Victory in Iraq Day

Zombie’s braver than I, I was going to wait until the defense pact agreement passed the assembly in Iraq, but what the hey…. Victory in Iraq Day!


One other note on this: I predict the media will not join in, I predict that they will not be able to even contenance the V word until such point that they can work the narrative over enough to call it an Obama victory in Iraq.
Hint to the media: President Elect Obama has Afghanistan before him as he enters office. He will be able to play a stronger hand there if he has an accepted Victory under his belt. On the other hand an embassey evac ala Viet Nam is a picture that would really hurt efforts in Afghanistan. Think on it.

Stop by and thank Zombie for his / her efforts here.

Obama Tried to Delay Troop Draw Downs Until Post Election

In a fully politically motivated move in July Barack Obama used his trip to Iraq to try extending the negotiations and troop draw downs in Iraq according to Amer Taheri. Full Story at New York Post:

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops – and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”

This demonstrate’s Obama’s willingness to say one thing in public and campaign for something entirely different behind closed doors. In other words he’s a coldly calculating machine politician more interested in Party Power than any other cause. It also shows his clear lack of appreciation for separation of powers. The executive branch becomes Commander in Chief exactly so our troops and wars do not become political footballs. It’s neither in Congress’ purview nor powers to manage theater tactics but that’s exactly what Senator Barack Obama was trying to do here.

Another damning conclusion from the story:

Thus, the 2010 deadline fixed by Obama is a meaningless concept, thrown in as a sop to his anti-war base.

Pakistan Reopens Torkham Border Crossing to NATO Supplies

Pakistan shut down the border crossing at Torkham to NATO fuel supplies after a series of raids by the US in Pakistan aimed at taking out the leadership of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They reoppened the crossing today, and it demonstrates the power Pakistan has over Nato supply lines at the moment. The only other options to supply are by air, or overland and sea via Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, or through Russia. Either presents problems at the moment, as does negotiatng new supply routes from China via the silk road.

These raids have increased in tempo since the beginning of the year, but have not to our knowledge taken out anyone higher than mid level in either organization. Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Ayman Al Zawahiri, Baitullah Mehsud, Haqqani, and Abu Yazid Al Masri are still all out there to the best of my knowledge.

While many Taliban and AQ were killed, the identities are largely unknown until we get confirmations from other sources.

More on the interdiction of supplies from Bill Roggio:

The US has recently stepped up attacks against Taliban and al Qaeda safe houses and training camps inside Pakistan’s tribal areas of North and South Waziristan over the last week. The US has conducts five strikes in the Waziristans in the past week, including a controversial helicopter assault in a village along the border.

But other Pakistani officials are maintaining that the border crossing was closed due to a deteriorating security situation. Rahmin Malik, the advisor to Prime Minister Gilani on internal security, said the road was closed after members of the security forces protecting the road to Afghanistan were kidnapped.

This is a political move, demonstrating the new President’s independence from US control, but ultimately the Pakistan economy could not withstand the shock of stopping the supplies permanently, as well as the other likely reprecussions. It is significant that Pakistan also made this move as the India nuclear deal took place, allowing open trade with India and bringing them back into the nuclear arms treaties. Similar deals were in the works with Pakistan, but those fell through, more from the chaos of the elections and the aftermath of forming a new coalition after the initial one collapsed.

Pakistan’s future could be bright: They sit on the best path for energy and food supplies to most of the subcontinent, but as long as their frontiers remain out of control they will never be able to leverage that geopolitial advantage very well.

The Dark Knight of Our Souls

The Hero and Terror

The Dark Knight portrays a quintessential struggle between good and evil in in a fantasy setting that’s an allegory for the real world and the larger struggles within it. It’s the movie about the war on terror that Hollywood cannot and will not force itself to make.

Hollywood has made several attempts at war movies, but they cannot help but be perniciously moralistic in purveying their political views in them.  There’s no choice to make other than to not watch if you oppose those views. Nobody goes to see those movies because you know how they will be. Our troops, the US, our institutions are almost always portrayed in them as bad. Who wants to see them when most people, even if they disagree with the war, know that the US is not wholly bad?

When you start from the concept that all war is bad no matter the motive, then you end in a moral quagmire where the good becomes the bad and evil gets ignored, or worse, justified.

The Dark Knight is breaking records and many will see this movie multiple times. They will see it not because of the special effects, not because of the great acting, not because of the superb editing or directing. They will see it instead because it portrays heros who must make moral choices over and over throughout the movie. They must choose between life and death, good and evil, they must choose between happiness and misery, they must weigh and judge.

I’ll not spoil the movie with specificity about those choices, but among them are the choice to confront or submit to terror, to sacrifice happiness for the greater good, to choose between life and death, to submit to venality and easy path or to persist through pain and horror.

Most of America and our troops will love this movie because in every scene those moral choices are made during The Dark Knight moment by moment by moment. They will recognize those choices for they also have to choose, to judge, to decide. In the case of our troops every choice in the movie is one they’ve already confronted and chosen rightly on.

The poster says “Welcome to a world with no rules” but the nihilistic and Nietzschean statement gets overuled by laws and choices: those laws that the universe and reality present us with, and those choices we make to build purpose within it. Watch for the choices in this movie if you would grasp meaning from it.