Saturday, February 11, 2006

Manos arriba!

Occasionally the truth is spoken before dissimulation can prevent it. That must have been the case when Polly Toynbee at the Guardian set out her thoughts on the Iran crisis. (Hat tip: Scott Burgess)

If Iran is determined, no one can stop it becoming a nuclear power, alongside Israel, Pakistan and India. The crazed dictator of North Korea shows the way: nuclear weapons make nations unassailable. Why on earth would Iran not want them too? ... Fantasy diplomacy is ready to fight all the way to stop the mullahs getting the bomb. Reality suggests there is a difficult choice: if you cannot win, give up at once to minimise the damage. Get off the high horse and start to negotiate terms on which Iran can be allowed to enrich uranium. It amounts to turning a blind eye to their weapons potential while striking a deal that saves their face, affords them some dignity and entices them economically into becoming a more stable force.

Commentary

Your hear it all the time: let's stop fighting; let's negotiate. Of course, the key problem being why anyone should be willing to negotiate with a party which is willing to surrender at the drop of a hat. As every MBA (but presumably not Polly Toynbee) knows, the unspoken alternative to negotiation is the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement or BATNA.

BATNA is a term coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 bestseller, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In. ... In the simplest terms, if the proposed agreement is better than your BATNA, then you should accept it. If the agreement is not better than your BATNA, then you should reopen negotiations. If you cannot improve the agreement, then you should at least consider withdrawing from the negotiations and pursuing your alternative (though the costs of doing that must be considered as well).

My teachers put it this way: BATNA is the penalty you pay when you walk away from the negotiating table. Since Polly Toynbee argues that Teheran should face no penalty for walking away from the negotiating table then there is no reason it cannot continue to do whatever it wants. Indeed the question is why it should negotiate at all since nothing is to be gained by negotiations. Iran is free to advance in whatever direction it wishes without opposition. Of what use are negotiations? To provide a forum to make further concessions of course. What else should the West concede? Oh wait, I had forgotten that it is not only important to surrender, but to surrender cravenly. During the Clinton Administration, it was sophisticated policy to pre-emptively hand over the keys to the fortress even before you were asked to. In that distant era the European Union was viewed as as inevitable Wave of the Future, the successor Superpower. Not, as it turned out, the footman in chief to the imams.

...  Kupchan, who was Director of European Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council in the first Clinton Administration, the United States will soon be on the way down as a world power while Europe is on the way up, to be followed closely by Asia. "America's unipolar moment and the global stability that comes with it will not last," he contends. ... Kupchan's prescription is to retreat: "The United States cannot and should not resist the end of the American era. To do so would only risk alienating and provoking conflict with a rising Europe and an ascendant Asia."

While the prediction didn't quite work out for the European Union there's no reason why an updated version of this impeccable logic shouldn't work for Iran or any variable you may wish to substitute in it's place. The key idea is the same: dishonor before death, with the one used to gain a reprieve before the other. 'The United States cannot and should not resist the end of the American era. To do so would only risk alienating and provoking conflict with a rising X and an ascendant Y.' Thanks to the Internet Time Machine we can savor the full flavor of the Imperative to Decline. To Kupchan it wasn't happening fast enough, even under Clinton.

Salon: Still, you're basing a lot of your argument on what you've seen in the last year, aren't you? The idea that American intervention and multilateralism is on the wane ... that has a lot to do with what happened in the last year. And that's just one year.

Kupchan: Interestingly enough, I wrote the first draft of the book before Bush was elected. The core themes were all there. What I'm quite shocked by is the speed with which all of this has happened. I thought that my general analysis would take a good decade to play out. Once Bush came to office it seemed like someone stepped on the gas. I had to rewrite the book and I put much more emphasis on America's turning inward and its ambivalence about running the world. After Sept. 11, the unilateralists' angry lashing-out side came back. The emphasis in the book on that was written after Bush came to office, and after Sept. 11.

Salon: So you think this trend might slow down with Democrats -- if they're ever in power again -- but not halt.

Kupchan:Yes, and that's partly because when I was in the Clinton administration in the early 1990s -- only a few years after the end of the Cold War -- I already saw trends that were seeds for the book. Congress was beginning to check out. The media was stopping its coverage of foreign affairs. Even Clinton, who was a liberal internationalist by inclination, wasn't so wild about the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court and all this other stuff that the Bush people said no to. When it all comes down to it, I see the arrows all pointing in one direction, but the emphasis and the speed changes from party to party.

History is cruel in that way. We can read Kupchan's remarks today not as serious scholarship but as dated comedy. The European what? The Kyoto whosis? Small things loom large in tiny minds. But the impulse is still there. Just ask Polly Toynbee: "if you cannot win, give up at once to minimise the damage.". Wrong premise, wrong conclusion.

180 Comments:

Blogger wretchard said...

Reported without comment Sharon likely to die today: hospital source.

2/11/2006 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger Desi Pundit said...

As an aside: We call BATNA the 'outside optiion' in games of bargaining power.
The Iran game is quite a different kettle though. Has various elemnts of 'chicken!' (Signaling game to get the opponent to concede before both sustain heavy damage), prisoner's dilema (the best option - Iran giveup its nukes peacefully and verifiably like Libya did, isn't credible in Iran's particular case. In other words, the Nash equilibrium, possibly in mixed strategies, is not Pareto optimal) and so on.
The Iran game is a dynamic game in complete information in so far as strategic intent is concerned (Iran's intentions are common knowledge and NATO's are too) and such games tend to have a backward induction deduced 'subgame perfect equilibrium'. NATO and ISrael will takeout Iranian nukes but the question is what's Iran doiing to make it costly for them?

P.S:
Sad to know about SHaron's coming death. Wonder how many will attend his funweral as had done Arafart's?

2/11/2006 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Desi Pundit,

But the chicken game only starts when the Iranians have nukes. The other driver, so to speak, hasn't gotten into the car yet. The struggle here is to define the game. The game is not given.

The mere possession of nuclear power does not automatically initiate the game of Chicken. For example Japan could probably build a nuke in under a week, perhaps even under a day but the game of Chicken holds no attractions to it. The same can be said of virtually every European country and Australia, too.

The problem is with Iran's utility function, which prevents an long-term optimal solution for the game in rational terms. What they are maximizing is something else, some irrational consideration. So I would submit to you that this irrational vision is itself the stake. The game must be cast in ways that affec the probability of Iran achieving the prospect of this irrational payoff.

In plain terms, the Iranians may have a vision, not entirely eschatological, with Israel at its center. It's realpolitik with fantasy elements. But if the fantasy elements are removed, if for example Israel is no longer regarded as a demon, then the fantasy elements vanish and we are back to the rational case, where it is not optimal for Iran to build nuclear weapons.

One of Iran's long term goals has been to support Hamas to frustrate a comprehensive peace agreement and thus maintain Israel's demon status. It's case of the necessity of fantasy to enable reality.

2/11/2006 04:32:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

I think Toynbee is right in a way she may not have intended. The current diplomacy taking place with Iran is indeed a fantasy-driven event. The Iranian mullahs have no intention of giving up their nuclear ambitions because they know there are so many like Toynbee urging surrender to their wishes.

I'm sure it will be possible to negotiate terms of a valid nuclear agreement with an Iranian government at some point. But that government is now still but a fantasy.

2/11/2006 05:19:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

I think that underlying Toynbee's position (and many others who agree with her) is a deeply held belief in the inferiority of western values. This is part of the contradictory discourse espoused by the whole multicultural set: all cultures are equally deserving of respect, except of course western culture which is uniquely bad and destructive (with America being represented as much worse and even more destructive than other parts of the west). With that as your fundamental premise of foreign policy, it would seem inevitable that America's star would fall--indeed is should fallif you believe in the premise.

2/11/2006 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...

There are many who are or have been predicting American decline, and they would love to turn it into a self-fullfilling prophecy. They turn from one dragon-slayer to another: the USSR will eclipse us, no it will be the Europeans, no wait it will be the Chinese. The only constant in all of this is an opposition to American exceptionalism and the uncanny ability to get history wrong.

2/11/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If ever there was an example of kow towing to the Mohammedans, to include the Iranians, it is the Cartoon issue.

There the officals of the "West" to include US, folded at the first sign of conflict.
Discarding our 1st "Right" as Civilized peoples, to express ourselves, nonviolently.

If we will not stand for that, fight for that and proclaim that "Right" from every Frontpage in the land, we'll stand for nothing.

The Iranians have eyes, their tactic vis a vie the Cartoons and Western capitulation have worked out quite well, for them.

There will be no War with Iran, not one started preemptively by Mr Bush, that is, as Mr Tenent would say, "A Slamdunk".

And nothing short of a Real War will stop the Iranians and their ambitions.
The US has proven incapable of waging War for an extended period. In Iraq there accomadation with the Ememy came before the War was even won.
In Iran, even taking down the 300 targeted nuclear sites will be a "Bridge to Far", for US and Europe.

2/11/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the Francofada and the Cartoon Crisis has the West scared, it is not because they are the Iranians end game, but the opening gambit.

If they can stir up so much trouble over nothing, what will they do when it becomes serious, for them.

What level of terror, destruction and mayhem will become acceptable, to them. Guarenteed, from current experience, it will be more than enough to nueter the West.
Even Mr Chirac can see that.

2/11/2006 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Kupchan may be dated comedy but he's less of a laugh than Jimmy Carter whose foreign policy objective was to accomplish exactly what Clinton/Kupchan were furthering in the 90s. There is still a very entrenched cadre of Carterites in the Senate, State and the CIA whose god-given mission is to knock the USA down a peg or two economically and militarily.

One of the ideological foundations of post-modernism is that global equality can be achieved, not by accelerating the development of the underclass, but by handicapping the achievers. Call it dodge-ball diplomacy. The only way to keep the big, aggressive kid from winning every time is to keep the ball away from him or even better to take him out of the game.

There are lots of people carrying EU and American passports who want Iran to have nukes. International influence is zero sum. A nuclear Iran automatically reduces American influence in the region, and for some that is a worthy end in and of itself regardless of the potential consequences.

Bin Laden miscalculated the ability and resolve of the USA to take away Afhganistan. The mullahs are going to make the same miscalculation. Beneath the thin veneer of effete post-modern liberalism that the NYT sells to the world is the big, honkin' engine of democracy. The West didn't get to be goliath by worrying about how success might affect somebody else's self esteem.

Iran has put itself on a collision course with the mountain. Unfortunately the last gasp of the post-modern era will be the signal to continue full speed ahead. That happens when the EU and the USA go ahead with funding for Hamas. That misbegotten attempt to buy self esteem and responsibility for irredeemable depravity is going to throw us back to a world we haven't seen for 60 years and hoped we'd never see again.

2/11/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Sadly, there is a likely possibility that the appeasers will carry the day in Europe. Iran will be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb, unless Bush, Blair and Israel stop them. The consequences of doing so are unknown and fearful, but the cost and consequences of not stopping them may be worse.

The most we can hope for out of the UN is a toothless resolution. Without reform, the UN will cease to be of any help to the US at all. In fact, the UN will become not only unhelpful, but downright hostile to US interests as the Muslim world exerts it Allah given power over an ever growing umma. Our former allies in Europe will become more and more hostile and in time even an enemy of the United States.

Petro-dollars, nuclear weapons and anti-Americanism will be the ties that bind Venezuela and Iran. Fidel Castro may be in his last years but his revolution is being invigorated by Venezuela’s sponsorship. Many in the US will call for an Isolationist Foreign Policy walling off the south as revolution and socialism further destabilize a continent. War and social upheaval will drive more millions north even as hundreds of thousands seek to flee Europe. In the tumult, the government of Canada will collapse and its provinces will be subsumed into the US.

The civil stresses brought on by massive immigration pressures combined with imposed UN sanctions will result in the appeasement party gaining control of the US.
Appeasement will quickly lead to submission.

Unless the Iranians are stopped now.

2/11/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

That happens when the EU and the USA go ahead with funding for Hamas.

In which case, given previous foreign policy statements concerning states who abet terrorists*, we will be at war with ourselves.

But hey.

Our war is against terrorism, those who would conduct terrorist acts against the United States, those who sponsor them, those who harbor them, those who challenge freedom wherever it may exist.

2/11/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

peterboston

Really, take away Afghanistan.

The object was to tie down US Forces in a "Long" War, that the US could not withdraw from, that would stick US like a tar baby.

The succeeded, twice.
While the US and Allies control Kabul, the rest of the Country is in flux.
" ... Thursday night when about 200 Taliban fighters ambushed a police patrol near the town of Sangin, then attacked reinforcements as they arrived. Coalition planes, including British Harriers and American A10 attack jets and B-52 bombers, joined the battle. In one attack on Friday night, a district administrator, Hajji Abdul Qudous, was killed and a policeman injured when militants fired a rocket into his offices in the district of Musa Qala, the deputy governor of Helmand Province, Mullah Amir Akhundzada, said. Hours later, in another attack on government office, this time in the Nauzad district, a government soldier and five militants were killed, he said. ... "


Then there is this take on Afghansitan from NATO

" ... Denmark would stick by its commitment to send 300 troops to Helmand province as part of the southern mission, adding it would be “a victory for the Taliban” if the alliance backed out. ..."

"... “When Nato troops arrive [in the south] they will be facing much worse conditions than this time last year,” said a western security source in Afghanistan. “Nato forces have very different operating styles from the US troops and this is something that the Taliban will be waiting to take advantage of.” ..."

Taliban could Win

Now Mohammedan violence is on the upswing, Worldwide.

If this is considered winning, hell, what happens when we lose.
Oh, I forgot, we have 10 to 20 years of this comning, according to Mr Cheney, before we'll win, but then we'll win big.

2/11/2006 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Agree almost down the line with the comments/perspective of this site - especially like the 'big honkin' engine of democracy' parting the Red Sea of dilettantes.

I think it is time to take the Left pictures off the dart board. Point. Game. Set. Match. The liberal ideology has been @ss-whupped and offers little of relevance for dealing with the urgent issues emerging from the ME. [Liberalism is not dead - it will resuscitate itself and Conservatism is not blame-free for sanctioning the semi-blind compromises that allowed that big honkin' engine to roar through the post-WWII era.]

The political cycles of western thought are not particularly surprising (although the Left appears to have been caught by surprise - precaution may be the first sacrifice.] Of greater interest - to me, looking for a policy I can support aside from carpet bombing - is the mindset of the peoples.

I am willing to make room for a certain level of distinction among the various factions but my tolerance is limited by the willingness/enthusiasm for use of violence as a substitute for the reasonable standard.

To the degree that reason is removed from the equations, the distinctions among groups and issues lose validity. All this hard core conservative sees is two barrels pointed in my face.

2/11/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

According to Toynbee's own logic ("nuclear weapons make a nation unassailable") then she is right that we should forego the illusion of a diplomatic fantasy and proceed to act "at once" or, at any rate, as soon as possible.

But there is another difficult choice other than the one she prescribes. It isn't surrender, but rather quite the opposite.

2/11/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Peter Boston.
"One of the ideological foundations of post-modernism is that global equality can be achieved, not by accelerating the development of the underclass, but by handicapping the achievers. Call it dodge-ball diplomacy".

This is called socialism,the very concept of inevitability in politics had its roots i Marxism.
All that one needs to know about Polly Toynbee is that she is a committed socialist who believe that the social model of Sweden is the ideal.
She does not quite understood that demographically Sweden will cease to be Swedish by about 2030.
Other than that she is quite the little Stalinist.

2/11/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

By Toynbee's own logic,should she not start wearing a burqa now?

2/11/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ss
Right you are, but do not bet the farm on action, unless you can't pay the back taxes on it.

Best we figure how to deal with a nuclear Iran, cause there will be one. By hook or crook, those fellas will get their bomb.

Discount ideas of invasion, read General Scales article. Same goes for an Air Campaign, it would take weeks. London, Paris and Bonn would all be aflame by the second night of bombing.

This will not be a local battle against the Iranians, but a World War, even before they have nuclear capacity. Their People Bomb, in the heart of Europe, will deter both Europeans and US.

2/11/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

"if you cannot win, give up at once to minimise the damage."

And yet, the ability to adapt - to any circumstances - is considered an evolutionary advantage in the collective context and a psychological asset for individuals. I could contextualize the concept in formal structure but the short story is that the psychological community places greater value on adaptive strategies and discourages obstinance as a dysfunctional response to one's environment.

The academic setting is different, of course, but I recall a televised round-table discussion quite a few years ago with members of the military discussing ethical behavior in war with journalists. The military won - at least when scored on depth of thinking. Civilians seldom extend their theories to the battlefield.

Should the civilian perspective be more Manichean or adaptive? Beats me.

2/11/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ms KATHLEEN PARKER a syndicated columnist for the Orlando Sentinel writes

" ... In a little-noticed news item the same week as the riots, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accepted an invitation to visit Cuba in September to show gratitude for Castro's support of Iran's nuclear program. A few days earlier, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria had voted against the International Atomic Energy Agency's resolution to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program. ... "

Iran, Cuba, Venezuela a trifecta of terror.

2/11/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This last item and it's off to work.
But the boys of Westhawk have an interesting take on the NATO deployment to southern Afghanistan and how it ties into the Cartoon Crisis and the Iranian Crisis and the Taliban Resurgence Crisis or as I often describe them all, the Mohammedan Wars.

Taking my lead from Mr Churchill, who did, after all, write "The History of English Speaking Peoples". One would assume he knew which word meant what and when to use it.
More adequately than the NY Times, I'm sure.

2/11/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger lmg said...

peterboston:

"The West didn't get to be goliath by worrying about how success might affect somebody else's self esteem."

But that was then, this is now, and we are not the same people. The men who tamed the frontier and dropped nukes on Japan did not grow up in the increasingly rubber-padded, multi-culti world we have been constructing for our children over the last few decades. We have the power to cause Iran to cease to exist by this evening, yet we cower in the face of a few thousand bearded barbarians with threatening placards. Where do you see the will to take necessary action before we are attacked - or even after?

2/11/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The absolute worst thing (for themselves) that the mullahs and whatever coalition they can cobble together can do is to turn their Islamofacism twaddle into a state on state contest. If current demographic trends continue whichever brand of the perversion controls Islam mid-century will be in a position to affect if not determine political outcomes in most of Europe. Screaming for sensitivity towards minority immigrant groups or religious values is one thing, posturing aggressively as a nation-state is quite another.

Even if the Euro weenie politicos went one step further and started wearing lipstick and skirts they would not risk history's wrath by responding weakly to an existential threat to their precious system.

Objectively, in a push-push contest the only thing the explode-a-dopes have going for them is the self restraint of the EU and the USA. That's a pretty narrow life line and it may not take much more to snap it. Look at the history of the West over the past couple hundred years, particularly the Angloshpere. If you're making policy decisions for the mullahs you wouldn't want to ignore that.

2/11/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Icepilot said...

It's simple:

1. Nothing that the US or the EU can do diplomatically or economically will stop Iran from getting nukes. Sure, a total economic blockade might do the job, but neither Russia or China are likely to agree, or honor the arrangement, if they do.

2. The current "game" serves Iran by postponing any action
further down the road. It serves the US in the sense that military has time to recover from efforts in Iraq and it establishes the "Hey, we tried"! escuse before Bush
brings the hammer down. I'm thinking - right after the election.

2/11/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Kent's Imperative said...

You have highlighted a concept which well represents the common misapplication of game theory that has so troubled international relations theorists and their disciplines in recent years. They have forsaken the realities which do not conform to their sterile mathematical abstractions, and have forgotten the principals by which actors come to the table in the first place.

In part this unfortunate trend of thinking stems from a lack of robust alternative analysis - or at least least an unwillingness to contemplate the hard choices such an alternative would suggest.

2/11/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Peace Through Superior Surrender

2/11/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Safety Through Superior Sensitivity
Dr Ophra meets Dr Strangelove

2/11/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Honor Through Pre-emptive Suicide

2/11/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

PSH
Peace, Safety, Honor
La, la, la, la, hey, hey, hey...

2/11/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The face of the Enemy is seen in this photo and story.



Check this guy out, he really thought he was somebody.

2/11/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Conventional wisdom to the contrary, it is sometimes possible to look like a duck and quack like a duck, yet still not be a duck.

2/11/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Allahu Akbar,"

2/11/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The guy buys a $7000 yacht (must have been some 'yacht') and a $350,000 house. He was going to use the yacht to attack an Israeli cruise ship. Instead he blows up the $350,000 house.

Can we start laughing now?

2/11/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

How about now?

2/11/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's actually an underground
Real Estate Investment Group:
"The indictment said al-Saqa had bought a yacht for about $7,000 as well as an underwater scooter to be used in that attack.
Al-Saqa also bought an apartment for about $350,000 in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya for use as a safe house, it added.
"

2/11/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

When is a safe house not a safe house?

When you blow it up.

2/11/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Correction: When you blow it up with yourself still inside.

2/11/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Doug, we can't make cartoons, so what else is left but to make jokes?

2/11/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Free Speech Being Abandoned Worldwide
Michelle Malkin catalogs the timidity of politicians and journalists worldwide, who are surrendering freedom of speech and press to the Islamic mob.

2/11/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

I was on a roll, but there you go bumming my vibe.

2/11/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

But that was then, this is now, and we are not the same people.

That's the same mistake the mullahs are making. The NYT version of America is as phoney as John Kerry's war record. The mullahs would be a lot smarter turning off the Acadamey Awards and focusing their attention on the young Marines who kicked down doors in Fallujah to grab Achmed by the throat, because that's who they have to worry about.

Why do you think Hilary is trying to maneuver to the right of GWB on foreign policy? It's certainly not because she sees the electorate looking to duck and cover. If Iraq is so unpopular, as the NYT professes, why have the college campuses been so quiet? Tenured academia may be a little limp wristed but the students are not. Major metropolitan newspaper circulation and network viewer numbers are heading South. Center of right talk radio and blog paricipation continue heading up. The Democrats are in disarray. Even with the MSM pushing hard in the same direction they can't get traction on any issue. The pendulum that started swinging left in the 60's reached its zenith several years ago. The Left still owns the Conversation but you can see that slipping away.

Americans have a long fuse. We're more than willing to let things take their own course until they reach the tipping point. Exactly where that point is I don't know but I get the sense that it's not too far away.

2/11/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Imposes Western values on Muslim Youth"

"When I was 21, I joined the Taliban..."

2/11/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Think of England said...

desi pundit/wretchard:
Disregrading,"...sterile mathematical abstractions", I would like to have you explore the various gaming scenarios relevant to this situation. It's been far too long since my introduction to them.

The citation from Lawrence is far too apt in my opinion. What passes for a foreign policy in Iran reminds me of those multi-function machines that wind up not doing anything very well and becoming useless when on function breaks down. They must realize that the clock is ticking and it is ticking for them.

Dr. Sanity: Pat, it is going rather further that that. At the local university a series of lectures and discussion panels has been announced on the the topic of, The Truth About Dhimmitude; and is being co-sponsored by the Moslem Students Association.

I hear discussions every day about how it won't be so bad and anyway western liberalism will transform Islam in a couple of hundred years. These discussions are always in the context of "think of the alternative".

Discussions about the "Peace of the Grave" are not welcomed. It's beginning to sound a look like the old Oxford Union's, "This House will under no circumstances fight for King and Country." debate.

BTW, I am not in the UK. Also, I'm not too experienced with commenting, but I was wondering if there was something I could do block out commenters like sirius or doug? They seem to be children using their parents computer.

2/11/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004531.htm
Taqiyya: Anatomy of the Comic Jihad

2/11/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

The Iranians have used a combination of deception and confrontation to prosecute their war against the West. Even when their deception, as in the cartoon war, becomes generally known, see Clash within Islam, they don't seem to suffer much. They never paid for the death of the marines in Beirut or the Khobar towers attacks either.

They are quite clever and have been very careful not to push us too far; just enough to make us mad but not enough to make us act. Their real attacks have been done in a deniable way, either through proxies or using their intelligence assets.

Even their present President, crazy as he appears, has just used words. They aren't likely to slip up on this and and provoke a shooting war with us.

They will keep treating us like the frog being boiled slowly. I hope we'll be smart enough to jump out of the pot before it's too late.

2/11/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

MEANWHILE, BACK IN DENMARK:
The radical imams have been found out, and the stalwart Danes aren’t happy about it:

MOST Danes hold Muslim clerics responsible for the furore over cartoons of Prophet Mohammed that has engulfed the Muslim world, a poll has shown, revealing increasing hostility to Islam in Denmark.

Danish imams have been harshly criticised for leading two delegations, representing 27 Muslim organisations, on trips to Egypt and Lebanon in December to rally support for their protests against the 12 cartoons that were first published in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in September.

A total of 58 per cent of Danes surveyed in a Megafon poll, results of which were aired on the TV2 channel yesterday, blaming the Danish imams for the worldwide protests, while 22 per cent placed the responsibility on Jyllands-Posten.

A further 11 per cent put the blame on Middle East governments, according to the poll of 1,033 people.

Just five per cent of respondents felt the responsibility lay with the Danish government.
One young Danish student interviewed today, who identified himself only as Kristian, had harsh words for the imams.

They’re clowns. They’re ruining our image by telling lies about the country that has taken them in. They should be expelled for sabotage against Denmark,” he said.
Junkyard Blog

2/11/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"something I could do block out commenters like sirius or doug?"
---
Do switch Brain to "ON."

2/11/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Here is an interview with Newt Gingrich that is germane to this thread:

Let me ask you though about one complication of a U.S. invasion of Iran. If you look at Iraq now militarily, all of our casualties are taking place in the Sunni triangle. They are almost all taking place in the cities along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers north of Baghdad. The Sunnis are against us, the Shiites are for us. But the Shiites who got elected were the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Dawa, both of whom are Islamic fundamentalist parties that took refuge in Iran during Saddam’s regime. And the Ayatollah Sistani, who seems to be the most influential person in Iraq now, is in fact an Iranian who embraces all the same political views as the regime in Iran. Wouldn’t we run a risk of losing Iraq if we went into Iran?

Look, I think that winning the long war -- and I agree with Gen. Abizaid that that’s the only way you can think of this, this is a 50- to 70-year campaign if we’re lucky -- is going to be a long, difficult process. But I think there are certain ground rules we have to set very early. One of them has to be: We are not going to accept dictatorships with weapons capable of destroying the United States.

So even at the risk of having the Shiite community in Iraq turn on us, we would have to invade Iran in the next two or three years if we can’t--

First of all, I think our primary interest in Iraq is having the Iraqis govern themselves.

Right, but the two parties that won the election are Shiite fundamentalist parties.

You have to ask yourself the question: Are those two parties prepared -- I mean, the United States could walk out tomorrow morning. We could say, “Fine, you want to try to cope with the Sunnis without us? Good luck. You want to go back to another 800 years of the Sunnis’ running you?”

But if you listen to what the Iranians have been saying all along, they, in fact, have backed the same people in Iraq that we have, the Shiites, and particularly the Shiite parties endorsed by the Ayatollah Sistani.

You’re already making the case about how much trouble we’re in. The question is, who’s going to intimidate who? In 1935 the Imperial Japanese, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini intimidated the democracies. The democracies did not intimidate the dictatorships. From 1947 to 1991, over all, we intimidated the Soviet Union. Despite skirmishes at the periphery, we convinced the Soviet Union that they would cease to exist as a state if they had a major invasion of Europe, that they could not take the U.S. head on, and they were very circumspective as we intimidated them. What you’re describing is, I think, exactly the mindset of this city and the mindset of Europe, which is even before they get a nuclear weapon the Iranians can intimidate us.

2/11/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Worldwide Cartoon Frenzy

2/11/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

hamas is a smoke screen

of course the arab world, the eu, the usa, the un and russia will support hamas...

palestinains need to fight for freedom, forget they could have simply said and HAD a state.

the issue is iran, not cartoons, not freedom of speech, not hamas...

the next 6 weeks will be telling, and it wont be cause some editors have been fired or that a few hundred islamic monkeys killed themselves trying to burn danish, swiss, finnish flags (after all they do look alike)

hamas will gain international recognition, so what? arafat and fatah were mass murdering jew hating monkeys..

the test will be IRAN...

i have a prediction.... the more rope we give the mullahs the more they will hang themselves...

If i was a betting man, and iran got nukes, I bet it aint ISRAEL THAT IS pissing blood, but Saudia Arabia, Russia, Europe and others...

let the games begin...

in the next few years the west will stop selling our best medicines, foods, computers and arms to the islamic world, thus cementing their slide into nothing... even oil wont save them...

and forget those talks about turkey and the EU!

welcome to hell you stupid monkeys ha ha ha ha

pass the pork rinds, mr huntington, it's happening...

2/11/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger sonia said...

If this whole West vs Iran mess is a game, then the West is holding all the cards. We can nuke their nuclear power plants any time we want, and what can the Iranians do in retaliation that they haven't already done (burn our embassies, finance terrorists, stop selling us oil) ?

The crazy thing about this "negotiation" is that NEITHER side is really interested in it. Our BATNA (an Iran with nuclear weapons) is a smaller threat than Al-Quaeda. We don't know where Al-Quaeda is, but we know where Iran is.

2/11/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

desert rat said: "The face of the Enemy is seen in this photo and story. Check this guy out, he really thought he was somebody."

But Haj Bakr al-Saqa is somebody! He's the separated-at-birth twin brother of one Robert van Winkle, aka "Vanilla Ice"? HB al-Saqa's nom de guerre is "Turkish D-Lite".

2/11/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cartoon of the Day on Cartoon Crisis

2/11/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

starling, you made me laugh.

2/11/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Kyda Sylvester said...

Sharon is out of surgery, alive if not kicking. Tough old bird.

I'm one who believes the tide of nuclear proliferation will be impossible to stem (not that we should give up trying). Isn't it time for the next generation of weapons? Is there nothing on the horizon that would be so devastating in its selective destructive power that even a god like Kim Jong-il or the mad moo-lahs would tremble before it? At the very least, we must never put in place another administration that essentially sneers at American exceptionalism or believes the world is better off when the US is counterbalanced by another of equal economic/military strength and intends to work toward that goal. Feh on the Clintonistas and all they sought to achieve.

At the 27th Islamic revolution anniversary celebrations in and around Iran, there were new "death to..." chants. "Death to Denmark" joins the time-worn, hackneyed "Death to America/Israel" memes. "Death to Denmark"--I dunno, seems to lack a certain je ne sais quoi.

2/11/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Wretchard said...

"The problem is with Iran's utility function, which prevents a long-term optimal solution for the game in rational terms. What they are maximizing is something else, some irrational consideration. So I would submit to you that this irrational vision is itself the stake."

PeterBoston said:

"Bin Laden miscalculated the ability and resolve of the USA to take away Afhganistan. The mullahs are going to make the same miscalculation. Beneath the thin veneer of effete post-modern liberalism that the NYT sells to the world is the big, honkin' engine of democracy."

The factors described by Wretchard and PeterBoston will be the basis for the next big war in the Middle East. The Iranians have an objective with their nuclear program but it may not be reality based, e.g. facilitating the coming of the 12th Iman.

Enemies like the Iranian mullahs, Saddam and bin Laden always under appreciate America's strength because they judge us by our liberal veneer. When the world looks at America what they typically see is the entertainment industry and the MSM, i.e. drug addicts, perverts and psychopathic liars. No wonder the world sees us as a gaggle of feckless cowards. This same mistake was made by the Japanese and the Nazis in the 1930s.

It's important that we keep the moonbats and the cowards away from the levers of political power. Let them rant but grant them no real political authority. That path leads to ruin.

2/11/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Al Gore recieved more votes & JFKredux came close.

If the Republicans do not develop a better Strategy, by '08, they won't hold the Center. They'll have had their 8 year shot at Victory, and if they come up short...well
There won't be much of a chance for a second go.

2/11/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

On Fear, Lizard Brains, and 1984
Dr. Daniel Siegel, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist whose book Mindsight explores the physiological workings of the brain. He explained that the Bush campaign's unrelenting fear-mongering had left voters "shrouded in a 'fog of fear,'" reacting not with their linear, logical left brain but with their lizard, more emotional right brain.

Deep in the brain lies the amygdala, an almond-sized region that generates fear. When this fear state is activated, the amygdala springs into action. Before you are even consciously aware that you are afraid, your lizard brain responds by clicking into survival mode. No time to assess the situation, no time to look at the facts, just fight, flight or freeze. Fear paralyzes our reasoning and literally makes it impossible to think straight. Instead, we search for emotional, nonverbal cues from others that will make us feel safe and secure.

This is precisely why Rove wants to paint Democrats as having "a pre-9/11 worldview" which, by implication, makes them unwilling to go the extra -- even illegal -- mile to keep America safe.

2/11/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

Wretchard,

You are right. Polly's thinking is almost non-think. She is way way above her pay grade here. Nations live and thrive by defending their interests. Just because Iran is digging in and moving ahead with Nukes we are supposed to lay down? Why can't we move ahead with our interests, which include: not having insane people, known sponsors of terror, who have threatened a sovereign nation, running around with nukes. And why is Polly so concerned with saving Iran's face? (She probably heard somewhere that saving face is a big part of diplomacy) The whimsy of her idiocy would amaze me if it weren't printed in the Guardian. Isn't Toynbee a long-distinguished totalitarian loving family in the UK?

2/11/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Week the Sixties Died
The past 7 days may have been the week in which the over-hyped spirit of the 1960’s has finally been put to rest.

The week also saw the funeral of one of the last remaining icons of the Civil Rights era, Coretta King. And of course those political attention seekers who haven’t had a good idea in 40 years made her service into a platform for their cheap shots in a story that would have been buried if it weren’t for the new electronic media. Someone tell Jimmy Carter these days the whole world is watching, not just the antique media gatekeepers, so you can’t get away with this kind of crap.

Wretchard at the Belmont Club noted yesterday in a piece on the cartoon controversy that 1960’s protest songs are now a source of irony as editors who grew up in that period practice self-censorship. I wonder if just-dpearted Chicago Tribune public editor Don Wycliff still hums or even knows these words?

Though your brother’s bound and gagged
And they’ve chained him to a chair
Won’t you please come to Chicago
Just to sing
In a land that’s known as freedom
How can such a thing be fair
Won’t you please come to Chicago
For the help that we can bring.

But that was in another country and besides the wench is dead.
Roger Simon

Whatever vitality these people may once have had, this week they’ve proven themselves dinosaurs before the polar twin forces of Internet communication and radical Islam.
Rosslyn Smith 2 11 06

2/11/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I do not post blogs on Islam for one reason: I do not trust my government to defend my life in the event that murdering fanatics decide to kill me over something I said.
Can I, as an American citizen, rely on my government to defend my right to free speech against threats by Moslems in Iran, Syria, Yemen, Indonesia, Denmark, or Denver?
I’m not betting my life on it.
Guy L Evans Aurora, Colorado


MARK REPLIES:
You’re looking at it the wrong way. Obviously in the final analysis the government can’t defend your life any more than it could those passengers on the first three flights on 9/11. We have to be prepared to act ourselves, as the passengers on the fourth flight did.
Whether or not you express on Islam is up to you.
But it shouldn’t depend on whether the government will be there for you.
They won’t.
A free people’s freedoms don’t exist at the discretion of the state.

2/11/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Enlighten me, Please. When asked if he would allow Iran to go Nuclear, he said, "NO."

Now, are you folks having a hard time with the word, "NO," or, is it that huge reputation Bush has built up for "Not saying what he Means?"

2/11/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There is a fear, doug, here in AZ.

It is not of Mohammedans breaking into homes to steal stuff. It is not of a Mohammedan take over of the welfare and medical delivery systems.

No it is the fear that the Federals cannot control the border. It is that over 100 felons congregate on the corner, unmolested by local Law Enforcement, each morning.

It is that over 4000 felony murder warrants have been issued for aliens that have fled south of the border, and Mexico will not arrest or extradite them.

That is the fear that is in the reptilian sphere of my mind.

The Federals, Republicans in Command and at all the levers, have FAILED in their Constitutional Responsibilities.

US is losing by default, here at home.
We already are 10 million behind,
how many more most invade before we declare defeat and admit the US Government is no longer Soveriegn, within it's borders. That the situation on the ground, here, is out of control.

If we cannot secure US borders, why give a damn about Israel, Iraq or Iran.

2/11/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rufus
to be enlightened is easy, Mr Bush said he will not allow Iran to go Nuclear. Mr Bush leaves the White House in '08.
The Iranians will not, under their own System, have one by then.

The entire "Crisis" is eyewash and BS, brought on by the Iranians, for their own purposes.
We are obliged to play our part.

2/11/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bush may say what he means, rufus, but he certainly does not take appropriate Action on his words.
Ask the Syrians, or the Iranians, or for that matter Osama.

2/11/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll see if I can catch him when he vacations next door again.

2/11/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"No it is the fear that the Federals cannot control the border. "
---
Will not and will not make/allow local police do their jobs.

2/11/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And for that problem 'Rat, Steyn's 12:57 PM answer has an additional complication:
The Feds Prosecute Citizens that come to their own family's defense.

2/11/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As likely there, doug, as any where else, except Warizistan.
No chance of finding him there, at all.

If he was there, in Pakistan, the General President would arrest him for US. He promised, right before he cashed that last aid check.

You'd think a country of 162 million people, one that had a nuclear arsenal, a 500,000 man Army and a 300,000 man armed militia, could handle it's own Earth Quake Relief.
But no, US had to send a check.

2/11/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just proves the dangers in taking prisoners, doug.

If the illegal alien is dead, the Judge can't give him the ranch, as happened in Texas.

Skull & Bones, doug, that Party won the last Presidental Election, don't you know.
Would have, no matter which guy won. Policies are the same, regardless.

War on Terror = Poice Chase
War in Iraq = Police Chase
War on Drugs = Police Chase

Good video, great TV opportunities and good for the Markets.

Keep everything going according to plan, regardless of the reality on the Ground, just like the Army during Operation Anaconda.

2/11/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Operation Anaconda broke the back of the Taliban.

Military historians will likely treat the US operation in Afghanistan as one of the top 10 campaigns of all time.

2/11/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

well peterboston, read this account from the folk at the front, blogged from reality, my friend.
Take the time, read the whole thing.

Delta Force Operators considered untrustworthy when intel clashes with Plan

" ... reluctant to throw out weeks of hard-fought staff work on the word of Lt. Col. Peter Blaber's Delta operators. The plans trumped reality, because the plans had come with political and institutional costs.

Finally, one of the ways that Army officers managed the problem of ignoring the Delta Force intelligence showing 1000 enemy on the high ground was to regard the special operators who delivered that intelligence as out-of-control and untrustworthy. Leaders ridiculed the Delta team reports, and "mocked the independent role that Blaber had carved out by calling him 'Peter the Great' and 'Colonel Kurtz.'" The enforcement of institutional orthodoxy allowed leaders to ignore realistic bad news. Today's U.S. Army in a nutshell, right there. ... "

If that is one of the top 10 campaigns of all time, where do you rank Kursk?

The Mongols taking of Baghdad or Peking?

How about Ceasar in Gaul or Patton in Europe?

Top 10 of all time, do you forget Alexander and his defeat of the Persians.

Sherman's March to the Sea, Mao's Long March.

How about the Romans crushing the Jewish Rebellion and storming Masada?

The Spartans stopping the Persians at the Gates of Hell?

What of D-Day or Hiroshima?

2/11/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And the Taliban just launched another round of attacks, just last week.

Not much limping for a group with a broken back.
Must be some good Doctors, there in Pakistan, besides Dr Z, himself.

2/11/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Hindsight is a wonderful tool. Anaconda certainly had some command issues. So far as I know it was the first combined arms combat mission directed at times by civilians. There were five or six unrelated command structures involved at the same time. There was disagreement about the lift capability of helicopters at that altitude that ended up creating huge tactical disadvantages. Tac air was almost completely absent even though it was part of the planning. Bottom line is that despite the obstacles hundreds to thousands of fighters were turned into dust and the Taliban lost the ability to affect the outcome.

There are millions of tribesmen in Pakistan from which the Taliban can recruit. That a couple hundred wander through the border from time to time to harass remote outposts is hardly a seismic event.

The US started the Afghansitan campaign outnumbered and completey surrounded by hostile forces with a logistics tail 10,000 miles long that had to be rolled out and rolled up daily. There is no comparable military operation in history that I am aware of.

2/11/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

According to this TAC CAS was NOT part of the Planning.

" ... Anaconda, the 1,200-man operation against Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the Shah-e-Kot Valley of Afghanistan in early March 2002, brought Close Air Support for Army troops back to the forefront.

Expecting only light resistance and a large haul of prisoners, Army soldiers quickly found themselves under fire and without much organic support. One al Qaeda mortar team fired on a 10th Mountain Division unit for two days until killed in an attack by an F-16, followed by a mortar barrage.

In Anaconda, demand for CAS was high because ground forces did not bring in artillery. The plan called for using helicopters to rapidly insert soldiers, a major challenge in the rugged mountains. The terrain also made inserting artillery and counter-battery radars impossible. ... "
" ... Hagenbeck chose to rely on Close Air Support. His soldiers, facing heavier-than-anticipated resistance, were without the means to return fire, aside from their mortars and small arms. Al Qaeda fighters were holed up in defensive positions from which they rained down fire on the coalition task force.

In short order, requests for Close Air Support deluged air controllers. However, Army planners had failed to coordinate CAS in advance. The CAOC learned of the pending operation only hours before its planned start. The situation was not ideal for airmen or soldiers. Instead of preplanning hundreds of sorties in advance as was done for Desert Storm, the CAS for Anaconda at first resembled a free-for-all. ... "
" ... The ABCCC aircraft system was slated for retirement and was not deployed to the theater. Without ABCCC to sort through the CAS requests and prioritize the missions of strike aircraft, the job was even tougher. Officers flying in E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft and working from the Combined Air Operations Center struggled to sort out dozens of urgent requests from troops under fire.

Effective CAS was made all the more difficult by lack of time for prior planning. Hagenbeck did order an air strike about 20 minutes prior to the start of the operation, but he placed little reliance on it. His belief was that "air campaigns are most effective against fixed targets." ... "

AirForce Mag, online

The Air Force's Offical story goes on like this, for hundreds of more words.
None very flattering to one of the Top 10 Operations of all time.

It was a bust, where US Forces fought for their lives, some dying, not because of faulty intelligence and recon, but because of faulty Leadership.

They had to stick to the Plan, no improvising allowed.

2/11/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

US-Mexico Border Violence and Grenade Attacks in Mexico
The NY Times reports today on a rise in border incidents –no, not the Syria-Iraq border, the Mexico-US border.
The stats: Mexican criminal syndicates are stepping up their attacks on American agents patrolling the border as officials of the Homeland Security Department intensify efforts to stem the flow of immigrants and drugs into the United States

2/11/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Some call it hindsight, Mr Rumsfeld, I bekieve, calls them "Lessons Learned"

Top Ten my ass.

2/11/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just tryin' to stay ahead of the curve, doug.

2/11/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

My comment applied to the entire Afghanistan campaign not any particular battle.

If the campaign is not still being taught in military academies fifty years from now I'll withdraw the comment.

2/11/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll play Escrow House with the Bets.
Iron Clad Gaurantee to keep my address up to date.
('Rat starts searching for deals on trenchers.)

2/11/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If an US ally is in power in fifty years, the projected length of the "War", then it be judged a success.
Not 'til the War is Won can the Campaign be judged effective.

We're Decades away from Victory, if it comes at all. So says Mr Cheney & Mr Newt.
Who am I to dispute the wisdom of the Vice President?

2/11/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

In every war the "Garrison" Generals are weeded out, and the Warriors gradually assume Command. It's a "Miracle" every time we win a war. But, we have a few congenital advantages.

(1)That big Honking Democracy as PeterBoston put it is one. As a result, we always end our wars with all the equipment, ammo, and beans that we could possibly need.

When Eisenhower got his clock cleaned at Al Alamein (?) he did two things. He fired his garrison General (and brought in Patton, not a bad move, that,) and, he put in a request for 7,000 trucks. Not tanks, machine guns, or Artilley. Trucks. Which brings us to;

(2)We, as Americans, have always had a feel for logistics, and super-long supply tails. Perhaps, it's our own geography. The vast wide open spaces of the West. I don't know, but, we've always been good at it. The Red Ball Express is a good example. Contrast this to Germany in WWII, and Napoleon in Russia.

2/11/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But Operation Anaconda was a bust, that is an Air Force fact.
Verified by the Army blogs.
Far from anyone's Top Ten.

Afghanistan may or may not turn out well. Time, lots of it apparently, will tell.

2/11/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, it'll go down in "somebody's" top ten. Those images of our guys charging around on horseback was a hoot. It got a lot of that old suppressed "Cowboy" Blood pumping.

2/11/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Perhaps the debacle of Anaconda served a very worthwhile purpose. When we went into Iraq, the Special Forces had been "Ratified." They were probably allowed to contribute much more than they would have been without the Anaconda lash-up.

2/11/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes rufus, the Special Forces guys, in the beginning of the battle, using indig forces and good CAS kicked some ass.
Those fellows were detached, I believe, to the CIA.
It was when the "Regular" Army came in that the "Management" problems began.
Read the link to the Delta Force boys being called untrustworthy by the Field Commanders.

It's a long story, but from the horse's mouth.

2/11/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus,
Even when they were charging around in GM SUVs it was worth more than the price of admission.
Beards, Raybans, Arab Headgear, 3-5 Man Teams in the wilds of the 13th Century 'Stans.
No Armchair Generals to FYU.
....later:
Whatever happened to that RIDICULOUS order for the Special Forces to clean up, cut their hair and beards, and etc.

2/11/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites
Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

2/11/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sen John McCain, the Republican front-runner to succeed Mr Bush in 2008, has advocated military strikes as a last resort. He said recently: "There is only only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option and that is a nuclear-armed Iran."

Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, has made the same case and Mr Bush is expected to be faced by the decision within two years.

By then, Iran will be close to acquiring the knowledge to make an atomic bomb, although the construction will take longer. The President will not want to be seen as leaving the White House having allowed Iran's ayatollahs to go atomic.

2/11/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, I'll guarantee you; when they're sitting around discussing the first battle of the 23rd century the conversation will be the same. Some things just never change. The person that rises to 4 star in the army-at-peace in the year 2203 will be a virtual clone of the General in 1860.

AND, Special Operations will still be a career-decimating decision.

2/11/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As to aristides plan to insert light forces into Iran to search and destroy the nuclear capacity, there. While being protected from above, the AirForce Mag link story ends this way:
" ... The Army itself has an obligation to evaluate its plans for lighter forces and equip them to defend themselves until CAS arrives. Anaconda showed the risks of doing otherwise.

If the Army of the future is to fight successfully in a large, distributed battlespace, it must understand the basics of CAS--what it is and what it isn't. No air force in the world can guarantee the safety of an infantry unit inserted in tough terrain without proper "organic fires," as the Army would say. The lighter, faster Army forces of the future still have to be able to defend themselves for a minimum period and cope with the unexpected. CAS will remain a sacred obligation for airmen--but heavy reliance on it rarely is the preferred way to win wars. ... "

2/11/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Funniest Post of the Day from People's Daily:
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned here on Saturday that Iran would revise its policy of cooperation on the nuclear issue if its legal rights on the peaceful nuclear technology could not be secured. "

2/11/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Opotho, check this out!
Reynolds to CNN on the Muslim Cartoons: “You Guys Have Blown” (VIDEO)

2/11/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah 'Rat,
But if we replace A-10s with F-22s, think of the Magic that can be performed!

2/11/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug,
we are going to attack and destroy something that does not exist.
All because of the rants of their President, amongst other reasons, all under the control of the Iranians.
They want to be bombed, the real question is why and what comes next, after the bombing runs destroy the empty buildings and bunkers, just like the aspirin factory in Sudan.
That is the real question, and the meeting with Castro this September, think Mr Chavez or his representitive will be in attendance. How about Mr Morales and the FARC and MS-13 crowd.

Havana will be hoppin' come September. Mutual Defence Pacts and the like, I'm sure.

2/11/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Keep an eye on what type of units we send to Kuwait, to sit and wait. Bush is incredibly sublime about all of this. I think he's going to go "All In" sometime in the Fall. I just don't believe he'll trust the CIA when they tell him that Iran's 2, 3, 5 yrs (pick a number) away.

I, also, don't think he'll let anybody talk him into a Jimmeh Cahta "Raiding Party." If he can't accomplish what he wants with air power, (which I think he can,) he'll go in with "Division-size" (not Brigade size) Force. But the plan will be in fast and fight your way out.

2/11/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

About those aspirin factories; I think my reaction was probably pretty similar to most "Voting" Americans: to wit,

"Maybe they were, and maybe they weren't, but, I'm glad they're gone."

The American people don't mind bombing aspirin factories, they just don't like long, drawn-out wars. We, like Patton, don't like paying for the same real estate twice.

2/11/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You bet, doug, we'll be able to shoot down, in air to air combat, any aircraft those Mohammedans send up.
The fact we can do that now, without loss of US aircraft, does not matter.
We need new exciting stuff.

Not what General Scales says we need to succeed in Iran, that stuff, transport planes and some light armour to fit in them, are not "flashy" enough to fund.

Not that old venerable A-10 airframe, updated as required, to go out and kill targets on the ground with direct fire from the cannon. Forget about it.
Don't talk Reality,

It's not in the Plan, man.

2/11/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Desert_Rat,

What are you trying to say? I'm unclear. Have I missed your solution?

2/11/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Twice? in some cities in Iraq it took five or six times to get it right.
Then the Army realized they had to leave some one behind.
We used to call it a Security Force, I think they may have a new name for it now, the Iraqi Army.

The US Army has been there in Iraq for three years now, you'd have thought they would have figured it out sooner, we Belmonters did, but some of us are old and experienced in the ways of the World, unlike the Army guys in charge.

2/11/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the solution to what, arthur?

2/11/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Now Rat, don't be too hard on the young'un. This "IS" Iran, not Iraq. You aren't going to flying any A-10's 700 miles into Iran to shoot up any tanks. Iran has a "Very" Robust Air Defense System. Your A-10 wouldn't make it 50 miles. Besides, their Air Force may not be able to fight F-15's and F-16's, but they have a lot of planes spit-welded together. It could do a lot of damage to your C-130's and C-17's.

The F-22 WILL BE an important part of the mix. Plus, they have a "Strike" capability. This is a country 1/3 the size of the U.S. with 70,000,000 people. It has a large Army. We WILL NOT be sending "Light" anything, in there.

2/11/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/11/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

James Zogby employs Thugish Islamic Tactics to Deny Muslims are Thugs.
This "Catholic" Prick is no better than his Terrorist-Loving brother, just sleazier.
Puppydog Blitzer encourages him to continue talking over Bennet.

Download Video here

Bennett on CNN's Double Standard

2/11/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rufus
The A-10 is a CAS aircraft, Close to the ground troops it Supports from the Air.
No need to fly off into robust air defenses.
How much does a F-22 cost, the engines alone could pay for a couple of A-10s. The Air Force won't risk that bird, not into ground fire like the A-10 is designed for.

That is the point of the Procurement debacle, buy the expensive toys while the tools of the trade, needed for the fight today, age into obscurity.

Old President Ike spoke of it, on his way out the door. Military Indusrtial Complex, drives the process more than most would care to admit, except Duke Cunningham.

2/11/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

The free world is still divided. That is actually being polite because, as we sadly see, EUnuchstan is leaning more blue state than red state even after the 'cartoon peril'. So what do we do?

I would like to remove all Iranian leaders with bullets and install a US chosen leadership which will run the nation. Hindsight is 20/20. Except as far as nut with nukes goes hindsight is six feet.

We need to assassinate those who are capable of killing us. We cannot because we are too civilized.

2/11/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rufus,
You also disagree then with the tactical assessment of Maj General Scales, exCommander of the Army's War College.
He believes air bases are set up or captured, from which US Force projects into Iranian nuclear facilities to nuetralize them.
He uses light armour to project that force and air bridges for logistical support.
He debases the other Iranian military options pretty convincingly.

It was in the Weekly Standard a couple of weeks ago.

2/11/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah, Rat; but, the A-10 has to get to the fight. And, if the fight is 500 miles into Iran, I don't "Think" it's going to make it. That's why we won't go in "Light." We can suppress their air coverage, but, we'll have to get our indirect fire from Paladins, and J-Dams/cluster bombs dropped from 15,000 by F-22's, F-18's, F-15's, and F-16's. Actually, I couldn't see the F-22 use for CAS, only for air combat and bombing in the intitial phase (perhaps.)

2/11/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Remember, these are going to be "Highly-Defended" targets. They will know we're coming well in advance.

Also worth keeping in mind. It's the B-2, the F-117, Missile Defense, F-22, that have convinced the rest of the world's State-Powers that it's just hopeless to try to keep up. I never though it was pure "coincidence" that the USSR gave up the ghost "after" the Gulf War.

2/11/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah Rat, I disagree with him. He seems like a good old man, and I enjoy watching him on TV, but I wouldn't want him leading me into Iran. I think he'd get a lot of people (maybe me) killed.

I wouldn't want to go in with anything less than M1A-2's and Paladins clearing the way. I want to be able to take on 7 or 8 Divisions on the way out and make the next Super Bowl.

I would take down a couple of "Small" airports on the way. That way my C-130's can bring me a little extra stuff if I need it, but, I would try like the dickens to carry more than everything I need with me.

2/11/2006 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The F-117 has been obsoleted, my friend, soon to be off to Tucson for moth balling and eventually destroyed

We won't be going in Heavy, rufus, not on Mr Bush's watch.

Ineffectual air strikes against empty buildings, all for Political effect. That'll be the next round in the dance, if it even comes to that.
It is up to the Iranians, I think they yearn to be bombed, though.
The real question is why?

2/11/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The F-117 isn't gone, yet. They'll be here till their replacement (F-35) shows up. And, that might be awhile.

Actually, I agree with you about the unlikeliness of any ground expeditions into Iran. It's just fraught with unseen "FUBAH"s.

I "Don't" believe they will be empty buildings. Not "ALL" of them.

2/11/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

As to "Why?" Who the hell knows? If he's rational, and that's a Huge Assumption, then you could say, "What's he got to lose?" They can't keep it secret. Either we respond, or, we don't. If we don't he has Nukes. If we do he doesn't have nukes, but then again, he doesn't have nukes now, anyway.

2/11/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

arthur,
In short, I'd identify the enemy in the Mohammedan Wars and destroy them.
I think the Bush Doctrine of Support a Terrorist, be a terrorist is a good one. I would employ and empower it.
Beginning in Syria with their Military, when Syria had been militarily castrated from the Air. I would then swing to Iranian Naval and Air Defense assets.

I would use Naval and Air Force assets for each Campaign.

Depending upon the reaction in Iraq tactics could vary there.

I would demand Pakistan disarm their nuclear weapons or the destruction of their Nuclear capacity would be assured.

I would cut the funding to the PA

I would have a long talk with the Saudi King, their help in the past deserving some respect and an opportunity to reform.

If it was going to be a Long War, it sure would be a hot one.
But I doubt that if were hot it would be very "Long".

2/11/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

As even the WaPo admits:

The requirement for detailed paperwork was greatly eased, allowing the NSA to begin eavesdropping the next day on anyone suspected of a link to al Qaeda, every person who had ever been a member or supporter of militant Islamic groups, and everyone ever linked to a terrorist watch list in the United States or abroad, the official said.

In March 2002, the FBI and Pakistani police arrested Abu Zubaida, then the third-ranking al Qaeda operative, in Pakistan. When agents found Zubaida's laptop computer, a senior law enforcement source said, they discovered that the vast majority of people he had been communicating with were being monitored under FISA warrants or international spying efforts.

"Finally, we got some comfort" that surveillance efforts were working, said a government official familiar with Zubaida's arrest.


The WaPo bitterly spits out the truth in the last hundred words of their big article. See, they know Libs get a headache from reading and will never see these last 3 grafs. On the other hand, conservatives will supposedly be bought off by this better-late-than-ever nod to reality.

Unfortunately, au contrair, the WaPo should have led with the effectiveness of the program, instead of these self-defeating sissy questions from the Dems.

Rather than questioning Bush's every move and breath, I wish the libs and Dems would simply Propose the Democratic Plan.

Is that asking too much of the Party that demands control of the World's Superpower?

If it’s working, why break it? Has anyone Not Guilty been harmed by America’s vigilance.

2/11/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Desert Rat,

Syria has a defense treaty with Iran. Attacking Syria would give Iran the excuse it needs to shut down the Straits. It's best to deal with Iran first, and cut the threat to the shipping lanes to a short a time as possible.

2/11/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger nonomous said...

Rat,

Thanks for the links to
http://threatswatch.org/
http://www.westhawk.blogspot.com/

"There is a fear,.. it is the fear that the Federals cannot control the border."

Border anarchy is far more dangerous to the US than an Iranian ICBM attack. Iranian strategic direction is organized around blackmail.

2/11/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Got news for you, Nonomous; The biggest "danger" we have on our border is that those ELEVEN MILLION WORKERS we depend on to keep our economy running cross it and go home. ELEVEN MILLION!! That's about three times as many workers as we lost during the internet meltdown and the accompanying recession.

It's "MADNESS!"

2/11/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Desert Rat wrote:

"I think they yearn to be bombed, though.
The real question is why?"

It is appearing that this 'radical' President of Iran is a pretty crafty politician. There is nothing quite like national pride at technological progress threatened by an outside (blasphemous) enemy to solidify ones political base. (I guess he watched Bush milk 911 for all it wa worth and went hmmmmm....)

2/11/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I am fearful that a military strike against Iran will not show American strength, but can seriously backfire and show weakness. After the "shock and awe" campaign in Iraq, the Islamic world was truly intimidated and humiliated. That victory was quickly lost with the uncontrolled rioting and looting and the utter chaos and breakdown in Iraqi civil affairs. There was a slight recovery when Hussein was captured but the inability of the US to pacify the country emboldened the insurgency.

The US could have declared that the Hussein regime was terminated and it was now up to the Iraqis to form a replacement government, not hostile to US interests. Instead, The US allowed a successful military mission to morph into a political failure. The Iranians read newspapers and listen to the critics of the Bush administration. They read the polls and they know they can outlast the Bush Administration. In short, a vital component of American Power has been dissipated and will not be quickly recovered.

An unsuccessful US attack on Iran will have the same effect as the feckless rescue mission disaster of Jimmy Carter and the Islamic world defines a victory as anything short of utter annihilation. One need only look as the horrendous casualties suffered by Iran in the Iran-Iraq War.

A much smarter decision would be to work for and enact severe economic sanctions against Iran, but the US has such little political capital, it is unlikely to be able to implement such a strategy. The absurd benign neglect of a serious energy policy puts the US in a very weak economic position.

The US has only one option and that is similar to the option used against the Soviet Union.
1. It would include high visible forward deployed offensive strategic military assets.
2. Intense propaganda against the Islamic theocracy.
3. Frustrating Iranian foreign policy objectives.
4. Encouraging all groups hostile to the Iranian regime.
5. Encouraging the natural antipathy of Sunni Muslim countries against Iran.
6. An unambiguous declaration that any nuclear attack against any country by Iran would result in the assured total destruction of all Iranian Governmental assets.

The US spent 40 years in a controlled and ultimately successful “cold war” against the Soviet Union. I spent seven years monitoring the Soviet missile strategic deployment and the Soviets never doubted our capability and resolve. Iran is nothing, nothing compared to the Soviet Union. We need to calm down, get a grip and win.

2/11/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Adolph H. Mohammed said...

(Letter from my FuhrerBunker in Hell)

Heil Islam !

Dear Lovely Islamic Fascists,

The Devil has taken a break from eating my spleen so I may write a few sentences to all of you.

Since I, Adolph, have converted to the religion of Mohammed (peace be unto him) I have learned many things. I have learned that much of the press is also a follower of Mohammed (peace be unto him). I have found such gems as the following link:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/
html/faithvalues
/2002798110_junejo11m.html

My Friend Herr Goebbels believes in gut propaganda!

Your Adolph.

Heil Mohammed! (peace be unto him)

2/11/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Al Guardian has never been a beacon of resolve and strength - except to the enemy.

Polly Toynbee: if you cannot win, give up at once to minimise the damage.

Wretchard is a different story:

Wrong premise, wrong conclusion.

I will say that a pattern of media deception is developing. Some would call it a Shake-down, a Confidence game, Good-Cop Bad-Cop, or a good negotiation tactic by our enemy.

A) Al Guardian hypes the "rage" of Arab street.

B) Al Guardian suggests we give into the enemy.

This gives off a bad odor. It looks like a ruse. But, what is next?

C) Assad/Ahmadinejad Benevolence Fund hands Toynbee a check?

And What is after that?

D) The US drops the Hammer on the two AA's

E) The two AA's are angry and threaten to put a nuke in the "Tube."

F) Toynbee surrenders on behalf of the UK.

G) Complete Dhimmitude for the UK.

Enough on Al Guardian.

I believe it's time for some unfortunate accidents to happen in Syria and Iran.

Maybe, a Iranian naval ship mysteriously sinks due to a fire in the Ammo mag. Or, faulty maintenance on Ahmadinejad's plane causes it to crash. Possibly, some old ordnance explodes near Assad. The ME can be a very dangerous place.

Keep the bad guys busy and they will not have time to construct clever deceptions.

2/11/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I'm sorry ledger, but when I hear alGuardian, NYT, WaPo, BBC News, CBC News, cBS News, CNN, etc, mentioned, I switch the channel. They have their target audience, and it doesn't include me.

2/11/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

That's quite a list, Rat.

Quite a list.

Hell, we can't wrap up two theater conflicts as it is. You want to begin at least two more, and without ever asking whether, or demonstrating how, any one of those actions will lessen the likelihood of future terrorist attacks directed against the US, thus enhancing the security of US citizens and property, at home and abroad. While the most urgent threat facing us is unconventional attacks by stateless entities, you want to embark on two additional military campaigns against the conventional military assets of two states. And how you might hope to either conclude or limit those additional campaigns, once begun, is beyond me.

"A cardinal rule of strategy is to keep your enemies to a manageable
number. A strategy whose ambitions provoke the formation of an
array of enemies whose defeat exceeds the resources available to
that strategy is doomed to failure. The Germans were defeated in
two world wars notwithstanding their superb performance at the
operational and tactical levels of combat because their strategic ends
outran their available means; their declared strategic ambitions
provoked formation of an opposing coalition of states whose
collective resources in the end overwhelmed those of Germany."

Jeffery Record,
Bounding the Global War on Terrorism

2/11/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And I'd like to add that the SACEUR wasn't exaggerating when he told Der Spiegel that our plate is already full. This simple fact, no matter of controversy or debate within the military, cannot be regarded or held in isolation from any proposals to widen the war.

2/11/2006 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Adolph H. Mohammed said...

(Letter from my FuhrerBunker in Hell)

Heil Islam!

Dearest Islamic Fascist Grandchildren,

The Devil took a break from sticking me with needles so I can write you a few words.

You must read the following link on religious motivation:

http://www.afji.com/story.php?F=1444315_0206

Obergruppenfuhrer Heinrich Himmler says that he loves all the little Islamic Fascist Grandchildren and that he is so proud of your accomplishments in the last 1400 years.

You have managed to build big Mosques on top of all sorts of religions that you conquered.

You built a mosque on top of Jerusalem Temple, one on Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (and changed name of city to Istanbul).

Heil Mohammed ! (peace be unto him)

You have blown up Bamiyan Buddhas.

Heil Mohammed ! (peace be unto him)

You have razed many Hindu Temples when you conquered India.

Gut, Gut work ! Auf Wiedersehen.

Your Adolph.

Heil Islam !

2/12/2006 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

[I would demand Pakistan disarm their nuclear weapons or the destruction of their Nuclear capacity would be assured.]

Now we're talking. I have to admit that I assumed that Rumsfeld and Powell secretly arranged for the secret destruction of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal just after 9-11.

The media still acts like Pakistan still has nuclear weapons.

But Bush couldn't have been that daft...could he?

If so, he isn't much better than Clinton. I won't live in a major US city until I have a better idea that our leaders know what they are doing.

To me, it sounds logical:

1) Just before the USA goes in to take nukes away from Pakistan, anyone with a brain takes a vacation away from US population centers.

2) US military takes away Pakistan's nukes, very violently if necessary.

3) The people with brains can go back into their population centers if they want to. The socalled poor and uneducated would have remained there during the brief war (like idiots).

4) You no longer have a nuclear program in Pakistan.

But meanwhile we are agonizing over whether or not to stop Iran while they are weak. Zheez.

2/12/2006 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You are right trish, the list is quite extensive. The Enemies and threats continue to grow, while US resolve evaporates, like piss on hot rock in the noon day sun.

The President set the bar and now it seems it is set to high, US competency and capacity are now the issue, again.

We have seen, in spades, the inadequecy of the US Military to complete the job at hand. That it has not been addressed is a shame.

After 9-11 we could have strengthen the Military, could have named the Enemy and defined Victory.
Instead empty rhetoric, loud talk while carrying a little stick, has been the US hallmark. It has won US little respect, no fear and no great success.

Toppling Saddam was a good thing, done quickly. Post Invasion has been an embaressment of calamities, most self imposed.

And the Pakistanis still have their Warheads and delivery systems, bet the farm on that one.

Desrtoy the Terrorist and the Sponsors, all of 'em and walk away, militarily. Would not have to do it more than a couple of times before the message was recieved, loud and clear.

As it is we will never defeat the Mohammedan ideology with payoffs and admissions of our own guilt and moral shortcomings.

Devise a strategy to bring the War to a successful conclusion, quickly, or come home.

These guys are not the Soviets or Chinese, what dear lady, would we do in a Real WAR?

2/12/2006 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Mika,

I don't know exactly what you are driving at.

Now, if the term "Al Guardian" hits a nerve - skip over it. It's just a tie-in to Wretchard's brilliant commentary without copying his exact words.

The rest of the post speaks for itself.

2/12/2006 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish,
your comparing US to Germany in WWII is telling.
At the start of that War, Germany was outgunned by the French, alone.

The French lost. The English were saved at Dunkirk, by the Germans.

The expanse of Russia defeated Germany, as it defeated Napolean.

The US is not Germany in either scope or scale, it is magnitudes larger and stronger.
The Mohammedans are not Soviets, not in the geography nor in military capacity.

Jr got about 193 and a wake up, then it's out of the US and onto a beach, for the both of us.

FTA, all the way.

2/12/2006 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But what, wretchard, if instead of "cannot win" we change it to "refuse to try to win"?

Then perhaps we SHOULD
"give up at once to minimise the damage."

That will be decided in '08

2/12/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

If Bush really allowed the Pakis to keep their weapons, then it is all over now. Paki nukes in American cities are what is now keeping Bush from even trying to win.

We are in a Cold War...which then explains the asinine comments by Dick Cheney that this thing will last decades.

I kind of assumed in October 2001 that the Pakis already had New York City blackmailed. I left New York that month seemingly permanently and have never been back.

I remember how I walked around Central Park that day...knowing it would my last for many many years or my last before it was irradiated. I felt like it was the movie "On the Beach" where the Australians enjoyed one final weekend in the park before the radiation arrived.

Bush had the political power to break Pakistan in the fall of 2001. If his strategy was just to shock and awe Pakistan via the Afghan War...that was a mistake...a big mistake.

We have seen that "shock and awe" does not work. There are plenty of guerilla strategies designed to counter that. You have to bust them down and kill enemy leaders and opinion makers as with the Phoenix Program.

2/12/2006 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

We didn't change the minds of most Nazi leaders and opinion makers. We killed them.

Do that up to a tipping point, and the ones who got away will change their minds. I don't think the Tipping Point can be reached inside Iraq...although I do admire the Flypaper Strategy...if there really is one (and there are a lot more secret killings happening than are described at MNF-IRAQ.com.)

2/12/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Ledger,

I might as well tune in to Pravda.ru

2/12/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Neal Phenes said...

I have never heard the term BATNA before. I quickly surmised its meaning to be By Any Terms Necessary Approach that the pacifists and appeasers follow when faced with a threat. The actual meaning is only semantically removed.

2/12/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger sarnac said...

In a bad situation, there are frequently no good solutions. I propose a least-bad solution that solves our problems in an ugly way:

PROBLEM:
The USA feels restrained from invading Iran ASAP for two basic reasons: post-invasion-nationbuilding and that the EU will burn.

We (logically) accept that Iran, like Iraq will become a magnet for those who would seek to kill Americans and disrupt reconstruction ... plus the not-so-minor detail of further anti-co-operation by the Russians and the Chinese.

The Russians may supply the Iranians with SAMs etc, but that will be the probable extent of their reaction ... they are too weak to do more nowadays.

The Chinese don't like the Iranians but they want 1: Iranian oil and 2: the USA to stop being the world's policement.

SOLUTION:
Do the (for the USA) unthinkable:
Invade Iran, then turn over its governance and reconstruction to the Chinese wholesale. (Maybe turn over the nothern ethnic-Azeri areas to Azerbijan and the Western Kurd areas to the Kurds in Iraq, but leave the Persian and oil-rich areas to the Chinese, who obviously get all of Iran's oil from then on.)

The Chinese are not hampered by niceness, civil-rights, media, democratic values, etc, but they WANT that oil and will keep the persians in line by whatever means necessary.

Side benefits:
1: No other country anywhere would want to be ruled by the Chinese and would be afraid of the new US-Chinese alliance ... Offend the US enough and we destroy your government and give your people and lands and oil to the Chinese.
2: EU urban renewal ... they'll finally be able to have wider roads and there'll be lots of construction jobs available with no pesky Turks or other muslims taking away EUropean jobs from the natives.

2/12/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"FTA, all the way."

I will say this, Rat: There's a lot of that going around nowdays.

2/12/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

I just can't keep the smile off my face when contemplating the "Kick Iran's Ass, and turn it over to China" Strategy.

Fantasy, but, Enjoyable Fantasy.

2/12/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"The President set the bar and now it seems it is set to high, US competency and capacity are now the issue, again.

"We have seen, in spades, the inadequecy of the US Military to complete the job at hand. That it has not been addressed is a shame."

And yet you continue to insist that we are mightier than the Grand Old Reich at its height.

If we were ill-equipped for Afghanistan and Iraq, what in God's name makes you think that we are prepared to take on two more enemies in the manner you envision?

You wanna bomb air and naval assets? What in the hell does that do to further the cause of defeating a pick-up team of guerillas and suicide bombers? It doesn't do jack, Rat.

2/12/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

How many spare SOF and intel assets do you think we have to throw at the bigger, oh-what-the-hell mess you'd create.

2/12/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Trish,

The "Job" is not for the US military to complete. That's the "Job" for Ahab. And if Ahab proves to be incapable of adapting, well, Ahab will go extinct. It's that simple.

2/12/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

mika, once we pop 'em one we just retreat behind our fence and watch in safety?

2/12/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

mika. said...

Trish,

The "Job" is not for the US military to complete. That's the "Job" for Ahab. And if Ahab proves to be incapable of adapting, well, Ahab will go extinct. It's that simple.

10:57 AM
///////////////
This is not the way its going to work.

Israeli scientists from the weisman institute are coming to the USA March 17 (arlington VA)to check out the the revolutionary work US scientists are doing in nano tech that has such profound implications for desalination. ie: US research suggests that the cost of desalination can be dropped to 1/10 of current costs like current hydrogen fuel cell research in only a couple of years.

Anyhow, likely the Israelis will convert US tax payer funded basic research into IP at least as fast as US scientists. (ie National Science Foundation types who are sponsoring this event should look at the current US trade deficit and consider Greenspan's repeated remarks that the the trade deficit is "troubling")

But the upshot is that five years from now its going to get out that the Israelis and the US have the capabilities to turn all the world's deserts green.

And the immans and mullahs will shout "allah akbhar" and say their demonstrations and protests were the cause of the great technology feat.

Likely about that time the europeans will begin mass expulsions of the moslems from their countries.

Its important that these people return to their countries of origin.

2/12/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Charles, what is your heritage? Are you a Native American?

2/12/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"mika, once we pop 'em one we just retreat behind our fence and watch in safety?"

Apparently that's what Rat has in mind as well. A couple of bombing campaigns and then we just walk away. Job done.

That we won't actually by this method obtain the surrender or defeat of the networks that pose a threat to us, seems either not to occur or not to matter. Not sure which is worse.

2/12/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Desert Rat,I respect your military knowledge,no doubt gained in much ,sweat and tears,but I don't see any way your scenario plays outside of total mobilization including a reinstitution of the draft,preparation for the world economy going in the crapper,a willingness of the American people to accept thousands of casualties and Bush no doubt impeached by the vile left.
So what is the alternative?Is there an alternative.Maybe Crosby Stills,
Nash and Young weren't illegal substance addled when they wrote "Wooden Ships" about escaping to a desert isle an eating purple berries.
Hey we can go to Tonga and set up a perimeter to keep the Wahhabis from making Sonia put a burkha on.

2/12/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

A number of you keep ignoring the reality of the situation. We cannot do this by ourselves. No matter how strong our military is. That means that we need allies. And we would not have any allies in this struggle if we viewed it, and acted on it, as if it were a black and white situation. This is very much akin to our support of Stalin during WWII. It was not an attractive alternative (at least to those prescient types like Churchill) but it sure beat letting Hitler win. The same applies here. We have to look the other way a lot. That is the only way we are going to eventually be victorious.

2/12/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

So the Russians, once again, make themselves useful by making themselves useful. Why do I get the feeling I've seen this movie already.

2/12/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Ash said...

Charles, what is your heritage? Are you a Native American?

12:48 PM
//////////////
no.

Why do you ask?

2/12/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Charles you wrote:

"Its important that these people return to their countries of origin."

I'm just trying to figure out how you delineate "these people" Is it only Muslim immigrants you think need be "returned" or their children too? How many generations should we go back on this deportation scheme? Should you be deported, or are you safe because you are actually native to america?

2/12/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Okay, here's the deal. Dubya is playing Possum. He's going to let the Dems try to run to his right. Public support is already surprisingly high for him to take action. He'll let Hillary, et al, get into full cry calling for "Action" on Iran.

Then, without blinking, he slides the whole stack into the middle and announces, "all in."

He bombs the "Holy" Hockeysticks out of the enrichment facilities. He'll get most of them, thus setting their program back 4 or 5 years and hoping they'll do something dumb. With old Ah'mabuttface it could happen.

It won't be that big a thing. It'll be over in a day or so, and everyone in the world will breathe a sigh of relief.

2/12/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

More News for Tony:
So Long, Dalai Lama: Google Adapts to China

2/12/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Note to Ash:
If you had left off that last sentence you might not have sounded terminally stupid.
Practice Restraint.

2/12/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Iran rejects charge of inflaming violence:

Also Sunday, a poll published in Jyllands-Posten showed that the anti-immigration Danish People's Party is gaining support.

The party received 17.8 percent support in the Feb. 6-8 survey by pollster Ramboll Management, up 3.6 points from a similar survey a month earlier. The margin of error was not available, but pollsters said they questioned 1,058 people.

Iran Rejects Charge

2/12/2006 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Desert_Rat said:

The Enemies and threats continue to grow, while US resolve evaporates, like piss on hot rock in the noon day sun.

The President set the bar and now it seems it is set to high, US competency and capacity are now the issue, again.

--------
No DS. The problems, as they are, do not reside in the 'willing', or even those with 'resolve'. The problems reside in those who bemoan, demean, undercut, mislead. I suppose you are correct in the sense that very few are standing up and thus we might lose Spain and France to the Koranimals.

It is true that very few are standing up. I, however, would not choose to use the phrase 'US competency and capacity are now the issue, again.' You may be correct, but you give a huge pass to those who built a house out of flammable dung.

2/12/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

arthur dent,
Laura Ingraham has spent the past week in Iraq.
Friday she was with the 4ID.
(no newbies those)
The American Soldier is doing us proud, we owe them the same.
Whether one thinks we are on the right course or not, the idea that this country cannot afford to complete the mission in Iraq is preposterous.
If we get nothing more than the return of these real men and women to our land of ease and mtv, we will have gotten a bargain.
The Iraqis she talked to have a completely different perspective.
People that demean their willingness to put their lives on the line should be ashamed of themselves.
Maybe less mtv would help, 'Rat.

2/12/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/12/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat does not agree with the argument that the enemy in Iraq would have been effectively neutered long ago without extensive help from the enemy within and the worldwide media.

Although that is a hypothetical, it is still my belief, and I think it is our responsiblity to hold them accountable at every turn, and not unfairly shift blame elsewhere.

2/12/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger sonia said...

I think that instead of invading Iran (or any other country), we should just invite their leaders to do this with this guy...

2/12/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"...their declared strategic ambitions provoked formation of an opposing coalition of states whose collective resources in the end overwhelmed those of Germany."

Trish, THAT will be the same outcome against the Islamo-fascists.

After 50 years of exile and imprisonment, the revolution of the Young Turks released all religious prisoners from jail, and the Glory of God spent His remaining earthly years directing the growth of the Faith of God, from Bahji, Israel

In the early 1920's, after WWI, His son 'Abdu-l Baha, an old man himself by then, travelled to America and went from New York to San Francisco, by train and motorcar, often lecturing 3-4 times a day, in churches, synagogues, town halls, Rotary, lodges...

...and the recorded talks from his 9-month journey were published as "The Promulgation of Universal Peace".

America has a special, GOOD place in the affairs of humankind. You are free to read "Promulgation" for yourself, and see that what the Lord of Hosts brought is NOT Islam! (Muslims tried their best, for more than 40 years, to kill Him, but failed!)

Planes and bombs are tools, but they take second place to ideas, thoughts and learning, such as The Glory of God's explicit teachings on collective security: "Should any one amongst you rise up against another, ALL others must rise up against it."

Tell the Muslims of the coming of Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God!

2/12/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Whether one thinks we are on the right course or not, the idea that this country cannot afford to complete the mission in Iraq is preposterous."

OIF can go about 5 more years along with other, contemporaneous commitments. 5 more years, at a force level much reduced from the current one. It's the ability to make those reductions that I wonder about now. We are so far behind schedule - and I don't hear promising talk of reductions (or serious leaks about them) coming from DoD or the WH.

That actually worries me.

2/12/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I should say that it's the willingness, rather than the ability, to make those reductions in Iraq that I wonder about.

Continuing to stay to the tune of 120,000 troops, more or less, in the midst of a Sunni/Shiia war which we've no intent or reason to fight ourselves, is a baaaad idea.

2/12/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Understandable, Trish.
Laura saw what she saw, but of course not the whole country.

If all the Iraqis were like the ones she had as examples, we'd be fine.
Of course they're not, and I don't have a read on how many are.

Dr. Sanity has a post I want to read, what caught my eye was her saying WaPo or someone was reporting on the Syrian Border being effectively sealed, and what a hardship that was on the locals,
W/O Mentioning that is the primary route of the enemy!

2/12/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Tell the Muslims of the coming of Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God!"

I'll spread the word, karridine. Whatever helps.

2/12/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I should also say that I don't think that baaaad idea is the combatant commanders' idea.

2/12/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

You say the hill's too steep to climb,
Climb it
You say you'd like to see me try,
Climbing
You pick the place and I'll choose the time
And I'll climb
The hill in my own way
Just wait a while for the right day
And as I rise above
the tree lines and the clouds
I look down
Hear the sound
of the things you said today

Fearlessly, the idiot faced the crowd
Smiling
Merciless, the magistrate turns 'round
Frowning
And who's the fool who wears the crown?
Go down in your own way
Every day is the right day
And as you rise above
the fear-lines in the frown
You look down
Hear the sound
of the faces in the crowd

2/12/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

"IF" Dub's gonna whack Iran, then he can't draw down much from here until it's over. In fact he might want to send at least one Combat Division to hang out in Kuwait, just in case.

This, just in case Ahmabutthead gets mad about having his house trashed, and wants to take it out on some nearby American Troops.

2/12/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

1 more story of thousands untold:

And Robert C.J. Parry, a first lieutenant in the California Army National Guard's 1-184 Infantry, writes about "The War You Didn't See":
Our unit — supposedly just a band of weekend warriors from the National Guard — was selected by the Army's renowned 3rd Infantry Division to take on its primary challenge: taking control of a sector of south Baghdad that was home to leading Baathists and Al Qaeda fanatics. In that capacity, we conducted more than 7,000 combat patrols totaling nearly half a million man-hours. We captured more insurgents in one month than did whole brigades. We stand nominated (with the rest of our brigade) for a Valorous Unit Award.
But instead, people who didn't know the first thing about us trumpeted the misdeeds of a handful of young men who scoffed at the concepts of honor and duty that our commander invoked.

At dawn on the June day that that story broke, we awakened to the deep reverberation of a complex attack — five car bombs and at least three subsequent ambushes designed to hit those who responded — in an adjacent sector. The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment was in a hot fight. Our Alpha Company — a part of our battalion, based in Fullerton — rallied to 3-7's aid. The company fought through ambushes to find, kill and capture terrorists. For a few hours, the men of Killer Company, as we call Alpha, were heroes.But that night, amid rumor and whisper, the Alpha soldiers were taken off patrol and isolated.
Within days we knew the ugly story. Months earlier, it seems, shortly after we arrived in Iraq, a few of Alpha's young NCOs had abused a group of Iraqi detainees.[...]
Whatever the case, in the end, only three went to prison for their role in the abuse, all for short terms. The others received minor administrative punishments, and our commander — a schoolteacher, poet and a man of noble values — was sent elsewhere.

The facts did not live up to the hype, but the hype was what we, and you, were left with.While our Delta Company patrolled a stretch of Baghdad road where five of our soldiers were eventually killed, people who had never set foot in Iraq were quoted about our performance.
People who rarely left the safety of an operations base damaged our reputations. We never flinched in a fight, but we were smeared nonetheless.
What none of us could explain was why no reporter actually met a single 184th soldier in Iraq until November.
Dr Sanity

2/12/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

History Goes Unreported

2/12/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

oops, I missed a "little" something:
---
"What none of us could explain was why no reporter actually met a single 184th soldier in Iraq until November.

Even that only came after the tragic death of our new commander, Col. Wood, an amazing active-duty officer who held us together and made us strong again.

Whether it was some form of politics or simply the realities of journalism in war, I do not know.
The hype was all that mattered."

2/12/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In my entire adult life, I have never witnessed such an unbelievable smear job of unrelenting and unadulterated bias and ideological bullshit that passes itself off as some kind adherence to "higher" journalistic standards.

The same kind of "higher" standards that preclude publishing banal cartoon drawings of Mohammed; or showing the ruthless inhuman behavior of our enemy--out of "sensitivity"; but which eagerly makes front page news of fake Koran flushings and Abu Ghraib photos.

There is nothing about the left and its media pets that enrages me more than the double-dealing, hypocritical, and obscene moral relativity that has taken the place of critical judgment and honesty.
And as they all sit around congratulating themselves on speaking "truth" to power; history continues to go unreported.
-Dr Sanity

2/12/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Doug, that story says an awful lot about our media, and about the military's culture of fear at higher command levels.

2/12/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/12/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Way too many people taking way too little responsibility.
---
And virtually no heads have rolled from the Clinton days, NSA outing traitors, etc etc.

I guess we'll have to content ourselves with re-runs of the MacArther days.

2/12/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I wonder if the Russian people consider Pravda.ru their media. Who is it that actually considers Pravda.ru as their media?

2/12/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Message (1976)

In March, 1977, Black Muslims in the US took 149 people hostage and demanded that The Message be banned. The siege ended with one reporter dead and loads of hostages beaten, stabbed or shot.

Quotes
Abu Sofyan: Mohammed, there is still doubt in my heart.
Khalid: If we were to cut off your head, it would remove all your doubts.

2/12/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Unscrew yourself from the ceiling, Rat.

Please.

2/12/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I liked the BATNA commentary.

Still, this analogy can be applied to other aspects of this war. For example, what does Israel gain by equivocating on Hamas, as opposed to taking a clear-cut stance?

If the "roadmap" is essentially one concession after another by Israel while terrorism and rocket attacks continue unabated, what use are the peace talks? Given the rising tide of international diplomatic support for Hamas, Hamas will not be held to any conditions of the "peace process" while Israel will get pressured to do more and more to get Hamas to do anything.

For that matter, what does the West earn from pandering to Islamist sensibilities on cartoons other than contempt? The problem with surrendering to tyrants, even in a lost cause, is that as soon as you surrender on one issue, you surrender on everything.

Likewise, one can second-guess the Bush administration all one likes about Afghanistan and Iraq, but the fact remains -- what was the alternative? Critics have not generally been interested in proposing alternative war strategies.

The essential problem is that after the September 11 attacks, the United States could not reasonably refuse combat against al-Qaeda. When the "Best Alternative To Combat" is worse than the war itself, anti-war activism becomes the irrational fanaticism, not militarism.

My concern is, as it has been all along, that our military warfare must be an expression of our will to fight, not a substitute for it. For example, in the latter part of the Vietnam War, it hardly mattered how many bombs the United States lobbed at Hanoi when America's will to fight was already broken. If a democracy loses the will to fight, it can win every single battle and still lose the war.

And our essential problem in defeating al-Qaeda is that while we cannot afford to lose against our foe, a significant faction in American politics cannot afford for the United States to win. The reason for this is that historical activism against the Vietnam War has metamorphosed into a vested emotional interest against American victory of any kind. Imagine how the American Left would have acted in World War II if Operation Barbarossa had not happened and if "Uncle Joe" were still in the Axis camp!

If Western countries acted rationally according to their interests, this war would be easy to fight and easy to win. For those with a vested interest in maintaining a defeatist Zeitgeist within their countries (for reasons of artistic decadence if nothing else), each moral concession to a foreign tyrant is less painful than a domestic political concession to those who believe in defending their societies. In other words, those with a vested interest in decadence are horrified by the thought that anything might be worth living for and thus fighting for -- especially themselves.

And just as a corpse attracts vultures and the masochist attracts the sadist, decadence attracts totalitarian hatred. Al-Qaeda has its social roots at least as much in the mindless hedonism of the Beirut discotheque, the Cairo strip club, the London brothel, and Studio 54 as the anything of the teachings of Islam. Look at the early life history of Osama bin Laden and Sheikh Hamza, and you will find playboys filled with ennui who were attracted to an Islamist version of "Dungeons and Dragons" with real rifles and real bombs.

Apologizing to a bully never works. But more than just fighting back physically, we must be confident in who we are and we must never feel ashamed of the fact we are alive.

2/12/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In response to the Danish cartoon riots, the Boston Globe editorialized that “As with the current consensus against publishing racist or violence-inciting material, newspapers ought to refrain from publishing offensive caricatures of Mohammed in the name of the ultimate Enlightenment value: tolerance.”

The popular blogging law professor Eugene Volokh promptly went back through various prominent blasphemies against Christianity over the last few years and discovered—what a surprise!—that the Globe had somehow never managed to summon the least condemnation of the blasphemers in the name of that ultimate Enlightenment value, tolerance.

That’s not to say the Globe—which is really just a stand-in for an entire American mind-set—didn’t feel the need for tolerance back when Andres Serrano was pissing on Christ and the Brooklyn Museum was touting the Virgin Mary done in feces. But it always ran in the other direction: Those offended must learn they live in an enlightened world where they are required to swallow their hurt in the name of tolerating those with whom they disagree.

First Things

Are Mohammedans Non Normies?

2/13/2006 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I guess my liberal arts education has been wasted. I had no clue that the ultimate Enlightenment value was tolerance. I thought that Western civ had moved a little bit ahead when they stopped chopping off heads for things like blasphemy. Now I learn that the ultimate value is to be tolerant off those who chop off heads for blasphemy! Who knew?

Things are too confusing. A guy named Tookie starts a street gang, kills a few people and gets his picture plastered all over the place. A guy named Mohammed starts a street gang, kills a few hundred thousand people and you can't show his picture anywhere? Where's the sense in that?

2/13/2006 03:14:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Why would somebody at the WH want to know if you can drill for oil through glass?

2/13/2006 03:28:00 AM  

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