Friday, May 30, 2008

Clinton drama

A funny post from Roger Simon

The shape of the next war

This article about Chinese cyber attacks points out some valuable points to consider for anyone touting America's military might:

First of all, there's no question America is "mighty" by any measure of conventional military capability.

The Army and Marine Corps are strained by Iraq right now, and dangerously degraded, but even degraded they are far-and-away more capable than almost any other ground military force on the globe. The only armies with comparable capabilities are firm allies. The main limitation on American ground capability is size. Many ground scenarios require a lot of boost on the ground and there the U.S. capability is always limited (and more so because of the war)

In the air and at sea, however, there is simply no contest. There are no air forces in the world that are not allies that have a prayer of successfully defending their air space. There are no navies afloat, including allies, that can contest anything more than their immediate coastal waters. When Britain "ruled the waves" it was content to have a Navy that equalled the next two biggest. The U.S. Navy is larger (not counting minor ships) than all the rest of the world's navies put together. No one since Imperial Rome has had that level of superiority.

Aside from the depredations of submarines, there's no nation that can fight us at sea. While subs are worrisome, history suggests that they cannot be decisive alone. The only successful submarine campaign (U.S. vs. Japan) was won by the stronger navy against the weaker one. Attempts by the weaker naval power to parley a sub campaign into strategic success fell short (Germany in two world wars, Japan in WW2).

The fate of Iraq in 1991 and 2003 is not lost on our potentiall opponents either.

No nation can challenge us in conventional warfare with any hope of success. Being, however, unwilling to simply surrender their interests and let the U.S. humiliate them, bully them and otherwise have its way, countries with interests opposed to ours will obviously search for other ways to fight.

It would be a mistake to underestimate the creativity of potential opponents, especially those with long military traditions such as Iran and China. While their economic power doesn't allow them to match the U.S. in conventional military capability, both of those nations have very long military traditions independent of the Western one.

The Iranians, for example, no doubt noted that an American admiral was able to use unconventional tactics to neutralize a Navy battle group in a notorious wargame. The admiral resigned when the game was rigged and restarted to void the defeat. Have the recent incidents involving small boats stalking U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf been tests of that tactic? Possibly. It would be wise to consider the probability that an attack on Iran might unleash incidents of unconventional was and terrorism in widely separated areas of the world. Still, while the Iranians can hope to achieve some embarrassing successes, they represent an inherently limited threat. Even the loss of an aircraft carrier, while an enormous embarrassment and a naval tragedy, would not change the relative balance of power one bit. Details:

Much more dangerous is China, which is a continental-sized power that is growing in economic might. The Chinese are still a couple of generations, at least, from being able to match the U.S. in conventional military arms -- if they were even interested in doing so. But the Chinese are heirs to a military tradition that stretches back several thousand years. One that never had a "dark ages" that broke its connection to classical times. That Chinese military tradition has always emphasized the value of outthinking, out maneuvering and surprising the foe. Western military thought has tended to regard many tactics as too "sneaky" or "ungentlemanly" for real warriors. Unconventional warfare has posed many challenges for westerners because it rarely results in stand-up "fair" fights. Chinese military thought doesn't really make a distinction between "unconventional" and "conventional" fighting. To the Chinese all warfare involves yin and yang, the interaction between the ordinary and the extraordinary fighting elements. And importantly, yin and yang, ordinary and extraordinary, are not inherent properties of the force. Depending on circumstances the yin can become the yang. The extraordinary can become the ordinary. A general might mass his armored forces on the plain to fix the attention of the enemy while some light infantry flanks through difficult terrain to cut off a retreat.

This directly relates to the cyber skirmishing that's been going on for some years now between hackers suspected to be Chinese and various American business and government computer systems.

The Chinese, knowing that they can't compete with bombs, aircraft carriers and missiles, may be seeking to turn the conflict into one they can compete in -- a war of cyber attacks, anti-sat actions, mines, subs and terror.

They're teasing around with conventional surface naval capabilities, but very seriously building a significant sub force. There's no reason to think they would try to emulate the U-boat campaign with those subs. There's no reason to think that the U.S. would be vulnerable to a sea interdiction campaign in any sort of useful time frame for a Sino-American conflict. But subs could be used as platforms for other kinds of attacks and raids that could be very damaging.

