Thursday, July 27, 2006

Postscript to Pulp Fiction

I've decided to write a postscript to the speculative Pulp Fiction focusing on two points. The first is that things don't unroll according to some vast plan preordained before hostilities except in the broadest sense -- the constraints imposed by geography, resources and time. The second is that even when a set of politicians are muddled and indecisive, as the Israeli cabinet often is, they often find themselves behaving according to some logic in spite of themselves.

Two months ago no one would have guessed that Ehud Olmert would be leading Israel into its first major war of the 21st century. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz wryly considered the joke that history had played on him. The Jerusalem Post wrote:

When Ariel Sharon was defense minister, Amir Peretz was a leading activist organizing Peace Now demonstrations in which Sharon was called a "murderer" for allowing Lebanese civilians to get killed in the Lebanon War.

On Saturday night, Peretz came full circle when a small group of extreme left-wingers called him a "murderer" at a demonstration in Tel Aviv.

If it's any consolation, the joke isn't confined to him. Nasrallah wanted one thing and got another. Olmert wanted out of Gaza and finds himself back in it. The men fighting on both sides in the Lebanese hills had no idea six weeks ago that they would be at each other's throats. If I had to choose a single image to symbolize the war in Lebanon it wouldn't be the smashed buildings in south Beirut. It would be the empty pools in hotels that had been fully booked for the summer season. How things turn out in the end will be the outcome of men's struggles to control their fate against the tides of the world. Albert Camus, who always had a fine sense for the absurd had the most elegant answer to the question of our place in events: "In the end, man is not entirely guilty — he did not start history. Nor is he wholly innocent — he continues it."


Blogger Asher Abrams said...

Albert Camus, who always had a fine sense for the absurd had the most elegant answer to the question of our place in events: "In the end, man is not entirely guilty — he did not start history. Nor is he wholly innocent — he continues it.

And all this time I thought it was Billy Joel.

7/27/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The battle in Bint Jbail
Contrary to previous reports, Friedler said, the Hizbullah fighters were not lying in ambush. "Both sides were unaware of each other and it was actually one of our soldiers who saw them first and opened fire."
- J Post -Yoni

7/27/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Oren was just interviewed by Shep Smith on Fox. Shep asked if the goals for the Israeli military were contracting due to the unexpected fighting prowess of the Hezbollah. Oren said, on the contrary, that it appears that objectives were, if anything, expanding.

Take that as you will. He also said that Israel will not accept anything other than a demilitarization of Hezbollah, and is not interested in the demilitarization of territory.

Mistakes are, of course, being made by both sides -- this is war, after all. But I think the original mistake of this war, Hezbollah deciding to attack, will be the one that is determinative.

7/27/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Nor is he wholly innocent — he continues it."
One more for the Road.

7/27/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Doug, I'm pretty sure it was Haaratz that first reported the word "ambush", also reporting that the IDF didn't have enough troops and was ill-prepared.

If it's true that is not the case, that plus Israeli censorship creates a strong argument that the original report was psyops.

Of course, maybe the correction is psyops, to help restore morale. Wish we knew.

7/27/2006 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

aristides; 4:48 PM

Without a militant Hezbollah, ipso facto, the territory is demilitarized.

With no intention of being rude, however, it must be pointed out that “[i]magination is cheap if we don’t have to bother with the details.” (Dennett)

What would constitute a demilitarized Hezbollah?

Who will demilitarize Hezbollah?
Syria? EU? NATO? UN? The possibilities are limited and voluntarism in short supply.

7/27/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

At his confirmation hearing today, Bolton laid out our strategic objectives in this conflict:

Seize the opportunity to once and forever dismantle Hezbollah, restore democratic control by Lebanon over all of its territory, and lay the foundations which would allow Israel to live in peace with its neighbors.

He also stated that Iran's quest for nukes poses a "grave and direct" threat, and that it is a critical issue.

Anybody want to place a bet on whether Bush is serious?

Allen, re: the demilitarization of territory vs. Hezbollah, that's what I was saying, whether it came through or not. I was hoping to contrast the latter with the call for a buffer zone. And yes, the devil is in the details.

7/27/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Speaking of continuing history, the Senator from Vietnam also said something to Bolton to the effect: The six party talks with North Korea are dragging on for five years. When are we going to go to bilateral talks and get the job done, like the Clinton Administration did.

THANK GOD Bush won a second term. Get the job done like the Clinton Administration did - holy cow! They appeased the North Koreans who continued building nukes, and he refused to act decisively against Al Qaeda, even in the face of multiple declarations and acts of war against us.

What could Kerry possibly mean by get the job done? This is truly Orwellian.

Wretchard - Pulp Fiction is excellent, this is the best blog on the planet.

7/27/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Speaking of Clinton:
Peace Morons
Israel's Unnecessary War
For 45 years, 1948-93, Israel's strategic vision, tactical brilliance, technological innovation, and logistical cleverness won it a deterrence capability. A deep understanding of the country's predicament, complemented by money, will power, and dedication, enabled the Israeli state systematically to burnish its reputation for toughness

Decades of hard work before 1993 won Israel the wary respect of its enemies. In contrast, episodic displays of muscle have no utility. Should Israel resume the business-as-usual of appeasement and retreat, the present fighting will turn out to be a summer squall, a futile lashing-out. By now, Israel's enemies know they need only hunker down for some days or weeks and things will go back to normal, with the Israeli left in obstructionist mode, the government soon proffering gifts, trucking with terrorists, and yet again in territorial retreat.

Deterrence cannot be reinstated in a week, through a raid, a blockade, or a round of war. It demands unwavering resolve, expressed over decades. For the current operations to achieve anything for Israel beyond emotional palliation, they must presage a profound change in orientation. They must prompt a major rethinking of Israeli foreign policy, a junking of the Oslo and disengagement paradigms in favor of a policy of deterrence leading to victory.
- Pipes

7/27/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I saw on tv the Sandinista Senator ask those questions of Bolton. He was snarling the questions, with a huge sneer on his face and his voice dripping with sarcasm and condescension.

What a black hole that guy is.

7/27/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Israel built themsleves a very large problem in the 70's by reacting to terrorist attacks by bombing refugee camps. "You hit me I will hit you" may have made some kind of sense - in Chicago in 1933 - but in the end they finally had to admit they were only making things worse. So said an IAF Colonel in an article I read in a USAF professional development course/sleep inducer circa 1980. They learned, but that legacy lives on.

Targeted attacks against specific terrorist leaders worked much better, providing not only "Tit for Tat" satisfaction but effectively reducing enemy capabilities as well. Technology made that kind of approach possible - Precision Guided Munitions combined with better survelliance techniques.

Clearly, the current leadership in Israel gew up under the old Tit for Tat strategy and are as much a prisoner of it as Hamas and Hezbolah depend on it for recruits.

Just as Israel was caught flat footed in the Yom Kipper War by a belief in continued Arab incompetance, the country was now caught flat footed by a belief in its own continued culpability.

At least they have shown an ability to learn - which is more than many in the U.S. can say.

7/27/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Wretchard, you're getting great praise over at Roger's place.

Much deserved.

7/27/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

I posted this under the previous "Pulp Fiction" but knowing that some of you "never look back" I thought I would line it up here too. What is the chance that it too is a work of fiction? If it is not would the Hizzy boys use the same tactics?
Ht to Israellycool
Wonder what Kofi would have say about this looks pretty deliberate to me......
UN ambulance picking up fighters in Gaza Strip

7/27/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Bobster said...

The recent news reports of the Israel plans only limited incursions into Lebanon could be bad mnws or, hopefully psyops to keep HB forces in the south while the hammer is brought down.

7/27/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Hugh Hewitt's linked to you, also.

7/27/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

One would think the next 24 to 48 hours will tell the tale of Israeli intentions.

Is the HB flowing south out of the Bekaa to meet the IDF, or are they standing pat in their positions? I doubt to there being many HB deserters, regardless.

Questions as to the size of HB remain. Reports of it being from as few as 1,000 fighters to as many as 12,000 total men under arms. With as poor intelligence as is reported, as to HB infrastructure, why would any of the estimates be valid?
It seems obvious that the lower estimates were much to low, what if the higher estimates are to low, as well.

Still no manpads, are they waiting for an airlifted blocking force, or are they missing those missiles from HB inventories?

The replacements from both Iraq and Iran should be in Damascus by now. Most likely being outfitted for their trip to Lebanon.
They, perhaps, will play the role of General Giap's Army. Lambs to the slaughter or not, depending on which of General Giap's Indochinese realities play out.

In the end they beat the West, they had greater resolve than either the French or the United States.

Mr Dean called Mr Maliki and anti-Semite, he's right. At least about that. Especially if we are using the Pat Buchannon litmus test, as the Standard.

Mr al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is dispatching an Expeditionary Force of it's own to the Levant. Good thing, it may help stabilize Baghdad.

Half-stepped to Victory, here's to hope!

7/27/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I don't blame him for being anti-semitic (relax guys, I'm getting tongue-in-cheek, here.)

The Mesopotamians had a Great Culture going 5500 years, ago, before the semetes attacked and conquered them. This was before the Semetes became monotheists, and everything started going to hell.

7/27/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

And, just to clarify (I know you all know this, but just in case) Semitic refers to the language, not race or nationality. Arabs are Semites, also.

So, to the extent that his heritage is Mesopotamian, or Persian, he can be excused being a bit "anti-semitic."

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

When Hope is all there is:
Will we ever learn? - Ledeen on Syria.

OT - McCain Judicial Sabotage

7/27/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

You know, if the Israeli's are trying to "confuse" the Hez it's probably working.

Unless the Hez are a "Hell" of a lot smarter than we on this blog are (which is probably a given) they're wishing, along about now, that they didn't belong to a religion that bans alcohol.

7/27/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Big John, Crown Prince of the Pacific.

A truely dangerous man

7/27/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

But Howards Dean can never be excused--he does all he possibly can to improve conditions for the terrorists, then decides he's the Protector of Israel?

7/27/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard wrote:

On Saturday night, Peretz came full circle when a small group of extreme left-wingers called him a "murderer" at a demonstration in Tel Aviv.

O RLY! It looks like Peretz is getting the "Daily Koz" treatment like what's happening to Lieberman and Hillary and any other "Scoop Jackson" type Democrat who has their head screwed on straight over foreign policy this year.

If it's any consolation, the joke isn't confined to him. Nasrallah wanted one thing and got another. Olmert wanted out of Gaza and finds himself back in it. The men fighting on both sides in the Lebanese hills had no idea six weeks ago that they would be at each other's throats.

More consolations: It was mentioned elsewhere that Nasrallah overplayed his hand when he did his kidnappings right after the Gaza kidnapping, putting Israel in a fell mood months or years before Iran was ready with their Bomb and throwing off the 12th Iman's whole timetable. Olmert wanted out of the West Bank and the throws that whole concept into the category of dubious. Assad can hang up his dreams of getting back the Golan Heights, any rockets launched from there could probably even hit Jerusalem.

If I had to choose a single image to symbolize the war in Lebanon it wouldn't be the smashed buildings in south Beirut. It would be the empty pools in hotels that had been fully booked for the summer season.

And that image might be what saves us from plunging into a war with China someday. Abstract ideology about getting back Taiwan as a breakaway province won't be worth a damn if the "market of last resort" (i.e. America) is closed to all their slave-manufactured crap due to wartime sanctions and the Chinese government is holding all these Treasury IOUs that suddenly aren't worth the paper they're written on.

7/27/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Here's a list of Semites--
The Akkadians
The Amoritic Babylonians
The Canaanites
The coastal Phoenicians
The Hebrews
The Assyrians
The Chaldeans
The Aramaens
The Arabs
One thing alot of them had in common was they lived in the desert and attacked the city. Having then settled themselves in the city, they got attacked from the desert.
I wish the world would come up with another word for being anti-Jewish than anti-semitic--like perhaps, anti-Jewish.

7/27/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

James Bamford gives Ledeen the C-4 treatment.
Roger Simon

7/27/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

James Bamford:
Wretchard in extremis:
Prays for Voo Doo!

7/27/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The Chinese are busy inventing "Capitalism."

This Crap is Religious. The only question is will we end up at war with Radical Islam, or Islam.

7/27/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

This is OT but something in the comments stirred this memory. I don't recall Dylan or the The White Stripes doing this tune. Rather I recall some group doing this number in a bar called Augies on 106th St & Broadway back in about 1979-80.

One More Cup Of Coffee
The White Stripes
Bob Dylan

Your breath is sweet
Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky.
Your back is straight, your hair is smooth
On the pillow where you lie.
But I don't sense affection
No gratitude or love
Your loyalty is not to me
But to the stars above.

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below.

Your daddy he's an outlaw
And a wanderer by trade
He'll teach you how to pick and choose
And how to throw the blade
He oversees his kingdom
So no stranger does intrude
His voice it trembles as he calls out
For another plate of food

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below

Your sister sees the future
Like your mama and yourself
You've never learned to read or write
There's no books upon your shelf.
And your pleasure knows no limits
Your voice is like a meadowlark
But your heart is like an ocean
Mysterious and dark

One more cup of coffee for the road,
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go
To the valley below

7/27/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But a mile wide free fire zone, dear humble host, is to little, to late. If that is to be the ALL of it.
That is not an "amputation, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy "
it does, though constitute voo-doo.

If Mr Olmert is as skillful as Mr Reagan, voo-doo can work, ask the senior Mr Bush, he learned quite a bit about voo-doo, from Mr Reagan's economics lesson.

As stated on D Day, if the HB is not destroyed, HB WINS!

If the Bekaa is not cleared, HB WINS!

If the Status Que is not seriously altered, HB WINS!

That would be worse than bad.
Hope for the voo-doo, or a change in the Announced Course.

7/27/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On to Damascus!

7/27/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Or call it off and go home

7/27/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

If Israel's objective is anything like they're now claiming, it will be the Disaster to possibly end "All" Disasters. (On the bright side, it doesn't require 3 Divisions to relieve 3 brigades.)

7/27/2006 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bush hasn't exactly been a warmonger when it comes to Iran's ally, Syria, either. Even as Syrian dictator Bashar Assad was turning his country into a staging ground for the Iraqi insurgency, the Bush administration repeatedly sent envoys to Damascus in an attempt to negotiate. Far from being interested in a deal, Assad was only emboldened into thinking that he would suffer no consequences for his hostile acts.
I will now let Boot Kick my Syrian Hobbyhorse

7/27/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

From Wretchard's 1st "Pulp Fiction" - what is the most important component of Hezbollah's power in the south? Again the answer is easy. It is the Hezbollah cadres themselves. ....It is the trained core of its military force. Equipment can be replaced but Hezbollah's cadres represent an expensive, almost irreplaceable investment. In them resides the organizational knowledge of Nasrallah's organization. It embodies man-decades of operational experience against Israel. Rockets can be replaced. The stars of Hezbollah's operational force are less expendable.

I disagree. The strength of a good military is replacability of its personnel by use of training and depth. Japs killed what, 26,000 Navy, Army, and Marines in Okinawa? It didn't matter. We had 260,000 in Hawaii, Australia and the West Coast awaiting orders. In certain conflicts, the only real human, vs. equipment attrition that mattered was certain jobs that took considerable training - pilots for example, who had a training cycle for new ones that was longer than the system could put new ones in to replace the ones lost.

Hezbollah and other Islamic fighting forces like the Pals have now recognized that and are now training replacements from pray to die for Allah, how to strip an AK-47 and clean it, why the Jews are evil and must be destroyed. As the kids get older, the better of the ones in their teens are selected in large numbers for "summer boot camps" where they drill for discipline, learn tactics, work through pain and lack of sleep.

As adults, many are sent to advanced military training and officer schools in other Muslim nations. Oil wealth, extortion and payoffs of locals, and UN aid allows the Cadres to train for years for war or terror ops, and not have a real job.

The Jihadi pipeline is robust. Like any other ideological movement with broad support. Kill one and 3 more want his job..
We have learned a lot since Sept 12, 2001, when we once thought the only real problem was a couple dozen "skilled evildoers who hijacked the Religion of Peace", who could be killed or tried in Court....and since they were "irreplacable" the organization would be destroyed.

They also have 5.5 live births per Muslim breeder woman. Compared to 2.9 for the half of Israeli women who are religious, and only 1.6 for the other half, the Feminist/Euro socialist -influenced secular Israeli women. Surrounding Muslim populations double every 20 years, while Israel, it's 80% Jewish half, is barely above replacement level, is more and more unwiolling to see their only sons die, and will be down to 70% majority in Israel in another 20 years as the fecund Israeli Arabs churn out babies. Hez will take 3 casualties if they can take out 1 elite Golani Brigade soldier for that sacrifice, any day. The Muslim's demography supports combat losses easier than the Jews does.

Wretchard -- From this observation I'm going to say that despite the received wisdom of the newspapers to the contrary, the fighting at Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jbeil have been and continue to be an unmitigated defeat for the Hezbollah.

I respectfully disagree, Wretchard.

To defeat a foe, you must first shatter the patina of invincibility. You have to show Your People that despite past overwhelming victories by the enemy or their overwhelming apparant might - they can be stood up humbled. Though Leonides and the Spartans died, they showed the Persians were beatable. The unstoppable Nazi juggernaut was stopped in savagery still beyond our ken at Stalingrad and outside Moscow, held then finally rolled back as the Soviet people's morale swelled knowing the Aryan Supermen were'nt so "super" after all.

Hezbollah by holding their ground despite Israeli "precision wonder weapons" and "high tech special ops supersoldiers", then sending Israeli elite soldiers back in retreat day after day have dispelled the idea in the Arab mind that Israelis are still an order of magnitude better than Muslim fighters.

The survivors of this action will be the heroes of Hezbollah and the Muslim world, much as the Battlin' Bastards of Bataan were. They will have no shortage of 8 and 16 year olds dreaming of being just like them one day. The center of Hezbollah strength is the Bekaa Valley which will never know an Israeli bootprint, thanks to the Southern fighters.

Israel has given up it's original occupation plan, and after it's cabinet met about Israel's combat reverses and the unexpectedly fierce fighting chewing up the Jews entering Lebanon. They have lost their stomach for taking 45 other cities and towns that promise resistance and casualties at least as awful as Bint Jbeil and maroun al-Ras

The US has tried telling the arrogant Israelis this repeatedly. The mujahadeen were more than a match for the Soviets, and the elite Marines that went into Fallujah found the Jihadis [Fearless. Highly disciplined. Intelligent, fast reacting, nimble. Incredibly motivated. Far more dangerous than regular Iraqi soldiers or Fedayeen the Marines had faced previously. Man for man, their average was almost as good as the Marine fighting rifleman.]

The Israelis refused to listen, and didn't even think their losses and defeats in Lebanon mattered in set battle. They thought their vaunted airforce would win it with "surgical strikes", and their soldiers simply do an easy mop-up of the disorganized, ill-disciplined, poor fighters left of the shattered Hezbollah.

Now they know.

7/27/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If all three of the IDF's "best" Brigades are removed from Lebanon, it'd take about half the call up to "cover" for 'em.
Who else would lead an assualt on the Syrians, or threaten one, to create "Terms" that Israel would find acceptable?

7/27/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

This song reminds me of the Gypsie Kings. The music calls out to some deep well of Atlantic loneliness, longing, self pity and schizophrenia where the scales of James Joyce serpent breaks the water and slide back under.

This calls for scripture.

1 Corinthians 13 KJV
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
(note: charity is often translated as love.)

7/27/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You'll love this, C-4:
Nasrallah on Al-Manar TV Last Night: 'What is Important is in the Ground War is the Number of Losses We Inflict Upon the Israeli Enemy'

7/27/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, there's probably only one other objective that would be as tough as these two. Khaim is the Gateway to the Beqaa. It would probably be as tough as Bint Jubail. All other towns would probably be a magnitude of order less difficult.

If they were to decide to make this a "War," they wouldn't pull three "competent" brigades out after 3 weeks of fighting.

Syria's off the table, unless They attack. If they did it would be the "classic" tank, air power, maneuver type war. Israel, then, would mobilize, totally. That would be the "easy" war. This one wouldn't be that difficult if they "really" wanted to prosecute it.

Maybe, this Is all just a rope a dope ruse. Maybe. 50/50. Maybe.

7/27/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

If Israel is serious they will mass their newly called up divisions along the border near Qiryat Shemons and drive toward Sayda, thereby cutting off the Hezbollah fighters in their forward bunkers from resupply and escape. Then they can reduce the Hez fortifications and destroy the forward rocket firing bases. With their left flank secure they could begin the push up the Bekka Valley and the heart of Hezbollah territory. It is the only way that Israel can win this thing decisively. Allowing Hezbollah to escape to fight another day will be percieved as a defeat for Israel, IMHO.

7/27/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

I thought the Butthole Surfers said it best on 'Hairway to Steven':

'Crazy, crazy f***ing world we're livin' in! Crazy goddamn world!'

7/27/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Aristedes - He also stated that Iran's quest for nukes poses a "grave and direct" threat, and that it is a critical issue.

Anybody want to place a bet on whether Bush is serious?

I do, to the extent that the country has lost faith in his Iraq bungling, the Bushies and neocon's discredited "freedom & democracy" crusade. Bush is feckless. He might be serious in the morning, but forget what he meant or said after a nice, long, invigorating bike ride in the afternoon & early bedtime after dinner with laura and going over the baseball scores or maybe a nice movie. As long as tax cuts for the wealthy and cheap labor is available to the "Donor base Owner Kinda Folks" continues, Bush considers his main job done.

Worst President since Warren Harding.

And even if the Bushies scream for him to pay urgent attention to Iran and let the air out of his bike tires to reinforce it is a real problem, Israel's inability to stop rocket attacks and end the Iranian proxies threat with "surgical bombing strikes" ought to give the Neocon saber-rattlers pause.

The last of the dwindling support base of the Neocons, if they are sincere, should have recognized their demands for Israel or America to do a "cakewalk" mission agaist Iran is imbecilic. It shows how clueless the neocons coming out of Israeli law firms or academia have been about military realities. There will be no "surgical bombing strike" by Israel to end the Iranian missile, Gulf shipping, and nuclear facilities & nuke scientist population. Israel lacks the skills and numbers.

It won't be America unless we have committed allies and it affects our vital interests beyond the dubious mission or presumed "moral obligation we have to sacrifice and die to maintain the regional nuclear weapon monopoly of what a well-compensated Congress calls our "Special Friend".

We would be looking at a war far more expensive that Iraq, which is already more draining on us than WWI or Vietnam....and we would have far more casualties than Iraq. War games have America taking between 500-3,000 casualties (the Neocon camp "think-tankers) and the British one that had oil from the Gulf stop for almost 4 months and 120,000 allied casualties if WMD are not used.

And it would be a war where Russia and China might very well likely become involved in resupply for Iran's high tech weapons stocks. And in part because we lack an energy policy and have fostered the global Rise of China as the dominant manufacturing exporter with our free trade policies and their oil thirst and lack of ethical restraint to get it, China is nearly insatiable...Iran has all the oil money they need to buy what China and Russia will sell.

RWE - Targeted attacks against specific terrorist leaders worked much better, providing not only "Tit for Tat" satisfaction but effectively reducing enemy capabilities as well. Technology made that kind of approach possible - Precision Guided Munitions combined with better survelliance techniques.

Targeted killing reflects a lack of strategic thinking...even if we could "find and get" the Head Evildoer, which we are only so-so at doing. Because the "Head Evildoer" who without the "Evil Organization" would collapse without the brainpower and leadership of the "targeted killing", is in fact completely replacable.

That is because popular, broad support-based organizations, nations - do not have "irreplacable masterminds."
They have many leaders and skilled operatives in the wings waiting for someone to die so they can get their chance. Indeed, some argue that assassinations are Darwinism in action, weeding out the unwary or unskilled until someone far smarter and skilled takes over. Sheikh Nasrallah is called brilliant and a superb organizer, tactician, and politican.
The only way Nasrallah got his shot to lead the Hezzies at age 32 and prove his mettle was that Israeli assassins had culled 3 Hez leaders and many of Nasrallahs less savvy peers, allowing Nasrallah and several dozen others who had been sly enough and quick enough to avoid the purges to vault into leadership slots and bring in other competent politicans, terror wing elements, PR and community outreach staff.

Unlike the Pals, where Arafat and his henchmen were not targeted by the Jews - open season in Lebanon proved Darwin right.

Targeted killings prove irresistable to those that wish to dream of easy, cakewalk victories. Or love to say how "regime change" is simply a matter of decapitating the small inner circle - thus avoiding invasion, civilian and Our Guy's death and maiming, keep costs low, and turning war into "liberation" by the grateful "noble, freedom-loving, democracy-hungry locals.".

War is what it is - normally brutal and horrifying. When it is from a clash of intensely held ideologies or religion, it should and will get orders of magnitude uglier, with massive military and civilian casualties to be expected unless we settle for stalemate with "acceptable annual losses" on both sides for decades.

To argue that war can be made nearly bloodless by "high tech, surgical precision weapons" and "easy regime change" and involve only a handful of "super-duper special ops wonder warriors" is beyond fatuous.

Beyond fatuous because it gives the world reason to say that any civilian casualties are then either murder or failure of proper use of "sugical precision wonder weapons", and promising your own people it is all an easy bomb away from ending a conflict with a "Head Evildoers fall" or a simple case of "special ops!!" - makes them angry and unaccepting when war goes past it;s promised end once Saddam or Zarqawi was bagged, and angry that nearly 20,000 casualties happened instead of "our small bands of high-tech wonder warriors of special ops defeating the enemy with little sacrifice."

*We learned from Iraq.
*We are in the post-Neocon, post-Bush phase of overseas conflict, whether Bush and the Neos have grasped that yet or not.
*We know from Israel's troubles that the aura of Israeli military superiority has been punctured.
*We are beyond the "Head Evildoer" myth, except for fringes on the Left and Right that wish to frame ideological conflicts as being all about "That Guy".

7/27/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

He certainly makes his own case, doug.
Does not sound as if Mr Assad chastised or dressed him down. Nes does not sound to reconciliatory nor whipped on.
In Damascus.

If those other reports are correct, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is getting a taste of blood, itself. Not a "good thing", in the scheme of things. To provide 'em with OJT, unless of course, they die.

7/27/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

First I would like to associate myself with those who believe our host is THE BEST. Wretchard, thank you sir for the hours of your life you have studied to become what is becoming more obvious every day. You have no Peer in the Sphere.

Secondly Mr.Desert Rat remarks are, I beleive cogent and right on dude. Bekaa must be all the other intelligent things he said.

Thirdly..Doug's "On to Damascus" should be a cadence we march to. Bekaa/Damascus is a good start and doable.

The peroration. Let us go forward and kick some serious ass.

7/27/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

C-4 strips the varnish off the Bush style of leadership. If you can call it that.

7/27/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yah, no need for any varnish. Just strip him down to nothing, piss on him. We don't need to be lining up with no commander-in-chief, not in these free n easy times.

Fuses lit and burning everywhere, and DC is gearing up for a big senate fight over--Bolton.

Good Gawd A-Mighty.

Maybe we oughta be sizing for turbans, if we got no more sense than that. For once, we need the UN to do right, and we're fixing to Bork our UN ambassador.

And for show, since he'll win after the posturing. Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Howard Dean, what is the Major Malfunction, don't they read the papers?

7/27/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


You should get your own blog!!

I almost strained my thumb scrolling past your post.

7/27/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Krauthammer on Fox makes a very good point, but obvious point that several Belmonteers have made Maybe he reads BC. If Israel is successful against Hezbollah, they become a strategic asset to the US, if they do not they are a liability. Hezbollah surviving with any territory is a win for Hezbollah.The pulse of Belmont Club go from the cheer leaders through the hopefuls and on to the agnostics and the sceptics.

As of this post I read things as to the slightly right of center with the hopefuls.

7/27/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Interesting almost fact. Wonder how to run down if it is true

Via powerline...via Shep Smith...via Fox..


"approximately 100 Israelis were killed when Israel took the same town in the 1980s."

Maybe those Jooos have some super duper spec ops combat dudes, as they lost far fewer this time.

Don't tell C4, as his head might explode.

7/27/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

10:06 PM,
Don't forget us Schizoids.

7/27/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah, fighting them Dems tooth and nail, year after year, trying to get a missile defense up, before the Crazies get all Nuked up, and armed with missiles that work.

Signing free trade pacts, so our farmers and manufacturers will have markets for their products, and workers will have jobs; and, then fighting the Dems to get them through congress.

Engaging our enemies overseas rather than waiting for another 9-11, and then fighting the Dems while they're fighting our troops.

Getting in the office at 6:30, and putting in a full days work (not nine-thirty like some past presidents) then going to bed with his wife when he could be sitting up and eating pizzas and getting blowjobs from interns, and eating pizza.

Yeah, what lousey style.

7/27/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I'd say most everyone is a 'hopeful'--haven't seen any outright defeatists. Hopeful/sceptic, hopeful/cheerleader, and so on. Taxonomy can be such a bitch--

7/27/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

9:59 PM
"Maybe we oughta be sizing for turbans"
Starched Towel Heads.
Lipponen: Surface Sizing with Starch Solutions at High Solids ...
A novel interpretation is presented of the role of surface sizing starch with respect to the elastic modulus and bending stiffness properties of the sheet...

7/27/2006 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Thank you for that rufus--I'll sleep better now. Hate to see a decent guy doing his dead-level best with a tough job on his shoulders get so freely shat upon. It's either the Jews or the Bush, somebody always has to get shat upon.

7/27/2006 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hey, i been needing some starch tips! i can't git my sheet to perk up to a point over my no-forehead, on Satiddy nites!

7/27/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Thank you too, Rufus. Doug, I've wanted to ask, where do you come up with some of this stuff? :>) Goodnight.

7/27/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

After the US assault on Iraq and the early captitulation the Arabs were dismayed and shamed. The insurgency has strengthened their resolve and tactics. The combination has spread to Afghanistan and the struggle is pivotal in Iraq. Hezbollah, knowingly or not, planned or not is vying with AQ for the lead in jihad. Israel can stop the momentum and has commited itself to a must win. They really are in a loss is no option position mode . Israel has exposed the extent and sophistication of how advanced the jihad has advanced. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have noticed.

7/27/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Precisely why the free world needs to unite.

7/27/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

2164th: Definitely KNOWINGLY.
Bobal: Trade Secret!
Pander and Run
After years of struggling to define their own approach to post-Sept. 11 foreign policy, Democrats seem finally to have hit on one. It's called pandering. In those rare cases when George W. Bush shows genuine sensitivity to America's allies and propounds a broader, more enlightened view of the national interest, Democrats will make him pay.
It's jingoism with a liberal face.

7/27/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

G'nite all. Wake me up if they head north.

7/27/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/27/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

Perhaps someone has mentioned this already but when I heard that an Israeli minister had told the press that the Rome meeting had given Israel a green light to continue to hit Hezbullah for some time to come, it occurred to me that the Israeli government was perhaps urging the international community to step in and help out (which of course it would do on its own terms). At any rate, that seems the most likely consequence of the Israeli statement and though the press can be counted upon to hype it up, apparently the minister pretty much said that.

So that is sounding like evidence against the idea that Israel is pleased to be still fighting Hezbullah in Southern Lebanon.

On the other hand, why doesn't Israel use more firepower and bring those infested villages down on top of Hezbullah and their tunnels?

If Hezbullah have turned a village into a Hezbullah base, as one Israeli source said today, then the village may have to be destroyed - with all of those who wish to leave gone of course.

But that sounds like a horrible thing to do and so maybe Israel is trying really hard not to have to do that.

7/27/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But at least we'll go down
Kinder and Gentler.
Glub glub with a twist.

7/27/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Howard Dean calling Maliki an "anti-semite" kills me. Here Dean has for years been ready to dump the mideast and forget about Israel, until today, when he gets in front of a Jewish audience and goes off about the head of our hard-won, embattled, allied arab government being an anti-semite.

Left up to Howard Dean, the whole term would be moot soon enough.

7/27/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Smacko made mention of the "last time" and the casualties incurred, then as opposed to now.
The particulars of this are unknown to me, but what day of the Campaign was that particular town overrun by the IDF?

The speed of the advance, the lack of decisive action early, have all given the HB the "edge" in their homefront propaganda, across Arabia.

A terrible blunder to have muddled into or perhaps a well laid trap. Or some combination there of.
But if in a week or two the Bekaa is unvisited by IDF boots, enmass, the Israelis will have suffered a greater "setback" than Lebanonese.

And the IAF's mission was setting them back "twenty years".

7/27/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Howie's got NOTHING on JOHN Dean!
He's calling for an end to divisiveness.
With a book that calls right wingers howling, dangerous, madmen!
Gordon Libby will be more livid than normal.

7/27/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gordon LIDDY!

7/27/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

bds I'm quittin while I'm behind:
A real horses arse I am.
Why couldn't I be the Golden Behind?

7/27/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

We just ain't gonna know until the dust settles. One thing, when you have a million folks living in bomb shelters, a real victory beats a moral victory. And IDF knows the ground, in all permutations of the word.

7/27/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

While Sir Francis Circumnavigated,
All I got was
Circumspect about Sizing.

7/27/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Golden Hind was the first ship to circumcise the globe.

7/27/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Regardless of Mr Dean's past history, buddy, he is right about Mr Maliki.
The man that exemplifies US efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East, backs Iran's "Peaceful" nuclear program and calls on Israel to stop the killing, without mention of HB's presence.

Not a proportional reaponse at all.

That's a fact that does not bode well, at all.
Hate to say "I told ya so", but...

7/27/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yoni says the people he knows and is related to have NEVER been so united before.

7/27/2006 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He's his own man, 'Rat.
Holy Shiite.

7/27/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Wretchard, your posting is rich with ideas.
To Albert Camus I would add Mick Jagger: "You can't always get what you want"
The same concept can be applied to American attitudes. Quietly, there is a hardening of positions going on: Americans are getting fed up with the Middle Eastern, Iranian and other muslim totalitarians.
For instance, lo and behold, today Bin Laden's right-hand cockroach Zawahiri has scurried out of his dark corner with another video threat. But he may not get what he wants ...
If America gets hit again, the reaction will be terrifying and deadly for all that is Middle Eastern, Iranian and islamic fascist.

7/27/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, what Mick Jagger says--at least Maliki is making thank-you speeches to congress, and has to stand for election, and has an allied army in his yard.

One huge thing is, you don't hear much Islamic yowling that he is an American running dog--a critique that would be deadly, and would be certain and loud and delegitimizing, if Maliki didn't have some bright lines separating him from the American beau ideal.

To paraphrase Jagger, that's something ya got, that you didn't know ya wanted.

7/27/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Friendly Flag?
This picture is featured on page 155 of Jed Babbin's 2004 book, Inside the Asylum .
Taken around January, 2004, at a facility on the Lebanese-Israeli border, not too far from near a town called Metullah.
The United Nations flag is flying a couple of feet away from the Hezbollah flag.

7/27/2006 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

yup--defining deviancy down, that's the unsustainable world we have, twiching and lurching underneath our feet.


7/27/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


There's a lot of truth in your observations. But just to stir the pot, here are some back.

If Bint Jbeil is like Fallujah the one lesson insurgents learned from it was that it was better to go back to IEDs. There were some who argued Falluja would puncture the aura of invincibility of the Marines. What it really did was convince the enemy that it didn't pay to fight conventionally again. I expect Hezbollah is going to learn the same.

Victory may not be everything, but its the main thing. Once Nasser was the idol of the Arab world. Till he got beat all hollow. Sadat was a living legend. But time passed and the Muslim Brotherhood or some such shot him in the grandstand. Saddam Hussein, believe it or not, was once the New Saladin. If only I could find the clippings from Desert Storm. Osama Bin Laden was once a popular man whose ratings have fallen of late. Time called Zarqawi the rising star of the Jihad about 4 months before his death. Anyone know where he's buried? Yasser Arafat was the symbol of the Palestinian nation. Once upon a time.

Nasrallah receives adulation becomes he represents hope. Hope the Jew will finally be defeated. Successful where no one else has been. If he succeeds he will be immortalized. If he fails he'll join the long list of has-beens.

But there will be another, and another, each nastier than the last because unless certain cultures learn to live with the West and the Jews there will always be another. I know it's fashionable to knock bringing democracy to the Muslim world, but despite it all it remains, I think our last best hope. The alternative is to destroy them. To turn the Koran and the tradition that flows from it into a memory. Part of the problem, I think is that we've forgotten that democracy doesn't come on the wings of an election. It comes on the tide of history and of deep social change. I look at Iraq and don't recognize anything that looks like a democracy, but maybe it's became I couldn't recognize it in the form that must it must take in the Arab world.

I'm not sure that I'm disagreeing with you because I don't know the answers. And I'm beginning to guess that no one does. For the present, its enough to know that Hezbollah defeated will be forgotten. Hezbollah triumphant will shine like a beacon of blood.

7/28/2006 12:09:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard wrote:

For the present, its enough to know that Hezbollah defeated will be forgotten. Hezbollah triumphant will shine like a beacon of blood.

And there's a third path which seems to be the course they're taking, and here are the grim milestones along the way:

1) Knesset interference with battlefield decisions and concern with world opinion prevent a ramp-up of the violence. CHECK.

2) Hezbollah and Israel get locked in a clench that lasts for years and becomes the new status quo. Neither side is defeated, but neither side is victorious.

3) Terrorist rockets continue to rain deeper and deeper into Israel, freedom and prosperity disappear as most citizens center their lives around the bomb shelter.

4) Israel becomes pauperized by the military expenditures and prevails on America to dig deeper into her pockets to subsidize the Zionist experiment.

5) The psychological deterrent value of the ten-foot tall Israeli soldier shrinks to Hobbit proportions (dragging the American soldier's reputation down with it).

7/28/2006 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Prodicus said...

One more for the Road.
Johnny Mercer, actually.

7/28/2006 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

1) Political/State Dept/CIA interference with battlefield decisions and concern with world opinion prevent a ramp-up of the violence. CHECK.

2) Baghdad is held hostage by the daily violence, which Milita-corrupted police fail to quell.

3) Confidence is lost as people weigh their own judgement of the significance of the situation in Baghdad with the official line.

4) Half-measures continue to be applied, this time being 3k additional troops, when many boots on the ground reports say at least 20k, working with the police, would be required.

5) Aristides declares war on Iran...

I knew I wouldn't be able to pull it off!

7/28/2006 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How many remember Popeye's Nephews name?

7/28/2006 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Joel lived it!
Mercer lived right up the hill from my wife!
When they were going to have a party her mom made her inform all the neighbors:
Mercer was at the piano, of course, which they often heard as he practiced.

7/28/2006 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger phil g said...

Harding 'a terrible president' is urban legend created by the then emerging left intellectuals and MSM character smear tactic. He had a few scallywags in his admin no doubt - who's admin hasn't? He was deeply loved by the American population, he was honest, he was a hard worker, he ran one of our last classic liberal admins - minimal government interference in the citizen's lives. The economy was robust and while some seeds were germinating that would lead to a recession it would take the egomaniac and ultimate big government intrusions of Hoover and FDR to make a normal and necessary business recession cycle into a great and long depression.

So do some reading and enough with the juvinal cliches - 'Harding bad', 'neocons', 'Bushies', 'Jews'.It cheapons whatever good points you might actually have and causes many to simply skip what appears to be nothing but an extended silly rant.

7/28/2006 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Agree with Philg. And anyway the actual worst president--worst since George Washington, who instigated a war in order to become president--was the invader of his own country, the war monger Abraham Lincoln. The *best* president was Carter, who taught us to sing.

7/28/2006 04:15:00 AM  
Blogger java_thread said...

A book review by ROBERT D. KAPLAN at

makes an argument which might affect how view the Hezboallah fighting strategy

"In "Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias," Richard H. Shultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew, both of Tufts's Fletcher School, have produced a wise and cogent briefing book about who our enemies are and how to anticipate their field tactics. The problem, they state early on, is that the Pentagon--the product of a rational, science-based Western culture--relies on objective quantification for its analysis. But what happens, the authors ask, if there is nothing to quantify? What happens if the enemy is merely an organic part of the landscape, revealing its features only at the moment of attack? Well, then all we can do is study these "idiosyncratic" human landscapes and use anthropology to improve our intelligence assessments.

Forget Karl von Clausewitz's dictum that war is a last resort and circumscribed by the methodical actions and requirements of a state and its army. Forget Hugo Grotius's notion that war should be circumscribed by a law of nations. As the authors remind us, paraphrasing the anthropologist Harry Turney-High: "Tribal and clan chieftains did not employ war as a cold-blooded and calculated policy instrument. . . . Rather, it was fought for a host of social-psychological purposes and desires, which included . . . honor, glory, revenge, vengeance, and vendetta." With such motives, torture and beheadings become part of the normal ritual of war.

Because Mr. Shultz and Ms. Dew take tribes seriously, they don't stereotype them. The whole point of this book is that, because each tribal culture is unique, each will fight in its own way; it is a matter of knowing what a culture is truly capable of once it feels itself threatened. Thus the heart of the book is case studies."

7/28/2006 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

aristides; 5:48 PM

It's not the devil in the details that concerns me; that's a given.

It's the devil in the premise, rather.

Whether the mounted lion's head on the wall is "defanged" (Rice) is irrelevant.

7/28/2006 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Prodicus on The Geneva Conventions
The Conventions expressly permit the targetting of offensive heavy weapons which have been deliberately sited among civilians. The resulting collateral damage to civilians is expressly not a war crime.
The Conventions expressly outlaw the deliberate targetting of civilians.
Hizbollah is committing war crimes in its openly admitted, indiscriminate targetting of the civilian population of Israel.
Israel is not committing war crimes in targetting Hizbollah' military capability.
For details of exactly how much damage Israel has done to Beirut, click here .
posted by Prodicus at LINK

7/28/2006 04:35:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The timidity of Israel's political leadership is appalling. While rockets continue to rain down on Israel's population centers IDF soldiers sit idle on the Israeli side of the border. There isn't a single rocket launcher capable of hitting Israel that is not within a day's march of the Israeli border. Most are a lot closer than that.

Olmert and his pansie-ass cabinet slink away from the difficult decisions and pass on a butcher's bill that will eventually require payment in the thousands. There is no reason to believe that today's 19 year old IDF trooper is any less skilled or any less valiant than those who preceded him. Olmert's caution crushes their bravado. An army that doesn't lust for battle is no army at all.

Even three Israeli cavalry companies marauding in the space between the fortified villages would accomplish much. The martyr's spirit serves the defender well. It's not easy to get people to sit in a hole and shoot until they're dead. But the martyr mentality when fighting conventional military units in the open is only the fast track to Valhallah. Even a single Israeli cavalry unit lagered outside the fortified towns, and within supporting fires of the border could not be defeated by Hizbu'allah. How many bodies would HB commanders throw against that phalanx?

Mein got! Do something Olmert, even if it's wrong.

7/28/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It says the affected areas are shown in Grey: Where's that?

7/28/2006 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Wretchard stirred the pot..

" I know it's fashionable to knock bringing democracy to the Muslim world, but despite it all it remains, I think our last best hope. The alternative is to destroy them. To turn the Koran and the tradition that flows from it into a memory. "...

A sweet thought to destroy Islam. It is worthy of that, but not possible except under a regime that itself would have no accountability. Democracy? Possibly, but an intervening step is more important and that is the achievable goal of Secularism. The roots of which are already imbedded in most of the Islamic world and notably so in Iran. Our goal, and here I tip my hat to our controversial C-4. The US has to drop the moral certainty of the Bush evangelism for democracy. That does not mean forgetting about democracy, but it would be more practical, to practice some realpolitik. Theocracy no, Democracy good, but Secularism will do just fine.

That goal can be abetted with a focus on woman's rights. This is the real Achilles heal on Islam. It is where secularism has a real opportunity to change the insanity of the all male Allah-in-Wonderland, Mad-Hatters-Tea-Party called Islam.

7/28/2006 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Cedarford is right in his assessment of the other side's strengths and weaknesses.

They can afford to lose men more easily than us. But their big weakness is their economic unproductiveness. Without unearned income, without oil revenue and "aid"(Jizya) from the western world, they dry up and blow away

The big target should be their sources of funds, the source of their means to train in Jihad without needing to hold a productive job. This includes welfare given to immigrants to the West

7/28/2006 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


You have provided much food for thought. Thanks.

7/28/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Hi, Wretchard!

Well, I don't know the answers either, but like you and many, I have satisfaction from speculating and drawing on my mental files of otherwise buried facts.

I think I will get takeout at lunch and give you a fuller answer. It puts me over my usual custom to honor your request to only post twice on a thread, but you lured me.

I will leave with various cadres and nations deriving immense pride from lost wars, retreats, key lost battles - as long as they believe they were among their people's best moments.

The Apaches incredible retreat and evasion of vastly superior forces is legend. So too the Marines retreat from Chosin Reservior. To the Chicoms, the sine qua non of the Revolutionary struggle was not who was in the winning final battles around Shanghai with the Kuomintang, or any battle victory, but who was a Long March Veteran.

The character of the American Revolutionary is remembered not for Yorktown, but for how we lost the Battle of Bunker Hill. Few other than Texans know of the Battle of San Jacinto, but the Alamo is more remembered. Serbs define themselves from the Feast of Crows - feast on fallen Serbs. Australia and NZ came of age in the lost struggle of Gallipoli. The Finns will never forget how they lost a war, but proved in taking 400,000 Russian casualties at a cost of only 60,000 of their own, that the Finn is not to be pushed around.

The Jews have Masada. The Muslims the retreat of Mohammed, the Haijira..

The Scots have their lost struggles with the English that they claim forged their national character and made them the successful global force in commerce, science, Empire - they became.

Many peoples are built anew, even recreated in loss. Many a military loses badly at the beginning of a war, finally wins, but remembers the key to victory was in the losses.

With Hezbollah, the outcome is not certain.

They could be the ones that show that the gap between Muslim warriors and Israel has closed considerable...or they could screw up tremendously in the coming weeks and hand an undisputed victory to Israel...

7/28/2006 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It seemed like secularism was doing pretty well for some Baathists in Baghdad in Sadaam days:
Certainly women had more opportunities than under the ROP.
Sure would be sad if some of the lack of hate between Sunni and Shiite is converted for good to what is "normal" in the region.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair headed to Washington Friday where he was expected to press President George W. Bush on a swift solution to the Middle East crisis.

A British government spokesman traveling with Blair said the prime minister believes that the United States will be willing to support a U.N. resolution next week in the expectation that Israel will by then have sufficiently weakened Hezbollah with its military action.
Don't forget poppies, Papa.

7/28/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

UN Resolutions and "Weakened" Terrorists!
We're not Worthy!

7/28/2006 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Although C-4 deprives us by conforming to the 2 post rule, he does well in making up for that in total word count.

7/28/2006 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

Just a note to say that Stratfor's email this morning takes a similar line to that taken by wretchard. But then, I don't know, maybe wretchard had a hand in shaping that?

I repeat that the remarks about the Rome meeting giving Israel a green light looks like a mistake.

But for the rest of it, wretchard's/Stratfor's analysis is looking reasonable to me.

7/28/2006 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

cedarford; 5:13 AM

General Patton may have anticipated your point: “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”

The wise old fox may have something to say to the current Coalition leadership, if they are listening:

“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.”

“A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end.”

Try as I might, I find nothing in Patton’s history comparable to General Schoomaker’s quote, “I don’t think we’re losing.”

Yes, trish, I am going to keep beating that horse until it is dead.

7/28/2006 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/28/2006 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The General, being an honorable man, did not want to lie to the Committee. So he could not say the US was winning. The most optimistic and honest reply available was the one he gave, after much reflection.

"We are not losing"

Which for the modern US military has been the objective. In Korea, Kosovo, Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Federals have not even obtained that level of success on the US's own frontier.
So the Army is, by maintaining it's Standard of "Not Losing", still way ahead of the rest of the Mr Bush's Government.

That US Standard of performance has been transfered, along with the JDAMS, to the Israeli. They are "Not Losing", either.

I do not mind, buddy, that Mr Maliki and his Government support Iran and Hezbollah, buddy. I mind that young US troopers are dying to ensure the continuation of those Policies.
The lesser of two evils is still evil, it does not deserve US support, in the levels it is being given.

Seems abundently clear that aQ was not the "driver" of the violence in Iraq, but merely along for the ride.
Decapitating aQIraq led to no improvement on the Ground, in fact the situation has worsen since that virtual beheading.
The same will occur in Lebanon if the Hes man is popped and the Organization not dismantled.

He is, after all, the third HB leader, the previous job holders taken out by the Israeli, which has proven to be a poor long term solution.

7/28/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Charles Krauthammer. A brilliant observer on the world. His words today are well crafted and right on target.

7/28/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trucks leave Iraq for Syria, Somebody Fiddles and Clowns Around

7/28/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Swift Boat guy was on Bennet:
Says "12 Million" is 30 MILLION!
The New Slave Trade and those that profit from it.

7/28/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I had figured 24 million, that the Feds were "undercounting" to look "better".

Much like the number of HB combatants, an unknowable in Tel Aviv or Washington.

7/28/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Habu: Israeli Blood, USA GI Blood is worthLESS than Jihadi Jizz
...Just ask 'Rat's soon to be EX Marine son.
Buy buy Amerika.
Globalism Rules.

7/28/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Afain, Mr Peters
"... Now we see Arabs fighting tenaciously and effectively. What happened?

The answer's straightforward: Different cultures fight for different things. Arabs might jump up and down, wailing, "We will die for you Saddam!" But, in the clinch, they don't - they surrender. Conventional Arab armies fight badly because their conscripts and even the officers feel little loyalty to the states they serve - and even less to self-anointed national leaders.

But Arabs will fight to the bitter end for their religion, their families and the land their clan possesses. In southern Lebanon, Hezbollah exploits all three motivations. The Hezbollah guerrilla waiting to ambush an Israeli patrol believes he's fighting for his faith, his family and the earth beneath his feet. He'll kill anyone and give his own life to win.

We all need to stop making cartoon figures of such enemies. Hezbollah doesn't have tanks or jets, but it poses the toughest military problem Israel's ever faced. And Hezbollah may be the new model for Middle Eastern "armies."

The IDF's errors played into Hezbollah's hands. Initially relying on air power, the IDF ignored the basic military principles of surprise, mass and concentration of effort. Instead of aiming a shocking, concentrated blow at Hezbollah, the IDF dissipated its power by striking targets scattered throughout Lebanon - while failing to strike any of them decisively.

Even now, in the struggle for a handful of border villages, the IDF continues to commit its forces piecemeal - a lieutenant's mistake. Adding troops in increments allows the enemy to adjust to the increasing pressure - instead of being crushed by one mighty blow.

This is also an expensive fight for Israel in another way: financially. The precision weapons on which the IDF has relied so heavily - and to so little effect - cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to seven figures per round. Israel has expended thousands of such weapons in an effort to spare its ground forces.

Theoretically, that's smart. But we don't live in a theoretical world. Such weapons are so expensive that arsenals are small. The United States already has had to replenish Israel's limited stockpiles - and our own supplies would not support a long war. ..."

He has more to say. at the NY Post

7/28/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Even now, in the struggle for a handful of border villages, the IDF continues to commit its forces piecemeal - a lieutenant's mistake. Adding troops in increments allows the enemy to adjust to the increasing pressure - instead of being crushed by one mighty blow. "
Let's add 3k to Baghdad:
Rove can massage that.
Condi is tasked with a tune:
"Lonely Highway, Tehran to Beirut"

7/28/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Meanwhile, on the Homefront, seems like Dearborn, MI is a hotbed of discontent.
How many HB cells were reported to be active in the US, a dozen of so are known. Like the 5,000 MS-13 operative's names on an ICE data base, just the tip of the iceberg.

Informative but not "good" news.
It's published in the "forward", which has a Yiddish edition, so may have a slight spin.
A Tweetie bird in the coal mine's pespective so to speak.

Beware Youthful Dearborn's Angry Intolerance
By Sharona Shapiro

7/28/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

BS, Rat. They're "Terrorists." That's their Job. That's what Iran pays them to do. They weren't fighting for "Country, or Tribe when they cut the wire and killed those eight Israeli soldiers, and kidnapped two more.

They were "Earning their Keep."

7/28/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Like the 5,000 MS-13 operative's names on an ICE data base, just the tip of the iceberg."
The cool thing about that, is that the day after the EVENT, *all* the details will be in the NY Times.
...just like 9-11.
Atta liked Colgate:
Just like me.
Warm Fuzzies.

7/28/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Old Steve Emerson had a video in 1994 that included Detroit, I believe.
I wonder how long it takes to transport that VCR tape to DC
Snail Express?

7/28/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"Earning their Keep"
As was I when in Panama & Salvador.

My home and hearth were far away and not directly threaten.
In Salvador, it was more about the money, than any Patriotic fever.

Some in the US said the fellows we were helping were "Terrorists".
Some were, it's true.

Depending upon the definition of Terrorist used. Not at all like what the definition of is is, really. Even Mr Bolton cannot get the World to agree on a definition for a Terrorist.
Those HB fellows, they're described as "alleged militants" at the UN.
The Salvadorans, their militancy was not alledged, believe me.

7/28/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nuanced and New Toned.
Orwell would be pleased.

7/28/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

highly reccommended
RCPA World Unsettled by Missile Threats
By Daniel Henninger

7/28/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The NYTimes
Tide of Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah
By Neil MacFarquhar
glean some news from the spinning tornado

7/28/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


That goal can be abetted with a focus on woman's rights. This is the real Achilles heal on Islam. It is where secularism has a real opportunity to change the insanity of the all male Allah-in-Wonderland, Mad-Hatters-Tea-Party called Islam...

This is a most important point. Why do we not apply more pressure here? Where are the "feminists?" (I know, I know...BDS incapacitates them.)

And Papa Bear writes:

But their big weakness is their economic unproductiveness. Without unearned income, without oil revenue and "aid"(Jizya) from the western world, they dry up and blow away.

The big target should be their sources of funds, the source of their means to train in Jihad without needing to hold a productive job. This includes welfare given to immigrants to the West...

Another superb point. Why do we not put more direct pressure on the sources of funding, and the madrassas and their idiot "imams?"

Jamie Irons

7/28/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

Excuse me! I am sooooo sick of this talk about a taxpayer supported peace keeping force to patrol the Israel-Lebenon border.

How's about an abject surrender? One where the population is happy to be able to turn in the perps, in order to stop what's become obvious; their total destruction.

IOW, just keep pounding the snot out of them, until the Lebonese agree to put a halt to Hez hostilities. If they don't honor their committments, rinse repeat.

I heard the UN mission was budgeted for $100M/year. Whoa. With peace and trade, that would translate into funding 100s of new companies, employing 1000s, and serving milions. Great, except for the gunfire, rockets, beheadings etc.

And, capitalism can change the power structure as fast as any of the other remedies past applied. See China.

Upon attaining success, one naturally becomes more conservative. (As in: I'd rather not lose all this, religion, tribe, sect, familial-ties, etc, aside.

Nationality, being reserved to protect its citizens from invasion by other nations has been a joke in and to the ME. Most of the peoples involved have had the boundaries redrawn each generation or so, while being ruled by thugs of various description all the while. And before that, they were all tribes. So, it's not as if they've had any practice at civility. Seeing it is not practicing it, and not being able to practice it makes for ENVY.

I'll bet that deep down, a majority of the Muslims are pissed about being born into this political-socialogical-intellectual bloody morass called Islam; but today to convert away in any manner is dangerous, all the way to murderous.

We need to disabuse mulladom of the idea that they can continue their "war crimes" against humanity, women, other faiths, etc. Bolton would be good.

Park one of those LEOs over the target and broadcast propaganda about what its like to be a safe, secular, successful human being. Make communications their worst enemy. Weaponize Dish and modems.

Fill the air with relevant interviews. Disrupt the thought police, every moment of everyday.
Get inside their OODA loop. Air immediate responses to the changing story.

The mullahs versus Wretchard. Hah!

Let's get going.

7/28/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If you take at face value any NYT article about the USA or Israel you are a very gullible individual.

7/28/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Because good Doctor,
the madrassas are schools and schools are "good". We construct the buildings, but not the lesson plans.

The sources of their funding are in my driveway.

In regards their idiot "imams". Those preachers represent the true Religion of Peace, which has been hijacked by a few evil doers, who are hiding in mountain caves and urban basements.

We "Stay the Course", Doc, which is why those things are not being done.

7/28/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

PeterBoston wrote:

If you take at face value any NYT article about the USA or Israel you are a very gullible individual...

I would tend to agree. But what do you think about the Ralph Peters analysis from the NY Post cited by DR above (6:43 AM)?

Jamie Irons

7/28/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Ralph Peters must be right because he thinks like me. The timidity of Israel's political leadership during this rare window to dramatically affect the outcome of the Islamist War is unforgiveable. History may be less kind.

7/28/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yet you find it hard to believe reports from around the Arab world that the generational hate for Israel and an admiration for HB and it's leadersgip are to be discounted.

That what the Sauds reportedly say in private is the truth and what their public statements and their peoples beliefs and desires pale in signifigance to the tales told Mr Bush and Ms Rice?

The NYTimes piece tells the tale of the Arabs starting to side against Israel, instead of HB. That their hatred of the Jew is, in the medium term, greater than their distrust of the Shia.
What is so difficult to understand or unbelievable about that?

7/28/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, I realized and understood that your concern was with wasted lives and wasted effort, and not with Maliki per se. This is the same argument everyone is having, with others and with their own self. If what OIF is about is not preventing an even bloodier later bigger war--perhaps far bloodier and with far less prospect of victory--then anyone who supports it might well be, as you say in so many words, a moral idiot oblivious to the lives of soldiers.

"Democracy", as many keep saying, is not a result, it's a process. Yes indeed USA has been seeing some bad results. Wish it were otherwise, believe me. I'm with you all the way on that. But, if the process is foreordained, then it ain't real, it's like those Warsaw Pact elections.

I keep wondering if the western impulse that immediately after VE & VJ began dumping Churchills, Pattons, and North African colonies wasn't the end of western culture, and what we're doing now is only a long twilight denouement, playing out the big fireworks finale as we speak.

Maybe the lefties and hezzies are right. Maybe pro-westerners are dinosaurs who do not yet realize they're already extinct, because the west they're 'pro' is already only a memory.

7/28/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Jamie Irons wrote:

This is a most important point. Why do we not apply more pressure here? Where are the "feminists?" (I know, I know...BDS incapacitates them.)

I don't see any feminists. I see a bunch of cosmetically-challenged women who supported a philanderer President from the allegations of Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Brodderick, Kathleen Wiley, ad infinitum, ad nauseaum, because he delivered on gender quotas and federal funding, and this was before the first reported case of BDS.

7/28/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

buddy, there is no democracy in Iraq, there were a few votes,
Democracy starts locally, with "Ward Bosses", School Boards, City Councils, State Legislatures and the like.

Before there was a Federal Government in the US, there were 13 sepearate, democratic civil entities.
Grown from the root up.

In Iraq we spent no time building a democratic infrastructure, going straight for the flower and the fruit, instead.
Of course that top down route, the Socialist and Facist technique, inbred within the Iraqi, will fail to deliver democracy.

The entire democratic Iraq and Cedar Revolution deals have proven to be expensive eyewash, when an acid wash or tap water would have been just as effective.

7/28/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Good Lord, Folks. Jeez. Hewlett Packard filed more internatiional patents, last year than the entire Arab world filed in the entire history of Islam.

The Hez can't reliably hit a city from 10 miles away, and we hit ICBMs with ICBMs.

By the way, you can't get from religionism to secularism without going through another ism, first. By far the best mid-point is "Capitalism." Communism has been tried, but then you run into a whole new set of problems. Democracy helps, but you really can't have "Democracy" without Capitalism.

The closest the Mid-East came to this ideal was Mesopotamia, 4,000BC - 3,500 BC.

7/28/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

One of the seminal documents on Arab fighting capability was done by Norvell B. de Atkine on Why Arabs Lose Wars - Fighting as you train, and the impact of culture on Arab military effectiveness and remains essential reading for those trying to understand the State based military systems found in Arab Nations in the Middle East. So, while I do agree that in many parts of the Arab Middle East individuals are taught from a young age on how to strip clean and AK-47, that, in and of itself, only makes them able to do that thing. The larger culture for actual military effectiveness is something else again, and the inability of State based militaries in Arab culture to actually engender fighting capability into their military organizations demonstrates how little that basics are encouraged for self-support in the field. By depending on a top-heavy infrastructure for command and control and diminishing the AK-47 wielders to being just that, and not soldiers trained to take the initiative even while taking heavy losses, leads to only one sort of warfare they can be effective at: attrition. They will look for single 'bold move' execution of set battle pieces, but, as the axiom goes, those fall to pieces on the appearance of the enemy.

From that overview terrorism is seen as *effective* as it has no end-game, in and of itself, but permits a State-based military to execute a 'single bold move' upon a disheartened enemy. The problem is that the terrorists tend not to 'go away' once a State military reaches its objectives and will disseminate back into the State itself. Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, by tacitly supporting terrorism have now gained the ire of individual terrorist organizations over the past few decades, be they PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas or al Qaeda. Authoritarian States that promote terrorist capabilities, such as Iran, Syria and Iraq under Saddam, gained pretty much a free-pass from those organizations as each of those States was either necessary to furthering the attrition battles or had a nasty set of Secret Police that could root out terrorist cells viciously or both. Iraq did this through multiple sets of Secret Police, while Iran has done this with their Revolutionary/Special Guard units. By tight reign upon those forces and giving them only the most brutal of means to employ they also fit under the paradigm of the de Atkine review: do not reward initiative only compliance with orders.

As doug pointed out in the Bint Jbail link at the top of the thread, it was Israeli professionalism that won out. What was surprising, as pointed out by Bill Roggio, is that such was needed against Hezbollah there and at Maroun al-Ras. Now is this a change in type of attack or kind of attack? Are these pre-made, set piece battles to try and maximize limited capability for a small area or are they ad hoc, quickly organized affairs that are not pre-made nor set piece but put together to take advantage of a perceived weakness? Possibly a bit of both, actually, but to add the latter requires some original thinking outside of normal lines of command and control for small unit operations. This is not typific of Arab militaries.

Added into this is the two C-802a attacks against the Israeli warship and an unarmed merchantman. The first is a normality of war, with the Israeli's apparently not having their defense systems activated for various reasons. From accounts and descriptions of the second, however, is that it was *not* in the same targeting zone as the Israeli vessel nor was it hit as an incidental 'lock on' by a misguided missile fired at the Israeli vessel. It was a deliberate firing upon an unarmed merchant freighter with, from all accounts of it, Hezbollah personnel with Iranian trainers there to help them learn the operational use of the equipment. Now, I have been trying to track down the actual flag of the vessel involved, and reports still vary as of late yesterday as to it being Cambodian or Egyptian flagged. What is not in question is that it was Egyptian manned and unarmed. Using offensive weaponry to target an unarmed neutral vessel for target practice is commonly considered an act of war. The first ship is typific of Arab military organizations: set piece for surprise advantage. The second, when such has happened in past times in the Middle East, say the 19th century and previously, is one that puts other Nations and groups at warning of intentions via deliberate act. Thus it is also set piece, but to intimidate. Now, if they did *not* know to which Nation the vessel was flagged to or its actual ownership, it is a symbolic act to put all nations on warning that this equipment will be used indiscriminantly. If the vessel ownership or flagging *was* known, and not Egyptian in either, then the previous is also true, but an act of war against the Nation of flag or owner of the vessel. If it is Egypt in this latter case, then the intentional targeting and directing of fire and sinking of a known vessel belonging to Egypt is not only an act of war upon Egypt, but a clear warning that it should stay out of this conflict *or else*. Any of these three fall under typific actions expected by Arab military organizations, but foreknowledge and intent change characteristics of the actual event.

How does one interpret such events in the Middle East? Unfortunately, the Cold War era held the area in stasis and gave it a seemingly inflexible nature, while the Arabic culture pre-Cold War was one of constantly shifting alliances and allegiances over time. Thus John Manchester gives a quick summation in Shaken and Stirred and then I expand upon that with the Fault Lines view. The overly simplistic Sunni and Shia viewpoints lacks precision in not taking into account intra-sectarian differences within these major groupings, which are often just as vehement, if not moreso, than inter-sectarian problems. Also not properly covered is ethnic differences, which do not necessarily coincide with sectarian differences. In that view the Iranians are more aptly seen as Persians and their history with Arab peoples needs to be taken into consideration, also. Beyond large scale ethnic differences there are also tribal and familial associations which also cross borders, ethnicities and religions, and they, too lead to different sorts of conflicts and alliance outlooks. Add into this the Nationalism/Pan-Arabism/Transnationalist viewpoints, each having different strengths and weaknesses and different adherants varying by ethnicity, culture and religion, and the Middle East then starts to take on some of its true characteristics. And when one throws in educational perspective and reverence for same and the Ancient Great Civilization views between the two Valley culture sets (Tigris/Euphratese and Nile), then how and why certain peoples and regions react as they do becomes a counterbalancing summation of all of these things and how actors and players in the region will shift their viewpoint amongst them over time.

And they are *all* shifting now. Removing the stasis from Iraq and doing the early shifting of the outer sphere in Afghanistan only leaves Indonesia from the Islamic triangle as a focal point for Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism. An eye should be kept there, too, but the world is getting to be a busy place.

The provisos on my analysis for events are based on Hezbollah typifics changing to something that is non-standard Arab military, or into well armed and trained into set-piece mentality and actually being able to *execute* them better than other Arab military organizations. Via the multifaceted prism Hezbollah is an outgrowth between Iranian(Persian)/Shia fundamentalism that has invested heavily into long range delivery systems and more lethal long range capability to assert their religious outlook, and a basket case Syrian (Assyrian)/Alawite government seeking some capability to continue being a credible player in the region, even if it is just to be a new client state for another power (previously the USSR). One of the few interesting bits of reading from Gateway Pundit on the uprisings in Iran over the past six months or so, is the actual lack of capability for night ops of the Revolutionary/Special Guard units. They had problems asserting control into the night, while Hezbollah, supplied in the main from Iran, do *not* have that problem. Of course the R/S Guard are seen for internal control purposes, so investment in such capability is either not deemed warranted or not widely distributed. An interesting choice in either case, to arm an external foreign organization with such and not your own forces at home.

Well, time to post this before it is OBE, if it isn't already.

7/28/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

DR, go take your meds. I think you forgot them, again. Of course they have "Democracy" in Iraq. They "Have" City Councils, Mayors, Province Governors, etc; and, they Are Elected.

Jeez, Rat; we're trying a difficult 3 cushion combination, here. It may not work, but, it might! It will be important, perhaps, if it does; if it doesn't? Well, we gave it a hell of a try. Nobody ever won without trying.

You know, I'll bet you bitched about the stupidity of the operation the whole time you were in CA. But, you did your job, and, guess what? It worked (although it took years to become apparent.)

7/28/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Iraq has the underpinning for growing a representative government that even the fledgling USA never had - tribalism. It's probably not too far off the mark to compare the tribal system to the ward system that flourished in US major metropolitan areas in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Ward bosses and tribal leaders keep their positions by meeting the meat and potatoes needs of their constituencies. Next level bosses by delivering the goods to the ward bosses and up the ladder we go.

Iraqi tribal relationships are also multi-religious and multi-cultural. Not that there isn't sectarian violence from time to time. Always has been and probably always will be. Even Saddam had to bend to the tribal system although he made more than a few unsuccessful attempts to run around it.

The notion that any form of governance can be crammed down on the Iraqi population, short of having a loyal army that could enforce it, is contrary to the facts on the ground and the experience of Iraq.

7/28/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You're right, Rat--and not being able to count on the next US administration following the long-range bottom-up evolution set up by the previous administration, is a severe strategic disadvantage for the Western system.

It may make individual freedom into a bloom--beautiful for awhile and then dead.

Gotta be some reason we went with FDR four times. No, I'm not saying let's make Bush president until we declare the GWoT over, though it would be the way to win the damn thing in the shortest possible time.

Or Hillary, put her in for-life, with a mandate to win this war.

Anybody. You, rat. Just find a way outta this war-losing domestic pissing contest, just long enough to settle this freaking mess.

7/28/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

buddy larsen said:

Gotta be some reason we went with FDR four times. No, I'm not saying let's make Bush president until we declare the GWoT over, though it would be the way to win the damn thing in the shortest possible time.

At that point when we annoint a Caesar (or wake up to find a Caesar already in place) because it is expedient for the war effort, the USA stops emulating the Roman Republic and starts to emulate the Roman Empire. There might even be another century or two of glory, but there's no turning back again.

7/28/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, rufus, the "good" we were doing was immediately apparant.

Where is the City Council of Ramadi, Haditha or Tanji? The School Boards, the Police? I'll tell ya, they are with the Enemy, hell they are the Enemy.

Be they the Sunni militias or the Shia. Both are the Enemy in the War on Terror. As are the Baathist, DAWA and SCIRI as well as Mr al-Jaafari, Mr Maliki and Mr al-Sadr.

But all thrived in a US adminstrated Iraq, while our allies were allowed to be sidelined, well before they should have been because neither the real Political nor Military Missions have yet to be accomplished, IMO, but not Mr Bush's.

Which if that is the Course we are on, fine and dandy. But Iraq has it's Parliment, it's PM and it's School Boards.
Jobs done, why not leave?

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

teresita, it was just a way of breaking the Hez march to the White House, which is apparently underway.

7/28/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

I think we're all just depressed by the suspicion that Olmert's screwing this opportunity up.

I know I am.

7/28/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

BTW, Rat, it might have been "apparent" to you, but it "wasn't" to the rest of the world.

Wouldn't you accept that it might be the same situation, today?

7/28/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It just is another dot in the trend line, rufus, that is what is depressing.
This may be a big dot or a little dot, historicly, but will not, I think, indicate a change of course.

7/28/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jobs done, why not leave?
No, first we need time to set up downtown horse manure streetsweeping services, and barefoot tater-farming on highway rights-of-way training schools.

7/28/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Sure, that's why Jr enlisted 4 years ago, why I supported the the Invasion of Iraq, the Democracy Project, School construction instead of patrols.
I gave 'em years to achieve success, stability and civility in Baghdad.
Route Irish, from the airport to the Embassy has NEVER been secured.
The Doctrine that has been employeed in Iraq for the past three years is seriously flawed. We are seeing another example of it feployeed in Lebanon.

In Lebanon, like Iraq, there is a local enemy and the distant enemies. Victory cannot be achieved locally.

Pruning branches will never kill a hedge row.

7/28/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Slightly OT,

But as to FDR and to the good war...

Been a long time since I really studied capitalism, fascism, communism in school. But I seem to recall that Fascism was the '3rd Way', a bridge between Capitalism and Communism. Major industries controlled by government appointed councils, worship of the State instead of the Masses, belief that technology/industry will cure society ills.

In some ways it seems that in our fight against the Fascist, we used '3rd Way' tools as well to win.

IMO, we slid toward socialism during the Cold War with Russia.

Just something I ponder as we talk of fighting barbarism with barbarism.

7/28/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Well, I think that's it. Bye, Bye, any hope of a win. I think Ohlmert called for the "Peace-Pipe."

This will cost Israel, big time, in the future. Bah!

7/28/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

The failure to win a "Decisive" Victory over the Hez is a Major Defeat for the forces of Freedom. This is looking like a Sad Day for the West.

7/28/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The distant enemy is the Caspian Axis. Whatever the military threshhold with the USA is, the Axis is unlikely to cross it deliberately--not so long as the capital (in both senses) of the west can be transferred more reliably by economic--er, free-trade--means.

So, rat, how we *ever* gonna fight the distant enemy, except where it pulls a gun on us?

Rufus, i didn't get the peace pipe news--breaking now?

7/28/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

I've linked to you here:

7/28/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Excellent observation, smacko, imho.

7/28/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Bush and Blair are having a press conference, right now. It don't look good, but, maybe I'm just getting hysterical.

7/28/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Read today that while Lockheed Martin has a laser that has shown the capability to reliably destroy Katyuska rockets in flight during tests at White Sands MR, Israel decided not to buy it, since their main worry was Scuds and long range missiles from Iran.

7/28/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

i don't mean to say i told you so, but it looks like i was correct. a ceasefire within a few days. hezbollah intat and uncowed. and the idf and israel left to pick up the pieces of their embarrassing, humiliating and shameful performance. their first outright defeat at the hands of the arabs.

it simply cannot be spun any other way.

7/28/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

It appears that, barring a miracle, you (and Rat) were right, Sarah.

7/28/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I don't get it, rufus, sarah--Bush & Blair both declined to impose a cease-fire, though they did vow to continue to make a major effort on 1559. Where's the defeat? A big plus ongoing is the emerging clarity of the mullah threat--this is a stage we have to pass through before the nations will be prepared to deal with it. We're now passing through that stage, it seems.

7/28/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Buddy, you might be right. The first part (the prepared statement) didn't sound much like the second part (the question and answer.)

BTW, Tigerhawk says I've got it wrong. He says to Watch Netanyahou. As long as he's not bitching, it's not as bad as I think. It makes sense.

7/28/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... BEIRUT - Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora secured a political victory by convincing Hezbollah government members to back his plan for a ceasefire with Israel but it remained unclear on Friday whether the move went beyond symbolic value.

Hezbollah said that it had taken its stance to “reinforce national unity” while Sinora’s allies hailed the decision as an important step in improving the credibility of the Lebanese government on the world stage. ..."

Khaleej Times Online
Hezbollah backs Lebanon PM truce plan

7/28/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...


What don't you get?

In 2 weeks, Hezbollah has launched upwards of 2K missiles at Israel. The IDF has been shown to be impotent to stop them.

Never before has an arab force been shown to have the capability to attack Israel with impunity.

In 2 weeks, Hezbollah's leadership and cadres remain intact and confident.

By contrast, 2 weeks in to 1967 and 1973 the Egyptian mlitary had ceased to exist, theur armies surrounded and cut off. IDF forces were on the outskirts of Damascus. They had captured territory more than 300% the area of Israel.

In 2 weeks, IDF forces have captured a hilltop, and tenuously at that.

In 2 weeks, Israel has exhausted its weapon stores to the point that needs urgent US resupply and it has failed to put a dent in the Hezbollah, much less lay a finger on their Iranian and Syrian overlords.

In 2 weeks, the arabs have seen and the world has witnessed, in the open and o television, that the IDF is a shell of what it once was.

Forget about projecting force beyond its borders, it is no longer able to defend its own territory.

This is but hte latest in a string of humiliating Israeli defeats beginning with their captulation in 1982 that allowed the PLO safe passage out of Lebanon.

Since then you've had the Intifada which led to Oslo, withdrawal from main West Bank cities, retreat from Lebanon, retreat from Gaza, soon to be retreat from the West Bank and Jerusalem, and at the end of this ceasefire, retreat from the Har Dov/Shebba Farms area.

The Olmert Govt led by a lawyer and a labor leader defense minister has proven itself unable to handle the current conflict.

The IDF has been exposed and embarrassed in front of the world. It will take them years to recover, if they can.

7/28/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Sarah Weddington --

My childhood Idle, a certain Yankee's Catcher said

"You can obsoive alot, just by Watchin'"

"It ain't over... 'til it's over"

It will take the Israelis at least another 4 to 10 weeks to get the effect they desire for now, Unless Israel gets a big inning with a couple of Grand Slam Homer's, e.g. Bombing Nasrallah and his whole leadership group plus the Syrian and Iranian key contacts, plus the next six month supply of missiles truck convoy.

Things could change quickly, That Iranian Embassy bust be a Very Tempting Target, Also the one in Syria.

Yogi Berra also is famous for saying

"Shows not ova 'till da Fat Lady sings"

7/28/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Meanwhile, things are heating up along the Syrian Border.

F-15's are attacking training camps in the Beqaa. Syria puts ZelZals on border, puts troops on sooper dooper high alert.

7/28/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Is this what we give Israel BILLIONS in aid for every year? So that they can be defeated and embarrassed by Hezbollah. So that pur client can be defeated by Iran and Syria's client.

This is as big a defeat for Israel and the US as the 6 day war was a victory. You don't think the US congress wil rethink their aid packages after seeing how ineffectively they are being used?

I never thought I would see the day when Israel would be defeated by an arab force, much less an arab force of a few thousand at most with no tanks, no planes, no navy, no real artillery, no nuclear weapons, no helicopters, no armored forces, no nothing.

And deep down, I bet none of you did either.

Israel has gone from talking of crushing the Hezbollah on July 12 to talking of a 1 mile security zone and an international force to bail them out on July 28.

Their rehtoric has been exposed as empty. They talk of red lines in attacking Haifa. There weren't any red lines. Iran and Syria are laughing at Jerusalem, as is Washington.

Meanwhile, Cairo and Amman are taking notes, as is Riyadh.

This is a humiliating display by the IDF. I talk to people I know in Israel and they are shocked. This will have broad consequences. Olmert will be out by the end of the year.

Perhaps the only good to come out of this is the return to power of the Likud and the end of Olmert's surrender of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

7/28/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Israeli officials and intelligence sources said Iran and Syria have accelerated the flow of weapons and combatants into Lebanon. They said Damascus and Teheran have also been bolstering forces to prepare for a war from Syrian territory.

"They [Syrians] are operating along the border and we can't ignore this," Israeli Cabinet minister Eli Yishai said on Friday.

7/28/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Rufus said:
"By the way, you can't get from religionism to secularism without going through another ism, first. By far the best mid-point is "Capitalism." Communism has been tried, but then you run into a whole new set of problems. Democracy helps, but you really can't have "Democracy" without Capitalism. "

Ever try and buy anything in the Middle East? These people understand capitalism. Get a Palestinian in a normal enviornment, or a Lebanese or Egyptian. Look at the Pakis in Flushing, New York. Twenty four carat Islam is the problem.

7/28/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


I don't believe the problem is with the IDF. There is no evidence of that. The problem is with the political leadership. Golda had more cookies than the entire current cabinet.

Israel can also turn the situtation around by just going to bat. Olmert is keeping them in the dugout.

There may be something to the Netanyahu observation. He appears very confident that HB will be fully engaged. I have no idea if he acts like that in private and to his credit neither does anybody else.

7/28/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Sarah, your fears are based on comparisons of past wars, according to your posts, so let me ask you to compare any two wars from any two times in history, and see if you won't find the same divergents.

You might as well say the South won the moral victory of the Civil War, because in WWII the turning point came a year in, while in the Civil War it came three years in. Joe Buzz went over that cognitive problem at some length near the bottom of the previous thread.

Different war, different enemy, different ground, different tactics.

Besides, two weeks into the Yom Kippur War, Israel was in deep trouble, Ari Sharon had not yet made his dash to the Suez, and IDF was getting clobbered by new Russian weapons. Lost many hundreds of tanks and aircraft, thousands of KIA. Still won the war, though.

7/28/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...


4-10 weeks? Israel doesn't have 4-10 days. This will all be over by this time next week. You can tell from the Bush/Blair presser today, from the Israeli capitulation of yesterday, and by the rhetoric coming from the arabs.

2 weeks in they have a few hundred guys milling about some hills a mile or so from the border.

What happened to the IDF that drove to the Canal in 2 days, that conquered the West Bank and Jerusalem in 2 days, and that took the Golan Heights and threatened Damascus in the same two days.

The IDF that 25 years ago drove to Beirut in under a week.

That IDF is long gone. Replaced by one that is unable to take casualties and one whose leadership surrenders after 9 dead.

If Israel was tough and willing to do what was necessary, they would have wiped out the Hezbollah by now.

They'd have had a few hundred dead, but Hezbollah would have had upwards of ten thousand dead and would have ceased to exist.

Instead, they waste their time bombing emtpy buildings and depleting their stocks to the point of begging the US to resupply them.

This is what happens when Israel elects a peace govt with men like Olmert( a lawyer with no military prowess), Peretz(a labor leader with a peacenik background), Peres(a dove of doves) and others.

Hopefully they will learn their lesson and as i predicted remove the govt through a no confidence vote by the end of the year.

7/28/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

2164, Islam has a "Problem" with Banking (interest is anti-Allah, or something.) And, you can't have Capitalism without Banking. Oops. And, around, and around, and around, we go. egg, chicken? chicken, egg? egg, egg, chicken, chicken, Crap, just "Nuke" the "Crazies" and get it over with.

7/28/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

You're right, 2164. "Islam" IS the problem.

7/28/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...


April 30, 1943 a Spanish fisherman discovered the body of Major William Martin, a British Royal Marines courier. There was a briefcase attached to the dead man's wrist, which contained personal correspondence and documents related to the impending Allied invasion of Sardinia, in Greece. Spanish authorities notified the Germans, who moved quickly to fortify the Greek coast, leaving Sicily almost completely undefended. This was exactly what the Allies had intended. This was the Man who never was. A British spy-counter-spy classic deception. I hope that is what we are seeing with Hezbollah. If not I agree with you. And by the way, there is no reason for Israel to ask the US to foot the bill this time. Hopefully they don't even ask.

7/28/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

PeterBoston is right--the globe will forever feel the effects of Araby having squandered its one-time oil gift on war instead of investing it in return-generating productivity.

Too many centuries of caravan-robbing and Mediterranean piracy, I guess.

7/28/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

As of now, here is what the situation will be when the guns fall silent within the next week:


-Leadership fully intact, Nasrallah triumphant
-Arsenal fully intact and replenished by Iran and Syria
-Achieved release of hundreds if not thousands of lebanese prisoners
-Achieved Israeli surrender of Har Dov/Shebba Farms area
-Cemented themselves as the only arab/muslim force that has defeated both the United States and Israel, and in embarrassing and humiliating fashions
-Maintained their strongholds in the Bekka Valley
-Vaulted their patron Iran into position as the true regional superpower, supplanting Israel
-Displaced AQ as leader of the Jihad
I could go on and on


-Achieved release of 2 soldiers
-Surrendered Har Dov/Shebba Farms area
-Failed to touch hezbollah in any meaningful way
-failed to touch Iran and Syria at all
-Exposed their fear of casualties and lack of resolve to the entire arab and muslim world


-Achieved regional superpower status
-Guaranteed their nuclear program most likely


-Saw its main client in the region go down to a humiliating defeat

As Jack Ross said in "A Few Good Men", these are the facts, they are indisputable

7/28/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

rufus, NO, not sooper-dooper alert!

7/28/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Meanwhile the Global War continues, sorry, another Local Conflict is expanding.
The LA Times reports
Afghanistan in Africa
While the Middle East burns, Somalia is degenerating into the next 1990s Afghanistan

The LA Times advises reaching out negotiating with the "Moderate" Muslims in Somalia.

Tic toc tic, is not quite the same as tit for tat

7/28/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Another run-down: Somalian Islamists--on the horn of Africa, astride the trade routes--are apparently coordinating with Iran/Hez Leb push. Planeloads of weapons coming in from Eritria. Jeezis. Storm a-coming.

7/28/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just another Local, Hamadanian flare up, buddy.

No Leadership in the Global War on Terror. In fact the Supremes have decided there is no such thing.
The President and Congress could change that, at will.
But do not, it is "off the table"

The Trends continue

7/28/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Cassandra--what do you suggest the Israelis do?

7/28/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger stumbley said...

rwe 10:11:

Not Lockheed Martin. Northrop Grumman. The Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) shot down every Katyusha it engaged in testing. Also artillery rounds, mortar shells and large caliber rockets, the first weapon in history capable of doing so.

7/28/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Somalia has been smoldering since the Clinton years. The Blackhawk Down story is not entirely dissimilar from today's Israel story. A lawyer CEO never gives the order to engage the enemy.

The butchers bill always comes back higher.

7/28/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Here's the long term plan.

All U.S. Marine combat veterans get a country estate and 10 fecund wives. We are just going to have to breed manliness back into the system.

7/28/2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/28/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

I have come to the firm conclusion that Islam just makes people go completely insane.

It is a religion that induces a state of paranoid schizophrenia in its followers the world over.

From self mutilation to honor killings, to acts of barbarism against the living and the corpses of the dead, if it is all in the name of father Allah, to the use of the righteous white heat of the atom to wipe out the "kafir", then it is seen as good that will be rewarded.

As the storm gathers, I wonder if the west still has the moral courage to call Islam out for what it is and will to fight the battle to control it.

Or has the pathology of political correctness slipped us into a state of unbreakable delusion?

7/28/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Tic toc tic

Turkish Troops Enter Iraq and Fire Rockets

According to the Iraqi newspaper Al-Rafidayn, about 200 Turkish soldiers along with some village guards crossed over Iraq’s northern border sometime before 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday and fired several rockets, apparently targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish terrorist organization which has taken refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan.

by Kirk H. Sowell

7/28/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Peter, I'm glad somebody finally came up with a plan that I can sign on to.

Stumbly & Rwe Did you check out the cost on that puppy? I seem to remember it took up about 5 trailor trucks, and cost a buncha bucks.

7/28/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I would have thought, PB, you'd be setting those Roman style estates aside for Airborne Combat Engineers and Copter pilots, or did you spend a few years in the Marines as well?

7/28/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mollie said...

Getting over the abyss from the Tribe to the Individual in the City is one of the most difficult jumps in human history. We - in the West - call it "The Industrial Revolution." Take another look at some of Hogarth's drawings to get a taste of that jump.

But then, we had Christianity to justify this "jump". Jesus turned his back on his mother. When the tribe was preparing to stone the adulteress, he told them to - each of them - look into their own pasts and souls, for their own failings. This is not "kindness" in the modern boneless Christian world - it is DIFFICULT to become an individual with all that goes with that.

Shame. Now, shame/honour cultures are completely non-individual. To avoid shame, to avoid the tribe stoning one to death, or to cast me out of the tribe - I will ally myself to the UNCHANGING mores of that tribe.

If you don't live in a Shame culture, you are able to change, to learn new things, new ways (a lot of them totally horrible, I admit)... thus the modern armies of the West, versus the tribal entities of the ME.

And where are women in all this? In the tribe, women carry the tribe's hates unto the next generation. They ensure that their brothers and their husbands kill the tribe's enemies. And if any woman should try to step out of the tribe, the other women will provide the stone or the knife to kill that woman.

You see, this is not a 'clash of civilizations'. This is a fight between the civilization and the tribe.

7/28/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Relative to Rufas' 1100:
I did not think that the F-15's we sold Israel had a ground attack capability. That was a big no-no. Upset the Saudies, y'know.

I wondered if a TV news report I saw saying F-15's were being used in ground attack was an error. Clearly it was not. The Eagles may not have had ground attack capability when they left St. Louis, but they do now. Not surprising when you consider that IAI has built jet fighter airframes from scratch and guidance computers for American space boosters.

Anyway, that answers a question I had over what the IDF would use to haul those big bunker busters. The 4K lb models we built for Desert Storm required an F-111F to tote them. An F-16 will not hack it, I don't think. An F-15 will do it nicely. Someone may be in for a big surprise.

7/28/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Well, bro-d-day, there's one moslem won't have his hand out.

7/28/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


I am a proud 82nd Airborne combat engineer alumnus. I have no clue where the helicopter pilot came from.

Over the years I have developed a growing respect for the U.S. Marines and now freely admit that a Marine combat team is the most lethal organism to ever inhabit the earth.

7/28/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Brilliant Heather.

7/28/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Barry said...

As you've laid it out, the IDF strategy may turn out to be incredibly simple: find the enemy and kill him.

7/28/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger stumbley said...

rufus 11:59

Three trailers, and TRW (the actual contractor before NG bought them) was well on the way to making the whole thing smaller. Not a lot of money, as weapons systems go, and FAR more effective than a $1M per pop Patriot. I believe the main reason that the U.S. Army didn't continue funding it at the necessary levels was because they were frightened of the chemical laser's toxicity (not very, but still hazardous). Israel put up some of the dough, but couldn't afford the whole thing by themselves...though I bet they wish they had about three or four now...

7/28/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

But, PB, keeping up with 10 wives probably *would* require some airborne training.

7/28/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

SarahWeddington said: That IDF is long gone. Replaced by one that is unable to take casualties and one whose leadership surrenders after 9 dead.

Take casualties for whom? The Saudis and the Lebanese mofos.

They\'re worries about Iranian Shiia hegemony, they can go and do their own fighting against Hizbollah and the other Shiia outfits.

Hizbollah is not a military threat to Israel. Their missiles have NO MILITARY VALUE. Zero. Nil. As you said, they\'re: a few thousand at most with no tanks, no planes, no navy, no real artillery, no nuclear weapons, no helicopters, no armored forces, no nothing.

The smartest thing for Israel to do would be to call for an immediate cease fire and let Hizbollah consolidate their power over the rest of Lebanon.

7/28/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Mollie said...

Thanks, 2164.

I wonder about Secularism beating Islam. Compare the Cathedral and the Mosque to the Empire State Building. The latter is great because it's BIG. But the other two, well, they evoke emotion, tears, and love.

The trouble is the Cathedrals are empty. I depend upon the the Fundamentalist Christians in Africa and in Korea and in the American south... and of course, the Mormons... to win this war, if we win it at all.

7/28/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Maybe before long the cathedrals will fill back up.

7/28/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Rabid rats and poisonous snakes don't have tanks, planes and artillery either. Hizbu'allah is at the same civilizational threat level and and at a certain number should be killed off for the same reasons.

7/28/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Heather, we won WWII with Industrial power and Manpower. We will win the next "Major" War with Technology and Manpower.

The most "Religion" can win is a Battle, now and then.

7/28/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

As far as secularism beating Islam. I am not that much of an optimist. My hopes are far more modest, how about a seduction more than a triumph? A nice Arabian gelding will do just fine. Liberal democracy has won the battle over Christianity. Christians are scary and have been fairly well routed in the US and the EU is very vexed by the historical tie with Christianity. No the Christian Soldiers no longer heed the call to go Onward. Vexation is catching and the US military is being de-Christianized as well, regardless that it is 98% nominally Christian. And do not let anyone tell you differnet. Any military cemetery from WWII is a field of crosses with a slight sprinkle of the Star of David. Eisenhower, Patton and many others invoked prayer and Divine intervention. Priests, pastors and rabbis risked their lives to give the wounded and dying comfort because they were men of faith. So it goes.

7/28/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes, buddy, that is Mr Putin's plan.
A return to "Saint Russia"

The Cossocks ride, again!

7/28/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mollie said...

My problem is that the alternative to the Christian faith (which provided the conditions for the Industrial world we live in) is the comforting warmth of the Tribe, supported by Islam.

Facing yourself and your sins - instead of stoning the village adulteress with the rest of the tribe - is very uncomfortable. And the Modern World is uncomfortable for most people. Or so I think.

To fight a Faith, you need a Faith. Our Faith, our Christian Faith, make all those splendid rockets possible. But, the fear is, with only a shadow of our Faith, the rockets cannot win this War.

Do we have the stones to do what our fathers did and fund a new Manhatten Project and built a real alternative to the Internal Combusion engine, thus cutting the $$$ that buys the Katushka rockets?? Or do we continue to depend on "guest worker programs" and Israel to do our dirty work???

7/28/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Make that a gentle sprinkle. "Slight" has a connotation not felt and certainly not intended. The military cemeteries reflect dead American military whose faith, Christianity and Judaism were important to them and the familes that lost them

7/28/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Don't be fooled--secularism is just as much a religion. It just worships rationality, is all. And, hey, not that there's anything wrong wit dat. Except that everything gets ratio-analyzed toward solipsism. And the NEW GOLDEN CALF is IRONY and and and...(*gak*) oh, me, i sprung a leak--

7/28/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...


We\'ve seen this skit too many times before. This is a Lebanese problem and the Lebanese mofos should be forced to spend their own blood and treasury to fix it. They allowed Hizbollah in, they can show them out. If not, then screw them.

7/28/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You should hop aboard the Golden Hind, buddy.

7/28/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Guys, I wouldn't get too hung up on this "Christianity" thing, if I were you. The "Crusaders" were Christians, and got their clocks cleaned. I'm sure that if I had been killed at Normandy they would have put one of those white crosses over my grave, despite the fact that I'm one of the lesser religious people you'll meet.

Most people go to church on sundays to socialize, and recharge the batteries. It's, also, good business, and good politics, and it's probably good for the "Kids."

Religion doesn't win wars. Troops and equipment win wars. Oh, and money.

7/28/2006 01:04:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Powered by Blogger