Daily Archives: January 13, 2014
Hypersonic Arms Race and Mixing It Up In the South China Sea
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
The Chinese dragon continues to breath fire and progress towards war with the US. The latest salvo involves China’s military conducting the first flight test last week of a brand-spanking new ultra-high speed missile vehicle that is quite capable of delivering warheads with prejudice right through our missile defenses. The Pentagon has issued a warning over it. But, it would seem, that the powers that be in our government aren’t worried of no plastic explosives or nothing. While the Chinese prepare to extend their kingdom, Americans are being distracted by gopher-dancing politicians.
The test took place on January 9th. The weapon has been crowned the WU-14 by the Pentagon. I call it fast death. The hypersonic vehicle is a major leap forward for China in their stealth war against the US. You know… the one with the secretive strategic nuclear and conventional military and missile programs that we won’t even discuss, much less prepare for. It’s not a matter of if China will attack, it’s when.
From Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon:
The new hypersonic vehicle was detected traveling at extremely high speeds during the flight test over China, said officials who discussed some details of the test.
The hypersonic craft appears designed to be launched atop one of China’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, and then glides and maneuvers at speeds of up to 10 times the speed of sound from near space en route to its target, the officials said.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the test but declined to provide details.
“We routinely monitor foreign defense activities and we are aware of this test,” Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jeffrey Pool, the spokesman, told the Washington Free Beacon.
“However, we don’t comment on our intelligence or assessments of foreign weapon systems,” Pool said in a statement. “We encourage greater transparency [by the People’s Republic of China] regarding their defense investments and objectives to avoid miscalculation,” he added.
The United States, Russia, and China are all engaged in a hypersonic arms race. All three nations are developing high-speed aerospace vehicles. India is also developing a hypersonic variant of its BrahMos cruise missile.
Hypersonic weapons use cutting edge technology for flying and maneuvering at ultra-high speeds in space and air. Future weapons will include powered and unpowered hypersonic vehicles fired from the last stages of ICBMs and submarine missiles, and from the bomb-bays of strategic bombers. Hypersonic cruise missiles and surveillance drones also are expected.
The military advantages of hypersonic craft include precise targeting, very rapid delivery of weapons, and greater survivability against missile and space defenses.
Hypersonic speed is between 3,840 miles per hour and 7,680 miles per hour, also known as Mach 5 to Mach 10.
China military affairs specialists said the hypersonic vehicle test is a significant milestone and appears to be part of China’s development of asymmetric warfare weaponry that Beijing calls “assassin’s mace” weapons—high-technology arms that would assist China’s overall weaker military forces to defeat the more technologically advanced U.S. military.
Space and cyber warfare is here folks. The Chinese are going to use this against us. They have weaponry that kills satellites and now hypersonic weaponry that will bring death faster than the speed of sound. And we are doing nothing to counter it. Nothing. Worse than nothing – we invite the Chinese into NASA and our intel agencies. We sell and give our secrets to them as well. It’s absolute suicide and the Chinese are patient. They will wait until the timing is just right, when we are at our weakest financially and militarily.
China is very, very busy developing weapons and weapons transport methods. They have come up with a hypersonic scramjet-powered vehicle that is able to take off by itself or be launched from a bomber. The vehicle is meant to combine the characteristics of space-transiting ballistic missiles with ground-hugging cruise missiles. The speed of these vehicle will challenge our missile defenses and that is a challenge the Chinese just might win.
The Chinese and Russians feel they can take on the US militarily and win. With a depleted force and gutted weaponry, frankly, I’m not sure I would bet against our enemies currently. We must turn this around and strengthen our forces for what is to come if we are to survive.
The Russians also have “a new class of hypersonic vehicle” that would “allow Russian strategic missiles to penetrate missile defense systems.” It is a whole new frontier in military advancement. As we changed the world with atomic weapons, so will hypersonic weaponry change the geopolitical alignment of the earth once again. Only this time, we are not the ones with the upper hand.
