Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lost in Translation

One of the more interesting articles on the Israeli-Hezbollah ceasefire comes from Le Monde, which features an interview with French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, who describes how his country's diplomatic goals were served by negotiating a ceasefire which left Hezbollah intact. I only have a Google machine translation to guide me, so I hope some French speaking readers can verify that the sense of Douste-Blazy's remarks have been preserved.

Original Machine translation
Nous n'avons pas changé d'avis. Il y a eu deux éléments nouveaux. Le premier, c'est que plus personne n'a parlé de force multinationale, dès l'instant que l'armée libanaise a décidé de déployer 15 000 hommes au Liban sud, ce qui est un élément politique majeur. Et plus personne ne parle d'une force qui serait dotée d'un mandat offensif, pour désarmer le Hezbollah. Ce sont deux faits nouveaux, c'étaient nos lignes rouges. We did not change an opinion. There were two new elements. The first, it is that nobody any more spoke about multinational force, as of the moment that the Lebanese army decided to deploy 15.000 men in southern Lebanon, which is a major political element. And nobody any more speaks about a force which would be equipped with an offensive mandate, to disarm Hezbollah. They is two new facts, they were our red lines.
Nous avons travaillé en étroite collaboration avec les Américains depuis le début de la crise, chacun avec nos spécificités et dans un esprit de confiance. Mais nous n'avons jamais pensé qu'une solution purement militaire pouvait régler le problème du Hezbollah. Nous sommes d'accord sur l'objectif, le désarmement, mais pour nous les moyens sont purement politiques. C'est une spécificité française. We worked in close cooperation with the Americans since the beginning of the crisis, each one with our specificities and in a spirit of confidence. But we never thought that a purely military solution could regulate the problem of Hezbollah. We agree on the objective, disarmament, but for us the means are purely political. It is a French specificity.


This is not the time or place to criticize or examine French policy, only to note that the words "peace" and "ceasefire" are not always what ordinary laymen understand them to be. These words are freighted in actual use with the enormous weight of political interest. In the case above it seems imperative to the French that Hezbollah not be forcibly disarmed by a ceasefire and efforts to do so would be crossing on of their lignes rouges. A ceasefire, yes, but a particular kind ceasefire. A peace, true; but a French peace.

When a person is awarded a Nobel Prize or called a pacifist, one might assume a mild mannered, innoffensive person opposed to violence. Yet nothing could be further than the truth. Very often the awardee is simply a person who has proved the most effective at promoting an agenda supposed to result in something the Nobel committee calls "peace". For example, Betty Williams, the Nobel Peace Prize awardee for 1976 was once a member of the IRA. She recently told Australian school children:

Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Ms Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush. "I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence', because I don't believe that I am non-violent," said Ms Williams, 64. "Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.



Ms. Williams is an activist, striving for goals which are supposed to result in "peace"; not a passive, reticient person. Then of course, there was the Nobel Peace Prize Winner for 1994, Yasser Arafat, of which little needs to be said other than that he exemplifies how elastic the definition of the word "peace" can be, stretchable to encompass the destruction of Israel which in the view of some will bring lasting peace to the Middle East.


This view is not only sensible, but some will argue, profound. Jostein Gaarder the author of Sophie's World recently wrote in Aftenposten recently wrote that "there is no turning back. It is time to learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is history." Yasser Arafat was indeed a man of "peace" in this qualified, even philosophical sense.

Another example of celebrity Nobel pacifism is provided by Günter Grass, recipient of the Prize for Literature in 1999. Anti-American, pacifist, pro-Soviet, he was the idol of the "intelligensia". And why not, given his political positions?

Grass became active in the peace movement and visited Calcutta for six months. During the the events leading up to the unification of Germany in 1989-90, Grass argued for continued separation of the two Germanies, asserting that a unified Germany would necessarily resume its role as belligerent nation-state. He abandoned his mission of gradual socialist reform through the existing West German political institutions. Grass instead adopted a philosophy of direct action, similar to that advocated by the younger generation of 1968. In 2001 Grass proposed the creation of a German-Polish museum for art stolen by the Nazis.

Then on August 11 Grass admitted he had long concealed being a wartime member of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg. Nothing about these juxtapositions would be in the least big surprising if pacifism were properly understood not in the dictionary meaning but simply as the term given to a particular political agenda which these individuals have doggedly and ably pursued. After all, we know how to interpret some terms. Everyone understands that the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is neither democratic, nor republic nor responsive to it's people. It's simply the conventional and recognized name for the poverty-stricken, brutal and repressive personal fiefdom of Kim Jong Il. Peace is the same thing.

Once these facts are clear subsequent discussions can proceed without misunderstanding. Like experienced consumers we will have learned to read the labels on the packaging and achieved a certain level of "sophistication" the exact opposite of which is the "naïveté" that Americans, especially from the Midwest, are said to be incorrigibly afflicted and for which they are roundly reviled. Of course, sophistication is another one of those words which in this context doesn't mean what it's supposed to -- "knowledgeable" or even "complex" -- it simply means the ability to engage in double-talk and coded conversation with the intent to deceive and get paid well into the bargain. I leave you with one final word: humanitarian. Learn it well.


Blogger Doug said...

Grass was just a case of being ahead of the lefty fashion curve.
He was an antisemite before antisemitism was cool!

David Mosier emails: "Just a hunch but I'll bet the Soviet Union knew about Grass's Nazi past since 1945, and threatened to reveal it if he took them on in his writing. Just like they knew about Waldheim."

Jonah Goldberg thinks that Grass deserves a pass compared to some other figures of the left:
Grass was just a teenager when he joined Hitler's killing machine. Shaw, Heidegger and a shocking number of the Western left's intellectual heroes were grown ups when they became enamored with Hitler. Gertrude Stein — a Jew! — led an effort to award Hitler the Nobel Peace Prize in 1938.

Judging by some more recent Peace Prize awardees, I'd say he was a suitable candidate.
- Glenn Reynolds

8/15/2006 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lost in Time:
Can anyone explain the advantage of having a page full of links to Podcasts, as Pajamas does at present?

I look at it and figure I am confronted with hours of listening, all the while having very little ability to scan and dig and etc. as is possible with "old fashioned" hypertext.

8/15/2006 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dog said...

The world is defined by the words we use. We use the phrase "make peace" instead of using "enforce peace". Throughout history peace was always enforced and not "made".
The last example was WWII: Neville Chamberlain made peace with Hitler at Munich in true honesty. That "peace" lasted 1 year.
Winston Churchill enforced the peace with Germany. That peace is still alive today.
Our words are framed by the leftist elites: journalists, professors and politiciens. It is the words we use that detemine the actions we take. "Pacifism" is the surest way of getting a war.
The greatest enforcers of peace in the history were the Romans. They were simple people though: when the Senate or the Emperor told the legions to go and win the war they meant: bring peace for us for the next hundred of years.
Today we are so sophisticated. The mass and instant communication make us feel so much superior to our forefathers. We are not.The Western civilization is still a very thin historical and social construct that can be destroyed by a coordinated attack of the barbarians. And they are at our gates again.

8/15/2006 03:41:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Gunter was in the SS? I'll be damned.

8/15/2006 03:46:00 AM  
Blogger Zionist Bootlicker said...

(Hat Tip Cedarford, who recently referred to Victor Hanson as such)

Might as well be clearly defined in this era of sophisticated mindlessness and lunacy.

Might as well get this name on the docket before the next jihadist, wipe-the-land-of-Jews war gets started, and Israel is savaged in the media for it.

Might as well take an unequivocal stand for the State of Israel, while the Buchananites carp, complain, and whine.

Might as well eat your heart out, Cedarford.

Excellent post, Wretchard.

8/15/2006 03:50:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

The arab world's peace solution is the death of israel.

Simply put, we woll not go quietly into the night ever again. Most jews understand this and understand that a "cease-fire" is not a peace treaty.

The hypocrisy of the UN at the moment is amazing while a 100 a day are blown to hamburger in Iraq, 1000's in Darfar, the Congo, Somolia etc are killed, starved etc, the UN looks at forcing a "cease-fire" on Israel.

Good news to me? The west is slowly waking up. India is waking up.

I predict that the PEOPLE not the governments of the world will slowly arise from their morass to take action. It will not be pretty, but as the islamic world has repulsed it's outsiders like a virus being expelled from it's host, the western society, the greatest mass murdering people the world has ever known will react...

it will not be pretty, Europe will burn, the self emposed moslem ghettos will be torched, pitch forks and shotguns.. like a scene out of young frankenstein it's about to break open...

all the while the leaders of those same nations will increase welfare benefits and tolerance classes in an alice in wonderland attempt to portray intolerance to intolerance as the new anti-semitism (no jews need apply)

happy day are hear again, the white male killing machine is about to be reborn... get the black boot polish out..

dark days.... but who knows, when europe is cleansed of it's moslems, PEACE will reign

8/15/2006 03:54:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Excellent post, W.

When the french use the word "peace", they mean peace in the banelieu.

They already know that there is no chance of the Lebanese peace holding.

So, in translation, to the French "calling for peace" is a tool, not an expression of desire - to say nothing of morals.

Isn't the word poseur French?


8/15/2006 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

Wretchard, I think with this report of the do nothings, and the snarkiness you displayed for "pacifists," we must be on the same page now. But how long will you remain reticent?

About 10 days ago I wrote my first essay in 3 months. Here are a few of my laments extracted.

Nowadays, unconscionable events our culture once reviled and consistently held up as proof of how much better we have it here, seems to go on daily (Zimbabwe, Sudan) without much of us noticing. And how have our once moral voice been silenced? Vicious stalkers prowl for any moral voice raised in protest. Then they quickly descend to drown it out with shrieks or, where sound has no effect, to scar the messenger with a plethora of unfounded calumnies. On one hand we are assailed by those who deny we have any right or reason to lead resistive forces against evil, while on the other hand, there are others ever-ready to upbraid us, shouting that it's offensive to ridicule the rest of the world for doing not one thing to stop the atrocities.

So naturally those who try to make an effort where we arguably have a strategic reason to do so (the Middle East) are condemned certainly by those who think life-saving efforts are counter-productive. But we also are condemned by those who have so embraced pacifism they refuse to see that pacifism would allow murder to go on unchecked. So many death heads have piled up in the shadow of pacifists who tirelessly build obstacles for those who would confront aggressors, that most assuredly such pacifists will find they are granted the saint-hood they so richly deserve – but by hell.

8/15/2006 04:33:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Wretchard wrote:
This view is not only sensible, but some will argue, profound. Jostein Gaarder the author of Sophie's World recently wrote in Aftenposten recently wrote that "there is no turning back. It is time to learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is history."

Wretchard, with this post, you point out the camouflaged dangers of the peace movement. Often, like wolves clad in sheeps' clothing, they pretend to be something other than what they actually are. Offering peace, they bring war Offering restoration and pride, they bring National Socialism. Offering security and comfort, they bring Communism.

Today, they are known as watermelons or anarchists or anticapitalists but they are still the same malcontent, usurpers that they have always been. Having gained power, particularly in the academic world, today's liberals preach tolerance but are most intolerant of ideas contrary to their established dogma. The left mocks and scorns traditional, conservative thoughts, morals, ideas and approaches while tolerance and diversity bring evermore suffering, misery and death abortion, HIV and euthanaisa.

It is called the post-modern world, but it has alway been this way. As in the days of old, only good, clear thinking, morally strong men can resist this seductive, luring kind of evil. Men who know right from wrong, men who can name good and evil. The world calls them naive, it calls them provincial, it says they lack nuance. Good men are discredited, disparaged and destroyed even as the world elevates its own to the high seats of power, authority and respect.

And it's so sexy! "Look at Angelina, isn't she beautiful and so exotic, like a wild animal."

"Go on, take a bite."

8/15/2006 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Novangli said...

I have just begun reading Walid Phares' "Future Jihad" and in the first chapter he defines the Islamic world's definitions of Peace (Dar el Islam), War (Dar el Harb) and the roles of Jihad (Struggle/Effort), Fatah (Conquest), and Suhl (Interim Peace). In confronting this enemy, we need to understand their linguistic distinctions. If we take Phares' definitions, there can only be true peace in the world of the Jihadis when we all submit to Islam. Those of us outside of Islam will always be the targets of Jihadi war - our failure to adopt their way of life somehow undermines their confidence and certainty of the correctness of Islam and must be dealt with.
Suhl, or Interim Peace, is put forth as a time out from Jihad or Fatah when things are not going well for the Jihadis. We see this now in Southern Lebanon. War will be afoot again - this is just a timeout.
We will find peace with the Jihadis by only one of two routes: (1) submitting to the will if Allah, or (2) perpetually pounding the ever-lining-crap out of them so that they seee Suhl as their only mode of survival.
Islam respects power and strength - in that sense it has a rational basis for survival. However, they managed to infect the Mongols after being conquered, so winning battles and wars alone is necessary, but not sufficient to check Islam. Of course, Islam was a perfect viral compliment to Mongol expansion. I hope that my assumption that Islam is contrary to democratic capitalism and cannot subvert Western Civilization. Yet, I fear that the self-loathing left has already allowed their moral relativism and weak moral compass to lead them to dhimmi status and prep the path for a slow conversion over generations. We are all Israelis. We are all Jews. It's simply a matter of time for each of us to recognize and acknowledge it.
We must be vigilant and recognize the difference between Suhl and Dar el Islam. True peace with the Jihadis will come only with our subservience - otherwise, prepare for perpetual war until Islam is forced into reformation.

8/15/2006 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Here's a new term for you: Non Government Organization with Armies and Rockets (NGO-WAR). And "SS" can stand for Serious Social work -- like when you see a community center in need of help and blow it up -- with the people inside. The Truck Bomb is called an "Incredibly Explosive Donation."

8/15/2006 05:04:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Doug, I thought I was the only one who didn't like podcasts.

8/15/2006 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

" We are all Israelis. We are all Jews. It's simply a matter of time for each of us to recognize and acknowledge it."

No, some of us are Americans and Christians and do not aspire to that arrogant metaphor. We also recognize that we are a sovereign nation and our legacy is not permanently tied to any other nation other than our own. Do not worry, there are enough of us that will never submit to Islam. We may not recognize "recognize the difference between Suhl and Dar el Islam", but we recognize the game and by the time we play it our way, Islam will decide to take the count and not get back up from the mat.

8/15/2006 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The 11th hour move to insert a formidable force into S. Lebanon may have been enough to determine a good outcome for Israel and the West. No matter what Naziforallah and the NYT (or DR for that matter) have to say, Hezbollah is no longer calling the shots in S. Lebanon. No matter how anybody else wants to define victory, I know that going from king to courtier is not a step up.

Although the situations are different I suspect that Iran will make the same kind of play in Lebanon that it has in Iraq. Violence will increase in indirect proportion to its surrogates political power. In other words if the Christians and the Druze make headway on the political front mass murder of Lebanese civilians will become as common in Beirut as it is in Baghdad. It may be a macabre dynamic but from the Iranian perpsective instability and uncertainty are still better than getting pushed out completely.

It all seems so clear from this keyboard. Different world views are competing for dominance. One side knows they want to win and will do anything to get there while the other side dithers on whether they really mean it and whether the battle is worth fighting.

8/15/2006 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

I serve as a town councilman in a small rural community. I was talked into it by our mayor, who knew that if I did not serve, there would not be enough positions filled - sad really.

The crazy idea of banning Islam from our small town crossed my mind the other day. I haven't actually proposed the idea to anyone because it seems so radical.

Imagine the fallout of such a brave proposal. The ACLU, MSM, lefties everywhere would have a field day. CAIR would be all over the airwaves "protecting" their adherants. Most importantly, law enfocement would be handcuffed & overwhelmed. The citizens of our tiny community would be condemned to death.

We would be just like Israel.

8/15/2006 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Few realize it, but in 1941 there was no one in the world who wanted peace more than Nazi Germany - at least peace with the West.

The Germans refused to fully mobilize their industry, continued production of consumer goods, and cancelled most weapons development. The war was won. The immediate objectives had been achieved, and peace with the British Commonwealth and the USA would enable them to focus on getting rid of the USSR, or at least securing adequate oil supplies. "Tomorrow the World" was still their vision, and they made various quiet moves toward that end, but for the time being they wanted peace.

It was that nut Mussolini with his adventures in Africa and the warmongering British and Americans that screwed everything up. In retrospect, it is a wonder that Hitler was not given the Nobel and Churchill and Roosevelt not charged with war crimes. I guess that people were a lot less "sophisticated" then.

8/15/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Let's see if I get this...despite their happy-happy-joy-joy self-labels, they are actually fascists-with-smiles except Grass, who is an actual fascist, historically speaking...SS Panzer, huh? Has he assured us that he only stayed in the rear and made coffee and cakes?

8/15/2006 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


"Banning" Islam is a constitutional impossiblity but that doesn't mean that every person in every town and city across the US shouldn't do everything they can to prevent any muslim from being elected or appointed to any public office.

Middle East Forum updates regularly on inroads being made by Islamism.

Quietly, lawfully, peacefully, Islamists do their work throughout the West to impose aspects of Islamic law, win special privileges for themselves, shut down criticism of Islam, create Muslim-only zones, and deprive women and non-Muslims of their full civil rights.

I have to admit that I must not know anything about Islam because despite reading much over the last several years, and no matter how much I look, I cannot see anything other than a pernicious and destructive ideology that must be confronted and defeated on every level.

8/15/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The simplest method to reduce Islam is to think apartheid. The world has passed the point where it should accept anything less than total unqualified equal rights and protection for woman. What was good for the old South Africa in the way of sanctions and coercion should be applied to Islamic countries that reject total equal rights for woman, including dress codes. There can be no smarter way to induce change in the Islamic world. It is not as much fun as massive air strikes but never underestimate the power of a woman to bust a man's bunker.

8/15/2006 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Correction: please insert "totalitarians-with-smiles". It occurs to me that they all do not fit the definition of fascists.

8/15/2006 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Novangli said...

The metaphor was not intended as an arrogant one in any way - not as a self referential one as you imply. What I was trying to say is that the Jihadis view us as one in the same - whether Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Confuscian, etc. They just say what they really think about the Jews - but will then move on to the next group who does not practice their preferred brand of Islam. When all the non-Muslims are addressed, they will turn on one another. If we could keep them in their own sandbox, perhaps we could turn them on one another sooner. So, we are all Jews in the sense that we are all Kuffar.

8/15/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Griswel said...

Maybe its not true for everyone, but the Pajamas media box, for me, appears in the middle of the page and covers much of the text.

8/15/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Novangli said...

"In retrospect, it is a wonder that Hitler was not given the Nobel and Churchill and Roosevelt not charged with war crimes."

That's because in the end, the winners write the history and decide who are the heros and who are the goats.

8/15/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

dog said:

The Western civilization is still a very thin historical and social construct that can be destroyed by a coordinated attack of the barbarians. And they are at our gates again.

I disagree. The worst they could do was bring down four airplanes and two buildings, and we shrugged it off and went on to eliminate the regime that sheltered the barbarians without even calling for rationing or a military draft. Not even a nuclear bomb in the heart of one of our cities will bring down western civilization...if anything, it would wash away all the hand-wringing and moral ambivalence that infects the west. The lesson of Pearl Harbor must be relearned by our enemies every generation.

8/15/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger j willie said...

Bashar Assad provides yet another insightful perspective regarding "peace":

Assad, speaking to a journalists' association in Damascus, said the region had changed "because of the achievements of the resistance."

According to Assad, "The Arabs gave everything and got nothing in return. When we say that we have chosen peace as our strategy, it does not mean we gave up other options. On the contrary."

"We are convinced that the true path to peace is via negotiations, but if this path is not possible - resistance is the only way. Not necessarily an armed resistance but a cultural and political resistance as well. The goal of the resistance is not war but rather peace. It therefore does not contradict the peace and is necessary in the current state of affairs," he said.

8/15/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Wretchard, great post! I am reminded of my old Russian Language classes the Russian word for Peace is Mir, I'm too lazy to go fetch the Cyrillic keyboard and the Russian word for the World is, you guessed it: Mir.

Yawl have fun with that one.

8/15/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Thanks for the clarification Novangli.

8/15/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...


The crazy idea of banning Islam from our small town crossed my mind the other day...law enforcement would be handcuffed & overwhelmed. The citizens of our tiny community would be condemned to death. We would be just like Israel.

Except Israel has a thriving Muslim community. One out of seven Israeli citizens are Arabs. About the only way you could keep the Muslims out of your town is to call it the "Pork Belly Capital of the World"

8/15/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Right now, I would love to kill Ms Williams.

Waddya know, I'm a pacifist too!

8/15/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

A few hours after the kidnapping of two IDF soldiers and in the midst of discussions over whether to launch military operations in Lebanon, the chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, decided to sell off his personal investment portfolio, Maariv reported Tuesday morning. JPost

This is interesting. I want a chief of staff that buys when my country is considering war.

8/15/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Ditto Doug's comments on pod-casting. I have listened to a couple and I simply do not understand why Pajama's Media think it's such a nifty way to communicate.

They take too long to download.

What would take me 3 or 4 minutes to read takes 20-30 minutes to listen to.

What am I supposed to be doing while listening to them? Staring at my computer screen, or wandering off to "multi-task" on something else while listening? I don't like doing that, either, since it means I'm not concentrating on what is sometimes very technical discussions.

It's hard to parse what's being said if you can't go back and re-read.

I would *strongly* urge those who are enamored of podcasting (Instapundit? Wretchard? Bueller? Bueller?) to also ALWAYS include a written transcript, if not at the same time then within 24 hours. Perhaps this is why you think it's such a great thing, is you go on the air, say it, and there's no need for follow-up or transcribing.

But from my point of view, you're losing part of your audience because if the way you're doing it is too cumbersome to access, your pearls of wisdom will not be cast before swine, they'll just be left lying on top of the swine-food untouched.

8/15/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ray said...


First to answer your question. The Google translation, though awkward at times, does capture the original sense of the remarks by the French Foreign Minister.

Second, while any thinking person realizes that this is a Hudna, it is harder to judge the longer term strategic impact. Hizbullah has been degraded, but by how much? How, in the end, will this play out n Lebanese politics? Olmert is likely history as the Israeli public rejects his half-hearted prosecution of the war. They should have sent in a large ground force for a decisive, if bloody and painful, operation. Even many among those who protested the Lebanese war of a generation ago now realize that, in time, they will have to deal with an existential threat from Hizbullah. When Hizbullah attacks again the question will be will Israel really have been cured of its "Vietnam syndrome" produced by its previous occupation of Lebanon? Will they once again be Old Testament Jews and smite the Amalekites?

8/15/2006 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Here's another guy Who Had it Right.

8/15/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

The only reason I could think of why the U.S. backed this ceasefire is to try to stop the applecart in Iraq from tumbling any further...

The last thing one does when you have your opponent against the ropes is to stand back and let them have a breather.

8/15/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...


It's obvious the Hizbollah could have been completely wiped out. How about the IDF is resting up for the big push that will be necessitated by the EyeGuy's fealty to Iran?

If we'd like Israel to cover our West flank soon, they need their rest, for training and maintenance.

Perhaps we've adopted hudna.


8/15/2006 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well this morning has brought heavy cloud cover to the AZ skies, the grey mass moves slowly west, blocking the sun, at least for now.

The morning scan of RealClearPolitics daily links gives me the idea that there are clouds over the ME, as well.

the New Republic "Israel's Broken Heart. Final Reckoning"
by Yossi Klein Halevi

JPost Our World: The Olmert government must go
by Caroline Glick

RCP "Mideast 'Birth Pangs' -- or Defeat?"
By Richard Cohen

RCP "The Triumph of Unrealism"
By George Will

Commentary "Is the Bush Doctrine Dead?"
by Norman Podhoretz

Interesting reading, on a cloudy morning. All of these writers, not a confirmed "leftist" amongst them, to my knowledge, do not see the sunny side.

Those pieces that were by the "left" I have left off the list, but for those interested in how the other half sees the clouds
RCP home page take a look for yourselves.

I have not ridden with the majority view for quite a while, now to be with them, it's quite disheartening.

8/15/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

DR, that's why we normally elect physically fit, middle-aged men of moderate habits to be "President."

They have better "Nerves."

8/15/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Big Lizards says Babbin is a Nancy-Boy.

I agree.

8/15/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger luc said...

Nice work Wretchard and a very good translation for a non-french speaking person.
As I gather from the posts I read on your blog, as well as others, there is a noticeable hardening of attitude towards today’s adherents to the Islam. I would like to think that the appearance of “spine” in the attitude is not an artifact of my reading mainly “right-wing” blogs but it is becoming more common among the silent majority of Americans. My concern is that the number of logic-challenged idiots is still large enough to impede the necessary action in dealing with an openly-declared enemy.
When one considers the often mentioned argument that US policy is the reason for militant Islamism, which has significant traction among the Left, it would reasonable but mostly useless to point out that the US is a relatively recent (200 odd years) arrival on the world scene, while militant Islam is 1400 years old and that the “religion of peace” is the concept of a warrior and not a man of piece. A religion of war used for conquest since its inception and which CLEARLY states that peace can be achieved only by having every human being adhere to Islam.
Unfortunately, rational argument is a losing proposition with a fanatic, be he of the religious or political kind.

8/15/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I fail to see how Hezbollah could have been "destroyed" had the IDF been more aggressive, unless they were willing to completely obliterate southern Lebanon. The Hezbollahs (Hezbollites?) would have just evacuated along with the rest of the civilians had they thought they were in danger of being destroyed; they aren't stupid.

8/15/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger epictetus said...

I posted this at the end of the last thread. I guess I can understand why France is acting as it is, but why is Israel?


8/15/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...


'Tis but vain to popularize profundities, and all truth is profound.

However, a buried weapon can be found and wielded in the hour of direst need. A man, groveling in the dirt, wraps his fingers around a buried hilt. His spirit restores.

Perhaps that is the worth of the Belmont Club. Weapons that never lose their edge, discoverable when they are most necessary.

8/15/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Not for nothing was the two-fingered "V" converted from Churchill's symbol of victory to the New Left symbol of "peace."

"Peace" = Victory, in every case. And what an effective piece of deception that has proven to be. And who should be the master of such duplicity, and, the ground having been laid by the Comintern and its fruits, what doctrine?

Why, Islam, of course, "the stupidest monotheism," for which Peace = Submission to Allah. This duplicity is its essence. Duplicity, parasitism, violence, incompetence.

Now we understand the parallel, the functional coessentiality.

Let us arm ourselves and head out, Gentlemen.

8/15/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger HK Vol said...

Does anyone else think about Sherman?

If anyone brought about peace in the US out of the Civil War, it was General Sherman. He was the one who broke the spirit and resistance of the South. A man reviled in much of the South even today. Yet without his "hell" marching through Georgia, the South would have refused to admit defeat.

Surely Sherman could not have done today what he did 140 years ago. Yet it was in his absolute devastation that he brought about a longer-lasting peace. I'm afraid that wars of half-measures and niceties only brings about perpetual conflict.

Am I off base here?

8/15/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Nancy Boy" Babbin, Air Force Vet and Number 2 in Defense in Reagan Admin. is not a Lizard, and would not feature Skanks as come ons if he was trying to sell his swill!

8/15/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Why would those "Texas" Men target the Mackinac Bridge?

Oh, I don't know; do you suppose they Wanted to Kill 58,000 People?

8/15/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"At last, it's here! The first boxed set of Brad Linaweaver's infamous Der Krapp bad-movie review column, seventeen fun-filled forays into fantabulously fouled-up freakshow films, is now available for your reading, er, pleasure. Click Movies in the navigation bar at the top of the page and just follow the links!

The first actual content outside the blog is now available! It's the first installment of Dafydd ab Hugh's column, The Lizard's Tongue. You can reach it via the Articles page (click Articles in the navigation bar at the top of the page), from the drop-down menu in the sidebar on the right.

Please enjoy the blog while you wait with breathless breath and baited hook for the rest of this fershlugginer web site. It really will be coolsomeness personified, the very apex of intelligent web design, when it's done. I promise.
RUFUS !!!!

8/15/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Israeli Armed Forces began evacuating from Lebanon this morning while most Americans were deep asleep. Both Israel and Hezbollah are claiming victory. What actually happened?

There were no clear victors. But both sides had gains and loses.

Hezbollah could have claimed victory under any circumstances other than being exterminated. Simply surviving an attack in force by the feared Israeli Army is a first. All over the Islamic Uuma (Nation), there is ecstatic celebration of this very limited "victory." They have also learned how to slam Israel at a relatively safe distance, through rockets and missiles. Their armed forces have gained valuable battle experience.

Hezbollah losses were having its forces, equipment and positions degraded. They lost the element of surprise in future battles, as their capabilities are better known now. While they had heavy losses of soldiers and weapons, these can rapidly be restored. Iran is panting to replace all lost equipment, and to train any new recruits. And new recruits are ever more available.

Hezbollah's biggest loss is exposure. Now the world knows that Hizbollah "is" Lebanon. That the rest of Lebanon cannot control them or stop them. Or even criticize them. The world now understands that Hezbollah is merely the tip of the Iranian and Syrian militaries. That veil is gone too.

The Lebanexe Shi'ites have also been exposed as the welfare-slaves and whole-hearted supporters of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has also earned the hatred of non-Shi'ite Lebanese for triggering the massive destruction of much of Lebanon.

Israel lost much of its deterent, the fear of their formidable military. It's civilian plus military deaths together are around 100. That is less than a tenth of Hezbollah and Lebanese admitted losses. (The actual Lebanese losses are undoubtedly higher. And Hezbollah may have lost as much as half of its soldiers.) So Israel's system of underground shelters worked.

On the other hand, Israel learned from this "trial-run" minor war. Now it knows what it did not know before. Where its enemy is entrenched, what its capabilities are. What its own military weaknesses are. It has, for the time, seriously degraded the capabilities of its enemy.

It also may have triggered Iranian war plans against Israel before Iran was ready. Before, Hezbollah and its secret capacities was poorly known to Israeli intelligence. It could have burst out unexpectedly, when Iran could be attaching Israel.

Israel also escaped a looming pincer movement by Hezbollah early today, by withdrawing most of its forces from the Litani River. Israel had gone to the Litani to put Hezbollah in a pincers between Israelis on both the north and south. But Hezbollah was also on both the north and south sides of the Israeli forces. With refugees flooding back into the area, Israelis would have hesitated to endanger them, whereas Hezbollah would have not hesitated to fire right through them. It was time for the Israelis to move out of there.

Oddly, both Israel and Hezbollah are in a better position than before. Both have "been to school" on the other. But Israel has probably gained more. No longer can Iran surprise them through Hezbollah. They know what to fix about their military and their strategy. They will probably replace their timid government with a more robust one. They did not want to take out the Syrian government (as they believe a worse one would replace it) and it did not fall.

And for the first time since 1948, the UN did something positive and supportive toward the nation of Israel. They even agreed - another first - that Israel was not the aggressor in this war. That is a sea-change. Not determinative. But certainly not small either.

Finally, the U.S. government did what its critics always scream for it to do. Act multilaterally. Go through the UN. Skillfully, quietly, brilliansly and behind the scenes, it got an unexpectedly good, historically significant result. Condi, Bolton, and Bush, take a bow. And bystanders and constant critics - a little credit would be in order.

8/15/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

Doug, I tend to agree with you about the space devoted to podcasts on PJM's home page. They could at least do them as one-liners. As for their usefulness, I have decided they must be meant for listening while you read something else. They can't be efficient any other way because one (I, anyhow) can take in more faster reading than listening.

So, now I'm working on listening to podcasts while I read. It ain't easy! But they say Julius Caesar listened to a letter being read to him, dictated an answer to it, formulated war plans over a map and much more -- all while having breakfast. So I'm trying to see if an ordinary mortal can do a little more than he used to. :)

8/15/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Neo-Russian Economy; No Dollars, and even Less Sense. Ever wonder why Russia does some of the silly crap that it does? This Article at Publius Pundit pretty well explains it.

8/15/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

That should have read: "Neo-Soviet Economy."

Get a cup of coffee, it's a heck of a read, and for all I can figure out, Deadly Accurate.

8/15/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Griswel said...
Maybe its not true for everyone, but the Pajamas media box, for me, appears in the middle of the page and covers much of the text.

8/15/2006 06:31:06 AM

Same here. I use Safari 2.0.4 on a 10.4.7 mac. Anyone with info hyperlinking blogger with a mac using safari would be helpful.

8/15/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

'Rat, obviously you didn't read Podhoretz (link above):

But it beggars belief that Bush decided to go along with the European approach to Iran because he suddenly discovered that there is wisdom in “hoping for the best” and putting “our faith in the word of tyrants.” To me (pace Richard Perle), it has seemed more likely that he has once again been walking the last diplomatic mile, exactly as when he spent so many months and so much energy working to get the UN to endorse an invasion of Iraq. The purpose, now as then, is to expose the futility of diplomacy where the likes of Saddam Hussein and the Iranian mullocracy are concerned, and to show that the only alternative to accepting the threats they pose is military action.

Robert Kagan—a neoconservative who has not given up on Bush—puts this well in describing the negotiations as “giving futility its chance.” Kagan also entertains the possibility that the negotiations are not merely a ploy on Bush’s part, and that his “ideal outcome really would be a diplomatic solution in which Iran voluntarily and verifiably abandoned its [nuclear] program.” However that may be, once having played out the diplomatic string, Bush will be in a strong political position to say, along with Senator John McCain, that the only thing worse than bombing Iran would be allowing Iran to build a nuclear bomb—and not just to endorse that assessment but to act on it.

Podhoretz makes the same claim I do. Most people who are complaining about Bush mistake prudence for weakness, and strategic trade-offs for defeats.

Iran is the big enchilada. I'm going to be insufferable when we bomb them.

8/15/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

This is Really Good News!

8/15/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

which passages would you like translated?
i scanned the interview, and i got more the impression that he was satisfying the consideration that french troops might be endangered by forcing hizb' disarmament, and that that was not one of their duties.

his main goal in the negotiations seemed to be convincing les Etats Unis that force alone could could not solve the problem.
he also congratualted the french on their return to the center stage of diplomacy and emphasized that french troops were an absolute necessity for unifil, critically important.

8/15/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Hk Vol: Sugggest you read Victor Davis Hanson's book that covers Sherman and Patton. He makes the same point as you do.

Latest Av Week says that the IDF ship Hanit probably was not struck by the C-802 missile, since the ship was too close to the launch point for the missile to acquire the target and the damage inflicted does not look like what would be doen by an 802. They theorise that two smaller rockets fired at the same time as the 802 hit the ship.

The IDF says they have hit 4400 targets in Lebanon while Hezbolah fired more than 3500 rockets at Israel and about 300 of the 1,000-1,550 launches were destroyed.

8/15/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Me and you, both, Aristides.

There was Steel in his voice, yesterday, when he mentioned the possibility of Iran having Nuclear Weapons.

If you've got it wrong, so do I; and, I don't normally misread Dubya.

8/15/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

my gmail for translation, si vous voulez. ;)

8/15/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

For those who thought that foreign troops were going to help disarm Hezbollah, the French have now explicitly given Hezbollah a veto:

The disarmament of Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and their withdrawal to north of the Litani river are indispensable for the Lebanese army and a bolstered international peacekeeping force to deploy in the area, France's foreign minister told AFP...

Remember, it doesn't really matter what the U.N. resolution says is supposed to happen as long as its execution is carried out by parties willing to ignore its provisions for their own political convenience. Jacques Chirac has been toeing the expansionist Arab-Muslim line for over forty years. More than any single individual he is responsible for the Muslim re-colonization of Europe. Why should anyone think he would stop now?

8/15/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

“Land for peace”? It’s alive! It’s alive!

In yesterday’s perpetual thread, someone took exception to my characterization of the State Department’s insistence upon negotiating land for peace. Obviously, Mr. Peretz did not miss Mr. McCormick’s message.

Peretz: Prepare for negotiations with Syria

"every war creates opportunities for an extensive diplomatic process,"

“we need to hold negotiations with Lebanon and lay the groundwork for negotiations with Syria."

“ We need to resume negotiations with the Palestinians."

Strike mortmain, Israel is a mortgagee, and once dead, Eretz Israel reverts to the original title holder.


