Monday, July 17, 2006

Thanks, Robert

Robert Fisk has an article in al-Bawaba which makes two assertions. First, that Hezbollah planned on sucking Israel into Lebanon in order to turn the Lebanese against Israel; second, that Hezbollah is scoring an operational victory over Israel. Some excerpts are repeated below:


... The original border crossing, the capture of the two soldiers and the killing of three others was planned, according to Hassan Nasrallah ... more than five months ago. ... The Israeli retaliation was even crueller than some Hizbullah leaders imagined, and the Lebanese quickly silenced all criticism of the guerrilla movement. ...  The long-range Iranian-made missiles which later exploded on Haifa had been preceded only a few weeks ago by a pilotless Hizbullah drone aircraft which surveyed northern Israel and then returned to land in eastern Lebanon after taking photographs during its flight. These pictures not only suggested a flight path for Hizbollah's rockets to Haifa; they also identified Israel's top-secret military air traffic control centre in Miron.

The next attack - concealed by Israel's censors - was directed at this facility. ... Before they fired rockets at Haifa, they therefore sent a cluster of missiles towards Miron. The caves are untouchable but the targeting of such a secret location by Hizbullah deeply shocked Israel's military planners. The "centre of world terror" - or whatever they imagine Lebanon to be - could not only breach their frontier and capture their soldiers but attack the nerve-centre of the Israeli northern military command.

... Once the Hetz-class boats appeared, Hizbollah positioned a missile crew on the coast of west Beirut not far from Jnah, a crew trained over many weeks for just such an attack. It took less than 30 seconds for the Iranian-made missile to leave Beirut and hit the vessel square amidships, setting it on fire and killing the sailors. ... The Israelis were yesterday trumpeting the fact that the missile was made in Iran as proof of Iran's involvement in the Lebanon war. This was odd reasoning. Since almost all the missiles used to kill the civilians of Lebanon over the past four days were made in Seattle, Duluth and Miami in the United States, their use already suggests to millions of Lebanese that America is behind the bombardment of their country.

Apart from the fact that Fisk gloatingly admits that Hezbollah -- not Lebanon but Hezbollah the private organization -- not only planned a Pearl Harbor style surprise attack but deliberately dragged an innocent country to war with it, there is not much that is remarkable about his article. He argues that if Israel is entitled to American weapons, Hezbollah the nonstate -- not Lebanon the state -- is entitled to Iranian weapons of whatever lethality. His private charity gets to do whatever it wants. That's Robert Fisk logic and you take it for what it is: a declaration of hostility towards everything in the West. He's not neutral, just on the other side.

It's not his fault that the West can never draw the appropriate conclusions. Faced with categorical declarations that they will be exterminated, converted, enslaved and beheaded the most sophisticated thinkers in the West look for nuance. They don't really believe those threats, however explicit, however open. Even when huge skyscrapers come tumbling down it's understood in terms of installation art. Someone is sending a message. What could it be? Maybe, like Moussaoui, the senders simply had a bad childhood and really need someone who understands them. And that's exactly who they need: someone who understands them. A lesser mortal who will painstakingly write down in pencil, word by word, just exactly what Osama bin Laden and Ahmadinejad have been uttering all these years and who will look up from his paper and say, "you know boss, I think they want to kill us".

137 Comments:

Blogger Brett L said...

In fairness to Fisk, much of America is behind the bombing of Hizbollah in Lebanon.

And yes, he is a fellow traveler. Gotta love guys like Fisk - "Never Again" unless it's incovenient to our political ascendancy.

And is an operational victory in Lebanon like a moral victory in the US elections?

But why waste breath? 'To Fisk' became a verb in the blogosphere for a reason.

7/17/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/17/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Good ole Robert Fisk. May the blue silkworm of happiness flit always about his happy head.

7/17/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Emotionally it is probably easier to forgive Hezbollah -- and Fisk -- for attacking Israel, whom they hate, than for consciously inflicting this pain on their fellow Lebanese, whom they profess to love. Yet by Fisk's own admission this is what they have done.

They dug rockets into civilians homes. Set their their headquarters in Beirut. Imported weapons through civilian ports. Then they did what they did. Deliberately.

Hating one's enemies is sometimes a sign of character. Betraying one's friends is always a sign of its lack.

7/17/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"you know boss, I think they want to kill us".
Even a dim witted rat in the desert can figure that out, just by reading, transcription is so much more involved.

There is a parity on the ground.

If the world chooses to not recongnize Hezbollah's de facto claim to power in Lebanon, well that's up to "they".
Hezbollah is a transNational Organization, well beyond DocZ's wildest flights of fancy. aQ got in a shot, HB built an Organization across the globe.

7/17/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

As long as Fisk and his ilk are allowed to apply their pretzel logic and moral equivalency BS, as long as their re-writing of actual events is allowed to resonate with the chattering idiots, we will never summon the will to drive the terror mongers from the midst of innocent targets.

Israel must be allowed to defend her civilian populations as they see fit. We must guard to allow them this right of existence.

7/17/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Good to see you posting again buddy

7/17/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

There is another option, Enscout. All Iraelis--especially the 750,000 in the north, with only 60 seconds air-raid warning of incoming missiles--just live in their bomb shelters from now to Kingdom Come. That'd be okay with Fisk & co.

7/17/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

W:

I guess that's the part I don't get. It would be unconscionable for the US to, say, let Iraqi children ride on our Humvees. Or for the US to set up a command post next to, much less inside, a hospital or mosque.

I guess we in the Anglosphere are spoiled, especially in the US where quartering troops in homes is explicitly unconstitutional.

Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't give power to the most capable people who don't want it. Then again, I also want a Constitutional Amendment to make it illegal for the US Congress to conduct its business in an air conditioned environment. I think both are good solutions, but impossible.

7/17/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So I guess there already has been a civil war of sorts, in Lebanon, Israel decided Hezbollah won. Or their actions would be inexcusable.
So when Syria offers aid to Lebanon, do they mirror Israel's decision?

smacko mention @ 11:01 in the previous thread that Iraq offered Peacekeepers for Lebanon.
Read that here, first, I do believe. The Belmont's prediction curve is a speedy one.

7/17/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger brough said...

the hospitable bastards:

The Syrian embassy said it was offering "safe haven" to Americans and other citizens wishing to flee Lebanon....

"Now, while thousands of United States citizens are stranded in Lebanon attempting to flee the ongoing massacre there, Syria has opened its borders to US citizens as well as citizens of other nationalities," the embassy said in a statement.

http://tinyurl.com/ql6wg


de facto human shields. Anyone see this coming?

Apparently of the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon only 5K plan on leaving and I'm sure they will be catching the boat. I wonder how many who stay will take Syria up on their generous offer? This could make unilateral Israeli action against Syria (already looking rather unlikely) politically impossible?

7/17/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

NABLUS, West Bank, July 17 (Reuters) - Palestinian gunmen ambushed a group of Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank on Monday, killing one and wounding six others, witnesses and the army said.

They said a bomb was detonated among troops as they scoured the old city of Nablus, site of frequent clashes during more than 5 years of fighting. Initial reports were that the soldiers were in a vehicle, but it later emerged they were on foot. Reuters Television footage showed a bloodied helmet, part of a boot, and abandoned bullet clips at the scene.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the ambush.

7/17/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan officials said Monday that Taliban forces have taken over two towns in the southern part of the country, while coalition troops said they were investigating whether the insurgents had indeed seized control.

One coalition soldier was killed and 11 were wounded, meanwhile, in separate fighting Monday, the U.S. military said.

Scores of Taliban fighters on Sunday entered the southern Helmand town of Garmser, bordering Pakistan, and surrounded a police compound, forcing a small security force to flee and then taking control of the area, a local government official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to policy, said Taliban forces were now "moving freely" around the town and the district of the same name.

On Monday, a large number of Taliban militants entered Naway-i-Barakzayi, a Helmand town north of Garmser, and fought a brief battle with police before they too fled the area, said a local police official, who also declined to be identified for policy reasons.

A British military spokesman, Capt. Drew Gibson, confirmed insurgent activity in both areas but declined to elaborate. More than 3,000 British soldiers are deploying to Helmand to take over security control from U.S. forces.


And the Band played on.

Just another localized "dust up"

7/17/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Brett wrote:

I also want a Constitutional Amendment to make it illegal for the US Congress to conduct its business in an air conditioned environment. I think both are good solutions, but impossible.

It's not impossible, but it will result in Congress cutting their work "week" down from the current two or three days (for those weeks that are not anywhere near national holidays such as Flag Day or Arbor Day) to basically just Wednesday.

7/17/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

brough,
rufus and I towards the end of the last thread

7/17/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

It's obvious to say it, but it needs saying anyway: Fisk is tremendously exaggerating Hezbollah's capabilities. He may be doing so for his own agenda. Or he may be doing so because he really doesn't under stand the military reality of what he's being told by his sources.

It's one thing for Hezbollah to target a key Israeli air command and control center, it's another thing entirely for Hezbollah to destroy it. Which Hezbollah failed to do.

It's one thing for Hezbollah to target an Israeli warship with an Iranian/Chinese cruise missile. But it's another thing entirely for Hezbollah to sink it. Which Hezbollah failed to do.

More to the point, Hezbollah's vaunted missile arsenal isn't being translated into anything even remotely resembling an effective military barrage of Israel's cities or its key military/industrial facilities.

Yes, Hezbollah could get lucky and hit an Israeli refinery or something, but it had better hurry before it runs out of rockets/missiles and/or loses it capability to launch them.

So far, Hezbollah has leveraged a few pieces of advanced technology to portray itself as being stronger than it really is.

The use of cruise missiles and drones could, nevertheless, give Hezbollah a propaganda victory on the Arab street, not to mention Berkeley, but the crude use of a small number of these systems cannot decisively shift the war in Hezbollah's favor.

And any propaganda victory might soon be moot if Israel batters Hezbollah back to the early 1980s.

7/17/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/17/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

ffe:

Good point. Thankfully Hizbollah has limited ability to coordinate fire and control the battlezone. It keeps them from achieving force multiplication.

Speaking of which, what was/is the desired endstate for H&H v. Israel from the H&H point of view? They aren't going to occupy any territory unless the have some big surprises left. Perhaps one last militant hurrah before Hizbollah pulls a Hamas and achieves majority status in Lebanon? But how would their next war w/ Israel be different?

7/17/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

ffe wrote:

It's one thing for Hezbollah to target an Israeli warship with an Iranian/Chinese cruise missile. But it's another thing entirely for Hezbollah to sink it. Which Hezbollah failed to do.

And what would they accomplish by sinking the boat, would Israel leave southern Lebanon and swear never to come back? That was the situation before they triggered this whole thing. They want Israel to occupy them, it gives them job security. And the glorious Setting Afire Of The Zionist Dreadnought will go down into Islamist lore for all time.

7/17/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Wretchard,
Welcome to the sarcasm side with,
"I think they want to kill us"

I say this not as Posssumtater but as Habu whos' helium like thinking at least exceeds 'Taters output, or should I say throughput.

For those in the audience, this will never end diplomatically, never. The UN is not just a joke but an inimical force on the international scene. All the analysis of this nuance and that nuance are just part of the "phony war."
Let's get this settled, with total war, now, before China and Russia emerge as powers we can not handle.

7/17/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

To save the West we must encourage Mr Putin and his Cossack's.

Set the barbarians to the task, who says we didn't learn from the lessons of Roman history

It is supposed to be Ms Condi's specialelity, Russians.

7/17/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Brett & Terisita

I love the non air conditioned Congress idea and wish 'tater had come up with it.

Terisita..isn't Wednesday their golfing day?

7/17/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

I think, to a large degree, the constraint exercised by US and now on the part of Israel has as much to do with the ineptitude of the various Arab militant groups.

I know d-rat will not like this but if you rolled al-quida, hamas, quds, muslim bro-hood, hiszb-allah and all the rest into a single fighting unit they would be no match for Israel alone.

Maybe part of the reason that they are so hard to stomp is their disparate nature. They certainly gain local support in muslim lands and global support from the bleeding heart suckers on the left.

The fact that they are well funded with petrodollars and represent the only entities crazy enough to fly loaded aircraft into the skyscrapers of the lone superpowers greatest city gives them simpatico with every ne'erdo-well, America-hating slime-oid on the planet - not unlike Fisk.

7/17/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger brough said...

There was also a good piece on From The Cold highlighting the dangers of a mass evacuation in the current security vacuum (and the 'air bridge' plan never seemed so smart considering there's a possible manpad threat). But in inviting foreign nationals across their border for humanitarian assistance Syria's true intent can go entirely enunciated and still stymie an attack, the sword of Damocles is in plain view.

7/17/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

wretchard,

With all due respect, I must disagree with your position on the innocence of the country (people?) and government of Lebanon. At the least, the government and much of its army have been willing to countenance the presence and participation of Hezbollah in the governance of large swaths of the country. The vast store of munitions held by Hezbollah could not have excaped notice.

As to the people, there I am far more sympathetic. Nevertheless, the standard you impose as to presumed innocence of a citizenry would have made it impossible for the United States to fight any of its major wars in the last century.

In the present, surely we are not to assume that the wars stemming from 911 were dubious because some subset or even a majority of the antagonists’ populations were non-hostile. Surely, in the instance, you would not hold Israel captive to such a standard.

With respect, in advance I apologize if I have failed to fully comprehend you.

7/17/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger brough said...

*unenunciated, even. (Odd, Drudge just pulled this AFP line from his page, it had only just been posted.)

7/17/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

desert rat; 2:31 PM

Take a look at the happy Palestian children surrounding the disassembled remains of the Israeli soldier. Then have a look at what they did with those remains. Why do we waste our breathe on these miscreants?

7/17/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, enscout, if that is true Hamas should be hung out to dry by now and HB chased out of Lebanon. Neither has occurred to date. The USS Cole, the French oil tanker, now that Israeli War ship as well as the Egyptian freighter all do add up, eventually.

Where, if we've moved to the "end game" for HB are the SAM 7 varients they are sure to have?

Not one has been reported fired, they are sure to have them, as well as anti ship cruise missiles.

They've given the IAF unchallenged control of the sky over Beirut, wonder why?
Not one shoulder fired SAM....

7/17/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Fisk sees it clearly -- the way most of the non-western world sees it.

Hizbollah is a client of Syria and Iran. Israel is a client of the US. If Hizbollah keeps the prisoners Iran wins. They give them back, the US wins.

The reason terror groups are so powerful is because they confuse us (about how to respond), not because they confuse the rest of the world.

Why is Vietnam important? It was a client the US abandoned. It was actually abandoned by the Democrats in the US congress when they refused to provide aid. That signaled the North that it could invade (I'm not speaking of the way a Harvard Professor may interpret the act).

We got an election coming up. Don't think the results are not important. These folks know their history even if we don't.

But we got a few months.

Try this on for size.

Next time a rocket hits Haifa (a port), the Israeli Prime Minister can say, "Since Iran persist in doing this, we can no longer guarantee the safety of shipping going to Iran."

Well, of course, they have never guaranteed the safety of shipping going to Iran.

Still, insurance rates go up, and Iran has to sell its oil at a discount.

Not a bomb has dropped but Iran's rhetoric has been so over heated that anything they say will make them look weak. And any terror attack that happens anywhere will be their response. So, give them credit for it and hit them quite hard and continiously.

And Iranians say, "We are going to war for why again?"

Now, there are different actions that Iran can take, obviously, but one thing they won't be able to do is talk about it.

7/17/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Because, allen, w.w. and his ilk demand those children are civilians.
Regardless of their actions, no uniforms and "under age".

7/17/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Why in God's name does anyone read anything of Fisk's nowadays? To people really have that deep a need for incorrect reportage? C'mon, Fisk is the guy that gets more facts wrong before 9am than a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters do all day long! I couldn't write an article any more wrong than him if I had an apoplectic seizure at the keyboard!

"Leave, they were told by loudspeaker; and leave they did, 20 of them in a convoy of civilian cars. That's when the Israeli jets arrived to bomb them, killing 20 Lebanese, at least nine of them children."

How in God's name does he follow one actual fact (the warnings to flee) with another actual fact (the bombing of a convoy; BTW Fisk, it was a bus that was hit) and still get the overall report wrong? What, the Israeli's tell people to flee just to kill them? It was a ploy to get them out into the open or something?

"It now appears clear that the Hizbullah leadership - Nasrallah used to be the organisation's military commander in southern Lebanon - thought carefully through the effects of their border crossing, relying on the cruelty of Israel's response to quell any criticism of their action within Lebanon."

Whatever... I thought the conventional wisdom was that Hizbullah thought this was just another snatch and grab to bargain for more prisoner releases, and instead bit off more than they could chew. Fisk is falling to his old prejudices of "Clever Arabs, stupid westerners", and he just can't lift himself out of that hole.

"so contemptuous of their enemy were the Israelis that although their warship was equipped with cannon and a Vulcan machine gun, they didn't even provide the vessel with an anti-missile capability..."

A "Vulcan machine gun"? This, perhaps? The CWIS? I'm not positive, but generally, when a "Vulcan machine gun" is mounted on a ship it's as an anti-missle defense; anti ship and indirect fire weapons are usually types like the 5 inch guns. If this was some sort of antipersonnel gun, I'm pretty sure even the Israeli's wouldn't waste a 20mm weapon ("Vulcan" cannons are 20mm gatlings used as the cannons on aircraft, as well as in the CWIS) where a good old M2 or equivalent would do. But oh! We're supposed to get that the Israeli's were so arrogant way back when the ship was built, they didn't specify anti-missle technology. I get it now...

I mean, really... In his book on Gettysburg (titled The Killer Angels), Michael Shaara got more right on any given page regarding that specific topic than Fisk has ever done on any subject he's written about, and Shaara was inventing dialogue that happened during the battle! You see, in Shaara's case, at least he admitted which part came from his own mind and may not have reflected reality.

How does Fisk keep getting work? I keep on clinging to the ideal that the profession of reporting entail some attempt at accuracy, but people like him shake my faith in that concept.

7/17/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

el:
Thank you for that example of how the systematic destruction of a column became known as 'Fisking'.

habu:
Can't confirm on the actual working days yet, but Congressional Sessions have become longer since AC was installed. Congress "worked" about 150 days/year in the last decade with sessions lasting 300+ days/year. They were only in session about 150/year before 1928. Sure would keep the Congresscritters home from May-September.

hdgreene:
The container ships aren't exactly backing up in Iranian ports to drop off the latest shipment for Wal-Mart. Might be counter-productive. Especially since most of the US supply ports in Iraq are inside the Straits of Hormuz. Also shipping insurance, by the fact that it is insurance, distributes risk. That means everyone pays more.

7/17/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Since I wuz a broker fur a major Wall Street firm i'm done allowed to lie,plagerize,steal, and smile at ya and gur-un-tee all your money will go up. so

I recommend that Congress have their air-conditioner taken away.

by the way i am indebted fer be'in 'llowed ta be Habu3 and Possumtater..doctor said it would help with the therapy

7/17/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I just thought the new toy had gone to your head. habu-tator1-3

The Country is safer when Congress is not in Session than when it is.

We ought rotate the Capital on an annual basis, a year in Yuma, AZ would do Congress good, followed by a year in Salinas, KS., etc, etc.
Turn DC into a museum
Keep the lobbiests at bay

7/17/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

DR,
Yur close. all that wrt'in power help'in foment global war..man dat beet my using the saws-all on loose tin rouff'in....but it got me jus like a needle in a vein.
Boss man recognized the symptums and lowered my dosage. Poof Eighteen Wheeler went down like a flatulent preacher in Sunday school.
But 'tween Habu and possumtater and the five cokes a day i'm do'in better. thx

7/17/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Whither the Silkworms?

If as widely reported the C-802? Iranian homing missile disabled the Israeli ship, how can Fox News be reporting missile attacks coming FROM the sea into Lebanon just a couple of days later?

Either bombardment has destroyed all such assets, or Hezbollah is calm enough to keep their powder dry.

In the Falklands War, there were relatively few major battles, but the engagements that did occur were cutting edge err, state-of-the-art examples of miltech.

If only all parties could get off with such a demonstration war now. But since the combatants are grouped almost as tightly as the Union and Confederates around Gettysburg, the consequences will likely be more profound.

Both sides may be keeping their powder dry.