More from Bill Gertz:
“Today, we are experiencing a revolution in military science,” Rogozin told Russian television June 23. “This revolution is connected with the rapid development of highly accurate means of destruction. These are cruise missiles and high-speed rocket weapons. In the future, there will be hypersonic weapons.”
Rogozin described Moscow’s test of an advanced road-mobile ICBM, called the RS-26, as a “missile defense killer.” Russian news reports said the missile flight test involved three dummy warheads that are hypersonic arms designed to defeat missile defenses.
Russian military experts have written about combining hypersonics with precision guidance and some have suggested including U.S. hypersonic weapons in future arms control talks, following Moscow’s past pattern of using arms agreements to constrain U.S. high-tech weapons.
Russia also is developing an air and space defense system called the S-500 with interceptors capable of shooting down hypersonic vehicles.
Ian Easton, in a report published by the Project 2049 Institute, said China’s hypersonic weapons are part of what he called “the Great Game in space.”
“If there is a great power war in this century, it will not begin with the sound of explosions on the ground and in the sky, but rather with the bursting of kinetic energy and the flashing of laser light in the silence of outer space,” Easton said.
Still think the Russians are our friends? The Chinese harmless? They are a clear and present danger to the US and to the free world. We are sitting on a load of C4 and the explosion will rock the world.
Rumors are swirling that China is getting ready to seize an island in the South China Sea. The Chinese claim it is ‘illegally’ occupied by our ally, the Philippines. Right now, it is bluster. But if China carries through on that threat, war will bloom and spread at the speed of, well, you know…
From the China Daily Mail – a communist mouthpiece for China:
Relying on US support, the Philippines is so arrogant as to announce in the New Year that it will increase its navy and air force deployment at Zhongye Island, a Chinese island that it has illegally occupied for years.
It will be an intolerable insult to China.
According to experts, the Chinese navy has drawn a detailed combat plan to seize the island and the battle will be restricted within the South China Sea.
From Zero Hedge:
Following Japan’s proclamations that it will take over another 280 ‘disputed ownership’ islands, it appears the increasingly dis-approved of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s path of militarism and provocation is working. As China Daily Mail reports, citing experts, China intends to take back Zhongye Island – ‘illegally’ occupied by the Philippines, according to the Chinese. The Chinese navy has drawn a detailed combat plan to seize the island and the battle will be restricted within the South China Sea. Philippines military is building up on the island and the Chinese see as ‘intolerable’ the “arrogance” relying on US support. It seems the Obama administration may have to ‘not take sides’ in another fight soon.
People’s Liberation Army Marines (Wikimedia Commons)
The report arrives hot on the heels of Japan’s announcement that it will “nationalize” around 280 islands in the disputed region, the latest shot across the bow in a tit-for-tat build up that experts have warned heralds the beginning of a new cold war.
China’s latest act of aggression arrives after months of military posturing and bellicose rhetoric.
In October, China sent a surveillance ship to Hawaiian waters for the very first time in an unprecedented move which was described as a provocative retaliation to the U.S. naval presence in the East China Sea.
A lengthy editorial which appeared in Chinese state media last month explained how the Chinese military’s current reformation process was part of a move by President Xi Jinping to prepare the People’s Liberation Army for war in response to US aggression in the Asia Pacific, developments which have prompted “major changes” in China’s national security situation.
Strident rhetoric about Beijing’s ability to attack US military bases in the Western Pacific, as well as the release of a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear strike launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force also turned heads.
Following discussion in state media about plans to to turn the moon into a Star Wars-style “death star” from which the PLA could launch missiles against any target on Earth, a display to promote China’s Jade Rabbit Moon rover also included a background photograph of a mushroom cloud over Europe.
Does that sound to you like nothing to worry about? China has the means and the will to carry out war. They want to rule the known world, just as Russia does, just as Iran does. For our enemies, peace is simply that period in time when you regroup, out-think, out-plan and out-arm your enemies. To sit passively and pretend that no one in the world has designs to rule or expand their empire is the height of arrogance and naivete. It invites war and death and right now the US has a gigantic welcome mat out for our enemies within and without. A new breed of WMDs has been born… will it be the death of the West and the free world? We better vote in conservative leadership in 2014 and strengthen our defenses – the Chinese and the Russians are coming.
Forum: How Would You Change Public Education in the U.S.?
Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: How Would You Change Public Education in the U.S.?
The Independent Sentinel: I don’t like the idea of paying for two public school systems running alongside one another, but public education needs competition. The union leaders block change and progress if they think it in any way inhibits their goals, which do not include the children except as an after-thought.
I do think private education, such as privately-funded Charter Schools, can work. I don’t mind vouchers in poor areas where the schools are failing.
Common Core could have been the answer. Instead it’s an abomination. The testing now tied into it will nationalize education. The leftists – and I do mean hard-left – have already taken advantage and plugged their propaganda into the Core-Aligned curricula. There are too many tests and, while I agree that more objective measures of teacher performance are needed, these standardized tests aren’t it.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: In no partic order – totally reshape the Dept of Edu to nigh inexistence, reshape teacher unions, implement text book reform for grade school with an asset kicking update to the famous 1879 version of the McGuffey Readers. The American History courses would be heavily influenced by the incredible “How America Got It Right”.
College Edu would get a serious kick at the campus bookstore – no more $3.00 pencils etc. or Professors changing the foreward in $200 books they wrote and require every semester. A general jihad on campus bookstores and college tuition.
And this would prob never work – yet tenured teachers would have to swear an oath of allegiance in public to Great Satan and her constitution a lot like the military.
The Colossus of Rhodey: I am a big proponent of a system I saw on one of John Stossel’s specials some years back. It described how in some countries, like Belgium, public monies for education (per pupil) follow the student wherever he/she may decide to go — public or private school. If the latter costs more than what is provided, then the family must provide the extra. This system serves to make all schools compete for students. If schools cannot attract students, they will eventually shut down.
One of the problems with implementing such a system here in the US is that “advocates” will complain that some parents (usually poor and/or minority) “won’t know” where to best to send their child(ren) for a variety of reasons (most usually lame). Since these parents “can’t” decide, such a system would be “unfair.” (If you doubt me on this, just read some of the liberal bloggers and commenters on this issue here in my home state of Delaware, which has a statewide school choice and charter system in place.) Nevertheless, such a system would enable children (and parents) to choose schools which seek, among many other things, to logically evade the insane Orwellian doublespeak that our federal Dept. of Education’s Civil Rights Division is implementing across the land. If you ask parents and teachers what their number one concern is about their schools, discipline is usually at the top, and always in the top three. This latest insanity from the feds will only exacerbate these concerns, making the clamor for more options and choice all the louder.
The Glittering Eye: Tough question. I look forward to the responses from the several educators who are members of the Council.
Before considering what should be done, I think we need to consider the challenges. There are many but I want to look at just two.
First, the percentage of on-time graduations from high school in our large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago seems to have plateaued at around 50%. That’s not a new phenomenon. It’s been the case since the 1950s.
Second, Gammon’s Law or as it’s also called “the Law of Bureaucratic Displacement.” Here’s how Max Gammon, the British physician who first identified the phenomenon described it:
In his words, in “a bureaucratic system … increase in expenditure will be matched by fall in production ….” Such systems will act rather like ‘black holes’ in the economic universe, simultaneously sucking in resources, and shrinking in terms of ‘emitted’ production.
In other words, additional spending will not solve the problems with our system of public education because any resource thrown at it will simply be absorbed. That’s the problem with our healthcare system as well.
Let’s return to the first problem. I think it’s obvious that a significant number of young people see no value in their educations. Considering the slow growth in new jobs available for young people, they’re probably correct in that assessment. That’s a problem that can’t be solved just by reforming the educational system but solving would probably be helpful in addressing the public educational system’s other problems.
The second problem can only be solved by structural change. Structural changes necessary include eliminating Ed schools or, at the very least, changing the relationship between Ed schools and the public school system, elimination of tenure, drastic reduction in school bureaucracies, ending the unionization of public school teachers, and, if Illinois is any gauge, limiting the total compensation of school administrators to a level that is affordable by the communities they are presumed to serve.
Said another way, the problems of the public education system are not solvable.
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
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Obama Moves to Weaponize IRS
By: J. Matt Barber
Right Side News
In 2010 millions of American tea-party constitutionalists, to include the GOP’s Christian base, united in a remarkable grass-roots effort to rein in our unbridled federal government and return it to its expressly limited constitutional confines. As a result, an unprecedented number of counter-constitutionalist lawmakers (read: liberal Democrats) were swept from office.
The Obama administration wasn’t going to take this lying down. Whether it was by tacit approval or via direct order remains largely immaterial. The president quickly and unlawfully politicized the Internal Revenue Service, using it as a weapon against his political enemies. In an explosive scandal that continues to grow, the Obama IRS was caught – smoking gun in hand – intentionally targeting conservative and Christian organizations and individuals for harassment, intimidation and, ultimately, for political destruction.
Not only has Obama faced zero accountability for these arguably impeachable offenses, he has since doubled down. With jaw-dropping gall, his administration has now moved to officially weaponize the IRS against conservatives once and for all.
Despite the furor over the IRS assault on conservative groups leading up to the 2012 elections, this man – a despotic radical who’s turned our constitutional republic into one of the banana variety – has quietly released a proposed set of new IRS regulations that, if implemented, will immediately, unlawfully and permanently muzzle conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations and their individual employees. (The 501(c)(4) designation refers to the IRS code section under which social welfare organizations are regulated).
The new regulations would unconstitutionally compel a 90-day blackout period during election years in which conservative 501(c)(4) organizations – such as tea-party, pro-life and pro-family groups – would be banned from mentioning the name of any candidate for office, or even the name of any political party.
Here’s the kicker: As you may have guessed, liberal lobbying groups like labor unions and trade associations are deliberately exempted. And based on its partisan track record, don’t expect this president’s IRS to lift a finger to scrutinize liberal 501(c)(4)s. Over at a Obama’s “Organizing for America,” the left-wing political propaganda will, no doubt, flow unabated.
These Orwellian regulations will prohibit conservative 501(c)(4) organizations from using words like “oppose,” “vote,” or “defeat.” Their timing, prior to a pivotal election, is no coincidence and provides yet another example of Obama’s using the IRS for “progressive” political gain.
Although these restrictions only apply to 501(c)(4) organizations for now, under a straightforward reading, they will also clearly apply to 501(c)(3) organizations in the near future.
Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel Action – one of the many conservative organizations to be silenced – commented on the breaking scandal: “One of the core liberties in our constitutional republic is the right to dissent,” he said. “But desperate to force his radical agenda on the American people, Barack Obama and his chosen political tool, the IRS, are now trying to selectively abridge this right, effectively silencing their political adversaries.”
Specifically, here’s what the proposed regulations would do to conservative groups and their leaders:
- Prohibit using words like “oppose,” “vote,” “support,” “defeat,” and “reject.”
- Prohibit mentioning, on its website or on any communication (email, letter, etc.) that would reach 500 people or more, the name of a candidate for office, 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election.
- Prohibit mentioning the name of a political party, 30 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election, if that party has a candidate running for office.
- Prohibit voter registration drives or conducting a non-partisan “get-out-the-vote drive.”
- Prohibit creating or distributing voter guides outlining how incumbents voted on particular bills.
- Prohibit hosting candidates for office at any event, including debates and charitable fundraisers, 30 days before a primary election or 60 days before the general election, if the candidate is part of the event’s program.
- Restrict employees of such organizations from volunteering for campaigns.
- Prohibit distributing any materials prepared on behalf a candidate for office.
