Where have all the heroes gone? – Amanda S. Green

Where have all the heroes gone? – Amanda S. Green


I have been sitting here, staring at the computer screen, trying to find the words for my feelings in the aftermath of what happened in Brussels. Oh, the immediate reaction is easy. Disbelief followed by anger mixed with a large dose of concern and sympathy for those impacted by what happened. Then, as the stories continued to roll in, other emotions came. With it all comes the understanding that the time has finally come for us to realize that we can’t continue to play by the rules of civilized warfare because the enemy is using our own ethics, for lack of a better word, against us.

For years, decades even, many in our country and in our government have operated under the belief that war is something that can be waged by following the rules. They want it to be clean, with no collateral damage. That is a grand idea and one I could get behind – if the other side agreed. Unfortunately, as we have seen time and time again, that isn’t the case. We try to use surgical strikes to avoid destroying non-military facilities and avoid civilian casualties. The enemy, knowing this, hides in mosques and churches, homes and schools. They use civilians as their shields, knowing our citizens won’t put up with “unnecessary” civilian deaths.

We have watched as our citizens have been targeted overseas. We have seen in living color the attacks on Paris and now Brussels. How many other attacks have there been? I don’t know. Our media doesn’t report it all. It doesn’t fit the narrative, especially not during an election year. Most especially not when our President is making his so-called historic visit to Cuba.

I cringed when, as news was still coming in on the bombings in Brussels, the media talked about how President Obama was not going to cut his visit to Cuba short. In fact, at that time, he was still scheduled to watch a baseball game between a Cuban team and an American one. I’ll even admit to not knowing if he kept to that schedule. Why? Because the thought of him sitting there watching a baseball game when our allies were under what could only be called attack made me sick to my stomach.

How long are we going to sit back and watch, telling ourselves that the battle isn’t going to come to us? How long will we continue to delude ourselves by saying that all we need to do is listen to why ISIS hates us so much? After all, to hear some of our fellow countrymen talk, the real responsibility for all this ill will falls directly at our own feet. Funny how there are always those singing that song until the shit hits the fan right outside their door. Then they are crying for the rest of us to step up and protect them. That is exactly what will happen here if we don’t find a way to end the war before it gets any worse.

One of the comments I heard in response to the attack came from Donald Trump. Now, as those of you who have read my previous posts here know, I’m not a big Trump fan. Hearing his response to the attack on Brussels had me, initially at least, cringing and telling myself that his comments were exactly why I don’t want him to be president.

“You know, we work within laws. They don’t work within laws — they have no laws. We work within laws. The waterboarding would be fine, and if they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding,” he said.

My first reaction was probably similar to what many of you had to that comment. I cringed and said to myself that we couldn’t allow ourselves to become like the enemy. We are better than them. Just as our Constitution has provisions against cruel and unusual punishment for criminals, those same protections should apply to those who are enemies of our country.


The good part of me says “right”. But the other part, the part that watches the enemy attack civilian targets without compunction, the part that knows my son and so many other mother’s sons and daughters are in harm’s way because of ISIS and their allies, says maybe not. Maybe that old adage “All’s fair in love and war” is right.

Still, I am conflicted. My brain tells me that is what the enemy is wants. It wants us doubting our approach to them. It wants us second guessing what our government and our military does – or might do. In short, it wants our doubts to hamstring any quick and decisive response we might have to them.

Hell, it is something they have successfully done for years. We did not finish the job with Operation Enduring Freedom. We didn’t finish the job with Operation Desert Storm. We sure as hell aren’t finishing the job now.

Let’s be honest. We haven’t “finished the job” since World War II. I can understand Korea. Our country was exhausted, our resources stretched then by World War II and just a few years after we found ourselves in Korea. Vietnam? I’m not sure we ever had a battle plan for success there. Add in the fact the media was sending daily updates that we could watch at our dinner tables, as well as there had been little down time from Korea and, well, we had a recipe for anything but winning.

Now we are fighting an enemy that won’t be satisfied until we are dead. Not just our leaders. Not just our military. All of us. How long is it going to take us to wrap our heads around the fact there is no negotiation with a zealot? There is fight back, fight hard and fight to win.

But that doesn’t mean I believe we need to round up every person who has come here from a predominantly Islamic country. Nor does it mean we round up every follower of the Islamic faith. That would be just as wrong as it was when, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, our government rounded up the Japanese-Americans and put them in camps.

It does mean, however, tightening our borders – all our borders. It means reviewing our immigration rules and doing a better job at vetting everyone coming in. It means increasing the number of Border Patrol agents and giving them the authority to actually stop and arrest anyone they find coming over illegally.

It also means remembering who our allies are. Kissing up to certain leaders in the Middle East and Africa has done nothing that I can see to help keep our country and its citizens safe. In fact, it has done just the opposite. The enemy has seen our president bowing to those who hate us. They have seen our government turn its back on allies like Israel because a potential ally – pardon me while I laugh hysterically – might be insulted by our continued association with Israel. We have walked the path the enemy has set for us, never really striking back and never finishing what we start.

At least that is how it seems from the outside looking in.

Now I find myself remembering the 1980 presidential election. I had no love lost for President Carter. I’d watched, along with so many others, as he sat on his hands while our people, and our allies, were held hostage by Iran. Oh, I know negotiations were going on behind the scenes but what sort of lesson did that teach the Iranians? The answer is simple – we would rather try to talk our way out of a bad situation even if doing so makes the situation worse in the long run.

Not that I had much more confidence in what Ronald Reagan could do. I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about the former actor turned politician. I knew he had been governor of California. I’ll even admit, I wasn’t that impressed. I’m a Texas girl after all and I knew even then that California was much more liberal than my beloved home state. So could Reagan, even though he was a Republican, be the conservative – or, even better, libertarian – that we needed?

What quickly became apparent was that our allies liked his plain speaking and our enemy quickly came to realize that he meant what he said. We may never know all the discussion that went behind Iranian doors before they decided to release the hostages before Reagan could take action. My gut tells me that they were scared to death about what the Cowboy President might do.

Which brings me to Trump. I’m still not a fan. Far from it. But I have to wonder if he would put the fear of God into the hearts of our enemy. He certainly scares some of our allies – which is not a good thing.

There’s a song by Bonnie Tyler called “I Need a Hero”. Right now, I’m asking myself the same questions she asks in the song but about our national leaders. I know where the real heroes are. They are in our military and serving in other positions that help keep our country safe. Unfortunately, their hands are tied all too often by the “civilized war” requirements the pols and the vocal minority place upon them.

It is time for each of us to wake up and, whether we like it or not, admit that the war has come. It might not be taking place each day on our shores but we are no longer an isolated nation. Technology and advances in transportation have seen to that. What happens in Europe impacts what happens here and vice versa. We can no longer afford to sit back and shake our heads in sorrow as our European allies are attacked. We can no longer extend an olive branch and watch it be batted away, telling ourselves that if we try again maybe, just maybe it will be accepted next time.

As I sit here looking at the framed memorial document hanging on my den wall that recounts my Great-great grandfather’s Civil War battle history, I have to admit that we are at war once again. Our government might not want to admit it. Our President might prefer making his “historical” trek to Cuba rather than deal with the realities of what is happening around us. But the truth is there and it is time we all recognized it.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how we are going to respond. Are we going to sit back and wait until the battle lines are in our own backyards or are we going to demand our government finally stand up and once again prove the United States deserves to be called the Leader of the Free World? I don’t know about you but I’m hoping for the latter. That means making sure we have men and women on Capital Hill after the election who will stand up to whoever our new president is and demand the country no longer sit back, waiting like the lamb to the slaughter.

472 responses to “Where have all the heroes gone? – Amanda S. Green

  1. Y’know, it doesn’t take too many decades of bootless UN-sposered appeasement and hifh-minded blather to make old-fashioned gunboat diplomacy look damned good….

  2. No one will dare respond robustly until the media changes its mind about acceptable response. No one other than Trump could get away with saying the things he says or even anything close to them

    • The media will not change its mind until it gets hurt.

      • And, unfortunately, Charlie Hebdo and the reporters beheaded and vanished in the Middle East during the wars didn’t count. And, say if Fox News got hit, it still wouldn’t matter for the rest of them. Solipsism seems be the order of the day.

        • What will it take, someone barging into a studio, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and suicide-bombing CBS news live?

          • MSNBC would blame it on the female news anchor not wearing a burka, then follow it up with a story about the evils of slut-shaming.
            NBC and CNN would talk about the evils of “religious extremism,” then cut to Westboro.
            FOX would blame the weak-kneed liberals.

          • yes and probably more than once. If today’s journalists were alive then they would explain why Pearl Harbor was our fault.

            • William O. B'Livion

              What do you mean “If”?

              They’ve BEEN explaining why Pearl Harbor was our fault for about a generation now.

              • How DARE we refuse to sell them the bricks to throw at us.
                (See: Dr. Suess Goes to War)

                • Funny, I was talking to a friend (he is considerably older than me) of mine a while back when scrap prices were high. He was commenting on how his dad said scrap prices were sky high back at the beginning of WWII also, and most of that scrap (at least on the West Coast) was going to Japan, his dad was a young feller at the time and said they used to laugh about selling Japan the iron to make bombs out of to bomb them with, every time they hauled a load to the scrapyard. But it was the depression, and money was hard to come by, so they kept selling scrap.

          • Sara the Red

            Considering that MSNBC is (apparently) blaming the bombings in Brussels on the easy availability of guns (in Europe?!)…I’m not sure even someone bombing their studio live on television would break through Teh Narrative(tm)

            • Reality Observer

              Yeah, the easy availability of guns. With background checks, waiting periods, and so on…

              I’d like to take a camera crew around any of their executive’s country estates – and pick up, from where it’s just laying around, every component of the bombs that were used.

        • What about an attack on the NYT and Washington Post?

          • The Other Sean

            Where do I sign– er, I mean, that would be a real shame. 😉

            • You know I think that they would still talk about how it’s our fault and that violence isn’t the answer after they’d been attacked. I don’t think that they can change.

        • If the attack was on Fox News they would, of course, blame the victim.

          If one of the MSM were attacked they would echo Michael Moore’s question post-9/11.

          Not that the MSM would be attacked. The terrorists know the importance of extensive coverage of their efforts.

          You cannot hope to bribe or twist (thank God!) the [Mainstream] journalist. But, seeing what the [wretch] will do unbribed, there’s no occasion to.
          With appreciative nod to Humbert Wolfe

          • “She patronized extensively a man, Ulysses Gunne,
            Whose mode of earning money was a low and shameful one.
            He wrote for certain papers, which, as everybody knows,
            Is worse than serving in a shop or scaring off the crows.”

      • I’m sure the terrorists will screw up and kill a bunch of journalists someday soon.

    • I agree with Gen. Sherman – “If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.”

      He had another statement that applies to our current situation – “This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.”

    • I absolutely agree — or until something happens that wakes us up as a country and, if that happens, it is going to be VERY, VERY BAD.

      • We’ll go Hulk SMASH on them.

      • As Mr. den Beste put is long ago:

        I know my nation. I know my people. We don’t want to destroy you all. But if you (I mean “Muslims”) place us in a position where only you or us can survive, it’s going to be us, and you’ll all be dead. We can do that; we’ve had that capability for a very long time. We don’t want to, but we will if we must.

        But it would be better, for you and for us, if it did not come to that.

  3. I’m not a Trump fan and am generally against being “ruled” by an imperial president. However, if he’s elected and formally recognizes that we are in fact at war (as yet undeclared on our side, but most definitely declared on theirs) with ISIS, Iran, and their various ancillary organizations, I’ll be the first to support him in that. Most especially if he further declares that then next act of terrorist aggression against the US or any of its allies will be met with a formal declaration of war and the full might of the US military fighting a war to the unconditional surrender of its enemies.

    • Normally I consider Bill O’Reilly a pompous ass, but darned if he isn’t often right about things. The other night he said that what was really needed was for NATO to declare formal war on radical Islam. France and Belgium are both NATO members as are most European countries and the United States. The US would still have the donkey’s share of the work. The simple truth is that we have subsidized the economies of Europe by providing them with military protection while they funded social programs. They simply do not have the number of men at arms or materiel necessary to pull off the sort of sustained action it will take to wipe the radical factions off the face of the Earth.
      What it’s going to take is a coalition formed from a NATO core with participation from the Arab states backed by the troops and resources of the US to get the job done. And a president with the will and the cojones to make the hard decisions. I’ll also observe that it appears on the face of it that the incompetence of the current president and a former Secretary of State is at least a contributing factor in how we got in the current state of affairs.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        The Problem is that one “Super-President” and one “Super-Congress” can’t get the job down.

        We’re going to need several “Super-Presidents” in a row along with several “Super-Congresses” in a row to do this job.

        George W made a so-so start at the job but Obama destroyed everything that George W did accomplish.

        Note, thanks to people like Obama and his supporters (both in the past & currently), plenty of countries don’t trust the US to fight a long war.

        In their minds, better to come to some sort of “surrender” than to depend on a US that will “cut and run”. 😦

      • The Other Sean

        I always consider Bill O’Reilly a pompous ass, but he is sometimes right about things.

        • Reality Observer

          The battery went out on my wall clock the other day, too. At least it didn’t get pompous about it.

      • They simply do not have the number of men at arms or materiel necessary to pull off the sort of sustained action it will take to wipe the radical factions off the face of the Earth.

        I’d rephrase that as “They simply do not have the will … “

      • Ok, define “Radical Islam”. What are its cities, its centres of government? What is the winning condition, short of sterilizing most of the middle east and africa?

        Who do we accept a surrender from?

        • It’s not “Radical Islam”. Islam is the enemy. The moderate moslems that we search for are moslems in name only. Moderate moslems that are considered apostates worthy of death by those who follow the accursed Word of the Koran. Islam is a political philosophy with a religion whose only purpose is to ensure submission by its subjects.

          • “Moderate Islam” remains silent about “Radical Islam.” They do not call the police about the people building the bombs next door. They do not raise their children to be citizens of the country they were born in. They are one facet of the problem. They are not innocent.

        • Start with Tripoli, Khartoum, Sanaa, Tehran, Damascus, Djakarta and Islamabad if you want to make war directly on the leadership, Add Djakarta if you want to terrorize mass populations. Add Riyadh, Dubai and the other Emirates if you want to add the centers of terrorist financing.

          For starters. Cairo is up in the air at the moment for their crackdown on the MB.

        • Doesn’t matter. An Islamic’s word to an infidel is worthless. Any meaningful campaign involves hammering them past any actual ability to conduct operations. not a promise to stop.

          • ok, then in an era where a single person or small group can readily inflict mass casualties, what constitutes “involves hammering them past any actual ability to conduct operations”?

            • To the point where the states and movements bankrolling the small groups stops. You can never stop a McVeigh-level wacko whatever his motivation, but organized movements of them, funded by nations and tranzi organizations? You sure can.

          • Word.

          • Exactly! Isn’t that what we did to Japan? 1945 era Shock n Awe.

            I’m worried that war will come to our shores. And no, I don’t mean civil war. I mean boots on the ground, or bombs or some form of a WMD attack.

      • “What it’s going to take is a coalition formed from a NATO core with participation from the Arab states backed by the troops and resources of the US to get the job done.”


