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#TaskForceSmith

May 14th, 2014 - 6:01 pm

China and Russia are meeting in Beijing to discuss a huge energy deal whose purpose is to replace sanction-driven reductions in demands from Europe with sales to China. But the Chinese are reportedly driving a hard bargain on price, citing cheaper gas from the United States.  It is ironic that the most effective American leverage over Russia comes from instruments the Obama administration did not want.

China and Russia’s Gazprom are making a final push to clinch a long-delayed natural gas deal but have yet to iron out price differences, a Beijing official said on Wednesday, ahead of next week’s state visit by Russian president Vladimir Putin….

Putin could yet clinch the gas deal next week and reinforce his repeated assertions that Russia wants to divert some oil and gas flows from European markets towards growing Asian nations …

Sources in Beijing have told Reuters that China remains under no pressure to sign the deal as the prospects of cheaper imports have risen on the back of growing North American gas exports and rising supplies from Turkmenistan.

But influence based on petroleum remains evil, as the David Unger’s article in the Christian Science Monitor reminds us. “A Turkey coal mine explosion Tuesday lies at the intersection of the country’s soaring energy demand and lax mining safety rules. Coal mine safety has improved dramatically in the US and parts of Europe, but it remains a very risky enterprise in economies eager for the cheap form of fuel.”

The Left has demonized coal, gas, oil and nuclear power. Now that they need it, these are very inconvenient to invoke.  But with the worrying turn of events in Ukraine as “Pro-Russian separatists ambushed a convoy of Ukrainian troops Tuesday”, according to the Washington Post, they just might have choke down their sobs and say, “drrrilll, b..bbabby … drrilll”.

About 30 militants armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers struck a convoy carrying paratroopers as it was approaching a bridge near the village of Oktyabrsk, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on its Web site.

A grenade struck one armored personnel carrier’s engine, the ministry said, and rebels opened fire as Ukrainian troops tried to move the crippled vehicle out of the way. Six soldiers were killed in the ambush, and one later died of his injuries, local media reported.

It underscores the growing danger and the current lack of effective options to stop the bad guys of the world. This deficiency was evident in an article by Andrew Langer in the National Review suggesting the deployment of American troops in Ukraine

He notes that sanctions have failed to dampen the fires and so suggests an American troop deployment almost as an act of desperation. “Korea offers a useful lesson: Following the cessation of active hostilities there, U.S. forces remained on the ground in Korea. Today, they still remain, as a bulwark against North Korean aggression. …Placing a strong U.S. presence in Ukraine now would be a show of force that Vladimir Putin could understand.”

But Korea offers up another lesson. The danger of deploying from a position of weakness; of a token force sent far forward without the muscle to back it up; of the perils of upping the ante without a dime in your pocket. For the Obama administration is most definitely bust, and has rightly come under criticism for making “bang” sounds with their mouths as as a substitute for real action.

Langer will remember that other lesson of Korea; the sad fate of Task Force Smith. This ill-starred unit of 400 US Army troops, culled from occupation troops in Japan, were sent to stem the North Korean juggernaut in the first days of the Korean War, though it hadn’t the slightest military hope in hell of resisting the masses of tank-equipped armies rolling down the peninsula.

The first units of the 24th Infantry Division left Itazuke Air Base in Japan on June 30. Task Force Smith, named for its commander, consisted of 406 men of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, as well as 134 men of A Battery, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Miller O. Perry. The forces were both poorly equipped and understrength: 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry had only two companies of infantry (B and C Company), as opposed to the regulation three for a U.S. Army battalion. The battalion had half of the required number of troops in its Headquarters Company, half of a communications platoon, and half of a heavy weapons platoon, which was armed with six obsolescent M9A1 Bazooka rocket launchers, two 75mm recoilless rifles, two 4.2 inch mortars, and four 60mm mortars. Much of this equipment was drawn from the rest of the under-strength 21st….

Most of the soldiers of the Task Force were teenagers with no combat experience and only eight weeks of basic training. Only one third of the officers in the Task Force had combat experience from World War II, and only one in six enlisted soldiers had combat experience. Many of them nevertheless volunteered to join the task force. The soldiers were each equipped with only 120 rounds of ammunition and two days of C-rations.

What was Washington thinking? Whatever they were thinking, reality didn’t care. The results were predictable. The Nokors steamrollered Task Force Smith, which demonstrated the real cost of lowering your guard with a lion still roaming the vicinity. Washington wanted a peace dividend after World War 2. What they got was the Korean War, still technically in progress to this day.

Whatever message deploying a token force to Ukraine might send is being walked back by the weakness the administration is projecting everywhere else. The Navy has announced plans to lay up 11 cruisers and 3 amphibians as part of their cost-cutting efforts. Who thinks Putin is too stupid to know what that means?

Everywhere one looks, Obama’s triumphs are turning out to be the Potemkin villages they always were. UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has given up trying to mediate in Syria, citing his powerlessness and fear that chemical weapons (remember the ones whose destruction Obama claimed to have negotiated) are back. Now the UN has announced that it cannot verify whether Iran has been cheating on its nuclear program. “A once-promising U.N. attempt to probe suspicions that Tehran worked on atomic arms is faltering — and with it, hopes that Iran and six world powers can meet their July target date for an overarching nuclear deal.”

The danger of Iranian cheating won’t stop the administration. They need the deal too much. “Iranian Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently said the talks are progressing at an ‘unexpectedly fast pace.’”  The administration needs the piece of paper, it craves the fake triumph on Twitter. Without that what else have they got?

Task Force Smith was the 1950s version of hashtag diplomacy, the Sad Face Washington showed to Kim Il Sung, Mao and Stalin. But Sad Faces don’t always deter the bad guys. Even al-Qaeda, which President Obama declared dead, seems to be walking abroad openly.  They don’t even care what people think if they kidnap 300 girls and force them to convert to Islam, prior to selling them on the slave market. The Left will — and has — blamed it on global warming.

The official truth is that al-Qaeda has been defeated. Reality is rather different. History shows the truth wins at last.

Only after the soldiers of Task Force Smith were buried did the real task of defending the Korean peninsula begin. Truman, shocked by the inability of the B-36 to prevent invasion and watching the rabble of a dying South Korea driven into the Pusan peninsula, turned to the admirals whose navy he had been progressively shrinking and said the words he never thought to say: “where are the carriers?”

Where is our strength?

And maybe it won’t be carriers that are wanted today, but the structure of the situation will be the same. After the hashtags and the spin and fake agreements fail, after all the B.S. has come and gone, there will still be the Real Problem waiting for the Real Solution. One needs more than the skill at campaigning to be president; Obama also needs to do the job.

Mark Murray of MSNBC makes the case that current setbacks are the strongest argument for electing Hillary Clinton in 2016. They need more time, and Hillary effectively provides a third Obama term. “If you are President Barack Obama and you want to be a transformational president, getting to that transformational stage sometimes requires you get a third term,” NBC News Senior Politics Editor Mark Murray said.

“People in the White House, and President Obama, I am sure they would love to have a third or fourth term,” Murray continued. “That is some of the reasons why some of the people in the Obama orbit are happy about a potential Hillary candidacy, because it does provide a best opportunity for the third Barack Obama term or third Bill Clinton term however you want to put it.”

That way the Team will have the room to put everything to rights, because the only problem with the progress currently in place is it hasn’t been tried hard enough.


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Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I have been known to refer to the non-TWANLOC part of the country as America. As in my daughter's family and their business moving out of California and back to America. I consider the official US, or the US Government to be a separate entity from the country, and not necessarily working for its benefit, by intent or by incompetence. YMMV

Subotai Bahadur
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama represents the first chick nation on the world stage. The Angela Merkel's and the Margret Thatcher's of the world have masculine policies but this administration represents the pussy whipped metrosexual male with Stockholm Syndrome, mouthing snotty chick palliatives shaking their first and advocating anal sex to opposing world leaders, in effect, batting their eyes and swishing their ass with age old whorish rejoinder, do as I say or you don't get any of this... for free. Snake oil salesmen always try to sell you something you already have like free sex and Obama is trying to arouse the militant homosexuals of the international community so they can join him in battle against the armed forces of Russia and China.

In short, Us policy is a b!tch.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tony Abbott is stuck trying to pay his way out of the deficit the Labor government left. He has two choices, cut benefits or raise taxes, maybe both. If a conservative party won in 2016 they could offer nothing to the public but blood, sweat and tears. I hope I got the name of the singing group right.

The Australian policy guys know that America is threatening to go the way of the British Empire, but no politician has had the sand to propose what's necessary: to arm Australia with nukes.

There is no way Australia can defend itself against the Asian giants conventionally. It's only got 20 million people on an area the size of the lower 48. The Chinese probably have more people in Hong Kong and environs. But these things don't intrude on this sunny place. We have trusted in the Great and the Good to keep us safe. Unfortunately ...
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (47)
All Comments   (47)
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As the various goofs of the Obama administration float to the top of the cess pool, we may have reached a, "Look the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes moment.
http://www.ijreview.com/2014/05/139146-trey-gowdy-stuns-media-deafening-silence-hard-hitting-questions-benghazi/
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
WW3 will have the appearance of a cluster****. Russian Spetznaz have been trained and equipped by the descendants of the Wehrmacht [in the form of Rheinmetall AG]. France has supplied advanced tank sights - made in Russia under licence from Thales - and thats not the only instance of technology transfer during the nice years when NATO and the Russian army were chums. Meanwhile, every European country except Poland has been decimating their military. The West could be walking straight into disaster if it attempts a confrontation in Ukraine .
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
....the rot set in some time ago. When was the decision made, in the USA, to become dependant on Russian rocket motors, used for all military satellite launches?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not quite true. The Delta IV uses US-made engines.
The US can also build the Russian RD-180, by P&W under license, as I recall. This was the original plan until Lockheed-Martin was faced with the cost.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Vlad being the smart guy he is might be able to get a high price for his oil. He is surely pointing out to China that a Russian supply will be stable and not subject to Western sanctions for, say, China throwing its weight around in the South China Sea.

Also, there is another difference between Russia and North Korea. The latter isn't armed to the teeth with reliably deployable nukes and paranoid about its western border. (I'm not counting its continual crazy act that it uses for extortion.) Deploying troops to Ukraine would be an epic mistake, even if O didn't intend to back them up.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
testing? are they deleting any message that talks about the site not running from IE8?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>>“People in the White House, and President Obama, I am sure they would love to have a third or fourth term,”

One cannot be sure that this is not part of laying the agitprop groundwork for such. Aside from physical ailments, the Clinton Machine is hated and detested by the Obama Machine. Both are not averse to Executive Action to protect their political standing. The Constitution and the law has been rendered moot by the regime. And the main topic of conversation amongst the Institutional Republicans is whether to surrender to the Democrats on Amnesty and Permanent Open Borders [terminally and permanently alienating their Base] before the midterm elections, thus snatching defeat from the jaws of possible victory of a sort; or whether to wait until after they have won the midterms, and pass it with the same effect during the lame duck session. I'm betting on the latter.

However, there is no serious discussion of opposing the Democrats on any point.

If there was a state of emergency declared, either this year or in 2016; there would be no political opposition by the Institutionals.

Subotai Bahadur
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
testing to see if the PJM system glitches are fixed. Also, I note that the "best of PJTatler" post are missing from the upper right on my screen.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama represents the first chick nation on the world stage. The Angela Merkel's and the Margret Thatcher's of the world have masculine policies but this administration represents the pussy whipped metrosexual male with Stockholm Syndrome, mouthing snotty chick palliatives shaking their first and advocating anal sex to opposing world leaders, in effect, batting their eyes and swishing their ass with age old whorish rejoinder, do as I say or you don't get any of this... for free. Snake oil salesmen always try to sell you something you already have like free sex and Obama is trying to arouse the militant homosexuals of the international community so they can join him in battle against the armed forces of Russia and China.

In short, Us policy is a b!tch.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
With Hillary as president (effectively a third term for Obama), Obama will have completed his goal of transformation, transforming America to a FAILED STATE.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ponder if you will, that if Hillary does not run/get nominated (a much higher likelihood than many seem to realize) that the odds on favorite in her place is.... Elizabeth Warren.

Ponder.

With ALL we see today, all that is going on.... Putin, the Chinese, Iran, the NorKs, Jihadists...... ALL that..... and a substantial percentage of our population will look to..... Elizabeth Warren. A professor (uh huh) with NO executive experience (ahem), who would not know the difference between a carrier and an armored division. And this should be our choice. Imagine the reaction of all those listed when such were to occur.

And then it would be over. Well and truly. Done. After 240 years. Because we chose narcotic suicide.

We are that close.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
They will look to Warren for the same reason they would look to Hillary or Biden or ....... fill in the blank with any candidate who is a statist collectivist autocrat who will continue to soak the private sector to keep the massive funding coming in an uninterrupted fashion for the publicly funded.

Fear of losing the magic checks and the material comfort and freedom from anxiety and status said magic checks confer is, outside of a few ideological bones the ruling elite throw to the NPR-listening pseudointellectuals in education and entertainment, the sum total of what the Dems run on nowadays. Romney was right. Something between 40% and 50% of Americans will never vote for anyone who is fiscally conservative because doing so might incur a risk that the magic checks would go away. Their own personal lives' conservatism or not doesn't even enter into it if they receive a check or subsidy or grant. These people have already made the decision that if getting their funding for another year or two or five will result in the destruction of America, they are perfectly fine with that.

Yes, even ostensible conservatives who are publicly funded will react this way. Much is made about conservatives staying home and not voting for Romney because he was a squish on certain issues. I have no doubt that some of this happened, but I have had a gut feeling that the reason so many conservatives stayed home had nothing to do with that and everything to do with the fact that Romney and Ryan represented the possibility of loss of income, particularly amongst older conservatives on public pensions and entitlement programs. I personally know of a couple of guys who flat out told me that's why they didn't vote for Romney. They couldn't bring themselves to vote for Obama, but they saw a vote for Romney as financial suicide for themselves if it ended up in their income being altered.

All Warren or Hillary or ANYONE, including a Republican, needs to do to get the vote of 47% of the voting public is credibly promise that nobody who receives public funding will have their check touched except to increase it. They could simultaneously advocate for killing one out of every ten third graders and the 47% would at best stay home but in all likelihood go ahead and vote for the collectivist over any fiscally responsible candidate who was in opposition. That's just how it is in America in 2014 and after writing this on this and other blogs for months I have yet to have anyone who disagrees with me (and plenty have) regale me with a specific credible method for peeling any of that 47% away to vote for anyone who is fiscally conservative enough to start the process of righting the American ship.

The 47% will destroy the country out of spite if they can't get their magic checks. It is happening before our eyes. When the president is dismantling our military in the current world climate simply to free up money to keep the rest of the public sector in the style to which they are accustomed, we are dying as a nation.


23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the Ukraine, we are the bad guys, and Russia is the good guys. We installed the fascist junta that is opposed by large numbers of Ukrainians, actual large majorities in the south and east. And Putin supports the democrats.

The US is the evil empire. It is a rogue, terrorist state. The only upside is that the communist/muslim lunatics in the White House still hate the US and are disarming it. Soon, criminal adventures like those urged by Langer will be impossible.

Any decent person today is anti-American.

PS. We only have two deployed carriers. A good thing.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
No /sarc tag?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
--we're increasingly in need of a way to clarify which entity we have in mind when we speak of America and the USA.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have been known to refer to the non-TWANLOC part of the country as America. As in my daughter's family and their business moving out of California and back to America. I consider the official US, or the US Government to be a separate entity from the country, and not necessarily working for its benefit, by intent or by incompetence. YMMV

Subotai Bahadur
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can pretty much guarantee that the Hillary=Obama's third term meme was written and the cheat sheets distributed to the MSM and NPR/PBS even before the 2012 elections.

The anger at Bush's narrow electoral college victory in 2000 and they extent to which the DNC went to recount the votes and de legitimize Bush give us a strong clue as to what motivates the left and therefore virtually all of today's Democrats. Control of the executive branch for ten to fifteen years in the era of imperial presidency was to give the left the ability to finish off limited constitutional government. All of the brass rings they seek - control of the Supreme Court with concomitant disarming of the civilian population and replacement of a society based on negative rights with enshrined outcome egalitarianism like Western Europe, conversion of the military from twenty percent of the federal budget to five percent or less, using the amount freed up from that action to give more money to welfare and do-nothing public sector jobs in exchange for votes - were slammed to a stop by Bush's election and 9/11. As far as they are concerned they are simply reaching for what they wanted and deserved and were unfairly denied. Sick and illogical, but there it is.

In point of fact they are not even content to wait. The ongoing insane cannibalisation of the military at a time when the world is increasingly unstable and dangerous - done simply to find more money to channel to cronies and the public work force to keep them on the plantation - is a big part of this process. Ditto the changes to judicial approval in Senate filibuster rules and the latest attempts at reinstating the"fairness doctrine" and its evil cousin net neutrality in an attempt to stifle free speech.

If the Senate stays Dem this election cycle and we get a Hillary or Warren presidency in 2016 they will complete this program.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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