Friday, August 17, 2012

Media Narratives for Dummies



http://netrightdaily.com/2012/08/media-narratives-for-dummies/

Nation urged to boost defense role | The Japan Times Online

Nation urged to boost defense role | The Japan Times Online

China Arrives in the Arctic | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine

China Arrives in the Arctic | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine

STRATFOR: Russian Military Modernization (Agenda)

US forces in Afghanistan ordered to keep weapons loaded at all times

US forces in Afghanistan ordered to keep weapons loaded at all times

Reason.tv: Judge Napolitano on the 2012 Election, Obamacare, and The Future of Liberty

China: Fast Attack Craft PNS Dehshat Delivered Naval Today

China: Fast Attack Craft PNS Dehshat Delivered Naval Today

RIA Novosti: Russian Navy Med Sea Group to Split After Drills

RIA NovostiBaltic Fleet frigate Yaroslav Mudry Russian Navy Med Sea Group to Split After Drills
18:09 17/08/2012 A combined-fleet group of Russian Navy ships in the Mediterranean Seawill split into two groups following completion of its duties, Russia's Defense Ministry said on Friday.>>

Thompson 54, Baldwin 34 - Rasmussen Reports™

Election 2012: Wisconsin Senate - Rasmussen Reports™

USS O’Kane Sailors Offer Assistance to USS Porter Naval Today

USS O’Kane Sailors Offer Assistance to USS Porter Naval Today

Rome Reports: Rome's Trevi Fountain: From the Middle Ages to "La Dolce Vita"

Mitt Romney: MEMORANDUM

MEMORANDUM

To: Interested Parties
From: Matt Rhoades, Campaign Manager
Re: America’s Comeback Team
Date: 8/17/2012

Tomorrow marks a week since Mitt Romney announced his choice of Congressman Paul Ryan to join him on America’s Comeback Team, and it’s clear that his choice has reshaped the race in a positive way. The Obama team’s increasing vitriol is a sure sign that they’re rattled by the pick. Unable to engage in an elevated policy debate, they’ve spent the past few days drowning in their own venom.
Since the announcement in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday:

Online Fundraising

Donations: 124,800+
Amount: $10,157,947
Average Donation: $81
% New Donors: 68%

Site Traffic

Total: 2,000,000
Desktop: 1,560,000
Mobile: 440,000

Mitt Romney Social

Facebook: +510,000 -- Now 4,360,000
Twitter: +54,000 -- Now 861,000

Paul Ryan Social

Facebook: +860,000
Twitter: +118,500

Volunteers

45,000+ sign up to volunteer online

President Obama is on defense over his $716 billion raid of current Medicare beneficiaries to pay for Obamacare, and allowing the hospital trust fund to go broke by the time those aged 50 or below are Medicare eligible. The political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warned this week that the issue could cost Democrats the election.

At the same, time, the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class is gaining traction. Voters in the swing states believe that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a better plan than Barack Obama and Joe Biden “to reduce the deficit, create jobs and get the economy moving.”[1]

Polling data shows Romney gaining since the announcement. Both Gallup and Rasmussen show us leading Obama in national polling, and recent statewide polling shows us picking up ground in Ohio and Virginia.

While President Obama’s team continues its campaign of frustration and division to distract voters from his failed record, the Romney-Ryan team will continue offering solutions to the challenges facing our nation. America is ready for a comeback and if this past week is any indication, America’s comeback will begin on November 6th.

[1] Data from “Purple Poll” conducted August 13-14, 2012.

Ovide Lamontagne's First TV Commercial - Heart

Founding Fathers Quote

Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.

James Madison

Rome Reports: Schoenstatt begins plans for Conference in 2014 to commemorate 100 years

Thursday, August 16, 2012

AZ Gov Denies Illegals Benefits By Executive Order

AZ Gov Denies Illegals Benefits By Executive Order

Army reports grim milestone in troop suicides - Stephanie Gaskell - POLITICO.com

Army reports grim milestone in troop suicides - Stephanie Gaskell - POLITICO.com

RIA Novosti: Russia to Lay Down New Diesel Sub for Black Sea Fleet

RIA NovostiThe Varshavyanka class is an improved version of the Kilo class submarines, featuring advanced “stealth” technology, extended combat range and ability to strike land, surface and underwater targetsRussia to Lay Down New Diesel Sub for Black Sea Fleet
01:03 17/08/2012 The Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg will lay down on Friday a new Varshavyanka class diesel-electric submarine for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet>>

World Maritime News - Indian Government Plans to Set Up Two New Major Ports

World Maritime News - Indian Government Plans to Set Up Two New Major Ports

Kelly Cobb: Alaskan Pioneer

STRATFOR: U.S.-Turkey Divergence on Syria (Dispatch)

Obama's Major Strategic Blunder! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

PAUL RYAN: WE NEED TRADE THAT WORKS FOR US

Paul Ryan: Joe Biden is ‘desperate’ - Mackenzie Weinger - POLITICO.com

Paul Ryan: Joe Biden is ‘desperate’ - Mackenzie Weinger - POLITICO.com

Question To Carney: Where's The President's Plan On Medicare?

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2012 – Vote for your Favorites

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2012 – Vote for your Favorites

STRATFOR: Targeting Tribal Leaders: A New Militant Tactic in Sinai

"Targeting Tribal Leaders: A New Militant Tactic in Sinai is republished with permission of Stratfor."

By Ashley Lindsey

Militants killed Egyptian tribal leader Khalaf al-Menahy and his son Aug. 13 as the two were returning from a conference in east Sinai organized and attended by tribal leaders to denounce militancy, according to Sinai security forces. The senior al-Menahy was a prominent proponent of bolstering the Sinai Peninsula's representation in Egypt's parliament and of improving security in the region. He also was a prominent sheikh in the Sawarka tribe, said to be the largest in Sinai. Following his burial Aug. 13, the tribe vowed to seek vengeance.

