Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Back of Beyond

The Winds of Change reports that President Pervez Musharraf warned General John Abizaid against cross border operations into Pakistan.

President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday warned Pakistan would not tolerate future violations of its frontiers and would thwart infiltration into its controlled areas on the pretext of war of terror. Talking to Gen Abizaid, the chief of US Central Command, who called on him at Army House in Rawalpindi, the president said Islamabad was offering every possible support and cooperation to the US and the international community for fighting terrorism and extremism, however it could not allow anyone to violate its borders under the pretext of anti-terror campaign.

"Our forces are vigilant against terrorists and are doing every possible for purging Pakistan and the region of them. Their successes against militants are indubitable", he said. "Now, we want our borders to be respected in war of terrorism. We will not put up with border breaches in future ", he said. He said Pakistani security forces had successfully destroyed hideouts of foreign militants in Northern and Southern Waziristan.

And so a window opens into the strange doings in Central Asia. From Wikipedia:

Waziristan is a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² (4,473 mi²). It comprises the area west and southwest of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. ... After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, thousands of Afghan refugees fled across the border to Waziristan, which became an important base for the mujahideen guerillas fighting the Soviet occupation. ... he area reprised its 1980s role in 2001 during the US invasion of Afghanistan, this time playing host not only to refugees but also to defeated Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. They were actually the remnants of the same fundamentalist groups who were trained and equipped by the CIA and Pakistani intelligence agencies during soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This time their allies confronted them. Osama bin Laden himself was widely believed to have taken refuge either in Waziristan or just across the Afghan border.

This was the gateway to the classic ground of the Great Game, the land ocean between all the civilizational centers of the Eurasia. Although news accounts of Operation Enduring Freedom may have given the impression that Pakistan was the highway to Afghanistan, the reverse may be true. Ahmed Rashid wrote in the International Herald Tribune of the tantalizing view southeast:

Gone are the days when U.S. officials said vaguely that bin Laden was somewhere on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA director, Porter Goss, have said that they know where bin Laden is and that he is not in Afghanistan - implying he is in Pakistan. Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to Kabul who is now the U.S envoy in Baghdad, has been more blunt and said that bin Laden is in Pakistan. So where is bin Laden? Mostly likely he is hiding ... in the northern areas, bordering China and Afghanistan, the Karakorum mountains merge into the Pamir range, providing a scarcely populated, high-altitude hiding ground.

The view north and west is even more staggering: Central Asia is the last white space on the map the world, an area still  largely free of the control of functioning nation states and beyond of the reach of America. At the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, Dr. Stephen Blank suggests in an article that this may be about to change.

Uzbekistan has announced that it will offer U.S. forces a base for operations in Afghanistan, and that it does not rule out the possibility of a permanent base if needed. The importance of this cannot be overestimated. Both Russia and China hoped America’s incursion into Central Asia was temporary and would end when the terrorism threat abated. Instead, it appears the United States will remain a major player there, not only countering terrorism but also maintaining access to large energy deposits, preserving options for democratizing these states, and establishing a global power projection capability. This last objective is new. Whereas the others are long-standing goals of U.S. policy, maintaining an effective global power projection capability stems from the strategic watershed triggered by September 11, 2001, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As those wars revealed, U.S. military forces can now achieve something unprecedented in military history, namely they can project and sustain sea-based and air-based power into Central Asia. This unprecedented capability allows the United States to project and sustain power anywhere in Asia from anywhere else in Asia, from the Middle East to the Pacific, with virtual impunity, constituting a veritable strategic revolution.

Just as mobility through the application of maritime technology was the foundation of Britain's seapower, so is America's based on the ability to freely traverse the oceans -- and now the great land spaces -- of the world. Not by itself, but in consequence: by threatening the areas of weakest governance, organizations like Al Qaeda have driven those beleaguered states into the arms of the only power with means and mobility to come to their assistance. It would be the supreme irony if radical Islam's lasting contribution to history turned out to be the establishment of a global American power. Without the rise of radical Islamism and the collapse of Soviet authority in Central Asia, there would have been no case for a US presence. In a Chicago Tribune article entitled US Outflanks Kremlin, Beijing on Kyrgyz Base, correspondent Alex Rodriguez wrote:

Facing pressure from Russia and China to end America's military presence in two Central Asian states, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld won assurances Tuesday from Kyrgyzstan's new leaders that they would not shut down a U.S. base on Kyrgyz soil used for combat and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan. ...

At the start of the Afghan war, the Kremlin acquiesced to the establishment of temporary American bases in Central Asia, experts say, largely because Russian leaders fully understood the threat Islamic militants posed in the region. But Moscow has grown wary of a U.S. military presence in Central Asia, a region it wants firmly under its wing.

"In 2001, there was a sense that Russia was incapable of providing security for Central Asia," said Ivan Safranchuk, an analyst with the Center for Defense Information in Moscow. "But Russian leaders always had this nightmare scenario: What if the U.S. did not leave? What if they deceive us and stay in Central Asia for much longer than planned?"

Osama bin Laden. The uncomprehending vanguard of America.

175 Comments:

Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Musharraf is walking a tightrope, more so than any other leader involved in this struggle. He has to balance between not pissing us off too much by not cooperating enough, and by pissing off the Muslims too much by cooperating too much. And failing on either count will likely result in falling from power.

7/27/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger OMVI said...

Rusia did not oppose a US military presence in Afghanistan simply because it understood the inherent danger of islamic militants. Read Bush at War. Cofer Black met with all leading russian military generals in Moscow. Black went there to request any and all logistical information the
Russians could provide US intelligence relative to Afghanistan in general and on the Taliban in particular. Cofer Black listened intently as each Russian general at the round table advised Black that Afghanistan was a hell hole and was sure to mire the US military. Black listened politely and then in no unceratin terms advised the Russian generals that the US was NOT in Moscow requesting Russian "permission" to enter Afghan territory (a traditional sphere of Russian influence). Black confessed surprise at the attitudes and beliefs held by the Russian generals: "Of all the peoples on the earth, Russians should know well the resolve of the American people" (I parapharse). Cofer Black made it known to the Russians that Americans were going to Afghanistan and that in due course: 1) First, "we're going to rock their world"; 2)"We'll have the head of OBL"; and 3) "We'll display his head on a spike". The story goes the Russian generals did not argue or dispoute Mr. Black, that they remained silent in the face of the obvious rebuke. Instead the Russians gave Black everything they had on the logistics of Afghanistan. History will record the US military did in 7 weeks something the Russians did not accomplish in 10 years.

7/27/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Wikipedia def. emergence:

"An emergent behaviour or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviours as a collective. The property itself is often unpredictable and unprecedented, and represents a new level of the system's evolution."

Thomas Kuhn on Paradigm Shifts:
(from http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhn.html)

"Failure of existing rules is the prelude to a search for new ones."

"Novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation.

"All crises begin with the blurring of a paradigm and the consequent loosening of the rules; the awareness and acknowledgment that a crisis exists loosens theoretical stereotypes and provides the incremental data necessary for a fundamental paradigm shift."

"New paradigms arise with destructive changes in beliefs..."

Osama has changed the rules and provided a crisis; the question, then, is where are we going?

7/27/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger OMVI said...

Perv in Pakistan can no longer be counted upon to be a good and true friend to the US in the war. Just as the left in the US has gained power and voice since 9-11 so have the islamic facsists in Paki-land. They (the bad guys) now threaten Perv's continued health and well being. Perv now acts to constrain the reach of the US military in an effort to continue to "rule" Pakiland. So be it. Perv has made his choice and his accomodation with the AQ sympathizers. Now is the perfect time to remind Perv of the converstation he had with Colin Powell some 48 hours past 9-11. Perv should understand that the US is coming and he has a choice. In any event the US should not recognize the legal boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Strike the bastards in Pakistan without remorse. If Perv wants war give it to him. The gloves hould have come off so long ago it sickens me to think of the many lost opportunities we've had to kill so many of the bad guys (by bad guys I mean the folk Perv feels complelled to protect by the dictates of the ISI).

7/27/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

The Great Game is a great easy read on this subject. The real battle between the Russians and British for most of the 19th century was over the entry into British India from the Russian Empire, and that battle was fought over Herat, currently in Western Afghanistan but then a tribal warlord dominion sort of between Kabul and Isfahan. It was always regarded as the major staging area for an offensive over the several strategic passes in the Hindu Kush and other mountains down into defenseless India (probably current-day northern Pakistan). Russia, due to logistical problems mostly involving weather, took decades to establish a stable foothold capable of threatening the British; before that, the character of the struggle was in winning over and/or deposing warlords in the Herat/Bukhara region. They both entertained concerns about Alexander the Great's route to the Oxus along the shore of the Indian Ocean, but Britain's naval superiority was obvious, and moreover demonstrated when it destroyed the Persian navy and shelled the city in a port on the Persian Gulf who's name escapes me now. That's a good story omvi--I remember the Russian general on tv prior to the Afghan campaign that "afghanistan is like God picked up all the rocks on earth and put them all in Afghanistan." We now dominate this blank zone merely by buying basing rights for small transport/fuel/staging bases. If bin Laden really is in Waziristan and not Iran or Lahore or Karachi, then Musharraf oughta let us in there for a precisely timed snatch by the SEALS by night, and risk the uprising. It would be a tremendous symbolic victory. We could have him drawn and quartered, ropes dipped in pig blood, on Pay Per View or just good ol' prime time. Medieval justice for a neo-medieval mind.

7/27/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

Eventually the meme will spread into the mainstream Left that UBL is a CIA agent (which is why he is still at large) and that AQ was a plot by the US/Israeli/NeoCon cabal to trigger an excuse for empire. Sounds silly, but at the DU there are already plenty of posts that point in the same direction, and the likes of Cynthia McKinney would be well-disposed to entertain such speculation in her "hearings."

Complex systems evolve in unexpected ways, a point often made by Wretchard. Opponents of the GWOT include the thwarting of "international law" (by which is meant contraint on US action) and a move away from world government (by which is meant bureaucratic, socialist UN/EU control) as "evils" attending US policy. It would be ironic indeed if the basic structure of world government (consensual, led by the Anglosphere + Japan alliance, enforced primarily by global US power) was to emerge, and that that this world government was hostile to dictatorial, arbitrary rule; that this government sheltered consensual government, individualism, and private property rights; and that it enforced an Islamic reformation in which the messianic character of Islam was discredited through abject, sustained military defeat (much as messianic Judaism was extinguished 2000 yrs) so that the dream of the Caliphate died at last. All these things are anathema to the Left because they would represent a triumph of the Western ideal, of private property, markets, and capitalism, and dash the deluded hope of victory seemingly lost with the collapse of the USSR and rekindled by the Islamist revolt against modernity.

