Friday, April 14, 2006

Easter Weekend open post

When do you believe one General and disbelieve another? Captain's Quarters links to a subscription-only article at the Washington Times. "General John Vines, the commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps, told a policy conference that al-Qaeda terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has conceded defeat in Iraq and has begun pulling out, thwarted in his attempt to bring down the elected Iraqi government by his own heavy-handed tactics."

Al Qaeda in Iraq and its presumed leader, Abu Musab Zarqawi, have conceded strategic defeat and are on their way out of the country, a top U.S. military official contended yesterday. The group's failure to disrupt national elections and a constitutional referendum last year "was a tactical admission by Zarqawi that their strategy had failed," said Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who commands the XVIII Airborne Corps. "They no longer view Iraq as fertile ground to establish a caliphate and as a place to conduct international terrorism," he said in an address at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. ...

There's a roundup here with links, from all over the blogosphere on the subject of Rumsfeld's resignation representing every point of view.

The New Republic looks back on the formative years of the Iranian President for clues about what he is like, what he believes in. Pajamas Media has a roundup of Ahmadinejad's latest vow to annihilate Israel. Is he serious?

During the Iran-Iraq War, the Ayatollah Khomeini imported 500,000 small plastic keys from Taiwan. ... After Iraq invaded in September 1980, it had quickly become clear that Iran's forces were no match for Saddam Hussein's professional, well-armed military. To compensate ...  Khomeini sent Iranian children ... to the front lines. There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies. Before every mission, one of the Taiwanese keys would be hung around each child's neck. It was supposed to open the gates to paradise for them.

At one point, however, the earthly gore became a matter of concern. ... Such scenes would henceforth be avoided ... Before entering the minefields, the children [now] wrap themselves in blankets and they roll on the ground, so that their body parts stay together after the explosion of the mines and one can carry them to the graves."

These children who rolled to their deaths were part of the Basiji, a mass movement created by Khomeini in 1979 ...  And yet, today, it is a source not of national shame, but of growing pride. Since the end of hostilities against Iraq in 1988, the Basiji have grown both in numbers and influence. They have been deployed, above all, as a vice squad to enforce religious law in Iran, and their elite "special units" have been used as shock troops against anti-government forces. In both 1999 and 2003, for instance, the Basiji were used to suppress student unrest. And, last year, they formed the potent core of the political base that propelled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad-- a man who reportedly served as a Basij instructor during the Iran-Iraq War--to the presidency. ...  He regularly appears in public wearing a black-and-white Basij scarf, and, in his speeches, he routinely praises "Basij culture" and "Basij power" ... A younger generation of Iranians, whose worldviews were forged in the atrocities of the Iran-Iraq War, have come to power, wielding a more fervently ideological approach to politics than their predecessors. The children of the Revolution are now its leaders.

There's a bizarre story about an Ohio State University librarian who is being sued for harassment by faculty members because he recommended books by David Horowitz, Bat Ye’or, Rick Santorum and David Kupelian. Three faculty members complained the list made them feel "unsafe". Legal blogger Eugene Volokh thinks the complaint is technically a "sexual orientation harassment" case and says:

It's quite sad, I think, that these university professors are responding to offensive ideas not just by arguing against them, but by trying to coercively suppress them (apparently, according to the ADF's letter, with considerable support from their colleagues). I expect that the university will promptly dismiss the complaint, since even under the university's own policy such speech is not prohibited -- among other reasons, the speech wasn't "based on a person's protected status," since the statements weren't about the complainants, and weren't targeted towards the complainants because of their sexual orientation. But it reflects badly on the complainants that the complaint is even being filed.

Volokh notes that the librarian will be lucky if the complaint isn't upgraded to a human-rights violation case. That would be interesting.

Oh, and one related item, from a message during this debate written by another professor, Hannibal Hamlin (no, not the Hannibal Hamlin): "On the matter of homophobia, I think you should be rather careful, Scott. OSU's policy on discrimination is not simply a matter of academic orthodoxy, but a matter of human rights." Yes, reference librarians, professors, students, everyone: On matters of certain viewpoints that are prohibited by university policies, we think you should be rather careful.

Tigerhawk thinks "It will be very interesting to see whether the American Library Association, which purports to care a lot about 'intellectual freedom' will have anything to say about this outrage."

What do you think?

Here's another reminder that the Second World War generation is passing. It's an interesting comparative to the Basiji story. An obituary from the Daily Telegraph recalls one of the real X-Men:

Lieutenant-Commander Dicky Kendall, who has died aged 82, placed a two-ton mine under the German battleship Tirpitz in the Kaa Fjord of northern Norway. ... On the evening of September 20 1942, after being towed 1,200 miles from Scotland in an attack submarine, Kendall boarded the miniature sub X-6. ...  At 0200 hours, the nets opened for a coaster, and [the minisub] followed through in the boat's wake. ...

Suddenly X-6 struck a shoal, and was forced to the surface by Tirpitz's port bow; all Kendall could see was the ship's grey paint. As X-6 scraped down the battleship's side, Kendall released the starboard mine under Tirpitz's B turret. After opening the buoyancy tanks to scuttle their craft, [minisub captain] Cameron, Kendall and the two other crew members clambered on to the casing to be hauled aboard a German picket boat, where all four saluted as X-6 sank.

Kendall was locked in a small compartment on board Tirpitz, but refused to speak to his captors, despite threats of summary execution. Then, at 0812, there were two violent explosions, and she heaved upwards several feet, throwing him and his guard to the deck. As the ship listed heavily, Kendall knew that the attack had inflicted serious damage. Cameron was awarded the VC; Lt John Lorimer and Kendall received the DSO; and Engine Room Artificer Edmund Goddard the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.

Kendall sat in the hull of the Tirpitz over his own mine and waited for it to go off. When the last of the Second World War generation are buried, this can truly be said:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Ahmadinejad take note: not everything has been forgotten.

262 Comments:

Blogger Asher Abrams said...

I don't quite know how the "feeling safe/unsafe" meme got so entrenched in gay-rights dogma, but it was one of the key themes of a complaint against some Connecticut high school students about a year ago. Now I attended that very high school some quarter-century ago, and I think I have a pretty good idea what real homophobia looks like, and what it really means to feel "unsafe".

These spoiled punks make me sick.

4/14/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

It's a great victory against AQ that they are leaving Iraq. There have been reports that Zarqawi was replaced by an Iraqi within the past couple months. See this link. It's unfortunate that we didn't get him though.

I doubt we've heard the last of him. He's likely to turn up in Jordan or the Palestinian territories, or at least his handiwork will.

4/14/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I think the "progressive" thinkers in our society pursue their agendas with jihadistic abandon now. It erupted with the rejection of the 2000 election results, and it's metastazied ever since to blind righteousness. Anyone who dissents from the obsessively held "progressive view" is not only wrong, they are evil. As with Communism - there is no history, there is no process, there is only their PC jihad.

In Philly recently, a group organized a demonstration against the part owner of a gym in the Gayborhood. Their "cause" was the fact that this guy had contributed to Santorum's campaign in the past. It mattered not that he contributed because Santorum supports Israel, it only matters that Santorum is part of an "evil regime that must be defeated." The gym owner bailed and sold his interest, there is no talking to this kind of Feeling in place of Rationality.

The Left is becoming jihadi in their blind fervor. (US at least)

I want to ask these guys: "If this is an Evil Regime, what are the 62 million of us who voted for it?"

4/14/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Wretchard said:

"To compensate ... Khomeini sent Iranian children ... to the front lines. There, they marched in formation across minefields toward the enemy, clearing a path with their bodies."

Years ago I was taking a German language course (Volks-hochschule) in Goettingen, Germany. In my class there was an intelligent and handsome Iranian boy (about 10 years old) along with his family. This boy's family were political refugees who had fled Iran because they didn't want him clearing mine fields for Khomeini.

I got this information straight from the horse's mouth (it's NOT a propaganda yarn or urban legend).

4/14/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

That might be the "Scariest" damned thing I've ever read!

4/14/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

These "small plastic keys" remind me of the "butterfly mines" the Russians used in Afghanistan, they spread them with canister bombs. They look like clumsy old-fashioned key fobs, little pink toys that would flutter down and spread out over wide areas around towns and trails. They will blow off your hand or foot, and they were very attractive to innocent mountain children who had never seen such colorful plastic toys.

4/14/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Tony,
I want to ask these guys: "If this is an Evil Regime, what are the 62 million of us who voted for it?"

The enemy. Not the jihadis, but the real enemy.

4/14/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Rufus said...

"That might be the "Scariest" damned thing I've ever read!"

What scares me more is the same bastards who used these kids will have nukes in a couple years. If they'd murder their own children, how much concern do you think they'd have for your kids?

We live in "interesting" times!

4/14/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

That's what I meant, eggplant.

4/14/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

On the matter of free speech and the lack thereof at Ohio State: The right of free speech is only useful for people who speak offensive or unpopular things. Popular and inoffensive speech needs no protection, because nobody wants to stop it. It is a great tragedy that universities, which once were the places one went to speak and write controversial things, are now just about the first state agencies to punish, or at least "investigate," unpopular or controversial speakers. Universities have betrayed their most important raison d'etre. This diminishes them as institutions, but it shrinks the scholars who work there into insignificance. Unless this tendency reverses itself, after almost 1000 years Western universities will no longer be the source of our most important new ideas.

4/14/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"What scares me more is the same bastards who used these kids will have nukes in a couple weeks. If they'd murder their own children, how much concern do you think they'd have for your kids?"

Its rapidly approaching crunch time: Mr Bush MUST take action soon!

4/14/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ... During his speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad uncharacteristically acknowledged differences inside Iran over the leadership's decision to confront the West, Russia and China by surging forward with the production of fuel that could be used for nuclear power plants or, at a greater level of enrichment, for nuclear weapons.

"There are some coward elements who are trying to create difference among people," the student-run ISNA agency quoted him as saying. "They get together, talk and create propaganda and psychological war. But we laugh at them. They call us and say that crisis is on the way, but we believe that the enemy has a crisis and we have no crisis in our country. Our people are brave."

But in Washington, Iran's efforts to create the impression that it was speeding ahead to make its nuclear program a fait accompli was countered by intelligence officials.

At a briefing on Thursday, Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence for analysis, said the official view of the intelligence agencies remained that Iran was unlikely to have nuclear weapons before 2010 at the earliest. But he also acknowledged that the mistakes made in assessing Iraq's capabilities had made the intelligence agencies far more cautious about delivering definitive assessments to President Bush. ... "

NY Times

"Our answer to those who are angry about Iran obtaining the full nuclear cycle is one phrase. We say, be angry and die of this anger," he said late on Wednesday, ..."

4/14/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

2010 say the Intelligence experts,
chill out while we Stay the Course.

See, Mr Bush will be right, those Iranians will not get Nuclear Weapons on his watch, it ends in '08 ...

2010, bet the farm
It's a Slam Dunk!

4/14/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Karridine said...

"What scares me more is the same bastards who used these kids will have nukes in a couple weeks.... Its rapidly approaching crunch time: Mr Bush MUST take action soon!"

IMHO, the Iranians won't have a functioning nuke this year. If an Iranian nuke was near term, the Israelis would be making a whole lot more noise than they currently are.

Timing is everything when it comes to taking out Iran's enrichment capability. The uranium centrifuges are expensive machines and the Iranians need thousands of them to produce significant quantities of U-235. We don't want to destroy a few prototypes that can be easily replaced. We need to wait until they've built a huge underground gallery with thousands of centrifuges ready to go on-line. Then the day before they flip the "on switch" is when we collapse the cavern and destroy billions of dollars worth of hardware. In the meantime, we play nice with the Europeans doing the diplomacy futility, get our HUMINT organized in cooperation with the Israelis and tie off our loose ends in Iraq.

4/14/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

In the article on the Basiji it reads..

"At the beginning of the war, Iran's ruling mullahs did not send human beings into the minefields, but rather animals: donkeys, horses, and dogs. But the tactic proved useless: "After a few donkeys had been blown up, the rest ran off in terror," Mostafa Arki reports in his book Eight Years of War in the Middle East. The donkeys reacted normally--fear of death is natural. The Basiji, on the other hand, marched fearlessly and without complaint to their deaths."..

Are we in an era so surreal that it is beyond contemplation? How can we do anything other than admit the Islam has not been hijacked, but is the HIV of human religion?

4/14/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

2164th said...

"The donkeys reacted normally--fear of death is natural. The Basiji, on the other hand, marched fearlessly and without complaint to their deaths."

With all due respect, this story about "fearlessly marching" is crap. Those poor little boys would have been crying for their mothers and begging for mercy. They were marched out to their deaths at the tip of a bayonet.

4/14/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Good comment Eggplant.

There are a lot of minefields in the enrichment of Uranium.

During the Manhattan Project, there were at least three known cases where accidents led to an uncontrolled chain reaction which was stopped by physical intervention of the experimenters.

There was another case where they almost had criticality and another case where there could have been an accident in storing the stuff.

When one considers the state of Iranian aviation maintenance and then contemplates the level of engineering and techical suport for Nuclear engineering, the Iranians may end up destroying it themselves by creating their own Chernobyl.

The Hidden Imam may become a burning nuclear fire after a big quake.

In a meaner world, one can see someone using several nuetron bombs to ruin all their enriched uranium.

4/14/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Eggplant,

I know for a fact the kids marched out there like that. You are right that some did not want to go but these were removed during training.

The Hitler Youth were the same way.

4/14/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Eggplant,
I do not know if that is better or worse. Take your pick.

4/14/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

eggplant: We don't want to destroy a few prototypes that can be easily replaced. We need to wait until they've built a huge underground gallery with thousands of centrifuges ready to go on-line. Then the day before they flip the "on switch" is when we collapse the cavern and destroy billions of dollars worth of hardware.

(cross-posting from my 1:00 pm in another thread)

Update, re: enrichment, Iran and ludicrosity:

They're going for it.

Iran Flaunts Low-Level Enrichment to Conceal High-Powered Weaponizaton Plant

...the Neshabour installation, [secret until now], when ready to go in three years, will have three times the capacity of Natanz and be able to turn out 9-15 bombs a year.

In late 2005, Bulgarian transport planes delivered tens of thousands of centrifuges from Belarus and Ukraine; they were transported directly to Neyshabour. In January 2006, 23 Ukrainian engineers arrived to start installing the equipment, joined in February by 46 Belarusian nuclear experts who are working in shifts to prepare the 155,000 P-1 and P-2 centrifuges for operation.

Caveat: I'd said previously that officials who claim Iran needs "3+ years to construct a uranium nuclear bomb" are ludicrous. That was provided the officials also believe Iran's enrichment effort to be successful.

Debka asserts that Iran needs three years from this point, which puts the Debka editors on the margin of my blacklist -- except that Debka notes, "The Natanz project was long slowed by serious malfunctions in running the centrifuges...", and that Neyshabour is still in "experimental stages". So Debka doesn't view the current enrichment efforts as truly successful. So OK, then; they're off my list.

[pinches bridge of nose, takes Tylenol]

As Michael Ledeen says, "Faster, please..." (Not the mullahs. Us.)

4/14/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here is an Air Force General that says we can bomb Iran 'til they are done for.

"... What would an effective military response look like? It would consist of a powerful air campaign led by 60 stealth aircraft (B-2s, F-117s, F-22s) and more than 400 nonstealth strike aircraft, including B-52s, B-1s, F-15s, F-16s, Tornados, and F-18s. Roughly 150 refueling tankers and other support aircraft would be deployed, along with 100 unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and 500 cruise missiles. In other words, overwhelming force would be used.

The objective would be, first and foremost, to destroy or severely damage Iran's nuclear development and production facilities and put them out of commission for at least five years. Another aim would
be to destroy the Iranian air defense system, significantly damage its air force, naval forces, and Shahab-3 offensive missile forces. This would prevent Iran from projecting force outside the country and retaliating militarily. The air campaign would also wipe out or neutralize Iran's command and control capabilities.

This coalition air campaign would hit more than 1,500 aim points. Among the weapons would be the new 28,000-pound bunker busters, 5,000-pound bunker penetrators, 2,000-pound bunker busters, 1,000-pound general purpose bombs, and 500-pound GP bombs. A B-2 bomber, to give one example, can drop 80 of these 500-pound bombs independently targeted at 80 different aim points.

This force would give the coalition an enormous destructive capability, since all the bombs in the campaign feature precision guidance, ranging from Joint Direct Attack Munitions (the so-called JDAMS) to laser-guided, electro-optical, or electronically guided High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) for suppression of Iranian surface-to-air missiles. This array of precision weapons and support aircraft would allow the initial attacks to be completed in 36 to 48 hours. ... "

Target: Iran

In the Weekly Standard, Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) served as assistant vice chief of staff of the United States Air Force.

Another Lt General, another point of view. If you agree he could be considered a Patriot of the highest order, if you disagree, a selfserving seeker of more face time as a FOX News contributor.

Was General Thomas McInerney (Ret.) a Clinton appointee as well, or has he been retired longer than those other Generals?

Must he be selfserving, wanting the Air Force, his Service, to have all the Glory for itself. Not even mentioning the Terror network the Iranians have inplace, worldwide.
Yep, No mention of Out of Region blowback, if any, this article could be dismissed out of hand, just like General Newbold's.
Could it not?
Should it not?

4/14/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Basiji that have been in this country for five years should get in-State Tuition, to get them off to a good (socialist) education as new citizens.
Academic Credit for an active case of TB or HIV.

4/14/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

Official Web Site of the Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran

With music.

4/14/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Good one Tex

4/14/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/14/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

rat: Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence for analysis, said the official view of the intelligence agencies remained that Iran was unlikely to have nuclear weapons before 2010 at the earliest...

2010: that breaks the 3-year rule. Finger-man is out.

4/14/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Tex said...

"They're going for it. Iran Flaunts Low-Level Enrichment to Conceal High-Powered Weaponizaton Plant ...the Neshabour installation, [secret until now], when ready to go in three years, will have three times the capacity of Natanz and be able to turn out 9-15 bombs a year."

That's a great yarn... The only problem is it's from Debka. That means it has a fifty-fifty chance of either being actually true or a well conceived fantasy. Debka is great for plausible scenarios but you can never trust Debka.

4/14/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Tex - DEBKA is just 3 Israeli Jews who regularly post false stories, always in the hopes of manipulating credulous Americans to do Israel's bidding. Ledeen is a discredited neocon who is welcome to drop in on Iran if he is that eager and so into "Faster, Faster for Israel's sake!!"

Wretchard's tale of the Basiji was chilling. I wonder what the final casualty count of children (and zealous young men) doing the mine-clearing was.

I do want to wait and see if we can get allies on Iran, other than unusable Israel. After the botched Iraq postwar, I don't want to see Bush blow another trillion and 20,000 casualties bogged down in yet another war..while Russia, China, Europe, and Japan free ride on our solitary sacrifice. Lets see if the Brits, French, Germans and just as importantly the Turks and Russians back the action.

Especially if civil war starts in Iraq.

Things might get so bad Bush is compelled to rush through another 60 billion in pork for his corporate benefactors and push a new round of tax cuts for CEOs. Though with oil at 200 a barrel, I guess the 400 million package the CEO of Exxon got is reasonable if he wants to drive a lot.

4/14/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

That would be "with oil at 200 a barrel if Iran shuts its oil down and the Straight of Hormuz is blocked for any length of time"

4/14/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

"I love legitimate theater."

4/14/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger The Tiger said...

Re Kendall -- thing is, he did live to grow old...

4/14/2006 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

c4: "DEBKA is just 3 Israeli Jews... Ledeen is a discredited neocon... "Faster, Faster for Israel's sake!!"... see Bush blow another trillion and 20,000 casualties... 60 billion in pork for his corporate benefactors... drive a lot."

Did I hit a nerve there, c4?

Hmmm... Hold still a sec. I need to mark that spot...

4/14/2006 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

C4 said:

"I do want to wait and see if we can get allies on Iran, other than unusable Israel. After the botched Iraq postwar, I don't want to see Bush blow another trillion and 20,000 casualties bogged down in yet another war..while Russia, China, Europe, and Japan free ride on our solitary sacrifice. Lets see if the Brits, French, Germans and just as importantly the Turks and Russians back the action. "

A coalition building strategy used by Bush-1 would be useful. As Iran has no natural allies except perhaps in Southern Iraq (and I think that is overstated) it is not too much a stretch to put major pressure on Kuwait, UAE (they are recovering from the port deal), Saudi, Mexico and even Venezuela to freeze oil prices during a period of oil disruption. All of those countries are open to American persuasion including "an offer they cannot refuse."

4/14/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

damn nice segue, C4. The artistry of the sentence lamenting the basij kept me from realizing I was reading your same statement again for 400,000th time.

4/14/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Al-Qaeda is opening for business just across from Israel. When that failed state gets wiped out, just look at the publicity!

When the bombing of Iran starts, expect to see a new wave of Basiji heading into Iraq mixed with regular soldiers. We will have no option but to kill them, so get your ear-plugs ready. But just look at the publicity!

As for the Professors against education, just look at the publicity.

A real victim knows how to get publicity.

ADE

4/14/2006 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th - It will be tough to control oil supply and price. The failure of rightwing crony capitalism in Latin America nearly destroyed the middle class in several countries and the profits and tax cuts went to various Owner Class oligarchies so Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia went socialist while Bush was in "evildoer" tunnel vision. Mexico may replace Fox with a Chavez-type firebreather in 6 months. China controls the Panama Canal and is in the process of replacing America as provider of high tech goods and services there - and China and the Latins appear to love he notion of Chavez taking the lead and really sticking it to the Yanqui for decades of slights and favoring the wealthy over the Latin people.

The Saudis are true friends when it comes to global responsibility to good stewardship of oil - but they will not support an attack on Iran if it is seen only as the US doing the Israel Lobby's toolwork.

In Europe, Spain, Italy, Ukraine are going Leftward. Russia is still cleaning up, after waking up to find capitalism had put much of the country's wealth in the hands of 8 oligarchs backed by German and Jewish financier money.

Bush is not trusted after bungling the Iraq postwar so badly. If we do hope to deter Chavez sticking it to us as well in a Gulf oil shutoff, we need critical allies like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the 3 EU countries to say Iran must be done.

Confidence in Bush is so low that the US Congress may balk unless it is a Gulf War style coalition that will go in. Bush on his own is likely to mess it up..

As for price, I wish to see - but we won't - America going after the speculators that are enriching their little empires with 10-18 a barrel premiums added, start of odd-even gas days even before Iran becomes a greater crisis, and windfall profits rebates. All that will have to wait on a new President or a Democratic Congress after 2006.

4/15/2006 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Interesting points, C4.

Yes, survival of the fittest is pretty difficult when your country is a basket case. And that is America's great 'fault', exposing the basket cases. Just ask the French.

ADE

4/15/2006 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

I find it amazing that when right-wing capitalism(crony) succeeds, as in Southeast Asia, it's due to the industriousness of the indigenous people, but when it fails elsewhere, as in Latin America, it's the fault of the US. Or the JOOOS!

Let's have some sense of proportion, eh?

4/15/2006 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

It is rather nauseating to watch retired generals posing and prancing on the stage like supermodels, pausing every now and then for applause and admiration. These now-superfluous peacocks believe it is all about them. They want to cash in on their "celebrity", perhaps write a book or run for office. We have all paid our dues, generals. But some of us have the decency to vacate the stage for those who must do the work.

4/15/2006 02:42:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Rumsfeld Stays, Says Commander-in-Chief
By LOLITA BALDOR, Associated Press Writer

The most recent General calling for Rumsfeld resignation was General John Batiste.

Also calling for Rumsfeld to resign were retired Army Maj. Gen. John Riggs, retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, retired Army Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton and retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.

From what I have been able to glean, they all think he is a "mean old man who would not listen to them."

The bastid.;-)

4/15/2006 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Re: Documenting the RoP.

From the Timesonline

Teenager killed his sister for living a Western life
From Roger Boyes in Berlin

"AYHAN SURUCU was so angry when his sister started to wear make-up and date German men that he put a gun to her head at a bus stop and killed her.

The 18-year-old Turk fired three bullets into her brain and calmly walked away."

Boys at a nearby school, attended mainly by the children of immigrant Muslim families, cheered and applauded when news of the murder reached them..."

The article concludes with:
"There are 40 “honour killings” a year in Germany and most of them result from the failure of an arranged marriage, which are illegal in the country."

4/15/2006 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Also from the Timesonline

A soldier's body has been found and identified after being buried in the mud of Flanders for 92 years. Private Richard Lancaster was among the first to die in the first Battle of Ypres which saw an estimated 238,000 casualties in Oct-Nov 1914. But the real carnage came in July through November of 1917 when an estimated 568,000 men were killed or wounded. There were an estimated 950,000 casualties here at three major battles throughout the Great War.

Whenever I am reminded of the huge and senseless casualty numbers of WWI, I can better understand how a continent of people could lose their faith in a good and loving God but WWI is not the only reason for the secularization of Europe. It was just one bloody event in a chain of events as a people fell away from Christianity and brought calamity onto themselves.

History should tell us something.

4/15/2006 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

NUCLEAR IRAN

In contemplating a nuclear Iran, Brent Scowcroft has written about the importance of a united response including China, and Russia. His thesis is that without both countries, diplomacy will fail. It is conceivable that the Iraq war could have been avoided if a higher level of cooperation had been achieved by The Bush Administration. There is a sobering assement in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs discussing the increasing vulnerability of both China and Russia to a US first nulear strike capability. An edited response by Yegor Gaidar appears in the Financial Times. Can it be that we find ourselves in a position that China and Iran have a greater interest in Iran becoming a nuclear power than not? Let's hope not.

Nuclear Punditry Can Be a Dangerous Game
By Yegor Gaidar

Published: March 28 2006 20:12 | Last updated: March 28 2006 20:12

..."In an article in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, the US-based journal, Keir Lieber of the University of Notre Dame and Daryl Press of the University of Pennsylvania lay out results of calculations according to a model they have developed. They show that the US has developed nuclear capacity sufficient to launch a strike guaranteed to wipe out Russia and China, without the risk of suffering a return strike.
They also provide a detailed explanation for Russian and Chinese leaders of the purpose of America’s anti-missile defence system. The system is not about preventing the threat of attack from “rogue” nations, they argue, but rather, about enabling the US dramatically to reduce the risk of a nuclear counter-strike by
Russia and China after a nuclear attack by the US.

The world is confronting a serious challenge associated with Iran’s nuclear programme. The united stance of the US, Europe, Russia and China is a key prerequisite if we are to deal with this challenge. In the circumstances, mutual suspicion of nuclear strike preparations form the worst backdrop for such co-operation. Were I an Iranian leader, I would have paid a handsome fee for such an article.
When you are provoked, it is important to keep cool and look at who is trying to get you to lose your temper. Let us hope that Russian and Chinese leaders will have enough common sense to understand this."...

4/15/2006 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ahhh, but tex, fiingerman is still in the Game, you pay his fee, indirectly.

That 2010 estimate is still shy of the TEN years the CIA claimed LAST summer as a timeline.

Even so...
Three years, still puts Mr Bush in a position to "kick the can" a bit further down the road.
To many (two) years wasted dithering around in Iraq, Mr Bush lost the big Mo' and won't get it back in time for an Iranian War.

An opportunity lost. Inertia within the Military and Congress, along with a distrustful US public will all work against Intervention.

Iran been "unacceptably" nuclear for about a week now.
See how easy is WAS accepted.

The US Bombers are still grounded on the tarmac, the Israeli as well.

4/15/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Bon Air said...

Now this could be interesting!

http://www.jordanembassyus.org/04062006001.htm

I have always thought Jordan could be very helpful to Iraq's success

4/15/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ...
Winning the peace in Iraq
JIM LEHRER: Yes. I want to make sure I understand what you believe that Rumsfeld is responsible for specifically. Is it the whole plan itself, the decision to go into Iraq, the way it was executed, overruling Tommy Franks and the other military? Give me the indictment.

MAJ. GEN. JOHN BATISTE: I think it goes back to the strategic underpinnings, the basic plan that we executed in Iraq. It goes back to decisions to disband the Iraqi military, which was a colossal mistake and was the bane of the existence of the divisions in combat for the entire time they were there.

Hundreds of thousands of now unemployed, disenfranchised Iraqis, with their gun and ammunition, they left their installations -- which, by the way, were the best facilities in all of Iraq -- and the Iraqi people immediately took them apart, cinderblock by cinderblock. When we got there, there was only the concrete slabs left on the ground.

So the work to reestablish this, to build a competent Iraqi security force, to garrison them, provide for their care, was an incredible effort; it didn't have to be that way.

JIM LEHRER: If the leadership of the U.S. government had listened to you and your fellow military leaders, what would be the situation in Iraq today?

MAJ. GEN. JOHN BATISTE: Well, first off, I think we have got to complete the mission in Iraq. We have no option; we need to be successful; we need to set the Iraqi people up for self-reliance.

With their form of representative government that takes into account tribal, religious and ethnic complexity that defines that country is nothing new. The Brits had a hell of a time with that in the '10s and '20s of the last century, nothing new at all. And we got to set them up for self-reliance so they can go on it on their own.

When I returned from Germany after three years, I was shocked to see that business was as usual. Other than an occasional family that was committed to the war because one of their soldiers was in the fight, or sadly too many families whose soldiers had been killed or wounded, who really understand what sacrifice is all about, the rest of America only makes a decision whether they're going to put a yellow or red "Support Your Troops" sticker on the back of your car. And my question is: Why?

When we're spending $6 to $9 billion a month, depending what you read, we're mortgaging our future. And I believe Americans will stand up and do whatever they're asked to do. It might be some form of rationing; I don't know. We have experience in World War I, Korea, World War II on how to do this. This country is incredibly patriotic, and we would get up on our feet and support the president whatever he asked us to do.

JIM LEHRER: But that's an indictment of the president, not of Secretary Rumsfeld, correct?

MAJ. GEN. JOHN BATISTE: I'm not indicting the president one bit. I'm just saying that I came back from Germany to my country and I found that the people were not mobilized, not sacrificing for this incredible effort. If it's the country's main effort, let's all get behind it. ... "

Jr's coutin' the days. Under 100, now.
So short he has to unzip his fly to see where he's goin.

Our family sacrifice in the Global Police Chase is about over, you all can send your kids, next. Better yet, for those of you whom are under thirty, enlist yourselves, Fun Travel Adventure.

Step up and grab that ring, Pat Tillman did it, why not you?

4/15/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger C-Low said...

Children are like clean slates you can paint whatever you want onto them and that is what they become.

These Basiji sound like Uday’s Fedahean but multiple generations deep were as Uday’s Fedahean only had maybe one or two generations. These guys will be, as the great Mullahs like to brag the Muslims Cruise Missiles.

Eggplant: The children were probably not crying for mamma or even walked at the tip of gunpoint. People often underestimate the power of indoctrination and propaganda. There are examples of this type of work everywhere the Tamil Tigers, Fedahean, Nazi Youth, Palestinian school system, Hezbollah, ect..

This simple tenant is what our LLL friends learned early on and know full well today. You can teach children anything and they know no better to question. Once that propaganda is sunk in their entire life is shaped by it.

Don't underestimate our enmey this will be the Big Show. They have had nearly 40yrs to prepare.

4/15/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I gave Batiste some credibility because I thought he was speaking as a combat division commander and not as the self-anointed smartest general in the world. His Leher interview just wiped that out.

I don't have enough facts to make a convincing argument either way but neither have I seen anything persuasive that leaving the Iraqi army formations intact was a better idea. Batiste says that the cashiered soldiers were later recruited into the insurgency. How does keeping them together make that recruitment less probable and not more?

Batiste should STFU.

4/15/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Peterboston,

Go read Geroge's Sada's bio for what the Iraqi Military was - a bunch of Saddam Loyalists and Cronies who bullied the people and of whom people lived in Fear.

They had to be removed and replaced with an honest Army loyal to Iraq that people trusted.

Batiste needs to watch his lane.

4/15/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Because, peter boston, leaving the men in the barracks, under some level of US supervision, would have been better then letting them run "wild and free".

Any Company Commander would know about restricting their men's "weekend & overnight" passes and how that cuts down on police blotter incidents.

Which, if we had been able to keep the old Iraqi Army in the barracks, would have been the anedotal result the Generals speak of.

Whether we even could have held it together is another question, entirely, that most seem to believe would have been a given.
It would not have been so easy to have held Saddam's Armies together, regardless of the assumed benefits.

4/15/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Think of the Saddam's Army, in barracks, as Detainees we paid.

That is the basis of the theory, I think.

4/15/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I don't see any positive outcome to keeping a defeated army in the barracks. They would more likely than not feel like POWs and develop a command structure that would prove more troublesome than they would as individuals.

That letting them "run wild" comment is as silly as it is empty. Maybe they should have been annihilated in place.

4/15/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Batiste is just another lecture circuit, book selling wannabe, griping, lifer, sack of s**t.

By the way, you'll notice he never answered Lehrer's question.

4/15/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is why you never made General.

In the first Gulf War POW were a major issue, tens of thousands of them.
In the Iraq Campaign, very few POWs.
By design.
Die or go home was the message.

When the an Army disbands and looters take to the streets, that's ...
"Wild & Free"
To paraphrase Mr Rumsfeld, at the time.
We certainly did not stop the looting, nor even try.

4/15/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Iran is only the biggest tip of the devastating Islamic Iceburg that is moving at a steady rate toward our future, our childrens and our grandchildrens future.

It is going to be a "Long War" and Iran may or may not be even a big chapter in the history of this war.

But it may be one of the most important ones. Who will be the American President who will preside over the story of Iran's quest for world power and the quest for the rebirth of Persian greatness?

For the rest of us, it is time to start telling our children what they must do in the coming years.

Prepare them, it is your responsibilty.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

4/15/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I've read a little military history and I just don't recall when policing looters during or immediately after a battle became a priority war objective.

If there is anything lacking in the Iraqi campaign it's a sense of historical persepective - even among people who should know better.

4/15/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

From 2003
" ... WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Declaring that freedom is "untidy," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday the looting in Iraq was a result of "pent-up feelings" of oppression and that it would subside as Iraqis adjusted to life without Saddam Hussein.

He also asserted the looting was not as bad as some television and newspaper reports have indicated and said there was no major crisis in Baghdad, the capital city, which lacks a central governing authority. The looting, he suggested, was "part of the price" for what the United States and Britain have called the liberation of Iraq.

"Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things," Rumsfeld said. "They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that's what's going to happen here."

Looting, he added, was not uncommon for countries that experience significant social upheaval. "Stuff happens," Rumsfeld said.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed. "This is a transition period between war and what we hope will be a much more peaceful time," Myers said. ... "

Three years in, still hopeful for that transition to a "peaceful time" after the War.
But notice General Myers, he thought the War was over, then, if we were in a transition period.

4/15/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Was he being "selfserving" when he said that,
or was he just wrong?

Or was he wrong, at all?
The War was over, then.

Depends on whom the Enemy is, no?

Depends on which War General Myers was thinking of.

4/15/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

rat

i bet you pick your nose too.

4/15/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

By the way, Ja'afari just said that he would step aside.

Muqtada Al Sadr threatened to kill virtually everyone who didn't support Al Ja'afari. They held firm. Muqtada lost. They're going to make it.

4/15/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/15/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, they told me that if I didn't reenlist I couldn't make General. I giggled. Then I woke up.

4/15/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They told me that if I reenlisted, I'd be a Drill Sarge at Ft Lost in the Woods, that was to be my Career Path, they said.

Went back to AZ, instead.

4/15/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

been savin' those buggers,
just for you, too.
When you come out here on your USA Ass Kickin' Tour at least you'll have something to take home when you're done.

If you go back and read Mr Rumsfeld and General Myers quotes from '03 & '04 it puts a little different perspective on what is being said now.

Great USA Today story about how the Insurgency started, three days after the Invasion.
Lot's of "good" stuff, from the near past.

Revising History, it's just not a symptom of being "left"

4/15/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Decided to be a "Grill" instructor instead, huh?

4/15/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

damned right.

Sit by the pool, enjoy the cosmic radiation and the tempid waters.

I'd had enough kimchee to last a life time.

4/15/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

You don't get it rat. Never will. I don't give a rat's ass (including yours) if the Iraqis looted the local McDonald's or the museum, or what color panties they wore at Abu Grahb, or if flag officer's don't like Rummy's memos.

Iraq is the Small Footprint experiment. Maybe it will work out. Maybe it won't although the evidence to date says that it will.

Whether the Iraqis want to kill each other in great numbers or not we're there with boots and bases snuggled up beside Mullahville and in their face.

4/15/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

snuggle up close, pb.
I get it, lies and deception, your stock and trade.
If the US cannot be honest about it's Goals and Intentions, they are not worthy of pursuit.

When and if Mr Bush speaks to your purported truth as to the reasons for the troop deployments, I'd support them.
But hehas not and does not. He speaks only of the localized Iraqi War.
You must believe, as Ms Sheehan does, that Mr Bush is an outright liar.

4/15/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

My sentiments exactly, Peter.

If this was a poker game I would be liking my position, right now. I've got the great majority of the chips. My position at the table is good, and, I'm the best player. I'm calling the shots.

And, I'm getting ready to cash out, and go catch a show. What's not to like?

4/15/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Eggplant,

I had a college prof who was from Iran. He had some buddies who were all gung-ho to go back to Iran after the revolution. My prof warned them not to go back lest they end up with their "backs to a wall". Well, they went back and did indeed end up with their "backs to a wall".

4/15/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger blert said...

9:29 PM Eggplant said...

“ IMHO, the Iranians won't have a functioning nuke this year. If an Iranian nuke was near term, the Israelis would be making a whole lot more noise than they currently are.”

The Iranians slipped their nuclear capability right on by America and Israel. They have the A-bomb right now: but in token amounts only. The enrichment campaign will ramp up production and permit meaningful production of tritium. Iran has had heavy water production capacity since 1995. (IAEA) Both routes to the bomb have been detected. (U233, U235) (IAEA) These reports are four years old.

Ahmadi-Nejad is able to openly push ahead because he already has an atomic shield.

This situation shuts up American and Israeli threats. They have lost all purpose to dissuade. Any further bluster just narrows one’s options. Hence the quiet.

The absurdly distant capability predictions are designed to take the political pressure off the national leadership. Note the drumbeat of exculpatory rationalizations vis a vis ultra-centrifuge through-puts.

It is not possible to configure an atomic nosecone till its warhead is resolved. Every other power began mating tests only AFTER they had a working weapon. Therefore, it is of great import that Iran has begun testing her first generation atomic nosecones. The fact that they are Russian knock-offs is irrelevant.

The only reasonable conclusion: Iran has atomic weapons already – and now is moving to establish a strategic rocket force.

We are witnessing total strategic breakout.

“ Timing is everything when it comes to taking out Iran's enrichment capability. The uranium centrifuges are expensive machines and the Iranians need thousands of them to produce significant quantities of U-235. We don't want to destroy a few prototypes that can be easily replaced. We need to wait until they've built a huge underground gallery with thousands of centrifuges ready to go on-line. Then the day before they flip the "on switch" is when we collapse the cavern and destroy billions of dollars worth of hardware. In the meantime, we play nice with the Europeans doing the diplomacy futility, get our HUMINT organized in cooperation with the Israelis and tie off our loose ends in Iraq.”

Sooner is better than later. The prototypes are in Russia and the West. Iran is importing these machines and bolting them together. Just how much engineering do you think that involves?

There is no magic ‘on’ day. Each cascade ‘train’ is fired up independent of any other. The tweaking that is required is for maximum effectiveness. Even a crudely balanced cascade train will provide the goods.

The only challenge is leaks and vibration. Plainly, with 164 devices spinning, Iran has mastered that. Scaling up is a walk in the park.

There is absolutely no requirement to have all of the centrifuges concentrated in one spot. Expect Iran to start distributing these gadgets around the country.

BTW getting U235 up from 7,000 ppm to 35,000 ppm takes most of the effort. Going from 35,000 ppm to 800,000 ppm is not so tough. Putting on your chemical engineering cap: the mass transfer required at low concentrations requires tremendous capital investments. The higher levels of enrichment involve a drastically reduced process stream.

Our human intelligence from within their atomic community is a joke. How else to explain Iran’s ability to get the jump on the West?

HAVING heavy water production since 1995 begs the question: whence its output? One can’t fail to note that their new power reactor is a pressurized HEAVY WATER design. It is expected to go hot this year.

Heavy water is such a terrific moderator that natural uranium can fire up a sustained reaction without any further ado. The only reasonable assumption is that Iran has heavy water moderated converter reactors hidden around the countryside. I’d expect them to be of a very simple swimming pool design.

Iran has solved the diplomatic process of violating the spirit of the NPT: produce your first nukes on the backburner with absolute priority for secrecy, deniability. With enough on hand, break into the ‘club’ fuzzily – never detonate. Then ramp up to become a nuclear superpower. The key: your opponents can not be allowed to see you cards or your game plan.

4/15/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rufus,
If only you were right,
The Weekly Standard has quite a lengthy piece about how the French believe we will have to bomb Iran. How they are setting it up, as it were.

The most interesting paragraph, to me, was:

"... ALTHOUGH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION has no desire to have the Great Iran Debate--just mentioning a preventive military strike at the State Department or the Pentagon is not a socially acceptable, polite thing to do--the clerical regime will probably force the administration to have it soon. The recent reporting that suggests the Bush administration--or at least the dark side of it in the Pentagon and the vice president's office--is already gearing up for a possible military confrontation with the clerics is, to put it mildly, at odds with the diplomacy-centered, keep-the-handcuffs-on-hawkish-U.N.-ambassador-John-Bolton approach of the State Department, which dominates Iran policy. Although this may change, the Pentagon and the vice president's office seem to have little role in the administration's Iran discussions, and in neither place do you find bombing enthusiasts or strategists trying to game scenarios reminiscent of the run-up to the 2003 war against Saddam Hussein. ... "

Now, I do not think of the Weekly Standard as a Leftist or defeatist periodical.
To bomb, or not to bomb
Is that really the question?

as they said over PA, so many years ago
"Let's roll"

4/15/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Rat-Half the US, and half of Europe, does not want to get into the 'Let's roll' mode.

Rather, they want to roll over.

Until those voices dim down, Bush has his hands tied. No point pushing all out now when it could cost the sane planners control over the process, ceding it to the inmates, the leftoids.

4/15/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Blert, I hope you're wrong.

In defense of your theory; we have never come "within a mile" of determining when a country would/could go nuclear. Every one has been a huge surprise.

4/15/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

On the other hand; if they had any kind of little nuclear weapon they'd be crazy not to test it. It (the test) would make them "impervious" to attack.

4/15/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Those voices will not "dim down" on our present course. The US is not dependent upon Europe to act.
As Mr Rumsfeld said in '04, Iran is the source of the Enemy. As Mr Bush said in '02 we are at War with those that support Terror.

Nothings changed but that the Iranians are stronger today than in '04.

Our Army was in Iraq, victorious according to General Myers, and provocated, according to Mr Rumsfeld.
Like Syria, Iran got a Terror Pass.
To say our position improves with time is not what Mr Bush has said. He said time was short, we had to act.

4/15/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Israelis have yet to detonate a device.
But they retain the deterence factor of having the weapons, regardless.
The same applies to Iran, aye.

4/15/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

peterboston,
For whatever it's worth, I agree that leaving the Iraq Army intact would have been an enormous mistake. Confining them to barracks would have compounded the mistake.

The only 'organized wars' (to include afterwar) I can think of have been waged by the bums. The only planned occupations were by the bums.
The bums lost, one way or another, by either long battle or longterm economic realities.

Those that are good at 'organizing and planning war' are also very good at 'organizing and planning' a country's economy.

Show me a growing, longterm, 'planned economy' which is working without the use of arms and then I will considered a 'planned afterwar'. otherwise, I will keep thinking 'moral inept' at the same time 'planned afterwar' goes through my mind.

4/15/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

There's about 16 WHEREAS clauses in the Joint Resolution. Choose as many as you want from Column A and Column B. Or none at all. Don't really care.

Maybe I forgot to mention that I don't speak for the WH. I'm looking at the facts on the ground and that's what I see.

4/15/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Great Generals can be very, very, wrong when it comes to "Peace."

Patton wanted to put the Nazi's back in charge in Germany. He, also, wanted to go ahead and invade Russia. Hmmm

4/15/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The story of the sinking of the Tirpitz has an African Queen ending to it. The difference being the African Queen is a work of fiction the Tirpitz was not.

4/15/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then the President's Course is not one you would reccomend. pb?

4/15/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I think Blert has it right, as it ties in with what I read said by a Rafi Eitan, an older retired Israeli gentleman who was early on one of the founders of Mossad/Shin Bet. He said some weeks ago he thought Iran already had one or two bombs. Eitan was one of the guys that got Eickmann, also recruited Pollard to spy against us. Has had an illustrious past. In a book I am reading "Where God Was Born" by Feiler there is a tale about how Eitan and one Rabbi Getz back in 1981 hatched a scheme to tunnel somewhere under the Wailing(Western) Wall in Jerusalem thinking they could find the lost Ark of the Covenant in there somewhere from the time of Solomon's temple. "Getz and Eitan believed that finding the Ark, which has been missing since the death of Solomon, would herald the return of the messiah." In the effort they were found out and, to avoid a confrontation with the muzzies-whose area it was--Menachem Begin shut the operation down and filled the passageway with concrete. But I ask, how in the name of human reason, living in a universe as vast and violent as we now know it to be, can an intelligent man like Eitan believe such evident non-sense about heralding in the messiah? And we have the Iranian thinking the mahdi will appear from the well(a shrink or mythologist could make a lot of that image) along with assorted Christian fools looking to the end of days, which they might well get. And to top it off the Iranian thinks the mahdi can be coerced to arrive by creating chaos. Ah, perfect. It may be past time to dismantle--not blow up--all the synagogues, church, and mosques in the world and put the building materials to some good use. And then sit silently, peacefully together once a year and chant a soft praise to the sun, or some such sane rite. I have no idea how the situation can be gotten out of, but I think Blert is right, they have a bomb or more already.And things are scary.

4/15/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The only reasonable conclusion: Iran has atomic weapons already – and now is moving to establish a strategic rocket force.

Blert,

I don't buy it.

The only way the Iran would have an atomic weapons ready is if they received one from Pakistan. To my eyes, everything about Iran's action screams that they're lying.

Now, I'd like you to consider something.

When you announce that preemption is your National Strategy and you tell everyone, it begets preemption. Why would any country that understood what the US did to Saddam, to Iraq, ever sit back and wait for the US to position itself like that again before they would strike? Why would they allow the US to position the its forces so close by, and to do all the things the US is doing, and not strike first, or at least take some action?

4/15/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

I does seem pretty unlikely. If they only had one, the advantages of exploding it now would be enormous.

Dubya has to ride out the current storm of book-selling Generals and the glacial-moving formation of the Iraqi government; Then over the next couple of months ease more and more troops back to the desert.

He doesn't want to do it now, but, at some time before August he will point to a calmer landscape, and, in essence, declare a sort of victory.

4/15/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

mat

The Mullahs have a losing hand and are bluffing with their last few chips. The only way they win is for US to fold. Any overt action wrecks the bluff and ends the game. Badly.

I don't think the US with Bush in the WH will back down even if its means serious tonnage heading East, but who knows. There are plenty of people working towards that end and more than a few of them sit in the Senate or wear stars.

4/15/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger blert said...

10:16 AM Mətušélaḥ said...


“ Why would any country that understood what the US did to Saddam, to Iraq, ever sit back and wait for the US to position itself like that again before they would strike? Why would they allow the US to position the its forces so close by, and to do all the things the US is doing, and not strike first, or at least take some action?”

The mullahs are striking back: mines for the unlawful combatants in Iraq; co-option of Iraqi politics; ramping up the cost of OPEC crude via jaw-jaw; formation of a de-facto alliance with China and Russia and penetration agents all over the West and Iraq.

The mullahs are not for turning. For them the war is joined – already.

Moby Dick, the great white economy (aka Godzilla) takes many a harpoon without notice: it’s so hard to get respect (attention) these days.

Iran wants to sit at the ‘big table’ and have complete freedom of action. Payback for the mullahs means being PAID OFF. Ahmadi-Nejad figures to correct his economic troubles with tribute.

4/15/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger blert said...

That first detonation ends the NPT and all of the Russian imports. That’s much too high a price. As it stands Russia is sending them the ultra-centrifuges and much else precisely because Iran is still a signatory in acceptable standing of the NPT.

So the downside is huge.

The upside is nil. Just the obviousness of their weapons program is having the required effect.

And then, there is the zombie factor: her terrorist adjuncts. This is a weapon that is more powerful in the scabbard than in the hand.

Actual detonation would only trigger Bush release: he’d absolutely have to respond – and would be able to use nuclear forces, to boot.

4/15/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

I was going to respond to Cedarford's "3 Israeli Jews burning the Reichstag or propagandacizing or whatever they did,but why bother?I think the Iranian kidbots walking in minefields are such a marked contrast of Islam("the HIV of human religion") with Christianity which celebrates the resurrection of life tomorrow.They send their children into minefields.Christianity sends missionaries to failed third world states,aid to every disaster plagued region of the world and America sends the flower of our youth to crush tyranny.We win that clash of civilizations any day of the week.

4/15/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Bobalharb,

Wood rot had long ago taken care of the Ark. If Rafi Eitan didn't realize it then, it means he was already a senile old man back in 1981.

4/15/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Iranian unemployment and currency inflation are both in the 20% range (as reported, so it's undoubtedly worse).

This sort of economic performance would be the end of any democratic government that didn't have a powerful rally point--like for instance a real fear of foreign attack. The rhetorical "kick-me" coming out of that government is incomprehensible without resort to numbing mirror games, so maybe it's an Occam explanation, such as the economy and internal legitimacy.

Can the Mullah government be so bad that it is trying to maintain itself via a war it hopes it can control? Gambling against a US air assault is rapidly becoming a bad play unless it's a last gasp, no alternative sort of ploy.

I just can't see the 13th Imam fantasy leading such a large educated professional diplomatic corps. Well, I *can* see it, but I don't believe my eyes.

4/15/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Blert,

If Iran had the bomb it would have already detonated it over Riyadh. If it had two, Makkah would be next. If it had three, Abqaiq would be next. If it had four, Jubail would be next. Etc.

4/15/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Buddy,

How you feeling?

4/15/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wesley Clark is on Fox right now, saying "OIF was unnecessary, we should have finished Osama and come home!" "There was no connection between Sabbam and Terrorism, and OIF was a strategic blunder. Rumsfeld should go, and if this hadn't fooled the American people on Saddam, George Bush would never have been re-elected!"

The delivery was hard, harsh, position-statement toned. This is new, out of Clark. We're seeing a planned offensive, something made necessary by Zarkawi tapering off operations. I'm disgusted.

But not surprised. Correalation of Forces (as in the Brezhnev Doctrine) to our once-great Democratic party means, against the other American political party.

4/15/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mika--better than yesterday, thanks f'r askin.

4/15/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Metusela--I think it is the same Rafi Eitan that just led the Pensioners Party to 6-8% of the vote in the recent Israeli elections, up from their 1-2% before, so he must still be functional, if it is the same guy. Who knows, maybe he will be a member of the Knesset. The Ark was of wood, got it, but didn't it have some silver lining or plating as well?

4/15/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Buddy,

Did the Fox news anchor person call him on it? How is it that such ignorant statements are allowed to go unchallenged? Oil rich Sheikh money involved with the Fox network as well?

4/15/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Bobalharb,

Yes. It's the same bastard.

4/15/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nope, no commentary--just Clark pumping out the same utterly oblivious and sensationally cynical bumper-sticker propaganda.

4/15/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I have looked him up--aka 'Rafi the Smelly'--moniker earned for crawling through sewers to blow up British radar installation before independence of Israel. Has arrest warrant out in US. Also allegations about drug running,etc. and possible plotting of future terrorist incidents. Sounds like an interesting guy, at least.

4/15/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Too bad for Hitler and Tojo, and lucky for FDR and the human race, that we didn't have Clark and the retired generals hanging out with a gushing press corp throughout WWII, saying "If we just hadn't gotten involved, we wouldn't have to be fighting all these costly battles way the hell over in Europe and the far east!"

4/15/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Bobalharb,

He's also chums with Fidel Castro. >:


Here's Wiki's description of Ark: "The Bible describes the Ark as made of acacia or shittah-tree wood. It was a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long (about 130 × 80 × 80 cm). The Ark was covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold."

4/15/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Metusela--Thanks, it might be worth the tunneling to get the gold--in the very unlikely event somebody else didn't run with it--if for no other reason!!;)

4/15/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

bobalharb, you must've not seen "Raiders of the Lost Ark"--

4/15/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Buddy,

Sure enough, a quick search and my suspicion is validated..


He said that during last month's street protests in France, the US television network Fox -- owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in which Al-Walid himself has shares -- ran a banner saying: "Muslim riots."

"I picked up the phone and called Murdoch... (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty," he said.

"Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots."

4/15/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Buddy--Haven't seen it, but have heard fooling around with that object can be dangerous.

4/15/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Messy world, ain't it--when the Aussie Murdoch saves USA from suicidal abc/nbc/cbs depression, yet rotary-club sounding USA-booster al-Walid buys into Fox and then exerts pressure to--what--help paint a bright line between pro-west Muslims and the crazies? Or...well, you know.

4/15/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

There's just a giant black hole where the Muslim debate oughtta be. I mean, if the al-Walids and bin-Ladens were Americans, say, they'd be hammering each other daily in the press, in front of all the voters. Provided they weren't, y'know, "wanted for murder" or something.

4/15/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Buddy,

Would it be even crazier if Eitan received campaign money from Fidel to help paint a bright future for pro-Socialist Israelis?

4/15/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The bad root there, Mika, is that Fidel rules at gunpoint. Otherwise, it'd all be just politics. Israeli Reds get to vote--and as you say, in the single digits, foreigners are able to know the Israel Bomb is way out of the hands of the nutjob utopians.

4/15/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

mətušélaḥ

Al-Walid

4 - 5%

Hey

4/15/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Allen, al Walid--according to what I've read here and there--has his money in the western stock markets. He hangs out in Vegas, speaks English better than me do, wears western clothes. Reminds me of Donald Trump. I think he's invested in several media companies (TimeWarner/CNN?), plus a bunch of the old industrial stocks (GE comes to mind).

IOW, this isn't a mystery robe from the far dunes zeroed in on FoxNews. It could be worse than that, of course, but it isn't *that*.

4/15/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--a Basij instructor

You’ve got to be kidding.

I’d rather be a hammer than a nail.

There are folks who really need kill'n.

4/15/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I used to trust Brit Hume and George Bush. Now, I trust George Bush.

4/15/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Buddy, you're missing the point. If al-Walid was allowed influence, and openly boasts about it, we can only guess who else was allowed influence.

4/15/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

mətušélaḥ,

who else was allowe influence

James A. Baker III has the Rolodex.

4/15/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

rufus: Ja'afari just said that he would step aside.

I'm just seeing Shiite "discussion" today. Encouraging, but no concessions from Jaafari himself. Link?

4/15/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

peterboston: ...we're there with boots and bases snuggled up beside Mullahville and in their face.

We had some talk earlier about the meaning of "getting one's goat". The presence of so many enemy troops about Iran -- north, south, east, west -- is this not the principal application of the goat-getting theory, in present GWOT context?

4/15/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mika, are we talking theory, or practice? If theory, I get it, it's all wrong, it's influence-trading. If we're talking practice, though, well somebody has to write even the raw feeds, and that somebody is beholden to somebody. There's the chance--given FoxNew's overall anti-jihad, pro-west, pro-Bush slant, that al-Walid is trying to deny his family's (he's a KSA Royal) sworn enemy (AQ) their "the west hates all Muslims" propaganda.

4/15/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

During the tunnel vision phase we have suffered over the last 5 years that only a few Islamic "evildoers" are the only foreign policy problem and fixated on remote Iraq "threats" or "the nobility of helping the noble Iraqis people" - The US "crony capitalizism, enrich the wealthy and concentrate shifting productivity and wealth gains to the few so it trickles down properly" economic model has completely collapsed in Latin America, Italy, and Russia.

Latest country about to fall to a Castroite looks to be Peru. With the Castroite/Chavez forces in Mexico poised to give the Left a win and the US a huge wake-up call. Ollanta Humala of Peru has the lead and said he wishes to take Peru as Venezuela is going under Chavez.

Ading Peru and possibly Mexico next to the list of Leftist, socialist governments rejecting America's "Bush globalist way" that now includes Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Costa Rica.

China, another player we ignore while our leaders concern themselves solely with potential threats to "Our Best Friend" Israel, is now running amok in Latin America and Canada, locking up resources once going to the USA as things China will have 1st dibs on.

Russia, after waking up one day to find much it's wealth had been transferred into the hands of 8 capitalist oligarchs backed by German and Jewish financiers - is ripping that control back into the hands of the Russian people, going more authoritarian in the process of recovering from the free market disaster.

Iraq a problem? Iran threatening Israel our main concern? Wait a few years..we are about to have "who lost Latin America, Russia" debates - as well as "who let China destroy American industry and high tech on their way to being the dominant economic and technological superpower??"

And a very divisive upcoming domestic debate about the rising inequality in America, and US policies that cause further concentration of wealth in America in the hands of a few..

Lets hope the next President is a good one. One huge mess awaits the next Administration.

4/15/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

rat: If the US cannot be honest about it's Goals and Intentions, they are not worthy of pursuit.

Which goals and intentions do you think the Administration is lying to the US public about today, rat? Specifically.

And to be clear, goals and intentions are forward-looking objectives. I don't count Administration justifications for prior actions and inactions. Those statements, true or false, fall under a different category.

rat: [Peter:] lies and deception, your stock and trade

Peter makes sense at least as often as you do, rat. You got a beef?

4/15/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Lets hope the next President is a good one."

Just for grins, C4, who do you like?

4/15/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

So 5% buys you a direct line to a guy like Mr Murdoch. The head honcho of News Corp. which has an overall anti-jihad, pro-West, pro-Bush slant. How much do you suppose is needed to buy the ear of lowly news editor at the BBC? How much for a cameraman at CNN to make sure the video feed or still shots are Halal?

4/15/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Cedarford, you have some really strange ideas about politics, especially South American politics. Your mistakes are too numerous to mention; but the one on Chile is down-right bizarre. Chile has a pretty much pro-USA, Free-Trade government. It DID NOT change in the recent election. Consensus is pretty good that Humala will NOT win in Peru, AND the Chavista is now trailing in Mexico. Brazil is not an anti-U.S. government.

Any way, that's enough for now. Gotta go mow the yard. But, I do think your dreams of a world-wide Marxist government are getting a little far-fetched.

4/15/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rufus is to be excused for not recognizing it as a strawman diverting attention from you know whooo that are behind C4 101, ruf, take care of that lawn.
Thanks for the partial list:
It's all anyone can be expected to do.

4/15/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

1:51 PM
All 'Rat, no beef.

4/15/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"goat-getting theory, in present GWOT context?
1:43 PM
"
---
That's nothing but a rationalization/obfuscation for the unnecessary anger and bad feelings we cause our Muslim brothers to experience.
The Root Cause of the Problem, iow.

4/15/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Rat, 9:08 am

One of the biggest failings of this administration is its poor communication. I don't think Bush and Co. lie any more than other administrations but they like to play their cards close to the chest and don't really tell the public why they're doing things. If things turn out well one can get away with this. If (when) things turn out badly you get recriminations.

The most obvious example is the justification for the Iraq war that was (mostly) based on WMDs. I do remember Bush "mentioning" other reasons, like the need to spread democracy, before the war but it was the WMDs that were emphasized. We all know how that turned out.

Part of the problem is that Bush is just not a good public speaker. The other is his real desire to keep his thoughts and intentions to himself.

4/15/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Latin-lefty governments springing up in new democracies, are springing up amidst a substantial Latin American economic boom--if numbers like GDP and personal income mean anything.

The choice for US policy has been either to encourage liberty or encourage oppression.

"Liberty" is going to, in the short term, elect lefties in nations with underdeveloped middle-classes.

What we in the US must do (rather than blame an admin helpless before the demographics), is continue to encourage open markets and political transparency across the board--by (1) trying to prevent these new lefty governments from giving in to lefty regime temptation and retarding democracy now that they're "in" (ala Chavez, elected in 1998), and (2) continue to influence global policy organizations toward rewarding free trade (as has been done with stunning success in Brazil, whose lefty president has bifurcated capitalism and social policy, so that Brazil can grow (and boy, has it grown!).

Long term, politics will move to the center, so long as the economic and political reforms of the last two decades continue to build institutional memory.

What was Bush's alternative, C4--prevent populism via CIA assassinations and installation of puppet governments?

If this is your idea of good policy, say so--becuz otherwise, you're just demagoguing.

The "yellow Peril" part of your post--yes, we have a strong economic rival in PRC. The economy is still only 10% of ours, and has staked it's solvency to the US Dollar, so it's not exactly grounds for Bush to declare war on PRC--right?

So, what would be your solution to the "problem" of foreign nations lifting themselves out of misery/poverty, and establishing the will of their people?

Kick 'em all back down?

What exactly *does* your ideal world look like like, C4?

Really, now is a good time to tell us.

4/15/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

re: c4 and kindred spirits:

I find the recrudescence of hard-Left agitation by turns dangerous and comical. Rabid frothing is of course comical in itself. But there's a slow-burn comedy too, which rarely merits comment. At risk of discouraging the rabid, I'll comment just this once:

In the years since Vietnam, most of the hippy froth has been washed away by Lethe's water-cannon of forgetfulness. Unless you made the mistake of posing for North Vietnamese cameras while riding an anti-aircraft gun, you've got off scot-free.

Lucky Lefties!

But so much of today's rabies-froth will not be washed away. It will remain, a stain on the web, instantly searchable and deeply cross-referenced, forever.

Good luck running for public office, kids. :-)

4/15/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Actually, I do share some of C4's concerns that the WSJ dream we are supposed to wake up to soon may well become instead a nightmare of phoney theories and accounting.
Sorry.
Just like Fred Barnes latest from outerspaceland "Conservatives" in DC, concerning immigration:
Those folks know about as much about the American Street as I do the streets of Dubai.

4/15/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

There's a Mexican Economist predicting a 40% loss to some local communities businesses if Amnesty Prevails:
He knows as soon as some of these millions are legalized, they'll bring their families North and no longer have any reason to send Dollars South.
...and we'll instantly have 20 million new democrat voting/poorly educated, services consuming proto citizens to deal with.

4/15/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Joos have Gold Plated Toilet Seats?!!!

4/15/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug,

It's for the royal crapper. Some Highness by the name of YeHoVeH.

4/15/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

tex,

You may agree that these thoughts may prove useful in the "long war" (or anyother, for that matter).

It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

Virtuous motives, trammeled by inertia and timidity, are no match for armed and resolute wickedness. A sincere love of peace is no excuse for muddling hundreds of millions of humble folk into total war. The cheers of the weak, well-meaning assemblies soon cease to count. Doom marches on.

When you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.

A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen.

Truly, to tell lies is not honorable;
but when the truth entails tremendous ruin,
To speak dishonorably is pardonable.

4/15/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What about Madonna?

4/15/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, I think you're beginning to show some sophistication on the issue. Increase border control to the point of diminishing returns, pick up illegals where you can, and just table the issue of amnesty vs deportation for now, in this DC. Kick can down road, let a year go by, deal with Iran, get Mexican election over with. This is no time to have a friggin civil war, and besides I can't remember where grampaw buried the Confederate money.

4/15/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

She gets a gold cellphone.

4/15/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/15/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

6:31 AM is part of being "all 'Rat"
...no offense, 'Rat.
Just funin like you and Jr will be doing soon.

4/15/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/15/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

doug,

Gold Plated Toilet Seats

You do have to get out more. That's after we take over Dr. Rice's "world community."

4/15/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tex said...

Oh, and rabid Lefties -- if you ever feel shame for what you said and did during the GWOT, just remember that there is a path to cleansing: in The Order of the Serpentine.

:-)

4/15/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, the way *I* see it:
YOUR startin to attain some of that sophisti-stuff in addition to the usual pure sophistry ;-)
I've been a kick the canner for some time compared to the absolute ignorance of the US Senate.
Did you read that Barne's piece in the Standard, though?
He has a totally different POV based on ONE poll that does not jive with anything else in the country.
Then again, it had 3 CAREFULLY chosen questions.
The filipinos here have long gamed the welfare state with additional relatives brought under it, but they are so darn productive and patriotic, that it works fine, given that millions can't make it over every year and overwhelm things.
Not much of a "Flip" crime problem, either.

4/15/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Allen,
I just don't know what else a plated Mercy Seat with a gold lid might be.

4/15/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gold plated Rim, indeed.

4/15/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, Allen's Truly, to tell lies is not honorable is a split-infinitive, but I don't want to tell him because he blow fire. Why don't chew tell him?

4/15/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just don't let Mr. Clean make that ring around the rim go away.

4/15/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

tex,

Not to be picky, but what's the difference between a "rabid" Leftie and the run-of-the-mill Leftie.

Couldn't that be like the "moderate" Muslim? Wasn't it Kissinger who said that's the one who's run out of ammunition?

4/15/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"It ain't you and it ain't me, must be the feller behind that tree!"

4/15/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Not much of a "Flip" crime problem, either.

That's cause Doug keeps 'em locked in the bathroom to polish his rim, that's why

4/15/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, W coined the phrase Toilet Cleaners of the World, not me.
Here we call them Landlords, Businessmen, and Politicians.

4/15/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

why does it have to be "polish that rim"? why couldn't it be "lithuanian that rim"?

4/15/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and Weekend Warriors spending a few years in Iraq.

4/15/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

When you're Scotch, it's a Poleish/Rim interference fit thing.

4/15/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

split infinitive

Just quoting. I wish it had been mine, spit and all.

When we're all peeking over the rim of that big Mercy Seat in the sky, I nominate doug to tell Sophocles.

4/15/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

cause polish girls know their polish? :D

4/15/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, speaking of Local Warriors: that "local" Captain Heli-Pilot lady that got her legs shot off is runnin as a 'Pub someplace in the Midwest.
Captain Tami, I think

4/15/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

"feller behind the tree"

Isn't that from the Koran?

4/15/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lucky we don't have a Pole Tax here.

4/15/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

3:32 PM
I'll sing him some Song I picked up in Bakersfield.

4/15/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"spit infinitive" = perpetual drool

4/15/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

here in Texas, we call it the KOran.

4/15/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Over 60 = Perpetual Stool.

4/15/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That "Serpentine" site is very good--you can actually *see* the shame amd regret leaving your self. Nothing there about the Great Conundrum, tho--them as has the most of it, feel the least of it.

4/15/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

GNI per capita 2004

4/15/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

perpetual stool = eternity in prayer, upon the Golden Rim--

4/15/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

More like a Layer on the Rim.

4/15/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Mexico comes in at 69th place. The rest of Latin America is after Mexico.

4/15/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mat, is that before taxes or what?

4/15/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That's a hint re the populist politicians, eh?

4/15/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What goes on in Luxembourg? Strictly Financin?

4/15/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

The 'War on Terra' is just one big cluster-f&*$@ scam job extortion racket. Everyone is in on it-for fun and profit. The Chinese, Russians, Americans, French,British,Israelis,Pakistanis,Saudis,
Iranians,Syrians,AQ Kahn,weapons dealers and international narcotics cartels-everybody. There all no 'good guys' here and the name of the game is to kill as many Arabs and Jews as possible. They are all playing Russian Roulette with the Planet, just to make a buck. I wouldn't be suprised if Bush uses a small tactical nuke on Iran (though I pray it won't happen). That will be the icing on the Terra cake and Iran will be the last sacraficial lamb, as the WTC and Iraq was before it-insuring that this ghost war will last generations.

4/15/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

dancin' and financin' and a little property enhancin'. Not too much welfare advancin'.

4/15/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I wonder if Buddy is included in those prayers?

4/15/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

This will scramble your brains:

http://s93118771.onlinehome.us/DU/Plame/PlameFlowchart.htm

4/15/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug,

Got it from here.

4/15/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I thought all Norway had were Kippers and Computer Hackers.
...but what's a Cracker like me 'sposed to know?

4/15/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

Godwin Law alert! Dive! Dive! Dive!

4/15/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Anybody know why Lawrence Franklin is Red?

4/15/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hope Trish sees where Ledeen fits into this.

4/15/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

At a Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Janati simply branded the US as a "decaying power" lacking the "stamina" to block Iran's ambitions. "From Venezuela to Malaysia, the world is now rejecting the American way. It is bankrupt. It makes nothing the world wants anymore but it thinks it's weakening military will keep it from it's eventual fall. It will not, by Allah's Will."

Buddy -

Even us moderate Republicans are waking up to the "free trade/globalization" con game Doug's WSJ crowd, and Bush's crony capitalists have foisted on us involving Big Government pork spending on the Owner Class, Open Borders, gutting American industry and High tech to Asia profit the Owners more, Outsourcing, tax cuts mainly going to the wealthy - while record debts accumulate, and the illusion of "trickledown".

Didja hear about Exxon CEOs retirement package, or would you prefer all attention stay focused on a 3rd world backwater of 22 millio people called Iraq, and how nothing matters but us "nationbuilding them". The Exxon chief got 400 million.

Small change I guess if you think if it wasn't for the Owner Class's "genius and vision" - people over in China would be unable to make anything we could import, oil would be unable to be pumped without our present CEOs and all the connected people inside DC that became multi-millionaires even billionaires off FCC licenses, Government drug and tech R&D, tort class action lawsuits.

You don't have to be a Leftist to wonder why the Ruling Elites have set up the tax system so that a person getting a million in income and a million in investment return pays 30% less in total taxes on each dollar earned than a middle class American making 90K in salary and overtime. (adding FICA, state, local, Fed taxes together)

You don't have to be a Leftist to wonder why illegals the Ruling class open the gates for get free schooling and medical care while the working lower class American is poorer than they were 20 years ago and without health care.

This domestic decay of America the Ruling Elites have initiated definitely exists, though not to the extent the Ayatollah or other foreign enemies of us wish.

But we will need a massive cleanup after Bush by a person that may have gotten rich, but is not owned by the wealthy as their toady boy. It took TDR to reign in his era's fatcats, it took FDR to bring economic justice to working Americans. Perhaps the people will see that in Evan Bayh, Mitt Romney, Mark Warner...even Newt. Even McCain - if he is through being a pawn of fatcats..Whoever it is will have a bigger domestic and foreign policy mess to clean up than Reagan did taking over from Carter.

It won't be people like Hillary, Bill Frist, Rice, DeLay, Kerry who exist mainly as enablers and bootlickers of the Ruling Elites.

4/15/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Has anyone seen the Perpetual Porta Potty?

4/15/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was thinking about Romney until he came up with
"I don't know enough about it to comment."
re immigration.
Uh, thanks, Mitt.

4/15/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

4:17 PM
Don't leave home w/o it.
Plated, Layered, or what-not.

4/15/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

cedarford,

What percent of American households pay no Federal income tax?

What percentage of American Federal income tax payers pay 60% of all Federal income tax receipts?

What did the consumer pay per ton of steel in 1850?

What did the consumer pay per ton of steel in 1900?

What was the average unit cost of a home PC in 1985?

What was the average unit cost of a home PC in 2005?

I just want to be sure that my envy-meter is factually calibrated.

4/15/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

What goes on in Luxembourg?

I think that's where Arafat parked your money.

4/15/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cede a fard,

You're a smart fellow. Why can't you figure out how to become part of that Owner Class?

4/15/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

4:28 PM,
I heard we're right on the verge of having more voters benefit from more taxes than not.
Socialist programs destroy citizenship even if capitalism can keep them afloat.

4/15/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

Allen 4:10,

The Godwin Law is a limited hangout,
just like the faux anti-Iranian
rhetoric of the Bush Administration. Your reflexive response is in fact, quite simply a mirror or reaction, which mimics the nefarious symbiosis of necrosis, sleep of reason, Cassandra Complex and Stockholm Syndrome virus which constitutes the very structure and relationship between the culture/population and the corporate/institutional/governmental/nation state/global elites.

4/15/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Screw Godwin:
We got ourselves a /C4 think tank at hand.

4/15/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

/slash/dementia,

The Godwin Law

I'll have to ruminate that.

4/15/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Let's see; the corporation is taxed 35%, and then the shareholder is taxed another 15% on the distributed profit. 15% of 65 = 9.75 for a total of 44.75% That's $447,500 on the "invested" million. Then he pays $350,000.00 income tax on the million of "earnings." Plus, approx. $6,300.00 FICA. $803,800.00 on $2 Mil comes out to about $401,900.00 per mil or 40.19% plus state and local.

4/15/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

mətušélaḥ,

"Arafat parked your money"

Yasser or Suha?

4/15/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I think that's a tad bit higher than your 90K guy is paying, percentage wise.

4/15/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Plus, your investor was taking a chance on losing a cool mil.

4/15/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

From an Economics standpoint, FDR was special. He turned a recession, albeit a bad one, into a depression, AND KEPT IT GOING 12 YEARS. "TWELVE"

4/15/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll betcha suha has a plated seat.

4/15/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

When I become depressed, I enjoy looking at pictures like this one, for inspiration.

4/15/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

You can tell I'm a "Redneck." We have trouble with those big numbers. That should have been 63 "THOUSAND" IN FICA taxes, not sixty three hundred. So add another $56,700.00 to the "investor" dude's taxes. Add another, what, 2.83%?

4/15/2006 05:19:00 PM  

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