Saturday, June 18, 2005

By Other Means 3

Reuters is reporting a battalion-sized Operation Dagger following right on the heels of a similarly sized Operation Spear. Spear targeted the area of Karbila, right next to the Syrian border at the western end of the Euphrates river line. Dagger, on the other hand has hit Ramadi, which is near the eastern end of the Euphrates river belt heading for Baghdad. Both ends at once, so to speak.

QAIM, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces launched their second major offensive in western Iraq in as many days on Saturday, both designed to root out militants dug in along the Euphrates river valley. The military said around 1,000 Marines, sailors, soldiers and Iraqi troops had begun Operation Dagger north of the city of Ramadi, a rebel stronghold west of Baghdad, and that about 50 insurgents had been killed on Friday in the first operation.

Ramadi has been described as a logistical hub of the insurgency. According to the Associated Press, the current operation is of a piece with the March assault on an insurgent camp along Lake Tharthar and the discovery of huge caches in the area.

In early June, Marines sweeping the eastern part of the lake discovered an underground bunker complex in a rock quarry that had recently been used by insurgents and included air-conditioned living quarters and high tech military equipment, including night vision goggles. The military later destroyed the complex and weapons caches.

Sfgate also notes the increasing tempo.

The assault, dubbed Operation Spear, was the third large-scale attack led by U.S. Marines in volatile Anbar province in the past six weeks. The area has long been the main bastion of Iraqi Sunni Arab guerrillas and foreign fighters filtering in across the porous Syrian frontier.

That was Spear: then came Dagger. The question is: how can this be happening? According to the calculations of Fester,  a self-described "Lefty" political blog, Coalition forces are losing the casualty exchange with insurgent forces. He calculates the enemy is killing us at nearly double (1.8:1) the rate that we are killing the enemy.

Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the insurgents lost roughly 500 men to any future combat operations in the month of May while inflicing roughly 450-500 permanent direct losses on the Iraqi government forces and another 400 US soldiers are out of action due to death or serious combat injuries. Therefore the incapacitation ratio is roughly 1.8:1 in favor of the insurgents. Against US forces only, the ratio is near unity. ... 

So where do are US forces getting the the manpower to up the pace of attack? Overall US force levels are being drawn down. America has lost 18,000 men in theater to troop reductions after the Iraqi elections. According to Global Security Org, the total number of US troops in theater is expected to fall from 153,000 to 135,000. One possible answer is that America is understating the number of men in theater by excluding the Special Forces from the count.  But even if the entire 10th Special Forces group were included, it would add only about 3,000 men to the total. The increase in tempo cannot come from having more Americans.

One other possibility is that the Coalition is throwing more cannon fodder, what the Daily Kos called "fresh meat", against the insurgents. Austin Bay notes that more and more Iraqi Army units are being used in operations. Austin Bay recently attended a briefing in Baghdad and reported that "In at least nine out of ten security operations, the new Iraqi military is providing half of the forces." That would permit the US to reduce the number of troops devoted to security operations and devote them attacks against the insurgents, where the Left assures us they would be lucky to break even against Zarqawi's men.

In either case, if the calculations of Fester and the Daily Kos are correct, the increased tempo cannot be sustained. Reason: if a player keeps losing chips at the table he will run down his stake. If combat results favor the enemy it necessarily follows that the more combat, the better for the enemy. Sooner or later, according to the predictions of the Left, the Coalition must retire bankrupt from the field. The relative availability to generate forces was the theme of Richard Oppels's article on Tal Afar, a city on the Tigris line.

Nine months ago the U.S. military laid siege to this city in northwestern Iraq and proclaimed it freed from the grip of insurgents. Last month, the Americans returned in force to reclaim it once again. After the battle here in September, the military left behind fewer than 500 troops to patrol a huge region. ... "We have a finite number of troops," said Major Chris Kennedy, executive officer of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, which arrived in Tal Afar several weeks ago. "But if you pull out of an area and don't leave security forces in it, all you're going to do is leave the door open for them to come back. "This is what our lack of combat power has done to us throughout the country. In the past, the problem has been we haven't been able to leave sufficient forces in towns where we've cleared the insurgents out."

In the near term, the operational tempo (billed as "violence", "instability" or "mayhem" in the media) will almost certainly increase for the following reasons. First, Iraqi forces are now coming online and they are not the "fresh meat" the Daily Kos claims. Though they may have shortcomings, Iraqi troops are far from totally ineffective and actually represent a net increase in coalition combat power against the enemy. Second, the cumulative results of two years of intelligence infrastructure building coming into fruition in the larger size of caches being found and in the number of "tips" which precede many of the recent captures and rescues. Third, the insurgent strategy of attempting to ignite a civil war as described in the last post, will generate its own backblast. Back to Oppel's article.

Khasro Goran, the deputy provincial governor in Ninewa, which includes Tal Afar (said) "There is no life in Tal Afar," he said in an interview a week ago. "It is like Mosul a few months ago - a ghost town." There are more than 500 insurgents in Tal Afar, he said, and they project a level of fear and intimidation across the city far in excess of their numbers. Thoroughfares lined with stores have been deserted, the storefronts covered with metal roll-down gates. In northeast Tal Afar, a young mother now schools her six children at home after a flyer posted at their school warned: "If you love your children, you won't send them to school here because we will kill them." ... At least 40 members of two predominantly Shiite tribes of Turkomen, the Sada and Jolak, were killed in two car bombings in May. The perpetrators, American officers said they believed, were members of the predominantly Sunni Arab Qarabash tribe, which they say has strong ties to Syrian fighters and links to the network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Qaeda leader in Iraq.

In other words, the Coalition is actually gaining and will continue to gain in strength. This does not necessarily prove we are winning because the enemy is also reinforcing the Iraqi battlefield with every combatant he can muster. Oppel notes the influx of reinforcements from Syria:

At Rabiah, the principal northern border crossing to Syria, several hundred American soldiers arrived three weeks ago and say they have disrupted the smuggling of weapons and money. But they doubt there has been any curtailment yet in the infiltration of foreign fighters, often difficult to distinguish from legitimate travelers. "As far as foreign fighters coming in from the border control point, I can't say we've had any impact on that," said Captain Jason Whitten, the company commander whose troops oversee the Rabiah crossing.

What we are witnessing is a race between the force-generation capabilities of two sides. Materially speaking, the enemy is bound to lose. Al Qaeda is openly rushing every available fighter into Iraq. But millions of Iraqis Sunnis, Kurds and Shi'ites who have no intention of being resubjugated, fueled by the oil wealth of Iraq can be counted on to resist them, supported by the most deadly military force in the world. On the face of it the enemy cause would be lost. But in the matter of the will to win the outcome becomes more doubtful. Iraq has become the recruiting focus of a generation of Islamists and Leftists while the United States public has won itself enough temporary safety to forget the dangers of September 11. The enemy's hunger -- almost desperation for victory -- stands in symbolic contrast to the desire among many Americans to close Gitmo. The war in Iraq has bought American homeland security in the most unexpected of ways. The enemy has learned to refrain from awakening the US giant, the better to defeat him in his sleep.

109 Comments:

Blogger Peter UK said...

Much is made of the "foreign fighters" but are they not also "fresh meat"?
Unless they have special skills or training,say from Chechnya,the only purpose they serve is either as suicide bombers or cannon fodder to waste the coalitions ammunition.Does n't it also indicate that the enemy is running out of indigenous fighters.Another point is,do the Iraqis really want these foreign fighters on their soil?
Whilst the enemy is taking its toll with IEDs, carbombs and suicide bombers,it is losing heavily when ever it has to stand and fight.

6/18/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

Re - Number of Wounded

IMHO using the wounded requireing evacuation is a better measure than the more simplistic, Wounded, RTD 72 hours metric.

www.armymedicine.army.mil

Of course, the leftists like to describe anyone who needed a band-aid as "seriously maimed".

6/18/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The rate of Jihadi reinforcement into Iraq has been disappointing in comparison to that other benchmark, the Spanish Civil War. There are said to be 2,500 Saudis in Iraq: compare this to 30,000 International Brigaders who fought against Franco. And Saudi Arabia is next door. Things look bad for the insurgents across the board, because the Iraqi government can generate ten times a many soldiers in a few months. But the real uncertainty is American will. There's already a Congressional resolution calling for a timed withdrawal. The Press is referring to Guantanamo as Auswitchcz as if that were established fact. Little by little, note by note, the Mighty Wurlitzer is cranking out the Party Line.

6/18/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger jakita said...

Wretchard,

Your last sentence is chilling. If I were America's enemy, I would keep the giant asleep while I infiltrated its comfy home.

Too many Americans have forgotten 9-11. Meanwhile, they've learned little about the implacable nature of Islam. This is why I've been so pissed at the nonsensical writing in the MSM, not to mention fools like Sen. Durbin who've done their part to put the giant to sleep.

6/18/2005 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

What's hard to anticipate are the discontinuities in this fight. If the enemy can kill a hundred Americans in a single day it could change the course of the campaign dramatically. The press would wallow in the story for a month.

On the other hand, my own sense is that the enemy is falling apart and falling apart at an increasing rate. The Coalition has upped the tempo and is hitting him harder, faster and all over the place; he's not coming back as hard and his blows are not as telling, coldly speaking. The US is inflicting real material damage and can actually afford to employ the tactic of capture (see Michael Yon) out of choice. The enemy is coming back with the old tactical car bomb and increasingly targeting civilians. You could see a sudden collapse in the enemy's prospects too.

6/18/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Also worth remembering that despite the International Brigade Franco won.

6/18/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger sammy small said...

The "flypaper" theory continues to hold true in Iraq.

If the AQ leadership is not using this time to develop something bigger for the great satan, then they are truely on the rocks on all fronts.

6/18/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Al-Zarqawi's first lieutenant gave up without a fight 2 days ago, that's gotta mean SOME sort of loss of will!

Now: initiate a public examination of the role of Baha'u'llah in determining Iraq's and Iran's policies. A PUBLIC dialogue would very soon strip the mullah's and imams of power, focus Muslim's energies on becoming Baha'is, and catalyze the transformation of 'entry by troops' in both the East and the West! NO LeMay option, either.

6/18/2005 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

It appears that the increased operational tempo and the staying power (thus far) of the Americans is beginning change the minds of some Sunnis , who no doubt want to end up on the winning side.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A compromise was brokered Thursday to get the nation's minority Sunni Muslim community -- the backbone of the insurgency -- more involved with the drafting of the national constitution, Iraqi officials said.

In what was viewed as a political breakthrough, the agreement came after weeks of tough talks and just two months before a deadline for completing the new charter.




As force generation continues, there will be more Iraqi government troops to garrison reclaimed areas like Tal Afar. Establishing government controled areas, previously under the heel of the Jihadis, Sunni and otherwise, should constitute a self-regenerative process that leads to even more rapid force generation, increased intelligence etc. This should make life increasingly more difficult for the Darlings of the Left. The ones that Michael Moore called the Minutemen. You know, the ones more accurately described as the Architects of Beslan.

In northeast Tal Afar, a young mother now schools her six children at home after a flyer posted at their school warned: "If you love your children, you won't send them to school here because we will kill them." ..

Meanwhile, back at home the increasing desperation of the Left mirrors that of their beloved Jihadis. Repeat their mantra with me. No WMD, AbuGhraib, Gitmo, Downing Street Memo, Smoking Gun, Watergate... To paraphrase a poster on the previous thread, the Left is in way over their heads. They are lost in a wilderness where they ally themselves with the murderers of school children and the mutilators of women. . It would be sad, if it weren't for the fact they represent the greatest threat to the successful conclusion of the war to establish a democratic Iraq, in particular, and the war to defeat IslamoFascism in general.

6/18/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Even a sleeping giant can inflict enormous damage as it tosses fitfully, if you give it something to have nightmares about.

Responding to the statistics on the numbers of new terrorist recruits, I'm wondering if there is a sense of change among other Arabs in the Middle East, that maybe terrorists and jihadists are *not* what they want their baby boys to grow up to become. It's been a long time since I've read an editorial from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Abu Dubai lauding, for example, Palestinian martyrs, or claiming that blowing up civilians is a good thing to do if they're Americans or Jews.

We know that imam's in those countries may still be preaching their Friday sermons on "death to America", but we have *not* heard any Iranian mullah's sermonizing "death to Iraqi police".

It seems to me that the dreaded Arab Street may be slowly slowly moving away from worrying about "the Great Satan" and how to infiltrate and get money to the "insurgents", and is starting to focus instead on the issue of elections, who has them and who doesn't, and whose elections are bigger and more inclusive than the other guy's.

We, of course, are focused on Iraq and who's dying because it's our soldiers being shot at. I wonder if the rest of the Middle East is as focused on those details happening in another country, as they are increasingly inward-looking at the details that are happening (or not happening) in their own country.

6/18/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretched, didn't you make a post very similar to this one several months ago. Nothing seems to have changed though, maybe the insurgency has gotten a little more lethal. At what point will you be willing to give up the 'we will outlast them in a war of attrition'? I presume only when political opinion within the US forces a withdrawal and then you will claim "But we are winning, we are winning...just need a little more time"

6/18/2005 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard writes the sad truth: "The enemy has learned to refrain from awakening the US giant, the better to defeat him in his sleep."

In reading some of the lefty blogs, I get the impression that the posters believe that we were militarily defeated in Vietnam. I suppose they weren't alive then, or if they were alive, they weren't aware of what was happening.

In many ways, Watergate caused the defeat of our South Vietnamese allies. The 11 days of "Christmas Bombings" of Operation Linebacker II led immediately to the Paris Peace Talks, a cessation of hostilities to make the bombing stop. With Watergate, everything regarding the war became part of Nixon hatred. When the North invaded the South, our Congress decided to void our commitments of air power and supply to our former allies, and left them to die.

As W. has made clear in his last two posts, that type of scenario is the only way we are going to "lose" in Iraq.

-------------

And I'm sorry, but I can't resist. Soldier's Dad said: "Of course, the leftists like to describe anyone who needed a band-aid as "seriously maimed".

No, anyone requiring a band-aid gets a Purple Heart! And they are supremely qualified to be POTUS!

6/18/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

It is certain that the side that has to threaten to kill children is the side that is losing.Those that target civilians obviously do not have the power to confront an armed military.
A conflict can always be judged by the quality of the combatants,towards the end of WWII Germany was fielding boys and old men,they were finished.
A Qaeda is losing high ranking members,these cannot be replaced in the short term.The depredation of the lower ranks at fallujah and in the current mission makes it difficult to find those to promote.
It might look romantic puuting on a ninja suit and a keffiya and waving an AK around but it is the surest way to end up dead.
An force that cannot prevail on the battlefield will gradually lose support because no matter how many soft targets it hits it will be seen as a loser.

6/18/2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger neo-neocon said...

Your last sentence about the sleeping giant is not only masterfully chilling, it also points to a probable reason why the US has seen no major terrorist attacks since 9/11. The jihadis prodded the giant with a big stick then, and the giant woke up for a moment and swatted them back, hard. Now they are treading more softly, hoping the giant will go back his slumber.

In this endeavor, the press has a major role to play. Here is my take earlier today on this very same Reuters story, focusing on how it is being spun by the Reuters journalists.

6/18/2005 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger David Billington said...

Wretchard,

I agree that the augmentation of total coalition forces by Iraqis should rectify the inadequate number of US troops committed to postwar Iraq. But of course this will happen only if the Iraqi troops perform well.

The questions I posed over on Winds of Change have not been answered over there. I would be grateful if you could answer any of them here:

1. The recent New York Times article alleged that most Iraqis have joined the Iraqi Army for the paycheck, not for combat. Is this the whole truth in a majority of cases or only part of the truth?

2. The real measure of the Iraqi Army's potential should be morale and discipline. In those Iraqi units that have been in combat alongside Americans more than once, has performance improved in the later engagement(s) as a result of the experience?

3. Regarding the three fully operational battalions mentioned in the NYT article, (a) does anyone know if the personnel of these battalions are typical of the Iraqi Army as a whole, and (b) if so, how long did they need to go from boot camp to fully operational status?

If they are not typical, do we have any metric on "typical" battalions to indicate how long they need to go from boot camp to partially operational status? What would be a reasonable amount of time to expect them to advance to fully operational status?

It is of course important to note that Iraqi forces can be useful even if they are not fully combat ready. The increased intensity of US operations in recent weeks may be a result of fewer Americans needed in tasks that Iraqis can now perform.

But it would be useful to know if Iraqis are in fact replacing Americans and the more important question is the speed at which front-line combat can be transferred to the Iraqi Army. To say that we will need years before this can be done raises very troubling questions.

Iraqis fought bravely against Iran for eight years without lengthy mentoring beforehand. While it is true that Saddam threatened his soldiers with execution if they didn't fight, surely Iraqis don't need that sanction now.

6/18/2005 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

The Jihadists are patient, they will sustain losses for sure and perhaps that will delay them but stop them? Never. In their history of the last 1400 years they have proven to be very patient and relentless, ask Constantinople about their patience.

Does this mean I consul retreat then defeat? Nope.

But I do see some very large victories on the side of the Jihadists before we actually get serious about winning. I don't think they were that surprised by our reactions after 9/11, nor were they that impressed. Think about it, our actions were the sort of actions that might impress a Westerner but I bet that Bin Laden's crew was that scared. After all look how long we the most powerful nation on earth dithered while we went hat in hand to Pakistan trying to get overflight rights. After the worst attack ever suffered by our country on our civilian population, after an attack against our military headquarters in our capital we went hat in hand to beg overflight rights. OOoooh we are real scary. Im betting that the tack taken by Roosevelt, Patton and Halsey might have been a bit different after an attack that saw women and childrens throats being cut, people jumping to their deaths from 110 stories up and all of it broadcast on TV.

Our elite believe that being humble to the point of defensiveness regarding defending our lives and freedom is noble and that our nobility will have something to do with victory. It will have zero to do with it. Killing our enemy will win this war...nothing else.

We are in a shooting war and no the Jihadists have not given up on attacking us here in the states. They know as well as most of us do that there are a lot of people who right after 9/11 counsuled retreat from our responsibilities in the world. If they hit us again those same people will convince many more people that our strategy of attacking the Jihadists where they live has failed.

It is entirely possible that our greatest success so far has been whatever has been happening under the surface that has prevented another attack. Though a more dark outlook might just say that another attack would clear the decks and allow us to win this the way we all know it will have to be won.

Being the cheerful sort that I am if another attack occurs the first order of business will be ridding ourselves of those who consul defeat. At that point we can set ourselves to the task of utterly defeating the Jihadist philosophy by utterly crushing any hope within them that a caliphate will ever appear again.

What that will take is too scary to type.

Pierre

6/18/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger David Billington said...

Just a note:

There are obviously differences between the Iran-Iraq War and the insurgency now underway. Iraqis may need a reasonable interval to train or retrain for the kind of war they need to fight.

But we have had several hundred thousand Iraqis in various kinds of uniform for the last two years, and it is still not clear to me that we know how to bring recruits from boot camp to full combat readiness in what amount of time.

I would be grateful if you or anyone else who knows the ground situation can give an answer.

6/18/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Forklift said...

I wish the sleeping giant could feign sleep while being as watchful as only he can be; the war could be shortened. Come a little closer.

6/18/2005 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Relative to the sleeping giant, I wonder how we can ever explain to the Islamic Facists that all it takes is one phone call from the President and a couple of USAF or USN officers turning keys simultaneously and their hopes of a calipate are over for all time. It is literally that simple and effortless. The giant may sleep soundly but boy, when the right alarm clock goes off, he wakes up in a very, very bad mood.
I know of only one way to convince them - and it would be messy. And loud, too.

6/18/2005 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Ash,

You can judge things as they are. A lot has already been "won". There's a new Iraqi government, the Kurds and Shi'ites are doing OK relative to where they were before. Syria is on the ropes. Libya is KO'ed. The Taliban are gone from Afghanistan. The enemy is taking lots of losses in Iraq. There are thousands of enemy EPWs in Gitmo and elsewhere versus no American POWs. In fact, there's a Congressional resolution saying, 'mission accomplished: no withdraw'. We're losing right?

The answer, at least from the Left, is a resounding "Yes" because the borders are still guarded; because vigilance has to be maintained. Because the War goes on. Therefore we are losing.

In a sense, the Left is correct. Because what America desires, oddly enough, is a world in which there are no ID cards, security checks at airports, threats of WMD terrorist attacks etc. That is our subconcious war aim and we have not achieved our war aim. But we dream of a peace in the present and like Gastby's dream its always just out of reach. The enemy, on the other hand, does not see peace, as we know it, as an end point, except in eschatalogical terms. Peace comes when the Dar al Harb totally becomes the Dar al Islam. When the last Jew is killed and the last tree cries out "there's a Jew hiding behind me. Kill him". But until that Peace at the end of time the Jihadi will have his war, 'marching to paradise under the shade of swords', and never want for anything else.

But I'll settle for Victory in Cold War or cancer survivor terms. The ability to go on with more or less normal life, with a fear that I can just push back out of consciousness. That is achievable and it will not be the case that we will always say 'just a little longer' if that, and not the Leftist Peace that is really the silence of the gas chamber before the valves go on, is our goal.

6/18/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger gbaikie said...

This isn't a war. This is a very tough training excercise. The Jihadi don't seem to be getting anything useful from this excercise, they are mostly providing targets to be killed or captured. Their biggest "successes" seems to be when they manage to kill a lot of civilians. The killing of civilians gives them nothing, but a strengthening resolve by all Iraqi to defeat them.
Meanwhile, most of Iraqi are going about their lives, forming their govt, starting up airlines services, etc.
Bush is will be in charge of the miltary to the of '08, he isn't going stop until Iraq totally defeats these Jihadists. I'm not worried about the American will, nor will of rest of coalition soldiers.
I wonder about the general morale of Iraqi soldiers; I suspect it's quite high, but there is bound to be some problems, they need to work out and this could have some effect on morale. It's possible that the Iraqi miltary has extremely high morale. They are winning, there being trained into one of finest miltary on the planet, by the finest miltary on the planet. Could they be too happy?
And Syria could be said to be at war with Iraq. We can hope that Syrian goverment is actually doing it's best to convince the Iraq govt that the Syria govt isn't actually supporting this war. But maybe the Syria govt is isn't.
And what is going to be the general political fallout, if Arab leaders in the region were not helping the new democratic nation of Iraq. Iraq was always a powerful force in the region, as a democratic nation it's going to be much more powerful. Forget for the moment the potential of Iraq causing other countries in region to become more democratic, what about the political onslaught once the dust has settled? What are Iraqis going to say to Syrians? Such as: Why the betrayal of "Arab brotherhood"? Who were responsible for allowing to to happen?
Iraq could become quite "bossy", and loud in demanding JUSTICE, and this becomes more and more likely the longer this continues- with more and more evidence of the betrayal in the form of captured prisoners of war.
Said differently,how many decades are the Iraqi going to be whacking the other Arabs with their shoes?

6/18/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wretchard

Each member of The Left believes in some combination of the following

1. We are in conflict with criminals
2. We are justified in dealing with al Qaeda - only
3. The war was won when we took the Taliban out
4. The war was largely contrived – we do not have to fight it.

We can keep terror in a box via the UN, trade relations, a controlled use of force.

Wretchard, to a Lefty, we are failing because we are fighting. Fighting never solves anything. It is barbaric – and there are no barbarians in this world, only alternative lifestyles. We should have been big enough to take the blow as the demonstration of frustration is surely must have been.

President Clinton spent eight years communicating, trading, and applying coercive containment as the definition of the Left’s War on Terror. The GWOT was his war – and he abrogated his responsibility – but then again, was it clear we were at war. Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. had bigger fish to fry. Only now are we dealing with Islamic Terrorism. The only way we lose this conflict is by quitting… I do not see that in President Bush.

By the way, does anyone else see a similarity between the ‘insurgency’ in Iraq and the gangster violence during the American 1920s. When the gangsters collapsed, they collapsed catastrophically. The mid-management was decimated and the upper echelon was ratted out.

Go Rat Lines…

6/18/2005 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Because the War goes on. Therefore we are losing.

This attitude is the hubris that the "peace movement" accuses America of suffering. It seems they believe if only we did nothing, Peace would reign triumphant.

But I'll settle for Victory in Cold War ... terms

So right. Iraq is the new West Berlin. We are face to face with the 'other' and we can not back down. We won this way against a literally unbeatable foe in the Soviets and their ICBM force. We did not back down, and peace and freedom prevailed.

As others have pointed out, thank goodness we have another three years under a commander who isn't blowing in the breeze of polls and media.

Cue Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers:

"Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down"

6/18/2005 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

A weird didactic to the Left’s fatalism…

How do we know when we have won???

That is also an important question. Is the answer going to be we will know victory when we see it??? I can accept that – I guess.

And in that light, I am a bit more optimistic than most right now. With all the ranting and raving about Gitmo, Korans, car bombs, Media Party polls, etc. where is the seething, sub-strata emotion in the general populace. Maybe I live in a military town cocoon here in San Diego – but where is Rachael and her Pro-Islamofascist ranting. Not every conflict is Vietnam. Not every generation is the Me generation.

BTW2, USMC recruiting (contracting and shipping) is on target – which includes an additional 1200 over last year’s requirement.

BTW3, the hardest concept to enunciate to a Lefty is the fact that we are in a controlled conflict with Islamic Terror – and not merely with the state some chumps happen to be squatting in at some point in time. We are at war with states that accept terrorism, and we are at war with states that sponsor terrorism, and we are at war with the portion of a culture that promotes terror. I hope the day never comes when the gloves come off.

6/18/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Pierre, I'd differentiate between political will/self confidence and military capabilities. I don't think they were awed by the former, but certainly by the latter. Of course, the former being weak makes the other moot, unfortunately.

6/18/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

David Billington,

Can the Iraqis perform well against the enemy? Right now they performing one of the hardest jobs in the world: fighting a terrorist enemy using US rules. Counterterrorism in Northern Ireland, for example, required decades of effort by the SAS, Parachute Regiment, etc. playing British rules, which are pretty close to the American.

If you let the Iraqis fight terrorism according to local rules, no doubt matters would go differently. Saddam kept people in line with poison gas, mass flooding, ethnic cleansing, summary executions and plastic shredders going day and night. There were thousands of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, and none of them with panties on their heads. It is a period the Left, especially George Galloway, remembers with dewy-eyed nostalgia.

But that's not the game America plays, and for or ill, that's not the game the new Iraqi Army will play. By that standard they haven't done staggeringly well. But they haven't done so poorly either. If one compares the Iraqi Army's performance to the ARVN of 1969, what would be the judgment? And South Vietnam had been more or less a separate state from the North since 1954.

Room for improvement. Definitely. Time to despair? Not yet.

6/18/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

In the months after 911, there was a tremendouas amount of speculation concerning what the coming military riposte would look like. A national consensus formed around the idea that it might take 10 or even 50 years to root out the jihadis and end the reign of terror. Now, after four years of solid accomplishment including the ignored but vastly important winning of moderate Arabia's grudging trust, the American Left feels all defeated. Good God Almighty, how do you deal with such lightness of being?

6/18/2005 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Just to be clear though I'm sure there is not a single doubt about it, I am no leftist. But I have always believed that President Bush was imminently assailable from the right, just that no one was willing to try.

As far as how the war goes, I wish to be as sanguine you appear Wretchard and certainly don't want to seem alarmist but I am still left with my natural disinclination to underestimate my enemy.

I think its especially wise to remember that so far we have subdued one major terrorist sponsor but another even greater one stands on the border sending mayhem and mischief. Iran is not subdued and aside from 9/11 they were responsible for the greatest single day loss of life in a terrorist attack.

State sponsorship of terrorism is our number one issue and words won't make Iran back down. We had to take Iraq out to end that madman's use of terrorists for surrogate attacks against us. I don't see the will to take out Iran...and I don't think they are slowing down their Nuclear weapons program.

Compared to Iran, Syria is small fry as Assad is in very deep water quite over his head. I don't think anyone will say the same about the Mullahs in Iran or of their Chief Terrorist Leader Mugniyah

I mean no disrespect Wretchard as I have read and respected your opinions since the beginning but I just had to put in my 2 cents. I am deeply worried that we are not willing to go the extra mile and the best most dedicated army in the world is useless if the people who pay the bills are without the backbone to win.

Pierre Legrand

6/18/2005 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The slow grind of attrition is sometimes the only way to win a war. In our (US) Civil War the commanders leading up to US Grant were trying to win the war by hitting a home run. Unfortunately RE Lee was too good a general to let that happen. Only Grant realized the only way to bring the conflict to an end (other then surrender) was to constantly attack the enemy and grind the Army of Northern Virginia into nothingness.

In the Battle of the Wilderness (1864) the Grand Army of the Potomac fought its first battle under US Grant's command and was essentially a defeat for the Union. Instead of retreating away from the Confederate forces Grant ordered his Army to advance. This was unlike the commanders before Grant.

One of the songs sung at mass tonight had the line "the race does not alway go to the swift, nor the fight to the strong" how fitting.

We all want the quick and easy but most often it isn't that way.

6/18/2005 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Pierre,

You are right about Iran but you fail to take into account the Mad Mullahs do not have a strong a grip on Iran as Saddam had on Iraq. From what I hear Iran's population is mostly young and for the most part cheered when they heard of President Bush's re-election.

The mullahs have a history prof on their hand who is daring the Mad Mullahs to carry out the death sentence imposed upon him.

I have yet to hear reports (other than a runoff is in the works) on the election turnout.

President Bush open from the right? Possible, there is quite a bit of grumbling from Republicans that some Dems have outflanked rightwise on Immigration.

6/18/2005 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Iran is an issue, but a much more manageable one post April 2003.

Iran is physically isolated on all fronts.

Iran’s economy is stagnant and dependent on one commodity.

The one thing holding the process up is probably Iraqi oil production. Once that production gets sufficient to support the requirements of Europe and Japan than things will start to happen. At that point, UN sanctions are not even required – just cooperation from Europe and Japan. And the GWOT efforts by the coalition of the willing could coerce non-playing world powers to seek oil purchase elsewhere… How long do Chinese oil importers want to wait while their tanker(s) are searched stern to bow for terrorists and contraband.

I think the biggest concern is the future failed state of Saudi Arabia.

6/18/2005 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

marcus,

In some sense, the Civil War didn't end until the 1960s. And the First World War didn't end at all. It concluded in an Armistice, followed by a hiatus now known as the "long weekened". Then the music started again in 1939. Then it segued into the Cold War, where, 55 years after it formally turned hot, the 2 ID still stands watch in Korea.

Generally speaking, only the great religions and Marxism believe in the end of history. But the great religious teachers had the wit to set that event on a transcendent plane, while Marx and his Leftist interpreters, trapped by their insistence on materialism, have stupidly insisted that it would be an earthly event.

And so they say, four years and there's still a war on! Decades of the European Common Market and still no United Europe. A point and no point at all. But what would they do without this sickly dream that is always a nightmare in promised earnest of an unimaginably bright earthly future? They might look at the furniture with which they have surrounded themselves: Castro, Hussein, Kim -- and laugh the forbidden laugh. A former Marxist never leaves the fold in tears, but in stitches.

6/18/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy Larsen said...
"Good God Almighty, how do you deal with such lightness of being?"

Pierre Legrand said...
"...an attack that saw women and children's throats being cut, people jumping to their deaths from 110 stories up and all of it broadcast on TV. "

For ONE period of time, then all TV coverage of note stopped.
No movies, no tv specials ?

Even most of the left was on board and acting like normal humans immediately after 911. Before blaming America/Bush First came fear, caring about others, and etc.

By far the most effective single decision in putting as much emotional distance between 911 and today was the embargo of moving footage of same.

The left is indeed incredibly light, but we are all left different by the removal of all traditional aspects of remembrance.
No TV, no movies, no regular serious memorial events and services.

Odd coincidence for me:
Rush explained to a caller last week how people could so completely forget about that day less than 4 years ago.
Emphasized the importance of the video blackout.
Then I ran into a paper with some slide shows and I realized that without knowing it, I have changed in ways I was sure I would not. There is a distance and a conciousness interspersed between me and the photos that simply did not exist for a long time afterward.

The lack of pictures and etc. The lack of further attack. The amazing perspective of those living in NYC and the Northeast in general.
Following events in Iraq and the ME, and the world.
Day to day life. The constant defensiveness of and for (by me) the current administration against the relentless bombardment of the MSM/Left subversives.

So instead of a nice clear picture like the one a majority of people had of Pearl Harbor for generations after, there is the usual blurriness that one tires of, and loses track of in the absence of meaningful shared remembrances.
What could more perfectly illustrate a WMD of the left:
Rewriting history, leaving out the most significant events.
Practicing/ensuring a loss of memory by the constant CHANTING of Anti-Bush rhetoric.

6/18/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

doug,

Ordinarily forgetfulness would be a blessedness. America is a such a rich and fun place that it cannot live in the past for very long. The Japanese visit Hawaii, the Germans New York; even the French are remembered with fondness. But forgetfulness is blessedness only after victory; had forgetfulness stood between America and Hitler the very stones would have cried in shame.

Or perhaps not ... the Party Bosses in Orwell's 1984 argued that memory was a false consciousness. There is really nothing to ever remember. The past was what the Party said it was. The future will inevitably be as the Party sees it. A United Europe was always going to happen; 9/11 never transpired. Face the Telescreen. We love Big Brother.

6/18/2005 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, per your post, read this, by a fella whose hand was blown off by the Unabomber. (snip)
"To forget your own history is (literally) to forget your identity. By teaching ideology instead of facts, our schools are erasing the nation's collective memory. As a result, some "expert" can go on TV and announce (20 minutes into the fighting) that Afghanistan, Iraq or wherever "is the new Vietnam" — and young people can't tell he is talking drivel. There is an ongoing culture war between Americans who are ashamed of this nation's history and those who acknowledge with sorrow its many sins and are fiercely proud of it anyway. If you are proud of this country and don't want its identity to vanish, you must teach U.S. history to your children. They won't learn it in school. This nation's memory will go blank unless you act."

