Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter on My Kiester

Apr. 26, 2011

By Jeff Huber

Okay, last week was the week before Easter weekend and this time I really, really was going to take a break from writing the column.  Like I said the previous week, when I was going to take a break but didn’t, my column hasn’t put a pot hole on our toll road to eternal armed conflict, and it isn’t likely to when both the mainstream and mean-stream (aka FOX News, rabid ration, etc.) media are 100 percent behind it. 

On the other hand, it’s difficult not to note the events that, with each passing week, sink our nation and the world even deeper into a perma-conflict quagmire.

Gen. David Petraeus
Evidence continues to limn the emerging reality that we’ll never get the job done in the Bananastans but we’ll never stop trying.  As I commented last week, Bananastans theater-of-war commander “King” David Petraeus has resurrected body count as a key measure of success in our central Asian conflicts.  Body count first became a loser’s delusional sign of victory during the ‘Nam travesty, and its emergence in the ‘Raq and now the ‘Nanners indicates that Teflon Dave fully plans to succeed where the hooligans who ran the ‘Nam failed: he intends to manipulate Americans into supporting the Pentarchy’s Long War—a perpetual state of unwarranted and self-defeating armed conflict—by achieving the media’s unconditional surrender of its traditional function as the fourth estate of our ersatz republic. 

(If you need convincing evidence that the U.S. no longer functions as a majority-ruled Republic, simply note how the Tea Bag Bolsheviks have managed to dominate all aspects of our political structure even though there are fewer of them in this country than there are Rosicrucians.)

At one point King David tried to make a show of using the number of native troops trained to take over their countries’ security duties as a measure of effectiveness.  It’s turned out to be as hollow a standard as Lyndon Johnson’s promise that we’d get them Vietnamese boys up and fighting for themselves instead of having American boys doing their fighting for them. Petraeus’s initiatives to arm Iraqi and Afghan locals, in and out of uniform, have been an American taxpayer funded program for funneling weapons directly into the hands of the very hooligans we’re supposed to be fighting.

And the latest indicator that Afghan boys will never be able to let the American boys stop doing their fighting for them was the repeat debacle in Kandahar where Taliban fighters sprang 475 of their biggest, best-est buddies from Sarposa Prison.  They managed to sneak these guys out through a tunnel over a four-and-a-half hour period without drawing the attention of the prison guards.  That sounds like an astounding feat until you consider that the best way to keep Afghan prison guards from discovering something is to tell them where not to look for it. 

It’s embarrassing to note that the Taliban have liberated their cohorts from this prison before, and even more abashing that the Sarposa escapes are just two examples of the many instances where militants have broken their comrades out of prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And it’s little wonder, then, that the warmongery’s bull feather merchants are power-leaking the scoop about how plans are underway for us to stay in Asia well beyond the deadlines set by invisible-ink agreements and campaign promises that were as sincere as a promise of a Tuesday payment for today’s hamburger.  Heck, the host-nation hillbillies can’t even secure a freaking prison; we have to stay!

Sen. Lindsay Graham on
the Easter edition of
FOX News Sunday
We’ll never leave Libya either.  John McCain’s office wife Lindsey Graham made the rounds of the Easter Sunday political gas bag-athons, celebrating the most important of all Christian holidays by demanding that Americans drop more bombs on Muslims.  Lindsey thinks we should ignore the UN mandate on Libya, meaning he doesn't think we should allow it to limit our actions. 

Now, a lot of liberal warmongers are claiming the UN mandate is what makes our Libya lunacy legal, even though it wholly bypasses our constitutional and legal requirements for congressional approval of sustained armed conflict overseas.  Lady Lindsey apparently doesn’t think we need any institutional approval whatsoever to blow remote parts of the world to smithereens beyond his opinion that we need to do it.

And don’t think we can extract ourselves from Libya because we’re currently only fighting from the air.  Lindsay’s lover man McCain says we need to put boots on the ground right now.  Also appearing Sunday with the gold-dust twins was the third moving part of the ménage, Joe Lieberman, who’s for any kind of war as long as it makes the other two bedfellows happy. 

Program note:  I’ll be working like a navvy (aka “laborer”) this spring and summer to complete the initial draft of Sandbox Generals.  To facilitate that goal, I’ll be moving the weekly Pen and Sword column post time to noon Eastern on Tuesdays. 



Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Death Takes a Tax Holiday

April 19, 2011

by Jeff Huber

Today's Republicans would only free
the slaves if it meant they could
raid their pension fund.
I just noticed that my writing regular anti-war columns for the past six years hasn’t ended wars.  So it won’t make a pile of beans or a hill of bullets if take a week off to finish my taxes, I reckon.  The deadline was moved back to April 18 this year; something to do with something called “Emancipation Day” which is the day on which African slaves in the District of Columbia were set free.  Since it’s a holiday in the district, the IRS takes a day off.  I’m not sure how they managed to turn a local holiday into a federal holiday, and a three-day federal holiday at that, but who’s complaining?

I’m guessing the District slaves were freed on the April 18 that came in the last year of the American Civil War (to wit: 1865), which means we have the Civil War to thank for the extension of this year’s filing deadline.

Which proves once again the assertion of the neo-confluence that good things come from war!

In counterpoint: The fact of the Civil War also says other-than-flattering volumes about our country that we had to fight a war among ourselves to end an institution like slavery.  It says even more that when you compare a map of the pre-Civil War slave-versus-free states and territories to a contemporary red state-blue state map, they look darn near identical.
Will Rogers would say that today's
Democrats have their heads
up their mascot. 

As I’ve noted in the past, Jivin’ Joe Lieberman’s statement about how his sense of history says wars either end in victory or defeat goes go show how senseless Joe’s sense of history is.  Wars seldom achieve the intended objectives of their aggressors and seldom really end. 

And living in the south for the last 15 years suggests to me that the American Civil War will never be over. 

Catch you next week.


P.S.  I managed to file before the Apr. 18 deadline, and had some time to do a little research on where my tax dollars are going.  You know that $38 billion that supposedly got cut out of the budget?  It doesn't even cover the tab for six-months worth of the Bungle in Bananastan.  

There’s probably nothing Pumpkin Tan and the Tea Baggers can force Congress to do regarding reducing the debt that will come close to the effect of China’s runaway inflation.  There’s nothing like having debt dollars turn into blown-up pennies. 


P.P.S.  One of the Hampton Roads Hillbillies at the local Bud Lite and well drinks trough remarked that the dad blamed Emancipation Day bull BM was more proof that the euphemistic slurs for Americans of African heritage were taking over the country.  I asked him to consider that no group has more influence over domestic politics than the Tea Baggers, and that there are considerably fewer of them than of the aforementioned euphemisms.  Moreover, I elucidated, the percentage of blacks among the membership of the Tea Party, expressed in a round figure, is zero. 


P.P.P.S.  Wasn't I taking a week off from column writing?


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Monday, April 11, 2011


April 12, 2011

by Jeff Huber

Young Mr. Bush was the first U.S. president to stick his successor with not one but two unwinnable no-exit wars.  Young Mr. Obama is going for the hat trick, and he may qualify as an ace before his tenure expires.

The Pentagon press corp
As is so often the case, my friend Gareth Porter of Interpress Service scooped the mainstream media’s reporting on the Iraqi fire drill with his Apr. 6 story “Maliki's Doubts Threaten Post-2011 Troop Presence Plan.”  Obama has given his approval to a Pentagon plan to station U.S. combat troops in Iraq beyond the pledged Dec. 2011 deadline for complete withdrawal of American forces from that country, Porter reveals.  But, but, but… A “senior Iraqi intelligence official” says that, “Obama insisted that it could only happen if Maliki requested it.”  This high-level Iraqi spy also says that since our strategic strong-arming stooge in Egypt Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign in Feb., Obama is now convinced more than ever that he cannot afford to get labeled as the limp-wristed liberal who “lost” Iraq. 

I wouldn’t presume to vouch for one Gareth’s sources, including this “senior Iraqi intelligence official,” but about the only way I’d doubt any part of this story would be if it came from a senior American intelligence official.  It’s been plain as a wicked witch’s wart that Obama has afraid of the Pentarchy and its stranglehold on the news media since the day he asked Bush’s Purple Gang (Uncle Bob Gates, King David Petraeus, Moon Mullin, Desert Ox Odierno, etc.) to stick around. 

If the evidence before our eyes weren’t sufficient, on Apr. 7, the day after Porter’s story hit the street, Uncle Bob himself told AP and the rest of the Pentagon steno corps that Warbama will keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the agreed final withdrawal date of Dec. 31, 2011 if the Iraqi government asks for them to stay.  But Uncle Bob’s Apr. 7 confession was hardly breaking news either.   

We can easily trace the Pentagon’s information campaign to desensitize the American public to an extended U.S. stay in Iraq to Jul. 2009, when the military’s bull feather merchants released the story that Iraqi PM Nuri al Maliki would likely ask the U.S. forces to stick around past 2011 to pick up the slack for the congenitally incompetent and corrupt Iraqi security forces.  The neo-concordant, war worshiping Washington Times noted that despite the deadline contained in the Status of Forces Agreement, “Pentagon officials and U.S. diplomats privately have left open the prospect that the Iraqi government may seek to renegotiate the terms of the agreement.”  So the December 31, 2011 exit date was bogus as a blue dollar bill from the get go. 

On March 1 of 2011, NPR reported that Uncle Bob had told Congress that talks to extend the deadline were ongoing.  This was the same Uncle Bob who weeks earlier told a bunch of crew cut kids at West Point that, “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.”  Well I guess so, Bob, considering that any defense secretary in the foreseeable future will be stuck with the Asian and Middle East quagmires you helped us sink us into even deeper.

A recent sign that the Bungle in the Bananastans is on track for an extended engagement: body count is back as the theater commander Dave Petraeus’s metric of choice.  Forget all that jazz about counterinsurgency and the real measure of effectiveness being the number of civilian lives saved.  We were slaughtering way too many civilians, possibly even more than the supposed bad guys, for that measure to have any traction.  No when in doubt, King David and his court fall back on the good old reliable body count score keeping from Vietnam days.  And why not?  Sure, body count is a worthless statistic in determining the success of war, but it sounds good.  Heck, it sounded good enough to keep the Vietnam war going for eight years after presidential candidate Richard Nixon vowed he’d end the war.  Shoot, if we had the same news media then that we have now, we’d still be turning the corner in Vietnam. 

King David was sent to Afghanistan, we were told, to repeat the magic he performed in Iraq.  Well, he’s doing just that.  His objective as commander of Iraq, as his head hagiographer Thomas E. Ricks oafishly admitted “was not to bring the war to a close, but simply to show enough genuine progress that the American people would be willing to stick with it even longer.”  Dave’s putting on the same illusion act in the Bananastans, so our present wars will reach the “generational” status they were designed for in the Pentagon’s Long War doctrine.  Yet how often do you hear the news media talk about how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “winding down”? 

