Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Forward Together

One story that went the rounds in the Philippine National Penitentiary concerned the Cockroach Men. To hear the Bat tell it, the guards were always listening for escape plans being tapped out on the walls. "If you started tapping on walls, the guards would figure out you were trying something." No one asked the Bat how he knew, though he unquestionably belonged in the Big House. But you forgot that part and listened to the story. "So these two guys were about three cells apart on the row and they had to communicate without the guards knowing. How do you figure they did it? By pacing the corridor they knew the distance and since the only other openings into the cells were small windows to the yard they eventually came up with the idea of cockroaches." The Bat was one of those guys who had tattoos up to the neckline and right down to the cuffs. Down to his socks, too, when he wore them. But with a white long-sleeved shirt on, he looked like the perfect applicant for a chauffeur's position, if you were willing to overlook the fact that he probably knifed half a dozen guys. "So the one pulled the wings off a roach and put him on the window sill, a thread tied on, leaving it with one way to crawl. The roach eventually draggled over to the other guy's cell window with the thread and it was all a matter of pulling rolled messages along a line of sewing thread by night when the lights were out. That's how they came up with the plan." The rest was done with part of a spoon, bread paste to cover the scraping and a lot of patience. I never did learn if the Roach Men got out. But the lesson, the universal lesson in every hoosegow from Billerica to Long Bay, is that if you stick to a plan long enough it usually works in the end. A con with an inch of hacksaw blade beats the bars every time.

Because the con learns. Against most expectations it's possible that MNF-Iraq is gradually getting on top sectarian violence in Baghdad. Since Operation Forward Together started on July 9 violence in Baghdad has declined 16%, according to Maj Gen William Caldwell. Bill Roggio at the Counterterrorism Blog describes the process. Tactics developed in earlier clearing operations in Tal Afar were applied to Baghdad. Problem neighborhoods were isolated and swept out, house by house. Like a con in the calaboose MNF filed away at the problem one bar at a time. 

USA Today provides a simplified breakdown of the operation. "The offensive is planned in stages and is designed to avoid an all-out attack. In the first phase, launched July 9, Iraqi security forces positioned checkpoints throughout the city. In the second phase, launched last week, Iraqi forces supported by U.S. troops began isolating and clearing parts of the city block by block. Iraqi security forces will remain to provide security once areas are cleared. When areas are stable, the government will bring economic assistance into blighted neighborhoods." This strategy is essentially what the Marines call the "3 Block War." ...

Operation Forward Together is focusing on four of the most violent neighborhoods of Baghdad: Doura, Mansour, Shula and Azamiyah. These are neighborhoods where the sectarian violence has been at its worst. Coalition forces have begun operations in Doura and Ameriya. In both cases, the neighborhoods were cordoned off, and each building was searched. "Kilometer after kilometer of barriers emplaced, building what some may call the semblance of a gated community, affording them greater security with ingress and egress routes established and manned by Iraqi security forces with coalition forces in support," as the Multinational Forces - Iraq press release describes the operation in Doura.

At Doura, attacks dropped from more than 20 a day to virtually none, according to Maj Gen Caldwell. But this happy state of affairs is likely to last only until the enemy develops a response. Since Operation Iraqi Freedom's start on March 20, 2003, the US has always been confronted with a new problem for every old one solved. As the Republican Guard and Fedayeen faded into history they were replaced by the Sunni insurgency, an amalgam of different groups. Belatedly yet eventually, the US responded; regaining control of the Syrian borders, rebuilding the Iraqi Army, recreating a government; attacking insurgent cells. But by then the threat moved on. When Abu Musab Zarqawi was killed on June 7, 2006 the main security problem had already morphed into purposefully incited sectarian violence, growing since the Golden Mosque was bombed in February that year. And Baghdad was the epicenter of the sectarian conflict, with 80% of incidents occurring there. Again MNF-Iraq responded, a little too slowly for some but in earnest; now due to actions like Operation Forward Together the threat of sectarian militias and death squads may have already peaked. Robert Burns described how British Royal Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Fry, who is deputy to General Casey, characterized the state of play.

He said there is no mass migration out of Baghdad, where the sectarian violence is worst; the central government is functioning; and the country's security forces are answerable to the government. "So what I think we have is something which is, at the very best, civil war in miniature, at the very best. But I don't think it actually even meets that definition," Fry said. Murders and other acts of violence have declined substantially in Baghdad in recent weeks, Fry added, and most other parts of the country are relatively peaceful.

Until the next problem presents itself, that is, possibly from Iran itself. No one can pretend the problems in Iraq are over and the fact that no one can confidently predict when they will ever be solved lies at the bottom of the public dissatisfaction with the war. About all the Administration can convincingly argue is the awfulness of the alternative. For Marine Lt Gen James Mattis the endpoint has become fundamentally psychological.

"It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy's?" ... Mattis, who led the Marines in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and led the 1st Marine Division in the invasion of Iraq and march to Baghdad in early 2003, said he was once asked by an Iraqi when he would leave that country. "I said I am never going to leave. I told him I had found a little piece of property down on the Euphrates River and I was going to have a retirement home built there. I did that because I wanted to disabuse him of any sense that he could wait me out. ... Wars like this are winnable but you have got to have a sophisticated approach and you've got to have very sturdy and spiritually sturdy Marines who can keep their balance in the face of an extremely complex fight. It's not a small issue to wave to kids after just seeing your buddies blown up, but that shows on the most pedestrian level the kind of sturdiness that is needed in what is just a morally bruising environment where the enemy hides among the people."

The fight in Iraq makes an interesting comparison to the Congo. The conflict in the Congo is one of those phenomena which defy description. Despite the presence of the UN and the EU missions,  four million people have died so far in the Congo and as many as 1,200 more are added to the toll each day. If Iraq had its roots in the Anglo-French division of the Middle East, the Congo began as Belgian King Leopold II's "Heart of Darkness" and went downhill from there. The ethnic interests of 9 African nations, the shadowy influence of foreign politics and chaos combined to create a catastrophe that cannot even be dignified as signifying anything. It isn't part of an effort to roll back Islamic fundamentalism, fascism or any other stirring cause. The Congo is simply a tragedy with no end. The Washington Post describes a childhood in Kinshasa:

Sixteen-year-old Baruti Ilanga ran away from home four years ago and now lives in the rusty brown shell of a Toyota, discarded in a cemetery-turned-garbage dump in Kinshasa. Even though there's too many mosquitoes at night and he often goes hungry, he believes he's better off than most of his countryman. "Everyone in Kinshasa is poor and hungry. At least we are happy," the boy shrugged, a half-empty bottle of pale yellow French Pastis beside him. "It is good in the street. I am free. I do what I want, when I want."

No one knows how many children and teenagers call the streets their home in Congo. Aid workers estimate between 25,000 and 40,000 children are homeless in Kinshasa alone, and tens of thousands more are said to live in the vast Central African country's other cities. Next month, the U.N. Children's Fund is holding the first census of Kinshasa's street children since the end of Congo's 1998-2002 war, which killed nearly 4 million people and destroyed the country's infrastructure.

May the census do them good. After the UN spent $450 million to supervise the first elections held since 1961 in the Congo, open fighting between the rival candidates broke out after the results were announced. Virtually the entire diplomatic corps in Kinshasa was recently pinned down in Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba's house as it was besieged by men loyal to President Joseph Kabila. The Scotsman reported how "the seriousness of the crisis became apparent, on Monday, when almost the entire foreign diplomatic corps was trapped in Mr Bemba's house as 400 troops loyal to president Joseph Kabila fought a violent battle with 200 pro-Bemba militia members. ... In the interim, 120 German and 120 UN troops went on an aggressive patrol in the city center yesterday afternoon, in what one military source described as a 'last roll of the dice'. Their mission was to clear armed militia from the boulevard, where the fighting is concentrated, before nightfall." The EU rushed 500 more men in to supplement the 1,000 European troops already there to act as a "rapid reaction force" to backstop a 17,000 man UN Peacekeeping Force, the largest in the world, yet apparently not big enough.

One gets the sense that if another problem shows up in Iraq, the MNF will puzzle over it, and like the Cockroach Men start scraping away, a little wiser each time, until maybe they get somewhere. In the case of the Congo, the hacksaw never materializes from the UN's pocket. And even if it did, no one really knows if the barred door leads anywhere. Wikipedia notes: "The war has also raised questions about sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. The increase in democratization and the end of apartheid in South Africa raised great hope for the region in the post Cold War world. Some saw the prospect of an 'African Renaissance.' The seemingly unending violence in the Congo has dashed many of these hopes and damaged the reputations of a number of statesmen who were once seen as reformers."

The early years of the 21st century have been cruel to those who promised an end to history. Perhaps all that is finally possible is to clean up such evils as we can and make it to another day. For Baruti Ilanga another bottle of Pastis and another day to sing and dance in Kinshasa. And taking the death rate in Doura down from 20 to 0 is just fine too. As for the Bat the last news of him was long ago from a medium security prison where he did a roaring trade in amateur surgical enhancements to the inmate's peckers -- with a razor blade, plastic pellets and suturing -- with which they hoped to surprise their wives on the day of release. The dream goes ever on. The Cockroach Men knew the other side of the wall was just another place. But what the hell. What the hell.


Blogger 2164th said...

What a stunning read. What the hell anyway.

8/23/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I guess It comes down to some simple basics. What is my tribe? Is my tribe more important than everything else in my life? What are my beliefs? Are they more important than my tribe? What is my life? Is that more important than my beliefs?

8/23/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

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8/23/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
Calvin Coolidge

Perhaps thee Roach parable

8/23/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Wonder if the US represents the guards or the prisoners, in this Iraq analogy.
Most will assume we are the guards.

