Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Two DOD briefings discussed the subject of IEDs in Iraq which provide food for thought. The first comes off a briefing given by Secretary Rumsfeld on August 23.

Q Mr. Secretary, the U.S. casualties from IEDs [improvised explosive device] over the last four months have been -- have been at their highest levels that we've seen since the invasion. I'm wondering what you attribute that to. Do you think it's going -- we're going to see it continuing? And I mean, do you attribute it to Iran, to this increasing sophistication of IEDs? What's your --

SEC. RUMSFELD: You're talking about Iraq.

Q I'm sorry; yes.

SEC. RUMSFELD: The -- I mean, the number of incidents, you know where that is, that level. And it's been going up, as it has in every other instance prior to an event like the constitution or an election in Afghanistan and so forth. We've tended to expect that. The number of provinces that it's occurring in Iraq are relatively few, three or four or five, not 18; relatively modest numbers in the remainder. The -- as you point out, the lethality, however, is up. Interestingly, however, of the number of incidents, the overwhelming majority are not effective at all; there are no casualties. I'm going to say like 80 percent of them --

ADM. GIAMBASTIANI: Is it about -- about 75 (percent)?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Yeah, 75 percent of them there are no casualties. So how -- I don't know quite how to characterize that except that they're hitting maybe one out of four where they're able to accomplish what they'd like. On those, the lethality has been greater, which is the point of your question. I don't know quite what I would attribute it to other than the fact that they obviously are becoming more sophisticated in developing in large measure explosive devices which have greater lethality.

The second comes off a briefing given by Maj. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander, Multinational Force Northwest and Task Force Freedom on August 19.

Q General, Sandra Erwin with National Defense. Can you tell us what kind of IED -- what is the level of IED attacks that you see in your area? We heard from General LaFontaine last week that the attacks have doubled. Can you give us a sense of what kinds of threats do you see now in your area from the IEDs?

GEN. RODRIGUEZ: I think the question is about IEDs. And we have, of course, had a tremendous effort ongoing to combat the IEDs, which are the most prevalent weapon that has been used against us. Over the last three months, they have decreased in both number and effectiveness by about 20 percent. This has been a combination of several things. One, of course, is the tactics, techniques and procedures that we're using as we conduct our operations. The disruption in the senior leadership that we've been able to have on the leadership of the insurgency, they've been a little bit less complex because of the pressure that we've been able to keep on them. And also, we continue to get a large number of tips from the Iraqi people to help us discover them and get the word when they're putting them in, as well as the impact of several large caches that were seized throughout the last three months. So we continue to use all available technology, tactics, techniques and procedures to decrease the impact and effect of IEDs on our forces.

Q A follow-up on that. Some of the other officials we talk to say the IED sophistication has been increasing; but you're saying the opposite; you're saying that they're going down in numbers and sophistication?

GEN. RODRIGUEZ: Yes. Right now in this area they are going down in number as well as in sophistication. For example, there have not been as many buried and camouflaged, covered or concealed as had been in the past. And I think I explained why we thought that was.

Q Thank you.

The list for August shows the cause of 74 deaths sustained by US forces in Iraq (as of today) distributed as follows:

Cause Number
IED 33
VBIED (car bomb) 7
IED and Small Arms combined 6
Small Arms 16
Other explosion 2
Rocket 1
Non combat related 9

The number of casualties in 2005 have been higher than totals for the same months in 2004, largely as a consequence of a much higher level of enemy effort: "it's been going up" -- Rumsfeld; "attacks have doubled" -- attributed to Gen. La Fontaine. The level of enemy effort has been variable in the past and reached local peaks in March 2004 and January 2005. The current uptick has been attributed by Secretary Rumsfeld to the Iraqi constitutional discussions and the forthcoming referendum. However, an alternative explanation is to attribute the upswing to a general increase in enemy strength. Which of the two it is will emerge in due course.

Comment   2004 2005
Iraqi elections 2005 Jan 47 107
  Feb 19 58
  Mar 52 36
Height of Sunni/Shiite uprising in 2004 Apr 135 52
  May 80 79
  Jun 42 77
  Jul 54 54
  Aug 66 68*
      *unfinished month
    495 531


However that may turn out, it seems fairly clear that the enemy effort is not homogenous as to quality. Seventy five percent of IED attacks produce no casualties. This is an interesting "cliff" function which suggests that only a proportion of enemy techniques are truly effective. Enemy capability also seems to vary by locality. Multinational Force Northwest (aka Task force Freedom) operates in "the most northern region of Iraq, which includes the city of Mosul" has seen a decrease "in both number and effectiveness by about 20 percent" in IEDs, so presumably the enemy has been experiencing setbacks there. The real increase in attacks must be in the other command areas, i.e. Baghdad, North-Central and West.


Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/24/2005 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Another variable that may be interesting is the effectiveness of "operation lightning" Didn't we and the Iraqi forces put a "ring of steel" around Baghdad?

Iraq orders Baghdad 'ring of steel' in war on bombers

Shouldn't that have reduced IED incidents in that area? The numbers seem to suggest that is not the case.

I've seen very little discussion as to the effectiveness of this clampdown. Was it effective? If so then it would suggest that more troops would be a reasonable response. The converse would also apply.

8/24/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yon's video link a few days ago had the guys in the Stryker laughing at the "Two Banger" as we watched the impressive looking explosion.
The affected Stryker ahead appeared to suffer more damage from crossing the median than from the IED.
I guess the high tech stuff is not arriving in numbers up there?

8/24/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

If it were so linear.

The effectiveness of the attacks rests on the mutually reinforcing aspects of each sides operational and learning cycles. Both operate in a matrix of the population and climate.

One very effective IED specialist team can cause most of the deaths even though they place just a few bombs. The key is that they are able to learn and improve their skills and then pass that learning on without the US and IF being able to develop countermeasures or pick them up.

To get a team in place, trained, and then controlled and supplied takes time. What is this time to do this? What is the mean survival time of a team before discovery and takedown? What about for the overall command and control elements?

8/24/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Doug those were Hummv's.

The lead vehicle crossed the median to talk to the people who were sitting by the road a few hundred yards past the IED. You can hear on the radio that the convoy commander elected to stop, rather than continue.

Had one been in the blast cone, it would have been a very different story. If you look at the blast in slow-mo you will see shrapnel tearing up the ground to the right of the road right when the bomb goes off.

8/24/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I tried, but still did not see all that you did!
(not just because of the laughing of the young troops - but I did identify w/that! - memories)
Kept trying to figure out what that orange glow above the road might have been.
...goes to show that what you know determines what you learn to a large extent.

8/24/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

I would suggest the reason for the lethality of the IED is due to shaped explosives, armor piercing charges (maybe even military mines) and possible technical advice from and unfriendly States. The reason for them not hitting their target is greater counter measures from our troops plus some tips from Iraqi citizens. I would guess there is a lot of anti-IED technology in the field that has not been disclosed. It's kind of a technology race between the terrorists and the Coalition forces.

One troubling aspect is the large amount of explosive material either coming into Iraq or already in Iraq. Mr. Yon explains that most of IED are artillery shells customized to explode by signal (or a cluster of shells remotely detonated by signal). If the Iraqi army has no artillery why are these shells in Iraq? One would have assumed that the Coalition would have destroyed most of these shells for general safety reasons.

I also note quit a bit of TNT and C4 being discovered. Are these new materials or are they left over from years gone by. Further, why have they not been destroyed?

Tangentially, because of the lack of a death penalty (TAL doesn't permit it) terrorists seem to have an incentive to make bombs and kill people - if captured the worst terrorists can get is life in prison for killing a number of people.

I would assume that it would be best to adjust the TAL for a the death penalty and vigorously enforce it when terrorists are caught trying to bomb people (that includes all of the people in the IED chain). Having a few terrorists executed for planting large bombs would be a deterrent to other would be terrorists planning the same.

8/24/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/24/2005 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Any analysis of effectiveness would be an important part of determining what's happening on the Iraqi theatre.

But those same numbers are meaningless in the U.S. theatre, where a steady stream of attacks and a trickle of casualties are the only frame of references in the Iraqi narrative -- spiced with the same sort of impending doom we've been hearing for more than two years about the political process.

The standing of an interim government, the holding of successful elections, the growing economy, returning ex-pats and, now a constitution, however flawed, are all meaningless to an American public conditioned to believe that sacrifice and setbacks are indicative of failure, a public accustomed to being excused from all manner of unpleasantness and inconvenience, a public unaccustomed to suffering consequences for even its most irresponsible behavior.

In this theatre, the Jihadis have brilliantly exploited the global media's reflexive anti-Americanism and the puerile petulence of what passes for political opposition in the U.S.

Once again, we've allowed the Left to do what it does so well. That is, frame the discussion and keep an opposing narrative from emerging with accusations and charges which the accused feel obliged to answer. Too much has been ceded in the battle of words -- perhaps the battle which will determine the outcome of this war.

