Sunday, July 10, 2011

AFG and the Rule of Law

Ok, I admit that I read a lot. And I read stuff that's outside of my profession. I picked up this story on Lawfare blog, which you should read, too.

Lawfare talks about the intersection of law and warfare. It's always good to know that smart minds are discussing and working on keeping our use of force within the AUMF (look it up) passed by Congress after the 9/11 attacks on our country.

Lawfare has an interesting post about a recent ceremony in Afghanistan. NATO is activating a new group in-country -- the Rule of Law Field Support Mission.

What pisses me off -- but doesn't surprise me -- is one of the pictures from the ceremony. None other than GEN Petraeus spoke at the ceremony. This indicates to me that the US is serious about supporting the Rule of Law in AFG. We tend to take the ROL in the US for granted. How many times have you heard, "Don't do that -- it's against the law"? Or, "The law is behind me on this" or my favorite "I'll sue you!". Each and every day we abide by the ROL. We drive on the right-hand side of the road, we stop at red lights and stop signs, and we look to the law to protect us if someone breaks the law and we're hurt.

The entire idea of the Rule of Law Field Support Mission is to show countries that don't have a ROL what it looks like and how it operates. Private property is something that just isn't well known in some of these backwards-assed places. How do you protect your property from others without resorting to your AK-47?

Back to what pissed me off...take a look at the picture below. Someone said something that generated applause. Take a look at who's NOT clapping there in the front row.

Now I know that the Muslim world has different social customs. But for crying out loud -- we're helping your country enter the 19th 21st century. Learn how to appreciate us and our customs. Or maybe this guy just doesn't agree with what was said. Either way, he's a doofus (highly technical term for socially inept folks).

Or, we could just pull everyone out and just nuke the freaking place. Seriously.

Monday, July 04, 2011

4th of July Parade

We're spending this July 4th in Topinabee, Michigan, on Mullett Lake. Each year, the Topinabee Fire Department's all-volunteer force stages a spectacular parade along 1,084 feet of roadway. You read that right...a little over 300 yards.

Don't kid yourself...this parade is taken seriously. The kids make floats and ride their bikes behind the pumper truck. The kids love it, and the parents (and grandparents) are carried back to that time in their youth when they had their pictures taken on a fire engine.

This is what small-town America is all about. Flags line the narrow asphalt beach street -- and a great time is had by all. It all takes about 20 minutes.

What? Doesn't every parade have a goat?

Here's the end of the line...

Let's all remember those who are far away from their families, taking fire this holiday, or simply separated from those they care for. They are protecting this way of life. Ridicule this at your peril. Attack it and incur the wrath of our true America.