Thursday, March 15, 2012

60 Minutes: EDL Tommy Robinson On Islamic Extremism

Posted by BH
Australian TV came to the UK to interview Tommy Robinson to find out what the EDL is all about and get a tour of his home town Luton.

Pro-Union Protesters Found Guilty in Wis. — but Wait Until You Hear Their Defense

Posted by BH

The MacIver Institute in Wisconsin has been closely following the pro-union protests that started in that state last year. And it’s done a great job of bringing to light interesting stories (remember the fake doctor notes?). And it hasn’t disappointed with one of its latest videos, which takes you inside the courtroom as protesters try and mount a defense for why they disobeyed police in August and refused to vacate the capitol.
The video below does a good job of laying out the story, so I won’t bore you by repeating details. But what I will say is this: the protesters were eventually found guilty ($200 fine plus court costs), and just wait until you hear their defense.
Wisconsin Protesters Found Guilty
In a nutshell, the protesters claim that when police told the group to vacate the building because it was closing, the cops never told each one individually. They also believe that police would have been able to do their job (close the capitol) even if the protesters were left to sit in the rotunda. The money line comes when one of them claims he would have eventually gotten bored and left.
See it all for yourself:


Posted by BH

Stephen Gutowski's picture
Occupiers Disrupt News Channel's Live Shot & Argue With Reporter 
 Language warning
While a reporter for Denver's Fox affiliate, KDVR-TV, tried to do a live shot reporting on the occupy movement a group of occupiers with signs that included obscene language purposely ruined the shot. Afterwards the reporter and the cameraman argued with the occupiers about their actions. (h/t Breitbart tv)

31 Foregone Facts Barack Obama Fans Should Ponder!

Posted by Bh 
By Kevin A. Lehmann
1. If a previous president would have increased the deficit by double the amount of his predecessor’s eight year tenure in only his first 30 months, would you have considered him an oniomaniac?
2. If a previous president had then proposed to double the current debt within 10 years, would you have approved?
3. If a previous president would have spent nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus and guaranteed unemployment would not exceed 8%, would you have called him a liar?
4. If a previous president would have played golf for thirteen weekends in a row leaving it up to congressional leaders to deal with the greatest financial crisis since the great depression, would you have considered him disengaged and out of touch?
5. If a previous president had criticized a state law that he admitted to never even reading, would you have thought him an ignoramus?
6. If a previous president had passed an unconstitutional law that would have comprised of nearly 1/6th of the country’s entire GDP, forced Americans to purchase a private product (in violation of the commerce clause), fined them if they didn’t, hired 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce it, and exempted 1500 organizations from having to abide by that new law, would you have thought him a mafia boss?
7. If a previous president joined the country of Mexico and sued a state in America to force that state to continue to allow illegal immigration, would you have questioned his patriotism and priorities and wonder who his allegiance was to?
8. If a previous president had pronounced Navy Corpsman like you pronounce a dead corpse, would you have thought he was stupid?
9. If a previous president had put 87,000 people out of work by arbitrarily placing a moratorium on offshore oil drilling on companies that have one of the best safety records because one foreign company had an accident, would you have agreed?

North American Command: U.S., Canada, Mexico

Posted by BH 
Written by Gary North

Have you ever heard of the Northern Command, also known as Norcom? Probably not.
Have you heard of moves to integrate the United States, Canada, and Mexico into one judicial authority? Probably.
Here is the description of Norcom on Wikipedia.
United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is a Unified Combatant Command of the U.S. military tasked with providing military support for civil authorities in the U.S., and protecting the territory and national interests of the United States within the contiguous United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico (and the air, land and sea approaches to these areas).
USNORTHCOM was created on April 25, 2002 when President George W. Bush approved a new Unified Command Plan, following the 11 September 2001 attacks. USNORTHCOM went operational on October 1, 2002.
The support that USNORTHCOM provides to civil authorities is legally limited by the Posse Comitatus Act, which sets some limits on the role of the U.S. military in civilian law enforcement. However, in case of national emergency, natural or man-made, its Air Forces Northern National Security Emergency Preparedness Directorate will take charge of the situation or event.
It gets better (or worse).
USNORTHCOM is composed of several standing Joint Task Forces (JTFs) previously assigned to United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM): Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, Joint Task Force-Civil Support, Joint Task Force Alaska, and Joint Task Force North. USNORTHCOM service components include U.S. Fifth Army/ARNORTH, First Air Force/AFNORTH, and United States Fleet Forces Command.
What does it do?
NORTHCOMM operates extensive domestic intelligence operations which both share and receive information from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Employees of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, NGA, and other agencies maintain offices at NORTHCOMM and receive daily intelligence briefings.
Northern Command has completed several joint training exercises with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA.
In Exercise Vigilant Shield 2008, Northern Command, Pacific Command, the Department of Homeland Security, and numerous law enforcement agencies across the U.S. conducted exercises to test their “response abilities against a variety of potential threats”.


Posted by BH


OH, GOODIE! A letter from my pal, Nihad, head litigation jihadist at CAIR

Posted by BH

The writer of this letter is Nihad Awad* (Read bio at end)

Our strategy is working

 As-salaamu alaykum (peace be to you),

Alhamdulillah (all thanks to God), we are finally seeing the tide turning.In the past week, we’ve reached a turning point in our effort to block the introduction and passage of  anti-sharia laws nationwide. Since last Tuesday, five states – Minnesota, Florida, New Jersey, Georgia and Mississippi – have either withdrawn the bills or allowed them to expire.

But the fight isn’t over – the governor of South Dakota signed an anti-sharia bill into law on Monday.

Almost 40 anti- sharia bills have been introduced in 30 states. It is critical that we defeat these bills and end this well-financed campaign to demonize Islam and marginalize American Muslims.

The people and groups behind this unconstitutional campaign have the donors and resources we currently lack. They are using their resources to exploit and promote ignorance, fear and religious hatred. Laws don’t just go away. If these bills are passed into law, they will affect your children, your grandchildren and their grandchildren.

: Despite the malicious intentions of the anti-Muslim campaign nationwide, we have seen it become a vehicle for Muslim civic and political engagement. By challenging these unjust bills, our community is gaining friends in state legislatures and is building coalitions with like-minded interfaith and civic groups.

 I ask that you provide us with the resources needed to prevent these unconstitutional bills from becoming the law of the land.

 CAIR can’t do it alone. We need your help.

 CAIR is taking the lead on this issue and our strategy is working (Alhamdulillah). But we need your support. This year alone, we expect to spend $350,000 for the resources – legal and otherwise – needed to fight the campaign to enact anti-sharia laws.

Please do whatever you can to help us preserve religious freedom for you, your children and all those who may face unequal treatment.

 Please - RIGHT NOW - send a one-time donation of $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or more to support this critical work. If you prefer, commit yourself to $10 or more per month.

May God bless you.
Thank you again,

Nihad Awad
CAIR National Executive Director

Donations qualify as zakat but are not tax-deductible at this time. (Because the IRS removed CAIR’s tax-exempt status due to its terrorist affiliations)

Please send this appeal to your friends and family, and post on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks.


Election Year Math By WILLIAM TUCKER

Posted by BH 



Election Year Math



William Tucker is the author of Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Energy Odyssey.
It'll all come down to three states that went for Obama last time.
If you want to know what's going to happen in the presidential race next November, just look at the above map. It shows the results of the 2004 election, won by George W. Bush with 286 electoral votes over John Kerry's 251. Although it's hard to remember now, 2004 was a breathlessly close election, particularly for an incumbent. If Ohio had gone the other way, Kerry would have won. That's why two years later Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was still in court trying to prove that Kerry had actually won Ohio and should be the President.
Now as Gerald Seib pointed out in Monday's Wall Street Journal,all those blue states that went for Kerry in 2004 are going to go for Obama again this year. The only possible exception is New Hampshire -- now the wealthiest state in the country, believe it or not -- but it has only four electoral votes. The Democratic states have lost population since 2004, so if the country split the same way today Republicans would win 291 to 246. But this also means the Democrats only need one big state -- 23 electoral votes -- to reach the magic number of 269.
Seib says the Democrats are targeting Florida, but I don't find that too likely. Obama's strength is with the young and if the Republican candidate, whoever he may be, picks Senator Marco Rubio as his Vice President, that could wrap it up. But any combination of two or three smaller states -- all of which went for Obama in 2008 -- could achieve the same end. North Carolina and Virginia would do it in tandem. North Carolina and Colorado would also produce the magic 270. New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, and Indiana all went for Obama in 2008 but if Republicans can't win in these states they probably don't have much of a chance anyway. So the final battleground is likely to be North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado.

One Marine's View - Why are we in Afg & who is there on your behalf?

Posted by BH

One Marine's View

Why are we in Afg & who is there on your behalf?
Gang-With everything (shootings/diarmings....) going on in Afg, I would like to remind everyone why we are in Afg and exactly WHO we are dealing with by the outstanding speach below.  
Semper Fi Society
St Louis
13 November 2010

 John F. Kelly
Lieutenant General, U. S. Marine Corps
Commander, Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North

I want to open my comments by thanking you all for the invitation to speak here today. Nine years ago two of four commercial aircraft took off very close to where we are sitting this very moment. United flight 175 and American flight 11 were filled with 146 men, woman and children, all innocent, and all soon to die.

These two aircraft were targeted at the World Trade Towers in New York, and they found their mark. Less than an hour of taking off these aircraft and the terrorists who piloted them killed most of the victims that day. No one alive old enough to remember will ever forget exactly where they were, exactly what they were doing, and exactly who they were with at the moment they watched the aircraft dive into the world trade towers on what was until then a beautiful morning here in Boston, and in New York City. Within the hour 3,000 blameless human beings would be vaporized, incinerated or crushed in the most agonizing ways imaginable. The most wretched among them—over 200—driven mad by heat, hopelessness, and utter desperation leapt to their deaths from 1,000 feet above Lower Manhattan. We soon learned hundreds more were murdered at the Pentagon, and in a Pennsylvanian farmer’s field.

Once the buildings had collapsed and the immensity of the attack began to register most of us had no idea of what to do, or where to turn. As a nation we were scared like we’d not been scared for generations. Parents hugged their children to gain as much as to give comfort. Strangers embraced in the streets stunned and crying on one another shoulders seeking solace, as much as to give it. Instantaneously American patriotism soared not “as the last refuge” as our national-cynical class would say, but in the darkest times Americans have always sought refuge in family, in country, and remember that strong men and women have always stepped forward to protect the nation when the need was dire and it was so God awful dire that day—and remains so today.

Illegal-hiring ag coalition says NumbersUSA's E-Verify ad campaign threatens 'doomsday' crisis in agriculture

Posted by Bh

By Roy Beck
Our TV/radio ads & grassroots campaign are stirring up some signs of panic among the supporters of illegal foreign workers
NumbersUSA is creating 'crisis of near doomsday proportions,' says a coalition of illegal-alien-hiring businesses
A Big Ag coalition apparently believes that we are threatening to have some success in our campaign against Speaker Boehner and his blocking of E-Verify legislation since it passed the House Judiciary Committee last September.
The Save America's Food and Economy coalition (SAFE) has just issued an urgent national release criticizing NumbersUSA's ad campaign. It refers to SAFE President Craig J. Regelbrugge's speech before growers, manufacturers and agriculture experts at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California.
SAFE announced:
(Regelbrugge) expressed concern that misguided organizations like NumbersUSA, a group fanning the flames of fear and division on the immigration reform debate, will end up causing the destruction of struggling farms and the communities that rely on them.
"NumbersUSA recently announced a major advertising campaign targeting Congressional districts, including House Speaker John Boehners Ohio district, to scare members of Congress into voting for an immediate E-Verify mandate on employers and the economy.
SAFE argues NumbersUSA is sabotaging America's food independence and security by threatening Speaker Boehner into forcing passage of Rep. Lamar Smiths (R-TX) Legal Workforce Act or H.R. 2885.
And who is "fanning flames?" Believe me, if we thought E-Verify would callapse our food industry, we would be working for a very different solution. Here are some things to keep in mind when reading the hyperbole of the SAFE coalition:
  • Despite the tendency in the news media and among too many Americans to equate farmwork and illegal immigration, fewer than 5% of illegal aliens work in agriculture. The purpose of mandatory E-Verify is primarily about opening up non-ag jobs to unemployed Americans who are looking for work in the same construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other service occupations where most illegal aliens work.
  • I believe it is unlikely that farmers will be able to replace most of their illegal workers with Americans, at least not in the near-term. But we can't exempt farmworkers from E-Verify since that would provide a huge loophole for a continuing flow of illegal immigration, and would continue to undermine the wages and working conditions of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who still do farm work.
  • If E-Verify passes, farmers won't have to rely on American workers. If they anticipate a worker shortage, they can apply for legal foreign guestworkers through the federal guest ag-worker H-2A visa. There is no limit to how many they can bring in legally. 

CARTOON New Cartoon's up top on Cartoon Rolls daily

Posted by BH

Gun Battles in Mexico Force U.S. to Shut Down Two Border Crossings

Posted by BH

Unmanned Border Crossing
In this Oct. 31, 2011 photo, work is underway in Big Bend National Park, Texas, on a planned remotely-operated port of entry at the Rio Grande. It would be the first of its kind on the U.S.-Mexico border and provide access to Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico, seen in the distance. (AP Photo/Christopher Sherman)
( - Several gun battles between Mexican military forces and drug traffickers  prompted U.S. authorities to temporarily shut down two international bridge crossings on the Southwest border last week.
The two bridges are located at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) port of entry in Eagle Pass, Texas – connecting Eagle Pass, Texas, to Piedras Negras in Coahuila, Mexico.
In an e-mail to, Douglas Mosier, a spokesman for CBP in El Paso, confirmed that the bridges were closed “in response to violent activity occurring in Piedras Negras, Mexico and as per coordination between the Government of Mexico, the Eagle Pass Police Department and the Maverick County Sheriff's Department.”
“CBP has protocols in place to handle these types of situations and enacted those protocols in response to this incident,” added Mosier. “Our primary concern is for the safety of the traveling public and the safety of our officers.”
He said that the shut down took place overnight between approximately 9 p.m. on March 6 and 8 a.m. the following day.
Traffic to Mexico was stopped at about 9 p.m. Northbound traffic from Mexico coming across the larger bridge – Camino Real International – was rerouted overnight to the Eagle Pass International Bridge.
By 7:40 a.m. on March 7, both international bridges had fully resumed northbound and southbound operations.
Mosier said he could not provide any more details on the battles, which government agency ordered the shut down, and whether CBP often closes down border crossings as a result of drug war violence in Mexico.
However, according to Mexican news reports, the U.S. State Department requested that the bridges be closed in response to a series of gun battles between the Mexican military and bandits in Piedras Negras armed with rifles and rocket grenade launchers.
The State Department did not immediately return calls for comment.
Media accounts from both the U.S. and Mexico revealed that the traffickers used an 18-wheeler engulfed in fire to set up a road block approximately a quarter-mile from one of the bridges and that one female police officer and at least six members of the Mexican military were wounded as a result of the armed conflict.
Eagle Pass Police Chief Tony Castañeda, who referred to the armed criminals as drug traffickers, said, “This is not out of the norm. There have been several gun battles going on here with the narcotics traffickers for quite some time. But it's never gotten to this magnitude where they close bridges,” reported The San Antonio Express-News on March 8.
Speaking in Spanish, Castañeda said in a video that the bridges were closed to prevent the criminals from “fleeing and entering the U.S. to escape because many of them do have the right to enter by means of a passport,” The Eagle Pass Business Journal reported on March 7.
However, Mosier said that CBP was still allowing northbound traffic. It was traffic going into Mexico that was completely stopped.
The decision to close the bridges was aimed at “protecting citizens and preventing some of the delinquents from entering and fleeing from what had occurred on the Mexican side and to maintain security,” added Castañeda.
Castañeda revealed that CBP officers and members of the police force have been placed on alert, adding that as a result he expects northbound traffic on the bridges to be slow for several days following the incident.

