Sunday, January 01, 2006

Marguerite's garden

There's an interesting article in US News and World Report entitled Cracking an Insurgent Cell. The story begins with a hit team killing an Iraqi election worker. But the hit team doesn't get very far. A watchful Iraqi sniper wounds one of the perps. The pursuit overtakes the getaway car. Two perps, including the wounded member of the hit team are arrested. It's a good start but now the dilemmas begin.

Fox tells al-Jabouri he will return with his interrogation team. Before leaving, however, he asks if Nashwan has been roughed up by his Iraqi interrogators. "A little," says al-Jabouri. The answer will severely complicate the rest of Fox's week. ... The arguments in the 1-17 battalion also show how the American mistreatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison--and fear of another scandal--continue to loom over everything the military does, ... the Americans must consider whether there is really enough evidence to hold the detainees. If the evidence doesn't meet American standards, military lawyers will release the detainees--angering the Iraqi forces who originally captured them ... The Iraqi Army is not bound by the three-day limit the Americans have imposed on themselves. Majeed, Fox believes, will be able to get the detainees to talk about IED s, weapons, and other cell members. There's just one catch, though. The Iraqi Army has a reputation for beating prisoners. And Fox knows that if the detainees are hurt, he'll be held accountable.

... As they are placed in the back, one of the American soldiers whispers to the detainees in English: "We are taking you to the peshmerga." ... Actually, Majeed's battalion, a former Iraqi National Guard unit, is mostly Sunni Arab, not Kurdish. But as they are ushered off the Stryker and toward Majeed's office, Nashwan and Adel don't know that. As far as they can tell, they're at a Kurdish base. Perhaps as a result, a transformation has come over Adel. The defiant young man who said he wanted to kill the Americans is now sobbing uncontrollably. ... "I thought we were staying with the Americans," Adel says.

The story is told from two points of view. The first from an American and an Iraqi officer who think the spirit of the rules, rather than the rules themselves should be the guiding principle behind operations. This American officer is planning to retire in 2007. The second is from another US officer who believes that rules, if they are to mean anything, must be strictly followed.

Triscari is pleased with the results of the operation but remains troubled by the possibility that Majeed used force to get Nashwan and Abu Mahmoud to talk. Triscari is an accomplished officer. He has written a book about transforming Army brigades and will most likely be offered command of a new battalion when he returns stateside. He has dark hair and eyes and a lean, unlined face. The United States, Triscari says, cannot fudge the rules to have a detainee handed over to the Iraqi Army, especially if it is concerned that the suspects may be abused. "If we see someone tortured," he says, "we have an obligation to say, 'Do not do that.' We do not wink at torture." To Triscari, there are clear lines that the American Army must not cross. The rules ensure that the Americans stay within bounds.


Readers of Cracking an Insurgent Cell will find support for whichever of two contradictory theses they prefer. It can be offered as an example that insurgent cells can be cracked without "torture" -- at least not the nail-pulling kind, though lawyers may have something to say about threatening detainees with transfer out of American custody -- or an example of how killers were captured despite the rules. It doesn't end the debate, just unambiguously highlights that lives are stake on both sides of the argument. The broken insurgent cell had been engaged in killing Iraqis and planting IEDs. Letting them escape meant that someone was actually going to die. On the other side is Triscari's argument: the imperative of keeping the physically unstoppable US military, an organization so powerful that it is constrained only by its own command and control systems, within bounds.

But whether in the world of Fox or Triscari we are a long way from the cold universe of human rights abstractions. That is wonderfully characterized in an article by human rights advocate Conor Gearty  who argued that humanitarian law itself, not any sentimental claptrap about saving the innocent and punishing the guilty, is the absolute standard.

The moment the human rights discourse moves in this way into the realm of good and evil is the moment when it has fatally compromised its integrity. For once these grand terms are deployed in the discussion, all bets are off as far as equality of esteem is concerned. If we are good and they are bad, then of course equality of esteem as between all of us is ludicrous. Why esteem the evildoer in the same way as he or she who does good? ... International humanitarian and human rights law represents the apogee of this civilizing trend in global affairs, with rules of decent conduct that took their colour from the fact of our shared humanity rather than the superiority of our particular cause being agreed and promulgated.

There is, in my view, something tremendously inhuman in Gearty's point of view. The American officers, the Iraqi colonel or any of insurgent hit men described in the story are, for all their faults, recognizable denizens of the world of men, which for all the arid attractions of Parnassian human rights, I am in no hurry to leave.


