Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Sling and the Stone

Mark Steyn observed on a radio interview that what distinguished modern terrorism from the classic nationalist liberation struggles of the post-colonial period was not means but ends. Whereas the old liberation struggles sought to establish states in order to create their own society, radical Islamism takes over states to make them platforms for undertakings which transcends statehood. Radical Islam's ambitions are nothing so small as a state. They are after bigger game: a global caliphate or something like it. Osama Bin Laden was not interested in Afghanistan, nor Arafat in Palestine, nor was Nasrallah overly concerned about Lebanon -- these puny states were uninteresting except as launching pads for larger ambitions. Nor should we think they are overreaching. Matthew Stannard at the San Francisco Chronicle quotes a number of reputable military analysts who think that Hezbollah has just shown that terrorism can not only take on decrepit, failing states but even a powerful and modern one like Israel.

"I think it's something new, in that a non-state organization has undertaken a major, sustained, broad-scale, and so far, the successful military offensive against a state," said William Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank. "What changes here ... is that non-state forces are able to challenge states militarily -- and win."


These analysts do not mean to suggest that Hezbollah is tactically defeating the IDF, but defeating it strategically. It is gaining its political goals. And one of the most powerful weapons in the non-state arsenal are the cultural institutions of the states themselves: their mass media and international organizations of states like the United Nations.

"Military tactics are the art and science of winning battles," said Thomas Hammes, a retired Marine colonel and author of "The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century." "Military strategy is the art and science of winning wars," he said. In Vietnam, for example, U.S. troops can claim they never suffered a tactical defeat. Yet the North Vietnamese can rightly claim a strategic victory, because they achieved their political goals of unifying the entire country under their control, said Kalev Sepp, a counterinsurgency specialist at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. ...

"The Israelis are currently winning militarily, tactically. But the strategic dimension is more significant," Gavrilis said. ... Hezbollah, on the other hand, appears to be far more focused on increasing its political power in Lebanon and its prestige in the Arab world, and perhaps of diverting attention from the political woes of its patrons, Syria and Iran, the analysts said. ... "Civilians have died in the battlefield before ... but the way that it's publicized changes the outcomes of conflict," Gavrilis said. "That is new."

The message coming through that global network speaks directly to the Arab public, the source of Hezbollah's political strength -- that it can take on the mightier Israeli army and keep the fight going, the analysts said. "Political will is a central component of any combat. Pictures influence political will," Hammes said. It is a lesson, he said, the United States learned in the Vietnam War and Israel in the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, with its photos of boys throwing rocks taking fire from well-armed soldiers. "I really question why Israel didn't understand that in the first stages of the (Lebanon) war."

It's interesting to compare the political impact of the international reportage of civilian casualties in Lebanon with the nullity caused by similar events in Darfur. The Strategy Page reports that villages, refugee camps, and humanitarian organizations have been attacked and relief supplies plundered yet in such a pervasive and creeping way that news organizations have largely missed it.

Lack of security is preventing medical and food aid from reaching refugee camps in Sudan's western Darfur region. In the last two weeks, one aid group had ambulances attacked and one medical compound robbed. This group has been operating 17 clinics throughout Darfur but expects to close some of them. Because of the attacks on convoys and robberies on the roads, mobile clinics no longer travel to villages in Darfur. Over the last month several NGOs have reported an increase in incidents. Many of the NGOs are the first to learn of attacks on villages from survivors who manage to make it to the NGOs' medical facilities. That's why news of attacks literally "moves on foot" -- and the journalists and government sources pick up the reports from refugees and doctors, often days (or weeks) after an attack. The UN wants a force of at least 24,000 troops in Darfur, but the government continues to resist.

Modern terrorism is able to exploit not only the spotlights but the shadows of the Western media. And it is largely invulnerable to armies. Not that a UN force of 24,000 or 240,000 would make any difference to Darfur. If the San Francisco Chronicle's thesis has any validity then modern terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Fatah or Hamas are resistant to the armies of nations in very fundamental ways. And to the clownish parody of a modern army which any UN force represents terrorism will be most resistant of all. With that background, its interesting to examine the latest proposals for a ceasefire in Lebanon. The AP reports:

The Lebanese prime minister rejected a U.N. cease-fire plan backed by President Bush, demanding on Monday that Israel immediately pull out from southern Lebanon even before a peacekeeping force arrives to act as a buffer between Hezbollah and the Jewish state. Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's stand, delivered in a tearful speech to Arab foreign ministers, came on a day in which 49 Lebanese were killed — one of the deadliest days for Lebanese in nearly four weeks of fighting. His Cabinet, which includes two Hezbollah ministers, voted unanimously to send 15,000 troops to stand between Israel and Hezbollah should a cease-fire take hold and Israeli forces withdraw south of the border. The move was an attempt to show that Lebanon has the will and ability to assert control over its south, which is run by Hezbollah, the powerful Shiite Muslim militia backed by Syria and Iran.

This single paragraph contains examples of all the contradictions which modern diplomacy and political science is unsuccessfully struggling to extricate itself from. A non-state (Hezbollah) at war with a foreign state (Israel) has voted to deploy the forces of a nominal state (Lebanon) to police itself, while taking orders from two foreign states (Syria and Iran) for the purpose of preventing more civilian casualties in a conflict it began until the forces of international states can interpose themselves between the forces of a foreign state (Israel) they have sworn to destroy and themselves (Hezbollah) under terms which in any case they have no intentions of respecting.  To international diplomats that makes sense. In contrast, when "in Texas, Bush said any cease-fire must prevent Hezbollah from strengthening its grip in southern Lebanon, asserting 'it's time to address root causes of problems,'" his remarks are dismissed as the ignorant ramblings of an unsophisticated simpleton. But maybe it is really the diplomats who are lost, prisoners of their own paradigm, unable to make the mental shift necessary to defeat non-state enemies except of a very limited and friendless kind. David Byrne describes some of these friendless non-states in his article American Madrassas.

Saw a screening of a documentary called Jesus Camp. It focuses on a woman preacher (Becky Fischer) who indoctrinates children in a summer camp in North Dakota. Right wing political agendas and slogans are mixed with born again rituals that end with most of the kids in tears. Tears of release and joy, they would claim — the children are not physically abused. The kids are around 9 or 10 years old, recruited from various churches, and are pliant willing receptacles. They are instructed that evolution is being forced upon us by evil Godless secular humanists, that abortion must be stopped at all costs, that we must form an “army” to defeat the Godless influences, that we must band together to insure that the right judges and politicians get into the courts and office and that global warming is a lie. (This last one is a puzzle — how did accepting the evidence for climate change and global warming become anti-Jesus? Did someone simply conflate all corporate agendas with Jesus and God and these folks accept that? Would Jesus drive an SUV? Is every conclusion responsible scientists make now suspect?) Awareness of the rest of the world is curtailed — one can only view or read that which agrees with the agenda.

Byrne's horror at Jesus Camp perfectly illustrated what Mark Steyn called the single greatest weakness of Western culture: its ability to draw a moral equivalence between anything and everything; between a terrorist camp with explosives and machineguns and a summer camp in North Dakota. It is really an inability to see anything in due proportion.  Kofi Annan's assertion of "disproportionate response" by Israel against Hezbollah really makes no sense in world where an equivalence operator can be inserted between any two operands of whatever value. And the consequence of the fallen calculus of international relations is the tactical and strategic equivalence between a democratic state and terrorist non-state; the parity between barbarism and civilization.

463 Comments:

Blogger Sonspot said...

"Byrne's horror at Jesus Camp perfectly illustrated what Mark Steyn called the single greatest weakness of Western culture: its ability to draw a moral equivalence between anything and everything..."

I think it's simpler then that. Anything that is anti-west, to the media, is good (even if it's evil). Until the left sees the west hoisted on its own petard the west will be the bad guys no matter how few civs. are killed.

8/08/2006 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

then=than

8/08/2006 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger 11A5S said...

It is interesting that Stannard changes the "informational" component in the classic four elements of power (Diplomatic/political, Informational, Military, Economic) to "social." In other words, the media is not a part of the struggle, never has been and never will!

8/08/2006 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger Tipmoose said...

The only reason those non-state groups can take on larger entities and win is because we (the larger entities) are too busy navel gazing and handwringing about 'civilian casualties' to knock the crap out of the terrorists. We love to wrap ourselves in a nice, cozy ideal where we can just kill the bad guys without cutting off their suppliers and killing those they hide behind.

If we were serious about this crap, and make no mistake, we are NOT serious at all, we would have taken the gloves off and made it clear that civilians will have to take their safety into their own hands, and either leave, fight, or hope not to get killed by either side.

We will not be serious about this war until we start fighting it to win. I'm not sure our limpwristed electorate has the stomach for the brutality that will be necessary for our survival. I'm thinking they don't.

8/08/2006 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger John Samford said...

The solution is simple. Recapture the western media. Congress does that by passing a Law requiring a 72 hour delay on any news broadcast. That delay will allow the adults to decide if they really want to let the chidren run loose with a story. It will make manipulating the news cycle difficult if not impossible.

8/08/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The Hezbollah model only works for so long as the state actor agrees to play by the non-state actor's rules of the game.

Hezbollah is a Syrian/Iranian infantry division. Treat it as such and go after its command & control and logistics in Syria and the game is over.

8/08/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Yeah, they can take on powerful states as long as the powerful states wring their hands over dead civilians in the enemy camp. It's really that simple, because powerful nation states refuse to acknowledge the threat of islamofacism. I would be most encouraged if I were an islamofacist to see the hand-wringing over detainees being threatened with dogs and not a word said about me blowing up civilians in markets. I would be even more encouraged over the fact that my boys could burn thousands of cars in France while the citizens whose cars are being burned remain passive on the sidelines crying for the police. In fact, I would be confident that I could destabalize such a nation in short order by giving my boys RPGs and suicide vests and AK-47s. I would feel confident that my ideology is stronger than the touted freedoms of the West who were afraid to publish cartoons of my prophet. Lastly, I would sleep well at night knowing that the flow of cheap Chinese goods can be disrupted if Iran is attacked over its nuclear development, and once my side has nukes, you motherf****** are mine. Ain't life grand? The writing is on the wall - man, it is plastered all over the wall - they are coming for us, our kids and our way of life.

8/08/2006 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

This article by an aid worker is a classic of its kind. It begins by expressing horror that aid workers in Sri Lanka were recently killed despite wearing t-shirts identifying them as relief workers. It goes on to describe Taliban attacks on relief convoys in Afghanistan, exacerbated no doubt by the fact that Christians were in the country "illegally" trying to convert Muslims, or that US vehicles occasioned fire. It even describes the danger created by exposing faked pictures because it blurs "the distinction between comment and factual reporting".

The author is no doubt sincere and his attitude is the pitch perfect example of modern enlightenment, such as it is.

8/08/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The Lebanese PM later admitted that his numbers had been a bit off – only ONE Lebanese had died in the attack that brought him to tears.

The often-used example of Vietnam being a strategic victory ignores the fact that it was no such thing. After that victory was achieved, the Viet Cong were all but wiped out and could only watch helplessly as their comrades from the North too over their country. And even those from the North soon began to realize that they had inherited a devastated country and been handed an ideology that was the most destructive the world has ever seen.

By the early 1990’s Vietnamese intellectuals had come to sense which way the wind was blowing and were suggesting that Cam Ron Bay would sure make a nice port – for the US Navy - again.

By the late 1990’s the streets of Saigon were filled with youth studying English and the products of Microsoft.

At the end of WWII the mighty Japanese fortress of Rabaul stood unconquered – and no one gave a rat’s rump – Tokyo stood in ruins with American flags flying overhead.

8/08/2006 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger JM said...

One quibble though - isn't saying that Hezbollah is a non-state organization somewhat disingenuous? They are provided for both militarily and economically by Iran, so much so that one has to consider them an extension of Iran, not a non-state actor per se (like Al Qaeda). As they stand up to Israel, I see an extension of the Iranian Army successfully prosecuting a guerrilla war.

We've got to recognize that no organization can stand up to a powerful state military like Israel's without substantial state support. This is why we can and should continue to hold states responsible for the actions of affiliated non-states - even though conventional wisdom says precisely the opposite. States, both good and bad, are still critically important.

8/08/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

The problem as I see it, is the western media promotes the terrorists agenda. They are not neutral, they are on the other side.

8/08/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Peter Boston stated:

"Hezbollah is a Syrian/Iranian infantry division. Treat it as such and go after its command & control and logistics in Syria and the game is over."

This declaration fails to see what the struggle is about. The correct assertion is that if the division is destroyed the division's game is over. Hezbollah is appealing to a great many Islamists in a way that AQ never did. They are making Israel look inept, brutal and to the Islamic model and idea Hezbollah looks heroic. Islamism resides in the entire Muslim world in varying degrees but in mind numbing numbers. Communism once did as well. To think you can bomb away the idea is absurd beyond comprehension. If the US had followed that strategy during the Cold War, we would have had to bomb, Italy, France, parts of England, Germany as well as the multitude of other more obvious countries. It is a teen-age computer game fantasy.

Communism was a global caliphate. It was defeated because sensible tough people recognized that it was a corrupt idea that lead into a maze of dead ends. Intelligence services infiltrated communist cells and the US formed diplomatic and global alliances that recognized and pursued the common goal of destroying Communism. When it needed to be confronted with military power, the West did so. Some of the best allies were those trapped in Communist Nations and in the end, there was triumph.

The US never allowed the Communists to control so many strategic assets as is now the case with oil. It is an amazing disgrace that five years after 911, an administration sat by and allowed a crucial petroleum pipeline, on US soil, to be closed down because of rust. It is a metaphor for the inept and incompetent handling of the winnable war against Islam. This war will be won, but not with the mediocre farm team encamped in DC.

8/08/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Bridget said...

I just love these elastic standards of "winning".

Hezbollah can't shoot straight, it's arsenal is being depleted, it's being rounted out of the south, it's leader is hiding in a bunker somewhere, Israel isn't even breaking a sweat militarily, and Hezbollah "wins" because it "defied" Israel? Gag.

8/08/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Undertoad said...

David Byrne's points about martyrdom on behalf of Christ and the perversion of religion are spot on. This is what the perversion does in a productive society.

Christians should be horrified; instead they are defensive and say, oh, this is not equivalence. We're so much different than THEM!

Huh. Well I for one completely recognize the slavish devotion, political connections, willingness to DIE for Christ (!), the building of massive echo chambers, the careful indoctrination of the young and naive.

Schools of thought make mistakes in cultures and go to extremes. The only reason it isn't equivalent is that we are in an educated, modern society which won't tolerate them going to the "next level".

I take an important lesson from this entry but it is not the one you wanted me to take.

8/08/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

Well, Hezbollah, the non-state actor here, could not accomplish what it has without the backing of it's state sponsors, Iran & Syria. Eliminate the state sponsors and then see how they do.
I am still assuming that this administration has plans to accomplish this, but, all I am saying is "faster please".

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

It's hard to get "objective" media reporting out of areas where reporters who don't play nice stand a good chance of being killed.

I take a look at the incentive structure the media is exposed to. If they report one way, then they get access, they are secure from attack, they get nice dramatic footage that gets their faces on the air, and provides them with an enhanced career. If they report the other way, they don't get access, their lives are in danger, they get organized efforts to sabotage their careers, etc. For a self-interested reporter, it's a no-brainer.

As far as what to do about Hezbollah, there's two issues that must be dealt with:

1) It gets financial and theological backing from Iran, and logistical support from Syria. As long as it supplies a way for unemployed young men to get cash, status, and glory, it will have all the young men it wants. Is there any shortage of drug dealers willing to risk death? And drug dealers don't even get assurances of heaven.

As long as Iran is able to continue the cash flow, Hezbollah cannot be defeated. But without suppliers, hezbollah dries up and blows away.

2) Hezbollah seems to be an expression of Lebanese Muslim society. There might be a small number of people actually firing rockets, but for every rocketeer, there are a bunch of "civilians" providing him with food, shelter, and other logistical support. The Israelis are not at war with Hezbollah as much as they are at war with a good chunk of the society

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

What Goesh said!
JD Hayworth, hosting Ingraham show, is saying the same thing.
http://www2.krla870.com/listen/

8/08/2006 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

2164th said:
"It is an amazing disgrace that five years after 911, an administration sat by and allowed a crucial petroleum pipeline, on US soil, to be closed down because of rust."

Yeah, and they should have been able to prevent Katrina, too. Incompetent b*st*rds.
Come on 2164th, this forum deserves better than that.

8/08/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

2164

The Islamists control the oil because of the geographic happenstance that put it under their feet. Do you really believe that Iran and KAS would turn over their pink slips to the oil fields to a different administration?

The Bush administration is responsible for rust in pipelines in Alaska?

You may want to consider that the 100+ Soviet divisions and 10,000 nuclear warheads had a role in keeping the Cold War cold, or, as you may say, a war of ideas and not bombs.

You may also notice that there are still large numbers of communinists running around the planet but very few Nazis or Japanese militarists. One could suggest that inflicting a total military defeat on the social, political and economic systems that ensconced those ideologies had a causal effect, but that would be absurd beyond comprehension.

8/08/2006 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

The battle is joined...

Hamas and Hezbollah have fired the shots...

Israel using "meek" probing slowly moves the battle north. Hezbollah and Hamas start the rockets.

cut a few weeks later.. pundits are claiming hezbollah wins since it's not destroyed, israel has surrounded 5 major areas of hezbollah strongholds, resupply is drastically cut, while israel keeps grinding down the static lines of hezbollah, not rushing in as the pundits want.

the ace card of hezbollah has been seen. they have fired 3050 rockets and killed a total of 50 israelis.

Syria has moved it's tanks into a static line of defense

It's taken 4 weeks for the impodent arab league to meet for tea and cake.

israel now is hitting tyre (forget the commando raids, although wonderful)

August 22nd is coming, Iran is getting nervous

"Ceasefire" nonsense is being talked about however israel just warned citizens of s leb that all vehicles are now targets.

All egress from s leb is cut across the litani

who has won or loss?

Iran cannot threaten the west with hezbollah anymore, Hezbollah are shooting thier wad as fast as they can and so far have shown NOT to be a STRATEGIC threat.

meanwhile, 170k refugess (30k syrian & 25k iranian) have flooded into syria.

No more cash to send home from the business rape of lebanon

430k shia of the south are living in sunni apts in northern beirut and points north..

it's getting interesting..

how long would 500 syrian tanks sitting a static position last against israel? hmmmm

8/08/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Lone Star,

Bush was not responsible for a hurricane. he may not have been resposnible for the dikes, but someone was. Was some Communist hack responsible for the construction or monitoring of Chernobyl? If the US was not dependent on oil, there would be no massive infusion of cash into the Islamic world as there is today. it is a very weak link in American security. If you think it not worthy of asking why such an important piece of infrastructure be allowed to crumble, would it trouble you if the wings on an American Airline plane fell off because no one paid attention to a maintenance schedule?

8/08/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger j willie said...

Re: Wretchard's post

Same song, second verse - in Israel. See Carolyn Glick's column today - here's an excerpt:

Second, they pretend that the Palestinian jihad against Israel is unrelated to the Lebanese jihad against Israel and that, as a result, their plan to transfer control over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians remains sound. To this end they continue to support Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas even as he openly praises Hizbullah and his own security forces participate in terrorist attacks against Israelis. Moreover, they ignore the fact that Hizbullah terrorist-in-chief Hassan Nasrallah is the most popular figure in Palestinian society.

Finally, by preventing the ground offensive that all those IDF reserve divisions were called up to execute, they continue to pretend that the control of territory is unnecessary for national defense. After all, what is an air-based strategy other than a way to convince the public that wars can be won without land?

The column closes with these thoughts:

THERE IS a palpable sense in Israel that we are on the edge of a revolutionary moment. Our national leadership in the government, the IDF and the media has utterly failed us.

As we stand poised on the edge of an even larger war, the main question that hangs in the balance is what lessons the Israeli people will take from the current fiasco. Will we continue to believe their fictions, or will we find a way to abandon them and move on with leaders who understand that territory is vital, that the jihad is real, that Israel has a right to defensible borders, and that Israel is not to blame for our enemies' hatred?

8/08/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

....One could suggest that inflicting a total military defeat on the social, political and economic systems that ensconced those ideologies had a causal effect, but that would be absurd beyond comprehension...

I am not sure what you mean here, expand if you will.

8/08/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Goesh said:

Yeah, they can take on powerful states as long as the powerful states wring their hands over dead civilians in the enemy camp. It's really that simple....

and said similar things on Op-For.

I absolutely agree that the fundamental question is one - to put it bluntly - of the failure of Western nerver. Or, to be nicer, a lack of broad political will.

This disease in the West - first noticed in Europe and Great Britain following the First World War and its attendant horrors (which were all too real for a war widely thought to be a result of miscalculations rather than any real intention of the Great Powerss to fight a major war in 1914) - has almost paralyzed our ability to deal with enemies who are not 'rational' in our own sense and whose goals do not include forming or preserving a state and its population.

The more I read about Islam and the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, the more I am convinced that the radical Islamists truly mean what they say and will, if so permitted, attempt to destroy Israel and the West.

Unfortunately, I don't think the traditional combination of war and diplomacy - the model in the West at least since Westphalia - will be adequate to deal with them. Rather, I think we are going to have to understand that it is a war a l'outrance and that we need to isolate the Islamists (but not necessarily all Moslems) and their supporters, and innoculate the world against them. That means, sadly, if they want to fire rockets while hiding in the civilian population, we don't let that deter us from killing them. Once even supporting Islamofascism becomes a death sentence, there will be a lot fewer Islamofascists around. They will either change their views or be dead. The world would be infinitely better off.

8/08/2006 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger texas said...

re: the comparison of communism vs. islam - are there any instances where a once majority islamic society every became non-islamic, other by the the sword (Spain in 1492)?

8/08/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

It is an amazing disgrace that five years after 911, an administration sat by and allowed a crucial petroleum pipeline, on US soil, to be closed down because of rust.

Oh come on now. Since when is the administration responsible for rust? BP is an independent business, not a subsidiary of the U.S. Government. If it were a state-run operation, then you might have a point, but as it is I think you are just grousing.

(Not to mention the small fact that the shutdown is being implemented to FIX the problem.)

8/08/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I am not sure what you mean here

That would be obvious from the tenor of your posts.

8/08/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

If you are willing to be patient, and unconcerned about being tagged as a hack or simpleton for agreeing with the "stay the course" mentality, it's pretty easy to see that everything in the Central Command's area of operations (Horn of Africa over to the Central Asia "Stans" including Pakistan) is happening at a time and place of our choosing. Including this conflict.

It appears to me the "invisible" strategy is to let this current Israel - Hezbollah thing play out (all in all, the Hezzies are doing minimal damage), let them think they've "won" a standoff. Why? Because Hezbollah is unknowingly providing a beautiful service for us. The "Axis of Evil" connections are being made more and more plain.

Is it the considered opinion of those on this blog that John Bolton is just doing a dance at the United Nations, taking orders from D.C. and saying "yes, sir" or "yes, ma'am"? Or, as someone ignorantly stated the other day, that Condoleezza is a moron? Or is Bolton working his end of the strategy?

This entire event is further defining the limitations of the United Nations, is it not? As well as defining the limitations of nation-states, is it not? And, thank God, it’s also making plain some of the limitations of the IDF too, is it not? They are a great fighting force, but they aren't Superman -- and their people need to know that.

We're playing a modified game of offense in America and Israel because that's all we can politically play right now. It's a Latin American football (soccer) styled offense rather than a North American football styled offense. No big attack, endless probing -- then counterattack.

The beauty of this modified game of offense, though, is that we are making them show their hands before they would have liked to do so. Not only are they banking on our impatience, they are further banking on the old rules carrying the day. But their propaganda is having less and less effect. We've previously demonstrated the ineptitude of the Taliban in Afghanistan (What proof! What proof! I can still hear that punk bitch Minister Omar shouting), and the bluster of Saddam in Iraq (his end is no doubt near). And although those who secretly hoped for American failure are still pimping for civil war, the Iraqi government is about to start dropping a hammer and enforcing discipline in an Arab kind of way. The absurdity of bitching about Abu Ghraib is about to be made quite clear. And now, finally, we start to zero in on the head of the snake. Not Iran, but Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs.

Keep on probing, boys. Shoot. Move. Communicate. Advance.

These Iranians think they're being so very smart but it's not Iraq that's going to be under threat of partitioning, it's Iran.

The end game is to allow the true center of Shiism (Najaf, Iraq) to regain its central status and to dethrone the mad mullahs of Iran. Only then can the various strains of Islam come to some modern accommodation with one another and the death cults marginalized.

At least, that's the way this hack sees it.

8/08/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The premise that "non-state forces are able to challenge states militarily--and win" is indeed troubling. The first antidote for that is for the leadership of any such state under attack to stand up and announce unequivocally that all the forces of the state will be arrayed against any such threat and will be employed without apology. If that means innoncent civilians will die because the non-state forces insist upon hiding among them, well, that is tragic for them, but would be even more tragic for the rest of civilization if such tactics secured any measure of impunity.
So that will not happen. There will be no impunity, whatsoever. This danger will be opposed and defeated, no matter the cost.

8/08/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

2164:
The New Orleans Levee Commission was responsible for maintenance of the dikes there - and according to reports from even those who lived there, the commission did just about everything but that. I still don't understand why that commmission needed to spend millions on a airplane. Helicopters for inspection and repair, maybe, but a corporate-travel style airplane?

The AK pipeline is owned by a private company, not the Federal Govt. The same is true of the hypothetical airliner - and although the FAA requires that certain inspections be performed and that any required maintenance be performed in a specified manner, it is not responsible for actually doing the maintenance.

In contrast Chernoybal was a Soviet state run facility, staffed by idiots, as any such Socialist top-down controlled facility will inevitably be. Not the same thing as the pipeline and the airliner at all.

My 25 plus years of military service convinced me that under any given set of circumstances the Federal Govt must be presumed to be incompetant. So, its power and responsibilies must be limited to those few areas where only it can do the job, national defense, for instance.

Now, I am willing to be that the company that owned the pipeline was so constrained by Federal and probably state govt requirements - not scaring the cariboe, or something - that they were hampered in doing proper inspections and maintenance. But if so, that once again argues for less government involvement, not more.

8/08/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

Gloomy Hawks:
"This means that the entire Western world now stands in a position roughly analogous to that of Israel: locked in an essentially permanent struggle with a foe it is impossible either to placate, or to entirely destroy — a foe who demands our own destruction, and whose problems are so deep they would not be solved even by victory."

Stanley Kurtz

8/08/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

2164th,

Are you creating a straw-man to illustrate our need to wean from the oil-ticks? If so, your premise is not wrong.

But, the administration as responsible for the maintenence of the pipeline? Or is your strawman placed in support of greater government regulation and intrusion on clearly private matters?

8/08/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

When I was a kid, Protestant churches in my town regularly sang hymns like "Onward, Christian Soldiers!" and "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."

None of us felt especiallly threatened by these hymns; there was a realization that the content was largely "metaphorical," and that the Christians were unlikely to emerge from their services armed to the teeth, ready to mow down the few scattered Jews and the much larger number of Sunday golfers.

But I would be interested to know if these hymns are still considered acceptable, or if their content has become too politically incorrect, too threatening to other groups.

I guess if one wants to pose a real test of moral equivalence, one could ask oneself which feels, on a gut level, more like a real threat to the peace:

(1) the rantings of an anti-Semitic "imam" in Dearborn.

(2) the singing of "Onward, Christian Soldiers" by even the most "fundamentalist" and evangelical of Christian congregations.


Jamie Irons

8/08/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

The core of postmodernism - anything is 'disproportionate' if the postmodernists don't like it, and 'morally equivalent' if they do. It turns the entire planet into a moral free fire zone!

It's the ultimate liberation movement; an automatic authorization for outrage against whatever you want, at any moment.

8/08/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Good Post R-Gator,
It looks as if the animal tag posters have the vision today...well at least until D-Rat and P-tater show up.... ;O

I also like Mr. Samford's suggestion but it will never fly. Like many of the others, I feel that the "non state org." label is inaccurate. These tangos are state sponosred and directed. True that Hizzy have no Rep. at the UN that Mr. Bolton could threaten sanctions against. Our military and lever pullers are learning lessons. Will they be able to apply in a timely manner what we are learning is the question..?

8/08/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Sorry but the idea that Hezballah is a non state actor is laughable. I don't care how many initials a person has after their name, anyone stating such nonsense as fact should be laughed out of the room. Iran and Syria are states without whom Hezballah would merely be a bunch of Islamic thugs. Taking care of Hezballah is as easy as taking down Syria and Iran.

This absurd notion that we are facing something new under the sun is starting to annoy me. What we are really facing is the cowardice of our national leadership to deal with the problems.

8/08/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Art V said...

That indoctrination camp sounds sickening.

I must admit, it's a little depressing that one so stalwart in his opposition to fanaticism of the Muslim variety should reveal themselves to be something of a hypocrite by defending the brainwashing of kids when it's done by adherents to another religion.

Jesus camp is worrying to a lesser degree than Hamas 'child martyr training', of course, but as a previous commenter said - this is a matter of degree. Jesus camp is the thin end of a wedge and is only prevented from becoming a more dangerous phemonenon by it's existing in the context of an otherwise civilised, pluralist, democratic country.

8/08/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, well, well.

The consensus seems that now, six years after the attack on the USS Cole, the Administration has a chance to shape the propaganda battlefield.

Why people may now begin to "see" the Enemy, now that HB is engaged with Israel. They will see that Mr Maliki is united with Mr al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army sends fighters to Lebanon.

All of whom are funded by the Iranians. Wow!

8/08/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

That indoctrination camp sounds sickening.

I must admit, it's a little depressing that one so stalwart in his opposition to fanaticism of the Muslim variety should reveal themselves to be something of a hypocrite by defending the brainwashing of kids when it's done by adherents to another religion.


In my misspent youth I knew a million kids who were sent to these "indoctrination camps."


In those days we called them "Sunday schools," or, if they occurred during summer vacation, "Church Camps."

Scared the hell out of a lot of us.

As to this statement:

I must admit, it's a little depressing that one so stalwart in his opposition to fanaticism of the Muslim variety should reveal themselves to be something of a hypocrite by defending the brainwashing of kids when it's done by adherents to another religion.


I'm not sure who is being referred to?


Jamie Irons

8/08/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Total US crude oil imports averaged 10.247 million barrels per day in May, which is an increase of 0.415 million barrels per day from April 2006. It is estimated that the shortfall created by the US pipeline shut down will add $10 per barrel. That will add one hundred dollars daily to the US bill for imported oil. Why that is hardly worthy of note. An additional trade deficit of $30 billion. What could possibly be of significance to that? But it gets worse. All oil exported regardless of the source participates in the windfall. Now who receives that money? Another insignificant morsel of information.

It looks like 70 % of the pipeline needs to be replaced.

Let us hear what the President has said about energy matters.

WASHINGTON, DC, April 28, 2005 (ENS) - Amid increasing concern that high gasoline and energy prices are harming the U.S. economy, President George W. Bush on Wednesday proposed a series of new initiatives to boost domestic energy production, including measures to expedite construction of new nuclear power plants and oil refineries.

Bush said the proposals will help curb the nation’s growing dependence on foreign oil, but acknowledged he can do little to provide consumers immediate relief from rising gas prices.

"If I could, I would," Bush said in a speech at the Small Business Administration's National Small Business Conference.



(President George W. Bush was addressing delegates at the National Small Business Conference in Washington.

Bush said the nation’s "fundamental problem" is that the supply of energy is not growing fast enough to meet the growing demand, in particular given the soaring increases in consumption abroad.
"This problem did not develop overnight, and it's not going to be fixed overnight," he said. "But it's now time to fix it."

8/08/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger pragmatist said...

William Lind is not an unbiased
commenter. Check out his misnamed
"Defense and the National Interest"
website.

He has been actively promoting an
anti-Israeli viewpoint for years.
Certainly, he has every right to
do so.

But it makes his "analysis" totally
subjective and not objective in
the least.

One should take his "pronouncements"
with a very, very large "grain of salt".

8/08/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger nelson said...

We could say that, ever since the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution, states were much better positioned than individuals or any combination of these that didn’t manage to have their own state. Incidentally, the historical event that proved most irrefutably this principle was the Holocaust, when a fully organized state, using only a very small fraction of its powers and organizational resources (most of which, anyway, were being used in its fight against several other states), managed to exterminate 6 million Jews (who didn’t have their own state) and also millions of Gypsies, Soviet POWs and civilians of other European states.

WW2 seemed to prove that only states could fight states and, in spite of all the myths surrounding the guerrilla warfare conducted, for instance, in Yugoslavia, all the European anti-Nazi resistance movements were never much more than an almost insignificant nuisance. Thus, even taking into account their hopeless and heroic insurrection, half-a-million Jews confined to the Warsaw Ghetto were quite easily liquidated, while, five years later, a similar number of Jews who had their own state, Israel, achieved victory against several other states and regular armies.

