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August 24, 2009

Selling "The Good War"

"...we must never forget. This is not a war of choice," he told the VFW crowd. "This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again."

- Barack Obama

Afghanistan - where the rubber meets the road. From three weeks ago:

General Stanley McChrystal was brought in as the Nato commander in Afghanistan after the unprecedented dismissal of his predecessor, General David McKiernan, who had successfully pressured the Administration to deploy 21,000 extra troops in the current Afghan “surge”.

General McChrystal was appointed in the belief that he would bring more unconventional thinking to the Afghan battlefield — in particular, that he would not ask for more troops, preferring to stick with a “lighter footprint” model of counter-insurgency operations.

But advisers who worked with him on a 60-day strategic review of Afghan operations, the first drafts of which emerged this week, say that General McChrystal concluded that more US troops would be needed to support a vast parallel surge in the number of Afghan security forces fighting the Taleban.

Apparently listening to the Generals is a far less attractive option when said Generals begin spouting inconvenient opinions. One week later:

After appointing Gen. Stanley McChrystal the new commander in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave him two months to write an analysis of the situation there in yet another review of U.S. strategy. But after rumors leaked out that McChrystal would ask for another increase in U.S. troops, it appears that Gates decided he would not wait for McChrystal's finished report. On Aug. 2, he summoned McChrystal and his deputy, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, to a hastily arranged meeting in Belgium which also included Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis, McChrystal's direct boss Gen. David Petraeus, and under secretary of defense for policy Michele Flournoy. On Aug. 5, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell briefed reporters on the results of the unusual Sunday meeting. According to Morrell, Gates instructed McChrystal to consider a few additional, and unspecified, issues in his report. Gates also instructed McChrystal to take more time, likely postponing the delivery of the report into September.

Finally, Morrell explained that McChrystal's report will not include any discussion or request for additional "resources" (meaning U.S. troops and money) for Afghanistan. If McChrystal wants to make such a request, Morrell said, he will do so separately and at a later time.

What accounts for Gates's preemptive meeting with McChrystal? It is possible that Gates (or someone else in the administration) feared that McChrystal's report would take on a life of its own, perhaps compelling Gates and President Barack Obama into decisions they would prefer not to make. If true, the meeting in Belgium was an attempt to minimize the report's impact by redefining its purpose, reducing its prominence, and controlling the timing of its release. We will see in September whether Gates accomplished these goals.

Yet regardless of how he manages McChrystal, the general's implicit message will be the need for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan, either in direct combat to suppress the Taliban or serving as trainers and advisors to an expanding Afghan army.

During the campaign Barack Obama flogged the notion that Afghanistan is the war we should have been fighting all along - Iraq was just a distraction. We heard this mantra in various forms from the anti-war crowd for eight years. Packaged in with the "distraction meme" were continual condemnations of President Bush for "failing to sell the war to the American people" and "not asking us to sacrifice".

So, now that we're fighting the right war, where are the calls to sell it? Where are the complaints that we're not being asked to sacrifice? The Democrats elected a candidate who promised to adequately resource the fight in Afghanistan. You know: the good war. The war of necessity.

So, now that we're finally focused on the right conflict, how's that whole "selling the war" thing going, Mr. President? From what this Marine wife can see, not too well:

Can't we just finish the reconstruction work we promised them from our 2001 invasion and go home?

Here's a bolt from the blue. If you don't get all the troops you originally asked for, the need for more troops doesn't magically "go away"... unless of course you rewrite history to pretend there was no relationship between the need for Afghan troops and the fact that we still don't have enough American and NATO troops to accomplish the Obama administration's stated goals:

OK then. More troops aren't getting the job done because we're not getting any support from the Afghan government. So we're going to ask for more troops.

...steadily increasing U.S. troop strength has had virtually no effect in the past; that the Taliban is getting continually stronger; that the central government is corrupt and incompetent; and that even under the best circumstances the Afghan army can't be brought up to speed in less than five years. At the same time, U.S. commanders say they understand that they have only 12-18 months to turn things around.

Someone needs to explain to me how that's going to happen. Anything even remotely plausible will do for a start. Because I sure don't see it.

Oh well. Math has never been a strong point for the anti-war Left. It sure didn't take long for the "real war" to become an unwinnable quagmire:

is Obama marching into a quagmire in Afghanistan like LBJ marched into one in Vietnam? Well it's looking more and more like it all the time. Where have we heard this before?

Sadly, for the Reality Based Community the theoretical war we're not fighting at the moment is always so much more attractive than wars that might require... oh, I don't know, actual fighting. New President, same unpalatable choices. Same old realities on the ground. Yesterday the Spousal Unit and I made the rounds of the local hardware emporiums in search of a new washer and dryer. At Home Depot the gentleman in the appliance center, upon learning my husband will soon be deploying to Afghanistan, launched into the predictable tirade against George Bush and Dick Cheney (complete with theatrical eye rolling, mouth frothing and righteous indignation). Why, oh why can't we fight the real war without putting any of our boys in harm's way?

At which point yours truly couldn't help thinking of The New Yorker, of all things. The spouse restrained himself masterfully but we both thought to ourselves, "Well if you weren't happy with Bush you must just love the way things are going now, my friend."

Our friend in the hardware store, you see, believes that if America is going to go to war, we need to fight to win. No matter what it takes! Because nothing says "total war" like the words, "I'm not sure victory is the goal in Afghanistan." It turns out that being on the right track to not-victory and total war involves announcing approximately every three seconds that we can't get out of Iraq fast enough. Never mind the fact that the violence has gotten worse. Never mind that thousands of Americans lost their lives (not to mention various body parts) to bring about progress the Obama administration seems determined to scuttle.

I didn't spend an entire year apart from my husband to watch us abandon the Iraqis and hand Iraq back over to the terrorists. Oh. Excuse me - to the brave freedom fighters who keep bravely blowing up innocent civilians in hopes of igniting a sectarian war. Ever notice how the media don't call them freedom fighters now that Obama's in office?

In my darker moments, I take comfort in the knowledge that *now* we're going to concentrate on the good war. I say "concentrate" because "winning" is a word we're not allowed to use. Much like the terms "enemy" and "terrorism", these words imply there might be unpleasant consequences attached to keeping those troublesome promises. No doubt real people aren't being "killed" over there either, though the man caused disaster rate seems to be going through the roof. When Admiral Mullen admits we're in trouble, you know the Obvious Train has is finally pulling into the station.

Aiieeee!!! Reality has begun to harsh our collective fantasy war mellow! Time for a conventional wisdom shift! Suddenly, "stay the course" is dusted off and back in vogue:

Following the Afghan presidential election, there will be new pressure on Obama to resolve some of the issues he fudged in his Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy last spring. The White House leaned in two directions in that document -- toward a limited counterterrorism mission against al-Qaeda but using ambitious and costly nation-building tactics to achieve the goal.

Waffling won't be possible much longer. The U.S. military commanders in Kabul want a commitment for more troops and additional resources next year. But Vice President Biden is leading a growing camp of skeptics within the administration who argue that it's time to scale back the mission, not expand it. Meanwhile, the latest Post-ABC News poll shows growing public opposition to a wider war.

It's easy to describe the ideal outcome in Afghanistan -- a military buildup that rocks the Taliban enough that it will be prepared to negotiate a deal allowing U.S. troops to begin withdrawing next year. And that's the essence of the U.S. strategy. But to make it work, the enemy must be convinced that the president is politically strong enough to stay the course, despite domestic opposition.

Sound familiar? That, of course, was the dilemma that President Bush faced in Iraq. Now that Obama is commander in chief, he faces a similar challenge. A few months ago, when he was at the height of his popularity, Obama made it all look easy. Now, we get the political reality check -- and Leadership 101.

I've got news for you, Mr. Ignatius. Obama isn't leading on health care and he actually gives a damn about that. What are the chances he will stick his neck out to give the Marines in Helmand Province a fighting chance?

