Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nowhere Man

Here are two serious links and one very serious piece of news. The first serious link is an analysis of Iraq casualty numbers by Myelectionanalysis (hat tip: Mudville Gazette)

81, 76, 50, 49, 43, 25

What are these numbers? This week’s Powerball winners? ... No, they’re the number of troops that have died in hostile actions in Iraq for each of the past six months. That last number represents the lowest level of troop deaths in a year, and second-lowest in two years. 

But it must be that the insurgency is turning their assault on Iraqi military and police, who are increasingly taking up the slack, right? 215, 176, 193, 189, 158, 193 (and the three months before that were 304, 282, 233)

Okay, okay, so insurgents aren’t engaging us; they’re turning increasingly to car bombs then, right? 70, 70, 70, 68, 30, 30

Civilians then. They’re just garroting poor civilians. 527, 826, 532, 732, 950, 446 (upper bound, two months before that were 2489 and 1129).

My point here is not that everything is peachy in Iraq. It isn’t. My point isn’t that the insurgency is in its last throes. It isn’t. My point here isn’t even to argue that we’re winning. I’m at best cautiously-pessimistic-to-neutral about how things are going there. ... My only point is that ... I was unequivocally shocked when I saw this. Completely the opposite of what I’d expected. My non-scientific sample of three friends, all of whom are considerably more bullish about the prospects in Iraq than I am, revealed three people similarly surprised by these numbers.

Myelectionanalysis expected to find the reverse of the actual numbers, as you would be led to think if you confined your reading to the International Crisis Group, who in their February 15, 2006 report, entitled "In Their Own Words: Reading the Iraqi Insurgency" describe an insurgency that is going from strength to strength.

This report, based on close analysis of the insurgents’ own discourse, reveals relatively few groups ... whose strategy and tactics have evolved (in response to U.S. actions and to maximise acceptance by Sunni Arabs), and whose confidence in defeating the occupation is rising. ... The emergence of a more confident, better organised, coordinated, information-savvy insurgency, ... has survived, even thrived, despite being vastly outnumbered and outgunned, suggests the limitations of the current counter-insurgency campaign.

But it's hard to reconcile the International Crisis Group's report with the second link. An Armed Forces Journal article entitled "It will be better when you leave" says it has become so comparatively quiet in former Iraqi hotspots that the troops are wondering what to make of it.

There are more than 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, 23,000 of whom are Marines. But even in the most insurgent-infested places in Iraq, the troops aren’t doing much. The Fallujahs and Mosuls and Tall Afars are history. The insurgents seem to be lying low. They’re not coming out in great numbers to confront U.S. troops. They’re not mounting as many effective IED attacks.

Sometimes it seems the American forces are searching for things to do — going on patrol for the sake of going on patrol. At some point that patrol is going to hit an IED — it’s a numbers game. But it’s unlikely that a patrol was specifically targeted. It’s just bad luck.

Could the insurgents be executing a similar strategy to the Taliban in Afghanistan? As Sean D. Naylor reported in the February issue of AFJ, Special Forces officers who work closely with tribal militias in Afghanistan’s most remote provinces warn that the former regime that protected al-Qaida is lying in wait, marshalling resources for the day America leaves.


As Myelectionanalysis says, he's not interpreting history; just reporting the numbers. That casualty numbers are down not just for Americans but for Iraqis and civilians too appears to be anecdotally confirmed by the Armed Forces Journal article. But the question is what does it mean? One possibility is that the "increasingly confident" insurgency reported by the International Crisis Group is giving America one last respite before unleashing hell and finally driving the US from Iraq. The other possibility is that the enemy, unable to defeat the US military in the field, has embarked on a strategy Amir Taheri called "Waiting Out Bush". Or in Belmont Clubese, the enemy having lost the military war now hopes to win the political war. Taheri says that many Arab capitals are simply waiting for a new administration to ride to their rescue. The trick is simply to "wait out Bush".

Hassan Abbasi has a dream--a helicopter doing an arabesque in cloudy skies to avoid being shot at from the ground. On board are the last of the "fleeing Americans," forced out of the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) by "the Army of Muhammad." Presented by his friends as "The Dr. Kissinger of Islam," Mr. Abbasi is "professor of strategy" at the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps University and, according to Tehran sources, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new radical administration.

To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of "the last helicopter." ... According to this theory, President George W. Bush is an "aberration," a leader out of sync with his nation's character and no more than a brief nightmare for those who oppose the creation of an "American Middle East." Messrs. Abbasi and Ahmadinejad have concluded that there will be no helicopter as long as George W. Bush is in the White House. But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.

It is not only in Tehran and Damascus that the game of "waiting Bush out" is played with determination. In recent visits to several regional capitals, this writer was struck by the popularity of this new game from Islamabad to Rabat. The general assumption is that Mr. Bush's plan to help democratize the heartland of Islam is fading under an avalanche of partisan attacks inside the U.S. The effect of this assumption can be witnessed everywhere.

Which brings me to the "very serious piece of news" I promised readers. It's completely off topic, so funny and yet so serious that it simply must be included in this post. Carlos the Jackal has been fined by a French court for hate speech. According to the Guardian:

April 4 -- PARIS (AP) - A Paris court fined the terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal'' more than $6,000 Tuesday for saying in a French television interview that terror attacks sometimes were "necessary." The 56-year-old Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was convicted of defending terrorism. The court did not convict him for expressing pleasure that "the Great Satan" - the United States - suffered the Sept. 11 attacks, saying those comments were his personal reaction. Prosecutors asked for a fine four times larger than the $6,110 penalty imposed. But the judges said they did not see the need for a higher fine because Ramirez's comments referred to the past and aimed to justify his own actions. Ramirez, dressed in a red shirt and blue blazer, kissed the hand of his partner and lawyer, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, during the judgment.

The Carlos story isn't a parody and readers who think it's a hoax can click the link to the Guardian to verify that it's real. But it epitomizes the absurdities in Western political culture which makes the strategy of winning-while-losing possible. Because the "last helicopter" is always ready for boarding whether it needs to leave or not; and there are a long line of political leaders willing to take the trip on principle. Just because. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were very probably right when they characterized that certain kind of person.

He's a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

I'm afraid he might be.


Blogger The Machinist said...

HUH?!? Isn't C the J in, like, jail?

4/05/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Interesting post, Wretchard. I knew that US casualties were incredibly low, but the idea that civilian deaths are 1/5th of what they were 8 months ago is stunning.

IMO, waiting for the US to leave is the only viable option the bad guys have left. It also conclusively puts the lie to the idea that a conventional force cannot defeat a guerilla insurgency. 'Course, the press won't let that little secret out. When the time comes, the US needs to leave Iraq like Israel left Gaza: killing all the bad guys they could find on the way out.

In regards to The Jackal: Here's a perfect example of why the French shouldn't be lecturing anyone on violations of International Law. They didn't give a damn about it when they extradited Carlos from Sudan. Funny how so many people are only in favor of International Law when it makes the US look bad.

As an aside, fining a Marxist, anti-Semitic assassin for hate speech is kind of like taxing him for breathing, ain't it? What the hell did they expect him to say?

machinist: Yes, but the French are so cultured, they let their lifers give TV interviews...then fine them for being themselves.

4/05/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Over the week end I went to the funeral of the husband of my cousin. They had a baby boy between them. The boy is cute as a button. His father was entering his early 40's. He was a drinker and offed himself. Nobody cared to say anything about it at the funeral but the audience was full of people--including me -- who drank in their 20's and 30's --and managed just in time--by the grace of God--to kick the wicked beast. Lots of guys looked at the casket and thought to themselves...there but by the Grace of God go I.

My aunt broke the awkward silence at the burial site by singing ... It Is Well With My Soul.

4/05/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

The "In Their Own Words" excerpt said: "...and whose confidence in defeating the occupation is rising... The emergence of a more confident, better organised, coordinated, information-savvy insurgency, ... has survived, even thrived, despite being vastly outnumbered and outgunned, suggests the limitations of the current counter-insurgency campaign."

This piece of writing is precious.
Its value lies in the reminder it presents that peppering one's discourse with well-placed figures of speech and rhetorical devices doesn't make what you say true, only more appealing and persuasive.

In my estimation, the author went a little overboard on the figures of repetition. The passage contains assonance (similar internal vowel sounds - "survived...thrived... despite); alliteration("current counter-insurgency campaign"); consonance (similar terminal consonants - outnumbered ... outgunned; survived ...thrived) and homoioptoton (similar ending inflections - "in defeating the occupation is rising"). There are a few others figure, as well.

In my opinion, when someone tries this hard to make their writing clever, they are masking something- the facts, their ignorance of them, their arrogance or perhaps all three.

Writing like this gives the old and noble art of "rhetoric" a bad name.

4/05/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

The last helicopter, symbol of American impuissance in Vietnam. If it happens this time I will be amazed. George W still is Commander in Chief and I do not think his lame duck status means a flip to him. He'll, as LIncoln told Grant, "fret'em and fret'em and fret'em"
We'll end up taking Syria to find the WMD's the Soviets moved there. We'll coordinate a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and hopefully for simply a tangible show of understandable power we'll MOAB and Dresdenize some cities. That power the average illiterate Muslim will understand, and RESPECT, (thanks Aretha).
As for them killing each other, well we did it in abundance during the War of Northern Aggression.
Semper Fi

4/05/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Dang it, my playcard must be soiled--I thought Carlos the Jackal was dead. Who was the terrorist that was lurking around Bahgdad before the invasion that the Baathist's finally bumped off?

4/05/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's TIME-ese, NEWSWEEK-ese, SDH. Refined sugar; empty calories, tasty, unhealthy.

At first glance, the picture and the Beatles lyrics stand out. My first thought was "Well, okay, the Jackal is a Nowhere Man". Then, reading, it hit what Wretchard is saying: the Jackal is the product of the Nowhere Men. Ah, much better arc, much finer truth.

4/05/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Abu Nidal, bobalharb.

4/05/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Thanks Buddy--scratch Abu, write in Carlos,may he RIP, rot in peace.

4/05/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Old Leon Klinghoffer, elderly, wheelchair-bound, Jewish, American, on his lifetime Big Holiday in his sunset years, was rolled off a hijacked cruiseship, by Abu Nidal, in just one incident of the Abu Nidal career, to splash into the water and sink down, down into the green depths with his lungs bursting as he no doubt prayed in frantic despair for his loved ones left aboard at the mercy of Abu Nidal.

4/05/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Mr. Hunter,
First off a heartfelt and congratulatory note on your favorite book. "The Road to Serfdom." It is a must read.
You made observation of four rhtorical devices when critiquing the piece. When I was in school we counted more than 60 rhetorical devices. I'm not convinced the author overplayed his hand.
Semper Fi

4/05/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Starling David Hunter said...

"This piece of writing is precious. Its value lies in the reminder it presents that peppering one's discourse with well-placed figures of speech and rhetorical devices doesn't make what you say true, only more appealing and persuasive."

Here's another little gem of rhetorical propaganda that would have received Dr. Goebbels' approval. The MSM is doing its level best for the bad guys.

4/05/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

hoo, boy--you're right--every syllable aimed at the jugular of the good guys.

4/05/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Wretchard said:

"That casualty numbers are down not just for Americans but for Iraqis and civilians too appears to be anecdotally confirmed by the Armed Forces Journal article. But the question is what does it mean?"

There's another question that goes with this: Who are all those guys with their hands bound and a bullet hole in the back of their heads? Could it be that Muqtada's goons are taking out the garbage (Baathists and foreign Jihadiis)? There's a slight chance that Muqtada has not yet past his expiration date.

4/05/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...


of course you may be right. Perhaps he didn't overplay his hand. What else I might have mentioned is that in my study of the use of figures of speech, I have found that four genres seem to use them in particular abundance: poetry, advertising, religious texts, and political speeches.

By my estimate, advertising contains the most per 100 words but then again I haven't systematically examined every genre. Perhaps since advertisers have such strict time and space limitations, they need to get the most out of (or into) every word. Politcal speeches seem to run a close second.

I suppose my point is just that when I see this many figures in such a short space it starts to feel like a hard sell. Very few writers and orators can do this without wearing the listener down.

The new translation of Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations" and the speeches of Winston Churchill are notable examples of the skillful use of these devices. The speeches of Jesse Jackson and Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah are notable for their overuse of certain figures.

As for the numbers, yes four or five figures in a few sentences is a small number compared to the number out there. Books I have on the subject range from as few as 40 figures to as many as 300. Still it seemed like overkill to me but I readily admit such assessments are highly subjective.

Rhetorical Flourishes

4/05/2006 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Another example of " winning-while-losing:"
Conquest by Demographics
The irony of demanding American citizenship while holding aloft the flag of a foreign country was not lost on American viewers.
The burning and desecration of American flags involved in some cases and all the racist "gringo" rhetoric didn't help.
Indeed, there's more than one way to conquer territory, and a demographic takeover is often more effective than a military one.

Mexican nationalist sentiment in favor of "reconquista" or reclaiming the southwestern United States, otherwise known as Aztlan, is no longer confined to the fringes.
It has now become a popular sentiment, intoned by Hispanic politicians, professors, activists and students.
The fact that it was a common theme in the recent protests points to the effectiveness of years of unchecked political indoctrination in schools and universities by groups such as the National Council of La Raza and MEChA
(Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de Aztlan).
Such are the fruits of eschewing assimilation for multiculturalism.

Who Benefits?
If the unholy alliance of business interests, labor unions, liberal elements of the Catholic Church and other clergy, Hispanic organizations, civil rights groups and leftist organizations has its way, America as we know it will be a thing of the past.
Such strange bedfellows each have their own interests at heart. Big business wants to retain an unending supply of cheap labor; labor unions and church activists desire increased membership;
Hispanic and civil rights organizations want U.S. taxpayers to continue funding illegal immigration and leftist groups seek to undermine American power by any means necessary.
Joining the open-borders lobby are Democratic and Republican politicians, playing their part in search of the ever-elusive Hispanic vote, legal or otherwise.

At the forefront of the movement to erase national boundaries is President Bush himself. Having long discarded any fealty to the voters who supported him in 2004, Bush has become part of the problem.
Bush's utter contempt for American citizenship was made apparent during a recent speech at a naturalization ceremony in Washington.
Standing in front of a banner reading "Securing the American Dream," he had the gall to discuss benefits for illegal immigrants.
To expect a group of people who made the effort to become legal citizens to be sympathetic to rewarding lawbreakers is beyond comprehension. When the law becomes meaningless, so does citizenship.
This may explain why legal Hispanic immigrants, as well as U.S.-born Hispanics, tend to part ways[PDF] with their brethren in the open-borders crowd. The Hispanic population in the United States is by no means monolithic, despite the image disseminated by the recent immigration protests.

President Newspeak at Work:
Trading Sovereignty for Globalism

A popular talking point put forward ad nauseam by Bush in recent weeks is that illegal immigrants do "the jobs Americans won't do." This Orwellian phrase has been repeated over and over again by the open-borders lobby, and now has become accepted as truth.
In fact, illegal immigrants do not make up the majority of workers in any occupation, and they comprise less than 5 percent of the U.S. workforce.

Today, we find ourselves facing a future unlike any previous generation's.
It's a future in which America as a sovereign nation could cease to exist.

4/06/2006 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

I agree with Mr. Hunter's assessment about the hard sell. While I believe I understand Habu's point about it not being an excessive amount, I think that when you step back and look at what this document is trying to appear to be and then look closer at its sentence by sentence structure, things become considerably more suspect.

I'm glad Mr. Hunter pointed this out; the excerpt caught my attention as being a bit forced, I realized I was detecting something but I wasn't able to initially put my finger on it. My initial feeling was more of an awareness of the emptiness and lack of precision, a lack of any metrics, and no real arguments... just words strung together to achieve a certain feeling.

I decided to more closely examine the document from where the excerpt was found. It's very, very curious. It purports to be an "analysis" and a "report" and yet is stylistically unlike a sober report or analysis.

Check out the first sentence of the executive summary:

"In Iraq, the U.S. fights an enemy it hardly knows. Its descriptions have relied on gross approximations and crude categories (Saddamists, Islamo-fascists and the like) that bear only passing resemblance."

I'll spare the reader from my re-identifying the devices spotted by Mr. Hunter. But beyond those, what first struck me about this is that they are talking about the US's "descriptions", which are at best press conference blurbs and seeks to assume that the same language is used by analysts, military intelligence specialists, etc. It would be little different than saying that the Apple computer company knows little more about its computers than what can be found in Apple's press releases.

In the last sentence of the first paragraph we find this: "An anti-insurgency approach primarily focused on reducing the insurgents’ perceived legitimacy – rather than achieving their military destruction, decapitation and dislocation – is far more likely to succeed." That's very eye-catching, the allliteration of words beginning in D, in the form of three words, is rather excessive. Particularly when "destruction" alone would have more than sufficed. The use of 2 additional words that essentially mean the same things adds nothing to the clarity of the communication.

Readers may wish to take a look at the document keeping Mr. Hunter's observations in mind. There is a lot to find in it.

4/06/2006 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...


thanks for that additional analysis. I concur with what you noticed about the lack of a sober analytical approach. Just as there is a time and place for the tricolon and alliteration that you observed, there is also for backing up assertions with facts placed in context.

It is sad to see how rare are blogs like this one and Bill Roggio's Fourth Rail, i.e. blogs where logic, the empirical method, and fact-driven analysis are the order of the day.

4/06/2006 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Jamire said...

Ive read your post and its interesting.. [continues to read...]
safecutt says

4/06/2006 02:36:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"In my opinion, when someone tries this hard to make their writing clever, they are masking something- the facts, their ignorance of them, their arrogance or perhaps all three.

Concur your analysis.

Because THIS analytical reality is available to ALL HUMANS, on a more-or-less-conscious basis, we can search more-or-less accurately for the Truth, the reality behind the words, and the motives of the speaker/writer.

We CAN ascertain the truth for ourselves!

4/06/2006 03:07:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I thought Carlos always had an inflated view of himself, my goodness," the jackal" But it really is a surprise that "Carlos the Cockroach" is still crawling around France. I guess he may have an immigration problem accepting a scholarship to Yale, but maybe not. Murphy really eas right, "Friends come and go, enemies accumulate".

4/06/2006 03:08:00 AM  
Blogger John McClellan said...

The data series for car bomb attacks is very interesting. The lack of variation within the two respective time bands (months 1-4 and months 5-6) implies very few production sources for. It almost seems like there were two car bomb factories and one was destroyed around two months ago.

4/06/2006 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

William F. Buckley,
has another cynical take; this time on the issue of lower US casualties:
He posits:
The insurgents can reasonably assume that there is nothing they can do to drive the Americans away. Three years have gone by, more than 2,300 Americans have been killed, the rate of these killings reduces but is not concomitant with any reduction in U.S. strength. It is brought on by (a) the reduction in U.S. exposure, and (b) insurgent concentration on non-U.S. targets.

