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I am the author of two novels, "The Bode Testament" and "Impeachment." I am also a columnist who keeps a wary eye on other columnists and the failures of the MSM (mainstream media).
I was born in Minnesota, and, to this day, I love the Vikings and the Twins. I am currently retired and reside with my wife of 45 years in Southern California. I am a former educator and a Marine officer [ret.].
I am a self-described amateur historian, the love of the topic going back to my sophomore days in high school. I am probably the only high schooler in the U.S. to read the 1600-page "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." I also consider myself somewhat of a specialist on the Middle East. The vast bulk of my articles concern the topic.
Not unlike many I was devastated by the attacks on 9/11. So devastated, in fact, that I was determined to fight back, following in the fine tradition of the Marine Corps. But how? What could a 58-year old retired Marine officer do in terms of fighting back. The answer was quite simple. Using the writing skills I learned while writing two books, I chose as my weapon what can euphemistically be called the pen, actually a word processor.
I was determined to become a columnist to offer my sage advice while recalling recent history that I know for a fact that Americans had long since forgotten. I am here to remind them.
Fortunately, achieving the goal of becoming a columnist did not take too long. I became a columnist for a Midwest newspaper in Nov. 2001. As an added bonus, all of my articles were placed on the Internet. I have been a columnist ever since, meaning for nine years.
Americans gaze at Iraq today and wonder why it is that nearly 4,500 American troops had to die with another 32,226 wounded, many permanently with loss of arms, legs, and minds for the Iraq as it exists today.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012(11 comments)
President Obama Made a Serious Miscalculation
Our ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, wrote a real nice letter to Obama saying she had decided to withdraw from consideration for Secretary of State because her nomination was going to be too contentious and would harm the Presidency. Every intellectual observer knows that scenario is completely bogus. There is very little doubt that the White House had a hand in that letter.
Friday, December 7, 2012(10 comments)
The Benghazi File
Many Americans have been monitoring the controversial Benghazi controversy in total amazement. Put a different way, they are totally confused about what exactly this controversy is all about.
Saturday, October 6, 2012(8 comments)
Let's Leave Afghanistan; What Is the Problem?
As many readers know I have written several articles regarding Afghanistan on OEN. They have to do with our country recognizing that we have lost still another war that we caused and was a result of sheer ignorance and arrogance.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012(2 comments)
Iraq War Redux Is Pure Insanity
To launch a war based solely on fear, distrust, and misinformation -- a polite term for micro-managed intelligence as in the case of Iraq -- is an egregious error in judgment that inevitably results in unintended consequences creating serious harm to the aggressor. We learned that in the Iraq war launched on March 19, 2003 ... or did we?
Saturday, August 11, 2012(1 comments)
Afghanistan -- The Eleven-year Old Debacle
The war in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001, with an American-led NATO invasion of that forlorn, war-torn, and impoverished nation. In addition, this land-locked nation lacks any strategic importance and its mineral wealth is miniscule. In other words, Afghanistan lacks any importance of any kind. Yet, come October, the U.S. government has spent billions of dollars, lost over 2070 of our best...
Friday, July 27, 2012(5 comments)
Were nations to adopt this format, instead of using the bludgeoning nature of the military, the terrorist movement would quickly die a natural death, starved of its primary sustenance, publicity that nourishes jihadism.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012(14 comments)
What Exactly Is the Neoconservative Movement?
Those only vaguely familiar with the neoconservative movement may wonder isn't this ancient history? Weren't the neoconservatives a part of the Bush administration, and, as such, aren't they now past tense? The answer to both questions is an unequivocal no. Than there those who are clueless and are busy scratching their heads wondering what I am talking about. Is this another one of those conspiracy theories? No.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Ignominy Piled On Top a Mountain of Ignominy
The latest absurdity in the war against Afghanistan perpetrated by American-led NATO forces -- I almost feel like a fool for writing such a preposterous statement, Afghanistan vs. NATO!!! -- is that Pakistan now wants to extort $365M/yr. from NATO countries to re-open supply lines Pakistan closed due to a friendly fire incident six months ago. However, the preposterous statement made above is the nature of the Afghan war.
Monday, March 19, 2012(2 comments)
The Last Straw
The latest incident in Afghanistan has broken the back of American strategy in this forlorn nation, while leading American politicians, including President Obama, lamely assert nothing has changed. They stubbornly continue to adhere to their ludicrous goals for this country, assuming that if they say it often enough the foolish American people will start to believe it.
Americans Are Totally Confused
Americans are flummoxed by conflicting statements regarding an impending war with Iran. This is true for Americans who are closely following events on this issue. Woe be for the average, hardworking American who relies on the corporate news (CM) to keep him or her informed. The CM is sadly lacking in this effort, or worse, distorting the issues involved for self-benefiting corporate purposes.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
War With Iran Imminent?
Is war with Iran imminent? That depends on who one listens to. If one listens to all the conservative hype for war and certain popular media sites who are in the business of sensationalizing the news for share of market, war is just around the corner.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Is the War in Iraq Finally Over???
The outcome is doubtful at best. Recently, President Obama declared, "A war is ending," a curious choice of words. Imagine that, after eight years and nine months, POTUS simply says the war is over because all American combat troops will be home for Christmas.
Saturday, November 26, 2011(1 comments)
Oh, No, Not Again
Say it ain't so. Is the U.S. headed for a military clash with Iran? Listening to our political leaders and the GOP candidates for President, it would appear so. This is unbelievable. Haven't we learned a damn thing from the Iraq war?
Sunday, November 6, 2011(1 comments)
Withdrawal From Iraq Is Militarily Sound
This is first good news of our military posture that Americans have heard for a decade or more. It is also justification -- finally -- for those of us who have fought so long for this end game, begging a question. Why did it take the government so long to arrive at the same conclusion many of us knew years ago?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Are We Winning Yet?
This is a righteous question to ask from a war-weary American public after ten years of war in Afghanistan. The issue becomes even more poignant when one realizes that current Pentagon planning, with the blessings of President Obama, has our combat troops in that forlorn land until 2014 and, perhaps, beyond.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011(2 comments)
We Need Jobs Now
Not tomorrow, and not promises and nice speeches, jobs now or we are heading back into a recession before recovering from the Great Recession. Adding to the emergency, our infrastructure is falling apart, our bridges, freeways, dams, levees, sewage and water systems, everything. Creating jobs to repair our broken infrastructure is an investment in our future.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011(14 comments)
Osama bin Laden Won
I know. More than a few readers are gasping at that blasphemy and infidelity. Some may even be sharpening their pencils for the original draft of a critique in rebuttal. However, before you begin, hear me out.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Mystery War
The war in Afghanistan can now be dubbed "The Mystery War." Why call it a mystery war? The answer is one simple question: Why are we fighting it? The answers to that question are varied, enumerable, controversial, thoroughly confusing to everyone, and add up to zero sum.
Thursday, June 9, 2011(6 comments)
The Growing Powers of the Executive Branch
This article is intended to put the fear of God in every American. The Framers of our Constitution had one overriding concern, that this new country would replace a despised English king with a new American one simply with a new title " President.
Saturday, May 28, 2011(1 comments)
The National Debt and the Mystifying Conundrum
Currently, for every dollar our federal government spends it must borrow 40 cents. Much like any household, business, or corporation this is unsustainable, even for the U.S. If this continues for much longer, our great country as we know it will disappear, and the Grand Experiment for liberty and justice for all that has lasted so long will end and be relegated to the dustbin of history.
Sunday, May 1, 2011(4 comments)
It Is Time to Leave
Pardon me; it is way past time to leave. There comes a point where enough is enough. While Congress and the President are debating endlessly over raising the debt limit on our huge national debt, they are ignoring two elephants in the Oval Office, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sunday, April 24, 2011(2 comments)
Writer Misrepresented the War Powers Resolution on OEN
He stated, "The War Powers Resolution, enacted in the late stages of the Vietnam War over a veto by President Richard Nixon, requires the commander-in-chief to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action that he or she determines is necessary in the face of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.'" That is not true.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Just a Reminder
So, it is with wonder why the MSN and Americans are fixated with the turmoil in the Mideast. Perhaps, events in Iraq and Afghanistan have become boring. However, the fact remains that American troops are not dying in Libya, Syria, Bahrain, or Yemen. They are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. One can compare this to two elephants in a living room that Americans and their press choose to ignore.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011(3 comments)
I Am Coming Out of the Closet
This is the confession of a wayward moderate conservative, a man who has lost his way. A man who is no longer represented by the GOP today. The Republican Party today is Draconian, throwing the middle class, the elderly, and the defenseless to the wolves, meaning corporate elites.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Iraq: The War Americans Forgot
Breaking news, we are at war in Iraq. To be perfectly honest, I do not think Americans have forgotten this war. There is some vague memory of how 50,000 American troops are still stuck in this hostile environment of IED's and suicide bombers that still kill. Unfortunately, concerned Americans are not being informed of events there by the MSN or our political and military leadership. We are being left completely in the dark.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Afghanistan -" The Real Foreign Policy, Not the Public One
I have been such a fool. I believed the rhetoric of two Presidents, Bush and Obama, as to why we are fighting in Afghanistan. It is quite apparent that the reasons given by these two Presidents are disingenuous, but they were strictly for public consumption, in other words, us dumb folk. They in no way convey to the American people official foreign policy for the region.
Saturday, December 25, 2010(10 comments)
Decision Points: The Review
The danger is, because he is a former President, the average American reader who cannot remember history made last week will absorb his musings without question. Truly, that is a great danger.
Friday, November 12, 2010(4 comments)
Like many, I have been carefully following the war in Afghanistan since its inception in Oct. 2001. Unlike many, I have devoted countless hours of research on this lengthy war. Unlike many, I have written a myriad of articles on the subject over the years. It can be reasonably argued that I know a great deal about this war. But there is one thing I do not know. In Heaven's name, why are we fighting it?
Monday, November 1, 2010
The Federal Government's Building Boom ... In Afghanistan
For quite some time now I have been writing a series of articles on Afghanistan; each article prompted by some new development or developments. There is one prevailing theme in all these articles. We seem to be going from bad to worse. Put a different way, the U.S. was closer to victory in Nov. and Dec. 2001 than we are today, over nine years later. That should give every reader a moment of pause.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
New Insights Into An Old War
Earlier this month the U.S. entered the tenth year of the war in Afghanistan. Does anyone still care? Will the war be even a minor election issue, or not. From this perch it looks like not. For those who still do care this article is designed to provide new insights into the war. As the reader is accustomed, they are not welcome insights. Good news is far beyond our reach.
Monday, October 4, 2010(8 comments)
The Effectiveness of the Democratic Party ... Or Lack Thereof
I am at a loss in trying to understand the Democratic Party, while being a self-described conservative independent. One might say I saw the light while supporting the Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 2004 and 2008, but that would be an unwarranted assumption. A better description would be a confused voter, not unlike millions in the last two Presidential elections.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Turn the Page
The war in Iraq is over, well, maybe. On Aug. 31st our President did not exactly say that. He said, "the Iraq war was nearing an end," whatever that is supposed to mean. Well, he did say all combat troops have left Iraq. No, that is not right. Combat brigades merely changed their names to Advise and Assist brigades.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The War in Iraq and Other Pesky Issues
The Marines have a joke. Actually, they have a tremendous sense of humor because this elite force can afford to joke about itself. In this case, I am referring to the phrase, "Withdrawal is an advance to the rear." But it is only a joke. It appears, however, that our President is taking the notion seriously.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010(11 comments)
The Trilogy of Despair as Bin Laden Dances in His Cave
Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, in no particular order of importance, are an obvious threat to both our national security and our economy, and most Americans, thanks to the MSM, remain oblivious. With a half-hearted attack on Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires, followed by an invasion of Iraq President Bush fulfilled Osama bin Laden's wildest dreams. Osama is dancing in his cave.
Sunday, August 1, 2010(10 comments)
Expanded Presidential "War" Power: a Time-Bomb Threatening Our Democracy
After expanding presidential powers through laws and Homeland Security directives such as The Military Commissions Act, Defense Authorization Acts passed in 2006 and 2007, the US was left with ticking time bombs. With Obama clinging to these expanded powers and US courts unable to rule as they lay latent, the country is left with the potential for explosive harm to the idea of American democracy.
Saturday, July 10, 2010(5 comments)
What Exactly Is COIN?
Since Defense Department figures show that COIN is costing American taxpayers approximately $5B/month in Iraq and Afghanistan, it behooves Americans to have intimate knowledge of what COIN is. Well, first of all, it is a misnomer. Second, it is an unproven strategic theory. And three, so far its use as an American strategic principle has proven to be a dismal failure in three wars, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Saturday, June 26, 2010(2 comments)
The Afghan War, Ninth Year: It Is Not Good
Given the rich history of the United States in combat, beginning with the Revolutionary War and extending to the present, it should be a given that after 8 1/2 years of war in Afghanistan one should be able assume that there is some progress. Such is not the case. On the contrary our efforts have become counter-productive.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Warning: The MSN Is Not Completely Forthcoming
I know this will come as a shock to those who rely entirely on the Mainstream News media (MSN) for their news fix in the evening, but the media has a tendency to omit a few things. To those who fit into this category, I have some breaking news. We are at war.
Grasping at Straws, Afghan Style
It is beyond comprehension why America's leaders are unable to comprehend the nature of the Taliban. They are not fanatics in the sense that they are motivated by some incomprehensible beliefs that defy logic and sense of purpose. Contrary to popular Western belief, they are not terrorists.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010(2 comments)
Iran: Will She or Won't She?
Will Iran build a nuclear device or won't she? The truthful answer is: No one knows. This is likely true of President Obama and Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The signals from the Islamic republic are conflicting and change weekly, or even daily at times. This, however, does not preclude an examination of the issue.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Peace in Afghanistan?
The latest peace initiatives in Afghanistan as reported by Gareth Porter are difficult to comprehend, mostly because they assume a dream-like quality. At times, as I read the substance of these initiatives, I wondered if Porter was trying to be funny. He was not.
Friday, January 22, 2010
The True Enemy of Man Is War Itself
Born during World War Two, my generation has seen a lot. We were born during war. We currently are living during a period of two endless wars. In the interim we have seen enormous tragedy, events that stagger the imagination, some knocking us to our knees and praying with a strident cry, why, oh Lord, why? There is no answer. We were given free will, and we are making the best, or worst, of that Divine privilege.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The Trail of Tears ... Middle East Version
For the past 60-plus years, how many tears have been spent on Middle East confrontations from the Middle East itself to Western Europe to Indonesia to the Philippines to the shores of the United States. For the past 60-plus years millions have died or been severely injured due to rampant violence stemming from the Middle East and beyond, and the amount of tears would equate to Earth's oceans.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Ongoing Saga of Afghanistan
Due to recent reports, for those still clinging to the forlorn hope that America's military involvement in Afghanistan would end reasonably soon, such hope has turned to despair.
Thursday, October 29, 2009(1 comments)
The Perils of Afghanistan
I recently read with great interest an analytical review of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's tactical plans for Afghanistan written by George Friedman and Reva Bhalla for Stratfor. Friedman is the editor-in-chief of Stratfor and its chief intelligence analyst. Despite the authors' straightforward analysis, or because of it, the reader comes away scared to death re our future in this God-forsaken land, noting this war is heating up.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The Little Big Horn Redux
Pakistan is heating up with recent attacks, including an attack on Pakistan's "pentagon" in Rawalpindi. After eight years of war in Afghanistan U.S.-led NATO forces are actually losing ground as the resurgent Taliban gains in strength and territory. In the midst of all this I am hearing some of the most incredulous rhetoric, rhetoric that questions either my own sanity or the sanity of our nation's leaders.
Saturday, October 3, 2009(5 comments)
Iran, Missiles Launched, and War ... or Not
Last week Iran revealed a secret underground nuclear facility near the ancient city of Qom. Now that I can understand. For years I have speculated that Iran had such sites hidden from view other than the known facility at Natanz. A few days later, despite the harsh rhetoric from Western nations, things seem to cool down as Iran invited the IAEA to inspect the new site. Then she does what?
Monday, September 21, 2009(3 comments)
Our Leaders Just Don't Get It
I read an article the other day that absolutely infuriated me. It dealt with the quandary lawmakers are having about escalating the war in Afghanistan. Escalating the war in Afghanistan? Our leaders should be discussing ways of getting out of there, not debating a further surge after the additional 21,000 troops Obama ordered to the Graveyard of Empires.
Thursday, September 3, 2009(5 comments)
Did I Just Have a Bad Dream
On Friday morning I was enjoying my daily ritual, getting my world and national news fix over a cup of coffee on my patio. I came upon two statements that caused me to choke on a gulp of coffee. Mentally I asked myself, "What did he just say?" I read the two statements again, then a third time. There was no mistaking what the man said. I was thoroughly shocked and angered. I said to no one in particular. I told you so!
Thursday, August 27, 2009(2 comments)
For those who think the endgame is approaching soon for the Iraq Crisis, think again.
Saturday, August 15, 2009(1 comments)
Afghanistan Is Another Afghanistan
A political cartoon said it best. The cartoon depicted a man on the left bemoaning, "Afghanistan is another Vietnam." A bedraggled figure on the right obviously characterizing an Afghan villager proclaimed, "Afghanistan is another Afghanistan."
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Okay, I've Had It Up To Here
There was a time I once believed that a Congressional investigation was supposed to determine a wrong-doing, and, if there was sufficient evidence of malfeasance, the issue became a prosecutorial matter and the accused was brought before a court of law, or, in the case of impeachment proceedings, before the House of Representatives to determine if there would be a trial in the Senate. This no longer appears to be the case.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Americans Have Short Memories
Collectively, Americans have short memories. Worse, far worse, so does the mainstream news (MSN). A few of us remember the al-Sahwa or the Sons of Iraq, otherwise known as the Awakening Movement. President Bush dubbed them "Concerned Local Citizens." Remember them? One should. They had a vital role to play in the good ole days in Iraq.
Saturday, June 13, 2009(6 comments)
"War Is Hell"
So saith General Sherman during the Civil War. However, there is a quote concerning war that I far prefer. "The true enemy of man is war itself." Allow me to clarify. I am both a student of military history and a Marine Corps officer [ret]. It is recognized that war can become an unwilling necessity under certain conditions. Iraq and Afghanistan do not fulfill the necessary conditions.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009(7 comments)
Travesty in Iraq
Recently, a very good friend of mine asked me via e-mail how our country can extricate itself from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that got me thinking, and I soon realized that I didn't have a clue.
Monday, May 11, 2009(4 comments)
Travesty in Iraq
Recently, a very good friend of mine asked me via e-mail how our country can extricate itself from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that got me thinking, and I soon realized that I didn't have a clue.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009(10 comments)
It Is Not Looking Good
In the hopes of finding a silver lining somewhere, I turned the page to the six-year long war in Iraq. After all, the mass news media, conservative web sites and talk shows have been telling us for months that Bush's surge was a resounding success. Unfortunately, the quest for good news encountered huge pot holes filled with discouragement. It is not looking good.