7/17/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

long wit rotatin which is a dandy idea we need a citizen committee picked by lotrey to do what Rep. Preston Brookes did to Sen. Charles Sumner back afore the War of Nothern Aggression. It's a gud 'un all on wikipedia...i done lost the instructs on how to do a link so point'in is the best i can do.

7/17/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Free said...

"The missiles are a myth – I travel the roads of southern Lebanon every two weeks and there are no such missiles, as the UN force there will confirm – but this doesn't matter."

Fisk, in 2003, writing about the non-existant missiles that are now raining down on Israel.

He is not a journalist, he is an enemy propagandist; Robert bin Ha-Ha.

7/17/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The Israeli destroyer had a radar-jamming anti-missile defense. It was turned off! It seems to have a capability to interfere with their own airplanes when they're on a bombing run. It was pretty dumb, arrogant, stupid, take your pick.

They're keeping it turned on, now. PS That's why the second missile went awry, and sunk that Egyptian boat. Some brainiac decided it was probably a good idea, since they were still temporarily afloat, to fire it up.

7/17/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'm telling you, folks, W is pissed at Syria. Maybe, he's pissed at himself for cutting them that slack a few months back, when everyone but Condi wanted to take out the "Training Camps."

7/17/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Brett, your point on insurance is interesting. Drunk drivers pay the same as anyone else.

The actual threat is cutting off Iran's oil exports (don't be in port when we decide to attack), not denying them their latest shipment of closet organizers. This is much easier fo Israel to do than going after their nukes. But of course they need are "quiet" support.

Because don't misunderstand. The end state I'm talking about is Iran backing down in a humiliating way -- or, frankly, war. But we need to give them a chance to back down, it's only fair.

If we don't want to go where the road ends up, then don't start down the road.

But we can only delay it, I think, not avoid it.

And if they attack our ports (or anyone does) destroy them, don't send a diplomatic note. That is the point.

7/17/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Those 80 mile range ZelZal's were on their way into Lebanon from Syria when the IAF hit them earlier today. They are bio/chem capable.

This gets more interesting as the day wears on.

Syria might manage to get it's ass clocked, yet.

7/17/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

W appears to be unsure as to which hole he has dug to address first.

Read his lips ..."You're either with us or against us"

Re-read his father's lips, "No new taxes"

Read his bother's lips "Buenos tardes amigos, mi casa es su casa"

7/17/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

“you know boss, I think they want to kill us…”

Brilliant illumination of the facts Wretch.

Retaliation for cross border raids “to draw a state into an ever widening conflict” can hardly be ignored.

Either Lebanon is directly responsible for the raids into Israel or it is a weak state incapable of maintaining sovereignty and therefore cannot be relied upon to make or keep treaties. Yet it is their innate ability to keep alliances with the likes of Hezbollah and their Syrian cutouts that has put them in this predicament to begin with.

I view the anti-ship missile as tacit threat by Iran itself to the good sensible people of the west that war with them is singularly unthinkable, so let them be and develop the weapons of mass destruction that they seek.

In a larger parallel, the US has no right to retaliate against terrorist attacks against its citizenry as the Israeli’s have no right to retaliate against open warfare against theirs. It sounds a lot like the opening salvos to WWIII or IV to me. Let’s see how cooperative the Soviets, I mean Russians and Chicoms are with the inevitable future negotiations. The region has transformed from cesspool to tinderbox rather miraculously.

Isolationism vs. direct action; It’s as relevant now as it was in 1938.

Like your 4:13 recommendation DR. Works fur me.

7/17/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

hdgreene
big howdy frum possumtater, don't think we done partnered up in a parlez vous. reason i be commentn is yur comment

"It's only fair"
mighty nice of ya since they be'in so fair 'bout things since November 4 of the year 19 and 79.
say can i come over and steal your silverwear?

7/17/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger geoffb5 said...

I like the no A/C rule. This is my idea from a while back.

Washington D.C. should be reduced to, the White House, Congress, Supreme Court buildings and the National Monuments. All other areas should return to Maryland and Virginia. High-rise apartments should be constructed next to the Senate and House for Senators and Congressmen to use while in session. A low-rise apartment to accommodate the SCOTUS. There should be no residents of Washington D.C. for voting purposes. Also have plenty of audio and video surveillance set up and stream it over the Internet so "we the people" can keep an eye on our tenants.

No A/C would be great.

7/17/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Geoff,

I particularly like the slogan on the D.C. license plate:
No Taxation without Representation

Don't that beat all? Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

7/17/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

i knowd a way we can git unity on this here mix up and help out Farm Aid at the same time.

It be'in county and state fair time make 'em.....

Falafel free zones...
expand the fixins like possumtater pie and pussumtater pud'in. mighty good way to hurt em.

7/17/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

possumtater, all my silver wear be plastic. Oh, I have a wooden spoon or two.

But if you are accussing me of being soft on Iran I'd have to say this is one tough crowd.

7/17/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'm sorry folks, but Ralph Peters just doesn't get it. He's on tv right now saying that Israel is afraid of Hezbollah. He cites, as evidence, that Israel didn't go charging across the border, immediately.

A typical Lt. Col. if I've ever seen one.

7/17/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Tell'em they're eatin possumtater, and then after dessert, inform them that it was "porcinetater."

7/17/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger geoffb5 said...

Tony,
I didn't know about the license plates. LOL!

7/17/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Haaaaa! Someone send this guy to southern Beirut.

7/17/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, dan, I think Mr Peters believes the Israelis should be sent to south Lebanon.
But he's not an Israeli.
Just commenting on their actions D+6

7/17/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I just heard him. He was very specific. He's terribly disappointed in the soft Olmert government for not staging a ground attack THE FIRST DAY.

7/17/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Everyone understands that "Battalion" only exists to Maximize "Friendly" Casualties.

7/17/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger MOTR_Dude said...

We (the U.S.) bombed Afghanistan and Iraq for quite a while before we invaded, but we all knew the invasion was a 100% certainty once the softening was done. Why would somebody like Peters assume that the IDF should charge in without preparing the battlefield first even though the U.S. would never be so foolish?

7/17/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

He's gung ho with other people's Armies, that's for sure.

First day, that'd be tough for a country with a civilian military. They weren't supposed to be fully mobilized & ready 'til today.

Even I'd have given 'em a day to prep before they headed north.
At least waited three or four days, before there was plain reason to complain.

But it's not my Country, the Israeli do what they think is best, for Israel.

7/17/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The first 1/2 mile to mile is undoubtably infested with shaped-charge (Iranian) IED's. The Israeli's are quietly working through that as we speak.

You've got to find them and dismantle them; and, it's a hell of a lot easier if you're not being mortared while you're doing it.

Like I said, "anyone who's ever been in battalion hdqtr.s for anything more official than filling up the coke machines shouldn't be allowed to have a driver's license much less comment on a television show.

7/17/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Subsunk said...

My, my. What an idiot! Mr. Fisk needs a course in logic. Perhaps that is why he is a journalist. You don't really need to be in touch with reality to tell a wonderful story.

Subsunk

7/17/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

hdgreene
nairy a hint of you be'in soft on our enemy. i cud tell by yo ritten dat yous a good fight'in the bad guys 'merican. sometimes we come right out and say "kill the enemy"
anyways far as i knows a man or woman can come on here and say what's on their mind. if ya cross the line somehow you'll know by the kindness of our host Mr. Wretchard who you will find is smart'r n a Rosed collar and a darn fine man.
might want to keep it under your shirt if you own a video, "Birth of a Nation" or "Song of the South"

7/17/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

hdgreene wrote:

The actual threat is cutting off Iran's oil exports (don't be in port when we decide to attack), not denying them their latest shipment of closet organizers.

You can't cut off their oil exports, they could just ship it across the Caspian Sea and hook up with a Russian pipeline. And cutting off their closet organizer supply won't grab Iran's attention. It's the imports of refined petroleum product like gasoline/petrol which they rely on to a great extent, on account of the fact that Exxon and Mobil haven't been making any refineries there lately (I seem to remember seeing a figure of 40% reliance on imports by Iran). That's how you get 'em by the short ones.

7/17/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

subsunk,
i dun tried fur years to reach reality...it just kep on slipp'in into darkness

so i gave into a kinda parallel thang where politicians from all countries told the truth and people respected one ta the uther. nutt'in worked til i discovered Vienner sausage. then all the laws and thruth wuz on the can .... made with animal by product..then i understood.

7/17/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

rufus wrote:

The first 1/2 mile to mile is undoubtably infested with shaped-charge (Iranian) IED's. The Israeli's are quietly working through that as we speak.

Back in my day, we called those mines. The dreaded IEDs you refer to are the roadside bombs in Iraq that take out Humvees when set off by a remote control as they are driving through an urban setting. When the Israelis start the ground campaign its going to look like that Fox News footage of the 3rd ID when they went into Baghdad and shot anything that moved along the side of the road.

7/17/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Iranians have already announced gas rationing for the Autumn. The 40% imported gasoline is used by the Mullahs foes. Transportation workers and the middle class.

The President's base, they don't even own cars. The Iranians are going to a War footing, regardless. To disrupt their internal foes.

What ever actions we take strengthens that part of their game

7/17/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Rufus

Fried pies for dissert. Peach nad apple.

Hard cider washdown.

7/17/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

rufus wrote:

I'm sorry folks, but Ralph Peters just doesn't get it. He's on tv right now saying that Israel is afraid of Hezbollah. He cites, as evidence, that Israel didn't go charging across the border, immediately.

Classic armchair general. I suppose the British Expeditionary Force was afraid of the Hun because they didn't just go charging over the top at the Somme but had to resort to the cowardly technique of using artillery to kill lots of German troops first and create an unfair advantage.

7/17/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

command detonated land mines.
Anti tank or personnel, like a claymore.

Det cord, couple strands run down the drainage ditch where the Enemy will take cover after the ambush is initiated.

Claymores to cut down the assualt if they "rush the ambush"

Tanks are a quite a bit more difficult, especialy if ceramic set off plates are installed externally.

Shaped charges firing into the vehicle's soft bottom is how they killed that Marine amphib, flipped it over. Have to be able to channel the tank's advance to hit it like that. That is reportedly what happened to the Israeli tank on D Day.

7/17/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

If you want to make a comment about that nation on every American’s hate-list (drum roll): France, TigerHawk has an open thread: http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2006/07/echoes-of-french-militarism.html

When any conversation speaks to French militarism, the Maginot Line and WWII must surely come up. Following just such a comment, I was doing a little historical geography at http://astro.temple.edu/~barbday/Europe66/resources/maginotline.htm, examining a map of the Line, the Rhineland, etc. If you look at this map, you may be struck as was I: no matter how carefully executed, how complex, and no matter its depth, a defense and a buffer zone are only as good as the will of the defenders. None is impregnable. The Israelis should take warning.

7/17/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

teresita; 6:01 PM

I don't want to be held to this, but I remember a comment some months ago, on this site, indicating zero domestic refining capacity. But whether 40% or 100%, as you say, Iran is vulnerable.

7/17/2006 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Teresita, the shaped-charge (Iranian design) IEDS are much more deadly than a normal IED. They can throw a Bradley on it's back and kill everyone inside. They can stop an Abrams. They are Deadly..

The Iranian design also is frequently detonated with laser triggers. These ain't your grandpa's ied.

DR is right. That Israeli tank got about 100 ft. or something before it was knocked out. It was immediately hit with mortar fire. That killed a few more people.

If they take their time and handle this threat, then it might resemble the 3rd ID going through Baghdad, but, don't bet too much on that. They don't call this outfit the "A" Team for nothing.

7/17/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

Don’t be too tough on Mr. Peters. Usually he is a fine fellow and an excellent analyst, but over the years I’ve noticed that when under stress he can fly off the handle. Of course, I personally wouldn’t know anything about that myself.

Like me, Mr. Peters may see the proverbial handwriting on the wall: Olmert is going to throw in the towel. He may find that infuriating.

7/17/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Allen, they normally import 1 1/2 million barrels of gasoline/day.

They quit importing as of July 1. They began rationing. You decide why.

Oh, and they have over $40 Billion in the bank, so they're not out of money.

7/17/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Allen, I think Peters is a wonderful writer, but, alas I wouldn't want to go into battle with him, or under his plan.

I might be Polyannish, here, but I think you might be under-etimating Olmert. At least, I hope so. I guess we'll know in a week, or so.

7/17/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

PS, I heard while ago that the Hez sent fifty something missiles over, today. That's down from 200 a couple of days, ago. That means somebody is doing some good, somewhere.

7/17/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The best thing I have recently learned regarding Iran is that they import their refined fuels...

Additionally, since their oil industry is state owned (something the socialists think is great) the Iranian government has unilaterally chosen to import only half their annual requirement this year. Apparently, they will be rationing fuel starting in September...

Hhhhmmmm, September...

With friends like us to the north, to the east, to the west, and to the south... September is the start of nice weather out in Iran, eh... Maybe we just move our units around and force Iran to move theirs...

That is a serious and potentially catestrophic choke point for Iran. Before they can starve us of oil - we can starve them of refined product.

7/17/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Boghie, you bring up an interesting point. The easiest thing in the world for us would be to bomb their refineries, and blockade any further imports. Of course we would have to be able to take the Straits of Hormuz, and hold them, but the country would be on it's knees in a matter of months.

We wouldn't even have to hold the Straits if we didn't need the ME oil.

7/17/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger dante said...

What is the Israeli amphibious capacity? Why not do a mini-Inchon north of Tyre, drive east and cut off Hezbollah forces from Beirut?

7/17/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

hdgreene said...

"Why is Vietnam important? It was a client the US abandoned. It was actually abandoned by the Democrats in the US congress when they refused to provide aid."

Factually not quite correct. In a Tulane speech in April 1975, President Ford said the following:

"Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished as far as America is concerned. As I see it, the time has come to look forward to an agenda for the future, to unify, to bind up the Nation's wounds, and to restore its health and its optimistic self-confidence."

Not exactly Churchill in "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" War Speech, June 4, 1940, in the
House of Commons. The Vietnamese got the message and the lucky ones escaped. There was no glory for Democrats or Republicans.

7/17/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Ahh, Dante, If you snooze, you lose, around here. (we yakked about this some, last night.) Actually, no one here really knows. I guess somebody ought to actually look it up.

7/17/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

I should be smart enough to read all the comments before blathering.

Nice find Teresita...

7/17/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

teresita; 6:15 PM

Indeed, the Somme, where the men of the Empire were led by a real general, no “armchair general” he.

When told by his engineers that the water table of the region would not allow the barrage he contemplated, he brushed them off and gave the Hun the largest sustained artillery barrage to that time. The Huns, no fools they, fell back into their reinforced concrete bunkers and trenches and rode out the storm.

Poor Tommy. On day one he went over the top and hundreds, thousands, no one knows, were sucked into the abyss. Tens of thousands of others found themselves trapped in a quagmire of mud, ranging in depth from merely ankle deep to hip deep. At this point enter the Hun artillery and machine gunners.

Unless memory deceives, the first day of the battle of the Somme is a landmark in British military history: more troops were killed on that day than before or since. It was common for a regiment of 1500 to be reduced to 100. Some regiments were killed to a man.

I once read that Winston Churchill upon an inspection of the battlefield was reduced to tears, asking repeatedly in disbelief, “We sent our lads into this?”

What a glorious day. What a magnificent general.


Sorry, the mind reels.

7/17/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Iran has cut it's petrol imports in half because the Mullahs are only running on two cylinders.

Hey, with Doug out, somebody's gotta make the jokes.

7/17/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I have a few allies in here on this, but risking being boring, is it not the most obvious of goals as to get the US off imported oil. Keep in mind , the major power Brazil has done it. What a pity to leave behind our enduring allies , Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and all the other $78 a barrel hookers. And God forbid we get so good at producing alternative fuels that we could export the surplus, and drive the profit away from "the axis of oil". But that is beyond US capabilities, because we do not have the will, the technology , or the common sense of, guess who? Brazil. And yet this is the same country that in 1935 built the Empire State Building in one year and 35 days, with no fax, no CAD, no OSHA, and no diversity. So it goes.

7/17/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus; 6:49 PM

Yeah, I just heard a report that things are eerily quiet. No doubt, Hezbollah is being mauled. I want them dead.

Sorry, I am going to stick to my prediction of a Wednesday ceasefire. Gosh, I want to be wrong about that and Olmert. You know, its one of those Superbowl moments where your team is at fourth down with an inch to go and the clock shows 10 seconds left. Go! Go! Go!

7/17/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Allen, if given the option of a regiment of infantry or a engineer battalion it's a no-brainer. The only thing that could make it close would be an added option of a Company of Sea-Bee's.

7/17/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

No OSHA? Well, there's your answer, bubby!

7/17/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Cuba and China are about to siphon off Florida's offshore oil, and the RINO's are still sitting on their hino's.

$4 a gallon gasoline may soon be here. Hopefully that will be enough to open up ANWR and get the tar balls rolling on the beaches. (Beaches are overrated, anyway. Give me a .22 and a pile of cans,
anyday.)

2164th, with the Empire State Building, I guess the only diversity would have been Mohawks. (But assimilated.) Building the edifice in only 13 months, that's faster than Condi can say, "Bombs away."

7/17/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

They used a quaint concept when they hired to build and hired the Mohawks. It was called competence. The building cost $25,000,000, but was inflated because legal bills were $1,700.

7/17/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

DR,

That link of mine from last thread...

It was actually all about Iraq. How some Sunni and Shia politicians were considering requesting Kurd ISF troops to patrol Bagdad. I guess the up side is that the Peshmerga dislike both, so will not take sides.

Stranger than fiction!!

7/17/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

2164th,

I was watching a PBS show with Tomas Friedman regarding alternative fuels.

He covered Brazil rather extensively.

Their bio-fuels have helped them become energy self-sufficient, but their much increased oil exploration and drilling dwarfs their bio fuel capacity. It is their internal oil reserves that are playing the major role. We could also do this - but would Exxon sell indigenous oil to Japan rather than to American customers?

I have no links - just a memory of a show about a month ago. Kinda shocking. I kept hearing otherwise.

7/17/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

allen said:

You know, its one of those Superbowl moments where your team is at fourth down with an inch to go and the clock shows 10 seconds left.

Then Bush the coach calls Olmert the quarterback and tells him to punt.

7/17/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

Sea-Bees

How often did we battle hardened Marines duck for cover, while the See-Bees just kept running those dozers like it was a leisurely Sunday drive? I always thought it was the diesel fumes.

7/17/2006 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

2164, Corn Plus in Winnebago, Mn is producing 45 Million gallons of ethanol/yr. Here are some numbers.

It takes about 10 gallons of fuel to raise an acre of corn.

That acre will yield about 160 bushels of corn.

Corn Plus will will convert that corn into about 450 gallons of Ethanol. A by-product in some refineries is an additional 50 gal of bio-diesel. Another by-product is probably $100.00 worth of DDG's. (livestock feed) You also get an economically significant amount of CO2, which can be sold for a variety of uses (including flooding old oil field to restart production.)

So what does it cost, all this refining? Nothing, as of next year!

This year they are providing half of the energy (previously supplied by Natural Gas) for refining by burning the gunk that is left over from the refining process.

Next year, their new boiler will produce 100% of the plants energy from the remnants.

7/17/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Again,

For all those worried about some cease-fire...

Are you really hearing alot of ranting and raving and whining from the international community?

It seems much more subdued than normal to me.

I think Olmert will figure this out. He probably expected Bush to publicly call for peace in our time – or something. Instead he told them to be a bit careful out there…

7/17/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

2164th,

Only $1700 for the lawyer? Amazing...today you couldn't get the Environmental Compost Statement for $25 KK.

7/17/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Allen, It might have been the diesel fumes, but then again, they Always had beer. And, other stuff.

Oh, if you had a friend in the Sea-Bees you were definitely the smartest/luckiest jarhead alive.

7/17/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

teresita; 7:42 PM

I do like your style.

As to the call, I am afraid there have already been far too many calls.

As I told rufus, I'm still betting on a ceasefire by Wednesday but, you know, those clever Hezbollah lads may do something so heinous that even Dr. Rice will be without excuse for restraint. The UN delegation is in Beirut?



The Arabs have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity - Eban (more or less)

7/17/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

allen said:

How often did we battle hardened Marines duck for cover, while the See-Bees just kept running those dozers like it was a leisurely Sunday drive? I always thought it was the diesel fumes.

And don't forget the Hospital Corpsmen who have fought right there alongside the jarheads from Guadalcanal to the present day, and the SEALs who are the rarified cream of the crop of special forces guys. It's called the NAVY gentlemen, take off your hats.

7/17/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

Now I understand why I was a jarhead and they were Sea-Bees: they did ALWAYS have beer. Well, Duh!

7/17/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All Engineers carried beer,
we couldn't trust the water.

'Bout right a battalion of Engineers or a Regiment of Inf.

Would depend, really, on what you wanted to get done.

7/17/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'll tell you what; I'll call your bet on Wednesday, and raise you a 50/50 possibility that dumb-ass Assad will figure out a way to get his ass spanked. I didn't think so until this afternoon when I heard about that truck-load of big missiles they were trying to sneak into Lebanon.

7/17/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

BTW, 2164, we farm about 10% of our Arable Land.

We're going to do a whole hell of a lot more of this ethanol than the talking heads on tv would leave you to believe.

7/17/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

It is quite simple Boghie. We consume 22 million barrels a day. We produce almost nine million and import the rest. We could reduce imports in half with conservation and taxes to encourage better mileage on passenger vehicles but then we may be called wienies. The taxes collected could be recycled in the economy to build a national highway system exclusively for trucks. the offset against taxes would be the increased taxable income of the highway program. It would take us five years to replace the difference with bio-fuels. Imported oil represents over fifty percent of our trade deficit. Our trade deficit finances the economic expansion of China, who is expanding their military capacity by an annual amount that has doubled from 1997 to 2003. The excessive consumption of imported oil drives the worldwide price of oil so that Iran, Venezuela and Russia are reaping an unprecedented transfer of wealth. That transfer of wealth gives the mullahs the additional cash they need to send missiles to Hezbollah and entertain us at the Belmont Club. That allows me to post my rant on this forum and someone will post that their world will collapse withg an increase in the US tax on oil. The reluctance of the US taxing oil allows our friends in Iran , Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela to put the OPEC tax on oil and we survive and thrive to send them money so they can kill us.

7/17/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

teresita,

Hey, now, don’t be messing with the “Docs”; mine were Marines. G-d love them; they sure bled like Marines.

teresita, Semper Fi!

7/17/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

You're right about the corpsmen, Teresita. The bravest men on any battlefield. Period.

SEALS? Well, I guess if you're putting a "Swim Team" together, or something. Give me a Marine Rifle Squad, a Corpsman, and a couple of SeaBee's to do the fighting, and we'll let the SEALS argue with the Green Beanis guys over who's the most manly, intelligent, photogenic, full of it ............ Ah yeah, they're ok I guess. If you like that sort.

7/17/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

How far does Robert Fisk have to go to become a legitimate military target?

7/17/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Has anyone considered planting bugs on Robert Fisk? He could be a useful idiot after all...

7/17/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

That was if I wanted to get some fightin done, DR. If I actually wanted to get something done, I don't know how you would put a number on it. A Platoon to a Division? Freak it! I don't Know.

7/17/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"But it's not difficult to see how the American thugs at the Abu Ghraib prison acquired their cruelty. Born-again Christians who no doubt publicly wished to be seen upholding a "pure, clean and upright life" treated the Iraqis as if they were "fiends in human form", as "fanatics", as "flies". Hadn't the US proconsul in Iraq, Paul Bremer, described America's enemies as "dead-enders", "die-hards", "terrorists"? When the young woman involved in this torture expressed her surprise at all the fuss, I immediately understood why. Not because what she did was routine - though it clearly was - but because that is how she was told to treat these Iraqi prisoners. Hadn't they been killing American soldiers, setting off car bombs, murdering schoolchildren? Hollywood turned into reality."
- Robert Fisk

7/17/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I think Iran may be facing a “Falklands moment”. That is, Iran is staking a huge amount of its prestige on a fight that is logistically isolated from its home base. How would Iranians feel if Israeli soldiers televise the capture of Iranian soldiers? Britain didn’t have to occupy Buenos Aires to effectively overthrow the Argentinian junta. Likewise, Israel has a rare opportunity to puncture Iran’s myth of invincibility. Let’s just hope it happens.

7/17/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

It looks like this guy, Fisk Has his own political party.

7/17/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

rufus:

re: Ethanol
Where ya gonna get your fertilizer from? Most of the ammonium nitrate comes from petroleum stock. How about tires for your combines? Et cetera, ad nauseum.

Once you boil your white lightning, you take a pretty big energy hit. Corn don't plant itself, weeds don't pull themselves, corn don't harvest itself, railroads & trucks to deliver your fuel eats your surplus.

Of course, if you wanted to do most of the actual "farming" by hand, well, I guess that would eat our surplus workers... except that at 4.8%, we don't have a lot.

If ethanol were the wave of the future, Exxon would own the corn fields. Those guys may be a lot of things, but dumb they ain't.

7/17/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update",
by Hosein Shapouri and James A. Duffield, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, and Michael Wang of the Center for Transportation Research, Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory. Agricultural Economic Report No. 813, 2002:

"Corn ethanol is energy efficient... For every BTU dedicated to producing ethanol there is a 34% energy gain... Only about 17% of the energy used to produce ethanol comes from liquid fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel. For every 1 BTU of liquid fuel used to produce ethanol, there is a 6.34 BTU gain."

7/17/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger dante said...

Try selling a tax increase on gasoline now will get you defeated this fall. It will never happen. The only way to make it work would be to offset that tax increase with tax cuts somewhere else. People would begin to buy more fuel efficient cars but the direct economic impact would be reduced. But improved fuel efficiency may not be an answer either. If I go from a car getting 30 mpg to 40 mpg my cost of driving goes down and I will probably end up driving more miles which will have limited impact on oil imports. The only real answer is an alternative form of energy we can produce here - fuel cell or bio-diesel.

7/17/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

With Israel targeting Hezbollah leaders,wouldn't it be sweet if Imad Mugniah bought the farm.A few months in which Zark,Besayev and Mugniah all took the dirt nap would arguably be a golden age moment for civilization.
Paul Johnson in his classic,"Modern Times" called the 1930's period,"the time of the devils" and don't we live in such a time again.Evil men whose
every breathe cries out"Kill me.Kill me"

7/17/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

2164th:
Yes, yes. To boil the corn to ethanol is a net gain. To set up a self-sufficient delivery to market, ie going all bio from the farm to the fuel pump, is not efficient. How many BTUs does it take to deliver 1 BTU of energy to my car?

7/17/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

brett i

No, no,

To use your argument, there would be no reason to expect economies of scale with advanced technology and decreased prices with an increase in production. Ignore the following industries: telephone, computers, television, cellular, pagers, digital cameras, desalinization, internet, pharmaceuticals, air travel, microchips, facsimile machines, overnight delivery and tires for your combines. Et cetera, ad nauseum.

7/17/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I don't think it's been mentioned yet, so if you haven't read Spengler's latest in the Asia Times, it's well worth it.

The Gumps of August.

Spengler has been insightful and wrong in the past, but he has also accurate and prophetic. Whichever obtains here, it's an interesting read.

7/17/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Brett, when I said it takes approx. 10 gallons of diesel to farm one acre, that included harvesting.

Oh, and did I mention that the ash that's left over is pretty good fertilizer. It doesn't include nitrogen, but it does contain most of the other essentials.

7/17/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Brett, the interesting thing is the new technology that Corn Plus is using is saving them $ 6 Million/year in Natural GAs.

Next year it will save them $ 13 Million. The only fossil fuel used to produce 500 gallons of ethanol will be approx. 10 gallons of diesel.

7/17/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Jesus, Aristides, where do you find these guys. Yikes.

7/17/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

2164th:

Okay, so right now we have the equivalent of phone-in-the-bag tech, and we need ubiquitous cheap cell phones by the end of next year.

I don't dispute that it is possible to run an economy on nuc, ethanol, & biodiesel. Just that its impossible to run an economy full of oil based infrastructure on the above. If we start tomorrow, I could have a sweet little TWatt nuc-plant with waste-heat ethanol stills going by 2016. Corn or bio-mass, either one is same, same. You could probably grow and refine oil-producing algae for biodiesel in the same place. Diesel-electric rail infrastructure plugged right in, the whole 9 yards.
But today it cost more to deliver equivalent energies of ethanol to the pump than it does gas. That will continue for a while yet.

The point of the exercise is that it will be a sea change. And if past behavior is a current predictor, it will take about a 30% markup to make people reconsider their driving habits. A far better plan is to exempt biofuels from the Federal pump tax. 85% Ethanol, 85% less tax. For whatever reason incentives work better than dis-incentives.

7/17/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

The Gumps of August:
Pseudonym Spengler, as he calls himself, is more than just the armchair strategist, the elitist pseudo-intellectual web blabber-mouth that he may appear to be. He's got some good ideas and good points, although I think they're too deterministic and grandiose.
But there is no doubt that pure hatred of Islamic Fascism is building in the Western World. This hatred is growing and feeding itself , one ugly terrorist event at a time, one ugly Islamic hate-crime at a time. One threat at a time. One ugly holocaust-denying statement at a time.
The Guns of August: Prophecy is difficult, historical analogies are easy.
In one area Mr. Spengler has the right idea: A warning to the Islamic Fascists of Iran, Pakistan and so forth of power beyond their comprehension: a mobilized United States. Remember Sherman's march.
Three cheers to the Israelis, that they may beat the tar out of the enemy !!!

7/17/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

aristides; 9:00 PM

Thanks for the reminder and the link.

As was the original, Spengler is breathtakingly erudite and a superbly gifted writer. Although imperfect, as you say, he is infinitely (hyperbole intended) better informed than the White House, the State Department, or the Department of Defense.

As with the original, Spengler is a hard read. For me, at any rate, his impeccable logic is profoundly tragic.

7/17/2006 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Brett, we're looking at about $0.70/gal (without subsidies) to produce ethanol. We won't talk about the $0.50/gal subsidy, even though oil has some pretty cool subsidies, itself. (Can you say, Iraq?)

You're liable to see E-85 selling for $1.35/ $1.40 gallons in the spring. What do you suppose gasoline will be selling for?

7/17/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

We may have spoken to soon, Fox News is reporting four exceptionally large (city shaking) detonations in Beirut.

While I cannot remember where, I just saw the report of three regular IDF brigades being relieved for duty in the north by reserve brigades.

Here's to good hunting. Godspeed IDF.

7/17/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

We? You got a mouse in your pocket, Gringo?

Olmert just might be a bit tougher than some think.

7/17/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

"We" were talking about the calm earlier, I thought. May be I had better consult the mouse; although after a few beers, he is not terribly reliable.

7/17/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The Calm, oh. okay Anyway, like you said, Godspeed. As you know, war is treacherous. It always amazes me that when you're talking about Israel you end up talking about "Brigades, and Regiments, etc." Small numbers.

But, Great equipment, great training, highly motivated, intelligent troops, and a Kick-Ass Air Force!

Well, wake me up if they do something, I gotta get some sleep.

7/17/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

As with so many things, new technologies are improving cost-benefit ration associated with the production of Ethanol. One of the more promising technologies is being promoted by a company named Xethanol, which has received permission to use a USDA-patented process to convert bio-mass into Ethanol. That means they make it from almost any organice waster material. The "secret sauce" is the digestive juices of a certain type of beetle.

I have two posts about this on my blog. One is entitled "Beetle Juice". The other is an answer to a homework assignment in Strategic Management prepared by one of my students at the American University where I teach in the UAE.

That post is "Xethanol: A Resource-based View". The post was prepared by one of my best students. Here's a link to her blog. (All of my strategy students were required to keep blogs this year).

7/18/2006 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Starling, thanks for the links. I had heard of Xethanol, but didn't know much about it.

It's a fascinating industry, in which things are happening fast. There are currently 101 ethanol plants operating in the U.S. and innovation is rapid. The company I cited is a medium-sized plant, co-operatively owned, that stumbled onto the fact that there was a company in (Ga, I think) that made boilers that could burn their sludge efficiently enough to allow them to completely eliminate the cost of fossil fuels and electricity.

That acre of ground that is now producing 500 acres of corn-based biofuels will one day be producing 1,000 gallons when the stalks are also used to produce cellulosic ethanol, perhaps using the same enzyme xethanol has patented.

7/18/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger keaner21 said...

Hezbollah should be readying to meet their virgins...

Blockaded from the sea, infrastructure destroyed, airport unusable, brigades moving to the Lebanese/Israel border....the Israeli's have trapped the rats in their own nest and are moving to exterminate them.

By leaving Lebanon in 2000 the Israeli's allowed Hezbollah to become a state within a state - the defacto enemy at the gate.

This will be no 1982...Hezbollah will be crushed.

7/18/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Fleming said...

The fact that Fisk got a honorary doctorate from a university in my country (=Belgium) and a big audience at the ceremony and a lot of glorifying coverage in the local media, still sends shivers down my spine.

You really don't want to start counting the people who need an overdose of reality

7/18/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Armagnac Esq. said...

="admits that Hezbollah -- not Lebanon but Hezbollah the private organization -- not only planned a Pearl Harbor style surprise attack but deliberately dragged an innocent country to war with it"=

'Admits'?

I thought that the obvious but seemingly ignored fact that they are NOT the country of Lebanon and NOT the people of Lebanon and NOT something the Lebanese are realistically in any position at all to control was behind the reasoning of many moderate lefties who accept Israel's right to strike back but deplore the way they've done so and the targets they've chosen.

7/18/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Didn't read all the way down, but after dozens of posts, I figured it was safe to contribute my two-cents' worth, and ASSERT that:

If Robert Fisk says it, there's probably dissembling, dysinformation and anti-American effort woven into it!

7/19/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

An easy, but often accurate way to assess things.

7/25/2006 02:00:00 PM  

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