The Blaze: Senior State Department Counterterrorism Director Arrested For Allegedly Soliciting Minor

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Here be the linkie.

Senior State Department official Daniel Rosen was arrested for allegedly soliciting a juvenile Tuesday afternoon, a Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman told TheBlaze.

Rosen, the State Department’s director of counter-terrorism, was arrested at his home for the “use of a communication device to solicit a juvenile,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.

The (LinkedIn) page says he “oversees $300 million per year in CT programs related to Countering Violent Extremism, Anti-terrorism Assistance, Counter-terrorism Financing, Counter-terrorism Engagement and Regional Initiatives. Manages the Office of Plans and Policy including oversight of 20+ personnel.”

He also “represents the Office of the Coordinator and the US Department of State in interagency and international meetings, conferences, congressional briefings, and other fora.”

…And not a peep could I find on NBC or CNN online news content.

Things that make you go “Hmmmmm”.

“If [Daniel Rosen’s story] disappears, you know that we are living in a government that is run just like the German government was run in the 1930s, one with the worst kinds of people.”

Beck said the nation is in “dire, dire trouble” if the repeated claims that senior State Department officials are soliciting sex with minors are ignored.

But don’t worry, now that the government is running the internet, the story of a senior State Department official responsible for counter-terrorism in the Obama Administration soliciting children for sex suddenly disappearing from major online content is much more easily explained.  Just ask Lois Lerner.

Especially when white right-wing extremists are the REAL threat.

Bill Clinton was vacationing in the Caymans and could not be reached for comment.

Disastrously Delusional- Kerry on “Meet the Press”

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The events of this week in the Ukraine, particularly Russia’s de facto occupation of the Crimea, have highlighted the shambles that is US foreign policy.  Aside from revealing the complete impotence of NATO, the situation which has evolved in the last 72 hours has brought to the fore the contrast between the Machiavellian power-broker realism of Putin/Lavrov and the naive and feckless bumbling of Obama and SecState John Kerry.

To the list of foreign policy disasters that include the Cairo speech, the West Point speech, cut and run in Iraq, a stunted “surge” in AFG, the “Arab Spring” debacle, leading “from behind” in Libya, the Benghazi attack and cover-up, supporting Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, being caught bluffing with the “red line” nonsense in Syria, selling out our Israeli allies to make a deal virtually guaranteeing a nuclear Iran, we have the crowning fiasco, and likely the most dangerous in long-term impact for the United States and the world.

Kerry’s appearance on “Meet the Press” today reveals just how misguided and dangerously naive the arrogant amateur buffoons are who are careening our ship of state onto the shoals at flank speed.

This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century, and there’s no way to start with that if Russia persists in this, that the G8 countries are going to reassemble in Sochi. That’s a starter. But there’s much more than that.

Is he kidding?  Power politics was centuries old when Machiavelli defined it in his works in the 1530s.  Power politics has dominated every century since, including the 20th.  In fact, there is virtually no reason to suddenly embrace some notion of “21st Century” statecraft that is any different from that of the previous five centuries, since the emergence of modern nation-states.  That Kerry and Obama think otherwise, and think the rest of the world behaves accordingly, is the height of hubris.  Treating the world as you wish it to be rather than how it exists is simply bankrupt intellectual foolishness.  But there’s more.

And we hope, President Obama hopes that President Putin will turn in the direction that is available to him to work with all of us in a way that creates stability in Ukraine. This does not have to be, and should not be, an East/West struggle.

There is no excuse whatever, other than a willful ignorance of history, to utter such a decidedly stupid and ill-informed comment publicly.  The central theme to the existence of European Russia is an eight-century long existential struggle between East and West.  The tragicomic foolishness of Hillary Clinton’s “reset button”, so contemptuously ridiculed by Foreign Minister Lavrov, was indicative of just how amateurish and incompetent the Obama Administration’s foreign policy and national security players were, and just how precious little they understood the art of statecraft.  Statements like the above reveal how little those players know about the history of the nations and peoples with which that statecraft requires them to interact.

There is worse to come later in the interview with David Gregory.   These two positively head-scratching pronouncements can rightfully make one wonder how tenuous this Administration’s grip on reality truly is:

David, the last thing anybody wants is a military option in this kind of a situation. We want a peaceful resolution through the normal processes of international relations.

