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At Our Worst -- [Quatto Zone - in Afghanistan]
In Afghanistan, reporters were scrambling for local "reaction" to the story. This herd mentality demonstrates again how far contemporary journalism has fallen from its social mission. Rather than bringing the war zone they were assigned to cover to their audience, many reporters--on their own or at the urging of editors--quickly reverted to bringing their audience's fixation on another story into the war zone. Fortunately, this approach didn't supply much useful carrion for the news vultures. It turns out that there wasn't a unit in Afghanistan larger than a company from Ft. Hood. It also turns out that the reaction of the average G.I. in Afghanistan wasn't much different from the reaction of the average G.I. back home, with the exception of the occasional, unspoken, guilty sense of relief that today there was a place where it was more dangerous to be than where you were.
Don't blame MPs for Fort Hood shootings -- [A Wold Away - in Afghanistan]
Before we deployed, Ft. Hood was my duty station, and I will be returning there upon redeployment. When I heard about that shooting business, I thought they would blame the security guards or the MP's for what happened, and that simply isn't fair.
NATO, Afghans claim to kill 130 Taliban in Kunduz -- [Reuters]
NATO and Afghan officials claimed on Monday their forces had killed at least 130 Taliban fighters in a major operation over the past week in an area of Afghanistan's north where militant activity has surged.
A combined force of 700 Afghan troops and 50 NATO soldiers cleared villages of fighters, killing more than 130 insurgents including eight Taliban commanders during a five-day operation, NATO spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Todd Vician said.
All Afghan War Options by Obama Aides Said to Call for More Troops -- [New York Times]
Advisers to President Obama are preparing three options for escalating the war effort in Afghanistan, all of them calling for more American troops, as he moves closer to a decision on the way forward in the eight-year-old war, officials said Saturday. The options include Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's request for roughly another 40,000 troops; a middle scenario sending about 30,000 more troops; and a lower alternative involving 20,000 to 25,000 reinforcements, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Officials hope to present the options to Mr. Obama this week before he leaves on a trip to Asia. While some civilian and military officials believe Mr. Obama is seeking a middle ground in the debate over Afghanistan, aides denied he has made any decision or is leaning toward any of the options.
Turkey Shoot -- [Free Range International - in Afghanistan]
While enjoying a morning cup of coffee and checking email up on the Baba Deck with a group of friends who are in from the States we saw what was clearly the signature of a tanker attack just up the road. That has never happened this close to Jalalabad before so we conducted a brief staff meeting which consisted of saying "let's go" and headed up the road to see what was what.
Very Bold -- [Knights of Afghanistan in Afghanistan]
I wasn't in the area at the time, but yesterday the bad guys hit another fuel convoy out on the Jalalabad road. Blogger Tim Lynch gives a good recap
...the bad guys seemed to have been more deliberate. They came with a larger force than usual, and stayed long enough to light up at least four of the tankers. As Tim points out, that perhaps wasn't really wise, since they lingered long enough to be engaged by three different elements, the tankers' own PSC convoy escorts, the ANP (better late than never) and a pair of Kiowa scout choppers out of JAF. End result, four burned tankers and a very bad day for an undetermined number of bad guys.
The Tribes -- [Free Range International - in Afghanistan]
A Bottom Up Approach - The last post generated quite a few interesting comments about the Steven Pressfield Blog, Chief Ajmal Khan Zazai, and the prospect of using specialized troops to embed with the tribes and possible be used for cross border sanctuary denial work. With the election now decided this is an excellent time to talk about the tribes and more importantly a bottom up approach. The government in Kabul is not going to change - in fact they are already firing a shot across the bow of the entire international community sending a message that is easy to decipher. Check out this email which came from a senior security manager in Kabul last night: Dear All, Last night the Lounge Restaurant in Wazir Akbar Khan was raided by police and all their liquor confiscated. They were also on their way to Gandamak but it was already closed. I made a phone call to the Regional Police Commander for Kabul who confirmed that the police is indeed conducting raids on restaurants for 2 reasons
US, Afghans Target Taliban Region -- [Wall Street Journal]
US and Afghan forces are engaging in heavy fighting against the resurgent Taliban militants in the Kunduz and Badghis provinces of northern Afghanistan, pushing into once-peaceful areas overseen by European allies. In restive Kunduz province bordering Tajikistan, US special operations forces and the Afghan army have carried out a major offensive against the Taliban over the past several days in the Chahar Dara district, a Taliban stronghold near the provincial capital, officials said. "This is the biggest operation seen so far," said Kunduz Gov. Mohammad Omar. "We've been able to kill a lot of Taliban."
Street smarts -- [Embedded in Afghanistan... in Afghanistan]
In an insurgency, when so much of the enemy's advantage lies in the element of surprise and its ability to hide among the populace, the power of perception and ability to 'sense' trouble become of the utmost importance. It's a skill we try to acquire in training, but some will always be better than others. I do believe awareness can be developed, and that the mind picks up on much more than we're consciously aware. Some days when we went out, just a few moments in the local area and we could feel that we're were going to receive some enemy 'attention' at some point. It's was not necessarily an absence of people or dirty looks that would alert us, just...something, and in time we learned to listen to those feelings.
Afghanistan: Marines Bring Some Calm in Helmand -- [Los Angeles Times]
When 500 US Marines descended on this Taliban stronghold overnight, Afghan civilians were immediately suspicious about the intentions of the heavily armed Americans. One question dominated all others: How long will the Americans stay? Five months later, there is still no clear answer. "The No. 1 question the Marines get is: 'When are you going home?' " said Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, an Iraq combat veteran and now the top Marine in Afghanistan. "They can't believe we're staying."
A hope in Helmand -- [The Guardian]
The news from Afghanistan has been grim. The collapse of the second round of the national elections; Hamid Karzai's government tainted by corruption; and, last week, five British soldiers killed by a rogue Afghan policeman in Nad-e'Ali. All the while, Washington continues to dither over its strategy. Small wonder that the British public have lost faith in this war: 57% now think it unwinnable.
However, on the ground in Afghanistan things look a little more optimistic. I have just spent two weeks in Helmand, talking to dozens of civilian stabilisation advisers and military officers.
Allied Forces 'May Abandon Most of Northern Helmand' -- [The Times]
A new strategy for Afghanistan that could lead to a British troop withdrawal from a former Taleban stronghold in northern Helmand province sparked immediate controversy yesterday. According to a senior Nato source, Western military commanders in Afghanistan are considering a radical shift in policy that would see British and US forces conduct a tactical pull-out from most of northern Helmand, including the town of Musa Qala.
[British] Army Wants to Retreat in Afghanistan -- [The Times]
Army chiefs are drawing up plans to withdraw British troops from outlying bases in Afghanistan. In what would be a significant change of strategy against the growing Taliban insurgency, they are considering abandoning several bases including Musa Qala, the scene of bloody battles that claimed 15 British lives. Army forces would attempt to hold only the larger towns in Helmand province.
Armed Forces Reputation is at Risk in Afghanistan, MoD Chiefs Warn -- [The Times]
The long-term future and reputation of Britain's Armed Forces is at risk unless progress is made in Afghanistan, the two most senior officials at the Ministry of Defence warn in an internal document seen by The Times.
Afghan-International Forces Operational Update for Nov. 9; Missing Service Members Update; ISAF CasualtyShare -- [ISAF]
KABUL, Afghanistan (Nov. 9) - Afghan-international security forces conducted clearing operations Nov. 1 through 6 in the Chahar Dara district of the northern region of Kunduz province, killing more than 130 insurgents including eight Taliban commanders.
More than 750 Afghan and International forces took part in the operation to stop insurgent activity and weapons trafficking in the Chahar Dara district. The team also disrupted the insurgent shadow governor in Kunduz province.
Fayzabad فيذ آباد -- [Doc H's International Adventure -- in Afghanistan]
There are many building projects and bridges being constructed. We had a good view of the local Buzkashi field while we were travelling to the clinic site. There are at least 5 tiers of hills and mountains in the distance. The highest ones to the east are at least 12,000 feet high and have snow on them.
