Go, go, go like a soldier 1

In an interesting article at Canada Free Press, Philip V. Brennan not only defends (Chairman of the RNC ) Michael Steele’s view of the impossibility of US victory in the Afghanistan war, but gives a fascinating account of how the British found it impossible to win a war there in the 19th century.

Speaking of the war in Afghanistan and President Obama’s involvement in that struggle Steele let loose with this warning about U.S. Involvement in that strange and hostile region. (I won’t call Afghanistan a country because this collection of fiercely independent tribal areas is anything but what qualifies as a nation state.)

[Steele observed] that if Obama is “such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? … Everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that.”

Wildly inaccurate, screeched both G.O.P. and Democrat Party critics … [one of whom] went on to cite the British experience in 1842 when, [the Democrat critic] insisted, the UK had scored a success. Either the Democratic strategist is woefully ignorant of what happened to the Brits in that year or he was flat out lying. He should try to tell that whopper to the descendants of the 16,000 British and Indian [retreating] troops who were cut to pieces by Afghani tribesmen at the beginning of 1842.

“A fearful slaughter ensued…  Without food, mangled and cut to pieces, each one caring only for himself, all subordination had fled; and the soldiers of the forty-fourth English regiment are reported to have knocked down their officers with the butts of their muskets. … More than 16,000 people had set out on the retreat from Kabul, and in the end only one man, Dr. William Brydon, a British Army surgeon … made it alive to Jalalabad. …  It was believed the Afghans let him live so he could tell the grisly story.”

If that’s a success story I’d hate to read one dealing with failure.

He goes on to quote this verse by Rudyard Kipling:

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains

And the women come out to cut up what remains

Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier

Go, go, go like a soldier …”

We sure hope no wounded US or NATO soldier will be driven to suicide by the wild Afghan tribes.

But we agree emphatically that victory over them is impossible, and the war should be stopped now.

The power of ‘no’ 1

The bolshie Democrats are hating Scott Brown’s victory. They think Republicans, conservatives, independents, tea-partiers are gloating too much over it.

But when the freedom of America is at issue, there is no point in being gracious in victory. Press on, rather, to administer the coup de grâce.

This whimpering article shows how much they’re smarting from the blow.

It also shows that though they hear what the voters are saying they still don’t ‘get it’.

From the Washington Post:

If Republicans turn up the volume any more in the gloating over their Senate victory in Massachusetts, Americans are going to need hearing protection.

At a Wednesday-morning news conference called by House GOP leaders, Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) claimed to speak for the American people when she asked: “Mr. President and the majority, can you hear us now?”

“The American people spoke in Virginia,” she continued, imitating the Verizon commercial that has been adopted by conservative “tea party” activists. “Can you hear us now?”

“The American people spoke in New Jersey. Can you hear us now?”

“And they certainly spoke last night in Massachusetts,” she concluded. “Can you hear us now?

Of course they can hear you, Congresswoman. A deaf man could hear you.

What the American people don’t hear is any offer by the Republicans to compromise with Democrats on health care, climate-change legislation, fiscal matters or much of anything else.

Nor should they.

If anything, Scott Brown’s surprise victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday seems to have left Republicans with the belief that their “party of no” strategy is working. After the Republican House leaders pronounced all the things they don’t want to do — “end . . . scrap . . . reject . . . has to be stopped . . . no to this . . . no . . . not to embark . . . isn’t working” — they cut off questioning after a couple of minutes and left.

“Is there any specific area of health-care reform where you could cooperate with Democrats?” NBC’s Luke Russert called out to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). Boehner muttered something unintelligible and continued walking.

Even if Republicans were inclined to cooperate with Democrats, there’s little political incentive for them to do so. Only 24 percent of Americans have a good amount of confidence in congressional Republicans, according to this month’s Washington Post-ABC News poll. With that lowly standing — even worse than the Democrats’ — Republicans’ best hope is that Democrats achieve nothing this year and are punished by voters in November as do-nothing legislators.

Yet the Democrats, predictably, are falling into the GOP’s trap and trimming their ambitions. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), in a statement calling on his party’s leaders to suspend further health-care action before Brown is seated, calling it “vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders.” As if that could be accomplished by the November midterm elections.

The Republican reaction to the Massachusetts results could be summarized in four words: nana nana boo boo….

On the House floor, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) likened Tuesday’s vote to the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord. “The people of Massachusetts have fired a second shot heard around the world,” he said. “Our government, like the British, would do well never to underestimate the American people.”

