November 30, 2008

NY Times Scurrying To Give Obama Victory Credit For Their Shared Defeat In Iraq

Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have famously done everything in their power to try to lose the Iraqi War while President Bush is in office, but now that everyone with any understanding of the conflict knows that the war is effectively won, Democrats are trying to steal credit for the victory they fought so hard against:

In the last year, though, the U.S. troop surge and the backlash from moderate Iraqi Sunnis against Al Qaeda and Iraqi Shiites against pro-Iranian extremists have brought a new measure of stability to Iraq. There is now, for the first time, a chance — still only a chance — that a reasonably stable democratizing government, though no doubt corrupt in places, can take root in the Iraqi political space.

That is the Iraq that Obama is inheriting. It is an Iraq where we have to begin drawing down our troops — because the occupation has gone on too long and because we have now committed to do so by treaty — but it is also an Iraq that has the potential to eventually tilt the Arab-Muslim world in a different direction.

I’m sure that Obama, whatever he said during the campaign, will play this smart. He has to avoid giving Iraqi leaders the feeling that Bush did — that he’ll wait forever for them to sort out their politics — while also not suggesting that he is leaving tomorrow, so they all start stockpiling weapons.

If he can pull this off, and help that decent Iraq take root, Obama and the Democrats could not only end the Iraq war but salvage something positive from it. Nothing would do more to enhance the Democratic Party’s national security credentials than that.

If he can pull this of?

Let's be very clear, so that even a historical revisionist like Friedman can understand it.

House and Senate Democrats, including President Elect Barack Obama, did everything in their power to lose the Iraq War, and deserve no credit for any success.

How many times in the past two years have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and their cohorts attempted to defund our troops and force them into defeat? Forty times? Fifty? Frankly, I lost count somewhere in the mid-forties.

Now Friedman and his fellow defeatists on the left who long derided those of us who wanted to secure victory as "28-percenters," "warmongers" and "murderers" want to try to rewrite history. The Times and their fellow travelers long to rewrite their moral cowardice as a virtue, and give themselves a victory by declaration.

That will not be their legacy.

This will.

Friedman should remember this. His newspaper attempted to subsidize defeat, cutting MoveOn.Org a 61% discount to attack our top general during the surge.

A Times photographer took this picture of a Madhi Army militiaman sniping at U.S. soldiers in July of 2006. Impartially, of course.

Democrats including Barack Obama can salvage nothing from Iraq. They were clearly and proudly on the other side, and the resulting allied victory was a defeat for them as it was for al Qaeda, the insurgency, and Iran.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:53 PM | Comments (107)

November 29, 2008

Mumbai Attacks Finally Over, It's Time to Examine Our Own Weaknesses

My friend Jose at Barcepundit has been diligently following the latest on the Mumbai terrorist attacks, which now finally seem to to be winding down. The last terrorists appear to have been killed, and the process of putting out fires and recovering any remaining explosives should start winding down in the next 12-24 hours.

Read it all, as there are some major surprises, including claims that same of the attackers were British, and that a concurrent strike at Mumbai's airport was only thwarted by a missed turn.

I'd also strongly suggest reading Bill Roggio's analysis of the attacks at Long War Journal.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:01 PM | Comments (2)

November 28, 2008

Greatest Thanksgiving Parade Stunt Ever?

I think so.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 06:49 PM | Comments (6)

November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks...

...for their sacrifices and service.

And if you'd like to give thanks to a milbogger deployed far away from home in a combat zone, you can do so here.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:23 AM | Comments (1)

November 26, 2008

Multiple Terror Attacks Ongoing in Mumbai

The Times of India is reporting multiple terror attacks that have taken place in Mumbai, India this evening. The terrorists appear to be targeting sites popular with Westerners, including luxury hotels, a restaurant, and a train station. Some outlets are claiming that the terrorists were asking specifically where the British and Americans were.

As always, early casualty reports vary wildly and should be taken with a healthy degree of skepticism. That said, the latest figures cited are 80 killed and 250+ wounded, with as many as 40 taken hostage.

The attacks seem crude as far as the weapons and tactics used, with small teams—apparently pairs—using hand grenades and fully-automatic AK-47s, along with at least one significant backpack bomb or similar device that detonated in a taxi, ripping it in half.

As I'm watching this, Fox New television is displaying a still photo of what appears to be security camera footage of a young, clean-shaven man wearing a black tee shirt carrying a folding stock AK with two 30-round magazines taped together to facilitate quick reloading, carrying a blue backpack slung over his shoulder.

The head of India's anti-terrorism squad, Hemant Karkare, is among those killed; it is unclear if he was a target, an unfortunate bystander, or responding to the attacks.

More as this develops.

Update: IBNLive claims that fighting is still on-going at 3 hotels, and that there are seven Westerners among 15 hostages. The attacks apparently began between 10:15-10:30 PM.

A report in Canada's National Post says the group claiming responsibility is the Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahedeen. They also claimed responsibility for a serial of bombs in Assam that claimed almost 80 lives.

Update: Based upon what we're seeing filter through various media outlets thus far, the sites selected and the coordination of the attacks suggests a well-planned and researched attack, using a minimum number of terrorists per target, using common and relatively inexpensive military small arms.

They seem to be getting maximum effect in terms of disrupting Mumbai and creating carnage and chaos at the outlay of what seems to be less than two dozen total terrorists and the small arms they carried. I have no idea who the Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahedeen are, but this strike appears to be the work of professionals with military and intelligence skills.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 03:34 PM | Comments (13)

Dead-Tree Media Op-Ed Writer In Favor of Newspaper Bailout

Via Hot Air's headlines comes Kathleen Parker's self-serving idea:

Actively pursuing information through print media and participating in high-level conversations -- even, potentially, blogging -- makes one smarter.

The ISI insists that higher-education reforms aimed at civic literacy are urgently needed. Who could argue otherwise? But historian Rick Shenkman, author of "Just How Stupid Are We?" thinks reform needs to start in high school. His strategy is both poetic (to certain ears) and pragmatic: Require students to read newspapers, and give college freshman weekly quizzes on current events.

Did he say newspapers?! Shenkman even suggests government subsidies for newspaper subscriptions, as well as federal tuition subsidies for students who perform well on civics tests. They could be paid from a special fund created by, say, a "Too Many Stupid Voters Act."

Not only would citizens be smarter, but also newspapers might be saved. Announcements of newsroom cuts, which ultimately hurt quality, have become routine. Just this week, USA Today announced the elimination of about 20 positions, while the Newark Star-Ledger, as it cuts its news staff by 40 percent, lost almost its entire editorial board in a single day.

In his book, Shenkman, founder of George Mason University's History News Network, is tough on everyday Americans. Why, he asks, do we value polls when clearly The People don't know enough to make a reasoned judgment?

Of course, what Parker fails to mention is that The People don't know enough to make a reasoned judgement largely as a result of these same newspapers taking roles as advocates for one political theology instead of acting as unbiased journalists. The public, while underinformed but not nearly as ignorant as today's newroom and editorial board advocacy organizations would like, recognize the naked cheerleading and overt bias of the MSM, and quit buying their product.

Parker, Shenkman, and others with a stake in todays dying media want to legislate a market for a substandard product. Too bad for them, the People aren't as uneducated as they would like.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:33 AM | Comments (11)

November 25, 2008

Somehow, This Benefits Mitt Romney

Drudge is citing a Russian analyst's prediction of the decline and collapse of the United States into regional mini-states:

A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.

Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse."

The paper said Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence by this year's events.

When asked when the U.S. economy would collapse, Panarin said: "It is already collapsing. Due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street have already ceased to exist, and two are barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator."

When asked who would replace the U.S. in regulating world markets, he said: "Two countries could assume this role: China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, which could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia."

Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles."

He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."

He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.

He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.


Somehow, I think Panarin's speciality of information warfare is more on display here than his grasp of American laws or global economics. If we go down as he fantasizes, Russia and China, with growing but far less impressive economies, would experience a collapse harder even than our own with far fewer capabilities to rebound due to their stifling economic systems. Oops.

The bright side, of course, as I alluded to in the headline is that this does mean Mitt Romney is once again poised to take advantage of this in his Presidential bid, this time apparently as a Presidential candidate of the United Northern States and/or the Eastern United States, depending on how the boundaries are drawn. Doesn't that double his odds?

That said, I must add that historically, the lower Atlantic States and the northern Atlantic states haven't shared that " distinct and separate mentality" as often as Comrade Pararin seems to think. As I recall, something of a dustup occurred in the 1860s as a result.

OH... and as far as the northern states.... are even Canadians really strongly influenced by Canada?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:19 PM | Comments (14)

Six Months Under The Gun

"Be nice. Be Polite. Have a plan to kill everyone you see."

Been there. Done that. Carrying a weapon now, come to think of it.

Update: And while I didn't read this in advance of my experiment, every word holds true:

There is nothing like having your finger on the trigger of a gun to reveal who you really are. Life or death in one twitch — ultimate decision, with the ultimate price for carelessness or bad choices.

It is a kind of acid test, an initiation, to know that there is lethal force in your hand and all the complexities and ambiguities of moral choice have fined down to a single action: fire or not?

In truth, we are called upon to make life-or-death choices more often than we generally realize. Every political choice ultimately reduces to a choice about when and how to use lethal force, because the threat of lethal force is what makes politics and law more than a game out of which anyone could opt at any time.

But most of our life-and-death choices are abstract; their costs are diffused and distant. We are insulated from those costs by layers of institutions we have created to specialize in controlled violence (police, prisons, armies) and to direct that violence (legislatures, courts). As such, the lessons those choices teach seldom become personal to most of us.

Nothing most of us will ever do combines the moral weight of life-or-death choice with the concrete immediacy of the moment as thoroughly as the conscious handling of instruments deliberately designed to kill. As such, there are lessons both merciless and priceless to be learned from bearing arms — lessons which are not merely instructive to the intellect but transformative of one's whole emotional, reflexive, and moral character.

The first and most important of these lessons is this: it all comes down to you.

No one's finger is on the trigger but your own. All the talk-talk in your head, all the emotions in your heart, all the experiences of your past — these things may inform your choice, but they can't move your finger. All the socialization and rationalization and justification in the world, all the approval or disapproval of your neighbors — none of these things can pull the trigger either. They can change how you feel about the choice, but only you can actually make the choice. Only you. Only here. Only now. Fire, or not?

A second is this: never count on being able to undo your choices.

If you shoot someone through the heart, dead is dead. You can't take it back. There are no do-overs. Real choice is like that; you make it, you live with it — or die with it.

A third lesson is this: the universe doesn't care about motives.

If your gun has an accidental discharge while pointed an unsafe direction, the bullet will kill just as dead as if you had been aiming the shot. I didn't mean to may persuade others that you are less likely to repeat a behavior, but it won't bring a corpse back to life.

These are hard lessons, but necessary ones. Stated, in print, they may seem trivial or obvious. But ethical maturity consists, in significant part, of knowing these things — not merely at the level of intellect but at the level of emotion, experience and reflex. And nothing teaches these things like repeated confrontation with life-or-death choices in grave knowledge of the consequences of failure.

There's a certain kind of freedom that comes with the responsibility of carrying arms that is hard to properly express to those who don't. People who have done so have tried to tell me that before, but it isn't something that translates easily to print. Yes, guns can take lives.

But far more often, experience truly bearing arms help hone and reveal character.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:14 AM | Comments (12)

November 24, 2008

Aim Small, Miss Small

Michael Ledeen notes that a force of 250 insurgents ambushed a column of 30 Marines in Bala Baluk, Afghanistan.

It was a massacre:

"The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they're given the opportunity to fight," the sniper said. "A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong." During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn't miss any shots, despite the enemies' rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position. "I was in my own little world," the young corporal said. "I wasn't even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target." After calling for close-air support, the small group of Marines pushed forward and broke the enemies' spirit as many of them dropped their weapons and fled the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and wounded several more.

20 shots. 20 kills.

Carlos Hathcock, who famously fought a five-day engagement with a company of Vietcong, would have been proud.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:04 PM | Comments (7)


I am not a financial whiz, and have never claimed to be one, but I'm getting sick and tired of footing the bill for those who claim to be financial experts, and who have doomed their companies through mismanagement, poor risk management, and greed.

Citigroup—the same group that conspired with ACORN to provide home loans to illegal aliens—becomes the latest parasite to feed from the public jugular. And make no mistake, dear reader; when the newspapers say that "the federal government" is stepping in to bail out these banks, what they actually mean is that self-interested professional politicians in both parties have decided that they will stick you with the bill for Citigroup's greed and bad business decisions.

Our money. The stuff we earn through our labor, that we carefully invest in improving our homes, that we save for our retirement, that we scrimp and save for our childrens' college education, is being spent by wealthy and corrupt Congressmen and Senators to cover-up the multi-billion-dollar mistakes of their their wealthy and corrupt campaign contributors. It's all about them, and they're telling you that it is your best interests to pay their bills.


How much more are you going to take, my fellow Americans? How much more of your money are you going to let politicians take? How much more debt are you willing to let them pile onto the backs of your children?

Where do you draw the line and tell them, not one more dime.

And what are you willing to do to make them stop.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:22 AM | Comments (10)

A Bird In Hand

While roughly 6,600 of us have concealed carry permits here in Wake County, none were around yesterday when Fred Ervin robbed a BP gas station and then crossed the street to carjack a woman loading groceries into her car. When Ervin attacked Irene Moorman Bailey to get her keys, other shoppers who stepped in to stop the assault were forced to resort to fowl play:

"The lady was being beaten on the ground. She was lying on the ground and the guy was on top of her – physically hitting her," shopper Randy Owens said.

Bystanders intervened and hit the man in the head with a frozen turkey that Bailey bought, police said.

"I was just grocery shopping, like any other day, and I happened to come out and I saw all this chaos that just had happened," shopper Leanne Sweet said.

"Several people interceded and tried to get him away from her," Owens said.

The man managed to get into Bailey's 2001 Nissan Maxima and hit five other cars while escaping from the parking lot, officers said.

"He backed across and he hit the Cadillac and our car, and hit another car that was parked," Owens said.

"My bumper's cracked and the whole side is dented in," Sweet said.

Officers found Fred Ervin, 30, in Bailey's car, Fuquay-Varina police said. Ervin was taken to WakeMed with a serious head wound. He was listed in fair condition Sunday evening.

When Ervin is released, police said he will face these charges: assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, robbery, driving with a revoked license, hit and run and larceny.

I love my peeps.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:04 AM | Comments (5)

November 23, 2008

Two Gunned Down in Seattle-Area Mall

One man is dead and another is wounded in what may be a gang-related confrontation:

Shots erupted in a packed Seattle-area shopping mall Saturday after an apparent argument between a gunman and two other young men, killing one of the men, creating panic among shoppers and sending police on a store-to-store search for the shooter, authorities said.

The Southcenter Mall in Tukwila was locked down for six hours as police tried in vain to find the gunman. Officer Mike Murphy, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press there were "thousands" of shoppers at the mall when the shooting took place just before 3:45 p.m. He said the gunfire may have been gang-related.

"It's a possibility," Murphy said.

The two injured men were taken to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where one of them died. A hospital spokesman said Saturday night the second victim was in critical condition.

The gunman used a pistol and fired multiple shots, Murphy said. He said at least four or five people were detained for questioning, but none of them was the shooter and some had been released. He said some of those detained were witnesses.

My advice remains the same as it was after the Omaha, Nebraska Mall shooting roughly this same time last year.

The odds of getting shot in a mall shooting are extremely low, but you can reduce those odds even further by being in a self-aware, ready state (yellow, for Jeff Cooper disciples) and take these common sense steps if you hear or see a similar violent situation developing. There's no need to be paranoid, but after so many events like this in recent years, it is immature to pretend that such events can't happen.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:26 AM | Comments (7)

November 22, 2008

Victory In Iraq Day

The Iraq Wars are over, and we have won.

