a Someone should care, maybe not you....: July 2009 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

31 July 2009


Okay, The President has said that the arrest of Henry Gates is a “Teachable Moment”. So what should be taught, or more accurately, LEARNED, from this mess?

1. Don’t mouth off to the Police. * The were called, they were doing their job, the more you cooperate the faster they will go away. (Note: This only applies if you are innocent. (If you are guilty, sit down, shut up and say NOTHING until you have a lawyer present.) If Gates had just been polite the cops would have gone away in 15 to 20 minutes and it would all be over.

2. The Police acted stupidly. Yes that is what I said and I’ll stick by. But not for the reasons the President implied. Frankly, the Police are to damned thinned skinned about every thing. They shouldn’t arrest a man, ANY man, for getting upset if they show up and start hassling the innocent. But they do. If you mouth off to a cop, (see learnable moment above) they will find a reason to arrest you. They will invade you personal space, they will accuse you of a variety of crimes, they will do any number of things until you do something to give them an excuse to ruin your day and arrest you. They need to lighten the hell up.

Those are my things to be learned. Nothing about race, just a little bit of common sense on both sides. Good luck in getting anyone to learn that.

* Why an asterisk on rule one? Well because sometimes you mouth off for a very specific reason. Such as to get arrested. Now I am not going to say that Mr. Gates deliberately got himself arrested. But, you and I both know that because of this the next book he writes will sell a million more copies than it would have sold otherwise. He will get invited to speak at more conventions, and get paid for them. He just became a household name all across the country at no cost to himself at all because he KNEW he would be released in no time flat.
Maybe I am a bit too cynical, but I can see it happening.

On a final note, I love the picture of Mr. Gates standing on his porch, bawling out “Look what happens to a black man in America!” And standing right in front of him, not at all concerned, is a very large black Police officer.

14 July 2009

Afghanistan again

Ok, a bold “new” strategy in Afghanistan. Go in, drive out the Taliban, hold the territory so they can’t come back again. Yeah I know, that is how people have been winning wars since before the time of the Romans, but hey, we seem to get caught up in new ideas. (Which aren’t new either, the idea of sit in our bases, drive the enemy out of an area then go back to base failed for the French in Indochina, it failed for us in Indochina, it failed for the Russians in Afghanistan, it failed for us in Iraq.) But hey, at least now we are saying the right things. Of course we said them before but it doesn’t hold. The natural tendency of our military leaders is to MOVE. Constantly. And that won’t work if we want to occupy territory to deny it to the enemy. The big test is going to come, (heck it is already happening) when some Afghan villages are peaceful. The tendency in our military leadership is going to be to move the troops there to an area where things aren’t peaceful. This is a great way to win a battle and to lose a war. The Taliban will walk right back into those villages that were peaceful and we’ll be behind square one because the villagers will have lost any trust they may have had in us when we came in. WE are going to have to maintain an relatively strong military presence in these areas for not a week, two weeks, or even a month. It will take at least 6 months to a year for the structures to grow that will resist the Taliban; to enable the Afghan government to establish a real presence in the area and be able to defend it themselves. (and that leaves out the issue of them establishing a presence that isn’t corrupt and exploiting the locals instead of helping them.)

I really am disappointed about Afghanistan. We had that war wrapped up in about 2004 if we had just stuck with some committed follow through. But our policy or rotating troops and commanders all the time eliminated any chance of establish long term rapport with local leaders and the local people. Since a new commander will ALWAYS have a new focus or a new plan that blows consistency right out of the water too.


Opportunities lost, paths not taken, unintended consequences. Maybe we will do it right now. I can only hope.