Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hoping for Plan B

In The Two O'Clock War: The 1973 Yom Kippur Conflict and the Airlift That Saved Israel, author Walter Boyne relates the story of how Israel, faced with national extinction in the first days of the conflict, considered the idea of dropping nuclear weapons on Arab capitals as a last resort. This story is repeated in an Air Force monograph on the 1973 War without confirmation. By far the most intriguing version of the story as related by Boyne concerns the rumor that Israel had prepared a strike on Moscow to wreak ultimate vengeance on Sadat's superpower sponsor, although Boyne attaches little credibility to the tale, citing limitations on the range of Israel's F-4 strike aircraft.


James Dunnigan, speaking at the Glenn and Helen podcast, argued that the key problem posed by Kim Jong Il's missile posturing -- for China -- was that it might force Japan to go nuclear, adding that Japan with it's plentiful supply of fissile material and superlative industrial and technical base, could produce weapons and launchers that could unquestionably work within fairly short order.

These two instances illustrate the limits of political correctness in dealing with nations. No declarations of "illegitimacy" will eliminate the actual existence of Israel; no admonitions against rearmament can wholly restrain a Japan bent upon survival. Words are one thing, but physical reality is another. An Salama A Salama in Al-ahram op-ed piece said:

The Palestinians must be aware by now that they can no longer count on Arab help, economically, politically or militarily. They must defend themselves without waiting for Arab assistance.

Half the Palestinian cabinet and many parliamentarians are in Israel's hands. President Mahmoud Abbas is trapped and Gaza is being pummeled, all because one Israeli soldier has been abducted in retaliation to the killing of an entire Palestinian family on a Gaza beach. And yet Arab nations have had enough. They've had enough of this endless tragedy. They've had enough of the slogans and rhetoric that gets us nowhere. Arab governments have run out of options. They are tired of running around, trying to get sympathy from the UN and a resolution from the Security Council. Meanwhile, Israel is bullying everyone. Only recently it sent planes into Syria's airspace, just to show the Syrians who's the boss. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh isn't even asking the international community to intervene.

Just who in the "international community" actually has the ability to intervene against Israel is a good question. The one country that definitely has the capability to physically compel Israel is exactly the one Arab countries know better than to ask. And the countries which regularly announce their willingness to compel Israel are the very ones who shudder at the actual prospect of compelling anything. Asymmetric warfare at it's limit becomes entirely symmetric. The restraints which hold back the stronger party dissolve in proportion to the proximity of success. Media campaigns, UN statements, even terrorist acts might nudge the Israeli settlers out of Gaza, but when pursuit continues into Israel these methods may lose traction altogether. When Israel starts paying Hamas back in their own coin the "asymmetric" rules of the game collapse and a kind of lawlessness reigns which threatens to engulf the whole region.

One of the saddest commentaries on modern manners is that nobody takes you seriously until you act crazy. Only a few die-hard geographers would even be interested in locating North Korea on the map if not for the erratic, almost demented behavior of its rulers. One of terrorisms continuing professional challenges to craft attacks each of which is gorier than the last; each outrage worse than the preceding, lest the "international community" begin to suspect an outbreak sanity and forget all about your cause. So well understood is this effect that many readers hardly bat an eyelash upon reading that the Great Leader steals Chinese rolling stock delivering foodstuffs to his starving country; nobody is surprised to learn that the Palestinian authority expects Israel to pay it money even while it uses the money to shell Israel. It's all part of a familiar game. Nothing new. But a real crisis immediately ensues when those who from whom we expect restraint suddenly start doing the unexpected. Like parking itself in Gaza or buzzing the Syrian President's house.

Israel's actions in Gaza, like the suddenly vigorous reaction of Japan against North Korea, are signs that that the situation is becoming so serious the old, familiar rules may not work any more; the corollary of which is that things are slipping ever slowly from our grasp.

76 Comments:

Blogger jono39 said...

What do you mean slowly? What exactly is the rate of change in historical time. When something we will account as "a real change" occurs, it will be suddenly. Then, sometime later, people will rationalize the change by explaining its origins. Thus, everything retrospectively looks to be inevitable. It rarely is. What is happening is many different players are working at cross purposes, what is said to be a multipolar world, the only Superpower is that but because of this unique status even most of its friends make points by pecking at it. Korea is a problem that has a solution; Iran too has a solution. I doubt there is a solution for the Palestinian-Israel conflict. It does not bode well. The Palestinians are on the path to oblivion. If that happens, how does Israel escape its taint and consequences? Clearly other Arabs are largely indifferent to them as they have been to the people of the non-state Iraq since its invention in 1922.

7/08/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I bought the Two O'Clock War book for my brother but have not read it myself yet. One of the more astonishing aspect of that war was the number of aircraft lost - estimated at over 600 counting all sides.

A key question is how do you make regimes like those of N. Korea and Iran realize that when the rules change the game changes. Somehow bribe your way into the Masters and you are not playing against the other Saturday morning duffers and you have no basis for complaining when Tiger Woods shows up and wipes the fairway with you. And on natinally broadcast TV.

If Iran and N Korea get nukes and delivery systems then they are no longer the unruly duffers being shushed for clapping too loudly at the big event. The rules change from Embassy Hostage Crisis and Pueblo Hostage Crisis to those of the Cuban Missile Crisis - and Tiger Woods has one hellava big driver and an incredible arm. And they are the golf ball. And on nationally broadcast TV.

Speaking of TV - a USAF study a participated in several years back on the conventional use of ballistic missiles envisioned a non-covert attack, broadcast on international TV. "Here it comes! Give up yet? 5..4..3..2..1"

7/08/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger PDS said...

I read your essay and agree with everything but the conclusion of your final paragraph. Are things slipping slowly from our grasp, or are they merely becoming--because of the "full circle" implications of your argument--gradually within our control?

Either way, great essay, per usual.

7/08/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

It's all part of a familiar game. Nothing new. But a real crisis immediately ensues when those who from whom we expect restraint suddenly start doing the unexpected. Like parking itself in Gaza or buzzing the Syrian President's house.

Or, like parking 150,000 modern military troops, mega-tons of supplies, gobs of technology, and advanced stragegems on the border of each State sponsor or terror. See Iraq...

Very mobile...

Now, enhanced by 270,000 American trained Iraqi's...

Japan and Taiwan are awakening...

Interesting times, eh...

The Game is On...

7/08/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Me thinks those who wanted to play the asymmetrical war game made a 'mistake' on 9/11, in Bali, at Madrid, and under London...

Not to mention inside the Golden Mosque.

Or the head chopping and general murder of Peace Keepers (the true non-combatants).

I really don't hear a whole lot of whining about Iraq, about Gaza, about Japan and South Korea ending humanitarian assistance, about ...

There is some, but not a lot - and that some is getting far less influential... Note the Great Man himself – NYT Editor Keller - wandering aimlessly through his sycophants in an effort to appease his customer base.

The one thing the MSM has demonstrated by outing our efforts is that we are fighting.

We are fighting asymmetrically…

We are fighting conventionally…

And, we are winning…

7/08/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

There are three strategic options available to any country over any matter.

The United Nations.

This much lauded tact has proven to be a dismal choice with the expectation and history of little or no result. It is the political first choice of those fearing to make a decision. It is the gold standard in statesmanship, noble but mostly useless.

Multi-lateral Negotiation.

This is effective when a plurality is achieved or the adversarial parties are viable, credible and alternative actions too costly. The example of India and Pakistan is as good as any.

Unilateral.

This is most effective when there is little practical alternative and there is an acceptable price in the consequential activity. It is an admission of the complete absence of alternatives. It is the result of conflict with non-state actors or gross miscalculation on both or either party.

To prevent unilateral, four major things must happen:

1. The concept of national recognized responsible statehood must be strengthened. This can be done through commerce, banking, air travel trade etc.
2. The major powers must agree to place the concept of responsible statehood as the number one global priority. It must supercede regional differences and ideology.
3. There has to be a zero tolerance for irresponsible and non-state actors.
4. The UN must be reformed or scrapped. Its fecklessness encourages unilateralism.

There is a limited amount of time for serious responsible coordinated action by the nine major nations which include, USA, China, India, France, Germany, England, Japan, Russia, Brazil and two representatives from the General Assembly. Time is short.

7/08/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Boghie - Or, like parking 150,000 modern military troops, mega-tons of supplies, gobs of technology, and advanced stragegems on the border of each State sponsor or terror. See Iraq...

Very mobile...


Yeah, I can see Michael Ledeen and a cast of neocons giving their 2003 Speech. "On to Syria! On to Iran! On to the Sudan! Cakewalks all, paid for in cheaper oil! Faster, faster please!" Then Congress stands up and cheers and votes for 2-3 more "high tech wonder wars" on top of the two we "won" but are mysteriously still bogged down fighting and borrowing money at the tune of 70 billion a month to fight.

Yeah....I can see Republicans and Democrats becoming wildly enthusiastic for two or three more major wars to start...

Not...

7/08/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I think we are finding the limits of collective security, the dirty little secret of the high-minded concept "International Community": it only works during an equilibrium it did nothing to bring about. Worse, it rubber-stamps a stability it can do nothing to save.

The staunch environmentalist, in his quest for stability in nature, disallows the one true but messy way to save his forest: the controlled burn. His fetish for the status quo ignores the underlying reality that there is no status quo. As he pontificates on the evils of logging and the purity of nature, underbrush builds up and potential energy increases. When the fire comes, all he can do is shed a tear for the trees and the displaced, and wonder at the infertility and erosion of the soil.

One wonders how much underbrush we've accumulated unawares. Russia is resurgent and paranoid, China is impatient and hungry, Japan has awakened to nervousness, Muslims are self-aware and aggrieved, Europeans are insecure and inert, France issues nuclear threats and lets her cities burn, Britain's terrorist problem is matched only by the apathy of her people, Iran tosses the finger and rattles its saber, Chavez, behind us, recruits a posse and sharpens his knives, North Korea performs a missile expo and buyers come calling, and the one power that could solve the problem is going through a confidence crisis with citizens that no longer trust anybody but themselves and their tribe -- a people weary of being abused by those they protect, a people thinking about withdrawing from the world and relinquishing the burden of responsibility that has been so hard for them to carry.

The epithet "world's policeman" was never very accurate. We are the world's fireman. But after the perceived failure of Iraq, it's possible we no longer have the option of the controlled burn. We will defer to the status quo out of fear of opprobrium, and we will set the stage for the terrible fire to come.

We will do this, of course, under the banner of security.

7/08/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Philip Bobbitt makes the same point vis-a-vis war. They are an inevitable part of the landscape, but if we choose which ones to fight, and choose sensibly, the destructiveness of war might very well be manageable.

However, if we opt out of "wars-of-choice" altogether, we will end up with wars of necessity. And those are much, much worse.

7/08/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Boghie - I really don't hear a whole lot of whining about Iraq, about Gaza, about Japan and South Korea ending humanitarian assistance, about ...

There is some, but not a lot - and that some is getting far less influential..


Haven't been out of America to Europe, Asia, or Latin America in the last 3 years, have you..? While the Palestinians are less popular as a cause, there is no commensurate rise in support for what is nearly universally regarded as Bush's badly bungled management of postwar Iraq. Or the sadly misnamed "Global War on (the Tactic of) Terror" that refuses to ID the actual enemy.

Japan, S Korea, Poland, Italy have all begun to or have pulled out of the pretense of being "the Coalition of the Willing". Window dressing - meant to give Bush the face-saving appearance of support from other nations who owe Bush a favor or who expect to be amply rewarded financially by the US (Ukraine, Tonga, El Salvador) for sticking a few hundred of their troops in relatively safe zones as "symbols".

7/08/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

re: the inadequacy of the phrase "war on terror".

Nobody has convinced me yet that this is the case, that it really is inadequate (even though it's now taken for granted in sophisticated circles it sucks).

Some people say it is inadequate because you can't wage war on and defeat a tactic. Others say that it is inadequate because it doesn't name the enemy.

But which enemy would you like to name? Is the war over when Al'Qaeda is finally rolled up? Is it over when Radical Islam is pacified? Or can other groups co-opt the tactic and become our primary target? Doesn't it make sense to call it a war on that which links all possible sub-state enemies of the US--their asymetrical tactics, strengths, and weaknesses--rather than fooling the public into thinking that defeating one enemy eliminates the all the danger?

The war on terror is not just against radical Islam; it may be currently, but it won't stay that way. It is a war to eliminate our vulnerability, our Achilles heel; a war to stave off the chaotic input of a group of misfits that, in terms of effect, far outweighs its size and duration.

So there we go. It's a war against a particular type of input, an input that can destabilizes our entire society. I.e., it's a war against terror.

7/08/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The UN can only be useful for stopping the aggression of some tiny country which has no allies. The biggest problem is that the aggressor country (Iraq, North Korea, ...) always has at least one or two countries with security council veto power (France, Russia, China) who are bought and paid for by economic ties to the aggressor country. Thus the UN ends up to be a debating society, which condems Iraq, NK, etc. for decades but never enforces its agenda. Plus those countries like France and China have political agendas to keep US influence down by vetoing resolutions, to make friends among terrorist countries by vetos, to get bribes from the US in exchange for not vetoing, and (for China) to defend the "priniciple" that oppression of its own citizens is an "internal matter" which the UN and others should ignore.

The UN also isn't representative. Why should the Arabs listen to it when none of them have veto power? Yet if they did have a security council veto, then everything would be vetoed and the UN would be even more useless.

One of the best speeches Bush ever made was before the UN a couple of months prior to invading Iraq, "Saying either you enforce your own resolutions or we will. The UN needs to prove that it is still relevant." Events have shown that it is not relevant. The US was useless for Iraq and now useless for North Korea.

So I think we need to accept that the UN will always be useless. Just gridlock it and then use alliances as countries have always done. If a country is an obstacle, then just exclude it. Punish it by taking economic benefits away.

7/08/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

ww said:

"The UN also isn't representative. Why should the Arabs listen to it when none of them have veto power? Yet if they did have a security council veto, then everything would be vetoed and the UN would be even more useless."

Excellent point, and clearly the structure of the UN is inadequate for present conditions. It would be best to use the General Assembly for electing two representatives to sit on the Security Council and the singular veto scrapped. If any party could not accept that, they would have the option of leaving the UN.

7/08/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

This Al-Ahram Weekly has got some world clase bs:

"Western colonialists portrayed Arabs as slave traders with a history of raiding the downtrodden continent for human merchandise. Clearly, efforts should be made to counter this erroneous conception.."

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/802/op3.htm

Denial is a river in Eggyt after all.

7/08/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

"Israel's actions in Gaza, like the suddenly vigorous reaction of Japan against North Korea, are signs that that the situation is becoming so serious the old, familiar rules may not work any more; the corollary of which is that things are slipping ever slowly from our grasp."

Well, rather Wretchard, the situation is so unteneble, it's collapsing under the weight of it's own contradictions, the most obvious of which being that the international community has the ability to guarantee the safety of individual nations, the second of which is that the state of conditions where violence is not openly taking place is somehow peace. The actors in the conflicts themselves recognize these contradictions, and allow themselves to be restrained by them only so far. The manipulative sorts -- North Korea's Kim Jong Il, Hamas now that they're elected to government -- use those contradictions to play their opponents like musical instruments.

7/08/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Plan B...
The latest deadline with the Iranians has come and gone.
Maybe by late August the Iranians will have a studied response to the last EU/US negotiating offer.

Mr al-Sadr is going to Parliment to question the Ministers about raiding Sadr City. Politics before over combat for Mr al-Sadr, he's no dumb pilgram fresh off the turnip truck. He knows the schedule, the "conditions" that have to be met.

The Russians, now I read something very intersting, earlier today,
about the "New" Russia, how it is not really new at all, but not the neo Soviet or KGBish I would have believed.
The story speaks of the reemergence of the Cossacks and the revival of Orthodox Christian religious culture in Russia.
National Journal

"... a vast country with a proud if often tortured past, Russia can be viewed not merely as a state but, like America or China, as a repository of distinctive ideas and traditions -- something like a civilization. ...

... Although Cossacks sometimes talk about themselves as if they were an ethnic group or even a nation, they can be more accurately thought of as a type of martial brotherhood or community, sharing a heritage and certain ideals and values. These values include, not least, an institution that the West has largely shucked off: Patriarchy. The male, at least nominally, is an elevated figure in Cossack culture.

The Aksaisky school illustrates what Cossacks are about. Education in the Russian Orthodox faith -- also a patriarchal institution and the only accepted religious belief for Cossacks -- is a core part of the curriculum. The cadets, who are exclusively male, participate in ballroom dancing (with girls from a local school), choir singing of patriotic tunes, and target practice. The school is popular -- 900 applicants for 42 slots last year. All applicants must have a recommendation from their local ataman, the elected leader of a Cossack band. About three-quarters of the pupils come from orphanages or other vulnerable circumstances, and pay no money. ..."


A small start, 100 students at this particular school, but a revival of what will be required to defeat the Mohammedans across the breadth of Europe.

7/08/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Even though Olmert has said that "the landlord has gone crazy," Israel really hasn't gone crazy. Israel is really quite methodically applying pressure on the terrorists assuming they will eventually change their behavior.

These tactics have been used extensively to good effect in the West Bank. Soldiers would move into a town in some force, which would draw out the fighters, who would die in an exchange of fire. It's gotten to the point that the fighters in the WB don't come out to shoot at the soldiers any more because of the predictability of the results. Usually they only shoot at the soldiers when they're cornered in a house.

Haniya has called for a truce so things are obviously going well for the Israelis. Of course he wants terms so things haven't progressed far enough.

The Israeli actions really have been predictable. Provoke them and they will respond. The winners in all this may well be Syria and Tehran, certainly not the Pals.

The Koreans and the Iranians believe that nuclear weapons make them immune from sanctions. At some point they will overplay their hands and the landlord will go crazy. Maybe the Chinese and the Russians will be the winners in those actions.

7/08/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Seems a US citizen was swept up and held in Iraq for a couple of months.
A reputed veteran Navy Seal, "Cyrus Kar, 45, of Los Angeles seeks unspecified damages and sweeping changes in the government's detention policies overseas. ...
... The new lawsuit said his 55-day detention violated not only his civil rights, but also the Geneva Convention and the law of nations.

"Human rights monitors note that the vast majority of the over 15,000 detainees in U.S. military custody in Iraq have never been charged, tried, provided counsel, or allowed to challenge their detention in court, and over one-fifth of them have been detained for over a year in this manner," the suit states.

Kar said that while he was imprisoned he was at various times hooded and threatened, taunted and insulted by U.S. soldiers. One soldier slammed Kar's head into a concrete wall, the suit said.
"

Filmmaker Sues Military Officials Over Time Spent in Iraqi Prison

Dual standards of behaviour will not long stand as legitimate, Hamadan leads the way to ever more challenges.
When those 15,000 detainees become POWs...

Another reason to expedite withdrawal and turnover of responsibility to the Iraqis.
What will SCotUS rule is the status of those detainees, when asked. Better to mute the question, first, then entertain another "landmark".
At least with the current 5-4 split, ie: Hamadan

7/08/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

There are those whose loyalty is to an ideal future, not to the messy present. They will say, "The true patriot will criticize his country and note its failings."

Those who are loyal to the ideal will call themselves "reality based" because they think they see the mess in the messy present and want to chuck it systematically rather than nibble at the problems. They do not feel responsible for the mess. When they ask "Who is responsible?" they mean "who is to blame?" And they answer, "not me."

Those whose loyalty is to the present arrangements will accept responsibility for the problems of the present--the mess--but in the sense of "the ability to respond." They accept that they won't always succeed but hope to be judged on the totality of their effort. Those loyal to present arrangements will grant each other the authority to do the job on that basis. They will measure the successes as well as any failure--and adjust the arrangements to improve the performance.

When you listen to Madeline Albright discuss "The North Korea Crisis" you are listening to someone who is skilled at assigning blame and avoiding responsibility. If you need a skilled blame shifter, she's your gal. Of course, she gets a lot of help from the New York Times, whose current mission statement is "to assigns blame while chronicling failure." It will forgive its own shortcomings when it bothers to notice.

Because those whose loyalty is to the future ideal will focus on the failures of present arrangements. Indeed, they will often exaggerate the failures. Sometimes they will even cause the failures -- but they are still not responsible for the failures. This is because they are striving for the ideal, and need supporters who will trade the messy present arrangements (that may be improved upon) for an ideal future that does not exist. The bird in your hand is poison. The one in the bush has plenty of meat (let go of the bird and you will find out that tree bark is better for you).

I used to be confused: Why is it the only people who wish the Palestinians well are their enemies? Puzzling.

Those whose loyalty is to a future ideal often regard any enemy of present arrangements as their friend. So the European Leftist may want the Palestinians to fight for the ideal future "Palestine" while at the same time opposing the destruction of Israel. The reason this sounds contradictory is because it is. But every cause needs allies. In the past, the environmentalist may well have promoted the windmill farm that he is tilting at today.

Terrorist and rogue states take messy reality and make it into really messy reality. Sometimes they make it into horribly messy reality. Sometimes they turn it into messy, bloody, terrifying "where is God when you need him" reality. In other words, they have their uses--but only to a point. You may want to fight to the last member of Fatah, but do you want to fight to the last member of the Social Democratic Party in Parliament? That is the eternal question. For the BBC, at least.

7/08/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

boghie,

I think things are slipping from our grasp because the diplomatic regime currently in place doesn't achieve its goals. The peace agreements (for example with Egypt) of the past had the virtue of guaranteeing both Egypt's and Israel's existence. But the danger is that the current program is perceived as having no end point for either Israel or the Palestinians.

Stay or leave; accomodate or fight; there is no security for Israel. No security for Palestine. The answer proferred, at least subconciously by the Left, is if that "shitty little country" would go away all would be well. If the Tamil Tigers went away, or North Korea went away, or Hamas went away ... it would all be easier than making Israel go away. Israel is probably not going away. You start with that fact. Then you move on to what it will necessarily do to stay alive and you ask whether we are not on some terrible road to danger.

I don't know what the way forward is, in an atmosphere charged with emotion. But I think it is reasonable to observe that the whole process of Israel negotiating with a "partner for peace" took a seriously hard knock in recent months. This process seems too fragile to survive. It is too easy to derail. Setting the locomotive back on track to simply fall off the other side isn't working too well. So is there a Plan B? A way forward? I don't know.

7/08/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The way forward, to Peace?

The price will be high, for the loser. Because the way forward requires a loser, a beaten down and defeated, been down so long it looks like up, loser.

Forced accomadation to reality, or exodus, and no where else even wants 'em. From either side.

A real War has a foregone conclusion, War, in a biblical sense, will be required before there is a way forward, that is the "Way", I'm afraid.

That or perpetual staus que.
War or retreat.

Because with the Status Que, Israel is already in retreat, the daily rocket attacks, proof.

7/08/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

W,

Follow the money. It leads through Syria to Tehran. Before the war in Iraq it was said that "the road to peace in the middle east runs through Baghdad." It turns out that it also runs through Damascus and Tehran. If the funding of terrorism in the Pal territories was turned off it would give things a chance to cool off. As it is, whenever Tehran or Damascus wants to be taken off the front pages it sends some cash to the terrorists/gangs/criminals and orders an attack.

In the recent kidnapping and murder of Asheri in Israel the kidnappers, after capture, said they had been paid "tens of thousands of dollars" to perpetrate the attack.

I don't remember if it was Cheney or Rumsfeld who said "if a problem appears unsolvable, enlarge it." There is some truth to that strategy.

I think that Syria is the linchpin to terrorism in Israel but I don't think Israel will start a war with them. If the Syrian administration were to fall that would (probably) cut off Hezbolla and the Pal terrorists and allow Lebanon to regain its sovereignty. Unfortunately it's very difficult to predict what would follow in Syria and it could be worse than what we have now.

It appears more likely that Israel is attempting to follow the Lebanon model where each side stays on its side of the border and there is months-long quiet punctuated by periodic attacks and retaliations.

I don't know how we convince the Chinese to act against the DPRK, but that is what it will take unless we want to act ourselves. They apparently view the DPRK as bad for us and therefore good for them.

7/08/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Let Eygpt permit the Palis resettle there or encourage the survivors to live in the rubble of an unrebuildable ruin.

Real War with Real Costs

Settle the issue, or not.

Hamas is right, historicly and in the future there will be one Country, from the Jordan to the Sea.

What Country it turns out to be, well that's up to the inhabitants to figure out, more than anyone else.

7/08/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

utopia
Repeat after the Supremes,
"It is not an international conflict",
just a series of unrelated, local events.

That nexus you describe was the reason, thirty plus months ago, some of us were advocating "On to Damascus".
We'd hasve destroyed that module of State sponsorship of terror, then left another country to extended anarchy, like Iraq.
There could have been great benefits with limited additional costs, at the time.
Coulda, shoulda ...
ah, well..

7/08/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

In theory, Syria's behavior could be changed by diplomatic means. Young Assad has responded to diplomatic pressure led by the US and France when it was forced to withdraw from Lebanon. However, they're unlikely to give up on 'terrorism as foreign policy' without extreme pressure. Israel doesn't have the ability to put that kind of diplomatic pressure on Syria. Realistically only the US, with the aid of one or more of the Euros, could do it.

7/08/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Any of the assembled ambassadors willing to comment on this?
---
Syria is being Set Up to Fail

7/08/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Democracy in the Arab world: Not yet, thanks.
Several factors explain the waning of reform momentum. One is the high price of oil. Exporters, from Algeria and Libya to the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, find themselves so flush with cash that they can again buy off dissent. But a bigger factor is the advance of Islamist opposition groups. In the past year, religious parties have crushed secular rivals in Iraq, Hamas has captured the shaky government of Palestine, Islamists have performed strongly in Saudi Arabia's polls, and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has won an unprecedented fifth of parliament's seats. More stunning yet, though without any recourse so far to the ballot box, the nascent Islamist movement in Somalia (a non-Arab member of the Arab League) appears close to uniting much of that chaotic country.

The Islamist surge has frightened not only the region's governments, but also foreign promoters of democracy. In particular, the quandary posed by Hamas has chilled American enthusiasm for change. Amr Hamzawy, who assesses Arab political reform at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, DC, describes with dismay how Western officials and academics at a recent conference appeared to "wash their hands of supporting democracy in the Arab world". During debates in America's Congress over proposals to slash aid to Egypt as a penalty for failing to reform, numerous speakers cited the danger of empowering Islamists and undermining a government which, though distasteful, has served American interests.

Similar signs of a return to realpolitik have been noted with relief by Arab governments.

7/08/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

S Korea suspends North food aid - BBC
Until the missile “problem” is resolved.

7/08/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Digital Art Photography for Dummies said...

You'd think, maybe, the countries surronding Isreal, would want to modernize as it has--in what appears to better living standards and conditions.

7/08/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

desert rat,

Of course the designated loser is Palestine, had they but the wit to realize it. Everyone has got a limited liability investment in keeping things stirred up. Syria, Teheran, maybe even factions in Europe. Limited liability. Aid, terrorist proxy support, the odd Nobel Prize thrown their way. Israel makes everyone forget the Near Enemy in Arab countries by focusing on the Far Enemy. Bait Israel. It's safe. Urge on the Palestinians. They're expendable. The al-Ahram piece basically tells the Palestinians they're on their own but the Arab world trusts they'll die fighting to the last man.

But Israel acting crazy upsets this calculus, raises the possibility that the "controlled burn" could jump the firebreaks turn it all into a neighborhood party. Going back to Boyne's book, which argues that only the massive USAF airlift provided the conventional margin that allowed Kissinger to get Meir to pull the nukes off the table, one can't help but wonder: what were the Soviets thinking in encouraging Sadat to go up against a nuclear armed Israel? Talk about irresponsbility. Ronald Reagan was as careful as a cat in a rocking chair display room compared to the Peace Loving Sovs. Fortunately Sadat simply wanted to regain a sliver of the Sinai to redeem Arab honor and prove a point. Sadat was saner than the Sovs. But his Arab neighbors soon got themselves into trouble and needed Egypt to push in further to bail them out. In so doing, they almost accidentally started Armageddon at a time when Woodward and Bernstein were saving America by destroying Nixon. History is full or ironies.

But we rarely remember the bullets that have missed us, except as funny stories and once Assad has recovered his nerve sufficiently and Iran feels surer of itself, they'll creep up to Israel again and nip, nip, nip. Then one day "some damn fool thing" in the Middle East will put all these niggling little calculations on the escalator to hell and we'll be for it.

7/08/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I have read that the USSR was planning a coup in Egypt after the Yom Kipper War and when we revealed that to Sadat he kicked them out.

Perhaps, but then there is Sadat's description of the reason that Egypt lost the Yom Kipper War. He said that the Soviet equipment was fine, their technicians and training Okay, but their approach to strategy left something to be desired.

When the Israelis struck back, crossed the Suez Canal with a tank force, knocked out the SAM belt, and were ready to do a drag race to Cairo, the Egyptians asked the Soviets what to do next. The Soviet advisors conferred with one another and then responded "Do what we do. Works every time. Pull back as far as you can and wait for winter."

Sadat told them to leave the country.

7/08/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

wret: Of course the designated loser is Palestine, had they but the wit to realize it.

actually the designated loser is Israel, after all since the arabs/"fake people palestine" did not have the guts to SOLVE the problem themselves the LOSER is the "BAD" guy israel, they have to solve it and will be deemed by the UN as the unilateral bad guy..

The Palestinians STIll will get their state, no matter how many murders, brain bashings, executions, bombings, rockets, hijackings, kidnappings, sniper shootings of babies, stabbings, hate filled schooling, teaching their kids to murder to get to heaven, the "fake people Palestine" will still shout "WE WANT OUR STATE" and the world will allow them to do all of the about to Jews anywhere anytime to do get it...

the sad fact, the fake people "palestine" could have had a state so many times it's sickening. All they have to do is take all of gaza, 97% of the west bank and 1/2 of jerusalem and promise not to murder jews...

I guess that is too tall at this moment, dont worry a "moderate" jew murdering holocaust denying NEW "palestinian" will show up soon and say the right things, while funding jew murderers privately....

so the designated loser is Israel..

My solution? ANNEX one acre of gaza or west bank for every kassam fired at israel, annouce a new program, seizure forever of land in response to every attack, until the arabs that call themselves move away. 2000 yrs from now they can try to "resettle" palestine...

7/08/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Theoretically, as a regional power, Israel can only help the US in the Middle East. Practically, it is the last country in the Middle East that can provide meaningful help to the US. Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt all can provide greater practical assistance without the baggage that comes with Israel.

Israel is a creation of the excesses and moral turpitude of Europe. The United States stepped into the moral vaccum, created in Europe, and provided great assistance and support to Israel. Israel has a GDP of one hundred twenty nine billion dollars with six million people. It's per capita income, excluding Israeli Arabs, is higher than England.

Is it time for Israel to be off American military aid. it is time for normal state to state relations between two different countries with different problems, objectives and interests. Israel can take care of itself. It would let the Arab world know, that the US will not be there to restrain a client state and Israel is a part of their world in a natural organic sense. The Arab world would have no choice but continue to normalize relations with Israel or accept the consequences.

It would relieve the US of the Israeli calculus in dealing with the Arabs and Islam. Israel has grown up and the US has too many contradictory and archaic relationships that make no sense today. This would be a good place to start to unwind them.

7/08/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

2164th said...
Theoretically, as a regional power, Israel can only help the US in the Middle East. Practically, it is the last country in the Middle East that can provide meaningful help to the US. Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt all can provide greater practical assistance without the baggage that comes with Israel.

actually Israel does help the USA in many ways, far to numerous to mention, but how about a couple:

Most dependable ally in the world, bar NONE, this includes England.

The quality of R & D from science to technology, from medicine to agra research benefits the world over.


2164th said... Israel is a creation of the excesses and moral turpitude of Europe.

Actually no, Israel was WELL on it's OWN to REcreate it'sself in it's historic land BEFORE WW2 ever rolled around

2164th said... The United States stepped into the moral vaccum, created in Europe, and provided great assistance and support to Israel.

Not at 1st, in fact for the 1st couple of decades the USA was down right UNHELPful, from forcing israel to give up the sinai the 1st time, to how under Pres Johnson we screwed the israeli's out of our Treaty of PROTECTION we promised and if you look how the ENTIRE 1967 war could have been prevented if only we had any balls to stand up to Nassar. 1973 would NEVER HAD TO HAPPEN. Dont get me wrong, the USA is a great friend of Israel today (and supporter)

Israel has a GDP of one hundred twenty nine billion dollars with six million people. It's per capita income, excluding Israeli Arabs, is higher than England.

2164th said... Is it time for Israel to be off American military aid. it is time for normal state to state relations between two different countries with different problems, objectives and interests.

If this is true, is it also time to cut all aid to egypt? and NATO (100 billion a yr) and to BILL the arab world for the IRAQ war? 129 billion dollars, hmm..

how much do the arabs earn from oil a year? 990 billion?

2164th said... Israel can take care of itself.

not entirely, but i like where you are going. would we allow israel to actually fight back? and not stop them?

2164th said...It would let the Arab world know, that the US will not be there to restrain a client state and Israel is a part of their world in a natural organic sense.

would not change a thing, if israel were destroyed they'd be bitching about spain

2164th said...The Arab world would have no choice but continue to normalize relations with Israel or accept the consequences.

no choice? the arabs would invent a jewish control angle


2164th said...It would relieve the US of the Israeli calculus in dealing with the Arabs and Islam. Israel has grown up and the US has too many contradictory and archaic relationships that make no sense today. This would be a good place to start to unwind them.

I agree, start cutting aid to all (including israel) that's what BIBI say YEARS ago, in fact over all aid to israel is going down, BiBi was the 1st national leader from another country ever to request the usa to cut aid back

7/08/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt all can provide greater practical assistance without the baggage that comes with Israel.


Right. And how many Israeli's were among the hijackers on 9/11?

The Israeli's are Jewish and therefore sane. The Arabs are all Muslims and therefore by definition insane, not to mention murderous to those of us who are not also Muslim.

Don't be ridiculous in your recommendation that we toss out the Israeli's who have been pretty good about getting our back, and replace them with a bunch of murderous fruit-loops who have one talent only -- that of beheading people.

Oh. And they're also pretty good at ululating. Neither of which are particularly good at moving us forward into the next great adventure of going into space.

7/08/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

better link for the article

The 1973 Arab-Israeli War
DAVID T.BUCKWALTER

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/navy/pmi/1973.pdf

7/08/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

what is occupation,

I enjoyed your thoughtful rebuttal. I firmly believe that the status quo and doctrinaire thinking are often impediment to constructive growth and innovation. Nahncee took offense and missed the ironic point that the US could not publicly accept much proffered aid from Israel and the US had to me grateful for the little public aid and support offered by Arab States. Perhaps I was clumsy in my staement. You referred to the same point. My premise is based on the concept that American support for domestic or international friends should be to give them a start. Nurse them to a stage where they have roots and wings and encourage them to go it alone. Israel, Japan, all of Europe and South Korea are in that category. I believe we can mostly agree on that.

7/08/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

nahncee,

My point is I want the US and other allied and active particpants to have a free hand to deal with militant Islam. Israel will never be able to do that. I am not suggesting throwing anyone overborad. Israel has their own dealings with Islam that are different than US interests.

Israel is not the US. Israel is much more socialistic than the US. It also has great intellectual and political internal differences. It is governed by the rule of law as drafted by a democratically elected parliament. It is influenced by Jewish values and adheres to many Jewish religious customs, similar to the United States and other nations that are shaped by the Judeo-Christian heritage. There is great but incomplete harmony in US and Israeli interests.

My interests are to free American hands not from entangling alliances but incoherent and archaic alliances. The United States can and does have differences with Canada, but there is a bond that goes beyond treaties and dogma. No one would or should doubt the US would use SDI to prevent a missile attack against Montreal with or without a treaty. The same would apply to Israel.

7/08/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Aristides said, "The war on terror is not just against radical Islam; it may be currently, but it won't stay that way. It is a war to eliminate our vulnerability, our Achilles heel; a war to stave off the chaotic input of a group of misfits that, in terms of effect, far outweighs its size and duration.

So there we go. It's a war against a particular type of input, an input that can destabilizes our entire society. I.e., it's a war against terror."

The war against the Western left, Western MSM, and Western PC-ism is the chief war more encompassing than the war against Radical Islamism. Start winning that one and the Islamists shrivel up & whine to little avail, without the Keller types bolstering & supporting their cause.

How to go about prosecuting That Larger War? Well to start with, we could label the Current Skirmish the Global War against Radical Islamism, and start at home by rounding up Radical Imams and Radical Newspaper Publishers who side with Radical Imams & Islamists.

7/08/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

nahncee:
On the other hand,
"Ululating in Space"
has possibilities as a sequel to
"Spaceballs"

7/08/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

db2m
Round 'em up?
We don't even indict,
let alone "round up".

The leaks are not taken seriously by the AG, ergo, it's not that serious.

Ms Plames identity "leak" deserved investigation and a Grand Jury, why not the NSA or SWIFT leaks?

Who is in charge of stopping this leakage, who is ultimately responsible for stopping it?

Inquiring minds and all that.

7/08/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/08/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat,
Please let me know if THIS link works for you:
Immigration

7/08/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nahncee:
You also left out that they excel in marrying young:
Ghulam Haider, 11, is to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40.
She had hoped to be a teacher but was forced to quit her classes when she became engaged.

-
The Bride Price

7/08/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I have to click that map once to activate it.

7/08/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yes, doug, this one works fine.

7/08/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Illegal residents:

AZ 1990 90,000
AZ 2004 450,000

CA 1990 1,480,000
CA 2004 2,450,000

Texas 1990 400,000
Texas 2004 1,400,000

Georgia 35,000 to 350,000 illegals, etc, etc:

It only took two corrupt presidents to wreak serious havoc on the rule of law in the USA.

7/08/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Biographies of two Rocket Scientists:
---
"A man named Mohammed Fazal, 45, told Sinclair that village elders had urged him to take his second wife, 13-year-old Majabin, in lieu of money owed him by the girl's father.

The two men had been gambling at cards while also ingesting opium and hashish
."

7/08/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Rat,

Way, way OT by now:

I thoroughly enjoyed that piece you referenced by Paul Starobin, Putin's Russia, in the National Journal.

Something about his account of the life of the Cossacks (a folk not at all beloved, to say the least, by us Jews!) made me think of Chekov and Tergenev for some reason. Russia is a great but terribly screwed up nation.

Thanks.

Jamie Irons

7/08/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Personally, I think the Israelis are on their way to solving the problem, so long as they don't lose nerve again and give in to demands. Time to get themselves hooked off the Oslo drug, and begin treating the problem as they treated it in the first 40+ years of their history. You leave me alone, I leave you alone. You mess with me - I kill you.

Israel hasn't gone crazy, they are simply rejecting the EUnuch/UN doctrine of "proportional response." It is going down the toilet. Good riddance, a more idiotic approach to ending wars I've never seen.

From now on the Palestinians will be allowed to mess up their own area, and stew in their own dislocation, period.

The diplomatic merry go round of hopes and dreams can fly off the playground for all it matters, Israel is going to deal with reality. Sure living next to a run-down project filled with mad-max crack addicts sucks, but they're going to make the best of a bad situation by letting them sink or...well, sink on their own.

7/08/2006 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Agreed!
Good to see you back, Cutler!
---
Jamie,
Have you looked at
"Love and Honor" by Randall Wallace?

7/08/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Flash! Time Magazine signs Desert Rat for Cover Art

Drudge

7/08/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"doctrinal flameout." :-)
... :-(

7/08/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

End of Illusions
- Rich Lowry in Israel

7/09/2006 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Two Dead Soldiers, Eight More to Go, Vow Avengers of Iraqi Girl's Rape
By Akeel Hussein in Mahmoudiyah and Colin Freeman

(Filed: 09/07/2006) London Telegraph

The American soldiers accused of raping an Iraqi girl and then murdering her and her family may have provoked an insurgent revenge plot in which two of their comrades were abducted and beheaded last month, it has been claimed.

Pte Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Pte Thomas Tucker, 25, were snatched from a checkpoint near the town of Yusufiyah on June 16 in what was thought at the time to be random terrorist retaliation for the killing of the al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an American air strike two days earlier.


Private Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker were beheaded

Now, however, residents of the neighbouring town of Mahmoudiyah have told The Sunday Telegraph that their kidnap was carried out to avenge the attack on a local girl Abeer Qassim Hamza, 15, and her family. They claim that insurgents have vowed to kidnap and kill another eight American troops to exact a 10-to-one revenge for the rape and murder of the girl.

7/09/2006 02:46:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Bringing it On

7/09/2006 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Clan Justice, 2164, they don't need no stinking badges.

First I'd read that she was only 15 years old when raped, murdered and then burnt, by GI Joe.

Ten to One, about the scale of justice I'd want for my daughter, a girl of 15 years as well.

Doubt that only ten would be enough to placate my blood lust or desire for revenge, really.

7/09/2006 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I guess no one will be thanking the arrested four for their service. It looks like the two beheaded Gi's were collateral damage.

7/09/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Another Thank You Gift from The President with the Translucent Soul

Russia Offered to Help N. Korea

By Michael Hirst
LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
July 9, 2006

LONDON -- Russia secretly offered to sell North Korea technology that could help the rogue state protect nuclear stockpiles and safeguard weapons secrets from international scrutiny, but officials backed off after the arms flirtation was publicized.
Russian officials touted the equipment to the communist regime at an information technology exhibition in Pyongyang late last month -- just days before North Korea sparked international alarm by launching a salvo of short- and long-range missiles into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
Aleksei Grigoriev, deputy director of Russia's Federal Information Technologies Agency, told a reporter for the Itar-Tass news agency that North Korea planned to buy equipment for the safe storage and transportation of nuclear materials.

7/09/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Wretchard, this is sort of OT and perhaps not even important, it surprised me is all. In your 4:56 PM post you said at the end of the next to last paragraph “In so doing, they almost accidentally started Armageddon at a time when Woodward and Bernstein were saving America by destroying Nixon. History is full or ironies”. The “saving America”, bit kind of throws me. I would personally not have rated R M Nixon as even the 2nd worst president in the twentieth century, more like a close call between 3rd worst and 4th. I don’t want to rank my own choices here, nobody would care, in my thinking there is an outstanding choice for “worst”, but he did not come close to destroying America.

Can you cite a link or something that supports what you say? I lay a lot of store on your words, you have come across as a profound thinker. Even if this is your own reasoning I wish you would expound on it.

7/09/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mind reader that I am:
Wretch was looking at the world as the left does:
"Our" greatest victory over "our""selves" was Vietnam, not in 'Nam but here at home.
Although reactionaries say it was not Nixon's War, we know better, anti-commie hater that he was, and getting rid of him saved our world in the 20th Century.
...so the World was saved by getting rid of RMN

7/09/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and that has been The Template for the MSM, and now the Democrat Party ever since:
Save the world by destroying whatever the reactionaries here at home are trying to do to it.
THIS MEANS YOU!

7/09/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's been said that the French like ideas more than facts, whereas we Americans like facts more than ideas:
Although Wretch is not French, he DID go to Harvard!

7/09/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

2164th,
Look at this!
U.S. to Negotiate Russian Storage of Atomic Waste
---
The Bush administration will open negotiations that would pave the way for Russia to become one of the world's largest repositories of spent nuclear fuel.
---
President Vladimir V. Putin has been looking to expand the country's role in the multibillion nuclear power business. The United States has traditionally opposed any such arrangement, in part because of concerns about the safety of Russian nuclear facilities, and because the country has helped Iran build its first major nuclear reactor.

But administration officials said that once Mr. Bush endorsed Mr. Putin's proposal last year for Iran to conduct uranium enrichment inside Russia — rather than in Iran, where the administration fears it would be diverted to weapons — it made little sense to bar ordinary civilian nuclear exchanges with Russia.

In announcing the change of course, the White House made it clear that in return, it expected Mr. Putin's cooperation in what promises to be a tense confrontation with Iran on forcing it to give up the enrichment of uranium. Mr. Bush has charged that the enrichment is intended to feed a secret nuclear weapons program. "We have made clear to Russia that for an agreement on peaceful nuke cooperation to go forward, we will need active cooperation in blocking Iran's attempts to obtain nuclear weapons," said Peter Watkins, a White House spokesman.
---
You figure it out, 2164th:

Sounds like Halfbright's thinking with the Norks: But what do I know, except that I would take RMN over GWB almost any day except those two where he created the EPA, and played ping pong with the Chicoms!
Bush' got no Soul.
...but he does have that hat.

7/09/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/09/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Sorry about the length of this...

Cedarford (10:26am, 10:44am) and Wretchard (1:40pm):

Yeah, I can see Michael Ledeen and a cast of neocons giving their 2003 Speech. "On to Syria! On to Iran! On to the Sudan! Cakewalks all, paid for in cheaper oil! Faster, faster please!" Then Congress stands up and cheers and votes for 2-3 more "high tech wonder wars" on top of the two we "won" but are mysteriously still bogged down fighting and borrowing money at the tune of 70 billion a month to fight.

Couple of points:
1. Michael Ledeen’s son is an active duty lieutenant in the Marine Corps – currently serving on a line unit in Iraq. So the implied ‘Chickenhawk’ argument you promote is a bit odd.
2. Show me any evidence that we are spending $70 Billion a month on the war. That number was FY2005’s war supplemental. This years was much less, and next year we are talking about $50 Billion and placing that directly into the budget as a line item. The DOD budget for FY2006 is $512 Billion. Your numbers for the war alone add up to $840 Billion. You probably also know that the DOD actually budgets for stuff other than the war – thought I should make that clear. Maybe you meant $7 Billion. Out of that we are borrowing 12% - or $0.84 Billion a month or $10 Billion a year by your numbers. We can wipe that out by cutting Social Security Benefits or Medicaid or a couple of bridges and monuments and buildings.
3. Since 2003 (inclusive) what war has Congress stood up to vote on (not even for)? Syria is being isolated and is failing on its own. Iran can’t even import ½ of its gasoline requirements. Sudan will not require conventional war. So, what are you talking about?

Haven't been out of America to Europe, Asia, or Latin America in the last 3 years, have you..? While the Palestinians are less popular as a cause, there is no commensurate rise in support for what is nearly universally regarded as Bush's badly bungled management of postwar Iraq. Or the sadly misnamed "Global War on (the Tactic of) Terror" that refuses to ID the actual enemy.

Couple of points:
1. Yup, I was in Turkey last July. Don’t remember being shot, bombed, or head chopped. Lots of nice people talked to me. Very beautiful women. Made a nice post on my blog about it. Did you know that Americans have never been really loved in Europe, neither are the Germans, British, French, or Italians. Couple of years ago I was in Canada. Three years ago in Japan and southern Mexico. I sure don’t get around much…
2. The Palestinians are finally being seen by the world community as for what they are – barbarians. Not all, but most, or at least culturally. Not all individuals in barbarian tribes are, or were, barbarians. But you know a barbarian when you see one, eh…
3. Yup, the Turks I spoke to don’t like the Iraq War. Neither did the Mexicans and Canadians. The Japanese didn’t seem to care one way or another. Oh, well…

Japan, S Korea, Poland, Italy have all begun to or have pulled out of the pretense of being "the Coalition of the Willing". Window dressing - meant to give Bush the face-saving appearance of support from other nations who owe Bush a favor or who expect to be amply rewarded financially by the US (Ukraine, Tonga, El Salvador) for sticking a few hundred of their troops in relatively safe zones as "symbols".

Right you are. But, does anyone think that all nations (including America) will keep all their troops in Iraq. What part of the plan is that? I hope we keep enough in the region to force Iran and Syria to expend valuable resources from their miniscule economies to counter us.

And, now to respond to Wretchard - what an honor!!!

I think things are slipping from our grasp because the diplomatic regime currently in place doesn't achieve its goals. The peace agreements (for example with Egypt) of the past had the virtue of guaranteeing both Egypt's and Israel's existence. But the danger is that the current program is perceived as having no end point for either Israel or the Palestinians.

I think you are correct in stating that 'Third Turning' style agreements can no longer hold. The remaining differences are distinct and intrangiant. But, me thinks you might be a bit coy when you state you don't know Plan B. Me thinks that soon (a matter of a few years at most) there will be a distinct winner and a distinct loser. The Palestinians are now being viewed as barbarians rather than victims. Hopefully, there will be little bloodshed - but this one is starting to look very ugly. Regardless, and I know this is a rather hard statement – but I make it as an objective not a desired comment, there will be an end point. The world is changing. And, it would have regardless of who our El Presidente was or is.

I think your deeper point is that the Shining City on the Hill (2nd Conjecture) path may be dimming. I am not there yet. I am not at the 3rd Conjecture. However, your example using the Israel/Palestine conflict may be at a modified conventional weapon 3rd Conjecture. Sharon tried to move away from that progression, Olmert tried to carry it through, but the Palestinians are not playing even handed. How long will the people of Israel deal with these thugs. Years or months. And, if they lob some rather ineffective WMD thingy than all bets are off. The problem is that the Palestinians have to escalate the conflict for their vision of the world to reign supreme. However, it will be the Palestinians that will receive the brunt of the damage – and who will/can come to their defense.

Very bad situation.

And, now we look behind the other prize doors - at Iran and North Korea. Uuuuggghhh…

7/09/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...we pay the Ruskies, the Ruskies help the Norks:
Sounds like a Comprehensive Plan to me:
Just like Immigration.
Maybe they COULD save the USA by destroying GWB!

7/09/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Boghie,
You left out that Ledeen is not calling for an invasion of Iran:
I've said that many times, but C-4 has a lot on his mind, so he must have forgotten.

7/09/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Doug,

Good point. But he doesn't call for an invasion because he thinks we can win without one... As do I...

Iraq is kinda positioned rather well to contain the terror states, eh...

Can't figure out why we went in. Those children on swings and things, no WMD, and no reason to be there. I just can't figure out the strategic reasons, the moral reasons, and the threat reasons why we went in.

Kinda like attacking France to beat Germany in WWII... We could have gone through Hamburg. The French never attacked us! And, who could tell if they really wanted to be 'liberated'.

7/09/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

I think that neither invasion of Iran or taking out their electric grid (semi-permanently)is contemplated, because of one thing. Either of these scenarios would probably permanently stop the Iranian Nuclear Program. Loss of Iranian oil even for a few months would probably send the price of cruse to $200 to $300 per barrel, sending the West, China and India into another great depression, probably worse than the 1930's. I think Kim Il Soong is probably regarded as the merest lunatic. Makes me itch for a few JDAMS when I see a couple of regiments of the idiots goose stepping along. If he wasn't an idiot he might remember the fate of the last prominent goose steppers.

I cannot support this conjecture, except with conversation with some oil company executives, re the price of crude. Would also enrich Hugo Chavez to a probably politically insupportable degree.

Given this level of problem, I wonder that anyone wants the job of POTUS, it has to be nerve wracking to an incredible degree.

7/09/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Here are some folks who say Iraq has been badly bungled and the war is nearly lost and when it is lost bad things will happen in lots of other places.

Usually I'm a cheerleader for the war. In this case I'd have to agree with the asessment.

7/09/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dave H,
If me, Cheney, and Rummy were in charge instead of GWB/CONDI, here's what we'd do:
---
Use our high tech weapons and So Korean intelligence to take out Kim and whoever else needs it, while at the same time doing what we did in Afghanistan:
Dropping food from the USA, with multilingual (even Korean) labels saying take all you want, just don't shoot!
...Arty North of Seoul would get the best grubs of all, and lots of Viagra.
...but what do I know?
---
Instead of then bungling ala GWB/CONDI, I would have the South Koreans choose who would do what with the Norks.

7/09/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

I'll just set my YearlyKOS Tinfoil Hat right here on top of my head...

And, what do I hear...

Squawk ... yak ... blah... Iraq could ... replace ... Iranian ... oi ... exports ... oon...

Month ... maybe a ... ear ... Not many ... oil infrast ... attacks getting ... rough ...

I'm taking this thing off. Someone may take a photo.

The other transgender dude's fedora won the contest anyway...

7/09/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Griswel said...

Israel's actions in Gaza are signs that that the situation is returning to the old, familiar rules. Israel's way of saying "don't do that" is more traditional today than it was a year ago.

Until recently, palestinians murdered Israelis and Israel launched limited attacks on specific people. Even the large incursions were namby-pamby.

Now, while continuing the targetted attacks, Israel punishes the supporters of the attackers, the ones who elected them.

This is not new, but a return to the old way: when one party attacks his neighbor, the neighbor gets seriously upset and does something about it.

7/10/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Doug, have hou listened to the news lately? I am not very sure that you should cap off your admirable program by bringing in South Koreans as decision makers for anything. In fact you might consider just lumping the North and South together.

Idea: Lets go ahead with a merger, we can set up a nice network of spies on several levels, let Dearest Leader Kim handle the resulting mess as best he can, probably keep him out of mischief for several decades.

Of course we would have to re-base our troops somewhere. Do you think we could negotiate a deal with Taiwan for some permanent bases?

7/10/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It is odd that so many in the South seem oblivious to massive evil just to the North.
See no evil.
Blame the USA.

7/10/2006 06:36:00 PM  

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