Thursday, August 03, 2006

Iraq, Lebanon and Civil War

Walid Phares, interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez at the NRO describes OIF as a riposte to 9/11, the Syrian riposte to OIF, the Cedar Revolution as the counterstroke to Syria and Nasrallah's counterstroke to the Cedar Revolution. He sees both Iraq and Lebanon as not conflicts of purely local origin but as arenas in a regional war. It's interesting to compare Phare's piece with Tony Blair's speech in Los Angeles, which will probably be read with the same attention as speeches in the 1930s are read now. First, the Phares piece.

The other “tree” of jihadism, with its roots in Iran, withheld fire after 9/11. They were content to watch the Salafists fight it out with the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention within the West, as terror cells were hunted down. Ahmedinejad, Assad, and Nasrallah were analyzing how far the US would go, and how far the Sunnis and Salafis would go as well.

The fall of the Taliban and of the Baath in Iraq, however, changed Iran and Syria’s patient plans. The political changes in the neighborhood, regardless of their immediate instability, were strongly felt in Tehran and Damascus (but unfortunately not in the U.S., judging from the political debate here), and pushed the Khumeinists and the Syrian Baathists to enter the dance, but carefully. Assad opened his borders to the jihadists in an attempt to crumble the U.S. role in Iraq, while Iran articulated al Sadr’s ideology for Iraq’s Shiia majority.

A U.S.-led response came swiftly in 2004 with the voting of UNSCR 1559, smashing Syria’s role in Lebanon and forcing Assad to withdraw his troops by April 2005. In response, the “axis” prepared for a counter attack on the Lebanese battlefield by assassinating a number of the Cedar Revolution leaders, including MP Jebran Tueni. In short, the attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah and the kidnappings of soldiers were the tip of an offensive aimed at drawing attention away from Iran’s nuclear weapons programs and Syria’s assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. Hezbollah was awaiting its moment for revenge against the Cedar Revolution too.

What we see now is 1) a Syro-Iranian sponsored offensive aimed at all democracies in the region and fought in Lebanon; 2) Israel’s counter offensive (which it seems to have prepared earlier); and 3) an attempt by Hezbollah to take over or crumble the Lebanese government.

Blair's speech should be read at the link in entirety, but I'll highlight certain passages though while they may not coincide with Phare's analysis speak to the same points but on far vaster canvas. The emphasis is mine.

I planned the basis of this speech several weeks ago. The crisis in the Lebanon has not changed its thesis. It has brought it into sharp relief. The purpose of the provocation that began the conflict was clear. It was to create chaos, division and bloodshed, to provoke retaliation by Israel that would lead to Arab and Muslim opinion being inflamed, not against those who started the aggression but against those who responded to it. ...

There is an arc of extremism now stretching across the Middle East and touching, with increasing definition, countries far outside that region. To defeat it will need an alliance of moderation, that paints a different future in which Muslim, Jew and Christian; Arab and Western; wealthy and developing nations can make progress in peace and harmony with each other. My argument to you today is this: we will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force, unless we show we are even-handed, fair and just in our application of those values to the world. The point is this. This is war, but of a completely unconventional kind. ...

Unless we re-appraise our strategy, unless we revitalise the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine, we will not win. And this is a battle we must win. What is happening today out in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and beyond is an elemental struggle about the values that will shape our future. It is in part a struggle between what I will call Reactionary Islam and Moderate, Mainstream Islam. But its implications go far wider. We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early 21st century, about global values. ...

Hence Afghanistan. Hence Iraq. Hence the broader Middle East initiative in support of moves towards democracy in the Arab world. The point about these interventions, however, military and otherwise, is that they were not just about changing regimes but changing the values systems governing the nations concerned. The banner was not actually "regime change" it was "values change".

What we have done therefore in intervening in this way, is far more momentous than possibly we appreciated at the time. ... We rather inclined to the view that where there was terrorism, perhaps it was partly the fault of the governments of the countries concerned. We were in error. In fact, these acts of terrorism were not isolated incidents. They were part of a growing movement. A movement that believed Muslims had departed from their proper faith, were being taken over by Western culture, were being governed treacherously by Muslims complicit in this take-over, whereas the true way to recover not just the true faith, but Muslim confidence and self esteem, was to take on the West and all its works. ... It resembles in many ways early revolutionary Communism. It doesn't always need structures and command centres or even explicit communication. It knows what it thinks. ...

They realised they had to create a completely different battle in Muslim minds: Muslim versus Western. This is what September 11th did. ... The West didn't attack this movement. We were attacked. Until then we had largely ignored it. .... We could have chosen security as the battleground. But we didn't. We chose values. We said we didn't want another Taleban or a different Saddam. Rightly, in my view, we realised that you can't defeat a fanatical ideology just by imprisoning or killing its leaders; you have to defeat its ideas. There is a host of analysis written about mistakes made in Iraq or Afghanistan, much of it with hindsight but some of it with justification. But it all misses one vital point. The moment we decided not to change regime but to change the value system, we made both Iraq and Afghanistan into existential battles for Reactionary Islam. We posed a threat not to their activities simply: but to their values, to the roots of their existence.

We committed ourselves to supporting Moderate, Mainstream Islam. In almost pristine form, the battles in Iraq or Afghanistan became battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realise that this rings the death-knell of their ideology. ...

As to the first, it is almost incredible to me that so much of Western opinion appears to buy the idea that the emergence of this global terrorism is somehow our fault. For a start, it is indeed global. ... But the central point is this. ... Whatever the outward manifestation at any one time - in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Iraq and add to that in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations including now some in Africa - it is a global fight about global values; it is about modernisation, within Islam and outside of it; it is about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs.

Commentary

Blair's speech is not about war but a Pole Star. All great captains are alike in that they draw not just any blade, but a ringing and shining blade. For only a sword so enchanted can defeat real malice. And for some reason, though it shouldn't have, the speech in Los Angeles recalled Chesterton's lines:

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.

171 Comments:

Blogger redaktør said...

Pepsi, Coke, PC Cola, they're the same. They'll all rot your teeth.

8/03/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

I've been wondering: has Syria and Iran done their worst in Iraq? I mean short of sending organized units (all dressed as pregnant women, of course) over the border.

This may explain the willingness to take on Lebanon -- that Syria and Iran don't have much power to "escalate" in Iraq -- at least not without justifying a devastating response.

Thank you for that bit a Chesterton. And thank God for Tony Blair. I am amazed he still leads the Labour Party (But let me check the news wires...). Maybe that's why the British left wants to get rid of "leadership" and the concept of "Good and Evil" in the schools. Look what it's done to Tony!

8/03/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Unless we re-appraise our strategy, unless we revitalise the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine, we will not win. "
---
Maybe we could get the Muslims to agree to spend their time "changing the climate."

8/03/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

Phares final paragraph says a lot:

"What should have been done about these two regimes is one thing; what can be done about them now is something else. Bad advice has been given by Western and American academic elites, beginning in the 1980s, about jihadism and the regimes that supported it. In my book Future Jihad I argue that the international community and the West are paying the price of bad decisions or indecisions in the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In American classrooms, instructors who were supposed to be the experts on the region praised the Assad regime and considered Hezbollah a resistance movement, not a jihadi terror group. Many businessmen and diplomats viewed Iran’s leadership as realist and capable of engagement in the 1990s. A complete myopia was dominant in our international policy, with implications for our national security. This began to change after 9/11, but not without an astounding debate revealing weaknesses in our political establishment’s vision of the world. Nevertheless, at this point in time the two regimes have revealed to the world that they are a real axis of menace. Two things are to be done at this point: First, defeat this axis in Lebanon at any price and with the support of the Lebanese people. That is crucial because Tehran and Damascus have decided to make their stand in Lebanon. Then, isolate these regimes and provide endless support to the reformists in their countries until change is initiated by the people."

Tony Blair is a courageous and strong leader. England is fortunate to have him at this time.

I think that Hezbollah was aiming to take over Lebanon and hope that the war with Israel will stop this cold.

8/03/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

... it is a global fight about global values; it is about modernisation, within Islam and outside of it; it is about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs.

I concur with Blair completely here. And that is why I worry. There is no consensus in the West about what our values are. So long as the Western democracies are equivocal about our core values, the effectiveness of the charm offensive for which Blair is rightly calling will be degraded. And if I understand him correctly, so too will be our military efforts. As I see it, the extremists will use our lack of unity to their benefit, exploiting each and every inch of daylight that separates us. Like Phares said, they know what they think. Us I am not so sure about. And that's what's worrying.

8/03/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Mark White said...

Islamofascism has no values that attract anyone. What they have is funding. Take away the money, and Islamofascism loses all attraction.

Where do Islamofascists get the money? They don't manufacture anything. They don't provide any services. They get the money because they happen to have oil in the ground. Unearned wealth. They don't spend any time or effort getting their money, so they can spend all their time and effort spreading radical Islam.

The biggest irony about Islamofascism's unearned wealth is that it comes from ground that isn't even associated with the Islamofascists. The Persians took Khuzestan and the Wahhabis took Hasa in the early twentieth century. Prior to their imperialist thrusts, these were independent Shia Arab regions.

These provinces have been part of the Persian and Saudi empires for less than a century. But that century totally transformed the meaning of having oil in the ground, and lately, just having oil in the ground gives you sufficient funding to buy nuclear weapons programs -- the Persians doing theirs at home, the Saudis building their nukes in Pakistan.

Tony Blair is ridiculous here. As long as the Islamofascists have the oil fields, they'll stir up plenty of trouble. Put the oil fields under Anglosphere administration, and the Islamofascists will disappear in a twinkling. All that money could be going for civil engineering, not nukes, and for liberal education, not madrassas. But as long as Tony's ideas guide the war, we're in for a very, very long stuggle that will ultimately involve nukes in cities.

8/03/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Hanba'al said...

Wretchard,

I have to say that you are the best writter with very high degree of introspection and the best info seeker & screener out there in this world, bar none. Not only you write very well but also your ability to sort out gems in the noisy information fish market of the internet makes you a remarkable sharp intellectual. In my opinion, you're the only person I know off, since the day Steven De Beste's recommending you, still striving forward and not letting others catching you.

8/03/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I think the war between Israel and Hezbollah is waking up many people. Not only is the left in Israel in full agreement with the war, there may be chinks on the left in the US. A friend of ours headed a small delegation of Peace Now types to visit Congressman Barney Frank, ultra-liberal Democrat of Massachusetts. He screamed at them for half an hour for daring to imagine that there is any solution other than the total destruction of Hezbollah. He even called Hezbollah evil. Maybe there's hope for our side in the war against militant Islam.

8/03/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Spatchcock said...

Beautifully spoken Mr Blair. There seems to be a hardening of attitude since his landmark speech in Canberra in March (http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/page9245.asp).

Unfortunately, Mr Blair is known in his own country as the sultan of spin, and a political lame duck, and it is likely that only we foreigners will pay the slightest notice.

8/03/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger greer rants said...

Phares:
"Many businessmen and diplomats viewed Iran’s leadership as realist and capable of engagement in the 1990s. A complete myopia was dominant in our international policy, with implications for our national security."

WARNING - RAGE FOLLOWS:

Today, the B****, the B**** "co-president" of the myopic 90's administration attacked Sec. Rumsfeld and the Bush administration.

Rumsfeld's response was not what it could have and should have been. Oh, it was good, he chuckled at her - but he could have ripped her new one. And he should have. I want to hear someone say to the B****:
Lady, if that administration that you were quite a part of had showed any actual courage in dealing with the problems that you passed to us, we would not be here today.
Did you read that Iran just sent BinLaden's son to help the Hezballah. If your husband had either taken custody of the father or killed him during any of the chances you had, that same son would have been a little boy then. You gave that lad and all the other lads killing our brave soldiers the opportunity to grow to men and to procure more money and weapons.
You let N.Korea fool you, not enough courage there to ask them the hard questions - the "truth to power" statements you make today. You say things here in the comfort of a U S Senate Committee Hearing that none in your administration would dare to say to North Korea or to Arafat, or to Syria or to Iran. So you left us to have to do a rather different dance with those your 8 years only made stronger.
You really do think that the American public is stupid and that your sound bites will be embrased with no remembering the cowardliness of the Clinton years. B*i*T*C*h*! (ok, cut the last word)

Doug,
Blair throwing in the global warming and throwing more money at them were the false notes in the speech.
Let's take everything that we invented and produced away from them. They want 7th century, lets give them 7 century.


And finally the General said the violence was "as bad as he's seen".
Katrina was not "as bad
as seen" by 20 year olds it was far worse.
CNN et al are saying "worst".

Grrrrrrrrrrr!

8/03/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

Starling David Hunter said...

"As I see it, the extremists will use our lack of unity to their benefit, exploiting each and every inch of daylight that separates us. Like Phares said, they know what they think. Us I am not so sure about. And that's what's worrying."

Eric S.Raymond who posted an essay called"Gramscian Damage"...

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=260

excerpt:


..some of the Soviet Union's most potent memtic weapons:

+There is no truth, only competing agendas.

+All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.

+There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.

+The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.

+Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.

+The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)

+For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.

+When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

it's a great essay.

the jihadis are riding the momentum and coat-tails of the "war of each against all"
provided courtesy of the Soviets.

some of the West (the 9/10 portion)
are still eagerly waiting the
"End of History",and the
Western Left is trying to bring it on more quickly.

8/03/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Hence the broader Middle East initiative in support of moves towards democracy in the Arab world.

Hence Britains alliances with King Abdullah, Musharraf, Mubarak - dictators all?

Until steps are taken amoung Britains allies, it seems factually certain that the "Western Values" Mr Blair alludes to do not include human rights, free expression or democracy.

8/03/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

John McCain is on Hannity and Colmes calling for an immediate UN vote on sanctions for Iran. Like Phares, he says that Iran is fomenting violence in me to divert attention from their nuclear ambitions.

I'm not sure that I buy that. Maybe that think that, but no ones attentions are drawn away from Iran. If anything, this brings more attention to the machinations of Iran.

It will be very interesting to watch the shia/sunni divide over the coming weeks; will it coalese? So far, that massive street demonstrations but the Muslim world has annointed Nasrallah as their latest hero.

Also, warnings from Indonesia to Jordan about the Muslim street.

Expect a terrorist strike in Great Britain as they have a large radicalised group.

8/03/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

gumshoe,

this is partly what I was getting at. A large percentage of people in Western democracies believe those memes. I have heard everyone of them, more than once, and from people who consider themselves patriots. But so long as a sizable percentage of Westerners believe these memes, we can't possibly win the war of values that Blair is calling for. Many thanks for the link.

8/03/2006 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

whit, I agree, I cringe whenever I hear newsmen use that 'distract' line--as if the G8 can't do the simplest multitask. The war wasn't meant to distract us, it was meant to intimidate us.

8/03/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

In Blair's press conference with Bush a few days ago, he specifically said that he was not interested in changing styles of government per se, he was interested in supporting the forces of moderation.

The problem of conducting foreign policy according to unwavering principle is that it becomes impossible do distinguish individual cases.

The strength of conducting foreign policy according to unwavering principle? Well, that depends on the principle.

I think that "democracy" has become one principle too far, at least for Blair. Moderation is much easier to champion, because it's so vague.

Vague, but clear. Like pornography, you know it when you see it.

8/03/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

My argument to you today is this: we will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force, unless we show we are even-handed, fair and just in our application of those values to the world...

Unless we re-appraise our strategy, unless we revitalize the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine, we will not win.


< sarcasm > Yes, finally someone realizes how many thousands of our boys in the trenches are dying because of the failures to adopt Kyoto and the Doha round! Certainly killing all our enemies have always just emboldened them, but loving the whole world unconditionally is sure to make those savages respectful of proper boundaries on their own behavior. < / sarcasm >

What is frightening to me is that I think Tony Blair really believes what he says. The jihadis believe that if they just show enough faith in Allah through their perseverance that He will reward them with victory at the last minute. Perhaps the "progressives" believe the same thing. Only the progressives have a different god and a different way of showing their faith. But if they just close their eyes to the world and keep pushing for that socialist utopia then at the last minute the crazy Muslims will fall away and the clouds will part and the bright light of a New Jerusalem will fill the world. Shame about the old one being destroyed, but... eh, what was it dear Uncle Joe always said about omelets.

8/03/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Prime Minister Blair is a leader.
President Bush is a leader.

Folks don't like to be told they are insignificant and that their ideas are worthless - but leaders with little time on their hands sometimes have to do just that.

As an aside, but a very important aside, it sure seems that Prime Minister Blair is still fighting for a '2nd Conjecture' solution - 'a shining city on the hill'. Prayers that the western wobblies don't have the power to force a '3rd Conjecture' through their stupidity...

8/03/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

That said, it was a stirring speech, and clearly targeted at the Western Legions of the Unconvinced. We might cringe when we hear about climate change, poverty, and disease, but he wasn't speaking to us.

8/03/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

let me apologize in advance for what is an unproductive comment, but the comments of Blair and Phares '06, while generally welcome, sound (at best) like Belmont Club '03 to me.

I do hope they (and those in power) start working a bit harder at catching up.

8/03/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

With all due respect to Tony Blair here, he is smoking dope, and offering some to us.

"This is war, but of a completely unconventional kind. ... Unless we re-appraise our strategy, unless we revitalise the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine, we will not win."

This is the usual tired Green/Leftist plaint that the only way out of this novel conundrum is for everyone to sign up to everything the Greens/Leftists have always wanted, and everything will be fine and then we can all be friends.

Wrong on two counts! Firstly this is not "war... of a completely unconventional kind" - it's war of the only kind there has ever been, a war with eventual winners and losers.

Secondly of course, as always, it's ridiculous to say that we have to sign up for all of this Green/Leftist garbage, which isn't going to help us one bit to defeat our sworn enemies.

There is another yawning gap here between Tony Blair and the reality of this fight as it is now being revealed to onlookers in the US and, yes, you should believe it, even to many unrepresented and currently ignored people in Europe.

Blair asserts that "We committed ourselves to supporting Moderate, Mainstream Islam. In almost pristine form, the battles in Iraq or Afghanistan became battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realise that this rings the death-knell of their ideology...", but in truth the real situation has already moved on and a very different message is streaming out of the news reports and the television screens. The message is that this 'moderate pro-democratic Muslim majority' either isn't there or won't fight, that Blair's alliance, the one he's talking about as if it was not just there but central to our strategy, is a soft-headed illusion.

This becomes clearer every time that, to take just the latest example, the Lebanese, knowing full well that Hezbollah are dragging them into this fight solely to enable them to be able to take over the country and extinguish its democratic institutions in alliance with Syria and Iran, nevertheless line up on the sidelines of the war and announce that "we're with those guys" (Hezbollah).

In summary I believe that the current drift of events is quite simple. The Islamists want to kill us, and aren't going to stop trying. So-called moderate Muslims are going to stand firmly aside as the Islamists do their worst, and the publics in the US and Europe are beginning to realize, no matter what Tony Blair babbles on about, that they have a major war to the death upon them.

That said, I entirely agree with Wretchard that "Tony Blair's speech in Los Angeles... will probably be read with the same attention as speeches in the 1930s are read now." Neville Chamberlain was a well meaning guy, but his castles in the sky turned out to be no more than that, and a very poor defense to boot.

8/03/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Again: he wasn't speaking to us.

Something tells me he knows we're already with him. It's the others who will determine whether we win this thing cleanly, or messily. They need to believe, and get on board. For that, we need a Blair.

8/03/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Mark White said:

" As long as the Islamofascists have the oil fields, they'll stir up plenty of trouble. Put the oil fields under Anglosphere administration, and the Islamofascists will disappear in a twinkling. "

Right church, wrong pew. If the greatest military power on the planet could not secure the oil fields of Iraq, that is never going to happen anywhere. It would be refreshing if the US would emulate , lets see, Brazil and make a real effort to become a net energy exporter in ten years that would do more than anything else to draw the sap out of radical Islam, but the American people and their pusillanimous politicians do not have the courage and the determination to do it. They are no different than the Europeans who have encouraged Muslim immigrants to do their dirty work so they can enjoy a seven week vacation. It is a pathetic legacy of the least generation of the sixties. Does that make me a self loathing boomer?

8/03/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Blair said: "We need relentlessly, vigorously, to put a viable Palestinian Government on its feet, to offer a vision of how the Roadmap to final status negotiation can happen and then pursue it, week in, week out, 'til its done. Nothing else will do. Nothing else is more important to the success of our foreign policy."

Well, to this ol' man this sounds ni on impossible. How can you negotiate with people that will only lie and cheat and whine. People that hate more than they love their children, People that teach their children the same hate.

Does he think we can baby sit them for another three or four generations, giving them money, assistance? Bowing and scraping to them?

If I remember, that is what the world has been doing now for at least fifty years. What has it got us.

No, the answer is to fence them off and kill any that try to get out unless its for medical care or a vacation. Trade should be allowed but no guns, weapons of any sort including large butcher knives.

After they have finished killing each other, maybe the survivors will learn to value their children over their hate and destruction.

But I doubt it.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

8/03/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Personally, I didn't find anything new in Tony Blairs speech when I read it the other day.

Like Doug, I thought the feel good global warming kubaya was discordant but the message I thought was nothing new. Not that it doesn't need to be said over and over but if the Muslim world doesn't realize US and Coalition intentions in Iraq by now, they are never going to.

My concern of late has been that we underestimate the level and intensity of support for militant Islam? Surveys results from England reveal significant sympathy and watching Lebanon, I get the impression that Hezbollah is Lebanon.

Maybe Starling Hunter can reassure us that the Muslim world is moderate and that we only need to find a way to modernity.

8/03/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

I've read Phares's Future Jihad and recommend it highly. I've yet to find a better description of the dual nature of the radical Islamic challenge: the Saudi, or "Wahhabist" Sunni threat, and the "Khomeinist," or Iranian Shiite variant.

Building on Phares's dichotomy, the recent surge in the Khomeinist threat is not only due to the installation of nominally democratic regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also to U.S. and other regional success in severely degrading Al Qaeda, the chief Sunni competitor to Iran's revolutionary Khomeinist model.

Al Qaeda's weakness--borne of failure in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia--coupled with the swift U.S.-led destruction of Iran's primary regional antagonists (Saddam and the Taliban) have incited Iran's current boldness and concomitant strategic optimism that Iran will ultimately defeat the United States and dominate the Middle East.

Other factors are also at work. These include strong perceptions of U.S. weakness among Iran's strategic elites as well as the regime's chronic failure to meet the basic social aspirations and economic needs of Iran's burgeoning young population.

The Israeli-Hezbollah conflict plays right into Iran's strategy of exporting domestic discontent through external adventure.

With nuclear weapons, Iran may be able to play this game indefinitely even it loses Hezbollah.

Tempus fugit.

8/03/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

My own take on Phares is while that one disagree on the detail he is fundamentally right in saying that events must be viewed as move-countermove and not simply viewed in terms of the initial objectives at the outset of each undertaking. No plan survives contact with the enemy and the enemy gets to influence events.

However, I think it's fair to say that the President and his cabinet have been somewhat too slow to react, although they eventually do. Slow to react to the insurgency, though they did; slow to close the Syrian borders, though they did; slow to set up a government; though they did; slow to train a new Iraqi government; though they did and now slow to react to the provocation to civil war; though going by past performance they will and beat it down. But by that time the enemy will have presented another challenge.

As long as the enemy gets to present a new challenge, he can portray himself as winning. But that's only half true.

8/03/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger demosophist said...

"We committed ourselves to supporting Moderate, Mainstream Islam. In almost pristine form, the battles in Iraq or Afghanistan became battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realise that this rings the death-knell of their ideology. ..."

This doesn't quite resonate with me for the simple reason that I have doubts that there's such a thing as "moderate Islam". I know there are Muslims who are people of good will, but I'm not sure that's enough. I'm not sure that there's a standard that can be borne by both modern secular Christians and "moderate Muslims" that inspires the latter to die and live for something other than faction or tribe or clan. And if my doubts aren't phantoms (though I hope they are) then what's left is a resolution that's born out of a resounding military victory, so decisive that there is no course left for irreconcilable Islam, whatever it's homegrown counter happens to be.

Before Cromwell's defeat, was there a "moderate protestantism"?

8/03/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

So who is the Don John of our age Wretchard? Have we yet to recognize him... or has he yet to step forth?

8/03/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Does anybody know what the politics are like in Britain? Do you realize how close they are to irresponsibility? And you fault Blair for trying to get his own people -- people for whom Climate Change is Real and for whom Poverty is the Devil -- on board with an agenda to battle Islamic Extremism?

Give me a freaking break.

Most of these people haven't even recognized Islamic Extremism as a real threat. His Sisyphean task is to convince them it really is. The rock he is rolling up the hill is the ball of contradictions he needs to navigate over the hard reality of politics. If he cannot get the British people to believe, the only other way to knock them out of their fantasy will be a massive attack by the jihadists.

Most people already think that is the only way to get "the others" on board. Blair is trying to speak their language, with the hope he can turn them with words. If he fails, you'll all be right.

8/03/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger By the Nbrs said...

"We committed ourselves to supporting Moderate, Mainstream Islam. In almost pristine form, the battles in Iraq or Afghanistan became battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realise that this rings the death-knell of their ideology." - Blair

Blair assumes that moderate Muslims exist in sufficient number to offset the disproportionate influence wielded by Wahabiists and Salafists. This is a critical assumption and I fear, sadly, that he is wrong.

Islam needs a reformation akin to the Protestant reformation but I see no evidence to believe that this is on the horizon. Moderate scholars will always be at a disadvantage in any theological debate with radical firebrands (Sadr, et al) because the radicals will simply appeal to a literal interpretation of the Koran. Radical Imams draw their spiritual authority from the Koran and the words of the Prophet himself [peace be unto him but not unto us infidels, apparently]. It is a theological debate that moderate scholars can never win because to do so, they must first repudiate (at least in part) some foundational beliefs in the inerrancy of the Koran and the character and actions of the Prophet. Don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen.

Unfortunately, most Muslims around the world are taught little more than a few key verses and do not know the totality of their own sacred writings as it can only be read in Arabic, the "pure" language of the Koran. [Think back to when the Catholic church taught the scriptures in Latin.]

Finally, many moderate scholars and teachers who do believe in a more accomodating Islam are intimidated by the radicals in their midsts. A search of the internet will provide ample evidence that radical Muslims employ tactics of intimadation not unlike the Mafia of old. The message to the moderates is, "resistance is futile, you will be assimilated."

Add this all up and movement along the continuum of Islamic belief appears to be one directional, from moderate to increasingly more radical. To defeat radical Islam, the West must demonstrate to Muslims of all shades that the Koran is not infallible and inerrant, that the march of Islam is not inevitable, ordained by Allah.

At the end of WWII, MacArthur accepted the surrender of the Japanese government and the revered Emperor, their god on earth. The myth of emperor divinity was then broken. We need a similar moment of "understanding" on the part of Muslims and it will likely require an absolutely crushing military defeat of the states that support Islamic radicalism.

8/03/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Walid Shoebat, a former terrorist, has some common sense advice. Ban hate speech coming out of mosques, throw the clerics in jail, no negotiation with terrorists, choose war once and for all or choose shame.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/7/27/174342.shtml?s=lh

8/03/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

demosophist is on to something and it comes down to the fatal disease in most moderate Muslims. I call it the Islamic comma:

I do not approve of suicide bombings, (comma) but you have to understand....

It was wrong what the hijackers did on 911, (comma) but israel.....

Bombing and killing innocent civilians is against the teachings of Isam,(comma) but you have to understand what the Israelis.......

When muslims can repudiate the diseased scablands that make up the Muslim world in declarative sentences, we will be making progress. Until then watch for the comma.

8/03/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I'm going to say one more thing, then I'll relent.

When analyzing a political speech, please remember that it is, more than anything, "political" "speech". It is not a dissertation on the current state of Islamic practice or Muslim intentionality. It is a message carefully crafted for effect. A message carefully crafted to affect. And once you ask yourselve, "Affect whom?", you already know the answer.

8/03/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"It's interesting to compare Phare's piece with Tony Blair's speech in Los Angeles, which will probably be read with the same attention as speeches in the 1930s are read now. First, the Phares piece."

There we are again: The 1930's.

It's NEVER the 1940's.

Kinda like that movie Groundhog Day. The calendar never changes.

Rich Lowry will be an old man and many here will be pushing up daisies before we introduce another parallel decade.

8/03/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Surely you don't think Tony Blair would give a speech in Southern California aimed at those in the UK who he surely knows are pathologically incapable of understanding.

Pardon the run-on but my spelling and grammar skills are on holiday.

8/03/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Damn, Whit, I was going to stop commenting but that's a good point.

Southern California and Britain have similar politics. Also, Churchill gave his Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri. Perhaps Blair is striving for symbolism by giving his over here, too.

Regardless, the target of the speech remains the same: lefty one-worlders.

8/03/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger DB2 said...

2164th, declarative sentences would be great. I would even settle for a reversal of the two halves of the sentences. A '(comma)but' always diminishes what came before it, so

Israel does xxx, but it was wrong what the hijackers did on 911

is better than

It was wrong what the hijackers did on 911, but Israel does xxx.

8/03/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Harkonnendog said...

changing the climate???

The implications of Blair including that line are probably wide ranging and important. Unfortunately I'm unable to figure them out.

Wretchard?

8/03/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger texas said...

Reading Manchester's biography of Churchill, The Last Lion, covering the pre-war years, I kept thinking - can't they see what's coming? Churchill could see it, but for almost all the others, leadership and common man alike, they ignored the obvious, and instead tried to negotiate with the "moderate" Nazis for "peace in their time".

One gets the same vibes today, as Blair and other try to negotiate with "moderate Islam".

I suspect it will take losing a couple of cities in the US and/or the UK before reality will really set in.

Re the oilfields, the West could take them and pump them. It would take a level of intensity we have not applied to warfare since WW2.

8/03/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Ahmadinejad says, "Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented." (AP/US News)

8/03/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And while Israel is, as some claim, in an exitential fight, I ask anyone to explain why every damned kilometer forward has to be approved by the Israeli cabinet. The combatant commanders don't know from one day to the next, one week to the next, whether or where they can go. A war whose means and objectives are doled out on a daily basis by political leaders.

That's absolutely insane, existential war or not.

It certainly is a war that's hard to take very seriously.

8/03/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wretchard, the madness of that sentence is almost unbelievable. What sort of people is he speaking to--?

8/03/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I want to kill you, will you please stop defending yourself?"

vw: umamhs
umam hysterical sh*t

8/03/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Buddy,

It's a sentence spoken to his followers, who are listening. It really says "we are losing now and should call time out". But it's also a sentence spoken knowing no one in the West is listening. The West is regarded as too conceited, too full of its moral and technical superiority to hear it; and therefore it may be spoken openly and contemptuously. And in my view, with reason. He knows us and our estopped ears to a T.

8/03/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

No, it's "I am trying to kill you, and if you do not stop defending yourself, I will kill you".

8/03/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

DR and 2164th hace had some great posts today.

If Israel was in some existential war they would have had 100K+ troops in Lebanon and there'd be more than a few hundred dead HB. It's obvious by now that Olmert will be gone by the end of the year and that ge couldn't stand the heat so he'll be getting out of the kitchen.

I think Israel's strategy now is to provoke HB into hitting Tel Aviv so that they can nuke HB in Baalbek and take down Assad.

The only other option is Olmert's and Peretz's incompetent leadership, although that makes more sense.

It looks like the Baalbek raid was now just for show.

I am utterly amazed that HB is able to fire 200+ a day unimpeded and that they've lost on avg 15 guys a day.

This has really exposed the IDF. Hopefully they learn the lessons and regroup before they're really in trouble. HB can only do so much damage, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iran can do a lot more.

8/03/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Captain America said...

At what point does the civilized world say, "Had enough of AhMad & Nukes yet?"

8/03/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wretchard, you're right--look at the decades of hardly a soul in the west realizing what Arafat was saying in Arabic, while saying the opposite 'for translation' to the west. Worked like a charm, the whole cynical crock was in on it, laughing up it's bloody sleeves.

8/03/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I think Israel's strategy now is to provoke HB into hitting Tel Aviv so that they can nuke HB in Baalbek and take down Assad."

sarah, you're completely wrong.

Kinda like habu popping up with his consolation of an Iran strike by the US sometime in the near future.

We don't call it the (neverending) 1930's for nothing.

8/03/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"It looks like the Baalbek raid was now just for show."

It's never just for show.

They just missed their guys, whoever those guys were.

8/03/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Wretchard, Sarahweddington - Nasrallah has threatened to lob rockets at Tel Aviv if Israel continues to attack Hezbollah in Beirut.

By Minnie-Jab's calling for a ceasefire, assuming he still is, wouldn't this be tantamount to telling Nasrallah to stuff it, and leave Tel Aviv alone?

I wouldn't expect Israel to deploy a nuke on the basis of more of the same Hezzie payload stuff, even hitting Tel Aviv, but they would certainly turn up the heat a notch or two.

8/03/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

trish:

There we are again: The 1930's.

So, would you like it better if the decade we're compared to were the 1960's (as the anti-war movement loves to do...)? The principal comparisons of modernity seem to be an unimaginative choice between the run-up to World War II or Vietnam -- both eras are recent enough in memory that one doesn't need to be an historian to pretend to understand them.

Try this decade for comparison -- the 1620's. Or the 1570's. Or the 620's...

One obvious parallel to the end of the Cold War from an Islamist perspective is the aftermath of a massive war in the 610's and 620's between the Byzantine and Sassanian empires when they both beat each other into a pulp -- and left much of the Middle East ripe for the picking.

8/03/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

SarahWeddington said...
If Israel was in some existential war they would have had 100K+ troops in Lebanon and there'd be more than a few hundred dead HB.


as i said before, arm chair generals should listen and study more and not be a source of bad vibes..

sarah, read about war here:

http://op-for.com/

read about Parallel Warfare.

Understand that your impatience for the battle of the bulge is not really the way to win.

massive troops mean massive ISRAELI dead soldiers, by taking up a phased plan they have PLAYED the hezbollah, syrians and iranians perfectly, they have put the frog in the cold water and slowly turned the water up... be patient, think of this..

israel has flown 3000 + sorties downgrading all kinds of assets from roads, bridges, supply lines, BANKS, tv stations and more.

the best old hezbollah bitches can do is fire 200 rockets and kill 8 civilians at that rate 13,000 rockets = total israeli civilan to be killed 400.

patience..

sarah: It's obvious by now that Olmert will be gone by the end of the year and that ge couldn't stand the heat so he'll be getting out of the kitchen.

again, maybe you should read what old olmert is doing, raids into gaza and west bank proceeding wonderfully, 100's of terrorists DEAD. hamas TRYING to distance themselves from hezbollah and the world could give a crusty poop...

my have times changed..


sarah: I think Israel's strategy now is to provoke HB into hitting Tel Aviv so that they can nuke HB in Baalbek and take down Assad.

really? or maybe they are surrounding 25 or so hezbollah villages, moving 8 -10k of soldiers right up to the river? WHILE maintaining a watchful eye ON syria. While plinking hezbollah fighters daily.


sarah: The only other option is Olmert's and Peretz's incompetent leadership, although that makes more sense.

you have such little faith, patience

sarah: It looks like the Baalbek raid was now just for show.,

sarah, yes for SHOW, they flew SLOW MOVING HELO's 80 miles into the best protected air corridor in those parts, without ONE sam fired, landed killed and took prisoners and MORE importantly TOOK Faxes, computers and more got home safely..

quite the show... bravo...

sarah: I am utterly amazed that HB is able to fire 200+ a day unimpeded and that they've lost on avg 15 guys a day.

the days go by, all of those who wished to leave will have left.. it's time to clean out the groves with napalm and cluster bombs, patience

sarah: This has really exposed the IDF.

actually no, the 200+ a day are not a "IDF" issue, your big battle plans could have exposed them, but thank g-d they didnt listen to your military advise...


sarah: Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iran can do a lot more.

well Egypt & jordan wont do anything...

as for syria, i would bet those 500 syrian tanks could be dispatched in about 4 hours.. then what will syria do? shoot scuds? Damascus would burn faster than a mullah's beard in a candle shop..

now iran...

this is the real issue.

40% of iran's gasoline is imported

a great % of iran's population is under the age of 25 and hates the mullahs

49% of iran aint persian

with hezbollah being defanged and on the ropes, and their "holy rain of rockets" are less effective than any modern army in the history of war ( 3000 rockets and 40 israelis killed and they are TRYING to kill) Iran has overplayed it's hand.

i expect a sunni backlash, i see in IRAN a arab uprising, a kurdish uprising, all hell is about to hit iran...

patience..

remember those pesky zionists control everything

8/03/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Buddy Larsen

Wretchard is correct RE: it is really a call for a "Timeout when losing" Ahmadinejad says, "Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate cease-fire must be implemented." (AP/US News)

-- The public is more well read now, with REAL facts about Islam.

That's why in a household like mine that 5 years ago knew damn little about Islam and the divisions thereof

Immediately the kids said, "Hah, Dad, Abu-in-a-dinnerjacket, is calling for A HUDNA"

They may get one, and in Diplo-DoubleSpeak, Condi delivered an additional message today RE a UN Brokered Ceasefire, "If Hezbollah launches on Tel Aviv it will get Worse before it gets better"

ie Hezbollah better respect a ceasefire or we'll let IDF roll right through the Bekka and flatten south Beruit to look like the Surface of the moon.

8/03/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Time will tell Trish.
I'm no more the prognosticator than you or any other poster. If you have a corner on the time and date let me in on it and I'll buy some puts.

BUT your point about the insanity of getting approval for every kilometer is righteous. It's LBJ talking directly to piloots in their aircraft right before launch telling them the targeting for the mission.

Starling David Hunter and Gumshoe1 I enjoyed your colloquy.

8/03/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Sarah,
France could have fought an existential war in 1938 without mobilizing the entire nation. The same applies to Israel right now. The difference is that Israel is making the choice that France didn't.

8/03/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

What is Occupation; I, basically, agree with everything you wrote, but (there's that "but," again) the U.N. is going to pass a "cessation of hostilities" resolution Monday, and Olmert has said he will abide by it.

Also, the generals are going back to their "security council," or whatever they call it, to beg for permission to go a little farther. Basically, they're still fighting within sight of the border.

Misdirection? ?

8/03/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Today is Tish'a B'Av תשעה באב

what is amazing is not the fact that we Jews remember our temples, BOTH of them on the Temple Mount that were destroyed, but the joy i feel in my heart that Jews are fighting the savages from our own country once again.

psalm 83


“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.' For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You:


“The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. Deal with them as with Midian, as with Sisera, as with Jabin at the Brook Kishon, who perished at En Dor, who became as refuse on the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, 'Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession.'


“O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your tempest, and frighten them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.”

I hope the world is listening...

NEVER AGAIN

8/03/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

What is Occupation; I, basically, agree with everything you wrote, but (there's that "but," again) the U.N. is going to pass a "cessation of hostilities" resolution Monday, and Olmert has said he will abide by it.

watch for the line, "unless there is a strong, fighting, international force that will enforce 1559"

I doubt the UN is the same UN as in 1967 & 73..

8/03/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger NortheastOxymoron said...

SarahWeddington said

I think Israel's strategy now is to provoke HB into hitting Tel Aviv so that they can nuke HB in Baalbek and take down Assad.

The only other option is Olmert's and Peretz's incompetent leadership, although that makes more sense.

It looks like the Baalbek raid was now just for show.

I am utterly amazed that HB is able to fire 200+ a day unimpeded and that they've lost on avg 15 guys a day.
Based on which facts? Recognizing Hizb'allah has reportedly used Baalbek as a headquarters and/or training site, it's not a very large city. When more conventional weapons could rip it to shreds, why would Israel use a nuke bomb on the town? A town where the 2 Israeli soldiers allegedly may have been held captive or some Hizzie shreik was hanging out at some point.

Do we really know how many Hizzies have been killed? There have some reports from Israel and separately from the Hizzies, but there appear to be an awful lot of totally destroyed buildings and no documented facts on the #s of dead Hizzies. Somehow, speculation may not account for an unknown of dead Hizzies in bombed out buildings, tunnels, etc.

8/03/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

WhatisOccupation,

I wish I had your optimism.

The world must look great from behind your rose colored glasses.

The fact is that any objective person can easily see that HB is winning this war, and winning it big.

8/03/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

heh heh--they're so pesky they use their control of the press to make the press act like it's against Israel.

8/03/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The idea of "changing the hearts and minds" of Muslim Terror Supporting Scum is beyond me:
People like those refered to below in Oz, should be sent packing, just as they should be here:
THEY ARE A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER in our midst.
PM can't be swayed on Hezbollah

A DEFIANT John Howard has personally told Australian Muslim leaders that the federal Government will not budge on its support for the disarming of Hezbollah.

Mr Howard also criticised his own Muslim advisory board - including moderates Ameer Ali and Sheik Fehmi Naji el-Imam - for supporting the military wing of the Iranian-backed militia.
Mr Howard told six members of his hand-picked board that he condemned any deliberate killing of civilians on both sides.
Dr Ali, chairman of the Muslim Community Reference Group, said Mr Howard tried to convince the group that it was only Hezbollah's military arm that was proscribed as a terrorist outfit in Australia.

"But we didn't want to take issue with that because according to our views even the military wing is not a terrorist organisation," he said. Dr Ali said Mr Howard was disappointed that the reference group - including Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali's representative, Samier Dandan - would not criticise Hezbollah's attacks on Israel.

8/03/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

No, What is Occupation (can I call you WIO? good) there will be 2 resolutions. The one that will be passed monday will simply call for a "cessation of hostilities," and a promise to pass another one (probably when the moon turns purple, blue is way too common) concerning the Internatiional Force, later.

Olmert will have signed off on this. This is so weird.

8/03/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Sarah, go to bed. You're stressing, again.

8/03/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

wi"o"
That is the best case scenario, the timing is optimum and could work.
If, as Seymour Hirsh reported months ago, the men with tupperware have been working the Iranian hinterlands and intellectual backwaters. If as Shah Jr spoke of, an August coup, actually occurs.
If Mr al-Sadr's ticket were to be punched, his minons dispatched.

If decisive action is finally taken
That Iranian threat,
It'd all be over but the dancin'

8/03/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

whit,
in the previous post you asked about Hugo ..i read this today.

The other half of the Venezuela-Russia dealings last week is just as disturbing. That's the oil deal Chávez agreed to in a meeting with LUKoil president Vagit Alekperov in Volgograd. The Russian oil company will start exploration in two areas of Venezuela, one of which, near the Orinoco River, is thought to contain substantial oil reserves.

Experience shows that when Moscow signs big weapons sales and energy deals, the tentacles of Russian organized crime are not far behind. Russia recently signed an even larger arms-plus-oil-and-gas deal with Algeria, in which the energy sector payoffs are so large that the weapons pur chases are almost like the toy prize in a McDonald's Happy Meal by comparison. "The fighters and other weapons are practically being given away in this deal," said one Moscow-based aerospace industry analyst, "and the sums of money that are being bandied about are so large it is frightening."

When the Russian mafia first became a concern in the mid-1990s, former CIA director James Woolsey testified before Congress that "if an American businessman meets with a nattily dressed and articulate Russian who claims that he is with an international trading and banking firm in Moscow and he would like to discuss a joint venture covering, say, the export of Russian oil, such an individual may be what he says he is. Or he may be a Russian intelligence officer operating under commercial cover. Or he may be an important member of a Russian organized crime group. But the really interesting point is that there is a reasonable chance that he is all three--and that none of those three institutions sees any problem with such an arrangement."

And it is just such an "arrangement" that the United States may find on its doorstep thanks to the Venezuelan president. AK-47s can come from almost anywhere these days--50 countries use this infantry weapon, and six of them even include it as an icon on their nation's coat of arms. But problems on a scale this mega-deal could cause in the Americas can only come from Moscow.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/521keeya.asp?pg=1

8/03/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

SarahWeddington said...
WhatisOccupation, I wish I had your optimism.

Sarah, i am the biggest cynic the world has ever seen

sarah: The world must look great from behind your rose colored glasses.

my mornings start out with the saying, "it aint aushwitz" and then I go from there, to think your way i should just slit my throught, but the way i see it, ya got JEWS with FIGHTING back, that's all i need to see, they got MY back, sarah, no offense, but i suspect your not a jew. If you were one, you'd understand how it feels JUST to be allowed to FIGHT back.

sarah: The fact is that any objective person can easily see that HB is winning this war, and winning it big.

why ? because world opinion says so? sarah, please! because the moslem world is mad? so freakin what?

sarah, newflash, the world sucks, and truth be told are also MEANINGLESS.

any objective person can see that israel has TAUGHT an object lesson to the arab world, f*ck with israel, get a boot up your ass.

this lesson needs to be taught!

kill a jew, loose a city..

kidnap 2 jews and kill 8 soldiers, loose 4 billion in assets and loose 20 yrs of building and sweat

rain rockets on israel, get invaded and loose more

from my calculations i see it not from the concept if hezbollah survives they win, but rather the arab/moslem world will realize " that "n*gger (jews) are crazy"

this is the lesson...

embrace it...

never again...

8/03/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Starko said...

Regardless of the actual, real-world impact of Blair's speech, I'm happy to see that the "hearts and minds" side of this conflict is being addressed.

I feel like a lot of the comments made by readers of this blog (rightly so) reflect a desire to wipe the world clean of the Hezzies, regardless of the collateral damage. While I agree entirely with the sentiment, I think the reality is that this isn't a whole lot different than countless other insurgent movements, which are notoriously hard to stamp out using military means. Instead, the long, frustrating process of winning the hearts and minds of those who tolerate and/or support the insurgents (a.k.a. terrorists in this case) is the only way I see to truly shrink and possibly even end their capability to carry out acts of violence.

It's been said that insurgents don't win wars militarily, they win them politically. While there are certainly exceptions to this rule, it's a truism when the insurgents face an overwhelming force (e.g. Israel or the US). This is why there is some truth in Nassrallah's statements about victory in defeat- it's possible for him to achieve some of the desired political aims even though militarily, the Hezzies will be soundly defeated.

I don't know if I have a strong point to make here, other than to say that the only way that Israel can completely obliterate the Hezzies once and for all is if the Hezzies are willing to oblige them by entering a set piece battle (which they would be sure to lose). Ergo, the Hezzies are not willing to do so, even if they've made some dumb commitments so far. Strategically and tactically it is foolish for them to do so.

8/03/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Rufus, I'm stressing? You jusy conceded that Olmert has capitulated.

This is from an Israeli Newspaper:
An examination of the ground forces' achievements to date shows that they have not hit more than TEN launchers. The immediate goal of the fighting is not stopping the rockets, but eliminating Hezbollah's southern unit, the Nasser, on the assumption that this will crack the organization's fortitude.

Hezbollah's losses are already estimated at some 380 combatants. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is convinced that Hezbollah's breaking point is near. The army is more skeptical.

Peretz's aides say the rockets can be destroyed after the territorial takeover, but it is important to reach the river before a cease-fire is announced, perhaps as soon as Monday.

As for the long-range missiles, Peretz admits that Hezbollah will still be able to fire them from north of the Litani, but says that the IAF has had more success in dealing with them.

The rush to reach the Litani is controversial. Some officers fear that INADEQUATELY reserve units will sustain heavy losses. The death of fathers and husbands could undermine the home front's support for the war

Like I said, this is a big wake up call tothe IDF. If their ground forces can't even take on a few hundred hb, how would they do against hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Iranians, Egyptians etc...?

They've taken out 10 launchers in 3 weeks. That's pitiful. Their untis are having trouble taking even villages let alone towns and cities.

You can continue to close your eyes but mine are wide open.

8/03/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

It ain't Auschwitz is a pretty low standard of victory.

I'd agree with you if HB was really getting beaten, but they're not.

If Tyre and Beirut lay in ruins and 100,000 Lebanese were dead, and the power grid was destroyed ok. For a few hundred dead and damage that'll be repaired by Labor Day, what's the point?

Can anyone give me any objective on the ground metrics of an IDF victory? Can anyone give any on the ground metrics of a HB defeat?

I didn't think so

8/03/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

sarah,

from your 1st post to now you sound defeated.

you read the MSM and others too much...

smoke a joint, drink a glass of wine, relax, israel aint losing.

this is the last chapter of world war two that had never been closed.

you are watching what the british, french and americans should have done in 48.

the nazis are being bombed! yippie!

8/03/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/03/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

SarahWeddington said...
It ain't Auschwitz is a pretty low standard of victory.


no it aint if your a survivor, which you are not

get a grip

8/03/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

On the contrary, it's you who seems to be continually toutuing this IDF victory that has yet to materialize.

When the IDF leaves Lebanon in a week without their soldiers and with HB still in business and stronger than ever, what will you say then?

8/03/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

SarahWeddington said...
On the contrary, it's you who seems to be continually toutuing this IDF victory that has yet to materialize.

When the IDF leaves Lebanon in a week without their soldiers and with HB still in business and stronger than ever, what will you say then?


tell you what, dont say anything negative again for 7 days, and then let's compare notes

8/03/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Maybe you'll just have to get them next time, Sarah. The Liberal Lawyer just didn't have the stones.

You'll get another opportunity. It's a "Given."

8/03/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

If you're using the Holocaust as your baseline then anything short of an Iranian nuke over Tel Aviv is a victory.

Survivor or not. Those survivors didn't fight and die in 48, those thousands didn't die in 67 and 73 so Ehud Olmert could raise the white flag and allow thousands of rockets to rain down while he twiddles his thumbs and the world laughs at him.

8/03/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What is Pork? For Shame!
Pus on the Brain?
---
"the best old hezbollah bitches can do is fire 200 rockets and kill 8 civilians at that rate 13,000 rockets = total israeli civilan to be killed 400."
---
So...
400 X 28 = 11,200 or about
FOUR 9-11's
No big deal?
---
(US Population ~280,000,000
Israel Population~10,000,000)
i.e. 28 times the population of Israel.
If the number remains lower, and is "only" 1 or 2 9-11's worth of civilians, it's ho hum all over, let's have a cease fire?

8/03/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

re porks 08:29:33

8/03/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Our British cousin has shown us the way.
Peace and harmony,love and understanding.
It's not the 1930's, 40's but we're in 1966, around mid June about 3:30 in the afternoon. School is out in Gainesville but the flower children have geared up for a Jesus sandals and tie dyed return.
Castro holds Cuba, the Soviets are still having May Day parades.
Harmonic balance,peace,love,understanding, free love just around the corner. Vietnam. Vietnam. Pot,acid,mushrooms..no it's not the Depression or politcal 30's, it's later than we think it is.
Now are fighters take buspar to steady their nerves...not to worry though. it'll all mellow out soon and the Muslim faith will shine like the loving,caring faith it truly is. Peace brothers and sisters. Listen to Rod McCuen poems,listen to the warm.

8/03/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

2164's point about the comma...butfor Israel's illicit formation...is dead on...

...and Aristides point about whom the speech was directed towards was correct...

...when taken in concert with the actions of Israel over the last couple of weeks, it's obvious that these are aimed at flushing out the thoughts of the many intellectually lazy on the left...

...for instance, they're having to sort out whether Israel was justified in attacking Lebanon? has it acted in a relatively restrained manner?
Conversely, have perhaps the fundamentalist moslems stepped over the line one too many times? Is it possible that terrorist attacks against innocent civilians from Indonesia to Mumbai to Spain to London to New York may be a bit much because the Zionists were given a piece of land after WW II?

Could it possibly be our culture and not our politics that they abhor?

Is it not bigotted and racist to lump all moslems together...

Is not the right thing to give the moderates a chance, to break down the gap between them and us and let these whirling dervishes spin themselves out...

...this may be a prelude...

...Blair is wise to lay out the argument before the people so that they can sort it out in their own minds, and maybe consolidate and shore up support on the home front (as has happened in Israel)...
...as a more unified home front will be required for the next phase...

...regarding that phase, why not try a little finesse?

Perhaps if the homefront were unified in pumping in humanitarian aid simultaneously to inserting NATO peacekeepers we could avert the mistake made heretofore with both Hamas and Hez; namely that they were provided legitimate cover that not only convinced the locals of their sugar-daddy, but also helped world wide fund-raising efforts...

...common sense tells us that there are yearning young in both Lebanon and Tehran that might act completely different if not under the threat of an authoritarian regime...

8/03/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, I like you, buddy; but, there's something inherently annoying about that math where one Israeli life is equal to 28 American lives.

Just sayin, is all

8/03/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

On the local news here in Tampa, they actually had a short blurb on Ahmadinejads latest 'destroy israel' speech. The newscaster actually described it as a 'rant'. This was again a local broadcast which usually has very little national and zip international news.

I think that every time Ahmadinejad opens his mouth, he moves the Rufus over/under line, and not in Irans favor.

8/03/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Doug said...

400 X 28 = 11,200 or about
FOUR 9-11's
No big deal?
---
(US Population ~280,000,000
Israel Population~10,000,000)
i.e. 28 times the population of Israel.
If the number remains lower, and is "only" 1 or 2 9-11's worth of civilians, it's ho hum all over, let's have a cease fire?

you miss my point...

israel has lost 1000 from palestinians in the last uprising or as you say 28,000 as per usa.

i am not for any cease fire, my point they have LOST the iranian trump card of using these rockets and the unknown fear they cause.

hezbollah and iran have threatened to wipe israel off the map, and now they are trying, to which israel is fighting back.

personally my position is simple..

burn any enemy position to the ground with naplam, the add salt mixed with radioactive waste...

but let's be honest. israel has had NUMEROUS 9-11's and for most of them they have not been allowed to fight back...

they are fighting now... goodie

8/03/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

What Is,

For your information, I may not be a survivor, but I have set foot in Osweicim. I've seen the ovens, I've seen the Zyklon B canisters, I've seen the ruins by the trees at the edge of the forest and I know what happened there.

What I'm disappointed in is that Hassan Nasrallah, who like the Fuhrer also has six letters in his first name, is still on the air spewing his rhetoric while those that swore to prevent those ruins from ever rising again are putzing around and wasting their time while Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad and Khameini and Assad plan their next Endlossung at a modern day Wansee Conference.

The fact that Beirut and Tyre still exist is a testament to the lack of serious with which the IDF is waging this war. The fact that Baalbek is not in ruins and that people still walk the streets there is testament to the same.

I will be back in 7 days and I will list 5 metrics for us to look at:

1. Hezbollah will remain intact and all their rocket losses will have been replaced by Iran and Syria

2. The IDF will be gone from Lebanon or will be no more than a few miles in in some useless buffer zone

3. The 2 soldiers will either not be released or will have been swapped for hundreds of hb prisoners

4. Hassan Nasrallah and the HB leadership will still be breathing and will be free men

5. A ceasefire will be in effect

I contend that all 5 of those will happen.

We'll see what it looks like in a week

8/03/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Habu,
Possumtater and the Dead at the Avalon Ballroom!

8/03/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

sarah,

7 days from now will be interesting.

-pork rinds for allah

8/03/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger NortheastOxymoron said...

"An examination of the ground forces' achievements to date shows that they have not hit more than TEN launchers."

When an unsubstantiated news report suggests Israeli ground forces have not hit more than TEN launchers, how
could it be a leap of assumption to suggest that's the sum total of rocket launchers hit? Somehow, Israeli just might have knocked out, oh at least 1 or 2 or quite a few more, rocket launchers with missiles or via other means. At this point, it would be surprising for even Israeli military officials to accurately know how many Hizzie rocket launchers were hit/disabled.

8/03/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

SarahWeddington

stop and find your center,your happy place. embrace today. breathe deeply and concentrate on your navel,placing overlapping hands on it. feel your center, your Qi or Ch'i.
close your eyes and hold the thought of a pond without a ripple on it. hold it as long as you can, the longer the better..it is hard but repeated often it can be attained...
as Grace Slick said, "feed your head"
in this manner the world is in harmony.

8/03/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

The bottom line is that folks like DR and 2164th are right. This isn't a real war and we or Israel aren't fighting it like one.

This will end in another ceasefire and stalemate like OEF and OIF ended in, with the bad guys having survived and just biding their time until the US, Israel or the UN pulls out.

Iran and Syria remain teflon. Until they are confronted this war will never be won. It was like fighting the NVA and VC without going after the PRC and the USSR, victory is impossible.

8/03/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

Wretchard,
I think Blair's speech is significant mainly because he has redrawn the war as one about radical Islam. Perhaps he has done this in previous speeches. I don't know. But Bush still refers to this as a war on terror of course. And usually, politicians only refer to "extremism" or "radicalism" etc, but they don't spell out the division between moderate and radical Islam. Now Blair has. This seems new to me. By saying the enemy is Radical Islam, and by saying that all of the conflicts are now linked, he is correct.

But I think the effects will be somewhat other than he desires.

8/03/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Only where it was understandable in Nam because the Chinese and the Russians had nukes and ICBMs and millions of soldiers and tens of thousands of tanks and artillery, the Syrians and the Iranians have practically nothing. Yet we continue to let them slide for reasons that are completely baffling.

Assad and Ahmadinejad must be lighting up cigars tonight, amazed yet again that the West has backed down from taking them on.

8/03/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Boy, this is a weird blog.

Now, Habu's gone from channeling marsupial/tubers to "Channeling" Jamie Irons.

8/03/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Blair is nothing but an appeasing leftist. Anyone who's followed his dealings with the IRA and Gerry Adams and how he surrendered in Northern Ireland should know not to exoect much from him. At bottom, he doesn't want to win, he wants to sign another Good Friday deal.

Blair calling it radical Islam only shows how clueless he is. It's like Churchill saying we hvae to go after radical national socialism and reach out to moderate nazis or Reagan calling for the moderate bolsheviks to emerge.

60 dead in London and Blair's done nothing. Maybe if they take out a few hundred he'll see the light.

Until our leaders recognize that Islam, like National Socialism and like Bushido must be wiped from the earth or made so marginal as to be harmless, this war will continue.

8/03/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

2164th,

You said: "It would be refreshing if the US would emulate , lets see, Brazil and make a real effort to become a net energy exporter in ten years..."

If you do the math, we do not have enough acres to produce enough ethanol to stop using petroleum.

Don't know how the Brazilians are doing it, but I'm guessing their fuel needs are much smaller than ours. Since ours are by far the highest in the world, that is.

8/03/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Doug,
Possumtater takes his southern rock from Duane Allman, RIP and some riffs from Creme. He'll open with Layla,CrossRoads and finish with Cocaine. Well have Duane over dubbed and mixed. He needs his own Sea Island,SC seagrass bedding and a Gullah talk'in backup singer. Finally Phil Collins will do an encore with P-tater do'in "In the Air Tonight" Crockett and Tubbs 80's version must be in the audience. All proceeds go to the Possumtater Foundation, Inc, a 501c3 connected to a 547. OK? Shakira as a dinner date too.

8/03/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Rufus:

Now, Habu's gone from channeling marsupial/tubers to "Channeling" Jamie Irons...


Rufus, you remember Habu's background in the "deep cover" "industry"?

You have imagined that Posssumtater, habu_3 and "Jamie Irons" were three different individuals?

Did it not occcur to you that a former spy, a marsupial-tuber, and a psychiatrist might all three be


THE SAME PERSON???!!!


(Remember the old joke: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.")


Jamie Irons

8/03/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

I tend to agree with Sarah. There's no time like the present to get 'r done. Next time, instead of little rockets raining down on Israel, it could very well be more intense missiles. And then Israel will have to raise the gradient on response, eventually provoking Syria/Iran to direct confrontation.

Ever since the second rant by Ahmadinejad threatening Israel, I have had a gut feeling that Iran has a couple of acquired nukes and they are feeling their oats now. It reminds me of the Eveready commercial, "go ahead and knock it off, I dare ya."

8/03/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

Habu must've lived on that commune west of gainesville where that dude I worked for during college resided!!

8/03/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Gerry, we could go a lot farther than you probably believe. We only farm about 10% of our arable land. Today we can get about 500 gal of ethanol/acre. In a year, or so, with the maturing of cellulosic that will be closer to 1,000 gal/acr. We could get forty or fifty percent of transportation fuels without breaking a sweat.

Add in hybrids (especially plug-in hybrids,) and you start getting close. Irrigate Texas, and you're there.

8/03/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

What is "Occupation said:

"personally my position is simple..

burn any enemy position to the ground with naplam, the add salt mixed with radioactive waste..."

just one request to center my personal Qi..can we leave some of the bodies to bloat and turn black in the parching sun...it could become my "pond without a ripple" vision. calming,peaceful
i mean nothing is too good for those who seek paradise with such ferver.

8/03/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

By the way, Corn Plus, an ethanol refinery in Winnebago, Mn will be using Zero fossil fuels/nat gas in their refining by next year. They're burning the worthless sludge from the refining process.

Oh yeah, it takes approx 10 gal of Diesel to raise that 500 (soon to be 1,000) gallons of ethanol.

8/03/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

And, no, the $0.50 gal subsidy is not needed, at all.

8/03/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Jamie,

I've always depended on that.

8/03/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Here's a question I have for everyone.

Over the years, Hezbollah has numerous open air public rallies in Bierut. Nasrallah's there, the leaderships, thousands of supporters. All in public, all open.

Why has Israel not ever just dropped a neutron bomb right in the middle of one of these rallies and gotten rid of Hezbollah forever?

If HB has one of these in a few days/weeks to celebrate thir victory, as I assume they will, would Israel be justified in doing it then?

8/03/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Sarah,

See Habu's Jamie-channeling post, above.

AAAOOOOooom

AAAOOOOooom

8/03/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From Outlaw Country, to the Paisley Underground, This Groove was made for you and me

8/03/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

jamie irons,habu,possumtater..the same or different? seek the way of the Tao, the Koan, and the Noni juice.

and we aren't even the end of it. it is a tale told by an idiot,full of sound and fury and Nathan's hotdogs.
Our,mine,his,their, decoder rings aren't even on a cell phone. they exist only on the hand that guides us in our sanitary moments.
this makes no sense but then we've all been blogging for-EVER and we can't get a grip on WTF so why should i not have a sanitary hand decoder ring..surrogate ribbon tied to finger..i am however having a bust of Pamela Sue shipped tomorrow from the casting done by Bigfork Montana artist Zazu Pittsworthington. now that will center my Qi.

8/03/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/03/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

SarahWeddington said...
Here's a question I have for everyone.

Over the years, Hezbollah has numerous open air public rallies in Bierut. Nasrallah's there, the leaderships, thousands of supporters. All in public, all open.

Why has Israel not ever just dropped a neutron bomb right in the middle of one of these rallies and gotten rid of Hezbollah forever?

If HB has one of these in a few days/weeks to celebrate thir victory, as I assume they will, would Israel be justified in doing it then?



Sarah has it been 7 day already?

I may not agree with your doom and gloom but i like your pov on what to do, i have always wanted to see a cluster bomb hit an armed hamas rally...

i'd give up my welfare check to see that one.

but really, israel doesnt have to nuke them to win, or even cluster bomb them.

Father and son bull standing at the top of the hill looking at the herd of cows, son says, hey dad, lets run down there are grab us each a nice juicy cow and hump the crap out of them..

father bull looks at his son and smiles and says, son let go slow and f*ck em all..

lesson: slow, quiet with a plan beats big bomb on crowd

8/03/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Now, he's channeling me.

That's it, I'm going to bed; jobs report, tomorrow. G'nite all.

8/03/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

Chester hits the nail on the head...

...Blair has articulated the guiding principle for the last 4 years; namely, that mainstream muslims could be turned away from the fundamentalist oppressors, and that an all out war was unneccessary and counter-productive...

...but will he be heard is the question...

under what conditions could the Cedar Revolution revive?
how to get the mullahs out of the government so the people can connect in a productive way with the outside world?

What will it take for this to "take"

Will this plan take drastic measures?
Will a partition (hopefully not bloody) of Iraq be necessary?
Are there both sunni & shiite moderate moslems out there?
How secure must it be before moderate muslims join the mainstream and become productive?
Can the moderate moslems accept the freedom to reject our culture, while remaining true to their faith, while remaining connected?

Blair is an articulate spokeman that may just may be able to take the terrorists on where they have been hurting us the most; namely in controlling the media agenda and the public's perception...

8/03/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Notice:
Pure Noni juice is the highest-quality, and most potent Noni juice you can buy.
What’s more, pure Noni juice has been shown to be the most effective in the human body.

Look for the Genuine Noni seal on the bottle because if it is not there, it is not TRU NONI juice.

8/03/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All's well and the gang's all here.
At two posts per thread how many identities will I need?

Can barely manage the one.

Dawn should soon be breaking, the heat of the day upon them.

Are there rockets with Tel Aviv in their sights?

Hes delivers or is dishonored, the gauntlet thrown, must be picked up.

Another day of tit for tat?

8/03/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Blair is naive in thinking that there are moderate muslims. It's like Churchill seeking out moderate nazis because if only the Austriab could go, the moderate bational socialists could take his place and we could work with them.

Until Blair and Bush realize that Islam and Jihad is the enemy, this is all academic.

I've said that it will take a mass casualty event htat dwarfs 9/11 for that to happen.

8/03/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat, forget about dat:
Moderate Muslims will take up the Cause, All is Well!
~ Manyana

8/03/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Yeah rufus, but we have to use a little acreage to grow some food, don't we?

You want to irrigate Texas? You mean you got water? Well, just ship it right on down here!

8/03/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Si amigo, esta que ellos diga mi, manyana, siempre manyana

8/03/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

One last thing. The answer is "NO!" Islam is a Bloody Religion. There is no "Peace and Love" in the Book.

Only by leaving the "Religion," can a Muslim become Moderate. The ones that are quiet, and pass for "Moderate," are uniformly unhappy, and can explode at any time.

They will eventually have to be killed "en masse;" but we're not there, yet. It'll probably be decades, and then only after we lose a City, and get to watch the Muslim world celebrating in the streets.

The death of a few hundred million, and the end of oil will pretty much put the kibosh on the ROP. RIP - ROP

G'nite

8/03/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

SarahWeddington,
Blair and Churchill. Churchill admitted after Omdurham that he could not figure out the Rosetta stone of the Sudanese.
The he said the same about Islam later in life.
Blair has Traflagar Square to protect from the Islam hordes.

It is important to remember that neither of these men ever use the self check out at Home Depot or picked a winnning trifecta at a Miami fronton. Once you unlock the mystery of these things the true meaning of "meat by products" will become evident and the Gates of Vienna, circa 1638, will be as so much sausage. Center your Qi.

8/03/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Gerry, think "Desalinization." Most of the corn we produce,now, is used for livestock (primarily cattle) feed. Out of every bushel of corn used for ethanol a by-product is a third of a bushel of Distillers Dried Grains. It's a very high value livestock feed.

Remember, a lot of the ethanol will be derived from cellulosic fibers (corn stalks, wheat straw, switch grass, wood chips, etc.) These are not food products.

G'nite!!

8/03/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just as the news is breaking, it's off to bed?
Oh well, Even Charles Krauthammer can see Israel's Lost Moment

Any way I hope pork rinds and mika still are enjoying the show.

8/03/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

I just realized how we can galvinize the world (we are the world, we are the childen)...

Halftime at the Super bowl...three busses roll to the 50 yard line. Challenged Hezbo children ( al la Qana) whose brains were not sucked out at birth will wave Palistinian and Black Flags as they board the buses.
A large sieve screen is placed around the busses. Rows 1 through 50 done embossed SuperBowl rain parkas. Then three bomb laden Pali's enter each bus. Robbie Kneivel tries to jump the busses before the bombers blow everthing up.
It's real, thrilling and will guarantee big commercial pricing.
Win, win, win.

8/03/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

siempre manyana

8/03/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

SW:

Ahem. There were moderate Nazis. World War II and the Holocaust were Hitler's idea and his gaggle of flunkies went along for the ride. But let's not kid ourselves about the fanaticism of all Nazis. Some were fanatics. Others were opportunistic SOB's who saw a great opportunity to amass personal fiefdoms under the swastika.

Hermann Goering? He opposed Germany entrance into World War II because he knew it would destroy his industrial empire. Goebbels? Sure, his official anti-Semitism was nasty; that was his job. Privately, he took an interest in Jewish women whenever he got the chance.

For every committed SS-man who believed in conquest and killing Jews, there was another Nazi who was interested in corruption, greed and professional advancement, caring little about the banner he carried. Remember, one third of the Nazis were Communists -- "beefsteak Nazis", and the German Communists returned the favor by signing up former Nazis into their party.

Some Nazis were fanatics. Others were just corrupt.

8/03/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"German Communists returned the favor by signing up former Nazis into their party"
---
SOMEBODY had to father Joschka Fischer.

8/03/2006 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Squishy said...

hey mans & sar

ah

its pretty important to remember how lief is full of surprises and one mnite a jew is frying chicapes and another hes lobbying ther American shadow of political economy government ITS EVOLUTION and you can see why just by looking at it; how many jews have ogne into space on rockets? YOu ever spin a minorah at 1000 rpm and see the lift it generates? It also DESALINATES and produces the brown effect.

The residual heat produced allows you to clean your piece in boiling water and send money to Lockheed martin, halliburton and Thomas PM Barnettm, a modern day powerpoint-smithy whose voice sounds like a titan when you do dmt and listen to his mp3s.

8/03/2006 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Power Pointy Heads convert the Moderate Muslims with the Pizzaz of their Points.

8/03/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Point 1:
You Jokers been missing out on the revelatory experience of liberated wymin for goin on half a Century.

8/03/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Squishy said...

Doug:

Become an NPR member so that you can help bring about Islamic Women's Gymnastics: burkha mat routines and purdha trammelhorse. If you become a silver member, an abrahamic dhimmi will come to your house twice a week to help with chores in the spirit of tolerance and good will.

8/03/2006 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Squishy said...

Course I missed the wymin news with all the cephalic/phallic hegemony that passes for dialectical materialism around here.

8/03/2006 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Some sounds syphilitic.

8/03/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Squishy Cerebrations.

8/03/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Squishy said...

i think history has bops in the nose in store for several people:

-Desert Rat (resin)
-SarahWellingten (beasters)
-Squares (empty bag)
-Harolds (Kumars will squeek by unscathed)
-Onanistic fundamentalists

8/04/2006 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mastery over Moderate Mohamedans with Mentalism.

8/04/2006 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Baltimore police are investigating a firebombing at Baltimore Hebrew University after an employee reported a loud noise and then a fire at the base of a side door of a building in the 5800 block of Park Heights Ave. in Northwest Baltimore.

Moses said detectives determined the fire was started by an incendiary device, such as a Molotov cocktail, thrown at a steel door, causing no damage. It is being investigated by the department's arson unit, but has not yet been classified as a hate crime.

"At this point, there's nothing that would indicate that this is a hate crime," Moses said. "They have problems with juveniles in that area."
---
The Dept of Homeland Security, and the FBI, should issue digital audio chips to all agents and spokespeople with the approved announcement:
"At this point, there's nothing that would indicate that this is a hate crime,"
and
"There is nothing to indicate that this was anything other than the isolated act of a disturbed individual."
Many man hours saved, and Dragon Dictate Professional tm, could come installed with a Macro that would save thousands of reporters the trouble of keying in the Boilerplate each time one of these isolated incidents occur.

8/04/2006 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger Garth Farkley said...

rufus said: Only by leaving the "Religion," can a Muslim become Moderate.

Islam: Blood in -- blood out.

"All five major schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that a sane male apostate must be executed. A female apostate may be put to death, according to some schools, or imprisoned, according to others."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

8/04/2006 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger Garth Farkley said...

It's late. Sorry, wrong link. Here's the correct link on capital punishment as the generally accepted penalty for apostasy in all major variants of
"moderate" Sharia law, both Sunni and Shia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

8/04/2006 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger still realizing said...

Mark White hit the nail on the head. Tony Blair may yet rescue civilization but Mark White has reached to the core: The power of the Jihadi movement is only the power of oil money. Defang the jihadis by taking away their oil. It won't matter if they protest. Without their oil money, the leaders of Iraq and Iran will be as important in world affairs as the leader of Comoros. Have you ever heard of the (Islamic) nation of Comoros? They have no oil and no oil money.

It was not necessary to take down Sadaam Hussein. It was merely necessary to take away his oil money. No money no nukes. It's as true for Iran as it is for Iraq. The best way to take the oil money is to take the oil. Simpler than the current wars in the mideast.

And don't worry about protests from Europe or China, we'll have them by the oil and they'll come along meekly. Russia has their own oil but alone they can't do that much. The idea is simple, everybody gets a cut of the deal.

All that is needed is for the US to set up an international organization to administer the oil fields of Iran and Iraq, to sell the oil and fund the US military effort needed to guard the facilities. It will be necessary to rebuild some of the pipelines and refineries that are currently vulnerable but that should be cheaper than the current cost of the war in Iraq.

The result will be lower oil prices, peace in the mideast and global stability. Protests in Iran or Iraq will have as much impact as protests in Comoros, Burkina Faso or Chad.

8/04/2006 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Any Ideas what might be cooking off in THIS photo?

8/04/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

A continuous “bombing-only” approach would hugely degrade Hezbollah’s infrastructure, but would also lead to the collapse of this government and the formation of a radical pro-Syrian, pro-Iranian government in Beirut.

Is Phares suggesting that the present Lebanese government is not pro-Syrian, pro-Iranian? If we have learned anything from the "noble experiment" in Iraq it may be that we have to use a bigger stick and fewer carrots. The first step, however, must be defining the boundaries of acceptable behavior by both state and non-state actors. Everything within the boundary lines is fair play but one step outside the lines brings the terrible swift sword of retribution. Al Sadr is the case in point. He and his militia should have been destroyed in Najaf. Everything and everybody in Iraq with more than a casual tie to Iran should feel the sword. How about some accountability?

Blair is a sweet talker but he is a phony. The British goverment is quietly dismantling the (unwritten) English Constitution. Did you know that Jews and Hindus cannot sit on juries of Moslem defendants in parts of England? That British taxpayer money helps build Moslem-only communities? The English IRS may authorize additional tax breaks for Moslems with more than one wife?

It's the values folks. If we, the West, cannot recognize and achieve a consensual heirachy of basic values then agressive Islam will continue to carve out special privileges from our written and unwritten constitutions.

8/04/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ahh, PB, it's just not that Islamoids that claim special privilege. It's all the victims, we've allowed 12 million or so special victims illegal access to the US, with little complaint.
We have carved up the Law to do it.

Once those flood gates of excemption open, one cannot pick and choose the beneficiaries, they are all so deserving.

8/04/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here you go guys and gals

08-04-2006 3:42 AM
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed support Thursday for an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon as the first phase in ending the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. It was the most concrete signal yet that the U.S. may be willing to compromise on the stalemate over how to end the fighting.

Moving closer to the position that France and other European countries are taking, Rice predicted that a U.N. Security Council resolution would be approved within days that would include a cease-fire and describe principles for a lasting peace.


It's on the AP wire.
We'll save the HB, until later, like the Insurgents in Ramadi, Tanji and Baghdad. Like the ever popular Mr al-Sadr.
The new and improved
"Western Way of War"
Never do today what can be put off until tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes.

8/04/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

...over how to end the fighting.

There's the flaw. The Leaders don't know what the friggin' objective is.

8/04/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

PB, the "Leaders" have the objectives in plain sight, it's just that their objectives are not yours.

8/04/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

So, what do we do? Run Ron Paul for president?

8/04/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

I think the Bush admin has taken a page from the Arafat play book...

Says the words that sound nice to the audience that wants to hear them..

Keep fighting...

Thank you arafat for teaching us how to talk to your people...

8/04/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

WiO, you gotta hand it to ole Arafat--he managed to define-down deviancy to the point that he could satisfy anybody merely by saying whatever was needed for the day. meanwhile, his otherwise hyper-paranoid, ultra-suspicious people never for a minute questioned what was happening to all the moola. Oh, a few questioned, but they were quickly upside down hanging from a Gaza City lamp post with their throats cut.

8/04/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Arafat, the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Along with Jimmy Carter.

8/04/2006 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Here ya go--We Are Not Alone--"A Persuasive Argument" by Byron York:

8/04/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Hihihoho it'a off to harvest I go, but I thoght I'd stop in to get Doug's day off right. Heard on the combine radio on a talk show--some federal judge--most likely 9th(?)Circus Court of Appeals out of San Francisco, declined to sign a deportation order for a big bunch of illegals rounded up in an employment bust because 'the law may change in a year or so'. Bite that apple. Hasta lumbego.

8/04/2006 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Go back to the Corner, doug.
Interesting expression used there, one I've seen before.

Not Ron Paul, buddy, I'm thinking of sending in a veteran of the Mohammedan Wars, someone with a REAL personal interest in paybacks and Victory.


RUDY G

8/04/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

sorry, buddy, thought doug set up the Corner link for some reason.

8/04/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

bob
That was a Chicago, ILL. Immigration Judge, not the 9th Circut.
"... Judge Carlos Cuevas on Monday gave the former IFCO employees a one-year stay of deportation, on the condition that they agreed not to appeal.

The delay gives Congress time to act on a bill that could grant legal status to many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the Untied States. ..."


Out of the Heartland, not the Left Coast.

8/04/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I dunno how to link to the individual entries on The Corner, so the Byron York bit is probably a scroll-down by now. But thanks for following. Sometimes I believe in the Bizarro-world where nothing is as it seems--but then I'm pretty sure I'm mental ill, so it gets doubly confusing.

For example, when the 'official' story is really sensible and logical, and the 'conspiracy' story is complex and convoluted, the advice of the alternate-realists is "be a sceptic".
WTF???

8/04/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Bridget said...

I ask myself, "what if a bunch of armed-to-the-teeth thugs were running around Buffalo taking potshots at Canada"? Would I not expect my government to put an immediate stop to that nonsense? Has the government or military of Lebanon done ANYTHING to ameliorate this situation?

8/04/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

bridget,
In a sense that is occuring, as we speak.
In Iraq, where the US has dominion on Security, per US and the UN and the cause of complaint by many Iraqi politicos, the US cannot put a damper on PKK attacks into Turkey.

The Turks bellow and complain, with just cause. Just a couple of weeks ago they ran cross border military incursions into Iraq, as have the Iranians.

Why expect a city state like Lebanon to achieve results on a scale grander than US, the world's only Super Power?

Or is the PKK to be considered a US proxy terrorist force?
Based with impunity in our area of operations & responsibility.

8/04/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Doug, Rufus, Demographic Math:

China's population = 1.3 Biggun's

Therefore, 1 Israeli life = 28 American lives = 130 Chinese lives!

******

I see that Hochee-minnie-jab's ultimatum to Nazzie has been effective in keeping the V-2.1's from reaching Tel Aviv.

******

This thread is going nuts. Only SarahWW3 is making much sense now. Wretchard, we need a new cohesive focus. Respectfully, that one on Raul's brother don't count for much what with all the fireworks goin' down.

8/04/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Bridget said...

desert rat,

Point taken, I understand that it's frequently easier said than done. But I'd feel a lot better if they'd at least take a stab at it. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

8/04/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Desert Rat has already mention Charles Krauthammer's article "Israel's Lost Moment". I completely agree with Krauthammer's analysis.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is blowing it big time. Soon the US will have to close out the current military action in Lebanon through a UN cease fire. After the Israeli people have seen the damage caused by Olmert's ineptitude, they'll demand a vote of "no confidence" in the Kinneset. With a new government, the Israelis will be obligated to launch a new campaign in Southern Lebanon to clear out the Hezbollah. In hindsight, the current military action will be seen as a waste of Israeli blood and tresaure because Olmert and his political party didn't have the courage to hit a vicious enemy hard enough.

8/04/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger artandzion said...

Re Krauthammer, here is a more even-headed take on Israel's current progress:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/746315.html

"A smart, successful war" by Yossi Melman at Haaretz.

Sure, it would be good to wipe out Hezbollah in one fell swoop, but it would also be good to avoid WWIII.

8/04/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger al said...

Do desert rat
WHY EXPECT A CITY STATE LIKE LEBANON TO ACHIEVE RESULTS ON A SCALE GRANDER THAN US, THE WORLD'S ONLY SUPER POWER?
Nobody expect that they will achieve result .Expectation that they will, at least ,not support terrorism. Is it a reasonable expectation? If you cannot fight HEZ, at least do not provide them logistics and, military and moral support. Lebanese are responsible not for not being able to disarm HEZ but for harboring and strengthening them. It was Lebanese willing choice nobody forced them to support HEZ ,
Can you give any examples, besides Lebanon, were terrorist are elected in government, supported and comforted on the state level? That what Israel trying to stop because Israel have to stop it in order to survive.
Besides, it is a huge difference between separatists terrorists such as KPP and IRA and HEZ who are declaring as goal elimination of sovereign state and entire nation. KPP do not have a goal an elimination of Turkey and IRA do not have a goal of elimination of England , HEZ have as a goal complete elimination of state of Israel and elimination of Jews as a nation..

8/04/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I would have to categorize Mr. Melman's article as Idiotspeak.

If you accepted the conclusion three weeks ago that Hizbu'allah represented a substantial threat to the citizens of Israel should not the primary goal of the war have been to eliminate or reduce that threat?

Mr. Melman tells us that the primary goal of the war is to meet self-imposed military and political restrictions. Killing off HB must then be a secondary goal. If HB were not firing missles indiscriminately into Isreael's population centers 100 or 200 times a day perhaps an argument could be made about setting upside-down priorities. I find it indefensible in the circumstances.

Mr. Melman says that the low enemy casualty count is a postive attribute. Dead Hizbu'allah don't fire rockets. Dead Hizbu'allah don't kill Israelis.

Any nation that thinks that warfighting is more about being even-handed than about killing the enemy probably won't be around for many more.

8/04/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Mark White said...

still realizing said... "It was not necessary to take down Saddam Hussein. It was merely necessary to take away his oil money. No money no nukes. It's as true for Iran as it is for Iraq. The best way to take the oil money is to take the oil. Simpler than the current wars in the mideast."

Absolutely. And since Saddam fought us on taking away his oil money, he's on trial for his life. No amnesty. When we take away the Iranian oil and Saudi oil, we offer amnesty to the leaders if their armies stand down -- no resistance, no shock and awe, just a comfortable exile (unless their own people catch up with them first).

2164th said... "If the greatest military power on the planet could not secure the oil fields of Iraq, that is never going to happen anywhere."

Absolutely not. The greatest military power on earth did not task its military with securing the oil fields in Iraq. It tasked its military with securing the country, and left locals in charge of securing the oil fields. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, all we'd take is the oil fields. If the mullahs want to keep Teheran intact and the Wahabbis want to keep Riyadh intact, they could step out of our way and keep their palaces and bank accounts intact since we'd never come near Teheran and Riyadh.

Remember, the locals in both the Iranian and Saudi oil provinces are oppressed Shia Arabs, ethnically different from the Persian mullahs in Teheran and religiously different from the Wahabbi princes in Riyadh. We'd be liberating the locals when we take those provinces, and give them much better lives even if we spread much of the oil revenues throughout the Middle East because everything we invest would be for infrastructure and education, rather than weapons and jihad.

8/04/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Saddam in his retreat from Kuwait managed to burn off about 1% or 2% of the world's remaining easy-to-produce oil.

8/04/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...the noisy information fish market of the internet..."

I love that turn of phrase! Well done.

8/04/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger The Peculiar American said...

Very interesting video of a debate on Al Jazeera:

http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1050wmv&ak=null.

She's not exactly a moderate muslim (she's a secular atheist Arab-American psychologist) but still sheds light on the kind of debate that needs to be taking place in Islam for the moderates to prevail.

8/04/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

VDH in his usual good form parallels today with the madness of the late '30s.

Has anybody seen the Deranged Left's full page ad in the NYT calling for a populist, extra-constitutional overthrow of the President? I heard the tail end of a discussion on Medved and this ad appears to be quite extraordinary, even in the context of today's BDS madness.

8/04/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

PeterBoston said...

VDH in his usual good form parallels today with the madness of the late '30s.

Has anybody seen the Deranged Left's full page ad in the NYT calling for a populist, extra-constitutional overthrow of the President? I heard the tail end of a discussion on Medved and this ad appears to be quite extraordinary, even in the context of today's BDS madness.

________________________
Peter -

got a link to the article or discussions of same?

extra-constitutional,you say?

unwilling to wait until the 2006 elections?

if true,
some good agit-prop,that.

and bravo to the NYT
for changing direction on a dime.
/sarc off

speaking of dimes,the NYT
could use the pocket change
right about now.

8/04/2006 08:03:00 PM  

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