Blogger Boghie said...

No modern western culture really knows how to deal with the barbarian.

A true barbarian. Not someone who knows the evil of what he has done.

True barbarians don't sign documents. If signed, they mean nothing to them.

1/01/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"True barbarians don't sign documents.
If signed, they mean nothing to them.
But this is War:
We should enable them to see the light.
I propose we start a fund to get 'Rat a legal degree.
We need more lawyers on the front.

1/01/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The arguments in the 1-17 battalion also show how the American mistreatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison--and fear of another scandal--continue to loom over everything the military does...

One can look at this two ways. One can measure the incidental wisdom of such a strenuous oversight (a perspective of angst), or one can analyze it as strategy.

There is an implicit concession here, I think. Since this policy was imposed consciously, the assumption is that the cost of such a policy--released detainees and more violence--is outweighed by its benefits.

Interestingly, its benefits are purely abstract.

It is now policy to value information over real, live human beings. Instead of a moral worry over torture, instead of a Kantian imperative to treat men as ends and not means, our dilemma stems from the information that torturing another human being generates. Proponents focus on the first order data that comes from the detainee's mouth. Opponents focus on the second order data, the product of the first order data mixing with our preconceptions and biases--in other words, our reactions. These reactions, these ideas, are themselves causally active. Our reactions change the world.

And this is where I think it gets interesting. The US has conceded that second order reactions have more value than the facts on the ground. We have conceded that, in this age of information, propaganda is more valuable than life.

In war, things have value only in the context of victory.

The most important battle, it seems, is being waged in our minds. It is worth remembering actively, lest we forget it altogether.

1/01/2006 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/01/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I further propose we appoint Triscari head of the Dept of Education.
Think of all the inhuman torture that could be eliminated with him in charge of Halloween Party Regulations.

1/01/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Evanston said...

Ravi Zacharias, a Christian evangelist, tells a personal story of when a California academic told him that "Either/Or" is a Western concept and how Zacharias had been sucked in by this false construct. The punchline of Ravi's story is that even in India "It is either the bus, or you" when crossing a street and that "The Either/Or does seem to emerge." Given Mr. Gearty's thesis that humanitarian law is the ultimate good, the ultimate evil must be to habitually violate humanitarian law. Since Saddam, other dictatorships (Syria, Iran, N. Korea) and terrorist "insurgents" truly have no regard for humanitarian law, they are evil by Mr. Gearty's own standard. The Either/Or does seem to emerge! Wretchard is right, Mr. Gearty's point of view is "inhuman and ignorant" (self-contradictory) if he truly condemns the U.S. for using minor threatenings (discomfort) to prevent wholesale slaughter of innocents (civilians, non-comformists with Islam, dissenters from dictatorships, etc.). These are Either/Or situations, either get information from the terrorists or let them murder again. The U.S. has been relatively kind to prisoners because it historically pays off in LESS RESISTANCE (see not only the choice to "talk" made by this individual terrorist but mass surrenders of Germans in WWII, Iraqis to Americans during the first Gulf War). We choose to draw the line at inflicting outright damage (as opposed to discomfort) due to our own self-interest in winning wars, and we recognize that our ultimate victory is "good" by Mr. Gearty's "humanitarian" standard.
For more on Mr. Zacharias' discussion of dialectics and the supposed difference between Eastern and Western logic, see

1/01/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Since this policy was imposed consciously..."
Depends on the meaning of "concious," in my book.

1/01/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Three more years and I'm on the beach, doug. No need for a legal degree

No need to worry, it's off to Puerto Bello and the Caribe for me. Maybe buy an island, or just a hut.

It'll be back to worrying about our own perimeter then, not NYC's.

The US Military, as exampled by Mr Triscari, may well be right, but his Army hasn't won the War, has not even identified the enemy. When the enemy is captured the US Army releases them go to kill US troops, again.

Jr. is out of the Corps in September '06 and the Republic will stand or fall with your boy's service, not mine.

The decision making of the Republic's Leaders does not warrant any further sacrifice on his part.

Four years he's served, five years it'll have been since 9-11-01 and we will not even have gotten Osama, I cannot have the boy around that standard of excellence for to much longer, it may well rub off.

It sure ain't no War.

1/01/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

That's true, Doug, the standard of consciousness does make a tremendous difference in terms of real cost and benefit.

It makes me think of Hayek's essay on imperfect information. If we are wrong in our measure, and therefore wrong in our choice, the system will correct itself once it reaches a crisis.