President Putin is not operating from a place of strength here. Yanukovych was his supported president… President Putin is using force in a completely inappropriate manner that will invite the opprobrium of the world.

Such a bizarre pair of assertions is difficult to explain.  The several thousand Russian forces, which include mechanized infantry, attack aviation, and self-propelled artillery certainly seem to point to the notion that Vladimir Putin believed some semblance of a military solution was desired to ensure Russia maintained a friendly buffer between Russia and what Putin believes is a hostile West.   A buffer that incidentally includes the strategically vital naval base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and has a population demographic of approximately 60% ethnic Russians.

As for understanding a position of strength, one might also wonder just how Kerry would go about defining strength.  There is virtually nothing NATO can do militarily, should they even be willing; the United States, with shrinking defense budgets, is in the midst of gutting its military to pre-World War II levels.   The leverage the EU has over Russia is limited, despite Russia’s very significant economic problems.   Any “opprobrium”, or threats by the US, France, Canada, and the UK to suspend the G-8 Summit, is positively pittance to the Russians in comparison to the security of their strategically essential western neighbors, regions that have countless times stood between Russia and destruction at the hands of a conquering West. Russia has acted virtually unchallenged, presenting a fait accompli to the West that, despite assertions to the contrary, will not be undone.  If ever there was a position of power, Russia holds it right now in the Crimea, and will be asserting it anywhere and everywhere in the “near abroad” that Putin has long promised to secure.

The United States never has had all that much leverage to prevent Russia and a talented autocrat like Putin from leaning on their western border states, despite the fitful attempts by the US to draw some of those states into the Western sphere.  The invasions of Georgia and South Ossetia in 2008 proved that beyond a doubt.  But what is most disturbing about the current crisis is watching the US Secretary of State and the US President misread, misstep, and attempt to bluster their way through another confrontation with a geopolitical rival that is acting without restraint and without regard for the empty rhetoric from the Obama Administration.   The most fundamental lesson of statecraft is that of understanding power.  To that end, we have another object lesson in the use of that power.  There is no such thing as hard power, soft power, or “smart” power.  There is just power.  As it has since antiquity, power consists of the capability to enforce one’s will upon an adversary mixed with the willingness to use that capability.

Putin and Lavrov know that lesson well.  They are hard-bitten professionals who act as they believe necessary to promote Russian interests and improve economic and physical security.  Obama and Kerry are rank amateurs, blinded by an ideology that begets a naive and woefully unrealistic understanding of how the world works.  They have been outfoxed and outplayed yet again, seemingly willingly forfeiting US influence and credibility in pursuit of a badly-flawed world view in which influence is based upon hollow threats and ill-conceived public statements.  Any doubts regarding that assertion should be erased when one listens to the cognitive dissonance emanating from our Secretary of State as he describes the Crimean crisis in terms which have little to do with reality.   It is to weep.

Female Suicide Bomber Kills Six in Volgograd

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The BBC has the story.  Female suicide bombers from Dagestan have become increasingly common.  “Black Widows”, as the article alludes.  Volgograd was once called Tsarytsin, and beginning in 1925, Stalingrad.

There was speculation elsewhere that the woman had carried a hand grenade aboard.  The above photo is reportedly the detonation, and if so, certainly appears to show a device much larger than a hand grenade being detonated inside the bus.

Russia has its hands positively full of Islamist extremists.  At least they have the good sense to call them what they are.

Update-XBradTC: Here’s video of the attack. Concur that it’s a good deal larger than a hand grenade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iadw3GQgQbg&feature=youtu.be

Obama “Snubs” Putin, Cancels Meeting over Snowden

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Seems Barack Obama is miffed at Vladimir Putin.   So much so that he has canceled a bilateral meeting with the Russian President coincident with the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg in early September.  On Leno last night, our esteemed Statesman put forth this gem regarding Putin’s Russia:

“There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality”

Such ill-informed and ill-considered commentary is endemic of this Administration’s lack of competence in the sphere of international relations.   Obama has little concept of a “Cold War mentality”, and less of what Russia’s was during those 45 years.  In addition, Obama has no real understanding that Soviet Russia was far more Russian than Soviet in its approach to diplomacy and geopolitics.  And, thus, Russia is today what Russia has been for centuries.   Russia remains xenophobic and deeply suspicious of its neighbors and the west.   Putin, being a REAL Cold Warrior, is imbued with a soul-deep understanding of power politics and the value of economic and military leverage.  He is not willing to come bearing Russian strategic interests for bargain like so many Pokemon cards.

