contact
Main
Contact Me

about
About RightWing NutHouse

Site Stats

blog radio

Listen to internet radio with RINO Hour of Power on Blog Talk Radio
Click Here to Pay Learn More

testimonials

"Brilliant"
(Romeo St. Martin of Politics Watch-Canada)

"The epitome of a blogging orgasm"
(Cao of Cao's Blog)

"Rick Moran is one of the finest essayists in the blogosphere. ‘Nuff said. "
(Dave Schuler of The Glittering Eye)

archives
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004

search



blogroll

A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT
A Conservative Lesbian
ABBAGAV
ACE OF SPADES
ALPHA PATRIOT
AM I A PUNDIT NOW
AMERICAN FUTURE
AMERICAN THINKER
ANCHORESS
AND RIGHTLY SO
ANDREW OLMSTED
ANKLEBITING PUNDITS
AREOPAGITICA
ATLAS SHRUGS
BACKCOUNTRY CONSERVATIVE
BASIL’S BLOG
BEAUTIFUL ATROCITIES
BELGRAVIA DISPATCH
BELMONT CLUB
BETSY’S PAGE
Blacksmiths of Lebanon
Blogs of War
BLUEY BLOG
BRAINSTERS BLOG
BUZZ MACHINE
CANINE PUNDIT
CAO’S BLOG
CAPTAINS QUARTERS
CATHOUSE CHAT
CHRENKOFF
CINDY SHEEHAN WATCH
Classical Values
Cold Fury
COMPOSITE DRAWLINGS
CONSERVATHINK
CONSERVATIVE THINK
CONTENTIONS
DAVE’S NOT HERE
DEANS WORLD
DICK McMICHAEL
Diggers Realm
DR. SANITY
E-CLAIRE
EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!
ELECTRIC VENOM
ERIC’S GRUMBLES BEFORE THE GRAVE
ESOTERICALLY.NET
FAUSTA’S BLOG
FLIGHT PUNDIT
FOURTH RAIL
FRED FRY INTERNATIONAL
GALLEY SLAVES
GATES OF VIENNA
HEALING IRAQ
http://blogcritics.org/
HUGH HEWITT
IMAO
INDEPUNDIT
INSTAPUNDIT
IOWAHAWK
IRAQ THE MODEL
JACKSON’S JUNCTION
JO’S CAFE
JOUST THE FACTS
KING OF FOOLS
LASHAWN BARBER’S CORNER
LASSOO OF TRUTH
LIBERTARIAN LEANINGS
LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS
LITTLE MISS ATTILA
LIVE BREATHE AND DIE
LUCIANNE.COM
MAGGIE’S FARM
MEMENTO MORON
MESOPOTAMIAN
MICHELLE MALKIN
MIDWEST PROGNOSTICATOR
MODERATELY THINKING
MOTOWN BLOG
MY VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY
mypetjawa
NaderNow
Neocon News
NEW SISYPHUS
NEW WORLD MAN
North Star National
Northerncrown
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
PATRIOTIC MOM
PATTERICO’S PONTIFICATIONS
POLIPUNDIT
Political Byline
POLITICAL MUSINGS
POLITICAL TEEN
POWERLINE
PRO CYNIC
PUBLIUS FORUM
QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
RACE42008
RADICAL CENTRIST
Ravenwood’s Universe
RELEASE THE HOUNDS
RIGHT FROM LEFT
RIGHT VOICES
RIGHT WING NEWS
RIGHTFAITH
RIGHTWINGSPARKLE
ROGER L. SIMON
SHRINKRAPPED
Six Meat Buffet
Slowplay.com
SOCAL PUNDIT
SOCRATIC RYTHM METHOD
STOUT REPUBLICAN
TERRORISM UNVEILED
TFS MAGNUM
THE ART OF THE BLOG
THE BELMONT CLUB
The Conservative Cat
THE DONEGAL EXPRESS
THE LIBERAL WRONG-WING
THE LLAMA BUTCHERS
THE MAD PIGEON
THE MODERATE VOICE
THE PATRIETTE
THE POLITBURO DIKTAT
THE PRYHILLS
THE RED AMERICA
THE RESPLENDENT MANGO
THE RICK MORAN SHOW
THE SMARTER COP
THE SOAPBOX
THE STRATA-SPHERE
THE STRONG CONSERVATIVE
THE SUNNYE SIDE
THE VIVID AIR
THOUGHTS ONLINE
TIM BLAIR
TRANSATLANTIC INTELLIGENCER
TRANSTERRESTRIAL MUSINGS
TYGRRRR EXPRESS
VARIFRANK
VIKING PUNDIT
VINCE AUT MORIRE
VODKAPUNDIT
WALLO WORLD
WIDE AWAKES
WIZBANG
WUZZADEM
ZERO POINT BLOG


recentposts


RINO Hour of Power: Gruber Fallout and the Lame Duck Session of Congress

RINO Hour of Power: Election Night Extravaganza

RINO Hour of Power: GOP eyes Senate majority status one week from mid terms

RINO Hour of Power: War Drums Beating in Washington

RINO Hour of Power: Surf’s Up! GOP Wave Building?

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

RINO Hour of Power: Is President Obama Checking Out of the Presidency?

RINO Hour of Power: Is There a Serious Case to be Made for Impeachment?

RINO Hour of Power: Border Crisis: US Sovereignty at Stake

RINO Hour of Power: Are Liberals Patriotic Too?

RINO Hour of Power: A Conversation with Dr. Victor Davis Hanson

RINO Hour of Power: The Bergdahl Swap: Detestably Necessary

RINO Hour of Power: Moran vs. Moran Redux: A conversationw ith my brother Terry Moran of ABC News

RHOP Relaunch: Moran vs. Moran: A conversation with my brother Terry Moran of ABC News

RINO Hour of Power: Putin’s Ukraine Fiasco

RINO Hour of Power: ‘Which side are you on boys, which side are you on’

RINO Hour of Power: Political Potpourri

RINO Hour of Power: Is the GOP Becoming Reasonable?

RINO Hour of Power: Alas, Obamacare

RINO Hour of Power: A Dismal State of the Union

RINO Hour of Power: A Look at the Electoral Map for 2016

RINO Hour of Power: The trillion dollar spending bill will test House Republican unity

The RINO Hour of Power: The Push for a Single Payer Health Insurance System

RINO Hour of Power: The Crumbling Edifice of the Mass Surveillance State

Boehner’s Outburst Fuels GOP Civil War


categories

"24" (117)
ABLE DANGER (10)
American Issues Project (11)
Arizona Massacre (5)
Bailout (32)
Bird Flu (5)
Birthers (16)
Blackhawks (2)
Blagojevich (9)
Blogging (404)
Books (10)
CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS (68)
Caucasus (1)
CHICAGO BEARS (40)
Chicago Bulls (3)
Chicago East (3)
CIA VS. THE WHITE HOUSE (29)
Cindy Sheehan (13)
Climate Change (3)
Climate Chnage (11)
conservative reform (96)
cotton candy conservatives (19)
CPAC Conference (12)
Culture (11)
Debt ceiling (2)
Decision '08 (402)
Decision 2010 (13)
Decision 2012 (34)
Deficit reduction (5)
Election '06 (9)
Entitlement Crisis (4)
Environment (15)
Ethics (290)
Fairness Doctrine (1)
Financial Crisis (53)
FRED! (28)
FrontPage.Com (79)
Frum Forum (2)
Gaza incident (1)
General (429)
GOP Reform (61)
Government (295)
health care reform (65)
History (298)
Homeland Security (18)
IMMIGRATION REFORM (28)
IMPEACHMENT (3)
Iran (114)
IRAQI RECONCILIATION (13)
Israel vs. Hamas (6)
KATRINA (29)
Katrina Timeline (5)
Lebanon (18)
Liberal Congress (12)
Manzine (1)
Marvin Moonbat (14)
Media (262)
Middle East (183)
Moonbats (81)
National Health Insurance (4)
NET NEUTRALITY (2)
Newsreal Blog (1)
Obama inauguration (2)
Obama-Rezko (15)
OBAMANIA! (80)
Oil Spill (2)
Olympics (6)
Open House (1)
Palin (23)
Pirates (1)
PJ Media (119)
PJ Tatler (5)
Politics (1271)
Presidential Debates (7)
Presidential Transition (9)
RINO Hour of Power (122)
RNC (2)
S-CHIP (3)
Sarah Palin (5)
Science (70)
Space (33)
Sports (18)
Star Trek (1)
SUPER BOWL (7)
Supreme Court (28)
Swine Flu (4)
Tea Parties (15)
Technology (5)
Tenth Amendment (3)
The Caucasus (1)
The Law (19)
The Long War (11)
The Rick Moran Show (306)
Too Big To Fail (8)
Torture (2)
UNITED NATIONS (22)
Walpin Scandal (2)
War on Terror (402)
WATCHER'S COUNCIL (117)
WHITE SOX (7)
Who is Mr. Hsu? (7)
Wide Awakes Radio (9)
WORLD CUP (11)
WORLD POLITICS (127)
WORLD SERIES (16)


meta

Admin Login
Register
Valid XHTML
XFN







credits


Design by:


Hosted by:


Powered by:
1/31/2012
The RINO Hour of Power: Victor Davis Hanson in the RINO Pit

rino1

The RINO Hour of Power is back! Two of the most famous RINO’s on the web — Jazz Shaw and Rick Moran — are ready to rock your political world with their unique blend of humor, wit, and sharp analysis.

Joining Jazz and Rick will be one of the premier conservative commentators on the right, Victor Davis Hanson. Dr. Hanson will discuss some of his recent writings and give his unique perspective on America, the elections, and the world.

Listen live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 4:17 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

The True Face of Occupy Wall Street

I had high hopes for the OWS movement when it started. I thought they would actually try to incorporate other points of view and develop a true grass roots reform movement to address the shrinking middle class - which is really what “inequality” should be about.

Instead, OWS has turned into just another lefty pressure group - albeit, a more dangerous one. While there is no George Soros sitting in his office pulling strings and directing the movement, there appears to be a common thread beginning to run through these demonstrations that is extremely troubling; they have been co-opted by radicals who seek to overthrow the existing order. What began as a left leaning critique of Wall Street and the big banks, has morphed into a systemic attack on American values and our character as a nation.

This, I cannot abide. And I really let them have it in this piece I wrote for FPM this morning on the Oakland riots:

The Oakland riot is proof positive that whatever claim to innocence and idealism the movement purported in the early days of occupations around the country has been lost to the gimlet-eyed revolutionary left, now openly seeking violent confrontation with authorities using the bodies of the naive and foolish who still believe that OWS is a protest against income inequality and corporatism. Cadres of organized leftists came prepared to the Oakland protest with homemade gas masks and shields — a clear indication that they fully expected to provoke a police response. Innocent protesters do not come armed with “bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares.” The transformation of the occupy movement from protest to “direct action” — the preferred tactic of the European Communist Left for generations — is nearly complete. There can be no sniveling denials from OWS apologists any more: The driving force behind the OWS movement — the goal of those who control the streets — is revolution and the overthrow of America’s capitalist system.

The mob action in Oakland occurred after authorities refused to allow the OWS demonstrators to make the Kaiser Convention Center their headquarters. Given the cavalier and negligent attitude toward health, safety, and sanitation at OWS sites around the country, it would seem logical that the authorities felt they had little choice but to deny the OWS use of any public venue that could degenerate into a cesspool of disease and crime.

The protesters refused to heed calls by police to back off and began to tear down barricades, destroy construction equipment and fencing, while refusing to disperse. Several hundred protesters then marched to the Oakland Museum of California where there were more arrests as the police tried to protect the priceless artifacts from potential vandalism.

Given what happened next, they were right to do so.

The mob moved on to City Hall where the protesters say they found a door ajar — which sounds fantastical — and police say the demonstrators broke in. A video purportedly shows an OWS demonstrator using a crowbar to pry the door open.

There is no argument about what happened when the protesters got inside the building.

A more than century-old architectural model of City Hall was damaged in its display case, electrical wires were cut, soda machines thrown to the floor, graffiti was sprayed on the walls, other display cases were smashed, windows were broken — a demonstration of lawlessness and lack of respect for property that even has some OWS leaders around the country saying it probably wasn’t a good idea.

Other OWS sympathizers took to the streets in “solidarity” with those arrested during the Oakland riot. CNN reports:

The mass arrests, described by police as the largest in city history, appear to have injected new life into the Occupy movement as protesters in a number of American and European cities took to the streets Sunday to express their solidarity with the Occupy Oakland group.

Marching in solidarity with rioters who took part in what one Oakland official referred to as “domestic terrorism,” is a curious way to demonstrate one’s peaceful intentions.

Now comes the fun part; the GOP will try to tie Obama and the Democrats to the OWS movement. What makes this so delicious is that there is going to be a probable riot in Chicago during the G-8 Summit in April. Adbusters, the radical consumerists who got the ball rolling with OWS, are calling on 50,000 demonstrators to descend on Chicago in April and, in their words:

And if they don’t listen … if they ignore us and put our demands on the back burner like they’ve done so many times before … then, with Gandhian ferocity, we’ll flashmob the streets, shut down stock exchanges, campuses, corporate headquarters and cities across the globe … we’ll make the price of doing business as usual too much to bear [ellipses in original].

A lot of bombast to be sure. But they include a call to imitate the “Chicago 8″ - the radicals charged with inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic convention. Not very subtle, huh? This is a movement now that needs violence in order to get attention. And Obama, who has never really embraced the movement but has made supportive noises,  has adopted the rhetoric of OWS in order to skewer the GOP. The GOP should be all over him and his fellow Democrats when the crap hits the fan in Chicago and the tear gas is as thick as a morning fog over Lake Michigan.

I would guess that most of those who march or identify strongly with the OWS movement are peaceful Americans seeking reform. They will be cruelly used by those who are experienced at using the naive and innocent as cannon fodder for their revolutionary goals. This is not a reform movement anymore. It is an attempt to upend and overturn American society to make it something alien and unrecognizable from what we are today.

By: Rick Moran at 10:31 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (3)

1/27/2012
The Death of Pragmatism
CATEGORY: PJ Media, Politics

This is a piece that I took enormous pleasure in writing - first time in a while I actually had fun scribbling away.

It’s up at PJ Media so enjoy!

A sample:

No matter. The point is made. For a large number of conservatives and many liberals who are being taunted with the epithet “RINO” or “DINO,” the fact remains that they have not left their party. Their party has left them. Those who can’t stomach the extremism, the obstructionism, the radicalism of the neo-liberals and Tea Party conservatives who both seek to hammer each other into the ground on a daily basis are largely left on the outside, viewing the slow-motion train wreck that politics has become with a feeling of abject helplessness.

It’s not a question of “moderates” not holding power. One can be liberal or conservative and be pragmatic enough to work with the other side on the big issues of the day. The problem is, pragmatism is dead — killed by the excessively ideological base of both parties who view compromise as treason, and comity as cowardice. Both sides are so besotted with a warped and tangled view of each other that they occasionally — unintentionally — provide comic relief for our political culture.

The debt ceiling deal reached by President Obama and Speaker Boehner is one such example of a mirthful interlude. Both sides screamed bloody murder that their guy had botched it and had been taken by the other. It would do no good to point out that it would have been impossible for both sides to be “taken” on any one deal, so one side has to be in error. Guessing which one means that you will be acknowledged a genius by 50% of the extremists from both parties.

This kind of idiocy aside, the lack of pragmatism in both parties means that even the formerly simple tasks of government become ideological mountains to climb. Back in the good old days when Congress was made up of sane crooks and charlatans, the president’s appointments were mostly pro-forma exercises in governance. Cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries, and assistant secretaries were supported (or at least, unopposed) by the opposition as a matter of course. The president was not begrudged the courtesy of being able to pick his own people. Judges — unless they were closet cases or rabid racists (and even then they were sometimes given a pass) — were confirmed by voice vote or desultory roll calls with few dissenting votes.

Today, both parties go to war over federal judges, undersecretaries, ambassadors, and other appointees as if the fate of the republic hung on whether an appointee was too far left or right. Democrats did it to Bush as much as Republicans have done it to Obama. The process is broken and the consequences are a hobbled government at all levels. Whatever efforts to achieve a pragmatic solution — such as the “Gang of 14? who came to an agreement in 2007 regarding some of President Bush’s judicial appointees — are derided by both sides, undermined, and then destroyed by partisan sniping.

If one defines pragmatism as viewing the world as it is, prioritizing what’s important, and recognizing the validity and good faith of the other side in order to work together to solve problems, then there is a gravestone somewhere on Capitol Hill that might read:

Here lies the remains of pragmatic politics. Killed by excessive ideology and rank partisanship. Survived by the American republic — but for how long, no one can say.

By: Rick Moran at 8:18 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

1/24/2012
THE RINO HOUR OF POWER: WHAT’S RIGHT WITH THE RIGHT?

rino1

The RINO Hour of Power is back! Two of the most famous RINO’s on the web — Jazz Shaw and Rick Moran — are ready to rock your political world with their unique blend of humor, wit, and sharp analysis.

Joining Jazz and Rick will be joined by Liz Mair, Founder and President of Mair Strategies and former Online Political Director for the RNC. The group will discuss the question “What’s Right with the Right” and probably get around to talking about what’s wrong with it also.

Llisten live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

1/20/2012
Will the Right Sell Its Soul to Nominate Gingrich?

Whether you believe Marianne Gingrich’s story about Newt’s offer of an open marriage or not, the sad fact is, this is a morally flawed candidate who has shown a shocking disregard for his family, and specifically, the women in his life. Two divorces caused directly by his philandering is evidence that Newt cannot be trusted on a personal level. And he has given us no indication that we should trust him on a political level either.

It is beyond hypocrisy for Newt Gingrich to talk about family values when his own personal failings highlight someone who could care less about those values, and more about his personal, hedonistic pleasure. The right didn’t put up with that crap from Bill Clinton - rightly so. So the question is; will conservatives overlook the massive personal failings of Newt Gingrich just to nominate someone for president besides Mitt Romney?

It is incomprehensible that culture warriors and values voters on the right would swallow hard and look the other way when it comes to a candidate’s obvious shortcomings with regard to the very issues they hold dear and proclaim to champion. But judging from the debate last night when Gingrich received a standing ovation for avoiding the issue of his second wife’s charges, it would seem that many values voters have thrown those principles under the bus in the name of a crass political expediency. And if that be the general reaction from the mass of voters on the right in the entire electorate, Gingrich may very well skate through to seriously challenge Mitt Romney from now until the convention.

I am not a values voter. I am a pragmatic conservative who wants to see Obama defeated and the Democrats tossed out of the senate next November. Newt Gingrich is not the man to lead the party to that victory. He will be a millstone around the neck of the GOP, dragging the down ballot candidates with him as the GOP loses its identity as a party of principles and values and is defined as a party of opportunistic and cynical calculation. Already it is apparent that nominating Gingrich would open a gender gap in the general election through which Obama would march to triumph. Add to that those who are simply disgusted with the personal moral turpitude of the candidate and Obama doesn’t have to work very hard to fashion an electoral college majority.

The hatred by many on the right of the “establishment,” and of “moderates” — Romney’s perceived sins — has apparently overcome their reason and logic. Romney is not the best conservative to nominate. He may not even be the best candidate to challenge Obama in November and win. But at least he has a grounded moral center that people can sense and that gives him a strength of character so obvisouly lacking in the former speaker of the House.

Better to swallow hard and nominate and support a “RINO” for president than swallow hard and betray every important principle and value you stand for in order to stick it to the establishment.

This blog originally appeared at The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 8:38 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

1/17/2012
THE RINO HOUR OF POWER: THE INEFFABLE INEVITABILITY OF MITT ROMNEY

rino1

The RINO Hour of Power is back! Two of the most famous RINO’s on the web — Jazz Shaw and Rick Moran — are ready to rock your political world with their unique blend of humor, wit, and sharp analysis.

Joining Jazz and Rick will be Bryan Preston of PJ Media and PJTV. The boys will look at the upcoming South Carolina primary and weigh the pundit’s claims of Romney’s “inevitability.”

Llisten live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 5:41 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

1/15/2012
DESECRATING THE DEAD: AN ALTERNATE VIEW

God bless the US Marines.

Every society — even the freest and the most civilized — needs a warrior class to protect it. And the Marines, generally regarded as the best warriors in the world, function in that regard for America.

They are the sharp end of the spear of American policy and their arrival on the battlefield strikes fear in the breast of our enemies. They are trained for one purpose, and one purpose only; to kill our enemies. We don’t send the Marines in to negotiate, and we usually don’t send them in to build schools and hospitals. We send them in to seek out and kill as many of the enemy as can be found.

To accomplish this necessary goal, we train the Marines to see the enemy as not quite human. There are many subtle ways this is done, but the bottom line is that it relieves our warriors of the tremendous psychic burden that being civilized human beings has placed on them; that killing another person is murder.

Dehumanizing the enemy in war, then, is unavoidable if we wish our warriors to survive and achieve success. Thus, the questions raised by the Marines who, at the very least, disrespected the dead by urinating on them, have far more to do with who we are as a nation than what we think of the Taliban.

We should not mourn the death of any Taliban. They are trying to kill Americans and killing them first is the best way to fight and win the war. But every society has customs and rituals associated with the dead and deliberately violating them by desecrating the bodies of our enemy is not in the “warrior ethos” as Corps Commandant Genearl Jim Amos said in a statement responding to the video of the act.

He’s right. We’re better than that. The Marines are better than that. It’s not political correctness that is at the heart of the real criticism of the actions of the Marines. (criticism by domestic critics and America’s enemies is exaggerated and mostly without merit, having more to do with politics than ethics). It is the notion that America is an exceptional country and that by definition, we hold our warriors to a higher standard. The argument that the Taliban does worse, or Muslims have desecrated the bodies of Americans as they did in Somali doesn’t hold water. Are we to ape the worst behaviors of the enemy and justify it as tit for tat? Or, are our standards superior to our enemies and thus, criticism of the Marines is justified?

Sebastion Junger, director of the superior documentary “Restrepo” which follows a company of Marines for a year in the “Valley of Death” - the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan — has an interesting piece in the Washington Post about the Marines and why they may have acted as they did:

The U.S. military should be held to a higher standard, certainly, but it is important to understand the context of the behavior in the video. Clearly, the impulse to desecrate the enemy comes from a very dark and primal place in the human psyche. Once in a while, those impulses are going to break through.

There is another context for that behavior, though - a more contemporary one. As a society, we may be disgusted by seeing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters, but we remain oddly unfazed by the fact that, presumably, those same Marines just put high-caliber rounds through the fighters’ chests. American troops are not blind to this irony. They are very clear about the fact that society trains them to kill, orders them to kill and then balks at anything that suggests they have dehumanized the enemy they have killed.

But of course they have dehumanized the enemy - otherwise they would have to face the enormous guilt and anguish of killing other human beings. Rather than demonstrate a callous disregard for the enemy, this awful incident might reveal something else: a desperate attempt by confused young men to convince themselves that they haven’t just committed their first murder - that they have simply shot some coyotes on the back 40.

It doesn’t work, of course, but it gets them through the moment; it gets them through the rest of the patrol.

We sometimes forget the tremedous psychological cost to our warriors of fighting for our country. The epidemic of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome cases of our soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq should remind us of this. Dealing with the stress of combat is an individual war within the war and, as Junger writes, we shouldn’t be shocked when a release of the kind the Marines chose to effect occurs.

But this can’t excuse the behavior.Despite war being a dehumanizing venture, it nonetheless demands that a baseline of ethical and moral behavior be followed. One of those ethical lines in the sand has to be a simple respect for the dead bodies of our enemies who, after all, can no longer harm anyone and are someone’s husband, father, or brother. Inflicting pain on the innocent by desecrating the body of their loved one is not exceptional. It is fundamentally wrong whether there is a written rule in the Geneva Conventions, or the Marine Corps Code of Conduct, or not. The bottom line is, we wouldn’t want an enemy soldier treating our dead that way — a good rule to follow when fighting for an exceptional country like the United States.

What kind of punishment - if any - should the Marines be subject to I can’t say. Nor should the Commandant determine their fate based on the outcry from those who hate the Marines for what they do without recognizing their existential value to the nation. The idea being advanced by some on the left that this is some sort of “Abu Ghraib” repeat is idiotic. No one was hurt. No one was tortured. No one was killed. The notion that this is some kind of “war crime” is equally nonsensical - a criticism made more for political effect than any reflection of reality.

I hope General Amos places their actions in the proper context and makes his decision on whether to punish the Marines or not by basing it on the high standards set by the Marine Corps and not the rantings of civilian partisans who want to use the incident to further their own political agendas.

By: Rick Moran at 9:25 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

1/13/2012
Slaughter in Syria

The violence continues in Syria while the Arab League’s “observer mission” is near collapse.

My latest is up at FPM and reviews recent events:

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called on Syrian authorities to divulge “the whole truth” surrounding the death of France 2 TV reporter Gilles Jacquier who was killed by an apparent grenade attack as he covered a pro-Assad rally in the flashpoint city of Homs. Jacqueir’s death comes at a time when the Arab League observer mission appears to be collapsing, unable to stop the violence and protect protesters from the brutal crackdown that is now in its 10th month.

The reporter’s killing also raises the question of how to discover the “truth” of what is happening in Syria as both pro- and anti-government spokesmen give differing accounts of how the attack happened and who was responsible.

Also, the League’s carefully constructed anti-Syrian coalition appears to be on the ropes as several League members are now openly questioning the efficacy of sending unarmed observers into Syria to literally be led around by the nose by government minders. Opposition members and street activists have been bitterly disappointed by the behavior of the observers who seem paralyzed in the face of the violence. Several of the 165-member observer force have privately expressed their frustration and have talked of quitting in protest. They cite the handling of the mission by the League and the air-tight control Assad’s handlers have exercised over their movements, as well as who they can interview.

And in one of the most cynical speeches of his career, Bashar Assad addressed a multitude of regime supporters in Damascus and on Syrian TV saying, “Thanks to you, I have never felt weak, not even for a day. We will undoubtedly triumph over this conspiracy.” The speech indicated Assad’s increasing confidence that he can weather the storm of opposition to his rule and his belief that the international community will remain on the sidelines while he carries out his crackdown on protestors. Indeed, as “Amal Hanano” (the pseudonym of a Syrian-American writer) writing in Foreign Policy observes, “Syrians are on their own.”

It has been impossible to confirm the details of how Jacquier died. The state-run news agency announced that the journalist was killed covering a pro-Assad demonstration as he was documenting “the damages left by terrorists…with photos and interviewing citizens who were victims of terror in the city when [an] armed terrorist member fired mortar projectiles on the delegation.” This is in keeping with the government’s narrative that armed gangs and terrorists are responsible for the violence and are trying to overthrow the regime.

But the Syrian Revolution General Commission, an opposition force, disputed that account, claiming, “The journalists were attacked in a heavily militarized regime stronghold — it would be hugely difficult for any armed opposition to penetrate the area and launch such a deadly attack.” It says that the mortars were fired from an “infantry vehicle.”

But today, AP is reporting that a “barrage of grenades” were responsible for Jacquier’s death. The reporter was with a group of 15 other foreign journalists who had received permission to cover the rally. Only a limited number of outside reporters have been allowed into the country and each is assigned a handler to make sure they cover what the Syrian government wants them to see.

Herein lies the great dilemma of gleaning the truth of what is actually happening in Syria. With no independent news sources to weigh accounts and come to a reasonable conclusion regarding events on the ground, it is proving impossible to discover the “facts” as one would normally do regarding any other story. Both the government and major opposition groups have their own agendas, their own perspectives on events, and trying to sift through contradictory accounts and be reasonably sure that one has a handle on the story has become an exercise in futility.

If the truth is the first casualty of war, the second has to be clarity.

There is no “world policeman” who will step up and deal with this tragedy. Many will probably think that a good thing. And to a certain extent, I agree. The temptation would always be there to intervene in places we have no business going.

But should allowances be made for such a clear cut case of  slaughter? Rwanda, the Sudan, other civil wars where we might be tempted to play policeman had their own arguments against intervening. We couldn’t have done much good and ultimately, the adventure would have made Iraq look like a picnic.

But Syria is tempting. An international coalition with NATO air power and Arab League ground troops wouldn’t have to fight the Syrians as much as stand as a buffer between the armed forces and civilians. Thus checkmated, it might give the Syrian army an excuse to get rid of Assad. Or perhaps his departure can be negotiated.

The goal would be to save lives. Unlike in Libya, ground troops would be essential to effect the conditions that would protect civilians. An F-16 can do a lot of things, but it can’t prevent a sniper on a rooftop from killing a mother and her child.

It’s fantasy of course - could never happen. Obama and NATO would never agree. The Arab League wouldn’t even discuss it. But mark my words: As long as there are dictators in the world willing to hang on to power by slaughtering their own citizens, there are going to be many more Syrias for the world community to deal with.

By: Rick Moran at 1:27 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

1/10/2012
THE RINO HOUR OF POWER: COVERAGE OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY
CATEGORY: General

rino1

Jazz is back! Jazz Shaw will once again co-host the RINO Hour of Power as the guys cover the New Hampshire primary.

Joining Jazz and Rick will be Outside the Beltway’s Doug Mataconis. The panel will look at the early returns and discuss the possibilities coming out of New Hampshire and going into South Carolina’s primary on January 21 - and beyond.

Watch the returns with us and listen live at 8:00 PM eastern time. A podcast will be available shortly after the end of the show.

You can join us live by clicking the icon below or by clicking here.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 5:40 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

1/4/2012
A Razor Thin Victory for Romney

But it was Santorum that was the night’s true winner.

My take on the caucus results up today on FPM.

Every four years we hear the same complaints about Iowa being “First in the Nation” to register an opinion on the presidential candidates for both parties. It’s too white, or it’s too rural, or Evangelical Christians are too plentiful. It doesn’t matter. The state jealously guards its status as the initial test for the candidates and the Republican National Committee appears to be in no mood to change its privileged position.

That said, the caucuses can be seen as a rudimentary test of strength and popularity with GOP voters and as such, it begins the winnowing process that usually claims one or two candidates who decide not to move on to New Hampshire. The most likely casualty from Tuesday night’s festivities could be Michele Bachmann who told pre-caucus audiences that she had already “bought our tickets to go to South Carolina” in order to compete in that state’s primary on January 21. But a sixth place finish in Iowa and with little money and not much of an organization in the Palmetto State, it seems a quixotic quest for her to hope that lightening would strike and bring her victory there.

Rick Perry’s weak 5th place finish has dealt a body blow to his campaign. But the candidate swears he will move on to South Carolina, skipping New Hampshire to concentrate on the far friendlier climes of the Palmetto State. But in his speech after the caucuses ended, Perry hinted that he may drop out after all. He is returning to Texas to “reassess” his campaign.

Newt Gingrich finished a distant 4th, but will soldier on, at least through the South Carolina primary and perhaps all the way to Florida which holds its contest on January 31. For the former speaker of the House, it’s gotten personal. The barrage of negative ads from Romney independent groups tore him down and severely damaged his candidacy. Newt has already demonstrated that he is taking off the gloves and will go after Romney hard wherever they are competing. Whether that is a winning strategy for him remains to be seen.

As for Jon Huntsman’s last place finish, he wasn’t competing in Iowa anyway, saving his money and spending all of his time in New Hampshire, hoping for a strong showing in territory that has proven friendly to more moderate Republicans in the past. While Romney seems to be extending his lead in the Granite State, Huntsman figures a strong second will allow him to move on to other primaries later this month.

It’s all about perception, of course. “Exceeding expectations” - or not - is the name of the game. In that contest, Rick Santorum has aced the Iowa test. How he did it is not complicated. The former Pennsylvania senator held a staggering 358 town hall meetings in the last year, visited every one of Iowa’s 99 counties, and counted on a volunteer network of churches, pastors, and Christian activists who worked tirelessly on his behalf. If national pundits believed that retail politics were not as important in Iowa as debate performances and paid advertising, they might want to rethink that formula after Santorum’s effort in 2012.

With the momentum he will get from his Iowa campaign, Santorum is seeing a huge increase in his fundraising. A Santorum staffer told CNN that “the campaign raised more money in the last week than they raised on-line the past six months.” He added that “fundraising is between 300% and 400% higher on a daily basis than it was just ten days ago.” The candidate raised only $700,000 in the third quarter and ended up at the end of the year with just $190,000 in cash.

But the rocket-powered boost in fundraising has already fueled some ad buys in New Hampshire, and next week, Santorum will begin to run ads in South Carolina. It is likely that he will preserve most of his cash for that primary, and make little more than a token effort in New Hampshire. South Carolina has picked the eventual Republican nominee for the last 30 years and Santorum is expected to run strongly in one of the most conservative states in the union.

The entrance polls revealed that Santorum cleaned up with conservative Christians, winning 30% of those voters who made up nearly 60% of caucus attendees. He also did very well with those who identified themselves as “very conservative” - a good omen for his efforts to come in South Carolina.

Interesting speculation today that perhaps it’s Jon Huntsman’s turn to be the “not Romney” candidate. Santorum will almost certainly all but bypass New Hampshire and save his limited resources for South Carolina. Are we going to see another back of the pack candidate surge to the front in New Hampshire?

Stay tuned.

By: Rick Moran at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)