Sunday, April 09, 2006

The world outside

There's a fascinating article in the Weekly Standard which grants a glimpse into the shadow war between state-sponsored terrorists and their pursuers. The accounts, based on documents captured in Afghanistan and Iraq, describe Saddam Hussein's support for the Abu Sayyaf terror group in the Philippines.

Up to this point, those materials have been kept from the American public. Now the proverbial dam has broken. On March 16, the U.S. government posted on the web 9 documents captured in Iraq, as well as 28 al Qaeda documents that had been released in February. Earlier last week, Foreign Affairs magazine published a lengthy article based on a review of 700 Iraqi documents by analysts with the Institute for Defense Analysis and the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Plans for the release of many more documents have been announced. And if the contents of the recently released materials and other documents obtained by The Weekly Standard are any indication, the discussion of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq is about to get more interesting. ...

The documents indicated that Iraqi support for the Abu Sayyaf was handled through an Iraqi Embassy cell consisting of Ambassador Salah Samarmad, Third Secretary Ahmad Mahmud Ghalib , most likely an Iraqi intelligence officer and author of the "security report"; and Iraqi intelligence informers Muhammad al-Zanki aka Abu Ahmad, and Omar Ghazal among others. Their reports record a roller-coaster relationship with the Mindanao-based terrorist organization. The Iraqis supported the Abu Sayyaf up until they kidnapped twenty civilians from a beach resort in Palawan in June 2001, an operation which netted three Americans: Guillermo Sobrero and the couple Tim and Marcia Burnham. Sobrero was subsequently beheaded; Tim Burnham died in the rescue attempt. The Iraqis briefly suspended their support and covered their tracks as the kidnapping became international news but resumed their assistance shortly thereafter. As the Weekly Standard put it: "Why did the Iraqis begin funding Abu Sayyaf, which had long been considered a regional terrorist group concerned mainly with making money? Why did they suspend their support in 2001? And why did the Iraqis resume this relationship and, according to the congressional testimony of one State Department regional specialist, intensify it?" The post-September 11 stages of Saddam's relationship with the Abu Sayyaf are exemplified in a 2002 operation which successfully killed an American soldier and attempted to kill Filipino children in a school playground.

... a young Filipino man rode his Honda motorcycle up a dusty road to a shanty strip mall just outside Camp Enrile Malagutay in Zamboanga City, Philippines. The camp was host to American troops stationed in the south of the country to train with Filipino soldiers fighting terrorists. The man parked his bike and began to examine its gas tank. Seconds later, the tank exploded, sending nails in all directions and killing the rider almost instantly. The blast damaged six nearby stores and ripped the front off of a café that doubled as a karaoke bar. The café was popular with American soldiers. And on this day, October 2, 2002, SFC Mark Wayne Jackson was killed there and a fellow soldier was severely wounded. Eyewitnesses almost immediately identified the bomber as an Abu Sayyaf terrorist.

One week before the attack, Abu Sayyaf leaders had promised a campaign of terror directed at the "enemies of Islam"--Westerners and the non-Muslim Filipino majority. And one week after the attack, Abu Sayyaf attempted to strike again, this time with a bomb placed on the playground of the San Roque Elementary School. It did not detonate. Authorities recovered the cell phone that was to have set it off and analyzed incoming and outgoing calls.

As they might have expected, they discovered several calls to and from Abu Sayyaf leaders. But another call got their attention. Seventeen hours after the attack that took the life of SFC Jackson, the cell phone was used to place a call to the second secretary of the Iraqi embassy in Manila, Hisham Hussein. It was not Hussein's only contact with Abu Sayyaf. "He was surveilled, and we found out he was in contact with Abu Sayyaf and also pro-Iraqi demonstrators," says a Philippine government source, who continued, "[Philippine intelligence] was able to monitor their cell phone calls. [Abu Sayyaf leaders] called him right after the bombing. They were always talking."

An analysis of Iraqi embassy phone records by Philippine authorities showed that Hussein had been in regular contact with Abu Sayyaf leaders both before and after the attack that killed SFC Jackson. Andrea Domingo, immigration commissioner for the Philippines, said Hussein ran an "established network" of terrorists in the country. Hussein had also met with members of the New People's Army, a Communist opposition group on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist groups, in his office at the embassy. According to a Philippine government official, the Philippine National Police uncovered documents in a New People's Army compound that indicate the Iraqi embassy had provided funding for the group. ...

Interestingly, an Abu Sayyaf leader named Hamsiraji Sali at least twice publicly boasted that his group received funding from Iraq. For instance, on March 2, 2003, he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the Iraqi regime had provided the terrorist group with 1million pesos--about $20,000--each year since 2000.

Equally interesting are revelations that the Iraqi intelligence cell and their contacts feared something called "The Office", which was apparently a counter-terrorist cell tasked with hunting them down. One conversation with an Iraqi informer went this way:

As the conversation begins, Abu Ahmad tells his embassy contact that he doesn't know where Omar Ghazal is and would have told the embassy if he did. He then tells the embassy contact that when he called Omar Ghazal's aunt to check on his whereabouts, she used a word in Tagalog--walana--which means "not here." But Abu Ahmad says its connotations are not good. "That word is used when you target one of the personnel who are assigned to complete everything (full mission). Then they announce that he is traveling and so on, and that's what I'm afraid of." The Iraqi embassy contact asks him to elaborate. "I have been exposed to that same phrase before, when I asked about an individual, and later on I found out that he was physically eliminated and no one knows anything about him."

The embassy official assures Abu Ahmad that Iraqi intelligence has also lost track of Ghazal, and became alarmed when he abruptly stopped attending soccer practice at a local college. Abu Ahmad fears the worst. "I'm afraid they might have killed him and I'm very worried about him," he says, according to the report. "The method that those people use is terrible and that's why I refuse to work with them."

The Iraqi embassy official interrupts Abu Ahmad. "Who are they? I would like to know who they are."

"Didn't I tell you before who they are?"


"The office group," says Abu Ahmad.

"Which office?" asks his Iraqi embassy handler.

"A long time ago the American FBI opened up an office in the Philippines, under American supervision and that there are Philippine Intelligence groups that work there. The goal of the office is to fight international terrorism (in the Philippines of course) and they have employees from various nationalities that speak of peace and international terrorism and how important it is to put an end to terrorism. The office also has other espionage affairs involving Arab citizens to work with them in order to provide them with information on the Arabs who are living in the Philippines and also for other spying purposes."

Abu Ahmad had plans to strike back at America in his own way.

Abu Ahmad tells his Iraqi embassy contact, Ghalib, that "the office" was trying to recruit an Arab to monitor Arab citizens in the Philippines. The Iraqi embassy contact suggests that Abu Ahmad volunteer for the job. Abu Ahmad says he had other plans. "I am leaving after I finish selling my house and properties and will move to Peshawar [Pakistan]. There I will be supplied with materials, weapons, explosives, and get married and then move to America. Do you know that there are more than one thousand Iraqi extremists who perform heroism jobs?" The speaker presumably means martyrdom operations.

There's more in the Weekly Standard article about how Iraqi intelligence had long been in contact with members of the Saudi "opposition" -- including a certain Osama Bin Laden. But that's another story.


The normal Tagalog for "he is not at home" is something along the lines of "umalis siya". However, the words "wala na", spoken in hollow tones with pregnant pauses before and after the phrase can be translated as "he is no more". Whether or not Omar Ghazal is still in the land of the living, or as Abu Ahmad believes, suffered a fate worse than death at the hands of the Office is something left unsettled. But then this is not a glimpse into a gentle world. In this universe people blow up motorcycle bombs in front of cheap cafes where dirt-poor people spend a few American cents drinking beer and plant explosive devices in school playgrounds where kids line up for a pitiful snack of candied banana on a stick. All before the invasion of Iraq.


Blogger trangbang68 said...

Wretchard,Very interesting juxtaposition of forces supposedly with no common ground.
I wonder if anyone will look under the rock of allegations that Terry Nichols
may have received demolition training from likely Iraqi agent Ramzi Yousef in the Phillipines prior to the Oklahoma City atrocity or how involved Iraq was in WTC attack of 1993.Of course we can count on the left in America to sweep it all under the rug.

4/09/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

This will be a history making event. One day soon, after translation, we will find the real reason we went to war with Iraq.

4/09/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


A couple of weeks ago I was reading Bing West's "No True Glory", an account of both battles of Fallujah. The attitude toward Fallujah started with clear it, then when the Marines were part way through, the order came to pull back back and contain it (working by proxy through ex-Saddam generals) after which the city became a staging area for numerous attacks, to the point where the decision was to clear it again. Hence, two battles of Fallujah.

In a way Fallujah is a microcosm of the strategic choices of how to deal with state sponsors of terrorism. Midway through the first assault on Fallujah (page 159) Robin Cook urged Blair to warn Bush about "heavy handed tactics", citing "1,000 civilian dead" (it wasn't true). Fifty two former senior british diplomats signed an open letter accusing Marines of applying "weapons unsuited to the dask". The London-based Institute of Strategic Studies said America had been too heavy handed in Fallujah. The Chief of the British general staff weighed in as well (page 160). "We must be able to fight with the Americans. That does not mean that we must be able to fight as the Americans". And it was not just the British. It was the media. It was the American command. In the end, Bremer and Abizaid made the recommendation to pull back and contain.

And so the first assault on Fallujah was canceled. But that was not the tragedy. The tragedy was that the assault had to be ordered again. Much later, when the insurgents had a chance to dig in.

The people who made the judgement to withdraw and contain were not fools. They had experience and lot of it. Yet they erred, West says because they did not listen to the men "on the spot". Who knows? One way to settle whether OIF was justified is to withdraw, take the consequences for a while, and to see if public pressure mounts to do it all over again.

4/09/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tibore said...

Before starting, I want to state that I don't think Wretchard would ever need anyone to verify his tagalog translation. But for the benefit of other readers who know nothing about that language, I do want to assure you all that he's 100% spot-on in his interpretation of the "wala na" response. In tagalog, you'd indeed expect the response to be "umalis siya" ("He's gone away/He's left") or something like "hindi dito" (" not here"), or a sentence containing those two words somehow. Anything but "wala". That word, depending on context, stands for negation, an emptiness, or an abscence (page with a definition can be found here). Saying "wala" in reference to a person is implying something about his existence, not his location.

As further verification, the only time I've ever heard my own mother say the phrase "wala na" in reference to a person was in regards to my father after he passed away. There may be some contexts in which "wala na" in reference to a person can be interpreted less ominously, but I can't think of any right now.

Admittedly my post is only tangental to the topic, but I wanted to buttress Wretchard's conclusionary paragraph against those who'd try to claim that this is an overly cynical interpretation of the context in which the phrase was spoken. I believe both the Iraqi informer Abu Ahmad and Wretchard are accurate in their opinion, and that they're interpteting it in the same manner that any reasonable Filipino would.

4/09/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger rocketsbrain said...

IRAQ - Saddam's Docs - More Drip Drips

This article is just out from the Scripps Howard News Svs that is a good summary of recent revelations discovered in the Saddam Regime's documents.

RBT has likened this treasure trove to the Arc of the Covenent last seen languishing in a cavernous governmental warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Arc.

This time around this treasure isn't resting so comfortably much to the chargin of the entrenched burearcrats of State and the CIA.

Why hasn't the Bush administration gone public with these findings? They've tried and it's rumored that President Bush had to order Intel Zzar John Negroponte three times to release them.

Word is Negroponte was trying to avoid embarassment of State, the CIA and also the Russians and the Chinese involvement with Saddam's WMD.

RBT didn't used to be a big fan of Newt Gingrinch but I think he's right on with his assessment of the US Intel Community:

Hire Artists Fire the Bureaucrats!

RBT has called this a high stakes game of Texas Hold'em to force the Russians and the Chinese to reign in the Iranian Mad Mullahs. RBT isn't very hopeful that this will succeed. This Rovian trump card is being held close to the vest and will be thrown on the table just before a coalition led strike on Iran if it becomes necessary is to neutralize their nuclear weapons capability.

[Ed note: Trump Card - outing in public the Russian and Chinese fingerprints on Saddam's WMD. Further the Russians mobilizing elite Russian unit to move the WMD to Syria]

We are at a turning/tipping point in the GWOT when the following is on the rise:

The NY Times News Service runs an article that the return of facial hair is a sign of the rejection of the metrosexual conformity, Ditch the Razor - Facial hair returns in throwback to old-fashioned masculinity

Don't Mess with Texas and Don't Mess with Texans

Don't bring sabers to a gunfight

and the term WWJDB [ed note: What Would Jack Baurer Do?]

putting the manliness back in manly ala the new book by Harvey C. Mansfield, Manliness.

No more metrosexual, mutlicultural, or nice guy stuff!



Baathist papers confirm Hussein's terrorist ties

The Army of Davids (Blogos ref to Instapundit's new book by same title) continues its onward march to reveal the secrets of the Saddam Regime's documents. It's trite but very true as RBT has said many times before, Follow the Money!. In the world of narcotics trafficing to unravel the networks always go for the, Pay/Owe Sheets [dealers notes on whose paid and who still owes].

The spring thaw has begun, the water is trickling into the creeks, the rivers are swelling, the reservoirs are filling, and soon the LL's and MSM's logjam of the truth will burst.

Saddam had his fingers in many pots whether secular, Baathists, Shiia, Sunni, or Iranian, French, Russian, German, Chinese (Their NORK surogate), Libyian, Syrian, Philipian, or AQ, Hamas, PLF, PLO, when it served his own interest.

Baathist papers confirm Hussein's terrorist ties

Scripps Howard News Service

STANFORD, Calif. -- With conservative congressional majorities at risk in next November's elections, President Bush repeatedly should remind everyone that a key reason coalition troops invaded Iraq was to padlock Saddam Hussein's Wal-Mart for terrorists. The administration finally is releasing intelligence documents captured in Baghdad. Bush should use them to detail how Hussein indeed was entwined with terrorists in general and al Qaeda in particular.


Read it All

4/09/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't Harvey Mansfield look kinda ..uh .. "Metrosexualist" to you?

4/09/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

This analysis brings to mind some disturbingly interesting concepts.

The United States frequently has asserted that an increase in democracy and appreciation for our concepts of liberty are in our best interests - even when specific U.S. interests are not furthered in a particular area.

Could it be that nations that utilize terrorism as an instrument of national policy consider an expansion of terrorism in a similar manner: more is good?

When it came to the Cold War, the USSR clearly thought that way. Whether independence for Quebec, guerillas in the mountains of South America, the Bader-Meinhoff Gang in West Germany, or Yasser Arafat's thugary, if it was disruptive toward the West, it was good for the USSR.

But the Soviet embrace of death and disruption was driven by an ideology. What drives the current diversity in terrorism?

It would appear to be merely the warmth of the embrace itself.

4/09/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

an ideological theology

4/09/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

What drives the current diversity in terrorism?



4/09/2006 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What drives the current diversity in terrorism?

The same thing which makes the world go round.

4/09/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The attitude toward Fallujah started with clear it, then when the Marines were part way through, the order came to pull back back and contain it (working by proxy through ex-Saddam generals) after which the city became a staging area for numerous attacks, to the point where the decision was to clear it again.

Obviously, working by proxy through ex-Saddam gernerals didn't work. Given this real-world test, what makes anyone cling to the idea that keeping Saddam's army intact would have led to anything but a similarly disappointing result?

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

Well, in the interests of taking a STAND AGAINST evil, I invite all y'all to

where you find MP3s of rants, essays and dramatizations of various anti-idiotarian aspects of our world AND the bleak outlook of living under Shari'a...


4/09/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

I've heard that the failure to exploit the huge trove of Iraqi documents we've had for the last 3 years is just more Bush Administration ineptitude and propensity for secrecy.

We've had discussions before about how Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Pashtun speaking and reading Americans have been blocked from participating as translators due to extensive "security" clearance issues. Steve Cambone at the Pentagon apparantly had control of the stuff & opposed anyone looking at the Iraqi documents who didn't have a "top secret" clearance. Which is astonishing...we are afraid to read a windfall of intelligence because Iraqi secrets might turn out to be embarassing??? To our noble Russian and Chinese "allies"?? So all must be kept from the public and only privy to senior Bushies? Because what the Iraqis knew best remain secret from us, other than the Bushie inner circle, because only people authorized to know America secrets can be trusted with enemy secrets?? The illogic is unbelievable. Especially when they said they were many years away from even reading half of the "higher interest" document warehouse contents.

All while our soldiers are taking casualties and the anti-Americans are saying Iraq was as pure as snow since no WMD existed.....things that might have been fought with new intel from the warehouses full of names of Saddam murqabarat secret police, Ba'ath Party meetings, Saddam feyadeen lists, lists of Iraqi felons released? And dirt on various other Gov'ts that screwed us over Iraq?

This stuff could have been translated in months if it was laid out like the Wikpedia project and thousands were translating and posting pages and cross-checking one another.

Sometimes the bungling and ineptitude of the Bush people is beyond fathoming. And hopefully they get their just desserts. Because I suspect the deliberate CYA foot-dragging cost lives and only delayed the State Dept and CIA's errors from discovery. 10 years from now we will know how deep Iraq was in the terror business - but too late to save Bush from his people's ineptitude or his Party from some real damage in 2006 and 2008.

As things stand, no one except the last diehard neocon fanatics believe the Atta with the Anthrax story, the Secret Russian Mission to Transport and Bury the Vast WMD Stockpiles in Syria, Terry Nichols Trained by The Iraqis Story, or anything else.

4/09/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

we'd have only kept the "good guys"

They'd have come with little cards, you know, like mood rings.
Blue card, we hire 'em
Purple card, they're ok in a pinch
Red card, they're bad guys.

We'd have had 'em all line up, checked out who's who & what's up.

It'd have been great

4/09/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


I don't know. People have the idea that if only things were done their way things would have been so much better. Perhaps. But it's hard to know the path of alternative universe. What one can say is that the French didn't have too good of a time in Algeria; it was bad for the Russians in Afghanistan; that it didn't work out so well for the Israelis in Lebanon. As for the British, they had a heck of bad time in Iraq during the Great War and in the 1920s, not to mention Palestine, etc. And the US tried to contain Saddam from 1990 to 2001 but it didn't stop 9/11, although many think there's no connection, though there hasn't been an attack since.

Yet for all of that diverse history there's no shortage of pundits who think that if only we'd listened to the French or the British or the Kofi Annan, this General or that General that they'd have had the right answers. Maybe. But not necessarily.

4/09/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Will said...

nice comeback, wretchard... i will use that arguement in the future on my blog.

4/09/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Thanks W for everything, EXCEPT this suggestion: One way to settle whether OIF was justified is to withdraw, take the consequences for a while, and to see if public pressure mounts to do it all over again.

That's one good thing about the Mk.82's, you can't suck 'em back up into the bomb bay.

4/09/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

rwe -

or the citadel, quasi-totalitarian nature of the enemy states - Russia and China - is so secure in the eyes of its owners, the temptation to engage terrorism so prominent a part of US policy, the squalor and layers of anarchy in their own and surrounding formerly-dependent countries so well known to the princes, that the increase in chaos consequent upon a deep-cover support of and stirring up of the terrorist hornets is a sound policy in the absence of more the more traditional methods of influence of a reasonably healthy State. but these guys must all have more problems with rogue agents and various degrees and varieties of ideologies - even down to Orthodox Christian death squads. It seems beyond question that creating an Asian quagmire for the US must be the general policy of these countries, including their erstwhile ally France. "Never get in a land war in Asia!" said Fezzini. Plus the press has proven so amenable to the plausible deniability trope and these groups probably represent only costs in surplus and perhaps represent opportunities to test gear and other tactics... Who knows. Interesting question though. It would be hilarious is Bush was caught saying in an aside, "Oh Pooty-poot, you done made yourself a bitch 'o terrorists. Stupid Russia."

There must be some explanation, though, as to why these governments don't all gang up with us and liquidate the too-mature proxy armies they supported during the Cold War, considering their propensity for betrayal. Russia, after all, hasn't been able to control its media quite as totally as China has, and hasn't done well lately at the Islamists' hands. I presume China has not done well either in Xinhua (I think), though we don't hear about. Because, of course, we don't hear Anything - something the critics don't seem to remember about any of the countries we're involved with here. A nice tabula rasa for them to exploit, the Jacobins.

4/09/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger burrah said...

This is an interesting artice to read in conjunction with wretchards post.
It finger Hamas as the intermediary between Saddam and the other terrorist groups, which is not so obvious from the post.

4/09/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Regarding the Russians (and for that matter the Chinese): Maybe it was our error in thinking that the Cold War was over and that we won.... All parties have to come to terms, don't they? What terms have the Chinese given us? The Russians?

4/09/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right, DM; it's just on hold while the Bear regroups. Until (if, when) Russia elects it's first real democrat we just have a weakened (temporarily?) opponent, not a dead one.

4/09/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

This isn't really on the topic, but I'm reading that the Shia are rounding up those pilots that flew for Saddam when the fighting with Iran was going on. Obviously this shows Iranian influence but here's the deal. They find them and kill them, but it is always the torture, ever and forever the torture. The bodies are found bullet in head, arms bound, body tortured. Torture, torture, torture. Always that.I am depressed. I can understand killing a man in defense of oneself or principles, but why always and forever the torture? Why not be polite about it? I recall when Churchill sent off the declaration of war to Japan he was very polite about it. "Well, if one is going to kill a man one should be polite about it" or something to that effect. In 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' isn't it Anselmo whom Hem has saying 'killing a man is not like killing a rabbit'--this is a serious business killing a man, one should do it as cleanly and as fast as possible. But these people, it always the torture. When our nation had its civil war about a really transcendental issue, I know there was alot of misery in some of the prison camps, but I can't recall reading about gratuitous torture. I don't know what our country should do, but what is going on over there is disgusting, and I am beginning to wonder if any of them are capable of anything other than the torture, torture, torture.

4/09/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Dan - BTW,

Excellent post!

-Especially the Fezzini reference.

4/09/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

The reason the docs were not released was to exploit their intel value. Now that the trails are cold, its time to release them.

Bush and the Pentagon have been very good the last four years at letting the press be their stooges and pass disinformation.

That's the Irony here - the Press thinks they are Geniuses for opposing Bush, but all they do is repeatedly set AQ and their Allies up for the hard fall.

4/09/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Remember - these are JUST the docs we got during the invasion. There is a whole body of sigint and humint that will *NOT* be released.

4/09/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Sunday Times April 09, 2006

400 terror suspects on loose in UK
David Leppard

AT LEAST 400 Al-Qaeda terrorist suspects — double the previous estimates — are at large in Britain, according to police and MI5.
Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, director-general of MI5, has said the figure could be as high as 600 if all those thought to have returned from combat training in camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere are included.

The new assessment — effectively a “terror audit” of Britain — was confirmed this weekend by one of Britain’s most senior police officers, who warned that shortages of trained surveillance teams were undermining attempts to monitor all the suspects.

“With about 400 terrorist suspects it requires a great deal of resources to investigate them,” said James Hart, police commissioner of the City of London, a prime Al-Qaeda target. “It’s impossible. You simply have to make intelligent guesses about who to watch. It’s a bit of a lottery.”

there may be more.

4/09/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

yep--like the Seymour Hersch article, which is probably hoped to wrong-foot Bush, but will surely have a salutory effect on the Masters of Terror and Intimidation, over in Tehran.

4/09/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

C4 said:

"I've heard that the failure to exploit the huge trove of Iraqi documents we've had for the last 3 years is just more Bush Administration ineptitude and propensity for secrecy."

Dan Meyers said:

"Regarding the Russians (and for that matter the Chinese): Maybe it was our error in thinking that the Cold War was over and that we won.... All parties have to come to terms, don't they? What terms have the Chinese given us? The Russians?"

Why is Bush going to the G-8? What does he think he will get from the KGB punk by not embarrassing him with obvious conflicts over food-for-oil? Had he received support from Putin, the Iraq war could have been avoided. China and Russia will get more US killed over their obstruction with Iran. They will obstruct because they will make a lot of money with Iran and for that matter Venezuela. Anything that weakens America strengthens Russia and China. If Bush cannot see this what else is he blind to?

4/09/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the G - 8. As a "Great American" once said, "Keep your Friends close, and your Enemies Closer!"

He knew a little something about Putin's type.

4/09/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

England = 400 to 600 trained cadre
France = assume the same or more
Spain = unknown numbers of trained cadre

The Tri Borders = ?

Should the US count MS-13 and other cross border criminal / mercenary gangs?

The Communist network across
Mexico and South America, how will it react to actitvation?

What sparks the inferno?

4/09/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha! Thanks for that link & compliment dan!

