Friday, June 24, 2005

Quagmire

Ted Kennedy and Donald Rumsfeld exchanged one liners over whether Iraq was an American win or an insurgent victory. The Australian Broadcast Corporation reports:

TED KENNEDY: Secretary Rumsfeld, as you know, we are in serious trouble in Iraq, and this war has been consistently and grossly mismanaged, and we are now in a seemingly intractable quagmire. Our troops are dying, and there really is no end in sight.

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, that is quite a statement. First, let me say that there isn't a person at this table who agrees with you that we're in a quagmire, and that there's no end in sight. The suggestion by you that people – me or others – are painting a rosy picture is false. I think that the comments you made are certainly yours to make, and I don't agree with them.

TED KENNEDY: Well, my time has just expired, but Mr Secretary, I'm talking about the misjudgements and the mistakes that have been made, the series which I've mentioned. Those are on your watch. Isn't it time for you to resign?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Senator, I have offered my resignation to the President twice, and he's decided that he would prefer that he not accept it. And that's his call.

Carl Levin and John Abizaid had exchanges of their own. From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation again.

CARL LEVIN: General Abizaid, can you give us your assessment of the strength of the insurgency. Is it less strong, more strong, about the same strength as it was six months ago?

JOHN ABIZAID: Senator, I'd say…

CARL LEVIN: Could you put the mic right in front of you?

JOHN ABIZAID: In terms of comparison from six months ago, in terms of foreign fighters, I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago. In terms of the overall strength of the insurgency, I'd say it's about the same as it was.

CARL LEVIN: So you wouldn't agree with the statement that it's 'in its last throes'?

JOHN ABIZAID: I don't know that I would make any comment about that, other than to say there's a lot of work to be done against the insurgency.

CARL LEVIN: Well, the Vice-President has said it's in its last throes. That's the statement that the Vice President. Doesn't sound to me from your testimony, or any other testimony here this morning, that it is in its last throes.

JOHN ABIZAID: I'm sure you'll forgive me from criticising the Vice-President.

CARL LEVIN: I just want an honest assessment from you as to whether you agree with a particular statement of his, it's not personal. I just want to know whether you agree with that assessment. It's not a personal attack on him, any more than if he says that something is a fact and you disagree with it, we would expect you to say you disagree with it.

JOHN ABIZAID: I gave you my opinion of where we are.

So just where are we? From that set of exchanges above, we get the following headlines. General, Cheney at odds on Iraq, Iraq insurgency still strong, general says, Iraq war an 'intractable quagmire': Ted Kennedy, 'US not losing in Iraq'. One would think then, that we are on the Eve of Destruction. The Washington Post reports:

Abizaid noted that while confidence among U.S. forces in the field "has never been higher," the political mood in Washington appears strikingly different. "I've never seen the lack of confidence greater," he said. ... Rumsfeld and the other military authorities attempted to present a picture of considerable progress in Iraq across not only military but also political and economic fronts. They said that despite a rise in enemy attacks since earlier this year, the number remains at about the same level as a year ago and at only about half of previous peaks. They said Iraqi security forces are becoming more capable, and Iraqi opinion polls showed more confidence in the forces and in the interim government. Additionally, Iraqi political authorities remain on track to draft a new constitution and elect a new national government by the end of the year, they said.

We are probably in politics as usual. Here's the money quote from the Post. "There appeared to be little support on either the Senate or House armed services committees for setting a timetable to withdraw U.S. troops." There would be lots of support for a withdrawal timetable if there were any substantial sense the US was being defeated. Then the discussion in the Senate moved on to a subject which indicated, in a backhanded way, where the Senators really thought things were going.

Arguing that something needs to be done to "change the current dynamic in Iraq," Levin suggested added pressure on Iraqi authorities to keep to their schedule for a new constitution and national elections by warning them that failure would cause the United States "to rethink our presence there."

Levin's (D-Mich.) question accidentally suggested that there was a causal relationship between an American presence and a future Iraqi constitution and national elections, which would in turn imply that without OIF there would be no constitution and no elections. Well, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

299 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

"Well, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.
"
---
If you are Carl Levin, you can think you can.
And this enables you to come off as an insulting, boorish, ass.

6/24/2005 04:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If you are despondent over aborted attempts to commit suicide by banging your head against a brick wall, just listen to ten minutes of Teddy, (mp3 file link below) then try again.
. Kennedy's QUAGMIRE .
It would be so great to be Rummy: The definition of unflappable.

6/24/2005 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Foreign fighters do not constitute an insurgency,they are armed incursions by foreigners and should be named as such.
There needs to be more done to put the facts of this before the public and cut the ground from beneath the feet of Edward "The Hero of ChappaquiddickKennedy

6/24/2005 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

If we are in an "intractable quagmire" now because we are fighting the war, what were we in during the '90's when we weren't fighting back?

It's not as if we don't know the results of the opposite strategy that we pursued then.

The height of irony is having half the Democrats calling for Karl Rove's resignation because he described them as weak in the war on terror, on the very same day another bunch of them are bleating defeatist sentiments in this hearing.

6/24/2005 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

The Boston Globe also carried a report of the same hearing. As far as I can tell from both accounts, the Senate Armed Services Committee only has members who are liberal Democrats critical of the war. Funny, I thought the Republicans were a majority in the Senate.

6/24/2005 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Karl Rove quoted their own words back to them and they're outraged! Yet they are saying basically the same thing, using the same rhetoric right now about how the prisoners in Guantanamo should be handled???

Rumsfeld and Teddy -- poles apart. Rumsfeld all that's good about our country and Teddy not.

6/24/2005 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Here's a quote on how to go to war from today's Daily Kos:

"Democrats
Believe that we should be honest with our troops about the reasons we go to war, give them everything they need to be safe, and make sure we go in with an exit plan."

No comment necessary.

6/24/2005 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Our exit plan consists of Victory.
The real question is what constitutes Victory? On this matter there is much debate. What is the REAL scope and purpose of the WoT. Where will it take US in the next 12 to 18 mpnths.
If the President does not lead the people can not follow.

6/24/2005 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Kennedy and Levin are such perfect Dickensian (or Dumaurier-esque) charicatures it is amazing.
If Rumsfeld isn't remembered with glowing admiration by future generations there is no justice in this world. His is a rare public performance. Too bad he's so old; I'd vote for him for Prez twice without even thinking about it.

Bush is addressing the country on Tuesday at 8 by the way, I hear.

So I suppose it's time to admit the postmodern fact that the media is both the fire and the shadows in Plato's cave, and that does not bode well for present or future war efforts, and a dialogue must be begun about it. There is free speech, but there is no right to be a public jackass of misinformation media personality. The deepest irony of all this is that the soulsick lefties are being devoured by corporae monsters of the most insidious spiritual variety and are utterly unequipped to "think critically" about the information they receive through em. Does it not bother them that The New York Times is owned by Arthur Salzburger, Jr. PERSONALLY, for example?

Like our friend Ash--how can anyone POSSIBLY think this is a "war for oil"? Why? Was it threatened before? Couldn't we just buy it? What the hell is that all about? Latent Leninism? How can they reduce the world to economics, and everyone they meet to a stereotype in their private morality plays? Do they seriously believe that they are not the only inquisition going? What do they produce besides commercial crap, the exquisite parasites of a culture they profoundly misunderstand--and are even profound hypocrites with respect to that misunderstanding? Are they not the most confused bastards in history?

One reason I worry is because the Democrats, having become mere panderers to the Michael-Moore sensability, the most venal and shallow of all outlooks, are going to get Annihilated in upcoming elections--even if they manage to win the Presidency in '08--and that means the Repubs will gain supermajorities, possibly, in the reasonably foreseeable future. Personally I don't want one party dominant any more than I want the federal government to have too much power, but jesus, this party is a joke and their undoing will be the one way to bring us any closer to the emergent fascism they supposedly see everywhere around them.

Things like this mke me pray for nuclear war. (Kidding, kidding...)

6/24/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Why doesn't Rumsfeld just say:

R: Ok, Senator Levin--let's say "there's nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so;" say we don't know how to run the armed forces, just for kicks. Let's say we set a date for withdrawal 9 months in the future. What do you think would happen? Or Senator Kennedy--let's just say you're right: ok, we should pull out now. You keep insisting on this over and over again. What exactly do you expect to result for that?

Because the main problem is not that no one's asking Byrd's questions of the President and Rumsfeld, but that no one's ASKING THEM what they actually think would be the result of their own apparent policy sentiments? Why does no one ask this of them? And why is their answer--that we're doing exactly what we damn well should be and have to be doing--buried in the bottom of the articles, and only their bloviating bitchery deemed worthy of headlines? Would it be less accurate to say "Armed Services Committee Agree that US is Pursuing the Right Path in Iraq"? Eh?!

Forgive me if I feel an Exorcist moment coming on.

6/24/2005 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

If Levin and Kennedy weren't so nauseating, I might be able to muster a chuckle or two at their cynical stupidity. I might speculate that a patient could be dying of an incurable disease. Assuming that a "relative health scale" existed, Dr. Cheney might assign the patient a 2 with 10 being robust health. Dr. Cheney might comment that the patient is in his last throes and will surely die in a matter of months. Worried family ask the medical team about the patient. Another doctor comments that he's about the same as he was six months ago--that is terrible.

6/24/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

"TED KENNEDY: Secretary Rumsfeld, as you know, we are in serious trouble in Iraq, and this war has been consistently and grossly mismanaged, and we are now in a seemingly intractable quagmire. Our troops are dying, and there really is no end in sight."

That in a less enlightened country would have got Kennedy shot for defeatism.
This is not a question it is a statement going far beyond politics into the realms of the subversive,it is certainly grossly irresponsible and can only undermine morale.
I always considered Kennedy to be a despicable piece of work,but this pompous,vacuous,self important fool has plumbed new depths.

6/24/2005 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Dan, you're firing on all eight cylinders this morning (not that you don't always!).

Yes, if you do enough weeding in the garden of news, you find that when a DC Dem is cornered as to "how" the Dems would exit, you will always hear a re-worded description of the administration's strategy, framed as if it were an alternate, a diametric opposition.

Fundamental dishonesty, arrived at conspiratorially, and aimed at everything from diversion (acutely, the Dems & the 90s UN), to obfuscation of that cursed pile of factual material that sits there steaming in the middle of reality.

"Don't believe Your Lyin' Eyes!" advises the great Senator Kennedy.

6/24/2005 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

NEWS FLASH!
Stung by citicism of the Gitmo facility, the DoD has announced plans to phase out use of the prison.
The detainees will be transferred one by one to Aruba, where recent research has shown that they will simply disappear without a trace.

6/24/2005 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Dan wrote:

"Like our friend Ash--how can anyone POSSIBLY think this is a "war for oil"? Why? Was it threatened before? Couldn't we just buy it?"

Sure we can just buy it, but who profits from that transaction is what is at issue. They have it, we need it, and so does China and the rest of the world. So we compete for purchasing that oil, the runup in price and the profits go to them that has the oil. What part of that equation do you have trouble with. Do you want to fill Saddam's, the Mad Mullahs, and the Saudi royality with our hard earned treasure? How can we get our share of those profits, why by having our companies work and profit from those fields. It'll be even tougher to get some of those profits if the Chinese own our oil companies, but that is (sort of) another story.

On terrorism. So many of you folks treat it as 'the enemy', as if it was some monolithic force with a command and control center that must be confronted militarily, and that it can be defeated militarily. But terrorism is not like that, it is a tactic, and the users of terror tactics are many and varied.

6/24/2005 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

terrorism ... as if it was some monolithic force with a command and control center that must be confronted militarily ...

I'm thinking that if we just nuked that monolithic black rock in Saudi Arabia, that would go a long way towards taking out both command and control of Wahhabism, which is the foundation of 99% of today's terrorism. From a confrontational military point of view.

6/24/2005 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

But terrorism is not like that, it is a tactic, and the users of terror tactics are many and varied.

Oh, I think that is very well understood here. I don't know where you got the idea that "So many of you folks treat it as 'the enemy', as if it was some monolithic force with a command and control center..." If anything, this is what us "folks" accuse others of believing. If only it were that simple.

6/24/2005 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Although Nahncee does bring up an interesting train of thought. What would the psychological implications be on Muslims, were the Kaaba to be destroyed? Presuming, of course, that no people would be harmed, but the symbol itself and all the land around it could be near-instantly transformed into glass. What message would this send to Muslims? Unlike Christ, the Kaaba is not God, or Allah. In truth the Kaaba is a relic of Arab mysticism. But the obliteration of the symbol as a move that Allah was evidently powerless to stop-- or did Allah mean for the Kaaba to be destroyed? These are questions that would need to be definitively answered before such an act could even be thought of as a viable option.

However, I'm quite sure that most Belmont readers would disagree that this is a viable option. I doubt that it would end Islamic terrorism once and for all. But it might give it some pause.

6/24/2005 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Note that if Allah means for the Kaaba to be destroyed, then America is become the instrument of Allah and the mujahideen or whatever is not. If the Kaaba is destroyed against Allah's will, what does this say about the power of Allah's will? Would this motivate or demotivate Islam as a religion with the consequent implications of jihad?

6/24/2005 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

So, Ash, who has been planning and executing the thirty-odd years of terrorist acts which finally brought forth the western military response (the military response that as a by-product will indeed eventually divert oil profits from financing jihad)?

Has it been Halliburton all along?

6/24/2005 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Fresh Air said...

Ash--

You are full of it on so many levels.

Pumping oil out of Iraq, even at the 4 billion bbls a day level once full production is restored is meaningless to the U.S. economy. The delta is something like 2 billion bbls a day from pre-war levels, of a fungible commodity--of which only a tiny fraction would ever reach our shores, and certainly not enough to matter to the oil companies or the overall economy.

Also bear in mind oil is a fungible commodity. It cannot be "directed" to one country or another. It enters the world market and a thousand thousand buyers decide how much they will pay.

You think China could buy oil for $2 less than market? Not when there are so many dilletante princes in the KSA whose Lear jets need maintaining.

6/24/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Fresh Air said...

Oops. Billion barrels a year!

6/24/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

It's been said many times here that terrorism is a tactic and a more accurate description of what we're up against is Islamofascism. And since this is a war for oil, $60 for a barrel of crude is clear evidence that we're losing. I am surprised that Senator "Chappy" didn't fling that gawd-honest fact at Mr. Rumsfeld.

6/24/2005 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Nice blog. Keep it up ...

Hi there

Apologies for posting an off topic question here.

I am invitation your views on ABORTION in order to present a case to help those in the developing world.

I personally see abortion as a NECESSARY EVIL and that unwanted pregnancy is not only a personal problem and it is also a very real problem for the society at large.

Do you think it is right to burden say a 15 years old school-going girl with a new life when she is yet to have any economic mean to sustain herself and obviously, most girls of her age are not mentally ready for a family life. Furthermore, is it fair to rob her of her career, aspiration, dream etc., in the name of preserving a life that is yet to be fully developed?

If you have an opinion, please email it to me at divinetalk@gmail.com or if you wish, you may post your comment here: Your Onion Counts!

Also, what do you think of the recent “Pharmacists Refused Contraceptive Prescriptions”.

Do you think Pharmacists have the rights to Play God?

6/24/2005 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Nathan, if it is understood, then how does it follow that taking out Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the Saudi's will stem terrorism? The invading and occupying of Iraq seems to have increased terrorism and I fail to see how striking any of these other countries will decrease terrorism. It would be counterproductive in that such a radical action would provoke more radicalism. Unless you buy the line that there is command and control and the Iranian government, or Syrian government, or Saudi government exercise that control, then taking them out would stem terrorism.

6/24/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Of course terrorism is a tactic,but it is part of a strategy,there is a reason for terrorism.Oil is irrelevant to the issue since religion is the driving force,the jihad is quite happy to destroy the oilfield to gain their ends.
I t would have been easier for AQ to take over oil production than make the disasterous 9/11 attack.

Ash is simply wrong on the subject of oil,it would have been easier to cut a deal with Saddam,turned a blind eye to his actions and collected the cut price oil vouchers,which allowed recipients to buy under world market prices.

6/24/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Michael B said...

"... causal relationship between an American presence and a future Iraqi constitution and national elections, which would in turn imply that without OIF there would be no constitution and no elections."

Indeed. Not to mention any number of other critical factors, for example, what is now missing from the scene, Saddam and sons Uday and Qusay and the destabilizing factors they represented both internally and within the region as a whole. Yet, it's been hard won, moms and dads have cause to weep, costs are real. That too. Yet additionally still, cheapening malcontents, largely Left/Dems, making political hay for political gain and out of ideological presumption, zealotry and wrong headedness.

By contrast, Belmont remains a genuine oasis, cogent, illuminating, knowledgeable, substantial, proportioned, probative.

6/24/2005 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

.The invading and occupying of Iraq seems to have increased terrorism

Worldwide? Or only in Iraq, the newest and most popular final terrorist destination?

I fail to see how striking any of these other countries will decrease terrorism.

To amend this, I would suggest spending some time at the library to read about 20th century Middle East history. Any of Wretchard's articles should guide you to appropriate subjects: the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Intifadas, the assassinations. Centuries of Arab tribalism, the hubris and failure of the Arab League, the annihilation of the multinational Arab armies by the vastly outnumbered, outgunned and underequipped Israelis in the Six Day War, the collective oath for vengeance, the failure of the Yom Kippur War, the false accusations by Nasser of British and American military collusion with the still underequipped Israelis, the betrayal of Sadat. These are all factors of a chronic Arab victimology in which all outsiders (neatly encompassed by Islam as infidels hated in the sight of God), rather than the similarly chronic incompetence of Arab leaders, are blamed for the problems of the broken Arab states. The Arab Problem is that within this tragic framework, the Arab states continually fail to better themselves; the leaders fail their people, exploit them for personal profit, becoming wealthier while their people starve, but direct the blame to the infidel nations of America and Israel; and people believe them. This is why terrorism exists. This is why overturning these regimes and spreading democracy in the Middle East is the key to eradicating Islamist terrorism.

It would be counterproductive in that such a radical action would provoke more radicalism.

It's relatively easy to demonstrate to the oppressed Arab populations of these states the benevolence of the "infidel nations." Where before they were starved, they may now be fed-- and not just by lamb and rice, but also by MacDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Where before their only news was obtained from state television or Al Jezeera, they may now have access to CNN and MSNBC (not that those are much better). Why work yourself into a frothing rage to go blow yourself up, when you can veg out in front of the television set with a bucket of the Colonel's Recipe?

Alternatively, the Arab people could follow the lead of certain African nations who have foresworn polio vaccines as an American conspiracy to sterilize African children or give them AIDS. This, gentlemen, is natural selection at work.

6/24/2005 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

If you can't get to the library, I would also suggesting spending some time with Wikipedia. It's one of my favorite resources on the web. Although far from authoritative, it does offer a wealth of (variously biased) information on nearly every conceivable topic. Due to the voluntary nature of Wikipedia it's often necessary to read as many related articles as possible in order to better construct a "full" picture. Although it will still be somewhat incomplete, it's really not half bad for the speed and convenience.

6/24/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Do note that all Wikipedia pages have an associated Talk page where factuality and objectivity of the article is discussed. In many articles covering today's controversial topics these are a more useful source of information than the articles themselves.

6/24/2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

desert rat,

Because the "Memory Hold the Door" thread is some posts down and probably dead, I'll respond to you here:

"trish, the purpose of the Armed Forces is to be directed by the CiC.
'Theirs's is not to reason why, theirs is but to do or die'"

Ah, but they do reason. While doing, while dying, they reason. I'm surprised a former soldier wouldn't know this (or would frame the issue of an unpopular series of interventions in this way) or, knowing, would grant it not the least relevance.

It's not only surprising, but disturbing and offensive.

Your son didn't elect to return to Iraq after just two months home because his "is just to do or die, not to reason why."

6/24/2005 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

It is more expensive by far to go to war over oil--why that isn't self-evident to you is amazing. Is that really the only reason you can imagine for all this? Oil money? Why are you so preoccupied with economics, Ash? So once we have all this oil, what are we going to do with it? Do you think those people will just lean back and accept it? From infidel foreigners? If we're all buying the same oil, how does it hurt us economically if China and India are buying it at increased rates too---doesn't this affect the economcy in a uniform manner overall, since economic reality is fundamentally relative? Wouldn't it be quicker and a lot less painful to merely bomb China into oblivion and encourage the jihadis to step up their crap in Kashmir and the Muslim states of India? Why would we inflict this Arab xenophobia on ourselves when it would be a lot easier to merely buy their favor, and if not their favor their oil, as we have been doing for 50 years? Finally why are you so convinced oil is such a bedrock concern here? Aren't there innumerable economic incentives and disincentives the mega-economy of the US can employ against all the oil powers combined, whose collective economies are only a small fraction of our own?

Or is this why "Oh nos! The China juggernaut will eats all us preciouses!!!" is so dear to the liberal heart these days?....

HEY! That IS why isn't it?

HA! You guys really are silly Ash. China's prosperity is a fart in the wind. Moreover you know absolutely nothing about China, I'm sure.

And by the way I suggested you look at a book about "empires" for the way the maps develop is merely because it's much easier to understand the strategic concerns that arise through normal geopolitical life while studying one entity over a long period, and empires provide this perspective most clearly.

6/24/2005 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

buddy said: Dan, you're firing on all eight cylinders this morning (not that you don't always!).

Yuck! I would hope not! Even the Baycrest geriatric crowd down in Florida avoid those hulking pieces of scrap metal. Buddy, you need to stop with those veiled insults. It's unbecoming of a Belmont. And Dan, you're better than those antiquated American clunkers.

6/24/2005 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

If your IQ is less than 80 you have to love Levin and Chappy. Otherwise you simply tune them out and attend to what's important.

You know the jihadis coming to Iraq are being fired up by the Wahabi clerics back home. Liquidate the jerks who are inciting to violence.

6/24/2005 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha. Thanks guys.

Although I wish someone would compare me to one of those super-secret engines that run on water that Ash probably has somewhere in her locker in the Masonic Hall...

6/24/2005 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Blackford Oakes said...

I learned a rather painful lesson from the Vietnam experience: it is vital to know not only what you are fighting against, but what you are fighting for. We all knew, especially after the massacres of Hue, just how despotic and vile the North Vitenamese were, but so few analysts and pundits who ardently believed in fighting the war were looking closely at the regime of South Vietnam. Alas, it was but a succesion of military dictators, unpopular and corrupt, who could not hold togther the South Vietnamese state.

My concern is similar in looking at the present state of Iraq. Far too few of my fellow conservatives have taken a close look at the dominant political party to win the election of this past January. The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) is a Shiite Islamist party (look to the name!) with an active and violent militia trained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Their junior party in government and propinquity, Da'wa, is not much more moderate. Both of these parties have accomodated the insurgent leader Moqtada al-Sadr into their electoral fold -- his representatives break bread with theirs in the National Assmebly while his arrest warrant for treason and mass murder languishes. He has American blood on his hands, and quite a bit of it.

That leaves the Kurdish parties, complete their own militia, the peshmerga, as a third party of this parlimantary troika. Recently, the leaders of these governmental parties rashly decided to sanction their ethnic militias and their activities instead of disband them (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30810FB3B5C0C7A8CDDAF0894DD404482) This has led to all manner of sectarian clashes, and even the beginings of ethnic cleansing in the city of Kirkuk ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/14/AR2005061401828.html). This is most unfortunate. I believe Karl Zinsmeister, in his premature victory call, has not adequately addressed what centripetal forces that will allow the state of Iraq to cohere. Is it truly a viable state in which a peaceful, prosperous democracy can flourish?

A porous federal system in Iraq could easily permit a destabilizing amount of terrorist activity, endogenous or indigenous, to thrive in those providences in which the lumpen-nihilists can find an allied social base (Anbar, among others). Certainly there doesn't seem to be any waning on the amount of foreign "jihadis" pouring into Iraq from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, etc. The rather elastic mertics of this conflict must account for the long term stability of the Iraqi state amidst terrible religious, tribal, and ethnic divisions as well as the long term prospect of foreign terrorism.

In his prior post, "Who's On First", Wretchard opines: "It is an observation that the new Iraqi government increasingly has a united front . . ." Could he please elucidate on this point? As a conservtive, I am quite uneasy in supporting a regime whose primary and secondary parties are immoderate Islamists who welcome all manner of radicals into their tent.

6/24/2005 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Blackford Oakes, back when you were being directed by William F. Buckley, you had a greater appreciation for the physical fact of sequence, in the unfolding of history.

6/24/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Ted Kennedy's Quagmire

Were are well into a propaganda war as Wretchard's excerpts show. The left is now in a desperate position. They are fighting their own political Vietnam. Ted Kennedy's transparent debating tricks are sinking him further into his self-made quagmire.

[The start with a false premise and go to a false conclusion trick]

TED KENNEDY: Secretary Rumsfeld, as you know, we are in serious trouble in Iraq...

[Rumsfeld does not fall for the trick]

DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, that is quite a statement. First, let me say that there isn't a person at this table who agrees with you...

[The classic "I out of time but not out of words" trick]

TED KENNEDY: Well, my time has just expired, but Mr Secretary... the misjudgements and the mistakes...

And, so it goes. Ted "My car is stuck in the river" Kennedy never misses a cheap shot at his opponent. He is quite a case study in base debating tricks. He is like an aged attack hound who can only bite his victim with soggy gums. He has been reduced to making growling sounds a wetting his victim's leg with saliva.

This is a far cry from his golden days of mentoring John Kerry on speeches before the Senate during the Vietnam war. I suspect we will see new actors follow the Vietnam/quagmire script - complete with televised antiwar protests before this is over.

6/24/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

You got it Buffy! Disappearing those "clerics", where ever they are, should have been Priority Number One from Day One of the war. If they are venerated clerics, then Gobbels was the Pope.
Let's send them to "Aruba."
I'm a little suprised that we have not covertly hosted a Wahabbist Worldwide Conference where an Unfortunate Accident could occur.

6/24/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

If you build it, they will come.

6/24/2005 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger tim maguire said...

To expand on Peter UK's point, if there are growing numbers of foreign fighters coming into Iraq, but the "insurgency" is about as strong as it was six months ago, then the domestic aspect of the "insurgency" is withering. It's becoming an invasion.

Granted, it's time to give up trying to get the MSM to call the "insurgents" by their real name (terrorists), but maybe we can get them to dissemble in a little differently. How about promoting "outsurgents"?

6/24/2005 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Blackford Oakes said...

buddy larsen stated:
"Blackford Oakes . . . . .you had a greater appreciation for the physical fact of sequence, in the unfolding of history."

Well then, Mr. Larsen, let us talk telos and direction. In what political direction will SCIRI take Iraq? Toward what pole does their ideology point? What is the eschatology they wish to immanentize? I'm unaware of your political views, dear Sir, so forgive the bluntness of the question in which to flush them out: Do you endorse the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the actions of their militia, the Badr Brigades? Is an Iranian affiliated and financed Islamist party in Iraq really worthy of the mantle of governance and more saliently, American support?

6/24/2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What's wrong with the Turbo V-8 New Mustang?

6/24/2005 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

While I agree Dan is firing on all 8, (and that he almost always is) and disagree w/mika that there is anything wrong with that, you did seem to miss one not so fine point, Dan:

"Or Senator Kennedy--let's just say you're right:"
---
It seems the answer is obvious,
Ted would say, ok:

Rummy should resign, (he asked him when he could expect it - more than once.)
and
GWB should be impeached.

6/24/2005 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mika,
I drive a four cylinder vehicle,
but really,
a Peugeout?

PLEASE !

6/24/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Christopher Hitchens states the obvious:

Conspiracy Theories
If you liked The Da Vinci Code, you'll love the Downing Street memo.


"I am now forced to wonder: Who is there who does not know that the Bush administration decided after September 2001 to change the balance of power in the region and to enforce the Iraq Liberation Act, passed unanimously by the Senate in 1998, which made it overt American policy to change the government of Iraq? This was a fairly open conspiracy, and an open secret. Given that everyone from Hans Blix to Jacques Chirac believed that Saddam was hiding weapons from inspectors, it made legal sense to advance this case under the banner of international law and to treat Saddam "as if" (and how else?) his strategy of concealment and deception were prima facie proof. The British attorney general—who has no jurisdiction in these 50 states—was worried that "regime change" alone would not be a sufficient legal basis. One appreciates his concern. But the existence of the Saddam regime was itself a defiance of all known international laws, and we had before us the consequences of previous failures to act, in Bosnia and Rwanda, where action would have been another word for "regime change."

He doesn't even mention that our "failure to act" in the 90's, in response to public declarations of war and multiple acts of war against us, led to the trillion dollar attack on 9/11.

So after sitting around, watching Al Qaeda openly mobilizing in Afghanistan for years, after 9/11 we were supposed to continue the absurd combat air patrols over Iraq while enforcing the Oil for Food disaster?

Piffle.

6/24/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Roach said...

Our strategy is wacked, focusing on procedures and not on substantive political goods like security.

http://www.affbrainwash.com/chrisroach/index.php#020003

6/24/2005 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Blackford, I think your concerns are valid--but I don't think the Vietnam mistake is being made. Not that I know for certain, but Arab society seems to be based on tribal jiggering of the kind that welcomes the rebel force into the fold once they are defeated. I agree that these centripital pressures make the political parties there inherently unstable--but that is a fundamental feature of that society, one that, I hope, our architects don't hope to defeat, but to moderate. I think that is the goal, and that it is plausible. We're essentially forging a nation here, not only out of fascist fragments but also out of the rough tribal and Islamic milieu whose principals tend to see power as a zero sum game. It may be that we will not be able to reduce the volatility to the extent that what we see will be gratifying and comprehensible. It may also be, though, that the pressures of reality, finally delivered to them through our intervention and magnified by the technological and economic freedoms which we bring and which they want for themselves, will create an over-arching framework within which the new political architecture will prove strong enough yet flexible enough to accomodate the traditional Arab roiling while establishing a certain baseline of expectations and responsabilities beyond which the parties would be less willing to transgress than they otherwise might be. If the militias are allowed to stand, I agree that that will be an irreducible problem. But if they can be incorporated into a security force, and they accept our continuing advising presence and a base in the corner of the country somewhere (anbar?), then perhaps we can cap the problem. It does not necessarily follow that they will be thereby diffused, but it seems reasonable to expect that the usual combination of blandishments and mutual benefit could keep things calm while the rest of the country slowly, steadily progresses to the point that the old ethic begins to look anachronistic and romantic, if not barbaric. The Iraq the Model guys have often referred obliquely to the "problem of the tribes" that they and apparently many others recognize as a major obstacle to a moderate liberal society. Perhaps they will win out as the substructure of society is renovated and the seeds for liberalism are sowed there. That's my hope anyway. I think those societies, due to our invasion and subsequent behavior, even including Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, have become less claustrophobic and introverted already. And they actually seem to be tolerating the terrorist campaign and stresses of occupation pretty well I think. I know I'd be a lot more pissed off.

Maybe this is all obvious but it's my best guess.

6/24/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug, that's me daddy's car. I drive a 2004 Civic, if that's any consolation. :P

6/24/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug Said: What's wrong with the Turbo V-8 New Mustang?

Anyone driving a Ford probably deserves it. :D

6/24/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

PeterUK wrote:
"Ash is simply wrong on the subject of oil,it would have been easier to cut a deal with Saddam, turned a blind eye to his actions and collected the cut price oil vouchers, which allowed recipients to buy under world market prices."

I have to disagree with you here Peter. Prior to the invasion there was no easy way nor an inclination to 'cut a deal' with Saddam for the oil. One, he wasn't too keen on dealing with the US - France and Russia were preferred, two, it was illegal under US law to do it, and 3, if we did change the laws and do bidness with him, he would be amassing power quickly - which is why we went to war in the first place; that blasted WMD issue. So, no, just buying his oil wasn't a viable option for the Bush administration.

nathan wrote:
"The invading and occupying of Iraq seems to have increased terrorism

Worldwide? Or only in Iraq, the newest and most popular final terrorist destination?"

There is an interest Terrorism Knowledge base - http://www.tkb.org/Home.jsp - which allows you to graph out the stats according to your own criteria. I did a analysis factoring out Iraq for all the years available and I got a graph which looked like:

Terror Attacks per year

This shows a clear increase in terrorism in recent years even not including Iraq.

And yes Nathan I am familiar with the dysfunctional Arab states and their propensity to claim to be victims. The US also uses its victim hood as a rationale for its actions (primarily 911). It is not at all clear to me that the remedy for the dysfunctional states in the Middle East is for the US to invade, occupy, and try to impose a democratic government. We love to go on about how democracy must be learned, earned, and fed the blood of patriots. We cannot bestow it upon them. We can help and encourage but not force feed. This is counterproductive to our goals of achieving democracy.

Dan, please don’t paint me with your Black and White brush. The lib/dems in the States offer little help toward offering solutions to our Iraq problem. I am also a big fan of free trade. I raise the China bugaboo about China and Oil because of the recent Chinese offer for UNOCAL. All forms of hand wringing are starting and it will probably put the US oil dependency and nationalist tendencies in stark relief.

You ask why I am so stuck on the economic argument. It is because the Bush administration seems particularly driven by economics (gutting environmental protections so as to not impede growth is one example) and the crusade against terrorism rings false. Invading and occupying Iraq because of terror is silly. There are plenty of sources for terrorism and Iraq was far down the list. Bush also listed WMD as the main reason, terror, freedom, liberty, were all accents on the main theme. WMD and the desire to obtain them. This power Saddam had was derived through economics, the economics of his oil wealth.

6/24/2005 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Ash,

Have you tried here:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/forumdisplay.php?s=d21648dcb179c5f5d8666258ef34bbb6&forumid=17

6/24/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ash I just disagree about virtually all your characterizations of these issues. Let's just see how much oil we start stealing. Going to war for oil would be too assinine to believe. What's your opinion of the use of proxy armies, terrorist groups, and Marxist guerilla groups going back to around the time of the conflict between Mohammad Ali and the Sultan? The fact that you leave out this massive well-known chunk of social and intellectual history and insist on a rather Leninist preoccupation with oil revenue, even in the face of 9/11 and its antecedents, strikes me as an omission which renders your comments absurd. Oil is significant, yes. This simply does not bother me. The entire modern economy runs on it. There's nothing anyone can do about that for the foreseeable future.

Secondly, it is black and white, and your positions are all identical to or in harmony with the opposition most of us on Belmont (i.e., everyone but you) refer to either explicitly or implicitly. Don't know why you have a problem with that; surely you can see it yourself.

6/24/2005 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Btw, all things considered, that 1300cc 304 model was a very peppy car from what I remember, Doug. It was also a light car and had high ground clearance. Given the road conditions at the time, and where it was driven, me thinks me dad could easily have done worse.

6/24/2005 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

But, you're right, Doug. A Peugeout?!!

(Sexy headlights, no?)

6/24/2005 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Bat One said...

Fox News quotes Carl Levin as saying,

"We must demonstrate to the Iraqis that our willingness to bear the burden...has limits," Levin said.

In this, Levin could not be more wrong. In this type of war, with this particular type of enemy, it is only when we clearly demonstrate an unwavering willingness to win... at whatever cost, using whatever means, for however long it takes... then, and only then, will we have earned the victory. The more incoherent prattle that comes from the likes of Kennedy and Levin, and Pelosi, and the rest of the left, the longer this will take and the messier it will become. A fact which is well known to all of them, of no concern whatsoever.

6/24/2005 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/24/2005 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

1300cc 304
Didn't take into account how long ago that was:
France might not even have been fomenting Israel's destruction at the time?

6/24/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ted Exits the Scene

6/24/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

The US also uses its victim hood as a rationale for its actions.

Only, it's not a falsified victimhood. Three thousand American civilians really did die that day, just as two thousand American sailors died on December 7th, 1941.

What is now established is that American and British aircraft carriers were off the shores of the enemy helping his war effort. Also, British aircraft raided, in broad daylight, positions of the Syrian and Egyptian fronts, in addition to operations by a number of American aircraft reconnoitering some of our positions. Indeed, it can be said without exaggeration that the enemy was operating with an air force three times stronger than his normal force." -Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, 9 June 1967

Unfortunately for both of us, the link you provided doesn't show the actual chart you came up with. So I went ahead and made my own (great tool-- thank you). I'll see if I can work out hosting, maybe with Wretchard's help, so we can share our charts.

We can help and encourage but not force feed.

In general I would agree. However, the new polio epidemic in Africa is a bitter example of the consequences of such laissez-faire. What if those communities who rejected the polio innoculations not only blamed the United States, but incorporated it as a rationale for killing Americans, including the Peace Corps and Red Cross volunteers trying to "force feed" humanitarianism down their throats? Furthermore, what if they could contribute directly to the perpetrations of war acts against Americans not just in Africa, but in the mainland United States itself? At that point, I believe our "force feeding" would need to take on an entirely different nature.

6/24/2005 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Ash
"have to disagree with you here Peter. Prior to the invasion there was no easy way nor an inclination to 'cut a deal' with Saddam for the oil. One, he wasn't too keen on dealing with the US - France and Russia were preferred, two, it was illegal under US law to do it, and 3,

They were all sanctions busting, the Oil for Food scam gave vouchers for oil barrelage to those who enabled or turned a blind eye to deals.
Of course they could have cut a deal,Saddam is a crook,for a nod and a wink he would have sold to anyone who gave him a free pass,especially the US.
What do you think went through Saddam's mind,"I will not deal with those nasty Yanqees",or "That the invasion cancelled then",
If I read your mentality correctly ,you probably think that the Invasion was illegal.
So a country that has expended vast amounts of treasure and split not a little blood would prefer an "illegal" war to an illegal back door deal?
...And before you get too snotty about the demon "oil" look at your computer,what is it made out of ,tree bark?

6/24/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Unless you believe in a strictly isolationist American foreign policy, in which case I can't help you.

6/24/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

In fact, what do you think we should do? I don't intend any hostility by putting you on the spot, but can you articulate an alternative foreign policy strategy favorable to American interests in the long term? If not this, what do you think we should do?

6/24/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

PeterUK,

Was the war illegal? Loads of technicalities in the arguments. Now if only we had a forum in which to adjucate such questions.

Yep, oil is used in so many things. In the US we have a strong notion of 'ownership rights' (recent Supreme court ruling casts an interesting shadow on this but I digress) Anyway, we are big on private ownership and the rights that come with it. 'They' own the oil, and with it come the attendant rights. We've got to learn to deal with it, or change our notion of ownership. The future of fresh water looms ominous on the horizon...look out Canada ;)

6/24/2005 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

nathan, are you addressing those questions to me? They are perfectly valid, and I can live with hostility if it is expressed, though I don't perceive it in your question...though it is a loaded one ;)

If it was addressed to me, are asking regarding moving forward as to opposed to what should we have done?

6/24/2005 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I don't know I agree with Ash's "we were 'victims' on 9/11" theme.

Victims? We got attacked, yes, but victims? I don't think so. We got our ass kicked--but were suckerpunched, as is the nature of terrorist attacks. Only the media wanted to wallow like teething babies in the tragedy--and thereby completely obscured the strategic significance of the tragedy with all its hired-wailer calesthenics. What's the point of uniting that with a long, generally imprecise liberal discourse about victims? I don't see it. We took it, and now we're giving back 100 fold. The only thing left to them to do is escalate, and Allah help them if that should happen.

Once seen in its strategic implications, 9/11 isn't some sort of "excuse" for anything. It's this kind of reductive psychologizing and other bad intellectual habits that blind the left and those who refuse to see the logic of the current conflict.

6/24/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/24/2005 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Ash Yes you always digress when you don't have an answer.
Seems to have jumped out of the quagmire and into the Kelo.
Don't you think it is just appaling the way those Democrat judges pushed this alteration of the Constitution? I do.

6/24/2005 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Once seen in its strategic implications, 9/11 isn't some sort of "excuse" for anything.

Thank you... that needed to be said.

Ash:

If it was addressed to me, are asking regarding moving forward as to opposed to what should we have done?

Yes, they were addressed to you. I think the forward strategy would probably be most interesting for all of us here at Belmont-- like or dislike, we can't change the past.

6/24/2005 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Once seen in its strategic implications, 9/11 isn't some sort of "excuse" for anything.

Exactly. The premise of this line of thinking is that America doesn't have the right/excuse to do anything, except for specific rights granted to address the specific individuals who caused the damage on 9/11.

Also, for this line of thinking to work, you must slice history into discrete particles, as unrelated as all the blood drops in OJ's truck.

For example, the fact that we have been continuously at war in Iraq, in active combat since 1991, has to be completely forgotten. Ditto the fact that Saddam admitted to making and possessing many tons of WMD's during the sacred inspections regime, and never accounted for their disposition. Forget about that.

Ouch, this hurts to try to think this way.

If we go to war for oil, why didn't we just take over Saudi? We already had military bases, and the infrastructure of the country is fine and dandy. We wrote the owner's manuals to all their defensive systems, so we could have handled the military aspect neatly. If we were so insane to go to war for oil, why the heck did we go for busted up, run down, Number 2? And now that we're there, what the heck are we wasting time in the cities for? They got no oil wells in the city!

Ahh, I'm getting giddy trying to think like a liberal.

6/24/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Fsst. Who needs their fresh water. It's that trillion-barrel tar pit in Alberta that we should be bothered about. Down with Martin, that Commie bastard! Let's see those Red Mounties deal with that.

6/24/2005 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I'd love to have one a these--who wouldn't? the great Deux Cheveux! One thousand miles to the gallon at a nice safe three miles per hour. If I was 10 years younger I'd start building them in the garage.

6/24/2005 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The coolest feature was that the (wicker?) seats came out to use for picnics.
Think the doors came off too, to give a jeeplike effect.
13 hp ?

6/24/2005 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Mezzrow said...

"Secretary Rumsfeld, as you know, we are in serious trouble in Iraq, and this war has been consistently and grossly mismanaged, and we are now in a seemingly intractable quagmire. Our troops are dying, and there really is no end in sight."

It's really better with the visual. Just imagine... this time next year, we will get to see the senior Senator from Massachusetts jowling his way through this abject spew of defeatism 100 times if we get to see it once. Can you imagine that Rove will miss an opportunity to show this more often than Buckwheat's death?? Fade the sound in through the first five words and just run the whole thing, looking him right in the face. Run the sound again over the images of hopeful Iraqi children being helped by our personnel in Iraq. Run it once more over the footage of Durbin cutting loose with the waterworks in the well of the Senate. Run it once more over the flag flapping in the wind fullscreen. This is too easy. I'm still a registered Democrat, but no way can I vote that way these days. It truly is the stupid party. You have to get 40 to filibuster - what'll they do after 2006?

Somebody else make the case for them being the evil party - it's not hard...

6/24/2005 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Dan, please don’t paint me with your Black and White brush. The lib/dems in the States offer little help toward offering solutions to our Iraq problem. I am also a big fan of free trade. I raise the China bugaboo about China and Oil because of the recent Chinese offer for UNOCAL. All forms of hand wringing are starting and it will probably put the US oil dependency and nationalist tendencies in stark relief."

This is one of my favorites, so I must ask you: "nationalist"? As opposed to what?

And is there any society that isn't "dependent" upon oil?

6/24/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Buddy,
The were also designed to be air dropped with French paratroopers,a freind had one,they don't stand up to being hit by a truck.

6/24/2005 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Doug's dream car:
. Morris .
. Convertible

6/24/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

mezzrow--evil is as evil does?

Doug, no typo, I was Kidding--it'd do 60 I think IIRC. Plus, no parking problems, when you get where you're going you just fold it and put it in your pocket.

6/24/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Limbaugh,

When I read Saletan's line about Teddy stumping for Kerry, I wished I'd written it myself.

"It's strange that a man who charged into enemy fire should prove so physically inferior, as a politician, to a man whose greatest athletic feat during the Vietnam era was swimming ashore at Chappaquiddick."

6/24/2005 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Doug,Check out the Morris Traveller.

6/24/2005 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

May I use Buddy Larsens excellent term,what Kennedy was doing was making "psychologically corrosive assertions"
The steady drip of acid on the resolve of the West.
Does anyone know what percentage of waverers this kind of campaign affects?

6/24/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Babysitting today for a bit.

Brought the little tyke over to the computer to look at the news and whatnot.

When I ran the Kennedy clip, he said, and I quote,

"What a fat booger."

Out of the mouths of babes...

6/24/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I find the focus on oil by some people to be curious, at best and rather disingenuous at least. While I think we need to address issues such as access to oil and the use of alternative technologies, I think the driving factor is not the proper direction of technology, nor economics, or even environmental concerns. Would 9/11/01 have happened if we had no need of the oil in the Middle East? I think the answer certainly is "yes." While the terrorists might - and only might - have had access to less monetary resources, the hatred and cultural conflict that drove the terrorist attacks still would have been there. Indeed, if the people there were worse off, the hatred might have well been even more intense. I think that this emphasis on oil as a reason for our interest in the middle east and the suggestions regarding getting away from are driven by certain people's own recognition that they themselves don't "do" real international relations very well and are all but totally incompetent in matters of national defense. They have decided that if we could just avoid needing the oil, then the problem would go away, and thus they once would be capable of assuming some leadership roles. That is simply absurd. The problem is there and is a result of incompatible attitudes between us of other regarding key issues of human freedom, in all its forms. Would Hitler have been less of a threat of the Third Reich had all the oil and other resources it needed? Hardly! It surely would have been a worse threat. If we figured out how to make oil out of pine straw and dry leaves tomorrow the problem of the Islamic fascist would still be there, and might well be worse. So the strategy of “replace the oil with something else and let them rot in their own hell holes” is perhaps not the same as appeasement – but would have the same ultimately disastrous effect.

6/24/2005 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Blackford Oakes said...

Dan wrote:
"It may also be, though, that the pressures of reality, finally delivered to them through our intervention and magnified by the technological and economic freedoms which we bring and which they want for themselves, will create an over-arching framework within which the new political architecture will prove strong enough yet flexible enough to accomodate the traditional Arab roiling while establishing a certain baseline of expectations and responsabilities beyond which the parties would be less willing to transgress than they otherwise might be."

The architectonic you've just described is a massive liberal project of international and American government intervention to politically and socially engineer a new society and state in Iraq. Let me, for a moment, bracket my conservative philosophical objections to such a titanic enterprise and assume that this grandiose plan is both desirable and somewhat practical, the minimum required to actually countenance it. The question then would be, of what materials would it be built, upon what foundation? A liberal, federal, secular society would require liberal, secular federalists and such creatures, though they do exist in Iraq, did not win even a pittance in the last election. Shiite dominated Islamist parties did. (I watched with interest the campaign of such groups as Iraq the Model, and I fear they got but a nugatory fraction of the electorate.)

Secondly, even if the United States had more suitable material, in the socio-political sense, what leverage would it have? Dan opines: " If the militias are allowed to stand, I agree that that will be an irreducible problem. But if they can be incorporated into a security force, and they accept our continuing advising presence and a base in the corner of the country somewhere (anbar?), then perhaps we can cap the problem."

We? We, my good Sir? "We" strongly objected, via our Sec. of State, Ms. Condoleeza Rice, to the maintenance of the Badr Brigades and the Kurdish peshmerga and in response the Iraqi government gave them carte blanche. One does not build a diverse, federal state in Iraq while tolerating the ethnic cleansing of Kirkuk, which is what the peshmerga are engaged in right now. What leverage did "we" have on this most vital of security issues? Your schema posits much more bureaucratic pull within the "sovereign" nation of Iraq than "we" currently possess.

Lastly, I restate my original jeremiad as to the theocratic gestalt of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Iran has quite clearly financed and influenced both SCIRI and Da'wa and the thug Moqtada al Sadr is free and dealing with representatives of both parties. I've been impressed with the patriotism and principled conviction this web-log has demonstrated in remembering the heroism of Colonel Rowe. Moqtada al Sadr has killed far more than a single American, and the present government of Iraq shelters, succors and dialogues with him as one of their own. I am not heartened, neither by the fact nor the lack of response among conseratives who should be expressing their outrage more boldly. Wretchard exhibits a strong grasp of military strategies and I am thankful for his analysis, but my question and concern is not for what we seek to destroy in Iraq, but what we are actually constructing.

6/24/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT
THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORTCairo and Tabor Tune in this weekend for a discussion of Condoleezza Rice's Egypt speech and the new taxpayer-rights movement. Friday, June 24, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
Condoleezza Rice tells Egypt and Saudi Arabia that the U.S. now prizes democracy more than stability; plus a special briefing on the taxpayer bill of rights movement brewing in the states.
The program is presented by Thirteen/WNET New York. The more than 300 public TV stations around the country set their program schedules individually, so to find out the day and time when "The Journal Editorial Report" will air near you, please check your local PBS listings or consult the PBS Web site.
. opinionjournal

6/24/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sacre Bleu!
Mitterand's secret, which is he didn't like wine.
He never drank spirits and almost never drank wine.
At the state banquets where he held forth, he constantly had his glass filled with -- gasp -- Coca-Cola. So American cultural imperialism is at work, even in France, even under Mitterand."

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/journaleditorialreport/061705/tony.html

6/24/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gregory Scoblet replies to,Who's On First?

6/24/2005 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I'd love to have one a these--who wouldn't?

They have what we call "beach chairs" for seats, strapped down to a floor the thickness of a good tin can.

Their name is a joke on "two horsepower."

6/24/2005 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

blackford oakes,

If, in ten years, we have a division of troops in al-Anbar at a huge air base with a second divisions equipment in ready-to-use shape, does it matter who is "running" Iraq? If we negotiate solid basing rights with the next government I will call the adventure a success. Keeping a division one weeks motormarch from Riyadh, Teheran and Damscus with US air able to reach those capitals in under an hour leaves me content.

I hope for democracy to take root and flourish in Iraq but I do not consider the success of democracy as a strategic end.

6/24/2005 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I, too, reject the "victimhood" Ash is trying to lay on the US as a result of 9/11. To highlight how very much this concept does NOT fit the situation, try this on for size: Every once in a while, you'll read some Arab pontificator writing about the "humiliation" of America and or Bush as a result of 9/11.

"Humiliation" is a uniquely Arab/Muslim concept, so ingrained in them that they can't imagine anyone else not being "humiliated" by 3,000 dead, too. While Americans (and perhaps Mr. Bush) were enraged, outraged, angry, vindictive and a whole bunch of other emotions, I can say without any fear of contradiction whatsoever that "humiliation" was not and has not been an emotion ANY American has felt as a result of our being bushwacked in that September morning.

The humiliation would have been if we had *not* done something about it afterwards. And since we have taken out two countries to make up for our two buildings, I'm pretty sure that means neither America as an entity nor its individual citizens are feeling victimized.

6/24/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Spag-oz said...

Re Doug's Dream Car

Back in the 60's two friends of mine owned a 2-door version. Replaced the front fenders from a later model & lo & behold 4 headlights (the originals lacked candle power). IIRC flat strapped it wouldn't budge past 51mph speedo reading (even without the additional female company).

6/24/2005 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Blackford Oakes said...

rick ballard queries:

"If, in ten years, we have a division of troops in al-Anbar at a huge air base with a second divisions equipment in ready-to-use shape, does it matter who is "running" Iraq?"

I would sumbit that the second part of your question determines the first. It will depend on the nature and ideology of the regime as to whether they permit American bases on their sovereign soil. If the first and second place parties in the Iraqi parliament, both Shiite Islamist (SCIRI and Da'wa), continue to consolidate their electoral victories and hold on power then I would posit that after crushing the Sunni backed insurgency we would not be welcome. Both parties have deep ties to Iran, an alliance that should make them leery of being the depature point for what they percieve as America's "Imperial" might. Recall that the newly victorious Justice and Freedom Party in Turkey prevented a much needed Northern front into Iraq just prior to the start of the war. Democracy, especially Islamic democracy, does not necessarily make a country pro-American.

I see by your response, Mr. Ballard, that you, like myself, are not a neoconservative. I too am deeply suspicious and oft dismayed by the Wilsonian fever that has gripped the White House. As you well know, our President has declared that democracy is indeed our strategic end in Iraq -- a metric so broad as to be interminable. I can not support a democratizing movement that further empowers Shiite theocrats and their Iranian trained militia. There should be criteria to meet for American support and they have not, the primary demand being the remission of Moqtada al Sadr who is responsible for the death of dozens of our soldiers.

The neoconservtive movement argues rather vaguely that the spread of democracy throughout the Middle Easy is now in our national security interest. Curious, for it is a rather falsifiable proposition: what if when it isn't? What should America's foreign policy stance be if Hamas wins a plurality of seats within the Palestinian Authority? What of Hezbollah's growing representation in the Lebanese political structure? Is anyone seriously promoting democracy in Pakistan? (Certainly not within the executive branch, which seems an odd flare of cool realpolitik in the face of a fever.) In the same vein, liberals may not care for it, and it does gall the individual conscience, but the military facilities we've established in Uzbekistan do provide a crucial part of our defenses in the region. I fear, Mr. Ballard, that too many of our fellow "conservatives" have forgotten or not yet encountered the wisdom of Edmund Burke.

6/24/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"...which seems an odd flare of cool realpolitik in the face of a fever."
---
Pretty important to be cool when a wild bunch of Paks would control nuke tipped missiles if things were allowed to get hot.

6/24/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

nathan, to address your question as to what I would do moving forward:

To paraphrase an old saw from memory "Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done" As the sole superpower and the occupier of Iraq with our intentions stated as "we shall act in our own interest" then it is impossible for justice to be seen to be done. Whether justice is done or not is moot. The appearance of our conflicts of interest doom us to forever being labeled as injust arbiters.

As we in the US chose to rise above being simply individuals and then a bunch of separate states we realized that we needed a federal power to mediate competing interests. We need to move in this direction for the world. I am not speaking about something as far reaching as a single world government but we do need a means of mediating competing Sovereign States interests in the world short of the State with the most weapons (either economic or military) dictating outcomes. The ICC is a good place to start. Reforming the UN is also a good place to go.

As far as Iraq goes, if oil is indeed not the mitigating factor, what the hell are we doing still there? At one point the UN offered to take over, the US said no. We need to get the American face off of the administration of Iraq, both militarily and politically. The big fear is if we leave the Baathists will seize power. Maybe, maybe not. If we can get others in, and us out great. If we can't, well, let the chips fall where they may. We goofed up big though, and we should take responsibilty for that.

The Bush administration has got us into the untenable position of propping up a dysfunctional sectarian riven government in Iraq meanwhile expending much blood and treasure for no tangible gain. Mr. Blackford Oakes has expressed this much better then I ever could. We need to extract ourselves from this untenable position.

As far as victimhood goes, simply reflect on what you are saying every time you role out 911 as justification for 'x'.

6/24/2005 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Blackford Oakes,

A tight basing agreement is nigh on unbreakable so the second part of my statement is non dependent on the type of government in place. I expect to see some binding long term defense agreements prior to the end of Bush's term.

Quite frankly, I don't expect the IA to be given the armor and artillery assets needed to be an offensive force for at least ten years. The Iraqi leadership would be crazy to give an American trained army the tools necessary to overthrow the boys in Baghdad.

I don't see the relationship with Iran getting any tighter either. I understand the links but I can't see the Kurds agreeing with the SCIIRI fellows. What happens if the Kurds run a pipeline out through Turkey?

6/24/2005 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Spag-oz said...
...IIRC flat strapped it wouldn't budge past 51mph speedo reading.
---
Yeah, but the powerhouse twin carbed 948cc Sprite engine slipped right in for firebreathing racing performance,
...at 37mpg.

6/24/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Nice blog. Keep it up ...

Hi there

Apologies for posting an off topic question here.

I am invitation your views on ABORTION in order to present a case to help those in the developing world.

I personally see abortion as a NECESSARY EVIL and that unwanted pregnancy is not only a personal problem and it is also a very real problem for the society at large.

Do you think it is right to burden say a 15 years old school-going girl with a new life when she is yet to have any economic mean to sustain herself and obviously, most girls of her age are not mentally ready for a family life. Furthermore, is it fair to rob her of her career, aspiration, dream etc., in the name of preserving a life that is yet to be fully developed?

If you have an opinion, please email it to me at divinetalk@gmail.com or if you wish, you may post your comment here: Your Onion Counts!

Also, what do you think of the recent “Pharmacists Refused Contraceptive Prescriptions”.

Do you think Pharmacists have the rights to Play God?

6/24/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Ash,

I bet attacks by the Confederate States of America were on the rise during the Civil War. I bet attacks by the Empire of Japan and Germany rose during WWII as well.

6/24/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Ash,

Are you serious about the UN taking over? Huh! Seems to me in the Balkans when UN "protected" camps were approached by bad guys the blue helmets ran for the hills and innocents were slaughtered!

Peace is to be found in the grave too.

6/24/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Nahancee,

Your point on humiliation is well taken. A fellow colleague at the UAE Univesity was in Cairo when the Iran hostage crisis was going down. He said there was tons of disdain being heaped on America for not responding appropriately. He said the Arabs he hung with could not understand why Carter just sat there with that dumb grin on his face.

6/24/2005 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Blackford Oakes said...

rick ballard asserted:


"A tight basing agreement is nigh on unbreakable so the second part of my statement is non dependent on the type of government in place."

Subic Bay. It was a lovely facility and tremendous boon to the Phillipine economy, which did not mollify the nationalist itch to scratch it out.

"What happens if the Kurds run a pipeline out through Turkey?"

Possible. A long history of active antipathy between the Turks and the Kurds would have to be overcome first.

6/24/2005 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/24/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

I just have to say that Teddy and Levin make excellent strawmen to bash, but criticism goes well beyond those stalwarts of the anti-America faction. If you look at what has been said going back over the last 2 years by Rumsfeld, Cheney, and various neocons - their pronouncements have been far too optimistic, their analysis profoundly flawed, from a "few dead enders, to "months left to gather up the remnants" after Saddam's capture to 5-6 pollyannish announcements by Cheney that the insurgency is beaten or in it's "final throes".

They don't have a lot of credibility with this Centrist Republican. I wish they did, but I think there is a growing feeling in the American Public, not the loony Left - that Team Bush has been shovelling the bullshit heavy and hard since back when the buildup to Iraq started.

RWE writes: Would 9/11/01 have happened if we had no need of the oil in the Middle East? I think the answer certainly is "yes." While the terrorists might - and only might - have had access to less monetary resources, the hatred and cultural conflict that drove the terrorist attacks still would have been there. Indeed, if the people there were worse off, the hatred might have well been even more intense.

No, RWE, you only have to look at the 1996 and 1998 Fatwas by bin Laden and other radical Islamists declaring war on the Zionist Crusaders. The Gulf War, the maintenance of corrupt regimes, the stationing of infidel armies on the soil of the Two Sacred Mosques (KSA) was all oil related. Our being ensnared there with Israel and our past misteps with Iran also partially stem from oil politics. Our "special relationship" with Israel and it's Zionist Settlements, has definitely caused America to be a target of other terrorist attacks other than 9/11.

It is hard to get Americans to believe that only 35 years ago Americans were generally welcome in most Muslim lands and well-liked by the people. There was the cultural conflict, but no hatred or terrorism directed against America. The tide began to turn with Nixons oil guarantee, blocking Soviet forces from Egypt, and emergency weapons resupply to bail out reeling Israel in 1973. It got much worse with the 1979 Iran Revolution...but even then it was still safe for Americans to do business and walk the streets of most Muslim countries. But things just kept getting worse as radical Islam arose and no grievances were addressed.

If we had no need for oil we would have only been concerned with Iranian rugs, caviar, and pistachios. We would have treated Israel as another semi-democracy. We would have given as serious a consideration to "rescuing: Kuwait and garrisoning them and Saudi Arabia as we did to doing the same in Rwanda, Darfur, and East Timor. Without oil, the urgency of invading Iraq would have been about as high as invading Haiti.

6/24/2005 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

La Bona said...
Hi there
Apologies for posting an off topic question here...

---
You said that when you made the identical off topic post before in this thread.

6/24/2005 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"One does not build a diverse, federal state in Iraq while tolerating the ethnic cleansing of Kirkuk, which is what the peshmerga are engaged in right now."

Well this brings up important points. First, I doubt you're correct about the Kurdish activity in Kirkuk constituting "ethnic cleansing;" I accept that thyey're trying to muscle their way into local dominance, a la the tribal prerogative, but I don't think it's equivalent to, say, the Arabization campaign Saddam employed in Kirkuk and the Kurdish rule during his reign. "We"--the Coalition forces, policy makers, our friends in the interim Iraq gov't and beyond--will have to tolerate some amount of social adjustment; populations cannot be denied some measure of vengeance for really terrible crimes. This does not mean, however, that in this extended version of the "unforgiving minute" following actual hostilities that a balance can't be managed. That's why the fact the a Kurd is President now is significant: of all groups in Iraq, the Kurds deserve the most reassurance. Presumably the Arabs--Shia--in the midst of accomodating to ruling the country (unfortunately too slowly) understand that successful brokerage of compromises will depend on them acknowledging some uncomfortable truths along the way. I doubt they take it sitting down, but I also doubt, so far, that they've in any significant or sufficient numbers decided that that Kurdish activity in Kirkuk is worth a full-scale civil war. And we are undoubtedly riding the cusp, but we should be gratified and encouraged by the fact that the Shia have borne the brunt of enough provocation by now that they could have massively retaliated already at this point and haven't. Of course there's no uarantee everything won't suddenly go to hell, but that it hasn't yet suggests that they're tougher than we may give them credit for.

I think that answers pretty much your concerns. If it comes to civil war we'll have to withdrawal to the barrens until things seem to be decided and then rengage and assert ourselves over the whole again. Messy and potentially nasty--and I don't think it will happen even with the recent headlines, and also what do I know--but we have to be more willing to be assertive, militarily, and that would be a straightforward way of teaching the architects that. Like for example why was Moqtada al-Sadr allowed to live in the first months after the war? I would've ordered his immediate execution. Just look what trouble he caused, and for nothing except retarding a process that would have proceeded smooth as silk had it not been for his actions.

6/24/2005 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Like for example why was Moqtada al-Sadr allowed to live in the first months after the war? "
Pure Foolishness?

6/24/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This Pollyanna army
Bush will not admit that his troops are too exhausted to sustain his vengeful global missions.
Sidney Blumenthal Thursday January 27, 2005 The Guardian
Sidney Blumethal is former senior adviser to President Clinton and author of The Clinton Wars
sidney_blumenthal @yahoo.com
. Hillary Blumenthal

6/24/2005 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I wonder just exactly how Ash proposes to reform the UN so that it would function well enough to be allowed to judge US actions, and tell us when and how we're allowed to go to war. Not to mention that you just *know* the very first thing such a neo-UN would want to do is to "redistribute the wealth",and I'm damned if I'm going to contribute to any additional French vaction-time.

Would it mean that the Palestinian delegate could veto our aid to Israel or the Africans vote that they receive all their AIDS medications for free from now on or the Chinese could demand that we share our technology and save them the trouble of having to steal it? The UN simply is not gonna fly the way it is currently set up, with hundreds of itty-bitty countries for sale to the highest bidder or the biggest bully.

Second Topic: I really really wish folks would come up with a new boogey-man besides, "what if the Arabs elect Hamas and/or Hizbollah if we give them democracy?" So what? What if they do? We've survived Mao, Stalin, Lenin, and Pol Pot, and I doubt very very much that a bunch of pointy-headed jihadists will be able to outdo those dudes when it comes to unsurvivability or being a nuisance.

But it just seems to me that that psychology involved in voting for Arabs radicals is totally out of whack. If *you* were a newly-enfranchised voter in Iraq, would you be voting for a chicken in every pot and 2 cars in every garage, or would you be voting for which god to pray to on Friday?

I simply cannot believe that Arabs aren't human enough not to be selfish and care more for their air conditioning, electricity and comfort than for what some whack-job is promising them will be Paradise and eternity. Maybe. At some point in the future. If Allah agrees, and the rain doesn't fall, and the creek doesn't rise.

Or at least 95% of them will plunk for comfort and that most certainly is NOT going to be obtained by voting in a bunch of uneducated gun-waving fanatics whose theme-song is "ULULULULU"!

6/24/2005 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Cedarford:

Can't blame our relationship with Israel for everything...

Fundamentalist Arabs have been hating the US, independent from the Israeli connection, for some time now.

Part of it is fear of Western culture, part of it is fear of our influence, and part of it is looking for the biggest, fattest target to blame for their own political failures since ca 1190.

First we were Crusaders, then Imperialists, then supporters of fascists, then economic imperialists... and on and on. We've been their public enemy number one off and on for 900 years.

Yeah, buddying up with Israel at all costs doesn't help our credibility. OTOH, the U.N. seems to have no interest in the continued existence of the Jewish state (which they established), so somebody has to step up, right?

If we would have cut Israel loose, at about any time after 1975, the world might be a very different place.

Israelis aren't squeemish about protecting themselves or their interests, and the UN's lack of support for the last 28 years means never having to say you're sorry in Hebrew. They'd tell the UN, or anyone else who got in the way of Israeli self-defense to get bent and start kicking ass.

Or, being outnumbered and outgunned (with no US support) might have induced Israel to resort to a nuke, or absent that, just get wiped out.

Now, I don't know if you advocate that or not, but it doesn't take a neocon to have a little sympathy for Israel's situation. At the very least, a non-ally Israel as a cornered animal loose cannon in the region is as disruptive, or more, than an Iraq or Iran. Instability is instability, which is fine until it happens over the top of the world's loargest oil deposits.

As for Bush and his shovelling...

I'm no neocon, but even an old school state's righter recognizes that it's gonna take loads of manure to cultivate the geopolitical rose we're currently working on.

The American people just don't have the heart anymore to hear the unvarnished truth about what is necessary, why it is necessary, and what the costs will be to achieve it. I have a hard time crucifying GWB for what presidents have been doing since Carter.

6/24/2005 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Dead on Nahncee...

In the final analysis, Akhbar al-Sixpack has to look at the political field and wonder what the radical whackos have done for him lately.

Whether Ahkbar has gotten to that point yet remains to be seen, but eventually hunger and poverty will trump ideology.

We've got the best system in the world, and therefore time is on our side. Win, lose or draw politically in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, or the Palestinian State, eventually they will have to conform to liberal democratic capitalism or perish.

6/24/2005 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seems like they might be watching their neighbor to the East, getting more and more tired of the Mullahs.
Then all you have to posit is they have the brains to add 2 plus 2.
Sure beats "ULULULULU"!
...and they did sorta master arithmetic way back when.

6/25/2005 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Cedarford
"The tide began to turn with Nixons oil guarantee, blocking Soviet forces from Egypt, and emergency weapons resupply to bail out reeling Israel in 1973. It got much worse with the 1979 Iran Revolution...but even then it was still safe for Americans to do business and walk the streets of most Muslim countries. But things just kept getting worse as radical Islam arose and no grievances were addressed."

My view is that you are claiming way too much for the direct actions of US and Israel. IMHO, what happend in the ME was the onslaught of television. In the US, you may have been brought up with TV. I can remember when it was introduced into a small religious country. The change in the local powerbase, the priests, was profound. They were the losers, and the resisters of change. 40 years later, the priestly class in that country is a joke (possibly wrongly, now).

I think that it is indicative that the first manifestation of Arab terrorism was plane hijacking - a sort of shoot the messenger, if you like. Keep out the West, keep out the West. With TV, it's not possible, and as for the Internet, why what a fiendish device to let them see what's under a girl's burkha. What a grievience that must cause - would justify any atrocity.

My view is this: ME youth already know that their culture is pathetic (they can litteraly see it) and want to change. The priestly class will be the first to sense the change, and will be the first to attempt to stop it, but they can't.

Empirical evidence for this statement? The Mosques as centres of terrorism, Mad Mullahs, demonic believers blowing themselves up, and the majority keeping their head down.

Bush was right to go in, not least to unblock the safety valve, and let it blow.

What form will the solution be? Since the people have already changed, we must wait for the older priestly class to die. Islam will change and align itself with modernism, a rump of fanatics will still hanker after the past, but it will be safe for Americans to walk the streets of the ME again, because the locals will look like us.

How long? A generation must grow through the present until it inherits the reins of power - about 40 years.

As for Oil, an utter red herring. Basically, the oil is worth nothing in the ground. The value is in finding it, extracting it, shipping it, refining it, tanking it to the petrol stations, financing it, protecting it, etc etc etc, all Western products.

But it will be a rough 40 years.

ADE

6/25/2005 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Two wars, two Kerrys .
At the time the first George Bush was still flush with victory in the Persian Gulf, and dinnergoers chortled over a videotaped presentation of assorted senate Democrats backpedaling in the wake of a war they'd opposed.
Ted Kennedy was shown.
News clips were shown.
But for Kerry, the speaker simply read the two letters, to everyone's amazement.
"It's like those before-and-after pictures they print in the papers,"
the speaker said.
"If they didn't tell you so themselves, you'd think they were different people."
Kerry has to remember that one.
The speaker was Sen. John Heinz.
Two weeks later, he would die in a plane crash.
Four years after that, Kerry would marry his widow
--
a woman who speaks directly and without equivocation and doesn't need two sets of letters to make her mind known.
He might want to ask her for a copy of the speech.

6/25/2005 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Ash, when you said " At one point the UN offered to take over, the US said no." What point in time were you referring to?

On June 1, 2005, Knight Ridder reported: "Jaafari said he would like the U.N. Security Council to extend Resolution 1546, which authorizes the U.S. presence until June 8. He made his comments while addressing the Iraqi National Assembly.

''It is true that [the multinational forces] are not Iraqi forces but their task is to secure the country under the Iraqi will and Iraqi timetable,'' Jaafari said after the assembly session. ``So if Iraqis choose, through their elected government, that they need extension [of Resolution 1546] in order to improve the security situation, the decision will be Iraqi.'' "

I imagine you'll respond that they're just a puppet government.

I agree with Rwe that discussing oil, as in, 'if there was no oil in the Mideast we wouldn't be there' is pointless. If we had gills and fins and lived in the ocean, we'd be fish. What's the point of arguments that posit an impossibility as the starting point? The global economy is dependent on oil, for the next several decades at least. GOI.

I believe the term "neo-conservative" is being used to loosely describe the spread of democracy as the ultimate motivation for policy. While democratization is a useful tactic in breaking up the ME form of tribal dictatorships, democratization is not the core focus. Protection of American interests, rejection of realpolitik, and slipping the counter-productive chains of "multi-lateralism" are all more important elements for neo-cons.

Nahncee's uplifting aggressive positions might be called neo-conservative.

6/25/2005 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Ash,
" At one point the UN offered to take over, the US said no."
With whose troops,the UN has not got an army,they might at a pinch,rustle up some,paedophiles,racketeers and drug dealers,but Iraq is beyond the military capacity of any nation except the US

6/25/2005 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Peter, one thing that unites the otherwise diverse pro-pullout caucus is that both the pullout-to-win-elections folks as well as the pullout-to-defeat-the-West folks think they have magic wands that will guarantee the consequences of their dreams. Realism is being practiced only by the two organizations doing the actual killing, the troops and the terrorists. Or, if you prefer, GWB and the jihadis.

The Kennedy wing cannot afford to merely shut-up, for cryin' out loud, Bush might win (fill in either/both, (1)the war, (2) the next election)!

Channeling the DC Democrats: "Future, schmuture. Western culture, screw that, what about my career, my DEALS?"

6/25/2005 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Buddy,
I used your Psychologically corrosive assertion earlies with full attribution,where do I send the royalty cheque?

6/25/2005 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

If you buy the idea that the 9/11/01 attacks were the result of the stationing of U.S. troops on sacred Arab lands, then I suppose you also have to accept that WWII was all about the German need for Leibenstram and the mistreatement of German people in Poland. And then there is the worldwide Jewish Conspiracy - again. Funny how that keeps coming up. You would almost think that the Facsists all read the same books.
When you accept their consistently absurd propaganda, you give them an enomous advantage. And it really makes you look stupid, too.

6/25/2005 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Blackford Oakes,

The Subic Bay lease was not renewed due to extortionate demands by the Phillipines. It was not abrogated. If we get a nice ironclad lease with the Iraqi government which is formed after the new constitution is approved and it is for fifty years, it will be sufficient.

I believe that the Kurds will enter into discussions with Turkey at a minimum. The deal has potential because of the antipathy not in spite of it. Who is most advantaged by such a deal? The Kurds would have to trust the Turks to provide security and the Turks would have their hands around the Kurds economic lifeline. It would also keep Baghdad on its toes regarding fair treatment of the Kurds.

Actually, that's another reason for a strong mutual defense pact between Iraq and the US. Neither the Sunnis nor the Kurds should have any desire for a fully integrated Iraqi military structure for twenty years. If they can farm out defense needs to the US, why shouldn't they do so? An Iraqi Air Force cannot be used to bomb Kurdish villages if it doesn't exist.

6/25/2005 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Peter,
Easy:
Buddy Larsen,
Care/Of: Doug

6/25/2005 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

rwe, amen. Peter, I stole it from the American 16th century playwright William Shakespeare ("Bard of the Mississippi"). But, thanks, anyway! ;-)

6/25/2005 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

World Apart

6/25/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Bush Takes On Senate Democrats!"

6/25/2005 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

To the pile of easily disproven memes of the left, can we now throw "no Al Qaeda in Iraq" on top of "no WMD's" and "war for oil"?

Pay No Attention to the Terrorists Behind the Curtain

"This story is old news to Power Line readers; we covered it here, here, here and here. This is from one of the early news reports:

A televised confession by the terrorist allegedly responsible for carrying out the operation included information that closely tracks the testimony about Zarqawi and his operations in Iraq that Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003.

In Herat, [Afghanistan]," Jayousi told Jordanian TV, "I began training under Abu Musab [al Zarqawi] which involved high-level instruction in explosives and poisons. Then I promised my loyalty to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. I agreed to work for him -- no questions asked. When Afghanistan fell, I again met up with al-Zarqawi in Iraq."

"There in Iraq," said Jayousi, "I was told by Abu Musab to travel to Jordan with Muwaffaq Udwan. We were to get ready for a military action in Jordan."

"When I arrived in Jordan, I met with another person with ties to Abu Musab by the name of Haytham Omar Ibrahim -- a Syrian -- who secured our safe houses," said Jayousi.

"Next Muwaffiq and I began reconnaissance on the targets," said Jayousi. "Then we began to gather chemicals needed to make explosives. . . . amassing almost 20 tons, which was sufficient for all our plans in Jordan. Then I began manufacturing."

So, after the fall of Afghanistan at the end of 2001, Zarqawi and other al Qaeda veterans made their way to Iraq, where, secure under the wing of Saddam Hussein, they plotted chemical weapons attacks on countries friendly to the U.S., as well as the murder (successfully carried out) of an American diplomat. And yet, to this day it remains an article of faith on the left that Saddam's Iraq was a kite-flyer's paradise with no connection to international terrorism, no relations with al Qaeda, and, of course, no chemical weapons. Maybe the current trial will reveal where the chemicals assembled for the attack on Jordan came from; maybe it won't. But we don't need any new information to understand that Saddam's regime protected and supported the deadliest of al Qaeda's terrorists."

Actually, now that I'm starting to get the hang of thinking like a lib, I could see how we forced the poor terrorists to go to Iraq after we meanly bombed poor Afghanistan when we were in our 'lashing out' phase after 9/11.

6/25/2005 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Why can't we just declare terrorists pirates? Eh? I don't understand; I can't imagine it's in anyone's interest to have them in this political ambiguous zone. Of course revolutionaries we like would fall under the same category, but considering that we would like pro-democracy, pro-US revolutionaries, and the governments who would want them dead would likely be some variety of fascists and therefore kill them anyway, I don't see the problem. Meanwhile, most terrorists are merely terrorists, without the supposed ambiguities--i.e., they are murderers, bandits with some ability to play to political sympathies, and therbey construct an alibi. This is hardly uncommon; and alibi is what all criminals construct in their defense. Declaring terrorists pirates--because of course piracy is an essential element of terrorist operations anyway--would allow us to execute them on sight, and render their holding, extradition, and so on more in line with the legal grammar: that is, instead of merely killing them, we hold them for info. Terrorists, whether they're freedom fighters or mere murderers, have declared themselves enemies of their countries or the world anyway, so I don't see the issue in granting them the legal reality of their own choice: they have chosen to slip the bonds of society. I say we declare them/have them declared enemies of humanity under international law and be done with it.

6/25/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

ADE - As for Oil, an utter red herring. Basically, the oil is worth nothing in the ground. The value is in finding it, extracting it, shipping it, refining it, tanking it to the petrol stations, financing it, protecting it, etc etc etc, all Western products.

So all raw natural resources in other countries are valueless? All money should go to the extractors and users? Sorry, but that's not how law treats national resources or royalties to the property owners the resource is extracted from. Oil is an essential, scarce, strategic resource - and will have to rise to 80 a barrel before alternative fuels can begin to substitute for it. Oil drives the world and foreign policy and there is no shortage of non-Western advanced nations - Japan, India, Russia, China begging to take over "extraction and use operations" at present time and give the possessors of oil resources huge bucks for it.

RWE writes: If you buy the idea that the 9/11/01 attacks were the result of the stationing of U.S. troops on sacred Arab lands... And then there is the worldwide Jewish Conspiracy - again. You would almost think that the Facsists all read the same books.
When you accept their consistently absurd propaganda, you give them an enomous advantage. And it really makes you look stupid, too.


So, you are generally not on a basis of believing or reading declarations of war - as to why a nation declares war. The 1996 and 1998 Fatwas mean nothing, nor the taped interviews of Binnie in Nov 2001 on why he attacked America - which was a recapitulation of the reasoning for war contained in his 1998 Fatwa against the Jews and Crusaders.

I imagine the Declaration of Independence, the past American Congressional declarations of War are also suspect in your mind.

Generally, when a war starts, declarations from both sides on why they are going to war provide an excellent starting point in determining causes and sought after solutions that diplomacy failed to achieve.

I think your advice to never listen to anything the other side says motivated them and formed their grievances is a patently foolish counsel. It presumes that the only resolution of the conflict is purely military in nature with an absence of strategic communications and outreach and other forms of "soft power". And, attendent reconstruction post-war to win the peace must be done purely by imposing what we think is best - never listening to the locals on what must be done to end an insurgency of prevent future wars..

Perhaps you don't want to hear it, but the Israeli-Palestine conflict and the long-term presence of large "infidel" armies in Saudi Arabia made for huge global issues..that festered up 'till 9/11.

6/25/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Cedarford, who ya like for prez in '08?

6/25/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I think if you were to go back and look at the news stories from then, what the UN offered to do in Iraq was to take over America's soldiers who were already there. In other words, Kofi, et al, wanted to command America's toys, a train set that would make even Orson Wells green with envy.

And further the proposal was *not* to pull the soldiers out of Iraq. I don't remember at this point -- and am not willing to take the time to go look it up -- whether the UN's generous offer included adding UN "peacekeepers" to the American mix of "those who are willing" who were already there. I rather think not, other than to tack a bunch of UN officers at the tops of all American squads, troops, battalions, etc., to make sure the proper orders were being issued.

But then the UNer's who *were* there got themselves blowed up by ignoring American security recommendations, and showed their moral fortitude and mental stamina by waving their white flag in the best Froggy fashion and retreating back to the steamy shores of New York City. Post haste. Or hastier, even.

Yes. By all means, let's do give ourselves to the UN to run our lives for us, like Ash is prescribing as an alternative to Dubya's agenda of world changes.

Shall we vote on it?

6/25/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/25/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Cedarford: It presumes that the only resolution of the conflict is purely military in nature with an absence of strategic communications and outreach and other forms of "soft power".

I have read the fatwas and listened to our enemy Al Qaeda et. al. If you take them seriously at all, you come to believe the only resolution is purely military. Further, we are not at war with Iraq any longer, we are still at war with Islamofascists. I believe this is the enemy Rwe refers to.

And Nahncee, yes, let's vote on it.

6/25/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

LOL! GOod post, Nahncee, especially the Snagglepuss reference!

6/25/2005 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

No, declarations of war by fascists, communists, and the rest of the forces of tyranny do not provide any insight into their real reasons. They are always invariably utter fabrications. If they said their real reasons for war out loud and still possessed any shred of decency they would go home afterwards and put a bullet through their own heads. So they lie. Always. And I utterly reject the notion of any equivalence - moral, factual, or philosophical - between the Declaration of Independence and any speech or statement by Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, Saddam, and the like.

6/25/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cedarford said: the long-term presence of large "infidel" armies in Saudi Arabia made for huge global issues.

They might want to be careful here. Or before long the presence of Arabs on the Israeli peninsula will became a issue.

6/25/2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ha! wouldn't that be da shitz--the year 2015, and Israel is holding the North African Management Contract signed by King George Bush--yeah, baby, bring it ON! Get this mess sorted OUT! ;-)

6/25/2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/25/2005 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Iran Bomb may be the green light. It will definitely be some kind of light, sooner or later.

6/25/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right, we have to remember, so much has already been done. It's almost hard to say it, but it's the truth, Iraq in now an ally.

6/25/2005 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"hard to say it" not because it isn't a magnificent turn of history--it IS that--but merely that the hour is early, and the words are still alien to the tongue.

6/25/2005 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Larsen, then you better be sure you want these guys to be your friends.
.
.
http://www.sciri.org

6/25/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Cedarford, like all those who look for rational "root causes" to explain Islamofacism, is someone who doesn't, and intellectually can't, come to terms with the fact that our resentments - mine, yours, everyone's - are in good part irrational and delusional. I wouldn't bore everyone by repeating this for the umpteenth time if our lives didn't depend on coming to terms with it.

BTW, C4, have you noticed that in the entire history of Islamic civilization, one dynamic is constant: warrior bands made up of clansmen or tribesmen from the countryside regularly descend on the towns and cities to kick out of religious and secular power the corrupt cityfolk who they think are destroying the faith through various forms of decadence. IN most of this history, the enemy of the "Islamicists" are fellow Muslims. It is only in the globalized world that the enemy in the worldly world can become the US, ISrael, etc. In other words, the dynamics of resentment and Islamic war that we are talking about long predate the current disposition of secular powers, and ultimately need to be explained in terms of how Islam divides up worldly and religious authority, among the tribe, clan, umma, etc. But the divided loyalties of the Islamic world are something, it seems, you know nothing about. For you, it's just them against the Jews and the Jew lovers.

6/25/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

RWE - No, declarations of war by fascists, communists, and the rest of the forces of tyranny do not provide any insight into their real reasons. They are always invariably utter fabrications.

That is why it was prudent for MacArthur to ignore the Chinese Communist declarations of why they would enter the Korean war if we continued certain actions and objectives?

And to never listen to any Mid-East nation but one about their suggestions or beefs - since all the others "lie". Same with the Leftists of Latin America, the Euroweenie appeasers of tyranny, the Commies, etc., etc. America shouldn't listen to most nations, right RWE, unless we pose them a direct question..like asking them if they realize how stupid they are not to do what America needs them to do?

Your view appears to be an insular, blind arrogance of the worst sort.

And I utterly reject the notion of any equivalence - moral, factual, or philosophical - between the Declaration of Independence and any speech or statement by Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, Saddam, and the like.

In your arrogance, you cast Declarations of war or independence in moral terms. Our Declaration of Independence stating why we went to war was credible only because "we are the good guys" - while all other anti-colonial Declarations that motivated other nations citizenry can't be credible as listing the real reasons for why they began fighting against a power...because all those others are non-Americans, hence, not good...And therefore, any statements from others like Simon Bolivar, Martin Luther, Vasclav Havel, Mao Zedong, the Meiji Princes, Ghandi, Bismark - lack the moral, factual,and philosophical weight only Americans can put into a document???

That even a bin Laden cannot be credited for grievances that most Muslims agree are valid on consultation with them? Do you take that no grievance expressed by a Muslim is valid? That Bush and only Bush, as he is leader of the never-wrong Americans - must be right when he says "They just hate us for our freedom..."???

What comic book version of the history of the struggles for independence and liberation did you read???

6/25/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Bat One said...

Most of what was said by both Kennedy and Levin was predictable tripe, the only difference being Kennedy's tedious bombast to Levin's more nuanced innuendo. This small gem from Levin stands out, however.

"We must demonstrate to the Iraqis that our willingness to bear the burden...has limits," Levin said.

Levin could not be more wrong, or more descriptive, inadvertantly, of the principle that guides contemporary liberal Democrats.

For it is only when we ruthlessly demonstrate "that our willingness to bear the burden" is unlimited... only then will our enemy resign themselves to defeat.

As long as the likes of Carl Levin are there to provide the doubt about US resolve, and the encouragement for our enemies to continue the struggle, that is how long the conflict will continue.

6/25/2005 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

When these guys in Canada agree with Kennedy, something is WAY wrong in the Democratic party.

6/25/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Truepeers - Our great strategic enemy of the 21st Century will be China, not the Muslims. They already have us by the balls financially (600 billion in dollar reserves to either dump and wreck the American economy if they choose to, or to buy up the best Russian and American (via Israelis)weaponry technology to upgrade their massive military buildup. And they are out buying up the oil and gas resources, strategic mineral reserves that used to go to America. We are transferring the high tech manufacturing and scientific base that was the basis of our military supremacy for free to them, because they can make all stuff cheaper than we.

Of course the Muslims are tribal and backward and a menace..but they are a trivial menace compared level of menace China poses to our future. Muslims will always be mildly to rabidly hostile to infidels, but if we can get the rabid hostility shown to be self-defeating, impose Quartet final borders on Israel, agreement on no spread of Wahabbism or WMDs, ensure reliable oil flow - then we can settle into a working truce - Don't screw with us, we won't screw with you

And finally face the threat Bush and the American multinationals aiding & abetting it are oblivious to - China.

6/25/2005 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Consider this a highlighting of Truepeers' concluding paragraph.

6/25/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Cedarford--because virtually all those claims, which admittedly occasionally but not always employ the vocabulary of what some may construe as their Western counterparts, is only comprehensible within the context of specific Islamic religious precepts regarding their divine right to certain lands and an imaginary status. Surely you don't believe our 5,000 troop base in the wastes of northern Saudi Arabia constituted an actual threat to Islam, and that one can therefore equivocate between that grievance and, say, that these roving bands of terrorist jihadis threaten us with some limited annihilation justify our taking down the cancerous governments in the regime which support them?

And the Declaration of Independence--don't you remember Lincoln's injunction not to fear that Right also makes Might? Do you really think any familiar-sounding declarations by jihadis--to say nothing of the purported Communist love for democracy, equality, and peace--are actually what they claim to be?

Sounds more like naivete on your part than solpsism and arrogance on RWE's.

6/25/2005 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Thank you for providing me with such interesting information. I had no idea that Simon Bolivar, Martin Luther, Vasclav Havel and Ghandi were definable as fitting within the definition of the "forces of tyranny" as I specified.
I assume that you are were fierce agreement with Baghdad Bonjur and Jihad Jim McDermont when they stated that the democratically elected leader of a truly free republic was lying but that you have to take the statements of the government of Saddam Hussein at "face value."

6/25/2005 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cedarford said: Of course the Muslims are tribal and backward and a menace..but they are a trivial menace compared level of menace China poses to our future.

We are dealing with the here and now. And in the here and now, this "trivial menace" is costing the US an arm and a leg to bring under control, literally. In the mean time, that evil Chinese menace is helping the US in footing the bill.

6/25/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

So Cedarford, do you think the US and other countries should be more scared of a strong China, or a China losing face and breaking up internally into warring states, maybe lobbying nukes around, and maybe abroad, just so the warring parties can prove to the masses who's the toughest and number 1 Chinese leader around?

6/25/2005 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mika, Truepeers, just put Israel where Taiwan is (and vice-versa); that'll make the jihad deadly and the Chinese harmless tribesmen.

6/25/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

LOL. So true.

6/25/2005 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Cedarford, I can't tell if you're being serious or snarky when you say: "Of course the Muslims are tribal and backward and a menace..but they are a trivial menace compared level of menace China poses to our future."

The difference is, China feels like they have a real, breathing civilization that's worth protecting. Therefore, good old dependable triad works like a charm to keep the mutual violence down, at least for now. The same can't be said for the suicidal dead enders.

6/25/2005 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Iraq in now an ally."
Every Wahabi to get from Street!

6/25/2005 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

All you base is ours!

6/25/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Dan - Surely you don't believe our 5,000 troop base in the wastes of northern Saudi Arabia constituted an actual threat to Islam, and that one can therefore equivocate between that grievance and, say, that these roving bands of terrorist jihadis threaten us with some limited annihilation..

After the Gulf War, we kept 10-20,000 American military stationed in Saudi Arabia. Not in some remote base hundreds of miles from the Saudi public, but right next to Riyadh and the base covering the oilfields. Not so much to defend against a defanged Saddam, but to prop up a shaky Saudi monarchy. This didn't play out well with most Saudis, and interviews with Saudi families whose sons had involvement with the 9/11 attack said that a major factor of why their sons became radicalized was their humiliation over infidels with weapons remaining in the center of Islam and propping up corrupt Princes.

No equivocation. Cause and effect, Dan!

don't you remember Lincoln's injunction not to fear that Right also makes Might?

No American ever exerted the dictatorial powers Lincoln decided he must employ to defend the sum of the Constitution. The suspension of habeas corpus, imposition of martial law and areas south of the Mason-Dixon line, the arrest of newspaper publishers, the arrest and suspension of the MD legislature, the weekly execution orders Lincoln reviewed, spared, or added new names to.

Yeah, if I was Lincoln, I would have feared that phrase while checking off the execution lists of rebellious Indians, Union Army deserters or cowards, draft resistors.

Knowing that, I am still an admirer of Lincoln. Screw the parts of the Constitution to preserve the Whole ..he said in so many pithy words.


Bud Larsen : Consider this a highlighting of Truepeers' concluding paragraph

Snotty, but expected of a guy that admires a foreign nation so much he honestly gets confused which nation he stands with. And you and Mika are welcome to lick Chinese balls along with the Multinationals and Israelis licking balls for pay. Yep, the more we give away, the more the Chinese will love us and strive to be like us and stop building all their subs and ballistic missile hydrogen bombs. And check their 50 year proxy state N Korea, that they could shut down in a week if they cared to. Yep, the fruits are already evident!

Mika - In the mean time, that evil Chinese menace is helping the US in footing the bill.

And your mindset is only money really matters. China profits the wealthy as it destroys middle class jobs, and as the "all Chinese must embrace building our power to surpass the evil Hegemon" military build-up continues they do indeed have the money to foot our bill as they steal our jobs and benefit the Jews and Gentiles at the top of our economic food chain.

Truepeers -

So Cedarford, do you think the US and other countries should be more scared of a strong China, or a China losing face and breaking up internally into warring states, maybe lobbying nukes around, and maybe abroad

Sounds like you think the only choice is between groveling to build a miliarily and economically supreme China, ot the fear that China will dissolve into chaos.

Whatever. Assume your kow-tow position, Truepeers. Your ancestors licked Muslim boots in the same position balancing profit-safety calculations...

6/25/2005 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jeez, we're all licking things. If ya can't join 'em, lick 'em!

6/25/2005 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's a world of bent-over people licking things! Now I get it! ;-)

6/25/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Chip Nelson said...

If we are winnig this one I'd hate to see it if we were loosing. A friend of mine who just got back told me 50% of the population is armed, if that is true then where is the armed reisitance against the "evil doers". Looks to me like they are just waiting around for us to split so they can have at each other again. Another friend of mine didn't make it back. I doubt if his parents would be offended if we gave the responsibility of winnning their freedom back to them.

Doug: It's eat your cake and have it too. The popular reversal is commonly quoted and was first quoted as a joke by Grocho Marx. Perhaps another boorish ass though I doubt it.

6/25/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I don't think it was 10-20,000 troops. Do you have a link? Even so, to understand that as a threat to or insult to Islam is to misunderstand the world in precisely the same way that leads to delusions of grandeur that motivate those folks. The way to deal with it is to kill them and demolish their governments and then jumpstart their societies--presuming they couldn't do it themselves. Iraq is perhaps the most ruined country in the region, so with respect to its infrastructure, physical and social-psychological, we chose a difficult target. Iran, for example, is much more bourgois, as far as I can tell. Pakistan is another example of a gravely backward country. That one we'll have to figure out with the Indians.

It may be the case that these societies all ultimately reject this intervention of ours--but really what options are left?

Secondly, I'm not invoking Lincoln as a symbol of Constitution-trumping war powers. The "Might makes Right" sentiment is one utterly lacking from our democracy, which is in the right both historically, institutionally and philosophically, whereas it is surely not lacking in the socialist and Islamist circles. And of course fascist China is just in awe of itself.

Third, I think you overestimate the strategic threat China poses. I'm concerned about them as well, but mainly as a technical treaty threat to Taiwan, which would entail a reasonably foreseeable chain-reaction--which would result in the humiliation of China, I'd bet, and so, I bet, would they bet. They certainly don't have the wherewithal to constitute a threat to our cities the way Islamic militancy currently does. The politics and realities of states just doesn't much admit of that kind of threat these days, I don't think. Sorry sort of hot here and the thoughts are sluggish. China is not nearly as unified a front as its controlled news reports would have us believe. It is inconceivable that they should have come through their 19th century, in which the country fell apart, essentially, several times, the wars of the 20th century, Maoism, the cultural revolution, and then came out the other side under cover of indifference to assume this monolithic fascist face. That has never happened, and never will.

6/25/2005 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Chip, you're right, if it all turns out to've been a waste, it will be bitter indeed.

6/25/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy Larsen said...
"It's a world of bent-over people licking things! Now I get it! ;-)"
Chip Nelson said...
"It's eat your cake and have it too."
...then he said something about a "boorish ass," but I didn't get that part.
It's probably what made Marx Grouchy, I guess.

6/25/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Religion Journal:
. Worship, Dark and Steamy, for Murderers and Rapists .
---
. Whether the inmates truly have Indian blood or not is of no concern to prison officials .
---
Sounds like the Churchill Ward.
(I wonder if that fat guy right behind the blue shirt is a murderer or rapist?)
---
What you learn in the MSM these days!
...wonder when they'll
Declare the Domestic Scene a
QUAGMIRE? .
Now I'm 'sposed to say
"Read the whole thing,"
but since I haven't started and probably won't, I guess that would be hypocritical.
Not that I pass judgement on hypocrits, of course.
Whatever.

6/25/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I left out the credits, it was by
MAREK FUCHS

6/25/2005 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

The american democratic senators appear to imply that it was the US government that initiated hostilities against the islamic terror networks. The terrorists are the victims here, senators? Is this what you are saying?

By taking the side of the terrorists they place themselves within the European intellectual mainstream. Perhaps that is the approach which appeals to their constituents. Leftists actually thrive on that type of thing.

6/25/2005 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Cedarford, you were away so long... It may be unbelievable to you that there are people in this world who listen to all the bluster and threats of cowards, demagogues, and false patriots (take your pick) and feel only cool indifference, that they may follow all the more wisely... I'm not a Daoist, yet, but, believe it or not, some of us grow up in families where many of the highlighted stories are about walking away from worldly fortunes and opportunities - which is why we're always working and serving hard to make a world again. Idolatry and antidolatry are the last things on which you should lecture. For that you must be incredibly patient... You think the Chinese are patiently biding their time, just waiting for the moment to bury you? Fey, you know little about the patience with which we may yet help you survive in this world...

You deserve no response, but lest some youths get confused, cause the truth, as usual, is just there in front of them, but nowadays the last thing anyone is ever taught is just see it... Nope, it's not a victim kids, it's not a demon, it's not anything unusual or special... it's just what happens when you can't wait any longer...

6/25/2005 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If President Bush were a liberal Democrat; if he were bombing a white Christian, politically clumsy fascist in the heart of Europe; if al Qaeda and its Islamist adherents were properly seen as eighth-century tormenters of humanists, women, homosexuals, non-Arabs, and non-Wahhabi believers; and if Iraq had become completely somnolent with the toppling of Saddam's statue, then the American people would have remained behind the effort to dismantle Islamic fundamentalism and create the foundations to ensure its permanent demise.

But once the suicide murdering and bombing from Iraq began to dominate the news, then this administration, for historical reasons largely beyond its own control, had a very small reservoir of good will.
The Islamists proved to be more adept in the public relations of winning liberal exemption from criticism than did the administration itself, as one nude Iraqi on film or a crumpled Koran was always deemed far worse than daily beheadings and executions. Indeed, the terrorists were able to morph into downtrodden victims of a bullying, imperialistic America faster than George W. Bush was able to appear a reluctant progressive at war with the Dark Age values of our enemies.

And once that transformation was established, we were into a dangerous cycle of a conservative, tough-talking president intervening abroad to thwart the poorer of the third world — something that has never been an easy thing in recent American history, but now in our own age has become a propagandist's dream come true.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is victorhanson.com.

6/25/2005 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You got in the way, truepeers.
That was sposed to follow al fin.
Oh well.
Lost by a minute, lost by mile.
(but it wasn't even a minute!)

6/25/2005 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Dan - I don't think it was 10-20,000 troops. Do you have a link? Even so, to understand that as a threat to or insult to Islam is to misunderstand the world in precisely the same way that leads to delusions of grandeur that motivate those folks.

7,000 at Prince Sultan AFB in Riyadh, 2,000 "training" Saudi National Guard all over the country, 2,000 to 7,000 deployed on the Iraqi border or in Naval Fleet elements under Clinton and Dubya. Count after 9/11 rang some bells - only 2,000 or less.

Even so to ask Muslims to knock off hammering US backing of repressive regimes...since that interferes with our delusions of grandeur.

The "Might makes Right" sentiment is one utterly lacking from our democracy, which is in the right both historically, institutionally and philosophically.

As firebombs and A-Bombs fell on Dresden, Hiroshima, Atlanta, Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hamburg.....

Third, I think you overestimate the strategic threat China poses. I'm concerned about them as well, but mainly as a technical treaty threat to Taiwan..........They certainly don't have the wherewithal to constitute a threat to our cities the way Islamic militancy currently does.

They have 400 Long March missile variants poised to launch 480 triple-Mirved 100KT warheads anywhere in the USA plus 100 3 Megaton city killers, plus 140 devoted to "peaceful research", space exploration, or biowar delivery of anthrax or smallpox virus dispersal packages. They just tested out full performance of their stolen technology 10 warhead Trident missile with a 7,000 mile range. World's largest Army with 300 tactical nukes and by 2020, they will have 3 times the submarines as the US or any other nation, all designed to kill our aircraft carriers.Or shoot thermonuclear warheads at us.

They certainly don't have the wherewithal to constitute a threat to our cities the way Islamic militancy currently does.

Oh, no! Of course not!! Just 700 thermonuclear warheads that could reach anywhere in the US in 20 minutes if the Communist Party Politburo decided to push the button and take us out, and half the Chinese population from our counterstrike as well. Compared to ---how many deliverable Islamic bombs that threaten our existence....Dan?

6/25/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Cedarford

You were right about the Oil, I got a bit carried away.

The point I was trying to make is that my leftist colleagues make the statement that "the US went to war only for the oil", and then proceed to stake a claim to the moral high ground.

My (badly made) point was that, even if their statement was true, the West has such a huge investment in the Oil industry that protecting it is legitimate.

My view is that the real WMD is the oil stopcock, and we have a legitimate right to make sure it is not turned, as long as we pay market price for the oil.

ADE

6/25/2005 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

June 23, 2005
The Liberating Power of Truth
A review of Brian C. Anderson’s
South Park Conservatives. The Revolt against Liberal Media Bias .
---
. The Liberating Power of Truth

6/25/2005 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"As firebombs and A-Bombs fell on Dresden, Hiroshima, Atlanta, Yokohama, Nagasaki, Hamburg....."
---
C.,
?
Losing to fascists would make things right?

6/25/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Wretchard,

Take a good look at C4 at 4:02. This antiSemitic piece of shit is stinking the place up to the point where I don't quite understand why people continue to post comments.

6/25/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

-- But the threat that China poses - all those threats are well within the MAD doctrine which was proven to work very well. Their arsenal is a fraction of the Soviet Union's. We have never started a war with them, and conquered the Japanese uniquivocally. The only substantial quarrel is the Taiwan issue, which will indeed be a strange flashpoint. One presumes that the Chinese are behind the North Korean freakout; notice that it arose during the initial diplomatic difficulty with Iraq. Clearly the world has found reasons to try to lean on us, probably because most countries have no other cogent inner goal to concentrate, and they must concentrate on something. Unfortunately the Arabs have their fascist muse first, and they are in the vanguard of threats. Besides taking defensive measures, in my opinion the threat posed by China is still ambiguous, and will not become clear for at least a decade. We all know we could wake up to air sirens one morning, and one image will leap into our minds--and it won't be of a ululating Cantonese. The state we understand; it is the raiding barbarian squads that is lost to us.

-- OK, I accept your correction: 9,000 it is. 9,000? A threat to Islam justifying an actual war--never mind a "holy war"? Don't you think there's something essentially warped in that reaction? Something incommensurable with the modern world and the basic garden variety perspective on it? Like can you imagine our media espousing that--look at how they rail against the phantom FoxNews! These people are truly warped, Cedar, and in the words of that onr jowly senator on the 9/11 Commission: "they're coming."

The Chinese are not "coming."

6/25/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

And actually I think the A-Bomb, Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo were pretty much necessary evils made by tired, frustrated men in times of accute crisis and with the enemy daily defining deviance down. That was a tactic in the war, preluded by the millions of artillery shells and 3-million man armies of WWI. The A-Bomb probably saved 2 million lives. A horrible calculus, but that's exactly why they should get the benefit of the doubt. We can all read about all these people, we can get a good sense of who they were. This isn't a mystery.

6/25/2005 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Bat One,

I am not certain we should "bear any burden" right now the burden needs to be shouldered by us but eventually we need Iraq to stand on its own. The last thing we want is another Europe that can disarm and leaves its defense to us.

6/25/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cedarford,

Nobody can steal "your" job. You don't own "your" job. And if you think you owed a job, I really don't see what's your beef with the Chinese commies.

Btw, I've always thought it best to relocate the Arabs to the Chinese desert. But now Cedarford has me all terrified of the Chinese. Maybe it would be better to let the Chinese have the "Arabian" desert?

6/25/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rick, it may be a good thing to have a demo of how it twists around bits and pieces of the historical narrative.

For example, had he not pulled up the "Jewish Moneychangers", Truepeers wouldn't have been stirred to remind us that the very origin of the western ideal of sacrificial conscience originated with the ancient tribe, and even more importantly that the ancient tribe deliberately continues to honor the same idea that brought it together 5,000 years ago.

That ancient cohesiveness is, of course, why the demons are always attacking it. The C4s always have a shred of truth, and he's right in that the Judeao-Christianity does have to be defended, and that if it did not exist, then it wouldn't have to be defended.

As to where this notion goes wrt secularism and its attendant despair, let your imagination go where it will.

6/25/2005 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

I second Rick Ballard, rabid racism has no place anywhere.

6/25/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I think Cedarford should be allowed to post as he wills. He's creative with his writing/arguments and the rebuttals are stimulating as well. It's too bad his emotions have been poisoned so, but I think he's intelligent enough to understand this, eventually.

6/25/2005 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Buddy,

He can peddle his sorry assed taqiya/Yellow Peril bullshit til he turns blue and if Wretchard thinks it's OK, fine. But he doesn't get to make his scummy little remarks personal without hearing about it.

He's a second rater from a second rate Saudi funded ME program who's learned to regurgitate on cue and isn't worth the time taken to rebutt his nonsense.

As I said, Wretchard's call, but allowing direct attempts to slur on a racist basis is dangerous business.

6/25/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rick, gotcha, but it's good to know the enemy, too. The "America First" meme is especially instructive, as it's one of the more dangerous attack lines on America.

6/25/2005 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Rick,
At the start Cedarford's posts were anti-Israel,now he has found a Jew he can put a name to and the Jackboots go on and the strutting up and down slapping his black gloved hand with his riding crop beats a tattoo to his words.

6/25/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

ADE - I know where your coming from. Some loonies say "It's all about the oil!!! And the response you wish you could make is "It's nothing about the oil" "It's about us always coming in and blowing 200 billion and over 10 thousand casualties for any "noble purple-fingered people" needing to be saved from mass graves and needing half the US Army tied up to "give them Democracy".

But the truth is we wouldn't intervene for the noble Myanmars, the Darfurians "hungry for a democracy cakewalk" the Rwandans begging for mass graves to end, the mighty and pure Bolivian Mestizcos.

No oil, no desire to fill up planes with coffins of Americans to save the Ubangis or East Slobbovians from themselves. But I understand, ADE, I wish we had the financial resources, wads of extra military troops, and spare lives we could expend to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Ricky Butthead writes and his co-toady boy PeterUK approves:

Take a good look at C4 at 4:02. This antiSemitic piece of shit is stinking the place up to the point where I don't quite understand why people continue to post comments.

Whoops, sounds like Ricky has some issues. Would that be about your loyalty, Ricky, or the observation that the economic elite in America is not uniformly distributed by race, ethnicity, or religion? If it is loyalty, where does a turd like you prefer to float to? If it is about economic elites, what exactly do you dispute??

Dan : But the threat that China poses - all those threats are well within the MAD doctrine which was proven to work very well.(But the Muslims) These people are truly warped, Cedar, and in the words of that onr jowly senator on the 9/11 Commission: "they're coming."

The Chinese are not "coming."

I reject the idea that MAD does not apply to Islamoids and the "Religion of Peace" Moderates that do not oppose them. You think that China launches 100 thermonuclear bombs at us it's nuts and out of the question -because we would destroy them, but Muslims are undeterrable because if they nuked Moscow, London, or NYC...that we would not dare to respond and destroy them because they would be angry at us? No - if Islamoids use WMD on us, then we would take out a precious Holy City or two like Medina or Qom, and hopefully kill tens of millions of the vermin in any Muslim country we found supplied financing, technology, fissionable materials. But not Mecca - that would be spared and held in reserve for complete obliteration if any future Infidel City was hit by nuke bombs or biowar.

As for China, they have the US dollar, and us by the balls - and could put us in a Great Depression tomorrow if they were willing to suffer a bit to get Taiwan and humble the Hegemon. In 5 more years, they can take Taiwan with their regional Naval, conventional missile, and AF supremacy and there will be little a declining US can do about it. Heck, right now, they could blackmail us by their power to wreck the US economy and take Taiwan - by just threatening to destroy the dollar as the Reserve Currency - unless we acquiesce. The Philippines, Vietnam, even Australia have said that they wish to stay out if China makes it's move on Taiwan...

6/25/2005 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

..as C4 contexted here, it becomes "America Only" and thus the one-sided ledger notions, claiming patriotism, steadily leave the field to the real enemy, while trying to stimulate the creation of a second real enemy, and the linking of the two against us. China of course has a militant ChiCom faction, but the US/China trade is raising the whole globe, and the commercial private links are the good chance we have of finessing the military death duel that granted is within the realm of possibility.

6/25/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Peter, 8:57, crack-up LOL!

6/25/2005 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And now for some comic relief:

This man murdered three St Petersburg men.
Then he marinated and ate them. Yet, says the police psychiatrist, he is not like other serial killers:
they are crazed loners, but the cannibal is an affable sort.
And only too pleased to exchange recipes

The cannibals who have been captured have proved to be surprisingly matter-of-fact. Sergei Dzhumagalayev, once a paratrooper, now better known as the Kazakh Cannibal, was arrested after proudly revealing to his dinner guests the secret ingredient of his meat dumplings: a blue-eyed blonde.
On Kusikov's capture, he beseeched the arresting officers to take his jars of dried ears and buckets of human bones for stock - so they wouldn't go to waste.

They are different from the run-of-the-mill serial killers in that they tend to be popular people - at least until their crimes are revealed. They are the sort of people you would go to the pub with.
Dzhumagalayev was a renowned ladies' man.
Kusikov was never short of a drinking partner.
And even the Rostov Ripper, the schoolteacher Andrei Chikatilo, had no difficulty persuading children to come looking for mushrooms.
They are mid-mannered professionals and kind-hearted grandfathers with dark secret lives.
(Cannibals have something else in common: they smell. Doctors interrogating Chikatilo - who butchered and ate parts of 52 young women, boys and girls after they agreed to go into the woods with him - spoke of the killer's pungent odour. Kusikov has the same animal smell - peculiar, say police, to psychopaths, a goaty smell that comes from an acrid sweat made by a body full of the wrong chemicals.)
. Hannibal the Cannibal .
In the last decade, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of serial killers in the former Soviet Union. Between 70 and 100 are currently estimated to be on the loose - and more than a dozen of these are cannibals, a group that is more prevalent in the former Soviet Union today than in any other part of the world.

6/25/2005 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Which is worse?
Joos, or Joo lovers?

6/25/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

China has no Central Bank--the "peg" is their make-do. granted it may have to climb if PRC isn't going to be WTO-levered into floating the Yuan. Which if they do will cause a dislocatingly fast slowdown in world economic growth. Fear of this is already acting on the flattening US Treasury yield curve. China has half the US GDP, and is growing twice as fast. They've been buying our debt and keeping inflation low, and raising our statndard of living. Yes, we are having to walk the walk of globalization. The world--led by PRC is closing the economic gap. So, don't like it if you don't want to. Go tell the Chinese to stay poor and hungry, that it makes us feel better that way.

What you don't understand, C4 (or maybe you do), is that you are the great ally of the very faction in PRC that is most dangerous to us.

6/25/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

China's Response to the Downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union
. Authors: Jialin Zhang and Buddy Larsen

6/25/2005 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy,
Couldn't Oil Price be part of the flattening?

6/25/2005 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I agree with RWE's statement:

"I find the focus on oil by some people to be curious, at best and rather disingenuous at least... Would 9/11/01 have happened if we had no need of the oil in the Middle East? I think the answer certainly is "yes." While the terrorists might - and only might - have had access to less monetary resources, the hatred and cultural conflict that drove the terrorist attacks still would have been there. Indeed, if the people there were worse off, the hatred might have well been even more intense."

[The other posts by RWE are just as logical. Cederford is off base]

NahnCee's posts were great.

Dan's comments on labeling the terrorists "pirates" is interesting. I have always thought they were unemployable men whose only skill was killing. And, add superstition and a religion that pits "us against the infidels" and you have a deadly cancerous group of people. Once, some "Cleric" forms a grudge against somebody or group he merely declares them "unbelievers" who are to deceived, raped, pillaged and killed (no holds barred). Thus, Dan's point that as pirates they should be treated as such (exterminated).

Rick ballard makes a good point about the value of having a military base close to our enemies. I would certainly think that a base there would be a big asset. The projetion of power could be huge - and it could come in very handy. My understand from reading Rumsfeld's remarks it will not be called a "military base" but more of a "Embassy" with the necessary military assets to meet our needs. And, I have this feeling we will be their for a while.

Let me key off of what Tony said because it leads to Wretchards theme. I believe that all the hue and cry from various unfriendly quarters is a simple propaganda campaign which is designed to draw suspicion away from two major trials (It's a old tactic - spin the major cases in the court of public opinion).

The two cases are: 1) Saddam's war crimes. 2) the huge WMD case in Jordan involving 13 terrorists who attempt to kill up to 80,000 people with VX nerve gas.

At first glance, the two case seem somewhat unrelated. But upon closer inspection they are linked. The basic link is VX nerve gas - Saddam had it. Just as the invasion of Iraq uncovered the infamous OFF scandal, this case may reveal that Saddam did indeed have WMD and circulated them to different counties (such as Syria). This information could prove very discomforting to foes of Bush - just as the OFF scandal. Gateway Pundit has a nice roundup on the story (but, Power line pushed the story initially).

[Terrorists to judge]:

The defendants roared "Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi will chop off your heads and stuff it up your mouths, you God's enemies,"

See: History's Largest WMD Trial

The explosives and chemicals were to be carried in three trucks with reinforced bumpers for crashing through gates. The explosives were to be just enough to create a poisonous cloud of blister, choking and nerve agents. (In the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the terrorists used too much explosive, and the chemicals in the van were consumed in the blast.) The conspirators said they hoped to kill as many as 80,000 people... Intelligence expert John Loftus said the nerve agent in the chemical cocktail was VX. Syria doesn't make VX. Saddam Hussein's Iraq did.


See: The case of Iraq's weapons is not closed


...a chemical expert at Jordan's General Intelligence Department, testified that a large quantity of plastic containers seized from the defendants contained hydrogen peroxide. He said the accused planned to add 'ground black cumin' to the concentrated solution, which would have made "an explosive substance stronger than TNT." ...the defendants also had oxygen, sulfuric acid and nitroglycerin. "These are highly combustible substances which the defendants had planned to use to cause explosions that would have dispersed the toxic chemicals," he said.

See: Al Qaeda plotted chemical attack

And see: Powerline

6/25/2005 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Peter,

I wonder if the riding crop getting hooked in the turban when he gets a bit frenetic.

6/25/2005 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Or tell people in this country that they don't like low unemployment, low mortgage rates, burgeoning home ownershiop, cheap high-quality goods, available credit, personal income growth twice the inflation rate, a bond yield of 5% against an SP500 yield of 6% where any ordinary joe can buy share in an index fund and own a piece of China as well as the USA--or any other part of the earth. The latin mkts are up 40% since 2000, and even the economic museum of europe is protecting value. The flat-tax tigers of e. Europe are growing tremendously. The world has two big problems, scarce energy and terrorism--those are the areas to worry on--not the trade deficit--that's only the one side of the ledger--we also own the shit we bought with that deficit--and the yuan is pegged TO THE DOLLAR. All your selective scare numbers are half-stories even when the numbers are right. The US long bond is @ 4%. FOUR PERCENT. Global demand for our debt shows ZERO sign of abating. Start screwing around with trad tariffs--like the Schumer bill and it's unbelievably stupid 27% tariff on PRC, and that demand for our deby WILL dry up, and we'll be on our way to the 30s again. You half-economists are a bigger threat than Osama.

6/25/2005 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"like the Schumer bill and it's unbelievably stupid 27% tariff on PRC, and that demand for our deby WILL dry up, and we'll be on our way to the 30s again."
---
Isn't that what Chuckie wants?
...would match his perspective on the USA.

6/25/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"scarce energy "
Yeah, please answer my yield question above.

6/25/2005 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

9:23

6/25/2005 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

yeh--sorry for the typos--trying to watch some crazy comet shit on the History Channel. had a 5% bond up there that is 4%, too. damn one-finger typing takes both eyes.

6/25/2005 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"See: History's Largest WMD Trial"
---
Seems like we're living it every day just by being exposed to the MSM.
The trial of GWB/WMD

6/25/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Larry Kudlow is an Artur Laffer, Jeremy Siegal, Milton Friedmanish sort of economist who is turning purple over Schumer. Kudlow has a CNBC daily after-market show, 4:00 PM CST, that will straighten out a lotta foggy half-stories spun by people who have a few cherry-picked stats with which to stun the polity.

6/25/2005 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hope RWE (or someone) can comment on C4's description of their missile capability and etc.
Those are the highest numbers I've seen.

6/25/2005 09:49:00 PM  

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