- Restrict the ability of officers and leaders of such organizations to publicly speak about incumbents, legislation, and/or voting records.
- Restrict the ability of officers and leaders of such organizations to make public statements regarding the nomination of judges.
- Create a 90-day blackout period, on an election year, that restricts the speech of 501(c)(4) organizations.
- Declare political activity as contrary to the promotion of social welfare.
- Protect labor unions and trade associations by exempting them from the proposed regulations.
Continued Mat Staver: “We would be restricted in promoting conservative values, such as protecting our constitutional rights against these very kind of Executive Branch infringements.
“We would even be prohibited from criticizing the federal bureaucracy. If this new set of regulations goes into effect, Liberty Counsel Action – all conservative 501(c)(4)s for that matter – will be forbidden to ‘oppose’ or ‘support’ anything in the political arena and we’ll be prohibited from conducting our ‘get-out-the vote’ campaigns or issuing our popular voter guides.
“Further,” continue Staver, “individual employees of conservative groups will be banned from speaking or messaging on incumbents, legislation, and/or voting records – or speaking on the nominations of judges or political nominees being considered by the Senate. This also includes taking on state and local politicians.”
“These are the same tactics used by the Obama administration to illegally target conservative 501(c)(4) organizations during the last two election cycles, only now the strategy has been greatly intensified and formalized.
“You may recall that former President Richard Nixon was famously forced to resign for improperly using Executive Branch assets for political purposes.
“Rather than preparing a solid defense to confront these serious allegations, a brazen Barack Obama has chosen instead to reconfigure his illegal tactics into a set of ‘regulations’ on nonprofits, opening the door for an IRS crackdown on select organizations,” Staver concluded.
Indeed, once caught abusing his executive authority to target the very U.S. citizens he’s sworn to serve, even a nominally honorable man would immediately reverse course, resign and accept the consequences of his illegal actions.
But we’re not talking about an honorable man.
We’re talking about Barack Hussein Obama.
Freedom-loving Americans are asked to file a public comment in opposition to this proposed IRS regulation at Regulations.gov. All comments are due by Feb. 27, 2014.
Also, please sign this petition to the Senate Committee on Finance, Taxation and IRS Oversight to ensure that all 501(c)(4) organizations formed to promote conservative values will be treated fairly by the IRS.
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war.
IRS writing regs that allow it to suppress the tea party
By: James Simpson
The IRS got caught with their pants down last year. So now they are writing regulations that will allow them to do legally what they were doing illegally before. Every time you think these people can sink no lower, they go out of their way to prove you wrong. A cabal of leftist groups sued the IRS demanding they adopt these regulations, whereupon the IRS went out of its way to comply. This is a classic set up. It was probably agreed to in advance between the IRS and the plaintiffs. Now that they are complying, the leftists have magically dropped their suit!
Here is how to fight back. The following was written by Cleta Mitchell, one of the best attorneys in this field. Read it, follow the instructions and pass them around. The following is reprinted verbatim with permission:
COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED IRS REGULATIONS FOR C4 ORGANIZATIONS
ARE DUE NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Comments can be filed via email:
Submissions may be sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov
Include this citation: IRS REG-134417-13
That will take you to the IRS comments page where you can enter your comments. Be sure to include your name and address.
Tell the IRS it should hold public hearings around the nation on these regs
1. Rules are complex and impose huge burdens on 501c4 groups to calculate and report to IRS many (if not most) normal c4 activities…that will not be counted toward primary purpose if these are adopted.
