Friday, March 31, 2006

Pretty pictures

The situation in Iraq  is sometimes hard to understand without drawing diagrams. Let's diagram the situation in Iraq according to Jill Carroll, a hostage who was recently released.

Voice: Why didn’t they save you?

Carroll: Well, I think the Mujahedeen are very smart and even with all the technology and all the people the American Army has here, they still are better at knowing how to live and work here and more clever, despite all the technology of the American Army, still more clever and better at being here than the American Army, still better at what they do.

Voice: Does this mean anything?

Carroll: I think it makes it very clear, it makes very clear that the Mujahedeen are the ones who will win in the end in this war, I think it makes very clear that even with thousands of troops and airplanes and tanks and guns that that doesn’t mean anything here on the ground in Iraq as it shows over time, maybe how many months over time or however (sic) months are left in the occupation that it’s pretty clear that the Mujahedeen are the ones that will have the victory left at the end of the day. It shows that no matter no matter what Americans try to say is happening here or try to do with all their weapons, they aren’t going to be able to stay here, they’re not going to be able to stop the Mujahedeen and that’s for sure.

That's Jill Carroll's diagram. Let's consider the view of the Belmont Club: that the Sunni insurgency was basically defeated in January, 2006. As I wrote in On the Eve of the Iraqi Elections:

Honest men of the Left must recognize that the US might actually have already won the military battle, a horror in itself; and even worse, might actually win the political fight ahead.

I repeated this analysis in Crunch Time Again

But my guess is that it's gone from battle-time (operating against insurgent forces) to purge-time (cleaning out hostile factions) and the emphasis has gone from facing the weaker enemy (the Sunni insurgency) to the stronger one: Iran.

I viewed the growth of the Iraqi Army and the campaign against the Sunni insurgencies lines of communications ("The River War") as having militarily defeated the Sunni insurgency. But there was a next phase. The political phase. Let's draw that picture.

 

Now let's draw the picture as Zarqawi sees it, from a letter he penned to his followers, which was intercepted in February, 2004. The full text is here. Part of it says:

The American army has begun to disappear from some cities, and its presence is rare. An Iraqi army has begun to take its place, and this is the real problem that we face ... This enemy, made up of the Shi`a filled out with Sunni agents, is the real danger that we face, for it is [made up of] our fellow countrymen, who know us inside and out. ... These in our opinion are the key to change. I mean that targeting and hitting them in [their] religious, political, and military depth will provoke them to show the Sunnis their rabies . and bare the teeth of the hidden rancor working in their breasts. If we succeed in dragging them into the arena of sectarian war, it will become possible to awaken the inattentive Sunnis as they feel imminent danger and annihilating death at the hands of these Sabeans. Despite their weakness and fragmentation, the Sunnis are the sharpest blades, the most determined, and the most loyal when they meet those Batinis (Shi`a), who are a people of treachery and cowardice.

Zarqawi's assessment, as I understand it, it is fundamentally identical to my own. The insurgency had no chance of defeating the US on the battlefield. However, if he could plunge Iraq into a sectarian conflict, he could yet win the political war where he had lost the military conflict.

Finally, let's look at the picture that is usually trumpeted in the popular press twenty four hours a day, which normally consists of the same stories -- 'today two American soldiers died, bring the number of deaths to' or 'newly discovered memos show that in the days leading up to the war' or 'defects in body armor have shown that' -- with variations for dates. It is almost intentionally repetitive, designed to convey a narrative that has no sense; no beginning; no end. Graphically it looks like this.

 

Zarqawi, whatever his moral infirmities, is a man with a firm grasp of the facts. He would not have survived as long as he has without it. He understands when he has a losing hand and when to start a new game. It's an instinct common to survivors but amazingly rare among people who write for a living. By way of example,  the richest man in Australia, Kerry Packer, recently died heart and renal disease. He was something of winner at making commercial bets and the tune that was played at his funeral was one that Zarqawi would have approved of, in a manner of speaking.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run. ...

Now ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
’cause ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

And what Zarqawi understood that he would get nowhere trying to fight the USA, especially when the new Iraqi Army came on line. He knew that if he was to win he had to play a game where the odds were more in his favor. But Jill Carroll and the MSM pretend not to understand that the Sunni insurgency has lost the campaign. They think Zarqawi is still playing the same old game. The game he gave up. So they continue to say things like: "I think it makes it very clear, it makes very clear that the Mujahedeen are the ones who will win in the end in this war, I think it makes very clear that even with thousands of troops and airplanes and tanks and guns that that doesn’t mean anything here on the ground in Iraq as it shows over time, maybe how many months over time or however (sic) months are left in the occupation that it’s pretty clear that the Mujahedeen are the ones that will have the victory left at the end of the day."

 

Does anyone actually think that the Mujahedeen (Sunni insurgency) is going to be able to expel the US Armed Forces and reimpose their former dominion over the Kurds and the Shi'as? No? but people say it all the time though they don't stop to think what it means. Jill Carroll apparently believes it. Well let's look at the Wretchard (and Zarqawi) diagram again.

A realistic assessment should include what has already been gained and what is left to gain. Some people think the Belmont Club is guilty of unwonted optimism simply because it is willing to accept what Zarqawi has practically admitted: that the Sunni insurgency is militarily beaten -- and that the struggle for the political outcome is now underway. And some readers may believe that I've gone all "gloomy" because I think the political outcome still hangs in the balance. But that is nothing more than stating a fact. Yet the essential difference is this: it's in context. Those who have done some rock climbing know that while it is important to grope for the next handhold along the line of climb it is equally important to remember the footholds you have already won. Forget where you are standing and you are lost. Unfortunately, much of the regular media coverage is almost designed to conceal where where we are standing and where we have to go. There is no context, as Bill Roggio once put it on a television interview. For most casual listeners of the news the US is trapped in a featureless and starchy soup, with no beginning or end. The War on Terror becomes portrayed as a shapeless shroud from which it is imperative to escape at all costs.

 

And that's sad because as Baron von Richthofen said, "Those who are afraid to take the next step will have wasted their entire previous journey."

147 Comments:

Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

We will not win politically unless all the tenets of Jihad are squarely at our sights. Any political "victory" will just be a temporary reprieve. The political dynamic soon enough revert to the original conditions that necessitated military intervention in the first place.

3/31/2006 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger luc said...

OT
How do you explain that only western-origin “Mujahedeen” lovers have been kidnapped lately? Then upon rescue or release sing praise to their kidnappers and blame the Americans. Are these kidnappings real?

Considering these fact and the number of western hostages taken and killed over the last year only an idiot would conclude that the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated and become unmanageable!!

3/31/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Baron von Richthofen also said:
"Good flying never killed anyone."

By which he meant that all of the fancy looping and rolling you can do is worthless if you can't put the guns on the target.

The insurgency is looping and rolling like all get out. The mainstream media is mightly impressed by these aerobatics.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and the New Iraqi Army are laying waste to the Baron's Flying Circus.

3/31/2006 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

W's logic and analysis wrings truth out of these confusing episodes. Excellent read. Are the kidnappings 'real' indeed! How can they not be seen as 'staged' any clearer than this?

With a little more time enough Iraqi payback and 'societal settling' will have occurred so that the question will no longer be on anyone's lips but for the forever clueless western MSM.

Iran -- watch out!

3/31/2006 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger Bon Air said...

There just isn't any question about the war being won. The question is whether peace and stability can be obtained, and that is currently up in the air. I suppose Jill carol is lumping all this together. The MSM love her and will soak up any anti-coalition comments she makes. The "game" being played to "wait Bush out" and continue creating instability and fomenting sectarian violence is cause for gloom. Many of our leaders don't have the stones to stick it out and win the peace. The MSM and their minions would say it's time to fold em and run away. I find it very sad to think people want to run and call this a failure just so Bush looks bad. Hell with the west, as long as we (the left, MSM) were right.

3/31/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

It's been "Awfully" quite over there the last couple of days, hasn't it?

3/31/2006 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Glenmore said...

Thi military outcome is not determined - neither Zarqawi nor the Baathists can defeat the US on the battlefield, but they very well may be able to cause the US to leave the battlefield. As Rumsfeld pointed out earlier this week, these guys are cleaning our clock in the information war: the US (& British, Australian, etc.) people won't support what they see as a hopeless cause forever. The cause, of course, is the establishment of a stable and free Iraq. Zark et al. don't have to defeat the Coalition; they don't even have to prevent a stable and free Iraq; all they have to do is make people believe they can prevent a stable and free Iraq, and they (and their allies) are doing a good job of that.

But, as you said, they still won't win the military war, now that their internal opposition is stronger. They won't have a successful political outcome either. If the Sunni insurgency 'succeeds' and the US withdraws, the Shia (& Kurdish?) militias will be unconstrained in exacting revenge on their former oppressors, and a lot of them may not be concerned about collateral damage (death of innocent Sunni Arabs). This is the civil war model that seems to be the Zarq goal.
The point at issue then is not whether Zarq or Baath 'wins', but who else loses (everybody).
Possibilities:
1) quick civil war and only partial genocide of Sunni Arabs, resulting in an Iraqi Shia Iraq with an essentially autonomous Kurdistan.
2) protracted civil war with total genocide and Iranian-dominated Shia Iraq, with Kurdistan in limbo.
3) protracted civil war devolving into widespread regional war and world depression.
In all cases Zarqawi and the Baathists lose totally. No possible outcome is even remotely favorable to them. All they can hope to do is make their enemies suffer too - old comic book plot "If I can't win, I will destroy the whole world."
The challenge for the coalition is to convince the Iraqis to reach a political settlement that accepts Sunni and secular (and Shia) moderates and colls conflict over past Arabization of Kurdistan. Iran doesn't want this kind of settlement, so they become interim allies of Zarq & the Baathists (think Stalin-Hitler, or Stalin-Churchill). The best chance to meet this challenge requires international support and extended presence of 'peacekeeping' troops (hard to imagine the current situation as 'peace', but consider the alternative.)
And getting the required widespread support is likely the biggest challenge of all.

3/31/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/31/2006 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

To me the US wins if we stay in one of the three areas of Iraq for a long time. Then we get the big intelligence benefit, our intelligence officers on the ground, recruiting agents and sending them into Iraq, Saudi, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, etc. Plus I bet we have killed about 5 or 6 jihadis for every US soldier killed.

Since we will stay in Kurdistan whatever happens to Iraq as a whole it has been well worth it for the US and opponents of the jihadis.

3/31/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

The Sunnis have a sort of short man syndrome, they think they're much larger than they really are. I've read they believe there are teemings masses of uncounted Sunnis that will rise and retake control of Iraq.

3/31/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard,

Thanks for making this clear once again. The Belmont Club has been a treasure during this bramble-patch phase of the war.

You are very correct in stating that there is no context in most media and lib views of the war. I often ask my friends "Well, what was happening before we invaded, what was going on in the world?" Of course, they're not interested in that, in fact a lot of them seem to believe Michael Moore's fantasy of happy people flying kites with women's rights before mean old Bush caused all this trouble.

This purposeful fuzziness is willful ignorance. The reason there is no context, no history before 1/20/01 even, is because in many people's heads, one songs plays forever, it's always Dino crooning:

Make the world go away

Get it off my shoulder

Say the things you used to say

And make the world go away

Say the things you used to say

And make the world go away

3/31/2006 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jill Carroll is free to believe whatever she wants, and the Christian Science Monitor is free to hire whoever it wants, and I'm free to wonder how in the hell a reputable publication could possibly expect to get any reputable reporting from a Jill Carroll.

3/31/2006 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The question revolves once more to, whom is the Enemy. aQ, the Sunni or the Iranian influence within the SCIRI?

Was the challenge, after the Invasion, primarily military?
The answer to that is a resounding NO.

The Conflict in Iraq has not been a Military one for well over a year, even longer.

Look back to the amount of manpower used in any of the Rat Line Operations. No major movements of US troops or major Military Operations anywhere, in Iraq, since Fallujah II.

We have been involved in Civil Operations and Administration since the fall of Baghdad. Remember the all schools opened, the electric generation, sewer construction. Those have been our primary "Military" concerns since Fallujah II, and before.

As Mr Rumsfeld said, just days ago, if we left today, those in charge would create in Iraq a situation as bad as Saddam, for US.

Mr Rumsfeld should know. His outlook is gloomy. Our Allies in Iraq are false friends or would be unable to hold the Country, against whom?
Is that a Military failure, I think not, but it is a profound Political one.

In the Information Wars, the US is losing, according to Mr Rumsfeld. Is that a Military failure? The US Military has never been tasked to fight the Information War, in the Mohammedan Wars.
Besides the Information Wars cannot be won against a nameless foe. Is the Enemy Wahabbist or Shia? Is it the Hezzbollah operatives captured, according to E.D. Hill on FOX News, infiltrating our southern frontier?

Is it the Religion of Peace?
Mr Bush says not.

Id it SCIRI or the Sunni, obviously not, as both are invited to jointly, along with the Kurds, rule Iraq. That they, combined, are equivilent to Saddam, that is cause for real concern.

3/31/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

The media assumption is that Jill Carroll was not complicit in her own kidnapping, and was not "pro-jihadist" from the beginning

3/31/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The woman could well be in a "Stckholm Syndrom" situation.
She saw he driver/ translator gunned down and killed. That would be quite traumatic, for anyone.
Even US Marines, let alone a liberal arts major that writes for a living.

3/31/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Perception is reality.

The problem with any insurgency or guerilla warfare is that is always degrades to brutality at the smallest level. Human beings cannot contemplate the meaning of large numbers. One million dead in Cambodia does not register, but one picture of a village chief being beheaded reaches everyone’s understanding.

Modern instant media severely handicaps "the big picture". The camera has a microscopic field of view. Any political process must take into account the reality of perception. It must be cognizant of time-lines and public patience.

The Islamists understand that. They are un-restrained in the use of any level of barbarity. If the US has any chance in prevailing in such a war in the present era, it must do most of the work off-camera, off record and use proxies that are prepared to meet the enemy at any level and any terms. Sean Connery said it best: "Chicago Style". Any other way and you lose, they win.

3/31/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

W,

there is an analogous situation here to business strategy. Good "gamblers" know when to hold and fold; good business strategists do the same. They also know, as well as, how to shape the competitive playing field to their advantage.

One way of doing this is to recognize that there are two distinctly different, yet related, arenas for competition- the market and the non-market environments.

In the former, firms vie with one another for valuable and rare resources and capabilities. They configure them into unique, hard to imitate, and hopefully profitable business models. The end toward which such activity is directed is the attainment of temporary, or better yet, sustained competitive advantage.

In the non-market environment, the rivals are the same but the competition takes another form. Competition isn't for market share any longer and it doesn't take place in the marketplace or distribution channels.

Rather, it's for legitimacy and primacy and other "force multipliers" that only widely respected and powerful institutions can confer. Among the most important are government and regulatory bodies ,the media, the courts, and the court of public opinion.

Through laws, regulations, sympathetic media coverage, and public (dis)affection, the competitive playing field can be reshaped to one player's advantage and to another's disadvantage.

Smart strategists know that these institutions have a unique role as arbiters of fairness, legality, and normative expectations. They know that the non-market environment is where the rules of the game are written and rewritten.

The smart strategists know how and when to shift the locus of competition from the market to the non-market environment and know what to acquire from the latter so that they may better compete on the playing field.

Although most of the ink in business textbooks is devoted to operational and tactical methods for prevailing in the marketplace, more attention is now being given by business academics to the whys and wherefores of non-market strategy. I'd be happy to recommend some readings in this area to anyone who's interested.

3/31/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

The Iranians are now saying that their goal is to wait out the Bush presidency as they figure that the and the rest of the west will move away from confrontation with the next president.

(however after half an hour of searching I can't find the link where I saw that.)

3/31/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Paine said...

"Let's kidnap a pretty young jounalist -- brainwash her for a few months -- and turn her loose to spread gloom and defeat amongst all her very suceptible media 'comrades'.

"Now, let's see, who's next on the list?"

Abu Musab Zarqawi

3/31/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Starling David Hunter--I'd be interested in how to shift 'non-market forces' in a small college town--planning and zoning commission, city council, liberal university elites, etc. vs. the working folks--away from do-nothing, restrictive zoning, terribly high taxes,faking info about danger to existing water supplies as rational to freeze crreativity and business, etcetc. to something resembling the more open city I grew up in.

3/31/2006 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here you go, buddy.
Even the venerable VDH has joined the chorus, wake up my Texican friend, smell the coffee.

" ... ...There are over 300 million resident Americans, and the vast majority of them are citizens. Had the demonstrators marched chanting "God Bless America," confined their flag waving to Old Glory, and expressed thanks to a magnanimous United States that gave them a second chance when a corrupt Mexico has precluded their first, then they would have won public support.

As for as the immigration debate itself, we all know the truth that we suppress and the lies that we voice. Language has been the first casualty of our disingenuousness. "Illegal alien" is a descriptive, not a racist, term. In contrast, "undocumented worker" is deliberately misleading, since in most cases documents were never at issue, and not all aliens are workers. "Racism" has nothing to do with a failed system that appalls Asian- and African-Americans alike, as well as bewilders frustrated and patient Koreans, Punjabis, Africans, and Filipinos who did not cut ahead in the long legal immigration line. "Nativist" means nothing when Americans presently welcome in more legal immigrants that any other nation on earth.

Yes, illegal immigration provides a valuable source of cheap labor. But such jobs are not just those Americans will never take, but comprise work that they won't seek out at such cheap wages. Where compensation rises, citizen workers will follow. ... "


Mrs Hill, on FOX News, reported that amongst the semi skilled, unemployment is 14%, much higher than the National rate. These are the folk that need the jobs that the Illegal Immigrant Criminals are taking.

Let the US Market set the wages, not labor "dumped" here from Mexico.
We do not allow EU steel to be dumped, nor Canadian lumber, why do we allow people to be dumped, contrary to the Law.
Why is the Law not enforced?
Who has been corrupted?

3/31/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

The new "strategy" of the insurgency/Zarqawi, though, may be just to immiserate the population and blame it, via Sadr-Jafaari, continually on the United States, trusting that, no matter how tenacious the US remains, the country cannot but deteriorate economically under the constant stress of sabotages and whatnot. I wonder how long Iraqis will trust and appreciate us? This seems like a great untold obvious thing here: we have won the vast majority of Iraqis' hearts and minds already, or have conducted ourselves in a way which makes indifference to our presence a given. Now THAT is actually pretty amazing. The only opponents of stability, resusitation, and progress seem also to be the usual bad Arab leaders following the same impulse that has landed the entire Mid-Asian zone in this historical trough. Of course now the Western media has contributed its share by gratifying and further deluding the half US and 3/4 Euro populace who are useless but to their own wallets anyway. But it may be that we have earned our superpower reputation And gotten some credit for our moral pretensions, and that is a worthy thing when added to military victory. With politics, we remain hopelessly dependent on regional players anyway, so dicsussions which omit descriptions of those players - as the media has always only constantly done - are merely lies, at this point. Surely, if they can't go out on the streets of Baghdad, reporters can at least interview the political moguls in the Green Zone.

3/31/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Almost forgot
VDH

" ... Yes, most aliens work hard, but a small minority of them do not, and find themselves involved in criminal activity. And given the large pool of illegal immigrants from Mexico, that small minority can still reach several thousands--such as the nearly 15,000 aliens currently locked up in the California penal system alone, at a cost of a half-billion public dollars a year. ... "

3/31/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

glenmore: In all cases Zarqawi and the Baathists lose totally. No possible outcome is even remotely favorable to them. All they can hope to do is make their enemies suffer too

It might be that Zarqawi wants to pull everything down, like Samson in the temple

Or it might be that he anticipates bugging out of there to sanctuary once civil war breaks out, and that he is being financed to accomplish just that: turn Iraq into a tar baby that just absorbs American resources, leaving the US too weak to oppose another move elsewhere (eg China moving on Taiwan)

3/31/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

On that poker analogy, the huge Jill Carroll "tell" is the video made of her sobbing in terror and pleading for help. I imagine some money changed hands, and as rat sez, she's lost her senses (Stockholm-style) in relief, and those who held her in terror of her life are now--in her mind--god-like in their power. I'm sure she's also afraid they'll come for her or her loved ones again, anywhere, anytime, and so she'd better try for some love.

And there's the fashionable allure of the trappings. Patty Hearst really dug how cool that beret and Thompson submachine gun accessorized. Jill likes the Muz headgear, obviously. Hannah Arendt had the phrase.

3/31/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yeah Rat I'm with you - don't we already have immigration laws? Doesn't every nation? Is this not an obvious corollary to the idea of political boundaries? Why do we even need to discuss this? But once the argument has been given over the economists, I"ve noticed, the matter has always already been decided, however unnoticed the turning point. The "nation states are dying [because we hope and say so]," fake-transnationalist-but-really-3rd-World-gimmegimme-ist have succeeded, as usual, in framing a debate the correction of which will only succeed in fulfilling their "US is racist! Imperialist!" mantra.

How do they keep DOING this!? Tricky, manipulative bastards.

3/31/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger MikeHoskins said...

Team Wretch,
I can't find the reference, but didn't Zawahiri suggest fewer beheading videos and a more sympathetic line, hence the helpful idiot theater like Ms. Carroll?

Also, while the media war in the west is critical, we haven't (At least not that I have seen) heard anything about the media war in Iraq; equally critical, for they after all, will make the final decisions.

This leads to the concept that the macro political outcome will be the sum of the micro life decisions on the ground, in country.

3/31/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The political battle is raging.

The other day I saw on the news Jafaari telling the coach to get used to Milkdud al Sadr's presence in the game and telling "others" not to interfere with the process. I like the idea of not interfering with the process, letting them figure it out on their own, but if they are going to make a mess out of it, then it may require some serious arm twisting by "others".

As far as Jill Carrol goes, lay off of her for the moment. She is now opening up about her kidnapping with US authorities, and that video? Any video made by a hostage in my opinion is extremely dubious. After all, throughout the whole ordeal she could never know if it was her last hour. If Jill hits the stage with OCindy Bin Sheehan then have at her, until then cut her some slack

Hehehe, reminds me of this photo of a marine smiling and shaking Hillary Clinton's hand. The marine is making a very subtle gesture a marine buddy tells me is the signal for coercion.

3/31/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

papa
That was aQ's plan, the reason for 9-11. All that was modifed, from their Action Plan was the locale, not the eventual outcome.

We used to link to copies of those plans, they were quite publicized by our Enemy. Thet nener intendded to beat US militarily, but politically.
They remember that War is but an extension of Politics, by different means. In Mohammeden lands, about the only means, it seems.

3/31/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Marcus A--good thought, give her some time. I just get so tired of journalists who take that power of expertise onto themselves, but do no prep, do not look into history, into the larger issues of which of the political systems in conflict intend to be humane and open, and which intend the opposite.

3/31/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I heard Jill already has signed a contract with the
Islamic Science Monitor.

3/31/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

There is no rational scenario that allows the US to leave Iraq. They may well, at some point, invite us to leave but a negotitated placement of forces will remain.Call it the Korean tripwire. By whatever name we'll be there.
Bases in the desert occupied by only US troops, aircraft and oil technicians. We must make sure the oil field are secure FOR our use. It may not sound good but it's a inescapable fact.
We also will need to remain in control of the airspace. Eventually the Saudi's will have to be taken down. Iran is in for a dose of never before seen detonation. Iraq we must hold, be they "sovereign" or not.
Our mistake, and it remains a flawed mindset is antisceptic war making. We didn't kill in sufficient numbers to impress the 17th century mind of the mid east.
We "repected" our enemies traditions, religion, folkways and mores, when we should have simply killed then in huge numbers.
We didn't an iota more respect from any nation for our clean-war-no-collateral-damage-don't-blow-up-the-mosque approach.
Win hearts and minds, bullshit. Kill 'em.

3/31/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That would be War, habu 1.
The US does not do War, any more.
We manage battlespace.
There is a big difference.

3/31/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Isn't it obvious to anyone who hasn't gone 'round some psychological bend, that if the folks who didn't murder her are so fine, how fine must be the folks who never even kidnapped her? But to the Jill mind, those folks deserve no word, they are simply an accepted background reality. The terrorists are "prodigal sons".

Why doesn't it occur that that accepted background decency isn't an accident, isn't the default state-of-being, but is rather something that has clearly--see 'history'--been wrested from the state of nature, and is always in a fight to prevent a return there?

3/31/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"the nearly 15,000 aliens currently locked up in the California penal system alone"
---
Alone, indeed:
That doesn't include our patriotic, America Loving Immigrants temporarily residing in the LA County JAILS to the tune of 60%.
---
This would be bad in Paris,
In the USA, it's good:
Just ask Boy Howdy.

3/31/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"We manage battlespace"
---
We're losing, from LA to Houston.

3/31/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I meant on the Flagpoles.

3/31/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Americans don't want to build houses anymore.
Lazy Bastard Iraq Vets.

3/31/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Pretty Pictures

I agree with the entire post. I would add a couple of items.

The power of the US to affect the political outcome in Iraq is, I think, underrated. I believe we have substantial leverage to affect Iraqi politicians and bring them together. The administration appears to be doing all it can to achieve positive results. Ambassador Khalilzad appears to be a heavy weight that is not afraid to throw a punch. The media is all over the difficulty the Iraqi’s are having forming a government with new predictions of failure and gloom almost everyday. But, it’s not over until it’s over, and it’s not over. Can it still go wrong? Of course.

The second factor that bears on the political outcome in Iraq is the political situation in the US. The war has boiled down to its essence, a battle of wills. Does the US population have the will to win in Iraq? I don’t know. Many American politicians employ the worst type of cynical demagoguery over the Iraq war in their attempts to gain political advantage. The MSM facilitates and cooperates in this. So far, the effect is to drive down the poll ratings for the war and the administration. But, it is not clear that the concerted Democratic/MSM effort has softened American will to victory. I think many Americans remember the shame and humiliation of the Vietnam era and reject that. The shame and humiliation were brought about by the nihilistic, relativistic, me first culture of the 60’s, and the poor political management of the struggle, not by our brave men and women who fought in that struggle and won every battle. These men and women are American heroes who have my respect and admiration.

Anyway, along with the military and political efforts in country, I believe the battle for victory in Iraq rages in American newspapers, television broadcasts, radio shows, and right here on the internet. Americans must not loose our collective will. We must achieve victory in Iraq. Victory means a stable country with a free and representative government capable of defending itself.

Americans must not loose our collective will to prevail in future struggles with fascist elements of Islam. The looming struggle is Iran. Recent events in the UN give the Iranians 30 days to start cooperating with respect to their nuclear ambitions. After the 30 days comes the real test. It is likely the Russians and to a lesser extent the Chinese will defuse attempts to apply meaningful sanctions. America will likely bring together another coalition of the willing to apply sanctions, but it will probably boil down to an American military strike to slow Iranian progress. The struggle called the GWOT, or whatever one may call it, does not end with Iraq.

3/31/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Right on Wretchard.

I get a sense that there is an almost universal underlying psychological barrier that seems to prevent honest, objective discussion about United States foreign policy, maybe even discussions about the USA in general.

I can't say whether it's good or bad but I do know that this barrier is not neutral. What is this barrier? I can't describe it precisely but it stems from an unconcious belief, by both Left and Right, that the United States is omnipotent. We see evidence of it all the time. From the Left by the constant assertions that the US "installed" "supported" or "removed" this character or another. And from the Right with statements like "we'll just take over the oil fields." I don't know from where else the broadly accepted notion that we can fight wars without taking casualties and hurting people could come from.

I suppose it's good in the sense that US policy makers will attempt ahistorical things like democratizing Islamic oligarchies. And bad in the sense that a lack of instant success is automatically deemed a failure. We have to do better.

The USA may be the biggest bloke on the block, but we're still just another bloke on the block. We're out there grubbing for power, influence and outcomes just like every body else. We don't always get the best table in the joint. That's the way it is. That's the way it has always been for the 10,000 years we know about. Why is that so hard to understand and internalize?

American exceptionalism is a very real thing. As a country, a society, a group of individuals we can help move humanity along a better path. If the USA does not do it now it may be 1,000 years before the opportunity comes again. It may never come again. We cannot give up on or cede for one minute to the Left or the Islamists the belief that individual liberty and a fair shot at economic opportunity are inalienable human rights that history has entrusted to us for all.

3/31/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

All Things Beautiful TrackBack Suspicion:

"Wretchard has an excellent not to be missed post, diagramming the situation in Iraq according to Jill Carroll."

3/31/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Religion of Peace

Open Borders

Compassionate Conservative.

Expand a bankrupt Medicare System

Stay the Course

Victory or Defeat on someone else's watch

3/31/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

Wretchard,
The rock climbing reference is outstanding--provided a moment of clarity for me. Thanks for that. Yesterday when I woke to the Jill Caroll news as reported by NPR, I learned that she was released just like the CPT captives were. At first I thought they meant freed by coalition forces, then I realized what they really meant. They went on to tell of how it was always her dream to report from a war zone, then immediately cut to about 5 seconds of dark, omnious piano music. I find great sport in identifying NPR subliminal (and not so subliminal) bias.

3/31/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Bon air,
"Many of our leaders don't have the stones to stick it out and win the peace."

We need to stop just blaming the leadership. A very significant portion of the general populace also fits that description. As a nation we have become spoiled and soft. It's not just the fault of the leaders.

3/31/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

What we have here is an active case of Mad Cow disease. Jill Carroll was infected by the Jihadi virus long before she ventured to Iraq. Until we identify Jihadi carriers as diseased, the weak will continue to buckle to the psychological pressure of the Jihadist.

3/31/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

rat:
"The question revolves once more to, whom is the Enemy. aQ, the Sunni or the Iranian influence within the SCIRI?"

How about both? But I'll go you one further. What started out as a battle between Wahabbist Islam and The Great Satan on 9/11/01 has turned into a proxy war between the Anglosphere and those regional powers who see it as a threat to their influence and interests.

How else can the Venezuela/ China/Iran cooperation be explained? Both SCIRI and aQ are proxies in this fight. Neither is THE enemy, but each is an enemy. And, even worse for the hopes of those who look for "peace in our time", this fight is only about strategic advantage for the next one.

As I've said, and I think you did on this post (or the last one), there's a game of chicken going on with Iran right now. The first party to flinch and take overt action gives away the advantage.

3/31/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

I wonder why no one has suggested freed captives as suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome.

3/31/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

....manage battle space, Americas "will" to continue a long struggle ... the managed battle space is great parody, kudos. How ever their are still a vast number of Anglo-Americans who believe we can keep this country together ..newsflash .. a few dirty bombs on Wall Street, the DC area, LA, Chicago, and we're toast economically. Don't expect the new Latino barrios to jump in for the good old USA. They'll be fanned by the latest iteration of Latin American anti-Americanism. Hell W was almost assassinated down there a few years ago. It's fashionable to be against the US and we haven't even the guts to secure our own borders.
The window to change all this is rapidly closing, if in fact it can be done.
I've seen several countries go down in my life up close, Rhodesia, Vietnam ... civil war here is a distinct possibility.

So how do you slow it or stop it? Unmerciful killing on fields far away that are broadcast worldwide. The message gets through...stay in line.

3/31/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

habu_1, sometimes I have the same thought--is the USA heading toward another civil war?

Then I laugh at myself, knowing that too much news-watching and blog-reading abstracts the deep political divisions into representations of everyday life in the physical marketplace, which obviously includes all political persuasions cooperating continuously.

But then again I wonder why, if say someone like Teddy Kennedy were elected president and began dismantling everything exceptional about the nation, why on earth anyone would want to stay a union?

Bad thinking, but inevitable after all this half-decade of acid corrosion.

3/31/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

I really pity our parents' generation, so many of whom lived their entire lives entranced by the MSM's grip on their perception of social, political and foreign reality.

We are fortunate to belong to a generation which has a real chance to wake up and see for ourselves what is really going on around us. I detest all these stupid journalists and the simple-minded ideologies they are so determined to force on us. They are for the most part poorly educated and poorly paid losers who think we owe them a living.

3/31/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"everyday life in the physical marketplace"
---
American Citizens being displaced from their jobs by Illegals is the physical marketplace in everyday life.

3/31/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The only US Border actively defended is the Florida Coast line. There the Federals work endless hours to keep Cubans from reaching "Land" and legal immigrant status, as provided by Law.
Off the coast of Florida INS and the Coast Guard diligently try to stop and forcibly return to Mr Castro's Communist paradise as many prospective, "legal" immigrants as possible.

These Cubans, when compared to the six thousand or so Mexicans crossing into the US each night, are numerically insignifigant.

Selective enforcement of the Law, for what Political end?
Why enforce the letter of the Law towards Cubans, acknowledged by the Law as Political refugees, while ignoring both the letter and the spirit of the Law towards Mexico?

3/31/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cubans don't fly the Cuban Flag when they get here.
Pathetic Creatures:
Have they no pride?

3/31/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I still have yet to hear why the French are cowards for caving to Muslim Street Riots,
but here it shows how *enlightened* we are to indulge lawbreakers proclaiming their lack of respect for the USA and it's laws.

3/31/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Youhavetobekidding said...

1. Sorry, I supported this war but I am hearing Iraq is a mess and while winnable, we are currently spinning our wheels ala, yes, Vietnam.

2.Our forces move in and out too quickly to have any institutional knowledge, ergo, when one set of soldiers finally get the knack of things, they are shipped out and a new set come in, make all the same initial mistakes and when they finally "get it," they are shipped out. Vicious cycle.

3. The Sunnis beef at this point is the fact that the Shias control the goverment and do not use its power in a fair manner. For example, the Shia bar Sunnis from joining the militiary etc. The Shia police forces, while competent, only focus on the Sunnis and allow Shias to do whatever they want.

4. The Sunnis other beef at this point is their fear that Iran is de facto taking over. They cannot understand why we are letting this happen. Again, there is absolutely nothing we can do to assuage them otherwise. While the Sunni insurgency has not been defeated, it is not going to "win" in the sense that they are going to take over Iraq. Let's face it, no one on the ground there wants democracy because they cannot get past their own agendas.

5. The Iraqi Army en masse is not going to confront what is one of problems: the battle against the Shia militias that are engaging in tit-for-tat sectarian revenge killings an, in some instance, in contol "on the ground", i.e. Sadr et al.. While there are Iraqi "Specical Forces" who can be trusted to take on Shia militias (with our assistance), an example of this is the battle that occured recently at the mosque, we are going to have to be actively involved on this front.

6. Here are signals of where Iraq is going next: A. Note that the Sunni insurgent attacks of late have not been against us, but against the government and the economy. I believe the Sunni insurgency is attempting to show us that we are not their enemy. B. Bush has recently expressed concerns about the make-up of the Shia dominated government. C. The mosque incident is indicative of our intent to start going after Sadr and the Shia militias.

3/31/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Show some compassion and quit your whining, doug, or I have to find a cot at Gitmo for you, too.

It's off to Cuba for you rightest defeatists that do not want to Stay the Course.

Rally round the flag, boys.

Eso es bandera in espanol, la lingua para su vida nueva, Aztland siempre.

3/31/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

habu:
One option, although explicitly unconstitutional in the state of Texas, is revoke due process and legal protections from persons in the US without visas. Or, just set that up as a consequence of committing a crime. Declare them "outlaw", and give 'em a bus ride to the nearest border.

Like I said, the process of declaring a person outlaw can't be done in Texas. Perhaps they had reason for writing that into their Constitution. Maybe the idea that a person with no legal status would be less protected from torture and exploitation than a household pet put them off.

It's one of those thorny issues, because most Americans believe that humans have rights by virtue of existence. What do we do with the 8 of 10 million illegals who came here to be Americans, ie work hard, raise a family, and commit no other crime but being here?

Doug:
About that Cuban flag... Have you ever been to Miami?

Rat:
Yes, enforce the law first. If it is unenforceable it needs to be changed. If it should not be enforced, it needs to be changed. But for now, it needs to be enforced as often as possible.

3/31/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger MikeHoskins said...

Kidding,
I respectfully suggest you recheck your facts. They are wrong, on every count.

3/31/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe photoshop in the new flag in place of the old on that Hill on Okinawa?

3/31/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Portends the ultimate collapse of Europe, unbridled immigration by foreigners.
In the US, their presence ensures that no framing carpenters in AZ speak english. That's all.

3/31/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The law is it is against the law to hire illegals:
Better to change it than to enforce it because of that new Human Right esposed by Ted Kennedy, GWB, and the WSJ:
Slavery for Americans.

3/31/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Forgot to explicitly mention on my last post that I think that enforcing immigration law as it stands should be the primary focus. I guess that means that even if they aren't committing any additional crimes and working hard, if La Migra catches 'em, enforce the law.

Heh. Makes me think of that Cheech movie where that family calls immigration on themselves to get a free ride to the border when they want to attend a wedding in Mexico.

3/31/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat
Why don't the local State sue the Federals? If the Federals can't or wont abide the the agreed constitutional responsibility, then the State has every right to secede and take matters of border security in its own hands.

3/31/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

8:49 AM,
Another Job
"Americans Won't Do"

3/31/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Do American Employers who want to respect the laws have any rights in the "New Vision?"
So far, they have the right to find a new line of work,
or country.
Free Market Indeed:
We Owe Mexico a Free Lunch.
(plus meds, college tuition etc)
Universal Rights for SOME Animals on the farm.
What a crock.

3/31/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

mat,
'Cause

Mr Richardson wants to be a Federal employee, again.
Ms Napalitano does not have the cajones.
Arnold is surfing the wave. He's the one that had 500,000 marching behind la bandera de Mexico.
Texas, they're the Six Flags folk, but Texas controls the Federal Government, more so than any other State, today.
We have a Texican Border Policy, ask buddy, that's where he's from.

3/31/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

We don't know but a tiny fraction of the institutional local-knowledge built-up and in-use by the units in-theater. And I've gotta get over this hypthen-thing. No, really, our expertise--most of us writing here--is pretty much confined to expertise on how the perceptions, as we 'have' them, are being managed. IMHO. I say this because a far historian, or the gods on olympus--would be looking at this whole picture and saying, "Hey, considering the problems as they actually exist, the good guys ain't so far behind the curve."

I can't help but remember the early post-911 consensus that the free world was in for a ten-year war, at the very least, and likely more like fifty. The last big war started at the beginning of the 20th century, went hot in 1914, and didn't end until the Wall Fall in 1989.

Now, four years into this attempted takeover by an alliance of the hyper-rich and ultra-poor, it's gone too long? Who and what shrunk the time-line that we had in mind back before OEF, back when we were big-picture generalists?

3/31/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I get it:
POTUS is from Texas,
Now that's the law of the LAND,
where 70% of the CITIZENS would like their rights, laws, and heritage shown SOME respect.
F... em, and the descendents of slaves, as well.

3/31/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat
Can't a citizen group sue on behalf of the State? At least this would create the initial political pressure for the State to then take up the initiative.

3/31/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

...Adam Smith in his treatise preceeding, "An Inquiry into the Cause and Affect of the Wealth of Nation" wrote, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments". In both publications a major theme was what he called "the invisible hand", explaining that each individual acts in his own interests but ends up supporting an end to which he is either unknowledgeable about or unknowing in it's outcome.
Does this apply today? A qualified and impuissant yes. Today's citizen is much more highly manipulated by corporations and politicians than ever before and by more sophistacted methods. Our history is not taught robbing generations of a true grounding in representative democracy. Thus we make very good lemmings.
Since we require nothing of our citizens but unaccounted for taxes they are free to be as unimformed as they are. Today we live on the razor's edge of delight and disaster.
Our invisible hand is a chimera of Enron's false studio/trading floor they showed the Wall Street due diligence analysts.
A once great nation is slipping away. Duped by requiring nothing.
There are enough of us left to challenge the slide, armed if necessary, but it will be messy.
But hell, ya can't live forever.

3/31/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, blame Texas if it makes you feel better, but I do bleeve that the bulk of the illegals are coming over th AZ border, and heading west for CA. Or am I wrong?

3/31/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That, doug, and the redistricting, in Texas, gave it an even bigger role in Washington Power Politics. All beholdin' to Mr DeLay.

Lots of Mr Bush's "insiders" are Texicans, as well.

Texas is also a Electoral College powerhouse, one that is not devided, it speaks as one, at the Federal level.

So Texas has the Presidency, lots of Federal appointees, with a large and solid Representation in Congress. Mr DeLay's position, while diminshed is still strong.

as the say in Six Flags country,
Don't mess with Texas.

Some folk there seem to think that there could be Seven Flags over Texas, if need be.

3/31/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We Blame the Feds for not enforcing Federal Law and employers employing illegals in place of legal citizens then spreading VICIOUS LIES about
"JOBS AMERICANS WON'T DO"
Not Good.

3/31/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oh, Federal Law has been superseded by the new realities on the ground.
OK

3/31/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You're right, buddy.
Most now come through AZ, through the country bisected by the old "el camino diablo".
Many die each summer crossing it.

Greater enforcement activities in Texas and around San diego moved the transit routes, but has not stopped the infiltration.

No longer are the illegals "wetbacks" as they were in the days Texas was the primary entry point to the US, from Mexico.

The Chief Law enforcer in the Country is a Texican, proud of it.
Mr DeLay still packs a punch.
You favor the nonenforcement of the Law, or have in the past.

If US Immigration Policy as it exists is not Mr Bush's, a Texican by choice, whose Policy is it?

3/31/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

met:
I think the whole 'Right to Secede' thing was settled in 1865. Besides that, it would be amputating the hand to remove the splinter.

doug:
Don't conflate two issues that are being argued seperately here. One is the correctness of current American policy, the other is the selective to nonexistant enforcement of Federal Law.

IMO, it is never in the interest of people to allow the government to get away with selective law enforcement. Start lettin' them do it for a cause you're in favor of, and you'll have no excuse when you end up on the short end.

Rat:
Actually, the Mexican flag and the Texas flag are both already in those Six. I assume you were referring to the former, but the RoT boys would definitely take up arms in favor of the latter at that point.

3/31/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It has been you, buddy, that has trumpted the virtues of open borders. Of the great economic benefits to States that allow for such "wage lowering" to occur.

Texas is such a State.
The most powerful of States at the Federal Level.

We have a Policy that Texicans consider benefical, to Texas.
You have said so, paraphrased, yourself.

3/31/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

No, Rat, I've never been for non-enforcement. I'm just you and doug's foil on the issue, because I keep reminding y'all that this problem is not a matter of us border-dwellers grabbing shotguns and chasing the illegals back across the river. The problem is very big, millions of illegals around here with legal children and grandkids. It's an issue now with full national attention, and something is being done to rectify the 'look-the-other-way' nature of the past hundred and fifty years.

I wouldn't even argue with the two of you except that all those CAPITAL LETTERS of dougs makes me feel like a worm unless I run outside and shoot me some meskins.

3/31/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The next Texican Flag, if there ever were one, I'd consider "new" even if of old design.

3/31/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then I have misunderstood your defense of the staus que.
I would be aghast if people took up arms against the infiltrators. That is why Federal Law Enforcement is so important.
Keeps vigilantes off the streets and in the bars where they belong.

3/31/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

VDH is in favor of shooting Mexicans too, that's why I capitalize his initials:
Even his Mexican Family members.
I guess those would be cheap shots.

3/31/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Brett,
This aint 1865. That much should be obvious. :) And think of the levies the Southern States could mount on all the cross border trade with Mexico should they become independent. There's a lot of incentive here to grab the Federals' undivided attention.

3/31/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, here's an email that was going 'round Texas before the election. If you're already pissed off that big states have commensurate power, then this'n'll frost ya good:
************

Please note that Texas is the only state with a legal right to secede
from the Union (Reference the Texas-American Annexation Treaty of
1848).


We Texans love y'all, but we'll have to take action if Kerry wins over
Bush. We'll miss you too. Texas has given all those complainers plenty
of time to get used to the results of the last election. After seeing
the whiners along the campaign route, the folks from Texas are
considering taking matters into their own hands.

Here is what will happen:

#1: If John Kerry becomes President of the United States, Texas will
immediately secede from the Union.

#2: George W. Bush will become the President of the Republic of Texas.

So what does Texas have to do to survive as a Republic?

1. NASA is just south of Houston, Texas. We will control the space
industry.

2. We refine over 85% of the gasoline in the United States.

3. Defense Industry--we have over 65% of it. The term "Don't mess with
Texas," will take on a whole new meaning.

4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of Texas will need
for the next 300 years. Yankee states? Sorry about that.

5. Natural Gas - again we have all we need and it's too bad about those
northern states. John Kerry will figure out a way to keep them warm....

6. Computer Industry - we currently lead the nation in producing
computer chips and communications--small places like Texas Instruments,
Dell Computer, EDS, Raytheon, National Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel,
AMD, Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Semiconductor, Dallas Semiconductor,
Delphi, Nortel, Alcatel, etc, etc. The list goes on and on.

7. Medical Care - We have the largest research centers for cancer
research, the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world,
as well as other large health centers. Dallas has some of the best
hospitals in the United States.

8. We have enough colleges to keep us going: University of Texas, Texas
A&M, Texas Tech, Rice, SMU, University of Houston, Baylor, UNT
(University of North Texas), Texas Women's University, etc. Ivy grows
better in the South anyway.

9. We have a ready supply of workers. We could just open the border when
we need some more.

10. We have essential control of the paper industry, plastics,
insurance, etc.

11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the Texas National Guard and
the Texas Air National Guard. We don't have an Army, but since everybody
down here has at least six rifles and a pile of ammo, we can raise an
Army in 24 hours if we need one. If the situation really gets bad, we
can always call the Department of Public Safety and ask them to send
over Chuck Norris and a couple of Texas Rangers.

12. We are totally self-sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs, and several
types of grain, fruit and vegetables, and let's not forget seafood from
the Gulf. Also, everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they
taste good. Don't need any food.

This just names a few of the items that will keep the Republic of Texas
in good shape. There isn't a thing out there that we need and don't
have.

Signed, The People of Texas
***************

I just reprint that as a note that size and political power accrues together. That's why we have a senate, to equalize size, population, and resources.

I'm sorry if AZ and HA have fewer square miles, population, and resources. But Texas doesn't have Wakiki Beach, or the Grand Canyon, so I guess I could pout about that.

3/31/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I do not begrudge Texas for it's political clout.

We have often discussed where to move, after cashing out most of our AZ assets. Texas has been mentioned a time or two, low land costs and reasonable recreational activities.
In the end, though, the Caribe calls out to the piRat in me.
Besides, I didn't want to go to a 3rd world country.

3/31/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I kinda had hopes the "Conservatives" in DC would preserve THIS country, even if they were from Texas.

But now, like Teddy, they favor affirmative action for illegals at the expense of legal citizens.

Screw the 70% of law-abiding citizens who disagree.

3/31/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

When Texas threw off Santa Anna--with the help of volunteers from Tennessee and New Orleans--Uncle Sam was officially a no-show, and the state was a republic--the Lone Star state--for a decade or so.

It came into the union just in time to get whupped pretty good in the Civil War, and now we're the bad guys for having demonstrated that anglos, blacks, and latinos can live together--and enjoy each other's peccadillos-- just fine, thank you?

So, if we have to become something we're not in order to please distant people who woke up this morning and saw the sea of brown faces inside the USA via Texas (brown faces that were here on the ground established before the black and white ones came) then fine, we'll just jine up with Mexico and be meskins.

Maybe we can straighten out that sorry over-regulated soaked with dope-corruption (dope headed for the urbanites) Mexican government, if we're part of it.

Then when you move to Mexico, rat, you can be a Texican, too.

3/31/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

And Doug, you can stay in your ancestral home, the Scottish Highlands of Hawaii.

3/31/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, if we're third-world, then third-world must not be so bad--people are flocking here from Mexico and the 49 other states, too. They must all be stupid.

3/31/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So we go from enforcing laws of the land, and the will of the people, to regional views of what this country represents?

3/31/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Take the entire Gulf Coast, buddy.
From Port Arthur to Cozumel, everything east of the Sierra Madres.

You pull that off, I'll be a Texican.

3/31/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, LOL. Doug, you have a good point.

3/31/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Staring In Disbelief said...

Wretchard,

Another superbly trenchant analysis. Gloom and euphoria have no place in an attempt to understand what is happening in Iraq. Rank amatuers like Ms. Just released are worthless, which is why the MSM understand and trumpet them. We utterly destroyed the evil and corrupt (but remarkably stable) power structure of the Hussein regime. It's replacement is now struggling to be born. Our side has HUGE advantages if we a.) recognize them and b.) use them.

3/31/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Balkinization of America, doug.
You get a front row seat.

The problem has always been in the background, in the US.
Large States vs small. North vs South. East vs West. Rust belt vs sun belt. Free trade vs Tariffs.

3/31/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

National identity, not identity cards is what is needed.

3/31/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Free vs Slaves" you left out, Rat.
Read Hanson about the illegal slaves that pick our food:

Used for their healthy bodies when they are young, "discarded" and replaced by new hires when they reach middle age.

("discards" then are paid for by other, once-free citizens, who watch their hospitals and schools disintegrate, and their prisons fill)

But it's the new Civil Rights Movement in America:
Just say Americans don't like to work.
(or be slaves)

3/31/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As Mrs Hill related this very morn, doug.
Unemployment amongst US that are semi skilled, 14%
Full employment indeed.
For Lawyers & Public school teachers.

3/31/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Jeez, it's like the Bermuda Triangle with you three. Every thread disappears into the void.

3/31/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I'll say one more thing, then drop this thread hi-jack.

You can look at this problem top-down, with airy platitudes and facile verbal formulations all wrapped in the red, white and blue, and use all that to send in the federal troops--cause nothing else will work as a quick solution.

Or you can look at it bottom-up as a hungry-belly problem that will have to be solved in Mexico City.

The third way is to to accomodate the situation as it is, and incrementally apply sticks and carrots, which means you don't gotta stay on a high-decibel freak over it, but have to rather think about the debate going on in congress, and make your views known to your representatives. Go to Fox and read O'Rielly--there's nobody more verbal-solution oriented than he, and even he knows you can't collect and bus 12 million people outta the country over a long weekend.

3/31/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mika, LOL, I'm ashamed of myself, and won't do it any more.

3/31/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger david bennett said...

Zarquai is one force in the Sunni insurgency, he is not the whole or even the most important.

Even the Bush administraton has come to recognize this. It is important.

If you have an inadequete model of the problem you can't address t adequetely.

There is no proof that the insurgencies capacities have degraded significantly. Last year the number of US dead was nearly identical to 2004. This coupled with increased attacks on Iraqi government elements.

This month's decline in US dead might be hopeful, but we've had monthly drops before, indeed a year ago they were "proof" the insurency was beaten.

It is quite possible Shiite activities will force a large number of Sunni to cooperate with the insurgents because they are a source of protection.

It may also be that the recent strife may cause the Sunni insurgency to cooperate more with us, there are some signs of this and we are negotiating with them. But it is not necessarily a sign of weakness, certainly it is not the total defeat this blog has declared for 3 years.

3/31/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Larsen,
Me was just kidding.
Plus, me love your magic shows. :)

3/31/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

But you were right, Mika. One last little public-service peep to those 14% of the semi-skilled that are unemployed, the State of Florida is putting 30,000 semi-skilled thru a construction-skills program, eight weeks on salary to learn how to rebuild the gulf coast of the United States, a rebuilding being slowed by a shortage of labor running to the hundreds of thousands in all trades, direct and support.

3/31/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

If you're semi-skilled, out-of-work, and don't want to move to Florida, then...well...hmmm.

3/31/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But david, by negotiating with the Sunni, that have been insurectionists, the Shia have taken offense. They believe that US is picking sides.
Further, according to a "Guardian" article the US has not spoken against Mr al-Jaafari, but that story was misinformation leaked by members of Mr Mahdi's faction.
Mr Sistani calls for unity, but does not choose between Candidates.
As the Iranian Mullahs do.

Mr Sistani seems to believe in the power of democracy and free will.
If none of the sides budge, the continued stand of Mr Sistani and the unity of their Shia Bloc, will not allow a Government to form.

Unless another Bloc budges.

Which is REALLY most likely?

That after 35 years of Oppression the Shia will fracture, or that Mr Sistani will intervene in daily politics. Which is something he has never done and is against, in Principle and Deed.

Or does another group, the Kurds for instance, come around to Mr Sistani's position?

But if none can be trusted to be better than Saddam, as per Mr Rumsfeld, what difference does it make?

3/31/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

But if none can be trusted to be better than Saddam, as per Mr Rumsfeld, what difference does it make?

Ah, but why not?

3/31/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

IMO, they all is the enemy, to a degree.

But not in Mr Bush's public policy opinion.

3/31/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I think Rummie had in mind the effort that the world-wide enemy would soon begin putting into smashing a USA-friendly Iraqi government, if USA left the area in a certain (Saigon-Embassy roof) way.

3/31/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat
But why not in Mr Bush's public policy opinion?

3/31/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Buddy.....good points about all the fine facilities in Texas. If we were a nation of laws they wouls all be great points.
However since the Supreme Court Kelo case I'm going to put together an economic plan that will prove I can provide more tax revenue for Uncle Sugar than all those facilities worth.
Why just think of it. TexasLand Theme Park. Why I could employ tens of thousands of broceros to just sweep up the hot dog wrappers. Others could rent sombreros for the NorteAmericanos.
Kelo was the civil war tocsin in this country.
Ain't it a daisy.

3/31/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, he's already said, over and over, that we're 'addicted' to foreign oil and need to become more energy-independent. Is that not the diplomatic way of naming the real, real, enemy? What's he supposed to do, insult a billion people with the race/religion angle? For what, ain't we got enough enemies, ain't we needing friends? If not for the solid world-majority of western-friendly to western-neutral Muslims, I could see the cost/benefit of your "name-the-enemy" theme more clearly. We want to win 'em with the System, and the System is best sold by salesmen who respect the customer. IMHO.

3/31/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat
I think you know the answer as to why the enemy can't be named. At least not yet. So why not be a little more patient as the plan moves along?

3/31/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Habu_1, Kelo ain't so bad--all it did was claim all the land in the nation for the government, and turn all deeds, and by extension all private property, into loans from the state. What's so bad about that?

3/31/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

habu_1, along with the texasThemePark idea, why not outsource the world's largest employer, the US federal government, to the chinese or Indians? Cut that waste, up that efficiency, lower those costs, cut those taxes, trim that deficit, and pay off the national debt--in no time. Put all us passed-by-evolution high-maintenance white guys on reservations, let us gamble, drink fire-water, and stay the hell outta the way.
\:-D

3/31/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Seen from the long perspective, Iraq has been in civil war ever since 1920, if not longer. But Iraq is nothing special in this.

Liberal democracy, in and of itself, can be seen as a means of managing civil war and defusing it through compromise. Believers in freedom like to think that freedom and democracy are ideological principles in their own right. In some respects, they are. Still, if one looks at the organic roots of modern liberal democracy, one will find that modern political parties often started out as partisan militia.

England in the 1600's was torn by civil war and coups d'etat; the same could be said for France two centuries later. Yet, their later history show strength and power. America's early history was tenuous at best, yet it became a superpower.

Symbolically speaking, parliament represents a nation at arms. Within the United States, one should imagine the House of Representatives symbolically representing the Federal military with two Senators symbolically representing each state's national guard. The President may be the Commander-in-Chief, but he cannot effectively govern without the cooperation of a Congress which symbolically represents the power of the military.

Seen within this context, it would be unwise to disband Iraqi partisan militia. Instead, they should be incorporated into the Iraqi national guard as separate regiments, complete with their own uniforms, insignia, emblems, and flags. Each member would be given a small stipend (lower than the pay for uniformed military) and come together for military drill once a month (when they get paid at the end of the drill). In essence, I'm suggesting the Iraqi military incorporate these various militia whole and put them under the command of the Iraqi military.

The regular Iraqi military should have preference in armament and training since it would be loyal to whichever Iraqi government exists at the time. The militia should be seen as auxiliary forces to be mobilized in an emergency.

This is not a perfect solution nor a permanent one, but I think incorporating partisan militia into the security system would be advantageous for the future security of Iraq. Need I remind anyone of how President Johnson federalized the Alabama National Guard and the state police, and how this tactic kept the peace after the Selma police riots?

Sure, the Mahdi Militia, the Kurdistan Army, or the Fallujah Brigades may not be quite the equivalent of the Welsh Guard or the Black Watch, or even the "Fighting" 69th of New York (the Irish Brigade) or the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (the black regiment remembered by the film "Glory"). But we are dealing with reality, and while American forces can militarily defeat any Iraqi force, not even Saddam Hussein could force many of these militias to disband principally because these partisan militias are so rooted within various segments of Iraqi society.

As a rule, one should coopt when one can and fight when one must. So long as we realize how we are fighting in an Iraqi environment (and not anywhere else), a viable Iraqi state with its indigenous variety of liberal democracy can take root.

We can win this. We must win this, for the stakes are higher than the anti-war activists can imagine. If al-Qaeda can succeed in destroying belief in democracy in Iraq, it will seek to replicate that template elsewhere. And everywhere.

3/31/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If that what it means to be a Texican, buddy, I'll change destinations.

Mat,
Not enough time and no guarentee in the line of succession

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

Alexis,
A very similar approach was taken by Ben Gurion wrt the Irgun. That's a very smart approach to the problem.

3/31/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

C'mon d'Rat, how much time do you think Iran has left, and then Saudia.

3/31/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

More than three years, we've already wasted two, stopped in Iraq.
Why you think the machine will start up again, it's not in the Cards, my friend.

When we had the chance, the Big Mo' and Public Support all behind the Military and the War on Terror, we stopped at the Iraqi borders.
Inertia is hard to overcome, especially when 60% of the public do not support the current Policy.

3/31/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, re your "change destinations" (BYW, good luck--try Antartica), I'd much rather whither these people (the website people, not the marchers they're claiming to represent) on the vine, rather than give them a giant main-vein hypo of adrenaline, in the blowing off of our own steam.

Naming things is communication, and the 'co' in the word means two, a sayer and a hearer, and that implies that what one says is not necessarily what another hears--or hears only too well.

And, this ain't no disco, as the song says. My kids go/went to school with latino kids who invariably have old family members who came in undocumented years ago. Just give those kids a vision of cattlecars loaded with old grandmas and grandpas hauling back to a strange land they left a generation or two ago, and these kids will start listening to the website people.

You were right about balkanization--the old bonds to DC ain't there out in the 21st century sticks. as a nation we either rebuild the bonds or it's Brave New World for the kids. All the kids, all colors.

Ideas are made out of words, words have consequences.

3/31/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Alexis, Mika, right--"whither-on-the-vine" = co-option. In the name of the sysytem which not everyone will ever understand.

3/31/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Iran drums will beat through out the Summer, revving up the Republican base on Security concerns. But there will be no Military actions taken. Post Election, a symbolic airstrike or two. Or not.
The idea of an Invasion of Iran, without Congressional approval would hinge upon Iranian aggression, which I do not think we'll see. Even a massive air strike scenario would need Congressional Approval or it'd trigger the War Powers Act, which some on the Left would insist on implementing.
Not the Legacy Mr Bush will want to leave, no the I bet the last two years of the Bush Presidency will be a search for Stability in the ME, not further aggression.
Have to give the Iraqi seeds of Liberty time to germinate.

3/31/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The thing is, Free Iraq is death for the Iran regime. so why, under what conditions, will the Iran regime ever stop trying to prevent it?

3/31/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

It has been said that generals always fight the last war. Yet, I see that as less true of generals (and especially colonels) than of journalists and politicians.

The principal problem facing the United States is the power of the "baby boom" generation and the Vietnam-era polarization that it brings with it. Just as the WWI generation of political leaders interpreted all events in the 1930's through the lens of the Great War (and embraced appeasement and isolationism), and just as the WWII generation of political leaders interpreted events in the 1950's and 1960's through the prism of Munich, the present generation tends to interpret every modern event according to whether it does or does not conform to "another Vietnam".

The fact is, our enemies know this. So long as Americans, and especially the American press, are focused on replaying the Vietnam War over and over and over and over, America is predestined to lose every major war for the following reasons.

1. The Left feels a vested emotional interest in making America lose every time.

2. The Right feels a vested emotional interest in portraying the Left as traitors, and seeking to hog the status of patriot.

3. Americans become unable to see any situation as it truly is. Every war is made to conform to being "another Vietnam", as if there were no other war analogy one could ever make in the history of human existence. It is as if every image from any battle goes through an artistic filter to add jungle foilage from Southeast Asia.

4. America's inability to see the world clearly turns our power into just another Polyphemus -- a blinded cyclops, enraged but impotent. We may win temporary victories against al-Qaeda, Iran, and our other enemies, but it should be said that blind men may thrash about but they do not win wars. We must understand other people as they are, not merely as we would like them to be. And more than anything else, we must seek to understand ourselves and why we fight.

5. Our enemies know this, and know it very, very well.

We can win victory after victory, our military can fight valiantly, and our politicians can win on occasion. Yet, so long as Vietnam remains a shadow on America's politics, our enemies will never stop fighting and will wait until we elect a government that decides to lose -- and horribly betray our allies to them in the process. And sadly, it may take a few more decades when the "Vietnam Generation" dies off for America's political (and journalistic) leadership to at least try to see the world as it was sometime after the Fall of Saigon. One can only hope that political leaders can emerge sooner rather than later whose perspectives have not become thoroughly poisoned by Vietnam Era polarization.

3/31/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger TM Lutas said...

Jill Carroll has only recently been released and has not had a lot of exposure to information for the past few months. It is a bit unfair to demand that she just 'get it' when essentially she's fallen off the face of the world. It would be interesting to see if her thinking has evolved over the next month or two. There's plenty of time for brickbats then.

3/31/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

much of the regular media coverage is almost designed to conceal where where we are standing and where we have to go. There is no context

Actually, the media do provide an implicit context for their reporting and we may accurately call it the Vietnam War Quagmire context. It was invoked in the GWOT almost as soon as the first American boots were on the ground in Afghanistan and remains the context for Iraq to date. The fact that Americans forces in Iraq remain largely in bivouac these days, encourages the perception of stagnation, stalemate and a complete lack of forward motion in the GWOT. It's enought to drive a desert rat loco.

By contrast, the Persian Qommies (heh) have seized the initiative. They flaunt their decision to produce nuclear weapons, declare that they will destroy Israel, conduct war games in the gulf and test a new ballistic missle that sports multiple independently targetable war heads and stealth-like radar avoidance. In political theater the best defense can be a good offense. The Iraqi death squads and the Persian mullahs are playing their best cards, while the Americans appear to be considering folding.

3/31/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

arggh. new ballistic missle link.

3/31/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"And more than anything else, we must seek to understand ourselves and why we fight."

So true. The world sees the product of the western system, and is hungry to partake of the liberty & wealth it generates. If we can just keep the system working properly, everyone will be fine.

Francis Fukuyama is undere fire right now for saying that in the short-term, globalizing democracy will give the west plenty of grief. But it's true, newly-empowered people will want in a generation what the mature democracies built up over a century. Offering growth, and the chance for a poor kid to do better than mom and dad could, was a better ticket before mass-communications made everything immediate and intimate.

Now we have a problem that is new under the sun, at least in detail if not in human nature. How to tell people to be patient, when you've already got yours.

And even "be patient" is weaker advice to the extent of the power of a malign opposition to promise a whole new order. Americans are letting these realities tear them apart (bin Laden said that when he got finished with the United Staes, they would be only 'states') at the precise moment in history that we most need to pull together and present a united front.

3/31/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

For young people to understand that political/economic liberty *is* the "new order", and that the oppo is actually the ancient Jungle Rule, requires that the young people understand that there is applicable data handy to inform them, but that for some reason such study is out of favor with the elites: the study of History.

3/31/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I have argued for a long time now that it is primarily a politcal battle and that using the military is counter-productive towards winning a political battle. I've also stated numerous times that invading and occupying Iraq will be like sticking our finger in a chinese finger trap; the harder we try to get out the firmer we are stuck. Trying to use the brute force of our military to win a politcal battle (hearts and minds) is a mugs game.

3/31/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, the argument is still in play. It depends on how the Mideast is working in say 5 years or so.

3/31/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Kelo is a dead letter here in Idaho via bill recently passed in the legislature. Additionally we are having a vote to amend our constitution this fall which will win to really slam dunk the situation. We will end up with more property rights than before Kelo. Suggest you all take a page from Idaho and follow our lead on this one.

3/31/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

...Alexis,Alexis,Alexis ...the Vietnam War did resolutely divide this country until the dying breaths of the "Boomer" generation. Then you fall into, "see the left as traitors", and "Americas inability to see the world as it is".
That the left were traitors is not arguable. Perhaps not all but their leadership gave aid and comfort to the enemy, so said Uncle Ho and General Giap. They admitted without the leftist subordination of the war effort they would have lost.
Americas inability to see the world as it is. Well that's just crap. Good sound word, crap. We not only see more keenly the world and it's problems but we do more work in solving those problems than all the other combined nations on Earth. We work longer,harder,produce more per kilowatt than any nation, bar none. We GIVE away more aid than all other countries combined. That we are THE BIG DOG is such a source of angst to the left certain nations of the world that they can't help but hate us.
Do yourself a favor and throw away the Rod McKuen books. Flush out that headgear.

3/31/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

There's a point to what she says--this country is so energetic in so many ways, that we have to be sure and show plenty of humility, or the Green Monster will add to his global hordes.

3/31/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Ash,
Iraq only now has became a political game. When Saddam was in power, no political game was possible. Same applies to the Mullahs in Iran, and Sheiks in Saudia, the Afghan and Paki towelheads, etc.

3/31/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Bottomfeeder McKinney Faces Arrest for Scuffle

Too bad it's not a capital crime. If hitting the cop is not then playing the race card should be.

3/31/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Buddy, 9:07
Exactly. How quickly we falter. Right after 9/11, I figured at least 30 years in order to knock the fight out of two generations of jihadi wannabes.

I read today that Condoleeza Rice said in reference to the press that “Vietnam is their lodestar.” At their zenith, they got the country out of that quagmire.

Serge Trifkovic, a former BBC commentator and US NEWS and World Report reporter, has no problem naming the enemy.

But the BBC can’t bring themselves to say the “M” when reporting on French thugs beating up French protestors.
Jacques Dusseuil, who runs a fleet of vans serving hot food in various Paris areas, says he has had to pull out of many places since the start of the troubles a month ago, and his sales have halved.
"The troublemakers have nothing to do with the actual protests," he adds.
"They are just there to destroy and plunder."
Who are they? Ask any shopkeeper, and they will tell you that they are the same youths of immigrant origin who rioted across France's impoverished suburbs in November.
"They devastated the suburbs last year, and now they want to do the same to posh areas," Mrs Gosselin says.

At least they are beginning to give us a hint.

3/31/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

An excerpt from Trifkovic's interview:
Glazov: Ok, let’s move on to your book. You make the point that the Islamist threat to the West is greater than ever. Can you explain? And this means we are losing the terror war, no?

Trifkovic: Losing, absolutely, without a doubt. After Stalingrad Germany was doomed, after Moscow Napoleon was finished, and after Gettysburg the Confederacy could no longer hope to turn the tide. No such turning point has been reached in the misnamed Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). We need a comprehensive strategy of defense not merely against a small jihadist elite but against an inherently aggressive, demographically vibrant, and ideologically rigid Islamic movement - and please, no more "Islamist" red herrings! - a movement that has global proportions and world-historical significance. As an ideology and a blueprint for radical political action, it is a phenomenon that cannot be compared in dynamism, energy, and potential consequences with any other creed or idea in today's world. It demands a sustained, bold response that has failed to materialize so far. We are losing the war because our elite class does not allow the enemy to be defined. The squeamishness of European and American bien-pensants alike in naming the enemy is but one sign of a shared malaise that hampers a coherent effort.


I know it's off-topic but it's already been said that we should cut Carrol some slack until she gets back and we hear from her in the coming weeks.

3/31/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger LizK said...

A really fine analysis.
The majority of MSM reporters (Carroll included) collect their little bits of news--an explosion here, so many massacred there--and refuse, or are unable, to see the big picture. Namely, that while violence continues as before, the STRATEGY behind it has changed. The "insurgents" are now, as Wretchard points out, trying desperately to (in Zarqawi's term) goad the Shi'ites into anti-Sunnite violence and thus "awaken" the Sunnis into casting their lot with the insurgents. This effort is in itself an admission of failure--an admission that despite three years of all-out effort to coopt them, the majority of Sunnis still DO NOT SUPPORT the insurgency!
But the MSM also persistently ignore, or refuse to acknowledge, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE for the violence. When acts of violence in Iraq are reported, the implication is always that IT IS THE AMERICANS' FAULT. Well, in a sense it is--because if the Americans were not creating the seed bed for participatory democracy in Iraq, and if the majority of Iraqis did not actively or passively support this goal, the insurgents would have no reason to continue the violence--and certainly no reason to use violence to provoke Sunnis into supporting them.
Yet folded into one report after another--alongside the facts and figures of incident, type of explosive, casualties, and so on--is the theme tune the MSM have been playing since well before the invasion: this is the Americans' (read Bush's and the military's) fault. If Saddam were still here, this would not happen. Therefore, the Americans are to blame. Look at this piece of violence, this group of deaths, this chaos, this electricity failure, this pipeline breakdown. It was the Americans who caused it.
When patently, they didn't. The thugs and psychopaths who carry out these crimes are not treated as thugs or psychopaths by the MSM. Not by MSM members who are invited to visit and interview them (and come back deeply impressed by their humanness, their kindness, the fact that they have children, etc etc--see Time magazine for particularly egregious examples of this). And not even those who are kidnapped by them! (who come back with the same message...)
The MSM is treating the enemy in this conflict as, in a way, a natural force--an unavoidable and irresistible wind "blowing back" against America's (necessarily wrong, if not evil) actions. In doing so, they are excusing the real evil, serving as a propaganda arm for the enemy and delivering aid and comfort thereto.

3/31/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Paramendra Bhagat said...

Critiquing A Critique Of The Iraq War Critiques

3/31/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That's an excellent VDH essay, Paramendra--thanks.

3/31/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

pompousmendry bighead, why so many ugly mug shots?

4/01/2006 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad Cesar Chavez didn't have GWB, Buddy, the WSJ, and the corrupt Pigs in the Senate around to teach him the true meaning of looking out for his workers:
---
From the pages of the right wing reactionary LA Times:
---
...Perhaps more puzzling is that some of the student walkouts took place on a day honoring the memory of Cesar Chavez.
The great Chicano labor organizer held a march in 1969 from the Coachella and Imperial valleys to the Mexican border.
Chavez and the United Farm Workers were protesting the use of illegal immigrants as strikebreakers.
Further, Chavez believed that illegal immigration was antithetical to the wage interests of the migrant workers he represented.
What immigrant-rights groups refuse to acknowledge is that an unchecked flow of unskilled labor drives down wages for entry-level jobs, rendering all poor Americans, including millions of teenage workers, less than competitive.
(Not just entry level jobs, of course, as anyone in the Real World is aware. ...this side of the exploitative smokescreen World of WSJ/Beltwayland, that is.)

Are illegal workers doing jobs that Americans won't do?
This often-heard argument is specious.
Activists seem focused on a political agenda that is fiercely anti-capitalist and intent on removing all border constraints.
Nevertheless, protesters in Los Angeles were welcomed uncritically by the city's leaders. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told the crowd of 500,000 last Saturday,
"There are no illegal people here today."

What we are witnessing is not the birth of a new civil rights movement but the attempt to render meaningless the concept of border controls. Any march that can mobilize 500,000 people will get the attention of Washington's politicians, but this nation must not be deterred from securing its borders, enforcing the law and finding a way to humanely deal with the more than 11 million illegal residents already here.

It is quite clear that many of those participating in the demonstrations have adopted the stance of the beleaguered victim, perceiving frustration about illegal immigration as racism. Some comments have been painfully ignorant. One protester said: "I'm here to make sure that Mexicans get their freedom, their rights."
---
Victimology is a good thing as long it lines the pockets of the corrupt, and those in power in DC and Mexico City.
Compassionate Conservatism in all it's glory.
Anybody notice how quick GWB is to preach to us about not speaking ill of the RoP, yet we don't see him condemning "La Raza" as the racist organization it is, do we?
...gotta be "welcoming" you know.
On someone else's dime, ...just like the liberals.

(Bud and GWB are "Just Kidding" when they throw terms like Vigilantte, Nativist, and etc, ad absurdum.)

4/01/2006 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Funny you mentioned Teddy dismantling the system up there, Bud:
He's been doing it since his ORIGINAL "immigration reforms" which made everything get rapidly worse, but now you and GWB are touting his latest creation as a world saver. Not to mention, the "compassionate" thing to do.
...save the world, at the expense of the USA.
Why stop at Free Trade?
FREE LABOR!

4/01/2006 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

WHAT IS A SUNNI TO DO ?

Many Americans accepted establishing a democracy in Iraq and then in other Islamic countries would hard wire our future security. Let us look at several recent and current examples of democracy not providing security:

South Africa. Under apartheid there was a common acceptance that being South African meant being part of a society where racial and tribal separation was the norm. Ironically the separation made it easier to accept the notion of being South African. There was a structure where the whites ruled and the colored and blacks took an unwanted subservient role. South Africa despite rigid sanctions, and in some ways because of these sanctions enjoyed a certain level of prosperity unknown in the rest of Africa. (they had to be more self reliant). After democracy and elections, the whites and certain other colored ethnic groups know they will always de dominated to the majority blacks. The cohesiveness and nationhood has diminished and along with that the standard of living in all groups whites, blacks and colored has fallen by 40% during the period 1995 and 2000. Crime has escalated several hundred percent. The income gap between blacks and whites has widened and there is increasing levels of ‘white flight’. The whites, many with eyes on Zimbabwe have come to the conclusion that democracy will not enhance their future.

Yugoslavia and Kosovo. Under Tito, Yugoslavia was the wealthiest of all eastern bloc countries. His totalitarian regime used a formula of ethnic balancing and power sharing with the purpose of balancing ethnic and regional rivalries and differences. His regime established a cohesive national recognition. Tito was unsuccessful in establishing a method to maintain this balance after his death. The Serbs quickly realized that they could not maintain their ethnic identity unless they could become a larger majority in a smaller country. One of the true ironies is the US and NATO intervention in Kosovo. The Serbs claimed that over the years ethnic Albanians had illegally immigrated into Kosovo (Sound familiar?). They rightly assumed that the historic rights of Serbs in what was seen as their rightful homeland would be overrun and lost to the ethnic (Islamic) Albanians and they moved to remove them to Albania. Since the US and NATO intervention, Kosovo is democratically moving towards being an independent Islamic state in Europe. Hundreds of historic churches have been destroyed and most Christians have been forced to flee for their lives. The democratic process and the people have spoken.

California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Shortly, due to illegal immigration, impending amnesty, pandering by the Democratic Party and GWB, and lots of new working and underclass voters, all of these states will be democratic states. There will be no chance for a true republican party to ever control them again. The legal residents, the legal citizens, the ones who served their country, raised their children and paid their taxes will be out-ruled, out-voted and dictated to by those who jumped the fence, without papers, without permission, and outside the law. The state legislatures will tilt social spending and programs to entitlements for the “needy”. There will be no democratic process available to the producing class. They will be permanently out-voted and large transfer payments will be taken from the productive class to the less so. There will be more white flight and an ever-increasing population of illegal immigrants. These states will become more Mexican, less American and the democratic process will have failed those that believed in it, studied it, practiced it and paid for it.

In all three of these examples, democracy was and is not a unifying force. Clearly the Sunnis realize that they will have no pleasant future under a Shiite dominated government that will be more Shiite and less Iraqi. They face a future of less rather than more. The same for Serbs in Kosovo, whites in South Africa and republicans in The US Southwest. Could it be that representative democracy has within it the seeds of it’s own destruction? Is it easier to accept democracy when you are the dominant party or at least have a chance to be so? Do rational human beings have good examples where they have prospered by placing their fate in the hands of rivals? Will Californians be more happy and secure being more Mexican? Will the Christian Serbs have more security under Islam? Are the white South Africans safer and more prosperous under a black democracy? What is a Sunni to do?

4/01/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well said, 2164th,
Wish I could remember more of what a former inmate of Yugoslavia had to say to Ingraham the other day. She was playing fast and loose with something, and he was calling her on it.
She tried to lighten things up by asking if he was not impressed with her fluency in Russian.
...then he got REALLY Angry!

So Wesley Lemay and Bubba succeeded in opening Europe's Southern Flank to the Islamic Hordes.
Whoopee!

Now, we're going to raise the living standard of the World by bringing America down to World Standards.
Capitalism, or Marxism?

Such Compassionate, Patriotic, and Realistic folk we are.
(None Dare Call It Corruption)

...and WE get called nasty names by these "Conservatives" that know so much better than we the people, the rabble!

4/01/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and we may well see the Southwest turn a deep Socialist Blue in our lifetimes.
But under the Mexican Flag,
so all is not lost for the Red, White, and Blue.

4/01/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger SocalBill said...

I believe we will win this conflict...but I also believe something very bad is about to happen. I don't know where or when...just very soon. Whatever happens we must win this battle of civilization!

4/01/2006 11:35:00 PM  

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