Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Multiple nations are paying for Obama's "Worst Mistake"

One of the many disastrous foreign policy efforts of the Obama presidency was overthrowing nations in the Middle East. For a candidate who ran on a “no war” promise, he seemed to have no issue with interfering with an unstable hostile state (Syria), making it worse; an allied nation (Egypt), almost giving it to the Muslim Brotherhood, and; and a stable non-hostile state, Libya, turning it into a disaster.  

The Legacy of Obama’s ‘Worst Mistake’

There’s a problem with the American way of war.

 

By Dominic Tierney April 15, 2016

In a Fox News interview last Sunday, Obama was asked about his “worst mistake.” It’s a classic gotcha question, but he had an answer ready. “Probably failing to plan for the day after, what I think was the right thing to do, in intervening in Libya.” This was yet another act of presidential contrition for the NATO operation in 2011 that helped to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi but left the country deeply unstable. In 2014, Obama said: “[W]e [and] our European partners underestimated the need to come in full force if you’re going to do this. Then it’s the day after Qaddafi is gone, when everybody is feeling good and everybody is holding up posters saying, ‘Thank you, America.’ At that moment, there has to be a much more aggressive effort to rebuild societies that didn’t have any civic traditions.” In recent interviews with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg on the “Obama Doctrine,” the president bluntly said the mission in Libya “didn’t work.” Behind closed doors, according to Goldberg, he calls the situation there a “s*&^ show...”

Mr. Obama, maybe you should have thought (snicker) about that before you decided to overthrow one of the successes of the Iraq War. Qaddafi, no angel, in the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s ouster, gave up his WMD program, settled the civil actions arising from the Lockerbie Scotland airline bombing, and was cooperating with us on intelligence matters. In case you never understood this, we don’t necessary need friends, or allies in other nations. A non-hostile but stable nation is also good to have. We had that in Libya, until you and your Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,  turned stability to a “s*&^ show.”

 

Perhaps you and Mrs. Clinton should read something other than Rules for Radicals, like a biography of one of your predecessors, Dwight Eisenhower. He was famous for many things, including thinking things through. He had been planning major operations for decades, and he always asked, “And what next?” You plan for what will come after you execute your grand plan.

 

The results of your great plan in Libya? Well, from the CATO institute:

The Obama Administration Wrecked Libya for a Generation

Such is the cost of America’s promiscuous war‐​making

Libya’s ongoing destruction belongs to Hillary Clinton more than anyone else. It was she who pushed President Barack Obama to launch his splendid little war, backing the overthrow of Moammar Gaddafi in the name of protecting Libya’s civilians. When later asked about Gaddafi’s death, she cackled and exclaimed: “We came, we saw, he died.”

The arrogance, hubris and incompetence of Mrs. Bill Clinton never ceases to amaze me. 

Alas, his was not the last death in that conflict, which has flared anew, turning Libya into a real‐​life Game of Thrones. An artificial country already suffering from deep regional divisions, Libya has been further torn apart by political and religious differences. One commander fighting on behalf of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Salem Bin Ismail, told the BBC: “We have had chaos since 2011.”

… in 2011, the Arab Spring engulfed Libya, as people rose against Gaddafi’s rule. He responded with force to reestablish control. However, Western advocates of regime change warned that genocide was possible and pushed for intervention under United Nations auspices. In explaining his decision to intervene, Obama stated: “We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi…could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.” Russia and China went along with a resolution authorizing “all necessary measures to prevent the killing of civilians.”

In fact, the fears were fraudulent. Gaddafi was no angel, but he hadn’t targeted civilians, and his florid rhetoric, cited by critics, only attacked those who had taken up arms. He even promised amnesty to those who abandoned their weapons. With no civilians to protect, NATO, led by the U.S., bombed Libyan government forces and installations and backed the insurgents’ offensive. It was not a humanitarian intervention, but a lengthy, costly, low‐​tech, regime‐​change war, mostly at Libyan expense. Obama claimed: “We had a unique ability to stop the violence.” Instead his administration ensured that the initial civil war would drag on for months—and the larger struggle ultimately for years…

And thanks to Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama’s foolishness, they turned a stable nation in an unstable region into an example of disaster. Critically, Libya’s inventory of 20,000 Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) was lost, and the US and Israel had only recovered 5,000 of them as of 2013. 

