Wednesday, September 01, 2010



Change of command occurred today in Iraq, as General Ray Odierno's hulking frame made its final appearance at the helm of U.S. Forces-Iraq, Odierno being the "bigger half"' of the imaginative team genius behind the Surge. After four years, of which only about six months were spent at home, Big Ray is heading home to take up what General Petraeus (when called upon to save Obama's tail in Afghanistan) recently called "living like Air Force." Heh heh.

Odierno speaks at about minute 40. Check it out.

Jumpin' Joe Biden was there, and made a speech too [starts at minute 12] -- longer than either the outgoing or incoming Generals' speeches but, for better or for worse, Biden conducted himself with the requisite dignity that the office demands, made a pretty good speech, and proved himself a much bigger man than the President he serves. He recounted the phases of the Iraq war, and praised the efforts of those who participated in it -- after all, this wasn't the place for him to make honest confession of how he and his fellow Democrats had done everything in their power to frustrate and foul up those efforts, to trash military accomplishments, and to slander both the troops and their Commander-in-Chief.

He gave all kinds of credit to the right people for things he had said were wrong at the time -- to as many people in as many offices as he could think of except the obvious one. President Bush was mentioned only twice, both times in relation to commitments he had made to hand over power and withdraw troops.

However, Mr. Bush got lots of back-door kudos in the catalog
ue of military and civilians now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who were first selected for service under the Bush administration. So "W" must have known what he was doing sometimes! Huh? Huh?

Footnote: Mr. Biden was on display for 17 minutes showing that he has perfected his boss's rather oily tennis-match head-bobbing as he speaks from right teleprompter to left teleprompter (though he did flub and fluff a few times).

Contrast that with the General Shrek, who spoke for
16 working from paper notes on the podium in front of him, and didn't lose a beat in terms of maintaining contact with his audience. I'm just sayin'.

The Friendly Giant says:
"Look up --
wa-a-a-a-a-y up."

[Little Canadian in-joke there. >>>>]

My email inbox is chock full of bulletins on the political fortunes of many new faces on the scene, but none more interesting than the growing movement of Iraq veterans seeking entry into the political system that transported their armored arses into the desert.

The latest victory has been scored by Lt. Col. Allen West in Florida. You have to put 'Ret.' after his name because this much admired leader of men felt forced to retire early in the course of the Iraq war.

I remember this incident well [thinking even then that it was the height of absurdity and a very bad sign that anyone objected to Allen's actions] when the Lt. Col. was reprimanded for having threatened an insurgent weasel with death if he didn't cough up his information about a planned ambush. The clock was ticking, and the guy was holding out, so West took him outside and, after a brief countdown, fired off his side-arm next to the guy's head to make him believe that they might actually execute him the way Che Guevera used to do it -- something he never really would have done in a million years.

The insurgent gentleman then spilled his guts, bombers were arrested, and lives were saved.

Lt. Col. West reported to his commanders immediately after the interrogation (before it had even born fruit) and gave a full account of what he had done. Unfortunately, their response was to bow before the enemy -- the domestic enemy, that is, the nannies and sissies in the media and Congress -- and hold hearings to investigate the propriety of West's conduct, concluding that he was in violation of this 'n' that, and that he should be fined and have a reprimand on his record.

Upon return to his base at Ft. Hood, Texas (you remember Ft. Hood -- where safety and security of military personnel has been the highest priority.....), Lt. Col. West felt it was time to speak out in the only way an honorable soldier can, so he retired from the Army.

Fast forward seven years, to West throwing his hat into the ring for Congressman from Florida's 22nd district. Yesterday he won the primary, with 77% of the vote. Maybe this video shows why he has a tendency to stand out in a crowd (especially if that crowd is a bunch of standard-issue mealy-mouthed politicians):

Did I mention that Lt.Col. Allen West is a black Republican? I'm likin' the odds here.

Visit, learn, contribute, at GO WEST! Read his history, meet his outstanding family (well-educated professional wife and two lovely daughters), and contemplate certain obvious contrasts that suggest themselves......

I know I'm jumping the gun here (West has a way of making you do that!), but I can envision that, while he may not be our first black President (you blew that one, America), he might just end up our first black COMMANDER-in-chief and Chief EXECUTIVE of the United States, if ya know what I mean.