This is the first reported case of militants attacking tribal leaders in Sinai. It comes soon after an attack on Egyptian security forces Aug. 5 and an attack on military checkpoints in northern Sinai on Aug. 8.

Although the militant tactic of targeting tribal leaders is new to Sinai, the tactic has been common in conflict zones in the Middle East and South Asia, such as in Yemen, Iraq and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Though it can offer many benefits to these militants -- including weakening the targeted tribe and possibly leading to its co-option -- these kinds of attacks tend to only succeed in zones with little government control and against tribes that cannot effectively retaliate. Examining similar instances of this tactic thus provides a helpful tool for assessing the consequences of attacks against tribal elements in the Sinai Peninsula.

 

A Widespread Militant Tactic

Yemen

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has operated openly in Yemen's tribal-dominated southern and eastern provinces for years. It has sought to expand its presence and operations by winning over local tribes using tactics such as strategic marriages.

Lately, it appears to have begun a shift from wooing tribal leaders to intimidating them. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula recently failed in an attempt to assassinate tribal leader Majed al-Dhahab in the city of Radda in Bayda province. An important tribal leader, al-Dhahab participated in the offensive to drive al Qaeda -- and his own cousin, a local al Qaeda leader -- from the region after the militant group seized control of Radda in January. Al-Dhahab's son received a package that unbeknownst to him contained a bomb, which he was instructed to give to his father. However, the package exploded in his arms Aug. 4 before he could deliver it. Immediately after his son's death, al-Dhahab received a call warning him that the group would kill anyone who opposed it.

The group followed up with another attack on tribal elements Aug. 5. A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at a wake in Jaar, killing 45 people. The dead included several tribal fighters who had participated in the June Yemeni government offensive against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and the wounded included a tribal leader.

The region's tribes have not publicly vowed to retaliate against the militant group. If they are capable of doing so, they probably will respond to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's attacks. But the tribes could be too weak to mount an effective response, especially in the wake of attacks on their leadership structure. This could cause some tribesmen to abandon the fight, allowing militants to try to resume activity in the region's towns should they wish.

 

Iraq and the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border

Although new to Yemen, militants frequently used the tactic of attacking tribal leaders during the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tactic is still frequently used, especially in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. In one significant instance, in 2007 al Qaeda in Iraq assassinated high-profile Sunni tribal Sheikh Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, who led the Anbar Awakening Council. A U.S. ally, Abu Risha had formed the council, uniting dozens of Sunni tribes in the province against al Qaeda in Iraq. His killing backfired on the militant group, generating a massive outpouring of sympathy for Abu Risha and prompting the tribes in the province to join in vowing to fight al Qaeda in Iraq to the death.

In southern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban are deeply embedded into the tribal system. They have effectively used the tactic of assassinating tribal leaders to eliminate obstacles to their operations and evolution. To this end, they regularly employ suicide operations, armed assaults and roadside bombs against anti-Taliban militias known as lashkars and against tribal leaders in northwestern Pakistan.

One area particularly affected by such attacks is Bajaur, a Pakistani agency that borders Afghanistan's Kunar province. After numerous attacks on tribal leaders and members of peace committees in Bajaur, the Mamond tribe announced July 25 that the tribal leaders had formed a lashkar to prevent cross-border attacks. Hundreds of elders, leaders and religious figures of various subtribes and peace committees pledged their support for this militia. As with the killing of Abu Risha, the Afghan Taliban attacks on tribesmen and leadership in the region spurred a fiercely united response across numerous tribes, with the new militia even expressing a willingness to enter Afghanistan to attack Taliban leaders.

 

Upsides and Downsides of a Militant Tactic

Militant groups attack tribal leaders to increase their influence and area of operations. From the militants' perspective, removing a tribal leader ideally will weaken the targeted tribe. This could end the tribes' resistance and even lead to the its being co-opted by the militant group due to a leadership vacuum following the militant attack. The weakening of the tribe could leave the group no choice but to allow the militant group to operate unchallenged in its territory. Even though assassinated tribal leaders are replaced and the leadership structure remains intact, tribal leaders in the area could be persuaded to adopt a more accommodating stance on the presence of militants.

Success for a militant group in the long term happens under two conditions. First, the militants must be acting in an area with a tribal patronage network and limited government oversight. Without such a network, attacks on tribal leaders in efforts to co-opt and intimidate that tribe would not provide any significant gain. In Yemen, for example, the patronage and tribal network are very strong and in most cases enjoy greater legitimacy and power than the government. Attacks against tribal chiefs there are accordingly tantamount to attacks on the local government. On the one hand, that means tribal networks can band together and shun foreign militant elements as one community. On the other hand, if al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is able to coerce a tribe into aligning with it, the militant group will then enjoy access to that tribes' resources, will gain the ability to plan and launch attacks in that area, and could even gain better relations with neighboring tribes.

Second, the group must be militarily capable of overwhelming the targeted tribe and its allies or at least of gaining the upper hand. As can be seen from the Iraq example, killing Abu Risha backfired because his tribe was large, committed and militarily strong, and it had the support of several allied Sunni tribes that belonged to his Anbar Awakening Council.

The tactic of targeting a tribal leader thus comes with certain risks. When the aforementioned two conditions are not met, a militant group exposes itself to great danger when it targets tribal leaders.

 

Consequences of the Sinai Assassination

The Sinai Peninsula meets the requirement of limited government control and strong tribal networks. The question then becomes whether the Sinai tribes can muster a strong defense against the militants. In the coming weeks, it will be important to look for signs of the retaliation pledged by al-Menahy's Sawarka tribe and others allied with it. This retaliation could come in the form of attacks against the militants passing through Sawarka and its allied tribes' territory.

Tribal retaliation could also come in the less aggressive, yet still effective, form of supplying increased logistical support and intelligence to the Egyptian government. Increased weapons seizures and the arrest of key leaders suggest that tribal sources on the ground are providing intelligence to Cairo. A targeted campaign against the militants already has begun, with Egyptian planes bombing the mountains of El Arish on Aug. 15. The intelligence for these attacks likely came from local tribes.

The success of tribal and Egyptian security efforts against the militants will determine whether the militants miscalculated their position in Sinai when they attacked a key tribal leader. The resilience of militants in Sinai also will help determine whether they can continue to stage attacks against Egypt and Israel.

Read more: Targeting Tribal Leaders: A New Militant Tactic in Sinai | Stratfor

SSN Akula Class (Bars Type 971) Nuclear Submarine - Naval Technology

SSN Akula Class (Bars Type 971) Nuclear Submarine - Naval Technology

PF Task Unit to Visit Kuril Islands Naval Today

PF Task Unit to Visit Kuril Islands Naval Today

Wisconsin: Romney 48%, Obama 47% - Rasmussen Reports™

Election 2012: Wisconsin President - Rasmussen Reports™

UK: HMS Diamond Receives the Highest Praise from World’s Most Famous Aircraft Carrier Naval Today

UK: HMS Diamond Receives the Highest Praise from World’s Most Famous Aircraft Carrier Naval Today

Founding Fathers Quote

Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.

George Washington

U.S. MNT vs. Mexico - Aug. 15, 2012

MNT vs. Mexico: Michael Orozco Fiscal Goal - Aug. 15, 2012



MNT vs. Mexico: Highlights - August 15, 2012



MNT vs. Mexico: Tim Howard Saves - Aug. 15, 2012

Russia: Admiralteyskie Verfi Shipyard to Launch First of Six Project 636 Diesel Electric Submarines Naval Today

Russia: Admiralteyskie Verfi Shipyard to Launch First of Six Project 636 Diesel Electric Submarines Naval Today

STRATFOR: Regional Droughts and Political Turmoil (Portfolio)

Rome Reports: Benedict XVI explains the importance of the Assumption of Mary in personal life

Seven American soldiers die in Afghan chopper crash

Seven American soldiers die in Afghan chopper crash

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Navy's Close In Weapons System

Awesome!

Romney 47% Obama 43%- Rasmussen Reports™

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll - Rasmussen Reports™

EXCLUSIVE: John Doe Probe Looks Like Fishing Expedition | Media Trackers

EXCLUSIVE: John Doe Probe Looks Like Fishing Expedition | Media Trackers

From Syria's Ashes by Michael J. Totten - City Journal

From Syria's Ashes by Michael J. Totten - City Journal

Marine Posthumously Awarded Navy Cross | Military.com

Marine Posthumously Awarded Navy Cross | Military.com

Lamontagne leads Smith 49-21 - Public Policy Polling

Up for grabs in New Hampshire - Public Policy Polling

Poll: Romney posts gains in swing states - The Hill's Ballot Box

Poll: Romney posts gains in swing states - The Hill's Ballot Box

Pat McCrory for North Carolina Governor TV AD: "Pat"

Wisconsin: Pro-life Tommy Thompson to Face Pro-Abortion Baldwin | LifeNews.com

Wisconsin: Pro-life Tommy Thompson to Face Pro-Abortion Baldwin | LifeNews.com

STRATFOR: Ruling Party Dominance in Angola Elections (Dispatch)

2012 Coast Guard Foundation Alaska Awards Dinner



In May of 2012, multiple Coast Guard aircrews participated in the rescue of four men who had been missing and adrift in the frigid Alaskan waters three days after embarking on a hunting trip. The Coast Guard saved four lives as a result of this mission. The Coast Guard Foundation paid tribute to these heroes on Aug. 8, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska.

Green lasers halt Coast Guard air searches

Green lasers halt Coast Guard air searches

Hovde Says Thank You, But Hopefully Not Goodbye

Thank You!


The fight is not over. Too much is at risk.

So many of you worked tirelessly for us. I’ll never forget your commitment. Now it’s time to move forward and work just as hard for Tommy Thompson. The future of our nation is too important to let Tammy Baldwin become a US Senator. The economic fate of our nation is at stake and I humbly ask you to throw your full support behind Tommy Thompson.

Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family.

Sincerely,

Eric

Obama is in over his Head! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Puts Tymoshenko Release at $7bln

RIA NovostiYulia Tymoshenko Ukraine Puts Tymoshenko Release at $7bln
18:40 15/08/2012 The Ukrainian authorities offered to release opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko for a $7-billion “ransom,” Oleh Rybachuk, former presidential chief of staff, was quoted by the Kommentarii news portal as saying.>>

Commander of British Naval Task Force Returns to HMS Ocean Naval Today

Commander of British Naval Task Force Returns to HMS Ocean Naval Today

Catholic League: MEDIA ALERT


FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

MEDIA ALERT


August , 2012
On Wednesday, August 15, Catholic League president Bill Donohue will appear on the EWTN program, “EWTN Live” to discuss the challenges to our religious liberty, his new book Why Catholicism Matters and other related topics. The show airs live at 8 p.m. ET and re-airs Thursday morning at 9 a.m. ET and Sunday at 4 a.m. ET.

Contact our director of communications about Donohue’s remarks:
Jeff Field
Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail: cl@catholicleague.org

Rome Reports: Manuel J. Cortes re-elected Superior General in Rome of the Marianists

Congratulations Tommy! - WTAQ News Talk 97.5FM and 1360AM

Congratulations Tommy! - WTAQ News Talk 97.5FM and 1360AM

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hovde, Don't Let This Be The End

Announcement at Dane Manufacturing 1Unfortunately, we fell short tonight.  I say we because I feel Eric Hovde was talking for so many of us who see the fiscal catastrophe fast approaching.  This loss is actually very hard to take.  I feel like the state has taken a giant step backwards and that the debt will continue to be ignored. 

I want to thank Hovde and his family for being willing to put themselves through the relentless attacks and the grueling schedule that they maintained.  Know that many Wisconsinites are grateful and I sincerely pray that this is not the end of politics for you.  You bring badly needed experience and perspective into Wisconsin politics and I hope you will run again and stay actively involved; maybe through new media or radio.  Because when the financial crisis hits in full force people will be looking for answers. 

To all of the wonderful staff and volunteers, thank you for your hard work and dedication.  It was a privilege to meet and talk to some of you.  You truly ran a great campaign, just could not overcome talk radio constantly propping up a RINO like Jeff Fitzgerald or Scott Walker and Paul Ryan's support for Tommy Thompson, which, no doubt, gave him the win.

I will reluctantly support Thompson because we need to try to get to 60 votes in the Senate, not 51.  My wife, however, is refusing to support him.  I have a feeling that a lot of Libertarian, Conservatives feel that way.  He had better do some major outreach, especially in Northeastern Wisconsin judging by the election results.

Count Down To Senate Results


Trying to be patient over the last couple of minutes.  I really hope the voters of Wisconsin did not stick us with a RINO like Jeff Fitzgerald and that this will be a victory for Eric Hovde.  You can click here for results, as they come in.

Over 2,500 Sukhoi Fighters Exported World-wide | Aviation & Air Force News at DefenceTalk

Over 2,500 Sukhoi Fighters Exported World-wide | Aviation & Air Force News at DefenceTalk

Inside-the-wire attacks double in Afghanistan - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

Inside-the-wire attacks double in Afghanistan - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

STRATFOR: Chinese People's Liberation Army and the Party (Dispatch)

BLACKSEAFOR Ships Visit Turkish Port Trabzon Naval Today

BLACKSEAFOR Ships Visit Turkish Port Trabzon Naval Today

America's Power: Coal = Jobs

USS Farragut Departs Tallinn, Estonia Naval Today

USS Farragut Departs Tallinn, Estonia Naval Today

STRATFOR: The Israeli Crisis

"The Israeli Crisis is republished with permission of Stratfor."



Stratfor
By George Friedman

Crises are normally short, sharp and intense affairs. Israel's predicament has developed on a different time frame, is more diffuse than most crises and has not reached a decisive and intense moment. But it is still a crisis. It is not a crisis solely about Iran, although the Israeli government focuses on that issue. Rather, it is over Israel's strategic reality since 1978, when it signed the Camp David accords with Egypt.

Perhaps the deepest aspect of the crisis is that Israel has no internal consensus on whether it is in fact a crisis, or if so, what the crisis is about. The Israeli government speaks of an existential threat from Iranian nuclear weapons. I would argue that the existential threat is broader and deeper, part of it very new, and part of it embedded in the founding of Israel.

Israel now finds itself in a long-term crisis in which it is struggling to develop a strategy and foreign policy to deal with a new reality. This is causing substantial internal stress, since the domestic consensus on Israeli policy is fragmenting at the same time that the strategic reality is shifting. Though this happens periodically to nations, Israel sees itself in a weak position in the long run due to its size and population, despite its current military superiority. More precisely, it sees the evolution of events over time potentially undermining that military reality, and it therefore feels pressured to act to preserve it. How to preserve its superiority in the context of the emerging strategic reality is the core of the Israeli crisis.

Egypt


Since 1978, Israel's strategic reality had been that it faced no threat of a full peripheral war. After Camp David, the buffer of the Sinai Peninsula separated Egypt and Israel, and Egypt had a government that did not want that arrangement to break. Israel still faced a formally hostile Syria. Syria had invaded Lebanon in 1976 to crush the Palestine Liberation Organization based there and reconsolidate its hold over Lebanon, but knew it could not attack Israel by itself. Syria remained content reaching informal understandings with Israel. Meanwhile, relatively weak and isolated Jordan depended on Israel for its national security. Lebanon alone was unstable. Israel periodically intervened there, not very successfully, but not at very high cost.

The most important of Israel's neighbors, Egypt, is now moving on an uncertain course. This weekend, new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi removed five key leaders of the military and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and revoked constitutional amendments introduced by the military. There are two theories on what has happened. In the first, Morsi -- who until his election was a senior leader of the country's mainstream Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood -- is actually much more powerful than the military and is acting decisively to transform the Egyptian political system. In the second, this is all part of an agreement between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood that gives Morsi the appearance of greater power while actually leaving power with the military.

On the whole, I tend to think that the second is the case. Still, it is not clear how this will evolve: The appearance of power can turn into the reality of power. Despite any sub rosa agreements between the military and Morsi, how these might play out in a year or two as the public increasingly perceives Morsi as being in charge -- limiting the military's options and cementing Morsi's power -- is unknown. In the same sense, Morsi has been supportive of security measures taken by the military against militant Islamists, as was seen in the past week's operations in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Sinai remains a buffer zone against major military forces, but not against the paramilitaries linked to radical Islamists who have increased their activities in the peninsula since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Last week, they attacked an Egyptian military post on the Gaza border, killing 16 Egyptian soldiers. This followed several attacks against Israeli border crossings. Morsi condemned the attack and ordered a large-scale military crackdown in the Sinai. Two problems could arise from this.

First, the Egyptians' ability to defeat the militant Islamists depends on redefining the Camp David accords, at least informally, to allow Egypt to deploy substantial forces there (though even this might not suffice). These additional military forces might not threaten Israel immediately, but setting a precedent for a greater Egyptian military presence in the Sinai Peninsula could eventually lead to a threat.

This would be particularly true if Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood impose their will on the Egyptian military. If we take Morsi at face value as a moderate, the question becomes who will succeed him. The Muslim Brotherhood is clearly ascendant, and the possibility that a secular democracy would emerge from the Egyptian uprising is unlikely. It is also clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is a movement with many competing factions. And it is clear from the elections that the Muslim Brotherhood represents the most popular movement in Egypt and that no one can predict how it will evolve or which factions will dominate and what new tendencies will arise. Egypt in the coming years will not resemble Egypt of the past generation, and that means that the Israeli calculus for what will happen on its southern front will need to take Hamas in Gaza into account and perhaps an Islamist Egypt prepared to ally with Hamas.

Syria and Lebanon


A similar situation exists in Syria. The secular and militarist regime of the al Assad family is in serious trouble. As mentioned, the Israelis had a working relationship with the Syrians going back to the Syrian invasion of Lebanon against the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1976. It was not a warm relationship, but it was predictable, particularly in the 1990s: Israel allowed Syria a free hand in Lebanon in exchange for Damascus limiting Hezbollah's actions.

Lebanon was not exactly stable, but its instability hewed to a predictable framework. That understanding broke down when the United States seized an opportunity to force Syria to retreat from Lebanon in 2006 following the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. The United States used the Cedar Revolution that rose up in defiance of Damascus to retaliate against Syria for allowing al Qaeda to send jihadists into Iraq from Syria.

This didn't spark the current unrest in Syria, which appears to involve a loose coalition of Sunnis including elements of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. Though Israel far preferred Syrian President Bashar al Assad to them, al Assad himself was shifting his behavior. The more pressure he came under, the more he became dependent on Iran. Israel began facing the unpleasant prospect of a Sunni Islamist government emerging or a government heavily dependent on Iran. Neither outcome appealed to Israel, and neither outcome was in Israel's control.

Just as dangerous to Israel would be the Lebanonization of Syria. Syria and Lebanon are linked in many ways, though Lebanon's political order was completely different and Syria could serve as a stabilizing force for it. There is now a reasonable probability that Syria will become like Lebanon, namely, a highly fragmented country divided along religious and ethnic lines at war with itself. Israel's best outcome would be for the West to succeed in preserving Syria's secular military regime without al Assad. But it is unclear how long a Western-backed regime resting on the structure of al Assad's Syria would survive. Even the best outcome has its own danger. And while Lebanon itself has been reasonably stable in recent years, when Syria catches a cold, Lebanon gets pneumonia. Israel thus faces the prospect of declining security to its north.

The U.S. Role and Israel's Strategic Lockdown


It is important to take into account the American role in this, because ultimately Israel's national security -- particularly if its strategic environment deteriorates -- rests on the United States. For the United States, the current situation is a strategic triumph. Iran had been extending its power westward, through Iraq and into Syria. This represented a new force in the region that directly challenged American interests. Where Israel originally had an interest in seeing al Assad survive, the United States did not. Washington's primary interest lay in blocking Iran and keeping it from posing a threat to the Arabian Peninsula. The United States saw Syria, particularly after the uprising, as an Iranian puppet. While the United States was delighted to see Iran face a reversal in Syria, Israel was much more ambivalent about that outcome.

The Israelis are always opposed to the rising regional force. When that was Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, they focused on Nasser. When it was al Qaeda and its sympathizers, they focused on al Qaeda. When it was Iran, they focused on Tehran. But simple opposition to a regional tendency is no longer a sufficient basis for Israeli strategy. As in Syria, Israel must potentially oppose all tendencies, where the United States can back one. That leaves Israeli policy incoherent. Lacking the power to impose a reality on Syria, the best Israel can do is play the balance of power. When its choice is between a pro-Iranian power and a Sunni Islamist power, it can no longer play the balance of power. Since it lacks the power to impose a reality, it winds up in a strategic lockdown.

Israel's ability to influence events on its borders was never great, but events taking place in bordering countries are now completely beyond its control. While Israeli policy has historically focused on the main threat, using the balance of power to stabilize the situation and ultimately on the decisive use of military force, it is no longer possible to identify the main threat. There are threats in all of its neighbors, including Jordan (where the kingdom's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is growing in influence while the Hashemite monarchy is reviving relations with Hamas). This means using the balance of power within these countries to create secure frontiers is no longer an option. It is not clear there is a faction for Israel to support or a balance that can be achieved. Finally, the problem is political rather than military. The ability to impose a political solution is not available.

Against the backdrop, any serious negotiations with the Palestinians are impossible. First, the Palestinians are divided. Second, they are watching carefully what happens in Egypt and Syria since this might provide new political opportunities. Finally, depending on what happens in neighboring countries, any agreement Israel might reach with the Palestinians could turn into a nightmare.

The occupation therefore continues, with the Palestinians holding the initiative. Unrest begins when they want it to begin and takes the form they want it to have within the limits of their resources. The Israelis are in a responsive mode. They can't eradicate the Palestinian threat. Extensive combat in Gaza, for example, has both political consequences and military limits. Occupying Gaza is easy; pacifying Gaza is not.

Israel's Military and Domestic Political Challenges


The crisis the Israelis face is that their levers of power, the open and covert relationships they had, and their military force are not up to the task of effectively shaping their immediate environment. They have lost the strategic initiative, and the type of power they possess will not prove decisive in dealing with their strategic issues. They no longer are operating at the extremes of power, but in a complex sphere not amenable to military solutions.

Israel's strong suit is conventional military force. It can't fully understand or control the forces at work on its borders, but it can understand the Iranian nuclear threat. This leads it to focus on the sort of conventional conflict they excel at, or at least used to excel at. The 2006 war with Hezbollah was quite conventional, but Israel was not prepared for an infantry war. The Israelis instead chose to deal with Lebanon via an air campaign, but that failed to achieve their political ends.

The Israelis want to redefine the game to something they can win, which is why their attention is drawn to the Iranian nuclear program. Of all their options in the region, a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities apparently plays to their strengths. Two things make such a move attractive. The first is that eliminating Iran's nuclear capability is desirable for Israel. The nuclear threat is so devastating that no matter how realistic the threat is, removing it is desirable.

Second, it would allow Israel to demonstrate the relevance of its power in the region. It has been a while since Israel has had a significant, large-scale military victory. The 1980s invasion of Lebanon didn't end well; the 2006 war was a stalemate; and while Israel may have achieved its military goals in the 2008 invasion of Gaza, that conflict was a political setback. Israel is still taken seriously in the regional psychology, but the sense of inevitability Israel enjoyed after 1967 is tattered. A victory on the order of destroying Iranian weapons would reinforce Israel's relevance.

It is, of course, not clear that the Israelis intend to launch such an attack. And it is not clear that such an attack would succeed. It is also not clear that the Iranian counter at the Strait of Hormuz wouldn't leave Israel in a difficult political situation, and above all it is not clear that Egyptian and Syrian factions would even be impressed by the attacks enough to change their behavior.

Israel also has a domestic problem, a crisis of confidence. Many military and intelligence leaders oppose an attack on Iran. Part of their opposition is rooted in calculation. Part of it is rooted in a series of less-than-successful military operations that have shaken their confidence in the military option. They are afraid both of failure and of the irrelevance of the attack on the strategic issues confronting Israel.
Political inertia can be seen among Israeli policymakers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to form a coalition with the centrist Kadima Party, but that fell apart over the parochial Israeli issue of whether Orthodox Jews should be drafted. Rather than rising to the level of a strategic dialogue, the secularist constituency of Kadima confronted the religious constituencies of the Likud coalition and failed to create a government able to devise a platform for decisive action.

This is Israel's crisis. It is not a sudden, life-threatening problem but instead is the product of unraveling regional strategies, a lack of confidence earned through failure and a political system incapable of unity on any particular course. Israel, a small country that always has used military force as its ultimate weapon, now faces a situation where the only possible use of military force -- against Iran -- is not only risky, it is not clearly linked to any of the main issues Israel faces other than the nuclear issue.

The French Third Republic was marked by a similar sense of self-regard overlaying a deep anxiety. This led to political paralysis and Paris' inability to understand the precise nature of the threat and to shape their response to it. Rather than deal with the issues at hand in the 1930s, they relied on past glories to guide them. That didn't turn out very well.

Read more: The Israeli Crisis | Stratfor

Mitt Romney video: Paid In

Medicare: Obama v Ryan! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Catholic Groups Excited About Paul Ryan as VP Running Mate | LifeNews.com

Catholic Groups Excited About Paul Ryan as VP Running Mate | LifeNews.com

Rome Reports: St. Maximilian Kolbe, a saint who gave his life to save a parent

Rome Reports: Find out how a Russian Emperor 'saved' the Order of Malta

RIA Novosti: Russia Will Not Cut Rearmament Spending - Putin

RIA NovostiVladimir PutinRussia Will Not Cut Rearmament Spending - Putin
18:00 14/08/2012 The Russian government will not cut financing for its rearmament program for the armed forces, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.>>

Obama demands transparency


 

Mitt Romney on ‘same page’ with Ryan budget - The Hill's Video

Mitt Romney on ‘same page’ with Ryan budget - The Hill's Video

Michelle Obama Makes Gabby Douglas Apologize for Celebrating Her Olympic Gold Medals with an Egg McMuffin

Michelle Obama Makes Gabby Douglas Apologize for Celebrating Her Olympic Gold Medals with an Egg McMuffin

Mitt Romney: Coal is Good for Our Economy

Get Out And Vote For Eric Hovde Today Wisconsin

It is undeniable that Wisconsin is leading the reform of the Republican Party back to its limited government roots.  We have an opportunity to continue that today with a vote for Eric Hovde.  Hovde and his campaign team have worked tirelessly around the state so that you could meet, and get to know, what a true citizen legislature will look like if he is elected. 

For me, it was an easy choice to vote early for Hovde.  He has the right private sector experience and understanding of our fiscal crisis to be a constant advocate for limited government in the Senate.  These opportunities rarely come along.  We have been blessed with Ron Johnson and now with Hovde; let's not waste an opportunity Wisconsin. 

Founding Fathers Quote

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.

Samuel Adams

Monday, August 13, 2012

WPT Candidate Statements - Eric Hovde, Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate



This video is a great introduction to Eric Hovde. No interruptions, just a chance for the candidate to explain who he is. If you are on the fence as to who to vote for, please take the time to watch it. Our country faces an economic catastrophe that there is still time to advert, but we cannot tackle the tough issues if we keep sending career politicians to Washington.

Way Up North: Suicide by Cop, or Excessive Force? (UPDATED)

Way Up North: Suicide by Cop, or Excessive Force? (UPDATED): That's the problem: we don't know, and the police won't say. When even our left-leaning, nanny-state-cheerleading Anchorage Daily Worker ...

Business Insider: Democrats Are Now Officially Freaking Out About Paul Ryan

Recent attacks on US forces spark Pentagon concern over Afghan recruits - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

Recent attacks on US forces spark Pentagon concern over Afghan recruits - The Hill's DEFCON Hill

Pentagon IDs 6 Marines killed in Helmand - Marine Corps News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Marine Corps Times

Pentagon IDs 6 Marines killed in Helmand - Marine Corps News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Marine Corps Times

Paul Ryan ramps up fight for Catholic vote - James Hohmann - POLITICO.com

Paul Ryan ramps up fight for Catholic vote - James Hohmann - POLITICO.com

'Hey Girl,' lady libertarians turned Paul Ryan into an internet sex symbol | WashingtonExaminer.com

'Hey Girl,' lady libertarians turned Paul Ryan into an internet sex symbol | WashingtonExaminer.com

RIA Novosti: Russian Warships Head to Mediterranean

RIA NovostiRussian Warships Head to MediterraneanRussian Warships Head to Mediterranean
17:34 13/08/2012 A Russian joint naval flotilla has arrived in the Mediterranean after missing a planned visit to a Russian Black Sea port, a defense ministry source said on Monday.>>

STRATFOR: Military Shake-Up in Egypt (Dispatch)

Retirees Shower Paul Ryan With Contributions : Roll Call Politics

Retirees Shower Paul Ryan With Contributions : Roll Call Politics

Poll: GOP more engaged in 2012 - Kevin Cirilli - POLITICO.com

Poll: GOP more engaged in 2012 - Kevin Cirilli - POLITICO.com

Catholic League: CATHOLIC VP v. CATHOLIC VP


FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

CATHOLIC VP v. CATHOLIC VP


August 13, 2012
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the two Catholic vice presidential candidates:

In many respects, the Catholic community today is divided into pro-life and social justice camps. That is unfortunate, and while this division can be overstated, it remains true that most Catholic activists sit in either one camp or the other; cross-over Catholics are a rare breed.

Paul Ryan represents the pro-life wing, and Joe Biden represents the social justice wing. Indeed, both exemplify the differences, and not just on the issue of abortion. For example, Ryan’s idea of freedom of choice commits him to supporting school vouchers; Biden’s notion of choice commits him to abortion rights. Ryan is opposed to reinventing the institution of marriage; Biden wants to expand marriage to include two people of the same sex.

The Catholic Church opposes abortion and gay marriage. On both of these issues, Biden disagrees with the Church. Biden’s defenders, e.g., Catholics who identify with social justice concerns, argue that Ryan’s budgetary prescriptions make him the dissident Catholic; his ideas are said to hurt the poor. This assumes, however, that there is a clear Catholic teaching on what constitutes the best means to conquer poverty. There isn’t. For instance, fidelity to the Church’s preferential option for the poor can be realized by making a serious case to raise taxes, or to lower them. In effect, both Biden and Ryan can plausibly maintain that he is a champion of the poor. But only one, Ryan, can be identified as the champion of the unborn.

Not all policy issues are equal. Abortion is regarded by the Catholic Church as “intrinsically evil.” Moreover, the bishops’ conference has explicitly endorsed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This puts Biden at a decisive disadvantage in making the case that he better represents Catholic teachings.



Contact our director of communications about Donohue’s remarks:
Jeff Field
Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail: cl@catholicleague.org

Rome Reports: Pope's butler and second Vatican employee to face trial over leaked documents

Pope's butler and second Vatican employee to face trial over leaked documents

INS Arihant Prepares for Sea Trials Naval Today

INS Arihant Prepares for Sea Trials Naval Today

Paul Ryan--Help or Hurt? Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Rome Reports: Pope expresses solidarity with those effected by the earthquake and rain storms in Asia

Pope expresses solidarity with those effected by the earthquake and rain storms

Russian Navy Hands Over BLACKSEAFOR Command to Turkey Naval Today

Russian Navy Hands Over BLACKSEAFOR Command to Turkey Naval Today

Paul Ryan's Pro-Life Record is Cause for Rejoicing

Paul Ryan's Pro-Life Record is Cause for Rejoicing

Opinion: With Ryan pick, a new Romney - The Hill - covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill | TheHill.com

Opinion: With Ryan pick, a new Romney - The Hill - covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill | TheHill.com

Mitt Romney Ad: Long History

Janna Ryan describes husband as 'pretty low-maintenance' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Janna Ryan describes husband as 'pretty low-maintenance' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Eric Hovde In Green Bay Today


Eric Hovde will be back in Green Bay today, August 13, from 4:10pm to 4:50pm at Titletown Brewery, 200 Dousman Street. 

Founding Fathers Quote

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.

Patrick Henry

The Case Against College Entitlements with Rep. Paul Ryan and Author Charles Murray

The Case Against College Entitlements with Rep. Paul Ryan and Author Charles Murray

UK: HMS Westminster to Return Home Today Naval Today

UK: HMS Westminster to Return Home Today Naval Today

Paul Ryan Spotlight Reaches Wisconsin Senate Primary : Roll Call Politics

Paul Ryan Spotlight Reaches Wisconsin Senate Primary : Roll Call Politics

Four Thaddeus McCotter Staffers Charged Following AG Investigation

Four Thaddeus McCotter Staffers Charged Following AG Investigation

Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk 8/13/12: Legalize Competing Currencies!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

World Maritime News - Fire On Board Cable-Ship Off Namibia

World Maritime News - Fire On Board Cable-Ship Off Namibia

Ryan Could Make Wisconsin a True Battleground - Beth Reinhard - NationalJournal.com

Ryan Could Make Wisconsin a True Battleground - Beth Reinhard - NationalJournal.com

Palin On Paul Ryan: A Lot Of Us "Will Have His Back"

Palin On Paul Ryan: A Lot Of Us "Will Have His Back"

Paul Ryan's Homecoming Rally Speech In Wisconsin

How Paul Ryan Would Reform Medicare for Americans Under the Age of 55

How Paul Ryan Would Reform Medicare for Americans Under the Age of 55

Governor Palin's Statement on the RNC

CO of attack submarine Pittsburgh fired - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

CO of attack submarine Pittsburgh fired - Navy News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Navy Times

Eric Hovde For Senate

Paul Ryan VP Full Acceptance Speech

USS Porter Damage Update: No injuries


The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) was damaged during a collision with a Japanese-owned merchant vessel near the Strait of Hormuz.

h/t: https://twitter.com/USNavy

Update:

Aug. 12, 2012                                                             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release #123-12

No injuries in Strait of Hormuz collision: Update

By: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Bahrain - No one was hurt Sunday morning when a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer and a large Japanese owned merchant vessel collided near the Strait of Hormuz.

The collision between USS Porter (DDG 78) and the Panamanian-flagged bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan occurred at approximately 1:00 a.m. local time.

Porter transited under its own power to Jebel Ali, UAE and is now pierside for assessment and repair.
The incident is under investigation.

USS Porter is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.

Release: Marines Honor First Lieutenant James Zimmerman with Dedication of New Training Facility

For Immediate Release: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531
Marines Honor First Lieutenant James Zimmerman with Dedication of New Training Facility
AUGUSTA – Today Governor Paul LePage and First Lady Ann LePage joined Brigadier General Burke Whitman, Lieutenant General Steven Hummer, and members of Maine’s congressional delegation in attending the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Brunswick.
Part of Company A of the 1st Battalion of the 25th Marines Regiment’s facilities, the new training center is being named in honor of First Lieutenant James Zimmerman. At the age of 25, First Lt. Zimmerman was killed in action in Afghanistan on November 2, 2010 by small arms fire while leading his men in engaging the enemy.
“First Lieutenant Zimmerman was an exemplary soldier and Mainer,” said Governor LePage. “It is fitting that Alpha Company, the unit with whom he began his military career, honor his sacrifice for our country.”
First Lt. Zimmerman was born in Presque Isle, Maine. He graduated from Houlton Christian Academy in 2003 and joined the Marines that same year. Upon graduating from Recruit Training and the School of Infantry, he joined Company A, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines in Topsham. Zimmerman was eventually assigned as platoon commander for the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine regiment of Camp Lejeune, N.C. In May of 2010, he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant and was deployed June 13, 2010 to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
While in Afghanistan, First Lieutenant Zimmerman quickly built a sound and well-deserved reputation for his leadership, keen tactical judgment, and care for his fellow marines. Most notably, his platoon was tasked with securing a sector within the city of Marjeh – arguably one of the most dangerous cities in Afghanistan – where they owned a battle space more appropriate in size for an entire rifle company.
During his military career, First Lt. Zimmerman earned the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and finally the NATO Medal – ISAF Afghanistan awards.
###

"Fast and Furious" about U.S. backing a Mexican drug cartel? - FOX19.com-Cincinnati News, Weather & Sports#.UCfzljW51zo.twitter#.UCfzljW51zo.twitter

"Fast and Furious" about U.S. backing a Mexican drug cartel? - FOX19.com-Cincinnati News, Weather & Sports#.UCfzljW51zo.twitter#.UCfzljW51zo.twitter

Weekly Update from Maloney for West Virginia

Dear Friend,

We are in the midst of a very busy week here at the Maloney Campaign.

BIG NEWS- I received the exclusive endorsement of West Virginians for Life. In their endorsement, they cited my support for the full repeal of ObamaCare as one of the reasons for the endorsement. As governor, I will always stand for life, and I will do everything I can to repeal ObamaCare.

We made a lot of miles on the truck this week. We were in Morgantown, Huntington, Fairmont, Flat Top and Wheeling this week, to name a few.

Please check out the photos below.

See you on the trail soon!


Sincerely,
Bill Maloney signature-


Bill Maloney

Morgantown Victory Office Opening

MorgantownVictoryOfcFB
We started the week in Morgantown. Here I am with my friend Dee Jay as we celebrated the opening of the Morgantown Victory Office.

Huntington Victory Office Opening

BillHuntingtonVictoryOfc

We also celebrated the opening of our Victory Office in Huntington. To my left is Conrad Lucas, Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party.

Factory Tour in Wheeling

TourZiegenfeldersLisaAllen
On Thursday, I was in Wheeling and took a tour of Ziegenfelders. They make popsicles, and they are testament to how we should encourage small businesses. They started more than 150 years ago, and now they employ hundreds of people. And yes, I was able to get a sample right off the line--and it was fantastic!

Lilly Family Reunion

BillLillyReunion

Tonight I was able to make it to Flat Top for the annual Lilly Family Reunion. The Lilly Family really knows how to put on a great event!


Bill in the News

Charleston Gazette: State anti-abortion group endorses Maloney
I was endorsed by the West Virginians for Life group. As the largest pro-life group in the state, I am proud to stand with them against ObamaCare.

MetroNews: Maloney: Warning Bell Should Have Been Sounded Sooner
MetroNews reports my interview this week with Hoppy Kercheval. I told Hoppy that the state should have been planning ahead and should have already made adjustments to the budget before these tough economic times.

The Intelligencer: Maloney: WV Needs to Nuture New Business
This article highlights my visit to Wheeling and talks about my belief that we must get government out of the way and encourage new businesses to create jobs.

GREEN on BLUE: Insider Attacks Rising

GREEN on BLUE: Insider Attacks Rising

America's Comeback Team

RIA Novosti: U.S. Warship Collides with Japanese Tanker in Persian Gulf

RIA NovostiU.S. Warship Collides with Japanese Tanker in Persian GulfU.S. Warship Collides with Japanese Tanker in Persian Gulf
13:24 12/08/2012 A U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer collided with a Japanese oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, with no injuries reported on either vessel, the American Navy said on its website on Sunday.>>