The Republican National Committee issued a research briefing titled “O-bandon Ship!” The voluble RNC chairman, Michael Steele, informed the viewers of “Good Morning America” that “the country is sighing a sigh of relief.”

The office of Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House minority whip, issued a gloating e-mail titled “Dems in Chaos.” In an underground TV studio in the Capitol complex, Cantor was among a quintet of Republican House members who climbed the podium Wednesday morning for the first round of bragging. …

Michigan’s Miller, also avoiding the “graceful winner” label, took the opportunity to call Obama “the most partisan president that America has ever seen” and said Democrats got their comeuppance because they “rammed” the economic stimulus plan “down the throats of this Congress.”

And she spoke the truth.

It was time for the next gloat session, in another studio on the third floor of the Capitol. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), the Senate Republican leader, led half a dozen colleagues onto the stage and flashed a grin. The gesture, a rare one for McConnell, looked more like a grimace. “This was in many ways a national referendum principally on the major issue we’re wrestling with here in Congress,” he announced.

So is the health-care bill dead?

“I sure hope so,” McConnell said.

And the cap-and-trade plan to limit carbon emissions?

“I would say there is minimal enthusiasm, to put it mildly,” he said.

A deficit-reduction commission?

“I’m not going to decide today what we’re going to do in the future,” he said.

Obama’s choice to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel?

“A significant number of my conference . . . have not felt she should go forward.”

“So what are you prepared to work with the Democrats on?” ABC’s Jonathan Karl inquired….

Until all attempts by Obama and the Democrats to take America down the road to serfdom have stopped, the answer should be ‘Nothing’.

Hope to reverse the change 0

Because who comes to power in the US and with what policies inevitably affects the rest of the world, we’re posting this article on the Republican Party – whose prospects at present look good for the 2010 elections – without apology to our much valued readers in other countries.

Some ruminations in the dark of the year.

The Democrats are doing badly. It must be good for the GOP. What should the GOP do to take maximum advantage of Obama’s steep fall in popularity and public revulsion against the (misnamed) stimulus and the deplorable health-care legislation?

One opinion is that Republicans will rise without having to do anything: ‘They have Obama’, as Charles Krauthammer said on Bret Baier’s ‘Special Report’ on Fox News, disagreeing with Mort Kondracke’s view that they need to offer positive ideas.

Newt Gingrich opined to Sean Hannity that the GOP needs to be ‘the alternative party, not the opposition party’, and announced that he’ll soon present another ‘contract with America’, the first one having worked well for him and the Party.

So who’s right? Just let the Democrats fail and the GOP will have an easy ride back into power? Or make promises, set out a program, announce policies?

Some say a change of leadership is needed; that Michael Steele is lackluster and bereft of ideas.

That may be the case, but ideas are not what Republicans need. They’ve always had the right ideas and only lack the resolution to stand by them and implement them. A reminder of what they are: small government, individual freedom, strong defense, a free market economy, low taxation, strict constitutionalism, rule of law.

Perhaps the less innovative and exciting the Republican Party looks and sounds, the better.

Am I murmuring into the ear of the GOP, ‘Be passive, be negative’? Yes, I am.

Conservatism is, at its best, the politics of inertia. Change is not good, rarely a necessity. Stability is liberating. People should not have to think much or often about the res publica, but be enabled by the state to go about their business freely, without fear of having to adjust to new circumstances; confident that they, their families and possessions are protected by laws reliably enforced, and distant inconspicuous military might. Conservative rule should ensure such ease for them, keeping itself unobtrusive, so the citizens may expect peace-and-order to be as natural a condition of their lives as the air they breathe.

The only active step that the GOP should energetically take as soon as it’s back in power is to undo the wrong that the Democratic regime has done. Shrink government. Repeal socialist legislation, such as the health-care act if it is passed.

It’s a very hard task. Once an entitlement has been granted it’s almost impossible to take away. Governments of West European welfare states have known for at least three decades that maintaining state pensions is actuarially impossible now that people live longer and have fewer children, but what are they doing about it? Nothing. Helplessly they go on borrowing or printing money, and getting poorer.

It’s too late for Europe to save itself. But here in America, imagine if brilliant new leaders were to arise who had the nerve to say to the people: ‘Stand on your own two feet. Don’t look to government to provide you with anything, not health care, not food stamps, not “affordable housing”, not even education.’ We’d be on the road back to full employment and prosperity. But – nah! These are just figments of fireside dreams.

Jillian Becker   January 8, 2010