        I’ve known enough people who’ve served on enough NATO staffs to realize that, for the most part, the only people who actually DO anything on those NATO staffs are us Americans. Saying, “NATO should do it” really means, “America should do it.” Again. Like always.

        And go talk to Army guys who’ve spent some time in the sand, and ask them how helpful “assistance” from those Arab states really is.

        You’re just advocating yet another costly (in lives and treasure) and futile excursion into an area of the world that will not ever change, at least by outside intervention.

        Better to just let them have their little sandbox, wall them off from the civilized world, and wash our hands of the entire mess. We’ve got our own oil, and we can trade with others for more if we need it. There’s nothing else of value over there worth fighting over.

        • What I’m looking for from NATO and the Arab states is essentially a no bag limit hunting license. Sure we’re gonna do the vast majority of the work, but we are extremely good at that once our hands are unbound.
          As for letting them have their little sandbox, I’d be all for it if it were even remotely possible. Unfortunately, 9/11/2001 proved for all time that isolation is no longer possible. We cannot leave them alone because by their very belief system they cannot leave us alone. Our western culture by its very nature puts the lie to everything they believe. We truly are the Great Satan by their rules, and the only way to protect ourselves from their attacks is to either utterly destroy them, take away their ability to act in any meaningfully harmful way, or fundamentally change their religion to one that really is one of peace.

          • Yeah I get that, but short of carpet bombing the entire region with nukes (tempting) there just isn’t a way to “utterly destroy” them that wouldn’t cost more than our people are willing to bear. We’ve proven definitively that our populace (and especially our leadership) is entirely de-fanged when it comes to that sort of thing.

      • I would note being a pompous ass does not disqualify you from being right.

        It can, however, make it harder to convince people you are.

      • I’d say screw the Arab States – they are the heart of the problem. Anne Coulter had it right 15 years ago – Take their oil and forcibly convert them to Christianity!

        • Or Judaism. It has ways to peacefully focus fanaticism.

          • … which ways work less well when we have a strong majority. I’ve known too many of our fanatical coreligionists to be comfortable importing a population already inclined to extremism.

            (Besides, Christianity would be growing by a mere 50% or so; Judaism by 5,000%. You can’t absorb numbers like that.)

        • Let’s not listen to Ann Coulter, and say we didn’t.

      • I don’t know what I’m more surprised at, Uncle Lar. That O’Reilly said something sensible or that I agree with it. He’s right, too. It will take the coalition and a formal declaration of war. But it will also take a battle plan designed to see it through to the end. None of this going part way, declaring victory when we are far from it and withdrawing.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Unfortunately, I suspect something has to happen that discredits/distroys the Anti-American Left before we could get into a long term war against Radical Islam.

          I’d hate to see Tom Kratman’s Buckman come into being. 😦

          • What have I been saying since 2003? We’re going to have to clean out the Fifth column here at home FIRST.

        • Frankly I don’t see the point of the coalition. All that NATO really does is give the other members the authority to muck around and do their best to hobble any response by the US. Oh and provide an intelligence asset for the Islamists.

          • Purely as justification for our actions against the enemy, and that mostly for its effect on our own nay sayers. We’re the ones going to take all the risks, spend all the treasure, put our people on the line, but unless it’s a coalition our own population won’t allow it.
            Personally, I’d much rather we just “go Roman” on their asses and wipe them out root and branch, but our people, at least the vocal liberal elements, won’t stand for it.
            We won every battle we fought in Viet Nam. Trouble being we were playing chess and the VC and NVA were playing Go. We took territory and they took the population. Then when the North violated the peace treaty by invading the South our congress refused to let us honor our commitment to aid the South, thus handing Vietnam over to the enemy.
            For good or ill, we invaded Iraq and eventually won, then a liberal (some would say socialist) president pissed that all away and handed ISIS a guaranteed breeding ground. Afganistan, remains a sinkhole for every country that ever tried to control it.
            We need to crush radical Islam, and bombing fixed installations won’t do that. Targeted surgical strikes against known leaders, economic and financial warfare against their funding, and intense pressure on Islam itself to reform into the religion of peace they give lip service to are the only things that might work and for all of that a coalition makes some sense.

    • That is pretty much where I am finding myself these days. I am tired of sitting here, watching the death and destruction and feeling like our country is sitting here with a great big target on it

      • We’ve had that target on our back since 9/11. The idea of hemorrhagic smallpox carried here by Islamic kamikazes scares the stuffin’ out of me.

  4. and those willing to step up and do the job, know that right now, if they say or do anything, they will be, at the least vilified in the press and at worst, convicted of “hate crimes” and put in prison. if your in prison, you ain’t taking care of you and yours, so, for now, they stay low, stay quiet and, , , just wait it out. things will change. eventually.

    • So true and isn’t that sad — and scary? The only reassuring part is that they are keeping their eyes and ears open and preparing for what is coming.

  5. Long time passing.

  6. We don’t need heroes. We just need some minimum number of averagely-competent people who are willing to do the jobs they were sworn in for.

    • We need the military’s hands untied so that they can give the terrorists the beat down they so clearly deserve.

      Some people might say (no one with the possible exception of Hyrosen (I don’t read his posts.) has actually said this) that I can very easily advocate military action when no one in my immediate family will suffer from such action. My husband and I are too old to serve but I have nephews and nieces of military service age.

      • Reality Observer

        I have one in the military. Still has the next 5+ years as a a Reserve Marine, in fact.

        Can’t say I like the thought of him going “in harms way” – but if done as it should be, then so be it.

      • Yes and no. The military needs to be willing to declare war on Saudi Arabia and Iran (and probably Pakistan) simultaneously. You’ve got to kill the culture not just the individuals brainwashed into it. Killing the culture means IMHO destroying every single Wahabbi and most Shiite madrassahs everywhere and making it clear that you will teach your children something other than Inshallah or die with them.

        • Yes and no. Be interesting to see what happened if Kharg Island went up in flames and a few suites in certain hotels in Dubai and the Emirates suddenly weren’t there…

        • Rudyard Kipling
          Kitchener’s School
          Being a translation of the song that was made by a Mohammedan
          schoolmaster of Bengal Infantry (some time on service at Suakim)
          when he heard that Kitchener was taking money from the English to
          build a Madrissa for Hubshees — or a college for the Sudanese at Khartoum.

          OH, HUBSHEE, carry your shoes in your hand
          and bow your head on your breast!
          This is the message of Kitchener
          who did not break you in jest.
          It was permitted to him to fulfill the long-appointed years;
          Reaching the end ordained of old over your dead Emirs.

          He stamped only before your walls, and the Tomb ye knew was dust:
          He gathered up under his armpits all the swords of your trust:
          He set a guard on your granaries, securing the weak from the strong:
          He said: — ” Go work the waterwheels that were abolished so long.”

          He said: — “Go safely, being abased. I have accomplished my vow.”
          That was the mercy of Kitchener. Cometh his madness now!
          He does not desire as ye desire, nor devise as ye devise:
          He is preparing a second host — an army to make you wise.

          Not at the mouth of his clean-lipped guns shall ye learn his name again,
          But letter by letter, from Kaf to Kaf, at the mouths of his chosen men.
          He has gone back to his own city, not seeking presents or bribes,
          But openly asking the English for money to buy you Hakims and scribes.

          Knowing that ye are forfeit by battle and have no right to live,
          He begs for money to bring you learning — and all the English give.
          It is their treasure — it is their pleasure — thus are their hearts inclined:
          For Allah created the English mad — the maddest of all mankind!

          They do not consider the Meaning of Things; they consult not creed nor clan.
          Behold, they clap the slave on the back, and behold, he ariseth a man!
          They terribly carpet the earth with dead, and before their cannon cool,
          They walk unarmed by twos and threes to call the living to school.

          How is this reason (which is their reason) to judge a scholar’s worth,
          By casting a ball at three straight sticks and defending the same with a fourth?
          But this they do (which is doubtless a spell) and other matters more strange,
          Until, by the operation of years, the hearts of their scholars change:

          Till these make come and go great boats or engines upon the rail
          (But always the English watch near by to prop them when they fail);
          Till these make laws of their own choice and Judges of their own blood;
          And all the mad English obey the Judges and say that that Law is good.

          Certainly they were mad from of old; but I think one new thing,
          That the magic whereby they work their magic — wherefrom their fortunes spring —
          May be that they show all peoples their magic and ask no price in return.
          Wherefore, since ye are bond to that magic, O Hubshee, make haste and learn!

          Certainly also is Kitchener mad. But one sure thing I know —
          If he who broke you be minded to teach you, to his Madrissa go!
          Go, and carry your shoes in your hand and bow your head on your breast,
          For he who did not slay you in sport, he will not teach you in jest.

          But notice the order: first the killing, then the teaching and building. That was the EXACT formula we used in WWII.— and it worked.

      • I would just as soon get it done before my oldest nephew is 18 up to and including putting the uniform back on if it would increase the odds.

        Wanted to after 9/11 but wasn’t considered re-enlistable then. It gets bad enough an older and in worse health me might be. The phrase might be used but in the end there are no men too old to be called soldiers if there is need.

      • Some people might say … that I can very easily advocate military action when no one in my immediate family will suffer from such action.

        If they do, then they show that they have no freaking argument and are ignorant.

        People who are actually currently in the military argue both directions– so which one of the folks who signed up and can die is to be ignored out of hand because their view is “easy”?

    • Permit me to disagree.
      Our first responders, police, firefighters, EMTs, and our military forces are all volunteers who willingly and knowingly agree to perform jobs that will in certain situations put their own lives at risk. Anyone who walks into such an agreement with their eyes open is a hero in my book.

      • No, those are jobs they decided to do, sometimes after competitive examination. They were trained and paid to do those jobs.

        The work might suck sometimes, but that doesn’t make them any more “heroes” than other people who do unpleasant or dangerous jobs for a living.

        Of course, I see “hero” applied to ball players nowadays, so it’s quite likely it’s another one of those words that no longer has any consistent meaning.

        • The term Hero has been debased. It used to be reserved for those who performed above and beyond the call of duty and accomplished something. Now we call innocent victims Heros. Or how about egotistical gay athletes who are called hero for pushing the progtard narrative. “Heros” in this day and age are as common as youth soccer participation trophies.

          We need real heros.

        • A thought, inspired by an anecdote. Rarely do those who deserve the label ‘hero’ actually believe they do. To them it is simply doing their job.

          When I was in basic we had a young woman from Africa. She was a little bit of a thing, barely made height requirements. Towards the end of basic we discovered why she was in. Her part of Africa, like so many others, was under siege. I never found out if it was a tribal dispute or something else, but her home village was burned out. She and her family and other survivors were fleeing, certain they would be caught. Then out of the tall grass popped a group of men in US military uniforms who shot the people pursuing them. These men covered the villagers’ retreat. When she came to the US she joined the Army because of what those men did for her and hers. They were her heroes and she wanted to support them and those like them. Would those men have thought they were heroes? Probably not. It was the job they had signed up for. The people they rescued felt very differently about the matter. Are they heroes? It depends on which side you ask. For me, I say yes. The simple kinds of heroes that the world needs more of because they’re the kind of hero people can actually aspire to be.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Someone who climbs an icy pole at 2 in the morning in the middle of a blizzard to try to get power back on for a bunch of people he doesn’t know (and it’s a 99.9%+ “he” field so suck it) is a hero.

          ANYONE who runs into a burning building to save a stranger is a hero, firefighter or not.

          But just joining the police force, or joining the military? If that’s “hero”, then how do you describe men like “Red” Erwin, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy (and frankly the rest of his team), Sgt. Major Brad Kasal?

          No, cops are *rarely* heros and EMTs almost never, but this isn’t to denigrate what they do, just measuring them by a *big* stick.

        • Not all first responders and firefighters and EMTs and even law enforcement personnel are paid to do the job. I was a volunteer paramedic for 17 years, and the services I ran with were mostly- or all-volounteer as well.

          There’s still a Star of Life-shaped hole in my heart, even though there’s no way I could go back out on the street.

      • I make the choice to jump on a boo boo bus or go into a burning building (once I actually get all the training finished; right now I can only fight from outside) because I trust that I am trained, equipped, and able to do the job. The man or woman that grabs their kid from certain death in a fire, or that rushes a shooter on the other hand can be called one because they do not have the equipment necessary to protect them in a normal situation.

        Heroism is going above and beyond the call that you accept in everyday life.

        Much as why I got blocked on Twitter because I said that a CMoH was not deserved by every soldier but by those that went above and beyond in situations typical to war. On 9/11 the heroes were the men and women of Flt 93. The blue, red and white lines did our job.

        • Reality Observer

          Hmmm. Kind of tricky for me to define, actually. Here’s a shot at mine, though:

          “A hero is someone who risks his or her life – in a situation where they don’t have to be the one that does so.”

          One member of a squad rushing the pillbox – hero. Flight 93, yes, heroes. Mom in a fire, well no, she’s the only one (at least as I am visualizing it here). But, yeah, the entry firemen, yes – after all, they could be accountants. Running into a werewolf isn’t an expectation in that profession, after all…

          • I was thinking in terms of the mom going into the fire unprotected and untrained to get the child. But pretty much the gist. It is the above and beyond part that is missing.

            As for the latter…I would think a weredragon would be more likely. How else would they count their gold? Not one of the job classes I’ve ‘assigned’ to a species of mythical creatures in my head yet though

      • Right now, as I type, four counties’ worth of fire fighters are fighting at least five wildfires, and calling in everybody who can drive a vehicle or man a hose or wet broom. I think I know where the local heroes are.

        • I was surprised when I saw the size of the Wood County wildfire here. 40k acre. Ouch. I’ve been without cell so haven’t seen if we’ve gotten lit up locally though

          • We’re up to seven, with three towns or sections of towns evacuated, US 287 closed, TX 70 closed. Carson, Wheeler, Gray, Roberts, Ochiltree, Hutchison, Randall counties. Winds still 50 mph plus.

            • And now I-40 is closed because the fire is jumping the highway. Crap, it’s 2006 again.

              • I wish I could do something for you Tex. Good Luck!

              • The Other Sean

                I-10 closed due to flooding, I-40 due to fire. I think CO reopened the section of I-70 that closed due to rockfall, at least. Does somebody hate our easr-west interstates?

            • Your state is catching fire again…

              • Town of Shamrock is ready to evacuate. The winds have swung to the north (same system that snowed on Sarah) and are pushing the fire into town. Several ranches have burned – livestock losses unknown.

                Many thanks for all prayers and kind thoughts.

                • Gah. Good luck.

                • Reality Observer

                  It is so danged rare that the weather you need is where you need it.

                  Mom is a cruel, cruel woman…

                  (A relatively wet late winter here – and now it’s been dry for quite a while, with nothing even remotely in sight. We’ll have smoking mountain ranges again in a couple of months, for sure…)

              • And I got 18 inches of snow Tuesday. And now there are a few patches left, looking out the window, but there are snowflakes flying by again.

            • Ouch! May God Bless you and keep you.

      • I’ve made two rescues in large surf – only because no one else was willing to do so. It was the right thing to do and I would have had a hard time living with myself had I not. That was not heroic IMHO.