New mutations go extinct more often than they are successful. This policy of hyper-morality is, if anything, a new mutation.

1/01/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Perhaps I'm missing Triscari's position:
He is against turning them over.

But he's not against saying "Boo!"
(threatening to turn them over) ?

1/01/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

It goes to show that liberal duplicity stateside does not exist in a vacuum.Liberal blowhards bellow about drawers replacing rags on insurgent heads so caught in the act jihadis can't be interrogated!

1/01/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

boghie said that no modern western culture knows how to deal with the barbarian.

I disagree: I think we know how but there is a failure of nerve brought about by the propaganda machine of the last fifty years.

It is intimately connected to the emasculation of our culture and the over-riding concern that no one should disapprove of us.

The barbarians' behavior is but the negative of ours. And the more we "play nice" and continue to emasculate, the more the barbarian plays bully and makes women less than human.

There's some connection there and unless we untie ourselves from it, we have to march lock-step with these creatures.

1/01/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/01/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The decision making of the Republic's Leaders does not warrant any further sacrifice on his part"
That's the real sincerity test in these discussions imo.
Our son is serving the Military, a civilian contractor.

1/01/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The real news has been throwing up Onion-style headlines. Just now: Italians revel in hostage releases

Italians rejoiced Sunday with the news that four of their countrymen had been released by separate groups of kidnappers in Yemen and Gaza. ... Bernardini, the Italian man freed in Gaza, told the media he was treated well by his captors, the AP reported. 'I'm not going to change my ideas about the Palestinians,' he said."

In other news former Syrian Vice President Khaddam has been expelled from the Ba'ath party for implicating the Assad regime in the murder of Hariri.

Question: is abetting murder or opposing it an irrelevant indicator of whether one truly has the interests of the people in the region at heart? Oh, I forgot. Good and evil are meaningless constructs.

1/01/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I know that, doug. In Hawaii, doing good deeds, I'm sure.
But the released enemy will not be targeting him, directly, will they.

The Army does not consider these detainees threats because of some legal or evidence standard not being met. The word of Iraqi troops that captured them in the act, not enough to keep them detaineed.
The Iraqis troops have more than enough credibility with me. Hold the enemy for the duration or the US should get the hell out of Iraq.
If we are afraid of the consequences of our actions or of our inactions it is time to leave, well past.

We are our greatest enemy. Count LTC Kurilla as a confirmed casualty of this US Policy, how many more US and Iraqis must be shot and killed or maimed before the situation is considered serious.

I've seen more than enough ineptitude in US policies to give wise advise, not that it was needed. As I said before I've had my mission debriefing from a Fallujah vet.

Play to win, or stay on the porch.

1/01/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Gearty’s view collapses on its self.

If there is no good or evil when why not torture for info or even for sexual gratification.

If there is no absolutes on what authority does his opinion rest; The fact that it is his? Moreover, why should we care?

1/01/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Who was Pattons lawyer?

1/01/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

desert rat,

The double-bind is being in a situation where you can't play to win but you have to play anyway because you can't afford to lose. Because unlike the NVA this enemy is perfectly capable of coming to Main Street and blowing up a children's party.

So what happens is that the game limps along, people die and the problem never really gets solved. But no one, disappointingly enough not even those who style themselves as humanitarian, seem to think this is horrible state of affairs. They put up all these chickenshit rules and think no one pays the price for carrying them out; and simply because no one in their circles pays the piper they think the meal is absolutely free. But it's not. In Marguerite's garden all the flowers that Mephisto touches fade in his hands.

1/01/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger genwolf said...

The bit about Abu Ghraib in the story clearly illustrates how that story was narrated by the media.

I follow the news closely but talk to many people who don't, and when I tell such people that the photo's from Abu Ghraib only ever reached the media as a result of the court martial and trial of the perpetrators of that abuse it makes a big difference to their view of it.

Abu Ghraib in fact could and perhaps should have been a point of pride rather than shame for the US military if the full story was more regualalry known, the prisoner abuse was quite quickly halted and it's perpeatrtors brought to account and given stern sentences - all this in a time of war and against an enemy that respecte no part of the norms of war or human rights law. The speed and efficiency with which the US military justice system acted at Abu Ghraib, by itslef and long before the media became involved should have made this story about how serious the US was about human rights, where as instead it was told as precisley the opposite and became an enormous propaganda coup for an enemy who is held to no standard whastoever.

