Monday, April 10, 2006

Iraqi developments

Pierce Wetter at the Opinionated Bastard runs numbers from the Brookings Institution on US, Iraqi and civilian casualties. A summary of his points is given here, but for the full flavor readers should visit his site and "read the whole thing". Wetter says (points reproduced verbatim):

  • First off, US soldiers killed in Iraq continues to fall. This is the 5th straight month.
  • Even IED deaths, after a brief surge in February are down to their lowest level since I started keeping track
  • Woundings were up slightly, which is interesting, because this is some indicator of operational tempo, or what kind of activities the soldiers are doing.
  • Each month, there are more Iraqi troops available.
  • Slightly more Iraqi police were killed in March then in February, but the trend is kind of obvious, they're kind of in a steady state of about 200 killed a month.
  • Meanwhile, March was actually one of the more peaceful months in Iraq even for the civilians.

Wetter asks, "How do we jive this with the relatively negative reports in the media?" Among the reasons for the disconnect, Wetter notes, is that a big attack will be reported (because it's newsworthy) but information there are fewer attacks may not, on the grounds that statistics are boring. This leaves the newspaper reader with the impression of unremitting violence because it is violence that is reported. The Iraqi blogger I Was There recently noted with irony that good news was not always newsworthy.

Any news? And I replied, No news today, no one killed!! I realized when I answered my colleague that I said it in a way just like I was saying ‘sorry, no one was killed today so there will be no news’, I felt bad and sad.

Pierce Wetter doesn't know what quite to make of the numbers and doesn't mind saying so.

What I think is happening is that the War in Iraq is entering a new phase. What that phase is exactly is hard to say. The press wants to call it a civil war, but I don't think that's the right term. Perhaps its more along the lines of a general increase in chaos, but without a corresponding increase in deadly force.

Commentary

There are a couple of resources that can help make sense of the political situation in Iraq. The US Institute for Peace finished a special report called Who Are Iraq's New Leaders? What Do They Want? which basically argues that contrary to the view that things are going round in circles, very large changes in the Iraq politics have already taken place. The following points are taken verbatim from their summary.

  • Changes in leadership since Saddam have been revolutionary. Among Iraq's new leaders there are virtually no holdovers from the Ba'th era. A "de-Ba'thification" program to remove the old guard reinforces the divide between those who held office before and those who hold it now.
  • The ethnic, sectarian, and regional balance of the leadership has also been reversed since Ba'th times; Sunni dominance is gone, and Shi'ah constitute the largest group, with Kurds and Arab Sunnis making up about a fifth of the leadership. A high percentage of the new leaders are exiles, and most have been shaped by years of opposition to Saddam's regime. Under the Ba'th, affiliation with other parties was prohibited; today's leaders come from a diversity of parties.

Their full report claims that Kurdish polity is relatively more advanced because they have had nearly a decade of virtual self-rule made possible in part by the No-Fly Zones; that in fact a whole generation of Kurds has grown up with only slight knowledge of the Arabic language. Counterintuitively, the Institute of Peace report thinks that "In the short term, the United States should slow down the political process to allow politicians to absorb the changes that have taken place and to work out compromises" (page 18 of the full report), instead of accelerating it as political pressures demand. The main change is apparently that Iraqi national identity, which was always strongest among the Sunnis has weakened as an overall-force although the Iraqi identity remains strong even among many Shi'ites. Their summary says: "The new politics of communal identity is making compromise on governing difficult. While ethnic and sectarian identities have been an important feature of the Iraqi polity in the past, the new political process (elections, constitution making) is sharpening them. So, too, is the insurgency."

The other resource is a joint press conference given by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and UK Secretary of State for Defense John Reid. Key excerpts:

Reid: This is a time for holding firm and holding our nerve in Iraq, a time for the politicians in Iraq to do that, to come together in a government of national unity, and a time for the multinational forces and those politicians who support the Iraqi democrats to do that as well. In other words, as the terrorists seek, by their own barbaric methods, to divide inside Iraq and divide outside Iraq, our response should be to hold firm and give maximum unity inside Iraq and maximum unity outside. ...

Terrorists love a vacuum. I know that from my own experience in Northern Ireland. And it's the same throughout the world. So the longer this goes, the more pleased the terrorists would be because it gives them the opportunity to intervene with acts of violence, and secondly, because they will claim it is an illustration of the inability of politicians in Iraq to come together.

On the other hand, I am convinced that there is the will in Iraq for people from different backgrounds, different ethnic groups to come together and form a government of national unity. I was there 10 days ago. I spoke to President Talibani, I spoke to Prime Minister Ja'afari right through the many groups, and there is a great deal of urgency about this. I think it is the most important thing on the agenda in Iraq, which is to respond to the efforts of the terrorists to divide by terrorism, by uniting through democracy. And that would be a huge signal not only to the outside world, but to those brave people of Iraq who through bullets and death and destruction and massacres and threats have turned out in greater number to exercise their democratic rights, to signal their commitment to democracy, than even the people of the United Kingdom or the United States in her big elections. So it is pretty important.

Somewhat later Secretary Rumsfeld addressed the role of the Iraqi forces in what the questioner describes as sectarian violence.

Q Following up on your opening statement, you talked about more than 250,000 Iraqi security forces. In light of the rise in sectarian violence, are you satisfied that the Iraqi security forces, police and army, have the right mix of ethnicity, the right number of Sunnis, Shi'as, Kurds? And that seems to be a top priority, but despite all our efforts, we can't get numbers, we can't get estimates as to how much each of those groups are represented.

SEC. RUMSFELD: I think it -- I think it would be accurate to say that for the most part the Ministry of Defense -- security forces -- have a reasonably good mix of ethnicity. The -- understandably, the Ministry of Interior forces that are local, as opposed to the Ministry of Interior forces that are national in scope, the ones that are local tend to be recruited locally. And therefore, they tend to be recruited from the population that exists in that area. And therefore, one would think that they reasonably reflect the ethnic composition of the country, and they tend not to be -- have the balance, if you will, that the Ministry of Defense forces do.

The second thing I would say is, as General Casey has indicated, the progress of the Ministry of Defense forces is considerably more advanced than the Ministry of Interior forces. And that is why the focus that's currently taking place tends to be, in terms of General Dempsey's efforts and the NATO train and equip effort, tends to be focused on the police for those reasons.

A second reason they seem to well behind the ministry of Defense forces is the fact that the government of Iraq, when asked, approved the coalition forces for embedding in ministry of Defense forces, but not to the same extent in ministry of Interior forces -- only at the very, very top levels.

And the advantages that have accrued to the ministry of Defense forces from having U.S. forces embedded have been substantial in terms of being able to very rapidly see needs -- shortfalls in equipment, shortfalls in connections between the ministry of Defense and the ministry of Interior, shortfalls in the connections between the intel community and the forces' logistical needs and the like, leadership strengths and weaknesses.

All those things have been reasonably understood in a very transparent way on the ministry of Defense forces; not so on the ministry of Interior forces. That process is now going forward. We're increasing the coalition embeds in the ministry of Interior forces, and we expect to see this year a fairly substantial improvement in the performance of the ministry of Interior.

As the minister said, however, we've got to have ministers appointed by the new government. They're going to have to be ministers that are competent. They're going to have to be ministers that understand the importance of having their ministry seen throughout that country as being balanced and governing from the center, and something that's certainly not a representation of the spoils of an election victory; and that the selection of leaders -- military leaders and ministry of Interior leaders -- are people that have the confidence of the troops and provide a good, strong rib cage for those organizations.

112 Comments:

Blogger Tex said...

wretchard: Thanks for quoting Reid and Rumsfeld at length, as part of your commentary on the Iraqi political situation. Statements brisk, focused, reasonable -- you know, sometimes a SecDef can really clear the air! :-)

(Meanwhile as of 8:28 PM the CNN homepage is serving the public with fashion design, ED pills, and a self-service ad for its shiny new Peabody Award. Die, MSM, die.)

4/10/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

CNN, never met a lie it wouldn't tell--

4/10/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The Ba’athists are notably Nazi’s with a sprinkling of Stalinist methodology. This potent mixture held so much hope for the Middle East. I am sure that John F. Kerry weeps at night knowing that such unctuous opportunity was wasted on an era that didn’t appreciate the temerity of it’s authors. We should have never invaded. Boosh cut off history at a crucial turning point, how should we nurture such potentiality for the future of communal wasps with such barbaric foot stompers at play?

4/10/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

The lack of enemy attacks on US soldiers may just be realization that the Civil War is coming soon and it is senseless to waste lives and firepower on better armed Americans when you should be gearing up to fight the Shiite militias and not give up Mosul to the Kurds without a bloody war.

The slowdown may just be the Sunni Arabs gearing up to shift foes and tactics.

