Sunday, February 18, 2007

Degrees of Freedom

The Small Wars Council has an interesting set of comments on the counterinsurgency campaign in Anbar. It raises several questions without quite answering them, but the questions themselves are valuable to consider, whether or not we know the answers. First: apparently the Anbar tribes have quit "playing both sides" and come down on the side of the US. What does that suggest about who tribes think is going to win? And why do they think that? Another commenter at Small Wars Council shrewdly understands, from the apparent progress in Anbar, that the correct interpretation of "changing the rules of engagement" doesn't mean "taking the gloves off" but increasing the degrees of freedom that the commanders in the field are allowed to exercise. Mandatory severity may be just as damaging as compulsory leniency. Perhaps the real lesson of Anbar is to let men on the ground do what they think is right. But the real gem is buried in a link to the blog Talisman Gate, which relates how a Jihadi satellite TV station has gone from broadcasting Islamic Internet attack video to criticizing al-Qaeda. Talisman gates says:


I was wondering how the current spate of jihadist-on-jihadist strife is going to be revealed to the public at large, but I never contemplated that it will be done on a jihadist satellite station, Al-Zawra, and through the person of the slimy nutcase who owns it, Mishaan al-Jebouri.

Al-Zawra TV had become the premier jihadist propaganda tool; it was mostly focused on entertainment programming but began to air pro-insurgency rhetoric after Jebouri was stripped of his parliamentary immunity on charges of corruption and aiding the insurgency. What Al-Zawra basically did was to retransmit the jihadist videos that are being posted on the internet—mostly scenes of attacks on U.S. soldiers and Iraqi troops—to a much larger pan-Middle Eastern audience through the use of satellite technology; an audience that for the most part is not connected to the web. This made Al-Zawra immediately popular across the region, and it was being lauded by jihadists everywhere, even though some had expressed doubts over its ‘opportunistic’ management.

But a few days ago, Al-Zawra began running some anti-Al-Qaeda messages in its news ticker, and the jihadists began to mumble and some even penned invectives against al-Jebouri.

Yesterday, however, Al-Jebouri gave a whole anti-Al-Qaeda speech and this drove the jihadists berserk: the premier jihadist organ had begun to badmouth the jihad!

These are al-Jebouri’s main points:

-Al-Qaeda provoked the Shi'as and then failed to protect the Sunnis from retaliation.

-Al-Qaeda is forcing all the other insurgent groups to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq under Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, and is punishing the hold-outs.

-Al-Qaeda is killing and abducting Sunni notables who were part of the insurgency.

-Al-Qaeda wants to impose a Taliban-like Islamic State on Iraqi Sunnis, who are the worse for it—they don’t even have enough to eat.

-Al-Qaeda killed an emissary sent by al-Jebouri, who has wanted to negotiate with al-Baghdadi.

-Iraqi Sunnis across the board are preparing to clash with Al-Qaeda as is already happening in Anbar Province.

Al-Jebouri gets into details and names names, and he addresses his speech to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, questioning the validity of pledging allegiance to an anonymous phantom.

Apart from the fact that al-Jebouri's rant sheds light onto why the Anbar tribes may have decided to throw in with the US; and why al-Qaeda's doctrinal fixity may have cost them in "degrees of freedom"' and why the US counterinsurgency in Anbar may be outhinking, as opposed to outgunning the enemy -- it also raises the question of whether al-Zawra is a Black TV station. For those who recall the history of the Second World War, Black Stations were Allied radio station which impersonated enemy radio by initially broadcasting enemy propaganda and later subtly shifting the message to Allied ground. In this case, al-Zawra might have broadcast Jihadi video to win an audience and then used it as a forum to broadcast grievances against the brutal al-Qaeda. Classic bait and switch and pretty damned brilliant -- if it's a Black Station. In case anyone should think I've lost my marbles, it's fair to point out the same thought has occurred to Talisman Gate also, but in a more conspiratorial and convoluted form.

