April 12, 2009

Phillips Rescued: Congrats to the US Navy and Their Commander in Chief (But See Feb. 2011 Update)

The New York Times Global Edition’s home page at the moment is a self-rebuke (red box is mine):

NYTphillipsFreedHline041209

(Update, 5:40 p.m.: The self-rebuking link is no longer at the home page, nor is the pic of Phillips with Frank Castellano).

Of course there are limits, NYT, but most of them, as Mark Steyn so brilliantly noted yesterday, are self-imposed.

Thank goodness Barack Obama ignored “many” of his cowardly “national security” advisers, who, according to yesterday’s Washington Post, were in full hand-wringing mode, best exemplified in the report’s final paragraph:

But many on the national security team insist that it is their caution and willingness to consider all aspects of the situation that differentiate them from the overly aggressive posture of the Bush administration that they say exacerbated the terrorist threat.

So there was a “Don’t be like Bush” drumbeat. How totally disgusting. These 2009 versions of Sandy Berger would have let the heroic Richard Phillips twist in the wind — actually in “a 120-degree oven” — in the name of supposed political perceptions and being liked by the New York Times, while trying to “reason” with those who have none. Phillips’s example puts each and every one of them, and the Times itself, to shame.

Again, a hearty hat tip to President Obama for ignoring the feckless and getting this one right, up to and including okaying killing the bad guys if necessary. He’s demonstrated more willingness to be a real C-in-C than Bill Clinton did during his entire eight years. May the trend continue, and not be a one-trick testosterone display.

More important, I hope that Obama and the portion of his “national security” team that remains, after he gets rid of those he should fire, recognize that this micro episode has many macro applications. Lesson 1: You need to make Bibi Netanyahu your best friend. Now. Lesson 2: Forget your Pali “pals.” ASAP.

____________________________________________________

UPDATE: Check out this non-reporting by the Times

A little after 7 p.m. in Somalia (which is seven hours ahead of Eastern time) , U.S. special forces aboard the U.S.S. Bainbridge shot and killed the pirates from 25 to 30 meters away, the vice admiral said, and pulled the captain from the water.

Well, NYT, what was he doing in the water?!?

Answer(s): Phillips, according to a multitude of TV reports, had again tried to flee for his own safety, giving the Navy a second chance to rescue him after a missed opportunity days ago. Why won’t they report that? (But according to an ABC video report, Phillips had stepped to the side of the lifeboat to relieve himself, thus gaining distance from his captors and giving Navy shooters the opportunity to take out the bad guys.)

UPDATE 2: Dave in Texas at Ace’s Place is less impressed — “As for Obama’s role in this, it seems it was neither heroic nor stupid. This is as it should be. He seems to have given his approval to the military’s requests for authority and then let them do their thing. He did his job, that’s enough for now.” Given the proclivities of the peaceniks in his entourage, he deserves more than passing credit for ignoring them. But now he needs to get rid of them — preferably very visibly. Maybe we’ll get lucky and enough of them will do what the late Cyrus Vance did after the failed Iranian hostage rescue attempt in 1980 — resign.

_______________________________________________________

UPDATE 2, Feb. 23, 2011: Via NewsBusters commenter “jon_torlin,” a dissenting commentary from the right by Jack Wheeler at Open.Salon.com (copied in full for fair use and discussion purposes; apparently originally appeared at To The Point News, but is unavailable to non-subscribers) –

PIRATE STANDOFF – THE REAL STORY

All of us want to raise our glass the highest this week to the Navy SEALs who popped those three Somali pirates. And I’m sure you want to hear the real story of what happened. Especially because there is a revoltingly opportunistic and cowardly side to it. Guess which side Zero is on (ZERO IS FOR “O”. YOU KNOW WHO!) ?

Why, for example, did it take SEAL Team Six (aka DEVGRU, Navy Special Warfare Development Group, the Navy’s equivalent of Delta Force) over 36 hours to get to the scene?

Because Zero refused to authorize the SEAL deployment for those 36 hours, during which the OSC (the On-Site Commander), Cmdr. Frank Castellano of the USS Bainbridge – repeatedly requested them.

Once the SEALs arrived – parachuting from a C-17 into the ocean near the ship – Zero then imposed Rules of Engagement (ROE) specifying the SEALs could not do anything unless the life of the hostage, Captain Richard Phillips, was in “imminent” danger.

Thus, when Capt. Phillips attempted to escape by jumping off the lifeboat into the ocean, the SEAL snipers had all four pirates (one later surrendered) sighted in and could have taken them out then and there – but they could not fire due to Zero’s ROE restrictions.

When the SEALs approached the lifeboat in a RIB (rigid-hull inflatable boat) carrying supplies for Capt. Phillips and the pirates, the pirates fired upon them. Not only was no fire returned due to the ROE, but as the pirates were shooting at the RIB, SEAL snipers on the Bainbridge had them all dialed in. No triggers were pulled due to the ROE..

Two specific rescue plans were developed by Cmdr. Castellano and the SEAL teams. Zero personally refused to authorize them.

After the second refusal and days of dithering, Cmdr. Castellano decided he had the Operational Area and OSC authority to “solely determine risk to hostage” and did not require any further approval of the president.

Four hours later, the White House is informed that three pirates are dead and Capt. Phillips has been rescued unharmed. A WH press release is immediately issued, giving credit to the president for his “daring and decisive” behavior that resulted in such success.

Zero has absolutely no military knowledge or experience whatsoever. He demanded decisional control over the entire hostage drama to the last detail. All actions required his personal approval. He dithered like a coward while the world laughed at our warships flummoxed by four illiterate teenagers with AKs in a lifeboat.

Only when the Navy Commander decided to ignore his Pantywaist-in Chief and take action and responsibility himself, were the incredible skills of the SEALs put into play.

That Zero could cynically and opportunistically claim that his “bold” “calm” “tough” leadership was responsible should remind everyone that not a single action, not a single word of this man can be trusted. He is bereft of honesty and moral character. That’s why he’s Zero.

The HFR raises a glass full of pride and gratitude to Navy Commander Frank Castellano, the Navy SEALs for their incredible competence, and our military. Let’s hold a Tea Party in their honor.

The Four Gospels of the Resurrection (2009)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:00 am

This post is a BizzyBlog Easter tradition.

_______________________________

Matthew 28:1-20

1 ¶ In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

11 ¶ Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

16 ¶ Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:1-20 AV)

Luke 24:1-53

1 ¶ Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words, 9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. 12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

13 ¶ And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

50 ¶ And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. (Luke 24:1-53 AV)

John 20:1-31

1 ¶ The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5 And he stooping down, [and looking in], saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11 ¶ But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, [and looked] into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and [that] he had spoken these things unto her.

19 ¶ Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 ¶ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:1-31 AV)

Mark 16:1-20

1 ¶ And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

9 ¶ Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. 12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

14 ¶ Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 ¶ So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:1-20 AV)