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Ferguson, America

The people have to want peace in order for the police to provide it. Kevin Williamson writes at National Review: The first order of police work is, according to [Sir Robert] Peel, “to prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.” The second principle is … Continue reading

  • It’s that simple. Kill the enemy, or retreat and fortify. It makes no sense to sacrifice blood and treasure without intending to finish the job you came to do. We’ve done neither since President Obama announced the “surge”—and subsequently undermining it by announcing a withdrawal date—opting to stay in Afghanistan to train the enemy. It’s worse than being defeated. It’s being defeated and continuing to take on casualties after the fact. In that sense, the murder of Major General Harold Greene is, to borrow from Jake Tapper, senseless. More senseless, indeed, than the disastrous Operation Red Wings. Victory in Afghanistan was still possible then, the will to win still present. The outcome was not yet determined. In Greene’s case, it was. Afghanistan is already reverting to type as the last American troops withdraw. “We’ve got our teeth in the enemy’s jugular now, and we’re not going to let go.” –General David Petraeus, Jan. 19, 2011, overestimating America’s will to win A design flaw of General Petraeus’s counterinsurgency strategy is that it leaves the enemy largely unmolested. It’s a necessary flaw, because insurgents are impossible to distinguish from civilians. Victory requires the constant projection of a superior, peacekeeping force. Withdrawal is to concede the country to the insurgents, who’ve been hiding in the woodwork. It’s a defeat 4 years in the making.
  • Government healthcare is working out swell for veterans. The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients in a timely manner, typically within 14 to 30 days, [Dr. Sam] Foote said.According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said.According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.“That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded,” Foote said.“So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list,” he said. “And they wouldn’t take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not.”Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the “secret list” to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600. Forty veterans have died waiting for an appointment at the Phoenix VA. That’s not quite Stalin’s million, but it’s still a statistic. To the bureaucratic machinery, they are rounding errors, like energy lost in the powertrain, like the aborted fetuses being composted in hospitals. These losses are the inefficiencies and leftovers of statist formulae. By the way, it’s not just Phoenix.

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