8/15/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

DRat said: "The morning scan of RealClearPolitics daily links gives me the idea that there are clouds over the ME, as well. ... Commentary "Is the Bush Doctrine Dead?" by Norman Podhoretz ... Interesting reading, on a cloudy morning. All of these writers, not a confirmed "leftist" amongst them, to my knowledge, do not see the sunny side."

DRat, Thanks for bringing the new Podhoretz piece to my attention. Except for that piece, I have I have read everything Podhoretz has written about the Bush Doctrine and the GWoT since 2002. That includes an WSJ intreview from last week (link available from RealClearPolitics). He didn't give an inch or into pessimism in that piece. I somehow doubt he's doing so now but I'll know for sure when I read it for myself. Again, thanks for bringing the piece to my attention.

8/15/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

rwe said:

The IDF says they have hit 4400 targets in Lebanon while Hezbolah fired more than 3500 rockets at Israel and about 300 of the 1,000-1,550 launches were destroyed.

So the IDF has 900 more hits than the Hezbos have shots, and only 10% of Hezbo shots even hit a structure, and only a fraction of those hits were of military significance. After the initial kidnapping the entire ground war took place in Lebanon. The roads and bridges connecting Hezbollastan to Syria have been cut, isolating the "state-within-a-state". Yet Hezbollah won the war. ::eye roll::

8/15/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Mollie said...

There is an excellent essay on how Bush, the Poker Player, is thinking right now at www.biglizards.net/blog. Essentially, his argument is that you have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

Israel is not a united country - its political class is splintered, and the last thing it wants is another go at 'occupying' south lebanon. The people in South Lebanon support Hezbollah.

He likens this whole thing to the First Battle of Fallujah: where there were 2 options: Scipio's salting of Carthage; or long term occupation of an enemy city by the Americans. Better to fold 'em, and wait for better days. By the time of the 2d Battle of Fallujah, functioning Iraqi troops existed, and could be left in place after taking the city.

In this case, Bush is saying that it is up to the Lebanese army to control Lebanese territory. It can't. But implicit in this is setting up a Hezbollah/north Lebanese tension.

Now, to quiet the resulting Civil War: I would be really interested in the makeup of the new UNIFIL: OK, the French can lurch around Beirut, pretending to be a 19th Century colonial power. But what if.. what if we see TURKEY take a strong role in the south?

Given Turkey's interest in weakening a renascent Iran... this could just happen. Also, the Turkish Army would be competent, and not overt enemies of Israel (unlike the French).

8/15/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Oh, I read it, aristide, just that I do not always just link to those that totally agree with me.
Mr Podhoretz happens to to see some sun light, most of those he quotes within that piece, do not.

If the US engages Iran on a practical, public level. More than with rhetoric and does so successfully, that'll be a great day.
I'd gladly submit to your insufferablity if the US wins the War, which may take much more than just bombing Iran.

As Israel discovered with HB. It takes more than aerial bombings to win a war.

8/15/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

"A ceasefire, yes, but a particular kind ceasefire. A peace, true; but a French peace."

Wretchard, with respect, Dr. Rice made clear that the Lebanese resolution was "Franco-American.”Indeed, Dr. Rice was so insistent upon this point that she took Mr. Bolton's seat at the UN and personally cast the US vote favoring the Franco-American resolution. Therefore, it is OUR resolution, French warts and all.

I take a back seat to no one in the arena of French bashing - an ignoble sport, to be sure, akin to shooting fish in a barrel or dynamiting a farm pond, but primordially irresistible, nonetheless - however, in the instance, to bash the French demands, in fairness, reciprocal opprobrium of US.

8/15/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Other than his quotes of Mr Bush, of course.

8/15/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

gerry; 8:11


Bush and Condi clash over Israel; president overrules her for the first time

Many of the conservative major figures in Iraq War II, such as Mr. Senor, have come away from the experience with doubts. Almost without exception, each has complained of major errors, the consequence of inadequate FORETHOUGHT. And as we should all know, forethought is not suggestive of a PLAN; instead, forethought is the indispensable prerequisite to a plan.

8/15/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Seymour Hersh writing in the New Yorker:

“The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits,” a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. “Why oppose it? We’ll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran.”

According to Richard Armitage, who served as Deputy Secretary of State in Bush’s first term—and who, in 2002, said that Hezbollah “may be the A team of terrorists”—Israel’s campaign in Lebanon, which has faced unexpected difficulties and widespread criticism, may, in the end, serve as a warning to the White House about Iran. “If the most dominant military force in the region—the Israel Defense Forces—can’t pacify a country like Lebanon, with a population of four million, you should think carefully about taking that template to Iran, with strategic depth and a population of seventy million,” Armitage said. “The only thing that the bombing has achieved so far is to unite the population against the Israelis.”

The Israeli plan, according to the former senior intelligence official, was “the mirror image of what the United States has been planning for Iran.” (The initial U.S. Air Force proposals for an air attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear capacity, which included the option of intense bombing of civilian infrastructure targets inside Iran, have been resisted by the top leadership of the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps, according to current and former officials. They argue that the Air Force plan will not work and will inevitably lead, as in the Israeli war with Hezbollah, to the insertion of troops on the ground.)

Cheney’s point, the former senior intelligence official said, was “What if the Israelis execute their part of this first, and it’s really successful? It’d be great. We can learn what to do in Iran by watching what the Israelis do in Lebanon.”

“But the thought behind that plan was that Israel would defeat Hezbollah, not lose to it,” the consultant with close ties to Israel said.

The surprising strength of Hezbollah’s resistance, and its continuing ability to fire rockets into northern Israel in the face of the constant Israeli bombing, the Middle East expert told me, “is a massive setback for those in the White House who want to use force in Iran. And those who argue that the bombing will create internal dissent and revolt in Iran are also set back.”

David Siegel, the Israeli spokesman, said that his country’s leadership believed, as of early August, that the air war had been successful, and had destroyed more than seventy per cent of Hezbollah’s medium- and long-range-missile launching capacity. “The problem is short-range missiles, without launchers, that can be shot from civilian areas and homes,” Siegel told me. “The only way to resolve this is ground operations—which is why Israel would be forced to expand ground operations if the latest round of diplomacy doesn’t work.”

The gist of the article is tripartite:

1. We greenlighted the attack because we wanted a practice run for our bombing of Iran.
2. Israel lost to Hezbollah.
3. Therefore, we have had a serious conceptual setback, and a strong dose of reality. Our plans to aerially attack Iran have been disproved.

But our objective is not to stop Iran from firing Katyusha rockets off of the back of small, mobile vehicles. It is to destroy their very stationary nuclear program. Unless Iran is making nukes in the back of a 1992 Toyota pick-up, I think the idea that we are "seriously reconsidering" our options in Iran because of what happened in Lebanon is ridiculous.

The 'war' with Iran will be limited to its nuclear program and its retaliatory infrastructure, and we will probably occupy the oil fields. None of those objectives depend on the psychology of the Iranian people.

8/15/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Novangli said...

Is the UN reinforcing Hezballah in South Lebanon? Clearly, the Lebanese army at least stood aside, if not openly collaborated, with the Hezballah. Now, the new and improved UNIFIL will include battalions from Malaysia and Indonesia - countries sympathetic to Hezballah. In fact, there are possible ties between their foreign policy and military establishments with jihadis. It just keeps getting more interesting. Never trust the UN.

8/15/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

This Can't be True; It makes way Too Much Sense.

8/15/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Aristides wrote:

"The 'war' with Iran will be limited to its nuclear program and its retaliatory infrastructure, and we will probably occupy the oil fields. None of those objectives depend on the psychology of the Iranian people."

hunh??? occupying oil fields, defending the Straits of Hormuz, dealing with enraged Islamic fundi's further stoked by the use of Nuke bunker busters (not to mention the 'moderates' outcry the world over) it'll be a piece of cake .... ya riiiight.

8/15/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Dog said:

...Western civilization is still a very thin historical and social construct that can be destroyed by a coordinated attack of the barbarians. And they are at our gates again...

This is so true, and needs to be hammered into our heads by our "leaders" again and again (assuming they "get it," which I doubt).

We have bandied about the idea of one or more American or western European cities getting "nuked," as though western civilization would more or less easily ride such an event out. One just needs to carefully think through what the consequences of such an event would be.

Folks, we (collectively, not so much here at BC) are not taking our problems with Islam seriously enough...

Jamie Irons

8/15/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The chance of French troops initiating any attempt to disarm HB is zero. Consider, however, what would happen if USA/Israel struck Iran after UNIFIL was fully deployed and equipped. Wouldn't UNIFIL be forced into engaging HB whether they wanted to or not? The French are turds after all but even they have enough pride to respond to a slap.

From Iran's perspective a muscular international force neutralizes the deterrent value of HB while also freeing Israeli resources to focus on Iran. That is a lose-lose for the mullahs. Maybe the Persians invented chess but when was the last time they had a world champion?

8/15/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Aristides, there is no way in a hundred thousand million years that we would attempt to "occupy" the Iranian oil fields.

Make that a billion, trillion, gazillion, mega-exillion (is there a bigger number?) oh yeah to the qualrillionth power.

8/15/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I believe you make a major error, in part, when you say
" The 'war' with Iran will be limited to its nuclear program and its retaliatory infrastructure"

We may wish that to be the case... But the Iranian retaliatory infrastructure is world wide and in place. It is more than a Regional threat. The 10 Egyptian students, lost for a week in the US, just a symptom. The Francofada another. Nigeria and Ecuador's continued problems with exploding pipelines, as well.
I think you grossly misunderestimate the Iranian response if we preemptively go to war with them.

If they were to be involved in a "major" event, say nuking Israel, then a US nuclear response would end any further threat.
But I truely doubt Mr Bush will initiate a preemptive nuclear strike.

It'll be interesting to watch, that's for sure.

8/15/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Not a piece of cake, but not prohibitively difficult, either. I'm sure the people will be angry, Ash, but without Americans patrolling their streets, how are they going to do anything about it?

Or do you think they'll grab their AK's and, like the Chinese pouring over the Yula, rush down on our well-fortified positions like screaming banshees?


I'd be surprised if we didn't. Oil is Iran's only weapon, and their only income. If we wanted to do regime change, that is the center of gravity.

8/15/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Banishment of all things Islam would be unconstitutional in the sense that it is still considered by many to be a religion. If, however, one could make the case that it wasn't a religion at all, but clearly a gang-style death cult whose manifesto results in its adherents murdering millions of innocents.....

Granted it would take some revolutionary mental gymnastics to accomplish. It may be, nonetheless, the type of debate required to rid ourselves of the menace - certainly would stir-up the mud.

Yes, Israel is a pluralistic democracy and welcomes Arabs, Christians, Jews and others. A point lost on many in leftiodland.

My point is that, as Israel is continually attacked and constantly tried, convicted and sentenced to death in the court of world opinion - simply for being Israeli, so would we also be.

It would certainly illuminate many to the double standard that exists WRT Islam.

As I said, it was a crazy idea.

8/15/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

What is "occupation" wrote:

...like a scene out of young frankenstein it's about to break open...

A riot...is an ugly thing. Und...

I think it's just about time we had one!

Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars)

Young Frankenstein

Jamie Irons

8/15/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...


I don't view the threat of suicide bombers as a deal breaker. Like Saddam's scuds falling into Israel in 1991, they are to be expected and endured.

It will be up to our citizens, then, to minimize the damage by being vigilant and proactive.

8/15/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Novangli said...

Perhaps we could justify banning Islam as a group which actively seeks the overthrow of the US Constitution. As I understand it, Islam is not only a religion, but also a political system with it's own Sharia legal system that is extra-Constitutional. Australian PM John Howard has already publicly advocated deportation of Imams and others who advocate Sharia for just that reason. It advocates the overthrow of the Constitutionally based government.

8/15/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Aristides said: "Perhaps that is the worth of the Belmont Club. Weapons that never lose their edge, discoverable when they are most necessary. "

I have a running debate with an old McGovernite who is anually doing his peacenik schpiel about Hiroshima & Nagasaki. This year I pre-empted his self-loathing diatribe with a reading of both whit's posting of the quote by the Japanese Angilcan Bishop and, from the Belmont archives, wretchard's memorable untitled post about his aunt and the atrocities committed by the Japanes in the battle of Manila.

I don't think he will bring the subject up again....at least not in my presence.

Thanks wretchard and BC-ers! You're a great resource.

8/15/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

DR, you say "bombing can not win a war", an obvious truism. Bombing can however return a country to the 7th Century which is where Islam belongs.

It has surely become obvious that Democracy and the "Islamic Religion" are wholly incompatible, surely that point has begun to leach in through some of the incredibly dense skulls of those who operate the levers of power in the West. Islam is the enemy, not terrorists or Islamo-Facists.

Having said that what to do? Destroy their capacity to interfere with the West, isolate them, do not accept their immigrants, catch and export all those who adhere to Islam as it is preached today. That means we must have the means to listen to what is preached and taught in the Mosques, or probably better, just dismantle them. Islam operates under the shield of pretending to be a religion, it's not. It is only an obsolete and failed form of oppressive government.

Till we recognize this, our war will get nowhere. Oil dominates the thinking of those who refuse to see this.

8/15/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Aristides, The Only thing worse than a War with Iran is an "Iran with Nukes."

Think about that. He will try like the dickens to take out the nuke program, without escalating it into a "War."

Think what would happen if we put a division, or two, in Iran's oil fields. It would be worst of all worlds. Our guys, in a "defensive" posture, in the middle of a country of 70 Million pissed off Iranians.

Besides: We don't want to "crash" their economy. We know, from experience with Cube, and others, that that doesn't work.

We just want to assure that they don't get Nukes. Period. We'll get all the fighting we want when they counter-attack across the Iraqi border. You just haven't thought that one through.

8/15/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


Votre machine a fait un travail pretty good. Je luis donnererais un C+., mais I would modify le premier passage comme suit :

We did not change our opinion. There were two new elements. The first, that no one spoke any longer about " a multinational force," from the moment when the Lebanese army decided to deploy 15.000 men in southern Lebanon, a major political element. And no one any longer spoke about a force with an offensive mandate, namely, to disarm Hezbollah. These are the two new facts, our red lines.

You will notice -- vous observerez, M. Wretchard -- that we have analysed la contribution libanaise to three significant figures: pas simplement "15 hommes (men)," but rather "15.000 hommes."

Such is the ingenuity of the French -- telle est l'ingéniosité des Français !

French Foreign Minister Douche-Blasé

8/15/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

dave h
A bombing campaign against Iran, one that would return them to the 7th century, is not I think what aristide has in mind. He was discussing strikes against their nuclear capabilities, I do believe.
The viability of such a Campaign, we have discussed many times. It would be difficult at best to take out their infrastruture, and know it was done, successfully.

To bomb them back to the 7th century, those would have to be a retalitatory strikes. What would instigate such a campaign?

If as aristide and the NYTimes believes is correct, that the cease fire in Lebanon clears the deck for further action, and the cease fire empowers the Mohammedan feeling of superiority, who would be the presumed next target?

If Mr Bush and company have to sacrifice a city, to motivate the "Free World", as many here have oft stated, would he prefer a foreign or US city be struck.

Coventry would exemplify that type of strategy. The acceptance of a loss, for the greater good.

As a premier poker player, would Mr Bush rather lose his or someone elses ante, before he goes "all in"

8/15/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

The idea of the United States just kind of gently riding out a nuke attack is preposterous. There would immdediately be military law, and where am I to get my deisel fuel? If I can't get that fuel, you can't eat. So the fuel gets rationed out to the to the essentials, the military, the police, the health care, the farmers. China is better positioned to ride out a nuke attack than we are. My ancestors farmed with horses, and while it is theoretically possible to go back to that, it's a long long and death filled road back.

I hope escount makes that move to ban Islam in his small friendly town. Islam and the Constitution are diametrically opposed. Islam doesn't recognize the Constitution. The Constitution doesn't call for recognizing Islam.

8/15/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

" I can't get that fuel, you can't eat."
I'll just drive down to Safeway!

8/15/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I must say, this do be my favorite topic. But I'll try to be brief.


If you haven't read it, this article by Fallows is superb. Excerpt:

As centcom commander, Gardiner cautioned that any of the measures against Iran would carry strategic risks. The two major dangers were that Iran would use its influence to inflame anti-American violence in Iraq, and that it would use its leverage to jack up oil prices, hurting America's economy and the world's. In this sense option No. 2—the pre-emptive air raid—would pose as much risk as the full assault, he said. In either case the Iranian regime would conclude that America was bent on its destruction, and it would have no reason to hold back on any tool of retaliation it could find.

Because whatever our objective Iran will react as if we are going for regime change, the smart move is to minimize our visibility in Iraq, and take the oil fields away from the regime to keep the supply pumping. By doing this, we avoid the two major dangers and conduct an economic siege on the regime. This will give us time to conduct precision raids-to-target to ensure complete destruction of nuclear facilities.

The Baalbek raid should be our benchmark here. If Israel, after two weeks of bombing, could degrade Hezbollah's air defences to such a degree as to allow this raid to be successful without any casualties taken, then we can too. In the meantime we need to avoid a deep shock to the oil supply, so prudence would mandate siezing the oil fields for the duration of hostilities, and maybe even some time after (as a cosmic joke, maybe we will give the money to the UN to redistribute to the Iranians).

8/15/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

It will be a walk to Safeway, a not so longer Safe-Way, that's been trashed.

8/15/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Nothing was achieved by this war. The Iranians did not anticipate Israel's vigorous reponse to the Katyusha rocket attack on Israeli territory. Consequently Iran lost most of their military assets in Southern Lebanon. Likewise, Israel did not anticipate the classic technological surprise from the state-of-the-art AT-5 Spandrel wire guided and Kornet laser-guided anti-tank missiles. The Kornet uses a double shaped charge that effectively turned the Israeli Merkava main battle tank (the world's best tank) into a self propelled crematorium oven.

It's not clear if Israel's flaccid response to the Hezboallah was a consequence of losing the Merkavas or Olmert's incompetence (I srongly suspect it was Olmert's incompetence).

The Israelis now have the task of electing a new government and coming up with a new military tactic for the Kornet missiles. Maybe the the US should sell the Israelis a couple hundred A-10 Wart Hogs and AC-130H Spectre gunships?

It's fortunate for us that the Israelis had this learning experience first (they're the canaries in the coal mine).

8/15/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger saus | hashmonean.com said...

I am excited to see so many intelligent comments here at the top of this thread, posters like Pboston, Ray, Gerry teresita etc and others have a handle on what is a very complex situation (Lebanon) that even Lebanese & Israelis frankly have a hard time getting a wrap on..

I learned a number of things today myself. For instance this man Doug actually is a co-blogger here, this is news to me lol..

Also comments here by many about Israel learning, indeed there is much going around. There is consensus that there is no vietnam, and this is the last time Israel intends to be sucked into Lebanese own failures. A last straw if you will, that any lebanese war needs to be fought on Israel's terms, not Hezbollah's and the next go if it comes will be a devastating one for Lebanon itself, not just hezbollah because the UN has been put on notice, its terms agreed to and failure to 'deliver' will be interpreted not as this popular 'green light' everyone says America gives, but as an 'Israeli consensus green light' to bring an all out war on Lebanon irrespective of consequence.

I also learned from personal accounts of family serving in the north, & media accounts etc, every reservist & soldier coming back says the same thing, we are ready to go back, we do not agree to have stopped, let's prepare because they fought hard, but we in under 48 hours hours smashed them so hard no one even knows..

Not to be crude but Reservists and embeded reporters are speaking of the stench of Hezbollah bodies that litters the bunkers and areas in the security zone 5-6 km in on the border. Many many hezbollah are dead, many more than they or the media are reporting.. Hundreds according to the soldiers on top of the many that were taken to morgues & hospitals earlier on in the Lebanese 'civilian' counts.

These are not gung-ho types, these are fathers, they take no pleasure in this they would not boast or lie of this..

Please look at the media reports on the news and the sheer paranoia going on with Hezbollah supporters and fighters, they are in pure fear / terror to have their faces even masked shown on camera, there was a much bigger score on Hezbollah than is being told in the narrative as it is called imho..

Even though Beirut is far from the front, you see the same thing there, there's a big piece of the story missing in this big stand being touted by Hezbollah, that is the fact that many many are not standing anymore at all. It seems that the bulk of Hezbollahs positions which were indeed in that 5-6 km zone across the border were totally decimated in those massive battles seen on TV for the 1st few weeks, and israel has seen it first hand in the last 48 hours when it finally pushed in and secured the zone.

Returning fighters have been ordered to not comment to media on anything whatsoever without explicit prior permission, perhaps even though a big blow was dealt, this is not good for TV consumption around the world..

I believe Israel is actively trying to play up a 'victim' role here in this conflict if you can believe that.

Also, interesting visit debka.com perhaps for interesting info on how Iran is really reading this. A total failure on many counts, years of built up deterrent arsenal wasted - with as I think Teresita commented very little actual hits, billions in expenditures on weapons squandered and mass losses in highly trained Iranian / Hezbollah fighters..

contrasted with an Israeli public in the North that just hunkered down in shelter, and about 85 soldiers killed in 4 weeks which is a hard number for Israel that is sure - but in light of the guerilla type fighting, vets here will tell you not a massive toll by any measure. 25 of them were killed in one day, most by a devasting RPG attack that caused a building collapse..

these are things that make me go Hmmm.

8/15/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger stumbley said...


Interesting news. Thanks for sharing. It's comments like yours that make this a must-read blog.

8/15/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

(1) Possibly the Mackinac Bridge is one of the 29 important targets identified by Ahmadinejad’s “chief strategic guru,” Hassan Abbassi.

(2) Thanks, 2164th and Novangli. Yous guys said it right, with brevity and clarity. I’ve been wrassling with that thought for a few days, and my wordiness keeps getting me bogged down in legalese. You chopped the Gordian Knot.

8/15/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Aristides, I never, ever pay any attention to what a "general" says.

Baalbeck is an absolutely horrible comparison. Two diametrically opposed objectives. If you know where the target is Bunker Busters are much more effective than troops on the ground (unless, you're using a small group for laser-targeting, etc.)

If you don't know the location of the target, troops on the ground won't help you anyway.

Look, wars never go like you want them to, and very seldom like you think they will.

We might even promise the Iranians to make it look like an accident, and "Pay for the Damages."

Aristides, Iran could probably put 15 Million "fighters" in the field. They might not be well armed, or well trained, BUT 15 Million is 15 Million. Trust me, we DON'T want a War INSIDE Iran.

8/15/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From powerlineblog.com, and Paul's interview with Netanyahu:

The proper division of labor for dealing with the threat is as follows: Israel should dismantle Hezbollah and the U.S. should disarm Iran. As to the latter, President Bush has emphasized his commitment to preventing a nuclear Iran, and Netanyahu believes that Bush is truly committed to that imperative.

Because I don't want to succumb to confirmation bias, here's Edward Luttwak arguing that time is on our side.

8/15/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... "After all this effort, I am left with two simple sentences for policymakers," Sam Gardiner said of his exercise. "You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. And you have to make diplomacy work." ..."

The closing lines from aristide's link.
You also link to articles that disagree with your position, aye.

8/15/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

We don't want to put any troops in Iran, unless it is a clean up crew. But we can bomb the bejeebers and bring their society down, and option that is still viable.(I think) (And hope)

8/15/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...


I think you mistake me. There's no way we are going into Iran en force. But precision raids by Spec. Ops will almost certainly take place.

Leaving the objective-differential aside, Baalbek showed the plausibility of such a raid deep into enemy held territory. They were on the ground for several hours, long enough to search the records of the hospital and take what they needed. And they got out unscathed. To me, it's impossible to think something like that wouldn't be part of the "package" were we to start bombing Iran's facilities.

While wargaming Iran, one of the risks that were highlighted was the difficulty of establishing just how successful the bunker busters were. The plausibility of precision raids-to-target removes that uncertainty and makes the entire operation more likely.

8/15/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, I don't know what the outcome of a "Strike" on Iran's Nuke program will be. It might be really successful, moderately successful, a complete failure; leading to all-out war with Iran, a dust-up with Iran, $100./bl oil, terror strikes in the U.S.

Any combination of the above. But one thing is certain; None of the possible outcomes are anywhere near as bad as a "Nuclear" Armed Iran. For that reason, Dubya will "Try." It's in his nature.

8/15/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

saus | hashmonean.com said:

Also, interesting visit debka.com perhaps for interesting info on how Iran is really reading this.

You go to Debka and they've got a "story" on how Iran is reading this, but you got to ask: How the hell does debka know anything about how Iran is reading this? It seems to me that whole site is nothing more than somebody's blog with dubious claims of access to secret "sources" in the IDF, Damascus, the Knesset, the State Department, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the PA. And now the mullahs got a Debka mole.

8/15/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


The more I think about it the worse Lebanon looks for Syria/Iran. Hezbollah hasn't been destoyed but I think their deterrent value has been eliminated for reasons mentioned before. It goes deeper than that, however. The reduction of S. Beirut to rubble may have broken Lebanon's Shi'a community and greatly reduced it's influence in Lebanese politics.

I know the conventional wisdom is that the air strikes are a recruiting tool and perhaps they are but not to the extent imagined. Which is the better recruiting tool: Hezbollah dandies strutting fearlessly down main street in perfect formation, or small groups of homeless, armed men complaining about the loss of everything they claimed they could defend?

It's not for nothing that Naziforallah made the extraordinary announcement that HB would pick up the tab for Shi'a reconstruction. He must have sensed that the folks weren't too happy about the outcome. That's all beside the fact that he almost certainly can't deliver on his promise. Syria doesn't have the money, and the Iranian economy can't take a $billion hit without creating domestic problems. I suppose the Saudis could pick up the tab but it couldn't be done behind the scenes, and it wouldn't be done without some public take down of Iran that would almost certainly lead to retaliation against the Lebanese.

I will be watching for reports of Shi'a emigration to Syria.

8/15/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger jane said...

Peter Boston:

“It all seems so clear from this keyboard. Different world views are competing for dominance. One side knows they want to win and will do anything to get there while the other side dithers on whether they really mean it and whether the battle is worth fighting.”

I am not sure that the other side is dithering on what the other side means as much as they are suffering from practicing a lawyer-ing mentality that our society has become used to. We have internalized the idea of collecting a large file of evidence before we make any move, postponing the court date in hopes the other party fails to show and plea-bargaining. That much lamented day where a simple, powerful statement delivered loudly, quickly, without regret and sets things right may have come and gone because at the most appropriate and opportune time we had a lawyer at our helm. We have lulled ourselves into depending on legislation to a point where sending troops may no longer mean defending ourselves as much as it means using hired hands so that we feel protected from the results of making personal sacrifice or taking responsibility.

As dark as it seems lately maybe we should remember that we have by vote now chosen a born again free market loving poker playing oilman to guide our ship. He told our schools to leave no child behind and despite the hand wringing and excuse laden dance done in protest, the test scores (at least in my state) have begun to rise. He took us to Iraq without the nod of France or the U.N. and now has maneuvered those two onto the public record singing (not necessarily on key) a somewhat more appealing tune. This happening although considered by some a mistake and by others not fast and furious enough, I think, has been well noted by the enemy.

I am hoping that the enemy hasn’t noticed the possibility that there may be a great number who ARE waking from the sleep and quietly beginning, out of necessity and a wee bit of the rekindling of a sense of responsibility, to busy themselves using the creativity our freedom allows in the same way that during another time and another war we were knitting socks and mailing care packages.

I, for one and partly because as Wretchard has written translation is a problem, am going to wait a bit longer and begin looking for different and maybe less familiar patterns or clues before declaring that all has been lost.

8/15/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Aristides, Iran ain't Lebanon. Putting helicopters into Iran would be a terribly "iffy" thing. They have Very Good Air Defenses. The distances, in some instances, are rather large. When you start taking out their air defenses you alert them to the possibility of troops "on the ground."

They have helicopters, too; plus, you can bet there is the equivalent of a brigade or two around any "vital" sites.

No, Aristides, there will not be a ground component to any operation. We have had all of the Iranian "hostage crises" we want.

8/15/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

saus | hashmonean.com,

Fine job! Thanks!

It is, however, wishful thinking to imagine Israel as a victim in the eyes of the world.

Israel will ever be the ill-fated scapegoat.

I have been correct to report the recess of the Knesset until October?

8/15/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

BTW, How's that 18% Degradation call looking?

8/15/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Okay, I'm posting quite a bit, but I have the day off.

Noah Pollak has seen the light:

So herewith, in what may rightfully be construed as an exercise in wishful thinking, is an alternative explanation for U.S. and Israeli acquiescence to the U.N. cease-fire resolution.

Undoubtedly, the most important and highest-priority U.S. and Israeli objective in the Middle East today is thwarting Iran’s nuclear-weapons project. It is likely that the confrontation with Iran will not be resolved diplomatically, and that in the decisive moment it will be America, not Israel, that dispatches its military forces to destroy the Iranian nuclear sites. This basic calculus is the context in which American and Israeli Middle East strategic thinking takes place today.

And here are the reasons:

Moreover, American pressure on Israel to stop the war is likely a concession to Europe and the U.N. in advance of needing (or believing to need) those alliances to be healthy in anticipation of the Iran confrontation. Also, the Cedar Revolution and the partial wresting of Syria out of Lebanon are two of the most tangible victories of the Bush administration’s Middle East democratization project.

Pressuring Israel is a way to give the Europeans and the U.N. something they want now in return for something the U.S. wants later, which is a basic level of unity and fortitude in dealing with Iran.

And for our regional allies:

Given their fear of a nuclear Shia Middle East, the Sunni states can likely be counted on to tacitly accept a U.S. strike on Iran. Hence, pressure from them to make their acquiescence to an Iran operation contingent on U.S. endorsement of the ceasefire, in the interest of pacifying their publics.

Better late than never for our pundit elites.

8/15/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

eggplant wrote:

The Kornet uses a double shaped charge that effectively turned the Israeli Merkava main battle tank (the world's best tank) into a self propelled crematorium oven.

Yeah, right, and every time Hezbollah gets a hit on a tank they claim a kill, up to 13 tanks on one day. That's 52 Israelis "cremated" in one day, which is about half the number of soldiers Israel says it lost in the whole conflict. Nobody knows how many tanks were lost, or how they were lost, outside of the IDF (not even Debka, heh), because the IDF doesn't want to tempt Bashir into any adventures on the Golan Heights.

8/15/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...


Yes, well, you may be right, but my bet is on Spec.Ops raids for limited purposes.

I guess another beer is on the line.

8/15/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Novangli said...

"I will be watching for reports of Shi'a emigration to Syria."

And that may be the real objective of this latest action, which may be repeated to drive the message home, Spengler recently had an article to that effect - to defeat an insurgency, you must defeat or drive out the general population. Israel created refugees, they will flood back. If hostilities resume, will they come back the next time?

Additionally, as a byproduct, if they flee across the border to Syria, what burden does that place on the Assad regime? Can they handle 500,000-1,000,000 refugees? I don't think so. In that case, you get a two-fer. Depopulate South Lebanon of the Shia and destabilize Syria.

In a perfect world, the Druze and Lebanese Christians are provided with US and European economic assistance to rebuild the south in the wake of the exodus of Shia.

8/15/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The Good News, Aristides, is that I'm the cheapest of "all dates;" I mean, I drink Bud Light, for chris'sake.

8/15/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Okay, here's the deal. An M1A2, manned by a tank crew from the 4ID sits at one end of the valley. On the same dark, and rainy night an Israeli Merkava, manned by a crew from the IDF sits at the "Other" end of the Valley. You must "ride" into battle with one, or the other.

Hint: If I get to pick first, you're in trouble, deep trouble.

8/15/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Mr. Pollak's analysis is based upon a convenient fiction, when he writes of the "U.S. and Israeli acquiescence to the U.N. cease-fire resolution." The evidence simply proves his premise fallacious.

The statements of Dr. Rice, made over the period of nearly a month are quite clear to those who listened or are willing to review transcripts: Resolution 1701 was a JOINT Franco-American proposal presented to the Security Council.

According to statements coming from State, Dr. Rice worked assiduously, day and sleepless night, in its formulation.

When 1701 came before the Security Council for a vote, Dr. Rice personally raised her right hand in affirmation.

For better or worse, Resolution 1701 is the expressed policy of the government of the United States.

On another matter, that of bunker-busters, I might be wrong, but Lebanon made the perfect laboratory to test their effect on Iranian defense systems. Since it is very likely that the Iranians and Chinese engineered the Hezbollah complexes using the same specifications as those found in Iran, what a wasted golden opportunity for us.

I cannot wait to hear the reasons from some contributors as to why we (US/Israel) missed this pre-Big Show chance.

8/15/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I too have a hard time imagining an occupation of Iran in any capacity. Bombing is a swell way to muck up infrastructure and what generally “doesn’t work” is that it doesn’t dissuade ground forces and combatants from doing there work. Right now Iran is not overtly threatening any country, though I’d imagine that they would counter attack U.S. forces in Iraq provided we provoked them. I find it hard to believe that we are really in a war footing here.

The more I think about it the more I am convinced that a war with Iran is inevitable and the more I think that Wretchard’s “Three Conjectures” will apply.

8/15/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I am really miffed at the DHS collaboration with CNN to show the world all the USA’s major vulnerabilities, how many cameras and where our defenses are the weakest around the country. Each diatribe is custom made intelligence for the Jihadis and is followed up with some lame remark like “Well we’d guard it if we could but we need more money new stuff”. Sure we’ll just keep on publishing this information until you cough up the money. Line ‘em up against the wall now!

8/15/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Maybe some armor guy will come bail me out, but Tank v. Infantry has been a big deal since WWII.

Infantry troops without antitank defenses are helpless even against light armor. Since even small antitank guns have to be towed the Germans developed the Panzerfaust. The RPG is a direct descendent. It fires a shaped charge. The explosive is packed into the rocket in a concave shape. Like a bowl. What that means is that when the rocket part hits a tank and explodes the force of the explosion is directed in a small diameter cone to the front. The heat melts a small hole in the tank and send molten metal flying around the inside of the tank. If any ammo or inflammables inside the tank are hit by the molten metal they can create a secondary explosion, but the shaped charge itself will not "blow up" a tank.

The Panzerfaust was effective against Allied armor if it could be fired at the sides, back or top of a tank. Armor is thickest in the front. The Allied counter was to use infantry to clear out the Panzerfausts on the flanks before the supporting armor came into range.

From what I've read some IDF tank commanders did not use infantry to clear the flanks and the Merkavas were more vulnerable for it. The Kornet is wire guided and the shooter has to get exposed and remain eposed to engage his target.

The Kornet is immensely more destructive than an RPG but the attack principle is the same. It can probably still kill a Merkava from the front but it wouldn't be anywhere near a sure thing like it would on the rear or the top.

As an aside, the US hand-held antitank weapon is not wire guided like the Kornet. The shooter locks on. Fires. Skedaddles. The rocket shoots out, takes a turn straight up and comes down on the top of the tank. 100% kill. Half a dozen Special Ops took out a column of about 50 Republican Guard tanks with them.

8/15/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Allen, those F-16's weren't designed to carry a 5,000 lb bomb. They could be modified to do so, but there just wasn't enough time. Last fall, when they decided not to purchase any of these bombs, they were under the impression that their own munitions were up to any task that they would be called upon to perform.

I'm afraid the IDF needs a top-down reevaluation.

8/15/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

novangli said:

In a perfect world, the Druze and Lebanese Christians are provided with US and European economic assistance to rebuild the south in the wake of the exodus of Shia.

That's not a perfect world, that's the same stupid world that rebuilds cities that are minus sea level in elevation after they get flooded.

8/15/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Good old Rich Lowry, he looks at Iraq and is beginning to see Vietnam redux.

Bush’s Vietnam?
Not yet -- but does Bush realize how close it is?

When the National Review treds there, how bad is it, really?
Whose kool-aid is Rich drinking, if not WFB's.
My oh my.

8/15/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Betcha we'll have at least one division with armor protected by anti anti-tank missile systems by Jan 08'.

8/15/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

allen, 9:58

Thanks for the links to rightwindnuthouse and insight mag. Excellent.

8/15/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


During the Thunder Run some Abrams got hit dozens of times with anti tank fire. Most of it was RPG but I remember accounts of anti aircraft guns too.

One tank was disabled with a turret shot. That was the only loss. There was no mention of the Kornets.

8/15/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Torture most fowl. (Yes, I know.)

This just takes all the pleasure out of an otherwise first-rate intelligence operation.

“According to the Guardian, much of the information to stop
the terrorist attacks out of London was obtained via torture.”

Them or us

8/15/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

At least one Abrams was put out of commission by a Kornet; I believe it was in the engine. No one was injured, if I remember correctly.

8/15/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Captain America said...

A French women stated on television today that the ceasefire terms were acceptable to the French.

When asked how she knew that this was true, she commented, "Well, the French most agree with Chirac because there is no rioting"

So, just so the car-b-que is avoided.

8/15/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales, a former U.S. Army War College commander and deputy chief of staff for doctrine wrote some months ago about a strategy for taking on Iran. Similar to the one aristide was promoting at the time.
He said though that the Army was not equipped to carry it out, and was not adapting to fill the requirements of the scenario.

Now he writes, in the Armed Forces Journal about the changes in the Military that he sees required for WWIV.
I can understand his perspective, but he is saying we need pretty extensive Institutional changes to win the war, effectively.

8/15/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

The head of the main Sunni party calls for the Sunni speaker of the house to hit the road. He's a goner. I think the deal's going to work.

Iraq the Model

BTW, have you noticed that, except for an explosion, yesterday, that the Army says was caused by a Natural Gas leak, it's been Quieter in Baghdad the last week?

8/15/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: F16

You notice the Israelis do not deny having the munitions. Hardly could they, since the NYT (if memory serves) made such a production of the delivery of several thousand advanced munitions to Israel approximately one year ago.

Every American fighter sold to Israel is reworked from top to bottom. Israel has very advanced engineering. So, it is hard for me to accept the argument of incompetence. Moreover, if one accepts an Israeli inability to make the required modifications, there is the concept of Lend-Lease - something done repeatedly over the decades.

If the Israeli excuse is taken at face value, Israel is in for some hard sledding.

If, on the other hand, the US would not provide the F16s, then why not, given the invaluable data at hand?

But here are some questions begging answers.

___Where are the reports of what the Israelis found upon physical inspection of the Hezbollah bunker complexes?

___Did the US have people on the ground in Lebanon inspecting the Hezbollah defenses?

___Have the bunker complexes been destroyed?

___Can an engineering study alone suffice to render a verdict on the performance of our munitions against hardened complexes?

8/15/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

beterboston; 1:41 PM

Hope this helps.

“The Kornet is laser-guided and can hit a target 5km away. Its double warhead is capable of penetrating the armour on most of Israel's advanced tanks.”
Weapons trail leads to Syria and Iran

8/15/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger VeneVidiVici said...

An interesting new blog :


8/15/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

rufus said:

BTW, have you noticed that, except for an explosion, yesterday, that the Army says was caused by a Natural Gas leak, it's been Quieter in Baghdad the last week?

Not even suicide bombers want to waste their life when the media's eye is turned somewhere else. But have no fear, as soon as the cease-fire in Lebanon is a week or two old, and Scotland Yard rolls up the whole terror network, people will remember there's an "insurgency" in Iraq and we'll see them blow up on cue for the cameras again.

8/15/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Google tends to disagree, about the violence in Iraq, over the past week, rufus. 17 dead in a blast just 7 hours ago
I think it's just been over shadowed by Israeli events
iraq violence
though maybe they are off the 100 dead per day they've been averaging.

There had been reports that the Iraqi Interior Minister, as well, was going to be replaced, then I did not see another word on the subject. Anyone else see an update?

8/15/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Think times are tough?
How many people perished in the Black Death is unknown; for Europe, the most widely accepted mortality figure is 33 percent. In raw numbers that means that between 1347, when the plague arrived in Sicily, and 1352, when it appeared in the plains of Moscow, the continent lost twenty-five million of its seventy-five million inhabitants."

It was a dreadful way to die. People's physiques were grossly distended, unbearable pain rushed through them, they screamed and wept as they died.

8/15/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


You are correct. I saw optical sighting and wrongly extrapolated wire.

8/15/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's getting off the wire that makes 'em so deadly. The 3.5 mile range, with laser sighting. Tough nut in that terrain.

8/15/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Hey, Allen, you are most certainly correct that the resolution was a US product. In fact, that makes Pollak's strategic argument even more compelling.

I was highlighting the, ahem, similarities between Pollak's analysis and mine.

Oddly, you may not even be able to blame Noah Pollak for his choice of words. They are almost verbatim the first line of the email I sent to the Corner a few days ago, as are the points he makes (I referenced sending this email at 8/12/2006 12:53:07 PM on the thread Beginning and the End).

I'm not in any way sure what happened, of course, but Paul at Powerline airbrushed me too (referring to me as 'readers' plural, and not providing attribution -- this I can prove). My advice, for those who are interested: if you have a unique analysis, don't just email it to people.

C'est la vie.

8/15/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Promethea said...

saus (11:27) . . .

Thank you! Your report makes far more sense to me than all the crazy hand-wringing I've been reading on the internet for the past few days.

Naturally, I don't care to discuss online the specifics of the "stench," but I firmly believe (and as a former LLL, I'm still entitled to "believe") that Hezbollah got its butt kicked recently. Please don't tell the MSM, however. They're clearly in the same camp as Hezb., as the recent fauxto scandal further proves.

Furthermore, many Americans and others have been talking online recently about the need to ignore the deaths of civilians when engaged in smashing the enemy. Something is different now.

8/15/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, that Interior Minister doesn't have 9 lives, he has 90 lives. He's been leaving the government since Desoto arrived at Santa Fe.

Allen, I'm guessing (really, really guessing) that our F-16's aren't set up for 5,000 lb bunker busters, either. I would guess that it was set up to be dropped from B-52's and B-2's.

I didn't say anything about Israeli incompetence, in this instance; I just said that it was my understanding that Israel had cancelled their order for these weapons, last fall, and only decided a few weeks, ago, that they did need them. We sent them over, but there just wasn't enough time to get the F-16's adapted to carry them.

8/15/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


Against fixed positions, airburts and white phosphurus would kill or blind (smoke) the shooter. It has a backblast so it cannot be fired from an enclosure, more than once anyway.

I guess the ideal use would be in ambush but even then it doesn't seem to be a spur of the moment weapon of opportunity. The package weighs 140+ pounds so it cannot be humped around too easily.

In any event the Kornet is not a rag-tag militia weapon like the RPG. Somebody had to get some serious training on use and maintenance from somewhere.

8/15/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Aristides; Look at it this way, we may well turn out to be wrong, in which you will have been spared great embarressment.

8/15/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger luc said...

Desert Rat 10:26 AM
Desert Rat,
No offence meant but do you have anything positive to say? It is acceptable to criticize the performance of the current administration but, I think that non stop criticism without a positive suggestion may be counterproductive because it does not improve the situation. One may conclude from your comments that we are doomed no matter what we do and I refuse to accept that! Why don’t you make some suggestions on how the situation could be better handled or are you afraid that your suggestions may be taken apart as easily as you are doing it now?

8/15/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...


You notice, Now it's We.

8/15/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The Gift That Keeps on Giving
“LONDON, Aug. 14 -- The transfer of millions of dollars from Britain to a Pakistani charity working on earthquake relief last year helped investigators uncover the alleged plot to blow up airplanes bound for the United States, according to two senior Pakistani intelligence officials.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said that a large portion of the money sent from Britain to the charity was siphoned off and ultimately used to prepare for the attacks. The officials said that about 5 million British pounds, or $10 million, was transferred to Pakistan, but that less than half was used for relief operations after the earthquake last October, which killed tens of thousands of people.”
Britain now paying for their own terrorist operations. You can buy a lot of bombs for 10 million dollars. Should be exporting those to Waziristan.

8/15/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

PB, Saddam took a late shipment of the things just before OIF D-Day. I don't know how in the hell we ever went those few years of thinking we and the Kremlin were on the same side of the GWoT. I think the sides are more of a hexagon.

8/15/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


I guess with the Russians so long as we're not shooting at each other it's an alliance.

8/15/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Didn't Pootie do some favors immediately after 9-11 wrt to basing, thus leading GWB to mistake the mirage in his eyes as a soul?

8/15/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger luc said...

DR for instance I will start by suggesting with respect to Iran closing the straight of Hormuz, that I have not seen yet the suggestion of making such a move on the part of Iran more difficult by simply enlarging the straight on the eastern shore. Such enlargement would not only make Iran’s job of closing the straight more difficult but it also remove most of Iran’s tools for closing the straight ;)

8/15/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Glick is now on Babbin wrt Olmert.

8/15/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


8/15/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Leeden says you can bet they have anti ship missiles in Somalia.
Isn't that too far for the 802?

8/15/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(Too far for Hormuz, obviously not the other rich areas, but he mentioned Hormuz) ?

8/15/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Back in the 50's we proposed digging canals with Nukes!

8/15/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

After 911 Iran gave us their seacoast to unload supplies for Afghanistan. That was not the time to say no to the Leviathan.

8/15/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Helps to be serious about war.

8/15/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

PeterBoston made the correct point earlier about banning Islam as unconstitutional...you kow the old freedom of religion thing.
However in the same post he ended with a quick overview of his newly acquired knowledge of Islam over the last several years. I think that's probably the position most of us are in now. New knowledge.

He then stated a position I mde a day of so ago: He said
" I have to admit that I must not know anything about Islam because despite reading much over the last several years, and no matter how much I look, I cannot see anything other than a pernicious and destructive ideology that must be confronted and defeated on every level."
I could not agree more and went on to say that congress should define in our country that we do not recognize Islam as a religion but rather a philosophy/ideology.
By doing so we can then deal effectively with dispatching the threat to this country.
If their are those who do not believe the Islamic ideology is not a threat to this country they need to do the study the PeterBoston and I have done. I would include 99% of the BC contributors as well versed in this bastard ideology...

8/15/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Enjoyed your site. Thanks.

re: Peretz
"He would know how ridiculous this sounds to the Israeli and western ear."

You may be right, but as you conveyed in your previous piece on the UK, the Western ear has almost an infinite capacity for the assailment of stupidity. People strongly tend to believe that which is validating, and facts be damned. Whole schools of psychological thought are dedicated to the understanding of this phenomenon. Literature is a vast repository of the truth of the proposition, “tell me what I want to hear.”

Peretz just might be what he appears, a clueless, loquacious, peace-at-any-price liberal.

I am amazed that bloggers will defend asinine politicians/diplomats as the keepers of wisdom in the case of Lebanon, when these same p/ds have a lifelong record of almost unbroken poor judgment.

Dear correspondents, Messrs. Olmert and Peretz are unapologetic socialists. What is it about Lebanon that would convince anyone that these two gentlemen could/would hold in trust some secret plan of the Bush administration for the broader GWOT?

There is no plan! At least that is the opinion of any number of honorable men who have served the Bush administration in Iraq; rather, it’s: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”

8/15/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Steve Emerson's 1994 Video
"Jihad in America"
Has enough info to prove the insanity of allowing the construction of new mosques in this country.

8/15/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: incompetence

I used incompetence as a measure of performance rather than a value judgment. "Incontinence" might have worked just as well under the circumstances.

When something finally leaks out about those bunkers, we all may be surprised. Honest to goodness, rufus, no pun was intended in that last sentence.

8/15/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Archy Bunker
The GBU-28 and it's Super Penetrater is capable of penetrating 100 feet of earth or 20 feet of concrete, weighs nearly 5,000lbs.

The IAF has a substantial inventory of F15 ground attack variants (two seaters) and the F15 is GBU-28 cable, 2 bombs, according to www.fas.org.


8/15/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If I was an Israeli, the sight of the return of Status Quo Auntie would render me incontinent.
...and wishing that Israel was in the No American Continent.

8/15/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I have a tm on that appellation, mouse.
"GBU-28, 2nd best penetrator"

8/15/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Pamela, at Atlas Shrugs, has some great text up of a blog interview with Mr. Netanyahu.


8/15/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger DB2 said...

Juan wrote:
"Doug, I tend to agree with you about the space devoted to podcasts on PJM's home page. They could at least do them as one-liners. As for their usefulness, I have decided they must be meant for listening while you read something else. They can't be efficient any other way because one (I, anyhow) can take in more faster reading than listening."

Guys, the reason they're called 'podcasts' is because you can download them to your iPod and listen to them while you exercise or ride the train to work.


8/15/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, but Nahncee brought up Transcripts to accompany.
Radioblogger.com does this.
(wonder if he uses Dragon Dictate?)
Produces prodigious quantities of transcripts?
Any Dragon users here?

8/15/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

On the other hand; what if it is a "religion?" It's still "Evil." There's no goodness in it. It's still all about Murder, Conquest, Slavery, Extortion, and Misogyny.

I don't see why in the hell it can't be outlawed. We could facilitate the travel of anyone who just had to adhere to this abomination to whatever shithole country that would take them.

There's something going on with these cellphones, folks. I think it's time (as someone mentioned earlier in the thread) to start floating the idea in society at large that it's time to send'em packing.

8/15/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I asked my son about the "Cell phone resellers"
He refused to talk about it:
Said he'd read some classified stuff and couldn't remember for sure what he learned in public domain.
(Plus he loves lording his Secret Status over Stupid Dad.)

8/15/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Reminds me of the two guys arguing in a bar. One of 'em finally hollers "And I slept with yer mother!" The other guy looks at him a moment, and says "Go home, Dad, you're drunk."

8/15/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger luc said...

Doug said...
Back in the 50's we proposed digging canals with Nukes!

8/15/2006 03:18:48 PM

I am old enough to remeber, so I cannot claim it as an original :)

8/15/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Popular Mechanix redux!

8/15/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Another LOL, Larsen!
My "son" looks me in the eye and sez:

8/15/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

A religion that seeks to deprive others of their rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is itself unconstitutional.

8/15/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Every American fighter sold to Israel is reworked from top to bottom. Israel has very advanced engineering."

A small point: Israel's use of F-16s is very different than ours; they are all land-based and their missions are functionally defensive over a small, well-defined area.

As to the worries about the Straits of Hormuz: Were there are 2-3 carrier groups in the area with a few extra missle cruisers, I'd be less worried...the feared seems to me to involve a circumstance (total or near-toal war) where I expect we would announce that anything that moves in the Gulf or near the Straits will be destroyed first and questioned later.

Finally, I don''t get how what has gone on in South Lebanon the last month is a war...a battle, maybe.

8/15/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

A thousand cell phones could be used with a scehdule to allow a network to communicate beneath the veil of scrutiny. They could also be programmed to have the same number, useful for simultaneous explosions. Used with small cutting charges a suspension bridge could be taken down. Or could trigger an across the USA massive series of little strikes.

8/15/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

This is America!



8/15/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

2164th said,

"No, some of us are Americans and Christians and do not aspire to that arrogant metaphor" (re: 'we are all Israelis', etc.)


Saith the Apostle Paul (Romans 11), "Boast not against the branches...Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee."

In other words, 2164th, Paul's metaphor is instructing Christians (and that includes American Christians) not to be arrogant in their assumed superiority over the Jews.

And never forget, the Jewish race gave us Jesus of Nazareth, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Launch into another diatribe if you like, but in doing so, it's not really me you would be griping against.

8/15/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Today, luc, I just posted the links to the thoughts of others.

If the US was at war with Iran, well we're not.
Over the past couple of years I have thought promoting Insurrection in Iran was a great course to take, bombing the goose stepping Mohammedans anywhere, but especially in Warizistan, as well. Especially after watching them parade with their AK's shouting "Death to America" or some such dribble.

If the decision is ever made to take the War to Iran, we should do it whole heartedly, not in the half stepping manner we've dealt with the Iraqi, post invasion.

The troops in Iraq are, I've been told, on stand by for Iran, by rumor control. Been waiting and waiting, while the Iranians are in full cascade.

If the trade off required for going to Action Stations is Tel Aviv for Tehran, is that in the US's best interest?
Could that be the Master Plan, now?

If Tehran and the Mullahs really pose a threat to the future of the US, what US citizen would rather give up NYC or Miami rather than Tel Aviv or Haifa, instead?

We should end the Iranian threat before they get the option to force our hand. The decision, though, is not mine to make. The Decider in Chief has, so far, decided not.

8/15/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I'm a little confused about this Mackinac Bridge thing. It would take a HUGE amount of explosives to take down even a small suspension bridge. Thosuands of pounds I would say. Cutting the cables with fast explosives like C4 would take an expert. You would have to fashion a shape charge, similar to what I talked about in the Kornet post, and place it exactly right, or go through maybe dozens of iterations of ribbon charges to cut a few cable at a time. The bomber would have to get far away from the explosion each time or get eviscerated by the shrapnel. That would take too much time to go unnoticed.

I suppose you could fill a truck with ammonium phosphate and park it on the bridge but that's an overpressure blast and would damage the roadway but likely have no effect on cutting cables which requires a fast explosive.

Hey, I was a combat engineer. You remember some of this stuff.

8/15/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

Read the Netanyahu interview at Atlas Shrugs.. wonder why he feels he has to remind Bush of his commitment to stopping Iran from getting nukes? Can someone remind me how/why we became the superpower?? Please don't tell me because no one else wanted the job.

8/15/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

There was a video of bringing down an 11 story building in LA with "5 pounds of explosives"
Is it possible to safely get a building that close to collapsing before setting off the charge?

8/15/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Seen forged C-clamps that use a cartridge charge that will cut up to an inch diameter hardened steel cable. Use by SEALs for UD.

Not sure how well thermite might work but when you have a lot of devices there are sure a lot of possibilities.

8/15/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


Maybe it would be possible if there were a single support beam that was absolutely necessary to keep the building standing.

A shot glass size shape charge with a nickel stuck in the middle will penetrate an armored personnel carrier because the blast is directed and contained. I once tied 100 pounds of TNT to a particlulary large tree. The blast was spectacular but the tree didn't come down either.

If you're in the open you can be fairly close to even a large blast, although your eardrums may not like it. If you are in an enclosed space even a small blast will blend your innards.

8/15/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


It all depends on how fast the explosive burns and how well you can contain and direct the pressure.

8/15/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger luc said...

desert rat said... 8/15/2006 04:29:28 PM

“We should end the Iranian threat before they get the option to force our hand.”

I fully agree with you on this point! And I go one step farther and ask: A) How many Americans would die taking out everything that has to be taken out in Iran using nukes? B) How many Americans would die doing the same job using conventional weapons? (I do not ask about Iranian casualties as they do not seem to worry about someone else’s casualties). If you were CIC would chose option A or B and why ?

8/15/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


I use Dragon to dictate the (lengthy) narrative part of the electronic medical record we use. It requires a good deal of training even if one speaks, as I do, a very "standard" English. Some of my MDs (from Germany, Iran, Spain, and elsewhere) with a bit of an accent, tell hilarious stories of "taming the Dragon!"


Jamie Irons

8/15/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I wonder if our government has any knowledge that Iran already some nukes, probably crude but workable, and how that would alter or cancell our plans.I have the feeling they may(have nukes) accounting for some of the stident rhetoric coming from those parts lately. All disconcerting thoughts.

8/15/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Talking of the Lebanon war, battle, interlude, kerfuffle, Mr. Netanyahu implies that the French Foreign Minister is an alien: "I don't know if he is referring to the same Middle East we are living in and I'm not sure he is living on the same planet we are living in."

Of course, diplomatically, Mr. Netanyahu could be suggesting the Foreign Minister is out of his freaking mind, or not.

Vive la France, wherever that is.

8/15/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

UN Ceasefire Will Lead to More Death;
West Lacks Will to Fight Islamo-Fascism

Our continuing reliance on the UN is a disaster....

Compromise Doesn't Work in a Religious War
We must face the facts...

8/15/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


8/15/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"even if one speaks, as I do, a very "standard" English."
Maybe, like C-4, it has extraordinarily sensitive "detection" capabilities. :-)

8/15/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

PeterBoston - According to what I saw reported for that armored column in Iraq, while Marines were on the ground, they were in the getting the targeting in for the CBU-97. Two of those were used to stop the armored column according to the Discovery Channel talking with the bomb developer. That was the first combat deployment of the weapon and proved highly successful against armored vehicles. This was the raid that people were trying to figure out exactly *what* was used to get rid of that formation. The Sensor Fuzed Weapon is one of those things that sounds like science fiction... the bomb uses a parachute to slow down, opens, starts turning, then dispenses bomblet skeets sensing armored vehicles and then firing off four armor piercing projectiles as each skeet self-detonates once it detects its target. The skeets are dropped off at staggered times so they do not cross-interfere and they wobble randomly around to sense for a target, thus covering a wide area beneath them. If it cannot find a target, it blows itself up into fragments, thus leaving no cluster bomb munition problems.

Top armor has tended to be the lightest on tanks and such, which is why guided munitions to hit the top side have always been looked at as an anti-armor solution, but getting it done effectively was a problem. And while many things can reduce the effectiveness of an impact explosive munition, not much can be done against a high velocity slug that pierces and then vaporizes into plasma once it hits. One device delivers 40 bomblet skeets over 30 acres.... that was a huge surprise to the Iraqis. Can be carried by any aircraft capable of taking up a 1,000 lb JDAM.

The USAF has quite some number of basic canisters delivered, so that future armored vehicle formations can be in for unpleasant surprises.

8/15/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

When James K returns to discuss antisemitism, he'll probably ask, in refined tones:
"Is the Grass half-full,
or half-empty?

8/15/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jamie, where did y'all bury those patients whose records turned into such hilarity?

8/15/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Why would you bring that liberal quitter Limbaugh into this? The guy’s a loser. Just listen:

"Limbaugh Doctrine: Peace follows victory, and I'm telling you, the people that are celebrating in the streets are not us, and you know damn well that's the case. Nobody in this country... Even over the ceasefire, there's no celebrating over there. People in their guts know something's wrong about this. But the Arabs and the Islamists, the Islamofascists, the Iranians, the Syrians, even though they're being told to march in the streets, they're still doing it…"

He is from Cape Girardeau, you know -family was probably there when the Frenchies still ran the place.

8/15/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

To Answer your question on the machine translation of the Le Monde Interview with Phillipe Doste-Blazy's interview. Take this with a grain of salt as I only got fair marks in French too many years ago!

I did a second translation of the article using Systran.


It looks like the translation is basically accurate, but I think some of the words would be translated into English differently. Specificities would probably be translated as requirements.

But I have a more basic issue on understanding what was said. The questions from the interviewer should have been included because they provide context.

The quotes come from different parts of the interview and this also tends to lose context.

I have just as much suspicion of the French Government as anyone, but I think the meaning of the quotes is subject to misunderstanding, even though probably literally accurate.

The resolution seems to be going to hell in a handbasket anyway, as Hezbollah is only going to hide their weapons!

They were hiding them before the war!

Looks like this may have been an exercise in taking an option off the table.

8/15/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger saus | hashmonean.com said...

LOL Teresita! - I can understand why you might get that impression..

Nothing could be farther from the truth though, Debka is not a blog and they do have MAJOR sources,
they are plugged directly in to Israel's intelligence & Special forces. They are plugged into russian & american intelligence comunities too..

They have terrible presentation which will throw you off, but they have been around for over 6 years breaking real sccops and sometimes the stuff doesn't pan but mostly it does and months before the truth hits the fan...

Don't be fooled by the look at all please, Debka is the real deal - everyone who is anyone in intelligence is a subscriber to their intelligence newsletter.

check this out for some background

They've been awarded best of the web by Forbes etc


8/15/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I think the meaning of the quotes is subject to misunderstanding"
Isn't that the purpose of the French Language?

8/15/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


You have not read The Grass grows greener on the otherside...of the Vistula.

8/15/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Remember he's not just an MD, Larsen:
He charges admission at his privately owned Funny Farm.

8/15/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"No, Aristides, there will not be a ground component to any operation."

- rufus

Yeah, there would. Most definitely. You just wouldn't see it or hear of it.

8/15/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

France 'the key' to UN Force in Lebanon:

Although he declined to predict the size of any French contingent, Douste-Blazy, noted that 1,700 French troops were still deployed off Lebanon after helping evacuate foreigners fleeing the fighting.

In addition to soldiers, a UN official said the force would need ships to patrol the coast. The UN resolution placed an embargo on weapons reaching anyone but the Lebanese army.

France the Key

8/15/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The French have already been practicing.
Now we just gotta ship 6 million white flags to Israel, and set them Frogs to work cleaning out the place for our peaceful Muslim brothers.

8/15/2006 06:11:00 PM  

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