        • I’ve heard it as “I’m actually a coward and did it fearing what I would have had to live with on my conscience”

        • William O. B'Livion

          There are two people eating dinner with their families tonight because you engaged in a heroic act.

          You can own it or not, but you did what others wouldn’t when it was time.

        • Does heroism hinge on jeopardy perceived and ignored by the actor? Consider two EOD techs, each sent in to defuse a (different) ticking bomb. Joe is told the bomb is live, Frank is told it’s a dummy. Both succeed. Is Joe more heroic than Frank?

    • Those are the heroes right now, at least in my book. They are the ones who have not given into the “feelz” mentality or the “I’m entitled because I said so” belief. The fact they are willing to do the hard work, both now and when the fecal matter hits the proverbial fan, makes them heroes. After all, as my family has always said, a hero is that ordinary person who steps up and does extraordinary things when necessary.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Reading this piece, I have to say that you may be overly optimistic –
    I no longer believe we have any viable allies in Europe. The European leadership long ago decided that the benefits of importing large numbers of Muslim immigrants (votes for left-of-center parties and virtue signalling) outweighed any possible downsides. In the wake of bombings in the UK, Spain, Paris, etc., these bien pensant leaders decided to double down with the current wave of immigrants (Germany, pop. 80M added 2M immigrants last year). This is not immigration – it is demographic suicide. Even with their house on fire, the Euros are more concerned with containing the rise of their right-wing parties and so-called ‘Islamophobia’ than they are with the Islamists.
    Europe has also whittled its military power down to nothing, leaving NATO as little more than a thin veneer on top of the US military. I wish I could see a reason to be more hopeful for Europe’s future, but I don’t. Cue Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech …

    • I feel we have allies in the old Warsaw Pact nations. They have more recently fought for freedom and still understand freedom down in their bones.

      • I think you’re right there. And those are also the countries that have been less than enthusiastic about “welcoming refugees.”

        • I’m not sure that Poland is any too happy with us and the way we screwed them by not giving them the missile shield after that we agreed we would. How long would it take to regain our allies’ trust?

      • Poland, the old Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine . . . they are forming the wall against the [forces of chaos] once more, just like in the days of Jan Sobieskii and the battle of Szeketvar.

        • @TXRed


          I’ve been looking at a lot of maps lately.

          It’s especially interesting to look at the map of Europe and highlight all of the countries that are defying the EU and closing and walling off their borders to Islamic “refugees.” Nearly all of the nations you listed fall into that highlighted area.

          Slowly but surely, Greece, France, Germany, and Sweden are becoming surrounded by a wall of nations that have said “No” to the formerly prevailing winds.

        • Yep, and which of those countries has the US not screwed over lately? Croatia? Possibly, I don’t recall anything in the news within the last few years, but I could have missed. I certainly can’t see how Ukraine, Poland or Czechoslovakia would possibly trust us.

      • Anonymous Coward

        Agreed. Note how the Western Euros have dismissed the concerns of Hungary, Poland, Croatia, etc. as if they were either talking to dim-witted children or knuckle-dragging apes. Things in Sweden, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and Netherlands are going to get very ugly very soon. Denmark, Italy and UK might be able to turn things around.

        • I presume you noticed that Sweden opted against turning off their lights for “Earth Hour” under the impression that an hour of darkness in the streets was simply asking for trouble.

          The Europeans have caught on that their leaders, their police and their media are lying to them about the friendly intentions of these refugees and as nobody but the “Far Right” is willing to address that problem those leaders, police and media are having to deal with an increasingly empowered “Far Right.”

          I leave as an exercise for readers analysis of how far right any European politician has to be to be denounced as “Far Right” but suffice to say it wouldn’t pass as much right of center in the USA.

          • (Nods)
            It would also help if the American academic, pundit, and political classes would stop believing everything the European left says when they talk about the European right.

            • European “right” — especially the “far right” which considers of far left programs with even a modicum of nationalism

      • Plus their neighborhoods are sketchier – it’s a lot easier to be an anti US pacifist way over against the Atlantic than when you are neighbors with the woods where a bear is getting grumpier by the day.

        The fact that they are also skeptical of the whole “let them all in!” policy is just another point of difference with the Euro crowd.

  8. They use civilians as their shields, knowing our citizens won’t put up with “unnecessary” civilian deaths.

    That is a very small minority of our citizens, but unfortunately, a very loud one that gets much favorable press coverage. Most folks I know are very much in favor of ignoring the civilian shields and killing our enemies. I know for a fact, most of the military guys at the pointy end of the spear do too, as I have two sons who are Marine infantry. It is well known that ignoring that tactic shortens the wars and actually minimizes civilian and miitary casualties in the long run, and this war will run a long time. The Islamic zealots will not quit until we have killed enough of them to create the “bellyfull of war” atitude among them, which usually requires them to lose about 30% or so of their military age men.

    • I don’t think that the Islamic fanatics will get a “bellyfull of war” attitude until many more 30% of their military age men. It might take nuclear bombing for them to consider surrender.

      • We need to do whatever it takes.

        • Exactly!

          • Destroy Mecca? That would be something that would sow doubt in their belief in inevitable global conquest of Islam.

            • Not merely destroy it, but salt the ground (in this case, that would probably mean some sort of CBRN contamination to make the site permanently uninhabitable).

              • Cobalt 60 would do the trick, not permanently, but nothing is.

                • How is Cobalt 60 administered?

                  • It is a metal, you would just powder it and then use some crop dusting drones (would need too much radiation shielding for a pilot).


                    • A.B. Prosper

                      An attack on Mecca would only make ISIS stronger. They are a death cult and the destruction of that city and Medina is part of their prophetic ideology.

                      You’d basically have to slaughter probably a billion people to end that war for good. It could be done,ERRB weapons aka neutron bombs and chemical warfare mostly maybe some germ warfare thrown in mostly with autonomous weapons systems since many soldiers would not follow such orders.

                      Its messy and protecting Israel if only to avoid them nuking Europe would be essential.

                      However if we had the will even ultra nationalists think its far better for everyone just to kick these people out of the West and keep them out. No more immigration from the 3rd world period, no non Western or Muslim immigration and very limited economic migration within EU / Eastern European US/ Commonwealth states to prevent wage arbitrage and human trafficking .

                      Given population limitations that won’t last that long. Once the economic pressure lets up, fertility rates should go up and many nations will have healthier economies and so can spare emigrants and take immigrants with little risk

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    Adherents would still make the Hadj, after all if they die from it they’d go directly to heaven.

                    It is doubtful that destroying Meca would do anything but fan the flames, and frankly we’d probably lose the Vatican Museum, several major European cathedrals, the Louvre etc. over it.

                    If you REALLY want to destroy some of the worst regimes on earth figure out how to replace Oil at about it’s current price point, in some renewable way (BTW, are Breeder reactors considered a “renewable energy source”?) and watch the house of Saud do the house of Cards thing.

            • No. The fanatics in ISIS are so far gone, they talk about burning Mecca down themselves because it reflects idolatry.

            • Is it possible to nuke Mecca while not destroying Jerusalem? I’m asking because I don’t know much nuclear bombs.

              • Pretty easy, actually. Here’s a site that will let you play around with potential targets and weapon yields and see the radius of destruction.


                I ran the sim with the yield from a W-87 warhead (carried on Minuteman III missiles) for optimum airburst height. Result was flattening buildings out to just under 3 miles from ground zero and 3rd degree burns on exposed skin out to 4 1/2 miles. Explosion height two high to produce significant fallout.

              • Oh yeah. Jerusalem would not even see the blast, and any fallout would be pretty dispersed by the time it reached Israel.

                • The real question is which nuclear states would knee jerk retaliate against Israel. Wait a few years and the Iranians would in a heartbeat. Pakistan doesn’t have the delivery system.

                  I wouldn’t mind cleaning the trash off of the temple mount though.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Yes. A bomb the size we used on Japan could take out Mecca without harming Jerusalem.

                For that matter, I don’t think a Nuke exists that would take out both Mecca and Jerusalem.

                • OMG! The distance between is 666 nautical miles.

                  • Did I mention that I’m geographically challenged? I know very little if any geography.

                    • Most Americans are.

                    • You could probably get in the right region on a blank map.

                      That puts you ahead of the folks from places that aren’t North America to whom I have to explain that the state of Washington is nowhere near the District of Columbia.

                    • Oh sure I have general ideas of where things are. Just no specific knowledge.

                • All I know about nuke bombs is that they split an atom? and make a loud BOOM!

                • Ya, even if you used a Tsar Bomba with all three stages its thermal radiation radius would be ~74km or 1/16th of the distance.

                  • Hey! Son, you’re too young for this site . . . wait, you mean someone other than my son has memorized all that? Well. Um. What do you do for a living, and is it a good field for a young man to go into?

      • ISIS is having problems retaining their troops in Syria and Iraq right now because the casualty rates are well above 50%. Their position is not sustainable over the next year.

      • Anonymous Coward

        In keeping with the Geneva Conventions, there is no need for kid glove treatment of out-of-uniform combatants or terrorists. Need to start using PsyWar techniques. Shoot ’em and refuse to repatriate the bodies. Instead stick a MRE pork rib in their mouth, paint a cross or a Star of David on their chest, dump the corpse in an unmarked grave, and post the videos on YouTube. I’m betting that potential jihadis will have second thoughts if they fear that Allah might not be able to figure out what team the ‘martyrs’ were playing for.

        • Cremate the bodies, feed the ashes to pigs, cremate the pigs, feed the ashes to dogs, incinerat the dog and pig crap and use the ashes for filler in urinals used in a Jewish Civic Center

          • I’m sure the pigs would prefer medium rare to over cooked.

            • heh. the pigs would prefer raw. But cremation is a major insult to the fools.
              That btw is an abbreviated form of what I think should be done with those in Gitmo. The rest is: Have them shot in the head by a naked Jewish lesbian or gay guy with a black powder pistol using saltpeter derived from pigs, bullet lubed with pig lard, …

          • The dogs have done nothing to deserve that!

        • Star of David would be more humiliating/enraging.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Nukes are the wrong tool for this job–they are too disperse for a small number of bombs to be effective, and the number required kills too many “non-combatants”, but (more importantly) blows a lot of radioactive crap and heavy metals into the air *I* will be breathing.

        Also that is one of the many criticisms of the US–that we are weak willed and weak bodied so we build machines to do the killing for us.

        The solution to that is to understand and use the culture(s) we are facing.

        First off they absolutely HATE having “infidels” “invading” their land.


        Make the allowance for stationing US troops part of every financial and military aid package in that part of the world. Minimum 10k troops.

        Re-open all the larger bases in Iraq.

        Start DEMANDING modern liberal arts curricula in schools as a condition of financial or military aid. With books *we* designate. Don’t like it? Stop funding and supporting terrorism, and start *really* locking up the trouble makers and people who fund it.

        Also IMMEDIATELY stop any financial or military aid to *any* country that practices (especially religious) censorship or who’s government funds (actively OR passively) anti-american propaganda.

        Oh, and ANY state department weenie who complains gets transferred to Marine Corps Boot Camp. If she fails there, she goes to Army, then Navy, then Air Force. Anyone who fails out of Air Force boot camp is too incompetent to live on their own.

        Most of the islamic world is INTENSELY tribal. Fine. If you have a young man in your tribe that is setting off to be a jihadist you either turn his ass in, or we drop a thermobaric weapon (or 10) on the village, and shoot anyone who tries to flee.

    • That is a small but highly insulated minority — people entirely unaccustomed to bearing the costs of their bad decisions. You know the type I mean: politicians, journalists, university professors, civil servants.

      What they fail refuse to acknowledge is that by respecting those civilian shields we are encouraging their use by our enemies. A basic ethical appreciation of the fact that the culpability for those civilian casualties lies with those deliberately endangering them seems beyond the capacity of our objectionable minority.

      • I would like to see what their response to a true situation in WW2 would be. When Japan invaded the Phillipines and drove the Army back into the Bataan Peninsula, one of the first attacks on the Abucay-Mauban Line used civilians they rounded up, including the wives and girlfriends of the Army troops and driving them ahead of the Japanese attack in hopes the troops would not fire on civilians. From the story I read about this, the soldiers cried, but did open fire and mowed down the Japanese attackers. I never heard if the Japanese commanders were tried for war crimes for this action, or if everything was just lumped together after teh war.

        • Well since a lot of the same folks are ones that bellyache about the B-29 special deliveries that broke the will of the emperor, I expect they would have agitated for charges for the troops that opened fire.

          • You’re probably correct. When I argued with an anti nuke protestor about Comanche Peak back in 1982, she said her entire anti nuclear attitude came from our use of nuke bombs on Japan to end WW2. I ended the argument by telling her it was payback for Pearl Harbor, and BTW….have we had ANY trouble with the Japanese since then?

            I always thought it was amusing the local anti nukes would stage protests on Hiroshima day. In August. In West Central Texas.

    • Reality Observer

      Yep. The majority civilians tend to stop hiding and supporting the minority terrorists when they are more likely to get themselves killed by doing so.

      Even for a “good” Muslim – it is rather hard to blame them. It’s a choice between the nutcase, right here, right now, that will kill them (and their families) – and the Western soldiers that only might kill them, and only by accident if they do.

      • My cousin passed on that there’s an attempt to paint Cruz as a psycho…because he suggested extra patrols in Muslim neighborhoods, to keep them from becoming radicalized.

        What, these guys want people to live in fear of their lives because of the psychos who will kill themselves and their families if they’re even suspected of not doing what the psychos want?!

        • They live in rainbow sparkle land where Muslims are peaceful and wouldn’t do anything bad. Reality doesn’t intrude unless it happens 5 inches from them.

          • Reality doesn’t intrude unless it happens 5 inches from them.

            And even then they make excuses on how it’s all the fault of the White male patriarchy………

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Don’t forget “It’s the fault of the Evil Religious Right”. 😉

          • Patrick Chester

            No, even then they won’t notice.

    • I totally agree that it is a small minority but one with a very vocal mouthpiece in the MSM. Unfortunately, they are the voices being heard and bowed down to by the idiots in DC. It is time, as (was it Agnew?) one pol said decades ago for the silent majority to stand up and speak out. As for the rest of it, I hear you. My family has been military as far back as we can trace. That includes my son.

  9. I’m working thru my email this morning, and have found an interesting article from the Federalist by Nicole Russell (search for “stop-whining-about-islamophobia-and-start-focusing-on-islamic-jihadis”) that has some very relevant & (dare I say it?) common-sense points.

    1. Stop apologizing to Muslims and start telling them to deal with the fact that millions of Muslims across the world support Islamist terrorism.
    2. Concern for perpetrators over victims is a hallmark sign of political correctness gone awry.
    3. There is only one global religion right now that has major sects teaching that eternal bliss will come to those who carry out acts of terrorism. That’s Islam.
    4. Ben Shapiro’s classic video neatly explains why radicalism is not a tiny minority of Islam. … it is fair to ask the Muslim community to deal with its obvious internal problems that consistently lead to the reprehensible mass murder of innocent people.
    5. The message the Muslim world [needs] to hear right now is ““Deal with your violence problem or we’ll do it for you.”

    etc. Unfortunately, western leaders & societies, for the most part, are ignoring these points and telling Muslim communities “I fell your pain” instead of “clean your house”. TR popularized the concept of “speak softly and carry a big stick,” but none of our enemies believe in that threat anymore; we (western civ) are the weak, old lions who are unable to repel the jackals nipping at our heels.

