Friday, March 24, 2006

A bridge in Brooklyn

One of the more interesting articles today is from Mark Steyn who reminds those who object to toppling Saddam Hussein just how much they hated containing him. Bottling up Saddam Hussein required parking most of the carrier fleet in the Persian Gulf and keeping large ground and air forces on his borders. Steyn writes:

"Your president has won," Jean Chretien told ABC News in early March 2003. So there was no need to have a big ol' war because, with 250,000 American and British troops on his borders, Saddam was "in a box." "He won," said Mr. Chretien of Bush. "He has created a situation where Saddam cannot do anything anymore. He has troops at the door and inspectors on the ground... You're winning it big." That's easy for him to say, and committing other countries' armies to "contain" Iraq is easy for him to do. A quarter million soldiers cannot sit in the sands of Araby twiddling their thumbs indefinitely. "Containment" is not a strategy but the absence of strategy ...

And containment, as Steyn noted, didn't mean you escaped blame. In fact the policy of containment was often equated with genocide. Yes, you read that right. Not invading Iraq was counted as genocide.

And, in place of congratulations for their brilliant "containment" of Saddam, Washington was blamed for UN sanctions and systematically starving to death a million Iraqi kids - or two million, according to which "humanitarian" agency you believe. The few Iraqi moppets who weren't deceased suffered, according to the Nobel-winning playwright and thinker Harold Pinter, from missing genitals and/or rectums that leaked blood contaminated by depleted uranium from Anglo-American ordnance.

If since Operation Iraqi Freedom the Press has been largely silent about the host of people with missing genitals leaking blood from their rectums the answer to the mystery is quite simple. Steyn says: "Touring Iraq a few weeks after the war, I made a point of stopping in every hospital and enquiring about this pandemic of genital-less Iraqis: not a single doctor or nurse had heard about it." The interesting thing about some of the death figures attributed by the antiwar crowd to America is that they are the sum of supposed deaths from invading Iraq and not invading it. Union is an operation in logic as well as a railroad station in Washington DC.

When America decided after September 11 that Saddam constituted an imminent danger it didn't act precipitously. It spent nearly six agonizing months trying to get the UN to act under Resolution 1441. That delay, far from being free, imposed enormous costs, the greatest of which was that it allowed Saddam to get ready for the most telegraphed invasion in recent history. Ace of Spades notes derisively that those who thought a little more diplomacy would have won France and Russia to the American side should think again. According to ABC News recently released documents suggest that the Russian ambassador -- representative of one America's partners for peace in the Security Council -- leaked the US war plans to Saddam Hussein.

Two Iraqi documents dated in March 2003 — on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion — and addressed to the secretary of Saddam Hussein, describe details of a U.S. plan for war. According to the documents, the plan was disclosed to the Iraqis by the Russian ambassador.

The first document (CMPC-2003-001950) is a handwritten account of a meeting with the Russian ambassador that details his description of the composition, size, location and type of U.S. military forces arrayed in the Gulf and Jordan. The document includes the exact numbers of tanks, armored vehicles, different types of aircraft, missiles, helicopters, aircraft carriers, and other forces, and also includes their exact locations. The ambassador also described the positions of two Special Forces units.

The second document (CMPC-2004-001117) is a typed account, signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Hammam Abdel Khaleq, that states that the Russian ambassador has told the Iraqis that the United States was planning to deploy its force into Iraq from Basra in the South and up the Euphrates, and would avoid entering major cities on the way to Baghdad, which is, in fact what happened. The documents also state "Americans are also planning on taking control of the oil fields in Kirkuk." The information was obtained by the Russians from "sources at U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar," according to the document.

Commentary

Michael Oren in his account of the Six Day War of 1967 describes the agony of IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin as he watched Arab armies massing at Israel's borders without the power to strike because the Israeli cabinet was divided over whether to absorb the first blow to prove their innocence in the conflict or strike first to gain the military advantage. It's a stark illustration that inaction has a price; that when you "give Peace a chance" you give up other chances. The containment strategy followed against Saddam Hussein and Islamic terrorism before September 11 wasn't cost-free: it gave Saddam and Islamic fundamentalism time to plot, spy and act. It ceded the initiative to them. Mark Steyn's retrospective and information now emerging from Saddam Hussein's archives demonstrate that there was never any such as thing as a free lunch. A bill was always in the mail.

160 Comments:

Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

During its War of Independence, Israeli commanders would inadvertently leak their nonexistent artillery positions to neutral UN personnel. Who would've suspected this information would then be related to the opposing enemy.

3/24/2006 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Mark Steyn gives us an excellent reminder of the post Desert Storm years. As the years drug on, with the left ranting about the sanctions killing children I thought "this is ridiculous, even the Bible forgives debt every seven years."

After OIF, we learned the truth of UN sanctions. They were made to be broken to the tune of 300 billion dollars.

Steyn is correct and as usual on point but it is irritating that we must rejustify our actions because of ad hominem, ad nauseam attacks.

If only George W. Bush could say, "Listen up, this is the last time I am going to say this..."

3/24/2006 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

The containment strategy followed against Saddam Hussein and Islamic terrorism before September 11 wasn't cost-free: it gave Saddam and Islamic fundamentalism time to plot, spy and act.

Oh. My. God. You just linked Saddam Hussein and Islamic terrorism in the same sentence. You might as well have accused Saddam of plotting September 11. Have you no shame?

(I kill me.)

3/24/2006 04:08:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Making these documents available to the public so close to actual events will prove to be one of the most democratizing events of this new century. Under the ancien regime it would have been two generations before the proof of Russian perfidy was known to the public. How does a Clinton or a Kerry make the argument that international consensus is a requirement for foreign policy decisions when it's been made so blatantly obvious that your "partners" seek your defeat? By the same token future Presidents will be more reluctant to look foreign leaders in the eye and publicly declare them our friends.

These documents are accelerating the blowback on the Dems/MSM for their years of whining and name calling. Three cheers for GWB for calling them out. The public response is where the Club thought it should be. These seditious bastards have some payback coming and it can't be too soon or too heavy.

3/24/2006 04:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The folks in Wheeling, West Virginia have pointed the way, cheering an individual woman for jeering the MSM.
---
Much praise to Steven Hayes for relentlessly pursuing and pushing for docs release.
---
Also in the ABC report:
OBL and the Taliban are in contact with Iraq and that a group of Taliban and bin Laden group members visited Iraq
also:
"Election Campaign Laws in France"

Correspondence regarding election campaigns in France. This includes a document from the Iraqi intelligence service classified as "secret," ordering the translation of important parts of a 1997 report about campaign financing laws in France. It also includes a document from the foreign minister's office indicating the report was attached. The attached translated report included very detailed information about all the regulations regarding financing of election campaigns in France. Translation was done by someone called Salam Abdul Karim Mohammed.

(Editor's Note: This is an intriguing document that suggests Saddam Hussein's regime had a strong interest in the mechanics and legalities of financial contributions to French politicians. Several former French politicians are implicated in receiving oil vouchers from Iraq under the U.N. Oil for Food program.)

---
Peter Bergin seems invested on insisting that all contact between Saddam and OBL was just "playing footsie."
...wonder what evidence he has to prove that view is true?
My guess: None.

3/24/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The main effect of continuing the "containment" approach would have been not only the continued suffering of the Iraqi people, but also keeping the Oil For Food bribary dollars flowing to certain people and countries. Even Canada's "Cretin" (Quebcois pronunciation) had a relative benefiting from that cash flow.

They would have us believe that the fact that these were the same people and countries who opposed taking down Saddam is a mere coincidence.

And it appears that they would also have us believe that the containment effort was "free."