The burnt remains of a car rest in the eastbound lanes of Old Highway 80 after an explosion that killed the driver of the vehicle that was being pursued by Border Patrol and injuring an Agent who was approaching the vehicle.
The burnt remains of a car rest in the eastbound lanes of Old Highway 80 after an explosion that killed the driver of the vehicle that was being pursued by Border Patrol and 
injuring an Agent who was approaching the vehicle. — John Gibbins

The burnt remains of a car rest in the eastbound lanes of Old Highway 80 after an explosion that killed the driver of the vehicle that was being pursued by Border Patrol and injuring an Agent who was approaching the vehicle.
Old Highway 80 between Sunrise Highway and Old Buckman Springs road was closed during the investigation of an explosion that killed the driver of a vehicle that was being pursued by Border Patrol and injuring an Agent who was approaching the vehicle. — John Gibbins
EAST COUNTY — One person was killed and a Border Patrol agent was injured overnight Thursday after a car exploded just east of Pine Valley.
Border Patrol agents received a call just before midnight that someone was driving the wrong way on Interstate 8 near east of Buckman Springs, Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Justin De La Torre said.
An agent spotted the car and a pursuit began. Agents then deployed spike strips and the car was disabled and pulled over on Old Highway 80, De La Torre said.
As the agent got out and started to approach the vehicle it blew up.
“Once he got up to the driver’s side door the vehicle exploded,” De La Torre said.
The agent was knocked back from the blast and suffered burns. The car was engulfed in flames and the driver died.
The wounded agent was flown by helicopter to a hospital for treatment. His name and further information about him has not been released. De La Torre said his injuries are not considered to be life threatening.
Sheriff’s homicide and bomb arson detectives are conducting the investigation. No information about the driver has been made public nor have officials said how or why the car blew up.
Old Highway 80 is shut down in both direction between Sunrise Highway and Buckman Springs Road until further notice.

