Friday, September 23, 2005

This Weekend

Some snippets of news for this weekend. From the Washington Post: Palestinians Fire Missiles Into Israel.

JERUSALEM, Sept. 24 -- Palestinian gunmen fired a barrage of homemade missiles from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel before dawn Saturday, wounding five Israeli civilians, a military official said. Attack helicopters responded hours later by striking a weapons factory and warehouse in Gaza, the first Israeli military operation inside the strip since Israel completed its withdrawal from the area this month. ...

Hamas, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, accused Israel of firing missiles at the vehicle from an unmanned aircraft, which Israeli military officials denied. Witnesses said the explosion did not leave the telltale crater of a missile strike, a method Israel has used frequently against Hamas leaders and gunmen in the past.

Sharon's withdrawal was hailed as a step toward conciliation and peace, something that would enable Israel to regain the "moral high ground". It is isn't working that way yet. The provocation that Hamas cited as a reason for firing missiles into Israel was this incident reported in the New York Times:

Sept. 23 - A Palestinian pickup truck carrying rockets exploded today at a large Hamas rally as the group paraded its weapons through a densely packed refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. At least 15 Palestinians were killed more than 80 were injured, Palestinian medical officials said. ... The most likely cause of the blast appeared to be the rockets exploding by accident. A spokesman for the Palestinian Interior Ministry, Tawfiq Abu Khossa, said the cause was under investigation. However, Hamas said the rockets were dummies and did not contain explosives. The group alleged that an Israeli airstrike was responsible and said it would hit at Israel.

In Iraq, there's an infantry operation against the Anbar town of Ramadi, but I think more properly Ramadi and its neighboring towns on the Euphrates line. Bill Roggio has the details. (Speculation alert) My guess is that this is a fairly significant operation with a substantial Iraqi Army component, just like Tal-Afar. From CBC:

Heavy fighting surged Friday in the Euphrates River city of Ramadi, police and hospital officials said, and the U.S. military reported the deaths of two more soldiers around the militant stronghold ... Ramadi police Capt. Nasir Al-Alousi said American forces airlifted equipment into the city stadium before dawn Friday. He said clashes erupted in that area and spread to an industrial zone after sunrise, continuing until at least midday.


Without much fanfare, a number of improvements have been made to the US ability to fight within cities. One recent major effort involved training a larger number of controllers who could call down supporting fires at the smallest unit levels. The next was developing munitions suitable for use in cities -- smaller, but more precise supporting weapons. The Strategy Page describes a guided munition designed for urban defilades. "Viper Strike is a 36 inch long unpowered glider. The 130mm diameter (with the wings folded) weapon weighs 44 pounds. Because the Viper Strike comes straight down, it is better suited for urban warfare." Viper Strike is deployed on UAVs and may be carried in large numbers in AC-130s. Then there is the Air Force Hardstop, "a GPS guided half ton cluster bomb. The GPS and computer in the bomb control the dispersal of 54 smaller bomblets, that are designed to penetrate the roof of a building and explode inside." This basically guts a building while leaving the outer shell intact.

The Army News Services describes how the GMLRS Unitary rocket, a guided MLRS round, was used in combat at Tal-Afar.

The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System destroyed two insurgent strongholds from a distance of more than 50 kilometers away. Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery Regiment fired eight guided rockets in Tal Afar Sept. 9 and 10, killing 48 insurgents, said Maj. Jeremy McGuire, deputy of operations, Force Field Artillery, Multi-National Corps – Iraq.

 Lockheed Martin describes it having a variety of fuzing modes which make it useful against targets either in the open or in urban settings.

The GMLRS Unitary tri-mode fuze provides the warfighter with three distinct detonation options: Point Detonate, which detonates the warhead on impact with the target providing minimal collateral damage; Delay Mode, which detonates after impact with the target providing a penetration capability; and the Proximity Sensor, which detonates at a predetermined height above the target allowing a greater target area to be covered.

The availability of these new precision strike capabilities means that infantry does not always have to be risked in order to flush out enemy within buildings, one of the major sources of casualty in Fallujah. However, it increases the need for good intelligence and controlled manuever if these weapons are not to result in accidental civilians deaths or blue-on-blue incidents.

Update 2

One of the unambiguous benefits of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was that it shortened its defense lines enabling it to treat the border like a border. Even the most pessimistic opponents of the Gaza withdrawal believed Hamas would observe an interval before attacking Israel from Gaza, but they have taken it on the trot. ABC News reports that an Israeli military response is being readied.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Sep 24, 2005 — Israel's defense minister ordered ground forces to the Gaza border on Saturday and vowed a "crushing" response to Hamas rocket fire on Israeli towns. Israel also imposed a blanket closure on the West Bank and Gaza, barring thousands of Palestinian laborers from jobs in Israel.

The Gaza withdrawal may turn out to be far more dangerous to the Palestinian Authority than to Israel because it unleashed powerful forces which Abbas has been unable to control. It now threaten to drag him like a man whose foot has been caught in the traces of runaway horses. The sad trainwreck unfolds. Hamas blows up its own parade through stupidity. Unable to lose face, Hamas rockets Israel from Gaza. Sharon, loathe to concede the Gaza withdrawal may have endangered Israel, will kill a score of terrorist leaders and hit the Palestinians in the pocketbook to show he's tough. That will get the 'militants' all jumping up and down, while the PA teeters like a house of cards in a Category 4 hurricane and the peace movement hums an inspirational hymn indistinguishable from the shrieking of the wind.


Blogger Doug said...

Holy Viper Strike, Osama, we done been Hardstopped.
If I were C4, I would have said
But we don't need more scat than that he's already s...

9/24/2005 02:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"However, Hamas said the rockets were dummies and did not contain explosives."
Well, we know who the real dummies are.

9/24/2005 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

My eye caught the same snippet that Doug's did:

"However, Hamas said the rockets were dummies and did not contain explosives."

The real dummies are those of us who believe *anything* Hamas says. Thye've proved endlessly that they consider targeting their own people for propaganda purposes a good strategy.

OT--THe Baron designed a button you can click on to email Reuters editors when they print some more-than-usually egregiously biased story. One click and you can tell them your opinion of a specific story. What I like about the design of the button is that it has the Hamas logo as the background with the legend "Al-Reuters" emblazoned on the foreground.

Anyone who wants it for display can simply take it from our site. Or, lacking a website, just come over and click on it for your own editoral comments to reuters.

9/24/2005 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The fight in Ramadi is being treated like the Hamas accident: in a the most distorted way. The ongoing fight is actually part of an offensive by the US, but it is being portrayed as yet another insurgent victory. 'The number of US dead now passes ...'.

Because most news readers don't have the time to pore over details, if they are given a framework of belief any new fact will be slotted into it. The genius of the Left which has not been successfully countered by the conservatives is that they've created a narrative: there are a lot of innocent American boys wandering around aimlessly in Iraq and they are being picked off one by one. Whenever a soldier or marine dies, the datum gets fitted into this false but simple framework.

The DOD, through its briefings, tries to give the seemingly shapeless garment of events some form, but its narrative format is often long, filled with detail, insider terms, etc and presumes in the reader a kind of memory, which the reader often lacks, as those busy earning a living often do. For the million, a simple lie works far better than the complex truth.

The irony is that the Press was once viewed as society's bulwark against demagoguery, though demagoguery is by definition a form of yellow press.

9/24/2005 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

What tempts every writer with a readership is the lure of substituting his own 'simple' narrative for the 'false' narrative of the demagogue. One fiction is opposed with another, everyone entertained but none the wiser. Because things ebb and flow, sometimes the US side takes a hit, sometimes it cleans up. It takes a certain self confidence to acknowledge an enemy success. The truth will never be a simple story, though there is simplicity in it.

That's why these formulaic Leftist narratives are so astounding. You would expect an intelligent Leftist to recognize that the US has to be winning a certain percentage of the time, if only out of sheer luck. Yet it's a mark of how mesmerizing the Big Lie is, excuse me, 'speaking truth to power', that people can go on swallowing one lie after the other simply because it suits their book and makes them feel better. True believers are always blindsided by outcomes. Communism was inevitable until it became history seemingly overnight. The EU was going to sweep all before it up to the moment when it vanished like a puff of smoke. The insurgency will be invincible until the instant it all comes crashing down.

9/24/2005 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We shall overcome.
Then there will be No More Times.
Iraq arrest warrant for UK troops.

9/24/2005 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

My Sandmen .
Mountains of rock become grains of sand to be once again welded as rock.
The cycle is both perpetual and necessary.
Likewise ideas must be broken down periodically into their fundamental elements to be reassembled as sound pillars of guidance and virtue.
The cycle of men is like that of sand.
-Mr. Atos
Wretchard, don't know if you saw this post of mine in previous thread:
"As I attempt to keep track of the progress of Hurricane Rita (from vacation) a clear and disturbing trend is being revealed in the American psyche... the obsession with failure.

The coverage of Hurricane Katrina was nothing if not a constant lecture on failure by everyone in the media... EVERYONE.

While the MSM focused attention on every myth about the Federal response to the extent of ignoring a total collapse in some of the regional response, the 'New Media' was obliged to concentrate its attention on the failure of that local response.
And the nation was treated to a pathetic exercise in self-flagellation from both
Atos' Sandman
Compare THAT with my SOS Honore post above! (it is 6:35 PM in previous thread)

9/24/2005 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

What tempts every writer with a readership is the lure of substituting his own 'simple' narrative for the 'false' narrative of the demagogue. One fiction is opposed with another, everyone entertained but none the wiser.
thought Atos piece mirrored that thought

9/24/2005 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard, yes - so many overwhelming superior approaches were going to replace dumb old American ideas. Remember in the 80's we all had to read "A Book of Five Rings"? As if reading about 17 century samurai sword-fighting techniques was going to help us be better at business. I love zen, and enjoyed the book, but....

As for the false framework the left has built, this is a war of choice and innocent children are being sacrificed for nothing, so sad. Just like so many intellectual weaklings are convinced of the term, "Swift Boat Liars," they are also convinced that "Bush knew there were no WMD's and he LIED to get us into this war." The most stunning form of this argument was before the election last year, when you would hear that Bush started the war so he would win the election. How does that work? You start and unpopular war for apparently no reason - and that helps you win an election? I can't even follow this "thinking."

Powerline recently posted this helpful nugget from recent history:
CNN, Wednesday, July 23, 2003

"Clinton told King: "People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons."

