|Europe’s Lack of Resolve
Threatening Germany, France and Britain with a tariff on automobile exports to the U.S. is the diplomatic equivalent of a nuclear option — the more egregious for being invoked against close allies. But while the Europeans certainly didn’t deserve to be blackmailed by Washington, their invertebrate response to blackmail by Tehran dilutes sympathy for their predicament.
The influence of the tariff threat on the European decision to trigger a dispute mechanism in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is hard to know. They met earlier such bluster by Trump with warnings of their own: Only a few months ago, the European Union’s trade commissioner was pledging retaliation against any US tariffs on automobiles.
Sadly, the Europeans have not been so dauntless in the face of intimidation by the Islamic Republic. From the moment last May when Iran announced it would no longer abide by the enrichment limits in the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Europeans have tended to cut Tehran some slack, when stern warnings were warranted.
Something to Think About
Ethnic Studies in our colleges leads to hate and insecurity in our nation.
On November 27, 2019, Harvard University denied tenure to an ethnic-studies professor specializing in Dominican identity. Students and faculty at Harvard and across the country sprung into protest mode. The failure to tenure Lorgia Garcia Pena, they said, resulted from Harvard’s racism. NBC Nightly News, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and other outlets covered the controversy from the same angle.
In fact, Garcia Pena had been catapulted into the academic firmament with a speed that most non-intersectional professors can only dream of. She has been showered with benefits. Thirty-one percent of Harvard’s tenure-track professors lost their tenure bids in the 2018-19 academic year without alleging bias, since most of those failed contenders were white. Yet Garcia Pena has gone through her academic career playing the victim, reflexively accusing those around her of white supremacy. In this, she is a perfect synecdoche for ethnic studies itself, which also stakes its identity on the conceit that it is in a nonstop battle for survival against the forces of racism and exclusion.
To the contrary, ethnic studies is ascendant. It is spreading rapidly throughout K-12 schools; its ideology has already bled into the political realm. It’s worth reviewing Garcia Pena’s career as an emblem of a fast-rising academic field whose worldview is taking over American culture.
In April 2019, Garcia Pena published an op-ed about her travails as an ethnic-studies professor. After referencing Trayvon Martin as an example of the “violence and destruction based on bigotry and hate” that permeates all levels of our society, she urged readers to “dig deeper into the seamless’ ways in which white supremacy shapes our institutions and every aspect of our lives.” (The rationale for Garcia Pena’s scare quotes around “seamless” is unclear.) That all-encompassing white supremacy, she wrote, “is most evident in my location of work, in my subject position as a scholar of Latinx Studies. Colleges and universities, particularly the elite kind, were not created for people like me: a Dominican Latina immigrant from Trenton, NJ. Harvard’s manufactured science’ denied Puerto Rican citizenship and produced rhetoric which deemed black people as inferior.”
Garcia Pena is likely correct that Harvard’s founders did not anticipate that a Dominican immigrant would be on the tenure track in the twenty-first century, teaching about ubiquitous white supremacy. But there she is anyway. This transformation earns Harvard no credit. Harvard and every other college seeking assiduously to hire and promote as many minority faculty as possible face what Garcia Pena, in another op-ed, murkily calls the “impossibility of redemption.” Harvard’s scholars may have once deemed black people inferior, but anyone on a college campus today who took such a position would be out of a job.
Garcia Pena goes on to catalogue the racism that she and other ethnic-studies professors routinely encounter: “White supremacy in these institutions bleeds through the photos of white men which hang in the halls of the university, in the syllabi that privilege white cannon [sic] and lack any type of representation for people of color, and in the university’s inability to hire or retain black and brown faculty, in the university’s disavowal of Ethnic Studies as a legitimate field of knowledge.”
West Point Eliminating Toxic Masculinity?
I thought we wanted aggressive combat leaders in our army. I was one.
Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
Patriot Battery to Iraq
The plan to move a Patriot anti-missile battery from Kuwait into Iraq to protect US troops against another attack from Iran is on hold. It requires approval from the Baghdad government, which is in turmoil, the Pentagon said.
The US has yet to receive assurances from Baghdad that the Patriot would be allowed into the country. “That conversation is still ongoing,” Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.
The presence of an estimated 5,000 US troops in Iraq and the movement of equipment are “at the invitation of the host nation,” he said.