7/27/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I agree omvi--I think we should put stress on the Muslim world everywhere, come what may. They're already trying to nuke us, so what the hell else could go wrong. Civil war everywhere would engulf as many Islamists as it would exude, so considering the rot of the status quo it's probably time to 'get rid of the bad blood' as they said in the Godfather. But for god's sake there's no reason to respect Pakistani sovereignty, no matter how supposedly precarious Mush's position is, when the force behind the worst attack on our soil in history is living large with his harem and idiocy in the Hashashin paradise of Waziristan BFN.

7/27/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger No one said...

And don't forget the US is entering into defense and nuclear relations with India. Perhaps this is a cloaked rebuke from Musharraf for what he sees as support for his enemy (or at least less-than-friendly neighbour).

7/27/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Okay, so maybe Baghdad is not the new Berlin, where the West will hold out against a surrounding enemy for 50 years, until that enemy finally falls apart in the face of unrelenting determination.

7/27/2005 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ray: "All these things are anathema to the Left because they would represent a triumph of the Western ideal, of private property, markets, and capitalism, and dash the deluded hope of victory seemingly lost with the collapse of the USSR and rekindled by the Islamist revolt against modernity."

As a country that revers decency and the rule of law gathers her power and projects it across the entire globe, we can be sure that a new paradigm, though its properties remain unknown, will emerge. The world is evolving, and we have the best seat in the house.

"Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'."

7/27/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

So... can Musharraf survive or not?

Do you think we have the NW Frontier provinces of Pakistan targeted? I know Karachi and Rawalpindi will be totally eliminated, if needed.

7/27/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

A lesson for Iraq, and for the world we try to create:

"In the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary the reasonable expectation has to be that the established pattern will persist, earlier developments serving as the enduring bases on which the later ones rest, and this is confirmed by recent political experience; even where eidodynamic movements have been in control of the state for generations they are finding themselves obliged to accept the eidostatic as constituting the bulk and substance of society. As they do this, in Russia and China for example, so the horrors resulting from the attempt to impose exclusively eidodynamic principles recede into history.

Once we cease taking society for granted, or thinking of it as a gift from God or an arbitrary creation of the human will, once we begin to recognise it as one term in the universal evolutionary process, we find ourselves virtually obliged to accept that each new phase in its development incorporates the functional relationships marking the previous condition. To treat any major ideology by itself is to create an abstraction; any given stage in ideological development comprises not just an ideology and the expression of it but also its context, with the previous ideologies in the series playing significant parts."

7/27/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

no way tony--we've always had to face the fact that eventually whatever good we've done would ultimately have to be entrusted to Arabs on their home turf, in their home historical atmosphere, and the odds are against them not f-ing it up. these fools blaming US policy in deference to obl's polemics are ludicrously blind to the basic barbaric incompetence and comparative degeneracy of native Arab discourse. it's just a historical fact for which there are plenty of analytical elements but which ultimately ought to be viewed as the raw meta-reason for this mess. cold war alliances? as if they cared; review the history of the british and russian diplomatic efforts in The Great Game--and i'm sure there are better sources--and you appreciate just how Not the passive pawns of historical reaction these folks are. it is of course an absurd error of a pre-philosophical variety to presume that they are. not one of them has made a conscious choice to submit, because we have never required or been interested in that. we BUY their oil, for example. but this all a war of movement because the board is simply not conducive to stability. i wonder what the life of the Arabs was like under the Ottoman Empire--i've never really run across a sustained discussion of it. i bet you my left foot that it would look a Lot like it does today. Another reason the post-colonial analysis is merely a Marxist myth: how long have Arabs ever even HAD governments independent of imperial powers? Maybe two consecutive centuries in the histroical era? Maybe three if you really count Spain? And how much of these were merely the history of them adapting Byzantine and Persian civilization, already highly developed, and fighting massive civil wars? The great majority. The Muslim masses of Pakistan are no different in that respect, and were literally born in Islamo-nationalism. So let's just smack these Pakis around until we get what we want, I say. It's not like we have any other grounds besides money and expediency with which to engage them in a dialogue of equals.

7/27/2005 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Analsyis from Oct. 2001 still relevant re: Musharraf

"If domestic instability leads to the downfall of the current Pakistani government, nuclear weapons and the means to make them could fall into the hands of a government hostile to the United States and its allies."

Also, does anybody else remember the report of US personnel securing the launch codes for the Pakistani nuclear missiles?

I found this in indiadaily.com:

"Suggested measures for securing Indian and Pakistani weapon sites have ranged from "guards and gates" around nuclear facilities to "permissive action links," which act as locks, on nuclear weapons to prevent unauthorised use."

The article then goes on say that these security precautions were turned down by Pakistan. Musharaff, correctly in my opinion, probably thinks that such security measures would remove the reason behind our tolerance of him.

7/27/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Unfortunately, we do not have the intelligence capabilities in those areas of the world to just ignore Musharraf's wishes and to go it alone. And taking action that has an end result of his overthrow is not going to make allying with the U.S. an attractive option for other governments whose help we may need. Like it or not, we CANNOT win this struggle without a significant amount of assistance from a lot of third world countries, so we do need to take their concerns into consideration.

7/27/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Pakistani Army is not the Taliban and they are not a mirror image of the Iraqi Army. Those Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan are not well Administrated from Islamabad.

The Kashmir Challenge is a least as divisive as the Israeli / Palistinian Problem, just not as well reported in the MSM. The scope of the conflict there, in Kashmir, gives lie to the story that it is Palistine that is the root of the Global Conflict. There are major conflicts/ insurgencies on every edge of the Mohammedan world

Public announcements are not nearly as important as private understandings in that Central Asia. We will have to watch the action on the ground to discern what was really discussed at Army House.
It will be difficult for the Pakistanis to thwart actions in areas of the FATA they do not patrol.

7/27/2005 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Wretchard, the most obvious example of this process is Iraq. Who doubts that a significant American presence will be there for quite a while?

Osama wanted the infidels out of Saudi, and achieved his goal; but he got a much bigger dose of them next door.

I wonder if the other Muslim nations are thinking about that...

7/27/2005 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

all this stuff is fun but anyone with any sense knows that such power as the usa now exerts is best thwarted by illegal immigration--so as to crack up this country.

Anyone who does not understand that is culpable of gross incompetance or treason.

7/27/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

The overthrow prospect though is not a given. If the dispute is between developing some sort of negotiated agreement allowing us into Waziristan and merely telling Musharraf that this is part of the deal and going in anyway (presuming we have adequate intelligence to mount the snatch), then I say we give it a little more time and effort but ultimately just go in. The Paki army and ISI may not be HAMAS, but they are surely sympathetic enough to all sorts of aspects of this OBL problem and beyond that will ultimately thwart our efforts if we rely upon their sympathy for Our cause, which couldn't really be more justified. I reiterate my point in a previous thread: yes, these local conflicts are terrible and real and promise real consequences to those in power locally, but engaging them on their own terms will surely result in a quagmire, providing fodder for polemics and denying us the victories-in-fact which will ultimately win the war. Ideological disputes are pointless when you share none of the assumptions and the goal is, essentially, zero sum. Reagan won through intimidation and war by others means. The Communist ideological victory, meanwhile, is on display throughout the arts and academy in the Western world, while its political and military existence is in the dustbin of history.

7/27/2005 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Musharraf's balancing game is who is more dangerous to his own hide: the Muslims within his own security force, or the Americans. Since the Muslims have tried to blow him up at least three times in the last year or so, he's betting that Dubya and Rumsfeld won't get that close and personal. I say we call his bet and blow something up REALLY big REALLY close to him. Maybe while he's in the latrine so he gets bad nasty-smelling stuff all over his presidential uniform.

7/27/2005 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Musharraf and the Kremlin are NOT ABLE to prevent their citizens from learning about Baha'u'llah!

When the people learn, there will be some among them who feel rightly that the oppressive measures taken by Musharraf (and all other 'leaders' like him) must be rewarded with the Ceausescu Two-Step!

"I have given power to the people."

7/27/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Mearcstapa said...

Osama's gift to the Islamic/Arab world: showing the world (and particularly the US itself) the true unopposable power of the US, and solid establishment of that power in the middle of the Arab world. I'm surprised Islamic extremists haven't called for Osama's head themselves.

However, thinking we can just ignore Musharraf and do what we want in Pakistan is extremely foolish. His overthrow in favor of Islamic extremists would be a much tougher nut for us than Afghanistan or Iraq. And we've certainly got enough nuts to deal with as-is.

7/27/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

C'mon! Are you guys smoking something REALLY new? Projecting our "empire's" power from, where? Uzbekistan?! With what legions? Does anyone remember Beirut? Mogodishi? Saigon? (examples of other hubristic, halfassed, get-our-guys-killed schemes)
We're having trouble: 1)Pacifying Iraq. 2)Finding new allies in our current adventures. 3)Keeping our present list of "allies" (Perv, Saudi, Egypt, Italy, Poland etc.) on the leash.
Should 'a bridge too far' not come to mind here?

7/27/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Officials from both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have already requested/hinted that we set a limit to our prsence. We may turn them around and delay it, but not forever. This could change in a moment if we get hit again and are angry, but the farther from 9-11, the easier it is for regional actors to work against us. Both China and Russia have more influence, being neighborhood powers who aren't ever leaving and less squeamish morally, imo.

Waziristan provides the 'core' base that Afghanistan no longer does. We smack the Taliban around when they come into Afghanistan, but they can wait us out in the Tribal areas indefinitely. Musharraf won't weaken his position vis a vis India to do the unprecedented, and really go into those areas.

I think democratic Afghanistan is a PR fantasy and never going to outlast us. We're buying time, but eventually we'll leave, then the warlords will take over again. Considering the precedents, it is probably best anyway that we don't mess too much with internal Afghan affairs, only fix the broken windows and buy time. I wrote about it here.

7/27/2005 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

we're talking now about the "law of unintended results."

In the sort of reasoning we're looking at here if osama is the unintended stalking horse of US interests then then the illegals coming into the USA are the unintended stalking horses of the Mukhabarat interests.

Please guys get into the habit of looking for fearful symetries.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

~ William Blake ~
1757 - 1827

7/27/2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Eventually the meme will spread into the mainstream Left that UBL is a CIA agent (which is why he is still at large) and that AQ was a plot by the US/Israeli/NeoCon cabal to trigger an excuse for empire. Sounds silly, but at the DU there are already plenty of posts that point in the same direction, and the likes of Cynthia McKinney would be well-disposed to entertain such speculation in her "hearings."

I think we made a mistake by originally eliminating McKinney, we should have sent campaign donations for a Presidential campaign. Good luck winning over Middle America when so many members of your party are obviously nuts. Long live the "Jooooooooooos".

7/27/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

In any case the upper west side of manhattan is definitely not the best from which to formulate american foreign policy-no matter what side of the establishment you're on.

7/27/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger ricpic said...

The U.S. in Central Asia?

There is such a thing as over-extension, you know.

7/27/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Cutler: "We're buying time, but eventually we'll leave, then the warlords will take over again."

If that is a universal dynamic, look for events to push America even further into the unknown.

Anybudee: "Projecting our "empire's" power from, where? Uzbekistan?! With what legions?"

With what legions did we topple the Taliban? You drastically underestimate the implications of having American strategic assets hours away from any point on Earth.

7/27/2005 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Aristo-
Perhaps you are drastically enderestimating something else. Have you checked where Uzbek IS? How we do the logistics, go to the Transporter Room? We couldn't even get Turkey to let us fly over, you think we're gonna get Putin's permission? Jao's?

We don't need to buy any more trouble.

7/27/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"If that is a universal dynamic, look for events to push America even further into the unknown."

Distressingly, I agree with you.

7/27/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger david bennett said...

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



----------------------------
Uzbekistan has announced that it will offer U.S. forces a base for operations in Afghanistan, and that it does not rule out the possibility of a permanent base if needed.
---------------------------

They've announced that that for now they will keep letting us use the base we've been using since 2001.

http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200507/200507270023.html

This is good news in that as the headlines in the MSM weeks ago reported Russia and China made the first gentle thrist in getting us out of "their" region.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0705/dailyUpdate.html


However we do have "issues" with this particular government and several others in the region. They are nasty.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/03/AR2005060301655.html

There have been no major breakthroughs or changes in our central Asian position. We continue to use the bases we've used for the last 3 1/2 years (which strategic genises such as yourself who need not worry about logistics seem never to heard about.) For now they haven't started throwing us out, though they have probably made it clear we shouldn't go on nattering too much abbout that freedom stuff and that we should stress what wonderful friends they are in the war on terror.

As for Pakistan asserting it's territorial integrity, it isn't good news for us, we would prefer they keep their mouths shut if we pursue the enemy into their realm. But they want to keep us out of their badlands. I suppose *you* believe that this is because they have the crazy fundamentalists over there under control. I also suspect you are the sort who is investing in Iraqi dinars for retirement.

However this public warning is not a good sign. There are others in the "great game."

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L24659074.htm

I simply do not understand how when the prominent articles in search engines note that after threatening to stop our access because we mentioned human rights, that Kyrgyzstans agreement to let us keep using it is some amazing victory. And there are still some other nations who are considering throwing us out.

Just explain to me the mental process that turns this into success and victory and a whole new front on the war on terrorism. How do you arrive at these absurdities?

7/27/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

Pakistan's role in the WoT is an interesting one. They are nominally an ally, and yet are one of the primary sources of Islamic extremism in the world today (the other being Saudi Arabia). Musharraf, lest we forget, is a dictator who achieved power in a coup and is not particularly popular among ordinary Pakistanis. Also, his intelligence service (the notorious ISI) is pretty clearly in the Islamist bag, having long-standing connections to the Taliban in Afghanistan and with other Islamic groups in Kashmir and other parts of central Asia.

Pakistan really has little power over its hinterlands -- the further you get from Islamabad, the less power the government has. There are military troops stationed along the frontier, to be sure, but many are corrupted by a variety of influences: ISI connections, Pashtun tribal affiliations, drug-smugglers, and so on.

Musharraf is in effect saying, "We can't do it but we don't want you to do it either". It's a demonstration of his weakness when America crosses the Pakistani border with impunity, and yet beyond a dimplomatic rebuke what can he realistically do? He sees the closer ties between India and the US, and knows this spells all kinds of bad news for Pakistan (and Bangladesh, for that matter).

Pakistan is ripe for an Islamist coup -- Musharraf has already escaped a couple of assassination attempts, but his luck can't hold forever. If a nuclear-armed Pakistan is taken over by Islamist militants, the United States faces issues far more serious than simply killing OBL. In fact, it is this instability that might be driving our recent overtures to India -- we might need overflight and basing rights on Indian soil if things go south in a big way.

7/27/2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Guys, it's stuff like this that would chauffeur Hillary into the Wing. In fact, a significant rise in mil deaths might just be enough. Even with her negatives. This empire talk scares the bewhozits our of midlanders. (who are already talking about America First) It's their kids who would be ground up. And for what? W is not as believable to them as he first was. And he squeeked out his wins, one by overtime. More talk like this gives even McKinney more palate.

If we're pressed into adventurism by worry of resources, at least make sure of our close perimeter. Look south.

7/27/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And where will the troops come for the Waziristan campaign?

the answer may well be in USA Today

"...Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country.

Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. "But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard," he said, speaking through a translator. "And this fast pace has two aspects."

First, there must be a quickening of the pace of U.S. training of Iraqi security forces, and second there must be closely coordinated planning between the U.S.-led military coalition and the emerging Iraq government on a security transition, he said.

"We do not want to be surprised by a withdrawal that is not in connection with our Iraqi timing,'" he said.

Speaking earlier with U.S. reporters traveling with Rumsfeld, Gen. George Casey, the top American commander in Iraq, said he believed a U.S. troop withdrawal could begin by spring 2006 if progress continues on the political front and if the insurgency does not expand. ..."

Right after December Elections the pullout will begin, you may have read it here first, as speculation, months ago.

7/27/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Osma Bin Laden stands in noteworthy if not distinguised company of dictators who have ultimately increased Amercian power. One of that number is Stalin.
Just to the north of both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan lies the much larger former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, location of the USSR's version of Cape Canaveral at Baikonur as well as its nuclear weapon testing facilities.
Baikonur began courting Western investment even before the USSR went Tango Uniform, and today it is a major factor at the facility; some would say THE major factor. And shortly after the hammer and sickle was hauled down for the last time, the goverment of Kazakhstan contacted the US and had a DoD team destroy the old subsurface nuclear testing facilities; they did not want the Russians to come back and set off nukes there.
A significant factor in the U.S. failure to take out Saddam in 1991 was Soviet nervousness over so much U.S. combat power amassed so close to their borders. Clearly that kind of concern is not a factor in U.S. plans today.

7/27/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Police and intelligence agents Wednesday arrested a suspected militant who was wanted for a role in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, officials said.
The man, identified as Hashim Qadeer, was captured from a bus at a terminal in the eastern Pakistan city of Gujranwala, a police and an intelligence official said on condition of anonymity. Both requested anonymity because they are not authorized to make media statements. ..."

Once again after a public dustup with the US the Paki's come through with a "named" target.
They do run true to form.

7/27/2005 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

anybudee:

I think you both underestimate our staying power (and military strategy) and ignore external pressures. America must stay engaged both militarily and politically in Central Asia, if for no other reason than our own long-term socio-economic viability.

Islamism and the "failed state" actors are the near enemy; which is to say, these are the people we'll be fighting for the next decade or so. But looking over the longer term, there are much larger threats looming -- an increasingly-militant China, a sullen Russia looking back to the old days of empire, and a possible collapse of the ruling family in Saudi Arabia.

We cannot simply opt out of these scenarios, even if we wished to -- our social and economic well-being depends on our vigilance.

People who complain that Iraq is a mess are completely missing the point: Iraq is a mess, but it has been a mess for a long time; it was a mess before we got there; it will be a mess after we leave (whenever that might be); but it will be less of a mess than it would have been otherwise, and it has left us in a much better strategic position. The same goes for Afghanistan, and for the Balkans, and for Haiti.

Iraq is many things to us, but in this context it is a classroom. To grouse that President Bush or the military didn't anticipate all the problems is just peurile; no military plan survives contact with the enemy. By historical standards the American military is doing extraordinarily well. And yet given the ceaseless negativism from most of the media and the political left (parts of the same whole, really), the average American has little real idea of how much strategic progress has been achieved.

Think about it. In 2002, Saddam Hussein still ruled as a tyrant over an ethnically diverse country of 30 million people. In 2005, Iraq has a popularly-elected government and is well on its way to having a Constitution. This change was brought about by America.

In 2001, Afghanistan was home to one of the most repressive and backwards regimes on the earth. In 2005, Afghanistan has a popularly-elected government and its people are experiencing the most peaceful time many of them have known for decades. This change was brought about by America.

These are momentous things, and changes of this magnitude never happen without pain and loss. The cry It's not fair! is the cry of a child; fate, like the Old Testament YHWH, demands blood sacrifice.

7/27/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

rwe wrote:
"Osma Bin Laden stands in noteworthy if not distinguised company of dictators who have ultimately increased Amercian power. One of that number is Stalin."

OBL a dictator? There must be a portion of history missing from my book?

Cutler wrote on Afghanistan:
"We're buying time, but eventually we'll leave, then the warlords will take over again."

Haven't you heard the joke about Karzai being the Mayor of Kabul? The poppies are flourishing and so are the warlords.

7/27/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But, ash, are the warlord supporting terrorists with Global Reach? Not at all, they are minding their villages and cities as they used to. The Federal Government, such as it is, was elected in a country wide election. Regardless or Karzai's ability to 'project force' the Afghans are no longer hosting Mohammedan terrorist training bases.
As for the poppies, this is a crop that has long grown in the country. We could attempt to shut this agricultural industry down, but how many more US troops should we deploy to Afghanistan to fulfill that mission.
My favorite Trotskite sod, Chris Hitchens suggest we transfer legal poppy growing licenses from Turkey to Afghanistan. Taking this Afghan industry out of the realm of criminality and into respectable medical channels.

7/27/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

ash: "Haven't you heard the joke about Karzai being the Mayor of Kabul? The poppies are flourishing and so are the warlords."

A marked improvement from the flourishing and flourishes of Taliban cum Al'Qaeda, I think.

7/27/2005 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Which WAR is more important to the US
The War on Drugs or
the War on Terror?

By targeting the Afghan poppy farmers would we be pushing them into the open arms of the Insurectionist Forces? I'd submit that an policy of poppy irradication could do just that.
Those poppies, the lessor of two evils.

7/27/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Monty
I agree, mostly. The most important aspect of Iraq, pro AND con, is we are THERE. But new major bases in places we can't protect is just past diminishing return. We ARE seeing the limits of American power. Every chance I get I talk to returning soldiers, both to thank them and ask what they really think. Opinions are varied. Most say deposing Saddam was worth it. And most say it's time to come home. NONE (of dozens, o's and e's) say we should go into Syria or Iran.
In your previous post you mentioned India. Now there's something to farm.
-Large army. Nuclear.
-Needs our high tech.
-Wants not to lag behind China too far.
-Wants to be a 'player'.
-Has huge stake in thwarting Islamism.
-Maybe even help Perv with right carrot.
Delhi, not Samarqand.

7/27/2005 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

Both Moscow and Beijing grudgingly approved the arrival of U.S. military forces in former Soviet Central Asia in late 2001 and have since tolerated the U.S. presence in Central Asia.

Both countries want U.S. forces to leave the region completely after their presence in Afghanistan is no longer required (from their perspective, not ours), but for different reasons.

Moscow is determined to prevent further setbacks to Russian interests in former Soviet states, particularly after U.S. support proved decisive in the democratic revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine.

These revolutions significantly undermined Moscow’s influence in both countries. Beijing’s interests are defined more in terms of preventing the United States from encircling China to the west, securing access to the region’s energy, and preventing regional sources of instability from aggravating separatist tendencies in China’s westernmost Xinjiang province.

As for the five Central Asian states, the regimes in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have expressed the most concern about the U.S. emphasis on promoting democracy. Uzbekistan has actually imposed flight restrictions on the K2 airbase to express its displeasure.

7/27/2005 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2005 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Oppression of Mohammedans in Algeria is the stated cause for aQ in Iraq to assassinate two Algerian diplomats kidnapped a few days ago.
Yes, you read it right
Oppression of Mohammedans in Algeria, who'd have ever guessed.

7/27/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Oh, jeeze! I forgot!
Al Quadea is a democracy and OBL was freely elected.
The same was true of his best pals, the Taliban.
Actually, I never said that he was a dictator; just that he was in the company of some.

7/27/2005 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Fjordman said...

Pakistan will not and cannot ever be a reliable ally. It is the epicentre of the global Jihad.

7/27/2005 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Anybudee,

The principal interests in Central Asia are access to future lawless states and sources energy. Without the 'energy' part that description might even fit Pakistan's northwestern provinces. One way to look at it is that Al Qaeda is 'sucking America into Central Asia' to force it into a quagmire just the way it vacuumed the US into the Middle East for the same purpose.

The other way to see it is that radical Islam (and to a certain extent governments with interests in the drug and criminal trade) see Central Asia as ripe for the taking. Bin Laden would have known this best of all. He is going into the 'stans for his own gain. The question before the America is whether and how to follow suit.

Musharraff needs Bin Laden both at large and at bay. This is the only way he can play both ends against the middle. In that respect he may be the prototype of the kinds of leaders we may encounter in other Central Asian heads of state. If Iraq, as Monty says, is the "classroom" on how to keep Middle Eastern countries from becoming like Iraq the analogous problem in Central Asia is to learn how to keep those countries from becoming like Pakistan.

7/27/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Fjordman, I must add Saudi Arabia. The epicenter is an axis running between Mecca and Waziristan.

7/27/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

NoOne,

"And don't forget the US is entering into defense and nuclear relations with India. Perhaps this is a cloaked rebuke from Musharraf for what he sees as support for his enemy (or at least less-than-friendly neighbour)."

If one route to Pakistan is Afghanistan, the other is India. Bush is doing two things. He is sponsoring India into the legit nuclear power supplier cartel (the better to undercut the bootlegger AQ Khan) and making them part of the international fusion project. See The Australian. One of the problems in Central Asia is that they might actually find more petroleum there than the Middle East -- and with Bin Laden's madrassas there before them. How'd the world like them apples? It's imperative to get other types of non-oil energy online -- and not just the fairy solar stuff either -- unless we want nightmares in a decade.

It seem obvious that Central Asia is at once great peril and opportunity. I don't know whether it is wise to go into Central Asia in the present way, but we ought to do something. Otherwise the this decade will be to the next as the 1990s were to this.

7/27/2005 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Monty said...

Our bases in the Central Asian area needn't be huge, Ramstein-style fixed fortifications; they're more likely going to be "lily pad" bases which either take advantage of existing structures (like the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan), or are simple tent cities on slightly-improved land.

Our needs for these bases are fairly simple: airfields, fuel and ammo depots, and maybe firebases for artillery. A moderate sized base of a couple hundred combat troops (with associated support personnel) would be a *huge* force-multiplier if the base is near a critical "pressure point".

Our need for bases like this -- not just in Central Asia, but also in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and elsewhere -- are obvious. We don't need to keep huge numbers of troops forward-deployed to project power. Even a smallish base could easily repel an attack by a vastly larger force given our force-multipliers (mainly rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, and surveillance technology). The main value of bases like these are as staging points for special ops teams and as a "clearing house" for HUMINT.

This scenario is exactly why I think that our military is going to have to dramatically rethink our needs for things like cargo and tanker aircraft -- the "lily pad" base scenario presupposes that we can quickly respond to threads by augmenting the in-place force with assets delivered either from other in-theater bases or from the United States.

Another advantage of these kinds of bases to the host country is that they're lower-profile than something like Ramstein or Kadena while at the same time being more operationally efficient.

7/27/2005 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"It would be the supreme irony if radical Islam's lasting contribution to history turned out to be the establishment of a global American power."
---
Should we set up a support system for Halfbright and her ex-boss Bill?
...luckily Hillary is not on record as far as I know.
---
Hugh informs us that LAX Bomber will be out in 14 years.
Deport the Judiciary.

7/27/2005 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

At least all the EXPERTS working for our govt were sure he had no connection to AQ freedom fighter people when he was apprehended.

7/27/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Monty said,
"This scenario is exactly why I think that our military is going to have to dramatically rethink our needs for things like cargo and tanker aircraft -- the "lily pad" base scenario presupposes that we can quickly respond to threads by augmenting the in-place force with assets delivered either from other in-theater bases or from the United States.
"
Agreed,
...and Carriers are very effective mobile life support systems as demoed in the Tsunami Operation.

7/27/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"By targeting the Afghan poppy farmers would we be pushing them into the open arms of the Insurectionist Forces? I'd submit that an policy of poppy irradication could do just that.
Those poppies, the lessor of two evils."


Exactly, perfect is the enemy of good. Someone said we did what the Russians failed in 10 years, I don't agree. The Russians attempted to take over the entire country, flooding it with over 100,000 troops and increasing Afghan xenophobia.

We simply changed the leadership, backed him with our support [putting the warlords in line], and do whatever humanitarian deeds we can to mitigate Afghan xenophobia. I think eventually we'll be given the choice of leaving or going the Soviet route [disaster], but for now the current set up is the best we can do.

7/27/2005 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard said,
" It's imperative to get other types of non-oil energy online -- and not just the fairy solar stuff either -- unless we want nightmares in a decade."
---
If we really cared, we'd have a Strategic Reserve of Idling Nukes.
...at a cost much less than the new free viagra programs.

7/27/2005 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Wretchard said,
" It's imperative to get other types of non-oil energy online -- and not just the fairy solar stuff either -- unless we want nightmares in a decade."

rvo & svo vegetable oil can run in a dual tank trucks, buses that have diesel engines, i have been told that if we just converted the WASTE rvo in this country it would replace 20% of diesel fuel usage.

7/27/2005 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

less ale means more mabel

7/27/2005 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Fox News report from Wednesday, January 12, 2005
"... Navy crews based on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln have flown hundreds of relief missions in the past two weeks.

Like the Marines, the Navy crews carry no weapons and have no land base.

Intensive negotiations opened the way for expansion of helicopter relief operations and for the first batch of Marines to come ashore by hovercraft in Meulaboh on Monday.

"At first we were sent to known airfields," helicopter pilot Capt. David Shealy said Wednesday. "Now we are doing targets of opportunity, looking for small groups of people who are isolated and need help."

The Marines, diverted here from duty in Iraq, ... Col. Tom Greenwood, commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said earlier this week that they would instead keep only a "minimal footprint," with most returning to their ship at night instead of establishing a camp ashore.

The bulk of the Marines' mission has become ferrying aid workers and transporting food from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard. ..."

7/27/2005 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Consider the irony if the South had won the Civil War and had imposed slavery on all of the USA. Then, John Brown's raid would have been seen as folly.

UBL and 9/11 can only be seen as a disaster for the One-world Islamists.

Someone conducts a surprise attack on the USA and a new, more potent weapon is used in retaliation - this time it was manueverist warfare coupled with global mobility.

In just five weeks we had troops on the ground in Afghanistan. A month later the Taliban are no more.

Consider the strategic situation.

Alfred Thayer Mahan had a huge impact on Teddy Roosevelt and the neo-cons of his Day.

The Chinese have pursued a Mahan strategy across the Pacific.

But we are playing at a higher level. Whereas China is looking at sea lanes and controlling space, we are looking at global mobility and how to create options.

A stepping stone strategy in Asia is just as valid as it was in the Pacific. If troops have to hike 1000 miles, they might as well be on an Island in the Pacific.

The key to Central Asia is Mobility. Only the Mongols had it. China has been able to conduct raids over time, but only at a huge cost and after a long build-up.

The Mongols unhinged China via raids from Central Asia. The old routes are there and just because they would be traversed by F-15Es or B-1Bs and Air-mobile assaults, does not mean those old lines of communication don't exist.

And other options exist as well.

Russians are still being beaten up in Ulaan Batar and the Chinese are no less hated.

A Mongolian Armored Brigade or Airmobile/Airborne Battalions trained by US Advisors can be a reality in a very short time.

The Mongols combined their hardiness and good leadership with supreme mobility and top military technology that allowed them to dominate Asia. The same goes for the Sioux in the Northern Plains.

All they would need would be a way to regain mobility and to gain good military technology.

7/27/2005 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

TCW
I 'spose. But that great American philosopher, Harry Callahan, said several times that, "a man's just gotta know his limitations." So does a country. Or an empire. You gotta pick your battles. You can't be willing to die on every hill. (and other bromides...)
Wouldn't we be better off helping the Russians fight Islamofascism in their own backyard? There might be nice value added with China. (It could happen) Maybe restrain the PRC from the 'northern resource area'. This Audie Murphy, go-it-alone stuff needs to be phased out before the red states vote with their feet.

7/27/2005 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The British have been downsizing it's Gurkha Regiments for years. These natives of Nepal are some of the finest soldiers in the world. It is a good bet that a Brigade or two or these veterans, or their sons, could be raised, in addition to the Mongol Combat Teams.
Special Forces A team were always a force multiplier, but now, with modern technologies...

7/27/2005 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

US power can be projected in many ways and forms. It is often counter productive to have a large American contingent on the ground when there are other methods available.
Garrisoning large numbers of troops in Germany is not improving the defensive security of the average German. It will not be required in Iraq much longer.
Surrogates and proxies are available, we should utilize them, every where we can.

7/27/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Rem870 said...

Red River,

First of all, it was not a 'civil war' as maintained by the victors. It was a War for Southern Independence. As such, had we not capitualted, slavery would have remained only in the South. Where is the irony in that? We would not have imposed anything on the north. Secondly, slavery was not the issue in The War for Southern Independence, but states' rights were. What is ironic is, of course, the left's call for states rights since the beating they took in November. Irregardless, slavery was on the way out - technological advances would soon make it obsolete. Left to our own devices, the dismantlement of slavery would have gone much smoother, with most former slaves being shipped out (even Lincoln was for this). Thus, much of the turmoil of the past century within the US would have been avoided.

7/27/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat takes a cue from his magical friend abracadabra, and changes the subject away from his free viagra.
---
Pork,
Employ Jimmah and his land for the rest of his years growing peanuts to fuel commerce.

7/27/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When a man is mature but vibrant, chemical enhancemnt is not required. I am not yet handicapped in that regard.

7/27/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Anybuddee comes to Halfbright's defense.

7/27/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How much is mature and vibrant listed for on that site W's 2 young new posters linked to?

7/27/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ms Halfbright did have a point in her question to her replacement, Colin Powell, then Chairman the Joint Chiefs.
"Why have this great military if we can't use it?"

7/27/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

how do you know they are young?

7/27/2005 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Their pictures are right there on the last several threads.

7/27/2005 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

you found it that captivating

7/27/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

They said they liked W's blog so much, I just had to look, figured they were smart.

7/27/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rick will be glad to see this:
.Fred Astaire's widow cannot bar use of film footage in instructional videotapes

7/27/2005 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

that may well be the case, about the young people.

7/27/2005 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Doug
You seem to be fixated on free Viagra. Is there something you'd like to get off your chest? We're listening.

Madeline Albright was, and still is a dipstick. Defending her, her boss or her bosses' husband would only be accidental on my part. Inasmuch as they, sadly, are still citizens of this country. At least ostensibly.
I don't know what Madam Wide-load was supposed to have said, she became a nonentity when Bubba took his humidor back to Arky. (or was it NYC? Brussels?!?) No matter. Even a stopped clock agrees with the correct time twice a day.
If you have a particular view of mine you disagree with, please show me the courtesy of pointing it out, so that I might either defend it or reconsider and admit my bad. Just don't paint me with her brush.
I'm an autumn. She's gotta be a winter.

7/27/2005 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

anybuddee:
Two things actually:
I don't like paying for other people's sex toys, and
'Rat needs it, and the Club's needs are important.

7/27/2005 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rem870,
No Tom Sowell, Justice Thomas, Walter Williams, Justice Janice Rogers Brown...

7/27/2005 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just a disagreement anybuddee, and I should have been more agreeable:
She was always harping on how dangerous it was for us to be the lone superpower.
I disagree, at least in the present world.
You may compare your position to that for my edification re:
A. Murphy vs strange bedfellows like pootie pooter.

7/27/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No H. Rap Brown, Stokley Carmicheal, Mr. X or even Imam Farrican (sp).
It is what it is and what is done is done.
Six Flags for Texas

7/27/2005 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Man, Doug, you are busier than a CIWS gun in a Clancy book. Drop back to impulse power and please tell me what Maddie said. or where to go find it.

Please.

7/27/2005 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2005 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Guy on Left Needs More than Viagra:
Justice Roberts will be there long after he's gone.

7/27/2005 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

She did say the superpower thing I posted:
Made a good rationale for sharing our Nuke Crown Jewells w/China, and doing a jig with the Krazy Korean.
I withdraw my comparison to your much younger self, in the spirit of the new tone, and as a courtesy to a fellow member.

7/27/2005 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the guy on the left needs a lot of things.

7/27/2005 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

anybuddee,
I was just appealling to a codified yardstick to use as a martial rally point in order to throw moral brickbats.

7/27/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'lets see if rat can figure that one out!

7/27/2005 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

mabel! he needs more ale!

7/27/2005 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

he's crawling from under the table

7/27/2005 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I forgot about Imam SpaceBalls:
How has he chimed in on the Great World Unpleasantness?

7/27/2005 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I am unknowing and uncaring. He has a small compound here in Phoenix. Downtown, very private with 20' tall hedges all around. Very nice.
I heard some of his speeches years ago, on Cspan or ?. He was not unreasonable in many respects. He preached family and community strength. Again they were selected speeches and he said nothing to inflammatory, in those particular speeches.

7/27/2005 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And no mention of a visit to the mothership, I guess?
---
Reuel Marc Gerecht:
. the "Jihad Made In Europe,":
This means, of course, that the Bush administration ought to preempt fate and suspend the visa-waiver program established in 1986 for Western Europeans.
It is true that consular officers were a poor frontline defense before 9/11 against Muslim extremists trying to enter the United States.
But the United States would be safer with some screening mechanism, however imperfect, before Europeans arrive at our borders.
American-European relations were just fine when we required all Europeans to obtain visas before crossing our borders.

7/27/2005 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ingraham was less than fully pleased by Kyle's immigration comments, although we gotta hope the McCain/Kennedy version doe not prevail.

7/27/2005 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Doug
You honor me. (how pathetic is that?!) Actually I love your comments. (When I get them, some, you must just have to be in your head)
I'll check out your reference after work. Those dang mortgage people have NO sense of humor, always thinking of themselves.

7/27/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The border issue, doug, a lesson to learned, incrementalism. Reagan believed in it.
Advance the ball, each play is important. Do not look for the long bomb on every play.
Given choice between McCain or Kyl, ride with Kyl.

7/27/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

San Diego National War Memorial
(the evil cross)
Was saved with a vote of 76%!
Talk Radio Prevails over
Evil Atheist ACLU!

7/27/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Judge that gave the 14 more year sentence to LAX Bomber wannabe was Reagan's first appointee.
Screened by Ted Olsen!
...that's gotta really hurt.
The jerk then lectured us about losing the constitution, or some such.

7/27/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2005 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The China Trap

I was searching for information about our Central Asian strategic posture, and noticed something interesting.

"Most Chinese sources strongly criticized the use of force without United Nations sanction and rejected the ostensible rationales for Allied Force—to protect human rights and halt ethnic cleansing.4 They noted that these rationales could be used to justify intervention practically anywhere on Earth, since a great many countries have ethnic conflicts in progress, and intervening on behalf of separatists in Kosovo would only encourage separatists elsewhere. Moreover, they believed that these rationales were simply fig leaves used to cover larger American geopolitical purposes. The Chinese considered that these purposes included removing obstacles to NATO’s eastward expansion, reducing Russia’s sphere of influence, and using NATO as a tool for 'global hegemony.'

Some journalists contended that the next step in the “strategic conspiracy” is to expand NATO’s area of interest into Central Asia, the Middle East, and even the Asia-Pacific region.6 Another author considered that one goal of Allied Force was to “open up the Balkan corridor” to the military, political, and economic influence of the European Union, which would serve to secure a land/river route for the flow of oil and gas from the Caucasus and Central Asia to Western Europe.7 The author predicted that in the aftermath of the Balkan war, the United States would intensify its efforts to contain China. Containment would entail supporting India’s missile programs, encouraging separatists in Xinjiang and territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and strengthening the defenses of Taiwan and Japan.

Senior Col Yao Youzhi of the AMS argued that Eurasia plays a “decisive position in global geopolitical strategies.” He claimed that the United States views North America as its base, South America as its backyard, Africa as a “broken continent that cannot be lifted up,” and Eurasia as the “serious hidden danger to global dominance.” America plans to control Eurasia by keeping Russia weak, manipulating NATO, and containing China through military alliances with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand."

The dangers of Colonel Qiao Liang's Unrestricted Warfare are the unintended consequences that can attend any ill-thought over-steps. I have read since September 11, Colonel Liang and Wang Xiangsui have been treated as heroes in China for articulating the strategy of "terrorism, narcotics trafficking, drug smuggling, environmental degradation and computer viruses as methods to defeat America."

I bet the Chinese are not as sanguine anymore. In direct contra-distinction to Al'Qaeda's hopes and China's strategic analysis, the 9/11 attacks have focused and accelerated America's strategic posture. The Giant has awoken and discovered the world needs her attention.

Every single worry the Chinese had about Operation Allied Force have come to pass, via the GWOT. In the 90's, the Chinese thought we were a Python, using our great mass to suffocate all rivals. The present claustrophobia must be overwhelming.

7/27/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Chair of Cross Committee is first generation - brought his WWII Vet father to see it.
...dad and mom are Jewish Holocaust survivors, both still living!

7/27/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

REM870,
You need to go Browning!!

7/27/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Aristides,
Good post, except for the "9/11 attacks have focused and accelerated America's strategic posture" line. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most of the leadership in this country, and after Bush is out of office, unless there is a significant attack, 9/11 will fade into the past.

7/27/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Aristides,
When was that written?

7/27/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It would be insensitive to go on thinking about it, ex-helo.

7/27/2005 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The opponents of the Administration and many of it's supporters believe that the US is both Omnipotent and Omnipresent while at the same time Mega ignorant. None are true.
Our professionals read the Chicom Colonels's book years ago. Life is not static.
A Chinese General threatens US with Nukes, well, it may be time to move a piece.

7/27/2005 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Sorry guys, I thought I put in the link.

Go here.

Doug: Summer 2000

7/27/2005 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ACLU attorney James McElroy hints of opponents' hidden agenda in seeking to destroy the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in a recent KPBS interview... What historic monument will be targeted next if Proposition A fails to garner the 2/3 vote needed to pass?
. Honor our Veterans, Protect our Memorial

7/27/2005 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" well, it may be time to move a piece. "
huh?

7/27/2005 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Exhelodrvr: I am hoping the acceleration will move apace even when Bush leaves office. I am tentatively confident (how's that for a description!) that the blogosphere will keep the pressure on our national leaders to not all the sudden become a bunch of Stanley Baldwins, nodding their agreement while they let our defenses rust and atrophy.

That our strategy is already moving gives me hope. It is, after all, much more difficult to begin a government program than to kill it.

7/27/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger luminary said...

Apparently the whole world is watching CNN, FOX etc. on their Chinese made TV’s.
Except in most of China of course.

On a recent assignment near the Chinese-controlled zone, I found this to be true when my driver and I were invited one night to go to a “Play”
The “play” turned out to be about 150 locals watching one small TV set propped high upon wooden crates.
I left quickly, as it was obvious by some of the faces that I was not welcome there.

I thought, that wasn’t a play.
Apparently they thought differently.

We have the weapon in place, a maddening, constant stream of bow-flex, male enhancement drugs, and I’m too fat to be happy commercials would surely psychologically damage any adversary.

While the men are checking their manly-hood, and the women baffled at the thought of someone having a too much to eat problem.
They could easily be micro-waved.

7/27/2005 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Wretchard said,
" It's imperative to get other types of non-oil energy online -- and not just the fairy solar stuff either -- unless we want nightmares in a decade."
//////////////
yes this is the essential meme

in fact, this meme is so uncontroversially plain that it has become table top magazine fare.

consider this month's National Geographic:

http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0508/feature1/fulltext.html

As National Geographic reported in June 2004, oil, no longer cheap, may soon decline. Instability where most oil is found, from the Persian Gulf to Nigeria to Venezuela, makes this lifeline fragile. Natural gas can be hard to transport and is prone to shortages. We won't run out of coal anytime soon, or the largely untapped deposits of tar sands and oil shale. But it's clear that the carbon dioxide spewed by coal and other fossil fuels is warming the planet, as this magazine reported last September.

The trouble with energy freedom is that it's addictive; when you get a little, you want a lot. In microcosm I'm like people in government, industry, and private life all over the world, who have tasted a bit of this curious and compelling kind of liberty and are determined to find more.

Some experts think this pursuit is even more important than the war on terrorism. "Terrorism doesn't threaten the viability of the heart of our high-technology lifestyle," says Martin Hoffert, a professor of physics at New York University. "But energy really does."

Fired up by my taste of energy freedom, I went looking for technologies that can address those numbers. "If you have a big problem, you must give a big answer," says a genial energy guru named Hermann Scheer, a member of the German parliament. "Otherwise people don't believe."

The answers are out there. But they all require one more thing of us humans who huddle around the fossil fuel fire: We're going to have to make a big leap—toward a different kind of world.

7/27/2005 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

""Terrorism doesn't threaten the viability of the heart of our high-technology lifestyle," says Martin Hoffert, a professor of physics at New York University. "But energy really does."
---
" Global warming is a greater threat to the world than terrorism"
Algore, Inventor of the Internet.

7/27/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

in fact it grieves me to note that that the 1000 page unread CAFTA treaty which further dilutes US sovereignty, the meaning of US citizen ship and the value of our birthright

--is utterly unremarked in this forum.

The minds of all are pestered 1000's of miles away as the House votes. (The senate already passed the thing.)

7/27/2005 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

remember this is a two front war: the first is against the islamofaschist one worlders and the other is against the sodomite one worlders.

victory against one is futile if it provides safe harbor for the other to grow.

so whenever things slow to where the mind expands to view great vistas-- watch your back.

goin to carolina in my mind.

7/27/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Winds Of Change is certainly more reliable than Rense.com.

7/27/2005 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger luminary said...

Charles,
My home is both solar, and wind powered.
Photovoltaics have come a long way.
It is quite efficient, and cost effective these days (even in Chicago)
Change is hard for most Americans.
If people could learn to conserve energy, it would have quite an impact.
Behavioral modification is the key.

7/27/2005 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

In that same article, another thing stuck out:

"The future battlefield will be “everywhere”—from the human mind, to the electromagnetic spectrum, to cyberspace, to outer space—and everyone will be a potential combatant, including hackers, genetic engineers, and financiers. Warfare will no longer be the sole province of nation-states and soldiers and will not be resolved only with military means. Instead, “all means” will be used to fight these wars—including trade warfare, financial warfare, terrorism, ecological warfare, computer-network attack, media warfare, drug warfare, and psychological warfare. “Extreme means” need not always be used, but victory will go to those who best combine all the resources at their disposal without regard for boundaries, restrictions, rules, laws, or taboos."

To the list of combatants I would add the blogosphere, and Wretchard's earlier post on "spontaneous organization" and information hubs is relevant here.

One of the great assets of the blogosphere is its ability to offer conceptual frameworks, ideological prisms and mental shorthands through which we can better process and understand the massive data crunch that attends the modern world. Belmont Club is such a site.

In a previous time of danger and confusion, writers like Tom Paine and Alexander Hamilton built for their countrymen just these types of frameworks, and the effect was a buttressing of their resolve and a justification of their courage.

We are also in dangerous and confusing times. But with our attention and stamina, our knowledge will continue to expand, and our conceptual arsenal will continue to grow.

The bunkers of the 21st century will be ideological, and they will be built on-line.

7/27/2005 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Dan says "No way" on my allegory comparing our West Berlin defiance including JFK's air bridge support etc. with our current military basing in Iraq. That compares Islamofascist occupation of the surrounding ground with Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe.

I'll be more explicit in comparing recent past to current fear.

West Berlin was swallowed up in the deadly embrace of an enemy dedicated to our total destruction.

Kruschev really did say "We will bury you" and we took it seriously. John F Kennedy took it to the gunslinger brink over Cuba, for good reason.

George W Bush has taken us up to that gunslinger brink again, and again won the day for Bolder than Brass America.

9/11/01 was all I needed to light 'em up, for the greater good of World. It would be for the bad guys' good as much as ours, to let them surrender, or otherwise get their suffering over with quick.

That NIGHTMARE never occurred during the Cold War, even tho every single child did Bomb Drills and every big building in America had one of those yellow signs indicating a bomb shelter.

Seems to me, not that many years ago, we took our enemies seriously.

Now it is evident that HALF of Americans would rather not pay attention, would rather ignore the Dire Wolf at the Door.

And Now, as explosions go off all around the world, half of the world's Most Powerful Nation is convinced US is the enemy.

Thank God our military, our pointy end of the spear, has taken an oath to follow the actual chain of command.

7/27/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

sodomites
those happy guys
all of 'em, or just the "one worlders" working at the UN?
does the public hanging of sodomites in Iran qualify as a 'good thing' to you, charles?

7/27/2005 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He did say soddomite one worlders, I believe.
(probably implying the UN ones that hunted down 4 yr olds)

7/27/2005 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Here's an opinion from India: The Pakistan Connection

What will we do when we finally get OBL and it turns out he was protected by Pakistan all these years?

7/27/2005 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Keep quiet about it to the maximum extent?

7/27/2005 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

re: Posturing for Energy.

William F. Buckley's article of 2004 comes to mind:

"If one contemplates oil as simply an agent of energy, the idea becomes instantly clearer. Every advance by mankind against the material duress of life is most easily expressed in terms of energy spared. Electrical power is generated in part by running water and by nuclear energy. But mostly it is created by oil and gas. What is it that a people is willing to fight for? The security of home and hearth come first, and that is achieved mostly by weaponry; but weapons that seek to have their effects beyond the range of a cartridge of gunpowder do so, on battleships and airplanes, by the propellant force of oil.

If you are willing to die in order to protect your local hospital, then you must be willing to die for oil, because without oil, your hospital won't take you beyond a surgeon's scalpel, and a surgeon is helpless without illumination, which is provided (mostly) by oil.

To say that we must not fight for oil is utter cant. To fight for oil is to fight in order to maintain such sovereignty as we exercise over the natural world. Socialism plus electricity, Lenin said at the outset of the Soviet revolution, would usher in the ideal state. He was wrong about socialism but not about electricity. Electricity gives us whatever leverage we have over nature. To flit on airily about an unwillingness to fight for oil suggests an indifference to the alleviation of poverty at the next level after bread and water. Throw in, perhaps, the wheel. That too is an indispensable scaffolding of human power over nature. But then comes all the power not generated by the muscles of human beings and beasts of burden."

It is not to like or dislike. It is simply the nature of the beast.

7/27/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

lessor of the possible evils?

7/27/2005 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Charles,

It was Ralph Peters, I think, who said that the future of Islam lay east of the Indus; in Central, South and Southeast Asia. As it happens, the same area contains the bulk of the world's future oil reserves. Like it or not, most of the worlds oil lies underneath the feet of the Ummah.

It is reasonable to say that radical Islam has at least three major theaters to operate in. Europe, which one commenter called the "bull market" for political Jihad. That is where millions of Muslims lie poised to access Western education, technology and power. Arabia with its dysfunctions and white-hot hatreds. Central and South Asia with its vast areas of nongovernance. Standing alone like a relative island is the New World, with Osama's archenemy, America: and it is mostly asleep.

One thing that Osama Bin Laden doesn't lack is imagination. That defect is more likely to be found in the pettifogging, small-minded politicians that Western political parties produce. Osama is playing the Great Game. Many politicians would not know how to begin to respond.

7/27/2005 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

utopia
thanks, great link

7/27/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Truly,
"We argued that the Kashmir insurgency began in 1989 just as the Afghan operation ended. The international jehadis (Saudis, Yemenis, Sudanese etc) who had come to fight in Afghanistan were now being diverted to Kashmir. The next step would be for them to target civilians in the rest of India. And eventually, the terror would reach the West. Nobody listened to us. Instead
they bought the Pakistani propaganda about a Kashmiri freedom struggle.

After the Bombay blasts, we appealed again to the international community and warned that the terror was spreading. We said that ISI had now become a state within a state and posed a danger to world peace. Nobody listened to us again.

When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on behalf of their ISI mentors, destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas and forced Hindus to wear a yellow band, we tried to draw the West's attention to this appalling situation. Nobody cared; not even when IC-814 was hijacked to Kandahar as part of an ISI operation and three dangerous terrorists were released from Indian prisons and promptly found shelter in Pakistan.

One of those terrorists, Maulana Masood Azhar, openly addressed meetings stirring up anti-Indian and anti-American feeling. The second, Omar Sheikh, killed the American journalist Daniel Pearl when, as a new book reveals, he came too close to unraveling ISI's links with the terror networks."

7/27/2005 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This from Utopia's link: "But as bad as I felt about those incidents, there is still no getting around the fact that when it comes to terrorism, the West follows a double standard. There is one rule for the Third World. And one rule for the developed world."

I assume he (she?) means the media and government of the West, in how they choose to focus on and interpret these disparate events?

If this statement is descriptive, then I have nothing against it. Westerners do treat the slaughter of their own citizens differently than slaughter elsewhere.

However, if it is intended to be polemical, I must say I cannot understand it. Why would the British press and government, or the American, give equal consideration to the lives of Egyptians, and the lives of their own citizens? That would be absurd.

7/27/2005 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Aristides
It is not the value of the lives, I think, as the reactions. As long as the war is far away, Israel, Eygpt, India, Turkey it is of little import to the Public Perception. But a small but coordinated satchel charge attack in London is cause for great anguish and concern.
A percieved racial/ cultural double standard.
They've recongnized the nature of the conflict for much longer than we have.
80% MSM bias
20% Western Government blindness

7/27/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The battle has only reached US recently, they've been fighting the battle for decades.
It seems so obvious to the writer.

7/27/2005 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

White House tosses in the towel. Use of the WoT, GWOT now obsolete. Bush blind backers take notice. Phrases as inoperative as "vast quantities of WMD buried in a country as big as California."

"Religion of Peace" and "Vast Majority of Muslims Who Are Peaceful and Moderate" still operative.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/07/26/news/terror.php

Exhelodrvr - Good 9:14AM post dashing a few buckets of cold reality water on those still dreaming of violating Pakistan, out declared ally's - sovereignity
to capture the Great White Whale.

Monty - You called Iraq a valuable "classroom". Have you realized the students are not noble...but mostly shitheads...at this point? As for: To grouse that President Bush or the military didn't anticipate all the problems is just peurile; no military plan survives contact with the enemy. By historical standards the American military is doing extraordinarily well.

It isn't puerile to note that Bush and the neocons had no Post-War Plan. As for us doing extraordinarily well- no, our troops are tapped out - we burned our Reservists time out as well - and we are going to be pulling out big numbers in 2006, "Britain and the oalition of the Willing" will be out that year ---and leaving what will be a mild or vigorous war to the "noble freedom-loving, democracy hungry Iraqis" to hash out.

As matters stand, there is no support in the American military, the Brits, anyone else outside the neocons..for launching invasions and occupations of Syria or Iran to advance Israel's security postion further. We took out what they thought was their #1 enemy, and they didn't have to expend one life or pay out a single cent.

7/27/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Oh my, all of a sudden we are coming back to OIL, bubblin' crude, black gold. Last time I mentioned this stuff as motivation I got jumped on...no, no, terror - 911, that is what it is all about.

Well, what about property rights folks? Where do you sit on that? They got it, we need it. Are you really closet socialists whom think that it should be shared, in the open market of course?

7/27/2005 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The proposed draw down in forces was easy to foresee, months ago. The schedule was obvious as well.
The objectives of the Authorization of Use of Force will have been met, they have been already, really,
There is no reason for more than 40,000 troopers to remain for more than 50 years, or so. More men, but less time than Korea.

7/27/2005 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

'Rat: everything you say is true in regards to a perceived racial/cultural double-standard, but I would still say I can't understand an argument against it.

Is this not common in every institution of mankind, from the family on up, this double-standard? If experience is the great teacher of man, it seems Sisyphean to rail against its effects and propensities. I can understand the indigestion on the Third World end, but would they behave any different if the situation was reversed.

7/27/2005 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Eminent Domain
Supremes decided our Government can sieze what property they want for the betterment of the "Greater Good".
Mao said "Political Power Grows Out of the Barrel of a Gun"
and C4's 'Golden Rule'
"Those with the Gold make the Rules"
Remember ash, the Spice must flow.

7/27/2005 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

ash: yet again, we are in disagreement.

There is a difference between the true statement that oil is worth fighting for, which is a counter to the "No Blood For Oil" crowd, and the false statement that OIF was about oil.

The strategic implications of OIF only tangentially touched on OIL. That does not remove oil from our Strategic Analysis. As John Kerry would say, to understand this you must embrace Nuance.

7/27/2005 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Ash,

"Well, what about property rights folks? Where do you sit on that? They got it, we need it. Are you really closet socialists whom think that it should be shared, in the open market of course?"

I was under the impression that things were bought and sold and not 'shared' on the open market. Oil was beneath Arabia for millions of years. Mohammed walked over it without giving it a thought. The reason oil has become a danger -- and and opportunity -- is not because it is geologically there, but because there is now a petroleum market. The fastest growing part of that market is in the Third World, notably in China, India and even Africa. The market is neither America's nor even the West's.

But commodities, as it happens, have a product life cycle too. The larger market creates substitutes and replacements. Remember the trade in salt and spices? In human musclepower? On a day we cannot name, but on a future day notwithstanding, oil will be superseded. And then we will have another thing to blame.

7/27/2005 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

re: ash on property rights.

I support 'em.

7/27/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes it is easy to understand from the "Top" position. But from the writers view they have been battling the Mohammedans forever. As good as ignored by our world. Now the conflict is on the front burner. Why not sooner, why have you waited, it was sooo obvious.

Perhaps some Stockholm Syndrome blow back towards the SWAT team?

7/27/2005 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I support property rights, that is, not Ash's socialist jab.

7/27/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The big discussion amongst the Iraqi Constitutionialists is the division of the Oil Revenue.
Why would that be ash, if we were stealing their property? What revenue could there be from Oil stolen and not sold at the market?

7/27/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Property Rights
The corner stone of liberty

7/27/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

'Rat: Again, I agree with you. The potential for confrontation, the sheer inevitability of Radical Islam targeting the West, should have drawn our attention post-haste.

But you must see that to rail against Western insularity, to get all kerfuffled because American or British attention was not fully attracted until attacks on American or British soil, is invalid because its premise, that it could ever be different, is invalid. Everybody feels their own plight is paramount; that is why no-one else treats their plight as paramount.

7/27/2005 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"And where will the troops come for the Waziristan campaign?"

- desert rat

The Waziristan CAMPAIGN?

Hell will freeze over five times before there's a Waziristan campaign.

A handful of US operators and a handful of Afghans - linking up maybe with a few Pakistanis. And we won't hear about it, if ever we do, until it's good 'n' done.

Musharaff has publically "warned" countless times against US incursion. But we're not the audience for this standard declaration. Pakistanis are.

7/27/2005 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

In Iraq, Authoritarianism is Progress.

From a review of Jeanne Kirkpatrick's "Dictatorships and Double Standards."

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former Ambassador to the United Nations under Ronald Reagan, is the author of one of the three most famous essays in the history of American foreign policy, "Dictatorships and Double Standards," Commentary (November 1979)--the other two being George F. Kennan's call for "containment" of the Soviet Union and The End of History by Francis Fukuyama. In it she argued that it was incumbent on the United States to differentiate between authoritarian regimes and totalitarian regimes. Authoritarian regimes she argued, like Iran and Nicaragua, though they obviously did not meet our preferred standards of democratization, were fundamentally just harsh, but traditional, governments of countries which had known no other type of government and were perhaps not yet ready for democracy :

'Traditional autocrats leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power, status, and other resources, which in most traditional societies favor an affluent few and maintain masses in poverty.

But they worship traditional gods and observe traditional taboos. They do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations.'

Essentially, the autocracies protect their own power and wealth, but leave most other aspects of life relatively untouched. As the name implies, they are more concerned with who in society will wield authority, i.e. themselves, than with imposing any particular ideology. Because this is the case, they in fact preserve many of the institutions upon which democracy can later be built, whether the Church or corporations or other civic organizations.

Totalitarian regimes, on the other hand, as the name implies, seek to totally reinvent and control every aspect of society. This requires them to so violate the existing institutions as to render the society nearly incapable of evolving into a democracy."

At the risk of being accused of "defining victory down", I will say this was not the goal, this would be a kind of defeat, and this would in no way be the kind of ladder I described earlier.

But it would be better than before. That, I'll defend forever.

7/27/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

desert rat said...
sodomites
those happy guys
all of 'em, or just the "one worlders" working at the UN?
does the public hanging of sodomites in Iran qualify as a 'good thing' to you, charles?

7:23 PM
//////////////////////
rat
a fair question to which the appropriate reply is...
and when did you stop beating your wife?

7/27/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

trish: "Musharaff has publically "warned" countless times against US incursion. But we're not the audience for this standard declaration. Pakistanis are."

Finally something on which we agree! This latest announcement is not meant for the American media consumer, it is meant for the rabid and undependable Pakistani hoi polloi.

In a sense it gives us cover. If we go in now after Musharaff has planted his flag and stated his position, why, those uppity Islamists can never pin the incursion on Pakistani Top Brass collusion. And Pervez can bitch and saber rattle all he wants; Osama will be ours.

7/27/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Barry Dauphin said...

If Musharraf won't "tolerate" border crossings, what is it he is prepared to do about it? If he can do something about US soldiers crossing the border, then he can do something about OBL.

7/27/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"...Bush and the neocons had no Post-War Plan."

- cedarford

I think much of the plan, to whatever parties we may attribute it, went back home with Jay Garner after a bizarrely brief stay in Baghdad.

7/27/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"If we go in now..."

No bullseye, no go.

Them's the rules. And then some.

7/27/2005 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

There is no exit strategy from Iraq because there is no intent to exit.

Nor should there be.

Oil is vital to the world. Without it, tractors won't plough the land. As I've said many times, the oil stop-cock is the real WMD.

It cannot be left to the loonies to control. Ergo control the ME. Building friends in (well, actuall, controlling) the Xstans is the obvious thing to do.

As for property rights, I don't think people understand the economics of mineral exploration and extraction. The real value lies in the skill to find the stuff, design the extraction machinery, finance the building of machinery, insure it, ship it, and sell it all to the Chinese/Japanese under contracts enforceable in Western countries. The latter is property too, if Intellectual property.

Oil is an issue, but it is a parallel universe to Jihadi Islam. We do not have to appologise for securing the oil supply.

But how delightful to imagine the chagrin of the Chinese when they see how the US has wrapped up the supply.

Again, as I've said before, OIF will go down in history as a stroke of strategic genius.

As for valuing Western lives differently to Indian lives, yes it's true of me. I wish I could level the differential, but I can't. In fact, I'm suffering compassion fatigue. Nightly I see shitty little "activists" , feted by the MSM, trying to make me feel guilty over some imagined slight that has "angered" them and they demand my money to have the problem fixed. I just close them out, and unfortunately close out bombed human beings in India as well.

Some of the starvation in Niger has got through, though.

ADE

7/27/2005 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

trish: "No bullseye, no go. Them's the rules."

Porter Goss: "We have an excellent idea where he is. Next question."

7/27/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Rem870 said...

"Secondly, slavery was not the issue in The War for Southern Independence, but states' rights were. "

Dude, you don't even know your own history.

John Brown was a militant Christian abolitionist who seized the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry in the belief that he could rouse the blacks of the South to revolt. This is set against the backdrop of limited uprisings as well as militant Christians abeting slave escapes over the South and the slave revolt in Haiti and Jamaica.

Where before the South was ambivalent, the (terrorist) acts of John Brown glavanized the South and led them to become very hard in their beliefs. Words were written and the trial and the due course led Northern hearts to be hardened in reaction.

Like 9/11, Harper's Ferry was a clarifying event - you were afterwards either FOR or AGAINST slavery.

The mantra of State's Rights was a legalistic smokescreen by the South to divert moral arguments about the immorality and unconstitutionality of slavery. It is similar to the legalistic arguements many on the left use today to claim terrorists have the rights of sane human beings.

John Brown's Raid caused the opposite of his intent - blacks were further harshly treated and the South began plans to seceed. It was the hardening of the North in reaction to the reaction of the South that led to the resolve to fight for freedom. It was action, reaction, then further reaction.

John Brown became a Martyr.

And the South did not Capitulate - it was crushed by Sherman and Grant. Utterly and totally. Sherman denuded and burned a swath 100 miles wide to the sea and back to the North. Before the War, Mississippi used to be the richest state in the South - today it is still the poorest. The South was occupied and "denazified" for ten years.

I know this history very, very well - my mother is a direct descendant of Harriet Beecher Stowe and my paternal grandfather was a Nightrider.

7/27/2005 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

ADE: "Some of the starvation in Niger has got through, though."

Perhaps we should send Yellowcake Joe to look into it.

7/27/2005 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Osama is playing the Great Game. Many politicians would not know how to begin to respond.
///////
Osama is being responded to very well imho.

Its the rest of the stuff that leaves something to be desired.

The Bushes just won the CAFTA House vote. CAFTA was understood in the USA about as well as the Europeans understood the EU Constitution. The Mexicans won't need to even make a show of blocking central americans from coming north.

Won't be long now before there's MX13 gunfights in the Pentagon parking lot.

7/27/2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Aristides: "An excellent idea" does not a bullseye make.

Very small team, very precise target. The requirements are daunting. And no one wants a f*** up on someone else's territory.

Musharaff will let us in for OBL or Zawahiri. That's all he'll let us in for. And we won't get three or four cracks at it.

7/27/2005 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And we won't get three or four cracks at it...

Nor days to hang around narrowing the search.

7/27/2005 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Cost Of Photovoltaic Concentrators Falling Fast

"Concentrating solar electric power is on the cusp of delivering on its promise of low-cost, reliable, solar-generated electricity at a cost that is competitive with mainstream electric generation systems," said Vahan Garboushian, president of Amonix, Inc. of Torrance, Calif. "With the advent of multijunction solar cells, PV concentrator power generation at $3 per watt is imminent in the coming few years," he added.
http://www.physorg.com/news5273.html

7/27/2005 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

trish: "won't get three or four cracks."

Two in one day! I agree, and I also agree (three?) that an excellent idea is not the same as a sure thing. However, my analysis still stands: Musharaff's words give us political cover, allow us to be the bad cop to Pervez's good cop, and if we can take Osama now is our chance.

7/27/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"...if we can take Osama now is our chance."

He's given us cover for a few years now. I guess we've yet to nail it down to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Porter Goss is right.

But he's not the one who has to sign the op order.

7/27/2005 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles, 8:56 PM,
I think you're being too easy on the 'Rat, but I guess it's your call.

7/28/2005 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

trish said,
"I think much of the plan, to whatever parties we may attribute it, went back home with Jay Garner after a bizarrely brief stay in Baghdad. "
---
And I think that would have been more than reason enough for the reverend Colin Powell not to return for four more years.

7/28/2005 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles,
I think Photovoltaics are a better bet than hydrogen.

7/28/2005 01:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Aristides said...
"Perhaps we should send Yellowcake Joe to look into it."
---
And Yellowcake Joe would go:
He would return and dutifully announce his secret findings in a NY Times Opinion Piece declaring that there is no evidence whatsoever of a link between starving children and Saddam.
When asked by Fox news about OFF and starving children he will respond that he has no idea whatsoever (but that he would be willing to go to conduct an inquiry for the White House, if asked.) but has very serious doubts that such scurrilous rumors about Saddam and his friends Kofi and Jock could possibly be true.
He will later complain bitterly about kkk Rove leaking rumors which lead numerous far right opinionmakers to write articles implying he is a grandstanding nutjob and questioning if an intelligent secret agent marrying such a man is some kind of CIA operation.
(not being experts on starvation, they refrain from calling him an ill-informed grandstanding nutjob.)

7/28/2005 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish
the troops for Wariztan comment was made more to highlight the announcement of our new timeline for disengagement from Iraq police work and the paring down of our garrisoning force there.
I do not really think that there will be a large US troop concentration in that Central Asia. Even in Afghanistan we have been minimalistic, for US

charles
1. I agree with you about ms13.
2. after she shot and killed me

7/28/2005 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I use Photovoltaics now, wish I hav a hydrogen car though, fill it with water and down the road you go. Better than a Stanley Steamer

7/28/2005 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Wrechard: "Musharraff needs Bin Laden both at large and at bay. This is the only way he can play both ends against the middle. In that respect he may be the prototype of the kinds of leaders we may encounter in other Central Asian heads of state. If Iraq, as Monty says, is the "classroom" on how to keep Middle Eastern countries from becoming like Iraq the analogous problem in Central Asia is to learn how to keep those countries from becoming like Pakistan."

I don't have much to add to Wretchard's statement. Nor, do have much to add to this thread - because I have stated it in previous threads.

We are dealing proxy fighters and with con-men like Assad and Musharraff (not mention the Saudis). Thus, it's important to use the alley fight method - find the head perp - smile at him - then kick him in the crotch and take him out.

I would point out that Syria is the real bad apple in barrel. The sooner this bad apple is removed the sooner this whole mess will be cleaned up. I would bet seeing Syria take a thumping would go far to impress the other players in the area.

7/28/2005 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ledger
I agree that Syria should have been dealt with earlier, but it seems we are taking an incremental approach to this conflict.
I do recall that the Iraqi campaign was suppossed to, as you say "... go far to impress the other players in the area. "
I initially thought we had, now I am not as sure. By stopping and cosolidating our position in Iraq, instead of pressing on to Damascus, we ceded the momentuem in the Regional fight. Or so it seems to me

7/28/2005 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: As matters stand, there is no support in the American military, the Brits, anyone else outside the neocons..for launching invasions and occupations of Syria or Iran to advance Israel's security postion further. We took out what they thought was their #1 enemy, and they didn't have to expend one life or pay out a single cent.

Who are you speaking for when you say "We took out what they thought was their #1 enemy, and they didn't have to expend one life or pay out a single cent." the neo-cons or israel?

if it is israel, let me ask you, how do you know this bit of fact? and how do you know how much israel has spent on the war on terror in lives or treasure? or do you just like to hear your own voice whining in the wind that "israel" is cowardly and cheap...

c4, cant you say anything without pointing a bony shrill finger at israel saying look, cheap cowards?

7/28/2005 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Rem870 said...

Red,

I couldn't disagree more. There were many in the South who were against salvery, or at the least, recognized that it was wrong. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fall into this category. If it were simply a war for slavery, do you think that great men such as these would have fought for it? They were supporting the Southern way of life. This just happened to include slavery. And yes, they both owned slaves, but so too did Thomas Jefferson and I believe we can all agree that he felt it was wrong.

I am well aware of the damage caused by Sherman. It affected my family in a profound way that is still bemoaned by the older generation. That does not belie the fact that the South still had a very capable fighting force on the day of surrender. Were Lee to hold out 6 more months, maybe a year, who's to say that the French (yes, the French), wouldn't have come to our aid. In the end, Lee did what he thought was best for his beloved South - he surrendered, he was NOT "crushed" by Grant or anybody else.

Obviously we have a different perspective on things. If the above is not proof, then this is - where you say that the South was occupied and de-nazified for 10 years, I would submit that the South was occupied, raped, pillaged and otherwise abused. That occupation never ended. In fact, each year the South loses a little more of itself - between the porous US borders to the south of us and the unchecked migration from north of the Line.

Growing up, my grandfather taught me that the South would rise again. I held on to that belief as long as I could. Now, much as the Southern way of life is slowly being eroded by immigration and legislation, the Western world as a whole is suffering the same fate. It's probably to late for the South - she's just about too far gone, but it is not too late for the West in general and the US in particular.

Thus, the War on Islam must be fought.

7/28/2005 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Anointiata Delenda Est said...

“As for property rights, I don't think people understand the economics of mineral exploration and extraction. The real value lies in the skill to find the stuff, design the extraction machinery, finance the building of machinery, insure it, ship it, and sell it all to the Chinese/Japanese under contracts enforceable in Western countries. The latter is property too, if Intellectual property.

Oil is an issue, but it is a parallel universe to Jihadi Islam. We do not have to appologise for securing the oil supply.”

wretchard said...

I was under the impression that things were bought and sold and not 'shared' on the open market.
---
Remember the trade in salt and spices? In human musclepower? On a day we cannot name, but on a future day notwithstanding, oil will be superseded. And then we will have another thing to blame.

It is in the context of the above that I would like to respond.

No, I am not asserting that OIF occurred to go in and ‘steal’ their oil, but rather it is, as in ADE’s notion of the details of the oil business, the US’s desire to be ‘in the loop’ and keep it on the ‘open market’ which enables the highest bidder to get it. OIF was a means to keep the US in the Oil loop and keep control out of others hands. The US has pretty well exhausted its own supplies of Oil, the US economy is heavily Oil dependant. This is a precarious strategic predicament.

Which brings me to property rights, the ‘open market, and socialism. Crucial to property rights is the ability to sell, or not to sell. One may choose not to sell or sell to whomever you like for whatever price. The US can be closed out in such a case for non-monetary reasons. Even though China’s bid for UNOCAL exceeds Chevrons the shareholders can choose Chevrons lesser offer because it is their property, that is their right.

Are you all here ready to make the tectonic intellectual shift to the socialist side, that access to oil should be guaranteed to all for the ‘greater good’? Or, like the Salt and Spice trade, we should simply secure the oil supply because it is in our interest and we are the superior people because we have the power? Just because something has been done historically doesn’t make it right. We should guide our behavior ethically.

7/28/2005 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Loveiswhatitsallabout said...

Yawnnnnnn. What a bunch of doo-doo. There are no threats to anyone. You are nothing but a person who thinks very highly of themselves and prints words that put the readers to sleep. Military? Hey, what if they gave a war and no one showed up. The military is nothing but a bunch of cowards who subscribe to a GANG MENTALITY. So get a real job pal and stop spewing this drivel on the Internet.

7/28/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Loveiswhatitsallabout said...
Yawnnnnnn. What a bunch of doo-doo. There are no threats to anyone. You are nothing but a person who thinks very highly of themselves and prints words that put the readers to sleep. Military? Hey, what if they gave a war and no one showed up. The military is nothing but a bunch of cowards who subscribe to a GANG MENTALITY. So get a real job pal and stop spewing this drivel on the Internet.

the above post has been by a person on crack....

7/29/2005 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

"The worst sin committed by the United States is that it confuses terrorism with the legitimate right of people to resist occupation." -- Taha Abdel-Alim, Al-Ahram

fun read..

7/29/2005 09:59:00 AM  

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