Obama, on the other hand, has no feeling for power politics.  In fact, he is loath to admit that they are the basis for relations between great national rivals such as the US and Russia.  He and his foreign policy team are also willfully ignorant of history, and approach international affairs with a twisted and dangerous belief in moral equivalence, where allies, rivals, adversaries, and sworn enemies are all peers in some Model UN project being conducted at an Ivy League seminar.  This situation partially explains why the US was an active participant in the “Arab Spring”, and the overthrow of two (almost three) admittedly repressive regimes that most represented US interests, and opened the window for Islamic Extremists to seize power in key nations.  It explains Hillary Clinton’s imbecilic “Reset Button” concept to Russia, a nation with a history eight centuries of virulent conflict with the West, as if Putin will be willing to wipe away Russia’s heritage because Barack Obama brings Hope and Change with him.

One of the more enlightening quotes came from one of this Administration’s staunchest supporters, uber-liberal Senator Chuck Schumer.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that “Putin doesn’t deserve the respect after what he’s done with Snowden.” “I know what he’s doing. He’s trying to make Russia a big power again…”

Yes, Chuck, he is.   He said he would, and he has acted on those words.   You and your colleagues on the far-left are the ones who refuse to acknowledge his ambitions for Russia and himself.   If you did, perhaps you wouldn’t be actively eroding the power of your own country so that it will no longer be a great power.

Obama has far more to talk to Putin about than Putin does Obama.  This bit of childish petulance on the part of the American President is indicative of the dangerously ineffectual US foreign policy path.   Yes, Putin does deserve respect.   He is acting in what he perceives are the best interests of his country.

O, that we should have a President who even knows what America’s best interests are, let alone with the courage of conviction, diplomatic acumen, and mastery of statecraft to act upon them.  Seems the “flexibility” Obama promised to Putin includes such foolish charades as this.

The “Wrong” Suspects in Boston

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Well, Boston police did not produce the category of suspect that most of the mainstream media and former advisors to the Obama Administration almost immediately speculated, indeed, fervently HOPED it would be.   The suspects are not white ‘Tea Party’ anti-government types, who picked the city, Boston, and the day of the attack, Patriots’ Day, for the symbolic value of violent opposition to President Obama.

Instead, the suspects were two young brothers from Chechnya, an overwhelmingly Sunni Islamic region.  Though motive is certainly difficult to determine for sure immediately, the chances are now ZILCH that it was anti-Obama Tea Party villain or villains who decided to slaughter innocent Americans.   Despite myriad commentary that virtually campaigned for a conservative white male to be the target.

CNN’s Peter Bergen speculated that the terrorists were “right-wing extremists”.

Charles Pierce, of Esquire, gave us this bit of brilliance:

I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.

There was, of course, David Sirota at Salon.com, who expresses his strong preference for white terrorists, while somehow missing the point about radical Islam actually close to BEING an existential threat.

Michael Moore was, of course, certain of the guilt of the Tea Party he despises so much.

And, also, this from taxpayer-funded NPR‘s Dina Temple-Raston:

“April is a big month for anti-government and right-wing individuals,” she said.

“There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. The assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco,” she added.

There are a host of other instances of such wishful speculation, on the talking head panels, the liberal blogosphere, and on “twiddah” from the not-so-cerebral far Left.

The most telling, disturbingly so, was the commentary from former Obama adviser David Axelrod.  He posited rather confidently what would be President Obama’s thought process and first instinct.   While he couches it in softer language, his message is clear.  President Obama first looks to his political opponents as the possible terrorists, and opposition to him and his policies as the motive.  Axelrod is eminently correct in his assertion.

This, despite the fact that those who believe in the Constitution and oppose his explosive government growth, intrusion into our privacy, curtailing of our freedoms, and raiding of our wallets have never violated the law, threatened to violate the law, or considered indiscriminate murder of innocent people to be the way to get their points across.  Unlike Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who still do.