The media were quite cognizant about the effect that their narrative would have , quite openly gloating about the difficulties that their narrative would cause the coalition cause, and the role it would play in feeding and sustaining the insurgency. That such predictions were couched as "analysis" by the very same people who crafted the narative which would help their gloomy predictions eventuate caounts as singular act of either chutzpah or double think.

In the end it was not Abu Ghraib itself that sustained and inflamed the insurgency, but rather the quite deliberate spin put on it by the media that did. I don't know how one would go about quantifying the contribution made by the Abu Ghraib story (as opposed to the actual event) to the terrorist cause, but in terms of foreign recruitment it appears to have been high. These foriegn recruits are disproportinaltely responsible for the shedding of civilian blood in Iraq, in very large quantities, and a good portion of that blood is on the media's hands.

1/01/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Only 425 cars burned in France on New Year's eve, up from 333 last year. The page is machine translated as I couldn't find it in the English language news. Maybe I'll try harder.

1/01/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...


That, regretfully, is why I stipulated 'modern'.

We are a soft, cultured, pushable type right now. Still a rather weak horse. Kinda like before World War II...

At least a third of this great nation of ours, and far more than that when all the western nations are included, desire their alarm clock to display September 10th every morning. They think, at best, that this thang is done. At worst, that the Bushies want some oil.

Never Fear... Islamofascism will make their goals absolutely clear - and make war an unavoidable fact.

Even the Europeans will have to carry their own weight. The next target is likely one of theirs. The only thing separating France from a serious strike is a very ‘capable’ police force. And, by capable I mean a police force that would make the Patriot Act and Wiretapping look like one of our annual Congressional decrees not to burn the flag. However, as any athlete knows, you cannot play the game on defense. Winning and losing is important.

Desert Rat: I cannot be certain the strategy is valid, but it is apparent that the evil NeoCons want to avoid Total War by hitting the enemy early. In that effort there are political considerations. Absolutely destroying Germany in 1936 after Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland may not have prevented World War II. World War I demonstrated that to a major extent – since there would have been no support from the wimpy Left and the isolationist Right to attack the German homeland. However, if the (uuggghhh) French and Chamberlain Brits and the Isolationist Americans had crushed Hitler’s external moves early, and made Hitler look weak and ineffective, than perhaps the Krauts would have resolved the issue themselves without becoming the impetus for a hundred million deaths. If a democratic and growing and increasingly powerful Iraq is part of the future I would not want to be the autocratic, collapsing, and increasingly weak kleptocrat in the region. Iraq will fight with us rather than against us. Nice geography as well.

We are not soft and we are not weak.

1/01/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I see no reason why the US and the 'West' cannot play to win. I totally disagree with the 'decades' formula. That idea is a sure way to lose the War. This is not like the Cold War or WWII, though the analogies can be fun.

The enemy is not a political or economic theory, it's GOD himself. He has plenty of time and patience.

The Sunni Insurgents in Ramadi could be destroyed tomorrow, each and everyone. There would be extensive collateral damage and civilian death. We CHOOSE not to.
We COULD end the genocide in Darfur with aggresive action in Khartoum (sp). We CHOOSE not to.

We could end the Mohammedan Wars and the threat to Israel, we could eliminate the entire Syrian Challenge, we CHOOSE not.

We could take out Osama and his remaining infrastructure in Pakistan and Iran, we CHOOSE not.

We make the choices we do for a variety of reasons. In each case though we choose inaction. In Iraq if it had been said that after three years of occupation that Ramadi would not be secured or the for almost three years Route Irish would be unsafe for US military traffic leads me to believe we have made POOR CHOICES in tactics, in Iraq during the Occupation.

The catch and release program for enemy fighters, I consider treasonable.

It is much more destructive to US troops than anything Mr Kennedy or Murtha or Moore could ever SAY.
This is what US Military is doing, granting it's enemys freedom so as to shoot it's Officers. As per LTC Kurilla.

The sooner my kid is away from those knaves the better.

1/01/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I think good and evil are helpful constructs, but they must be contextualized to have true meaning.

Killing, without context, is an amoral concept. Killing in war can be a good, likewise killing to protect your family. Were those imperatives universalized, without dilution, the world would be a better place. Even Kant could be convinced of their moral worth.

Murder, contextualized by its definition, is evil except at the extreme margins--where the victim, in life, had been a greater evil. (Of course, this leads into second order problems of who gets to decide who should be murdered. The answer, historically, has been to grant the authority to the State. Of course, the addition of "the State" into our matrix changes the context of the act, so the moral worth of the act changes. State "murder" becomes State-sanctioned execution.)