White House-Backed Review of Energy Department Loans Omits Solyndra

Posted by BH
White House-Backed Review of Energy Department Loans Omits Solyndra
(AP Photo)
( -- An “independent review” commissioned by the White House to evaluate loans issued by the U.S. Department of Energy did not include a review of DOE loans to failed alternative energy projects such as Solyndra and Beacon Power.
“First of all let me again emphasize we did not look at Solyndra and Beacon. We have not looked at the companies that received grants, we’re only looking at the loan program,” study author Herb Allison told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday morning.
Allison, a former Treasury Department employee who was chosen by the White House to conduct an independent review of the Department of Energy loan guarantee program, summarized his findings before the Energy Committee. He also made recommendations to increase efficiency within the loan guarantee program and to ensure responsible use of taxpayer money.
Herbert Allison
Former Treasury official Herb Allison testifying before the Senate Energy Committee. (AP photo)
During questioning by the panel, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asked Allison why the report did not conduct a review of Solyndra when a DOE loan failed in its purpose to facilitate clean energy. Allison said the report focused solely on “loans that exist now.”
However, Paul pressed Allison further on the issue, saying that he was “skeptical” why a review on energy loans would not include failed companies like Solyndra and BrightSource, where more oversight was necessary.
“I have your mandate -- it looks to me wide open, if you were to look at oversight, why wouldn’t you look at where the problem is?” asked Paul.
“This is about crony capitalism. This isn’t about starting up solar panels. It’s about giving money to people who’ve already got enough money. Let them make their own loans. If they love solar panels, let them do it. But I don’t understand, you didn’t look at any of the problems and how do we come to conclusions about oversight, if you didn’t look at the companies where the problems originated?”
Allison said “there are several investigations of Solyndra underway – and claimed he and his staff would have required more time as well as more “investigatory powers” to fully analyze the failed loan.
“(I)f we were going to look at that, we would’ve needed investigatory powers, subpoena powers, the right to demand documents. We would’ve taken probably many months, if not a year,” said Allison, who added a review of Solyndra would overlap with investigations already in progress.
Rand Paul Flight
FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2011 file photo, Sen. Rand Paul addresses a town hall meeting in Hartford, Ky.  (AP Photo/Ed Reinke, File)
Despite the fact that Paul called into question the report’s political motives and validity, Allison stood by his findings and conclusions.
“My point is, regardless of those facts, we were going to do as thorough a process of reviewing the policies and procedures of the Department of Energy regarding the management of this portfolio. I think we did that, I think that we came to our own independent conclusions,” he said.
Solyndra is a solar energy company that went bankrupt last year after receiving a $535 million government loan. Environmental attorney and Obama financial supporter Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s investment firm Vantage Partners is the principal investor in BrightSource.
Last year, BrightSource received a $1.4 billion loan that was approved by a DOE worker formerly employed with the green energy company.
Posted by BH

By Thomas Sowell

Many years ago, I learned of an episode in the life of a promising young black man that is relevant to things happening now. He had been educated at a good school, and went on to receive degrees at good colleges and universities. Then he went for a Ph.D. in mathematics at one of the leading departments in that field.
When he encountered difficulties, his professors essentially wrote his doctoral thesis for him. No doubt they felt good about doing something to help a promising young black man, and perhaps took pride in doing so. But what about his pride?
This young man ended up joining an extremist group that hated white people.
Would it have been worse if he had not gotten a Ph.D. in math? Probably 99 percent of the people in this country, regardless of race, could not get a Ph.D. in math -- and yet they can still live happy and fulfilling lives.
What recalled this episode from long ago was the current flurry of interest in a video of a young Barack Obama at the Harvard law school praising Derrick Bell, a black professor there, whose writings on "critical race theory" promoted an extremist hostility to white people.
Derrick Bell was for years a civil rights lawyer, but not an academic legal scholar of the sort who gets appointed as a full professor at one of the leading law schools. Yet he became a visiting professor at the Stanford law school and was a full professor at the Harvard law school.
It was transparently obvious in both cases that his appointment was because he was black, not because he had the qualifications that got other people appointed to these faculties. At Stanford, his students complained that his course on constitutional law was not up to the standards of the other courses they were taking.
Stanford at that time had one of the leading scholars in constitutional law, Professor Gerald Gunther -- and Derrick Bell was no Gerald Gunther. A hastily created program of study of constitutional law was then used to teach that subject to students who were not getting what they needed in Professor Bell's course.
When this clever finessing of the problem came to light, the administration apologized -- to Derrick Bell for the embarrassment this caused him.
They should have apologized to the law students for short-changing them with a professor who was not up to the job -- and to those who donated money to the university to advance the cause of education, not to allow administrators to play racial quota politics on campus.
As a full professor at the Harvard law school, Derrick Bell was also surrounded by colleagues who were out of his league as academic scholars. What were his options at this point?
If he played it straight, he could not expect to command the respect of either faculty or students at the Harvard law school -- or, more important, his own self-respect. Bell himself admitted that he did not have the scholarly credentials that most full professors at the Harvard law school have.
There were no doubt other law schools where he would have been a respected colleague, but these were not Stanford or Harvard. Yet it is worth remembering that millions of people have led happy and fulfilling lives without ever being at Harvard or Stanford.
Derrick Bell's options were to be a nobody, living in the shadow of more accomplished legal scholars -- or to go off on some wild tangent of his own, and appeal to a radical racial constituency on campus and beyond.
His writings showed clearly that the latter was the path he chose. His previous writings had been those of a sensible man saying sensible things about civil rights issues that he understood from his years of experience as an attorney. But now he wrote all sorts of incoherent speculations and pronouncements, the main drift of which was that white people were the cause of black people's problems.
Bell even said that he took it as his mission to say things to annoy white people. Perhaps he thought that was better than being insignificant in his academic setting. But it was in fact far worse, because the real damage was to impressionable young blacks who took him seriously, including one who went on to become President of the United States.

