Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ché Guevara Is Still Dead

The early Christian church developed a calendar of saints, wherein feast days were designated for particular saints to commemorate the anniversary of their death or martyrdom.  For the post-modern communist and radical Left collection of saints (a statement not nearly so ironic as one would initially think), let today be celebrated as the feast day of the death of Ché Guevara (the 45th anniversary, to be precise).  But the purpose here is not to celebrate his life, but his death which did not come soon enough.

A photo montage of some of Che's victims

The celebrity status of this heinous monstrosity of a human has always struck me as one of the touchstones that set apart the worshipful ‘useful idiots’ of the Left. 

So I lift my glass of Bacardi Reserva Limitada in memory of the thousands that he murdered, and pray that he suffers in his condign level of Hell.

More to follow . . .

Update:  And it has.  It is lengthy but includes some detail which is not otherwise avaliable, and it is far from the required hagiographies of the Left.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Key Clue About Benghazi Attack Ignored By Obama, MSM

As I was fading into the Wilderness a few weeks ago, a still-fresh topic then was the recent attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the subsequent murder of the US ambassador, Chris Stevens, one of his aides, Sean Smith, and two former SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  The news as I heard it then was chattering about the inane fourteen-minute video that was supposedly the primary if not sole reason for the Benghazi assault and the dozens of other incidents that took place throughout the Middle East and beyond, subsequent to the anniversary of 9/11.  In fact, Susan Rice, our ambassador to the UN, had completed a whirlwind tour of the MSM talk shows in which she "absolutely" insisted upon it, and that the claim that the attack was provoked by US policies was "just false".  She insisted that the attack was a "spontaneous reaction" and was "not a pre-planned, pre-meditated attack".  Obama press spokesman Jay Carney said essentially the same thing, including among other comments that the administration had no evidence to indicate that the attack was "pre-planned or pre-meditated".

It was obvious from the beginning that automatic weapons and RPGs were used in the attack that overran the consulate grounds, razed the buildings, and murdered the four Americans, citing the idea that there were so many weapons available because of the hostilities of the Libyan civil war that a sudden mob action could take place.  But as I was checking off the net in the Sierra Nevada, I heard the words that I had been listening for: "indirect fire" and more specifically, "mortars".  That cinched it for me.

Soviet-era 82mm mortar used by Libyan rebels

Those of you with a military background, particularly associated with the combat arms, know about the employment of mortars, a high-angle artillery piece that lobs rounds on top of the target, as opposed to cannons and howitzers with a flatter trajectory.  For Americans, small mortars – 60mm in calibre – can be located with infantry units by way of weapons platoons or weapons companies.  Slightly larger calibres, such as the 81mm mortar, are found at battalion level, and a 120mm mortar is vehicle-borne.  Other countries have variations on this same idea, but the most common found among insurgents are the thousands of cast-off ex-Soviet (or current Russian) 82mm mortars.

The key factor about mortars is that their use adds a degree of complexity that belies a mob-style 'crime of passion' that the administration insisted upon.  Can one man fire one mortar?  Yes, one time typically, but understand that the mortar system is broken down into component features, which includes a mortar tube, the base plate, and the tripod and sight unit.  The US 81mm tube weighs about 35 pounds, the base plate 29; together, the whole system weighs in at 91 pounds.  These features, due to weight and size, are broken down in order for at least three soldiers to be able to transport them, or to be able to put them in a vehicle for transport, and re-assemble them when the system is needed.  The next question would be the availability of the rounds, which necessitates other soldiers to carry them, considering that each high explosive (HE) round comes in at just under ten pounds.  A standard US mortar crew is five soldiers, with the expectation that our vaunted logistics system is nearby and funneling more ammunition as needed.  The 82mm system typically available (as in Libya) weighs about the same as our 81mm, but some older models weigh as much as 120 pounds.  I hope that this explanation is sufficient to demonstrate that one does not simply pick up a mortar (not to mention all the necessary rounds) and spontaneously attack a target.

Even if the mortars were packed around in pickup trucks, which is not unlikely, one has to consider their employment.  A mortar is a stand-off weapon, not employed in a direct assault (which explains the quip attributed to the famous Marine Chesty Puller when he first examined a mortar: “Where do you put the bayonet?”).  In an attack, the mortar (ideally, several of them) is set up in a way to support the assault by the infantry, which requires communication and coordination with the attacking force, so that the infantry can tell the mortars when to commence fire, adjust fire (onto the target), shift fire (to another target), and cease fire, as well as providing specific data about targeting.  After all, shelling your own troops is considered bad form.

We have seen this administration horribly botch its attempt to flagrantly exploit the information about the bin Laden raid, and we see the same blithering reaction in this case as well.  The mortar portion to this story is not the linchpin of the case, but one would expect that someone who knows what he is talking about would have tapped, say, Jay Carney on the shoulder and explained the simple facts, which include, we now know, several attempts and attacks on the consulate compound, including a bomb that blew a hole in the compound wall last June, and an attack on the British ambassador's motorcade.  Another little-known fact is that there were actually two such compounds, about half a mile apart, that were attacked, again making it less likely to be a spontaneous happening.

The administration’s case continues to unravel with the realization that the two ex-SEALs killed in the assault, despite the implications of early official reports, were not assigned to provide security to the ambassador and his party at all, but were in fact part of a security contractor force at a separate location.  The two responded to the attack voluntarily, 'running to the sound of the guns', which makes their sacrifice all the more poignant and the explanation by the State Department all the more suspect, begging the question about whether any security was provided at all.  We know that requests for security enhancement were denied (reminiscent of the events leading up the 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia in 1993).

To discredit the administration still further, the attack was internally declared to be a terrorist event within 24 hours in order to dispatch the security elements that were previously denied, and an investigative team from the FBI, which still had to wait weeks to arrive on the scene due to the "dangerous" nature of the area, though this didn't deter reporters from CNN and the Washington Post from picking through the ruins well prior to their arrival and subsequent departure within 12 hours.  A high-level State Department Under Secretary, a respected non-partisan holdover from the previous Bush administration, also briefed congressional staffers the morning after the attack, in some detail, about how this was a terrorist assault.

The administration rolled out the standard ploy for covering up information – declare that the situation is ‘under investigation’ and is thus not sufficiently formed to give an adequate answer, or that an answer is legally constrained and withheld during the course of the investigation (sufficient to stonewall in the case of Solyndra and Fast & Furious, for example).  The results of the investigation, of course, will not be available until after the election. 

A hearing on this issue by the House Oversight Committee is scheduled shortly, and despite the sequestering of State Department officials (because, you know, there is an investigation), the committee has called the leader of a Special Forces security team that had been in-country for six months, until August, to testify about security concerns.  (Another item to consider is that a military deployment overseas is often cut short at the six-month point because of funding considerations, which apparently were more important than the security concerns.)

What was infuriating for me, then, after Susan Rice’s stark declarations (called to account by John Bolton, her predecessor, who stated that such comments were "not in her wheel house" and they were a "facile lie") and Hillary Clinton’s parsing of the mission of Woods and Doherty, was Jay Carney’s quip aboard Air Force One on 20 September that it was "self-evident" that it was a terrorist attack, after Matt Olson, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, to his credit, broke from the White House party line and told a Senate hearing that it was indeed a terrorist attack (for a fairly comprehensive timeline of the administration's 'evolving' handling of the story, see the Washington Post).  If it was so self-evident, then why the desperate demands for days that it wasn’t so?  And if the administration's current story is that there wasn't sufficient information at the beginning to arrive at a conclusion that this was a terrorist attack, then where did it gleen the information to baldly state that it wasn't?

This particular attack, in addition to the events and general feeling in the Muslim world, flies in the face of an administration that declares that bin Laden is dead and thus we can pack our military bags and retreat from the war against the Islamic Supremacists.  Expect to hear more such dissembling of the truth about the failure of Obama’s al-Azhar policy. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Harry Reid 'Sullies' His Religion

During my recent absence from civilisation into the various wilds of the Southwest, I was completely unaware of the events in the World until my return just yesterday.  One of the items that immediately struck me was the absurd statement made by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Senate Majority Leader, during a conference call with reporters, that Mitt Romney was “not the face of Mormonism” and that he had “sullied his faith”.  Reid feels compelled to make this observation about Romney’s character apparently because Reid is the highest-ranking Mormon in US politics, and wants to side-step the political issue of his own religious belief by branding his co-religionist as an ‘outsider’, just as he took a politically advantageous stand against his church in the lead-up to its position on California’s Proposition 8 that declared that marriage be defined as between one man and one woman.  This comes at the same time as a rash of articles in the MSM, particularly The Daily Beast (the former Newsweek) and Time with a cover story, ramps up to explore a sudden interest in Mormonism.  (This is the same media that disdained to delve into a link between Obama and Jeremiah Wright.)

