It is no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I’m a supporter of the basic strategy of the GWOT. It is a losing proposition to address terrorism as a law enforcement issue, to think that terrorism is somehow our fault and that appeasement can get us back to the peace we enjoyed before islamic extremists decided that blowing us up was great fun, and – most importantly – that pulling out of the fighting and hunkering down at home will provide all the necessary protection we need.
Terrorism is an act of war, not a crime. There is no wrong or offense that justifies the use of terrorism against innocent civilians. The islamic extremists who make use of terrorism have no interest in engaging in any dialog that does not involve our surrender and have no interest in negotiating a peaceful coexistence. The best defense – in the end, the only defense – against these terrorists is to go on the offensive against them, attack them where they live, and neutralize their ability to bring terror attacks against our nation, our people, and our allies.
People whose lives are improving, who feel empowered to speak their minds secure in the knowledge that – so long as they are not advocating violence against their neighbors – they won’t be killed or imprisoned for it, and are free to live their lives as they see fit (again, so long as they’re not doing so at the expense of their neighbor’s freedoms) don’t engage in terrorism. They don’t tolerate terrorists in their midst. They’re busy making their investments in the future and they realize that when they’re better off, their neighbors become better off and vice versa. The one and only form of society and government that has achieved this state for extended periods of time has been that of a democracy, representative or otherwise. It is in America’s best interests to have, as neighbors and friends, as many democracies as there can be.
To those ends, I support the war efforts currently underway in Afghanistan and Iraq. After yesterday’s vote in the House on the despicable concept of setting the stage to hamstring and, ultimately, derail the President’s execution of wartime strategy it has become clear that the overwhelming majority of Democrats in the House do not share my support of the war effort. In spite of repeated denials, it is also clear that they do not support the troops in the field and, specifically, their commander General Petraeus. Now, given the rhetoric over the past 5 years, this does not surprise me. After the elections in November, I stated my beliefs that the new Democratic majority in Congress would introduce measures to pull funding for the military. Yesterday’s vote was the groundwork laid for that eventuality and I’m still within my 60-day window for that to occur. The Dems have proven a bit more canny in holding back on those measures, but just listen to people like John Murtha and you’ll hear it coming. Soon.
While the MSM shouts to the sky that the GOP in the House “sent a rebuke” to the President and paints a picture of mass defection from the President, the simple fact is that only 17 Republicans voted for the measure. That amounts to about 9% of the House GOP. Hardly a rebuke. However…
When this type of bill was being considered in the Senate, I and 30,000+ like-minded folks signed a pledge that stated, in no uncertain terms, that if the NRSC didn’t explicitly state that they would not use their funds to support any GOP Senator who voted in the affirmative on a resolution like the House just passed, we would provide not 1 penny of donations to the NRSC. Apparently, the NRCC didn’t get the hint. Radio host, author, and blogger Hugh Hewitt has had on his show literally every member of the GOP’s leadership in the past several days and every one of them has made it clear that both the NRSC and the NRCC will provide funds to any incumbent, regardless of their position on these resolution.
So be it.
With the House’s vote yesterday and the NRCC’s stance on their funding of Representatives who voted in the affirmative, I will now give precisely zero to the NRCC until either their stance changes or every one of those GOP House members who voted for the resolution are gone. The resolution passed in the House did nothing but lay the groundwork for a precipitous withdrawl, let our troops know that the House has no faith in their mission nor in their ability to complete it successfully, and – most dangerously – gives our enemies a real hope that they can just wait us out. The losses in the elections in 2000 and 2004 hopelessly poisoned the Democrat’s attitudes toward the response we need to give to terrorists. The GOP members of the House have no such excuse and their vote yesterday was simply another move on their political chessboards. They don’t deserve the party’s support when it’s clear they’ll desert the party when it suits them.
To that end, a new caucus has risen – The Victory Caucus. Comprised, I am sure, of a significant part of those who signed the NRSC Pledge, the purpose of the Caucus is to support the cause of victory and to oppose those who would repeat the mistakes of the past by undermining the war effort. From a post at the Caucus by N.Z. Bear:
So the House vote is over , and the Democrats have had their day and their defeatist, non-binding resolution. So what do we do now?
We begin organizing in earnest to ensure that in November 2008, voters will have a slate of strong candidates who believe in Victory.