Sorry to seem OT, and I don't mean to diminish Wretchard's typically excellent analysis, but the real battle is being fought for hearts and minds at home.

8/24/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

When we first went in, W had some info on the sheer AMOUNTS of explosives Saddam had accumulated.
I don't think any other area on earth matches it.
There has been very little reporting on efforts to rid the country of them.
...numbers are staggering, I'll see if I can find.

8/24/2005 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

No problem, Cosmo, and not ONLY the left are falling prey to this decadent situation.
The standing of an interim government, the holding of successful elections, the growing economy, returning ex-pats and, now a constitution, however flawed, are all meaningless to an American public conditioned to believe that sacrifice and setbacks are indicative of failure, a public accustomed to being excused from all manner of unpleasantness and inconvenience, a public unaccustomed to suffering consequences for even its most irresponsible behavior.
Well said!

8/24/2005 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Doug, I have read a few accounts and the quantity of weapons in Iraq and it is quite high. But, I would also note the quantity of weapon is WWII was quite high - yet the Allies were able to destroy them.

My feeling is that there is some policy regarding weapon stocks in Iraq that we are not being told about (maybe it necessary to keep some weapons to arm the new Iraqi army). Hence, there may not be an all out effort to destroy all weapons in Iraq. This may or many not be helpful.

Also, we have been somewhat delicate when destroying weapons. For example, Mr. Yon, writes about a huge cache of weapons stored in residential area. They were carefully removed and destroyed at a remote site (except for the unstable ones which were destroyed at the location). I suspect that in WWII the Army engineers would merely have cleared the neighborhood a blown the stuff on site (regardless if the neighborhood was destroyed). Maybe the old method would have been better - and maybe not.

Last, I think a change in the law authorizing the death penalty would help deter would-be bombers. Roundup the bombing gang up and execute a few of them. That will send a message to would be bombers that harsh consequences await those who try to kill large numbers of citizens.

8/24/2005 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Common Cents said...

How to Run an IED Gang
by James Dunnigan
August 18, 2005

There are currently some 30-50 IED (roadside, or suicide car bomb) attacks attempted each day in Iraq. These bombs kill 20-30 American troops a month. They are the most effective weapon the Sunni Arab and al Qaeda terrorists have, even though the vast majority of the bombs are detected and destroyed before they can be detonated.

The bombs are built and placed by one of several dozen independent gangs, each containing smaller groups of people with different skills. At the head of each gang is a guy called “the money man.” That tells you something about how all this works. Nearly all the people involved with IED gangs are Sunni Arabs, and most of them once worked for Saddam. The gangs hire themselves out to terrorist groups (usually al Qaeda affiliated), as well as Baath Party or Sunni Arab groups that believe the Sunni Arabs should be running the country. You got the money, these gangs got the bombs.

8/24/2005 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

common cents: There are currently some 30-50 IED (roadside, or suicide car bomb) attacks attempted each day in Iraq. These bombs kill 20-30 American troops a month.

ok let me think this out... 40 average per day, 30 day in a month = 1200 encounters...

1200 attempts = 25 american lives per month..

thank g-d these monkeys don't know about sniper rifles with scopes... I dare say 1200 sniper hits should yield about 400 kills ( or a hell of alot higher for anyone with ANY skills)

8/24/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

Phil, over at "Phil and Becky, Phils in Iraq" mentions "pop and drop" IED's. My interpretation would be "pop the trunk, drop the IED, hide and trigger from a safe distance"

INMO, the statements as to number attacks, decreasing lethality and increasing lethality are not contradictory and point to a shrinking insurgency rather than a growing insurgency.

Zarqawi and crew are not stupid, they know # of attacks is a measurement. The also know that # of casualties are a measurement.

Maintaining the illusion of a "Strong growing insurgency" is critical to their efforts.

In order to maintain the # of attacks measurement, they are employing a higher rate of low/no cost attack methodologiess. Plenty of mortars/rockets and plenty of "pop and drop" IED's.

Riding around with 500 pounds of explosives in the trunk and spending an hour digging a hole and emplacing a shape charged IED run's the risk of being caught.

A review of August casualties indicates that the complex, highly effective IED's are occuring closer and closer to relative "safe havens", blowing things up in ones own neighborhood, eventually leads to blowing up your neighbors, which leads to a loss of support in the neighborhood.

US IED Fatalies by locations August-
Al Anbar province
Haditha 14 - single incident
Fallujah 2 - 2 incidents
Ramadi 1 - 1 incident
Ar Rutbah 1 - 1 incident

Sallahdin province
Samarra 8 - 3 incidents
Tikrit 2 - 2 incidents

Greater Baghdad 4 - 4 incidents

8/24/2005 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

off topic... but needs to be told...

434 bomb attacks across Bangladesh

Intelligence officers were interrogating Moulana Fariduddin Masud, a senior member of the Jamiat Ulamaye Islam, a body of prominent Islamic clerics. He was arrested at Zia International Airport Monday


8/24/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

The story behind the story is likely dependent on how many bomb making teams are being killed or captured (monthly, weekly). Figure this out, and who's training the technicians who are building these devices, and we'll know what the future holds (how soon with this be "just a bad memory?").

It's also currious that Israel seems to have been able to shut down the terrorists' bomb making labs in their part of the world. Was this informants or technology? Likely both.

8/24/2005 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

I'd lean more towards informants. They'll pay anything and give anything for information. I can't imagine random radio intercepts or something impersonal/imprecise as that identifying a bomb factory in a certain room.

I could be wrong though.

8/24/2005 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

To answer a couple of questions.

“International human rights organisations have raised concern over the Iraqi prime ministers’ recent announcement that the death penalty would be implemented as a way to control ongoing violence and insurgency in the country.

“It’s true that they have been having serious security problems in the country but the death penalty certainly is not appropriate. What they are doing is just suppressing human rights in the country. We are against this decision,” Middle East spokeswoman for Amnesty International (AI), Nicole Choueiry, told IRIN from their London headquarters.

Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, announced on 16 May in Baghdad that the death sentence would be retained and that the new government would be prepared to use it. He added that insurgents were trying to start open warfare between Shi'ites and Sunnis.

Iraq's interim government reinstated the death penalty for crimes including murder, kidnapping and drug running in August 2004. Al-Jaafari vowed to concentrate efforts on anyone targeting Shi’ites and Sunnis.”

8/24/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

It sounds like the kinds of efforts by Deuce Four, as described by Michael Yon, are paying off well.

The ring of steel surrounding Baghdad was more of a cordon and search operation using joint Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces. It lasted about a week.

“The weeklong operation was aimed at disrupting terrorist activity in Baghad allow for the capture of terrorists operating there. The operation called for 675 permanent checkpoints to be set up in Baghdad and manned 24 hours a day, in addition to other makeshift ones, and hamper unauthorized movement in and out of the capital during that time. Plans called for close to 40,000 Iraqi police and army troops to be involved in the operation. US troops were reportedly to act in a support mode with logistics as well as air cover.”

The population of Baghdad is 5,772,000 (2003). That is a lot of people. By contrast Los Angeles is 3,694,820 (2000) and has over 10,000 illegal alien gang members. Time to do a cordon and search of Los Angeles.

8/24/2005 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

mike h.,

There have even been trials with verdicts of capital punishment. However, appeals were filed and one of the appellate arguments was that the TAL could not be abrogated wrt the suspension of the death penalty.

I believe that their are at least 10 capital cases currently under appeal. I can't even find the article stipulating all causes of appeal but it appears that as of Sunday, all appelate issues have been resolved in three cases and the first executions will be carried out.

It appears that the Iraqi Supreme Court has acted rather swiftly in this matter. I'd like to see their decision relating to the TAL.

8/24/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Ari Tai,

Figure this out, and who's training the technicians who are building these devices, and we'll know what the future holds (how soon with this be "just a bad memory?").

Not too long ago The Command Post gathered up some blogs on the IED teams. Common Cents above appears to have read those same set of blogs.

The moneymen and the bombmakers are dedicated. The moneyman is smart and therefore hard to detect and catch. The bombmaker is described as a commodity item. That is they are easily replacable the training of new ones does not seem to be a big obstacle.

I summarized this discussion about the IED teams here. In addition I discussed the role of technology. This was at about the time we were discussing it here and so too was Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail.

Anyway. The weakspot we should be attacking are the emplacers and the triggermen. It is noted the most valuable skills belong to the emplacers and they are the toughest to replace. Both the emplacer and the triggerman are driven by...the need to pay the bills. I do not recall how hard it was to get a new triggerman going but I do recall it was not a trivial thing. The timing has to be good.

Brings to mind a Carvillian statement (minus the gratuitous insult): It's the Economy!


8/24/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...

Here is a wild data point for you. The total number of wounded for August 2005 to this point is 91. The total number of wounded for August 2004 is 895.

8/24/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I wonder if this stuff could stop metal from an ied blast.

Date: 2005-08-19

U. T. Dallas-led Research Team Produces Strong, Transparent Carbon Nanotube Sheets
RICHARDSON, Texas (Aug. 18, 2005) - University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) nanotechnologists and an Australian colleague have produced transparent carbon nanotube sheets that are stronger than the same-weight steel sheets and have demonstrated applicability for organic light-emitting displays, low-noise electronic sensors, artificial muscles, conducting appliqués and broad-band polarized light sources that can be switched in one ten-thousandths of a second.

Starting from chemically grown, self-assembled structures in which nanotubes are aligned like trees in a forest, the sheets are produced at up to seven meters per minute by the coordinated rotation of a trillion nanotubes per minute for every centimeter of sheet width. By comparison, the production rate for commercial wool spinning is 20 meters per minute. Unlike previous sheet fabrication methods using dispersions of nanotubes in liquids, which are quite slow, the dry-state process developed by the UTD-CSIRO team can use the ultra-long nanotubes needed for optimization of properties.

8/24/2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Ledger - If the Iraqi army has no artillery why are these shells in Iraq? One would have assumed that the Coalition would have destroyed most of these shells for general safety reasons.

When our troops moved in, we found ammo dumps right and left and moved right past them because we lacked sufficient troop strength to detail people to guard them and all the priority was put on "finding and securing the vast stockpiles of WMD". Somehow we thought that the local police would guard the stuff until we figured out what to do with the Iraqi Army...

We know the Baa'thists had hidden some stockpiles before the invasion started, but during the 3 months of "blowing off a little steam" (the mass looting phase following liberation) - many ammo dumps were picked clean of anything with value - and artillery shells, warehouses full of C-4, grenades, landmines, MANPADs, AK-47s, RPGs, pistols all have value.

Within weeks, Iraqi bazaars were full of weaponry for sale to interested Iraqi factions (all of them). New AK-47s were so plentiful they were going for 10 bucks each with a RPG grenade launcher refill or 200 rounds of ammo tossed in as a freebie. Initially, no one seemed to want the scavanged artillery shells at the looter's markets. Then the Baa'thists and terrorists coming in figured out a good use for 155mm shells powerful enough to obliterate the crew of a M-1 Abrams.

Army EOD teams dedicated to the "vast WMD hunt" were eventually reassigned to the laborious bureaucratic task of inventorying then destroying conventional stockpiles. They had their jobs made easier as they found many ammo dumps had been picked clean.

Failure to secure and destroy explosives and small arms just joins the list of Big, Big mistakes America made in the botched postwar planning and neocon conceits. (Why, Oh why would the freedom loving liberated noble Iraqi people have any use for weapons now that the evil dictator's statues were toppled?? Let's have our troops paint schools and build childrens playgrounds instead of blowing up weapons depots no one is interested in in the New Iraq.)

We are paying a dear, dear price for the stupidity of military and DOD Bush Administration higher ups demanding conventional weapons stockpiles be ignored to focus on the desperate search for WMDs to justify the war when it was clear to the invading US forces by May of 2003 that there were none. US Forces would go right past a Iraqis running from an Army base with an armload of RPGs or looter's trucks filled with anti-tank landmines on their way to investigate a report a warehouse "may" have some chemical in it that "could" be a WMD precursor...

As things stand, there are enough unsecured explosives and small arms in insurgents or private entrepreneur's hands, stashed in homes or buried in yards - to keep the GI deaths and civilian deaths going at (to "dead-ender and jihadi eyes) a sustained, admirably high level for years to come without running out.

Some Bush Administration, DOD, and intelligence agency heads should roll for the botched post-war planning, but of course, like after 9/11, they won't.

8/24/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

After WWII there were millions of tons of ordnance strewn accross Europe and the British Isles,some of it is out there.The stuff is still turning up today,in the fifties ans sixties UXBs were a common occurrance on building sites.
What was different is that the Axis had a unified command which could surrender and order its troops to lay down their arms.Secondly the military police and the military in general were not a delicate to the sensibilities of the vanquished.Neither was the MSM of the time.

8/24/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buffy said...

IEDs are weapons that can be used anywhere against anyone. If the US had not taken out Afghanistan and Iraq, no doubt there would be plenty of IEDs on american highways by now.

This is a weapon custom made for the islamist rotbrains and crying out for countermeasures. It is much better for this interplay of measure--countermeasure to be taking place in Iraq right now than in London or Portland.

8/24/2005 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

What I gather from Rick Ballard answer to mike h., is essentially, the death penalty was hamstrung by appeals arguing that the TAL could not be abrogated. Now there is supposed to be 3 executions carried out in the near future.

Taking that a step further, it's know that the Coalition has in custody a number of "high value" targets who were involved in these bombings which certainly lead to many deaths. Are these king pin bombers going to be charged with a capital crime (Marcus points to the emplacers and the trigger men as people to prosecute)? Michael Yon in his Jungle Law describes a trigger man caught before he could blow the bomb - yet this trigger man felt no real punishment would come from his capture. Mr. Yon described the trigger man's mother's attitude: She smiled the whole time, as if to say, That's my boy! The translator heard her say to her son, "Don't worry. You will be released soon." She smiled at me.

Clearly, these bombers feel killing a number of people carries no penalty. Let's assume that the trigger man in Yon's story was found to have successfully detonated other bombs which killed people. Would not he eligible for capital punishment.

If anyone knows of a captured bomber who has been charged with a capital crime let us know. But for now, I see them getting away with murder. And, this only encourages more bombings.

8/24/2005 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Your often thoughful contrarianism is handicapped when it's riddled with cant like this:

". . . list of Big, Big mistakes America made in the botched postwar planning and neocon conceits."

And how does this differ from the catalog of rear-view mirror 'blunders' that have been a part of every war we've ever fought and their aftermaths? The idea that wars and their aftermaths can be choreographed like ballets or dinner parties is the epitomy of BoBo conceit.

And this: "3 months of "blowing off a little steam" (the mass looting phase following liberation)"

You mean when we were assured there would be waves of refugees fleeing Iraq, starvation and disease would be rampant, ten thousand coalition soldiers would lay dead following the 'seige of Baghdad-grad,' remaining Iraqis would be burying hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties and preparing for the country's certain descent into civil war? See my first point above.

And, finally -- so tiring --this: "finding and securing the vast stockpiles of WMD"

Failing to do this after every credible intelligence service and government in the world concluded that Iraq either had or was developing WMDs would have been massively irresponsible. This critique has always been nothing more than rear-view mirror opportunism.

If the best doctors you could find all said your x-rays showed a cancerous tumor that should be removed, you'd likey be relieved to find out they were wrong following an operation (although you might want to sue) -- and you'd likely live in fear if you chose not to act.

8/24/2005 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

P.S. History may or may not judge this war a mistake, but history would never forgive a leader who tried whistling past the graveyard and was wrong.

The consequences of being wrong about WMDs -- a simple nuke detonated in in Rotterdam, Hong Kong or Newark/New York would effectively shut down global trade, throw hundreds of millions out of work, and lead to chaos and misery on a scale modern humans can't imagine -- are too awful to contemplate.

8/24/2005 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Buffy - If the US had not taken out Afghanistan and Iraq, no doubt there would be plenty of IEDs on american highways by now.

That's silly, Buffy.

Given the "evildoer terrahists we have yet to smoke out of their caves" have been treated to several billion dollars worth of ordnance for the taking in Iraq and now control much of it - why are they not carrying the stuff off to American highways?

It's not because Bush is securing the US borders.

The truth is that the US is monitoring everything leaving Iraq by air and sea. No Iraqi military explosives now in jihadi hands because of the US invasion can leave by those routes. The Turks, Saudis, Jordanians, Syrians, and Iranians range between excellent to abysmal in controlling Jihadis going in to Iraq - but all are brutally efficient at preventing extremists outside their control from entering their countries with piles of Iraqi ordnance that are intended on being used on their own people or transshipped out - leaving the countries at risk if weapons shipments were traced back to them.

So no ships are being loaded with Iraqi bombs or landmines headed for Mexico or Canada. And obviously, the Mexicans and Canadians aren't keen on having tons of C-4 loose in their nations before being muled into America.

There IS a risk that some high-value terrorist weapons worth the risk of smuggling were lost when the Iraqi military fled and the 6-9 months many ammo dumps and military depots were unguarded. Even a few on the loose in America would be awful news. MANPADs. Those are the things that may have been taken when America had other priorities than controlling conventional ordnance after the Iraq military lost control of them...that should make any American sweat. Several hundred to a thousand are "not accounted for". Could be lost, destroyed, or out there somewhere after they were abandoned by the Iraqi Army during the invasion.

8/24/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The consequences of being wrong about WMDs -- a simple nuke detonated in in Rotterdam, Hong Kong or Newark/New York would effectively shut down global trade, throw hundreds of millions out of work, and lead to chaos and misery on a scale modern humans can't imagine -- are too awful to contemplate.

I'm well aware that we are getting off topic, but take a look at the above thought. "Too awful to contemplate" is a formulation that seems at first to be sophistry, a brief rhetorical flourish to make an otherwise non-radical point about some impending circumstance.

It is not.

We do not know, nor cannot know, what the world will look like after D-Day. Will markets crash? Will commerce stop? Will grocery stores be raided by armed men who want nothing more than to feed their families and stock up on canned food? What about our power grid? Will we have running water?

The kinetic force emanating from a nuclear explosion in Manhattan will seem small compared to the entropy that will envelop our system and our way of life. We must not allow this to happen, yet many Americans are fatalistic about it. Worse, many Americans don't think it is even worth avoiding (Iran!).

It may be inevitable, no matter what we do. To paraphrase Wretchard in an earlier post, it may be that some decision taken in 1991 has already killed most New Yorkers in 2011.

More likely, there is something we can do, but we won't. In hindsight our lost chances will look so obvious, like Atta's flight lessons or bin Laden's declaration of war, but they will be small comfort to those that survive. If such destruction indeed awaits, there's nothing for it but to buy yourself some guns, store up on ammo, plan for your family and make real nice with your neighbors. When the flash hits, these will be all you've got.

8/24/2005 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Cosmos -


I think you missed the point being made. The post-war plan was based on neocon conceit that Chalabi and the Iraqi exiles were absolutely credible, so no real post-war plan was needed.

There would be no need for the troop strength needed to control a country and impose a complete occupation because - the noble liberated Iraqi people would be "back at work on Monday" families would be fighting to name their firstborns after US Army sargents that "freed them".

Our lookback on what Doug Feith and company came up with shows not just a few errors common to any postwar period a nation has managed, but a lack of any real plan at all, and the planners not having a clue beyond what exiles with an agenda told them would be the facts on the ground.

The only thing that saved us was the US Army and Marine Corps contingents that were left holding that colossal bag of shit handed to them by the neocons then running American war policy finally realized there was no plan at all and made certain things work through will, professionalism, grit, and making their own plans up on the fly.

2. The failure and blame on WMD intel can be spread around - The Israelis did a big mea culpa on feeding America bogus intel and consider their contribution to intelligence failures a big black mark showing decline in quality of Israeli intel as their overseas sources dry up. So too the French, Germans, Russians, and Brits were wrong about certain things. But no matter how much you spread the blame for this massive intelligence failure, part of the blame must be accepted by the USA if we are to have a hope of improvement.

3. By early May, 2003 American troops had realized there were no WMDs and stood down their NBC gear. Yet directives from DOD and the Executive branch maintained for 6-9 months after that, that the focus had to remain on looking for the "missing vast stockpiles of WMD". Soldiers were told to search ammo dumps and if no WMD were there, to move on, because ordnance even unsecured -was a low priority. The leadership in DC had a mindset: We were liberators. Why would a liberated people use ordnance on liberators?

That mindset ended up putting hundreds and hundreds of tons of ordnance in the hands of insurgents or terrorists when it should have been secured or destroyed as we moved in.

4. That the Lefties were wrong about so many things - mass casualties, starvation, Iraqi Cities becoming Stalingrads, little Iraqi babies being killed like flies??

That does not obviate the massive screwups by the warhawks at DOD and the Bush Administration. There were so many catastrophic errors compensated for by the competence of American troops in the field that it sometimes is tempting to gloss over just how disastrous decisions were. Not just blowing off the idea that an insurgency was forming in the grateful, secularist, noble, freedom loving Israel friendly Iraqi people.....Stuff like putting politically connected but inexperienced 20-somethings from neocon think tanks in charge of Iraqi reconstruction, not bidding reconstruction to Iraqi firms but doing some highly suspicious no-bid contracts to a few US companies with K-street clout, disbanding the Iraq military and purging Sunnis from all government posts was. Or diplomatic bungles of cosmic proportions like insisting "Turkey will of course let us invade through their territory", and "My friend Vladimir will back this".

Only the US Army and Marines saved America from complete disaster from America's leaders bungles, and even they had major foul-ups in asserting at career termination gunpoint perhaps, that "they had all the troops they needed", failure to control some sick hillbillies, and constantly telling leadership that the Insurgents backs were broken...But the military has come through this looking a whole lot more on the ball than the neocons..

8/24/2005 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Taking into consideration the vast international arms industry, whith the surpluses in the former Soviet Union and many countries willing to supply anything from pistols to ballistic missiles,what is floating about in Iraq is really only significant to Iraq.

8/24/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Cosmo wrote:

“And, finally -- so tiring --this: "finding and securing the vast stockpiles of WMD"

Failing to do this after every credible intelligence service and government in the world concluded that Iraq either had or was developing WMDs would have been massively irresponsible. This critique has always been nothing more than rear-view mirror opportunism.”

“every credible intelligence service”?? Weren’t inspection teams crawling all over Iraq immediately prior to the invasion saying, “haven’t seem any yet? More time please”.

8/24/2005 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


I may or may not have missed your point.

But I made no assertion that the problems you point to don't exist, nor that the assumptions underlying your critique are incorrect. Nor was I challenging your assignment of blame, although I disagree with it.

I simply asked how this critique differed from one which could be made in kind against any other war we've fought. That question remains unanswered.

I'm certain there would be errors in any war or post-war plan, errors big enough to be seized upon by war critics to discredit their political opponents -- and, this time around, would play well to an impatient public used to customizing their lives and the convenience of tidy (yet rapid) endings.

Would a tranquil post-war Iraq have made the war any more justified in the eyes of critics? I doubt it.

Again, I'll note: 4 uses of the term "neocon" and the overall level of hyperbole in your last post detract from your point -- one you are so obviously eager to make that I believe you missed mine altogether.

8/24/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Come on, Ash. You can do better than that. We've all been over this so many times the talkiing points should have numbers by now.

Yes, every credible intelligence service. The inspection teams were not only NOT intelligence services, they were not "crawling all over Iraq," but were instead engaged in a non-stop tug-of-war about where they could and could not go. Further, they complained constantly -- right up until the very end -- about Iraq's lack of cooperation and failure to account for weapons it had inventoried in the past.

Whether they asked for more time doesn't change the risk assessment. A dozen years of failing to meet the terms of the 1991 ceasefire, a dozen years of living with the risk outlined in my previous post, and a dozen years of leaving a madman so close to the jugular vein of the global economy -- an economy vital to the welfare of billions around the world -- was long enough.

8/24/2005 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

What were the number of arms inspectors in Iraq prior to the invasion?

8/24/2005 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

P.S. Ash, I'm surprised you cited anyone connected with the UN, since the vested interests of certain members of the Security Council in keeping their organized crime concession operating in Saddam's Iraq have been exposed by disclosures of the oil-for-food/bribes/UN-votes scandal.

8/24/2005 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/24/2005 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...

Cedarford said:

"I think you missed the point being made. The post-war plan was based on neocon conceit that Chalabi and the Iraqi exiles were absolutely credible, so no real post-war plan was needed."

I doubt that very many people were aware that there would be a significant Islamic insurgency. I don't think the left knew this any better than the right.

"the noble liberated Iraqi people would be "back at work on Monday" families would be fighting to name their firstborns after US Army sargents that "freed them"."

Do your points stand up without the hyperbole. If they do, then why use it?

"Our lookback on what Doug Feith and company came up with shows not just a few errors common to any postwar period a nation has managed, but a lack of any real plan at all, and the planners not having a clue beyond what exiles with an agenda told them would be the facts on the ground."

Okay, so Clinton destroyed our intelligence services when he broke communication between them, underfunded them, and made video piracy their primary mission.

"The only thing that saved us was the US Army and Marine Corps contingents that were left holding that colossal bag of shit handed to them by the neocons then running American war policy finally realized there was no plan at all and made certain things work through will, professionalism, grit, and making their own plans up on the fly."

Yep, Bush has never understood the threat that democracy poses to Islamofascism. He really did believe that Islam was just another religion and that Al Queda was a small group of radicals. But that is what most people thought. And many still believe this today. Few understood then and few still understand today that Islam would be put in a position of having to fight for it's life on it's home penninsula. The fact that Bush did not understand this puts him in no worse a position than most of humanity. The left still doesn't understand it.

"Why would a liberated people use ordnance on liberators?"

I find it very funny that you group the people that are using the ordanance together with everyone else as though everyone in Iraq was of the same mindset.

"That does not obviate the massive screwups by the warhawks at DOD and the Bush Administration."

Massive screw ups? We have lost less than two thousand men in two and a half years of war. We lost three thousand on 9/11. If anyone had predicted that we would take Iraq and that we would have such meager losses before the war began they would have been called crazy. We lost 25 times as many in Vietnam. We lost 200 times as many in WWII. What standard are you comparing it to when you call it a massive screw up? Anyone can pretend to be a great monday morning quarterback and talk about how they would have won the game 100 to nothing without breaking a sweat. But the reality is that for wartime standards our losses are tiny. And the achievements far surpass the losses. Saddam's regime did in fact fall like a house of cards - just as predicted. And the country is moving through the political stages that will take it to democracy without the insurgency being able to do anything to stop it.

Maybe you should read this article to put it all in context.

8/24/2005 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/24/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/24/2005 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/24/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Nice summary, Tilo.

If on Sept 12, 2001 I'd predicted:

1. The U.S. would invade two countries on the other side of the planet and topple their governments at a cost of some 500 of America's bravest men and women.

2. Constitutional democracies, however imperfect, would be built by the people of those nations with our encouragement and assistance.

3. Their economies, however haltingly and however degraded by decades of neglect, would thrive (Iraq's was the fastest growing in the Arab world last year, according to the IMF).

4. But that all this progress would be hampered by stubborn insurgencies and outside interference, leading to the loss of 1300 more of America's finest for a total of 1800-1900 during a four-year world war (we're active in dozens of countries) where the entire planet is a battlefield;

I would have been considered a dreamer, of predicting a 'cakewalk.'

Further, if I'd have predicted that the entire effort would be booed and jeered by elite Westerner spectators from the comfort of their free and prosperous socieities . . . well, you get the idea.

8/24/2005 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

tilo reber,

Excellent post.

You can get rid of the double post by clicking the little trash can at the bottom.

Don't ask how I know for sure.

8/24/2005 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger John Byrnes said...

For a first hand account of an IED attack see me "Odds and Ends" blog.

8/24/2005 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Tilo, Cosmo, thanks--good solid posts. C4's got an agenda, and the hyperbole is his way of rolling any fence-sitters or semi-oppo. He does salt a few facts among the anti-Bush mudballs, and those plus the flashy characterizations make for pretty good entertainment, by and large. Plus, he stimulates gems such as your two posts above.

8/24/2005 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Moneyrunner said...

Suppose we read the newspapers in 1944. Suppose the articles dated June 6, 1944 had as its headline “Another 2,500 Allied soldiers Killed.” The story was about deaths of Allied soldiers via machine gun and cannon fire. Entire Allied companies decimated; bodies blown apart and bobbing in the waves. And that was it; the focus was on American and British casualties. Perhaps the follow up stories were of grieving mothers and fathers, wives and sweethearts of those killed that day. Would you have been reading the truth?

Yes, in a way.

How about a story about nearly 6,000 American Marines killed, 20,000 wounded in a god-forsaken rock in the middle of the Pacific whose civilian inhabitants had been evacuated? What in God’s name could they have died for?

If the American news media of that day was populated by the same people as the American news media of today, you may have missed the importance of June 6th which we memorialize as D-Day. And the Pacific atoll was named Iwo Jima.

Read the whole post HERE

8/24/2005 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

President Bush Discusses War on Terror:

Since the founding of our republic, every generation has produced patriots willing to sacrifice for our freedom. Since the morning of September the 11th, we have known that the war on terror required great sacrifice, as well. In this war, we have said farewell to some very good men and women, including 491 heroes of the National Guard and Reserves. We mourn the loss of every life. We pray for their loved ones. These brave men and women gave their lives for a cause that is just and necessary for the security of our country, and now we will honor their sacrifice by completing their mission. (Applause.)

The men and women of the Idaho Guard are serving freedom's cause with courage and distinction, and your courage is changing the world. Specialist Charles Glenn of Boise has been on the front lines in Iraq. He has seen the progress firsthand, and he says, "I know Idaho has made a big difference here. We have been a part of history." The citizen soldiers of Idaho are making history. You're fighting to ensure that our freedom, like the state of Idaho, may endure forever. Americans are grateful for your devotion to duty and your courage under fire. We live in freedom and peace because of your determination to prevail.

8/24/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Mmmmm, Cosmo..We probably agree on 90% of our politics. If we look at our past wars, however, we see WWI's aftermath was a hashup with no staying power, and post Vietnam was a disaster. But WWII was notable for us training 10's of thousands of occupation cadres and experts that went into not just Japan and Germany, but unstable occupied lands retaken from the Axis. They knew the culture and language from 2 years to 6 months of training. (Even in Vietnam we had schools churning out thousands of Vietnamese, Montagard speakers). In Korea and in the Cold War we had trained speakers and tactics ready years before needed. Even Panama and 1990 Iraq where we had concentration on securing the peace ready 6 months before we went in.

Iraq in 2003 was a war intended to be fought on the cheap. Feith and his fellow neos admit that the few postwar plans they had in the mere 6 weeks they looked into it assumeed rose petals at our feet and US troops leaving to backslaps except for a network of US bases the grateful Iraqis would cede to us.

This was intended to be war on the cheap, with low cost oil and heft reconstruction contracts bestowed on American firms paying for our troubles. No foreign language schools or university grants to boost American military or academics fluency in regional Arabic, Farsi, Pashtun, Indonesian have been formed to boost war-fighting capability since 9/11.

War on the cheap.

But penny wise and pound foolish. Iraq is looking to pass Vietnam in 3 or so years as our 3rd most expensive war ever (Civil War and WWII higher). The estimate is 1.3 trillion dollars. If we had had 400,000 troops spread out in every village knowing the language and culture, as we did in Germany, Japan ---it is unlikely the insurgency could have formed and filled the power vacuum we created.

While the focus is on deathcount, we long ago went past WWI and Korea War costs, and think that 35 years of medical advances means less deaths but far more fully or partially disabled wounded from their maimings (14,000 so far). But the masses of limbless or Schiavoized are rarely discussed.

It is not "un-conservative" to point out we made massive screw-ups...beyond the acceptable range. I think conservatives, on the other hand, who embrace the infallible "Dear Maximum Leader Bush" approach do a disservice. It is part of the partisan mindset that believes if the Left says everything in Iraq was horrible, the loyal conservative Partyline response must be that Bush is a God and anyone that thinks heads should roll, as they should have after 9/11 - should be considered "RINOS"..

That's how, in my mind, you end up with a reverse camp of McGovernites or Deaniacs leading the "Bush above all" believers to a 2006 or 2008 bitch-slapping.

George Bush the Second is no Ronald Reagan. Neither was his Pappy.

8/24/2005 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...


In the months leading up to the invasion the inspectors could go wherever they wanted. They were even flown about with US pilots. Granted, the massing of troops on the border helped push the matter forward, but Saddam was fully acquiescent. All questions with respect to WMD could have been answered without the invasion.

If we accept your suggestion that the Oil for Food scandal folks had the power to mess with the inspectors it still makes no sense that they would hide WMD. Their money game depended on sanctions being in place. No WMD discovered, sanctions lifted, money game gone

8/24/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

No WMD discovered, sanctions lifted, money game gone

, WMD programs put back into place.

8/24/2005 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Pentagon plans for 'long war' on terror:

Maj Gen Lute noted that Centcom was increasingly looking to fight its campaign on the internet, where Islamic radicals have found ways to recruit, train, and raise funds for their cause. He said terror networks had become so sophisticated that they had begun to use otherwise prosaic commercial applications such as PayPal, the internet payment system, to collect donations to their cause.

“These guys are sophisticated in their use of what we call the virtual safe haven, the virtual sanctuary,” he said.

“One of the things that we are hot on right now is how to contest that virtually safe haven.”

8/24/2005 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buffy, I can assure you that the aircraft flying into and out of Iraq and Afghanistan could never have been used to transport weapons had we not gone in.

I can also assure everyone here that some of the alarmists here like cosmo and Aristedes have no idea what they are talking about, and try to make up for that fact with hyperbolic calls of panic and pandemonium following a mere Nuke detonation or two or some such.

Sad, really that we can't discuss this calmly and dispassionately like C4, but that's just the way it is, so don't be silly, 'Kay?
Sorry, and Trust Me!

And Peter:
Why was Churchill so lacking in foresight about those weapons lying all about?
Were there some protoneocons pulling his strings or what?
Obviously what was needed was conscription for all males under 60, so you could have had sufficient *Troop Strength* to do the job properly.

No doubt a Jewish plot to save a few bucks for their rich friends.

8/24/2005 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Saddam was fully acquiescent"
Sing w/me and Mrs Sheehan please:

"We are the World,
We are the Childrrren,...

8/24/2005 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Come Quick!
We've graduated from Butt Licking to Bitch-Slapping.
Oh, Goody!

8/24/2005 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

C4, 7:37 PM, neither am I, sorry.