“We like to give our partners, and we like to give our friends, a heads-up on things that are coming and like to seek their permission,” he added.
Low Yield Nuc for Subs
The US military has deployed a new addition to its nuclear arsenal — a long-range missile armed with a nuclear warhead of reduced destructive power. The so-called low-yield missile joins other, more powerful weapons aboard stealthy submarines prowling the oceans.
The debut deployment aboard long-range submarines, known as boomers, is a landmark in US nuclear weapons policy. It is the first major addition to the strategic nuclear arsenal in recent decades and is a departure from the Obama administration’s policy of lessening dependence on nuclear weapons in pursuit of a nuclear-free world.
In confirming the missile deployment to The Associated Press, the Pentagon’s top policy official asserted that the weapon makes Americans safer by making nuclear war less likely. Critics, including some Democrats in Congress, call it a dangerous excess that increases the risk of war.
Israel’s New Big Gun
The Israeli Defense Ministry made a startling announcement. It will soon begin testing a a new laser weapon to shoot down missiles and drones. If it passes battlefield testing, it could be deployed by the end of 2020, on the Gaza front. It will soon begin trials of a new laser weapon that can neutralize short-range missiles and rockets, low-flying artillery shells and airborne incendiary devices.
If field tests go as expected, the “laser sword” could be deployed by the end of 2020. It is a fearsome weapon of war. Paradoxically, it could also be an engine of peace.
The laser “sword” augments the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which had been about 85% successful in shooting down rockets from across the border. This week, a new version of the Dome was pronounced to now be 100% accurate. Still, it is a cumbersome and expensive weapon. Each shell costs close to $50,000. Lasers — which can take down incoming tank shells, drones and incendiary balloons — run on electricity, fire a limitless amount of ordnance and cost roughly $3.50 a shot.
The deployment of the laser sword, and the newly improved Iron Dome, coincides with the imminent completion of a massive, hi-tech defensive wall along the border of Gaza. It is roughly 20 feet high, descends far enough underground to block infiltration tunnels and runs below the shoreline of the Mediterranean to prevent attacks by Hamas naval commandos. It gives Israel a virtually impregnable defense.
Diversity and Inclusion
Here’s my question to those who are wedded to diversity and inclusion: Are people better off the less they have in common with one another?
For example, women are less likely to be able to march 12.4 miles in five hours with an 83-pound assault load. They are also less likely to be able to crawl, sprint, negotiate obstacles and move a wounded comrade weighing 165 pounds while carrying that load.
Would anyone argue that a military outfit would benefit from diversity by including soldiers who can and those who cannot march 12 miles in five hours while carrying an 83-pound load?
You say, “Williams, the military is an exception!” What about language? The International Civil Aviation Organization has decreed that all air traffic controllers and flight crew members engaged in or in contact with international flights must be proficient in the English language as a general spoken medium. According to UNESCO, there are about 7,000 languages in the world.
The International Civil Aviation Organization could promote language inclusiveness by requiring language rotation. Some years, Cebuano (of the Malayo-Polynesian language family) and in other years Kinyarwanda (of the Niger-Congo language family) could be the language of pilots and air traffic controllers.
Keep in mind that it is claimed that the great benefit of diversity and inclusiveness is that it promotes and fosters a sense of belonging. It values and practices respect for the differences in the talents, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of living of its members.
Another issue is what should be done when people who should know better praise nondiversity and noninclusiveness?
Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse L. Jackson said, “I applaud commissioner Adam Silver’s commitment to diversity and inclusion within the NBA.” During the 2018-2019 season, more than 33% of NBA teams had head coaches of color.
The number of assistant head coaches of color was over 42%. The number of black NBA players was 82%.
In the face of these statistics, Oris Stuart, the NBA’s chief diversity and inclusion officer said, “Diversity, inclusion and equality are central to every aspect of our game and our business.”
I would like for Jesse Jackson and others who claim that there’s racial diversity and inclusiveness in professional basketball to make their case.
Special Ops Command and Aircraft
Our Air Force may only want a handful of light attack aircraft, but US Special Operations Command now appears to want at least 75.
According to a new solicitation posted on the government’s acquisition and awards website, beta.sam.gov, SOCOM plans to host an industry day event seeking “armed overwatch” aircraft for its units.
“Armed Overwatch will provide Special Operations Forces (SOF) deployable and sustainable manned aircraft systems fulfilling Close Air Support (CAS), Precision Strike, and SOF Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) in austere and permissive environments,” according to the request.
If awarded, the contract is expected to be an “Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) with a base 5-year ordering period and 2-year option ordering period.” SOCOM is looking to procure an estimated 75 aircraft “with associated support,” the request said.
If you’ve been following “We Build the Wall” (private donations and on privately donated land), you’re probably aware of this unbelievable project that the Army Corp of Engineers said couldn’t be done (including 315 ft. of vertical grade from 18% to 31%). But Fisher did it start to finish in 10 days–cost between 5 and 6 million!!
AF Choppers Use Drones for Target Practice
The Air Force’s 55th RQS conducted Terminal Area Employment with trackless moving robots. The benefit of used dynamic moving targets is that it presents a more realistic threat picture than static targets or targets fixed to a one-dimensional track system. (U.S. Air Force video)
The War to Liberate Iraq Was Justified—Even if it didn’t work
When going to war against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was popular, Joe Biden was for going to war.
In the fall of 2001, when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden argued that war with Iraq was inevitable and that the United States should “tighten the noose” around Saddam’s neck and assemble a coalition to depose him.
In a speech early in 2002, he said it was imperative “to end the regime one way or another” and called Saddam’s overthrow essential to winning the war on terror. That fall, voting to authorize George W. Bush to order military action in Iraq, Biden declared that “Saddam must be dislodged from power.” In February 2003, he reiterated his support: “I supported the resolution to go to war. I am NOT opposed to war to remove weapons of mass destruction from Iraq. I am NOT opposed to war to remove Saddam.”
As the US attack got underway in March, Biden strongly endorsed the operation. “I support the president. I support the troops,” he said on CNN. Four months later, his resolve hadn’t weakened. “Some in my own party have said that it was a mistake to go to Iraq in the first place and believe that it’s not worth the cost,” Biden told the Brookings Institution in July 2003. “But the cost of not acting against Saddam, I think, would have been much greater.”
Today, running for president in a party that has moved sharply to the left, Biden is busily rewriting history. He falsely insists that he opposed the Iraq war “from the very moment” it started. During Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Des Moines, he claimed, also falsely, that the Bush administration had promised “they were not going to go to war.”
Biden’s mendacities do him no credit. Like the overwhelming majority of Americans in 2003, he was in favor of the expedition to oust Saddam. Most Senate Democrats voted for the war resolution; besides Biden, they included John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein, Harry Reid, and Charles Schumer. There was a strong bipartisan consensus that Saddam was a deadly, destabilizing menace who had to be ejected. Bill Clinton had signed the Iraq Liberation Act, making regime change in Iraq a goal of US policy, in 1998 — two years before Bush was elected president.
Navy Jets Fly Like Drones
The US Navy just demonstrated that two EA-18G can be autonomously controlled by a manned fighter in a first-of-its-kind test for the specialized electronic warfare aircraft.
Boeing Co., the jet’s manufacturer, announced Tuesday that the service recently flew two Growlers as drones while a third, piloted EA-18G aircraft acted as mission controller for the experiment.
The flights, conducted during the Navy Warfare Development Command’s annual fleet experiment, or FLEX, took place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Boeing said in a release.
There were safety pilots within the aircraft who performed the take-off and landing, although the aircraft operated as unmanned systems in flight, said Boeing spokesman Justin Gibson.
The event included four flights to evaluate 21 different test points, officials said.
“This demonstration allows Boeing and the Navy the opportunity to analyze the data collected and decide where to make investments in future technologies,” said Tom Brandt, Boeing’s Manned-Unmanned Teaming demonstration lead, in the release. “It could provide synergy with other US Navy unmanned systems in development across the spectrum and in other services.”
Pentagon’s Lethality Task Force
Defense Secretary Mark Esper put forward a plan to place the Army in charge of the Close Combat Lethality Task Force, a move that drew immediate opposition from a top adviser to the task force.
“What we’re going to do, probably, is transition it to the Army because something like that needs a strong foundation of backbone upon which its ideas can then filter out,” Esper said of the task force, which was set up by his predecessor, Jim Mattis.
The task force, originally positioned at the Pentagon, was designed to make recommendations to all the services.