Tell the IRS:
- it is impractical, burdensome and unacceptable for the IRS to interject itself into the inner workings of every citizens group in the country
- the IRS is supposed to be collecting revenues, not snooping and trampling on the First Amendment rights of the citizens
- we are not subjects and we are permitted to engage in First Amendment activities without reporting those activities to the IRS
2. The activities that the IRS would now define as ‘candidate-related political activities’, subject to taxation and reporting to the IRS, are basic 501c4 activities:
- Grassroots lobbying
- Candidate forums
- Candidate debates
- Voter registration
- Voter guides
- Issue advocacy
Tell the IRS these rules are unacceptable because they would:
- keep citizens from holding their public officials accountable
- silence citizens and chill the very purpose of grassroots groups
- create different rules and standards for different types of 501c groups, such that a charitable organization could do MORE than a grassroots group
- force citizens to get their information about candidates from 30 second tv ads and the candidates and the media – rather than from candidate debates, candidate forums and seeing public officials face-to-face in townhall and other meetings
- treat as candidate-related activities essentially everything that a grassroots organization does
- force organizations to remove legislative voting records from their websites in even-numbered years
- treat legislative voting records as a taxable, non-primary purpose activity of a c4 organization
- treat meetings with public officials as taxable events, even when the official appears as an “official” and not as a candidate
- treat internal membership communications as taxable, if there is a mention of a candidate or public official, if a group has more than 500 members who receive the communication
- declare certain activities to be ‘candidate-related’ political activities, EVEN if no candidate is mentioned
- allow labor unions, churches, universities, veterans groups, social clubs, business groups and others to have greater First Amendment rights than grassroots citizens organizations
- citizens groups shouldn’t have to pay taxes on protected First Amendment activities such as publishing voting records, grassroots lobbying and voter registration
Many other possible examples and reasons. Write your own. Call your congressman!
Cleta Mitchell, Esq.
(202) 295-4081 ofc
New Patriotic Movie Blasts the Media
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
As incredible as it sounds, Hollywood has produced a patriotic movie for a change. “Lone Survivor,” the new war movie starring Mark Wahlberg, is so powerful in its depiction of the brutality of al Qaeda and its Taliban backers that it could awaken the American people to the reality of President Obama’s deliberate retreat in the face of this global danger.
“‘Lone Survivor’ leaves box office shocked and awed,” is how USA Today described its debut. It depicts the grueling training of U.S. Navy SEALs and the sacrifices that American soldiers are making to keep Afghanistan free of Taliban and al-Qaeda control.
A local Texas paper noted, “Both men and women came out of the theater red in the face from crying, some still wiping tears from their eyes.”
In short, the reaction shows that the American people are not prepared to give up on the battle against Islamic terrorism.
While celebrating American heroism and sacrifice, the film also leaves the distinct impression that rules of engagement in battles with the enemy, encouraged by a “liberal media” that puts the human rights of terrorists above the lives of our troops, threatens ultimate victory in this global struggle.
The story of Marcus Luttrell, a retired Navy SEAL who received a Purple Heart and Navy Cross for his actions against Taliban fighters, is also part of a Patriot Tour coming to various U.S. cities this year. The purpose is to demonstrate appreciation for the U.S. military and to expose the brutality of the terrorists who cut off heads and massacre their own people. This, too, is shown in the film.
The release of the film comes as a new book by former defense secretary Robert Gates asserts that President Obama doesn’t believe in the Afghanistan mission, and apparently doesn’t care if al Qaeda takes control of the country.
The movie, however, makes it clear that American soldiers fighting the Taliban believe in this mission, and understand what they’re fighting for and against. It also shows that many Afghans want the U.S. to succeed, and their country to be free of terrorist control.
The Taliban is the Islamic movement that protected al Qaeda in Afghanistan before the terrorist group carried out the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. President Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in retaliation for the attacks and then, with Congressional approval, an invasion of Iraq in 2003 in order to expand a military campaign against terrorist-supporting Arab regimes.
The timing of the film could not be more significant. Terrorism expert Peter Bergen has recently written that “…al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history.”
In a related development, The New York Times reported on Friday that the fall of Falluja, Iraq, to al-Qaeda-affiliated forces, has “stunned” American troops who fought terrorists there in 2004 and liberated the city from terrorist control. One soldier told the paper, “It made me sick to my stomach to have that thrown in our face, everything we fought for so blatantly taken away.”