I'd say slim to none.

For six years I've watched our losses mount. Like most military folks, I didn't like it but I accepted that if we mean to fight and win a war, people will die. I accepted the possibility that my husband would die.

There is only one thing that makes this acceptance possible: the belief that we're serious about winning and that, in the end (even if it takes a few decades) the world will be a better place because of the sacrifices we're making today. Having democratic governments in place in Germany and Japan has indisputably made the world a better, safer place. Our own Civil War, horrific as it was, made the world a better place. A lot of good men died in those wars to give us the peace and freedom we enjoy today.

But I'm not willing to lose my husband in a war we have no intention of winning. Either lead, follow the advice of your Generals, or get the hell out of their way Mr. Obama.

You can't win a war of necessity by sitting on the fence. The choice is yours.

Posted by Cassandra at August 24, 2009 07:42 AM

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Comments

You can't win a war of necessity by sitting on the fence.

Or any *other* type of war, for that matter.

The only thing you'll get from sitting on the fence is a trip to the ER to remove an errant picket...

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2009 12:48 PM

I just get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about where this nation and the world are headed, since the American people made the emotional - not rational - choice of Obama last November. I just pray we survive his - hopefully, single - term of office.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at August 24, 2009 01:46 PM

The larger problem with Afghanistan from the US point of view is......logistics. I'm sure that the Marine professional in your housold has a much better grasp of this than some ninny civilian like me in the wild hinterlands of Ohio.

But the fact that this is a landlocked country, and there is no port to allow our supplies to enter directly and that we depend on the good graces of Russia and/or Pakistan to get beans, bullets, buttons, bandages and everything else "in country" doesn't help the situation with respect to the size of the force. Which Gates must know and keep in the back of his mind.

It's the old tooth to tail ratio that he is fighting.

I can't read Gates mind (much less President Obama), but I would guess that what limits the cards they are willing to play in Afghanistan is logistics. And that is why Bush chose to make Iraq the "Central Front" on the "War on Terror" (i.e., militant Salafist Islam). They figured out early on that Afghanistan is a hard place to field a large fighting force, or much of anything else.

Ivan struggled with this in the '80's, and they were right next door and could truck in everything they needed, theoretically.

My prayers and good wishes are with your Man and his mission.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 24, 2009 02:59 PM

What Don said.

Cass becomes wordier with worry. Banish all grief with roses.

http://mcgilvray.net/lightroom/SHRG_2009-04-12/

Posted by: Mark at August 24, 2009 03:31 PM

Logistics is definitely a concern, Don.

But getting supplies in to support their own people is the responsibility of the Army and Marine Corps, not Gates or Obama. If they say they want more troops, trust me: they know how many troops they can support and how much it will cost to do it.

I don't believe for a moment that logistics is the overriding concern here.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2009 03:41 PM

Thank you, Mark. Those were beautiful.

Roses are just about my favorite flower. I like the old fashioned ones more than the perfect ones you usually see in stores.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2009 04:20 PM

Logistics is also a serious problem, Don, from the point of view of the endstate. We were talking about that at BLACKFIVE back in July.

Posted by: Grim at August 24, 2009 04:21 PM

Many of us have seen this program once before. About 40 years ago. The names have changed but the song remains the same. Hated it then, loath the political clowns and their enablers pushing the latest version now.

Throw in a CIA witch hunt, a separate high value detainee interrogation unit and... and... Aw heck, like this fellow, I can't keep up.

As I mentioned earlier, you and your Unit are in my prayers. Right in with those for my 23 year old nephew who left Ft. Lewis last month heading over.

I think I'll avoid the rush and order my railroad crossties, roofing tar, bales of feathers and kitchen matches now.

Posted by: bthun at August 24, 2009 04:25 PM

I rush to add (though not quickly enough to preempt Bthun) that we were considering the question from a perspective of "What can we do about this problem?", as opposed to, "This is too hard -- let's go home." The logistics are a serious matter, though, and I'm not sure any of us finally came up with any great solutions. I haven't actually been to Afghanistan, though, so I feel I ought to trust the thoughts of those who have seen it more directly and at length.

What worries me is, I don't know if Obama has anyone close to him who knows how to think about those issues. Remember, he largely kept Bush's team here. I'm sure he doesn't know how to think about these matters himself -- why would he? He has never had anything to do with the military, and no background in military science or history.

Who knows what that means? Not I, to be sure.

Posted by: Grim at August 24, 2009 04:38 PM

"(though not quickly enough to preempt Bthun)"
Whoops, didn't mean to interrupt. =8^}

Posted by: bthun at August 24, 2009 04:48 PM

Cass & Grim,

There are solutions to the problem of "Big Loggy", as a friend in the Air Force called it.

But some of those are "big solutions" that require political will, more than just deep thinking from grads of the War College. There is a new big deep water port that is being built in on the western coast of Pakistan, that could be a better gateway into Afghanistan, providing there was a good road or railway leading north into Afghanistan. It would be difficult and costly, but would avoid the Khyber Pass and/or trusting the Russkis.

I fear fielding too large a force in Afghanistan and then having the logistics cut or stymied, and a 21st century "Anabasis", where our military has to make a forced march to the sea to withdraw.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 24, 2009 04:59 PM

Hard to "clear and hold" when you don't have enough folks to accomplish the "hold" part. Even poorly supplied troops can hold ground if there are enough of them. And the best supplied force may be overrun if there aren't.

If we don't intend to no-kidding do what the Obama administration says we're there for (protect the populace from the Taliban and al Quaida) we shouldn't be there.

The notion that we can turn Afghanistan around in 12 to 18 months and that it will *stay* turned around is frankly ludicrous. We might prevail at enormous cost, but if the changes we effect aren't lasting then they are for naught.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2009 05:08 PM

"Hard to "clear and hold" when you don't have enough folks to accomplish the "hold" part. Even poorly supplied troops can hold ground if there are enough of them. And the best supplied force may be overrun if there aren't."
Commitment... Or sticktion as grandpappy used to say, goes a long way towards solving problems. I have no faith in B.O. or the Democrat Congress possessing any sticktion.
"There is a new big deep water port that is being built in on the western coast of Pakistan"
Given the recent agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan to cooperate on counter-terrorism, boosting border security, and co-operating in the arrest of terror suspects, I just tossing out a WAG here.

Would economic development agreements between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Afghanistan with funding support from the West, or some other interests be possible?

If so Pakistan gets the lions share of business in helping to develop Afghanistan. Afghanistan has the opportunity to build roads, railroads, schools, farm bureaus, and so forth, then use the developing transport infrastructure and the Pakistan port for commercial export to increase national and individual wealth. It's a long view no doubt, but perhaps something to focus the governments and populations on and work towards. Keeping most of the population out of trouble.

But as I said, I'm just throwing out WAGs. Yep, it would be nice to hear your ideas Grim? If you are at liberty to speak in any detail.

And I'll try not to interrupt.

Posted by: bthun at August 24, 2009 05:25 PM

One day I'll get the type, proof, post sequence down... Sheesh...

Posted by: bthun at August 24, 2009 05:26 PM

And Carrie's boy, bthun. Please put in a good word for him too.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2009 06:35 PM

Ah, well, I was somewhat nervous about expressing my reservations in front of the hostess, with her husband about to deploy. However, I see she got there first.

I mentioned recently that I was thinking of going myself, which I still am; I suppose that makes me the opposite of the sort of fellow who likes to talk about theoretical wars he'd like to win, so long as he can avoid the actual ones. I may very well go out to this actual one in a little while (though I am still not two months home from my last venture, and in no hurry). Whether I think it is a mistake or not, if it is a mistake it is a political one that our military must answer as they can. If I can help, I would like to.

If anyone were asking my opinion, however, it would be that we consider finding a way to come home. I am not the expert that the generals are, or the men on the ground; but I can't see a way to victory. I wish I could.