Wow - GMLRS, etc. - no wonder the Tal Afar casualties have been so one-sided. The grunts have their own robot air force. Wow.

9/24/2005 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Wretchard describes something in his 4.59 subpost that fits nicely with something I observed repeatedly during my 25+ years in the USAF. The DoD has the ability to take tremendously exciting events and turn them into weighty tomes that are sure-fire sleep inducers. On one field-grade professional course, I joked that I would have to take the books to a drill press and put holes in the spine so that I could continue to breath when the book fell on my face during an accidental nap.
My first attempt at writing for as professional USAF journal was my last. The comments I received back with the rejection notice were equal parts inane and designed to extend the paper to three or four times its length.
For commercially operated magazines - Airpower/Wings, Aviation History, Air Classics, I sold everything I sent them.
The military needs help to tell its story, but would not know how to use it if it wwere offered free.
The Left is unencumbered by facts, maintains a consistent worldview in spite of reality, and, while it does not have a coherent picture, manages to disguise the fact by simple selective omission.

9/24/2005 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

But Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Maine, says "the ice is beginning to crack" and that the political establishment will soon coalesce around an exit strategy.

"Family members who have lost relatives — that is a compelling voice that the nation is listening to," he said.
"This policy has been a disaster…. The daily cascade of headlines and horrible images, the continued reports of bad news, have crescendoed to a tipping point that is rapidly approaching."
Newsday on Sheehan Tour

9/24/2005 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


An "exit strategy" is one of those things, like a free lunch, that politicians will promise for as long as there is no real chance they will be called on to provide it. If the US left on anything less than its own terms, the entire Middle East would have kittens; Europe would panic and even the Democrats would tremble. No same person would take responsibility for an "exit strategy" because they would realize, however dimly what consequences would follow. The trouble oozing out of Gaza wouldn't be a patch on the wave of terror that will follow a retreating and beaten US out of Iraq.

If it weren't for the fact that a stupid "exit strategy" would probably cause thousands and possibly millions of innocent deaths, it should be given to the Left, after first tatooing the slogan on their chests, just to demonstrate the consequences.

9/24/2005 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Everything just turned PINK at my webcam link in N.O.
Quite an impressive sunrise!

9/24/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

LINK in previous thread.

9/24/2005 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


It's part of GWB's job to articulate the narrativ we are looking for. Unfortunately, he's just not good at it, although he has the conceptual framework right.


9/24/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Baying Hounds would have driven 9 out of 10 presidents out of their minds, and out of office.
Unprecedented Level of Attack,

9/24/2005 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I keep trying to explain to my son how exceptional is GWB's ability to ignore the press. much as possible.

9/24/2005 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Paine said...

Two points:

One: Unless Israel is willing to engage in large-scale ethnic cleansing, it must choose (sooner or later) between remaining a Jewish state and keeping the territories. The current administrative “fudge” becomes less and less viable over time.

America will not tolerate ethnic cleansing, and Palestinian politics & society are simply so barbarous that any sort of “inclusion” of them in a civilized state can only be suicidal for that state.

Two: It is likely that there will be a major confrontation of “the West”, lead by America, with IRAN sometime in the next two years.

If so, one of Iran’s more predictable tactics is to create a major international distraction by unleashing Hezbollah (and other terrorist clients) to indiscriminately kill as many Israelis and Jews as they can. Sharon has probably concluded that the Gaza settlers are particularly vulnerable to this tactic and need to be pulled back inside his wall.

Three (bonus): The current state of world-wide head-in-the-sand public stupidity makes impossible any open discussion of these two factors by any responsible political leader who actually intends to deal with them. So we can only try to read “the logic of the situation” and hope that our leaders are also reading it.

9/24/2005 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Amen to three.
Can't Blame Bush for not selling Pearls to the Swine.
(recognizing that "swine" have more insight into immigration and many other issues than Bush.)

9/24/2005 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Wretchard, for Hamas and its victims, the Big Lie is as it always has been: The Jews are responsible when anything goes wrong.

Well, maybe it is telling when credulity gives way to laughter. The NY Times, with a wink and a nod, seems to be letting its readers in on the joke. But I'm sure there are still too many who will miss the meaning in that story and read only the same old same old of Palestinian victimhood at the hands of Israeli provocation.

If only some enterprising Palestinian politician and/or journalist could see the opportunity to "speak truth to power" truly.

Someday maybe.

9/24/2005 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

tom paine - "Three (bonus): The current state of world-wide head-in-the-sand public stupidity makes impossible any open discussion of these two factors by any responsible political leader who actually intends to deal with them. So we can only try to read “the logic of the situation” and hope that our leaders are also reading it."
This piece of the puzzle is entirely lost on the C4's and Trishes. The difference between cleverness and intelligence.

9/24/2005 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

good story in (of all places) the LA Times, about Abdul Qadeer Khan, the scientist known as the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb - (;_ylt=AoW8YeKKuKUM5l5SyOyFkh.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ-)
i love this part toward the end:

"In the end, Khan and his network were put out of business by one of their own customers, a man long regarded as a terrorist who now wanted to be accepted by the international community.

On Dec. 19, 2003, after months of secret negotiations with British and U.S. officials, Kadafi agreed to abandon his chemical, biological and nuclear programs. As part of the deal, Libya turned over records that directly tied Khan to the sale of nuclear technology and a warhead design."

As I recall, this is another of those events that took the MSM by complete surprise. But what was the context of those "negotiations"? What did Kadafi get in return? What does 'wanted to be accepted by the international community" mean? No possible answers fit the left's narrative, of course, so the MSM just moved on to something else with the usual "nothing to see here!" shrug.

9/24/2005 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

"What did Kadafi get in return?"

Don't you love how the MSM refuses to admit that Kadafi wanted to survive, and following Afghanistan and Iraq he saw that possibility as very questionable, if he was on the wrong side.

9/24/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It was a kaDaffy Duck!

9/24/2005 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To me the American Left looks like a quickly aging professional basketball team that has flashes of greatness past. They appear dependent on other opponents to exhaust the Center-Right coalition. Based on the projected outcome of the 'River Wars' (away from the MSM), the upcoming MSM suprise in the Iraq Constitutional vote, and the Left/MSM confusion on the hurricanes I would not bet against a steadfast Amercia.

To use a sports analogy, the only way to lose in Iraq is for the Left to win games in America.

When the Left won, they controlled the court for a season – if not eras. They leaped into the air to guide ally-oop passes into the bucket. The game was easy. Their defense was more than dogged and determined – it was devastating. Opposing teams lost before they stepped onto the court. The left would lose nine games in a season of eighty-two. People forget the losses.

The first part of their game to fade was the defense provided by the mass media. That happened at or about 9/11 as news junkies migrated to the net. The Left got increasingly lazy, fat, and slow. Their MSM defense could not move with the times. And they are finding that they cannot recruit without blowing their salary cap or endangering their teams ‘chemistry’ – bloated with oldsters well past their prime and dependent on game strategy thirty years old.

Then the transition game vanished. The opposition, motivated by witnessing lazy slugs meandering into a zone defense, and leaning swarming tactics from competition against other adversaries, starts to press both the offense and the defense. Soon enough, the Left stops running the court. Every once in a while they get the gander to run – resulting in ESPN highlight films, but they still lose in the larger context of the game.

Then the offense collapses. They stop playing a team game and start lobbing individual shots over the opposition – sometimes at great range and often outside of an organizational concept. Even luck seems to abandon them. There is internal confusion, jealousy, and anger. Many shots are lobbed into the air, miss badly, and then transitioned by the opposition into an easy score. Every once in a while a spectacular player makes a spectacular play – but they lose in the larger context of the game.

The more minutes, games, seasons played the more the Left loses.

And with this President, at this time, we play the game not in terms of minutes and seasons – but years. Tell me again how this President will quit minutes into a game, and when he has his opponents adjusting to his moves. He may not have the ball, he knows he will not always have the ball, but he is confident. He can still win this one game, but if not, he will adjust and overcome to come out on top for the season.

In the end, with three and one-half years left in this run, can the Left survive elections and can the ‘insurgency’ survive hard and soft American power?

9/24/2005 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...


I worked as a physician for years, and had direct observation of young children incensed with parental decisions they didn't like.

I've seen screaming children SO MAD that they get stuck, can't inhale, turn purple and pass out, usually slumping to the floor painlessly.

Then, after 10 - 30 seconds, their breathing reflex kicks in after their thoracic muscles have relaxed and -unhhhh!- they inhale, blink and wake up, a little bit nonplussed, wondering where they are.

"You're still a Jordyptian thug. If you want a life, you better change your ways, NOW!"

9/24/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

And, Boghie?

I like yr style! :)

9/24/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

yeh...if you need anything, just whistle (anything besides whatever Lauren Bacall meant, that is).

9/24/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


That was really outstanding. A copy and save for sure. I'll cheerfully steal it (maybe try and fit talk radio in somewhere).

The noise from the Left is magnified by our paying attention to them. They and the defeatists who join in with them are simply not worth the time anymore. It would be infinitely more productive to spend time in discussion of how to regain control of MSE since the MSM is doing such a wonderful job of circling the drain.

The educational establishment is a much tougher nut to crack because of job protection and the fact that it is taxpayer funded. Killing the lice and picking the nits out is going to take a very long time.

9/24/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Rick Ballard: The educational establishment is a much tougher nut to crack because of job protection and the fact that it is taxpayer funded.


9/24/2005 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Just accidently caught a very short stretch on CSPAN when I was testing a new video cable. They were showing an anti-war ralley and a black guy was railing against the American invasion of...
When you consider that our invasion of Hati was cooked up by the Congressional Black Congress for their free selection after they joined Clinton's Invasion of the Month Club - that is downright hilarious.
We people like these, we need a new word for exceptional cluelessness...

9/24/2005 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right, Rick. The mere introduction of a rather benign system of creating a few performance standards has turned the edu-left into a howling mob of Bush-lynchers.

Pointless to try to help the downtrodden so long as this bunch has hold of their children.

9/24/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

RWE & Rick are on the same subject. Keep your constituency ignorant enough, you can sell a new story every day, yesterday never has to happen.

9/24/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


I think Honore provided a very succinct and interchangeable definition of the Left, the MSM and the MSE.

Stuck on Stupid - and proud of it.

9/24/2005 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

...Tom Paine said...

America will not tolerate ethnic cleansing..

Sure it does, the arab world is almost completely cleansed of jews, in fact look at iraq and how thier NEW and improved constitution is anti-jewish and anti-israeli (jews are not a minority under the new iraqi government cause they are too "few" (about 70) and under the new constitution anyone can become an iraqi citizen except israelis

9/24/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

To be invincibly ignorant is to live in a warm glow of certainty. That this can be willed is one of the important civics lessons that the schools don't teach. If Gen Honore and Zell Miller teamed up, maybe they could derail the Hillary Movement, which is basically the boomers wanting to take the world with them when they go.

9/24/2005 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


The problem with vouchers is that they cover the Fed portion of the dough - not enough to pay tuition to a private school. What would do the trick is local option vouchers allowing all families within a particular district to take a check from the district in lieu of sending their children to the local indoctrination camp.

That's what will kill off the MSE and it is a tough sell. It's also possible and worth pursuing. The problem with starting such a campaign is that it would tend to be most successful in red areas - initially. The blue areas are dominated (at the moat level) by the truly dumb who are as gullible as Bubba Gump and easily manipulated by the Chiefs up in their Blue Castles.

9/24/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Interesting changes in tactics:

Israel is setting up stationary artillery to respond to arab/palestinian artillery...

Already the NY Times has labeled this as provactive israeli response to "militant" behaviors of hamas/arab homemade mortar fire...

this is big...

9/24/2005 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

Network the new weapons as well as the battlefield and a single spotter can wipe out group after group of enemy without revealing himself. This is the equivalent of modern US tanks being able to destroy Iraqi armour at range before the Iraqis even knew US armour was about to pounce. Combat will become even more one-sided in the months to come. Add to that new abilities like portable X-ray backscatter units that can see inside of cars and identify the bomb-laden ones, and you have the possibility of a sudden collapse of the insurgent effort. We could yet see a confluence of trends leads to a phase change. Such a phase change (on a larger scale) was seen in the collapse of the USSR. But even with such powerful events there is no guarantee those on the wrong side of history with fundamentally wrong models of reality will do anything other than bemoan a fate they do not understand and persist in living the fantasy. Witness George Galloway. I believe that the Iraq war will shift suddenly in our favor in the coming year out of a mix of technology and Iraqi politics (including self-defense abilities). But I have no reason to believe that much will be learned by the Left from such a turn of events.

9/24/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


Isn't that kind of a no brainer on the part of the Israelis? Do the splodeydope fools think that Israel is going to sign up to be a free fire zone for the Gaza?

I note that Israel also launched a "This Hellfire's for You" greeting that was successfully delivered to a car carrying four Hamas terrorists. Nice shooting. I wonder what's happening to the price of bicyles in Gaza.

9/24/2005 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Re: Wretchards's Update 2
It has been obvious for some time that Gaza would become the Republic of Free Fire Zone.
By the way: The standard MLRS unguided rocket has 844 grenade-sized submunitions - that is per rocket. I don't know what the guided version has for a warhead, but I would guess they have multiple different fits now. I recall that the West Germans wanted to build a version that deployed ant-tank mines. Always wondered how they would do that...
MLRS was designed as a rapid fire, unguided shoot and move system to counter the Warsaw Pact when it started its drag race to the Rhine. A very impressive system. And the rocket round production rate in the late 80's was incredible.

9/24/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

The Palestinians can neither create a state nor can they win one but they do represent a rise of a pole against the current international order. Loosely, the Palestinian chaos is present over much of the world, Tamil, Aceh, Africa, Kurdistan, and on, where there are nations without states during a time of the decline of nation-states.

If America and globalization represent new world orders, for instance the liberal American democracy and international capitalism, there is an alternative formulation in sort of the open-source warfare and pan-ethnic tribalism that we see in al Qaeda and in the Palestine ‘entities.’ There are constituencies on the left, sure, that support the ‘oppressed,’ but nontraditional networks such as aQ and perhaps even eBay, Wal-Mart type multinational organizations will undoubtedly have some effect, perhaps even becoming legitimate alternatives to traditional states.

The question is, with the decline of the nation-state and the concurrent rise of the market-state, will that preserve differences or obliterate them between tribe and civilization?

The internet allows massive communication, commerce and international communities, but as China has shown by bullying Google and Yahoo!, it can and will be controlled in the future, at least in some spheres; it already is censored and will likely be censored, virus-protection technology, semantic webs, et al, assure us of it. Also meshing the internet to things like GoogleMaps gives the internet physical space; this is no longer simply a communications technology, but a civilization infrastructure and is as likely to cement differences between pride and place as it is to distribute. Moreover, demographics show even in America that suburbs are rapidly differentiating, and Kosovo shows that long held pretexts can be revived with the aid of information technology.

My vote is that the future will show that Palestine is governed but that the state is something we’ve never seen before; it will be the first point in which a new order will develop and that order isn’t democracy.

9/24/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


Is there a financial penalty for a student from one particular state going to a university or college in another state? I understand the complications regards primary and secondary local schooling. Though I got the sense that the political indoctrination is strongest in the post secondary institutions.

9/24/2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

The Palestinian Authority as a monolithic organization is dead in Gaza. Arafat had charisma and authority that noone else is going to be able to fill. As a whole, the organization was propped up by the Israelis themselves, under the pressure of the world, as the representative of the Palestinian people. The Israelis gave them guns [which were then used against them], acted as if they were the only negotiating power, gave them credibility, and scared off even more radical rivals.

In reality, it was merely a mafia that had little internal legitimacy besides being the world sponsored monopoly. This could be done when Gaza was under outside [Israeli] control, the UN and its affiliates can't do jack so long as the Israelis are gone - they were the normalizing and deterring force.

So the PA loses its subsidation, and tries to survive on its own credibility - a decades long legacy of corruption, and violence. Only, if you want violence [and I believe the Palestinians do], there's much more efficient killers than the PA. Hamas or a derivative will be in control of Gaza before this is over. The real war hasn't begun imo.

9/24/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I have to believe that in a part of the world where they still arrest and punish people for witchcraft, these techie weapons that rain death upon you from all different directions with absolutely NO warning have got to be seen as magical by a big proportion of the bad guys.

And if you're an uneducated jihadist calling upon Allah to protect you from these unseen, unheard and unsmelled dangers ... and he ain't ... what must that do to your morale?

Wretchard -- did you see the new post on LGF about bots from China surfing sites where American military equipment and tactics are discussed? The thought crosses my mind ...

9/24/2005 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

rwe: I remember the Iraqis denoted it "Steel rain" during the Gulf War. Perfect counter-battery weapon, a large kill radius merged with radar that gives you the enemy's shooting position even as the round is still coming at you. The normal submunition's a little light for tanks, I believe, but anything below that is going to have a tough time. And as you said, specialized rounds for other occasions. Even ATACMS rounds that can go up to 300 km. I've always been a huge fan.

I can't see the Israeli's using them gainst mortar fire or even an occasional rocket, however. Civilian losses would be huge due to the kill radius. Would take a lot of casualties to get to the point where they'd accept that international PR hit.

9/24/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Use thermobaric munition. :)

9/24/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

watching the anti-war protest:

bush is a liar

blacks dont earn equal pay

stop all wars, cause war is bad, unless they are wars to stop jews or america

cuba is good

american solders are tired of killing iraqis

america invaded haiti to stop democracy

bush is the modern day gestapo

black voices for peace says:

iraqi war is immoral and illegal war agaisnt the iraqi people

usa gives 6 billion a year to israel agaisnt the palestinian people

america stranded blacks in new orleans and it's racist

george martin peace action: united for peace and justice...

no to bush agenda
no to war hate lies greed
end occupation of iraq...

he says iraqi kids are starving...

another person says "victims of the rescue effort" in referring to NO rescue efforts not providing fast enough water...

mohammed the palestinian exile from jaffa...
go to the back of the bus is bad...
so removing jews from gaza is really racist.
peace for "historic palestine"

jewish israeli refusenik says: israel destroyed olive groves, made check points and destroyed homes and building a wall around jerusalem.. His saying" the wall must fall"

barbara woss is lost, meet her family at the world socialist movement tent

next up: south african black women in arab neckerchief: shouting: free free palestine

economic war goes on all over the world and it's america's fault

we want a better life and world...

the crowd seems to be asleep....

streets are so full with thousands of people there is a traffic jam according to the moderator...

george friday, a women speaking, states they want genuine justice, no bullshit justice... and then please put a dollar in the red bucket... (got to pay the bills)

kick ass artists are up:

alexis devaux: when earth is...

no more for now, my head is going to explode...

9/24/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


Tuition at state financed schools is higher for students from out of state. Sometimes so much so that an intelligent choice is to move to the state where you want to go to school and work there for a year prior to entering in order to gain residency status.

I believe that more damage is done at the elementary/highschool level than in college. The kids are softened up for the "Stuck on Stupid" college indoctrination beginning at the primary grades. Group think, multiculti crap, cultivation of self esteem for the fact that you can breathe, learning that it is "correct" to teach others sharing is a group duty - all taught at the primary level. We're just fortunate that so many kids have built-in BS meters and are acute observers.

9/24/2005 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

The DOD, through its briefings, tries to give the seemingly shapeless garment of events some form, but its narrative format is often long, filled with detail, insider terms, etc and presumes in the reader a kind of memory, which the reader often lacks, as those busy earning a living often do. For the million, a simple lie works far better than the complex truth.
I quit my day job in the IT dept at US customs about a year & a half ago. Now I work at home. One nice thing about working from home rather than commuting downtown is that I remember stuff.

9/24/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

It seems to me that Sharon chose from the following options:

1) Not leave Gaza and continue with the status quo, in which case there was always the risk of another Oslo in the future, this time perhaps leading to a Palestinian 'State' which would have led to a severe war with Israel and a huge Palestinian implosion.

2) Leave Gaza, and let there be created a 'mini' Palestinian State which, since it's only Gaza, is unable to severely damage Israel, and watch it implode.

There seems to be no way for the PLO to win in Gaza. Furthermore, there seems to be no way for Hamas to win in any real sense of the word, either. A shame for the Palestinians, but since both the PLO and Gaza draw their strength from the Palestinians, I feel no sympathy for them. This civil war will prevent either from gaining enough of a political foothold to significantly damage Israel.

9/24/2005 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hamas will keep Gaza a refugee camp forever. Who can even dream of investing in enterprise there? What deviltry the UN loosed, by making Arafatism respectable.

9/24/2005 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew K said...

Don't know if anyone has seen this tidbit:

"Hamas said six militants were killed, including Jihad Shaleal, head of the group's military wing in Jebaliya. Hamas blamed Israel, but the Israeli military denied any connection. Palestinian security officials said the blast was an accident."

Accident or politics as usual? Coincidence?

9/24/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

If you were a designer in Hell, and Satan assigned you to wreck the Palistinian people, you couldn't possibly top the Arafat/UN/USSR/Western Left nexus, nor imagine a flourish more fiendish than that bunch as the champions of their cause.

9/24/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ain't it a hoot that that today in DC simultaneously with the far-left rally taking turns at the mike screaming about Bush's mistreatment of blacks and the poor, Bush's new man at the World Bank, arch-neocon Paul Wolfowitz, has just led a consortium of several governments to sign a deal to underwrite a forgive of $40,000,000,000 in loans to 18 poor nations--most of them sub-sahara African--which went under water during the Clinton Bubble Boom. Let's see, when did any of our lefty-led institutions do something in that league?

9/24/2005 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

As the Outraged Left gathers near the Lincoln memorial, it would be nice if this particular Lincol quote had somehow found its way to be chiseled into the stone:

"It is the eternal struggle between these two principles - right and wrong. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time and will ever continue to struggle. It is the same spirit that says, "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it."

That Honest Abe! Ever the joker!

9/24/2005 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


There is only one cure for the big lie. It becomes impossible to sustain.
i.e. Berlin is in ruins and the Russians are closing in.

This President has three more years.

Hurricane Rita has been a godsend. Response has improved in only three weeks. The bus that "exploded" showed that evacuation can be dangerous. So the Katrina narrative is not holding.

It looks like the insurgency is not doing well against the armies of Iraq and America. In another six months the obvious will emerge.

And then we have the "huge" anti-war rallies where a few thousand show up. The anti-war rallies themselves are self defeating. The Stalinists show their stripes to those who attend and ANSWER then become an advertisement for "do not attend". Each new "peace march" becomes smaller. The counter demos get larger and may draw more people than the "peace marches".

In time the fascists of all stripes will begin to lose hope. Which is always the object of any war.

9/24/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Excellent compression, M Simon. I like the Hemingway comment, that all wars are caused by unguarded treasure.

Hooked to your quote it makes a nice circle, "therefore fascism is thievery (and vice-versa)!"

9/24/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger jake-the-peg said...

I used to doubt Wretchard's First Conjecture as I thought Osama, Ayman and the Z-man might wait some considerable time for the right moment to nuke us. The actions of Hamas have made me think again.

9/24/2005 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Excellent post Wretchard.

I have noted the need for narrative in many on the Left.

The narrative becomes the thing being discussed, and then the properties of the thing are derived from the narrative.

Ayn Rand coined the phrase "Floating Abstraction" to denote these memes that had little attachment to the things they purposed to describe.

9/24/2005 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

SEVERAL States give In-State tuition to illegals!!!
So the guy from Wisconsin pays more than the guy from Rosarita Beach!

9/24/2005 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

red river,
Rush used to call it
"The Template," and just recently came up with a new term which I can't recall right now:
Had a very impressive list of many of the MSM cycles over the past few years, all "different" but all undergirded by the imperative of damaging/destroying Bush.

Alcoholic Moron, Devoid of Gravitas, Lyncher of Blacks, Rove, Reading to Children while America Burned, Quagmire, War Monger for Daddy, WMD Liar, Quagmire, Simple Minded Cowboy vs Intelligent Nuanced Sophisticate that reads "a lot" (60's poetry and the like), draft dodging ChickenHawk vs Vietnam Hero/Courageous Resistor, Bush Lied, People Died, Rathergate, KatrinaGate,

...I'll see if I can find Rush's list, it was shorter, better, and more recent. And of course before W, they could always marvel at the new, ingenious, and magnificently effective lies that Bill would spin and get away w/since he is such a genius. (Their enabling him is unrecognized)

9/24/2005 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"chaos is present over much of the world, Tamil, Aceh, Africa, Kurdistan, and on, where there are nations without states during a time of the decline of nation-states."
Seems like an enlightened neocolonialism under another name would be a stabilizing strategy. Using the UN, divy up which country would be responsible for the the care, feeding, and governing of these festering areas. "UN" (US) troops would pave the way and install the govt w/a 50 year sunset clause. etc etc.
I'm sure this will be unveiled any day now!

9/24/2005 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


If you go to this link you can download a PDF which describes (on pages 7 and 8) the new SMAW-NE round, which is a shoulder fired Marine rocket round. Not a very big round. Older AT rockets would put a dime-sized hole in a foot of concrete. The PDF shows photos of the new round demolishing a two storey brick building, as in the walls bulge out and roof goes thirty feet in the air.

If you root around you'll find a couple of Navy scientists called Bolt and someone else at Dahlgren who've invented reactive fragment weapons. This is fancy name for new plastics which replace the casing on shells so that the fragments themselves explode on contact with whatever they hit. It's being used on navy AAA shells. It's at least 500% more effective than conventional metal-walled rounds. This is an order of improvement equal to the proximity fuzes developed in WW 2 over timed rounds. We can only guess if it will find terrestrial application.

Combat largely solves the "business analysis" problem of military system design. Without a reference point things are designed to abstract design goals which may or may not work in a specific situation. How well these new devices will work against a conventional army, I don't know, but they are the outgrowths of the need to defeat irregular forces.

9/24/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

"The explosion occurred when a Hamas vehicle loaded with locally made rockets blew up during the rally," said Palestinian Authority Interior Ministry spokesman Tawkif Abu Khoussa. He pointed out that a similar explosion in Gaza City last month had killed five Palestinians.

"Then, Hamas also claimed that the blast was the result of an Israeli air strike but our investigations showed that this was not the case," he said. "We urge our brothers in Hamas to assume their responsibilities instead of leveling charges against others."

The charges drew sharp criticism from Hamas, whose leaders accused the PA of covering up for Israeli "crimes." Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar accused the PA of waging a "propaganda war" against his movement, insisting that Israel was responsible for the explosion.

Dubbing the PA Interior Ministry the "devil's advocate," Zahar accused PA officials of parroting Israeli statements.


9/24/2005 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"President Bush needs to admit he made a mistake in the war and bring the troops home, and let's move on," Rutherford said.

His wife, Judy, 58, called the removal of Saddam Hussein "a noble mission" but said U.S. troops should have left when claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction proved unfounded.

"We found that there were none and yet we still stay there and innocent people are dying daily," she said.

9/24/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Hellfire Thermobaric Warhead Approved For Production

Orlando FL (SPX) Aug 24, 2005
Lockheed Martin has announced that the U.S. government has approved the thermobaric HELLFIRE (AGM-114N) missile for an accelerated full-rate production run.

9/24/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

There was this book published during the Cold War called East minus West = Zero.

China can copy all it wants, but if you are not the real deal, you will be found out.

As I look at the RMA being applied to weapons, I can't help but think that any nation that does not have a deep organic technological reservoir will be up a creek when they go to use technologies that are not integrated.

9/24/2005 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"up a creek when they go to use technologies that are not integrated"
Back in the old days, the "mishaps" would have made great raw material for some racially tinged cartoon character's adventures:
That Coyote character would have nothing on poor Ahab T.....head shown looking up at "his" little UAV Hovercraft getting ready to prematurely release it's deadly payload.
Alla Akbar, Alla Akbar, Alla oh S...!
Luckily, we're no longer nearly that uncaring about other people's sensibilities, esp insurgent sensibilities and sensitivities.
If this quagmire goes on long enough, they'll probably start protesting the use of that demeaning adjective, and al-Reuters et al will quickly pick up the new, improved and approved lexicon.

9/24/2005 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here you go:
I like your cat better, but that's just me. If he's lost I'll try and find him for you at my place.

9/24/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Let me make this concise. We are clearly winning the physical war - but breaking even in propaganda war.

Wretchard points to the fact that the MSM distorts the truth regarding the successes in Iraq. True. He constantly asks why there is such distortion. The answer is simple.

The free speech democratic laws in the the USA can be manipulated by unfriendly enemy state sponsors! CNN has already admitted it sided with the enemy in many instances.

Although, there are very weak "Treason/sedation" laws in the USA to combat said manipulation it is now being somewhat combated by the Internet (including Wrechard's blog). But, more must be done!

I would suggest a Federal Financial Disclosure rule requiring disclosure of all donated funds by foreign donors to all MSM companies who are under the FCC regulations.

Further, other disclosure must be necessary for MSM companies who use the USA's Airwaves. There are just to many US military interventions which are depicted by the enemy as failures via USA MSM outlets.

For example 'Baghdad Bob' was constantly quoted by the MSM as saying Saddam's military was defeating the enemy while actual pictures showed destruction of Saddam's military assets in the back ground. The American public should have been given at least a warning statement that said information from 'Baghdad Bob' was biased (Wretchard does this in a "speculation" statement).

The current laws in the USA actually encourage what was once known as "treason/sedition" (aiding and abetting the enemy). But, since no war powers act has actually been used or enforced, said "aiding and abetting" of the enemy is borderline legal in the USA. This must now change due to the nature of our enemy (non-boarder restricted enemy).

Simply put, the USA Treason/Sedition laws must be upgraded for the current situation.

Until this legal change is corrected by the US legislature said "aiding and abetting" of the enemy will go unchecked (and the "aiding and abetting" business is can be quite profitable for certain media outlets).

I believe the problem started with the Vietnam War and has now cascaded forward. New "War Powers Quasi Laws" or
"Military Intervention Laws" must be enacted.

There are plenty of smart politicians with vast pools of legal manpower to do so. Let's get the job done.

Lastly, Wretchard mention the new weapons systems that can target cells of terrorists in a city. They include small diameter air munitions and sophisticated cluster munitions using the proper fused. This is great news!

But we must not only have the means but, the Resolve to use said weapons in a dense civilian city environment. This requires moral resolve and the ability to justify said use of weapons (and to rebut the MSM's anti-military stance - or out right lies by the MSM).

RWE has some good experience on that front. But, we must make facts known to the majority of citizens - and back-up those facts. I agree with better information techniques.

The long and short of the message - we are in a propaganda war. The propaganda war must be wage more aggressively then ever before. We must use all assets to win the propaganda war.

9/25/2005 01:18:00 AM  

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