Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yoo hoo, you can come out now. Well, Maybe not. Hiding under the bed conservatism, Part III

We are in the ninth year of our struggle against the forces of evil in the War on Terrorism. We must watch our backs constantly in this desperate fight against a foe that is cunning and evil. He is seeking every chance to strike at us and if we just drop our guard for a second, why, probably nothing will happen.

Yes, folks, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. Actually, you do have things to fear. Lots of them.. Fortunately, an attack from the Sons of Jihad is not likely to be one. This does not mean our friends to the east love us. Au contraire, we should be surprised if they did, what with all the drones and bombings and troops in their countries. Heck, I would feel the same toward them if they had brigades over here. They don't and they are not likely to either.

I know, I know, you have been propagandized to believe that without the work of all the folks in the Department of Fatherland Security there would be widespread death and destruction across the country. Why, were it not for the vigilance of our guardians, a man with explosive underwear could just get on a plane and.......

Still, the great holy war of death is, to be honest, the least of your worries. Don't take it from me. Take it from Ryan Singel in Wired. He did one of those color coded thingies like the color coded terror threat level the government has. I can't reproduce the colors, but the breakdown is below:

Driving off the road: 254,419
Falling: 146,542
Accidental poisoning: 140,327

Kind of yellow.
Dying from work: 59,730
Walking down the street: 52,000.
Accidentally drowning: 38,302

Brighter yellow
Killed by the flu: 19,415
Dying from a hernia: 16,742

Accidental firing of a gun: 8,536
Electrocution: 5,171

Being shot by law enforcement: 3,949
Terrorism: 3147
Carbon monoxide in products: 1,554

As I have a greater chance of being shot by a cop than a Bin Ladenist, maybe we should fire all our police and hire members of Al Qaeda to staff our constabulary.
Mr. Singel should not have published this. When people read that they have a much greater chance of shuffling off the mortal coil by going to work, productivity in this country is going to nosedive.

So my fellow countrymen and women, don't come out from under the bed. Well don't fall out of bed. After all, a fall is up there in the severe category.

Lest you think it has been a long slog up from America as free fire zone to a near terrorist free garden of Eden, you may want to read the words of Paul Jackson. Jackson said basically the same thing Singel is telling, but he said it back in 2005.

These lads are a bit too pollyanish for me though. I have met terrorism dead on. Ah, almost dead on a few months ago here in hillbilly Nova Anglia. I was driving on a mountain road when out of nowhere a deer jumped in front of the car and crashed into my windshield. Had I been going faster or had someone been tailgating, another casualty of the enemy combatants would have been counted. Clever of the foe it was. They know that that doe could not have been on the no fly list.

The War on Terror is merely theater.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More in sorrow

In the eighties, witch hunting hysteria returned to Massachusetts. Child abuse hunters targeted an innocent family north of Boston. The Amiraults, who ran a day care, were railroaded to prison on bizzare charges.

No one was more noble in championing the cause of the persecuted family than Wall Street Journal reporter, Dorothy Rabinowitz. Her columns in the Journal were tough and relentless. She was recently able to reprise her role during the campaign lost by the un lamented Matha, or is it Marcia, Coakley. The article not only brought the history of that sordid event back into view, it exposed Coakley as one twisted pol.

Sadly, Ms. Rabinowitz has demeaned herself with an article ostensibly on Sarah Palin. It seems she is a bit spooked by the recent success of Ron Paul. She is not the only one, but one expected more from her. A little of it is below.

Though it hasn't attracted wide attention, nothing Mrs. Palin has done recently has been worthier of notice than her endorsement of Rand Paul, now running in Kentucky's GOP senate primary. Dr. Paul, an opthamologist and radical libertarian, holds views on national security and defense that have much in common with those of the far left. Not to mention those of the considerable body of conspiracy theorists, antigovernment zealots, 9/11 truthers, and assorted other cadres of the obsessed and deranged who flocked to the presidential candidacy of his father Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas.

A bit sleazy. Come on Dorothy. We all know the press walked by all the normal well adjusted folks who liked Paul so they could find someone strange. You are doing to Paulistas what Coaks and her ilk did to the Amiraults.

You disgrace yourself.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I thought the Marjah offensive would be done. We had screamed that we were coming for so long that the Talibs should have got the message, bugging out who needed to be gone and a clever little retreat to take a few potshots and a couple of dead infidels et au revoir.

Well, it has not happened. The lads who use towels to cover their heads have shown a bit more sophistication then was expected. I guess we will eventually scour the place and send anyone who can't blend in packing. Still, it has not gone to plan.

That sneaky enemy has taken up the not fair tricks of Hezbollah or the NVA or ironically for marines, General Kuribayashi*.

Listening to Npr this morning, the embedded Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was talking about the operation. Rules of engagement limit who the marines can shoot and when. It is to protect civilians so, I would guess, they won't think we suck when the fighting is done. When all the make nice rules don't work, an air strike is called in. There were several non taliban in the building who no longer have to worry about being alienated.

Also, heard on the radio this morning, a group of Ahghans fleeing the war were also struck from the air. Twenty-seven dead, and the usual regrets were voiced.

*An interesting book on how the people we fight respond to our hi tech war tactics and strategy is Phantom Soldier by John Poole.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If this is how our miltary prosecutes an offensive, they don't deserve to have any

Let’s imagine a bit of alternative history. In early May, 1944 newspaper headlines and radio broadcasts go out with the story, Allies to invade Normandy on or about June 6th. At German HQ, this conversation takes place. Dolph, “Zo, ist this ein trick?” Rommel, “Nein, Fuhrer, Das Allies have always announced before hand their plans.” Dolph, “Sehr Gut, General, plan accordingly.”

Fast forward to 2010 and the Coalition offensive at Marjah in Helmand Province. It was talked about for a long time in advance and was hardly unexpected. We telegraphed the punch and it appears the Taliban did what any good pugilist would. They ducked.

Anyone the Taliban wanted out of Marjah for strategic reasons surely left in time if only because they had all the time in the world to bug out. Anyone who stayed was part of a retreating defense. I have not been listening intensely but I have not heard any big body counts or pow takings. Not that one would feel confident in the reports. Have heard some happy talk about Afghan flags now flying above buildings. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Oh and we have reports of some senior Taliban leaders captured in Pakistan. Supposedly, the lads were so big, insurgent effectiveness will be vastly depleted. Since young, I’ve been hearing about drug busts that had reduced the supply on the street to a negative amount. The Taliban arrests have that flavor.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lindsay will be Secretary of Obfuscation in the next Republican Administration

Senator Lindsay Graham gave the weekly radio response for the Republicans. Now, I did not hear the President's message so I am not completely aware of what the Senator is responding to. I do know he was upset that people would get a trial. Of course, it is not just any people. It's people he does not want to hear from.

Here are the Grahamster words,

Never before have we allowed non-citizen enemy combatants, captured on the battlefield, access to our civilian courts providing them with the same constitutional rights as American citizens. Al Qaeda terrorists should not receive more rights than a Nazi war criminal and now is not the time to go back to the pre-9/11 mentality of fighting crime instead of fighting a war.

He would be talking about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Your man was not captured on the battlefield. That is of course unless you consider an arrest in a house in Rawalpindi a battlefield. Also, that more rights than a Nazi war criminal business is a little silly. The Nazi trials were conducted in public. At Nuremberg the Germans had access to first rate counsel and Herman Goering was able to put prosecution lawyers on the defensive at times.

He wants to go back to the glory days of the Bush Administration when guys like Shoes Reid were tried by Military Commission. Oh, right. Bush tried Reid in an American court.

I suppose the big reason that Graham and his ilk do not want the trials to be in the Big Apple is fear. They are afraid of what might happen. A man waterboarded once, maybe that is not torture. I think it is, but I'll let it go. A man who was tortured 183 time was tortued. Maybe we'll look a little Naziish.

What if these guys get top notch counsel who can turn the tables on the tax dollars at work barristers. That would be embarrassing.

The conduct of the so called war on terror has been inept from day one. Our nation's strength ebbs apace yet no one learns.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We suspend our fundraiser

The Neutralist occasionally announces a fundraiser that is known mostly for its failure. The terms are a minimum $10million per donor. This year, we are suspending the effort in favor of antiwar.com.

Antiwar.com is holding another one of its begathons and unlike public radio, they have earned support. After all, public radio has never forced the establishment to retreat if only because they are part of the establishment.

antiwar.com latest coup is the exposé of the AP story that the Iranians had enriched enough enriched enough weapons grade nuclear material to end civilization. Ah, maybe that was not the case. antiwar.com's Jason Ditz issued a refutation and et voilà, the original was withdrawn and a milder bit of screed put in place.

Now I should have such authority, but I don't. So give it where it will do the most good.

Of course, if you do have that spare 10 big ones lying around...........

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Smoke without fire-All those jihadis who went back to the fight, not

Ah yes, remember the days when someone would come up with something that proved Saddam had nukes and then a few days later, the evidence would turn out to be, well, nothing really. Of course you don't if you are a normal American. Three minutes ago is ancient history here.
Well, it is happening again. Not about WMD in Iraq but one of the other places we have troops. Granted, that's a lot of places. You remember that place we invaded after 911 and never left and is popping up in the news again. Yes, it's called Afghanistan.

Well, we scooped up a lot of lads and gave them a vacation in the sun drenched Caribbean where we treated them with kid gloves. Ah, well maybe we were a tad harsh with some. Still, if it is in a higher cause, what the heck.

Now John Brennan, the assistant to President Obama for homeland security and counterterrorism has written that, [T]he Intelligence Community assesses that 20 percent of detainees transferred from Guantánamo are confirmed or suspected of recidivist activity. I find that shocking. To tell you the truth, if I had been held for years against my will, I'd certainly be wanting to get back at the nation that jailed me.

The thing about the recidivist figures is that they are bunk. Over at the Future Of Freedom Commentaries, Andy Worthington exposes it in Repeating Pentagon Lies on Gitmo Recidivism. It seems that the figures were kinda fudged and repeated by the MSM. My apologies, I should have given a warning. I know those of you who believe that MSM member are killer fact checkers are going into shock.

The accounting is as creative as the Madoff team. It seems some of the former detainees went right back to the war by writing about it and were thus counted as just about to put petn down their undies. Per Andy,

We know, from earlier Pentagon claims, that this “recidivism” has included — and may well still include — publishing houses, the offices of newspapers, TV studios, and film sets because the Pentagon admitted (in a press release that was subsequently deleted from the Pentagon’s website, but is mirrored here) that it included former prisoners, like the Tipton Three — three young men from the West Midlands — who had appeared in a movie, The Road to Guantánamo, which dramatized their experiences, and the five Uighurs sent to Albania in 2006, after tribunals at Guantánamo cleared them of being “enemy combatants.” In the latter case, this was apparently because one of them, Abu Bakker Qassim, wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times in which he urged U.S. lawmakers to defend habeas corpus.

In the years since, many more ex-prisoners have written books, newspaper articles, and op-eds, and have appeared on TV and in films. Perhaps Omar Deghayes, the British resident (released in 2007), who appeared in the Guantánamo documentary that I co-directed, Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo, has now joined this ever-expanding group of “recidivists” who have dared to use their words and their voices to “attack” the United States for what it did to them in its brutal, experimental prisons in Afghanistan, Guantánamo and elsewhere.

Of course, If the pen is mightier than the sword, we may every right to be fearful. Being able to argue has to be defined as aggression.

No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up. Lily Tomlin, I think.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

We are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. Wasn't that the rationale?

From USA Today: Intel chief: al-Qaeda likely to attempt attack

From the article: WASHINGTON (AP) — al-Qaeda can be expected to attempt an attack on the United States in the next three to six months, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Congress.

The terrorist organization is deploying operatives to the United States to carry out new attacks from inside the country, including "clean" recruits with a negligible trail of terrorist contacts, CIA Director Leon Panetta said.

So I guess some of them are taking a break from fighting us over there so they can fight us over here.

Of course anyone who bought that line was capable of believing they hate us for our freedoms.

Now how many billions? trillions? has this brilliant strategy wasted. How many young men have been killed and maimed in the struggle?

Ah, but it has not been all a waste. Many chickenhawk journalistic careers have gotten a boost.