But the tattooed men of Iraq, they are the US Marines.

As long as the US is reacting to the Iraqi, we'll stay behind the in learning curve. It has been a year since the success at Tal Afar.

Those lessons must have been hard for the US Military to digest and reapply elsewhere.

8/23/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

"We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are."
Tobias Wolff, 'In Pharaoh's Army'

8/23/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

A testament to human ingenuity, and the spirit of freedom!

A testament to life, too, albeit a weird one...

8/23/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Genji said...

Archy and Mehitabel!

8/23/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Until the next problem presents itself..."


Persistence and determination are omnipotent?

Tell it to Sisyphus.

8/23/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Worry has been expressed hereabouts that there is no Plan.

Let not your hearts be troubled; there is a Plan.

The Plan - the grand strategy, as it were - is simply not to go home, nor to begin going home, in the next two and a half years. The Plan is to not search for an exit, a resolution, a conclusion.

In order to fulfill this Plan, the CiC has granted combatant commanders all the tactical flexibility they may require.

Have no doubt, the Plan is working.

8/23/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

teresita said:

..."By contrast, the Iranians haven't had live-fire "training evolutions" since disengaging with Iraq in 1988, the Egyptians and Jordanians have grown fat dumb and happy with peace, and Syrian forces spent a couple of decades occupying a totally intimidated Lebanon. If the Islamists want a regional war they better think twice."

What happened to Afghanistan, Iraq and Hezbollah?

8/23/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

teresit wrote:

the Iranians haven't had live-fire "training evolutions" since disengaging with Iraq in 1988, the Egyptians and Jordanians have grown fat dumb and happy with peace, and Syrian forces spent a couple of decades occupying a totally intimidated Lebanon. If the Islamists want a regional war they better think twice.

I think I'm with DR here, the Iranians have had their proxies and "volunteers" in Lebanon, Iraq, and possibly Afghanistan lo these past few years. They've been building up their military capabilities assiduously since the end of the Iraq war. The training they've given Hezbollah demonstrates the Iranian military retains a measure of the professionalism it achieved under the Shah, and should not be dismissed as just another third-world army that we'll roll over like a speed bump.

I'm not suggesting we won't defeat them, or that they're equivalent to our forces, but our generals should be cashiered if they have the arrogance towards Iranian troops the Israelis had towards Hezbollah - always assume and plan for the fact that the other guy is at least as good as you are in fighting qualities and training, even if your equipment is better (and it might not be that much better) - never assume the other guy will run away, and never assume he'll make stupid mistakes. - If he does, take advantage of them, but you must work on the assumption you're facing professionals who know what they're about.

8/23/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Black Dog Brigade said...

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8/23/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Black Dog Brigade said...

teresit wrote:

If the Islamists want a regional war they better think twice.

Islam wants a global war to secure the Islamic empire and sadly they are doing pretty good.

Islamic Empire 2006

8/23/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Trish--'Tell it to Sisyphus'!! That's good....kinda reminds me of farming...why are you plowing that field with your horse?...well, sir, to plant a field of oats....and why do you want to plant a field of oats?....well, sir, so I can harvest it next fall...and why do you want to harvest it next fall?...well, sir, so I can feed my horse through the winter, so as to be ready for next springs planting.....and so it goes, with Sisyphus, and the farmers!!

8/23/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

A month ago I wondered about our support for Israel's military action in Lebanon. Was Iran already doing its worst in Iraq, and we thought we dcould handle it? Were we moving to "short circuit" a planned terror offensive for the period around 8/22? If you add up the plots we know about and add a few more that we are not aware of (maybe some of those "throw away" phones previously provided to terrorists by those "all-American boys" from Dearborn were bugged) I think it is quite possible.

As the plots began to unravel than Iran became more reasonable (for a time).

8/23/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Teresita wrote:

In two years Bush will be out of office and Bush Derangement Syndrome will be in remission across the globe. Then people will wake up and see how their buddies the Islamists oppress women and gays and gay women. Then you will see proper action.

If you think this is all Bush's fault because the left hates him, and it will be all better when he's gone, I think you're sadly mistaken. A government by the party of Jimmy Carter - the feckless wonder who brought us this whole mess to begin with - would simply return to botching things as it has since the Kennedy administration botched Vietnam.

We rolled over, like a speed bump, twice, the army that fought Iran .... It stands to reason, therefore, that we will roll over that army like a speed bump....
war.... Special forces calling in precision air power, ala Afghanistan, will do the trick.

Underestimating an enemy is traditionally American - think of the folks who thought McDowell would walk over the Confederates at First Bull Run - but foolhardy. No sane professional solider underestimates the enemy but at his peril.

Though I've the biases of a former green suiter (Army), the claims for air power have long been made, and it hasn't worked as advertised ever. Air power is wonderful, but unless you're going nuclear (in which case missles do just as nicely) it's only a part of the equation necessary for victory.

If you really think Iran could be effectively dealt with with some special forces and air power, don't you think we'd have long since done so?

8/23/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


There is not enough information to make a jusgment but nothing I've seen suggests that HB is a professional fighting unit. There are no reports of counterattacks, large scale ambushes, or movements of any kind other than into lightly defended villages.

All you need to fight out of a hole is a little weapons training and a lot of motivation. Given time the HB attrition rate would have been 100%.

The Iranian army's command structure at the beginning of the Iraq war was probably a mess but even after 8 years of OJT the Iranians never accomplished even a limited combined arms maneuver. I'm not even sure they tried one. There's a pretty comprehensive USMC after action report of the Iran-Iraq war somehwere on the net. I lost the link years ago.

8/23/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

teresita revising history said:

"The only thing that saved Hezbollah from total annihilation was the clock running out and the US State Department stepping in, like we have done for every Arab-Israeli war. "

What nonsense.

8/23/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger luc said...

Teresita said...8/23/2006 08:31:21 AM

“The only thing that saved Hezbollah from total annihilation was the clock running out and the US State Department stepping in, like we have done for every Arab-Israeli war.”

Is it possible that some of the Israeli units running out of, for example, minor supplies such as food and water, not to mention reported poor training of reserves, may have had something to do with the US State Department stepping in? Hezbollah seems to have had some of the perseverance talked about earlier. This is not to say that Israel was losing but maybe they were on the way of achieving their aims at a higher cost than anticipated. Things they are not always what they seem or what we wish they were ;)

8/23/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

PeterBoston said:

There is not enough information to make a jusgment....

Indeed. And even those of us with military experience don't have the same information available to the active duty analysts and decision makers (much as we'd like to think we should....), which is the reason I so strongly react against anyone who says we'll roll over some enemy force like a speed bump. It's not a lack of confidence in our forces' ability, training, equipment or motivation, but rather an appreciaiton that factors such as terrain, weather, etc. come into play, as well as the state of the other guy's equipment, training, and motivation, etc. Prior Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance as we used to say. While one must have a realistic assessment of an enemy's capablities so as not to go McClellan, one should never underestimate an enemy's abilities to use what he has to the fullest, and to fight as tenaciously, and to be as well led, as we would be. Careful and prepared, bold but not arrogant, warriors are the ones who can win, not those who are arrogant and denigrate the enemy.

8/23/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

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8/23/2006 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


All of what you said is true but that does not prevent making macro judgments. If the best estimation of how a national army would perform is its history of performance then the Iranian army does not appear formidable.

Why should we believe that Iran's loyalty based officer/NCO corps leading a draftee army would perform any better than other ME armies? I'm sure there are individual component units that are well led and well equipped but they are most likely the exception.

8/23/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Db2m said...

I see no problem with sending in the special ops to snipe hunt & direct fire.

And then escalate the conflict as necessary and as planned.

8/23/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

that sounds just peachy fine db2m as long as you don't mind no oil flowing through the gulf and escalations as determined by others.

8/23/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Allen--9:34:18pm yesterday--about irony and empathy--I slept on your question--the best I can come up with is they are really, which can put one in one's place) can lead to the other--empathy, which is feeling oneself in the others place--the best I can do...seems to me they are really close.

8/23/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Irony and Empathy--might make a good name for a rock band--couldn't be any worse than what we've got now!

8/23/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bobal, re Sisyphean Farmers:
You know you just plow that furrow while waiting for a better woman.
Always remember:
One man's insomnia can lead to empathy for another's.

8/23/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

One poster uses mythology as a device to point out her perceived shortcomings of a Presidential quote.
The character she chooses is a deceiver and a liar. For his perfervid action the god Hades captures him,only to release him,falling for another lie. Sisyphus, the liar ,deceiver, wanted to punish his wife. But failing his promise to return after doing so Hades once again captures him.
Hades punishment?
Sisyphus was forced to roll a huge stone to the top of a hill. Each time Sisyphus was about to roll the stone over the summit, it pushed him back to the bottom of the hill.
Such is the fate of liars and deceivers.
The poster's choice was rather banal.
It was also callow given that Sisyphus was indeed a liar and deceiver and was punished by the Gods for being such.

In the real word persistence pays off.

Curiously enough another poster wears large cotton balls near the ears. Must be a media otitus problem.

8/23/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

re: "Air power is wonderful, but unless you're going nuclear (in which case missiles do just as nicely) it's only a part of the equation necessary for victory."
There's not a single missile in our arsenal that can carry This Payload
Meanwhile, highway deaths are at there highest level in decades under Bush.
Condi Neutralizes Iranian President with Flower Power:
Turns Abracadabra onto Enriched Geraniums.

8/23/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I am with you, Habu--'in the real world, persistence pays off'--I am old enough to know the truth of those words.

8/23/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


re: Irony and Empathy rock

"What?! No T & A?", said Lenny Bruce.

The dirge is depressing and you can't dance to it - Bandstand rating 1 and 1.

What frequently fascinates me about this site is how often people like you capture a universal concept in a single word or a simple phrase. The human mind is a miraculous marvel!

Whatever the case, both irony and empathy call for a healthy grasp of the humor and the catholic frailty of the human condition. Neither is possible within Islam.

___one god
___one prophet
___one state

Thanks for the time!

8/23/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Teresita wrote:

No, it's not all Bush's fault because the left hates him, it's the left's fault because they hate Bush more than they love to see their pet human-rights causes advanced in the world. My point is that after Bush is gone, sanity will be restored to the dialogue (said sarcastically like Michael Savage does). You might even see the return of Scoop Jackson Democrats.

I disagree, the people who are running the party now are mostly the McGovernites and those who are their heirs, people who reflexively distrust our society and who simply don't believe there are real threats in the world (other than the US). Their madness has become overweening as BDS, but their fundamental fecklessness on national security has been manifest since the Carter administration.

Peter Boston wrote:

If the best estimation of how a national army would perform is its history of performance then the Iranian army does not appear formidable....Why should we believe that Iran's loyalty based officer/NCO corps leading a draftee army would perform any better than other ME armies?

The first statement is true as far as it goes. However, to answer your second question, because to fail to prepare to fight as if the enemy is competent and will fight well is to needlessly risk the loss of your own men and material - not to mention your objective. Better to be overprepared and surprised by the enemy breaking, than to be surprised by the enemy's tenacity and ability. Make sure the other guy dies for his country, not you for yours.

8/23/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The key question is: What are we really dealing with? The cockroach men have the same problem, day after day: how do they escape from prison?

But in Iraq are we meeting a sequence of threats – Saddam’s Army, Saddam’s Insurgency, a Shiite response to Saddam’s deprivations, a Sunni response to the Shiite response, Islamic Fundamentalism, Al Queda, a joint Sunni-Shiite response to the hated U.S. invader, an Iranian 5th column, the chaotic world of Mad Max, or just a bunch of Crazy People doin' what comes naturally...

Or are we meeting the same threat in different guises using different tactics?

Or all of the above?

The importance of this question is that you react at least somewhat differently to each of thsie situations - and we may have to accomplish those different reactions simulataneously

8/23/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Doug--One man's insomnia can lead to empathy for another man's......WHAT???


8/23/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

bobbal, I think he meant "one idiot's comment is another man's mystery".

8/23/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Doug--but the 'better woman' just never seems to come along--what do I do now?

8/23/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

It is ironic that such determination and patience is the very thing attributed to our enemies. But whereas hatred and cunning retribution for perceived ills can last centuries, the same can be said for the enduring fortitude necessary to build advanced civilizations. Who will out last the other in the end will come down to whether the tenders of civilization realize that no more progress can be made without a giant leap back into the fray of unmitigated warfare.

The 3 Block tactic sounds akin to the surveyor laying down points to define a region, a clearing and grading of the ground, and finally a reconstruction. It also suggests a poignantly new approach to warfare, in that it starts first with a multinational force, introduces indigenous security, then, hopefully, leaves. Forward together, successful or not, offers a way forward that is an optimistic alternative to the apocalyptic options that we have had to choose from.

“cemetery-turned-garbage dump”

This speaks too much what humanity has become in Africa. It is to be ignored because Bill Clinton did not tout it as a world responsibility and it is no embarrassment to George W. Bush, therefore couldn’t be worth the trouble. Life is cheapened by politics and until the U.N. can see beyond it the suffering will continue. What the hell.

8/23/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


re: react

You have at once captured both the problems and the cause: reaction.

Instead of us riding the horse, the horse is carrying us.

Battlefields are shaped and so must be politics.

While now to late to impose a constitution of our liking on the whole of Iraq, Kurdistan continues to beckon as a bastion of "sanity". Why not settle in there and inexorably expand the base. This will terribly disappoint the Shi'a (already putting pressure on the Kurds for petro-rights), and the Turks and Iranians (both of whom have massed armies at the borders, waiting and lustfully hoping for some provocation).

8/23/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


I guess the felons released from Saddam's prisons would fit the last category.

Apparently a plan not publicy released which does not perfectly predict the future and have a counterstroke that precisely thwarts the enemy at every turn is not a Plan at all.

8/23/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Tha's right, PB. "I don't know the plan, so I can safely accuse the admin of not having one." I can hear it coming around the November mountain, "Blah blah misled us into war, blah blah go it alone, blah blah Tora Bora, blah blah no plan to win the peace". Three Stooge Political critique, utterly disregarding the enemy's continually evolving way of fighting.

8/23/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Why Teresita,
Your vision of loveliness adorns the very post where you exhibit signs of paranoia.Unless it's a pictue that came with a wallet, how would I know?
Are you ascribing to yourself the alleged cotton balls? I thought those were Lotus blossoms?
Jumping to conclusions or ascribing motivations to people is a perilous thing. It usually leaves one open to look quite foolish given they can prove neither. But then some never need proof or are immune to it's veracity.
Why I even remember one poster whose first picture looked like a squat in the woods. Can you believe that?

8/23/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

I ran across this in the Asia Times:

"Details of Iran's 23-page written response have not been released, but they crucially are expected to confirm that Iran is not prepared to suspend uranium-enrichment activities without comprehensive security guarantees, especially from the US, in return.

The US has never been prepared to give such guarantees, and thus ends what appeared on the surface to be a genuine multilateral initiative for negotiations with Iran on the terms under which it would give up its nuclear program."

If I were Iran and there were no security guarantees then I sure would like a nuke to help ward off attack. What is the problem with giving them security guarantees?

8/23/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

too late

8/23/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Dunno, Ash--haven't read the 23 page document. But, really, you don't think this country will snap at the first glimmer that they'll drop the nuke program?

8/23/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger luc said...

Buddy Larsen said.. 8/23/2006 10:55:50 AM.
bobbal, I think he meant "one idiot's comment is another man's mystery".

With all the respect due to others who post here, I doubt anyone approaches the wit of Buddy Larsen’s commenmts. Keep them coming!

8/23/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Radcliffe said...


I'm sure you've heard of the captured Fox journalists. Do you think in any way terrorist attacks or kidnappings of journalists, which make news orgs more relcutant to travel in certain areas of Gaza, Baghdad, Lebanon, etc. are part of a plan to push the relatively objective Western press from the battlefield? Of course they know press coverage would then be conducted at arms-length: reliance on sources, stringers (Adnan Hajj comes to mind) or propaganda organs like al Manar and so on?

Could you elaborate on how the absense of the Western press changes the media battlescape?

8/23/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Wretchard wrote in the opening segment of his tapestry about the ingenuity of prisoners trying to communicate. They succeeded. Why?

"But the lesson, the universal lesson in every hoosegow from Billerica to Long Bay, is that if you stick to a plan long enough it usually works in the end. A con with an inch of hacksaw blade beats the bars every time."

Persistence. Which includes the ability to adapt ,improvise, and overcome are hallmarks of success.
It is a good read and an age old lesson.
The MNF is doing all of that and more under extreme hardships.
As I've stated before "the can'ts never could". So those of us that can get it done, let us go forward in the hope that the can'ts will catch on one day.

8/23/2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

luc, thanks--I just pick on Doug because 1) he doesn't mind, and 2) he deserves it.

8/23/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

A man who has threatened to kill me may demand security guarantees, but I would offer him none. If he were to bear arms due to the intransigence of my position then I would see to it that he never had the opportunity to use said arms.

I think it reasonable to assume that Iran, flush with oil money and a successful succession of mullah after mullah, has thought long and hard about its stated goal of bringing “Death to America”. They have had 20 years to evolve their doctrine, to apply it to its corp and to develop it covertly in its inexhaustible foreign services. Any man willing to accept the worse will exploit the best of possibilities. I wouldn’t tread lightly with Iran, I would instead, tread most heavily.

8/23/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

The Plan

In neither war nor politics do reactionaries win, plan or no plan.

When the Kerensky government had arrested Lenin, Trotsky, and many others within the Bolshevik leadership, instead of standing them against a wall, they suffered humanitarian analysis paralysis.

When the Bolsheviks came to power, they did not reciprocate. They had a plan.

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
George S. Patton

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.”
George S. Patton

8/23/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well, Allen, you have a point there. It is always preferable to be following a nice preplanned sequence of events rather than reacting to what others do. Desert Storm taught the world the value of operating inside the enemy's decision loop. Hurricane Katrina should have taught us the value of operating inside your incompetant "friend's" decision loop.

But the actions required to do thusly in Iraq would have been condemmed as inhuman. For example - Locking up the whole of the Iraqi Army and everyone else who looked like trouble is what I would have done - but if people are going to wail over locking up a fraction of a percent of that many people in Gitmo imagine what response that would have drawn.

That situation is true with every decision point we faced. It was not simply about decisions, but about choices - and we usually tried to pick the "nice" one relative to other people's viewpoint.

Peterboston: yes, I think you are right - and that is why "all of the above" probably applies

By the way, anyone else think that Teresita looks like Xena?

8/23/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Wretchard ..continued his masterfully woven tapestry with a quote from a Marine Corps Lt.Gen.
"Wars like this are winnable but you have got to have a sophisticated approach and you've got to have very sturdy and spiritually sturdy Marines who can keep their balance in the face of an extremely complex fight."
Once again the emphasis on intelligent appraisal and adaptation to the situation. Which takes perseverence and determination.
Another poster said of the plan that it was simply to stay the next two+ years. Seek no exit, no resolution, no conclusion.
I can find no supporting evidence that would lead one to that conclusion. Daily we battle and search for a way to halt the violence so that all three of the "no's" can be accomplished.
We are not squating in the desert waiting for desert sand to run through the hourglass.

8/23/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

annoy mouse, your response is basically what that article in the Asia Times alleges; the Bush admin. is just playing at negotiating and it simply wants to go to war.

8/23/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bobal, re:
" Doug--but the 'better woman' just never seems to come along--what do I do now?"

How quickly you forget:
re: #9650
"Like a really beautiful woman. Man!!
I remember sweating my ass off four times a day on the old "6602

8/23/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger luc said...

Buddy Larsen said... 8/23/2006 12:00:05 PM
luc, thanks--I just pick on Doug because 1) he doesn't mind, and 2) he deserves it.

I am not going to answer your post as I am afraid of exceeding the two post/thread limit as some very modest and totally self-effacing posters do. Before you ask me for an example of a post from a very modest and totally self-effacing person, I will suggest the following:

“Call it wishful thinking on my part, call it a belief in cycles, or call it prescience, or call it an astute sense of which way the winds are changing.”

Now that is what I call lack of self-confidence ;)

8/23/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Teresita wrote:

Call it wishful thinking on my part, call it a belief in cycles, or call it prescience, or call it an astute sense of which way the winds are changing. Already in my state the GOP candidate for the Senate is saying he would not have voted for the war knowing then what he knows now. The war is the issue this time. However, the Nut Roots movement centered around the Daily Koz can deliver a lot of sound and fury and $25 donations, but they can't deliver votes because by and large the young'uns don't vote. The Kossacks are overplaying their hand, which will be seen when Lieberman wins in CT as an independent. The London air terror plot helped to tip the scales. With the McGovernite / Kerryite madness out of the way, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will be clear to run in 2008 with a "Secret Plan" to get us out of Iraq that won't be pure cut'n'run. Nixon took five years to do the same thing. McCain or Condi can't compete because they're pro the war. Giuliani might be able to give them a run for their money though.

It is wishful thinking (though why you'd wish for a Democrat escapes me). Were you an adult in the late '60s? Do you remember the mood in the country in 1968?

In the first place, the fact that some GOP candidates distance themselves is not evidence of potential Democratic seriousness on national security.

Secondly, the likelihood that Lieberman will win supporting the war -- for which he was tossed from the Democratic ticket -- is not evidence of potential Democratic seriousness on national security.

Third, it's mistaken to compare Hilobama in 2008 to Tricky Dick in 1968:

1) Hillary has a track record in the White House, and that track record is national security fecklessness, not seriousness, and a visceral dislike for the military.

2) Tricky Dick had a track record as a hawk and firm opponent of communist aggression, that's why he could go to China and have a 'secret plan' - people trusted he would not sell out the US even if they didn't want to buy a used car from him.

When the Democrats botched Vietnam, people turned to the Republicans because they trusted the Republicans on national security at the same time the Democrats were almost all standing up to oppose the war.

Even though people dislike the war, they believe Bush is trying to defend America as best he knows how. The Democrats have not demonstrated a commitment to defense in any way shape or form since at least Nixon's inauguration in 1969. By 2008 that will be an almost 40 year record by many of the people still leading the Democratic Party of opposition to the military, reductions in military appropriations, national security blunders (dumping the Shah, the Hostage Crisis, Panama Canal, Somalia, Oil-for-Food, ad nauseum) and absolutely NO military or national security achievements. As long as national security is the primary issue facing the American people, the Democrats will not regain power. Cass Sunstein even admits as much in the recent New Republic.

8/23/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

teresita, whaddaya mean "again"?

habu, agreed, and furthermore even if squatting in the desert *was* all the MNF was doing, that would still be something. The presence and potential of a garrison is something in its own right.

8/23/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said... does one go from 6:25:02

to 9:43:17?

8/23/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think Osama Obama is vastly over-rated:
Will white guilt give him a pass?

8/23/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, re "the Bush admin. is just playing at negotiating" -- what in your mind is "real" negotiating?

Oh, let me guess: since whomever is against the USA is always right, then "real" negotiating must mean "USA surrenders".


8/23/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Ash said, (9:55 AM ):
that sounds just peachy fine db2m as long as you don't mind no oil flowing through the gulf and escalations as determined by said, (9:55 AM post)

Unfortunately this observation by Ash unlike all the others is probably spot on.

Bush has more and better reason to take out Iran, than he did Iraq, Iraq was the easiest place to fight though, and establish a presense in the ME. Subsequent events were not handled correctly, an experienced war leader might have allowed for this and exhibited more flexibility than Did Mr Bush. Events have made it fairly clear that while Bush's long term plan might have worked, it will be overtaken by the Mullahs race to nuclear destruction.

We need to make something clear to the Chinese they might be able to put the btakes on the Mullahs. I don't think the Russians care much because if Iranian oil goes off the market for the forseeable future, their oil will become much more valuable. The only lever on the Russians would be the threat of nuclear destruction on them if a US city is taken out by nuke, and mo US pol presently on the horizon has the stones for that, least of all a leftist Democrat.

The chinese however might see the light if it was pointed out to them that in the event of a nuclear strike at the US, we can make Iran disappear as a viable entity, able to produce oil, for a long long time. The Chinese would probably happily take them out and take their oil if we did nothing about that. Why should we do anything about that? They could sell us goods cheaper, Russians would be happy , oil would go to $100* per bbl, our gas would go to $5 or $6, which is livable if it it livable at $4 with the threat of nuclear destruction removed. The Euros could get screwed for thier oil (happy Norway). we could then turn our benevolent gaze on Mr Hugo Chavez and whoever is running Mr Fox's country.

There is a perfectly viable scenario. Not everyone would be happy, but somebody point out to me where it would fail. Please!!!

8/23/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I find it difficult to believe that the administration “simply wants to go to war”. On one hand they’d be pilloried for not negotiating in the international arena and on the other, they are accused of “just playing at negotiating”. You can be credited with being consistent with your ideological positions Ash. It sound like a damned if you don’t, damned if you do proposition as always. This is where ideology becomes nettlesome because there is only strife and never the possibility of a mediated outcome, just bad verses bad.

My personal thoughts on Iran are that war with Iran would be horrible and an almost certain harbinger of WWIV. My personal thoughts continued, is that with enemies of humanity like you in the world, Ash, that WWIV is as inevitable as your weather beaten rejoinders.

Until then, “walk softly and carry a big stick”.

8/23/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I do believe there is a residue of "white guilt" but it beats the hell out of me how it could be around this long. How many trillions do we spend on "the white man's burden?"
I believe Rufus provided some graphics the other day on defense spending versus social spending and it wasn't broken down racially which I'm sure would change the dynamic.
Thomas Sowell's new book "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" explains it all.

8/23/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Habu 3: VERY Difficult to convey Sarcasm via this medium, which is what I am almost sure that "Xena" was intending.

The other day on another blog I said that the French bail out from the force going into Lebanon certainly would result in Kerry ceasing to complain about the Bush Admin failure to involve the French in peacekeeping efforts. One of the other guys said I was crazy. He did not get the sarcasm, either.

Any chance of getting Sonia and Teresita to do a Belmont Club calendar? Doug would buy a copy.

8/23/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Buddy, Annoy Mouse, I am not necessarily supporting the Asia Times position that Bush and crew want to go to war with Iran but I am curious as to what the problems with the US offering Iran security guarantees. The Asia Times article may be wrong in that security guarantees have indeed been offerred. My understanding is that they haven't been and, again, why not? Annoy mouse, your response was
"A man who has threatened to kill me may demand security guarantees, but I would offer him none. If he were to bear arms due to the intransigence of my position then I would see to it that he never had the opportunity to use said arms."

which is basically, "nope, no security guarantee, time for war".

Why not skip the war part and tell them we won't invade in return they halt nuke development (paraphrasing more detailed language).

8/23/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, what do you think "I will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons" means?

8/23/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Interesting quote from a current Guardian article:

..."The fighting in Lebanon opened sharp divisions between Syria and other Arab countries, some of which blamed Damascus for fuelling the crisis with its support for Hizbullah. Mr Assad, in turn, criticised Middle East leaders as "half men" in a speech last week, sparking an angry response in state-run media in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

One of the harshest criticisms of Mr Assad came in an editorial in the Egyptian paper al-Gomhuria. "Your brave army has a record in killing Lebanese," the editorial said, addressing Mr Assad."...

Now there is something to contemplate.

8/23/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Why not skip the war part and tell them we won't invade in return they halt nuke development (paraphrasing more detailed language)."

If you're going to guarantee something, that means GUARANTEE. So let's say the US agrees to this arrangement. Then some members of the Iranian Revolutionary guard board an American cruise liner and shoot everybody on board in the head.

You're president. What do you do? Attack? Can't. You gave a GUARANTEE. Do you break your word or allow the atrocity to stand?

The real question should be: why should the US allow itself to be set up like that? Better to just let the Iranians worry about what we might do.

8/23/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Ash, honestly, if it is as simple as that, I would be all for it. But I honestly don’t believe that the mullahs have the least fear that we’d invade them. Not with the poison pill that they’d conjure up. The argument is a straw man at best. Should we be content that though they open each parliamentary session with chants to “death to America!” that we can take solace in their heart felt assurances that they do not seek weapons of mass destruction? I lament proliferation to the point where Pakistan and India possess such terrible powers, but, that said, they have not proven to be such a destabilizing power as Iran has. And, are you to say that since the U.S., who has not used nuclear weapons for over sixty years, has these weapons, that the world would be a safer place if everyone had them? I suspect that you and Madeleine Albright would agree on such matters. The United States earned the right to nuclear weapons because we invented them in the pursuit of world peace. Can Iran say as much?

8/23/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


No, I meant the Shi'a. Iran has much more in mind than nuclear deterrence. There is an empire to build.

8/23/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

rwe...not the sarcasm man the pic?

8/23/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Never never drive Gremlins. Allow them to polk along like young calves. If you drive them by the time you get them to market they're so skinning ya can't get a good price.

8/23/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

buddy, what is the problem with fulfilling the promise without going to war?

8/23/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, dammit, that question is in my native language but i can't figure out whut it means--

8/23/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

2164..must be my friend cause I don't think Francesco Scavullo if he were still alive,could work that magic.

8/23/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I guess I could say the same about your question but I lack you wit. You asked:

Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, what do you think "I will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons" means?

To which I reply that there a negotiated settlement, as in offering security guarantees, is a possible method of fulfilling that promise (no nukes) short of going to war.

8/23/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said... has an article by Bill Roggio.

8/23/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Since 1979, the Iranians have been intransigently persistent.

Can Iranian intransigence be punished from the air? Certainly

Will it prevent Iran from going nuclear? No

The Iranians may be slowed, but absent a LARGE-scale conventional war of deracination or an unconventional one of annihilation, the Iranians will persistently return to the drawing board.

Barring some impossible to ignore affront, Iran will go unmolested and will do what it has been successfully doing: consolidating power. Since the Iranians are not given to overtly irrational tactics, it is unlikely that Iran will provide the necessary pretext to war.

Immediately after the mid-term elections, the administration should consider breaking the news to the American public that Iran is or soon will be an untouchable nuclear power. The administration has to hope that Iran does not break the news before Election Day.

Mr. Burns’ statement yesterday of Iranian good conduct is probably the trend.

8/23/2006 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The issue, Ash, is what are we willing to negotiate away to the mullahs in order to guarantee that they do not pursue nuclear weapons. A sticking point, nuclear fuel cycle, it is rather ambitious for a country without a nuclear generating capacity to worry about such things, particularly with Russia offering to co-generate fuel. It is a transparent ruse playing on the ignorance of Middle Eastern pride that the Iranians need such things. It is also a vital component to nuclear weapon production and therefore something that the ambitious Iranians will not consider to drop. The mullahs have said point blank, “it is a non-negotiable right” to refine uranium. What more could diplomacy hope to achieve? I hope, for the sake of the world, that we can find allies in the cause of world peace and apply effective sanctions to cool Iran’s jets. Seems that the Chinese will then have an opportunity to violate it visa vie the Oil for Food method. It is not war mongering that “it is a non-negotiable right” to protect the earth whether you’re on the bus or not.

8/23/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

..continuing comments on WRETCHARD's comments:

"Until the next problem presents itself, that is, possibly from Iran itself. No one can pretend the problems in Iraq are over and the fact that no one can confidently predict when they will ever be solved lies at the bottom of the public dissatisfaction with the war. About all the Administration can convincingly argue is the awfulness of the alternative. For Marine Lt Gen James Mattis the endpoint has become fundamentally psychological.

"It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy's?" ...
I can guarantee it won't be the Corps will that is ever broken..perhaps the pusillanimous souls who have never been in the ring and have never known neither victory nor defeat will cut and run, but not the US Military.

Some on this thread have the spine of a chocolate eclair.

8/23/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The American Motors Gremlin
Was an American Classic.

8/23/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ash, if you're talking about a REAL peace treaty, "real" in all respects, then that would be infinitely preferable to war.

But, really aren't we obfuscating here, with an endless discussion of the most obvious point?

8/23/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A question comes to mind:
Is an Ash unanswered dangerous?
Can it.

8/23/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jawohl, Herr Sturmbahnfeuhrer!

8/23/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

The Persians persisted. Then came the Battle of Salamis, where they were defeated. A defeat many historians consider one of the greatest in history.

We can punish them by air so severely and repeatedly that they will never be able to develop their own nuclear bomb. They may in turn buy one from the Russians or Chinese but they do not want us in a fight with them. MAD would result and they know that, thus their proxy the Iranians to tweek our nose.
They would end up much like a human liver severed into two parts. The liver will regrow and duplicate it's mass but never recover it's function at the previous level.
We will bomb them before the mid terms.

8/23/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Jawohl, Herr Studebaker!

8/23/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

If the Iranians think about it, they are putting themselves into a very precarious position. It is unlikely that the US will use nuclear weapons on a non-nuclear power without extreme provocation. That becomes far more likely if the US is severely provoked by a nuclear power. The targetting becomes more interesting because a pre-emptive strike against a nuclear power must be all encompassing. No hesitation can be given to any target that can possibly be hiding a nuclear repsonse. All communications, military, transportation and commerce sites become simultaneous targets. Since the Iranians are not seemingly thinking about it, why not start a campaign of information to explain to the Iranian people what may be the end of their future?

8/23/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Ah the Gremlin. I rented one in San Fransisco once to impress the ladies such was it's allure.
You at one with George Jetson.

8/23/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad they didn't have a Pinto Gastank:
That truncated trunk could belch fire like and Atlas for added effect.
I left my Ass,
In San Francisco...

8/23/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Habu , i never had you figured for a Pacer X kinda guy. You really are a company man.

8/23/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...


Come on man...I mean fulfilling the promise of the promiser to the elipsis of the Cliff Clavian standard promise is as easy to understand as string theory explained by Charo and her promise to understand the power of turning on a light bulb. Don't you comprehend?

8/23/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: Salamis

Yes, indeed, those were the days. Thousands of floundering Muslims were harpooned, speared, stabbed, beaten with oars or whatever came to hand. None that came in reach were shown mercy. None were pulled from the water.

Is there the slightest chance that such a battle would be waged today, live and in color?

As to MAD, why would the Iranians, the Russians, or the Chinese find this wanting? MAD would hobble the optons of the US to the benefit of the usual suspects.

Habu, I am ALL for taking out Iran permanently, by whatever means necessary. But with respect, Mr. Burns is the spokesman for the administration. There will be no Salamis.

8/23/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Habu: Until you've seen the proof to the Poincare conjecture, you ain't seen nuthin!
The Poincare conjecture says that in three dimensions you cannot transform a doughnut shape into a sphere without ripping it, although any shape without a hole can be stretched or shrunk into a sphere.
Russian solves historic math problem, shuns prize.

8/23/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Don't forget Lepanto--another great world-turning naval battle that ended with rampant, attacking muzzies in the drink.

Ah, yes, the Clavian Chronicles, love the postal poets!

Serious note, whazzis all about?

8/23/2006 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

"As to MAD, why would the Iranians, the Russians, or the Chinese find this wanting? MAD would hobble the optons of the US to the benefit of the usual suspects.:

You cannot place the Iranians, Russians and Chinese in the same category. The Russians and Chinese know the code. They are rational competitors and potential adversaries. Iran may be rational, but that remains to be seen and they will be watched with a hair trigger.

8/23/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Letter from across DeNile:
Iran will be the exception to prove the rule that threats unaddressed always come back to haunt you.
Mr. Burns told me.

8/23/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Has anyone explained why a homeland security agent got a free Luxury ride from Thailand w/Mr. Karr?

8/23/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

doug, I've been nauseated since the Grace Commission Report.

8/23/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The battle of Salamis was 1000 years before there were any Muslims.

8/23/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Okay, then, "invaders from the Orient". I had an occident of terminology.

8/23/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

There is a parked AMC Gremlin I pass on my way to work.

It's sitting at an indoor gunnery range. I suspect its future is as a target.

On my last trip to the Bay area I rented a Chevy Metro. A 3 Cylinder model. That is, an intentionally 3 cylinder model. We had a major earthquake and then right after that the stupid aluminum ignition key for the thing broke in half. Talk about bad timing....

Anyway, 2164, how MAD applies to Iran is a topic I have been discussing with Marc Shulman over at AmericanFuture. We both bought copies of the famous Herman Kahn book to peruse it for that purpose. No conclusions yet; as you say, Herman Kahn's work assumes that the antagonists are rational actors.

8/23/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

2164...i really got a hard time from my compadres in THE COMPANY, but I arrived at SFO with this huge dufflebag of TS. It wouldn't fit in my Lotus Europa (1974,nice) and all they had was the Gremlin.

Several of us loaded into it and cruised over to ultra chic Marin County and just waved at the girls. Several of them asked it it was a Ferrari...well, was it a real car?
PS. we vaulted the TS first.

8/23/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

The Jap, Nip etc got everything he deserved at Guadalcanal. My father killed 'em by the hundreds in close air support. Gosh what great memories of those slanty eyed bastards sucking up .50 caliber rounds like pins in a ragdoll. They did a big no no at Pearl Harbor. I recently got to actually touch the Enola Gay 'cause my family has connections at the Air Museum at Dulles.
no likey,too bad.

would you like to discuss the Rape of Nanking?

8/23/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Teresita, perhaps a comment from you on this.


The atrocities continued throughout the war, but were mild, in many ways, compared to what went on at Unit 731, located at Pingfan, Manchuria, just outside the city of Harbin. The Japanese called this place the Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Unit of the Kwantung Army. We called it what it was -- a Death Camp.

Unit 731 had a compound of 150 buildings. A part of this compound, Ro Block, was reserved for experiments on live human prisoners. Prisoners would be brought in and used as guinea pigs: men, women, and children -- Asians and Caucasians. They were called "maruta", meaning "logs of wood".

Some prisoners were purposely infected with disease: cholera, typhoid, anthrax, plague, syphilis. Others were cut up while they were still alive to see what happened in the successive stages of hemorragic fever. Others had their blood siphoned off and replaced with horse blood. Many others were shot, burned with flame-throwers, blown up with explosives and left to develop gas gangrene, bombarded with lethal doses of X-rays, whirled to death in giant centrifuges, subjected to high pressure in sealed chambers until their eyes popped out of their sockets, electrocuted, dehydrated, frozen, and even boiled alive.

Two prisoners were put on a diet of water and biscuits and then worked nonstop, circling the compound loaded with twenty-kilogram sandbags on their backs until they dropped dead. One lasted longer than the other -- about two months. This was supposed to be research into malnutrition, like the Minnesota experiment -- but, done the Japanese Army way, it was to the death.

Of all the thousands of POW's taken to Unit 731, not a single prisoner survived. To the last man they were slaughtered. It is also a fact that Japan had plans to slaughter the entire prisoner population if and when we invaded their homeland.

8/23/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The Islamic Iranian view is a parallax view. They see the American situation in Iraq as demonstrating American limits and one one of over-extension. They know that the internal American politics favor them. The recent war games in Iran showed thousands of jihadis on motorized dirt bikes in pair with the passenger armed with an AK-47. An army of one. The Iranians would interpret a conventional US air attack as a sign of weakness, an unwillingness to use nuclear weapons. They would see it as they saw Clinton firing volleys of cruise missiles plus.

The US should promise Iran that there will be no conventional air assault on Iran. The active word is conventional.

8/23/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

True; our fear of the use of nukes that comes from the "crime" we perpetrated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a major weapon in the Iranian arsenal. When the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground a U.S. Federal judge described it as "a crime equal to the bombing of Hiroshima."

You probably missed Wretchrad's moving description of the wholesale slaughter of civilians that the Japanese were responsible for in Manila. His aunt and her children barely escaped with her life. Just as many died there as did at Hiroshima - and without any reason - but no candleight vigils are held for them.

Of course another aspect of MAD is brinkmanship - make the other guy think you are crazy and he will give in. The Iranians are well along in that game - except that maybe for them it is not a game.

8/23/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I am in total agreement. We go nuclear on them. I recently saw a map on another site that pin pointed the known and probable sites where their nuclear research is being conducted. I was surprised at the number even though I didn't make a count it wasn't under twenty I assure you.
Nuked cruises followed by(just for fun) some WP and napalm. Ah the smell of victory.

8/23/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

'twas good to put quotes around our "crime" at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I'm not sure of who the quotation marks are for but those were not crimes.
Did charbroil a mess of fanatic Japs though, and ended the war. I'd say a pretty good couple of days work.
Of course Gen. Curtis LeMay was the real man with his fire bombing raids...ah those were the days.

8/23/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Habu--I would buy such a calender as you mention...or in the alternative we could put up one of those male calenders you see around once in a while--wouldn't Doug look good as 'Mr. Christmas', and maybe you, or Larsen, as the 'Easter Bunny'. But, yeah, I know, the income would not cover the printing costs.

8/23/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Keister Bunny!

8/23/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

allen wrot:

re: Salamis

Yes, indeed, those were the days. Thousands of floundering Muslims were harpooned, speared, stabbed, beaten with oars or whatever came to hand. None that came in reach were shown mercy. None were pulled from the water.

Let's get this straight: the Battle of Salamis was fought in 480 BC and Mahomet started doing his thing in 622 AD and the Muslim conquest of Persia took place from circa 643-650 AD. That's a little over 1,000 years by my arithmetic. It seems somewhat difficult to believe that the Persians at Salamis were Muslims.

8/23/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

They were Zoros then, weren't they? And I wish they still were.

8/23/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

They were Zoroastrians. Saddam used to refer to even the modern-day Iranians as "fire-eaters", a derisive term for Zoroastrians.

8/23/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Nuclear seems equated in some minds here with ultimate destruction. I don't think so, a total anihilation of their entire infrstructure is possible with conventional arms. Coupled with isolation, this could destroy 90%+ of the population and leave the country unable to produce nukes forever.

8/23/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Sorry, I was on my way out. Of course, I was referring to Lepanto.

8/23/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

John the Baptist wasn't a Baptist???? What was he then, not a Lutheran, I am sure of that.

8/23/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

To all who have taken the time to comment on Salamis-Lepanto, see my 3:28 PM to habu_.

In haste, energized by enthusiasm for the subject of killing Persians/Muslims/neo-Persians, I erred. Sorry to all.

8/23/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

2164th; 2:06 PM

re: Iranian "hair trigger"

What have the Iranians done since 1979 that would lead you question their rational use of a nuclear deterrent?

Have you ever wondered why Hirohito and Tojo did not commit suicide?

8/23/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

teresita; 2:23 PM

re: couple .50 cal mounts

Quad-fifties are so much more entertaining - light, fury, and the wrath of G-d.

8/23/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Well, whatever John the Baptist was, he comes across as not the fanciest dresser around, but way ahead of his time in the health food diet area.

8/23/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: "That happens a lot when you get revivalist nutters"

Care to elucidate?

8/23/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In the Footsteps of Bin Laden,"

Peter Bergen
Peter Bergen says this is great, despite having to suffer throught Christiane

8/23/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

BLOG SWEEPS WEEK HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO RUN ALL YEAR: Pamela Atlas is bikini-videoblogging from the beach.
- Reynolds

8/23/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I think Iranians are good chess players. To date their rhetoric exceeds their actions. There is no significance to their actions since 1979, because they have not been a significant power since 1979. Israel, by not destroying the Iranian Proxy and the US activities in Iraq have bolstered the Iranian ascendancy. Bad decisions in Israel and Washington have helped the Iranians. The Iranians had cause to be concerned with the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. We solved that problem for them. Iran wishes to be a nuclear power because they believe the US will not attack a nuclear power. The US can afford to make a simple statement of policy that may give Iran pause.

The US could declare that it will never use nuclear weapons on a non-nuclear state.

8/23/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The world went into spasms over the fallout from Chernobyl. Care to venture what the reaction there will be when one of our conventional bunker busters augures through several tons of uranium? How ya like them nukes?

So weather Shamal’s or Sirocco’s there are going to be a lot of pissed off people and for a good reason, thus sayeth Zarathustra.

Here are the countries that border Iran:
And across the gulf;
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates

And for a reference, the sand storms of the Sahara are known for causing haze in the Caribbean. The weather and atmosphere are amongst the few true global things in the world.

8/23/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I wonder if Bin Laden is in Pakistan. His son(s) was/were in Iran. Desert Rat has complained these many months--'why not Osama?'--a good question--but the hunt is still on--a tough hunt, I quess, and if he is in Iran, impossible--I have been surprised they haven't gotten him yet, if he is in Pakistan--but I understand it if he is in Iran.

8/23/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Re: Salamis, I never said they were Islamic. I said they were Persians.

8/23/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Osama is a focal point, but not the entire picture. Whether he and Dr Z are in Pakistan or not, aQ and Taliban bases are, without question.

If Osama and his cadre have been in Iran, under the Bush Doctrine articulated in 2002, we have another "Just Cause" to be at War with Iran.

But we are not.

Travel restrictions on President Abracadabra and the Mullahs may or may not be in the works, depending of course, on Mr Putin's soulful eyes.
Travel and Banking restrictions are proposed. The named Iranians will not be able to vist Europe or US, or use their ATM cards while not there.

8/23/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Habu--where do you think Osama is today; or perhaps he is dead?

8/23/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Rat--same question--what is your best quess?

8/23/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

“Fortunately precision weapons make a repeat largely unthinkable now.”

Ever since the Rodney King debacle it has been absolutely clear to me that you can’t do anything newsworthy anymore that will not broadcast at eleven. If it is particularly gruesome and incriminating, it will be played over and over. The thought of machine gunning helpless Jihadi’s, though appealing, will be over shadowed by Ash and his acolytes accusing the U.S. of the wanton murder of children.

That is why tyrannies have such a tactical advantage. No bad press, or as Stalin was won to state; “no man no problem”. Democracy will have its work cut out to survive those who take great satisfaction with the downfall of their least favorite domestic leaders. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The enemy of those who protect me, friend or not, are my enemy.

8/23/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I'm sure the Iranians would like to have OBL. He would be an excellent bargaining chip for some back channel shennanigans somewhere along the line. Curious it is that they had one of his jihadi sons.

8/23/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...


I refute uncatagorically that nuking Japan was even a misdemeanor. You have obviously been reading Japanese textbooks which blame the USA for starting WWII and make no mention of their atrocities.
I also note you are totally mute on
The Rape of Nanking or Unit 731 which were worse than anything the Nazi's did.
Yep, those who were vaporized and those who died the slow dead of radiation poisoning got just what they were asking for.
Now how about some comments on the Rape of Nanking,Unit 731... or if you choose to go back a little the similarly unprovoked attack by Japan on the Russian Fleet at Port Arthur.
Yeah, we had to civilize the Japs too just like we're gonna have to do to the Iranians.
Fighting and kicking into modernity.

8/23/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Alright Rat,
The Bush doctrine is so much hooey. More bravado and machismo than doctrine. “You are either against the terrorists or you are with the terrorists” is an over-reaching concept and, frankly, I’ve never felt quite comfortable with the “pre-emption” theory being articulated, though understand that it must be applied in cases of high risk to probably ratios.

As far as the Euros caving in, well maybe. Just recently in Spain a jet emptied out until two suspicious looking Muslims were removed from the flight. It seems a flight of Europeans didn’t care as much about multicultural tolerance as they did their lives.

Hope abounds.

8/23/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I think he's still in Warizistan, but that's but a guess based on his kidney problems.

He could be in Somalia or anywhere, really. Could well be dead, but for those occasional CIA authenticated audio tapes.

The virus has spread throughout Europe, regardless. The contagion was allowed respite and morphed into the next version of mayhem.
The train bombings, Mohammed cartoons and the Francofada just a taste of things to come.

8/23/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

The Crime would have been not using the bomb. The realistic alternative to the 509th Boimb Group attacks was not an invasion but a complete naval blockade, destructiuon of Japan's highly vulnerable and almost untouched rail network (one rail line connecting the southern end of the country with the central area, and virtually no road network for backup), and an accelerated conventional bombing campaign.

Gen Lemay not only had 1500 B-29's in the Marianas but was bringing in the 8th and 15th Air Forces from Europe. His 20th Air Force would have those 5000 B17's and B-24's in addition to the B-29's and there would be medium bombers and fighter bombers in other commands as well as the USN carrier forces.

Unlike the nuclear attacks, the blockade and comventional bombing
attacks would have been "boiling the frog slowly." They would not have provided the kind of shock required for the fanatical leadership to finally realize the necessity of surrender. When the B-29's first hit Japan the leaders reasoned that it was an enormously costly activity and even the U.S. could not keep it up. They would wait us out.

Prior to WWII Japan's experts assessed the possibility of the U.S. building nuclear weapons. Their conclusion was such a development was at least 100 years off. The nuclear attacks showed them just how far ahead of them the U.S was. It was a horrible shock. Their physicists broke down in tears when they read the air dropped letter from the Manhatten Project staff.

Without the atomic attacks the civilian deaths from bombing, and especially, starvation, would have numbered into the millions. The country would have never recovered from that.

And with that, tomorrow I have another long day of analyzing rocket trajectories - so g'night, all.

8/23/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Nanking, habu, one of the blights of the modern world.

Practicing sword strikes on live targets. Beheading and delimbing human targets by the tens of thousands.

All told, 400,000 killed in four months.

8/23/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Where's Osama?
First I must say that I believe we're way beyond Osama and his value ,other than to prosecute him for 9-11 and other crimes and then kill him.
I guess he's where they say he is, in the mountainous areas bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some tribal leader protecting him. I also believe the Pakistani's know exactly where he is and allow him into Pakistan when he needs something. But right now we need Pakistan so we wait. Mushariff is a walking dead man and is only alive because he hasn't turned over Osama.
Or he could be in Vegas, cause what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

8/23/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Self organized cell structures are completely immune to fixation and attribution. The only certainty is that they will eventually rally around a terror outpost called a mosque. Militant Islam in the West is the exact opposite of vigilantism and the connotations of that word give you an idea how likely it will be raised to meets its opponent. Socialists and fascists are delighted that at last, we need a totalitarian government to ensure safety for the masses. Please send more money, oh, and off the record, thanks Osama, we couldn’t do it without you.

8/23/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Teresita said:

"Well, killing 150,000 civilians outright, and many more over time(they are still dying to this day) is, I would have to say, at the very least a misdemeanor."

My question is why would you say that. Are you of Japanese? What is your cultural heritage?

8/23/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger just a marine said...

What a blog about all is that is it can be important to us.

I learn more here than in the "other alternatives"


Here are more thoughts presented in a USMC 5 paragraph order format because it is simple enough. And it may contribute to the discusion of values.

1. The US is under attack by well motivated and financed Islamic extremists.
2. The western world and culture is also under attack by these same people.
3. The main motivation is religious domination by the elite leaders.
4. In the history of mankind, the Arab/Muslim model is a failure to its citizens. This is by any measurement, to include the UN.
5. The main financing of this war is oil money.
6. Many allies see it differently, probably from their national interest point of view.

1. Defend our US way of life.
2. Attack this very very small minority by all military, legal, financial, and political means.
3. Advance western concepts in the Arab nations community with money, information, and women’s rights.
4. Let the Arab nations write their own future ticket.
1. Prosecute the world war on terror from the US national interest. This means preventing attacks on our homeland, and preventing US civilian casualties.
2. Attack the bases of terror. These bases are geographical and financial, primarily.
3. Know the middle east war between the Israeli’s and the surrounding arab nations is a small war, not the world war.
4. Blur the distinction between criminals, tribal leaders, quasi nation state leaders, and nation state leaders in killing those who seek our demise. National interests will almost always ignore these despots since most are about their territory and egos, and not us. This paragraph is about those who can hurt us.
5. In the best American way of making war, we are going to treat third world allies as equals, which of course they are not. They grew up their own way.

1. Proceed as a military point of view.
2. Assume a US national approach.
3. Avoid a world/European/UN approach.
4. Assume no funding from allies.
5. Carefully try to force the State Department and the Defense Department to work together. Good luck.
Tie goes to the Defense Department based on results. If the history types (like me) want to read, get the Small Wars Manual by the USMC about 1940. It pretty well covers the friction between the State Department and the Marines, in the small wars arena over decades. Or read some of Paul Bremmer’s reviews of his work on his watch.

1. Assume US secure communications at the local and tactical level.
2. Assume US secure communications at the Iraq to DC level.
3. Assume the other side knows anything else we are plotting and planning.

8/23/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Habu--Thanks, it sounds like a really tough neighborhood out there--if I go to Vegas(and can get away with it as my wife would kill me if she knew) and if I see Osama, I will report back here!

For some reason my hunch is he is in Iran, but what do I know, other than wheat,and that not as well as I should.


8/23/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

At the risk of sounding like the over protective male trying to protect the damsel in distress, are some of you guys being a little harsh on Teresita? I, for the life of me, can’t make out the dispersions that are attributed to her. Vaporizing 150k people is a misdemeanor? Perhaps not a misdeed, but killing innocents isn’t something I’d be proud of. I’d tilt my head, say it was a shame, then vow that I’d do it again if pressed. ‘sides, she holds her own.

8/23/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

If we ever lose Teresita, we have lost a lot. A challenging mind, well, makes you think. Only other thing I want to say is, I loved those earlier pictures.....

8/23/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Annoy Mouse,
My guess is that you are under forty, perhaps younger. I would guess you've rarely shouldered a weapon or been in combat.
That neither of your parents participated in WWII or possibly in the military at all.
Your education appears very sound and you are obviously a bright person as is Teresita.
She chose to start the commentary by mentioning the gunning down of Japanese in the waters off Guadalcanal.
She refuses to comment on my quieries on Nanking or Unit 731.
If you want to be her interlocutor then stand ready to answer questions that come up. Or not it's a free country.
She's plenty bright enough to defend herself. She chose to become the interlocutor protector of another poster yesterday, so questions now come her way.
vous comprenez monsieur?

8/23/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I would also, and this is SINCERE FROM THE BRAIN, hate for Teresita to quite posting here.

Stay the course girl, you've got tons to offer. You make me question and think each day. You questioned my sincerity about the other poster but it to was a genuine apology, only to be rebuffed. So I will dispease with apologies because I don't believe I owe you one but stay the course....persevere.

8/23/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Teresita is a Taoist Deist, according to her profile.

Teresita will be back, just like Ash.

If this remark upsets you...what, you don't care too much for Ash?

8/23/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

just a marine,

great advice and summation, teufel hunden.

semper fi

8/23/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Teresita--don't you go away--I could not make it to the library today, to get the book and check that quote from 'Huck Finn'--but I will be back--most of all, to hear your good comments on things....

8/23/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Fair enough Habu, it is just this notion I got reading the thread. If there is some running hostility then perhaps tomorrow, we at the Club can start a new day. I have been guilty of laying into Ash who, once upon a time was laughably absurd, believe it or not. I almost complimented him a few months ago for actually trying to employ logic but his subsequent rebuttals stayed my hand.

For your information I am a little older than you think and am not naïve in the manner you have ascribed. I just like to see our club get along when there is much to get along about. My read on Teresita is that she is a hawk. That aint a bad starting place.

8/23/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

John the Baptist baptized by immersion and proclaimed of Christ, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

Much like those revivalist nutter Southern Baptists, God bless 'em.

8/23/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Back in 1962 a certain charismatic politician gave a security guarantee to the despotic ruler of a smallish Carribbean island
with no real strategic importance to much of anything, other than being a thorn in our side. Look at the grief since caused. Now some think we should give security guarantees to the despotic religeous fanatics ruling a country of some 70 millions, who want to spearhead a resurgance of a communmity of some 150 millions, in the heart of the worlds most strategically important region. Some actually want us to guarantee these nutjobs continued rule over their abused subjects. I'm not a religeous person, but it doesn't seem too christian to me. I doubt the Iranian people would approve.

8/23/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

You old BC guys have been blogging too much. Teri has done gone and twitterpated the lot o' ye.

8/23/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

How is it going with the return of your son from Iraq? What does he say about the view from a returning GI?

8/23/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I am not sure John the Baptist knew where of he spoke--baptism, is not taking sins away, it goes much further back than that in the human mind--from way before the idea of sin arose-it is REBIRTH that John is talking about, whether he knew it or not.

Sin is a recent invention

Rebirth goes back to the beginnings of human consciousness.

8/23/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Pete: Well I'll be a sonofabitch. Delmar's been saved.

Delmar: Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward.

Everett: Delmar, what are you talking about? We've got bigger fish to fry.

Delmar: The preacher says all my sins is warshed away, including that Piggly Wiggly I knocked over in Yazoo.

Everett: I thought you said you was innocent of those charges?

Delmar: Well I was lyin'. And the preacher says that that sin's been warshed away too. Neither God nor man's got nothin' on me now. C'mon in boys, the water is fine.

8/23/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


A megalomaniac, charismatic, propagandistic, international cultist has stayed away from the camera for how many years?

Mark Steyn declared him dead in 2001 - good bet, that.

8/23/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

That's Cuber

8/23/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Speaking of human time I unique in despising the use of "common era"? The PC way of disposing of BC and AD.

8/23/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

teresita, where do you get this stuff?

" So the real reason for Truman's decision to drop the big one was to keep Japan whole, democratic, and solely an American aircraft carrier anchored permanently in East Asia."

8/23/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Achilles Jones said...

Back to Wretchard's piece, the Congo and the rest of failed Africa, such as Sierra Lion, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Angola, etc. are black holes into which primitive Islam may come as a saving grace. Islam has shown its ability to be a unifying and pacifying force through conversion and the brutal imposition of Sharia law, with its punishments. Let us not forget that the Taliban were welcomed as stabilizing peace makers in Afghansitan.

Whereas for the West, we may see deepest darkest Africa as irrelevant to our strategic interests, to a proselytizing religions such as Islam, this is just more of the planet to conquer for Allah; more gardens in which to cultivate holy warriors. It is spiritually strategic for Islam because any conversion and conquest further the big plan, which is bringing the whole world in the happy house of Salam. It is the Christian missionaries who are acutely aware of the spiritual battle for Africa in which they find themselves against the religion of Law and order.

And of course, Islamic peace is seemingly preferable to living in Kinshasa under the best of conditions.

On the other hand, maybe the Congo is too dark a place even for Islam to illuminate.

8/23/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

2164--I was born in 1946--AD--and always will have been born then!!!

8/23/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Yes, bring back BC and AD. There's something to be said for nostalgia. I have my cell ring set to regular ol' telephone ring.

8/23/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Annoy Mouse,

I agree that harmony is a nice thing. It's too difficult on a blog. There are bound to be differences.
I also very much agree that Teresita is such a great asset that to lose her would be very,very bad..I mean that.

I know my shortcomings, one of which is I am quick to the cutting or sarcastic remark. Not a nice trait and a behavior I must work on with vigor. It was a learned behavior coming from an association with WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veteran Marines. Now even Marines are all different but I've never been around more competitive people in my life. My assciation goes from my birth to today.
I do not take prisoners usually (metaphorically) if it starts getting thick. I need to learn to mellow out but it bucks a lifetime of training.
I remember a conversation with my father who was ultra ultra conpetitive. We talked about men and lying.
He said as a man and a Marine Colonel he never lied. I was in the CIA and had just gone through training where their psychologists said unequivically that all people lie. Boy he didn't like that.
I said, "So dad, say you know Anne Frank is in the attic and the Gestapo knock on the door and say, Do you know where Anne Frank is?
Would you tell them or lie? Ugh.
End of conversation that night.
So we all continually challenge ourselves to identify and improve our faults. My ID list is on the frig.

8/23/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

OT - New Moonship Name

8/23/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

no worries. just a passing observation. the day everyone goes peace love nuts and berries here is the day I start following the Koz kids.

Bob Al Harb,
a friend of mine was once asked if he lived in California all his life, to which he replied; "not yet".

8/23/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger vnjagvet said...

I love the quote from Mattis:

"I said I am never going to leave. I told him I had found a little piece of property down on the Euphrates River and I was going to have a retirement home built there. I did that because I wanted to disabuse him of any sense that he could wait me out. ..."

You can feel the defiance. It reminds me of the emotion I used to feel when my dad gave me a swat after some misbehavior and I'd yell "that didn't hurt". It was really uplifting in a perverse way.

8/23/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

" There's a pretty comprehensive USMC after action report of the Iran-Iraq war somehwere on the net. "

Studied it for weeks when I was in.

Iran used human wave attacks backed by artillery. That was it.

Nn 1988 Iraq shifted to Combined Arms Offensives, narrow fronts, and had realistic, but repetitious training, and they caused the Iranian Army to collapse following enveloping penetrations deep into Iran. The Iranians sued for peace.

This fab Army, called the Republican Guard, later took Kuwait and got its butt handed to it in Gulf War I.

The other war at that time was the War of the Cities where Iraq and Iran lobbed missiles at each other. This was the terrifying part for both sides.

Has Iran changed?

I doubt it. They can still lob missiles. And they can do the human wave thing. But Iran has enormous vulnerabilities to a Manueverist ground invader.

In the end, Iran holds the Gulf and Saudi oil pumping stations hostage with its missiles. That is its strategic weapon.

Every Gulf and Saud leader realizes that what occured across the Lebanese-Isreali border could occur across the Gulf of Arabia.

We would have to be able to shoot down most the missiles with a good degree of certainty. This is where the SM-3 Aegis system comes into play along with PAC-3 point defenses.

We cannot act until the correlation of forces favors the US and the Gulf States. Right now, we are adding 5 more SM-3 ships to the Aegis Fleet and PAC-3 missiles are being stockpiled. I think the mods will be done by December.

One could also expect experiemetal hyper-velocity AA missiles deployed on F22 or B2 aicraft which could hit boosting rockets from 10-20 mi away. Or airborne laser aircraft.

When it starts, and once Iran realizes its missiles cannot break through the Aegis shield in the Gulf and Israel, it may then target civilian targets in Iraq and Europe.

Iran may activate sleeper cells and Quds units around the world.

This may be the last straw for much of the west and we may see a counter-response involving violent civil disobedience.

8/23/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Up thread a bit, during the conversation about whether John the Baptist was a Baptist (ha ha) I was reminded of the following joke, sent me by one of my boys.

I hope no one takes offense -- being Jewish, we make fun of all religions.


I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. "Well, there's so much to live for!" "Like what?" "Well... are you religious?" He said yes. I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" "Christian." "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant ? "Protestant." "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" "Baptist" "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" "Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you reformed Baptist Church of God?" "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!"

I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off.

Jamie Irons

8/23/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Winds of change has a worthy assessment of the performance of both the IDF and Hezbollah. By extension it may address potential scenarios in both Iraq and Iran.

A Military Assessment of the Lebanon Conflict

8/23/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...


There was a man struggling with his beliefs and with life in general, so he decided to take a walk outside and have a talk with God.

The man asked, "God, are you there?"
God answered, "Yes."

The man asked, "God, is it true that a million years on Earth are like a second in Heaven?"
God answered, "Yes."

The man asked, "God, is it true that a million dollars on Earth are like a penny in Heaven?"
God answered, "Yes."

The man tried to be clever and asked, "God, would you please send me a penny?"
God answered, "Yes, just give me a second."

8/23/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

teresita; 7:02 PM

re: Hurray for Hollywood!

Most excellent!

Do you remember...of course you don’t? There was a cartoon program, Clutch Cargo. The only thing that moved was the mouths of the characters. Your post brought back the simplicity and hilarity of those days. Thanks, I think!

8/23/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...


Who won the Nobel Prize for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War?

Teddy Roosevelt
US President
Medal of Honor Winner

8/23/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

buonas noches

8/23/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: goat diaperers

Two for two!

Rufus and I had a disgustingly troubling exchange on this very subject. I was drunk; I'm not sure of his excuse.

Yeah, "She wore an..."

8/23/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/23/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...


Your comments on the use of atomic weapons against the Japanese betray a stunning ignorance of the history of that war and Japanese war methods, psychology, and brutality. I reiterate what I wrote to you on another thread the other day:

You mention our use of atomic weapons against Japan. Do you have a problem with that? I don't. Japan attacked the United States and started a war against us because we were jawboning against Japanese aggression in China and South Asia. The Japanese started the war, and fought with ferocity and some say fanaticism. Japan did not behave decently towards captured combatants or civilians. We successfully pushed them back to the home islands in the Pacific and they showed no sign of surrendering - they still had a largely successful and large army in China - until we used the atomic bomb. The alternative was an invasion with hundreds of thousands of casualties on our side (estimates ran up to a million) and millions on their side. Or, we could demonstate the ability to kill tens to hundreds of thousands of Japanese without loosing our own troops. Not even a close call! Warm up Enola Gay, Col. Tibbets.

Further, you can thank Douglas MacArthur that Japan is democratic, not Truman. MacArthur was the one who counseled a mild occupation and allowed the Japanese to keep the emperor. Though he had faults, Douglas MacArthur was the greatest American strategist of the 20th century, certainly our very best Asia hand, borne out of long experience in the Phillipines.

You also write:

Ah, but in the case of degrading Iran's nuclear capability, victory is not required, only degradation.

A charming thought, but fundamentally mistaken. When dealing with an adversary in deadly earnest - as opposed to one merely testing the waters (and I don't regard building nuclear weapons as 'testing the waters' although Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 might well have been such a testing) - it is exceedingly dangerous simply to degrade his capabilities for a time - to wound him so to speak - and think you've taken care of the problem, or that you can now return to the status quo ante and negotiate.

The US has understood that: in WWII we required unconditional surrender from both Germany and Japan, and in our own civil war, the Union required the unconditional surrender of the South. The idea is to remove any possiblity of the resumption of hostilities for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, you've only made the enemy mad.

No, if we go to war with Iran, it will have to be a l'outrance at least as far at the regime and the Islamic Revolution generally is concerned.

8/23/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Turn on sound prior to clicking.
Habu's Last Ride Across the Golden Gate

8/23/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Suds 46 said...

Genji said...

Archy and Mehitabel

Wow, I haven't seen a mention of Archy and Mehitabel since I don't know when. Right on Genji!

8/23/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

At the Pentagon today, a Brigader fessed up that Iran was the cause of great woe to the US and to the Iraqi government. Moreover, admitted he, the Iranians had been long-term abusers. In the audience must have been those thinking, “No shit, Sherlock!”

This may seem petty, but other than a couple lady colonels, has the Pentagon no baritone spokesman? Is there no flag officer available other than a verisimilitude of the Pillsbury Dough Boy?

8/23/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Let's not forget Weegee

8/23/2006 08:42:00 PM  

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