Morning Report: 2008-11-10

US Marines celebrate their history, as the next Commander-In-Chief prepares to assume his post.

Obama to visit Oval Office. President-elect Barack Obama will make his first visit to his future place of employment. CNN: 'President-elect Barack Obama will set foot inside the Oval Office for the first time Monday as he meets with President Bush to talk about the problems his incoming administration will face. The meeting between president and president-elect is a historic formality, but it's also a time for serious talks.'

Kadima sets primaries for December 17. Arutz Sheva: 'The Kadima party announced on Monday that it will hold a primary on December 17 to determine the order of Knesset candidates to be determined by the general elections scheduled for February 10.'

Nordlinger on the foreign-policy establishment. "An area of darkness":

Be clear about something, however (and this is me talking, not [George] Shultz): To understand someone is not necessarily to like or approve him. Understanding, in fact, may make you recoil all the more. But understanding is the best friend of anyone who wishes to be alert.

Professors of Middle East studies would be very helpful right about now. But they are, unfortunately, among the worst of the lot: among the worst in the American professoriate. A range of departments, of course, is the province of radicals and ideologues, rather than genuine scholars. But departments of Middle East studies may take the cake. Those wanting to read chapter and verse can turn to Martin Kramer’s book Ivory Towers on Sand.

Read it all at the link.

Briefly noted. Items on the ThreatsWatch daily roundup:

1. A leaked UK intelligence report is said to have identified terrorist enclaves in major British cities planning mass casualty attacks.

2. Three Bali bombers were executed in Indonesia, guilty of killing 202 in night club bombings.

3. London paper source says Usama bin Laden is planning greater attacks on US, saying that training camps across world are in a ‘positive phase’ of operational planning and training for a new wave of attacks on West.

4. New York Times publicizes secret order authorizing special forces operations against al-Qaeda terrorists around the world. Question is why NYT would do so.

5. President-Elect Obama offers double talk on EU missile shield, saying different things to different leaders and the public.

Go to ThreatsWatch for the details.

Commentary. Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps! Commandant's message:

During the summer of 1982, in the wake of a presidential directive, Marines went ashore at Beirut, Lebanon. Fifteen months later, on 23 October 1983, extremists struck the first major blow against American forces—starting this long war on terrorism. On that Sunday morning, a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden truck into the headquarters of Battalion Landing Team 1/8, destroying the building and killing 241 Marines and corpsmen.

Extremists have attacked our Nation, at home and abroad, numerous times since that fateful day in Beirut. Their aim has always been the same—to kill as many innocent Americans as possible. The attacks of 11 September 2001 changed our Nation forever, and our President has resolved that this Nation will not stand idle while murderous terrorists plan their next strike. Marines will continue to take the fight to the enemy—hitting them on their own turf, crushing them when they show themselves, and finding them where they hide.

Only a few Americans choose the dangerous, but necessary, work of fighting our Nation’s enemies. When our chapter of history is written, it will be a saga of a selfless generation of Marines who were willing to stand up and fight for our Nation; to defend those who could not defend themselves; to thrive on the hardship and sacrifice expected of an elite warrior class; to march to the sound of the guns; and to ably shoulder the legacy of those Marines who have gone before.

On our 233rd birthday, first remember those who have served and those “angels” who have fallen—our reputation was built on their sacrifices. Remember our families; they are the unsung heroes whose support and dedication allow us to answer our Nation’s call. Finally, to all Marines and Sailors, know that I am proud of you and what you do. Your successes on the battlefield have only added to our illustrious history. Lieutenant General Victor H. “Brute” Krulak said it best when he wrote, “… the United States does not need a Marine Corps … the United States wants a Marine Corps.” Your actions, in Iraq and Afghanistan and across the globe, are at the core of why America loves her Marines.

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Semper Fidelis,

James T. Conway
General, U.S. Marine Corps

And from me, a big shout out to my old unit, the 1st LAI Bn, 1st MarDiv. Happy birthday, and semper fi.