My own little reading of al-Jebouri’s little speech is that this was spurred on by Syrian Intelligence. Sure, some may say it’s the Barzanis, or the Jordanians, or even the CIA. But al-Jebouri, who is now hiding-out in Damascus, may have been prodded into this by his Syrian hosts who, according to a source, are getting information that Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia is moving resources and personnel from Iraq to Syria in preparation for launching operations against the regime there and beyond in Lebanon and Israel. There is a cryptic line that al-Jebouri says that seems to add credibility to this theory: “We will not allow Iraq to turn into a dangerous place that threatens the countries of the region under any pretext…”

If so then the US has truly achieved a subtlety and lethality beyond anything available in the days when firing hundreds of cruise missiles at a target was the only available response; back when it had a walnut-sized brain full of options. But then the recent destruction of a Qods bus in Iran by 'representatives of al-Qaeda' may be another example of the changed "rules of engagement" made possible by new capabilities. Although this is speculative, various commentators like Bill Roggio have expressed the opinion that just maybe the US was behind the carbomb attack on the Iranian special forces. All of this raises the tantalizing possibility that a qualitative change in US warfighting has arrived in theater, much like the arrival of Hellcats, VT fuzes, computing sights and radar silently transformed the Pacific in 1944. To a casual observer the ships looked the same as they did in 1942 but they were radically different. Who knows?

But returning to the subject of "degrees of freedom" and walnut-sized brain responses, one wonders at how useful it is to keep seeing the world through the prism of the Vietnam War. Clearly for many of the Democrats in Congress who have just supported a nonbinding resolution aimed at "bringing the boys home", 2007 is 1967.  One wonders whether for certain people every year will be always be 1967. However that may be, as much time has elapsed from 1967 till today as between the time Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was released and the end of the Silent Movie era. Rep. Sam Johnson. (R-Texas) responded to Murtha's "slow bleed" strategy with an argument taken from the same era but with this difference: Johnson understood the price of having his fate, as a young man, decided by old men living in their past. Now, astounded to find himself in Congress, Johnson wonders whether it isn't the job of the old to let the men in the field shape their world.

 

30 Comments:

Blogger Stephen Renico said...

While this internecine conflict among jihadists seems like a good thing at first glance, I worry that a strong victor may emerge in the way the Trotskyites lost to the Bolsheviks.

The best option would be to find a way to make jihadists of one faction fight jihadists of another until they're all bled white and utterly spent.

2/18/2007 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Another great article Wretchard...

How dare those of us in the States limit the options of those who fight for us.

Comment left on another blog about the idiocy of civilians judging men who are fighting…

2/18/2007 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

a good point, stephen. i think perhaps the difference may be that strong tendency among tribes to prevent one from dominating the others and, when one threatens to dominate, to gang up on him, and teach him his place. perhaps that is what al qaeda represents: at first a sophisticated ally, suddenly a threat to tribal norms. clearly the deposition of saddam was such a threat; saddam was their principal, and governed as such in his own fashion. we created a vacuum. of course, the sunni tribes - to the extent that it makes sense to label it that way - are guilty of causing this general conflict, and are guilty of sheltering and facilitating and supporting al qaeda to begin with. in the tribal mentality, outsiders are easily converted into Satans. besides which, they're probably a big collection of brutal assholes. But if they collaborate with the USA in order to greivously wound al qaeda, and if we do our part, while dismantling the organized sunni squads and networks, to destroy al sadr and the mehdi army, while also defanging Badr Brigade and so on, then their actions against al qaeda will be sufficient to bring the sunni tribes into a functional harmony with a push toward harmonization. after all, it is not crucial that they all love eachother, but only that they tolerate one another according to their general expectations.

With respect to Wretchard's post, though, I wonder if we could get any of our gentle posters who were young in the 1960s to talk candidly about the fear felt then. I ask because, frankly, I don't believe that mere ideology motivates anyone, but rather that the ideology forms an intellectual and imaginative crucible that attracts because of its emotional resonance.

2/18/2007 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

It would help if al-Qaeda's words at the opening of this conflict could be remembered. The Great Satan was the US but the target that was enumerated at the begining was the Saudi royal family and the neighboring dictatorships because they had strayed as badly as the Jews and Christians.

