Thursday, March 16, 2006

Operation Swarmer

Bill Roggio has an account of Operation Swarmer, and his commenters have additional information as well.

The assault netted "a number of enemy weapons caches have been captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, IED-making materials, and military uniforms." The inclusion of the military uniforms, while certainly not a new development, serves as a reminder that insurgents are using Iraqi Army and police uniforms, and that some of the reported sectarian-related violence may in fact be initiated by the insurgency to discredit the Iraqi security forces and stir up ethnic tensions.

Further evidence of masking insurgency action under the guise of police forces is discovered in a separate raid in north-central Iraq; "After receiving information on a possible fake identification workstation, Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, conducted a cordon and search with members of the Iraqi Police. Once inside the target residence, the combined force discovered more than 300 false identification cards, including Iraqi Police IDs."

Again, while none of this is earth shattering news, these insurgent activities must be remembered and factored into reporting of sectarian related violence as well as claims the Iraqi security forces are involved in death squads. No doubt there are illegal actions by rogue units or individuals in Iraqi security forces, but some of these killings are very likely the actions of insurgents hoping to discredit the ISF and degrade the security situation.

Bloomberg has interesting details on the composition of the assault.

Operation Swarmer began early today with more than 1,500 U.S. and Iraqi troops, about 200 tactical vehicles and more than 50 helicopters, the U.S. military said in a statement e-mailed from Baghdad. Samarra is about 80 miles (125 kilometers) north of Baghdad on the Tigris River. The goal of the raid is to ``clear a suspected insurgent operating area northeast of Samarra,'' the military said. The assault is expected to last for several days as a thorough search of the area is conducted, it said.  ...

Today's mission involved a combination of UH-60 Black Hawks, AH-64D and CH-47 Chinooks, the Pentagon said in a fact sheet. None of the helicopters fired munitions or air-to-ground missiles, the statement said. (Emphasis mine) ...

Weapons caches containing artillery shells, explosives, bomb making materials and military uniforms were discovered during today's raid, according to the military's statement. Earlier this month, U.S. and Iraq troops found weapons and equipment caches west of Samarra, it said.

One of Bill Roggio's commenters has put together an order of battle based on CENTCOM video briefings.

Air Assualt element: Iraqi Army 1 Bde/4th Div; US 3 BCT & CAB/101st AB Div

Ground component: Iraqi MOI 2nd Special Police Commando Bde

This is the third Air Assualt that the Iraqi Army has participated in. Previous ops employed Iraqi 1st Bn/1st Bde/4th Div (same Bde doing this op) and 3rd Bn/1st Bde/6th Div in joint US-Iraqi assualts. This is just the largest.


Though I wouldn't want to make too much of it, there are a couple of things worth noting about this operation. First, it has an information warfare component aimed to convey, I think, two things: that the Coalition is doing something about the terrorists trying to incite sectarian violence; and that the Iraq Army, not Shi'ite militias or vigilante groups, should be entrusted with exacting vengeance. The information warfare component is probably meant to answer both Iraqi and US critics who say that the Coalition is standing by "helplessly" in the face of the insurgents.

Secondly, despite press reports that insurgents were trying to turn Samarra into a Second Falluja none of the LZ's appeared to have contested by the enemy to the point where the helicopters had to fire suppressive munitions. (See my italicized excerpt from Bloomberg). Nor is the force at 1,500 men a very large one for a cordon and search operation lasting several days. Considering the bulk of the force appears to consist of Iraqi Army one can only conclude that either the operation is only for show or that the units involved are quite professional. They have to interoperate with the 101st AB not only during the assault phase, but presumably for the duration of the operation. That suggests these Iraqi units are not anything to scoff at.

It also says something about the relative strength of the insurgency. Recall that the insurgents felt confident enough to contest much a larger force of USMC and US Army units for the possession of Falluja in 2004. Even in 2005 insurgents were prepared to fight for Tal-Afar against Iraqi units and the 3rd ACR. But if Iraqi units assaulted essentially uncontested into the town that says something, and I don't think it says that the insurgency is gaining in strength.

But the operation's not over yet. Let's see what happens.


Blogger High Power Rocketry said...

Huge undertaking... I whish I could hope for some good news, but that ship has already sunk.


3/16/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

I think it's hugely important to emphasize the security capabilities of the government and show "that the Iraq Army, not Shi'ite militias or vigilante groups, should be entrusted with exacting vengeance."

In my humble estimation the danger of civil war in Iraq resides now not so much along the nexis of sectarian difference as along the secular/fundamentalist divide. Even as the insurgent threat diminishes it seems the threat from Iranian-backed fundamentalists increases.

How long before a Swarmer-type operation will needed against the likes of an al-Sadr?

3/16/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

that, sir, will be the real test of the strength of the Iraqi Fedwral Government, as well as the Army.

alex, Swammer is not a hugh undertaking, at all. A Brigade size movement, in it's entirety. An impressive show of competency, on the part of the ISF.

The War in Iraq is over, for US, if the ISF continues on the track it is on. Make no mistake about that, the Brits are already scheduling the planes for their withdrawl.
If Iraq was goin' to hell in a hand basket, Tony would hang a tough ten, but he does not have to.

3/16/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I think that one of the more interesting reports I heard from Iraq just prior to this operation was the news that some 80 plus Iraqi civillians had been found tied up and shot in various areas around Baghdad.

The interesting thing was that the bodies were described as a "mixture of Shiite and Sunnis".... And all were apparently killed in the same manner in the same 24 hour period.

A MIXTURE of the two groups? That does not sound like Sunni killings and Shiite reprisals. That sounds like a third party killing victims from both sides in an attempt to sow terror and incite the dreaded Civil War.

Only - if they did this all in the same night, effectively leaving their calling card behind, someone blew it, bad. Any idiot could see it for what it was.

It looks like the terrorists have gone way past desperation and entered sheer stupidity.

3/16/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Is that a very dim light beginning to glow at the end of yon tunnel?

No, of course not! According to the "professional" media-mongers, dithering to us from their safe-house views far from the fray, this operation can only be an aberration. Sorry. In the future I'll watch this better.

3/16/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Or both teams are out in the field.
Which is as likely as not.
All three sides could be cruising the streets of Baghdad.

One must suppose that some of the deaths are warranted. That these are not innocents killed in a market place, but marked individuals.
On both sides, as you say.

Could as easily be Government agents, cleaning house on both sides, using the crisis as an open window of opportunity. Knowing that the ISF is securing the streets, effectively.

An ISF Phoenix Project, as it were.

3/16/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Still no claims of responsibilty for that Golden Mosque bombing, or have there been?

3/16/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Desert Rat: 80 people killed in the same way in one day and left where they could be found easily does not sound like two different teams out crusing for victims. There would not be enough time for word to get out and for the other side to reply in kind. You would think it would be 30 Shiites and then 50 Sunni the next day.

A Phoenix type op - or a rogue operation, as in "screw the courts, we know who we need to kill" - occurred to me, but I doubt that the govt people would have left the bodies where they could be found. You grab 'em, torture them, and plant them way out in the desert.

Of course maybe they already did that and these are the targets that resulted from that info, - but the Iraqis surely must know that this kind of thing gives the appearance of a breakdown of order. Therefore you still want them just disappeared, I would think.

One other thing on Swarmer - one of the Fox News reporters said that everyone was surprised, that the operation seemed to just happeen with no inkling of it's coming. We knew that Fallujah was coming, well in advance.
Also an interview with a USA Maj indicated the operation had been planned well in advance.
So maybe their OPSEC is getting better, or maybe they had this planned and in the can and sprung it at the right time.

Finally, I guess my USAF genes are showing but I noticed that no fixed wing assets were mentioned.
The Fox reporter speculated on AC-130 support but it was just pure speculation. Combined with the no use of missiles from the choppers that indicates to me that there were no dug-in tough targets that needed the Mk 82 or Hellfire treatment. And that is pretty signifcant in itself. No more hardened safe houses in the heart of the Tikriti clan. What is the world coming to?

3/16/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

All Things Beautiful TrackBack "Operation Swarmer" And The First Strike War Doctrine

3/16/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

The torture chamber-- umm...I mean American press corps grilling Scott McClellan today about this operation being merely a ruse to cover the President's low poll numbers was intriguing.

SC sure earns his hazardous duty pay. I mean, if he gets any...having to answer questions from people with the IQ of plants is a hard job

3/16/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

For a while I thought the guys who came up with this op were tempted to name it Operation Shwarma after the Iraq fast food of the same name.

3/16/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The bodies are part of the message, rwe, that's for sure, who is sending it and to whom it is deleivered, you could well be right.

But there is aome Organizational skill reguired to reach out and execute that many folk, in a night.

More coordination than aQ has shown in the past. Or so it seems from afar.

3/16/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

The final (military) stage of counter-insurgency is the ability of military forces to mass and manuever at will across the countryside. Looks like we are at that point.

AN AQ campaign to create sectarian violence would start off with a mass escalation (Mosque Bombing ) then continue to foment the appearance of problems ( killings on both side. )

AQ knows that the center of gravity is the US Public's perceptions and the US Political will.

3/16/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

U.S., Iraq launch massive air assault:

Adnan Pachachi, the senior politician who administered the oath in the absence of a parliament speaker, spoke of a country in crisis.

"We have to prove to the world that a civil war is not and will not take place among our people," Pachachi told lawmakers. "The danger is still looming and the enemies are ready for us because they do not like to see a united, strong, stable Iraq."

Air Assault

3/16/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Lets take a step back.

Let's suppose AQ was planning another mass attack. It does not make sense that the Baghdad "Tet" would be the only assault. AQ does several attacks at once.

Lets suppose that the Baghdad "Tet" was to have been combined with other operations?

Lets look at 9/11.

Ahmed Massoud Shah of the Northern Alliance was assassinated just prior to the attacks of 9/11.

Is the Baghdad "Tet" analogous to the atack on Massoud? Let's assume it is - and this make sense as a strategic strike as part of a series of strikes.

Then this would mean there are other attacks still to be uncovered - either in the USA or somewhere else.

Baghdad "Tet" was to be principally a mass sapper attack on hard targets in the Green Zone. The other actions of AQ throughout Iraq were then meant as a diversion for Coalition forces while forces massed for the main effort.

What if the same infiltration were or has been going on in the USA for a mass Sapper attack here?

Major sports venues such as a ballpark have just a handful of exits. Most can be closed with explosives, leaving people trapped in the park. If the park has a cover, then effective entry from the air is impoassible. What if three platoons of sappers got into such a closed space? What could they do? What if its a large office Tower and they seal the exits? Or left one exit open and brought in some fuel tankers and such?

What if snipers are posted to engage helicopters and SWAT teams?

What if they also attack the 911 ops stations and police stations/HQs? Created traffic tie-ups on critical roads?

Then the response and reaction would be even further delayed or non-existent.

Any competent Infantry leader can plan this type of operation and execute it.

Is AQ capable of doing this?

Anyone recall the Jordan Decapitation Attack that was foiled in 2003?

3/16/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

This was kinda hidden in Bill's post.

20 Terrorist training camps in Iran Uncovered

Papa Ray

3/16/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Red River,

You sound as if they're even capable of flying planes into buildings. Sheesh.. Paranoia I tell ya..

3/16/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger K. Pablo said...

Operation Shawarma? Nyuk, nyuk....

3/16/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Anyone recall the Jordan Decapitation Attack that was foiled in 2003?"

Yep. Dan Darling had it here:

3/16/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Daydream Believers"

Fred Kaplan at Slate (via


Certainly, the promotion of democracy should be a goal of American foreign policy. But to make it the centerpiece invites trouble; hypocrisy, betrayal, disappointment, and delusion are inevitable. As for "statecraft" (literally, the art of conducting the affairs of state), that has always been—for any nation-state—about navigating the shoals of an often-dangerous world; you can try, while you're at it, to reshape the contours of the continents; but, at least as a starting point, you have to survive and thrive in the world as it is.


Time to rebury the rotted corpse of Woodrow Wilson.


3/16/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Iraq-US forces launch high-profile joint assault:

The US-led air assault intensified jitters about global supplies of crude, prompting a rise in world oil prices on Thursday.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, rose 1.41 dollars to close at 63.58 dollars.

Joint Assault

3/16/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

How much do seven uniforms cost compared to an assault rifle? Forget the code of the day or the secret handshake; wear the uniform of the day or you will be shot on sight. That is a harsh but effect method to filter out the impersonating a good guy people problem. And excuse me; doesn’t Geneva condone summary execution of spies caught in false flag operations?

Filter out the noise eliminate the variables. The infamy of false flag ruses is so insidious, even the bureaucrats have no pity for its perpetrators.

Political theater or not, Operation Swarmer was theater nonetheless. Imagine yourself drinking spiced tea on the veranda of a building with a view of the southern expanses of Samara. The first aircraft on station were barely visible. The UAV’s would hardly be visible unless you were looking directly at it and why would you? The strike aircraft would be loitering at a several mile slant range, practically invisible and nearly silent. Then came a squadron of AH-64D Apache Longbows with there mast mounted radars, followed by Blackhawks that you can hear for a few minutes but can’t tell the direction they are coming because the sound reverberates everywhere and bounces from all directions, they before you know it buzz directly overhead vere off, seemingly interested in sonething down the street, you can hear shop keepers and local ruffians and they are shouting back and forthr, everyone is scurrying around, and finally the CH-47’s peel off and alight near the river bend disgorging there solders and while the 50 helicopters are creating absolute havoc, all heads are turned, a column of 200 vehicles is breaking into separate columns and placing themselves in supporting positions for the air assault operations already under way.

Oh yeah. This is theater. All the things that the insurgents took for granted last week, well, there is a new sheriff in towns and things are going to change.

3/16/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


I think this is an "everybody, on the back of the truck" operation. Workmanly stuff, but a very wide net is the tool. Not a strike, but a hopeful fishing expedition.

3/16/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"everybody, on the back of the truck" operation." Classic.

Yeah, more air assault of the senses. Definately not the kinetic kind, but like the Thunder Runs of lore, no certainty that 'parading' won't be just the ticket to draw enemy fire.

Bill Roggio lements that the MSM is characterizing the "Air Assaults" as political theater.

""politically opportune for both the Bush Administration and the fledgling Iraqi government in Baghdad,""


"Swarmer is the latest in a series of Air Assault missions, not a "wag the dog" moment"

I go to Bill for the hard facts on military operations but politics and war making can never be perfectly aligned, they are on different levels, influences, and vectors, so one can not be cleanly delineated from the other. They are inextricable. It is pure bistro math, which is to say that... I'd speculate but be loathe to stake a reputation on it one way or another.

3/16/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Air assaults are high tempo operations allowing the commander to rapidly move forces around thus unhinging the enermy commander by getting inside his ability to react.

"They came out of nowhere" is classic response of observers to such operations.

3/16/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Bill Roggio lements that the MSM is characterizing the "Air Assaults" as political theater."

Of course. What else could it possibly be?

And how long did it take them to realize what "air assault" means?

3/16/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And by "everybody, on the back of the truck", I am referring to the roll-up. (Classic nontheless.) Someone's gotta do it.

3/16/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

airassault, that's that stuff in a can, right?

3/16/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Major Iraq air assault launched:

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Venable said the operation was the biggest air assault since 22 April 2003, when the 101st Airborne Division launched an operation against the northern city of Mosul from Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad.

Many operations in Iraq since then - in such cities as Fallujah, Ramadi and Najaf - have included far more troops. But none has involved such a large force moved in by air. Some 650 US and 800 Iraqi troops were participating yesterday.

Assault Launched

3/16/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Starling said...

Red River said... "AQ knows that the center of gravity is the US Public's perceptions and the US Political will."

Agreed. That AQ knows this is further confirming evidence of the very low regard, if not absolute contempt, that they have for the Iraqi people.

3/17/2006 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Moneyrunner said...

I have come to the conclusion that reality in Iraq has now moved past the point where the infantile Left can now cause the project to fail.

It was possible for the Left to cause the collapse of South Viet Nam because the war was not an insurgency but an external attack by the North. Thus the removal of US support from the South allowed the North to win.

There is now enough internal military power to allow the Iraqi government, or a combination of Kurds and their allies to prevail.

There is, of course, the possibility that either Iran or Syria could use their national armies to attack Iraq. Under those circumstances, President Bush (unlike Nixon) is not so politically hamstrung as to counter-attack.

The Anti-Amerikka Left has been defeated, no matter what they now accomplish in political terms in the US.

3/17/2006 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...


I respectfully disagree.

We're only a piece of legislation away from making painfully true statements made in public a hate crime - punishable by - being ostracized publicly, jail time, fines, maybe worse.

We're already going down the slippery slope WRT abortion, homosexual "rights", "hate crimes, state sanctioned racial bigotry (affirmative action), class warfare (welfare), etc.

The red, white & blue hating left wing multi-culti's have brought regressive policies into the mainstream under the guise of liberalism & progressivism in the last 40 years. They almost destroyed the US military and intellgence capbilities in the '90's amd would love to complete the task still.

That attitude could get you hung.

3/17/2006 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Moneyrunner is right about Iraq, enscout, the Iraqis will soldier on, even if we left, completely, tomorrow. Or they are not men worth helping, today.
enscout, the battles you describe will never be won with the US Army, if they ever even engaged in them.

3/17/2006 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If there is a legitimate issue regarding the potential loss of liberty it is hate-speech laws. This is the perfectly framed topic where the "good" of promoting social harmony is nothing other than using state enforced punishment to control the Conversation.

When citizens face jail or penury for speaking in public about dangers facing the society they have already submitted to the tyranny of the minority. It's already happening in the EUSSR.
When Danes Pay Danegeld – Dealing with Islam in Scandinavia

3/17/2006 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But still no one should be a critic of poor US Policies, pb. That is treason worthy of detainment as a terrorist.