BTW, Wretchard, great language, your "not in tears, but stitches" paragraph. Incandescent.

6/18/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

What are Jihadists really fighting for? Figure it out and you'll win the war.

6/18/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

In some sense, the Civil War didn't end until the 1960s.
///////////
that's first because the northeastern republicans didn't fall out of power until the 60's. But also the decendents of notherners who won the civil war -- lost their cohesiveness as a people.

The Bush's could also be called refugees after WWII when the left New York/Connecticut for Texas.

Southerners have not lost their cohesiveness as a people.

6/18/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

There isn't very much that can be gleaned from parsing the deaths and casualties in Iraq. The experts, pundits, and talking heads, spent a great deal of time pointing out to the American public that this was a different kind of war. Our enemy is using asymetrical tactics which are political in scope and design.
Victory in Iraq requires only that our stated political objectives be met.
We destroyed a government openly hostile to the United States that was actively supporting terrorism, and are now attempting to create one that is either supportive and allied with us, or at least not openly hostile to the west.

A stable representative democracy in Iraq governed under a Constitution that has broad support is the measure of Victory.

We wont have to completely destroy the last remaining jihadist in Iraq.

We are building a machine in Iraq, and when the machine is functional we will declare Victory.

6/18/2005 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

mika. said...
What are Jihadists really fighting for? Figure it out and you'll win the war.

///////////////
a green desert.



Isaiah 41:17-19 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society



17 "The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.

19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set pines in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,


Isaiah 43:18-20 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society



18 "Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,


Isaiah 49:9-11 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society



9 to say to the captives, 'Come out,'
and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'
"They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.

10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.

11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
and my highways will be raised up.

6/18/2005 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

But nothing will happen but the dying, in the embrace of death.

6/18/2005 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

charles said... a green desert.

I don't think that's it. What I think they're really fighting for is to stop time at the 7th century. The next question is why that should be.

6/18/2005 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Because Allah blocked time?

6/18/2005 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Buddy Larsen said... Because Allah blocked time?

That's pretty much what the koran is all about, isn't?

6/18/2005 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"But no gas mask and no vaccine can protect against nuclear weapons. That is why regimes that have no compunction about using weapons of mass destruction, and that will not hesitate to give them to their terror proxies, must never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. These regimes must be brought down before they possess the power to bring us all down.

Today the terrorists have the will to destroy us but not the power. Today we have the power to destroy them. Now we must summon the will to do so
."

. Mr. Netanyahu is a former prime minister of Israel.

6/18/2005 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"For Saddam's nuclear program has changed. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country--and Iraq is a very big country. Even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of mass death.
"
---
Iran is a very big country.
But,
As Sean Penn reminds:
We should not take that
"Death to America!"
Chant,
"Too Literally."

6/18/2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

If you don't change, essentially what you've done is stop time. Since Utopias by definition are perfect, they can't and don't change. And that's why these man made Bathist, Communist, Islamist utopias look like societies frozen in time.

6/18/2005 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

While the kibbutzim lasted for several generations as utopian communities, today kibbutzim are scarcely different from the capitalist enterprises and regular towns to which the kibbutzim were originally supposed to be alternatives.
. Kibbutz

6/18/2005 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A dystopia (alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia or anti-utopia) is the antithesis of a utopian society. Dystopian societies are usually characterized by extreme governmental tyranny and an exploitation of the people.
In most dystopian works of fiction, a corrupt government creates or sustains the poor quality of life, often conditioning the masses to believe the society is proper and just, even perfect.

6/18/2005 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/18/2005 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger gbaikie said...

charles said... a green desert.

mika. said... I don't think that's it. What I think they're really fighting for is to stop time at the 7th century. The next question is why that should be.

I think charles got it right. And if they really wanted to stop time they would favor the West- technology might get us able to stop time- if nothing nothing else then in virtual reality.

But to remove it from the Bible, they want to have fun. We need more soccer in the middle east- that should be high priority.

Literally making the desert green might good idea also.
I think the kids in Iran have it right- party, then party some more, then party until the mullahs go back to their mosques [where they belong].

6/19/2005 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger David Billington said...

Wretchard,

"Can the Iraqis perform well against the enemy? Right now they performing one of the hardest jobs in the world: fighting a terrorist enemy using US rules."

Thank you for your post. I don't mean to suggest that local rules should apply. I am only asking if we have a template for moving Iraqi troops to full combat readiness using our rules. If a few battalions have made it and more are on the way, then I am only asking how long it has taken in these cases and whether the rest will move up, maybe not as fast, but at a speed we can roughly estimate. If the rest are stalled, however, we need to know why and we need to say how we are addressing the problem.

I am frankly alarmed at how quickly supporters of the war have become cynical and despairing at current poll numbers in the United States. The recent skepticism about Iraq does not mean that the American people are ready to abandon the country. The polls do show that the Bush Administration needs to bring means and ends in the country into alignment, or needs to explain in a more convincing way why the perception that they are out of alignment is untrue. In fact, the President has scheduled several speeches to address public perceptions.

The insurgents in Iraq, as you rightly point out, are small in number and may be driven below replacement level with a sufficiently high intensity of combat made possible by the growing number of Iraqis in rear echelon duties. Iraqi forces should be able eventually to replace coalition troops in front-line combat.

But I do not think morale and small-unit discipline are the same thing as meeting US standards of countering insurgents. If there are problems at this basic level that can be overcome in a measurable way, I would think it in our interest to point this out, subject of course to the need for all measurements to have some built-in flexibility. If the problem is larger (ie. internal political), then our strategy may need to be adjusted at that level.

6/19/2005 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Mika

"What are Jihadists really fighting for? Figure it out and you'll win the war."

Charles
"A green desert"

Mika
"I don't think that's it. What I think they're really fighting for is to stop time at the 7th century. The next question is why that should be.

I agree with Mika. In fact, I think stopping time is what the Left wants also. That's why they buddy up so well.

Why should that be so? My answer is "Rememberance of Things past" - trying to recreate the good days when you were young and life was certain. There are many manifestations of this need (The biblical Creation myth, Tir Na Nog in Irish mythology).

They normally sit in the background, but come to the fore in times of change. Most people are having enormous difficulty dealing with the pace of change of the 21st century. Where there is a safety valve, it can be dealth with, if painfully (eg we have to suffer the loony left).

Where there is a bottleneck (eg a Mad Mulah), you get Iran.

Change will not stop. People will inevitably change. Since God did not create man (man creates Gods in man's own image), as people change, their Gods will change.

As people get better, their Gods will get better.

From what I see in the ME, the people are changing for the better, and their old Gods are on the run.

Of course, it's still a problem as to who get's to the nuclear trigger first.

ADE

6/19/2005 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

david b.:
forgot to put this up yesterday, Capt Rozelle has good things to say about Iraqi Troops where he was.
His book is Back in Action.

. Captain Dave Rozelle . 8 min interview w/Laura Ingraham.

Back home from second tour in Iraq.
(lost foot and part of leg on first tour.)
...now preparing for Marathon!
Media coverage still far short of the mark.
Iraqi forces fighting - not covered.
Where he was (north) Iraqi Division put in the main effort in every single operation.

6/19/2005 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

ash,

Compare the cost of this war all around to the blood bath that would follow our departure.

For the left it is allways too much blood and never enough. Ours and theirs.

6/19/2005 01:33:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

I define final victory as an Islamic Reformation, and a clear separation of church and state by their religious clerics, accepted by the vast majority of their faith. The religion must also accept free dissociation without any stigma and endure insults from non-believers without threatening death and jihad.

The road to that would be long and hard, but what I think the US is doing in Iraq is to set up political, economic, and social conditions that will encourage and enhance this strain of Islam. And as the Iraqis prosper and flourish, the modified Islam will also spread as well, eventually infecting the rest of the Islamic world.

Think of it as a counter-contagion.

TWG

6/19/2005 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

marcus a.,

Grant's strategy was to pin Lee while Sherman tore up his rear.

So far we have them well pinned.

We are not doing much (at least obviously) about their remaining rear.

The Sods, Iran, Syria.

6/19/2005 02:07:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

What YEO said.

ADE

6/19/2005 02:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

USMC .
Look like blinders on goggles.
Can anyone describe all the gadgets on a modern warriors helmut?

At Least 50 Insurgents Killed in Iraq Offensives
U.S. Marines sweep rugged desert areas in Anbar Province searching for insurgents and contraband weapons. (Getty)
. At Least 50 Insurgents Killed in Iraq Offensives

6/19/2005 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The heaviest fighting was in Karabilah, a desert outpost of low-slung buildings where Marines said insurgents had taken refuge after a U.S.-led assault in early May.

Marine aircraft bombarded Karabilah on June 11 and returned to the town when intelligence showed a strong insurgent presence, said Col. Bob Chase, operations chief for the 2nd Marine Division. The current offensive, dubbed Operation Spear, began with airstrikes and light ground clashes Friday.
Marines approached Karabilah from the south and blocked off major routes leaving the city. After a firefight Saturday morning, they raided a house and found four Iraqi men blindfolded, shackled and badly bruised in a room concealed by curtains.

Marines also found photographs of Iraqi soldiers -- at least one of whom had been recently killed -- and DVDs showing a beheading and people being beaten, according to Chase.
"This appeared to be a very bad place" and it "shocked the Marines who found it," he said. "This was a significant find."
Elsewhere in the town, Marines discovered munitions and parts for roadside bombs and car bombs stockpiled at a school, Capt. Jeffrey S. Pool, a Marine spokesman said. Instructions for assembling explosives were written on a blackboard.

6/19/2005 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Fester's electricity post shows graphs with pathetic generation stats postwar.
...but no explanation whatever.
---
and this cheery view of reality:
" I don't think that the Belmont Club is a useful analyical source for anything straight tactical operations. Instead it is a cheerleader with a veneer of vocabulary inspired respectability. However I have not tested this idea out yet. If Belmont and other pro-war blogs are right on at least 50% of their predictions, I will change my opinion of them.
"

6/19/2005 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Normal, preannounced troop rotations caused the drawdown of US troops after the January elections. Overlapping rotations caused the "Surge" to the 153,000 number, just prior to that election.
FOX News is exposing the challenges known to exist now that the Jihadists are working with MS-13, the Salvadorian Drug gang that moves across our Southern Frontier with impunity. With a working relationship between these diverse groups, the US is even more at risk than ever before.
A Sleeping Giant indeed

6/19/2005 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

An article at USNews.com

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050627/27iraq_4.htm

describes Iraqi troop training.

Basicly 6 weeks basic
Marines add 2 weeks Advanced Training
Troops go on line.

Many of the rifle company's idividual Marines dislike the Iraqis. Much like the Korean KATUSA Troops I worked with in Korea. Different cultural norms make strange bed fellows. Diet differences make the Iraqis smell bad to the Marines. Ugly Americanism, a feeling of cultural superiority, permeates our troops. It always has. Line troops are not the best trainers of indigs, but it is what we have.
The original Special Forces mission, training Indigs, was overshadowed by Spec Ops long ago.

6/19/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

The Iraqi Summer is like Winter in the USA during the Indian Wars. Who ever has mobility will win.

Now that AQ is sucked into a war of attrition, it has pitted its weakness against the Coalition strength. Ralph Peters was right.

6/19/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Jihadists are working with MS-13, the Salvadorian Drug gang that moves across our Southern Frontier with impunity. With a working relationship between these diverse groups, the US is even more at risk than ever before.
"
---
So the Desert Rat confirms my idea of a post yesterday:
The best thing that could happen would be to find an Al Q Nuke being smuggled across the South.
...by illegals w/legal drivers licences and bank accounts in 6 different states.
Promoting Free Trade.

6/19/2005 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

licenses

6/19/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

LEGAL

6/19/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger David Billington said...

Doug,

Rozelle is an amazing American. There is encouraging news about Iraqi troops if one looks. And I should add that our commanders in Iraq have now instituted monthly assessments of Iraqi forces to keep close track. Here is a report from May:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/
wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/17/
AR2005051701473.html

The report notes the subjectivity of trying to assess the future time to readiness of Iraqi units. But we could at least note the timeframe in those cases where a unit has already moved from one level to the next and sustained itself at the new level. We may be noting this already, which is what I would like to know.

Maybe we need a few more months to see if hindsight like this tells us anything useful, and any conslusions will still need to be flexible. But it might begin to relate our template to a timeframe, some form of which is what Congress needs in order to address the concern over how long it will take to bring Iraqi forces up to speed.

6/19/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The best thing that could happen would be to find an Al Q Nuke being smuggled across the South.
---
Correction:
For it to go off in D.C.
...otherwise no one important will notice.

6/19/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

After the coming successful General Elections in December, it will be easy to point to Iraqi troop successes. If we wanted to, we could do so today.
That is when the MSM and the Left will declare Victory. Who will argue that the Iraqis are not capable. Not Pres. Bush and Staff.

The War on Terror will be completed with Success. Because the Long Term Goals of the WoT have never been well articulated to the General Public they will believe Victory has been achieved.
Only the "War Mongers" will argue for an endless conflict against Border Bandits.

6/19/2005 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Mr. Billington reminds me of a Star Trek fan poring over blueprints of the USS Enterprise, certain that once he has the details figured out and memorized, it will tell him something.

6/19/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

John Burns in the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/19/weekinreview/19burns.html?pagewanted=print

6/19/2005 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Read that earlier today, trish, the beat of the drums will create its own cresendo
The last paragraph, quoting the unnamed Marine officer

"I think the drawdown will occur next year, whether the Iraqi security forces are ready or not," a senior Marine officer in Washington said last week. "Look for covering phrases like 'We need to start letting the Iraqis stand on their own feet, and that isn't going to happen until we start drawing down'. "

Tells the tale.
The writing is on the Wall

6/19/2005 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

mika. said...
If you don't change, essentially what you've done is stop time. Since Utopias by definition are perfect, they can't and don't change. And that's why these man made Bathist, Communist, Islamist utopias look like societies frozen in time.
///////////////
oddly two decades ago that was my opinion of what the US civil war was about: an effort to stop time.
I thought that because of what my grandparents in central pennsylvania had in their parlor on their farm. The farm was located about 10 miles -- and --over Tuscarora mountain --from the furthest advance north of Stuart's cavalry before the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Someone on the south side of Tuscarora mountain rode over the mountain and into Mifflintown, wired the Governer of Pennslvania as to the presence of Stuart's men in Pennsylvania. The governor in turn wired Lincoln. Lincoln knew something was afoot but this was the first hard evidence.

100 years later my grandparents had a picture of abe lincoln on one side of the parlor and Jesus on the other. there was a kind of byzintine equivalence between jesus and honest abe. and the words "as he died to make men holy let us live to make men free." The confusion of the blood of union soldiers with blood of Jesus exhausted the northern christian churches in much the same way as holocaust memorials exhaust liberal Jewish churches today-- because they wind up worshipping man made things. (Which is a starvation diet.)

6/19/2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

On reflection it occurs to me that there is something else going on with this matter of stopping time.

By my grandparents house in Pennsylvania runs the old Pennslvania canal. It was installed in 1832 and connected harrisburg with pittsburg. seventeen years later in 1849 the pennsyvania railroad came was run up the juniata valley. The canals were a technology that's about 5000 years old. The railroads speeded up time by that much. There was a fast forward of 5000 years. A leap that great has not occured since. Things were moving too fast so people just wanted to stop time. An interesting way of describing the civil war. no?

But Even WWI coincided with the second great industrial revolution that accelerated time further.

So I think the idea that the moslems who missed the first and second industrial revolutions and are currently aware that they are the only civilization which is not keeping pace with the third industrial revolution....-- I think it reasonable to assume that part of that public would simply want to stop time.

6/19/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Interesting Stuff, Charles.
Moores law is a similar speedup, and enables amazing technological advancement.
Whether it has any effect whatsoever on our wisdom is another matter.

6/19/2005 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

charles said... I think the idea that the moslems who missed the first and second industrial revolutions and are currently aware that they are the only civilization which is not keeping pace with the third industrial revolution ... I think it reasonable to assume that part of that public would simply want to stop time.

Charles, since you didn't answer the second part, or second question (why that should be -- them wanting to stop time), let me offer my own thoughts on this. I think much of the problem has to do with pride. I'm not that familiar with the American civil war, but the impression is that "Southern" folk were a fiercely proud people. My theory, "Southern" folk developed this **false** pride as a defense mechanism. Deep inside they already knew they were behind the times. And I think there's a parallel here with the Muslim world, as reflected in their constant sense of humiliation at our every action. I would argue the Haj Mecca Medina are the pillars buttressing this edifice of false pride. Destroy the illusion which allows their false pride to be maintained, and I think 90% of this fight will be over.

6/19/2005 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

As usual, Nahncee is hilariously unkind.
Reminds me of a totally unrelated story from college.
Russian Econ., Professor Karcz, good looking guy w/a heavy Russian accent and a wickedly funny sense of humor.
"Mr. Billigmeir," a big tall dork with pants hiked up high over his dorky sport shirts who would stand up in class and drone out these nearly unending, incredibly boring "questions" designed to demonstrate his knowledge and deep insight.
His dad was a Sociology professor at the University.
Karcz would pace back and forth in front of the class smoking a cigarette at the end of a six inch long black holder.
After he and we became accustomed to Mr. Billigmeir's antics, he would make such a production of striding across the classroom floor and addressing Mr. Billigmeir
("YEHSSSS, Mr.Billigmeir?) that the class would roar laughing, and Mr. Billigmeir would have to wait for the snickering aftershocks to die down before resuming his droning.

6/19/2005 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Wretchard and David Billinton:
One wonders just how much the New Iraqi Army is in fact being held back by us. After what their people went through - including much of their military - and considering what they are going through right now, two opposite reactions are possible:
1. Never again!
2. My turn!
If it was me, I much fear that once released from the oversight of the U.S. forces my attitude would be
3. All of the above, or "1." because of "2."
It is not all unrealistic
to me to imagine an Iraqi representative standing up in the U.N., circa 2012 and denying that they have received nuclear weapons from the Israelis while at the same time using the strongest possible diplomatic language to warn their neighbors against military adventures.

6/19/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretched, you and so many others on the right (left/right another absurd simplification but I digress) seem to have rendered the war in Iraq into a simple little construction. It is a war against EVIL, or a war against TERRORISM. That is, false. It is a war for control of Iraq. Sure terrrorists are involved and terror tactics are used by many but to depict the war in Iraq as a simple good vs evil is to (purposely?) cast it in a light which it isn't, nor ever was.

6/19/2005 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ash,
Agreed!
Saddam was my hero.

6/19/2005 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and it was such a helpfully symbiotic relationship between him and M. Chirac, another hero of mine:
Look at the French Economy: It sure could use some of those sweet (crude) deals we snatched away.
...and Saddam would be spending the money which would benefit ALL Iraquis as it trickled down.

6/19/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Ash, please remove your brain from your ass. Most of the posters here already know that "War on Terror" is a misnomer, when in fact, it is a "War on Religious Fundamentalism, Specifically of the Islamic Faith". But such a long title wouldn't interest people; Bush needed a soundbite phrase that most people could get behind in the first place. More's the pity.

By most definitions, even that of the left, religious fundamentalism which promotes oppression and the loss of life is decidedly evil. So while not all evil consists of religious fundamentalism, religious fundamentalism is truly a subset of evil.

Therefore, to battle against religious fundamentalism is to fight against evil. In the course of fighting against that evil, lesser evils have to be commited, but Machiavelli told us that centuries ago already. And if such lesser evils consist of turning down the air-con in a prison cell to make a fundie feel cold, then I think it is entire justifable.

And the struggle to control Iraq is a key component of the overall strategic plan to win this war against religious fundmanetalism.

Where these guys come from, I have no idea...

6/19/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Finally, it's left a glut of plastic shredders on the market which means hard times for all those familys of shredder dealers.
Oh!, the inhumanity of it all!

6/19/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Yeo, are you seriously contending that it is a "Religious Fundamentalism, Specifically of the Islamic Faith" was a major problem in Iraq before the invasion? That would make you a serious historical revisionist, if you indeed maintain that fiction.

6/19/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

ash said... That would make you a serious historical revisionist

Sometimes to go from A to B, you need to go from A to D and F and G, before you can go back to C and finally B. It's not that hard to follow, honest.

6/19/2005 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I would argue the Haj Mecca Medina are the pillars buttressing this edifice of false pride. Destroy the illusion which allows their false pride to be maintained, and I think 90% of this fight will be over.
///////////////
I don't know. We dumped a lot of bombs on the Japanese in WWII but didn't kill their God King or pharoah Hirohito...Rather, after the war, we simply required that the Japnese no longer consider Hirohito a God--and also we stripped him of any political power. And imho the Japanese are far tougher than the arabs.

Whether terrorists blowing up themselves or americans blowing up moslem temples or turning the deserts green--the object is to control time.

Nor do I think that in order for the Jewish temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem it is necessary for the Moslem temples in Mecca Medina to be destroyed. I think its enough merely to promise one day to turn all the world's deserts green. They will believe just as the russians believed in star wars. And we know, given the pace of technology that these things will happen sooner or later.

"Without vision the people perish."what the moslems do not have is a vision. When we provide them with the vision of what their world will one day look like ie a green and fruitful land--the immans will become their own worst enemies.

even, so Jesus, come quickly.

6/19/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

so, Mika, you are saying it makes no logical sense, but if I would just drink the kool-aid, and get with the program, I too can join you in bliss that it is a war of good vs evil, and of course we are on the side of good?

6/19/2005 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

No Ash, what I'm saying is that you can skip going to E.

6/19/2005 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

charles said... Nor do I think that in order for the Jewish temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem it is necessary for the Moslem temples in Mecca Medina to be destroyed.

Charles, one has nothing to do with the other. Most Jews/Israelis gave up on God as part of their religion/national identity. No one cares for Temple Mount to be "rebuilt". What I and others care about, is Muslim/Christian claims to Israeli real-estate. Claims I think should be flatly denied.

6/19/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Mika,

What is Israeli real estate? '67 borders?

6/19/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Whatever we decide.

6/19/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mao said it best ash,
"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Then the Capitalist way;
Golden rule - those with the Gold make the rules

In Israels case both seem to be true, as long as her Uncle Sam is a happy camper. He certainly seems to be today, as well as for the foreseeable future.

I like the Grape kool-aid myself, real sweet, without that bitter aftertaste.

6/19/2005 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No beheadings at Gitmo, at least not reported as of yet.
The Jihadists... well the same cannot be said of them.
Reporters in Pakistan, truck drivers in Iraq, construction workers in Saudi Arabia... the list of beheadings just goes on and on and on, like the energizer bunny.
Yeah, they're evil, we're not even in the same league.
If we were evil there would be no war, just sand turned to glass

6/19/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I am little late to this tread (family stuff). I Agree with Wrethchard's basic premise that the terrorists are down to the dregs of their bench. They are weakening. Now, I would expect that at this point. But, Wretchard's last sentence is foreboding. The enemy has learned to refrain from awakening the US giant, the better to defeat him in his sleep. That's the problem.

As Pierre Legrand notes, "The Jihadists are patient, they will sustain losses for sure and perhaps that will delay them but stop them? Never. In their history of the last 1400 years they have proven to be very patient and relentless..."

[That's a good point since Bush will only be in office until 2008]

Further Pierre Legrand expands upon the theory of proxy fighter who are state sponsored.

"...Iran is not subdued and aside from 9/11 they were responsible for the greatest single day loss of life in a terrorist attack.

"State sponsorship of terrorism is our number one issue and words won't make Iran back down. We had to take Iraq out to end that madman's use of terrorists for surrogate attacks against us. I don't see the will to take out Iran...and I don't think they are slowing down their Nuclear weapons program."

I am satisfied with the way Bush has conducted this war - it's not perfect - but wars never are. What I am concerned about is sooner of later the terrorists will have to accept large scale help from a state sponsor (or possible other entities). They will essentially reload. So, shouldn't we be prepared for that scenario? I would assume the Administration has a contingency plans (and wisely doesn't reveal them). And, I would gather that they include Israel's fresh load of bunker busters and other men and material (including special ops).

As for Iraq's security forces being ready to handle the security of Iraq, there have been tremendous strides made. But, Austin Bay notes it's a mixed bag:

"June 7 SFC Villalobos and four Iraqi soldiers defeated a close-in urban ambush. Villalobos is the mortar platoon sergeant in Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3rd ACR, but he was working with a US team advising an new Iraqi Army brigade. An Iraqi Army battalion was conducting the raid with back-up provided by US troops. Villalobos described the intense action –where a US soldier died– in a careful, humble voice, but then so often that is the voice of extraordinary valor. Five insurgent fighters ambushed a US adviser in a narrow, twisting street. The resulting firefight lasted ten minutes. Part of the Iraqi platoon withdrew, but SFC Villalobos and an Iraqi Army fireteam returned fire and tried to reach the wounded US officer. Villalobos finally threw a heavy fragmentation grenade at the insurgent position, killing one and wounding three. Yes, part of this newly-minted Iraqi Army unit retreated, but part of it stood and fought. SFC Villalobos' troop commander told me that the Iraqis followed the sergeant's example– leadership by doing. Villalobos said that during the firefight the language barrier –his English, their Arabic– seemed unmanageable. He had to act. The Iraqi troops acted in concert. Villalobos is up for a major decoration..." So there is still more to do on that front.


See Austin Bay 10% down.



Here are a few of items I would like to see:

1) A clear cut policy on states who sponsor terrorism in Iraq. The Bush doctrine of "ether you are with us or against" must be enforced. We must cut-off all funding and support for terrorists or we will never win the war.

2) If it's true that the terrorist's in Iraq are in a weak position - go after them with a faster tempo and neutralize them. Don't extend the war any longer than is need.

3) Allow, Iraqi security forces to use their own techniques on terrorist instead of being bound by "rules of warfare." Of, course after Iraq is stabilized then return to norms for warfare.

4) Take Saddam off the playing field. Sure, he is on trial. But, make sure justice is swift and final. I believe he is a major rally point for Baathists thugs.

5) Neutralize the current propaganda campaign. This propaganda campaign is probably the largest since Vietnam. It must stop. There has to be a way to out flank it. Wretchard and others have done their share to neutralize - but, I suspect Governmental action is required. News organizations should not act a propaganda arms of the Islamofascists.

6/19/2005 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Charles, one has nothing to do with the other. Most Jews/Israelis gave up on God as part of their religion/national identity. No one cares for Temple Mount to be "rebuilt". What I and others care about, is Muslim/Christian claims to Israeli real-estate. Claims I think should be flatly denied.
///////////////
Mika
I feel kind of territorial in the same way about the USA. alas millions of illegals come over the border every year. The danger to the USA posed by the moslems is secondary imho to that posed by millions of illegals crossing the border annually. To make room for them the USA will have to erase even more history than has already been erased. I read wretched's story about the american killed in the phillipines and thought that the situation on the mexican border is erasing his people just as surely as the msm erased him. I don't know. For no good reason I seem to be in a mournful mood today.

btw the context in which I mentioned jesus above was not that of real estate. when jesus came the first time he was rejected by the Hebrews because they figured the messiah would come as king.
when jesus comes again now, both jews and christians say he will come in power. The only difference will be that the jews think it will be his first coming while christians believe it will be his second coming. There's something fearsome and crazy in all this. Never the less it is thought best to call upon Jesus to come quickly. I'm not sure I quite understand why. Perhaps because calling on Jesus to come quickly requires courage--which is the required initial condtion that makes everything else possible.

6/19/2005 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

charles said... I don't know. For no good reason I seem to be in a mournful mood today.

I think I know why. You're internalizing what was said on this thread regards Islam, the stoppage of time. You're slowly realizing what I realized long ago after reading The Brothers Karamazov, and what turned me off this whole business of religion, God, and the Messiah.

6/19/2005 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

I understand that my view is gloomy beyond redemption but I prefer to be surprised by the good rather than the nightmares.

President Bush has accomplished a great deal and indeed I consider him to be one of our greatest Presidents simply because of his revolutionary vision. And yes its important to know of our victories else we might despair of the road ahead but we must always understand what is left undone.

The main fault I have had with President Bush and since he is human it is no contradiction to find fault with him, is his public denial of our enemy. Islam is not the religion of peace. This has allowed our enemy to believe that while President Bush will go after the more obvious targets, the real men behind the scenes will be allowed to fester until they have the weapons they believe they need to defeat us.

We shall be surprised again I fear and this time the enemy will make sure that our losses are so vast as to give us pause that we should venture forth in this world. Remember while we may believe that everyone in this country wants to defend themselves there is a large portion of people who will lie to themselves and say if only we step away from Israel the Islamic warriors will cease their attacks...and when we back away from Israel, if only we didn't support Europe's attempts to repel the invasion, and South East Asia and on, Dar Islam is not some make believe goal.

Saudi Arabia is still funding terrorism by supporting all the schools around the world that spread the word of the Jihadist.

Pakistan is just a shout away from being a Jihadist haven.

And the myth of secular regimes is a lie easily confirmed by taking a small gander over at the king of "secular" regimes, Turkey. No such thing exists.

It is grim times we find ourselves in and save for some Prophet for Islam that finds a way for them to put down the sword we are the ones who will have to defend the west.

Oh and any illusions that Iraq was "secular" prior to the invasion should be laid aside. The definition we use for secular and the definition used in the ME are two entirely different things. Saddam was hosting the "Islamicists" for a long long time. He even alluded to the fact that he could call on them in an interview with Ambassador Glaspie. Furthermore he attempted to use them to bomb Radio Free Europe.

Pierre Legrand

6/19/2005 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Desert Rat said...
"Mao said it best ash,
"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Then the Capitalist way;
Golden rule - those with the Gold make the rules.
"
---
Sleep on that, please, 'Rat, and see if you can't come up w/a way to break it to poor Ash more gently.
I would hate for him to resort to drinking that Grape Juice WITH the bitter aftertaste.
That brings up bitter memories and nightmares of a mini Jonestown.
...all on your shoulders.
(just about anything will roll off a Rat's shoulders, I guess.)

6/20/2005 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles said,
" To make room for them the USA will have to erase even more history than has already been erased. I read wretched's story about the american killed in the phillipines and thought that the situation on the mexican border is erasing his people just as surely as the msm erased him.
I don't know.
For no good reason I seem to be in a mournful mood today.
"
Huh?
If watching our history being erased doesn't qualify as a good reason, what would?
Ok, Ok, some nukes coming across speeding up the process might be a better reason.
...in fact, they just MIGHT slow down the process.

6/20/2005 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pierre Legrand said,
"This has allowed our enemy to believe that while President Bush will go after the more obvious targets, the real men behind the scenes will be allowed to fester until they have the weapons they believe they need to defeat us.
"
---
For years the State Dept has promoted the illusion that Iran is a Democracy, dutifully instituting "reforms."
...nothing like a good rationalization/lie to justify inaction.

6/20/2005 12:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Oh and any illusions that Iraq was "secular" prior to the invasion should be laid aside."
---
Pierre,
I agree w/you that Saddam was hosting the "Islamicists" for a long long time, and that is what is relevant to the phoney argument that such connections did not exist, but the WAS and is a goodly portion of the populace that freely lived secular lives. Women with good jobs, even.
...and I marvel at how little coverage the first female POW's story (Gulf War I) gets.
She says she was treated well.
Too bad all the guys that WEREN'T treated well have been similarly ignored by the Press, the President, and etc.

6/20/2005 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"but *there* WAS and is a goodly portion of the populace"

6/20/2005 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Iraq under Saddam was as secular as the US is under Bush.
You know what some on the Left have called a Theocracy.

6/20/2005 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

The battle in America is between truth and Truth. The battle with Islam is between Truth and lies. We who know Truth, can be allied with either, but the ultimate question was already asked by old Pontius.
"what is truth?"

The hardest thing for me to know is what I don't know. That is why you listen to those who you disagree with. That is why Belmont Club is so strong. We don't simply accept, we wrestle "politely".

One major question of the past 200 years is if man is perfectible. As a good Calvinist, I know of our utter depravity. So nothing anyone does surprises me. The left that assumes a human perfectibility, is always surprised.

6/20/2005 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt says Sullivan defended Durbin!
---
Anybody here STILL want to feign that he has a brain worth paying attention to?

6/20/2005 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Pierre States thusly:
The main fault I have had with President Bush and since he is human it is no contradiction to find fault with him, is his public denial of our enemy. Islam is not the religion of peace. This has allowed our enemy to believe that while President Bush will go after the more obvious targets, the real men behind the scenes will be allowed to fester until they have the weapons they believe they need to defeat us.

Okay now I see where you are coming from in your previous statement that President Bush has a weak right flank.

Yes, I do believe as you do that the President has not come out and clearly spoken to us about the enemy. There is IMO good reason for this. Me against my brother, me & my brother against my cousin, me, my bro, and my cousin against my neighbor.... Is an Arabic saying. We really have to soft-peddle talk about the fact that we are fighting radical Islam because it isn't radical that most muslims (radical and otherwise) will hear.

I lived in the UAE for six years and taught at their national university and have an interesting story about how insults/attacks against fellow muslims are construed. It is a longish story so I direct everyone to: http://bloggerbeer.blogspot.com
to hear my story.

Perhaps active Saudi assistance is desirable but the current state of affairs is better than active opposition. That is a situation we will deal with later.

6/20/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Excellent point Marcus Aurelius. After all whether President Bush believed that Saddam was allied to Al Queda he got rid of him.

We may indeed be getting ready to deal with the Saudis and Pakistanis...that in of itself is fairly scary though required.

Pierre

PS Pardon my short answer Patron Anejo is fairly powerful and after laying a foundation and working on some plumbing I sit here with the family in bed getting pounded with a absolutely terrific margerita..cant even spell..hehe.

6/20/2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/21/2005 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pierre,
I think I got to this via Marcus,
...just so you'll know who to blame.
. ADA Definition of Torture

6/21/2005 03:52:00 AM  

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