We’re Surrounded and That Simplifies the Problem

November 17th, 2012

By Dan Miller

At the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean Conflict, Marine Colonel (later Lt. General) Chesty Puller told his men “We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.” We’re surrounded too and that may simplify things for us as well.

Chesty PullerColonel Puller’s First Battalion of the First Marine Division, along with many thousands of other allied troops sent deep into North Korea to chase the North Korean forces to and across the Chinese border, had been placed in a nearly impossible situation. General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Allied Commander, relying only on the information he wanted to hear, had discounted the possibility of Chinese intervention. He had discouraged the development and submission of intelligence on its increasing likelihood. The information was available. However, since he didn’t want it, providing it would have been the path away from rather than toward promotion and he did not get it.

When President Truman and General MacArthur met at Wake Island on October 14, 1950, 

He had [already] been warned by Truman many times, and now received notification that he was to obtain authorization from Washington prior to taking any military action against objectives in Chinese territory. MacArthur’s military plan was to proceed with all deliberate speed in advancing to the Yalu. He did not believe that the Chinese would intervene and would remain on their side of the Yalu. He had no knowledge that the Chinese decision to intervene had already been made by Mao, who was pressuring Russia to upgrade nine divisions to counter the U.S. hardware. Again MacArthur was warned not to provoke the Chinese, as it could draw not only China but Russia into a third World War. There were repeated warnings that the Chinese were already preparing to cross the Yalu and attack the U.S. forces. MacArthur in his usual pompous attitude anticipated immediate victory after his success at Inchon. Truman scheduled a showdown meeting with MacArthur on Wake Island. MacArthur was extremely displeased over the proposed meeting, which went on exactly as predicted. Truman expressed his growing concern over Chinese intervention, being careful not to anger the explosive MacArthur. It was here that MacArthur made his biggest mistake. He announced that the war “would be terminated by Thanksgiving – they are thoroughly whipped.”

The first known appearance of large numbers of Chinese soldiers on the Korean side of the border came on November 1st.

The surprise assault forced the UN forces to retreat back to the Ch’ongch’on River, while the Chinese unexpectedly disappeared in their mountain hideouts following their victory.

The Chinese continued to enter en masse and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir began on November 27, 1950.

China’s 9th Army infiltrated the northeastern part of North Korea and surprised the US X Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area. 30,000 UN troops under the command of Major General Edward Almond were encircled by approximately 60,000 Chinese troops under the command of Song Shi-Lun. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir, the decisive battle of Phase 3, took place from November 27-December 13 in freezing weather.

The retreat from the Yalu followed, a disaster, and not only for the troops. General MacArthur’s various orders issued inconsistently with presidential statements had not been appreciated and the consequences of a (denied) Presidential grant of his demands for discretionary authority to use nuclear weapons would have been more so. President Truman had for months been tempted to fire General MacArthur and finally did so on April 6, 1951. General MacArthur’s “old soldiers never die: they just fade away” comment came in an April 19th address to the Congress.

On to our current morass

It seems likely that the fruits of repeated Obama Administration bungles in the Middle East will also lead to disasters. The theories that follow include dollops of speculation based on statements by members of the Congress present when General Petraeus testified on the Benghazi, Libya kerfuffle yesterday, November 16th. With a government as “transparent” as the Obama Administration, speculation is common and often turns out to have been close to realities which the administration had sought to obscure in fog — not the fog of war but fog intentionally generated for political gain.

David PetraeusYesterday, it was reported that General Petraeus

told lawmakers during private hearings Friday that he believed all along that the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was a terrorist strike, even though that wasn’t how the Obama administration initially described it publicly.

The retired four-star general addressed the House and Senate intelligence committees as questions continue to persist over what the Obama administration knew in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and why their public description did not match intelligence agencies’ assessments.

Lawmakers said Petraeus testified that the CIA’s draft talking points written in response to the assault on the diplomat post in Benghazi that killed four Americans referred to it as a terrorist attack. But Petraeus told the lawmakers that reference was removed from the final version, although he wasn’t sure which federal agency took out the reference. …

Petraeus testified that the CIA draft written in response to the raid referred to militant groups Ansar al-Shariah and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb but those names were replaced with the word “extremist” in the final draft, according to a congressional staffer. The staffer said Petraeus testified that he allowed other agencies to alter the talking points as they saw fit without asking for final review, to get them out quickly. (Emphasis added.)

“Democrats said Petraeus made it clear the change was not made for political reasons during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.” Strange. If General Petraeus did not know who made what changes, how might he have known why they had not been made? According to Congressman King, of the committee that heard General Petraeus’ testimony,

the challenge now is going through the chain of custody — between seven and nine agencies, King estimated — to see exactly where the story changed.

“This is ongoing. I mean this is — it still can be — obviously, you know, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and also people at the White House, to see if anyone at the White House changed their talking points.”

Might pertinent information have been deleted to keep the bad guys from knowing that they, rather than the video, had caused the bumps in the road? Doubtful, because they already knew what they had done and why. Might it have been done to keep them from realizing that we thought they had done it? How might the video scam have kept them from drawing that conclusion ? An assumption that we are as dumb as rocks, consistent with President Obama’s assumption to the same effect? Maybe there’s something to the “dumb as rocks” notion. After all, September 11, 2001 had been an uneventful day just like any other.

Following the September 11, 2012 attack, General Petraeus had not publicly deviated from the administration scam that the “bumps in the road” at Benghazi had been caused by an anti-Islamist video.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice also adhered consistently to the administration scam, at the U.N. and during television appearances. However, it appears to be the administration line there is not even a remote possibility that contradictory information about the terrorist nature of the attack was omitted to keep poor little Ambassador-Obama Spokesperson Rice in the dark, along with the voters. Perish the thought! Having demonstrated her willingness to support the administration position, no matter how odd, she may be our next Secretary of State unless Republican racism again rears its ugly head.

“It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities,” Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, the next chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters Friday at a Capitol Hill news conference.

And she’s right. It’s just plain racism. What do all the sacrifices of the Civil Rights movement amount to if a black woman can’t serve as a UN Ambassador and then enjoy complete immunity from telling crazy lies to the rest of the country?

Was information on al Qaeda involvement deleted because President Obama or his political gurus considered it inconsistent with the “Obama killed Osama and defeated al Qaeda” meme — with which it certainly was? Roger L. Simon at PJ Media cites this article suggesting a similar theory:

A commenter – CatDaddyKSC – on Breitbart.com has an interesting theory:

Consider this possibility … the talking points came from the CIA, and they were altered by the campaign people in Chicago. The coverup has been about hiding the sharing of classified information with campaign officials who don’t have the proper clearance. This sharing of information could also be the source of the earlier leaks such as the virus in Iran’s nuclear program.

I’ve always wondered why David Axelrod appeared on news programs to talk about the administration’s official policies when he was a campaign official. Those of us old enough to remember Watergate will recall the mixing of official administration business with CREEP (Committee to Reelect the President) activities and the Democrat’s outrage at the time. Perhaps we are seeing the results of a similar improper mix.

Commenting on the linked article, Mr. Simon (who rarely falls for lunatic right-wing “conspiracy theories”) observes,

What may emerge is a kind of government by cabal, a super-government composed of David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, and possibly a few others who operated, in the service of the president, above and beyond our legal and constitutional systems — all the time thinking what they did was for the better good of our country.

Events like Benghazi could and should be whitewashed, since in their views Obama’s continued rule was of paramount importance. To say this is a crime beyond Watergate is to understate it. In the coming days we shall see how this evolves. It is the duty of every American citizen to watch carefully, since many forces conspire to push it under the rug.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration may have been funneling money to al-Qaeda “sympathizers and those influenced by it.” As Barry Rubin notes at the link,

The Libyan government gave 50 percent of the funds to finance the budget of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council (SNC) budget.  Since Libya is very much a U.S. client, it’s reasonable to conclude that the Obama Administration encouraged this generosity. Yet this money was financing a Muslim Brotherhood front. A lot of arms have been flowing from Libya to Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and to radical forces in Syria. Some claim that the U.S. government was coordinating that traffic though this has not yet been proven. The SNC has now been replaced by a new umbrella group whose role and even survival is still unproven.

This means the Obama Administration was using a barely disguised channel to pay for a revolutionary Islamist movement seeking to take over Syria. The fact that this group was also anti-American, antisemitic, and genocidal toward Jews seems significant.

Meanwhile, yesterday we also received some “unexpected” news about our peace loving friends in Iran, beaten down by severe sanctions and therefore anxious to negotiate away uranium enrichment:

Iran is set to sharply expand its uranium enrichment in an underground site after installing all the centrifuges it was built for, a U.N. nuclear report showed on Friday, a move that could increase Western alarm about Tehran’s nuclear course.

The latest quarterly International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran came 10 days after the re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama, which raised hopes for a revival of nuclear diplomacy with Iran following speculation that Israel might bomb the nuclear facilities of its arch-enemy soon.

The Islamic state has put in place the nearly 2,800 centrifuges that the Fordow enrichment site, buried deep inside a mountain, was designed for, and is poised to double the number of them operating to almost 1,400, according to the confidential IAEA report obtained by Reuters.

“They can be started any day. They are ready,” a senior diplomat familiar with the IAEA’s investigation said.

If Iran chose to dedicate the new machines to produce higher-grade uranium, it could significantly shorten the time it would require for any bid to build an atomic bomb. Iran says it needs to refine uranium to make reactor fuel. …

Obama this week said he believed there was still a “window of time” to find a peaceful resolution to the long standoff with Iran. But the IAEA report underlined the tough task facing Western powers pressing it to curb its nuclear program.

It seems that “intelligence” coming from Iran may now be “flawed,” in the sense that it provides inadequate bases for the sort of happy talk the administration peddled during the election campaign and continues to peddle.

These situations suggest that the Obama Administration has been no more receptive to, and no more prepared to act on, evidence contradicting its own narrative — and inconsistent with its own political aspirations — than was General MacArthur. Colonel Puller and his men, along with many thousands of U.S. and allied troops, found themselves deep in well rotted kimchi because of General MacArthur’s studied ignorance. Although once a military genius and splendid warrior in many ways, General MacArthur let his troops and his country down, disgracefully, after his brilliantly executed September 15, 1950 Inchon invasion.  As argued by Charles Rowley here,

President Barack Obama, egged on by his three witches – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, and Special Assistant to the President, Samantha Powers – intentionally destabilized the Middle East by meddling in the mis-named Arab Spring with the intent of deposing key U.S. allies, Mubarak of Egypt  and Gaddafi of Libya.  Now Obama and the three witches are reaping the predictable consequences of igniting such a bubbling cauldron of irrational hatred.

I don’t know whether it was done intentionally or was the product of incompetence, but it matters little. In either event, the situation seems likely to get worse, probably much worse, before it gets better. Will the continued attacks on Israel, which Iran continues to push, finally ignite a nuclear Armageddon?

Islamic countries must close ranks and respond to Israel’s deadly attacks on the Gaza Strip, Iran‘s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday.

“Putting an end to the Zionist regime’s crimes is only possible through a united, revolutionary retaliation by the Muslim world,” Vahidi said in remarks carried by the official IRNA news agency.

Israel is “massacring the oppressed Palestinian people, including women and children” and its strikes amount to a “clear example of war crimes,” the defense minister charged.

The Obama Administration — and the United States — now seem likely to awaken deep in something no less foul smelling than well rotted kimchi because President Obama — who never wore a uniform, was never a warrior, splendid or otherwise and whose “brilliance” has been overrated — has fatal flaws similar to those of General MacArthur.

Colonel Puller, one of the best of the best warriors in our armed forces, received his fifth Navy Cross citation for service during the Battle of Chosin:

For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against aggressor forces in the vicinity of Koto-ri, Korea, from 5 to 10 December 1950. Fighting continuously in sub-zero weather against a vastly outnumbering hostile force, Colonel Puller drove off repeated and fanatical enemy attacks upon his Regimental defense sector and supply points. Although the area was frequently covered by grazing machine-gun fire and intense artillery and mortar fire, he coolly moved along his troops to insure their correct tactical employment, reinforced the lines as the situation demanded, and successfully defended the perimeter, keeping open the main supply routes for the movement of the Division. During the attack from Koto-ri to Hungnam, he expertly utilized his Regiment as the Division rear guard, repelling two fierce enemy assaults which severely threatened the security of the unit, and personally supervised the care and prompt evacuation of all casualties. By his unflagging determination, he served to inspire his men to heroic efforts in defense of their positions and assured the safety of much valuable equipment which would otherwise have been lost to the enemy. His skilled leadership, superb courage and valiant devotion to duty in the face of overwhelming odds reflect the highest credit upon Colonel Puller and the United States Naval Service.

Conservatives had also been looking for the nation’s enemies, have now found many of them and are surrounded. That simplifies our problems as well, at least for a while, and General Puller’s remark should be recalled from time to time. We also need “skilled leadership, superb courage and valiant devotion to duty.” Can we find such leadership? We are surrounded by those who look more fondly on “free stuff” for which they (unlike others) had never paid than on the well being of the country — like “parasites that feed and feed until they kill” the host (or, as in a recent analogy, Hostess Brands); by media that gush over their fair haired boy historically incompetent or worse great President; and by administration officials and many others whose moral values might shame even the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, A.K.A. the Beltway Madam.

Foreign policy is generally of interest to few, but as the situation worsens it would not be surprising if al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, their colleagues and supporters, the “Palestinians” and Iran on the foreign policy side  — “allied” with the Fiscal Cliff and ObamaCare as it continues to go into effect on the domestic side — inadvertently help us by simplifying our problems in pushing President Obama to the sidelines of power should he remain in office through 2016. Would it be surprising if a nomination of Senator “Swiftboat” Kerry, the great military hero of (North) Vietnam, as Secretary of Defense also simplified matters?

How about Big Bird as Director of the CIA? That somehow seems fitting, but maybe Jane Hanoi-Fonda might simplify the situation even more.

If the current mess worsens too much, could we still retrieve the situation? Could anyone? At this point I don’t know, but we had best begin to move expeditiously now, before it becomes too late.

(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)

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One Response to “We’re Surrounded and That Simplifies the Problem”

  1. Tom Carter |

    I’ve always found the quote about being surrounded darkly humorous. Maybe it inspired Marines to do more, but a surrounded Marine is already the most deadly man on the battlefield. In truth, though, being surrounded isn’t something to inspire one’s spirits — just ask Custer’s boys.

    I’m generally fairly tolerant of the views and actions of people I disagree with. But there are limits. John Kerry and Jane Fonda went well beyond those limits. Except for political cowardice among our leaders, both would still be sitting in a federal prison for treason — assuming that offense has any meaning at all.

    No one ever erred by under-estimating Fonda’s intellect, so maybe she could have been treated with the gentleness reserved for morons.

    As for Kerry, here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote eight years ago:

    I made no secret of my anti-war feelings. I talked about it among my fellow officers and with anyone else who brought it up. I wasn’t alone. Many officers, perhaps a majority, shared my sentiments to one degree or another.

    But unlike Kerry, I didn’t betray my friends and fellow soldiers, many of whom were grievously wounded, captured, or died in combat. When he famously labeled us and our leaders as war criminals, murders, and rapists he crossed a moral line. When he met with North Vietnamese negotiators in Paris, he was on the wrong side of that line. Even today, the North Vietnamese still consider him one of the heroes of their war.

    Anyone who has been in combat knows that war really is hell. Terrible things happen. Terrified young soldiers on both sides who are fighting for their lives and the lives of their comrades do things they would never do under other circumstances. Kerry wasn’t there for long, but he saw enough to understand this. Or, he should have understood it. But he came home and cynically slandered all of us, the living and the dead and those in captivity, for personal political gain. For that he can never be forgiven.

    The fact that he’s in the Senate is unfortunate. But to even consider making him Secretary of State, or, worse, Secretary of Defense is unthinkable. I don’t doubt that President Obama, like many on the left, has little regard for those in the military. But to elevate an odious person like Kerry to State, where he would represent our country in the world, or to Defense, where he would command our armed forces, goes far beyond what even an ardent leftist should consider appropriate.

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