Good is that which is life-affirming. In any situation, it is defined by a matrix of contextualized data points.

Unfortunately, some of those data points exist in the future, as things that have not yet happened. Our knowledge of context is imperfect. Worse, we don't know if the unforeseen change in context will change the moral valuation--the good or evil of the act.

But the past is our glimpse of the future, and after a while certain patterns begin to form. With humans, these patterns became statistically sound maxims and moral rules of thumb: in other words, they became our Newtonian Ethics and Newtonian Morality.

But life is more complex than we can imagine, and at extreme pressures, Newtonian Morality breaks apart. Laws get flipped and turned upside down. Actions, amoral in nature, are rapidly reevaluated for moral worth. Murder becomes self-defense.

It is in the search for an underlying order to the chaos of high pressure where mankind cannot seem to find good answers. Until we get a statistical theory of morality, we never will.

Newtonian Ethics have worth, there is no doubt about it. It is just that they are shorthand for something else.

1/01/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To All,

Anyone but me notice that the MSM did not get much gouge of the 'River Wars'?


A friend of mine - who got his leg blown off in Okinawa - talks often about the mop-up phase of battle.

Put discretely, the media probably was not invited. There are ways of making it very hard for an untrusted Lefty Mediacrat to tramp around the Anbar province.

That might help Desert Rat a bit.

However, such tactics will be difficult now that the terror turds seem to be hidey holing in Baghdad.

That is the really annoying thing about this conflict. We have to spend so much time punching ourselves it is not funny. Like I said earlier, the problem will resolve itself when Osama or some other terror turd strikes a movie showing of Brokeback Mountain or Munic or Syrianna or something.

1/01/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

wishful thinking my friend.
There were media folk there, there were Marines and Soldiers there.
There is little 'unreported' violence. There are few to no 'free fire zones'. It is not make every shot count, but account for every shot.

Those are the facts as relayed to me from the most trusted of Marine Corporals, amongst other open sources.
Iraq ain't Okinawa, it ain't even Salvador.
I have never heard of recycling the enemy before, not in WWII, WWI, Korea, or the Civil War.
Certainly not on Okinawa

1/01/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Desert_Rat said
We COULD ...[but] We CHOOSE not to.

You make it sound like to choose is a choice. Half of Americans chose Al the first time, half chose Kerry the second time (it is not important that less than half vote).

America is divided. EUnuchstan, however, has no such division, they are so blue state that I'm assuming a lack of oxygen. Our hands are tied because we are divided.

1/01/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is right arthur, we choose not to act. We choose Peace, whether they want it or not.

Prior to WWII there was division within the US. Strong isolationist forces that did not want to enter WWII.
After Pearl Harbour the US identified the enemy and went to War with it. In the Pacific, Africa, Middle East, Burma, South Atlantic, Europe & China.

Now, after a similar atttack on our largest city, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians, we are didvided?

That is a failure of leadership.

What is the Goal of the War?

Who must we defeat and why are we not fighting them, today, if it is a War?

Mr Bush was said the Goal of the War was the 'safety of my grand children' which is comical. The greatest real threat to them, IMO, is the 11 million illegal aliens in the living US, now, and the 6,000 coming across tonight.

That flood of crimials represents a breakdown in the respect for the Law and Civil Authority, by Federal Law Enforcement that makes the firestorm at Waco pale in comparison.

1/01/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"If there is no good or evil when why not torture for info or even for sexual gratification."
Maybe that's what's happening...
To US !

1/01/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I've tried and I've tried to explain anyone with kids, expecting grandkids to act that way wrt to the border, 'Rat, but the best I can come up with is his Mom thinking the Fat Saudis are sweet folks.
But that's when I'm feeling charitable.

The rest of the time it's more like my 4:08 PM post in response to Dan's insight.
...maybe when he's deep in prayer, he's fantasizing about all of us parents out here squirming and screaming.
Oh for FDR and Paton!

1/01/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

We could have challenged Islam on 9/12/2001 and have ‘won’ quickly with something similar to Wretchard’s 2nd Conjecture – you do not need nukes to destroy a large swath of a culture anymore. We can carpet bomb any city, any province, any farm in the Islamic world - at any time. We can do that today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. We could tell Syria that we are going to fly overhead at 1423 Tuesday afternoon and destroy the city. We effectively did just that at Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the Japanese air defenses could not track and hit high flying bombers.

Is that a win? Yes, but such a win would dramatically affect our culture.

However, Bush is attempting to implement Wretchard’s 3rd Conjecture. As Wretchard states, the Global War on Terror is Islam’s last great hope to survive. If we do not succeed we can always annihilate them. That option is there. It always will be. Remember, from Generation X'ers (1964 onward) there is very little love for Islamofascism. My first real political memory is the Iranian Hostage Crisis. I have a difficult time attempting any forgiveness for these turds. Sorry... However, showing Islamofascism to be the modern equivalent of Hitler’s weak nag may preclude the death of a hundred million. That I do care about.

Having factions of Islam drive a reformation of Islam may prove the key to avoiding mass casualties forever in western cities. Iraq is probably the most malleable of the Turd World Middle East Kleptocracies – and that is scary. Iraq must succeed if Islam is to succeed. That is the weirdest thing about the aggressive stupidity shown by the Left and the Media. By tainting the effort they are guaranteeing a 2nd Conjecture result.

1/01/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

We cannot possibly go all out against the Islamic terrorists and still have any cooperation from virtually any country in the world. That is the reality of the situation, no matter how much we might wish otherwise. And the fact is that the administration has done a very good job of walking the tightrope that is required.

1/01/2006 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ex helo,
It IS his second term.
Rove and his fantasies are gonna get us killed.
...if not us, our kids.

1/01/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Washington is all about staying in Washington.
Come Hell AND High Water.

1/01/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

In WWII strafing a man in a parachute who had just bailed out of a failing airplane was considered an act of absolute barbarism by the U.S.
But if they saw an enemy fighter plane attacking U.S. aircrew in their chutes, at least some American fighter pilots would go after the enemy aircraft and carefully shoot at in a manner that would enable the pilot to bail out.
Then they shot him in his chute.
There are rules for those that play by them.
And then there are rules for those who don't.
Everyone knows this.
The terrorists captured were not just brought in for questioning because they looked suspicious but were caught in the act of killing an unarmed man. They did not deserve to play by the rules of civilized men.
That too, is an American principle worth promulgating and defending.

1/01/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I was under the impression that Iraq had its own constitution and set of laws. Can Americans usurp said laws?

Also, Iraqis have a good understanding of their country and how to extract information from those who murder their citizens and seek to destabilize their government.

We can only go so far trying to be a role model and ACLUing them up western "legal" standards (while they fight a war). Sooner or later we have to let them handle their own thugs.

When I the read passage:

American military's regulations say that an Army unit can hold and question a detainee for only three days before he must go to a regional detention center... After 2 1/2 years of occupation, many insurgents know the policy--and so keep their mouths shut while getting the "three hots and a cot" provided by the Americans... I become concerned that we are impinging on their right to solve their internal conflicts using what little resources they have and their knowelege that killers are actively manipulating the American system.

A revolving criminal door caused by too much "Western red-tape" could disenfranchise Iraqis and cause more deaths. I don't think this is the time or place for that.

I Will note the presence of US News reporter Julian E. Barnes could have affected some of the comments by the major players (For example, the XO may give a lecture on rules of detention and human dignity - when a reporter is present - the old CYA deal).

While the story about interrogations is interesting I am wondering how accurate it is in the overall context of the war effort.

1/01/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Churchill Proposed 3-For-1 Killing of Civilians In Response To Nazi Massacre Of Czech Villagers
He also wanted Hitler executed "like a gangster" in an electric chair (borrowed from America), should Hitler be captured alive.

He brings a knife, you bring a gun.
He puts one of your boys in the hospital,
you put one of his in the morgue.
That's the Churchill way,
--and that's how you bring down Hitler.

I fear this news is going to give Andrew Sullivan conniptions.
Thanks to Allah.

1/01/2006 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On the Homefront, Dan Distracts with Bread and Circuses

In a Daring Leap, Ringling Loses Its Three Rings

1/01/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

( Churchill Story Courtesy Ace of Spades )

1/01/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then the President is liar.

He promicedd War with those that attacked US, he promised Justice, he's delivered neither.

That's a fact. There may be reasons for it, explanations, equivications and diversions of attention from the Goal. But the truth is there for all to see, the perps have got away and the War on Terror is all but OVER.

Where are we engaged with the International Mohammedan aQ Conspiracy?
In their homeland of Pakistan, not a chance. In their bases in Iran, not today. The Syrian R&R camps, set up by the Iraqi Baathists, nope. How about the Golden Chain financiers, nah they're still livin' pretty in the KSA.

Which State that Sponsors Terrorists have we engaged, Iran, Syria, Libya or Sudan. ha ha ha.

Libya gives up a non operating nuke program and gets a pass on their past offenses, no Justice for Lockerbie in that.

Somolia, we have displaced the terrorists there, not.

Iraq MAY have given shelter to terrorists, but that Campaign is OVER. Saddam is years gone from power in Baghdad.
In Iraq and Afghanistan we are withdrawing, lessening our exposure, further protecting our Force.

So where to now, Iraq is done, we've won. Afghanistan is drawing down and NATOizing
As I said months ago, Mr Bush's tying Iraq so tightly to the WoT has crippled the Global effort.

A Battle won but real Victory is allowed to slip away. So in keeping with our Vietnam and Korea legacies.

The clock is ticking and Mr Bush is about out of time, unless the Iranians help out, come March.

We have no capacity to implement a nonmilitary solution and the Military is afraid of itself. They do not trust themselves to do the right thing.

I don't see younger generation Bushies or Cheneies enlisting in the Military, doubt they will any time soon.

Yes, Mr Wizard, it's time for my kid to come home.

1/01/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

LTC Kurilla's story is as accurate as it gets, thanks to Mr Yon.
Enemy captured in regards mess hall bombing, enemy released, enemy shoots LTC Kurilla.

Eye witness reporting, with photos as I recall

Now it does not take six months to process the detainee back to the street, just three days. Good thing the War is over, or they could attack our boys, again and again and again.

TREASON is what that is.

Makes JFKerry's comments about US troops terrorizing Iraqis seem sweet by comparison, that's the truth of that.

1/01/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

We started trading Marine lives too easily imo when the rules called for letting a platoon of them be pinned down all day, killed and wounded, by ONE sniper in an explosives filled mosque.

1/01/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Be sure to see Pork's latest post back one thread.
Happy New Year!

1/01/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pork @ 8:00 PM

1/01/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I can understand that, doug. May not agree with that Rule of Engagement, but I can understand it.
But to release the sniper because he will not confess in three days, and was captured without his weapon... Beyond comprehension

We do not have to torture the detainee, humiliate the detainee, or starve the detainee.

We should detain detainee, though.

1/01/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Arthur Dent said...
"You make it sound like to choose is a choice. Half of Americans chose Al the first time, half chose Kerry the second time (it is not important that less than half vote).
America is divided. Our hands are tied because we are divided.
That's why we need a two party ticket next time.
The Draft Miller Campaign could start here and now at the Belmont Club with this slogan:

What in the Hell?
Draft Zell!
Miller/Kyle in '08

1/01/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The speeches alone would rally the nation.
...brought me to tears thinking who we once were.

1/01/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

BC Draft Zell Parties...
Miller Time!
Zell on Draft,
I mean...

1/01/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


I think you are correct, that is what’s happening. The only utility of the disgusting snuff videos they make is to draw recruits who would enjoy behaving in that manner.

1/01/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

If you want a glance at Islamic reality and why nothing short of total war can beat them;watch a film called "Relentless ".It is a one hour video of the real aim of the Palestinians and their lies and subterfuge.There is video footage of a mob in Ramallah mutilating the corpses of two Jews that is some of the most disturbing footage I've ever seen.It shows tiny Palestinian children stating their dream of martyrdom.You CANNOT reason with the beast.You have to slay it.

1/01/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

2 thoughts:
1. I think this is an attempt, at least, of the objective reporting more people have been asking for. Fox, Triscari, and Majeed all get a chance to say their piece.

2. I would rather work for a get-it-done than a by-the-book guy any day. As Gen. Yeager said, "Rules are made for those who cannot make their own." I think Maj. Fox did an excellent job of making use of the assets within his sphere of influence. Perhaps if it became more widely known that the US Army wasn't taking custody of prisoners on joint ops, there would be fewer terrorist recruits. I'm pretty sure recidivism would be lower.


Oh, additionally, in the original article where it edits what was, I assume, a profanity by an American officer:

"Capt. Lawson Bell, who works in the S-3 office, expresses surprise that Nashwan has given up so much information. 'They must have really [sodomized] that guy,' Bell says."

I just have to say that my first thought for the fill in the bracket was: Giuliani'd. But the irony of that would be to rich for real life.

1/01/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(can't remember where I got tip)

1/01/2006 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Alleged al-Qaida Aide Said to Fake Death

ISTANBUL, Turkey Jan 2, 2006 — An alleged al-Qaida operative accused of serving as a key link between the group's leaders and suicide bombers hid his tracks so well that even fellow militants thought he was dead.
Police eventually cornered al-Saqa in southeastern Turkey and he is awaiting trial on terrorism charges.

His story is an example of how al-Qaida militants operate in the shadows, changing identities, moving from country to country and covering their tracks to help the loosely organized terror network carry out attacks.
Happy Kwanza!
Bush Extends Greetings To All Celebrating Kwanzaa
Wasn't Kwanzaa started by a scam artist?

1/02/2006 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The latest hot rumor that has all of official Washington agog is that Senator Edward Kennedy attempted to sexually harass Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The only solid grounds for the rumor is this photograph – which seems to provide convincing evidence:

1/02/2006 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Rat, Bush cannot do anything else. He's limited by the level of support from his electorate, of which about half are still useful idiots. The rules of engagement are, more or less, defined by compromise by both political parties, and part of that compromise was in how to treat prisoners. You can thank the left/Dems for all that. That includes the PC crowd, the gender traitor feminists(whose support for radical Islam has completely destroyed their moral support), the pacifists.

Try to change their minds, and if Bush still doesn't say it out straight, then you'll have a point.

But until the wave of rampant anti-americanism is curbed, there's no point blaming Bush.

1/02/2006 03:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Congress has grabbed power that belongs to the CIC.
(starting before Bush)
The Constitution does not say the CIC has to relinquish that power.

...Only the Supremes can do that.
(Which is also not in the Constitution)

1/02/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Simplist example was not vetoing McBane/Feingold.

1/02/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I repeat:
It is Bush's Second Term.

1/02/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Bush has proven 2 things, twice.

1. He is electable.
2. He will fight.

Name another such national politician.

Yes, he is in his second term, but now he has to be concerned about preventing a shift to the democrats in 2006. Just look at the monkey wrench Jeffords threw into the works. He is not as independant as one might think.

It will take a bigger insult than 9/11 to get the American electorate to follow American leaders where we must go.

Be patient, it will come.

1/02/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

On Wretchard's update on the Religion of Peace burning cars, I couldn't help but think on the dilemma of black property owners trying to stop thugs from burning their stuff out. Some elected to put "Black owned, Do not Burn!" signs up, other blacks didn't because they thought if they did people would associate them with the black thugs and be considered no different.

So what's a Muslim to do in France so only infidel cars get torched, not his? Would a cresent and star "Certified Muslim Owner" work? Or instead of dancing dingle balls put 72 tiny dancing virgins hanging from his roof?

Boghie - We could have challenged Islam on 9/12/2001 and have ‘won’ quickly with something similar to Wretchard’s 2nd Conjecture – you do not need nukes to destroy a large swath of a culture anymore.

This is a war of ideas, and the ideology that threatens us has adherents from Detroit to Eastward to Sidney Australia, concentrated in a swath of 1.2 billion people from Morocco to Indonesia that will not be universally deterred by "Shock and Awe" even if Damascus was carpet bombed, even if Mecca was.

Americans are in love with "high tech wonder weapons" just as the Germans were. But magic technological solutions do not defeat an ideology. It has to be shown that the ideology is not a good one to the people that think it holds hope for them. Islamic countries are doubling their populations every 20 years, putting immeasurable stress on their societies and all but guranteeing less resources and more misery as they outstrip the water, energy, economic job base, food resources to prevent their standard of living from falling - and exporting their surplus angry youth to the West. Worse, the current version of the ideology resists being moderated or assimilated in it's host culture. An analogy might be the killer bees. Once they had spread out in Brazil, it was assured that they would crossbreed with European bees and become less aggressive. But they kept on spreading with no moderation or cross-breeding, killing European bees in their path. Fortunately, the killer bees lacked the capacity to kill many people. Unlike Islamoids.

Islam must be isolated absent a significant reform. And it must lower its births because the West is waking up to the fact that welcoming it's wretched Islamic refuse from the Ummah's teeming shore is suicidal.

1/02/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"This is a war of ideas,.."

No problem. Kill the ideologues.

Kill them ideological racketeers extorting the population of "believers" and "unbelievers" using Allah's "protection" racket. These don't account for a billion. They don't even count a million.

1/02/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger patrick said...

Ah, what cracked the cell was the old good cop, bad cop routine. This tactic is known to work, and work more effectively than just beating someone up.

It's good to be the 'good cop'... it's also good to have a 'bad cop' around to threaten the thug with.

1/03/2006 11:41:00 PM  

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