Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sadr Three Years On

This month is the third anniversary of the 2004 Madhi Army uprising. Is Sadr now winning or losing? Captain Ed notes that Moqtada al-Sadr now openly admits he is losing steam. "In a missive to his forces ... Sadr told his minions to focus their attacks on American forces where possible in order to keep from losing all political standing in Iraq". A few days ago, AP reported that two Iraqi cabinet ministers belonging to Moqtada al-Sadr's party have supported a proposal to turn Kirkuk over to Kurdish control causing Sadr to call for the suspension of the ministers. They switched sides on him.


Sadr has attempted to play both the political and insurgent game simultaneously. However, recent events may be forcing him to choose sides. It seems he can no longer give the politics equal weight with fighting. His recent call to attack US troops and avoid hurting Iraq troops is an attempt to play a kind of armed politics. It remains to be seen if his call will be heeded. If the Iraqi Government/US coalition does not break up, then Sadr may have no other option than to completely thrown in with the Iranians and declare open war not only on the US, but the government in Baghdad.

53 Comments:

Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Saddam Al Qaeda Collaborations…naturally they collaborated. Saddam himself threatened us with Terror Strikes.

Our war will not begin to end until we understand that lying to ourselves will not make the problem go away. The Links between Saddam and Al Qaeda point to our failure as a nation to understand that Terrorists and States are joined at the hip.

4/08/2007 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

And that we must confront the states before we can begin to dismantle the terrorists. Iran and Syria must be dealt with...there is no choice in the matter. Whether we can do this pretty or ugly does not matter what matters is they are between us and some sort of end of the beginning. We must admit that terrorists need funding, weapons, training, safe havens, hospitals and none of that is availible in caves.

4/08/2007 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger jill said...

On March 11, Hersh in a radio interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran discussing what he believes is the American military strategy towards Iran including what he called "an intensive planning for an air strike" and "some sort of on the ground operation."

The interview was transcribed at the IRIB website (h/t NRO’s Michael Rubin, emphasis added throughout):

http://english.irib.ir/ARCHIVE/INTER/March07/Seymour%20Hersh.htm

4/08/2007 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That was in some great speeches back in 2002, Pierre.
Then the way was lost.
ROP

4/08/2007 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Doug,

Part of the problem was the "Victory Disease" of 2002-2003 when America swept all before it. It made leadership complacent at the same time that it provoked the deepest soul-searching in America's enemies. They learned from defeat. We didn't learn as much from victory.

Winds of Change alerts readers to a book by a former Iraqi minister describing the blunders of the US occupation of Iraq. "I've got a high tolerance for incompetence and mismanagement ... But if we're going to get better at it, we'd better list and learn from our mistakes."

But then, the power of strategic correctness (and huge reserves of national power) is that America can typically recover from its mistakes. The period 2005-2006 probably showed up the weaknesses in the US. It was good at blowing any enemy force to bits, but it didn't have the institutional capability to consolidate. This was particularly true of the State Department and reconstruction, as the memoirs above seem to suggest.

Recent events suggest, once more that one learns more from adversity than uninterrupted triumph. The greatest benefit of Iraq has been organizational learning. Not the kind that is summarized in books or manuals, but the sort that is embedded in the memory of hundreds of thousands of persons who know what works and what doesn't.

As long as the US doesn't completely throw in the towel, it typically figures things out eventually and wins in the end.

4/08/2007 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

As long as the US doesn't completely throw in the towel, it typically figures things out eventually and wins in the end. Sorry Wretchard but all of this nonsense in Iraq is for naught unless we confront the states that are continuing to fund, train, equip, and support with men our enemies.

Not very often is the comparison with Vietnam legitimate but in this area it is exactly correct. If we do not destroy the suppliers of our enemies in Iraq we will never win. We are not making the point that it is dangerous to kill US Soldiers...

4/08/2007 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

According to the AEI plan, al-Sadr was already significantly weakened by the past US destruction of his forces, and he hopes to just sit the surge out, because if his forces are weakened any further then other Shiite groups will destroy him.

In fact that was part of the reports recently, that there was Shiite on Shiite violence, and it is significant that al-Sadr told his forces not to attack other Iraqis. He was already attacking the US, so that may not be a change, but they are close to a Shiite on Shiite turf battle, and his is trying to stop that.

4/08/2007 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

How could we even think of attacking Iran (and Syria and ...) when we don't have enough troops to finish winning in Iraq?

Iran is not the only supplier of terrorists and weapons to Iraqi groups. Sunnis have killed more Americans than Shiites. Much of the Sunni insurgency is based in Jordan and Syria, with money and supplies coming from Saudi Arabia.