3/24/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Again and again, then yet again the focus is lost.
Back once more to yeaterday and an argument that can never be won.

Anyone that would expect the KGB to support US actions against their Clients States are fools or knaves or worse, delusional.
Iraq, Syria or Iran. They stand in the Russian circle, are supplied with Russian weapons and toe the Russian line.

Who looked into Mr Putin's KGB eyes and saw a "friend"?
Certainly not Mr Reagan, nor even Mr Clinton.

Look to tomorrow, identify the Enemy, by name and location and destroy it.
When the Enemy cannot be named and identified no War is ever won.

If there is a true difference between Radical Islami and Moderate Muslims, define the difference, draw the line between friend and foe, for all to see.

Time's a wastin'

3/24/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Steyn is correct and as usual on point but it is irritating that we must rejustify our actions because of ad hominem, ad nauseam attacks.

"If only George W. Bush could say, 'Listen up, this is the last time I am going to say this...'"

But he can't, can he? Nor can Mark Steyn. Nor can VDH. Nor can Dick Cheney. And the reason is simple: OIF cannot be brought to a conclusion, and in the absence of conclusion there is increasing public dismay and discontent. With the striking exception of WWII (to which neither Iraq, nor Afghanistan, nor any other constituent part of the GWOT bears any resemblance) this growing dismay and discontent is a consequence of all wars that cannot be waged and concluded at lightning speed. Even a helpful press is going to have an impossible time re-popularizing a war (or occupation) for which majority enthusiasm has evaporated.

Mark Steyn may be ready to declare victory and move on to something new, but victory isn't being declared and we are not moving on. Administration officials must appear every week to restate the obvious - that we cannot afford to leave; that we cannot now bring to an end what we started. And because we can't, OIF's supporters have the unenviable job of repeating the case for war over and over and over again.

It's rather like the movie Groundhog Day. We'd like to move on. We'd like not to be stuck. But every day bears a striking resemblance to yesterday. The speeches, the articles, the complaints, the justifications, inevitably grow old and dull. Realistically, however, what else is there to do but keep churning them out?

3/24/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/24/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Just becasue it ain't criminal doesn't mean it ain't seditious.

3/24/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the US, a third of the Country supported King George. Sedition before the Revolution was even complete. It did not deter Mr Washington & Company.

Mr Lincoln lost half the Country, suspended Civil Rights, and killed hundreds of thousands of his fellow Countrymen.
That was a true case of Sedition.

Mr Lindburgh and Mr Joe Kennedy supported the NAZI cause and did not back Mr Roosevelt or US in the support of freedom, until 7 Dec 41.
Was their lack of foresight Sedition?

Mr McCormick and his Chicago Tribune disclosed military secrets and tried to under mine Mr Roosevelt during WWII. Was he a traitor?

The Congressmen that voted to not fund the defense of Saigon, after the Paris Accords, were they Traitors to US, or Patriots not wanting to throw good money after bad?

Dissent and disagreement, it is older then our Country itself.
Celebrate it.

The Enemy does not have that option. They stand together with their allah. Dissent is not allowed, those that do, die.

If you prefer monolithic support, convert, cause you are on the wrong side if you stand against dissent.

If there have been Criminal actions, that have aided the Enemy, prosecute the Individuals involved. When that happened, as in the Florida Professors case, the Federals lost, in front of a Jury.

Perhaps that Jury was made up of traitors, as well.

3/24/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish,
You admit the tactics that are being used to pursue the War stategy are flawed.

If the US Public will not support a "Long War", which seems evident. Then a "Long War" can not be prosecuted.

If the course that has been plotted, cannot achieve Victory, quickly and the navigators freely admit it. Many passengers will not want to take the ride.

The Administration did a good job a making Iraq the center piece of their War on Terror.
I always thought that an error, now the proof is in the pudding.
Osama's tar baby War, we evaded it in Afghanistan, to bad the same cannot be said for Iraq.

3/24/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Perhaps soon it will be time for the Prodigal Sons among us to come home. I, for one, will welcome them.

By the way if you haven't checked it out, Weekly Standard's online blog section has a lot of great stuff up about this - perhaps Stephen Hayes will the Woodward/Bernstein of the Pax Americana?

3/24/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

B-I-N-G-EXPLETIVE-0!

One of the more interesting articles today is from Mark Steyn who reminds those who object to toppling Saddam Hussein just how much they hated containing him. Bottling up Saddam Hussein required parking most of the carrier fleet in the Persian Gulf and keeping large ground and air forces on his borders.

For years sanctions, as pointed out, were characterized as cruel and hurting the Iraqi on the street and not Saddam Hussein. The sanctions were crumbling and the left made it its cause to have the sanctions dropped. I recall seeing a paper posted in my church arguing against sanctions on Iraq.

The left made a good case that sanctions were failing, so what was their suggested course? To resume regular trade relations. However, when the recognized that W and Tony were serious about removing that black blot Saddam then all of a sudden it became acceptable to the left to cause ordinary Iraqis to starve and suffer.

3/24/2006 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Bah - it isn't a tar baby war: if we are to prosecute a hot war in the former Ottoman territories or provinces formerly subject to the Great Game, there will be no decisive conclusion beyond what we have already achieved in these countries, and the rest will be a constant management effort. Russia is the only true intransigent, in my opinion; China is a different matter. The nuclear diplomacy with India will not prove, I believe, as double-edged and hallucinatory as it would with the taqiyya or hudna crowd. But Islamic apostates will continue to feel the wrath Mohammed instituted, tribes will continue to dominate, oil will continue to be the only major economic export, and they will remain parasitical upon us. Not even Allah can do anything about that. Just look at how badly the French handle their own revolutionary/royalist tradition, for example. The transition to modernity is long, diffcult, continuous; success is uncertain. Widen the apperture.

3/24/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Lek the Avenger said...

Trish, in light of all the good news, met milestones, positive developments, forward movement and renewed signs of life in Iraq; in light of the revelations and assertions of our leaders that EVEN IF Kurdistan steps away and Shia Iraq forms its own little state while Sunni rump woos Iran, that would be a good thing; your assertion that "..OIF cannot be brought to a conclusion" seems groundless and blindly out of touch with reality.

3/24/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Keep hittin' 'em, rat. It's every American's birth right to tell anyone and everyone to get bent if they don't agree.

Used to be that, at least on a person to person level, you just kind of nodded and smiled and quit talking politics with that guy.

For very good reason, the definitions of Sedition or Treason as applied to the average citizen are almost impossible to apply in the US. Makes sense if you're founded by a bunch of guys who would've been hung as traitors if they lost.

Americans don't ever think about it, but if the American citizens can face down a government of their peers, no foreign expedition ever has a chance.

Unfortunately, we're now conducting the GWOT on the War on Drugs model - which by the way got 70 law enforcement officers killed in the Laredo area alone last year. We can expect the same now from GWOT. A trickle of casualties with little or no further motion towards the end game. It's always the same when you fight wars reactively and try to shield the citizens from the economic effects.

Finish the war. Mobilize the nation. Go wherever we have to. Apply the rules of Frontier Justice: We're after bad guys, and if you shoot at us while we're in pursuit, you're on the list.

That, by the way, ought to be applied in the Western Hemisphere to the banditos, coyotes and narcoleros. If a nation will not exert its sovereignty to prevent it's citizens from committing organized attacks on another nation, we shouldn't respect its sovereignty in pursuing the attackers.

3/24/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger scipio said...

I wish to add few points to the final comment made by Wretchard on
Michael Oren's book. I read it a few years back and what struck me at the time was how hard Israel tried to avoid war in the weeks previous to the six day war.Levi Eshkol (PM of Israel 1965-69) was a moderate vis-a-vis Ben Gurion but this stance only encouraged the surrounding enemies to be more aggressive from the arab states to Arafat's Fatah who by the way was attacking Israel before the "territories" were conquered in June '67 and Gaza was still in Egyptian hands. A naval blockade
fighter jets fliying over the Dimona nuclear reactor and the massing of armies on its borders left Israel no choice but to strike
first. Nasser's regime agressiveness had been proved several times in the preceding years. N.B the involvement in the civil war in Yemen, were Nasser by the way used gas on several occasions. The ultimate judgement will be left to history, personally I think it will be a success or at least not a failure.
In both cases the six day war and Iraq inaction would have proven to be a disaster sooner or later.

3/24/2006 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

If the US Public will not support a "Long War", which seems evident. Then a "Long War" can not be prosecuted.

If the course that has been plotted, cannot achieve Victory, quickly and the navigators freely admit it. Many passengers will not want to take the ride.

- Desert Rat

Many, many passengers are ready to get off...the Iraq merry-go-round. Iraq IS the war, to most people. And most people have withdrawn their confidence from it. Not only has it outlived patience and enthusiasm, it was massively oversold to begin with. (And it's an enormous mistake to do so a second time. Who does Steyn think he's kidding with that bit about a pro-Western, benignly democratic Shiastan?)

The tactics have been flawed. The tactics are not going to change. And Iraq will be neither stable nor secure. Nobody will simply say what is already understood, though it would prepare the way for a drawdown that remains the only popular, politically viable, course of action.

As long as no one will say it, Iraq will continue to be our, the military's, and the administration's Tar Baby.

3/24/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Wretchard, I find myself in the second camp, the realists, (like Israel) who KNOW the two-faced blue-hatted quislings in their tent will tattle to the enemy first chance they get, so give them enough worthless truths every day to seem real, then 'inadvertently' let them see false data!

Use their perfidy against them!

3/24/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

The US public knows full well who the enemy is. This does not need to be articulated. The UAE port scandal proved that.

There's no point in bringing the troops home when they soon will be used to secure Iranian oil facilities. After that is done, Saudia will be asked, so what have you done in terms of practical reform. Their answer will be obvious. And so will ours.

3/24/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"your assertion that '..OIF cannot be brought to a conclusion' seems groundless and blindly out of touch with reality."

lek, little attention though I pay anymore to Presidential and other speeches, I do keep an ear open for hopeful rhetorical indications of just such a conclusion being approached. There are none.

Saddam was removed. The regime has been changed. Those achievements I recognize, but they are three years old and not the subject of debate nor the source of discontent.

3/24/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"There's no point in bringing the troops home when they soon will be used to secure Iranian oil facilities. After that is done, Saudia will be asked, so what have you done in terms of practical reform. Their answer will be obvious. And so will ours."

I cannot imagine what has convinced you of these. I honestly cannot. This administration desires further military operations as much a hole in the head. If that's not plain, I don't know what is.

3/24/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

dan,
If we've done all that can be done, in the Arc, we've lost the Wars. If the current reality is the best that can be hoped for, we've lost the Wars.

The public, here in the US, will not give ANYONE forever.
There are not decades to be spent, not in an Iraqi War, by the US Military.

They may be needed there, they may be required there, but for US consumption the Iraqi War must end, soon. Or ALL those troops will be coming home in '09, regardless of need.

What we are seeing now, I saw a well over a year ago on the horizon. The Public would have supported a series of small "lightning" wars, the neo-con express as it were.
But will not support long Wars of Occupation and Attrition.

Especially when the MSM is factored in.
The Bush Administration performs poorly in the Information Wars, it's opponents both domestic and foreign do not. re: Don Rumsfeld

Those societal tides and currents must be factored in as part of the Course. They do not seem to have been.
The "tin ear" of the Ports debacle on a grander scale, I'm afraid.

Mr Rumsfeld announced, in the Sunday WaPo, that US departure from Iraq would be tantamount to returning Saddam to power.
After three years, 500 Billion USD and the training of 250,000 Iraqi troops as well as the election of a Parliment, we are no closer to Victory, they would fold in a New York minute, all will be lost upon our departure.
They'd have no hope.
No future on their own.

If that is truely the Case, we've failed, to date.
If it is not the Case, making that arguement still implies failure.
Or it implies that Mr Talabani and the Parliment are as bad as Saddam and can be trusted to be aggressive towards US. In which case, again, we've failed.

The truth, it is often said, will set you free.
The Administration should try a dose of it on the Public. It would remedy many of their problems.

mat,
You are in a world of fantasy, my friend, if you think the 101st is flying into Iran, Swarmer writ large.
The day for that opportunity is long past. If we had rolled on to Damascus, perhaps we'd have gone to the Iranian deserts, as well.
Not now. Your reading of the US Public, from Canada, is flawed.

3/24/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Sardonic said...

How does a Clinton or a Kerry make the argument that international consensus is a requirement for foreign policy decisions when it's been made so blatantly obvious that your "partners" seek your defeat?

Excellent question. The only problem is that the answer is all too obvious. Just keep lying.

3/24/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Trish,

You either preempt Iran from playing their card, or you don't. If you let Iran play their card, it's a world wide recession. So take your pick. Which do you think the administration desires less.

3/24/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then why sardonic does Mr Bush continue to try to form an "International Consensus" on Iran, as well as NorK?
I heard him go on about it in his last news conference.

Diplomicy is the way, he said, to paraphrase.
I mean he's looked into Mr Putin's eyes and saw a friend.
Was Mr Bush lying as well?

3/24/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

Perhaps you will find this instructive.

3/24/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

Yes, inaction has its price. Some theologians, however, draw a distinction between acts of commission and acts of omission: failing to speak out to stop someone crossing a bridge you know is about to collapse is not as reprehensible as cutting the cables yourself. I do not draw this distinction.

Coalition forces probably need to resume the heavy work for a while in Iraq. Details here.

3/24/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Nice map, seen ones like it, before.

It is possible, if you looked to past threads I've advocated for the possibility of it. As I have for the Saudi fields, they'd be even easier to sieze.

I'm speaking to the political realities, here in the US.
As we've agreed in the past, that is where the War will be won or lost.

The Public, 2.5 years ago, would have "rolled on". We could have "rolled 'em up". Instead we have been bogged down "Nation Building" in Iraq. Before the War had ended.
That is the core "End Game" arguement.
To get out of the tar and back on the Offensive, we need to change course, across the Board.
That is not happening. It will not.

By tying the WoT so tightly to Iraq the Administration is losing support for both.

3/24/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

sol 2
May well be needed, ain't goin' to happen.

The disposition of those Militias and the Interior Ministry has been well known. Mr al-Sadr's tactics have a US stamp of approval.
He is still alive.

If the ISF cannot disarm the Militias, they will not be disarmed.

Part and parcel of US success or failure. Depending upon ones perspective of the issue.

3/24/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Great post as always Wretch. I heard tell that the French and their Russian allies had advised their … that the US didn’t have the national will to invade (ground war phobia) and if he could weather the storm while international opinion and media pummeled them with reports of bombs missing targets and killing innocent civilians that the action would soon be brought to a screeching halt so don’t sweat it too much. There was too much OFF at stake and that policy was eroding US prestige and power abroad.

I have openly lamented that the US hasn’t supported Russia in its Chechnya problem, at least tacitly, but has instead made calls for them to make nice to Islamic extremists. If the documents you reference are true then it kind of explains why the Bush administration went from; “I looked into his soul and this is a man I can trust” to “Russia needs to play nice like US”.

Cheers

The following is from an interesting email I got from somebody who recently toured Iraq. It is a bit lengthy so I will post it separately if anybody would like a little supplemental reading.

AM

3/24/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

I think the Nation Building in Iraq is about over. And what better signal is there than moving on to Iran?

3/24/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Osama

3/24/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Having read many of Desert Rat's and Trish's comments, I have the greatest respect for their points of view, but I can't help feeling that we are all, regardless of our expertise and astuteness (and I claim little of either) a bit like those in the parable about the blind men and the elephant, in our struggles to make sense of this war. It is as though there is ample evidence for almost any conclusion, from the most pessimistic to at least a reasonably optimistic one, about how the Iraq effort will turn out.

The real contest, as many have pointed out, seems to be here, in the US, and I hold out some hope for these recent document releases bringing about a shift in perception about the whole "Bush lied" meme. But then I am an optimist myself.

Jamie Irons

3/24/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

Desert Rat, if coalition forces won't go back to work in Iraq, the only other option is to press on to another objective, just as English kings would invade France to prevent supplies to rebellious Welsh and Scots.

3/24/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

You will notice that most of oil is within 50 miles of the Iraqi border or seashore. :)

3/24/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

With that, I agree whole heartedly, sol 2.

But then Saddam is gone, as am's ralph peters's story relates, Iraq is calm, but not secure.

The only other Enemy the US has is Osama's aQ.
Unless there is another Resolution from Congress. That would take some Leadership to produce, without another serious strike against US.
Or an acknowledgement that Iran, not or perhaps as well as Iraq, was backing Osama.
These documents are taking US in the wrong direction as far as justifying tomorrow's action.

3/24/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That diversion is not on the course, though, mat.

Could be, perhaps it should be.
But it is not, yet.

By the time the drums are at War tempo, another US Election will have passed. Mr Bush will have even less leverage with Congress than he did on the Dubai debacle.

It is not in the taking, but the holding, where the Challenge would be found. The carnage that would be required to "hold" the fields...

How will those images play on CNN?

Without honesty with the US Public, there is no chance of Victory.

3/24/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Hey,
Maybe information warfare means invading a country and grabbing up all their documents. More inpuuuut!

3/24/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

"The Widow's Mite" and "A bridge in Brooklyn"

Good stuff!

I drift away from the Belmont Club for awhile, but always seem to come back. Wretchard's analysis and commentary are unique. The last three posts have been unusually good.

Keep up the good work.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

3/24/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Sigh. The old canard that the Middle East oil is somehow different from Mexican, or North Sea oil is wearing me out. Especially WRT Iran. How long, exactly will China and Russia stay in their corner if the Iranians turns off the tap? They'll lead the charge to the Security Coucil Resolution.

China, b/c it needs that oil to flow will turn on them. Russia, b/c it doesn't want the US in total control of the Persian gulf and a huge presence on the Caspian. Not to mention that the Chechens are absolutely perfect proxies for Iran to menace the Russians with.

The fight b/t the US and Iran is to not be the bad guy when that happens. The Russians and Chinese are playing the Great Game for all the marbles right now.

It's a classic strategy for Central Asia. And, it's why the US keeps playing for time. This is a game of chicken. He who draws first loses.

The goal of the US is to get Iran (or Russia or China) to draw first. Horrible as the Iranian nuke idea is, it cannot threaten the US as much as it threatens Iran, Russia, or China.

Of course, the question of casualties does arise, but it is not entirely the fault of the US government that their interests lie in sitting tight. Like every capricious demigod, which is approximately how the US is treated in the EU and Islamic public sphere (ie, an irresistable force beyond the control of the local priests/annoited ones), the US is cursed when they intercede and cursed when they don't. Plenty of blame to go around, though.

3/24/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

With no air cover, those oil fields are a long march from Tehran.

No Blood for Oil, that's something Iranian youth will be screaming at the Mullahs. And when the bribe money runs out, these youth will hang those Mullahs with their Hisbullah palace guards. Imagine how THAT will play on CNN.

3/24/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I have compiled an illustrative selection of articles, both news and opinion, from the nineties here.

The New York Times ran 1300 articles on Iraqi sanctions during this time.

3/24/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"...
Hamas says it won't arrest militants who attack Israel
By Reuters

Incoming Palestinian interior minister Said Seyam, chosen by Hamas to oversee three security services, said on Thursday he will not order the arrest of militants carrying out attacks against Israel.

"The day will never come when any Palestinian would be arrested because of his political affiliation or because of resisting the occupation," Seyam told Reuters in an interview. "The file of political detention must be closed." ... "

"..."Saeed Seyam did not come to the government to revive any security cooperation or to protect the occupation and their settlers. I came to protect our people and their fighters, to protect their trees, their properties and their capabilities," Seyam said. ...

Mohammedan democratics not very liberally minded.

3/24/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

By Mohammad Imran

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has made 22 recommendations to the government on how to end terrorism in the country, along with the recommendation that incidents of terrorism should not dubbed as jihad. ... "

"... The CII recommended that all camps training militants or terrorists should be shut down immediately. It says that an overall review of intelligence organisations including the Federal Investigation Agency, the Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence should be conducted and these organisations should be strengthened to eliminate the political-backing of terrorists. ... "

And so it goes, in in Pakistan

"... RAWALPINDI: The government has kept open the door to negotiations for a political solution to the troubles in Balochistan and Waziristan, but it will not allow “miscreants” to blackmail the state, President Gen Pervez Musharraf said in a meeting with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Wednesday.

The government will not allow the “miscreants” in Balochistan and the tribal areas to challenge the writ of the government and attack security forces, the president said in the meeting at Army House. However, he added that talks were still possible, “but we will not let them blackmail us”.

He praised the government effort to develop the tribal belt, saying all available resources should be used for this purpose.

Gen Musharraf condemned Kabul’s accusations that Pakistan is sheltering Taliban militants who are responsible for violence in Afghanistan. Pakistan has deployed 80,000 troops on the border with Afghanistan to stop the infiltration of terrorists, so the Afghan accusations were particularly hurtful. ... "

Voice of the new Pakistan, the Daily Star

3/24/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just convince the President, mat.

He'd have to Change Course.
He is not going to do that, or so he says.

3/24/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This story, in it's full length, right from Tehran

" ... Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Wednesday ruled out "unfounded and false" claims of the US that al-Qaeda members were present in Iran.

"Dissemination of such reports aim to cover up failure of the occupying forces in guaranteeing security of Iraq," said Asefi.

He said Iran's stances against al-Qaeda terrorist group is completely clear and Americans know quite well that "we have thus far acted on our international responsibilities regarding campaign against terrorism and uprooting the international intricacy which has its roots in the inequality and injustice caused by global hegemony." "How can the US government, which itself has no commitment to the international regulations, speak of others' international
responsibilities?" asked Asefi.

Undoubtedly, he said, under the current circumstances when security conditions in Iraq are worsening day by day and people in the country, as the biggest victim, are sustaining casualties and financial damage more than before, presence of the US occupiers will itself pave the ground for terrorist activities of such groups as al-Qaeda.

He added that Americans, which have no response for their public opinion, are laying blame on others and raising such subjects to cover up their weakness and failure. ... "

The Iranians HAVE read the Authorization to Use Force, the 14 Sept 2001 Declaration of War.

They understand what the President of US can order and why, based upon US Law.

Better than most of US.

3/24/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

D-Rat, I may start to believe the Pakistanis are making a serious effort when this school is shut down. And maybe not even then.

3/24/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mika, a desert army (this is Saddam's army~1991, tho Afrika Corps post Alamein or Falaise Gap post D-Day make the same point), without air superiority.