The people are different than those found in either Kabul or Mazar e Sharif. While there are Tajiks and some Uzbek features to most of the people, there are also a good number of people who resemble the Aryans with caucasian features. The people appear to be poorer, but more productive and peaceful than other areas of Afghanistan.
Rebooting Afghanistan's Low-Tech Air Force -- [Danger Zone]
Afghanistan needs to radically increase its ground forces, if the Kabul government is going to have any hope of stabilizing the country. But almost as important is beefing up the country's low-tech, often-overlooked air force.
Tradition -- [There's sand in my... -- in Afghanistan]
This is the last entry from "beautiful" Kandahar, really this time! There will be more entries to follow from the trip home. Very short entry this time, but needed to close this trip out. I don't know if it is an official tradition to have a cigar at the end of a deployment, but it has been the case on my three deployments.
Is This What Victory Looks Like? -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes - in Iraq]
I do not know what victory looks like in a counter insurgency. With the recent bombing in Baghdad it is hard to say that a true victory and a true peace has been achieved. There are still deadly attacks on US troops.
The true success of the war in Iraq will be revealed in the coming months and years.
But what is for sure is that the fight is now being waged by the Iraqi police and, to a lesser degree, the Iraqi army.
Snapshots from Tikrit -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes - in Iraq]
...Before sitting down to talk security, politics and economics, the officers took their boots off. Note the M-4s are still there and loaded
Iraqi Parliament Passes Election Law After Reaching Deal on Kirkuk -- [Washington Post]
Iraqi lawmakers passed an election law Sunday night, overcoming a weeks-long impasse and averting a constitutional crisis that threatened to delay the US troop drawdown. The vote was held during a rare evening session preceded by intense lobbying efforts by US and UN diplomats, who had grown increasingly frustrated by the sluggish pace of negotiations and the acrimony that characterized them. "This was amazing for me," Kurdish lawmaker Ala Talabani said after leaving the session.
Flags at Half Staff -- [In Iraq Now (at 56) - in Iraq]
All the flags on Camp Adder are at half staff to honor the dead at Fort Hood. One of the national guard brigades where a friend of mine works flies the Texas State Flag next to Old Glory. Last night at dinner she was saying everyone in her shop mobilized out of Hood and went through the facility where the shooting occurred. Many of the national guard soldiers are full time and work at Hood. They know people, civilians and military, who work at that facility and were frantic for a while wondering of someone they knew was a victim.
Iraqis Take Charge Of The View -- [Strategy Page]
November 9, 2009: As of October 26, the Iraqi Air Force took control of the American built air traffic control network that covers northern Iraq and adjacent countries. At the moment, Americans run most air traffic control in Iraq, mainly because it takes time to train Iraqi controllers. In addition, the U.S. military radars, because they often used classified equipment and procedures, that currently provide much of the coverage, have to be replaced by civilian equipment owned by the Iraqi government. Thus for the next few years, Iraqis won't control much of their own air space. But
Twenty years ago today: The Berlin Wall falls -- [Hot Air]
Twenty years ago today, the most reviled symbol of Communist oppression got torn down by both the people it oppressed and the people it was intended to intimidate as the era of Soviet domination in Eastern Europe came to an abrupt and obvious end. Cheering throngs filled the streets as the Berlin Wall fell, with East Germany's soldiers reduced to the role of spectators as their state, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist entirely. It was easily the climax of decades of Cold War -- and a moment of undeniable victory for the US and Western Europe
VEE Day -- [Jules Crittenden]
It's Victory in Eastern Europe Day. Though I kind of like the sound of "VUSSR Day." In Ivan's face. PO Putin a little ... for a change.
Obama of course couldn't make it to the festivities. It's an awkward one for him, given the recent retreat in the face of neo-Stalinism, and the fact that he'd have to give credit to one of his predecessors, or maybe sit and listen while others do ... it will be interesting, to see if Ronald Reagan does get any official nods.
Democracy Wins in Honduras -- [Weekly Standard]
The four-month Honduran political crisis appears to be over. Last week, Honduran officials signed an agreement to establish a provisional "unity" government and allow the Honduran Congress to determine the fate of Manuel Zelaya, who was removed as president in late June for constitutional violations. At first, some media outlets reported that the deal would automatically restore Zelaya as president, but that was inaccurate. Zelaya could be restored--but Honduran legislators will make the final call. The United States, which helped broker the accord, agreed to end sanctions against Honduras and recognize the legitimacy of its November 29 elections.
A New Mosque in Nicaragua Fires Up the Rumor Mill - [Wall Street Journal]
With just 300 or so Muslims in all of Nicaragua, it became an instant mystery here when a big new mosque suddenly seemed to spring up recently in a residential neighborhood. Like, who paid for it? The ever-present Managua rumor mill quickly turned to the government of Iran.
Hugo Chavez Tells Venezuela Troops to 'Prepare for War' with Colombia -- [The Times]
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez yesterday ordered the country's military to prepare for a possible armed conflict with Colombia, saying soldiers should be ready if the United States attempts to provoke a war between the South American neighbours. Mr Chavez said Venezuela could end up going to war with Colombia as tensions between them rise, and he warned that if a conflict broke out "it could extend throughout the whole continent".
Suspect told 'There's something wrong with you' -- [AP]
"I told him, `There's something wrong with you,'" Osman Danquah, co-founder of the Islamic Community of Greater Killeen, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "I didn't get the feeling he was talking for himself, but something just didn't seem right."
Danquah assumed the military's chain of command knew about Hasan's doubts, which had been known for more than a year to classmates in a graduate military medical program. His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan's "anti-American propaganda," but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal written complaint.
Hasan a Muslim First, American Second? -- [Outside the Beltway]
In hindsight, it appears that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the mass murderer who killed 14 (one of the soldiers killed, Francheska Velez, was six weeks pregnant) and wounded another 30 at Fort Hood, had long made it known that he sympathized with the enemy.
Authorities Scrutinize Links Between Fort Hood Suspect, Imam Said to Back al-Qaeda -- [Washington Post]
Federal investigators are examining possible links between Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal M. Hasan and an American-born imam who US authorities say has become a supporter and leading promoter of al-Qaeda since leaving a Northern Virginia mosque, officials said. Hasan attended the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church in 2001, when its spiritual leader was Anwar al-Aulaqi, a figure who crossed paths with al-Qaeda associates, including two Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, one senior US official said. Since Aulaqi left in 2002 and settled in Yemen, his lectures promoting the strategies of an al-Qaeda military leader have shown up in computer files of suspects in terrorism cases in the United States, Canada and Britain, officials said.
Alleged Fort Hood Shooter Frequented Local Strip Club -- [Fox News]
The Army psychiatrist authorities say killed 13 people and wounded 29 others at the Fort Hood Army Base Thursday was a recent and frequent customer at a local strip club, employees of the club told FoxNews.com exclusively.
Fort Hood Shooting: Texas Army Killer Linked to September 11 Terrorists -- [Daily Telegraph]
Major Nidal Malik Hasan worshipped at a mosque led by a radical imam said to be a "spiritual adviser" to three of the hijackers who attacked America on Sept 11, 2001. Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother's funeral was held there in May that year. The preacher at the time was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar who was banned from addressing a meeting in London by video link in August because he is accused of supporting attacks on British troops and backing terrorist organisations.
Too Scared to Recognize Terrorism -- [Washington Times]
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was declared "not a terrorist" before the facts were out - even before officials were sure whether the attacker was alive or dead. Failing to honestly name a terrorist attack despite the evidence is as destructive and dishonest as leaping to call an attack terrorism without the facts to support that. Apparently, the claim was based largely on the fact that Maj. Hasan appears to have been a lone gunman. However, terrorism is defined not by the number of people involved, but by the motivations and intentions of the attacker. If reports about him are true, Maj. Hasan clearly was a terrorist. He reportedly was upset about the activities of the United States in the Middle East and purportedly had made postings about suicide attacks on jihadist forums.
