Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hidden in plain view – if only someone were watching!

Wretchard the Cat of the Belmont Club is always worth a daily read. His concluding commentary yesterday on “In Plain View” (linked below) should be required reading for modern journalistic aspirants the world over. But sadly, most are not able to "mind the gap" – or else fail to understand it’s full significance.

“W” writes, “…….. three of the decisive weapons of victory in Iraq will have been the 190 military transition teams (MTT) which raised the new Iraqi Army, the Transitional Administrative Law which made a new coalition government possible, and the US Armed Forces itself, which held up the shield behind which the training and political components could take shape. It now seems fairly clear that many of the 'far better' strategies which were suggested (by others) in 2004 and 2005 in place of CENTCOM's (plans) may not have been as good as they were made out to be.”

And then concludes, “If the public has (n)ever heard of the MTTs, the political transition process or the River War it will not be the result of their concealment. These three decisive weapons were lying in plain view from the end (of) 2004 onwards though their significance had not been noted -- their existence hardly even acknowledged -- by the Press even until now. Ironically, this may have contributed to (their) overall success. The enemy in reading the leading newspapers of the West remained ignorant of the doom descending upon their heads, confirmed in their eventual victory even as catastrophe overwhelmed them. Thank you MSM.”

One needs to read the entire The Belmont Club: In Plain View to drive home the point, but “the press” draws ever nearer to being permanently mistaken for a proverbial group of sightless individuals describing an elephant! They still fail to see facts not supporting their preconceived ideas. Talk about shallow reporting! Follow the links “W” provides. The MSM either can’t or won’t understand what is happening!

Examples. The Washington Post wastes time and energy criticizing the military for either not being clairvoyant enough three years ago, or for learning from their mistakes now– its just not clear which perceived “failing” their writer has discovered. The AP (by way of Portland’s channel 6) thinks it aids the public weal to report not all locals near Samarra welcome the presence of Operation Swarmer troops. Go figure!. The BBC goes to great length (and lots of words) to worry about ‘deception’ from the U.S. military because their own editors don’t understand military terms. Only ABC gets part of the picture, and even that portion is more closely tied to eventual U.S. troop withdrawal plans than an ultimate success or victory strategy for Iraq.

And of course the “pajama media” keeps being disparaged by the MSM. Could it be that the 'hoof beats of history' have already passed by today's media and are now growing ever weaker? And that the press still can’t figure out why they are less and less relevant?

Nah! Couldn’t happen!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and her fantasy war

The gap between fantasy and reality continues to widen in congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's poor mind. She just doesn't "get it".

Quoted here today, she says, "“The fact, that it (operation Swarmer) is necessary shows you the failure to date"” of the administration'’s war approach, she said. "“Three years later, we have major offensive; it just doesn'’t jibe"” with prewar promises. "“It'’s amazing how failed this effort has been,"” Pelosi said.

Apparently Pelosi buys into the theory that once the initial insertion of coalition forces into Iraq was complete, resulting in the rapid failure of the previous regime, then Bush promised us everything afterwards would quickly and easily be coming up roses. Unfortunately, that's not what I recall and she fails to substantiate her POV with the record - thus everything that follows is simply a mistaken opinion.

In actual fact operation Swarmer demonstrates precisely the success desired of our military's approach. When we first started into Fallujah in late 2004 our Marines ran into such a buzz-saw they found it prudent to withdraw for a few days to soften up the target and rework their strategies.

Not so now with the Swarmer operation, which is centered in and around Samarra - the site of a massive insurgency bombing of a Shiite shrine on February 22. So far this operation has taken less time, used fewer troops and gunships, run into much less resistance and received much more cooperation from locals on the ground than that experienced by our forces in Fallujah. As a matter of fact, during the initial attack - and the following day (today) - the gunships so far HAVE NOT NEEDED TO FIRE at insurgents on the ground. One can only hope that will continue.

Somehow, even in the mind of an ultraliberal, that should not equate as "failure". But by the fractioned reasoning of the distinguished but illogical representative of Bagdhad-by-the-bay, it is but another example of the standard left-speak "Bush lied" mentality.

Predictable, but not honest or realistic. The reality gap in her mind may at last have become dangerous to her political health - if her constituents actually were able to reason on their own. Fortunately for her, so far few have demonstrated that ability.

Friday, March 10, 2006

A needless tragedy?

News Friday confirming the death of Tom Fox at the hands of a self-identified Iraqi terrorist group calling themselves the "Swords of Righteousness Brigades" is quite possibly a double tragedy. And not because of his own loss of life - or the tragic times facing his loved ones.

Mr. Fox was a member of a Canadian-led team belonging to "Christian Peacemaker Teams" (CPT), which according to their website is jointly based in Chicago and Toronto. Formed in the mid-80's by a coalition of North American Mennonites, Brethren and Quakers, as well as others, the teams like to say they are "committed to reducing violence by getting in the way".

Obviously, each of the founding organizations come from a "pacifist" tradition or background. I will comment further about "pacifists" another time. Suffice it to say most I've known appear to be solidly based believers, hold strong beliefs in the 'rightness' of their doctrine, and are extremely courageous and helpful in living for Christ among their communities.

CPT uses the following scripture references from the NRSV to justify their official "missions".
Exodus 20:13 You shall not kill.
Matthew 5:43-44 "You have heard that is was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword."
John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

As far as what CPT was doing in Iraq, their official site also states, "Iraq: (has been) a Baghdad-based presence since October 2002. Team members accompanied the Iraqi people through the U.S.-led 2003 war and continue during the post-war occupation to expose abusive acts by U.S. Armed Forces and support Iraqis committed to nonviolent resistance."

I find this official explanation from CPT extremely troubling, creating a dangerous gap between their ministry and the results of their actions. Why did they only link the term "by U.S. Armed Forces" with efforts to "expose abusive acts"? Wouldn't an informed Christian viewpoint have included exposing abusive acts by all forces? Of course it would! Does nothing the insurgents do come up to the level of abuse? What utter rot! Of course it does. Almost everything the insurgency does is "abusive" in nature, and if they were but uniformed troops of an organized state would be acting virtually completely contrary to international law. How deceitful!

The only explanation I can come up with is this. The "enemies" of the CPT are not the insurgents. Those irregulars have morphed into becoming their friends. Instead, the CPT have decided among themselves "U. S. Armed Forces" are now their enemies. And in so doing they have totally failed to follow Matthew 5:43-44. In their eagerness to "get in the way", they just haven't recognized (or admitted) this disconnect yet.

And so the double tragedy. Tom Fox was a believer, trying to perform an important "ministry" and in so-doing demonstrate a noble Christlike spirit. But it can NOT be noble to just willingly 'give up' your life for a mistaken purpose. And I challange anyone to construct a 'supporting' peaceful purpose in Fox's slaying. It changes nothing, and it makes the group of which he was a member also seem to be ineffectual in their 'ministry' efforts. They publicly ignored a true evil, and the outcome has now become a double disaster. I am so sorry.

Unlike results portrayed in the movie "The End of the Spear", this story seems much more likely to end up merely an unimportant postscript, and not become the "tipping point" his group probably sought. I fail to see how this tragedy will bring glory to God, even though I pray I am wrong, and that eventually it might.

Reasoned comments will be recognized.

Monday, March 06, 2006

More re: Mrs. Dweet

Last week my love again saw her bariatric surgeon - the one who first found a problem in her lungs last spring - and he has agreed to again consider by-pass surgery for her in about 90 days if she is first able to pass a few other tests, or re-tests, and meet some conditions. Since short peoples' weight impinges more stringently on their lung capacities - and the bottoms of her lungs are clearer than the upper quadrants - this was good news! Not a cure for PAP, perhaps, but an encouragement as to the possibility of breathing easier post-surgery as the weight rolls off.

Speaking of which, I'm down about 90 pounds since early October. And feeling great - except for some sore ab muscles in the area of my other (intestinal) surgery - due I think to stubborness while unloading a few heavy objects after a Costco run late last week. Ah, the perils of bulk shopping!