Friday, June 02, 2006

Counterinsurgency Theory, Sort Of

Is there a counterinsurgency theory which explicitly accounts for the effect of the media? One is badly needed.

There's an interesting article by Eric P. Wendt based on counter-terrorism experience on Basilan describing operations against the Abu Sayyaf. One of the major keys to success, in the author's view is not the destruction of enemy output but it's infrastructure.

While it is important to target all four areas shown in Leites' and Wolf's model, it is helpful to liken internal and external support to a well that provides the overall supply of water. The water flows from the well through the spigot (the infrastructure), which translates it into output (guerrilla patrols, bombings, etc). The output can be equated to water coming out of a faucet. Attacking the output involves engaging trained, organized and equipped insurgents, or their planted bombs, in battle. Such attacks against insurgent output are resource-intensive and often carry a high price in blood.

While attacking the output is a necessary portion of COIN, it must be a supporting effort and not the main effort. Attacking output as the main effort in COIN is equivalent to trying to stop the flow of water by slapping at it as it comes out of the spigot. If we throw ever-increasing resources against the output, we will slap the water even faster, but we are doomed to failure. Attacking output as the main effort in COIN has failed throughout history, and it will fail during the GWOT.

The unconventional approach to COIN must address all areas of the Leites and Wolf model, but the main effort must be to attack the cadre or infrastructure. In conventional war, we can make direct attacks against troops in the field (output), but in COIN, we cannot directly attack the members of the infrastructure, because we cannot easily identify them.

Instead, we must first work indirectly, through, by and with the local internal supporters and population, using the correct carrots and sticks so that the population will identify and expose members of the local insurgent infrastructure for us. Once they have been identified by the local populace, the infrastructure members can be killed or captured. When we work indirectly through the local populace to identify members of the infrastructure, we are correctly stopping the insurgent flow of water by turning off the spigot. Targeting the members of the local infrastructure must be the main effort in COIN.

The whole article emphasizes the use of developing local structures to defeat the enemy. Politics and public diplomacy, to use the word du jour, is the main weapon in counterinsurgency. One striking omission in the paper is the lack of discussion of the role of the media in any campaign. The campaign in Basilan was conducted outside the glare of media scrutiny, a factor which other battlefields of the GWOT -- even Afghanistan -- share to degree because of press preoccupation with Iraq.

The interesting question is what effect a closely involved MSM will have on the task of working "indirectly, through, by and with the local internal supporters and population, using the correct carrots and sticks so that the population will identify and expose members of the local insurgent infrastructure for us". Two people with a possible opinion on the subject are Max Boot and Robert Kaplan. Boot's views on the efficacy of small footprint interventions are well known. At a symposium at the Council of Foreign Relations Kaplan spoke to issue of media involvement directly.

KAPLAN: First of all, Iraq, whether you supported the war beforehand or not, was never a model for how we want to do things all the time. It’s not a paradigm. You don’t send in 140,000 troops just on the—you know, on the spur of the moment. So in terms of what’s the paradigm, I believe the paradigm is small footprint—you know, preventive maintenance; that the smaller the mission—you know, the more under the media radar screen it is, the more the U.S. taxpayer gets a bang for his buck.

Kaplan used the particular subject of Abu Ghraib to illustrate how media coverage alters politics, which -- remember -- is the key element in counterinsurgency.

So there was anger within the military, at the military. But after about five or six weeks after the story broke, there was terrible anger against the media. Now, there wasn’t anger against the media at the beginning because it was a legitimate, big story. It was wise that it was uncovered, obviously. But after six weeks or so, when it continued to be covered at the same level—and you had the Army doing great work in Najaf and Karbala, going from a battle rhythm of fighting in the morning to getting electricity started in the afternoon; that’s where, I think, Staff Sergeant Ray won his Medal of Honor—you know, you had some stuff that would make the greatest Hollywood movies, and it was relatively not being covered, you know, in proportional comparison to this, which was already a six-week old story with relatively little new coming out. At that point, the attitude towards the media was horrific.

It would be interesting if someone could write a theoretical guide to counterinsurgency which took into account the effect of the media on operations. One interesting possibility is that the reason small footprints preferred by Boot are more efficient than big footprints is that they prevent a war from being politicized by a media circus. Sometimes the word circus is literally apt. Recently in East Timor, competition between two rival TV networks captured how the ringmasters works. Channel 7 got a film clip of the Channel 9 correspondent setting up an interview and subsequently aired the bombshell. The film clip

shows host Jessica Rowe interviewing East Timor taskforce commanding officer Brigadier Michael Slater. "I'm wondering how you feel about your safety given that you've got armed guards there standing behind you, armed soldiers," Rowe says.

"Jessica, I feel quite safe, yes," Brigadier Slater says. "But not because I've got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager here to make it look good."

Commentary

The Jessca Rowe-Slater incident was enlightening because it suggests that since the media is part of the battlefield, the coverage of the media must be a vital part of the entire picture. The curious over-reaction by the MSM to embedded bloggers -- questioning their legitimacy, their "objectivity", their professionalism, etc -- recollects nothing so much as the effect of garlic or a Cross on a vampire. Reflecting on it, I think the reason is that bloggers often do what the Channel 7 did to Channel 9 in the incident above. One unnoticed fact -- you can check it out -- is that blogger Stephen Vincent was the only Western media person killed in Iraq in 2005. The statistical unlikeliness of that fact has always bothered me. But from the viewpoint of the Ba'athist insurgency it would make sense to target the anyone who could cover the media. After all, the regular media works through stringers and must maintain "access"; it's got to sell stories, etc. As Eason Jordan reminded us, the regular media has long had relationships with the Ba'ath. If the media is a weapon then it makes sense to eliminate threats to that weapon. Just hypothetically.

The other interesting thing is how well the Wendt model works going the other way. An insurgency can little hope to defeat American "outputs". The Armed Forces as such can't be defeated in action. Instead an insurgency attacks the faucet, not the water. How? "Indirectly, through, by and with the local internal supporters and population, using the correct carrots and sticks". Just hypothetically.

188 Comments:

Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to

Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith
United States Army


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:


Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock of the Marne,” and the United States Army.

6/03/2006 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

SMALL WARS MANUAL
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
1940
SECTION III PSYCHOLOGY
1-13. Revolutionary tendencies.
d. The rapidity with which a revolution develops is made possible by modern communication facilities and publicity methods. Trivial attendant circumstances often play highly important roles in contributing to revolution and must be observed closely and given appropriate consideration. The fact is that besdide the great events of which history treats there are the innumerable little facts of daily life which the casual observer may fail to see. These facts individually may be insignificant. Collectively, their volume and power may threaten the existance of the government. The study of the current history of unstable countries should include the proper evaluation of all human tendencies. Local newspapers and current periodicals are probably the most valuable sources for the study of current psychological trends of various nations. Current writings of many people of different classes comprise a history of what the people are doing and thinking and the motives for their acts. Thus, current periodicals, newspapers, etc., will more accurately portray a cross section of the character of the people. In studying the political and psychical trends of a country, one must ascertain whether or not all news organs are controlled by one political faction, in order to avoid developing an erroneous picture of the situation."

6/03/2006 02:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The lie's been around the world 15 times by the time we even get our boots on.

6/03/2006 02:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The terrorist goal of winning through the media has worked

6/03/2006 02:41:00 AM  
Blogger AllenS said...

Yesterday, this thought occurred to me: If Hillary Clinton becomes president, you will never hear another bad word from the press about Iraq. To be sure, she would not pull out, and probably would not do anything different than Bush. The only thing that would change would be the msm reporting. For instance, if we suffered some casualties from a road side bomb, the press would then report that those soldiers were just returning from building a school, installing water in a village, or any number of things that our forces are doing now. The above comment was not an endorsement of HRC, but merely my effort to point out what the msm would report on the nightly news.

6/03/2006 02:43:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Psychological operations are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives.

-- Joint Publication 3-13

The primary delivery vehicle for enemy psychological operations are the main stream media.

6/03/2006 02:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

There was that great footage of a talking head in a canoe in the midst of a raging flood, rudely interrupted by two pedestrians walking by in ankle deep water!
---
Something that comes to mind re Bloggers and Haditha:
Why shouldn't Milbloggers and others with expertise in related fields be able to swarm ala the Rather Document, and in so doing almost immediately come up with a detailed picture of the entire environment that would put any MSM effort to shame, and make all subsequent accounts subject to meeting this in-place reality standard?

6/03/2006 02:53:00 AM  
Blogger david bennett said...

My goodness you are starting to learn some of the concepts behind operation Phoenix in Vietnam, though they weren't new then.

You are a fast learner.

Hmm yes when JFK reorganized the Green Berets (whose role is for an A team to be able to train and direct a light battalion) the Peace Corp was originally envisioned as the counterpart of the political cadre.

It's amazing how you come up with briliant new concepts.

I would have thought you would have been debunkin the MSM view of the current batt;e of Ramadi as touched on here:

http://festersplace.blogspot.com/2006/05/ramadi-lessens-odds-of-strikes-against.html

But I guess your role is to prove how CNN is responsible for the following:

http://healingiraq.blogspot.com/archives/2006_06_01_healingiraq_archive.html#114911620034710183

You are becoming increasingly delusional. Perhaps you should look at the following

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2006/05/journal_primary.html

and explain why it's the fault of the NYT. I do misds your little boy gushing over tactical situations, but I suppose the superpowered enemy within who subverts all successes is typical. Many Germans held it after WWI.

Good luck in your descent into madness.

6/03/2006 02:59:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Grey said...

The media, in being an enemy of Bush, is an ally of the terrorists.

Pres. Bush, Rumsfeld, and the military should be more honestly treating them as supporters of the enemy.

The MSM is helping to recruit terrorists to kill Americans, and to kill more Iraqis.


A big mistake was in Bremer NOT having local municipal elections of mayors, with significant reconstruction budgets and decision making authority, as well as security responsibility.

Disbanding the Army that had already disappeared was OK -- not rehiring most of them as local, official, security forces was a mistake.

Perhaps with half their salary in performance -- no terrorist attacks in their area and full bonus; 1 attack and half bonus; 2 attacks and quarter bonus.

Only the locals know the bad guys; but the whistleblowers need protection.

6/03/2006 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Doug,

Milbloggers are preparing.


Haditha: Acknowledge. Accept. Analyze. Act.

6/03/2006 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Video of Brigadier Slater responding to newsie Jessica Rowe

6/03/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Another useful concept here is outsourcing for success and lower media visibility.

We're outsourcing the fighting as fast as we can to local Iraqi forces (in whose activities the media are wholly and reliably uninterested) and our opponents in the media outsource what they do to these 'stringers', to distance themselves from what goes on and hide them from view. It's a proxy war on both sides because it can't be won in the full glare of publicity.

This reflects the MSM's double standard. Anything done by an American is either a potential or an actual scandal; anything done by a local is 'understandable' and in any case 'not news' (unless it's done to an American).

6/03/2006 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

The media has become a combatant, rather than a bystander conveying the happenings. The media has joined the opposition even while it is paid by western consumers. This is decadence writ large.

Expect the media to constitute more of the casualties in war, as the media makes itself more an inseparable part of the fighting.

6/03/2006 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

cannoneer
"... and regardless of what the ultimate truth is, right now they are trying to take the high ground and outflank us. Though the time is not of my choosing, at least for me, the wait is over – the battle is joined – it is time to engage. ..."

Just what I've been saying for a couple of days.

Throughout US history the Press has been biased. Always Partisan, it was a given. Only in recent history has the Press been portrayed and "Objective".

It was a Partisan Press that propagated that illusion. But outside of WFBuckley the "Right: bought into the marketing and the modern myth of Press objectivity.

That is not the "Fault" of the Partisan Press.
After many years of being buffeted by ill winds we see the advent of Limbaugh, FOX News, Washington Times, etc. the penduleum is swinging back to balance.

The Press has always been Partisan, always will be.

That the "Right" did not even muster a team and gave the "Left" the field, is not the fault of the Left.
It was the "Right" that did not defend it's ideas, leaving that task to others, who never shared their views.
Whose fault is that?

6/03/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Perhaps that is true where you come from, DR, but in North America the press was typically behind the fighting forces of Canada and the US. Since Vietnam the press has begun to act as an enemy combatant, posing under a flag of neutrality but acting with deadly effect against North American service members.

The blowback from that treacherous behaviour will be potentially devastating for those who feel their press cards gives them a type of invulnerability.

6/03/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The question of victory or quagmire is decided by whether we can defeat the insurgents and set up a local government before the enemy can erode U.S. public opinion — either by killing enough Americans on the evening news to make us doubt the cost is worth the gambit, or by suggesting that the vaunted values of Western bourgeois society have become sullied in the conflict at places like My Lai or Abu Ghraib.
-- Victor Davis Hanson

6/03/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

rat, the Right was excluded from mass media access until the end of the Fairness Doctrine and the rise of Rush Limbaugh, talk radio, Fox News, the internet, and blogs.

Previous to 1986 the Left controlled the media templates by which stories were to be interpreted. The New York Times set the daily agenda for the papers and the networks.

As to whose fault that was, I blame algore for not inventing the internet sooner.

6/03/2006 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

. . . our policy in World War II was to kill as many citizens of these countries as possible. That was the definition of winning a war, and we don't fight them that way anymore -- and we all know why.

You can say it's the word guilt, or political correctness or what have you, but the one thing that was absent in World War II was any news stories, any and all news stories constantly harping on the crimes and the atrocities and the immorality of US forces. The Drive-By Media today has had a profound impact on this because they will not let this go. . .

The Democratic Party and the American left are all attempting to besmirch and impugn the entire US military based on incidents like this. They live for these incidents. They live for the Abu Ghraibs. They live for the Club Gitmos. They live for the Hadithas. They live for the body counts because they, too, have an agenda -- and their agenda is oriented toward destroying President Bush, and they will destroy whatever they have to in the process of destroying President Bush, even if that means losing against this enemy, even if it means sabotaging the effort against this enemy.

-- Rush Limbaugh

6/03/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Post WWII was the beginning of the Objectivity myth.
But if the press of the Revolutionary era, the Civil War eras are examined the Press was feverish.
The Partisans have improved, become a bit more savy and less obvious, post modern.

In WWII the story of Mr McCormick's "Chicago Tribune" mirrors today's NYTimes.
FDR could do no right, secrets were exposed in print and the "news" slanted at every opportunity.
Ir was a different age, though, 'cause the Japs didn't subscribe to the Trib.

The 'Nam experience for the Press was an awakening. Part of the disillusionment was the Press discovering the Government spokesmen "lied".

In 'Nam the root causes of the War were at issue, Nationalists or Communists, which were the Enemy, "Really"?

Same as today. Islamists, old line Nationalists, Criminals all make up the "Insurgents".
In 'Nam the US identified the Enemy and then equivicated. In Iraq we cannot identify the Enemy.

In 'Nam, The war was started on a lie. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident blown "out of proportion", so the storyline goes.
See the same today.

Hard to promote and maintain a War' popularity against a faceless foe. Especially as it devolves into Police techniques and not military combat.

One cannot fight a "shadow" war with 130,000 plus troops. With that size deployment the glare of the lights will always be blinding.

6/03/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

It is not a question of maintaining "war popularity." That is not the media's job, although it once may have felt it was. The media's job is to report the news clearly and objectively.

But the media has overwhelmingly swarmed to the other side. It has jumped on the anti-western bandwagon, actively militating against western forces attempting to bring democracy to muslim tribal lands.

Tribal muslims are shifted way to the left on the bell curve which makes it much more difficult to bring them to modernism. But if western (anglosphere predominantly) service members are willing to voluntarily give their lives trying to make water run uphill, why should western media try so hard to get them killed?

6/03/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

These are the new realities, there will not be regression to WWII techniques.

Because they want to watch the War, think back to shock and awe time, D-Day plus three.
Attendance for events that weekend was way down, everyone home watching the War.

That will never be denied, now.
Those floodgates are open, technologies guarentee it.

The Military has to adapt or die, Mr Rumsfeld sees the problem, says his Team is ill equipped, he is right. Different skill sets required, entirely.

Different thought patterns required, need people that could never pass a piss test or work 9 to 5.

The problems are partially Governmental, as you described, censorship portrayed as "Fairness". With McCain-Feingold the censorship levels increase yet again. Government is the problem in it's attempts to control the Market.
It's the Market that is the solution. The Networks will be dead in a decade, naybe two.
Big pipe Inet will kill 'em.

First the print newspapers,
then the TV networks.

6/03/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ms Dosier was in a HumVee, as was that ABC anchor prospect when he was bombed.
Name some names, cite specifics of malfeacence. Blanket generalizations are way off.

The lead bleeds, locally, natinonally, internationally. Always has.
We do not cover school openings in Phoenix, why in Baghdad?
Most folk do not care about schools anywhere, let alone "over there".

The story is not how Haditha is covered, not really. The story is in Haditha, who what where why how.

Why has always been relevent.

On a lighter note, Shah Jr has finally made it ti the WSJournal
"Royal Democrat"

6/03/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

It is not the case that the MSM is now an additional new element in war. That started with photography during the US Civil War. Politics is nothing new in war. There is nothing new about wars of ideology and there is certainly nothing unique about wars intended to convert a reluctant civil or religious society to a new religion. The West converted from Christianity to a secular religion of democratic populism, environmentalism and social justice. It is no coincidence that Multiculturalism has spread to every former Christian country. That occurred because Christians drifted from Christianity and found the appeal of democracy, secularism and the environment. The Islamic tribes are not so ambivalent. They have not drifted from their faith and probably see the quest to push democracy on them as a crusade. The MSM has changed and their role is influenced because they are composed of people who are hard wired for social activism. Their conversion and antipathy to the more conservative part of western society is part a reaction to a perceived ideological power vacuum and they have some designs on filling that void.They have an agenda and are doing what logically follows.

6/03/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The statistical unlikeliness of blogger Stephen Vincent's being the only Western media person murdered in Iraq in 2005 does make one wonder.

Here is something else that I find interesting, from an AP account of the Haditha event:

In one of the homes, Marines ordered four brothers inside a closet and shot them dead, said the Haditha lawyer, Khaled Salem Rsayef.

Rsayef said he himself lost several relatives in the alleged massacre, including a sister and her husband, an aunt, an uncle and several cousins. He and his brother, Salam Salem Rsayef, spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from the Euphrates River town of 90,000 late Thursday and Friday.

[snip]

Khaled Salam Rsayef identified the four brothers killed in the closet as a car dealer, a traffic policeman, an engineer and a local government employee. He said the U.S. military did not give compensation payments to their families because the brothers were believed to be insurgents.

The lawyer said his account of what happened was based on his personal observations from the rooftop of his home and windows. He said his house is several dozen yards away from the three homes raided by Marines. The killings, which he did not witness in person, were recounted to him and other members of his family the following day by survivors, he said.


It might be worth considering what, if any, connection this lawyer or members of his family have to the insurgents--you know, as long as we're considering possibilities.

6/03/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

. . . today's media shape reality - often for the worse. The media form a powerful strategic factor. They're actors, not merely observers.

By ceaselessly focusing on the negative, the media wear down the judgment of the American people.

Terrorists use the media with great skill - it's no accident that the great age of terror coincides precisely with the expansion and globalization of the broadcast media.

To an extent few journalists will admit, terror as we know it depends on the media as its accomplice, amplifying the terrorist's deeds and shaping successes out of terrorist failures - the opposite of the media's approach to American efforts.

From the terrorists' perspective, 9/11 was, above all, a media event - a global demonstration of their power.

-- Ralph Peters

6/03/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger woof111 said...

Ah yes, the New York Times. Jayson Blair's old outfit. The one that called for an investigation that led to its own reporter's jailing..

The cumulative result of this leading model of the US Media's mendacity is being charted by the market place.... Descent into Madness anyone?

NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) - Moody's Investors Service on Thursday cut its debt rating on the New York Times Co., saying leverage has risen and will not likely fall much until the publisher completes its new headquarters in mid-2007. [...]

The company, which publishes The New York Times, International Herald Tribune and the Boston Globe, said last month, its first-quarter profit fell 69 percent from a year earlier when it took a large gain, as higher newsprint costs and weak results from the Boston Globe outweighed strong Internet revenue.

The New York Times' operating margins lag those of its peers, which means that cash flow available for debt reduction is weak, the rating agency said. Moody's cut the Times' senior unsecured long-term debt rating by two notches to "Baa1," the third-lowest investment grade ranking, from "A2." It also cut the commercial paper ratings to "Prime-2" from "Prime 1."

6/03/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

There are huge political consequences to fighting wars under democratic secularism. Of paramount difficulty in fighting modern war is family size. Think about "Saving Private Ryan". When families were religious and believed in heaven and God and had five or six children, the loss of a son or two in war was tragic but acceptable. The theme of Private Ryan was that a family losing all sons was not acceptable and society should go to extraordinry measures to stop that from happening. But today many US families have only one son. They do not rely on a belief in Heaven. The affect is the air war over Kosovo is an example of changed tactics. The reaction to war loss is magnified because the individual losses are visual and unacceptable. On the other hand the Islamic tribes have large families and a profound belief that Heavan is real. Any wise insurgent strategy would be to highlight the contradictions of loss and use the MSM to achieve their goals.

6/03/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

2164th,

You may fly over a land forever. You may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life--but if you desire to defend it, protect it and keep it for civilization, you must do it on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men in the mud.
-- T.R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War

Have our young men become too precious to put in the mud?

6/03/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

perhaps

6/03/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

perhaps not

6/03/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

woof

All the Newspaper Publishers will be hitting the skids.

As more and more migrate to online issues of the papers, which is the accelerating trend line.

We all know of online providers giving away classified ads, what happens when display advertising can be "given away", as well.

One way to see how is Flip books

Each flipbook is a facsimile of a printed edition. To create a flipbook, without printing one could be a very effective way to enter the market, giving away content to create an alternate publishing reality.

At present it requires a download, but the online platform is in development.

6/03/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

Wretchard,

I was thinking along similar lines today and just finished a post entitled Terrorism as Economic Warfare. The post is a review of a recently published academic paper by the same name. The paper analyzes the types of and motivations for attacks on economic infrastructure by terrorists. In short the authors argue that attacks on economic targets can be highly effective at both denying the state access to valuable resources and in demoralizing the population. The attacks discussed do not relate to the use of the media, per se, but I do see some analogies.

6/03/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Real development in Syria.
Government forces clash with Mohammedans and Russia's Black Sea Fleet may forward deploy to Syria.

Syria Police Battle With Militants Kills 5
and
MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti)
Russia has started dredging at a Syrian port where it maintains a logistical supply point with a possible eye to turning it into a full-fledged naval base, a respected Russian business daily said Friday.

Tartus, the second most important Syrian port on the Mediterranean, could be transformed into a base for Black Sea Fleet warships when they are redeployed from the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, Kommersant daily said, quoting sources in Russia's diplomatic service and the Defense Ministry.


There are ever growing challenges to US, other than the "spin" of the reporters delivery.

The reporting the moved me the most, on Iraq, was Mr Yon's. His description of the realities of Mosul confirmed other, less renown, reportage.

6/03/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

More reporting on Iraq. Here

6/03/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Talk about attacking the infrastructure--this is a great place to recall Safire's retelling of a great story.

February 2, 2004
OP-ED COLUMNIST
The Farewell Dossier
By WILLIAM SAFIRE


WASHINGTON

Intelligence shortcomings, as we see, have a thousand fathers; secret
intelligence triumphs are orphans. Here is the unremarked story of "the
Farewell dossier": how a C.I.A. campaign of computer sabotage resulting in a
huge explosion in Siberia - all engineered by a mild-mannered economist
named Gus Weiss - helped us win the cold war.

Weiss worked down the hall from me in the Nixon administration. In early
1974, he wrote a report on Soviet advances in technology through purchasing
and copying that led the beleaguered president - détente notwithstanding -
to place restrictions on the export of computers and software to the
U.S.S.R.

Seven years later, we learned how the K.G.B. responded. I was writing a
series of hard-line columns denouncing the financial backing being given
Moscow by Germany and Britain for a major natural gas pipeline from Siberia
to Europe. That project would give control of European energy supplies to
the Communists, as well as generate $8 billion a year to support Soviet
computer and satellite research.

President François Mitterrand of France also opposed the gas pipeline. He
took President Reagan aside at a conference in Ottawa on July 19, 1981, to
reveal that France had recruited a key K.G.B. officer in Moscow Center.

Col. Vladimir Vetrov provided what French intelligence called the Farewell
dossier. It contained documents from the K.G.B. Technology Directorate
showing how the Soviets were systematically stealing - or secretly buying
through third parties - the radar, machine tools and semiconductors to keep
the Russians nearly competitive with U.S. military-industrial strength
through the 70's. In effect, the U.S. was in an arms race with itself.

Reagan passed this on to William J. Casey, his director of central
intelligence, now remembered only for the Iran-contra fiasco. Casey called
in Weiss, then working with Thomas C. Reed on the staff of the National
Security Council. After studying the list of hundreds of Soviet agents and
purchasers (including one cosmonaut) assigned to this penetration in the
U.S. and Japan, Weiss counseled against deportation.

Instead, according to Reed - a former Air Force secretary whose fascinating
cold war book, "At the Abyss," will be published by Random House next month
- Weiss said: "Why not help the Soviets with their shopping? Now that we
know what they want, we can help them get it." The
catch: computer chips would be designed to pass Soviet quality tests and
then to fail in operation.

In our complex disinformation scheme, deliberately flawed designs for
stealth technology and space defense sent Russian scientists down paths that
wasted time and money.

The technology topping the Soviets' wish list was for computer control
systems to automate the operation of the new trans-Siberian gas pipeline.
When we turned down their overt purchase order, the K.G.B. sent a covert
agent into a Canadian company to steal the software; tipped off by Farewell,
we added what geeks call a "Trojan Horse" to the pirated product.

"The pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines and valves was
programmed to go haywire," writes Reed, "to reset pump speeds and valve
settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to the pipeline
joints and welds. The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion
and fire ever seen from space."

Our Norad monitors feared a nuclear detonation, but satellites that would
have picked up its electromagnetic pulse were silent. That mystified many in
the White House, but "Gus Weiss came down the hall to tell his fellow NSC
staffers not to worry. It took him another twenty years to tell me why."

Farewell stayed secret because the blast in June 1982, estimated at three
kilotons, took place in the Siberian wilderness, with no casualties known.
Nor was the red-faced K.G.B. about to complain publicly about being tricked
by bogus technology. But all the software it had stolen for years was
suddenly suspect, which stopped or delayed the work of thousands of worried
Russian technicians and scientists.

Vetrov was caught and executed in 1983. A year later, Bill Casey ordered the
K.G.B. collection network rolled up, closing the Farewell dossier. Gus Weiss
died from a fall a few months ago. Now is a time to remember that sometimes
our spooks get it right in a big way.

E-mail: safire@nytimes.com

/////////////
The CIA shows how this particular episode fitted into overall US strategey against the soviets in the early 80's here.
http://www.cia.gov/csi/studies/96unclass/farewell.htm

6/03/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

All this babble about MSM conspiracy really is tinfoil hat stuff. Similarily we are cited an odd statistic of 1 instance involving particular journalist dying. Sounds like all the odd statistics supporting Bush/Rummy involvement in bringing down the towers. 'But, but, explain this occurance will you, what else could it mean??' Strap on your tinfoil hats for protection please! The MSM is just a huge vortex of rumors based on rumors based on, sometimes, some semlblance of fact. There is no bright clear 'outside' to be presented, unless your tinfoil hat is well secured, just shadows to yammer on and act with.


As far as the main body of the post goes; taps, faucets and streams of water...ya reality certainly has a tendency to intrude on our intellectual constructions of it. Using media and trying to steer its story certainly is a tool in the chest but 'truth'/'reality' seems to be the trump card in the end.

I've been thinking about this whole WAR on TERRORISM as being somewhat misquided. It is really only a war like we are engaged in a war on drugs. It is primarily a police action and it seems we have some prominent successes in the police approach breaking today. In Toronto, 17 have been arrested over 3 tons of Ammonium Nitrate and I saw something about terror arrests in Britain. ooops drifting OT.

6/03/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ash
given Canadian involvement in Afghanistan I would not doubt the intended target could well have been Canadian. Rock their world.

Police tactics are appropriate to fight the Mohammedan threat, in many locales.
It is best done by Policemen.

6/03/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Conspiracy Theories abound.
This one, Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House. BY ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.

un "Rolling Stone"
One thing about the Kennedy's, they knew how to steal elections, back in the day.

6/03/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Ha. So some of our Sunflower chips found their way into embedded systems controlling the pipeline.

Since the Soviets couldn't design chips to any degree of sophistication, we built some with an extra layer. When reverse engineered layer-by-layer, there was little chance of discerning what each layer did. Called flakey-makers, each chip was designed to fail differently, periodically after current was applied for longer than a burn-in and test cycle.

We never knew before that they worked. Chuckle, chuckle.

6/03/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Max Boot writes it's time to Send in the Mercenaries
Darfur needs someone to stop the bloodshed, not more empty U.N. promises.

6/03/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

Both "ash" and "david bennett" talk about tinfoil hat-wearing and "descent into madness" as their judgement of our critique of the role of the mainstream media. They do so because, from their vantage point, they are winning this aspect of the war and will not countenance any criticism of the ground rules. And they do not answer our charge of unconscious or even conscious bias that favors the political objectives they favor or the comfort and moral legitimacy it lends to our enemies.

They do not answer any specifics of these charges, and completely ignore the editorial by Ralph Peters, the link provided by cannoneer number 4. Instead, the usual flip/glib style of erudite insult is preferred.

If the our public no longer wants to fight this war against Islamofascism, it is because the people who shape perception and opinion have succeeded in achieving their objectives. Why should they deign to even take a critique of their role seriously? They have won this fight and their only retort to the fact that we have unmasked their role in engineering our psychological defeat is to kick sand in our faces and call us sore sports.

6/03/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

This is for you, ash:

The American Political War on Terror

Something has happened to this country that my grandfathers would scarcely recognize and certainly struggle to fathom. That this requires discussion disgusts me daily.

While it can be traced back to before the 60's (though blossoming then), what really happened was the galvanization of self-loathing using Vietnam as a social catalyst. But the face of this nation changed most significantly when the election of the greatest true conservative leader on a chilly 1980 November evening forced a barely contained media into open rooting for a specific political party. The degeneration of policy discussion and political leadership since has been palpable, fueled by the successes of anti-military media coverage developed during the Vietnam era and skillfully maintained and nearly perfected since then.

And such is the nature of the degeneration of American politics. That this repulsive decay also consumes the very defense of the world's one true beacon of freedom causes true physical discomfort. For we do not own that freedom but are tasked with her defense and care by default.

That we must defend her from ourselves is heartbreaking. That we dare not pause to rest lest we lose her from within is enraging.

And so it is with this ever-present disgust that I read Restarting the Clock of History from Wretchard at Belmont Club, as he paints the portrait of our own mindless internal struggle while the wolves circle, darting between trees and shadows, laughing as we argue amongst ourselves in self-defeat over whether the wolves' teeth or our own defense against them are the greater threat.

The West was supposed to die; slowly and comfortably but ineluctably. And we were supposed to buy off the Islamists until we could finish the job ourselves. Bush declaring his intention to fight for the survival of the West was just as logical as Chomsky's pilgrimage to Hezbollah and just as infuriating to his enemies.

Until September 11 it was possible for the more "enlightened" segments of society to regard patriotism, religion and similar sentiments with the kind of amused tolerance that one might reserve for simpletons. Nothing that a little institutionalization and spare change couldn't straighten out. The problem for the Democratic Party is that the Great Polite Silence is over. People like Chomsky and President Bush have stopped being hypothetical and become all too real. Bring it on.

United we stood. At least for a few days, as the union was fleeting and superficial. The union was little more than an uncharacteristic measure of quiet among those who merely waited patiently to finally cry out "Not in our name!"

Why is the defense of this nation a political issue at all? There are those who will argue that it is the manner in which we defend ourselves that is at issue.

That, my friends, is a convoluted disingenuous sheen of reason upon the unreasonable.

A former Attorney General currently vociferously defends a mass murdering dictator deposed by our own forces. An icon of the self-loathing anti-American academic Left, Noam Chomsky, embraces Hizballah, the chief beneficiary of Iran's terror export, and condemns the War on Terror as bigotry wrapped in fiction. A former Vice President travels to the home of fifteen 9/11 hijackers and professes that Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" by America and its sitting president and held in "unforgivable" conditions.

These are not arguments of the manner in which to defend America. These are sycophantic rantings of whether to defend her. The flood of emotions in disbelieving reaction range from anger and rage to depression and grief.

We dare not rest as the most important front of the War on Terror and for the very survival of Western Civilization lies not upon the sands of distant shores, but in our own common discourse. The most important battlegrounds are around our dinner tables and in intelligent and persuasive common sense discussion among our peers, seeking the discomfort of battle and the very defense of defense rather than the comfort and unproductive endeavor of agreement among friends.

The line has been clearly drawn. Tire not. Engage.

Consider yourself engaged, ash.

6/03/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Successful counterinsurgency must include a role for local law enforcement, and US forces in Iraq use many techniques learned from SWAT and CSI, but the main reason the Left want to make terrorism a crime is so as to bog every apprehension down in the judicial system, where every terrorist has rights and the ACLU and the 9th Circus Court of Appeals working for them.

6/03/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Actually its a religious problem. There's a whole group of people in the MSM who believe that feces trumps blood.

6/03/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Hear ya go, ash, pooh-pooh this:

UK TIMES SMEARS OUR MARINES

Imaginative captioning of pictures of corpses. A picture is worth a thousand words.

6/03/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is what Mr Yon was describing as our procedures with detainees in Iraq, cannoneer
What could be ill described as POWs detained for 90 days or up to a year and then released.
Back to the fray. Approved and endorsed by US. Required on the Course to Iraqi Soverignty.
LTC Kurilla almost lost his leg to a released detainee, a mess hall bomber, matter of fact.

I can understand the decision not to raze a city or two, it is resonable if even if wrong. The decision not to detain captured enemy combatants, for some "greater good", a bad one.
For US troops and the ability to close this challenge out and be handing off to the Iraqi.
Whether that be Baathist Lite or Islamic Revolutionaries.

Catch and Release, bad enough on the US border, how many multiples worse in a War Zone?

How could supporting a continuation of that policy be considered "Support" of the troops?

6/03/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

accurate and misleading.
bet the US is investigating those deaths.

But why the shock? There are no photos of the Marines encounter, these unidentified dead are from right there, too.

Be thankful they cut the blood shot, didin't crop from the top.
I would have, cropped from the top, a much more shocking scene.

Well within the "rules", but they write them as they go.

6/03/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Latest Attempt to Smear our Soldiers Falls Flat

6/03/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

W,

Interesting paper here, from the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College:

The Impact of the Media on National Security Policy Decision Making.

6/03/2006 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Fred:

I do not disagree that media are biased. I do disagree with the tinfoil hat inspiring notion that the MSM is all biased in one way, and in particular, that way is to the left. And it is truly a conspiracy of delusion on the order of “jews control the world” to think that they are all meeting, developing and executing objectives to obscure the truth from the world. I find it funny that you will find the same tinfoil hat inspiring whining on the left lamenting the rightwing bias in the MSM. One compelling argument they have is that Business/Corporate interests control the MSM and those interests are predominantly conservative/business/republican. On this side of the imaginary fence we have so many lamenting the leftwing bias of the MSM because. The compelling argument being (I’m guessing) that they are all a product of our educational system that is left leaning therefore they are rabid leftists. I find it interesting that many on the far right consider the intelligentsia to be left. Not that I agree, but the irony that the smarter more educated amongst us tend to more left ideas is amusing.

I think one source of this wailing about the media being biased is that we all have our opinions, our biases, and when the media doesn’t confirm them we tend toward thinking it is a conspiracy against what we “know is right”. I watch the blatant bias of FoxNews and I scratch my head at some of your wild accusations about the leftist press being all that there is.

The bottom line (and pretty well everything we all write is opinion so no real sense in adding IMHO) is that media is biased; we are seeing things through the writers eyes. Some pay more fealty to Press Guidelines and others not. The Guidelines don’t guarantee truth just ‘confirmations’, ‘multiple sources’ and what not. So, read a lot, read widely, and treat everything read with a grain of salt and maybe some truth will penetrate the fog of the media.

Sorry about not responding to the Ralph Peters article but I’m not sure which of the umpteen links Cannoneer’s placed lead to it.

6/03/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

ash, scroll up to my 7:32 and click on Ralph Peters's name and that will take you right to it.

6/03/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From the paper I linked to, which I thought was apropos Belmont Club literature:

Part of the skepticism toward the press is soundly based on repeated exposures of media manipulation of the news. The most egregious recent example was the filming of "defective" trucks–a
completely staged event. In time, it will become clear that many of the dramatic photographs from the Third World are set-ups put together by Third World stringers. But stringers, those freelance, independent, sometimes part-time reporters, are increasingly commissioned to gather news and photos in remote and dangerous places where, as Peters suggests, high paid/profile journalists are loath to go. Thus, there is an increasing need to make clear who is behind the camera and what is going on outside the camera's view.

6/03/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ash,

I think the salient point here is that whatever one thinks of media bias, one must concede that the media is an influential generator and sustainer of public opinion, and public opinion is an influential generator and sustainer of policy. Therefore, one must discuss the influence of the media--negative and positive--in the context of one's policy goals. Most here advocate a particular foreign policy, and I would say their frustration with media reporting and bias is commensurate with the negative impact such reporting and bias has on the efficacy of the championed policy.

Whatever the humorous implications of the majority of the elite being on the Left, it is, as they say, a true fact. Much of it is intellectual cronyism, what in a different context is called "court packing." There are other reasons, too, some broad and historical and others mundane and pedantic. But the point remains. The Left is overrepresented in certain fields, like academia and journalism, while the right is overrepresented in others (e.g. the military and entrepreneurial class).

6/03/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

More interesting analysis from the paper I linked to above:

There will doubtless be times when new or badly organized administrations find themselves unable to articulate their goals as well as others, but the unity and clarity described above are those which come from what the military call the "Commander's intent." However inarticulate the administration or inept in its handling of the press, the inner focus or lack thereof will come across and the American people will see or hear through it.

6/03/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

ash,

Tell me again what a capitalist running dog Pinch Sulzberger is.

I’ll start with an apology.

When I graduated from college in 1974, my fellow students and I had just ended the war in Vietnam and ousted President Nixon [light cheering]. Okay, okay, that's not quite true. I mean yes, the war did end and yes, President Nixon did resign in disgrace but maybe there were larger forces at play.

Either way, we entered the real world committed to making it a better, safer, cleaner, more equal place. We were determined not to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors. We had seen the horrors and futility of war and smelled the stench of corruption in government.

Our children, we vowed, would never know that.

So, well, sorry [pause and applause]. It wasn't supposed to be this way.

You weren't supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land [louder applause].

You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it's the rights of immigrants to start a new life; or the rights of gays to marry; or the rights of women to choose [applause].

You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists have to fight relentlessly for every gain.

You weren't. But you are. And for that I'm sorry.

75-90% of MSM journos agree with Pinch, ash. Put that in your tin foil hat.

6/03/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Presidents with low popularity polls are ineffective in influencing public opinion. If they are so-called "zone three" presidents (less than 50 percent approval ratings), their attempts at intervention usually bring about negative effects. ...

A president with low public opinion ratings can only gain
public and media support through dramatic action in response to
dramatic events. Otherwise, zone three presidents are generally
unable to positively influence public attitudes.

6/03/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Here is a paper on Elite Rhetoric and Media Coverage as they pertain to policy and public opinion.

Excerpt:

Groeling (2001) argues that journalists are generally more likely to air a story if it is novel, conflictual, balanced, and involves authoritative political actors. In brief, a preference for novelty implies simply that journalists place a premium on stories that are actually new (All else equal, journalists prefer stories that contain new or unexpected information to stories presenting old or expected information). Journalists also prefer to emphasize negativity, or conflict, in their coverage, as this adds drama (All else equal, journalists prefer stories in which political figures attack each other to stories in which political figures praise each other). Journalists’ desire for balance, in turn, follows from their strong incentive to use procedures or strategic “rituals” of objectivity in doing their jobs (Tuchman 1972 and others) (All else equal, journalists prefer stories that include both parties’ views to stories that only present the views of members of a single party). Finally the premium placed on authority reflects reporters’ belief that “the higher up an official’s position in government, the more authoritative a source he or she was presumed to be, and the better his or her prospects for making the news” (Sigal 1986, 20) (All else equal, journalists prefer to include sources with greater authority in their stories over less authoritative sources).

6/03/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

What tommyrot!
May I call this the Elmer Fudd aproach to small war fighting?
"First you catch a rabbit". has become;
"Once they have been identified by the local populace, the infrastructure members can be killed or captured."

I laughed so hard my eyes hurt. 'What morooons' to keep with the Bugs Bunny motief.
Getting the locals to ID the terrs isn't possible without total security for the locals. If you have that level of security, then you don't need the locals because there won't be any terrs. Historically, fear is the important factor here. The locals co-operate first with those they fear the most. THEN we get into religion, money, politics, etc.
What the morons missed (or at least I didn't find in my quick scan of various google articles) was that none of this is new, guerrilla fighting is about the oldest form of warfare practiced by humans, and yet each generation thinks it is the first to discover guerrilla. Small wars are the most vicous and cruel form of warfare yet invented. That is because of the fact that fear is the determining factor, and when all parties are determined to show how ruthless and murderous they can be, the devil takes the hindmost.
Anyway. When you cut off the pipline of guerrillas, it MUST be rolled up from the end. Squeeze it in the middle and the 'paste' just backs up and comes out later. So to cut off the G's supply lines, THE MOSQUES that preach Jihad must be destroyed.