Let me say that again.


And yes, I do mean to use the plural, as we have, along with our allies, won three intertwined wars:

Despite a loathing by the media to declare it such, the Iraq wars are effectively over, and we won. The first war was the second invasion of Iraq where U.S. conventional forces deposed Saddam Hussein, killed his heirs, and defeated his military in 2003. We won that one quickly. The second war, an asymmetrical conflict with al Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni insurgent groups, emerged from the rubble of the conventional conflict as a media war, where seemingly random IED strikes and vicious terrorist bombings that killed dozens at a time sought to create chaos and defeat the U.S and Iraqi will to win.

I hasten to add that this war was in many ways effective, turning the majority of Americans against the conflict and a President who refused to surrender to terrorism. Despite some serious political and military mistakes, new U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine combined with a Sunni rebellion known as the Awakening Movement to stomp out or co-opt the last significant vestiges of the insurgency. Together as allies, Americans and Iraqis have won this war as well. What remains are isolated terrorists committing regrettable and ultimately pointless attacks of violence that can no longer significantly influence the course of history.

The third war, fought concurrently with the Sunni insurgency, was a proxy war pitting the Shia government and it's coalition backers against EFP-equipped, Iranian-trained Shia militias for the control of Iraq's Shia majority. This was won earlier this year when Iraqi forces commanded by the Prime Minister and backed by American units stormed de facto Iranian strongholds throughout southern Iraq, killing or capturing hundreds of pro-Iranian militiamen and effectively neutering Muqtada al Sadr's Medhi Army.

Like all counterinsurgencies, we couldn't easily see at the time when these foes were effectively finished as a long-term threat, but with the benefit of hindsight and ever-dwindling casualty figures for all sides, it is obvious that the war Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats tried so hard to lose in Congress was won in the sands of al Anbar, the slums of Basra, and the streets of Baghdad.

The Iraq War, as men on the ground on all sides of the conflict will tell you, is over, and we—Americans and Iraqis together— won the right for the Arab world's first democracy to exist despite fierce internal and external opposition.

Because of the nature of insurgencies, our President, the Iraq Prime Minister, and the Generals commanding the coalition military forces will not formally declare the war completed, but there is no longer any violence of violence occurring in Iraq that can be properly be called a war. There hasn't been in months, and the basic conditions for victory—the enemy are dead, vanquished, or turned—have existed since July.

Zombie decided to declare today Victory in Iraq Day. I say, since the conditions are met and they've earned their victory, and should be able to call it by its proper name.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:24 AM | Comments (30)

November 20, 2008

Friendly Fire Coverup Comes to Light

Read this article and watch the 12 minutes of edited video. There is some circumstantial evidence here that two U.S. soldiers in an apparent overwatch position were mistaken for insurgents in Ramadi in 2006, and were then killed by a single shot from the main gun of a U.S Abrams tank. Audio in the clip also seems to indicate that the coaxial 7.62 machine gun on the tank also opened up on the position following the discharge of the main gun.

Friendly fire occurs in every war, even though our soldiers try very hard to minimize the risk.

Here, though, it seems that a coverup began to form within 30 minutes of the incident, before the second soldier who died was even evacuated. As his sergeant blamed the incoming fire on a tank in a radio call, he was immediately told by a superior who was not on the scene that the deaths were the result of enemy mortar fire.

That someone then ordered the rushed shredding all documentation related to the men further reeks of a coverup. I suspect we have some Captains, Majors, and perhaps even a Colonel or higher who are involved.

The Army needs to get to the bottom of this, and fast.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 01:05 PM | Comments (8)

Only Supply is Dampening The Run On Guns

"I could sell a hundred ARs an hour, if I had them."

That was the word from the man behind the counter at my local gun shop yesterday afternoon when I stopped in. As if to put an exclaimation point on his claim, two men added their names to an ever-growing waiting list to purchase AR-15 carbines within minutes of my entering the store.

Two months ago, the first two racks of rifles to great you as you entered Fuquay Gun & Gold would be bristling with AR15 carbines, AK-pattern rifles, and a smattering of SKS carbines. Today, those same worn racks are almost bare except for misfits from the Island of Misfit Martial Toys—a pair of Saiga Ak-pattern shotguns, a .22 caliber AR-clone, and a nearly $900 VZ-58 with the ugliest stock I've ever seen.

Fears of an Obama administration attempt to raise prohibitive taxes and reinstate bans on so-called "assault weapons" and standard capacity magazines have led to rushes on many kinds of semi-automatic rifles and pistols, especially those with high capacity magazines. Until recently, Obama's transition website indicated his intention to reinstate the ineffective 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that passed under President Clinton and expired in 2004 under President Bush.

Local news reports from other gun shops across the country seem to indicate that a run on military-style semi-automatics and ammunition of all types may continue for months as long-time shooters and new gun purchasers stock up in preparation for what many expect to be one of the most divisive, anti-gun federal governments in years.

Update: Janet Reno's Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton years, Eric Holder, seems to be Obama's choice to be the next Attorney General. It wasn't until Glenn Reynolds highlighted a post at the Volokh Conspiracy that I realized how dangerous of a selection Holder is to gun owners.

Earlier this year, Eric Holder--along with Janet Reno and several other former officials from the Clinton Department of Justice--co-signed an amicus brief in District of Columbia v. Heller. The brief was filed in support of DC's ban on all handguns, and ban on the use of any firearm for self-defense in the home. The brief argued that the Second Amendment is a "collective" right, not an individual one, and asserted that belief in the collective right had been the consistent policy of the U.S. Department of Justice since the FDR administration. A brief filed by some other former DOJ officials (including several Attorneys General, and Stuart Gerson, who was Acting Attorney General until Janet Reno was confirmed)took issue with the Reno-Holder brief's characterization of DOJ's viewpoint.

But at the least, the Reno-Holder brief accurately expressed the position of the Department of Justice when Janet Reno was Attorney General and Eric Holder was Deputy Attorney General. At the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, the Assistant U.S. Attorney told the panel that the Second Amendment was no barrier to gun confiscation, not even of the confiscation of guns from on-duty National Guardsmen.

As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called "assault weapons" (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that "Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence"--a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as "children."

After that, Holder's plans for gun owners gets worse.

And as "stace" noted in the comments, Obama's desire to reinstate the ineffectual "assualt weapons" provision of the 1994 crime bill is back on his web site as a goal for his administration.

Update: Even Better! I'm starting to understand why the protégé of a Marxist domestic terrorist would favor someone like Holder. He'd regulate the Internet as well.

Reasonable restrictions seems to be the only way these people can view the Constitution. For our own good, of course.

Final Update: Screening to keep gun owners out of his administration?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:52 AM | Comments (35)

November 19, 2008

Stripping Concealed Carry in the O.C.

The new Orange County, CA Sheriff doesn't like citizens having the ability to defend themselves, and may take almost half of the concealed carry permits presently issued from their legal permit holders, for no good reason at all.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:16 AM | Comments (10)

November 18, 2008

Prepping to Lose Afghanistan

U.S. forces have turned over the majority of the country to Iraq security forces with little recognition by a media obsessed with the cost of Sarah Palin's campaign wardrobe. There are units that had shed their once-required body armor because threats of enemy action are so low. Some frontline units have served their tours thus far without firing a single shot.

Despite a loathing by the media to declare it such, the Iraq wars are effectively over, and we won. The first war was the second invasion of Iraq where U.S. conventional forces deposed Saddam Hussein, killed his heirs, and defeated his military in 2003. We won that one quickly. The second war, an asymmetrical conflict with al Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni insurgent groups, emerged from the rubble of the conventional conflict as a media war, where seemingly random IED strikes and vicious terrorist bombings that killed dozens at a time sought to create chaos and defeat the U.S and Iraqi will to win.

I hasten to add that this war was in many ways effective, turning the majority of Americans against the conflict and a President who refused to surrender to terrorism. Despite some serious political and military mistakes, new U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine combined with a Sunni rebellion known as the Awakening Movement to stomp out or co-opt the last significant vestiges of the insurgency. Together as allies, Americans and Iraqis have won this war as well. What remains are isolated terrorists committing regrettable and ultimately pointless attacks of violence that can no longer significantly influence the course of history.

The third war, fought concurrently with the Sunni insurgency, was a proxy war pitting the Shia government and it's coalition backers against EFP-equipped, Iranian-trained Shia militias for the control of Iraq's Shia majority. This was won earlier this year when Iraqi forces commanded by the Prime Minister and backed by American units stormed de facto Iranian strongholds throughout southern Iraq, killing or capturing hundreds of pro-Iranian militiamen and effectively neutering Muqtada al Sadr's Medhi Army.

Like all counterinsurgencies, we couldn't easily see at the time when these foes were effectively finished as a long-term threat, but with the benefit of hindsight and ever-dwindling casualty figures for all sides, it is obvious that the war Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats tried so hard to lose in Congress was won in the sands of al Anbar, the slums of Basra, and the streets of Baghdad.

The Iraq War, as men on the ground on all sides of the conflict will tell you, is over, and we—Americans and Iraqis together— won the right for the Arab world's first democracy to exist despite fierce internal and external opposition.

Unable to force a loss in Iraq before taking office and now nearly unable to lose, Barack Obama's allies are already setting their sights on losing the other major conflict engaging our military, attempting to concede Pakistan's tribal areas and Afghanistan to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other Islamofacist terrorist groups.

Since the beginnings of the buildup that led to the Iraq War, the same far left "war is never the answer (unless we get to build the concentration camps)" set that didn't want us to invade Afghanistan suddenly declared that was the "good" war, that Afghanistan should be our focus, and that getting Osama bin Laden should be the primary, if not singular focus of the entire war on terror.

With Barack Obama now secured as the President Elect, TIME now declares that winning the Af-Pak conflict and getting Osama isn't all that important after all:

The important point of Hayden's Atlantic talk Thursday was that Muslims have turned against bin Laden, realizing that his campaign against the West has ended up killing more Muslims than it has Islam's enemies. Al-Qaeda may be picking up adherents in North Africa and Yemen, preparing its return, but it certainly is no longer in a position to destabilize Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country. And, although Hayden didn't say it, there is no good evidence bin Laden is capable of mounting a large-scale attack. He failed to pull off an October surprise, as many in the FBI and CIA had feared he would.

Despite all this, whether bin Laden is alive or dead is actually pretty irrelevant. Obama has no real choice but to revitalize the search for him, if only for political considerations. If al-Qaeda were to attack in the United States the first months of his term, Obama would end up for the rest of it explaining why he wasn't more vigilant.

But what if bin Laden really is dead, buried under a hundred tons of rock at Tora Bora or so weakened that he might as well be dead? Indefinitely crashing around Afghanistan and Pakistan's wild, mountainous tribal region on a ghost hunt cannot serve our interests. The longer we leave troops in Afghanistan the worse the civil war there will become. One day Obama will need to give up the hunt — declare bin Laden either dead or irrelevant. He has more important enemies to deal with, from Iran to Russia.

I am more than happy to concede that bin Laden is either dead or irrelevant; that is an argument that many on the right and within the military have been making for a very long time. It has been the American left and Democrats in Congress that obsessed with making bin Laden a symbol of the war they argued we should be fighting instead of the war in Iraq. Now that Iraq is won and they have control of both branches of Congress and the White House, they're suddenly attempting to shift the goalposts.

Instead of focusing on winning the war they have been insisting is the "right" war to fight, they're now attempting to trivialize it and minimize expectations of what we can accomplish so that can build the political cover to withdrawal, sans victory. Rest assured... they will find a way to blame President Bush for not winning, instead of accepting responsibility for the loss they are now hard at work trying to engineer.

Certainly, Afghanistan is in far more dire straits than Iraq, but it is a war that can still be won if Democrats decide it is worth committing to win. Sadly, so many of those now in Congress grew up in the 60s and 70s and have a systemic case of Vietnam Syndrome. They don't know how to win. They don't care to win, and in deeply disturbed, self-loathing, and broken parts of their psyche, they don't think we deserve to win wars.

Prepare for defeat, America.

After all, it is the change you elected.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:17 AM | Comments (10)

November 17, 2008

Big Country Checks In

Long-time readers of CY may know "Big Country" from his first-hand reflections of the situation in Iraq as someone who has spent more time in theater than out of it since the war began. He just got back to Baghdad, and shot me the following in an email.

Just touched down 3 +/- hours ago at Sather AB. Dude... INSANELY changed doesn't begin to describe this place. I've landing in Baghdad under fire before and watched random acts of anti-aircraft fire overhead as the locals would try and unsuccessfully utilize old triple a flak guns... I've seen Baghdad under lock and key so to speak throughout 04 and 05. NUTHIN and I do mean NUTHIN can begin to describe the change. Quick observations included the fact that the city was all lit up where it had never been before. Try standing on the runway and not having to worry about random acts of rockets, mortars and suchlike. Try no body armor seen on anyone anywhere since I've been here... This place is so laid back its stupid dude... I'll post more to you and my blog later... but as Yon said "We Won." I'd have to add "In Spades!" to that.

Seems to be a lot of that going around lately.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:36 PM | Comments (5)

Clinton to Be Secretary of State?

The Guardian is reporting that Hillary Clinton will join the Obama administration as Secretary of State:

Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the Guardian has learned.

Obama's advisers have begun looking into Bill Clinton's foundation, which distributes millions of dollars to Africa to help with development, to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. But Democrats do not believe that the vetting is likely to be a problem.

Clinton would be well placed to become the country's dominant voice in foreign affairs, replacing Condoleezza Rice. Since being elected senator for New York, she has specialised in foreign affairs and defence. Although she supported the war in Iraq, she and Obama basically agree on a withdrawal of American troops.

Clinton, who still harbours hopes of a future presidential run, had to weigh up whether she would be better placed by staying in the Senate, which offers a platform for life, or making the more uncertain career move to the secretary of state job.

I would love to know what kind of calculus helped Clinton determine that joining Obama's Administration furthers her higher political aspirations more than staying in the Senate would. Has Hillary given up on a future presidential run, or is she going to try to work an angle from within the administration... perhaps planning on using the position to bolster her foreign policy credentials?

Your guess is as good as mine on this one.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:57 PM | Comments (13)

Dan Quayle with Good P.R.

WaPo's Howard Kurtz belatedly notices the mainstream media's bromance with President Elect Barack Obama and the utter lack of foundation for that relationship, and wonders how the impossible expectations people have developed for his Presidency will fare once it becomes obvious that he can't be what he has allowed people to fantasize.

For all the love and devotion he has inspired because of what he is, who he is still is still a largely unvetted, untested and inexperienced politician prone to exquisite gaffes when not following a prepared script. I jest in the headline that President Elect Obama is "Dan Quayle with Good P.R." but even that sadly over-inflates Obama's record.

By the time Quayle was Vice President, he'd been twice elected to the House of Representatives and twice elected to the Senate, and his ticket with George H.W. Bush won the 1992(no coffee today)88 Presidential election with a 53–46 percent popular vote margin by capturing 40 states and capturing 426 electoral votes.

But even worse that his insufficient record—and his associations with various radicals—is his utter foolishness in letting people create such high expectations of him when he knows they cannot be met.

In some ways I pity Obama for the unpopularity and outright hatred he is going to receive from his manic supporters when reality dashes their unrealistic hopes, but then I look at how Obama fed that mystique, encouraged unrealistic expectations, and made empty promises to everyone.

Barack Obama cannot be what he allowed the media, his own campaign, and his most ardent supporters built him into. No one can.

And he will have no one to blame but himself.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:24 PM | Comments (15)

November 16, 2008


Maryland Gomez, 61, was killed early Saturday morning when a tornado destroyed her home in Kenly, North Carolina. The Raleigh News and Observer ran the photo above, dominating page 1A above the fold in their Sunday paper. The photo is credited to Cary News photographer named Michael McLoone, and shows a Gomez family photo of the victim amid the wreckage of her home.

I may very well be wrong, but I suspect that this photo is staged.

Tornadoes are capable of astounding choreography, dancing over one home without disturbing a shingle, only to smash a neighboring home to kindling. Sometimes they'll even demolish an entire home, only to leave items in a single room almost untouched.

But I find it very hard to believe that:

this particular tornado,
on this particular night,
smashed this particular home,
and killed this particular woman,
and placed this particular photo,
ripped so delicately from its frame,
on this particular half of a smashed table,
with no human intervention,
while all beyond it is chaos.

Update: The N&O responds via email:

...There was no staging or Photoshop manipulation involved in the photo My [sic] Michael McLoone from the tornado aftermath. The situation was exactly as the photographer found it, and was not altered. This was indicated by the photographer in his communication with the photo desk on that day, and I have confirmed that in another conversation. Several friends, family members, and neighbors had been through the site, working to recover belongings of the family, and others had brought items found nearby back to the scene, where they were left.

It appears that the family photograph may have been placed on the table by human hands in the aftermath of the storm; the editors are simply claiming that the photographer was not responsible for the manipulation.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:20 PM | Comments (9)

November 14, 2008

"The Iraq War is Over. We Won."

Though he'd been on a mission all day and was about to drop, Mike Yon just called from Iraq to let me know that the war is over, and we've won. Whatever it is that is left of violence, there isn't combat. Roughly half of the men in the unit of the 10th Mountain Division he was out on missions with are veterans with previous tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in eight months into their deployment in southern Baghdad, they haven't fired a single bullet in combat.

Our soldiers in Iraq have played many roles and worn many hats, but it seems that their primary role now is that of a peacekeeper, providing support to a government and a people that seem increasingly capable of handling their own affairs.

We can declare victory because President Bush wouldn't quit on his troops. If Barack Obama had his way, a triumphant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would have had a chance to have made the same claim over the Caliphate of Iraq.

Glenn Reynolds has more.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:41 PM | Comments (35)

Obama Conned

Dear 52,

It seems the man you entrusted with your vote lied about his relationship with domestic terrorist and attempted mass murderer Bill Ayers.

Many of you either didn't hear about Ayers, or accepted Obama's evolving explanations that Ayers was "just a guy in his neighborhood," or someone that he thought had gone through some sort of terrorist rehabilitation—perhaps at the Yasser Arafat wing of the Betty Ford Clinic.

But now that Ayers has come out and admitted that their relationship is very close—"family friends" is how he put it—how does that make you feel?

I ask, becuase as Malcolm once explained, you've been hoodwinked. You've been had. You've been took. You've been led astray, led amok. You’ve been bamboozled.

You've been conned in to voting the family friend of a known terrorist into the White House.

How does that make you feel?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 08:24 AM | Comments (51)

November 13, 2008

The Disqualification That Will Not Die

This election was filled with attempts to disqualify Barack Obama from seeking office for a multitude of technical violations. Some attempted to claim he was born in Kenya, and therefore not a U.S. citizen, and others attempted to claim that this childhood adoption by his stepfather and his Indonesian citizenship stripped him of his U.S. citizenship.

Others had previously attempted to claim Obama was ineligible for federal office because they claimed he did not register for the Selective Service System as required by law. I though I had debunked this claim in an investigation I did for Pajamas Media, when I contacted a Selective Service representative and he verified Obama's registration.

Mr. Owens,

Barack Hussein Obama registered at a post office in Hawaii. The effective registration date was September 4, 1980.

His registration number is 61-1125539-1.

I though that confirmation was the end of this line of doubt, but Debbie Schlussel reports that a retired agent who obtained a copy of Obama's registration via a FOIA request suspects that the registration was forged.

How solid is the case they've made? I have no idea.

On the surface it raises some very interesting questions and potential inconsistencies, but I simply lack the technical (and historical) background to judge how much merit the individual claims are, or know if any are potential "smoking guns."

Take a look folks, and let me know what you think.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:17 AM | Comments (27)

November 12, 2008

What's the Greater Irony Here?

That more people read this spoofed version of the NY Times today than the real print edition, or that the radical left wing stories offered in the spoof are probably too right wing for the real newspaper's editorial board?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:35 AM | Comments (3)

Random Shots

Armed with a single-shot .22-caliber rifle, an eight-year old in Arizona ambushed his father, shooting him in head and chest, pausing to reload between each shot. He then methodically killed a second man who lived at the home, again with shots to the head and chest, again pausing to reload between each shot. Despite blind and immediate media speculation of child abuse, there is nothing to indicate the father was anything other than a loving father and hunter who taught his son to shoot so that they could share his love of the outdoors. The moral of the story? Love your kids. Teach them to shoot if you want. But always lock up your firearms.

In Alaska, Gov. Sarah Palin's controversial helicopter-borne culling of wolf packs has proven to be life-saving for an Alaskan caribou herd in danger of extinction. At times, shooting even beautiful wild things is a better option than doing nothing. Her pragmatic approach to wildlife management offers a caribou herd a second chance. Don't look for the animal rights groups that attacked Palin for the culling program to congratulate her on it succeeding.

Advocating the shooting of people, however, especially the President-Elect, isn't a good idea, as some N.C. State students are no doubt learning.

State has what it calls the Free Expression Tunnel where students are encouraged to communicate controversial ideas and thoughts without criticism as an exercise in free speech. That free expression stops when racial slurs are spray painted, along with the graffiti "Shoot Obama." The NAACP is now involved, pushing for the students involved to be punished by the University since criminal charges will not be filed. The right to free speech is not a freedom from responsibility.

But what about shooting some friends of the President-Elect? Is that permissible?

Someone pointed out that Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and others in the domestic terror group called the Weather Underground formally declared war against the United States, but that they were not aware that the WU ever signed a formal peace treaty. If someone decided to take a shot at members, could they argue they were targeting known enemy combatants?

I strongly suspect that defense would utterly fail in court, so I'd advise not testing it. Besides, if someone was successful in terminating them as they planned to do to 25 million of us, what would President Obama do? He'd no longer be The Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers.

And speaking even more of Obama and guns, it appears that his campaign and election have done wonders for gun and ammunition sales, even as his policies seem ripe to wreck the rest of the economy.

Gun shops across America are seeing a massive increase in sales of both guns and ammunition as a result of Obama's historic victory. His record of supporting bans on all semi-automatic firearms and all handguns, his stated desire to reinstate the ineffectual Clinton-era ban on assault weapons, and fears that a Democratic Congress may attempt to raise prohibitive taxes on firearms has led to a shortage of certain kinds of firearms and ammunition across the country. In particular, semi-automatic rifles that would potentially be affected by such a ban are difficult to keep in stock, and many retailers are back-ordered.

I only how much more sales will increase when Americans learn that Obama actively sought to undermine the Second Amendment as a director of the rabidly anti-gun Joyce Foundation.

Quite by accident, Barack Obama seems poised to do more to increase gun ownership by American citizens than any President in history.

If I wasn't so bitter and clingy, I'd be thrilled.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:49 AM | Comments (21)

Avoiding the Obvious

I don't usually read Businessweek, and if Bill George is typical of the kind of author they publish with any frequency, I think that is probably a sound decision.

Barack Obama: A Leader for the 'We' Generation is a nauseated gush of emoting from George that one reads in building suspense, waiting for a punchline that never comes.

Somehow, the author pens a screed on Obama's executive leadership qualities that completely avoids discussing his one actual turn as an executive.

George trumpets the coming of the One as only a true believer can, beginning:

The sweeping victory of Barack Obama ushers in a new era of leadership that will affect every aspect of American institutions and that sounds a death knell for the top-down, power-oriented leadership prevalent in the 20th century.

