Tag: War

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That is not a rhetorical question. There are indeed things we value more than life itself. That is why soldiers risk death in war, rather than surrender to conquerors and live under oppression That is why police officers patrol the streets, rather than surrender to criminals and live in abuse. That is why civilians risk death every […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Moral Niceties and the CIA

 

It’s only natural for a leftist to quip “we are better than that.” That pretty much sums up the moral orientation of the liberal. The critique is little more than a wish for pleasant things that work. The self-righteous preener rarely has an answer to the question “what would you suggest to make us better than that?”

Comedian Evan Sayet has a test for identifying the liberal in the room: he’ll be the one who chooses evil over good. The test is extraordinarily accurate. On abortion a lefty will choose death over life. On economics he’ll see the maker as a greedy money grubber, and the taker as the victim who is denied social justice. He’ll defend the terrorists, who he sees as the oppressed, and who only behead because the imperialists have a foot on their necks.

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Senator Diane Feinstein is in the news today because she is promising to release a report she and fell Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee (Republicans refused to collaborate) that will accuse the CIA of torture that produced no useful intelligence when it used “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.” As with so many things from the Dems […]

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For the benefit of anyone under the age of 60, here’s a news flash. The Vietnam War was won by the enemy in the halls of Congress first and then on the battlefields of Vietnam in 1975. Are the Democrats who helped the enemy win in 1975 going to do the same thing with the […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Warrior Nation: Thoughts on Veterans Day

 

Today is Veterans Day, a day to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice. It is also a good time to reflect on the fact that our military has not only kept us safe and free, but has made us who we are in important ways. We like to think of ourselves as isolated from the world’s violent conflicts and secure behind two giant oceanic moats. But the cold, unvarnished reality is that — like every other such nation in history — the United States became a great power by breaking a lot of heads. To a far greater degree than most Americans are willing to admit, we have been a martial people for most of our history.

One historically important function of war is nation-building, and so it has been with us. The United States was born of a long and bitter Revolutionary War that gave us our independence, our national iconography, as well as a great general who became our greatest President. The War of 1812 gave us Andrew Jackson and our national anthem. The Civil War ended slavery, settled basic constitutional questions left unsettled at the founding and forged our modern federal state. The low-intensity Indian wars and James Polk’s controversial Mexican War made us a continental power and gave us our national mythology of westward expansion and Manifest Destiny. The equally controversial Spanish-American War and Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet made us a global power of the first rank.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. If The Wall Could Speak

 

Rays of sunlight burst from above, bathing the very air itself with my spirit as the deep rumble of a motorcycle across the lot heralds the arrival of another veteran. He just parked his bike, regarding me from across the parking lot. Sometimes they walk right up to me, and I recognize them, though the lines in their face betray the years and the pain, their eyes searching for a brother in arms. Sometimes they walk all 288 feet, though often times the emotions overwhelm them and they have to break away. Other times, however, their grief is too strong and they watch me from a distance before riding away in silence.

Very seldom do I hear someone say that a comrade or loved one’s name is etched in these panels. Instead, they say, “My grandfather is on the wall,” or as one Purple Heart Recipient said yesterday, his eyes welling up, “twelve of my friends are up there.” I see all who gaze my direction. I remember the time my granddaughter came to visit. She was born long after after I arrived here, of course, and I recognized her long before she saw my name. It hurt harder than anything to see the tears stream down her young face.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Another Day of Terror

 

While the news media focused on the deadly attacks in Ottawa, our friends in Israel also suffered today. A car drove into a crowd at a Jerusalem light rail station, killing a baby girl and injuring eight others. Three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun died at a nearby hospital and both of her parents were among the wounded; all three were American citizens.

Israeli officials identified the attacker as a Hamas member who had served time in Israeli prison. After police raided the suspect’s home, more violence hit his East Jerusalem neighborhood:

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This one clip sums up the impossible choices modern soldiers are required to make. More

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. We Have Never Been at War with Eastasia

 

As U.S. military advisers pour into Iraq, weaponized drones fly over Syria, and America conducts air strikes on combatants, President Obama assured us Wednesday night that we are not at war with ISIS.

To be sure, we are “meeting them with strength and resolve” through “targeted action.” And, yes, we are leading a “broad coalition” to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the enemy, if you can call them that. But this is merely a “comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy,” not war.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ISIS Speech Snap Judgements

 

Last night, President Obama announced that American forces would “will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,” largely constituting an air campaign in both Iraq and Syria, and in coordination with the Iraqis and other allies.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Prepared for the Worst

 

Six months ago I wrote the following:

All the bad actors in the world know they have two-and-a-half years to run rampant since the U.S. won’t do anything. Expect war.

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In Gil Reich’s thread “Cheer Up! The Bright Side of the Middle East” (a welcome dose of optimism), he repeats a popular claim about Russia’s diminished role in world affairs since the end of the Cold War. Russia and China support the Iran – Assad axis. But today’s Russia and China have neither the power nor […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On Being “The World’s Policeman”

 

In the most recent Need To Know, Jay Nordlinger and Mona Charon had an extended conversation about America’s role in the world (Want to join the conversation on this episode? Yet another great reason to join Ricochet!). Beginning at 34’40”, Jay offered the following in response to American war-weariness over Iraq and the Middle East:

I don’t want to be the world’s policeman; I barely want to be my own policeman! But as Jean Kirkpatrick said, what if there’s a world criminal? What are you going to do… to keep him from your doorstep? Wait until he’s at the doorstep? Inside the house? No American wants to be the world’s policeman, but the new world criminal, it seems, is Islamofascism. And are powerful people going to let it run rampant or not? 

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Since Sufficient War is Unrealistic, What is the Best Course of Action?

 

Libertarians are often accused of being unrealistic or ideological and are forced to give secondary positions, since their ideal is not possible. They are told: high immigration is unrealistic, getting government out of marriage is unrealistic, and legalizing drugs and such is unrealistic.

That’s fine, but it’s unrealistic to think Americans are willing to engage in the kind of war that stands of chance of obliterating ISIS, or even to engage them enough to reduce the threat. Yet, pointing this out causes many conservatives to yell all the louder about how dire things are, as if doing so will make things possible. It won’t.

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Three articles, courtesy of the Ricochet crowd on Facebook. What do you think of them? First, Charles Krauthammer on gains already made and on the sadism which overshadows ISIS’ more typical want of total power.  More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On the Legality of War in Iraq

 

President Obama’s decision to launch airstrikes against ISIS advances in the Kurdish-occupied region in northern Iraq raises the question of the legality of the President’s use of force.

I do not think that the President has to go back to Congress for legal authority to carry out strikes against ISIS. The President’s Commander-in-Chief authority gives him the power to send the military into combat abroad, and Presidents have done so since the beginning of the Republic, a point I made in one of my first law review articles as a professor. For those interested in a fuller treatment, here is a free download of a journal article summarizing the argument and responding to critics, who believe that the Declare War Clause requires Congress to turn its key before the President.

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USS George HW Bush

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. It’s Time To Repeal The Iraq AUMF

 

So we’re at war again in Iraq. President Obama, the anti-war candidate, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, is dropping bombs on people again.

If the United States is going to be involved in a war in Iraq yet again, than maybe we should talk about it first. Maybe there should be a debate. Maybe there should be a discussion about this.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Return to Coercion

 

With Iraq collapsing, Russia attacking, and China rising, the Obama administration is only now taking the first steps toward forceful action. It will have at its disposal a broad spectrum of options, thanks to new military technologies such as cyber-weapons, unmanned drones, precision munitions, and robotics. But it has yet to free itself from outmoded ways of thinking of war.

In an article just posted, co-written with Jeremy Rabkin of George Mason University, I argue that the United States should use these new weapons in the way it has used economic sanctions and blockades (as means to coerce other nations to pressure their leaders to change policies, rather than consider them kinetic weapons like artillery or armor.

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IDF-Soldiers

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. My Father, My Son, And The Israel-Gaza War

 

My son Ari went to the Gaza border with his Israeli army unit a few weeks ago, as rocket attacks on Israel intensified. The army took away their cellphones, so when the casualty reports began, we didn’t know where he was. The one consolation — such as it is — is that families are notified before casualties are mentioned publicly. We cry for the families of the casualties, but our thoughts are on the next casualty report.

My son’s battalion, Golani 13, lost seven men in the early fighting. The Golani commander, who is Druze, inspired the nation by sustaining an eye injury and insisting to return to combat to lead his soldiers.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Sherman at 150

 

WAR AND CONFLICT BOOK ERA: CIVIL WAR/LEADERSOne hundred and fifty years ago this September 2, William Tecumseh Sherman took Atlanta after a brilliant campaign through the woods of northern Georgia. While Grant slogged it out against Lee in northern Virginia all through the late spring and summer of 1864—the names of those battles still send chills up our collective spine: Spotsylvania, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor — Lincoln’s reelection chances were declared doomed. All summer, General George McClellan reminded Americans that he had once gotten closer to Richmond than had Grant and at far less cost — and promised that, under his presidency, the war would end with either the South free to create its own nation or to rejoin the Union with slavery intact … but that in either case the terrible internecine bloodletting would end. Then Sherman suddenly took Atlanta (“Atlanta is ours and fairly won.”); McClellan was doomed and the shrinking Confederacy was bisected once again.

What was to be next? Southerners grew confident that the besieger Sherman would become the besieged in Atlanta after the election, as his long supply lines back to Tennessee would be cut and a number of Confederate forces might converge to keep him locked up behind Confederate lines.

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