Marine Corps not leaving any equipment in Afghanistan, unlike the Army

And this is just one of the reasons our country should never get rid of the Marine Corps…

Top General: Marines ‘Not Leaving a Single Thing’ in Afghanistan

Meanwhile, the Army is leaving $6 billion worth of equipment there.

And believe me, I’m not some loud, asshole Marine screaming we’re better than everyone else. I only post this because of recent articles like this: Why Afghanistan Might Be the Marines’ Last Fight.

As a reminder, the Corps operates on just 6 percent of the defense budget, but handles usually in the 15 to 20 percent range of actual defense missions. As a further reminder, competition among the services (and certainly within each service on a unit-by-unit basis) is what makes our armed forces so razor sharp.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Karzai stops his whining…

Looks like Karzai has stopped his whining about the Taliban’s office in Qatar.

STORY: Obama, Karzai ‘reaffirm’ Afghan-led peace process with Taliban: White House

I’ve literally been laughing my ass off the past two days that this guy has the nerve to throw a tantrum and get all pissed, yet again. He’s such a drama queen.

Oh, and Karzai, when you lose, which your country has basically done, you don’t get to call the shots. If you didn’t like the fact that you have to negotiate with the Taliban, maybe you could have been a better President and not undermined us at every turn. And not appointed so many corrupt cronies. And not… (You know, I really don’t have time to list everything…)

I can’t wait until we leave Afghanistan. This man is going to get a serious reality check. (Probably with the Taliban kicking in his front door…)

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Syrian rebels use suicide bomber for massive attack

As further proof that our Syrian Rebels (that the U.S. is now supporting) are very al Qaeda like, The New York Times carried a story today about a massive truck bomb.

The Syrian Rebels used a suicide bomber to drive a truck packed with six tons of explosives. The bombing killed an estimated 60 Syrian Troops. Full story here: Large Truck Bomb Reported to Kill 60 Syrian Troops.

Also from the story, more proof that our intervention into this civil war could come back to bite us…

In an interview, (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad warned the European Union not to send arms to the rebels, saying it would “pay the price” by spawning terrorism in its own backyard.

So, there you go. I think we’d be foolish not to expect repercussions from our intervention into Syria. Maybe if the Rebels win and we have a counter balance to Iran, this will prove worth it, but I’m still skeptical. And I still believe we’re on the verge of entering into another war.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Vladimir Putin further confirms his true colors

It’s hardly news to anyone, but our good friend Vladimir Putin has provided even further proof that he can’t be trusted.

In case you missed it, here’s the story of him stealing a $25,000 ring from New England Patriots owner Robert Craft.

Is this the moment that Vladimir Putin STOLE New England Patriots owner’s $25,000 Super Bowl ring?

You know, there’s no better way to treat a visiting businessman than to steal from him on his first trip to your country. But, that’s about what I expect of Putin, for sure, and unfortunately of Russia. It’s been riddled with crime and corruption, and you couldn’t get me to visit that place for a million dollars.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. I know Putin has now said it was a gift, and is in the state museum (link), but if you believe that, then I’ve got some ocean front property for you in Tennessee.

Obama and the U.S. entering another war?

It’s taken more than two years, but Obama and the administration have finally been pulled deeper into the Syrian situation.

For years now, Obama has been pressured by sympathizers and bullied by many Republicans to take a more active and direct role in the nasty civil war, and for years, he’s resisted. But now it’s being announced that the U.S. will help arm the rebels, who now have momentum against them and appear to be losing.

Full story here:  U.S. Is Said to Plan to Send Weapons to Syrian Rebels.

And here’s a story (a bit over the top, but not too much) about how the war can (and is) spreading: Could Syria ignite World War 3? That’s the terrifying question as the hatred between two Muslim ideologies sucks in the world’s superpowers.

It’s true that already America and Iran are being pulled more and more into this mess, and I expect that to get worse.

My biggest fear now, in the short term, is the so-often repeated mistake of mission creep.

Already, there are calls for Obama to set up a no-fly zone over the rebels, who are struggling against Syrian air power. Next step will be air strikes against Syrian air fields and munitions depots.

Obama has already been called weak for waiting this long, and he’ll be called weak for not doing more (such as the two steps named above: a no-fly zone and air strikes).

I hate to say it, but you might as well prepare for us to get sucked into another war. It will take all that Obama can do to stop it from escalating now.

Here’s the bright side! (Yes, that’s sarcasm…) On one side, we have a dictator supplied and supported by Iran. On the other, we have a bunch of rebels with increasingly an al Qaeda-like role.

So, long term our options are either a big-time ally to Iran as the winner, or an Islamic state that’s probably pretty extreme and hates America and Israel.

With those odds, sounds like we can’t lose. (Yes, that’s sarcasm, as well, as is the next little bit.)

Best of all, we’re doubling our chances for future attacks against our troops across the world and terrorist attacks here in our homeland. Both sides are going to hate us, since the Rebels are infuriated that we didn’t arm them sooner, and even now won’t provide them with anti-air weapons, and since Syria will become a mere extension of Iran.

Maybe the one big winner in this is Sen. Rand Paul. I think his message of (basically) isolationism will continue to attract more followers, myself included.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

U.S. drops war against poppies in Afghanistan

Here’s a must-read article about poppie eradication in Afghanistan.

U.S. Kicks Drug-War Habit, Makes Peace With Afghan Poppies

This is by far the wisest thing we’ve done in Afghanistan for at least the past three or four years, in my opinion. Unfortunately, it’s probably too late.

The article explains that years of American troops stomping through fields and burning them down have caused Afghan farmers to doubt the new policy.

I remember when the policy to eradicate poppie fields was announced under President Bush, and I remember thinking it was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard of.

I’m sorry folks, but when you take away a man’s ability to earn money and food for his family, you’ve almost guaranteed yourself another enemy.

Major props for Obama changing the policy, as well as whoever staff wise — from Generals to Sgts in the field — who saw the policy was stupid and needed to be changed.

Best of all, they’re still going after the drug king pins and Taliban who are selling this stuff. But they’re leaving the farmers alone.

It’s about time. Now, let’s go ahead and pack up our stuff and get on out of there… (My view on that: Let’s get out of Afghanistan, like now.)

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

What do you think of Edward Snowden?

This post below by Embattled Farmers pretty much sums up where I currently stand regarding the NSA leaker.

Article: Who Is This Guy?

Take a moment to read it, and then share your thoughts in the comments.

I’d love to hear what you think as I’m still trying to make up my mind about this guy. Being a prior military and current newspaperman really puts me on both sides of the fence on this issue…

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.