The ISIL Debate:  There Are Virtually No Winners
Sep12

The ISIL Debate: There Are Virtually No Winners

The ongoing national debate on what to do, or not to do, about the ISIL threat — or whether it is even a threat — is probably the most intense and divergent debate since the one we had about the Iraq War and its legacy. There are those who do not believe ISIL poses a threat at all to Americans or America — and/or “is not our problem” — and, therefore, we should do nothing. There are those who agree with the...

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Remembering the 9/11 Pentagon Attack
Sep11

Remembering the 9/11 Pentagon Attack

The 13th anniversary of the September 11 attack on our nation dawned early with our military. Early this morning, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel along with the President and other dignitaries observed the anniversary at the Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia. This is some of what the Secretary of Defense had to say about those who lost their lives that day at the Pentagon: “We will never forget what happened on this day,...

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The President: We Will Degrade, and Ultimately Destroy, ISIL
Sep10

The President: We Will Degrade, and Ultimately Destroy, ISIL

In a high-stakes prime-time address to the nation from the State Floor of the White House tonight, President Obama described the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group and laid out his much-awaited strategy for “degrading and ultimately destroying” ISIL. Predictably, it is a strategy that some will applaud, but many more will attack as being either too much or not enough to combat the ISIL threat. Even before his address...

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A Silly Thought: Presidential Prospects Look Bright for Democrats — for the Next 40 Years, or So
Sep10

A Silly Thought: Presidential Prospects Look Bright for Democrats — for the Next 40 Years, or So

It’s “Silly Wednesday.” (Just made that up) As I was reading some of the campaign magniloquence of our Republican friends, a silly thought occurred. As our society — especially the Democratic side of it — finally moves beyond race, gender, sexual orientation etc., just think how wonderful the prospects look for the Democratic Party to continue to win presidential elections and make other political...

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What To Do and Not To Do about ISIL
Sep08

What To Do and Not To Do about ISIL

I have seldom seen such a dichotomy both in what Americans perceive to be the threat posed by ISIL and in the range of actions armchair generals, real generals, politicians, military experts and pundits say we should take against ISIL. The threat is viewed all the way from being “strictly local, of no concern to Americans,” to “America and the entire Western civilization are about to become a Caliphate of decapitated infidels,”...

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Iraq: Another Day, Another Dam (Or Almost Déjà Vu)
Sep07

Iraq: Another Day, Another Dam (Or Almost Déjà Vu)

U.S. Forces around Haditha Dam — (Scroll to bottom) About three weeks ago, Iraqi and Kurdish forces, supported by American airstrikes retook the strategic Mosul Dam from Islamic extremists. At the time we reported on the importance of the Mosul Dam: The Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, the fourth largest in the Middle East, is an immensely strategic asset, resource and target, as it captures the flow of the Tigris River, providing...

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(Update) The Iraq ‘Candy Bombers’
Sep06

(Update) The Iraq ‘Candy Bombers’

Update: I had also posted this story at the Huffington Post. Today, at HuffPost, there was a very nice comment by the original “Candy Bomber” himself: Thank you Dorian for the “Candy Bombers of Iraq”, Master Sergeants Stephen Brown and Emily Edmonds. They make a great team. We are not the only ones who have passed a hard to get treat to the kids where we found them. George Washington’s troops did the same as they...

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Kerry: ISIL ‘An Ambitious, Avowed Genocidal, Territorial-Grabbing, Caliphate-Desiring, Quasi State…’
Sep06

Kerry: ISIL ‘An Ambitious, Avowed Genocidal, Territorial-Grabbing, Caliphate-Desiring, Quasi State…’

Destined for criticism from those who oppose any military action in curbing or stopping ISIL’s rampage and atrocities, President Obama on Friday appeared to have received assurances for support and cooperation from “at least nine allies,” at the NATO Summit in Wales, according to the New York Times. Those allies, referred to by Secretary of Defense Hagel as the “core coalition,” are Britain, France, Australia, Canada, Germany,...

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(Updated with Reactions) Reports that  ISIS Has Killed Steven Sotloff
Sep03
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Senator to Introduce Legislation to Allow Strikes Against ISIL in Syria
Sep02

Senator to Introduce Legislation to Allow Strikes Against ISIL in Syria

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson (Fla.) said today he’ll introduce legislation when Congress returns from recess to give President Barack Obama “clear authority” to order U.S. airstrikes against Islamist militants in Syria, according to TIME. The announcement comes the same day of the reported beheading of Stephen J. Sotloff whose family’s home is Florida. TIME: “This will ensure there’s no question that the President has the...