But ask then: Is this reduced exposure a part of the U.S. battle plan? We have not in recent months seen any hard U.S. assaults on hard Iraqi targets, in the class of Fallujah in the fall of 2004. Can we assume that such hard enemy nests aren't there, holding out? Or rather that the U.S. army command is less bent on smoking them out?

He ends his column with:

But one would expect the military to pay greater attention than if hellbent on the mission's accomplishment to such factors as risk to U.S. personnel. The welcome lightening of the casualty figures can be seen as the military voting with their feet to begin withdrawal from an enterprise that has proved costly beyond the successes achieved.

Does Buckley have some inside knowledge or does he suffer as does Congressman Murtha?

4/06/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"Until last week there was a robust selection of wines from Georgia and Moldova, long the most popular in the former Soviet world. Now, on shelves once crowded with dry Tsinandalis and sweet muscats, stand hastily relocated wines from Italy, Bulgaria, Ukraine and France.

Throughout Russia it is the same. Wines from Georgia and Moldova have been banned."

This is being reported in NYT. It may seem a little humorous, but it is not. It is another example of the G-25 power under the little KGB punk reasserting control of former satelites. It is blatant economic aggression and if GWB wanted to get his numbers up he should take a pass on going to St. Petersburg and pretending that the Putin runt is anything more than the thug he is.

4/06/2006 03:27:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Before OIF began, an American TV reporter in IRaq made a very interesing observation.
He said that prior to their invasion of Kuwaitt, Iraqis saw the U.S. as a paper tiger, a powerful nation that lacked the stamina and will needed to win in combat, but that "They don't look at the U.S. that way now."

The Leftist "triumph" of the Vietnam era has led to so much conflict and so many innocent deaths - so many people have paid for this - I just wonder when the Left will truly pay.

4/06/2006 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

That is an excellent point RWE. We did not lose Viet Nam as much as we abondoned it. However, politics is maximizing the achievable. We are stuck with MSM, the elite academia and the left. They will always be there to temper and modify if not deny our more assertive tendancies. I believe we are at the point of rapidly diminishing returns in Iraq. If we leave or wind down on our terms and rapidly assert ourselves over some of our other interests, we will not have another post Viet Nam angst.

4/06/2006 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...


"IDF: PA Hamas leaders now fair target"

4/06/2006 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

it has become so comparatively quiet in former Iraqi hotspots that the troops are wondering what to make of it.

Concentration. They moved and reconcentrated themselves in Baghdad. Then their planned takeover of the Green Zone was aborted. So they are concentrating on disorder now, greatly aided by the Interior Ministry's decision not to deploy coalition-trained police, but instead employ the armed groups of political factions for "enforcement".

4/06/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger PD Quig said...

"The American death rate for March was 31 fatalities, a gruesome toll (one per day), yet the second lowest since the invasion was launched three years ago. Over approximately the same period, nearly 1,500 Iraqi civilians were killed, according to the American military, a significant increase over recent months."

-W.F. Buckley

"They’re just garroting poor civilians. 527, 826, 532, 732, 950, 446 (upper bound, two months before that were 2489 and 1129)"


Does anybody know which number is accurate? Fact-based analysis suffers in the face of differing 'facts.'

4/06/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

pd - if the myelection numbers are counting backwords, notice the parenthetical adjustment concerning upper bounds: 1129 is not so different from 1,500. at least that's how i think we're supposed to read it.

4/06/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


For me, the link was broken.. Try this one

4/06/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

The insurgency has made a brilliant move in taking the vast majority of the violence to Baghdad, where the media are. As a result, even though there is less killing going on more of it is being reported. As a result, the American public is being effectively demoralized by the MSM.

4/06/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Dan - thanks, I really have to master that link-making thing.

4/06/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Too bad John Kerry can't be fined for trotting out his "last man to die for a lie" schtick in the NYT yesterday. In the face of possible success, it's not important that we hurry up and surrender before it's too late!

Kerry must have read "The Last Helicopter" and decided: We can't leave them waiting too long, what if Iraq is a success? That would be terrible for the Democrats.

4/06/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

I wonder if the plan is the conserve their resources and lay low until about October, then do a "Tet Offensive" campaign to damage Bush in the midterm elections?

The cannot defeat the US military. But if enough Democrats get elected in the House and Senate, they can turn off the budget for keeping the military in Iraq

4/06/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger PD Quig said...


Hmmm. The way I read Myelectionanalysis numbers was Aug:2459, Sep: 1129, Oct:527, Nov:826, Dec:532, Jan:732, Feb:950, Mar:446. That seems to correlate with the similarly down trending numbers in the other categories. If that's right, there's a 3x delta between his Brookings numbers and Buckley's "American military" numbers.

Subtracting that 1,000+ dead discrepency would undermine much of WFB's argument, even if it wouldn't address the possibility that the terrorists have just gone into "wait out Bush" mode.


4/06/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Papa Bear,

Exactly, then Iraq will be just like Vietnam.

4/06/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced yesterday that the United States is considering increasing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. She also urged Hamas to choose a peaceful path in government.

Speaking to reporters en route to Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, Rice said Hamas must make its intentions clear.

"The road map is the way for a better life for the Palestinian people. Whatever government they form needs to make clear to the international community pretty soon that that will be the policy of the government," she said.

The State Department is reviewing all aid to the Palestinians to ensure no U.S. funds reach Hamas. While prevented under U.S. law from giving aid directly to a Hamas-led government, Rice said she hoped the United States could provide more humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

"We are looking at ways to even increase our humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people during this period of time, but there are important choices that the Palestinian people face concerning the road map and the Quartet requirements," she said.

Rice did not indicate whether she would ask Congress for more humanitarian aid. It is more likely that any new help will come from funds previously earmarked for the Palestinian Authority. ... "

Money is fungible, more US Aid to Palistine, more US Aid to terrorists across the Region. Every dime the US antes up, is another dime the Sauds and the Iranians do not have to.

Ms Rice is wrong to reallocate Aid monies, she is wrong to fund the Palistinians.
Mr Bush is wrong to allow it to go forward.
Any aid to Palistine is Aid to the Terrorists.
The US a global sponsor of terror.

No wonder it'll be a Long War, we are funding the Enemy.

US to increase funding for the terror machine

Money is fungible

Support a terrorist, you are a terrorist.

4/06/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Eggplant's link, to NewsWeek's story on the Secretary of State's visit to Baghdad, offers this sentence near the top:

The Green Zone, a vast secure, American area plunked down in the heart of the Baghdad (imagine foreign occupiers taking over the Mall in Washington, D. C.), was supposed to have been temporary.

Fine, rank persuasion, the irksome factor is that NewsWeek will ever deny that it is anything but objective. The article on this state visit opens with a long meditation on the Rhino. The reader is supposed to wonder why Condi Rice rode in such a vehicle. Of course the answer is that it's a war zone, but you are invited to see that as all wrong, that (newsflash!) a Secretary of State needs such security. Bah. A pox on NewsWeek.

4/06/2006 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

8th Army Headquarters, in the center of Seoul was another instance where the US took the Prime real estate and held it, for decades.

I had heard that the 8th Army was giving that land back to the Koreans, do not know if it was ever transfered back to them, or not...

4/06/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Aren't their treaty precedents in Japan and Germany for permanent Base openings, force protection, etc. that would put a damper on this strategy? To wait us out, or to wait anyone out seems to be a "Cowards Victory".

The strategy that will turn that around is a heavy insurgent arrest regimen, public trials and staying in Iraq - in force. Calling this the way to a Cowards Victory will enrage the idiots in the insurgency and possibly damage this oh-so-fragile psyche of the average every day jihadist. Maybe a time to up the ante in their stupid, flacid tactics. The "wait till they leave" strategy - what Ultra-Maroons (To quote a personal hero of mine).

4/06/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Blood fueds and bandits, kidnappers and thugs in general, guns for hire, baathists, outside jihadis, hustlers and con-men. It's a regular Dodge City and I think several thousand trained NC0-type, field grade type terr commanders have been killed and are not being replaced. Only the MSM and some computer warrriors believe mohammed can close his bakery in Syria, hop a bus to Iraq and instantly take command of a squad of terrs and conduct sophisictated ambushes and operations and laison with other groups, keep the cash and money flowing, procure supplies, weapons and ammo, recruit and train,avoid detection and being reported and arrested. Attrition significantly factors in and that accounts for the shift in attacks against civilians.

4/06/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Sorry, their = there.

Really, old age is getting a bit tiresome....

4/06/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...


You bring up the real tar baby.

No one in the US Government or the Iraqi has proposed an extended US presence in Iraq.
Should there be one? Of course.
But it is undiscussed.
There are no End Game discussions in Iraq. Perhaps we were waiting for an Iraqi Government to form.

Let US begin to negotiate with Mr Mahdi or whomever. The SCIRI (the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) will rule Iraq, how likely are they to accomadate US wishes?

The UN Resolution allowing the Occupation expires in Jan '07. What if Mr Mahdi tells US it is time for US to go, then?

4/06/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Al Qaeda has said their main strategic focus is not killing Americans but pinning them down in extended war, burning money up like there is no tomorrow, and financially bleeding America to death as they did the Soviets. Binnie has said, the fact that we can spend 500K on an operation that caused 2 trillion in loss, that America bleeds 100s of billions to defend in areas we do not plan to attck in their uncertainty makes the outcome certain...."we will reduce America's wealth and ability to function internationally as surely as we did with the godless ones".