The Chinese have demonstrated an interest in anti-sat weapons. The U.S. is heavily reliant on satellites for all sorts of uses and it could take many years to rebuild our networks if they were destroyed.

The overseas Chinese community is enormous and the Chinese have had some success in recruiting among those populations to further their interests. In a conflict one should expect some support from them, which could take many, many forms -- not necessarily direct action.

And finally, the cyber threat. Apparently there are many ways that attacks through the Internet could be waged. The very characteristics that make the Internet so useful also make it very vulnerable. The Y2K threat turned out to be minimal, but looking back at those concerns points out the ways that the system could be vulnerable -- maybe not to bad code, but to hostile action.

If a conflict were to break out between the U.S. and China, it will take some unexpected directions.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pat Buchanan makes a hash of history, too

Pat Buchanan criticizes Bush for making a "hash of history," but likewise does the same.

Read the whole thing here:

But Buchanan (who manages to be just about the only person who thinks it was Britain's fault there was a World War II, not the peace-loving Hitler) criticizes Bush's misuse of the term "appeasement" to apply to talking to enemies instead of giving in to the enemy.

He justifies the British decision to avoid war with Germany over the Sudeten Germans by handing over a good chunk of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis because, after all, the Sudeten Germans hated the Czechs. The fact the Czechs were not consulted over the dismemberment of their country is not mentioned.

Buchanan then blames the start of the war on the British guarantee to Poland. Secure in the knowledge the British were on their side the Poles refused to negotiate the status of Danzig. Buchanan apparently views the German demands as reasonable ones, without apparently realizing that going to war over the grievance (justified or not) was a not reasonable or civilized response.

Conveniently left out of his discussion, however, is the fate of the Czechs. After promising Chamberlain that the Sudetenland was the extent of his ambitions and that he'd respect the independence of the Czechs, Hitler turned around and seized the rest of that hapless country in March, 1939, just a few months later. It was that betrayal that led to the Polish guarantee as Britain and France realized that they needed to draw a line in the sand against Nazi aggression.

Appeasement, like torture, is not only dishonorable, but ineffective as well. This is the source for it's well-earned contempt.

Leaving this part out of his story demonstrates that Buchanan is not intellectually honest. To his credit, he's been a stern critic of Bush and his imperialistic policies. But to his discredit, his opposition is tinged with more than a little bit of unsavory Know-nothingism and America First-ism of the sort that was popular in certain circles in the 1930s. Circles that found rather too much admirable with the German experiment.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scott hit too close to home

The vehement response to McClellan's book demonstrates how close to the mark he was. His is a very dangerous criticism for Bush, which the Bushists recognize.

Still, even now, McClellan is not as harsh as he could be. He could, and maybe should, call out Libby and, especially Rove, as liars who lied to him, personally.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Press Secretary tells all ...

.. or at least lots.

I always felt a little sorry for Scott McLellan because he really did seem like a decent sort of fellow who was uncomfortable in the role Bush placed him in. Most of Bush's other press spokesmen seemed to enjoy playing the press, like it was a game.

Clearly the press secretary's job is to put the best face on things possible, but there are boundaries of decency even for that kind of work. As in so many things, Bush has set a low bar.

Memorial Day

I had, perhaps, the easiest tour of war duty ever served. I'm proud I went and took my chances, but I've few illusions about the nature of war and I'm thankful I was lucky.

But every day I think about the people who are still serving. I've known quite a few who have gone. I know some who are there right now or are soon to be there. And I've attended a funeral.

My prayers go with all of them.

Sometimes you find out about someone who you never even meet but still manages to make a connection.

One such soldier is remembered here:

Today's Memorial Day ceremony in Norwich featured a World War II veteran. Interestingly the gentleman was alone. It wasn't so long ago that members of the Greatest Generation thoroughly dominated the scene at Memorial Day. Now they're outnumbered by Korean War and Vietnam War veterans. And perhaps soon by veterans of Iraq.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Is there any excuse for her to stay in now?

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."

Sen. Hillary Clinton

If, God forbid, anything did happen to Sen. Obama, how could she be offered the nomination after saying such a stupid, tasteless, disgusting, narcissistic, inhuman thing?

Bring back Gore. Give it to Edwards. Anyone but her.

Guess who said this

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

'War Crimes' file

One of the interesting details to come from the FBI report was that they opened a "war crimes" file, but were directed to close it on so-called jurisdictional grounds. Given the utter lack of credibility of the Bush administration, I don't give much stock in the explanation, but it is more evidence that real war crimes were committed. If I were one of the people involved I would be very concerned. They may be safe for now, but how confident are they about the world 10 or 15 years from now? They still hunt down Nazis and that war's crimes were 60 years ago.

Kasparov stalked by a flying penis

I guess it is possible to go even lower in public discourse than what we've seen in America.

Check out the harassment of opposition leader and former chess champ Kasparov in Russia as he's attacked by an RC flying penis, of all things.

Obama wins

Well, Kentucky covered itself in glory today, eh? While polite company tried to ignore it as best they could, it was clear from the exit polls that good old fashioned racism was the main reason for Obama's poor showing. Oregon, which is, in economic terms virtaully the same as Kentucky went the other way, so we can discount the "class" arguments being used to excuse the Appalachian voters.

In the end it doesn't matter. Clinton is toast, but don't look for a graceful exit. Her spokespeople and herself are veering into Baghdad Bob territory. She's ahead in the popular vote IF you count Florida and Michigan and IF you give Obama 0 votes in Michigan (where he followed the rules and wasn't even on the ballot) and IF you don't count the caucus states.

So in other words, IF she cheats then she's the winner.

I had drifted into acceptance of Clinton as an acceptable choice if it came down to her because I was so disaffected with the GOP but she has managed to remind me of all the things I really dislike about the Clintons. I've had quite enough of presidents with a dodgy relationship with the truth and facts for the last 16 years, thank you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Let all the votes happen

Obama drawing a crowd of 70,000+ in Oregon was pretty impressive.

Things have kind of moved on for us here in Connecticut as we already voted a while ago, so it's easy to forget that there's a lot of excitement in those places that are having their primaries now.
Seeing all those people in Oregon made me reconsider my desire to see Clinton bow out of the race. I'll admit I'm pretty weary of Clinton, but maybe the race going on isn't such a bad thing after all if it can generate this level of excitement.

So if Clinton runs until Montana votes, then so be it. Today Obama was in Montana campaigning. How often have Democrats visited that state during a campaign.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Torpedo amidships

When Peggy Noonan's good, she's real good. (Emphasis mine)

This was a real wakeup call for us," someone named Robert M. Duncan, who is chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the New York Times. This was after Mississippi. "We can't let the Democrats take our issues." And those issues would be? "We can't let them pretend to be conservatives," he continued. Why not? Republicans pretend to be conservative every day.

Check out the whole read here:

Six ways the GOP can save itself

There's an article about six ways the GOP can save itself here:

The first one has promise -- "Get a Clue" but they go downhill from there.

Here's my suggestions for how the GOP can rescue itself without becoming liberals or Dems-lite.

1. Get a Clue. That's good advice. It means recognizing that the party has strayed badly off track and that it needs to jettison Bush and his baggage.

2. Renounce torture. It taints everything else, directly or indirectly. A government that tortures and a party that supports torture can never win over the American people, who are, at heart very decent.

3. Rediscover the virtues of limiting government. Not just the government's ability to harass businesses but also the government's ability to bother private citizens, snoop into their affairs and abuse their rights. Tort reform and torture reform are not opposing principles.

4. Don't cut taxes without cutting spending. Don't spend for things we're not willing to pay taxes for. Borrowing to pay for routine government activities in nonsense.

5. War. End this one and don't look for any new ones.

6. Remember that American values are accessible to all ethnic groups, all races, both genders, any age, an income and any sexual orientation. Any party that identifies itself primarily with affluent white males has no future. Adjust your message until it starts to make sense to everybody.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Clueless GOP

The Republicans figure they are in trouble but can't figure out why.

One word: Bush.


Welcome to America

Check out how crazy things have gotten here:

The real lesson here is that if you give petty bureaucrats unlimited power without meaningful review then some of them will abuse it. This is common sense, well-known since ancient times and why there must ALWAYS be some system for oversight over the exercise of ANY power.