Anyone who tries to feed that crocodile has a fool for a scheduler. (borrowed obviously)

Dan, there was a fear the trail of which went back to LBJ. When I went over, on my destroyer, in 65, we had already heard of sentries who were given improper ammo for their weapons e.g. .308 for M-16's. At that point we didn't know that we were fighting a PC war.

My ideology did provide the impetus for my enlistment. I joined the Navy reserve in 64, before Johnson catapulted 'Nam into the spotlight.

2/18/2007 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Christopher Hitchens describes how Hillary Clinton was for "freeing" Iraq before she decided to abandon it.

hardened veteran of the British House of Commons once put it to me like this. "You can rat," he said. "Anybody can rat once. But it's very hard to re-rat."

I don't think consistency is by itself a virtue. But strategic consistency is. Adaptation is a virtue but switching sides is a vice. Hillary can change her mind as many times as she likes about the Means. The question is whether she has changed her mind about the Ends. Many of those sincerely appalled by the mistakes of the Bush administration who advocated voting Democrat as a way of "setting things right" might now be wondering whether Lieberman was correct when he accused the current Congress of not being able to tell the difference between setting things right and saying "No" to everything in sight. But then who listens to Lieberman in the Democratic Party? Now maybe if he were to rat and switch sides -- then it will prove the advantages of political contortionism. It's so easy to be cynical about politics.

2/18/2007 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Captain Ed looks at an Investors Business Daily poll which suggests that "sentiment has actually built towards a commitment to victory in Iraq."

One poll doesn't prove anything of itself, but it does remind us that opinion shifts. The Democratic party harnessed dissatisfaction against the way the war was being run to elect Democrats. But once in power they had to provide specifics about what to do as a majority party in Congress. What was Plan B? Dissastifaction with the conduct of the war is not exactly the same as a committment to withdrawal. The challenge was to show how a withdrawal would lead to meaningful victory. But sometime after regaining regaining the House, the subtle difference between being in opposition and having a viable alternative plan was forgotten.

Embracing the "slow bleed" policy represented an admission that the nebulous Iraqi policy of the party was quite definite after all. It was a categorical committment to leaving the enemy in possession of the battlefield, whether by necessity or by choice. If Captain Ed is right about a building consensus for victory, then they have zigged when they should have zagged. To take advantage of the shift in the tides of public opinion the Democrats need to lay out the road to victory on their terms, is such a road exists. Whether there is any appetite within the Democratic party to seek a path towards victory will become clear in the following weeks.

2/18/2007 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Tom_Holsinger said...

FYI:

THE classic book on black propaganda is Sefton Delmer's Black Boomerang. Here is the Amazon URL:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-boomerang-Sefton-Delmer/dp/B0007DLW6Q/sr=1-1/qid=1171855434/ref=sr_1_1/102-3437682-6896927?ie=UTF8&s=books

2/18/2007 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

mike h wrote "The Great Satan was the US but the target that was enumerated at the begining was the Saudi royal family and the neighboring dictatorships"...

Zawahiri's letter of July 9, 2005 -
It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established in the manner of the Prophet in the heart of the Islamic world, specifically in the Levant, Egypt, and the neighboring states of the Peninsula and Iraq; however, the center would be in the Levant and Egypt.

However, Bin Laden has never claimed that al-Qaeda could achieve this goal by itself. Quite the contrary, he has consistently maintained that al-Qaeda is only the vanguard of the large-scale movement that is needed to achieve this goal. He intends to be the instigator and inspirer of Muslims to follow the path of jihad and aims to agitate their souls until they do so. Even in this, he claims no original role for himself, explaining that he is honored to "provide our ummah with the inspiration it requires" because "Allah asked it from the best of humans, the Prophet".

Unfortunately, the US and Europe are not only confronted by a still undefeated al-Qaeda, but by an increasing number of Muslims in their own populations who - inspired and religiously agitated by bin Laden - are prepared to pick up arms and spend their lives to act on that inspiration...

• A 30-year-old Muslim man, Naveed Afzal Haq, who went on a shooting rampage at a Jewish community center in Seattle, announcing "I'm a Muslim-American; I'm angry at Israel."

• An Egyptian national, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who shot two and wounded three at an Israeli airline ticket counter at LAX.

• A bearded 21-year-old student, Joel Hinrichs, who blew himself up with a backpack filled with TATP (the explosive of choice in the Mideast) outside a packed Oklahoma University football stadium not long after he started attending the local mosque.

• A 23-year-old student, Mohammed Ali Alayed, who slashed the throat of his Jewish friend in Houston after apparently undergoing a religious awakening (he went to a local mosque afterward).

• The D.C. snipers — John Muhammad and Lee Malvo, both black Muslim converts — who picked off 13 people in the suburbs around the Beltway as part of what Muhammad described as a "prolonged terror campaign against America" around the first anniversary of 9/11, which he had praised.

• Omeed Aziz Popal of Fremont, Calif., who police said hit and killed a bicyclist there then took his SUV on a hit-and-run spree in San Francisco, mowing down pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks before police caught up with him, whereupon the Muslim called himself a "terrorist."

• A 22-year-old Muslim, Ismail Yassin Mohamed, who stole a car in Minneapolis and rammed it into other cars before stealing a van and doing the same, injuring drivers and pedestrians, while repeatedly yelling, "Die, die, die, kill, kill, kill" — all, he said, on orders from "Allah."

• A 22-year-old Iranian honors student, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, who deliberately rammed his SUV into a crowd at the University of North Carolina to "punish the government of the United States" for invading Iraq and other Muslim nations.

2/18/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Wretchard said, Whether there is any appetite within the Democratic party to seek a path towards victory will become clear in the following weeks.

Presidents of the opposite party have always wound down any war started by his predecessor unless the casualties reach such a low ebb that they are no longer making headlines. And with the advent of the suicide bomber in Beirut 1983, headlines are always just a barracks away.

2/18/2007 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

wretchard wrote...Embracing the "slow bleed" policy represented an admission that the nebulous Iraqi policy of the party was quite definite after all. It was a categorical committment to leaving the enemy in possession of the battlefield...

Al-Qaeda believes that it and its allies can only defeat the United States in a "long war", one that allows the Islamists to capitalize on their extraordinary patience, as well as on their enemies' lack thereof. Before his death in a firefight with Saudi security forces, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Hajar Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin, wrote extensively about how al-Qaeda believed the military fight against the US and its allies would unfold. He envisioned a point at which the mujahideen would have to develop semi-conventional forces. He identified this period as the "Decisive Stage"

Muqrin told his insurgent readers that the power of the US precluded any expectation of a quick victory. He wrote that the war would progress slowly through such phases as initial manpower mobilization, political work among the populace to establish trust and support, the accumulation of weaponry and other supplies, the establishment of bases around the country and especially in the mountains, the initiation of attacks on individuals and then a gradual intensification of the latter until a countrywide insurgency was under way. Each of these steps was essential and none could be skipped, Muqrin maintained; the steps would prolong the war, thereby allowing the mujahideen to grow in numbers, experience and combat power.

As these steps were traversed by the mujahideen, Muqrin argued that ...the resources, political will, morale and manpower of the insurgents' enemies would be eroded and their forces would assume more static positions in order to limit the attrition they suffered. In this stage of the insurgency, Muqrin predicted that the US and its allies would conduct far fewer large-scale combat operations in the countryside and would turn toward conducting smaller raids on specific targets, while simultaneously hardening their bases and protecting their supply routes and lines of communication.

I will be patient until patience outwears patience indeed

2/18/2007 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/18/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

W,

There's something wrong with the way costs have run out of control in this war. The current cost structure just isn't sustainable.

That's the real issue that needs to be addressed.

2/18/2007 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

A bearded 21-year-old student, Joel Hinrichs, who blew himself up with a backpack filled with...TATP (the explosive of choice in the Mideast)

Speaking of which...
Feb. 18, 2007
FBI Defends Against 'Kitchen Sink Bombs' By LARA JAKES JORDAN
Associated Press Writer

TATP in particular is hard for dogs to detect. Over the past year, the FBI and Transportation Security Administration have trained dog teams to sniff out the chemical cocktails at 75 airports and on subway, train and bus systems in 13 cities. The government pays up to $50,000 to train each of the 420 teams currently in action.

"It's a threat that's not here right now, but we see it coming," said Dave Kontny, director of TSA's national explosives detection canine teams. "So we're better off to have these teams."

John Rollins, a counterterrorism expert at Congressional Research Service and former U.S. intelligence official, said TATP and other varieties of peroxide-based bombs are most likely to show up in the hands of homegrown extremists and other splinter sympathizers of international terrorist groups.

The larger and centrally organized groups, such as al-Qaida, are more interested in "big bang" weapons that he said would cause widespread deaths and economic losses.

But aspiring terrorists, Rollins said, "would lean toward this because it's so readily available, it's so hard to detect."

"It certainly would be enough of a bang to draw attention to their cause, and shake the foundations in the short term of society's belief that the government can protect the United States," Rollins said.

2/18/2007 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

"There's something wrong with the way costs have run out of control in this war. The current cost structure just isn't sustainable.
That's the real issue that needs to be addressed."...

Another perspective -
January 23, 2006
Iraq War Not Breaking the Bank
In fact, it’s one of the least expensive conflicts in our nation’s history.

http://www.nationalreview.com
/nrof_buzzcharts/buzzcharts
200601230854.asp

2/18/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

via: The Elephant Bar

Of the 1.5 million in Uniform of some type 10% (150,000) deployed to a low level insurgency strains the Institution to the breaking point.

It gets worse. Of the 150,000 deployed to the insurgency, only 10% (15,000) go on patrol any given night. So the adjusted gross tooth-to-tail ratio is 1%.

2/18/2007 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

Dan;

All my uncles were veterans of WWII. I was also well aware of the evils perpetrated by Communist regimes of every stripe. From the time I was a kid there was no doubt that I would join the Navy, which I did when I graduated in 1971. I was aware of what war is and the possible cost to me; I was afraid that I might be killed or wounded. I accepted that because it was unthinkable that I would not serve my country in the armed forces and because I was committed to do my part to prevent any people, in this case the Vietnamese from becoming another victim to Communism. I was also afraid that I might not be able to pull my weight, but I did ok.

2/18/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

W,

There's something wrong with the way costs have run out of control in this war. The current cost structure just isn't sustainable.
//////////
The US budget deficit is shrinking rapidly. The US trade deficit is growing rapidly.

2/18/2007 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

One of the few things the Democrats are right about is that you can't fight a decades-long war, which the Cold War was and this one likely is, without building a political consensus. A decades-long war under the American political system means a multi-administration war, and Americans aren't ready to award a decades-long monopoly over all branches of government to one party.

Part of the problem is that this war came along just as the Democrats were losing everything (including the go**amn war itself, which they had been ignoring during Clinton's presidency). They had lost their way because of the collapse of the socialist regimes they admired and the evident failure of their 'spend ever more' welfare programs, and were losing elections across the US. They had little idea what their direction ought to be on most subjects.

Bush's problem was, how do you compromise or build a consensus with a party which has so completely lost its way, when you have a war to fight right now? So he left them on the sidelines, where they still moan and whine today.

We will have to get to a consensus eventually, but I don't think Bush, who understood very well after a faltering start the generational nature of the conflict, had much of a choice. He was obliged to go it alone and leave brokering a longer term deal over strategy to his successors.

2/18/2007 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

I guess putting Zarqawi in charge in Iraq is a chicken finally coming coming home to roost for AQ. Maybe they didn't actually choose him. Maybe he really chose them, but he certainly acted in their name. Maybe trying to start a war between the Shia and Sunnis wasn't such a smart idea after all.

It coudn't happen to a nicer bunch of terrorists.

Re: Black propaganda. While I don't doubt that the CIA could think of something like this, and I don't doubt that sometime in their history they might actually have done something like this, I do doubt that the lawyers would let them do something like this. Isn't it against international law or something to lie in public, or to impersonate a jihadi?

As far as the American people are concerned or at least any rational Americans, what matters is winning. If we're going to win then the American people will be in favor of whatever actions are taken. Bush, and crew, until now have talked big but have dropped the ball. If the change in strategy or tactics or whatever has actually changed, if anything, results in the US winning, for some definition of winning, the American people will be in favor of it. If not, well, Bush can simply be forgotten. I assume that he knows that and will keep his own council until the end of his term, whether he wins or not.

2/18/2007 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Meme Chose,

"One of the few things the Democrats are right about is that you can't fight a decades-long war, which the Cold War was and this one likely is, without building a political consensus."

This is absolutely right. That is why the absence of a Democratic policy which leads to victory is so disturbing. This is the strategic weakness of which the Jihadis are all too aware. It is an obvious weakness and the enemy would be negligent if he didn't hammer on it for all he was worth.

Logically then the US will not be able to conduct an effective operations until a broad consensus on a long war is reached. That implies (but it does not require) that ground will continue to be lost, due to half-hearted measures, until such a nadir is reached that some catastrophe creates a consensus. Something far larger and wide-reaching than 9/11. Perhaps another route is possible. But at any rate, the political system has to digest not just the Jihadi threat but the residual effect of the 1960s on decision-making. The Long War is "Long" both domestically and internationally.

Therefore there are no shortcuts available. No Man in Shining Armor to hope for. No Magic Moment to expect. Nothing but slow education and incremental politics leading to a change on both sides of the aisle will work. My worry is that most conservatives, having day jobs, will have no stomach for this kind of grind. But that's probably what it will take.

2/18/2007 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

"until such a nadir is reached that some catastrophe creates a consensus. Something far larger and wide-reaching than 9/11"...

and this is a worrisome possibility when considering a possible nexus between al-Queda, Hezbollah, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard

Imad Fayez Mugniyah has been alternately described as the founder or senior intelligence officer of Hezbollah. He planned the U.S. marine base bombing that killed 241 U.S. troops,the hijacking of TWA 847, the attacks on the Khobar Towers, and bombings in Argentina. His involvement is also believed in the 1999 hijacking of an Aie India aircraft, which was taken over by Islamists armed with knives and scissors (antecedent to the 9/11 hijacker tactics?)

In 1992 Rabin ordered the deportation of 415 Hamas members (Sunni) to Southern Lebanon. HAMAS were granted shelter and protection of the Shiite Hezbollah in accordance with Muslim code of milmastia (hospitality). Witness their relationship today.

This cooperation between Shiite and Sunni terrorists in Lebanon and Israel is evidence that Muslims can set aside their differences and unite in a struggle against a common enemy.

Mugniyah and bin Laden may have met in 1995 at the headquarters of Ali Numeini, in Khartoum. In October 2000, Ali Abdelsoud Mohamed testified that he provided security for bin Laden at the meeting. There is speculation the two also met in 1996 in Tehran at a meeting of senior terror commanders.

There are also reported meetings in Ciudad Del Este, news of the visit first reported by CNN. Of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's visit to South America there remains no doubt. During interrogation after his capture, Mohammed admitted that Bin Laden wanted to create a "nuclear hell storm" in the U.S.

On August 23, 1996, bin Laden issued "Declaration of War on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Holy Places" in which he called upon all Islam-the righteous Sunni and unrighteous Shiites-to take part in the great struggle against the United States and Israel.

In 2004 CIA Director George Tenet was reported to have testified to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee that Hezbollah has cultivated an extensive network of operatives on American soil and has "an ongoing capability to launch terrorist attacks within the United States."

Mehr, Iran, January 20, 2007
Iranian Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai warned the U.S. of the serious consequences it could expect if it attacked Iran: "The Iranian people will deal... America 10 slaps in the face, so that it will never be able to again show a presence [in the region]....

In a February 6, 2007 interview, Iranian Defense Minister Mustafa Najar told Al-Jazeera TV: "There is no doubt that any threat against Iran will meet with the most deterring and destructive aggressive force, and its reaction will be such that it will cause the invaders to forever regret their action... We say to America that if it ignites the fire of war, it will doubtless engulf the White House more than it burns others..."

2/18/2007 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Faeroe said...

Interesting thoughts and possibilities at play here. If the speculations are correct, it shows helpful developments and reflects that we are finally getting inside the enemy’s OODA loop and also that one of the most common mistakes made in dealing with a received mess is to think that those who dealt with the issue previously were idiots. None of us (and no time of history) has a monopoly on wisdom.

Creative attack as a way of problem-solving used to be an American birthright. It seems that the more professional and technically proficient our military has become, the more channelled our thinking has gotten as well.

If the black operation is true, it is a great maneuver to break down the element that is truly crucial to assymetrical warfare – communication.

A further level of refinement to the conspiracy theories put forward in the article, is that it need not be a black operation if we can make the enemy think it is.

On the whole, I think that there have been some very encouraging signs of late. Of course, the link at the end shows that there are some very discouraging signs as well.

2/19/2007 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger Wir für Sie said...

Dittmarkooperation
Ess- und Kochklasse
Eventmanagement
Freelancer Markt
Freelancer in Mitteldeutschland

Freelancerangebote
Kochklasse
Mietkoch- und Gastronomieservice
Partyservice in Halle
Partyservice
Profikochschule

Profikochschulen
Showkoch
The Vision Of Sound
Warum werben wir
Der Gründerweg
Eventkoch-Ausbildung

Showkoch-Ausbildung
Eventkoch-Weiterbildung
Showkoch-Weiterbildung
KMU Service

2/19/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Per Dan's request: "With respect to Wretchard's post, though, I wonder if we could get any of our gentle posters who were young in the 1960s to talk candidly about the fear felt then. I ask because, frankly, I don't believe that mere ideology motivates anyone, but rather that the ideology forms an intellectual and imaginative crucible that attracts because of its emotional resonance."

I happened upon a show on Nixon's darkest deeds on the History Channel, and I was struck anew how a lot of people, the MSM scribblers and their screaming cable brethren especially, who are absolutely using the Sixties as their immutable model. They are doing search-and-replace, and have been over the last several years, I just haven't realized how exact the copy is until that show. For years they have been tracing Bush against their caricatures of Nixon, Vietnam and all the rest of the passionate cliches.

As expected, the Democrats in Congress have jumped into their role with relish and done their damnedest to re-create the self-defeat via Democratic Congress that their proud ancestors achieved in the '70's.

If the mold holds, by the end of this decade we will have Iraq-size wars on three or four continents, and a Democrat Prez will be telling us to wear our woolies in the winter to deal with the oil prices.

Dan - the Sixties weren't all like you see in the movies. Yeah, the music was obviously that good, and yeah, outdoor concerts were really a hell of a lot of fun - but we didn't all burn our draft cards. The oldheads in my neighborhood got drafted, went to Nam, and when they came home, we treated them like scary heroes. Lots of times they moved back home with their parents (they were still kids after all), and they hung out with the rest of us, coached our summer league teams, and eventually got jobs and blended into our society. Lots of them grew to look like hippies and screamed anti-war songs at the concerts with the rest of us.

See, in the Sixties, Vietnam really went very wrong. Did you ever hear the stories of Johnson and his boys in the War Room, standing around maps of Southeast Asia, and actually picking out missions and targets? Yep, it was that bad. Where do you think Murtha gets his ideas?

We fought half-assed and got our guys killed, in huge numbers, 500 a month, hundreds at a time, and all on TV in the family living room. We got disgusted with it.

Then Nixon came in, used brutal tactics, fought to win, and the North surrendered at the Paris Peace Talks. (We 're-deployed' under a treaty to protect the South if the North attacked. A Democratic Congress came in and reneged on our treaties, the South fell - SEE, this is the part we're coming up to now with our current Congress.) But we became obsessed with No More War Forever by that time, and Vietnam was almost universally understood to be a Tragedy.

2/19/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Tony - good info thank you. I've heard accounts like those about the blending back in, and of Johnson in the war room. Can you tell us how you remember though this "60s" discourse coming into being through all that? They weren't objecting to bad military operations - or were they?

2/19/2007 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Presidents of the opposite party have always wound down any war started by his predecessor unless the casualties reach such a low ebb that they are no longer making headlines. And with the advent of the suicide bomber in Beirut 1983, headlines are always just a barracks away."

Nixon had the opportunity to abandon South Vietnam precipitiously and blame the Democrats for the defeat, making political hay in the process. Numerous Republican politicos thought he should do so. Whatever his later missteps, he had twice the honor of a large number of our current politicians.

2/19/2007 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"I happened upon a show on Nixon's darkest deeds on the History Channel, and I was struck anew how a lot of people, the MSM scribblers and their screaming cable brethren especially, who are absolutely using the Sixties as their immutable model. They are doing search-and-replace, and have been over the last several years, I just haven't realized how exact the copy is until that show. For years they have been tracing Bush against their caricatures of Nixon, Vietnam and all the rest of the passionate cliches."

The biggest cleavage line in American history is between those who see American defeat in Vietnam as a -true- defeat, and those who see it as a victory, even their generation's finest moment.

See, ironically, now Senator James Webbs' recount here.

2/19/2007 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Dan, as for the Sixties discourse, I graduated from high school in 1970, so I'm the wrong guy to ask on the contemporaneous analysis. However, I do remember my Dad, a combat vet of Korea, saying in front of the TV, "Harry Truman saved my life by firing McArthur, he would have sent us over the Yalu."

I think that reflects the common attitude toward the deadly "conquer and abandon" and "send a message" way of war we fought in the Sixties in Nam. If a "my country right or wrong" vet like my Dad felt that way, you gotta believe a lot of people saw Nam as a Tragedy by then.

That's the attitude the Dems and the MSM is going for right now, they long for those good old days.

You'll notice leading Dems now declaring that we have already lost in Nam (nice way to support the troops, huh?) so that when they force surrender upon and we do lose, they can say that it was already a done deal. It's disgusting.

2/20/2007 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger weswinger said...

Dan is truly FOS, giving a nice sounding framework to an accusation that those of us who did not go to Viet Nam were motivated by fear. Of what? Fear of our lives? Insufficient manhood? In the case of those of us who dove into the '60's with plenty of drugs, sex and rock and roll, being hedonistic wastrels is an appropriate charge. Becoming a suburban zombie? Now that was scary.

In the case of someone making backhand snide insults on an anonymous internet forum - forget it - where I come from, Oakland, Calif. (OHS class of '67) standards of manhood were higher than that. Those who did serve in Nam were honored and never had to be pay for a drink or a toke or a toot or a shot when they came home on leave. With all of the ferment in the air and in our impressionable young minds, nobody but assholes pretended that there was only one way to live. Guys who tried to make snide comments like Dan here, in public forums like a bar or party house got their comeuppance.

Now admittedly the etiquette on the streets of O-town were a lot stricter than on the campus of Cal-Berkeley, where I saw the little ranting leftists of the SDS would not have survived those streets. Real men know when to shut the fuck up, and show some respect.

2/20/2007 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Yo Weswinger,

Give Dan a break, he was just asking a question, he didn't live through those times.

When my Dad came home from Korea, he was working as a bartender, and the WWII vets would tell him about Korea: "That was nuthin' kid!"

Dan didn't have the chance to be friends with Nam vets like we did. Like the time I jumped in to "break up" a fight where the bouncer was a moonlighting fireman, and vet. My buddy Bing had one guy in a headlock, was kneeling on another guy's chest to hold him to the pavement, and was fistfighting a third guy with his free hand, all the while warning them: "I killed 500 guys in Vietnam, a couple more don't make no difference."

Dan hasn't had the pleasure of meeting such larger than life heroes. Dan is just asking for a little help to get past the self-loathing, America-hating myths out of Hollywood and the MSM. Dan doesn't realize that most of the rest of us weren't pissing our pants in fear of the draft, which is the new myth that the Left peddles to explain why their new, fake anti-war movement doesn't hold a candle to the Sixties or Seventies. Where were all these peace-loving, surrendering pussies in the '90's?

2/21/2007 08:21:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger