Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Terrible Ifs Accumulate

The Washington Post writes:

Israel, with U.S. support, intends to resist calls for a cease-fire and continue a longer-term strategy of punishing Hezbollah, which is likely to include several weeks of precision bombing in Lebanon, according to senior Israeli and U.S. officials. For Israel, the goal is to eliminate Hezbollah as a security threat -- or altogether, the sources said. A senior Israeli official confirmed that Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah is a target, on the calculation that the Shiite movement would be far less dynamic without him.

For the United States, the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East, U.S. officials say. Whatever the outrage on the Arab streets, Washington believes it has strong behind-the-scenes support among key Arab leaders also nervous about the populist militants -- with a tacit agreement that the timing is right to strike. "What is out there is concern among conservative Arab allies that there is a hegemonic Persian threat [running] through Damascus, through the southern suburbs of Beirut and to the Palestinians in Hamas," said a senior U.S. official who requested anonymity because of sensitive diplomacy. "Regional leaders want to find a way to navigate unease on their streets and deal with the strategic threats to take down Hezbollah and Hamas, to come out of the crisis where they are not as ascendant." ...

"It seems like we will go to the end now," said Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon. "We will not go part way and be held hostage again. We'll have to go for the kill -- Hezbollah neutralization."


Commentary

These goals are consistent with the military activity being reported, which resembles an air/sea campaign designed to degrade enemy assets in preparation for a large ground attack. Not just a raid, but an attack far larger in scope. The preparatory phase may take several days or even weeks, opening a window in which a negotiated peace is still possible. The crazy thing about recent days is that the historical analogue that comes most readily to mind is not a relatively modern conflict like the Cold War, Vietnam or World War 2 but the Great War. "Some damned fool thing in the Balkans". "The terrible ifs accumulate". "The lamps are going out all over Europe". The most dreadful thing about the current crisis is the sheer sense of inevitability about it; its terrible momentum, as if tinder long accumulated on the ground was irresistibly catching fire. Paul Sheehan, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, is almost out of hope.

When historians narrate the beginnings of the third global war, a war already under way with more than 200,000 killed, they may choose the moment on October 12, 2000, when a small fishing skiff sailed up to an American destroyer, the USS Cole, at anchor off Aden harbour in Yemen. ... War and murder have been carried out in the name of Allah in Thailand, Bali, Sumatra, the Philippines, Nigeria, Algeria, Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, Bosnia, Albania, Kenya, Tanzania, France, the Netherlands, Britain, Spain, Denmark, Russia, the United States and Sudan, where mass murder and mass rape have been the tools of cultural war. ... Most disturbingly, jihad is being driven by three separate, distinct and often competing strands of Islam: Sunni, financed by the oil-powered Wahabist fundamentalists of Saudi Arabia, and dominated by the ideology of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden; Shiite, an extension of the theocracy of Iran, and highly active in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories; and Pakistani Muslim nationalism, the wellspring of jihad in Kashmir, support for the Taliban, and terrorist attacks in India and Britain, with its large Pakistani emigre community.

If Sheehan is right, then the Global War on Terror would have failed. A focused attack on extremism will have been supplanted by an uncontrolled clash between peoples, religions and cultures. But we are not there yet. There's still a chance, and the rulers of the Middle East are hoping that this thing can be pulled back from the brink and the fires focused on Hezbollah, then possibly on a narrow coterie in Teheran. But if that way forward fails, a large part of the blame will historically fall on those who forced the West to fight the war against terrorists with politically correct half-measures. Who created the dinky rules which made it impossible to excise abominations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Or even to question them. And perhaps made it even necessary to fund them. Their good intentions or fecklessness have made the terrible alternative that stares us in the face likely. Let us only hope that they have not made it inevitable.

118 Comments:

Blogger Wu Wei said...

An Israeli officer said they've taken out about 25% of Hezbollah's capability, and that they won't eliminate it totally, just cripple it.

The goals Israel laid out, which match the ones just announced in the G8 summit, including pushing Hiz. back from the border and having the Lebanese Army stationed there instead. Doing that will be seen as a clear victory for Israel, and will be a deterrent. Hezbollah would also lose much face.

A way to get there quickly would be to take out Hezbollah's top leadership, especially the top dog. The article below has good information in general about the next steps in the war, and says that Israel knows where Hesbollah's leadership is.

Israel will also try to target the 12 most senior members of Hezbollah, who are hiding in bunkers deep in the Dahiya quarter in southern Beirut. These men are strategic targets and they include Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, Ibrahim Akil, Imad Mughniye and others. These senior figures constitute the group's equivalent of a General Staff and its political-diplomatic cabinet.

One of the reasons for the repeated attacks against Dahiya is that the Hezbollah's top headquarters are situated there. The area is described by IDF as a "terrorist center" and although the aim is not to harm civilians, the IDF hopes that the permanent residents will leave their homes so that they will not be hurt. A total of 40 targets have been marked in Dahiya, some linked by underground tunnels; one of them is a subterranean factory for special types of ammunition.




Link

7/16/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Destroy Hezbollah and you may not change the rules, but you will slow momentum and upset Iranian strategy. It is critical that some of these Islamist groups get wrapped up. The Taleban and Hezbollah would be a good start. Throw in the Madi army and we may just have a good enough model to be prepared for the potential nightmare scenarios that can come from Pakistan. It is urgent to dismiss the apparent power of Islamic inevitability.

7/16/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The beginning of the above article:

The fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, has still not reached its zenith. The Israel Defense Forces' operational plans against the Shi'ite organizations have not yet been carried out. The next two days are the most critical and a lot depends on whether Tehran decides to take a chance and authorize Hezbollah to launch long-range missiles with more powerful warheads. This is a capability Hezbollah still retains, despite the heavy blows it has suffered in the IDF air strikes.

On Sunday, Israel bore witness to the use of more powerful rockets against Haifa, which killed eight people and injured dozens more. The Syrian-made 220 mm rocket has a warhead weighing more than 50 kilograms. Hezbollah was supplied with these rockets as the Syrian armed forces were receiving them off the production lines.

7/16/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/16/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

I suppose we've already gone past the point where the amount of wrecked infrastructure and Islamist casualities exceeds the value of hanging on to the Shalit kid, but what they wanted all along was a big tussle with Israel.

7/16/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger spelunker said...

I've grown apprehensive at the lack of concrete action to confront what seems to be multiple situations that require force. Its hard to imagine interlocutors like Iran or North Korea ever signing a document worth the paper its written on. I must say there is a time for negotiations and a time for war. Both these states have shown themselves recalcitrant, to put it mildly, in foregoing nuclear "weaponizing" and both fail to meet good faith assumptions of credible contracting parties.

Why must we opt for war on the sly? Why not use the reality of Iran's proxy war against Israel as an act of war visited upon the United States? President Bush needs to go before Congress and the American people and lay out the case for war. I'm very confident Congress will then declare war and we can then move to full overt mobilization.

Japan can be our operational partner in far East against North Korea, and Israel in the middle East.

7/16/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Link

About 25 percent of Hizbullah's capabilities have been hit, a high-ranking IDF officer estimated on Sunday night at the end of the fifth day of Operation Just Reward.

According to the officer, the group's chain of command is still functioning. He estimated that the Lebanese group would not be annihilated when the dust settles, only severely damaged.

The officer predicted that the operation would end in the middle of next week.

7/16/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger spelunker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/16/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

>President Bush needs to go
>before Congress and the
>American people and lay
>out the case for war.
>I'm very confident
>Congress will then declare
>war and we can then move
>to full overt mobilization.

You must be joking. Five years after 9-11 Americans have war fatigue and are bordering on neo-isolationism. Any boots on the ground would require what passes for a war resolution these days (actually the last time the US declared war was on Germany on Dec 11, 1941) and I don't see another one of those coming again until the 2010s. However, people might be all for thumping Iran from the air.

7/16/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From your article, Wretchard:

The Bush administration's position -- and diplomacy -- are the opposite of what happened during the Clinton administration.

The last Hezbollah-Israel cease-fire was just before dawn on April 27, 1996, after the United States brokered a deal to end a punishing 16-day Israeli offensive designed to end Hezbollah's rocket barrages. More than 150 Lebanese, mostly civilians, were killed; more than 60 Israelis were injured. Tens of thousands on both sides of the border had fled or gone into bunkers.

Then-Secretary of State Warren Christopher shuttled for a week between Jerusalem and Damascus to mediate a written agreement, a sequel to a similar oral deal he negotiated after skirmishes in 1993.


The fundamental mistake is treating with a non-state militia as if it were a state. There should be no white flags allowed for a non-state actor who decides to attack a sovereign people. And for God's sake, no treaties.

7/16/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/16/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Israel will eliminate all of Hizbollah which it can find. However guerrillas can hide their guns in the closet, blend in with the population, and leave their missiles buried where Israel can't find them. Israel can't kill what it doesn't know about.

7/16/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Shortly after 9/11 I suggested to a lawyer friend we'd better set up special courts for terrorist (no jury trials) at the quick step. He assured me (he was rather smug about it too) that courts could handle it with jury trials -- the way they handle mob cases or espionage cases. I said, "These are people who will blow up every school in the town." Would that be jury tampering?

So, feckless doesn't surprise me.

But we should remember the problems the other side has. Terrorists are caught in "Patron Client " type relationships. So Hizbollah owes allegiance to Iran in return for protection (and can drag Iran into a war).

And apparently Syria does, too.

What's Diplomatic Speak for "You and what army?"

From The Daily Star (Arab states take dim view of 'adventurism' by Hizbullah):

"If Israel commits another act of idiocy and aggresses Syria, this will be the same as an aggression against the entire Islamic world and it will receive a stinging response," he [President Ahmadinejad] said in a phone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad.

"The Israeli aggressions are a result of the weakness of a puppet regime that is on its way toward disappearing," state television quoted him as saying.

I wonder what President Assad said in reply. "Thank you, mine Fuhrer?"

Tomorrow, the Iranian President will say, "I double dare Israel to attack Syria. I double dare them with chocolate and peanuts on top!"

The Day after he'll be saying "If the Israelis weren't such craven cowards, they would attack Syria! They would march to Damascus and drag President what's-his-name out of the presidential palace by his nose hairs! But they don't. Why? 'Cause they be scared of me, that's why. For I will certainly chastise them again, silly Hebrew persons that they are!"

Has President Ahmadinejad showed off his prison tattoos lately?

But the real question is, who will save Hizbollah's Beard. Once they pop up in Damascus is Syria responsible for their good behavior? You bet.

OK. These guys are dangerous. More dangerous because they are fools but cannot afford to be seen as such by those around them (so, they should surround themselves with -- ah, unperceptive people).

7/16/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Aristides wrote:

> There should be no
> white flags allowed
> for a non-state actor
> who decides to attack
> a sovereign people.
> And for God's sake, no
> treaties.

Well, naturally, since a treaty requires ratification by a state's Senate or House of Lords or Duma or Knesset or what-have-you, and all the Islamists have is a "Revolutionary Falange for Liberation from the Zionist Entity" or something like that. But I do not have high hopes. Already we have decided that non-uniformed captured terrorists should be treated with kid gloves at Gitmo while our own troops get leg irons at Camp Pendleton.

7/16/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger J.Fred said...

Reading various Lebanese bloggers, a tragic dimension of this horrific conflict is exposed by their bewilderment: Why so severe? Why bridges and ports and civilians on highways rushing to leave? Why not Syria? Why not Iran? Why are we once again the victims of others' wars?

Well, they are right to be bewildered. It is an appalling travesty of justice that once tolerant and still beautiful Lebananon is in yet another agony. They plead understanding for their helplessness against Hizballah. And they are right because, among other things, perhaps, it really was a US deal that put them under Syria's thumb.

What is still sinking in are the consequences of Iran's use of Hizballah, consequences including their own abnegation of their own sovereignty in exchange for avoiding a civil war they knew they could only lose.

It is terrible to watch them writhing in bewilderment in their blogs as the realization that Israel's attacks are *not* a disproportionate response to a Keystone Kop misadventure by Shiite thugs, but, instead, the methodical preparation of a much grimmer battlefield.

No, the attacks have not yet really come if that much grimmer battlefield develops to anything near the scale portended by these preparations and what furious onslaught sufficient to incapacitate Hisballah...? Syria...? Iran...?

Numerous heartless, archly contemptuous comments have been directed at the bewildered and fear-struck Lebanese bloggers by a few voices from 'our side' (speaking for my American self), saying the Lebanese have brought this on themselves, had their chance, etc. Given the riches of Lebanon's cultures and voices and history, these comments the vilest chicken-s**t imaginable.

Just my all-American take on some of my fellow Americans, you understand.

It seems to be a reliable truism that many (most?) Lebanese bitterly resent Hizballah, but they bitterly *hate* Israel. Alas. That does not mean Americans have any reason to glory in Lebanon's agony; certainly Israel does not. No, we should despair over the loss of dear friends if Hizballah is not decimated.

If we ever see ultimate 'victory' in this War Against Islamo-fascist Terror, we will certainly be seeing Israel and beautiful Lebanon mutually prospering through their shared characteristics of loving freedom and entrepeneurial vitality. If Lebanon is utterly destroyed, then there is a part of victory that will be forever unattainable.

Long live the Cedar Revolution! May God raise Lebanon once again in peace, and may God thrust Hizballah down to Hell forever.

7/16/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger spelunker said...

“You must be joking. Five years after 9-11 Americans have war fatigue and are bordering on neo-isolationism.”

Actual election results as recent as 2002, and 2004 belie your gloomy assessment. What these results do show without putting too much a gloss on it, is a very clear assessment by the American people that they are fully engaged in the international aspects underpinning the defense of the US in the modern age. America is not isolationists and will not countenance a position of retreat. Moreover, most blame Iran as the chief state sponsor of global terrorism. {Speculation alert} Much has happened in the world since 1950s and the generational mix that now is the American people, is too internationally savvy to return to an essentially no-nothing isolationist position. A full narrative by President Bush will easily gain approval for War from Congress.

A naked assertion that the USA is neo-isolationist is no substitute for evidence.

7/16/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

j.fred: Concur your Analysis, beat with your heartbeat!

"...and then, when the Jews send a company -or even a battalion!- to rescue our hostage, we'll kill THEM, too! Bwahaha! (-ring!-)

Just a minute, its the phone..."

"C-candygram for Nasrallah!"

7/16/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

It is easy to be sad for the Lebanese, those that hate Hizbollah. After all Lebanon already fought a 15 year civil war trying to be free and even with Israel occupying part of Lebanon for 18 years (and US military) help, they still couldn't break free of terrorists.

However what I hope the Lebanese realize is that Israel _is_ going easy on them, and that Israel is trying to fix their problem. If they would bother to read Israel's statements, and to think instead of emote, they'd realize that Israel is trying to give the Lebanese government control of their own country by cutting Hizbollah down to size.

7/16/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

We should have sympathy for the Lebanese people, but unortunately they like many of the Iraqis are at the wrong place at the wrong time. No different than someone in an office, having morning coffee, looking at a deep blue September sky and suddenly stunned by the sight of an airliner coming in low and fast over the river.

7/16/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Another thing some people don't realize is that some Lebanese are actively helping Hizbollah. Like people complained when Israel struck the radar sites all of Lebanon, killing the troops manning them, but it was because the Lebanese Army used radar to help Hizbollah hit the Israeli ship with the missile.

Also as the story below shows, Hizbollah launches rockets from civilian areas (a war crime), meaning that after warning people eventually Israel has to fire even if the civilians remain.

