Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group Report

The Iraqi Study Group report can be read here. My principal reactions to it are in an Exclusive to Pajamas Media piece, so I can't reproduce it here. However, here are a few more observations that are exclusive the Belmont Club. The ISG recommendation is in the first column and my comments are in the second.


"The Iraqi government must send a clear signal to Sunnis that there is a place for them in national life. The government needs to act now, to give a signal of hope. Unless Sunnis believe they can get a fair deal in Iraq through the political process, there is no prospect that the insurgency will end. To strike this fair deal, the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people must address several issues that are critical to the success of national reconciliation and thus to the future of Iraq."

RECOMMENDATION 26: Constitution review. Review of the constitution is essential to national reconciliation and should be pursued on an urgent basis. The United Nations has expertise in this field, and should play a role in this process.

How will the Shi'a regard this? More to the point, why will Iran, soon to be part of the ISG's Iraq International Support Group, even hear of it?
RECOMMENDATION 30: Kirkuk. Given the very dangerous situation in Kirkuk, international arbitration is necessary to avert communal violence. Kirkuk’s mix of Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen populations could make it a powder keg. A referendum on the future of Kirkuk (as required by the Iraqi Constitution before the end of 2007) would be explosive and should be delayed. This issue should be placed on the agenda of the International Iraq Support Group as part of the New Diplomatic Offensive. I kept making the point in the Pajamas Media Exclusive that the Iraq International Support Group, the club of everyone who has participated in formenting disorder in that country, is now being given leave, indeed invited to participate in the internal affairs of Iraq. This is Exhibit A.
RECOMMENDATION 31: Amnesty. Amnesty proposals must be far-reaching. Any successful effort at national reconciliation must involve those in the government finding ways and means to reconcile with former bitter enemies.

RECOMMENDATION 37: Iraqi amnesty proposals must not be undercut in Washington by either the executive or the legislative branch.

I think that embedded in this phrase is a recommendation to give amnesty to all those who have killed or kidnapped American troops and estopping the US public from objecting.
RECOMMENDATION 34: The question of the future U.S. force presence must be on the table for discussion as the national reconciliation dialogue takes place. Its inclusion will increase the likelihood of participation by insurgents and militia leaders, and thereby increase the possibilities for success. And what does the ISG think "insurgents and militia leaders" will say once asked their opinion on the future US force presence? This recommendation seems like an absurdity; it puts the fate of US forces in the hands of its enemies, just so that the US can talk to them. Why?
RECOMMENDATION 38: The United States should support the presence of neutral international experts as advisors to the Iraqi government on the processes of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. When has this ever worked? Oh I forgot. It works in Lebanon, where Syria, a future member of the Iraq International Support Group is also involved in settling the internal affairs of a war-torn country.
RECOMMENDATION 40: The United States should not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq. The point of the whole exercise, in case you thought it was bringing peace to Iraq or peace to the Middle East.

I could go on, but this is enough for now.

83 Comments:

Blogger bohica said...

What has war come to? But, on second think, coming from a camp that has refused to acknowledge a war exists - what should I expect. I can't see the administration caving to these reccomendations which may, on the whole, even surpass the enemies hopes and dreams

12/06/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Amnesty.

It happens in every war. We gave most Nazi and Japanese soldiers amnesty after World War II. No German soldier was ever put on trial for shooting at our soldiers. The only Nazis who went on trial were charged with "war crimes", like killing civilians, not charged with fighting a war.

> signal to Sunnis

The Sunnis can't expect to have peace while they are killing Shiite civilians and tolerating Al Qaeda in the insurgency. The Shiites can't expect peace if they run a Shiite, anti-Sunni government like Al-Sadr wants.

This is why ultimately it comes down to the Iraqis, and the US is limited in what it can do. There could be peace instantly if the Iraqis all decided to stop shooting at each other. The foreign invaders from Al Qaeda, Iran, and Syria would quickly be ejected if the Iraqis unified and gave us intelligence information. Iraq has a civil conflict solely because its people want it, not because of anything we did.

> The United States should not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.

This is weasel-like lawyer language. It might be true in one way if "open-ended" is taken to an extreme. We should commit to staying in Iraq for a long time, but for reasons and rules which we decide, not "open-ended". We could guarantee to defend Iraq against external invaders, but we don't need to promise to protect the Iraqi government or fight their civil wars while the Iraqis sit on their hands. We still could choose to get involved in the civil wars, but we can do it for our own reasons and at times we choose instead of committing.

12/06/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Maybe this is what the ISG means about "open-ended". Some Iraqi leaders say that we have "no right" to withdraw our support from them, and we have to support Baghdad "all the way". I guess that applies even if the Iraqi government is doing whatever Al-Sadr wants.

Link

"The US calls itself an occupying force in Iraq and, according to the Geneva Conventions, if you are an occupier then you are responsible for the country," said parliamentarian Mahmud Othman, a Kurd.

"They have no right to to do this. This is unfair."

Bassim Ridha, a top advisor to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said the White House has to support Baghdad "all the way".

"If they do not support the government then it will look as if they do not do what they preach," Ridha said. "We need their support to go forward."

A high-level, bipartisan panel urged Bush Wednesday to act to halt a "grave and deteriorating" crisis in Iraq by holding talks with Iran and Syria and starting to withdraw US combat forces.

12/06/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

wu wei,

As I recall, those who were responsible for certain war crimes had no prospect of amnesty. Class "A" war criminals, the Nazi defendants at Nurnberg. Even Yamashita felt the rope. Who will be covered by this amnesty? Whoever the Iraqis or the Iraqi International Support Group decides will be, if I understand Recommendation 37 according to its plain meaning, no one can object. "Iraqi amnesty proposals must not be undercut in Washington by either the executive or the legislative branch."

12/06/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Somewhere I read this from a wise commentator whom I disagree with on this point:

The report also suggests that a redeployment of resources from Iraq to Afghanistan is desirable. Why it makes sense to move American combat power away from the oil fields to a country even less stable than Iraq I will leave the readers to decide.

My opinion as a reader is that Iraq is politically lost. Afghanistan is moving into being a second defeat for us unless we get past our Iraq fixation. Thus we move combat forces from being the hated ducks in a Shia-Sunni Aran shooting gallery to a place where we can prevail.

The same commentator has a strategic disageement with the ISG about the regional vs. nation-specific nature of the conflict. The ISG believes Iraq cannot be separated and dealt with in isolation of other regional problems the Bushies and neocons placed low priority on.
I think the ISG view is more correct than the "nation-specific" view, even if problems would be nicer and easier to deal with if they were addressable with a nation-specific, one national issue at a time in a particular place problem solving approach.

The bitch of realizing that the war is not a matter of dropping a few JDAMs on a few "evildoers" or just handing the keys over to "liberated, noble purple-fingers". Instead, it is a multifaceted, complex war with radical Islam and a world evolving past American style crony capitalism/free trade and a bipolar superpower status where military solutions at best cover 10-20% of the ideological war underway.

It is global. It is focused in one region. It goes far past Iraq. Ignoring the need for energy independence, a strategic communications plan that builds not only venues but the number of Westerners fluent in language and culture of the foe, the Palestine problem, Iran's running out of oil and seeking nuclear power, Rising China grabbing resources, Eurabia. Revanchist Russia.

It should be no surprise that after 5 years of Bush-simple solutions that this is a "no-sacrifice" retread of Churchill and WWII....the complex nature of the problem, and the possible solutions...are finally emerging.

Nor that the course is not simple, easy "Sharansky fixable"...but will involve options where we have to give up a little or a lot to get stability, containment of radical Islam, or real allies lining up against radical Islamists..

And where we have killers of Americans amnesty'd...while we hopefully can work out a deal where the worst of the worst - AQ, Sunni car bombers and mass killers of civilians are quietly executed when or if civil war starts. I don't see any sentiment by Kurd or Shiite jailers and shysters to free their killers.

Bohica - What has war come to? But, on second think, coming from a camp that has refused to acknowledge a war exists - what should I expect.

Are you talking about the Left? Or the people that assured us that this would be a war whose existence was a war full of tax cuts, no sacrifices, a military slowly losing it's inventory of ships and planes and tanks? The ones that said our job in fighting this war was to shop, travel, do something nice for our neighbor, "cheer the gov't heroes", and if wealthy enough, enjoy our huge tax cuts?

Which side are you talking about, Bohica?

12/06/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> those who were responsible for certain war crimes had no prospect of amnesty.

I think that is true. However, since almost all the US personnel in Iraq are military, the Iraqis would not seem to be guilty of war crimes against us. Shooting at a uniformed soldier is war, not a war crime.

Yet when the subject of amnesty came up, there was a big outcry in the US, that it would be a terrible thing. Amnesty seems to be mostly an internal Iraqi issue, that they broke the laws of war in killing each other.

The reality is that amnesty is always granted to all but a handful of the enemy, because that is the only way to end the war and less US troops get killed that way. If every enemy soldier were called a criminal, then they would have no incentive to surrender. They might as well fight to the death.

12/06/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

If you want to fix a problem, you must identify the problem. Saddam knew his people. He probably used just enough repression to maintain stability. It was ugly and wrong by our standards. But it is pretty ugly now and there is no sign of stability.

It seems to me that an acceptable goal would be one that would restore Iraq to a level of stability that it enjoyed under Saddam. A better goal would be to bring stability and fairnesss, but neither will be accomplished without repression in one form or another.

Bush is not capable in taking such a large step backward, but someone will have to find a new strongman who can take charge in Iraq. the government is a failure. The same happened in Russia when they rushed into democracy and then grew nostalgic for stability.

Stability at a price may sound wrong but in the long run it may be a bargain.

12/06/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Under the Third Geneva Convention a fighter or belligerent in an international armed conflict who wanted lawful combatant status (and therefore prisoner of war status if captured), would have to meet certain criteria including:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war." (From Article 4)

Lawful combatants are accorded "combatant's privilege," whereby they are exempted from the ordinary criminal law of the place they are fighting in. This means that they cannot be tried for murder, for example, for killing soldiers of the opposing side.

12/06/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> better goal would be to bring stability and fairnesss, but neither will be accomplished without repression

The Iraqis will get tired of killing each other after a few years, then settle down to a peaceful democracy. In the mean time we can stay there guarding the borders and hunting Al Qaeda.

12/06/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

"The Iraqis will get tired of killing each other after a few years, then settle down to a peaceful democracy. In the mean time we can stay there guarding the borders and hunting Al Qaeda."

I thought about that as the unstated goal of the Baker report and it sort of made sense -- if you excluded the part about bringing in the Syrians and the Iranians. The State Department plan to back one side -- preferrably the winning one -- also had a gruesome logic to it. Even the Pentagon plan to "Go Long" had the merit of being of a single piece. But the idea that you can withdraw out the back and bring in the Syrians and Iranians in the front just doesn't add up. Moreover, enlarging the party so that in addition to Iraq, you start talking about Lebanon, the Golan and the West Bank in addition to discussing Iraq at one big table seemed a mite odd too.

12/06/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the recommendations left out a lot:

According to the recommendations, to enlist Syria's help we should give them the Golan. But what should we give Iran? Maybe Armenia? And we could give Nepal to China for their help. Plus, we'll need Russia's help too so maybe we could give Poland back to them also.

12/06/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> The Iraqis will get tired of killing each other after a few years, then settle down to a peaceful democracy. In the mean time we can stay there guarding the borders and hunting Al Qaeda

This was my personal opinion, not that of the ISG. I just finished the ISG report and they indicate that we could stay in Iraq as long as they need us if the Iraqis are making a serious effort. The part about negotiations was absurd, basically just groveling to Iran. Another thing which stands out is that the ISG seems to think everyone in the region needs to solve the problems in Iraq, except the Iraqis themselves. Or actually the ISG gives Iraq a small role.

The most amazing thing about the ISG report is that they claim that we simply cannot stay in Iraq much longer because we don't have enough troops. The ISG says it is destroying our readiness, etc. We had a 12,000,000 man army in world war II and now a deployment of 140,000 is breaking us?

Soon the president will release his own action plan, and the ISG report will be relegated to the ash heap of history.

12/06/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Lord Acton said...

I love seeing everyone lose their heads after the Nov. 7th debacle, and now again after the "wise men" have spoken in the ISG report...

I suspect that very soon, these bits of political drama will be blown away by...

"Events, my dear boy(s), events"
H. Macmillan

My advice, don't go losing your heads.

12/06/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Zeno said...

Perhaps the US could save time and give Amadinehjad a nuclear bomb and the coordinates to hit the White House after destroying Tel Aviv.

12/06/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

tyler -
Unless you believe in the Zionist vision that all the Middle East from the Nile to the Euphrates is Jewish property given them by God...The Golan is Syrian and part-Leb territory.
As opposed to your facetious suggestings that agreed-on sovereign Armenian (actually Armenia doesn't border..perhaps you meant Azeristan), Polish, Nepalese territory be given to other nations...
Realpolitik means acknowledging that America is a great power that has interests that extend past "Our Special Friend". And that our interests do not dovetail all the time with theirs, or our interests must be suborned to theirs by the Lobby.
*********************
2164th - The same happened in Russia when they rushed into democracy and then grew nostalgic for stability. Russia found that crony capitalist democracy just created a morass of corruption and small packs of thieves that managed to seize most of Russia's wealth. They didn't just get nostalgic for stability...they were driven to it by desperation to prevent further unravelling and more Oligarch depredations.

Stability at a price may sound wrong but in the long run it may be a bargain.

Right now Iraqis are willing to embrace anything that will give them security. Iraq once again proves the Hobbes/Locke/Rousseau assertion that any state that does not provide reasonable security renders all liberties and rights meaningless, in their enjoyment or exercise.

Wu Wei -
It will be interesting to see how the US forces it's way on the final custody and disposition of non-Iraqis captured. I think much of them are slated to be whacked without mercy by the Kurds and Shiites when civil war gives them cover to do away with the lawyers in robes. As long as the Iraqi insurgents are not killed by Iraqis...I don't see them insisting on keeping or freeing all the AQ and foreign fighters.

If we think they will be whacked shortyly, we should be hands off. If we think Sunni nations are trying to save them by bribes we should have custody, give them to the Kurds, and work out a "desperate prison breakout attempt where hundreds of terrorists were slaughtered in the attempt...."

12/06/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

For those who have not yet read Westhawk's thread today, covering both Gates and the ISG, do so. When milbloggers such as Westhawk, PoliPundit, and Captain Ed are repulsed by the administration, it begins to look like the administration will be happy with nothing less than alienating every possible conservative.

Oh, the one thing that will come from the ISG will be a concerted effort to feed Israel to the dogs. See PoliPundit for a good rundown of that eventuality.

Hey, C4, there is a silver lining to every dark, Zionist cloud?

Two very bad days in Washington

Jimmy vs. the Jews - No, not Carter, BAKER

Link

12/06/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

c4.
Cedarford said...
tyler -
Unless you believe in the Zionist vision that all the Middle East from the Nile to the Euphrates is Jewish property given them by God...

Dear Mr C4,

you really don't KNOW anything about a ZIONIST dream do you?

A Zionist dream would be a historic homeland for the Jewish people in the area that it now sits.

Israel has shattered it's OLD dream of holding on to HISTORIC ZIONIST lands of MOST of the WEST BANK and areas of GAZA.

All the Zionist dream is now to be able not to be suicide bombed within a tiny fragment of thier historic lands. (which is 25% arab populated) (1/650th of the arab world)

900,000 jews were thrown out of thier HISTORIC lands within ARAB OCCUPIED North Africa, egypt, iran & iraq....

I guess you missed the barak offer, or sharon removing jews from gaza? I guess you missed the PLAN to leave 97% of the west bank? the only reason that did not go forth was the palestinian murder attacks.

c4: The Golan is Syrian and part-Leb territory.

By whose standards? Lebanon is Syrian if you ask Assad.

The Golan can be returned when there is not a dictator that supports terror and actually wants peace, not before...


As for the Larger issue...

The ISG is nonsense.

We are at war with Iran already, those of you that wish to not see this will soon enough.

We need to stop BSing and do something about OIL.

Let's declare war on oil 1st.

then see where that gets us

12/06/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2164th wrote, "Saddam knew his people. He probably used just enough repression to maintain stability. It was ugly and wrong by our standards. But it is pretty ugly now and there is no sign of stability"

The Kurds in the north have stability and a working (if not officially recognized) state, and no one is gassing them by the thousands anymore. Even if peace comes (the peace of the dead at the last throw) and an oil-sharing arrangement is made, it will be distributed according to current, not historical demographics. Saddamists are losing future oil revenues with every Sunni who flees to Jordan (700,000 now) or Syria (600,000 now), and every al-Qaeda-in-Iraq car bomb results in a retaliation that creates more refugees.

12/06/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re the report of the Iraq Study Group, line up a few of the reports

State Department advocating tilt to the Shia

http://westhawk.blogspot.com/2006/12/mr-bush-may-finally-kick-sunnis-to-curb.html

westhawks’ on the Sunnis getting their clocks cleaned

http://westhawk.blogspot.com/2006/11/chasm-to-sunnis-is-too-wide.html

The Sunnis blustering in Syria

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/iraq/20061203-1332-syria-baathistsregroup.html

The Saudis denying diplomatic efforts to stave off Sunni defeat

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20863285-1702,00.html

But perhaps planning or at least threatening to intervene

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/iraq/20061129-0310-iraq-saudi-adviser.html

Baker pushing for a regional conference with all issues on the table, including Israel-Palestine

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/797964.html

and the right of return

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/12/06/061206204349.qjq06iek.html

but Israel won’t even be invited

http://www.insightmag.com/Media/MediaManager/Baker_1.htm

Then isn’t what we are seeing Jim Baker of the old Bush-Saudi alliance stepping in to save the Iraqi Sunnis at the instance of the Saudis and at the price of cramming down an Israel-Palestinian solution over Israeli objections?

12/06/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: from the river to the sea

Israel has an inventory in excess of 400 nukes. If, Israel wished to create an empire it could do so within the next few minutes. By simply launching 20 warheads against its antagonists, while holding 380 pretargeted weapons in reserve, Israel could relieve itself, almost instantly, of existential threats and acquire vast stretches of real estate and enormous resources. No one would dare challenge Israel for fear of losing capitol and capital cities.

At some point, Jews are going to come to recognize the futility of trying to get along. We will understand that most of the rest of mankind will not be satisfied until we are exterminated. At that point, MAD, will be inconsequential. Then the world will tremble with fear at the thought of angering 0.25% of its population. Oh yeah! That is power! Feel the power of the Maccabees!

Boy, the Elders are going to be pissed with me.

12/06/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger bjbarron said...

Same old blah, blah, blah. It calls for talks with people we've been talking to for 40 years to no avail. It calls for screwing the Kurds and inviting an isolated Israel and a Hamas-led Palestine to start talking again. It has absolutely no real clue what to do in Iraq except give hopeful approval to a Federalism dividing Iraq into thirds (a plan that Iraqis don't seem to care about) - altho it admits the third that the Sunni would get would have no oil resources or income. These are the same Sunnis that avoided the democratic process, and who are the mainstay of the insurgency. The very same Sunnis looking at extinction if the Americans leave.

Bottom Line Translation: Get everyone in the area talking so we can spend a few more months training up the Iraqi Army and police forces - then run for the hills as they all start killing each other again.

The law of realpolitik unintended consequences:

Running from Iraq too soon will result in the (understandable) slaughter of the Sunni minority that has ground the Shia and Kurds down for 30 odd years. Sadr is just waiting and licking his chops. While the Shia are supported by Iran, Turkey and Saudia Arabia would not allow the Sunnis to be a target of genocide and neither Iran nor Turkey want an independent Kurdistan. The resulting 3 way bruhaha makes the present insurgency look like a food fight at a girl's school. The UN gets called in to protect the Sunnis - hilarity ensues.

All of the local players get to try to even the age old rivalries that haven't changed in a thousand years - with the added benefit that they get to blame everything on the Americans. What's not to like?

12/06/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger bjbarron said...

Oh, and while the above is going on - Syria grabs Lebanon and the Palestinians do something stupid...as always.

12/06/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>allen
Not under Olmert, they won't. The old man has completely bought hook, line, sinker into ceasefire after ceasefire, hoping that a negotiated peace will placate Palestinians instead of shelling their cities where their human shields are situated.

The ISG seems to place all the onus on Iraqis themselves...

RECOMMENDATION 21: If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government.

...without according them the means to do so, or even giving them the guarantee that we'll be there to support them and act as a safety net. Not only that, instead of assuring them of our commitment (or lack thereof), we're introducing foreign intervention that would undoubtedly deprive Iraqis of the means to act upon their sovereignty.

Plus, who's to enforce those restrictions on Syria and Iran, ensure that they are not violating any provision of the Versai...I mean, ISG report? Iran and Syria will inevitably monopolise the regional apparatus of coercion, intimidation and destabilisation to discourage other participants in intervening or upholding all provisions. Iraq will be left vulnerable to direct, legitimised dismemberment.

And we'll have little say at that point in time because Iraqi sovereignty would have degenerated into nothingness ala Lebanon. Expect assassinations, car bombs and Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Hezbollah/Badr/Sadr sit-ins in Baghdad.

wretchard wrote: and of more concern, is that a regional forum runs the risk of regionalizing the national conflicts in Iraq.

Remember Jordan's King Abdullah? He specifically mentioned that there were three separate civil wars occuring in the Middle East, the core cause being Israel-Palestine. Why? I had pointed out then that Abdullah fears that the concept of a wider Shiite-Sunni struggle for religious hegemony in the region will gain credence within Jordan and thus destabilise or even disintegrate the country.

A regional forum will eventually expose Iranian and Syrian complicity and invidious intentions in perpetuating such a conflagration to all other Arab regimes. Jordan, Egypt, the Saudis would be disinclined to work within the parameters of the forum because the ISG seems to allow Iran and Syria carte blanche to interfere and violate every inch of sovereignty of any nation in the Middle East.

Without even the other regimes ever likely to commit to upholding the provisions, the ISG report shall inevitably be relegated to the trash bin where it belongs. Or do we want to risk it and deal with appeasement twenty years down the road?

Oh, you know what, we don't have to wait that long. Only till Iran gets their first nuclear weapon.

12/06/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

harrison,

There you go, raining on my parade!
;-)

12/06/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Something curious here that I'd like BCers and Wretchard to comment on. Under section 9, pg. 62, the ISG report claims:

In addition, there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq. . . Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals.