    • The metadata of the big stick has been lost; in Teddy’s time, it was understood that simply carrying the stick didn’t mean much. You had to hit someone with it every now and then to show you were willing to use it.

    • There’s also the “climate of fear” effect. I once listened to a presentation by a former Muslim who had converted to Christianity, who talked about the climate of fear that ALL of his friends and family lived in. You went to the mosque because you wanted to be seen going to the mosque; if someone denounced you as a bad Muslim, you’d probably miss out on job promotions, opportunities to get good marriages for your children…

      Think about the “nobody wants to be the first to stop clapping for Stalin” effect that Solzhenitsyn described and you’ll have the right idea. Or remember bin Laden’s speech about “When people see a weak horse and a strong horse, they will bet on the strong horse”? Same thing. The moderate Muslims who just want to be left alone are backing the radical jihadists right now because it’s completely obvious to them that that’s their only chance to survive. And every time we fail to support anti-radicals, every time a politician gets up on stage and apologizes for Israel’s existence or for the Crusades or for America’s alleged bigotry against Islam, the moderate Muslims hear us telling them, “We’re NEVER going to have your back against the radicals.” And we drive them even further into the radical camp.

  10. Also, our the pusillamanoius attitudes (except for Israel) are mroe caused by them realizing the fact they will ahve to cut back on the overly generous welfare state and start spending much more on their own militaries. They have grown used to the US supplying the shield and putting up with their virtue signalling criticism without reply on our “cowboy” ways.

    They will have to do more of the dirty work and they DO NOT like that idea.

  11. “With it all comes the understanding that the time has finally come for us to realize that we can’t continue to play by the rules of civilized warfare because the enemy is using our own ethics, for lack of a better word, against us.”

    The Left in this country counts on our sticking to the rules also. Which is why they have been winning.

  12. I recall that the Geneva Convention stuff applies.. if the other side is following it. If not, well, it’s just fine to f(ark) them all the way to Hell. So far, we (USA) have been very nice, very polite, very patient. A long fuse. But the longest of fuses go the largest of charges. Hysteresis is a b*tch, and well, I suspect some damn fool is getting close to a threshold. If they’re lucky, it won’t go into latch-up. If not, well, we might see a Radical $COUNTRY-ectomy. And the response to whining about it being, “Next?!”

    • Well, it’s *legal* to do so. Whether or not it is right is another matter.
      But yes, some idiot is going to eventually do something that causes the USA to cut loose. And we’re going to feel really bad about it once we’re done.
      But certain countries will no longer exist.

      • It is both legal (in an international law sense, which really means pretty little) and right. We aren’t concerned with the feelings and rights of rabid animals when they’re found; they’re just put down as quickly and permanently as possible.

        • Including the kids and the guys who don’t want any part of this whole mess?
          As for the terrorists, kill them. That, however, so far as I know, is against no law.

          • Try to avoid that (collateral damage) if possible. However, don’t let the possibility of collateral damage keep you from accomplishing the mission of destroying the terrorists.

            • As far as I know, that, too, is not against the Geneva Convention. Although it would be against HRW and Amnesty International, who do not seem to understand the concept of “fog of war.”

              • Although it would be against HRW and Amnesty International

                In the movie “Red Heat”, when it was suggested that the politicians wouldn’t go for a proposal to eliminate the “drug problem” (quite different from how I would handle it, but that’s beside the point). The answer “shoot them (the politicians) first.”

            • The tricky bit is that the West has a really short attention span. If one wants to go “wholly evil”, to use Machiavelli’s phrase, one has to spend time and effort and time and time.
              Doing something, losing political will and leaving does more harm than good. This is the land of long memories and long vendettas. These aren’t people cowed by threats to the civilian population.

          • Including the kids and the guys who don’t want any part of this whole mess?

            If we had a fantastic, never-fail, foolproof way to separate the terrorists from non-terrorist civilians, that would be great, However, since we don’t have such a method & the Muslim community as a whole is unwilling to work with law enforcement agencies to remove the bad apples, what would you suggest? I’m sure there were lots of people who were tired of war in Hiroshima & Nagasaki, but for various reasons we used the blunt instrument to end the war.

          • Feather Blade

            “We do not make war on civilians. But anyone who uses a civilian as a shield condemns both himself and the civilian to death.”

          • Maybe the next set of parents / spectators will think twice before failing to remove the lunatics from their country first.

    • The Geneva Convention is a ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ that only works if both sides are civilized. Apparently, with the exception of Europe and possibly the Americas, no one else seems to be civilized.
      Europe is probably a lost cause. The only hope for the U.S. is that the Islamic terrorists will kill off the liberals as the Jacksonians live in rural areas. To win a war, you must understand that you have to be totally brutal and destroy the enemies will to fight. Civilian casualties are an intentional consequence, but overall, the shorter the time to victory, the fewer civilians suffer. Since Progressives believe the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, they should be totally on board for this method.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Recent elections there indicated that no, they aren’t, and that if the muzzies don’t start paying attention they’ll be warming up the ovens in 8 or 10 years.

    • A long fuse. But the longest of fuses go the largest of charges.

      I like that line and I plan to steal it. 😉

    • We haven’t fought anyone who honored the Geneva suggestions against us since they were written down. European, Asian or Islamic.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IIRC Germany, in the main, followed those rules during WW2.

        Some SS units did violated the rules and were punished by Allied forces but they were the exception not the rule as far as Germany went.

        Now, Japan in WW2 was another matter.

  13. My trouble with Trump is really don’t have any idea of what he will do as President. He spouts off whatever he feels like and then clarifies after talking to his handlers.

    • And this is different from Obama exactly how?

      • The country doesn’t need another Obama type presidency.

        • I agree, but I don’t think we can get there from here. Mitt Romney was probably the closest thing to a real leader we have seen in ages. Any ‘hero’ or leader that meets Amanda’s criteria will be so badly abused by the Media and so much bile and hatred that it will make the File666 attacks on the Puppies seem like a ringing endorsement.
          Note the GOPe. Afraid of their own shadow.

      • Obama ignores his handlers save for perhaps Valery Jarrett. Trump is used to hiring and listening to experts when he needs them.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          There are reports that suggest /I/ would be more qualified than some of the people he has hired for his national security and foreign policy team.

          • I won’t argue qualifications. But the bamster doesn’t listen to people who aren’t as smart as he is. And he’s always the smartest one in the room. Just ask him.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Trump is apparently essentially listening to himself, except for that one speech he let his son-in-law write. He supposedly hasn’t been in contact with the team he had put together.

              a) My paper qualifications aren’t very good. I would be at the entry level if hired for that by a competent organization.
              b) A foreign policy staff that isn’t terrible can not be put together in a day.
              1. If you don’t already know what you are looking for, you can not easily tell the difference between smart, competent foreign policy people and people Obama would think are smart and competent.
              2. Foreign policy experts are meant to work in boring times and times of stress and confusion. If the team hasn’t been working together long enough, there is not much evidence how they will respond to change.
              3. The official and their staff need to be communicating, so that they can be on the same page. It takes time to get up to speed if you are starting from scratch or worse, like Trump.
              4. Does the boss demand sycophants? Does the staff guess what ‘intelligence’ the boss wants to hear, and say that?
              c) Anyone in national politics needs to put one together as a high priority.
              d) Cruz has had one running for a while. Trump started from being willing to vote for Obama. There are people available that might be better than the lady Cruz has, but Trump apparently isn’t hiring them.

              • Hey! I’ve been working on my willful blindness so I can pull the Trump lever in November versus the Hildebeast. Now I’ve got to start all over again. pout 😦

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Trump is still not at all certain to be nominated.

                • Feather Blade

                  It’s not that difficult. Just ask yourself “Do I want the Lizard Queen to be president, and ol’ Slick Willy back in the White House, or do I want anyone else to lead the Us?”

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Can I tell any difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?

                    • He has actual business experience.

                    • She’s better at trading cattle futures?

                    • It seems likely Trump would do better at maintaining national security … more importantly, the MSM wouldn’t repeat his flimsy justifications as if they were comprehensive and believable.

                    • His spouse isn’t a serial rapist?

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Looking at what capital they started with, and what they have now, I could argue that Hillary is better at becoming wealthy than Trump.

                      Trump inherited his initial capital, and has underperformed the market investing it. So he is a little bit of a wastrel.

                      I dunno where the partnership of Clinton and Clinton got their starting capital. For all I know, they took over the Arkie Democratic mafia with ability alone. They built on the political capital of the Arkie Democratic mafia to get national political capital, and converted political capital into money. So Hillary looks better than Trump by that narrow criteria, unless pursuing and losing the Presidency costs them the Clinton Foundation.

                      Trump is also friends with Epstein, so I can’t be sure he isn’t a serial rapist.

                      My basic issues are the high error in my measurements of Trump and Clinton, and my pride in never having voted for a Democrat. They are reflexive liars, and I do not find their words usefully predictive. I see Trump as a nude donkey covered only by an elephant mask. To vote for him, I would either need to be convinced of his genuine conversion towards being a Republican, or I would need to overcome my aversion towards voting for a Democrat.

                      We do know where how the Arkansas Democratic Party got their political capital. 1919, Elaine, Arkansas. Consider also the closeness of the 1921 Tulsa race riots and the St. Louis (?) race riots. That wasn’t the whole of the Arkie Democrat mafia, and they’ve done other things since. Anyone who doesn’t complain about the Clintons has no grounds to complain about other 1920s and 1930s political massacres of minorities.

              • William O. B'Livion

                > A foreign policy staff that isn’t terrible can not be put together in a day.

                Wanna bet?

                “General Mattis, please build me a foreign policy staff, including rational opposition by this time tomorrow. You have a $(large sum) annual budget for principals, and a $(smaller sum) per each for their assistants. Oh, and I want you there. I don’t need them to start tomorrow, just a commitment that they will be there or contribute”.

                You want a study done, call the Army. You want it *fixed* (for values of fixed that sometimes mean all the kings horses and all the kings soldiers…) you call the Marines.

                • WaPo asked Trump what who was the last good Secretary of State/Defense he came up with George P. Shultz from Reagan’s days.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Yeah, but then you’d need to have a clue who to call first. If you are starting in as deep a hole as Trump, an Obama voter, you might not be able to tell Mattis or Kratman from Shinseki or Karpinski.

                  A totally ignorant candidate would need to either parrot what the staff says or take time getting up to speed.

                  • Oh, G-d, could you just *imagine* the group Tom would come up with?

                    Actually, that’d probably be an interesting discussion – I may need to post this to Kratskellar.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Probably a lot like what Bill says. Tom’s written up a similar process at least twice in fiction alone. Specifics would depend on budget and what they are being asked to do.

                      I imagine Kratman wouldn’t enjoy ‘national security and foreign policy staff for a candidate during a campaign’ much.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Obama has been fairly consistent about what he’s said and done. The *best* he’s ever done is center-left.

        Trump OTOH is a lying blowhard who is all over the map.

    • Don’t worry about a Trump presidency — the probability of him being impeached before the first off-year election is high. There is scant doubt he will abuse power during his first year and the Dems will use that to push their voters to the polls (and the GOP to the cliff edge) by summer of 218.

      • Not so sure about that. A good negotiator knows how to push to the edge of a cliff without going over.
        Of course he would have the media pushing him towards it.

        • More like media will move the cliff.

          • Yeah. Make a stand on what you think is solid ground and the media is there to undermine you.

            • For example, firing lawyers, 2001 vs 1993.

              • I see nothing wrong with firing lawyers provided you insert sufficient charge in the breach.

                • William O. B'Livion

                  Pick your snark:

                  1) Do you consider the barrels expendable, and if not, what are you cleaning them with?

                  b) No, firing. Like one does with clay pots. Put them in a special brick oven and turn the temps up to like 1400F until they partially melt.

      • Impeached hell, I see him quitting in a huff. Lucky thing VP Kasich will be ready to step up…. /sarc

        • The more Kasich opens his mouth, the less I like him. No wonder Scalzi voted for him.

          • Heh. I warched him interviewed by Bret Baier the other evening and wondered why his aides don’t smack him every time he says “And you know what?”

  14. I’m going to just go ahead and repost in full here what I wrote at Chicagoboyz last November after the attacks in Paris, I’ve copied and pasted it in a couple of other places in the last few days:

    Add me to a relatively short list of people on social media who are not making any particular gesture of sympathy and solidarity with the people of France who have been whammed for the second time in a year by the bloody-minded foot-soldiers of Islam. It’s not that I don’t care, and that I don’t feel the least shred of human sympathy for those people who went out for a drink and a good meal at a popular restaurant, a raucous rock concert, a soccer game, and then had their lives changed forever – if not ended entirely. It’s just that at this particular point in time, I am a bit tired of making easy feel-good, symbolic gestures about Islamic terrorism. Once you’ve made them … then, what for a follow-up?

    I’ve so been to this rodeo before. 9-11. Beslan. The train bombings in Madrid. The bus bombings in London. The slaughter in the streets of Mumbai, and at the Boston Marathon finishing line. Westgate Mall. The murder of staff members of Charlie Hebdo, and the Jewish supermarket in Paris. Intifada without end in Israel. Und so weiter. I won’t even start on the list of bombings and slaughters across the Middle East; merely observe in passing that in those circumstances the usual Muslim suspects are slaughtering each other, rather than doing the business to outsiders.

    The only thing more inevitable than the candle-light vigils, the moments of silence and the mounds of flowers piled up at the sites are the lamentations from the Muslim communities about the never-yet materialized anti-Muslim backlash. There comes a point where one gets tired of it all, of doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. There is a lack of seriousness about the problem of deliberate Islamic aggression in Western countries; an unwillingness to defend those values we have developed – sometimes painfully – over a long time; values such as freedom of speech and intellectual inquiry, a separation between the state and religion, a rule of law and not of the mob – one law, applied equally across class, race and sexual divides – and an unfettered press. This lack of serious intent is perhaps more marked in Western Europe, as it appears from various sources. The various no-go areas common to French metropolitan areas are not so firmly established in the US yet, and the mass sexual trafficking of vulnerable young women by Muslim men so recently demonstrated in places like Rotherham, England appears to have been landed on like a ton of bricks by civil authorities in the US. We are not – yet – being swamped by thousands of Middle Eastern faux-refugees arriving daily, as is happening in Germany.

    But Beslan, Mumbai, Westgate, Charlie Hebdo … it will happen here, and probably sooner than later. Not all the candle-light vigils, moments of silence, and sorrowful hashtags and logos will prevent it. Only determination on the part of individuals and our leaders to do the difficult, the harsh and the necessary will do that.

    • It may be coming to a time when declaration of being a muslim is grounds for refusal of entry into the US. Yes, yes, there are good muslims (probably) who don’t want to kill everyone else. However, it appears nearly impossible to separate them from those who are practicing takkiya and just saying whatever they need to say to position themselves for some act of jihad. That being so, a travel ban on anyone from a muslim country wouldn’t be at all amiss. And immediate deportation of any muslim found to have committed a felonious crime in the US (whether or not he is an actual US citizen), either to his country of origin or to Saudi Arabia (the home of Islam) is something to consider too.

      • May I propose an exception for those who have provided assistance to our military overseas?

        • Also hope the travel ban would not apply to Chirstians and other non-Muslims who have the misfortune to be from said countries.

        • I’m not at all sure that would be a good idea. There are numerous instances of those who provided assistance turning against American servicemen when the opportunity presented itself.

          • Old ‘Sudden Jihad Syndrome”. Bit different than the thing where the US set up a government, got cold feet, and is about to take off… and now you got people who threw in with you who are about to get the literal chop. Are we not honor bound to reciprocate that faith?

          • See taqqiya, as well as hudna. Agreements with unbelievers are only to be kept as long as Islam benefits.

        • “May I propose an exception for those who have provided assistance to our military overseas?” – Joe in PNG

          Fort Hood, Texas. Wasn’t the shooter there a Muslim who was actively in our military at the time, IIRC?

          You may propose, but I’m not sure that I’m able to agree to the proposal.

          • However, from my understanding the man in question would not have been in a position to do what he did if the concerns about his psychological state had not been suppressed in the name of “preventing Islamophobia.”
            Further, it would be fair to contend that anyone who aids American forces overseas puts themselves at risk, and is therefore of a different kind than Major Hassan.

          • Hasan was US born, so not really applicable.

            • The Koran is an evil document. Any kinda-sorta moslem, like the ones you drink beer with on Saturday night, may start reading it and suddenly go all 7th century barbarian on you.

              And yes I have drunk beer with nominal Mormons and Moslems at the same party. A Mormon who starts his book may stop drinking with me. The Moslem who starts studying his book may decide I need my head removed from my shoulders.

              • Maybe, maybe not. But, I would protect the Koran, and American Citizens right to believe in Islam so that I can protect the Bible and my right to believe in Christianity.
                Do remember that many on the Left believe that as a Christian, I would happily bring in concentration camps for gays and others, and turn this country into something from “A Handmaiden’s Tale”.
                Any attempt to reduce the religious liberties of Moslems can and will be used against Christians.

                • The problem is that there is absolutely no separation of church and state in Islam. The concept is rankest heresy. And the penalty for heresy and apostasy is death.

                  • As often quoted, you give even the Devil the benefit of law, to protect yourself.
                    Yeah, terrorist attacks are bad. Government oppression is far, far, far worse.

                    • Well how about this, after we restore the study of Western Civilization in schools. We compare and contrast it to the history of Islamic Civilization. It truly amazing to find out how many slaving raids they made and how many people they killed in the name of Allah. You don’t have to demonize Islam. Just tell the unvarnished truth.

                      I have no respect for the followers of the pedophile prophet.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    True, but a “heretical” Muslim who accepts the concept of Separation Of Church and State should be allowed IMO to stay here (or enter the US).

                    IMO we have to encourage Muslims to change their religious beliefs so that we can live in peace beside them.

                    Mind you, this has to include smacking down the Muslims who By Their Actions show that they aren’t willing to live in peace beside non-Muslims.

                    IE Reward Muslims who will live with non-Muslims in peace and punish Muslims who will not do so.

                    • True, but a “heretical” Muslim who accepts the concept of Separation Of Church and State should be allowed IMO to stay here (or enter the US).

                      It may be true that being a good/devout Muslim is antithetical to being a good American citizen, but then, I have no trouble believing in “bad Presbyterians”, “bad Catholics”, “bad Lutherans”, “bad Mormons”, “bad Asatruar”, bad anything else. Why not accept that there are bad Muslims (in that sense) too?

                    • … bad Asatruar …

                      Oh, is that the plural of Asatru? Thanks; I would never have figured that plural out myself. Learned something new today.

                    • I don’t think it’s a plural exactly. From the context in which I’ve seen it I think the “r” suffix indicates a person. “asatru” is “devotion to the gods”. “Asatruar” is a person who has devotion to the gods.

                    • Ah; I thought “Asatru” was the term for both the religious practice and the practitioner.

                      So this is more like the difference between the words Christianity and Christian, or Buddhism and Buddhist, or Islam and Muslim. Got it.

                    • I know and work with some of these heretical muslims. One is an extreme atheist. But if their children read the Koran to discover their roots. We could have a new generation of jihadis,

                      Western Civilization was producing a world of moderate, heretical, moslems. Then we discovered oil in Saudi Arabia. The newly rich Saudis funded moslem madrasas around the world that teach the fundamentalist Wahabi sect of Islam. Concurrently, cultural marxists were pushing multi-culturalism. The seeds of jihad were sown and nourished. Now we are reaping the rewards.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Then we have to “slap down” the next generation.

                      Look, I understand what you’re saying.

                      I just hope that we don’t have to go that route.

                      Better to teach Muslims, world-wide, that to attack non-Muslims for the crime of being non-Muslims means a strong reactions from us than to attempt to permanently declare an entire religion to be illegal.

                      Sorry but I hear enough shit about Conservative Christians now that I don’t want to set a precedence for government actions against a religion.

                      Mind you, I suspect that the policy that I’d support might mean slapping down the more Kookier Lefties but I don’t have any problems with that. 😈

                    • I’m trying to move the Overton window so that your position sounds reasonable.

                      The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. But humans tend to be bad at that.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Sigh, I’m fully aware of human failings so no argument there.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Nod. Muslims already in the US (especially citizens) should be judged only by their Actions not by their religion.

                  Now, I’d support extremely close checking out of Muslims before they are allowed in the US.

                  Of course, if a Muslim had put his life on the line by supporting US efforts against the extremists, that’s all the “checking out” needed IMO.

                  • So far a fair amount of muslim citizens have suffered sudden jihad. Makes it hard to trust or tolerate any of them.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Perhaps, but in many cases of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome”, there were warning signs that people in authority ignored because of the fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”.

                      Once accusations of “Islamophobia” can be discounted, cases of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” could be handled before deaths occur.

                • Is not allowing Moslems entry to the US abridging their religious liberties? My paternal grandfather entered on his second attempt at immigrate here.

                  • No. There are all sorts of non-citizens not allowed entry. My husband had to swear he was not a member of a communist party (technically political, but they sure act like a religion). He had to swear he would not practice polygamy. (That one is certainly religion-targeted.)

                    And that’s just off the top of my head, and it’s been over a decade. *counts on fingers* yeah, fourteen years since he applied for his green card.

                    Anyway, the Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein apply to American Citizens. We aren’t required to guarantee those rights to the rest of the world, and I get the distinct impression the rest of the world doesn’t particularly want them. (Especially the one about arms. They really don’t want that right. And they aren’t big on free speech. And, let’s see, a lot of the world has and likes a state religion . . .)

                    There’s no right to come to the USA from elsewhere, or to go to any other country from here. We just tend to be rather casual about granting permission to our near neighbors, and they return the favor. Visiting from overseas is a little harder: my in-laws, to visit their grandchildren, had to convince the American Embassy in their homeland that they did in fact intend to return home (having a house half-built did that) and show they had return plane tickets.

                    • This Bulgarian doctor I carpooled with said that most of his countrymen were hunters and had rifles. I asked him what was the most popular hunting rifle. He grinned and said “AK47 of course”.

                • Only as long as we persist in believing in the delusion that we can live in a society with those who hate us and regard any agreement with us as binding only until they have the power to break it. Doesn’t really matter if their god is Mohammed or Marx, Allah or Alinsky.

              • Orthodox Jews might not drink booze with you, but I’m sure they’d be amenable to drinking coffee, tea, soda or juice with you.

                • Since when are Orthodox teatotal? Most of the guys I know will bring the good stuff to a party.

                  ((many memories of scotch at shul on shabbes))

                  • Not teetotal but the wine would need to be kosher. Whiskey, rum and bourbon don’t have to be. hmmm…I smell a loophole.

                    • “I can taste neither the fermentation of grape, nor of wheat.”

                    • Correction: All booze needs to be kosher, but unflavored whiskey & beer can usually be assumed to be so; wine, on the other hand, becomes unkosher if anyone but an observant Jew handles it between pressing and pasteurization.

                    • As long as it’s not passover for the whiskey

      • Anonymous Coward

        Ask prospective immigrants whether or not they believe in the supremacy of sharia law over US law. If they answer yes, they immediately get rejected. If at any point in the future they are found advocating for sharia, they get deported for lying on their immigration forms. Taqiya that !

    • This is why I am working on getting my concealed carry.

      • Even without, keep in the mindset of carrying. ‘Eyes up, Eyes out’. And always know your escape route and what defensive tools at your disposal. Given that many are so scared that they work to disarm you, at least make yourself look like a less easy target than the folks that don’t realize evil exists.

  15. As far as Obama’s schedule goes, of course he went to the ballgame. Surely you don’t think the ESPN President would pass up a sporting event (particularly a “historic” one) just because of an itty-bitty terrorist attack that wasn’t even in the US?

    I know the game of “If a Republican had done this…” gets old really fast, but I can’t help contrast this with the reaction to Bush finishing the story he’d already started reading to a class full of kids on 9/11. A Republican taking 15 minutes to finish reading a story so as not to panic a bunch of schoolchildren? Clear proof he is unfit for leadership. A Democrat taking several hours to watch a baseball game? Not even worth mentioning.

    • There was nothing for Bush to do; the emergency services didn’t need his permission to roll, the spy services didn’t need his permission to start digging for the culprits, the military didn’t need his orders to start preparing. Nobody knew what was going on, other than “something big.” So he kept on with his planned schedule. Which was exactly the correct course.

      It reminded me of when a US ship was attacked while Reagan was President. An excited staffer called him at his house in California, where he was taking a short vacation, and woke him at oh-dark-thirty. Reagan said something like “Why did you bother me with this? The Navy knows what to do. I’ll look at a report in the morning.”

      • And it’s not like Bush could have just leapt up and run for Air Force 1. He was, at the moment, secure… Secret Service would need a few minutes to prep moving him, wouldn’t they?

      • And jumping up and scaring the kids would have accomplished nothing.

        • it would have gotten him tackled by his detail. They were making sure and certain he could be moved, and trust me. if they decided he needed to stop reading and get out of there, NOW, they would have done so.
          When they decided the VP needed “repositioning” they grabbed him and went . . . he was still in a seated position holding his pen, and half way down the hall when he was able to ask them what the heck was going on.

    • Realistically, having Obam occuppied with a ball game and schmoozing the Castros is probably the best option — it limits the degree to which he can f[oul] up any appropriate response.

      Shame AF-1 couldn’t have just left Cuba without him, of course. They could have claimed he defected.

      • It would have been more appropriate to get one of the old 1950 era AF1 aircraft to take him down.

    • The condemnation of Bush was exactly what came to mind when I heard about Obama and the ballgame. Yes, I know O had advisers, etc., with him but there is still the matter of “appearing” like he cared about what was happening. Watching him to the wave just hours after the blasts turned my stomcah.

  16. Just as a minor note: we not only had a plan for Vietnam (or rather, Nixon did) we implemented it and won that war. It was the post-Watergate Democrat sweep of Congress that threw away that victory by reneging on promises to supply and support the South Vietnamese government.

    Of course, the Media has no interest in reporting facts, especially those facts which showed how badly they’d mis-reported the war. The TET Offensive was a military disaster but PR success; Peter Arnett has been outed as fabricating that “To save the village we had to destroy it” quote, and the list of media sins goes on at tedious and aggravating length.

    • And any time this truth is mentioned about Vietnam, it’s immediately pooh-poohed because everyone know we lost…

    • In addition to the fact that we actually won the war (a later invasion–after the Vietnam war was over–is when Saigon fell), it was also an extremely effective campaign in the “70 years war” against the Soviet Union. It cost them a whole lot more, in terms of their ability to pay, than it did us. As a result, it was a major factor in our winning the Cold War.

  17. Now we are fighting an enemy that won’t be satisfied until we are dead. Not just our leaders. Not just our military. All of us.

    Blatant hyperbole of the worst sort. I’m absolutely certain they’d settle for our enslavement.

    • Such things call for a calm, rational, well thought out measured response. Of course, the Megaton is a unit of measure…

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Correct. They are into “Convert Or Die”.

      Their violence is intended to force our surrender on their terms.

      • One reason reportedly cited for State’s reluctance to declare genocide was that ISIS was apparently happy to allow Christians who paid the Jizyah to remain (mostly; sorta-kinda) unmolested.

        • The Nazis made sure to loot the Warsaw Ghetto before they exterminated it, too. The jizyah doesn’t have a maximum amount, so it can be simply making it more painful to be a non-Muslim than a Muslim, or it can be peacefully extracting all the assets from the non-Muslims before killing them. I believe ISIS’s implementation is the latter.

      • Our response should be Surrender (stop fighting) or Die!

      • Okay. I won’t convert and they can die.

  18. I do not trust Trump to do the right thing. Indeed, I find the idea of legalizing torture questionable at best (something doesn’t become moral just because it’s legalized), and I especially despise Trump’s statement that he would go after the families of terrorists, and kill women and children.

    Having said that, I also consider civilian deaths and the destruction of mosques, schools and hospitals, a sad necessity when they are the result of being made military targets by our enemies. Such deaths are on the heads of our enemies, not ours. If we aren’t provoked, we will leave them alone.

    Indeed, when our enemies use human shields, we should make two things clear: (1) Our “manly” enemies are hiding behind the skirts of women and children, and (2) this will NOT be enough to stop us from winning.

    We would do very well to remember that we are doing this because our enemies deliberately target women, children, and non-military men for destruction. Indeed, they take perverse pleasure in causing mayhem and death among people who aren’t shields of any sort. Killing women and children being used as shields isn’t nearly as despicable as targeting non-shield, non-combat citizens for the sole purpose of creating terror.

    (Incidentally, I would add this: we would do well to remember that terrorists have perfected the “Israel is killing women and children” technique, helped in part by a mostly-complacent media that ignores the fact that (1) those women and children are killed because Israel is attacking military targets, and (2) that those attacks are usually a direct response to actual military action, such as launching rockets from that location. We should be prepared for this technique to be used against us, and we will have to remember that our media is on the side of the terrorists in this endeavor.)

    • I would add this: we would do well to remember that terrorists have perfected the “Israel is killing women and children” technique

      It should be noted that when their own rockets land among their civilian shields they still blame Israel for those casualties.

    • The Other Sean

      I recommend drone attacks against journalists who help the enemy propagandize.

    • And thus our media has joined the suicide cult.

    • I especially despise Trump’s statement that he would go after the families of terrorists

      I believe that Israel has a reciprocal policy for dealing with suicide bombers: bomb us, we bulldoze the family house. So, its worth asking what the reciprocal policy would be. What about deporting all relatives of a terrorist back to the homeland? Thus far, any terrorists on US (and I believe also EU) soil have been treated with kid gloves; relatives who are involved in aiding the terrorists are not prosecuted very stringently (if at all), so they have nothing to fear from us.

      • Except I don’t think that’s what he said. From what I recall, I think he said “shoot.” I could be misremembering.

      • Deporting all the way back to the homeland seems excessive. Perhaps we could drop them off just 20,000 feet away from their native soil and let them make the rest of the trip without our support? Oderint dum metuant.

