Saturday, January 14, 2006

Brave New World

Bill Roggio has a piece describing internecine fighting between Al Qaeda and homegrown insurgents at Threatswatch.

The reasons for the infighting are varied, but often al-Qaeda oversteps its bounds with the local Iraqis. In some cases, al-Qaeda attempts to skim from the profits of criminal enterprises, sometimes well in excess of 50%. Sometimes the terrorists attempt to install its draconian form of Taliban-like rule in local communities, and murder the residents for minor offenses of the law. al-Qaeda is insensitive to the fact that civilians are often caught in the crossfire of their horrific suicide attacks; in fact civilians are often the main targets. And al-Qaeda occasionally makes the penultimate mistake of intimidating or even killing insurgent leaders or respected members of the tribes. ...

The Albu Mahal tribe is now an ally of the Iraqi government, and provides the majority of the troops for the Desert Protection Force, which is a organization of the local tribal fighters that provide for local security and act as scouts for Iraqi Army and U.S. Marines operating in the area. Strategy Page reports the Desert Protection Force is resisting deployment out of the Qaim region because they would not be able to fight al-Qaeda; “Tribes there are willing to support the DPF, but want solid assurances that their boys will remain in the province – they see the DPF as helping them keep control of their own turf, which happens to include keeping al Qaeda out.”

Just One Minute has a roundup of MSM stories describing some of these events, such as this one by Dexter Filkins.

In October, the two insurgents said in interviews, a group of local fighters from the Islamic Army gathered for an open-air meeting on a street corner in Taji, a city north of Baghdad. Across from the Iraqis stood the men from Al Qaeda, mostly Arabs from outside Iraq. Some of them wore suicide belts. The men from the Islamic Army accused the Qaeda fighters of murdering their comrades.

Yahoo carries a speech by Lt Gen John Vines describing the "disarray" in enemy ranks.

"So there are a fair number of indicators that tell us currently Al-Qaeda in Iraq is in disarray," he told reporters here via video link from Baghdad ... Vines said large numbers of followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, have been killed or captured in recent months, including in a series of US offensives along the Euphrates river and along the Syrian border. "Some of them went to the hereafter," he said. "Many of them are dead."

The LA Times carries this story today about Sunnis lining up to join the government police force.

A little after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Qassan Ashar Ali, 24, and his brother Omar made their way past three checkpoints, two bomb-sniffing dogs and an X-ray truck and became the first recruits to enter the glass factory in Ramadi after last week's bombing.

Behind them were at least 225 young Sunni men, many carrying sport bags with clean clothes, toiletries and pictures of loved ones for their trip to the police academy in Baghdad.

"We've been scared for a long time," Ali said. "We've had enough."


OIF is a bomb that has detonated deep within the social structure of Iraq. Unlike air strikes which affect only physical structures, ground involvement creates immense changes in the political and social relationships of the country occupied. Embargos, sanctions and even limited attacks send strong signals to an enemy state, but they leave its inner core untouched. At most they can provide encouragement to a regime's enemies but they cannot directly overthrow it. OIF disturbed international diplomats precisely because it violated the primary rule of the postwar world: that states should remain inviolable. OIF wasn't about sending a signal. It was about destroying and remaking an established state.

That process was tantamount to a huge roll of the dice, for once a state is taken apart there is no telling how it will come together again. Especially a state as critically situated as Iraq: it lay along the Sunni-Shi'ite, Arab-Kurd and Arab-Persian faultlines -- not to mention its place in a key oil-producing region, besides being a stew of tribal politics. Iraq was a kind of geopolitical tentpole supporting a roof under tension. Little wonder that Europe whitened in apprehension as US forces gathered at the Kuwaiti border.

But since neither Europe nor the United Nations could in the end stop the American juggernaut the only realistic remaining course was to master the tides that had been unleashed. The fait was acompli. Precisely what those tides are is still unclear. In my own view the Wahabist groups, while still strong, are now clearly hurting (the Jawa report has the latest reactions in Pakistan to the American airstrike aimed at killed Zawahiri.) and the Mullahs in Iran now feel that their big opportunity has come. The political problem confronting the US political system, with the Bush administration in its waning years and the Democratic Party still committed to a return to the status quo antebellum, is that having gone far enough to upset the regional applecart, it is starting to have second thoughts about handling the forces that have been turned loose.

Oddly enough, it may be Europe which is now belatedly realizing the need to deal with the post-OIF world. Particularly because they have very little effective geopolitical power themselves, Europe's only chance of affecting events in the Levant, the Middle East and Southwest Asia lies in convincing the United States to do it on behalf of the "West". But the American political scene is an strange state of distortion. Perhaps because of its visceral hatred of President George Bush, American liberalism, for the first time since the end of the Second World War, is without a real foreign policy. Howard Kurtz in a Washington Post opinion piece called Dem vs Dem quotes Peter Beinart, who argues that an extreme form of parochialism has kept the Democratic Party from looking past it's nose.

"Why are MoveOn, Daily Kos, and so many other liberal activists so keen to find a primary challenger against Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman? . . .

"Lieberman's problem is that bloggers like Kos aren't very ideological either. Temperament defines them, too. It's just the opposite temperament. For Kos and the other Lieberman-haters, liberalism means confrontation, at least in the Bush era. In their view, politics should be guided by the spirit of war. If you don't want to crush conservatives, you are not a liberal.

"So Lieberman-hatred is really all about style, right? Actually, no -- there's one final slice, and it's the most important of all. Behind Lieberman's obsession with national unity is his deep conviction that the United States is at war -- not just in Iraq, but around the world. The war on terrorism is his prism for viewing Bush. And it drains away his anger at the president's misdeeds, because they always pale in comparison to those of America's true enemy. When the Abu Ghraib revelations broke, Lieberman said America should apologize, but then added that 'those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, never apologized.' . . .

"Yet, if Lieberman's view is one-dimensional, so is that of his critics. If he only sees Bush through the prism of war, they only see the war through the prism of Bush -- which is why they can muster so little anger at America's jihadist enemies and so little enthusiasm when Iraqis risk their lives to vote. Kos and MoveOn have conveniently convinced themselves that the war on terrorism is a mere subset of the struggle against the GOP. Whatever brings Democrats closer to power, ipso facto, makes the United States safer. That would be nice if it were true -- but it's clearly not, because, sometimes, Bush is right, and because, to some degree, our safety depends on his success."

And my sense is that this accusation is largely true. One of the biggest factors of instability in the world today is that the other major political party in the United States has no 21st century foreign policy. Wikipedia, in its survey of American liberalism, notes that the Cold War was fought very much on a bipartisan basis.

To begin with, Vietnam was a "liberal war", part of the strategy of containment of Soviet Communism. In the 1960 presidential campaign, the liberal Kennedy was more hawkish on Southeast Asia than the more conservative Nixon. Although it can be argued that the war expanded only under the less liberal Johnson, there was enormous continuity of their cabinets.

Roosevelt, Truman, JFK. The party which dropped the A-bomb, fought the war in Korea, built the Minuteman, started the race to the moon were in the end represented by John Kerry, who began his acceptance to the nomination for Presidency in 2004 with these words (actual audio transcription):

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, so much. Thank you. Thank you, so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty. Thank you.

But insofar as the world was concerned his party was missing in action.


Blogger Doug said...

Never known Wretchard to be as brutal as he is here with John Kerry.
But, as John Kerry says:
"I'm John Kerry
...and I'm reporting for duty.

Thank you.

1/14/2006 03:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wish Collier and Horowitz would do an overview of the evolution of the left, and it's influence on the Democrat party, in the period 1960 to present.

It's quite sad and disturbing really. The activists and the candidate fit completely.

However wrongheaded the activists of the 60's were, they often actually put something on the line as did their candidates.

The same can't really be said for today's activists and today's candidate, unless we consider rhetoric as the universal substitute for substance.

1/14/2006 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

The words "liberal" and "progressive" have taken different meaning from the traditional as they are used to describe the left today.

This is due to the fact that the left leaning whackos have taken leadership of the Democratic Party and become its spokespersons. Not to mention our society as a whole has become more liberal (in the traditional sense) which throws those on the left flank into their state of "opposition only" with no real platform.

As with "gay" we have the choice of discontinuing to use the words as we currently do, or to change their definitions. Wonder why these terms get hijacked?

The situation with al- quaeda and the "insurgents" shouldn't be a suprise. It is a relief, in the sense that it is happening while the "occupation" forces are still present. Probably an indication of our diminished role there in securing the country.

Either way the power struggle between the two was inevitable.

It is encouraging to see the local Iraqis display the type of courage it will take to participate in a new democracy.

1/14/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

And so John Kerry shows way he was unelctable: he's not not here to report for duty, he's there to present his case for why you're reporting for duty.

He just doesn't get it, but happily the American voters did. So let's move off the infantile plane, let's move to where W roams.

"OIF is a bomb that has detonated deep within the social structure of Iraq.
OIF disturbed international diplomats precisely because it violated the primary rule of the postwar world: that states should remain inviolable.

OIF has detonated deep within the ME, the repository of so much evil and misery in the modern world. It may yet be GWB's greatest achievement.


1/14/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Good Morning All from chilly SoFla, Wretchard an interesting analogy, war on the ground does indeed change the dynamic on the ground. One of the memes in our current political dialogue has always struck me as odd. The Democrat Party partisans always and repeatedly ask, "What is your plan, Mr. President, for Iraq. The President doesn't have a plan!"
As you stated no one can forsee how things in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Levant will turn out. Acknowledging this fact the Administration rightly does not give details of "the current plan" but rolls with the punches, observes evolving events and adapts to what is evolving. What strikes me is the vacuousness of the opposition party. All accusation and no offering of solutions or options. Pulling out, a timetable for a pull out or hurling epithets just don't signify.
In the same vein, on the ground in Iraq the traditional tribal behaviors seem to be showing their inherent weaknesses. When the newest kids on the block arrived, al Quada, the local tribes and what have you "embraced" (to use the liberal/progressive yada yada terminology) the newest kids to bedevil the new kids the coalition. Since actions speak so much louder over time we are seeing the al Quada strategy backfiring. Their zealous disregard for the locals lives and prosperity, their fanatic desire to murder for Allah, and their megolomaniacal world view just doesn't seem to be winning hearts and minds. Since, government by intimidation has been the paradigm for Levant governments from time immemorial the Wahabist feel that this is the only way, after all their version of the Book says so.

With this war nobody can predict how the ME will turn out and it seems that no one can forsee how the Democrat Party will turn out either.

1/14/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Karensky said...

are you saying that the deep thinkers of the current Democrat Party can adapt to the new world order? With MoveOn and Kos actively extinguishing any hetrodoxy with their attack on Lieberman I can see a three party election coming down the road. After all is said and done, it looks as if Hillary will move to the right of the Kossasks, no offence to the Orange Revolution, but who will come out on the left of the Dems?

As the split continues and the Repubs have their little conservative/traditional limo liberal conversation they will be addressing what is occuring and evolving in the ME. This is where the world will clash for the next 50 years. If the Dems ignore the obvious I cannot forsee any relevance for the Party.

1/14/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

'Missing in action'

I'd say 'AWOL'. They went over the fence rather than confront the reality of an attack on us.

1/14/2006 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I rather think that the real basis for liberal rage is that the war represents grim reality - and most especially confirmation of their real place in the order of things.

Peggy Noonan pointed out that 9/11/01 shifted the focus of our civilization to those who actually get up and do things: Firemen, policemen, soldiers.

The world before 9/11/01 was one that produced the Dot Com Bomb, built around the idea that the important thing was not the idea, not its execution. The lack of brick and mortor did not matter, since an on-line business was as real as that great big Wal Mart building down the street. It was a post industrial society in which actual creation took a back seat to trendy ideas and conceptual frameworks.

Bill Clinton could stand in the midst of the sea of destruction that was my old neighborhood in Midwest City, Oklahoma, say a few soothing words, promise that money would be spent to stop tornadoes from occurring and that was enough. The fact that the money was never spent or even that there was not even any idea of how to achieve the task did not matter. It was a idea and had been conceptually presented; that was enough.

The crashing of the twin towers brought all that down. It would be necessary to get dirty, to build, save, destroy, kill, and rebuild. The physical world had rudely intruded. Wounded severely by the Dot Com implosion of the previous two years, the attacks of 9/11/01 were a Pearl Harbor attack that sank the mythical battleships of way of life; the rubble of the twin towers buried a basic way of living and thinking.

Those at Move On and the Daily Kos simply could not stand the thought. They could not build or save, or even destroy and kill. They were diminished. They were proved useless. They raged; they continue to.

1/14/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Karensky said...

I am therefore I rage. Kind of a catchy slogan for the '08 presidential run.hggdo

1/14/2006 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom...

It's hard to imagine a Democratic President today--much less a John Kerry or Howard Dean--using these words taken from JFK's 1961 Innaugural Address. To do so would only unnecessarily emphasize the irony.

Sadly, it's more likely the theme would echoe John Murtha:

Let every nation know... we shall pay no price, bear no burden, meet no hardship, support no friend, oppose no foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

1/14/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

You have hit an important point. I will give an example we can all see on a local level, as the problems we discuss internationally are also local.

The local planners, Bless their hearts, have determined how a large portion of a community is to develop, what is going to be present, how it will look, hold the community meetings, use all the right words, get enough local support and votes on the appropriate committees and councils.

No real work has been expendend, meaning something with a meaningful economic result. A lot of time and words has assaulted the community. The owners of the properties find they have protested and have been drowned out. Only the beautiful is to be allowed. Only that which enhances the Planners/Politicos with awards and commendations

The community and area is growing, lots of potential is evident, but this large tract/area with the REAL PLAN, what the community should REALLY LOOK LIKE, is sitting their. No investers are interested in what does not sell.

The owners and potential users (those that actually accomplish things) finally get together and ramrod through or actually IGNORE the Enlightened Committees and Councils. The planners are basically told to 'stick it where the light doesn't shine. The project (big box, ugly industrial, useful commercial, desired entertainment) is built, although the restrictions and gnashing of teeth is terrific. The project is a success.

The Enlightened Planners, committee members and Politos go to special gatherings and give themselves awards for their attempts to civilize this world. They plan new adventures and bemoan the fact that the RABBLE is so ignorant. Can't pronounce words properly and such.

1/14/2006 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just to let everyone know,

In Celebration of the reported demise of Dr. Z, by drone delivered Hellfire missles in the mountains of Warizistan last night, the Candies & Sweets will be handed out tonight, to all the children and adults on our block, here in the Valley of the Sun, Phx., AZ.

In case this is a premature Celebration, candies & sweets will be held in reserve to supply future comtingencies.

1/14/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger someone said...

RWE: ideas v. "doing" is overly simplistic. Our host is a very important asset in this war.

1/14/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Thank your husband & his team for me & Jr.

Seems we sent the right folks to get the job done, there in Warizistan.

Great way to start the year.

1/14/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

If the Democrats were still the Party of Harry Truman, Scoop Jackson and Hubert Humphry I could still vote the Donk Ticket. I am not just the son of Democrats I am the son of railway union Democrats. I was maybe sixteen years old before I ever heard the other Party refered to as anything but 'those goddamned Republicans'.
My break with the Donks started with Viet Nam, Donks sent me, and my brothers, then they abandoned us.
Now there are a gazillion wild-eyed yahoos out there who want nothing more than to kill my children and grandchildren and these Donks want to fight Bush, the only sumbitch out there taking the fight to the bad guys. And the Donks can't understand why they lose.

1/14/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Someone: I realize what you are saying, but Wretchard has always promoted ideas as a means to define action rather than as an excuse for inaction.

A common problem in communication is confusing the thing itself with the word that describes it.

The people of whom I speak have made that fault first into a virtue, then into a lifestyle, and finally into a very reason for being. Firing a few cruise missiles is the most actual action they can conceive of. It is so much easier than an invasion and vastly simpler than dismantling and rebuilding a country. And in their minds it is all grouped under the concept of "military action" and is therefore equivalent. Stupid Bush did something hard when something far easier would have equated to the same thing - in their minds.

But as Wretchard points out, the real effective action was the reassembly, not the dismantling.

What is so amazing is that Kos/Move on don't seem to be able to see is that their way is not only ineffective but also terribly inhumane. "Blow the place up every few years and then go home" (e.g., Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Fox) may satisfy the desire for conceptual action without a mess but it visits horror on people who deserve better. And in the end it does not work.

1/14/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

RWE, Concur Yr Analysis, and amplify: the "...bomb exploded deep in the Middle East..." had some component parts made of Arabic-speaking, DLI-trained linguists: above-average, caring and competent GIs who, men and women, GOT UP and GOT THEIR HANDS DIRTY, paid their dues with thousands of hours of linguistic practice and memorization, and DID SOMETHING good while serving in Iraq!

The left rages, impotent and castrated by their own feeling-defined non-ideology, neutered by their own spiritual (linguistic/thought) poverty!

While American linguists, in their official and off-duty efforts, build bonds of assistance, explanation, elucidation, example and compassion at the practical level, and daily amplify the explosive transformation now sweeping Iraq and about to be triggered in Iran!

1/14/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The fabled civil war in Iraq is happening after all, but who have guessed that it would be for the hearts and minds of the insurgency itself.

"We've been scared for a long time," Ali said. "We've had enough." This statement rings prophetic.

The advent of nuclear arms was to change the way wars are waged, keeping the superpowers at a stalemate, while proxies socked it out in regional low intensity conflicts.
The clash of the titans would give birth to two very different offspring. The two edges of the sword are intelligence and operations. A personal, in your face insurgency that was best countered with soldiers with intimate knowledge of the local customs and knew it’s leaders, soldiers who’d, when push come to shove, knock your door down and drag you out to the streets into an interrogation room. And an all-together different, death from above capability, semi-autonomous air vehicles that could fire volleys of precision guided munitions whilst its’ controllers were hundreds of miles away in an air conditioned bunker. This later development has in a sense obviated the notion of borders. In fact the ‘air-mobility’ tactics first developed in Viet Nam have evolved to such an extent that US war fighting doctrine prefers a smaller operating footprint in the face of conventional set piece warfare as has been evidenced by OIF. Predators scored their first kills in engagements in Yemen, Afghanistan, and not unlikely Pakistan. It seems evident that the future will bring more of the same, and inevitably, space borne weapons platforms that can rain hell fire upon any point on the globe will be deployed.

The schism that drove H.G .Wells Morlocs underground has found imitation in life as the VC tunnels, the Talibans’ caves, and Iran’s subterranean nuclear complex. It is the cries of the pacifists that will ensure a more frightening future of warfare. The days of detent, Mutually Assured Destruction, and walking softly and carrying a big stick are over. And so it goes, the future of warfare is not only the outer space, but the inner space of the mind.

It is because of the melt down of the alliances of the liberal west that we shall see a world in greater turmoil. We see more death and destruction, and we will see it because we have valued peace more than justice, that we value the life of our adversaries more than they value their own, and finally, we will have a global war because our allies that we have invested so much to be with us, wish more than their own survival, our comeuppance. This will be the basis of the ever broadening pool of blood, the red on blue war fought across the Rubicon of the corpus colosum.

1/14/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In Celebration of the reported demise of Dr. Z, by drone "
Wow, 4 short years from the Taliban to developing their own RPV:
News yesterday said it was one of theirs.

1/14/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...but today, the CIA, and Pakistan is Pissed:

"A CIA missile strike on a remote Pakistani village did not kill top al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a Pakistani intelligence source said today.

Earlier reports had suggested that al-Zawahiri --Osama bin Laden's second-in-command -- may have been among 18 people killed in the strike.

The Pakistani government said it would make a "strong protest" to the U.S. ambassador over the attack.

1/14/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"While this act is highly condemnable, we have been for a long time been striving to rid all our tribal areas of foreign intruders who have been responsible for all the violence and misery in the region.
This situation has to be brought to an end."

He added that it "is also the responsibility of the people in the areas to fully co-operate.'"

1/14/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

From the AP Newswire: Pakistan says it does not allow U.S. forces to cross the border in pursuit of Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.

The friend of our enemy is our... friend. Or something.

1/14/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The irony here, of course, is that the Democrats are sitting on an opportunity to regain the majority for a long time to come, but their biases have institutionalized a political blindness that disallows them from seeing it.

The Chinese word for 'crisis' incorporates the symbols for both 'danger' and 'opportunity'. Kuhn also spoke of the opportunity inherent in crisis, when he spoke of 'revolution' and 'emergence' as evolutionary steps of a paradigm.

The Democrats are in a paradigmatic crisis. It is a crisis of ideas, a crisis of both admission and omission. On the one hand Democrats still cling to outdated, spent, and, in some cases, dangerously naive memes, while on the other hand they come up empty on the biggest questions of our time. As Mark Steyn says, their politics have gotten small; it is their silence on what really matters that has gotten large, and therefore, defining.

The list of things the Democrats do not offer boggle the mind, not because the list is long, but because it is so primal. Democrats, for instance, put forth no ideas on what to do with American power. They never, ever, answer this question directly, not in a positive sense. It is only addressed asymptotically, if at all.

Nevertheless, if one analyzes the aggregate of their foreign policy ideas, one quickly acquires an outline of their thinking, and it is this: American power is bad, or too unwieldy, and must be constrained. They have no ideas on what to do with it, only how to limit it. In fact, even saying that America is incredibly powerful engenders in them embarrassment and rejection. They want nothing to do with it, and consequentially, their biases cripple them on the single most important issue of our time.

Another large omission is the absence of a narrative to provide the Democrats and their ideas a much-needed context, and direction. This is unforgivable for a national party, and deadly to boot, because without a narrative to bind and lead your ideas, you are listless and vulnerable to contradiction. And contradiction is absolutely fatal when trying to build a consensus.

The Democrats behave as advocates for various interests, instead of leaders of a diverse population. The problem, as we have seen, is that when you are an advocate for specific interests, you are a priori an adversary to other interests. Advocacy is by nature anti-inclusiveness. It presupposes the other, and prearranges a conflict with it.

And so the Democrats have positioned themselves as advocates for minorities, which is, if you think about it, rather stupid in a system of majority rule. Once this paradigm is institutionalized in the party, immediate grievances supplant the primacy of good governance, and away we go.

It so disheartening because it is so obvious. If the Democrats really wanted to, they could sweep the electorate and gain long-lasting majorities. All they have to do is believe in the goodness of America, and let this star guide them towards new and great ideas.

As long as they milk the system as advocates, they will never govern it as leaders. And if they can't govern as leaders, they won't govern at all.

1/14/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

No joy, Rat. But hang on to the sweets.

The killing of Rabia last month holds much promise yet.

1/14/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I see no sign that there *is* any "deep thinker" in the Democratic party. Hillary would be the closest you could come to someone looking three months down the road, and she is mainly interested in getting re-elected, and not in defending the country.

I have said before, however, and will say it again that which-ever party picks up the immigration question and promises to actually *DO* something about enforcing laws and making sure the flood of illegals is staunched will win the next American election.

This may not be obvious to someone like Wretchard in Australia, but I think that everyone -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- thinks this is a priority issue. We can stick around and rebuild Iraq, we can nuke Iran, we can take out Syria -- those are all fine and good. But if we're drowning internally with an unrestricted tsunami of immigrants, it really saps our ability and our strength to project "democracy" out into the world.

Not only that, but it pisses us off.

1/14/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So, trish, you do not think the evil Dr Z was amongst the 18 dead?

I do so want to hand out the Candies, have a block party, perhaps.

1/14/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Voltimand said...

W. has it right when he says that the purpose of Operation Iraqi Freedom was about effecting a fundamental change in the political and social vectors of that country. This is not quite as historically innovative as it might appear today. After all, it was the declared purpose of American policy after WWII to effect fundamental changes in how the political forces in both Germany and Japan were going to operate, and parliamentary systems were installed in both countries, just as such is in the process of being installed in Iraq.

The reasoning behind such a program is based largely on a single premise: that aggressive wars that are waged with major popular support cannot be finally defeated if transformation is not effected in the populous itself. Nothing less than political re-education is going to do the job.

America may have learned this lesson from the finally disappointing results of Reconstruction following the Civil War. The white majority in the South was never directly addressed as to its peculiar thinking about race-based stratification, and when Reconstruction ended, there was essentially a return to the status quo ante, or such as was still possible in the wake of the three Reconstruction constitutional amendments that among other things abolished slavery and guaranteed voting rights.

In any case, the Bush administration had both ample warrant as well as ample precedent for OIF conceived of as not merely "regime change" but total revamping of the political landscape in a country bound otherwise to become just another piece of geographical real estate dedicated to giving sanctuary to groups aimed at exporting guerilla warfare, aka terrorism.

1/14/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Bat One said...

DR: Imagine for a moment that Dr. Z was taken out, and that public notification to the contrary is really an attempt to follow the communications food chain back into the mountains, or perhaps back to Iran, wherever it leads. Fanciful, perhaps, but intriguing nonetheless.

As for the Dems, the sad part is that there is simply no time left to deal with the party now devoted exclusively to Roe, taxes, and BDS. Iran, the world's most generous supporter of terrorists, is on the brink of obtaining nuclear weapons. Attempting to convince the party of Kerry, Dean and Soros that our real enemy is a terrorist cell with nukes, rather than the President of the US is now a pointless exercise in futility. Apparently the Democrats "feel" that by ignoring the GWOT and abdicating any authority over foreign affairs to the UN and the "international community" they have further de-legitimized the Bush presidency. As it was with candidate Kerry, so it is with the Democratic party. It's not the emporer has no clothes, but rather that the clothes contain no emporer... the ultimate triumph of style over substance and rhetoric over reality.

1/14/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger AcademicElephant said...

Just to drag things back to John Kerry for a moment--he called the decision of the Iranian regime to re-start Natanz "silly" yesterday. On the one hand, I am glad that he seems to understand than Iran having a nuclear weapon is a bad thing. But on the other--"silly"? It goes to your point because how can you take the man seriously when he says such things?

Silly. Jeez.

1/14/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"which-ever party picks up the immigration question and promises to actually *DO* something about enforcing laws and making sure the flood of illegals is staunched will win the next American election."
The Democrats will do ANYTHING to win the next election.
Well, ...anything but THAT.

And the GOP is led by GWB,
Appeaser in Chief
on Immigration and our
Friend Fox and Friends.

1/14/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Heard John Stossel on Laura Ingraham Show.
He had a show on the sub-mediocrity of our monopoly educational establishment.
Showing that by High School
our kids were far behind Eastern Europe and much of the rest of the "less developed" world.
At $250,000 per classroom per year
(that does not include the cost of the classroom and plant!)
It is truly a national disgrace second only to Immigration, imo.
...leading to folks like Candidate Kerry and other serious ill effects.

1/14/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Academicelephant, you've got to admit that if anyone knows 'silly' it's JFKerry.

1/14/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Academic elephant: Had not heard that statement by Kerry. Good that I tune in here, because I most definitely tune out whenever I see or hear any of those guys on TV. Thank God for remote controls!

But I think perhaps that Iran's action is indeed "silly" from the perspective of Kerry because he would be willing to give them anything they want - money, trade concessions, a free hand in their own country, WMDs delivered on Israel, any price for oil, as much of Iraq as they can comfortably digest - so why waste your time building nukes?

Such a practical man!

Karensky: "What strikes me is the vacuousness of the opposition party."
Indeed! It almost strikes me dumb! What have they?
The possible outing of a non-agent.
A series of "mistakes" in Iraq - but with totally contradictory alternatives to those mistakes offered at best - when anything is offered at all.
The failure of a city/county/state government in New Orleans- controlled by their party - to do what such governments are supposed to do.
A series of motions in Congress they are unwilling to even vote for themselves.
Failure to armor our vehicles and personnel in Iraq - even as they oppose attempts to "armor" the entire country with ballistic missile defenses.
And their most forceful rhetoric is identical to that employed by a sworn enemy of the democratic process. Were this WWII the base of the Demorcratic Party would be the German Nazi Bund organization.

All in all, pretty thin gruel on which to subsist. Astonishing to think that I was raised a staunch Democrat.

1/14/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger AcademicElephant said...

Doug: I get kids coming from the public and private systems and I can tell you there's something seriously wrong with both of them. Mr. Kerry is just a symptom, and a silly one at that.

1/14/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger AcademicElephant said...

RWE: I have developed a crackpot theory that if Michael Ledeen is right and Osama met his maker in Iran in December, their actions over the last few weeks suddenly seem a lot less "silly" cause they're going to need that nuke pretty soon when the location of the ObL grave becomes a pilgrimage site and their harboring of him post-9/11 becomes public confirmed knowledge.

But you're right, such reasoning is way over JFK's head, so "silly" is probably the mot juste in his opinion.

1/14/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Yesterday, Joshua Chamberlain wrote some comments to Belmont Club where he referred to Angelo Codevilla. I googled Angelo Codevilla and found the following interesting article written by him:

Prof. Codevilla's article provides an intelligent analysis of the situation in Iraq and is relevant to Wretchard's current topic (you should definitely read it). Unfortunately Prof. Codevilla made a comment that seemed less than erudite:

"In short, the Bush Administration never attempted logically to balance ends and means, the things it desired with the things it was doing."

IMHO, Prof. Codevilla's analysis would have been better reasoned if we were fighting only one enemy in the GWoT. Unfortunately we have two enemies. We have an external enemy which can best be described as "Islamic fascists". We also have an internal enemy incorporating different sets of groups, e.g. the irresponsible MSM, feckless "allies", cynical partisans, moonbats, etc. President Bush and his advisors are obliged to account for both enemies in any strategy that he constructs. Analyzing the strategy of OIF only in the context of killing Islamic fascists will not seem logical if one does not also address the problem of the internal enemies.

In many ways dealing with the external enemy is easier: We simply kill or incarcerate them. However the basic rules of our democratic system prohibits violence against the internal enemy.

Unfortunately if we do not deal effectively with the internal enemy then the external enemy will eventually destroy us.

1/14/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Sadly, Rat, I don't. For one, the Pakistanis are making too much noise, even for them.

1/14/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Aristides wrote: The list of things the Democrats do not offer boggle the mind, not because the list is long, but because it is so primal. Democrats, for instance, put forth no ideas on what to do with American power. They never, ever, answer this question directly, not in a positive sense.

It goes a step further than that. They seem to believe that nothing SHOULD be done with American power. It's almost as if we didn't do anything at all, things would be better.

Of course, to hold this view, one has to be purposely ignorant of recent history. In the 1990's, we ignored declarations of war against us, acts of war against us, allowed Iraq to fester in open defiance of war sanctions, treated the murderous Palestinians as honest seekers of peace, and in general acted out what today's Democrats seem to be demanding.

Of course, as Ari points out, it's difficult to understand their real point of view, because it is always only expressed in the negative - whatever Bush is doing is WRONG. Given their lack of definition, we can only assume they want to do nothing. Or when they do offer alternatives, they are pure fantasies, like have the Euros come in and take over Iraq, have the UN deal with Iran, offer the North Koreans more bribes.

One of their arguments is that OIF is purely a "war of choice" because "Iraq was no threat." Well, if Iraq, with huge oil wealth, vast military investments, a history of wmd development - if all that was no threat, what was Afghanistan before 9/11? Obviously, no threat whatsoever!

Bush bet his entire re-election, the continuing dominance of the entire Republican party, his own good name - on America's common sense that there is a war going on and we must fight it. He won by a large margin, he won by a majority of voters.

Most tellingly, for today's Democratic "patriots" they still refuse to accept that legally expressed will of our democracy.


Btw, that strike in Pakistan doesn't sound like it was done by a Predator, unless Predators are flying in squadrons these days. Three houses were destroyed, that would take at least two Predators. Sounds more like Predators were being used for FAC, and steer-able Mk.82's fell out of the deep blue.

1/14/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

CNN retracted that Zawahiri died in an air-strike.

I quit smoking... have way too much nervous energy in my hands!

Happy New Year!!!

1/14/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

New reports talk about "ten missiles" and others talk about "eight explosions." If they were Predators, this is a brand new way of deploying such a scarce resource. I don't think they were. I guess somehow an unmanned vehicle is less intrusive than manned aircraft? Sounds like a Democrat style of war!

1/14/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

But we don't know who the target of that strike was, so there's an unknown story here - one that Pakistani officials want to go their way.

1/14/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger KensBest said...

Send a Valentine to a soldier in Iraq!/Support Our Troops

Visit, and click on the big red heart. We will send a valentine to a soldier in your name with your Valentines message. We are fundraising to send more boxes to the Freedom Rest R&R Facility in Iraq. Valentines are $1.00, but you can give more!

You can no longer send any mail to "ANY SOLDIER" it is destroyed as a security risk., We have a military distributuion point in Iraq where your Valentines will reach thousands of troops.


In March, 2004, while my wife was in Iraq, I started Operation: A Bit of Home. My wife called me and told me she had to put on 80 lbs. of battle gear, pick up her rifle, and walk 2 miles in 140 degree heat to buy soap and tampons and toothpaste. She told me that the government does not supply any sanitary or entertainment items to our troops. I decided that I would not have my wife doing that. I started shipping boxes to her unit in Iraq, in large quantities.

In July 2004 I received a phone call from a place in Baghdad called Freedom Rest. They stated they were the only R&R facility in Iraq for our troops. They get soldiers that have been in combat, on convoys, or high stress dangerous situations and give them 3 days and nights of R&R, good food, a pool, games, a soft bed and goodies. They process hundreds of soldiers in-and-out each day. By supplying hygiene, snack and entertainment items to Freedom Rest, we have directly affected the lives of over 23,000 soldiers. (Verified in a letter from the NCOIC, USMI Freedom Rest)

They told me the government provides basic foods, linens etc., but all hygiene, snack and entertainment items come from donations, and asked if I could help. I am one of the few groups that actually have been asked to send supplies.

I know there are a lot of charities for the troops out there, but these facts set us apart from the rest:

1. We supply a facility for stressed troops, not individuals. We have eliminated the problem of NCO and officers hording the boxes. We do not send things to the same troops over and over,

2. Our website tells people how to send their own boxes, how to fill out the US Postal forms, gives packing tips and lists of needed items, and most importantly, we give out the address to send it to. We do not post names of individual soldiers, a very dangerous thing to do. If Al Qaeda knows where a National Guard unit is from, and has names, they could potentially find and endanger soldier’s families just by using a phone book!

3. Although the website does accept donations from folks who want us to do all the work, we encourage people to do it themselves, give them the tools, and hope to encourage a sense of civic pride. We do civic presentations and assist groups in completing their “Public Service” obligations.

4. We don’t sell a bunch of overpriced “Boxes” like others do.

We are working with several organizations to help them develop their own programs.

I could go on forever, but if you visit our website, or Google Us, you will find we are legitimate.

A short mention on people’s blogs could do more for us than months of our pounding the streets and working the phones. A link on your mail list or your homepage would work wonders also.

Please visit our website, google us, and tell your friends about us. Every dime of donations goes to shipping and buying needed items. No one is paid, we have no overhead, and we care about the troops. We continue to send even when donations are thin using our personal Credit Cards.

Thank you and please visit

Supporting the troops means more than placing a yellow ribbon on your car.

Thanks for your support

Ken Meyer
Operation: A Bit of Home

1/14/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Tony: Other people have gotten where you are going first. Peggy Noonan summed up the Kerry Approach to Foreign Policy very well: "He would surround himself with very bright people and they would study every problem very carefully ... and then they would do nothing, since they would conclude that the only thing to do would be to do the same thing that Republicans would do and they simply could not do that."

As for Predators, the models we are flying now mainly are not the old piston-engined ones of 4 years ago. They are turbine powered and have higher performance - and quite possibly a larger weapons load. I will have to ask a guy I know that works for Martin-Orlando if they have optimized a Hellfire version for Predator use. The original missile was a copter weapon and was not well suited to shoot at stuff waaayyy down there below.

1/14/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"That process was tantamount to a huge roll of the dice, for once a state is taken apart there is no telling how it will come together again."

- Wretchard

Nice try.

It wasn't supposed to end like this. Not by a long shot.

1/14/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I don't think they were. I guess somehow an unmanned vehicle is less intrusive than manned aircraft?"
Could it be the Gary Powers concern?
Trish or RWE might know.
I'm sure the Turbo Predators are much more capable, will be fun to hear how much if we're lucky.

1/14/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Had enough experience w/homeschoolers to comment?

1/14/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Our 21 year old son reports a complete Clintonesque breakdown in traditional standards, at least here on Fantasy Island.
He is sure elsewhere as well.
I mention Utah.
He Scoffs.

1/14/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

It would seem that JFkerry has Democrat Party politics down, "it's just soooo silly", I shudder at the thought of his ilk gaining power. On the other hand, where would he find any talent from the Party loyals? Deep thinkers they have not. As far as Dems taking political advantage of the Immigration issue I just can't see it. With their pandering attitude how can they limit hispanic immigration even though poll after poll show that MexiAmericnas don't like the open border thing. Having been raised Michigan Rommney Republican I am very, very uneasy with the border thing. All of my life I have viewed our unguarded borders as beautiful. Who would want to hurt us etc.
Now the Wahabbis want to get it on. Theirs is not a Geneva warfare style so I guess it is time for Old Europe to shut up and take a back seat.

RWE regardin the deep thinkers of the Democrats I guess Teddy has the most experience at deep thinking for the not so loyal opposition. Hillary, I just can't see her taking on the open borders. She sat on her hands when the President went after the "vigilantes".

But, yes, it is time we closed our borders and hard. Time to re-evaluate our policies of bringing in non-whites at the expense of nowhere to go old Europeans. Last I heard from the nanny state folks over there they see the writing on the wall and it is usually arabic graffiti.

1/14/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Brave New World
Orwell Today .com
Challenges in 'Rat's Future:
The New Megayachts: Too Much of a Good Thing?
Megayachts - some of which are as long as a football field - are the hottest new possession in the boating world.
But there is just one problem:
Very few marinas are big enough to accommodate them.
Defending Your Airspace

Amy Nichols, director for infection control at University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, says fabric hasn't generally been shown to be a disease transmitter (except in the case of smallpox, she notes
The Air You Breathe
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1/14/2006 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Deep Thoughts:
"I'm Outta Here,
Screw the B....

1/14/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...


I don't believe that any Predator B's are flying yet in an operational mode. They do have better performance, and have a more powerful IR optical system (Multi-Spectral Targeting System -MTS built by Raytheon)to reach out farther and ID targets and designate for Hellfires and other laser guided munitions. Of course ranges and capabilities are classified. The Army is fielding a similar system on their Special Ops choppers. All around very impressive stuff.

1/14/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

But, little Twish, it has not ended yet.

Is that not the problem with leftists? They all demand that instant gratification which real life fails to provide.

The true result of Bush's roll of the dice will not be known for decades at least. But, little Twish, do not let that prevent you from declaring it a failure.

1/14/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Great post, Wretchard.

1/14/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I agree with Wretchard on that one Trish - basically because I can't imagine anyone would commit themselves to a very specific vision of what they expected to occur, least of all those who have studied it or - so I've heard - worked there. I personally remember reading some "official" saying "we're going to break it open and see what happens" was the basic sentiment, and the meaning of "this going to be a long, long war" statement. I bet they know that they're gambling, but it's based on an assessment of American power that seems to have largely been vindicated, irrespective of the "Shinseki's our hero!" criticism. We're hitting these people on a huge and confusing scale. There is no doubt who is master, and that is the first point that had to be made. At least that's how I see it.

1/14/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


I make no claim to getting there first, in fact, I think "there" has been there all along, and you either "are there" or you're not.

Democratic national security paralysis is documented in "The 9/11 Commission Report." In there you read quotes of those guys worrying that if they tried fighting back, and it turned out rough, they would get blamed for it.

I kid you not. Read the Report. I don't need to expand on that.

As for the Predator, no matter what kind of engine, that little airframe ain't hauling 8 to 10 Hellfires, ground-attack HARMs, or any other kind of heavy warhead missile through the sky.

That was not a Predator strike like any previous one.

Then again, even us avid readers of AWST never heard about armed Predators until that successful operation in Yemen a few years ago. So maybe there's an unmanned flying bomber currently operational, and for whatever reason, it has not yet been leaked to the NYT!

I doubt it. Pretty sure the UAV's were doing FAC only.

Come to think of it, a manned bomber at a certain altitude could certainly frisbee off terminally-guided munitions from far outside Pakistani airspace.

1/14/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Right or Wrong, Trish has more inside info than most of us here, and far more riding on daily events than do we.
Her family is familiar with the something quite distant from instant gratification.

1/14/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The larger "Global Whatever" is not in service yet?
I was thinking of the stand-off manned platform also
We await the report from Martin!

1/14/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Well, Doug,

You know the war-mongers were touting these large, long-runway desert airbases as valuable strategic assets in formerly inaccessible places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ANG just moved an entire Wing of 6 doz. F16's to "SW Asia" to flesh out our diplomatic options vi-a-vis the Iranian nukes, one must presume.

Now, answer me this: could you say that back in the Golden Peace of the 90's?

People argue that the US has lost stature on the world stage?

Let's strive for the just peace, fiercely.

1/14/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"...we're going to break it open and see what happens" was the basic sentiment,"

The word "intolerable" comes to mind, it has a meaning, it means "this is not tolerable"--which was pretty much 911's only clear action memo: "Status quo, intolerable. Remedy unclear, other than to break it."

So, that 'break it open and see what happens' attitude is actually a lot less go-it-alone, cowboy whimsical or devil-may-care that it first appears.

It's actually a pretty realistic, sober evaluation of the situation, it seems to me.

1/14/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Whether or not the end result turns out to be better or worse, is of course vitally important, but is almost a different issue, really sort of moot, at the point of confrontation with the status quo "intolerable".

1/14/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Depending on whether or not the detailed operational plans meet the
"Global Test"
or not, of course.

1/14/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wern't there some comments over at R. Simons to the effect that that F-16 deployment was not nearly as large as first thought?
ie first reports said it was the largest deployment of that outfit in a long time
...but they did not have that many planes?

1/14/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Good to see you. I second you, aye aye. We already saw what Not Acting leads to. It's not a mystery. Aye, sir.

When the Democrats suggest "let's just surrender and see what happens" as a new way out of this quandary known as Life, they are offended when we don't see that as a "good idea."

1/14/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(Not that I doubt Tony of course, specially since he seems in a feisty mood.)

1/14/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, are you trying to say that the "soft-power' of the 90s *also* didn't work as envisioned?

1/14/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How'd I get sucked into the 90's?
The "Global Test" was conceived in 2004.

1/14/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sorry, my comment was ONLY refering to Al Fin's comment.
Any appearances to the contrary are strictly co-incidental.
...and I think Judge Alioto has a very nice family, and I certainly think he is a nice man also.
(for a far right corporate loving bigot, at least)

1/14/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nobody got sucked into the 90s, we all got spit out.

1/14/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The eyes in the sky can see you.

“The upgraded Predator, the MQ-9 Hunter/Killer, has been operational in the Balkans since April 2001. In March 2005, the USAF awarded a further contract for the System Design & Development (SDD) of MQ-9. 15 MQ-9 have been ordered and eight delivered to the USAF.
The Predator B has an operational ceiling of 50,000ft and a maximum internal payload of 800lb and external payload of over 3,000lb. Predator B has been flight tested with Hellfire II anti-armour missiles and can carry up to 14 missiles.”

If we can see you we can kill you. That’s 14 folks. What’s hell and damnation without a little ‘Hellfire’.

I had the distinct pleasure of walking around one of these babies here in San Diego. They are a sight to see. General Atomic who makes the Predator B runs a real fine operation. None the less, I had the misfortune of bidding against the Predator for the Armies ‘Extended Range/Multi-Purpose’ contract with NGC. GA has done too well with the RQ9 to lose that competition. Oh well. It’s good for the Army and bad for splodey dopes.

1/14/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Designated MQ-9 Hunter-Killer, Predator B's primary mission is interdiction and conducting armed reconnaissance against critical, perishable targets."
Prior to the Mission the targets are perishable, they then become "instantaneously perishable."

1/14/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, if you use 'perishable' in that sense, then you have to use 'critical' that way too--as in, the critical, perishable target looks up at the drone, and says "That thing sure is ugly!"

1/14/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Come to think of it, a manned bomber at a certain altitude could certainly frisbee off terminally-guided munitions from far outside Pakistani airspace.

Could this have been a demonstration for Iran's benefit? That American bombers will be up so high Iran won't even be able to see them until the munitions hit Iranian targets?

1/14/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Hunter/Killer. You got to love that term. Sounds like something from Terminator. Now Armed Reconnaissance, that term is loaded as well, the old Army Field Manual said something to the effect ‘Locate the enemy. Annihilate them.’ Nice terse directive.

The original mission of the Predators was Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR). It was so effective commanders got a birds eye view of the bad guys getting away (perishing targets) so they outfitted it for the armed reconnaissance as well to nice effect.

1/14/2006 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

“Could this have been a demonstration for Iran's benefit?”

OIF was probably for Iran’s benefit Nahncee. The US recently sold 500 bunker buster bombs to Israel. That was also likely for Iran’s benefit as well.

The Hellfire missile weighs about 100 pounds. The bunker buster bombs weigh up to 5000 pounds and requires aircraft like the F-15 Strike Eagle to deliver it.

The slant range of these bombs are miles not hundreds of miles and to penetrate, they generally want to be headed more or less straight down.

1/14/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger sundayblogger said...


I read wikipedia, but I also occasionally edit articles.

I do not have overwhelming confidence in the truth of the articles there.

Wikipedia policy is: "As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth."

"A good way to look at the distinction between verifiability and truth is with the following example. Suppose you are writing a Wikipedia entry on a famous physicist's Theory X. Theory X has been published in peer-reviewed journals and is therefore an appropriate subject for a Wikipedia article. However, in the course of writing the article, you meet the physicist, and over a beer, he tells you: "Actually, I think Theory X is a load of rubbish." Even though you have this from the author himself, you cannot include the fact that he said it in your Wikipedia entry."

As I have taken part in and learned more about the Wikipedia editing process, I am more and more of the opinion that citing wikipedia is "unprofessional" even though (perhaps contraditorily) I have no problem with the citing of blogs.

I do think that wikipedia does contain valuable information and links, but I prefer to follow the links an original source.

1/15/2006 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


I don't think Wikipedia is given any more inherent authority than Bill Roggio or Chester, or the Washington Post. I think it's possible to tentatively believe something as a working hypothesis but the real test of a an article's accuracy is whether it squares with common sense and what we know from other sources.

The idea the the post war Democratic Party supported containment, or that JFK sent Special Forces to Vietnam coincides with general knowledge. To that degree, the Wikipedia article seems reliable, not because it's from Wikipedia, but because it makes sense.

Just yesterday I was reading a news article about Australian singer Kylie Minogue being declared "cancer free" after a partial lumpectomy. Recently, I had a relative who underwent treatment for the same type of cancer and I don't believe any doctor will declare a patient "cancer free" simply because current diagnostic tools cannot identify cancers cell clumps below a certain size. So while I'm no M.D., I'm skeptical of the news articles claims. Incidentally, Ms. Minogue came out and denied that her French clinic declared her "cancer free". That sounds about right.

1/15/2006 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


You cannot think deeply when your primal emotion is to applogise to the world for your existence.


1/15/2006 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Doug, if you use 'perishable' in that sense, then you have to use 'critical' that way too--as in, the critical, perishable target looks up at the drone, and says "That thing sure is ugly!""
In "Transactional Analysis" speak,
(I'm OK you're TA...
or something like that.)
Inside the head of every Perishable Child Target (PCT) lies the
Critical Perishable Parent (CPP) lying in wait to declare:

"That thing sure is ugly!"

1/15/2006 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Forgive them, for they are at the mercy of their
Inner Critical Perishable Parents.

Perishable Victims, they are.

1/15/2006 02:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here's that R Simon LINK with his update on the F-16 numbers at the bottom.
What is truth?
(I should have taken the time to look it up in Wikipedia to find out for sure.)

1/15/2006 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Didn't Wikipedia start out with 1915 Encylopedia Brittanica?
...would be cool to have the original posted also w/o modern edits.
That was quite a collection of knowledge.
FWIW, of course.

1/15/2006 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Xinhua's View of North Waziristan / Bilal incident.

1/15/2006 02:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Perishable Target

1/15/2006 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

BRAC 2005
(Global Security)
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Capital Airport Air Guard Station, IL. It would distribute the 183d Fighter Wing’s F-16s to the 122d Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne International Airport Air Guard Station, IN, (15 aircraft). As a result, the 122d Fighter Wing's F-16s (15 aircraft) would retire. DoD also recommended to realign Hulman Regional Airport Air Guard Station, IN. The 181st Fighter Wing’s F-16s would be distributed to the 122d Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne International Airport Air Guard Station, IN (nine aircraft), and retirement (six aircraft).
Cool 404 Message:
404u Akbar! Satan! You have made a (faulty) selection. This is what you get for being a shameless kafir.

Comments from Clarity and Resolve:

The F-16's would be very inadequate for any strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. There load carrying capacity/range is too small to be used in any initial stages of an Iranian attack. We would go in with cruise missiles of various types and B2s, but NOT F16s.
Posted by: Steve at January 12, 2006 05:10 PM

I agree with Steve on this. The f16, even the f16I with conformal fuel tanks, isn't able to carry a big enough load far enough to accomplish the mission.

Also I believe they might have a problem with the air defense network of Iran, which I suspect is Russian and Chinese equipment. The most logical solution is the global reach and stealth of the B-2 Spirit bomber, which is one incredibly capable airframe.
Radar nets can't track these planes effectively, and good luck finding one at night with MiG29 Fulcrums piloted by less than well trained Iranian pilots.
The unrefueled range of a B-2 is something like 7-8,000 miles. Then you throw in the KC135 tanker, and B-2's can reach anywhere, anytime.

As to the weapons load, one B-2 can carry more ordinance than 6 f-16's.
The JDAMs, satellite guided precision bombs, and Air launched Tomahawks are all compatible.
I think 8 2,000lb warhead Tomahawks per aircraft, with a 4 ship formation might do it. Man, I would hate to be on the business end of that mission!
That would put some serious firepower right on their heads before they detected anything at all.
Remember the aimless AAflak over Baghdad in Desert Storm? You detect B-2's by noticing the stuff that just blew up with no warning. Somehow I think the normal thought processes we're used to don't happen in the skull of the madmullahs.
The United States Air Force is probably the only realistic option in this case.

1/15/2006 02:57:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"I personally remember reading some 'official' saying 'we're going to break it open and see what happens' was the basic sentiment"

Has said 'official' been fired yet, dan?

No, I guess not, because SOMETHING HAPPENED and therefor the goal has been achieved.

That was easy, wasn't it?

1/15/2006 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Always worked for me as a kid!
(what's an All American Boy gonna do, right?) was those damned complicated/small ones I couldn't get back together that sucked.

1/15/2006 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Annoy Mouse,

Thanks for the update on the Predator B. Scratch my stupid posts about this not being a Predator attack, please. 14 Hellfires, whoa, that's the equivalent of a WWII medium bomber.

One last thing on Kerry and his Party. How is that Abu Ghraib is so horrible that it means that Bush has destroyed the soul of America, but the same people who most ardently feel that way voted for a self-confessed war criminal for President of the US?

1/15/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

He comes a lot closer to passing the Global Test than Bushitler.

Heck, he'd be administering the US Govt sponsered
"Global Test Poll"
of great little dictatorships around the World,
...if we had only been smart enough to elect him POTUS.

With French Pollwatchers overseen by Jimmah Carter, of course.

1/15/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

Buddy's back! (Maybe I've missed them but I haven't seen his posts lately)-
Cheers -

1/15/2006 10:52:00 PM  

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