The US and Israel are big meanies because they won’t share!

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**Posted by Phineas

Perfect against tunnelling jihadis!

We’re so selfish

That’s the gist of the complaint from Navi Pillay, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who denounced Israel (and by extension the US) for civilian deaths in Gaza. The original article is behind Haaretz’s subscriber wall, so I’ll quote the Breitbart summary:

Navi Pillay told reporters following yet another “emergency” meeting of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that Israel was not doing enough to protect civilians. “There is a strong possibility,” said the known Israel critic, “that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

Among the UN’s long bill of particulars against the beleaguered Jewish state comes the almost unbelievable accusation that Israel’s refusal to share its Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield with the “governing authority” of Gaza – i.e. Hamas, the terror group created to pursue the extermination of the Jewish state and now waging a terrorist war against it – constitutes a war crime against the civilians of Gaza.

The UN chairwoman criticized the U.S. for helping fund Israel’s Iron Dome system which has saved countless Israeli and Palestinian lives. “No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling,” she said.

Oh, poor little Hamas. They start a war with Israel, firing thousands of rockets with the potential to kill thousands –especially if they had hit that nuclear reactor at Dimona!– and they dig tunnels for offensive operations against civilians, and then when they fight back to destroy those tunnels and successfully defend their people from those rockets, the leftists in the transnational bureaucracy (1) whine that Israel, the nation that got attacked in the first place, has an unfair advantage.

You cannot make this crap up.

Claudia Rosett take Ms. Pillay’s idea about “sharing the weapon-wealth” to its logical, farcical conclusion:

It also seems unfair to limit such sharing to terrorist organizations. The UN is, after all, an institution devoted to upholding and treating equally the rights of all sovereign states. Why not save South Korea from its unfair military edge over North Korea, by demanding that Seoul turn over to Pyongyang enough advanced military technology to even the balance? For the sake of world peace, the U.S. could deliver to China any military secrets China hasn’t stolen already; likewise, give Russia its fair share. And it almost goes without saying that the U.S. and other world powers should stop dickering with Iran over its nuclear program, and just give Tehran the bomb.

Actually, once this redistribution really gets underway, there are quite a number of UN member states, plus an array of terrorist groups, around the globe, which could more safely threaten or attack the world’s developed democracies if only advanced military technology were to be included in the UN roster of aid entitlements. Though, the myriad transfers and accompanying funding could become complex. Maybe it would be more efficient to simply require that all developed democracies turn over all advanced military technology to the UN, along with the requisite cash, to be redistributed to terrorist groups and rogue states as UN human rights officials deem proportionately appropriate. One more step toward the UN dream of a more equitable world.

Fair is fair, after all. To paraphrase President Obama, “At some point, you have enough weapons.”

PS: My philosophy of dealing with dangerous neighboring countries is simple — “We want to live in peace with you. We are happy to buy your stuff and sell you our stuff, something good for us all. But, if you insist on trying to kill my people, I will bring the Wrath of God down on you. That is how I will share my country’s military technology.”

PPS: And if you want an idea of how seriously High Commissioner Pillay’s UN Human Rights Council takes the idea of human rights for all, consider that China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are all members.

Footnote:
(1) Is there a more useless class of people in the world? I’m hard pressed to think of one.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#KYsen: Allison Grimes, national security sooper-genius

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**Posted by Phineas

Perfect against tunnelling jihadis!

Perfect against tunnelling jihadis!

Federal senators deal with issues of national and international importance, including matters of war and peace, and overall national security. You would think, then, that someone wishing to ascend to the Senate would at least know the basics about a game-changing weapon wielded by one of our key allies, who happens to be in a shooting war.

That is, until you meet Kentucky Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes:

As foreign policy inches its way into a debate that has largely focused on the economy, Grimes was asked about congressional efforts to aid Israel’s missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome.

“Obviously, Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and she has the right to defend herself,” Grimes said. “But the loss of life, especially the innocent civilians in Gaza, is a tragedy. The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.

Iron Dome — as normal, intelligent folks such as you, Dear Readers, can probably tell without needing the above highlighting — is a missile-defense system. It is designed to shoot down things flying through the air: incoming tactical rockets with only minutes or seconds to spare, and it does an amazingly good job at it. One thing it does not do is stop things tunneling under the ground, jihadis or even gophers.

Someone should explain these tricky technical details to Ms. Grimes.

Grimes is hoping to defeat Mitch McConnell and capture his seat for the Democrats, and it’s a tight race. While McConnell hasn’t been one of my favorite senators, he also doesn’t give me the gas that he gives many of my fellow Righties. Regardless of one’s opinion of him, though, I think we can agree that it’s important that his seat be kept in Republican hands, for the Republic.

Even against a defense wiz like Allison Lundergan Grimes.

via Jim Geraghty

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Sen. Walsh: PTSD “may have been a factor” in master’s thesis plagiarism

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Sen. John Walsh

Sen. John Walsh (D-MT)

Phineas blogged about this developing scandal yesterday involving the ‘alleged’ master’s thesis plagiarism of Montana Senator John Walsh (D), but the Senator’s biggest issue going forward may not be in the allegations themselves but in his controversial attempts at excusing them away:

Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others’ work in his master’s thesis was not plagiarism but “a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper” that he blamed in part on post-Iraq war trauma.

The apparent plagiarism first reported by The New York Times on Wednesday was the second potentially damaging issue raised this year involving the Montana Democrat’s 33-year military career, which has been a cornerstone of his campaign to keep the seat he was appointed to in February when Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China.

National Democrats said Wednesday they remained “100 percent behind Sen. Walsh” in his campaign against Republican Rep. Steve Daines. But even before the plagiarism revelations, top Democratic strategists saw Walsh’s campaign as an uphill pull, never counting on it as key to holding their Senate majority.

Walsh dismissed the notion that the allegations will harm his campaign. He also chafed at the suggestion that he deliberately presented other scholars’ work as his own in his 2007 thesis to earn a Master of Strategic Studies degree at the U.S. Army War College.

“I admit that I made a mistake,” he said. “My record will be defined by (Walsh’s service in) the National Guard, not by a few citations that were unintentionally left out in a term paper.”

Walsh said that when he wrote the thesis, he had post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in Iraq, was on medication and was dealing with the stress of a fellow veteran’s recent suicide.

“I don’t want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,” the senator said. “My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment.”

You know what? No. Blaming this on PTSD is just wrong on so many levels and is, frankly, an insult to the our veterans who have experienced it. Check this graphic from the New York Times – which, surprisingly enough, broke this story, and decide for yourself:


As to what impact this may have on Walsh’s election battle, it’s hard to say. As Phineas noted yesterday, plagiarism hasn’t hurt VP Biden’s political career and other notable politicos (like Sen. Rand Paul) have been caught in similar scandals, but this one involves military service, and there is that little matter of honor, as Army War College grad/colonel Kurt Schlichter notes:


Stay tuned.

Veteran who has been dead for two years receives notice of VA appointment

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Fail

Big time.

Can you imagine?? Talk about an epic fail:

ACTON (CBS) – “He was steadfast. He took care of us, all of these years.”

Suzanne Chase of Acton was talking about her husband, Doug, a Vietnam veteran who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011.

In 2012, she tried to move his medical care to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Bedford.

“It was so difficult for him to take the ambulance ride into Boston, we wanted to be closer.”

They waited about four months and never heard anything. Then Douglas Chase died in August 2012.

But two weeks ago, he got a letter, from the VA in Bedford, saying he could now call to make an appointment to see a primary care doctor.

“It was addressed to my husband and I opened it,” said Suzanne Chase. “I was in complete disbelief.”

[…]

She says the VA had to know her husband was dead because she applied for funeral benefits two years ago and was denied.

The reason for the denial: Her husband was never treated at a VA hospital.

“It is absurd,” said Chase. “It made me angry because I just don’t think our veterans should be treated this way.”

She wrote a letter to the Bedford VA two weeks ago,  but once again, no response.

“I am hoping if other people speak out, they can improve the system, so no one else dies waiting for an appointment.”

AMEN.

Report: VA “paused” sending teams to help poor-performing hospitals

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VA hospital

VA hospital

Via the Wall Street Journal/Fox News:

The Department of Veterans Affairs suspended a program that sent teams of doctors and monitors to try to improve its worst-performing facilities for approximately two years, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal, citing agency doctors and internal records, reported that the visits were “paused” beginning in early 2011. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, the head of the agency’s quality and safety program, said the VA had begun to revive the program about a year ago.

The Journal report specifies seven VA hospitals that have consistently received a rating of one star out of a possible five from the VA since at least 2011. Those hospitals are located in Augusta, Ga.; Little Rock, Ark.; Providence, R.I.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; and Puget Sound (Seattle), Wash. The star rating system measures hospitals according to key performance standards, including death rates among acute-care patients and among patients suffering from congestive heart failure and pneumonia. Length of stays and readmission rates are also taken into consideration.

It is not clear why the agency halted the visits, though the Journal report cites current and former VA doctors who claim that top managers of the agency played down the utility of basing the ratings system on specific medical outcomes.

Dr. Clancy claimed to the Journal that each of the hospitals with the poorest rating “has gotten at least one visit in the last year or year and a half.”

In related and equally disturbing news, The Hill reports that nearly 60,000 – that’s 60,000 – had to wait at least 90 days to see a doctor, and an additional 63,000 didn’t receive an initial appointment at all over a 10 year period:

The White House on Monday came under increased pressure to launch a criminal probe of the Veterans Affairs Department after an audit found more than 100,000 veterans were kept waiting for medical care.

The audit uncovered evidence of widespread tampering of documents at Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics, with schedulers receiving direction from their superiors to use “unofficial lists” to make the waiting times for appointments “appear more favorable.”

The audit found more than 57,000 veterans waited at least 90 days to see a doctor, and an additional 63,000 people over the past decade never received an initial appointment at all.

Republican leaders in Congress called the findings a “national disgrace” as members of both parties demanded the Justice Department prosecute the officials responsible.

“The Department of Justice should get off the sidelines and start actively pursuing charges where applicable to the fullest extent of the law,” said Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

In the Senate, 11 Democrats joined 10 Republicans in urging an “effective and prompt” investigation by federal authorities. The leaders of the push — Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) — said criminal charges shouldn’t wait on the results of a VA inspector general (IG) investigation that will be released in August.

“The spreading and growing scale of apparent criminal wrongdoing is fast outpacing the criminal investigative resources of the IG, and the revelations in the interim report only highlight the urgency of involvement by the Department of Justice,” the senators wrote.

Make sure to read the whole thing.  I don’t know whether to cry or scream – or both. Our veterans put it all on the line, literally – they most definitely do not deserve this when they come home.

D-day: storming the castle

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***Posted by Phineas

 

(Note: This is a re-posting and slight editing of a post I put up every D-Day.)

Seventy years ago today, American, British, Canadian, French, and Polish soldiers charged the gates of Hell — and won:

D-Day assault

Black Five put up an excellent roundup of D-Day posts from many blogs a few years ago. It’s still worth reviewing. And have a look at this entry for a photo essay on D-Day.

Historian Victor Davis Hanson reflects on D-Day at 70:

Seventy years ago this June 6, the Americans, British, and Canadians stormed the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious invasion of Europe since the Persian king Xerxes invaded Greece in 480 b.c.

About 160,000 troops landed on five Normandy beaches and linked up with airborne troops in a masterly display of planning and courage. Within a month, almost a million Allied troops had landed in France and were heading eastward toward the German border. Within eleven months the war with Germany was over.

(…)

D-Day ushered in the end of the Third Reich. It was the most brilliantly conducted invasion in military history, and probably no one but a unique generation of British, Canadians, and Americans could have pulled it off.

Read the rest. While giving the Russians their due, he puts their contribution in perspective.

RELATED: The Daily Mail tells the story of one Medal of Honor winner who still wonders how he survived Normandy.

UPDATE: In today’s newsletter, Real Clear Politics quotes the prayer FDR read when announcing the invasion to the nation:

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity,” the president said while the outcome of the battle was still in doubt.

“They will need Thy blessings,” FDR continued. “Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph…”

Imagine a president saying something like that nowadays; the Left would have a fit.

But, forget them. Today’s a day to remember genuine heroes and thank Divine Providence we had such men on our side.

UPDATE 06/06/2013: This is a real president commemorating D-Day:

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

White House: Bowe #Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers are “swiftboating” him

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Bowe Bergdahl

US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Well, I guess I can’t really say I’m surprised with how the White House has reacted to the *unconflicting* reports about how Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers have classified him as a “deserter”, but it doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed all the same — and disgusted.


Todd confirmed in a later tweet that they did indeed use the term “swiftboating” to describe the troops who served alongside Bergdahl until he deserted them in June of 2009.

To breakdown what they’re doing here, the White House – in a nutshell – is saying that the guys who put their lives on the line in Afghanistan while stationed with Bergdahl who are making the claims about his military actions and status are playing politics over his release and the US release of the five high-level Taliban terrorists from Gitmo. In the same breath, the White House made the preposterous assertion yesterday that Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction.” If that’s the case, the words simply do not have any real meaning anymore whatsoever.

Mediaite’s Noah Rothman on the White House noise surrounding the reaction of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers:


By any means necessary, and all that. Just when you think the White House couldn’t stoop any lower …

WH apologizes for their “oversight” on Congressional oversight re: prisoner swap

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King Obama

Image via Salon.com

Wow:

The White House has apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for failing to alert her in advance of a decision to release Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay.

Feinstein told reporters that she received a call from Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken on Monday evening apologizing for what the administration is calling an “oversight.”

“I had a call from the White House last night, from Tony Blinken, apologizing for it,” she said.

 “He apologized and said it was an oversight,” she added.

Feinstein also said leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence panels were almost unanimously against a prisoner trade when it came up in 2011.

She said the chairmen and ranking Republicans of the “connected committees” spent a lot of time in 2011 reviewing the possibility of a prisoner swap and came out firmly opposed to releasing senior militants from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

“There were very strong views and they were virtually unanimous against the trade,” she said.

“I certainly want to know more about whether this man was a deserter,” she said of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released to American special forces in return for the freedom of five senior Taliban commanders.

Administration officials have said in public that they did not have time to inform Congress of the prisoner swap because Bergdahl’s life was in danger and they did not know how long the Taliban would be willing to wait to finalize the deal.

But Senator Harry Reid got a notification – not 30 days in advance, but he still got one:

At least one member of the Senate did have advance notice. “We were notified of the plan to secure Sergeant Bergdahl’s release on Friday,” said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. A spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, however, told TIME that there was no advance notice given to the leader of the House. Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein was not informed in advance, either, and on Tuesday Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken called her to apologize for the oversight, she told reporters.

Move along here. Nothing to see…

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)

Hillary: I won’t second guess Obama’s decision to free 5 Taliban terrorists

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Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi

HIllary Clinton testifies on Benghazi. – January 2013

Via The Hill:

Hillary Clinton on Monday defended President Obama’s decision to swap five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl over the weekend.

“This young man, whatever the circumstances, was an American citizen — is an American citizen — was serving in our military,” Clinton said at an event she headlined in a Denver suburb, according to the Associated Press. “The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one.”

 Clinton didn’t explicitly say she would have pursued the same exchange, but said she doesn’t believe in “second guessing” people who have to make difficult decisions.

The former secretary of State said she understood the debate over whether it was smart to release top Taliban prisoners in exchange for Bergdahl, but noted that his life was in danger.

“You don’t want to see these five prisoners go back to combat. There’s a lot that you don’t want to have happen. On the other hand you also don’t want an American citizen, if you can avoid it, especially a solider, to die in captivity,” Clinton said. “I think we have a long way to go before we really know how this is going to play out.”

After all, what difference does it make that these five high-level Taliban terrorists will likely get right back to the brutal acts of violence and terror they were engaged in prior to their capture?  What difference does it make that numerous American soldiers lost their lives searching for a deserter and possible terrorist sympathizer  who is now free because we exchanged five Talibanis for his release?  What difference does it make that the deserter’s dad is now lobbying for the release of MORE Gitmo terrorists? What difference does it make that this “prisoner exchange” will be used as a rallying cry and recruiting tool all across the radical Islamic caves of Afghanistan and beyond?

Remind me never to vote for this woman for Commander in Chief. Oh wait, you won’t have to do that at all.

Read much more on the Bergdahl controversy here.

#Bergdahl aftermath: A chilling look at what happens when we release terrorists

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Bowe Bergdahl

US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Former President George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen pens a must-read in the Washington Post in response to the “prisoner exchange” of five high-level Taliban terrorists in Gitmo for US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, suspected of being a deserter sympathetic to the enemy (hat tip):

If anyone doubts that the five senior Taliban leaders President Obama released this weekend will return to the fight and kill more Americans, they need only look at what happened when the George W. Bush administration released a Taliban leader named Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir (a.k.a. Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul) in 2007.

Unlike the terrorists Obama just set free, Zakir was assessed by our military as only “medium risk” of returning to the fight. At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Zakir pretended to be a low-ranking conscript and told officials he simply wanted to “go back home and join my family” and promised “I [have] never been America’s enemy and I never intend to be.”

But when he returned to Afghanistan, he quickly became one of America’s fiercest enemies, directly responsible for the deaths of U.S., coalition and Afghan forces. In 2009, Zakir was appointed as the Taliban’s “surge commander” in charge of countering Obama’s new strategy to deny the Taliban safe haven in southern Afghanistan. According to the Times of London, Zakir instituted a campaign of “increasingly sophisticated [roadside] explosives attacks” that killed British and U.S. forces as well as many Afghan civilians. He waged relentless war on the United States and presided over unspeakable atrocities before stepping down from military command in April. To this day, he remains a top member of the Taliban leadership council.

The five Taliban leaders Obama released will now take up where Zakir left off. According to our own military, they are all “high risk” to return to the fight. How dangerous are these men? Here is what the U.S. military says about them, according to their leaked assessments from Guantanamo Bay.

Mullah Norullah Noori is “one of the most significant former Taliban officials detained at JTF-GTMO.” He “led troops against US and Coalition forces” and “was directly subordinate to Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Omar,” is “associated with members of al-Qaida” and is “wanted by the UN for possible war crimes.” Noori’s “brother is currently a Taliban commander conducting operations against US and Coalition forces,” and Noori “would likely join his brother if released.”

There’s a reason we don’t negotiate with terrorists in hostage/POW situations, and Thiessen does a thorough job of explaining exactly why. Make sure to read the whole thing.