Amazingly, ten years since Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama “worse mistake,” other nations are having to deal with this disaster of foreign policy. The Italians have elected a new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni. One of her promises is to “secure the border” (Sound familiar?). 

From the Washington Post:

… (Giorgia) Meloni has also called, repeatedly, for a “naval blockade” of the Mediterranean. A spokesman for Meloni said Monday that such a move could only be led by Europe, and in cooperation with North African countries.

 

In her interview with The Post, Meloni said “migrant flows need to be managed,” because “nations only exist if there are borders, and if those are defended.” She said that Italy had been giving immigrants few legal pathways, while instead letting migration be dominated by “smugglers” and “slave drivers.”

But there is no question thanks to the chaos of Libya, established by the Obama’s interference in their nation, Europe is having to deal with millions of refugees. Italy is having to deal with over a million refugees from the Libyan civil war. Did the US start the civil war, no. But interference by the US and NATO was a disaster, causing a strain on the nations of Europe and Africa. 

I can recommend another book to Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, Once an Eagle. Towards the end, the protagonist, Sam Damon, is speaking with an officer of the fictional nation of Khotiane (obviously an allegory of Vietnam). The officer reviews with Damon how Great Britain almost entered on the side of the south during the American Civil War. He makes the point just as Britain had no business being in that conflict, the Americans have no business in Khotiane’s fight. “It is our civil war.” 

Unfortunately Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton didn’t learn that lesson. And Europe, as well are other nations, are paying the price for it.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

God I will not miss this RINO idiot in the Congress.

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.

Mark Twain 

This past week, we saw the fall of the House of Cheney. Liz Cheney, after three terms in the House of Representatives, is heading home to K Street, where her Dad Darth Vader will greet her with open arms. 
But her other partner is stupidity is making a name for himself. Thankfully his time is soon up.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on Friday that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “did all of [former President] Donald Trump’s bidding” while serving in the role. 

Kinzinger told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he and Pompeo, who previously served as a congressman from Kansas, are friends and worked together while they were both in Congress, and they agreed on foreign policy issues. He said Pompeo did “a good job” while serving as director of the CIA but completely committed himself to Trump after he joined the Cabinet. 

Kinzinger, who is one of two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, made his remarks following Pompeo meeting with the committee last week. ..

...Kinzinger said Pompeo is trying to run for president but knows he cannot attack Trump and run, so he is hoping that Trump does not run, and he can take Trump’s place. 

“So, he’s trying to walk a tightrope,” he said. “That is somebody without a moral center, and he had a moral center. So, I don’t know what happened when he went off to the administration.”

And Mr. Kinzinger is surprised Mr. Pompeo did the President's bidding...how? 

Adam, I think you need a refresher on the government of the United States. It has three branches, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Article 2 sets up the Executive Branch, and you need to reread it:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.

You see Adam, the President IS the Executive Branch of the government. Now obviously a single man cannot handle the Executive Branch duties by himself, that's why the President has, are you ready, departments and agencies to execute the laws, etc., needed. Now Adam, these agencies have secretaries, administrators, etc to run them. One of those cabinet agencies is called the State Department, which is tasked with handing the foreign policy of the United States. And the head of the department is called the Secretary of State. 

Now the Secretary may be the head of the Department of State, the head of the Executive Branch is the President of the United States of America. The President sets the foreign policy of the United States of America, and while the Secretary of State serves in the government, his duty is to execute the President's foreign policy. In other words, "do his bidding." 

And Mr. Pompeo did his bidding, like John Francois Kerry, the haughty French looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, and Mrs. Bill Clinton, did for Barack Obama. Or  Condoleezza Rice and General Colin Powell did for George W. Bush.  You may disagree with the foreign policy of the President, but your opinion is irrelevant. It's set by the President, and executed by his Secretary of State. 

