Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A lesson for the GWOT


Essay by Raymond S Kraft

Historical Significance: Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat, and had sunk more than four hundred British ships in their convoys between England and America for food and war materials.

At that time the US was in an isolationist, pacifist mood, and most Americans wanted nothing to do with the European or the Asian war.

Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan, and the following day on Germany, which had not yet attacked us. It was a dicey thing. We had few allies. France was not an ally, as the Vichy government of France quickly aligned itself with its German occupiers. Germany was certainly not an ally, as Hitler was intent on setting up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, as it was well on its way to owning and controlling all of Asia.
Together, Japan and Germany had long-range plans of invading Canada and Mexico, as launching pads to get into the United States over our northern and southern borders, after they finished gaining control of Asia and Europe. America's only allies then were England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Russia. That was about it. All of Europe, from Norway to Italy, except Russia in the East, was already under the Nazi heel.

America was certainly not prepared for war. America had drastically downgraded most of its military forces after W.W.I and throughout the depression, so that at the outbreak of WW2, army units were training with broomsticks because they didn't have guns, and cars with "tank" painted on the doors because they didn't have real tanks. And a huge chunk of our navy had just been sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor.

Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England, that was actually the property of Belgium, given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler (a little known fact). Actually, Belgium surrendered on one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day just to prove they could. Britain had already been holding out for two years in the face of staggering losses and the near decimation of its air force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later, and first turning his attention to Russia, at a time when England was on the verge of collapse, in the late summer of 1940.

Ironically, Russia saved America's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years, until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany.

Russia lost something like 24 million people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow alone... 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but also more than a 1,000,000 soldiers.

Had Russia surrendered, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire war effort against the Brits, then America. And the Nazis could possibly have won the war.

All of this is to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. And now, we find ourselves at another one of those key moments in history.

There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world. The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs -- they believe that Islam, a radically conservative form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world. And that all who do not bow to their will of thinking should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated. They want to finish the Holocaust, destroy Israel , and purge the world of Jews. This is their mantra.

There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East -- for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation, but it is not known yet which will win -- the Inquisitors, or the Reformationists.

If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihadis, will control the Middle East, the OPEC oil, and the US, European, and Asian economies. The techno-industrial economies will be at the mercy of OPEC -- not an OPEC dominated by the educated, rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis. You want gas in your car? You want heating oil next winter? You want the dollar to be worth anything? You better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.

If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, and live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away, and a moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.

We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda and the Islamic terrorist movements We have to do it somewhere. And we can't do it everywhere at once. We have created a focal point for the battle at a time and place of our choosing........in Iraq.

Not in New York, not in London, or Paris or Berlin, but in Iraq, where we are doing two important things.

(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11 or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades. Saddam is a terrorist. Saddam is, or was, a weapon of mass destruction, who was responsible for the deaths of probably more than a million Iraqis and two million Iranians.

(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad people, and the ones we get there we won't have to get here. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.

World War II, the war with the German and Japanese Nazis, really began with a "whimper" in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before America joined it. It officially ended in 1945 -- a 17 year war -- and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own again ... a 27 year war.

World War II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP -- adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars.
W.W.II cost America more than 400,000 killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.

The Iraq war has, so far, cost the US about $160 billion,which is roughly what 9/11 cost New York. It has also cost about 3,000 American lives, which is roughly equal to the 3,000 lives that the Jihad snuffed on 9/11. But the cost of not fighting and winning W.W.II would have been unimaginably greater -- a world dominated by German and Japanese Nazism.

This is not a 60 minute TV show, or a 2 hour movie in which everything comes out okay.

The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. Always has been, and probably always will be.

The bottom line is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away if we ignore it.

If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an " England" in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates. The Iraq war is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. And now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless somebody prevents them.

We have four options:
1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.

2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which maybe as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is)

3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East now, and in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.

4. Or, we can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and maybe most of the rest of Europe. It will, of course, be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier.
If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.