8/24/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"It is not "un-conservative" to point out we made massive screw-ups...beyond the acceptable range"
C4, please calibrate our acceptable screw up meters, OK?

8/24/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jeez, Ash, the inspections turned out to've done far more as a front keeping oil-for-food pouring cash into criminal pockets, than anything to alleviate WMD fears in BOTH our political parties. Blix, you wanted to trust?

C4, has it ever occurred to you that it's the sheer volume and unrelenting nastiness of 5 yrs of the left's attacks on GWB--attacks that just make up any sh*t that sounds good, without any reference to the facts or circumstances--that accounts for the circle-the-wagons behavior you note among his supporters?

And will it ever dawn on you that the protectiveness stems less from personal attraction, and more from the fact that we are in a world of sh*t with these terrorists, and if GWB gets hammered into ineffectiveness, you and I and we and our way of life, the nation and all its allies, are in for a bad, bad time?

You say GWB supporters are one-sided, but ridiculing everything the administration and DoD have done isn't?

Try considering for a moment how things could have gone since 911, both militarily and economically.

The fact is, GWB has an astonishingly good record--and against the meanest, most dedicated oppo in memory--both across the aisle in DC and in the terrorist dens of the mideast.

To take note of the facts is to be a Bushie zombie, you say? I say that's a cheap shot with nothing in it, the sound of an automatic anti-Bushie.

8/24/2005 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rick, 5:11 PM:
"Don't ask how I know for sure."
It wasn't that time Wretch had them turned off, was it?

8/24/2005 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Crude oil prices jump to $68 a barrel:

International Monetary Fund managing director Rodrigo Rato warned high oil posed a significant risk to global economic expansion, and said prices were not likely to fall in the near term.

"There is not much cushion in refinery capacity and crude capacity. The question is when will demand be destroyed as a result of these high prices?" said Shum, the Purvin & Gertz analyst.

8/24/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy, 8:29 PM,
On the contrary, had Algore been awarded his DESERVED victory, Post OIF would have mirrored C4's Post WWII Scenario, w/10's of thousands of well trained cadre fluent in Arabic languages and the Koran, selfless in their courage to mend to the sick in the midst of IED Mayhem, and etc.

8/24/2005 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"And will it ever dawn on you that the protectiveness stems less from personal attraction,"
Examples are many, but you could ask for folks here their opinion on Bush' immigration policy, new tone, some even on his religiousity, and you would find disagreement.
This is turning into quite a horse race.

8/24/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


It goes back to a thread many moons ago where we were in discussion concerning a comment that David Charginghawk had posted. His comment disappeared and he had acknowledged that his curiosity concerning the little trash can had led him to click it. It was at about the time that the "Charginghawk Pledge" was developed to deal with an umentionable troll who in retrospect appears to have had an edge in intelligence to the current defeatist crew.

At least the former troll linked to stories bearing a faint resemblance to reality rather than surrounding a tiny fact seed with ten tons of fertilizer.

8/24/2005 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"But the masses of limbless or Schiavoized are rarely discussed."
"Tilo Reber said...
Here is a wild data point for you. The total number of wounded for August 2005 to this point is 91. The total number of wounded for August 2004 is 895
You get the point.

8/24/2005 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But don't forget the time you put on that magnificent HTML Tutorial, only to find to your despair,
NO Trashcan!

8/24/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Until we meet again.

8/24/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...

"But WWII was notable for us training 10's of thousands of occupation cadres and experts that went into not just Japan and Germany"

Then why were we getting articles like this in the newspapers of the day?

"But penny wise and pound foolish. Iraq is looking to pass Vietnam in 3 or so years as our 3rd most expensive war ever (Civil War and WWII higher)."

Who cares about the absolute dollar amount. The percentage of GDP is what counts. If you look at WWI and WWII, the whole US economy was changed into a war time economy. This war is barely a blip in term of how it effects us economically.

"If we had had 400,000 troops spread out in every village knowing the language and culture, as we did in Germany, Japan ---it is unlikely the insurgency could have formed and filled the power vacuum we created."

So are you advocating that we reinstitude the draft. Because if you are, then make sure that you push that issue the next time you have a democratic president. Concerning the insugency, I think that you are just guessing. I think you would have had an insurgency no matter how many troops were in the country. If you think that the Islamists were going to give up the country to democracy without a fight, then you simply don't understand Islam or the Islamists. And since our ability to fight the insurgency is primarily limited by the intelligence we get, not by our manpower, there is a possiblility that all of those extra troops would serve as just that many extra targets. Another issue is that with US troops as thick as flies, the Iraqis would have felt even more like they were occupied and controlled. And this is an impression that we tried very hard to dispell.

In addition, the insugency has had an unintended benefit that we could hardly have planned. The Muslim world has learned much about radical Islamists and their agenda as a result of this insurgency. If our intention is to win the war on terror, then the fact that the terrorists in Iraq are quickly loosing the hearts and minds of their fellow Muslims around the world is an immense benefit. This benefit can be seen in recent polls that show the popularity of people like Bin Laden slipping. At the same time, less and less Muslims are supporting violence as a legitimate tool for the advancement of their goals.

The reason this is happening is because the Muslim world has seen the insugents for what they are. They now understand that these people are as willing to murder Muslims who do not agree with them as quickly as westerners. They have also seen the hell that Islamist can turn a place into when they control that place, as was the case in Fallujha and Najaf. Just today the citizens of Najaf where fighting with Sadr's malitia in order to keep them from returning to their city. And a couple of weeks ago the local Sunnis of Ramadi where fighting against Zarquawi's men in order to prevent them from expelling Shia from the city.

"It is not "un-conservative" to point out we made massive screw-ups...beyond the acceptable range."

It is un-conservative to blow up the failures far beyond the reality. And it is un-conservative to throw in the towel when we are clearly winning. It is un-conservative to think that just because something is difficult, it must be because we are doing it wrong.

Guessing at other solutions and asserting that they would have worked better, while at the same time ignoring the obvious pitfalls of those proposed solutions, seems to me to be the real conceit.

8/24/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sam, thanks a lot for that. Very moving.
One of the ways I kept "in touch" w/folks in NY after 9-11 was watching some of the nice flash memorials over and over for quite a period of time. Even made a few myself.
Big difference now is having reporters and soldiers taking high quality digital pics, making them that much more dramatic.

C4 makes comparisons w/WWII:
The equivalent here would be schoolchildren watching those every day and having moment for prayers.
Not to mention all the MSM papers would regularly feature such presentations in tribute.
Times have changed.

8/24/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


Here's Sam's link in a form you can right clik and download if you want to put on a CD or whatever to give to folks that might not otherwise get to see it.
...or try having your kid take it to school!
Would the NEA Farm find that acceptable?

8/24/2005 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Another great post Tilo!

8/24/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Not only all that, but GWB had to take to war a country conditioned by 8 yrs of Clintonism.

And Truman and the Vietnam presidents fought the enemy backed up by public approval polls in the twenties.

We want our leaders to be the guy next door, and we want to live next door to God.

8/24/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Larsen - Your point on being a Bush Zombie, always backing the infallible leader and iend of Israel is what? That He is better than 'Lil Kim and taller? That he is a 2nd Churchill that confronts all the tired and inapplicable WWII metaphors without Churchills weight, obesity, and tobacco problems - as well as without Churchills ability to articulate beyond set speeches?

Even David Frum at NRO is tired of the disengaged "Is it time for my 2-hour bikeride yet, Laura???" George Bush. In his op-ed, From points out that even as his people pledge Bush is refocusing on Iraq, Bush himself just gives 90% the same general set speech talking points Frum himself wrote in Oct 2001. "We must be resolute-stay the course-fight the evildoers-more tax cuts for the Doer-Folk in the Boardrooms who amke us all rich-Do the War for our Troop's Sake - the noble freedom-loving Afghani/Iraqi people soon to be shed of their burquas/Saddams oppression of women.

Frum says it is 3+ year old stale stuff, Bush is failing strategic communications, and recommends he try to emulate better strategic communicators than he is currently.

8/24/2005 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...


It's off subject so I will make it brief. I've been looking into the oil situation just recently. Apparently we have enough shale oil in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah to supply the entire needs of the country for two or three hundred years. A little Utah company named Oil Tech has developed a method for mining and producing oil from oil shale at a cost of between 10 and 30 bucks a barrel. It may take some time to get this on line, but in the long run we should have no problems. Canada is currently mining and producing a million barrels of sand oil a day. The plan to double that in the next seven or eight years. The sand oil supply is also vast.

In order to stop breaking into tears as I headed for the gas station I bought four different oil stocks. They are making me far more money now than what I am loosing at the pump.

8/24/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...

Thanks Doug,

By the way, you are right in your earlier post. I completely disagree with Bush's immigration policy. Concerning his religion, I couldn't care one way or the other. The areas in which I support him, I would support him if he were an athiest or a Hindu. I personnaly have no religion.

8/24/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Tilo, didn't know about the shale/sand oil. Thanks for the education. Sounds like some good news. Wonder if that's in the energy bill? $20/barrel oil. Could you imagine? That's '92 levels.

8/24/2005 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Why do we assume that all our communications are to ourselves? Everything we say we say also to the enemy. If we could just shut the F**K up about our pain and anger and dissatisfactions, *WWII-style*, for a year or two, maybe the military could wrap it up over there.

Case: As I was typing that, Brit Hume told of Nancy Pelosi, saying something like "Considering the incredible amount of damage to our reputation done by the invasion of Iraq, President Bush must repudiate the right-wing remarks of Pat Robertson."

But what if our Democratic leader had instead said, "Hey, George, please, go GET those horrible terrorists, we're behind you all the way!"?

The terrorists would hear THAT, too!

And might then have a bit of a reason to quit--which they manifestly do not have at the moment, requiring, instead, killing, and even at the current 25-1 ratio, well, jeez.

Half of us are as much as inviting them to please continue, help is on the way. This state of affairs should make us sick, angry, depressed, frustrated, and worried about our political system, for fear that for the first time in its history, democracy is going to be a war-fighting weakness which cannot, in its current state of sclerotic inflexibility, adapt to this enemy.

But, other than that, hey, it's Summertime, and the livin' is easy. Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high! Yore daddy's rich, and yore mammy's good-lookin' hush little babies, don't you cry.

8/24/2005 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I think that was Gershwin. Trying to make brain work, Google has become the Pod Thing.

8/24/2005 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger PaulPsy said...

After spending over an hour reading the whole thread I had a beautiful post composed for a summary. Buddy, Doug, etal blew it in the final few posts. Imo the media and the playing to the media is driving most of the problem; including the C4 complaint about our obsession with finding WMDs.

8/24/2005 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Economic event aims to improve U.S.-Arab relations:

"We hope to deliver a forum that can help address the shortcomings of the region and help them come out of this malaise they seem to be in both economically and educationally," Beydoun said.

Speakers and invitees are a who's who of the powerful, including heads of ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp.; the energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar; Dr. John Mendelsohn, president of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Saudi Minister of State Abdullah Alireza; and Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign minister.

8/24/2005 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger PaulPsy said...

Read the rest of it,,,of course the media is driving everything the D's(Pelosi) and the rest of the pols are saying. too

8/24/2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Panel approves most military base closures:

Disagreeing with the Pentagon on several key requests, the U.S. government's base closing commission voted Wednesday to keep open two New England Navy bases as well as an Army depot in Texas.

As it began voting with lightning speed, the panel also signed off on closing nearly 400 Army Reserve and National Guard facilities in dozens of states, creating instead new joint centers.

He said the task was especially difficult because Rumsfeld’s proposal included more than twice the recommendations in the four previous rounds of base closings combined.

Previous commissions — in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995 — altered about 15 percent of what the Pentagon proposed as it sought to get rid of bases considered no longer needed. But analysts say the current environment — including the emphasis on homeland security since Sept. 11, 2001 — make it difficult to predict just what the commission will change.

Announced in May, the proposal set off intense lobbying by communities fearful that the closures and downsizings would hurt their economies and by politicians worried they would be blamed by voters for job losses.

The commission is scheduled to work 14 hours each day, although members are hoping to complete their work before the weekend. Army, Navy and joint-service recommendations will be considered first, followed by the Air Force.

8/24/2005 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Had to get some sleep, Cedarford.

Perhaps I'm missing your point again, but you seem to claim that we were fully prepared for the occupations of Germany and Japan, either before hostilities began or at some point before they ended.

Not only did the Marshall Plan arrive two years after the war ended, but your contention is contradicted by newspaper accounts of the time documenting the hardships, shortages just short of famine, animosity of the local populations and nostalgia for the former regimes (particularly in Germany).

But much more important, any relative tranquility following the surrender of both nations had much to do with our merciless, thoroughly un-PC thrashing of both. And that's where my armchair critique of this war would begin -- not with any of the "massive screw ups" you highlight repeatedly, which I have neither denied nor defended.

Once again, my point is that we can build a similar critique of any war. The (mis)management of a war one doesn't support to begin with is irrelevant.

Sidenote: I wonder how many Arabic speakers we have among our forces today compared with four years ago -- this from a non-draft military and a society not mobilized for total war.

8/25/2005 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Not to be a smartass, but you're winding me up with these, right?

"the inspectors could go wherever they wanted"

"even flown about with US pilots"

"Saddam was fully acquiescent"

Where are the sarcasm on/off marks?

And, finally:

"All questions with respect to WMD could have been answered without the invasion."

Followed by the seemingly contradictory:

"it still makes no sense that they would hide WMD. Their money game depended on sanctions being in place. No WMD discovered, sanctions lifted, money game gone."

Actually, the money game would have been over if the inspections were as successful as you claim they were. The game and the sanctions which enabled it depended upon Saddam's non-compliance and belligerence, and the perception that WMDs were either being hidden or were under development. Hence the cat and mouse and shell games. Inspections would have gone on for as long as we and our allies were willing to put up with them.

Everyone involved in the game had an incentive to maintain the suspense, and with it, the sanctions and oil-for-food -- maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but let's keep looking, and let's keep acting like we have something to hide, and by all means, there's no need for an invasion to ruin everything.

At one point, I thought OIF had as much to do with breaking up the organized crime racket being run by France, Russia, the UN and Iraq as it did with Saddam, any specific WMDs he may have had or terrorism -- not for the money being made, but for the irresponsible greed of France, Russia, and the UN, who seemed willing to risk putting WMD's in the hands of lunatics in exchange for billions.

As for the sanctions, they were being subverted by the very Security Council members who voted for them. Once lifted, the ensuing gold rush would be another bonanza for the same players. Saddam and his lawyers on the Security Council were using Iraq like a prison bitch.

Enough speculation. Twenty years from now, I hope we'll all be laughing at our guesswork as the details of this world war trickle out of classified documents.

Sorry for the long post. Guess I had a good night's sleep.

8/25/2005 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Objections to war plan particulars is one thing, but why would anyone/Cedarford wish to sound like "How come you're so wrong, my sweet neo-con" Mick Jagger? Mick's a relic and so are his anti-war pander-politics.

"Summertime and the livin' is" from Porgy and Bess. Great opera. The other day I overheard a 70-year old woman with an amazing voice singing "Summertime" to herself in the store. Told me she volunteers and sings to the elderly at a nursing home!

8/25/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

ok, GUYS:
In unison, applause for C4, he
...and to NR, no less!
Huzzah, C4,
Boo! Hiss! GWB!

8/25/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Who the hell is Rodrigo Rato?

8/25/2005 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Tilo Reber said...


Even though they can produce shale oil for between 10 and 30 bucks a barrel, they will sell it at market prices. The only good part is that the increased supply (once it comes on line) will keep prices from contiuing to rise. There is one additional plus. The majority of the oil shale is on BLM land. I would think that the government should be able to collect part of the profits, thereby reducing the tax pressure. Of course hiring Americans to produce it and keeping the profits in the US will be a big plus over sending it to the ME. It should also help our horrible trade imbalance.

8/25/2005 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

The aftermath of WWII.
Having thousands of books, hundreds of which are about WWII, gives me access to much information.

After reading C$'s post about how well we did after WWII, i reread some of Clark Lee's book "One Last Look Around", written in 1947 about his experiences after WWII. One chapter titled "They were better off under the Japs", scathingly blasts our failed efforts to help the Philippines. He says: "...when I flew up to Manila...the American Army and Navy had turned the ruined city into a giant honkytonk...the GI has corrupted into prostitution far more girls than had ever been condemned by the Japs, at bayonet point,..." He continues. "I blame the GIs and not the Filipinos for what has taken place, because the Filipinos are essentially a sober, orderly people,..." (p246-247)

As far as the occupation of Japan. He was there, and was the first reporter to interview Tojo. He describes the American Army C.I.C (counter intelligence corps) this way. "...but most of the C.I.C agents were newcomers to Japan and none too expert in their work. Consequently, they stuck pretty close to headquarters in Yokohama prior to the official occupation of Tokyo, and let newspapermen beat them to most of the badly wanted Japanese big-shots like Prince Knonoye, General Homma, and a dozen others." (p92) If anyone wants to read the book, Amazon lists one in its used book section at $29.99.

War would be a comedy of errors, if it wasn't so serious. We human beings live lives filled with mistakes.

In WWII, it was Hitler's errors that beat him in Russia. Mussolini kept getting in trouble, forcing the Germans to bail them out. He invaded Greece, which already favored Hitler. This forced a one month delay invading Russia, keeping Moscow from falling. The list is almost endless, it is only those who do not know history who imagine a golden age.

One final example, Peleliu, a useless invasion, cost 10,000 American casualties. The 1950 dead were more our entire Iraq victory, and current peacekeeping efforts.

Perhaps I shall post to my blog, a list of all the mistakes of WWII, but I'm not sure I will live long enough to complete it.

There are two kinds of "errors" in war. The first is just dumb stuff, like the invasion of Peleliu, or the Japanese decision to send two aircraft carriers to bomb Alaska instead of being at Midway.
The second are calculated risks, that if they fail seem mistakes, examples abound, Picket's charge, Gallipoli, Pearl Harbor & Hitler's invasion of Russia.

We are about at such a decision point gamble with Iran. No one knows the outcome, no one knows the "right" decision. But after it is made, there will be many ready to second guess it either way.

8/25/2005 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great Post, Presby,
'Rat can assure you that an Oil Embargo would be worse on us than a Nuclear Attack.
Have a nice day.

8/25/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

W., a wonderful post, to which we all have become so accustomed.

ledger: No, execute all of them!

8/26/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Cederford @ 12:56

It is easy enough to sit here now, and say how incredibly stupid the priorities and processes of WMD discovery where, then, in hindsight.

Your slant and opinion dissolves if one believes there was a good chance that there were actually WMDs that could be used against our troops.

Commanders in that situation/under such duress would/must always go after WMDs, even when it turns out there "weren't" any.

Of course, if there were WMDs, as most of the world's intelligence agencies thought, and they were smuggled out prior to our invasion (1 year delay by your side), and these non-existant WMDs now get used somewhere else, then your entire premise and philosophy are not only wrong, but it's also exactly in concert with what our mortal enemies want the American public to hear; i.e, seditious.

So, do you characterize yourself as a moral human being, or just one of the enemy?

8/26/2005 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...


Sorry, I hadn't read past your post to Cosmos' excellent response. Just place mine under his. Thanks.

8/26/2005 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Cedarfodder @ 3:22

Apparantly, you post from a very unique vantage point in the universe.

So, here's another variation on history to consider. Assume the Japanese had the perfect knowledge that Stalin had, about Allied nuke capability, thanks to your commie friends in "Manhattan."

The Japanese would then have known (past-pluperfect tense?) we had only two bombs, and could have decided to continue the "coventional struggle", until we could have built and delivered some more Fat Boys.

It's estimated that more than half the Japanese population would have starved, if we had continued the firebombing for 90-120 more days. And, we'd lost a "significant" number of troops in the on-going process; measured w/ WWII metrics.

Do you think we had a reconstructon plan all developed, ready to be put in place, for either or both Japan/Germany/Italy, while we were fighting for our lives? So, just when should such post-war planning be undertaken? And, given finite resources, instead of what? All such post-conflict activity could be called the height of hubris by all rational people fighting for their lives, and even most irrational people in the same predicament.

What conflict can you point to, where the after-action planning was even started in earnest, before the action stopped? Could any such plan turn out to be even 1% useful?

Blame, blame, blame, blah, blah, blah. Again, a continuous stream of hate-America-inspired tripe. And our enemies couldn't be much better at it than you are; which you may take as a compliment.

Futhermore, your post should read: by May 2003, our troops were satisfied that Saddam's people weren't going to use WMDs on them, so they stood down their NBC gear. Didn't mean there weren't any WMDs to found. Only you knew for sure at the time, that there wouldn't be any to be found.

Since you actually knew ahead of time, why didn't you just call the Pentagon, and tell'em? If only for humanity's sake, you could have told them about how absurd they were behaving and how many lives would be saved? It's just soooooo immoral that you'd let that happen, no matter which ideology you support.

I admit we expected the Iraqis to be normal people, and not continue to indescriminately kill thousands of innocents of their own, in a lost cause. At that time, I did and most of the rest of world thought so too. Suprize all, here's a country with hundreds of times as many Islamokasis as Japan had homocide-bombers.

So, you're right that we had to discover the level of depravity, to which Islamic-inpired people will sink, first hand. I think we'd rather not have had to find out. Next time, we'll do better.

That notwithstanding, since you knew how this would be, before the fact, you were at best somewhat "unhelpful" in not telling Rummy.

So, if the WMD-free ammo dumps were located such that their in-place detonation could seriously damage the environment/ infrastructure (current and future), our troops should have just stopped their search for WMDs, to guard conventional weapons dumps? Which btw, we discovered were stupifyingly large in number and size and ubiquitous, by any sane measure. If you knew they had so many, why not tell?

4. You are wrong. It does obviate; because we had to spend the time and money to consider each of the possibilities your side ceaselessly promoted in the "name of humanity," leaving us less time to study and plan for optimising exactly the opposite course/outcomes.

Wrt leadership mistakes: Cederfard, that's what the Army and Marines are designed to do, at least throughout our history so far. Admittedly, we haven't been able to find or elect leadership with your degree of presceince.

8/26/2005 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Well C4, something we can absolutely agree upon. Post-VN was a huge disaster, and we weren't involved.

8/26/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Thanks Ash, you've helped me "get it." Your 7:53 post explains to me why Saddam would expend huge amounts of money, time and people pretending WMDs existed.

He clearly understood that the sanctions would be lifted eventually, when after several years the inspectors found no WMDs; but, he calculated that its eventual lifting would force him to have to re-negotiate equitibly similar deals with a new set of partners/crooks/gangsters.

This new and future crime spree would thus be imbued with many risks not present in a sanctioned Iraq, wherein his take was already impressive, steady and virtually unmolested.

So, he played us all for fools, in making us think he wanted the sanctions lifted, when in fact that would only have helped the Iraqi population at his sole expense.

So, Saddam did just enough to fight the sanctions, but on-going wallowed in its graft. Obstruction as a pure artform.

8/26/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Sorry Ash, Sam said it much better than I.

8/26/2005 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Red A said...

It's taken them two years to get some shaped charges going? I guess Saddam did not prepare well.

I suspect we have a couple of teams with the skills to make the shaped charged versions and a whole bunch of other cells that just put out 155mm shells and what not.

Looks like Mosul is going very well...Yon is leaving Mosul soon - he would not drop the story if it was going to heat up I think.

8/27/2005 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Geoffgo, great rebuttal--too bad the truth has to be so laboriously dragged point-by-point back out of the shadows every time someone recites the verbal-formulae of the Bush Derangement Syndrome afflicted. You do an admirable job of a thankless and endless task. Straightening out bent history is a humongerous job anymore, what with the freakish dedication, zeal, and shamelessness of the benders.

Saddam also may've floated his denials in such a way as to make his WMD threat into a real deterrant (the march to Baghdad wore hazmat). After some big Baathists--staff guys like Tariq Azziz (sp--the Coptic guy, foreign minister or whatever) were interrogated, it also became clear that Saddam had no idea what was actually happening inside his WMD programs. His staff was getting poor info from the science guys--who were scared and greedy and playing for time--and then gaming the bad reports even more, in order to meet goals and not displease the Big Pistolero.

8/27/2005 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger jtb-in-texas said...

--on July 1-3, 1863, in and around a sleepy little factory town in Pennsylvannia, hundreds of thousands of Americans fought a fierce battle. As the smoke cleared, there were over 50,000 killed, wounded, and missing.

There's a cemetary on a hill in Gettysburg with thousands of graves marked "unknown".

These people were a mix of Americans, some volunteers, some drafted, who sacrificed themselves for something they thought more important than creature comforts...

If it was reported by today's standards of reporting, i.e., "Pennsylvannia is a quagmire", Blacks would still be bought and sold like cattle...


--on June 6th, 1944, IIRC, US forces lost 2100 dead and barely dented their objectives.

If one looks back at the tremendous success of that operation, and tries to report the way MSM and the Left are doing with Iraq, it looks like a colossal failure... and we would probably be writing this using the German Language...

After so many dead, why didn't Congress order the President to fire Secretary of War Marshal, General Eisenhower, and "bring our boys back home?

Very possibly, Americans at the time realized we had to win in Europe in order for America to survive.


I wish that more in our media would wake up and see that we are in the same struggle now that we were in against American Slavery and German Nazis...

8/27/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

James Taranto's "Best of the Web" yesterday had a link-rich entry called Moonbat Harmonic Convergence about this weekend's gathering of protesters, counterprotesters, anti-counterprotesters, and pro-counter-anti-protesters--and their supporters--in Crawford, Texas.

Taranto mentions this website as organizing a road-trip to go there and join the Reverend Al Sharpton in supporting Cindy Sheehan. I have to agree, Sheehan, Sharpton and David Duke, one, two, three, all together now, THAT's a Moonbat Harmonic don't-ask-me-I-don't-give-a-damn-next-stop-is-Vietnam Convergence!

8/27/2005 12:26:00 PM  

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