Hope you got it now Adam. If not, while your on the January 6 Committee, I suggest you ask an intern to explain it to you. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Officer Down


Police Officer Jorge Cabrera
Mission Police Department, Texas
End of Watch Monday, August 24, 2020
Age 42
Tour 12 years, 1 month
Badge 416
Cause COVID19

Police Officer Jorge Cabrera died after contracting COVID-19 as the result of a presumed exposure while on duty.

Officer Cabrera had served with the Mission police Department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.


Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Queen by strings...gotta love it!

I was looking for a Mother's Day gift for my wife, and I found a great one. A tribute to Queen by the Listeso String Quartet. 

I missed the opportunity for Bohemian Rhapsody, but got four other classics. As you head into the weekend (Can't believe this month is half over, the year is over half over), something to enjoy for the beginning of the weekend.   







Officer Down



Sergeant Ricardo Perez-Ortiz
Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico
End of Watch Monday, August 24, 2020
Age 52
Tour 26 years
Badge 8-19718
Cause Gunfire
Incident Date Thursday, April 30, 2020
Weapon Handgun; .40 caliber

Sergeant Ricardo Perez-Ortiz succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on April 30th, 2020, when he was confronted by armed subjects while en route to work at 11:50 pm.

He was in uniform and driving his personal vehicle on Avenue Jesús T. Piñero at the interchange with Highway 18 when he was surrounded by a group of people driving motorcycles and off-road vehicles who were violating COVID-19 curfew restrictions. The other drivers surrounded his vehicle, forcing him to come to a stop. At least one of the subjects in the group opened fire on him, striking him three times before fleeing.

Sergeant Perez-Ortiz was transported to Rio Piedras Medical Center where he remained in critical condition. He was able to assist homicide investigators with information before succumbing to his wounds on August 24th, 2020.

Sergeant Perez-Ortiz had served with the Puerto Rico Police Department for 26 years and was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He is survived by his brother.


Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Officer Down


Sergeant Raul Salazar, Jr.
Nueces County Sheriff's Office, Texas
End of Watch Sunday, August 23, 2020
Age 52
Tour 22 years
Cause COVID19

Sergeant Raul Salazar died after contracting COVID-19 while on duty.

Sergeant Salazar had served with the Nueces County Sheriff's Office for seven years and had served in law enforcement for 22 years. He had previously served with the Beeville Police Department, Texas A&M University Kingsville Police Department, Kingsville Police Department, and Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office. He is survived by his wife.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Officer Down


Deputy Sheriff Richard Charles Treadwell
Dane County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin
End of Watch Saturday, August 22, 2020
Age 61
Tour 25 years
Badge 4240
Cause COVID19

Deputy Sheriff Rick Treadwell died as the result of contracting COVID-19 in a presumed exposure while on duty.

Deputy Treadwell had served with the Dane County Sheriff's Office for 25 years and was assigned to the Dane County Law Enforcement Training Center. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch
Nemo me impune lacessit Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Officer Down

                                            

Detective Irving Gene Callender, III
Newark Police Department, New Jersey
End of Watch Saturday, August 22, 2020
Age 43
Tour 15 years
Cause COVID19

Detective Irving Callender died as a result of complications after contracting COVID-19 while on duty.

Detective Callender had served with the Newark Police Department for 15 years and was assigned to the Executive Protection Unit. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and niece whom he raised.

Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Monday, July 4, 2022

Officer Down




Officer Lucas G. Saucedo, Jr.
United States Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection - Office of Field Operations, U.S. Government
End of Watch Friday, August 21, 2020
Tour 15 years
Cause COVID19
Location Texas
Communicable Disease, COVID-19

Officer Lucas Saucedo died after contracting COVID-19 during a presumed exposure while on duty at the Port of Eagle Pass in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Officer Saucedo Had served with the United States Customs and Border Protection - Office of Field Operations for 15 years.

Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit
Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor...

