Losing Our Moral Authority

In 2004, the country of Afghanistan set up a constitution. The idea of having a free state was encouraged by America, as we had a substantial number of troops there and were trying to establish a viable government.

The constitution Afghanistan set up to be the law of the land contained the following:

Article One

Afghanistan shall be an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.

Article Two

The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals.

Article Three

No law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam in Afghanistan.

Article Four

National sovereignty in Afghanistan shall belong to the nation, manifested directly and through its elected representatives. The nation of Afghanistan is composed of all individuals who possess the citizenship of Afghanistan. The nation of Afghanistan shall be comprised of Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, Brahwui and other tribes. The word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. No individual of the nation of Afghanistan shall be deprived of citizenship. The citizenship and asylum related matters shall be regulated by law.

There is something here that is important–Article Three states that “no law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion on Islam in Afghanistan.” In other words, Sharia Law is the law of the land according to the constitution of Afghanistan. We need to understand that Sharia Law and democracy (i.e. freedom) are incompatible. Sharia Law does NOT allow the free exercise of religions other than Islam. Sharia Law considers saying that Jesus is the Son of God as blasphemy, punishable by prison or possibly death. Sharia Law prohibits the sharing of Christianity–considering it blasphemy. There is no room for personal freedom in a constitution that upholds Sharia Law. That is the constitution that we allowed Afghanistan to write when we were trying to establish a viable nation. As bad as that was, we did something far worse.

On Thursday, The Hill posted an article with the following headline, “Watchdog: Troops say they were told to ignore Afghan child sex abuse.” I have another source that tells me that the troops were also told not to interfere with the poppy crop. Think about that for a minute. I understand that the poppy crop is the major industry of the country, but it is a major source of trouble around the world. Wasn’t there a way to retrain the farmers to plant something less harmful? I also understand that pedophilia is part of the Afghan culture, but it bothers me that we let it continue uninterrupted. If we were there helping the country get out from under the grip of the Taliban, didn’t we have a responsibility to uphold some sort of moral standard–regardless of the ‘cultural norm.’

I am ready for America to leave Afghanistan. However, if we choose to stay there, we have an obligation to help the people of the country find their way out of the fifth century. We can’t bomb them back to the stone age–they are already there. If we are going to continue to sacrifice money and American lives for the people of Afghanistan, we need to begin to change some of their basic customs. Pedophilia and poppy growing are ultimately moral issues. If we can’t stand for the moral issues in Afghanistan, we have no moral authority to be there.

Remembering The Purpose Of The Military

On Tuesday, The Daily Caller posted an article about a military policy recently ordered by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The article reports:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has ordered a full review of any military training not directly relevant to warfighting.

Mattis told the services to conduct a review of the “requirements for mandatory force training that does not directly support core tasks,” according to a Friday memo obtained by Military Times.

In other words, Mattis wants a full examination of all the hours of burdensome, irrelevant training service members have to undergo before deployment.

“I want to verify that our military policies also support and enhance warfighting readiness and force lethality,” Mattis said.

Mattis also asked for a review into what should be done about permanently non-deployable service members.

We are sending our soldiers into war. They need to have the best military training possible, but we need to remember that there are only so many bits of information that a brain can handle. It is time to reconsider our priorities in order to protect our national security.

The recommendations resulting from the review of current training are due by Dec. 1, 2018.

The military is not a social experiment. Any policy or training that interferes with the readiness or cohesiveness of a military unit needs to end quickly. This is a very definite step in the right direction.

 

How To Solve A Problem

The first step in solving any problem is identifying the problem. Once you have identified a problem, it can be broken down into small parts and easily solved. That is exactly what needs to happen with the current state of the American military and our treatment of our soldiers and veterans.

On Saturday The Daily Signal posted an article about the steps President Trump is taking to rebuild our military.

The article reports:

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an exceptionally important executive order initiating both the beginning of the rebuilding of the U.S. armed forces and the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

Because he signed this order on the same day he signed the order on immigration it hasn’t yet gotten the attention it deserves. That’s a shame.

The order, titled “Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces,” has not yet been officially posted to the White House website. But a draft of the order, accompanied by news reports, gives us enough details to be able to assess it.

The order directs Secretary of Defense James Mattis to conduct a 30-day review of the readiness of the armed forces to assess their ability to conduct the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and other forms of radical Islamic terrorism, as well as near peer competitors and regional adversaries.