Remember, it took about 6 months for them to establish the insurgency and organize fighters and weapons depots to get ready for some serious whacking of Americans -while Rummy was in his happytalk phase about how wonderfully peaceful the noble Iraqis were but for a few "dead-enders". Back in the day, the summer of 2003, it was actually possible for Americans to stroll around and talk "rebuilding with our noble, peace loving liberated friends" while the Arab Sunnis were quietly bringing in foreign fighters, scavanging TNT and weaponry from unguarded dumps, and studying their IED manufacturing handbooks.

Calm before the storm?

The nice thing is the Sunnis Arabs will be far too busy defending their neighborhoods and burying their dead to bother with Americans.

If it comes, we should focus on:

1. Staying out of the crossfire.
2. Deplore, just agonizingly deplore the "senseless violence" of large numbers of Arab Sunnis getting whacked....but not intervene.
3. Focus on keeping Iraq out of it, keep the Kurds from going independent and having the Turkish Army invade.

4/10/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Erratum: Focus on keeping Iran out of it,

4/10/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

(Paste of an entire Instapundit post follows)

GOOD NEWS: "Two of every three eligible soldiers continue to re-enlist, putting the Army, which has endured most of the fighting in Iraq, ahead of its annual goal. The Army was 15% ahead of its re-enlistment goal of 34,668 for the first six months of fiscal year 2006, which ended March 31."

UPDATE: Reader Tom Barry emails:

Perhaps you would like to compare and contrast the US Army's ability to meet its recruiting goals versus major newspapers ability to match their circulation goals from the prior year? Guess which one is doing better?

I guess it's a matter of trust.

posted at 01:27 PM by Glenn Reynolds

4/10/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Tex, Skipsailing, Habu-1, Genwolf and Cannoneer#4 might be interested in how your good thoughts sound when voiced by a sympathetic and courageous (need I mention, humble?) reader: Karridine!

You'll find the recorded MP3 posted at
BrainSurgeryWithSpoons.blogspot.com

and its the Media Bias rant!

4/11/2006 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

MAYBE

Maybe it is a sign that our OJT program for getting it right eventually is right.

Maybe a bomb factory was destroyed and the manufacturing process was more concentrated than we thought.

Maybe the Iraqis have noticed that the US OJT program is not working and they have stepped up.

Maybe the Jihadists seriously overplayed their hand and are being terminated. Have you noticed there is not much revelation on who the groups of newly mass murdered victims are? Is it possible there are Iraqi death squads terminating criminals and jihadists?

Maybe the MSM and the Left and the defecting Democrats, i.e. " I was against the war before I was for the war and now I am really sorry for my vote and really against the war." croud is scaring the Iraqis straight. The Iraqis see an end to American occupation are taking matters into there own hands.

Maybe it is time for the US to do a Modified Murtha. Deploy south and northwest. Announce a focus on Iraq border protection. Syria and Iran will notice. Saudi Arabia has announced they believe in border fences, even if Jorge Bush does not. This will encourage further Iraqification.

Maybe we are winning?

Maybe not.

4/11/2006 01:56:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

I have to agree with Buddy, Tex and other's. The MSM cannot be trusted. For example we now find the MSM's story about "British Citizens" being held at GITMO is false:

[Dod News Transcript April 6, 2006]

SEC. RUMSFELD: Pam [Hess]?

Q Mr. Minister, would you shed some light on a situation that's been getting a lot of press coverage both in the United States and Britain now, two Arab men who are British residents that were taken to Guantanamo by way of Afghanistan in 2002. Both of these men were in touch with MI5, one apparently was cooperating, one wasn't, while they were in Britain. If they were dangerous men, if they were a danger to society, why weren't they arrested in Britain? And if the U.K. government didn't have anything to do with their rendition to Guantanamo, are you working to get them out or to take them into British custody?

SEC. REID: I think the two gentlemen you're talking about were not British citizens.

Q Not British citizens --

SEC. REID: No.

Q -- British residents.

SEC. REID: Yeah. They're not British citizens.

Q Right.

SEC. REID: That's the first thing
...

See DoD Transcript

From the "news reports" I read there was some hand wringing over the fact that two "British Citizens" were not being extradited or repatriated to the UK. Now we find they are not citizens but "residents" who belong to another country. This type of "reporting" is clearly misleading.

How could the MSM not include the actual citizenship of these two men? Sloppy reporting? Unlikely.

I am sure the MSM contacted a lawyer who was pushing these two terrorist's cases and the MSM most likely knew the citizenship of these two.

This and many other incidents of twisting the truth such as the "Koran Flushing Report" (which got people killed) indicate the MSM is untrustworthy at the best - and worst is a tool of the enemy.

What would be interesting to see is exactly how the "News Reports" get started and exactly who pushes them.

4/11/2006 02:34:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

STOP READING THIS and read Mark Steyn at his absolute best: http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_2_iran.html

4/11/2006 02:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Meanwhile in Pakistan

Though U.S. officials continue to praise Pakistan as a loyal ally in the war on terrorism, several documents on the flash drives show the military has struggled to break militant command and supply lines traced to Pakistan. Some of the documents also accused Pakistan's security forces of helping militants launch cross-border attacks on U.S. and allied forces.

Militant attacks on U.S. and allied forces have escalated sharply over the last half year, and once-rare suicide bombings are now frequent, especially in southern Afghan provinces close to infiltration routes from Pakistan.

A document dated Oct. 11, 2004, said at least two of the Taliban's top five leaders were believed to be in Pakistan. That country's government and military repeatedly have denied that leaders of militants fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan operate from bases in Pakistan.

4/11/2006 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Times article claimed retention rates for Army Officers DOWN from previous years since 9-11, yet graph apparently showed showed ALL years to be below the rates in the days of desertion in Clinton II !

4/11/2006 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

I'm with C4.

Just as the scorpion will sting the frog, the death cult will deliver...well, death.

Until the culture is broken.

ADE

4/11/2006 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

OT here, but Du Leon has come up with another stunning analysis.

http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/prison.htm

4/11/2006 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

4:44 AM,
Correction:
Meant to write retention rates are ABOVE the Clinton years.

4/11/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just remember:
The Hopi, Chumash, and Navajo, never REALLY happened:

Just like the Holocaust.

Truncated, Irredentist, Marxist, "History."

Viva, La Raza!

4/11/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, fellows, another General, General Casey says this, three years after US troops rolled into Baghdad.

" ... As we look at Iraq today, it is in the middle of a difficult transition. ... "

So the General believes we are there for three more years, must, if we are in the "middle"?

" ... In 2006, the objective is to secure Baghdad and to initiate similar efforts in nine other key cities. ... "

General Casey does not believe Baghdad to be secure, yet. General Frank's objective of the 2003 Invasion, not yet met.

" ... By the end of summer, the goal is 75% of Iraqi army battalions and brigades will be leading counterinsurgency operations, with coalition forces playing only training and supporting roles. ... "

Coalition Forces "only training and supporting..." while Baghdad and nine other cities remain unsecure.
This lack of Security must then be by design, or
1.The Coalition Forces are physically unable to secure Baghdad and those other cities without ISF assistance, or
2. those Coalition Forces would still be engaged in Security missions, not training Iraqis.

This admission bodes ill for operations in Iran. US Troops cannot secure cities using present Doctrine and Tactics.

" ... The ministers of defense and interior, as well as their senior staff, must have the confidence of all communities and cannot be tied to ethnic or sectarian militias. To help realize this goal, the coalition and the Iraqi government are dedicating additional effort and focus to increasing the confidence of police personnel and embedding trainers with Iraqi police units. ... "

So the General believes that Mr Sistani is working against the best interests of Iraq by supporting and maintaining militias for self defense, as perscribed in the US Constitution, as well as not breaking the Shia Political Bloc.

tsk, tsk
To not support the democratic results, Gridlock, in the System we helped to design.

4/11/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But since General Casey wrote for and published in the LA Times, it may be just self serving falsehoods he is writing.
We know how that LA Times corrupts the "Truth".

4/11/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So?
The Senators passed the laws making it illegal to hire illegals.

Then they FORCED the INS not to prosecute employers for hiring illegals.

A new POTUS rides in on a white horse, but does NOTHING to re-empower the INS' most effective weapon, even
POST 9-11!

"using present Doctrine and Tactics."

The Rule of Law will never again become the Rule in America.

4/11/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...better to arm up on the border for show, than to ENFORCE the law in the heartland.

4/11/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They have not yet, doug, even put on a show.

4/11/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Won't a THREAT of a show do?

4/11/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Never has in the past, ask the Syrians or Iranians.
Threats didn't deter Saddam or Mullah Omar.

President Teddy had it best
Walk softly and carry a big stick.
Today we stomp our feet and scream, but leave our sticks in the closet.

Or Baghdad would be secure.

4/11/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All that is required on the Border, to stop the flow, is presence, not firepower.

4/11/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cardinal Roger Mahoney:
Master of the Child Molesters.

...expert on "Human Rights."

Show us the way, Roger Dodger.

4/11/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug,
Give this a moment's thought.
This Mr Mahdi fellow, the one the US thinks will make a dandy Iraqi PM, he may have been vetted by the same guys that did Mike Brown, the exFEMA Chief.

No experience at disaster management
Expert in payback politics.

But Mr Mahdi may never get his chance.
Can we expect to see that old ABC standby to reappear, Calendar Count

182 days and no Iraqi Government...
365 days and no Iraqi Government...
730 days and no Iraqi Government...

If only Ted Koppel were still in the "business"

4/11/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

2164th: I read Steyn on Facing Down Iran, and vote for a public discussion at the Belmont Club.

27 years of ignored words, deeds and VIOLENCE, all in the name of God, and we're getting to the magic moment when we'll have to DO something about Iran!

Wretchard the Cat! Can we open this for discussion here?

4/11/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/11/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

If President Bush should decide to attack Iran would he face any 'legal' problems if he didn't get authorization from Congress first?

4/11/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger MikeHoskins said...

Let's see. Now Mark Steyn agrees that action is needed in Iran.

How the wind changes in a few short days.

4/11/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ash,
No.
If the President were to decide that Iran was instrumental in supporting those that committed the 9-11 attacks, either pre or post Event, he has Authoriity to Wage War against them, solely on his decision.

Authority for Use of Force signed into Law, 14 Sept 2001

4/11/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The President has plenary authority to protect against Foreign Invasion and Insurrection. Iran invaded our sovereign territory in 1979.

For that and many, many other fine points of Constitutional Law, if Bush lets fly, Congress can't touch him.

4/11/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Outside of that, as Commander in Chief he can order the Military to Act.
Under the War Powers Act, Congress obtained a 90 day limitation of some sort on the President's Authority.
The Act hs never been tested, in Action or Court.

Doubtful that it is legal, Constitutionally, but you never know.

Congress wields the purse,
the President wields the sword,
by design.

4/11/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

no, aristide, your youth betrays you.

The US territory was over run by rioting "students" that were not at all affiliated with the Iranian Government.
The Iranian Government, new at the time, was also being held "hostage" by these "students".

For fear of loss of US life the Iranian Government took no action, so as to not endanger the hostages.

That is why, when Desert One and the Hostage Rescue was mounnted there were so few aircraft involved. It was to be a hostage release SWAT raid, politically, not an Invasion.
Calling the Iranians bluff.
Never had the chance to find out for sure, the desert beat "Bull" Simpson and the boys that day.

That was their story, we bought in.
No revisionism allowed.

President Carter, those were the days.

4/11/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Hey, y’all,

Mr. Slash/Dementia went to considerable trouble to publish a lengthy commentary on the thread “The world outside.” Of import to me was his claim that some contributors to this site are NAZIs. While this may seem trivial, it is my opinion that Mr. Slash/Dementia’s European pedigree informs his claim, and is not atypical of continental opinion, generally. And, because the polity of the EU is a drag on American ME foreign policy, my response to Mr. Slash/Dementia is germane to the discussions advanced by this site. My response in the entirety is found below.

“I returned from a years’ long stay in Europe seven months ago. During my sojourn, I had ample opportunity to travel far and wide. Additionally and obviously, I had constant access to EU media of every sort. It should come as no surprise to you that your use of NAZI is typically European and worthy of some small analysis.

Since landing on the fair shores of the New World, Americans have had no desire to be overly influenced by the old countries. Indeed, it was disappoint, disgust, and aversion to European dementias that led most Americans to leave in the first instance. Yes, I know the notion of “work” and “putting food on the table” are the favorite excuses des jour used in defense of current illegal trespass, but even a cursory review of the literature of real American immigrants will show that “liberty” was the watch-word. But, you might ask, “liberty from what?”

While Europe is to be thanked for, among other things, its genetic contribution to the New World, it has the distinction of being the mother of some of the greatest communal pathologies ever to plague the mind of man. Trier, for instance, is proud to call itself the birthplace of Karl Marx. Yes, the Karl Marx, progenitor and enabler of the most blood stained, murderous, hopelessly utopian ideology ever promulgated to burden the soul of man. As a pardonable aside, note that the good folk of Trier were not always so pleased with the Marx family, that little matter of Jew blut, don’t you know.

Among its many other notable contributions to humanity, Europe has given the world the French Revolution and innumerable consequent spin-offs, chauvinistic nationalism/militarism, modern Imperialism, Fascism, Nazism, Existentialism, Nihilism, unparalleled psychopathic anti-Semitism, World War I, World War II, and, never to be ignored, Pablo Picasso. Yes, you Europeans have made the journey of life eventful for the rest of the planet. And, you are the gift that just keeps giving: think here, Eurabia and the enablement of Islamism generally and Iran specifically.

That you, a European resident, would regurgitate the blanket epithet Nazi to describe your American intellectual or philosophic interlocutors comes as no surprise, if for no other reason than its quintessential European pseudo-elitist rudeness. Take this in the spirit intended: you Europeans are projectionists, par excellence. Having bleed yourselves white over the past two centuries in the name of a score of “Isms”, you have become vacuous automatons, zombies – the last vestiges of a putrid dying culture. Oh, yes, de Villepin lusts for the glory days of Napoleon the Great, all the while castigating the monolith of American might; this, while millions of his fellow EUnuchs quietly hum the "Internationale" or, perhaps in your case, the uber alles anthem (do pardon the missing umlaut), projecting onto others their own twisted dreams of that ephemeral Golden Age, which you resentfully believe you see birthing in the so-called American hegemon. Well, take heart; the nightmares of Europe are soon to be overtaken by the peace of the dead. As an American, I think, the sooner, the better; or in another context, “so long and thanks for all the fish.”’

4/11/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

We need to destroy the Mullahs, and their ability to harm us. I see no other way.

Iran is a country that uses its diplomats as terrorists, and terrorists as extensions of foreign policy. We cannot accept a State that behaves in this way. Even if they weren't acquiring nukes, the Mullahs would have to be taken care of. With nukes in the equation, they must be destroyed.

Our papers report that Iran, if attacked, will respond with global terrorism, yet they don't pause to think about what kind of country this is that has the network and capability to do so. What kind of country can credibly threaten simultaneous suicide bombings on six continents? Is that not itself a casus belli for the West, a factual trip-wire for the Bush Doctrine to wage pre-emptive and preventative war?

Why should we settle for a world where an Iranian mass terrorist attack is perennially hanging over our heads, full of its own potential energy? We shouldn't, and we can't.

Therefore, Iran's network must be rolled-back, and the place to start is at the source.

For these and other reasons mentioned by Steyn, we must destroy the Mullahs, and we must do it now.

4/11/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ash - short answer, Yes. Long answer, Probably. Not because he is not technically entitled to do so, if followed by expeditious subsequent removal of the matter to Congress, but because it would be Democrat/Int'l Community Armaeggdon Time, based on the reasoning that Iran's going nuclear would not pose as "immediate a threat" as, say, an actual attack on us or our allies. This would rather fall into the preventative/pre-emptive category. And of course the Iranian-Hizbollah reaction would be used against Bush as well, I'd guess. Can't do anything these days short of miraculous perfection without getting publicly pilloried for it, so better not to try eh? Moreover, Iran has not and will not declare nuclear arms until it is ready, at which point it will be much beyond too late, and under the language of the NPT its pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology for energy purposes is technically legal. Finally, Israel's undeclared arsenal and Pakistan's declared arsenal have not brought action by the United States beyond some sanctions in the latter's case, which have been lifted I think pursuant to the realities of Taliban-Al Qaeda-Waziristan and probably ratification by Congress (not sure, but suspect). The charge of hypocrisy is obviously profoundly effective, and would be levelled at us with a 10-ton PR sledgehammer. The new deal with India will only provide more ammo.

Of course, such reasoning is not applied to Iran & Co., which is a form of hypocrisy the Critics do not seem to care about. Evidently professional anxiety is all that's allowed. This is why one is "either with us or with the terrorists." International law has little bearing on the realties involved, which the law tends unfortunately to mask.

But we or anyone essentially in charge - and there will always be some one or more few countries in charge - in the era of international law faces this bind as an institutional matter, to the benefit of the weak-but-aggressive (semi-industrialized developing nations), despite the fact that characterizing nations as (equal) "persons" makes absolutely no sense except as an arbitrary diplomatic fiat.

So yeah, President Bush - very unfortunately, in my opinion - would probably get annihilated. Since the actual choices are Iran gets a bomb or Iran doesn't get a bomb, the facts of international PR make this severely depressing. I guess people would rather they get the Bomb. Diplomacy without Two willing partners is moot from the beginning. And if people don't want to acknowledge that then, well, ok.

Such is life, evidently. I suppose the present dynamics gratify you to the extent they debilitate us. Well, congratulations. But this is not going to end once a Democrat gets into office. And it doesn't sound like you'd be much of a fan of shariah or the compromise of civil liberties entailed in indulging Muslims' profoundly anti-liberal traditions. So, I guess I just don't get it.

4/11/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

It's an interesting read that Steyn piece.

I wonder about the europeans in all of this. Are they really all just like our dear friend Ash? This is are they basically more concerned with "legality" than with limiting the scope of Iran's evil intentions?

It just seems that they are unwilling to acknowledge the gathering threat that is Iran.

Or is this, as I have described it elsewhere, simply the "stations of the cross" that any actor on the modern stage must go through before actually taking action? Must we genuflect and mumble at the UN, then in brussels, then in beijing then in moscow then in god knows where before we can actually do something about Iran?

all to satisfy the oh so delicate sensibilities of a western elite filled with guys like Ash?

I do agree that there are times when the choice is between bad and worse. We select leaders in the hope that they will make the right choices in tough situations.

The right choice now is IMHO confrontation with Iran at every level. Diplomatic, military, social and so on. Iran has quietly spread its particular version of evil for long enough thank you very much.

it is time to act. This is one of the reasons I've always supported the Iraq invasion. Something has to get Teheran's attention.

4/11/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, the President of Iran will have an announcement later, today.
Iran expects "good nuclear news" on Tuesday night from Reuters.

" ... The news is widely expected in Iranian media to be the announcement that Iran has enriched uranium to the 3.5 percent level needed to fuel nuclear power stations like the one it is building at the Gulf port of Bushehr. ... "

See, doug, threatening folk, it don't get you to far.

4/11/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Iran officially confirmed it has produced enriched uranium.

Over to you, George.

Dan, I agree the international political fallout would be bad, but Bush would be legally, and most likely politically, untouchable at home.

Legally because of a vast amount of jurisprudence on this subject, politically because its Iran. The Dems will want to make this an impeachable offense, but let them try. Let them see how their arguments stand up to the incredibly damning indictment of Iran. Continuously streaming into the living-rooms of Americans will be the juxtaposition of the two positions. The Dems would be obliterated.

A huge majority of Americans now view Iran as the great national threat of our time. A massive strike with no occupation is exactly what 51% of Americans want. Americans love justice, especially when it comes with a big boom.

4/11/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

All I can say has been said in some of the best prose and insightful analysis to be read anywhere.
Wretchart, Thanks for starting this site.
I'll tell ya if you don't get a fast start on this site you're gonna have to be one brilliant person to come up with anything new, or say it any better.

Damn, now I'm gonna have to set an alarm clock and get up, do some study and analysis, and then try to mash the right keys to get my point across.

This blog stuff is way cool (can a almost 58 year old say that).
I guess I'll just fall back on my mantra of just kill the enemy.
Karridine's site Brain-Surgery with Spoons is a wonderful addition to the b-sphere and thank you sir for using some of my info on your site.
Allen, simply awesome piece on slash/dementia.

4/11/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ari i wish i could agree with you and i hope you're right because i see little interest in Justice in the int'l community. People forget the opposition to even our Afghan campaign (though it was muted), and we had an obvious legal trail 10 miles long with Saddam.

The problem is the Marxist/power analysis. It comports so well with the prevailing bad faith and its pathetic moralisms are so tenacious, there's no way around it. The Admin's clear strategy of "screw it, let's just do it and everyone will catch up eventually" is just not panning out yet. People have absolutely no interest in anything but us, and have no other salient impulse than to vent spleen.

The problem is with the aftermath: in this case, I think we'll need the help. Of course, maybe what's ultimately needed is a situation like that so that the cannabalism of these idiots feasting on all the capital we've built up/helped them build up can finally cease.

The crisis is coming though. It should have happened earlier, whenever it happens. This whole goddamn conflict is a joke, intellectually speaking, and will be understood as such to futurity.

4/11/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

From CSIS:

The Options if Diplomacy Fails


www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/060407_irannucoptions.pdf

4/11/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Correction:

www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/060407_irannucoptions.pdf

4/11/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

I have news for the liberal left leaning and the central know not what is right and the right leaning who have a better idea of reality.

Your most likely safer in Baghdad than in Houston. That is crime per person or how ever they figure it.

Houston has a population of about 2 million, Baghdad around 5 million.

They don't use many bombs in Houston, but there are most likely more guns in Houston than in Baghdad.

Plus of course, you have your other crimes to consider. But either way, I don't see (even in Houston's papers) headlines each and every day someone is shot and killed, raped, or robbed. Sometimes of course, if it is either weird, kinky or more than a couple of people wounded or killed.

Not like Baghdad, where if a person is killed, its front page headlines and "oh, more terror and carnage in Iraq".

I believe that there are higher crime cities in the U.S. than Houston. I just picked Houston because I have buds there that say its a dangerous place and they never, ever go anywhere without their guns.

On Iran.

Bush is still on the fence waiting for a civilized way of stopping the mad mullahs. But I believe, in my not so humble opinion that he has already made up his mind to stop them cold and teach them manners before his term is out. He doesn't really want to mess up the Repubs chances at re-election or the Repub's party's hold on the Congress, but if it comes down to them or to having an Iran that has Nukes, the Repubs will just have to suck hind tit.

Yes, as someone said earlier, Bush is a poker player and a good one. He does know when to hold them and when to raise and when to call.

So, lets see who makes the first mistake.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

4/11/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

habu_1, 10:27 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

My friend, with each passing day you and I have more and more in common. I too am nearly 58. And, yeah, it shows, despite having a younger wife and a son young enough to be my grandson. Thankfully, my life was not that of the stereotypical boomer. Well aged Scotch and fine, smooth bourbon, as well as real German hefe weiss, are my ideas of righteous chemical indulgence. Blowing smoke is a rich cigar (almost anything Dominican). Yes, sir, with these and a good book, life is but a dream.

To our good friend Mr. Slash/Dementia, being a little Kosher, I am particularly sensitive to idiotic ravings claiming to have discovered in every opponent either an actual or closet Nazi. Without putting too fine a point on it, I think I can smell a Nazi a mile away. To be sure, have I detected the unmistakable stench, and, all too often it has electronically wafted out of Europe on the web. Not to be overly harsh, but I have found those most often frothing and thumping the podium during discourse, randomly branding others with the epithet “Nazi”, are the closest modern equivalents you will find. While only one man’s opinion, if Europe had the gene-pool to create a real military, the place would be back to its old tricks. For those who think not, consider the formula - - socialism (of any sort) + rampant anti-Semitism (directed at Jews, almost exclusively) + military might/prowess/ardor = Hello, Fuehrer! Kaiser! Generalissimo! And, I’m also looking at you, la belle France.

It is appalling to find American elites kowtowing to European belief systems. The Europeans have no believes, if a belief is informed by thoughtfulness. They have had none for a very long time. Europeans have feelings, neuroses, psychoses, delusions, illusions, hyper clichés, needs, wants, desires, eroticisms, pantheisms, nationalized healthcare, and poor oral hygiene. Indeed, Europeans will latch-on to any “Ism” uniformed by history (primarily their own) or rationality, if that “Ism” is a chimera promising power (without commitment or personal martial ardor) and a comfortable ride through life until the attainment of the emptiness of the void. But, I digress. If American elites are so enthralled by the sophistication of their European counterparts, get a ticket for an airplane.

American foreign policy must at all times first advance the strategic interests of the United States. To the extent that the European nursery can be left in somnolent bliss, that is all well and good. But trying to save Europe from itself and its misanthropy at this time will yield no more than our efforts in the last century, i.e. the incalculable loss of American life and treasure. As in the case of Iraq, the US may have to be satisfied with maintaining strategically significant redoubts, while the chaotic tide of European politics washes around. In the prophetic words of Fleetwood Mac, “You can go your own way.”

Last evening buddy larsen and I exchanged thoughts of Hannibal, Scipio, and the Second Punic War. We did not touch upon the Third Punic War. In the words of Cato (and here think Iran) “ceterum censeo delendam esse Carthaginem” - “Besides which, my opinion is that Carthage must be destroyed.” Iran must be destroyed for the same reason that Cato found for the destruction of Carthage: it was, is, and will be an ever present danger to American strategic interests, e.g. in the words of Mark Steyn, “its southern shore sits on the central artery that feeds the global economy.”

4/11/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Here's a seminar discussion on military options regarding Iran from In From the Cold. In neither the CSIS nor the seminar discussion is there much talk about covertly creating unrest against the Mullahs, either because the option is sensitive or unworkable.

Reading the Steyn piece I asked myself what deals we would be making with Saddam Hussein, had he been left in place, now that we're on a confrontation course with Iran. Possibly beefing up his army for a reprise of the Iraq-Iran war; possibly paying him billions to host Special Forces camps on the Iranian border. Steyn raises the issue of accesss when he describes the Iranian attack on the Israeli embassy in Argentina then observes: "Iran can project itself to South America effortlessly, but Argentina can’t project itself to the Middle East at all. It can’t nuke Tehran, and it can’t attack Iran in conventional ways." Well the US can project itself into Iran in more than aerial ways. The US has a multiplicity of options regarding Iran right now because of strategic positions acquired since September 11. Even if you think Iraq was a lemon you can make lemonade. What were the options vis a vis Iran from a position of 1990s confinement?

4/11/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Papa Ray said...

"On Iran. Bush is still on the fence waiting for a civilized way of stopping the mad mullahs. But I believe, in my not so humble opinion that he has already made up his mind to stop them cold and teach them manners before his term is out. He doesn't really want to mess up the Repubs chances at re-election or the Repub's party's hold on the Congress, but if it comes down to them or to having an Iran that has Nukes, the Repubs will just have to suck hind tit."

I think Papa Ray is correct. However there is still some time between now and the mid term elections. Bush's dilemma is obvious: If the democrats win a majority in the House of Representatives, they'll load the House Judiciary Committee with hard left partisans. Bush will then end up spending the remainder of his term dealing with diversionary impeachment proceedings and censorship resolutions. The MSM and moonbats will go into utter ecstasy. However it'll be pure political theater and utterly pointless. As Bush grows weaker politically, our foreign enemies most notably the Iranians would grow stronger. This is why it is vital that the Republicans hold the House of Representatives. For this very reason, Bush can not initiate any military action against the Iranians until after the congressional elections (then he should stomp the mullahs flat). In the meantime he'll have to continue with the pointless exercise of diplomacy with the UN and try to get Iraq on an even keel.

4/11/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"In neither the CSIS nor the seminar discussion is there much talk about covertly creating unrest against the Mullahs, either because the option is sensitive or unworkable."

On another thread I referred to Plan D: Long, slow regime change from within. AKA The "Faster, Please" Plan - Without the Faster.
There's work for the US and others to undertake toward that end, but "creating unrest", of itself, is no shortcut.

4/11/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

trish, thanks for the link!

Dan wrote:

"Diplomacy without Two willing partners is moot from the beginning."

It is interesting that you should make this comment especially in light of the fact the the Bush admin. is not willing to enter into the negotiations with Iran. It appears, like with Iraq, that Bush wants to go to war and he is doing as much as he can to facilitate his desire.

4/11/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Tell us ash why you believe that

"...Bush wants to go to war and he is doing as much as he can to facilitate his desire."

what support for this opinion can you offer us?

do you believe that the Iranians will negotiate in good faith at any point on any topic? What in thier recent behavior would lead you to conclude that any negotiation with Iran would be anything other than an excersize in futility?

4/11/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

skip, hard to tell unless you give it a go.

4/11/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ash. Do you think Iran sincerely wants to talk about upending the ME power structure, depending for its advancement on Russian and Pakistani proliferation networks assuredly linked to terrorist groups, with the only power in the world capable of stopping it short of full-scale war? Look at Iran. I understand we can play these equivocating games ad infinitum and never meet, but that's why in that post I also mentioned the essential non-intersection of international law and diplomacy with realities this fundamental. We are now at the level of the principle of non-contradiction: a thing cannot both be x and not-x. The Islamic Revolution is as ideologically determined as Bush & Co. - in your estimation - is. Given two parties with no common ground, there is no chance for a diplomatic resolution, because there is no intellectual, diplomatic or economic medium in which to dissolve them. Therefore, you have a choice: either you back Iran, or you back the United States. The dimensions are such that you cannot coherenly choose to be both pro-Iran and pro-USA, pro-Islamic Revolution and pro-Democratic Revolution. As we have all learned to our dismay, they are irreconcilable. The outcome will be war. Count on it. I'm just not sure why, in this one case, it would hurt your conscience to admit at least this much.

4/11/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

First, Ash, one doesn't facilitate desire. One facilitates the satisfaction of one's desire.

Second, you seem to think Bush's unilateralism on Iraq meant he wanted war, while at the same time you say that Bush's deferring to the international community over Iran means, ta-da!, Bush wants war. I can't imagine that makes sense even to you.

If you truly believe that allowing the IAEA, the UN, and the EU-3 to operate will give Bush his war, you might want to think long and hard about the implications of that--especially since it destroys your entire world-view.

If allowing the international community to do its thing once again pulls America into a war 5,000 miles away, then what the hell is the point of your internationalism?

4/11/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

It is a common error to assume that the enemy holds all the options. I've seen this twice now in the GWOT.

First we were advised that Afganistan could not be attempted. We were offered a variety of reasons from historic failures to bitter cold.

Then we were told of the hardships facing the US in toppling Saddam.

Now we are witnessing the glorification of the Mullahs. They hold all the cards, never make a misstep and will respond to with perfection to any provocation or so the recieved wisdom states.

But I agree with Wretchard on this one. We've created several options for ourselves in our dealings with Iran. We have significant military assets on two of it's longest borders, we have a navy that is capable of multi tasking quite well and we have some allies who are starting to understand that Iran is a significant source of sorrow and woe in the world.

further, I believe that we are fully engaged in a war of words with Iran that has forced them to react to a variety of pressures.

Will internal dissent topple the mullahs? perhaps not, but it will require the use of resource that could otherwise by deployed against the civilized world.

An internal guerilla war will tie up some of their military. It would be a source of distraction to the ruling elite in Teheran and diminish their credibility in world wide diplomatic circles.

We have to keep the pressure on Iran. I don't think the timing has anything to do with our own election cycle. I think we're working hard to squeeze their heads in the hopes that some of them will crack.

4/11/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There were insights in Mr Hersh's writing. Beyond tactical nuclear possibilities.

The US believes that no matter the outcome of negotiations, the Iranians will cheat. This is based on past Iranian performance. So no enrichment can be allowed, at all.

The Iranians believe they have the right to process uranium, sell it and use it. Though they admit past misdeeds they promise "never again". They proclaim they will not renounce their rights to peaceful nuclear power.

Neither side will negotiate those points.

The options are same as always, War or Retreat.

4/11/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd agree skip, but with the election cycles.
Those create the entire circle of life, politicly.
The Iranians will play to that cycle, as will the Republicans and Democrats.
Mr al-Jaafrai and Mr Talabani understand US election cycles, well. Do not under estimate their importance.

This is just the beginning, now talk of US troop draw downs in Iraq are off the Cover, Iranian nuclear enrichment is all the rage, above the fold.

Airstrikes, cascading centrifuges, buried bunkers, asymetrical blowback.

As to what kind of Country builds a Network like that?
One that does not have Armegeddon Capacity and wants a type of Military parity with those that do.

4/11/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Wretchard,

I agree that the US has many more options with Iran than it did before the US invasion of Iraq. Many are obvious some less so. They include:

1. Bush is unpredictable. Not quite Nixonian but
you have to doubt him cautiously.
2. Bush is predictable. If he says he is going to do
something. He will. He has said no option is off
the table.
3. Bush is in trouble politically, he has no
re-election issue. He has little political risk doing
something opposed to Iranian interests.
4. The worst-case scenario in Iraq is unification
between the Shiite and Iran. Any humiliation of
Iran will dissuade that from happening. The
Islamic tendency is to lean towards strength. The
humbling of the Iranian military will upset no one
in the ME.
5. If the US ignores the nuclear facilities and
focuses on destroying the Iranian Command and
Control, air power, naval assets and missile sites,
there will be a sigh of relief from Europe. The
Mullahs will be humiliated and it will be obvious
that Iran cannot defend its nuclear assets. It will
have to negotiate but cannot politically for
internal reasons. The internal pressure against
the Mullahs will be unbearable.
6. The US can demand a quid pro quo from other
Islamic states to assist in providing support to
Iraq. Iran will no longer be standing as the new
rising Islamic power.
7. There has been much talk of Iranian human
assets pre-positioned to cause mayhem in the US
and Europe. Assuming they are there, smoke em
out before they have nuclear weapons. If they
are there and used that will identify a cancer
waiting to metastasize.

I emphasize ignoring the nuclear facilities. They are the propaganda crown jewels. It removes the propaganda value of the expected Iranian claim that they can make a bomb anyway. Without that propaganda value, the Mullahs lose more than they would with wrecked nuclear facilities.

4/11/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

2164th said...

"I emphasize ignoring the nuclear facilities. They are the propaganda crown jewels. It removes the propaganda value of the expected Iranian claim that they can make a bomb anyway. Without that propaganda value, the Mullahs lose more than they would with wrecked nuclear facilities."

There maybe wisdom in this approach. I find the actions of the Iranian mullahs incomprehensible. The mullahs seem to want us to destroy their nuclear facilities. Perhaps the nuclear facilities are bait to a subtle trap?

4/11/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Aristides, the US is an important component of the "international community" and as such they should take part in the negotiations as part of the international community. Currently we are not.

Dan,

You seem to want to paint everything in Black or White, Good or Evil, Pro Iranian or Pro US. There are, in reality, many shades of grey. The art of negotiations is finding the common ground and there is no hope of finding any if one does not negotiate. War is an ugly thing and we should do our utmost to avoid going to war, especially precepitously.

4/11/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Iranians, ash, have nonnegotiable positions.
The US has nonnegotiable positions, or does it?
The question is will the US accept Iranian enrichment capacity, or not.
The Iranians have it, fait acompli.

They say they will accept inspectors and follow the guidelines, just like India, but more so. Unlike India, the Iranians will not restrict the Inspectors, or so they say.

fait acompli.
The negotiations are all but over.
War or Retreat

4/11/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Are the negotiations over, or just beginning? Ahmadinejad says they are now enriching and Bush says diplomacy is the way. Though, my reading of the press today is Bush said diplo before Ahmadinejad said enrich, but McClellan said "they are moving in the wrong direction". War or retreat, is that all that we are faced with at the moment? I don't think so.

4/11/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the US does not change it's position, then yes, we go to war or retreat to another political position.
There are no other options, the Iranians are doing what Mr Cheney has called "unacceptable".

The US has to accept it, or not.
Not means War, accept means Retreat.
The Strong Horse does not retreat.

4/11/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That's one of the troubles with threats and bold language in Public Negotiations.

The Bush Team could have studied up on Rough Riders, they'd have learned something.

4/11/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

yea, tough talk makes it hard to save face.

4/11/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Bush's dilemma is obvious: If the democrats win a majority in the House of Representatives, they'll load the House Judiciary Committee with hard left partisans. Bush will then end up spending the remainder of his term dealing with diversionary impeachment proceedings and censorship resolutions. The MSM and moonbats will go into utter ecstasy."
---
Ugly scenario, indeed.
And all Bush and the GOP would have to do to insure a landslide victory would be to pretend they are real men for a few months, enforce the laws as written in an orderly way in order to transition back to a lawful society of legal CITIZENS, and we could carry on.
But that ain't gonna happen:
Hiring illegal meatpackers and etc takes precedence over our citizens, our laws, and their oaths of office.
Odd, but true.
Blame the citizens, blame the media, but don't EVER blame the corrupt Eunichs in DC.

4/11/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It is not about face, ash.
If Iranian enrichment capacity is unacceptable to US, then there it is.
The Iranians are enriching uranium, intent both to use and sell that fuel on the market.
Mr Chavez has expressed interest in buying nuclear power generation capacity and is the first client. Will Mr Castro be far behind?

The Genie is out of the bottle,
US reaction is the only question mark.

4/11/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then with the Socialists coming rule in Mexico, nuclear power will become a requirement of the State's progressive future, cheap electricity for everyone. Light up the future with nuclear power, in Socialist Mexico.
Viva la Raza y Allah Akbar

4/11/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

A few thoughts on some of the discussion under way.

Steyn's assessment of the Islamic attempt at world hegemony is correct They are insane but fully believed by their leadership. Only war can stop it, and then ,as history has shown since Charles Martel stopped them at Tours they will keep coming.

I do not believe President Bush will not wait for the mid term elections to strike. There are too many RINOS in Congress, they're not supporting him now and we don't have the luxury of time to hand to the Iranians. We will strike, not Isreal. We are currently (I believe today)testing conventional bombs much bigger than the MOAB's to test their effectiveness on underground targets. If they are sufficient we will use them. If not we will use nuclear weapons.

I read the recommended piece by Spook86 on his site, In From the Cold. His credentials are good but I believe he is wrong about the Isrealis doing the heavy lifting.
I spent the 1970's and part of the 1980's working for the Directorate of Science and Technology, Office of Special Projects in the CIA. We handled all overhead national technical means. The Air Force flew the SR-71 (HABU) at our direction. The NRO almost always followed our recommendations as to satellite positioning. I was intimately involved in the 1973 Arab Isreali War giving briefings and conducting other taskings.

May of those things have changed in dramatic fashion but mark this well. We will hit them before the mid terms.IMHO.

4/11/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Enough of the idle chatter, Senator Kerry has a plan.

Kerry Blasts Bush's "Cowboy Diplomacy" Urges "Brokeback Option" With Iran

10 April 2006

http://www.thenoseonyourface.com/

4/11/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

habu_1, 2:21 PM

Very well done. "Habu", yes, I thought so. Deadly.

May I interject an additional thought into your mix? What would be the downside for the Dems in '08 if they fail to give at least lip-service to the support of a war begun prior to the mid-term? Moreover, ala Lincoln, is the public likely to change horses in mid-stream?

4/11/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

A couple of things:

First, I'm about half way through Bing West's book on Fallujah. What's the thinking here in this august group. did he get it right?

Next, about Iran. the situation is very polarizing. We are rapidly approaching the "for us or against us" cross roads. some people will attempt to stake out some middle ground (Ash's shades of gray come to mind) but for everybody else it really will come down to an us or them.

I often wonder about the current status of the Iranian military. Is that a fault line that the US can exploit? could we harry them enough to induce a lack luster performance should a shooting war ensue?

Is the leadership of the Iranian military actually capable? I'm thinking that between the post shah purges, the iran iraq war and the recent "plane crashes" there just might be a lack of enthusiasm for taking on a co alition.

On the other hand are they such stalwart members of the revolution that nothing will shake their faith in iran and the leagcy of Khomeni?

How does the Iranian military look to you experts here? A formidable fighting force or a glorified secret service?

4/11/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

It seems this is the time frame:

At the Council on Foreign Relations discussion, Reuel Gerecht, a former CIA operative in the Middle East and now with the American Enterprise Institute, said the Bush administration would wait three months to determine whether the Security Council was prepared to sanction Teheran. In July 2006, Gerecht said, the military option would undergo open debate in Washington.

"We have not had that debate," Gerecht said. "We are going to have that debate. I think we should have that debate sooner, not later, so we don't have to get bogged down."

4/11/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Bush is going to make the mid-term election turn on what we should do about Iran.

That's brilliant, if you think about it.

4/11/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ash - no, sometimes things are just black and white. That is one of the shades of gray you're refering to.

4/11/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Allen,
Actually the Okinawans came up with calling the SR-71, HABU, after a deadly indigenous snake they thought it favored. The -1 denotes that the SR-71 first deployment outside CONUS, Okinawa, and was Detachment 1.
Now, I firmly believe the Deomocrats as currently constituted are anti American 5th columnists for the most part. I think,following their current leadership that they will cast Pres. Bush as a war criminal and fan those flames, with tender from many other nations.Nations that have a seat in the UN, belong to that "august" body and have only remained free because the USA has kept the entire world free. Our blood, our money, our technology, and our humanity. The Democrats are a dangerous party, but just as the ascendancy of the Republican Party produced RINOS you'll see those same political whores back the Democrats in their condemnation. I don't think President Bush gives a damn what the politics are...he's not going to let the Iranians go nuclear.
The public, as we have discussed here is grossly misinformed by the MSM and will remain propagandized by them as they deliver the Democratic message of OUR Nazi like agression lead by Geo. Bush. It will come from their lips ladened with spittle as their vituperation will not be contained.
Pres. Bush is doing a Harry Truman, doesn't give a damn about polls or the press.

4/11/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

If we hit Iran, we better hit the leadership. Hard. And we better hit the militias simultaneously. Terrible that Israel is such a caricature in the minds of so many relevant players, because it would be great if we could suddenly roll up a ton of Iran's proxies simultaneously - Hizbollah, whatever soup of evil brews in Bekaa Valley (MOABs and SuperMOABs!), Sadr, the Western Afghan warlords (using the others), even Badr Brigades and whatnot. It would almost obviate the need to go after Tehran. Of course, that, as so many other plans, would require a patriotic press and the support of its sheep, which is currently denied us. Pathetic. It will be interesting to see what the revenge will be. Because of course once the revenge happens, we kill the leadership.

Ah right - it'd go, nuke sites, Islamist revenge, then leadership in retaliation for the revenge while the political iron is hot... So let's just hit em all because the bastards'll just go underground and make Osama tapes with Zawahiri. And then we're back in the press room full of mirrors.

Hm. Somehow that doesn't sound too likely. Of course Pace did just assert that we had 2.4 million under arms...

4/11/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

habu_1, 3:12 PM

About the politics, only, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hope you are wrong...But

4/11/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Ash,
I agree with Dan. Some things are just black or they are white.

Math is an example that comes to mind. Correct answer or not. yes or no.

I might give you chiaroscuro in a sympathetic moment though.

4/11/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Allen,
I can remember being so righteous in telling people that the Berlin Wall would NEVER come down and that the Soviets and a bipolar world was a given, forever. So the politics I predict, just more grist for the mill, I've been way wrong before. It's just my gut feeling on Bush.
But then I'm going to Montana, become a Audubon Society member, read history books, trout fish and shoot archery.
If I did it all again I'd be a cowboy.

4/11/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

dan, 3:26 PM

Re: "support of its sheep"

If by this you refer to the general public, you may underestimate them.

Polls, as a rule I think, follow the line set by Twain, i.e. lies, damned lies, and statistics - more or less. As publicized, they seem to support public ennui, if not outright rejection of the Iraq campaign. But, examined more closely, I argue, they suggest a public tiring of a perceived stalemate. While only one man's opinion, when the shooting starts, every man and jack will have a flag out. Indeed, I will not be surprised in the least to see our patriotic Congress take to the Capitol stairs enmass to serenade the country with a rousing rendition of "God Bless America."

4/11/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yeah we're going to hit them because they need to die, that's why. The Islamic Revolution must be Snuffed Out.

Yes, it'll suck, but "these things have to happen every ten years or so." This is the way it works out in the big bad world.

Man what I wouldn't give for like 3 months of unadulterated jingoism.

Sorry for the incoherence my goddamn professor is yammering about international law and Bush evil and this is a form of sticking my fingers in my ears. My apologies.

4/11/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

dan, 3:26 PM

Oh, did I mention that, while singing "God Bless America", those Congressmen will be sharpening long knives behind their backs?

4/11/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Allen - I hear you. I think you might be right, but I'm afraid I'm a little morose about things at the moment. I've had too many conversations with people who support the easy hippie side lately who're all smirking schadenfreude. My own dad sent me that Mearsheimer quasi-Bolshevik Jew Lobby thing two days ago. If the American people DID turn on to the military plan I think I might have to drop out of life, rent a garret and become a poet because jesus politics is for straight-up assholes, eh?

4/11/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Spengler's on your side though.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HD11Ak03.html

I can't figure out what to make of that guy, though. It's like he belongs to some secret society almost no one's ever heard of or something.

4/11/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Britt Hume just reported that the EU has announced that words such as Islamic terrorism, jihad, Islamist, etc are no longer to be used. Too inflammatory. Much more sensitive, politically correct references should be made to those who indiscrimately kill and maim in the name of Allah.

So, Europe has crossed the line into full capitulation and no discussion or debate will ensue regarding the compatiblity of Islam with western democracies. They have selected dhimmitude.

For all practical purposes, the US will be going it alone and if George W. Bush takes action against Iran, the resulting cacaphony will be more cries of "unilateralism," more accusations of "war crimes," more anti-Americanism. Unfortunately, his foreign critics will be joined in a full-throated assault by the US Democrats rabid for impeachment. The US will be ostracised and vilified by an incoherent and irrational world. Allies such as Italy will fall away one-by-one as their leaders find themselves unable to withstand the vitriolic hate and violence directed against them.

The Russians and Chinese will continue to thwart US power and dominance thinking that by watching us bleed to death by a thousand cuts, they will assume the mantle of hegemon.

George Bush is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Who among us would wish to be in his shoes?

4/11/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

I don't think, as I said earlier that W cares one iota 'bout polls, mid term elections etc. This is THE BIG GAME and he understands that and will bear any burden to wipe out Iranian attempts at acquiring nuclear power.
Nor will there really be any negotiations worthy of the real meaning,just fluff .Not in our Congress or the UN. UN involvement...ZERO. He'll just issue the order.
Isreal will cover our flank vis a vis Syria and Egypt so they won't do anything. Russian and China will take intelligence notes so they can continue to sell inferior interception equipment to pesky demented world "leaders"

4/11/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

habu - i agree with you, definitely. but what do you think the Iranian response will look like? i have my extremely amateur guesses, but it sounds like you have some experience with this stuff.

4/11/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Dan,
I don't think they'll be much to repond with. We'll take out their C4..Command ,Control,Communications, and Computers. They'll be blind ,deaf, and dumb. naturally the nukes at Natanz and other sites will be ruined as well.
As a society they'll be hysterical but they tend to get that way over kabob market day.
We've got weapons that on inertia alone can penetrate 100 feet plus.
Sidebar.. when Soviet pilot Victor Bilenko defected and landed a MIG-25 in Japan in the 1970's, the Sov's hottest aircraft, we found that it was utilizing vacuum tubes instead of transistors. How primative was the first reaction but the reason was to thwart the EMP effects of an atomic blast..tubes aren't effected.

4/11/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

dan, 3:53 PM

We must be on the same wavelength. I thought early this morning about introducing Spengler's take, but life intruded. Thanks for bringing him in. For what it's worth, I try to read twice everything he writes. Only time will tell the worth of his prognostications, but he frequently does give accurate assessments of both the US and Islamist behaviors.

As to the Harvard study (?), read it by all means. Afterward, ask yourself a very simple question. If the Jews have such a grasp on world affairs both now and in, literally, centuries past, then why the genocide, mass displacements, and property expropriations suffered by Jews, worldwide?

Recently, a correspondent to this site went on a Jew-Lobby rant, to which I responded,

"Who told you about our conspiracy? It would be worth a great deal to get our hands on the turncoat; because, as with any conspiracy, a turncoat it must be. Contact Rothschild & Sons, Paris.

On a humorous note, may I assume your subscription to the “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” (Walt & Mearsheimer, 2005)?

If the Zionist, Israeli, Yiddish, Ultra-Orthodox, Communist, Jewish cabal wields the power/influence you posit, why, then, is the security of Israel in greater jeopardy than at any time since the War of Independence? As a member of the Elders, I am truly disappointed in how little value we are getting for the money.

Could you rid your theses of the Jewish angle, much of what you say demands serious consideration."

It is a law of nature that if you put a question to two Jews you will get three answers. It is also a sad reality that many Jews subscribe to ultimate "chosenness", never apprehending that the promise of being chosen was a two-edged sword, offering both life and death. It is, furthermore, a fact that, ethnically, if not religiously, Jews have garnered an enormously disproportionate number of Nobel prizes and brought to mankind all manner of life-lengthening, life-enriching gifts. Yes, some Jews are very, very bright; but NOT all Jews are, thereby, blessed with genius, if you know what I mean. Lastly, and perhaps, most importantly, we are the guys who first introduced the concept of equality under law. You may recall from your Sabbath lessons the stories of itinerant prophets righteously beating the kings of Israel about the head and shoulders. In short, we have the unfortunate knack of being disturbingly forthright. Needless to say, this has the tendency to really irritate people. When you add to the mix that we often forget that we are also as fallible as the next guy... you get the point.

4/11/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Allen,
I had a tree planted in Isreal in 1948 at Isreals' birth for me by a relative of my mother's first husband, who was Jewish. He was a Naval Aviator who perished in an aircraft accident in their first year. She then married my father, a Marine fighter pilot, who was a Protestant. I tell you this because I align myself with the crowd both post 9-11 in this country and Isreal with the saying, "Never Again"

And it will be forever for me, along with Semper Fidelis a motto to live by and honor, even with my life.

4/11/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

It is unfortunate that we do not have the luxury of allowing the world to go to hell and then do something about it. We would have the satisfaction of having told them so. (pick your favorite) No, we have timid allies, politicians, on both sides of thae aisle, who care more about their careers than their heritage and our legacy. We live in a shameless age where gutter values begin to look elevated. Not being judgemental has replaced good judgement. And all that being said, good men have been here before. Gentleman, don't let the bastards wear you down.

4/11/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

habu_1, 3:38 PM

I know what you mean, been there, done that.

In 1991, I woke one morning with the sense of exhilaration of the victor; the US was, at long last, going to squash the "New Nebuchadnezzar." Yes, sir, the green light to Baghdad was on - Go! Go! Go!. Push'em back! Push'em back! Way back! Alas, my balloon was burst.

For several weeks afterward, I was in an agitated funk, if there is such a thing. I wrote in my journal that within ten years we would have to return to finish the job. The thought that my nephews would have to bear that burden sickened me. Well, my timing was off slightly, but on the back of my car is sticker bearing the name of Sgt. Bryan Romines, killed in action on D-Day 2005. He was 20. He was my wife's Godson. He was a perfect lad.

There is a time for everything under heaven. The time for Iran is now! Iran must be destroyed. As you point out so well, we have the means; have we the will? We had better, because we are not going to pass this place twice.

4/11/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

habu_1, 6:16 PM

To he who has passed ZTL.

May it never come to that. If so, for once since the time of Judas the Hammer, Israel will stand openly in battle. Never again shall Israel docilely shuffle to slaughter. He says, while caressing lovingly his Zig 229. Yeah, fine German engineering. I don’t think my wife is stroking her Jericho 9, but that bears checking.

4/11/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Very chewy thread. I just wanted to t'row in some history for Ash's benefit:

totalitarians have no home public opinion, no domestic politics, to worry about, and thus historically have committed to anything that will gain a march.

Pore ole Uncle Sam has to stand by the p's & q's.

This isn't new, just look at Yalta, Panmunjon, Paris Peace Talks, Oslo/Arafat, Desert I, Clinton's NoKo follies (as well as the current Six-Way), just for a few of the biggies.

We always treat for an end, they always treat for a fresh start.

Totalitarians can have no intention of ending a conflict, as conflict itself is always the justification for their oppression of people.

And anyway, this whole drawn-out UN/IAEA negotiation *is* the "talks" you request.

4/11/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

2164,
Not to worry,they will never grind me down. I grew up around the Marine heros of Midway,Guadalcanal,Tarawa, Iwo Jima and all the rest. Pappy Boyington attended my first birthday party. Men of honor and courage.
Most of my college friends thought I was crazy to join the Marines in 1968, but most of the college crowd of the Boomer generation were soft and cowardly. If I were younger I'd still be shoot'in at 'em...the bad guys. you're right

Illegtimis nil carborundum

4/11/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I'm with you guys on Israel, and have been ever since the Six-Day War catalyzed a lot of reading on the history (I was young and had no idea what was going on), and Israel came up then--and nothing has changed--the little country trying to live in truth, outnumbered 100-to-1 by neighbors trying to kill it with weaponized lies. David & Goliath, all the way. Bet David, but, see to the sling, and keep plenty of smooth river rocks in hand.

4/11/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

habu, re your 6:51, ever see this?

4/11/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Allen - your responses to the baiting are admirably restrained. Personally, I've grown up around Jews all my life. I've known cliques and families from New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles. I must've gone to 14 bat and bar mitzvahs. I've lusted after at least 20 Jewish girls, O. For a while I worked at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in New York, perhaps the oldest Jewish law firm in the United States, where I finally met or worked with about a dozen Israelis. Even among the orthodox at college I felt as if I was being constantly ushered into the fold whenever I found myself among them. In my philosphy classes, they definitely went a little crazy with the Pentateuch, but hey - they also had the Hebrew versions, so their corrections were welcome. So I have never been able to understand or sympathize with anti-Semitism in the least; it seems utterly paranoid and pervese to me. My Muslim friends - Egyptian, one dazzling tiny Turkish girl, another dazzling Persian girl - on the other hand... Let's just say that the glare of Khomenei hung in the background. It was hard to befriend them. The girls, frankly, were nuts. It was quite an interesting education, to which I paid little attention at the time. But in any case, the Mearsheimer thing, which I read, is just this kind of non-scholarship that I've had to become so used to reading over the past 5 years. A trap for gullible romantic fantasist suckers. Tragic. The prevalence of this specific bigotry is sort of astounding. Hopefully Israel will take the upcoming Iran-strike opportunity to decapitate HAMAS in toto while they pat eachother on the back in parliament. Pretty convenient target, if you ask me.

4/11/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Buddy,
Thank you for that piece.VDH is a masterful writer and professor. I may never be ground down but it did bring tears to my eyes.
Luckily my 89 year old father is still alive. Like most of his generation he never talked of WWII,Korea, or Vietnam much. They didn't need to for they'd done the world a great service and were humble. He did tell me of his DFC that was awarded for close air support. As a squadron CO his F4U Corsair was so close to the ground that the rounds were kicking up mud on his canopy. He fought in three wars, was as honorable a man as you will ever meet. He greatly admired the leadership of Washington and Lee and conducted himself accordingly.
Yes, their likes will never be seen again.

4/11/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"It appears, like with Iraq, that Bush wants to go to war and he is doing as much as he can to facilitate his desire."

I disagree, ash. I'll say it again: The WH has no Iran policy. Because there is no policy there is fog and noise instead - in copious amounts.

Many on the Left and many on the Right are convinced regardless: War. It's What's For Dinner. Don't you believe it, ash.

4/11/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Have a good night all ....

4/11/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen, 7:18 PM

VDH

Your link gave me the chance to read the piece again. It's humbling.

4/11/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

trish, I greatly respect your opinion and what you just said makes a lot of sense. What I fear is that with Bush sitting at the apex of decision making could go either way depending on what he hears the almighty whisper in his ear.

I would suggest to you others craving analysis on an Iranian conflict to scroll back up the thread an read the analysis trish linked to.

buddy, your (non) history lesson about tyrants and democracies is what was behind my earlier question about Bush's US legal problems if he should attack without a nod from Congress. The Rat's response that the current force resolution covers his butt doesn't make it past the smell test- We attacked Iran because of Nuclear processing which puts them behind the attacks of 911??? Dan's sword and money thing makes sense but given the current political climate there would be a lot of domestic howls (from right and left) and the international howling would make life an unpleasant place for a nation who attacked a third country...

Speaking of history, how many nations did Germany invade before the world actually did something?

4/11/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

dan, 7:20 PM

Just above you, buddy larsen has linked to a remarkable piece of prose. Within the work is a quote of infinite value, "Perhaps there shall come a day when it will be sweet to remember even these things."

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

Amen that, habu. My dad is gone (since '86), but he too was a pilot, flew a B-17, was shot down on his 13th mission, in Feb '44 and finished the war a Stalag Luft 1 POW. He flew the 8th AAF's darkest days, at all of 23 years old. He never talked about it much either, but I did ask him once, a teenager's 64K question, how he could stand it, needing 25 missions to go home when the loss odds were about 3-to-1 against making it. He just shrugged, automatically, and said, "Well, I just figured I was a dead duck, but what the hell, so was everybody else."

Give your dad an 'attaboy' for me, wouldja? That F4U was a monster. Many experts say the best fighter of WWII.

The VDH piece "A Ring", from Memorial Day 2002, is one of the most powerful essays I've ever read. You're right, it can't be finished with dry eyes.

4/11/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, your reference to Nazi Germany makes the anti-appeasement point more clearly than anything in history. Is that what you meant, or are you trying to say that since Hitler lost, he must not've been so great a threat after all--?

And throwing the word "illegal" around as though it has no objective meaning is so common these days that there oughtta be a law against it.
\:-)

4/11/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

ash, 8:04 PM

As always, your reasoning is considered. Therefore, what I am about to say should in no way be construed as disrespect of you personally or your positions of record.

Throughout the day, there have been any number of posts positing the probability of domestic and European "howls', "scowls", and plain old disagreeableness if the President chooses to act "unilaterally" on Iran.

Without intending to trivialize your excellent observations, I must say that howling and scowling and being disagreeable are what Europeans and their domestic aficionados do. At nearly every watershed moment during the Cold War, for instance, European elites could be counted on to howl, scowl, and be disagreeable; which is why President Reagan, among others, jovially ignored them, save Mrs. Thatcher and a few others. If left to European strategy, the CCCP would still be an ever present source of dread to millions of American school children.

Again, not to trivialize, my children often howled, scowled, and were down-right disagreeable. They lived through it.

Mr. Bush is not the President of France or the Prime Minister of Italy. His Constitutional responsibilities are solely to be exercised to the benefit of the citizens of the United States. We may strongly disagree with him, as I find myself doing all too often recently, but that is why their are elections.

It may be of little comfort to those exercised at the possibility of war with Iran and the inevitable bad PR, but in the immortal words of JFK, "Success has a thousand fathers, but failure dies an orphan." Should the US, in this instance, fight to unconditionally win, Mr. Bush will take his wreath and triumphantly ride through the streets of Washington City to the acclaim of its enthralled citizens.

Finally, tell me that you are not comparing the foreign policy of the United States to that of Nazi Germany or the Empire of Japan.

4/11/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

allen, Buddy,

An interesting question is how long will many nations of the world appease the US? A strong underpinning of the international order was the notion of Sovereignty. Now, the US claims for itself all the rights and protections of sovereignty to the point of refusing to sign on to the ICC yet the US now also claims the right to infringe on the sovereignty of other nations. Many nations signed on to Gulf War II in part because of the potential contracts and to keep on the good side of the very powerful US - appeasement. My musings on this matter relate to how long this will go on if the US continues to invade other nations.

Domestic howls and US law is also a hurdle Bush must cross if he should choose to attack Iran. It is entirely possible we could be presented with Bush announcing from the oval office that he launced air raids on Iran and he is now informing the people and congress. If this should occur I'm curious as to what his legal status would be under the US constitution.

4/12/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Glaivester said...

Meanwhile, March was actually one of the more peaceful months in Iraq even for the civilians.

Only if you believe the numbers the Brookings Institute cam up with.

ICaasualties has reports of more civilian deaths in March than the Brookings Institute came up with (901 vs. 446). Those 901 are accounted for in specific incidents. This does not include any deaths that may have slipped under the rader.

I brought this up earlier, but no one responded.

Anyone?

4/12/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Speaking of numbers, there does appear to be a seasonal aspect to it:

"Deaths of U.S. Soldiers Climb Again in Iraq

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By EDWARD WONG
Published: April 12, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 12 - The death toll for American troops is rising steeply this month, with the military today announcing the deaths of two more soldiers, bringing the number of troops killed this month to at least 33. That figure already surpasses the American military deaths for all of March, and could signal a renewed insurgent offensive against the American presence here."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/12/world/13cnd-iraq.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

4/12/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

"their" = there

4/13/2006 10:30:00 AM  

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