In the very hot summer of 1776, representatives of the original thirteen colonies of Great Britain met in Philadelphia, and discussed as serious a subject as could be deliberated. They were about to commit treason against the sitting monarch of England, George III. As this meant nothing short of death in case they were captured, there was no going back once this document was signed. And many of the 56 signers  paid the ultimate price for their actions that summer.

Rush Limbaugh Jr., the father of the late great Rush Limbaugh, gave a presentations on what happened to these men. Of the 56 signers, five were captured by the British, tortured, then executed as traitors. Nine fought in the Revolutionary War and died. Two of the signers lost sons serving in the Colonial Army, while another two had their sons captured by the British Army. Twelve lost all their worldly possessions when the British ransacked and burned their homes. 

A sobering thought at what men in the 18th Century risked and sacrificed to establish the United States of America.  

I've heard from some that America has never been so divided as today. Seeing we had a Civil War break out, not to mention minor open rebellions (e.g., the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794) I can't agree. But as we've had one challenge after another, on the anniversary of our independence, it is good and proper to reread the document that started it all. And while we will not "...mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.," we are, as citizens, called upon to continue the work to make us a more perfect union. And on the 246th anniversary of our nation's founding, please read the document that founded the greatest nation on Earth. 

My fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day.

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. 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.


Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

 

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

 

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

 

Massachusetts

John Hancock

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

 

Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

 

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

 

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

 

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

 

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple

 

Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

 

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

 

Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

 

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

Friday, July 1, 2022

Officer Down

Ranger Brendan Patrick Unitt
Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, Colorado
End of Watch Thursday, August 20, 2020

Ranger Brendan Unitt drowned while responding to a distressed boater on Horsetooth Reservoir near Soldier Canyon Dam at about 9:30 pm. Ranger Unitt had been conducting a foot patrol at the campgrounds on the west shore of the reservoir when a strong-wind event occurred. He was dispatched to assist a distressed boater, but when he returned to his boat he discovered it had been blown off of the shoreline. It is believed that he removed his flotation device in an attempt to swim to the boat to retrieve it.

A massive search was undertaken when he failed to arrive at the distressed boater call or respond to dispatchers. His body was located at approximately 3:30 am the following morning.

Ranger Unitt was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources for six months

Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Officer Down





Sergeant Virgil Lynn Thomas, Sr.
Richmond Police Department, California
End of Watch Thursday, August 20, 2020
Age 51
Tour 28 years
Badge 1270
Cause COVID19

Sergeant Virgil Thomas died after contracting COVID-19 during a call for service.

Sergeant Thomas had served with the Richmond Police Department for 24 years. He had previously served with the Albany Police Department and Novato Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife and four children.


Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch Nemo me impune lacessit Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Hangsang salmui balkeunmyeoneul barabosipsio.

In English, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, a classic from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Yesterday I posted on the need for South Korea to arm itself with nuclear weapons to defend itself from the Kims up north. But I found this and had to share. 

So your country is a 5th world s^&*hole, you've got more people in prison labor than with proper nutrition, George Orwell likely looks upon you as going a bit too far, even for Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. You still gotta laugh sometime. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

South Korea needs to build a nuclear deterrent....

So does Japan and Australia, but that's another post for another day.

I've been fascinated by the Korean Peninsula since I was posted with the 2nd Infantry Division in 1988. Since I really was fascinated with looking into the country when I was stationed on the border in the summer of 1989. And no, Mrs. Clinton, the borders are not a few miles from each other, but right next to each other. 

The author, summer, 1989. Yes, that is North Korea in the background.

I've read up on North Korea since I've left. I was very concerned when the founder, Kim Il-sung passed. While he was a ruthless tyrant, he was not insane. He was scared off by the threat from Ike that he would use nukes to end the war in 1953. Fortunately, his son, Kim Jong-il, and grandson, Kim Jong-un, have not pushed the button, if you will. 

However, there is one items the Kims are focused on. Regime survival. They don't care if their nation is less developed than Lower Slovia, they will keep their armed forces strong enough to threaten any perceived threat. With a million man plus army, plus and enlarged (If somewhat antiquated) air force, and improving navy, North Korea has the capability to resist its close neighbors. However, they have a very large hold card, a credible nuclear threat. 

The author here brings up the likely result of the hostile regime. While she seems to be opposed to an "arms race" on the peninsula, personally I am not. There is no question the nuclear deterrent has kept the North Koreans on their side of the border for over 70 years, and still does. When I was stationed in South Korea, there was a Lance missile battalion just south of Seoul, with a "special weapons" company attached. We knew it carried the nuclear warheads for the Lances, and likely other tube artillery. The Lance went out of the inventory in the 1990s, but an open secret is there has been a submarine off the coast since then. And Pyongyang knows it. 

Are people who think like this warmongers? Not at all. We simply know talk and nothing to back it up with are worthless. So we will remember the wisdom of Ronald Reagan, "Peace Through Strength." 

With that as a introduction, some highlight of an excellent article. 

Double Asymmetry: The Inevitability of an Arms Race on the Korean Peninsula

ROK US missile

On June 6, South Korea and the United States test-fired eight ballistic missiles, a day after North Korea test-fired eight of its own ballistic missiles, offering a snapshot of an arms race that has been going on for some time. Since 2019, North Korea has resumed testing its missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles it tested earlier this year, lifting its 2017 self-imposed moratorium on nuclear weapons and missile tests. Just during the first half of 2022, it has test-fired over 30 missiles, breaking its 2019 record of 25. A seventh nuclear test seems imminent judging from recent activities at North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear testing site. After Kim Jong Un defended his acceleration of the arms buildup at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea last week, North Korea’s provocations will likely continue. South Korea, for its part, is also accelerating its military buildup, seeking more sophisticated ballistic missiles, including submarine-launched ballistic missiles and hypersonic cruise missiles, as well as missile defense systems. The country’s new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, has vowed to construct a powerful military.

Driving the arms race on the Korean Peninsula is what I call a “double asymmetry of power”: an asymmetry at both the nuclear and conventional levels. North Korea is enhancing its nuclear and missile capabilities in order to secure a survivable nuclear arsenal vis-à-vis the United States. Lacking a nuclear option, South Korea is seeking to counter North Korea’s nuclear threats with sophisticated conventional capabilities. Lagging far behind South Korea in terms of conventional capabilities, North Korea is seeking to modernize its conventional weapons, as well. Due to the power imbalance at both the nuclear and conventional levels, and the difficulty in assessing the power balance across the conventional and nuclear domains, neither country is likely to feel assured of its security, and thus will continue to enhance its military capabilities to deter the other side’s threats.

And they will continue to. Hopefully this will lead to Japan and other Southeast Pacific nations to move into this direction. North Korea will not be deterred by words. Neither will China. 

The North’s March Toward a Survivable Nuclear Arsenal 

North Korea is advancing its nuclear and missile capabilities to deter the United States. It is believed that North Korea has not yet acquired the ability to launch a nuclear attack against the United States in light of North Korea’s 2017 ICBM test that failed on the reentry phase. The re-entry vehicle technology protects a nuclear warhead from the intense heat and vibrations generated when a long-range missile re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. One of the three missiles North Korea launched on May 25 seems to have been aimed at testing its re-entry vehicle technology (this missile had a flight path described as a “double arc” with the missile ascending and descending twice, which may indicate a re-entry vehicle breaking off from the missile.) In addition, North Korea needs to enhance its second-strike capability: the ability to retaliate with nuclear weapons against a nuclear attack. Its recent test of the Hwasong 17 missile may be aimed at filling this gap. Much attention has been paid to the size of the Hwasong 17 — it is the largest ICBM ever developed (hence the name, “monster missile”). The size matters because the missile can carry a large payload, potentially including multiple re-entry vehicles, which complicates a missile-defense system’s job of shooting down all of them at once. The fact that the missile was tested from a mobile launcher makes it even more difficult for missile-defense systems to target. North Korea’s recent testing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile and hypersonic glide vehicles could also pose threats to missile-defense systems. All of these are aimed at enhancing North Korea’s second-strike capability...