Gen Ham sez:
"It's clobberin' time!"
This Libya shenanigan that was going to last “days not weeks” is about to turn into months going on years.  Gen. Carter Ham, the head of Africa Command who looks like the product of an unsanctioned joining of Ray Odierno and The Thing, says we may send ground troops to Libya.  Nobody expects the latest background noise about a ceasefire to amount to anything, and now that he’s leaned out this far, Obama can’t afford to leave Libya with Gadhafi still in power.  There would be no end to John McCain’s girlfriend Lindsey Graham going on the Sunday gab-athons and chanting breathlessly, in his very best Blanche Dubois impersonation, “I just wish we had a real commander in chief who really knew how to be a real leader of the free world.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham
I highly doubt that Obama’s done making new wars yet.  Cutting Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the hip joints was an unsurpassed piece of what-the-hell-manship that leaves more possibilities than ever for Bill Kristol and his New American Centurions to foment military intervention there.  And don’t forget about Iran.  Candidate Obama agreed in principle to an AIPAC sponsored position paper that said America would go to war with Iran to defend Israel.  One of the campaign staffers who signed Obama up for that program was former Clinton administration warmonger Susan Rice, who in her present job as Obama’s Ambassador to the United Nations was the driving force behind the UN resolution to bomb the Botox out of Gadhafi. 

Now that Rice has established a loophole for Obama to take the country to war without formal approval of Congress as required by the War Powers Act of 1973 and that quaint little document called the United States Constitution, it will be no problem at all to start the genocide of the Persian culture through air power on the sole say-do of McCain’s other side-squeeze Joe Lieberman

Won’t that be the perfect grace note for Joe to end his career in the Senate on?

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Warmongers: They're not Just Neocons Anymore

by Jeff Huber

Apr. 5, 2011

Between 800 and a thousand people were slaughtered in the Ivory Coast on March 29 as the town of Duekoue became caught up in the post-electoral violence devouring that country.  Progressive icon Juan Cole hasn’t called for support of the rebels in the Ivory Coast through U.S. military action.

Thousands gathered in Damascus, Syria on Sunday Apr. 3 to mourn the deaths of those killed protesting against the rule of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.  Juan Cole has not called for liberals to demand a U.S. military intervention in support of Syrian rebels.

What, me know what I'm
talking about?

Fred Bridgeland of Scotland’s Sunday Herald posits that the Ivory Coast is the next Rwanda.  In 1944, the civil war in Rwanda led to the murder of between half-a-million and a million people.  President Bill Clinton did not did not intervene militarily in that war, and as best as I can tell Juan Cole did not criticize him for it.  Juan Cole also hasn’t called for use of armed force in the ongoing civil war in Darfur.  The most visible lefty to push for U.S. action in Darfur has been actor George Clooney, and I never got the impression he was expecting us to go in and kick the door down there. I think Clooney was looking for something along the lines of Yo, Danny Ocean wants we should help out the Watusis or whatever the hell they are.  What say we knock over another casino and give them half the take? 

Juan Cole didn’t call for military intervention to help rebels oust dictator Hosni Mubarak in Egypt’s erupting civil war, he’s not calling for a bombardment in support of Jordan’s germinating civil war, nor did he ask for a blockade of the terror of the civil war in Tunisia.  And, of course, Cole didn’t call for U.S. invasions in reaction to the civil wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That's largely because Cole was protesting the U.S. invasions that caused those civil wars in the first place.

Cole has, however and famously, exhorted the liberals of our nation to back young Mr. Obama's insertion of force into the civil war in Libya.  In Cole's March 27 “An Open Letter to the Left on Libya,” an all-time low-water mark in liberal intellectualism, he presents arguments for war in Libya that make Bill Kristol’s asylum of neoconservative New American Centurions (think Dan Quayle) sound positively lucid. 

The UN sanctioned Obama’s war in Libya, Cole argues, and although the neocons love war they hate the UN, plus they didn’t vote for Obama, so if you back Obama’s UN endorsed war in Libya that will show the neocons, huh?  Oh, yeah, and the Neocons are always using humanitarian intervention as an excuse to go to war, and we liberals can’t let them be the only ones who do that, so let’s get behind Obama’s UN endorsed humanitarian intervention and, boy, that’ll really steal those old neocons’ thunder, won’t it?  That’ll grind glass in their eye, all right. 
It's okay if the Israelis do it.

Cole kinda-sorta argues that the humanitarian crisis in Libya is worse than it is (or was) in the Ivory Coast or Syria or Rwanda or Syria or Egypt or wherever, but he kinda-sorta doesn’t make his case.  And in any case, Cole kinda-sorta never explains why he didn’t call for U.S. military intervention when the Israelis were firebombing mommies and babies in Gaza City with white phosphorous shells.

In a March 30 rebuttal to Glen Greenwald’s rebuttal of his cockamamie Open Letter, Cole opens with “Iraq was an illegal war, for no pressing national interest and with no [United Nations Security Council] authorization,” an authorization Cole defends with the lysergic assertion that “a UN Security Council resolution is the gold standard for military intervention.”  What despicable Tommyrot. 

Nations have been going to war—legally or otherwise—since long before there was a UN or anything remotely like it.  The very fabric of international relations recognizes that political leaders have the right and responsibility to employ policies and strategies, including wars, that are in the best interests of their nations, and even the UN charter recognizes that member countries have the right to exercise the right of self-defense through use of armed force.

What makes a war illegal or illegal, especially when we’re talking about the United States, really has nothing to do with international agreements like the UN charter that member nations can back out of whenever they please.  What matters in the U.S. is that we enter into war in accord with our own laws.  Messrs. Bush and Cheney and their neocon supporters exploited the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to get themselves a pair of Authorizations for Use of Military Force  (AUMFs) from Congress that allowed a president to Invade Iraq and pretty much any place else he cared to as long as he did so in the name of fighting a terror-related ism.  So the Iraq war is as legal as wars get in the post-World War II undeclared war era.  

A pretty sound argument says that when you get right down to it, an AUMF is a perfectly legit substitute for a formal declaration of war.  But Obama can't slip his little Libya war under the umbrella of the existing AUMFs because Libya doesn't present a terror connection.  In fact, military intervention in Libya doesn't even pass the national self-defense test.  Hence, it is Obama’s little field trip to Libya, and not the lamentable quagmire in Iraq, that is the brazenly illegal conflict.  

This is foreign policy 101 stuff that ivory tower twits like Juan Cole (who is a history professor at the University of Michigan) ought to have down cold before they go shooting their mouths off about armed conflicts and the fates of nations.   

The piece of resistance in Juan’s Open Letter was his boldface assertion that “Libya 2011 is not like Iraq 2003 in any way.”  Oh, really?  Let’s run a quick comparison.  U.S. intervenes militarily against ruthless dictator.  Check.  Said ruthless dictator is conducting military operations against his people to suppress insurrection.  Check.  After having been previously spanked by U.S. armed force, said ruthless dictator is now a toothless tiger who poses no threat to his neighbors or to the Unites States.  Check.  Said ruthless dictator has no weapons of mass destruction or ties to al Qaeda.  Check.  The list goes on.

Picking on Cole is fun and easy, partly because he’s such an intellectual phony and partly because he’s inflated himself into a Biden-esque gasbag.  But Cole is merely a symptom of a larger malignancy growing in political left.  The progressives’ moral high ground in matters of war and peace began eroding when young Mr. Obama invited young Mr. Bush’s top five-sided funny farmers—Uncle Bob Gates, Moon Mullen, King David, Desert Ox Odierno, etc.—to stick around.  Things continued rolling downhill with the addition of liberal warmongers like Cruella Clinton and Susan Rice to the team.  Then Obama let King David and the rest of the general assembly bully him into escalating the bungle in the Bananastans.  The promise of withdrawal from Iraq is vanishing like ethics in the banking industry, and oh, lo and behold, we’ve reversed our position in Yemen now.  It seems our boy, Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, just got himself put on our spit list, and now he’s the same kind of totalitarian dictator that Saddam Hussein was and Muamar Kadhafi still is (for the time being, anyway).  Nothing good is going to come of this, believe you me. 

I hate to be the one to spring this on the left on the occasion of Obama officially launching his re-election campaign, but if the Democrats want to hold on to their claim of being the party of the Great Enlightenment movement that founders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin espoused, they need to change their top leadership by Nov. 2012. 

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.