A new style of "bottom-up, empowering" leadership focusing on collaboration will sweep the country. A new wave of 21st century authentic leaders will take oversee U.S. institutions of every type: business, education, health care, religion, and nonprofits. These new leaders recognize that an organization of empowered leaders at every level will outperform "command-and-control" organizations every time.

The 20th century leaders focused on money, fame, and power, earning the title of the "me" generation. Their leadership destroyed many great institutions, as evidenced by the failures of Enron, WorldCom, and dozens of companies like them. The recent fiascos on Wall Street can be traced to the failure of "me" leaders who put themselves ahead of their institutions.

Mr. George is a Harvard Business School professor of management practice and former CEO, but from his emotion-driven rhetoric, you have every reason to suspect you might have stumbled into the conspiracy-and-unicorn-laced Huffington Post by accident.

Bottom-up leadership is of course preposterous; the people at the bottom of business culture in companies both large and small are those that are either to inexperienced to have yet shown evidence of leadership, or are those who simply have no talent or "head" for it. As for a collaborative model of leadership, anyone who has participated in a PTA project or organizing a youth league team dinner knows that collaborative, decision-by-committee leadership immediately leads to paralysis and incompetence.

Or in other words, Congress.

But putting an inexperienced leader in charge is our pending Presidential reality, so perhaps George's praise of bottom-up leadership is a desperate bid for hope—but somehow, I don't think so. No, Mr. George clearly, has bought into hope as a business model. Even the MBAs at the Vatican won't go that far.

But what is most notable in George's praise of the kind of leadership Barack Obama's leadership will inspire, is his utter refusal to discuss Obama's singular, failed turn as an executive.

As I noted in the comment's of George's praise and worship piece:

Mr. George, it seems very significant omission that you failed to mention Obama's one actual executive leadership experience, the multi-million dollar failure known as the Chicago Annenburg Challenge (CAC).

The CAC was shut down after Obama and his mentor, a former domestic terrorist named Bill Ayers, helped funnel grant money to groups more interested in indoctrination than education (Ayers' Small School Workshop got more than $1 million). The Chicago school children that were supposed to be helped by more than $100 million in funds saw the bulk of it frittered away, with dismal results.

You cannot justify your grandiose claims based upon a thin record of proven failure, sir.

You own your readers an explanation, Mr. George, for providing them with unsound counsel.

Bill George doesn't want to discuss is Barack Obama's actual and proven record of failure in his only previous executive position.

Let's hope for our nation's sake that at least Obama has remained sober enough to realize that empty promises of hope and change are find for the stump, but hemlock in the boardroom.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:29 AM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2008

His Final Veterans Day

Please take a moment today to remember those who've served in this nation's military. We owe them our freedom, and owe them our heartfelt thanks.

I'll be offline most of the day today paying my last respects to a WWII U.S. Army veteran, my grandfather, R.W. Barbee, who passed this past Saturday.

Rest in peace, Poppy.

We love you.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:52 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2008

Firm Equates Increase in Gun Sales to Possible Increase In Bio-Chemical Attacks

Because those Yokel-Americans that buy firearms based upon the incoming Adminstration's hopes of reinstating failed firearms bans are also bitterly clinging to vials of Anthrax and Sarin:

BOSTON, MA, Nov 10, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) — "A disturbing increase in reports that gun sales are dramatically increasing now that the presidential election is over indicates that other forms of intentional mayhem such as bio-chemical assaults might also increase," said BioDefense Corporation (, producers of the new MAIL DEFENDER complete mailroom security solution.

"Incoming mail containing white powder discovered recently at major metropolitan daily newspapers, wire services and hundreds of other offices across the country are not 'hoaxes.' Rather, they are 'bio-chemical assaults,' with obvious intent to harm, disrupt, or even kill," said a spokesperson for BioDefense Corporation.

Large corporations, major financial institutions and businesses forced to lay off employees in difficult economic times are the bio-criminal's "bull's eye." Recent media tracking shows that mentions of "anthrax" and "white powder" hoaxes in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and online media number in the thousands every week.

"MAIL DEFENDER, already hard at work at several high-level government and financial institutions, is the first line of defense against these criminal acts," the BioDefense spokesperson added. "A simple letter mailed for 42 cents should not have the power to disrupt and stop large organizations, unfairly tie up first-responder resources, and otherwise add to today's already anxiety-ridden environment," he said.

So Boston-based Bio-Defense hopes to reduce "today's already anxiety-ridden environment," by drawing utterly unsupportable correlations between the lawful purchase of a legal and Constitutionally-protected commodity by law-abiding U.S. citizens and vague reports of terrorist acts, in order to sell a product that they—surprise, surprise—just happen to have on hand.

I'm guessing they aren't part of the condescending 52.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 05:44 PM | Comments (13)

Hope and Change al Qaeda Can Believe In

He has apparently learned nothing.

President Elect Barack Obama is looking at Jamie Gorelick as a possibly candidate for Attorney General. Gorelick is best know for her role in Bill Clinton's Justice Department creating a "wall" that kept American intelligence and law enforcement agencies from communicating with each other, which contributed significantly to security lapses that led to al Qaeda's success on 9/11.

But even without that taint of corruption, Gorelick would signal a return to incompetence and infighting. Gorelick played a major role in keeping counterterrorist and law-enforcement agents from sharing information and "connecting the dots" before 9/11. In a series of judgments at the DoD and at Justice during her tenure in the Clinton administration, Gorelick hamstrung our efforts to find and disarm terrorist infiltrators by discouraging any cooperation between intelligence and enforcement efforts by making "the wall" much more significant than Congress ever intended.

Gorelick wound up serving as a panelist on the 9/11 Commission, but she should have been served a subpoena instead. Two memos from Clinton-appointed US Attorney Mary Jo White made this point crystal clear, as did an explanation from someone involved for years in the counterterrorist effort. Gorelick imposed an unrealistic standard on intelligence gathering that led directly to the 9/11 attacks. As AG, she would have even more power to reimpose those same limitations, and leave us just as blind as we were before those attacks.

Gorelick's fundamental incompetence played a role in the deaths of thousands of Americans, and that Obama is even considering her for such a position merely serves to highlight his own lack of judgment.

Obama is also secretly planning U.S. trials for terrorist prisoners of war. Like Bush's military tribunals, such trials fly in the face of the Geneva conventions and established historical customs, which stands firmly against the trial of POWs during a conflict for fear of unfair show trials. As I understand it, the proper method of dealing with POWs is to hold them in confinement until the conflict is over or until a prisoner exchange is implemented. Look for an Obama Justice Department unfettered by reality to set many, many terrorists free because soldiers fighting a war aren't equipped to collect evidence and play CSI-Tora Bora the way unreasonable ideologues prefer.

We learn all of this after finding out that al Qaeda, with all of their usual bluster, is once again claiming to have plans afoot for new wave of terror strikes on the West that will dwarf 9/11.

After 9/11, President Bush did everything within his power to keep another wave of terror attacks from claiming lives on U.S. soil. Obama's obvious contempt for President Bush seems to be detrimentally impacting his decisions, as he seems to imagining he can somehow return to a 9/10 world.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:11 PM | Comments (19)

Dear 52...

Yes, I saw your messages. Dozens and dozens of them. How wonderful that you want to reach out now, after the last eight years.

You do remember the last eight years, right?

You lost in Florida. Remember how you reacted? "Selected, not elected," and "Not my President" were the order of the day. But that was just the beginning. You kept nursing your grudge, cultivating it, stocking it, and formed insular, community-based realities to echo and increase your hysteria.

That budding insanity you reveled in helped lead to ever-more vicious rants and vitriol, of course, including the "Chimperor" angle, where the lesser accomplished of you bashed the President's intellect, and later, of course, the frothing "Bushilter" and "Darth Cheney" rants.

Perhaps even worse, you let your contempt for President Bush and Vice President Cheney spread to hate those who put their lives on the line to serve this nation in your defense.