And make our deterrent less relevant. But there is another major issue, if/when South Korea begins to develop its own nuclear forces, it will have serious push back from the Democratic party in the US, not to mention it's own left of center politicians. And it's safe to say the Chinese will not be happy.  

Due to this uncertainty, South Korea is looking at ways to develop its own capability to counter North Korea’s nuclear threats. The most effective way to balance nuclear capabilities would of course be to develop its own such weapons. According to a recent Chicago Council survey that my colleagues and I conducted, 71 percent of South Koreans supported nuclear armament. The public overwhelmingly preferred an independent arsenal (67 percent) over hosting a deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons (9 percent). The South Korean public’s support for nuclear weapons, especially their indigenous development, is robust...

I remember seeing rent a mobs in Seoul back in 88/89. Similar to the "no-nukes" protesters in Germany in the early 1980s. I'm sure they will be funded to keep an appearance of notable resistance to the development of an offensive nuclear force. And there will be a large significant portion of the Korean population that does not want open nuclear weapons on their soil. But when you're facing a threat with demonstrated nuclear capability, and the possibility of other nuclear forces (China) backing it up, something must be done to counteract the menace from the north. And, the fact the United States word is not taken at face value by many of our adversaries. 

Something Sleazy Joe Biden forgot, it is better your allies respect you rather than like you. And it's critical your enemies fear you more than they respect you.

Seoul, openly work on your nuclear deterrence. It's needed. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Another great book signed...

In the spring or summer of 1999, I was driving from (i.e. running as fast as I could) from Fort Bliss TX. In the middle of nowhere Texas, I was pushing the scan button on my radio. This was before I had a CD player in my truck, there was nothing called MP3, and I was tired of the tapes I had (Yes, I'm that old). 

As I was running from Operation Roving Sands at Fort Bliss, I hit on an interview with an author, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman. He was at the time an active duty army psychologist, since retired. This was soon after the Columbine school shooting, and Dr. Grossman had written On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. This is a classic reference on the the psychological component of killing her human beings. 

Fascinating interview, and as soon as I got home, I picked up a copy of the book and read it. And it gives great insight on how someone has to be desensitized to killing to kill. The military and law enforcement use it, but with restraint and regulations. Video games do the same, but without the oversight. 

Anyway, I finally got off my ass, and sent the book in for signature. Yesterday it came in and with a quick note. And yes, those two books are in my Amazon basket. 

Have a great weekend! 





Friday, May 27, 2022

Memorial Day.

Memorial Day. Not a day to be celebrated, but remembered. To remember those who died in the line of duty.

All across the country, volunteers will put up flags, place flowers on stone markers, visit family or friends. 

Even as you have your BBQ over the long weekend, if you can't any event or memorial, remember the men and women who made all of this possible. President Lincoln said it better than any man in history:

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate-we can not consecrate-we can not hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.


President Abraham  Lincoln

Gettyburg PA

November 19, 1863

 

 





Friday, May 20, 2022

Sunrise Sunset

This past Tuesday, had two anniversaries. My nephews birthday, and the anniversary of my brother's passing. 

I heard this song Tuesday, and it's been in my head since. Bobby loved Led Zeppelin, and another nephew played this at his funeral. 

I heard the Heart cover of this classic when Zeppelin was honored by the Kennedy Center. Gotta say it's awesome, but nothing beats the original .

We miss you Bobby. Wish you were here today, your Godson's oldest is escaping high school, and heading to LSU. 

Be seeing you man!





 



Wednesday, May 18, 2022

I hate it when lawyers try to tell me the law...

And yes, I'm being somewhat facetious.

Multiple times over the years I've had a lawyer try to impress me, or push me, or tell me that he knows the law and I don't. With all due respect of their J.D. degrees, they generally don't know that the hell they are talking about. 