Everyone seems to agree that almost all of the fighters in Iraq are Iraqis. I don't see why cutting off foreign aid, even if it could be done, would end the war.

4/08/2007 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

wretchard,

re: The greatest benefit of Iraq has been organizational learning. Not the kind that is summarized in books or manuals, but the sort that is embedded in the memory of hundreds of thousands of persons who know what works and what doesn't.

It has been noted here from time to time that the length of the war is providing live-fire training exercise for jihadists coming to Iraq for that purpose. But, as you observe, lessons learned is a two-way street.

The difficulty the present US force faces is a mismatch in the tooth-to-tail ratio, leading to stress with the teeth. For instance, the Marine Commandant mentioned, last week, that he is re-deploying battalions with as little as five months rest from previous deployments. This is the area where serious lessons need learning, if the United States intends to maintain a fully functional fighting force in place over a long period of time.

It can be done. Unfortunately, despite years of warnings, precious little has been done. Moreover, the USA planners are stretching implimentation of the Army's newly authorized strength level out over the next five years. That does little to ameiliorate the present difficulties. This seems to be one of those times when "faster please" is deafeningly appropriate.

4/08/2007 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Patterns of War Shift Amid U.S. Force Buildup

One American private in the First Battalion, Fifth Cavalry, who was working the overnight shift at a new garrison in western Baghdad, described the Americans’ fight this way: “The insurgents, they see what we’re doing and we see what they’re doing. Then we get ahead, then they figure out what we’ve done and they get ahead.

“It’s like a game of cat and mouse. It’s just a really, really smart mouse.”

4/08/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

God@*#&)@(#

For the last time, it is not a question of troop numbers. It is a question of intelligence and aggression (ROE), but more it is a question of the basic irascible bastardy of Arabs. Period. We can make great symbolic victories that result in significant quiescence if we will just do things like Kill Sadr.

That's pretty much the only strategy we haven't tried yet. This Clear and Hold thing is crap; obviously we can't clear and hold forever against 25 million Iraqis, a huge percentage of which seem to be pieces of shit.

Yeah, you're not supposed to say that, but I watch the news, and I say it. It is so. Embrace the suck, and start blowing these would-be caliphs and sheikhs and demogagues to hell. It would cost a Lot less than the current strategy, for those of you who think money is in limited supply in the USA.

4/08/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I remind you that France had 450,000 troops in Algeria, one for every 27 Algerians, an extremely high ratio, and faced similar tactics, and "lost" because the commies at home could move the weak-willed to their side. Besides, the world was going anti-colonial in the wake of WWII recovery, which could not afford the overseas possessions & blah blah blah.

Kill the ringleaders. Kill the noisey malcontents. Kill them, and let you be seen to kill them.

4/08/2007 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Sadr has called for a "mammoth" demonstration to drive out the US.

"Muqtada is hiding and it has given a very bad picture to his followers and all Iraqis," said Mithal al-Alusi, a secular Sunni legislator. "His people don't believe in him. ... He's using April 9 as a day to clean his name, to come back within his movement."

Still, Iraq braced for a huge turnout that could spill over into the capital, where the government ordered an all-day curfew.


Several thousand turned out in Najaf, which is one of his strongholds, but so far it appears to be damp squib.

The Jihadis had a decade and half of live fire exercises against pretty good opposition. Against Russia in Afghanistan; against Israel; against Russia again in Chechnya and operations against America over many continents culminating in 9/11.

The current fight is in conditions which could be be described as ideal for the enemy. On its home turf, with lines of communication short; in an area with huge quantities of available explosives. But I wonder who is learning faster. Their attrition losses can be gauged from the fact that al-Qaeda in Iraq's leadership has been wiped out several times over. Look the operation against Iranian Qods forces once the gloves were off. But most of all, look at how the political game is going. Sadr had a huge, ready made constituency. He had the right lineage; he had Iranian support. And yet, without the use of hostages, reprisals, scorched earth punishments, reconcentration, mass executions -- all the normal tactics of occupiers from Alexander the Great, down to the Ottomans and the British Empire, Sadr's position is not exactly ideal.

A lot has been said about the mistakes the US has made in Iraq. And doubtless much of it is true. But honestly, look at all the counterinsurgency campaigns of the last 50 years, including the French in Algeria and the US in Vietnam and ask yourself if anybody has accomplished as much with so little brutality. Whether it will be enough is another question.

4/08/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Please, read this young woman’s short, touching story. A word of encouragement would be much appreciated, to be sure. Thanks.

In Honor of Captain David P. Gibson

***

4/08/2007 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Wretchard said:

"The current fight is in conditions which could be be described as ideal for the enemy. On its home turf, with lines of communication short; in an area with huge quantities of available explosives. But I wonder who is learning faster. Their attrition losses can be gauged from the fact that al-Qaeda in Iraq's leadership has been wiped out several times over."

One of the reasons why I supported the President's decision to invade Iraq was it would transform Iraq into a giant "bug zapper" that would kill Islamic fascists in the Middle East rather than in America or Europe. If we can convince native Iraqis to do the "bug zapping" rather than our own soldiers then that goal will have been fully realized. We then just keep the Iraqis well stocked with ammo while providing cheap one-way-to-Iraq bus fare for the Saudi madressas.

4/08/2007 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger PapaBear said...

Eggplant,
Rather than providing busfare to the students from Saudi-funded madrasses, we need to deal with the Saudis and their funding of radical Islamists.

Osama and company are just mosquitoes. We can swat at them forever, and the swamps will just breed more. The swamp in this care is the network of wealthy people who finance the madrassas and pay the salaries of the radical Imams.

Google for "Golden Chain" Osama. Here's one article on them

4/09/2007 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"Our war will not begin to end until we understand that lying to ourselves will not make the problem go away."

Knowing that the Mahdi CAME in 1853 and suffered at the hands of the Muslims until His ascension in 1892, it is safe to say that al-Sadr's ragtag band of thugs will NEVER rise to much more than violence, terror, abuse and extortion.

The Mahdi's "Army" is as peaceful and intelligent as, oh, the Baha'i World Community.

4/09/2007 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Even given a tougher President and Congress, we're going to have to think hard about how to take down Egypt and Pakistan.

All the other jihadi factory states (Syria, Saudi Arabia, even Iran) we can handle with our current military. We can't occupy those countries, but we can shatter their economies and remove their governments. We can't put a new government IN, mind, but we can destroy any regime that starts getting a foothold on power, and keep doing it, forever.

But we won't want to do that to Pakistan because they have nukes. Pakistan will have to be occupied, probably with India's help. And Pakistan is China's buddy, so there's THAT can of worms, too.

I dunno -- maybe we could quell Egypt's Islamic Brotherhood without an additional half-million Americans in uniform. But Egypt's a big job, too.

4/09/2007 04:28:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"...maybe we could quell Egypt's Islamic Brotherhood without an additional half-million Americans in uniform."

Steven, it is AMAZING how steadfastly people ignore an alternative to "half-million Americans in uniform", because it involves publicly letting the Muslim ummah know that their prophecies have been fulfilled in the Coming of Baha'u'llah, the promised Mahdi.

Do that, in an undeniable way, publicly, loudly, and within weeks or DAYS, hundreds of millions of Muslims will declare their faith in Baha'u'llah and begin their journey into THIS Day, ignoring their "mullahs and imams"; learning to treat their women and daughters as HUMANS; learning to accept the Oneness of Humankind and the Oneness of God...

Without firing a shot, THIS would radically alter the political geography for the better, quickly and virtually without any real expenses.

4/09/2007 04:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Army equipment disaster
- Ht Tiger

4/09/2007 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Karridine, don'tcha miss it? ;-)
Check out the Restaurant Row section.

4/09/2007 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Amazing! Quite why anybody staying in a 4-star luxury hotel would need a 6lb,70z/2.920kg tin of tomato sauce is beyond me. As with the sizeable array of Russian medicine for sale, I suspect it was probably taken from an aid package.
---
Air Koryo’s finest, a 30-year old Soviet Ilyushin Il-62M. In dire need of a refit (TV monitors or headphones would be nice), it has endearing features such as the seats (which fall forward when touched from behind) and the overhead luggage stowage (actually just a rack, like on a bus or train) which allows luggage to fall down whenever the plane encounters turbulence. Needless to say, I was elated when we touched down safely at Beijing Capital Airport. Any plane spotters out there can check out Air Koryo’s full fleet at Airliners.net

4/09/2007 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Well whether or not we have enough troops is besides the point. First we need to define the problem, then find a solution. Whether the solution is difficult or not is absolutely besides the point when you are dealing in war. It is simply fact that you must find a solution, whether it be difficult or not.

How could we even think of attacking Iran (and Syria and ...) when we don't have enough troops to finish winning in Iraq?

We cannot "finish" winning in Iraq because we allow outside actors to meddle in our affairs with not even the smallest of penalties. Just as in Vietnam when we allowed other countries to supply the "insurgency" in the South in Iraq we allow other countries to meddle. We are the most powerful nation in history with collapsing will power.

The failure of the Bush administration to keep the public focused on the terror ties of Saddam has allowed the public to delude themselves.

