Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Man Without a Country

Poor Lebanon. Beirut to the Beltway notes Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's chagrin at being contradicted, undermined and outflanked by Iran, Syria and Russia in his attempts to obtain a ceasefire.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, in remarks published on Friday, accused Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki of "going over the limit" by criticizing his plan to end the war between Hizbullah and Israel. During a visit to Lebanon last week, Mottaki expressed implicit reservations about Siniora's seven-point plan to bring peace to Lebanon, saying there was no rush to discuss questions beyond an immediate cease-fire.

"I think that Mr. Mottaki went over the limit and some parties have been quick to adopt his position," said Siniora, in reference to Hizbullah and other Lebanese parties also close to Iran's regional ally, Syria. "Our plan is based on what the Lebanese want and on the demands of Hizbullah," the prime minister said in an interview with the French-language daily L'Orient Le Jour.

Beirut to the Beltway goes on: "Meanwhile in Moscow, Saad Hariri lashed out at the Assad regime and for the first time at Iran in an interview by Russia Today ... In a separate interview, Hariri accused the Assad regime of “resisting the Israelis” through Lebanese territories while doing nothing about its own occupied territories." This is a deeper problem than is evident at first glance. Some commentators have argued that Syrias de jure and de facto occupation of Lebanon is being covered up by the current conflict in Lebanon, as in the case, for instance of the Shaba Farms.

At the time of the 2000 Israeli withdrawal the UN asked Syria about its position on the issue. Damascus was in a quandary: On the one hand, this was obviously Syrian territory; on the other, if Syria conceded that the farms belong to Lebanon, there might be a chance of getting one more sliver of Arab territory out of Israeli hands. Syria thus responded that whatever its former claims to the Shaba Farms, it now agreed to cede them to Lebanon.

But when the UN asked Damascus for a formal document stating that the area had indeed been legally transferred to Lebanon, Syria balked - and it has still not supplied such a document. WHY? AT the root of the issue is the simple fact that up to this very day Syria has not accepted the legitimacy of the existence of a separate, sovereign Lebanese state. Lebanon was carved out by the French imperial powers in the 1920s as an attempt to create a pro-Western, Christian entity in the Levant - hence France's continuous solicitude for Lebanon, including its recent support for UN decisions calling on Syria to evacuate Lebanon.

This Syrian non-recognition of Lebanon as an independent state has consequences. There are no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries; there is no Syrian ambassador in Beirut, no Lebanese ambassador in Damascus; and during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s, Syria's representative in Lebanon was the director of Syrian military intelligence (Ghazi Canaan, who eventually committed suicide in murky circumstances). In Syrian textbooks Lebanon appears as part of "Greater Syria."

Little wonder than Siniora has a hard time speaking for anyone when his country is under the grip of two invading powers, one now advancing through southern Lebanon and the other already entrenched for decades. Now come Iran and the "continuous solicitude" of the former colonial power, France. International diplomacy ostentatiously sympathizes with Lebanon but comparatively few, apparently, actually want Lebanon to exist. Beirut to the Beltway's ending paragraph summarizes everything: Lebanon is a place that might become a country someday if all the long shots come off.

In conclusion, the Iranians, it seems, had dispatched their foreign minister to Lebanon as soon as it became apparent to them that Siniora was gaining the upper hand after getting international approval in Rome for including the Shebaa farms and prisoner exchange in his plan-- something that would rob Iran's proxy-force from an excuse to “liberate land”, or whatever it is Hizbullah does in the name of Lebanon. As for the Assad regime, there is nothing new there, and Hariri’s comments hit the spot, though I am not sure about Lebanese being sovereign right now. I hope that was a mistranslation, since achieving sovereignty is part of the Siniora plan. In any case, one hopes that these words are matched with action as soon the unnecessary carnage ends.

Actually Siniora's problems with sovereignty began a little before today. The Counterterrorism Blog noted nearly two weeks ago:

Hizballah’s decision to kidnap the two IDF soldiers was taken by Sheikh Hassan Nasserallah and the other six members of the Shura Karar, its supreme decision-making body. Additionally there are two Iranian representatives (from the Iranian embassy in Beirut/Damascus) that provide a direct link on matters that require strategic guidance or Iranian assistance or arbitration. The file for handling special operations of this kind is usually left to Imad Mughniyeh, the elusive terrorist mastermind for Hizballah, who stands with one foot within Hizballah (reporting to Nasserallah directly) and with one foot in Iran inside the architectures of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the al-Qods unit within the Iranian Pasdaran. Mughniyeh is strictly reserved for special occasions (like the Buenos Aires bombing in 1992 to avenge the Israeli assassination of the previous leader Sheikh Abbas al-Musawi) and his primary mission over the last decade has been to forge qualitative ‘military’ guidance to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives inside Gaza and the West Bank.

Siniora might have been, as they say, "the last to know". Speaking of which Tigerhawk looks at predicting events in Lebanon from the point of view of market investors. He compares the Dow Jones to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).

For all the hanky-twisting that the war is not going well, investors in Israel seem to think otherwise. The graph below is a three-month chart of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange 100 Index. Yes, it sold off broadly at the start of the crisis, but the progress has been impressive since Israel began its campaign to disarm Hezbollah. If you believe in the distributive wisdom of the financial markets in assessing geopolitical risk, Israel is improving its position. ...

The two indices traded essentially in tandem, but started to diverge significantly in mid-June, a month before Hezbollah made its move and almost two weeks before Hamas kidnapped Gilad Shalit. Did the market "know" that Israel was on the brink of some security crisis, even if no individual understood the contours it would take, or is there another explanation for the divergence in the indices in mid-June? Anybody out there trade the TASE 100? We seek your wisdom.

Wanted: someone who can do the same for securities anchored on Lebanon. Just kidding. But seriously, in the light of Beirut to the Beltway's observations about the role of Syria and Iran, I wonder how these two countries are faring in the capital markets?


Blogger Doctor Disgruntled said...

