Tag Archives: AK-47

Guest Writer Says Obama ‘Should Be Forced to Resign’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

As one who had never felt as though George H.W. Bush was a man of presidential caliber and, if nominated and elected, would be a one-term president, I was more than happy to serve as deputy campaign manager in the presidential exploratory committee of former White House Chief of Staff, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who had a far more impressive resume than Bush and was a far more capable, competent, and decisive leader.

Unfortunately, the combined efforts of conservatives were unable to deny Bush the nomination and, as predicted, he was no match for the Democratic congressional leadership. He allowed himself to be lured into a political trap by the Democrats in which he reneged on his “no new taxes” pledge and was defeated for reelection in 1992. His poor performance in office caused me to write what was the first of many “Must Go” columns titled, “George Bush Must Go.”

The “George Bush Must Go” column was followed in subsequent years by columns suggesting that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) “must go.” However, lest I be accused of rejecting only members of my own party from positions of power and influence, I should point out that I have also called for the resignation or impeachment of former Attorney General Eric Holder. But now it’s Barack Obama’s turn.

In a Nov. 14 column for the New York Post, columnist Michael Goodwin assessed Barack Obama’s approach to the war against radical Islam. He wrote, “In any time and place, war is fiendishly simple. It is the ultimate zero-sum contest… you win or you lose.” True, but that’s not how Barack Obama sees things. In his childlike world view he sees things not as they really are, but only as he wishes them to be. As Goodwin describes it, “President Obama has spent the last seven years trying to avoid the world as it is. He has put his intellect and rhetorical skills into the dishonorable service of assigning blame and fudging failure. If nuances were bombs, the Islamic State would have been destroyed years ago.

“He refuses to say ‘Islamic terrorism,’ as if that would offend the peaceful Muslims who make up the vast bulk of victims. He rejects the word ‘war,’ even as jihadists carry out bloodthirsty attacks against Americans and innocent peoples around the world. He shuns the mantle of global leadership that comes with the Oval Office, with an aide advancing the preposterous concept that Obama is ‘leading from behind.’ He snubs important partners like Egypt, showers concessions on the apocalyptic mullahs of Iran, and calls the Islamic State the ‘jayvee team,’ even as it was beginning to create a caliphate. Having long ago identified American power as a problem, he continues to slash the military as the enemy expands its reach. In a globalized era, the Obama doctrine smacks of cowardly retreat and fanciful isolation.”

Goodwin reminds us that, in an accident of timing that demonstrates his profound cluelessness, Barack Obama expressed his view of the current status of ISIS in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos just hours before radical Islamists staged a bloody attack on Paris. He said, “I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true, from the start our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq and in Syria.   They’ll come in, (then) they’ll leave. But you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain.”

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The interview (above) aired at approximately 8:00 AM (EST) on Friday, Nov. 13, on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The first bomb exploded outside the Stade de France, a football stadium north of Paris, at 9:16 PM Paris time (3:16 PM Washington time), followed almost immediately by volleys of gunfire and explosions at the Bataclan Concert Hall, the Le Carillon Restaurant, the Le Petit Cambodge Restaurant, and two other locations in Paris. In a matter of minutes, 132 innocent people were killed and 350 others wounded by Islamic terrorists.

The coordinated ISIS attacks in Paris began just 7 hours and 16 minutes after Obama declared ISIS to be “contained.” Even as he pontificated for the TV audience, the terrorists were likely pacing the floor in their rented safe-houses, inspecting their AK-47s and their Kalashnikovs, loading ammo clips, and making last minute adjustments to their suicide belts.

It was the most deadly attack on Paris by enemy forces since World War II, prompting French President Francois Hollande to condemn the attacks as an “act of war,” vowing that France will be “merciless toward the barbarians of the Islamic State group.” He said, “We will lead the fight and we will be ruthless.” Sadly, those are the words we expect to hear from Barack Obama.

Goodwin concluded, “The time has run out for half measures and kicking the can down the road. The enemy must be destroyed on the battlefield before there can be any hope of peace. If Obama cannot rise to the challenge of leadership in this historic crisis, then, for the good of humanity, he should resign. Those are the only options and it is his duty to decide.”

Yes, Goodwin is correct in his call for Barack Obama’s resignation. But is it even remotely possible that he… addicted as he is to the narcotic of holding power… would even consider the possibility of resignation? Unlike the Nixon example, wherein Republican congressional leaders… Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott (R-PA), Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), and House Minority Leader John Rhodes (R-AZ)… went to the White House for the purpose of informing Nixon that his support in Congress had all but evaporated and that, if he chose to fight impeachment, there was not sufficient support in the U.S. Senate to avoid conviction and removal.

Is there a man or woman alive who can honestly visualize their Democratic counterparts of today… Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)… going to the White House to tell Barack Obama that his presidency is over and that he must resign to avoid impeachment? Let’s face it. The sort of patriotism that Republican leaders have demonstrated over and over again… i.e. Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc… just does not exist in the Democratic Party. The desire to put the country’s best interests ahead of party interests is just not present in the Democratic DNA.

At the outset of Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, every one of the 45 Senate Democrats went to the well of the Senate, raised their right hands, and swore: “I solemnly swear that in all things pertaining to the trial of the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, now pending, that I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help me God.” Yet, every one of those 45 Democrats made that solemn promise to God, knowing that they intended to violate that oath. In spite of mountains of irrefutable evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors” on Clinton’s part, every one of the 45 Democrat senators voted to acquit. The only member of the U.S. Senate to be seriously punished for voting “not proven,” in spite of irrefutable evidence that Clinton had perjured himself before a federal judge, was Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), who was turned out of office in a primary election by Republican voters.

And while impeachment is the most logical solution to the problem presented by Barack Obama, it is clear that, if Republicans had the stomach to impeach Barack Obama, who has to his credit a long list of impeachable offenses, would they not already have done so at some time since Jan. 20, 2009? The fact is, Obama continues to serve for no other reason than the color of his skin. As a black man, he relies on the collective guilt of white liberals to engage in whatever “high crimes and misdemeanors” he feels are necessary to his political agenda. It is indisputable that, if he were a white man, he would have been removed from office long ago.

The one remaining alternative is for the military to remove him… non-violently, if possible; by force, if necessary. The Framers created a constitutional republic in which the military was, by design, made subservient to the civilian branches of government. However, Thomas Jefferson knew that there were no guarantees where governments instituted by men were concerned. In the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, in referring to the right of the people to enjoy the benefits of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, he wrote, “… that to secure these rights, governments are institutes among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government…”

Inasmuch as Barack Obama has been, from the first day of his administration, destructive of our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and since he has repeatedly violated his oath of office by failing to “faithfully execute” the office of president of the United States, the American people are left with no alternative but to bring an abrupt end to his presidency, even at this late date. And since congressional Republicans lack the courage to impeach him and leaders of his own party demonstrate insufficient love of country to call for his resignation, it is left to our military leaders to advise him that it is time for him to do the honorable thing.

If the joint chiefs of staff were to request an audience with Barack Obama, accompanied by a delegation of the most highly respected retired flag and general officers… such as General Tommy Franks, General Paul Vallely, General Stanley McChrystal, and General Ray Odierno… to remind him that, inasmuch as he no longer enjoys the loyalty and the respect of members of the military services, from the top generals and admirals down to the lowest of enlisted ranks, he should summon up the courage to do what is in the best interests of the nation and its people.

If we were to judge our 44 presidents by their failures and their accomplishments, several would receive very low grades. Barack Obama would be the only one to receive a grade of less than zero. He has been, by far, the worst president in American history. And if we stop to consider the damage that has been done, globally, by radical Islam in just a matter of months, imagine the damage that an embittered Obama can be expected to do in the remaining 14 months of his presidency. For the good of the people, he should be forced to resign.

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Book Excerpt: ‘You always hope somebody’s got your back’

On March 30, 2010, I sent an email message to retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John Stewart. I asked him to to call me and told him I’d like to speak with him about the case of his son, Kelly, a former Army Green Beret and highly-decorated combat veteran who had been falsely accused, wrongly convicted and sent to prison. Eighteen months and dozens of conversations later, I shared Kelly’s story in the form of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August (October 2011). Below and with only minor formatting changes, I share an excerpt from the final chapter of that book, The Last Mission In Iraq:

Three Days In August chronicles the life of a highly-decorated Army Green Beret.

Three Days In August chronicles the life of a highly-decorated Army Green Beret and how one night in a German hotel room changed his life. Click image above to order book.

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Kelly A. Stewart deployed to Iraq several times during his seven-year career as a Special Forces professional and built a reputation as a stand-up guy who would do anything for his country, according to Jeff Cole, a man who served with Stewart during his last mission in Iraq. For eight months in 2006, both were members of a Special Operations Task Force Operations Detachment Alpha (a.k.a., “A-Team”). On May 14, 2010, I spoke with Cole about the time he spent with his brother in arms.

Cole recalled the time he spent with Stewart as one during which he “got a new brother”.

“My team was assigned to work with an Iraqi Special Operations force,” Cole explained, “and our job was to, basically, go after high-value targets and, that’s when I began working with Kelly” who was on a different team.

“I would say Kelly struck me right away as someone who really has an aptitude for Special Operations type of work and, especially, the type of work we were doing.

“And the reason is, I think a lot of people get into Special Forces for various reasons, but Kelly’s family background kind of went to that. His father was Special Operations and served in Vietnam on the Air Force side.”

Cole came from the same background. His father was in Special Forces, and he counts that experience as one which gave him “a real good understanding of how Special Operations works.”

“Technically, Kelly struck me as somebody who was very proficient and very good at his job,” he continued. “And that wasn’t just my impression, that was the impression of my entire team.”

Stewart, at that time, was working a little bit more on the intelligence side, whereas Cole and his team were working on the operations side.

“We were the guys that were headed out of the Green Zone, the safe zone, and going out into Sadr City to carry out the missions that were assigned to us,” Cole said.

During these types of missions, he said, survivability relies solely on intelligence and on the kind of information Soldiers get before they go in there.

“That will determine your success or failure of your mission and whether or not your guys are gonna come back alive,” he concluded.

“Right away, Kelly built up a huge reputation with my team (and became) the go-to guy for us.

“Because he had such knowledge on where we were headed and the kinds of people we were up against, we began asking him if he wanted to come with us.

Cole went on to explain that, though the intel side does not normally mix with the operations side, things were different when it came to Stewart. Not only did he jump at any chance he could get to work with the operators, but the operators came to believe that if they “had a vacant slot, a seat that needed to be filled, an extra gun with us, (Stewart) was going to be that guy.”

Kelly Stewart on a gun truck in Iraq.

Kelly Stewart on a gun truck in Iraq.

Considering that their missions almost always involved firefights and run-ins with Improvised Explosive Devices, Cole said Stewart’s eagerness to serve set him apart.

“Not everybody was jumping at the opportunity to go with us,” Cole explained. “Kelly was an individual who, anytime we needed somebody, he was going to be there. But we always wanted to choose him as well, because he had the knowledge, the specialized knowledge, that would help us plan the mission better—and he also was technically proficient as a gunslinger too, to put it bluntly. (He was) always welcome, for those reasons.

On numerous occasions, Cole had the opportunity to see Stewart perform on the battlefield.

“(On) a lot of the missions, we would meet heavy resistance,” Cole said. “That would come in the form of Mahdi Militia or any type of militia force that would be on a rooftop—maybe a four- or five-story building—and they would be armed with anything from AK-47 to an RPG rocket.

“There were early warnings systems in place in these areas in Sadr City,” he continued. “Someone would trip or pull a fuse and take out the power for a whole city grid and that would be a warning that the Americans were coming and these guys would be alerted and there would be a heavy firefight. So that’s the environment we worked in.

“If we had it our way, we would go in just like a SWAT team here in America would go in—no shots fired, you arrest your individual you were looking for, you bring him back, collect some evidence, take some pictures, bring the individual back to an Iraqi court, turn him over to an Iraqi judge, present the evidence, and you’re done. That’s the perfect mission.

“Typically,” he said, “it didn’t end that way. Typically, it would end in a firefight.

It was during such firefights that Cole got to see Stewart in action.

“There were countless times—and I think it was pretty typical of our missions and the people we were working with that—during any given mission, somebody would save your life and you would save their life, countless times, just by the nature of what we were doing.

“Whether it was on the operations side where Kelly contributed to a high degree or on the planning side where he contributed to a high degree, if you were able to gather intelligence on whether there was an IED planted on a certain route and you were able to avoid that route, then you can see how that could be incredibly important. (It) really drives those statistics with low casualty rates.

“On the personal side,” Cole said, “you only have to do that a couple times for somebody, where you’re relying on them like that and they’re coming through for you before suddenly you’ve got a new brother. That’s pretty much how that went down. So we operated for about eight months like that.”

On their last mission in Iraq, Cole and Stewart saw a comrade critically wounded, shot through the chest.

“Basically, my role switched from being a combat leader to a medic that quick, and Kelly took up the slack,” said Cole, who was serving dual roles as both a troop leader and medic. “(Kelly) went from being just an ‘extra gun’ to taking up my position as a troop leader—of Iraqi troops, not American.

“I had to put down my gun in order to treat this casualty, but there were still bullets flying around—buzzing around our heads like bees, quite literally,” he said. “So that was hard for me to do, but he reassured me that he had me covered.

“Kelly stood over the top of me and the casualty pretty much the whole time on the way back out of Sadr City,” he continued, “and it was under intense fire.”

In addition to being their last mission together, Cole said it was also the most significant.

“It sticks out in my mind the most, because it was such a good example of how you really do rely on, and quite literally put your life in, somebody else’s hands.

Cole went on to describe the battle scenario.

“One of the things about Sadr City is that, if you ever heard the descriptions of Mogadishu—how a city suddenly erupted with fighters, they just come out of the woodwork—Sadr City was quite a bit like that,” he explained. “People would just surface with weapons, and they were ready to fight.

“(They had) a determination and tenacity that shocked me, just absolutely shocked me,” he said, adding that it was either a strong belief in martyrdom or just a real determination to crush the Americans.

“I’m not sure which,” he said, “but whatever it was, I was really impressed by it; I was shocked.”

Something that hasn’t impressed Cole since returning from Iraq is the military justice system and the impact misconceptions appear to have had on the court-martial of his brother in arms, Stewart.

Cole believes misconceptions, fueled by German media reports and based on Hollywood movie scripts and intraservice rivalries, played a significant role in the court-martial panel reaching a verdict that called for his brother in arms to spend eight years behind bars at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Kelly Stewart returns from a mission in Iraq.

Kelly Stewart returns from a mission in Iraq.

Further, Cole believes Stewart deserves the benefit of the doubt and should be granted a new trial.

“Special Forces has always been at a disadvantage with conventional troops because, by its nature, it’s elite,” Cole said. “The question is always, ‘What makes you so special?’”

He went on to explain that there are a lot of answers to that question, but the fact that someone feels the need to ask it gives an indication of how that makes conventional forces feel sometimes.

“The whole Hollywood culture of what a Special Forces guy—a ‘loose cannon’ or ‘rogue’ soldier—can do (and) what kind of damage he can do on the run” combines with media buildup to create some serious problems in the minds of people.

In the case of Stewart, Cole was referring to the fact that German news media accounts sensationally painted his friend as a Rambo-like character loose in the Bavarian Forest, a fugitive from justice who must have been guilty because he fled his court-martial proceedings.

“I don’t think that was the situation at all,” Cole said emphatically.

“Like Kelly’s father points out, Kelly never meant to hurt anybody. He never meant to engage. Had he decided to do any of those things, I’m convinced he could have succeeded at either one. You’re talking about someone who trained people to operate in secret, underground cells.

“Could Kelly have escaped and gotten away and found himself far away from his trouble?” Cole asked rhetorically. “Yeah, I think he well could have done that.

“Could he have killed a lot of police or military who were trying to locate him? Yeah. Absolutely. I saw his effectiveness in combat.

“He chose not to do either one of those,” Cole reasoned. “I don’t think either even entered his mind.”

The chapter continues for a few more pages and ends with Cole saying, “You always hope that somebody’s got your back.”

Today, I can say, “I have have Stewart’s back.”

If you’re interested in learning details about how the military justice system railroaded Stewart, order a copy of Three Days In August.

For a snapshot of Stewart’s situation today and to find out how you can help, read this Open Letter to Any American and/or read this recent article. Thanks in advance!

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:15 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

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Book Excerpt: ‘That Others May Live’

My first crime-fiction thriller, The National Bet, went on sale last week, and I thought I’d offer another excerpt to go along with one I shared earlier this month.


“K-man! K-man! Wake up! We’ve gotta go!” Waking to those words, Master Sergeant Josh Kastens knew the day was about to get serious.

A twelve-year veteran who had reached his current rank almost two years ahead of his peers, Josh was a member of the elite Air Force pararescue fraternity known as “PJs.” Assigned to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Georgia, he was pulling his first six-month tour in Somalia even as most Americans didn’t realize members of their country’s military had been deployed to the African nation since 2007.

Being rousted out of bed at “oh-dark-thirty”—2:15 a.m. local time on this occasion—usually meant an aircraft was down and a pilot needed rescue—or, in PJ vernacular, “saved.”

“A viper flamed out,” said Captain Eddie Hoskins, speaking loud and being unmistakably clear. “Briefing room in five!”

During the briefing, Josh learned the mission would take him and his crew from their base near Berbera on the coast of the Gulf of Aden to an insurgent stronghold almost fifteen miles west of Saylac and ten miles south of Somalia’s border with Djibouti.

By 2:30, their HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter was airborne. Estimated time to target: twenty minutes. Outside the chopper, the early morning temperature was a stifling ninety-seven degrees Fahrenheit. Inside, the heat was even more oppressive as engine noise drowned out everything but the headset chatter between crewmembers.

Two gunners stood ready at their GAU-2/B miniguns, while Josh and his PJ partner, Staff Sergeant Stu Duckworth, sat with their legs hanging out opposite doors, M-4 carbines across their laps. Just in case.

Josh had made six saves during previous combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, but something about this new battlefield gave him the creeps.

Flying fast and low at a ten o’clock heading, the chopper pilot followed instructions from controllers aboard an E-3B Sentry Airborne Warning and Control Systems aircraft flying high above, and they reached the downed pilot’s location without incident.

Due to the latest round of Pentagon budget cuts that had dramatically reduced the number of rescue aircraft in theater, only one chopper participated in this mission. And, thanks to misguided Rules of Engagement that no longer allowed gunners to use preliminary fire to clear landing zones of bad guys, every LZ was considered hot.

Approaching the LZ, the pilot took his chopper down at a steep angle while making a number of irregular turns designed to make it more difficult for anyone to shoot his bird down. Then, after dropping the PJs in a clearing, he climbed back into the sky. The entire process took less than forty seconds, and his chopper took no incoming fire. Now, he and his crew would keep watch over the area as the PJs went to work.

Equipped with night-vision goggles, the PJs reached the downed pilot quickly after spotting him crouched behind an abandoned truck some fifty yards north of the LZ.

“Are you hurt?” Josh asked the pilot, Captain Bud McGowan, who showed no signs of serious injury but was understandably nervous.

“No, but I think there are some bad guys out there,” the pilot replied, motioning with his eyes toward the east. “I heard them shouting to each other, so they can’t be too far away.”

Captain McGowan’s F-16C Fighting Falcon had lost hydraulic pressure in its lone engine. As a result, he had to eject in an area only a few miles away from an enemy base where, a short time earlier, members of the terror group al-Shabaab had been on the receiving end of one of his laser-guided five-hundred-pound bombs. Now, instead of being the hunter, he’d become the prey, hunted by dark-skinned men now less than half a mile away and closing fast.

After attaching a harness to the pilot, Josh radioed the chopper to return for an immediate pickup. As the word “copy” left his lips, a single shot rang out and, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sergeant Duckworth—“Duck” to his friends—reach up with his left hand to the side of his head. A large chunk had been ripped out of the PJ’s helmet, but it didn’t appear as if the bullet had penetrated his partner’s skull. It did, however, cause him to be disoriented and have a hard time keeping his balance.

“Mama bear, we’re taking fire!” Josh screamed into his radio. “Duck’s hit! Duck’s hit! We need cover! East, one hundred yards! We need cover!”

More shots rang out, but all missed.

As Josh half-carried his partner toward the makeshift LZ, Captain McGowan fired his 9 mm Beretta in the direction of the attackers who had cut the distance between themselves and their prey in half.

“How many are–” Josh began to ask Captain McGowan before stopping in mid-sentence as an AK-47 round grazed the left side of his neck. Then another round hit him inches above his right hip. Adrenaline surging, a quick assessment confirmed neither wound was life threatening.

Seconds later, the chopper—their lifeline to the world— appeared out of nowhere from over a ridge to the south. After the helo’s right-side gunner spotted the rebels through his night-vision goggles, he unloaded a barrage of 7.62 mm rounds on the enemy positions and declared over the radio, “Enemy destroyed!”

Such an outcome had been made possible only after a U.S. Marine Corps three-star general had taken over as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and succeeded in convincing his superiors in the chain of command to allow crews aboard casualty- evacuation choppers (a.k.a., “CASEVACs” or “dustoffs”) to defend themselves in hot LZs.

Upon hearing the E-D announcement, the chopper pilot dropped his aircraft to the ground within twenty yards of the PJs and the aviator they had come to save.

Ignoring his own wounds, Josh partnered with Captain McGowan to load Sergeant Duckworth onto the chopper. As they began lifting him up to the floor of the chopper, three more gunshots rang out in quick succession and Josh felt more pain. Looking down as he began to collapse, he saw his left leg nearly severed above the knee.

For what seemed an eternity, Josh watched through his night-vision goggles as his own warm blood poured from the leg, yielding a bright-red thermal-infrared signature. Less than a minute after he was hit, he lost consciousness.

Responding to the burst of unexpected gunfire, the chopper’s right-side gunner quickly located and eliminated its source, another Somali sniper who seemed to appear out of nowhere some sixty yards northeast of the LZ. But it was too late for Josh.

While both PJs stayed true to their warrior fraternity’s creed, “That Others May Live,” only one survived.

The National Bet isn’t a military fiction novel, but the action in the book begins in East Africa and makes its way to several locations across the United States. One of those locations, tiny Effingham, Ill., is home to several of the book’s characters, including the father of the fallen PJ.

You can learn more about the book here and order a copy of the book here.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:31 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.