3/24/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

Seems the Mullahs know which way the wind is headed. ;)

3/24/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/24/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Mark Steyn is one of the brilliant writers on the scene today. I always enjoy his presentations.

However, being one who believes the denouement of all diplomacy is war, I believe in "getting there first,with the most" as N.Bedford Forest said. Our window is growing smaller every day to strike Iran and North Korea.
China daily probes our mil-nets, Russia is run in an increasingly Stalinist way by a former KGB toady but neither could take us on now. Now is the time to war.
South America can still be managed with special operations and assassinations. War now against Islam.

3/24/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

The ABC article quoting the Iraqi document indicating the Russians provided Saddam with actionable military intelligence also said:

"The Russian ambassador in March 2003 was Vladimir Teterenko. Teterenko appears in documents released by the Volker Commission, which investigated the Oil for Food scandal, as receiving allocations of 3 million barrels of oil — worth roughly $1.5 million."

The name "Vladimir Teterenko" can also be spelled as "Vladimir Titorenko" (Cyrillic letters can be transliterated in different ways to the Roman alphabet). I tried to Google both names and came up with nothing recent for Vladimir Teterenko. If Vladimir Teterenko was a corrupt Russian official then he probably would have been removed from office after his misconduct became common knowledge. The Russian government would have removed him not because he was corrupt but because he was a loose cannon and dangerous to their national interest. However if Teterenko was in fact following Russian policy then the $1.5 million that Saddam gave him would have been regarded as a "perk" and considered part of Teterenko's salary.

Does anyone know what happend to Teterenko? If Teterenko is dead or living unemployed on a tiny pension then it is reasonable to assume that he acted independently of the Russian government and the ABC explanation was probably true. However if Teterenko is still a high ranking official in the Russian goverment then the ABC explanation is incorrect and the Russians really had secretly allied themselves with Saddam Hussein during the Iraq War.

3/24/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But remember, buddy, that those images, shown live at the White House, got the Republican Guard a reprieve.
So much death and destruction, better to let the Iraqis run, then kill them.

So went US Policy.

Look at what that mercy has led to.

3/24/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Apparently the spelling "Vladimir Titorenko" is the best to Google under. I found this little nugget at:

http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=462

"Why did American forces fire on the Russian embassy convoy leaving Baghdad for Moscow by way of Damascus on Sunday, April 6? According to DEBKAfile’s sources, the convoy led by Ambassador Vladimir Titorenko was deliberately attacked. Yet Wednesday, April 9, the ambassador was back at his post in Baghdad, in time to witness the way Baghdad citizens welcomed US Marines. Suddenly the Kremlin’s evacuation order was rescinded. His rapid return could only have been accomplished by a special flight. The question is what – or who - was the Russian convoy conveying under diplomatic cover out of Baghdad that was important enough for an ambassadorial escort all the way to Moscow? As soon as the “package” was delivered, Titorenko turned round and returned."

3/24/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Miscellaneous points:

1. Document translations show Russina perfidy at the Ambassadorial level. Unforgiveable and in light of Putin's recent actions only reinforce a deep mistrust and a foreboding to future events. Not only will be have the Islamists to deal with also a back-stabbing Russia and a growing China and a lunatic in North Korea.
2. Re: the Long war v. Short war v. no war debate. It doesn't matter what we think, the war wasn't started by the west. Islamic funadamentalism is responsible for this insanity. The goal is to suppress the Islamists and it's doubtful that this can be accomplished in the short term or on the cheap. Whether the west likes it or not, Islamo-fascism must be dealt with and mistakes or miscalculations will occur no matter which strategy is employed.
3. It is very likely, that isolationism will see a resurgence in America.
4. Things are going to get worse before they get better if they ever do.

3/24/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We had the air space at Fallujah I, but not the air waves.

We withdrew.

What has changed in the Command Structure's thinking since then?

If heavy enemy losses were unacceptable in Kuwait, or a decade later in Fallujah, why would we find them acceptable them in Iran?

3/24/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Whit, right, the USN Carrier Battle Group makes for about as much peace of mind as we're gonna have for awhile.

Rat 10:35, right, the Highway-of-Death cameras killed for a decade; plenty of Kurds, Shiites, and Manhattanites--to name just a few groups.

3/24/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Buddy:
Re: Carriers.
John Derbyshire says just bomb them into rubble and if anyone attempts to make trouble, bomb them again. Recent events in Afghanistan and Iraq highlight the possibly uncrossable divide between the Muslim world and the West.
It could be that in the end, we adopt Derbyshire strategy. But, what the heck, we tried...

3/24/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

reading radio-interview transcripts is an aquired taste--but, having finally followed Doug over to RadioBlogger, gotta say, it's good, very good, a different angle of attack.

VDH here is worth a read. His distaste for blind, stupid, ambitious ingrate politicians is palpable and weirdly refreshing to read.

3/24/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

When one realizes that one would entrust one's children to an obscure military historian far sooner than to the nation's senate minority leader, one must conclude that something somewhere is rotten.

3/24/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

VDH has become like many of us increasingly disgusted with the partisan propaganda since 9/11. Some days, it's almost unbearable.

3/24/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Unbearable" is the right word, and the modifier "almost" is fading fast.

I've liked Derbyshire's cranky iconoclasm ever since several years ago when he identified public-emplyees unions as a major watershed in the execution of true democratic politics.

3/24/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

We withdrew

Your sanity has to be questioned at times (maybe most times). Fallujah I was a political concession to the Iraqi Feds who got assurances from Fallujah tribal honchos that they could handle AQ on their own.

When the tribal leaders got whacked or quit trying the Marines made Fallujah II the biggest city battle since Hue and kicked muji ass from one end of the city straight into the killing zone in the other. Withdrew in a pig's eye.

3/24/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

As far as the Carrier Battle groups, the more of them we have, the less we have to use them.

Globalization is an unstoppable tide (even the worst dictators need to get in the game or quit their jobs), and it is "port-centric'. All ports everywhere will always be in Carrier range.

3/24/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Trish seems say that the American public will not be satisfied with any war other than blitz krieg. Our history does not support such a claim, with all due respect. While very often restive, the public tolerated the American Revolution, the Civil War, WW II, Vietnam, and the Korean War (still raging, since 1950). Certainly, none of these wars were lightning engagements.

As to how long there will be in place in Iraq a strong American military presence, decades, I think; or at least as long as the industrialized/industrializing world depends on the petroleum of southwest Asia. It is only one man’s opinion, mind you, but there is probably no more strategically valuable piece of real estate on earth than Iraq. From there, America can maintain and protect the atrium of the Persian Gulf and the carotid of the Straight of Hormuz. For better or worse, that is the long term legacy of 9-11.

As I understand Jacques Barzun, revolution is the violent overthrow of a long established institution. On September 11, 2001, not only was the sovereign integrity of the US violated and her citizens viciously murdered but a decades’ long tacit agreement between petroleum producers and petroleum consumers was irredeemably overthrown as well. America’s proxies in the Mideast had failed to keep the lid on militant Islamism; thereby, permitting the successful orchestrated attack on the nodes of power of the industrial/financial/military complex upon which most of the civilized world had become dependent.

From the first second of impact of the first plane in New York, America’s paradigm of foreign policy was changed forever, and the Bush Administration has acted accordingly; albeit, often with an embarrassing lack of finesse. The public has responded to each amateurish misstep with indignation, giving the ever attendant forces of reaction ample opportunity to demand of the administration policy formulations that would, essentially, return the world to the status quo antebellum. Reactionary forces are evident in any revolution. They are rarely, if ever, successful; generally, at best attaining nothing more than a façade – consider Napoleon III or the Romanovs in exile. America can never return home.

At some point, the Bush Administration or some other will have to convince the public that America is not in a “long war” but, rather, engaged in a series of strategically imperative conflicts that will play out over an indeterminate length of time. Moreover, the justifications of democratization and/or winning hearts and minds will have to be abandoned for a more truthful and mature foreign policy formulation. Regrettably, the practitioners of Islam apparently have no desire or capacity for Western functional democracy and America cannot win what may not exist.

3/24/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

How many months after the Hospital story ran was it, pb, until we rolled on.

We withdrew from the City and waited for months. It became the "Capital" of the insurgents during that time.

That we finally removed it is laudable, that we began an assualt, and withdrew under Political pressure is the whole point, peterboston.

If we were to invade Iran, taking their oil fields to "punish" them, as mat suggested, they will respond.

There would be tens of thousands killed, broadcast to the World, live. From their embedded journalists, not ours.
As in Fallujah I.

Political pressure would mount, as would the burned out buildings in Paris.
That the US would withdraw, again,
as in Somolia, Saudi Arabia and Fallujah I.

That is their bet.

3/24/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Bomb 'em and dip isn't going to work in Iran or Saudi. Not unless you're gonna play Scorched Earth with most of the oil wells. Otherwise, there's too much "collateral" in it for the anti-American axis France-Russia-China to fund rebuilding efforts at unacceptable cost to US interests.

Imagine the suicide assaults on the Saudi oil complex replayed with speed boats and tankers in the Hormuz. Anyone wanna take odds on how many trys it would take? How about with a freighter sailing under an African flag scuttled in the Strait? The UN has already proven that it can't handle piracy on the Horn of Africa. Does the US Navy have the resources to provide safe passage over a 50 mile stretch to a half-dozen tankers a day?

I'm with d'rat on the basics. The US has painted itself into a corner that would require a fundamental strategic change to get out of. And that ain't happening as long as the status quo remains. We've put ourselves in a 9/10 world where it will take another overt Act of War (probably against the US homeland) to generate enough power to overcome inertia.

Also, with the current turn of events in Belarus, I can almost see Putin in sunglasses and fedora saying, "We're putting the band back together."

3/24/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Mark Steyn:
.
.
Well, I think what Christopher Hitchens said, he used an expression which I think is correct, this passivity that you know, essentially the left's arguments, the non-deranged, America-hating left. Put them aside, the America-haters, for a bit. And the argument of a lot of the mainstream of the Democratic Party is this passivity. Oh, we can't do this, and we can't do that, because something may go wrong, and it may not be easy, and this will happen, and that will happen. And we don't understand any of these strange, wacky foreign places anyway. That passivity will end freedom in the world. It won't end freedom in the world in America, it won't end it in Iowa and in Massachusetts tomorrow. But it will end it in a lot of the borderline jurisdictions around the world very quickly. You cannot be that feeble in the face of an existential threat. Christopher Hitchens understands that.
.
.
http://radioblogger.com/#001497

3/24/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

There would be tens of thousands killed, broadcast to the World, live. From their embedded journalists, not ours.


So? What are we, little girls?

3/24/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I can almost see Putin in sunglasses and fedora saying, "We're putting the band back together."

That's as good as Steyn could give. Salute.

3/24/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

rat

Don't you make me come out to AZ and kick your ass until you get your thinking straight.

3/24/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

A mullah attempt to close Hormuz would be a huge gift to the free world. It can't help but work temporarily--and only temporarily--and will bring down as much fire on the Mullahs as we want to deliver, for as long as we want to deliver it, and to the applause of most of the world. the Mullahs keep threatening things, and soon enough we'll call 'em on it, and get the show on the road. The fall of the Mullahs--depending on how they fall--is either the rejuvenation or the end of the jihad. But that they must fall is very close to a 'given'.

3/24/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Also, with the current turn of events in Belarus, I can almost see Putin in sunglasses and fedora saying, "We're putting the band back together."

- brett

LOL!

"Trish seems say that the American public will not be satisfied with any war other than blitz krieg. Our history does not support such a claim, with all due respect. While very often restive, the public tolerated the American Revolution, the Civil War, WW II, Vietnam, and the Korean War (still raging, since 1950). Certainly, none of these wars were lightning engagements."

allen, as wars drag on, they become unpopular. WWII is the only war of length which retained majority support throughout. Once the numbers slip, they never regain prior levels of support. It's the public opinion trajectory of lengthy military conflicts - save The Good War.

This is not a replay of that war.

3/24/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

PB, you can bet he's got the perimeter wired--better take some expendable sappers--

3/24/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Look to Beirut
Look to the "Highway of Death"
Look to Somolia
Look to the Kohbar Towers
Look to Fallujah I

When video of heavy enemy casualties
or almost any US casualties are taken,
the US withdraws.
That's is the recent History.

Listen to the bellowing about 2,300 KIA in three years.

What if reprisal SCUD attacks could double that number in a day, week or month? 350 flying IED's, just in SCUDs.

The SCUD hunters in '91 did not get many of Saddam's launchers, as I recall.

3/24/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Indeed, allen, it's not war at all. It is now, and this cannot be said enough, a civil action.

Maybe the public has caught on to that fact.

3/24/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/24/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Allen makes many good points, but I tend disagree when it comes to hearts and minds.

I believe that the brutality of Al Q in iraq cost them their local support.

Further, I believe that Al Q will not flourish in places where the existing order is based on the arab/islamic version of organized crime. Gaza comes to mind.

as for the missteps, I simply don't see this admin's performance as being so embarassing. We're basically watching a war as if it were a football game and giving our own version of the color commentary as we go.

This is shoulda coulda woulda to the nth degree.

I can well imagine that if sites like this existed during ww2 there would be endless discussion of market garden or the bulge or torch and so on.

it isn't that this admin is so much better or worse than others, what's changed is the way we civilians are experiencing war.

3/24/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bring guns, pb, bring lawyers, guns and money.
You'll need all of each you can get.

3/24/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

Why not try and imagine the bellowing regards Iranian KIA on Iranian TV? You think the American public really gives a hoot about some Iranian jihadis? I say the more of them killed the better. It's propaganda points for OUR side!

3/24/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

RE: The Hormuz

Yes, closing the Hormuz would be a boon IF AND ONLY IF the US does not start the ball rolling AND the Iranians can be linked to it. See: MSM attacks on Saddam-AQ relationships, WMD, Steyn's column on the can't win position of containment.

IMO, the US must guarantee that the Hormuz is not closed for >72 hours if they attack Iran. They also must guarantee that Iran's oil fields will be in OIF condition, not Gulf War I condition. That's why its talk, talk and not bomb, bomb right now.

And I bow before DR's ability to drop a Warren Zevon reference without breaking a sweat.

3/24/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

peterboston:

Thanks, but Steyn drops those without breaking a sweat. I stumble over one every 500 or so posts.

3/24/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mika, a case of Persian perversion-immersion aversion?

3/24/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Texican said...

What if.....

1. Centcom planted info with the Russiona ambassador knowing it would get back to Saddam. Sort of like a "see, we're really serious this time" sort of statement to give the diplomats one last chance to work things out.

2. The first Fallujah exercise was a feint to guage the reaction of the jihadis. Make them doubt the political will of the US and draw them all togehter into a place they would assume was some sort of safe haven to conduct ops from. As they were drawn in by the thousands they were essentially put in a kill box from which no retreat was possible.

My only points here are that sometimes these things cannot be taken at face value. The people who run the US Military are some of the best and brightest to be found anywhere on Mother Earth. I trust our military implicitly to prosecute wars and win them. It's the pols and weaker stomached members of our society who I question.

3/24/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

mat,
I can imagine it.
There would be a race
As the Eurofada rages
As Mohammedan Brigades are decapitated
As oil prices spike

Whose Will fails, first
They took a million KIA against Saddam, I'm told.

3/24/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Larsen,

Had an Iranian try sell me a car. Scarred me for life. :)

3/24/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat

Whose going to take another million KIA for the Mullahs? Hizbullah?

3/24/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

tex:

Don't forget Napoleon's Axiom: "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

Or, if you prefer, Murphy's Law: The number of variables in a situation is directly proportional to the likelihood of a clusterf*ck.

If, God save us, that was complex strategery, we need to play a much simpler game. Just because you outsmart yourself, doesn't mean you outsmarted your opponent.

3/24/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I kind of figured all them guys, as seen on TV, waving AK's over their heads. Those would be amongst the next million dead. Good chance that, if the balloon goes up, those Hisbulla fellows and maybe Hamasi will all get their chance to die, as well.

Cross that Iran/Iraq border with US Force and yeah, the Cartoonfada will be far from anyones mind.

The "Street" does not rise by itself, the Iranians have all the yeast they need.

I won't mind seein' it, as long as we were really ready for the counter, the asymetrical counter.

3/24/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Iranians have all the yeast they need.

And we have the oven to burn it all.

3/24/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Iran took a million casualties because Saddam was a bloody butcher and they knew it and he was coming after 'em in their homes. There was no alternative--might as well die in a trench as on a scaffold.

Scipio, IIRC, the precipitating action--the final straw--in 1967, was the Egyption blockading of Israel's Red Sea port--must've been Aquaba? Am I getting my geography and/or history mixed up here?

3/24/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Now we have to nuke Paris, mat?

3/24/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The "asymmetrical counter" is something the Mullahs blackmail with quite blithly, as if they do not realize that the power of the threat is the degree to which the event might interrupt a tolerable staus quo.

As the Mullahs proceed with degrading that status quo, the power of the Asymmetrical Response threat duly fades.

3/24/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The idea is our invading Iran causes a revolution and the Mullahs are over thrown?

That we are greeted as Liberators?

That we did not invade the Oil Fields because of the oil but to free Iran from it's elected President and the Mullahs?

That we took the Country's oil because they wanted to produce nuclear power as well?

That will be one HARD SELL.

3/24/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Doh. Too many people here ascribing to the US as minor god theory. Hasn't that last five years proven that the US is neither omniscient or infallible? Is Iran going to be any less prepared than Iraq was? Don't you think they have a few bright minds that maybe might have learned something from the event going on to their immediate East and West? What's the plan for dealing w/ Syrian or Sadrist subversives once the US turns its attention to Iran?

Please, no more war predictions by optimists! Cynics only. Yes, the US can win any pitched battle with anyone, anywhere. No, it won't bring us any closer to reducing the blood and treasure hemhorraging into the Middle East.

3/24/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

IOW, pushing the West into constant imaginagings of "what Mullahs might do" is likely a bad idea for their long-strategery.

3/24/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat,

I'm sure the Parisians can liberate themselves. And if not, I really don't care. :)

===

Bud,

You have it right, per usual.

3/24/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

rat:

The correct timing of the invasion of Iran to set off the Revolution and have the US welcomed as liberators is obviously the day after the Cubs win the World Series: Next year, always next year.

3/24/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Depends on how far from the Front they can strike, and what damage they can do.

I see all the bad guys, sorta combined. When the ball bounces Mexico infrastructure will burn, as well as Paris and the hills and forests of California.

I believe their thinking has grown beyond their own Region, well beyond the Straights.
They and/or their allies have the assets in place.

They are either a viable threat, or not. You guys bet not.
Hope you are right.

3/24/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Brett, I agree that taking counsel of our fears is sometimes a high wisdom--so long as the fears are fully thought-through. If one sees the global competion for oil as more likely than not to spawn a major war sooner or later unless orderly cooperative transparent markets can be maintained, and unless we think the Mullocracy--intent on breaking that order--is more likely than not to 'evolve' on its own into something that it ain't today, then it's not hard to conclude that inaction against the Mullahs promises the greater turmoil.

Unless of course the Mullahs start to believe that we see it that way. Then everything can change in a day.

3/24/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Please, no more war predictions by optimists! Cynics only.

Cynics don't go to war. They write for the NYT, etc.

3/24/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, your 1:05, do you think that--assuming things are as you think they might be--not calling the bluff will be better for us in the end than calling it?

3/24/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

texican:

I would believe that the Russians might show Saddam stuff from electronic intercepts, but the Russians almost never show their military info from human intel to foreigners. However, I can recall one occasion when they did, and that was to thwart China's "punitive" invasion of Vietnam in 1979. Since the situation was analagous, it is possible they meant to expose the actual U.S. war plan rather than provide Saddam with a confusing substitute.

3/24/2006 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we proceeded with an Iranian revolution, that would be the best course.
It is done as Mr Hitchens speaks, through liberal society, or through tupper ware cases full of cash, ala Afghanistan and Laos, or both.

Iran is an Empire itself, we could, as we've discussed before, fracture it.
this article explains the fracture lines as they exist, now.

If the tipping point is not reached, if we do not act ovetly, then their network will wither or be can be rolled up individually.

3/24/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

There's not a lot of good options when confronting Iran.

The stakes are huge and the potential scenarios seem limitless.

A question for this august body: what's the time frame. How much time does the civilized world have? What are the tipping points? Iran publically announces that it has nukes? Iran tests nukes? We have reliable information that they have nukes?

Would the world be ok with a nuclear Iran? If so, for how long?

3/24/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, as long as there *is* a *near* tipping point. It used to be called 'brinkmanship'.

Usually a pejorative term, for some idiotic (USSR-loving) reason.

3/24/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We are taking the Diplomatic route, buddy, Mr Bush said so.

Brinksmanship is part of that.

You told me, once, my idea was right out of Truman era Policy Papers.

Good ideas, they're hard to come by.

3/24/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seems like 'Rat WAY back at 6:16 AM is asking us to "Celebrate" that which he then repeatedly uses as the REASON why we cannot prosecute any war effectively:

"The Domestic Blowback will make it undoable."

I say Nuke (not "Celebrate") the opposition at home to whatever extent possible, and prosecute war abroad with as little deference to it as possible.

3/24/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, we could always declare "Marshall Law" (as it was called on an entire Kos thread one day soon after the 2004 election).

3/24/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From L.A. Times, May 1999:

According to John and Karl Mueller, writing in the May issue of Foreign Affairs, economic sanctions are the weapon of mass destruction. "They may have contributed to more deaths during the post-Cold War era than all the weapons of mass destruction throughout history."

The post-Cold War West, rather than defeating terrorism, has become its chief sponsor.

3/24/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Celebrate that we can stand in opposition, and not, like that Cleric in South Warizistan be shot, like a dog in the street.

Fight their defeatism, but do not shoot or explode them.

Celebrate what makes US better then them.

Then kill 'em all.
That Dane cartoonist, he had it wrong.
Virgins enough for all of 'em, in Paradise

3/24/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jeez, I'm SO sick of those brain-dead reds.

3/24/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, buddy, the Martial Plan saved Western Europe, didn't it?

3/24/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It sure enough did, even though it needed a Marshall Plan to seal the deal.

3/24/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That was the money part, but the real deal, Martial, all the way.

They had their priorities correct, back in the day.

First win the War, then rebuild the Country.
Wars are not won rebuilding Countrys

3/24/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I always thought it was the same thing.
Damn Werds.

3/24/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Word-recognition, the first that goes, with a coconut addiction.