Iran is not the only supplier of terrorists and weapons to Iraqi groups. Sunnis have killed more Americans than Shiites. Much of the Sunni insurgency is based in Jordan and Syria, with money and supplies coming from Saudi Arabia.

First off until 9/11 Shiites had killed more Americans. And I have not in any way declared that Iran is the end of our war.

We have been extremely poorly served by a political establishment that strives to make war painless. We should have had a draft instituted directly after 9/11 with those drafted going directly into logistics to free up the volunteers to fight.

4/09/2007 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Sadr's biggest problem is that the problem area Sunnis finally are getting in line. "The Great Awakening" caused by Iraqi-American successess in traditional insurgent strong holds in places such as Ramadi and Fallujah has led to one Sunni tribal leader after another switching sides. The Al Queda in Iraq types have responded with attacks on turncoat Sunnis - that is what the Chlorine bombs mainly were aimed at.

With Sunnis in the problem areas now increasingly focused on kicking out the insurgents and being attacked by them in turn, Al Sadr's army's main justification for being - revenge attacks on Sunnis for their attacks on Shiites - is disappearing.

4/09/2007 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

pierre-laurent
our world, our village...
Location: Paris 心在臺灣國
---
north korea is a so mysterious country for foreigners...the capital looks clean and enough well developped, but there is nearly nobody in the street ...a strange impression.
__________________
On this Earth, we all are brothers and sisters, especially because of our differences.

(no offense, Pierre!)

4/09/2007 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 04/09/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

4/09/2007 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Pierre L, do you think that the failure of the administration to keep the public focused on 'anything' might be laid at the feet of the party out of power and their cohorts in the media? When the communications industry and the opposing party are trying to sabotage administration efforts it's hard to maintain a consistant message. Especially when they have to go through the media to reach the audience.

4/09/2007 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

PapaBear said...

"Rather than providing busfare to the students from Saudi-funded madrasses, we need to deal with the Saudis and their funding of radical Islamists."

PapaBear, You know as well as I do that we can't touch the Saudis directly because of the Ghawar oil field, Medina and Mecca. Osama wanted us to directly attack the Saudis after 9/11. However we out-foxed him by withdrawing troops from the KSA and going after Saddam instead.

Breaking the "Golden Chain" is a Good Idea and our government is doing that. However I suspect many of the madrassas within Saudi Arabia and the Middle East are being sustained through local contributions (no international aspect in the funding). Saudi support for international terrorism won't end until oil fields like the Ghawar are fully depleted (within 10-20 years). In the meantime we'll need to construct "engines" to grind up Islamic fascists in the Middle East and not on our own turf. Preferably these engines would be manned by locals and not American soldiers.

4/09/2007 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pierre tries the power of "positive thinking" employed by such luminaries as Hitler and Napoleon on their way to Moscow in responding to this question:

"How could we even think of attacking Iran (and Syria and ...) when we don't have enough troops to finish winning in Iraq?"

Well whether or not we have enough troops is besides the point. First we need to define the problem, then find a solution. Whether the solution is difficult or not is absolutely besides the point when you are dealing in war. It is simply fact that you must find a solution, whether it be difficult or not.

Well, no. You are the one advocating the neocon "faster, faster please!" line from 2003 on the need to "take out" Syria and Iran. While ignoring we don't have the troops to do so for a minimum of 5 years out. Moreover, as people like Doug point out, the Bushies have managed to break or burn out half of America's war-fighting equipment in Iraq and have not dared risk their tax cuts for the wealthy in budgeting to replace it.

You can't get from there to here on positive thinking.

Sometimes the "solution" rests with things a nation or a nation's leader simply cannot do.
We lack the numbers, we lack the fiscal strength, we lack the military equipment, we lack the allies, we lack the will and leadership to put boots on the ground in Syria or Iran. We cannot use pariah state Israel in any joint military operation.

Any "solution" is at least 4 years out, predicated on rebuilding those elements lost in the Bush II years.

Pierre - We are the most powerful nation in history with collapsing will power.

No, we are the world's greatest debtor nation with eroding military advantage vis a vis the rest of the world. And, as bin Laden and others point out, one Muslim kid with minimal education and no training paid 100 bucks can take out 4-6 "high tech special Ops supersoldiers", rendering them, their multimillion dollar vehicle and millions invested in years of training into hamburger with a single 250 dollar cost IED.

We do have collapsing willpower - few parents want to have their sons or daughters fight and die for a "purple-fingered freedom lover." Not when we learned the Iraqis could take the French to school for lessons in backstabbing ingratitude.
55% of Iraqis think it is admirable to kill Americans. 72% want us out. Only 36% though want the despised infidel dogs out before they have spent hundreds of billions to fix up Iraq nicely, set up free health care, and stabilized the country (Arab logic for - "I may try to kill you as my right, but that does not mean infidel scum like you aren't obligated to keep me save and give me a job and defend me from the other tribes I hate and try to kill".

The "noble democracy-hungry people" of Syria and Iran are no different except the Persians are a little less rabid and irrational than Arabs.

Pierre - We should have had a draft instituted directly after 9/11 with those drafted going directly into logistics to free up the volunteers to fight.

The problem with a high tech modern army with 9 people doing support for every frontline soldier is that elements - like logistics, operating sub reactors, repairing helos, medical, counterbattery radar ops, intel - tend to be highly technical and require far more training than draftees can readily replace. Draftees, however, CAN be trained to do frontline stuff pretty quickly - garrison soldiers, basic riflemen, truck drivers in combat zones, checkpoints, door to door, operating bradleys. The stuff that we unfortunately lost too many "high tech special ops supersoldiers" doing.

You don't pull volunteers out of high skill jobs to replace them with low skill draftees so the volunteers can be "freed" to do low-skill but dangerous jobs.

Otherwise, I do enjoy Pierre's retro posts for the bygone era of 2002-2003 - liberation, need to "take out Israel's foes faster, faster, please", noble Iraqi people, finding Saddam and the deck of cards will create peace, vast hidden stockpiles of WMD. Fond memories, Pierre!

Lets hope that Bush does no more harm before he leaves like Carter did with a sigh of relief from the American people...I don't trust his Team's leadership or competence
in simple matters like appointments or safeguarding the Borders, let alone adding war #3 and war #4.

4/09/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Pierre L, do you think that the failure of the administration to keep the public focused on 'anything' might be laid at the feet of the party out of power and their cohorts in the media? When the communications industry and the opposing party are trying to sabotage administration efforts it's hard to maintain a consistant message. Especially when they have to go through the media to reach the audience. 4/09/2007 10:19:00 AM

Yes that is absolutely true but that is also not an excuse. We don't blame the Steelers for the Cowboys losing to them everytime in the Super Bowl. We rightly blame the Cowboys for not playing well enough to beat the Steelers.

It is the job of politicians to win political battles...when they lose political battles they are failures. Winning elections is only part of the war.

Now you might say that perhaps it is the failure of conservative philosophy that see's us surrounded by feckless leftists preaching a philsophy of surrender and dispair...and I wouldn't disagree with you. But maybe you won't maybe you will blame the left for beating us?

4/09/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

The "noble democracy-hungry people" of Syria and Iran are no different except the Persians are a little less rabid and irrational than Arabs.

You cannot make peace with the enemy. He doesn't want peace with you Cedarford. So then after Israel is gone and lets just say it happens then what??? You think that the war is over then?

Everything is not pro Israel anti Israel...and I have been preaching that we have not been spending enough money on our military since around 2003 when it became evident.

My focus has always been the terror connections of Saddam.

4/09/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Re C4,
"And, as bin Laden and others point out, one Muslim kid with minimal education and no training paid 100 bucks can take out 4-6 "high tech special Ops supersoldiers"
---
John Burns has a video on the front page of the NY Times (there's a link if it gets moved) about the insurgency in which he quotes an estimate that it only costs $200 million a year.
If that is true, he says we spend more in one day than they do in a year!

4/09/2007 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Doug - If you go back to the 1998 Fatwa issued by radical Islamists, including bin Laden...they stated the goal was not to defeat the West, but bleed it and bankrupt it.

Some have said that the radicals have ample money from oil and drug benefactors, as well as ordinary Muslims paying from their jobs and businesses in the Ummah and the West - and could spend a lot more - but are doing fine with hundred dollar a year Jihadis and cheap, low tech weapons.
For every dollar the terrorists spend, the USA alone is spending 9,000 dollars to counteract...being bled...

The response, causing Bush to foolishly add about 3 trillion (for evildoer fighting with cost no object) from China, Saudi Arabia, and Japan onto US debt - and grow the net debt of the US (including unfunded medicare liabilities) from 24 trillion in 2001 to 46 trillion today.

4/09/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

The response, causing Bush to foolishly add about 3 trillion (for evildoer fighting with cost no object) from China, Saudi Arabia, and Japan onto US debt - and grow the net debt of the US (including unfunded medicare liabilities) from 24 trillion in 2001 to 46 trillion today.

What utter crap...really I don't often go personal but really your view of reality is so distorted by your hatred of Israel that you don't think straight.

Pray tell C4 if we cannot fight the Jihadists then exactly what do you propose as a means of preventing our destruction at their hands?

4/09/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

And the 9,000 dollars for ever terrorist dollar spent does not include 95% of the costs of the Iraq fiasco unrelated to terrorism.

That's another 200 billion a year.

We don't have any reason to fight Syria or Iran alone with just our blood and treasure lost, because they threaten others much closer, far more direly.

But no nation will back us or support us as long as Bush II is a leader. So Syria and Iran must wait at least 2 years - no matter how much screaming the neocons and Likudniks do.

4/09/2007 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pierre -

On the contrary, it is just folks like you parroting the Likud Party Line and the right-wing Israelis themselves that see "our" destruction as immenent, even possible - by hands of terrorists. Long term, demographics from the ACLU, Ruling Elites Open Borders idea would kill us - but not "Another 9/11!!!" , or even a handful of nukes.

9/11 was a pinprick. A bad hour in a regular major war's worth of deaths.

Even Britain and Australia have said they will have nothing to do with attacking Iran or Syria.

That means waiting at least two years, probably 5, to restore all the damage Dubya has done - regain allies, and rebuild America's competiveness and regular military.

(John Murtha points out that China will have more modern, quiet subs than us by 2010, more jet fighters by 2016. And he is forcing the Bushies to fix the half of the conventional Army and Marines equipment Bush's policies broke and which he has declined to repair.)

Iran and Syria are many years off. A more immediate threat is Pakistan being taken over by radical Islamists....

But your "faster, faster" stuff sure was the rage in the Likud/neocon heyday of "the Global Hegemon" and "the New Rome", wasn't it???

4/09/2007 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The current issue of Newsweek is filled with stunningly stupid articles with gems like this:
---
"The growing interest in carbon capture also reflects the fact that the climate we have at 380ppm of CO2 is dire enough that even the inevitable 450ppm—perhaps 40 years away—looks scarier than it once did. Hurricane Katrina happened at 380. Glaciers are melting and coral reefs are dying at 380. The 2003 heat wave in Europe, which killed an estimated 35,000 people, happened at 380. The seas are rising at 380."

Then ONE article by an MIT Climatologist on the side of Reality

4/09/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

pierre, you don't really expect to get a positive answer from C4 do you? after all, that would take intelligence rather than just cleverness.

4/09/2007 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

C4,

1. Please specify when and where 1 "Muslim kid" took out 4-6 SpecOps Supersoldiers...as many of those incidents as you can.

2. Googled your $46T net debt number and couldn't get closer than $8.888T. Please specify your source(s) for the $46T number. I understand you buzzed the "unfunded liability" phrase, which is likely the source of your bicycle-pumping the numbers. Please include in your specifications the source(s) for your "unfunded liability" numbers, also.

With your statement: "Draftees, however, CAN be trained to do frontline stuff pretty quickly....", I suspect you are Charles Rangel or on his staff and that you are dedicated to the destruction of the Armed Forces of the U.S. My period of AcDu was the years immediately post-Viet Nam through the post-Beirut barracks bombing period. I can state unequivocally: Draftees Suck! In fact, they beyond Suck!



...and I am still waiting on Wretchard.

4/09/2007 09:48:00 PM  
Blogger Fen said...

How could we even think of attacking Iran (and Syria and ...) when we don't have enough troops to finish winning in Iraq?

Iran and Syria are Force Multipliers. I agree with Legrand: until we take them on, Iraq is nothing more than a spoiling action. And this country does not have the endurance to maintain it.

4/09/2007 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

It will be interesting to watch whether Moqtada as-Sadr is subtle enough to maintain his authority or whether he will succumb to paranoia.

As a rule, paranoia is associated with defeat. Moqtada as-Sadr may be able to marshall his followers into demonstrations, but that may be a facade. Preacher-despots often find it difficult to politically maneuver in a hostile atmosphere, and will typically seek confrontation as their only means to maintain power over their followers.

The key question remains whether Mr. Maliki will be more inclined to wean himself of the support of a controversial sect of fervent political activists than Mr. Moscone was thirty years ago...

4/09/2007 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Colonel Steven Boylan, a US military spokesman ( wearing stylish rose colored glasses) and aide to the commander of all US forces in Iraq, praised the peaceful nature of the demonstration, saying Iraqis "could not have done this four years ago."

Boylan said: "This is the right to assemble, the right to free speech - they didn't have that under the former regime. This is progress, there's no two ways about it."

a picture or three is worth a thousand words

PS, OT, Jill and others who may need help on making a link, go to the bottom of the page on this link and follow the instructions. We do this as a public service for the BC. Wretchard does not pay us for the advertising.

4/09/2007 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Alexis,
With all due respect I think that as-Sadr is about to learn the difficulties that political exile involve. It's tricky to be a leader when you yourself are nothing more than a puppet. Bonnie Prince Charlie, and his father the Old Pretender before him, learned the truth of this. I have no doubt Mr. Sadr will be schooled as well.

4/10/2007 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Pierre L.
My point wasn't to excuse or throw the blame somewhere else but to understand the reason that it appears the administration is sitting on its thumb. The point still remains that if you're standing in front of a dead mic and the crowd is yelling at the max volume that they can muster, the only way to communicate is by AMSLAN. That means that the folks who are conversant in sign language have to translate instead of complain.This is aimed at everyone including myself as far as communications is concerned. Your other point about painless war is spot on, although we again disagree on the draft. I was a volunteer in the Navy during 'Nam but my brother had to deal with the draftees in the Army. He was not happy with them.

4/10/2007 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Jill,
Thanks for providing us with the laugh of the week! ^_^

'On March 11, Hersh in a radio interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran discussing what he believes is the American military strategy towards Iran including what he called "an intensive planning for an air strike" and "some sort of on the ground operation."'

Just think of it, 'intensive planning for an air strike' and '*some sort* of on the ground operation'! *snicker* I guess that the Mullahs should thank him for ruling out the possibility of interdimensional invasions or naval operations, shouldn't they? :P

O wait! I'm being unfair. Interdimensional and amphibious landings would both qualify as *some sort of land operation*, wouldn't they? ^o^

But hey! Our good friend Mr. Hersh *did* say there would be *intensive planning* for an air strike which I suppose *would* rule out the possibility of an *improvised* one, right? I guess that's something people like the Mullahs of Iran would never be able to figure out without assistance because of their rank stupidity. :D

With Delphic predictions as hot as that how long do you think it will be before leftists like Mr. Hersh start setting up shop as Gypsy fortunetellers? ^_~

4/10/2007 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

3 Case - 1. Please specify when and where 1 "Muslim kid" took out 4-6 SpecOps Supersoldiers...as many of those incidents as you can.

I guess you haven't heard of IEDs?
Or RPGs?
The record for IEDs was 14 Marines in an Amphib.
The record for a RPG shooting kid was 18 in a helo. Inc 7 Spec Ops supersoldiers...
These are in many cases religiously motivated volunteers that have minimal, if any training, virtually no cost to the radical Islamists.
Same deal as with the Soviets in Afghanistan. Binnie stated Jihad is far, far cheaper to implement than High-Tech American military. Hence his promise that the long struggle will bankrupt the USA as sure as it helped kill the Soviet economy.

2. Googled your $46T net debt number and couldn't get closer than $8.888T. Please specify your source(s) for the $46T number. I understand you buzzed the "unfunded liability" phrase, which is likely the source of your bicycle-pumping the numbers.

I guess you never heard of unfunded liabilities.

Please include in your specifications the source(s) for your "unfunded liability" numbers, also.

Please educate yourself on the future liabilities of servicing the Chinese, Japanese, Saudi, and Euro debt plus Social Security and Medicare before you even bother asking for sources.

With your statement: "Draftees, however, CAN be trained to do frontline stuff pretty quickly....", I suspect you are Charles Rangel or on his staff and that you are dedicated to the destruction of the Armed Forces of the U.S.

The Armed Forces of the US were saved in 4 wars by Draftees. Civil War, WWI, WWII, and Korea. And the fact is that if Muslims can train an effective Jihadi frontline fighter in a two to five-week camp, we can train Draftees to do 30-40% of the jobs done in the Marines or Army in 6 months. Especially since a significant fraction of the Draftees are of higher intelligence than the typical enlisted volunteer.

My period of AcDu was the years immediately post-Viet Nam through the post-Beirut barracks bombing period. I can state unequivocally: Draftees Suck! In fact, they beyond Suck!

Funny, moron. There were no Draftees when you were in. If you were in.

4/10/2007 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

C4,

I can understand your avoidance of answering my questions. It is evidence of your failure of character and either your absence of a grasp on reality or your intellectual laziness. You adopt the late 20th Century defense of the intellectually defective: Spew hyperbole and attack the person when questioned.

Reread my questions. They were quite specific and you chose to go ad hominem, which is more than indicative of the fact that you cannot answer the rather clear and specific questions. Ad hominem attacks are the hallmark of a loser. At least, that's the way I learned it.

You either have sources or you don't. Which is it? You have made several questionable statements, which appear to be beyond hyperbolic. Now you chose not to defend them. That tells me the actual value of your statements.

Defend your statements by answering my questions or concede your defeat...nobody will think the less of you. There will still be sufficient mental stimulation in what you type to merit it's perusal.

Please answer my questions.

4/10/2007 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Cedarhead;
About your numbers . . .
The "kill ratio" of insurgents dead to US forces dead is ~30:1. Isolated instances of IED or suicide successes mean nothing. The attrition rate of the terrorists is horrific, and,despite all leftist and AQ claims to the contrary, there is a very finite supply of young ME men willing to die for them.

Karradumb;
You will never believe how hard it is to get believers in other beliefs to believe what you believe, believe it or not.

4/10/2007 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

3Case -

The 1st reason I'm under no obligation to answer your specific questions is you are dishonest and a liar.
You outed yourself.
You claim to have served in the late 70s and early 80s and opine that your "experience" revealed Draftees suck
My period of AcDu was the years immediately post-Viet Nam through the post-Beirut barracks bombing period. I can state unequivocally: Draftees Suck! In fact, they beyond Suck!

Except you served with no Draftees, you lying fuck!

The second reason? Even if you weren't a liar, you showed yourself so ignorant of Federal debt, unfunded liabilities, and IED incidents that they reveal a lack of knowledge so profound that a one-paragraph answer to "document" what you clearly don't know and haven't bothered to read is utterly beside the point. You lack the ability to understand the answer.

**********************
Brian, good point about kill ratios. Bear in mind they are conjectural or situational. The 30:1 might apply in engagements where the enemy position is known - like Fallujah. Putting a 200 dollar IED in place to hamburgize 2-10 soldiers appears to involve far less risk than that. 100 bucks to set the device up doesn't seem to reflect 30+ Iraqis lining up to be the one who lives to get 100 bucks.

I go by what Doug mentioned...all the expensive high tech gear and training of people able to climb cliffs and recite Shakespeare is pretty meaningless if they are tied down and attritted by plentiful, very cheap to field, untrained Islamic fighters.

America has burned up or seen 1/3rd to 1/2 its conventional ground equipment destroyed, spent nearly 500 billion, had to considerably lower enlistment standards...to fight AQ and insurgents that are estimated to cost 200 million a year to field..

4/10/2007 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Except you served with no Draftees, you lying fuck!"

C4,

Your ignorance is immense. I still understand the reason you must avoid the questions. '78 through about mid-'80 we spent pushing the remaining draftees out the door. How do I know? I got appointed to represent some of them at Administrative Discharge Boards; one of them is one of the most unforgettable people I met while on AcDu...and I met a LOT of unforgettable during my years on AcDu. In '82 I had a conversation with some U.S. Marshals about how things had changed with all the draftees gone. Until then, they would not enter barracks at Fort Bragg in less than pairs.

But, why let facts get in the way of your flight from having to back up your statements about a "Muslim kid" taking out 4-6 SpecOps soldiers and a net National Debt over $46T. Instead, you go ad hominem in order to avoid admitting your gross failures.

You must answer my requests for clarification (some would call them questions) or admit your failure, C4. Each minute you do not is demonstration of your ignorance, dishonesty and failure.

4/11/2007 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

You still don't have a clue, 3Case.

There were no Draftees in the military in 1978. They were ALL volunteers.

You keep coming back to your dumb lie.

And still refuse to read about any IED or RPG attacks. Refuse to admit the casualties that can be caused by a single IED (up to 14 dead), a single helo (18 killed by small arms fire/RPG ), and who is planting and detonating the "Jihadi Equalizers"

4/11/2007 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Not to mention to stupid to understand the total debt America has from Fed Government debt and unfunded liabilities.

I doubt you even can grasp the concept of unfunded liabilities the taxpayer must fork over for, eventually.

4/11/2007 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

C4,

1. You made statments.
2. I asked you for proof after disclosing to you that I had tried to establish the veracity of your statments and could not.
3. You then chose to go ad hominem rather than provide your proof.
4. I noted that ad hominem is indicative of a failed argument and ,again, asked for your proof. I was kind enough to not note that having to go ad hominem is generally considered to indicate a weak mind.
5. You went back to ad hominem rather than substantiate your claims and started shifting your focus to generalities about IEDs and the national debt and demanding that I document your argument, which would be another indicator of your failure. Further, you insist that there could be no draftees in the military in the late '70s, despite my advice to you that I was there and represented some of them.
6. You again return to the ad hominem and all I want is for YOU to back up YOUR statements. The 2 issues were of your authorship; your claim of a "Muslim kid" taking out 4-6 SpecOps and your claim that the net national debt is in excess of $46T. Stand by your claims, C4. Prove them and I will have learned and will apologize for claiming you have failed. Of course, I am learning through this process...as, I hope, is anyone else following this thread. Funny how "4" and "6" both play in your claims. Have you a fixation on those numbers?

I am still waiting, C4. Prove your claims. I restated them in #6 above. Ooops!! There's that number, again.

4/11/2007 06:51:00 AM  

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