        Why yes, I am a terrorist, how acute of you to notice. And how else do you expect to dissuade zealots from attacking us?

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      If domestic terrorists, going after the family would be attainder, unless the family is complicit in the terrorism.

      Now I am tired of all the parents whining about their little angels being punished, or blaming the cops for deaths caused by their own negligence. I do have temptations regarding the punishment of families.

      I wholly endorse the decision of the United States government to only accept unconditional surrender from Japan, and to drop the atomic bomb.

    • William O. B'Livion

      I especially despise Trump’s statement that he would go after the families of terrorists, and kill women and children.

      He’s just being culturally sensitive, after all it’s what THEY do.

      Frankly I think we should hold the tribes they come from accountable for their actions.

      It’s called “war”, not “mumbly peg”.

      • “Frankly I think we should hold the tribes they come from accountable for their actions.”

        Not that hard to do without killing more people: “Give to us goods or money equivalent to the life insurance of all persons slain, in addition to the costs incurred in bringing him down. Or we’ll come in ourselves and take that, and the costs incurred in going to you.”

        Now, I’m not sure if we should do that. But we don’t have to jump to “Kill them all, God knows His own” from where we are now.

        • *shrug* Works for me.

          Charging and collecting Weirgelt and blood price are historically ancient, and historically precedented ways of dealing with an enemy short of all out war.

          “I especially despise Trump’s statement that he would go after the families of terrorists, and kill women and children.” – William O. B’Livion

          I do have to note that I’m not exactly horrified by Trump’s statement on that. Seems reasonable to me – and it may even be allowable under the established laws of war when dealing with Unlawful Combatants.

          • I think it’s prohibited, but I’m not sure. I do think you can do pretty much whatever you like to the Unlawful Combatants, legally speaking, but I don’t think it extends to their kith and kin.

            Also, I don’t think most of the American electorate has heard of “weregild.” Which is unfortunate.

            • Heh. I’ve been doing what I can to promote and popularize the concept, along with Letters of Marque and Reprisal since late 2001. But I’m only one man with one keyboard.

              “I do think you can do pretty much whatever you like to the Unlawful Combatants, legally speaking, but I don’t think it extends to their kith and kin.” – 60guilders

              I’d have to check. I know that there’s a lot of latitude for reprisals under the Laws of War for dealing with Unlawful Combatants, but it’s been a long time since I’ve studied them and I’m not sure just how far they extend on that.

              If it’s extended under “giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of declared war,” then your latitude may go a long, long way…

              • I’m with you on the Letters of Marque and Reprisal. We could do a lot of good with that.

                • Privateers and bounties, yup. 🙂

                  • Who will step up to be our generation’s Francis Drake?

                  • Free-range Oyster

                    How would that work with the current conflict? I mean, a privateer has to make a profit (unless the .gov is paying bounties, I suppose), and none of the groups we currently face have much worth raiding, unless we want to try taking over the Arghan opium trade. I guys who’d love to take a shot at smashing terrorist infrastructure, or blowing the hell out of some Somali pirates, but you still have to buy bullets and beans for an operation like that, however enthusiastic the crew are. Although… hmm, you could give letters of marque to cyberwarriors, let them keep a majority share of whatever they could take from the assets of the crime bosses, warlords, and pampered sheiks who fund the terrorists.

                    • Now that’s something I’d not thought of, and something we should be doing, if we’re not already.
                      As for the rest, that could be an issue–although with the Somali pirates, there’s money to be made in salvage, I’d be thinking.

                    • How many shipping lines would hire a privateer to go in and do what too many navies won’t?

                    • Taking that as a serious question, ‘Oyster, I’d have to give it some thought and research. I’m sure that there’s ways to make it work, and turn a profit, however.

                      Heh. Just off the top of my head: the Magnificent Seven option?

                      Approach the families of people who’ve lost friends and family members to terrorist attacks, and have them take up a collection to pay bounties…

                      (As in the movie where the villagers all contributed whatever they had to come up with the measly amount of funds that they offered Brenner and McQueen.)

                    • Free-range Oyster

                      Oh it was definitely a serious question. I would love to see that work, though I think few people would be able to come up with the cash. I had reason to put out feelers on a risky job a few years ago; my contact ballparked it at $300k+, and that was a known-location extraction in Mexico, not a manhunt and assassination in Iraq. Still, if folks can scrape it together, or if someone can come up with enemy targets worth pillaging, I’m all for it. Any time someone can do well by doing good, I’m in favor.

                    • There is precedent in the response to Indian raids, even if I only know of it via abuses.

                      Family history of a guy who lost his father in the last Indian raid in California, and his family went into debt to pay the posse that got them. There was some additional attempts to slander those guys as not only taking advantage of widows, but of just randomly killing Indians and then billing the family. It’s possible that may have happened in other cases– good grief, look at what happens when thugs are shot in the act in our cities today, so we can be pretty sure it would be claimed either way and it had to have happened at least once just by mistaken identity if nothing else– but in this specific case they were definitely the right murderers. They had scalps that matched the victims, including the distinctive and impressive mustache of one of the murdered men.

                      That extra information is included as a thumbnail of the arguments for and against notion.

                    • Crap. We keep running out of thread here, so I’m having to TF this. I hope it shows up below your last post, ‘Oyster. If not, I’m sure you can connect the dots up…

                      I *think* it could work, but *how* it could work is something I’d have to research and work out. For instance, I’m pretty sure there’s enough funds and treasure in the hands of the people back terrorists to fund a privateering effort or three – with commensurate risks, of course. (Yeah, like old school privateering was risk free, huh?)

                      Of course, the easiest would be if various governmental entities or agencies were to offer not only Letters of Marque, but also bounties as well. Or fees… (Look up the history of Camper’s Merc School and Recondo sometime, and its association with the spooks down in South and Central Am, back in the 80’s,. It’s not unprecedented.) Or various NGOs, for that matter.

                      However, in today’s political climate, you’d be as likely to have various governmental entities declare private operators to be outlaw and hunt them rather than the terrorists, I’d think. Governments hate competition, and hate being made to look bad even worse.

                      Raiding the drug and smuggling operations would be another option. After all, that’s how privateering worked historically: by attacking the enemy’s trade and trade routes.

                      That’s all off the cuff, ‘natch. Doing a white paper level study and proposal would take a lot of time and research, but if I could get a couple of old buddies interested, might be doable… hmm.

                    • Modern day version of going aviking, the boots on the ground collect the spoils of the campaign.

                      It’s also how medieval mercenary companies were often compensated.

          • William O. B'Livion

            That was me poorly quoting another poster.

            There’s a lot of things I despise about Trump, but that isn’t one.

        • We don’t have to, but we will.

          British-descended cultures are not known for going by moderate steps – it’s zero (or minor action) to annihilate in one giant leap.

          • As Kipling put it:

            Et Dona Ferentes

            In extended observation of the ways and works of man,
            From the Four-mile Radius roughly to the Plains of Hindustan:
            I have drunk with mixed assemblies, seen the racial ruction rise,
            And the men of half Creation damning half Creation’s eyes.

            I have watched them in their tantrums, all that Pentecostal crew,
            French, Italian, Arab, Spaniard, Dutch and Greek, and Russ and Jew,
            Celt and savage, buff and ochre, cream and yellow, mauve and white,
            But it never really mattered till the English grew polite;

            Till the men with polished toppers, till the men in long frock-coats,
            Till the men who do not duel, till the men who war with votes,
            Till the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Lawrence took his grid,
            Began to “beg your pardon” and — the knowing croupier hid.

            Then the bandsmen with their fiddles, and the girls that bring the beer,
            Felt the psychological moment, left the lit Casino clear;
            But the uninstructed alien, from the Teuton to the Gaul,
            Was entrapped, once more, my country, by that suave, deceptive drawl.

            As it was in ancient Suez or ‘neath wilder, milder skies,
            I “observe with apprehension” how the racial ructions rise;
            And with keener apprehension, if I read the times aright,
            Hear the old Casino order: “Watch your man, but be polite.

            “Keep your temper. Never answer (that was why they spat and swore).
            Don’t hit first, but move together (there’s no hurry) to the door.
            Back to back, and facing outward while the linguist tells ’em how –
            `Nous sommes allong ar notre batteau, nous ne voulong pas un row.'”

            So the hard, pent rage ate inward, till some idiot went too far…
            “Let ’em have it!” and they had it, and the same was merry war –
            Fist, umbrella, cane, decanter, lamp and beer-mug, chair and boot –
            Till behind the fleeing legions rose the long, hoarse yell for loot.

            Then the oil-cloth with its numbers, like a banner fluttered free;
            Then the grand piano cantered, on three castors, down the quay;
            White, and breathing through their nostrils, silent, systematic, swift –
            They removed, effaced, abolished all that man could heave or lift.

            Oh, my country, bless the training that from cot to castle runs –
            The pitfall of the stranger but the bulwark of thy sons –
            Measured speech and ordered action, sluggish soul and un – perturbed,
            Till we wake our Island-Devil-nowise cool for being curbed!

            When the heir of all the ages “has the honour to remain,”
            When he will not hear an insult, though men make it ne’er so plain,
            When his lips are schooled to meekness, when his back is bowed to blows –
            Well the keen aas-vogels know it-well the waiting jackal knows.

            Build on the flanks of Etna where the sullen smoke-puffs float –
            Or bathe in tropic waters where the lean fin dogs the boat –
            Cock the gun that is not loaded, cook the frozen dynamite –
            But oh, beware my Country, when my Country grows polite!

  19. Just as our Constitution has provisions against cruel and unusual punishment for criminals, those same protections should apply to those who are enemies of our country.

    No. Not if they are truly our enemies. The thing is, I don’t like the idea of a school teacher who is mistaken as an enemy being waterboarded for information that she does not even possess. I’d like to be sure that those subjected to interrogation techniques that are truly horrific really are our enemies. This may not be practical. I don’t have an answer for the problem.

    • Although, I gather there is some question as to whether torture actually yields useful information. In which case, if it is useless, then why do it? (I hope I don’t sound too awful. I’m genuinely conflicted about it all, in case that isn’t clear from the above.)

      • Whether or not torture yields useful information depends on the situation as well as the capability (and desires) of the torturer and his/her allies. Someone who breaks under torture will say whatever s/he thinks will get the torture to stop. When the torturer or his allies can and will test the information in question, that’s the same as the truth. When the information cannot be tested, that’s whatever s/he thinks the torturer will find most plausible. When the torturer is demanding a confession, that’s a confession, regardless of whether or not the individual is guilty.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          But the US doesn’t “torture” for confessions.

        • This is why torture is best left to the professionals; do not try this at home!

          While water-boarding is unpleasant in the extreme, I question whether an action which inflicts no permanent, long-term or even short-term harm can be considered torture. The problem here is that “torture” is one of those words with such negative associations and such lack of commonly agreed definition that its use in a discussion is largely inflammatory, intended to win by feelz what logic and fact cannot claim.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IMO Most of the talk about “torture doesn’t work” is from people who don’t want to face the moral question of “do we torture this individual to get information that will save lives” or “should we not torture and allow innocents to die”.

        Tom Kratman talks about measures that “make torture work” while acknowledging what torturing people does to the soul of the torturer.

        • Tom Kratman talks about measures that “make torture work” while acknowledging what torturing people does to the soul of the torturer.

          Definitely an ethical dilemma, and one that I can’t answer. From my lack of experience, it seems to be a choice between two bad options: torture a suspect in the hopes of retrieving actionable intelligence, or don’t torture and live with the nagging guilt that you’ve passed up possibly vital information that could have saved lives.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            There was an article about ethics in war where a soldier said (IIRC) that he’d do the torture and spend the rest of his life remember the “shit” he had done.

            I know that I wouldn’t like to be in that situation.

          • William O. B'Livion

            No dilemma at all.

            If I know you have information I need, and I know you’re a certain sort of person because you were *caught*, and I know that if you don’t tell me people who are on my side, or are neutral are going to die?

            Nope. No dilemma there.

            People make choices. If you chose to put on a uniform and fight “me” head on, you get POW status, some pro-forma questioning and a “comfy” bunk in a POW camp “for the duration”.

            If you choose to hide amongst a civilian populace, in mufti, attacking targets that make NO military sense, much less designed to achieve a military objective?

            Paris, Mumbia, Spain, Belsen, Nigeria and dozens more.

            No, no dilemma at all.

      • Kratman did a column on this. The answer, as with many things, is both yes and no.

      • William O. B'Livion

        There is no question among those who understand what is going on.

        There are two ways to question someone, one is to randomly grab someone off the street (or pseudo-randomly, whatever) shove bamboo splinters under their fingernails and then take down what they say.

        This sort of “torture” does not work, because they WILL say whatever they can to make it stop, and likely not only do THEY not know the answers, you don’t even know the right QUESTIONS.

        This is torture not as a technique for finding answers, but for ruling by fear, and it *doesn’t* work long term.

        The other method is to grab people who have some relation to the answers you want to know. Like find some guy moving some artillery shells from one cache to another. You investigate him, you ask him where he got it, who he’s taking it to. You go through his house and computer, cellphone, papers etc. you look at who he’s emailing, who he’s talking on the phone to.

        You build his “social network”, but you have to do this FAST because they will find out he’s missing and the *interesting* people will start to cover their tracks or cut their “network connection”.

        Then you watch THOSE people. Some are completely innocent. Some are not. Those who have been in “the business” for a while can tell. You expand the social network. Then you hit as much of it as you can in one night. You start early because some of those people have NO stomach for even being handcuffed, much less being arrest. Once you make it clear that you DGAF about criminal rights–that this isn’t “crime”, it’s “war”, so they aren’t getting a trial they’re a POW camp “for the duration”. Some will talk. Some will assert innocence, some will not say a word.

        The ones that talk give you information.

        Watch how this guy draws:

        This is what you do. You fill in details here and there.

        You do it from sources you KNOW are connected because you’ve seen the emails, and you’ve got records of the phone calls. You’ve got the rough outline and by doing that homework you now have a REALLY good idea of who has the answers.

        And you know what questions to ask. And you know what *wrong* answers look like.

        So you can turn it up a notch. You can start to play games with their senses, you have baselined certain reactions, so you can change it up and see what happens.

        And now the people you’re grabbing are more solidly connected to your problem.

        So if you’re in a hurry you pull a t-shirt over their head and pour a water bottle on it. After all, you GOT the guy because 5 of his buddies gave him up AND there was a small room under his house with enough munitions[1] to blow up the whole damn block. He’s *NOT* innocent, and there’s 5 other teams pouring water over other guy’s faces RIGHT NOW and they’re all sending that information back to a central point where some folks are trying like mad to fill that picture in.

        THAT is where “torture” works.

        Although frankly I don’t consider waterboarding to be torture, it’s a brutal interrogation technique. Nor do I consider getting punched in the face once or twice. OTOH, you strap someone down to a chair, duct tape their arms to the chair arms (on the hairy bits) and then do some stuff with a thick rubber band, why *that* is torture. And it worked (not me, someone from a war a long time ago somewhere else), and it was “actionable intelligence”.

        So yeah, asking questions and providing consequences for wrong answers is a reasonable tactic.

