Attacks on Israel – and one on an arms factory in Sudan

Heat rising.

While Americans pondered the implications of a presidential strategy involving “Big Bird, Binders, and Bayonets” over the last day and a half, things have been heating up in the Levant.

Hamas launched 68 rockets at Israel in the space of 12 hours, from the evening of 23 October to the early morning of the 24th – a sustained level of fire more consonant with a tactical offensive than with the more typical Hamas campaign of occasional “pinprick” attacks.  Most of the rockets were short-range projectiles, not susceptible to intercept by Iron Dome.  But Iron Dome intercepted 7 longer-range rockets.  Two foreign agricultural workers reportedly sustained serious injuries, and a handful of others received lighter injuries.  There was damage to some buildings.

Israeli forces took out Continue reading “Attacks on Israel – and one on an arms factory in Sudan”

Benghazi: Panetta stonewalls House committee chairman McKeon

Not talking.

The news keeps getting worse.  The Washington Free Beacon reports today that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has “blocked” four senior military officers from answering questions on the Benghazi attack posed by Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC).

McKeon asked the officers to provide answers to questions about security threats by the close of business Friday…

McKeon asked each of the four officers in separate letters whether prior to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi anyone under their command had notified the State Department or other agencies about growing dangers in Libya. …

He also wants to know if there were any requests to increase security in Libya for U.S. personnel. … Continue reading “Benghazi: Panetta stonewalls House committee chairman McKeon”

Pulling out of Benghazi: These colors run scared

Pulling punches.

Remember the slogan “These colors don’t run,” captioning the American flag?

Neither does al Qaeda.

Why should they?  They’ve just won.  They have forced us out of Benghazi.  It did take multiple attacks over several months, and the gruesome torture and murder of our ambassador, to edge us out.  But the job is done now.  We’re running scared.

Instead of sticking with our commitment to a new Libya, one in which Americans have friendship and influence – one in which we can walk free, and so can Libyans – we have closed our post in Benghazi and Continue reading “Pulling out of Benghazi: These colors run scared”

Twenty-eight years later, it’s finally 1984

War is peace.

In 1975, there were political billboards around America proclaiming portentously that 1984 was only nine years away.  The reference, of course, was to George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four, the novel of a collectivized, indoctrinated human future, which high-school students had been reading since it was published in 1949.

The year 1984, by Gregorian reckoning, came and went, and Americans seemed to have dodged the Nineteen-Eighty-Four bullet. Continue reading “Twenty-eight years later, it’s finally 1984”

Middle East in flames

Interesting times.

The Assad regime may well be in its final days now, with unconfirmed reports that Bashar al-Assad was injured in the bombing that killed three of his top advisors on Wednesday, and that Asma Assad, the dictator’s wife, has fled to Russia.

As of midday Thursday, the Assad regime is attacking rebel strongholds; it has not collapsed yet.  It is still very well armed, and can fight on for months if it remains unified and all it’s fighting is the rebels.  But those latter factors may be changing irrevocably.

The central question at the operational level will be whether Russia (and perhaps China) can continue to arm the regime.  But there is an equally important strategic question, Continue reading “Middle East in flames”