The history of the world is the history of civilizational clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win. Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.

Remember, perspective is everything, and America's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.

The Cold war lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Forty-two years. Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan. World War II resulted in the death of more than 50 million people, maybe more than 100 million people, depending on which
estimates you accept.

The US has taken more than 3,000 killed in action in Iraq. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944, the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism. In W.W.II, the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week -- for four years. Most of the individual battles of W.W.II lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.

But the stakes are at least as high ... A world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms ... or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law).

It's difficult to understand why the American left does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis.

"Peace Activists" always seem to demonstrate here in America, where it's safe.

Why don't we see Peace Activists demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, in the places that really need peace activism the most?

The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc., but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc.

Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy.

Raymond S Kraft is a writer living in Northern California. Please consider passing along copies of this article to students in high school, college and university as it contains information about the American past that is very meaningful today -- history about America that very likely is completely unknown by them (and their instructors, too). By being denied the facts of our history, they are at a decided disadvantage when it comes to reasoning and thinking through the issues of today. They are prime targets for misinformation campaigns beamed at enlisting them in causes and beliefs that are special-interest-agenda-driven.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

And The Oscar Goes To:

I don't know and I don't care.

My family continued our boycott of the Academy Awards this evening. Instead we watched Gone with the Wind and Casablanca. The rest of the family has headed for bed and I'm watching the 1957 horror movie The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas with Forrest Tucker and Peter Cushing. At least it was a horror movie in 1957.

My family gave up watching the Oscars several years ago when we started realizing that this was an award show honoring people we don't like or respect for making movies that we don't watch. So why would we care fit what they wear, who they thank or what awards they win?

Maybe if Hollywood ever starts making more than 4 or 5 movies a year that we are willing to watch, and if thier stars stick to acting and stop shooting their mouths off in public about things they know nothing about we might start watching again. But I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

Besides, Ellen Degeneris is no Johnny Carson.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras

Since my dear wife's family are Cajuns, unlike most of our friends we try to celebrate Mardi Gras in our house. Our Mardi Gras celebrations are pretty simple, and family oriented. If we can get it in time we order King Cake for breakfast and we eat some sort of Cajun food for dinner followed by left over King Cake for dessert. My dear wife and children will round up some colorful Mardi Gras beads to wear to work and school.

Our King Cake didn't arrive until this afternoon, so we had it for dessert and will have some for breakfast tomorrow. My dear wife used to make her own King Cake, but then a few years ago we discovered Haydel's Bakery in New Orleans. Since then we have ordered our annual king cake from them. It is simplier for us, and the cake is delicious.

In the past our king cake arrived containing a samplier of some Cajun coffee (with chickory) which my dear wife just loves and the center of each cake has a small porcelain doll or figurine in it. This year our porcelain figurine was a FEMA trailer.

The little card that came with our very own FEMA trailer had this to say:

On Aug. 29, 2005, Louisiana faced the deadliest and costliest disaster in U.S. History. Despite life-changing challenges and hardships of Hurricane Katrina our people did not surrender. We dared to celebrate Mardi Gras 2006. For a moment, we escaped rebuilding reality. Mardi Gras is satire, so this edition commemorates the resilency of our human spirit to make merry, always.

In the past I have been critical of many residents and all the politicians in New Orleans and thier handling of Katrina. But it is nice to see a company who can memorialize their hardships in such a humorous manner. We will continue to order our King Cakes from Haydel's and I'm thinking we ought to find a couple more reasons to have King Cake throught the year instead of just during Mardi Gras.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Vote For Defeat

On Friday this week, the Congress of the United States of America voted to lose the war in Iraq.

OK they didn't actually vote to lose. What they did do is vote to rebuke the President for his leadership of the war. While this nonbinding resolution is officially a meaningless gesture what the nonbinding resolution doesn't say is almost more important than what it does say.

The exact text of the nonbiding resolution is:

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That--

(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and

(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

Passed the House of Representatives February 16, 2007.

The first sentence of this resolution is pretty meaningless. It is fluff that is added so that when Congress is accused of not supporting the troops during a war they can say "Not so, see we voted to support them right here." It is telling that the only way the Democrats will vote to support the troops is in a NONBINDING resolution.

It is the second paragraph that says it all. The Democrats have been telling us for months now that we are losing the war. So when the president decides to humor them and change the way we are fighting this war by sending more troops the Democrats object to this change. So what are we left with? They Democrats don't like the way things were being run, and when we send more troops they object to that. The only other options is to fight this war with less troops. Which is exactly what the Democrats want. They want this war fought with no troops at all. Get them all out, right now. Quit, run away, surrender, roll over and expose our bellies to the enemy. They want us to lose.

It is unfortunate that none of the 246 congressmen who voted for this resolution bothered to listen to one of their members speak out against this resolution. Representative Sam Johnson is a Korean and Vietnam War veteren. He spent seven years in a Vietnam prisnor of war camp. Here is the video of his speach. It is less than 7 minutes long. Listen to it. It is a first hand account of the damage the defeatest behavior exhibited by the antiwar democrats has on the men and women who are fighting this war.

“So – little did I know back in my rat-infested 3 x 8 dark and filthy cell that 34 years after my departure from Hell on Earth… I would spend the anniversary of my release pleading for a House panel to back my measure to support and fully fund the troops in harm’s way….and that just days later I would be on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives surrounded by distinguished veterans urging Congress to support our troops to the hilt.

“We POWs were still in Vietnam when Washington cut the funding for Vietnam. I know what it does to morale and mission success. Words can not fully describe the horrendous damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground.

“Our captors would blare nasty recordings over the loud speaker of Americans protesting back home…tales of Americans spitting on Vietnam veterans when they came home... and worse.

“We must never, ever let that happen again.

“The pain inflicted by your country’s indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors.

“Our troops – and their families – want, need and deserve the full support of the country – and the Congress. Moms and dads watching the news need to know that the Congress will not leave their sons and daughters in harm’s way without support.

I have waited a couple days to comment on this latest surrender attempt by the new leadership is Congress. Mostly because I am so disgusted, by their behavior that I did not think I could respond with anything less than a string of profanity. But at the same time I am not surprised. Is there anyone out there who thought that the Democrats would do anything differently once they were in charge?

I think the only thing that disguests me more than the Democrats pushing thier defeatest agenda is that these 17 RINOs agreed with them.

Castle -Delaware
Coble - NC 6th
Davis, Tom - VA 11th
Duncan - TN 2nd
English - PA 3rd
Gilchrest - MD 1st
Inglis - SC 4th
Johnson - IL 15th
Jones - NC 3rd
Keller - FL 8th
Kirk - IL 8th
LaTourette - OH 14th
Paul - TX 14th
Petri - WI 6th
Ramstad - MN 3rd
Upton - MI 6th
Walsh - NY 25th

If you are a regular contributor to political champaigns I have 17 suggestions for you. Contribute to any true conservative who runs against each of these clowns in 2008. They do not deserve to call themselves Republicans.

And in the interest of fairness, two Democrats voted against this resolution.

Marshall - GA 8th
Taylor - MS 4th

Good luck to these two. After they bucked Grandma Pelosi they can probably kiss thier political careers goodbye.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day. But we didn't do much to celebrate it. Except for my dear wife and I exchanging cards and gifts of chocolate this morning it was going to be just another work day. At least that was the plan. But then as most things - plans change.

Today I dropped my oldest daughter off at school and went to work while my dear wife dropped our houseguest off at school and took our twins to the doctor. After several hours, blood tests and a lot of crying we found out that the twins have walking pneumonia. Bottom line is we have two pretty sick kids.

Dinner tonight was kilbasa and potatos. We decided to hold off on steak and crab until this weekend when hopefully everyone will be feeling better.

So in honor of Valentine's Day I figure I'll list a few of my favorite romantic items.

Favorite romantic stuff:

Song: The Worlds Gone Home by Doc Severinson.
Movie: Singing in the Rain
Book: Thrice Upon a Time by James Hogan
Favorite Date: Just relaxing alone with my dear wife.
Favorite Anniversary Vacation: Solvang, CA
Favorite Valentines Gift: Chocolate

Monday, February 12, 2007

Schottenheimer Fired

Less than four weeks ago amidst lots of speculation that Marty Schottenheimer would be fired for losing a playoff game to New England Patriots Chargers President and CEO Dean Spanos made this statement:

“I have decided that Marty Schottenheimer is the best person to lead the Chargers in the 2007 season. General Manager A.J. Smith and I agree on this fundamental point. That is why we are pleased to welcome Marty and his coaching staff back for Marty’s sixth season as head coach of the San Diego Chargers.

“We are all bitterly disappointed how this season ended, but we can’t allow our disappointment to cloud the achievements of our franchise over the past few years. Only two teams have won more regular season games over the past three years than the Chargers. We have 24 key players under long-term contracts through at least 2009. This is a fine young team, with great chemistry, and right now stability is important for this team. I’m already looking forward to next season.

“That is why we are also offering one-year contract extensions for Coach Schottenheimer’s staff, through 2008. We also offered a one-year $4.5 million contract extension to Marty, with a team option buy-out of $1 million for the 2008 season. He decided not to accept this extension, and I respect his decision.

“Now it is time to put this issue behind us and move forward together. That is what I told both Marty and A.J. when I met with them this afternoon. The entire Chargers family will do whatever it takes to bring a championship to San Diego.”

Today Spanos is singing a much different tune:

"The process of dealing with these coaching changes convinced me that we simply could not move forward with such dysfunction between our head coach and general manager, in short, this entire process over the last month convinced me beyond any doubt that I had to act to change this untenable situation."

When the Chargers lost their offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to the Miami Dolphins and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to the Dallas Cowboys Marty handled the news the way any experienced proffesional coach would, he simply said "Change is inevitable." However general manager A.J. Smith had a much different reaction to the loss of both coordinators: "Both in the same year — Wow."

It is common knowledge that Marty and A. J. Smith have not gotten along the last couple years. But I fail to understand how you mitigate the pending disaster of losing both coordinators and several other assistant coaches by getting rid of the head coach also. Marty Schottenheimer came into the Chargers Organization five years ago when they badly needed a savior. He has turned San Diego into a football powerhouse. But apparently the owners of the Chargers put more emphasis on the coordinators and a single playoff loss than they do the work Marty has done.

Personally I'm kind of relieved. I can move the Chargers from my favorites list firmly back onto to my I-couldn't-care-less list. But I'm also thinking of moving them a little lower to my hope-to-see-them fail list. After all they waited until all the head coaching vacancies in the NFL were filled and then fired Marty. That seems pretty chicken-shit to my way of thinking.

Whichever team Marty ends up working for is whatever position, they will be getting a great coach. I just hope it's not the Raiders or the Cowboys.

Friday, February 09, 2007

John Edwards Gets Tough

I personnally think that John Edwards getting tough would mean that he only spends 10 minutes combing his hair. But this video is funny none the less.

Friday Conspiracy Theory

Suddenly the antique media is all a buzz about the death of Anna Nicole Smith. All week the antique media was bubbling over with talk of astromauts and diapers. Now it's all Anna Nicole.

I have a theory:

Anna Nicole Smith was murdered by a NASA Covert Operations Agent to deflect the media attention away from astronauts and diapers.

This theory is similar to my second favorite conspiracy theory - OJ Simpson was framed for murder by the Clinton Administration to deflect media attention away from the Whitewater scandal.

Hey! Why should the lunatics have all the fun?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Colts 29 - Bears 17

The superbowl XLI is changing names it's going to be called the Fum-bowl.

As I mentioned before, I've been a Bears fan for many years. So this game didn't go the way I would have liked. But don't worry I'm not on suicide watch or anything drastic. At least my Bears lost to a team that I don't hate.

I'm really glad to see Tony Dungy win a Superbowl. He did all the work down in Tampa Bay several years ago and then they brought in John Gruden to take all the credit. So it was nice to see a guy like Coach Dungy finally come out on top.

Of course the media is gushing all over Peyton Manning and blamming Rex Grossman for the Bear's woes. From what I saw, the Colts owe most of their win to their running game and their defense's ability to stop Chicago's running game.

This was not one of Rex Grossman's better games. But he didn't lose this game all by himself. Granted there was that one play in the fourth quarter where he pump faked in order to give the defender time to get open. But other than that, I would have to say this was definately a team loss.

Fortunately for me one of my friends who came over to watch the game is a long time Cubs fan. He taught me how to say "Wait until next year."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Yeti Penguin Whacking

Give this a try or if you are not into games just send it to your friends in PETA.

Yeti Whacking a Penguin

My best so far -

Friday, February 02, 2007

Noise and Destruction Turn Ten

Our groundhogs turned 10 today. Contrary to Phil from Pennsylvania, our ground hogs saw their shadow this morning. While Pennsylvania may be in for an early spring we're counting on 6 more weeks of winter. But we're not counting too high. This is the desert. I'm already figuring I'll have to put up my winter hat in a couple weeks.

The twins rolled out of bed this morning around 6 AM. My dear wife claimed she was being kind because on their actual birth day they woke her up around 4 AM. She wanted to do the same to them, but didn't want to have to deal cranky kids so she let them sleep. I actually got to see them a couple times at school today. I went over to the school around 9:30 this morning to take a whole school picture. They both ran over and gave me hugs while all the kids were assembling for the picture. I went back to the school at 1 PM. They were having a staff against the middle school volleyball game. I went over early to set up the nets for them. Several of the teachers were begging me to play on the staff team but I kept begging off. I made jokes about how I had trained those girls so I didn't want to be on the other side of the net against them, I didn't want to get hurt. Everyone laughed and just let me spend the time taking pictures and video. A couple times a couple of the boys tried to talk me into playing on their team if they challenged to girls to a game. Again I made excuses not to play. It's not like I didn't want to play, I love spending time on the court with my girls. But I refuse to spend time on the court playing against them in anything other than a practice match or scrimmage. Any match where winning or bragging rights are at stake I'm not going to compete against my players. I work very hard to make sure they know that they can depend on me to always be on their side. I'm not going to risk that for the sake of a couple volleyball games. I did finally give in to a request late in the hour but was saved by the clock. Just before the hour ended the sixth grade girls were going to play the winner of a game between the 7th and 8th grade. Two of my 6th grade players were pleading with me to come coach them in their match. I was going to refuse again until they both grabbed my hands and started pulling on my arms and telling me "Coach, we need you." I would have had to be a totally cold hearted bastard to say no to them then. So I agreed to coach them in one game. Unfortunately time ran out and the school day ended before their match started.

The volleyball games were a blast. I never get to hear the kids from this school really let go and get rowdy. The entire middle school was cheering on the middle school players. The entire gradeschool was cheering for the teachers. It was very loud. Now if we could only get that kind of support for our regular sporting events.

When I got home from work the twins were visiting with my dear wife's sister and her husband who had driven down from San Francisco for their birthday. We all packed up and headed over to Sizzler for dinner. My dear wife and I don't care much for Sizzler but the twins love it. Since it was their birthday we went out to eat where they wanted to.

After dinner it was back home where we watched the kids open their birthday presents and then we all watched the movie Ice Age the Meltdown while waiting for our dinner to settle enough that we could eat cake and ice cream.

We are going to let them have a birthday party with some friend and classmates their own age next weekend. This weekend, with a school fundraiser tomorrow and superbowl on Sunday was just going to be too busy. Besides my Dad will still be here next weekend so he can help us ride heard on all the extra kids.