We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, May 3. 2011
Cool - we got mentioned at the Village Voice site (but negatively)
Bin Laden Leaves a Scattered, Diffuse al-Qaida
Bin Laden death reax: The shameless and stupid
Osama bid Laden’s killing puts national security front and center
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the Voice: "Maggie's Farm told us: "On the one hand, Bin Laden is, as we have noted, fucking dead. On the other, there's speculation that Pakistan offered up bin Laden -- a figurehead, anymore -- as a sweetener to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan." Maggie's Farm didn't cite a source for this,"
I didn't know speculation needed to be sourced. Pretty much every talking head and columnist speculated about Pakistan, so you've got alot of sourcin' to do if you want to satisfy the high "fucking" journalistic standards of the Village Voice.
RE: Village Voice - hey, any publicity is good publicity.
Beautiful weather in the Carolinas by the way. Sort of like a New England early Spring morning only the days get into the low 80's. I can dig it. :>)
Hey, the only thing worse than being talked about, is NOT being talked about.
The Village Voice piece and accompanying comments were interesting in that same sort of way small boys stare at some dead animal along the side of the road and wonder what it was.
Clearly the Coastal Lefties aren't able to amalgamate their many conflicted and conflicting views just yet. Is it good OBL is dead or would it have been better to have Holder's DOJ create a firestorm over a trial? Can we shift enough praise to Obama without giving any credit to GWB? Can we praise SEAL Team 6 without a nod to CodePink?
Lots of born-again waterboarders out there today. And the Party purists aren't quite sure how to spin it, but they sure want to criticize the Tea Party somehow.
Living in New York, I've found the most useful thing the Village Voice offers is concert listings. Well, I assume they still offer these, that was the only thing it was ever good for, really. It has always had pretensions of being a "valued" news resource but never was. In fact, even my most liberal of friends laugh at its reporting.
It is classless and absurd, extreme and petty. It has the ability to take a look at the other side and make fun of its views, but gets angry when the other side takes a look at IT and makes fun of it - the Village Voice is a petulant child. It has never grown up, it never will grow up, it doesn't WANT to grow up. It wants to be fed, clothed, bathed, and pampered all while it complains about how these activities are being provided for it. Then, in the midst of you paying attention to one of its tantrums, it yells at you for not paying attention enough.
It's a silly "periodical" (I don't know what to call it, really). Now that I'm past the regular concert-going stage of my life, and I take things alot more seriously, I can't see any value in reading the VV. Neither do any of my friends who clung to it for years as their most vital link to the world.
Eventually, we all grow up. Then the Dick & Jane style of reporting, masked by the use of words gleaned from a thesaurus, simply doesn't appeal anymore.
Now, all that said - I DO AGREE that many on the Right have been overly complimentary to the wrong people for this, as well as been overly skeptical. I firmly believe the events unfolded as we've been told - to at least 95% accuracy (given there is some we can't be told). What I think is ridiculous is that many on the Left say this is a great victory.
Well, it is, in the sense that we finally got him. But for the Left it's a great victory NOT because we got him, but that it somehow gives legitimacy to Obama. Now he's earned his "HAWK" wings. As if. In reality, it's pretty clear we've known (or SOMEBODY) has known about Osama's location for some time and done nothing. This operation was clearly timed to provide maximum political benefit.
Not that Bush wouldn't have done the same thing. I'm sure he would've. Or even McCain.
But the fact is, Obama's having a rough go of it lately and clearly decided "I need a win, and this is an easy win."
Good for him. He got his win and I credit him for it.
But then let's step back and think:
1. Was it worth it? Osama wasn't really THAT important and hasn't been for some time. His support in Arab populations has been dropping over the years, particularly in light of recent revolts.
2. Do we now sanction state sponsored assassinations? I seem to remember that Obama specifically said he would never do this kind of thing. I guess until he needed to.
3. Are we now acting unilaterally? Obama clearly stated this kind of operation would NEVER happen under him - that he would ALWAYS seek allies and partnerships. So I guess that's out the window (thank God for that too, glad to see Obama has grown up just a little). My point here isn't that Obama was wrong to do it unilaterally, just that his supporters now love him for acting this way even though they oppose the whole concept of how he behaved.......and if a Republican did it - LORD WHAT AN UPROAR we'd have from the childish Left (yes -that's YOU Village Voice).
4. Will we withhold funds from Pakistan? We should. We won't. Obama knows its the right thing to do, but he can't afford to do it because it would destabilize the regime there, and he's got too much on his plate now (interestingly, having too much on his plate was something he sought to avoid when he was running for president. Funny how he's doing all the things he said he wouldn't)
Look, it's good OBL is dead. And it's good to give credit where it's due (to Bush AND Obama, but mostly Obama for giving the go sign). But it hasn't changed a damn thing and anyone who thinks it has is as childish as the Village Voice.
Good questions, Rick.
I heard some interesting questions from Glenn Beck this morning. For instance, is it true that UBL (or OBL if you prefer) was unarmed? If so, why was he killed before we had a chance to interrogate him? Along those lines, I did see a headline yesterday saying the mission was to kill him and not take prisoners.
A hypothetical of mine is that if he had been captured, would we have read him his Miranda rights? My guess is that we would.
I am not strongly inclined to believe there is a conspiracy afoot - that we did not actually get him, but I admit that I am beginning to have some questions - mostly arising from the questions above and the fact that we lost no time giving him a "proper Muslim" burial at sea.
As far as I know, Miranda rights are reserved for US citizens and/or anyone arrested within the US borders. Which means he would've had NO Miranda rights.
Not that it matters.
The idea that he was unarmed, or that this was a "kill mission" both concern me. But I don't think they concern me enough to be questioning them. What does concern me is how the Left would react if this had been Bush?
I was no fan of Bush. I'm an anti knee-jerk reaction kind of person. As a result, I'm pretty forgiving at first glance. I'm willing to let the facts come in (such as they are or will be). I'm not going to rush to judgement.
BUT EVERY KEY OBAMA SUPPORTER (particularly those silly VVoicers) is knee-jerk mentality. When it was Bush, you can bet each one of these questions, and 20 more, would have been asked, the reasons for the mission questioned, the cost of the mission questioned, the kill order questioned, the burial questioned, etc.
Since it's not Bush, they are happy clams to just sit back and say "Yay! Our nice young man in the White House has proven all his naysayers that he's a tough, effective leader when the moment arrives."
Um...not so fast.
He agonized (as he should) over this decision. So what led him to this particular decision, at this particular time? I really do want to know this. For one KEY REASON. All Obama supporters say he is a deep thinker, reflective, caring, etc.
OK. So what was so deep here and needed so much reflection, IF IT'S AS IMPORTANT AS OBAMA PAINTED IT?
As a mid level manager at a major corporation, I know that swift decisions can be difficult, but are often necessary. That's why doctors have high pressure training as residents....it helps them to learn how to think clearly.
So you have to think clearly when presented with the chance to "get" your #1 enemy priority - right?
Which means dithering is a problem.
Yet Obama slept on this decision. Why? What was he sleeping on? Was it just whether to use missiles or helicopters? No. That's not really a decision - missiles were never going to be utilized in Abbottabad due to the kind of residential area it is - lots of people who support the US in some fashion.
No, he was sleeping on something else. What it is, I don't know. I'm willing to guess that it was whether killing Osama was an option. I'm also willing to guess that it was how to time this so he would get maximum political benefit.
Just my feeling, and I'd bet dollars to donuts I'm right.
As I understand it, when O took over, the rules of engagement changed to include (at least for some prisoners in Afghanistan) reading Miranda rights. It that is the case, then I think it does matter. This fetish some have to include the whole world in our Constitution and laws is dangerous and stupid.
I heard he nixed a plan to blow up the compound with bombs and I thought it was a good decision to send men instead (though obviously more dangerous for them and potentially more dangerous for O politically). I give him credit for that. I hadn't heard that he slept on it and I agree with you. It seems to me that after you get the facts, the risks, and chance of success from the CIA & military, you either do it or not - and since this was a guy we've been chasing for ten years - you probably do it and you don't need to sleep on it.
You could be right about the political calculation. it certainly wouldn't surprise me. Thinking about it again, I wonder if he killed him because he couldn't do what he said he would do with him - didn't he say he would try him in a criminal court? Nothing he said he would do to him (or not do to him) made any sense in the real world.
Well, if Obama did say that then yes, it would matter. Alot, really, because I agree that while the Constitution is a great document, it's only for the US.
This idea that somehow it extends beyond our borders (which, frankly, if the Canadians or Mexicans or anyone like that want it to, fine then it can) is absurd.
I think Obama had him killed, and timed it for now, because he's getting fed up with the bad press and even worse economy. To him, this was an easy win. It was probably a struggle to overcome his natural instincts to keep someone alive, despite the relative ease with which OBL showed in offing a huge number of people, and putting so many more at risk.
But, in the end, to Obama the real problem is what Stalin said - "the death of one is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." Obama had to figure out how authorizing the death of one person would mesh with his internal wiring. As we now know, anyone (even the most deep thinkers) really don't have a problem with having someone killed as along as the situation is right.
I suppose ordering the deaths of Libyans helped smooth that road a bit, though.
For anyone reading this who thinks I'm taking shots at Obama, please read carefully. Frankly, I'm happy the guy finally grew a set. Now if he'd start acting like he'd had them all along the country would get somewhere. But we all know he's going to become the great apologist soon enough.
"Oh, sorry about killing that Arab Leader of yours. I was basing it on events from 10 years prior, and that was presumptuous of me. Next time I'll consider your feelings before I act impulsively like that. America is so sorry for putting you out."
Well, I keeed....but there is an element of this in play, and even the liberals know it.
"when O took over, the rules of engagement changed to include (at least for some prisoners in Afghanistan) reading Miranda rights."
You are correct. Here is just one example of a news item posted in 2009 on the Web, which confirms the adoption of such a policy by the White House and the DOJ:
"[T]he Obama Justice Department has quietly ordered FBI agents to read Miranda rights to high value detainees captured and held at U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, according a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. 'The administration has decided to change the focus to law enforcement.....'"
When it came to bin Laden, the Administration apparently decided to throw its policy of equating international terrorism with ordinary criminality down the proverbial memory hole---not that I object in the least. It's the sort of blatant hypocrisy we've all come to expect from the Left.
Another Rick? Damn....we keep proliferating....so much for originality!
Actually - you're right. It WAS a compliment.
My choice for a place to stare at dead animals on the side of the road is FireDogLake, where they're tying themselves in knots over this. They're trying to figure out a way to believe that enhanced interrogation techniques did not lead to the discovery of OBL's hideout. They're even arguing that OBL's discovery and death proves that we needn't have spent the last ten years at war at all. Somehow we might have achieved the same result via ordinary criminal justice techniques, without a base in Afghanistan to fly the mission from, without Gitmo or the "black" sites in Europe, without spending the time we spent on developing the intelligence. They've come to hate President Obama, who is such a disappointment to them that they profess to be unable to distinguish him from Dick Cheney any more, so they don't want to praise him for this coup, and yet they'd hate to be associated with conservatives who are inclined to give much of the credit to the military or even the groundwork laid by the Bush administration. Above all, they're sure everything they've heard on the subject is lies.
Apparenty, WikiLeaks' lastest dump had something to do with the moves by Obama. Also:
The contributions of McChrystal and Flynn plus our increasingly saavy SEALS were key to the success ratio.
The VV is an irritating skeeter...always has been.