Threatening imprisionment and worse, to those expousing the well held opinions of the majority of Americans is an act of a closet fascist.

You have said as much, and are proud of it. You stand shoulder to shoulder with the Censors, you lack only the Authority, not the desire.

3/17/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

You can criticize all you want rat. I only ask that it be somewhat entertaining. Droning on ad infinitum about the same topic isn't criticism it's blabbering.

3/17/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

On time, on target
Into Warizistan rushed 80,000 Allied troops to disrupt aQ Operations and Sanctuary.

It was vitally important to the War on Terror, to pressure aQ in it's homeland.
You disagreed, said it impossible, would cause the General President to be removed from Power, ad infinitom
The Reality is far from it.

I was arguing the President's case, but you did not see it that way. You argued in the echo chamber for the defeatist program.

In Iraq, the ISF is taking great strides forward, in Afghanistan and Pakistan our allies are taking the battle to the enemy. The US Army, garrisoned on mega-bases scatter through out the ME, will not defeat the Jihadists.

Only boots on the ground, patroling the streets, speaking the language will. If you cannot speak to the people, get outa the Country.

As Ralph Peters says, today, in the NY Post

" ... Once it settles its own turf battles, the new Iraqi government isn't going to face a civil war with organized armies backed by artillery and tanks fighting pitched battles. Iraq's leaders will have to be, first and foremost, gangbusters.

Iraq doesn't need a Grant or Sherman. It needs an Elliot Ness. On steroids.

Iraqis hate the foreign terrorists of al Qaeda and its ilk, who they view as ravaging their country. They also despise the bullies from the militias. They've had enough of guns, blood and death. They want peace in the streets. But achieving that peace will take time. (It took us a century to destroy the KKK - the Iraqis are moving faster than we did.)

Our own mistakes early on fed into the present troubles. We never had enough troops on the ground, and the Pentagon's civilian leadership made a colossal error by not imposing the rule of law the moment we reached Baghdad.

Those blunders may be unforgivable, but they're far from insurmountable. Because the Iraqis themselves won't give in to the "gangs of Baghdad." ... "

The problems Iraq faces are basicly Criminal ones. They really need Super Cops that speak the language, not a foreign occupation of mega garrisons.

Look to the small amounts of ordinence turned up by Op Swarmer. Terrorist capacity, not military.

There is a difference, you know.

3/17/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Anti-Amerikka Left has been defeated

The trend has definitely reversed against their favor. But the future is still at balance. The Left enjoys a huge lead as far as public outreach of their programming and money (jihadi petrodolars) to prop their projects.

3/17/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If there was "gang violence" in Boston, pb, would sending in a thousand cops, from Brasilia, all speaking Portugese, really be a "big help" to the Bostonians?

3/17/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The US Army, garrisoned on mega-bases scatter through out the ME, will not defeat the Jihadists.

d'Rat you were arguing for of these forces to be garrisoned in the US. I think that's where you got resistance in that discussion. Iran is trying to extent its jihadi empire. Iraq is very vulnerable now. Removing US forces from Iraq, is inviting trouble. Plus, troops will soon be needed to secure the eastern shores of the Strait. The airlift operation you're watching now is a practice run.

3/17/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Are you talking to me?

I still think that the Tribal Areas are ungovernable by either the Pakis or AQ. Hundreds of years of history may affect my thinking about that.

The undeniable fact is that Muslim armies will be more effective fighting a decentralized AQ than Western armies. The Pakis are blowing up madrassahs in Waziristan. The US military probably would not. Local tribal leaders are expelling Afghan refugees (i.e. Taliban), at least while the Paki army is around.

It think it's been fairly clear for at least a year that the insurgents had no chance of determining the political outcome in Iraq. The timing of the departure of US troops has been an inverse function of the readiness of the Iraqi security forces since then. They are probably fairly close combat-ability wise although I have no idea how far along they are in managing the logistical tail.

3/17/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When do we confront Iran, mat?

The troops in Iraq are insufficent in numbers to perform both OIF and Iran, concurrently. They have been, for the most part "garrisoned" in Iraq for over a year.

And then how do we confront Iran?

Those bases are large targets for the Iranians. Just as we would relish Enemy troop concentrations, so will the Iranians.

It has been decades since we had an Enemy State, that could fire back. If they are to be "feared" for their nonexistent nuke, than what should we think of their 350 Scuds.

We have built US "cities" under the Iranian gun. That is an error, IMO.
Any deployments from the Garrisons could be seen, as during the Mosque Crisis, as "provocative". Just another way to light the fuze, unintentionally.

Light Infantry, across the Straits, won't be an intimidation to the Iranians on the other side.

3/17/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just this moment on FOX, Ms Rice and the White House say the Government of Iran is NOT to blame nor are they accussed of being involved in the Iraqi IEDs
The President only said "components" were from Iran.

3/17/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

It has been decades since we had an Enemy State, that could fire back

Did 1991 and 2002 not happen?

If the shiite hit the fan with Iran you suggest that the US troops in Iraq are just going to hang around their bunks getting rocketed? As a wholly separate issue you don't think that US anti-missle defense has improved in 15 years?

Even if US troops are not involved in named operations they are still active in their AO with forward bases, patrols, and any number of civil engineering projects. I'd hardly call that being garrisoned the way you are suggesting.

3/17/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Rat, your politically incorrect, un-nuanced needling and tedious and narrow representation of options here is a bit grating. In the past year you have gone from broad descriptions to absolute, take it or leave it prescriptions on every detail of war planning. You constantly point out the mistakes that only fools without your superior SitRep would make. But the greatest mistake is to make the intellectual error of stating everything in absolutes. If we cannot speak the language we should leave. All the things you speak of could not of happened unless we landed troops in the first place. Whether the US belongs in Iraq in the long term is never the question, the dithering is about when not if we should leave. The exact moment is impossible to call because there is no moving an army in an exact moment logistically speaking. When the US decided to invade it was a US responsibility. We are making it an Iraqi responsibility and you can play armchair general all you want, it is the actual commanders who get to decide if, how, and when they are fulfilling the exit strategy, an exit strategy that they are keeping to themselves because it serves them no purpose to say when X happens we are going to completely pack up and leave even when it would assuage their frequent detractors. Throw in the incomprehensible knuckleheads of the State Department and you have layers and layers of complexity. So the absolutes sound nice, hum a few bars if you want, but they aint playing the Philharmonic any time soon.

Waziristan aint ours to break right now either unless Musharraf invites us to the party, which it sounds like he’s doin, but if I recall correctly, your attitude was get UBL now and screw Musharraf… patience my @ss, I’m gonna kill something. Fine, it’s a matter of posture, realism verses really cool macho sounding pronouncements, which are neato but I personally hate to make such airs when I am hidden behind a keyboard, my grandmother could have made the same proclamations and no one could say naught. Make enough of them across the spectrum of the world and leave out the prickly details and you’re bound to get something right. It worked for Nostradamus anyhow.

The US blundered when they allowed the Iraqis to express their national character by removing Saddam and having their criminal entrepreneurship emerge. You couldn’t put enough troops into an area to keep Johnny Jihad from having foul thoughts. Keeping the press from lying about stolen antiquities would be useful but not a military necessity.

I agree that Operation Swarmer showed that we are nearing the proverbial point of diminishing returns but such asymptotes do not have the rough, sharp, distinctive edges that appear so real in your mind.

3/17/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


You raise valid points. But all the questions can easily be answered by you. And you know that.

Q: When do we confront Iran, mat?
A: When Iraqis can do the job of policing their territory on their own. I.e. Very soon.

Q: And then how do we confront Iran?
A: Air lift of light infantry forces, sea lift of mechanized forces.

We have built US "cities" under the Iranian gun. That is an error, IMO.

A: Those "cities" will be largely empty. Non-mobile local C&C facilities will be protected by TMD systems like the Arrow, etc. Plus Iran is more likely to attack oil related facilities than anything else. That's their only real weapon.

3/17/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As to the General President, I said if he did not help we would have to go it alone. The Bush Doctrine demanded it.
Amazing, he helped.

There is a reason to tell the Public the "Plan".
In WWII it was win as quickly as possible.
Mistakes were made, many lives were lost, but the overall strategy was always to win, quickly. The War retained Public Support 'til the end.

In both Korea and more pointedly, "Nam, when Victory was not the Goal, the Public lost patience, resolve, what ever word you'd like to use.

In the US, now, the President and his War Policies are at the lowest point yet, with the Public.
That low tide coincides with the reformulation of the War on Terror to the Lng War is no coincidence, either.

That the majority do not want US to "lose" in Iraq and are afraid of a Civil War breaking out, is an example of the sorry state of the Information Wars, but as Mr Rumsfeld has said, they know they are losing that battle.

3/17/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Do not the Iranians have the same "right" of preemption as US?
Those Bases are full, today.
Bet they will be when the Iranians start the dance.

Or will the be "gentlemen" and let US hit them first?

3/17/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You've already answered that question. See post 8:07 AM. :)

3/17/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The problem with information wars is that they target the mind of a public and the mind will believe what it wants to hear. The Jihadis want to hear that GWB is bad… the Liberals want to hear GWB is bad. Overcoming congenital stupidity with information operations is impractical. You can prepare the battle space of the mind over time but the inertia of the battle is slanted towards the path of least resistance and no amount of chest pounding will convince our enemies that we have a superior vision, the humbleness, and the credibility to be trusted. A mind is a terrible thing to waste but that’s what kinetic warfare is for.

3/17/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It is a propaganda war, mat, as much as anything.

The US is not prepare to "manage" Iran. Not after Iraq.
So we are left with the Air Campaign Option. We can inflict massive damage to Iranian infrastructure, which we will do, as well as kill millions of their people, from which we will demur.

This is what we seem to be preparing for, with preWar PR, etc, this Air Option, according to some, will play regardless of Iranian action or inaction.

If the Iranians believe that to be the case, then why not hit US first, score the Propaganda points with the 20 Milllion Europeans on their side, and then absorb the US hits. They were goin' to have to take 'em, anyway.

It is March, now, just two weeks to go until the January rumors of Istaeli strikes against Iran will be proven, true or false.

3/17/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If the Iranians believe that to be the case, then why not hit US first, score the Propaganda points with the 20 Milllion Europeans on their side, and then absorb the US hits.

Because, Rat, they're playing for time as much as we are. They want their nukes.

3/17/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm not aware of any rumors of Israeli strikes against Iran. Where did you hear such things?

3/17/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Forgive me for disappearing from this string while d-r dukes it out with everyone.

I should say that moneyrunner qualified his statement about the left in America by saying "no matter what they now accomplish in political terms in the US."

With this qualifier, he makes my subsequent post a bit OT & useless.

Sorry for the oversight, gents.

I must say that I do enjoy seeing y'all get so excersized about the topic, however. Great dialog.

3/17/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I don’t envy Iran their options. Let them exercise their free right to ‘preemption’.

We didn’t kill ‘millions’ in WWII during indiscriminate bombing campaigns; we’ll keep the collateral damage to a manageable minimum for our conscious to deal with. As far as the Euro’s are concerned, we’ll evoke their scorn either way, which I am beginning to regard a win-win situation.

The Ides of March are at hand indeed, but if Saddam was it’s Caesar, the mad mullahs are the senate that can be rearranged from afar.

3/17/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The other Iranina Option, mat, is never fire at US, or anyone, except in self defense.

Then when they are bombed, by US or proxy, it's off to the UN to decry US as "criminal aggresors".

There may not even be any UN Resolutions for US to enforce, this time.

Hard to tell with these fellow's

Those rumors about Israel and the planes, refueling in Turkey, I think a guy named mika started them, here.

3/17/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

"The Anti-Amerikka Left has been defeated.
The trend has definitely reversed against their favor. But the future is still at balance."

For the time being the Anti-Amerikkka Left (correctly spelled with 3 "K"s) has been defeated. However don't forget James Carville's famous phrase:

"It’s the economy, stupid."

The elder President Bush should have easily beaten Bill Clinton but Bush lost anyway because the US was in recession. Americans almost always vote for what's in their immediate economic interests. Also, Americans almost always blame the current government for economic problems even if the problems took decades to develop.

The economy is doing fine right now but there are storm clouds on the horizon. For various reasons, the Democratic Party is dysfunctional. Probably the best presidental candidate that they could muster for 2008 would be Hillary which is a pathetic commentary. There are moonbats far worse than John Kerry who might get nominated for president if Hillary falters (not unlikely). Whoever the Democrats nominate could well be our next president if the economy goes down the toilet between now and the next presidential election. It's vital that the Democrats get trounced in the next elections because they need to reform themselves, i.e. jettison their hard left. The US economy is not going to stay healthy forever.

3/17/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

One of Sharons' generals said that they were planning for the options and awaiting the outcomes of elections. It was covered all over, but later downplayed when the Knesset backtracked.

3/17/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd think you'd find, if the totals from Dresden, Tokyo, the two Nuke blasts, as well as all the other assorted fire bombing raids in Germany and Japan against population centers, were tallied that yes,
We killed millions in WWII

bet rwe would know for sure.

500,000 KIA in Tokyo alone, I'm told.

3/17/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I've only heard Israel say that Iran is years away from the prospect of having nuclear bombs.. :)

3/17/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yeah, mat, but that mika...

Some old Israeli guy, one of the founders of the Mossad if I recall, thought the Mullahs already had some nukes.

He's old, though.
What could he know?

3/17/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

There was a palpable sea change during the final year of GHB’s presidency, most Americans felt pretty pumped up about Desert Storm but soon the daily news was about another major business closure, going off shore, or initiating massive layoffs.

Just when I was at my wits end GHB proclaims; “Everything is fine, stay the course”. I remember spitting up my lunch about the time GHB was losing his on the Japanese prime minister. I seriously liked Perot at the time until he went chemically paranoid revealed his instability. After that I pretty much gave up. I think the moonbats and the Dems go well together. With their good luck we’ll have our own red on blue shootin’ war in time.

3/17/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, he was just parroting some Russian official. C4 could be parroting the same source for all we know.

3/17/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Happy St. Patty's Day, boyos!

Desert seems to be acting like my wife's cousins at a wedding - if they can't find somebody to fight, they fight each other.

Jeez, those guys over on Roggio's site are serious, they have drawn up the OOB for the entire Iraqi forces, just from piecing together press reports over several months. Jeez.

I wish we could take it as true that the Left in this country, the only real source of our potential defeat, is beaten. But, they ain't. Like Saddam, they still think they are President, they'll go to the grave with their purposeful ignorance and willful delusions.

Even now, with the href="" rel="nofollow">Doc-Ex site available to put the lie to "Bush lied" and "Saddam would never deal with Al Qaeda" delusions, they will soldier on to defeat their real enemy - President Bush.

3/17/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

A Million for sure, millions?

Maybe my out here Rat is that when we were bombing those population centers it was not indiscrimnate, in a way, it was done with extreme prejudice and malice of forethought. The certain fact is is we aint like that no mo. We are a new, sensitive, nuanced warfighting machine and we will kill those who desperately need a killin' when we can do so without dustin' up to much and otherwise pertubin’ the women folk none. It kinda excludes nukes and this has been understood by Middle Easterners longer than it has in the West. 20 years ago the answer was, well screw ‘em, we’ll nuke the b@stards. They knew that we were softies underneath the hard shell of technology and bluster and we been paying for allowing that perception in blood and gold lately. I aways thought that if the US could maintain the face of solidarity and resolve that Iraq was going to be the last war the US would have to wage for another 30 years but the Libs deprived us of that message and were are fated to explain it again and again until the bombs sink in. What part of ‘can’t understand normal thinking’ do the Libs not get? Sitzpinklers indeed.

3/17/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

you bet, tony, it's the Scotch-Irish in me, comin' out to play.

The way the Congressional districts are structured, now.
The benefits of incumbency, 98-99% retention.
That 95% of Congress is running again.

Puts, at most, a dozen or so House Seats in the position to swing. In '06.
Mr Bush should still have majorities, though smaller, to work with in Congress.
Duncan Hunter will still be in Congress, buddy.

It is the '08 Election where the fat will be in the fire.
Unless, of course,
Johnny comes marchin' home again, hoorahh hoorah

But even then, as eggplant's said
It's the Economy, really

3/17/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ok. I'm off to enjoy the sun. The beer's on Tony.

3/17/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


As the signs say in the Irish bars: Free Beer - tomorrow!

3/17/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Indeed, am, you're right.
While we can destroy the Iranian capacity to build a bomb they cannot yet build, which we may do.
We could also kills millions of Iranians, which we and they, know we will not. We will demur from that Option.

The Mohammedans are totally decentralized. We will, I'm afraid, have to beat them in each area seprately. Unless we were to destroy one, demonstratively. That could be intimidating to others.

But the thought of being treated like an Iraqi Sunni, during and after the War with US, as well as their post Insurgency revival, would not lead me, by reason of fear, to compromise my believes, would it yours?

3/17/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Foget beer green and all I like my booze like my women, straight and tall or not at all.

Jeeze, I might as well start drinking I'm speaking in Irish Tongues.

3/17/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this Rat;

“But the thought of being treated like an Iraqi Sunni, during and after the War with US, as well as their post Insurgency revival, would not lead me, by reason of fear, to compromise my believes, would it yours?”

You mean like a redheaded step child? What “believes”?

3/17/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Just heard a report on the radio that Operation Swarmer is searching an area 10 miles by 10 miles, i.e., 100 SQ Miles.

They say that they are meeting only very light resistance and have detained 31 people so far. More weapons and ammo are being discovered.

3/17/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/17/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

Aristides proposed a strategy for attacking Iran that is analagous to a judo throw.

Ever since then, I can't stop thinking about the idea, and explaining events in that light.