This war will last about 90 days past the point where the USA gets serious. PRESIDENT Bush thinks he can have his cake and eat it too. Well, he is wrong. He will keep on half stepping it until the pacifists take power and try to stop the violence they fear thru appeasment. When that doesn't work, they Pacifists will tun murderous, which is what always happen when peaceniks discover violence is fun when you are dishing it out and not taking it. Then they will gleefully kill Muslims by the millions.
ALl this can be avoided by some serious action today. The solution for the jihadists isn't new. Check out Hama, Syria. I think in 1974. Assad was having muslim brotherhood problems, so he selected Hama, which had a vague conection to the MB and KILLED EVERYTHING IN THE town. AFAIK, that was about 15,000 or so. Not a peep out of the MB in Syria since then. Look at the before and after statistics for the German destruction of Lydia, a small balkan town near where Hinrich was ambushed and killed. They destroyed the village and ALL it's inhabitants. Guerrilla attacks dropped off by 90%.
The US Army needs to flatten some Iraqi town and kill all it's inhabitants. That will show the arabs that we mean business and save millions of lives down the road. If we had done this in Fallujha in '04, Iraq would be peacfull today, or at least no more violent then L.A., D.C. or N.Y. City.

6/03/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Lidice, not Lydia, you maroon. How did that work out for the Nazis? Who won the war, doc?

Heydrich, elmer.

Thank you for your wealth of counter insurgency expertise. Assad and Hitler are the role models for the US Army of your dreams. Your dreams are nightmares, and you have problems.

6/03/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think there is a middle way.
_____GI HANK_____

I'm getting really tired of reading all the possible permutations and combinations of Why We Can't Do ANYTHING anymore, because blah blah blah.

When in fact, we got in this position in just that way.
People so easily forget what the American People would support immediately after 9-11, REGARDLESS of what the MSM had to say about it. (and much of the MSM was more hawkish too)

Over and over since then, fecklessness, squeamishness, and a generally feminized approach to "War" has put us in this box that we now say is inescapable.

(much like during GWB's terms, he ENCOURAGED illegals to enter, going from 6-8 million to 12-20, so that now he can say the problem is just too large to solve in any real way)

People like to win, hate to lose, fecklessness loses, excuses don't count in real life.

It is as if the concept of momentum in human struggles has been declared no longer operative, since time and again GWB has surrendered it, and then we spend our time "explaining" that away.

I wish more here could identify with the families of GI's killed by an "insurgent" who had been caught and released 2 times before, instead of spending all their energy defending GWB and the status quo.
...or those accused of HATE CRIMES in a Warzone.

6/03/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Taliban Offensive Shot to Pieces

Taliban gunmen were staying at a religious school near Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
Smart bombs hit the school in the middle of the night, but several dozen of the Taliban fled to nearby homes.

As Afghan and Coalition forces closed in, the surviving Taliban fired back from nearby homes.
So smart bombs were used on the homes as well, which killed about 16 civilians and wounded another twenty.
Over 80 Taliban were killed, with no Afghan army or Coalition dead.

The Taliban promptly spun their use of civilian homes, as human shields, as a Coalition atrocity.

6/03/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"*Identifying with* those accused of HATE CRIMES in a Warzone."

6/03/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Suicide Bomber Hits Crowded Iraqi Market, Killing 28 and Wounding 62; Russian Diplomat Killed

A suicide car bombing in Basra, and then
In Baghdad, gunmen attacked a Russian diplomatic car just after noon, killing one Russian foreign service employee and kidnapping four, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry identified the slain Russian as Vitaly Vitalyevich Titov, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. ...

In an unrelated piece of barbarity
Iraqi police found eight severed heads north of Baghdad with a note indicating they were killed in retaliation for the slaying of four Shiite doctors. Five of the slain men were security guards at a Baghdad hospital complex who had been arrested Thursday by Iraqi police, police Lt. Col. Adil Al-Zihari said. ,,.

6/03/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Doug, your war weariness and BDS are noted. Don't make the mistake of thinking you came to your conclusions independently. There is an entire industry out there whose job it is to undermine citizen support for the leadership. In your case, they have succeeded magnificently.

Oh, if only the Commander-in-Chief would follow my advice and be more bloody-minded and shoot Mexicans, too I might support him again.

What makes your version of regime change in America special?

6/03/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yes, everyone who disagrees was born yesterday, and is just not sophisticated enough to understand.

We expected the president to be perfect, blah blah blah.
Quite a style of argumentation:
Condescension from begining to end.

EXACTLY what GWB has tried wrt Immigration and the Stupid, Lazy, Ignorant, (racist) American People.
But grown ups don't care to be condescended to, SORRY.
There are those that refuse to admit GWB has made any mistake that wasn't imposed on him by some outside force.
I'm learning to ignore them.
---
---
Pascal Fevor said...
What was really important about the lesson of Vietnam was that American's got tired of not winning. When Hanoi's dikes remained untouched throughout that war, it told the north vietnemese we weren't the same country that had bombed 5 North Korean Dams. Our not razing terrorists strongholds tell the current creeps the same thing.

Not doing enough is a waste and a crime.
The tragic repeat of history that needs to be stopped is not our complaints here, but the no-win strategy in Washington.
---
gokart-mozart said...
War is a primitive, atavistic activity which is nevertheless deeply rooted in our species. It follows rules, not made in Geneva, which can nevertheless be discerned by a study of History.

President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld have chosen (by an act of will) to believe they can re-invent war. They are having the same success that the commissars had in re-inventing agriculture.

We need a Sherman, or a Halsey, and a President who will get out of the way.

Everything Bush wants to happen in Iraq can happen - but not without fighting and winning a war first.

6/03/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Oh, if only the Commander-in-Chief would follow my advice and be more bloody-minded and shoot Mexicans, too I might support him again."
---
That is one VERY IMPRESSIVE comment.

Thanks.

6/03/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

What makes your version of regime change in America special, Doug?

What makes your version of Bush Derangement Syndrome more useful than the BDS on display at DailyKos and DemocraticUnderground?

When was the last war America fought in which no mistakes were made?

6/03/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Have you ever asked intelligent, adult questions?

6/03/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Voltimand said...

Working against us here are two factors that are central but implicit in most of the commentary elicited when W. writes this kind of post. These factors needs to be aired to see just how much real macho they contain.

It is an article of faith--therefore never fully articulated and developed in the MSM--that two factors that obtain in this the war against the jihadis are: (1) their number, i.e., population, is for all intents infinite. There is no slow-down in the recruitment of candidates. (2) Jihadis can't be threatened with death because they are "already dead," in the current language for talking about such things.

So you have: an enemy which has two "infinities" on its side: (1) infinity of number, and (2) the "infinity" of death, in the sense that death is for these people not finite, i.e., not an conclusion or a finish of anything that they value.

Join with this the readiness of western liberals to cave every time to their own sense of culpability for being "western liberals" and not the champions of the have-nots, which for current marxoids are the only "good" people left on the planet. All others have some sort of material advantage, and that makes them evil and worthy of extinction. So the extinction that the jihadis offer, western liberals secretly believe justified, and secretly may even long for.

The question can then be put, in one way, as: (1) is the pool of jihadis infinite, and if so, how to deal with it, and if not, how to deal with it? (2) what to do with a threat from people who don't mind dying if they can only make you die?

The second factor was faced by the U. S. government in the wke of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, where the Japanese Bushido-inspired ethic of refusing surrender even when nothing of military or political worth was to be gained thereeby made its most decisive stand. The Hiroshima bomb was the answer: if they want die, then they have better do it (to paraphrase Scrooge), because if they won't surrender, then that's our only and final offer.

As for the "infinite" number of jihadis, this is perhaps easier if not also more complicated. The middle-east may be filled to overflowing with young men living in societies so moribund and dysfunctional that raging in the streets and blowing people up is the only life choice worth making. What is not necessary is that these people be allowed to exist in spatial proximiity with one's own society. The answer to the "infinity" problem is to be as "ruthless" as infinity is, in keeping them away from our homeland, with all that implies in terms of immigration, deportation, imprisonment, and similar means to make sure this infinity of number comes to exist as if on another planet in the solar system.

My final point is, however, that until these arguments are fully articulated and discussed in the open, they will always act as the secret bugaboos that they have become in western liberal thinking, so much as as to make rational discussion of ways and means impossible.

6/03/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Never once, doug, never once in my entire life.

Now, having answered your question, what excuse have you not to answer mine?

6/03/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Until these arguments are fully articulated and discussed in the open,
they will always act as the secret bugaboos that they have become in western liberal thinking,
so much as as to make rational discussion of ways and means impossible.
"
---
Agreed!

6/03/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Anyone notice how similiar Doug and C4 have become. Just replace every 'Joo' or 'Zionist' with a 'Wetback' or 'illegal'.

6/03/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

voltimand,

Thought-provoking.

The Genghis Khan school of counterinsurgency blood-thirstily tap, tapping away at their keyboards would be quite content to "kill everyone over the age of ten" and make Mesopotamia "a howling wilderness."

Then there are the Nazi and Baathist admirers who consider any approach short of genocide and out-terrorizing terrorists anemic.

The key question is how much like our enemies can we afford to become before our continued existence is no longer justifiable?

6/03/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Trust Issue and More F-15s

June 1, 2006: The international consortium formed to build two nuclear reactors in the north, has officially cancelled the project. A 1994 agreement with North Korea, which included a halt to nuclear research in the north, required the two reactors to be built in the north by South Korea, Japan and other partners.
---
May 24, 2006: South Korea has ordered another 20 U.S. F-15K fighter-bombers.
This is an enhanced version of the F-15E, which is the most agile all-weather precision bomber in use. Within the next five years,
South Korea will have 60 F-15Ks, each capable of carrying over ten tons of smart bombs and missiles per sortie.

6/03/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Smacko,
That disgusting post under my name was a QUOTE of "Canoneers."
Sorry for the misunderstanding.

6/03/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

iow, I was being sarcastic about his disgusting comment.

6/03/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The key question is how much like our enemies can we afford to become before our continued existence is no longer justifiable?"

cannoneer,

I think I'm missing something. We did lay waste to whole civilian populations during WWII. Is our existence no longer justifiable because of it?

6/03/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You may have missed some of the other comments, Trish.
He answers EVERY comment that suggests a more muscular stance in a similar manner.
A pattern, of sorts.
hmmm

6/03/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You might find Voltimand's comment informative!

6/03/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Voltimand said...

Cannoneer No. 4 said:

>The key question is how much like our enemies can we afford to become before our continued existence is no longer justifiable?<

Our killing jihadis who have declared war to the death makes us "like our enemies" in this case only to the extent that their killing us requires as our defense our killing them. That's the nature of the game whose opening gambit the jihadis have thrown down.

Otherwise the word "like" here is altogether too undifferentiated to apply. To be "like" them we too would have to espouse a method of dealing with out enemies that invariantly involved "genocide," or whatever is like genocide.

The "difference" which your use of the word "like" challenges lies in two directions.

(1) Genghis Khan and Baathists (and Nazis) commenced their zero-sum killings in the interest of total domination. For such thinking, there is only total domination or there is death (i.e., the world for them is filled with their own mirror-images, and that's what these types would expect. It's called projection). In this respect, the Ghenghis and Baath comparisons are properly lined up--at least in my own arguent as stated--precisely with the jihadis, not with the west's possible response, on which see next paragraph.

(2) This leads into the more important, but also more difuse difference: the West has not since the dark ages embarked on foreign ventures where total destruction or death were the only options. The Hiroshima bomb--or use of strategic nuclear weapons in general--have by consensus in the west been consigned to the bin marked "use of last resort."

The difference involved in "use of last resort" is that in the case of (1) above the watchword is "use of first resort."

Incomplete, but a start.

6/03/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Here is the latest example of media warfare.

Michelle Malkin has the story.

Papa Ray

6/03/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Papa,
Michelle Malkin's existence no longer justifiable because of this!
---
I've SEEN similar comments at other sites by people overwhelmed by Malkin's unrelenting devastation in the name of truth!

6/03/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Thank you for pointing out the dreadful error on our website involving the wrong picture and capture of murdered Iraqis. I have asked that it be removed immediately and an apology issued.

I'm sorry you have jumped to the conclusion that this was a deliberate misrepresentation and the result of slanted journalism and sorrier that you have shared that view with your readers without any attempt to verify it.

The Times has been meticulously fair in its coverage of the Iraq war and of US policy in general. Our editorial line...blah, blahblah, blah, blah...
"

6/03/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I hope the paper provides a full explanation for exactly how it came to characterize and caption an April 2005 AP photo of fishermen murdered by insurgents as "victims of al-Haditha" of the "Massacre Marines blinded by hate" on Nov. 19, 2005."

Best,
Michelle Malkin

6/03/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug, see 1:13

6/03/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Michelle -
I wonder how Mr. Baker would respond to this?
Search for Haditha on the UK Times website and you get article headlines like this.... are these the headlines of a non-biased newspaper? I think not:
---Revealed: how US marines massacred 24
May 28, 2006 - The Times
---Iraqis killed by US troops ‘on rampage’
---March 26, 2006 - Sunday Times
Tales of US shame and dishonour blight the week of Memorial Day
---June 03, 2006 - The Times
---March 17, 2006 - Times Online
US Marines investigated for Iraq war crimes

6/03/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat,
Malkin is our best weapon, imo.

6/03/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Jeff Goldstein: The battle for the narrative of Haditha begins.
***
Related:
Make sure you read Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette on what's missing from news coverage of the incident at Ishaqi.

Another must-read: Shawn Wasson on a massacre you won't read about. Don't click if you have a weak stomach.

Sweetness and Light on The Real Haditha. S&L also notes AP propaganda--running photos of My Lai to illustrate Haditha coverage.

Here it is on Yahoo! News...

6/03/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From the Sweetness Link above:
---
DVDs of beheadings on the bridge are distributed free in the souk.
Children prefer them to cartoons. "They should not watch such things," said one grandfather, but parents appeared not to object.

One DVD features a young, blond muscular man who had been disembowelled. He was said to have been a member of a six-strong US sniper team ambushed and killed on August 1. Residents said he had been paraded in town before being executed.

The US military denied that, saying six bodies were recovered and that all appeared to have died in combat.
Shortly after the ambush three landmines killed 14 marines in a convoy which ventured from their base outside the town.

6/03/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I FEEL like I'm JUST LIKE THEM!
Just for posting that.
Sorry I still exist.
I think.
...therefore, uh

6/03/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Admin response so far has been just like the admin of Duke University and the Lacross Team:

Better to start dismantling the Marines pronto rather than to be so rash as to stand firm.
---
Some things you just can't do anymore you know:
---New Paradigm
---Evolved Society
---MSM
etc

6/03/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

GWB=CYA

6/03/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

voltimand

Your post was excellent in its understanding of the cultural/religious/ideological templates to Islamic insurgency and the resurgence of jihad, mated with the self-loathing elements within our society.

Unless we come to grips with the theological justification WITHIN THE TEXTS THEMSELVES, we will not truly identify the true spigot of infinite supply. This war is every bit intellectual as it is logistical and military. Until we strip away the polite multi-culti psychobabble that enfeebles the minds of our academic, political, and journalistic elites we will not have an honest discussion about the nature of this problem.

And unless we are not willing to renew a fierce, necessary internal debate about the ideological templates that buttress the jihadi allies in our societies we will not know ourselves sufficiently to know how to proceed. This war has revealed the same kinds of fractures within non-Muslim societies and countries that historians have unearthed during the 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries. The enemy took advantage of internal rivalries and divisions in order to leverage his relatively inferior military forces.

The first principles of war are to know and understand who you are and to know and understand your enemy. If you shortchange this process, is it any wonder that you cannot cut the enemy's family jewels off?

6/03/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The first principles of war are to know and understand who you are and to know and understand your enemy. If you shortchange this process, is it any wonder that you cannot cut the enemy's family jewels off?"
---
Cut the namby-pamby polite talk fred!
I don't get nuance, tell us what you think!

6/03/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

trish,

Actually, though we did bomb a great many German and Japanese population centers during World War II, both nations had legitimate industrial targets in those cities, and the civilian deaths can be looked upon as collateral damage. What was done by the RAF and USAAF to Germany in 1943-45 was reprisal for what the Luftwaffe did in 1940. Violent as it was, WWII was fairly straight forward Third Generation Industrial Age Westphalian warfare between nation-states.

There may come a time in the near future when Iran recieves what Japan got. That, too, will be 3GW, nuclear style. The Iranian response will be Fourth Generation Warfare.

I don't know how beastly our side will have to get before we become as worthy of destruction as our foes, but I think there has to be a limit somewhere on the continuum of nastiness at which we can no longer continue to consider ourselves good guys.

6/03/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ms Rice asked him what kind of body language to display at the United Nations meeting.
Should she signal that the United States was considering negotiations with Iran?

"Be careful," Bush said, according to officials familiar with the conversation. "I haven't made up my mind."
---
Maybe Condi should have made her address from a Fetal Position?

6/03/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

8:30 PM
Agreed: We're not worthy!

6/03/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, LeMay's firebombings of Japan ONLY burned factories, not almost a million men, women, and children.

6/03/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

5:36 PM, doug. Still waiting.

6/03/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Shall we discuss Allied bombing of German cities, perhaps? Or Tokyo? Were these last resorts? They certainly were devastating. Cruel. Brutal. Ruthless.

The stench of decomposing civilans under miles and miles and miles of rubble was THE smell of immediate postwar Germany. That stench hung in the air a long time.

6/03/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Marianas were now crowded with over 700 B-29s which were accompanied on missions by hundreds of P-51s. On April 13, 327 B-29s swept over Tokyo at night incinerating eleven square miles.
Two nights later 303 Superfortresses were back over Tokyo burning six square miles. Also destroyed was three an a half square miles of the town of Kawasaki, and a mile and a half of Yokohama. Admiral Nimitz ordered Lemay to drop thousands of mines which virtually shut down all shipping.
The mine laying left the Japanese in chaos, as the results were so effective Japan was actually starving. Nimitz praised LeMay and called the results phenomenal.
During the summer the Marianas was crowded with over 1000 B-29s.
After 2 hours of bombardment the wooden city of Tokyo was engulfed in a firestorm. These fires were so hot they would literally ignite the clothing on individuals as they were fleeing. What was particularly horrifying was a lot of the women were wearing what were called 'air-raid turbans' around their heads and the heat would ignite those turbans like igniting a wick on a candle to start consuming the flame.
The aftermath of the incendiary bombings lead to an estimated 100,000 Japanese dead.

In the context of total war, the large number of Japanese civilians killed by strategic bombing was seen as acceptable by the American administration. When reflecting on the campaign after the war, some expressed doubts about the morality of the firebombing. Curtis LeMay later said:
"I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal."
He felt, however, that his bombings were saving lives by encouraging Japan to surrender earlier. Former Japanese prime minister Fumimaro Konoe's statement that, fundamentally, the thing that brought about the determination to make peace was the prolonged bombing by the B-29s, lends support to this view.
General Curtis LeMay notified Bomber Command and Gen. Norstad that every Japanese City was severely damaged, that Japan had no supplies, no fuel, no aircraft defense system, and it would be only a matter of time if the firebombing continued before Japan would surrender.
He had no voice in the dropping of the bomb. The argument will go on forever, was it really necessary?
It should not be forgotten that the word "surrender" was not in the Japanese vocabulary.
They were still a fanatical nation, willing to commit suicide before surrender.
How many Americans would have been killed had we invaded Japan?
Some put the figure at half a million, maybe more.

There was a solution to stop the killing and we took it.

6/03/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Reference your 6:53 PM, doug,

I have worked with HCN's. I know how much we need their help to accomplish the mission. Unless we want to out-Taliban the Taliban, we will have to bring them over to our side through persuasion rather than coercion. Kill 'em all and let Allah sort 'em out just doesn't resonate so well with people we want to classify as friendlies.

6/03/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And there you have it, cannoneer, in a nutshell.

The good guys.

We are the good guys.

It is our schtick.

But it wasn't always so. Not in the sense that "good guy" is meant now.

"Good guy" is now part and parcel of the whole pretense to war.

6/03/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/03/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

To think that some of my schoolteachers were a part of that FIREBOMBING!
Where's the CYANIDE?

6/03/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

David, you are the one who is having reality problems. Germany WAS stabbed in the back in 1918. That IS why they lost. They were not yet defeated on the battlefield when the home front collapsed. Unlike WW2 where there was no doubt at all. Remember when WW1 ended, Germany was still fighting on French and Belguim Soil. IIRC it took months for the Germans to get out of Belgium. Plan 1919 MIGHT have worked, then again when the American Casualty figures started coming back from the front, Wilson could have been in serious trouble. Without American troops, the Germans could have held the front AND put down the traitors at home. Both France and Britian had been bled white. Without American troops, the Germans had parity in numbers. While the Allies had the first tanks, the germans had air superiority. They Also had the Junkers, which was an all-metal momplane fighter bomber. In a contest between a Jabo and a panzer, bet on the Jabo. I have my doubts about Plan 1919 working. The Allied Command just wasn't flexiable enough mentally to take advantage of the tanks.

6/03/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It helps when you have logic and common sense on your side.
That, according to some, is also a thing of the past.

6/03/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Strategic bombing in the Second World War is interesting to history buffs, but what is the tie in to counterinsurgency?

There are many who think that Ramadi should be dealt with as Dresden was. These people fail to recall that Ramadi is a city full of voters in a sovereign republic and ally that we went to great expense in blood and treasure to midwife, while Dresden was a city in a an enemy nation.

Schrecklichkeit didn't do so well for the Germans.

6/03/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Many equate any call for a more aggressive policy with one of total destruction, even genocide:
What's up with that?
---
"Yesterday's air attack was the first stage of "graduated punishment." It is intended to make three crucial points to the Lebanese and Palestinian terrorist organizations, the Syrians and the Lebanese government: From now on, Israel intends to exact a high price for every attack on the northern communities and soldiers; from now on, Israel's retaliation will be in proportion to the severity and objectives of the other side's actions"
---
---
I want to graduate all the way up to eliminating Catch and Release!
Since GWB doesn't,
Does that make me a WAR CRIMINAL in waiting?

Just Curious.

6/03/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I am begining to think you are a microchip.

6/03/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"When Hanoi's dikes remained untouched throughout that war, it told the north vietnemese we weren't the same country that had bombed 5 North Korean Dams.
Our not razing terrorists strongholds tell the current creeps the same thing.
"

6/03/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I don't know how beastly our side will have to get before we become as worthy of destruction as our foes, but I think there has to be a limit somewhere on the continuum of nastiness"

cannoneer,

Do we have the option of at least entering into the continuum of nastiness?

I hope so.

If not, we are stuck with the Forever War.

6/03/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

HCN=Hydrogen Cyanide

6/03/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I want to graduate all the way up to eliminating Catch and Release!"

No shit, Doug.

6/03/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What the hey!
It's only the Survival of Western Civilization.
(Not to mention our Warrior's lives and limbs.)
Sorry, W.

6/03/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

no, doug, HCN = Host Country Nationals.
Better known to you as hodgies.

6/03/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

To you,
for me it's the cyanide.
I have seen the full scope of my unworthiness.
Encouraging desertion by criticising policies of the Great W, war crimes such as detention of enemy combatants, etc.
---
I'd say,
"Goodbye, Cruel World,"
but
I'M the cruel one!

6/03/2006 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

So...

To try to tye the last couple of threads togather....

The acceptable 'continuum of nastiness' for an IED that kills one is randomly shooting a baby, couple kids, and any crippled grandpa's we can find.

According to DR, Doug, Trish, and all....

6/03/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

One last hit of smack before the Cyanide.
Ahhhhh...

6/03/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I left out BDS:
I'M Deranged!

6/03/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

trish,

Do you think we have not yet entered into the continuum of nastiness?

How nasty do you want to get?

Will you withdraw your support or speak out against anybody who doesn't want to get as nasty as you do?

How many will be beside you when you have alienated everyone who doesn't want to get as nasty as you do?

How comfortable will you be beside those who want to get a lot nastier than you think prudent?

6/03/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Did you see the Malkin Links yet smacko, or is she on the censored list of war criminal enablers?

6/03/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

9:41 PM Could you bless us with your opinion of Catch and Release Mr. Tight Cannon?

6/03/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

sorry
cannoneer no. 4
my bad

6/03/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

As for small footprint v. big footprint:

The former is not applicable everywhere and for every mission.

Caps on troop numbers, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, can seriously hamper your ability to conduct operations. You can't use what you don't have.

Small footprint can draw an outsized media due to the visibility and prominence given the mission by gov't leaders. Recall Seals landing in Somalia.

The occupation of a country the size of Iraq, or Afghanistan, for that matter, does not lend itself to small footprints. At all. These are not small jobs.

6/03/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Assertion:

"I'd like to eliminate catch and release."

Response:

"How many Babies are you willing to shoot in Cold Blood?

6/03/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger nonomous said...

I'm a bit puzzled that the conversation has stuck to the 'main stream media' issue.

Old hat.

Wretchard's article talks first about the infrastructure. I suspect the Iranian Shia militias in Basra are skimming 20-30% of the oil that moves through the town. That's infrastructure and I don't see anyone making useful suggestions about how it can be controlled.

6/03/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Wretchard, Cannoneer No. 4 and others have laid out a very strong case that the MSM have been used as a tool by the enemy.

Some would even say the MSM has openly sided with the enemy (stringers hired by the AP have been openly photographing the enemy by their side). This may be the case or may not (there are some honest reporters - but not many). But, one thing is certain is the MSM have not helped in this war and probably emboldened the enemy and caused harm to our troops.

I will make a few helpful suggestions:

1) Specifically ID the bad guys in the media (determine and isolate the foe). This means naming names of the offensive writers and their employers. Several large media outlets are the real bad apples: The NYT (and there sister paper the Boston Globe), The Washington Post, and the AP. Make a note of truly offensive writers and let them know how much you dislike them.

2) Those in the military or family members of those in the military should realize these "news outlets" are harming their family (and disparaging the war as a whole). They should make their dissatisfaction known to said "news organizations" or halt all consumption of said news products. Hit them where it hurts the most => in the wallet.

3) Divest all financial holdings in said "news outlets" like the New York Times Co., Time Warner and the like. If you have been in the military and are an investment advisor for a large pension or investment pool sell all holdings of said "news companies." These investments are not likely to go up in value. If you have a 401K, IRA or the like, make sure that you are not invested in said "news corporations."

4) Support all allied news organizations that do not pander to the enemy. Granted the pickings are slim but they are out there. For example, the Wall Street Journal has been a fairly good supporter of the war and has some good articles (This is the Dow Jones Corp). There are probably some good local news outlets to choose from. And, of course, there are the blogs - such as this fine web log.

6/03/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Assertion:
"I wish W. had not abandoned workplace enforcement, and been more serious about illegal immigration these last 6 years."

Response:
"So you hate Mexicans!
Do you want to shoot them all,
or just deport them all?
"

6/03/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

nonomous 9:50 PM:
Yesterday I read that the one way we might get offshore drilling is to let CONGRESS skim the proceeds!
----
Don't know why they didn't think of that before!

Must be a SERIOUS energy crisis in addition to the usual lack of tax dollars crisis in Congress!

6/03/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Yes Doug,

I read Malkin earlier today. Which was before I caught up on the last couple of Belmont threads this afternoon. The funnest Belmont thread I saw one was the one where DR was proclaiming that there is no bias whatsoever in the media. It is just Bush fault, like all else. :).

The second funniest thread was where you and DR were using Haditha as a springboard onto the typical 'ROE IS BLAMED FOR ALL, ALL IS LOST, WE ARE DOOOOOMED, PULL OUT NOW!!!!

Notwithstanding that noone really knows what happened at Haditha.

And more importantly exactly WHICH ROE would allow capping babies, toddlers, and grandpa in a wheelchair?

If it Haditha did not happen in the manner of the medias hyper-reporting, the ROE IS NOT AN ISSUE.

If it did happen in the manner of the medias hyper-reporting, the ROE IS STILL NOT AN ISSUE.

The ROE is an issue in this only as a club for DR to wield in his typical rants

6/03/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Doug,

If your still in Hawaii I really do not see you having much of a problem with wetbacks.

But if you do find one that swam all the way over, you oughta buy that tough SOB a drink.

6/03/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"How nasty do you want to get?"

Gimme a few good suicide bombers.

6/03/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The ROE's are important because are warriors are being needlessly sacrificed to them.
I see you hate all people living in Hawaii.
"Pineapples"
oooh

6/03/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Assertion:
"Sometimes I wonder if GWB isn't perfect."

Response:
"Aha! BDS!"

6/03/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

But Doug,
The ROE have nothing to do with Haditha. Why so quick to pull it out as a bully stick for your and DR's usual bashing?

Obviously the ROE in Iraq makes allowances for civilian deaths in combat. The Ishaqi incident included two dead women and a child. Which was OK according to the ROE, as the soldiers were cleared.

The situation in Haditha cannot be blamed on the ROE or Bush.

Unless there was a super duper secret 'back in the day' ROE where it states that you can intentionally cap unarmed civilian toddlers cause your pissed.

of course this is IF it plays our like the media is aiming it. I am skeptical of most anything these days. The military has seemed to do a pretty good job of cleaning up it's own IMO.

6/03/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

What Wretchard doesn't say is that the local carrot and stick have been employed in Iraq and Afghanistan all along.

This is nothing new and untried.

6/03/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The situation in Haditha cannot be blamed on the ROE or Bush."
---
I thought we didn't know what happened there yet:
Got a link?

6/03/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In my 4:05 PM, should those Civilians have been killed?

Should the religious school have been bombed?

How about the Private Home?

6/03/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Think I'll tell my kid to stick around the Air Force if he wants to kill any enemy combatants, legal, or otherwise.

6/03/2006 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wounded CBS reporter transferred to Germany
Injured by blast that killed 4, Dozier briefly regained consciousness in flight.
---
She was probably dreaming she was in a hotel room at her laptop, typing out some bogus story.
---
But she's from Honolulu:
Probably hates Mexicans.

6/03/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Reread what I said Doug, without the rush to be flippant.

IF the Marines capped unarmed civi kids at random, walking house to house, no ROE would cover it. EVER.

If the civi's were unintentinally killed during an engagement (as the Marines claim) then the ROE is still not at fault.

You are bootstrapping the ROE onto the Haditha situation for no other reason than it feels good to rant and vent.

6/03/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gratuitously calling someone a racist is not "flippant?"
---
Assymetric Warfare Indeed.

6/03/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was giving my opinion of the ROE's, ...again.

Just trolling for new responses like traitor, BDS sufferer etc.

Since no-one will just come out and Defend THEM.

6/03/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

As for your 4:05, I have no problem with it. No problem with Ishaqi, no problem with Haditha as laid out by the original Marine report.

No problem bombing Madrassas, Mosques, capping bionic runners, IED planters, or whatnot.

My problem, as I stated, was you and DR using the Haditha situation to bootstrap the ROE into the 'PULL OUT NOW, WE ARE DOOOOOMED' daily rant.

6/03/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

We could probably recruit them from indigenous populations.

Scare the hell out of the other guy, in a way that death from above doesn't.

6/03/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

11:10 PM see my 11:10 PM

6/03/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The ROE's could have been at fault, depending on what happened:

If they were attacked by someone previously caught, then released, the ROE's should rightly be blamed.

6/03/2006 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

And I am just counter trolling you Doug.

Seems in the blogoshere these days, you have to push back to the extreme to get folks to stop their hyperbole and just talk.

Seems there is a daily wave of despair that rolls and rolls, getting larger, hyperbole rolling, and I just want to give people a shake and scream 'snap out of it, dammit!'

6/03/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Goddammit, Doug.

6/03/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ok:
Please apologize for calling me a racist.

6/03/2006 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

All weekend I heard the news reports of The "Canadian Terrorists". Well there are Canadians and then there are Canadians. I did find the release on the adult names:
"The adult suspects from Toronto are Chand, alias Abdul Shakur, 25; Fahim Ahmad, 21; Jahmaal James, 23; and Asin Mohamed Durrani, 19. Those from Mississauga are Ghany; Abdelhaleen; Zakaria Amara, 20; Asad Ansari, 21; Saad Khalid, 19; and Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43."
Clearly the group identifier here is that they are all Canadians. I wonder if they belong to the Canadian Garden Club?

6/04/2006 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

What starts in the press can soon become dogma. All have heard the various defendants of illegal immigration, including President Fox make comments referring to the fact that "indigenous people" (read Mexicans of Indian ancestry) have been crossing the border for centuries. It is a cultural thing. No one in the press ever challenges the assertion. This assertion will be parroted until it becomes accepted fact. The MSM will further put out a headline that often states as fact what is often outrageous assertions. Read the penultimate paragraph and think California, Texas, Arizona. I wonder if our "kick ass, with us or against us, POTUS reads the BBC?

Bolivia Head Starts Land Handout
By James Read
BBC News


"Evo Morales handed out land titles
Bolivia's president has given more than 30,000 square km (18,600 sq miles) of land to indigenous peasant communities under a programme of agrarian reform.
Evo Morales launched the programme after landowners walked out of talks with the government, warning they would take action to defend their estates.

Thousands of peasants gathered in the centre of Santa Cruz to see Mr Morales launch his agrarian revolution.

They cheered and waved rainbow flags symbolising indigenous resistance.

The venue for the ceremony was carefully chosen: Santa Cruz is the home base of Bolivia's main landowners' federation, which is deeply opposed to the land reform.

When its leaders walked out of talks with the government, they warned that their members would form self-defence groups to protect their estates.

But President Morales is clearly in no mood for compromise.

Bolivia's big landowners, he said, had to accept that the lands their ancestors stole during the Spanish conquest five centuries ago would now be returned to their original owners.

The land handed out on Saturday was already owned by the state."

6/04/2006 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's funny.
A few incidents of Criminal Activity by US troops, Army and Marines, and the cry goes out.
Don't judge them all by the actions of a few!
Okay, I'll buy that.

Enemy Combatants are detained in Iraq, but the court cases are weak. The arresting US trooper has rotated home, is unavailable to testify, or the "suspect" has paid a bribe and is released.

Learn to "live with it", "good for the cause".
When the released detainee bombs another US troop or Iraqi civilian, that's "acceptable" collateral damage in the cause of politcal growth in Iraq.

But ask for sinilar evidence in the MSM case and that is just beyond the pale of reasonableness.

Well, that not how the RoE for debates work any more, fellas.
No blanket accusations, oh no.

Not acceptable from the Marine bashers, not acceptable for the Terrorist prosecutors, it is certainly not acceptable from MSM bashers, either.

Those are the RoE's,
live with 'em, get used to 'em, it's for your own good.

Prove the MSM are the Enemy, everytime. It will take more than "accurate but misleading" to win the case.

The MSM Detainee is released
For your own good, in the "Long War"

6/04/2006 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Marine who followed orders to photograph corpses of Iraqis allegedly slain by members of his unit last fall claims...

6/04/2006 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We gotta make sacrifices, 'Rat:
Otherwise we'll end up just like them!
(We = someone else's 19 yr old kid)

6/04/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So, 2164th hates Canucks, does he?
More proof that we really are no different than "them."

6/04/2006 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We could commit one of those internet chat suicide pacts to atone, 'Rat.
You up for that?

6/04/2006 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not today, life beckons.

I'm livin' life 'til life won't have me anymore, doug.

do or die, and dyin's never been considered a "real" option

6/04/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dr. Beach Rat

6/04/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

PHOENIX - Fifty-five National Guard members from Utah arrived in Yuma on Saturday afternoon — the first troops to be sent to the Arizona-Mexico border in a new crackdown on illegal immigration. ...

Well, doug, that is 1% of the proposed Force increase for Border Security.
Will the other 99% arrive before this 1% rotates home, in 12 days?

6/04/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maui's Fleming named America's best beach

6/04/2006 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Or will it be 6,000 total, all year, you know 120 extra bodies, each week?

That'll make "ALL"the difference

6/04/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So, when did you contract BDS, Mr. Rat?
---
You might spread it to the Beach Bunnies, I'm puttin you in quarantine!

6/04/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

A little rumpy humpy in the bush!
---
Maybe that's what George Needs:
Break that bondage with the first lady.
Excercise something besides that Bike.

6/04/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

He discovered even his clones were no better than "them."
---
Well, thanks, Clone D, hello B, gday C, Hi there Clone E, etc etc."

"Oh please call me James!" they all cried.

I tried to be nice to my selves. But it wasn't easy. Clone C carried my dominant gene; Clone D, my selfish gene; while Clone E was clearly a mutant. Having pleasantly established that we were all blue-eyed day traders with hexagonal birthmarks on our lower backs and the same tedious fingerprints, conversation turned to Section 36 of the Trade Practices Act.

It was then that I realised I'd have to shoot them all.
Massacre of the (Unworthy, Self-loathing) Clones.

6/04/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We're gettin tough on the border!
That's our boy George:
9-11 got his rear in gear.
(reverse, 6 years later)

6/04/2006 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"in a new crackdown "
---
I'm feeling rash and brash:
I'm gonna call it the
New a new crackdown!
Nuevo Cowboy Talk!
All Crack, no boy.

6/04/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"New new crackdown "
(I just new I'd screw that up)

6/04/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Canoneer,

Being forced to become beastly, as you put it, is not a moral issue. The reason we can remain the good guys, is because we will stop the killing when the enemy unconditonally surrenders.

We're such good guys, we frequently stop the killing pre-maturely. See First Gulf War.

If the enemy objective is escalation, it is in no way becoming beastly to comply. It's simple self-defense, which can never be immoral.

We don't have to kill millions of Muslims, just a few hundred or perhaps some thousands. I'm all for prosecuting this 4GW on our terms.

Target every Imam, anywhere, who spews the murderous parts of Islam. Provoke them to change the Koran. No central authority? Sorry, no excuses. Get it together, or get dead.

Let no radical Iman be safe. Start with Mookie.

6/04/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Let no radical Iman be safe. Start with Mookie." pbuh

6/04/2006 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Now, according to congressmen who have been briefed by the Pentagon, the military is investigating Kilo Company for possible war crimes. Investigators have seen grisly photographs and are pursuing allegations of a cover-up. Ominously, there are also reports of atrocities in other places, committed by young soldiers who cracked under the pressure of a war fought on a battlefield with no front lines, no easy way to tell civilians from insurgents, and no end in sight. ..."

Ignore these reports, stay the course of "core values" training and watch the Force become "hollow".
Seen this all, before.

"... Young men join the Marines to be like the warriors in those recruiting ads, brave knights in noble combat. They do not imagine they're joining a military version of the Peace Corps to be humanitarian workers. In training, they spend endless hours learning how to fire their weapons and kill the enemy. They do not spend much time learning how to be tolerant and neighborly with foreign peoples who speak a different language and practice a different religion. "I'm pissed off that they sent us over there to do a police action," says Kilo Company's Cpl. James Crossan, who was wounded when the IED exploded in Haditha. "There's still a war going on."..."

But that Corporal was there, in Haditha, so what would he possibly know?
He did not participate in "War Gaming" the action, no, for Corporal Crasson & especially Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, it was no game at all.

Life doesn't have Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, any more, all so Haditha can be controlled and secured for Mr a-Sadr and his Team.

What whereas covers that Goal, in the Authorization for Use of Force?

6/04/2006 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Sardonic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/04/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"There's still a war going on."
---
Man, that kid's got it bad.
Sad.

6/04/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's a DEMOCRACY in a New Paradigm.
How should that dodo know tho?

6/04/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Whereas you be an as, George.

6/04/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mr Sadr and his A-Team.

6/04/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I have concluded you are
Devoid of Compassion, 'Rat.
Severe BDS.

6/04/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The Few, The Proud, The Screwed

These guys are going to be hung out to dry. The stage hands that put them there have already started the "few bad apples" mantra. Hipocrisy seems to survive flag waving doesn't it.

6/04/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We don't Cotton to Canuck Haters in Texas, Boy!

6/04/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I didn't say LeRoy!

6/04/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

cannoneer no. 4 re: your 8:57PM, and others,

Since I was quoted by Doug, let me clarify, and then ask you three questions:

I think the enemy in Iraq is undefeated, and the fact that they are undefeated after such a long engagement with superior force represents a FAILURE of warfighting.

I further think that Fallujah I was a catastrophic failure, which has led to the status quo, which status quo was SOUGHT by our enemy, sought BECAUSE they understood that it would be unsustainable by us.

Now, there are many examples in history where combat operations are concluded by a short sharp shock, bringing the enemy to a realization that they have misunderstood what they are up against.

The recent history of Arab combatants, in particular, suggests that certainty of impending doom has a salutary effect on their willingness to surrender. The mythology of The Base and its holy warriors bowing towards the rock one last time before flying off to lower Manhattan is a narrative (to choose a PoMo locution) which needs to be undone.

To point this out, and to utilize tactics to take advantage of both universal human nature and certain peculiar Sunni Arab variants on the theme, is not Naziism.

Certainly, there are "nuke 'em 'till they glow, then shoot 'em in the dark" people all over the internet, even here, but that does not describe Doug, and it certainly doesn't describe me.

Do you believe that current strategy in Iraq holds out any possibility of achieving the desired result?

Do you believe that our strategy takes advantage of, or swims against, long-accepted principles of how victory can be achieved in war?

Do you believe that the Sunni Arabs in Iraq and Syria would be more tractable, or less tractable today if Fallujah had been destroyed in May 2004?

6/04/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

gokart-mozart,
Thank you very much, and good night.
I pray my dreams will be of peace, and not some New Age Self-Loathing Nightmare.

6/04/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger woof111 said...

Here's David Benet's touchstone of truth at it again ------

can't say I'm surprised it took eight paragraphs before the New York Times deigned to tell us what might be behind (have motivated) the arrest of 17 people in Ontario over the last couple of days. In fact it takes them six paragraphs before they even name any names. And of course they hasten first to make sure we know most of these men (not yet identified as Islamists) are "young people," shades of the French linguistic obsession with les jeunes.

6/04/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

DR

Your a piece of work.

Your ROE diabtribe has been reduced to arguing that the REPORTER who reported the massacre should not have been released. Maybe he should not have. That has nothing to do with what actually happened in Haditha.

So your reduced to pulling PTSD out or your bag o' moving goalpost.

As the re-enlistment rates for the Army and Marines are the highest ever, with the highest percentage coming from front line troops.

Obviously, not all agree with your 'top of the mountain' perspective.

The very worst thing is that it's a full time job debunking your exagerrations and keeping your hyperbole in check.

And your constant drip-drip-drip DOES have the same affect here that the drip-drip-drip of the media has on the public at large.

6/04/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just try calling him a racist, and letting it go at that.
Class Act.

6/04/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger hermeneutics said...

Aristides

You wrote: Here is a paper on Elite Rhetoric and Media Coverage as they pertain to policy and public opinion ... but my link is dead.

Can you send me a live link?

hyperhystorian@cox.net

6/04/2006 08:02:00 PM  
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