Israel blames Hizbullah after Canadian deaths

The Israeli army said after seven Canadians were killed in southern Lebanon that it had warned residents of the village to clear out of the area and that Hizbullah was responsible for any civilian deaths.


"The IDF requested and warned residents of the area not to stay within range of the launch sites" used by Hizbullah to fire rockets into Israel, the army said in a statement. (Reuters)

7/16/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

How long do we want to deal with this ME problem in all it's various manifestations? We've been dealing with it since Israel was declared a state in 1948. The root problems go back forever.
We now have a very small window in which to destroy Syria,Iran, and a few others to a point where they will be but very small gnat stings.
If we flop now we will pay for a very long time, perhaps to the point of our own existence.
Destroy them now. Every lost day can only complicate a problem which has only total war as an answer.

7/16/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Why Lebanon? Because the only legal entity that could be attacked was Lebanon, which was responsible under UN resolution for restraining Hezbollah. Never mind that it doesn't make sense. Never mind that Hezbollah is actually occupying part of Lebanon. Never mind that Iran and Syria are the real masterminds. The Law gives Israel no leave to strike the patrons.

It this Law upon which the Patrons rely when they strike lower Manhattan by proxy; attack US destroyers by proxy. Wage war by proxy. So the question shouldn't be why Lebanon. The question should be where are the statesmen? How have they let this logical travesty go unamended these long years? Politics, political correctness are all part of the answer. Ignorance, too. We trusted in the suits, the Public School boys of the late 20th century to lecture the victims about diplomacy, treaties. "It's not about what they are. It's about who we are?" Well what are we now, except chumps? Who are the Lebanese, except victims?

7/16/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Newt Gingrich is either engaging in hyperbole or is dead serious when said today that World War 3 has already begun.


"I mean, this is absolutely a question of the survival of Israel, but it’s also a question of what is really a world war,” Gingrich said.

He then cited a litany of events that confirm this conclusion.

"North Korea firing missiles. We say there’ll be consequences, there are none. North Koreans fire seven missiles on our Fourth of July; bombs going off in Mumbai, India; a war in Afghanistan with sanctuaries in Pakistan … the Iran/Syria/Hamas/Hezbollah alliance.”

In addition, he said "there is the war in Iraq funded largely from Saudi Arabia and supplied largely from Syria and Iran.”



Do you remember the 1990s, when our only worries were the Millenium Bug? If we had only acted sooner ... the terrible ifs accumulate.

7/16/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I don't think the Lebanese are victims, at least not of Israel. The lethal force has all been targeted at military locations, which has caused collateral damage because Hizbollah bases weapons in civilian areas.

The Israelis are applying a blockade, a valid military tactic, for valid military reasons. They are doing it to prevent the Hizbollah from obtaining more missiles to fire at Israel.

Israel publicly said "we won't target the Lebanese military unless they shoot at us".

It is important to note that the government of Lebanon hasn't said a single sympathetic thing to Israel ever since this started, even in the very early days before Israel had taken much action. Lebanon won't even negotiate directly with Israel. They keep trying to get someone bigger (e.g. Arab League, UN) to stop Israel so Hizbollah can win by default. That clearly shows that a big part of the government is sympathetic with the acts of war committed against Israel, as have their words.

In my opinion Israel is not attacking Lebanon. It is attacking Hisbollah with collateral damage to Lebanon in the short term, and possibly liberation of Lebanon a little further down the road.

Imagine that an Islamist group had taken over several of the United States, with the central government too weak to control them, even to prevent them from shelling Canada. If Canada did to us what Israel is doing to Lebanon, I hope that I'd be strong enough to help Canada liberate our country from the Islamists, like by providing targeting information to their armed forces.

7/16/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger J.Fred said...

Wu Wei said:

"However what I hope the Lebanese realize is that Israel _is_ going easy on them, and that Israel is trying to fix their problem. If they would bother to read Israel's statements, and to think instead of emote, they'd realize that Israel is trying to give the Lebanese government control of their own country by cutting Hizbollah down to size."

Well, it seems to me from my wanderings about the English-language Lebanese blogosphere, that their widely shared despair at their many-dimensioned paralysis (political, military) makes this (accepting or hoping for or getting offers of Israeli help) an exceedingly painful option to contemplate for some, hopeless for others. You know, 'treating with the enemy', a.k.a. treason, right?

The Lebanese know they are being repeatedly victimised by the powers around them. It is not reasonable to ask them for pluck and courage, but they come up with it anyway. The Lebanese spirit is characteristically entrepeneurial, so there is good reason to hope, I would hope, for room for indirect Israeli support for a Hizballah-free Lebanon, but....

Heck, if I were Lebanese, I would trust Israel a lot further than I would trust the United States of America. Our arrogant State Department 'realists' have made Treachery our middle name and sold Lebanon down the river, er, how many times?

All for a 'Peace Process' that put knives in Israel's back as well as Lebanon's. Thank you, Foggy Bottom.

Feh!

If anyone can overcome the horrors of invasion and bombing, it's Lebanon, but it is insufferably arrogant and strategically stupid for us to just expect them to come along when called.

No, friendship is built on trust. We have not earned that trust. Worse for us, when they lose, we lose.

Perhaps we should keep our personnel IN Lebanon, facing down the threat of Hizballah attacks and kidnappings alongside and inside Lebanon. Perhaps Mr. Bush should proclaim that that is precisely what we are doing: standing with Lebanon, in Lebanon.

It would be a small--but impressive--gesture, no? Just a little politic decency in a time of horrific uncertainty.

Long live the Cedar Revolution. Long live Lebanon and Israel.

God help America.

7/16/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Here's an example of the hostility Israel is getting from Lebanon's government. This is no complaint about "disproportionate force", but a wacky conspiracy theory about Israel using banned weapons. And this is the Lebanese Cabinet saying this, the leadership!

Lebanon's Cabinet issued a statement Sunday saying the country faces "real annihilation" by Israel, and accused the Jewish state of using banned weapons against Lebanese civilians.

"We are facing a real annihilation carried out by Israel," Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said after an emergency cabinet meeting.

"Israel is using internationally prohibited weapons against civilians," he said.

He did not elaborate on the weapons allegedly used. But there were Lebanese media reports, which could not be confirmed, that Israel had used phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs, which suck up the air and collapse buildings.

7/16/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Wretchard,
I do not believe Newt was engaging in hyperbole.
WW3 has been in motion for some time. The Chinese are all over our defense industry with cash and spies. They daily, daily mind you attack our defense communications systems. They buy Clinton's Sandy Burger to commit treason.
Now, with Putin flexing his power prior to abolishing elections in Russia, Chinese and Soviet proxies are ratcheting up the activity.
If we do not war now the entire world will read it for what it is. A lack of resolution on our part to defend the rights of man and that will be fatal for all.
I want our side to win.

7/16/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> Do you remember the
> 1990s, when our only
> worries were the
> Millenium Bug? If
> we had only acted
> sooner ... the
> terrible ifs accumulate.

On the other hand, the claim that this is "World War III" may be hyperbole precisely on the same level as Y2K was. Pick any year in human history and people were saying things were going to hell in a handbasket.

7/16/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Perhaps we should keep our personnel IN Lebanon, facing down the threat of Hizballah attacks and kidnappings alongside and inside Lebanon.

Are we equal? Would Hizbollah not get more publicity from kidnapping an American than one of their neighbors? It isn't much of an accomplishment for one Lebanese citizen to kidnap another; that's just an ordinary crime.

Also a local citizen can blend in more than foreigners.

It's just not the same.

7/16/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger J.Fred said...

BTW, my sympathy for the Lebanese is very real but please permit me to state clearly that I find no fault in Israel's actions, and hope that this whole affair will result, at the very least, in the near-total decimation of Hizballah's military capabilities.

Further achievements, such as permanent abolition of non-state militias in Lebanon are obviously desirable all 'round.

7/16/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

And, perhaps, the isolationist Left shall give us Total War...

We will know in a few weeks…

Gee, thanks...

The Left’s love and concern and correctness and decency in this lawless land leave them - and us - one solution since they cannot stomach the other. Their lack of willpower in standing against the Reich at the Rhineland may lead all of us to stand on the beaches of Normandy. Waiting. Mechanized Killing. It may yet come to that.

But, we still have a few weeks.

The 2nd Conjecture may yet have some life.

Total War will be fought symmetrically by us and asymmetrically by the other side.

We will lose thousands to millions in shopping malls and sporting events and indefensible gathering places. The main target will be the glorious - and apostate - underbelly of Western Europe. The only thing that will save them is the ruthlessness they still have within them - special note: their police are not like our police. But, so soft, so near, so apostate. Even more so than the Great Satan.

They will lose millions to hundreds of millions when the next Bomber Harris takes command. Their infrastructure, their cities, and their military are unprotected. Our culture will forever change. We are still challenged with Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Dresden, and Monte Carlo. Those necessities will be a very distant memory.

At least we are talking about a 3rd Conjecture solution without 3rd Conjecture weapons.

There were options, there were ifs.

Sturm und Drang

Time, Still.

After the earthquake a fire passed; but Yahweh was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. It was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. Behold, a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

7/16/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Lebanon hasn't rid itself of its rat's nest of Hezbollah militants & politicians, in and out of its government, shame on them.

Nor have we rid ourselves of CIA and Congressional leakers, and the perpetually ongoing treasonous activities of the New York Times, shame on US.

7/16/2006 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

teresita,
i agree with the "hell in a handbasket" yearly outlook. but i think there was a spring day in 1960 when the Pittsburg Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the World Series that things were ok.

7/16/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

People have been making handbaskets to go to hell in for some time if not all time. Wickery being a human accomplishment. Hell is quite another matter and we may be looking at it eye ball to eye ball brought to us by the fourteenth century fanatics tolerated by diversity and lack of one or two vital survival chromosones bred out by some of the lesser descendents of men and woman that once stould tall. So it goes.

7/16/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The Venetians used to sink their Triremes before bringing them into port…

That is one certain way of killing the rats…

Lebanon should have played nice with Israel and worked with them to destroy Hezbollah. Now, regretfully, they are with the terrorists. The terrorist squat among them. The terrorist lob their futile rockets from among them. Every day, every week, every month, every year, and most decades. It is tiresome, and it will be over. The Lebanese should have busied themselves this past year with a shovel – scraping that crap off the floorboards. Instead they dine with the Terror Turds. Get along to be along, eh…

Oh, well…

Even now, Israel is giving them the choice. It will be another road not taken. Watch. This will be an ‘if’ that the Lebanese will want a mulligan on in the near and far future.

Uuuugggghhhhh - I am starting to sound like DR... Yuk, yuk...

7/16/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger J.Fred said...

wu wei said:
"Would Hizbollah not get more publicity from kidnapping an American than one of their neighbors?"

Good point. Perhaps staying in secure compounds? It looks like we 'cut and run' when things get hot and then Hizballah points at us, "See?"

Your earlier point about hostility from the Lebanese government is curious.

"We are facing a real annihilation carried out by Israel," Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said ...

What's wacky about that perception? I may call it understandable battlefield preparation, but I'm being hopeful and you and I aren't there, getting bombed, are we?

As for Lahoud's accusations about phosphorous weapons, well, read the Lebanese blogosphere and you will note that neither most bloggers nor many important elements in the government give Lahoud credit for being anything more than a Syrian mouthpiece.

It seems to me that you hold Lebanon to impossible standards and throw them away by doing so.

You are obviously very intelligent and educated about strategy. Hardness of attitude, however, does not comport well with the philosphy of 'wu wei'. Why do you name yourself so? There is no use in destroying or abandoning Lebanon and much to be lost by doing so.

7/16/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

From Condoleeza Rice's press conference in Russia. Blair, Chirac and GWB in pow-wow. Her key riff:

"SECRETARY RICE: I can tell you that -- of course, we want violence to end. But I can tell you right now if violence ends on the basis of somehow Hezbollah or Hamas continuing to hold in their hands the capabilities anytime they wish to start launching rockets again into Israel, if violence ends on the basis of no change in the underlying political support for Resolution 1559 or for the work that President Abbas is doing, if violence ends on the basis of Syria and Iran being able to turn on the key again anytime, we will have achieved very, very little, indeed, and we will be right back here, perhaps in a worse circumstance because the terrorists will assume that nobody is willing to take on what has been a very clear assault now on the progress that is being made by moderate forces in the Middle East."

Sounds real simple doesn't it? To reach this simple goal implies a great deal and I wonder whether if anyone remotely appreciates how much that is.

7/16/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The same conference debated energy:

..."Russia had faced calls from the EU and US for increased international energy co-operation, amid fears Moscow may use energy as a tool of foreign policy.

However Russia, a major oil and gas producer, did not ratify the Energy Charter, an international rulebook."...BBC

As usual Russia is helpful.

7/16/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Condi Rice forgot to finish: ..."and accordingly, we will not accept such an outcome."

7/16/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

The use of the term 'civilian' has taken on a new definition in this war on terror. We hear constant ranting by our leftist MSM that Israel is targeting civilians. Is Hizb-allah not a civilian force? (And if they are state sponsored - is not their patron the Iranian government?)

I state with confidence that there are innocents (as opposed to "civilians") being caught in this mess. But that the Islamist deliberately uses them as a shield in order to decry their victim status must be realized.

The MSM is (willingly IMHO) being played like a fiddle by the propaganda savvy Islamoids.

Someone stated on a very intelligent post here some weeks back that (I paraphrase) "In a guerilla war you need a sympathetic population". We have to assume that the Hizb-allah (civilian) force in Lebanon has had some logistical help from within the country.

7/16/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

The UN passed Resolution 1559 and subsequent resolutions beginning six years ago...and then did nothing.

Worthless.

7/16/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

If we want to work the Iranian nukes problem, we had to take Hizbollah off the table. Iran was making unveiled threats of world wide terror attacks in response to sanctions, let alone air strikes.

I think those threats got the world working the Hizbollah problem and this may be part of it. Pushing the leadership into Syria and making the Syrians responsible for their exemplary behavior may be an intermidiate step to dealing with Iran. In fact this is why the war should not be confined to Hezbollahstan -- we are not doing tit for tat, blowing up empty huts in terror camps anymore. "These groups drag nations into war so don't associate with them." That's the message.

President Ahmadinejad may be screwing up in a very unforgiving environment. He thought the World would fracture and turn on the US and Israel. But maybe not. How many guesses does he get?

7/16/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

2164th wrote:

> Hell is quite another
> matter and we may be
> looking at it eye ball
> to eye ball brought to
> us by the fourteenth
> century fanatics
> tolerated by diversity
> and lack of one or
> two vital survival
> chromosones bred out
> by some of the lesser
> descendents of men and
> woman that once stould
> tall. So it goes.

From Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert:

"They ignore the species at its work, Sheeana. I think you can already sense this. The Tyrant certainly knew about it. What was his Golden Path but a vision of sexual forces at work recreating humankind endlessly?"

"And the whores don't create?"

"They mostly try to control their worlds with this force."

"They seem to be doing that."

"Ahhh, but what counterforces do they call forth?"

7/16/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I think the choices in war law are "combatant" or "civilian". Anyone who is shooting is a combatant, even if he is not a uniformed soldier.

7/16/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

I think this business needs to take its own time. It won't be rushed. If the Israelis are looking at weeks to completely destroy HB then taking a few days for the land operation to begin makes sense and events will unfold in stages.

I think both parties are playing for time right now. HB has not used its long range missiles very much and hasn't used them against the most sensitive targets. They could target Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, chemical plants and oil refineries in Haifa, power plants and more. I think the reason they haven't yet done so is that they don't want to provoke Israel needlessly. They are hoping for a cease-fire. They are hoping to return to their happy lives of murder and mayhem without Israel ruining their day. It has been reported that Iran controls the long range rockets. If this is true Iran may have the same calculus. Hope for an end to hostilities without losing all of HBs capabilities.