For instance, the geopolitical gamesmanship fielded against Iran is profoundly different from that which was fielded against the semi-sovereign sorta state of Iraq. Afterall, the EU3 and IAEA were the "front" actors opposing Iran, with America and Israel relegated to the background. There was no American or Israeli face to the issue; only the painfully bureaucratic steamrollers of the IAEA and the outlandish Iranian president.

Whatever the mechanism, it seemed an anti Iranian nuke consensus that appeals at least to the Russians, if not also to an abstaining China has become possible. I think this is an essential part of our strategy, and was likely a goal from the beginning.

As Aristides had explained, revolutions, like Iran's are born of failure, not success; they are a solution to a problem or an answer to a question. Given the extremist elements in governance of Iran, "Balkanization" tactics become very valueable; indeed, if they worked on AQ, they can work on the Iranian society.

I think there is a powerful weapon in construing the Iranian nuclear project as opposing an international consensus and not American hegemony/zionism. People can speak to the contrary, but those messages are in constant competition (for many months now) with messages that explain why Iran is being brought to the UNSC.

The judo analogy, in its emphasis on using an opponent's misapplied aggression [i.e. the populist anti-Zionist rhetoric] against them, also seems quite prescient in its pursuit of a "Balkanization" product: the overzealous aggressor will not only find himself ensnared in a predicament he cant Quran his way out of; he will find himself maligned against former allies and peer competitors who will want the same objectives he does, i.e. power.

Iran is ripe to Balkanize against the Islamists, what with its eerily Polish parallels:
-strong Persian identity (least from personal experience; theyll never shut up about 5000 years of this and 5000 years of that)
-labor movement (transportation mainly) thats been politically active after the elections on a few occasions; thought i heard of at least one mass strike, or threat of one
-assassination of the military officials a few months back suggest there is a military contigent sympathetic to anti-revolutioary positions

somethings Iran needs for an effectively Polish result:
-Muslim Pope John Paul II
-Army that wont fire on the people and will wage war on the Islamists

Balkanization would help precipitate an Iranian Poland; let us hope that a decentralized corrupt religion is easier to challenge than the Kremlin.

3/17/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

ajacksonian makes a good argument about the new kind of warfare and the reduced footprint that it makes Old War dog.

“NetWar as it encompasses knowledge of military force, social systems and dynamics, emerging information and reaction to same as all of that changes on-the-fly. The entire US Military system and how it operates, works, thinks, re-supplies, re-arms and generally does every damn thing has been changing rapidly and will do so at even a faster pace. This will be the first truly broad-spectrum Adaptable military machine ever to be on this planet. Their objective is not to kill and conquer and rule... it is to use force as a means of depriving an enemy of capability while simultaneously supporting the local culture and ensuring that the hiding places become fewer.”

He’s been studying Burkowitz no doubt. You don't have to be for it because it is happening with or without us. I was against globalization, but like the Ludites before me, wishin' it aint stopping the Industrial Revolution.

3/17/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

beliefs, pb.
Would being treated like an Iraqi Sunni cause you to give yours up, for fear of similar treatment?

Or would it take a bit more persuasion?
Wrap your mind around that.

Man, I was with ya' until you listed your two requirements for success.

I do not see a Muslim equivelent, Shia as well, of the Pope. Close as we've come is Mr Sistani.

As for the Iranian Army, I do not know if they'd fire on the bus drivers.

I do know that the Mullahs have imported combatants from outside Iran. Lebanon and Syria and the like, they will, I think, fire on the people if given a chance.
The real question, as in most People Power Revolutions, would the Army defend the bus drivers?

3/17/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

I think there's another aspect of the information war that doesn't seem to be getting a lot of discussion.

I wonder how Operation Swarmer was viewed by the leaders of the Iranian military?

3/17/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

desert rat:

Its quite the requirement, admittedly; it raises the question, how much can you ever weaken a government by extrinsic means such as sanctions and tisk-tisking?
I fear I still may have my Clinton/1990s reality blinders on.

But the same political climate that rewards the gangster imams could reward a gangster imam that caters to a different sentiment; i dont think this theoretical character need be terribly virtuous; just clever enough to mobilize some counter-islamist feelings; probably wont happen as I dont know of any historical precedent for such a thing happening. but it could just as soon come from the religious establishment as from the Wafa Sultans of the world. And probably better the former because the former has lots more guns and idiotarian males.

3/17/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"beliefs, pb.
Would being treated like an Iraqi Sunni cause you to give yours up, for fear of similar treatment?

Or would it take a bit more persuasion?
Wrap your mind around that."

It's Annoy Mouse and I know it was "beliefs". Hell if you weren't so naughty we were going to pitch in and buy you a spell chekcer for Christmas.

As far as "wrap your mind around that", I am still tryin'.

3/17/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As it says, am, "... use force as a means of depriving an enemy of capability while simultaneously supporting the local culture ... "

So as a type of collateral damage with this tactic is there are no striking examples of destruction to influence the Enemy's thinking.

Not that there was any appreciable change in thought patterns during WWII despite heavy civilian casualties on all sides.
The Chinese and Koreans still have have a hatred of the Japanese, sixty years on.

3/17/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

sorry annoy mouse, that I directed the missive, inaccurately.

In regards the Mind War and our active tactics.

The Iraqi, Tribe of Saddam, Sunni as exampled.

They as a people were not decimated in the Invasion or War.
The fought against US in an Insurgency and were rewarded with what may, perhaps, end up as being "Overly represented" in the Government.

This is the position of some Shia members of the Iraqi Parliment.

If you were a Syrian or Iranian, would you cast aside a lifes worth of Propaganda to surrender to the Great Satan, based on watching the Iraqi experience? I think not.

If we had destroyed an Iraqi city, totally. Fallujah, Ramadi, etc. would it change the Enemy's mind about US? I think not. I'd hope it would make them fear US, but it'd have, I think an opposite galvanizing experience, not an awakening to reality.

On a local level, Mr Yon reported the "bionic runner", in a similar scenario the Israelis may well have destroyed his home, as they have with past terrorists.
But that type action was deemed to excessive for US, then, in Mosul.
It still is.

As you say, for better or worse.

Hate those spell checkers

3/17/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Annoy Mouse said...