The article includes some disturbing information:

The Heritage 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength assessed our overall military capability as “marginal, trending towards weak” because of many years of budget cuts and overuse. Our assessment found that the U.S. Army today is the smallest it has been since the start of World War II; the Navy is the smallest it has been since World War I; and the Air Force suffers from crippling shortages of pilots and maintenance personnel. For example, the average age of the Air Force’s planes is 27 years old.

The evaluation and rebuilding of our military could and should have been done through Congress, but unfortunately Congress has chosen not to make military preparedness a priority. Hopefully President Trump will be able to lead Congress to a place where they understand the necessity of a strong American military.

Remembering Their Purpose

Yesterday CNS News posted an article featuring an interview with General Boykin on the subject of transgender integration in our military.

The article reports:

Commenting on the Defense Department‘s newly released handbook to train the military on how to integrate transgender people into the services, Lt. Gen. (ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin, former chief of U.S. Army Special Operations Command and a top member of Delta Force, said the primary question is how does this transgender social experiment enhance the ability of the U.S. military to fight and win wars?

“Again it comes back to what is the purpose of the military? What’s their mission? It’s to fight and win wars,” said Gen. Boykin in an Oct. 5 interview on Washington Watch with host Tony Perkins.  

“That’s what Douglas McArthur said at West Point in 1962,” said Boykin.  “‘Your mission remains determined, fixed, inviolable.’ It is to win the nation’s wars. Ask yourself how does this enhance the ability to win wars?” 

Aside from making drastic cuts to our military, the Obama Administration has somehow decided that the purpose of the military is to conduct social experiments. That has negatively impacted not only the morale of our troops, but also their readiness and ability to do their job. Our military is there to defend us. It is time to let them do their job without unnecessary distractions.

The article further reports:

Host Tony Perkins, who is president of the Family Research Council, then said, “I mean the Pentagon spokesperson, the spokesperson for the Pentagon says — notice they say spokesperson, not spokesman or woman because you just don’t know — is ‘designed to assist our transgender service members in their gender transitions, help commanders with their duties and responsibilities, and help all service members understand new policies enabling the open service of transgender service members.’”

Gen. Boykin replied, “Again it comes back to what is the purpose of the military? What’s their mission? It’s to fight and win wars. That’s what Douglas McArthur said at West Point in 1962. ‘Your mission remains determined, fixed, inviolable.’ It is to win the nation’s wars. Ask yourself how does this enhance the ability to win wars?” 

Have we forgotten the purpose of our military?

Breaking Faith With Our Military

The Obama Administration has not been good to our military. They have quietly reduced the medical benefits and the savings in the commissaries and exchanges. They have reduced the effectiveness of our military by putting women in combat. (In September USA Today reported that a study done by the Marines showed that all-male ground combat units were more effective than teams that included women.) Ignoring the results of that study will cost American soldiers lives. Another problem is the Obama Administration’s ignoring some of the corruption among the leaders in Afghanistan. That corruption directly cost the lives of three Marines in Helmand Province in 2012.

The Marine officer who tried to warn his fellow Marines about a possible Taliban conspirator is now being forced out of the Marines. The Marine Corps Times posted an article about the case yesterday.

The article reports:

A Marine veteran in Congress has called on the country’s top law enforcement agency to investigate a senior Navy official’s decision to force out a Marine officer who tried to warn his comrades in Afghanistan about a suspected Taliban conspirator.

In a Dec. 3 letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said the FBI should look into the case involving Maj. Jason Brezler, a Reserve civil affairs officer who sent classified information from a personal email account in 2012.

Scott Lutterloh, the acting assistant Navy secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, recently upheld the decision that Brezler be honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. But Hunter said Brezler’s case received “inadequate attention by the Department of Defense Inspector General and Navy criminal investigators.”

In his letter, Hunter urged the Pentagon to take steps to launch an FBI investigation of the case, to include the U.S. military’s relationship with Sarwar Jan, a corrupt Afghan police chief and the man at the center of Brezler’s email warning.

The full explanation of the events surrounding Major Brezler is posted here.