3/24/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT, but regarding how hysteria can make bad policy.
I've long thought we're on the verge of another Govt Flu Vaccine Debacle or similar wrt the "Bird Flu."

Rush got a great call from a Poultryman this morning saying he thought we'd do much better here since most of the birds are raised indoors, and thus not exposed.

Fits with some Doc saying we should be consulting more Bird experts and fewer Human Docs and etc.

3/24/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not to change the subject, of course.

3/24/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You know you've got Bird flu when you find yourself taking a dump on your windshield.

3/24/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was going to ask Mat if listening to Cal Tjader causes leaky rectums, or if leaky rectums causes people to listen to Cal Tjader.

3/24/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"cause"

3/24/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Cal Tjader gave my favorite jazzman Vince Guaraldi one of his first regular jobs--

3/24/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(I'm just jealous cause I gave away a stack of Vinyl in one of my weird periods)

3/24/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

ooh, that hurts--

3/24/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's what you get when you get weird.
Even Stevie Wonder knows that.

3/24/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Speaking of bird flu leaky rectums,.. Looks as though CAIR might qualify:

CAIR drops their libel suit against Andrew Whitehead, a former Navy sailor, when it appeared the judge might force them to disclose a bit too much information regards their links to terror.
.
.
littlegreenfootballs

3/24/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Doug,
It comes in periods?

3/24/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This old house
VDH
All those conventional divides, big and small, I remember being rehashed in our dining room in the 1960s as generations of dead ancestors stared down in sympathetic silence from their sepia portraits.

But my children, the sixth-generation inheritors of the house, are facing a surreal world. The new leaders of the left, not much different in their lifestyles from those on the elite right, are now almost all multimillionaires. Their populism focuses on everything from gay marriage and unrestricted abortion to stopping Arctic oil exploration.

Jihadists don't wear uniforms. Even hostile countries that subsidize such terrorists deny doing so. Nazis and Stalinists never toppled an American office building; Islamists with far fewer resources have. And in a world of miniaturized weapons and easy global travel, they have a better chance of repeating their carnage than any of our earlier, more recognizable enemies.

3/24/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You could at least thank me for the softball mouse.
Not often you get to play supermouse and hit it out of the house.

3/24/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

After the Cold War, the world had great plans--but along came the jihadis and rectum.

3/24/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"wrecked 'em" jeez...hafta 'splain everything....

3/24/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Going back the VDH column, it sounds as though he has "just about had it."

Can't say that I blame him. Even though I know what mankind is, I still get sucked in by hope, only to be again disappointed. Has there ever been a time period in history where mankind has gotten his act together? I don't think so. We've always been rotten and now too many of us in the west are so decadent that we won't even lift a finger against an existential threat. The bad news for the west is that there can be no short war. The fundamentalists have drunk of the poison and given it to their youth. It will take generations of dead to administer the anti-dote. If we have lost heart already, barely six years into the struggle how can we expect to prevail?

Personally, I think the American people get it. Well, at least half do. I can't say the same for Europe or the American left. I'm afraid they must suffer greatly before they overcome their fear. How many women and children in the west must die before men overcome their fear of death and throw themselves into a greater cause as generations past did? We don't know. We just sit around the stove in the back of the store waiting for the next event, hoping that somebody knows what they are doing.

3/24/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

From a group in Chattanooga who do their part to keep the homefires burning:

If the war began in 627 AD, five years after Islam's founding, when Mohammed committed his first genocide against a Jewish tribe, then the war is an epic struggle between Islam and other religions, especially against Jews and Christians, which is to say its conclusion is not foreseeable. If the war is an extension of the middle-age invasions of the West by rapacious Islam, whether the start date is the victory of Charles Martel at Tours (732 AD), the back and forth of Crusades (1095-1669) or defeats like Constantinople (1453 AD), the siege of Vienna (1529 AD), the fleet at Lepanto (1571 AD), or the gates Venice (1683 AD), then the war is a clash of civilizations which likely has centuries of conflict yet ahead.

But if the war against Jihadistan began, as suggested here, on 11 September 2001, taking into account that Jihadi attacks on Western targets date back to the 1960s, then it will likely continue for decades. After all, it took 70 years to topple the Evil Empire.


Read it all at:
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/edition.asp?id=318

3/24/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt asked him about that feeling that came through that piece, Whit.
Hopefully his answer will be at radioblogger.
Far be it from me to speak for VDH.
---
"along came the jihadis and rectums"
:-) Leaky Humor
The Barbarians got Dian Fossey, too.

3/24/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

OT
I am having a running fight with different women that I meet. It started last week when I asked a friend who is an avid animal lover if, given a choice, she would save a child or a rabid marmut from drowning. She said that she would save the rabid marmut. Sorry, but humans do not deserve it. I told her she should seek therapy. I asked this question to another women last night. Same answer. I really need to find some new pick up lines.

3/24/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You want your women to lie?

3/24/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I heard there was some big story about a guy crying at the UCLA/Gonzaga game, too.
Then came little league coaches reporting the same.
...a caller suggested it was the female growth hormones in beef.

I'm going to go pet my feline marmut substitute.

3/24/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Did you really say "rabid?"
That IS sick.

3/24/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

AM, a good pick-up line flows naturally from the activity, and builds empathy. Like, "Please, no more Mace, I'll go away."

3/24/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Thanks Buddy,
I had a milk coming out of my nose moment.

3/24/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Oh and Doug,
I'm slow but my feet stink. I don't care who lays just so long as we don't stand.

3/24/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Yeah, “RABID MARMOT” they must of heard “rabbit marmot”. Twice as cuddlewee.

3/24/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That Marmot in "The Big Lebowski" skeered me real good--

3/24/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Rug Ride did it for me:
Just like my nightmares.
...or real life episodes.

3/24/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"La la la la la la la
la la la la la la la...


"

3/24/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That movie is like totally loaded with Great Moments. I could watch it every week and it'd be fresh everytime. Well maybe not every week. But once or twice a month probably. Hell maybe three times a month. Somewhere between three times a month and once a week, more or less.

3/24/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Whatever.
(floats your marmut)

3/24/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

One of my all time favorite lines was Steve Martin in "The Jerk:"

"I've got my lamp,
I've got my ...
...and that's all I need."

3/24/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Like your 6:24, which is probably where he got it.

3/24/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"The Dude--a man for the nineties!"

3/24/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I think he got it from Monty Python -- the Spanish Inquisition skits.

(Spanish Inquisition skits ???)

3/24/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

:-)
We need them now, more than ever.

3/24/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Someday, if mankind survives, they'll be doing Spanish Bombing Skits.

3/24/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

...and then we'll know the war is over, and that we won.

3/24/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

The US public did not support a Big War... so a Long War it will have to be.

And until something catastrophic happens, on a scale that exceeds 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, you will not have your Big War.

The US public's threshold for vengeance is not the same as in the past. With the amount of self-hatred lurking in the hearts of the left, it'll take a mighty big slap in the face to wake them up.

3/24/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Decades of the Curriculum of Self-Loathing (CSLtm)
Has given us thousands of reasons not to do just about everything when our self-interest is at stake.

Feminization, pacifism, victimology, multiculturalism, sensitivity training, etc & etc.

We are truly not worthy.
...to the extent to which we buy it.

3/24/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Iran took a million casualties because Saddam was a bloody butcher and they knew it and he was coming after 'em in their homes. There was no alternative--might as well die in a trench as on a scaffold."

Sorry to disagree, but Iran took a million casualties because Khomeini was a religious fanatic, and God, as it turned out, wasn't on his side.

3/25/2006 06:22:00 PM  

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