Pondering on Mosiah 2:17

[Full disclosure: I have a more-than-passing interest in the history of Christianity (see bio) and, though I am not a member of the Latter-day Saints, I have studied the movement (among others) and have a better understanding, if I may be immodest, of their sect than most.  While I cannot agree with their theology and to some extent their enclosed sense of community, I can see how their culture and society can have an appeal for many, and they have had an unusually positive social success within recent times.  The Mormons with whom I have associated have almost uniformly been pleasant, sincere and industrious.]

Reid has added this insult to his pile of scurrilous and spurious defamations, including the claim (safely delivered on the floor of the Senate, shielding him from charges of slander) that Romney paid no taxes for the last ten years, since refuted.  Reid has previously claimed some sort of revelatory powers when he has claimed that Republicans somehow cannot be good Mormons (which should have elicited a call from President & Prophet Munson).  Not only that, but Hispanics can’t be good Republicans either.  A Black, of course, can be a good Democrat, particularly if he is “light-skinned” and “has no Negro dialect, unless he wants to use one” (as we have recently seen).

Since Reid has introduced religion into the political mix, let us remind ourselves that the accusation most often used by Christ was “hypocrite”.  With that in mind, what is it that puts Harry Reid into the position of being an arbiter of what constitutes a proper Mormon outlook?

He has pushed legislation that would increase the value of his property holdings and favor his political cronies, including Jack Abramoff, and bought gifts for the staff at his condominium with campaign funds.  Coincident to the exposure of the influence of ACORN into voter fraud in Nevada, Reid fought a rear-guard action in the Senate to prevent an investigation into and de-funding of the SEIU-affiliated group.  But that is just a starter: besides being a US Senator, he was also the Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, which besides continuing its communication with the still-lingering mob influence in the industry there, also sets the standards for licensing and regulation of prostitution in the state.  True, Reid once made a speech wherein he expressed an opinion that prostitution should no longer be legal in Nevada, a noble and expedient public declaration, but he has done precisely nothing to change its status since.

This is the self-professed ideologue that casts stones at people who don’t measure up to his high religious ideals.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Obama Dissolves in First Presidential Debate

I arrived back home from my extended sojourn in the Wilderness to partially unload the car, set some gear for cleaning (always take care of your gear first), take a shower and then settle in for an early evening (Pacific Time Zone) of the first Presidential Debate.  My first attempt to write this has been delayed by the necessary work-day obstacles, but it nevertheless allowed a quick search of the internet to discover that my reaction was fairly universal: Romney articulately took apart Obama’s rote talking points.

That's all, folks.

All this time, Obama has been made the butt of many jokes about his dependence on a teleprompter.  It turns out that it’s true – it was painfully difficult for him to move beyond his endlessly rehearsed talking points (other than golf, practically all he does lately is fundraisers), and Romney successfully slapped down each point.  But Obama would later lamely repeat the same assertions as if he hadn’t been listening – and he certainly gave that appearance – and Romney appeared all the stronger by knocking them down again, even with answers that practically quoted Joe Biden verbatim, such as the middle class being “buried” for the last four years.  I am sure that Romney must have been tempted to channel Ronald Reagan with a comment of “Well, there you go again.”

The key moment to me during the debate, which I pointed out to the Distaff Darkwater (who nicely replied that yes, she had caught it too . . . Sweetie), was when Obama, toward the end of one of Romney’s romps over Obama’s excuses, appealed to the moderator, Jim Lehrer, with “Jim, you may want to move on to another topic.”  Donald Sensing at Sense of Events caught it as well, among others, and correctly paraphrased it as “Jim, help!”  Sensing continues with some notable quotes of other observers.

The real tell for me was when I later switched to MSNBC to see the shell-shocked expressions of the panel.  Only Donna Brazile played the party line, saying that Romney won only on “style”, but his facts were all wrong (thereby showing that she was as lucid as Obama).  Chris Matthews has continued a full-blown snit for some time now.

'Epic Fail', as they say, for Obama.  Stay tuned for further performances (Tuesday the 16th and Monday the 22nd), with a bonus match of Paul Ryan vs Joe Biden the Gaffe Machine on Thursday the 11th.