Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm No Thomas Friedman and Obama is No TR - Not Even a Wilson

Marines and sailors showing the flag in Vera Cruz 1914.
Using military force against an enemy to punish, avenge a wrong, as retribution is a timeless cause of armed conflict. There are many examples throughout history of successful punitiveoperations. Analyzing historical punitive expeditions for the elements that made them successful or unsuccessful can aid future military and government leaders in framing strategic and operational conflicts, and serve as a backplane for attempting to understand the nature of punitive expeditions and strikes. - Punishment, Revenge, and Retribution: A Historical Analysis of Punitive Operations MAJ Brandon D Newton U.S.Army
Thomas Friedman of the New York Times coined the term 'The Arab Spring" which followed in the wake of President Barack H. Obama's  nicely ironic Cairo Speech and his now wildly ironic Apology Tours.  The Arab Spring was intended to signal the triumph of the Obama Doctrine over two hundred years of American Foreign Policy.  The Arab Spring was the mythical dance between Islam and Democracy - it was no walz.  Rather, the Arab Spring became conga line lead by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Al Queda and the Wahabbist mullahs - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi Royal Family.  Egypt was only saved from anarchy and Shariah theocracy by the military.  Elsewhere, the Arab and Levantine worlds gushed blood, while America went all Dunkirk in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Obama Sesame Street Diplomacy mouthed by then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and now John Kerry holds that while it might be necessary to whack a few Taliban/Al Queda and now Isis(l) moles with drone dropped ordnance, diversity and inclusive hugs will make a better world.  Following the beheadings of two American and one British citizen by ISIS(L) knifemen, President Obama  bleated the CAIR meme, " The Islamist State is not Islamic"  Such noggin numbing logic would also lead one to believe that the Nazis were not National Socialists and Caliphate don't need no Caliph.

When 9/11 took place the Bush family helped spirit the bin Laden clan out of the states so as not to harm the family noted for their piety and concrete pouring artistry, because of crazy uncle Osama.  Shortly we learned that the 9/11 monsters were almost universally Saudi, like Osama and that one of many Saudi Princes offered Rudy Giuliani some dough which he tossed back in that worthy's soul-patched mug.

The Saudi Royals have underwritten the Wahhabi blood- flavored doctrines by barely literate mullahs and exported the strict constructionist Qu'ranic verses worldwide.

I really rather foolishly believed at the time that President Bush would Delta Force the hell out of Saudi agents of change.  Instead, we feinted to Kabul and returned to Baghdad with Senator Barack Obama and MSNBC the only victors.

So here we are today - American fighting persons are returning to Iraq and Syria while levitating above the rocks and sands like St. Joseph of Cupertino: Numbers to be determined on a Case-to Case Basis. Three thousand military folks will be going to West Africa to war on Ebola.

So, early this morning I read Thomas Friedman and it seems he and I are in complete agreement . . .well kinda.  Thomas Friedman wants no Imperialistic Ventures Part III - no how and no way.  He believes that Arab Existentialists  will sort things out for themselves.
LONDON — An existential struggle is taking place in the Arab world today. But is it ours or is it theirs? Before we step up military action in Iraq and Syria, that’s the question that needs answering.
What concerns me most about President Obama’s decision to re-engage in Iraq is that it feels as if it’s being done in response to some deliberately exaggerated fears — fear engendered by YouTube videos of the beheadings of two U.S. journalists — and fear that ISIS, a.k.a., the Islamic State, is coming to a mall near you. How did we start getting so afraid again so fast? Didn’t we build a Department of Homeland Security?
I am not dismissing ISIS. Obama is right that ISIS needs to be degraded and destroyed. But when you act out of fear, you don’t think strategically and you glide over essential questions, like why is it that Shiite Iran, which helped trigger this whole Sunni rebellion in Iraq, is scoffing at even coordinating with us, and Turkey and some Arab states are setting limits on their involvement?
I agree wholly, Brother Friedman.  The Saudis, Turks and Emirs du jour will again sit this one out, because  - -  
This is a war over the soul of Islam — that is what differentiates this moment from all others,” argues Ahmad Khalidi, a Palestinian scholar associated with St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Here is why: For decades, Saudi Arabia has been the top funder of the mosques and schools throughout the Muslim world that promote the most puritanical version of Islam, known as Salafism, which is hostile to modernity, women and religious pluralism, or even Islamic financing for these groups is a byproduct of the ruling bargain there between the al-Saud family and its Salafist religious establishment, known as the Wahhabis. The al-Sauds get to rule and live how they like behind walls, and the Wahhabis get to propagate Salafist Islam both inside Saudi Arabia and across the Muslim world, using Saudi oil wealth. Saudi Arabia is, in effect, helping to fund both the war against ISIS and the Islamist ideology that creates ISIS members (some 1,000 Saudis are believed to be fighting with jihadist groups in Syria), through Salafist mosques in Europe, Pakistan, Central Asia and the Arab world.
Yep and then some.

I am no Thomas Friedman.  I could never have come up with the notion of an Arab Spring brought to you by the nephews of the Grand Mufti who escaped the Nuremberg Trials.  No sir.  I am no sophisticate.

I could never bring myself to call a adjunct lecturer filling a U of C Law School slot as a solid to real estate slum lord Allison Davis and slum lady Valerie Jarret, a Professor - President and Nobel Laureate or not.
Woodrow Wilson was a professor.

Woodrow Wilson was the grandpa of Obama's political coating - a Progressive. Woodrow could reform the hell out of stuff and still enjoy The Birth of a Nation. Wilson was one complex Orangeman.  He would defend democracy at the drop of his silk hat.  Sent the battleship USS Florida sailing into Vera Cruz when dictator Presidente Huerta kidnapped  a score of Americans and then sent Black Jack Pershing after Pancho Villa when he shot up Columbus, NM.

These were punitive expeditions*.  Even a milquetoast like Prof. Woodrow Wilson worked up some gunboat diplomacy and maintained American power in Latin America.  Huerta was no Assad and Pancho Villa, my favorite Mexican patriot, was far from the likes of the Islamist savages; yet, they needed a good bruising.

I wish GW Bush had done so instead of Nation building where there are only desert tribes and self-interest sheiks.

President Obama is no Jefferson, no Monroe, No Teddy Roosevelt and no Wilson.  He is an over-reaching narcissist and a resume inflating empty suit deathly afraid of Valerie Jarrett.

ISIS(L) could use a brief and very thorough punitive expedition.  Once every ISIS(L) caliph in waiting was sent home to the Prophet, every chastising  military person would come home to a heroes welcome, a nice rest, a little something extra in the pay envelop and wait for the next punitive expedition** against directed against anyone foolish enough to kidnap, or kill Americans.

*  Notable punitive expeditions[edit]

The French Navy raids San Juan de Ulua (Mexico) during the Pastry War (1838).
In the 13th century Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan Dynasty, sent emissaries demanding tribute from the Singhasari kingdom of Java. The ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, Kertanagara, refused to pay tribute and tattooed a Chinese messenger, Meng Qi, on his face. A punitive expedition sent by Kublai Khan arrived off the coast of Java in 1293. Jayakatwang, a rebel from Kediri, had killed Kertanagara by that time. The Mongols allied with Raden Wijaya of Majapahit against Jayakatwang and, once the Singhasari kingdom was destroyed, Wijaya turned against the Mongols and forced them to withdraw in confusion.
In 1599 the Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate ordered his nephew Vincente de Zaldivar to engage in a punitive expedition against the Keres natives of Acoma Pueblo. When the Spanish arrived, they fought a three-day battle with the Keres leaving about 800 men, women and children dead.
During the First Anglo-Powhatan War (1610–14), Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (1577–1618), an English nobleman was appointed Virginia's first royal governor and ordered to defend the colony against the Powhatan. Lord de la Warr waged a punitive campaign to subdue the Powhatan after they had killed the colony’s council president, John Ratcliffe. His tactics against the Indians proved effective and included raiding their villages, burning their homes, torching their cornfields and crops, and plundering their provisions.
From 1838 to 1842 ships of the United States Exploring Expedition engaged in three punitive expeditions against Pacific islanders.
The First Opium War (1839-42), in retaliation of the burning of opiate products by Commissioner Lin Zexu, which resulted in the opening of a number of ports, the cession of Hong Kong to Great Britain, and the Treaty of Nanjing.
The 1842 Ivory Coast Expedition was led by Matthew C. Perry against the Bereby people of West Africa after two attacks on American merchant ships.
The French Campaign against Korea in 1866, a response to the earlier execution by Korea of French priests proselytizing in Korea.
The 1867 Formosa Expedition, a failed punitive operation of the United States.
The United States expedition to Korea in 1871, in retaliation to the General Sherman incident, where a U.S. merchant ship was burned as it entered Pyongyang.
The 1874 Japanese expedition against Formosa.
Benin Expedition of 1897 British punitive action that led to the annexation of the Kingdom of Benin. The New York Times reported on January 13, 1897 that a "punitive expedition" would be formed to "punish the murderers of the Benin City expedition."
The Pancho Villa Expedition from 1916 to 1917, led by General John J. Pershing, was an operation in retaliation against Pancho Villa's incursion into United States.
Suppression of the 1920 Iraqi Revolt against the British Mandate of Mesopotamia,
The 1979 invasion of Vietnam by China was characterised by Deng Xiaoping as an act of punishment necessitated by Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia, saying that "Children who don't listen have to be spanked."
The killing or wounding or capture of those opposed to us and the destruction of their property. The destruction of the property of those who aid and abet those hostile to us. The laying waste of entire sections inhabited by people generally supporting those hostile to us. The removal and dispersion of all of the inhabitants of an area of unrest
Major Harold H. Utley, “An Introduction to the Tactics and Techniques of Small Wars.” Marine 
Corps Gazette 16, no. 1 (May 1931): 51. 

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