Most lawyers I've met over the years do not practice "the law," but are engaged in a form of civil practice. The sue insurance companies for people in accidents. They handle contracts for firms. They review real estate dealings for land companies. By "1he law," I mean criminal law, i.e. prosecution or defense. Most attorneys do not involve themselves with criminal law, there is no money in it, unless you are really good defense attorney (See F Lee Bailey, Johnny Cochran, etc.). And some state attorney's general/district attorney's can get some leads that can make them cash, but the money is generally civil. 


One time I was running radar, stopped an attorney for going over 35 in a 20 mile per hour school zone. I know he is an attorney because he mentions it five times before I can identify myself (Slight exaggeration). 


After he said he was a lawyer, I asked, "Really, what kind?" He barked, "Doesn't matter!" I knew he wasn't a defense attorney because he was that stupid. And if he was a prosecutor, he would have shown his ID by now. 


The man was upset he was being stopped for something as unimportant as going almost twice the legal limit in a school zone. He was too essential for this minor issue. After I handed him the ticket, he tried to spook me.


"I'll see you in court! How does Christmas day sound?"


I laughed in his face and he said, "What?"


I smiled and explained "the law" to this judicial genius, "Sir, there is only one court open on Christmas day in this county, it's the district arraignment court on Franklin Street. It doesn't handle municipal cases.”


Another (More serious) case was of a 17-year-old at home alone (Parents out of town), where one of his friends shot himself. After calling 911, he called his brother, and the brother immediacy called the "family attorney." We are going through the investigation, and the lawyer shows up, demanding to see the young man. We explain to him he hasn't requested counsel . He again demands to see the 17-year-old, and one of the other officers ask, "Excuse me sir, are you a criminal defense attorney?" He answers he in a real estate attorney, and the investigator explains, "Sir, he's an adult at 17, and right now he is not a suspect, but a witness. If he wants a lawyer, he must request that himself." 


And last week was a good one. I get called by a man, his wife had a disturbance with a workman at a neighbor's house. I start my interview, and first got him to stop telling me his life's history (“We've lived here for over 20 years…,” etc.), and to focus on the matter at hand. He stated a vehicle was blocking is driveway, and when his wife asked him to move his car, he got into her face.


I asked if he struck her, or threatened her, he said "No, but he poked into her face at a close distance...and that's battery...I'm attorney." I blurted out, "I love it when lawyers tell me the law..." and asked him what type. He responded labor law. I explained to him the Texas penal code has Assault by Threat and Assault by Contact, but you will not find the word “battery” anywhere in the code. Managed to get the matter settled, and hopefully it doesn't blow up again.


Then again, much worse than lawyers, law school students. At least a lawyer has a degree, the law students have...the constitutional law class they took last semester taught by an idiot who has not stepped into a courtroom since his last traffic ticket. Example, fight at a bar, after we get everyone into custody, I'm assisting the primary unit by running some IDs. I placed a jacket of one of the suspects on the hood of my car while I was searching him. As I'm running the IDs, another man, having nothing to do with this incident, walks up, grabs the jacket and starts walking off. Needless to say we hooked him up, got him cuffed up, placed him in the back of my car. As I was running his ID, he actually asked, "What is your probable cause to stop me?"


I looked back slowly, I didn't know with contempt or amusement, and asked him, "What year of law school are you in?" I was asking the question as a contemptuous joke.


He looked a bit surprised by my question, but answered, "Second."


I smiled back at him, "I don't need probable cause to detain you, just reasonable suspicion. And this may shock you, but taking another person's property is called theft, and that is a crime." The future supreme court justice seemed shocked.


I'm actually not hostile to attorneys, and I'm like most people. I make jokes about lawyers, until I need one. I recall a very strange incident during the George Floyd riots in Houston, when we almost had a situation blow up. We had two young women (Got the impression of college students) egging on the protestors blocking the street. And another man walked up to them, started to talk to them, and managed to calm everyone down. He turned around, and I could see the sign on his front. "ACLU Attorney."

I went up, thanked him for his help in preventing a riot, and finished it with, "I never thought I would be thanking an ACLU lawyer in my life..." He smiled and walked off.


Who knows, maybe the Bard was a bit off with one of his most famous quotes, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” 

 

Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2.