Justifiably, then, for the last three centuries most of the relevant political theory and philosophy was busy trying to figure out how to restrict state power and the damage that, uncontrolled, it could do. Ideas such as rights, human rights and civil society were born of this, that is: people feared how much unrestricted state power could harm individuals or to any group that didn’t have its own state.

However, throughout most of human history, the main conflicts took place between non-state actors. There was a time, not so far away, when it would have been almost impossible to distinguish between what, according to our current concepts and categories, we call criminality and what we call warfare.

George Orwell wrote once that an age of heavy weapons would be rather despotic and an age where lighter weapons had the edge would be more democratic. That’s because, in classic liberal terms, he saw democracy as the empowerment of individuals vis-à-vis the state. But then, crime, I mean, individual, non-state, crime used to be seen by old-style liberals and by the left in general as a minor problem that they have for long been trying to explain away (through root-causes, for instance). Criminality has even been, since the 60s, regarded by the New-Left as a kind of (sometimes heroic or praiseworthy) protest against an unjust established order, as something done by individual who proudly dared to defy the state and the powers that be.

Now again, as in the pre-state days, the limits between crime and warfare have been blurred. Right now, in my own town; São Paulo, Brazil, organized crime is using tactics learnt from the proponents of urban guerrilla warfare to defeat (so far successfully) the police, that is, the state itself. In South America, for some time now, it has been really difficult to tell where criminality ended and politically motivated violence began because, among other things, both “regular” criminals and extremist political groups benefit from the same drug trade. Criminal gangs are discovering the propaganda advantages of painting themselves as political “militants”.

I’d say that one of the main problems facing us is that, although probably the majority of the population almost anywhere knows instinctively that the main danger for them nowadays isn’t the state, but sub- or para-state violence in general, those who deal with the wider dangers (some of them even honestly) are addicted to the old categories and take what defined a discrete moment in history (the state as the problem) as something natural and eternal. What they forget is that, before being seen as a problem, the state was considered a solution.

While the people try to convince the elites to change the concepts and categories they use, we have a huge window of opportunity for non-state actors in general to operate quite freely, because those who think there are protecting the people are actually protecting them from the wrong enemies. The simple fact that much of the Western middle-classes cannot hear expressions like “law and order”, “the forces of order”, “civilization” and so on without an ironic smile is a much bigger part of the whole problem than it seems. It is true that these expressions have been widely abused and misused, but it doesn’t follow that we can do without them or, rather, without the things they name.

In short, it is the very idea o crime and/or criminality that is obsolete in our new Hobbesian era, because most of what we used, for some centuries now, to call crime became again the “war of everyone against everyone else”. The distinctions that used to be made between criminal and political violence are now meaningless. I don’t know what terms such as “civil society” mean today. Are, for instance, Hamas and Hezbullah parts of “civil society”? Are they NGOs? Well, yes, they are, in their own way, NGOs. And while the idea was that NGOs would be instruments through which the “civil society” would monitor the state and curb its excesses, when they reach the point of being able to substitute the state itself, unaccountable as they are, they become very, very dangerous. The Jihadists are only the first of a long line of individuals and groups who found these contradictions out and are able to use them in their own interests, for their own goals.

That’s what is new and scary about the war between Israel and the Hezbullah. As far as I can tell, we’re witnessing the first occasion in centuries when an armed NGO, without first conquering some state of its own, has managed to compete effectively on the battleground with a well organized state and its army. If such an organization can stand against Israel, similar ones wouldn’t find it too hard to fight against most existing states, including (surely) the European ones and (maybe) even the USA.

In short: we’re in trouble.

Nelson/Europundits

8/08/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger nelson said...

We could say that, ever since the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution, states were much better positioned than individuals or any combination of these that didn’t manage to have their own state. Incidentally, the historical event that proved most irrefutably this principle was the Holocaust, when a fully organized state, using only a very small fraction of its powers and organizational resources (most of which, anyway, were being used in its fight against several other states), managed to exterminate 6 million Jews (who didn’t have their own state) and also millions of Gypsies, Soviet POWs and civilians of other European states.

WW2 seemed to prove that only states could fight states and, in spite of all the myths surrounding the guerrilla warfare conducted, for instance, in Yugoslavia, all the European anti-Nazi resistance movements were never much more than an almost insignificant nuisance. Thus, even taking into account their hopeless and heroic insurrection, half-a-million Jews confined to the Warsaw Ghetto were quite easily liquidated, while, five years later, a similar number of Jews who had their own state, Israel, achieved victory against several other states and regular armies.

Justifiably, then, for the last three centuries most of the relevant political theory and philosophy was busy trying to figure out how to restrict state power and the damage that, uncontrolled, it could do. Ideas such as rights, human rights and civil society were born of this, that is: people feared how much unrestricted state power could harm individuals or to any group that didn’t have its own state.

However, throughout most of human history, the main conflicts took place between non-state actors. There was a time, not so far away, when it would have been almost impossible to distinguish between what, according to our current concepts and categories, we call criminality and what we call warfare.

George Orwell wrote once that an age of heavy weapons would be rather despotic and an age where lighter weapons had the edge would be more democratic. That’s because, in classic liberal terms, he saw democracy as the empowerment of individuals vis-à-vis the state. But then, crime, I mean, individual, non-state, crime used to be seen by old-style liberals and by the left in general as a minor problem that they have for long been trying to explain away (through root-causes, for instance). Criminality has even been, since the 60s, regarded by the New-Left as a kind of (sometimes heroic or praiseworthy) protest against an unjust established order, as something done by individual who proudly dared to defy the state and the powers that be.

Now again, as in the pre-state days, the limits between crime and warfare have been blurred. Right now, in my own town; São Paulo, Brazil, organized crime is using tactics learnt from the proponents of urban guerrilla warfare to defeat (so far successfully) the police, that is, the state itself. In South America, for some time now, it has been really difficult to tell where criminality ended and politically motivated violence began because, among other things, both “regular” criminals and extremist political groups benefit from the same drug trade. Criminal gangs are discovering the propaganda advantages of painting themselves as political “militants”.

I’d say that one of the main problems facing us is that, although probably the majority of the population almost anywhere knows instinctively that the main danger for them nowadays isn’t the state, but sub- or para-state violence in general, those who deal with the wider dangers (some of them even honestly) are addicted to the old categories and take what defined a discrete moment in history (the state as the problem) as something natural and eternal. What they forget is that, before being seen as a problem, the state was considered a solution.

While the people try to convince the elites to change the concepts and categories they use, we have a huge window of opportunity for non-state actors in general to operate quite freely, because those who think there are protecting the people are actually protecting them from the wrong enemies. The simple fact that much of the Western middle-classes cannot hear expressions like “law and order”, “the forces of order”, “civilization” and so on without an ironic smile is a much bigger part of the whole problem than it seems. It is true that these expressions have been widely abused and misused, but it doesn’t follow that we can do without them or, rather, without the things they name.

In short, it is the very idea o crime and/or criminality that is obsolete in our new Hobbesian era, because most of what we used, for some centuries now, to call crime became again the “war of everyone against everyone else”. The distinctions that used to be made between criminal and political violence are now meaningless. I don’t know what terms such as “civil society” mean today. Are, for instance, Hamas and Hezbullah parts of “civil society”? Are they NGOs? Well, yes, they are, in their own way, NGOs. And while the idea was that NGOs would be instruments through which the “civil society” would monitor the state and curb its excesses, when they reach the point of being able to substitute the state itself, unaccountable as they are, they become very, very dangerous. The Jihadists are only the first of a long line of individuals and groups who found these contradictions out and are able to use them in their own interests, for their own goals.

That’s what is new and scary about the war between Israel and the Hezbullah. As far as I can tell, we’re witnessing the first occasion in centuries when an armed NGO, without first conquering some state of its own, has managed to compete effectively on the battleground with a well organized state and its army. If such an organization can stand against Israel, similar ones wouldn’t find it too hard to fight against most existing states, including (surely) the European ones and (maybe) even the USA.

In short: we’re in trouble.

8/08/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

That will add one hundred million dollars daily to the US bill for imported oil. I do not want to confuse mr boston.

8/08/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger nelson said...

We could say that, ever since the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution, states were much better positioned than individuals or any combination of these that didn’t manage to have their own state. Incidentally, the historical event that proved most irrefutably this principle was the Holocaust, when a fully organized state, using only a very small fraction of its powers and organizational resources (most of which, anyway, were being used in its fight against several other states), managed to exterminate 6 million Jews (who didn’t have their own state) and also millions of Gypsies, Soviet POWs and civilians of other European states.

WW2 seemed to prove that only states could fight states and, in spite of all the myths surrounding the guerrilla warfare conducted, for instance, in Yugoslavia, all the European anti-Nazi resistance movements were never much more than an almost insignificant nuisance. Thus, even taking into account their hopeless and heroic insurrection, half-a-million Jews confined to the Warsaw Ghetto were quite easily liquidated, while, five years later, a similar number of Jews who had their own state, Israel, achieved victory against several other states and regular armies.

Justifiably, then, for the last three centuries most of the relevant political theory and philosophy was busy trying to figure out how to restrict state power and the damage that, uncontrolled, it could do. Ideas such as rights, human rights and civil society were born of this, that is: people feared how much unrestricted state power could harm individuals or to any group that didn’t have its own state.

However, throughout most of human history, the main conflicts took place between non-state actors. There was a time, not so far away, when it would have been almost impossible to distinguish between what, according to our current concepts and categories, we call criminality and what we call warfare.

George Orwell wrote once that an age of heavy weapons would be rather despotic and an age where lighter weapons had the edge would be more democratic. That’s because, in classic liberal terms, he saw democracy as the empowerment of individuals vis-à-vis the state. But then, crime, I mean, individual, non-state, crime used to be seen by old-style liberals and by the left in general as a minor problem that they have for long been trying to explain away (through root-causes, for instance). Criminality has even been, since the 60s, regarded by the New-Left as a kind of (sometimes heroic or praiseworthy) protest against an unjust established order, as something done by individual who proudly dared to defy the state and the powers that be.

Now again, as in the pre-state days, the limits between crime and warfare have been blurred. Right now, in my own town; São Paulo, Brazil, organized crime is using tactics learnt from the proponents of urban guerrilla warfare to defeat (so far successfully) the police, that is, the state itself. In South America, for some time now, it has been really difficult to tell where criminality ended and politically motivated violence began because, among other things, both “regular” criminals and extremist political groups benefit from the same drug trade. Criminal gangs are discovering the propaganda advantages of painting themselves as political “militants”.

I’d say that one of the main problems facing us is that, although probably the majority of the population almost anywhere knows instinctively that the main danger for them nowadays isn’t the state, but sub- or para-state violence in general, those who deal with the wider dangers (some of them even honestly) are addicted to the old categories and take what defined a discrete moment in history (the state as the problem) as something natural and eternal. What they forget is that, before being seen as a problem, the state was considered a solution.

While the people try to convince the elites to change the concepts and categories they use, we have a huge window of opportunity for non-state actors in general to operate quite freely, because those who think there are protecting the people are actually protecting them from the wrong enemies. The simple fact that much of the Western middle-classes cannot hear expressions like “law and order”, “the forces of order”, “civilization” and so on without an ironic smile is a much bigger part of the whole problem than it seems. It is true that these expressions have been widely abused and misused, but it doesn’t follow that we can do without them or, rather, without the things they name.

In short, it is the very idea o crime and/or criminality that is obsolete in our new Hobbesian era, because most of what we used, for some centuries now, to call crime became again the “war of everyone against everyone else”. The distinctions that used to be made between criminal and political violence are now meaningless. I don’t know what terms such as “civil society” mean today. Are, for instance, Hamas and Hezbullah parts of “civil society”? Are they NGOs? Well, yes, they are, in their own way, NGOs. And while the idea was that NGOs would be instruments through which the “civil society” would monitor the state and curb its excesses, when they reach the point of being able to substitute the state itself, unaccountable as they are, they become very, very dangerous. The Jihadists are only the first of a long line of individuals and groups who found these contradictions out and are able to use them in their own interests, for their own goals.

That’s what is new and scary about the war between Israel and the Hezbullah. As far as I can tell, we’re witnessing the first occasion in centuries when an armed NGO, without first conquering some state of its own, has managed to compete effectively on the battleground with a well organized state and its army. If such an organization can stand against Israel, similar ones wouldn’t find it too hard to fight against most existing states, including (surely) the European ones and (maybe) even the USA.

In short: we’re in trouble.

nelson/europundits

8/08/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Kurtz paints a gloomy picture because he is reflecting the frustration of an absence of will.

Israel is the case study for Western woes because it has been the Islamist's experimental battlefield since the early 70s when the PLO was created to fight a new kind of war. This story is even more compelling when you consider that Arafat's PLO is the progeny of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological parents that also birthed Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and who knows how many others.

Since PLO days Israel has played tit-for-tat with the Islamists and has never made an attempt to kill the beast even when presented with the opportunity in Beirut in 1982. Who among those who watched the PLO sail off to Tunis under a flag of truce believed that the continued existence of the likes of Arafat would benefit humanity?

35 years of Islamist depravity still draws no greater than a brief Israeli incursion into the belly of the beast. I suppose that the Israeli strategy has been that it can endure the pin pricks of a Long War, and that perhaps in 100 years something resembling a civil society could emerge from the stinkhole. That's their call. Perhaps 4,000 years of Judaic tradition permits no other result.

Israeli citizens live in bunkers because proportionality is more important to Israel's political leadership than killing the enemy. Would Kurtz be so gloomy if in the first days of the war the IDF had mobilized, encircled so much of HB as it could, and killed off every living thing that could carry rifle, ammo or water? Naziforallah would be on Manar TV extolling the virtue of martyrdom but we wouldn't be hearing much of victory. And if the Lebanese were worth a damn they'd be talking about life after HB not with them.

Why is the bright line so visible here and so blurry in the Capitals that matter?

8/08/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger DB2 said...

From ynet
www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288253,00.html

Israel Air Force base commander, Col. A', said in a press conference that "at least once a day, Soviet or Iranian-made anti-aircraft missiles are being launched at IDF planes."

8/08/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

A view from one capital(DW)

Israel's President Ehud Olmert said in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily that he has "absolutely no problem with German soldiers in southern Lebanon….At the moment, no other nation is as friendly to Israel as Germany. If Germany can contribute to the security of the Israeli people, this would be a rewarding task…"

Olmert's expectation of German involvement rests on the tight but history-laden relationship the two countries have developed since World War II.


Germany's Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung (CDU) has said he considers German participation in an international peacekeeping force a possibility, while Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) are more cautious.
Kosovo is still a painful memory for the EU
"We don't necessarily dismiss involvement, but we are hesitant," said Merkel, as reported by Germany news agency dpa.

Within Germany's political parties, opinions are split. Some see Germany's history as an obligation to participate, other see precisely that as a reason to stay out of it, wrote DW-WORLD.DE's Peter Philip.

History is not the only factor in Germany's hesitancy. Its army, the Bundeswehr, has current obligations in other crisis areas, such as DR Congo and Afghanistan, and it could become increasingly difficult to convince the German population of the need to take part in the Israel-Lebanon crisis as well.

8/08/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well who is channeling whom, or more likely, just who scans the BC.

"... While all these are trends, none seem to be going our way. ..."

Patrick Buchanan
"Condi's 'New Middle East'"

8/08/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

DR

When you can write an article from a particular author just from the headline you aren't going to learn much.

Pat Buchanan is as predictable as Summer rain, or maybe even the dourness eminating from a certain location Arizona.

8/08/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, PB, things are going so well, as you noted at 8:41am

Syria and Iran ignored in the UN negotiations and "war".

Denial or de Nile?

8/08/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

What is lost in all this hand wringing is that Israel, and the United States, are fighting with only a fraction of their true power. The Israelis fielded an army of 450,000 in the Yon Kippur War when their nation’s very survival was on the line. Today with a large manpower pool and with more lethal weapons only 18,000 are battling Hezbollah in Lebanon. In WWII the United States fielded military forces numbering 3 million including thousands upon thousands of aircraft and a thousand plus warships. Today with a greater manpower pool, as well as industrial and economic might, there are only 150,000+ US troops in the Middle East theatre. Also forgotten is the military forces that the other nations of the West once fielded. Given a serious enough threat and those forces could (will) take the field once again. Anyone who believes the West is breaking a serious sweat is deluding themselves. All this talk of a terrorist group taking on a state is nonsense. Granted the political will is not there yet for either the US or Israel to fully project their power, but in the case of Israel that maybe changing. What is apparent is that Hezbollah and its allies have bought this notion of the West as impotent and have seriously miscalculated. All they have done is stir the hornet’s nest. What remains to be seen is whether or not the hornets will swarm out and exact their retribution.

8/08/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Buchanan: "If neither U.S. party is willing to show any independence of Israel, if America will not address the root causes of Arab animosity, and if we will not even negotiate with our enemies, we should probably pack up and get out of the Middle East. Before we are thrown out."

OK, I guess he is saying that we should appease and run....
What are the root causes of Arab animosity? Who speaks for the Arabs, Usama? What do Hiz/Iran want from us?

8/08/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Dewage said...

All this obsequy to the standard model of the Westphalean State vs. Terrorism is over-stated. It is much easier to view the Middle East in 2006 as Europe in 1939. Instead of Hitler sending covert Ops teams in Polish uniforms to blow up the radio station and threaten the Auslanders, Iran is using Hisbollah to precipitate an attack against Muslim interests by the Infidels. If Hisbollah = Iran, then Iran invaded Israel and captured two soldiers. Why not say it that way?

8/08/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger fjelehjifel said...

Before we get too carried away by the seeming invincibility of "non-state" actors like Hezbollah, we would do well to remember that Hezbollah is what it is chiefly due to Iranian and Syrian support. Take Tehran and Damascus--that is, "state" actors--out of the equation, and Hezbollah becomes a much diminished force, if not a doomed one.

8/08/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

DR

You don't need a no-hit shutout to win a baseball game.

8/08/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th had some dingers, which have been commented on some, and I will too:

2164th - Islamism resides in the entire Muslim world in varying degrees but in mind numbing numbers. Communism once did as well. To think you can bomb away the idea is absurd beyond comprehension. If the US had followed that strategy during the Cold War, we would have had to bomb, Italy, France, parts of England, Germany as well as the multitude of other more obvious countries. It is a teen-age computer game fantasy.

What we did when we faced Communism was adopt containment. We rooted out their (mostly) Jewish leadership and spy networks outside the Soviet block, something the powerful and wealthy Jewish Left still cries about. We did not have Open Borders welcoming in Communists - even as "noble refugees from persecution". We told people that they would have to sacrifice with higher taxes and a Cold War draft. We did not engage in a fantasy that it was just a few "evildoers" to be defeated by new high tech wondertoys and "super special wonder warriors" "surgically striking".

Despite that, the infantile fantasies of a bombing solution to a creed, of "counter-terror fighting" 3 billion dollar subs, of a 6 billion conventional ballistic missile program able to place a 90 million missile shot 500-lb warhead on a "Head Evildoer [if we ever find him] persist. We think we will have an IED-detection and neutralization wondertoy - and have poured as many squandered billions into that snake oil saleman fiasco as trying to make a Humvee fleet "defensed" against the 10s of millions of land mines, heavy artillery shells,and RPGs we just let be looted back in 2003.

Bush sold his war as a Zero-sacrifice thing, except for a few "Noble Heroes". Shop, wait for the tax cuts to the rich to trickledown...Ignore our open borders and the new mosque-a-week schedule from Saudi petro-dollar construction, complete with a paid for radical Islamist Mullah being installed. Refuse to name the enemy.

All while we fail to have the courage and Will to change our laws and ROE to shoot or interrogate complicit Islamoids next to the ambush scene. Which would have cut IED attacks by 80-90%.

2164th - Communism was a global caliphate. It was defeated because sensible tough people recognized that it was a corrupt idea that lead into a maze of dead ends. Intelligence services infiltrated communist cells and the US formed diplomatic and global alliances that recognized and pursued the common goal of destroying Communism. When it needed to be confronted with military power, the West did so. Some of the best allies were those trapped in Communist Nations and in the end, there was triumph.

Churchill ID'd the enemy in crystal-clear terms in 1946. Even without a 9/11. Even with attacks, from 1979 on, every President has been silent on who the Islamist enemy is. None have developed HUMINT after Carter and the Left destroyed much of it. We Americans are now incredibly ignorant on events in much of the Muslim world - reliant on their leaders or "30 years in exile experts". Even if we get national understanding of future places like Iraq where our ignorance burned us badly, that is still light years from infiltrating tribally based and vetted, then religious-based and vetted over half a decade or more terror cells where within a large one like AQ, with 12,000 followers, only 20 had operational awareness of the hijacking plot, only 9-12 knew it was a martyrdom mission and the targets.

A big problem that causes our near-complete incoherence against the enemy is the reluctance of the West to "religiously persecute" after all the bad things that happened to Aztecs & Jews...and the inclination of Bush in his full boobery to consider Muslims "fellow believers". Any denunciations come with "values and judgement" which the West is reluctant to do on what Bush called for years the "Noble Religion of Peace" as he denounced the "tactic of terror". So our communications efforts are stillborn from the beginning, as opposed to the robust, global network we had running by 1948 saying the uncensored truth about the Commies. And our silence about the spread of Islam in our lands though mass unchecked immigration and state funding of Islamic religions proselytization - when the religions and much of western culture is barred from the Ummah, and immigrants called colonialists to be killed...and what workers we have there are placed in foreigner compounds (leper colonies). The lack of socialization in Iraq between Americans and our "noble purple-fingered freedom-loving friends" is profound.

2164th - The US never allowed the Communists to control so many strategic assets as is now the case with oil. It is an amazing disgrace that five years after 911, an administration sat by and allowed a crucial petroleum pipeline, on US soil, to be closed down because of rust. It is a metaphor for the inept and incompetent handling of the winnable war against Islam. This war will be won, but not with the mediocre farm team encamped in DC.

2164th got some heat for this, but I think he is mostly on target. But besides the Bushies being mediocre and obsessed with tax cuts and mega-pork for the wealthy and otherwise disinterested in any domestic challenges - like solutions to energy, trade deficits, immigration crises - add Congress.

This is the once in a lifetime spending orgy they dreamed of, with a disengaged President caring only about playing an inarticulate Maximum War Leader and utterly uninterested in most bills plopped on his desk for signature. New bills mean new spending, new power, and multimillion dollar jobs as soon as they step outside the revoving door to the Big Government contractors Empires they created.

Congress refuses to create an energy bill because no leadership exists. Some want the SUV and 20,000 square foot McMansions for the Ruling Elites to symbolize "American Freedom and the Genius of capitalism and markets allocating most bounty to a select portion of American workers" - but they want new drilling for new energy-guzzling needs, or think that 5.00 a gallon gas is a trivial expense to their donors on the Bush Ownership Class. The other faction of Congress wants conservation and no drilling or refineries, but also wants Open Borders and the 3rd World of new reliable Democratic voters to boost America's population from 300 million to 420 million in 2050 - completely negating and then some - the conservation savings they wish to impose.

The obvious that should have been done 5 years ago is a compromise energy bill in Congress - conservation plus drilling, but the Bushies are ideologically repulsed by ANY conservation measures. So no leadership. No Demand that Congress give him a bill like by early 2002....

5 years after, the Bushies had no plan on the security of America's energy infrastructure. New laws were not about getting more reliability and security of pipelines in America, no new refineries, no second look at nuclear power, no guaranteed minimum proce for syth oil from coal, oil shale or Venezuelan heavy bituminous deposits (greater than Saudi reserves, costs 12 dollars a barrel vs. Saudi 2 dollars to extract & make ready to crack.) 10s of billions to protect government buildings, more 10s of billions to subsidize corn growing. Nothing to enhance the diversity and reliability of our critical infastructure from collapse from terrorism, or the tyranny of quarterly earnings the "genius of the market" is ruled by, causing penny-pinching neglect (BP's pipeline). Nothing to make businesses augment infastructure through competitive-neutral regs to enhance our nation's readiness - no, if it could affect profits to the wealthy owner class - any reg is deemed "bad". Instead of that, give the oil companies 15 billion in subsidies for "studies" and inner city hiring...And add more 10s of billions to equip the "firefighter hero kinda guys in Duluth" with "terror combat ready rooms with leather chairs, widescreen TV" so that any attack aftermath has a superb crime scene management squad and well-entertained, tushy-comforted Firefighter Heroes to put the last smoking bodies out...(not that anyone expects any attack in Duluth - but the 1st rule of pork is it must be spread widely except for the Byrd caveat - W Virginia gets double)

You have to admit, the ineptitude of both Bush and Congress has been so bad you have to laugh. As you fill up your car. As you see 200 illegals outside Home Depot in a town that had none when Clinton left office. As you hear some AF 4-star guy talk about his "evildoer eradicator" missile with 500-lb warhead that could be built for a bargain 90 million a missile after 6 billion in development costs.

As you hear the wartoy-loving kiddies talk about the "easy surgical bombing strike" with JDAMs that will defeat the Iranian missile and nuke threat, make what the "knowledgable exiles
say" the "seeds of democracy to germinate", and cause a rejection of radical Shiite Islamism "in a cakewalk".

Only 2 1/2 more years to go. Lets just hope no major challenge happens before the great housecleaning Congress needs happens. And let's hope no profound existential question arises before a new, and let's pray competent President takes office. Someone who will be to George W. Bush and his plutocrat cronies what Ronald Reagan was to Carter....just what the People needed. [And lets not forget We the People bear ultimate responsibility for our blubbering against any sacrifice, love of goodies borrowed off Chinese money, the corrupticrats and corrupticans we elect to bring home the bacon or give us a million in pork payback for a 10K campaign contribution.]

8/08/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I nominate Cedarford as Gaza City Homicide Detective. There's a whole lot of killing going on and barely a Joo in sight. Somebody's got to set the record straight before Reuter's catches on.

8/08/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger NorthPut21 said...

Lone Star said...
I am still assuming that this administration has plans to accomplish this, but, all I am saying is "faster please".

There has been zero evidence of this so far. For whatever reason, the current administration and Congress, has shown zero leadership on just about any issue.
While the Islamists reek havoc upon the world, our "leaders" are farting around with flag burning ammendments. All the while, the public awaits the next season of American Idol.
Start on your local level and work your way up. Voter apathy rules the day. You would have thought that 9/11 was the wake up call. It wasn't. The slumbering giant hit the snooze button.
Oh sure, taking out the Taliaban was probably the only positive thing we did, yet we never really finished swallowing that peice of pie.
On to Iraq, where we tried to do it on the cheap, and now we twiddle our thumbs. What to do, what to do? The Generals do the best they can (although some would debate this) with what they are given. But it obviously isn't enough.
The world demands leadership.
GWB showed some of it on 9/14 as he stood on the pile, but it hasn't been seen since. Lot's of big speeches (axis of evil, with us or against us, blah blah blah). If we are the so called "Only World Superpower" when will we start acting like it? Until a real leader who doesn't stammer on about the Noble Religion of Peace comes to the plate, we will remain where we are. Don't look at that elephant in the room. Unless it blocks the TV screen.

8/08/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

C4, the long posts are hard to read--why don't you simplify, and just number a master list of your paragraphs?

Whenever the news headlines merit, you could simply post, for example, say, "#3, #17, #147"

Then we could click back to the 2003 archives and read 'em.

8/08/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Blind doctrinaire ideology is the Great Satan that has the power, if unopposed, to bring ruin to the West.

In Germany, the Green Party has managed to capture about ten percent of the representatives in Bundesrat. The German public (of which the Green party is only the most environmentally radical) has for years refused to allow the construction of any new Nuclear power generating facility. (Sound familiar?) As a consequence, Germany does not generate enough electricity to supply its domestic needs.

France, Germany’s neighbor, generates approximately 80 percent of its electrical output by Nuclear power, and has excess electrical power to sell.

So the German deficit is made up by the purchase of French surplus, and the German public which so self-righteously eschews Nuclear Power on German soil is perfectly happy to power its toothbrushes, televisions, massage lounge chairs, lava lamps, and hybrid Volkswagens, with Nuclear-generated French electrons.

What a perfect portrait of the idiocy of modern ideologues.

“Where’s the harm?” you might ask... Well, the harm is in the self-deception, repeated a thousand times daily, that allows a person to deny reality. It is repeated endlessly, mostly without particular consequences.

But situations arise in which the consequences will not be avoidable, where the denial of reality will result in death.

The ideologues are precisely the same people who have prevented the United States from developing its own energy resources, when doing so would severely limit the leverage the mad mullahs have over the West.

The ideologues are precisely the same people who have crippled public education, creating three generations of highschool graduates that cannot consistently reason their way out of an open toilet stall.

The ideologues are precisely the same people who screechingly insist that placing women’s panties on a prisoner is equivalent to dropping a human into an industrial shredding machine.

The ideologues are precisely the same people who insist we must guarantee to non-citizens and foreign terrorists constitutional protections that they DENY to actual documented U.S. citizens.

Interesting how many of 'em end up as journalists...

8/08/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

northput21 zooms in on the core problem. We the people got no attention span. That's a problem with a built-in solution--we just have to wait for it to steamroller us.

8/08/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Someone will have to organize an army of editors and compile an annotated encyclopedia of Belmont Club and its Comments.

8/08/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Fabio said...

I have a name for trying to blame Bush for the failure of a private-owned facility: Bush Derangement Syndrome.

I'll wait to read the reports of the accident in some engineering journal to get the facts straight, thank you very much.

8/08/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

2164th:
No one is denying that the shutdown of the Alaskan pipeline is going to be a hardship, we are just pointing out your error in assigning blame to Bush. Ever hear of BDS. Your showing signs of being infected.
The truth is that we all get to share in the blame for our current energy crisis, because it has been developing for a long time. I live right in the heart of the oil country and I know first hand that you could not get a decent job in the oil business for the last 20 years or better. Most people that had jobs were laid off. The last time that the oil companies could make a profit domestically, Congress enacted the Windfall profits tax. I don't know any other industry that 4% margins would be considered windfall profits, but, that was the average profit on a barrel of oil at the time.
If you really want to assign blame, look at the Democratic party. They have killed every energy bill proposed, regardless of its merits, because of provisions of drilling in Anwar(sp?).
so, my advice is, wipe the froth from your mouth and settle down and lets have some intelligent discussion.

8/08/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Griswel said...

I suspect we're getting closer to the day Wretchard predicted way back when Abu Ghraib was all the rage: acceptance of the fact that far worse things than that are done in wartime.

A few more attacks and enough of the US will accept bombing civilians to make it palatable. Given the choice between doing something awful and doing nothing, doing something awful doesn't seem so bad.

Going in and making things better is tough an unpopular. Going in and making things worse is far quicker and easier. When in Hama do as the Hamans do.

There are two problems with Syria's destruction of Hama: one, it's horrible; two, it works.

8/08/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

"Windfall Profits Tax" are one of the doctrinaire ideological items...

8/08/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Sardonic said...

Sonspot said...

"I think it's simpler then that. Anything that is anti-west, to the media, is good (even if it's evil). Until the left sees the west hoisted on its own petard the west will be the bad guys no matter how few civs. are killed."

At this point I think the appropriate phrase then would be "the Suicide Media".

8/08/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Col. B. Bunny said...

It obscures an important point merely to refer to "non-state forces [that] are able to challenge states militarily."

The vital concept upon which to focus is:

"non-state forces that are supported by states."

Hezbollah wouldn't be able to do 1/1000th of what it's doing now without the support of Iran, directly and through its Syrian intermediary.

And . . . with the income from its criminal activites in North and South America, although the income from these activities is merely the lagniappe to what Iran provides.

Ergo, the problem is Iran and this focus on "non-state forces" is an unhelpful distraction from the main point. The world is infected by fleas but the silly Westerners just can't bring themselves to do something about the dog right there in the living room.

If elephants harbored fleas, the image would be perfect.

8/08/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Larsen - I respond to posts. You on the other hand, regurgitate your usual boilerplate spew and deflect attention by calling others posts "the usual stuff".

PeterBoston - Only an arrogant zionist unaware of how badly they are losing the propaganda battle resorts to the "It's allllll about the Jooooos" smear as a way of stifling differing opinions on the badly, badly going "War on Terror".

Hint. It isn't all about you, and your anti-semitic canard has been so overused to try and intimidate any critic of Israel or more recently - the neocons, or Beloved Maximum War Leader Bush that it has become laughable and trivialized.

And others of the rapidly self-discrediting Right are having similar difficulty with their own favorite labels.

No, 2164th's criticism of the lack of any energy policy and attention to aging, vulnerable energy infastructure in America is NOT a manifestation of "Bush Derangement Syndrome" it is an observation of the inexcusable neglect by the Bushies of any issue beyond tax cuts, pork for the wealthy, and "freedom for the noble freedom lovers of Iraq".

8/08/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Buddy,

[Referring to C4's posts you wrote]:

Whenever the news headlines merit, you could simply post, for example, say, "#3, #17, #147"...


I would also appreciate an annotated and indexed key to passages which call our attention to the evils of Jews or (virtually the same thing) "Neocons."


Jamie Irons

8/08/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

A poster over at "All Things Beautiful" that goes by "antimedia" has done some research on why 8/22 is an important date to the Persian muslims. You can find him in the comments section of Alexa's fine piece:
We Are All Jews Now PartII

8/08/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger ambisinistral said...

It strikes me those inspectors might be looking for a little more than rust on the pipes, if'n you get my drift.

I'm one of the people of the opinion that what is going on is a thrust and parry of the lead up to the 22nd of August. I think you can probably couple the Taliban offensive, Sadr making noises in Iraq, and the Israeli/Hezb war all as moves made by Iran to elicit a response. Those are their efforts to shape the battle field for their big reveal.

When looking at Iran's situation, I think Panzer divisions and Chamberlain's umbrella isn't the best WWII analogy. I think Iran faces much the same strategic challenge and goals as the Japanese did. The Japanese needed to force Westerners out of the Pacific long enough for them to seize Asia's resources and secure them under the Co-Prosperity sphere.

I would think Iran is trying to apply maximum pressure on the US to force the "soft" Americans out of the Middle East. Had Israel followed the script they would be a month into a full mobilization and tangled up with the population of Lebanon had they moved north.

There is a lot of strange behavior from our side these last few weeks. Thrust and parry for whatever it is planned on the 22nd in my opinion (test firing a NORK nuclear weapon followed by sabre-rattling, splodey-dopes and the like would be my guess -- try to stampede us into giving them their Co-Prosperity sphere).

8/08/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

C4, claiming that calling your stuff "the usual stuff" is also part of the usual stuff, and deserves a number in the rotation.

Jamie, you'll probably have to redact on your own, but it'll be easier once we have the master list numbered.

8/08/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Oh, to all of you folks that altered your parent's bomb shelters to raise mushrooms...it might be a good time to clean the horseshit out...if you didnt do it just prior to Y2K.

8/08/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Steel&Fire&Stone said...

"Asymmetrical warfare" has been around as long as civil wars have been around. "Guerrilla's" have been involved in every war. History is replete with "religious wars". So what is different with the Muslim wars of the past 30 or so years?

What is new, is the more recent notion of "stateless terrorism" and transnational goals. But "there is nothing new under the sun", and I challenge entire notion of "stateless terrorism". Al Qaeda, Hezbulla, Hamas, the Mehdi Army, al-Zarqawi's "Khalid bin Al Walid Brigade", and Ansar al-Islam all have state sponsors, and some have multiple state sponsors. Their degree of control may be in question, but not the sponsorship that sustains the group and allows it to expand. Without a state mentor and sponsor, these terror groups remain small, parochial, and insignificant.

All of which is a long-winded way of echoing "Peter Boston's" comment regarding "command & control and logistics in Syria". Well, yes, they are important, but Iran is the key to Shiite terror groups. Iran could still project power to Lebanon via Hezbulla without Syria. Support for Sunni terror groups is much more diffuse, indirect, and transparent (Saudi Arabia, and others). The relationship between Sunni Syria and Shiite Iraq is probably the most unique aspect of the entire Lebanon conflict. The Sunni and Shiite groups are clearly at odds, but are apparently willing to subjugate their religious differences to attain their larger goal of a world caliphate. (Of course, the day after it's established, the worlds largest civil war begins.)

The reason the farce of "stateless" terror continues is that the practicing groups have not exceeded the "pain threshold" of either their patron or victim states. When they do step over that line, they find their support atrophying (e.g. Saudi Arabia's action against Al Qaeda), and their refuges dwindling (e.g. U.S. action against Afghanistan and Iraq).

Remember this: These Muslim groups have not really known "war". Every state action against them, even the U.S. invasion of Al Qaeda's state sponsors, have been largely "police actions". Action has been "surgical", and the impact to civilian populations has been deliberately minimized. The lie behind the Muslim's asymmetrical World War is that Muslims live for martyrdom, and have no "vital" interests that can be attacked, not even lives of their civilians. They ask rhetorically, "How can the infidel world stop us if we are even willing to wrap our children in blankets of explosives, and deliver them as Muslim bombs for our enemy's destruction?"

Yes, by all means, the state targets of this Muslim war must attack the C&C of the patron states, but that's a tactical action. It may weaken or degrade their war making capability, but in the age of NBC weapons (i.e. WMD) and international travel, they could respond with a devastating counter-punch the target states could not sustain. The only way to strategically defeat the Muslims is Curtis LeMay's methodology. Target states must attack something so vital that the enemy surrenders. For the Japanese, it was losing one city each day, with LeMay using modern means to achieve ancient results (i.e. cities in rubble, fields sown with salt, every male dead, etc.).

Other than the negative propaganda (which they incur anyway) or the damage to the nation's soul, what would result should Israel respond to the genocidal attacks by Hezbulla by bombing civilian concentrations of Hezbulla supporters? If Hezbulla civilians died by the ten-thousands or more, would the Katushas continue to fall upon Israel? If Mecca, Medina, Teheran, or Damascus were leveled and made uninhabitable for 10,000 years, would the Muslims fight harder, or as a more unified force?

Of course, it is unthinkable to the Western mind, and it is that very notion of Western (i.e. Judeo-Christian) mercy that the Muslims depend upon. The Muslims and in particular, Iran, have never known war. Muslim civilian's dance in the streets and pass out candies to their children with every terrorist atrocity, because they believe themselves to be invulnerable to the morally weak infidels. Every Muslim atrocity is a sign of Allah's blessing upon them.

A real war would change this. If the Muslim's raise the West's pain threshold sufficiently, they will know war. However, their seventh century minds are unable to grasp that reality.

SFS

8/08/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

"Arrogant zionist." I can live with that. Thanks C4. You are the constant reminder to always watch for the dogpiles.

8/08/2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Another Saudi cleric calls Hez "party of Satan".

Right in the middle of the Arab League meeting at the UN.

8/08/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

As seems clear, terrorism is a deviation that is, for the present, being amplified by certain system components already in existence (Media, Political Correctness, Moralism, Post-Modernism, etc.). The negative feedback that would normally take care of this problem is being delayed or halted altogether by the above components, so terrorism as a deviation experiences positive feedback.

This deviating anomaly is currently in its fluctuation-increased-dissipation stage, which means entropy in the system is currently on the rise. But other components in the system are reacting, too. The race is to the threshold.

Which will be reached first, the higher-complexity threshold, or the system-collapse threshold? I think any serious person would put great confidence in the former. The terrorists operate amidst chaos, thriving in regions of instability and uncertainty. The forces of organization, who can marshal an immense amount of information and power, will surely destroy them.

The Positive-Feedback loop of organizational disaggregation and power atomization stems from the Army of Davids syndrome. The system is changing, and complexity is increasing. In this new system-state, new opportunities are appearing and are being exploited by these various system components -- most notably terrorists. But the forces of organized stability are also expoiting these new realities, as Bobbitt recognizes in his theory of the market-state.

In the end, terrorism will only succeed in bringing about evolved stability mechanisms to match the evolved degrees of freedom inherent in this new environment.

For an explanation of the above, go here.

8/08/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Last month, Minnesota added over 50 new E-85 pumps, bringing their total up to 264.

Thanks to Bush, Congress passed the RFS through congress (a bill that was bitterly opposed by Tom DeLay, by the way;) as a result, there are 39 new ethanol refineries under construction, and nine expansions underway.

The new construction will bring our ethanol production up to a little over 7.3 Billion Gallons. There's probably another 3.0 Billion Gallons + in the planning/preconstruction stage.

The new "fluid Bed" technology from Corn Plus will probably move the energy balance of corn ethanol up to over 10 - 1. This is in contrast to 0.8 - 1 for gasoline from oil. This is magnitudes better than coal to oil technology which requires 2 units of energy to produce 1, or, 1 - 2.

We're still farming, only, 10% of our arable land.

8/08/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rwe; 06:57 AM

re: Federal Govt must be presumed to be incompetant.

Amen!


pierre legrand; 08:03 AM

re: This absurd notion that we are facing something new under the sun is starting to annoy me.

Amen!

"'The only thing new is the history you don't know." - Harry S Truman

8/08/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Aristedes,

Your link to Information Processor is excellent.

The sites theoretical analysis of the BP turn-off is exceptional.

8/08/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

buddy larsen; 10:23 PM

Come on, buddy, you're making it way to complicated for C4 and BC readers.

He needs say only: "Da Joos did it."

Or, more simply, yet: "Buchanan."

And, buddy, do you really mind lengthy posts or, like me, do you insist that they have something to say. Gibbons's "Decline and Fall..." is extremely lengthy, but what an adventure. Ditto the "Wealth of Nations".

8/08/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger smtides said...

Cedarford:

One would think, after reading any of your messages, that world history began right after the "stolen" election of 2000. How else to explain the working in of references to "tax cuts for the wealthy" and "20,000 square foot mansions" into a larger thread about Islamofascism.

I must have missed all of the new alternative fuel technology amassed during the 90's. And all of the new refineries being built. And the impressive expansion in human foreign intelligence assets. And the tight border controls that prevented the 19 hijackers from entering our country. And the anti-rust technology that prevented pipeline problems, well, Bush should never have done away with that!!

And speaking of reluctance to "religiously persecute," one of my favorite moments from the '90's has to be the picture of Hillary in an Arab headress while kissing up Arafat's widow during one of their many White House slumber parties. Well, that picture of Madame Albright raising a toast to the Supreme Excellent Ruler of the Peoples Republic of North Korea after the successful negotions granting North Korea nuclear technology is awfully good, too.

Yes, that's what we need in 2 years. Real leadership.

8/08/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

the mad fiddler; 10:25 AM

Very well done!

Oh, you might have mentioned that diplomats also suffer the disability of consructive logic deficit.

You do know that most authorities deny the possibility of constructive logic below the age of fourteen? That's something too frightening to think about.

8/08/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

col. b. bunny,

re: elephant with fleas

The picture you conjure is priceless. Thanks!

8/08/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Aristedes

Your thought experiment makes good sense. I suspect that the amount of crude we get from Iran is less than that from the BP pipeline.

8/08/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

California should ramp up to 10% ethanol; they're currently at a little over 5% in the southern part of the state. Gasoline prices would drop $0.20/gal, immediately. This would happen, not for economic, but for psychological reasons.

8/08/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

If as many BC commentators (not P-tators) theorize, war with Iran is imminent, rationing of petroleum and petroleum based products might become a reality.

Could the pipeline closure be an incremental step in this direction?

Will market driven forces be used to soften the blow of rationing; thereby, ameliorating the chaos always attendant to rationing by fiat?

Color me curious.

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

Peterboston,

You are right:

The vast majority of Persian Gulf oil imported by the United States came from Saudi Arabia (71%), with significant amounts also coming from Iraq (19%), Kuwait (9%), and small amounts (less than 1% total) from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Iraqi oil exports to the United States rose slightly in 2003, to 481,000 bbl/d, compared to 442,000 bbl/d in in 2002. Saudi exports rose from 1.55 million bbl/d in 2002 to 1.77 million bbl/d in 2003. Overall, the Persian Gulf accounted for about 22% of U.S. net oil imports, and 12% of U.S. oil demand, in 2003.

Notice who's not on that list (Iran). And notice who is (Iraq). You can thank George for the latter.

And you can see where our perspective differs from that of Europe:

Western Europe (defined as European countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- OECD) averaged 2.6 million bbl/d of oil imports from the Persian Gulf during 2003, an increase of about 0.2 million bbl/d from the same period in 2002. The largest share of Persian Gulf oil exports to Western Europe came from Saudi Arabia (52%), with significant amounts also coming from Iran (33%), Iraq (7%), and Kuwait (6%).

And Japan takes 17% of its Persian Gulf oil in Iranian barrels.

Therefore, Opening the Strategic Reserve can also be thought of as a palliative to calm the nerves of our allies as we approach the redline. By doing this, we counteract Iran's subtractive influence on the strategic calculations of our closest allies.

8/08/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger NorthPut21 said...

Framing the debate of whether or not there happens to be what some call World War III or IV and the "sheeple" don't know it in the pre/post GWB 2000 election box gets us nowhere.
The Islamists continue to wage war, and we debate the 2000 election? No wonder they think we are weak.

8/08/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

From the Original Post:

"I think it's something new, in that a non-state organization has undertaken a major, sustained, broad-scale, and so far, the successful military offensive against a state," said William Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank. "What changes here ... is that non-state forces are able to challenge states militarily -- and win."

If one considers sporadic launching of upgraded versions of Stalin' Organ willy nilly into urban areas military victory...

The quote seems to assign Hezbaloo's (thank you Charlie Rangel) Okinawa cave/tunnel/bunker defense as an offensive. Somehow now mere survival is victory, absolutely amazing and absolutely fatalistic.

We have crossed into the twilight zone my friends and we might as well surrender now because it's all over with this mentality prevailing. Better start bhurka shopping now.

8/08/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Allen, that's exactly what occured to me. Using historical data, the government's willingness to tap into the Strategic Reserve was set at a much higher standard of pressure than the what can be accounted for in the BP turnoff.

Also, the Fed has announced an end to its string of rate hikes. Economic doctrine calls for a strategy of amplified "super-inertia" in response to a sharp increase in uncertainty.

Coincidence?

8/08/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Iran exports about 4 million bbl/day, But, they import 1.5 million barrel/day of gasoline; thus their Net Exports are Only 2.5 million barrels/day. (Note: they have temporarily gone on a war footing, and halted, supposedly, gasoline imports.)

World-wide oil output is about 82 million barrels/day; so, Iran accounts for about 3% of world wide oil. Not such a big deal, really. Their importance is their location on the Straits of Hormuz.

Iran is really a pretty easy problem, the answer to which is getting lost in the chaos of surrounding events.

8/08/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Radical Islam has an ideological backbone similar to communism that appeals to the disaffected and can win over mass populations like Ho Chi Min, Mao Tse-Tung, and Vladimir Lenin did.

Civilian casualties have occurred in past wars but for committing acts of sedition, militant pacifists dared not over play their cards. Now two-bit losers like Cindy Sheehan are media stars.

The Kabuki Theater of the Arab street is enough to enflame militant America haters in Germany and endears them to such fascist propaganda as goose-stepping parades over American flags. It boils down to genocide has gotten a bad rap but those who have the guts to wield it will rule the world. Kill all the Jews in the Middle East and wait a decade, then kill all the Jews in Europe, and wait another decade and kill the rest of the Jews in America. Meanwhile American Jews will be trying to impeach Bush and kill the rest of the infidels by dragging them to court and executing them in the media.

In the end a lot of killing is going to go on and we as individuals need to decide what side of the ledger we would like to be on. Ideological pacifists enslaved to a murderous cult, or warriors, bloodied by a zeal for peace and freedom. When WWIV hits, do we pull together or do we have to pull apart Cindy Sheehan and all her militant pacifists?

I have had it with the MSM pro-fascist propaganda machine. The control system has gone open-loop and we are now spiraling to certain disaster. The Germans hate us existentially. The French are not our friends. Britain is embarrassed by us. Why do we look for Europe’s approval for anything? Global Caliphate, global trade, or thermonuclear war. Take your pick.

8/08/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I may have mixed up my 1.5/2.5's, there. I'm operating from memory; anyway, it's not important. The world is awash in oil, and Iran will not be allowed to cut of the Straits. There's a lot of moving parts here, rational economic modeling isn't one of them.

8/08/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Aristides; 1:24 PM

Your link and commentary have rendered a great service to the readers here. Thank you very much!

re: conincidence?

That is a luxury we can ill afford. But as you know, perception has become reality.

8/08/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

So Pat Buchanan is now talking about 'root causes'. He is now adopting the vocabulary of the left, it seems some of his politics are going left as well. That man is an enigma...a bitter, angry enigma. Pat's emotional state and ever growing delusional rants are beginning to resemble another psychological basket case...Al 'I wus robbed' Gore.

8/08/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

rufus:

"Iran is really a pretty easy problem, the answer to which is getting lost in the chaos of surrounding events."

When one factors in those great stalwarts of global rearmament...er...I mean...leadership -- China and Russia, I'd respectfully say the answer gets a little more complex than you might be suggesting.

8/08/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

You know, I never knew what to make of all the conspiracy theories about the shutdown of M3 reporting:

Q.7 [Bernanke's Written Responses to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs]. It is my understanding the Federal Reserve has decided to halt disclosure to the public of its M3 findings and report. The findings of the M3 report provide pertinent information to the public--from economists to investors and to industries which all use M3 report findings for economic forecasting, investing, and business decisions. You have advocated a “more open” Federal Reserve under your command. Will you work to reverse this policy and commit to keeping the M3 report and its findings available and open to the public? What is the rationale and reasoning by the Federal Reserve to keep the M3’s information from the public?

A.7. My understanding is that the Federal Reserve decided to discontinue publication of the monetary aggregate M3 because the costs of collecting and processing the underlying data were judged to exceed the benefits. The Federal Reserve will not withhold the M3 data from the public; rather, it will no longer collect and assemble that information. The Federal Reserve will continue to collect data for and publish the monetary aggregates M1 and M2 and their components.


Robert McHugh, whoever he is, thinks this has strategic implications:

The reason the Fed will stop publishing weekly M3 totals, says financial analyst Robert McHugh Jr., is "so that the Plunge Protection Team can hide its market manipulative equity-buying activities."

The PPT is poised to buy stocks and do it secretly, McHugh says, "to stop the higher-than-normal probability that the market could crash."


Others have said similar things, though a cursory search couldn't locate their exact statements.

Maybe there's something there in all this information, and maybe they're all false positives. But there is a certain maximum of points after which a clear pattern sets in.

8/08/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

Pat's not an enigma.

Pat don't like Israel.

Pat don't like Bush.

Nobody like Pat.

Pat goes nuts.

8/08/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

Buddy,
Great suggestion for C4 posts although I haven't noticed enough unique points to account for 147 per your example. Seems there's more like 10 that are recycled. There's the Joooo, one and the Neocon/Bushies one, there's the tax cuts for the rich, oh and the Chinese monster economy that is going to doom us...did I miss anything?

8/08/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Annoy Mouse is right.

As Wretchard has in the past pointed out, the American Left is the world's biggest problem.

It keeps everyone on the globe standing on one leg, waiting to see which in which direction it wants to zoom off, it creates new and empowers old enemies and then causes them to miscalculate, by loose selfishness it starts wars it will not fight, and it makes people hate us for the simple reason that it makes us hateful.

It makes us hateful by being inconstant, and by demoralizing the defenders of western culture.

It effects this demoralization in many ways, but most lethally by the fact that, as it is itself a great part of (modern) western culture, western culture is to that extent less worth defending.

8/08/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

Oh there's a new one from C4:
'Beloved Maximum War Leader Bush'.

Very clever...mind if I use it?

8/08/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Rufus,

1 barrel = 42 gallon

1 barrel = aprox. 28 gallons gasoline (depending on refining yield)

approximately a 2/3 loss - barrels of oil to gallons of gasoline.

I believe their net exports using your numbers = approx. 1.75 MBPD.

IIRC, they don't start rationing until September(?).

8/08/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Thanks, Danmeyer. That date seems to be somewhat elastic. Is seems like they initially announced that they would stop importing gasoline July 1st, and now it's Sept. 1st? That whole outfit is just one big clusterf**k.

Barbarrosa, Not Complicated. Prepare to defend the Straits, then bomb the shit out of them. Killing the Mullahs is optional.

8/08/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Rufus: 1) There's a lot of moving parts here, 2)rational economic modeling isn't one of them.

You might certainly be right about number 2, that we aren't actually doing rational economic modeling. But that casts doubt on your point one. If both 1 and 2 were true, the current Administration would be acting against doctrine and sense, either through incompetence or timidity. If we are gearing up for war (point 1), then we should be optimizing the core components of American power to absorb the shock. National Security and Economic Security are intimately tied. If we are truly ignoring the latter while getting ready for war, we are doing so at our peril.

8/08/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

philG is right too:
"Annoy Mouse is right.

As Wretchard has in the past pointed out, the American Left is the world's biggest problem.

It keeps everyone on the globe standing on one leg, waiting to see which in which direction it wants to zoom off, it creates new and empowers old enemies and then causes them to miscalculate, by loose selfishness it starts wars it will not fight, and it makes people hate us for the simple reason that it makes us hateful.

It makes us hateful by being inconstant, and by demoralizing the defenders of western culture.

It effects this demoralization in many ways, but most lethally by the fact that, as it is itself a great part of (modern) western culture, western culture is to that extent less worth defending."

Leftist self-loathing will doom us.

The willingness and out-and-out siding of our leftist media outlets and elected "loyal opposition" with the enemy because of their (the media) hatred of all things Bush have encouraged our enemy and demoralized us at home. That's why mere Hezbaloo survival in is defined as victory.

That's why there are cries that Iraq is taking too long even though it's taken longer to merely agree on the design of the WTC memorial than to build the nation of Iraq.

8/08/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Phil g--no, "dear leader" goes waaay back. That's how you tell an ideologue--events never alter the thinking. Ever.

We could be hitting on 100% policy perfection, or 0% policy disaster, and the paragraphs would always be the same.

Economic boom, or depression, 20% interest rates or 5%, 5% unemployment or 50%, a deficit 2% or 20%, ahhh, it's all the same, y'see.

And the crowning achievement is reaching up, up, up, into the rarified altitude of Jihadi intellectualism: "Da JEWS is messin up my MIND!"

8/08/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I'm just rambling, here, Aristides. I was referring to the elevated price of oil when I said there was no rational economic modeling going on.

< x >rambler off< x >

8/08/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

[Holding the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch]
King Arthur: How does it... um... how does it work?
Sir Lancelot: I know not, my liege.
King Arthur: Consult the Book of Armaments.
Brother Maynard: Armaments, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one.
Cleric: [reading] And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu...
Brother Maynard: Skip a bit, Brother...
Cleric: And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.
Brother Maynard: Amen.
All: Amen.
King Arthur: Right. One... two... five.
Galahad: Three, sir.
King Arthur: Three.
http://imdb.com/title/tt0071853/quotes

8/08/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

rufus:

"Barbarrosa, Not Complicated. Prepare to defend the Straits, then bomb the shit out of them. Killing the Mullahs is optional."

A little simplistic, definitely has a certain appeal to me. But impractical at this point considering our Iraq commitment/supply lines and Iranian allies like the Mook and his Army.

1.)Iran had dispersed their nuke sites all over the country probably underground. Can we hit them all? Hit the right ones? If so how could we be sure they're really destroyed. Bunker-busting nukes? How would that appear to the BBC? CNN? The Iranian people?Talk about anti-US agitprop fodder.

2.)China. Nuff said

3.)Russia. Nuff said

4.)Hugo and his crude. Boycott CITGO.

The Straits of Hormuz is the chokepoint for the Persian Gulf but Iran borders the entire western edge of the gulf. Will we have to defend UAE, Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq? Cities and oil-fields? Do we have those defensive assets? The "Peace Dividend" says not -- a my 600 ship Navy is now below 300.

We thought Best-Case-Scenario in Iraq and were dissapointed. Best thing for Iran is to expect the worst and hope to be pleasantly surprised when it is better than worst.

The only way military action will work against Iran is if the whole world comes in with us.

Are you going to hold your breath. I'm not.

Unless we can get clear causus belli that even the BBC can recognize, we're stuck my friend.

8/08/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Oops, did I leave out the part about bombing Mookie? My bad.

We can defend the Persian Gulf, Barbarroso. The Straits are little more difficult, but not too much, so. The silkworms/exocets/etc. need shore-based radar to guide them most of the way to their targets. We're really, really good at taking out radar on an instantaneous basis.

I think that, if we really put our mind to it, we can pretty much find and destroy enough of their program (without nukes) to hold them off for several years. That would be sufficient.

8/08/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks, Charles.
---
Colonel Sandurz: Sir, do you think we're being too literal?

Dark Helmet: No you fool, we're following orders.
We were told to comb the desert so we're combing it.

Dark Helmet: Before you die there is something you should know about us, Lone Star.
Lone Starr: What?
Dark Helmet: I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.
Lone Starr: What's that make us?
Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing! Which is what you are about to become.
Yogurt: And may the schwartz be with you!

8/08/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Barbarrossa:

...Iran borders the entire western edge of the gulf...


I think you mean the whole eastern edge of the Persian Gulf...


Jamie Irons

8/08/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

phil g,

re: Buchanan

Did I read you correctly: "Buchanan is an enema"?

That's downright Freudian.

Sorry, yes, now I see; I had a spot on my bifocals.

8/08/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

I know most of this has been said in one form or another but I wrote it earlier:

Moral equivalency may be one of the most important factors inhibiting the near term prosecution of a “war” against a waxing Islam. Unfortunately, warnings about the deleterious effects of western liberalism have gone unheeded by the elites while Islamists are exploiting the liberal myopia in an asymmetric public relations campaign and war against modernity.

For liberal western media, smart bombs and technology bind the west to higher moral standards with more accountability for civilian deaths. As punishment is mitigated by lower IQ’s, dysfunctional childhoods and victim status, allowances are made for those who use crude weapons such as car bombs, ied’s, and katusha rockets. Islam skillfully takes advantage of a post-modern west which resorts to moral equivalence and excuses to justify decadent and perverse behavior.

Arafat and company perfected the underdog role of “Zionist victim.” Like the Irish Republican Army politicians claimed no control over their military wing, President Arafat claimed that he had no control over the myriad militant forces which he had either created or allowed to form. New actors continue the roles in Gaza and Lebanon. The political wing of Hamas claims that it has no control of its military wing. The government of Lebanon claims to have no control of Hesbollah. It is in this manner that militant Islam operates while the governments claim deniability and the politically correct feminized west obsesses on the Arab victims of Israel or the US.

There are encouraging signs that some in the western media have begun to recognize the Islamists’ tactics but most are loathe to admit that they are themselves victims of a humanist trap.

******************************************
Buddy, your 12:13 post:
Re: The Sunni cleric calling Hisbullah the “Party of Satan” Isn’t that rich?
We ought to stand back and let them go at each other.
******************************************
Cedarford:
Other than your obligatory Joo references, I enjoyed your controversial post today. It read well and was an intriguing rant.
***********************************
Undertoad: Residual damage suffered from an undertow?
***********************************
I didn’t read the latest Buchanan rant yet, but I gather he wants us to “throw the Joos overboard and have a hootenanny with the Arabs.”

8/08/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Penis Health Information said...

Great Article!

8/08/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Sir Bedevere: There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.
Peasant 1: Are there? Oh well, tell us.
Sir Bedevere: Tell me. What do you do with witches?
Peasant 1: Burn them.
Sir Bedevere: And what do you burn, apart from witches?
Peasant 1: More witches.
Peasant 2: Wood.
Sir Bedevere: Good. Now, why do witches burn?
Peasant 3: ...because they're made of... wood?
Sir Bedevere: Good. So how do you tell whether she is made of wood?
Peasant 1: Build a bridge out of her.
Sir Bedevere: But can you not also build bridges out of stone?
Peasant 1: Oh yeah.
Sir Bedevere: Does wood sink in water?
Peasant 1: No, no, it floats!... It floats! Throw her into the pond!
Sir Bedevere: No, no. What else floats in water?
Peasant 1: Bread.
Peasant 2: Apples.
Peasant 3: Very small rocks.
Peasant 1: Cider.
Peasant 2: Gravy.
Peasant 3: Cherries.
Peasant 1: Mud.
Peasant 2: Churches.
Peasant 3: Lead! Lead!
King Arthur: A Duck.
Sir Bedevere: ...Exactly. So, logically...
Peasant 1: If she weighed the same as a duck... she's made of wood.
Sir Bedevere: And therefore...
Peasant 2: ...A witch!
http://imdb.com/title/tt0071853/quotes

8/08/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Rmtimes - I must have missed all of the new alternative fuel technology amassed during the 90's.

No you didn't miss anything. Under less inept management, oil was running 15-20 dollars a barrel under Bush I and Clinton. Talk of alternate fuel technology was not pressing, and the conventional wisdom was that alternates would be needed to come on line around 2015-20 - slowly and with economic break-even unless someone went nuts and really bungled things in the ME driving oil to as much as 70-100 a barrel. Nor were the agrbiz billionaires and millionaires having much luck selling their 20 billion ethanol boondoggle program.

And all of the new refineries being built.

Not needed. Surplus Carribean refinery capacity existed.

And the impressive expansion in human foreign intelligence assets.

You mean ever since LBJ went "high tech wondertoy" approach to intel gathering?

And the tight border controls that prevented the 19 hijackers from entering our country.

You mean like the tight border controls Mr. Open Borders has enacted since 9/11 - or isn't that so? Something about his mega-contributors and business interests want cheap labor to undercut US workers....Besides, the 19 did not enter on Clinton's time. 17 of the 19 came in after Bush was in.

And the anti-rust technology that prevented pipeline problems, well, Bush should never have done away with that!!

2164th's point is since 9/11 Bush has done nothing to secure, diversify, expand the oil supply & dist network, or make it go further through conservation.

And speaking of reluctance to "religiously persecute," one of my favorite moments from the '90's has to be the picture of Hillary in an Arab headress while kissing up Arafat's widow during one of their many White House slumber parties.

Hillary's foolery while an active peace process was underway seems a whole lot less strange than Laura Bush stretching her intellect by serving cookies to the children of "The Religion of Peace" at special White House Eid celebrations signalling the breaking of Holy Ramadan. Or her infatuation with the women of Afghanistan shedding their Burquas (Normally Americans are smart enough to give unelected 1st Ladies the short shift they give the 1st Spouses of the Supreme Court or the mistresses of Senior Congressmen).

===========================
Buddy Larsen and Philg commiserate.

"Gee! Why does most the world hate us so?"

Why, gracious! It certainly couldn't be anything to do with arrogance and how you interact!

8/08/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

rufus:
"We can defend the Persian Gulf, Barbarroso. The Straits are little more difficult, but not too much, so. The silkworms/exocets/etc. need shore-based radar to guide them most of the way to their targets. We're really, really good at taking out radar on an instantaneous basis.

I think that, if we really put our mind to it, we can pretty much find and destroy enough of their program (without nukes) to hold them off for several years. That would be sufficient."

This is the bird that Hezbaloo hit the Israeli ship with:

"The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 (Chinese: 鹰击-82, literally "Eagle Strike"; NATO reporting name: CSS-N-8 Saccade) is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy (CHETA), also known as the Third Academy. Since the Yingji-82 missile has a small radar reflectivity and is only about five to seven meters above the sea surface when it attacks the target, and since its guidance equipment has strong anti-jamming capability, target ships have a very low success rate in intercepting the missile. The hit probability of the Yingji-82 is estimated to be as high as 98 percent. The Yingji-82 can be launched from airplanes, surface ships, submarines and land-based vehicles, and has been considered along with the US Harpoon missile as among the best anti-ship missiles of its generation.[1] Its export name is the C-802."(Wikipedia)

There is no stand-off guidance radar for this bird just like Harpoon. Guidance is internal to the bird.

As an old FC (Terrier) I wouldn't want a bunch of these on my EASTERN flank (ty Jeremy Irons:))lining the entire EASTERN part of the Gulf.

What about Iranian tactical ballistic missiles aimed at strategic points along the WESTERN part of the Gulf such as ports, oil terminals, fields, cities, airbases? Maybe you say Patriot can handle them.

As a former Patriot guy (MOS 14E) too I'll say not. I spent enough time on Bliss to know...that ain't gonna happen. Especially when you look at Patriot performance during Iraqi Freedom.

I got out in 2000 seeing that debacle coming. More emphasis on passing PT tests than on competency operating the gear.

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

Kenneth Timmerman talking to Natan Sharansky
Winning the war against Hezbollah will not be about how many terrorists are killed. Nor will it be about occupying territory, or even about stopping rocket attacks on Israel, he said.

...Victory must be political, not just military, Sharansky insisted. "The question is, how can you create a political situation where the free world will have absolute intolerance for these groups? This is very difficult."

8/08/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Just a brief word for Undertoad and Art V.What you lack in historical perspective,you more than make up for in utter incomprehensible idiocy.Anyone who draws a parallel between some dumb chick trying to Christianize children and jihadi madness is dumber than the gomer strapping on the semtex in Baghdad.You brainwashed secularist fanatics!

8/08/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Barbarrosa, I was under the impression the PAC 3 performed pretty well in OIF. What was their "Kill" ratio?

Why were the Israeli's not hit, again, after they turned their defensive systems on, and took out the shore radar?

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

Cederford:

"No you didn't miss anything. Under less inept management, oil was running 15-20 dollars a barrel under Bush I and Clinton."

Markets set oil prices, not Presidents. I remember under the Clinton $2-plus a gallon in summer 2000.

"You mean like the tight border controls Mr. Open Borders has enacted since 9/11 - or isn't that so?"

That was begun under the Boy regime as well in an effort to pad the voting in '96. Sadly Bushis Maximus has failed here.

"2164th's point is since 9/11 Bush has done nothing to secure, diversify, expand the oil supply & dist network, or make it go further through conservation."

This we agree wholeheartedly on.

"Hillary's foolery while an active peace process was underway...."

And what has that "active peace process" wrought -- intifada 2000 leading to Hezbaloo right here right now.

One cannot have peace with someone who's only goal is your death and destruction.

8/08/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Barbaro, the C-802 does require external guidance. From Wikipediea:

Because of its extended range, the YJ-82 missile sometimes has to rely on airborne radar systems carried by helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft to provide target information.

I'm sure what this means is that when it loses contact with it's shore-based radar, an air-borne radar has to take over.

8/08/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

I assume that we will minimize the "targets"(surface ships) if this gets hot. Plenty of Cruise Missiles (or nuclear-tipped SubRoc's for that matter)from Submarines to stand-off and pepper the targets in the Straits.

Yes, a little expensive, but why waste billions in Newport News steel?

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

Is the emergent Persian Shia "Empire of Belief" trying to drag Sunni Arabs into a war with Israel? Obviously good for the Emergent Persian empire. Not so good, perhaps, for Sunni Arabs. It is possible that the Arabs will sense the manipulation going on -- seeing how it ain't exactly subtle.

Why the Surprise? My understanding was the Hezbollah was a formidable (if not downright scary) operation for decades now.

It was never possible to destroy Hezbollah as long as Iran is there to pump in money and weapons (of course, it will cost billions to rebuild now). Israel made the point to the region that having these sorts of NGO's with Rockets on its border can be bad for everyone -- unless you are the new Persian Messiah, of course.

I think the Media is hacking away at the last leg it has to stand on -- at least in the US, where much of its remaining audience is fond of Israel (and they are not just Jews). Apparently, if the Chamber of Commerce had anti tank rockets, the Rotary could take our a cruise ship with a cruise missile, and the NFL could launch rockets from Buffalo to blow up Toronto, the "Network News" would think that normal for your typical, civic minded organization.

This from the same folks who don't want you to own a pistol.

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

"Barbarrosa, I was under the impression the PAC 3 performed pretty well in OIF. What was their "Kill" ratio?

Why were the Israeli's not hit, again, after they turned their defensive systems on, and took out the shore radar?"

The only Patriot kills I'm aware of are friendly fire incidents with an F-18 and a British Tornado both being downed.

Then of course the Jessica Lynch episode.

And an F-16 had to take out a radar that was illuminating it.

Not very impressive, but I bet the batteries in question could do the 2 and 1/2 mile run under time.

The actual methodology of IFF code installation on the Patriot radar seemed to date from the '50's. You could never really sure you'd actually installed the code. All you could do was attempt it and hope it went in correctly. And hope whoever loaded the device that carried the code was loaded properly.

The C-802 bird is internally guided, not shore guided. Maybe Hezbaloo has only a couple of birds, who knows.

The Israelis were loathe to give details at first about this, they were saying it was some kind of remote vehicle at first and said there were no resultant injuries when in fact some sailors were pretty hurt and the ship had to come off the line after the hit.

Pretty big shock to all.

8/08/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

PAC 3 Performance, OIF

8/08/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

System performance against TBMs appears to have been highly effective and consistent with expectations documented in DOT&E’s beyond low-rate initial production report submitted to Congress in October 2002. PATRIOT performance during OIF is detailed in the classified FY03 BMDS annual report.

8/08/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Cedarford is proven correct, according to yoni!!!

“A majority of 54% of PA Arabs think that Israel controls the US.”

While I know Cedarford would never countenance it: “[A] majority of Palestinians (55%) agree that Hamas should not change its position regarding the elimination of the state of Israel.”

The PA has now entered the mainstream of EU thinking. Yeah, they are definitely ready for a state.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the “ex-Stalinist” Israeli Cabinet Minister Natan Sharansky (Did I get that label right C4? Oh, I’m still waiting for the names of the ex-Stalinist Jewish propagandists you claim. What, cat got your tongue?) is not so sure about that.
Furthermore, he shares my high regard for those ace fixers at the Department of State.

http://www.newsmax.com/
archives/articles/2006/8/
7/100904.shtml?s=im

Adding insult to injury, that neo-con, Jew loving Rich Lowry is not pleased with the administration, either.

http://article.nationalreview.
com/?q=OTExNmE3OTJhOGEwNz
IxMzIzZj
VhZmE1MzNlODY1YmI=

Echoing Sharansky, Haaretz would please like to see Mr. Olmert win the war. The impression given is that, if Olmert has no use for the Army, he might give to someone who does.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/
spages/747478.html

8/08/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Barby, I don't think you kept up after you got out. It's true, they were having all kinds of problems with the PAC 3 up until 02, but it seems that by the time of OIF, they had been worked out.

AND, the c-802 does require external guidance for an attack of any substantial distance.

8/08/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger just a marine said...

The War of the Worlds

In my life it came.

On the wings of friction…between nation state ideas and tribal ideas. It came.

Ideas worth dieing for came.

Moral equivalence amplified in my mind and experience.

I have been attacked.

I am expected to become a convert to Islam, and accept the new theocratic dictators.

I will fight them with my will, body, and family.

I cannot believe this is happening to me and my family.

I was naïve about our world's future in the 21st century.

But I will do my duty, as I see it.

8/08/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger SarahWeddington said...

Allen,

Herr Cedarford isn't worth wasting time on.

It appears Olmert is still wasting time.

There has to be some explanation for why he's sat on his hands for a month with 3-5K operating at any one time.

80K could have pushed HB to Beirut and severely damaged them and dealt a huge blow to Iran and Syria.

There has to be some explanation for why Syria has gone unscathed.

There has to be some explanation for why the IDF is using 2-3% of its forces.

I don't know what it is but who knows what's going on behind the scenes.

8/08/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger stumbley said...

rufus, the Patriot was, is, and always has been a severely hyped POS.

The only weapon proven capable of consistently destroying airborne threats is the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), which was jointly built by Israel and TRW (now Northrop Grumman), but abandoned because the Israelis couldn't afford to build it by themselves, and the US Army is too frightened of chemical lasers.

Research and development continues on solid-state lasers, but they're nowhere near the power levels necessary to defeat existing threats (yet).

8/08/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

rufus:

I can buy that extended range radar "help". 42 km is a good ways. But it seems this is the air-launched variant YJ-82 rather than that on shore batteries -- the YJ-8.

But if that Israeli Saar 5 was firing on Hezbaloo positions off shore, she sure was closer than 42km. It's not clear where she was when hit though.

I'm no expert on Chinese ASM's but I'd hazard a guess that the "helping radar" doesn't actually illuminate the target for terminal guidance but is used rather as initial guidance.

42km is well within SM-2 range.

All in all I still wouldn't want these around when I'm underway.

(From Wikipedia) YJ-8
"When entering the terminal phase of flight, the missile switches on its terminal guidance radar to search for the target. Once locking on the target, the missile reduces its flight altitude to 5-7 metres at a distance of a few kilometres from the target. The missile may also maneuver during the terminal phase to make it a more difficult target for shipborne air defense systems. When approaching the target, the missile dives to hit the waterline of the ship to inflict maximum damage."

That's nasty.

8/08/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

rufus:
" 'System performance against TBMs appears to have been highly effective and consistent with expectations documented in DOT&E’s beyond low-rate initial production report submitted to Congress in October 2002. PATRIOT performance during OIF is detailed in the classified FY03 BMDS annual report.'"

That's under ripple fire conditions. Ripple fire is firing 2 or 3 birds at a single target.

You better hit something.

I don't care how many Scuds you might hit. 3 friendly fire incidents negate just about anything.

8/08/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

sarahweddington; 4:24 PM

I am having the darnedest time wrapping my head around a grand strategy for victory that purposefully puts 1/5 of a population into bomb shelters for a month or more, while placing the remaining population at growing peril; that these events are occurring while a military such as that if the IDF sits barely used is mind boggling.

From the slight rumblings of discontent coming out of the Israeli media over the past few days, to Sharansky’s blatant swipe at Olmert today, the discontent is growing obviously.

8/08/2006 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

'The only Patriot kills I'm aware of are friendly fire incidents with an F-18 and a British Tornado both being downed.

Then of course the Jessica Lynch episode.'

Now I'm confused.

8/08/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Stumbly, Barbarrosa; See, "Moore's Law."

Look, guys, when you hit the first bullet with a bullet, it's just a matter of time before you are able to do it consistently.

8/08/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

raymondshaw:

'The only Patriot kills I'm aware of are friendly fire incidents with an F-18 and a British Tornado both being downed.

Then of course the Jessica Lynch episode.'

PVT. Jessica Lynch's unit was a Patriot maintenance unit that got lost and then was ambushed and mangled up pretty good.

That's Patriot for you.

8/08/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Raymondshaw, You weren't aware that Jessica Lynch was "ambushed" by a PAC - 3?

Where have You been?

8/08/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

My impression was they'd hit a large number of the incoming scuds. Quite a few hits are on videotape. And using an 8 bit cpu, too.

8/08/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Reuters does it again. Is anyone listening?

Bombing of Funeral: False Reporting by Reuters
http://www.israelnn.com/
news.php3?id=109521

Ben Stein may have some answers, unfit for those with high blood pressure.

A Few More Little Facts
http://www.spectator.org/
dsp_article.asp?art_id=10192

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

rufus:
"Raymondshaw, You weren't aware that Jessica Lynch was "ambushed" by a PAC - 3?

Where have You been?"

Yeah, that's it. Hardy, harr.

I had friends in that unit.

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

While it remains to be seen whether yoni is on target with his report of Olmert’s paralysis being caused by the fear of Tel Aviv being attacked, he is right-on with the report of Olmert’s desire to evacuate Kiryat Shmona in the face of ongoing Hezbollah attacks.

Run away! Run away! Run away!

___Fear in Olmerts Office
___Government to Evacuate Kiryat Shmona Residents
http://www.yonitheblogger.com/

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

The F World
Getting to the heart of the matter.

By Rich Lowry


If there is one bedrock conviction underlying President Bush’s foreign policy, it is that freedom is the desire of every human heart. Bush repeats the phrase at every opportunity, and it is the premise of his push for democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere: Given a free choice, it is assumed, people will choose freedom and the political system best suited to foster it.

Bush’s emphasis on the inherent hunger for freedom is powerful. It clothes his foreign policy in an undeniable idealism. It puts his liberal opponents in a tight spot, because it is awkward for them to object to the kind of sweeping universalism they have always embraced. It might be simplistic, but that is often an advantage in political communication.

The problem with Bush’s freedom rhetoric is that it appears to not be true. Hezbollah and Hamas, and the populations that support them, desire the destruction of Israel above all, and are willing to endure warfare and dysfunctional societies to bring it about. The Sunni insurgents in Iraq want power more than anything else, and are willing to kill and maim to gain it. The Shia militias, in turn, desire revenge against the Sunni.

All around the chaotic and violent Middle East, human hearts are yearning for many things, but freedom isn’t high on the list.

http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=OTExNmE3OTJhOGEwNzIxMzIzZjVhZmE1MzNlODY1YmI=

8/08/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

I had friends in that unit.

Well, Barbarrosa, you sure as hell don't sound like it.

I'm beginning to believe you're a "disgruntled" ex military with an agenda. I think I will treat you that way from here on out.

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

Television news is reporting that the French have waffled and now support the Arab Delegations demand that Israel withdraw from Lebanon before a ceasefire is declared.

Someone should take Chef Boy Ardee out behind the woodshed and just beat the hell out him.

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

just a marine (4:17:28) just a project manager will stand beside you, spot targets, dope wind and range, carry extra handloads and spell you on the rifle. I agree that its time to get busy.

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

Can you say this is a non governmental war if this is in fact a proxy war?

State actors armed Hezbollah.

State Actors funded Hezbollah.

State Actors, Iran, Syria, Lebanon are responsible for the violation of UN Security Counsel Resolution 1559 calling for the disarming of Lebanese and non Lebanese militias in South Lebanon.

The war has shown the violations plain.

The war has also shown plain that UNIFIL allowed the arming and fortification of South Lebanon on its watch.

This is not some new form of war. It is a reduction of a fortified line with political restrictions, presently self imposed, on the amount of force that can be used.

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

Today at the UN, when the Israeli ambassador began to speak, the Iranian and the Syrian ambassadors walked out of the room.

8/08/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

I believe that I heard that the Arab Delegation is also demanding that Hezbollah not be disarmed and a UN Peacekeeping Force join the Lebanese Army after Israel leaves Anne Bayefsky writing at NRO has a round-up of UN condemnations of Israel.

8/08/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

I had friends in that unit.
rufus:
"Well, Barbarrosa, you sure as hell don't sound like it.

I'm beginning to believe you're a "disgruntled" ex military with an agenda. I think I will treat you that way from here on out."

Well that would be your admitted shortcoming. What's my "agenda"?
That there are real tactical challenges in confronting Iran militarily not to mention strategic and political challenges? These are things that must be addressed rationally before we "bomb the hell out of them" as you advocate.

Hell I want to bomb the hell out of them too, but you have to see the big picture.

During my time at Ft. Bliss I knew the training was inadequate. I knew that most of the concentration by the leadership was not related to doing my job with any confidence. The same job I had done 9 years prior as a Terrier FC on a Koontz class DDG during Desert Storm guarding that same mountainous Iranian coastline you and I have been discussing.

Patriot performance during Operation Iraqi Freedom vindicated what I saw on Ft. Bliss. It's too bad people had to die as a result of poor leadership and mismanaged training.

If being pissed about that constitutes an "agenda" to you -- sorry about that.

8/08/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger stumbley said...

rufus said:

"when you hit the first bullet with a bullet, "

THEL hits the bullet with light. Lots faster. See this:

http://www.st.northropgrumman.com/media/presskits/mediaGallery/thel/videos/media2_2_16388_16472.html

and this:

http://www.st.northropgrumman.com/media/presskits/mediaGallery/thel/videos/media2_1_16388_16470.html

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

Sorry. Links didn't post properly.

http://www.st.northropgrumman.com/media/
presskits/mediaGallery/thel/videos/
media2_1_16388_16470.html

http://www.st.northropgrumman.com/media/
presskits/mediaGallery/thel/videos/
media2_2_16388_16472.html

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

Sadly, none of this is new. And I am tempted to say that the US and the west deserves whatever is happening now. No, I don't mean 9/11 was a judgment for what was done in the middle east by westerners, but rather by what was done by westeners to Northern Ireland. Remember that for the 30 years of the "troubles" money was routinely collected in Irish American communities for that amazing prototype of Hezbollah - the I.R.A. Political cover was given to these cruel terrorists by Irish American politicians and useful idiots at the State Department. Eventually, the grinnng godfather of the I.R.A., Gerry Adams, was given the red carpet treatment at the White House by Clinton. There is a tangible immoral equivalence between the I.R.A. and the various terrorist organizations in the middle east. The United States has only lately and dimly come to recognize this. If you think I am a bit over-heated about this, check out the lurid graffiti on the walls of Belfast even today. The Palestinans are feted and the U.S. is despised, regardless of the largesse that has been dumped on all of Ireland by America. Military action by a non-state actor has been the I.R.A.'s contribution to the world we now live in, and the U.S., Eire, and the U.K. were its unthinking sponsors, just as Iran and Syria now deliberately sponsor Hezbollah.

8/08/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

BTW CONUS posters, please keep a look out for the 11 yes 11 missing egyptain MSU students that are a little late for their classes...thanks
Missing students

8/08/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Barbarrosa, "Friendly-fire" incidents are Always tragic; alas, they happen in all wars. My impression was that at least a couple of these incidents were caused by the failure of the airplanes to be transmitting the proper codes. Whatever, it doesn't really speak to whether the PAC 3 can consistently shoot down incoming missiles. All indications are, that it can.

Look, Barbarrosa; I've fought in foreign wars. I Know that no war is a walk in the park. I'm just saying that the shipment of oil through the gulf should be a doable thing, whether we end up in a war with Iran, or not.

Personally, I hope very much that we can work this out without war. I, also, doubt very much that we can.

8/08/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Personally, I hope very much that we can work this out without war. I, also, doubt very much that we can."

Jeez, rufus, it was just a little blog misunderstanding.

8/08/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger barbarrossa said...

rufus, I think we're on the same page and on the same team here.

Until what actually happened with the deployed Patriot units during Iraqi Freedom is declassed and becomes known I have to go with my gut feeling because I saw what the everyday priorities were in my unit and compared them to my Navy training and experience.

Peace.

8/08/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger ambisinistral said...

Why would Iran close the straights? That would trigger a war.

They don't want a face to face war with the US. They want to force us out of the ME and intimidate Europe, so they can polish off Israel and consolidate their position for the push to regain Spain and the Balkans.

They'll do proxy stuff and try to keep their finger prints off of any terror attacks.

8/08/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Ambisinistral, I'm assuming that a bombing attack on Iran's Nuke Facilities will lead to War, which would lead to an attempt to close the Straits.

The most important story to go unreported, today, is Maliki's reaction to the raid on Sadr's militia. Sadr seems to be pulling a Nasrallah, right in front of our eyes.

I Really, Really hate to type this, but it's looking like the only way to victory in Iraq is through Iran. Again, Do we Kill the Mullahs, or not?

8/08/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I think you're right. Iran will break up everything we try to do in Iraq, for as long as the mullahs are in power. Mullahs can't afford to have democracies in the neighborhood.

8/08/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rufus,
Been saying that for a while now.
Mr Sistani, al-Sadr and Maliki are with each other, more than any are with US.

If the ISF commanders believe in the Turkish model, there is some hope for Security and Stability in Iraq, but Democracy will have to die there, first.

Hard to tell, from here, where the ISF's loyalties lie.

8/08/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

2164th said...

"Bush was not responsible for a hurricane. he may not have been resposnible for the dikes, but someone was...If the US was not dependent on oil, there would be no massive infusion of cash into the Islamic world as there is today. it is a very weak link in American security. If you think it not worthy of asking why such an important piece of infrastructure be allowed to crumble, would it trouble you if the wings on an American Airline plane fell off because no one paid attention to a maintenance schedule?"

*********

2164th,

The government did its part, by statute. I don't know the full details, but it would appear the folks running the pipeline weren't taking OSHA 1910-119 (Mechanical Integrity) too seriously, if they are talking about a shutdown of months. The places I have worked at have, especially in the last 10 years or so, observed the provisions rigorously and expensively.

Do you mean, if we weren't dependent on "oil", or if we weren't dependent on "foreign oil"? Why shouldn't we be dependent on our own oil, or our own corn or our own soybeans, or our own coal or whatever?

One of the main reasons we went to war to liberate Kuwait was oil. That is, for the protection of "the free flow of oil at market prices." Sounds like a great reason to go to war to me, especially since the whole cotton-pickin' world is dependent on oil. Sounds like a good reason to nationalize sworn-enemy oil fields, unless, of course, one is big on "moral equivalence" nonsense.

BTW, I didn't check back, but did you ever back down on that bit about Israel in Lebanon being Janet Reno at Waco?

If you did back down, I guess my question is rude. But if you didn't back down, then I'm sure you don't mind, sticking, as it were, to your guns. I therefore offer my apology, or non-apology, for posing the question, whichever is more appropriate. :-)

8/08/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Rat, the Shi'ia politicians are scared stiff of Sadr, and his Iranian backing. He'll try to kill them, and they know it. Besides, they're not all that far away from his position to start with. Iraq probably won't work as long as Iran's intact.

Surprisingly, the Army seems to be less Sadr'istic. They did go in with us in the raid the other day; plus, there have been those rumors about a possible "Military" Coup. We'll see.

BUT, it'll probably come down to whether we can get up the guts to kill the Mullahs when hostilities break out. I'm betting we won't. Dammit.

8/08/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Congress voted for drilling ANWAR, eleven years ago. Bill Clinton vetoed it. It would by now be producing, conservatively, about 10% of what we import. Since the veto, the congress has never voted it in again.

8/08/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Lone Star said...

ambisinistral said...

Why would Iran close the straights? That would trigger a war.

They don't want a face to face war with the US. They want to force us out of the ME and intimidate Europe, so they can polish off Israel and consolidate their position for the push to regain Spain and the Balkans.


Hate to disagree, but, I have had the impression for awhile that Iran has been trying it's best to provoke us into attacking. I think that they very much want a war with us, they just want us to make the first overt move. The fact that we have not responded to their provocations has been puzzling to me. We know that our soldiers are being killed by the more powerful bombs that Iran is supplying, but, we don't retaliate. Bush repeatedly states that Iran is not going to be allowed to become a nuclear power, but, then resorts to diplomacy. Everyone alive knows that diplomacy is not going to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We know that the Iranian backed militias are causing most of the trouble in Iraq now, but, we attack the militias and Ignore their sponsor. The Iranian President sends Bush a letter that is supposedly the Islamic version of a declaration of war and we act as if it were just a friendly letter. We know that Iran is behind the war going on in Lebanon, but, we chastize Syria and Ignore Iran. We act like this is just a battle between Israel and some terrorists.
I don't for a second believe it is because Bush has lost his nerve or that we are bogged down in Iraq. Nothing would clear up the problems happening in Iraq faster than us moving the flypaper to Iran. This whole thing just has a very surreal feel to it. I think what we are seeing is a very elaborate "dance of death" taking place. The war is coming people and it is going to be ugly.

8/08/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Buddy, why did he do that? Any ideas? I mean, he wasn't known as an environmentalist " idealogue. Could it have had something to do with the Saudi's?

8/08/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger musterup said...

They have told us that they are fighting the battle of Khaybar.
And I believe them.

What happened in Khaybar? Mohammed
and his jihadis attacked the Jews at Khaybar and laid siege to the wealthy Jewish oaisis. After a month, the Jews surrendered.

The jihadis slew a few men but the rest were allowed to farm the oaisis and pay them a tax as none of the arabs knew how or wanted to do it. Mohammed had made dhimmis of the Jews. After Mohammmed's death, the remaining Jews were killed or driven out, for it was the prophet himself on his deathbed that said the Jews must go. That was Khaybar in a teeny tiny nutshell.

Cut to Israel: Islamic jihadis, whether Hamas or Hezbollah, must take back their conquered land as well as avenge the loss of honor from being defeated by the inferior and previously subjugated Jewish enemy.

The good news is Islam thinks in a box defined by their political and religious doctrine and philosophy contained in three books. This means they are very predictable as their actions always relate back to examples in the Koran, the hadiths, and the Sirah, Mohammed's biography.

The bad news is that Islam makes sacred a perpetual state of war with all others of mankind. So, war is a major aspect of their life and one of the foundations of their culture. Mohammed must be understood as a successful war lord and politician as well as a religious figure.

To win, we must learn how to think like they do and to do this, we must read and understand the box of the three sacred texts of Islam.

I enjoy this blog and learn much here. Please be patient if my comments sound naive, it is my ignorance that I'm working to alleviate. I've always been in the arts or arts business. My husband gave me a copy of The Art of War by SunTzu and I'm reading it. It's dense and cryptic, but insightful and full of common sense.

8/08/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Musterup, thank you for your insights, especially the part about Khaybar. I learned something, today.

8/08/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger ambisinistral said...

Lone Star,

I think Iran has no desire to go to war with us at the moment. They're not stupid. If nothing else I'm sure they are painfully aware they couldn't take out Saddam's Army and we whacked it in a matter of weeks.

They've been calibrating their provoacations just short of a causus belli. They know we're not going to roll across their borders because of IEDs, anymore than they're going to roll across the borders over the destabalizing efforts we're no doubt aiming their way.

I think they've been doing a bit of a proxy echelon attack. First, the Taliban's Summer Offensive, which is fizzling on them. Secondly the Hezb'Allah war on Israel (which I don't think is going at all according to their script), and soon Sadr confronting us.

I believe, like Japan tried to insulate itself with the Co-Prosperity sphere, that Iran's strategic aim in these events is to push the US out of the Middle East so they can seize control of the area's resources and damage our economy in the process. Then they can handle Israel and cower Europe in the process.

I don't think the plan is going to work any more than the Co-Prosperity Sphere did, but I suspect they've talked themselves into believing they can pull it off. I also think much of the strangeness we've seen lately -- the UN going for a month without coming near calling for a cease fire, France threatening nuclear response to terrorist attacks, Israel not storming up to the Bekka Valley, the pipe line closure, etc. -- are counter moves to an Iranian proxy campaign stretching over the course of the summer.

'Course, there is also a good chance I don't know what the heck I'm talking about, but I've never let that stop me before. ;-)

8/08/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

rufus--who knows what might've gone on with KSA, but the conventional wisdom has always been that he merely caved to a fierce campaign by the Green lobby--under the "preserve our natural beauty" cover.

I've always thought the "green" in 'green lobby' really stands for "an issue that brings in the green stuff".

8/08/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The mullahs are gamblers--the '79 Embassy takeover, the Marine barracks, those were things that could've gotten them into a world of sh*t. But they did 'em anyway.

8/08/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

ambisinistral 7:39 PM

Ambis. Iran is certainly stupid.

Stupid is what stupid does. The most logical answer for the mess in Lebanon is that the islamnuts did not expect such a huge response.

That POV is irrelevant as we now know Hezbo inc. has been planning for war for at least six years.

Iran believes that Allah is about to choose sides in the current battle against the racist arrogant zionist pig dogs. Iran might be half right about the choosing sides part....

8/08/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Hezbolla ragheads deserve to be slaughtered.

Iranian mullah-dogs and pet-cockroach Ahmadinejad: you're next for slaughter.

Death to Iran!

8/08/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Buddy 7:52

You remind me of a story.

1000 gamblers were selected to bet on a ball game.

Half were told the Red Sox would win the next game, half were told the Yankees would win.
The Sox won.

Next Day the 500 winners were divided into two groups (the losers moved on). Half were told the Red Sox would win half were told the Yankees would win.
The Yankees won. 250 people who have just 'won' twice.

This continued until only two people were left. Both were always winners, neither ever lost because of the nature of the scam.

At this point in the story the scam artist is supposed to ask for a lot of money from the two 'winners' in exchange for the 'next winner'. The scam artist then leaves with the cash.

To make a short story long, Hamas and Hezbullah have been very unlikely winners the past 20 years.

Who is scamming who?

8/08/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

Yoni reported earlier of troubles between the IDF and the Olmert government. This report at YNet strongly suggests that a tidal wave may be forming below the surface of public scrutiny.

There has been a purge, clearly. The generals involved have their constituencies. This may get nasty for the Olmert government.

IDF officials: Maj. Gen. Adam must quit post after war
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3288461,00.html

8/08/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Arthur, we'll ask PossumTater in the mornin. You cain't scam them PossumTaters.

8/08/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

There was a lot of depressing news at the start of the year related to Peak Oil and predictions that the stock market would take a nose dive. After a while that seemed to pass.

Now there is a lot of depressing news and opinions again:

The Central Moral issue of our Time

Neither hawks nor doves have any viable near-term solutions

Absent a clear Hezbollah defeat, a satisfactory diplomatic result is hard to imagine.

Does Iran have something in store for Aug. 22?

It's all Olmert's fault. He should be kicking ass and taking names. Hard to tell how this will all turn out.

8/08/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

Per Wretchard's thought-provoking post "...greatest weakness of Western culture: its ability to draw a moral equivalence between anything and everything..."
Yes, this may be true, but don't forget the power of hate. The Western culture has been building hatred toward the Islamic theofascists. Slowly but surely the hatred is building and the West will find another Alexander to lay waste to their lands, people and religion.

8/08/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

This whole business of a confrontation date (22 August) inexplicably brought to mind the defeat of the Roman Emperor Valerian by the Parthians (Persian precursors) at Edessa (Urfa) in modern Iraq. The battle there took place in summer but little else is known, other than Valerian and his legions vanished into legend.

Urfa is near Harran, the ancestoral home of the Patriarch Abraham. Edessa also plays large in ancient Christian history.

The mind wanders.

8/08/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Bernard Lewis is backing up the August 22nd storyline.

Why would such an eminent scholar put his name on the line to highlight a seemingly improbable speculation?

The answer to that question is frightening.

I must say, I'm more anxious than I've been in a while.

Man all too easily grows lax and mellow,
He soon elects repose at any price;
And so I like to pair him with a fellow,
To play the deuce, to stir, and to entice.


The lesson we learned from Hitler was "Do not Appease." I fear that the lesson of Ahmadinejad will be equally traumatic:

"Do not Ignore."

8/08/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Well, Allen, we were praying for a "Patton;" Maybe we'll get one. Damn, they need to make a bunch of changes, and they need to make them, yesterday.

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

Could we have, possibly, let a Nork Nuke slip out of the Country?

8/08/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

August 22

Good to know that more people are taking notice of August 22.

What's special about August 22 ???

Note that it is a New Moon...
And - curiouser and curiouser- the mullah's pet-cockroach Ahmenidejad seems to be promising a surprise of some kind.

Lighting up the sky


Iran and Apocalypse

8/08/2006 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The missing Russian suitcase bombs come to mind. Russia's already covered itself--they "got lost during the breakup".

8/08/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

I don't like to sound my own horn,but
in a recent attempt at poetry, I wrote the lines:
Come on all you big strong jihadis
Uncle Nazrullah fell in the pottie
Got his beard caught in a terrible jam
way down yonder in Lebanon land
So quit humping that goat and pick up a gun
Gonna get the Jews on the run.

Well...I heard on the Neal Boortz radio show that in Sadr City a fatwa was given stating that goatherders need to cover the hind quarters of their goats as the sight is provocative.
Somewhere in the Bekaa:

Akmad:Iman,Iman I have some goat drawers for my little Fatima ,but I can't find her

Iman,what is that sound of bleating I hear...Oh Iman...

8/08/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Holy Roman Umpire said...

Peter Boston's post toward the beginning of this thread You don't need a no-hit to win a ballgame is right on. So far, this war is progressing normally: we don't really realize we are in it, we think it can be solved diplomatically, we think it can be won easily and quickly etc. Nothing new in this. At some point, we will realize that in order to prevail we will have to ... er um ... prevail . I just hope that not too many innocents die before this happens.

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

Ah, Banger, you're making that up. You are, aren't you? Aren't you?

8/08/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Captain America said...

What would we do without unnamed "military analysts"? And what's to preclude an agenda driven journalist to find just the right unnamed military analysts to validate preconceived notions?

Sure, the Hezbos are entirely capable to taking on a military force provided they have six years to devise their battle plans and have two (Syria and Iranian) partners. While Syria's state stature is debatable, both Syria and Iran have parentage of Hezbo.

Unlike Stannard's presumption, the Israeli battle with Hezbo is far from complete. But the outcome is certain: Hezbo will lose. It's just a matter of how far the Israelis want to take the battle to the Hezbos.

8/08/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

No, I saw a headline about goat genitals, too. Thought it was a joke.

Need some shivery? Go to For Freedom's second link ("Iran and Apocalypse") and read the comment of Dr. Charles R. Close, D.C., former USMC, VNVet.

8/08/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

It is presumed that General Adam is being “reassigned” from the Northern Command for excessive timidity. Consider. What if his reassignment, instead, reflects an aggressiveness that can no longer be controlled by the Olmert government? In the instance, Patton and MacArthur come to mind immediately.

As sure as G-d made little green apples, given the expected level of rancor, we will discover the facts, probably sooner than later.

8/08/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Trangbang,
Is that what they mean by "bleating heart liberals"?

8/08/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Scary stuff, Buddy. This is the guy who was "enveloped in a glowing halo (or some such) when he spoke at the U.N.

There's no doubt, he's crazy as a bed-bug. The only two possible delivery systems would be a Scud, or a Drone. I'm sure his subs are all accounted-for, and the Israeli's aren't about to let a suspect ship into the harbor.

A scud would, almost surely, get knocked down, and he knows it; that leaves a drone, but he would have to launch from Syria or Lebanon. That's pretty squishy.

He could fire dozens of scuds at once, hoping to overpower the PAC 3/Arrow Defense, hoping the one that has the "zinger" gets through. It's hard to imagine semi-rational people thinking/writing about such things, but damn, it is Ahma hama Batshit Crazy, we're talking about. Sheesh.

8/08/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Guys, please!

Yesterday, a perfectly good thread broke down over Ms. Hilton’s nether parts.

Today, this thread is threatened by goats’ behinds.

(And, yes, I realize that I may be guilty of making a distinction without a difference.)

The world is looking to us, gentlemen. And, I may say gentlemen, without fear of contradiction, because no woman would tread where shepherds fear to go.

Flea bitten elephants, hircus thongs…Where will it end, for goodness sake?

She wore an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini…NO!!! I’m being driven mad, I tell you.

8/08/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Allen, it's "Midnight in Mississippi," for cryin out loud. What do you expect from us?

I was going to go to bed, but that was just too scary; not the amanuttiernafruitcake post, no, I'm an ex-Marine. I can stand that. It's the goat in the itty bitty yellow .........

Oh, Crap; I may not ever sleep, again.

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

Goats in Bikini's - That would make a hell of a name for a blog.

8/08/2006 10:09:00 PM  

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