Breaking: Extremist Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki Endorses Ft. Hood Massacre: "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has just issued a new entry on his blog titled, "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing." Excerpts from the entry are reproduced in part below:
Followers of Anwar al-Awlaki Giddily Celebrate Ft. Hood Massacre -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Supporters of radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki--whose name has surfaced in connection with the investigation of Major Malik Nidal Hasan--are now championing Hasan's murder of thirteen U.S. military personnel last week at Ft. Hood in Texas. Upon learning of initial media reports of the Ft. Hood massacre, one frequent visitor posted a comment on al-Awlaki's blog, "Oh Allah, direct your forces against America, the centre of kufr and fasad. Oh Allah, direct your forces against America, the centre of kufr and fasad. Oh Allah, direct your forces against America, the centre of kufr and fasad... Mash'Allah another good news reaching us from Texas: more Kafir US soldiers in the Filthy U.S. Army base in Fort Hood, were smoked by the their own today:"
Landstuhl honors the fallen -- [Greyhawk]
Psychiatric nurse practitioner Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, in her final Facebook entry hours before she was murdered by Nidal Hassan. "Warman had been at Fort Hood for only 24 hours to be processed for duty in Iraq, a deployment for which she had volunteered."
A memorial for Fort Hood victims
Please visit this memorial for the victims of the Fort Hood massacre. Post a candle in your profile and sign our guestlist. You can also leave your last farewell to the 12 people who died. May God bring consolation to their families.
We are trying to light up 1 million candles in 1 million profiles to show that we could build a community that seeks peace. Please join us.
George W. Bush makes secret visit to mourning families at Fort Hood; Laura Bush goes too -- [LA Times]
Last night former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura made a secret visit to the devastated military families at Fort Hood.
The Bushes instructed the commander of the mourning military base that they wanted no publicity. With their Secret Service detail, Bush and his wife made the 30 mile trip unannounced from their ranch near Crawford, Texas Friday evening.
Departing -- [One Marines View]
Try saying goodbye to your loved ones before you deploy. Then try saying good bye 5-6 times after flights get canceled. It's a gut check from hell. Thinking you are departing then all of a sudden you are not. Departing is hard enough for service members but even harder for families. Its never easy....it never gets easier.
Complications Grow for Muslims Serving Nation -- [New York Times]
Abdi Akgun joined the Marines in August of 2000, fresh out of high school and eager to serve his country. As a Muslim, the attacks of Sept. 11 only steeled his resolve to fight terrorism. But two years later, when Mr. Akgun was deployed to Iraq with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the thought of confronting Muslims in battle gave him pause. He was haunted by the possibility that he might end up killing innocent civilians. "It's kind of like the Civil War, where brothers fought each other across the Mason-Dixon line," Mr. Akgun, 28, of Lindenhurst, NY, who returned from Iraq without ever pulling the trigger. "I don't want to stain my faith, I don't want to stain my fellow Muslims, and I also don't want to stain my country's flag." Thousands of Muslims have served in the United States military - a legacy that some trace to the First World War. But in the years since Sept. 11, 2001, as the United States has become mired in two wars on Muslim lands, the service of Muslim-Americans is more necessary and more complicated than ever before.
USS New York Receives Official Commission -- [Defense Link]
A new Navy ship named in honor of the courage displayed by New York City's residents during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks received its official commission today. The USS New York recalls "the searing memories of Sept. 11" as well as "the bravery of the rescuers, the resolve of the survivors, the compassion of this city and the patriotism of this great country," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said during the ship's commissioning ceremony at New York City harbor. Clinton was a member of the US Senate representing New York state during 9/11.
'Welcome home! We missed you!' -- [The Tennessean]
One person even brought a pack of small dogs sporting sweaters to welcome the troops home. Harless' 12-year-old son, David, wore a shirt with words for his
Plenty of reasons to be glad -- [The News Journal]
Earlier in the day, she and her younger brother, Xander, made a sign -- "Welcome Home, Daddy" -- complete with two exclamation points and a smile underneath
Ohio town to toast forgotten Vietnam veterans -- [The Associated Press]
Vietnam vets have been honored in recent years with a Welcome Home parade in Las Vegas and a homecoming celebration in Indianapolis; Minnesota has ...
He Who Shall Not Be Fact-Checked -- [Abu Muqawama]
Hey, look, everybody, Seymour Hersh has another article for the New Yorker. In this one, people told him a bunch of stuff, and him not wanting to make people feel bad, he went ahead and printed all of it. I have no idea what percentage of this article is true and what percentage is just some stuff people made up. I'm still coming to grips with having been a henchman in Dick Cheney's executive assassination ring, so you guys are on your own to make guesses in the comments section.
The need to believe -- [Greyhawk]
...There were conflicting versions of the story from the get-go - and that's just part of the truly awful job the national media did with the Ft Hood shooting story all around (local media did much better). The bottom line is: if you get your news from television and newspapers you're getting something other than news.
Why Are The Networks Talking About PTSD? -- [Afghan Quest - in Afghanistan]
What part of, "Allahu akhbar!" do they not understand?
For the second time in this war, we have had fratricide performed in the military ranks by a "Muslim convert." Neither of the perpetrators have been combat veterans. Neither of them suffered from PTSD. So why are CNN and MSNBC going on and on and on and on about PTSD? We've got an issue to discuss, and I don't have the solution; but that issue is not PTSD.
Not in this case.
PTSD -- [JR Salzman - Lumberjack in a Desert]
I'm more than a little angry right now. Yes, I'm irate that some shitbag Major ("shitbag" is often used as a technical term in the Army) opened fire on a group of his fellow Soldiers killing 12 and wounding 30. But that's not even what is under my skin right now. What is bothering me is the general reaction of our media and those stupid enough to think this was not an act of terrorism, but was caused by supposed PTSD caused at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
You want to know what fucking PTSD is like? I'll tell you. You have nightmares that go on for weeks. Mine would always be the same. Wherever the window was in the room in which I was sleeping I would see a bright white flash. I would wake up screaming to my wife "Get up! Get the fuck up! An IED just went off!"
TIME Magazine: "Secondary Trauma" May Have Driven Hasan to Slaughter 13 Soldiers -- [Gateway Pundit]
You've got to be kidding.
The state-run media thinks were all stupid.
TIME, the former news magazine, reported today that "secondary trauma" may have driven Nidal Hasan to massacre 13 US soldiers at Fort Hood.
Yahoo republished the report:
To Media, American Heroism Might As Well Be Urban Legend -- [Villainous Company]
How bizarre is it when the number two link on Google for Brian Chontosh, a bona fide war hero and recipient of the Navy Cross, goes to a site devoted to "debunking" urban myths?
Is the idea that a Marine officer could perform acts of heroism so outlandish that it requires debunking? If so, there's little doubt why so many Americans might doubt such tales. Every day we're force fed a distorted, dishonest narrative that magnifies every misdeed and sweeps acts of heroism under the rug. This, we are given to understand, is "journalistic objectivity" in action:
The media has an unfortunate history of wrongly pushing the narrative that military service is somehow a horror-filled dehumanizing experience.
MSNBC's Shuster Links Fred Phelps To Republicans, Conservatives -- [Riehl World View]
Insufferable nitwit number 2 from MSNBC, David Shuster, demonstrates his party hack bona fides by implying that hate protesters Fred Phelps and his group are somehow part of the actual conservative movement and the Republican Party, too. What an injudicious hack.
Could Fort Hood visit redefine Obama's relationship with the military? -- [CS Monitor]
Recent Democratic presidents have had an uneasy relationship with the armed forces. Obama's visit to Fort Hood's memorial service could set the tone for a new rapport with those in uniform.
Obama Doesn't "Get" the Military He Commands -- [Villainous Company]
"What Vice President Cheney calls 'dithering,' President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public," said Gibbs. "I think we've all seen what happens when somebody doesn't take that responsibility seriously."
~White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
Life is full of mysteries, but chief among them in this Marine wife's mind at the moment is, "Just how stupid does this White House think we are?" If the events of the past few months have shown us anything, it's that Barack Obama has little enthusiasm for - or interest in - one of the most important duties of an American President: his role as Commander in Chief of the nation's armed forces.
Like so many of his campaign promises, Barack Obama's commitment to the military has undergone constant revision since he took office in January.
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