Loose Canons

Loose Canons

Relaxed in Tehran

By 11.24.14

As sure as President Obama will pardon a ceremonial turkey this week, we know others will not be so lucky in the White House kitchen. The biggest diplomatic turkey—Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran—will be similarly pardoned and excused quickly while the foreboding we should all feel about it will be ignored in the launch of the holiday season.

As this is written, no announcement of the inevitable postponement of the Iran nuclear negotiations has come. But today the draft pseudo-deal with the Iranian government expires. All of the entrails we can read bode ill not just for the continued stalemate, but also for our reaching a deal that will not ensure the Iranians’ ability to produce nuclear weapons in secret, beyond our intelligence community’s capability to detect Iran’s decision to accomplish its ambition.

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Loose Canons

Happy Birthday, Teufel Hunden

By 11.10.14

Two hundred and thirty-nine years ago today, they were born at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. The news of their birth traveled far more slowly than they did. A short time later, according to their lore, their first man reported for duty aboard a US Navy ship. The officer of the deck barked, “What the hell are you?” and said, “You go aft and sit down ’till I find out.” The Tripolitan pirates didn’t know who they were when a handful marched across five hundred miles of Libyan desert in 1805. Led by a fiddle-playing Irish-American lieutenant named Presley Neville O’Bannon, they attacked Derna under a fierce barrage from three U.S. Navy ships, overcame odds of more than ten-to-one. and seized Derna in less than three hours.

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Loose Canons

Our C.S. President

By 11.3.14

To paraphrase Jeremiah Wright, the president’s long-time spiritual leader, the chickens**t is coming home to roost. The problem is that Obama and his White House Brat Pack will make sure it continues to do so for another two years.

The President of Chickens**t’s team expresses his policies and acts upon them in consistent disregard for America’s national security interests and those of our allies. How different was former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor’s statement last May that he couldn’t imagine how anyone could still be concerned with the Benghazi attacks — he exclaimed to Fox News’ Bret Baier, “Dude, that was like two years ago” — from a senior Obama administration official last week calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a chickens**t” and a “coward”?

There is no difference whatever except in context. The statements are expressions of a dominant mindset in the White House. It’s a devolution from the “best and the brightest” of the Kennedy era to the “most narcissistic and arrogant” of Obama’s presidency.

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Those Chemical Weapons: A Buried Story of the Iraq War

By 10.20.14

The New York Times report of October 14 should have been bigger news. Big enough to reshape the entire history of the Iraq war that toppled Saddam Hussein at the cost of more than 3,500 American lives and $1 trillion. So far, in the midst of the Ebola crisis, another Iraq war, and so much more, it wasn’t more than a one-day story.

The article reported that contrary to the Democratic narrative, there were chemical weapons found in Iraq. Around 5,000 aviation bombs, artillery warheads, and shells were found over about an eight-year period beginning in 2004. A number of soldiers were injured in handling them.

Maybe, someday, enough information will be declassified so that the full story will be known. I have a small part of the information to relate.

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Open Season on Leader Barack

By 10.13.14

ISIS is about to conquer Baghdad while the Kurds are begging for arms and American airpower to prevent the massacre of the people in Kobane. Joey Biden accidentally told the truth about Turkey’s placid approach to ISIS but apologized quickly. Ukraine has gone quiet for the moment but Kim Jong-un remains missing and — given his five weeks’ absence — intelligence analysts are trying to figure out if the North Koreans are about to go off the rails again. And TSA’s experts are screening passengers at some airports, including JFK, to ensure our borders remain open to anyone who will not die of Ebola before they go through customs inspection. The rest of the world is in about the same shape.

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President Alfred E. Neuman

By 10.6.14

On Saturday evening, a flight from Brussels landed at Newark carrying a man thought to be a Liberian who was vomiting and apparently showing other symptoms of Ebola, the disease that has broken out in epidemic proportions in West Africa. He was evacuated and later found not to be infected with the disease, which — if left untreated — can kill up to 90 percent of the people who are infected.

That’s a higher percentage than those killed by bubonic plague, which kills about 66 percent of those untreated.

Last week, a Wall Street Journal report gave us insight into President Obama’s desperate efforts to concede enough to Iran in his nuclear weapons negotiations that even the contumacious ayatollahs would have to give him a guarantee of peace in our time.

Still, America remains preternaturally cool. Nothing bothers us. We shouldn’t panic, but we can’t have faith that the government can handle this and has everything under control. Don’t just take the word of the head of the Centers for Disease Control because what he says is nonsensical.

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America’s Fool’s Errand Over Syria

By 9.29.14

Kobane — a town in northern Syria, not the dead rocker — is one of the focuses of President Obama’s war against ISIS. The fighting is confused by the fact that there aren’t just two sides, but at least six or seven. Obama told the UN last week that “the terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded, and ultimately destroyed.” Our effort to do so, aided by a coalition of sorts, is going at a glacial pace that will not foreseeably grow faster.

First things first. I’d guesstimate that we’re applying about 2-5 percent of the combined airpower of the U.S. Air Force and Navy to the president’s effort to destroy the Axis of Evil 3.0. That may be because we lack the actionable intelligence to do it faster. And it may be that neither we, nor our coalition members, are willing to do more.

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There’s No Confronting the Clinton Mafia

By 9.22.14

Bill has reportedly become a vegan, but Hillary is still very much the carnivore. We know her 2016 presidential campaign began the day after she lost the 2008 nomination to Obama. And we know that it’s being conducted by the same crew, using the same methods, that Bill’s campaigns and presidency were two decades ago. It’s not that the Clintons are back: they never really left.

Those methods would qualify the Clinton Family Enterprise as a mafia family if its heritage were Sicilian.

The Clinton Mafiosi playbook has many chapters, and the cover-up is a longstanding favorite. A few historical reminders are necessary for those who didn’t live through them.

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When Is a War Not a War?

By 9.15.14

It’s only been five days since President Obama announced his strategy which depends on a coalition of NATO members and Arab states to join with us to degrade and maybe someday destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But, as I predicted on Thursday, that plan won’t succeed. It has already fallen apart.

The Arab nations are, as usual, singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” in the war against ISIS. Their resentment and distrust of Obama ensured that the most they’d do is permit us to use bases in their nations. Predictably, they won’t send one soldier to fight with us. Britain, Germany, and Canada have already told us that they’ll sit this one out. Turkey, once a cornerstone of NATO and now ruled by a radical Islamist, has not only refused to join us but has also indicated it will refuse us the use of what used to be our massive airbase at Incirlik.

Although one reported cease-fire between a "moderate" Syrian rebel group and ISIS seems to have been short-lived, Obama's plan to arm the Syrian "moderates" is probably moot.

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While Benghazi Still Smolders, ISIS Burns Bright

By 9.11.14

Though the fires that consumed our diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, two years ago tonight have long since been put out, the incident still smolders in our minds.

Is it because we have never been able to get at the truth behind the attacks? Because we still don’t know what the president said, did, or didn’t do in the thirteen hours Americans were under fire? Is it because the memoirs of people such as Hillary Clinton are still publishing the risible fiction that the attacks were caused by an obscure anti-Muslim video? Or is it because the Obama administration has for two years masterfully ducked, dodged, and bluffed congressional investigators in the most successful cover-up in living memory?

Benghazi is still burning in our minds for all of those reasons, and more. President Obama’s speech last night — in which he proclaimed his “strategy” for defeating ISIS — only fanned those flames. 

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