Sunday, September 03, 2006

Old lamps for new

Greg Jaffe's article in the Wall Street Journal, "The Fight for Iraq:A General's New Plan To Battle Radical Islam" is fascinating on two levels. On the internal level, it describes the politico/military strategy which Gen. Abizaid has pursued not simply in Iraq, but over the whole of CENTCOM. It begins by describing Seabees constructing a school as a way of introducing these paragraph:

In an interview in Iraq later, he was even blunter about the limits of U.S. firepower. "Military power can gain us time...but that is about it," he said.

It's a striking comment from one of the country's most influential generals, whose views are increasingly being echoed by President Bush. As head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Abizaid oversees the U.S. military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Horn of Africa, Central Asia and the Mideast. ...

But his view of the region is increasingly shaped by the inability of all that firepower to prevail against a violent strain of Islam seeking to expand its foothold. "The best way to contain al Qaeda is to increase the capacity of the regional powers to deal with it themselves," he says.

Gen. Abizaid's approach is part of a broader rethinking within the Bush administration of how best to fight terrorism, driven in part by the failures of the past five years. One of its tenets is that change must take place gradually and be led by locals. The U.S. can provide help training and equipping indigenous counterterrorism forces to break up al Qaeda cells, Gen. Abizaid says. But bigger changes that address the root causes of terrorism in the region must take place over years, if not decades.


Those paragraphs provide a stepping-stone to climb out of the article to view it from a second level: the role of the US military within a national strategic outlook. The WSJ description of Abizaid's strategy encapsulates all that is potentially revolutionary, controversial and misunderstood about  the War on Terror. When President Bush declared his goal was to "bring democracy to the Middle East" it was immediately derided by those who believed democracy could never come to the region; and if it did would come only in the form of Islamism. Others argued that America already had a politco/military fighting team in the State Department and Department of Defense. Why should there be need of another?. But the WSJ article clearly describes a subtly different thing: politico/military warfare primarily executed by the military personnel at the level of communities, tribes and sects. It is integrated warfare many levels down from the sphere inhabited by diplomats. And if the WSJ speaks admiringly of it; it is nevertheless a method without a national strategy.

The genuine tone of amazement in the WSJ is a reminder of how poorly understood  the military role of the War on Terror has been, especially in Iraq. As a military enterprise, one the Belmont commenters pointed out, the War on Terror would rank only a little higher than the War of 1812. A Washington Post article cited in the same post noted that military death rates in Iraq are actually lower than those of black males in Philadelphia.  The Associated Press noted that there were actually fewer airstrikes in support of coalition activity Iraq than in Afghanistan. Any comparison in bomb tonnage, artillery rounds expended, and bullets fired to previous wars would tell the same tale. Strictly in shooting terms the War on Terror is minor league. In fact much of the criticism directed against the Bush administration's conduct of the War in Iraq has been that there is too little military. Niall Ferguson, writing in Time echoes a widespread view that "General Eric Shinseki turned out to have been right that 'something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers' would be needed to stabilize post-Saddam Iraq." Ferguson may be correct in some sense, but that is not the point. The point is that from the beginning the Administration's War on Terror was never primarily military; it was always -- even from the days of the First Fallujah campaign -- fundamentally a political war and continues to be to this day, as the continued existence of Moqtada al-Sadr illustrates.

It's politico-military character did automatically ensure its success. Iraq illustrates that it simply gives one the chance to lose, as well as win in two dimensions. Yet losing any particular hand doesn't mean it is the wrong game to play; it simply means one has to learn to play it better. The WSJ article unconsciously raises a different and more disturbing criticism of American strategy. The military's prosecution of a politico/military campaign can be viewed as an attempt to compensate for the failure of other aspects of American power (diplomatic, development and informational) to project themselves into the field. It's a Band-Aid to compensate for the absence of institutions which America, if it were truly an imperial power, would have had. But America will never have a BBC, which was itself the evolutionary product of Imperial Britain. Yet America has its own sources of strength, including media industries which enabled it to dominate the popular culture of the world. The most serious question posed by the WSJ article is not whether the politico/military approach is the correct approach, but whether such a broad campaign can be prosecuted by so limited an agency as the US military without the rest of America's "soft power" behind it.

Gen Abizaid's staff tracks everything from birth rates in places like Sudan to oil-pipeline deals to water consumption in the region. One of his staff officers, who has an advanced degree in Middle Eastern history, recently wrote a long paper for him on the British colonial experience in Iraq in the 1920s and '30s. The general's colleagues praise him for his ease with uncertainty and freewheeling debate.

In May, on a visit through Iraq, he was getting a briefing on security conditions in the country. An officer lamented that a significant share of Iraqis were telling opinion surveys it was honorable to attack U.S. forces. "You act like you're insulted or something," Gen. Abizaid said to the briefing officer. As the officer looked on, surprised, the general told him why he shouldn't be: Iraqis also thought it honorable to attack the British when they occupied Iraq, and they felt the same way earlier about the Turks. The attitude was "a part of the battlefield," and it showed the need to turn the fight in Iraq over to the Iraqis as quickly as possible, he said.

Gen. Abizaid's influence is evident in Iraq, where the U.S. has shifted away from its initial focus of building a U.S.-style democracy in the heart of the Muslim world. Today the top priority for commanders is building Iraqi police and army forces that can take over the fight and shoring up crumbling infrastructure. On the political side, U.S. and Iraqi leaders are working to persuade Sunnis who've supported the insurgency to take part in the political process. They're also trying to reach an accommodation with radical Shiite elements. "In Iraq, we are willing to accept a less-than-perfect democracy. Stability and security are more important," says one U.S. Army counterinsurgency expert. "Instead of mission creep, we are seeing mission shrink."

In the end, I don't think it can be. To be successful the "General's 'New Plan' to battle radical Islam"  must be consciously pursued by all the organs of national strength. However, it will not. Not until America reaches a broad consensus on the need to wage a struggle of culture, politics and arms against Islamic fascism. Until then it will be inadequately though valiantly waged by the only agency which a Commander in Chief can directly wield. Maybe the best use to which the President can put the remainder of his term is to turn his efforts inward. America will have gained the strategic upper hand only when the majority of its population, including its opinion leaders, can read articles like Greg Jaffe's not with surprise, but with familiar approval.

529 Comments:

Blogger rufus said...

About time to piss on the fire, and call in the dogs, boys; the sun's coming up, and it's time to go home.

The problem is, it'll take at least 3, maybe four years to get our military back in shape to fight a "real" war. We've had our "peace corps" adventure, and the American people are ready for a little down time.

We'll look back in in five or ten years, and see how we done. Maybe, we can blow the hell out of Nutjob's Nukes on the way out of town.

The thing is, Americans have no desire to be an Empire. They're not the least bit interested in spending $100 Billion a year for some sort of a traveling legion of Super-Trained, Democracy-Proselytizing Islamo-Eradicators. That requires seeing American kids blown up on their TV every night, in the service of people just about as ugly as our enemies.

It just ain't gonna happen. We're through, now.

9/03/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

No one in our government either Democrat or Republican dare name our enemy...President Bush made a small attempt and was immediately rebuffed. Until we name our enemy we will never have a strategy to win. The terrible sword which hangs over the worlds head is what happens should the Islamic Warriors gain access to nuclear weapons before we destroy any states will to give nuclear weapons to them.

This war isn't so difficult except that we don't possess the will to face the sad fact that much more killing is required to prevent murder on a global scale.

Pierre

9/03/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Thank G_d for The Belmont Club and its commenters!

In all seriousness, I am reminded of a remark made by a psychoanalyst in my training, Mel (we always kiddingly called him "Meyer") Lansky, when I told him I was "confused" about a particularly problematic case.

Rather than being dismayed, he exclaimed: "You're confused? Thats great! It means you're in touch with your unconscious. You're about to learn something!"

;-)

Jamie Irons

9/03/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So then, would we be looking at $10 a gallon oil after we've pulled out of Iraq?

I don't have a problem with that, especially if it kills off, finally, the dinosaur SUVs, and encourages faster engineering on the new generations of hybrids.

The only proviso I would look for in withdrawing from Iraq and the Middle East is that we absolutely ban any further immigration of *any* Muslims from *any* place in the world, AND, equally as important, ban them from entering our country for any reason whatsoever. I include in that seeking medical treatment, student visa's, tourism, or shopping up to and including trying to buy our sea ports. No Muslims allowed physically in the United States of America under any conditions or for any reason. They are welcome to conduct all business via cell-phone, computer and videotape.

If we are not prepared to quarantine ourselves to that extent, then it seems to me we'd best stay in Iraq until we've beaten them into submission, and if we can't beat them into submission then we need to purify the whole region with nuclear weapons.

Turning our fighting military into a heavily-armed Peace Corps seems counterproductive to me. And I have to wonder if young people will still sign up to be warriors when it becomes apparent that the reality of their tenure will be developing an expertise in sewage and digging toilets.

9/03/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The truth is who cares if the Sunnis or Shiites win? It is also too bad that the Democrats and the Republicans cannot both lose in November.

9/03/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

A Helpful Recruiting Tool

Marine battalion heads to Iraq for fourth time.
Tears flow as loved ones bid goodbye to unit members in Twentynine Palms

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.
cgi?file=/c/a/2006/09/03/
MNG1NKUN0M1.DTL

9/03/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Michael McCanles said...

What do they want and why do that want it?

First question is relatively easy to answer: they want absolute, unchallenged, and unchallengeable power of life-and-death of as many people as possible.

Second question is more difficult to answer than it seems, but answering the first is a start, beginning with the next question, Why would anybody want such a thing?

IOW, the real question is "Why does anyone want power over others?" I suggest that the answer begins with--though it hardly ends here--the notion that the people who want "power over" other people are people who feel powerless.

Tautology? yes, but not quite. Islam has historically always demanded that its options be put in such extreme terms: "either you abjectly subject yourself to me or"--and here is a major vector--"I will die in the attempt to do so."

Dostoevsky had a phrase for this in his political fiction on the subject of 19th-century Rissoam political utopian nihilism: "Aut Caesar aut nihil." Expanded, that means "I demand that either I will be all-powerful or if that fails that I be nothing, i.e., dead."

Empirically, I suggest that this description fits the MO of Islamic fascism, both anent its demands and its means of implementing these demands.

Put another way: we're talking about a culture that has produced a male population so abject, so grovelling in its fear, so completely w/o hope of amelioration, and therefore so vulnerable to manipulation (cf. the mullahs, who wield such power that when they sqeak everyone jumps) the world presents itself in the simplest of primary colors. There are two and only two realties: absolute subjection (ergo hatred of the U. S. which is "power" personified on this planet), or there is absolute domination.

I suggest that a strategy to beat these people that doesn't factor the above aspects in is going to go astray. "Knowing your enemy," IOW, is not about "knowing 'Islam.'" It's about knowing the particular psychological configuration of a culture that is dedicated to sociopathic behavior. In brief, "Islamis" is a psychological pathology before it is anything else.

And while we're at it, we might entertain that the real goal of Lslamic terrorists is "death by American soldier," as by analogy with "death by cop," i.e., deliberately getting a cop to shoot you dead by provoking him.

As these people like to say, "We will win because the West loves life, but we love death."

Kill 'em all? That's what they're asking for.

9/03/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger felix said...

Pierre, I agree that naming the enemy is all important.

As to the US Military performing civil construction projects, community development, etc., I don't think it's our role to do that. Our military is there, at this point, to help the Iraqi gov't, police, and military restore order.

9/03/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

St. Luke 5:37 & 38; KJV



“An officer lamented that a significant share of Iraqis were telling opinion surveys it was honorable to attack U.S. forces. 'You act like you're insulted or something,' Gen. Abizaid said”


allen said...
From Austin Bay,

"His [Rumsfeld's] biggest mistake, in my view, was keeping a cadre of advisers that were fine for peace-time, Beltway political brawling, but ill-prepared for warfighting — particularly fighting a long, intricate, sustained war."

9/03/2006 09:28:00 AM

9/03/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Let's be cautious. The Wall Street Journal (editorial page excepted) is written by people who would be quite at home at the New York Times. Caveat emptor!

What is it with all the defeatism? The WAR in Iraq -- the real war against Saddam Hussein & his Baathist regime -- was a staggering success. Saddam's forces had held Iran's mighty army to a grinding stalemate for 8 long years -- roughly 400 weeks. The US (with some help from its allies) finished off the Baathists as a regime in 3 weeks. Incredible!

What happened after winning the real war has been messy & confusing. Lesson to be applied the next time -- Don't Bother with the Aftermath! There is no real reason why the US has to remain in a country after removing its repugnant regime.

It is time to start promoting the Anti-Powell doctrine (since Powell has proven himself to be such an Empty Jacket in the Armitage affair) -- We break it, you fix it; and if we don't think you fixed it right, we will break it again.

9/03/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/03/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard wrote

“The point is that from the beginning the Administration's War on Terror was never primarily military; it was always -- even from the days of the First Fallujah campaign -- fundamentally a political war and continues to be to this day, as the continued existence of Moqtada al-Sadr illustrates.”

The conflation continues with the War on Terror and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sure, it was never primarily military but the administration seemed to think that, somehow, guns blazing and the military boot to head we would produce a western friendly democracy. Our American hubris continues with the thinking that, somehow, we can solve the Gordian knot of Iraq and from this it would follow that the big prize, Terror, would be defeated. Unfortunately an American solution is a fallacy.

Wretchard concluded with:

“America will have gained the strategic upper hand only when the majority of its population, including its opinion leaders, can read articles like Greg Jaffe's not with surprise, but with familiar approval.”

In light of the current political situation in the US this is an admission of failure, of defeat. Rufus highlighted how even the ‘right’ have thrown in the towel in the first post on this thread.

9/03/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

“The Magician in "Aladdin" may possibly have neglected the study of men, for the study of alchemical books; but it is certain that in spite of his profession he was no conjuror. He knew nothing of human nature, or the everlasting set of the current of human affairs. If, when he fraudulently sought to obtain possession of the wonderful Lamp, and went up and down, disguised, before the flying-palace, crying New Lamps for Old ones, he had reversed his cry, and made it Old Lamps for New ones, he would have been so far before his time as to have projected himself into the nineteenth century of our Christian Era.”
___Charles Dickens

http://www.engl.duq.edu/
servus/PR_Critic/HW15jun50.html

9/03/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Quig said...

Mentioning confusion, I have just finished reading a piece on "Jihad Ideology in light of Contemporary Fatwahs" by Shmuel Bar for the Hudson Institute. http://www.hudson.org/files/publications/Jihad.pdf

No wonder we are confused. If I were a Muslim I'd be confused as well! Which is not to say that I am not now confused.

The problem of Muslim/"kufar" co-existence is very very complex. I don't believe any of us in the West have, or ever can have a complete grasp of the inherent nuances. I don't believe that the Muslim world has any desire to either understand the West or attempt to resolve its own internal dichotomies.

The problem will not begin to resolve until a critical mass is achieved by some grouping on either of the two sides.

Having said that, Gen. Abizad's efforts, while laudable, will in the end, prove as futile as are any conventional military efforts.

The conflict will be fought on many levels in many locations. There cannot be a single doctrine that will cope with all situations. The conflict, already begun, will require faith and strength. Wretchard has, in his excellent essay, spoken to the issue of faith. I sense in this assay a pessimism which I do not share. I have, if you like, a “faith” that the western value of democratic cooperation (among other values) will allow a flexibility that will prevail over the theocratic inflexibility of Islam.

Our western military are skilled in rapid field movement and flexible in realignment of objectives and function. Which is to say that not only can they move quickly but they can shift from killing to curing very rapidly. While much has been made of the civil activities of Hezb’allah in southern Lebanon, the same activities by coalition forces in Iraq have been largely ignored.

At this point in history, while having the wealth, the Muslim world has not the commercial infrastructure to supply itself. Was Islam to follow some of its own purer precepts and refuse to treat commercially with the kufar their society would collapse.
Following from this it would be apparent that the west MUST reduce its dependence on middle eastern oil. I do not know how. But I am certain that it must be so.

The ability to continue without dependence on middle east oil will substantially reduce Islam’s cash flow. The remaining funds will be rapidly absorbed in the creation of a manufacturing infrastructure. The current situation where we openly finance our enemies efforts to maintain our “lifestyle” is manifestly insane.

In the short to medium term the impediments to such a policy are Russia and China. Both would move in to fill the vacuum.

9/03/2006 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I have stated on this blog previously that I felt SECDEF Rummy was an honorable man. Honorable men can make huge mistakes. Herbert Hoover played a magnificent roll in helping Europe after WW1 but as POTUS, well, not so good.
We went to Iraq at a time when our SECDEF had already announced a bold restructuring of the US Armed Forces. Faster reacting,lighter etc. All of the Pentagon hear "THE WORD".
Then came a war that, as Gen Shensecki said required more men, more support and material. Rummy said,"I'll give them anything they ask for"
Tell me how many Commanding Generals, picked by the SECDEF is gonna ask for more troops after getting "THE WORD". Answer..NONE.
When we did fight we initially didn't. Don't hit the mosque or the '59 Mercedes or the fallafal stand. We never came close to using our capacity. We let thuggish mullahs dictate or pace and performance, both of which hurt us.
Then we went for "the hearts and minds" strategy..didn't workin Nam, why did they think it would work in Iraq.
Then we turned our troops into the equivalent of the ice cream man, handing out candy while ducking snipers.
A job that should have had two to three times the manpower failed and lost it's mission. Good men tied in what I predict will be a cause that will turn tribal as soon as we leave.
POTUS ostensibly hit a period of MEGO (my eyes glaze over) as the daily pressure of a wartime president began to take it's toll.
Have a draft and WIN..no,no..kick that can down the road.
Well, if we bug out,leaving Iran with nukes,Pakistan with nukes, Syria will get them and Israel will have to act.
It went from hey good payback to, SNAFU all the way to FUBAR, then FUBAR squared.
You fight to conquer,unconditionally or get laughed at and flanked.
They're laughing as they flank us right now. Yes ,honorable men can fail, and two of our most vital men have done so.

(This was written with the love that the BC is known for)

9/03/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Ash, I think I expressed that poorly (nothing unusual, there.) It's not, "throwing in the towel." I, actually, think that the whole operation has been a valuable "success." I just think that we've just about done all we can do. Notice I said, "Just about."

I believe we still have to finish the job in a logical, systematic way; I just believe we're getting into the end game. Saddam was a menace; he had to go. It only made sense to try to put a reasonable facsimile of a government in place, one that had a chance of surviving. When the Jihadists showed up, it made sense to kill as many of them as we could while we were training the Iraqi Army and Police.

But, at some point you have to let go. The place will never be Switzerland. It probably won't even rise to the level of Alabama. BUT, we are giving them a chance. There comes a time when you give the car keys to the son, say a little prayer, and go to bed. That, in my opinion, is about where we're at. We'll continue to work with them, and train their people, to the best of our ability for a while, yet, but it's time to start planning the egress.

This is what the people are telling Bush and company, right now. He can start listening real quick, or lose the house, and watch things come unraveled in the last inning.

As for the Future. There ain't none. This was a one-off. Abizaid is eyeing the Horn of Africa. He would like to do Mogadishu II. Like I said, ain't gonna happen. No OIl. No Nukes. No War.

BTW, that successful Missile Defense Test changed things. That will become more apparent as we go forward. Anyway, It was a Good War. We did what we set out to do. We gave the people over there a chance. And, I don't think the folks will go for another one like that for quite a few years.

Been there, Done That. Got the Tee Shirt.

9/03/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Did I mention that you could produce 240 Billion gallons of Biodiesel (enough to replace all of the petroleum products consumed in the U.S.) in Colombia, alone?

You could entirely replace all of our fossil fuel usage with biofuels in ten years, with the expenditure of about two years of the Iraq War. All you've got to do is convince your congresscritters to put Exxon, et al out of business. Whattaya think, any takers?

9/03/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"This is what the people are telling Bush and company, right now. He can start listening real quick, or lose the house, and watch things come unraveled in the last inning."

Rufus,

The House is lost regardless - and the Senate, well, if we keep it, I'll be surprised. If we were pulling up stakes this minute, though, it wouldn't change that.

In a few years, we'll all of us be looking back and saying, "Not the best idea we ever had."

Well, most of us.

9/03/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Wretchard:

If some unknown guy from the sticks wrote a book outlining an integrated domestic strategy designed to defeat the Islamists (and complement what our soldiers are doing abroad), would he ever get published?

If one looks at what the book industry shovels out, it's titles like "My political opponents are a bunch of idiots" -- no constructive suggestions, all blame, blame, blame... Am I supposed to believe there is even a market for books with constructive suggestions on how to win this war?

9/03/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Moneyrunner said...

Trish, I have always maintained that you would look good in a burkah. Saves a lot in cosmetics and pantyhose. And Rufus, better check on the directions to Meccah.

9/03/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Note to self:
Firepower doesn't work when it isn't used.
Leaving places like Tikrit, Hit, and other Saddamite Strongholds largely intact is no way to win a war OR Hearts and Minds.
Trying to figure out how to win wars while minimizing enemy bloodshed is not only Folly, but reckless folly since it is untried and demands foregoing tried and true means to the end.
Both the homefront and the enemy could have been won over had we not repeatedly held our fire for yet another experiment in "political solutions."
---
---
Sistani Falters
This will take some time to digest , but it sure doesn't sound good:
[Jonah Goldberg]

I no longer have power to save Iraq from civil war, warns Shia leaderBy Gethin Chamberlain and Aqeel Hussein in Baghdad
The most influential moderate Shia leader in Iraq has abandoned attempts to restrain his followers, admitting that there is nothing he can do to prevent the country sliding towards civil war.
Aides say Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is angry and disappointed that Shias are ignoring his calls for calm and are switching their allegiance in their thousands to more militant groups which promise protection from Sunni violence and revenge for attacks.
---
“Burning Up SEALs”
Misuing special-warfare assets.

---
Sadr breathing for these last two years has been a Military and Political Disaster.

9/03/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Trish, that house ain't nearly as lost as you seem to think it is. It's time for the media to try and gin up a "horse race," and the Repubs are attempting to scare the bejabbers out of their base.

If you actually look at what the Dems have to do it looks pretty difficult. What you actually have, according to all I can figure, is 24 iffy races where the Dems have to beat the incumbent 20 - 4 while holding onto all of their own iffy seats.

Look, it's been Hot as Hell. Gasoline prices have been astronomical. Baghdad has given the press a nasty explosion every day for a couple of months.

Well, the weather is cooling off. Gas prices are dropping rapidly, and barring a last-minute hurricane in the gulf they will continue to fall. High School football season is upon us. Even Baghdad is looking better.

Now, you've got two of the arguably best political minds on planet earth getting ready to engage; and, they've got a truck-load of cash.

Now, I'm not saying the Dems Can't pull it off, but I wouldn't want to bet the farm on it, either.

9/03/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"It's politico-military character did automatically ensure its success"
---
Is supposed to be:
It's politico-military character did *NOT* automatically ensure its success

Right? or Wrong?

9/03/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Endurance Meets Doubt in Iraq

“As a soldier, I am going to do whatever we got to do,” he said. “As a personal opinion, I don’t think we need to be in this city, period. How much money and how many soldiers is it going to take when these people don’t want our help? They just don’t. We don’t even know who we can trust.”

Hit is a tough assignment. The predominantly Sunni town of some 65,000 sits astride the Euphrates in Anbar Province. Saddam Hussein hid in the nearby palm groves soon after escaping from Baghdad in April 2003, a telling indication that the town contained more than a few supporters of the old order.

9/03/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If we made cannon fodder out of Phd's and generals out of grunts our chances of success would skyrocket.

9/03/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Doug, didn't he tell us he would handle Sadr?

That was a huge, monumental mistake not killing Sadr when we had the excuse.

Just four or five months ago, he threatened to kill one of the politicians if the guy didn't go along with him on something or other. He will probably take over when we leave. Ah, well, better luck with your next hand, Abizaid.

9/03/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

I am not in the least interested in Gen. Abizaid's "strategy" of humanitarianism. Not that I am in principle opposed to humanitarian work. But humanitarian work only can be effective when applied to real human beings capable of appreciating it and emulating it among themselves. Which is something I am not prepared to concede to Islamic savages. And these people are savages for all of the reasons cited in above posts, rather eloquently, I might add. These dysfunctional males want to either dominate or die trying. By all means, the most effective policy in the Islamic world would be to assist them in any way we can in bringing them to meet al illah.

And I agree with NahnCee in her post. Islam out of the West. No exemptions; no exceptions. Quarantine the vermin or be prepared to kill them off. The American people are tired of pouring blood and treasure down the black hole that is their shithole.

9/03/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Somebody once said that war is how Americans learn about other countries, which they certainly don't learn about in school. More true than not.

Afghanistan and Iraq have been initial skirmishes in a longer war, a good faith attempt on our part at a low violence solution to the clash between Islam and the US. In the long run their function will be to have shown that in some regions of the world the low violence approach leads nowhere of any use, to us or to our opponents.

This is actually how America gears up for major wars. It took us centuries to decide to finish with the Indians, and the gestation of the Civil War lasted for decades. WWII, with Pearl Harbor, was an anomaly, although even there the conflict with Japan had been brewing for at least 10 years.

Bush understood this from the outset. The Democrats didn't want to understand any of it. In time it will become apparent that their attitude is at bottom bimodal - they either want to ignore problems overseas or to blast them off the agenda. They will become, as they were at the outset in Vietnam, our more adventurous and thereby aggressive party. One of the things the twentieth century showed very clearly is that there are few people less restrained by scruples than leftists in a hurry, especially when there are lots of ordinary people in the way, not responding the way the leftists think they should.

9/03/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Rufus,
I'm with ya on the BioD replacing all our petrochem needs within a decade. It will also coincide with the aging 'boomers' in Congress being replaced with some more fuel flexible knowledgeable young'ins.
taht will hopefully persuade the Exxons of the world to statr to transitioon now by affiliating research with Rufus 'n Habu's House of BioFuels. we'll serve the latest coffee's, donuts with holes,and fill'er up with more smiles to the mile.
I wonder how much "bag" money out Congressional leadership will need to get on board.
BTW in this years 24 hour race at LeMans, France Audi came in first and second running on deisel fuel...never been done before...so Let's go BI-O, Let's go BI-O...and I'm an old gas bag, uh man from way back

9/03/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

NahnCee & Fred'

Please add me to the list who would bar the entrnace of Islams inot our country. Let then practice freedom of 17th century ideology somewhere else.

9/03/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Habu, oil is about a $3.3 Trillion Dollar/yr Industry. Unless you got considerably more caps in your jeans than I do, we might be out-gunned.

But, if you can afford the doughnuts and coffee, I got the holes covered.

9/03/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Rufus

Does anyone know whose decision it was not to apply the $.05 solution to al Sadr? I know a couple of Army men, a captain and a sergeant, who did tours over there and they were very disappointed that someone did not pull the trigger on that thug. He is owned by the Iranians. Everyone knows it, and I mean EVERYONE. That being the case, we sure did not help our cause by giving that mutt a stay of execution.

9/03/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

I would suggest that General Abizaid consider directing his approach to those parts of Iraq where the payoff is more probable towards the desired outcome. Really nasty people just snatch the goodies and spit in your eye. I don't believe in trying to effect redemption for those folks. I'd rather they were in God's hands very quickly. Best result for all concerned.

9/03/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Doug,

It's not simply, or even primarily, a military failure stemming from hamstringing.

Burning through Seals: Yeah. The SO guys do not do well in Iraq. It's tailor-made for take-down forces like Rangers.

9/03/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/03/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

If we're only going to arm local Iraqi thugs of one persuasion or another, why the hell do we need 150,000 US soldiers as sitting ducks there? Why waste almost a trillion dollars on such idiocy?

An attack on Iran and the magic Kingdom is the only real reason to keep troops there. Time is money. What are we wasting time for?

9/03/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Fred, it sounds like a State Dept. thing to me, doesn't it you?



By the way, I think I just heard something about a Storm in the Atlantic; does anyone know where I can go to find out more about it?

9/03/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

"American Hiroshima":

For these reasons -- the nature of our enemy's threat and his determination to see our destruction -- the only applicable defense is the doctrine of pre-emption. Thursday, the same day Iran rejected the deadline for ending its enrichment of uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported finding traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian nuclear plant.

Uranium of this variety is used only for the production of nuclear weapons. Our only strategic option and our best hope of averting a nuclear attack, though it's certainly no guarantee, is pre-emptive warfare against our enemies.

Enemy's Threat

9/03/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

Rufus

I get my weather from: weather.com

It's a pretty neat site. Maybe I'll go there now before turning in, just to see what actually is happening out in the Atlantic.

9/03/2006 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

When They Say Sallam Aliakum, Return the Compliment and Say Islam Is The Problem.

We are making progress. People are getting it. There is no religion of peace. Islam is the problem. And the next level is that Islam is not a religion. It is no more a religion than Nazism. It deserves no sanction in the West. If we can get to that idea we can smash multi-culturalism and moral equivalency. We can re-establish moral supremacy. We can say we are right and they are wrong. We can say, do the right thing, or get the hell out of our country. It is a process. It takes time. We are making progress.

9/03/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Fred, I found it at This Site.

This page shows the history of all storms in this general location, at this time of year. It appears the odds are really good that it will veer north and miss the Gulf, probably even the whole U.S.

I figure the "Only" way the Dems can win the house this year is another hurricane in the Gulf.

9/03/2006 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I pose two simple questions:

If we leave Iraq and it breaks into a civil war, why is that so bad?

If we tell the Europeans it is there problem if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, we can defend ourselves, why is that so bad?

9/03/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

2164...
I fully agree with your evaluation that Islam is not a religion. I stated a few weeks ago that I would cease calling it a religion but rather refer to it as a philosophy. A repugnant philosphy. The unctuous argot of diplomacy has given our citizen a load of crap about Islam being "peaceful". Of course I am preaching here to other members of the choir.
Let's keep pounding away until a political voice stands with us. B-1 Bob Dornan would but he's no longer in Congress.
Let's hammer those people.

9/03/2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Elk season opened in Montana today. Maybe we should push for a Islam season?

9/03/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Another piercing post by Fjordman at Gates of Vienna.

Islam means submission......

9/03/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I beg everyone to read the Danmeyers link at the Gates of Vienna.

9/03/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Vienna article. Great read. We've become too pussified.

9/03/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Well, we can't send in the crocodile hunter.

9/03/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mollie said...

There is a fractious debate at Riehl's world, responding to David Warren and Mark Steyn and me and The Virginian... and others.. it is about the Fox News guys adopting Islam and thus getting a ticket out of the death chamber. And it is VERY relevant to Wretchard's post here.

The argument is over: were these guys smart to do what they did? were they cowardly to do what they did?

Ultimately, it's all about the role of courage OR smart in this war. We are technologically superior to the enemy. But I do not believe that that will be sufficient.

Sympathy for these guys' dilemma does not change the reality that there was a Test here, and they failed that Test... not only in the eyes of millions of Muslims, who know cowardice and hypocrisy when they see it, but also in the eyes of many in the West who know there is a war on, and who want to win the damned thing.

It comes down to.. what exactly ARE we fighting for? This is not WWII and it isn't the Cold War. This is a reversion to pre Westphalia.

And why NOT adopt Islam, each and every one of us? What difference will it make, really, in our personal lives? Surely nothing will change? We will still have plumbing and running water and dentists and optometrists and central heating, won't we?

What is the big deal? And that is what we are faced with when we applaud those smart Fox Guys walking 'free' and hugging their friends... and saying nice things about Islam so they can (a) go back and report cool stuff and get paid for doing so; and (b) not TOO nice, because their transnational friends might they they have gone down market fundy (although not so down market as to become "Christian.")

Wretchard is right. The real battleground is right here in the West. I am afraid that there will be few to see it until it is right at their doorstep, and then it will be far too late.

9/03/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Danmyers,
Superb...

**ALSO BC'ERS, THERE'S AN EMAIL GOING AROUND THE MILITARY COMMUNITY TO

FLY THE FLAG ON 9-11

NEVER FORGET..PASS IT ON PLEASE.

9/03/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

WAAAAY OT:

Anyone who thought teresita was the real deal, check these two links:

http://home.comcast.net/~rubyredinger/bct5.html

http://fem-net.blogspot.com/

9/03/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Sad, a great guy..

Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin dead.


http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20349888-2,00.html

9/03/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Quig said...

Thanks for the heads up 2124th.
The following post on "taqiyya" is also enlightening.

9/03/2006 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Quig said...

Typo! Apologies 2164th!!!

9/03/2006 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

2164....
Good to see our old friend Teresita has finally gotten her own blog up and running.

She was as good a dyke as they come.
We all make mistakes, my apology to her now makes me sick.
Bobalharb will no doubt have a breakdown.
And how does she know why Wretchard shut down some of the threads..was she that hooked up, or just more of her bovine scat.
I also told the group to check out her lesbian site but I don't think too many did. Good catch ..2164

9/03/2006 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger Quig said...

Yes, habu, some of us did. The girl has a major problem.

9/04/2006 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

Wow, she's got some kind of imagination.

9/04/2006 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

The Plamegate Hall of Shame:

The rogues' gallery of those who acted badly in the CIA "leak" case turns out to be different from what the media led us to expect. Note that we put the word "leak" in quotation marks, because it's clear now there was no leak at all, just idle talk, and certainly no smear campaign against Joseph Wilson for criticizing President Bush's Iraq policy.

Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state under Colin Powell, was the first to reveal that Wilson's wife was a CIA employee.

Colin Powell, Bush's friend and secretary of state in the first Bush term, knew what Armitage had done and never let on.

Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the "leak" case, was aware of the source of Novak's story when he began his still-ongoing investigation in December 2003.

Hall of Shame

9/04/2006 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Sam,
sorry to have not read your update on Steve Irwin. nothing like being a few hours late or whatever .
best
habu

9/04/2006 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Why did you disallow comments on the WMD post, Wretchard?

9/04/2006 01:08:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

No prob, Habu. Buy me a beer and we'll call 'er even..;)

9/04/2006 01:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Catherine,
Can't read site right now, (bedtime( if you could leave address, I'd appreciate.
Think what I would do is sincerely and profoundly convert, then spend the rest of my life on this earth making fun of Islam, Allah, and all associated garbage.
pbuhomo

9/04/2006 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How did Annoy Mouse get to comment on Teresita's when there is no link?
Which is worse:

Submitting to Islam, (temporary taquia-style)
or to a Grenade dropping child that then whimpers about the reactions she gets to said cheese(y) grenades?

At least you have the excuse of saving your own neck in the first instance.

9/04/2006 02:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks a lot 2164th!
Just read
http://fem-net.blogspot.com/
and am sick to my stomach!
...but aware my respect quotient would increase (with some) if I started writing about my super kinky childhood sex-life.
Very Classy!

9/04/2006 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

CNN Has video of Australian Report on Steve Irwin.
Next Video in rotation is a young british girl choosing to live with her fat, bearded, muslim dad instead of her mother.
Further proof of her soundness of mind is that she aspires to live in Pakistan!
Interesting Times Indeed.

9/04/2006 02:43:00 AM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

Trish, a better question is why do so many blatantly disrespect Wretchard's wishes on how *his* blog is to be run?

This is genuinely puzzling to me and betrays a lack of home training from folks one would assume have to know better.

9/04/2006 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pierre Legrande - No one in our government either Democrat or Republican dare name our enemy...President Bush made a small attempt and was immediately rebuffed. Until we name our enemy we will never have a strategy to win.

(1) We have the external enemy of radical Islam, which we cannot name and thus cannot form strategy against despite what Abizahd says.

(2) But we also have the internal enemy of the West - called the Transnational Ruling Elite by some, or more focused, by David Horowitz, as the Shadow Party - that cannot be named. The networked, powerful elements are allowed to remain unsaid and undiscussed...Even though studies show clear network connections by the constituencies out to destroy pillars of Western Civ, aid Islam as an important destroying agent to aid in getting to their goals. The same people move from law schools to Foundations to the ACLU to European elite summits to running NGOs. The typical resume is of an elite liberal Jew or Gentile with a history of activism, communism in their families, with a history of moving around in that world of legal muscle, Foundation & NGO work, European ministries, "grassroots" groups, using tax-free State or philanthropic dollars to pursue political goals. The same people show up in alarming numbers in the UN, International Criminal Court, International Law advocacies - since they do not believe in nations, but in international institutions and global influence.

Abizahd is careful to use the outmoded "Al Qaeda" as the PC term his masters expect. Even his discounting of American solo miliary effort in favor of "local" control neglects all other radical Muslim groups or causes, and fails to mention our neglect of strategic communications, control of the Borders of the West, what to do since the Bushies won't pressure their dear Saudi friends - with the hundreds of billions of petrodollars going into madrassahs to indoctrinate hundreds of millions into intolerant Wahabbism. Abizahd is smart, he knows all those things are 3rd rails off-limits to discuss.

The Transnational elites - or Shadow Party - headed by the likes of George Soros, the Chomskyites, De Villepin, Ivy League law professors, the ACLU, the Sulzberger Family running the NYTimes - have managed an excellent job. An excellent job of paralyzing Western institutions and dividing it's people through smarter use of the organs of power they control than their communist or Western-loathing elite forebearers ever did.

The present struggle on radical Islam shows the power of these people. They are separate from the business elites that dominate the Republican agenda and Euro conservatives - even though the two ruling elites sometimes work together on matters like Open Borders and destroying American based industry. The power of these people is evident in how they have used the legal system and the media to stalemate the struggle with radical Islam and deliberately create further divisions in the people of America and Europe. That is no accident, but is a deliberate design formed when the controllers of Hollywood, NGOs, media, embedded elected politicans serving the Left's Shadow Forces, academia, Foundations, wealthy solo activists all get together in their Swiss or Martha Vineyard summits.

We see things like a 5-year old hole in the ground in NYC and another several years of lawsuits as now "normal". The PC approach to enemy combatants as "normal". And the regular undermining, sabotaging, and sliming of America and it's vital interests by these anti-Western elites as "normal dissent".

We are fighting radical Islam, this anti-West elite within, and people in power too stupid, inept, or too consumed with rewarding their special interest groups to effectively fight radical Islam.

9/04/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Nemesis said...

"We are fighting radical Islam, this anti-West elite within, and people in power too stupid, inept, or too consumed with rewarding their special interest groups to effectively fight radical Islam."

I have to disagree with the latter part of this sentence starting with "too stupid." Gen. Abizaid is following a strategy that has been in place for quite sometime -- I will let slide the part about a " a broader rethinking within the Bush administration of how best to fight terrorism, driven in part by the failures of the past five years" -- as that is just a cheap shot of the kind that journalists seem incapable of avoiding -- and that in fact their is good evidence that this strategy is working.

For those interested, Shrinkwrapped has been kind enough to post my greatly expanded thoughts on what exactly this strategy is over at his blog. I trust I am not violating any protocol by mentioning that here and providing a link, but at 12,000 or so words, my thoughts are rather too long for a comment.

9/04/2006 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

Jamie Irons can you talk to Cedarford? He's talking that "Protocols" stuff again.

9/04/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Hayek said...

A few comments about a few comments:
1.We're not leaving Iraq so long as there is a possibility of jihadis getting control of any of the oilfields.
2. In the last ten years the major oil companies have earned 335 billion and invested 550 billion in exploration and development of OIL. You can bet on all the biofuels you want to but the people in the business of making money and supplying the public with its wants is betting on oil. So am I.

9/04/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, where were you guys when the Course could have been changed, by public pressure?

Other than being a day late and a dollar short, what else is new?

Mr Razor, we never were rolling into Iran, if we had been, we'd have done it. Already.

Funny, now that the light is finally on, so many think that US will be soon be changing Course. Really is humorous to read.

The General and his team will continue to play "whack a muslim" in Iraq. The ISF will soon grow to over 300,000 troops, supplied and trained by US, to be commanded by the Mahdi.

The "Ruling Elite" are known by their "Skull & Bones".

Onward Mohammedan Soldiers!

9/04/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

The bottom line in this struggle is that traditional Islam is not compatible with Western liberties and our understanding of democracy. Period. I believe the next to last post on "The Road" (before Wretchard closed that thread)by "Alexis" stated it quite well the day before yesterday. Even prior to the appearance of Islam on the Arabian peninsula, there exists this zero-sum game called "oriental despotism" that keeps spinning off into seemingly endless permutations. In the case of Islam, you have a quite possibly psychotic and sociopathic man named Muhammed who hears voices and sacralizes the entire bedhouin culture of robbery, rape, repression, and domination. Before this is even a religious thing, it is a cultural one and it is the culture which is not compatible with our way of life. It just isn't. What General Abizaid's mission seems to imply is a stubborn belief in "winning hearts and minds" that hearkens back to another era, and still relies on a crypto-Marxist template of "root causes" (and we know what those are). It is a version of what Hizb'allah has been doing in South Lebanon for years: bribing the population with infrastructure and social benefit blandishments and improvements. It works for Hizb'allah, because they share a common religious outlook and cultural worldview. Both agree that the goal is to implement Shari'a Law into the body politic and governing principles.

There is an enormous divide between the culture of the Arab/Muslim world and our own. I am deeply pessimistic that we can bridge that divide. Prior to OIF I believed that there were enough Westernized, educated Iraqis who could serve as a moderating leaven for our project of transforming that country. Now that many of them are in exile, are killed, or are now in fact fleeing the country (not that there were that many of them to begin with)I think the momentum of where the transformation is going is more in favor of the al Sadr types and Sunni Islamists.

The biggest transformation in my view of the situation occured four years ago when I started reading the Qur'an and a biography of the life of the Prophet (Pigs**t Be Upon Him). Prior to that moment I took Daniel Pipes at his word that there was such a thing as "moderate Islam." Now I know he is wrong and that Robert Spencer is right.

9/04/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

It's politico-military character did automatically ensure its success.

Wretchard, I think you meant to write it did not automatically ensure its success. Otherwise, why all the doubt about our prospects at home?

Excellent essay otherwise, as always.

9/04/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Right on Fred and DR you have been vindicated, four no trump, doubled and re-doubled.

9/04/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Sorry, Doug.

Didn't see you'd already been there.

9/04/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Funny, now that the light is finally on, so many think that US will be soon be changing Course. Really is humorous to read."
---
You think THAT'S funny!
How about:
It is working! "
---
C-4,
Thanks for including the Gentiles, but you forgot to name the most important one:
GWB's right-hand Christian lady that CONTINUES to maintain ties with Muslim groups dedicated to pulling the wool over our eyes while supporting G_d knows what with their contributions to "charities".
...at least last I heard his church-lady friend was still maintaining those ties, but I can't name her EITHER, 'cause I can't remember her name!!!
Susan somebody?
---was with him as Gov and first term, now back again, I think.
---
You will recall some prominent Muslim of ill-repute was invited into the White House AFTER 9-11 as I recall.
"We are the World,
1939 was nothing,
You ain't seen nuthin yet,
Kool Aid Drinkers."

9/04/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

No problem Sirius:
Seriously!

9/04/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"It is working"

Steve Irwin was "in control", he was a professional, you know, he said so.

The General may well secure Baghdad, finally.
But what of Ramadi, Tikrit, Basra, Damascus & Tehran?
Let alone Warizistan and beyond, those existing Islamic nuclear weapons.

9/04/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat
Kaplan was upset that we pulled troops out of Mosul to send to Baghdad.
After all that blood, sweat, and tears were spent their.
Including that of Lt Col Kurilla at the hands of a "releasee."
---
Guess it requires more than a Harvard MBA to perceive
"Whack a Mole."
EVERY Black auto Mechanic in 1950 could have done son.

9/04/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

Mr desert burka writes: Mr Razor, we never were rolling into Iran, if we had been, we'd have done it. Already.


Perhaps were waiting on certain technologies to mature. Technologies that might involve missile defense, that might involve better bunker busters, technologies that might involve active protection systems against ATGM. Perhaps we’re just waiting for another downturn in the business cycle for Bush to war us out of, at a cost of another trillion dollars. Could that idiocy be the calculation of choice?

9/04/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Actually, the "Iraq as bloody mess" strategy on the part of the Baathist and Jihadist didn't surprise me. What surprised me is that the Pentagon seemed surprised. I'll admit to being somewhat surprised at how bloody it was (and is). I thought the Iraqi people would turn on the terrorists -- even their own terrorists (i.e. Sunni turning on Sunni terrorists) after a couple of years. But perhaps they have.

The media helped push the "bar of victory" quite high (Iraq should have the social policy of Sweden, the Banks of Switzerland, the Army of Canada, and the oilmen of Texas -- scratch the last one.) Having to clear a "high bar" would make it easier for the left to declare defeat which they want to do because they are defeat snobs.

I don't see Iraq breaking up. There are too many sharks in that area to want to cut yourself down into bite sized chunks. It makes sense to stay in a pod. Do the Shia Arabs really want to Join Tehran in "A Holy "(and wholly Persian) Empire?

People say it will never be Switzerland in Iraq but what was Switzerland like 1353?

What kind of success was WWII? Three years after entering Berlin we had the Berlin airlift. Many argued that Stalin had right--as well as might--on his side. After all, the Russians had conquered Berlin in fierce battle. By 1950 we were fighting our former Communist allies in a knock down, drag out war in Korea while relying on the cooperation of our former Japanese foe.

I think history shows us that we will think of something -- though we will likely be in deep doo-doo by that time, which seems to concentrate the American mind.

9/04/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"could have done son."
---
could have done *SO*.
---
Son must be on my mind.
How's Junior doing?
Any chance of a reserve Call-Up?
Mindless lefties went to Canada,
Akamai Gringos head South.

(Akamai: Hawaiian lingo for got their street-smarts TOGETHER.)
---
TOGETHER: 60'S term bogarted from blacks meaning...
oh well, this could go on forever.
English used to suffice.

9/04/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Idiocy?
That is how you describe the present Policies?
I have thought them to be wrong, by degrees. You claim them idiotic.

Such is the weakness of supporting US Policy. People claim you are an idiot.

War awaits a newer bomb design?
Whatever pinpoint bunker buster is used to destroy the Iranian capacity, you still have a Global Asymentrical War begun. From London to Louisville. Paris to Palm Springs.
Crude at over $300 bbl. With the pipelines and pumping stations in Turkey, Ecuador, Kuwait, Ukraine, Mexico and Panama destroyed.

Yep, just waiting for an economic downturn and a new bomb before the US takes action.

Or wait for the October Summit and the new tomorrow. Iran will be selling power plants to Venezuela and Cuba. Malayasia could be on the list as well.
Soviet technology exported by Iran.
Uranium export was always in the Shah's plan, for the 24 US supplied reactors that were planned for Iran, in the '80's.

The change of US policy 'tween now and then exemplifies the true dangers of the Pakistani weapons.

9/04/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

NahnCee & Fred, Habu and Doug.

9/04/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And Open Season on Dykes that laud the recruitment/molestation of 14yr old girls.

9/04/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

What "Global Asymentrical Warfare" can the Jihadis wage? It is WE, desert burka, that have those 10,000 western thermonuclear warheads at our disposal to wage "Global Asymentrical Warfare".

9/04/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

"General Eric Shinseki turned out to have been right that 'something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers' would be needed to stabilize post-Saddam Iraq."

A country the size of Iraq, policed by several hundred thousand US Soldier's is not stable, it merely oppressed.

A stable country does not concern itself with the possibility of violent overthrow from within.

9/04/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

First those thousands of weapons would have to be seen as usable, to be a real preemptive threat.
The "West" will not nuke Paris while it burns. London will not be targeted.
The Chinese will affirm that MAD remains the cork in the nuclear bottle. To think we would escalate to nuclear, preemptively is to misread US.

For some reason, Mr Razor you think that the US will make a Course correction that is extreme in nature.
I live here, just drove coast to coast. There is no desire for a wider War, the window has closed on another preemptive War.

Maybe the next guy or gal in the White House will give it a go, though.

9/04/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger woof22 said...

Put Rufus down as willing to convert to Islam at gunpoint.

9/04/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger woof22 said...

Turning our fighting military into a heavily-armed Peace Corps seems counterproductive to me. And I have to wonder if young people will still sign up to be warriors when it becomes apparent that the reality of their tenure will be developing an expertise in sewage and digging toilets.

-- Did you read the same posting as I did? The important question is can we get the other parts of our culture to support the effort that the military is supporting.

You must not read military posts like Black5 and Mudville Gazette. The GIs in Iraq enjoy being ambassadors of Freedom. They intuitively know what Gen Abuzaid is saying. Read Kagan's Imperial Grunts.

9/04/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Although Teresita may personify vaguely Wretchard's theme of "Old lamps for new" in Dickens’s sense, must we continue to shower undeserved affection on her.

The more it's stirred, the more it stinks.

And, most importantly, why do we care?

9/04/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

Desert burka, you seem to be deliberately misunderstanding what I wrote. It is very simple. If Paris or London or Detroit are to burn, then the whole Islamic Middle East is to be glowing radioactive glass. That simple. China and Russia will not intervene because China and Russia and even Fwance share the exact same sentiments we do as it regards Jihadis.

9/04/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

woof22; 08:54:22 AM

Wretchard wrote: "An officer lamented that a significant share of Iraqis were telling opinion surveys it was honorable to attack U.S. forces."

Woof22 wrote: "The GIs in Iraq enjoy being ambassadors of Freedom. They intuitively know what Gen Abuzaid is saying."

Obviously, not.

9/04/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

Again, ad nauseam, one MUST take into account culture, viz, the symbol systems, stories, language, values, and overall worldview of the Arab and Muslim world. Trying to compare progress in Iraq with post-war Europe is not helpful, and a bit snarky I might add. I have not caved in to the unrealistic expectations of the Left. Those who know me on this board know that I am a FORMER Leftist who regards the variants of Marxism with contempt, including the crypto-Marxism lite we see in evidence among our media and chattering classes of Ivy extraction.

I never set the bar too high. In fact, I did hope that Iraqi society would have at least been able to separate religion from politics, without denigrating Islam. However, as we have seen this has not emerged. There is no religious freedom. Women can vote, but the usual Islamic strictures still apply to them. Both Sunni and Shi'a want their law and their society to be informed by Shari'a. Logically, we all know where that is going.

Yes, I agree that, to some extent, the Left had a raised bar of expectations. However, that is a kind interpretation of their motivation in the political debate about how we confront Islamic jihad. The truth is still closer to either a mind-numbing multi-culti psychobabble, or the alliance of the Hammer and Sickle and the Scimitar and Half Moon. Add to the mix the irritating impression that Baathist Iraq was a secular society (complete nonsense, but a convenient fiction).

I did hope that something like Turkey prior to the emergence of the traditionalist Islam political movement would have done fine, thank you. But that is evidently not the case in Iraq at this time.

Two things are at work here. The Sunni Islamists and Baathist remnants know that the American people's impressions of what is happening in that country are shaped by a mainstream media that is hostile towards the entire project. Ditto for the Iranian factions that are also in the mix in a big way. All of those parties want the American forces out of the country so that they can vie for power. The way to get the American forces out of Iraq is to convey the impression of unrelenting and intractable chaos. Since the 1960's totalitarian swine know that the Achilles Heel of American military resolve and dominance is the political weakness at home. Play to that, wait, and survive. That is the strategy of our enemies. It has works, it works, and is now working again. If you erode the perceptions and patience of the American people, the political will to prevail will be degraded. The pressure will be on to get out, and when American forces get out the field goes to the the strongest dog standing.

The entire strategy is so transparent, but it works very well just the same.

9/04/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Woof, I think you misread me. I think you, also, might be misreading the attitude of the average grunt in Iraq, but we'll save that for another day.

Anyway, All of our best weapons are "Stand-Off" Weapons. We are "Technology" to the Nth Degree.

For example, I wanted our soldiers in Korea off of the DMZ, so our PAC -3's will have time to respond to any rocket attacks, and allow us the freedom to Nuke the Hell out of the N Korean artillery/Missile installations along the DMZ.

We train our pilots in air to air combat, but the F-22 is scoring 108 - 0 in exercises against simulated Russian aircraft (fighting 8 at a time,) because of stand-off weapons systems; we quite simply kill them before they can see us.

Now, we have missile defense coming on line, bigtime. We had four very successful tests of the layered defense in the last two months. They'll do the first real world test of the Airborne Laser in a month, or so.

Nuclear weapons leave a "signature" in the surrounding atmosphere. It's just a matter of a few years before we will be able to track every nuclear weapon on earth from space (if we can't, already.)

No, I'm not ready for dhimmitude, Woofer; I just want to kill the mother******s in the most efficient way possible.

9/04/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

Besides, it doesn't make a hill of beans what I want. It's the American people that will ultimately decide how this is done; and, it looks like they're starting to decide that fighting a major war to put Al Sadr in power, rather than Maliki, or vice-versa, just isn't worth it.

9/04/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Nothing is ever "that simple".

I am sure happy that the actions of the Chinese and Russians are so predetermined. That their perceptions and priorities in the World are the same as US.

The US will not attack, with conventional or nuclear weapons, Tehran if Paris burns after a "precision" strike at Iranian infrastructure.

Perhaps Mr Blair, or his replacement will, in response to riots and terror attacks in England, nuke Damascus but the US will not.

If the "Orbador Revolution" destroys Mexican infrastructure, the US will not nuke Damascus or Tehran, rest assured of that.

Or I am wrong, that after the Iranian counter punch they do glow. But the System has still suffered the high level of damage that will be required to trigger such a drastic change of course.

When a few degrees of change, early on, could have avoided the reef altogther.

9/04/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

I tried on the recent closed thread:

"Australia is abusing its "moderate" Muslims, so they say. And, by golly, those "moderates" are angry. Yes, that is hard to believe, I know."

"Muslim anger erupts at Costello call to renounce terrorism"

http://www.theage.com.au/
news/national/muslim-anger-
erupts-at-costello-call-to-renounce-terrorism/2006/09/03/
1157222007392.html



This morning Riehl World View is trying with a link to USS Neverdock, writing:

"Frankly, this is intolerable."

MUSLIM leaders have lashed out at Peter Costello, after the federal Treasurer called on them to condemn terrorism "unequivocally", and speak out plainly and clearly against radicals in their community.
http://www.riehlworldview.com/
carnivorous_conservative/


USS Neverdocks reports:

“Australia - Muslim anger erupts at calls to renounce terrorism”
http://ussneverdock.blogspot.
com/2006/09/australia-muslim-
anger-erupts-at-calls.html

General Abizaid’s “Old lamps” are sputtering again (still, yet, etc.).

9/04/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"it looks like they're starting to decide that fighting a major war to put Al Sadr in power, rather than Maliki, or vice-versa, just isn't worth it."
--
--
Amen!
Amen!
Praise the Lord!
Amen!

9/04/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

...followed Rufus' link to Gateway's distant faraway voice carrying a little spot of good news from Iraq, and bumped into this really enjoyable bit on the 1864 elections.

Hayek upthread says that the danger of OPEC falling into the extremism orbit, will keep us in Iraq no matter what for a long time yet. I'm not so sure of Hayek's prediction (an 08 President Gore?), but I am sure where the line of attack will open in full fury as soon as we don't have a strong rook on that corner of the board.

9/04/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

Mr desert burka writes: Or I am wrong, that after the Iranian counter punch they do glow. But the System has still suffered the high level of damage that will be required to trigger such a drastic change of course.


There will be no Jihadi counter punch. Because a Jihadi counter punch will mean certain death to their 1,400 year old Koranimal breeding project. That much is already made clear.

Now, why in hell is that Lebanese General still in charge of operations there?

9/04/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Old lamps for new"
---
Oil Lamps for Eu.

9/04/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No oil for EU

nah, oil wins.

Steve Centani would rather switch than die, thinking that it doesn't really count, conversion at gunpoint.

So it goes with civilian society's pointman in the Mohammedan Wars.

9/04/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

There appears to be nothing immediate, or on the publics visible horizon that will alter Irans acquisition of a nuclear weapon. Most likely aided by Russian scientists and mounted atop an ICBM aimed at Israel
Couple that with statements more agressive than any country in memory regarding annihilating Israel and you have the mix for a nuclear exchange.
Israel, cannot afford to wait for a more introspective and philosophical Islam to suddenly appear. Nor can any country count on the feckless West, including the USA to "stay any course". We are fat,indulgent,and to solipsistic to "stay the course"
We cannot, or will not, disengage from the fully corrupt UN. We subsidize their behavior.
The result will be a nuclear exchange in the ME. Just call it a pre-cackle.

9/04/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

...a "pre-munition"?

9/04/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pre CaCa

9/04/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

pre-caca-ignition

9/04/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Razor hits the nail on the head.
To believe him the "Mad Mullahs" are not mad at all, but rational actors.
If that is the case, then containment and "MAD" will carry the day.
No precision strikes to keep the Mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons needed.
If the Mullahs and Mohammedans are not rational, then count on the waiting, preplanned reactions to be implemented after Iran is overtly attacked.

The habu scenario is most likely. Israel is many things, but it is still "over there".

In retaliation we could burn the whole Islamic world, if desired.
I'd bet on US retaliation being limited to the country (Iran) that supplied the bomb, not the whole of Islam. The Israeli, who knows who'd they strike out at, how limited a target list would they use?

9/04/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

"The Republican Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln thought no price was too great for the abolition of slavery and the creation of a society in which a man was not judged by the color of his skin. The Republican Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln thought no price was too great for the abolition of slavery and the creation of a society in which a man was not judged by the color of his skin."

As they say in show business, you buy the premise you buy the bit.

The above paragraph is a patent lie regarding Lincoln's position on the Civil War and slavery.
Lincolen clearly stated that if he could hold the Union together buy not freeing ANY slaves he would do it. That if he could hold the Union together by freeing only some slaves he would do it. That if he could hold the Union together by freeing all the slaves he would do it ...that is very close to an exact quote.
Even the vaunted Emancipation Proclaimation freed only those slaves in territories "currently in rebellion" Ther more than a few border states not in rebellion where slavery flourished but those slaves were not covered under the proclamation. Courious thing, free them where you have no control but don't free them where you do.
Further, the Emancipation Proclaimation divided the North like no other issue in the war. They were not for it and it caused many riots.
The author of that paragraph does not know history.
For reference see the Emancipation Proclaimation or watch the series the "Civil War" produced by Ken Burn's in which many true Civil War historians are quoted.
Post history cackle.

9/04/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kathy Courious,
Veery Kute.

9/04/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

I hope everyone has had a chance to read ***** 2164's ****
post of last night on this thread
11:19:55

It contains the clarifty of a personality rarely displayed outside of sanitariums.
Highly recommended.

9/04/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Extra Teresitaial Precaca Ignition.

9/04/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Holy Shiite Batman, we have precacaignition!

9/04/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Abe Lincoln thouht the hen was the wisest animal because she only cackle after the egg was laid.

9/04/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Abe also knew I couldn't type...but I really do OK with one eye, and three fingers on the hand of my hunt'n pecker.

If ya see a mistyped word jus feel free to pick out any of the other 16 letters in the alphumbedt

9/04/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Much smarter than the rooster, who thinks his cock-a-doodle-doo makes the sun come up.

9/04/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

This (Nic Robertson,) is funny.

9/04/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

c4 states:

The typical resume is of an elite liberal Jew or Gentile


so why say jew or gentile, since this statement actually says:

The typical resume is of an elite liberal .

just to get that JEW jab into it?

9/04/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

X Postcaca

9/04/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Rufus:
That (nic robertson) was very funny!

9/04/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wi"O", he was pointing out the dearth of Hindus in the Shadow Party.

9/04/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

Mr desert burka, you seem to confuse irrationality with stupidity. And I can see why. Jihadis are NOT rational creatures. They are emotional predatory creatures, but they are not stupid.

On the other hand, only someone as stupid as dead wood would rationally postulate that “No precision strikes to keep the Mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons is needed” because “containment and MAD will carry the day”.

Mr desert burka, thank you for making this distinction, between irrationality and stupidity, so clear to the rest of us here.

9/04/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

rufus,

if we are at war which i do believe we are, they using bio-fuels should be used at once.

we should do all non-lethal things 1st to starve the enemy of all comfort and wealth.

I STILL buy soy oil at the grocery to put into my diesel benz, no processing, just dump it in (1 -2 gallons of diesel per 18 gallons of veggie to keep it thin)

i am a zealot, i do not trust the islamic/persian/arab/euro worlds... I would rather economically attempt to win before we stoop to thier level of mass murder. We can in the end bomb the buggers. If we are willing to spend trillions on iraq, we should be willing to tax opec oil at a minimum of 60 dollars per barrel, so that WHEN the price falls again, opec will not be able to bankrupt the alternative fuel companies that have started up. Minimum barrel of opec oil needs to be 60 bucks. Sounds like it is meaningless but it will not be when the price falls.

besides veggie oil how about a list of actions the USA can do now to hurt opec/islamists/persia?

9/04/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

Rufus...Nic R. too, too funny.

He was actually defying Islam by wearing a monk's cowl hood which had been laundered badly.

9/04/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The dearth of Palapas in the Salafist Party.

9/04/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_3 said...

what is occupation...i agree, hurt them economically, but stoop man,stoop..just make sure you've got a Islamic wooley buggar in the reticle before squeezing off a round or six.

9/04/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

X Postcaca
9/04/2006 11:16:08 AM

doug, go to your room.

9/04/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Looks like General Abizaid has some hearts and minds to win among EU governments. Or, maybe he has.

Europe nixes landing rights for El Al planes with IDF cargo
http://www.yonitheblogger.com/

9/04/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger rufus said...

"Occupation," how much are you paying for that soy oil? How much is Diesel where you live?

9/04/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

2164th,
That IS my room!
---
Teresita's linking me up w/a really cool Dude.
No Shiite.

9/04/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

This must be part of the Administration’s hearts and minds project. Well, why not, the US is funding Hamas, and look how well that is working out.

U.S. aid to Hezbollah?
http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20060901-090800-6031r.htm

Thanks to http://atlasshrugs2000.
typepad.com/

US FUNDING HEZB'ALLAH

9/04/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Farts and Grinds.

9/04/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Is there a Psychiatrist in the house?
Dr. Irons!
Dr. Irons!
Paging Dr. Irons!

9/04/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Do Bloggers write pieces 3 times as long as traditional columnists just to make sure Bloggers remain a niche item?

9/04/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Wretchard's post concludes with:
"To be successful the "General's 'New Plan' to battle radical Islam" must be consciously pursued by all the organs of national strength. However, it will not. Not until America reaches a broad consensus on the need to wage a struggle of culture, politics and arms against Islamic fascism."

"All the organs of national strength" must surely include the Central Intelligence Agency as well as the Department of State, both of which have demonstrated themselves to be at odds with the "struggle." Until the intransigence of these two agencies can be overcome, efforts toward defeating the terrorists will be thwarted by the old pre-9/11, post-modern, liberal mindsets which also afflict about half of the US population and virtually all of the Euros.

9/04/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I propose a Dept of Common Sense.
...but that would require evacuating DC and randomly picking citizens off the street to re-occupy the Shiitehole.

9/04/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Allen,
Da stick'in polecats in Throwup sur ar mak'in it hard to 'void a nuclr wowa. Englyn and Germsmany are sum carbuncle on mans ass now.
I be figg'rin dat ole W still do'in his daily ride-a-bkie wit Condi, I'z beg'in ta thiks maybe he thik her a Sally Hemmmings.
Iz i crazy juz think'in we be real real close to some bad shit?

9/04/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

BTW, It's not ALL Bad News.

9/04/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

whit,

I continue to be of the opinion that full involvement in this war is at least another mass casualty event away... I wonder, though, if that would be sufficient to get State, the CIA, and the mainsteam media on board?

9/04/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

rufus said...
"Occupation," how much are you paying for that soy oil? How much is Diesel where you live?

I pay about 5.50 a gallon, diesel is 3.09

9/04/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Occupation made a comment that "if we are at war then we should be using bio-diesel..."

Agreed. We all know that we are addicted to oil and it affects our long term strategy in the "GWOT." One would think that the number one priority would be development and implementation of alternative fuels. That does not appear to be the case therefore a logical conclusion is that we aren't serious about the "GWOT."

BTW - The American Petroleum Institute says that bio-deisel constiutes about .2% of all the on-road diesel used in the US and prospects for a significant increase are neglible. The general consensus is that the oil market can "price out" competitive fuels and will do so as they appear to be viable and competitive.

9/04/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

i hate wowa. eleanor hates wowa.

9/04/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Triton:
I have made the same observation and the response I get from the left is "You would love that wouldn't you?"

They're demented with BDS among other things.

9/04/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

BTW - The American Petroleum Institute says that bio-deisel constiutes about .2% of all the on-road diesel used in the US and prospects for a significant increase are neglible. The general consensus is that the oil market can "price out" competitive fuels and will do so as they appear to be viable and competitive.

absolutely correct..

but we dont base national security on price..

if we can spend a trillion on iraq, we can help the usa market used veggie oil/soy/wrape seed oil -diesel blends

how much do we actually spend helping the oil companies transport safely oil from the persian gulf?

what is the true cost per gallon if you factor in the middle east arab extortion of protection?

this aint a cost issue, it is an emergency supply issue...

when the next refinery is shut down... when the next electric grip goes down... schools, counties, trucking companies and more can used soy to stretch thier diesel fuel supply...

9/04/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bring on the Dogs of wowa,
Possumtater be damned!

9/04/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Buddy my spell check says

"woah" not "wowa"

but I may be using the southern dialetic version while yours may be the "Texican" version.

Is Microsoft trying to preserve our rich cultural heritage?

9/04/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

P-Tater sez:

"Iz i crazy juz think'in we be real real close to some bad shit? "

I have a difficult time envisioning this war as simply grinding to a halt - the goals of the jihadis have not changed - please may I be wrong, but I am more or less just keeping the kids close and watching for the next shoe to drop.

In short, I don't think you're crazy.

9/04/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Whit, ethanol has gone from 1.9% of gasoline to 4.0% in one year. We'll be at 5.0% by this time next year.

Ethanol is hugely profitable to produce and sell (without Gov't Subsidies) Now. We'll be doing 10% ethanol within three or four years. We could be moving a lot faster than that.

BioDiesel is a different thing. Soybeans, Canola, and other American-Grown Crops are not very efficient emitters of BioDiesel. BD made from these products is just barely profitable (With Gov't Subsidies) even at these prices.

9/04/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Guy on Maui (son's scoutmaster) has been making Biodiesel from Restaurant Waste for over a decade.

9/04/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

However, Palm Oil is about ten times as economically efficient as soybeans. Indonesia is getting ready to invest $20 Billion into Palm Oil production. Problem is, you have to start out by planting a palm tree. It'll take a while.

Exxon, et al. has resisted ethanol, mightily. Most of their opposition has been quietly, through third parties (Pimental, Patzek, etc.) working on the state level. BUT, the economics are starting to work.

9/04/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Lahaina-Kaanapali Express runs on recycled oil.

9/04/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Rufus:
We should be moving faster, but we aren't.

We have all the "land in the world" to grow ethanol crops. The amount of unused farm land in Florida alone is staggering. 400 miles of old disused farm land between Jacksonville and Pensacola no longer planted in anything other than pine, pasture or fallow.

We could pay farmers to "produce" and do away with the subsidies too.

But, as I reported here before, a new ethanol plant is being devoloped near Tampa, so maybe there is hope.

It seems to me that a sane National Security Policy would recognise that energy independance is vital to our security and soverignity. Let the others fight over and bankrupt each other over the oil. Lets' do something with our wealth while we still have it.

9/04/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

whit said:

"I have made the same observation and the response I get from the left is "You would love that wouldn't you?"

They're demented with BDS among other things."

Having watched jumpers zooming earthward on 9/11, the last thing I want to see is ANYTHING like that again. I remember reading about an unidentified man and woman who held hands and jumped together. I'd have to be ready for a comment like "You would love that wouldn't you?" or I might slap the speaker before I could catch myself.

The reason we agitate for action against the jihadis is precisely to AVOID something like that. I was a long distance spectator on 9/11, and it was horrific. How anyone, even eaten up with BDS, could assume we wish for more of that... talk about being beyond help.

9/04/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

"Occupation," have you looked into a cheaper oil; it's all the same in your engine, you know.

9/04/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

On dialect: the Patton show on Fox last night showed GP speaking, referring to "Thoid Ahmy" several times. Wonder where he picked up da Joisey?

9/04/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Maybe you were hearing more of a southern dialect combined with Massachusetts. see Wikipedia for details.

9/04/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

rufus said...
"Occupation," have you looked into a cheaper oil; it's all the same in your engine, you know.

i know, but i am lazy...

when i replace my water heater i think i will move that to my business use to create b100 and run waste chinese cooking oil, but until then it's a small amount i spend (since i dont actually drive all that much about 5 miles a day)

I find the attention i can get showing people that we can use veggie oil directly into a benz diesel tank is more important (not attention to me, but to the veggie oil) (benz diesels have preheaters, so you can run veggie straight 11 months a year in ohio)(caveat emptor, i still think a tiny amount of diesel keeps things clean)

i dont know the stats, but i did read about ground covers that reduce spraying for insects that also produce oil. Palm oil is wonderful can we grow it in the usa? I dont want to exchange the saudias for the indonesians

point is, we all need to act like this is war, 1000 points of light as old man bush would say, no one solution, but 1000..

in business i tell my employees, i dont want one thing to double my business, i want each of them to find one thing a day to improve our performance 1%.

9/04/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Think of the doubling time of 1% compounded daily 365 times/yr!
(gotta keep focused on wkends)

9/04/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Doug said...
Think of the doubling time of 1% compounded daily 365 times/yr!
(gotta keep focused on wkends)

yep... my point

9/04/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Occupation, Oil Palms grow best between 20 Degrees N, and 20 Degrees S. That, plus the fact that we're in the process of doing a Free Trade Agreement with them is why I keep referencing Colombia (that plus it's size is just about perfect for my illustration.)

BTW, Coconut oil is almost as good as Palm oil, and Poppies are twice as good as Soybeans. Did I mention that? I pulled up a chart totally by accident that listed all of the oils, and how they compared, vis a vis, Biodiesel; but I've slept since then. I have no idea in the world how to find it again.

9/04/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great, Rufus:
A plan to save the World, and you sleep on it!
If you install Google Desktop Search, (free download) you can find it in 10 seconds.
Afghanis can fuel the world,
automotively and medicinally.

9/04/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

And my little dog Falla hates wowa.

9/04/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

You know, the mistake everyone makes is "Static, Straight-Line Analysis." Agriculture is a good case in point. Yields go up every year, largely due to better seeds. Bio-engineering.

Afghanistan had a big drought. The only thing that would grow was poppies. That drought resistant gene will eventually, probably end up in Corn, or wheat, or who knows what? Can you say, Texas? Mexico?

By the way, acre for acre, Algae makes palm oil, and everything else, look pitiful.

9/04/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I am sick of the new American " No Can Do Attitude". If Brazil can eliminate or radically reduce the use of oil, the US can as well. There is no reason why the US cannot move to be a net energy exporter. If it takes taxes, use them. Subsidies use them. Coercion, coerce. Send lawyers to rendering plants. You want to send a message to The Islamic world with a cheerful cc to Russia, Venezuela, Iran and China, move heaven and hell to eliminate petroleum imports. That would do more to enhance US power and prestige with a lot fewer casualties.

9/04/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard said:

An officer lamented that a significant share of Iraqis were telling opinion surveys it was honorable to attack U.S. forces. "You act like you're insulted or something," Gen. Abizaid said to the briefing officer. As the officer looked on, surprised, the general told him why he shouldn't be: Iraqis also thought it honorable to attack the British when they occupied Iraq, and they felt the same way earlier about the Turks.

That would be fine, all's fair in love and war and our forces in-theater know what to do to protect themselves. My problem is that the Iraqis think it is honorable to attack women, children and unarmed men, as long as the targets are in a dense enough group that its worth expending the life of a "martyr" in a suicide car bomb. They think a legitimate target for a grassroots "insurgency" is the infrastructure that the ordinary people need to live. So I don't want to hear any crap from about the Iraqi sense of honor and their need to save face. The martyrs of the early Christian Church didn't try to take out 30 or 40 Roman citizens when they died, they accepted death rather than renounce their faith. The Jihadist "militants" justify their wet work by saying their Muslim victims are really martyrs in a higher cause, and Allah will understand, but bullcrap, they are never given the opportunity to choose between Islamic principles and life, they are just murdered.

9/04/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

2164..
YA knws my bozman beensay'in "da can'ts nevr could"..well i rekon here inda USA we got so manytoys and all dat gitt'in folks to flock in da same directshun ain't possble.
you folks here on BC gotz IQ's sky hi but da avridge IQ of da street ain't but 98...98 !!
http://perdurabo10.tripod.com/id1048.html

dat mean we's able ta lurwn stuff like leaf blow'in but lung divisun hurts r's brain.
da up sid be dat old men can get young men to go git killed while da fuss over da foud fo oil and such.
can't git blud from no turnip..sorry

9/04/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tater:
This Oil Lamp's for Ewe.

9/04/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger IceCold said...

Wretchard, why go so easy on the media's cluelessness? For them to notice that most of our effort is not military is a crystal clear demonstration of their failure to inform their readers. It's been obvious from the get-go.

Unfortunately, I think Abizaid and many others have outsmarted themselves. As one commenter here noted, force cannot fail if it is not used - and in Iraq it has barely been used.

This bizarre obsession with Shinseki and his numbers - which of course leaves out his overall lack of credibility, and specifically his utter lack of credibility when it came to presenting positions that could be assumed to be other than service special-pleading - misses the point, besides being illiterate.

You could have 5 times the number of troops here, but if you didn't do much with them, the result would be the same. Five times as many troops doing force protection, half-hearted operations with no serious or lasting bite, or playing footsie with absurdly inferior foes (a la Ramadi today) would not change much.

It was excusable to proceed with reconstruction, etc. in 2003 because there was very little trouble. The instant any serious trouble arose, decisive force should have been applied (where that was feasible, a meaningful subset of the total situations), and not a dime of assistance provided in areas that caused trouble (all such resources should have been ostentatiously shifted to other areas, maximizing the shift to non-Sunni areas to leave no doubt about the punitive nature of the change). When the Sunnis on the IGC threatened to resign over the first Fallujah operation, it was time to tell them good riddance, and let their entire community know they were making a fateful choice that would cost their entire communities.

Khalilzad has the ability to enter the bazaar to make deals, but in this case he (we) entered the rug shop in a horribly weak position. "Sunni outreach" is a logical and actually obvious thing to do - it just occurred about 2 years too early, and absent ALL of the preparation required to make it useful.

From rightly recognizing some of the adaptations needed for wars other-than-conventional, it seems the US military has careened into a daze in which the centrality of force and domination - especially here - are completely forgotten.

Many people I know recoiled in amazement going back three years, when the first stories of pre-mature or non-violent pacification efforts emerged. It'd be a neat trick to skip the "war" part of war and reconstruction - but it's not possible in Iraq. But we've tried anyway - with unsurprising results.

Gen. Pace said it more or less explicitly a while back on a visit up in Mosul. He - incorrectly - asserted that it would be undesirable to apply more coalition force so as to reduce the challenge/enemy faced by the fledgling Iraqi regime. Seems to me like a massive, and disastrous, bad judgment call. Why do the US brass cling to this obsession with forcing the Iraqis to grow faster through a baptism of fire, when for both military and domestic political reasons this approach endangers the entire enterprise? Iraqi dependency/lack of self-respect/manipulation are the huge open secrets no one ever talks about, and it's right to combat these things by putting Iraqis on the spot where possible. But the whole game has been on the line, and we've been acting like we're trying to squeeze a little bit of the cost out of the final phases of a successful operation. It's nuts.

Good bet that real histories of decision-making about Iraq (not the crap from journalists that is currently being barfed up) will show that it was not civilians clinging to obviously failed policies, but those in uniform. Of course the civilians bear the responsibility, as they're ultimately in charge.

In fact, the number of folks here who share an inability to even imagine what the military and senior civilian leaders could be talking about in their numerous video-conferences seems to be growing. The first question to be answered by historians will be how Washington could have sat still for the situation starting around Fall 2003.

A multi-faceted strategy is correct (but so obvious, and even historically familiar, that it hardly merits kudos or wonder), and it will take time and be frustrating. But practically leaving out the military component (that is, not compelling submission or destroying the capacity to resist of key enemy centers of gravity) is obviously going to doom the whole package. A "politico-military" strategy without a military component is a disastrous farce whose appeal is hard to fathom.

9/04/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That be 98 SE Mr. Possum.
Not a bad way to Operate a System,
if you get my drift.

9/04/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

possumtater; 12:24:27 PM

re: we be real real close to some bad shit?

Only in timing. I think we are up to our wastes in quicksand. Over on the bank, the genteel folks are dining on pork served on plate, quietly discussing the meaning of Islam, ignoring our cries for help.

9/04/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think multiple facets are Conspicuous Consumption.
I'm gonna tell Vance Packard.

9/04/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"meaning of Islam,"
Thank God for small favors:
I thought they were still stuck on the meaning of war.

9/04/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

icecold seems to have the tiger by the tail.

9/04/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

As a non-native Hawaiian, (but Kaamaaina) I say acre for acre Palm Trees make algae look flat.

9/04/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

biomass = bioengineering

9/04/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think Kaamaaina has one more "a"
...or is it one less?

9/04/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

rufus,

Sorry, I hadn't seen your post before I posted bioengineering. Great minds, you think. Is America a great country, or what?

9/04/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Doug,

Can't help ya there - when I went to Hawaii, close to ten years ago, it was with the new Mrs Triton.

All I was interested in spelling was Kaamaanaawannalaayaa Island.

Naturally, we stayed at the Isit Inn.

9/04/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Triton,
Being that it was your honeymoon,
I would guess "yes!"

9/04/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Doug,

It was more like "YES! YES! YES! YES! YEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!"

9/04/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

doug; 02:30:27 PM

re: meaning of war

Hey, don't rush them. You know, a costly education isn't what it used to be.

9/04/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

:-)

9/04/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

my boz habu gits me an email fruma cousin in Iraq..Puzzum "Akbar" Tater...he say..
da trash aside da "geen zone" iz da bestest. dat snatch'n candy fum da kids dat gits it frum da "fighters" is ezzy..jutz bar dem teeth.
he say da roadside IUD's slow'n down sum
sez Iraq's tell lies like all A-rabs..da play'in USA for da fool
He evn ovrhurd a Centrel Insouciant Agent dat we's on cruise control til da states get 'nuther can o'whup ass.

dat what he say.

9/04/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Icecold:

Could this be part of the problem with our approach in Iraq?

Now for the first time, a key Pentagon intelligence agency involved in homeland security is delving into Islam's holy texts to answer whether Islam is being radicalized by the terrorists or is already radical. Military brass want a better understanding of what's motivating the insurgents in Iraq and the terrorists around the globe, including those inside America who may be preparing to strike domestic military bases. The enemy appears indefatigable, even more active now than before 9/11.

Are the terrorists really driven by self-serving politics and personal demons? Or are they driven by religion? And if it's religion, are they following a manual of war contained in their scripture?

Answers are hard to come by. Four years into the war on terror, U.S. intelligence officials tell me there are no baseline studies of the Muslim prophet Muhammad or his ideological or military doctrine found at either the CIA or Defense Intelligence Agency, or even the war colleges.

9/04/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

:-) was for both 02:48:33 PM and 02:46:54 PM.
We must conserve, both colons and semicolons.
The prospects for savings are greater with the Semis, obviously.

9/04/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"dat what he say"
---
dat ain't radioactive, dat's just reactive.
Oh, well.
What the heck.

9/04/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Whit, do you suppose they will ever figure out that the Muzzies are just plain "Batshit Crazy?"

9/04/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I do not know who Icecold is but he is not in food service or the motor pool and is not drinking in the enlisted man's club.

9/04/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Akbar Tater, meet Ms Ali Baba WaWa Streisand.

9/04/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Dougs, (2:30:27)
duz you really mean wez suck'in on islam..like now?

9/04/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

2164th,
I didn't either:
I was laying outside on the lawn.
They'd bring my beer there.

9/04/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Obviously where annoymouse thinks you learned to scratch your belly.

9/04/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

02:59:57 dat do seem to be true.
Sad, but true.
I think for right now we just suck.
. (period)
But hopefully we'll wake up soon.

9/04/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

2164th,
I try my best not to take things personally!

9/04/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard wrote:

Gen. Abizaid oversees the U.S. military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Horn of Africa, Central Asia and the Mideast. ... But his view of the region is increasingly shaped by the inability of all that firepower to prevail against a violent strain of Islam seeking to expand its foothold. "The best way to contain al Qaeda is to increase the capacity of the regional powers to deal with it themselves," he says.

Our friends the Somalis have fallen under the control of the Islamic Courts (a sort of Taliban Lite), Al-Jezeera is the media arm of our friends the Qatar-snipes, most of the 9/11 hijackers were our friends the Saudis, and wasn't it also the Saudis who had a Jerry Lewis style telethon for the families of suicide bombers in Palestine? Every time I buy gasoline our friends the Persian Gulf regional powers got a big fat cash pipeline reaching right into my purse. And we want to give these guys more capability? Why don't we just give Musharraf some yellow cake Uranium for twenty or thirty more nukes while we're at it.

9/04/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

whit (2:51)

iz culda tows ya dat DC PC is hard shit to break thru. Pentagon infected,HW,State..da all gotz islam iz nice mantra..
i rekon afta da finish da say da same thang. islam jz ok been hijacked since da beginning dats all.

9/04/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tater:
I still maintain that's what happened to my Virginity.

9/04/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ilia Capitolina said...

IceCold,

You make some excellent points. As for the statement: “The first question to be answered by historians will be how Washington could have sat still for the situation starting around Fall 2003”, the question has already been answered.

http://www.electablog.com/oharm.html

9/04/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Occam,
That Stetson sure didn't take a straight line from there to here.

9/04/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Icecold...

wherz acn i gits it..

(not the crap from journalists that is currently being barfed up)

barfed up journy crap iz chock ful o big hunks and a little boozy toozy.

9/04/2006 03:13:00 PM  

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger