Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start with an appetizer by cheering the U.S. Navy’s use of a new laser weapon meant to target small watercraft and drones. They also praise the Trump administration for its success in halting hundreds of regulations that would stifle job growth and business expansion. They also address the tragic news that Arizona Sen. John McCain is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and they express disgust at the tasteless and nasty reactions from both sides of the political spectrum. And they sigh over President Trump griping to the media about his frustrations over Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

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Operation Dynamo

 

My paternal grandfather served in WWII. He regaled my father with stories of working in the RAOC (Royal Army Ordnance Corps) and later in REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). He was a Motor Vehicle Fitter at various locations in England and later a REME instructor. My grandfather met my grandmother when she, as a member of the ATS (Auxilliary Territorial Service), was his supervisor in a motor vehicle workshop. They married in 1946, both in their demob suits.

My grandfather died in 1974, before my parents were married. My grandmother died in 1987 when I was young. Recently my father applied for his parents military service records. They revealed some interesting information.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America praise the leadership of new Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin as he makes sweeping administrative changes to improve veteran care. They also dismiss California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman’s introduction of articles of impeachment against President Trump while California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom implores his party to tone down impeachment rhetoric. And they enjoy the news that rock star Kid Rock is seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate in Michigan and speculate about future celebrity candidates.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the liberation of Mosul from ISIS control and the tightening of the noose around ISIS in Syria as well. They also discuss reports that former FBI Director James Comey’s memos on conversations with President Trump contain classified information. And they lightheartedly critique Donald Trump Jr.’s account of a fruitless meeting between top Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton but really wanted to talk about adoption policy.

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud new developments in the Middle East as ISIS loses its grip on Mosul and its defeat appears increasingly likely. They condemn the appalling Charlie Gard decision in which a London court decided that a terminally ill child will be removed from life support — against the wishes of his parents — and reflect on the implications of single-payer healthcare. They criticize President Trump’s latest Twitter barrage against Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, claiming Trump’s language debases the culture. Plus, a follow-up revelation in the McEnroe-Williams tennis controversy.

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the “tough guy” stance that President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis are taking in deterring further chemical attacks in Syria. They dive into the complications surrounding the healthcare debate, as Mitch McConnell scraps the vote on the most recent GOP bill and many of the Republicans opposed believe the government should be doing more. Finally, they discuss the PC complaints that the new Dunkirk film — a historical World War II drama — is “too white,” even though the vast majority of soldiers involved were white.

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An Incivil Matter

 

The balloons went up. They were up nightly at the abandoned train station outside Haqlaniyah, Iraq. We were convinced it was a coded message. The colors of the balloons would change each night and their groupings also seemed more than haphazard. Our S-2 shop never did figure out the messages of the balloons, but we had every reason to believe those messages weren’t meant to be friendly to us.

We were the First Battalion, 23d Marines, a Reserve Marine Infantry battalion mobilized and deployed to take charge of about 100 miles of the Euphrates River from Haditha to a bit south of the City of Hit, back in 2005. The battles of Fallujah were over and, unknown to everyone except us, the focus of the enemy’s efforts was on Haditha. To this day most Generals don’t seem to acknowledge that fact, they just thought that an understrength battalion spread that thin must have been getting hit so much because we were reservists. We were understrength because they took one of our companies away from us to guard the Air Station at Al Asad. After we lost 48 dead and well over 100 wounded badly enough to be sent home, the lesson the Generals learned was to never put a reserve battalion on the line again. Strangely, they replaced our battalion with two full strength American battalions and three top notch Iraqi battalions, and Voilà! Peace broke out in the region. Let’s just say I disagree with the lesson to be learned.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America feeling optimistic after a recent poll shows that Republican Karen Handel has a slim lead over Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in the Georgia runoff election. They also praise the Supreme Court which ruled unanimously in favor of protecting trademarks that some parties may consider offensive or disparaging. And they applaud the U.S. military as they down the third pro-Syrian regime aircraft this month, an action which prompted a harsh Russian response.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the successful test of a missile defense system targeting intercontinental ballistic missiles. They also appreciate former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper once again confirming that he saw no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And they are excited by initial reports that President Trump plans to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, but are confused after Trump himself suggests a decision has not yet been made. 

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Defense Secretary James Mattis for telling CBS News that he doesn’t lose sleep over anything but makes other people lose sleep. They also scratch their heads over Jared Kushner allegedly discussing a secret communications channel with Moscow during the Trump transition and wonder why a real estate guy is dealing with national security. They shudder a bit as Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says people wouldn’t leave the house if they knew what he knows about terrorism. And they are not exactly teary as they discuss the death of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

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In Honor of the Fallen: Winning the Peace

 

In case you have forgotten, I have written 9 or 10 OPs on Ricochet entitled “Winning the Peace.” Nanda, God bless her, has boiled all of them down to the following:

As I may have said in this space once or twice, since the end of World War II, our nation’s military has won almost all the battles while not really winning any wars. This suggests that it is high time to consider new strategies, even different tactics, techniques, and procedures. We are a nation at war whether the media and shielded portions of the country (almost all of us) admit it or not. Whatever we call this conflict [WWIII, IV, Global War on Terror/Islamo-Fascism, etc.] we are in it. And we need to decide to be “in it to win it”. This must be an “all in” commitment by our citizens and politicians, not just another forgotten police action fought by our soldiers and Marines.

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