What, you don't remember these proud moments?

You swallowed false media accounts of civilians massacres uncritically because it reinforced your simplistic worldview and your biases against our soldiers, and even paid for the full-page "General Betray Us" ad in the New York Times.

You tried to lose the Iraq War and pull our troops out even as the surge was succeeding, even when such a defeat could endanger hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Iraqi civilian lives. Why? Just to hang a defeat on George W. Bush's neck... and to validate your worldview.

So pardon me, if after eight years of your hate, if I find your sudden desire to mend fences and become one big happy family to be just another self-serving ploy.

The sad fact of the matter is that after years of whining, screaming and crying that you've been ignored, cheated, and oppressed, you are now in charge, and you will have no more excuses for the failed ideologies you continue to support.

You have an impressive majority in the Senate. You have an insurmountable majority in the House of Representatives. You have a President-Elect with a record of being far, far left (not to be confused with his recent moderate campaign rhetoric that is already being abandoned). You've got all the power, and all the responsibility.

After all these years of carping, you're now in charge, and we'll see how your ideas stand up under real world conditions. Good luck with that.

You elected a man whose singular accomplishment prior to winning the Presidency was fertilizing an egg.

He has no record of executive leadership. He has no foreign policy experience. He has no economic experience. He was under-performing state Senator laughed at by his peers just four years ago.

And so it is very obvious that you want us to buy into his Presidency not because you want us to share his great visions of hope and change and unicorns, but because you've suddenly realized what kind of disaster you put into the White House. You don't want to share success; you want cover when it all comes apart.

So enjoy your two years of unquestioned power, 52. We'll see you at the midterms, and see if you're still smiling and reaching out when it isn't so self-serving.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 09:27 AM | Comments (38)

November 07, 2008

Prop 8 Meltdown

Proposition 8 in California passed Tuesday, a ballot measure in defense of the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Michelle Malkin has been following the backlash from supporters of gay marriage, some of which are threatening arson and murder against churches and minorities in what we can hope is merely online venting, even though there is at least one man in jail who assaulted and elderly couple over their signs supporting the ballot initiative.

I can empathize with gays who want to marry their partners, but do they really think that threatening to burn churches—or worse, actually carrying out that threat—is going to do anything but hurt them in the long run? And do the dolts at the Huffington Post really think that an attempt to attack the Mormon Church over this issue is really accomplish anything other than further marginalizing gay marriage proponents?

I'm generally agnostic on gay marriage, and suspect my willingness to vote on a proposition for or against it would be swayed by how the two side of the debate handled themselves.

Agree with them or not, the Catholics and Mormons that supported Prop 8 did so (as best I can tell) as we hope citizens will, raising money, holding rallies, etc. What have the California gay marriage proponents offered in return? Threats against the churches. Racist epithets. Bullying tactics meant to intimidate and terrorize those that financially backed Prop 8.

All else being equal, my gut reaction is to empathize with those being attacked by angry mobs. I suspect others feel that way as well.

Gay marriage supporters may have legitimate arguments, but nobody is going to hear them over calls for violent and repeated shouts of "n*gger!"

Not content with losing the battle for public opinion, they now seem intent on forfeiting the war.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:05 PM | Comments (27)

To Serve The State

Via Gateway Pundit, Barack Obama's plan to require government service from middle, high school, and college students:

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

I am all for volunteering, and think it is something that people should do as they are able. My wife and I find it to be spiritually rewarding in addition to being something that helps the community, and I'm proud to say that our elementary-aged daughter recently raised hundreds of dollars worth of food and cleaning supplies for a local animal shelter based on her desire to help.

But such service—any service—requires earnest and enthusiastic volunteers to be successful in the long-term, not dis-spirited, perhaps resentful draftees.

The required service Obama proposes is nothing more than dressed-up impressment or conscription, and is unpaid forced labor. Stripping the racial overtones from slavery by requiring all to participate doesn't make it any less degrading. Involuntary servitude is reprehensible in any guise, and we should not suddenly embrace it as a consequence of "change" under the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers.

Claudia Rosette is wary of the motives of our statist President Elect, and rightfully wonders if he is a threat to individual freedoms.

Time was when America's creed could be summed up pretty well by the words of the 18th-century revolutionary Patrick Henry, whose reply in 1775 to the oppressive ways of British colonial rule was: "Give me liberty, or give me death."

In the American system built around that creed, the monstrous original failing and contradiction was the institution of slavery. America paid for that with a civil war, followed by another century in which, finally--about the time of Obama's childhood--segregation and discrimination began to give way to the equality and opportunities that Obama has now surfed to the presidency. Liberty prevailed.

The irony is that Obama arrives at the threshold of the White House steeped in ideas that subordinate individual freedom to the collective. In his campaign and his victory speech, Obama declares that America's "timeless creed" is now, "yes, we can." This is not a defense of liberty. It is a declaration so malleable and generic that it could have applied to anything from Lenin's Bolshevik Revolution to the Little Engine that Could.

Obama has called repeatedly upon America's people to sacrifice. What's not yet clear is whether this will entail sacrifice in the common defense of liberty, or whether it is liberty itself that will step by step be sacrificed in the name of the common good. If the latter, the implications are indeed world-changing. For the past century, America has stood as the world's great bulwark of freedom. That can no longer be taken as a given. Americans will be hard pressed to support freedom elsewhere if they do not protect it at home.

A propensity towards tyranny comes easily for statists, and when Obama trumpets his desire for radical change and hope, you would be wise to listen closely to what he is actually proposing and pushing to implement as law. Is he talking about what is best for individual Americans, or is he pushing his belief of how a larger government is better for... someone?

Update: At least he's a gutless statist.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 02:01 PM | Comments (38)

Bad News In The Badlands

Khar, Pakistan:

A homicide bomber attacked a gathering of anti-militant Pakistani tribesmen Thursday, killing nine and wounding 45 in a northwestern region where the military has clashed with insurgents for months, officials said.

The attack in the Batmalai area of the Bajur tribal region was the latest to target tribal militias that have sprung up — with government backing — to take on Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters nested along the Afghan border.

Pakistan launched an offensive in Bajur three months ago to dismantle what it said was a virtual Taliban mini-state that is a source of militants flowing into Afghanistan.

The Salarzai tribesmen were preparing to stage an assault on local militant hide-outs when the blast occurred, said Iqbal Khattak, a government official. Malik Rahimullah, a tribal elder, said the bomb exploded as soon as armed contingents began to move.

He and officials initially said it appeared that a remote-controlled bomb was used, but later Khattak said mutilated body parts of an apparent homicide bomber were found, and that witnesses said they saw a young man rushing into the crowd before the explosion.

Amir Khan, a tribesman, said the scene was littered with severed limbs and that several tribal elders were among the dead.

After failing in their own efforts against the Taliban, al Qaeda, and related groups, the Pakistani military has attempted to spur a tribal rebellion against these groups akin to the "Awakening" movement in Iraq. These efforts will fail.


The question is whether or not the war in the tribal areas will spread into a civil war, and how secure Pakistan's nuclear warheads will be in the event of such a conflict.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:03 AM | Comments (3)

November 06, 2008

Good News: Obama's Election Spurs New Appreciation For Constitution

Especially the Second Amendment:

John Faulkner and his wife, Brenda, thought Wednesday was a good day to buy a handgun.

"I'm 37 years old, and this is the first time in my life that I am really scared for our future," said Faulkner, an oil field worker, as he perused the collection of weaponry in A Pawn Shop here.

At Aurora's Firing Line gun shop, Steve Wickham was also purchasing. "Anything I can get my hands on," he said as he cradled a $699 9mm handgun.

Same thing in Lakewood: "I was selling guns before I even opened the door," said George Horne, owner of The Gun Room. "It's gone completely mad. Everyone is buying everything I've got on the shelves. Sales have been crazy."
By midday Wednesday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's "Insta- Check" background check — required for the sale of a firearm and typically about 8 minutes long — was jammed with waits lasting more than two hours.

Gun-shop owners and buyers said the urgency was fueled by Barack Obama's presidential win and Democrats' increasing their majority in Congress.

"I'm here because of Obama," Wickham said. "I think he's misinterpreted the Second Amendment. It's not about the right to hunt. It's about the right to defend yourself."

These scenes are being repeated all across the country.

As severe the rush is now, it would be even worse if more Americans knew of Obama's attempt to corrupt Constitutional scholarship while at the anti-gun Joyce Foundation. Barack Obama is a gun-banner at heart, and there is every reason for Americans to doubt his campaign's more moderate rhetoric when compared to his actual record.

Buy guns, America. It's good for the economy, good for the development of our nation's moral character, and our last bulwark against tyranny.

While you're at it, consider hitting the Paypal link in the sidebar to the right as a belated blogoversary present. What, you think that SLR 106FR is going to buy itself?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:55 AM | Comments (26)


My feeling about John McCain's candidacy are well known. I've never been a supporter, but simply felt he was a far better option than the man who eventually won.

Now that the campaign is over, however, some of McCain's staffers are seeking to blame others for the loss, instead of accepting defeat at the hands of an Obama campaign that was better focused, organized, and managed.

Michelle Malkin, Hot Air and Ace are just some of the blogs hunting down the anonymous McCain campaign sources so willing to blame someone else for their faliings. Red State has gone so far as to launch Operation Leper to run down and publicly name those unwilling to accept that it was their poor political skills and poorly run campaign that contributed to a campaign that never found its footing. So far they've named three McCain campaign staffers. I would not be surprised if there are a few more.

The people need to find another line of work.

John McCain's staff—no doubt including those leaking—ran an often unfocused campaign. If they want to start casting blame at those responsible, they better find a mirror first.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:12 AM | Comments (14)

November 05, 2008

Bitter, Clingy, and Discounted

Fearing a gun-grabbing President-Elect and Congress, Ruger is issuing an "Inaugural Special" on Mini-14 magazines.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 04:52 PM | Comments (11)

Four Years and Counting...

As I mentioned briefly a little earlier, Confederate Yankee sprang to life four years ago today. It was never really intended as anything more than a one-off response to an angry elitist, but as responses to that post came rolling in, I got hooked.

Blogging has been very good to me. I've met some truly brilliant people as a result of blogging, both online and in person. Some of these people are bloggers and media personalities and politicians you may have heard of, and many more are commenters and those who actually do the things I write about, including soldiers, journalists, professors, and other hard-working Americans.

Those of you who do are are an inspiration to me, and keep me humble as I should be. Mostly, I write and reflect and pontificate. You make America—and other countries—work. I just hope that in some way I can contribute to furthering your far more important work, popularize those things you believe, and occasionally shine sunlight into those areas that need to be disinfected.

Thanks for the ride so far, folks.

I can only imagine what we'll do next.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 12:53 PM | Comments (13)


Four years ago today, I read a particularly vicious rant on Slate called The unteachable ignorance of the red states. It was part of a series of angry rants written by a bitter liberal authors in response to John Kerry's defeat. This particular angry author, Jane Smiley, seemed to need sedation as she bashed the 59 million Americans that voted for President Bush.

Smiley, who doubtlessly considered (and probably still considers) herself superior to most Americans, exposed an amusing sort of condescension as she sought to make a historical point involving the Civil War during her rant. It would have been far more biting and far less amusing if she had not gotten that history precisely backward.

Her arrogance and ignorance warranted correction, and led to this blog entry, my very first. Glenn Reynolds and Frank J both linked it (then on blogspot), and I've been hooked ever since, some 3239 blog entries, 34,000 reader comments, and 4.6 million page views later. It's been a good run thus far, and one that appears to be strengthening over time.

I'm quite sure that giddy liberals awoke this morning hoping to hear Smileyesque rants and tortured wails of defeat coming from those of us on the right, accompanied by empty threats of abandoning the country and declarations that Barack Obama isn't our President. It is what they did.

Such is not our style, however.

We love the United States. Through every conflict and war through the various permutations of the Democratic and Republican parties, we love the country, not its politicians. We know better than to subscribe to cults of personality, having seen the damage they've done to nations in other parts of the world.

And so we wish Barack Obama great success as our 44th President, because we want our country to succeed, for our children's sake. We want our kids to reach heights and have opportunities that their forefathers couldn't have imagined. We want them to have an ever-better world.

I'm sure that Democrats also want these things for their kids. We just have very different ideas on how to get there.

We now have a liberal President-Elect, a liberal-led Senate, and a liberal-led House of Representatives. They now have the power and the responsibility. We'll see how Hyde Park, Las Vegas, and San Francisco family values fare when applied to the rest of the nation.

Frankly, I have strong doubts about Barack Obama's capability to lead our nation. I will continue to oppose his policies and prescriptions that seem to oppose to goals of our Founding Fathers. But he is my President-Elect, chosen by my fellow Americans. I disagree with their choices, but I respect their right to make that choice. I won't insult them for their choices, but will instead attempt to be more persuasive in the next election.

In just two short years, in 2010, we'll ask our fellow Americans to consider what an Obama/Pelosi/Reid-led government has accomplished.

Two short years.

I can hardly wait.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 11:44 AM | Comments (22)

November 04, 2008

Ammo or Alcohol: Election Results

I just rolled in after 12 hours in the car, 9 1/2 behind the wheel. My eyes are glazed and I don't know if I'll have a lot to add to election coverage, but if anything crops up, it will go here.

As for the "ammo or alcohol" crack, that's merely based upon reactions I've heard predicted from the right and left. Conservatives seem to be content to drown their sorrows in the event of an Obama victory, where some nutty liberals have claimed that there will be riots, and that "blood will run in the streets" if Obama's coronation is thwarted by a McCain victory.

Update: Close to home, Kay Hagan defeated Elizabeth Dole in the NC Senate race, according to Fox News. I find it very difficult to feel much sympathy for Dole. She wasn't much to remember.

Update: McCain's dreams of a PA upset seem to be over; just about everyone is calling Pennsylvania for Obama. Clinton-supporting PUMAs appear to have been all growl, no bite.

Update: If the polls are correct in NC and Ohio, and both states go Obama with over 50%, then I think this election is pretty much over.

Update: Ohio goes for Obama, and the math seems to indicate that McCain can't hit the magic number of 270 electoral votes without a major surprise. Congratulations seem to be in order for Barack Obama.

Update: It's over, folks. Please pray for President-Elect Obama, and that he makes the right decisions while in office.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 07:53 PM | Comments (32)

November 02, 2008

An I-81 Story

Almost exactly four years after I started CY I find myself once again in Newburgh, NY, where I started this blog. We drove up yesterday on a long-planned trip to visit a friend who recently had a her baby.

As we drove up I-81 in eastern PA, I noticed that every few miles Obama supporters had placed two parallel rows of perhaps 20 signs in each row in the median. This went on for the entire time were were on I-81; I'm not sure how long it went on, but imagine they must have used hundreds, if not thousands of signs, and spent many man-hours deploying these signs in neat, even rows.

To counter all this? A single pair of strategically placed McCain/Palin signs.

My take away?

The Obama campaign and it supporters spent a tremendous amount of time and effort on flash devoid of substance.

If John McCain becomes the President after voting is complete on Tuesday, the wasteful, shallow extravagance in median of I-81 may very well be a fitting metaphor for a Obama political campaign ran precisely the same way.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 10:08 AM | Comments (61)

November 01, 2008

Obama's Illegal Alien Aunt

Oh, my word:

Turns out Aunti Zeituni Onyango, one of Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama’s many relatives made famous in his memoir, is an illegal alien. And not just a run-of-the-mill illegal alien on welfare.

She’s one of the hundreds of thousands of deportation fugitives — absconders – whom I’ve been reporting on for the past six years. After 9/11, the government vowed to crack down on absconders. They’ve failed abysmally.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at 05:00 AM | Comments (42)