EDITORIAL BY DR. RON PAUL "An Administration Gone Rogue"

Posted by BH


An Administration Gone Rogue

 by Ron Paul
Dr. Ron Paul
Have certain parts of the Constitution become irrelevant, as a former Republican leader once told me at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing? At the time, I was told that demanding a congressional declaration of war before invading Iraq, as Article I Section 8 of the Constitution requires, was unnecessary and anachronistic. Congress and the president then proceeded without a constitutional declaration and the disastrous Iraq invasion was the result.
Last week, Obama administration officials made it clear that even the fig leaf of congressional participation provided by the 2003 "authorization" to use force in Iraq was to be ignored as well. In a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated clearly and repeatedly that the administration felt it was legally justified to use military force against Syria solely with "international permission." Such "international permission" could come by way of the United Nations, NATO, or some other international body. Secretary Panetta then told Senator Sessions that depending on the situation, the administration would consider informing Congress of its decision and might even seek authorization after the fact.
While Senator Sessions expressed surprise at the casual audacity of Panetta in making this statement, in reality his was just a bluntly stated explanation of what has been, de facto, the case for many years. When President Obama committed the US military to a pre-emptive war against Libya last year, for example, Congress was kept completely out of the process. Likewise, military action in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and so on proceed without a congressional declaration. In fact, we haven't had a proper, constitutional declaration of war since 1942, yet the US military has been engaged in Korea, Lebanon, Iraq, Bosnia, Liberia, Haiti and Libya with only UN resolutions as the authority. Congress's only role has been authorizing funds, which it always does without question because one must "support the troops."
Of course, we should reserve our harshest criticism for Congress rather than the administration. If the people's branch of government abrogates its constitutional authority to the executive branch, who is to blame? Who is to blame that Congress as a body will not stand up and demand that the president treat the Constitution as more than an anachronistic piece of paper, or merely a set of aspirations and guidelines? The Constitution is the law of the land and for Congress to allow it to be flouted speaks as badly about Congress as it does about a president who seeks to do the flouting.
Just last week the administration announced that it would begin providing material support to the rebels who seek to overthrow the Syrian government. Was Congress involved in this decision to take sides in what may develop into a full-fledged civil war? And what of reports that US Special Forces may already be operating inside Syria? Still, Congress sits silently as its authority is undermined. Does anybody really wonder why approval numbers for Congress are so low?
Many of my colleagues who stood by as then-President Bush used the military as a kind of king's army are now calling for Congress to act against this president for openly admitting that is his intent. I agree it is time for congressional action in response to these attacks on our Constitution, but the solution is simple and constitutional. The solution is simply voting to withhold funds, since Congress has the power of the purse. No money for undeclared wars!


Posted by Bh

By Michael Yon
The murders in Panjway are an important moment in this war.  No
telling how this will unfold.  Never mind that the Taliban have
murdered more than 16 in the last two days, including women and
children.  (13 in Urozgan alone.)  The sad fact is that this is very
unlikely to turn out well, and that Afghanistan is moving toward civil

Please read Panjway 16.
The New York Daily News asked for an op-ed on the mass murder in Afghanistan.  I invested several hours writing and they took it as is. As per normal, they changed the title.  Practically every publication does this to suit their specific readership, and that’s fine.  But on my website we can stick with the original title,
“The Panjway 16.”
image-1000Are some in the American forces buckling under the pressure of war?
The mass murder in Afghanistan was predictable. Twice in the past three weeks, I published that it was coming. Why was I able to write this with sad confidence? I’ve spent more time with combat troops in these wars than any other writer: about four years in total in country, and three with combat troops.
About 200 coalition members have been killed or wounded from insider attacks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is tantamount to being Taliban and has not bothered to apologize. Instead, Karzai whips up anti-U.S. fervor at every opportunity. Twice, Karzai has threatened to leave politics and join the Taliban.
Even our most disciplined troops — not the few problem troops — have lost all idealism. They have not lost heart for the fight. Mostly, they just don’t care. They fight because they are ordered to fight, but they have eyes wide open. The halfhearted surge and sudden drawdown leave little room for success.
We face a discipline collapse. The bulk of our force is solid — then there’s a small fraction, probably a sliver of a percent, who might be crushed by the pressure.
On Feb. 24, I published:
“As the prevalence of insider attacks rises, and we lose more troops to Afghan troops going berserk and murdering our people, it’s likely just a matter of time before a U.S. troop or troops turn the table and intentionally slaughter Afghan forces.
“That could lead to a meltdown. We are at risk of losing control of more than some people might imagine. There is only so much that U.S. forces will put up with before fringe U.S. combat troops start taking matters into their own hands. Believe me.”
The next day, I published, “If things keep going this way, my expectation is that it’s a matter of time before discipline breaks and the gun turns.”
I’ve seen a few men on our side precariously close to the edge. In fact, my official embed status was ended by the Army in August 2011 after I wrote about issues with three soldiers.
I was accused of saying there were issues because I was disembedded. Yet the written trail and chronology is clear: I publicized discipline problems, then the Army circled the wagons and I was shown the door.
I published that a master sergeant stationed in Kandahar was homicidal after he strongly hinted at murder on his website. For years, he had been writing about his mental issues — yet the Army sent him to Afghanistan. Between hate-filled rants about gays and so on, he would write about his mental illness. In January of this year, he turned himself in to a clinic in Kandahar for mental issues.
Why was this guy armed and in Afghanistan in the first place? (He had nothing to do with the 16 murders.)
The 16 murder victims, including women and small children, are Pashtun. Pashtuns live by a code called Pashtunwali, which they take as seriously as the Koran. Pashtunwali includes “nanawatai” (asylum), “badal” (justice/revenge), “tureh” (bravery, specifically protecting women, children and property) and “namus” (honor of women).
Pashtunwali commitment to “badal” makes the Hatfields and McCoys look like a schoolyard fight. Nor is this just a Pashtun thing. There is an annual bloodfest between the Hazaras and Kuchis. That feud should be cranking up again with spring.
Afghan feuds are famously persistent. Badal carries through the generations like DNA. A grandson not born today might take revenge for events decades before his birth. He may kill someone who also was not born at that time. Panjwai district, the scene of the crime, had been one of the most dangerous districts in Afghanistan. Panjwai saw major battles involving Canadian, U.S., U.K., Dutch and Afghan forces. Many hundreds of enemy were estimated killed, and we took substantial casualties.  Progress was happening there. In early 2011, I drove there from Kandahar city without the military. The mood of the locals was tense. The journey was unsafe, but the fact that we entered what had previously been a Taliban-owned district, and returned safely, was demonstrative.  Yet in one furious night of murder, a single U.S. soldier (apparently) has wiped Panjwai progress off the map. Karzai is Pashtun. He said, “This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians, and cannot be forgiven.” Afghans will seek revenge and they will have it. This will lead to yet greater possibilities of another mass murder from our side. We are considering holding the trial in Afghanistan. Pashtuns don’t care about our justice system. They don’t even care about the Afghan government; they want blood for blood. We are being drawn into a feud.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...