“Nesting it right there” in the Army makes more sense, Esper said in response to a question during a presentation on the military budget at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
“The Army obviously provides the largest share of infantry, if you will, infantry and special operators,” he said, adding that putting the task force under the service’s wing will “allow it to more quickly get its ideas and innovations out into the field.”
Esper’s proposal drew fire from retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, a member of the task force advisory board who worked closely with Mattis in setting up the group. It is currently led by retired Marine Col. Joseph L’Etoile and reports to the assistant secretary of defense for readiness.
Destroyer Test-Fires All Its Guns
This b-roll clip features Sailors from USS Paul Hamilton (DDG-60) weapons department making ready and live firing various weapons onboard, including the Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), 25mm Bushmaster cannon, .50 caliber machine guns, and the main 5-inch Naval gun while conducting routine operations in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy video)
God Loves Us
Scott McChrystal is a retired Army Colonel, Chaplain. Here are some of his insights that I think you’ll find appropriate.
Dismayed and Terrified
On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. (1 Samuel 17:10)
Stress can produce many adverse effects, one of which is fear. This kind of fear is often characterized by a host of other symptoms:
• Loss of perspective
• Erosion of confidence
• Negative self talk
• Diminished capability to focus
• Tendency toward panic
• Paralysis in normal ability to act
The Philistine giant named Goliath made daily threats to the Israeli army. Every soldier froze in fear. Nobody dared to move a muscle in response to Goliath’s challenge to fight.
But there is good news. As people of God, we don’t have to let stress paralyze us with fear. Our faith in an Almighty God can melt our fears and provide the courage we need for the situation.
David was only a young shepherd boy at the time, but He knew the Lord would help him prevail against Goliath. God would fight the battle for him. David killed the giant and later became king of all Israel.
Don’t let that giant called stress defeat you. Identify the giant, go after him, and trust God for your victory.
Chaplain Scott & Judy have been writing devotionals for the military community for over a decade. If you are interested in seeing more, please visit their website:
And Some Thoughts from the Officers Christian Fellowship (ocfusa.org)
February questions to ponder
What’s love got to do with the life of a believer? Everything. While John 3:16 is arguably the most popular verse that talks about God’s love, there are numerous examples in Scripture that show His love for the world—both directly and indirectly—and command us as image-bearers of Christ to express that love to those around us.
Retired Navy CAPT Joe John has done many things in his life; I’ve asked him to share a few words of wisdom with us:
Americans have become aware that the nation is engaged in a “life-and-death” struggle to ensure the US Constitutional Republic survives!
Civil War History
Here are some questions on the Civil War; we’ll post the answers in the next newsletter.
Here are the answers to the last issue’s questions:
1. Most of the senior general officers of both the Union and CSA had experience in Mexico during the Mexican War. One very successful senior USA general, who commanded the Western Theater under LTG Grant and went on after the war to hold senior positions, did not serve in Mexico. Who was he?
2. Who is the only Union commander credited with defeating two of these three CSA commanders (Lee, Jackson, Longstreet)?
3. Who did he defeat and in what battles?
Here are the new questions:
1.What famous American literary icon served briefly in the Marion County Missouri Confederate Rangers?
2.At the battle of Chancellorsville, along what major thoroughfare was General Jackson’s (CSA) attack made on the Union right flank?
The Stars and Stripes Forever
Frontlines of Freedom Gear
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Two quotes to consider.
I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.
Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor
Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
15-21 Feb: Brooke Goldstein of the Lawfare Project will discuss the new peace-proposal for Israel and the Palestinians. We’ll talk with retired Army General and former Horse-soldier in Afghanistan, Dan Bolduc. And General Dave Warner will discuss the Officers Christian Fellowship.
22-28 Feb: Cabot Phillips from Campus Reform will discuss patriotism on college campuses. Then veteran John Molloy will introduce us to the Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans Coalition. And Steve Wilson will bring us up to speed on HelpVet.net.
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A Navy Chief Petty Officer of Polish dissent goes to the eye clinic on the base.
The bottom line of the eye chart has the letters…CZYNQSTASZI
The optometrist says “Can you read this?”
“Read it?” The Chief replies….”I KNOW THE GUY!”
Question: What would you do if you woke up one morning and a scorpion was 1 foot away looking at you?
Army guy: I’d kill the scorpion.
Marine: I’d bite off his head
Navy: I’d throw him overboard.
Air Force: I’d call room service and have them send someone up to take care of it.
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Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.)