        This isn’t law, it’s war.

        [1] I am a fervent supporter of the the right to own the tools for defense of self, family and others. Artillery shells, in absence of actually artillery pieces does not count. Also I think that storing large numbers of such things in bare holes in the ground in occupied neighborhoods is MASSIVELY unfriendly.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      It is my understanding that nobody is “water-boarded” unless the superiors of the person doing the “water-boarding” has strong evidence that the person has such information.

      In addition, Tom Kratman has stated that for any such “interrogation” method to work, the interrogator must have information that the person being interrogated doesn’t know the interrogator has.

      So a random teacher isn’t going to be interrogated in such a way unless the interrogator knows that the teacher has some knowledge that he needs to get.

      Leaving aside the morality, no intelligent interrogator wants to waste time on somebody who really doesn’t know anything.

      • It was my understanding that some teachers of the kids of known terrorists already have been imprisoned. Not sure if they were also tortured. (Been a few years since I read the relevant information, and my memory is not great.) The teachers had no useful information, nor had they participated in any terrorist act. They were just teachers. So, not random. But still civilians who perpetrated no violence. I don’t think they should receive the benefits that US citizens receive. They are not US citizens. But neither do I think they should be imprisoned for life with no recourse, when all they did was teach the wrong set of kids.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          No offense intended but “teachers of children of terrorists have been imprisoned” is something that I want Hard Evidence for happening.

          After 9/11 there was talk from “Liberals” of “thousands of innocent Muslims in the US being “disappeared””.

          IE the “Evil Government” took them away and they never returned.

          Strangely, the “Liberals” never publish a list of names of “those who disappeared”.

          Of course, we’re almost eight years into Obama’s Presidency so if it had actually happened, it would be Front Page News and the people involved in doing this would be serving time.

          • No offense intended…

            None taken. 🙂 Since I can’t remember my source – which seemed reliable at the time – my comment becomes just another unreliable “they say” or “I’ve heard” and does not merit serious consideration.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              But somebody who acknowledges that is worthy of being listened to. [Smile]

            • William O. B'Livion

              “Everybody” knows that George W. Bush said that the Constitution was “just a goddamned piece of paper!”

              Widely reported, article of faith 

              Utter lie.

          • William O. B'Livion

            I’ll bet thousands *did* disappear.

            Just not by our government.

            In a country as big as ours, as porous as ours I can see 5 or 8 thousand guys who overstayed their visas and just decided that maybe this would be a good time to GTFO. Especially if they were living on or attending colleges where they kept hearing about how bad the USG was.

    • The thing is, I don’t like the idea of a school teacher who is mistaken as an enemy being waterboarded for information that she does not even possess. I’d like to be sure that those subjected to interrogation techniques that are truly horrific really are our enemies.

      I’d like to point out that these two phrases imply a conclusion that is extremely controversial, and a second one that is even less supported; that waterbording is torture, in the historically understood sense, and that waterboarding is a truly horrific interrogation technique.

      The three points that I do not expect to change any minds but must point to are that everyone I know who has been waterboarded says that it is NOT torture, and they say they don’t know anybody who was waterboarded and thinks it’s torture, the second is that we’ve got examples of really horrific interrogation techniques and they result in maiming, not temporary panic, and the third is sort of seasonal. Check out some of the experts in ancient history as they explain how scourging and crucifixion worked, especially if they get into the details of different types of whips and the limits imposed.
      (For example, the Jewish population had a limit imposed on them by the Romans– only 40 strikes with the kind of whip that takes chunks out of you, or they were breaking the law. They’d generally only do 39, then, to have one spare. Aiming for the wedding tackle was acceptable.)

      I believe that was todays Catholic Answers, if anyone wants the really grizzly details.

      I’m not interested in doing the torture wars argument here again, I know how utterly futile it is. Like I said, don’t expect to change any minds.

      Just pointing some things out.

    • Question: the way you phrased your comment (and your subsequent) makes it sound like you believe waterboarding is “truly horrific” form of interrogation, that amounts to torture. Is that a fair summary of your position?

      Because I maintain, as I have always maintained, that waterboarding definitely falls in the category of “harsh treatment” but in no way constitutes torture. It causes no permanent harm, either physical or psychological. (Unless the person doing it screws up, which is why they have a physician standing by to make sure they don’t accidentally drown the person they’re waterboarding.) It has a similar effect to torture in only one way: the person undergoing waterboarding ends up wanting to make it stop NOW, which is why it’s used in training our soldiers. But I can’t stand how many people have lied (note that I’m NOT saying you are one of them) about waterboarding by saying that it causes pain, or psychological harm, or anything that would make it torture. Those statements are flat-out NOT true, and many of the media reporting on waterboarding have just plain LIED about it — so that now, there are millions of Americans who believe that we have tortured prisoners with official government sanction. We have not. We have waterboarded people, not tortured them. It’s a very important distinction.

      I hope you don’t take this as any kind of personal attack. I don’t believe you are in any way lying, as I said — and I might be misreading you, which is why I asked. I just want to be very clear on the distinction between harsh treatment and torture, because when people blur those lines, it leads to nasty results. (E.g., a law justifying waterboarding being taken as a law justifying torture, which could lead to interrogators going WAY too far.)

  20. Bjorn Hasseler


  21. “You know, we work within laws. They don’t work within laws — they have no laws.”

    Completely untrue. “They” are operating within a comprehensive legal apparatus that includes what we refer to as criminal law and laws of war They undoubtedly have received legal opinions from scholars they consider authoritative that their actions are permissible or even mandatory, and that they are legally obligated to overturn our legal system and replace it with theirs.

    As long as Trump’s commonplace misconception continues to inform US and other policy, “finishing the job” is irrelevant, since we haven’t even defined what the job is.

    • Not so. “The job” is protecting the US and its people. This means ensuring that any hostile force intent on injuring or destroying us is reduced to inability or non-existence. It’s really not that difficult to define at all.

    • Oh they have laws alright. Laws crafted by a desert warlord. I read an article recently where moslem scholars came out with a rule book on the lawful treatment of slave wives. Such things like if you have bought a mother and daughter, you may only have relations with one or the other,

  22. My first reaction was probably similar to what many of you had to that comment. I cringed and said to myself that we couldn’t allow ourselves to become like the enemy.

    Haven’t read the rest of the OP yet but I had to comment on this.

    When people make the “become like the enemy” or variations of that, I have pointed out that there’s a lot of room between the “kid gloves” approach and “as bad as they are”; we can do a lot worse than we have been and still be better than them.

    But on reading this I had a further thought. The most certain way of becoming like the enemy is to lose. Because then they take over and we, at least the survivors, are them.

    • The Other Sean

      Totally, dude.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      But we’ve got to become like them! Precedents of international law. We have over two million people in prisons, and they aren’t going to use knives to cut off their own heads.

    • Great piece by Ringo (as usual). I think Option One is the best option. Option Zero would make a great story.

    • Do you know where I can find more of Ringo’s posts? I can’t access Baen’s Bar.

      • Reality Observer

        Hmmm. Well there are some on his own site. Otherwise, though, they seem to be scattered through the Bar, not collected into one place.

        Question, though – why can’t you access the Bar?

        • technical issues. Between new software, new programmer, and my being a PEBCAK I can’t access Baen’s Bar. The last time I acessed the bar was before Arnold died. I think Arnold was the guy who dersigned and set up the original bar.

          • Emily, email or facebook me directly and I’ll help you get back on, if you like. NNTP works like a dream now, and I get it directly in my email client.

            matthew DOT amsel AAAATTTTT mail dot mcgill dot ca

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        That was a column he wrote for some newspaper way back in the day, it ended up on one version of his website. When I was last active on the Bar, Ringo had switched to Facebook in frustration with Bar software.

        • He used to write for the NY Post, back before 9/11 — that is where I first discovered his writing, in fact, and it lead me back to SF/F after a decade in which I found nothing interesting offered.

          It is likely in their archives, but my searching for him only produced Beatles items.

  23. “Operated on the assumption that war can be clear, by the rules, with no collateral damage”

    Actually, from the early 1950s up through the end of the Cold War, the US stood ready to incinerate tens of millions of civilian Russians and Chinese at a moment’s notice.

    In WWII, not only did we kill a large number of German and Japanese civilians, we also killed a large number of *French* civilians, as a predictable (and predicted) side-effect of the bombing campaign to destroy Nazi mobility by turning the area around Normandy into a “Railway Desert.”

    In WWI, the British blockade of Germany led to the deaths from malnutrition and disease of many, many German and Austrian civilians.

    Whenever the Golden Age of rule-following warfare might have been, it wasn’t in the 20th Century.

    • In a war for survival you can’t play by Marquis of Queensberry rules.

    • Anyone who thinks there have ever been any “laws” to warfare based on anything but “we will do worse to yours than you do to ours”, or that war has ever been “civilized”, is too naive to be allowed out of the nursery.

      “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.” W. T. Sherman

  24. “My first reaction was probably similar to what many of you had to that comment. I cringed and said to myself that we couldn’t allow ourselves to become like the enemy. We are better than them.” – Amanda S. Green

    It’s a good thing that you qualified that statement with “many of you,” Amanda.

    Ethics are not tactics, nor are they strategy. You can go a long way when you’re fighting a war to the knife without becoming your enemy, and without ceasing to be “better than them.” (Define “better”.)

    My uncles didn’t become like the Imperial Japanese and the Nazi Germans in WWII by taking the fight to them and prosecuting it just as hard and as savagely as civilized Americans are capable of. And civilized Americans are capable of prosecuting an existential war against a dangerous enemy very hard and very savagely indeed… just ask the Apache and the Comanche about that.

    And then they cleaned their guns, oiled and set them aside, and came back home and went back to raising families and running businesses and building things. It’s what civilized people do: we take off the “thin veneer” when we need to, do what needs to be done, and then put the veneer back on and go about our business.

    Savages can’t do that: their veneer of civilization isn’t there to put back on, and the veneer of savagery isn’t thin.

    “Just as our Constitution has provisions against cruel and unusual punishment for criminals, those same protections should apply to those who are enemies of our country.
    – Amanda S. Green


    The protections that are applied and afforded to enemies in war time are those of the Rules and Laws of Warfare and the Articles of Geneva to which we are signatory, and only to those who abide by those same laws during conflict.

    Unlawful Combatants are accorded the protections of those laws and articles only insofar as civilized militaries and nations elect to extend them, and no farther.

    I suspect – and I hope that I am wrong – that we are no longer the people that we were in the days of my uncles, father, and grandfathers. We may be too soft a people to wage war to the knife, and knife to the hilt, in the way that it needs to be waged in an existential conflict.

    If so… *shrug* I’m glad I won’t live long enough to see the eventual outcome. I kinda liked Western Civilization while it lasted. I’d hate to have to be around to mourn its passing.

    • You are reading a lot into my post that isn’t there — or at least that I didn’t mean to be there. So let me clarify a bit. I don’t want to see us resorting to the same sort of torture the enemy uses. Do I think we can do more to persuade those we capture to give up any valid information they have? You bet. But there is a line in the sand we don’t cross because the information, in many instances, will not be valid. It will be what the person being tortured thinks the other side wants.

      As for your other objection about what I said, it depends on who the “enemy combatant” is. You are exactly right if that combatant is not a US citizen. However, as we have seen, some of the enemy are and that means the Constitutional guarantees will apply, at least up to a point.

      You aren’t the only one who has had family members who fought in WWII and who did everything they could to insure victory for the US. No, they didn’t become like the enemy but they also — at least I hope they weren’t — burying prisoners to their necks in the sand or beheading them simply to terrorize other prisoners. That is the point I was trying to make.

      As for the rest of it, if you think I don’t want to see us take the battle to the enemy and do everything necessary to win, you are wrong.

      • “You are reading a lot into my post that isn’t there — or at least that I didn’t mean to be there.” – Amanda

        Fair enough. And that’s entirely possible. It’s easy to do so in this context, on this particular subject.

        It’s why I like to quote-and-attribute: so that I can as much as possible limit my response to exactly what the person said that I’m referring to – and even then, it sometimes fails, if that makes sense.

        “I don’t want to see us resorting to the same sort of torture the enemy uses.” – Amanda

        Fair enough.

        And… *shrug* We differ on this. At this point, I no longer care. If that sounds cold, or inhuman, well… can’t be helped. I can be awfully cold at times. I gave up apologizing for it years ago.

        “But there is a line in the sand we don’t cross because the information, in many instances, will not be valid. It will be what the person being tortured thinks the other side wants.” – Amanda

        There are differing opinions on the viability and validity of methods or torture for extracting information. I’m really not qualified to make a determination on any of them, and I’m kind of thankful that that falls outside of my experience.

        Leaving torture for information aside, for the nonce… at some point, if and when we do decide that we are at war as a people, and that it is an existential conflict, then we will be required at some point to return atrocity for atrocity. It’s simply the nature of that type of conflict, or at least my read of history tells me that that is so.

        Do we agree on that much?

        “However, as we have seen, some of the enemy are and that means the Constitutional guarantees will apply, at least up to a point.” – Amanda

        At some point, we may have to decide whether those protections really extend to Fifth Columnists. I believe that that’s one of the things that “enemies foreign and domestic” refers to.

        I’m really not seeing a way around this. I don’t see a way that one can fight an enemy without of this nature, while also having an enemy within undermining our every effort.

        That may well mean that at some point we’ll have to call the Fifth Columnists what they are, declare them traitor, and treat them as unlawful combatants. Hopefully, with full knowledge of what that entails and of the drawbacks and risks of doing so.

        “You aren’t the only one who has had family members who fought in WWII and who did everything they could to insure victory for the US.” – Amanda

        *raised eyebrow* Did I state that I was?

        “No, they didn’t become like the enemy but they also — at least I hope they weren’t — burying prisoners to their necks in the sand or beheading them simply to terrorize other prisoners. That is the point I was trying to make. “ – Amanda

        *nod* I hope they weren’t as well, but I don’t know that they – or those like them – didn’t. (I’m pretty sure that the old O.S.S. for instance didn’t play nicely.)

        “As for the rest of it, if you think I don’t want to see us take the battle to the enemy and do everything necessary to win, you are wrong.” – Amanda

        I do hope that you are right and that I am wrong.

        Everything necessary to win can quite probably get pretty ugly in the long run, in all of the senses of the word ugly. We shouldn’t embrace that, but we should have as full an appraisal of what that might entail as possible – and decide how far we’re willing to go as a people.

        (I hope this posts. I’ve had the WordPress cycle like it’s posting a few times – and then apparently eat the post. And this one got kinda long: I’m not sure what the word limits are on a comment, if any.)

      • Ah. Okay, I think I see where we may have crossed wires here:

        “As for the rest of it, if you think I don’t want to see us take the battle to the enemy and do everything necessary to win, you are wrong.” – Amanda

        It’s not that I think you don’t want to see us take the battle to the enemy and do everything necessary to win, or that I don’t, or some of the others is this thread do not.

        It’s that as a people, I don’t believe that modern United Statesians are as hard a people as we once were, back in our parents day and before.

        Make sense? Not *you* personally: “us” generally.

        And I think that this is an existential conflict where we’ll need to rediscover and/or recapture that essential hardness if we’re going to prevail.

        Some of us? Yeah. On the whole? I don’t think that a nation where a significant number of our citizens seem to think that steak comes from a meat factory all ready pre-wrapped in plastic and Styrofoam even knows what hardness is any longer.

        • Yeah. How many special snowflakes will melt. Of course some will have hidden steel cores. There may be a human wave story there when then shiney snow melts away. Probably about an American whether born in the USA or not.

          • Heh. Make for an interesting novel for one of us to read.

            Would probably get denounced for Bad Think if anyone else read it. The snowflakes, of course, would run to their safe spaces and cry and shake just upon seeing the cover.

        • When it gets to that point, I rather suspect the “Little Johnny deserves a medal for participating” set will suddenly discover that they are entirely in favor of WMD usage rather than seeing Little Johnny go to war.

          I think, given available resources, that selfishness will serve perfectly well.

          • Snort. I’d rather see Little Johnny go to war, or go to war myself even as old, bent, and busted as I am now, than go the full Monty on WMD usage. But I’m maybe kinda weird that way.

            • I wouldn’t have put you in the participation medal set either.

              • Me? Nah.

                I just have some… odd… distastes when it comes to WMD usage. Especially anything that might lead to indiscriminate use of WMDs. I think it stems from my deep seated conviction that if I’m going to kill, I should do it myself and not by pushing a button, releasing a toxin or virus, or random explosives. Killing should be personal, or at least as much as you can get in a wartime environment. (Which often isn’t very.)

                Turning Mecca and Medina into glow-in-the-dark silicate beds as an object warning does not fall into/under that reluctance.

  25. Hello. As I understand it “Through Fire” has been cancelled or delayed. Can you please tell me what the pub date is for it? Thank you.

  26. But I have to wonder if he would put the fear of God into the hearts of our enemy.

    Some of them, he might– or the fear of him, to borrow from Vimes.

    Unfortunately, he’d behave in a way that’s recognizable to the bully-boy types, and goad them into a serious attack– and if it was big enough, it would work the way they expect. If they hit him hard enough in a spot he cares about, he’d roll.
    Trumps whole “tough guy” thing is based on him actually not caring, rather than caring and doing things anyways.

    We don’t need a pissing-contestant-in-chief. We’re America. We need a leader who does what’s right because it’s right, not that might do what’s right for reasons of personal pride.
    Talk like that tends to make people hem and haw about how beggars can’t be choosers and any ally– but that’s wrong, here, because the motives change what they’ll do when it gets really ugly.

    Trump is tough when he thinks he’ll win. If I can see that, then Putin can see that. I really, really don’t want to see what Putin will do to make Trump believe he can’t win.

    • Every time I self-hypnotize myself into thinking I could live with a President Trump, someone like you comes along to slap me upside the head with a bit of reality. Sigh

    • Yeah. I’m glad I had the opportunity to vote against Trump in the Utah primary last night.

      • Thank you for voting for Cruz or against Trump however you see things.

      • Reality Observer

        Yes, thank you, Arwen. The three “R”s in the household here had to settle for a moral victory…

        (The two “D”s just didn’t bother. Threw their hands up in the air – and I have some scorch marks on the walls to paint over…)

  27. The last “Total War” was within many of our lifetimes and we survived as a culture and civilization. I don’t see an alternative to the islam problem – it really is us or them. The Zero Option is the way to go. The Three Conjectures’ golden hour has run out.

  28. Another thing to keep in mind is what happens when you try to “stamp out” a religion or belief system- it tends to grow.
    Kill ’em all ain’t going to work. Hell, even the Soviets, the Maoist, the Khmer Rouge, the French Terror- none of them brutal bastiches could eradicate religion.

    • it tends to grow

      Historically, that turns out to be more the exception than the rule. A lot of belief systems throughout history have been eradicated as much by conquest as by proselytizing. And even the proselytizing was aided by the fact of people accepting the beliefs of those seen to be strong.

      • Met any Iranian zoroastrians? Those pesky Moslems killed them.

        • Well really, Zoroastrians from *anywhere*.

        • Reality Observer

          Was about to mention that…

          Now, a religion is difficult to stamp out. But you can certainly stomp real good on the political ideas that accompany it.

          Neither the Pope or the King of Spain, for instance, have the slightest inclination to call for another Thirty Years War… They learned their lesson – it is possible (maybe) that the Islamics can be taught the same one.

          But not without an equivalent amount of bloodshed, unfortunately.

  29. The American electorate made Obama the POTUS twice. That is non-trivial mass insanity.

    Some believe that we can talk and talk and talk, and then finally this electorate will somehow become wise and make better choices. This is how enablers delude themselves into believing that, this time, it will be different.

    Rather than waste so much angst on the false hope of a miraculous transformation back to common sense, perhaps you should consider preparing for the day after we hit bottom. Hint – this involves hard work.

    • And we will make Clinton POTUS next. And sup sweet, sweet, schadenfreude off you.

      • How will you keep her out of jail for mishandling classified documents? Or more likely, conspiracy charges?

        • Laws don’t apply to Hyr or politicians Hyr supports. Hopefully, the military will rediscover the meaning of “domestic enemy” if she goes too far.

      • Oh. So now you’re a fantasy writer.

        • I think he’s writing horror. Maybe he oughtta follow Billy Jeff’s advice and put some ice on it.

      • And when everything goes even more to hell under her, we will do the same.
        With interest.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Not if we nominate Cruz.

      • How will she run the country from a federal prison?

      • Just in case people missed it, here’s Hy in the previous thread: “That’s why no one should vote for the Republican scum who are preaching fear and hate.

        Here’s what I don’t get. Trump’s a horrible candidate, to the point where I wouldn’t vote for him unless he made a major sign of showing some degree of sensibility, like picking a sensible VP. Cruz is definitely not an ideal candidate, and would be rather far down my list (though of the remaining candidates, he’s the best, which isn’t saying much). Most of the Republican voters I know feel the same way. Even those for whom Trump is their preferred candidate, they admit he’s seriously flawed. Even if I end up voting for Trump and he wins, it’ll be hard to show schadenfreude because of how bad the options are.

        None of the Democrats outside a handful of the Bern contingent (who seem to have the same problem with him instead) will admit that Hillary is anything other than perfect. No mention of the numerous and quite serious allegations against her. No mention of the cover up of the rape allegations against her husband. No mention of the disaster she’s been on foreign policy. None are saying “I don’t like her, but I hate her opponents more”.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          They may be the same as they were during segregation and the unpleasantness between the states. Then they weren’t interested in a discussion of the pros and cons of helping one faction steal all the elections, and throwing hissy fits whenever someone else won. They just said ‘Tyrant Lincoln, Monster Sherman’ or ‘because shut up’.

          • I’m actually astonished that both Sanders and Clinton (W.J., not H.R.) have gone on record pointing out how bad the Obama presidency has been for average Americans. I guess he’s lame duck enough that it’s no longer necessary to treat him as perfect. Still, I haven’t seen anyone on the left point out that he was recently photographed against the backdrop of a building decorated with the giant face of someone who thought, not merely that homosexuality was a perversion, but that homosexuals should be put against a wall and shot, something which he did repeatedly. That the building is also the headquarters of a secret police force which is spiriting away dissidents suspected of thought crimes even while Obama is in the country merely adds to the horrible picture.

            • Come now — it has long been quite obvious that the Left has no problems with a secret police force, so long as it is their secret police force. It is only when it is our secret police force that they complain. Just as they have no problems with a politicized Justice Department, IRS or any other government agency, just so long as it is politicized in the right (that is, Left) way.

              • Yes, but none will admit they want a secret police force to arrest dissidents for torture. By explicitly making the connection, I’ve been able to get a handful of the more moderate ones to at least feel ashamed. Likewise, a few have noticed the incongruity of supporting the banishment of H.P. Lovecraft from Science Fiction canon for his views while at the same time cheering on Che despite his views (and vile actions) when it has been specifically pointed out to them.

                The entire Progressive worldview’s claim to legitimacy rests on a unique claim to hold the moral high ground. To remove that legitimacy, I don’t need to demonstrate that my worldview is superior, just that their worldview is no better than mine.

        • Just to be clear, most here consider Trump to be Democrat scum, just like Hillary, Harry, Barry, Nancy, Chuckies and all the rest.

          What Hyr seems to misunderstand is that most here see all politicians as scum and as a result prefer candidates who seek to limit their spreading their way into broader societal venues. For example, thanks to the Dems’ wet dream of universal Medicaid, the question of whether a woman’s birth control is paid for by her health insurance is a political one rather than simply being between her and her insurance broker.

          The more personal decisions become political ones, the more space for politicians to arbitrage such matters, the better to skim their graft and kickbacks by making the issues more favorable to a select few while becoming more onerous and inefficient for the general public — which increases the opportunities for politicians to offer arbitrage, increasing the room for graft and corruption.

          By endorsing such policies Hyr fulfills the grasping stereotype used against Jews for the last millennium, and only I and a few others here have the standing to denounce him for it.

          • I really see no reason to bring up his Judaism. The grasping nature of his leftism is quite evident enough, avoids invidious comparisons, and does not allow him to armor himself in the suffering of his ancestors. Who, if he knew them now, he would almost certainly denounce as homophobic religious fanatics.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Chuckle Chuckle

              Or even consider them “racist”.

              Isaac Asimov (in one of his Black Widower stories) has a Jewish gentleman comment that an older (now dead) Jewish gentleman didn’t consider gentiles as his equals. 😉

            • As a Jew myself, I feel an obligation to call him out for shaming us before the goyim. His intemperance and open bigotry may be Leftist in nature but by hiding behind an ethnicity he despises to provoke gentiles he endangers me and mine.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            To be fair, I don’t think of him as a “typical Jew” or even as a Jew. 😀

        • BTW – it ought be noted that the claim of Republicans “preaching fear and hate” is a canard, unsupported by anything more credible than the Kickers claims that Puppy voters were motivated by sexism, racism and love of stories about manly men doing manly things.

          Even Trump’s rhetoric, when closely examined, has very little of fear and hate in it except to those who consider anything but complete agreement with them as representing fear and hate. MSM representations of Republican candidates are about as accurate as Media reporting on Muslim refugee assimilation in Merkel’s Deutschland, England’s Rotherham or at a Stockholm music festival [ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/13/sex-assaults-sweden-stockholm-music-festival ].

          • I had assumed that was obvious, especially accusing his opponents of fear and hate while in a conversation with them and in the same sentence calling them scum.

            • Well, yeah — if it weren’t for projection Hyr would have no idea how the universe operates.

              Given that the Hillary’s campaign is based almost entirely on “Republicans are evil and will pursue policies that will impoverish and endanger you” and that Obama ran for reelection on a campaign that Mitt Romney was a terrible person who will treat women like dogs it is laughable that Hyr comdemns Republicans for campaigns of “fear and hate.”

              Hyr’s every invocation of “privilege” is an incitement of envy, fear and hatred. Just so, his gleefully anticipated schadenfreude if Hillary becomes president expresses his true motivation for supporting her: it isn’t that he thinks Hillary would be a good president (a laughable presumption, given her track record in such foreign policy disasters as the Iraq betrayal, Russian overcharge and Libyan holocaust) it is only to deny Republicans the chance to clean up Barry’s and her messes.

              • In fairness, the schadenfreude could be a side benefit. For myself, I would be content to let Hyrosen live under Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for as long as he liked, were it not for the fact that I would also be trapped in that condition.

          • Patrick Chester

            It’s a tactic I’ve noticed amongst progressives. They like to claim the people who disagree with them are evil hatey hate-filled haters (who hate) as a way of dismissing their views… and justification for Progs to exercise some hate of their own.

            After all, if those fiends are such hatey hate-filled haters (who hate) then it must be acceptable to hate them in return. Just an excuse for them to embrace their own hatred.

            • The problem is that your statement of the obvious. Is that it is anathema to the Progtard self image, therefore they can neither read nor hear it.

            • I think it’s partially the problem of the echo chamber. Everyone around them insists that our side is full of Hatey McHaters, so they believe that to be true without confirming it themselves; that many people couldn’t be wrong, could they? Because the “facts” are the product of group consensus, that an individual doesn’t have personal evidence to support their arguments is no obstacle, because someone else in the group consensus must have it.

              Everyone around them insists Hillary would make a perfect president, so any doubts they have can be ignored, and any evidence to the contrary can be assumed to be fake.

              You can’t reason someone out of a position they haven’t reasoned themselves into.

            • I hate progs with the hatey hate-filled hate of a thousand hatey burney suns. Can I be a Fiend now? I’ve always wanted to be a Fiend, but the best I could ever manage before was “aggravating imp.”

      • Hatred of Republicans evidently means more to Hyr than integrity, honesty or rule of law. He reminds me of the Nixon voters in 1972. He is motivated by what he imagines hurts those he fears and hates more than he loves good government. This is a trait he shares with the Trumpkins.

        Deceit and power work in Hillary Clinton’s favor
        By Ed Rogers March 23
        In politics, it is said that you can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time. In other words, liars have pretty good odds. The smoking guns keep piling up at Hillary Clinton’s feet, but nothing seems to trip her. Yesterday, Judicial Watch released a batch of documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, that it says reveals blatant coordination between then-Secretary of State Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Stunningly, the internal State Department emails expose Clinton’s eagerness to “thank [Clinton Foundation] supporters for their commitments.” Of course, these “commitments” must mean money. It’s incredible.
        While it’s not all criminal, Clinton’s record of deceit has become something of an advantage for her campaign. One thing she can count on is that no one trusts her or believes what she says about her current policy positions. She rails against the big banks and the bankers she has always been cozy with, in part as a response to the popularity of Bernie Sanders’s message. But if you ask any bankers how they feel about Hillary Clinton as president, they will tell you they don’t fear a Hillary Clinton presidency. They will tell you that Hillary Clinton knows them and they know her. No one believes her White House would be hostile to the financial services industry. No one assumes she is telling the truth. They all know she is just saying what she has to say on the campaign trail in order to pacify the most gullible among the Democratic voters. The bankers and Wall Street types all count on the idea that whatever Clinton says in the campaign is irrelevant. They are all getting the message; they all see the wink, and they are happy to shrug off today’s rhetoric.

  30. The moslem conquered basically killed Buddhism in India through genocide. Karma doncha know.

  31. The DJ in me would like to point out that the song is “Holding out for a Hero”

  32. Fire update: Thanks for kind thoughts and prayers. All the fires are contained or out *touch wood*. The initial estimates are 50,000 acres burned, a number that will probably go up over the course of the day now that survey aircraft can get out of their hangars (the wind was gusting over 70 mph yesterday.) A few human injuries but not human fatalities.

    • Good news! I’ve lived with volcanic eruptions and tidal waves, but fires are terrifying when you’re downwind.

  33. “They use civilians as their shields, knowing our citizens won’t put up with “unnecessary” civilian deaths.”

    NO. They know our political elites won’t put up with “unnecessary” civilian deaths. Unnecessary of course defined by our enemies lackeys in the media.

    I honestly don’t believe the majority of our citizens would have a problem with necessary civilian* deaths.

    *civilian is such an “interesting” word, when the enemy is a bunch of non-governmental, tribal, religious fanatics.