Tuesday, January 10, 2006

About that uranium in the Niger ...

Well this may not come as a surprise to some, who might have suspected something like it from the first.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Susanne Osthoff, the German archeologist kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen on Nov. 25 and released before Christmas was connected with her country's intelligence service, the BND, and had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources Sunday. The sources confirmed German press reports that the 43-year-old woman had worked for the BND in Iraq on a freelance basis, and had for some time even stayed in a German intelligence safe house in Baghdad.

That might explain why the Germans were willing to trade her off for Mohammed Ali Hamadi. UPI continues:

But both German sources said the real deal involving Osthoff's release had been the payment of a ransom to her terrorist captors by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The ransom and Hamadi's release could well constitute a double embarrassment for Merkel on her scheduled "maiden" visit to Washington next week. Washington has always opposed pay ransom money on the grounds that it encourages more kidnapping.

This is going to be one of those mysteries that will take 20 years to unravel, if anyone is still interested. Osthoff being a BND agent would help explain German willingness to trade heavily to free her. But it wouldn't explain why her captors would settle for old news like Mohammed Ali Hamadi if they knew she was a German agent. They would have held out for more. But if she were an agent it was no secret to the opposition because she "had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources". Kidnapped by a rival group? What was going on? If you expect closure, keep on waiting. After forty years one other mystery that the press finally solved was Who killed JFK? A German television station has it, on the authority of Alexander Haig, that Fidel Castro ordered the hit that day in Dallas.

Alexander Haig, a military adviser to Kennedy and Johnson who became secretary of state in 1981, said in the film that Johnson was terrified his people would learn the truth. "He [Johnson] said 'we simply must not allow the American people to believe that Fidel Castro could have killed our president'. "And the reason was that there would be a Right-wing uprising in America, which would keep the Democratic party out of power for two generations."

One solution in search of a mystery is the curious fact that George Galloway is now a contestant on Big Brother, together with a guy in a high-class gorilla suit. From the BBC (no! really).

Celebrity Big Brother star Pete Burns could be jailed for wearing gorilla fur, a government minister has warned. The former Dead Or Alive singer has claimed on air his fur coat is made from the endangered animals, angering some of his fellow housemates. ...Burns, glamour model Jodie Marsh and Respect MP George Galloway face the first eviction on Friday. ... Owning a gorilla skin without a permit is also illegal. ... Marsh told the rock singer: "Well, I think it's low that you wear a monkey coat. It offends me every time I see it on your back." ... Burns said he was "thrilled" that the coat offended her. ...Marsh said: "I expected it in a way but I'm still so shocked." Burns did not comment and Galloway announced he was going back to bed.

Commentary

The key assumption of all conspiracy theories is that somebody knows the truth: that the truth, however improbable, is out there. I've often wondered whether there were events whose causes no one understood, whether it was possible, for example, that nobody knew the whole truth behind the assassination of JFK.  Wikipedia defines emergence as "the process of complex pattern formation from simpler rules."

The property itself is often unpredictable and unprecedented, and may represent a new level of the system's evolution. The complex behaviour or properties are not a property of any single such entity, nor can they easily be predicted or deduced from behaviour in the lower-level entities: they are irreducible. The shape and behaviour of a flock of birds or school of fish are good examples.

Sometimes stuff happens without anyone in particular intending it to. But the human reluctance to believe the arbitrariness of events is nothing short of amazing. We need an explanation for cookies left on your browser when you visit a government website or Al Qaeda attacks on Iraqi cops or Osama Bin Laden's possible demise in Iran, even when there may be none, or at least, none that we understand.

97 Comments:

Blogger Fabio said...

The rest of your article deals with serious issues, but the part about Celebrity Big Brother is comic. In an odd, utterly surreal way: there is George Galloway, Saddam's pal, unrepentant communist and possibly traitor of the UK... and the scandal is about a gorilla fur?

This is truly the Age of Irrelevance.

1/10/2006 03:19:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

fabio,

Many years ago Thornton Wilder wrote a very short book called the Bridge of San Luis Rey, which detailed the lives of a several people, some wise, some foolish, who fell to their deaths while crossing a rope bridge across some South American chasm. And the question Wilder asked was 'what did it all mean'? His answer was nearly cryptic as his question, but it is a near as we can get to the truth.

"Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."

As to Galloway, he should exchange places with the man in the monkey fur. If you're in for the dance, then cut a caper.

1/10/2006 03:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Has it been ascertained that Google is not behind the NSA Cookies?

1/10/2006 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Huan said...

will there be an investigation as to who "outed" Susanne Osthoff?

1/10/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Far more baffling are those who insist that the patterns are something else entirely.
Oswald was a committed Communist, had went to the USSR to live, returned with a Russian wife, and had been a known member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
"Obviously he was Right Wing." say some, led by Oliver Stone.
Liberals in the West spout exactly the same rhetoric as terrorists - but there is no real threat to our civilization from Bin Laden and his ilk, it is "just a nuiscence."
The Wilder Book begins by calling the Bridge at San Luis Rey "the finest bridge in the land."
Today there would be some who would suggest it still was the finest even after it broke.

1/10/2006 04:04:00 AM  
Blogger EddieP said...

Osthoff announced that she would be returning to northern Iraq to continue her archeological work.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1960898,00.html

An outed BND agent returning to the scene of her kidnapping? More ransom? Doesn't pass the smell test. Either she's an agent or not, and if she is, there is no way the BND is letting her go anywhere.

1/10/2006 04:06:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

In the middle of John Lewis Gaddis' new history of the Cold War (which, by the way, I highly recommend for anybody who wants a well-woven overview). One bit I did not know until about 7 hours ago: Apparently we did not learn Krushchev's motives or even intentions during the Cuban missile crisis until Soviet archives began to open up. Even American participants who are still alive, such as Robert McNamara, were amazed that he apparently had no interest in confronting the United States directly (such as to overcome for his own severe "missile gap"). It turns out that Krushchev's motives were to support and extend the organic revolution in Cuba, which he regarded with wonder and joy, elsewhere in Latin America. Except in the indirect sense that the extension of communism into the Western hemisphere would damage our interests in the long term, Krushchev was looking south, not north, when he put those missiles there. Had somebody inside Kennedy's White House suggested this at the time, though, it would have ended his career.

Of course, after Stalin the Soviet premier needed more than his own motives to do a damned thing. Just as the actions of the United States can rarely, if ever, be reduced to the motives of one man, neither could those of the Soviet Union. Even if Krushchev was looking south, the Defense ministry types who executed the plan almost certainly knew that the consequences would reverberate in Washington, and almost certainly supposed that the Soviet Union would get something good out of the trade. Which it did.

Hmmm. Having gotten to the end of this comment, I now realize it is off-topic. My apologies. It seems useful to some other discussion you might have someday, though, so I'll leave it here.

1/10/2006 04:08:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

We humans are 'meaning-making machines', imposing meaning to events whether such meaning fits all known facets or not...

(Side note to RWE: I can accept that Oswald was ONE of the shooters, but that clunky bolt-action rifle could hardly even be reloaded and fired 3 times in the Zapruder-limited time available, let alone have been fired, loaded, aimed, fired, loaded aimed and fired in that time, not to mention the 'magic' bullet which went through JFK's head AND Conally's arm and something else...)

SOME things just don't fit! Wot's the sound of one hand clapping?

1/10/2006 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

Wretchard wrote "I've often wondered whether there were events whose causes no one understood"

A great movie that operates in that space is Blood Simple. You, the viewer as God, know the full story and how events came to pass. None of those who cause the events ever untangle the web.

1/10/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Ray, good observation! Essentially, you're suggesting that humans are congealing in groups OF SIMILAR MEMES, while all of us are more-or-less clueless.

Mweh!

1/10/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If History was about the "Last Man Standing", Mr Castro would take the prize. Of all the Players from my youth, he is the Last.

As he prepares to leave the stage, his Revolution has gathered it's second wind, or perhaps it's third.

Moving forward, successfully, in Bolivia. The Revolution has put a cocca grower in the Presidential Palace.
In Caracus, Mr Chavez has repackaged Castro's Dream into a perverted version of Bolivar's Confederated South.

If Mr Castro really did 'hit' JFK and has survived, he really must be the baddest dog on the porch.

1/10/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger sammy small said...

The release of Osthoff (with suspected ransom paid by the newly elected Angela Merkel) parallels the situation 18 months ago when PI president Gloria Arroyo paid ransom to release one of their hostages in Iraq. I hope this is not a trend among female presidents.

1/10/2006 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

I do hope we'll be presenting our exit strategy for the Western European Theater to Ms. Merkel when she arrives.

Feh, that BND stuff is BF'nS. 'Freelance' work? Trading for a guy who's been out of the loop for 20 years? Was that part of the ransom negotiations? "Yeah, 5 million euros is too high, but we'll give you 4 mil and throw in an OG Muslim Terrorist from back in the day."

Makes the Carter administration look like expert operators. And what, exactly, are the BND meeting w/ Herr Zarqawi for? Buying influence so that Iran's missiles will be pointed elsewhere once nuclear tipped?

Personally, I think that Osthoff's association w/ the BND will last just long enough to give Ms. Merkel public cover so she doesn't have to cancel her trip. Perhaps someone could acquaint her w/ President Jefferson's notions about the Barbary states while she's here. "Millions for defense, not a penny in tribute."

1/10/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Actually, shooting three shots in that short amount of time from a Carcano rifle is not only possible but easy. The Carcano round is one of the lightest recoiling of those WW1 and WW2 rounds made and, while not a particulary accurate and strong rifle, the Carcano was known for it's slickness.

1/10/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Sometimes stuff happens without anyone in particular intending it to. But the human reluctance to believe the arbitrariness of events is nothing short of amazing.
////////////////
imho cause and effect is foundational to human logic however much it may be inappropriately applied.

1/10/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The 13th ship of the DDG 51 ARLEIGH BURKE Aegis Destroyer program was named in honor of Hammadi’s victim, the USS STETHEM (DDG 63). David’s Medienkritik references a Michael Ledeen article about Stethems’ murder.

“Robert Dean Stethem was singled out, beaten beyond recognition and tortured in order to make him scream into a transmitter (so that the tower would send a fuel truck).

One of the hijackers, Muhammed Ali Hammadi, was so enraged that he dragged Robert to the door, pulled a trigger and shot Robert in the head. Then he dumped Robert's body onto the tarmac. While Robert was being dragged to the door, he knew that all he had to do in order to live was to cry into that transmitter, but he wouldn't do it.”
http://medienkritik.typepad.com/

Like any intelligence agency, the BND will recruit ‘agents’ of opportunity from any demographic. It is little wonder that they’d recruit Susanne Osthoff, a German citizen, ‘a convert to Islam and a fluent Arabic speaker’.

Rumor has it that the kidnappers were actually a criminal organization specialising in the traffic of archeological artifacts.

And now Merkel comes to the US to give the president a little dose of moralizing. She was recently quoted in a Der Spiegel interview;

“An institution like Guantanamo in its present form cannot and must not exist in the long term. We must find different ways of dealing with prisoners. As far as I'm concerned there's no question about that.”

Only time will tell who, in the end it the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

ge•stalt
A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.

1/10/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Peter said...
Actually, shooting three shots in that short amount of time from a Carcano rifle is not only possible but easy. The Carcano round is one of the lightest recoiling of those WW1 and WW2 rounds made and, while not a particulary accurate and strong rifle, the Carcano was known for it's slickness

Peter, nobody using that particular rifle was ever able to duplicate that performance, which according to the official line was getting off three shots in six seconds, which included two accurate hits and one wild miss. The single bullet theory is ludicrous, but for me the absolute clincher was a picture I saw of the three spent cartridge cases, all standing neatly in a row on the window sill, yet within two minutes Oswald is found on the second floor drinking a coke. The Italian version of the Austrian Mannlicher was definitely not a well made rifle with a slick action. The wonder is that anyone swallows this BS not that there are those who choose to believe in conspiracies. The performance of the Secret Service, FBI and the Doctors who performed the autopsy, including the disappearance of the brain are pretty conclusive evidence that goverment agencies began a cover up within a very short time after the arrival at Parkland, and this could only have been done with Johnson's consent. Evidence is lacking that he had prior knowledge of any conspiracy, but not about the cover up. The quick reaction times are amazing, complete with Oswald's name address and history, within an hour of his disappearance from the book depository.

This incident is the greatest mystery of the century, probably would be of all time except that forensic evidence did not even exist in previous times.

1/10/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Here's a link to a JFK site discussing the results of a Discovery Channel documentary where an Australian team of marksmen claim to not only have duplicated Oswald's shot with some ease but also the location of the wounds. Here's another link to a site which purports to show (in great detail) that the Zapruder film was doctored.

What amazes me about the JFK conspiracy sites is that many of them are quite serious, meticulously researched, often rigorously argued and yet come to completely opposite conclusions from one another. Consider the Alexander Haig testimony plus the so-called corroboration from former Cuban agents. Did Haig make it all up? The ex-Cuban agents too? I'm staying away from that one. If any of us make it past the Pearly Gates, I'll bet who killed JFK will be one of the first questions asked of St. Peter.

1/10/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why should everyone else wait?
Couldn't they also read Bubba Ho-tep?

1/10/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles 8:06 AM,
Agreed.
But be sure to read the Ledeen link, and I'd appreciate your further thoughts on the matter.
My simple minded view is along the lines of the falling tree in the forest.
Just because no one hears it...
Similarly, just because no one can explain something does not mean there is not an explanation.
Regardless, I certainly agree "cause and effect is foundational to human logic."
...or at least human logic once we got beyond the Allah Akbar stage.

1/10/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sammy,
Depends on the female!
Bring back Imelda Marcos.
Not one heel for ransom!

1/10/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Podman4 said...

As sci-fi fans will recognize, Wretchard's post gets to the driving force behind Asimov's Foundation series: Hari Seldon's psychohistory. While individual events may be unpredictable, the more humans there are that interact, the more predictable the future becomes. Sort of like sample size in statistics.

Therefore it may not be necessary to know the individual details like who killed JFK, the fact is that there are larger forces driving historical processes.

Oh, and if you needed any proof that people are constantly striving to assign a cause to an event when there is none, just look at the hardcore left's reaction to Katrina. Somehow they've ascribed a massive natural event to a single person: George Bush.

1/10/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

podman,
They aren't that simple minded:
They realize he did it by not signing Kyoto.

1/10/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Podman4 said...

Neither did Slick, but somehow it's not his fault.

1/10/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Katrina occurred on the Shrub's watch, as I recall.
How could Bubba cause it if he was not even President?

1/10/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

podman:

Things may happen w/o reason, but very few people are comfortable operating w/o a motive for any stretch of time... Of course, governments may be the ultimate form of Heinlein's definition of a committee (11 mouths and no brain) so perhaps it would be wrong to assign motive to the German government or MP Galloway.

Still, all of the stuff from the original post has a kind of 'fiddling whilst Rome burns' feel to it.

Also, I still don't get the JFK fascination. Other than thinking that the space program might have been different with Kennedy as a defender in the mid-70s, I don't see a lick of difference. 'Course, Ted Kennedy's 'Goldwater Presidency' might also have happened against matched up against a Yankee who didn't have the idolatrous status of being conveniently dead.

However, I will opine that the idea that LBJ would have passed up a chance to be the hero of the hour by having Castro whacked is a bit far fetched. All of that talk about Bin Laden being 'conveniently caught' in the run-up to the '04 election should be applied in spades to the '64 election. You can see how bad the theory sounds.

1/10/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Still, all of the stuff from the original post has a kind of 'fiddling whilst Rome burns' feel to it"
---
If someone threw MP Galloway into a pile of burning leaves, and he ran back in in his flaming monkey suit, who really caused Parliment to burn?

1/10/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger johnCV said...

"But the human reluctance to believe the arbitrariness of events is nothing short of amazing. We need an explanation for cookies left on your browser when you visit a government website or Al Qaeda attacks on Iraqi cops or.... "

Yes, but people have no trouble believing that random movements of enzymes can form a human being from primordial slime. For no reason whatsoever.
Humans have an infinite capacity for 'disconnect'.

1/10/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

What if you had an infinite number of monkeys fooling around with their nutrient soup?
...and throw in a few Koreans for good luck.

1/10/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger P-BS-Watcher said...

For a very long book on "emergence", although he doesn't use the term, see Stephen Wolfram "A New Kind of Science." It is highly idiosyncratic, very egotistical, sometimes very technical and sometimes very poorly written, but in the end extremely interesting and thought provoking.

1/10/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Fred K said...

Concerning the GWOT,


“Robert Dean Stethem was singled out, beaten beyond recognition and tortured in order to make him scream into a transmitter (so that the tower would send a fuel truck).

One of the hijackers, Muhammed Ali Hammadi, was so enraged that he dragged Robert to the door, pulled a trigger and shot Robert in the head. Then he dumped Robert's body onto the tarmac.


I wonder if we should apply the "broken windows" theory to terrorists acts as was done in cleaning up NYC. We could put particular energy into finding and dispatching Hammadi using secret agents as ordinary judicial means seems to have failed at this point. Perhaps, if this policy were pursued without exception, this could serve to provide a deadly effective disincentive to terrorists. I think this policy should be pursued in addition to other approaches (legal, military, etc.) but that in no case should any terrorist ultimately be allowed to be free.

My Blog:
Political Fred

1/10/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sounds good to me, Fred.
I don't like this construction, even if it might be true:
"One of the hijackers, Muhammed Ali Hammadi, was so enraged that he dragged Robert to the door, pulled a trigger and shot Robert in the head"
---
Degrades acts of passion imo.
The CS Bastards that slit the Stews throats in front of children and women were not "enraged" in the sense that us humans understand.
They were simply acting out their roles as CS Bastards.

1/10/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Fred,
I agree that DIA ought to dispatch Hammadi by ‘extra-judicial’ means, but the CIA will want to render him, the State Department will want to extradite him, and the DNC will want to protect him.

1/10/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not to mention the phone privileges or any "US Persons" that might want to chat with him when he gets out.

1/10/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"for"

1/10/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

This is what I'd to see listed by the US Embassy in Beirut in the local Beirut paper:

WANTED

DEAD OR ALIVE

Muhammed Ali Hammadi

REWARD - US$1,000,000

1/10/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

sammy:

How about

ALIVE - $500K
DEAD - $1M

(The bonus will be more than paid for by the savings in lawyers' costs.)

1/10/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

doug:

"If someone threw MP Galloway into a pile of burning leaves, and he ran back in in his flaming monkey suit, who really caused Parliment to burn?
--
Liberacci was the last man who could wear a flaming monkey suit without blame. Anyone else would be shot on sight for committing a fashion hate crime.

On a more serious note, what about the reverse of all of this "International Justice" noise about arresting Israeli Generals in Britain applied to terrorists? If you've been tried and convicted of a crime that the US considers a capital crime against a US national by a foreign court, do we really need to have another trial? Let's accept the guilty decision of the German govt and apply our own sentence, as theirs proved too lenient.

1/10/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Doug

Yeah I saw the leeden link. might be true. even if not true the jihadistas are in steep decline.

whatever, right now there is a widening disconnect between what is and the way the msn portrays the world.

I think the critical point right now is that the sunni arabs want to get out of the gunsights of the west in a very big way even as the shia iranians--or anyhow their current leader--seeks to put an ever bigger target on his back.

basically it looks like bush admin is working diligently and successfully to overturn the mullah and imman revolutions in iran and saudi arabia during the 1970's.

That said the iranians are are isolating themselves big time. No one in the west or russia is receiving their leadership and the gulf arabs have all but abandoned them. Never the less they seem hell bent on getting nuclear weapons.
http://iranian-outcast.notlong.com

So that situation may come to a head.

1/10/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Saudi cleric says terrorism used to discredit Islam
Reuters ^ | 10 January 2006
http://haj-serman1.notlong.com
http://haj-serman-fr.notlong.com
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - A top Saudi cleric told Muslim pilgrims marking the climax of haj on Tuesday that the West was using the global phenomenon of terrorism to scare people away from Islam and discredit legitimate Muslim causes.

Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudeis, the state-appointed preacher at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, also called for stability in Iraq and said Islam was innocent of the charge of "terrorism."

"The campaign against Islam has become fierce and Muslims are being described in insulting terms to distort the image of Islam and scare people away from it," he told the 2.5 million pilgrims in a sermon to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

He accused Western countries of hypocrisy in promoting freedom and democracy, citing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"When the oppressor Zionist enemy uses its war of smart bombs and tanks against our brothers in Palestine, violating our holy sites, that's not terrorism to their mind -- but defending land, religion and honor is," Sudeis said.

Israel has largely crushed a Palestinian uprising launched in 2000 and Al-Haram al-Sharif, the site of Islam's holy Al-Aqsa mosque, is in Arab East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel after its capture in the 1967 Middle East war in a move that has not been recognised internationally.

Israel says military measures taken in Palestinian areas are self-defence against suicide bombings and other attacks.

The Palestinian issue is often cited by Islamic militants, including those fighting the U.S.-backed government in Iraq.

"Islam is innocent of this grave phenomenon (of terrorism). The shedding of blood in this country and other Muslim countries is a forbidden criminal act," the cleric said, adding that fighting Islamic rulers was "foolish" and counterproductive.

"We should not forget our brothers in Iraq in the continuing spiral of injustice and murder, and (we should) act seriously to bring security, stability and unity to them," he said.

A campaign of violence to bring down the U.S.-allied Saudi rulers has largely run out of steam over the past year. The kingdom has deployed thousands of security forces at the holy sites to prevent possible attacks during the haj.

1/10/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Tigerhawk,

I don't understand your intriguing OT post. Why would the Soviets need tactical nukes to encourage communist revolution in South America? Gunboats would work better than nukes, and troops would work even better yet.

Btw, on the Kennedy assassination, I know who did it. I actually saw him do it on television. It was Cigarette Smoking Man, I saw it on X-Files (as Wretchard hints).

Btw, when I get thru the Pearly Gates, my first question won't be about JFK, it'll be "Who am I - where am I - what am I doing here?"

1/10/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/10/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug, Podman,

Speaking of blaming Bush, right on cue, some guy was on TV within a day or two of the mine disaster, blaming Bush. The next day I went googling for that guy's cite, and I found tons of articles and editorials (same thing these days) blaming Bush!

Knight Ridder jumped in with a huge analysis "proving" the point by citing lower average fines on mine violations during the Bush Administration. So there! But you have to give them credit, in the middle of the long analysis, they briefly mentioned that 2002 and 2005 were record low years for deaths in the mines. Not that it makes any difference to the core truth - Bush did it!

1/10/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

from the storm sewer, think I saw that as well.

Don't think about JFK all that much, definately not the question on my lips when I reach Valhalla, more like; Where's the beer?

tony,
if you do not know the answer to your first question, the other two would be meaningless.

Two well read bloggers see the same storm clouds on the horizon I do. Both Bill Roggio, as well as dan darling at winds of change see the Warizistan situation as the most serious situation in the Mohammedan Wars, well, for today anyway.
Now, along with them boys at the cato institute, we can all see the light. Warizistan is where the real trouble is, not amongst the Persians. They are waiting at the well. The Tribal Areas are out of the control of the General President and his Army. Even the loyalty of his Army is coming into question.

is here and
dan darling is
there.

Where the next military play will have to be.

1/10/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/10/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

One of the most darkly amusing and mind-altering novels about conspiracies real and imagined is Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow." In it, one man's erections seem to consistently map to V-2 strikes in London, and it turns out there's a good reason for that. He doesn't know the reason, and something like fate, or rather, the random clashing like matter and anti-matter of his various pursuers seems to save him.

Keep the babes away from Tyrone Slothrop!

There may be unseen conspiracies active out there, and they may seem impossibly unlikely, like the preservers of Byron the Immortal Lightbulb. But if there is only one last V-2, and one enduring tribe that protects it until its fateful launch, it is still the President's duty to stop them.

And if he stops them by accident in his pursuit of someone else, are not they just as well and truly stopped?

1/10/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles, 'Rat, great links, thanks.
Here are some Slow Joe Biden clips from radioblogger.com
There's more dialog there.
Text below is the non-sexist, non homophobic Biden describing how much he loved Princeton.
Today, for "Judge Alioto," he told him repeatedly he DIDN'T LIKE Princeton.
Hewitt sent him flowers in thanks.

Biden,uh,uh.mp3

SloJoeBidenPuzzled.mp3

BidenPrincetonWaffle.mp3
And so I had been pushing Princeton, and this
magnificently attractive, intellectually and physically, beautiful young girl,
was a sophomore, was showing us around, and I figured we've got a lock now.
My son is going to really be interested, and I know Senators aren't supposed to say things like that, but if he hadn't been interested, I would have been worried...

What's that line from Seinfeld?
Not that there's anything wrong with that?

1/10/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
One of my all time favorite movies features a giant ray gun in a castle that can destroy cities around the world.
...Peter Sellers, forgot the name.
Best Scene is him pretending to be a Dentist in his long fake nose laughing hysterically with his antagonist as he pulls his front tooth out, until his fake nose melts off, and the hostilities begin again

1/10/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

For what it's worth I saw an 70-something year old man load & fire the Oswald rifle 3 times in under 6 seconds on tv. Sounds much faster than it really is, it seems. I think this was a 20/20 or 60 minutes or Peter Jennings special thing. Can't remember which; probably a 40th Ann. show year before last.

1/10/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I recall a similar show, dan, car on rail tracks and a shooter in a tower, approximating the shot.

Not all that hard as I recall.
If the bolt's action was smooth, then making the shots was possible. I'm not sure Oswald was that kind of a shooter, though.

I always found the "magic" bullet on the gurney to be 'suspect'. Once there is a seed of doubt, it grows.

By that time in JFK's carreer there where a lot of pissed on folk that were mad. He had popped President Diem and had tried for Fidal, not a way to win friends, nor influence people.

Preelection Polictical friends came into young RFK's crosshairs as AG. Mr Hoffa was never the same, but neither was Bobby, in the long run. Both left the Game violently.

Guns prevailed over bombs, against Politicos, back in the day. Now that we have secured the safety of the 'Important' people and armoured up our Military, bombing civilians is in currently the favored mode of political terrorism.
Both at Home and Abroad.

Although Mohammed's sniper team did prowel the Beltway.

1/10/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug,
It's a spooky world out there. Back in ancient times (1980's) we used to worry that electronic emanations (we actually used that ancient Hindu/Theosophist term!) would seep out from our machines, and the Soviets would be able to read them! So, it wasn't enough that our machines were on a major military fort encampment, behind gates with armed guards, behind inner perimeters of double cyclone fences topped by razor wire, behind hard-ass Marines and who knows who else.

Sometimes people would use the scanning machines to read classified enemy documents. To comply with US government control of critical intelligence, we would sometimes end up with unlucky operators who spent their whole working day inside electromagnetically impervious containers (6'x6'x6' metal boxes). That was called Tempest security.

Even way back then, that big 6-story black glass building at NSA HQ at Fort Meade that you see on TV - was completely Tempest compliant!

The world of technology is far more advanced than most people want to know.

And these sumbitgs at the NYT who are publishing national secrets are enabling treasonous felonies. I hope they all burn in Hell.

1/10/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Plase note, Oswald was U.S. Marines trained.
He was no weekend plinker with a gun he bought at Grant's.

1/10/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
Perhaps if not that, we'll get to see Mr. Tice go to prison.
If not, it's a free ride for unlimited leaking.

1/10/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug,

I think you are thinking about "The Mouse that Roared."

The economy of the teeny-tiny European duchy of Grand Fenwick is threatened when an American manufacturer comes up with an imitation of Fenwick's sole export, its fabled wine. Crafty prime minister Count Mountjoy (Peter Sellers) comes up with a plan: Grand Fenwick will declare war on the United States.

Quoting the above review:

Grand Duchess Gloriana (Peter Sellers again) is hesitant: how can meek little Grand Fenwick win such a conflict? Mountjoy explains that the plan is to lose the war, then rely upon American foreign aid to replenish Grand Fenwick's treasury. Bumbling military officer Tully Bascombe (Peter Sellers yet again) leads his country's ragtag army into battle. They cross the Atlantic in an ancient wooden vessel, then set foot on Manhattan Island, fully prepared to down weapons and surrender. But New York City is deserted, due to an air raid drill. While wandering around, Sellers comes upon atomic scientist David Kossoff and the scientist's pretty daughter Jean Seberg. Kossoff has been working on the deadly "Q Bomb," a football-sized weapon with the destructive capacity of a hundred hydrogen bombs. Suddenly seized with patriotic fervor, Tully captures Kossoff, his daughter and the bomb and brings them all back to Grand Fenwick. Tully has "won" the war-precisely what he'd been told not to do.

Sound like Iran?

1/10/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It actually came via the mail. In those days they would mail the weapon from surplus stocks, remarkably cheap.
That all came to an end post assassination.

The thing that made Lee Harvey an excellent patsy was his apparent capacity. If he did the shooting, alone and unaided, that would be something. The perpetual loser finally get's it done.

Plausable ability, an important aspect for a fall guy, in a 'hit' that important. Even in France there was a Day of the Jackel, or the possibility that was.

Assassination, the Game of the Day

1/10/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
Peter could do a good job w/the present Iranian leader, but I was thinking of:

The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
Charles Dreyfus escapes from the mental asylum and tries to kill Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
He doesn't succeed at first, so he takes on another strategy, namely to build a Doom's Day machine and demand that someone else kills Jacques Clouseau, or Dreyfus will use the machine to wipe out whole cities and even whole countries...
With about 22 assassins from all over the globe on his tail, Clouseau decides to find Dreyfus alone and put him back in the mental asylum.

1/10/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat,
Clouseau could handle 22 assasins, as you can see.

1/10/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Student said...

The Kennedy Assassination is a little off-topic -- but I have to pass this on.

Look for the book "Mortal Error", by Bonar Menninger (St. Martin's Press, 1992). It is about Howard Donahue, who was one of the marksmen in the 1967 CBS recreation that showed it was possible to fire 3 shots in the time available to Oswald.

To cut to the chase, Donahue eventually realized that the key to the mystery was lying in plain sight. Kennedy had been hit by two bullets. Thie first was the World War 2 type that went through Kennedy's neck, hit Governor Connelly, and was recovered intact (the magic bullet). The second hit Kennedy in the back of the head and completely disintegrated. Two different types of bullet, which had to have come from two different guns.

The first was from Oswald's gun. The second was a contemporary type of bullet from a then-new AR-15 -- Secret Service issue. When the Secret Servicemen riding in the car behind Kennedy's in the motorcade heard Oswald's shots, they grabbed the AR-15 and accidentally put the second bullet into the President.

Speculation is that Johnson learned of the accident very shortly after the tragedy, and decided to squash the facts to avoid further public outcry. There was indeed a (post facto) conspiracy -- and the loose ends have left room for all the wild stories that have been developed over the years.

If Menninger's book is correct, the explanation of the mystery about Kennedy's assassination has been freely available in public libraries for almost 15 years now, and yet still the controversy rages on. Makes one wonder about how many other "unexplained" events are really not unexplained after all -- the explanations have simply been ignored.

1/10/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Student,

Your story reminds me of an old Esquire Magazine cover, which pictured something like a .357 revolver in Connelly's hand in the limo.

1/10/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Shouted out "Who killed the Kennedys?"
When afterall
It was you and me!
-Mick Jagger
There,solved that one!

Speaking of Kennedys,listening to Massachusetts Fats bloviating in the Alito hearings makes you wonder if democracy is worth exporting to the Middle East.

1/10/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Never occurred to me before, but Hillary would have had to find another way in if JFK Jr had not killed himself.
...two women in the drink from two different generations.
At least Teddy's friend wasn't dead when he left her.
---
Great guy to judge Alito's character.

1/10/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Reading through the comments to dan darling's Winds of Change post (linked by Rat), I came across this one posted by John:

"Remember when the Shias of Gilgit rose up in revolt? Their violent rebellion was crushed in 1988 by Zia-ul-Haq, and the Sunni Pashto tribesmen from Waziristan were the foot soldiers, accompanied, it is said, by Osama bin Laden. This ruthless retaliation and suppression grew into ethnic--or religious--genocide throughout the NA and the NWFP. Who was the cold-blooded military leader who brutally suppressed the Shia insurgency in Pakistan? Pervez Musharraf.

"It was Musharraf who subsequently gave license to the Punjabi Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan--an ISI and Saudi Deobandi-Wahabi creation-- to keep the recalcitrant Shias, the Tehreek-e-Jafferia Pakistan, in check. It was the SSP that moved into Iran--at the behest of Saudi intelligence and in concert with Iraq's Mujahideen-e-Khalq-- to foment an armed insurgency against the Shia government of Iran in Baloch territories.

"And that's just the late 1980s! Is Pakistan bizarre and enigmatic enough for you? How about this: it is widely believed in Pakistan that it was a vengeful Shia airman from Gilgit who took down Zia on his final flight from Bahawalpur in August 1988--killing an American ambassador as well. So, sectarian violence and inter (and intra) party, province, agency and tribal score-settling is often beyond the ken of westerners, particularly naivie journalists, but even those with academic 'area studies' backgrounds (usually anthropologists, alas.) Remember, the Waziris once fought a 30 year 'honor' war (Pushtunwali) in this century--and completely stalemated the Brits--over a Hindi convert, a bride who married into a Muslim Wazir family but was taken back by decree of British Raj judges. (These are the kind of warriors we want to win to our side...!)"

Reading the handful of reports on the violence yesterday and today, the same thought kept occurring: Where's the backround? Where's the detail? The reports use vague and general language to describe a brief sequence of events in a region about as alien and unknown as another planet. What are we really looking at? How many moving parts? Is al Qaeda among them in this particular series? Is the Taliban?

Is Waziristan out of control? You betcha. Waziristan is functionally autonomous, and has never BEEN under control. Does it need to be controlled? By whom? Is it the kind of place to send in a large force on "police call"? What's indicated? What's contraindicated?
What actions are already underway and in the pipeline, and undertaken by whom? It's such a compartmentalized war, we don't know.

None of this is to subtract from the reality of Pakistan as "a cumulative threat." But Waziristan and the last spate of violence there is one small and very murky part of a big picture.

1/10/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

30 years!
The only wars that go on that long in this country are the domestic ones.
Now I start to understand how Musharraf has managed to stay alive.

1/10/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tice is claiming to be “THE” NY Times source:

Fat Traitor Tice Belongs in Jail
"We need to clean up the intelligence community. We've had abuses, and they need to be addressed.

"The mentality was we need to get these guys, and we're going to do whatever it takes to get them," he said.
"

Damn! They deserve a fair chance, that's cheating.
Bastard.

1/10/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat's Backyard, next door in Texas.
(Link takes you to Traitor Tice Video, Scroll down for Mexican Drug Gang Fight Coverage.)

1/10/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

1. UPI reporter Roland Flamini seems to be quite a book writer. And, I notice he can be quite Euro-centric and critical of Americans. Can this guy be trusted to tell the truth?

2. If Susanne Osthoff is still around (I presume she is) than why not just interview her? She doesn't seem to shy about interviews.

Why did she refuse to be debriefed by the German Authorities after her kidnapping. Where is her driver? Where is her car? What University gave her a degree? What is her background. Who are her parents and siblings? Does she have military training? Will she be returning to Iraq?

3. How much did the German government pay for her release - if any? If she is such a valuable "intelligence asset" why blow her cover? This would seem to put her life in danger (assuming she really was a "secret agent."). Who exactly was the German government bargaining with? Were they bargaining with street criminals - or real al Qaeda operatives?

4. Could this "inside report" just be a spin job to deflect American hostilities from the German government. Will Susanne Osthoff just fade into obscurity like the Middle Eastern American soldier who faked his own kidnapping?

1/10/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Corridors of Power: The lady was a spy:

The Germans' tentative contacts with al-Qaida reflect Berlin's belief in the existence of another split within the Iraqi-based al-Qaida organization itself. While Zarqawi calls for the Americans to leave, their departure must be far from his intentions since it would undermine his terrorist mission.

"Assuming the U.S. pullout continues, Zarqawi's days in Iraq are numbered," says a diplomatic source in Washington. This situation is forcing al-Qaida to think strategically about what to do next.

Corridors of Power

1/10/2006 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Cmon, Oswald was a Marine.

He's teflon until the end of time, you can't touch him.

US out of Guantanamo!

1/10/2006 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

And I realize that most Marines don't recognize the term "foreign Marine" [Semper Fi], but for Oswald I think the term fits.

1/10/2006 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Spag-oz said...

Student spake thus :-

"the loose ends have left room for all the wild stories that have been developed over the years."

Probably somewhere in all the conspiracy theories there lies the truth but will we ever know (or care) after 32 years & more?

Perhaps on his death bed Fidel might fess up with "hey guys it wuz me all along" but even then there will be non believers.

My only curiosity these days with the Kennedy era is what would both US politics & the International scene be like if he had not been assassinated. I guess the Chappaquiddick kid would still be around regardless.

1/10/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

CATCH and RELEASE
Michael Yon

I remember the day Ken’s brother Robert was killed, and today I see an American family still waiting for answers, closure, and justice.

The Stethem family, like so many others, has paid the ultimate price in their steadfast defense of their country, and they deserve commensurate respect.

I believe they deserve at least to be heard and to have their voices acknowledged.

To that end, the Stethem family statement and some of Ken’s letters to the President will be published here
.
Hat Tip, Hewitt

1/11/2006 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It is time to act against Hezbollah, the most active terrorist group in the world today. Mr. President, if you use the same standard for the government of Lebanon that you did for the Taliban then you would say:

“Today, the United States of America makes the following demands on Lebanon:

- Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of Hezbollah who hide in your land.
- Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country.
- Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Lebanon, and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support structure, to appropriate authorities.
- Provide the means for the international community to verify that terrorist facilities no longer function in your country.

Lebanon must act, and act immediately. Lebanon will hand over the terrorists, or should face the consequences.”

These consequences are to be clear, concise and deliberate. If Lebanon chooses to support Hezbollah, instead of meeting these demands in the War against Terrorism, Lebanon will be added to the list of States Sponsoring Terrorism. Lebanon will lose the continuation of all U.S. aid ($40 million a year). Lebanon will suffer a travel ban for all American citizens. Lebanon will lose the support that the US Department of Justice is currently providing regarding the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In the same way that the United States respects the people of Afghanistan, we also respect the people of Lebanon. As in Afghanistan, we are currently Lebanon’s largest source of humanitarian aid -- but we condemn the Hezbollah. Like Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah “ . . . is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists.” By aiding and abetting murder, the Hezbollah is committing murder.

Over 40% of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists are believed to be located in Lebanon. One of those terrorists, Imad Mugniyah, is believed to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American citizens who were killed in terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

Yet 14 members in the Lebanese parliament are from the Hezbollah “Party.”

1/11/2006 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...or as C-4 says, they are doing a pretty good job of governing.

1/11/2006 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If anyone in the GOP had any balls at all, they would be hosting the Stethem family on every TV show that would have them.
...but in DC, precious TV time is for self-promotion only, as in today's "Alito Hearings."

The Democrats and McCain, being worse, use their TV time to promote the
Terrorist Bill of Rights.

1/11/2006 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Wretchard wrote:

"it wouldn't explain why her captors would settle for old news like Mohammed Ali Hamadi"

Stop right there and think.

1/11/2006 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yon's piece is gauranteed to facilitate the thinking process.

1/11/2006 01:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here ya go, Cutler:
Landing the Internship or Full-Time Job

1/11/2006 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ukrainian parliament sacks government over controversial gas deal with Russia

1/11/2006 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

OT,but a heartug.

The Army's 2005, in pictures. Soundtrack from Pete Seger's 'The Rock'.

I got me. Makes you realise who is fighting for our defence, and why. Put on your headphones.

Here

ADE

1/11/2006 02:12:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Sorry,

It's
here.

Click on "Launch the 2005 year in photos".

ADE

1/11/2006 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

BURNING LOVE: A WOMAN who allegedly stabbed her partner six times because he repeatedly played an Elvis Presley song will face a West Australian court today.

American Digest These Just In

1/11/2006 03:26:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Desert Rat: When I got to Okla in 1974 I saw surplus Mauser rifles for sale in the local Grant store. Priced at $29.
I bought a Mauser rifle in 1984 at a Calif gun store and a British 303 Enfield in a the Santa Barbara Big 5 Sporting goods the following year (and one sweet shooting rifle it is, too). I bought two Indian Enfields from Roses store in SC in 1999.
You can't order guns by mail unlest you have a FFL (unless they are at least 100 years old), but other than that no one seems to be too worried about bolt action rifles any more.

1/11/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish
If it were not for the Pakistani Nuclear Weapons the Warizistan situation would be just another far away border clash. A people we do not understand in a land that time has tried to forget.
But, thanks to Dr Khan and US funding, the Pakistanis have elevated their position on the HIT Parade.
Pakistan is the most unstable country armed with Nuclear Weapons in the World. Their history of instability, of Military coups, internal purges and War in Kashmere make it the greatest current Mohammedan threat to World Security.

If the Mohammedans really are to be considered a military threat.

The old saying of "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush" is definately true of Nuclear Weapons.
Better a half dozen today or tomorrow than capacity to build a dozen in a decade, if you want or need to use them.

1/11/2006 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Back in Oswald's day the rifles did/ could be delivered to 'civilians' directly from mail order houses, unlike today. Oswald's was delivered by the mailman, if I remember correctly.

I also have had a 303 Enfield, a fine weapon. Just because an Enfield or Springfield looks, to the unknowing, like a mueseum piece and not a 'assualt rifle' does not, as you know, make it uneffective.
Millions of soldiers have been killed by bolt action rifles, they just are not 'cool' like a M-4.
In fabio's 'Age of Irrelevance' apperence is paramount, function always follows form, doesn't it?

1/11/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"function always follows form, doesn't it? "
Update at 7.

1/11/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

It's Form follows Function.

1/11/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In an Age of Irelevence
Function follows Form.

A Lee-Enfield 303 British bolt action rifle is a superior weapon for the mission than was Mohammed's AR-15 varient that young Malvo sniped away with.

Yet while there are 'assualt weapons' bans proposed, real time proven weapons are not 'Hollywood' enough for a headline or a concern.

The Congress & MSM do not care about function, only form.

1/11/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Doug, although the vast majority of Americans, were they even aware, would consider Hamadi and his deeds "old news" (as Wretchard puts its) those who demanded his release do not. What's a couple of decades to the Arab mind?

Hamadi was a profitable choice, on the part of those who made the demand, for many reasons. Sow a little more animosity and distrust between The Great Satan and one of her European allies; demonstrate your kinship with another group of jihadists and make a big deposit in the "favor bank".

Hamadi didn't just kill a US citizen, but a member of its Crusader forces. To purchase the life of German, an unforgivable injustice was committed. The Arabs would recognize it as such were the shoe on the other foot - and trust that at least those Americans to whom Hamadi and his victim are not merely "old news", will find it both intolerable and deeply discouraging.

1/11/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Desert Rat: If I had to defend my home the 303 Enfield would be the first weapon I would reach for. It will work, no doubt, no jam. And any rifle I use to can hit anywhere on a pistol target on the 100 yard range the first time I run a magazine load through it I am very impressed with.
Finally, if it turns out that the intruder does not have a fireram, I have the option of just beating him to death with the Enfield.
That won't work with my 556 weapon!

1/11/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"If it were not for the Pakistani Nuclear Weapons the Warizistan situation would be just another far away border clash."

Rat, Waziristan is a mountainous thru-way, a significant (for us and them) area of transit. The region's "guests" and its human and other traffic are no end of concern, and effort, to Americans and friends working either side of the border. This would be true whether Pakistan had nuclear weapons or not.

My point in the earlier post was that this week's events in Waziristan are not self-evidently clear from the few reports at hand. And to leap from those reports to the confident assertion that Waziristan "must" be the next theater of battle - in the sense that you mean it, anyhow - strikes me as...prematurely enthusiastic.

There's definitely the desire among those on the Afghan side to go to Waziristan - there's always the hope it'll happen on their deployment, this deployment. They feel like they know the place (and do, in a sense) without ever having set foot in it. But unless there's some radical change in policy and circumstance on the ground, the prospects of getting their wish remain slim. The SecDef and DNI aren't going to remove the hundred and one constraints, nor, I believe, expand upon the two (count 'em - two) objectives for which they'll allow a mere handful of US forces to cross that border for a handful of hours. I might be proven wrong, of course. That's just my own feeling.

The storm clouds I would be watching for are on the Afghan side anyway. Create a hair-on-fire intolerable situation there, and then maybe the expansion of the war eastward that you anticipate will take place.

1/11/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hmm,
I have a feeling someone knows more than what I might learn reading the news.

1/11/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If I had to bet on Warizistan or Iran as the 'next' battle ground, I'd bet on Warizistan.

Not massive deployments, but support for the Paki Army, covert support may be the first stage. Hard to tell about the Army acting in the "best" manner, though.

Warizistan is where a lot of the aQ-Taliban folk moved off to and the General President will need to be reinforced. I think the US Public would allow a move across the border in "Cold Pursuit".

Iran is much a tougher fish to fry, so if there is still going to be an aggresive War on Mohemmedan Terrorists, then Warizistan is the spot, IMHO.

1/11/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Not massive deployments, but support for the Paki Army, covert support may be the first stage. Hard to tell about the Army acting in the "best" manner, though.

"Warizistan is where a lot of the aQ-Taliban folk moved off to and the General President will need to be reinforced. I think the US Public would allow a move across the border in "Cold Pursuit"."

It's precisely because our primary interests in Waziristan are Taliban and AQ that the Paki Army can't be used - or supported. The Paki Army is NOT our friend in that fight.

1/11/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

The General President, I believe, has an aggressively pre-emptive Secret Service. There's no other way to survive in his shoes.

1/11/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I don't think the American public would vigorously protest cold-pursuit into Pakistan, either. The American public isn't really the problem as far as that goes.

So for now and the forseeable future, if it's not bin Laden or Zawahiri in the sight, it's not gonna happen.

Unless, like I said, things go down hill in a hurry on the Afghan side or we get hit here at home again. Even in the event of the latter, my suspicion is that that'll just finally motivate the Powers That Be to unload some of their enormous caution and dispatch the team to bring back bin Laden's remains in a zip-lock bag.

Someone said to me in utter frustration a couple of years ago, "In order to get the bad guys, you've got to go to WHERE THEY ARE." I think there's a lot a inclination at high levels not to do that, even within our own theaters.

1/11/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

right you are

1/11/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger John Dunshee said...

Sometimes stuff happens without anyone in particular intending it to.

As the bumpersticker says, "Shit Happens"

People have a really hard time with that concept. But the truth is, Good thing sometimes happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people and people don't always die the death they deserve.

There is no cosmic justice. Get over it.

1/17/2006 03:03:00 AM  

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