Monday, May 21, 2007

The Thought is the Father to the Deed

From the Guardian:

Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say. ...

"We expect that al-Qaida and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to Petraeus's report in September [when the US commander General David Petraeus will report to Congress on President George Bush's controversial, six-month security "surge" of 30,000 troop reinforcements]," the official said. ...

US officials now say they have firm evidence that Tehran has switched tack as it senses a chance of victory in Iraq. In a parallel development, they say they also have proof that Iran has reversed its previous policy in Afghanistan and is now supporting and supplying the Taliban's campaign against US, British and other Nato forces.


The US political system has really left itself open to this. And the basic reason is simple. There is no bipartisan support for victory. There may not even be a bipartisan consensus that the US is at war. Many individuals will maintain with a straight face that al-Qaeda and Iran are only embarked on hostilities with America because they have somehow been provoked. And that it is not too late, even now, to make nice with them. Whether one agrees with this analysis or not, it's fair to say that the notion America can negotiate an end to fighting or that it can withdraw from Iraq without any adverse strategic consequences is a widely held point of view.

One really can't blame Iran from reinforcing a belief many are half-prepared -- even eager -- to embrace. Maybe we can coin a new epigram for these enlightened times. "Defeat has a thousand fathers. Victory is an orphan."

71 Comments:

Blogger Alexis said...

Of course. What do you expect when people stateside talk of giving Iraq to our enemies on a silver platter?

Iraq and Afghanistan are not the biggest prize, for the stakes are higher than the balance of power in the Middle East. That which is at stake is America's freedom of action and more fundamentally its credibility. More than a question about "weapons of mass destruction", more than a question of winning or losing on the battlefield, it's about whether Americans will ever have the will to fight again -- especially once our enemies have learned the "three year rule".

No matter what the atrocity against us, no matter what the enemy, why bother fighting for the United States if our political establishment, media, and fellow citizens can be relied upon to tire with any war we fight within three years and insist on throwing in the towel, irrespective of the price? The next time we go to war, start counting the calendar days; within three years, war weariness will set in and Americans will lose interest in the war. Once Congress votes for military action, it can be relied upon to turn against the war if victory hasn't been achieved within three years. (Since victory seemed within grasp in late 1864 and late 1944, they barely passed the "three year rule". Given the "three year rule", we may have been much closer to defeat during WWII than is often assumed.)

How can we ever win any war in the future once our enemies learn to use the "three year rule" against us? Or, given the practically gravitational nature of the "three year rule", should we learn to forgive Benedict Arnold for his treason since war weariness is so fundamentally part of our national character?

5/22/2007 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Alexis,

Nice job. Tight construction, bulletproof points and very readable..great job. Allow me to assciate myself with your words and offfer this observation.

How can we ever win any war in the future once our enemies learn to use the "three year rule" against us?

Our enemies have alreay learned the three year rule, in spades

5/22/2007 05:01:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Of course we provoked them.

Osama Bin Laden and the Iranian mullahs do not mind interfering to further their goals, they hate interference when it – interferes with their goals.

Alexis, I have to agree with your postulate we were closer to defeat in WWII than we think.

5/22/2007 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

It would be interesting to correlate the "change in tack" by Iran relative to CBS providing a propaganda channel for Iran and General Pelosi's visit to the region.

There is an interesting article in today's Opinionjournal.com by Melik Kaylan. He describes the situation in Diyala Province, where a Shiia village has found itself hard pressed and under siege by Sunni militants and an influx of foreign jihadists. The front there was stabilized a few months back by a contingent of Iraqi troops.

The Iraqi force consisted of 15 troops plus a T-55 tank and a BMP APC. That, and U.S. airpower on call.

The really sad part of all of this is that by any reasonable measure the guys we are fighting are pushovers.

Three year rule, Habu? By all rights it should take us 3 minutes to handle this pathetic horde of losers.

5/22/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

At least in WWII we mobilized the whole country to war. We clearly identified the enemy. Hell, we even drew nasty cartoons of him and dehumanized him - the horror. We vowed to annihilate the enemy. Congress actually declared war. We built and replaced equipment faster than we could blow it up or wear it out. Spies and combatants out of uniform were tried by tribunals and shot post-haste or on sight. Enemy POWs were not treated to comfy beds, copies of Mein Kampf, Shinto Shrines, weekly meetings with morale officers to keep them ginned up for war, free lawyers and lawsuits in our court system. We arrested leakers and jailed them. Axis Sally was rightly called a traitor and jailed. Our soldiers beheaded their enemies and placed them on pikes on their tanks. German snipers who surrendered after killing a few of our guys and running out of ammo were shot on sight anyhow. Nobody was Article 15'd or jailed for that, because it was war.