The film has drawn attention to Luttrell’s 2007 book, which became a best-seller and describes in detail how he became the “lone survivor” of the mission to kill a notorious Taliban commander.
Luttrell says he is not a political person, but his book is very complimentary toward President George W. Bush and detailed in its criticism of the “liberal media” and “liberal politicians” who he says thwart victory in the war effort.
He even defends the invasion of Iraq, where he had previously been deployed, saying he saw at an al-Qaeda training camp north of Baghdad, Iraq, “evidence of the strong links between the Iraqi dictator and Osama bin Laden’s would-be warriors.” He adds, “Some of the guys who had been in Afghanistan said it was just about a direct replica of the camp the United States destroyed after 9/11.”
He went to Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2005.
Luttrell makes clear that he believes restrictions on the U.S. ability to wage war, some of them emanating from fear of the media, have put the U.S. at a significant disadvantage.
He writes that in the Middle East, a captured terrorist “knew that the way out was to announce he had been tortured by the Americans, ill-treated, or prevented from reading the Koran or eating his breakfast or watching the television. They all know Al Jazeera, the Arab broadcasters would pick it up, and it would be relayed to the U.S.A., where the liberal media would joyfully accuse all of us of being murderers or barbarians or something. These terrorist organizations laugh at the U.S. media, and they know exactly how to use the system against us.”
The “liberal media,” writes Luttrell, “knows nothing of combat, nothing of our training, and nothing of the mortal dangers we face out there on the front line.”
He says the Taliban and al Qaeda are among “the monsters of history” with their savage attacks on innocent civilians. But American soldiers go into combat with “an extra element of fear and danger”—“the fear of our own, the fear of what our own navy judge advocate general might rule against us, the fear of the American media and their unfortunate effect on American politicians. We all harbor fears about untrained, half-educated journalists who only want a good story to justify their salaries and expense accounts.”
He writes about the “media war” associated with combat operations against terrorists; when the media get involved, “you’ve got a damned good chance of losing, because the restrictions on us are immediately amplified, and that’s sensationally good news for our enemy.”
The intense fighting in the movie follows a decision by the four American soldiers on a secret mission to release a group of goat herders that stumble upon their location.
If they kill the goat herders and save themselves from an anticipated counter-attack from the Taliban, they figure the news will reach CNN and Al Jazeera, and the American soldiers will be portrayed as bloodthirsty killers. Luttrell’s fellow soldier Michael P. Murphy says, “The media in the U.S.A. will latch on to it and write stuff about the brutish U.S. Armed Forces. Very shortly after that, we’ll be charged with murder.” Luttrell says the “terrible reality” of those words hit him hard. “Was I afraid of the liberal media in the U.S.A.? Yes. And I suddenly flashed on the prospect of many, many years in a U.S. civilian jail alongside murderers and rapists.”
Luttrell’s book even predicts the Al Jazeera headline that would result if they kill the non-combatants and word leaks out:
PEACE-LOVING AFGHAN FARMERS
US Military Promises SEALs
Will Be Charged
Releasing the goat herders would mean the Americans would be fighting for their lives as the Taliban learned about their presence and came after them. The latter option is what they chose, however, because they couldn’t morally justify killing the goat herders or leaving them tied up to die. After their release, one of them is shown running down the mountain to inform the Taliban of the American presence after being released, leading to death and destruction.
As a result, three of the four American soldiers on this dangerous mission pay with their lives, fighting against a much larger force of 50 Islamist fighters. Another 16 soldiers die in a rescue mission when the Taliban brings down their helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.
Almost miraculously, Luttrell survives the onslaught and is saved by a local Afghan villager named Mohammad Gulab. Taliban terrorists attack the village to find and kill Luttrell, but are beaten back. Eventually, the villagers contact American forces who rescue Luttrell. His book portrays the Afghans who save him as tough people willing to stand up to the terrorists, but in need of U.S. help to prevail.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.