The Israelis have held off their ground assault. I guess that they don't want to provoke HBs use of the long-range rockets against the targets that I mentioned. Meanwhile Israel has barred the exits and the IAF acts against HB to erode its capability. They will do this as long as they can. Curiously there have been no reports of ground to air missiles used against the IAF.

Neither side has gone all in yet. Both are continuing their assaults and waiting for further developments. At the proper time Israel will start its ground assault, but that could be a week away.

Israel cannot afford to attack Syria before HB is well in hand. Israel is not afraid of the long-range missiles but they respect them. Obviously Syria's missile capability is superior to HBs. Israel will take more hits on its home front from Syria than it has taken already from HB. This is of course the Iran/Syria/HB/Hamas strategy.

At this point GWB is holding his cards close to his vest. Action against Iran probably shouldn't begin until HB is well in hand and the action on Syria has begun. It will all will unfold slowly.

7/16/2006 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Henry Kissinger , live on FOX, linking Indian bombing, in a climate of terroristic activity which must be resisted... Important to bring to Iran message that West is determined to end worldwide lawlessness... Says it is impossible to negotiate with Hezbollah if they do not reject the call for the destruction of Israel... Says Iran must face choice to act as a normal modern state... US cannot allow Iran to be leading crusades in the region.

7/16/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Not having any infantry limits U.S. options pretty much, doesn't it?

7/16/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Original_Jeff said...

What would be the effect of a sustained aerial bombardment of Iran and Syria by a US-led coalition of the willing?
The bombardment would continue until all military and regime facilities are destroyed or until the regime individual surrended themselves for prosecution for war crimes (i.e. terrorism).
Only limited ground force presence.

7/16/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Possumtater,
"but i think there was a spring day in 1960 when the Pittsburg Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the World Series that things were ok."

A spring day?

7/16/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mmost soldiers in War Zones never fire a weapon. If they are out of uniform, are they civilians while dtiving the trucks? Loading the freight? Fueling the planes?
Does the cargo describe the driver?
The cruise ships of WWI writ down to pickup trucks?

When the population is the enemy, there are no civilians. The Enemy believes it, we choose to reject reality, empowered by hubris.

That is the truth of morale bombing's moral imperative.
End the War ASAP.
That is the only moral course.

7/16/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> "We are facing a real annihilation carried out by Israel," Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said ...

> What's wacky about that perception?

I wrote in another comment above about why this is not an annihilation. For a war, 104 deaths is a very small amount for five days. That's clear evidence of how selective Israel has been.

Each target has been chosen for a military reason necessary for Israel's survival. They don't target anything unnecessarily. I don't think Lebanon is in that bad a shape, regardless of what the TV cameras focus on.

There was an article about how selective Israel is being, so that things can be put back together again. Instead of taking down certain bridges that are hard to rebuild, Israel put a patch-able hole in them. Same thing for the airport. Israel didn't destroy Lebanon's famous lighthouse entirely, just shot the light out so it couldn't be used militarily (and that only came after the Lebanese Navy helped Hizbollah shoot the Israeli ship). Israel publicly said that it wouldn't shoot the Lebanese military unless they fired first. Israel warned civilians days in advance to move away from Hizbollah's headquarters (saving the civilians but possibly letting the enemy get away).

The Lebanese don't realize how lucky they are that Israel is so merciful.

7/16/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Friends, (if I may)

Over the past few days I have read hundreds (thousands ?) of opinions here and elsewhere. With disheartening regularity, a sign of the times I suppose, I have read that Hezbollah must be "decimated, wounded, hurt, punished, cut down to size, pushed, shoved, etc"

No! My friends, Hezbollah must be extirpated, exterminated, annihilated, eradicated, if possible to the last man! They are not men, they are miscreants. Just as the Marines on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, confronting a savage foe, asked for no quarter and gave none, so it must be in the coming battle against Hezbollah.

When speaking of this war, may I suggest the words of a Christian writer: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

7/16/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Harry Eagar,

Not having any infantry limits U.S. options pretty much, doesn't it?

Am I to assume that having less than 20% of your ground forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan means you have nothing left...

Ahem...

By the way, the Recruits that went to todays Padres baseball game looked real sharp in their desert cammy's. They haven't worn that uniform for at least a year. Hmmm...

So, Eagar, don't worry. We have plenty of troops available. And, our ground forces have been growing quite nicely - you know with beating recruitment and retention goals for over a year...

7/16/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard - Newt Gingrich is either engaging in hyperbole or is dead serious when said today that World War 3 has already begun.

I think Newt is serious. WWII started in similar desultory manner until all hell let loose in the European theater and in Asia.

Both theaters saw conflict in little dribs and drabs initially. Beginning in 1937, Japan was content to nibble on Manchouko, do a little gunboat action, rape Nanking and a few other "Example Actions", take a few pieces along the coast..then Blam...war in Asia went into hyperdrive in 1942.

The Euopean conflict began with relatively peaceful Nazi victories in taking the Rhineland, the Anschluss, Czechslovakia - even after Poland was carved up, the Sitzkrieg happened then the Nazis struck West, South, and OH SO POWERFULLY - To the East.

In both theaters, I believe, until June 1941 in Europe and Dec 1941 in Asia, I think no Party envisioned it would be AS BIG OR BIGGER THAN WWI.

America had the same experience with our bloodiest war. It started in Missouri and Bloody Kansas years before the Big Event. The Civil War was thought by no one - to be the start of a Major, Bloody War. The first several battles fought on the cheap and with a reticence on both sides to take mass casualties. For almost a year and a half, the Union Army preferred not to take the field. It evolved into a meatgrinder that got more bloody and more intense in 1863, 1864..then kept up the bloodshed intensity for a brief part of 1865. Then the carnage of the American Civil War was forgotten by Powers sucked into WWI. They thought like Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and Lee and McClellan did at the beginning that it would be Napoleonic and fast.

The war with Islamofascism could get Very Bloody.

Enough so that we forget about giving every "victim's family" of Islamofascism several million dollars and the imperative to build them "Billion-Dollar Closure Monuments". Or forget about "More Enemy Rights" as the most central focus of the War..

If Newt is right, and it is WWIII, it is very slow developing....and it's actual start may go back to Carter's failure of nerve against the Iranian students due to his belief that Nothing was more important than his Beloved Hostages, or Saudi Arabia caving to Extremists in 1979, after the US was humbled and agreeing to support the global spread of Wahhabi radical Islam - financially for organizations and Madrassahs, and with KSA religious extremists exported as Mullahs.

Newt closes of course with a semi-desperate plea for Bush to find a way to articulate this.

I would add that all the price run-up in oil has been by extremely wealthy speculators. And that also requires as urgent an action as redefining the struggle with radical Islam with the collapse of the neocons...

Instead I think we will get more Bush proposed spending programs to help his beleagured Republicans out with claims of more bacon for their States. And more appeals to expand tax cuts for the rich. And of course, finally putting his foot down and vetoing the 1st thing Congress has done he can't stomach.....scientific research opposed by religious zealots.

7/16/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Allen actually that is from Corinthians 13:11, but as a friend I agree.

7/16/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Newt Gingrich's World War III will be delineated by the date/time stamp when your Amazon book and CD shipment fee requires a 'dangerous delivery charge'.

Don't be mistaken that WWIII with our Islamofascist enemy will be a battlefield war.

It will be them carpet-bombing shopping malls and us carpet-bombing city centers.

We will be very effective, they will be very tenacious…

7/16/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

What would be the effect of a sustained aerial bombardment of Iran and Syria by a US-led coalition of the willing?

Shihab-3 fired at Israel.
Missiles fired at US troops in Iraq.
Mehdi Army attacks US troops.
Iranian military active in Iraq.
Closing the straits of Hormuz.
Destruction of oil infrastructure in asia and possibly in SA.
Gas prices RISE RISE RISE.
Stock market FALLS FALLS FALLS.
Widespread terrorist attacks in US, Europe, and elsewhere.
We learn for sure if Iran has nukes or not.
We learn if Russia or China has mutual defense treaty with Iran.
Other surprises.

BTW, if you'd asked this a few weeks ago I would have included Hezbolla fires 12,000 missiles at Israel but that seems to be off the list.

Revenge is their game. They've been planning this for a long time. They've analyzed all our weak points. Of course they'll probably do all those things eventually anyway.

7/16/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Utopia Parkway,

We are at the end of the sitskrieg whether we like that fact or not.

Events will result in a quickly won regional war - but another long duration tribal insurgency (grouping all the barbarians together).

Hezbollah will be stupid
Syria will be stupid
Iran will be stupid

One thing to remember, we don't have to be the big guy for every mouse that roars... We don't have to rebuild countries and societies.

7/16/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

DR - 7:52:
Exactly.
In this war there will be no 'civilians'. As GWB stated in 2001, "You are either with us or against us".

MSM & left in the West; choose your side!

7/16/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"When the population is the enemy, there are no civilians. The Enemy believes it, we choose to reject reality, empowered by hubris."

You do see the problem with that, don't you?

We have mistaken war for humanitarian endeavor - to the extent that the primary beneficiaries of any war we fight must be at least perceived to be the population of the state or other entity we are at war against. The chief object is not our own defense, it is not our own security; the chief object is the rescue or improvement or reorganization or what-have-you of foreign populations. This is our present, basic understanding of war.

The problem isn't that we've burdened ourselves with doo-goo projects WHILE fighting a war. The problem is that the former has been confused with the latter and there is no fundamental effort to separate them.

War as an essentially charitable undertaking. It is a wrong-headed, even senile, notion we began with, and damned if we can shake it.

7/16/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Is Boghie's statement, "We don't have to rebuild countries and societies", not the truth?

What in us demands the higher moral ground?

Our "cultured mindset"?

For a country to really go to war, they must get down with the dogs and let loose when their survival is at stake. It appears that we have not seen our limit nor our childrens future. War for them, not for us.

7/16/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger J3 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/16/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

jjjohnson80,

You dramatically misunderstand what Total War will look like in this endeavor.

Those soldiers you are splaying around the cities of the Middle East will be in our shopping malls instead. The ‘other’ will attempt to fight us over here. Actually, over in Europe because they are crusaders and apostate and close at hand. There will be relatively little fight on the ground in a Total War against Islamofascists.

Instead of sending in ground troops we will send in missiles and planes. We will destroy them as they attempt to destroy us… We will destroy population centers… It will change our culture as dramatically as WWII and the Great Depression.

And, yes, it may well last years.

And, no, it will not require a draft. We will kill a hundred for each one of ours killed.

And, I still hope to God for a 2nd Conjecture solution…

And, I am hoping the next President is not a Sulla.

7/16/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

jjj:
I don't know that you need to kill every enemy before they see the light. This one may be different but I don't think so.
They have been emboldened by what they see as successful operations against the 'Great Satan' & 'Little Satan'. They are financed by their good fortune - petrodollars - and little else. Their level-headed brethren already have sided with US. See statements from Jordan, KSA, UAE Kuwait, etc.

The devil has many minions with long beards accross the planet. Our biggest task is to convnce the left - including Russia and China, the Euroweenies, the Latinocommies, and our own homegrown useful idiots - just how grave a threat they pose to liberty-minded humankind.

7/16/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

trish,

Very well said! I take exception in only one small way: It is not we who cannot escape the folly, it is our leadership (oxymoronic I know, but there you have it). Again, well done.

7/16/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> In this war there will
> be no 'civilians'. As
> GWB stated in 2001,
> "You are either with us
> or against us".

There hasn't been any civilians in a war since, oh, golly, I think Dresden.

(BTW, when you ask God if he is with us or against us he says "no".)

7/16/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Back when I was Habu_1 instead of PossumTater I said we would have a war with Iran and Syria before the mid term elections.
It met with mild amusement from the established bloggers. That was several months ago.
Now we still haven't gotten that war but the rhetoric I used about killing and killing more has become the magnum chorus.
I just hope I am right and we bust some countries right out of existence or are at least left to wander around glassy eyed as mass idiocy defines their lives.
Sorry about the kids,old folks and all that but thats the way war is if done correctly. Calcine earth.

7/16/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

"War as an essentially charitable undertaking. It is a wrong-headed, even senile, notion we began with, and damned if we can shake it."

Amen Trish.



jjjohnson80,

You seem to have a handle on the down-side. Are you assuming I am one of those ultra neo-con's that want to KILL KILL KILL? Hell, you may be right....

"Maybe we should start thinking "draft, total war, total mobilization, now ... so my great-grandkids will be safe."

Do you have kids? If so, do you not want to leave a safer world for them to live in? I find you statement a bit bewildering if it is not condescending.

Or, possibly you take the high road in the debate? Straw-man illustrations are good in a debate, as long as you have an agenda that supports the attempt. I'm sure some here would argue, but even Cedarford brings logic to the table before wallowing in the mud with us heathens, killers and neo-cons.

KILL KILL KILL seems to work for the Islamists....... Have we seen a successful end to any war without it?

It doesn't mean I want it.

7/16/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

jjj,

By 1949, the same time frame we have been in Iraq, an American serviceman could go anywhere in Germany or Japan with reckless abandon. This is not the case in Iraq today. Why? Total War! But not as you understand it.

7/16/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

teresita,
what frequency do i tune my tin foil hat to to pick up the Big Guy?
Cause the last time we talked He said, "Go PossunTater and bust 'em hard"

7/16/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger J3 said...

Boghie:

Attacking the US is not as easy as you make it seem. Especially for a people who look different, have little-to-no support here, and have large oceans to cross. You are as completely delusional as the terrosits if you think the US mainland is some sitting duck target. Especially with the gloves off. Perhaps NK could get something going here, but even that would be limited and indeterminate of the ultimate outcome.

And little fight on the ground? No draft to fight what could end of being the entire middle east, perhaps Pakistan (if only the 'extremists,'), North Korea? Wars are won on the ground. Period, end of story. If you hope to discard every example of military history and combat, go ahead - but you are wrong. A war may be essentially "won" from the air, but the million little battles to actually "win" are on the ground. Street to street, house to house. Don't kid yourself and pray for this magical "war without ground troops" that one sometimes hears. Especially these days, especially in non-linear combat.

7/16/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Habu (you will always be),

Game theorists must be checking variables right about now.....

7/16/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> The Lebanese don't
> realize how lucky
> they are that Israel
> is so merciful.

Neither do the Euroweenies, apparently. They're the ones complaining about Israel's "overreaction" to a couple three guys getting kidnapped and some wayward bottle rockets. At times the IDF (like the US army) has got to feel like the remnant of the Dunedain in the north of Middle Earth watching for all the bad guys and getting nothing for their troubles from the Bree-folk but suspicion and uncouth namecalling.

7/16/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

teresita,

I don't have that kind of relationship with G-d. Do you?

From long historical perspective, however, I assume the answer would be "yes".

7/16/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/16/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger greer rants said...

PossumTater,
Read yr Pittsburgh Pirates' post and skipped all to post. So forgive me if others have called you out on the "spring" World Series.
I was a little girl, oldest of 5 girls and my father was such a fanatical baseball fan that we all absolutely hated MAZ and every Pirate who kept winning games and stretching the season out.
We could go nowhere when the Pirates were on the road and when they home we were dragged to the games.
======================
Wretchard wrote:
Do you remember the 1990s, when our only worries were the Millenium Bug? If we had only acted sooner ... the terrible ifs accumulate.

When Sen Chris Dodd says in all seriousness and thinking he is making some great intellectual leap:
"Since 1967 thru the Clinton administration we have been ENGAGING with the world"...

Yes you have and the terribleness has squared and cubed while you were engaging. And the "ifs" now cannot be looked back at. They show the engagers to be shallow unserious men who fled from babes.

On another thread, I think it was Doug who have numbers handy.

Can anyone tell me the increase in the population of the Palestinians since
Dodds proud 1967 engagement?
And how about those crazy Iranians since Jimmah's "engagement". How
many Jihadi males came of age just since Clinton ignored the 1st WTC bombing?

The DEMS want to practice a "Peter Principle" engagement. Your are selected for having gone thru the process not for any success. Diane Finestein actually said on Larry King tonight "Bill Clinton knows the territory like the back of his hand".

Grinning - but will leave the obvious punchlines to your imaginations - Grandmothers should be demure.

I would love to send those
numbers to Sen Dodd.
"Since 1967 you say....."

7/16/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

teresita,
now ole Possumtater ain't real bright and my eyesight ain't what it use to be, but pray tell me...

just exactly what are you doing in that picture?

7/16/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

jjjohnson80,

We have to fight on the ground only if we are interested in a '2nd Conjecture' solution.

Also, did you read my post:

Those soldiers you are splaying around the cities of the Middle East will be in our shopping malls instead. The ‘other’ will attempt to fight us over here. Actually, over in Europe because they are crusaders and apostate and close at hand. There will be relatively little fight on the ground in a Total War against Islamofascists.

I know it would be difficult for Islamofascists to attack America - that is why I mentioned the near enemy of the Islamofascists. A sizable portion of the European demographic is Middle East and African.

Why do we have to take and hold ground in the Middle East???

Are we in this war for oil, eh jjjohnson80???

Danmyers asked, are you serious???

Are you – or do you have debating points.

7/16/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger J3 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/16/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

greer rants....
you be right and i dun caught my mistake to dang late. the World Series ain't never played in the spring .... but that fall if'n you were a Bucs fan like me you just were jump'in up and down when MAZ hit that dang homer and whupped a really good ball club.

7/16/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

jjjohnson80,

Thanks for making your background clear to me as well as to Danmyers...

You have to realize that our enemy - even one that includes the nuclear 'power' we call North Korea - are really targets of opportunity.

We are still in a mode of solving this social issue via social means - ie. a shining city on a hill...

We should save the Total War stuff till the enemy drives us toward that singularity. The fools may do so. And, the cowards and kleptocrats in the region may enable them. But we knowing evil neo-cons do not want such a conflict. Total War will not be initiated by us. In the end, Islamofascism will fail via a '2nd Conjecture' solution or a '3rd Conjecture' solution. I just hope we don't have to deal with '3rd Conjecture' weapons...

7/16/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> Wars are won on the
> ground. Period, end
> of story. If you
> hope to discard every
> example of military
> history and combat,
> go ahead - but you
> are wrong.

Well look at Serbia 1999. No boots on the ground, but we started breaking stuff until Milosumbitch cried Uncle. That's basically what a war is.

7/16/2006 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

By the way, what would we do with a 10 million man military?

The draft would be worse than useless.

We still need more ground pounders - but not millions of them.

By the way II: You can say WWII actually started in Spain, Ethiopia, and Manchuria. That would make WWII a 14 year long war – that is, starting in 1931. America just elected to hide behind its oceans. Brittan and France were spending their ‘Peace Dividend’. The Soviet Union was busy killing fellow Soviets. China was a target of opportunity.

7/16/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

JJJ,

Fair enough. They are legitimate questions pre-war. I think the general discussion that has not been addressed is - Do we think we are at war? Who is we?

Until we can answer those questions with clarity (and a vocal majority) can adults make decisions about next steps.

7/16/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ros said...

Prince Hassan of Jordan on BBC last night expressed concern about escalations such as Mumbai and expressed fear that we are an the verge of WW3.

7/16/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Total war is a disaster. It never works. That's why we lost Viet Nam, too much killing. Napalm, carpet bombing, daisy cutters, and all it did was make the people who survived turn against us.

Doing it in the Middle East would be the same thing. All Moslems are not bin Laden, no matter how easy that would make it.

Even the "fantasy" about killing everyone with nukes wouldn't work because other countries have them too.

Some people are strong enough to keep fighting even if their brother is killed.

7/16/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

boghie,
i ain't so sure we wouldn't nitiate that ww3 episode. i'd almost be will'n to put up my goat, Fedora, if i was a bett'n man...and it took me three years to learn him how to pull a radio flyer wagon 'round the flea market, so you knode i be serous.

7/16/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Teresita,

You don't want the kind of air war I am talking about.

I am not talking about small things (Serbia) by small people (Clinton).

Have you looked a pictures of Dresden and Tokyo after the firebombings. Killing a couple of hundred million people will change us in ways I do not want to fathom.

We need a '2nd Conjecture' solution. That is why we are in Iraq. That is why we are using ground troops. That is why we are trying to build a civil consensual government in Iraq. That is the optimum solution.

BTW: Nice change of photos, eh...

7/16/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> teresita,
> what frequency do i
> tune my tin foil hat
> to to pick up the Big Guy?
> Cause the last time we
> talked He said, "Go PossunTater
> and bust 'em hard"

She hasn't talked like that since She had to drown Her children the Egyptians at Great Bitter Lake in the Suez when they were chasing Moshe and his band of Hebrews.

7/16/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

This is a historical battle. The pre-condition for acceptance of the Order to the extent that it exists is Barely-Endured Violence. For the Europeans, it was the suicide of WWI/II; for the Russians all those, + revolutions; for the Chinese almost 200 years of flagellation; for Israel, the Holocaust. The Islamic world has been in a Chinese-state for 100 years; the Arab in a unique fugue-state of violence for 1000. The storm has come: bring the regional war Now. It is Inevitable. And they cannot win it.

7/16/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Wu Wei - "Total war is a disaster. It never works."

Vietnam was Total War? That's a pretty low threshold....

7/16/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> teresita,
> I don't have that
> kind of relationship
> with G-d. Do you?

It was sort of a joke to make a point about nationalism and triumphalism and assuming the creator of the whole freaking universe is taking your side in a war that's been going on for 4000 years over a teensy sliver of semi-arid land. As far as my relationship with the Creatrix, I'm a roamin' Catholic who's been beat over the head with the first chapter of the letter to the Romans too many times, if you get my drift.

7/16/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wu Wei,

I use Total War in the sense defined by VDH. Destroy the malignant culture. Ensure that it doesn't feel it has won. Force complete change.

WWII was a Total War and it solved the underlying issues.

WWI was NOT a Total War and it did not solve the underlying issues.

The Civil War was a Total War

The Kansas skirmishes were not

The Revolutionary War was total

The French/Indian was not

Total war implies complete victory.

In the conflict in which we find ourselves there will be a winner and their will be a loser. There will not be a middle ground. The solution can come from social change or complete military victory. That is the difference between a '2nd Conjecture' victory and a '3rd Conjecture' style victory.

7/16/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

C4 :

"even after Poland was carved up, the Sitzkrieg happened then the Nazis struck West, South, and OH SO "

Stalin and Hitler attacked Poland at the same time. It was not just Hitler. We've been brainwashed into thinking WWII was started JUST by Hitler. It was not.

Prior to this, the USSR took Karelia from the Finns in 1939-1940 and the Japanese got their butts kicked at Kalhan Gol in 1939 as well. There was a lot of fighting going on prior to major hostilities.

The USSR started WWII just as surely as Germany or Japan did.

The center in this day's War is Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and to a Lesser Extent - Jordan.

Everyone sees that the radical Islamists are the enermy and Iran is not welcome in the Arab world.

This is why Hezbolla is ignored - because it is Iranian - but the Palis - being Arab - are supported.

7/16/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> Vietnam was Total War?
> That's a pretty low
> threshold....

Well you've got Newt and/or the neo-con think tanks calling the GWOT "World War III" or "IV" and I haven't even been told to turn in my car's tires, get a food ration card, report to Boeing to rivet panels on bombers, or plant a victory garden yet. It's the dumbing down of General Sherman's concept.

7/16/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

whoa wu wei,
lost vietnam cause of too much killing? too much carpet bombing?

hit the rewind button...

you need to watch
"Apocalyspe Now" to get the real truth, then follow that something by Leni Reifenstahl to get the skinny on ww2.

7/16/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wu Wei,

If I was not clear. Vietnam is as far from a Total War as you can get. It is the very definition of a 'Third Turning' war.

Now that we are in a 'Fourth Turning' aint it interesting that we can discuss this topic. Imagine this discussion in June 2001. Back then we were arguing about Stem Cell research or something...

7/16/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> Killing a couple of
> hundred million people
> will change us in ways
> I do not want to fathom.

If it changes us so that we want to kill more people, pretty soon we will run out of people and there will be nothing to fathom.

If it changes us so that we want to kill fewer people, that is something I want to fathom.

7/16/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Teresita,

You want to mobilize 300 million Americans with a 13 Trillion dollar economy that can send men and women into space to fight Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas?

You want President Bush to ask you to recycle tires or something.

We feed the world with surplus.

You are doing your part in the war effort by paying higher oil prices. Do so gladly. Soon enough, the prices will come down. Then pay less gladly. There may be a time when we need you to melt your tires, but:

Our nation is huge; it has a huge population, and an enormous economy. We are untouchable militarily. We are growing stronger in all directions. And, it a year or two we will be running budget surpluses. We really don't need you to melt your tires or shape carbon fiber panels for B2 bombers.

We never want to kill millions of people. Never have, never will. That is why Americans are slow to anger. That is why we are reacting in a measured fashion. Look at the alternatives that could have been used if you think we want to kill millions – and you don’t even have to look at WMD capability. If we were fast to anger why didn’t we respond harsher to the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979?

It is rather insulting to state that – by the way.

It will be the other side that pushes this over the edge.

7/16/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Red,

How then would you explain the Syrian/HezbAllah/Iranian triumvirate?

Serious question.

Allies of convenience? Ready to be shucked when the time comes? Syria as the pawn is not out of the question with the Good Doctor as leader.

7/16/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> WWI was NOT a Total War
> and it did not solve
> the underlying issues.

On the contrary, the First World War completely ripped up the Old European Order. It was the end of the Hapsburg and Ottoman Empires and Germany's overseas Empire. It was the beginning of American interventionism "Over There". Then Germany skipped the whole "Roaring Twenties", we got to the world Depression, and with the rise of the Third Reich, Hitler sold the German people on the myth he invented anew from whole cloth in his dang book that Jewish-controlled liberal democracies and the Bolsheviks conspired to keep the Aryan race from their rightful place as the masters of the whole world. So WW1 and WW2 were not mere book-ends with all unsettled issues put on hold between them.

7/16/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

teresita:

Well you've got Newt and/or the neo-con think tanks calling the GWOT "World War III" or "IV"

And all this time, I thought we were fighting World War V...

7/16/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

PossumTater just detected a ZEN KOAN wannabe.

WHY THEN IS THERE WAR?
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?


well, nearest i can conjure is it makes instant turtle ponds.
was she carpet bombing master?
before?

7/16/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

'tater,

your Habu is showing... :-)

7/16/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

P-tater agrees with Trish. It's much later than we think. She says it's WW5. Well Trish I'll bet you a pair of bookends that it's really just a police action.
Just some errant terrorists mucking up the locals.
Why that very same hue is just walking into our space from the south. Yep definitely a police action.

7/16/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

> The storm has come:
> bring the regional
> war Now. It is Inevitable.
> And they cannot win it.

So lets take inventory.

1) Hez and Hamas is sitting over there like spurned lovers striking out at an Israel that just wants to put up a fence and run away from the crazy MFs

2) We've got Persians who think the 12th Iman is putting his work boots on as we speak and getting ready to come out and kick infidel butt

3) We've got Christianists saying bring the war on while sitting over here whittling on their porch waiting for the rapture 'coz they're SAAAAAVED.

And in this corner:

A) The G8 and the Arab League are saying the idiots in Hamas and Hezbollah brought it on themeselves.

B) The UN is actually starting to work again with a UNSC unanimous ruling against the Norks and Iran is feeling the winds of fate blowing the other way.

C) The IDF is using precision munitions to degrade Hezbollah assets possibly 50%-70% before wrapping the operation up before Shabbat next week in full payment for the afront of the incursion that triggered it.

7/16/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Very interesting link to battle of SUOMUSSALMI where a few thousand Finns with just rifles, skis, and machine guns destroyed the best Russian division and a Division of Mongols in 1939. The author of the study quotes Ender's Game near the end.

James Aldridge of the United Press reported in the New York Times stepping over Russian corpses, "a kaleidoscope of bodies.....four miles long."

( Not your NYT is it? )

Very similar in some respects to the Battle of Tuetoberg where Varus lost three Legions.

Finland was a small, free nation and very determined to win.

Finland won by preparing the battlefield by chopping the Russians into pieces then eating the pieces.

This is what Israel is doing at this time to S Lebanon.

Something for Iran to consider.

How to strike Iran?

Froggy's Email to Powerline about an Entebbe-like FOB in E Syria is a good guess, but there is a much, much easier way to do this. The key lies in the battle of SUOMUSSALMI.

7/16/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

DanMyers,
My Habu was excommunicated along with Eighteen Wheeler, Wup Sum,Wei Wu.
I was allowed to be Habu3 and since it was Dale Ernhardts old number I took it but now it's on the fritz ..I'm down to PossumTater...i was fer sure think'in 'bout that part right below here where it says "Or you can sign in as a different user"
So I did and well, I got a time out or something.
I feel like "Red Dawn" ...spraypaint HABU on a rock somewhere.

7/16/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

"There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will ever tell you what the enemy is going to do.

No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to

destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where

you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is

strong. And the only rules of the game are what you

can do to him and what you can stop him from doing."


Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game, 1977

7/16/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

danmyers,
how about a greeting like
as sala'amu habu

peace be habu...some mullet, ah mullah somewhere just put some bad sectarian/religious bad juju on me
i'll have a habu akbar over easy with some root beer.
better hurry and git back ta be'in 'tater afor it be to late
ALSO we should stay on topic kimosabe ..paleface make whup ass war on camel people.

7/16/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

Check out my latest post. Are there signs for optimism in the Middle East?

Formerly: JP Phish

7/16/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/16/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

What a surprise...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3276906,00.html

7/17/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger brough said...

Bush to Blair on G8 CCTV: "See, the irony is, what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this sh!t."

If Israel indeed has plans for Syria, sounds like they will not be acting bilaterally... unless GWB is just keeping Blair out the loop....

7/17/2006 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

boghie 9:38PM: "By the way, what would we do with a 10 million man military?"

Conquer, occupy, and reconstruct Arabia, Persia, and Pakistan, of course.

It has to be done, sooner or later.

It should have been started in October 2001, the price keeps going up - but that's what you would do with a ten million man army.

And, BTW, thirty million people back home would need to learn how to make stuff again, which also needs to happen.

7/17/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

Alexis said...
What a surprise...

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3276906,00.html

Headline: Left-wing rally: Negotiate with Hamas, Hizbullah

They should just say; "Please don't make the cattle car rides too bumpy or the temperature in the ovens too hot. We just want to get along."

7/17/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Possumtater,

...you be right and i dun caught my mistake to dang late. the World Series ain't never played in the spring ....

Well, it felt like spring.

I remember.

I was there.

;-)


Jamie Irons

7/17/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

"Scud-busters in action"

7/17/2006 10:20:00 AM  

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