"I think the moonbats and the Dems go well together. With their good luck we’ll have our own red on blue shootin’ war in time."

That's the problem in a nutshell. We all know from what we learned in high school government class that a democracy's viability is dependent upon having a loyal opposition. A one party state is intrinsically unstable because the party in power eventually succumbs to corruption and/or abuse-of-power. Unfortunately the Democrats have dropped the ball and become dysfunctional by allowing moonbats to accumulate.

What we really need is a four-party system. There should be two major parties that represent 3/4 of the population (the Democrats and the Republicans). There should also be two minor parties that represent the hard-left and the hard-right. Call the hard-left party, the "Green Party". If a Democrat gets out-of-line and becomes too liberal then he/she should be expelled to the Green Party. Likewise if a Republican goes off the deep end, he should get pitched into the hard-right party. As it stands there is no mechanism for the two parties to purge themselves of fanatics.

If the Democratic Party was healthy, it's political spectrum would extend from Joe Lieberman on the right to Hillary on the left. Expelling fanatics is vital for a political party's health. The current success of the British Labour Party can be attributed to the explusion of their looney left. This was a reaction to Margaret Thatcher's ability to remain Prime Minister for as long as she did.

3/17/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...


i think you should place your faith in the electorate for regulating those bodies. you forget that purging, however well intentioned, is at once sufficient for both betterment and demise.

even in America, we can momentarily fall prey to the human proclivities that light up in earshot of narrow-minded but appealing grandiloquence. lets not forget that we know and use regularly the best weapon against such proclivities, which i am no exception in posseessing.

3/17/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

also, OT but...

On the surface, such words are just platitudes but they are exactly what Iraqis need to discover, culturally and politically. Perhaps that is what we are witnessing: the slow and bloody slog through the various sociobiological morbidities that our Leviathan must help quash, quell and quiet throughout this coming century.

Analogies to kill the tumor are not so appropriate in the grandness of the task before us. In some cases, it seems that we must transform the tumor-host relationship into a more symbiotic one, hoping that we compell the parasite to develop a novel function; we must turn bacteria into mitochondria.

3/17/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The Chinese and Koreans still have have a hatred of the Japanese, sixty years on.

As they did sixty years before WWII. And sixty years before that...

The major difference of US warmaking after WWII is that we have not found the necessity to destroy the industrial capacity of the enemy du jour. Command and control infrastructure like electronic communications and transportation facilities have been the max target.

I suppose that would be the drill in Iran as well. The average Iranian is at least as well educated and cosmopolitan as the average Iraqi which makes regime change a possible good outcome. We'd have to see what happens with the mullahs after Phase I.

If the mullahs hung on and carried any such war to the USA, particulary with any incident causing mass casualties, then I suspect that the entire country would get pulverized to the extent that no Iranian factory would have the ability to produce a BB gun for two generations.

I think we're a long way from that possibility. There's a whole lot more posturing to be done before anybody starts swinging.

3/17/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Just as a matter of curiosity, discussing the political extremes, there is an extreme left, and an extreme right. The Green Party is a registered political party of the Left, who would you vote to be the bookend for extreme Republicans?

3/17/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

On gov't and parties, good essay in the Opinion Journal, as well as a commenter's "Here are words spoken by John Adams the second president: "Democracy will soon degenerate into anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all moral virtues and abilities, all powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few".

One more quote from John Adams: "Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

The editor added the headline "Adams Family Values", har har!

3/17/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Annoy Mouse asked:

"Just as a matter of curiosity, discussing the political extremes, there is an extreme left, and an extreme right. The Green Party is a registered political party of the Left, who would you vote to be the bookend for extreme Republicans?"

I don't think there is one but there should be. If the Democrats cleaned-up their act and became the party in power then the Republicans would have to follow suit.

3/17/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Writer Todd Seavey closes his essay (bolding mine):

"Perhaps the greatest evidence that there is little intellectual heft left in the anarchist movement is the occasional protests in Albany, N.Y., where self-proclaimed anarchists turn up to protest budget cuts at state-run schools. It's a satire Burke never could have dreamed of."

3/17/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

If the hard left didn't have a representative political party it might be in the consevative party's interest in putting one together. Those moonbats would vote for the rhetoric no matter. They would never suspect. Net result: split the vote.

That's exactly what happened in 2000 when Perot (am's boy) divided the Republican ticket and allowed Slick to win with a minority of popular votes. I'll never forgive him for it mouse.

3/17/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Totally, totally, totally OT - my son showed me this last night. It's by far the most spectacular "computer game" imaginable:

3/17/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Speaking of spare political parties here in the US, we do have the Libertarians. If Republicans are theoretically for less government, these guys are for virtually no government. But they are not conservative, in the normal sense.

Then of course there's the majority political registration in the US: Independent.

3/17/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger EddieP said...

Annoy Mouse

Thank you for your thoughtful deconstruction of the defeatRAT's positions. He has been consistently wrong, though never in doubt that his theories represent the only possible outcome.

3/17/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

One facet of the left's strategy that gets only rare recognition: over 44% of the U.S. population is now on the Gov't payroll (local, state, federal) or on the dole. Rampant illegal immigration swells that percentage dramatically, if we allow them to vote.

In 1960 Ayn Rand predicted it would occur by 2020, now Limbaugh notes that by 2015, the number of potential voters supported by the Gov't, directly and indirectly, will exceed 50%.

At that point, the conservatives will never win another election, solely because these two groups will be symbiotically aligned and intellectually inseperable.

3/17/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Geoffgo, we need another revolution.


"...when Ronald Reagan left office in 1988 he was dunning us 18.1% of GDP to pay for a federal government that spent 21.2% of GDP. In 2004, the last year for which I could find numbers, George W. Bush had lowered our tax burden to 16.3% of GDP-- a level last reached in 1959--to pay for a government that spent 19.8 of GDP.

There doesn't seem to be any coherent reason why a president's conservatism should be judged by how much he spends, but if you're using that as your yardstick then Mr. Reagan was the most liberal president since FDR during WWII and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are the most conservative since Nixon."

3/18/2006 08:58:00 AM  

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