Friday, January 21, 2011

Simply Brilliant Article by Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn's "Dependence Day" really reaches to the heart of the matter. We are losing our nation because it is losing its soul. It is losing its soul because it is losing its character. And it is losing its character because we have forgotten where we came from, what we believe in and what we have accomplished. It is critical that we separate the Left's cultural mantras from the truth of our history and character. Steyn reminds us all what that is.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soldier of Fortune Turns 35 – an Exceptional Magazine and Much More

By Jim Simpson

35th Anniversary Issue
Like most things unapologetically conservative and unapologetically pro-American, Soldier of Fortune magazine has been pilloried for years by the organized Left’s venomously anti-American press and culture. But SOF, founded in 1975 by decorated Special Forces veteran and lifelong adventurer, Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown (USAR - Ret.), stands out as a singular example of American exceptionalism in print media. But that the rest were half as good.

SOF is more than that too, for unknown to most people, Soldier of Fortune magazine and its staff of intrepid reporters – almost all with special operations backgrounds, some who paid the ultimate price while on assignment – has voluntarily assisted the U.S. military and our allies for decades, with little or no recognition, providing intelligence, training and combat support to freedom fighters throughout the world. They did so much of this in fact, that they could almost be characterized as the first “private contractor,” except they did all their work for free, with expenses being covered by the magazine itself.

Started in 1975, the year of the Vietnam War’s ignoble end, Soldier of Fortune magazine quickly gained a wide following among Vietnam veterans. It was one of the few journals then in print that gave an honest and appreciative assessment of veterans’ wartime sacrifices, with articles written mostly by fellow veterans who knew about war firsthand, up close and personal.

The magazine remains dedicated to our Nation’s military and is avidly read and appreciated by veteran and active duty alike. As editor Brown stated in SOF’s 25 year anniversary issue:

Overnight, SOF offered Vietnam vets the recognition they deserved, a home in a sense, a meeting place for like souls. Like a banner, it acknowledged their sacrifices and continues to do so, loudly and loyally.
Current Cover Features
Congressional Candidate
Gy. Sgt. Nick Popaditch
Americans fed on network news had little idea what was really happening over there. Many still don’t. Shamefully, the mass media (they are not mainstream) has never come clean about their central role in the systematic deception of the American public that led to America’s first military defeat. America did not lose the Vietnam War on the battlefield, despite military missteps. It was lost due to a conspiracy of deliberate misreporting by American media and the incompetent, feckless and in some cases treasonous, activities of the White House and Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress.

In addition to becoming a voice for Vietnam vets, SOF rapidly gained a reputation for cutting-edge reporting at the front lines of bush wars throughout the world, many of which were and still are ignored by the mass media. For example, since 1982 SOF has reported on the plight of Burma’s Karen people, who have fought a war of liberation against that country’s brutal, Stalinist regime for decades.

10th Anniversary Issue
SOF’s reporting on the Karens inspired Sylvester Stallone to make his 4th Rambo movie about the Burmese conflict. As Sly puts it:

I think SOF has proven time and time again that it has its thumb on the pulse of what is really transpiring in the remote, dark parts of the world that the drive-by media tends to overlook. 
One of SOF’s correspondents, Lance Motley, was killed by Burmese forces in 1989 while reporting on the conflict. Wounded three times on previous expeditions around the globe for SOF, Lance was as usual, right on the front lines.

Motley personified the archetypical SOF reporter. A West Point graduate and Special Forces officer, Lance quit the Army out of boredom. He then made a solo trip to Afghanistan. He had no backing from anyone, no knowledge of the people, language or culture, but managed to sneak in, find his way to the action, fight with the Mujahideen against the Soviet occupiers, and help compile a list for the U.S. Congress of weapons the Afghans needed – all in six months! This was before anyone had ever heard of Charlie Wilson. Lance’s obituary is a testimonial to the caliber of men who wrote for Soldier of Fortune.

SOF is about the only journal that has reported on Laos and Vietnam’s relentless genocide against its indigenous tribes. The Degar people of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, known collectively as “Montagnards” (mountain people) fought valiantly alongside American Special Forces throughout the Vietnam War, but were shamelessly abandoned when we decided to pull out. The U.S. government forgot about them, but their former enemies didn’t. Since that time, the Degar have been systematically repressed, with many tortured and killed in “reeducation” camps.

The Laotian Hmong who assisted the U.S. during its CIA-operated secret war in Laos, have suffered similarly. For the last thirty five years, the Laotian communist government has engaged in a bush war with the goal of exterminating remaining Hmong, killing as many as 100,000, including the use of chemical weapons. Remaining Hmong have retreated to remote mountainous areas, where they survive in primitive conditions, living off the land.

To add insult to injury, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF) saw an opportunity to lure Hmong expatriate leader, then 77 year-old Major General Vang Pao, into a sting operation. Vang led Laotian forces for the CIA during the secret war and has spent his life devoted to the Hmong cause. He remains a widely respected leader, both among the Hmong expatriate community and in Laos. Those remaining in Laos would likely have perished long ago were it not for the external assistance provided to them through Vang’s efforts.

ATF agents convinced Vang to become involved in a plot to overthrow the communist Laotian government. Assured that this was a CIA-backed operation, he agreed. He and his compatriots were later arrested and charged with violating the Neutrality Act. Fortunately Vang’s case was dismissed in 2009. The fate of his co-defendants has not yet been determined. See a very good video about this case and the plight of the Hmong here.
The reality of Southeast Asia’s Communists’ brutal genocide against the Hmong and Degar people stands in stark contrast to their wartime propaganda about “liberating the oppressed.” But for SOF, we wouldn’t know about it.

Meanwhile, American communists like Bill Ayers and Tom Hayden, who actively, blatantly supported communist North Vietnam during the war, have nothing to say about the miserable aftermath they helped bring about. Many of these same Leftists, by the way, were the foremost organizers of Progressives for Obama – just one great big cesspool.

25th Anniversary Issue
SOF’s Brown also became personally and professionally involved in the search for living POW/MIAs after the war, dumping about $350,000 into the effort. This unfortunate chapter in our Vietnam experience had its share of charlatans, who capitalized on the hopes of POW/MIA families and concerned veterans like Brown. SOF, however, wasted no time in challenging those who appeared to be frauds, even fellow decorated Special Forces veterans like Bo Gritz.

SOF was also one of the few, if not the only, publication that reported on the situation in Afghanistan during the years between the Soviet withdrawal and the rise of the Taliban. By reading SOF, one would come to know the various factions within Afghanistan and especially, dispositions of the large, Soviet-backed force organized to continue the war on the Soviets’ behalf after they left. This force was commanded by Abdul Rashid Dostum, a notorious, brutal communist warlord, who has figured prominently in the post-9-11 Northern Alliance.

During the 1980s, SOF staff took many trips to Afghanistan. One trip yielded two 5.45 mm cartridges for the new Russian AK-74. Neither the weapon nor the ammunition had previously been seen by Western intelligence. This new ammunition was believed to be the culprit in massive wounds reportedly being suffered by Mujahideen in their battles with the Soviets. On a subsequent trip, Col. Brown smuggled out another 5,000 rounds of ammunition and a sample of the AK-74 weapon itself, turning it all over to the U.S. military attaché in Islamabad.

SOF staff has engaged directly in training of allied troops, supplementing the U.S. military’s effort. They were particularly active in Central America’s recent civil wars. A recent Newsmax article by Barrett Tillman relates:

The byword is professionalism. For instance, a 1983 report describing the work of a 12-man SOF team in El Salvador covers 47 pages. It includes weapons maintenance, sound discipline on ambush, field medicine and sanitation.
On September 30th 1995, the El Salvadorian government awarded Brown their Combat Star medal. The citation reads: “In Recognition of Your Combat Support Services With Units of the Armed Forces of El Salvador, 1980 to 1992.”

SOF provided similar training to Nicaragua’s Contras during the Nicaraguan civil war. While they were at it, Brown grounded the Sandinistas’ entire fleet of Soviet Hind attack helicopters by posting the advertisement shown here. I interviewed Unintended Consequences author and firearms expert John Ross about it by phone, who confirmed the following account:

“In the 1980s, Danny Ortega’s oppressive Communist regime in Nicaragua received a fleet of Russian Hind helicopters… to put down the Contras. When the Contras started to take heavy losses from these gunships, Bob Brown single-handedly grounded the entire fleet in less than 72 hours. How? By printing a full-page ad in his own magazine offering a million dollar reward to anyone who would bring us one of these choppers. The Russians knew damn well that every Cuban pilot would jump at the chance to fly into nearby El Salvador and get a million bucks and a Miami liquor license for his efforts. Bob’s actions helped cause Ortega’s fall, and stopped the spread of Communism in Central America dead in its tracks.”

Ross’s account is exaggerated but not entirely off the mark. An ABC reporter, Peter Collins, who had contacts in the Nicaraguan military, confirmed to Brown that they had, in fact, grounded their fleet of Hinds for three weeks because it took that much time to bring in trustworthy replacement pilots.

Brown had placed the ad hoping it would have just such an effect. As explained to me for this article, the idea was modeled after a similar PSYOPS plan conducted during the Korean War to ground MIG-15s in advance of an important bombing campaign. Brown had no interest in actually securing a helicopter.

The history of SOF is replete with such examples – too many to mention. Brown himself has received numerous awards and citations for his contributions by governments far and wide. His unique staff of reporters recall the “warrior philosophers” of ancient Greece. Fearless, highly intelligent, well-read and well-educated, (many without benefit of a college degree), they provided on deadline, crisp, clear, straightforward analyses of complicated political/military issues that still vex ivory tower political scientists.

Some paid the ultimate price. Lance Motley was mentioned earlier. Three others were killed in action. These men reflected the dedication and ability of SOF’s unique staff.

Robert MacKenzie
Lt. Col Robert MacKenzie was SOF’s contributing editor for unconventional operations. A truly gifted soldier, MacKenzie was retired from the Army 70 percent disabled two years after enlisting, due to a wound suffered in Vietnam. Not to be deterred, in 1970 he joined the Rhodesian Special Forces (SAS) and served 10 years, receiving both the Bronze and Silver Crosses of Rhodesia for bravery and leadership in action. He later served as second-in-command of the Transkei, South Africa Special Forces.

Hired as an SOF journalist in 1985, MacKenzie reported on conflicts all over the globe, including Bosnia and Croatia, African hot spots, Russia, South America and Southeast Asia, to name a few, and was responsible for rescuing seven Westerners held hostage in Africa. He was hired by the Sierra Leone government in 1995 to train government forces, and was killed in an ambush by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) guerillas while trying to assist another wounded soldier.

Mike Echanis was a U.S. Army Ranger, renowned martial artist and martial arts editor for SOF in the mid-1970s. . In 1978 he was he was working in Nicaragua as a contractor for the CIA, and was killed in a helicopter crash after a bomb planted on board detonated. Foreign correspondent George Bacon III was another highly-decorated soldier, who received the CIA Intelligence Star for his work in Laos. He was killed in Africa while fighting for the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). Motley, MacKenzie, Echanis and Bacon share a special place on the SOF masthead, along with a list of other noteworthy contributors who have since passed on.

Keep in mind that all these men (and many more) died in the line of service fighting enemies borne of the worldwide communist movement, which has prospered largely because incompetent, cowardly and sometimes treasonous U.S. “leaders” have allowed it to. In this President and Congress, such "leadership" is endemic, or perhaps I should say epidemic. Fortunately, a record number of military veterans are running for national office this year, who, if elected will bring a measure of sanity back to our Nation’s capital. Please check them out at Veterans for Freedom, Iraq Veterans for Congress and Combat Veterans for Congress and do all you can to lend support.

For his part, SOF founder Brown spends little time behind a desk. He was one of the first journalists to enter Kuwait City following its liberation by American forces in 1991 and SOF provided extensive on-the-ground reporting of the first Gulf War. It continues to provide cutting-edge coverage of operations in Iraqi, the conflict in Afghanistan, and other conflicts large and small throughout the world. Through its unique network of contacts, SOF continues to scoop the mass media on major stories involving military and intelligence issues, and brings a refreshing, insightful perspective that you will not find in the militarily-illiterate, anti-American mass media.

Finally, SOF and its editor are tireless advocates for gun rights. Col. Brown has been on the NRA Board of Directors for decades. Over the years, the magazine has featured reviews on new firearms and equipment and columns by noted gun experts such as John Farnam, Maj. John Plaster, Jeff Cooper and others.

In summing up his attitude toward life, Col. Brown says, “Slay dragons, do noble deeds and never, never, never, give up.” That attitude is certainly reflected in the storied history of Soldier of Fortune magazine, 35 this year and going strong.

Monday, August 2, 2010

By James Simpson

Below is a trailer for a must see new video by Curtis Bowers, Agenda: Grinding America Down.  It includes the perspective of many well-known policy experts, including Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese, III, Trevor Loudon, Phyllis Schafly, Brannon Howse, M. Stanton Evans, Dr. Robert Chandler, and many others. This documentary DVD is well worth the modest price.

Note: while I was also interviewed for this documentary, I will not receive, nor did I ask for any remuneration. My only interest in promoting this video is seeing the facts contained herein communicated to the public -- facts that our media has utterly failed to disclose.

AGENDA: Grinding America Down (Trailer) from Curtis Bowers on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Las Vegas Hotel Owner Tells it Like it is

This is better than Rick Santelli's rant. Here is a successful businessman giving us the reality of the situation.

Hotel owner Steve Wynn describes this administration and Congress's policies. As he says repeatedly, it is a combination of the insane spending and regulatory policies of the Democrats and the complete uncertainty this creates for business.

As I have said, this is a deliberate strategy. Nothing discourages business more than uncertainty, and the Obama administration has introduced a climate of uncertainty in this country that is unprecedented in our history. Even during war, no American ever seriously believed anyone would come along and attempt to change the fundamental structure of our society. But it is happening now before our eyes!

The corruption of this administration, the fraud occupying the White House and the revolting, despicable scumbags running Congress, defy description. They are corrupt, subhuman slugs.

Watch this four minute clip. Right on the money! (HT Allan Erickson).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Governor Christie Puts Reporter in His Place

This is too good to miss. NJ Governor Chris Christie is showing the kind of leadership the American people are looking for. Straightforward, honest and bold. You must watch this video. It is only two-and-a-half minutes. Christie puts a reporter firmly in his place.

Gov Christie calls S-L columnist thin-skinned for inquiring about his 'confrontational tone'

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is Lindsey Graham Compromised?

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is perhaps the most irritating personification of the RINO label in the U.S. Senate. Despite the overwhelming evidence against manmade global warming and the irrefutable damage Cap and Trade legislation will do to our tottering economy, Graham has teamed with leftist Senator John Kerry to resurrect that legislation we all thought was going nowhere. Kerry himself recently noted that the recession has reduced greenhouse gas pollution by 6 percent. He wants to see another 14 percent reduction by 2020. Not one given to heavy intellectual lifting, we'll assume Kerry overlooked the implications of that statement. But others have been explicit, suggesting a controlled recession is what’s needed to achieve that result.

Controlled recession! These people are lunatics defined.

But why would any Republican in his right mind join in with this lunacy? Apparently Graham is looking for more. Now, he has gone out on a limb again to join with Democrats in an attempt to resurrect illegal immigrant amnesty again. There is no doubt where the American people stand on amnesty. This is one of the most unpopular issues in the country, and it is hard to square the notion of a decorated JAG lawyer getting behind a movement that so clearly undermines the rule of law.

We all know why the Democrats’ want amnesty. It is the most promising of their many, despicable, underhanded, self-serving plans to pack voter roles with reliable democrat voters, constitution, rule of law, and the will of the people be damned. But why would Graham be willing to so blatantly stab his Party in the back, especially when the crucial midterm elections appear to be turning in the GOP’s favor?

Admittedly, he is not alone. John McCain has also supported amnesty, although he appears to be backpedaling now, and Graham gets a lot of help from other RINO Republicans on this and other issues in undermining a coherent, principled GOP message.

But Graham always seems to be out front. During the amnesty battle in 2007, Graham was showered with special recognition by the radical amnesty lobbying group National Council of La Raza. And lest their be any doubt, the umbrella group that pushed this legislation in 2007, the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, was a virulent brew of radical groups funded in large part by George Soros and following the Manufactured Crisis strategy.

In addition to earning the ire of conservative Republicans, none of this has gone over well in Graham's home state, either. Graham has already been repeatedly censured by members of his state’s Republican Party for his positions that “do not serve the interests of South Carolinians,” and there is a move afoot to replace him when he is next up for re-election.

So what exactly is it with Graham? Well, we may have finally learned. An explosive Youtube video posted yesterday demands that Lindsay Graham come out of the “log cabin closet” and admit his homosexuality to the world.

At a Saturday, April 17th Tea Party rally in Greenville, SC, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) President William Gheen demanded that Graham publicly admit what “many people in South Carolina and Washington, DC know.” As Gheen explained:
I personally do not care about Graham's private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Senator Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret.
If that is Graham's motive, it would certainly explain a lot. It would also provide justification for demanding his removal. Gheen is right that Graham’s private life is no one’s business, but if Graham has bought silence about it by agreeing to back these odious, nation-wrecking initiatives, he has betrayed his country, his Party, and utterly destroyed his own credibility.

Here's the ALIPAC video that has gone viral on the web:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mass. Political Earthquake: Everything in Play Now!

Scott Brown’s stunning electoral victory in Massachusetts yesterday confirms to the world what we have known all along: patriotism and common sense are alive and well. Real Americans remain a majority in this country, and the massively-funded, corrupt Democrat machine, engorged with our tax dollars, radical billionaire money and lock-step union support, cannot buy elections, even in hardcore Democrat states, once the sleeping giant has awoken.

And make no mistake about it: we are wide awake!

The Democrats were certainly hamstrung by choosing an impossibly bad candidate. Martha Coakley made a fool of herself repeatedly, yet throughout it all carried herself with an astonishing sense of conceited entitlement, seemingly contemptuous of even having to campaign at all. Meanwhile, her campaign took on an air of ugly thuggishness. Two scenes captured on video during this short campaign say it all. Everyone has seen the first one, where a reporter is pushed to the ground by a Coakley supporter while Coakley stands by doing nothing. Remember, she is the Massachusetts attorney general. The second one has received less attention, but is even more telling: a female reporter getting thrown out of a Coakley campaign office with shouts of "Nazi." Someone even used the "F" bomb. What class acts.

The real problem is that Coakley defines what the Democrat Party has become today: arrogant, boorish, incomprehensibly ignorant and downright thuggish. Former Vermont Governor and Presidential candidate Howard Dean, for example, reacted to Brown's victory by saying that now Democrats have to get tough, and not "deal with Republicans anymore." Stunning. So that’s what we've been witnessing all year, with Democrats violating Senate rules, holding closed-door meetings, locking Republicans out of discussions, rejecting outright any Republican proposals and violating their own promises of "transparency." But they haven't been tough enough. Simply amazing.

Scott Brown's election was certainly about healthcare. Massachusetts already has its own expensive plan. They don't need or want even more government intrusion. It was also about national security. Brown's own internal polling convinced the campaign this was true. People feel insecure with this President and his administration, and with good reason.

But it was even more than that...