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The Yazidi Nightmare: Hopefully Some of It Is Over
Sep01

The Yazidi Nightmare: Hopefully Some of It Is Over

While there are a thousand reasons not to use military force in support of the tens of thousands of innocents “over there” who are being tortured, abducted, raped and murdered en-masse, one reason to do so — although many will say it is a flimsy one — is because our national psyche and our national conscience tells us that it is the right thing to do. The rescue of an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 Yazidis who had fled to...

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What Makes One a Warmonger and a ‘Fear Monger’?
Sep01

What Makes One a Warmonger and a ‘Fear Monger’?

After our disastrous invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation, Iraq, and after the now-longest war in American history — the Afghanistan War — there is naturally a great reluctance on the part of Americans to get involved in any more military entanglements, especially in the Middle East. Then along comes a band of thugs — very well trained, organized, capable, motivated and supported thugs, many say — who,...

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Breaking:  U.S. Airstrikes and Humanitarian Airdrops Break ISIS Siege of Amerli
Aug31

Breaking: U.S. Airstrikes and Humanitarian Airdrops Break ISIS Siege of Amerli

Chalk one up for the good guys. Over the weekend, the U.S. military conducted airstrikes in support of an operation to deliver humanitarian assistance and protect civilians who had been trapped in Amerli for months by ISIS terrorists and who were threatened with a possible massacre. DoD: Two months ago, hundreds of ISIL terrorists advanced on Amerli cutting off food, water, and medical supplies to thousands of Shia Turkomen living...

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Labor Day 2014: Our Military Are ‘Workers,’ Too
Aug31

Labor Day 2014: Our Military Are ‘Workers,’ Too

Tank Mechanic, Army Spc. Samantha Brumley, with Company F, 145th Brigade Support Battalion, Oregon National Guard, Aug. 20, 2014. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Wayne (Chris) Clyne, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard Labor Day was originally a day to give tribute to the men and women who, through hard, physical labor, built our country — the “working class.” Today, we celebrate Labor Day to recognize the...

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(Breaking Update) One Thousand Reasons to Let Others Deal with ISIS
Aug30

(Breaking Update) One Thousand Reasons to Let Others Deal with ISIS

Update: Here is one ally who is not subscribing to the one thousand reasons to let others deal with ISIS. The Guardian reports today (Sunday in Australia) that Australia will help deliver military equipment, including arms and ammunition to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq in an effort to counter the threat posed by Islamic State militants. “Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft...

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Summary Update: Iraq-ISIS/ISIL Crisis (Updated)
Aug29

Summary Update: Iraq-ISIS/ISIL Crisis (Updated)

A U.S. F-18 fighter jet refuels from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft over northern Iraq, Aug. 21, 2014. (Photo: DoD) Update: NEWSWEEK: Britain raised its international terrorism threat level to the second highest level of “severe” on Friday in response to possible attacks being planned in Syria and Iraq, Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May said. “That means that a terrorist attack is highly...

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Bea Cohen, 104-Year-Old World War II Veteran, Finally Gets Her Wish
Aug28

Bea Cohen, 104-Year-Old World War II Veteran, Finally Gets Her Wish

~.~ A month ago, the oldest living female World War II veteran visited the White House and got a warm welcome from President Obama and Vice President Biden. (Below) Vice President Joe Biden greets Lucy Coffey in his West Wing Office, July 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) Lucy Coffey, now 108, served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and was one of 400,000 American women who served in uniform...

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The ISIS-Iraq Crisis
Aug27

The ISIS-Iraq Crisis

Summary of news from in and around Iraq. Source, unless otherwise indicated: The Stars and Stripes The Islamic State militant group is holding hostage a young American woman who was doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, a family representative said. The 26-year-old woman is the third American known to have been kidnapped by the radical group. The Islamic State group recently threatened to kill American hostages to avenge the crushing...

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(Update) The VA Scandal — A Postscript
Aug25

(Update) The VA Scandal — A Postscript

Update: Today, during his remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Obama is expected to announce 19 new executive actions that the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DoD) are taking to improve the mental health of service members, veterans and their families. According to DoD: Today’s announcement builds on the actions the Departments have taken in response to the...

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Where Opinions Don’t Matter
Aug25

Where Opinions Don’t Matter

Indicative of the great diversity of opinions Americans have and because of the freedoms we enjoy expressing them, one can find the full spectrum of views on what should be done about ISIS and about related terrorism/bad actors-nations problems. They range from doing nothing to “bomb, bomb, bomb the hell out of them” — and everything in between. My opinions, for whatever they are worth, fall somewhere in between — and I...

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