Whether its the power of a border agent to bar someone entry or the power to authorize NSA wiretaps there must ALWAYS be some outside review available to prevent mistakes and abuse. Conservatives used to know this.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bill Moyers interviews the author of Torture Team

Transcript here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Media's failure to cover the military

Glenn Greenwald has some interesting coverage of the military analyst scandal. It's a scandal that's not getting much mainstream media coverage because it shows the media in a bad light. Fortunately the blogs are keeping it from disappearing entirely.
Details here:

The short version is that the media has been relying on "independent: military analysts who aren't independent at all, but carefully selected by the administration to push the official line. Those analysts that play along get scoops. Those that don't get marginalized. Greenwald considers the whole thing to amount to an illegal domestic propaganda campaign. I'm not sure it rises to that level, as one rather expects the government to put the best face on things.

Who is to blame for this is the mainstream media. Considering that the country is involved in not one, but two full-scale wars,. that have been going on for years, one would think the media would be paying more attention to military reporting.

Of course, they don't. The general level of military and war reporting is abysmal. There are handful of people doing good work, mostly on the ground in the war zone, but the stateside background stuff is awful. There's a general lack of a critical eye and ear to official pronouncements and often no attempt at all to find some alternative voices.

The mainstream media has been failing to do its job on this issue, partially out of ignorance and quite a bit out of arrogance. Reporters often pride themselves on being able to report on anything, but there are some fields that really do require special levels of knowledge and can't be safely entrusted to GA reporters. An obvious one anyone can understand is sports. That's an entirely special operation in every news source because you've got to know what you are talking about and when you don't it's obvious.

Other special knowledge beats include business and science. The military is also a special knowledge beat that's not suitable to the GA approach.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Worst government in the world contest

Most weeks it's hard to beat Zimbabwe, which is even worse than places with NO government at all, like Somalia. But in the wake of the typhoon that leveled half their country, the regime governing Myanmar/Burma evidently wants to seize the crown from Robert Mugabe by adding a man-made disaster to the natural one.

Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands are dead, dying or destitute, they have time to chase after a CNN reporter:



Well the tide's coming in now. Every news organization had a slightly different count, but they all seem to agree Obama has overtaken Clinton in the Superdelegate count.

I never thought for a minute that the superdelegates would turn around and give Clinton the nomination barring some huge disaster involving Obama. Clearly most of them were going to wait until someone established themselves as the winner. Obama has done that. The most reluctant supers will switch over once Obama passes the 50% of pledged delegates milestone. The rest once he passes the magic number. After that happens some deal will be reached on Michigan and Florida so they get to seat some portion of their delegation -- probably all their supers and half their pledged. They probably won't get all because the Democrats still want to make their party discipline point. A little discipline would do the Dems some good. It's been one of their biggest problems dealing with the Republicans, who are nothing if not disciplined.
On the other hand, the GOP could use a little more dissident spirit. Some ability to say "no" might have stopped their lemming-like following of Bush over the electoral cliff.

Friday, May 9, 2008

First you have to start with the facts ...

.. if you want to solve a problem.

That is, a clear-eyed facing of the truth provides the best chance for dealing with a crisis. If, on the other hand, you lie about the problem -- especially to yourself -- then solving it is out if the question.

Unfortunately the Bush administration's reaction to unpleasant facts to to hide them, deny them and ignore them. For example, the government's "core inflation" figures strip out food and fuel because those are "too volatile." But, of course, right now those are precisely the costs that are killing us! And real-life consumers can't "strip out" those costs. They have to pay them.

This brings up the wider problem of the government's official inflation measure, which critics say is off the mark anyway, outside of the food/fuel issue because it's adjusted incorrectly when compared to real-life costs of living. For example, by the former methodology the inflation rate is much worse now. My own personal experience tracks the old number better than the new one.

It's a dangerous game the government plays when it fiddles with its reputation for credibility. As the Communists eventually found out, once lost it's impossible to regain.

HRC forges ahead

As so often, George Will has the best words:

But perhaps the best mental image to just remember the black knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

"It's only a flesh wound!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

John Coles sums up how I feel

From Ballon Juice:

Whatever. She threw everything she had at him. He weathered the storm. Consider him vetted. Consider Rev. Wright kicked in the junk. Consider me relieved. Now, can we get to the very serious business of dismantling the GOP? I have a very serious axe to grind, and it is deeply, deeply personal for me. There are a bunch of frauds, crooks, and phonies with whom I have a serious grudge that I want to settle. You see, I still have my “Peace Through Strength” button from when I campaigned for Reagan. I believed in limited government, I believed in a strong national defense, I believed in fiscal restraint and balanced budgets and I believed in personal integrity and individual liberty and personal freedom.

I am pissed. I want the frothing nutters, the fraudulent hucksters, the race-baiters, the anti-science frauds, the anti-intellectuals, the gay-bashers, the big-money cheats, the torture fetishists, the religious nuts, the tax and spenders, the xenophobes, and the phonies to pay. I want payback. I want the people who ruined my former party relegated to permanent minority status. I know I am a newly minted Democrat, and, as such, it is ballsy for me to start telling you what I want from the party, but this is my website and you are just going to have to deal with my opinion.

I am under no illusion I will buy into everything Barack Obama puts forward, but I am damned sure convinced he is a decent man who, at the very least, will restore a sense of competence to the national stage. I am willing to meet most Democrats half-way, and I am already doing everything I can to get this man elected. I think Obama will act in good faith for this nation, and I am responding in kind. His policies are not outlandish or crazy or uber-left- they reflect a rational, and I would argue, a decent and progressive way forward out of the mess I helped to create. I won’t like all of them, and I will not agree with all of them, but there is no chance that I will ever be President, so perfect agreement is never a possibility.

And don’t get me wrong- I am not for Obama because of what I am against. I am for Obama because he is a decent man, a break from the past, and really a once in a lifetime opportunity. He has treated us like adults throughout this primary, and it is time to act like adults. There will be times we feel he lets us all down, but we are not electing a diety. We are electing a leader, and Obama is that leader. It is time to get past the bullshit of the last 20 years, the battles I am really tired of fighting, and time to turn our attention to the really important issues of the day- the economy, the budget, our international presence, our crumbling infrastructure, our military, medicare and medicaid and social security, and on and on and on.

If Barack Obama was not your your preferred candidate, I am sorry that person did not win, but it is time to remember that the target is John McCain and the Bush/Cheney way of doing things. If you can not accept that and help move us forward, please at least get out of the way.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mildred Loving, pioneer of love

Mildred Loving, of the delightfully appropriately named Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia has died.

Richard (white) and Mildred (black/Native American), residents of Virginia, went to Washington, D.C. to get married in 1958 because Virginia banned interracial marriages. As a matter of fact, it made them felonies.

Upon their return, they started living together as man and wife until a 2 a.m. raid by the local sheriff resulted in their arrest. They pleaded guilty and were sentenced to jail, suspended so long as they left Virginia for 25 years!

They were, by all accounts, simple, down-home folks who didn't like the city and were not setting out to be civil rights pioneers. They were simply a young couple in love. Wanting to return home to Virginia they started legal action with the help of the ACLU that finally resulted in the unanimous June 12, 1967 Supreme Court decision that invalidated Virginia's law and any others like it as unconstitutional.

Sadly, the Lovings didn't get to enjoy their victory for very long, as Richard was killed and Mildred badly hurt in a 1975 car accident. They did have three children before that tragedy, however, and Mildred was blessed with grandchildren as well. The news reports suggest her health was never really good after the crash, which cost her an eye. She was 68 when she died.

The willingness of the Lovings to fight for their love played a direct role in the course of my life. My first wife (a Grenadian) and I (white dude) got married in 1979, just a dozen years after the Loving case, ironically in Virginia. My eldest daughter and my son are the fantastic result. Unfortunately that marriage, itself, ran aground on some rocks eventually.

My second wife is also from the West Indies, in her case Jamaica, and another beautiful daughter blesses us.

I've had a bird's eye view of the changes Loving wrought. back in the late 1970s and early 1980s interracial couples were rare enough that we'd always acknowledge each other if we happened to cross paths in the street.

Nowadays we're not even the only interracial couple in our small church and there are so many hues represented in my youngest daughter's preschool that there's no remarking on it at all.

All because of Mildred and Richard Loving. They never set out to be heroes and never wore the mantle comfortably. They just wanted to love each other without being molested by the state. And that ended up making them heroes despite themselves.

Monday, May 5, 2008


A collection of 10 photos taken immediately after the atom bomb attack but not released until now give an unsparing look at the aftermath.
The link is here:

I think it's valuable to remember the obscene cost of war. As Robert E. Lee said. "It is good that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it."

Those who would flippantly urge war should remember it's never without costs.

I note this despite the fact I'm not Hiroshima revisionist. Given what they knew at the time, I don't think Truman and his advisers had any choice but to use the weapon. There may be some quibbling over the choice of target, although I rather doubt any purely military target was available. And in the context of World War II, where cities had been ruthlessly bombed since 1940, merely targeting a city does not seem especially remarkable. As devastating as Hiroshima was, it was not the deadliest city bombing of the war. Among more deadly attacks were Dresden and Tokyo.

There's simply no question that Turman could not forgo the chance of ending the war immediately. He couldn't authorize a hugely costly invasion of Japan while keeping the atom bomb in his pocket. How could he justify all those additional Allied (not to mention Japanese deaths to the American people?

And I find arguments that the Japanese were ready to surrender anyway very unpersuasive, even given the benefit of hindsight. It's completely unreasonable to expect Truman and the U.S. government to spot the opportunity, if one existed.

As it was, even after two atom bomb attacks there were Japanese officers who wanted to fight on and there was even an abortive coup by some die-hards. Given the sorry history of violent politics in 1930s Japan, the potential for troublemaking by such die-hards cannot be underestimated.

No, criticism of Truman is unfair and unreasonable and based on hindsight and information he could not know at the time.

But, while justified, the atom bomb attacks were no less horrifying. And that, perhaps, is the real lesson. Even when justified, even when just, war is necessarily an awful tragedy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Watching the Weather Channel when Weather Changed History brings back memories of that awful day.
I'll always remember it.
I was home that morning, in my on-base Army family housing apartment in Germany with my pregnant wife and my almost 2-year-old daughter when the warrant officer across the hall knocked on my door and told us to turn on Armed Forces Network.
We did and saw some of the first re-runs from the tragic launch. That was such an awful day.
It was a tense time for all of us because we were forward deployed during the dying days of the Cold War, when it was obvious that the Soviet Union was under a lot of stress, but it was far from obvious that they would react to their troubles non-violently. It was considered much more likely the Kremlin would resort to desperate measures to retain power.
But for the next couple of days our problems receded into the background as we followed the recovery effort as best we could. AFN did a good job of keeping us informed. They seemed to be able to pick from the best of the available TV. so we got a lot of CNN but also the other networks.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Kool-aid drinking GOP

Once again a Serious Person pundit mistakes his own bizarre thoughts for what Most Americans Think (Tm)

In this case it's Victor Davis Hanson:

I think we have sort of reached an impasse on Rev. Wright. Most Americans, I think, accept the following realties. Obama, by what he wrote in his memoirs, by what he said when he spoke in his early campaign speeches, by his frequent praise of Wright, and by his 20-year presence in front of, and subsidies to, Wright knew exactly the racist and anti-American nature of his odious pastor.

Of course, many GOP folks, and quite a few Americans generally, have trouble understanding the concept that America can be criticized without the critic being "anti-American." Anyone not complete ignorant of U.S. history knows that sometimes the U.S. has acted like a shit. (Tuskegee, Trail of Tears, anyone?) The entire civil rights movement came about because of century of broken promises and pretty bad treatment by most of our society.

What I think Most Americans Think (Tm) is that they are voting for Obama for president, not Wright and maybe they should pay attention to what Obama wrote, what Obama said and what Obama did to decide, not what Wright wrote, said or did. What a concept.

Ranger killed on tour of duty No. 7!

Details here:

But the headline version is that an Army soldier was killed this week in Afghanistan on his seventh tour of duty in the country in six years.

This sort of thing just can't be kept up.

Slate - Encyclopedia Baracktannica