The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

The Guns of Nihilism

One of the best accounts of what actually happened between the Somali pirates, the U.S.S. Bainbridge, Navy SEALS, and President Barack Obama last week can be found here, in Jack Wheeler’s Half-Full Report of April 17. Note: “Zero“ is his nickname for the man who would be president:

“We can raise a full glass of your favorite adult beverage to all the Tea Party participants – and to the one group of Americans the Zerocrats despise above all others: our soldiers in the US military.

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.

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-scene 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.”

Wheeler’s report differs in some minor points from others. World Net Daily’s account states that the SEALs were fired on by the pirates when they tried to take supplies in the RIB to the Maersk Alabama, which had already left the scene and was on its way to Kenya.

But most accounts on the Internet credit the commander of the Bainbridge with acting to save Phillips’ life, not Obama. It is only in the sycophantic news media that truth and falsehood grappled, and truth lost. For example, the Associated Press reported that Obama gave the Navy commander the go-ahead to use force.

“…[I]t goes some way toward dispelling the notion that a liberal Democrat with a known distaste for war – Obama campaigned on his consistent opposition to the Iraq invasion – doesn’t have the chops to fire on the pirates holding the cargo ship captain at gunpoint.”

No, the notion has not been dispelled, not even a little way. Obama lacked the “chops” to call on U.S. military power, as most non-news media accounts can testify to. In fact, he sent professional hostage-negotiators from the FBI to the Bainbridge to try to talk the pirates into releasing Phillips, as though the Indian Ocean was a domestic crime scene. If Phillips had been murdered by the pirates, it is certain that the negotiators or the commander of the Bainbridge or the SEALs would have been blamed, not the pirates, not the policy of appeasing the enemy by pulling the punches our military could deliver with devastating effect.

The Indian Ocean is not your usual dangerous neighborhood too risky for an ice-cream truck or lunch wagon to venture into. And the Somali pirates declared war on commercial shipping and private pleasure vessels long ago. They very likely have strong links to al-Qada and other Islamic terrorist gangs, and must share ransoms with them. That part of the Indian Ocean is a war zone.

And Obama – a liberal Democrat?? Hubert Humphrey was a liberal Democrat, as was Lyndon Johnson. They were relatively amateur shoplifters compared to the likes of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Obama, however, is a doctrinaire, committed fascist/socialist, dedicated to turning a proud, free nation into a submissive wallflower and a minimum security prison of indentured servitude.

I differ with Wheeler over his perception of cowardice. A coward is afraid to protect his values, unwilling to risk his life (or reputation) to preserve or keep them. The U.S. is not a value to Obama, except as a thing to betray, ruin and destroy. Obama has no moral character; ergo, no honesty, no integrity, no respect for truth. He has no values to keep or preserve. He is a nihilist to the core. I agree with Wheeler that Obama and his staff are opportunistic; what exponents of pragmatism-as-policy are not? Their pragmatism, in addition, makes possible their cynicism. Confrontation is not Obama’s “style”; he is surpassing “Slick Willy” with his penchant for weaseling out of any crisis and emerging from it unscathed.

No, Obama, during the whole “man-caused” disaster, behaved true to his career goal and followed Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to the letter. He is our Community-Organizer-in-Chief. It was just a neighborhood thing to him, you know, nothing to begin shooting guns off about, and the pirates were just poor, troubled teenagers trying to “spread the wealth around“ with armed extortion. Obama did not order anyone to fire on anyone. He hung ten in hopes that everything would just come out all right, with no bruises or bloodshed.

And instead of reducing every pirate’s den, mud hut and palace to smoldering rubble, and every pirate anchorage and boat to unrecyclable floating debris, the U.S. and other nations will continue to spend fortunes patrolling the Indian Ocean in a fruitless policing mission, hamstrung by rules of non-engagement, rather than risk one more pirate’s life or collateral casualties among the pirate’s camp followers.

I dread to speculate on the future career of Commander Frank Castellano of the Bainbridge for having belayed Obama’s orders and followed his own standing orders as the officer commanding on the scene, which are to take action against an enemy to preserve American lives and property.

Speaking of “man-caused” disasters, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will have the everlasting, notorious credit for coining one of the most evasive, cowardly euphemisms in the lexicon of diplomacy. In an interview with Spiegel on March 13, she explained why she did not pronounce the term “terrorism” in her Congressional testimony:

“…I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.”

Napolitano “nuanced” what is a moral issue into a mere sociological conundrum. Never mind that Islamic terrorists have a political agenda, which is either the destruction of the U.S. or its submission to Islam. To terrorists, fear is as much a political weapon as bombs and stealth jihad. When Osama bin Laden or one of his henchmen issues another warning that Americans will die and Islam will bury the West, Napolitano wants to reply with cotton-candy language. She would rather oppose the chain-mail armor of Islamic Janissaries with tie-dyed T-shirts. Doubtless she agrees with her boss that the U.S. should engage Russia, China, Iran and North Korea in new talks leading to a revived version of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), knowing that it would effectively disarm this country and leave it to the mercies of rogue governments and nuclear-armed terrorists.

One cannot believe that Napolitano and her ilk do not understand that a defenseless America is a beaten America. They, as well as any rational being (not to confuse the two), can see the consequences of unleashed force and organized mayhem practiced by every dictator and tyrant, in the past as well as in the present. One cannot believe that they actually believe in the efficacy of regurgitated pacifist policies of the hippies. One cannot even believe that they take seriously the notion that if they feel strongly enough about peace and goodwill, universal amity will somehow, magically reign.

One can only conclude, through a rational process of elimination of possible motives, that they bear this country so much ill will that they wish to see it punished because it is great. What other creatures, for example, would imply in the recent DHS “Rightwing Extremism” memo that returning American military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to resort to “rightwing extremist” violence because they are “disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war?” [Section U/(FOUO)DHS/IAA]

“Napolitano, on a Fox News appearance today [April 17], backtracked a little, saying ‘To the extent veterans read it as an accusation…an apology is owed.’”

And not a resignation or a firing for impugning the character of servicemen returning from combat? The “Rightwing Extremism” memo reveals that the DHS regards all Americans as suspect in terms of their possibly resisting the state, and exhibits a natural predilection for defending itself and the state over defending the nation. Its authority overrides that of all legitimate law enforcement agencies. It ought to be dismantled.

Fascism is taking on an unusual and unprecedented form.

Adolf Hitler, a nihilist, acted to expand Germany’s borders and impose a Pax Germany over Europe. He envisioned a mighty, invincible Germany that would rule the world. His self-worth was dependent on the successes of his aggressions. And when his power was reduced to the confines of a Berlin bunker, he muttered that, as punishment for its failure, Germany should be exterminated as undeserving of existence.

Barack Obama, a nihilist, is acting to diminish an America that never sought to rule the world, and his self-worth is dependent on how much he can enable the world to rule America. He bows to feudal monarchs, joshes with South American dictators, and is moving to betray this country’s only ally in the Middle East, Israel. He snubs this country’s allies and ingratiates himself with its enemies.

It is not enough that Obama and his hand-picked administration wish to render America “harmless and blameless.” They wish to disarm Americans, as well. The DHS memo complements the administration’s virulent anti-gun policy, and reveals that the government fears armed resistance to its express-speed, liberty-destroying statist policies.

The Georgia Arms Company, the nation’s fifth largest retailer of .223 ammo, received a notice from the Department of Defense advising it that the company could no longer buy spent brass cartridges from the DoD used for training on military bases. Formerly, Georgia Arms and other manufacturers and retailers bought the shells to reload for resale to law enforcement, gun shops, gun clubs, and other commercial outlets.

“…[F]rom now on the DoD will be destroying the brass – shredding it. It is no longer available to the ammo makers, unless they just buy it in a scrap shredded condition (which the makers have no use for). The shredded brass is now going to be sold by the DoD to China as scrap metal….”

Furthermore, if any ammo seller is compelled to purchase newly manufactured brass shells,

“…then the cost of ammunition to the buyer will double and triple…plus Obama wants to add a 500% tax on each shell.”

Hardworking, productive American citizens who successfully undergo lengthy criminal background checks before being allowed to purchase guns will still be disarmed if they cannot afford to buy ammo. Criminals, terrorists, and the mentally unbalanced such as the Virginia Tech and Binghamton, New York mass murderers, will acquire guns and ammo regardless of the stringency of gun controls. Moral Americans will be caught between an armed and growing police state and armed criminals.

In Book Five: Revolution of my Sparrowhawk series, the Crown-appointed lieutenant-governor of Virginia suppresses a lone, private newspaper by sending a bailiff and his men to shut down the paper. Instead of confiscating or destroying the printing press, they seize the owner’s type cases, effectively silencing the paper.

Readers will appreciate the parallels.

I freely admit to parodying the title of a great adventure film here, “The Guns of Navarone” ( 1961, directed by J. Lee Thompson, based on Alistair MacLean’s novel). This finely directed and superbly cast “war” move reflects a morality largely absent in film for decades, not to mention skill in creating conflict and drama. And there is a relevance to be noted between Obama’s nihilism and the pro-life, goal-directed character of the film.

Like the Castellano/Bainbridge/Navy SEAL episode, “Navarone” is also a nonpareil suspense story. In 1943, a British commando team is sent to destroy a pair of massive German anti-ship guns that can pulverize any warship attempting to evacuate British troops surrounded on a Greek island. The position of the fortified guns atop a 400-foot cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea renders them impregnable against Allied naval and air action. They can only be destroyed from within — by the commandos. By the end of one of the most suspenseful action films ever made, they accomplish their mission.

Fast forward to the Indian Ocean, April 2009. American warships are stymied, not by mammoth German guns, not by a disciplined German army, not even by four pirates in a rowboat, but by the value-negating morality of altruism and by an American president who is, in the most fundamental moral sense, on the side of the pirates.


A Cavalcade of Collectivism


A Guns of Nihilism Postscript


  1. Zardoz

    Excellent article, Ed. Several months ago, I asked where were the Navy Seals for the Sirius Star. Little did I expect them to show up ‘handcuffed to the chair’ against an inflatable boat of teenagers.

  2. TimC

    “…[F]rom now on the DoD will be destroying the brass – shredding it. It is no longer available to the ammo makers, unless they just buy it in a scrap shredded condition (which the makers have no use for). The shredded brass is now going to be sold by the DoD to China as scrap metal….”

    Holy @##%. The fact that the brass won’t be available – terrifying development. The fact it’s going to China, even as scrap – icing on the cake.

    Shhhheeeeeesssh. And thanks for the column, further proof that Charles Johnson over at LGF is now with the “sycophantic news media.” (He’s been praising CIC Obama on this one – since I think spam filter disallows comments with links, look for “Anti-Obama Rumor Mill Exposed Again”).

  3. pomponazzi

    Fantastic article Ed!
    Have you noticed the terrible smirk on Obama’s face while shaking hands with chavez?
    If villainy were a tangible quality it would look exactly like Obama’s malicious grin on the said occasion.

  4. Anonymous

    Pomponazzi: Yes, I noted the smirk on his face in that photo, and also the “black” handshake. This was a picture of two thugs recognizing each other.


  5. John Jennings

    One note on the brass recycling thing. There was a huge dust-up over that about a week ago, and as it turns out the new policy only applies to brass over .50 BMG caliber, such as 20mm and 40mm. So, the DoD material recycling corporation is still selling used brass.
    My concern on the issue is the burgeoning movement to ban lead in ammunition (either through taxation or proscription), something I see as a much more potent and popular attack on Americans’ right to own guns.

  6. madmax


    Great essay. What I don’t understand about these nihilist pacifist leftists is: don’t they understand that by undermining America that they are putting their own lives in danger? Also, if they weaken America’s military strength they open up the possibility that America will fall. But this would destroy their power and all leftists lust for power.

    What it is so hard for me to understand is the phenomenon of power lusting leftist/fascists that are nevertheless suicidal! I meas as evil as Hitler was, I can understand him. He wanted power to conquer and he wanted a militarily strong Germany. But these leftists think they can have a militarily weak nation and still have a country to rule! Are their pycho-epistemologies so corrupted that they can’t even connect these simple dots?

    Maybe the conclusion to reach is that the left can now be safely classified as psychotic.

  7. Anonymous

    Best analysis I’ve read of the true character of Obama and an excellent refutation of the idea that he is just naïve. His fawning, star-struck behavior with outright evil political leaders should alarm everyone, as much if not more so than his domestic agenda. Iran is about to get nukes, and Pakistan, which has nukes, teeters on the edge of becoming a Taliban state. Has anyone any doubt that these religious fanatics will use them?

    It frightens me that Obama’s nihilism, his single-minded drive towards our destruction, foreign and domestic, is so blithely ignored by most people. But who’s to tell them, other than some honest commentators on the web and a few intelligent radio personalities? The intellectuals gutted run-of-the-mill media of men and women who could think for themselves some time ago. Obama is an opportunistic disease, enabled solely by a horribly weakened intellectual“immune system”.

    Thanks for a little antidote, Ed.


  8. Michael Labeit

    Very good – strident yet evidenced.

    The claim about the disgruntled and disillusioned soldiers is true however. I was “disgruntled” and “disillusioned” after my annual training at Fort Irwin last year because my weapon refused to fire that crappy blank ammunition they gave us GOD D****IT THOSE ROUNDS NEVER FEED INTO THE CHAMBER PROPERLY!!!…..

    I’m a bad man people.

    Seriously, the greatest “threats” may come from severe PTSD cases but this is a concern for vet affairs, the military, and their families, not DHS. Does Napolitano even define “right-wing extremism?” In that phrase alone you’ve got a Rand-identified anti-concept coupled with a vague political description. Now that’s epistemological “anarchy.”

  9. Kevin McAllister

    Just a note that indicates we haven’t been disarmed yet. According to this site the ban of selling spent casings to ammo manufacturers was quickly opposed and lifted.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén