Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Unabashed Literary Fondling of Petraeus; Architect of American Graves!

Those who know me well enough, know I bleed red blood cells branded with United States Marine Corps emblems. It also follows that as a Marine, I take my Oath very seriously. I have only taken two Oaths; one to the Marine Corps and one other to my Wife. I am still bonded to both. I have been and will continue to be, ready, willing and able to defend both my Corps, my fellow Marines, my Wife, my Daughter and anything else that falls under the purview of those oaths. I hold that as an American, there is nothing on earth as sacred as the lives of Americans and most especially, the lives of those in our Military! Scream if you want to, but shame on all who dare claim to be Americans who are not first and last concerned about this country and this country's citizenry!

Having said that I will take the time to castigate anyone - ANYONE, who maliciously, carelessly or wantonly destroys the lives or well-being of any of the above; although I take no pleasure in it, I will hold all those accountable by this venue who tread on the sacred lives and honor of those precious to me and enveloped by those Oaths.

In spite of the mountain of evidence that has been presented by these venues and by the well studied students of history, Islamic Ideology and the unvarnished realities presented daily by the Afghan, the Iraqi and the Muslim world in general, General David Petraeus has insisted on following what any rational clear thinking Military Leader would have avoided. Rather than pay whatever personal and professional price was necessary to provide our Warriors and by extension, the security of these United States with the first and best strategy to defeat Al Qaida and the Taliban, he chose rather to use a strategy that history records as foolish and he insists on continuing in spite of the mounting harvest of American deaths that are the true fruit of his decision. Add to this the gaggle of JAG prosecutors, gleaning after action reports and frothing at the mouth for an opportunity to prosecute any young American Serviceman they can and his insistence is nothing less than a direct insult to every American Serviceman - and their families, who has ever donned a uniform!

Referring to him as the "architect of counter insurgency doctrine" is another insult; one directed at the Marines who authored the original document. The fact is, the only legitimate use of the strategy was directly after the United States Marine Corps printed it as the Small Wars Manual of 1940. The British used Counter Insurgency Doctrine to drive out the death squads of Mao Tse Tung from the Jungles of Malaya from 1948-1960. I say it was legitimate because the British were heavily invested in the business, governance, protection and daily lives of the Malayan people and the Malayan people were invested in them. In essence, under the leadership of General Templer, the British defended their own territory from an outside, unwanted element - and the Malayan people agreed. There has never existed any similar
type of symbiotic relationship between Afghanistan and the United States. And one more point; T-H-E T-A-L-I-B-A-N A-R-E I-N-D-I-G-E-N-O-U-S!

If the average Afghan is so bloody interested in having our help to eliminate the Taliban, then how come the vast - VAST majority of IED's go unreported until one of our Marines or Soldiers finds it or is destroyed by it?

If Petraeus is such a strategic genius, why hasn't he been able to see what every enlisted man in-country and every retired Military man - Officer and Enlisted seems to be able to see (of course I am not including those who have sold their souls to the political system)?

The greater question is why is so much of the media which is typically all too ready to castigate the average infantryman and some infantry officers as murderers all too willing to fawn over the "great man"? One answer is that they are as lazy in their pursuit of historical truth as he is! They are not nearly as interested in the daily sacrifices made by the average infantryman as they are creating one-more-rock star. After all rock stars sell better and what sells better, propels you further up the ladder and fattens
your wallet.

Some in the media and in political circles are concerned that the average American seems to be so disenchanted with this government that the next election is likely to be an attendance blowout. The newspaper industry is nearly extinct and the main venues of news reporting aren't even doing as well as some Blogs. Are they seriously confused about the reasons the American public no longer trusts them, their opinions or the politicians they report on? Then a quick look at this "masterful" piece of "reporting" should explain why. Just take a look at this little gem published by one of the great news sources. Really? Not one word of derision? Not one, single question about the claims of "success" - even as Afghan Soldiers continue to turn their weapons on American and NATO Marines and Soldiers?

Were any of these claims vetted? Did any editor question whether there was really anything to "celebrate"? Was anyone actually affected by the decisions this man made contacted for a rebuttal? The obvious answer is no! They are too busy being the first to cast the base of the monument to a man who chose to use a dubious strategy, COIN, to first safeguard a people who don't care whether sovereign United States Marines and Soldiers live or die. But by his reckless selection of the strategy governing our troops actions in this ideologically monolithic society hell bent on killing any and all who will not take a knee to Allah, who hold apostasy as the greatest of sins and relish in the burning of those who are, who treat women as animals, who force little girls to marry, who rape and abuse little boys, who deny education to women and little girls, who export drugs as their number one crop, who plan and export death and mutilation to the United States; he has by this choice in strategies intentionally placed the lives of our Sons and Daughters at undue risk and for this, he is applauded!?

Hey "reporters"; get a grip!

Hey Americans; you had better get off your couches and away from the TV set before someone you actually know and care about becomes "fruit" of the "great man's" folly!


Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Specter of Success in COIN. But for Whom?

Juxtaposition is a literary expression of the side-by-side positioning of incongruent terms or ideas. Politics and culture seem to do this as a matter of the normal transaction of day to day business; suggesting that certain ideas or arguments make a point that is polar opposite. Most of the thinking population would describe these attempts to bolster support for an ideal or an idea, deceitful. I would agree but there is something even more devious about this tactic in that while it may be successful in convincing an audience to think or believe a certain way, the real danger is to the wielder of this tactic. At some point they become oblivious to their own act of deceit and begin to believe their own garbage or at least justify it as a must, to meet an "honorable" end.

Curious: If one must lie to achieve a specific goal; can that goal really be considered honorable?

There was a Country and Western song which loosely quoted Alexander Hamilton; "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything". Sadly it has become daily commentary for a government obsessed with compromise which equals giving in on a principle, equals the shedding of truth and honor, equals leadership that is, well, compromised. While the dealing of politics and business in DC may generally lead to some not-so-great legislation that could adversely affect business, savings accounts and our posterity, these things pale in comparison to the decisions (or lack thereof) that directly affect the lives of a small percentage of this population, here and now; our Military.

This political season which will end 1 year and 5 months from now and deliver us our next President, has already compromised on national security. In doing so it has also compromised the lives of the men in our Armed Forces serving on an active battlefield in the midst of a yet unidentified enemy that doesn't seem to be suffering from the same inability to identify us as his enemy. And like pawns deemed expendable in a chess game played by a novice, our Marines and Soldiers continue to be placed side by side with people who deem us an enemy based on the teachings of their deity.

The proponents of COIN doctrine have continued to suggest over, and over again, that there is a component of Afghan society, friendly to us and sharing of our political vision for that country. They are so convinced of this they have been willing to place the Sons and Daughters of this generation shoulder to shoulder with members of Afghanistan's current generation while denying them what every conventional military has used for 6 millennia; fear and force and the will to use them to force our will on the enemy while preserving the lives of their military.

The soft skinned, three-piece suited, environmentally air-conditioned members of Congress and the White House, seem to be equally content to leave our men and women in uniform exposed to the 'non-existent' dangers from the 'unidentified enemy', as well. After all, there are far more difficult things to consider like, the debt ceiling, taxes, the shenanigans of Rupert Murdoch's empire and of course; the coming election. Of course the "watchdog" media is obsessed with the trial of a young woman in Florida, the possible paring of a young starlet and a Marine at the Marine Corps Ball, the Prince and Princess of another country and any number of other truly meaningless events. To say the media, DC and the general public is now completely numb to the plight of the average Warrior abandoned on the battlefield in Afghanistan is really just stating the obvious but even the British are now angered by the apparent waste of their blood and treasure.

Success has apparently been defined and met in Afghanistan, by this administration which announced it will begin a draw down starting this month which will reach 30,000 in time for the election, this coming year. Of course one man's success is another's abysmal failure but when all of the media and all of the statistical experts are in your corner, it is easy to craft a story that is supportive of your claim to success - regardless of the actual evidence to the contrary. I won't delineate the "evidence" used by this Administration or Congress to back their claims, just watch the news.

I would like to suggest that 1400 years of ideological history and the nearly 5000 years of habitation there paint a picture of a people who are not going to change their minds or their ways and are certainly not going to "westernize" nor become fast friends with us. The past ten years, excluding the first 6 months, have shown us that trying to convince the citizenry there of our majestic vision for their future has met with mixed reviews - at best. At worst, it has cost the lives of hundreds dead and thousands disfigured; physically and mentally. The trend toward an anti-American and anti-ISAF culture there seems to be growing - not subsiding. Consider the events of just a week:

1. The weekend of 09 July 2011, two Americans, one Iowan National Guardsman and a civilian contractor are gunned down by an Afghan National Intelligence Service who also wounded another Guardsman before being killed himself. The debacle that followed including angry local Afghan's surrounding the unit, nearly ended with more Americans being killed.

2. 12 July 2011, Ahmed Wali Karzai, half brother of Afghan president, is killed by a "trusted confidant". My entire interest in Afghanistan revolves around just two issues; first that those who would do this country harm are dealt with - finally and second for the welfare of our Warriors. Karzai's brother and family welfare don't make my list of concerns but one has to ask just how this fits the Petraeus/Obama model of success?

3. 13 July 2011, 5 French Service Members are killed by a suicide bomber on the very day that Karzai is in Kandahar to mourn his brother's death (can it actually be considered murder if an Afghan Islamic Soldier kills an apparent apostate?)

4. 14 July 2011, in an apparent violation of a "gentlemen's agreement" within the religious community there that tolerate/respect the wearing of Turbans by some members in the Mosque, a member killed 3 Imams and wounded 15 others by detonating a bomb hidden in his turban.

5. 16 July 2011, another as yet unidentified NATO Soldier is killed by a member of the Afghan National Army. Of course, ISAF was quick to suggest he might just be "someone" wearing the uniform but Taliban spokesmen were clear he was not one of them. The dirt-bag ran away after killing the soldier.

6. 16 July 2011, yet another NATO soldier was killed - in his quarters, by an Afghan National Soldier who the Taliban claim was a sleeper agent….Sleeper agent or not; the vetting/non-vetting process cleared this dirt-bag for service and now one more soldier will not be returning home to his family.

I want to thank M.J. Green's tireless efforts in 'cataloguing' these latest pieces of evidence "chronicling COIN success" - at least as defined by this administration. I would also like to suggest you all read a piece by Andrew Bostom which provides some insight into the "success" story in Iraq. He provides not only a glimpse at the preposterousness of the continued suggestion that COIN has changed anything there but a look at the British history there and their perspective from their attempt, in the 1930's.

In addition; please stop by Diana West's Blog to read her perspective on these and other interesting details that seem to not be included in the equation of Strategic success; operating under COIN in a predominately Muslim culture and as defined by Politicians.

It is important to keep what our political establishment considers success in mind as we delve ever deeper into the "evolutionary" processes of other Muslim nations across the region because what they have deemed successful in Iraq and Afghanistan will be tried in other areas.

Our Warriors will continue to be tasked with the whims of the ignorant in DC and will continue to pay a price.

Are you now ready to demand change from your elected officials or are you satisfied with these weekly tallies which define success; for the enemy, yet unidentified?

Our Warriors are waiting…..


Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard