Friday, July 08, 2005

Iraq and London

Patrick Belton at Oxblog takes the other side of a Belmont Club argument that the London attack was mitigated by the absorption of enemy resources in Iraq.

The second reason the enemy is weaker is Iraq. It is widely accepted that thousands of Al Qaeda fighters, the cream of their rancid crop, is fighting to expel the American infidel from the Land Between the Rivers. A moment's reflection will show that if they are there they cannot be elsewhere -- in London, Paris, Rome or Boston -- sowing bombs on buses and trains.

Belton asks why this is necessarily true. Perhaps Iraq hasn't siphoned off Al Qaeda strength but augmented it.

How do we know that Al Qaeda hasn't reserved its best operatives for attacks against Europe and the United States while sending its foot soldiers into the trenches in Iraq? And how do we know that Iraq doesn't serve as an effective training ground for Al Qaeda, where those who survive gain the ability to operate in much less supportive enivornments, such as London or New York? In a limited sense, the "flypaper theory" is most certainly right; the war in Iraq is chewing up a lot of jihadist manpower. But is it chewing up enough to ensure that there aren't 19 more terrorists ready and able to carry out another 9/11?

The underlying idea is that Iraq is not Al Qaeda's unwanted 'second front' but its Fort Benning. The logical extension of the argument is that without Iraq Islamism would produce fewer or possibly less capable cadres. It's possible isn't it, Belton asks? So then how do we know which interpretation is correct. The definitive way to answer Belton's question would be to present numbers, a balance sheet so to speak, of that movement's assets and liabilities. It would be even better if we could construct some kind of 'income statement', which showed the delta in the movements value over a period. But I don't have that data and assert that in all probability, neither does Osama Bin Laden or any mortal man. It's hard enough to create an honest management information system for companies that deal in dollars and cents. The set of books which could answer Mr. Belton's valid question probably does not exist.

So we must do the next best thing. We must measure Al Qaeda's strength by the perturbation it creates; by the power it exercises; by the strength and capability it displays. Absent the books, we measure what we can measure by proxy. One way to do this is to create a column of countries: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Indonesia, etc. and ask ourselves whether the fortunes of Islamism in general and Al Qaeda in particular have prospered in these places since September 11 and especially after OIF. My personal subjective judgment is that Islamism has weakened across the board in nearly all of these places even after OIF. If we consider the nearest thing to referendums on Al Qaeda (as a component of the general question) available in the Islamic world -- the Iraqi, Afghan and Lebanese elections -- it is safe to assert that they are not ringing endorsements of radical Islamism, but rather reflect its relative decline. Bin Laden was, until the London bombings, almost a forgotten man in comparison to his celebrity in 2001. The wisdom of the Western 'crowds' with respect to trends in the War on Terror was measured in the Australian, US and British elections. The proposition that Iraq was Islamism's Fort Benning, its recruiting station and training ground, was articulated with all the considerable fluency that its proponents could muster. Yet Howard, Bush and Blair were re-elected. If the proposition was true the electorate was not convinced.

From a technical point of view the London bombings, when compared to their counterparts in Iraq, the West Bank or Beirut, have the look of marked poverty. The quantity of explosives employed was in the tens of kilos max. This is far less than the Canary Wharf bomb employed by the IRA which was rated at 500 kg. For that matter, it was much less powerful that Timothy McVeigh's device at Oklahoma city. It was nothing compared to what blew Hariri sky-high in Beirut. The weapon of choice in Iraq, the trademark of Zaraqawi, is the car bomb. If we had seen a car bomb used in London, then we might say, 'aha! An Iraqi insurgent has come to mentor the British Al Qaeda cell'. That might still be true; but there is no obvious way one can get from Iraq to the London operation. Occam's Razor urges a simpler conclusion: that Al Qaeda's British minions either didn't have enough explosive to do worse or they didn't have the know-how to assemble a bigger bomb. It might still be argued that Al Qaeda is 'holding back' -- that it "reserved its best operatives for attacks against Europe and the United States while sending its foot soldiers into the trenches in Iraq" -- toying with the West really, teasing it with these tiny little bombs when it was capable of much more. Mark Steyn in the Telegraph argued that this self-restraint theory made no sense. The London attack was as deadly as Al Qaeda could make it. They would have blown up 30 trains if they had the means. Certainly it was not the milk of human kindness that stayed their hand.

Yesterday, al-Qa'eda hit three Tube trains and one bus. Had they broadened their attentions from the central zone, had they attempted to blow up 30 trains from Uxbridge to Upminster, who can doubt that they too would have been successful? In other words, the scale of the carnage was constrained only by the murderers' ambition and their manpower.

The inevitable question then is 'why could Bin Laden not find the means to attack 30 trains?' The answer it seems to me, must be Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa and hundred other places where he is engaged without quarter by US forces. Resources, whether Jihadi or no are not infinite. They do not have some magical machine that allows them to be everywhere at once, to sustain losses yet grow. There's no free lunch, not even, and especially not for Bin Laden. If it were true that Islamism would shrivel faster were it pursued more passively, then pre-911 policy should have finished it by now. But what we empirically observe is that ignoring them allowed them to mount 911-scale attack. Hit them continuously and in four years they could scrape together enough to blow up a London bus and some subway trains.

I realize that this is not the unassailable proof that Patrick Belton seeks. I cannot provide that. But the practice of engaging an enemy on one front to weaken him on another has been tested from antiquity and is more natural than the alternative. The idea that fighting the enemy makes him stronger everywhere is a curious one and I've often wondered about the battlefield arithmetic that would make it possible. There are many who accept without question the proposition that the US Armed forces are being 'bled dry' in Iraq; that it has become over extended. They would accept, without reservation, the idea that using the US Army in Iraq would weaken it with respect to Korea. One Swedish researcher kept writing to me privately, 'proving' from all kinds of weird arithmetic that the USMC had been annihilated in Fallujah. Yet the very same persons will vehemently reject the idea that Al Qaeda can also be spread thin; that its cadres are subject to death as wastage; it is as if one set of natural laws operated for the Jihad and another for the blundering Americans. But mental honesty will compel us to accept that this can't be true: that the sun rises and sets on one man as for another: that if we thought about it really hard, everyone who lives peacefully in a Western city owes it to the men out on patrol tonight.

249 Comments:

Blogger James Kielland said...

Sure, Al Qaida is probably gaining some operational skills with its work in Iraq. But at what price? Certainly the development of skilled personnel is considerbaly more expensive than the training camps were in Afghanistan. Not only in the basic resources but in attrition, loss of captured intel, and so forth. And without the urgency of OIF drawing jihadis to Iraq, and the subsequent pressure brought to bear on Islamic countries, it's probably reasonable to assume that training camps would have spread out elsewhere.

It's also reasonable to assume that there would be different classes of jihadis for both the west and for Iraq; a jihadi operating in the West undoubtedly needs some cultural and language skills that wouldn't be required of a suicide bomber in Iraq.

To pull off another 9/11 would take a lot of rare resources that would need to be carefully screened, trained, and guided over a long period of time. The more Iraq occupies their attention, the less resources they have to apply to cultivating such talent.

Lastly, the idea that OIF is just a huge win for AQ because it's such a learning center totally overlooks the fact that it's just as much a learning laboratory for the US. In fact, it's more of a learning/testing laboratory for the US than it could ever possibly be for Al Qaida. The ability of the US armed forces to mine data from conflicts, synthesize it, and then develop new techniques and rapidly train people in them is simply higher than AQ could ever match.

The idea that OIF is or has made AQ stronger or provided them with some enhanced capabilities or experience relative to the US military just doesn't hold up.

7/08/2005 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Of course Cat man, the Opfor is omnipotent and we are inept. Our million man Army is at the breaking point, but their 50,000 man Afghan trained force is everywhere.
We bring thousands into our military system each month and are told that is failure, they send in a dozen suiciders and are reported to be on the verge of defeating US.

Fox News reports that the bomb were in the 10 pound range. To many booms in my youth. I loved that stuff, the ultimate pyro.

7/08/2005 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well-argued, Wretchard. Belton-type serious conjecture aside, I think--from reading much blog commentary yesterday--that most of the child-like "yesterday London proved OIF was a mistake" is mere partisan political opportunism.

The only serious charge coming from the pacifist-left is that GWoT itself recruits more terrorists.

As you say, the 90s are the anecdotal rebuttal--but still there is no way to definitely quantify the negative.

In fact it is generally true that the sooner one surrenders, the smaller an enemy army will have been needed to win.

7/08/2005 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Saying that the Islamofacists are training fighters in Iraq is rather like looking at the Kamikaze attacks off of Okinawa in 1945 and saying "Boy! These guys are getting a lot of experience in mounting these kinds of attacks. Imagine how good they will be in a few months."
But they did not get better at attacking, even though they were developing specialized aircraft for that mission. We got better at at stopping them.

7/08/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger George1776 said...

Even if Iraq is Al Qaida's Ft Benning, all the more reason to prosecute the war with greater and greater enthusiasm. What kind of coward could advance that proposition and at the same time suggest it as a reason for shameful retreat???

7/08/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

This is a ridiculously flawed analysis. The idea that the resistance in Iraq is de facto Al Qa'ida is ludicrous if not idiotic and completely blind to readily availabe facts and even Pentagon statements. Al Qa'ida has nothing to do with the resistance in Iraq and work not only independently off it, but usually against it. The Pentagon recently estimated that maybe 8% of those in Iraq fighting american and their puppet Iraqi troops are foreign. They also estimate that Al Qa'ida has at most a couple hundred people operating in Iraq who are largely responsible for things like car bombs and executing diplomats. Those attacks comprise around 2% of total attacks by the resistance.

In fact many resistance groups have put hits out on any Al Qa'ida guys. Al Qa'ida is targetting Iraqis as much as the Americans and most resistance groups have put Al Qa'ida on par with the Americans and their Iraqi puppets.

Al Qa'ida from neighbouring countries would have gone to Iraq, but as said earlier, it's hardly any, a couple hundred according to the Pentagon. The Pentagon also estimates the resistance is at least 14,000 strong in terms of fully active committed fighters.

Iraq would have no effect in weakening Al Qa'ida in Europe. The only thing it did was breed hostililty towards the UK which can be used as a starting point for Al Qa'ida recruiting, and make them more attractive.

You also claim that the US is hitting Al Qa'ida constantly and this is reducing their strength. This claim is obviously completely false. Where is the US hitting Al Qa'ida? Invading Afghanistan was targetting the Taliban, Al Qa'ida and Bin Laden had a few shots taken at them, but were generally left alone by the US.
Then Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with Al Qa'ida, and took resources away from any possible fight against Al Qa'ida. The fact remains is that Bin Laden is still on the loose, and the US has no interest in capturing him. Nor have their military attacks been targetting Al Qa'ida in the least. The US is not engaging Al Qa'ida on any front, not militarily anyway.

7/08/2005 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger chthus said...

I've seen a number of people state conclusively that these London bombings lay waste to the flypaper theory of Iraq. I can only assume that these people are disingenuously trying to make political points, rather than that they missed the obvious fact that a success can be made even when it isn't 100%. No one has argued, or at least should, that Iraq has pulled in every single aQ or aQ affiliated/sympathetic jihadi in the world. And to make ones conclusion against such a straw man is ludicrous.

Looking though, at the blurry picture of Jihadi movement and focus, it seems things are shifting a bit in recnt days. Several large operations in Iraq in recent months have result in a recent drop off in effective attacks. While some isolated attacks against Muslim envoys have brought headlines, the death toll on Coalition forces, Iraqi forces and Iraq civilians seems to be in a short term decline these past couple weeks. Only time will tell if this will continue.

However, an upswing in aQ activity along the Afghan/Pakistan border may be an indication that we are seeing a partial withdrawl of jihadi forces from Iraq. While this certainly has deadly consequences, it also may indicate that we have forced them to speed up their planned seven year wait before returning to Afghanistan. Certainly the prospect of another successful round of elections in Sept plays a major role in this.

7/08/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/08/2005 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You're right, iotm, none of this is really happening--it's like the Moon Mission. All fantasy.

7/08/2005 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Undertoad said...

Iotm's questions need answering.

I don't know but it sure looks like:

When left alone and treated with detente, AQ recruited with ease, took over a country, and engineered 911.

When attacked vigorously with a proactive military approach, AQ recruited with ease, tried to take over a country and failed, and engineered 311 and London.

7/08/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger chthus said...

The the line that hasn't yet been, but needs to be, crossed is the Afghan/Pak border. While Saudi Arabia may be the mother of the wahhabi jihadi movement, Pakistan is most certainly the midwife and nursemaid. Both of these countries have definite schizoid splits internally (though that can be said to a lesser degree about many in the west as well). While Musharaf has played somewhat nice in the GWoT, there is still considerable wahhabi support in the ISI and Pak military. I can only assume the fear of a coup (and not for love of Musharaf, but for avoidance of their nukes falling into far worse hands) is why the US has largely respected that line on the map. The failed attempt by the Pak army last year to control the Waziristan region makes it obvious that they simply aren't capable of doing so.

The attacks in London may temporarily alter the dynamics of the situation. The British now have a window of freedom to act following these attacks. A British led force, only supported by the US rather than led, may be able to cross into aQ Waziri sanctuary and do it grave damage without completely tipping the political applecart in Pakistan.

This would not be clean or easy. The terrain and dug in enemy would be tough. The fact that they have enshrouded themselves in their families and local villagers would mean a significant civilian bodycount. But the advantage of surprising them in their safe zone could overcome their advantage, and the backbreak effect of cleaning out that area would save the lives of orders of magnitude more civilians in the longrun.

It may not yet be time, the conflict may not have yet advanced to that level of action, but a small window has certainly opened.

7/08/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

My take on Al Qaida's recruiting and Iraq is that Iraq may be a source of low-value recruits but that the "War on Terror" is depleting the operatives with the organizational skills needed to give the new recruits much useful to do. (Useful, obviously, from an Al Qaida point of view.)

Anyone who has ever worked in a volunteer organization knows that without leadership resources additional volunteers are difficult to employ. An AlQaida recruitment in Iraq might go something like this.

Volunteer: I am here to join the struggle against the puppets of the Zionist Entity; What shall I do?

Recruiter:Give us your name and address and we'll call you when we need you.

Volunteer: I was rather hoping to begin smashing the infidel today...

Recruiter: Yes, Yes, we are putting together an operation and we will let you know when we are ready. We're in a planning phase right now.

Volunteer: I have some gasoline at home, and some bottles and rags. I have a good throwing arm and I have heard that if you hit a Bradley on the right side, under the turret -- near the chain gun -- the heat of the fire will ...

Recruiter: Yes, fine. That sounds good. You do that. Praise be to Allah.
NEXT

Of course, the war does wear on our side too. The human-resources part is not so bad, actually. I worked the math and the risks faced by US forces in the war on terror, from an actuarial point of view, are comparable to the things they would be doing as civilians. (See teleoscope: Dangerous Things) But I am not sure we are winning the propaganda war since most of the MSM seems to be on the other side.

- - - -

Does anyone have a good source for the statistical risks of extreme sports? I wonder how the risks involved in Special Forces ops compare to gas-mixture cave diving? Might be an interesting blog topic if I could find the data.

7/08/2005 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger chthus said...

It appears that the level of civilian cover for aQ in Waziristan has been significantly reduced since March.

7/08/2005 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

re: Saddam and AQ and IOTM.

Nothing?

I'd wager that if Iraq had a mind to, they could have stopped 9-11 - esp. given Iraq's / Al-Duri's intelligence fingers being in every pot (& when not spying, bribing).

In a time when nations must choose sides, uncertainty warrants decisive action even with its occassional regrets, v. the certain regret otherwise. And the left has shown nothing about Iraq to regret to date, save a reminder that perfection is not of this earth.

7/08/2005 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger AMcGuinn said...

To me the attacks show organisational weakness rather than strength, but on a technical point it doesn't make sense to compare the Canary Wharf bomb of '96 with yesterday's bombs; the Canary Wharf was a truck-based fertilizer bomb (like Oklahoma), which no-one could possibly get onto a bus or train. 10lb of high explosive in a train carriage could well cause more destruction than 1000lb of fertilizer on a street corner.

On the whole, though, I more or less agree

7/08/2005 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Iraq and London -

Excellent analysis. This reminds me of what Grant said in his autobiography about his first moments in actual battle. He was climbing a hill with his men anticipating that the enemy would be on the other side waiting for him. As he got closer to the top he became increasingly scared, unitll finally he reached the top and found the enemy had left. he realized the enemy was more scared than he was. This changed the way he thought about and prosecuted war.

The left in this country and abroad are climbing the hill, but they never seem to get to the top.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

7/08/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Again and again
"Ali el Babba is an Al Qaida". Oh no he is not, he is Taliban.
"Ali el Tikriti is Al Qaida". Oh no he is an Iraqi Insurgent
"Ali el Londoni is Al Qaida" Oh no he is a home grown loner.

Granted I have argued that for each different group there are different tactics and skill sets required in this war. There is, however, a overlay that encompasses them all. Islamic Radicalism.
My understanding was that Al Qaida is / was an umbrella group that was more an intellectual force than an active combat force. In Somalia they employed the local warlords, In Afghanistan the utilized the Taliban, in Egypt they are fronted by the Muslim Brotherhood, etc, etc, etc.
To a degree iotm is correct, the majority of the insurgents in Iraq are not imported fighters. Those that come incountry are the suiciders and kidnappers. If we can shut the Syrian border or in some other way discourage the Syrians from allowing the transit of these combatants the suicide bombing would drop off. The Sunni insurgency will be solved either politically or by blood. US prefers political solutions, I'm not sure that either the Sunni or Shia agree.

7/08/2005 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger chthus said...

Some in the Arab street are beginning to understand that actions have consequences.

Arab view: 'Enough, enough'
Some Muslims fear backlash after UK bombs


Some still celebrated, but at least one person seemed to understand where this road can lead.

'In response, these notes were posted: "To the heroes of Arabism and Jihad, since you are sparing no method to attack the West and you gloat as you try to kill the largest number of civilians. How would you like it if the West relieves itself of your headache by hitting you with one of its nuclear weapons. It takes only minutes and then there will be no heroes, no men and no shish kebab."'

Let us hope that it never gets that far, but hope alone won't help avoid that path.

7/08/2005 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Common Cents said...

The pro Jihadi left suffers from battered woman syndrome. "If only we didn't back talk (or resist) he wouldn't have to hurt us."

How this mental illness arose? I don't know, I will have to give it thought.

7/08/2005 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Good point George1776! We really knew we had the Luftwaffe beat when we were shooting down their training planes over their own airfields.
Kill'em early when they are inexperienced; it's easier.

7/08/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When Western feminists believe that Muslim women should be subjected to 'Honor Rape' there is something amiss...

7/08/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's not that they love honor rape, it's that they hate GWB. Don't you see, the Taliban women have to be sacrificed for the Higher Good? Western Feminist-Lefties are abstractly sacrificial that way.

GWB then becomes the rapist, through the mechanism of the amorphous free-floating hatred that his being creates and forces upon more complex and 'feeling' people.

7/08/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Andrew Sullivan has many great quotes from Brits today. Feels good to read them, some are so good they bring a tear to the eye. A cold tear.

For example: "QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I have a prediction to make, that tomorrow we'll find out whether Britons are, still, in fact, Britons. Many years ago I was working in The City and there were two events that made travel into work almost impossible.
The first was a series of storms that brought down power lines, blocked train routes and so on. Not surprisingly, the place was empty the next day. Why bother to struggle through?
The other event was an IRA bomb which caused massive damage and loss of life. Trains were disrupted, travel to work the next day was horribly difficult and yet there were more people at work than on a normal day. There was no co-ordination to this, no instructions went out, but it appeared that people were crawling off their sick beds in order to be there at work the next day, thrusting their mewling and pewling infants into the arms of anyone at all so that they could be there."

God love those Brits. And God love "the men out on patrol tonight." It's a world war, and not fighting our enemies will not make them not fight us. Excellent, common sense post, W.

7/08/2005 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"The fact remains is that Bin Bin Bin Laden is still on the loose, and the US has no interest in capturing him. Nor have their military attacks been targetting Al Qa'ida in the least. The US is not engaging Al Qa'ida on any front, not militarily anyway."

- iotm

On the loose, that he is. And yet confined, as well. I've wondered how serious the admin is with regard to retrieving him, as the opportunity has presented itself. Perhaps there is a fine reason for declining to do so; in any case, there is SOME reason. Maybe the benefit is not worth the likely cost, in whatever terms, of the errand. Perhaps there is value in knowing where he is, and leaving him there. In the long run, capturing or killing bin Laden (and I believe we'd prefer NOT to hold him alive) makes no difference. In the short run, it would be a serious blow to the movement, but hardly the death of it.

As for not engaging al Qaida militarily, you don't know what you're talking about, iotm. Honestly, you don't.

Now for this "flypaper" business. There's another term that applies to Iraq: tar baby. Both recognize detrimental stickiness, the only difference being who, exactly, is stuck.

7/08/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Wretch:

I've read many tributes to you, but this one is the best. In case you haven't been alerted already:
Weaponized Wretchard

7/08/2005 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Mandel said...

Iraq has been a terrorist training ground for years. Saddam's aQ ties go back a long ways, and yes dear liberals, includes chem and bio training in Sudan, as well as in house stuff at Salman Pak. Saying Iraq is now the terrorist training ground just shows an ideological desire for ignorance.

7/08/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

chthus said:

Let us hope that it never gets that far, but hope alone won't help avoid that path.

Just thinking out loud, it seems that the jihadi style of war requires people, skill and organization; the other inputs -- airplanes, explosives -- are all provided gratis by us as a by-product of our daily lives.

The supply of people is a function of the ideology that animates them. Is the ideology of jihad among young men in the Muslim world in decline? My best (which is not based on much) guess is no. I think it's a mistake to suppose that the enemy just has X divisions which, once annihilated, end the threat. In the short run, people are in seemingly endless supply. Eventually, some of them will come along who have the charisma and brains to plan something much more elaborate.

Organization is a different matter. 9/11 took years of planning, and probably required the control of territory in Afghanistan to serve as a planning base. So for now attacks will probably look like London.

Can they pull off something spectacular, something that might kill thousands or tens of thousands? Probably not yet, but if the ideology is appealing enough for long enough, new tactics of organizing attacks -- new ways to cause mass casualties, new ways to obtain the materials needed for urban WMD attacks -- may be found. The jihadis appear to possess far less knowledge of the art and skill of war then Western societies do. But when your only goal is to kill as many people as possible rather than to achieve a specific military objective (the unconditional surrender of the Japanese, say) you can learn by doing. (When we went to bed on 9/10, how many of us thought a handful of box cutters could bring down the WTC?)

The democracy project and the taking of the battle to the heart of Islam are an attempt to beat the jihadi ideology to the finish line, which is the minds of young Muslim men.

But if the ideology and the young men it generates continue to be a compelling force, so that the race toward preventing a spectacular mass-casualty attack (orders of magnitude beyond London) in the US or Europe is lost, the only way forward will be to end the appeal of the ideology once and for all, by demonstrating conclusively that it does not pay. And that will be an ugly day. I wish there were a happier ending, but that seems to be the most likely one.

7/08/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Lee Harris writes that from the Islamic perspective this is not a war, but a blood feud. An interesting idea, check it out at

http://www.techcentralstation.com/070805LH.html

7/08/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Any bets on how Britain will use its unforgiving minute?

None here; too hot. Just throwing it out there.

7/08/2005 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Wouldn't you just love to know iotm in real life? Here I'll bet we finally have a buyer for that proverbial bridge everyone's been trying to sell for the last century or so.

7/08/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Well of course Harris is correct, as he usually is, but what's the point of the distinction, really? We're hardly waging a war of annihilation, and we don't expect a diplomatic parly to signal an end to hostilities. We are not waging it for economic reasons--except insofar as an ocean of oil without US guardianship would likely result in a massive Chinese effort to co-opt it, tying it to thier solipsistic policies, engendering their military, leading to a war that would implicate us, bringing us back into the Middle East....

I like the thought of the blood feud. But I think that goes to the overall refutation of the Left/mere-politics line, which is that we are dealing with pre-modern mindsets derived specifically from a milieu that is fantastically archaic and simply beyond the ken of the ordinary educated Western individual's imagination because of a very typical historical ignorance and incapacity for imaginative sympathy. Accepting the definition of the blood feud would embroil us in Democratic vision of how GWOT ought to be waged. Screw that: I favor decapitating Damascus from the air for this latest offense, with a very clear warning that this is what's going to happen next time. Let's see how they respond to that. Perhaps London should round up and deport to Antarctica--or hey why not create a big orbiting space prison?--the dozen most notably anti-Western jihadi mullahs in England?

Force the matter to its crisis. Now. They already have plenty of "grievances" against us if they're going to bring up f--king Al-Andalus.

7/08/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger heather said...

Lee Harris (at Tech Central Station) has posted an extremely interesting analysis of this war: that from the point of view of our opponents, this is a "blood feud", thus explaining the weird stop and start of their attacks. John Keegan has pointed out that our Western idea of face to face battle, a mode descended from the Greeks, is very different from this blood feud mode. The latter means that fighters - with honour - run from the field of battle, in order to 'fight another day.' Indeed, there is no "field of battle", at least in our (Greek) terms. The Blood Feud has no real beginning, and may have no end. Thus our puzzlement: how will we know when we have 'won.'

The attack on Iraq forces the Islamists to fight in our manner, which is why Operation Iraqi Freedom has been a success!

7/08/2005 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Nice pointer, Desert. At the risk of sounding like a Southerner still groaning over Antietam, we'd be a lot further along if we had responded much more decisively in Afghanistan before the sun had even set on the smoke rising from NY and DC and PA on 9/11/01.

Like this article you point to, Christopher Hitchens writing from London compares yesterday's bombings to IRA attacks, which was very much a "blood feud" that looked back to the past for motivation. But unlike the IRA, our Islamofascist enemies are far beyond any hope for a political settlement.

As these attacks continue, and as the war grinds along in Afghanistan and Iraq, Harry Truman's reasoning on the alternative methods of ending the war becomes more relevant.

7/08/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

I detect a schism in the left nut party.

iotm argues that Osama's buddies are not in Iraq, but his coconspirators insist that Iraq is their training ground.

7/08/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger bohica said...

Glad to see this 'Omnipotent Jihadist' arguement shot down in style Wretchard. The theory of such is never presented straight forward, but the ever present slant of reporting points to nothing else.
Bohica

7/08/2005 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The tendency for the left to assume the terrorists have infinite resources and we have very limited resources is not a new thing.

I recall a comment by the late Shelby Foote about a conference that US Grant was in when he took command of the Army of the Potomac. The talk essentially was focuesed on RE Lee and Foote characterized the talk as RE Lee & the Army of NV is going to do a double summersault and end up in the rear of the GAP.

Grant is reported to have gotten fed up with it and retorted don't worry about what the enemy is going to do to you, worry about what YOU are going to do to the enemy.

Patton has a lot of good talk on this as well. The staunch Democrat always said do not be afraid, as the sound of fear is always magnified in our heads.

If you are responding to the enemy you are at least working in a way that is known.

Defense is fine but if you are perpetually on the defense you are forever cringing awaiting the attack or you let your defenses down (guess which one), or the enemy finds a way run around your defenses.

The claim by IOTM we are not engaging Al-Qaida is completely silly. What just happened in Afghanistan? Does that have anything to do with Al-Qaida? Does US assistance to the Army of the FIlipines have anything to do with Al-Qaida? Do you have complete knowledge what is going down covertly? I think not.

The President said the WOT was going to be fought on two stages. A visible stage and a stage known only to the participants in the fight.

The attack in London is not as devastating as it was in Spain and only injured and killed as many as it did due to some clever engineering on part of terrorists. One of the trains were reported to be in a tight tube underground and that directed the blast up & down the length of the train. The others were in a less restricted area so the blast was not as focused.

No, this is not as even as big a setback in terms of the WOT as The Ardennes was in December of '44 for the Allies.

7/08/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Old Dad, only the anti-Bush AQ's stay out of Iraq. I think that's how it works. If you're a pro-Bush terrorist, you can go train there.

7/08/2005 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

I think there is a generous amount of myth about aQ, that its some sort of mysterious shadow in the dark vaporous phase of matter as opposed to a real organization of people. If it is a real organization of people, which it pretty much has to be, judging by the pyrotechnics from 1993 on, then it has to have certain features in common with the, ahem, real world. Namely, locations, communications, logistics, institutional memory, traditions, goals, philosophy, perhaps even rules and, ahem, ‘retirement’ policies. Now it may be extraordinarily flexible, and it might be able to hide in plain sight, but it is there, quite there, and it is in the same genus, phylum, and species as all the rest of humanity‘s organizations, from the Rotary Club, the VFW, and the USMC, just as a Jackie Chan might pull some crazy stunt off, but, dammit, he doesn’t have any superpowers to magically transmogrify into vapor to sneak under your door, extra joints or unbreakable bones.

No, aQ is not a magical entity, it IS present in Iraq, via Zarqawi, and the presence of ‘extra-terrorist’ fighting forces, the ‘insurgency,’ hurts the case that Iraq is the Fort Benning of aQ…if Iraq is being fought by only small amounts of aQ, then the regional pool of [possible] terrorist recruits are in competition between fighting forces. It could very well be that aQ has suffered a serious draw of talent to other organizations, nationalist, etc, that as iotm has helpfully indicated are very well antithetical and belligerent to aQ. That alone is a significant brake on the growth of aQ.

On the other hand, as Mark Stein wrote today, Abdel Karim al-Tuhami al-Majati, was a westernized Muslim that was scandalized into the arms of the worst form of militant Islam by the inaction of Europe to defend Muslims in Bosnia. It may be that other Westernized Muslims may pushed into radical Islam by Western foreign policies, but here there is little solace for a lefty here…as we are led to believe that Islamic westerners are a monolithic block of sugar and goodness, civic virtue et al, conceding that the main pool of terrorist recruits are not downtrodden victims of imperialism seeking balance in the “force” but privileged and educated westernized individuals that they actually are. By acknowledging the danger posed by recruits amongst us, blanket opposition to things such as the Patriot Act, racial profiling, etc, becomes less tenable, and those verboten discussions seem more forthcoming.

But at the end of the day, aQ isn’t the love child of the League of Justice and the X-men. It is very real, limited like everyone else, plus subject to the limits of an underground organization. If it can hide in plain sight, well, camouflage is a science, and we should indeed focus our attention on those organizations complicit in masking it and face up to the fact that aQ is a bit player in the Middle East, most of all because it is being crushed between us and the assorted other groups…just like iotm said.

7/08/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Marcus: The Ardennes was not a setback for the Allies. When Eisenhower heard what the Germans and done he all but cheered; he knew that they had come out where they could be killed. And then he unleashed Patton. The Battle of the Bulge destroyed the German Army in the West as well as the Luftwaffe; they were never more than a shattered shell after that.
Now, if we are to take that same approach now, what would we do? Wretchard offers some suggestions: more of the same, faster, and round 'em up at home, cowboys!

7/08/2005 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Kadnine said...

The "CSI Factor" may be at work here. Just as prosecutors across the country are complaining that shows like CSI with pat, perfect, scientifically unasailable endings are prompting juries to demand proof beyond all doubt, not just reasonable doubt, skeptics of our efforts in Iraq are demanding the same level of proof before they lend the full weight of their support.

7/08/2005 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

The flypaper theory is valid in my opinion. The field commanders and those in training for combat/terrorism leadership roles are engaging and dying and I would say at a much higher rate than our forces. Plus some of them are being captured.

7/08/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I just posted a time sensitive recommendation for a program in the previous thread, (What the Butler Saw) so check it out if interested.

7/08/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>Al Qa'ida has nothing to do with the resistance in Iraq and work not only independently off it, but usually against it.

The flaw in your argument is that you ignore that, even if the actions in Iraq don't strike directly at Al-Queda, they do attack the same recruitment and financing pools.

Money sent to Iraq is money deprived of Al-Queda. Men going to Iraq to fight there are people Al-Queda isn't recruiting.

Note: Your argument about the makeup of Iraqi terrorists is disingenuous. The vast majority of all suicide bombers in Iraq are foreign-born, non-Iraqis. The WaPo had an article about this more than two months ago, and the subject made the papers again a week or two ago.

Anyone who blows themselves up in Iraq is one less person ready, able, and willing to do so in London or New York or Sydney. Sounds like a good deal to me.

7/08/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

Marcus, how was toppling the Taliban engaging Al Qa'ida? How was invading Iraq engaging Al Qa'ida? How was overthrowing Aristide in Haiti engaging Al Qa'ida? How was attempting a coup on Chavez engaging Al Qa'ida? Hopefully the UK will have enough sense to follow Spain's lead and gosh golly, launch an investigation into who did it, find them, give them a trail, and have the guilty put in jail, and not go off starting invasions that have nothing to do with the terrorist attacks. I get the feeling you're all a bunch of WWII era types who can't comprehend the notion of a multi-faceted stateless group. If you do understand, you're not being honest with yourselves, and should simply say, "hooray another terrorist attack we can use as a reason to invade some other country that had nothing to do with it, but the public is stupid and our corporate media drones will brainwash them into believing it".

The US has nothing to gain from engaging them, likewise they haven't bothered capturing Bin laden when they could most likely scoop him up in an operation that wouldn't take more than a couple days. If Bin laden were captured, Bush might be viewed as a hero in the US, but continuing the war on terror would lose legitimacy among the american population. Not only that it would likely put Musharaf in danger, and the US wants to keep that puppet around.

Old Dad said...
I detect a schism in the left nut party.
iotm argues that Osama's buddies are not in Iraq, but his coconspirators insist that Iraq is their training ground.

First of all I didn't say Al Qa'ida wasn't in Iraq, I said there weren't very many, and certainly not every Al Qa'ida guy in the world.
Second of all, who are my co-conspirators? And if I disagree with them on this, as I obviously do, how are they my co-conspirators?

You wouldn't happen to be lumping all opposition to Bush into one group would you? I know Bush's bonehead binary thinking is popular these days, but it's still the logical fallacy of false dichotomization.

I know americans have trouble with this left/right thing, because they think the opposite of one of Bush's hacks, is one of the Democrat's hacks who is equally idiotic and has the exact same policies and beliefs.
The amount of space seperating you from your alleged left is miniscule, the amount seperating me from your alleged left is virtually infinite.

PS my original statements definitely blew a big hole in Wretchard's arguments, no response on that?

7/08/2005 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kadnine,
Could not disagree more:
I (and most of my friends on the left) will judge Bush a failure unless Iraq turns out like the ending of a
Sesame Street Episode.

7/08/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"PS my original statements definitely blew a big hole in Wretchard's arguments, no response on that? "
---
No response needed:
We are so used to it that all that needs to be said is:
"PRAISE BE TO IOTM.
IOTM, IOTM, IOTM!
"

7/08/2005 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

The G8 meeting was taking place and the best target that AQ could hit was a civilian transport system.
A civiliain transport system which is an open target with multiple access and egress routes.
The main thrust was on the Circle Line which runs in both directions round London's City centre.The other bombings werre on the line of the Piccadilly Line which intersects the Circle line,even running out to Heathrow Note there are directions in Arabic
The locations of the explosions are somewhat irrelevant since a bomb with a timer or even a suicide bomber could have reached the Circle Line from anywhere in London.

The "Thousand new bin Ladens" is getting somewhat thin as well and is one the level of a thousand new Hitlers.

As RWE points out the Jihad system means that the cream get creamed.The idea that somewhere is an elite cadre of fighting Jihadis being held in reserve is a hollow one,if ever the Jihad needed a demonstration of its power,it is now.Compared to the Luftwaffe,the VI and VII missiles,or even the IRA, this was more the destructive tantrum of a deranged child than a military attack.
It is a great tragedy for the innocent victims and I grieve for them,but to pretend that these barbarians would not have committed this atrocity without the WoT or Iraq is a travesty.
Al Qaeda wanted a quick result and this was it.
The fallacy that withdrawing from Iraq will make us safe is merely paying Danegeld,we would be safe until the next perceived slight,to indulge the Jihad in this macabre game of "Simon Says" would be madness.

7/08/2005 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"...they haven't bothered capturing Bin laden when they could most likely scoop him up in an operation that wouldn't take more than a couple days."

"...my original statements definitely blew a big hole in Wretchard's arguments...."

Well, I can't top those, iotm, that's for sure.

7/08/2005 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Don't we all owe Zapatero and the selected not elected Philippine leader thank you notes for London?

7/08/2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Terrorism is a result of this war..."
Boxer said, amid applause at the Commonwealth Club of California-sponsored speech at the Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel.
___SF GATE___

7/08/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

RWE,

" The Ardennes was not a setback for the Allies. When Eisenhower heard what the Germans and done he all but cheered."

Huh? A suprise winter attack by the Germans that bags two whole divisions? Not a setback?

The British wanted to fall back. Much of the American staff was gloomy. However, in the midst of this they made some great decisions - notable holding Bastogne.

The problem with Eisenhower was his broad front strategy.

And particularly his response on the Ardennes Offensive - the correct response was to attack into Germany at the Southern hinge of the penetration, not push the Germans back.

Prior to this Eisenhower made several strategic blunders along these lines - not reacting to a deep German counterattack to enlarge his strategic position. The failure to close the Falaise Gap or trap the Germans West of the Seine were all due to his inability to focus on the destruction of the German Army. He then failed to cross the Rhine in September.

The blunders in August and September led directly to the Ardennes Offensive in December.

The lesson for the GWOT is to always press the attack and to use all attacks as a means to further enlarge the strategic position - to weaken the enemy and to strengthen our hand.

7/08/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

iotm,

I blushingly must admit that I was engaging in mild ad hominem. Your posts here suggest to me that you are a leftist and a nut, and, thus, a member of the left nut party.

It was wrong of me to make any assumptions about the homogeneity of the left nut party. In fact, a moment's reflection should have convinced me that homogeneity among nuts, left or not, is a questionable theory. I retract my claim that there is schism. Rather there appears to be a general and inconsistent nuttiness.

As to your argument, you presume that you made one. Your unsubstantiated claims blow holes in nothing other than your "de facto" credibility.

7/08/2005 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I agree with George1776 this attack should only cause us to prosecute the war more vigorously. Other posters have made that point. Patrick Belton argument is the classic circular argument or a "gotcha" argument. His argument is essentially "destroying terrorists only increases their numbers." It's clear the more terrorists that drawn to Iraq and killed leads to less terrorists are over all. And, to stop killing them would certainly increase their numbers. Sure, there are some terrorists who enjoy the pleasant English life style and who are willing hide in the shadows and detonate bombs using timers or remote controls. Given that fact, we must be prepared for such a situation.

One of the UK soft parts is the large groups of Muslims that inhabit portions of the country. Given UK laws it has made it difficult to surveil the bad guys (unless they are preaching in some public Mosque). The UK must do a better job of surveillance. Further, their laws must be adjusted to combat this type of terrorism.

I will say that's it's disturbing to hear reports of Gitmo terrorists released that who could have played a role in this horrific attack.

[NIN]:

7 July 2005; 12:54 ET: Preliminary reports from a source inside the Pentagon indicate that one of the operatives involved in this morning's bombings in London was recently released from the prison at Guantanamo.

UPDATED 10:35 PM ET: A clarification was made by the source providing this information, noting that "one of the bombers who is believed to be involved in this attack was recently released from the prison at Guantanamo, Cuba." The source did not elaborate about how the suspect was reportedly identified so early, although suggested he was onboard bus 30 that exploded outside of the British Medical Association at 9:47 local time. We are continuing our investigation.


See: UK Bomber Was Recent GITMO Release

7/08/2005 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No one responds to iotm on his blog and now no one responses to his drivel here. Obviously that means iotm is one step short of god.

7/08/2005 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Obviously. How could we be so blind?

7/08/2005 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, between posts, why don't you run out, pick up some pizza, drop off the laundry, and snatch up bin Laden?

7/08/2005 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

not much more at the link than you delivered, ledger.

If that snippet is true...

Uzbeckistan, rendition to that paradise on earth, for all the Gitmo detainees, would mean never having to think of them again.

7/08/2005 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Can Do, me, Jr. and the replacements for the 16 operators that went down last week. We'll swing in and pick him up before dinner.
Notin' to it, but to do it.

7/08/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

There ya go...easy as pie.

7/08/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yeah, then the whole war will be over. The other side will give up and crawel back into their mud hut hovels as soon as UBL head is on a pike.
Just like the Brits and Gordon Pasha

7/08/2005 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Gordon Pasha.

Where have all the heroes gone?

7/08/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

You People are being unfair to moti,after all everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame.OK moti times up shove off!

7/08/2005 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Where's a moti to go?

7/08/2005 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Doug, apreciate it; made a comment about your time sensitive info on the previous.

7/08/2005 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What do Gitmo, iotm, and moti have in common?
Have the latter 2 ever been seen together at Gitmo?

7/08/2005 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

True,
Did moti chime in yet?

7/08/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

moti would do it if he knew how to it.

7/08/2005 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, as I mentioned Gordon Pasha I read up on the situation that caused his final demise.
Strikingly familar to the current situation with the Mahommedan world the cause of his return to the Sudan is interesting reading

http://www.bartleby.com/189/401b.html

7/08/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Haven't read everything yet:
Has anyone noted the Brilliance of Cutting Off the Head of the
SUNNI Ambasador from Egypt?
Their Allies, Indeed!

7/08/2005 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh said...

It doesn't hurt the arc of the argument, which I find persuasive, but it's David Adesnik who wrote the specific post you're replying to, Wretchard, not Belton.

WWSH

7/08/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

They said it couldn't be done...
but with a smile, he went right to it!
He tackled that job that "couldn't be done"!
(he couldn't do it)

7/08/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

chop chop spin spin
oh what a relief it is

7/08/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Wayne,

Good catch! Thank you.

7/08/2005 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This paragraph hits close to home

"...the English were masters of Egypt. 36
Nevertheless, the English themselves were slow to recognise this fact. Their government had intervened unwillingly; the occupation of the country was a merely temporary measure; their army was to be withdrawn so soon as a tolerable administration had been set up. But a tolerable administration, presided over by the Pashas, seemed long in coming, and the English army remained. ..."

7/08/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

I have made countless critiques of IOTM's silliness over the months, to which he has never responded. He seems incapable of grasping real thinking from anyone here. He is only marginally interesting as a psychological case study of what we are fighting at home. Otherwise, I think we are doing him or ourselves little good by goading him on. Ignore Or Trade Madness

7/08/2005 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here is another part of the historical guide.

"...what steps were they to take? A small minority of the party then in power in England—the Liberal Party—were anxious to withdraw from Egypt altogether and at once. On the other hand, another and a more influential minority, with representatives in the Cabinet, were in favour of a more active intervention in Egyptian affairs—of the deliberate use of the power of England to give to Egypt internal stability and external security; they were ready, if necessary, to take the field against the Mahdi with English troops. But the great bulk of the party, and the Cabinet, with Mr. Gladstone at their head, preferred a middle course. Realising the impracticability of an immediate withdrawal, they were nevertheless determined to remain in Egypt not a moment longer than was necessary, and, in the meantime, to interfere as little as possible in Egyptian affairs. ..."

7/08/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Have we heard this lately?

"... He was by no means in favour of withdrawing from the Sudan: he was in favour, as might have been supposed, of vigorous military action. It might be necessary to abandon, for the time being, the more remote garrisons in Darfour and Equatoria; but Khartoum must be held at all costs. To allow the Mahdi to enter Khartoum would not merely mean the return of the whole of the Sudan to barbarism, it would be a menace to the safety of Egypt herself. To attempt to protect Egypt against the Mahdi by fortifying her southern frontier was preposterous. “You might as well fortify against a fever.” Arabia, Syria, the whole Mohammedan world, would be shaken by the Mahdi’s advance. “In self-defence,” Gordon declared to Mr. Stead, “the policy of evacuation cannot possibly be justified.” The true policy was obvious. A strong man—Sir Samuel Baker, perhaps—must be sent to Khartoum, with a large contingent of Indian and Turkish troops and with two millions of money. He would very soon overpower the Mahdi, whose forces would “fall to pieces of themselves.” For in Gordon’s opinion it was “an entire mistake to regard the Mahdi as in any sense a religious leader”; he would collapse as soon as he was face to face with an English general. ..."

7/08/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Here's another part of the historical guide, a funny picture of a Communist Youth Rally in Berlin, May 28, 1950, protesting the Marshall Plan:

America Go Home

7/08/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh said...

Re: Nathan

Josh Chafetz at Oxblog was a college friend of mine, and I've corresponded with David, which is probably why I saw Wretchard's error so quickly. I actually read the Oxblog post _first_, and I was a bit taken aback at how upset Adesnik seemed to be about the tone of the Belmont Club post in question.

Wretchard's post was harsh, but it's not like the topics we're dealing with are liable to sugar-coating. If the Galloways of the world want to make their points, then obviously their opponents have every right to respond.

On the issue of terrorism's strength or weakness, if you had told me that four years after 9/11, there would be _no_ major attacks on US soil, and only this strike against the UK, I would have been thrilled.


WWSH

7/08/2005 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"The Mahdi" Gen. Chinese Gorden vs a charismatic religious leader (Charleton Heston vs Laurence Olivier, IIRC). Olivier had the numbers, and won.

You're right, Truepeers--name-calling as an argument burns out pretty quickly.

7/08/2005 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Ignore Or Trade Madness"
---
I am incapable, could you provide some madness for me?

7/08/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

How 'bout, the London FTSE 100 stock index was up almost two percent today (annualized, oh hundreds of percent), to close at a three-year high. Go, John Bull!

7/08/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Red River,
He was absolutely correct in the "big picture" view. By using up so much of their capability in their attack, rather than conserving it for defensive purposes, the war ended much sooner, with far fewer U.S. casualties.

7/08/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Doug, remember the DS treatment? Having a little fun with the mental patients is one respectable way to trade in madness, though perhaps indecent with pagan buffoons who can't wait for the blood to dry before blaming then worshipping around the victims. Incorrigible Onanist Typing Molotovs.

7/08/2005 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Incorrigible Onanist Typing Molotovs? Indecent of Truepeers, Mates!

7/08/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Yes, Buddy, I om to Maim

7/08/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I only tickle masochists

7/08/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

The British adventure in the Sudan was an unplanned extension of their taking over Egypt's governance - Which is an unplanned extension of British financial interest in the Suez Canal. The Brits, with the French, owned some 40% of the Suez, while Egypt - then part of the Turkish Empire - owned the rest. However, the Egyptian Khedive, a jolly, well liked fellow who liked Opera etc., spent Egypt into bankruptcy. Britain (and secondarily, France) therefore took over the running of Egypt. Egypt was, in fact, in Receivership.

In the meantime, south of the border, Gordon had paddled around successfully cutting into the slave trade - which was the heart and soul of the Sudanese economy and society.

After he left, the Mahdi arose - and led a mass religious/social revolution that would have rivalled that of Mohammed, except that he was dealing with 19th Century Britain.

The Brits were not interested in the Sudan. No one in their right mind was interested in the Sudan. But they felt obligated to rescue the many Egyptians and Europeans that were caught in the Mahdi explosion. Someone suggested that Chinese Gordon would be the right man for the job - and so south he went, to Khartoum - and there he sat. HE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO STAY THERE, HE WAS SUPPOSED TO LEAD EUROPEANS AND EGYPTIANS OUT OF THE MAHDI MESS.

But he didn't. He held on for a year in Khartoum, several brave people were killed trying to extract Gordon, and in the end Gordon was killed.

Even then, the Brits were only interested in holding the southern border of Egypt and ensuring that the Mahdi did not try any hi jinks on the Red Sea. But the British public wanted Revenge. And they got it. Read Churchill's magnificent "River War", and contemplate the stupendous accomplishments of Kitchener and Cromer and company...

7/08/2005 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Australians were caught in the London bombing

7/08/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Heather
Your history is on the mark. To me the interesting thing is the rise of the Mahdi and the misunderestimating of the Islamists or Mohammedans, by the Brits.
The divisions within the British Government are similar to our own.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Fox News reports Scotland Yard reports the bombs were homemade.
Chickens..t and accelerant are the easiest type of homemade explosive to produce. They also report size of bomb to be around 10 pounds.
Fertilizer bombs ARE highly explosive.

7/08/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Wayne,

I'm not sure what part of my argument was 'harsh', perhaps it was the suggestion that we ought to find some way, some legal and civil way, of dismantling the political support infrastructure of radical Islamism in the West.

Tom Friedman, via Glenn Reynolds, makes nearly the same point.

"Because there is no obvious target to retaliate against, and because there are not enough police to police every opening in an open society, either the Muslim world begins to really restrain, inhibit and denounce its own extremists - if it turns out that they are behind the London bombings - or the West is going to do it for them. And the West will do it in a rough, crude way - by simply shutting them out, denying them visas and making every Muslim in its midst guilty until proven innocent."

One of the constant themes of the Belmont Club is that unless we are reasonably harsh to the guilty, a frustrated and possibly hysterical public will eventually be unreasonably harsh to the innocent. Better to come down hard on the Captain Hook imam than see patriotic Sikhs mistakenly thrashed by ignorant but desperate members of the public.

Political correctness is a form of tacitly mandated ignorance. An earlier word for this condition was "a fool's paradise". Unfortunately it sets up a discontinuity whose built-up pressure will be relieved, not by gradual accomodation, but in a tectonic snap.

7/08/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

The easiest way to end the "Culture of Hate" professed by some radical clerics in the West to to amend the Tax Code that exempts religious organizations from taxes to include a provision that the religion must renounce violence.

7/08/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

A related notion is that it's more humane, ceteris paribus, to the enemy (at least, the rank & file) to get it over with sooner rather than longer, bloodier, later.

7/08/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This is what Rumsfeld would call a known unknown: is OIF generating more terrorists than non-OIF would have?

Critics of the war, a camp I am not a part of, never make the effort to define for themselves "non-OIF". What would 2005, 4 years into the GWOT, have looked like with Saddam still in power, our bases still on Saudi soil, with 4 years of Saudi propaganda filling the minds of the young and unemployed with tales of our crimes against Islam and no fresh examples of American power and resolve? What about the sanctions dissolving, Saddam's weapons programs blooming and his prestige solidifying? What would have happened after we turned our focus to Saddam, talked the talk from 2002 through 2004, then backed down to let the UN take over? What about Iran, with no forward bases next door to deal with the worst contingencies? Would not our actions have forced Saddam into an alliance with Al'Qaeda, even assuming no such thing existed before? What would we have done otherwise? War with Korea? We simply do not know how many terrorists would have joined the cause in the cause of "non-OIF".

The strategic analysis of "what might have been" becomes even more complicated than "what is", because it involves so many variables that a few minutes thinking about it can make you throw up your hands and turn to FoxNews for some easy Natalie Holloway stories. You quickly realize how many "unknown unknowns" accrue to this type of analysis.

Therefore, even the argument that Iraq creates terrorists seems to me besides the point. The terrorists we generate today are stateless. Had we sat on our laurels, terrorists today would most certainly be more powerful, with greater weaponry, regardless of their number. We may have augmented their number, but we have greatly diminished their effect...on us.

7/08/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

Buddy,

In my youth, I had a bad case of ceteris paribus. It stung like hell and was hard to get rid of.

7/08/2005 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Another known unknown--how many potential terrorist recruits have been deterred--by the rough treatment they're likely to get from the coalition soldiers? A few? Many? Somewhere in between?

7/08/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yeh, Old Dad--ya hafta outgrow it, for sure.

7/08/2005 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/08/2005 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Nice post, Sargent.

That's what I would like to hear from the anti-war: what exactly we should be doing instead. And don't give me any of that "catch Osama" BS. You might as well be saying "stop using oil!" or some other silly wish (and as if we aren't trying to get him).

Wait, before the anti-OIF types propose an alternative to our present course, I'd just like to hear their opinion of what is really going on in the world. What was happening before OIF? Was that a good and acceptable situation?

Ah yes, nice post, Sargent.

7/08/2005 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Exactly. To argue that that removing incentives increases participation is to throw away everything we know about human nature. Even hatred is bound with incentives: peer respect and group identification. Winning is the biggest incentive of all, and any Muslim with half a brain must be rethinking the likelihood of Islamist victory after what we have done to Iraq and what the Iraqi people have shown at the polls.

7/08/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

apropos

7/08/2005 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I should have put this into my last post; Buddy's post reminded me.

Democratic Leadership. I respect a loyal opposition, but the short-sightedness of these people is astounding. We are dealing with an incentive structure in the participation and actions of the radical jihadists. Their perceptions matter, as they mull their choices and make decisions. To openly trumpet losses, to claim imminent defeat, to chalk off every American dead soldier, to rush attacks to the front page...everytime this happens we add twice as many jihadists to the movement than we ever could with 500lb bombs and midnight raids. These Muslims that are on the brink are backwards, insulated, and uninformed. When their local Imam can point to wobbliness in the American capital, and a recruiter is standing by asking them to be a part of the inevitable victory, they will decide to go.

When the Islamists finally perceive the inevitability of our victory, when the ignorant young men of Arabia and Southeast Asia see a lost cause instead of a distant hope, we will win.

7/08/2005 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The Islamist leadership, however, is not backwards and uninformed, though they are insulated. They must be destroyed.

7/08/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But sarge, if are to believe Lee Harris, the Islamists are not vying for Victory, just blood. I am not 100% convinced by his thesis but there is does seem some basis to it.
They are not planning or playing to win, just maintaining a low intensity fight, forever.
Like the Plains Indians would count coup on, but not always kill their opponent. A cultural difference that is hard for us to understand.

7/08/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

IOTM,

If you can not understand the connections between Al-Qaida and the Taliban then you are nothing more than a MoveOn/CodePink nutter.

Al-Qaida provided cash to the Taliban.
The Taliban provided sanctuary to Al-Qaida & Bin Laden
They allowed Al-Qaida to run its camps
They allowed Al-Qaida fairly free run of Afghanistan

FWIW I can see how one may think Iraq is completely disconnected from the GWOT but if you can not make the Al-Qaida/Taliban connection...

I will not even try to explain anything else to you.

Go on, the terrorists can defy the physcal and economic laws at will, the West not only must obey them, they must obey a more draconian version of them, so on and so forth.

One last thing. Lets get started with your Arabic lessons, all good Muslims must know Arabic.

Repeat after me:
Asalam Alaykoom
Wa Alykoom Salam
Shookron
Al hoomduallah
Bis-mi-allah

Good!

7/08/2005 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger jakita said...

I was disappointed when the extraordinarily kind treatment of the prisoners at Gitmo was revealed. It would have been so much better for all concerned to let potential jihadists know that they would have the same meal repeated 3x a day every day and NO Korans (which incite to violence so should be banned in a prison).

NOW is the time to round up Imams who preach violence and murder and to take away all tax deductions from their houses of "worship."

A little harshness--and these measures are not at all harsh--will help lessen the joy of jihad for some Muslims

Wretchard, I was greatly influenced by your essay The Three Conjectures and believe that us civilized people should do now what is necessary to make unmistakable points to the Muslim world. They still think we are soft because the MSM tells them so. They need to be punished so that they learn the obvious now--before the next incident.

I know that we're awaiting another incident with a much higher death rate before we take the simple actions that we could be taking now.

7/08/2005 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

A good analysis of the reasonimg behind the terror attacks,via Melanie Phillips.
It is to guide us on to the True Path

7/08/2005 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

'Rat: I have no good answers to your point, except to retreat to the ambivalence of "it depends on how you define victory", for even a blood feud has a goal, even the slow attrition dealt out by the Plains Indians had a point. The Islamists are not acting blindly; before every action is a thought, a belief system. Within those spaces we can find our incentive structure.

Wretchard points to Tom Friedman's article today, and Tom writes of the power of shame. Is not apparent futility something shameful?

If their is no deterrence, nothing we can do to change the balance, then I am afraid that Wretchard's three conjectures will come to pass. Iraq was our hope of avoiding Tarmon Gaidin, the last battle. Pippen asks Gandalf, on the eve of the Battle of Pelennor Fields, if there was ever any hope. Gandalf replies, "Only a fool's hope." That is OIF for me.

While still in this golden hour, I must adhere to hope, even as the darkness moves our way. We still have time to act.

7/08/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Charles at lgf covers jihad deception tactics after a terror attack.

[Charles notes the limp condemation by the Muslim Council of Britain and highlights canned letters of the same nature in 2004]:

The SoundVision radical Islamic discussion forum for budding young mujahideen, hosted in Bridgeview Illinois, has a helpful Sample statement Condemning Terrorism, for those times when the infidels ask uncomfortable questions after a jihad operation.

...notice: these prefab statements are intended to be used after a terror attack... Gotta get the story straight in advance.

{Islamic website with canned letter}:

Your Islamic center can adopt, rewrite and issue the following statement to your local media.
Please replace "Muslims of America" with the Muslim community of your city. Type this or your modified version on your Masjid or Islamic center's letterhead.

Fax this to the news desk of your local media outlets (newspapers, radio and television). You can Find the fax numbers in your yellow or white pages.

Do add the name of a contact person and a cell number on which that person can be reached. This person should be able to speak on your community's behalf as a spokesperson. If the media is interested in visiting your Masjid, Islamic center or school, welcome them.

Sample statement:

The Muslims of America join their fellow Americans today in condemning these dastardly acts of terrorism and share the grief and sorrow
of the nation. Our hearts go out to the friends and families of those who are victims of this despicable tragedy. Obviously this seems a well-planned and well-coordinated act of terrorism and we are confident that the law enforcement authorities will soon discover the identity of perpetrators responsible for this contemptible act and bring them to task with the full force of the law.

At this moment of confusion, uncertainty and naturally highly charged emotions, we earnestly appeal to the media not to rush to judgment, as was done in the wake of the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Let the response of our nation be mature and thoughtful. This is a moment of prayer and unity not of hasty reaction.

We pray to God to give strength to all of those who have suffered during this catastrophe
.

{and a 2nd statement}

The Muslims of [write name of your city] unequivocally and strongly condemn any and all terrorist action against innocent civilians here in America, and abroad. These coordinated and concerted attacks in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania are a tragedy for the entire nation. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the victims of the nightmarish terror of September 11th, and to their families.

American Muslims remembering the events immediately following the 1995 attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, are naturally concerned for their safety as well. In the first few days after the incident, the American Muslim community was under attack from almost all sides, as the perpetrators were originally thought to be Middle Eastern terrorists. We sincerely hope that violent attacks of revenge against American Muslim schoolchildren, women clothed in Islamic attire, Muslim-owned businesses, mosques and Islamic centers - which did occur in the days after the Oklahoma City bombing - will not be repeated in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks.

It is important for the nation to remain calm in the face of tragedy. All citizens must unite to condemn this terrorist action and extend their condolences to the victims and to those who lost loved ones in this tragedy
.


See: Jihadis Get Their Ducks in a Row


[and]

See: LAT White Washes Muslim Council of Britain

7/08/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt has Oliphant on explaining why Iraq is responsible for more recruits around the world in addition to London and Madrid.
Very Enlightening.
He takes himself very seriously, anyway.

7/08/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe Ledger can teach moti Yackety Yack,
(don't talk back)

7/08/2005 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

Perhaps, the purpose of the attack was to intentionally produce casualties in the hundreds as opposed to the thousands. The aim would be to enhance political discord by allowing the left to more freely criticise the Bush-Blair policies. A larger attack on the scale of 9-11 or higher would give less cover to the left and might in fact provoke a real and more stable unification of the West and AQ as well as some of their sponsors would have a real world war on their hands. My concern is that another attack of a similar scale to 7-07 might soon occur say in another British city. The AQ approach might be to emphasize death by political degradation and save the big one for the coup-de-grace. I think a lot is riding on the nature of the intelligence failure that allowed the attack to proceed. I pray to God that the failure is recognized and corrected soon.

7/08/2005 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

humiliation, death, poverty, etc. are commonplace in the Islamic world. Some claim they are the reasons for the challenges we face. Mismanagement of their world heads my list.
Look to the Zionists to see how a worthless piece of desert can bloom. The Zionists are not even full fledged Capitalists, more Euro Socialist than anything else. They do get population increased thru immigration, though, unlike their Euro cousins.
Even if most of C4's rants are accurate they have done a better job than any of their neighbors.

The Islamists have deep challenges that may or may not be addressed by Bushes policy of liberal progress.
In my youth we had an easy answer to this type of challenge, but as I have gotten older I may have mellowed a bit.

Kill 'em all & let God sort 'em out

Tough love for sure.
I still believe 100% in this maxim

Peace though Superior Firepower

7/08/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

CAHMD52,
That is EXACTLY what Oliphant is doing right now.
Extrapolating numbers at this level multiplied many times yearly then saying it's just as bad or worse than 9-11. (Unaddressed is possibility of millions, via WMD, if nothing is done.)
Also touting how troubled he is by the "security failure."
More like an enforcement failure, IMO, ie if a bunch of the folks promoting this stuff were either in prison, dead, or gone, life would be more secure in Britain.
(a goodly percentage of the Muslims in London, 30%, think 9-11 was justified, and more of same is fine.)

7/08/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Peace through submission!
Praise be to Allah!

7/08/2005 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Scott Ott:
Leaders of the world's major industrialized nations, meeting in Scotland at the G8 Summit today, said
they would consider al-Qaeda's latest proposal to
"end modern civilization and return to the glorious days of feudalism."

7/08/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

feudalism, futilism, all the same to me.

7/08/2005 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Cahmd, I agree--I think this was just a sortie, to lull, to sow discord, to maintain a presence, to exercise their footsoldiers, to calibrate the security reaction.

Otherwise it was completely pathetic and Wretchard's analysis holds. In fact, it probably holds regardless. I do hope Britain takes the opportunity to bring the hammer down, at least domestically. It would be a joyful irony if this could inaugurate a general international spotlight on France's punitive and restrictive and apparently effective policies to hold them up as a model. These should be adopted immediately.

7/08/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

I have a theory that part of the reason for European ambivalence toward the WOT is their declining birthrate--they are losing the biological incentive to fight for the future since they are not investing in the future by having more children. For now at least, that does not appear to be the case in this country. I also think that having children is also economically advantageous for the society in general-you need to and want to buy them more stuff.
As an aside, I would recommend that everyone review the history of the late Roman Republic either by "Googling" or reading Colleen McCoullough's "First Man in Rome" series. I don't know her political orientation but this passage from "Caesar's Women" in which Caesar explains to Magnus Pompey what motivates the Boni- his political opponents in the Senate- speaks volumes about the present: "...People don't like being outclassed, and that includes people whose birth and status should render them immune. Who and what are Bibulus and Cato? The one is an aristocrat whom Fortune made too small in every way, and the other is a rigid, intolerant hypocrite who prosecutes men for electoral bribery but approves of electoral bribery when it meets his own ends...a man has only one instrument to measure intelligence-his own mind...When you sweep Our Sea clear of pirates in the space of a short summer, all your actually doing is showing him that it can be done. Ergo, he too could have done it. But you didn't let him. You denied him the opportunity...If he admits he couldn't do it the way you did, the he is telling himself that he is worthless;and that he won't do..." The United States under George Bush with less than 25,000 men did what no other country has ever done-succesfully invade Afghanistan; with a force of less than 300,000, Iraq was liberated. The little aristocratic minds of the American and European left cannot tolerate this "insult", particularly when the insulter is from West Texas.

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

My mistake,
It is ADE that might be able to teach moti the lyrics to
"Yackety Yack."
...and do get him to take out the trash.

7/08/2005 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

BTW,
Oliphant's "solution" will be posted at RadioBlogger.com.
---
Short version:
Put NATO on Syrian Border!

7/08/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

To Doug:
NATO and what army?

7/08/2005 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Returning to Wretchard's first post, all things held equal, the more thugs taken off the playing field, the less total amount of thugs available. Now as others have pointed out, more thugs could be poured on the playing by state sponsors, or other large entities. The players are well known: Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. If one is going to halt the number of thugs on the field then we must shutoff the source - the state sponsors.

To key of Dan's post, "I do hope Britain takes the opportunity to bring the hammer down..." I think this should be done across the Coalition board including the US. Take a look at this Washington Times piece:


A U.S. official said recent intelligence shows that Syria is the home to Web sites that exhort militants to come to the country for preparation to fight and die in Iraq... Syrians also are providing barracks-like housing as the recruits from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco and other Muslim countries prepare for a jihad, or holy war. The fighters also receive weapons, training and money in Syria...

See:Syria 1

[and]

See: Syria 2

Why not get the job out of the way quickly. Destroying these state sponsored breeding grounds. They are not going away by themselves. Maybe a night air raid with the correct ammunition. Then give the jihadists a little of their own deception.

Give them some unofficial explanation like, "Oh, sorry. It was night a job and we may have got the coordinates wrong." And, if they rebuild the barracks repeat the process. Deception is not a commodity solely owned by the Jihadists. Let's give them a taste of their own medicine. Further, the quicker the war is over the more American and British (and other) lives will be saved.

7/08/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat: Your man Hitch was at it again.

Ron Reagan just proved that brilliance is not hereditary.
On MSNBC's Connected: Coast to Coast, Christopher Hitchens from Vanity Fair was involved in a complete verbal undressing of Ron Reagan. Reagan, like all the other feel first, hate Bush second, think last lefties, is so intent on re-writing history to make the case that the war in Iraq was illegitimate, got boxed around the ears by Hitchens.
Here's the exchange:
. RadioBlogger.

7/08/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ledger,
Don't THEY have free speech rights too?

7/08/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

If we were not living in Bizarro world, the Syrians would have been taken out at least two years ago by a combined Israeli-American operation. The presence of a nascent democracy in Lebanon ironically might preclude such an operation. However, stranger things have happened in history. Perhaps in some parallel universe, it is "presently" occuring.

7/08/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The problem with Bush & Co. is that we stopped, well before the job was done. we got bogged down in this 'nation building' program in Iraq before the war was over.
When I read reports that the USMC is great at building soccer fields and schools I cringe.
We take the best shock troops in the world and assign them Peace Corps missions.
If we need soccer fields and schools in Iraq we had best hire contractors.
The very problem that Rummy laments, misuse of the Military in lieu of Civil Service types in the US, we implement in the war zone.

7/08/2005 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

To Said:

I think one of AQ's weaknesses is what the PLO and the IRA have-friendly/supportive Western Governments. The left is an indirect ally-the two would have a falling out faster than you can say Hitler-Stalin Pact: they are ultimately incompatible but they have the same strategic objective-the elimination of the US as a super power. The true and "intelligent" (George Galloway comes to mind) leftists, cynics that they are, understand all this. But they are willing to ride the AQ tiger. Stalin, even though initially surprised, was not shy about expending a lot of human capital to kill the Nazi tiger. I don't think there is anybody on the left today that could or would do the same today. They're not called euroweenies for nothing.

7/08/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Cahmd52,

We ARE living in Bizarro world.

Half of the people in the US think this world war is OPTIONAL, and they are opting out.

Isolationism is a familiar American propensity. After all, everyone who emigrated here did so to get away from all the rest of the world's BS.

But in a world war, burying one's head in the sand of TV-nirvana and People magazine is not a helpful option.

While the last exercise of this tendency of the American public to disdain war (cut'n'run) led to horrific death and destruction when we "lost" the war in Vietnam, it really worked out okay for the liberal Anti-War people. >>Hey man, the war ended, what could be better than that?<<

I'm afraid if that same attitude of "I'm okay, f- everyone else" prevails in this war, or this decade, it's not going to work out okay for anyone.

Does anyone know where I can buy a bumper sticker that says:
WE ARE AT WAR AND THE OUTCOME IS TBD?

7/08/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Whoops my bad.

At the end of my last comment I should have said.

Inta (??, I don't know if IOTM is a boy or girl, so I default to the masculine pronoun) assan talib, mumtaz hada!

7/08/2005 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well London's Over.
Will Wretch do a piece on Aruba?
Anybody here threatened by the hurricane?
How's Cheney's ticker?
...oh yeah, one more
London-Related Item:
.FEAR OF BACKLASH AGAINST MUSLIMS.
Crap, how am I going to sleep tonight?
I am consumed with fear of a backlash, and of course, anxiety over Aruba.

7/08/2005 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Marcus,
Ta Da!

7/08/2005 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

After the storm floods the island that missing young lady may just wash up, or not.

7/08/2005 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Iraq still seems to be the right thing to do despite significant blunders by the Bush Administration and weakening America's military and military leverage elsewhere.

Blunders

1. WMD intelligence failure.
2. Lack of a post-war plan for transition to Iraqi rule and US exit.
3. The Bremer decision to "fire" the Iraqi Army, police, government officials, intelligence services wholesale and throw 200,000 angry Ba'athists into the Insurgent column rather than do a gradual "de-Nazification".
4. Insistence that "plenty of troops" exist to do the mission while soldiers know their careers will suffer if they say otherwise and even the neocons running the Pentagon admit that they can't seal the Syrian Border because "other missions for the troops we have are more important". But that 30,000 troops from other countries would stop the terrorists and explosives from coming in. Yep, all the troops the commanders need.

Weakening
1. In a way it is good that the military is tied up in Iraq. The neocons dreams of a series of major wars undertaken by America to safeguard Israel's nuclear and other WMD monolopy in the region hit reality. There will be no fullscale invasion of Iran, Syria, or Saudi Arabia anytime soon because we don't have the troops to do it no matter how much certain people sympathetic to the Likud want more American blood and treasure shed.
2. But being tied up does hurt in that we can't even threaten N Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, even Pakistan (where's bin Laden, Musharaff!!) with military action to deter them.
3. Iraq has perhaps a year and a half, 2 years to go, before it passes Vietnam in cost, making Iraq America's 3rd most expensive war ever next to WWII and the Civil War in constant dollars. This has meant not only huge additional debt to keep Bush's tax cuts intact, it has meant that the military's replacement parts and new capital programs to replace obsolete systems funding has been cut tremendously. Beloved Wartime Commander Bush has less fighters, less subs, less ships, less tankers, less bombers, less tanks even than Clinton did..
4. Bush backers can say all they want about how critical Iraq is to the sadly misnamed GWOT, and critics are wrong in that it is a flytrap for many Jihadis - but we did pull special ops out of Afghanistan, lowered the heat on Iran and Pakistan to better go after Saddam and his "vast stockpiles of WMD". We also lost considerable counter-terror momentum with most European and Arab governments due to rising anti-war, anti-US public sentiment - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and yes, France being the big exceptions


Why Iraq is still good, despite Bush's messes

1. Because it has never been a GWOT. It has been a clash of ideas. And being involved in cleaning up a thuggish Arab state and showing a way other than radical Islam or thuggish strongmen can work is very important to winning that clash.
2. It sucks that soldiers die as a result of being used as bait to draw terrorists in, but better troops die than civilians inside the USA, I guess. While perhaps more US soldiers have died or been maimed than foreign fighters killed, many of the non-terrorist Sunni native insurgents killing the bulk of the US soldiers were bad guys nevertheless, that needed killing. Occasionally, when permitted, like at Fallujah, we do get a chance to kill the foreign fighters (7-8% of the bad guys) before they hit us first - and we get high kill ratios.
3. Related to #1, citizens have had a chance to see radical Islam's alternative to the new Iraq being created. Seeing the radical Islamist "solutions" - beheadings, mass Iraqi civilian and police deaths from car bombs, savage Islamist rule in some towns the US is not in ---average Iraqis don't like the radical Islamists.

7/08/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

CAHMD52, "If we were not living in Bizarro world, the Syrians would have been taken out at least two years ago by a combined Israeli-American operation."

You got it!

desert rat, "The problem with Bush & Co. is that we stopped, well before the job was done. we got bogged down in this 'nation building' program in Iraq before the war was over."

Well, I guess we will just have to pickup were we stopped - at Syria's door.

7/08/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Will someone clue Cahmd52 in on the fact that we don't use demeaning terms like euroweenies in the rarified strata of discourse pertaining here.
Ceteris paribus, of course.

7/08/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

C4
It isn't that there are not enough troops in Iraq, it is that they are being misused.
I read of garbage collection, soccer field and school construction, road building and city government advising as well as a litney of other non combat tasks as being the major missions of our forces.
From my experiences in the Army, I am sure that out of 130,000 men deployed we could find the 5,000 that would be required to close the Syrian border. Heck the Kurd milita could be tasked with that mission. It would only utilize about 10% of the existing Kurdish force.

7/08/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

On to Damascus

7/08/2005 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I don't think Galloway cares what tiger he rides just as long as isn't the tiger most of those in the US or the UK would prefer him to be on.

I have this sneaking suspicion if we let Saddam out of jail, put him and his cronies back in charge of Iraq and buggered out we would see Galloway damn us for that and become a foe of Saddam's.

He is no more than a lion that roars just because he can and it doesn't pay to roar at a mouse.

7/08/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

To Tony:
Isolationism is the new drug de jour that the left is smoking-ironic for a movement that once marched to the "Internationale". We have a such a beautiful and wonderful civilization. I cannot believe that nature is playing such a cruel joke by using a religion, Islam, as an evolutionary bottleneck for our species. We as a species are at an inflection point. The same technology that takes us to Paris can be used by fanatics to destroy a good chunk of the human race. Even if Islam "comes" to its "senses" and realizes that life is not necessarily a zero sum game, some other nutjob or movement may take its place. These are interesting times but I imagine it was also "intersting" for the dinosaurs and then came the mass extiction.

7/08/2005 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Please forgive the interruption of a rather interesting topic. I beg indulgence of you all. Would someone bring me up to speed as to who this "xanthippus" is? I've been away from time to time and he had some disparaging remarks to say about a couple of posts of mine a few threads back.

7/08/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Cahmd52,

It's not nature playing the cruel joke, it's known people spreading specific germs of diseased ideas.

7/08/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

To Doug:
Please forgive my ignorance. I'll rephrase it as eurocaniscalorisminor, not europenisminor.

7/08/2005 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

I don't know who she is fred, though i noticed some ridiculous post a couple back. Best to ignore twits unless they can find an idea worth a moment.

7/08/2005 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

was she the one that claimed she represented the billions of folks that were anticapitialist?
And used that real intellectual retort Fu.. You?

7/08/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

CAHMD52,
The first one is too long for me to comprehend, but the second one is fine.

7/08/2005 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Way back on the Mosul thread,
RWE said,
"The latest VDH piece in National Review Online quotes some interviews that say that the Saudi terrorists are greatly valued, not the least of which because they bring lots of money with them to pay for the whole operation.
One wonders how much longer the Iraqis - whatever their religion - will put up with this kind of thing coming from their neighbors and instead start using their newfound special ops skills to start doing some highly selective urban renewal activity next door.
If you start a sectarian civil war, there is no guarantee that it will stay in one country."

7/08/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

What I find most intriguing about Mr. Belton's thesis is what it does not say and what his assumptions and worldview is. Is it merely a more sophisticated version of the views of the liberal/leftist common folks who say that our deposing of Baathist Iraq was "stirring up a hornets' nest?" As if one is supposed to confront state sponsors of terrorism in a manner which does NOT stir the enemy up? What of it? Is he saying that our more aggressive engagement with Islamic terror makes the problem bigger? That we are providing the enemy with an opportunity to learn how to fight us more covertly and effectively? As if WE ARE NOT ALSO GETTING UP A LEARNING CURVE...

Are we supposed to let the hive grow and become a more lethal mass?

This viewpoint flees from history, since the very first phases of Islam's conquest of the known Western and Middle Eastern world of the 7th through 9th centuries involved the use of razzias as terror. Terror is the FIRST WEAPON of choice of this enemy, historically. It is supposed to enervate, divide, weaken, and intimidate. It is not the coup de main and if it works in some cases it works because those who submit think that the enemy can be bought off.

Wretchard is correct to state that Mr. Belton's thesis cannot possibly be tested, since we cannot ever have the means to measure something as vaporous and fluid as terrorist planning and training. Especially in the currrent environment, where the enemy is driven increasingly to ground and has scant opportunity to gather and plan in the open. Adapt they will, but as they adapt so do we.

As I see it, however interesting and intriguing his hypothesis is, Mr. Belton seems to be caught up in the very popular notion that we are constraining our ability to fight Islamic terrorism by focusing on states which sponsor and support it (unless, of course, we overlook their contention that we conveniently ignore Saudi Arabia, but do leftists think we should invade The Kingdom?). If we met with foreign and domestic opposition in our venture to destroy the regime of Baathist Iraq, imagine how these same critics would react to a proposal that we also wade into the Hijjaz?

7/08/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger CAHMD52 said...

To Tony:
As a physician, I view people as extensions of the natural world: endowed by a creator but grounded in "clay" and subject to a litany of evolutionary constraints and adjustments. I think we are at an inflection point in our long history as a species-the "average"lifespan is about one million years. Our intellect maybe surpassed by our superstitions.

7/08/2005 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

I got through to the Hugh Hewitt show this evening right after the Tom Oliphant interview. I really wanted to ask Mr. Oliphant to define the similarity between the Afghanistan training camps of the 1990s and those of post invasion Iraqi. This canard is constantly promoted - and is addressed indirectly in Wretchard's post. Here are the differences as I see them:

The Afghani training camps of the 1990s were conceived, built, funded, and activated with government support (Taliban). It was during this period that al Qaeda birthed and grew into manhood as a ‘fighting’ force. The Taliban government fully supported their efforts. We watched from afar with our eyes focused on the stock market.

The Iraqi ‘training’ camp is a live fire zone. American forces are not helping improve the terrorist training curriculum. But, more important, the sovereign state of Iraq is actively recruiting, training, and equipping hundreds of thousands of military and police personnel in the effort to hunt and eradicate the terrorists. I am thinking that Iraq is recruiting more soldiers and police than al Qaeda is. My guess is that the training provided to the Iraqi forces is better than that provided by al-Zarqawi.

While we slumbered one country actively supported al Qaeda (and probably other charming groups as well – that is why it is called the GWOT). While fully alert, two nations are actively killing terrorists.

I think that is a huge strategic victory… We are winning...

7/08/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No one wants to count the Iraqis, or count on them.
Our Dem Senators demean them at every opportunity that they get.
When the first Iraqi interium Prime Minister came and addressed Congress JFKerry did not bother to attend and their National Chairman, Terry McCallouf (sp) announced that the man was a Bush puppet. No wonder Sistani and his people have been as standoffish as they have been.
That we have done as well as we have is a testament to our troops. The blame for the failures and the fact that we have not done as well as we could have can be spread far and wide.
The important question is, realisticly, what comes next?

7/08/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

To Cahmd52, Doc, as a writer, I read you loud and clear.

It wouldn't be the first time our nascent intellect was surpassed by superstition, it would be the nth time. All of human history is the story of the destruction of the preceding civilizations by the succeeding civilizations.

Like biology, or ecology, sort of sad, eh? Makes God look like a mean SOB.

7/08/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Would a eurocaniscalorisminor pass as a Greenieweenie?

7/08/2005 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The left is destroying biology and ecology in the public's perception of them.

7/08/2005 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

no doug
a greenweenie is what the Army used in my day to motivate the troops.

7/08/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Stalin, even though initially surprised, was not shy about expending a lot of human capital to kill the Nazi tiger. I don't think there is anybody on the left today that could or would do the same today."
---
Yeah, BUT:
If they *Could,* would they, if instead of the Nazi tiger it was Bushitler?

7/08/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, I remember it well. To make a false political point against a wartime President, those two top Dems--on the world stage--insult and delegitimize the brand new Iraqi PM on his state visit, without a second thought selling out the blood and treasure and the national effort to re-route world history from a proven spiral into hell.

7/08/2005 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, I didn't realize that the Left Nut Party was officially recognized as a party.
Did the Peanut have anything to do with that?

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

again, no doug, they would not take any risk at all. Neither themslves nor their friends will stand up to a real threat. They claimed Ashcroft was dangerous to liberty, but that UBL is innocent til proven guilty.

7/08/2005 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe they won't stand up because they are the Left Nut Party ONLY?

7/08/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Or would we have to say the party of only The Left Nut?

7/08/2005 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy,
Make that the blood and treasure of many countries, esp Iraq and the US.

7/08/2005 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

iotom holds the same belief that has taken hold of GWB's opposition, domestic and foreign, viz., that Islamic terrorism is solely the work of a stateless crimminal enterprise w/o state sponsors - reality to the contrary, but do we expect these people to believe that? Here we are, in 2005, two years after Stephen Hayes has had initial access to the crates of the fortuitously unmolested Mukhabarrat files in Baghdad, where he has unearthed the evidence of ample collaboration between an ARAB LEAGUE regime and terrorist groups. And people like iotom still want to approach this a a crimminal justice matter? In other words, let's go back to the Nineties - to a world of wink wink and walls between law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Back to a world where the states that sponsor terror and the terrorist groups themselves could work together unmolested, because our legal eagles could not get past the whole "plausible deniability" thing?

The whole argument that OIF dispersed and distracted is, if not a disingenuous argument, flees reality on many fronts. This delusion also entertains the notion that we have alienated our friends and allies. What friends and allies are those? The very same ones who were friends and allies of Baathist Iraq and Syria, of the Mullahocracy of Iran, of Fatah and Arafat, of Hamas, and of Hizbullah?

iotom can't be blamed for trying, since it must be awfully difficult to throw aside delusions that seem so reasonable to political activists, lawyers, and other sycophants.

7/08/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

fred made an obscure reference, which might confuse others as it did me.
To avoid such confusion, I am pointing of an example I found:
---
Xanthippas said...
"Some of you guys are so full of bs it's leaking out your eyeballs. I read this and all I see are the tired old right-wing standbys about "the Left" wanting Islam to win, or retreating in the face of terror, xenophobic fears of women in veils, the need to stop being "soft" on terrorists, yadda yadda, blah blah blah...I mean seriously guys, get a clue. I don't even know where to start with some of the tripe I'm reading here, except to say that some of you seriously need to pull your heads out of your asses."

---
Really leaves me quite disappointed with my fellow Belmonteers.
And with sharp pains in my eyes.

7/08/2005 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

iotm's premise that we are not engaging AlQaida is ludicrous.I would pose the thought that our decimation of their leadership ranks(Mohammed Atef,Khalid Shaik Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef and other mid level leaders as well as couriers such as Ramzi Bin Alshib and various financiers and ideologues) has hindered their carrying out of spectacular attacks.Still plenty of cannon fodder to eliminate,but every movement suffers from lack of vital leadership.
The quoted Thomas Friedman piece stated AQ is a movement without a country to strike out at.This is technically true,but there are rat's nests like the Bekaa valley in Lebanon or the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia that vote about 100% Wahhabi in every election.Send in the B-52's for a show of what a real explosion looks like.The frontier of Pakistan is reputed to be ungovernable,utterly lawless .There may not even be media access to film it being turned into the darkside of the moon.
These actions wouldn't end the war,but they would cut down the gomer population and strike fear in the famous Arab street.
One other symbolic action I have long pondered.The most fitting memorial on the WTC site would be a gallows where we hang Bin al Shib,Zaccarias Moussai,Ramzi Yousef and the blind preacher.

7/08/2005 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I heard Cofer Black say that while the number of Jihadists and AQ operatives may have increased, the quality of the operatives has been greatly diminished

On another line I heard of a 42 page alQaida straegy document found by Norwiegan Intel in the fall of 2003.
This document lays out the battle plan for the next few years. Starting with the Madrid attack and listing England and Poland as the next targets. The plan was to let the US rest while attempting to alienate our allies.

Does anyone else have information on this?

7/08/2005 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

fred said,
"As if one is supposed to confront state sponsors of terrorism in a manner which does NOT stir the enemy up? What of it? Is he saying that our more aggressive engagement with Islamic terror makes the problem bigger? "

fred,
Buddy has a post way uptop that answers this in a nutshell, imo.
---
"As you say, the 90s are the anecdotal rebuttal--but still there is no way to definitely quantify the negative.

.In fact it is generally true that the sooner one surrenders, the smaller an enemy army will have been needed to win."

---
Simple, huh?

7/08/2005 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/08/2005 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/08/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"iotom can't be blamed for trying, since it must be awfully difficult to throw aside delusions that seem so reasonable to political activists, lawyers, and other sycophants."
fred,
You left out idiots.

7/08/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Doug

The term "idiot" did cross my mind, but I decided that a a more "nuanced" word would do just as well, since sycophant implies a willing participation is a farce that only the outsider can see, viz., the emperor has no clothes. Pretty much sums up the hangers-on in the Democrapic Party.

7/08/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hey, thanks for reading my sentence, Doug.

rat, I recall the news of that document--it made quite a stir for a few days. betcha it's on google somewheres.

7/08/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Doug,

I eventually got to Buddy's good post about the topic. Takes me a while to read a lot of posts and sometimes I open my mouth before I've finished reading or listening to what others have to say.

By now it should be obvious to any fair minded, rational person that the only ones who can defeat us in this war is... US!!! Now, some of us are working hard at it, although some of them would hotly deny the charge and, in all fairness, we do need to allow some latitude for a true loyal opposition. However, as time goes forward it seems that what once remained of a loyal opposition has since galvanized into an international movement with connections and alliances which some members would be abhorrent of were it known who was also in the same tent. Still, we all are supposed to do our due dilligence and the fact that the Democrats are more and more not doing their due dilligence is a disturbing trend.

7/08/2005 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The disloyal oppossition indeed!
Hugh Hewitt considers Chris Hitchens to be the loyal oppossition!
...would that they could all be so well-informed!
And Smart.

7/08/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Blogging Made Difficult.
After 23 years in the British Army (Queen's Own Highlanders etc) now training as English/History teacher. 80% disabled (55% deaf and 25% lame) due to Army service so don't expect me to run if there's a bomb....throw me on top of it and save yourselves!

7/08/2005 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In a dizzying, energising and raucous return to the pamphleteering days of the 18th and 19th centuries, the people have, through the worldwide web and easy-to-use publishing software, been given a voice.
They will not easily be silenced." (The 'Scotsman')

7/08/2005 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Fred, yes, In an Other Terrible Monde is deluded. The question is whether it is possible to reach such a person. If it is, I think the key would be to first show him the basis of delusion in general, without making it always about him.

We are all deluded to some degree. This is not a claim for any moral or conceptual relativism, but rather a call to understand how history never completely unfolds human self-knowledge. Since history never completes its revelation into our purpose in this world (unless and until we destroy ourselves), it leaves us uncertain about where we are going and where we should be, i.e. what we should desire and resent when desire is frustrated. There is always a basis for delusion before the unfolding paradoxes of human interaction, (but those who don't learn from history will be much more deluded than others, which is my point against relativism)

Anyway, long story short, at root, the basis of all our delusions is our resentment. We always try to justify our resentments and we may do a fair enough job of this to some degree. But it is always the nature of resentment that it deludes us to some degree. Just try reflecting intelligently on your resentment while you are resentful. Can't be done. You have to snap out of it and see your humble reality. Only a very learned humility can escape most of the delusion that inheres in our resentful beings. So, to reach someone like In Other TM, you have to get him to see how resentment and egotism is a sure sign of delusion and then use this as a basis to move from the general to the particular resentments that delude in the specific instance, and which in this instance you have just ably outlined, Fred, if only he would listen. Gotta to run for the night. Take care.

7/08/2005 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger chthus said...

A little bit of hopeful news out of Iraq:

U.S. commander says enemy in Baghdad blunted

"The top U.S. commander in Baghdad said yesterday that a two-month counterinsurgency sweep has "mostly eliminated" the enemy's ability to "conduct sustained high-intensity operations" around the Iraqi capital.
The assessment from Maj. Gen. William Webster Jr., who commands the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, comes after a joint Iraqi-U.S. campaign, "Operation Lightning." It involved more than 500 raids and 2,500 checkpoints that captured more than 1,700 suspected insurgents."

"Gen. Webster said car bombings are down from 14 to 21 a week to seven to eight."

7/08/2005 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Belmonteers,

I think that we are in danger of viewing Afganistan, OIF, London Bombing, etc through Western eyes. That is, we seek to find a root cause, a supremo in charge, a direction, a plan. We personify this by looking for an Al Quaeda, we blame 'The Left', draw up blance sheets for OIF. In reality, I think we are fighting a war on many simultaneous independent fronts. So, to that extent, I agree with iotm that AQ links to Iraq are now thin. By the same logic, I believe that the 'hate' generated by OIF on the London bombers was also very weak.

Arabic culture is primitive. This primitiveness is reflected in its religion - there is no central organisation, anyone can become an imam. Tribalism is rife, Sunni hates Sh'ite, etc. I suspect that we are looking at a relatively independent cell in London with very tenuous links to AQ.

When the facts don't fit your model, it's time to change the model. The best insight I've had to a new model is the link supplied by Desert Rat, to Lee Harris' view that from the Islamic perspective this is not a war, but a blood feud.

Anybody got any views on how you fight a blood feud? (which OIF is not, of course).

ADE (Peace be Upon Him - especially just after he has supported iotm)

7/08/2005 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eternal Damnation for the spouter of pornographic blasphemy!

7/08/2005 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey Guys,
Says anyone can become an immam.
I humbly as the Belmont People for your support.
72 pigs in every pot,
and a Porsche on the Porch.
Vote Doug,
Immam, 2006.

7/08/2005 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seems like we'd have plenty of insight into Blood Feuds, don't it?

7/08/2005 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If we accept your model, can we still kick the left?

7/08/2005 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Doug,

We must fight on all fronts. Especially the home front, being sabotaged by the Left.

ADE

7/08/2005 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now, ADE, since you think you're so smart, could you tell me who did

"The Angels Listened In"?

7/08/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Doug

The Crests.

""Please send me some one to love
Send the one I'm thinking of.
My darling, the angels sent ADE."

By the way, you get my vote Imam 2006.

ADE

7/08/2005 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Boston Globe's Tom Oliphant spends most of the hour with Hugh on the War on Terror.

Spread this one far and wide, folks. Tom is not a rabid twit of a lefty, using Hugh's new definition. He's wrong, but he's not insane. This is the view of the left in America today. Go forth and dissect:

HH: For a different take, now, on the war against terror, joined by Tom Oliphant, who is a columnist for the Boston Globe.
. RadioBlogger.

7/08/2005 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard,
Hewitt is looking for people to Fisk Oliphant in that interview.
Got the time, and or interest?

7/09/2005 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

ADE,
Thanks for your support.
This reply autogenerated by the Doug for Imam PAC.

7/09/2005 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Did you have to look up the Crests?

7/09/2005 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Doug

'fraid so. I'm a 60's boy myself.

Have you got them on your headphones right now?

ADE

PS Good link to RadioBlogger, btw.

7/09/2005 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

No, just checking out a 3 CD set cover.
Didn't you say you grew up listening to Doo Wop?

7/09/2005 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

No, Boogie Woogie, from my mother.

ADE

7/09/2005 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Baghdad challenge must represent the most significant task remaining.
(along with infiltration)
Good to see significant progress.

Imam Al Doug.
(just practicing,
and seeing how it sounds)

7/09/2005 02:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"oppossition"
must be the opposition's fault,
But I don't resent that, Truepeers,
...much.

7/09/2005 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

The blood feud model will not fly in all cases,many of the teror groups are not Arabs a large number of Muslims in the UK are from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
If any of these people are involved it is not a blood feud, it is what hasa a;ways claimwd to be ,Jihad.

7/09/2005 03:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
Your post reminded me of quote below from Wretch's Easter Post.
(It was on Wretchard.com and not available I think.
...good old desktop cache.
---
Paul Tillich emphasized the theme in Shaking the Foundations.
Why is nature tragic? Who is responsible for the suffering of animals, for the ugliness of death and decay, for the universal dread of death?
Many years ago I stood on a jetty with a well-known psychologist looking at the ocean. We saw innumerable small fish hurrying toward the beach.
They were pursued by bigger ones, who, in turn, were chased by still bigger ones.
Aggression, flight, and anxiety a perfect illustration of the old, often used story of the big fish devouring the small ones, in nature as in history. The scholar, who, in many discussions, had defended the harmonious structure of reality, burst into tears, saying,
"Why are these beings created if they exist only to be swallowed by others?"
In this moment the tragedy of nature forced itself upon his optimistic mind, and he asked, "Why?"

---
At first I was fairly sure the shrink must be old Fritz Pearls, but guess it could be lotsa pop shrinks of the day.
...but I'd BET it was at Big Sur!

7/09/2005 03:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

and while looking, I found this gem:

I hate to say this to Iraqis, but I pray for chaos and civil war: it's the only way to stop Bush's policies and show that peace can never come through force.
If Iraq gets peace, Bush wins credibility. It cannot be allowed to happen.
Nina, Toronto Canada

iotm's sister?

7/09/2005 03:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Peters doing an Islamic Elmer Fudd.

7/09/2005 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Doug,
Can't you spell? That should be Iswamic.

7/09/2005 03:45:00 AM  

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