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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list

SUNDAY, August 31, 2008

SATURDAY, August 30, 2008

The Bigger The Horses, The Bigger the Horses' Asses:

Iraq "surge" followed sharp internal debate: report

Sat Aug 30, 11:41 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's decision to mount a troop "surge" in Iraq last year was taken against the initial recommendations of his top advisers, including his field commander, The New York Times reported in Sunday editions.

Bush's January 2007 decision to send an extra 20,000 troops to Iraq was criticized for deepening the unpopular conflict but has since been credited with sharply reducing the violence.

Citing secret memorandums and interviews with a host of current and former officials, the Times said Bush's decision to increase troops for a counterinsurgency in Iraq came after months of tumultuous debate within the administration.

Bush's tendency to defer to commanders in the field and his defense secretary had delayed a new approach to Iraq until the situation bordered on anarchy and "civil war," as a late 2006 CIA analysis termed it, the Times reported. At that point the Pentagon was in favor of moving responsibility to Iraqi forces, facilitating U.S. troop reductions.

The State Department was pushing an alternative plan to fight al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, reining in Baghdad's violence and stemming sectarian violence only when it reached the level of "mass killing," the Times reported. The U.S. ambassador to Baghdad was arguing for authority to negotiate a political solution with the Iraqis.

"The proposals to send more U.S. forces to Iraq would not produce a long-term solution and would make our policy less, not more, sustainable," the newspaper quoted ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as writing in a classified cable.

Members of the National Security Council staff made the initial effort to explore a possible troop increase, and a staff member, retired Navy Capt. William Luti was asked to quietly find out if forces were available, the Times said.

A confidential briefing titled "Changing the Dynamics: Surge and Fight, Create Breathing Space and Then Accelerate the Transition" was submitted in October 2006 after consultation with Army staff. It called for a substantial troop increase, or about five brigades, to Baghdad and other hot spots.

The troop reinforcement proposal split the U.S. military, with some officers supporting the idea, but aides to the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggesting the army was stretched too thin.

Three days after the 2006 midterm congressional elections, the White House convened a formal government-wide review to look into increasing the troop level in Iraq.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation on November 6 removed some institutional resistance to the "surge" at the Pentagon, the Times said.

Top aides at a November 22 White House meeting outlined an "emerging consensus" on the route ahead, citing widespread agreement that success in Iraq was critical for the Bush administration's war on terrorism.

A document prepared for the review stated, "Our center of gravity -- public support -- is in jeopardy because of doubts that our Iraq efforts are on a trajectory leading to success," the Times reported.

At the same time, a classified Joint Chiefs of Staff paper argued for "accelerating Iraqis into 'operational lead,"' and proposed measures including assigning one U.S. brigade to each Iraqi division to improve Iraqi troops' performance.

Even after Bush announced his decision on January 10, the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, never sought more than two brigades, about 8,000 troops in all, the paper said.

(Writing by Chris Michaud, Editing by Anthony Boadle)

THURSDAY and FRIDAY, August 28 and 29, 2008

Today, let's talk Politics, "for a change". 
a) against free trade without the imposition of impossible "poison pill" requirements;
b) against developing a new industrial - technological base for this country on the bones of the dying old industrial base;
c) against telling the people in the old industrial base the truth and mobilizing them to retrain for their future;
d) touting totally unreasonable health care proposals without the means to fund them - like introducing a nation-wide system of rational health care prioritization / rationing;
e) touting "independence from foreign oil within 10 years", while being against the necessary generational conversion through short-term increase in domestic oil exploration and drilling and long-term alternatives including nuclear energy;
f) against taking the politically risky lead toward a rational and comprehensive policy on Immigration, while pandering to the immigrants;
g) pushing a massive decrease in taxes while promising a massive increase in Federal spending...a sure prescription for stag-flation;
h) pushing for Internationalism despite the continuing abject failure of the international community to meet its obligations...most recently including NATO's refusal to impose sanctions on Russia in response for its rape of the sovereign State of Georgia;
I) similarly denying the right of this country to pursue its self-interest independently, including pre-emptive self-defense;
j) as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Teachers' Unions, refusing to acknowledge and deal with the abject failure of the Public Education system, a cruel hoax perpetrated on its most loyal supporters;
k) ignoring and lying about the long-demonstrated ability of Senator McCain to work across the aisle and to promote needed but unpopular initiatives, pushing instead the distorted and tired image of "Bush-McCain"...pure demagoguery
This reminds me of Harry Truman's reply to the person who said "Give 'em Hell, Harry":  "I TELL THE TRUTH.  THEY JUST THINK IT'S HELL."


MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, August 25 through 27, 2008

For those of you who are not a President Bush fan,
nor ever have been, this is not about Bush, it
is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark
The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and
came across some Poll data I found rather hard to
believe. It must be true given the source, right? The
Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are
unhappy with the direction the country is headed and
69 percent of the country is unhappy with the
performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the
citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being
the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What
are we so unhappy about?''

A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water
24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air
conditioning in the summer and heat ing in the winter?

C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy
folks have a job?

D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery
store at any time and see more food in moments than
Darfur has seen in the last year?

E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and
trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean
without having to present identification papers as we
move through each state?

F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels
we would find along the way that can provide temporary

G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with
varying cuisine from around the world is just not good
enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car,
emergency workers show up and provide services to help
all and even send a helicopter to take you to th e

I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans
who own a home.

J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the
unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained
firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch
equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you,
your family, and your belongings.

K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many
flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an
officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest
will come to defend you and your family against attack
or loss .

L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of
bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents.
Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones
and computers.

M.. How about the complete religious, social and
political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of
everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks

F act is, we are the largest group of ungrateful,
spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the
world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its
citizens. They see us for what we are. The most
blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain
about what we don't have, and what we hate about the
country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us
into war and has no plan to get us out? The president
who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this
the same president who guided the nation in the dark
days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring
an economy out of recession? Could this be the same
guy who has been called every name in the book for
succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats
safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of
an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you
and me?

Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or
talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you
so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for
yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think
about it......are you upset at the President because
he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because
the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry
ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it.

The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to
serve, and in many cases may have died for your
freedom. There is currently no draft in this country.
They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go
and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an
'other than honorable'' discharge or, wo rst case
scenario, a ''dishonorable' ' discharge after a few
days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds
of 69 percent of Americans?

Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it
bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news.
Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts
How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the
corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-
profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when
criticized, try to defend their actions by
'justifying' them in one way or another Just ask why
they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to
write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if
he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York
Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start
being grateful for all we have as country. There is
exponentially more good than bad. We are among the
most blessed people on Earth and should thank God
several times a day, or at least be thankful and
appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out
of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms
tearing up the country from one end to another, and
with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,
'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the
Pledge of Allegiance?'

David Letterman (reportedly)

WEDNESDAY through SUNDAY, August 20 through 24, 2008

MONDAY through TUESDAY, August 11 through 19, 2008


SUNDAY, August 10, 2008

The following is a much - less - than  "Rapid Response".  but I am sad to report that my pal of over 50 years and wife of over 49 years died in the interim.  GS
FRIDAY through SATURDAY, August 1 through 9, 2008

Thought you might enjoy this interesting
Prayer given in Kansas at
The opening session of their Senate. It seems
Prayer still upsets some
People. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open
The new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual  generalities, but this is what they heard: 

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask
Your forgiveness and to seek your direction and 
Guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those 
Who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we
Have done. 
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed
Our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it
The lottery. 

We have rewarded laziness and called it
We have killed our unborn and called  it

We have shot abortionists and called  it

We have neglected to discipline our
Children and called it building self esteem..

We have abused power and called it 

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions
And called it ambition. 
We have polluted the air with profanity and
Pornography and called it freedom of expression. 

We have ridiculed the time-honored values
Of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. 

Search  us, Oh, God, and know our hearts
Today;  cleanse us from every sin and set us free. 
The response was immediate. A number of
Legislators walked out during the prayer in
Protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian
Church,  where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than
5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls
Responding negatively. The church is now receiving
International requests for copies of this prayer
From India , Africa and Korea .

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on
His radio program, 'The Rest of the Story,'and
Received a larger response to this program than any  
Other he has ever aired. 

With the Lord's help, may this praye r sweep
Over our nation and wholeheartedly become our
Desire so that we again can be called ' one nation
Under God.' 

If possible, please pass this prayer on to
Your friends. 'If you don't stand for something,
You will fall for everything.'

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