Posted by: Grim at August 24, 2009 06:35 PM

I'm sorry, but I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me why the hell Afghanistan matters to the strategic goals of these United States.

My guys should be watching baseball.


Posted by: spd rdr at August 24, 2009 06:36 PM

The Administration's outlook on Afghanistan is a subset of the larger picture of just who Barack Obama is.

As Cass alluded to in her intitial essay today, Candidate Obama was all about "fighting the necessary war" in Afghanistan. This was petard to hoist all the faulty thinking of the dreaded Neocons and the nefarious Bush Administration.

Obama will do what Obama must to fulfill his prime goal, which is remaking the social compact between the rulers and those that are ruled in America. I don't believe he has any Jeffersonian or Madisonian ideals of the fundamental founding concepts of this country.
My teenage son is reading Howard Zinn's "History of the United States", a crypto-Marxist pile of revisionism required of his sophomore history teacher as summer reading. He hates it. And this is closer to Obama's view of this country than the Federalist Papers, I guarantee that.

So I don't think that Obama gives a snap about Afghanistan, unless it can help his domestic agenda. If the people want him to fight there, he'll have Gates make a show of warfighting (as they've done the last few months). If he wants a stalemate, then we'll have a stalemate. If support fades (which appears to be the case), we'll cut and run. Whatever works for maintaining his domestic support for the agenda on the home front.

Changing Afghanistan will take decades, at least. We don't, as a people, have the patience to see it through that long. Comparing rebuilding Afghanistan to Japan and Germany after WWII is faulty, as those countries were Westphalian nations states in concept. Afghanistan is largely a howling wilderness of tribes that have some loose affiliations and longtime gripes against each other. Islam is just a loose overlay on the tribal culture that has defined Afghanistan since before Alexander arrived there.
Although it is fictional and somewhat revisionist in nature, I highly recommend a great read, "The Afghan Campaign" by Steven Pressfield.
The Afghans are not animals. A lot of them, as individuals, are admirable people. Tough, brave resourceful, and some of them desparately want to build a modern country. But they are fighting against millenia of tribal ways and tribal habits that are reinforced by the harshness of that country. Pragmatically, it has kept them alive.
What can we offer them that's really better, in the short run, at least?

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 24, 2009 07:12 PM

"And Carrie's boy, bthun. Please put in a good word for him too."
I had no idea, but I sure will. And I'll pass it on to Walkin' Boss. I imagine that her prayers carry more weight than mine... All things considered.

Posted by: bthun at August 24, 2009 07:27 PM

Holder, throwing a bone to the left by pimping out the CIA for harsh interrogation techniques under GW, does not bode well for the war in Afghanistan. Obama, as he is want to do, talked about the good war in Afghanistan to undermine GW and the GWOT focused in Iraq. History will prove that he merely feinted with his talk about Afghanistan versus Iraq. What he really wants to do is syphon money from the military into funding for his statist plans. Nothing else makes sense.

From a strategic POV Afghanistan is as strategic to our interests as they are to Russia's. Russia is on the resurgence and, typical of their paranoia, are actively engaged in firming up their near-afar from Georgia and the Ukraine, to the far reaches of it's periphery including Afghanistan, Pakistan (nuclear), India and the rapidly decaying NATO alliance.

Obama is looking to the next election. The Russians and Islamist fundamentalists are taking the long view. The Russians and Islamic fundamentalists make strange bedfellows for now. Chechen will flare up occasionally but can be handled for now. Unfortunately, Obama and his short-sighted advisors, who only see things as far as the 'burbs in Chicago, are totally outclassed by the paranoia and fanaticism of our enemies.

Team Obama is only interested in power maintenance which, interestingly enough, is identical to our enemies. But then Obama has always had a problem with enemy identification. The good news, nothing says lovin' like a Predator drone at the disposal of our fighting men and women. If Obama is smart, the verdict is far from proven, he can reduce troops and rely on UAV's to keep the Taliban on the run. Would that a PowerPoint presentation include GPS and cruise missiles to back up UAVs.

All we need is someone with the stones to stand up to the loony left and eat the "elephant" one bite at a time. We can do this but it is questionable that the current group of pols know how to keep a sharp point on the spear's tip.

If you think fighting in the urban environment is tough, try it in the mountains at extreme altitude. In short, let Petraeus do what he does best.

Posted by: vet66 at August 24, 2009 07:36 PM

A few thoughts - amazingly, all on track tonite.

Our stunningly charming, gracious and clearly agitated hostess stated the most obvious reality of all: "Either lead, follow the advice of your Generals, or get the hell out of their way Mr. Obama."

Teh Won is incable of leading a group of 5 year olds with kitchen tools (nothing sharp or threatening, of course) in a childish rendition of "The Anvil Chorus." As a "leader" he is a Putz with no experience and no hope of developing any leadership skills as long as he relies on Axelrod, Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Fwank, etc., etc. to tell him what he thinks.

He cannot follow competent American-centric leadership, because it would alienate his base, and paint him as an ever larger fraud than he is proving to be. He will run the military through the meat grinder, then say we have failed to achie his goals and made Him look bad in the eyes of the world.

He cannot get out of the way because teh Won Won. He is the way, the truth, the reality. We may be taken to the status of a third world nation under his period of seat warming in the Racist House. And we will just watch, because we are not thugs who intimidate.

We will, however, reach a point where our collective ire is raised sufficiently that we will rise in righteous indignation and retake our nation and in so doing, fight like our rights and our lives depend on it. But only because they will.

A stronger phase was never written that that which is contained in the Declaration of Independence: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

Those peoplw who signed that document knew full well that they had signed their death warrants, but sign they did. They "had each others' back", they risked everything. They were our forefathers. We owe them all we have, and cannot shirk our responsibility to protect and defend what we all have. No socialist, no marxist, no communist, no group of wrong thinking do-gooders can end this - at least not without a fight to the end. It is far better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

For our God given rights, we beg to no government; we beg to no man or group of men. They are ours and will not be given away. The only way they will be taken is by death, and even then, we still remain free in another way.

********Second and Final thought for the nite:

Vet 66 said: "The good news, nothing says lovin' like a Predator drone at the disposal of our fighting men and women. If Obama is smart, the verdict is far from proven, he can reduce troops and rely on UAV's to keep the Taliban on the run. Would that a PowerPoint presentation include GPS and cruise missiles to back up UAVs."

In the big view, the problem with Predators and Hellfires, as in previous efforts with F-15s,-16s and -18s, B-1s, B-2s and B-52's - the only way you achieve victory (although not the seat warmers goal) is boots on the ground. You have to take the land back. Not just destroy it.

Unfortunately, I fear that time is approaching that the muzzies will obtain and use a thermonuclear device. There are only two responses: Hit them back even harder - as the Dems have said they would do with other US citizens, or, I suspect teh Wons' response - negotiate and surrender. Avoid the right and have your women folk get fitted for their bhurka in basic black. Start growing your beard. And practice clearing your throat, which is a basic sound in most arabic based languages.

Also revise your thinking as follows: The sword is mightier than the pen, allahu akbhar, pbuh.

We are so hosed. Stand by for attack and/or civil unrest. I feel it in my bones.

KP

PS - Cass, since my prayers are so infrequent and I am not overly religious, I think the big guy is shocked when I ask. I have asked that he watch over the LTC and bring him home safely to you.

My guys always used to use this when they went outside the wire:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Posted by: kbob in Katy at August 24, 2009 09:49 PM

A couple of typos, but the most egregious is

"Avoid the RUSH and get your women folk fitted...."

Sorry. Packing to go back to Daytona on Tuesday, and slightly distracted by whining bride, frisky puppy and life in general.

KP

Posted by: kbob in Katy at August 24, 2009 09:54 PM

Thanks for your thoughts, guys :)

You're the best. I wore myself out cleaning the basement and now I'm going to go to bed

Good nite.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 24, 2009 10:43 PM

"You can't win a war of necessity by sitting on the fence."
Or any *other* type of war, for that matter.
The only thing you'll get from sitting on the fence is a trip to the ER to remove an errant picket...
Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2009 12:48 PM

I was actually thinking it might be nice if he would sit on one of those wrought iron type fences...y'know, with the spikes?

Posted by: camojack at August 25, 2009 12:39 AM

Camo -- You wouldn't happen to have a Carpathian branch in the family tree too, wouldja? Nice folks by the name of Ţepeş?

Posted by: BillT at August 25, 2009 12:58 AM

It's hard to read this, Cassandra, but you echo my thoughts/feelings, too. I haven't wanted to write it or say it outloud... I hope we're all wrong.

Posted by: FbL at August 25, 2009 09:39 AM

I could say a lot, but why bother? All I know is that when 9/11 took place, they said they would never forget. My first thought was - how far off is never?

Posted by: RIslander at August 25, 2009 12:02 PM

I had a previously scheduled business trip, set to depart NWA on 9/22/01. That first flight, my traveling companion and an off-duty flight attendant were the only passengers on a regional jet. We didn't sit in our ticketed seats - they asked us to move to the back to help balance the aircraft. We also didn't get the usual safety spiel - the flight attendant saw we were properly buckled in and I think the fact we were frequent flyers had come up. During that trip, I picked up a "Never Forget" window cling at one of my customers' stores. When I bought the car I just paid off, I moved that window cling out of my old car - I didn't plan on forgetting. I see that window cling with the American flag and 9-11-01 every time I get in my car. I won't ever forget, but, I guess not everyone's definition of "never" differs, sadly...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at August 25, 2009 12:18 PM

We are flying our flag on September 11. We will never forget.

Posted by: Cricket at August 25, 2009 01:46 PM

I had a flag hanging all the time from my front porch on my house in AR. Always had the porch light on, so it was always illuminated.

Daddy finally got around to replacing their flag on Independence Day, so it should be up that day, too.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at August 25, 2009 01:48 PM

Camo -- You wouldn't happen to have a Carpathian branch in the family tree too, wouldja? Nice folks by the name of Ţepeş?
Posted by: BillT at August 25, 2009 12:58 AM

It's possible, American "melting pot" mongrel that I am...but I'm sure there's some meaning to your reference to which I am currently not privy; care to enlighten?

Posted by: camojack at August 26, 2009 07:12 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_III_the_Impaler

He had a liking for sharp spikey things.

Posted by: MikeD at August 26, 2009 09:15 AM

Ah...so. ;-)

Posted by: camojack at August 27, 2009 03:40 AM

It is far better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

The "kneeling, supported" firing position is much more stable than "standing, unsupported"...

Posted by: BillT at August 27, 2009 05:38 AM

From a distance, a couple of thoughts. I do believe that BO needs to get out of the way, since he has no interest (so it appears to me) in leading in a way that makes sense for America, and most especially for our military (yes, they are all "ours.")

I am not as familiar with American history (Founding Fathers etc. as you all are) but a couple of comments here have picqued my interest, so I will be off to research for myself.;)

However, as I recently wrote to an American friend, something along the lines of "I forsee a time in the very near future when your history will be rewritten, and not in the way the current administration expects, or will like." When patriots who love America are smeared with the labels of "goons" and "traitors" etc etc etc ad nauseum; when the only way your President can attempt to control any debate is by trying to intimidate the masses by planting fake doctors, and union thugs at the few stage managed town hall meetings, then the Americans I know are standing up and saying "wait just a minute. You do not speak for me, or MY America".

Change is coming, and I don't believe it will be pretty, but I also have absolute faith that Americans will not easily relinquish their GOD-given rights. And God given they are, which your current administration seems determined to ignore. As the prayer in kbob in Katy's comment said:

"...There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways..."

Lots more I could say, but I'll stop my ramblings. ;)

I keep all of you in my prayers, especially our military men, women and their families, who also serve.

I have faith..


Posted by: brat at August 28, 2009 11:07 PM

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