Archive for September, 2009

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Out-Foxing The Times

September 30, 2009

Out-Foxing The Times

IBD: 29 Sept. 2009

Media: The New York Times, still smarting after losing scoops to Fox News, has thrown in the towel, vowing to avoid future embarrassment by monitoring the cable channel. We have a better idea — it’s called reporting.

An Illinois senator rises to the highest office in the land on pillars of a spectacularly slimy political organization, a group with a long record of voter fraud, theft, thuggery and partisanship. As sexy as such a story might seem, the New York Times didn’t consider it news.

That’s why the Times got scooped by outlets such as Fox News, for which it has nothing but contempt, on revelations that led to the fall of community organizing behemoth Acorn.

The wound was self-inflicted, rooted in little more than the partisanship of protecting a favored president. It left the field clear for a couple of journalism students to show that Acorn staffers openly encouraged pimping, child prostitution, human trafficking, mortgage fraud and tax evasion.

It’s right there on tapes posted to Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com. Unlike the disdainful Times, Fox ran with it, toppling a behemoth of political power.

Fox’s judgment now seems to play the role the Times’ once did, and the Times is no doubt left wondering how it could have lost out on yet another one.

It’s not the first: It missed the John Edwards mistress and baby scandal in campaign 2008; it missed the National Endowment for the Arts press conference shilling for Obama; it also missed the debacle over the seamy background of “green jobs” czar Van Jones.

Now it’s missed the Acorn scandals — all because of its “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues dominating Fox News and talk radio,” according to managing editor Jill Abramson, who will now “assign an (unnamed) editor to monitor opinion media.”

Baloney. Those Fox stories had impact because they were fact-, not opinion-based. The public agreed, and the politicians were forced to act. The Times’ “monitor” idea smears Fox as an opinion outfit whose product must be handled with tongs.

In fact, it’s ideological bias that keeps Times journalists from covering the news with impact. The newspaper of record should be reporting the news “without fear or favor,” as its motto says — not simply by accepting the liberal line.

If they happen to hit their favorite politicians, too bad. Because if they don’t do this, they aren’t newsmen. By taking a cheap shot at Fox and then bitterly following it instead of leading, the Times blows its credibility even more than its missed scoops do.

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Oklahoma City cover-up alleged

September 29, 2009

Bomb tapes may not tell whole tale

FBI Oklahoma City cover-up alleged



BY TIM TALLEY
ASSOCIATED PRESS

OKLAHOMA CITY — Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building are blank in the minutes before the blast and appear to have been edited, an attorney who obtained the recordings said Sunday.


“The real story is what’s missing,” said Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act as part of an unofficial inquiry he is conducting. The April 19, 1995, bombing killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.


Trentadue gave copies of the tapes to the Oklahoman newspaper, which posted them online and provided copies to the Associated Press.


The tapes turned over by the FBI came from security cameras various companies had mounted outside office buildings near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They are blank at points before 9:02 a.m., when a truck bomb carrying a 4,000 pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb detonated in front of the building, Trentadue said.


“Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995,” Trentadue said. There’s “no such thing as a coincidence.”


He said government officials said the security cameras did not record the minutes before the bombing because “they had run out of tape” or “the tape was being replaced.”


“The interesting thing is they spring back on after 9:02,” he said. “The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn’t want anybody to see.”


A spokesman for the FBI in Oklahoma City, Gary Johnson, declined to comment and referred inquiries about the tapes to FBI officials in Washington, who were not available for comment Sunday.


The soundless recordings show people rushing from nearby buildings after the bomb went off. Some show people fleeing through corridors cluttered with debris. None show the explosion.


FBI agents did not report finding any security tapes from the federal building itself.


The FBI refused in the past to release the security camera recordings, leading Trentadue and others to contend the government was hiding evidence that others were involved in the attack. “It’s taken a lawsuit and years to get the tapes,” Trentadue said.


Trentadue began looking into the bombing after his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, died at the Oklahoma City Federal Transfer Center in August 1995. His brother was never a bombing suspect, but Jesse Trentadue alleges guards mistook him for one and beat him to death during interrogation.

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Here’s a REAL American HERO

September 29, 2009

Here’s a REAL American HERO:

Boykin

Recent photo from “How To Take Back America” Conference – St. Louis 2009

Lieutenant General William G. Boykin (retired) was the United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. He has played a role in almost every recent major American military operation, serving in Grenada, Somalia, and Iraq. He is currently a professor at Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia, and author of “Never Surrender: A Soldier’s Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom.”

Contents

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Biography

Early life

William G. “Jerry” Boykin was born in rural New Bern, North Carolina. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1971.

Early military career

In 1971 Boykin was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry. He also had positions within the 2nd Armored Division, 101st Airborne Division, and also served as a company commander in the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). [1] and [2]

From 1978-1993 Boykin was assigned in various capacities to Delta Force. Lt. Col. L.H. “Bucky” Burruss, helping with Delta Force selection at the time, recalled that Boykin “had a bad knee and I thought he would never make it…. I thought, I hate to see this guy busting his [butt], I don’t see how he can make it on this bad road wheel, but he surprised us.” In fact, a Fort Bragg psychologist almost ended Boykin’s career, wanting to exclude him from the Delta Force because he was “too religious”. However, he was finally accepted into the Delta Force at the age of 29. Burruss wrote at the time that “Jerry Boykin is a Christian gentleman of the highest order.” Boykin believed God had a hand in things: “God led me into the Delta Force…. And He said to me, ‘This is where you ought to be.'” [3]

Overseas deployments

By 1980 he was the Delta Force operations officer on the April 24-25 Iranian hostage rescue attempt. Boykin called it “the greatest disappointment of my professional career because we didn’t bring home 53 Americans.” [4] Despite this, his “faith was stengthened” believing he had witnessed “a miracle”: “Not one man who stood with us in the desert and pleaded for God to go with us was killed or even injured that night.” [5]

In October 1983, Maj. Boykin worked as an operations officer during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. During a dawn assault to free some Grenada government officials held by the Marxist People’s Revolutionary Army, Boykin was shot in the arm, splitting the bone completely in two. He was told he would never use it again, but his arm healed, which Boykin again believed God was responsible for.

In 1989, Boykin was in Panama as part of the mission to apprehend Manuel Noriega. [6]

From 1990 to 1991 he was at the Army War College. In 1992/early 1993, as a colonel, Boykin was in Colombia leading a mission to hunt for drug lord Pablo Escobar. Seymour Hersh later claimed in The New Yorker that there were suspicions within the Pentagon that Boykin’s team was going to take part in the assassination of Pablo Escobar, and that US Embassy officials in Colombia were acting as support. Hersh refers to Mark Bowden‘s book Killing Pablo which made allegations that the Pentagon believed Boykin intended to break the law and exceed his authority in the operation. Mark Bowden states that “within the special ops community… Pablo’s death was regarded as a successful mission for Delta, and legend has it that its operators were in on the kill.” Hersh also quotes an anonymous retired army general as saying, “That’s what those guys did. I’ve seen pictures of Escobar’s body that you don’t get from a long-range telescope lens. They were taken by guys on the assault team.” [7]

In April 1993, he helped advise Attorney General Janet Reno regarding the stand-off at Waco, Texas between the Federal Government and a religious sect. [8]

In October 1993, Colonel Boykin was in command of the Delta Force tracking down militia leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid in Somalia, during which time the infamous Battle of Mogadishu took place. Boykin recalled seeing a truck pull up to the US base near Mogadishu airport filled with bodies: “I watched that tailgate open and I watched the blood of my soldiers pour out of that truck like water.” Shortly after, Boykin was wounded in a mortar attack on the compound. The Hollywood movie “Black Hawk Down,” which depicts the Battle of Mogadishu, inexplicably omits Boykin’s role as mission commander.

Domestic career

As a result of his injuries, he was assigned to Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, as Chief, Special Operations Division. It was a period he described as “miserable”. He was overlooked for promotion, and endured serving under an unnamed “foul” man at the Pentagon. During this period, Boykin’s twenty eight year marriage ended when his wife left him. Boykin later claimed that she had said she didn’t love him anymore, and that he was “a religious fanatic”. [9]

Some time afterwards, he served at the Central Intelligence Agency as Deputy Director of Special Activities, and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. He was later made Deputy Director for Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization when assigned to the Army Staff. [10]

From April 1998 to February 2000, he served as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. From March 2000-2003, he was the Commanding General, United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, N.C. In June 2003, he was appointed Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under Dr. Stephen Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

LTG Boykin retired on August 1, 2007 and currently teaches at Hampden-Sydney College.

Awards

Boykin went to Armed Forces Staff College, Army War College, and Shippensburg University (where he received a Masters Degree). His badges include the Master Parachutist Badge, Military Freefall Badge, Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab. Medals and awards include: “the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star, Air Medal and the Purple Heart (with Oak Leaf Cluster).” [11]

Controversies

Religious views and comments

He has gained notoriety for his Christian Fundamentalist views over the last few years and some public remarks. Boykin is a born-again Christian, who has cast the “War on Terror” in Biblical terms. A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2004 that he had violated regulations by failing to explain these remarks were not made in an official capacity.

Boykin achieved wide-spread media coverage for his statements that appeared to frame the War on Terror in religious terms, first broadcast on NBC News, October 15, 2003 [12]. William Arkin,[13] military analyst for NBC-TV News, was the source of the video and audiotapes of Boykin. The following day the Los Angeles Times ran a piece on Boykin. Amongst several quotes, the LA Times article revealed Boykin giving a speech about hunting down Osman Atto in Mogadishu: “He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, ‘They’ll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.’ Well, you know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” [14] Boykin later clarified this statement, saying that he was implying that Atto’s true “god” was money.

Boykin’s remarks stirred much anger in the Muslim world and Islamic organisations within the US were highly critical of the comments and called for his resignation, such as James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute [15], and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. [16]. Several newspapers, such as Newsweek [17], carried articles calling for his resignation, while Democrats John Kerry and Joe Lieberman were quick to denounce the remarks. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner and Democrat Carl Levin both urged Rumsfeld to launch an investigation. [18] Rep. John Conyers and 26 supporters put forward H. RES. 419 “Condemning religiously intolerant remarks and calling on the President to clearly censure and reassign Lieutenant General Boykin”. [19]

President George Bush distanced himself from the statements, saying that Boykin didn’t “reflect my point of view or the point of view of this administration.” [20] Donald Rumsfeld defended Boykin, describing him as “an officer that has an outstanding record in the United States armed forces”, and that the War on Terrorism was “not a war against a religion”. He also spoke about the right of freedom of speech. [21]

Marine General Peter Pace, vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed “how sad [Boykin] was that his comments created the fury they had. He does not see this battle as a battle between religions, he sees this as a battle between good and evil, the evil being the acts of individuals.”[22]

Boykin issued a public statement stating, “My comments to Osman Otto in Mogadishu were not referencing his worship of Allah but his worship of money and power; idolatry. He was a corrupt man, not a follower of Islam. My references to Judeo-Christian roots in America or our nation as a Christian nation are historically undeniable.” [23] CNN later revealed that several parts of his statement were removed on the advice of Pentagon attorneys. Among the parts removed was Boykin’s assertion that “the sensitivities of my job today dictate that further church speeches are inappropriate”, and “As a Christian I believe that there is a spiritual war that is continuous as articulated in the Bible. It is not confined to the war of terrorism.” [24]

Boykin himself then requested an investigation by the inspector general into the allegations. [25] A ten month investigation carried out by the Defense Department later concluded in August 2004 that Boykin had broken three rules in giving the speeches: not clarifying that he gave the remarks in a private capacity; he hadn’t received clearance for making the remarks; and that he hadn’t declared the reimbursement of travel funds by one of the religious groups hosting the speaking events. However, the report made no comment on the actual remarks made, and little action was taken against Boykin. The three infractions are quite minor, and are rarely prosecuted by officials.[26] The report defended the decision not to comment on Boykin’s actual comments for several reasons, primarily because “freedom of expression considerations under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution apply in this case.” [27]

Some news commentators, such as Republican Patrick Buchanan, believed that there was nothing wrong in what Boykin said. [28] Others saw the criticism of Boykin as an attack on Christian values in America by the Democratic Party. [29] William Arkin was also accused of taking Boykin out of context. Arkin’s impartiality was called into question, since he worked for Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch and the Institute for Policy Studies. Arkin also published his opinions on Boykin without ever having spoken to him.[30] and [31] The media coverage was also seen by some as being an orchestrated campaign by Islamic admirers defending terrorism and trying to discredit “those who warn of Islamists hijacking and perverting the Muslim faith”. [32]

On 10 April 2008, Boykin spoke at Epicenter 2008, a conference in Israel hosted by Joel C. Rosenberg. His closing statement made a large round of applause:

We as believers have been promised that we will spend an eternity with God. Last Saturday I was doing a men’s conference in Fredricksburg, Virginia and I was praying during the worship service and something dawned on me and it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. And the Holy Spirit said, “this is what I want you to share with My men today”, and I’m going to share it with you and this is what it is: One day, we’re going to stand before the gates of Heaven. Some of us want to be able to walk up there in a white robe and we want to sing Abba Father and Amazing Grace and we want to say to the Lord, “I worshiped You.” But I want you to think about this: Heres the way I want to enter the gates of Heaven. I want to come skidding in there on all fours. I want to be slipping and sliding and I want to hit the gates of heaven with a bang. And when I stand up and I stand before Christ, I want there to be blood on my knees and my elbows. I want to be covered with mud. And I want to be standing there with a ragged breast plate of righteousness. And a spear in my hand. And I want to say, “Look at me, Jesus. I’ve been in the battle. I’ve been fighting for you.” Ladies and gentlemen, put your armor on and get into battle. God bless you.

On September 26, 2009, retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin gave an address at a How to Take Back America Conference in St. Louis, MO. hosted by the Eagle Forum. According to the Canada Free Press, General Boykin asked the audience. “What are you prepared to give up for America? Are you willing to pay the ultimate price?” He followed up with warning, “there is no greater threat to America than Islam” [33]

War on Terror tactics

News reports have also connected Boykin with controversial tactics. The New York Times reported on March 18, 2006 that, when asked by Undersecretary Cambone to “get to the bottom” of abuses committed by an elite counterinsurgency task force, Boykin found no pattern to them, despite ample evidence to the contrary.[34]

A December 9, 2003 item in The Guardian (UK) connected Boykin with secret Israeli counterinsurgency assistance in Iraq, allegedly including assassination squads. [35] In another Guardian article, Sidney Blumenthal, President Bill Clinton‘s former senior adviser and current Washington bureau chief for Salon (US), claimed that towards the end of 2003, it was Boykin who, under Donald Rumsfeld‘s orders, advised then Camp X-Ray head Major General Geoffrey Miller in Guantanamo to transfer the same Camp X-Ray methods to Abu Ghraib and the Iraqi prison system. [36]

In 2003, Seymour Hersh claimed in the New Yorker (US) that Boykin was a key planner, along with Stephen Cambone, behind Rumsfeld’s Special Forces approach to fighting the War on Terror. [37] Furthermore, when Boykin was questioned in a congressional inquiry regarding similarities between current War on Terror special operations and USA’s Phoenix Program during the Vietnam War, he said: “I think we’re running that kind of programme. We’re going after these people. Killing or capturing these people is a legitimate mission for the department. I think we’re doing what the Phoenix programme was designed to do, without all of the secrecy.” [38] and [39]

In 2005, Hersh also claimed that the US had begun to undertake secret, off-the-books, covert missions in Iran to identify key targets for possible strikes in destabilizing their nuclear facilities, and against the larger War on Terror, with the chain of command for the commando operations falling to Rumsfeld, Cambone and Boykin. [40] Hersh claimed these allegations came from “very, very senior” sources, but the Pentagon sharply criticized the article stating that “Mr. Hersh’s article is so riddled with errors of fundamental fact that the credibility of his entire piece is destroyed.” [41]

Mercenary connections

Boykin was also connected to mercenary Jack Idema, a former Green Beret who claimed he had been working for the Pentagon when he was arrested in Afghanistan with two other men, Brent Bennett and Edward Caraballo.

Idema claimed that they “were in contact directly by fax and e-mail and phone with [US Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld’s office”. During Idema’s trial, he and one of his co-defendants produced numerous audio and video tapes in their defense, but they were deemed inadmissible. One of the audio tapes was apparently a conversation between Idema and Jorge Shim‘s boss. Shim, an aide to Boykin, hands Idema over to an unidentified man who says, “We passed all your information to the J2 staff here and to the Defense Intelligence Agency… And we were trying to protect our boss… because he does not need any other scrutiny right now by the press. So we are trying to put a firewall between your efforts and him….”.

The Pentagon denied they had any knowledge of the men’s activities, but later admitted that Idema had handed over someone who he claimed was a top suspected Taliban militant. The Pentagon stated that the suspect was not who Idema had claimed he was, and that he was set free. Idema and his co-defendants were found guilty and he was sentenced to prison for ten years. The judge remarked that “insanity might have been his best defense”. While some believed the case was a sham and there was an element of truth in his claims, Idema was widely seen as a fantasist who, as his former girlfriend commented, “likes his name in lights.” [42] and [43]

Search Wikiquote Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: William G. Boykin

External links

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Cartoon: Chavez Sulfur Comment

September 28, 2009

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IBD: Schoolhouse Shariah

September 25, 2009

Schoolhouse Shariah

IBD: 25 Sept. 09

Multiculturalism: California’s educrats have put out new rules for teaching Islamic studies to seventh-graders in public schools, and they are as biased as ever. They’ll also likely spread eastward.

The lesson guidelines adopted by the bellwether state whitewash the violence and oppression of women codified in Islamic law, or Shariah. And they’re loaded with revisionist history about the faith.

For example, the suggested framework glorifies Shariah as a liberal reform movement that “rejected” the mistreatment of women that existed in Arabia before Muhammad and his successors conquered the region, according to Accuracy in Academia. The guidelines claim that Islamic law established for the first time that men and women were entitled to equal “respect.”

Not so, says Islamic scholar and author Nonie Darwish, who grew up Muslim in Egypt.

I am shocked that that is what they teach,” she said. “Women had more rights in Arabia before Shariah.”

In fact, “wife beating is allowed under Shariah” today, she added. “It allows a woman seen without a headdress to be flogged, punishes rape victims, and calls for beheading for adultery.”

California’s course on world religions also omits Islam’s long history of jihadist violence, while portraying Christianity as an intolerant and bloodthirsty faith.

Christianity isn’t given equal time, either. It’s covered in just two days — as opposed to up to two weeks for Islam — and doesn’t involve kids in any role-playing activities like the Islam unit.

Students do get a healthy dose of skepticism about the Christian faith, including a biting history of its persecution of other people.

Islam, in contrast, gets a pass from critical review. Even jihad is presented as an “internal personal struggle to do one’s best to resist temptation,” not waging holy war.

“California schools are pushing an unbalanced religious agenda that favors Islam and minimizes Christianity and Judaism,” Accuracy in Academia warns in its latest Campus Report.

Who helped build the California Education Department’s framework for Islamic studies? Islamist “scholars” with the Council on Islamic Education, or CIE, a Saudi-tied activist group.

The consultancy changed its name after former IBD Washington bureau chief Paul Sperry, author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington,” exposed that its chief researcher and textbook consultant for years taught social studies at a Saudi madrassa just outside Washington.

The Islamic Saudi Academy is a breeding ground for terrorists, including the valedictorian-turned-al-Qaida agent recently sentenced to life for plotting to assassinate President Bush.

Recently, Fox News reported that the head of CIE — now known as the Institute on Religion and Civic Values — misled California education authorities about his academic credentials. For one, Shabbir Mansuri never received a USC degree in chemical engineering as he has claimed, Fox says.

The group’s Web site no longer includes the claim. These are the folks who are teaching your children about Islam in public schools. Parents have protested, even sued, but to no avail.

For example, parents of seventh-graders in the San Francisco area, who after 9/11 were taught pro-Islamic lessons as part of California’s world history curriculum, sued under the First Amendment ban on religious establishment.

They argued, reasonably, that the government was promoting Islam by mandating that their kids participate in Muslim role-playing exercises such as designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially “becoming a Muslim” for two full weeks.

Children also were told to recite aloud Muslim prayers that begin with “In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful,” and memorize the Muslim profession of faith: “Allah is the only true God, and Muhammad is his messenger.”

But a federal judge appointed by President Clinton told parents in so many words to get over it, that the state was merely teaching kids about another “culture.”

California’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision, ruling that it was OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises.

The decision was a major victory for the multiculturalists and Islamic apologists in California and across the country who’ve never met a culture or religion they didn’t like — with the exception of Western civilization and Christianity.

You can’t teach the Ten Commandments in public schools. But teaching the five pillars of Islam is A-OK.

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Cartoon: Obama on Letterman!?

September 25, 2009

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Good Losers

September 23, 2009

Good Losers

IBD: 23 Sept. 2009

Foreign Policy: As the president visits the United Nations, the U.S. attitude toward Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and other challenges has changed. Have the ideas of “victory” and “defense” become passe?

In the 2006 congressional elections and the 2008 presidential election, Democrats convinced voters that they weren’t appeasers or defeatists; they simply believed that Republicans were foolishly waging the global war on terror in the wrong ways and places.

“I don’t oppose all wars,” the president often said regarding Iraq, for instance. “What I am opposed to is a dumb war.”

And who can forget Nancy Pelosi appearing on CBS’ “60 Minutes” during the 2006 campaign? With Iraq going sour, the soon-to-be-speaker declared that “the war on terror is the war in Afghanistan.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., liked to complain that “we need to finally bring Osama bin Laden to account for his crimes” — nevermind the Bush administration’s perfect record of keeping the homeland safe in the years after 9/11; catching one guy in the mountain caves of Waziristan is what’s important.

On the eighth anniversary earlier this month of those vicious attacks on America, the Arab news network Al Jazeera was able to run a headline proclaiming: “Pelosi: Afghan Surge Lacks Support.” It quoted the speaker as saying:

“I don’t think there’s a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in the Congress.”

The same Al Jazeera story quoted Rep. James Moran, the suburban Washington Democrat known for getting physical with fellow congressmen, who claimed “it is clear that Afghanistan does not lend itself to a military victory,” and that America’s “military presence clearly is a problem in itself.”

Talk about false advertising. Again and again in the last two national campaigns, the Democrats pointed to Afghanistan as the real war we had to win; Iraq, on the other hand, was some crazy diversion that President Bush got neo-conned into, or was fighting to avenge his father.

Well, Afghanistan is now the Democrats’ war and, according to the commander placed in charge there by a Democratic president, the U.S. is in danger of losing it. Reports say Gen. Stanley McChrystal may resign if not given tens of thousands more troops to conduct an Afghan version of the successful Iraq counterinsurgency strategy. President Obama says he’ll think about it.

Consider that for a moment. The United States of America losing a military conflict against a band of gangsters in a country that is essentially a throwback to the Stone Age. Unlike with Vietnam, no one can blame this time the jungle or the anti-militaristic tunnel vision of a technocrat such as Kennedy-Johnson Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

The abandonment of our plans for a land-based long-range nuclear missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic, to guard against Russian or Iranian aggression, smacks similarly of retreat. The Washington Post reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed that “the radar that was going into the Czech Republic looked deep into Russia and actually could monitor the launches of their ICBMs.”

So what. It’s okay to be in a position of weakness.

Appearing on Fox News, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton on Monday described the leader who will visit the U.N. as a “post-American president.” What that seems to mean is that the U.S. doesn’t have to worry about losing wars or being weak — anywhere and everywhere in the world.