Russia though - for Russia it is never over. They are amazingly interesting for their viciousness, I think; Pipes and others seem to blame it on the climate; it is of course otherwise impossible to determine a cause for such behavior (which is why Russians and Arabs are, to an otherwise confusing degree, so similar). The original totalitarians. The France-Russia axis throughout the last 250 years is profoundly interesting, I think, particularly for great examples of French dubplicity (although that's nothing compared to French duplicity viz. their Ottoman friends). There's a great case to be made, I think, comparatively speaking, that we are in fact picking up the moral pieces of especially French dealing in their imperial possessions. Vietnam and Algeria are only the most obvious examples - check out France's behavior in Lebanon and Syria pre- and post-WWI, particularly with respect to Christian "subjects." Of course it's only Leninist idiocy that would impugn the French viz. their Arab objects (cf. Lawrence), but still - it is interesting primarily for the extent to which American good will toward Europe OUGHT, as a matter of historical immanence, to be rapidly fading when they have killed themselves, we have ascended, and they have reverted to form, though only now tenuously benefitting from American memories of Hemingway in Paris & whatnot. Etc. But I'm babbling.

But you've got to engage the Russians. They're vicious and tempermentally evil, particularly to eachother, but they are amazingly good at manipulation and espionage. Better to give them a dozen reasons to be nice and then use it against them when the dagger slams into the wall over your unsuspecting head. I wonder if we've finally gotten to that technological wonder-point where the castle of the Russian winter can finally be stormed... hey a pun...

4/09/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Sorry Rufus,
I must have missed the memo when Sun-tzu got his green card. It is hard keeping up these days.

4/09/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Cedarford,I'll bite.Seeing as I'm the only one making the Terry Nichols/Iraq connection I guess that was aimed at me.Let me question your logic for a minute.Bush administration ineptitude and secrecy prevents the Iraqi documents from being interpreted so what does that have to do with the Nichols,Mcveigh,middle eastern connection theory?Unless maybe you think the Mossad had something to do with it.
Actually I don't know if that theory is true or not.I've heard Nichols and Mcveigh couldn't set off a firecracker,but after Nichols went to the Phillipines they took down the Murrah building.The Oklahoma City reporter who has researched the case claims a middle eastern connection.I don't think there's much doubt,Ramzi Yousef had Iraqi connections.
I'm not a dreaded neo-con Jew lover that you so disdain,but I look at the abyss that is the Islamic world and there is much that is enigmatic.

4/09/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I'm with you, trangbang--there's too much there to think we have the whole story. The travels of Terry Nichols and Ramzi Yusef--what are the odds that they'd be in the same Indonesian resort at the same time? Anyone can google the names and find mountains of unanswered questions, not all posed by diehard neocon whatevers.

4/09/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2164, I was thinking of Don Corleone. Was he quoting Sun-Tzu?

It "Sounds" Sicilian, to me.

4/09/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you guys. It just seems sensible to err on the side of caution. I'll just go with the theory that all of the homicidal assholds are tied together, then let the world prove me wrong.

4/09/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Post-Colonial Recovery Guilt Syndrome for the Europeans. The necessary self-flagellation on the road to recovery... What a way to build a future.

What really surprises me is that one of the most egregious offenders of rape, pillage and grant independence was Portugal. Look at Angola.. But, does anyone see Portugal in this morass of self-destruction? I must admit, I don't hear any press about it, therefore assume that there is little to none. Ignorance never stopping me, I assume that they have no guilt. It sounds to me like there is an ally with some self-esteem. And therefore someone to nurture in the Eurabian protectorate. I'm only half joking....

Who implanted this culture of socialistic ruin? Russia and her proxies - any communist they could use. People seem to forget that Communism was the only self-declared GLOBAL party. With socialism implanted, the Russians can now foray into pseudo-capitalism and exploit what was once the exploiter. Remember the "Gas Shortages" in eastern Europe? I say this without any malice to Russia or any other blood-sucking communistic society.... Definitely not malice, maybe disdain..

4/09/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Who won the Cold War?

4/09/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Man, I'm sounding like a one-issue politician. I'll shut up now.

4/09/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Putin's takeover of Yukos for "tax-evasion" followed by hiring Germany's Schroeder to run it, followed by mysterious bombs along the pipeline to Ukraine (during a vicious cold snap) followed by an attempted three-score price increase followed by a Ukraine suddenly making no more noise about joining Nato?

Either the premise for the gov't takeover of Yukos was "real" or it was step #1 in a long step-by-step plan to use Russian status as an oil/gas exporter to neutralize Europe's political response to Iran.

If the objective is no more than to run western capital into anti-western coffers, it's pretty damn serious and it's working pretty damn well.

4/09/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

"It was a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq, three years ago. I was interviewing the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, in the ballroom of a big hotel in Cairo.

Shrewd, amusing, bulky in his superb white robes, he described to me all the disasters he was certain would follow the invasion.

The US and British troops would be bogged down in Iraq for years. There would be civil war between Sunnis and Shias. The real beneficiary would be the government in Iran.

"And what do the Americans say when you tell them this," I asked? "They don't even listen," he said."....By John Simpson
BBC World Affairs Editor

...a very sobering assessment from BBC. Worth reading ....

Dan Meyers said...

"Post-Colonial Recovery Guilt Syndrome for the Europeans. The necessary self-flagellation on the road to recovery... What a way to build a future."

very interesting take on Portugal. I guess Brazil was a success. Sort of.

4/10/2006 03:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The people who made the judgement to withdraw and contain were not fools.
They had experience and lot of it.
Yet they erred, West says because they did not listen to the men "on the spot". Who knows?
Seems to this Rube that we have run up a fairly long list of encounters that could be put under the category of,
"A Surplus of Caution"
but what do I know.
Being Compassionate Now seems to repeatedly result in a harvest of more violence and grief later.
...and here at home, Compassionate George will just let the American Lower Middle Class pay for his kindnesses to unpatriotic (and frequently criminal) strangers from South of the Border.

Unless even more sinister types make their way North, in which case we all will pay.

Guess I missed out when they handed out the compassionate genes.
("Here's two bits worth of compassion, from me to you."
On the other guys' Dimes of course,
...just like a liberal.)

4/10/2006 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Terrorism has ideological and logistical affiliations. If not, we are all tilting at wind mills and all terrorists are lone gunman.

As far as keeping the documents from publication, there are a lot of angles there. All you need is a statistical sampling to get the big picture. This gleaning is the stuff of professional intelligence agencies. A big picture with a hunch can do wonders to war planning.

The detailed information will be, after being cherry picked, put out to the news services, private institutes, and to law enforcement. Warehouses of information are the thing of trials. Although I’ll admit that sometimes it seems that the biggest secrets that the government keeps are the ones it keeps from its own public.

Whether to embarrass the Ruskies or the ChiComs is a toss up. You get to threaten with it behind closed doors all you want, but you can only drop the bomb once, after that, they’ll just fire up their well oiled disinformation machine. Free press? Paleeze.

4/10/2006 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

I presume China has not done well either in Xinhua (I think), though we don't hear about.

That's Xinjiang. No news comes out of that black hole, but I assume China is smashing the Muslims there indiscriminately, regardless of innocence. I also rather suspect state-sponsored colonization by Han, the use of demographics that was employed in Tibet.

Given the way China and the Chinese in the past have treated Muslims(past emperors carried out massacres of entire tribes), I've always wondered why we weren't their first and most hated target.

I've also always thought the Chinese government would react overwhelmingly to any attack by islamic terrorists on their soil, but their control over their media and their psychotic need to appear in control of the situation to their public at all times has led me to suspect that they're suppressing all news of terror attacks and events in China.

As for the Cold War, China has de facto surrendered. I've always regarded the Cold War as being an ideological struggle not just between Democracy and Communism as conflicting political ideas, but also between Communism and Capitalism, which I suspect could be more important in the long run.

And China has all but embraced Capitalism while fighting the pull towards democracy every inch of the way.

It remains to be seen if the rope will snap.

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


Care to comment:

Abu Ahmad tells his Iraqi embassy contact, Ghalib, that "the office" was trying to recruit an Arab to monitor Arab citizens in the Philippines. The Iraqi embassy contact suggests that Abu Ahmad volunteer for the job. Abu Ahmad says he had other plans. "I am leaving after I finish selling my house and properties and will move to Peshawar [Pakistan]. There I will be supplied with materials, weapons, explosives, and get married and then move to America.

4/10/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As the World outside continues to spin, the World inside Washington DC also is spinning, down the drain.

Mr Rumsfeld chides Ms Rice, just as General Newbold did in the Times article.
No one chose to discuss THAT part of his article. Mr Rumsfeld disagrees, with Ms Rice, that thousands of tactical mistakes have been made in Iraq.
Same as the General.

Today, MILLIONS of illegel migrants and their supporters will be Marching in US cities.
Viva la Raza!

John Fund is almost despondent over the Republicans and their management of the Government

" ... Sen. Specter is pushing a plan to spend $7 billion above and beyond Mr. Bush's spending requests for health and education. "The Republican Party is now principally moderate, if not liberal" on spending, Mr. Specter told reporters after a majority of GOP senators voted for his proposals last month. ... "
" ... But Republican strategists are now openly talking about the parallels between 1994 and 2006. "Democrats had the health-care debacle; we have our base demoralized on spending," says a top GOP strategist who was intimately involved in promoting the Contract with America. "Democrats had corruption issues. Both parties now have them, but it's the GOP that's getting the headlines. And finally, hatred of Bush on the left is at least as intense as hatred of Clinton was on the right in 1994." In both years, the economy was in decent shape, but that didn't prevent many disillusioned voters of the party in power from staying home. "My firm conviction is that Republicans are going to show up at a lower rate" this November, Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, told Investor's Business Daily. ... "

Remember good ole' "Duke" Cunningham? His District will be having a Special Election, now that Duke is puke.

" ... We'll know soon enough if GOP voter turnout is likely to be a huge problem in November. GOP volunteers in California's San Diego County report that absentee ballots from the party faithful are being turned in at disturbingly low rates for a special House election that will take place tomorrow. The race will fill the seat of the disgraced Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the GOP member of the Appropriations Committee who took more than $2.1 million in bribes to steer pork-barrel projects to favored defense contractors.

Under the rules of the contest, any candidate in the crowded field who gets more than 50% will win the seat outright. If no candidate breaks the 50% threshold, the top Democrat and top Republican will square off in a June runoff. Democrats clearly believe they have a chance to win the race in a surprise knockout blow tomorrow. ... "

" ... "Panicked politicians are not a pretty sight," says GOP pollster Whit Ayres. "They usually run in the wrong direction "

So far that's exactly the direction that Republican have chosen to run in the last year as their national numbers and President Bush's approval ratings have softened. From their scramble to ram through a national legislative solution to Terri Schiavo's plight, to their overreaction to Hurricane Katrina, to their failure to recognize the public's disgust with pork-barrel projects, to the Dubai Ports deal, Republicans have appeared to the world to be as unprincipled and rudderless as the politicians they campaigned against back in 1994. ... "

Mr Fund does not even mention IMMIGRATION, that issue where the Republicans are way out of step with the Base.

And the GWoT, that died in Iraq, as feared.

4/10/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Now I know some of you think of Mr Robert Novak as a screaming leftist pinko & seditionist, but regardless of that, here is his description of the number 3 man at State. The man, whom according to Mr Novak:
" ... Inside the Bush administration, Burns is seen as guiding the nation's course on Iran and Korea. His influence on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is so surprising that critics use the word Svengali. ... "

" ... Burns has worked for presidents of both parties. He was a special assistant to Bill Clinton, who in his second term named Burns the ambassador to Greece. He was ambassador to NATO in George W. Bush's first term. Nevertheless, Burns has been regarded as a Democrat and is close to Richard Holbrooke, who would have been secretary of state if John Kerry had been elected president in 2004. Under Kerry, Burns would have the job he has now and would be promoting the same policies. ... "

So as I said many months ago, it seems that regardless of who won the '04 Presidental Election, the Policies are essentially the SAME.

I jokingly called it the "Skull & Bones" Policy.
It's getting a lot less funny.

Oh, for the rest of Mr Novak's article
"Who Runs the State Department?"

4/10/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mr Rumsfeld chides Ms Rice,..


The Don is right. Ms Rice is not in a position to know or even recognize any such mistakes, which may or may not have been made in Iraq. Instead of conceding propaganda points, Ms Rise should have simply stated that such technical assessment is beyond her expertise and the privy of her knowledge.

4/10/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well then, mat, the General was right as well, at least about that.

Seems he is not so inept, misinformed or self serving as some would lead us to believe.

4/10/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

As I read it, Saddam's support for the Sayyaf gang suggests the existence of multiple worldwide groups in the fascist camp. Solidarity is the word here. For example, if Saddam got hit by Al-Qaida, the response may have been to strike AlQ somewhere else and be carried out by an ally like Abu Sayyaf: "You did a favor for me in the past, now I'll do one for you, in exchange for more of your favors." Just so Bin Laden & Co. know that they can't strike at their competitors - even successfully - with impunity.

Such is deterrence in the jungle world, where everyone forms a group to scramble upwards, lest they slide down together to be crushed by those climbing underneath. So the world may be hit by terror in Darfur or the Phillipines, to keep forces from concentrating on the more important targets, the people actually standing behind and supporting these events.

4/10/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

yeh, the Pubs look lost in a lotta ways.

There is a counter story, of course, based on the excellent global economy, the fact that the GWot is being presseds farther and farther into the hinterlands (no more 911s), and a Europe finally waking up.

The issue now is How To Stop the Mullahs--an issue not even on the table not so long ago.

Midterms in a WH second-term almost always run against that WH. It's in the record book. The dynamic is simple, WH has six years of close-in targets, and the previous admin is fading from memory.

So, things could be better for certain, but we're not talking disaster here.

Sure, spending, sure, immigration, but these are old, old problems, they're under DC scrutiny seriously now, finally, and making it up to front burner is undeniable progress.

Lessers of evils, if a Dem was in office you can betcher bottom dollar those two big domestic issues would be invisible, and you can also bet the terror masters of Tehran would be far less nervous.

And Bush ain't God. Everywhere he goes he has to drag hundreds of millions of squabbling second-guessers (both pro and con) along too.

4/10/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ...
Saudi Arabia may join nuclear club
DOHA, Qatar, April 9 (UPI) -- Kuwaiti researcher Abdullah al-Nufaisi told a seminar in Doha, Qatar, that Saudi Arabia is preparing a nuclear program, the Middle East Newsline reported.

He said Saudi scientists were urging the government to launch a nuclear project, but had not yet received approval from the ruling family.

Riyadh denies any intention to establish a nuclear energy program, but Gulf sources told the Middle East Newsline Saudi officials have been discussing a nuclear research and development program -- and that the program would be aided by Pakistan and other Riyadh allies.

"Saudi Arabia will not watch as its neighbors develop nuclear weapons," a Gulf source said. "It's a matter of time until a Saudi nuclear program begins." ... "

Just pack and ship those Pakistani nukes, the ones that the Sauds have already paid for.

It'd be so much quicker.

4/10/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


As many here know, there have been many political-warrior-dissidents. The question is whether the General is a self-serving "Speaking Truth to Power" dissident or a true statesman. I'll give him the chance to be either.

4/10/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...


the trouble with the moslems is that they don't have a language they can trust.

for the most part I view the Iraqi biz as a rear guard action. The last of the oil wars.

Here's a technology that converts everything from raw sewage to turkey guts to oil. Its ready for prime time and coming to a half dozen cities and countries in the USA and Europe.

4/10/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I don't know what the General's criticisms are.

4/10/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You're right, buddy, there is a counter story. It has not, to date, been trumpeted.

"... Months of declining polls for President Bush and Congress, which threaten Republican prospects in November, have begun to bottom out and will turn upward when the White House begins a new public-relations offensive, Republican strategists say.
With Mr. Bush's job-approval score sinking to 36 percent in the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll, which also showed voters favoring Democratic control of Congress 49 percent to 33 percent, the focus among Republican pollsters and policy strategists has turned to the operational changes that Joshua B. Bolten, the incoming White House chief of staff, will be implementing in the coming weeks. ... "

" ... Pointing to increasing signs of a growing economy and a strong employment report Friday that showed 211,000 jobs were created last month, Mr. Johnson said the polls "might be beginning to bottom out."
"I think it's gone as low as it can for the president and the Republicans in Congress," he said.
He did not rule out that the Republicans "could lose the House if things stay in this current atmosphere," but added, "I don't think that's going to happen. It's peaking too soon for the Democrats." ..."

"..."The first and biggest is the economy and 4.7 percent unemployment. Assuming this trend continues, by the time we get into the summer and early fall, it will be having a positive effect" in the elections, Mr. Winston said.
Another favorable political sign "that has been emerging is the growing number of seniors who have been responding more positively to the prescription-drug benefit program. A lot of people have signed up, over 27 million, and we've seen these people have a very positive response," he said. Seniors have a historically heavy turnout, and the popularity of the drug benefits could help Republican lawmakers at re-election time.
Although the war in Iraq and its impact on the voters remains "the big unknown this year," Mr. Winston said, "I have not seen things slip over the past couple of weeks in terms of Bush and Congress, though we're still in a difficult position." ... "

GOP banks on counteroffensive in the Wash Times.

4/10/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

You can also bet that KSA sees the Iran Bomb as the Shi'ite Bomb, first and foremost.

4/10/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

oil may be the reason we are fighting a War, but it is not the Enemy's cause of action.

The idea that with "new" or "different" oil supplies we could suddenly disengage from these Mohammedan Wars is ill concieved, at best.
Wishful thinking, I think.

These Wars were not started by US to control the oil. We were happy paying for it, even paying high dollar for it.

The Enemy will not relent, even if the US ceased oil imports, tomorrow. Not in Europe, South America, Africa, the 'Stans, Pacific Asia or the US.

Count on it, my friend, count on it.

Of course, we have yet to define the real Enemy, so, perhaps, it'll just be a "new" War, against a different gang of border bandits.

4/10/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Buddy Larsen said...

You can also bet that KSA sees the Iran Bomb as the Shi'ite Bomb, first and foremost.

7:43 AM
that's what the news is this morning.

Saudi Arabia must act to contain Iraq strife: study

4/10/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


From your FreeRepublic link -

"The catch? It may not happen in the United States."


I presume you are right about self-sustaining oil not stopping the jihadists, wouldn't cutting off some of their money supply slow them down?

4/10/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I agree--oil extortion is just one current in the flow. It's an opportunity for the bad guys, and may bolster their morale, and bring more numbers into the fray, as control of the reserves looks to be a strong horse. But the war would be on regardless. The global village has erased the margins, and the fight for ownership of the planet is on. The contending forces are not Labor vs Capital, but Owners vs Thieves.

4/10/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

desert rat said...

oil may be the reason we are fighting a War, but it is not the Enemy's cause of action.

Judging by the similiarity between the book of Judas -- which was deemed nonsense -- in the age when it was written-- and Moslem theology--the Moslems completely botched epistomology.

4/10/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Money is the wind behind the Barbary sail. Without oil, Mussulmen would have very little of it. Charles makes a valid argument. But so do you. Money is only part of the equation, though a very important part, IMHO

4/10/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Realisticly, no.
The switch in US infrastructure would take time, years I'd guess.

The switch in China and India even longer, if the "new" was cheaper.

But as was noted the other day, I forget by whom, the infrastructure of Turkey and beyond consists of old technologies.
Global growth will continue the need for oil, even if the US used less.
The cash would continue to flow, as would the oil.

It is much like describing the Iranian werhead design as "obsolete".
While US design innovations have moved on, we used the Iranian design for years. It was functional, we depended upon it.
Is this Iranian design "State of the Art"?
No, not at all.
Is it functional, yes, quite.
Is it "obsolete", no.
No more than a '66 Mustang is.

4/10/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

DanMyers said...


From your FreeRepublic link -

"The catch? It may not happen in the United States."
read further down in the article. The europeans are enthusiastic because it solves the mad cow problem... but it also says furhter down that Americans are coming around.

That said I think this is only a small example of several big technological break throughs. That will be announced in the next year or two.

In any case this is what Bush said was in the skunk works in his state of the union address back in january.

I follow water desalination tech myself. The basic research there is on track to completely collapse the cost structure of water desalination and transport (by a factor of 10)such that it will be economically feasable to turn all the world's deserts green. And basically double the size of the habitable planet.

True the arabs don't deserve cheap fresh water. But they didn't deserve oil either.

4/10/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

free money coming out of the ground (or because you're at a trade crossroads, or the mouth of a transport river) does two things to a either a certain sort of individual or to a certain sort of culture. One, it makes your own need to add value meaningless, and two, the fortuitous geography can make you feel entitled ("God must love me the most"). It has a name, "the curse of oil". Google it, it 'splains a lot. Without free natural resources, people have to develop their minds, morals, ethics, empathy, and justice. The people have to become the value, the natural resource. If none of this interior improvement is forced by the need to aquire the necessities of life, what then will be the impetus? How then to become a hero?

4/10/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Ah yes, the Riddle of Steel..

4/10/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

if we had a real UN, it would declare oil the property of the world, and compensate the current owners by building top-flight educational systems for them, and operating them for 100 years. The current ruinous cultures would develop themselves into something that they'll need to be in a 100 yrs *anyway*.

4/10/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

"Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is the sword compared to the hand that wields it?"

4/10/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Mətušélaḥ, 7:15 AM

Criticism of Defense is not within her portfolio. But, there may be method to the madness.

Consider, late Friday afternoon, State authorized funding of the "Palestinian people." - nothing like a diversion to draw attention away from such a sorry spectacle.

4/10/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

A nuke is a million swords that needs but one hand to wield it.

4/10/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Two cents:

"The moslem don't have a language they can trust..."

I'm not sure what you were referring to (only cursory glance through comments today), but it would be interesting to study the actual state of the language of Arabic viz. the modern world (where even the exalted and once-transcendant French is forced to adopt many English words to adapt - so much so that there are laws against such interpolations). I wonder whether any linguists have been brave enough to endure the withering "Orientalism!" assaults that would attend such a project, but I presume it would explain a lot. I've seen reference to some studies, and read studies like those included in The Arab Mind and The Closed Circle, but if anyone had any other references I'd be grateful for them.

Regarding Nicholas Burns - I'm not sure of much of his career, other than the PR success that was his appointment back a few years ago. While this augurs certain undesirable things, as Rat points out, I've seen him now give two long briefings before Senate committees on CSPAN and he seems to have a good handle on things, from the general Belmont perspective. It's true the initiatives he suggests smack of the typical inability-uninterest-fear with respect the character and habits and tendencies of the actual people who are the intended beneficiaries of these efforts, but I think that's just as likely a function of State's job, which is to focus on such things exclusively. Any more info would also be appreciated.

4/10/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Condi didn't context that remark--a "thousand mistakes" the way she said it could've referred to everything or anything, down to minor logistical problems. I don't think an official's every utterance--particularly in a give-and-take Q&A--is an encoded message.

"What did she mean, when she said 'Good morning'?"

4/10/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Seems that we must learn to better play at wiggi board.

4/10/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Exactly, I always wondered why Conan didn't laugh at Thulsa Doom when he said that... Any scriptwriters here?

Sorry, I reverted to 20 again. I'm thinking Conan doesn't play well in this crowd...

4/10/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

oh, no, he's very au courant--he's the governer of california, fer chrissakes--

4/10/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

danmyers, 8:04 AM

The estimated cost of the 9-11 attack is less than 1/8 the cost of a M1A1. See,

The economic loss, alone of the attack has an unsettled range of $500 million - $1,000 million. Estimates of the cost to AQ to launch are within the $400,000 - $500,000 range. See 9/11 Commission Report.

How difficult is it for these guys to get Saudi Chump-change?

Asymmetry must be countered by audacity.

4/10/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


How much does a new madrassa cost? How much does the upkeep of the old ones cost? How much for the upkeep of the hopeless bodies housed therein?

4/10/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Allen, I believe you're a zero short on the 911 losses--and that's just the direct loss, only a fraction of the total economic disaster.

4/10/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


I am just starting Bernard Lewis' "From Babel to Dragomans". He is discussing on page 22 the effect of Western language on Arabic Linguistics.

I would call Bernard Lewis up to the task of being labeled "Orientalist".

4/10/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The whole of US polity has drifted to the left. Some argue that John F Kennendyis to the right of the current adminstration. If that is so, John F Kerry is to the Left of Kruchev.

4/10/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Desalinization won't turn the Sahara into "Paradise," any time soon; but, it will turn Texas into a Vast Ethanol Factory. It's a start.

4/10/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

annoymouse, Italy, too.

4/10/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...,0,1397344,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines

U.S. Military Secrets for Sale at Afghan Bazaar
By Paul Watson
Times Staff Writer

April 10, 2006

BAGRAM, Afghanistan — No more than 200 yards from the main gate of the sprawling U.S. base here, stolen computer drives containing classified military assessments of enemy targets, names of corrupt Afghan officials and descriptions of American defenses are on sale in the local bazaar.

Shop owners at the bazaar say Afghan cleaners, garbage collectors and other workers from the base arrive each day offering purloined goods, including knives, watches, refrigerators, packets of Viagra and flash memory drives taken from military laptops. The drives, smaller than a pack of chewing gum, are sold as used equipment.

The thefts of computer drives have the potential to expose military secrets as well as Social Security numbers and other identifying information of military personnel.

A reporter recently obtained several drives at the bazaar that contained documents marked "Secret." The contents included documents that were potentially embarrassing to Pakistan, a U.S. ally, presentations that named suspected militants targeted for "kill or capture" and discussions of U.S. efforts to "remove" or "marginalize" Afghan government officials whom the military considered "problem makers."

The drives also included deployment rosters and other documents that identified nearly 700 U.S. service members and their Social Security numbers, information that identity thieves could use to open credit card accounts in soldiers' names.

After choosing the name of an army captain at random, a reporter using the Internet was able to obtain detailed information on the woman, including her home address in Maryland and the license plate numbers of her 2003 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicle and 1998 Harley Davidson XL883 Hugger motorcycle.

Troops serving overseas would be particularly vulnerable to attempts at identity theft because keeping track of their bank and credit records is difficult, said Jay Foley, co-executive director of the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego.

"It's absolutely absurd that this is happening in any way, shape or form," Foley said. "There's absolutely no reason for anyone in the military to have that kind of information on a flash drive and then have it out of their possession."

A flash drive also contained a classified briefing about the capabilities and limitations of a "man portable counter-mortar radar" used to find the source of guerrilla mortar rounds. A map pinpoints the U.S. camps and bases in Iraq where the sophisticated radar was deployed in March 2004.


4/10/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen, 9:36 AM


Yeah, a zero short, a brick shy - the brain screams, Caffeine!

4/10/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Point well taken. Would it be audacious to reduce the cash-flow of the region? Point well taken.

Perhaps the enthusiasm to see the U.S. become less dependent on Venezuela and Saudi Arabia is getting the better of me.

But, as far as I am concerned, let the Chinese depend on them. I would rather not bear the swings of oil spot markets affect.

Per Charles' link, it seemed to have taken approximately 6 years for Changing World Technologies' commercial prototype to shake out the engineering and regulation bugs. This may bring a bit of a reprieve, I look forward to it. But, being the cynic that I am, I would expect all good businesspersons(he/she/sheit) to take up the call to arms....

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

Mətušélaḥ, 9:33 AM

Re: madrassa

Could a madrassa be the equivalent of a M1A1? Are Islamic supplicants the equivalent of 120mm rounds?

As to hopelessness, I am not sure the practitioners of the "Religion of Peace" would agree with the characterization - 72 brown eyed virgins and all that good stuff, you know.

4/10/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

danmyers, 10:00 AM

Re: "Would it be audacious"


As has been demonstrated repeatedly, it can take years, if ever, to garner sufficient incriminating evidence to shut-off the money supply. Now, the sudden, contemporaneous demise of bankers known to handle dirty money would be audacious. Like, terminal leave, without the golden parachute.

Something like the fixers in Wretchard's Phillipine lede, only, we do hope, compassionate and kinder and gentler.

4/10/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

CASE CLOSED, says Captain Quarters:

You will note that all three translations of this document -- performed by three different people working independently of each other -- all translate this section almost identically. All three explicitly show that the Iraqi military had ordered a call for volunteers to carry out suicide attacks on American interests, six months before 9/11 and two years almost to the day prior to our invasion.

This confirms that Saddam Hussein and his regime had every intention of attacking the US, either here or abroad or both, using members of their own military for terrorist attacks. That puts an end to all of the arguments about whether we should have attacked Iraq, we now know that Saddam and his military planned to attack us.

4/10/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Could a madrassa be the equivalent of a M1A1? Are Islamic supplicants the equivalent of 120mm rounds?


The same dynamic that turns 16th century Polish garb into Jewish Orthodoxy, drives the Madrassas. Without subsidy such a dynamic would not be possible. It would not survive in nature.

4/10/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

From the Reconcilable Differences blog at NRO:

"I've never voted for a Democrat in a general election in my life, and I don't expect to anytime soon, but it's been impossible for me over the past couple of years to get enthused about the Republican party. I voted for President Bush twice, and contributed to his campaign twice, but held my nose when I did it the second time. I don't consider myself a Republican any longer. Thanks to this Administration and the Republicans in Congress, the Republican Party today is the party of pork-barrel spending, Congressional corruption — and, I know folks on this web site don't want to hear it, but deep down they know it's true — foreign and military policy incompetence. Frankly, speaking of incompetence, I think this Administration is the most politically and substantively inept that the nation has had in over a quarter of a century. The good news about it, as far as I'm concerned, is that it's almost over."


4/10/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


Re: "Jewish Orthodoxy"

Wow! It is great knowing that I am not alone in having noticed the sartorial disconnect.

Kinda like looking for leaven in rice and peas? You think of such things at this time of year, which, were I a newly emancipated slave, would be a time of joyous celebration.

When G-d said, "Choose life," almost instantly materialized the martyrs? Ah, the perversity of human nature.

4/10/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


I dumped a post last night about the hawala system still in use for money transfer. I noticed that my neighborhood Citgo (Venezuela-owned), run by Pakistanis (nicest guys you could ever meet), just put up a phone with a sign stating that it is for money transfer. This is not a Western Union line, it is just a phone. This is typical of a hawala system where "trusted agents" are used for transfers of gold, currency, etc. How hard would it be to shut down a whole system of "trusted agents" if it came down to it? Methinks it would be next to impossible.

4/10/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

good on ya mate.
it'll be better this way.thanks for the acceptance of rapprochement.
Now I must go do some animal herding.

4/10/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

danmyers, 10:35 AM

Re: money transfers

It is impossible with current technology and I, for one, hope it stays that way.

You raise an interesting subject, money transfers. I believe we are, as has so often been the case for decades, looking at the wrong target. Money is not the problem; people are the problem. More specifically, enablers of terrorism are the problem. Every person assigned to chase a dead-end paper trail is a person taken from the posse.

The world that Wretchard brings to our attention is a dark and bloody one. Islam is a dark and bloody religion (one does hesitate in giving it that appellation). To deal with dark and bloody foes calls for some men (neuter gender) to lay aside conscience and scruple and strike the coups de grace. This prospect is frightening, repulsive for some and unfortunate for all. In the words of JFK, "Life isn't fair."

4/10/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Trish, I just don't get the 'incompetence' charge. It has to be compared to something. Find a case like Bush's--start off with a new kind of war, and a recession, and mix in an oil war atop the jihad, and a half of the electorate hard-disposed not to give him even the shadow of the benefit of cooperation.

Then look at what *has* been accomplished--against almost unbelievably energetic opposition, both from the jihadis and half the Americans, and the entire bloc of world nations that would like or love to see us taken down, on principle of the 'Big Boy'.

So, "incompetent" means somewhere someone with like challenges has done so much better, that Bush's effort falls to "incompetent". I just don't get the hyperbole, not from a conservative or independent or balanced analyst (though I expect it from a partisan).

What word would we use if AQ was running the mideast, we had a depression on, and had been Mogadishued out of Iraq and Afghanistan? "Really, really incompetent"?

I don't mean to be a jerk, but--jeez. Uncontrollable forces--Katrina, jihad, Earth low on oil--bleed into people's minds and it's easy to feel led by an incompetent--I realize that.

But "going with it" sure ain't gonna improve things, because it's not as though Bush has some "competence" squirreled away in a suitcase under the bed, and if only he'd just choose to, he could pull it out and dress up in it.

What if he's already balls-out against all these enemies? In that case, there'd be no upside but for Hillary, to choosing the 'incompetence' characterization. It ain't constructive criticism, it's a kiss-off, IMHO, and at a bad time for it.

4/10/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

He's got a Red (AMLO) neck-in-neck with the good-guy, in the Mexican election--this is rather huge, and very delicate.

And who believed on 9-12-01 that we weren't gonna have one or two more of those every year or two?

And the tax cuts have literally boomed the economy, AND federal tax reciepts.

Unemployment is below the average of the last 30 years, personal income, GDP, corporate profits all way up, and interest rates low and far from 'tight money'. The economy is hitting on all eight cylinders, and USA is not beggaring the neighbors to do it--on the contrary.

I mean, in some ways, this admin is not only not incompetent, but a huge success.

These 'incompetence' perceptions are precisely what the MSM has been working so assiduously to obtain--and I ain't gonna drink their Koolaide.

4/10/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

without a sense of perspective, and proportion, we might as well be daffodils.

4/10/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Desert rat said...

"It is much like describing the Iranian werhead design as "obsolete". While US design innovations have moved on, we used the Iranian design for years. It was functional, we depended upon it. Is this Iranian design "State of the Art"? No, not at all. Is it functional, yes, quite. Is it "obsolete", no. No more than a '66 Mustang is."

For what it's worth, my daily driver was made in '64 (two years older than yours) and has a 6 cylinder flat head engine.

The old American Mk-4 RV was a functional design. However it had lots of issues which is why it was replaced with better designs. One must ask: Why are the Iranians using an obsolete RV design? Are their engineers idiots or are they motivated by the packaging requirements of their nuclear weapon? Years ago, I studied with Iranian (and Iraqi) engineers in graduate school and know they're bright guys (the sharpest guy in a graduate nuclear engineering course that I took was Iranian). Since their engineers are probably not idiots, I'm lead to believe their use of an obsolete RV shape was due to the requirements of the weapon itself. This aspect and the fact that the RV is bigger than it should be leads me to believe the RV will carry a primitive gun-type nuke. That conclusion in turn leads me to believe that the Iranians are not required to test the weapon before they use it. A more complicated fusion type nuke would have to be tested before being weaponized. Finally, because they are using a cylinder-flare in place of the original RV cone, I am lead to believe that they want something with a lower drag coefficient that can easily penetrate an ABM system.

No doubt Israeli aeronatuical engineers have made a similar analysis and are reacting appropriately.

4/10/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Miers was an error, in retrospect, because it was seen as "incompetent", but Ralph Neas and NOW and Hollywood and MSM and the whole San Fran Left had planned on bringing the nation to its knees to stop any conservative Supremes--and yet, bang--suddenly, almost quietly (in terms of what might have been) we got TWO of 'em.

Portending a long slow deep turnaround of our most fundamental, most existential, problem--the freaking nut-job left wing of this country.

4/10/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Since it's a toss up which system will be used for delivery, two Arrows will need to be sent for every Iranian intercept. Radically different velocities will require different fuse time for the intercept.

4/10/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

"If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked."
Proverbs, 29:12

The word [liar] is derived from the Indo-European root, leugh, and the old-English, leogan: "to tell a lie". With the prefix, waer, "faith" or "pledge", we get the old-English, waerleogan, or "oath breaker". Waerleogan, in modern English, is Warlock: "a male witch, a demon".

The fossils of the world tell us that false representation, oath breaking, and witchcraft, are part of that complex process known as "lying". A liar, then, is a witch or demon who distorts reality, to your injury and his gain. To establish credibility with you, he may give the appearance of helping you. But in the long term, he claims your life, just as another liar will claim his.

Lying is deadly, and highly contagious. The man who receives his information from a liar will spew out lies when he passes the information on. When you have liars, trained in the demonic arts, controlling the highest seats of governmental authority, you will have liars controlling the information channels. When their lies fill the printed pages, loudspeakers, and TV screens, you will have liars administering the workplaces, marketplaces, schools, churches, and homes. Without realizing it, your nation becomes possessed by demons; your nation practices the politics of witchcraft.

A liar's fortunes are very cleverly established on his pretenses of virtue; otherwise, well-meaning people would have nothing to do with him. He will not think twice about murdering to protect his good reputation.

In a lying society, murder is an acceptable alternative to radically changing one's views. In lying societies, the virtues are brutishness, deceit, sodomy, theft, debt, and suicide. He who is most menacing and monstrous is most popular.

Though powerful in appearance, lies are in reality extremely fragile. There is no protection for a liar except (1) darkness, or (2) the mercy of a more powerful liar. This is why lying societies crave dimness of room and of mind. It is why they seek bondage to human authority.

(selected excerpts)

Tennessee Waltz: The Making of a Political Prisoner
By James Earl Ray
St. Andrew's Press, St. Andrews, TN, 1987
The Politics of Witchcraft
Afterword by Frederick Tupper Sausee.

4/10/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

The world has really grown quite tired and weary of Zionists, Likudniks, Republicans, Zionazis, Nazis, Nationalists, Islamofascists, Islamists, Colonialists, Imperialists , assorted cynical, sadomasochistic control freak war mongers and haters--in addition to otherwise spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually stunted half wit, semi-morons and training wheel fascists whose main occupation and obscene, perverse addiction it is to weaken, abuse and hurt others and waste people's time on this planet. All of the aformentioned accused are doomed to repeated failure because their conditioning and ideological psuedo-doctines are based on abuse, hatred, destructive addictions, fear, lies, threats of violent force, coercion and (self-invoked) evil that fly in the face of every sacred and divine teaching on this most generous and forgiving planet.

Do you even have the faintest recollection that you are on a fucking planet ? Sky, Earth, Gravity, Air, Water, Fire.

Now destructive and irresponsible Children, kindly take all your petty prejudices, hostilities, vendettas, anger, violence, ownership and control issues and infantile temper tantrums --and either shove them up your collective arseholes forever or finally and completely exterminate yourselves from this gift of a planet you have lost all privilege to exist on. Your children and grandchildren will pledge their undying hostility toward you for all eternity. Nosferatu's ship has landed and it is infested with rats carrying the plague. May you never see the light of day, for your heart is an eternally blackened midnight sun. The Sun is ashamed to shine it's light on your face and the Earth is disgusted by the shadow you cast on its surface. Your bloodlines are forever cursed. May there be A Plague On All Your Houses.

What sick, ridiculous, puppets we are, and what a gross, little stage we dance on.
-Andrew Kevin Walker


Age: About 4.5 Billion Years Old
Location: In the Solar System, on the outer edge of the Milky Way, about 28,000 light years from the galactic center (Source: European Space Agency).
It takes the solar system 225 million years to make one full trip around the Milky Way.
Closest Major Galaxy: Andromeda, about 2.3 million light years away.
Age of the Milky Way: 16 billion years.
Home System: Solar System (One Sun)
Earth's Sun: A medium sized, yellow star. Scientists call it a G2 star.
It is the largest object in the solar system and contains 99.8 percent of the solar system's mass.
It is located in the center of the solar system.
Distance from the Sun (average): About 93.1 million miles (also one Astronomical Unit or AU). It is the third planet from the Sun.
Farthest Distance from the Sun: 94.5 million miles.
Closest Distance to the Sun: 91.4 million miles.
Speed through Space (around the sun): 18.4 miles per second or about 67,000 miles per hour.
Solar Orbit: It takes Earth 365.2422 days to orbit the sun. This is the basis for the year.
Rotational Speed: About 1,070 miles per hour at the equator.
Rotational Time: It takes the Earth 23 hours, 56 minutes and four (4) seconds to make one complete 360° rotation.
Rotational Tilt: 23.5° on its axis, a straight line through the planet from the North Pole to the South Pole.
The tilt is in relation to Earth's near circular orbit around the sun.

4/10/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Don't they use the metric system in Norway? You really should question what you're sniffing in your lab.

4/10/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I thought the sun was going round US. It sure looks that way, it comes up over them trees over yonder and goes down behind the other side of the hog slaughterhouse.

4/10/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Dementia you're a fucking moron. That's why things look so perverse to you. And look at your avatar, you confused bastard. Just stick to your "chemicals" "industry."

4/10/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

dan, you no like being lectured about hatred by someone who hates you?

4/10/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"whose main occupation and obscene, perverse addiction it is to weaken, abuse and hurt others and waste people's time on this planet."

Nice nuanced message. You seem to dish out enough of your own, not for our benefit but your own saddistic charms. The obcene icon is a nice touch.

Pass the ammunition, I'm in a killin' mood.

4/10/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen, 11:13 AM, 11:26 AM, and 11:37 AM

I am going to take a wild guess, here: you were not the inspiration for “Mellow Yellow,” were you?

Addressing only the GWOT, I take my marching orders from General Patton, “Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn't give a hoot and hell for a man who lost and laughed…” and “The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” The considered opinions of such conservative luminaries as Buckley, Will, Kristol, and Steyn (as well as a growing host of others) simply cannot be discounted as the ravings of the lunatic left. Moreover, by definition, there is a leadership failure when the base fragments into warring sects of true believers, each impugning the credentials and patriotism of the other.

Like it or not, perception is everything in politics. Viewing the GWOT only, this President and his administration, their many remarkable accomplishments notwithstanding, have a good chance of losing badly in the mid-term if they fail to follow the advice of Friedrich the Great, L'audace, l'audace. Toujours l'audace.” – “Audacity, Audacity. Always, Audacity." In the words of General MacArthur “There is NO substitute for victory.” Simple as they may be, to the mind of some within government, the American people will know victory when they see it.

4/10/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I'm curious, why is the Bible on the list of reading?

4/10/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Seems simple to me, Bush gots ta run as the 'reform' candy-date. Folks sure likes that re-form.

4/10/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

/slash/ dementia

Love the photo. If you really want some eye-catchers, go to the net and look-up "white phosphorus - Fallujah." Far out!

What is it with people like you? You guys won't lift a hand to protect your women from rape by youth of Mideastern appearance (I am being appropriately EU PC, I hope) but you will get on the net and act like it's "High Noon." Go back to your knitting and give me a break

4/10/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...


Sometimes isolationism does seem attractive.

Pull up the draw bridge, build the wall, construct the Impermeable Defense Shield, let no one in, let whoever wants to leave out: give the world what it seems to be asking for.

The world going to shit could be on constant stream on channel 72. We could play drinking games. Every time France surrenders...

Maybe in 100 years we could actually deal with some adults.

4/10/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I wish I was Kurt Vonnegut, or some fabulist writer, I would write a story about a mad AQ scientist who invents an invisible bubble, where someone like Zarkawi could float into the dens of the most despicable of the west, the ingrates who accept the blood of their protectors and saviors, and yet despise them for their sacrifice.

Allen, to your post: the deadliness of "competence", or, how should a leader strive to be both audacious and competent at the same time?

If your people really want you to be audacious, isn't the last thing they're gonna accuse you of is "incompetence"? Because the concepts don't match up, they're not in the same cognitive zone, they're dis-referential to each other?

For example, If you want someone to gamble, to be audacious, don't you have to show confidence in them, show them that you are *also* in for the gamble, that you *too* are savvy to the pertinent rationales, the cost/benefit & risk/reward?

If a leader is hostage to a polity demanding "competence" above all, then isn't that polity more likely to get (especially in these times of "cut no slack"), a leader sorta tentative, trying to be "competent", the farthest thing from "audacious"?

IOW, saying "You're incompetent, be more audacious" is sorta contradictory-ish, like "Don't do anything, do everything".

4/10/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

/slash/ dementia

Re: photo

I was just thinking of photographic reciprocity: you flash a morbid picture and get one from the World Trade Center in return. But, that won't work, you see. Those murdered there on 9-11, if not turned to gelatinous ooze on the streets below the Center, or desiccated to rubberized leather parchment, were atomitized. Sorry, there are no gut wrenching photos to swap. Better luck next time.

4/10/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

If you want to read a great book, pick this up whenever you get the chance:

The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the 21st Century.

Interview with the author, Michael Mandelbaum, professor of American Foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies, here.

4/10/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Annoy Mouse, dangit, how we gonna run ree-form when we the dang incumbent ?

4/10/2006 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

"I'll reform you, you soft-headed
sonofabitch!" - As Pappy whips off his hat and strikes Jr.

4/10/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Germane to the last thread, this interview is also worth watching.

"Robert E. Lee on Leadership"

H.W. Crocker profiles the life and career of the Confederate Army General.

4/10/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Just finished the chores..herding cats is not easy from a R/C Hughs 300 but what fun.
I want to say it here and now, I am no relation to this Dementia fellow/person/whatever.

4/10/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


If you're high on ether, and I think you are, knock your head against a wall until you pass out. You'll be back to your normal self the morning after.

4/10/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

I would hope a rapprochement with you is possible as I have already done with Allen.
My manner of delivery is currently under review by trained experts who are still frowning.
Yesterday is gone. Let's go forward

4/10/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

didja hear the joke, from,
French Revolution 2006: "Let Us Eat Cake!"

4/10/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...


Of course. Think nothing of it. I enjoy a little back and forth anyways.

4/10/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Habu, full atonement should include put hair in a ponytail, don earphones, insert Joan Baez CD, and listen 100 times to "Kumbaya" while cuddling a furry little planet earth doll. This will create great peace ripples in the cosmos, which will widen out like ripples in a still pond, and will harmonize the power of Mother Nature to eliminate all evil by causing actual human beings to choke to death on their own vomit.

4/10/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Falling back on General Patton, again, he said, "Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets." He may have had in mind the audacity of the French (and, for that matter, the Germans) at Verdun. On that battlefield was no want of audacity; however, few would quarrel with the observation that rarely have such armies been led by those so cluelessly incompetent. By the way, many a common French soldier thought so at the time, as private correspondence shows.

Unquestionably, the Gettysburg campaign orchestrated by Davis and General Lee was audacious. Given that the probability of any sort of victory greatly diminished for the Confederacy with time, it was not a foolish one, just an immense gamble. Who knows, if competently fought it might have proven a wise wager.

One thing that is certain, however, is that General Longstreet was from start to finish openly antipathetic. Throughout the course of the engagement, when called upon, his corps arrived grossly late and ill prepared for the mission (no criticism of his soldiers intended). Moreover, when not insubordinate, he was either lackadaisical or guilt ridden (the perfect embodiment of Hamlet). With due respect, General Longstreet’s character at Gettysburg closely mirrors that of some recently retired and currently serving flag officers. The Army of Northern Virginia was not lacking in courage. What it lacked was the competent, audacious leadership of one KEY corps commander.

With time being the essence of the political campaign season, General Patton may again offer useful counsel to the administration, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

4/10/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Allen, not to drive-by an excellent ripost, but if this country would Let George be George, it'd see something wonderful. Also, having agreed (with Patton) many times that the 'perfection' standard is both in-play and wrong, you may have a case --re Pentagon deadwood (if you're right about it), that maybe this admin is excessively loath to fire (I'm thinking George Tenant).

4/10/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

General Patton, Hannibal, Ceasar, Bonaparte, audacious leadership by men of movement.

When the movement halts, when force becomes static, when Armies are garrisoned, when there is no audacity, there will be no Victory if it has not already been gained.

In Iraq the Military Victory is three years past. The Political quagmire could be eternal.
The two have been comingled and confused, purposely, by the President and his Team.

The fruits of that decision are ripening, hopefully it will not rot on the vine.
How many more deadlines Sec of State visits and Mosque bombings before the proposed self exile of Mr al-Jaafari begins, if it ever does?

How does Iraq benefit from the status que? or Iran, for that matter.

The US benefits if a Federal Iraq stands up, do any of the factions within Iraq?
Or do they fare better in limbo, with US hauling their water?

4/10/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


From Aristedes C-Span video link. Stonewall Jackson - the epitome of audaciousness. Do we have that in our time?

In my short military career, I only saw one "character that had the cajones - Hymen Rickover. But, he was a politician, not a warrior. But, if he had a rifle I'd rather be behind him rather than against him. After him though, I found no one that inspired men to exert what men can do under pressure. Granted, Rickover inspired through intimidation and insult - not a winner in the current PC climate. I always thought he was such a ball-buster because he hated his mother for his name... But I digress..

I still believe that there are leaders around us, but we have lost the art of leadership. The definition of it has been lost in the reward system shown to everyone. Make no mistakes, you are a good leader.... Make a mistake and you are vilified. QED - The way to make no mistakes is to make no decisions. It is seen in the business world and in the military. Audacious behavior is not rewarded, it is punished.

4/10/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I don't get it--isn't having an expeditionary force in the field, supporting an allied government under attack, considered "movement"?

4/10/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, that is an Occupation
movement is on to Damascus,
Into Warizistan,
Clearing Tehran,
Killing Osama.
Or choose some other

Maintaining a garrison in Iraq while helping a Government to emerge is quagmire, buddy, not movement.

The Insurgency by the Sunni was always Political, never Military.
The mini Z car bombings, totally political.
Look to Mr Rumsfeld's early statements where he made that case. Militarily he was correct, politically he couldn't have been more wrong.

Small unit actions, with in the defined perimeter, Security not movement.

Mega bases do not imply movement, by their very nature.

4/10/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Well, I know I constantly harp on this, but.. Maybe we need the geography. For strategic and political reasons. Strategically for Iran, politically (in the geopolitical sense)for the obvious showdown with Iran. I still believe that all roads have led to Iran for, oh say 5 years and 7 months or so. Not anywhere close to Blitzkrieg, but look at the internal political opposition.

But then again, I'm a conspiracy theorist...

4/10/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Oh man - a bit of mis-spelling in my 2:35 post.. It's Hyman Rickover, not Hymen Rickover. I knew that...

4/10/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That could well be the case, dm, but no one is making it. So that is not the case.

We never denied the purpose of US troops in Korea, nor Germany for that matter.

The International case against Tehran is no better today than two tears nine months ago.
Neither the Chinese nor Russians any closer to ineffective UN Sanctions against their "friend" Iran.
As has been said by others, Iran has been at War with US for twenty plus years, we just never acknowledged it.
If we were going to, the optimum time for movement is past, internal US weakness, which had faded to background noise three years ago, is back with a vengence

The US position in the Region has not been strengthen by US lack of movement. Anything but.

The Iraqi Government may not form, the Federals unable to stand up, leaving President Bush unable to fulfill his promise.
"They stand up, we stand down."

But there is no Iranian conspiracy?

4/10/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Why talk about audaciousness in conventional war when what you oughta be talking about is audaciousness in guerilla war?

The latter is, after all, what we're stuck with.

4/10/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Haven't we had this discussion before?? If not, I agree with what you lay out, up to a point. I'd rather have them there, close to the objective. Moving them is painful, possibly dangerous and sometimes politically hard (Turkey and the Northern Front).

On optimal timing, you are absolutely correct. Time is always lost. Our lack of resolve may be the death of our incursion into the ME, barring any very stupid move by the Iranians such as Hormuz. Even if Hormuz is shut we have, throughout our history, just squawked.

Squawking has stopped, I believe. We don't have Jimmah as President anymore. I'm still giving GWB a chance. He has shown that he will not go blazing guns into the breach, he follows the protocol. If the protocol hasn't come up with the decision that benefits the U.S., he goes anyway.

Now, is the timing ever right with all variables addressed, signed, sealed, approved, debated again, 20 strawmen shotdown and the pundits fears visibly assuaged on 20 Sunday Morning News shows?

Audacious behavior does not exist in this environment, therefore mobility is sacrificed.

4/10/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If US success is measured by Iraqi political success, Iraqi political quagmire results in....

Again, whom benefits from the staus que?
Whom is left holding the tar baby?

Just who has the inititive?

4/10/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/10/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The lack of a vote or a viable Candidate for PM could go on for months, perhaps longer. What does any Party gain by backing down.
They are all playing by the rules.

There is only one loser, politically speaking, with each passing day in the entire deal.
It surely is not the Saudi King nor any Mullah in Iran.
Mr al-Jaafari and al-Sadr are standing pat, they still control their Bloc.
Mr Mahdi stands ready, the newest US man, but he will not lead a revolution against
Mr Sistani, whom calls for unity amongst his Religous followers, as well as adherence to the Rules.
Mr al Jaafari benefits from that unity and the Rules.
He stands pat, 'til the next election, four years from now.
As it is now, it stays.
'til Mr al-Jaafari or Mr Sistani decide different.

4/10/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

danmyers, 2:35 PM

Right on.

Patton apropos Rickover, "Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time." and "All very successful commanders are prima donnas and must be so treated."

As is the case with great leaders, such as Jackson, Napoleon, and Patton, the troops will follow into hell a magnificent warrior. We have not seen one of those in a very long time.

Do you remember how many days it took after the assault began on Afghanistan for a general officer to use the word "kill?" Let me help, SIX!!!, from a Marine Brigadier. Jeez-O-Pete! If the word "kill" brings on an uncontrollable gag, possibly the Peace Corps would be a preferable career path.

Consider: if the brass cannot face the public and state without embarrassment that it is the policy of the United States of America to blow to hell any swinger wanting to take a shot, how will the US successfully wage war in the dark world and in the manner laid out by Wretchard?

4/10/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

trish, 3:21 PM

I'm with you on this point. See

danmyers, 8:04 AM and my 9:24 AM

"The estimated cost of the 9-11 attack is less than 1/8 the cost of a M1A1. See,

The economic loss, alone of the attack has an unsettled range of $500 million - $1,000 million. Estimates of the cost to AQ to launch are within the $400,000 - $500,000 range. See 9/11 Commission Report.

How difficult is it for these guys to get Saudi Chump-change?

Asymmetry must be countered by audacity."

9:24 AM

NOTE: correction per buddy larsen, $500 Billion - $1,000 Billion

4/10/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


"That could well be the case, dm, but no one is making it. So that is not the case."

Ya know, I could have just shut up after that obvious fact.... Scanning responses just doesn't work here.. It'll make a fool of you in a second.

4/10/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Mətušélaḥ, 1:29 PM

Re: "high on ether"

When the "Slash Meister" made his fun run, it was evening in Norway.

Ether and alcohol make for ugly MRIs.

4/10/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


There may still be audacious men - "The Office Group" perhaps. Hopefully, their activities will not be publicized so that they may continue their work.

On the public side however, the War must be accepted for what it is. And apparently neither for love or money can that be had.

4/10/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"Aqaba!" said T.E. Lawerence. "Tehran!" will say G.W. Bush, when the moment arrives.

4/10/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

ether way, he nutzo.

4/10/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Any Chem (and Med) student knows not to mess with ether. But seeing Slash is special, I made the suggestion. Ether is an anesthetic. :)

4/10/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Mətušélaḥ, 4:58 PM

Did you day spatial?

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

For those feeling a bit blasé about unlawful, illegal, criminal immigration into the US, see Mark Steyn's comments in yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times,
As a public health alert, it is not for the faint of heart or the easily enraged; you know who you are.

4/10/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I've yet to meet a Chemist that listens to Death Metal. I have a Bachelors in Chemistry. My instinct tells me this guy's chem experience starts and ends in a meth lab.



I'm holding out for that "Makkah!" moment. :)

4/10/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I don't get "day spatial"?

The cafe here in Dripping Springs had a Day Spatial but it never caught on, you had to eat it from across the room.

4/10/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

D. Rat, you complain too much.

The administration have their hands tied. Almost 50% of the US voting population is hell-bent on suicide through the left, and Bush has to be careful not to let the fence sitters who voted for him drift over to that side though what the MSM daily construes as excessive brutality.

You let that happen, and I'll see what you'll think of a democrat administration when/if they get into the WH.

With so much working against us, it's a miracle we've gotten this far.

Mat-Hey, another fellow chemist!

4/10/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

A gotcha - "say spatial"

4/10/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I've won a nice game today playing white against a good opponent from Yahoo Games:

1. d2-d4 g7-g6
2. e2-e4 f8-g7
3. g1-f3 b8-c6
4. f1-c4 h7-h6
5. o-o e7-e6
6. e4-e5 g8-e7
7. c2-c3 d7-d6
8. d1-e2 d6-d5
9. c4-d3 o-o
10. f3-h4 c8-d7
11. f2-f4 a7-a6
12. a2-a4 d8-e8
13. c1-e3 c6-a5
14. e2-c2 a5-c6
15. b1-d2 e8-d8
16. d2-b3 b7-b6
17. c2-e2 d7-c8
18. e2-d2 e7-f5
19. h4xf5 e6xf5
20. f1-f3 f8-e8
21. f3-g3 g7-f8
22. d2-c2 c6-e7
23. h2-h4 g8-h7
24. c2-e2 f8-g7
25. h4-h5 e8-g8
26. g1-f2 g8-h8
27. b3-d2 c7-c6
28. d2-f3 h7-g8
29. f3-h4 g8-h7
30. a1-h1 b6-b5
31. a4xb5 a6xb5
32. g3-h3 a8-a2
33. h4-f3 h7-g8
34. e3-c1 c8-e6
35. d3-b1 a2-a1
36. e2-c2 d8-b6
37. b2-b4 g8-h7
38. f3-d2 g6xh5
39. d2-b3 a1-a7
40. h3xh5 e7-g6
41. g2-g4 f5xg4
42. f4-f5 e6xf5
43. c2xf5 h7-g8
44. b3-c5 b6-c7
45. f5xg4 c7-e7
46. g4-c8+ g6-f8
47. c8xc6 a7-c7
48. c6xd5 f8-e6
49. d5-g2 f7-f6
50. h5xh6 h8xh6
51. c1xh6 g8-f8
52. h6xg7+ e6xg7
53. h1-h8+

4/10/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I won a great one Satuday from daughter Sarah's friend, a 24 yr old Ukrainian doctoral candidate in statistics who did not believe that an old worn-out farmer had the brain-stamina to play a Spasskey pawn-rook endgame. heh heh.

4/10/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hehe,.. what are the odds. I smell a thesis paper fertilizing. :P

4/10/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I agree, wobbly--half a loaf is all a one-armed one-legged baker can be expected to produce.

4/10/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the Bush Team knew were they stood with the Public goin' in.
That is as lame an excuse as there is or could be, if Mr Bush was a "real" War President.
Mr Bush is down way below 50% approval, today.

Lack of candor, poor people choices, and failure to define an achievable mission. Those are the main failings

The 15% of the Public he's lost, those he needs to get back to 50% they are to the Right of Mr Bush.

It is those folk, who've been disappointed in his lack of performance, lack of action.
Those folk hold his legacy.

He choice of Mike Brown sealed his fate.
Whay ever happen to the $35 or was it $350 Million of so the Federals dumped on the Katrina mobile homes, the ones in storage, in Arkansas?

Did Mr Brown sign off on that Deal? I bet he did. Always follow the money with that fellow around.

Then the Border, that lack of Responsiblity there has been ongoing, since Mr Bush's first day, well over five years ago,
Clinton Era holdovers are no longer a viable excuse.
He replaced the Clinton folks with people of Mr Brown's moral fiber, that is falling back from or at best staying even with mediocrity.

4/10/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen,

Re: Cannae

When you say incompetence, you say Cannae. It was the single greatest loss of Roman soldiery in the long history of both the Eastern and Western Empires.

However, the Romans, ever pragmatic and adaptive, would take from Cannae lessons that would stand them in good stead from then on.

It is my understanding that despite the atrocious loss of life, the fact that Hannibal had essentially free-reign for a season, and the Roman reputation for intolerance of fools, no one was executed or so much as censured. Go figure.

4/10/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

You have a point with Katrina--the press went after him savagely on the basis of he didn't care about black people, or didn't care about the poor, and as it threatened to become an uproar, the admin smothered it with money-care. Is this political cowardice, or is this somebody with a serious war on his hands and no time to deal with a Watergate-like Katrina assault?

Everything that offends you, rat, is the result of having to neutralize an unforseeably and unprecedentedly hyper-partisan left half of the country.

Right, he's a pro-pol and knew going in that there's always the oppo.

But, as shown by the evidence of the "one" major topic of millions of blogs, the political climate post Florida-2000 is spectacularly dishonest and nasty, and would've been very difficult to have foreseen.

You have a solid take on Bush failures but you also have an impossible standard, that he should have perfectly predicted the perfectly unpredictable.

4/10/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Allen, right, the practical Roman Senate understood that scapegoating the few survivors would point the finger at who had sent them. And a good thing, as Hannibal was brought down in the end by one of those Cannae survivors, Scipio.

4/10/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Mətušélaḥ, 5:22 PM

Re: Makkah

MAKKAH, Jan 10: ('02) "Muslim scholars meeting in Makkah stressed on Thursday that terrorism is alien to Islam, which the West has often associated with terror since the September 11 attacks on the United States.

In a statement issued after a six-day meeting, a group of scholars affiliated to the Muslim World League spelled out their definition of terrorism, saying it applied to '“any unjustified attack by individuals, groups or states against a human being.”'

Those Muslim scholars are a hard audience - "any UNJUSTIFIED attack." Well, like Mr. Bush, I know I'll sleep better knowing that the scholars of Islam speak for the undisputed "Religion of Peace." I do have some reservation about "unjustified."

4/10/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Michael Brown is about as important to history as any other failed field commander (who was it at Kasserine Pass or Anzio?) who gave no prior evidence that he'd blow the big one.

4/10/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen, 8:25 PM

Re: Scipio

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major: recognized as one of greatest military leaders of all time. With the authority of the Senate he went on to reorganize the legions, conquer Spain, and finally defeat Hannibal, thus, ending the Second Punic War. This sounds like a plan to me.

4/10/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Key is where he defeated him--outside Carthage. The Romans had lost battles to Hannibal for 20 years in Italy and Spain. Scipio had the bright idea to go to Carthage and lay just outside, resting and preparing, where a hastily re-called Hannibal showed up wrong-footed and lost the show-down. That's when the senate added the "Africanus" to his title. The west against the orient, just as Darius and Xerxes, and Alexander, and the Trojan War. Not to mention the Moors and the Ottomans. The GWoT has been going on about as long as we've been on the planet.

4/10/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I don't mean to be a jerk, but--jeez. Uncontrollable forces--Katrina, jihad, Earth low on oil--bleed into people's minds and it's easy to feel led by an incompetent--I realize that."

Now that I've had time to think about it, buddy, I believe that 'incompetent' is the wrong word. It may take me awhile to settle on the right one.

4/10/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And it'll probably take more than one word.

4/10/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

'Careless' comes readily to mind.

4/10/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Argh, feint, feint, WHAMO!

4/10/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I know I come off as a bushie--but I'm not even a Pub--I'm an indie. I just think the guy is doing a pretty good job, and beyond a doubt he gets shat upon too readily. It's a shoot-thyself in thy own foot thing, when de-legitimizing the guy also deligitimizes the power of the guy to do do the things that create the legitimacy in the first place. Self-fulfilling prophecy. It's almost, "I won't follow him because he won't make me follow him". Why we expect so much, and make such judgements, of a guy whose success is our own success, I just cannot figure out. Stupid, I guess.

4/10/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Buddy, there are just certain things a person can't overlook, nor find compensation for. That's the way it goes.

But, look, no matter what anyone thinks of Bush, he's not running again. There WILL be a new administration in any event. With luck (from my POV) it'll be a wiser Republican administration.

I'm a Cato conservative, buddy (can't think of a better description at the moment), raised by conservative Democracts and married into an old Republican family that is sadly, but for one holdout (God bless 'im) turning Birkenstock.

4/10/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I understand where you're coming from, Trish. I don't mean to imply that your thoughts are off-base--as if mine somehow aren't. The gut-feeling oppo of many good clear-sighted people is just plain confusing to some (me), tha's all.

"Until you lead, I can't follow" says da people. "Until you follow, I can't lead" says da prez. "Fine, pray continue" says the myriad enemies.

4/10/2006 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

Mətušélaḥ said...
Don't they use the metric system in Norway? You really should question what you're sniffing in your lab.

I would also check the contents of your breakfast cereal, as it seems your are content to support three generations of fascist / Nazi financiers, supports, sympathizers: aka The Bush Family. Are you a happily in denial fascist ? Learn your bloody history, not the lies they taught you in school.

Dan said...
Dementia you're a fucking moron. That's why things look so perverse to you. And look at your avatar, you confused bastard. Just stick to your "chemicals" "industry."

That 'avatar' was a man killed by Iraqi death squads. Those are your tax dollars at work. Maybe it was directly your money that funded the implements that tortured and killed him ? Or do you ever have a sentient thought ?

Annoy Mouse said...
"whose main occupation and obscene, perverse addiction it is to weaken, abuse and hurt others and waste people's time on this planet."
Nice nuanced message. You seem to dish out enough of your own, not for our benefit but your own saddistic charms. The obcene icon is a nice touch.

War is an obscene Racket.

Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.
- Simone Weil

Mətušélaḥ said...

I'm curious, why is the Bible on the list of reading?

Like a lot Neocons and Republicans, I'm a closet Satanist Pedophile. I love raping young boys while reading Revelation.
Answer your question ?

allen said...

/slash/ dementia

Love the photo. If you really want some eye-catchers, go to the net and look-up "white phosphorus - Fallujah." Far out!

What is it with people like you? You guys won't lift a hand to protect your women from rape by youth of Mideastern appearance (I am being appropriately EU PC, I hope) but you will get on the net and act like it's "High Noon." Go back to your knitting and give me a break

If you had properly read me post, you would have discovered that I detest Islamists as well, so I'm not sure what your talking about ?

allen said...

/slash/ dementia
Re: photo
I was just thinking of photographic reciprocity: you flash a morbid picture and get one from the World Trade Center in return. But, that won't work, you see. Those murdered there on 9-11, if not turned to gelatinous ooze on the streets below the Center, or desiccated to rubberized leather parchment, were atomitized. Sorry, there are no gut wrenching photos to swap. Better luck next time.

I'm sure the families of the victims of 9/11, who filed a one Trillion dollar lawsuit against the Saudi Royal Family, would appreciate your comments. The Saudis were defended by Baker-Bott, James Baker's Law firm and one of Dubya's best pals. Came to his aid in Florida, you bet.

The other 'comments' aren't worth responding to. Actually, the above weren't either, but whatever...I'm used to taking on hardcore Nazis. You guys are light weights.

...see you in Helvete.

4/11/2006 01:39:00 AM  
Blogger Tex said...

rat: Mr Mahdi stands ready, the newest US man, but he will not lead a revolution against
Mr Sistani, who calls for unity amongst his Religous followers, as well as adherence to the Rules.

And so there may well be deadlock in ministerial appointments, for weeks, or even months, conceivably. Rules are rules, after all.

Of course, the Rules do not prevent the US from acting in the interim. We can discomfit Shiite leaders: as for example by encamping large UMSC contingents in Shiite cities, as we're doing now. I could see more and more Marines camping out in Najaf and Karbala, practically turning the cities into Marine FOBs. I'm envisioning midnight live-fire drills: that could be unpleasant.

And what else? Maybe recalculate the oilwell distribution checks? Oilwell accounting is an inexact science, after all: sometimes bank deposits get reversed out.

And speaking of accounting, it's tax time. Maybe the Marines could help Sadr with his taxes, while they're encamped next door. You know, just to make sure he's taking all his charitable deductions. :-)

Dirty Harry: [picking up ornament] "'Rest easy at the Holiday Inn'?"
Crime Boss: [twitching] "So maybe some of my furnishings are a little... warm... -- What's it to you?"


buddy: "Aqaba!" said T.E. Lawrence. "Tehran!" will say G.W. Bush, when the moment arrives.

Yes, I have the same hunch... But Lord it was a long way across the Devil's Anvil, wasn't it, to reach Aqaba? On a bad day, Iraq must feel like the Anvil of GWOT to everyone there...

4/11/2006 02:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen heare you bunch of lightweight bellyachin' losers. You don't like George Bush? You don't like George Bush? He's too what? Incompetent? He spends too much money? He won't bring on WWIII quick enough. Blah, blah, blah.

Alright then, here you go. We are gonna serve up a big meal of Hillary special with a little Wesley Clark, Secretary of Defense, on the side.

Or, you may have John, Vietnam Vet, Kerry or you can order Algore or you may have some McCain Manchurian.

Keep carping Rat, everyday, everyday, chipping away, undermining. I would like to know how you think we could wage your war? How could we go after Al-Qaeda in any country in the ME without creating a "quagmire" in the minds of the world. We may well have to blitzkrieg the ME without regard to any repercussions and consequences. At that point wouldn't it better to do from the air? For that matter with "Fat boys?"

Friggin arm chair quaterbacks. You could get what you deserve.

4/11/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

/slash/ dementia, 1:39 AM

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

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

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

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

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

4/11/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Tex said...

re: slash.

"I'm on holiday."

4/11/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...


You are under psychick mind kontrol and Donald Rumsfeld is your 'handler.'
Just my opinion. And leave Picasso out of this.

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

Here's how he 'does it,' Allen. Rummy is kontrolling you through your cel phone:

Worldwide Electronic Mind Control via 'Cell Phone' Towers
OCC elf tower The day is now approaching in which government mind control technologies will be directed at you, your neighbors, and your loved ones. Every single day, equipment is being erected and installed in this country with the hidden purpose of exerting mind control over the entire population. Everywhere in this country (and overseas), ELF/microwave transmission towers are being erected. The antennae usually look like four slightly curved vertical plates about 2 feet in length and located in either 3 or 4 quadrants around the tower, two thirds up from the ground. Just look around, you'll see them. And you'll also notice more of them going up once you begin to pay attention. No one is saying anything, but you're expected to presume that they're for cell phones. (Do you really think that we need that much 'cell phone' transmission capability, every few blocks? Do you realize how very little energy is used by genuine cell phone usage? Yet these towers are capable of putting out levels of power that exceed cell phone requirements by a wide margin) These mind control technologies have been in place for a long time. It's not an accident that the frequency band chosen for cell phone use just happens to match the second order waves that Wilhelm Reich discovered in the late1940's to effect thought transmission and allow the mind to be manipulated without the victim realizing it. Reich worked on this project secretly for the CIA for over 5 years, from 1947-1952, until he realized who the CIA was planning to use the mind control on -the American people. He was outraged that he was deceived and used for such a treasonous motive and swore never to cooperate with the CIA, FDA, etc. again. Reich was covertly murdered in Federal prison in 1957, just a few weeks before he was due to be released, having been in prison for 2 years on a trumped up charge leading to a contempt of court citation. He was reported to have had a 'heart attack'. He was strong as an ox. He was murdered two weeks before his parole board hearing. His last book, written in prison, was found to be 'missing' after his death and never returned to his family.

4/11/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

You'll have some McCain Manchurian, Whit ?

Maybe McCain implanted a microchip on your pituitary gland.

Personally, I'd rather have the Teresa Duncan Heinz 57 Sauce, if you know what I mean. ; X

4/11/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

/slash/ dementia, 2:28 PM

Re: "psychick"

I'm thinking Uma Thurman but, really, I'm not picky. Does she come with a decoding ring?

You're right, using St. Pablo was a gratuitous low blow - my humble apology, sir.

4/11/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


A "Likudnik Zionist Neocon Fascist" on the Israeli political spectrum would be to the Left as regards my personal politics. I think Israel, the US, the UN permanent 5, have been much too soft when dealing with Jihad. Perhaps this lack of firmness is what has led to your "impatience" with the whole situation.

What do you propose should be done different?

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

/slash/dementia, 2:38 PM


Please, excuse me for a moment… I, I… I have this over, o…, over...whelming urge to gnaw off my foot. Oh, my G-d! Wrong foot?!

4/11/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used the word "lightweights" in my earlier rant. That was just a play off demented comments but not intended as a serious comment on my fellow posters.

My apologies for misunderstandings.

4/11/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used the word "lightweights" in my earlier rant. That was just a play off demented comments but not intended as a serious comment on my fellow posters.

My apologies for misunderstandings.

4/11/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

My God Whit, maybe you are the Schezwan Candidate ?

I, I… I have this over, o…, over...whelming urge to gnaw off my foot.

No, don't do that Allen, you'll get 'Foot and Mouth Disease.' Whatever happened to 'Foot and Mouth Disease' anyway ? Just disappeared, like 'Mad Cow' sort of did.

I think I'm suffering from Perrier Flu...

You guys should check out the actual letters of Mr.Edward Eugene Baskett to Chris Mathews of Hardball...

Brilliant ! Here's a sample:



You are not going to believe this, but the other day, it was raining cats and dogs here in Crestline, CA. I had to go to the post office to get my mail. Suddenly, your clone appeared before me. I thought it was an apparition.

The guy was your height and weight with blond hair. He was wearing a black trench coat that must have weighed at least 25 pounds, came to his ankles. Now, I have seen some trench coats in my day, but never anything like this one! As I stood next to this enormous man, I felt like a little weasel. I touched the coat, asking about the material from which it was made. He explained that it was some sort of fabric that had been impregnated with oil. He told me that it is the coat whalers use in the Antarctic. For all the world, he looked like Darth Vader. As we chatted, he kept fiddling with the metal hooks, trying to get them to connect.

I told him that, like you, he looked very menacing. He denied the charge.

Christopher, I think it is just wonderful to have one of "our golden boy" up here in the mountains of Southern California, but "don't spread yourself too thin."

CLONING!! What hath man wrought?


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

allen 9:00 AM,
Well said, if a bit overly soft-spoken.

4/11/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

I think Israel, the US, the UN permanent 5, have been much too soft when dealing with Jihad. Perhaps this lack of firmness is what has led to your "impatience" with the whole situation.

What do you propose should be done different?

I'm going to go with a side order of Hizbollah hashbrowns and my wife will have the Hamas hotcakes.

4/11/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


So basically we're in agreement. When do you suppose we'll see Tehran host the summer Olympics?

4/11/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

/slash/dementia, 7:18 PM

I think I am going to like you.

"Foot-and-mouth" and "Mad Cow" are so unfashionably passé.

"Global Warming" may soon give way to the panic of "Glaciation".

If former president Carter is to be believed (muffled cough followed by a clearing of the throat) an invasion (or is that a liberation) by extraterrestrials is just around the corner (or was that behind the moon?) May be Chris Matthews can contact Tip on that. I would like to have a look inside that whaler, though.

4/11/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Oh, this is getting rich, "Springtime for Dementia" mit musik by der Fiddlers on der Ether. If he offers you a Danish, don't accept !

4/11/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Chris Matthews' clone wouild be a "Dope-ellganger".

4/11/2006 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hans: "psychick mind kontrol".. Allen MrGirlyMan, I'm here to pump.. [] up!

Allen replies: "I think I am going to like you."

Buddy: If he offers you a Danish, don't accept !

akim: Ha!

4/11/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

If he offers you a Danish, don't accept !

"Ich bin ein Berliner"

4/11/2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

an invasion (or is that a liberation) by extraterrestrials is just around the corner...

I believe Jimmy Carter drives a mini-Cooper now.

4/11/2006 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...



Mini is Jimmy

4/12/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Jimmy Carter:

Ich ben ein blabbermouth idioten!"

4/12/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger /Slash/ Dementia said...

Well, at least he has a nice, easy smile and a full set of teeth.

4/12/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

/slash/ sementia,

His meetings with Mr. Castro and "Dear Leader" always have that salutary effect. Just imagine his demeanor could he meet a true hero, say, Che.

4/13/2006 07:54:00 AM  

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