Interesting. Does anyone see a connection between this analysis and earlier administration claims of a few "regime dead-enders", a "victory" with the election of Shiite Islamist parties or an insurgency that is in its "last throes"?

12/06/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a "Bi-Partisan" report.

Along similar lines to a "Bi-partisan" transportation bill. 100 senators, all agreeing to build roads to no-where.

Everyone gets to toss in their "Grand Plan".

All 100 Senators get to run around claiming that the "Baker-Hamilton" commission endorsed their ideas.

The Ego's of 100 Primadonnas have now been stroked.

Watch the Senate Web Sites as 100 Senators blather on about how the "Baker-Hamilton commission confirmed what I have been saying since 1921"

Bob Gates got confirmed by 95-2.

It is nothing more than a Kumbaya Moment for 100 Senators wishing to reassure their constiuents that they are the most brilliant people on the planet.

The ISF is growing in both quantity and quality. Two increasing variables on the same vector is a geometric progression, not linear.

1.01 X 1.01 = 1.02 Not Very Exciting
2 X 2 = 4 = Interesting

The Iraqis can now churn out 5,000 soldiers and 3,000 police a month, on their own.

Every 2 months, the ISF grows by more than the size of the Mehdi Army.

Every 3 months, the ISF grows by more than a US Division.

It has taken three and a half years of 1.01 X 1.01 to finally get to the point of 2 X 2, but to throw in the towel now is just plain stupid.

12/06/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Reocon - "In addition, there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq. . . Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals."

Interesting. Does anyone see a connection between this analysis and earlier administration claims of a few "regime dead-enders", a "victory" with the election of Shiite Islamist parties or an insurgency that is in its "last throes"?


Yes, unfortunately, as again proven, without security, all other liberties and "USA Western enhancements" at the cost of 100's of billions are meaningless. If 300 thugs can hold 200,000 in thrall...then purple fingers and fresh-painted schools complete with USA troops handing out soccer balls are meaningless.

It was in those Elite's interest to insist that the resistance was minimal, and getting more minimal by the day...so to say the Iraqi people were less interested in staying alive by banding into militias than in showing they wanted Sunni/Shia Arab and Kurd solidarity glee clubs, or "woman's rights", peace treaties with "America's Special Friend"

All the honest reporting shows that current secular Leftie/progressive Jewish, domestic and international law has made the enemy uniformly fearless of the consequences of whacking or mutilating hapless American ducks waiting for a snipers bullet or IED....or rendering executions of all those who back the government.

What is the retaliation? The consequence? That the familes of "noble purple-fingered resisters" might get artillery or bomb fire? Oh, precious no! That would be a War Crime with the Sulzberger Family of the NYTimes or Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch wanting American heads - which the Pentagon will obligingly deliver.
So, with that precluded, every insurgent circle in every neighborhood knows they can whack in relative safety....unless caught red-handed...and even then, if they escape the area, full "precious enemy rights" are legally theirs.....
No wonder that Marine-killers have our ACLU or British Muslim lawyer fronts on speed dial.
And the Bushies played right into it by presuming guilt of the "lesser moneyed, lesser educated Americans" that they threw to the Wolves.
They did so by implying that all without huge tax cuts and advantages of the "sphere of privilege" had to act 24/7 as "Our Heroes" and any transgression sikk'ed the Gentile and Jewish liberal lawyers of JAG upon them.
*************************
Allen - Nukes and ability to destroy mean nothing..as the Soviets learned.
***********************
Harrison - A regional forum will eventually expose Iranian and Syrian complicity and invidious intentions in perpetuating such a conflagration to all other Arab regimes.

Maybe.

But I'd much rather hear what the unvarnished opinion of the Syrians, Iranians, Turks, and Saudis is than have the Israelis and neocons tell me it is.

PS - Anyone that listens to pro-Iranian-USA forces in Iran knows that they are virtually unanimous that they judge Iran will need nuclear power stations to take over from fast-depleting fossil fuels.
And that America is joining with the globe that the neocon/Israeli position that America must bomb Iran at all costs is unecessary and wrong. It's pretty clear - unless tax cuts for the wealthy are ended, the military rebuilt - there is no American support for widening the War to Iran OR Darfur.

12/06/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

My reaction to the ISG report today comes down to two proverbs:

“The mountain labored and brought forth a mouse.”

And

“The obscure we see eventually. The completely apparent takes longer.”

The Baker group could have saved everyone the time and trouble by boiling down their report to a single sentence.
“We recommend that the United States cuts and runs at the first opportune moment after asking permission from the Syrians and Iranians.” Geesh. Hope President Bush thanks them for their work and promptly dumps the report into the circular filing cabinet.

12/06/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedarford-

My post was an attempt at hyperbole, where if we are changing disputed borders as chits for help in Iraq, then why not have a firesale? Kashmir- half price for some help with Taliban holdouts! China could get two for the price of one: Support one UN sanction against Iran for nuclear infractions and we'll give them Taiwan plus let North Korea take over South Korea. Etc.

Apparently you really don't like Israel and Zionists, and might have missed the hyperbole.

12/06/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Lord Acton said...

I see it all so clearly....

The folks who have protested against nuclear weapons and nuclear power for the past 30 years, the same folks who are convinced that global warming is THE THREAT to end all threats and yet STILL oppose nuclear power...will be the same folks who will shrug their shoulders and tell us that Isreal (or the U.S. or the U.K.) had in coming when a nuke goes off for the first time since 1945.

'nough said

12/06/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

C4,

re: "Nukes and ability to destroy mean nothing..as the Soviets learned."

What nonsense. As the West learned, the Soviet had detailed plans for the first use of tactical nukes launched from Poland. Poland would, thereby, be sacrificed, catching the brunt of the tactical retaliatory strike. Testimony from principals indicates the plan would have been implemented in due course. By the way, the Soviet was not concerned about a strategic US response, thinking the US would only take such action if the US homeland came under attack.

Moreover, the Soviet was not faced with extinction during the nuclear age. Israel is. When Israel concludes as much, it will have no reason to negotiate the time of its execution only.

Again, I see no one retaliating against an Israeli first strike, which was my point, avoided by you entirely. But nothing new there, reality is never permitted to intrude into your shadow world of Zionist nefariousness. If the puzzle piece does not fit, trim it as necessary. The political Picasso.

12/06/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Allen - Again, I see no one retaliating against an Israeli first strike, which was my point, avoided by you entirely.

Which was not avoided, given your scenario:

If, Israel wished to create an empire it could do so within the next few minutes. By simply launching 20 warheads against its antagonists, while holding 380 pretargeted weapons in reserve, Israel could relieve itself, almost instantly, of existential threats and acquire vast stretches of real estate and enormous resources.

With millions of dead, the only question would be if it was a 6-7 500KT devices from Russia, China, or France that would end Israel in retaliation for it's 1st Strike on Gulf Oil nations.

Or Pakistan or N Korea selling 4-5 100KT boosted fission devices to avenge the survivors in KSA or Iran by hitting 60% of the Jews in the aggressor nation. Then clamping an unbroken oil embargo to finish the survivors.

The Sampson option is out. The few hundred Jewish billionaires in the USA and the Russian Oligarch ones are no bailout - not when even most Jews with wealth believe Zionism is a cancerous ideology.

Best to be hoped for is the Abdullah Plan or wealthy Jews being willing to resolve debts owed. Not their puppets.

12/06/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

...the ISG makes an attempt to reduce tensions in Iraq by engaging the parties responsible for the problem... -Richard Fernandez

The ISG is suggesting a Faustian Deal.

If the ISG deal is implement it will lead to another Carter/Iran hostage situation.

