Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Global Civil War

Two articles that deserve to be read together are the NYT's John Burns article on whether a civil war is brewing in Iraq (hat tip: Austin Bay) and the Economist's Iraqi survey "Worse and Maybe Better" (hat tip: MIG) Burns argues that the deep hostility between ethnic groups in Iraq may make the American vision of a single, peaceful and unitary nation impossible.

The new team called the departing Americans "the illusionists," for their conviction that America could create a Jeffersonian democracy on the ruins of Saddam Hussein's medieval brutalism. One American military commander began his first encounter with American reporters by asking, "Well, gentlemen, tell me: Do you think that events here afford us the luxury of hope?" ...

Now, events are pointing more than ever to the possibility that the nightmare could come true. Recent weeks have seen the insurgency reach new heights of sustained brutality. The violence is ever more centered on sectarian killings, with Sunni insurgents targeting hundreds of Shiite and Kurdish civilians in suicide bombings. There are reports of Shiite death squads, some with links to the interior ministry, retaliating by abducting and killing Sunni clerics and community leaders.

The statistics presented by the Economist confirm that the greatest upsurge in killing has been among Iraqis. While trends in US casualties have been flat or declining, the numbers of Iraqis killed by other Iraqi armed groups has risen at about twentyfold since 2003, from the Economist's graph.

But a further, more ominous, feature of the fighting is that it is taking on a more sectarian hue. More recently, Shia gatherings-weddings, funerals and crowds milling around outside mosques-have become particularly vulnerable. In response, the killing of prominent Sunni civilians, such as their clergy, has increased. Many Shias and Sunnis living in districts where they are a minority have moved out. Some people in Baghdad say a low-level civil war has already begun.

Some Shia members of parliament, casting doubt on the effectiveness and loyalty of police and army units, have been demanding a wider call-up of neighbourhood militias. Most peace-minded Sunni Arab politicians, for their part, fiercely oppose such an idea. They also say, gloomily, that Iran is meddling more than before, egging on the government's two main Shia parties, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and the Dawa ("Call") party, to let their militias off the leash. In particular, they accuse SCIRI's militias, the Badr Brigades, of sectarian murders and of torturing Sunni detainees.

One point of view is that this is just the way things are. Burns says:

Despite these gloomy trends, American commanders have continued to hint at the possibility of at least an initial reduction of the 140,000 American troops stationed here by next summer, contingent on progress in creating effective Iraqi units. Some senior officers have said privately that there is a chance that the pullback will be ordered regardless of what is happening in the war, and that the rationale will be that Iraq - its politicians and its warriors - will ultimately have to find ways of overcoming their divides on their own. America, these officers seem to be saying, can do only so much, and if Iraqis are hellbent on settling matters violently - at the worst, by civil war - that, in the end, would be their sovereign choice.

However that may be, in all probability events in Iraq will be less and less about "resistance" to America and more about settling long standing political and ethnic grievances; increasingly to do with local issues and less to do with the events in New York four years ago. In assessing the prospects of Iraq, the Economist's sources cited local variables as determinant. The key wrangles were about the local division of power, the settlement of feuds, the legal rights of various groups and the division of money. None of the usual suspects so beloved of the media such as a 'just settlement in Palestine' or even Operation Iraqi Freedom itself, figured even tangentially. Speaking of the draft constitution the Economist said:

The drafters, in any case, have been beavering away. The shape of Iraq's federal structure is still at issue. So is the degree of Islam's influence over the law. Women's groups have expressed worry about some clauses leaked from the emerging draft. And several of the thorniest questions, such as where the disputed province of Kirkuk fits into the federation and how to disburse the country's oil revenue, may be addressed in generalities and, in effect, set aside. "Everything can be deferred until judgment day if we get consensus on a draft," says Adnan al-Janabi, another Sunni Arab on the committee.

More hopefully, out of Iraq's 18 provinces, only the four including Baghdad and surrounding it are relentlessly bloody. No less hopefully, the leaders of the newly dominant Shias, who comprise some 60% of Iraqis to the Kurds and Sunni Arabs at about 20% apiece, have so far refused to be drawn by the overwhelmingly Sunni Arab insurgents into a sectarian tit-for-tat that could presage an all-out civil war. In particular, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shia cleric, has restrained the angriest of the Shia militias. And even in the bloodiest provinces the mayhem is at least not worsening. "It's no more pear-shaped than it was six months ago," says a hardened foreign observer in Baghdad. "Maybe slightly less so."

The phrase "Global War on Terror" may, in retrospect, turn out to be the least descriptive of terms to apply to the worldwide upheaval since September 11. Perhaps future historians will find a more appropriate phrase to describe the changes that have remade the political and attitudinal landscape not only in the Middle East, but also in the West. In that tale Iraq will play a strange part. Never an obvious strategic an end in itself, the campaign against Saddam's former dominion served as the vortex around which forces defined themselves, dividing into one side or the other, in the process of remolding the world. The effects of the decision to invade are still rippling through Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Europe. And the odds are that if there is a settling of accounts in Iraq it will not be the last country in which this happens. The Times of London interview of President George Bush last month suggests that at the highest levels American leadership sensed rather than calculated that taking down the most powerful Middle Eastern state would set a tsunami in motion that only the US, in its power, might ride largely unscathed.

THE TIMES: Mr President, last night you mentioned the link between Iraq and 9/11, but there’s evidence of Iraq becoming a haven for jihadists, there’s been a CIA report which says that Iraq is in danger of — are you at risk of creating kind of more of the problems that actually led directly to —?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No. Quite the contrary. Where you win the war on terror is go to the battlefield and you take them off. And that’s what they’ve done. They’ve said, ‘Look, let’s go fight. This is the place.’ And that was my point. My point is that there is an ideology of hatred, an ideology that’s got a vision of a world where the extremists dictate the lives, dictate to millions of Muslims. They do want to topple governments in the Middle East. They do want us to withdraw. They’re interested in exporting violence. After all, look at what happened after September 11 (2001). One way for your readers to understand what their vision is is to think about what life was like under the Taleban in Afghanistan.

So we made a decision to protect ourselves and remove Saddam Hussein. The jihadists made a decision to come into Iraq to fight us. For a reason. They know that if we’re successful in Iraq, like we were in Afghanistan, that it’ll be a serious blow to their ideology. General (John) Abizaid (Commander of US forces in the Middle East) told me something very early in this campaign I thought was very interesting. Very capable man. He’s a Arab-American who I find to be a man of great depth and understanding. When we win in Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s a beginning of the end. Talking about the war on terror. If we don’t win here, it’s the beginning of the beginning. And that’s how I view it.

And maybe that's the way it was.


Blogger Karridine said...

Baha'u'llah was exiled to Baghdad, under house arrest, for 10 years; then exiled further to Constantinople, Adrianople, then Akka, Prison City by Haifa Bay, Israel.

Whether or not He is the Lord of Hosts, He has predicted MUCH of the suffering the Arab world is bringing on itself by turning to mullahs, priests and imams, rather than turning toward the Glory of God.

"From two ranks amongst mankind hath power been seized... kings and ecclesiastics!"

"I have given power to the people." Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God

7/26/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


Never an obvious strategic an end in itself, the campaign against Saddam's former dominion served as the vortex around which forces defined themselves, dividing into one side or the other, before returning to their home ground to remake the world...

In my view you have here, as usual, said it exactly right.

And isn't it interesting that in responding to the British reporter's question President Bush sounds almost (dare I say it?) articulate?

Jamie Irons

7/26/2005 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Just read Victor Hansen: terrorists are in accord with Islamic teachings: the Free World MUST mount an effort to educate, propagandize and neutralize the murderous poison being spread by militant Islamicists, he implies.

Then I'm for it! Half-a-billion for unstoppable broadcasts into the Islamic world: the Promised One HAS come, in the Glory of God. He frees ALL humans from servitude to any outworn creed; He renews the goodness of the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future; and He allows, encourages and requires the independent investigation of the truth. Priests are NO LONGER needed or allowed!

"Arise, and put your faith in God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise!"

7/26/2005 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Terribly interesting! And showing even more insight than usual. So perhaps the main value of OIF is forcing the elements in the Islamic world to define themselves. Being pro-or anti- "Free Iraq" automatically defines individuals and groups in a number of ways - whether they like it or not. Previously, Sunnis, Shites, Arabs, and Persians, could all cheer together as buldings fell in the U.S. Now, as buildings fall in Iraq they must decide what they believe, what that means - and take note of who cheers what.

7/26/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

What is the downside of splitting Iraq into three "countries"? I can't follow the thinking that a country designed more or less by accident in the early 20th century, is a more viable entity than a division along more ethnic lines. To me it seems that we could propbably set up a reliable Kurdish client state, carving off the parts of Iran and Turkey that have large Kurdish populations, letting the Arab (Shia/Sunni) populations sort themselves out. What is the downside of this?

7/26/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Dave H asks a good question. But for our long-standing agreement with Turkey, a Kurdish state option seems logical.

My view - we owe the Turks nothing more. They bogswaggled us during the invasion by denying us previously agreed upon access from the north. Cut our losses with them and move on.

Except I don't understand the down-side of that action.

7/26/2005 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

I too think America missed a good opportunity to create a true ally in the middle east by creating a Kurdish state – and what good is a Turkish ally when they’re not there when the chips are down, as in allowing the troops to move in from the north. A Kurdish state on the other hand would have revered the name of USA for a hundred years. But it’s too late now.

7/26/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Very interesting post, W. Notably absent the "triumphalism" that some of Belmont's critics trumpet. Bush's quote is espcially telling. No matter how it turns out - beginning of the end, or beginning of the beginning, we had to do something. We know what doing nothing led to, ie., "working with the UN" - this poisonous brew we are now wading in. Eternally, it is nobler to try and fail than never to try at all.

“It matters naught to try and fail, and try and fail again, but it matters much to try and fail, and fail to try again.” — Shakespeare

7/26/2005 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Burns is a smart man, but Burns is lost. He believes it is his duty to maintain his journalistic balance. That is, he must not be for one side or the other. This lack of grounding leaves him swirling in the chaos that is war. I think this has a psychological effect that must be factored in when reading and analyzing his work. Without a bedrock conviction in which side is right and wrong, chaos and entropy rip away optimism and leave despair. The mind is still lucid, but only failure is visible. The overriding question becomes why?

Victory is ours, if we will it. It is our will, or maybe it is better said our intent that must remain clear and sharply focused. Take council from the pessimists. Take inspiration from your bedrock conviction that freedom, liberty, and democracy are better than tyranny.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

7/26/2005 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Fanatic jihadis are trained and committed to dying and taking as many of the identified enemy with them as possible. Kill them where they show up as they shift their theatres of operation. If they come from Chechyna, kill them. If they come from Gaza, kill them. If they come from the Bekkah valley, kill them. Of course they want chaos and vendettas in Iraq, it's the only environment they can fully function in.

7/26/2005 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Civil War in Iraq has always been a possibility. With the Sunnis refusing to enter the internal Security forces or participate in the last election they limited their options. Now they must enter the coalition or face it's wrath.

The Authorization for Use of Force
Mission Nears Completion

leaves little doubt. Most of the Whereas's have been accomplished, the only one left is to "... it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;..."

To "promote"... how much is enough promotion? A Constitution and Elections, will that constitute enough of an emergence, or must we support Iraq like it is a territory of the US, soon to eligible for statehood?
Iraq for Iraqis, sooner the better.
Failure of establishing an Iraqi Federal Republic equals an independent Kurdistan, and Rune, it is not to late for that. In fact I've always thought it would be the prefered solution.

7/26/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"I too think America missed a good opportunity to create a true ally in the middle east by creating a Kurdish state – and what good is a Turkish ally when they’re not there when the chips are down, as in allowing the troops to move in from the north. A Kurdish state on the other hand would have revered the name of USA for a hundred years. But it’s too late now."

I have no qualms about punishing the Turks, nor do I have qualms about punitive policy in general, you can't expect people to help you if you're going to play nice with them even if they don't help you - sticks and carrots. In this vein, I was horrified by the suggestions that we should "play nice" with the Canadians, French, and Germans in dealing out reconstruction comments - thereby being the 'bigger man.' Foreign relations isn't the same as your everyday relations, being the 'bigger man' is to be the fool.

Nevertheless, that being said, I don't think that antagonizing the Turks is in our interests, as much as I want to help the Kurds. Turkey is already tottering, undergoing the same Islamization that Pakistan is. This battle is reflected in the latest international poll, and its "Islamic Democrat" Prime Minister.

Kurdistan would be an American ally, through necessity and affection, but it would also give Al Qaeda yet territorial grievance [real or imagined] to sway Islamic public opinion, one especially useful to target the already shaking Turks. The Kurds are Muslims, but he'd paint them just as he paints the Saudis, American puppets, and therefore illegitimate. If you create Kurdistan, but "lose" Turkey, our one long-lasting example of a secular, yet Islamic democracy [except for possibly the now diseased multi-ethnic Lebanon], are you better off or worse? Probably worse.

7/26/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I think that Islamic civil war will accelerate them coming to grips with the modern world. But what I am more curious about, in the longterm/big picture, than the Shiites and Sunni in Iraq, is what will happen between the Wahhabists and the rest of Islam. That is where the heart of the problem is.

7/26/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This recalls Wretchard's analysis in a comment he left on Return of the Ripper:

"But it's almost like what happens when you do a cancer biopsy. One discovery leads to another, and you wonder whether you'll ever get to the end of it. But the alternative was never to have looked. And that's what the Left would have wanted. Never to have looked."

Right now we are learning lessons in Iraq that we never would have, nor could have, known otherwise. I still believe what I posted then:

Wretchard is right. By going into the Middle East we have collapsed the wave function, have drawn out real data, and can begin to see patterns and properties that we would never have been able to guess. We have set up the laboratory, and we are going to school.

Churchill spoke of how advantage is gained "in war and foreign policy and other things by selecting from many attractive or unpleasant alternatives the dominating point. American military thought had coined the expression 'Over-all Strategic Objective.' When our officers first heard this, they laughed; but later on its wisdom became apparent and accepted...Failure to adhere to this simple principle produces confusion and futility of action, and nearly always makes things much worse later on."

Wretchard writes:

"The Times of London interview of President George Bush last month suggests that at the highest levels American leadership sensed rather than calculated that taking down the most powerful Middle Eastern state would set a tsunami in motion that only the US, in its power, might ride largely unscathed."

Perhaps they did calculate. God Bless America, first and above all.

7/26/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd agree that a Kurdistan would create a challenge for the Turks, but it would also create similar challenges for both Syria and Iran. The Turks have already dumped on US, as we all are aware, and the destabilization of both Syria and Iran would be, in my estimation, a 'good thing'.
Let US hope that the Iraqi political process delivers a workable Republic, as that is US policy. But do not dispair failure if the Sunni demand it.
Payback's a medevac, and it's been a long time coming.

7/26/2005 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

It is quite possible that we are looking at the start of a Civil war (real bold statement that one). IF it does happen I think the Kurds will sit it out and it will be betwixt the Sunnis and the Shias and will be more proxy war than anything.

A proxy war between Iran and the KSA.

7/26/2005 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Does Iraq survive the Civil War in it's current bounderies or do you think the Kurds break away during the turmoil.
I believe the Kurds will bolt, given the opportunity, how about you?

7/26/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Reading Michael Yon's excellent dispatches from Iraq, particularly his reports from the north, I am led to believe that an independent Kurdish state would have many benefits for both the Kurds and the United States.

However, a disadvantage of dividing Iraq into ethnic or religious states could be the corresponding destabilization as tensions and mutual suspiscion remain among the independently sovereign neighbors. Furthermore, divided, they would be more vulnerable militarily and economically to larger, more monolithic Arab states that may have an eye towards expansion or exploitation, namely, Iran, unless the United States continues to keep watch over its estranged children.

A better model might be a federal system, perhaps according more sovereignty and autonomy to the individual states, with only national defense and commerce controlled by a representative body. Unfortunately it can also be assured that the Shia will always possess a supermajority, and thus keep authority for itself, particularly control over the military, unless controls are set up to keep such a supermajority in check.

While this may sound comparable to the original American federal system, the key difference is that the three major factions in Iraq- the Shia, Sunnis, and Kurds- cannot be counted on, given the plethora of violent, ongoing sectarian strife, to resolve serious differences of opinion in a litigious or otherwise non-violent manner either now or in the forseeable future. One out of three parties committing to peaceful mutual government is obviously not enough. Less obvious, two out of three is likewise insufficient. All three parties- not merely their representatives, but their peoples whole- must agree to abandon their blood feuds and move forward if they are to have any kind of chance of building a strong, independent nation.

7/26/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Negative effect of establishment of "Kurdistan", at least in the view of those Belmont Club posters who have commented seems limited to the effects on the Turks who were non supportive in the initial phase of the conflict. Two questions 1) Are they supportive of us today or merely irrelevant? 2)what would they actually lose? A disruptive minority?

7/26/2005 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Had not seen Nathan's post. Could we have a closer look at some of his objections? His view certainly seems to follow the establishment line which is what I was really trying to fish out. I lack the resources to question what he says, does anyone else have decumentation that would bear on what he says?

7/26/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

A potential problem arises when opposing camps in this hypothetical civil war both claim to stand for freedom and democracy, calling on Bush's promise to stand with them.

Will we be Britain and France in the Spanish Civil War, or will we be Germany and Italy? Neither option is attractive.

7/26/2005 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Honor and pride

I would forsee a Sunni defeat in any Civil War, moving both Kirkuk and Mosul firmly into a new Kurdistan. There are no oil reserves in the traditional Sunni areas. They know this better than anyone and division of revenues is one of the sticking points in the Iraqi Federal Republic. They will most likely lose those cities in a democratic Iraq, in any case, and is one of the reasons the Sunni are hesitant to join the team.
After 35 years of domination the Sunni may believe they can win an armed conflict, but I am skeptical of that outcome.

7/26/2005 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I was thinking the same thing as Desert Rat. Isn't it true that the Kurds claim territory, so to speak, in not only Iraq and Turkey but also Iran?
But is it also true that some Kurds tend more toward the Iranian style of Islamic fundamentalism than do others?
Would a Kurdish state also mean a Kurdish civil war?
Or is blood thicker than the Koran?

7/26/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

BAGHDAD, July 22 -- Kurdish leaders have requested that the new Iraqi constitution guarantee the Kurdish minority the right to vote on independence in eight years, a Kurdish member of the constitutional committee said Friday.

The call for a referendum on secession from Iraq is the Kurds' most overt push toward independence since the fall of president Saddam Hussein.

Saadi Barzanchani, a Kurdish member of the national committee drafting the constitution, said Kurds would probably vote to remain part of Iraq if the country became the democracy that Iraqi and U.S. leaders have promised. "Eight years will be sufficient time to see," he said in an interview.



7/26/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I found this site to be informitive

"...Kurds live in three States in Iran, Kurdistan State , Kermanshah and Ilam.They make about 15 percent of Iranian population. They never felt like being integrated in the Iranian society. They have all the obligations but not all the rights of a Iranian Citizen. The feel pretty much like adopted children; always looking for their own identity.

The struggle of Kurds for democracy and self-determination goes back in centuries but their most recent conflict ,since the establishment of the Islamic regime in Iran , is the most impressive one.

Kurds have a different religion than the rest of the country. The Shiite religion is more strict and towards other religions like Jews or Bahai’s. Kurds are Sunni and have a different approach and attitude about their believes. They separate religion from politics, unlike the Shiite Doctrine . ..."

7/26/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger david bennett said...

For the record, the Bush administraton has denied the possibility of civil war since the beginning which also for the recod has been brought up as a possibility by many critics.

Now you are suggesting that civil war was part of the plan. No. Quite simply no.

The hope as articulated by Wolfowitz and others was a democratic and prosperous regime that would serve as an inspiration. A year ago with the removal of Bremer goals became more pragmatic, but the hope was and remains a functional state.

A Shiite state allied with Iran enaged in possibly genocidal war with Sunnis was not part of the goal. If this intensifies it will at a minimu weaken mant drives towards democracy because the possible consequences are too frightening, this has pretty much happened in Lebanon and as Ms. Rice stated we are satisfied with what is essentially the same old powers minus the Syrian troops, but not Syrian influence.

At worse this process can inflame the region. A slaughter of Sunni will radicalize countries. The US will be held responsible. Can you spell e-m-b-a-r-g-o?

I thought not.

To praise the possibility of civil war as a subtle, clever US victory, intuitively directed (in conflict with all declared intentions) is an indication that you are sick and insane.

The possible death of hundreds of thousands does not concern you despite all your previous declarations.

Civil war is not victory, it is failure.

Hopefully it will not come. But there are ominous signs.

7/26/2005 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

David, I think you have read something into Wretchard's post that wasn't there. Contrary to your assertions that Wretchard has "praised the possibility of civil war," he has simply acknowledged that the possibility exists with a brief analysis of the implications.

7/26/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Desert Rat: That is interesting and meshs with what little else I know about the Kurds. They are a hard people, the result of hard times, but not basically bad or unreasonable. I recall someone at the Pentagon telling me after his visit to the region that you had to be careful and not drop in to see the Kurds in our no-fly zones too often; they would give you all their food to celebrate your visit and leave none for themselves.
But I suspect that the establishment of a Kurdish state within the federal republic of Iraq would mean a Kurdish State, period, in the minds of many Kurds; and that may not be a bad thing at all - except for the Turks and Iranians.

7/26/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

After 35 years of domination the Sunni may believe they can win an armed conflict, but I am skeptical of that outcome.

I would think they would be skeptical of that outcome as well, if they know what's good for them. But for the moment the conflict is rather one-sided: Sunni-supported insurgents continue to commit terrorist acts against the Shia supermajority, which cannot prosecute them, through the army, their militias, or otherwise, without risking a genuine civil war with international consequences that I think Wretchard has somewhat inadequately addressed. While the Sunnis could be purged and the path cleared for a Shia-Kurdish cooperation, this is obviously not a "best" path by any means for obvious reasons; aside from the religiocide or mass expulsion of Sunnis, Iraq would roundly face international condemnation, as would the US (justly or unjustly) for unleashing these ethnic and religious tensions through the removal of Saddam; worst case results could include, as David suggests, an oil embargo. None of these is in any way net beneficial for the Shiites or Kurds, or the United States.

It is in the interests of the United States to prevent a civil war in Iraq.

7/26/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Most definately agree a Civil War in Iraq would be a bad thing. The prospects are bad all around if that were to occur. Hopefully the Sunni can be convinced it is in their best interest to become part of a peaceful Iraq.
With Oil at $60 per barrel there is not much chance of an embargo being effective. It was not against Saddam and probably would not be effective against any of the parties involved, now. During a civil war there would most likely be major supply disruptions in any case.
If after the December Elections the democratic government of Iraq cracks down hard on the Insurgents and hostilities commence, well, read the 'Authorization for use of Force'.
Our mission will be complete.

7/26/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Bennett: read Bush's words again.

Civil War will be a defeat. He says it explicitly when he says "if we do not win here."

However, the hope of success outweighs the cost of defeat. And this is where the Over-all Strategic Objective comes in.

I believe it was RWE that spoke of the strategy against the USSR, fighting them at every turn and competing at every game. Mixed in this analysis is the acceptance that sometimes you lose the battle, like we did in Vietnam. The point is to not lose the war.

Iraq is and always has been a battle in the greater Global War on (whatever). Abizaid's analysis that a United States victory would be the beginning of the end is true, which is why we had to try. In war you accept risks if the potential payoff is that large.

What you are reading here is the acceptance that we MAY NOT WIN, which is not the same as defining victory down. But it is still nothing more than a battle.

If you've ever played the game Chutes and Ladders, then you understand this strategy. September 11 was a chute that brought us almost to the bottom. As we were moving forward, a ladder to the top presented itself and we went for it. We may have missed, and the war may now take longer and have more twists and turns, but we are still in the game, and we will make it to the top.

So, if there is Civil War, the thing to do is accept defeat and move on. We still have plenty of rolls.

7/26/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

So many of the arguments here turn on the notion that OIF is but a battle in the War on....(whatever). War is the wrong term to use. 'War on Drugs', 'War on Crime', 'War on Terror' are all misuses 'War'. This is but a usage fit for propaganda....kinda like the (intended) absurdity of Wretchard's thread title "The Global Civil War".

7/26/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ash: we will have to remain in disagreement on that one.

At the very least, it is a game. And in case you have the same response as Bishop from Spy Game, let me preempt you:

"Oh yes it is. It's exactly what it is. And it's no kids game either. This is a whole other game. And it's serious and it's dangerous. And it's not one you want to lose."

Can't find any propaganda in that, but maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

7/26/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...


7/26/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

While civil war is a distinct possibility it has a low probability. The division of oil revenue and the level of autonomy that the Kurds seek were the two truly determinative factors from the outset. I expect that the autonomy issue will be successfully negotiated within the new constitution because oil revenue from the northern field would be very chancy without Kurdish assent. The division of revenue is going to involve a great deal of posturing and threats but the Kurds will have to recognize that they cannot make a full claim to the production of the northern field and have any real hope of successfully maintaining it. Pipelines are simply too difficult to fully protect.

The probabability of a civil war will diminish sharply as the trials and executions of Saddam and the "deck" players proceed. It really is unfortunate that the trials have not moved more quickly, both to assuage a bit of Shia/Kurd need for revenge and justice and to discourgage the Sunni hopes of regaining power. The concept of a "rule of law" within Iraq will remain ephemeral while Saddam and his generals still breathe.

7/26/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/26/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

re: game

Very soon, we must all choose sides, yes? "For its root, root, root for the home team, if they don't win its..."

An unimaginable tragedy.

7/26/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Dave H
The down sides are the divisions of territory will again be and controlled by the factions of dominate power and contested by the weak. Dividing Iraq would, instead of bringing the conflict to a settlement, we would instead postpone it for a larger and bloodier conflict based on territorial dispute.

It is ironic that the concerns of a balkanized Iraq, and especially the coalescence of Shiites with the Iranian regime remain precisely what concerned Bush I in Gulf War I.
A war is being waged between ideologies of Western liberalism and Islamic orthodoxy. The polarization of these viewpoints contrasts the hammer of radical Islam to the anvil of US resolve;

Jihadists <-> Moderate Muslims <-> Western Liberals <-> US Military Might

Somewhere between the aims of the Jihadists and US military might, Western liberalism and moderate Islam will be assimilated or smashed against one another to their mutual destruction.

The equation of Iraq is somewhat different;

Jihadists <-> Bathists <-> Free Iraqis <-> Kurds <-> US Military Might

Again the same hammer and anvil will yield different results. Accelerating the will of ideologies through the vacuum of uncertainty against the target of destiny. Like smashing atoms into subatomic energies. The lowest combination of energy and mass will give way. If the Jihadist should win this battle the war will only have begun.

7/26/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger truepeers said...

I think some people are being naive. It was a civil war from the start of the invasion. There clearly was not a concerted Iraqi opposition to the American and allied forces, and there was never unanimous acceptance either. A civil war can be relatively hot or cold and we can argue about appropriate temperatures. But anyone who thinks we can hope for a more democratic or modern Middle East without our encouraging some conflict and transcendence of present social divides and dead ends is being naive.

There is a new blogger, Adam Katz, who looks to be an intellectual warrior in America's own civil (culture) war, and he has a post up on just this theme. He begins:

The current U.S. policy in the war on terror seems to be to promote, and then localize and re-channel, an emergent civil war in the Arab/Muslim world. According to Bush’s major speeches on terror war policy, the “root cause” of terror is the prevalence of tyranny in the Middle East: states like Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, unwilling to give their peoples freedom, instead tolerate and promote the development of extremist Islam, which aims its violent hatred toward the West, especially Israel and the U.S. Of course, these are not the states which Bush has confronted so far: those have been openly hostile states, themselves directly guilty of harboring terrorists and carrying out their own terrorist attacks. This has really been the easiest part: overthrowing, in the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, or more or less directly calling for the overthrow of, as in the case of Iran, governments that are both openly hostile to the U.S. and contain populations who revile the regime and hence are at least potential allies in U.S. liberation efforts.

Katz/Prospero is intellectually challenging and deserves some readers:

7/26/2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

arsitides: Had an interesting conversation with a Vietnamese-American I work with last week.
At the end of the Vietnam War, we spoke of "Having won all of the battles in Vietnam but we lost the war."
My Vietnamese friend says that today in Vietnam they say "The Americans lost this one battle but won the war." meaning the Cold War.
I guess to win or lose you have to be in the game.
And to win you have to have the proper perspective.
If we judge Iraq by the standards of Philadepphia in 1789, we are likely to conclude that we lost - while forgetting that we fought a very vicious civil war of our own as well as numerous battles against insurgents - and won the war of creating a strong nation - which today is divided about 50-50 on many key issues.

7/26/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Hmm, apologies, I said "naive" twice; but that's not quite the right word. Everyone knows that there has been some kind of civil conflict in Iraq since OIF began. What is interesting is the reticence to use the words `civil war', as if admitting such were, well, what?

7/26/2005 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I think the Kurds will break away if it turns into a fan induced spray of fecal matter. If a civil war does not break out then I think the Kurds will stick.

The Kurds have essentially had a functioning society now for nearly 14 years, why would they want to stay around and let the Shiites and Sunis wreck it?

Of course there are two problems. The colonization of formerly Kurdish lands by the Sunnis. The Kurds may decide they want their old land back. I wonder how much the world will recognize that grievance.

Turkey. Before, we puff up and remind the Turks of the pre-war actions (and I do believe we need to keep that one on the books) we need to realize Turkey does have legitimate concerns. An independent Kurdistan on its Southern border is likely going to stir up its Kurdish population.

I do not see a three-way split, but at most a two-way split. I do not think an independent Sunni state is viable there. It would be an enclave within Shia Iraq and that would probably not be any better than what is going on now.

No, I hope Iraq can stick together as is. Yes, it is a hodge-podge drawn up somewhere in London but when you get down to it all borders are arbitrary, even those formed by natural features.

There are mixed signals. One day the Sunnis bolt the Constitutional discussions, the next day they come back.

7/26/2005 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I think the core distinction between the possibly desired "civil war" consequent of OIF and the "civil war" universally spoken of with trepidation, is that the former is primarily an ideological conflict in which Iraqis and Arab Muslims- both Shia and Sunni- must come to terms with their identities; they must choose, as a body whole, to accept or reject Islamic extremism and tribal feudalism. If they do not reject these anachronisms, either through passivity or acceptance outright, the balkanization of Iraq will be a fait accompli, and the region will continue to suffer chronic sectarian strife under a genuine ethno/religious civil war while the United States will be powerless to stop it.

7/26/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

It sure would be depressing if these squabbling people couldn't even drop their squabbling for a couple years to hammer out a country in which to squabble. Perhaps they really do need an invasion of a foreign power to get them together. Sigh. What in the HELL is wrong with Arabs anyway. The Orientalists WERE EXACTLY RIGHT.

7/26/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Of course there is the question of whether one can speak of civil war if Iraq is not a real nation (and how do we determine this? Must at least one of the warring parties insist, like say Lincoln, on the fact of a shared nationhood with the other?) Otherwise perhaps one must speak of the old tribal/sectarian/warlords war. We don't generally speak of conflicts among groups within empires, or upon the collapse of empires, as being civil wars. Can we usefully speak of civil war within the Umma?

7/26/2005 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...


In a sense, Wretchard's post title- the Global Civil War- seems to refer to the ideological conflict resident within Islam, that OIF and other actions may be intended to provoke. This is a thoroughly desirable "civil war" and I think that both David Bennett and I are guilty of misinterpretation. There is no doubt that Islam is facing a conflict of identity, whether so-called mainstrem Muslims will continue to suffer themselves to be led around by the nose by extremists; or step up to the task, prosecute the mass murderers proclaiming to be their ideological brethren, and reform Islam to reflect coexistential 21st century values.

So, this "civil war" can be said to be ongoing; but it does not appear to be recognized by any significant number of Muslims, or, if it has been, then the people of Islam have already chosen the path towards their own destruction, and, one day, the West will be compelled to purge the world of Islam as it once did to Nazism and Communism.

7/26/2005 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Nathan wrote:
"the West will be compelled to purge the world of Islam as it once did to Nazism and Communism."

hmmm, and what was it that we found so odious about the Nazi's? Was it their propensity to do purges as well?

7/26/2005 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Nathan your last post took a most radical stance, please clarify what you mean by the majority of muslims perhsps not recognizing a civil war, and if they have then your radical position woudld become a necessity. Are you saying that the vast majority of Islam is either unconscious of the conflict or has chosen its side and manifested it by silence? That is what I make of your post. I think Bush and the powers that be ought to say that the conflict exists as you propose, but I think they suffer from want of nerve. If you are right then someone needs to lay it on the line, Islam must change, or perish.

7/26/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

I focus more on the slow unravelling of false premises those in charge of America's military and foreign policy held in early 2003:

1. Cakewalk. Just like we said it would be. Mission Accomplished.
2. War could have been won with shock and awe and 5,000 Special Ops. Waiting now for Iraq cheers on liberation to end so they can get back to work Monday.
3. Looting, murders? Heck blowing off a little liberation steam.
4. Trust Chalabi and the INC. If they say that Iraq has no real long-lasting ethnic divides that a little democracy can't cure, well, they are Iraqis, so they should know. Besides, Chalabi said he will sign a peace treaty with Israel and ship most Iraqi oil through Israel as soon as he is elected because he loves Israel dearly.
5. Gotta find the missing vast, mass-buried stockpiles of Iraqi WMD. Even if we have to soon invade Syria to find them.
6. Only a few foreign fighters and an even smaller number of dead-enders whose numbers fall everyday appear to stand in the way of Kurds, Shia, and Sunni getting together in Democratic brotherhood.
7. Soon cheap oil will flow again and pay for the cost of this Occupation.
8. We really should attack and invade Iran before 2004 starts. Syria too, if we haven't already done so by then to locate the WMD.
9. It will only take a few months to call the Iraqi leaders into the Green Zone, tell them what they have to do..and our work will be done except for negotiating the permanent bases and Israel peace treaty...
10. Best way to bring order is to now fire the military officers and all the Civil officials.
11. Keep saying "noble freedom-loving, hungry for democracy Iraqi folks". Maybe if we say it long enough it will be true.


As written about Bush, Feith, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Bremer, neocon pundits ----- The Illusionists ---It looks like they just got mugged by reality.

7/26/2005 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

C4 your focus on the "errors" of the administration has little to do with the reality of the situation as it now exists. Almost any rational person would say that whatever reasons the administration had for its actions, excuses or whatever the results have been more favorable than doing nothing as seems to be implied by your criticisms. They seem to have invoked an effective strategy but one that requires guts to bring to a suceesssful conclusion. What I hope is that they do indeed have the required fortitude even if this is a 100 year struggle or longer. There are something like 1.2 billion Muslims out there, its entirely possible that the fanatical elements can only be dealt with by death. It is infeasible to kill all or even the fanatics, we need some strategy to at least find out how many there are, and the Civil War may be the only remedy. Can you propose something (barring appeasemaent/surrender)?

7/26/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

David Bennett,

I don't think the Civil War was ever part of the plan, but neither was it inevitable, as some who warned against taking down Saddam warned. After the Moustache the Deluge. But what was inevitable was that things would change. And because stability was the overarching goal of not only the US, but of Europe, OIF could not but be a roll of the dice. The Europeans reached out to stop the throw but the dice haven't stopped rolling yet.

If Iraq splits up it would not be tragic as long as the breakup were peaceful, like the Czech Republic and Slovakia, or even the Balkans post the 1990s. At the worst it could be like India-Pakistan, which was a bloodbath alongside which Vietnam or Korea would be a Boy Scout picnic. But perhaps the split between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan was inevitable; at any rate the Raj could not have stayed forever and neither could Saddam.

7/26/2005 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"I focus more on the slow unravelling of false premises those in charge of America's military and foreign policy held in early 2003"

Fair comment. But you can also construct a parallel list of all the things the critics said would happen but didn't. Sea of Blood. Baghdad as Stalingrad. Vietnam. Arab Street Will Rise. Iraq in flames. America driven out by the insurgency. Civil War. The Civil War hasn't happened yet. And neither Burns and the Economist predict that it will, only that it might.

7/26/2005 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger foxenburg said...

cutler made an incisive post when he said:

I don't think that antagonizing the Turks is in our interests, as much as I want to help the Kurds. Turkey is already tottering, undergoing the same Islamization that Pakistan is.

i have always wondered why the usa is so eager for turkey to be given entry into the eu. now the penny's dropped: you bastards want to deccelerate turkey's tottering toward islamisation by bouncing out a few rolls of dannert wire in the form of europe!

7/26/2005 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We at Westhawk believe that one of two versions of a civil war in Iraq is not only probable, but required. Either the Sunnis join the man-hunt for the Baathists and foreign Sunni jihadists in their midst (an intra-Iraqi Sunni civil war if you will) or the Shi'ites and Kurds will lose their patience and "cleanse" the Sunnis themselves (a real civil war).

What does this mean for American military strategy in Iraq in 2006? It seems as if we end up agreeing with Mr. Burns of the New York Times. The American force structure in Iraq will decline in Iraq in 2006 under either scenario. If the Sunnis (are coerced to) join the man-hunt for the remaining terrorists, the insurgency will end quickly and the Americans can come home. If the Sunnis prefer (or are intimidated) to protect the terrorists in their areas, the dreaded "real" civil war will likely start. As in El Salvador, the Americans will play a role in training and advising the Shi'ite and Kurdish army/militias. But there won't be a need or role for conventional American maneuver formations, which will exit the stage.

We posted yesterday on this very topic at our blog.


7/26/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

If the so called "palestinians" deserve a "viable" "continous" state of their own, doesnt if show arab/islamic/persian racism to deny the Kurds their own national state?

7/26/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: Besides, Chalabi said he will sign a peace treaty with Israel and ship most Iraqi oil through Israel as soon as he is elected because he loves Israel dearly.Iraq-Israel Oil Pipeline 'To Reopen'

why must he love israel to open an existing pipeline?

cant it make just good win-win-win sense?

or must everything have a bias?

The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 6-21-2003 | Anton La Guardia

Posted on 06/20/2003 4:31:55 PM PDT by blam

Iraq-Israel oil pipeline 'to reopen'

By Anton La Guardia
(Filed: 21/06/2003)

Israel's finance minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, predicted yesterday that the British-era oil pipeline from Iraq's northern oilfields through Jordan to the Israeli port city of Haifa would be reopened.

"It won't be long when you will see Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa," Mr Netanyahu told a group of British investors in London. "It is just a matter of time until the pipeline is reconstituted and Iraqi oil will flow to the Mediterranean."

The pipeline was closed during the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948 and has never been used since. Its rehabilitation would dramatically enhance regional economic co-operation after decades of war and mutual suspicion.

But the project is unlikely to become reality before a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

7/26/2005 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

the Kurds have all the rights the arab world does in throwing out the AOF (arab occupation forces)...

how about we recognize that car bombs blowing up arab civilans for the freedom of kurdistan is not terrorism, but resistance to occupation

7/26/2005 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Cedar. Stop being obtuse. This is not "the war:" the war was against Saddam's regime. It was a cakewalk.

What we are now fighting, which no one seems to want to acknowledge, is a concommittant of terrorism: Arab backwardness and its ancient essential manifestation of tribal razza-and-reprisal violence in a modern iteration, dressed up in post-colonial Marxist-derived rhetorical crap, deserving of nothing but destruction as surely as it is made of nothing but self-destruction.

7/26/2005 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

IMO the only problem with a civil war--morally, strategically--is that it could lead to the establishment of a HAMAS or Hezbollah in Iraq as it did in Israel/Lebanon. That would be a defeat, and lead to the reprisal strategy advocated by the "blow it up and warn them" punitive school of international relations that I've also considered dangerously short-sighted and basically immoral--unless, of course, we get another of those organizations.

Again, tho--why is Moqtada al-Sadr still alive? And who is on this Sunni Muslim Council in Iraq? Who are these people that walk the earth and preach evil in sensitive places to enslave their neighbors in nothing but crap? Enough. So there may be a civil war--these people have nothing but anger, fear and oil at the moment anyway--but it won't be any of our concern.

7/26/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger oldefogey said...

The US is a uniquely powerful nation but even our power is limited, especially when those controlling many of our media outlets seem to want us to be defeated, but we are not omniscient. Go read the post of Omar when reviewing the latest draft of the Iraq constitution and you may well conclude that “we” will not be the ones determining whether or not there will be a civil war. More importantly, we will not be able to prevent a civil war for long if that is where the Iraqis come out.

See this post: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/2005/07/if-this-is-going-to-be-final-draft.html
to see a perspective from an Iraqi who is a US ally.

7/26/2005 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

The paranoiacs cannot be allowed to inject "Islam" into the Constitution. I wonder what can be done about that.

7/26/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

As if any other form of religion really has any presence there, or desires one on a scale that could conceivably "threaten" the hegemony of the Prophet, or that social mores might conceivably change to allow this.

I wonder, has anyone ever done a study of the relative depth of Islamic faith and practices? Obviously it seems comprehensive and profound from here. Moreover there are plenty of examples of invading forces becoming Islamic--the Mongols come immediately to mind.

Ah but every kind of analysis disintegrates in the face of the dark bickering of the Arab scene.

7/26/2005 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

....As if any other form of religion really has any presence there, or desires one on a scale that could conceivably "threaten" the hegemony of the Prophet, or that social mores might conceivably change to allow this.....

I advocate free "girls gone wild" usb flash disks to be smuggled into the islamic lands......

it's time to face the fact that it's war... time to unleash the west's (and asia's) secret weapon...

nekked girls......

7/26/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I still do not think a civil war is likely. The Sunnis have nothing to gain from it; if it really occurs, they will all be cleansed.

The Sunnis may think, at the moment, that Shia demands are backing them into a corner where they will make a last stand, but when their heels grab air, and when they see nothing behind and below but a fiery abyss, they will be ready to grab any hand that is proffered before them. It is amazing how clearly you can see when standing on the brink.

Of course, many factors can be determinative. But my money is on the Arabic propensity to compromise when faced with death. The terrorists may want to die, but the Sunnis don't.

That said, a civil war in the middle of Arabia is not a priori a disasterous thing for the United States. It is not the ringing victory of a Mesopotamian liberal democracy, but it may serve to accelerate a badly need selective process in the fallows of Arab thought.

It is not what I would want for the Iraqis, who have gone through so much already, but there is nothing like a war to make you choose sides. You have to think decency would win.

7/26/2005 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

... one day, the West will be compelled to purge the world of Islam as it once did to Nazism and Communism.

Ash misunderstood.

Put simply, if the Islamic march towards the global caliphate continues through acts of terror against moderate, modernizing Muslims as well as the West, and if said Muslims continue refusing to acknowledge that a problem exists that would be best stayed by their own hand- then terror will continue, and the people of the West, responding to an attack of great magnitude, may decide that they have had enough and decide to rid themselves of the blight completely, utterly, devastatingly.

I do not state this as a matter of opinion; I state this as a matter of fact. I am unequivocally opposed to religious persecution. I am not opposed to religious criticism. Critism of the negative influences of Islam must be heard from Muslims themselves- they must reform themselves- or someone will do it for them, and the end will not be pretty.

7/26/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha pork--yeah... Everyone likes nekkid girls! I think I may have some extra copies of some even stronger stuff lyin around here as a matter of fact...

7/26/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If Sistani's version of light to moderate Mohammedan interference with Government is tested against the Wahhabists Fascist Vision in the field, who would we support?

The answer seems obvious.

In the long run there is the only course of action that would be acceptable under the Authorization.

Best case is for US is to have withdrawn as many troops as possible and practical from incountry, while garrisoning a strike force 1 or 2 Combat Brigades in the Western Desert and providing Special Forces advisors to the Government troops. Air cover and close air ground support by USAF and USAA could be provided from the desert bases.

It could be a very short engagement with a positive solution or it could drag on in a Irish model for years.

7/26/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Rereading the post a bit... Balkanization? No one understands the Balkans. Again Wittgenstein on time: "a muddle that looks like a problem," i.e. with a solution. Nonsense. As misguided as moralizing historical sequence. As Paul Johnson wisely put it, channeling Schopenhauer: history is chronology. Nothing else. So we have here in Iraq a tribal dominion destroyed by the hated imperialists, who the downtrodden are only happy to aid in the creation of the conditions through which the imperialist will depart. (By the way what must that look like through their worldview? The evil imperialist force, who is so goodly-stupid as to give up a colossal gain, as shown in the imperialist's own lascivious media?) If they are going to fight a civil war, we can only ask of them the courtesy of allowing us the political victory we were deprived of by Russian military advisors and tribal smugglers at the beginning of the war. If the Kurds want their state, and to pursure agitation against the Turks, let them, and let the Turks utterly crush them in their turn. Who cares? Let the histrionic fools ululate about their denied homeland. We give them what we can; they can take it or leave it. Alternatively, we can force them to accept a federalist constitutional compromise at least temporarily and tenuously, and remove our forces to Qatar, Diego Garcia, and an armada base to see what happens. The civil war is something we have no ambition nor power to deal with unless we were truly to become the hegemon there a la USSR in Yugoslavia (which didn't work out so well during that period, either--there just weren't any CNNs there). We are clearly not attempting that. We have to focus on the chronology we wish to impose upon the overall picture. The strawman chronology of the left, with its idiot timing requirements is to be ignored as much as possible. Just ignore it; engaging it is as wise as trying to argue with a paranoid schizophrenic or a PMSing girlfriend. Why bother? Go drinking, bowling, whatever--just get out of the way and wait til it blows over. In the meantime, let's be a little more openly hostile to our petulent wittle European morons embroiled in their disastrous belief in the primacy of politics over personal freedom. It's not as though they'll survive as experiments in collectivism for even another generation. Nor is it likely they'll figure out how to get around it. Europeans are pathetically stupid at modern politics.

7/26/2005 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

By the way, is it not amazing how superficially similar this jihad is with the first jihad? Byzantium and Isfahan exhausted by their total war and barbarian incursions. Arabs attack! Victory as much by exploiting the grievances of outskirt states, turning them against their imperial masters. Russia and Europe effectively moribund for the same reasons. Arabs attack! Intellectuals of all varieties and notable parties in the highest ranks of power go supine and use it against the ruling governments? Eh? EH!? Nice synchronicity, Osama!


7/26/2005 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

“Balkanization? No one understands the Balkans. Again Wittgenstein on time: "a muddle that looks like a problem," i.e. with a solution. Nonsense.”

I am not sure if you pose a question or go on to offer an answer. Ayn Rand coins the term “Global Balkanization” in her essay ‘The Voice of Reason’. The congruity of this to our discussion is eye-opening;

“By denying the importance of man's mind, collectivism eliminates the mind as a way of dealing with one's fellow men. Within the ethnic group, men do not operate by principles, but simply obey the rules. "An eye for an eye." "Pray 5 times a day." Keep the race pure." In dealing with outsiders, the collectivist's only recourse is brute force. One cannot, after all, persuade a person to become a Slav or an Albanian, so if he happens to be in the territory claimed by one's own group, the only choices are to kill him or force him out. Trotsky observed pithily, "Stalin seeks to strike, not at the ideas of his opponent, but at his skull." (Quoted in P. Johnson, Modern Times, pb, p. 373). This modus operandi has been accepted for centuries in the Balkans. Ayn Rand described it in more detail: "There is no surer way to infect mankind with hatred - brute, blind, virulent hatred - than by splitting it into ethnic groups or tribes. If a man believes that his own character is determined at birth in some unknown, ineffable way, and that the characteristics of all strangers are determined in the same way - then no communication, no understanding, no persuasion is possible among them, only mutual fear, suspicion and hatred." ("Global Balkanization," The Voice of Reason, p. 128”

7/26/2005 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Investigators identify body of suspected suicide bomber in Egypt attacks:

Investigators have identified a body they suspect of being a suicide bomber in the weekend terror attacks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, saying he was an Egyptian with Islamic militant ties, security officials said yesterday. Cairo also denied police reports over the possible involvement of six Pakistani nationals in the weekend attacks.

Security sources identified one of the prime suspects as Youssef Mohammad Subhi Badran, a bedouin, and said he may have died at the wheel of a vehicle which blew up in front of the Ghazala Gardens Hotel on Saturday.


7/26/2005 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Right. Except if you go to the Balkans or know people from there you'll here and endless crescendoing litany of reasons and justifications and condemnations and official mournings and whatnot, virtually all of which are insoluble due to race-preoccupation or because the ones that "did it to them," if not just across the border, are lying in the tombs of the Caliph Sultan and Tsars. The typical reaction is to engage them, as with a rational person. The reality is as intractable as syphilitic insanity--or pick your variety. The perhaps civil war of the Arabs is none of our concern unless it should lead to another "base" because it will arise out of intractable rivalries that are currently managed only within a state by the brutal dominion of one over the other. As with Islam itself, the justification is patently after the fact, espoused for and to the ears of the tribe, and is therefore a distraction. The point is not to worry too much about these groups, rivalries, ideologies, rhetorical reductions of unkillable problems. Think about it from our point of view--in that way we are doing them an homage which they will appreciate, though perhaps not enjoy.

7/26/2005 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

So if we Americans give up on the national identity of Iraq, then we give way to religious isolationism, ethnic creeds, and the inexorable divisions of clans. If the civil war of the mind cannot be fought and democratic compromises cannot be made for the unity of a nation, then “an eye for an eye” will be observed until the most virulently hostile force will made the king of it’s own domain. The same opposing forces are observing a fragile truce in Afghanistan.

7/26/2005 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger hamint said...

The President, General Abizaid and Wretchard appear to be focused (or to have focused) on the possibitiy that Iraq would be used or become the US equivalent of a modern day Dien Bien Phu. Or they may have considered that the Sunni Triangle would become the insurgents' equivalent of that strategic battle. Like a Debka.com "I told you so", this was all addressed in our comments on Belmont Club last fall.

7/26/2005 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

CAIR BS ARTIST was completely outed by Frank Gafney on Hugh Hewitt today:
Transcript will be at radioblogger.

IMO it is the most important interview I have ever heard, as he is put on record as refusing to acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist as well as other such fine points:


(also Israel's running dogs, but he does not explicitly put it that way.)

7/26/2005 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Dan: Re your frequent question as to why the punk Sadar is alive, that was addressed by the guys over at Iraq the Model last year. Sadar is a "cleric" and all Iraqi clerics want all clerics to be off limits when it comes to getting shot, blown up, kidnapped, beheaded, having to do their own laundry, etc.
Sounds like a sweet deal, and I would no doubt try to secure a similar prohibition for my own profession if I was there, but the bottom line is that the "rest" of the clerics have covered Sadar in order to cover themselves. Or at least try to.

7/26/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

desert rat
If Sistani's version of light to moderate Mohammedan interference with Government is tested against the Wahhabists Fascist Vision in the field, who would we support?

The answer seems obvious.

It is obvious. Even if Sistani is the reason the Al-Sadr is still alive today ( I think it was you wondering aloud about that). Remember the US army was kicking his militia's ass in Najaf, when Sistani hurried back from England to squelch the fighting. To desire a civil war in Iraq is misguided. We are very close to seeing the rule of law instituted, with the Sunnis still participating in writing the constitution and news today that the local militias (like al-Sadr's Mehdi army) will be outlawed. The rule of law under the Iraqi constitution will provide the societal prescriptions that replace the dreaded Shar'ia - the codification of the medieval warlord society. It is the rule of law under a national constitution that will produce 'moderate' Muslims who will fight the Jihadists along with us.

I see little evidence that a significant number of 'moderate' Muslims are rushing to support the anti-Jihad from any places other than where our warriors have fought along side the locals to remove Sunni/Wahabi oppression. The problem seems to be the Muslims pre-disposition to a conspiracy theory of history. Most refuse to believe that it is really Muslims who are murdering all the innocents. Here's a sample of this from the Birmingham Islamic Society here in Alabama as presented by them at a day-long 'World Arab Seminar', held at a nearby University to help teachers understand world news from the Arab perspective. From the Birmingham News

(wrt the 7/7 bombings in London) "It's un-Islamic. We condemn it outright. But they don't acknowledege that Muslims had anything to do with it, even though British officials have identified the suspects. "It's all fabricated," Ahmed said of the identification of suspects with connections to Pakistan. "It could not have been even the worst Muslim, We just want to find out the truth." Ali said Americans should be more skeptical of their government's claims, such as that Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is behind the insurgency in Iraq.

BTW, the local Muslims had some help explaining the error of the US's ways by someone named Jerry Levin, who was kidnapped by Hezbollah in 1984 while working as CNN's bureau chief in Lebanon. Apparently, Hezbollah successfully converted this former Jewish-American to their point of view.

annoy mouse
“By denying the importance of man's mind, collectivism eliminates the mind as a way of dealing with one's fellow men. Within the ethnic group, men do not operate by principles, but simply obey the rules. "An eye for an eye." "Pray 5 times a day." Keep the race pure."

In the Islamic theocracy knowledge is a top-down affair. God revealed the laws to the Grand Daddy Warlord of them all. Any questions not answered explicitly in the Quran, are resolved by the Imams. I am aware of no tradition of philosophical questioning or empiricism in Islam. Where are Kant's, the Lockes the Humes, the Bacons, the Poppers? When the Party is all knowing, one need not develop any principles nor ask any questions.

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

Why do you have to be there?
Seize the power!
I am therefore Imam.
Imam al Dougie.

7/26/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Name Change:
Imam al Bacon.

7/26/2005 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Imam al Popper is not yet registered, 'Rat, grab it while it's hot.

7/26/2005 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The both would go well in our
Imom and Pop Store.

7/26/2005 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

If you cook it too hot, the name will be Imam al Popper.

Did I hear there are some secessionists out your way?

7/26/2005 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Would a light Mohammedan Beer be about like Guiness Stout?

7/26/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/26/2005 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's part and parcel of the same surrender America to the Barbarians Philosophy we discuss here daily.

7/26/2005 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

So it wasn't really OT, was it?

7/26/2005 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Would a light Mohammedan Beer be about like Guiness Stout?

I don't think the Mohammedan's drink beer only Mecca Cola. As for me, I don't really like the dark stuff, give me a Becks, Grolsch or St. Pauli Girl.

Doug said...
It's [secession] part and parcel of the same surrender America to the Barbarians we discuss here daily.

LOL. Maybe you should remind them that somebody from the party of Lincoln is in office right now.

7/26/2005 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Doug (and others),

Back in Sept. '03 I formulated the following criteria for "success" in Iraq on another blog. Did you ever do a similiar list? Do you agree with the criteria established or are their other items of importance that you feel should be added? I'm asking because I agree with Dan's summation above concerning a civil war but I think the US should at least get these things done before retiring to a neutral corner.

1. Restoration of the power grid to its best operating level between 1990 - 2002.

Done - power generation is there - power delivery is being disrupted

2. All schools opening and functioning at 1990 - 2002 levels.


3. Health services operating at levels superior to 1990 - 2002 levels. Hospitals open with sufficient supplies and medical training occuring at level superior to 1990 - 2002.


4. Autonomous rule by regional authorities with selection/election to regional councils based upon a representative system.

? Can't remember the justification for this.

5. Referendum on the new constitution at least scheduled for a vote on a given date.


6. Courts functional to highest appellate level.


7. Economy operating on a level equal to 1990 - 2002.

Done - I believe

8. Establishment of new military force structure sufficient for defense against territorial incursion.


9. Restoration of oilfield production to 2002 levels with continuing ongoing improvement in infrastructure.

Done - pipeline sabotage excepted

10. Draw down of US forces to 40% of maximum force requirements in 2003.


7/26/2005 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How about negotiate an arms agreement with the Kurds where they would agree not to use them unless certain conditions were met?
...violations visited upon them.
(this would have to be if/after they ever agree on where the borders will be, if/ever they get the constitution done.)
Peter asked the question about the necessity of having a constitution NOW, citing England as an example.

7/26/2005 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger hamint said...

Contrary to most uninformed US opinion of the Sharia (including what normally first comes to my mind), the Sharia has always been the "golden thread" (as one sympathetic British hand put it) that runs through the legal system of the enitre Arab Middle East. Even in the Gulf States where various attempts have been made over the years to codify commerical and even civil laws (adopted in part from French, Turkish (German) or British (Indian) legal traditions), the Sharia always plays a part. Significantly, there are (as I remember from working in the Region some years ago) at least six distinct legal traditions within the Sharia all of which date back to the first hundred or so years after the death of Mohammed (each country in the Region, including Iran, follows one of these traditions to the exclusion of the others). In commercial and financial matters, this can prove to be particluarly interesting (in the absence of courts that are willing to apply and enforce any exisitng codes) because there were no business corporations, futures exchanges, IPOs or project finance deals around in 1000 AD and the legal scholarship within these Sharia traditions never really developed after that time to address any of the developments of the modern commercial world. Nevertheless, these countries (particluarly the Gulf regional countries), their residents (male and female) and their businesses, governments, media and financial intermediaries have learned to deal with these issues. Judging from what we see in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, they seem to be doing just fine. Almost as well as the UK which (until it adopted certain EU laws) never had a written consitution.

7/26/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger BULLSEYE said...

Dude, I'm all for your cause but 88 comments and only a half dozen or so bloggers, c'mon...WTF!

7/26/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well, Doug, Sadr can set himself up as a real, actual cleric (I think having a lot of guys waving guns had a lot to do with that) I really doubt that if the Reverand Imam Doug Al-Oahu showed up in Baghdad, waving the Cliff's Notes for the Koran and citing extensive religious study that included having seen every single episode of I Dream of Jeannie that least three times - I doubt you would get anywhere. At least with your head firmly secured to your shoulders, anyway.
Might work some places over here, though.

7/26/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, rwe, you missed that important point:
Not Baghdad:
We do it here!
Imam al Mowee

7/26/2005 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And waving guns here gets even more attention than there!

7/26/2005 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


Perhaps the Kudish question is best resolved within a very long project. The Kurds will require (and should be given) the right to maintain a Kurdish 'National Guard' that could be federalized if the state of Iraq were attacked. That 'National Guard' should be supported with a portion of the oil revenue from Kurdish/Iraqi sources. The Kurds are actually in a fairly tough spot wrt the oil. They would have to cut a deal with Turkey or Syria in order to run pipelines that were not subject to Sunni/Shia disruption and even then, the current disruptions show the ease with which their revenue source could be interrupted.

The degree of Kurdish autonomy allowed within the new constitution will probably be greater than expected. The only way that the Sunni/Shia can derive any benefit from the oil on Kurdish/Iraqi property will be by granting said autonomy. The fragment of the Iraqi populace who are in the worst position are the Sunni. All they have is sand and swords. They are going to be allowed to eat the sand while the swords are being broken and I won't be shedding any tears about it.

7/26/2005 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The worm turns.
Even in sand.

7/26/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

No Dune references, Ender will get mad.

7/26/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"I'd agree that a Kurdistan would create a challenge for the Turks, but it would also create similar challenges for both Syria and Iran. The Turks have already dumped on US, as we all are aware, and the destabilization of both Syria and Iran would be, in my estimation, a 'good thing'.

Destabilization for what end? We will not be invading or occupying Iran, absent a revolution by the persian majority - much too occupied with a country 1/3 the size. An overactive 7% Kurdish minority will do squat, and possibly even harm our efforts because it may antagonize the majority Persians. Possibly we could use the Azeris, but they've been well assimilated into Iran and most experts think it is a lost cause.

The Kurds in Syria are more useful as a staging area, but are also in the Northeast corner, the farthest point from Damascus and on the opposite side of the Euphrates. And ultimately, if we got serious, we probably don't need them to deal with the Syrians, who are the low-hanging fruit of the enemy coalition.

"what would they [Turkey] actually lose? A disruptive minority?"

Under the Treaty of Sevres after World War I, Turkey was actually set up with a Kurdish autonomous area. Ataturks rejected it, won a war against Greece, and Turkey gradually eroded the rights that the Kurds had been promised. From the 1980s till the mid to late 1990s the Kurdish PKK fought a guerilla war against the Turkish army, with over 30,000 dead on all sides. The damage to infrastructure and the money spent to end the conflict is claimed by the Turkish government to stand at 200 billion."

Not a small interest, and not a people we want to tip more into Islamist hands.

Whoever commented on that being one of the reasons for our backing of Turkish EU membership is entirely correct, judging by the latest poll numbers, we're failing.

7/26/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Whoever commented on that being one of the reasons for our backing of Turkish EU membership is entirely correct, judging by the latest poll numbers, we're failing."

Sorry, to be more clear, "that" is keeping Turkey from going more "Islamic."

7/26/2005 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Trottier said...

I think America is in a mess, and it better clean it up -- or else.

7/26/2005 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Dan writes: The paranoiacs cannot be allowed to inject "Islam" into the Constitution. I wonder what can be done about that.

State Dept and the CIA warned the most likely outcome was Civil War with a Theocrat-Lite Regime emerging patterned on Iran. And a few weeks ago, Iraq and Iran signed a mutual defense pack against "external aggression". And women are beginning to wear Chadors.

What can be "done about it" is nothing, putting the US in a position of fighting both the Shia and the Sunnis with an exponential increase in US casualties, or letting the Big Guy out of jail to impose secular Ba'athist rule again.

I like the "do nothing" option.

The Illusionists - who destroyed the old officer corps and administrators - don't get their Haifa petrochemical industry at the end of the MOsul line, don't get bases, don't get cheap oil, don't get women's lib, etc. At some point, after our casualties are over 15,000 and our expenses exceed 250 billion, the Iraqi Ayatollahs will inform us it is time to leave and don't let the door hit us in our back.

The only good thing will be the neocons finally stop talking about the "noble democracy-loving purple fingered, freedom-craving brave Iraqis".

Then they can call the Iraqis "The Shitheads".

Everyone looking at history knows that Civil Wars typically happen right after a dictator falls or hatch out of democracies unable to contain centrifugal forces.

a HAMAS or Hezbollah in Iraq could spring up as it did in Israel/Lebanon. That would be a defeat, and lead to the reprisal strategy advocated by the "blow it up and warn them" punitive school of international relations that I've also considered dangerously short-sighted

Despite the Zionist hatred of Hezbollah, they have a pretty good reputation in Shiite circles in Lebanon for protecting the Shiites, driving away enemies like Israel, the Maronites, America, the PLO when they got uppity. Hezbollah also has succeeded in organizing good, not corrupt gov't services in areas they rule. I would predict a new branch of Hezbollah rising in Iraq and helping to safeguard the Shia and promote Shia interests.

Morale of the story? Several.

1. Don't let a small ideological movement in America with little understanding of the nation they demand we go to war with - to fulfill another nation's Plan - ever get undue power over the Executive again.

2. If you must invade, ensure you have a Post-War Plan, and don't ever do an Occupation on the cheap again.

3. Regard exiles or what other foreign countries say with suspicion since they have their own agenda.

4. Have immediate efforts with people who understand the country get together with locals and impose order and vital services. Trauma centers talk about the golden hour. Post war appears to have a golden 3 months or so where it behooves Americans not to stand around with their thumbs up their butts while an insurgency organizes and works out their campaign.

5. America payed hundreds of billions for high tech toys when they should have spend a few 10s of billions on ethnically suitable HUMINT agents fluent in Arabic, Persian, Chinese, and Urdu. And spending even a few billion a year in establishing strategic communications capacity for America to interact globally...

7/26/2005 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I think America is in a mess, and it better clean it up -- or else.

Or else Canada is going to write us a very strongly-worded letter explaining how disappointed they are that Democrats and Republicans aren't committing genocide against each other or sending suicide bombers to blow up cafes in Vancouver and Toronto.

7/26/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


Because readers of this blog want to change their minds.

That's tf.


7/26/2005 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well Said II
Roger Simon's knocking it out of the park. First regarding Hollywood's silence over the death of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh...
. GOP Vixen

7/26/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger ruby mountain said...

The critical thing is to know who your friends are. I visited Afghanistan a month or so ago and stayed for a week in a mud village.
I have friends there and so do you.
Do not forget, Afghans at a cost of 1 million dead, basically KOed the Soviet menace.
Respect these Muslim friends. Friends a half a world away. They have rejected Al Qaeda and need our help. Elections prove that they want to move towards peace and progress.
The real battle in the War on Terrorism is going to take place within Islam. In Afghanistan we are already well on our way toward winning, but we must remember who our friends are.
I have not been to Iraq, but
it seems to me from the elections and casualties amoung the Iraqis
that we have many "friends" there too, desparately fighting the war on terror.

7/26/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"5. America payed hundreds of billions for high tech toys when they should have spend a few 10s of billions on ethnically suitable HUMINT agents fluent in Arabic, Persian, Chinese, and Urdu. And spending even a few billion a year in establishing strategic communications capacity for America to interact globally..."
I hope you're not going to blame THAT one on the neoCONS, C4.

7/26/2005 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/26/2005 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

107 comments... Whew! Long read.

In reading them, I see a pattern of viewing Iraq/America as a local phenomenon having global sequellae; and reluctance to describe Iraq as 'civil war'.

Having just viewed the 6-tape set "American Civil War" again, I am struck by the larger significance visible in all this: We have entered a World Civil War!

Nations and peoples are taking sides, FOR or AGAINST enslavement by an oppressive, aggressive ideology. Nations and peoples are seeing and allowing alignment with a FREEING SPIRIT, whatever we want to call it, embodied in America, by Americans: Self-Determination

(See Michael Yon's most recent post. Foreign jihadis want to fight against Americans, but are FORCED to wear a splodeydope-belt and decide, then and there, to engage in an act of self-determination: they off the suicide-belt and tell Allied handlers all they know about terrorist people/places/activities/goals!)

Freedom and personal-responsibility are POWERFUL dynamics, not new to Baha'u'llah, but now that God says Freedom is okay, its effects are cascading into the Islamic world!

7/26/2005 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Except "theocrat-lite" is misinterpreted, and it is the crux of your sentiment. It's true I'm slightly in despair about so prominent role for Islam, such categorical mention of it. But it's entirely possible that Islam in Iraq is undergoing the same kind of post=Commie revival that Russia is experiencing with Russian Orthodox Christianity. Sistani has continually surprised a skeptic of the Arab character such as myself; he has consistently seemed to back off logical conclusions of prior policies and adopt the moderate position, time and again. This Islamic culture is something of a mystery to us; that can''t be doubted, I think. There's no Necesary reason why Islam can't be mentioned--I'm just being histrionic. There is a chance, well-suppported by the success of the political process hitherto, that Sistani--pray he doesn't die--will formulate something extremely moderate, i.e. to our liking. I'm still depressed about the prospects, but "theocrat-lite" is too much "theocrat"--more than is necessary, anyway.

7/26/2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Wow AP reporting mood upbeat at the DPRK talks. With all the recent good China news, I wonder whether we didn't send them a harsher message this time? I hope.

7/26/2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dan said,
" But it's entirely possible that Islam in Iraq is undergoing the same kind of post=Commie revival that Russia is experiencing with Russian Orthodox Christianity."
I have more faith that the folks in Iraq have a better chance of living a sane mental life than the CAIR folks here, and many of the "moderate" (new-left influenced) Muslims here.
The hope then is after things get more sane there it would influence things here, but I'm not betting on that:
The left and all the left-"moderate" Muslims here have it far too easy (well-rewarded even) living their thoroughly UNPATRIOTIC LIVES to change until more s... hits the fan.
In the meantime if the head in the an../clouds administration wanted to do us all a favor, they would STOP immigration until we separate out all the EASILY found and identifiable undesirables.
(Actually I was being too easy on them with the an../clouds description. It is simply corruption parading under the banner of compassion/tolerance/"good business.")

7/26/2005 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"oppressive, aggressive ideology."
That fits the left in this country, IMO.
Aggression is not always carried out with arms.
The long (endlessly long if you "read" all the new law/new "rights") arm of the law has served their purpose well.

7/26/2005 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Freedom and personal-responsibility"
TOTALLY lacking in our left.
Blaming Bush/Oil/Halliburton for the world's ills while burning more oil than anyone in the history of the human race.
Encouraging the young to have promiscuous sex while pretending there are no moral responsibilities involved with abortion.
(or mention the number of women who have died as an end result of STD's) etc.
Lying promiscuously for political gain.
(See Durbin's *new* atrocity for latest example.)

7/26/2005 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Ashlee said...

You've got a very interesting blog right there.Post more!

7/26/2005 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The whole socialist ideology is one more important example.

7/26/2005 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You've had two new "admirers" in two days whose links go to the same porn site.

7/26/2005 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Wretchard, what are the chances (from iht.com)?

"WASHINGTON The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, according to senior administration and military officials."

You don't think...nah...?

7/26/2005 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


"Ideological war" means a war of ideas. How would we fare against this fellow?

The Pakistani Daily Times says that Omer Saeed Sheikh, one the jailed killers of journalist Daniel Pearl, is proving a tough man to guard.
The British-born Islamist murderer of the American journalist Daniel Pearl has managed to convert the first four constables that were stationed outside his cell. This has moved prison authorities to rotate the guards staioned outside his cell almost every day. “He is capable of converting the entire jail staff,” said one official. ...
In the interview, the first he has given, he wrote out replies to questions submitted covertly while he was in Adiala jail, where he was detained for several months, he indicated that he believed he would never be executed and would one day play a role in an Islamist state in Pakistan or elsewhere. ... Sheikh, who was educated in England until he was 14 and returned to study at the London School of Economics three years later, said that the United Nations actions in Bosnia propelled him from being a moderate Muslim to a radical Islamist. “It was the unjust armed embargo perpetuated by the European members of the United Nations on Bosnia’s Muslims while they were being slaughtered in the most horrific way by Serbian forces that made me realise that the pillars of Western civilisation are not for us Muslims. “I was left with a great emptiness. The ensuing search for new pillars, new directions, new meaningfulness in life, took me to Bosnia, then Pakistan, then Afghanistan and a number of organisations, and finally I found the answer.”

7/26/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

How would we fare in "ideological war" against these guys?

According to the
Sydney Morning Herald
, the suspects in the second bombing attack on London were asylum seekers who had received thousands of pounds in welfare payments and may have actually built their explosive device in government provided housing.

Officers raided a housing estate in north London used by at least one of the suspected bombers. Newspapers today said one suspect had lived in a flat on the estate and had claimed nearly $53,000 of state benefits to pay the rent over six years. Under the headline "Bomber on Benefits", the Sun said 24-year-old Yasin Hassan Omar - named as one of the suspects pictured in security camera footage - helped plot the July 21 attacks while living in the flat. It said the Home Office was checking his immigration status. The Daily Mail said at least two of the suspects were believed to have entered Britain as asylum seekers from East Africa and had received state welfare payments.

7/26/2005 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I saw about the welfare guy before:
I think it helps make my point with another pathological bond between the left and the enemy within.
(Although the "Compassionate Right" "Leaders" are also complicit.)

7/26/2005 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Future is Samsung - Empire begun w/fish.

7/26/2005 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: Despite the Zionist hatred of Hezbollah, they have a pretty good reputation in Shiite circles in Lebanon for protecting the Shiites, driving away enemies like Israel, the Maronites, America, the PLO when they got uppity. Hezbollah also has succeeded in organizing good, not corrupt gov't services in areas they rule. I would predict a new branch of Hezbollah rising in Iraq and helping to safeguard the Shia and promote Shia interests.

Ah yes and I bet they make the trains run on time..

Hezbollah and its affiliates have planned or been linked to a lengthy series of terrorist attacks against the United States, Israel, and other Western targets. These attacks include:

a series of kidnappings of Westerners in Lebanon, including several Americans, in the 1980s;
the suicide truck bombings that killed more than 200 U.S. Marines at their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983;
the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, which featured the famous footage of the plane’s pilot leaning out of the cockpit with a gun to his head;
and two major 1990s attacks on Jewish targets in Argentina—the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy (killing 29) and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center (killing 95).

yep only Zionists hate hezbollah... c4's kind of folk

7/26/2005 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

info on hezballah came from:


council on foreign relations

7/26/2005 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Other than the damn Zionists, it would be all peace and love w/hezballah.
We could feel it.
...except for THEM.

7/26/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/26/2005 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You left out the favors Hezbollah has done for us, also.
From C4's post:

"driving away enemies like Israel, the Maronites, America, the PLO when they got uppity."
I wish you would inform yourself by reading him a little more closely.

7/27/2005 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

If you ever need any real-world images to go along with your writings...feel free to harvest some pictures from my BLOG.

I enjoyed my stop in your corner of cyberspace.

7/27/2005 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

No wonder I got confused: Ruby posted that in both threads.
Ruby said,
"In Afghanistan we are already well on our way toward winning, but we must remember who our friends are."
I just read somewhere that our friends mostly just reside around Kabul and environs:
I could not reconcile that with reports of how the election went in widely dispersed areas.

We do have a lot of protecting to do, however, on the Pakistan border areas, so our friends remain free.

7/27/2005 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


The ideological war is not to be fought against the Jihadis. We'll never win that.

It's to be fought for the minds of Muslims who can see now that they believe in a failed religion.

Neuter the mad mullahs.

Kill the Jihadis.


7/27/2005 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

M. Simon, here's an ad that promotes legal drugs AND Bush Drug Agenda.

7/27/2005 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kick the anti US Imams out of the country.

7/27/2005 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Remove Saudi Funding from CAIR.

7/27/2005 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Get CAIR and it's brethren out of our Government.

7/27/2005 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

It's clear that Iraqi is fed-up with state sponsored terrorists from Syria. And, it must be noted that the Saddam/Syria partnership is being exposed.

Under those facts, I would suggest the following steps:

1) Iraqi should declare war against Syria.

2) The US should back Iraq.

3) Syria should be neutralized and if necessary a complete regime change (including installing a new government with more democracy, and less Mohammedan teachings).

4) If it is found that Saddam is still encouraging his thugs from Syria to fight - he should be charged as a traitor and executed.


"Defense minister blasts Syria over 'infiltration of terrorists'"

Iraq's defense minister criticized Syria on Tuesday for ignoring Iraqi demands "to stop the infiltration of terrorists."

"When the lava of the exploding volcano of Iraq overflows, it will first hit Damascus," al-Dulaimi warned during a news conference to discuss an upcoming nationwide security plan. He said militants are coming into Iraq from Syria via three routes, with the intent of targeting the Baghdad area... The official, Saadoun al-Dulaimi, singled out Iraq's western neighbor as among states that are slack on stopping the flow of militants into his country.

Syria criticized


...IRS learned through its interviews that Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) maintained accounts at the (CBS) that received funds from the oil sales to Syria. Beginning in June 2000 and lasting until March 2003, Iraq and Syria set up a border trade protocol, which ultimately resulted in $3 billion worth of Iraqi oil being imported by Syria.

IRS investigators have concluded that the money was funneled through these accounts. About 40 percent was paid in cash while the other 60 percent came in "goods" such as arms. Following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's government in 2003, IRS criminal investigators opened an inquiry into Iraqi operations of Oil-for-Food and interviewed numerous mid-level government officials, former Iraqi ministers and other imprisoned officials and supplied information to Congress, CIA and IRS.

IRS Docs Detail Ties Between Syria, Iraq

7/27/2005 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nice post, again, ledger:
Now the IRS should expose the Amount of Saudi money going to CAIR, even if all "legal," the public needs to know.
Maybe an informed public can straighten out the situation re:
Saudi money paying for lobbying our government to do things not in our interest.

7/27/2005 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry has much in common with 9/11.

How did WWI begin - a bombing and an assassination.

I think a worldwide civil war is a better model.

7/27/2005 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here's Peter's Beautiful Pictures from Afghanistan.
There are Many other pictures on site also.

7/27/2005 01:37:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...


In due time I think the IRS will. But, It's sad that it's left up to IRS to stop terrorists. And, the IRS does take its sweet time.

One fact that I noticed is an investment fund "Crescent" fund that has bought legitimate business such as Church's Fried Chicken and a coffee chain. The latter will seek to impose strict Islamic rules on what foods can be served. But, this investment fund may provide undesirables with cash earned from American consumers.

I will try to find the link on the subject.

7/27/2005 02:51:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

link on Crescent

'Don't try to order bacon at Caribou Coffee: Caribou won't sell pork, beer or lottery tickets.'

UPDATE at 7/25/05 8:33:59 am:
The chairman of Caribou's shari'a supervisory board (until the connection was exposed and they disassociated from him) was none other than Muslim Brotherhood "spiritual leader" Dr. Ysuf Abdullah Al-Qaradawi.

[Star Tribune]:

Porn, pork and Pabst — you're safe from them at Caribou Coffee. In an SEC filing last week for its initial stock offering, the Brooklyn Center-based coffeehouse chain noted that it operates its business according to the Islamic principles known as Shari'ah.
"A Shari'ah-compliant company is prohibited from engaging in derivative hedging transactions such as interest rate swaps or futures, forward options or other instruments designed to hedge against changes in interest rates or the price of commodities we purchase," Caribou said in its filing. "Also, a Shari'ah-compliant company is prohibited from dealing in the areas of alcohol, gambling, pornography, pork and pork-related products."

No Pork at Caribou

and see Star trib.

poster notes:

#24 doppelganglander 7/25/05 7/25/2005 08:12AM PDT

And for those of you who would like to boycott Arcapita's other holdings:

Arcapita is a global investment group with offices in Atlanta, London and Bahrain. Arcapita's main lines of business include corporate investment, real estate investment and asset based investment. Arcapita's corporate investment line of business was founded in 1997 and operates out of Atlanta and London. Since 1998, Arcapita's corporate investment professionals have arranged for equity investments of more than $1 billion in 17 transactions with an aggregate enterprise value of over $2 billion. Until February 28, 2005, Arcapita's U.S. subsidiary was known as Crescent Capital.
Other companies in Arcapita's current portfolio include TLC Health Care Services, the second largest provider of Medicare home nursing services in the U.S.; Caribou Coffee, the nation's second largest company-owned specialty retailer of premium brewed and roasted whole bean coffee; Church's Chicken(TM), the third largest chicken QSR in the world; Loehmann's, a leading specialty retailer of well-known designer and brand name women's and men's fashion apparel, accessories and shoes; and Cirrus, the largest manufacturer of single-engine, piston-powered, general aviation aircraft in the world. Further information on Arcapita can be found at www.arcapita.com

see post #24 for links

7/27/2005 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger Thomas Drew said...

By now we have seen various theories about the true nature of the GWOT. There is Lee Harris' important article on "Fantasy Ideology." There are at least two theories of a "Civil War," whether that be in Iraq between Shiites and Sunni or in Islam as a whole, between Wahabbists and the rest. The picture I get from Wretchard's writing has more to do with the power vacuums of failed states like the Philippines, to warlordism, or gangsterism. These descriptions usually end, tacitly or explicitly with "that's how I view it," or "that's the way it is/was," as though one description covered the ground.

Isn't it more realistic to say that, as in other political and historical matters, we are witnessing a confluence of many things.

Yes there is a civil war going on; probably the Saudis, or some of them, see it as their advantage to continue financing "fundamentalism" in the rest of the Moslem world. In that war, the victims are other Muslims such as Egypt's and Algeria's diplomats. In this war, the West is a prop. Explosions in London or wherever else are not so much intended to kill large numbers, as to demonstrate the ability to dismay. They build prestige for the perpetrators in the eyes of their intended audience, which is Islam, not Europe or the U.S.

Probably at the same time, the war in Iraq plays into all sorts of longstanding grievances and feuds, great and small. The victims in these are one's local political rivals or personal enemies, for every kind of reason. (For instance, it is easy to imagine "suicide" bombers being wired up against their will, under what horrible threats to family and friends it doesn't take much imagination to conjure up, and told to drive wherever, there to be exploded quite against their wills, all as part of some petty vendetta.)

Meanwhile, gangsterism appears throughout history to be the default setting in human affairs. It arises, as Wretchard has made clear, wherever and whenever no legitimate government can succeed in projecting a monopoly on violence. In that situation, there will inevitably be those who consolidate a private force around themselves, out of enterprise or necessity, in competition with the next such over the hill or down the valley.

If the political will arises to combat them, there will always be splinters within these private "militias" who think their interest lies in holding out rather than cooperating. Therefore, there will always be some coming in from the cold (or pretending to do so), and some staying out, setting off explosions to demonstrate their own ability to disrupt the "legitimate" "peace process." In this war, the West is not a prop, nor even realistically a military enemy, but a cash cow, through bribery, extortion, and the charity of "useful idiots." The enemy is one's neighbor, anyone close enough to compete for the local supply of ammo, chicks, and beers.

All these things appear to be happening in some degree all the time, almost everywhere, do they not? (Ireland? Palestine? Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan? the Philippines? Chicago in the 1920s? China throughout the 19th and first half of the 20th Century? other places closer to home?)

If I'm anywhere near correct, what's unique now is none of these things taken alone, but the extaordinary degree of cohesion in the picture, around certain individuals, or rather abstractions named after individuals, who may or may not have the powers (they want to have) attributed to them: "Bin Laden," "Zarqawi," "Bush, the "Ayatollah Youname-i."

If so, then it is not quite to the point to argue among ourselves about these various theories; it would make more sense to do what George W. Bush (the President, not the abstraction) is actually doing: going at it piecemeal, improvising from day to day, not pretending to have one unified force theory, promoting patience and learning from the enemy (enemies) faster than they learn from us.

When demagogues ask for a plan they are not seriously criticising; they are just hoping to be handed something rigid, which they can then carp at for its rigidity. When they ask, Is the world safer now than before the present war in Iraq? They are disingenuous. Didn't we all learn, somewhere around eighth grade, that the world is not a safe place? What kind of Junior High School must they have gone to, to think otherwise? If such sheltered people exist any longer, what attention do they deserve?

7/27/2005 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger thecoolestblog said...

Cool blog and cool message

7/27/2005 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2005 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here at MSNBC.com we get letters about how talking about terrorists too much actually encourages them. Are terrorists (or anyone) really so attuned to all of this talk?
I’ve been asked this question several times—sometimes in earnest, sometimes dismissively—so I suppose I should make my answer clear: it depends on the terrorist. If you are speaking of those terrorists indoctrinated from birth in the medieval atmosphere of a Pakistani madrassa, the answer is probably no.
.But if you believe the thesis put forward by Olivier Roy (and, separately, Reuel Marc Gerecht) that a major concern we face in the GWOT is the growing threat from Islamists being radicalized inside one of the balkanized, “multiculturalist"-friendly liberal democracies of western Europe, then the answer is undoubtedly yes.

After all, Tanweer was, from all accounts, a perfectly assimilated Leeds boy, and one assumes that as such, he—like the rest of his countrymen—was treated to the self-serving pontifications of George Galloway and Ken Livingstone, the columns of John Pilger and a host of anti-war, anti-Blair Guardian propagandists, and, invariably, Al Jazzeera and the BBC—neither of which has ever been accused of being too friendly to the Iraq war coalition (and neither of which, ironically, is comfortable describing those who commit acts of terror as “terrorists").
Protein Wisdom

7/27/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Olivier Roy, professor at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and the author of “Globalized Islam,” is one of a growing number of scholars advancing the thesis that the most dangerous breeding grounds for radicalized Islamism are Western—not, as conventional wisdom suggests, the madrassas of Pakistan or the streets of Gaza. From “Why Do They Hate Us? Not Because of Iraq,” the New York Times:
Protein Wisdom

7/27/2005 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hannity talks to a PATRIOTIC sic American about our military.
A True Genius

7/27/2005 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Colmes even chimes in as this jerk talks about our men "biting the big one."
(they are so dumb they DESERVE IT.)

7/27/2005 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't wait for a marksman - get stuck in
By Mark Steyn
According to his cousins back in Pakistan, Yorkshire lad Shehzad Tanweer decided to become a "holy warrior" because of "US abuse of Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo Bay".
.Mark Steyn

7/27/2005 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

I would advise folks to read Michael Yon's latest post "Empty Jars" at:


I think Yon's reporting is excellent and his first hand descriptions of the enemy far exceed anything available from the MSM and the likes of Mr. Burns.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

7/27/2005 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

ledger great post

about arcapitia: this is also in thier annual report

• Above all, we demand integrity and compliance with Islamic principles.

• First Islamic Investment Bank B.S.C.(c), together with its subsidiaries in Atlanta (Crescent Capital Investments
Inc.) and London (Crescent Capital Investments (Europe) Limited), has changed its name to Arcapita

• In particular, we are extremely grateful to the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain
and the Bahrain Monetary Agency for the support they have provided to Arcapita.

my question is:

what are the principles they advocate? :: Above all, we demand integrity and compliance with Islamic principles::

Do they support the idea of "shahida" (martyr)?

Do they support Palestinian families that "shahida" (martyr) themselves?

Are these fair questions (and more)?

If they answer that they do indeed support "shahida" is a boycott the right way to deal with this issue?

7/27/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...perhaps the British Tourist Board could post signs at Terminal Four:

(see steyn link above)

7/27/2005 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"or must everything have a bias?"
Perhaps you've stumbled on the deep inner "workings" of C4's "mind?"

7/27/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Matt Huisman said...

Wretchard, you've got more than a civil war going on here...this is a (black) gold rush. While I'm sure that the other countries in the region fear successful neighboring democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, I believe that Al Quaeda is more excited about the opportunity to 'set up shop' in Iraq.

There will always be a 'home' for the Al Quaeda's of the world to operate out of (see Pakistan). But in Iraq, they have the perfect opportunity to lead a nation with vast oil reserves and geopolitical significance. Their desire is to unite the Muslim world against the west, what better place to start from than the state of Irag.

Think of it as Sinn Fein South.

7/27/2005 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Hannity interview moron
reminds us how much great
groundwork the NEA does
in providing fodder for the
mind-numb Anti America Brigades.
Jaun Cole Runs down quite a few example of the Democrat Meltdown here.

7/27/2005 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Turkey's Invasion of Greek Cyprus
Turkey's invasion was sparked by a Greek Cypriot coup, backed by Athens and aimed at uniting Cyprus with mainland Greece. Turkey still maintains about 40,000 troops in northern Cyprus, which is recognized as an independent country only by Ankara.

A United Nations brokered plan to reunify the island of Cyprus after 30 years of ethnic partition was overwhelmingly rejected by more than 75 percent of the larger Greek side of the island. It was accepted by 60 percent of the smaller Turkish north. The results came as no great surprise, and followed predictions of recent opinion polls. The UN-brokered plan was to re-unite Greek and Turkish Cypriot states within a loose federation. It called for the removal of most Turkish troops now based in the northern Turkish Cypriot enclave, and outlined a settlement of outstanding land and property issues stemming from the partition 30 years ago.

But many Greek Cypriots said the plan did not adequately guarantee their rights to regain properties they lost after the 1974 Turkish invasion, nor did it completely rid the island of Turkish troops or Turkey's influence. Turkish Cypriots felt the UN plan would end their long political and economic isolation and offer them a better future within Europe. But most Greek Cypriots said they're hoping for a better deal in the future. Rejection of the plan meant that Cyprus remained divided, and only the Greek portion of the island now enters into the European Union on May first.

so turkey occupies both cyprus and kurdistan.. hmm

7/27/2005 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No mr allah's pork rind
The 10th SF Group, embedded with the Kurdish forces and the Garrisoned troops guarding our prepositioned military equipment would put a damper on Turkish aggression. Besides 'Aggression' is illegal ubder the new ICC rules, regs & laws

7/27/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Kurds were our first allies in this Iraq affair, they could well be our last. If we abandon them, well, the US would have zero credibility any where. We'd have been whipped. Doubt we'd allow that scenario to play out.

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

While Bush is in office

7/27/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger janet in venice said...

a friend and i were amusing ourselves with speculating on this scenario: what would it be like to pit our enemies against one another and distract them by occupying them with fighting against each other? our scenario held the imagined results if we were to simply round up all our terrorist prisoners in GITMO and the various camps in IRaq and afghanistan, load them on planes and push them out with parachutes over north korea?
we wondered what would the fanatically religious jihadis do when encountering the fanatically atheist north korean state enforcers?
he thinks the jihadis would lose. iponder whether the viciousness and rabid religiosity of the jihadis wouldn't give the north koreans something to really have to tussle with, diverting them and entangling them and making north korea a magnet for jihadis to come to the glorious global war for absolutesupremacy.
we mused on whether a big enough injection of muslim extremists infused into north korea would turn kim jong Il's mind to pointing his nukes at Iran rather than at us, thus getting our two most worrisome nuclear saber-rattlers to focus on each other and not on us.
with RE to the 'global civil war', Osama DID say his aim was to destroy the west, and judging by the ways the GWOT is polarizing us against each other, it seems he has succeeded in catalyzing exactly that. Muslims have to decide where they stand. Americans, europeans, Brits, anywhere that jihadists attacks take place. I think the whole world is going to have to go thru a period of oppression and crisis, probably during which the average person will endure increasing misery for the sake of peace and getting along, but in the end, i think we will finally throw it off. by 'we', i mean people everywhere. The meek don't always stay meek; not after a certain point. It's in our genes, otherwise we wouldn't have made it this far.

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

there are not nearly enough Mohammedans in all the prisons camps and all the detainment centers in all the world to make a dent in Kim's Gulog.

7/27/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/28/2005 08:17:00 AM  

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