Posts Tagged ‘Petraeus’
September 9th, 2010 at 5:34 pm
So Now Obama Recognizes the Value of Propriety and Accommodating Others’ Sensibilities?
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Regardless of one’s opinions toward the Ground Zero mosque or the Florida pastor’s on-again/off-again Quran roast, one must be impressed by the speed at which President Obama and mosque supporters suddenly discovered the value of propriety, discretion and accommodating others’ sensibilities.

As we’ve said here all along, having the right to do something doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do.  Obama, however, could hardly contain himself from endorsing the Ground Zero mosque simply because people have a First Amendment right to build it.  Now, however, Obama flip-flops and emphasizes in an ABC interview that the Florida pastor should stifle his First Amendment right to burn Qurans in the name of respect for others.  You certainly possess a wonderful sense of consistency, Mr. President.

September 7th, 2010 at 10:40 am
Accept Ground Zero Mosque, But Stop Planned Quran Burning?
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So General David Petraeus has come out against the proposed burning of Qurans by a Florida church to commemorate the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, opining that it will motivate Islamic militants.  Fair enough – Petraeus is entitled to his opinion and our respect.

But imagine instead if Petraeus came out in opposition against the proposed Ground Zero mosque in New York City, and the liberal commentariat’s hysteria that would ensue.  After all, many argue that Islamic militants abroad will be encouraged and motivated in their fight by a mosque on the very American soil where their compatriots slaughtered almost 3,000 people.  In fact, they’ve already sounded that trumpet.  So one can imagine a general expressing reservations toward the mosque on those grounds.

For his part, President Obama notoriously inserted his foot into his mouth by defending the Ground Zero mosque, citing express First Amendment freedoms.  Well, the Florida church possesses not only that same First Amendment religious latitude, but also the First Amendment freedom of expression to burn the Quran.  Any bets on whether Obama will take this opportunity to support these Constitutional freedoms that he claims to hold so sacred?

November 23rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm
New Application for Counterinsurgency in California?

The California city of Salinas is ready to give counterinsurgency a try because the gang problem is out of control.

In the space of 11 days this year, seven people were murdered in Salinas. Each killing, like the record 25 homicides the previous year, spilled from the gang warfare that this summer pushed the homicide rate in the city of 140,000 to three times that of Los Angeles. Residents retreated indoors at night, and Mayor Dennis Donohue affirmed his decision to seek help from an unlikely source: the U.S. military.

Since February, combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been advising Salinas police on counterinsurgency strategy, bringing lessons from the battlefield to the meanest streets in an American city.

“This is our surge,” said Donohue, who solicited the assistance from the elite Naval Postgraduate School, 20 miles and a world away in Monterey. “When the public heard about this, they thought we were going to send the Navy SEALs into Salinas.”

Not quite. But the lessons learned from General David Petraeus’ successful counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq include the importance of creating trust between citizens and law enforcement. As in Iraq, the people most affected by the violence are suspicious of those charged with protecting them. Changing that dynamic is essential in order to achieve victory. And in order to change the dynamic, Salinas is going to need more boots on the ground so that police can cover more ground while building stronger relationships in the community.

Who knows; maybe if this domestic surge works as well as the one in Iraq, the Obama Administration might stop dithering and go for the win in Afghanistan.