Why do you think so little mention is made of the SLA and the positions it lost overnight upon Israel's pullout a few years ago? Seems like having the SLA around might have been somewhat useful in this situation, no?

8/05/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Guess I'll go read Dr. Landis and find out why and how this is all our fault.
Maybe these guys will get caught and hung by their own hubris yet.
(What a trick it would be for the Israelis to find and kill Nasty Nasrallah.)
Sure would be sweet to see them weeping in Sadr City under those fancy Nasrallah Banners instead of jumping for joy.
Comments here are quite lively.
don't miss this one:
Dick Cheney-in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in April of 1991
And there's our old friend Rick:

"7. I'm prepared to sell out Isreal b/c America is my number one priority"
Thar she blows! Lower away, boys - Queequeg to the bow with his best blade and pull 'til your eyes pop.

It's not often that Moby the Dick is seen in these parts and all should make haste to get a harpoon in him.
Posted by: Rick Ballard August 05, 2006 at 03:58 PM

8/05/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Hassan Nasrallah rallies Arab states to push for a ceasefire. MEMRI's translation notes: "It is noteworthy that Nasrallah is now approaching Arab leaders and imploring them to raise their voices to demand a ceasefire, in their private meetings with the Americans. In the last few weeks, he has been reviling these leaders, saying that he needs no help from them and that they should "get off his back."

8/05/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

The Beirut Stock Exchange reopened on Wednesday after being closed for two weeks. It was down a few percent but it's hard to make any generalizations since the total capitalization of the thing is only the size of a single mid-cap American company.

This article addresses the question of: should you buy a 20 year Lebanese Govt bond?

Once all the fighting is done, as long as HB isn't seen as ruling the country, I think that Leb will get all the foreign investment it needs to rebuild. It's only been a few billion dollars so far of infrastructure damage.

8/05/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hezbollah cells await Iran’s orders

Many on the British Left mistakenly believe that Hezbollah is merely another Muslim liberation movement to add to its collection.
(The thinking which leads the Left to classify genocide as liberation is a story in itself.)
As a result, the comrades of ‘Stop the War’ march behind placard images of their new hero Nasrallah, while George Galloway MP proclaimed at the demonstration,
‘Hezbollah is not a terrorist group and I am here to glorify the Lebanese resistance movement.’

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

Al-Zawahiri: Egyptian militant group joins al Qaeda

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

The new Egyptian AQ group is led by the younger brother of the assassin of Sadat. Zawaheri making this announcement is a highly public threat and dare to Mubarek, doesn't it seem?

8/05/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Today, Iran announced that Hezbollah had been supplied with heavy long-range weaponry. Moreover, Iran announced that Hezbollah could use these weapons at will.

For weeks, Mr. Nasrallah has threatened to hit Tel Aviv.

Iran's announcement and Hezbollah's reluctance suggests a level of Iranian disapproval with its proxies Hezbollah and Syria.

Why Syria? Because the weapons were probably transferred to Hezbollah via Syria, Iran may sense a lack of Arab martial ardor.

At this point, Tel Aviv remains untouched by Hezbollah and the Olmert government remains in power. This might change, literally, overnight with an attack on Tel Aviv in the light of the less than full-throttled Israeli ground attack in southern Lebanon.

If the US and France, with the help of allied Arab governments, can broker a cease-fire, Hezbollah wins for no other reason than having survived; the Olmert government survives for a season; Syria is saved from another lost war, in this case in defense of its ally Hezbollah; and Syria escapes looking ineffectually weak for having failed to militarily intervene on the side of Hezbollah.

With a cease-fire, Iran is the loser. It does not get a regional war that would destabilize an already destabilized Iraq, driving Iraq into open, unambiguous civil war.

In short order, Israel will also find itself a loser.

8/05/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The name Mottaki put me in mind of Molatov and I started doing a little free associating which led me to think about the Molatov-Ribbentrop Pact in relation to the present situation in Lebanon.

Just as Hitler and Stalin were able to put aside differences for advantage, so too have Assad and Ahmadinejad. Both Syria and Iran are using Hezbollah as a proxy in battle. Ahmadinejad speaks of wiping Israel off the map and sees Hezbollah as just another means towards that end. Assad envisions a "Greater Syria" which would mean wiping the entity presently known as Lebanon off the map, too.

Assad has signed a pact with the devil; he either doesn't yet know it or just doesn't care. Poor guy probably thinks Hezbollah is only happy to do him a favor and once it has done his bidding will just quietly leave.

8/05/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

In an interview with Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy leader of Hizbollah under Nasrallah, conducted earlier this year in Qassem's office "under portraits of Iranian spiritual leaders Ayatollah Khomeini and his successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei", the widely published and recognized Middle East and Iran expert, Fred Halliday, wrote that,

On the matter of political relations with Iran, the sheikh was absolutely clear. Hizbollah regards the Iranian spiritual leader, in this case Khamenei, as its ultimate authority; all major political decisions regarding Hizbollah are referred to – when not actually taken in – Iran. He gave the example of the decision taken in 1992 to enter Lebanese national politics: Hizbollah set up a commission, which prepared a report, with various options; this report was sent to Iran; it was Ayatollah Khamenei himself who took the final decision, in favour of participation.

Halliday is someone the left and the msm went to repeatedly on the issue of the overthrow of Saddam, because he opposed it. My question is, why does the above paragraph not figure prominently in the background that news organizations give about Hizbollah?

8/05/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rebecca Sinderbrand writing from Damascus for the Washington Monthly explains:
TALKING TO SYRIA....There are still plenty of nay-sayers, but the chorus calling for Syrian involvement in crafting a Lebanon ceasefire solution now includes Richard Armitage, Warren Christopher, and Mr. Flat World himself, Tom Friedman.
What would we do w/o Warren?
(and why has Maddie gone silent?)

8/05/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hitler/Stalin pact is apt, remember re Muslim sectarianism that Hitler and Stalin prior to their alliance to share in a takeover of Eastern Europe, had been shooting at each other via proxies in the Spanish Civil War.

8/05/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

Allen, this an interesting idea:

"With a cease-fire, Iran is the loser. It does not get a regional war that would destabilize an already destabilized Iraq, driving Iraq into open, unambiguous civil war."

That is surely what interests the U.S. most, and it must be in Israel's best interests, too.

So, while it may be true, as you say, that "in short order, Israel will also find itself a loser", it may not work out that way, either.

Why should Israel be the loser? It hasn't killed Hizbollah, as I, too, would very much have liked. But if it will have weakened Hizbollah substantially, why is that not a big enough improvement for Israel for it to be viewed as a victory?

This is not to say that Israel might not have done better with a different strategy (although the required moves may not have been available to Israel due to intelligence failures and general weakening of will over the past six or eight years), but it is to say that -- given the situation it faced -- sufficient rolling back of Hizbollah and no or relatively little bleed-through into Iraq (and who expected we would get off so easy?) may not be a bad outcome for Israel and the U.S.

8/05/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

: )

8/05/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

If Lebanon were to be rebuilt with international funding, how would that impact what's left of Hizbollah?

It seems to me that the Lebanese, while they may be supporting HB right now because they're naturally upset at being bombed by Israel, would follow the money which would be away from HB, once it starts coming into the country to rebuild.

Isn't that more or less what has happened in Afghanistan? And what would happen in Iraq except they're having way too much fun killing each other there to buckle down and start building a country.

Unless, of course, Hizbollah could do a Kofi Annan and figure out how to transfer the money stream into their pockets so that HB could buy the Lebanese people. I just don't see that happening, unless the UN is involved, because it will be mostly Western money, and no one in the West thinks highly of Hizbollah ... unless the Saudi's do something unprecedented and throw their own oil money at the problem, something they haven't done before.

8/05/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Achillea said...

Here's another wrinkle to toss into the financial musings.

h/t: Rampurple

8/05/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Achillea said...

A far as Siniora goes, like the song says, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

8/05/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Wildly OT

From Charlie Cook's forthcoming National Journal column:

"Time is running out for Republicans. Unless something dramatic happens before Election Day, Democrats will take control of the House. And the chances that they’ll seize the Senate are rising toward 50-50.

"The electoral hurricane bearing down on the GOP looks likely to be a Category 4 or 5, strong enough to destroy at least one of the party’s majorities. The political climate feels much as it did before previous elections that produced sizable upheavals, such as in 1994, when Democrats lost 52 House seats, eight Senate seats, and control of both chambers."

Better start huntin' around for "something dramatic."

8/05/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

juan golblado; 6:03 PM

There is no question in my mind that by any rational standard, Israel has hurt Hezbollah. Any doubt on that score should be canceled by Hezbollah's, Syria's, and Lebanon's near screeching wails for a cease-fire.

Having said that, however, in politics perception is reality. Life is neither fair nor rational.

Unless abandoned by the Shi'a, Hezbollah has almost limitless reserves in every way. In terms of recruitment, Hezbollah will be able to point to having bloodied the nose of the biggest guy on the block, the hated Jew. For example, rockets will rain down on the Israeli north up to and probably sometime beyond the signing ceremony. That will have enormous propaganda value in the Islamic world.

Whether true or not, Israel looked weak in 2000, it looked weak during the Gaza pullout, it looks weak now, and it will assuredly look weak during the West Bank pullout. In a world inhabited by sharks, great and small, the advantage goes to the Great White.

Additionally, merely the perception of weakness stimulates the feeding frenzy in the ME, guaranteeing war sooner than latter.

"For when they say Peace and Safety…

8/05/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...


The one good thing to come of this is that there won't be any west bank puulout. Olmert will be gone within six months. His pullout plan is finished.

8/05/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

At what point will the United States realize that it cannot defeat Jihad as long as Iran and Syria remain teflon?

Just as the US could never win the war in Vietnam because the PRC and the USSR provided limitless logistical support that we never touched and the PRC, Laos and Cambodia provided further support. we're wasting our time in Iraq and Lebanon as long as Iran and Syria remain untouched.

What will it take to get to the heart of the matter instead of wasting time around the edges?

8/05/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

"With a cease-fire, Iran is the loser. It does not get a regional war that would destabilize an already destabilized Iraq, driving Iraq into open, unambiguous civil war."

Perhaps. But it would seem that Iran is doing plenty enough destabilizing in Iraq already through al-Sadr's militia.

Hezbollah is Iran's proxy in Lebanon, just as al-Sadr's militia is its proxy in Iraq. Leaving Hezbollah to metastasize in Lebanon proved disastrous to Lebanon's self-determination and Israel's security. Al-Sadr's militia is the same type of cancer, only in a different location.

It may actually be to our and the Iraqi government's advantage to take on al-Sadr sooner rather than later. In my opinion it would have been far better far earlier, but there is no going back. Instead, we are perhaps now waiting only for a proper provocation to unleash the hell that al-Sadr has coming. Combine that event with Israel's dismembering of Hezbollah and Iran comes out the loser--moreso without a ceasefire than with one.

8/05/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...


Toil is our lot. Isreal has had more than its fair share. A bit of advice from my better-half to Isreal. "Don't trust us"

8/05/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Read somewhere today that right now might not be the best time, since tensions are already running high in Sadr City & etc.
IOW prime time for starting a real civil war.

8/05/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

On GOP prospects for '06: Better start huntin' for "something dramatic."


Wag the dog is more Clintonian than Bushie. Everybody knows W has always and most sincerely had Iranian nukes in his sights, the only question being is when. Very arguably, election profiteering will be less a consideration than election "national survival"; were the Dems to take Congress in '06 and start impeachment proceedings, who'd mind the store in the Terrorists-R-Us-Kill-Jews-&-Christians ME bomb factory- Dingell, Durbin, Rangel, McKinney and John Lewis? God-Allah-Yahweh-Gaia save us.

8/05/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not taking out Sadr must be right up there with taking out Garner in the running for #1 screwups.
Correction: it IS #1!

8/05/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Doug, I understand. But that was the same justification for not doing anything about al-Sadr earlier, when, now in retrospect, it seems confronting the problem would have been better.

If the cancer analogy is at all apt, then putting off taking it out isn't perhaps the best option.

8/05/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

"It may actually be to our and the Iraqi government's advantage to take on al-Sadr sooner rather than later."

With respect, the Iraq government may be al-Sadr. Furthermore, the same folk who chose not to take him out in the first instance, will be making the descion now. Are you comfortable with that?

We seem to always be waiting for just that right moment to make our move. Sometimes, any move would do.

While inelegant, the policy of rufus and Innocent III has merit, "Kill them all; let God sort them out!" However, given an administration that can only now imagine the possibility of civil war in Iraq, that may be too great a leap.

8/05/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


Excuse me. My 7:38 PM should have been addressed to you.

8/05/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Everybody knows W has always and most sincerely had Iranian nukes in his sights, the only question being is when."

I disagree with "only question being when," and "everybody knows" that, too. That the President is determined to bomb Iran has been the going belief among casual observers on both Left and Right - among those who believe they "know" the President - since I-don't-know- when. If that weren't reason enough to disbelieve it, you have to take into account the defense establishment - and most especially the JCs. It wouldn't be pretty, catherine. Not pretty at all.

8/05/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just don't bring up any of those stirring speeches from 4 years ago Allen!
No Mas! No Mas!
The operative word now is:

8/05/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Today's version of "taking out" Sadr:
Sniper wounds him, he's bleeding to death, word comes down from wherever it really comes down from these days, mortally wounded Marine is kicked off the helicopter, Sadr replaces him and is saved!
All's well that "ends" well.

8/05/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

With respect, the Iraq government may be al-Sadr.

If that is the case, better for us to know now rather than waste any more effort or lives trying to work with it rather than against it.

Furthermore, the same folk who chose not to take him out in the first instance, will be making the descion now. Are you comfortable with that?

The same folk chose to pull back from Fallujah in the first instance, too. That didn't prevent them from making a better decision the next time. And yes, I would be comfortable with that.

8/05/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Change strategery from "Halliburton"
to "DieBold"
ironic name.

8/05/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Achilles, that was an interesting post about the pipelines. I learned something, today. Thanks.

I think Chossadurvsky(sp?) overestimates the role "The Big Oil Companies" are playing in all this, I can get a glimpse of this from the Russian's side that I didn't have before.

He is right about one thing: Big, big Oil/Money should never be totally ignored.

Anyway, good link, Thanks Again.

8/05/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

It wouldn't be pretty, catherine. Not pretty at all.

Should it be, Trish, degrading the Iranian nuke program through mysterious explosions and overt aerial bombings? It needs to be absolutely ugly, but with no ground troops, save for black and special ops. In Iraq, Israel, Europe and Stateside, we would have to be on mil and civ alert, of course. We've been promised Allah's retribution for our efforts.

These aren't pretty days, are they?

8/05/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think Trish foresees a chain reaction at the JC's.

8/05/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Re: Not pretty

I meant the shitstorm that would ensue at the Pentagon were Bush to get that wild hair and seem like he weren't inclined to let it go.

He's not dumb.

8/05/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Maybe not brilliant, but not dumb.

8/05/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Don't blame Dubya, folks; it wasn't Bush that told Olmert to dither, and stumblef**k around, refusing to commit troops, or to allow them "go long."

BTW, Despite sending buses all the way to Basrah, and in spite of the fact that the 1.3 million supporters in Sadr City who had to do nothing more than step out their door to join the parade, Sadr could only get less than 100 thousand for his parade. It wasn't all that impressive.

8/05/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

All we have to do is WAIT for this to eventuate, then the Syrian option will have become yet another intractable/impossible problem.
Remarkable what can be acheived with Persistent Fecklessnes tm.
Russia to defend its principal Middle East ally: Moscow takes Syria under its protection
Vladimir Zimin, advisor on the staff of the Russian Embassy in Syria, says that the port is being made deeper at present. Similar work is under way in the port of Latakia.
All this may be regarded as evidence of Russia's determination to make Syria a bridgehead for boosting its influence with Middle East.
The materiel and technical supplies center may eventually gain the status of a base of the Black Sea Fleet.

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


re: Fallujah

Fallujah hardly ranks as one of the administration's finest hours. Taking out Saddam and his progeny was.

I don't know if they were the same folk. But I take your point and fair enough; time will tell.

8/05/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...


So, the JCs haven't been planning on the prospect of militarily thwarting Iranian nuclear and hegemonic ambitions? Do the JCs believe a treaty with Iran will do the trick, just as Clinton's did with NoKo? That's just too Wes Clark Democrat of Recent Conversion and Convenience to believe...

But, yeah, we're stretched militarily. Tough times, absolutely.

8/05/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, that is exactly the plan. See Achilles' post.

But, it's okay. Syria is not an important actor. There's no "there" there.

It's all Iran. It's all about The Nukes.

Eyes on the Prize, Doug. Eyes on the Prize.

8/05/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think that site just lost my confidence, guys!

Secret 2001 Pentagon Plan to Attack Lebanon
- by A Concerned Citizen - 2006-07-23
Bush's Plan for "Serial War" revealed by General Wesley Clark

8/05/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You just Wait Trish!
(any comments welcome: Sometimes Rufus leaves me speechless!)

8/05/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Don't blame Dubya, folks; it wasn't Bush that told Olmert to dither, and stumblef**k around, refusing to commit troops, or to allow them "go long."

- rufus

I agree.

He screwed his own army.

8/05/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yoni agrees too!
It unanimous.

8/05/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Army Chief of Staff, Peter Schoomaker will be the one that resists the most. He will point out that even a bombing campaign will probably buy us a "Ground War" with Iran.

He's a Smart Old Man, and this will scare the crap (rightly so) out of him. He'll point out that our army can kick the crap out of Iran in a short "Maneuver" War, but he will, also, point out that Iran is four times the size of Iraq, and we couldn't, in a million years, occupy it like we are doing in Iraq.

8/05/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

"Can't do" Yankees? Are we too "smart" for our own good, and what choice do we have, really?

8/05/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Oh, he'll do it, Catherine; but, Trish is right, it might not be "pretty."

Bush needs two things to make it a "little bit" easier. He needs to hold Congress in the fall, and he really needs for Ah'ma Dickhead to commit a "really big" screw-up.

8/05/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I'm sure the plans are down to crossed T's and dotted I's. I'm sure they're good plans, catherine. I'm sure that if the decision were made, it would be done well.

8/05/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, we Know that No one leaves You Speechless.

8/05/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

But there's no gettin' around that shitstorm.

8/05/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Bush would then be facing resignations.

8/05/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

As Harry Truman said, "That'd be rough'ern a cob."

8/05/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: Smart Old Man

Where to begin?

Somewhere in those three little words you have addressed both the problem and the answer.

8/05/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

That might be a good "Indicator/predictor. A premature resignation of Pete Schoomaker might mean hot times in Tehran.

8/05/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Tommy Franks out of "Retirement?"

You're right Allen, I don't like "Old" Generals." I like'em (there's those damned 'postrophe's, again) in their mid-fifties. Old enough to know how, young enough to do it.

8/05/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

sarah said:

The one good thing to come of this is that there won't be any west bank puulout. Olmert will be gone within six months. His pullout plan is finished.

More generally, this is the final nail in the whole "land-for-peace" coffin. Even if Israel did pull completely out of Gaza and the West Bank and returned to the 1949 Armistice Line, or even to the smaller patchwork state the UN cooked up at the time of Partition in 1948, the rockets would keep falling and the kidnappers would keep kidnapping, because Jihadists like job security.

8/05/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Is it my abysmal ignorance on display, or am I right in thinking that any SOLUTION in the Middle East MUST BE A JUST and FAIR solution?

Lebanon, Hizb'ollah, Syria... "Taste ye what your hands have wrought!"

"The Best-Beloved of all things in (God's) sight is Justice. Turn not away therefrom if thou desirest (God)..."

8/05/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: resignation

Rufus, somewhere in the bowels of the system IS a Lt. Col. Eisenhower. The questions are, "Is there a General Marshall or a General Scott?" and "Is there a Chief Executive desperate enough to listen?"

8/05/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

allen will never forgive him for being an honest man. And a gently honest one at that.

8/05/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

allen wants the public, of which he is a member, fed bullshit six ways to Monday.

8/05/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


While I hate to disagree, you sell short the myopic, suicidal tendencies of Mr. Olmert and the peaceniks. Facts be damned, "I wish; therefore, it is."

Look at what good intents have wrought! Think of the lyrics of "Tomorrow".

8/05/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Re Iran: Bush would then be facing resignations.

DoD is in the blood in my household. Would like to think the JCs are ultimately more interested in national security than in why it can't be had, else we could soon have Europhile Wes Clark the defeatist lead the way as Hillary's VP.

Still, anyone notice that even parts of Europe are not sitting so sanguine at the moment? Again, what choice does the West have?

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

Time for them Margaritas, again, Allen!
Forewarned is forearmed.

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

You're quite welcome, rufus.

Just for the record, though, my handle is Achillea, not Achilles. :)

8/05/2006 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I would take a Macarthur, here. He was a "Great" Tactician; you'd just have to assign a company of Marines to keep his crazed finger off of the Nuke Button.

8/05/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

rufus said:

He'll point out that our army can kick the crap out of Iran in a short "Maneuver" War, but he will, also, point out that Iran is four times the size of Iraq, and we couldn't, in a million years, occupy it like we are doing in Iraq.

The German Army occupied a lot of Russian territory in the Barbarossa campaign. Know how they did it? By running a classic occupation occupation, like the Romans did, with curfews and summary executions, not a newfangled nation-building group hug with a seditious fifth-column style mainstream media running all over the place like we got now. They're already calling us occupiers, let's really give them something to bitch about.

8/05/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


I must be more careful; you have discovered the real me.

You know more of me than I.

8/05/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Sorry, Achillea.

You just seem like an "Achilles," to me.

8/05/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: Margaritas

WAAAY ahead of you, good buddy.

8/05/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

You got my vote, Teresita; Only 6 Billion more to go.

8/05/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

rufus said:

Sorry, Achillea.

You just seem like an "Achilles," to me.

You heel.

8/05/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...


"Take the Pot, I can't top that."

8/05/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What if those conventional Israeli girls just don't cut it?
Perhaps we should bring in the "special" forces?

8/05/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Doug said:

What if those conventional Israeli girls just don't cut it?

Perhaps we should bring in the "special" forces?

What's that, the Tough Women Attack Team?

8/05/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"you have discovered the real me."

It's a gift, allen.

8/05/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Terisita: Not sure, but they secretly communicate w/hand signals.

8/05/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...


How did my "Family Reunion" get on the Net?

I'm warning you, I'm going to find out! Where's PossumTater? I've got a job for him.

8/05/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Can someone please explain why we keep allowing these oil oligopolists their racket of using war or the threat of war as a price-fixing tool.

8/05/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Tough Women Attack Team?


8/05/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Proving things just get faster going downhill.

8/05/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

For the uninitiated, a commissioned officer of the United States has one duty: every hour of everyday, that officer must advance the interests of the people of the United States. If a commissioned officer of the United States can no longer advance the interests of his (neuter gender) country, he is honor bound to resign his commission.

In battle, an officer is faced with three choices: 1) attain victory, 2) HONORABLY surrender, or 3) in the absence of honorable terms, choose death before dishonor.

General Schoomaker did none of these; instead, he left those servicing under his command in limbo.

Shame! Shame! Shame!

Whether the people of the United States prefer eating “shit”, I leave to those having expertise in the matter. I lay no claim to competent mushroom farming.

8/05/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Do your part, folks; and save some money. Buy a Flex-Fuel Vehicle. E-85 is going to be really, really cheap in a few months.

8/05/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

redaktor wrote:

Can someone please explain why we keep allowing these oil oligopolists their racket of using war or the threat of war as a price-fixing tool.

Because we insist on driving one person to an S.U.V. to the garage sale three doors down the street.

8/05/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: a gift

Return it for the two cents its worth. You'll be a better, wealther person.

Do you like Margaritas?

8/05/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Actually the Iran will be told to take the nuke deal they've been offered because the "world leaders" that let Israel bomb Lebanon for a month and will let the US (perhaps with NATO air forces joining) bomb Iran for three or four months -- with many more daily sorties in store.

In short, the Iranian regime will get an offer they can't refuse. And it will happen before the US election because the world has decided it has to do something about Iran and its nukes and its propensity for slipping terrorists sophisticated arms. The World is at the point where they will just as soon see the Republicans keep Congress because, really folks, it's America they hate, not Republicans. And there is a dirty job that needs to be done.

Oh, and Russia gets Syria if they want it. But I think Iran will take the deal and huddle under the wing of Russia and China while throwing Ahmadinejad to the wolves (that is what he is there for). In that case it will be natural for Syria to rejoin the Arab Sunni fold.

And, oh, that thing in Lebanon: the terrorist always win. They kill you: they win. You kill them: they win. So you need to ask yourself: which terrorist victory do you prefer?

8/05/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

OPEC is an unabashed cartel--with which we have cooperated for the obvious reason that it's their oil, but also because OPEC has cooperated in trading in Dollars--making USA the world's banker--and also recycling the petrodollars through our gov't bonds--thus keeping our long rates low, and making the Dollar a reliable store of value. So, oil is cartel-priced, but it helps keep mortgage rates and unemployment low (this is WAY simplified, of course), and price damps demand, which is all to the good for a non-renewable resource, and lastly, a huge component of the gasoline pump-price is taxation (which also eats 35% of those oil company profits), which accrues to the public good (sorta).

8/05/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Just to lighten things up a bit...

Reuters Photoshop

8/05/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...


Iran is part of OPEC and Iran said no to selling their oil in US dollars. Russia selling their oil in US dollars?

8/05/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

At least, that's how it has worked until the jihad got strong enough to turn blood into gold--as redactor is fulminating on tonite.

8/05/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

hd, I can't see it happening "before" the elections, unless Iran does something "Really Outrageous." We're just not quite ready, yet.

Don't get me wrong, Dubya would love to go into the election fighting a "Just" War, but the provocation would have to be Large, and Unequivocable.

Keep in mind that Iran would, almost certainly, attack across the border. We should be able to handle that, but it would be nice if we had a couple more months to train up the Iraqi Army, before we go a'fightin.

The problem is what do we do with the Mullahs? There's your nut-cruncher. We really, really, really don't want to follow the Iranian Army back across the border. At least, we don't want to stay long if we do. It would be good to have a coup set up, but

What the heck do we do with the Mullahs? Kill'em? Whew. Not Kill'em? Double Whew.

I know we're giving him the big bucks, but I still wouldn't want his job.

8/05/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If he's fulminating, that blood would be Gold Dust.

8/05/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Danmeyers, LGF is all over that photo. Every Graphic Artist in the world must comment on that site.

8/05/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right, redactor, the Dollar is under attack from Iran & Russia. Putin is trying to upgrade his currency to G8 standards, and Iran is helping him. Those A-14 Kornets that are changing the doctrine of IDF armored warfare tonight are one little element of the trade.

8/05/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Buddy, it's the French pulling the strings on this dollar assault. I know that sounds comical, but I really believe it to be true.

Relax, folks, that's as far as I'm going with this; I could type all night, and the only one that would be more confused than you would probably be me. But, it's the French.

Sometimes, ya gotta think like the "Godfather."

8/05/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


We're not going to pull a Barbarossa.

The occasional desire for it here or elsewhere matters not.


We've lost Iraq.

You can fire the generals; you can fire the army and the marines. You can fire Don.

It's lost.

It's been lost for more than two years.

8/05/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"> Back on the Hookah Again
Charity Wins Deep Loyalty for Hezbollah

Hezbollah has provided essential services for years to Lebanon’s poor Shiites.
When Haider Fayadh, left, a cafe owner in Tyre, could not pay a huge electricity bill, Hezbollah paid it

8/05/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

More Pictures from my Family Reunion.

I'm Gettin Pissed! I'm warning you, whoever you are.


Trish, I think you're wrong about Iraq. I think you're going to wake up one morning and realize, "We've Won."

8/05/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yep, they're Goodfellas.

8/05/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


You give a whole new meaning to Sunshine Patriot.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

8/05/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Rufus and Danmyer,

Yeah, that has "clone tool" written all over it. I do photo editing and image correction, and, well, from what *I* see, and granted it's a small, low resolution photo, it's clone tool. And horribly lacking in skill.

8/05/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

That Maliki trip wasn't just a couple of good ole boys gettin together for a chaw. There was some serious palaver'in going on there.

I think Bush was doing some serious ass-chewing, and Maliki was doing some kicking back. This talk from the Generals, recently, needs to be looked at from a strategic, and political, perspective, I think.

It was most definitely "For Publication." Justification for upcoming actions? Setting the stage for a strike against Sadr's thugs? Stay tuned, I think.

8/05/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"A point to note: regardless of whether you agree that the July 26 photo is cropped from the same panorama shot as today’s
(I still think it is), it is still damning evidence
— because the one from today shows buildings that don’t exist in the earlier photo, even though they are clearly from the same angle."
I thought all things were possible in the MSM.
Fake, but accurate.

8/05/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

James, I wouldn't know a "clone" tool from a "trenching" tool, but that's what about a dozen, or so, of your brethren over at footballs say.

8/05/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sadr is Baghdad
Nasrallah is Beirut.

Maybe they just used the clone tool on Baghdad to get Beirut?

8/05/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just don't try doin to -tater's cousins with a clone tool what I did w/a trenching tool!
P-tater population explosion!

8/05/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Rufus, You are right if the US does it alone.

But I do not see the US taking on Iran alone. I see an ultimatum with broad support from world powers (it may be kept secret at first) that would give legitimacy to a prolonged bombing campaign (perhaps after 30-90 days of sanctions). It make sense for the world to take care of the problem now.

Normally the other powers can not resist the opportunity to complicate life for the US. But does anyone want to end up handling that bag of excreta called the Iranian regime without the US? First you solve the Iranian problem, then you screw the US.

The goal is to have Iran take the deal rather than the bombing.

I am not saying that is the preferred outcome because it would leave the Mullah's in place.

Gee, it is past my bedtime. I enjoy reading you folks.

8/05/2006 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, I'm not doubting you, but what would be the reason for adding buildings?

8/05/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

Point of Order:

That link from Rampurple that Achillea supplied links to a conspiracy nut. It is not a trustworthy site.

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


re: We've lost Iraq.

That may prove true for Iraq the artificial European construct. However, bless the Kurds and the now beleaguered, suddenly righteous Sunnis, facing ethnic cleansing. What a difference a day makes.

8/05/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/05/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Yeah, I've done hi-jacked one more of the kind host's threads.

Sorry Boss, I'll be good from now on, I promise.

hd, the world cutting uncle sugar some slack? I'll be pulling for that!

Well, G'nite from ole "Sunshine," Folks. Watch out fer them little red'uns, they're vicious.

A P'Tater Explosion? Done happened, here. I had one of his relations go walking by my back door last night. Just looked at me, and hissed. Ill-tempered bunch, they are. G'nite.

8/05/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

What about OUR consruct, allen?

And it IS ours.

8/05/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


The clone tool is a very simple photoshop tool, much like a paint brush. But instead of painting a solid color it reproduces or "clones" one part of the image onto another part of it. So, if you have a texture that you wish to even out, you can basically paint on whatever you don't want to see from a section that you wish to copy. Imagine something like a nice green lawn with a brownspot. You'd click on the green spot next to the brownspot and then slowly paint onto the brown spot.

It's a very handy little feature, good for removing flaws from textures. But when done by the unskilled it looks very sloppy and evinces an odd geometric look. The give-away is that there seems to be a repeating pattern within the clouds that has a regularity that goes beyond the normal flowing nanture of smoke/clouds.

8/05/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Historian, all good conspiracies have a grain of fact, somewhere. I think the part about proposed pipelines, and Russia's desire for some sort of tie-up with Syria (port-wise) sounds possible.

As for the evil Mobil-Exxon, Fina-Total consortium acting as Puppeteer to the world; well, you just gotta take some, and leave some, Right?

8/05/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You forgot to *Alt* click that lawn!

8/05/2006 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


You're correct. *hangs head in shame*

8/05/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: OUR construct

Well, the administration has been waiting for Ben, Alexander, James, Thomas, and George to emerge. That is not going to happen in Iraq for the same reason it did not happen in America. Our founders did not appear from out of nowhere; they emerged from an evolutionary process going back to the Celts, at least.

There is NOTHING in the history of Islam supporting the notion that "demo"cracy is preferred over autocracy. Indeed, the administration's whole concept of democracy proves an abysmal lack of intellectual rigor. Why? Because, America is NOT a democracy, thank goodness. Someone really should tell Mr. Bush.

Nevertheless, we Americans are wily buggers. If not this administration, then another will eventually arrive at some workable solution. How many million Americans will perish in the process of learning the lesson is the great mystery.

Given that the US must maintain a presence in the region, my preference for the moment is the Kurds.

8/05/2006 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Some workable solution.


Jesus, allen.

8/05/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


If Jesus can help, more power to him.

All I know is that we are in a war for survival. When some administration comes to the same conclusion, I will sleep better.

There is NO easy fix. There were easier fixes, but previous administrations chose to ignore them.

"I wish; therefore, it is", has been the rallying cry of American politicians for decades. We are going to pay the bill.

Trish, with all respect, past generations understood that life was a bitch. This generation seems constitutionally incapable of grasping the obvious - too much television, I suspect.

8/05/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Israeli National Murdered by Mob in Sydney.
Tim Blair has been all over this today. Not only this horrific murder, but a temple has been attacked as has a Jewish youth center.
And this is just in Sydney.
The mask is coming off the ummah. The only question is: do we let these Nazis do this in our nations or do we stop them?
Sure hope they can bury this as quickly as they did up in Seattle.
MY family ain't Jewish!

8/06/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"There is NO easy fix."

No, allen, there isn't.

8/06/2006 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


re: murdered

That is soooo non-PC. Surely, there must be a more sensitive way of framing the isssssthue, don't you think.

Oh, I was equally outraged when the Dutchman VanGogh was slaughtered. We Jews are funny about that sort of thing. Sauce for the Gans, you know.

8/06/2006 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sorry, actually he was just stabbed a lot and stuff and later passed on.
Thanks for pointing out my carelessness.
We should all try to be more sensitive around these "issues."
“There was a car load of people who stopped and they got out and they assaulted him pretty brutally and some of them were hitting him with a pole or something and there was multiple stabs.”

8/06/2006 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

More or less beat to death, I guess you could say.
Oh, well.
Sure hope there's not a BACKLASH!
The ROP is just so put upon these days.

8/06/2006 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

For the righteously indignant and post counters, how do all these comments relate to “The Man Without a Country”?

One god
One prophet
One state

We of the West have been disenfranchised. We are all without a country.

Welcome to the ghetto.

8/06/2006 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"But if you can't find Mec-ca,
In New York City,
Maybe you'll be lucky,
and Mecca will come to you."

- Country Joe

8/06/2006 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

We of the West have been disenfranchised. We are all without a country.

Welcome to the ghetto.

- No.

Welcome to the empire.

8/06/2006 12:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

ON TO BEIRUT Ariel Sharon, right, toured the advancing Israeli Army units in 1982.

8/06/2006 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...


please elaborate.

8/06/2006 01:03:00 AM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

"We've lost in Iraq"

Not so Trish, we are just entering a new phase.

Phase 1: Invade and topple regime. Complete
An aside: I am not the only person in the world who watched the Prez give his "Mission Complete" speech and then think to myself that the easy part was over and the hard was starting, am I?

Phase 2: Defeat the foreign based Al Quaida insurgency.
Complete. Zarquawi dead, Al Quaida universally hated throughout Iraq.

Phase 3: Defeat the Baathist based insurgency.
Mostly complete. Sunni's joining the political process, giving up Zarquawi and Al Quaida in the process.

Phase 4: Defeat the Iranian backed Al Sadr insurgency.
Just getting started. Although this is the big one, the outcome not in doubt.

The war in Iraq was won when elections were held and the Iraqi people came out in large numbers to vote, proudly showing their purple stained fingers to the world. They chose freedom. We won and that war is over. The fact that Al Quaida, Syria and Iran can cause trouble in Iraq does not change that fact, it just illustrates why we are still at war. This is just another battle in the larger war.

8/06/2006 01:23:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Prime Minister Siniora really is a "Man without a Country." He is just a figure head.

Hezbullah basically controls the Lebanese government. Iran, with its huge oil revenues, supplies and directs Hezbullah. And, Syria is the main supply route for Hezbullah and has control over men and materials moving in and out of Lebanon. Prime Minister Sinora is left twisting in the wind.

Although Israel has managed to destroy a number of rockets and terrorists - and even driven some of those terrorists into pockets - it would appear that Iran (via Syria) can re-supply Hezballah with just about any type and amount of weapons causing one-step forward and one-step backward.

Worse, with tiny Israel being surrounded by unfriendly oil rich Arab nations the stream of fighters keeps coming into the battle field.

Intuitively, the supplier of weapons (Iran) and the supply routes (Syria) need to be neutralized before the rockets and terrorists and can be significantly reduced.

That means engaging Syria and Iran to some degree. Bush stated, "Those who harbor a terrorists are just as guilty as the terrorists." Let's put Bush's words into action. Hammer the bad guys. If the supply routes are not cut then the war will drag on.

If the rumors of bin Laden's brother being sent into action by Iran along with super terrorist Imad Mughniyeh that would amount to an act of war by Iran.

Further, with Iran's advisors in the field and Iran's missiles and antitank weapons in the field, one must conclude Iran has crossed the line from a proxy war sponsor to a direct warring nation.

And, I believe Iran has defacto implemented their mutual defense pack with Syria. The US should do the same.

I would suggest Three logical steps:

1) Allow Israel to destroy any and all re-supply routes (including ones in Syria).

2) Allow Israel to destroy any and all command and control centers (including any in Syria).

3) Start putting Iran on the defensive. Give Iran the Col. Lansdale treatment were unexpected accidents happen in Iran or to their proxies.

Say, stray shell hits one of Iran's supply ships or planes; an ammo dump mysteriously blows; a fire at an oil refinery and so forth. Two can play the taqqyia game. Get Iran on the defensive so they can't go on the offensive.

8/06/2006 01:24:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

allen said:

Indeed, the administration's whole concept of democracy proves an abysmal lack of intellectual rigor. Why? Because, America is NOT a democracy, thank goodness. Someone really should tell Mr. Bush.

It always struck me funny that Republicans insist America is a Republic and not a Democracy, as if they could delegitimize the Democratic Party with a single stroke by equivocating on the "D" Word. But the United States is not only a democracy, it is a liberal democracy (which really gets the 'Pubs riled up), defined by Wikipedia thus:

Liberal democracy is a representative democracy where the ability of the elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution which emphasizes the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals and minorities, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised.

8/06/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


Would you believe We're a liberal, democratic republic?

/Maxwell Smart, for those ancient enough to remember.


Jamie Irons

8/06/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Wikkipedia is a poor source at best;

de·moc·ra·cy audio (d-mkr-s) KEY

pl. de·moc·ra·cies

1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.
The above from Yahoo's online dictionary, which given the size of Yahoo, could be accepted as a standard. There was no entry under 'liberal' democracy. Maybe because there is no diztinction between democracy and 'liberal' democracy.
There was this;

social democracy


A political theory advocating the use of democratic means to achieve a gradual transition from capitalism to socialism.

And this;
pure democracy


A democracy in which the power to govern lies directly in the hands of the people rather than being exercised through their representatives.

Let's look at your adjective;
lib·er·al audio (lbr-l, lbrl) KEY


1. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
2. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
4. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
1. Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
2. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.
3. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation.
4. Of, relating to, or based on the traditional arts and sciences of a college or university curriculum: a liberal education.
1. Archaic Permissible or appropriate for a person of free birth; befitting a lady or gentleman.
2. Obsolete Morally unrestrained; licentious.


1. A person with liberal ideas or opinions.
2. Liberal A member of a Liberal political party.

Middle English, generous, from Old French, from Latin lberlis, from lber, free; see leudh- in Indo-European roots

Let me start by pointing out that either the word liberal doesn't mean what you thinkit doea, or you are somewhat confused by just what the Democratic party stands for.
DEmocrats in America are fighting fiercly to uphold what once was.
So you can scratch 1.1 and 1.2, at least so far as the US Democratic party.
I'm gonna stop now and leave some bandwidth for another idiot. This idjit is gonna open a Harps and enjoy a day that is hot, but under 100.

8/06/2006 07:38:00 AM  

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