...Except, on a much larger scale.

12/07/2006 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

bjbarron said...

Turkey and Saudia Arabia would not allow the Sunnis to be a target of genocide

Of course they would - just ask the Pallis.

You see, the Sunni Alis from Arabia killed the Sunni Babbas from Bagdhad in the year 200AD. No, it was not a senseless act of violence - the Babbas had it coming; after all, they had insulted the Alis' goat.

Turkey and Saudia Arabia will pretend that they would not allow the Sunnis to be a target of genocide so as to extract concessions from the US.

It's time to laugh at the buffoons, which is probably what the ISG report is actually doing.

ADE

12/07/2006 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Just to put a perspective on IRAQ, from the CIA Factbook:

IRAQ Literacy Rates:
total population: 40.4%
male: 55.9%
female: 24.4% (2003 est.)

ie more than 75% of Iraqi women cannot read.

What can be the future of a country that has no interest, despite its oil wealth, in learning to read.

Why does the US feel it can introduce the most advanced governance known to man to this environment?

The premise of the US position, while noble, is naive.

WC
There is one great objection to the theory that Christ came to save humanity - most of humanity is not worth saving.

ADE

12/07/2006 03:07:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The Republicans who were on the ISG packed this full of things which the Bush administration can use, if they choose. The ISG report supports the President's goal in Iraq, quoting it, says there should be no immediate withdrawal, and no time tables. It says that if Iraq is making a serious effort, that we should stay as long as it takes. The report does not says that we must pull out in 2008; it says we could if everything goes right. Shame on the Bush Administration if they let the MSM control the debate about this.

Really this report supports the Administration. Other than having visible diplomacy, the ISG report doesn't add anything new. Much of what it recommends was already set as goals by the Bush administration or the Iraqi government.

Bush needs to simply say that everyone, including the ISG, is agreed on the goal, and discussion of the details on how to get there is welcome.

12/07/2006 03:57:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

wu wei
but it has to be Iraqi provided detail, and Iraqi provided actions.

There is only one thing a 'victim' likes more than sympathy - a scapegoat.

US, return to (Kurdish) bases.

ADE

12/07/2006 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

U.S. President George Bush's chief spokesman says Bush would like to have a new policy for Iraq by the end of the year pending consultation.
Speaking on CNN's "Larry King Live" Wednesday night, spokesman Tony Snow said after receiving a sweeping report from the Iraq Study Group recommending an urgent change in course, Bush would consult with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Council.
"We're hoping to have all that pulled together so that maybe by the end of the year, the president can announce a new way forward," Snow said.

12/07/2006 04:13:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The other thing the Bush administration needs to do is stop muddying the waters by talking about "Islamofacists". Instead they should name our specific enemies, like we have always done. Al Qaeda is our enemy. If Iran is our enemy we should say so. Likewise Syria and Al-Sadr.

Focusing on anything Islamic plays in to bin Laden's hands by looking like a Crusade. It also leads to mush where no one knows who the enemy is or what winning is.

12/07/2006 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

wu wei,

We have to define what winning is. The enemy is whatever gets in the way.

My definition of a win:

our money sunk into the oil supply is not stolen;

the attacks on the West are zero

Coallition of the Willing casualties are zero.

So I have defined winning in terms of zero harm to US. Nothing objectionable about that.

I couldn't give a .... about bringing democracy to the ME. Islamofascists? Long may they wallow in victimhood as long as the objectives 1 to 3 above are met.

If this means confronting anything that comes out of the ME, then it will be cast as Islamophobia.

Let's get over that. No, lets blast it verbally off the face of the Earth. A good start? Prosecute the 6 Imams of US Airways fame for disturbing the peace. It doesn't need 20,000 extra troops in Iraq.

Bush's problem? He's too polite. He has to go to the greatest turds on the planet, and treat them as equals to the President of the US.

Focusing on anything Islamic looks like a Crusade? Just saying you don't like green will look like you're on a Crusade.

Don't let the enemy define your behaviour.

ADE

12/07/2006 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

c4: The few hundred Jewish billionaires in the USA and the Russian Oligarch ones are no bailout - not when even most Jews with wealth believe Zionism is a cancerous ideology.


Ok, mr c4,

please site any proof that MOST JEWS WITH WEALTH BELIEVE ZIONISM IS A CANCEROUS IDEOLOGY.

Do you make up your crap as you sit on the can and make crap or while you pick your teeth?

Where do you come up with these gems of wisdom? I doubt you even KNOW any jews, let alone any jews of "wealth".

Post after post of "jew this" or "jew that" you have proved that on THIS subject you are as informed as a lump of coal (or an average hamas member)

So congrats C4, all those OTHER decent/reasonable comments you make on OTHER subjects are NOW suspect, as for why could ANYONE listen to ANYTHING you say when you are actually are TOTALLY off base (including lies, distortion and invention) when it comes to the Jews, it simply shows you lack any judgement. So why trust anything you say?

I was always taught to say nothing if i had nothing nice to say... Maybe when it comes to Jews C4, you should learn to shut up, it just makes you look stupid at best, jew hating hitler loving at worst.

c4, have a nice day and yes there are JOOOOOS under your bed, sleeping with your wife and yes gay ones looking at your son, jooos in your yard, your cereal box and yes Jooooos in the basement....

joooos to the left, Joooos to the right....

12/07/2006 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Don't let the enemy define your behaviour.

Exactly. That's why I don't want to obey bin Laden by pretending that all Muslims are Al Qaeda or that they support bin Laden. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, just like the US used the Soviets to help beat the Nazis in World War II.

Most Muslims actually think bin Laden is a nut case, and don't want anything to do with him or to live under his tyranny.

Saddam Hussein's facist state was supposedly socialist, but that doesn't mean we need to declare a military war on socialism or vow to hunt down and kill every socialist on earth. Hitler was supposedly a socialist too. The problem is the tyrant, not the ideology they pretend to believe.

12/07/2006 06:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anointiata Delenda Est said, "There is one great objection to the theory that Christ came to save humanity - most of humanity is not worth saving."

Catholics firmly hold that men and women are worthy of divine love (Gen.1:27) "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.") but that we need a Savior (Rom.3:23) "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"

12/07/2006 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

C4,

My experience tells me that none of Russia, China, Pakistan (facing a hostile India) or France (you have to be kidding) would retaliate. For you, that might be a pleasant thought, but none of these guys have shown strong suicidal urges. Israel has more than enough punch to bring on global winter. And facing certain death, why should it hesitate to take the risk? People like you will make sure of that. It will be difficult, however, to get your nasty-grams off from that cave.

12/07/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

To the artist formerly known as "Pork Rinds for Allah",

"Facts", you say? That's not fair. How very Jooooish of you.

:-D

Oh, C4 would need a thesis before availing himself of facts. Try finding one in his jottings.

12/07/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted some of my comments over here.

And allen? I had the creeping premonition that c4 would unleash his tirade again. And he did. Any of you expect the same thing?

12/07/2006 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

harrison,

re: your link

Shameless! Shameless!

;-O...;-D

12/07/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could've pasted here, but then wretchard didn't do that with his article over at PJM, so I decided a link would suffice.

Apologies! ;)

12/07/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Sadly this seems like another loss in the media / propaganda war. The reality is that the Republican members in the ISG got some decent stuff added, supporting the current course.

Yet one would never know this from the media. The liberals are all telling the lie that the ISG said we must leave Iraq in 2008. Democratic politicians have taken to the airwaves proclaiming that the ISG said they were right and Bush is wrong. Unfortunately no Republican politicians are matching them.

And how could they since Bush's spokesman announced today that the president is hoping to have a new plan ready by year end? That will be nearly two months since the election, two months that the Bush administration let the Democrats and MSM control debate and direct foreign policy. The Democrats win by default.

12/07/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger MC_Mustang said...

The only way to win in a war is to find the enemies "center of gravity", i.e., what they care about or makes them take pause. That center of gravity is the oil fields. Take them into protective custody in the name of the Iraqi people. After all, that is the only thing that provides money for basic needs infrastructure. No one would give a tinkers damn about the middle east if not for the oil (Darfur anyone?). This tactic could pay dividends in a number of ways. Without oil revenues, bad actors could not wage Jihad. We could help regulate oil prices by breaking the stranglehold that OPEC currently holds. We could pull American troops back to a protective perimeter around the oil fields which would force the new government to take charge of their own national security as well as expose our troops to only the threats outside our wire. It sends a strong message to the other bad actors in the region. We can and will kill your cash cow if you don't start acting like civilized humans. Lastly, many of our previous allies- I don't consider them as such right now- such as Germany, Russia, France are, in my opinion, acting spinelessly to keep the oil flowing. We give them a reason to come back to the fold (but watch them closely).

Wrong to seize the oil fields you say? Many wars were waged for this very same reason. One of Japan's chief concerns during WWII was obtaining oil for military and industrial purposes. Besides, it is a legitimate military objective, much like bombing factories or blockading ports. We need to wise up and fight this war like we really want to win.

12/07/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

I will make this prediction:

No matter how much we appease iran/china/nokor/arabia/syria (and parties) they will NOT stop thier fight against us.

No matter how much land is demanded

No matter how much aid is given

No matter how much technology is given

No matter how much medical supplies & food

in the end we will wake up to the threat, will we learn collectively AFTER millions more are murdered?

maybe, however the west seems to want to sing kumbya and HOPE that the others (on the otherside of the equation) are really just decent people seeking justice and equality and that all can be forgiven and hugs will cure it all....

I for one will NOT go quietly into the night...

I for one WILL expose the lies of self deception many will for all hope place upon themselves

I will laugh as Europe and Russia and Africa and the Arab world murders it'sself all while STILL not looking at the issues but rather blaming the west...

Talk to Iran? Talk to Syria?

Ok, talk....

What will they say...

USA you are great satan, please die.
Israel you are the little satan, please die.

Ok, we have talked.

The truth?

WAR is HERE now.. In the streets of Paris cars by the hundreds are burned monthly, buses are ambused and people are murdered.

In France, Belguim, Sweden and Denmark there are major urban areas that are literally Islamic islands bound by shria...

For lack of time and energy I could list all the places beheadings/islamic murders are happening, but just to rattle off a few: Sudan, Somolia, Malaysia, Germany, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, France, belguim, Sweden, Russia, Jordan, Lebanon, USA, Indonesia, Pakistan and on and on...

the WAR is on... From those 2 greyhound bus attacks 2 yrs ago to the coptic family in trenton NJ, the killings are happening here, just quietly and with knives.

do not doubt NOTHING we do to appease will work, the question is simple, how many will needlessly die before we strike back?

There is much we can do withouta major war....

1. Bio-fuels
2. Cyber attack all unfriendly nations, bring all computer networks and phone networks down
3. Stop selling satellite space to any unfriendly nations
4. Black OPs, any and islamic leaders that issue death fatwa's to be killed
5. Embargo of all aid to unfriendlies: medicine & food INCLUDED.
6. Expelling all illegal aliens from UNFRIENDLY nations (mexico is a friendly nation)
7. Cyber attack and bring down the electric grid or destroy the generators/turbines of any unfriendly nation.

let's do that, then let's set up a conference to "talk"

or wait....

12/07/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

wu wei wrote:
It happens in every war. We gave most Nazi and Japanese soldiers amnesty after World War II. No German soldier was ever put on trial for shooting at our soldiers. The only Nazis who went on trial were charged with "war crimes", like killing civilians, not charged with fighting a war.


Actually the British hunted down and slaughtered SS officers. And the Israelis never stopped hunting down "war criminals".

12/07/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ISG is a strategy for negotiated surrender. No matter how Baker, Hamilton & others spin it, think of what it calls for:

Redeployment away from the field of battle, leaving the primary enemy (Iraqi insurgents & foreign terrorists) in a position of power, while offering secondary enemies & their allies concessions (nukes to Iran, Golan to Syria) and withdrawing support for our allies (Israel, Jordan, Saudi), all in exchange for free passage.

12/07/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/07/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard wrote:

"Moreover, enlarging the party so that in addition to Iraq, you start talking about Lebanon, the Golan and the West Bank in addition to discussing Iraq at one big table seemed a mite odd too."

It is only odd if you think that Iraq exists separated from the region in a bubble all its own.

Soldier's dad, just standing up folks in the ISF doesn't make them want to fight for all of Iraq as opposed their particular interests within Iraq. Then you've got the guys who've signed up for the paycheck. You like to talk exponential growth - how about the recent rise in US soldier death rates, interesting to you? 30 dead US soldiers already this month. Not long ago we talking 1 a day, then 2 a day, now...4? That's looking pretty exponential to me.

allen,

I thing there is a bit of a problem with your MIGHTY Israel bearing 400 nukes and that is the very small geographical region that they occupy. One of Sharon's favorite things to do with foreign leaders was to take them up in a helicopter hand show them how narrow Israel really is. The place is small enough that is can be laid to complete waste in pretty short order and I'm not aware of Israeli nuclear armed subs roaming the seas providing deterrance.

12/07/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

There are some interesting conflicts of interest in the Iraqi Study Group. New Defense Secretary Gates was part of the ISG until Bush appointed him.

James Baker, who is co-chairman and supposedly representing the Republican side, was responsible for foreign policy under Bush 1. Neo cons and others attacked him for abandoning the Shiites in the past, etc. So by slanting his recommendation Baker can make his past actions look better, which is not the neutral third part approach which people are told they are getting.

12/07/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Surrender Monkeys

Good cover on the NY Post

12/07/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

stated: I'm not aware of Israeli nuclear armed subs roaming the seas providing deterrance.

You are not aware, but trust me the leaders of the islamic world are.

If the genocide of israel/jews is what the world wishes, so be it, bring it on... However there will be no Black rock in arabia, there will be no beirut, no teheran, no damascus, no middle eastern oil, no palestine, no arab nation, no easy lifestyles based on cheap oil..

so if the world wants to murder me and mine AGAIN this time you will see Jews fighting back.

Funny thing, i read all the history I can find of the last 1600 yrs of christian and islamic "tolerance" to the jew, and what i dont see is any jews actually fighting back, (except for maybe the warsaw ghetto uprising) If the Eternal Jew is facing genocide for the 2nd time this century I do not doubt that israel WILL take a few pieces of crap out with them.

Maybe it's time to put some cards on the table....

If any Jew is murdered anywhere in the world I shall:

Print 1000 Mohammed cartons showing Mohammed eatting a BLT and having sex with a camel, then I shall burn said cartoons...

If any Jew is attacked anywhere in the world I shall visit Islamic cementaries and mosques and sprinkle bacon bits whereever I go.

As for death threats, no need, that is what governments are for.

But seriously, the "victim" jew that the world LOVES so much is dead, the new Jew, one who will fight is back (and pissed).

Now I know what I say sounds pathetic but I shall do everything in my power LEGALLY to annoy those who seek my death.

I am already boycotting all unfriendly nations to do any business with my company. Not much of an impact true, but I shall grow and I shall NOT tire.

And someday, my small business shall have an impact on the quality of lives for millions of people in the world and guess what? If you hate Israel or America, screw you, I aint selling you what I have at any cost.

I shall (via darwin) impact those that seek my destruction.

12/07/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Bush said he is planning to deliver a major speech to outline his decision for a new way forward.

"I think you're probably going to have to pay attention to my speech coming up here when I get all the recommendations," Bush said in a joint news conference with the British prime minister.

"I do know that we have not succeeded as fast as we wanted to succeed. I do understand that progress is not as rapid as I had hoped. And therefore it makes sense to analyze the situation and to devise a set of tactics and strategies to achieve the objective that I have stated," the president said.

"It's a tough time and its a difficult moment for America and Great Britain and the task before us is daunting," Bush said, even as members of the bipartisan commission were testifying on their report on Capitol Hill.

12/07/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Between prime-time Senate hearings and crowded press conferences today, elder statesman and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III was shown today's New York Post, which on the cover portrays him as a "surrender monkey."
Beneath that wartime headline are two shaggy crouched monkeys with the faces of Mr. Baker and former Rep. Lee Hamilton.
"Lovely," he said as he took the paper in his hands and reviewed it closely.
"If we're getting attacked by this rag, you know we're doing something right," he said.

12/07/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

ash,

I am surprised that you, as others, have missed the point. The Israelis are well aware of the size of Israel. When Israelis come to realize that the land is sufficient for the burial of all Jews and that most of the world will applaud the extermination, retaliation will be a risk worth taking.

Many insist on putting Israel in the postition of bargaining for its day of execution or war. I am betting on war.

12/07/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

ash,

re: Israel laid waste in short order

Strangely enough, ash, Moscow, Bejing, Riyah, Paris etc etc etc, are small in comparison to a nuclear detonation. That's why I foresee negotiation rather than retaliation. When Israel learns to use its clout to advantage, the world will be a much better and more peaceful place.

12/07/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Economic frustration feeds social problems. The Iranian government acknowledges that two million people—or 2.9 percent of the population—use narcotics; other estimates place the number at five to six million.[16] Divorce is also on the rise; one study found that 30 percent of newlyweds get divorced within three years.[17] The poor economy is also driving prostitution. While officials estimate Iran hosts 300,000 prostitutes,[18] there have been a number of corruption scandals involving judges and government social workers involved in procuring young girls.[19] Instead of enacting reforms to encourage job creation, the political elite is more comfortable with rising emigration rates, despite the brain drain's long-term erosion of Iran's economic vibrancy.

read more: http://www.meforum.org/article/1068

do you remember the british and china opium war?

this is NOT to crazy to try...

drugs & porn

12/07/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

ash,

re: I'm not aware of Israeli nuclear armed subs roaming the seas providing deterrance.

That's right, you are not.

12/07/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

What is "Occupation",

If Israel is forced into a war of survival and therein uses nukes, it is not just Muslim nations which should suffer for the error of their ways. It would be criminal to leave in place governments that have enabled Muslim hostility.

12/07/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

ok, I'm now aware of 3 Israeli subs that may have nuclear capacity.

12/07/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

ash ; ok, I'm now aware of 3 Israeli subs that may have nuclear capacity.

shhhh... no on 2nd thought, tell the average moslem that if israel is destroyed mecca, medina, and all islamic places will be turned to glass... yep that's the ticket, we NEED to LIVE up to C4's super human warrior jew boys....

How about this threat...

If israel is nuked, the entire world dies...

ok, entire world, solve the potential problem....


one problem, Jews are not Arabs so the world is safe, not the arab world, not the oil supply, but the rest of the world. If the Jews were arabs the issue would have been settled on day 2 of having nukes...

The Arabs / Persians would have USED them already.

12/07/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Just a thought...

Currently I purchase 35 pound / 5 gallon containers of cooking oil delivered to my door for $3.00 a gallon

This is providing me with 60% of my diesel usage.

There is no shortage of cooking oil.

If Irans oil output was stopped and thier imput of gasoline was distrupted (40% of total usage) how much hurt would this cause iran?

12/07/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Baker acknowledged that the Iranians were unlikely to help, even if asked. He said that during the course of the commission's discussions an Iranian official told him that Iran was not inclined to help.

But Baker said he saw no harm in approaching Iran anyway, and if it declines to help, "then we will hold them up to public scrutiny as the rejectionist state they have proven to be."

12/07/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

ash,

re: 3 subs

A whole lot of whump-ass there, Ash. Better hope I never get my hands on the keys.

12/07/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

The Baker report is one of the most brilliant political moves I've seen from George Bush.

At once it gives the Democrats, now with a huge responsiblity for public safety, a fig leaf to say that they've change the Rupublic's course while allowing us to stay the course.

Plus, it shows Bush's fundamental nobility. Like Reagan said, you can get a lot done if you don't mind who gets credit.

It is larded with some really stupid suggestions that if implemented will in short order prove their dumbness and remove them from public discourse. For example when Iran refuses to talk it will show them as non-constructive.

12/07/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

President Bush's speech, reacting to the ISG report Link

He connects all the dots, and didn't pull any punches in the speeech.

12/07/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wu Wei - The other thing the Bush administration needs to do is stop muddying the waters by talking about "Islamofacists". Instead they should name our specific enemies, like we have always done. Al Qaeda is our enemy. If Iran is our enemy we should say so. Likewise Syria and Al-Sadr.

Focusing on anything Islamic plays in to bin Laden's hands by looking like a Crusade.


The problem is that we are in a war with an ideology, radical Islam. There are some 60 organized radical Islamic cells and a large number of unorganized "spontaneous Jihad" groups arising from internet readings, firebrand Mullahs, or the inspiration of acts of others.
You can't fight an ideological battle if you fail to say the ideology is the problem...and insist on anally naming each arm of the Hydra as the "specific enemy" problem, not the beast itself.
The issue gets even more complicated by murderous internal schisms within Islam, the issue of Arab nationalism, Israel's past cleansing and land grabs, cults of victimhood, civilization decline of both Islam and the West, Petroleum politics, WMD proliferation.

But at it's root it is an ideology we are fighting...not "states" or "a few evildoers who hijacked the religion of peace".

That said, "Islamofascism" is a word the Neocons made up to mate radical Islam to WWII - like thinking. A 65-year old conflict so many try force-fitting any struggle into being resurrected as.

The term is highly inaccurate. It's the Neocon's lazy way of saying this is WWII all over again, and the Americans and the public need to stop the rise of the New Hitler, bin Laden and not "appease" the various people neocons dislike by talking to them and Bush is Churchill #2.

None of that is true. The only "fascistic" forces in the Ummah are the secularists like the Ba'athists and various dictators arms of repression that oppose radical Islam. Radical Islam seeks a restoration of the Arab Caliphate which from beginning to end well-predated Fascism and had few institutions that were even remotely similar to Fascism. bin Laden isn't Hitler and he won't be a major player next year, 5 years, 10 years from now. Likely "the neocon's New Hitler" will be dead. The 2nd Churchill, Dubya, will be gone in disgrace of his own incompetence and inability to effectively communicate or forge coalitions - and never hold office again. Talking to our enemies and fencing with them with diplomacy is not "appeasement" anymore than Nixons Detente or Reagan-Gorbachev Peristroika was.

The irony is that The West, Russia - in order to survive - after being triggered by bloodshed greater than the minor 9/11 attack....may have to go Fascist in order to survive against radical Islam.

A world where all the enemy rights and criminal rights laws lovingly constructed by Western liberals and global transnationalist elites are deconstructed. Where Muslims are purged with no legal recourse from Western populations and forced back to the Ummah. Where individual rights are suborned to collective rights with safety and security 1st, and harmful elements of free trade and globalization and access to 4th world labor pools to replace 1st world workers are curtailed. A world where markets and resources are not open to a global pool, but held by coalitions of partners and access controlled by military force.

A world very different from the "maximize individual human rights - especially enemy and criminal ones, a non-judgemental Multiculti extolling culture, make wars impossible to win, all resources go to those with the money and ownership" mentality at work for 60 years. Perhaps a return to a more realistic, primitive world..

12/07/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> You can't fight an ideological battle if you fail to say the ideology is the problem...

But it is not ideology. For example the Christians in Lebanon are strongly supporting Hezbollah! The Christians are helping Hezbollah destroy their Bush supported government and stop the UN investigation of Syria's assassinations of Lebanese politicians. (Hezbollah couldn't assassinate enough politicians to take over, so now they are taking to the streets.)

So do we need to include Christofacists in our war on terror?

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed on Thursday to pursue his campaign to oust Lebanon's Western-backed government...

Speaking via a live video link to tens of thousands of cheering supporters in central Beirut, Nasrallah accused Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of trying to thwart the pro-Syrian Hezbollah in its recent 34-day conflict against Israel.

Thousands of opposition followers have been camped out for a week in squares near government headquarters in central Beirut to try to topple the Western-backed Siniora.

"You won't hear us accept defeat or weakness or feebleness," he said in a fiery speech that lasted more than an hour. "The door is open for negotiations ... but we will not leave the street before achieving the goal that saves Lebanon."

The opposition, which includes a populist Christian party, is demanding the formation of a national unity government and has paralyzed the heart of Beirut for the past week in an around-the-clock protest that shows no sign of fading.


Link

12/07/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> There are some 60 organized radical Islamic cells and a large number of unorganized "spontaneous Jihad" groups arising from internet readings, firebrand Mullahs, or the inspiration of acts of others.

Who cares?

I only care if any of them are dangerous to the United States. Let's face it, the US had a massive over-reaction to 9/11, making too big a deal out of it. That plays into our enemy's hands, by letting them manipulate us like a puppet.

We need to always do what is best for us, not over-react to bodies being dragged through the streets in Somalia or three hijacked airplane bombs on 9/11. We need to cooly find the real enemies and deal with them, not let them provoke us.

12/07/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Wu Wei said...

"Let's face it, the US had a massive over-reaction to 9/11, making too big a deal out of it. That plays into our enemy's hands, by letting them manipulate us like a puppet."

I agree with Wu Wei on a lot of things but his above comment about 9/11 is dead wrong.

9/11 was a monstrous act of evil. I've yet to find any statistics concerning how many people were in the Twin Towers when the first plane struck but I suspect it was around 30,000 people. Those 30,000 were the people targeted for death by the islamic fascists. That only 2,973 people died was due to the fascist's miscalculation and the heroism of the New York police and fire departments.

There is no question in my mind that the monsters who caused 9/11 would not hesitate to use a nuclear weapon against a major American city. Remember how the Palestinians were dancing with joy when they heard about 9/11? Bin Laden is perfectly attuned to the deep seated hate that drives moslem society.

We've got a real problem on our hands. The Iraqi War was an attempt to establish a civil society (democracy) in an Arab islamic country. Based upon recent events, that attempt has failed (President Bush's political coin is exhausted). If we can not induce the Middle East into forming civil societies then our only alternative will be annihilation (certainly military occupation of the Middle East with the local popluation intact is a demonstrated non-option).

What's really frightening is the next 9/11 attack will probably be nuclear. After that, Wretchard's three conjectures become the basis for actual military operations and lots of people start dying very quickly.

12/07/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

MC_Mustang - right idea. Wrong oil fields.

What is Occupation - yes the Iranian economy is in the dumps. See Spengler's take on this: Jihadis and Whores.

Knowing that wars are won based on the economies of the opposing sides, and knowing that the Iranian economy is weak and is almost completely dependent on oil exports it becomes obvious that disrupting Iran's oil exports is a way, if not the way, to defeat the Iranian rulers.

There has been lots of talk and speculation regarding a military strike on Iran's nuclear research sites, either by the US or by Israel. Obviously such an attack would be difficult and the outcome uncertain. By contrast an attack on their oil pipelines, oil refineries, and oil wells, would be much easier. While impossible to predict the outcome it would certainly destroy the Iranian economy for a period of time and one could argue that the govt would be in great danger of being ousted by its own people.

If there is no resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue and the US doesn't attack Iran militarily then I expect that Israel will attack the Iranian oil infrastructure, with the goal of destroying Iran's economy and causing regime change.

There would be grave repercussions worldwide with oil prices rising dramatically and Iran's terrorism response but I expect that Israel will be forced into this move. There is obviously a ticking clock as Iran tries to go nuclear.

12/07/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> There is no question in my mind that the monsters who caused 9/11 would not hesitate to use a nuclear weapon against a major American city.

No doubt. But lots of people hate us, not just Islamists. News reports said the Chinese Premier watched the 9/11 tape endlessly, laughing... and he's actually got nukes. Putin hates our guts and wants to bring the Soviet Union back. The new generation of Socialist Latin-American tyrants like Chavez hates us too, and they live a lot closer.

There have always been America haters and there always will be. I grew up in the Cold War with thousands of Soviet nukes pointed at my head. I think Osama sitting in his cave and the idiotic suicide bombers are a joke compared to real threats like the Soviets and Red China.

Instead of saying Osama was a two-bit thug who hijacked airlines to kill civilians we made a star out of him and the Islamic movement. President Bush should have said he was a would-be tyrant pretending to be religious instead of going down the Christian vs. Muslim crusade angle.

Yes, the lives lost in 9/11 are important, but so are any American lives lost in war. I said we should not over-react, which will end up costing more lives. Osama thinks he can play us like a violin. Will we let him?

> What's really frightening is the next 9/11 attack will probably be nuclear.

I've heard that before and don't believe it at all; it's flat out impossible to transport and launch a nuke that easily. This is one of those myths that gets passed around the internet but no one ever debunks.

And if it ever did turn out to be true that nukes were that easy, then trying to hunt down every Muslim nut in the Middle East would be no way to waste our time. The threat could come from anywhere so our only defense would be mutual assured retaliation along with the best detection and response possible on the home front.

12/07/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

What I meant in the last part of my post is that the only way for someone to nuke us would be to launch it by missile, not by terrorist carrying imaginary small nukes around. So we would prevent it the same way we did attacks by the Soviets and Chinese, which is to be able to survive a first strike and still destroy them, mutual assured destruction.

12/07/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eggplant said, "Remember how the Palestinians were dancing with joy when they heard about 9/11?"

Yes, and what did we do? Give them 3,000 rifles and 1 million rounds of ammuntion.

12/07/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eggplant said, "Remember how the Palestinians were dancing with joy when they heard about 9/11?"

Yes, and what did we do? Give them 3,000 rifles and 1 million rounds of ammuntion.

12/07/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Link

Kurdish leader blasts Iraq group's report

The president of the Kurdistan region of Iraq issued a stinging rejection of the Iraq Study Group's recommendations, saying Kurds "are in no way abiding by this report."

12/08/2006 02:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>wu wei

The Kurds want federalism and seem to be averse to further entanglement with the central government. They're out for themselves - and for good reason - and hope to gain autonomy before the Shiites start looking their way.

All their talk of "Iraqi unity", but only under a federal government. Truth is, the only reason why the Kurds are supporting the current government is because it's not interfering with them. Don't be fooled by the seemingly nationalistic mood of the Kurds.

We have a long way to go before Iraqis start to think of themselves as a "nation".

12/08/2006 05:53:00 AM  

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