The Obama Administration has to be bitterly disappointed.  The terrorists weren’t “home grown” white men who fit Janet Napolitano’s description of Veterans who believe in smaller government, the Second Amendment, and God.     They did not give him a reason to further restrict the rights of the law-abiding, or to disparage those who disagree with him as unreasonable and dangerous criminals.

In fact, these terrorists, who they are and what they did, both at the Marathon on Monday and last evening, put paid to the falsehood that infringing on the Constitutional liberties of the law-abiding with draconian gun laws will prevent someone intent on evil from perpetrating that evil.   Fresh off the stinging rebuke of his anti-gun platform by a Democratic Senate, President Obama cannot even leverage his beholden press to further demonize non-liberal white males as terrorists and murderers who pose a threat to our freedoms.

However, there should be considerable alarm at the willingness, or rather enthusiasm, with which the majority of our media and government officials ruminate, without proof or precedent, on the collective culpability of an entire segment of American citizens.   They simply rub their hands and wait for a chance to bring the full weight of government authority and public opinion (to the extent that they influence the latter) to bear against those they disagree with.

Well, maybe next time.

In the meantime, I will cling to my guns and my religion and the Constitution.   But I have no illusions about the desire of my own government to target me, because of my race and my beliefs, and label me an enemy.    After this fiasco in Boston, none of us should.   All they need are the “right suspects”.

Uniformly Stupid? Part 2

See Part 1 here.

I’m on the road, so I’ll be doing some “best of” posts. Right now, this is the most searched for post. 

While most people in the Army spend just about all their time in a working uniform like the ACU, there are occasions when something a little more formal is needed.

Since the late 1950s the standard Army Service and Dress uniform for most soldiers has been the Army Green Uniform. Folks in the Army almost universally refer to it as “Class A’s”.

When the uniform jacket is removed, the Army Green Uniform can be worn as the Class B uniform, suitable for most office environment jobs. When I served as a recruiter, most days we wore the Class B.

No, that's not me...
No, that's not me...

The problem with the Army Green Uniform was simple. It was ugly as sin in church. There was an alternative, however, one with a great history dating back practically to the first days of the Army. The Dress Blue Uniform.

Female Officer and Male Enlisted Service Dress Blues
Female Officer and Male Enlisted Service Dress Blues

There’s a reason why the trousers are a different shade blue from the coat. Back in the days of the Old West, when cavalry troopers wore the blue uniform as there work clothes, they would routinely remove their coat, roll it up and carry it strapped to the back of the saddle. The trousers faded from the sunlight and wear and tear, but the coat didn’t. Hence the difference.

Service Dress Blues were always an optional item for enlisted personnel. You could buy them, but you didn’t have to. Since they cost a lot of money and there were relatively few occasions to wear them, most junior folks did without.

Back in 2005 or so, the Chief of Staff of the Army made the decision to do away with the Army Green Uniform and modify the Blue uniform to replace it.The new variations are shown below.

The Army Blue Uniform
The Army Blue Uniform

Personally, I wish they had done this about 25 years ago. I always hated the Green Uniform, and as soon as I could, bought a set of Blues. And anytime I had a chance to wear them, I did. One fairly common occasion was the “Dining Out”. A Dining Out is when a unit, typically a battalion, has a formal banquet, with spouses and sweethearts invited*. This is a social occasion run on military lines- the colors are presented, the chaplain gives the invocation, there are a couple of (usually brief) speeches, and maybe some awards and recognitions. Then there is usually some dancing. The important thing is, your best girl gets a chance to put on her best dress and go out to be seen. Chicks dig that.  Since a lot of guys didn’t own Dress Blues, they made do with the Army Green Uniform with a white shirt and a bow tie.

Your author, center, in Dress Blues, flanked by two friends in Class A's.
Your author, center, in Dress Blues, flanked by two friends in Class A's.

Incredibly, I managed to save this picture, but lost the picture of my date. You’ll have to take my word for it that she was stunning. Really. The two guys in the photo were great friends and fellow warriors, but neither was all that attractive….