As I view these events, I am reminded of the number of classified emails on Mrs. Clinton’s private server. There seems to be a double standard here. I am also disgusted that our troops are not taking action against pedophilia on our military bases in Afghanistan. I understand that pedophilia is part of the Muslim Afghanistan culture, but it is a value that we as Americans cannot condone.

 

This Doesn’t Seem Very Peaceful To Me

CNN is reporting today that Iranian warships briefly pointed the weapons on its deck at a U.S. military helicopter and coalition warship two weeks ago in the Gulf of Aden. First of all–this story is listed under CNN Politics. This is not politics–this is national security–which until recent years was apolitical. One of the problems with the current politicians in Washington is that they are perfectly willing to sacrifice the good of America for the good of their political party. Term limits are needed, but that is another article.

The article at CNN reports:

In a statement released early Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Navy characterized the interaction as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

The U.S. Navy took photos of the incident but has not publicly released them. The incident was observed by the USS Farragut, which had launched the U.S. helicopter.

The official said it’s been several weeks since there have been any serious encounters with Iranian military ships, although on two recent occasions, U.S. Navy ships did sound their horns to warn Iranian ships they were too close, and those ships moved to a farther distance.

The U.S. Navy said its forces are routinely approached by Iranian warships as they operate in the region, with the majority of all interactions by the Iranians conducted “in a safe and professional manner.”

“Unsafe and unprofessional!” What does it take for America to stand up and say that this is unacceptable? I am not in a hurry to go to war with anyone, but it seems to me that if we do not stand up to this sort of bullying at some point, it is only going to get worse. Obviously, the time to stand up to this bully is before he is equipped with nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, our current leadership in the White House does not seem to understand that.

Congress Needs To Rethink Its Priorities

Politico posted an article today about the appointment of Joe Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The article reports:

The Obama administration is counting on Dunford to take the lead in pushing a series of proposals designed to shrink the pay and benefits of troops as the Pentagon wrestles with the need to rein in its personnel costs.

There was a related article in yesterday’s New Bern Sun Journal.

The article in the Sun Journal explains where some of the cuts will take place. Military personnel who retire after 20 years will receive 40 percent of their basic pay rather than the 50 percent they currently receive. Military personnel who serve for 12 years will also receive a retirement benefit. I don’t know whose idea this was, but they need to rethink it. First of all, does the person who came up with this plan understand the sacrifices a soldier and his family make during that twenty years? Do they understand that a 40-something year old man retiring from the military will begin his business career at the bottom of the ladder competing with much younger men? Why are they taking money away from people who serve twenty years and giving money to people who serve only twelve? There is also an alternative 401k-type retirement plan proposed for new military members. I am fine with that as long as the benefits for those currently serving are not altered. The government signed a contract with our current military that promised certain benefits during their service and afterwards. Congress does not have the right to viod that contract.

Politico reports some of the other changes:

An even more controversial proposal, put forward by an independent commission, would overhaul the military health care system, known as TRICARE, so that dependents and retirees would choose from private insurance options that would be subsidized, rather than have the care provided through a government-run system.

I don’t oppose taking the health care system away from the government–I do oppose increasing the cost to military members, retirees, and their families.

There are better places to cut the federal budget. We have an all volunteer military force that includes many very dedicated people. Cutting their benefits will impact the number and quality of the people who join the military in the future.

Before we cut the benefits we give to those who serve in our military, let’s take a really good look at the perks we provide to Congress.

An Announcement From Judicial Watch

The following information is taken directly from the Judicial Watch website. It was posted today.

U.S. Africa Command records – heavily blacked out – show military gathered forces to support “anti-terrorist” actions in Benghazi day after attack

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama administration finally turned over hundreds of pages of documents about the military response to the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound and other facilities in Benghazi.  The documents, which are heavily blacked out (redacted), confirm that the U.S. Military, through its U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) drafted orders for a military response to the attack, specifically “to protect vital naval and national assets.”  Other documents suggest that the military, hours after the attack, tied the assault to a group supporting “an Islamic state” that wanted to attack U.S. interests in Libya in retaliation for a drone strike on an al-Qaeda leader.

The Pentagon produced a total of 486 pages in response to a federal court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Judicial Watch filed against the U.S. Department of Defense asking for “any and all” records produced by the U.S. Africa Command Operations Center concerning the terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia on September 4, 2014, (Judicial Watch v. Department of Defense (No. 1:14-cv-01508)).  Almost all of the documents had been previously classified as secret, and the Defense Department has redacted a large percentage of the material in order to protect “military plans and operations,” “intelligence” activities, and other exemptions.

Included in the production was a September 13, 2012, draft cable, “US Africa Command Request for Forces,” which sought an “immediate” response from the Joint Chiefs of Staff for “additional forces” for the mission to “provide limited duration military and expeditionary antiterrorism and security forces in support of USAFRICOM commander in order to protect vital naval and national assets.”  The planning document was approved by “VADM [Charles] Joseph Leidig, Deputy CDR, Africa Command.”  The name of the military’s Benghazi operation was Jukebox Lotus.

The Obama administration blacked out the specific mission information in the final deployment orders for Operation Jukebox Lotus.  The orders (EXORD) detail that, ultimately, several components of the military, including Special Operations Forces, were deployed to support limited security and evacuation operations in Libya, including support for “BPT” (Be Prepared To) included, from the U.S. Army in Africa, “BPT support with mortuary affairs.”  The Pentagon has previously released other orders with virtually no redactions, including an operation in Libya in 2004 and an Obama administration operation to attack Muammar Gaddafi’s government forces in Libya in 2011.

Other documents show that, early on September 12, 2012, the day after the attack, top Pentagon leadership received intelligence briefing slides reporting that a June 6, 2012, attack on the Benghazi Special Mission Compound was tied to a group promoting an Islamic state in Libya, “came in response to the 5 June [2012] drone strike on al-Qaida senior leader Abu-Yahya al-libi.”

The documents also confirm that the military used a photo from a Twitter post to try to ascertain the status of Ambassador Stevens.

The Obama administration produced no documents showing communications from the State Department to AFRICOM.

The records do show that U.S. military officials were keenly aware of the terrorist threat in the region. “The DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] terrorism threat level for Libya is significant,” one email message says. “The DOS [Department of State] residential criminal threat level for Libya is high and the non-residential criminal threat level is high. The political violence threat level for Libya is critical.”

Judicial Watch dismissed its lawsuit on February 12, 2015, after it succeeded in finally obtaining these AFRICOM Benghazi documents.  The Vaughn index, which describes why the documents have been withheld, is also publicly available for congressional and other investigations into the scandal.

Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi on the evening of September 11, 2012.  U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith were both killed. Just a few hours later, a second terrorist strike targeted a different compound about one mile away. Two CIA contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were killed and 10 others were injured in the second attack.

“It is extraordinary that we had to wait for over two years and had to force the release of documents that provide the first glimpse into the military response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “There is no doubt that the military considered this to be terrorist attack tied to a group allied with al Qaeda. Why does the Obama administration continue to black out history in these military documents?  If there were no embarrassing facts, there would be nothing to hide.  This lack of transparency is an insult to those in the military and other deployed U.S. government personnel whose morale has been decimated by the breach of trust caused by President Obama’s Benghazi lies and failures.”

I Don’t Think We Have Learned The Truth Yet

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article which featured an unclassified map of American military forces in the area of Benghazi. Libya, on September 11, 2012. The map was obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request. I am in no way a military strategist, but after looking at the map, I wonder if more could have been done to defend the embassy annex at Benghazi. Here is the map:

Screengrab via Townhall

The American military does not usually leave men behind. I wonder why they chose to close their ears to the cries for help that were coming from Benghazi that night.  We need to have an honest investigation into what happened. So far that investigation has been blocked. The American people (and the families of those killed that night) have a right to know why the military did not show up.

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More Ridiculousness

Hold on to your hat–the government is attempting to shut down God. The Daily Caller reported yesterday that the Priests who are in government service or are under contract to the military have been threatened with arrest if they celebrate Mass on Sunday.

The article reports:

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.”

The article points out that this ruling on the part of the Obama Administration is not in accordance with the First Amendment rights of the American military. This is not something the government of a free country should do.

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When Justice Looks The Other Way

The American military is struggling right now with the issue of sexual assault in its ranks. The lax moral standards of our society make it rather difficult to distinguish between morning-after regret and genuine sexual assault. When you add to the mix the chain of command in the military and the culture of the military, things don’t always seem to be sorted out correctly.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday which illustrates this problem. The incident in the article deals with Raymond Cromartie. Raymond Cromartie entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 2010. In 2011 he was charged with sex crimes against a female cadet. He was acquitted of those charges, but now faces expulsion from the military.

The article reports:

The alleged attack turned out to have occurred during an academy-sponsored ski trip to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, in January 2011. The 180 cadets on the trip had been told they were permitted to drink, but only if they were over 21 (Quebec‘s drinking age is 18) and only in public places like bars and restaurants. Both those limits were widely flouted.

…He also acknowledges a sexual “hookup” with the accuser, which occurred in the hotel bedroom she shared with three other female cadets. But while her account and his agree on some of the physical details, he denies her claim that he forced himself on her.

…Although the accuser waited half a year to file charges, on the night of the incident she did phone Second Lt. Scott Wright, a young Army officer she described as a family friend. After hearing her version of events, Lt. Wright assumed the role of white knight. He demanded that she file a formal complaint. She demurred, so the next day, over her objection, he alerted the academy. “What that bastard did to you is vile and unforgivable,” he texted her. “You can’t let this go. I did what I had to do; what I knew in my heart to be right.”

It seems that there were some other connections here. In July 2011, Mr. Cromartie was summoned to the campus military police station after completing a grueling three-day combat simulation field training exercise in 90-degree summer heat. At that point, without fully understanding what he was doing, he signed a waiver of his right to counsel.

The article further reports:

Mr. Cromartie was acquitted of all the accuser’s charges. A few days later, he sent a brief no-hard-feelings email to now First Lt. Wright, who responded with a long, effusive apology. Lt. Wright wrote that after learning the facts of the case, “I was shocked and appalled. I felt as though I had been used and manipulated.” When he heard of the acquittal, “I thanked God that I didn’t play a part in sending an innocent man to prison.”

The article then explains the problem of unlawful command influence (UCI):

In addition, in October 2011 the accuser’s father sent an inflammatory three-page handwritten letter to the commandant, Gen. Martin. The father asserted that his daughter had been “raped” and repeatedly referred to Mr. Cromartie as a “rapist.” (This was not in fact a rape case; even the accuser said the sexual activity stopped well short of intercourse.) The letter began “Dear Ted.” The father and Gen. Martin were classmates at the academy 30 years ago, and West Point classes are famously tightknit.

Perhaps the clearest indication of UCI came in April 2012, when the defense counsel asked Maj. Jeffrey Pickler, Mr. Cromartie’s company tactical officer, to write a letter attesting to the cadet’s good character. Maj. Pickler agreed, then sought advice from his superior, Lt. Col. John Vermeesch, who discouraged him from writing the letter. Maj. Pickler testified that Col. Vermeesch prefaced his recommendation with a pre-emptive denial: “Just to be clear, this is not UCI.”

The military command is a tight-knit group. Generally speaking, they look out for each other, and generally speaking, that is a good thing. However, the father of the accuser could not be expected to be objective about this case and should not have gotten involved.

Because Mr. Cromartie revised some of the details of his original statement, he is now facing perjury charges, which could get him court-martialed from the Army.

The article concludes:

After the court-martial panel read its verdict, Mr. Cromartie took the stand in the proceeding’s sentencing phase to show remorse for the misstatement: “I should have reviewed my statement thoroughly. I just skimmed it and it was my fault,” he testified. “I should have asked for a lawyer.”

If that is the most important lesson a young man can learn at West Point, it is an indictment of both the academy’s leadership and the country’s.

It is unfortunate that we may lose a good leader over an unprovable charge because politicians have decided that they need to meddle with the military’s sexual assault policies. It seems to me that the guilt over this incident is shared by both parties–it’s just that one of those parties shared her regret in ways that were destructive to the other. If Mr. Cromartie is to be discharged because of this incident, the other party should also be discharged. This is much more a reflection of the sexual morals we have taught our young people than it is a crime.

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This Is Not The Path I Think We Should Be On

The statement “There are no atheists in foxholes” came out of World War II. Its origin is uncertain–it is sometimes credited to U. S. Military Chaplain William T. Cummings during the Battle of Bataan and sometimes credited to Ernie Pyle. That information is from Wikipedia, so keep that in mind.

At any rate, it seems that at the present time Christians may not be allowed in foxholes. Fox News reported yesterday that the Christian symbols have been removed from the chapel at Forward Operating Base Orgun-E in Afghanistan.

The article quotes a letter that American Atheists president David Silverman sent to the Pentagon:

“Soldiers with minority religious beliefs and atheists often feel like second-class citizens when Christianity is seemingly officially endorsed by their own base,” Silverman told Fox News. “We are very happy the Pentagon and the Army decided to do the right thing.”

I thought religious freedom was one of the things our military was defending. The military takes an oath to defend the U. S. Constitution which supports freedom of religion. I am sorry if a soldier was offended by the cross, but the Constitution does not tell him that he has the right not to be offended. Is he also offended by the Star of David or the Crescent Moon? Guess what? I really don’t care. Christianity is a part of the heritage of our country and of our military. There is no reason to strip our bases of that heritage.

The article posted one reaction to the move:

The Christian cleansing brought condemnation from religious liberty advocates like Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

“Under this Administration, the military has become a Christianity-free zone,” Perkins told Fox News. “As a veteran, there’s an irony here. You put on the uniform to defend freedom — chief among them is freedom of religion. And yet, you are stripped of your own freedom to practice your faith.”

“This is not about imposing religion on a people we’ve freed from oppression,” Perkins said. “This is about American soldiers having the ability to practice their own faith.”

The article concludes:

“My personal feeling is that it is a direct attack against Christianity and Judaism,” one soldier told Fox News. “When you look at the regulation and you notice the four items directly quoted are crosses, crucifixes, the Star of David and the Menorah.”

The Army regulation makes no specific mention of the wheel of Dharma, Pentagram, Pentacle, Star and Crescent or the Yin and Yang symbol, he noted.

And while Christian symbols are being removed from chapels, there has been at least one instance of a gay pride flag being raised at a base in Afghanistan. Click here to read our original story.

Photographs purporting to show the rainbow flag flying over the base stirred widespread debate after it was posted on Facebook.

This is not a good path for America to be traveling.

 

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Breakfast With Santa

This past weekend my husband and I were visiting one of our daughters on Long Island. We had the pleasure of attending a Breakfast with Santa sponsored by the Long Island Chapter of US Veterans MC (USVMCLI), a fraternity of motorcycle riders who have all served honorably in one of the branches of the United States military. The USVMCLI was serving breakfast and collecting care packages and food for veterans in the Long Island area. They were also collecting toys and clothes for children of hospitalized veterans.

As the wife of a Vietnam-era veteran, the event was almost overwhelming. The USVMCLI included veterans from Vietnam, the more recent wars, and I suspect that one of the veterans I saw may have served in Korea. It is incredibly encouraging to me that the Vietnam veterans, who were treated so badly when they returned home, have worked hard to make sure that today’s veterans are cared for and helped with some of their basic needs.

The food was great and Santa arrived, but the inspiring part of the breakfast was the sea of motorcycle jackets dedicated to helping their fellow veterans.

Thank you, USVMCLI, for the work that you do.

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His Nose Is Growing…

On Friday, the Washington Free Beacon posted a story specifically listing the lies Vice-President Joe Biden told during the Vice-Presidential debate this week. I will attempt to summarize.

The article reports:

“We weren’t told they wanted more security there,” Biden said in response to a charge from Republican opponent Paul Ryan. “We did not know they wanted more security.”

…The White House now claims Biden only meant that neither he nor President Obama was personally informed of the security requests, but press secretary Jay Carney on Friday awkwardly declined to say whether or not they ever were briefed on the matter.

It is bad enough that the Vice-President might have lied–it is worse if he and the President were not made aware of the problem after the numerous previous attacks on the Embassy.

The article further reports:

Ryan and House Republicans “cut” embassy security by $300 million.

…A senior State Department official who testified before Congress earlier this week said budget considerations were not a factor in the decision to deny the U.S. Libyan delegation’s repeated requests for additional security.

Wouldn’t the Vice-President have had some idea of the Congressional testimony–it wasn’t even a good lie.

The next lie:

The Obama administration has “decimated” al Qaeda.

Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for CBS News, recently described the Obama administration’s declaration of victory in the war on terror a “major lie.”

The next lie:

Obama doesn’t want to raise taxes on families and small businesses earning less than $1 million a year.

…President Obama has often stated his desire to raise taxes on all individuals and small businesses earning at least $200,000 a year, a proposal he included in his most recent budget resolution. Doing so is estimated to raise about $800 billion in new revenue over the next decade.

The next lie:

Syria is five times the size of Libya.

Check you Atlas. I have no words.

The next lie:

Obama has ordered all American troops out of Afghanistan by 2014.

…However, the administration has discussed maintaining an “enduring presence”—in the words of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta—in Afghanistan beyond 2104. That would likely consist of somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 military advisers and special forces troops, contingent on an agreement with the government of Afghanistan.

Always read the fine print.

The next lie:

The federal government is not forcing Catholic institutions to cover contraception.

…Yet 35 lawsuits against the HHS mandate, which forces insurance companies to cover contraception for free, are pending right now, including many from Catholic universities. The Becket Fund pointed out this fact in an email this morning objecting to the Vice President’s comments.

It depends on the meaning of the words Catholic institution.

The next lie:

Biden voted against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

…Then-Sen. Biden voted for the Afghanistan resolution on Sept. 14, 2001, authorizing “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”

And on Oct. 11, 2002, Biden voted for a resolution authorizing unilateral military action in Iraq.

Biden did, however, vote against the First Gulf War to repel the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, arguing that the U.S. had no “vital interests” in the region.

Generally speaking, Vice-President Biden has been wrong on almost every statement he has ever made regarding foreign policy.

And that is the Washington Free Beacon’s list of lies Vice-President Biden told during the debate this week. For further details, follow the link above to the Washington Free Beacon.

 

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There Seems To Be A Slight Difference Of Opinion On This

The Washington Times reported yesterday that the Senate voted Tuesday to give the U.S. military first crack at holding al Qaeda operatives, even if they are captured in the U.S. and are American citizens, and also reaffirmed the policy of indefinite detention.

A website called Democracy.now reports:

A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect — anywhere in the world — without charge or trial. The measure would effectively extend the definition of what is considered the military’s “battlefield” to anywhere in the world, even within the United States.

This is the link to the actual text of the bill at Thomas.gov. What the bill does, contrary to the panic expressed in Democracy.now, is allow the military to deal with terrorists in military courts rather than civilian courts. Terrorists have no right to be tried in American criminal courts with all the benefits of American citizens, regardless of where they are captured–they are not criminals, they are terrorists.

If you think this is a new thing, please review the case of the Nazi saboteurs who came ashore on Long Island in 1942 (at fbi.gov). Like it or not, we are at war. We have been at war since 1979, when Iran and its radical Muslim leaders declared war on us. We ignore the fact that we are at war at our own peril.

Please note that the vote of this bill was bipartisan. The article at the Washington Times reports: 

Tuesday’s 61-37 vote to buck Mr. Obama and grant the military dibs exposed a deep rift within the Democratic Party. Sixteen Democrats and one independent who caucuses with them defied the veto threat and joined 44 Republicans.

This bill protects the safety of Americans. If you doubt that, please follow the link to Thomas.gov and read the bill or the summary.

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I’ve Heard This Song Before

On Friday, ABC News reported that President Obama would be sending 100 U. S. troops to Uganda to help that country deal with the forces of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), it’s leader Joseph Kony, and senior leaders of the LRA.

The article reports:

The president made this announcement in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Friday afternoon, saying that “deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

He said that “although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”

I will not argue that the LRA is a nasty group of people. I just hate to see any more U. S. troops deployed anywhere. It would seem to me that if the United Nations were worth anything, this would be a job their peace-keeping forces could do. I understand that the United States makes up a large portion of those forces, but I truly think it is time for that to change.

Just a reminder. According to Wikipedia:

November 1, 1955 — President Eisenhower deploys the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the ARVN (South Vietnamese Army). This marks the official beginning of American involvement in the war as recognized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

We have forgotten how to fight a war. You go in with guns blazing, kill the bad guys, help set up a viable government, then leave. Consider how Japan and Germany were treated after World War II. Japan had not been a democracy and their were serious doubts as to whether the Japanese were capable of being a stable, capitalistic, democracy. Frankly, I think they got it! Sending in advisers leads to more advisers, leads to soldiers, leads to more soldiers, leads to ridiculous rules of engagement. leads to dead Americans. I understand that the LRA are bad people, but America has no national security interest in Uganda. I wouldn’t object to putting together a group of countries to send in troops, but I object to America sending in 100 troops by itself.