This will be a long and serious effort, but it starts now. We have established a team within the site that will focus on identifying strong candidates — veterans, ideally — as well as teams devoted to identifying White Flag Republicans and their antimatter opposites, the Blue Dog Democrats. These three groups will be at the forefront of our efforts to identify the districts where we can do the most good: whether that is to replace a defeatist Democrat with a new Republican victory candidate — or to help a Blue Dog Democrat who is strong on the war take down a White Flag Republican. Here, party comes second: victory — and country — come first.
Emphasis mine. It’s my belief that Republicans, in general, have been more serious about winning this war we’re in but it’s clear that there are Republicans who aren’t. It’s also clear that there are Democrats who are. While other issues do come into it, and I won’t be supporting a Democrat who’s right on the war and wrong on everything else, being a supporter of victory carries a lot of weight with me. I’ve joined others who feel the same.
If you’d like to know more, follow the Victory Caucus link over there on the right side of this page.
Skywest Airlines made an interesting report this week that they discovered 8 of their airplanes with cracked cockpit windows. The ships were Embraer E120′s and Canadair Regional Jets, two aircraft types made by completely separate companies and whose cockpit windows are not interchangeable. That would seem to preclude a manufacturing defect. Skywest wasn’t alone, either. Frontier Airlines had 4 such events – 2 of them while the planes were in the air – and those ships were Airbuses which is also a completely different manufacturer.
They mention the winds in Denver this week, where gusts were clocked at up to 100 mph. That’s certainly fast for those of us on the ground, but the aircraft deal with wind speeds much, much faster than that while in flight. Lacking any reports of flying debris, I have to be a little suspicious that there’s a little bit of sabotage going on. I would imagine that’s crossed the minds of the folks at Denver as well.
Back on the 13th Michael Yon posted a photo on his blog of a weapon he’d never seen before. Having no weapons expertise myself, I had nothing to say on the matter but I am interested in this sort of thing, so I’ve kept my eyes open for any clue. Imagine my surprise to see a story up on FoxNews.com referencing Yon’s photo and story.
The photo of a “mystery weapon” found by GIs and a Web journalist in Iraq two years ago has captured the imagination of bloggers around the world eager to answer the question: What is it?
The photo, which shows what appears to be a weapon, about 3-feet long, resembling a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, was taken by Michael Yon, a writer and photographer currently based in Iraq. He photographed the “weapon” in 2005 as he was cataloging a huge cache of munitions discovered by Iraqi police under a barn in Mosul and later destroyed by the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment.
The nice thing about the MSM – and where they should really concentrate their efforts – is the access to the sheer amounts of sources and resources they can bring to bear on a topic. FoxNews.com took the photo and brought it to the attention of a wide array of weapons experts to get their opinions. Most of those folks agree that the weapon looks homemade (an assessment I agree upon) and was likely developed to enable the firing of some kind of rocket that normally isn’t man-fired.
One thing the experts appear to agree upon: it’s badly designed. They all believe that the positioning of the weapons butt-stock and where that necessarily puts the user’s head will cause him all kinds of trouble:
— “From the round in the foreground, it’s clearly an RPG launcher of some sort. I’ve looked through all my “Janes: Weapons of the World” [books] and can’t find anything like it. My first thought: it’s homemade. A close look at how close the butt-stock is to the rear of the launcher tells me that the shooter will be hard of hearing when he meets the 72 virgins.”
— “Looks kind of Eastern European, or maybe… made in Al Qaeda shop class and stole the scope off daddy’s hunting rifle… look for [someone] with a bloody ear and singed hair.”
— “My guess is that this is a mock up of a weapon, or an improvised munition. For one thing, the telescopic site is attached to a plate that is welded on. Second, both the front handle and the butt are screwed on — notice the screw holes on both at the bottoms. This would impair the integrity of the barrel, making it liable to explode if it were fired. Next, the butt end of the weapon is too close to the rear of the weapon, and there is no blast shield. Finally, if you measure the projectile, which has a firing pin at the bottom (the small dot) and hold the measurement up to the barrel of the weapon, the trigger is about two inches short of the firing pin. One thing I do know is that if this thing were going to work, it would take an extended trigger mechanism… It also could be a refitted German-made Armbrust recoiless rifle, fitted with a grenade launcher on front, to hold RPG rounds. It is, by any definition, an improvised munition.”
One of the more notions being floated around is that this is a Palestinian-made weapon known as a “Yasin.” Wikipedia says the Yasin is an anti-tank rocket launcher allegedly first used in October 2004, but I’ve not found a picture of that weapon to compare to the “Yon Mystery Weapon.” If anyone out there knows where one is, please let us know.