*You could invite your spouse, or your sweetheart, but NOT your spouse and your sweetheart…

Georgia on my mind

It’s been a while since we looked at the situation in Georgia. Now’s a good time for a review. EU Observer has an update for us that we found courtesy of the Instapundit.

Things are better for Georgia than I would have expected. Truth be told, I was somewhat surprised that Russia didn’t press their advantage and overrun the capital. I would have. They had already forfeited any international goodwill, but there would be no real response from the West in terms of shooting. But for whatever reasons, the Russians held off from invading all of Georgia proper, and while they hoped to topple the government, decided to let that slide.

Now, the EU is doing a surprisingly good job of pushing the Russians back. Since Russia has recognized the independence of South Ossettia and Abkahzia they will balk at leaving them. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just surprised they haven’t kept outposts in Georgia proper.

UPDATE: I tend to agree with MikeD’s analysis below in the comments:

My personal belief is that they stopped at the bridges to Tbilisi because they would have taken much heavier casualties than they were prepared to. Sure they WOULD have taken the city, but they would have paid heavily for it in blood, and Putin would not have wanted the loss of face involved in that. Kicking over an anthill should not cost you a foot. Yeah, you won, but you look stupid now.

Furthermore, holding Tbilisi is great… but the government would have just moved into the southern mountains, and suddenly the Russians are fighting Afghanistan all over again. Plus, at that point, there’s no “peacekeeping” pretense anymore, you’re a conquerer.

Once we had US troops on the ground with “humanitarian aid”, Putin was sunk. He COULD have pushed on at that point, but if he hurt one hair on the chinny-chin-chin of one of our airmen, that’s pretty much an act of war. And contrary to what a lot of folks were saying, Putin’s not really crazy. Evil? Sure. But not crazy.

But the point here is the strategic importance of time. If the Russians had pressed as far and as fast as possible with the intention of deposing the government, I think they could have taken Tiblisi before the Georgian government could evacuate and set up a guerrilla war in the south. But while the Russians were prepped to go into Ossettia and Abkazia, they had no real operational plan past that. It is kind of nice to see that the US isn’t the only ones who have trouble planning past the first push…

Georgia and the Roki Tunnel

I’m seeing a lot of folks asking why the US doesn’t use Stealth bombers or cruise missiles to take out the Roki Tunnel. Simple answer? Too late. That ship has sailed.

The Roki tunnel goes from North Ossettia to South Ossettia and is the only real road connection between them. The thinking goes that if the tunnel were closed, the Russian forces would be cut off from supply and reinforcement.

Indeed, it looks like the Georgians plan was to sieze the tunnel and prevent the Russians from using it. If they had, things might have gone differently. But the Russians were more than prepared for the Georgians. They secured the tunnel before the Georgians could get there. Taking out the tunnel with airpower is virtually impossible without precision guided munitions and thus beyond Georgia’s capability.

So why wouldn’t it make sense to do so now? Because the Russians aren’t foolish enough to stick their necks in the noose. A quick glance at the map below will shed some light.

The map is a few days old and the positions of the forces has changed a little. But notice the large part of western Georgia occupied by the Russians. Also notice that Gori is occupied by Russia, despite their assurances that they are pulling out. The main East-West road in Georgia runs through Gori. And it ends up in Poti which is also under Russian control. Alternatively, there are good roads leading to Abkazia and Russia itself in the northwest. While the map shows Georgian units between Poti and Gori, these are not very significant and the terrain is not very suitable for the defense.

In effect, the Russians have secured a second supply line, running from the Black Sea to the heart of Georgia. That’s why the Russians invaded on the Black Sea coast. Any attempt now to destroy the Roki tunnel would be fruitless.

Georgian Update for Friday

I was trying to get a post together on this, but Kat over at The Castle has done a better job than I was going to do, so just go read her.

The Russians are advancing on Tiblisi while claiming to be observing a cease fire. It appears the Georgians are refusing combat under terms not favorable to them. The Russians are advancing, claiming that they are securing military depots for safety’s sake. Currently, there are reports that they are only a few miles from Tiblisi. While the Georgian army is in no shape to stop this, these gains will be hard to pry from the Russians at the negotiation table. Or the Russians may just decide to advance and seize Tiblisi.