As we approach 2011, we can look back at 2010 and see it was a year of growth at War On Terror News, but a troubling year for the Nation and the World. We saw 800,000 hits in 2010 on the news site alone compared to 343,000 in 2009 and 135,000 in our first year.
The number of attempted terrorist acts in the United States and Europe increased in 2010. The War in Iraq got a new name: Operation New Dawn (not to be confused with individual campaigns in Fallujah and Afghanistan) replaced Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sixteen months after requested, the surge Troops approved in lower numbers than requested arrived in Afghanistan. Pirates have expanded their area of operations off the coast of Somalia, inspired by ransoms paid and a lack of willingness to pursue them in their lairs. Though a few cases show a willingness for individual captains to take the steps necessary, international resolve remains MIA.
SSG Sal Giunta became the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since Viet Nam, and is slowly learning to live with the results. Rumors continue that a Marine is under consideration to be the second. Many factors have played into the reasons that so few have been given this honor and a lot has been said about the lack of honors. Among the factors that have changed this Medal since its inception in the Civil War are the number of lower medals introduced and the type of war we fight. There are considerably fewer large scale battles like those where it was earned in wars past. SSG Giunta resisted suggestions to make the situation political.
Iran continues to defy UN nuclear inspectors and toy with diplomats like a cat with a mouse. Iran seems to have solidified its brutal repression of its people in the 18 months since it looked like mass protests would over throw it. Wikileaks afforded the world the realization that Middle East leaders have long favored strong action against Iran.
And what a ride Wikileaks has led the world on. It began with a classified video that purported to show an attack on civilians, leaked by an LGBT activist turned Army Intelligence Analyst, Bradley Manning. It was a video that made WikiLeaks a household name, but evidence demonstrated that it wasn't what it was marketed as. In the incident, two journalists had joined jihadists for unknown purposes in Iraq. In the same area, a battle had raged and the islamists poured into the street. A US helicopter team spotted the islamists carrying arms, requested and received permission to fire.
Evidently, Manning had been working overtime to steal as many classified documents as he could access for as long as he could before the video leaked. As the sensation over the video waned, WikiLeaks announced the impending release of thousands of classified documents on Iraq. Though classified and though it put many lives in danger, the documents proved to be rather boring, affording no new insight, except that the military had been saying the same things privately as it said publicly.
A WikiLeaks claim that it had "discovered" new civilian deaths proved false, as it was simply the same old deaths inflicted by the enemy.
As that excitement died down, Wikileaks released the Afghanistan documents, this time offering the DoD an opportunity to identify which information was most important. The DoD turned down the chance to point out what it didn't want released, for obvious reasons. The lives of many civilians simply wanting a better future for their country were put at risk and the Taliban stated they were searching out the names of each. It is unknown how many were murdered.
At about the same time, two women approached Swedish prosecutors with allegations that Julian Assange, WikiLeaks owner, had raped them. Assanine Assange denied the charges, initially by pointing out his gayness, and later by saying it was consensual, but always saying it was simply a plot to shut him up. More recently, he stated it had been forced him to sign a $1.5 Million book deal that he didn't want while he awaited an extradition hearing to Sweden from a mansion in England, free of rent.
Though Assange has achieved his dream of runnning a 21st Century espionage operation where he declares himself a hero by putting civilian lives in danger from terrorists, he threw a tissy fit that someone leaked details of the charges against him for rape. Though he pretends to be a 'journalist' by stealing reports written by others, he is testy when asked by MSM journalists about the night of predatory sex committed by him.
As AssAnge was being tracked down and the Afghan classified documents lost their appeal, he released Diplomatic cables that painted unfavorable pictures of foreign leaders. Most were little more than the kind of opinions expressed between members of a gossip club, but were designed to express to distant readers the motivations and pitfalls of dealing with the powerful of foreign nations. The US Administration was finally outraged enough to act, though it couldn't find the ability to do something meaningful with its new backbone. It was corporations that dealt the heaviest blows to the espionage site, by refusing to transfer finances to it.
Meanwhile the LGBT activist spy Bradley Manning was locked up in a Military jail for his espionage, complaining that the thread count too low and the wool blankets were causing a tortortous itchiness, as his gay spymaster languished in an English Mansion complaining that someone had leaked the allegations against him. Code Stink rallied at the gates and the Berkeley City Council debated if there were sufficient proof of espionage to officially call Manning a "hero" for putting civilian lives and National Security at risk.
With disregard for National Security and the Warriors fighting our wars, politicians rushed to repeal DADT. The leading edge charging the hill were: former LT Dan Choi who disgraced the uniform and officer corps by handcuffing himself to the White House fence before being admitted for mental instability. Former PFC Bradley Manning who infiltrated Army Intelligence to steal classified information on CD's marked Lady Gaga. Australian Julian AssAnge who convinced Manning to give away National Security while he tried to be straight for a night by raping a pair of Swedes. It became a partisan fight on Capital Hill with a few deciding to hit for the other team in the end.
Having found a REMF Admiral to run the Joint Chiefs, he in turn found the minority set of officers that could conduct a study of the means to indoctrinate the military with "tolerance" for the new protected class. The study showed that the divide between Warrior and REMF has never been greater. It showed that REMFs don't feel threatened by a lesbian living a few doors down, but Warriors will consider leaving the Military in record numbers when they can't trust that the guy they must depend on to protect his back might be more interested in penetrating his butt where they sleep in close quarters.
While the Administration continues to refuse to acknowledge Hassan is an islamist terrorist, his trial began for the murders he committed while carrying business cards listing him as a "Soldier of Allah." He was one of the first "home-grown," "lone wolf" terrorists linked to al-Awlaki. 2010 would see many more, and through their individual incompetence, these plots would mostly fall on their faces.
It was just over a year ago, that the panty bomber succeeded in burning his balls off while being pummelled by civilian sheepdogs to prevent his desire to blow up an airplane on Christmas. This would lead to a new Administration policy of sexually assaulting Americans before they got on airplanes, if they didn't accept an offer to allow themselves to be pornographed for the private viewing of Government Agents in a private booth. Those with particular health ailments got groped even after consenting to the pornography.
The Administration claimed the pornography could not be recorded, six months after the first pornographic images had made their way into court and the internet. While they pointed to the panty bomber as the reason it was needed, they claimed that underwear areas were blurred to the remote viewers of the pornography. The evidence demonstrated that the political appointees could lie with a very convincing straight face. Hillary said she would and could avoid the procedures. The Administration pointed out that its own political appointees as well as celebrities were immune to the sexual assaults because they had their own armed security teams and had a long history of special treatment.
The same political groups that fought to prevent Intelligence Agents from listening to telephone communications with foreign terrorists, said Americans would eventually get used to being groped at the airport. Gloria AllRed, in a Fox interview, said she enjoyed the new attention as it was the closest thing to sex she had had in years. No one doubted her. Rumor has it she now buys airline tickets just to go through security.
One man issued a warning to the would be gropers: "Don't touch my junk!" This made him internationally renowned and became the phrase of the year, but also led to him being refused admittance to the airport and for the Administration to push for an $11,000 fine for his refusal to allow Government Agents to feel him up.
Someone called for a National day of protest to the invasive procedures of government sexual assault on Thanksgiving weekend. While many cheered the concept, few wanted to do the actual volunteering for the groping and most everyone just wanted to get through the packed airports as quickly as possible. As expected, the protest was as ineffective as it was incomplete.
Others decided to strip down to avoid the gropes. The concept was that if everyone could see their skin, TSA wouldn't need to feel their junk to be sure. Like a jilted lover, TSA told them to get dressed so they could get their cheap feel on. With Poltical Appointees of the Administration stubborn and Politicians unresponsive, traction for ending the practice could not be found.
The likely result will be that some will choose not to fly, which the Administration probably won't mind, as they've long pushed for funds for trains and other public transportation where they don't yet grope passengers. It doesn't appear that enough passengers will opt out of flying, for Airlines to feel enough of a crunch to attempt to pressure politicians to end the practice.
The War On Christianity heated up in the final days of 2010, with new legal attacks on towns and counties, schools and schoolboards, as well as yet another holiday created to muddy the waters. Internationally, Nigerian Islamists attacked Churches, Pakistani Islamists attacked Muslims, and Filipino Islamists attacked Christians over the Christmas holidays, to demonstrate that anti-Christian hate has no bounds.
In New York City, we learned that Islam wants to open a mosque over ground zero, which picked the scab off open wounds. Bloomberg, Obama, the Taxi Drivers Union and those that attempt to shut down Christianity at every turn endorsed the plan, while the majority of New Yorkers of every political stripe noted that until we are defeated, no Victory Tower should loom over the open wound.
It didn't take long before the debate turned violent. A young arts student jumped in a cab, asking the driver if he were Muslim and if he supported the Ground Zero Mosque before stabbing him, only to find his escape thwarted. It turns out the driver was against the mosque but the media lost interest in the story when the aspiring artistic journalist student belonged to a group supporting the mosque. His videos of Afghanistan having been prominently promoted by the group, the media frenzy could not get out of the story quick enough when their preferred storyline turned around on them.
It was aliens who had gained citizenship and leftists turned islamists that made terrorism more real in 2010.
But the incompetence of a Pakistani Islamist would save many lives in Times Square. He said he didn't mean it when he swore an oath at his naturalization ceremony to gain his American passport. The Al-Qaeda associated Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility and the US Administration downplayed the fact that Pakistan arrested his contacts there, as it didn't play well into their "lone wolf" storyline.
No less than two terrorists were captured with aims on blowing up the Washington DC subway, demonstrating that lower level Law Enforcement agents of the FBI are far more adept at Counter-Terrorism than are the political appointees setting policy at the top.
Another terrorist was captured in Chicago, trying to blow up a bar near Wrigley Field. Again, it was the worker bees of the FBI who prevented mass casaulties, while the attorneys may yet bungle the case. The same situation played out at a Christmas lighting ceremony on the West Coast, despite the mayor's refusal to allow his police officers to participate in counter-terrorism efforts.
And it was on the one year anniversary of the murder of 4 police officers that we learned that the career criminal who had raped his pre-teen relatives weeks earlier was proclaimed an Islamist hero by a stateside Black Islamist organization that calls such acts of terrorism "giving testimony" and "preaching" so long as white people die.
Meanwhile, an envirornmental terrorist took over the Discovery Channel headquarters building after years of protesting that they weren't using their power to push for total birth control. Another "lone wolf," the MSM couldn't get off the story quick enough when his left wing views became apparent.
In Florida, a distraught husband, attacked the school board blaming them and the rich for his wife's lost job. His poor weapons ability spared the lives of a confused school board, but Napolitano did not find a reason to play up his Air Force background as he was 'defending' a member of the Teachers Union and as his politics were the left wing style of class warfare that so often spawns a lack of weapons knowledge.
Instead, she convinced Wal-Mart to put her in a video at the cash registers begging Americans to report their suspicious neighbors. Her Orwellian policies have earned her the nickname "Big Sis" though some think it refers to her weight. Between her state sponsored sexual assaults, her government agents of pornography, and the FCC takeover of the internet, she's failed to stop any terrorist plot but managed to cast suspicion on Military Veterans while reaching out to Islamists.
The political divide has found itself with an upset apple cart over the War in Afghanistan. Because some on both sides want to call it "Obama's War" some on his side of the aisle defend the successes while some on the other side wish to play up the friendly body count. The same arguments used over the War in Iraq find themselves used on the opposite side over the War in Afghanistan.
The battle the Commanders in the field find most difficult to win is trust that they won't abandon Afghans that want peace, that want democracy, that want freedom and a better way of life. The enemy heard the President say 2011 will begin retreat and 2014 is the deadline to be out. They let Afghans know that if they can't kill them sooner, 2015 will be their year to exact murderous retribution on any and all that dared to accept a hand up from Americans.
In 2010, the Taliban showed they don't care how young a kid is, they'll shoot him/her in the head or hang him from a tree if they dare talk to an American. As more Troops arrived, the US Military pushed further into Taliban country with the Marines taking Marjah and Paratroopers delivering heavy defeats against a numerically superior enemy in Margah. In Khandahar, Army Troops demonstrated a joint means of empowering Afghans to throw off their Taliban chains.
While Konduz heated up with new support from the Islamist Movement of Uzbekistan, Khowst has seen daily takedowns of the Haqqani sect of islamists and the Troops in the East are holding their own. Wherever priority of resources is applied, US Troops continue to defeat the enemy, but in so many areas there just aren't the resources to apply.
After the 2009 Pakistani offensive against the overreaching Taliban pushed them too far, 2010 saw an increase in drone attacks and diplomatic rhetoric complaining they weren't doing enough. The primary irritant to diplomacy in the region, Richard Holbrooke, departed this world with a plea of retreat on his lips.
The US Administration attempted again to play all sides of the debate by telling Pakis that financial donations to their budget came with no strings while telling Congress that the effects of the money would be closely monitored and cutoff without hesitancy if it didn't meet standards. As with the double speak about whether as Biden says a July 2011 retreat from Afghanistan will come "hell or high water" or as Hillary said at one point that the July 2011 retreat is a political mirage, everyone paid attention to the worst news they could find. The only thing we really know is that this Administration will tell anybody anything they think they want to hear, even if they tell the other side the opposite openly.
And while 2009 saw European allies attempting to persuade the US Administration to approve the request of the General he didn't have time to talk to, 2010 saw them admit defeat that the POTUS would commit to Victory in Afghanistan. At the very time the POTUS was talking up the number of US Allies in Afghanistan, Allies were announcing their retreats from Afghanistan. The Mongols arrived in small numbers to train mortar systems. The Estonians sent single digits of police officers to help in that training. The Australians held a debate to discuss retreat and renewed their focus on Pakistan, while the Danes and Canadians pulled out. The two biggest contingents: the Brits and Germans both decided to be gone before the Americans could abandon them on the field of battle.
2010 saw the publication of Woodwards book "Obama's Wars" where we learned that the POTUS was never as committed to Victory in the "just war" as he was to victory at the polls and "ending" the war. Though he had convinced General McChrystal to vote for him as the man that would finally resource Victory in Afghanistan, 2010 saw the General fired for the publication of his staff's comments, including his frustration that the man he voted for, the man that had sent him to replace General McKiernan for failing to toe the party line, wouldn't take the time to talk to the General he had put in charge of the War.
The surprise was not that the POTUS had campaigned opposite of the policies he enacted. The surprise was that Woodward was ready to expose that hypocrisy, or perhaps that he thought it would help his favored party. Or perhaps, the surprise is that the hypocrisy is of so little surprise that already no one cares.
In Iraq, the very accusations of 2008 of the left side are the policies enacted in 2010. Though Iraq is still listed as one of the top 3 most dangerous places for terrorism, and though Our Troops have still been killed in combat, 2010 saw a decrease in combat operations there, and a spike in terrorist attacks. Though there was no change from 2008 to 2010 in the plan for when how many troops would be out, and more specifically the 16 month retreat the POTUS campaigned on has long since expired, we still have nearly 50,000 Troops on the Ground.
Iraq held elections in 2010, with the majority party being relegated to a minority role, following months of no federal government. Those months saw the Prime Minister shoring up his support from Iran, from al-Sadr, from Syria, and a visit by Biden in which he did absolutely nothing productive to resolve the problem. Iraqi Citizens planned their own evacuations as they see Iran controlling more and more of their government and the takeover by al-Maliki, despite their wishes, did not help to alleviate their fears or rumors on the street of Iranian infiltrations to the government.
In the end, the US Administration decided to offer an extended stay in Iraq which was slapped down by al-Maliki, even as he reaches out to the Shi'a Islamists of Iran and Iraq. To help decrease combat deaths, the US has pulled back from the cities, and more pertinently into the large FOBs. The Department of Defense finally quit using the Administration phrase "responsible drawdown" but Troops still chaff at the political change of names from "Brigade Combat Team" to "Advise and Assist Brigade" which hits as soon as they arrive in theater, if not during the training.
Biden received the kind of security blanket a foreign head of state deserves in such situations, but one and two star Generals found they were outside the list of approved approachers to the VP whereabouts. At least one Colonel found he was less welcome than he'd expect when the VP was around. Biden couldn't get out of town without a gaffe or two but the mortar rounds the enemy fired fell on civilians, mostly. In the end, it was the most the Administration could muster for a war in the Victory column when it took office, that it wishes to ignore while it holds office, that it has been renamed for no better reason than there was nothing different it could do.
Iran, which has been the center of terrorism for 3 decades, has regained its confidence as its homegrown democracy movement was successfully put down, and its opponents in "negotiations without preconditions" prove as inept at diplomacy as the teeth needed to make diplomacy effective.
Two things have set back the Iranian Nuclear Arms program: the stuxnet virus and the assassination of its top nuclear scientist in Tehran. No one has claimed responsibility for either so many are fingering Israel for the successes, though the virus came through Russian computer programs that somehow targeted Iranian nukes specifically. It's more difficult to narrow down the list of who might have put the sticky bomb on the nuke scientists car, but few are privately expressing any sorrow for his demise.
Meanwhile Google exposed a multi-decade joke on the Islamist Iran when their satellite image of the Tehran airport showed a Star of David visible from space in the heart of anti-Semetism. Who would have thought it possible that they could miss it for so many years.
It's not difficult to see why Iran thinks the US Administration so easy to play with. At the same time it pretends to be upset about the nuke situation in Iran and condemns its ally for corruption and election fraud in Afghanistan, it stood mute and ballless in the face of rampant election fraud in Iran and is actively supporting Iran's surrogate, Hamas in Palestine. Iran finds the humor in demanding preconditions on the US Administration to discuss who will give them enriched uranium as that campaign naivete continues to pop up, while the US Administration demands preconditions of its Israeli "ally" to discuss peace with Iranian surrogate Hamas.
In the meantime the Iranian political campaign in Turkey continues to bear fruit. Every chance they get, the Turkish Administration complains that Israel won't apologize for defending its shores. Though the video evidence demonstrates "peace activists" aggressively and violently attacking Israeli defense forces, propaganda machines continue to demand Israel apologize for defending its shores. What was once the most staunch example of secular democracy in the Islam world, is increasing turning towards Islamism.
And the Iranian campaign in Lebanon appears to be as solid as it can be. After 3 decades, the UN peacekeepers still won't upset the Hezbollah militia in the South. The Lebanese Army is afraid to do anything about the illegal force in South Lebanon. And Hezbollah is so emboldened that they have threatened to assassinate the UN court if it finds that it or Syria had anything to do with assassinating the former leader of Lebanon.
The UN experience in Lebanon could be the example followed by inept leaders who wish to present having boots on the ground as "doing something" while those Troops sit idly by in defensive bases doing nothing to actually gain the peace proclaimed.
Meanwhile, Europe has had so many close calls with terrorism that a comprehensive list cannot be (partially out of lack of space and laziness) compiled. While the 2008 Presidential Campaign saw throngs of Germans gather to throw money at his campaign, enchanted by his teleprompter inspired speeches, the voters of Europe have increasingly turned away from politicians bent on appeasing terrorists. The international and US media has not been as kind to Sarkozy, Berlusconi, and Merkel as it was to their left wing predecessors.
While the US citizenry is less concerned about sex scandals as it were in the 80's, many Europeans expect the powerful to have at least one mistress, yet that was the primary excuse for attacking the "Italian Rupert Murdoch" who made no bones about the fact that he used his success as a means of attracting model like mistresses. Berlusconi rose from the son of a middle class banker to richest man in Italy before he achieved the creation of political party, but he was attacked as not starting out as low as portrayed on the income scale while beating out career politicians and privatizing a state owned media empire.
To the south, the War on Drugs seems to have seen successes in Colombia, only to see the center of drug corruption move north, to Mexico. Nicarauga, Cuba, and Venezuela have seen spikes in trafficking as well, but the southern border had the right combination of proximity to customers and corruption of bureacrats to be overrun. Under a blind eye, Mexico turned into a Narco State.
An unknown number of Americans have been killed in the now-defunct drug war but reports indicate upwards of 30,000 people a year are killed in Mexico of multiple nationalities as the drug cartels fight each other, the government, and terrorize the citizenry without conscience. The sieve of the border became so dangerous that Arizona decided to do what the US Government would not: check for Green Cards.
Years after the US Congress voted to put up a border fence, it still hasn't voted to pay for the border fence, which the 2008 campaign claimed would cut through the campus of a US College. Instead, the US Administration decided to give free college to illegal immigrants if they had gotten here early enough in life, creating post-birth anchor babies. It did not feel that US Citizens deserved a free college education, and put a complicated formula for a Military Veteran to attain college money, but it wanted to ensure that illegals got one. A War Veteran of 20 years that retired in 2002 would see far less chance to go to college than an illegal alien who had sponged the system for 20 years. The "Dream Act" was voted down, even in the Lame Duck session, surprisingly, though Congress still did nothing to stop the flow of illegals across the border.
Instead, when Arizona decided to enforce US Law, the Administration decided to sue the state. It protected "amnesty cities," campaigned to get the blue states to count their illegals in the Census, but joined Venezuela and Mexico in a lawsuit claiming Arizona's defense of its citizenry was racist, based on the grounds that hispanics were more likely to be illegal aliens in Arizona than were Canadian or Czechs to be found there illegally.
Citizens rallied instead to institute Mexican laws on illegal aliens, as a sign of fairness. But throwing illegals in jail with little in the way of due process for 5 years was not the answer the US Administration was looking for.
Like so many career criminals, Mexico blamed the victims of the Drug Trade for the violence. The Washington Post was only too happy to publish a story blaming Houston gun stores for what was happening south of the border. The problem with the story was that it was purposely vague and without proper data to support its premise. By narrowing its search to the ONLY the origins of US sold guns, it was able to find 12 US gun dealers that had sold more guns than any other Americans to Mexican violence. It did not look at how many were Mexican Military arms, Venezuelan sold, or had moved north from Columbia, nor even supplied by Cuba, sold by China or North Korea.
As Carlos Mencia would point out, Arabs look a lot like Mexicans, and that sieve of a border presents ample opportunity for Hezbollah to move terrorists across the border. The moralless drug cartels have only one incentive: money, and likely charge a premium to the Iranian backed Hezbollah for slipping them through. After all, with Iran backing their financial endeavors, not to mention black market cigarrette markets, Hezbollah have much deeper pockets than your average Mexican looking for a job up north.
Though one case made National news when an American was killed on the wrong side of the lakeside border, the violence is underreported on both sides. Mexican Police not on the payroll of drug traffickers find lives cut short or courage lacking when the drug cartels tell them to leave. In Guadalupe, only one police officer found the courage to defend the town. She went missing on 23 December and her US made M-4 is likely in the hands of drug traffickers, today. The WaPo will likely count that as US sold, even though it was stolen from a brave Mexican cop.
It's hard to believe that any US politician would turn a blind eye to the Mexican Invasion, the Mexican Violence or the porous border, but given the spineless defense offered by one side of the aisle for the illegal activities, it is even more surprising that the other side of the aisle seems mute in this situation.
Dr Biden and Michelle Obama were sent out to prove they care about Troops. The campaign even turned its attempt at Military Family votes into a non-profit organization, aptly named to prevent any hint of partisan politics. Primarily the pair used military television to campaign to the Troops with a message that the Troops had done their part and it was time to support them. It might have been more believable if the free advertising paid with tax dollars had not been piped into combat zones full of primarily, Troops. A look at the website demonstrated that it was a Hollywood production more interested in environmental causes than the ad hoc "Troop Support" section thrown up for street cred.
While the pair may sway a few citizens far away from the main ad campaign, the Troops proved more skeptical.
2010 saw the Troops again denied their votes across multiple "blue states" even as the political appointee said it was "okay" that the ballots wouldn't be mailed in a timely manner so long as they could be counted 10 days after the election. The proof is in the pudding and nearly every race was called the night of the election, 10 days before the last military ballot was due to be received. The excuses were legion and the penalties unpublished for disenfranchising the same voters who put their lives on the line to secure the vote.
We continue to see one side of the aisle resting all of their street creds on Veterans Issues on portraying war veterans as crazed PTSD victims prone to crime and suicide, while the other side goes along with legislation they don't know how to carefully avoid. The traditional party of strong defense and pro-Troop legislation has been moot on the issue over the last two years and will likely be pressured to cut the Defense Budget during war in the next two. They will be forced to draw a line somewhere and their opposition has long drooled over cuts to the DoD budget. Unlike many other demographics, the Military vote is not party dependent. A mere proclamation is insufficient to convince Veterans to vote a certain way. It takes dedicated support of the actual means and still a minority in uniform will vote the other way.
Over the next 2 years, it is expected that politicians will make more hay over Afghanistan, though it is still uncertain which side will end up on the right side of the issue.