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid are cutting and running on our troops, attempting to strip them of funding for training, ammunition and food in the middle of battle,” Morgan said.
The “surrender monkeys” brought a bit of comedic relief to the protestors, many of whom have either served in the Iraq war or have loved ones deployed.
Joseph Williams, a Vacaville resident whose son was killed in the early days of the Iraq war, drove to San Francisco so Pelosi would know that most Gold Star parents want the United States to win the war Ð not leave with our tails between our legs.
“I’m tired of the cheese-eating surrender monkeys led by the Commander-in-Cheese Pelosi,” said Williams, a Vietnam veteran.
Joe Eckstein, a San Francisco resident, showed up “because I love my country.”
Eckstein believes Pelosi is a danger to our country by doing such things as taking trips to Syria while thumbing her nose at President Bush and the State Department.
“I’ve known she was dangerous since the time I saw her march in a parade with child molesters, NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association),” Eckstein said. “We call her NAMBLA Nancy.”
Christine Sargent took time off work to attend the San Francisco protest.
“I’m here for the troops,” Sargent said. “My son is in the Navy. . . Nancy Pelosi is very self-absorbed. How she got that position Ð God only knows.”
Fairfield resident Rod Ferroggiaro took the ferry to San Francisco to participate. He served three tours in Vietnam and he remembers the horrible treatment he and his fellow veterans received upon returning to the States. He likened it to Reid’s disrespectful actions and words.
“I know what it felt like,” Ferroggiaro said. “The civilian population had a hard time looking us in the eyes. Commanders told us not to wear our uniforms in public.
“I came here because it was the right thing to do.”
Neither Pelosi’s nor Reid’s leadership has led to a successful timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. And their behavior is apparently having an effect on public opinion. Congress now has a lower approval rating than President Bush.
MAF’s Morgan swears she won’t stop her efforts until the war is won.
“We can, and will, honor our troops by blowing some air into their sails as they fight a dirty and dangerous war,” Morgan said. “They are trying to cut the budget that funds our soldiers in harm’s way. That’s unacceptable. Senator Reid told the world ‘we are losing in Iraq.’ I DARE him to say that to a fighting man or woman in theatre. It’s disgusting.”
On April 30th, the State Department released a report noting a 25% increase in terrorist attacks around the world in 2006, ostensibly signaling the emergence of a period of unparalleled danger. Indeed, the end of the Cold War did not usher in an era of universal peace, but rather unleashed both rogue regimes and non-state actors to pursue ambitious and destabilizing goals. Today global hostilities are covered with unprecedented scrutiny magnifying their destruction and expanding the perception that the world has become concurrently more perilous and exceedingly unpredictable. This has unleashed a nostalgic desire for the simplicity of the past that has now expanded to virtually every corner of the globe.
The bipolar international structure of the Cold War is often warmly remembered as a time when the balance of power – aided by the commonly understood inevitability of mutual assured destruction – ensured a relatively peaceful world where a war between the superpowers was largely unfeasible. By contrast, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the threats of international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the instability of the greater Middle East draw many to the deduction that perhaps a multipolar world where no single power maintains hegemony is the preferable path towards a more stable and peaceful future.
Such judgments have justified, if not formed the basis for, the current strategies of Russia and China to balance the power of the United States. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently derided Washington’s attempts to create a unipolar world while speaking at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in February, as he explained that such actions have led to an increasing number of global conflicts. Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov clarified Putin’s remarks to Itar-Tass, Russia’s main government news agency, when he noted the following: “We say that a unipolar world does not lead to anything good, there are many times more conflicts now than at the time of the Cold War.”
To be sure, this line of thinking is neither new nor confined to those outside the United States apprehensive of the unquestioned primacy of a single foreign power. Writing in the Atlantic Monthly in August 1990, University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer wrote an essay self-explanatorily titled “Why We Will Soon Miss the Cold War.” The central supposition was simple: with the loss of order provided by the structural compositions of the Cold War, a Hobbesian anarchy was destined to shape the future of international relations. Of course Mearsheimer was not alone in his views. He has been joined by not only a growing number of “realists” weary of the costs associated with hegemony, but also a different sort of critic represented by the increasing number of anti-American leftists in the United States who are inherently suspicious of American power.
With the growing level of agreement that the United States should abandon its role as world’s lone superpower, some questions must be asked. May Mearsheimer and his radical leftist counterparts have been right? Is the Kremlin accurate in its assessment they we have indeed reached a time of unprecedented conflict and global disorder? A rather simple exploration of history illustrates that, on the contrary to those who disparage the preservation of American hegemony, the world has indeed become significantly more peaceful since the end of the Cold War.
According to data compiled by the University of Maryland, an average of 52.5 wars occurred per decade of the Cold War through 1984. As a result of those conflicts, an average of nearly 4.6 million people died per decade. This is hardly peaceful. By contrast, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program in Sweden found that state-based conflicts decreased by approximately 40% from 1992 to 2005. Battle deaths since 1990 make up only a small fraction of those incurred through any decade during the Cold War, and the frequency of attempted military coups has dropped significantly; an average of 12.8 occurred per year between 1962 and 1991, while just 5.9 were attempted per year from 1992 through 2006. From 1989 to 2005 the number of genocides decreased by 90%.
A common misperception of the post-Cold War era maintains that while conventional battles between states have decreased, globalization and the deterioration of stability have put civilian lives at risk as the barriers between combatant and civilian have broken down from the growing number terror attacks and civil conflicts. However, as the authors of the University of British Columbia’s Human Security Brief 2006 noted in their latest annual report: “notwithstanding the increase in terrorist attacks, the number of civilian victims of intentional organized violence remains appreciably lower today than it was during the Cold War years.” Thus, all of the leading indicators – number of wars, battle deaths, civilian lives lost – point to a more peaceful and stable world under American primacy.
If the confrontation of the Cold War is not a correct paradigm for a peaceful future, perhaps one resembling that of the Concert of Powers and the long held mutual goal of a balance of power that prevailed in Europe between 1815 and 1914 would provide a greater blueprint for the 21st century. Such a restructuring of the world order has been called for from analysts and commentators as diverse as Henry Kissinger and Noam Chomsky. But was the world after the fall of Napoleon until the outbreak of World War I really as peaceful as some of the advocates of balance of power would lead you to believe?
While a continent-spanning great power conflict was avoided until the outbreak of the First World War, the peace established at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 did not last long. By 1829, the Russo-Turkish War had concluded leaving more than 130,000 dead. This was not the last time these two powers would go to war as an approximate 200,000 died in further hostilities in 1877 and 1878. In the meantime, the Russians faced the Polish Insurrection between 1830 and 1831 – they had been granted control of much of Poland at the Congress of Vienna – leaving at least 20,000 dead, while the First Carlist War in Spain ended only after more than 30,000 lost their lives. The Crimean War of 1854 to1856 resulted in approximately 300,000 deaths; the Seven Weeks War in 1866 killed 35,000; and by the time the Franco-Prussian War concluded in 1871 more than 200,000 had lost their lives. Additional competition between the European powers for empire and the influence and resources that go along with it was also not without incident.
In fact, it was largely the example of the tumultuous environment of 19th century Europe that molded America’s earliest perceptions of a proper security environment. What was essentially conceived by George Washington and was later refined by John Quincy Adams, American leaders have long sought to avoid entangling the nation in any sort of foreign policy based on balance of power. Expressing his deep seated reluctance for any type of balance of power in the Western Hemisphere, Adams noted in 1811 that were the United States not to emerge as the hegemon of the Americas, “we shall have an endless multitude of little insignificant clans and tribe at eternal war with one another for a rock or a fish pond, the sport and fable of European masters and oppressors.” Multipolarity, in the absence of a global congruence of interests and widespread cooperation, will inevitably lead to such a situation the world over.
Critics of American efforts to maintain its primacy often point to the economic, political, and military costs associated with such ambition. These concerns are not without merit, but they also overlook the costs incurred when a peer competitor arises as was the case throughout much of the Cold War. The average annual percentage of GDP spent on defense during the Cold War was roughly 7% compared to less than 4% since 1991. Thus, the so-called “peace dividend” would be more appropriately labeled the “primacy dividend” as the United States was not at war at until the collapse of the Soviet Union, but rather was in a costly struggle to outlast a peer competitor. Additional criticisms about the costs in American lives are also unfounded. During the Cold War an average of about 18,000 American military personnel died as a result of hostile action per decade. Even if we count the civilian lives lost on 9/11, that number has decreased a staggering 83% since 1990. Finally, the questions of the political consequences incurred as a result of hegemony are, at the minimum, significantly exaggerated. It was the not so not-aligned Non-Aligned Movement that emerged out of the Cold War, and even “Old Europe” is returning to the acknowledgement that there is a pervasive parallel in values and interests with the United States.
Indeed, any future deterioration of American hegemony would be accompanied by catastrophic consequences. History reveals that tragic violence inevitably follows newly created power vacuums. The decline of the Ottoman Empire brought on a massacre of the Armenians, and the end of British rule in India resulted in massive devastation in South Asia. As was persuasively illustrated in Niall Ferguson’s War of the World, the weakening and contraction of Western empires were indispensable contributors to the unprecedented bloodshed of the 20th century. Make no mistake, history will repeat itself – beginning in Iraq – should the United States loose its nerve and retract from its responsibilities as the world’s lone superpower. While it has become fashionable to proclaim that the 21st Century will emerge as the “Asian Century,” the United States – and its many allies – should do everything in their powers to insure that we are indeed at the dawn of a new American century.
Robert T. McLean is a Research Associate at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.
Bush says he will veto new Dem war bill
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush would veto any bill drafted by House Democratic leaders that would fund the Iraq war only into the summer months, his spokesman said Wednesday.
And Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Senate committee that such short-term funding would be very disruptive and “have a huge impact” on contracts to repair and replace equipment. The Defense Department, he said, just doesn’t “have the agility to manage a two month appropriation.” (Read More)