Crusaders at Work

A much honored, even legendary term from history, "Crusaders", has fallen by the wayside in this era of political correctness and American engagements in Middle East wars.

In fact, a Marine Fighter Squadron, VMFA-122, had to change their name in back to their WWII moniker "Werewolves."  Someone in power did not want a decorated Marine Squadron known as "The Crusaders" arriving in the Middle East to fight in Iraq.  That would have apparently sent the "wrong" signal. 

To paraphrase Shakespeare "Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of holy war" is a phrase to be avoided at all costs.

Independent of being very PC the Marine name change actually made some sense since Marine fighter pilots tend to not care what is their nickname as long as they can fight. Actually going back in time it might have been more difficult to "re-brand" the USN/USMC fighter force.  This is because at one time they were all flying the great F-8 "Crusader" -but that aircraft has been long retired and the F/A-18 "Hornet" is fine.

The much bigger point, beyond the attention to detail in changing the name of a Fighter Squadron, is the absolute fanatical care that western nations and especially America have gone to in avoiding any hint of embracing the historical legacy of the Christian Crusades to save the Holy Land.

To be absolutely fair, it is a very understandable goal to keep connected with adherents of peaceful Islam and try and drive a wedge to separate that group from the fanatics that use the Koran as justification for murder and mayhem.

The strategic strategy of trying to stay close to moderate Islam while guarding against and attacking fanatical Islam has been a constant American and European 21st Century work in progress. This work in progress has been a real fetish for President Obama and his administration. That is until Russian Prime Minister Putin perhaps channeling his inner KGP pulled no punches on critiquing Obama's Libyan war:

"The (UN) resolution is defective and flawed," Putin told workers at a Russian ballistic missile factory. "It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades."

And so it goes, that at least according to Vladimir Putin the Obama Administration had just signed America up for a crusade. The irony is truly world class and one for the history books.

First in a truly delicious domestic moment on Saturday March 19, 2011 many members of Code Pink were arrested at a White House protest. It was amazing that they were arrested in significant numbers while protesting "Bush's Iraq war for oil" -- while at that very moment President Obama was launching cruise missiles to start his Libyan War for British oil.

I guess Code Pink didn't get that memo.

But wait there is more: the casus belli for President Obama's Libyan war is that Gaddafi is an evil bad man who is committing genocide on his own people.  Nevertheless, for whatever stated purity of motive by the Obama Administration, the UN resolution is now being interpreted by the world as a crusade.

Thus, it is fitting and proper to take the next step and try and take Gaddafi out. But trying to assassinate a sovereign Head of State is too gauche to state publicly.

Unfortunately, recently in Jolly Old  England, a nation with huge oil "skin in the game," a minister let that curtain down and implied it is perfectly reasonable to target Gaddafi. The Guardian on 21 March 2011 reported:

Worries among Britain's Arab allies that a hidden agenda lies behind the attack on Libya have been underscored the comments of Liam Fox. The defence secretary said an attempt to kill Gaddafi was "potentially a possibility."

Of course Secretary of Defense Gates is a world class apparatchik in his lifelong quest for power, and was last seen running for the tall grass. He better hope it ends quickly or try to explain attacking Libya after he lectured in a very insulting way at West Point. From Fox News:

"Mr. Gates' speech to cadets at West Point last Friday shows the extent to which this thinking has consumed him. "Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or onto the Middle East should have his head examined," is how he put it. No conditions, no ifs, ands or buts, with the strong implication that the American lives lost in Iraq were for nothing, and we would have done better to have left Saddam Hussein in power."

This is all great theater since the New York Times identified the three women in the Obama Administration who made it all possible:

The change became possible, though, only after Mrs. Clinton joined Samantha Power, a senior aide at the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, Mr. Obama's ambassador to the United Nations, who had been pressing the case for military action, according to senior administration officials speaking only on condition of anonymity. Ms. Power is a former journalist and human rights advocate; Ms. Rice was an Africa adviser to President Clinton when the United States failed to intervene to stop the Rwanda genocide, which Mr. Clinton has called his biggest regret.

So if Gaddafi is bad and must go.  Soon perhaps America will be fortunate enough to have those "Three Amigos" draw up a list of other "El Guapo" countries that are deserving of the Obama Doctrine.  There is a plethora of countries that everyone can agree on that are whole lot worse than Libya.

How about stopping the thugs in Sudan, or the Dear Leader of North Korea? Perhaps Syria for harboring terrorist organizations, or Iran (now there is a real problem) or Myanmar (Burma)?  Or maybe the Three Amigos have had their Breakfast of Champions and are now empowered to take on a real crusade to help freedom loving citizens and students being oppressed -- the Peoples Republic of China. 

I think not. We are not the world's policeman -- a moral force for good and leadership by example.  Having a robust First Amendment democracy is a very nice role for America.  Except for every rule there are exceptions, and the two significant military exceptions today are stopping Iranian nukes and deterring the Peoples Republic of China. Compared to those problems Libya and even Afghanistan are a diversionary sideshow.

Ed Timperlake assisted the late John P. Wheeler in his quest to build a Memorial in Arlington Cemetery for the innocent victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing.
A much honored, even legendary term from history, "Crusaders", has fallen by the wayside in this era of political correctness and American engagements in Middle East wars.

In fact, a Marine Fighter Squadron, VMFA-122, had to change their name in back to their WWII moniker "Werewolves."  Someone in power did not want a decorated Marine Squadron known as "The Crusaders" arriving in the Middle East to fight in Iraq.  That would have apparently sent the "wrong" signal. 

To paraphrase Shakespeare "Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of holy war" is a phrase to be avoided at all costs.

Independent of being very PC the Marine name change actually made some sense since Marine fighter pilots tend to not care what is their nickname as long as they can fight. Actually going back in time it might have been more difficult to "re-brand" the USN/USMC fighter force.  This is because at one time they were all flying the great F-8 "Crusader" -but that aircraft has been long retired and the F/A-18 "Hornet" is fine.

The much bigger point, beyond the attention to detail in changing the name of a Fighter Squadron, is the absolute fanatical care that western nations and especially America have gone to in avoiding any hint of embracing the historical legacy of the Christian Crusades to save the Holy Land.

To be absolutely fair, it is a very understandable goal to keep connected with adherents of peaceful Islam and try and drive a wedge to separate that group from the fanatics that use the Koran as justification for murder and mayhem.

The strategic strategy of trying to stay close to moderate Islam while guarding against and attacking fanatical Islam has been a constant American and European 21st Century work in progress. This work in progress has been a real fetish for President Obama and his administration. That is until Russian Prime Minister Putin perhaps channeling his inner KGP pulled no punches on critiquing Obama's Libyan war:

"The (UN) resolution is defective and flawed," Putin told workers at a Russian ballistic missile factory. "It allows everything. It resembles medieval calls for crusades."

And so it goes, that at least according to Vladimir Putin the Obama Administration had just signed America up for a crusade. The irony is truly world class and one for the history books.

First in a truly delicious domestic moment on Saturday March 19, 2011 many members of Code Pink were arrested at a White House protest. It was amazing that they were arrested in significant numbers while protesting "Bush's Iraq war for oil" -- while at that very moment President Obama was launching cruise missiles to start his Libyan War for British oil.

I guess Code Pink didn't get that memo.

But wait there is more: the casus belli for President Obama's Libyan war is that Gaddafi is an evil bad man who is committing genocide on his own people.  Nevertheless, for whatever stated purity of motive by the Obama Administration, the UN resolution is now being interpreted by the world as a crusade.

Thus, it is fitting and proper to take the next step and try and take Gaddafi out. But trying to assassinate a sovereign Head of State is too gauche to state publicly.

Unfortunately, recently in Jolly Old  England, a nation with huge oil "skin in the game," a minister let that curtain down and implied it is perfectly reasonable to target Gaddafi. The Guardian on 21 March 2011 reported:

Worries among Britain's Arab allies that a hidden agenda lies behind the attack on Libya have been underscored the comments of Liam Fox. The defence secretary said an attempt to kill Gaddafi was "potentially a possibility."

Of course Secretary of Defense Gates is a world class apparatchik in his lifelong quest for power, and was last seen running for the tall grass. He better hope it ends quickly or try to explain attacking Libya after he lectured in a very insulting way at West Point. From Fox News:

"Mr. Gates' speech to cadets at West Point last Friday shows the extent to which this thinking has consumed him. "Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or onto the Middle East should have his head examined," is how he put it. No conditions, no ifs, ands or buts, with the strong implication that the American lives lost in Iraq were for nothing, and we would have done better to have left Saddam Hussein in power."

This is all great theater since the New York Times identified the three women in the Obama Administration who made it all possible:

The change became possible, though, only after Mrs. Clinton joined Samantha Power, a senior aide at the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, Mr. Obama's ambassador to the United Nations, who had been pressing the case for military action, according to senior administration officials speaking only on condition of anonymity. Ms. Power is a former journalist and human rights advocate; Ms. Rice was an Africa adviser to President Clinton when the United States failed to intervene to stop the Rwanda genocide, which Mr. Clinton has called his biggest regret.

So if Gaddafi is bad and must go.  Soon perhaps America will be fortunate enough to have those "Three Amigos" draw up a list of other "El Guapo" countries that are deserving of the Obama Doctrine.  There is a plethora of countries that everyone can agree on that are whole lot worse than Libya.

How about stopping the thugs in Sudan, or the Dear Leader of North Korea? Perhaps Syria for harboring terrorist organizations, or Iran (now there is a real problem) or Myanmar (Burma)?  Or maybe the Three Amigos have had their Breakfast of Champions and are now empowered to take on a real crusade to help freedom loving citizens and students being oppressed -- the Peoples Republic of China. 

I think not. We are not the world's policeman -- a moral force for good and leadership by example.  Having a robust First Amendment democracy is a very nice role for America.  Except for every rule there are exceptions, and the two significant military exceptions today are stopping Iranian nukes and deterring the Peoples Republic of China. Compared to those problems Libya and even Afghanistan are a diversionary sideshow.

Ed Timperlake assisted the late John P. Wheeler in his quest to build a Memorial in Arlington Cemetery for the innocent victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing.