Saturday, January 27, 2007

"Now boys, let's not overreact"

Was an Iranian Military Unit Responsible for Killing 5 Americans in Karbala?, Bill Roggio asks at The Fourth Rail. Rusty Shackleford at the Jawa Reports quotes an AP report claiming that the Kerbalah raid on US troops was led by a team led by a blonde, and presumably English-speaking person.

Four American soldiers were abducted during a sophisticated sneak attack last week in the Shiite holy city of Karbala and their bodies were found up to 25 miles away, according to new information obtained by The Associated Press.

The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad on Jan. 20, was conducted by nine to 12 militants posing as an American security team. They traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles _ the type used by U.S. government convoys _ had American weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues, and spoke English.

In a written statement, the U.S. command reported at the time that five soldiers were killed while "repelling the attack." Now, two senior U.S. military officials as well as Iraqi officials say four of the five were captured and taken from the governor's compound alive. Three of them were found dead and one mortally wounded later that evening in locations as far as 25 miles east of the governor's office....

Iraqi officials said the approaching convoy of black GMC Suburbans was waved through an Iraqi checkpoint at the edge of Karbala. The Iraqi soldiers believed it to be American because of the type of vehicles, the distinctive camouflage American uniforms and the fact that they spoke English. One Iraqi official said the leader of the assault team was blond, but no other official confirmed that.

Bill Roggio says that all the evidence available to him so far suggests the Iranian Qods special forces unit were responsible for the attack.

The American Forces Information Service provides the details of the attack in Karbala. Based on the sophisticated nature of the raid, as well as the response, or cryptic non-responses, from multiple military and intelligence sources, this raid appears to have been directed and executed by the Qods Force branch of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps. My sources agreed this is far to sophisticated an operation for the Mahdi Army or Badr Corps, while al-Qaeda in Iraq would have a difficult time mounting such an operation in the Shia south.

Recently the Washington Post ran a story saying that finally the Troops Are Authorized to Kill Iranian Operatives in Iraq, after a year of "catch and release". Kinda sad ain't it?


Blogger allen said...

If Madame Rice is playing the same game with the American public vis-à-vis Iran as she has been playing with Hezbollah/Hamas/Fatah and the Israeli public, this is why the disclosure of the long awaited revelation of Iranian mayhem in Iraq is so important. In short, Madame Rice needs to explain why Iran has been given a get out of jail free card for lo these many years. Moreover, learning why the disclosure was so long in the coming, from those who knew or reasonably should have known of Iranian involvement (milbloggers), is equally important. If the American public is being hoodwinked in a bipartisan way, this might be the defining issue.

Atrocity in Karbala

The Karbala Attack and the IRGC

1/27/2007 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Persians = Blond or is it the other way....Blond = Persians

Sophisticated Attack, does this implicate Iran?

1/27/2007 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: Does this implicate Iran?

No, but this does.

A ‘Phoenix Program’ for Iran?

The administration comes off rather poorly.

1/27/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

With his unerring sense of timing, John Kerry's gone and asked at Davos about why America hasn't buddied up to Iran more. With former Iranian President Khatami in attendance, Senator Kerry took the opportunity to denounce the administration's foreign policy and then signed an autograph for Khatami to boot.

Michelle Malkin has video and Captain Ed has commentary.

1/27/2007 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Kerry is the gift that just keeps giving. He has to be a secret Rovibot. Who else could save the administration's bacon from the consequences of "catch and release".

1/27/2007 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


There may be no constituency for alternatives to the ghastly choices provided by both parties. Both represent different flavors of the "establishment" and they are struggling to find ways to fit the present challenges into the framework of business as usual, rather like the poor bank teller who is trying to treat the bank robber like a customer. He keeps trying and nothing works; yet because of his vast experience at counting out money, he is sincerely convinced he is the best qualified person to be a bank teller, which in fact, he is. But that is beside the point.

1/27/2007 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

Knowing when to multiply enemies is of critical importance. After the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor, Hitler did us a favor by declaring war on us. He didn't have to. He could have offered to leave us alone, and it would have been hard for congress to declare war on someone not involved in the attack on America. The irony was that Hitler was the more dangerous enemy. In the same way, Iran is the more dangerous enemy, ("knowing" Saddam didn't have WMD.) Part of a very deep strategy may have been to force Iran to attack us, in the same way Roosevelt forced Japan to attack us.

When you look at WWII, it is interesting how many countries limited their enemies. Stalin didn't attack Japan until August 1945. Spain sent a division to fight against the Soviet Union, but didn't do anything against the Western Allies. Japan never attacked the Soviet Union.

So the question: When do you multiply enemies?

1/27/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: bank teller

Can't you just see the late, great Peter Sellers in the role? What a picture.

1/27/2007 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

The Iranians have raised the stakes.

Our move.

Re-raise or as usual, el foldo?

1/27/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Kerry at Davos

1/27/2007 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


"Kerry at Davos" has the makings of a great thread. As usual, you have done an unsurpassed job with the graphics.

For those interested in following Mr. Kerry's big adventure, both the Elephant Bar and TigerHawk are good places to start.

John Kerry questions his own patriotism

Kerry at Davos

1/27/2007 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger MG said...

Appear weak when you are strong, and appear strong when you are weak.

Have we suckered Iran into getting too aggressive, too visible? Have we used the "catch and release" program to build a better template of the Iranian OOB?

Let's face it. When the FBI took down the mob, they didn't arrest every two bit hood. They built an informational basis for arresting the capos.

One can claim that the current administration isn't doing that -- that we are seeing incompetence. However, the facts currently available don't allow one to distinguish.


1/28/2007 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger lewy14 said...

Wretchard is right, there is no constituency for any kind of meaningful response.

If there is a party here being too conservative, it is the Iranians.

Iran could probably rain missiles down on US bases in Iraq right now and the choices would be exactly the same:

- measured, calibrated response designed to limit "escalation"
- redeploy, withdraw, surrender.

What could the Iranians do to provoke a harsh, decisive response with the backing of a majority of the US population and political establishment?

Nothing that I can think of.

1/28/2007 02:02:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Lewy14 said...

Nothing that I can think of.

Nor me.

Nukes in Manhattan could be a candidate, but we'd be so full of finding evidence beyond an ACLU challenge that we'd do nothing.

We must make the point that we don't care about being scientifically (pace morally) right - we just want to survive.

Why don't they love us? I'm dying to know.


1/28/2007 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Actually, lewy, you're dead wrong. This is deep strategy and knowing when to pick your enemies.

I suspect we acted with unusual restraint in the past year precisely because we understood that that would strengthen Ahmadhi-Nejad's hand. He would go to Khamenei and say, "see, the Americans are weak and craven, we can impose a peace on our terms!"

The Faster Please crowd never understood for both domestic political and international reasons, Iran had to be goaded into making the first overt hostile act. Rice has always understood this: an unprovoked but inconclusive attack against Iran would be a political disaster that would leave the Ayatollahs strengthened and us severely crippled.

However, if the Iranians, following the example of the scorpion and the frog, were to act on their instincts, they would eventually find some way to attack us. Last summer's war against Israel can thus be seen as the opening gambit in a larger campaign to oust us from the region.

Hitler declared war on us because he underestimated us. The people around Ahmadhi-Nejad are doing the same thing for the same reason. But the Iranians will take the first overt hostile act. They must-they can do no other. They are swept up in their own belief.

1/28/2007 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

What could the Iranians do to provoke a harsh, decisive response with the backing of a majority of the US population and political establishment?

A couple of Exocets into the Ike or the Stennis would almost certainly do it.

At the minimum our "measured response" would entail wiping out what passes for the Iranian navy, shutting down its oil fields and (probably) more or less eliminating their air force.

And if they offered more resistance beyond that point, a formal Declaration of War would be likely, lest Democrats find themselves solidly out of power for a generation.

1/28/2007 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Man don't we all wish that our Government was actually that competent. 9/11 showed that our faith in our government being competent was faith misplaced. Nothing that I have seen since 9/11 leaves me to believe that they have somehow gotten religion...instead they have gotten worse. When the history of this age is written I believe that our saviors, if we have them, won't be agencies as a whole but individuals inside of those vast bureaucracies who knew what to do and did it regardless of official policy.

I suspect we acted with unusual restraint in the past year precisely because we understood that that would strengthen Ahmadhi-Nejad's hand. He would go to Khamenei and say, "see, the Americans are weak and craven, we can impose a peace on our terms!"

I do not have faith in our Government to actually be as competent as your assumptions. And assuming that they are seems to be a dangerous game. History is replete with seemingly competent governments being completely overrun by events because their premises were not connected to reality.

1/28/2007 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

re: Does this implicate Iran?

Yea I know and I believe that I posted on this prior to most anyone.

US Troops authorized to kill the Iranians who have been killing them for the past 2 years…we used to just blow kisses to them

Which is why I don't believe our government is engaged in some brilliant grand strategy. Not that President Bush didn't intend on such a grand strategy but that the rest of the Government (CIA, DIA, DOD, NSA) in open revolt against protecting this country. Our years of corrupt college educations has paid off as we are protected by people who don't believe in the United States as an entity.

1/28/2007 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Phoenix Program was a sweet operation.

1/28/2007 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I agree, don't overreact. Here is a sentence from the catch & release article, quoted in bold:

There is no evidence the Iranians have directly attacked U.S. troops in Iraq, intelligence officials said.

I'll repeat it once more:

There is no evidence the Iranians have directly attacked U.S. troops in Iraq, intelligence officials said.

And yet again

There is no evidence the Iranians have directly attacked U.S. troops in Iraq, intelligence officials said.

Then ask, why overreact?

As the occupying power, we haven't prevented Sunni terrorists from kill Shiite civilians every day for almost four years. It's not surprising the Shiites are training to defend themselves.

Sunni countries like Syria don't just arm Sunni terrorists, but those foreign Sunni terrorists shoot at our troops every day! The Sunni Insurgency, including Saddam's family, is being run out of Sunni countries like Syria and Jordan.

So Iran is on the list, but probably not the top of it.

1/28/2007 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

There is no evidence the Iranians have directly attacked U.S. troops in Iraq, intelligence officials said.

Well I feel better now that intelligence officials have stated that there is no evidence...they have been so right so often.

Please Wu Wei you can do better than to quote the most discredited portion of our Government.

Aside from the patently ridiculousness of saying that the Iranians have not been directly implicated. muahahaha...sure I guess we can just forget the embassy, 241 Marines, and all of the rest of the attacks. Didn't happen because it doesnt fit the meme of so many "experts" that our enemy's in Islam are solely Sunni whahhabists.

1/28/2007 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"I do not have faith in our Government to actually be as competent as your assumptions."

Governmental employees' order of engagement:

1. Protect job.
2. Calculate position on pay matrix.
3. Recalculate position on pay matrix.
4. Research other civil service programs to improve pay matrix position.
5. Calculate benefits.
6. Recalculate benefits.
7. Recalculate position on pay matrix.
8. Research government job openings for Wife and children.
9. Research whether workday can be shortened by half hour.
10. Recalculate position on pay matrix.
11. Defend country.

1/28/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger ganzo azul said...

Iran condemns U.S. raids against its operatives
"At least eight Iranians have been detained in Iraq recently, including two diplomats in a Dec. 21 roundup. They were interrogated and released to Iranian officials eight days later. The six others were captured Jan. 11 at an Iranian liaison office in the northern city of Irbil. One was released and five are still believed in U.S. custody. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq said last week that one of the detained Iranians was the director of operations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds faction, the organization responsible for funding and arming Iraqi militants."

I hadn't realized this had been confirmed.

1/28/2007 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Oh, pierre.
Absence of evidence is evidence of absence

You should know that, wu lives by that maxim.

1/28/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> The Faster Please crowd never understood for both domestic political and international reasons, Iran had to be goaded into making the first overt hostile act.

Yes, that is the same winning strategy as world war II. Roosevelt waited and waited and waited because he knew if the enemy attacked first then the whole country would be behind the war, but if we fired the first shot then the anti-war crowd would fight him all the way, and we might lose the war.
In this specific case though, there is no evidence that the Iranians did this themselves. It is all speculation. It isn't their style either. They like to use local surrogates to do the actual shooting, with the Iranians just training them.

Use of surrogate forces, patience, and carefully limited actions shows that the Iranians have the warrior mentality, and are willing to do whatever it takes to win.

Does the US have that same will to win? Some in the US think what the Iranians did is sissy fighting, and the only way to fight is to land half a million of our troops then occupy the country for 20 years.

1/28/2007 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This was a high-skill high-risk operation using irreplaceable human assets, conducted with extraordinary sophistication. One doesn't use that kind of capability--and thereby unveil it to the enemy--simply to kill four grunts.

No, this was a message attack. They can infiltrate us. And they want us to know it.

And by they, I mean Iran. They are flashing a capability at Bush to give him pause, to erode his new-found zeal. Nothing else makes any sense.

1/28/2007 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> And by they, I mean Iran.

I don't believe that they would give Bush the blank check for war, the casus belli, by doing it themselves.

By using Iranian-trained Iraqi killers, Iran still saves face and sends the message, but they avoid giving the casus belli.

I'm saddened by the attack, but not surprised. As soon as Bush publicly grabbed the Iranians at the so-called consulate, it was inevitable that they would respond.

About a week ago Iran sent a message through the Iraqi President, saying that they were ready for negotiations. The article revealed that the Bush administration twice scheduled negotiations with Iran. One time was a three way with Iraq, but Iran pulled out at the last minute when the news leaked. The other time Iran offered talks shortly before Maliki took over as PM, but then when the US said they wanted to wait for Maliki's government, Iran dropped the offer.

1/28/2007 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

tit for tat, aristide, tit for tat.

We hit them in Kurdistan, they hit US in southern Shiastan.

SOP for the Mohammedans

1/28/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...


Agreed. And it will compel the US military to re-focus on force protection in Iraq.

You can bet on a bevy of meetings to discuss and reinforce SOPs. All those meetings will slow operational pace and cause inertia.

And the Socialist Democrats will use the attack as further proof that we need to protect our troops.

The Iranians have got our number and are playing us like a fiddle.

Division and weakness are provocative indeed.

1/28/2007 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Pierre Legrand,

No snarkiness was intended, I assure you. You will agree, some things bear repeating?

1/28/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Just as in Vietnam and earlier in Korea this war can be won. We could have won in Vietnam by simply eliminating the North's ability to supply both their surrogate armies (Viet Cong) and their regular NVA. Instead we did a kabuki dance playing like we couldn't do anything because China and Russia would go directly to Nuclear war. Eisenhower proved the idiocy of that notion with N. Korea.

What all these Snake Eater advocates forget is if you want to beat an insurgency you cut off their ability to re-supply. We don't need Counter Insurgency we need balls to the wall war making.

Prove that Iran is supplying the insugents and give them warning they blow them to hell. If you want to escalate gradually blow the shit out of Syria first. The insurgency cannot continue without supply.

1/28/2007 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy said...

Pierre's post got me wondering about LBJ's letting the war drag out until the left could take over the story. We all know the CW, that he was worried about nuclear war--but that suddenly strikes me as thin gruel considering our 500,000 man ten-year commitment.

I mean, why exactly would he have figured the odds were SO high that Kremlin would commit suicide, that he would rather lose the war and his presidency to boot?

Just doesn't make sense all of a sudden. Not that it ever did, but suddenly, even less so.

1/28/2007 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

911-DENIAL Was 9/11 that bad?
The attacks were a horrible act of mass murder, but history says we're overreacting.
So why has there been such an overreaction? Unfortunately, the commentators who detect one have generally explained it in a tired, predictably ideological way: calling the United States a uniquely paranoid aggressor that always overreacts to provocation.

In a recent book, for instance, political scientist John Mueller evaluated the threat that terrorists pose to the United States and convincingly concluded that it has been, to quote his title, "Overblown." But he undercut his own argument by adding that the United States has overreacted to every threat in its recent history, including even Pearl Harbor (rather than trying to defeat Japan, he argued, we should have tried containment!).

Seeing international conflict in apocalyptic terms — viewing every threat as existential — is hardly a uniquely American habit. To a certain degree, it is a universal human one. But it is also, more specifically, a Western one, which paradoxically has its origins in one of the most optimistic periods of human history: the 18th century Enlightenment.
Yet as the comparison with the Soviet experience should remind us, the war against terrorism has not yet been much of a war at all, let alone a war to end all wars. It is a messy, difficult, long-term struggle against exceptionally dangerous criminals who actually like nothing better than being put on the same level of historical importance as Hitler — can you imagine a better recruiting tool? To fight them effectively, we need coolness, resolve and stamina. But we also need to overcome long habit and remind ourselves that not every enemy is in fact a threat to our existence.

a.Imagine a minimum attack that would most effectively bring our economy to a halt.

b.Imagine a minimum attack that would most effectively spread mass terror and "paranoia."

c.Enjoy the bounty of an abundance of taquiya.

1/28/2007 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

Wu Wei: The U.S. has had blank check for causus belli since 1979, all that's needed is to fill in the date. This is just piling on, because they think they can get away with it.

So far no president has had sufficient motivation to do write in a date.

1/28/2007 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dhimmi Watch
Three groups are urging ABC News not to keep CNN Headline News personality Glenn Beck on as a "Good Morning America" commentator because they believe he's biased against Arabs.
The Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council all said Thursday they had written to ABC News President David Westin about Beck.

"Good Morning America" executive producer Jim Murphy has spoken to a representative of the groups and has invited them on the air to talk about their grievances, said ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider....

1/28/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/28/2007 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

I've quoted from and linked to you here:

1/28/2007 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Here is a week-old article about what Bush's new Iran policy supposedly is. It's from a supposedly "nonpartisan" magazine.

There is good and bad news. (Quotes from article are in bold.)

The bad news is that some in the Administration are saying that our raids have not yet "produce definitive proof of Iranian involvement in supplying Iraqi militants."

Contrary to some initial reports that American troops had found damning maps and documents on the detained Iranians, some U.S. government sources indicate that the Hakim raid did not produce definitive proof of Iranian involvement in supplying Iraqi militants. "They are trying to walk this back," one U.S. official said. "There are no smoking guns about Iran in Iraq," said another knowledgeable U.S. source. "That's the problem. Sort of like the WMD."

The good news is they confirm that Bush IS getting tougher on Iran.

U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified, say that the Iran policy has expanded from focusing chiefly on Iran's nuclear ambitions to challenging Tehran's suspected misbehavior across the Middle East. Indeed, one source said succinctly that the new policy is geared to "confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war." ...

Under the new policy, the United States will aggressively seek to expose and confront Iranian networks thought to be supplying radical proxies in Iraq, U.S. sources involved with the policy said. In addition, the U.S. is doubling its naval power in the Persian Gulf, considering covert ways to counter Hezbollah in Lebanon, and sending Patriot missiles to jittery allies in the Gulf. Bush administration officials are "projecting a lot of confrontation with Iran," says one American source privy to the administration's Iran policy debate who asked not to be further identified. "But they don't mean to signal war. They don't mean war. It's war by other means.

Controversial, but good news IMO, is them saying "confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war... It's war by other means" Maybe Bush has finally realized there are other ways to fight besides invasion & occupation, the same ways our enemies like Iran use.

The other good news, and one of the "other means", is that the Saudis supposedly are so scared of the Iranians that they have switched sides. In fact the article even talks about the The emerging Washington-Saudi-Sunni-Israeli alliance and with Jordan and Egypt also included. Some evidence:

Clawson cited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's very positive public reference about the Saudi role in helping to promote peace. "It was extraordinarily unusual for an Israeli prime minister to refer to three helpful countries" -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. "That was no accident. It was carefully worked out language." The Israeli media recently reported speculation about a rare meeting between Israeli and Saudi officials.

Dick Cheney's Christmas flight to Saudi Arabia sounds like part of this. The Saudis are already taking action, according to the article, in fact the Saudis are said to be the one secretly supporting Fatah in the civil war in Palestine!

Among the steps the Saudis now appear ready to take, according to Clawson, is to significantly fund Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has faced an upsurge in intra-Palestinian violence incited by Hamas, which is supported by Syria and Iran.

Here is more about the alliance

The first is the emergence of a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab governments, plus Israel, all of which are alarmed at Iran's flexing of power in the region and, in particular, at Tehran-backed Hezbollah's efforts to bring down the government in Lebanon. In addition, this loose coalition fears Iran's possible role in supporting militant proxy groups that threaten to destabilize other countries, specifically Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Shiite groups in the Gulf States, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

1/28/2007 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I reposted my article to fix a typo. Just changed the word "Hamas" to "Fatah". I hope that didn't break any links.

1/28/2007 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

"Now boys, let's not overreact"

To what exactly?
Our embassy being attacked and personnel held hostage for 444 days?
The 224 killed in Beirut on 10/23/83?
Yeah you are right lets sign autographs for them.

1/28/2007 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Well, the object of the exercise is to expose Iran's operations in Iraq and the politicians who back them. In so doing, Bush can pluck the Iranians bit by bit until they are goaded into doing something stupid.

That gives the Administration the excuse to take out Bashar, Natanz, and other targets.

The American Spectator Editorial Board, the people over at the Corner, and others critical of Rice's diplomacy never understood that before taking on Iran, one had to have a pretext provided by the Ayatollahs. After Iraq, one can't simply say that Ahmadhi Nejad wants to exterminate the Jews of Israel. The opposition doesn't care about that.

Only actual extermination of the Jews would goad the President's political opposition into action sometimes, so it seems the President has chosen to get activist and reduce the menu of choices available to the Iranians to slim and none.

We'll have to see what happens. I suspect it won't be pleasant reading.

1/28/2007 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

The horror of Abu Ghraib merited first page coverage by the New York Times for more than 5 straight weeks. Gitmo has been put up as the proof that Bush and Rummy have destroyed all that was left of good and decency in America.

Here our enemies have captured our soldiers, taken them prisoner, and then murdered them.

Let's see if the New York Times and the Democrats are as outraged about this abuse of prisoners.

1/28/2007 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger lewy14 said...

Chris, where we differ is in what will constitute an effective pretext.

My feeling, and it is just a feeling, a dampened finger in the air as it were, is that the political and popular resistance to provocation is profound.

E.g., I think if they launched exocets on a CBG right now, more than half of America would say "why are we provoking Iran with carriers! Bring'em home! It's a Bush plot!"

It's just an opinion, but I'm terribly pessimistic about the willingness of any segment of this society (populace, media, political establishment) to front Bush the poltical capital to conduct any operations on Iran for any reason whatsoever (save nuking Manhattan or the like).

1/28/2007 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

legrand - sure I guess we can just forget the embassy, 241 Marines, and all of the rest of the attacks.

Reagan wrote those Marines off a day after that attack. It wasn't as if we weren't warned - or hadn't stupidly escalated from "peacekeepers" to direct hostility against the Shiites. Because a proxy force of Israel was getting their butts kicked, AIPAC Lobby got US Congress and it's paid-for guys within the Reagan Adminstration to take sides and kill a few hundred proto-Hez fighters with shelling from a Battleship and a US Nuclear Cruiser.

A month later, when the barracks was bombed, Reagan's choices were to get sucked in to commit our military to full support of the Israeli invaders against all UN Resolutions we voted with, continue to be the men in the middle assumed by all to have done Israel's bidding and sitting ducks (like we are in Iraq now), or get out.

Before that, Reagan's choice was to launch a major war against Iran for the Embassy takeover despite the prisoner release before he took office. But Reagan had higher priorities - fix the economy, the Soviets.

Reagan chose wisely.

If you believe there is no time limit on payback, look at it from the Persian's perpective. A quarter century before the embassy and proto-Hez caught the Marines with their pants down - we were stealing Iranian oil dirt cheap and sabotaging their governments.

Besides, if you believe in tit for tat, the USS Vicennes handled that. As did the US helping Saddam kill at least an extra 100,000 or so Iranians with our satellite photo intel deploying Iraqis bombs and shells optimally and our poison gas warfare technical assistance.

As a general rule, if attacked, you have to decide whether to respond or let it go in short order, and no treaty abides dredging up decades old or century old events as casus belli for starting today's war.

Plus we have tried to screw the Iranians any way we can economically for a quarter century as payback and we have had luck there in inflicting real damage on their growth rates and industries.


"Now boys, let's not overreact"

To what exactly?
Our embassy being attacked and personnel held hostage for 444 days?
The 224 killed in Beirut on 10/23/83?
Yeah you are right lets sign autographs for them.

We had 25-28 years to react to those old beefs and didn't. At a certain point, old beefs no longer give adequate cause to go to war. The only relevancy those old beefs have is that if we ever have to have a war with them for our interests, not the Israelis or the "noble, purple-fingered Iraqis" - what they did to us 25 years ago will make it as sweet as it was to the Persians paying us back 25 years after the 1953 Mosaddeq coup and the oil theft.

1/28/2007 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

From Wikipedia:

"The death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and 3 Army soldiers."

I knew 5. I assisted the Secret Service with security for President Reagan's attendance at the memorial service the following week; he did not "write off" anyone the following day.

1/28/2007 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

uhv3case -
You can write off doing anything to respond to 241 deaths and still feel bad, order the flags to half staff and give meaningful hugs.

Just as Clinton was all choked up about the Embassy Bombings - personally talked to "victim families" from the Tanzania and Kenyan embassy dead and wounded, and ceremonially greeted the arriving USS Cole corpses and did nothing to retaliate.

Just as Reagan, he had written off a response. Less intelligently than Reagan's people who astutely knew that they had been drawn into a peacekeeping mission gone bad. And that they had higher priorities than "avenging the 241". The US still made the proto-Hez pay with oodles of US ordnance given free to Israel dumped on their heads. And as I mentioned, used Iraq and Saddam as proxies to really bleed the Iranians.

Very clever of Reagan not to go into Lebanon in force after bad decisions set up the US as taking sides, and poor Marine force protection allowed the Shiites to be able to waste so many US servicemen.

1/29/2007 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

3case, thank you for your last post.

In the face of American malaise after our surrender in Vietnam, the Cold War went hot in "small wars" in South Africa, the Sovs invaded Afghanistan, the mullahs added humiliation to the loss of our ally in Iran, the Cuban military was active in Africa and the Western Hemisphere. The Cold War exposed its global nature in the face of our weakness. Reagan was fighting that world war first and foremost.

1/29/2007 03:48:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Powered by Blogger