So far Bush appears to be obliging them. 3 trillion in debt under Bush. 2 trillion in total debt to his Chinese, Japanese, overseas Jewish financier, Saudi, and French patrons. 820 billion annual trade deficits as American production of goods and R&D budgets are gutted in favor of Asian production and R&D. And Katrina showed the continued inability of the government to respond to disasters, as well as the unraveling of the American social fabric that held in even 3rd World nations during the Mumbai flooding and the 2004 Tsunami.

Major issues left unaddressed in America for the last 4 years as the Iraq fixation continues. With total cost, inc. lifetime healthcare and disability, projected to cost the US between 800 billion and 1.3 billion in entirely borrowed money that will have to be paid back staring in 2008.

4/06/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That's really the important issue, not how do we leave, but how do we stay? Hard-eyed ambitious anti-westerners world-wide want to know.

4/06/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Yep, that points to the most insipid arguments of the anti-war crowd, a timeline. The idea that we work on a UN imposed timeline is suicidal. Open-end this or fall to the "wait till they leave" tactic. Ridiculous way to fight this war or any war (Vietnam). Remember folks, the claims to victory in their society are laughable to us, but to them, it's the smell of Napalm in the morning.

4/06/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So do Patriotic right wing Americans, buddy.

4/06/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So did the Republican controlled Senate, buddy.

Seems the whole World wants to know.

But like Mr Nixon's "Secret Plan" it is a secret, even to the "Planners"

4/06/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It goes back to the "Goals".
Because the real Goals in Iraq have not been articulated, when those Goals that have been made public are fulfilled, the Mission will be over.

If the US never proclaims a greater War, it will not be able to fight it.

There ARE timelines, whether one acknowledges them or not. That is especially true of US. Our Election cycles provide their own energy to the process.

Any War Strategy that does not account for those and other mileposts or phase lines is doomed to fail.

4/06/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Doug - Bush's utter contempt for American citizenship was made apparent during a recent speech at a naturalization ceremony in Washington.

It wouldn't be the 1st time Bush has stood up and revealed himself as a willing whore and complete tool of his corporate masters that want Open Borders.

To me, Doug, the best moment was when the Minuteman formed stating they would watch the Border since Bush was blocking ICE staffing and still supporting catch and release, not making illegals a national security issue, and not enforcing employer fines - 3 years after 9/11. Bush was meeting with Presidente Vincente Fox and at a conference, he listened as Fox denounced the border watchers as American racist bigots trying to block "hard-working" Mexicans from putting food on their table. Completely unbidden, but knowing it would please his fatcat benefactors, Bush backed his Amigo Presidente's denunciations of "hateful Americans" and piped up that he too detested racism and called the border watchers "Vigilantes" completely unacceptable to him.

What a tool. I lost all respect for the whore at that point.

How many bad guys have infiltrated? Well, aside from the cells the Chinese, Hezbollah, Iran have likely sent across our unguarded borders - we have 30% of the felonies in CA committed by illegal aliens..and I wouldn't be surprised if Al Qaeda cells laying low until Iraq is done - that crossed our borders will strike - but might want to wait as long as America is divided and going in the wrong direction on a range of critical matters.

"When Bush is digging a hole, it is a wise Jihadi or Chinese agent that hands the fool a shovel".

4/06/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Sorry folks, I have W.C. Fields and Mae West (MY Little Chickadee) talking in the background. Makes concentrating hard.


Yep, problems, but your idea of reasons to leave the ME have been used before - and discarded. I think it was Buddy - yesterday. Did you read it or flick it from your waistcoat? As the great JUST said - "Go back to the Reservation and milk your elk". (Or, answer my question from yesterday - Do elections count?)

4/06/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A "timeline" in the Beginning was nonsensical.
But a schedule at the End, that makes all the sense in the World.

Times have changed since he no timeline policy was enacted.
The situation on the Ground HAS changed.

The numbers presented in W's post tell the tale.
What was Victory in Iraq suppossed to look like, anyway?

If not what we've hatched.

4/06/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

There you go pretending that there's not two sides on a ledger, again, C4.

Without wasting time--uselessly--going part-and-parcel on your financial laundry list, can I just ask you why global economies are booming, global mkts, stocks, bonds, commodities are booming, USA is growing nicely, our long bond--the stand-alone unparalled thermometer of economic health--is under 5%?

Could it be that despite the nominal debt numbers (which are anyway at/near historic averages relative to the size of this near 15 trillion economy), our currency is holding in a narrow range vs the other mature states? USD should be in collapse, according to your dire forecast.

I know gold is way up, but dig into the figures, you'll see it's hedge demand in Asia running a low-volume mkt past its supply/demand balance. IOW, at this time, gold is flashing less of an inflation signal and more of a demand signal.

Aha, you ask, why the demand, if people aren't sweating their currencies?

Oho, say I, look at global long-rates, and see, that gold is driven not by fear but by a new level of demand created by the global economic boom.

Foreign debt? The USA is making a really nice return on it, C4--that's why all the good metrics. Productivity is magical.

Banks, individuals, nations, all want to invest in safe projects that bear good returns.

The best brains in the world are in this game, and they like the USA.

Are you really that bad an economist, or are you just carrying political water?

4/06/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard et al,

I am very puzzled by your acceptance of the' analysis of the data. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick here but these numbers really make no sense at all.

Electionanalysis links to this document as a source for its data

Let's take a look starting at the very first claim.

“81, 76, 50, 49, 43, 25
What are these numbers? This week’s Powerball winners? ... No, they’re the number of troops that have died in hostile actions in Iraq for each of the past six months. “

Six months of hostile induced deaths. That adds up to 324 deaths in the last 36 months. Hmmmm, there must be a load of accidental US soldier deaths? Lets check the source for this data. According to Brookings there have been 1824 deaths in this period due to hostile incidents. Maybe these ‘analysts’ mis-stated their numbers and they really talking averages? Taking a look at the graph there is nothing to imply such a declining trend and things look so bad with this analysis I don’t think it is worth crunching the numbers to make the proof. Take a look for yourselves.

Wretchard, what gives? Why wouldn’t you even take a cursory look at the numbers before tossing them up on your blog? Am I missing something here?

4/06/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: "Old Leon Klinghoffer" (ztl)

Carlos, Abu, Sirhan – what ties have they? All three supported the Palestinian cause, i.e. the destruction of Israel. Two are of Palestinian stock. Two are known to have operated directly within the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), while the third is thought by some to have had such ties. All three are murderous psychopaths. All three are honored as heroes by the HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement), the governing party of the Palestinian Authority.

How easy it is to mock the delicate sense of French justice, schadenfreude is so invigorating, especially at the expense of the French - nothing like the smell of French toast in the morning. The US most take care to avoid looking even more foolish, as the State Department’s mental gymnastics in justification of financial aid to the Palestinian Authority warns. Pampering one Carlos is ridiculously bad form, pampering a putative government of his fellow travelers would be …

4/06/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

"Six months of hostile induced deaths. That adds up to 324 deaths in the last 36 months"


That should be "in the last 6 months." 6, not 36. It is you, not Wretchard, that should be taking a cursory look at your numbers.

4/06/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

ahhhh, so the analysis only concerns each month of the last six months. I figured there was something obvious. I had read it as 6 month periods.

Let us hope the this trend continues then.

4/06/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

And as far as timelines, specific dates, puh-leeze--the reason we're all in a fog as to those dates is because that's the best way to beat the bad guys, don't let 'em do your planning for ya.

I love your "whore' and "tool of the economic interests" language, C4. Reminds me of the course I took on Lenin. Find me someone over the age of six who you couldn't call a "whore for the economic interests". It's a spirit *and* a material world, C4--matters of the spirit are vital, and they swim in an economic sea. There's no glory in "need", just "need".

4/06/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Get on Course, my man.

The US will be funding Carlos's old benefactors, the Palis.

Ain't it Grand.

It the past, with Mr Arafat, the appeasement payments were part of the Peace Process.

Now there is no pretense of a Peace Process, we just NEED to pay the Palis.

For Stability's sake.

Sponsor a terrorist, you are a Terrorist.

Who do we target, Foggy Bottom or the White House?

Who is in charge of US Foreign Policy?

4/06/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

mixed metaphor editor revises to: The spirit is vital, but it lives in a material body.

4/06/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Feed the body, the spirit lives.

Fund Palistine, Jihad benfits.

That's the Spirit of it.

4/06/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


With all due respect (not said smugly!), victory in Iraq looks like it does now. I don't think that parades upon our troops return is what we are going to see in this war. We have no cohesive enemy force to sign treaties with, then restage our troops. I'm not trying to talk down your response, just trying to understand the question. Maybe many disagree with my premise here - this war is not over. The Battle in Iraq is phasing to either Civil War or Democracy. We are looking elsewhere now - Iran possibly. We must keep our troops in a pincer position in Iraq and Asghanistan to keep Iranian forces pulled 2 ways.

Diplomacy or War - either way, we have to have both cards ready.

4/06/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That word "fungible" should sometimes bear an asterisk. Oil is "fungible" by definition, but the realities of time and space add an asterisk: A tanker's turnaround time to our gulf coast from the Persian Gulf is ten times longer than it is from Venezuela.

I agree, rat, on Hamas, but there may be an asterisk on that payment fungibility, too. I don't know. It's just a question for the forum. Where's a good link on the details?

4/06/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Asghanistan? OK, I quit....

4/06/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Sure Buddy, anyone who calls your Dear Maximum Exhalted War Leader Bush a tool of the Open Borders fatcats MUST be a Marxist!

It's amazing how many traditional conservatives, Red State Republicans and Reagan Democrats now fall into "Marxists" by your definition.

Or is it that your Dear Maximum Exhalted War Leader Bush must not be criticized on anything? (Because if he is...the terrorists win! The terrorists win!)

And all your supply side, free trade "happy talk" is drivel. The Fed has said that the 820 billion dollar trade deficits, paying for rapid Gov't growth to artifically raise GNP numbers, and financing vast tax cuts for the wealthy and wars, big gov't spending through foreign debt - are unsustainable.

Outside the neocons, from the most liberal to the most conservative statesmen...the sentiment is that Amrica is headed in a bad direction and a big day of reckoning awaits. The price of gold is just a sign. It's run up is worse than in the Jimmy Carter economic disaster years.

4/06/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger doolz said...

Coincidentally, I navigated to this post after a quick rescan of Thomas Sowell's Are Facts Obsolete? I think that the fact that the quantitative analysis of casualties is hostile to the media's narrative is exactly what Sowell is talking about.

The 'Last Helicopter' theme is another indication that our enemies have a great flair for drama, just like the 'insurgents' who went to all of that trouble to turn a firetruck into a bomb. Unfortunately for them, facts do matter at a certain level: the physical universe itself is mostly composed of facts. The Iranian missile systems, torpedos and stealth boat-planes revealed last week seem to be mostly composed of 'counterfactuals'.

4/06/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

ah, Asghanistan, the country i spent my youth exploring--

4/06/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

US "must" take care

4/06/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Off-topic, but a good read from a Marine just back from Iraq; a lot of info on miscellaneous equipment.

4/06/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are none that I could find, other than the one above.

All the other links are older and say we will not fund Hamas.

"Humanitarian" aid now NEEDS to be paid, in the same amounts that were paid to the PA, previously.

This is a breaking story.
If the PA is no longer to be responsible for Palistine...

The US does not, by Law, have a fight with Iran.
There is no War Resolution nor Authorization for Force against Iran. If there needs to be, the President should introduce it.

Until there is, the US War aims are, as described by Mr Bush, localized to Iraq.

We propose to fund Palistinian terror.
We let Iraqi terrorists hold conventions, as Iraq the Model reports
" ... These days in Beirut, the fourth conference for supporting the "Iraqi resistance" is being held. ... "
Why was this "Conference/ Convention" not targeted by US?

What kind of War is the WoT?
We not only fund the Enemy we allow them to hold Conferences where they "Stratergize" against US, in total Sanctuary.

What is the Bush Doctrine, now?

4/06/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nice rant, C4--compliments.

But, what do you know that central banks worldwide--the buyers of our long paper at under 5%--don't?

Both here and elesewhere, they do, after all, employ vast staffs of their best and brightest people.

You know, people who don't make decisions based on rhetoric and propaganda.

Maybe you're not a Marxist--I was merely observing your own language. And maybe I'm not a sheep following Dear Leader, but someone who knows we need an exec, and an exec needs honest critics. Else rudderless mere anarchy results.

And when a good economy is truthfully described, yes, it *does* come out "happy talk". Sorry!

4/06/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

There isn't enough ink in the barrel to point out what you are missing.

4/06/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

My eyes are burning and I have a toothache now thanks to that Newsweek article. But I did learn something valuable.

"In fact, several people remarked that speaking Spanish is more useful than Arabic when making one’s way through the palatial embassy grounds."

Mexicans have even infiltrated the Green Zone--who knew?

4/06/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Buddy, DR: No, I said I quit - I am going to sit in my corner and read the dictionary for the rest of my retirement..... Thorazene at arms length..

4/06/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


Nice post at 8:16! You make economics sound so simple and straightforward. Capitalism works, whoda thunk it? Good work.

But, when the despairing among us only have one last economic bugbear to hang on to, the deficit, you have to expect them to hang on desperately.

Just as it's ever more critical to give up the closer we get to some kind of success in Iraq. But like Trish, even the hawks are getting tired of the Iraqis dragging this out with no govt. Guess that's why Condi and Straw were over there twisting arms this week.

No more Vietnams! (ie., no more surrendering when the battle is won.)

4/06/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Your gold/Carter assertion is wrong, C4. Gold went to $800 against a background of high double-digit inflation and interest rates, and an America in geopolitical and domestic morale deep doo-doo.

Conversely, we're looking at gold values now running up based on prosperity and the demand it creates.

Yes, there is always the component of inflation hedging, but prices are set at margins, and the marginal demand is coming from emerging market's new prosperity. You can look it up, you know.

4/06/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I am much more sanguine than many here about our culture. The adults may be crazy, but the kids are alright.

We are starting to get our first glimpse of the type of human the Age of Internet cultivates. Many attributes seem negative, may even be negative once aggregated, but there is also strength in these emergent traits.

In 1998, for the first time since TV was introduced, the number of hours young people spent watching it decreased. This is more significant than most realize. In 1986 Neil Postman wrote his seminal work Amusing Ourselves to Death, in which he analyzed the way TV trivializes problems and atrophies critical thinking skills--skills that are honed by reading and doing, suppressed by passive viewing and consuming. The internet is not a fix-all for this, but it is a massive step in the right direction. More young people now, for good or ill, interact, read, and communicate constantly. Of course, snap-judgments and poorly-formed opinions go along with this, but these negatives are, in my opinion, outweighed by the positives.

Another effect of the Age of Internet is, at first glance, loathsome. Reality for the net generations is indistinguishable from simulation. Both are structured, malleable, and forgiving.

Unpleasant real-world events, like the Iraq war, are not taken seriously, or they are ignored altogether. This leads not to isolationism, but to indifference. Out of sight, out of mind. Troubling events, so long as they have no tangible effect on the individual, are simply purged, exiled from conversation and even thought. Reminders are treated with bristling indignation, which translates into contempt for those deemed responsible (Jon Stewart is only the first at exploiting this characteristic). Patience with intrusive disruptions is almost 'nil.

As I said, loathsome, right? By itself, sure: it might even be dangerous. But that is not the only effect of the Age of Internet.

Perhaps the best outcome is that our processing speed has greatly increased. Time and space have been contracted as decisions and effects occur in real time. Reaction times are swifter. Our younger generation is by far the most adaptive yet, feeling no compunction about discarding ineffective strategies for new ones. Allegiance is no longer to theory, but to what works; there is no patience for failure, and a healthy cynicism of all ideologies. Trial and error rules the day. Abstract deliberation is dead.

Many more attributes of the Digital Era will become apparent as time goes on, but the above effects are real, and consequential. Another species of the social animal homo sapien is in the making, one that is mentally facile, culturally sophisticated, and absolutely selfish.

It may not be the America you want, but if I were an enemy of ours, I would be very, very scared.

4/06/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Go to San Diego and watch the Marines graduate from Basic traing.

Spanish is the Corps answer to the "Windtalkers".

"...There are 60,000 immigrants in the U.S. military. They represent two percent of the total service personnel on active duty. About half are noncitizens, with 15,880 in the navy; of those, 5,046 are from the Philippines. More than 6,000 Marines are noncitizens, with the largest group, 1,452, from Mexico. ... "

Max Boot is the source.

That does not begin to address the ever growing ethnic Latin contingent in the Military, now.

English is not always la lingua primera, pero el secundo.

Do not be surprised, as Mr Boot relates:

"... This is an anomaly by historical standards: In the 19th century, when the foreign-born population of the United States was much higher, so was the percentage of foreigners serving in the military. During the Civil War, at least 20 percent of Union soldiers were immigrants, and many of them had just stepped off the boat before donning blue uniforms. There were even entire units, like the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry (the Scandinavian Regiment) and Gen. Louis Blenker's German Division, where English was hardly spoken. ... "

4/06/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Fox just reported Libby testified that Bush authorized the Plame leak?

4/06/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...


You end your piece with a rhetorical cynical question.
"Am I missing something here?"

Ash, there isn't enough ink in the barrel to illuminate what you are missing, not only on this subject but the entire meaning of Herbert Spencer,John Locke,Thomas Paine, and especially F. A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom"
Go back two squares and do not pass GO, until you're up to speed.
Semper Fi

4/06/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Re: "sanctuary"

Almost makes you feel sorry for poor ole Admiral Yamamoto. Happily, we live in a more chivalrous era.

There is a tale told of Waterloo, where it is said that Napoleon, astride his white charger, rode before the French army before the battle. One of Wellington's aides asked permission to unleash artillery. It is said that Wellington said, in effect, "You most certainly may not!" I have often wondered if the 40,000 casualties would have agreed with the Duke's gallantry.

4/06/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Dan, that news knocked the legs out of today's trading--but it may not be so bad at second look--the office of the prez is an automatic de-classifying machine--whatever the prez says becomes de-classified automatically, it's the law. so, a legal tactic. Libby hasn't split the sheet with the WH, I don't think.

Tony, thanks! I'm always a-feared of being a bore on all that. C4's baloney just rankles beyond my power to ignore.

4/06/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

rat, don't forget the Irish Brigade!

4/06/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Re: where English was hardly spoken. ... "

See the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri.

4/06/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"It may not be the America you want, but if I were an enemy of ours, I would be very, very scared."

Killer close, Aristides.

4/06/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

nevermind, seems like some non-story about Bush declassifying and authorizing "the leak" - or maybe the leak - of NIE Iraq info. what the hell is this some sort of anti- atmospheric, or what.

4/06/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

sorry, but must add, price of gold ("POG" as they call it) is today, nearly thirty years later, @ 75% of its POG/USD peak.

This is why USD is able to debt-finance what we're seeing, a global lifting of the standard of living of the human race.

4/06/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

The President and the Palme "leak" has been so debunked as to be moribund at this point. The hearings are for TV face time for the inquisitors.
Buddy is correct that POTUS can declassify at will. Hell Bill Clinton sold TOP SECRET CODEWORD intel to the Chinese for campaign dollars.
But Plame was outside the window of deep cover by the time she was outed and became a covergirl with her husband.
It's just election year face time.

4/06/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Humanity's feelings about the quality of life are wrapped up in material progress (which in turn is a product of spiritual health but that's another story), and material progress is built upon confidence in the future.

That's why dishonest propaganda about the state-of-affairs on any topic that affects the future is so deadly--in either direction, false confidence or false despair.

As Aristides post observes, data will be more important than rhetoric as today's kids make the future. Very hopeful, this parallel educational system.

4/06/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Michael Totten to Hussein Naboulsi of Hezbollah:

Of course I’m going to quote you. If you don’t want to look like an asshole in print, don’t act like an asshole in life.

Michael Totten has the cookies that nobody in the gilded national media could conjure up.

Salute Michael. I also think Hussein Naboulsi is an asshole.

4/06/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger cjr said...

I think what we are seeing today is a modern day version of McCarthyism, with the MSM playing the role of Sen McCarthy.

4/06/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

When KGB released it's papers back under Peristroika, turned out that McCarthyism wasn't "McCarthyism" after all. There WAS a Commie under lots of beds.

MSM is now into a propaganda derivative, wherein it doesn't expect to be believed (look at NYTimes) anymore, it just wants to deliver the nasty message that it intends to keep delivering nasty messages.

It's the "rule or ruin" method, the intend is to demoralize with mass-effect that crackerjack can-do American spirit that obstructs the march of transnational progress.

4/06/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

April 06, 2006

Iraq spy suspect oversaw U.S. asylum applications

Apropos that feel-good feeling of political correctness in all we do.
Obviously, the French have no monopoly on stupid.

4/06/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Jrod said...

"My eyes are burning and I have a toothache now thanks to that Newsweek article."

Sorry, it was rather discourteous of me to have provided that link. Sort of like handing someone a bag with a skunk in it.

4/06/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

JustOneMinute, the go-to for Plame masochists, fills in the latest detailia--the ten jillion thousands-of-taxpayer dollars-per-sheet of discovery filings, summarized (thank goodness).

4/06/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: "detailia"

Savoring a misspent youth.

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

read somewhere where it's a tenet of Gramsci/Chomskey/Leninsky for 'the authority' to encourage the liveliest possible debate, and lots of it, endlessly, among "the people", but to limit it within approved boundaries. Thus we have dead silence on the biggest stories of the times (such as the real stakes of the GWoT, or the real meaning of global trade), and amazingly voluminous vitality in the alleged slip of Scooter Libby's tongue, or a few hours of drunk play by a few rogue soldier/jailers in the early heat of OIF, or a Bush video where he worried about levee 'topping' but failed to repudiate all experts and delphically devine a coming 'breach', or (fill in a thousand blanks).

4/06/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Allen, ah, yes, the energy we had trying to find Asghanistan.

4/06/2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Every spare moment, trying to mount an expedition.

4/06/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: "mount an expedition"

But never the Himalaya

4/06/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Oh, jeez, no--only the valleys--

4/06/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...


6 months of data showing a declining death rate does not mean much on its own. It hardly supports the insurgency dieing argument if you take a look at the data presented and note that similiar declines took place between November 2003 - March 2004 and November 2004 - March 2005 but for you I guess, it is now significant when it occurs between November 2005 and March 2006.

4/06/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

OK Buddy.... Stop that....

4/06/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger said...

If you read the Saban report that I based my writeup on, you see the difference. While the initial estimates were around 1300 deaths in the aftermath of the destruction of the golden dome mosque, most official estimates have been in the 2-500 range. There's your thousand Reporting numbers based on the 1300 deaths seems to be like talking about Katrina in terms of the 25,000 deaths once predicted by mayor Nagin.

4/06/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


If you look at, casualties from October 2005 to March 2006 are:

October 96
November 83
December 66
January 61
February 53
March 30

But these include deaths from all causes, including accidents. So if you remove those you will get the numbers reported by Myelectionanalysis or thereabouts.

4/06/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

For anyone with an interest in the Mohammedan Wars should check out Mr Roggio's site for an update on the Battle of Warizistan and jihad in Pakistan

"... The jihad in Pakistan expands. The Daily Times states last week's bombing in Peshawar "was big enough to indicate that its source was no amateur bomb-maker. It has actually been identified as being of the same make as those found in North Waziristan after the 'foreigners' fled from there." Also, the Daily Times places Tahir Yuldashev in "a meeting in a forest in North Waziristan which was attended by some cabinet members of the MMA government from Peshawar." Yuldashev is the ruthless leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). ... "

Remember Pakistan, they have 48 nuclear warheads on missles, there.

4/06/2006 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Known as the Hamas’ foremost thinker, Mohammad Abu Tir is apparently sure that he has got wise to one of the most secret Elders’ conspiracies:
“Even the churches where the Americans pray are led by Jews who were converted to Christianity, but they were converted to keep controlling the Americans,” Mohammad Abu Tir, the number two Hamas terrorist in the newly formed Palestinian Authority government said during an exclusive interview from his home yesterday with top radio host Rusty Humphries and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein.

"Oh, and regarding these Jews “who were converted to keep controlling the Americans”: we do indeed keep an eye on goings on in the churches, but it is just routine monitoring. And it is not performed by Jews - we employ the semi-sentient lizards to do it. They can be easily identified, just check out the people who (seemingly) fall asleep during the sermon." - Meryl Yourish

This is the intellectual big thinker that the EU and the State Department are betting the farm on. I don’t know if that says more about him or more about them.

4/06/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

So that's why I can never stay awake in church? I'm a Norwegian Manjewian Candidate?

4/06/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

As far as you can throw them
Posted on April 5th, 2006 at 7:20 pm by Laurence Simon.

Filed under: Israeli Double Standard Time

Saudi Arabia joined the World Trade Organizaion 6 months ago. Part of the agreement to join was that they would drop all boycotts and treat all fellow members of the WTO equally. This meant dropping the boycott against Israel and working to end the Arab League boycott of Israel.

They promised President Bush that they would do all of this, which was a blatant and obvious lie:

The U.S. Congress passed on Wednesday a unanimous decision calling on President George W. Bush to urge Saudi Arabia to abide by its commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and stop its support of the Arab boycott against Israel.

The Saudi pledge to end the economic boycott on Israel was America’s condition for permitting the Middle Eastern country into the WTO.

In addition, the Saudis were notified some six months ago of their legal obligation to grant preference to WTO members, including Israel.

Saudi Arabia complied, and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal gave Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice his word that he would act against the Arab boycott. However, the Saudis have not followed through on their commitment and in the meantime have even hosted an annual conference of Muslim organizations responsible for enforcing the boycott.

"Kinda makes you wonder what other promises and laws this man has ignored or broken." - Meryl Yourish

Kinda makes me wonder what sort of negotiators the US has if this is the best we can get from our very good friends the Saudis.

4/06/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

All this talk of casualty figures strikes me as somehow a diversion or sideshow from the task at hand. Rat may come across as contentious but he consistently focuses on the real issue. Whether we are indeed at war or not. He says we are not and frankly, I am beginning to wonder. Of course, my vantage point from the back of the store is blocked by the stove pipe and I can't see the big picture but when we claim to be at war and start arguing over some paltry casualty figures, I suffer a disconnect. Add to that, the talk of funding the murderous Palistinian thugs, granting amnesty to 10 million illegals while another 1500 uninvited guests just traipse across the border every day, an inability to determine whether Islam is the RoP, a domestic leftwing determined only to impeach George Bush but otherwise head is about to explode.

Is it just me or does anyone else think this is a friggin insane asylum?

4/06/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

I did not mean the Belmont Club, I meant the world.

4/06/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Ah, another convert...Thorazene is the answer...

Whit, the trick is to focus on the piece that you are interested in and trust others interests to cover everything else. Trust, that's the rub isn't it? We started electing people for their media presence, oh when? Trust is not what most of our elected leaders are about. I still trust GWB. Not blindly, the jury is constantly out.

Yes, Costa Rica looks better and better every day. My espanol stinks though.

4/06/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger servius said...

Staying in Vietnam for 10 years wasn't long enough? I think the Soviets had a better strategy. Send no troops and some money, take over whole country.

4/06/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

By Michelle Malkin · April 06, 2006 03:38 PM

Ms. Malkin is reporting a Bush/Frist/Reid deal that you are not going to like.

Looks like I had better brush up on my border Spanglish.

4/06/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


From past experience the US is not going to be funding Hamas. Whatever funds get put into that sinkhole go through USAID directly to humanitarian organizations or institutions. That's the way it's supposed to work. Of course Arafat didn't accumulate refuted billions because the rules wotk so well.

4/06/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Hamas has a big humanitarian arm. That's how they cultivated the death cult. The US has been kicking in $600 million a year to these thugs and the EU contributes $400 million.

The Palestinians made their decision, let them live with it but they should not receive one dime in US support; humanitarian or otherwise.

4/06/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

How long will Costa Rica continue to be attractive? Not long, I think.

4/06/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Money is fungible, evey dime the US sends to Palistine, by whatever conduit, is a dime the Sauds and Iranians do not have to spend.

If you started breaking the Immigration Law over five years ago, all is forgiven. Long term criminals deserve a break, today.

The Iranian faction is about to form a compromise Government in Iraq, the US celebrates.

Deadlines and tripwires have extended throughout the Iraqi experience, whether the viewer wishes to recongnize them, or not.
From preInvasion International politics, to the seasonal weather on the ground. The self imposed deadlines in forming the Iraqi Constitution etc.

The Iraqis will have their Government, their best in the region Security Force, and Mr Mahdi or facsimile will ask US to leave, or at least present a time table for departure.

That would be a reasonable thing for Mr Mahdi or facsimile to do. They have mentioned in at the Cairo Conference and it is a SCIRI (the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) touchstone that US is leaving Iraq, soon.

4/06/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger mostazaf said...

Good analysis of language, starling david hunter.

Indeed, when they use such language, they avoid talking about on the ground facts. Like all these Iraqi killings, about 1,000 a month, is committed by their darling Islamists "religion of peace".

The poststructural left will be judged by history, and they cannot escape that.


4/06/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Panama, my friends, Panama.
Much better than Costa Rica. Panama was a US Colony in every aspect but name. They still use the dollar as the primary currancy.

Many International banks and reasonable bank secrecy laws.
The Atlantic coast offers clean waters and access to the Caribe. Panama City is a thriving metropolitan city and the PanAmerican Hiway offers the way north by car.

4/06/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


You are absolutely right. But, it has one of the largest ex-pat communities in the Americas. The government is stable, taxes relatively low and the weather is fairly good. Only problem is volcanoes and earthquakes...

Thinking of starting a "Rick's Place" there. You can be an honored guest when you get down there. You too D.R. - BTW, I've heard the same thing, though I haven't done my due diligence on Panama.

4/06/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That friggin Daniel Ortega is back in the running for prez of Nicaragua. Costa Rica, I dunno--El Salvador was a horror back the last time the Sandinistas were in power. And, no Hugo Jimmy Carter Chavez running a black-gold spigot. I'm hearing from some of my old compadres in eastern Ven that Hugo has a growing cadre of unidentified "people-watchers" moving thru the population.

BTW, a Roggio commenter had this link--looks as if the gov't is fighting well, on the bullets and the hearts/minds (see 'tribal elders').

Nah, Whit, you ain't alone. We're at sea in numbskullery--

4/06/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Aw Buddy, it wouldn't be a Rick's Place without the bad guys hanging around...

4/06/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Danish Cartoon Jihad: Iran Blames the Joooooooooos

Iran Says Israel Behind Danish Cartoons Because of "Anger Over Hamas' Victory:
The furious international row over the publication of cartoons satirising the prophet Muhammad intensified today when Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed it was an Israeli conspiracy motivated by anger over Hamas's win in the Palestinian elections.

"Huh? But but but, the toons ran in September 2005, the Hamas election was January 26th.
Why split hairs, right? Let's not let facts get in the way of incitement to kill Jews." - Atlas

Those pesky Jews have successfully conspired again. Moreover, their prescience is, well, so Jewish.

Interjectiing a note of sanity, there is something seriously wrong in the neighborhood. Consanguinity?

4/06/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Ortega is polling a close second, I'm told, buddy.

There are indications the Region could "pop" again. The Castro brothers may have one dance left. I do not think that Fidel wants to go down in history playing second fiddle to his departed Comrade, Che'.
Che' is on more t-shirts than Osama ever dreamt of.

Mr Chavez has bought a lot (100,000) AK's and other assortted equipment.

The Iranians are due for a Havana Summit Meeting come September or October.

Dismiss it if you wish, but there is a Global antiAmerican/ Anglosphere Conspiracy.

More so then there ever was a "Rightwing Conspiracy" to get Mr Clinton.

4/06/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

From KUNA site:

The month operation killed over 200 militants, both local and foreign. About 10 soldiers also gave up their lives in the fight against terrorism. (end) amn.

No coverage here on this. Once again, the internet is where we must get this news....

4/06/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hugo just nationalized a few oilfields, and one of the companies hit (looking at the lost investment) announced it would go to a higher court over the deal. Hugo's oil minister announced "they can go to the Celestial Court if they want."

4/06/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Re: "Global antiAmerican/ Anglosphere Conspiracy"

You can just bet the fault is to be found in Tel Aviv.

4/06/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Rat said:
"Dismiss it if you wish, but there is a Global antiAmerican/ Anglosphere Conspiracy."

Really? What gave you that idea?

4/06/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

when Jr gets out of the Corps, come Sept, we'll be driving down to Panama.
It is a trip I've always wanted to make. I'd reccomend at least checking out Panama before investing in Costa Rica. There is, I'm told, an excessive amount of Government interference in Costa Rica. Kind of a Socialist laziness to the place. I never lived there, though, just second hand reports.

4/06/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Dismiss it if you wish, but there is a Global antiAmerican/ Anglosphere Conspiracy."

Who in their right mind would dismiss it? Russia/Iran is one thing, Ven/Mexico is here, with no Europe sleeping giant that will wake up in due time. The Mexican election is huge, that AMLO guy is bad, bad news. How he got neck/neck with PAN so quickly I do not understand.

They say the bargains in real-estate are in the USA midwest. Ahh, the midwest. Just decorate Caribbean-style, speak Spanish around the house, and keep your address in Nebraska. And buy a breeding pair o' hosses.

4/06/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: "Celestial Court if they want"

Oh, Theodore Rex, won't you please come home? A big stick is not linquini.

Who can blame Mr. Chavez? He saw the lay of the land long ago. How can a nation unwilling to protect its own borders be taken seriously? The bitter, dripping sarcasm is almost palpable.

4/06/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


I have some friends down there, and yes you are correct. The place has always been on my radar, though. I haven't taken the leap yet, have to make 1 more trip. Now, you're going to make me look at Panama.... Can't ignore validation from 3 sources on the place.

4/06/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Fox News just had sound bites of Frist and Reid talking about how close they to a compromise bill. The Senate plan which focuses on citizenship (amnesty?)will provide for:
5 years or more. Easy path; pay fines, learn English

2 years of less. Leave the country and reapply.

Krauthammer says, it's unenforceable. I agree. How do the authorities verify length of residency?

The House plan focuses on border security.

I am not too impressed with Frist.

4/06/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

OK, references to Panama and now Theodore Rex (Panama Canal). What is a person to do with this kind of subliminal info.....

4/06/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It just came to me, whit, like a lightning bolt out of the clear blue sky.

I was standing on the ruins of a Spanish Fort, at the mouth of the Chagres River, when the true scope of the battle came to me. It was late 1981 and some other than US troops were performing an assualt river crossing below us.

By '83 those troops were kickin' ass on their own, with little or no US supervision.
Hell, US law only allowed 54 uniforms into Salvador at a time.

4/06/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

I just heard Mr. Fred Barnes (FOX - Brit Hume) contorting himself unmercifully, dutifully, putting a positive spin on the new immigration deal (so called). Mandy Gruenwald has nothing on Mr. Barnes.

4/06/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Sen. Frist sez his job as 'blender' has made him seem wishy-washy. He plans to quit the senate, and then try for prez.

4/06/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Frist had his chance to impress me - he failed the audition.

Rat: That's an interesting recollection. Where can I read more?

4/06/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/06/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: "wishy-washy" (Is this an intro to Chinese foreign policy?)

Slogan: Alan Alda has my back!

4/06/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Chagre is a name from a bad past--Jimmy Chagre, the San Antonio dope-runner who paid (the "Cheers" bartender) actor Woody Harrelson's daddy to murder Federal Judge John Woods, back in the late 70s.

Had it been a script it'd lack credibility. Like the 70s in general, for which we will continue to pay atonement for many years yet to come.

"Out, out, damned spot!"

4/06/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Frist campaign slogan, take 2:

Who ya gonna believe, me or you lyin' eyes?

4/06/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Famous last words: "Alan Alda has my back" and "don't worry, I know what I'm doin'"

4/06/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

The trouble the US finds itself in emanates from its lack of might against its enemies. We fight with one hand.
We should be assassinating, napalming, MOABing Syria,Iran, Saudi Arabia, and any other pip squeek nation in the ME.
It makes no sense to deal with cultures that value lying and cheating as an honorable course. Witness the Saudi's admission to the WTO and then hosting a conference on how to destroy the Jews. Destroy their civilizations before they destroy ours. It's really not as complex as some of the theories about who's on first, no he's on second. It's absolutely pitiful how we are manipulated by 17th century cultures. Just destroy them. Lasting peace is a chimera not to be attained by mankind, never has,never will.

4/06/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

habu, if you'd just get your head outta this wishy-washy, peace-at-any-price, appeasement frame of mind, there'd be some hope for ya.

4/06/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...


"declines took place between November 2003 - March 2004 and November 2004 - March 2005"

If one tracks wounded, rather than deaths, which is a bigger data set, and factors out accidents, the significance is the lack of a fall offensive in Nov 2005. The wounded numbers began to rise in the second half of March, but they have declined again.

The 4 week moving averge weekly wounded range for most of 2004 was 150+, for most of 2005 it was between 100 and 150, so far in 2006, the range appears to between 50 and 100.

4/06/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Israel just announced its new "Trophy" system, puts an invisible 'force field' around RPG targets. Blows the warhead at distance.

4/06/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Re: "Just destroy them"

No! No! No! Listen to your inner mob boss, just kill one of them fully and publically.

It was T. Boone Pickens, I think, who said (I paraphrase), "It is not enough for your enemy to know you will fight; he must think that you absolutely love to fight."

4/06/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Neville Habu Chamberlain

4/06/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: "Trophy"

Jane's has a short article on the system. See,

Rafael, the third archangel. Hmm

4/06/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

"inner-mob boss"

4/06/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Fox ran some video--it looks for all the world like a Star-Wars (or whatever) force-field. An invisible electronic bubble. Next out, a "tractor beam" to pull the launcher in to the target. No doubt screaming "It's Not Fair!"

4/06/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Correction Alert!

"Alan Alda's got my back." - Mike Farrell, just luvin that "Tookie" monster; and Carlos the cuddly jackel as well, I guess.

4/06/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

No doubt screaming "It's Not Fair!" - Wouldn't you just pay to see that...

4/06/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Without comment, other than to say JD has been here a long time and has always had my support at Election time.

Hayworth Statement on Senate Immigration Compromise

Washington, D.C. - Congressman J.D. Hayworth today released the following statement on the Senate immigration reform compromise:

"The Senate compromise is so convoluted, so complicated, and so unworkable that it surely must have been the work of Senators Rube and Goldberg.

"This is deja vu all over again. The 1986 amnesty law had a similar approach, and that was a catastrophe. It said if you could prove you did agricultural work for just 90 days a year for the previous three years, you would qualify for a green card. The number of those applying for this benefit was three times higher than expected, largely because of fraud, which was rampant. The Senate bill would likewise be vulnerable to fraud on a grand scale and be a nightmare to administer. It is amnesty wrapped in bureaucracy surrounded by fraud."
... "

4/06/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: '"It's Not Fair"'

Let us hope Rafael has attained the same level of performance from their Patriot research. The Patriot system was, as you know, Israel's little contribution to getting around the SALT, protecting the Great Satan.

Now, if the President can be persuaded to resist sharing with his good friend Vladimir.

Things just mount up. One day its penicillin, the next it's missile defense. The Jews, the Jews, damn them to hell!

4/06/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"MASH" ran for how many years and never once got around to mentioning the cause of the war. It was just "The Man" fooling around with people's lives.

4/06/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Do I have to say this first?

What laws do I get to break that will improve my life - I choose Amendment XVI of the Constitution of the United States

4/06/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat,

Re: "It is amnesty wrapped in bureaucracy surrounded by fraud."

Beautifully Churchillian. That is going to leave a mark.

4/06/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Which has the cheapest beer, Costa Rica or Panama?

First things first.

4/06/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ah, y'all ain't so great. MY people developed the herring net.

4/06/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Charles Krauthammer also said that the bill will result in massive fraud. Congress can play their games but if they don't get control over the border, the American voter will get control over congress.

BTW J.D. Hayworth has more common sense than about 500 other congressmen and 100 senators.

4/06/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

My better half just came in and asked what I was laughing about... Said "a Herring net". This time she walked out mumbling...

4/06/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The bill is a bureaucratic nightmare, alright. Maybe that's the point, hire 22 million new bureaucrats to administer 11 million illegals. Hang onto yer wallet.

4/06/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

danmyers, but what was funny?

4/06/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Buddy please... She says I'm on thin ice all the time... And that's my meal ticket... :)

Not that I wasn't her meal ticket for 20+ years... Yep, I'm gonna bring that up...

4/06/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From JD Hayworth: Washington, D.C. - Congressman J.D. Hayworth today released the following statement on the Senate immigration reform compromise:

"The Senate compromise is so convoluted, so complicated, and so unworkable that is surely must have been the work of Senators Rube and Goldberg.

"This is déjà vu all over again. The 1986 amnesty law had a similar approach, and that was a catastrophe. It said if you could prove you did agricultural work for just 90 days a year for the previous three years, you would qualify for a green card. The number of those applying for this benefit was three times higher than expected, largely because of fraud, which was rampant.

The Senate bill would likewise be vulnerable to fraud on a grand scale and be a nightmare to administer.
It is amnesty wrapped in bureaucracy surrounded by fraud."
...but POTUS expects Respect in return for his LIES, and some dhimmi's still give it to him.

4/06/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sorry, 'Rat, didn't know you were back.
Glad for that, at least.

4/06/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Gotta go out and pay for all this fun, once in awhile.

4/06/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: "herring net"

Au contraire! Teach a man to fish, you know. Additionally, The Nansen Refugee Award was given to King Juan Carlos I in 1987.

On the other hand, Sweden awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat in 1994. With any luck, Carlos the Jackel may yet have his turn; of course, Mr. Mumia is the sentimental favorite.

4/06/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Go to San Diego and watch the Marines graduate from Basic traing."
Meanwhile, while they fight and die for us, their CHILDREN going to school in Oceanside are not allowed to bring the flag they fight for, nor wear any other "offensive" (to their sensitive latino classmates, legal and illegal.) displays of patriotism.
...and MECHA continues to recruit on campus:

4/06/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How can ""...There are 60,000 immigrants in the U.S. military. They represent *two* percent of the total service personnel on active duty" that be true?

Unless the total active service numbers are a HELL of a lot bigger than I thought.
...*can't* be right.

4/06/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

From past threads, doug, there were aprox. 1,500,000 Army & Marines, to include Reserves & Nat Guard.

If 60,000 is 2%, that be 3,000,000.
I doubt the Navy and Air Force field 1,500,000 between 'em.

So the 60,000 would be a lot closer to 3.5% of the Total Force, but aproximating about 12% of the Active Force, if the Guard and Reserves are factored out.

You'd think Max Boot would be more reliable.

4/06/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

You know they have those logos on jet engines, like NO HUMANS STAND HERE portrayed in little red zones pointing in certain directions.

If this electromagnetic field thing really works, don't stand near it.

Reminds me of a Air Force guy I knew, who said him and all his buddies stayed warm on long trans-oceanic flights by snuggling up next to the radar emitter.

Bad idea.

I can't wait to hear how this thing is supposed to work. Ever since I saw "The Day the Earth Stood Still" I've always longed for such a defense.

If I had a choice, at this point, I'd still go for Stealth (in overwhelming numbers, same as it ever was) as my defense, over Force Fields. Although, as I saw on Star Trek in the Sixties, I know Force Fields are the next "Plastic!"

Are you talking to me?

4/06/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Anyone else heard of the new collage at ORU? I’m reliably told that it will be named the Merle Haggard School of Diplomacy. There is reportedly some problem in working-out the archivolt’s Latin inscription of “You don’t love it?" "Ergo,shove it.”

Again, this is only hearsay, but, Ann Coulter will be named dean.

4/06/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Habu sez Lasting peace is a chimera not to be attained by mankind, never has,never will.

Not only not achieved by mankind, but not achieved by anything in the five Kingdom System of Living Organisms.

Challenge and competition is the nature of the living universe.

How arrogant must the libs be that think we rise above this by power of our superiority to all who lived before us and all who live around us, (and because we know that God is dead), if only we surrender all evil will cease? If we do nothing, nothing will happen.

Cue Dino:
"Make the world go away, take it off my shoulder...."

4/06/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

“Enforcement, though paramount in this debate, must be balanced with compassion” – Senator Frist

Hearts and minds and all that jazz, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Frist campaign slogan, take 3:
El Tigre

4/06/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

I'm sorry, but I'm weird, and I do believe in terror as a viable and valuable tactic.

If there ever is a time when my freedom and my liberty, as well as that of my family and community are at risk, I will not stop at anything to bring pain, death, and terror to my enemies, even if they're just civilians supporting the enemy's military structure.

In a war of ideology, nobody's innocent.

4/06/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Turkey Vows to Fight Kurdish Radicals

"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the problems in Turkey's overwhelmingly Kurdish southeast would be solved through democracy, but he has refused to meet with the leading pro-Kurdish party, the Democratic Society Party.

Kurdish politicians say that Erdogan's government met with leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian group that is on many countries' lists of terrorist organizations, and should be willing to meet with the pro-Kurdish party, which swept local elections in much of the southeast."

It would appear that democracy ala the HAMAS is just fine.

What does this development bode for Iraqi Kurds?

4/06/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Staring In Disbelief said...

We saw similar downward casualty trends in Mar-Apr of '04 AND '05 ( Is there some kind of sick seasonality to the insurgency? I'd like to think this time it's different (much really has changed) but I am afraid to get my hopes up.

4/07/2006 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

I think there is a two month weather window around this time of year which favors coalition troops. The invasion was originally launced around this time of year in large part because of this I believe. Maybe this decline will hold as Soldier Dad noted with his larger data set of wounded and more relevant analysis. Does this mean we are winning though? There are a whole host of reasons why the numbers could go down other than a win. i.e. they are fighting each other more often, we are staying on base more often, ISF are out patroling ect.

4/07/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's not so much that NYTimes is against the administration, or even that it makes up lies as it pleases, but this is rabble-rousing, almost incitement, in view of the heat over the immigration issue.

4/07/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Glaivester said...

Where are you getting your civilian numbers> Icasualties lists the civilian deaths over the past six months as 465, 583, 344, 591, 688, 901. And the two months before that were 518 and 1524. And August (the month with 1524 fatalities) was a VERY unusual month, as 965 civilians died in a single incident (the shiite stampede).

4/07/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jack H said...

Of course Buckley draws a rather unfortunate conclusion, from the lowering number of American casualties. I, in my ferocious way, call him out on this on my own wonderful blog, from a safe distance of course. Here:

Isn't it startling, what we can do with number?


4/07/2006 04:33:00 PM  
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