I'm pissed too fellas, but let's be honest. Since Korea, this country has fought wars with its head up its ass, but WWII we got right because it was massive, horribly violent, bloody and unrelenting. If the world wanted it to stop, the enemy had to quit. We haven't allowed that to happen since.

Three years of Total War on Pakistan, AFG, IRQ, Iran and Saudi and there would be nary a goddamned peep out of that armpit of the planet. But no, that might be insensitive and upset the globalist apple cart and starve the kleptocrats at the UN of child prostitutes and a nice skim off of oil revenues.

The Japs killed 2400 military men at Pearl, and we sent the whole country after them to kill millions of them so they'd get the message never to do it again. I'd say it worked.

This Islam thing? Seems we just can't get the magic formula.

5/22/2007 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Alexis & Marcus Aurelius,

So far I have not seen in print a work by any author accessing WWII through the prism of the Allies NOT having the Ultra Code and the Enigma machines.

I have read a tremendous amount on that war and am always impressed by how we barely got this or that done. When you factor in that we had Ultra and the Japanese Purple code it is even more dramtic how close it was.
Had Hitler gone for the bomb as he ws advised to do, well, Sieg Heil would be our chant.

5/22/2007 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Now I'm going to write a nasty note to the Mexican Embassy and then the President of Mexico..they're abetting this invasion of the US as much as they can. Time to let them hear a thing or two.

rwe and brother d-day ..keep fired up we got work to do.

5/22/2007 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Caspian Axis has started another fight in Beirut, so soon after the visit from Nancy Pelosi?

5/22/2007 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

It seems the person who most needed to learn the three year rule was our President. He didn't.

RWE and brother d-day have it exactly right. The President needed to adjust our application of violence to assure that within three years we had decimated militant Islam (or at least cowed or destroyed all of their state supporters). Instead, he chose to fight the long war and, by failing to display urgency and provide a stream of crushing victories, he destroyed the West's will to militarily resist the Islamic hordes due to the resulting sense of futility.

The Iranians are astute. They know that there is almost no provocation great enough to cause the U.S. to strike them. They will press ahead – to make sure the world knows that they defeated the United States in Iraq. They will deny the President the fig leaf he so desperately wanted to cover his withdrawal from Iraq late this year/early next year. Then, they will continue to press their advance with all of the urgency that our President could never muster.

5/22/2007 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Right, right, yada, yada . . . The fact is under President Pelosi or Schumer, the US would be out of Iraq and Osam bin Laden would be proven a genius for predicting the US "cut and run" correctly. The US Democratic party want to open the door completely to the Islamists, and gut the western defenses.

US credibility rests upon both its economy and its military. The US Democratic National Committee wants to gut the US military.

Blaming Bush is a fool's game. Bush is not perfect, but he's the only thread by which the US is hanging on to credibility worldwide.

5/22/2007 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yep --Carter didn't get of a thank-you, after all he did to topple the Shah, after all he did to help the Ayatollah take Iran, He got no fig-leaf at all.

In fact, the very opposite; he got the "hostage crisis".

5/22/2007 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Buddy,

I think maybe the Nazi Pelosi visit was the April Glasby moment for the Syrians. A green light to retake Lebanon now prior to the Iran balloon going up and all hell breaking loose all over.

I wonder what the cab drivers at the Minneapolis Airport think about this?

5/22/2007 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

al fin,

The DNC has been for the last fifty plus years been a fifth column in the Unied States.

FDR's Administration was riddled with communists as has been validated by the recent release of the Venona Papers by the FBI.

Hell, FDR's main man Harry Hopkins is referred to as Agent "19" and we all know the story of Alger Hiss being FDR's major advisor at the Great Yalta Give Away Conference and Soviet Love Fest.

Elenor Roosevely simply swooned about the Soviets which may explain Hillary's channelling of Mrs. Roosevelt.

FDR thought his personal powers of pursuasion were so powerful that he could get Stalin wrapped around his finger. You don't wrap steel with charm.

That the DNC is inimical to the interests of the United States is a given.

5/22/2007 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Cruiser

While the Iranians may be astute (I do not believe they are) and they feel there is no provocation large enough for us to attack them the same does not hold true for Israel.

The IAEA Director General Mohamed Elbaradei spoke just last week about how "surprised" he was at how far along the Iranians are in their nuclear program.

Estimates of their acquisition of the bomb have dropped dramtically from five years to perhaps 12 -18 months.

Israel will attack, having said many times that once "the red line" had been crossed they were prepared to act. Mr.Elbaradei's pronouncement was that the "red line" had been crossed.

Since we do have a dog in the ME fight we'll support Israel, as we should. Iran is going to get bombed, if not nuked. Take it to the bank.

5/22/2007 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Habu,

Are you reading my mind? I was working on a way to formulate your thoughts about Enigma. Do you have an "enigma device" of your own?

For instance, during the German's Ardennes offensive our high level commanders knew the dire value of the gasoline depots to the Germans.

What if the German's offensive succeeded, and split the Allied forces? Would the USA, the UK, et al. have been shaken in their confidence or would they have steeled themselves?

We have to recall, many of the people alive at that time were used to hardship having grown up during the Great Depression.

5/22/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I think the Bulge was just Hitler coping with his meth. Jeez--allies had air supremacy--not just superiority.

Habu, did you catch this? What's crazy is, the same crew, more or less, is still cooking this sh*t up in the Kremlin. Our problem with Iran is (in part) the Kremlin. They want their old satellites back in trade for the mullahs heads on a platter.

We need to iron-ass up, or we'll pull the rug out from Sarkozy and Merkel, just when they're trying to see some benefit to siding with USA again.

5/22/2007 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Habu, my heart hopes you are right about Israel. However, my head tells me you are not.

I have never heard anyone explain how Israel could deliver conventional bunker buster weapons all the way to Iran's nuclear sites and return, without our active participation (refueling over Iraq or the Persian Gulf).

I do not think their jets have the (bomb-laden) range. I also do not think that they would have the ability to repeat the conventional attacks as many times as might be necessary to make sure that they have destroyed the bunkers that they will have to attack. Further, the Israeli government is more timid than our government. Therefore, I do not think Israel will strike Iran conventionally to stop them from manufacturing nuclear weapons. I also do not think that Israel would even consider conducting a nuclear preemptive strike.

The Iranians (even amadinnerjacket) are astute. They correctly determined relatively early in the Iraq war that the Bush administration would not take military action against them if they aided the killing of our troops. They also read the phony naval buildup in the gulf correctly - so well that they felt comfortable effectively attacking it (by capturing the Brits) just to prove to the world how hollow it was.

5/22/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

But remember, no VP, no anybody, from the administration is running in 08.

5/22/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Iran’s problem with promoting this Sunni-Shiite alignment is that it directly contradicts their fundamental “civil war” strategy. Iran may want to align with al-Qaeda, and I’m sure their money and weapons will be accepted, but al-Qaeda’s bet the farm on creating a civil war with Iranian backed Shiites in order to make Iraq ungovernable by democracy and force us out.

The more Iran “secretly” forges ties with al-Qaeda and Sunni militias, the more they undermine al-Qaeda’s civil war strategy and the more they damage their influence with Shiites who will be attacked with weapons and money from their supposed benefactors.

If this develops into a significant effort, it would be a good sign - evidence of the desperation and confusion among extremists, forced to go to the ends of the earth to try to counter our surge.

5/22/2007 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Marcus Aurelius,

One of the interesting aspects of the "Battle of the Bulge" and why the US got caught by surprise was that in the planning and run up to that offensive the Germans abandon the Enigma and went with motorcycle and other couriers for the order of battle. There is a certain quaintness to using couriers but it absolutely worked for them or we would have stopped it before it started.

When I statrted out in the CIA I was a clandestine courier. I thought in the age (1970's) that our communications were fairly well bullet proof but that is not always the way it was, nor was it always the best method. If we had someone coming out of the Soviet Union to make a drop in Helsinki or a village nearby it was safer to use a courier to be sneaky and do the dead drop..it's still used today as we find out every time we bust a Robert Hansen badboy.

5/22/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Chavo said...

Hey, all you bummed out people maybe there's hope after all. This just in from the WSJ, from a democrat no less, here's the money quote:

"American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq's middle class has fled the country in fear."

Link is to the full article is here

So cheer up!

5/22/2007 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Cruiser,

Your analysis is good and only time will give us the answer.

I have been told that the path is clear for a strike and that it can be done. Is my source unimpeachmable..absolutely not no barber I know is..joke.

No I've been in several conversations with war planners and aviators who tell me that Israel can do it even without our help.

But I think since we control the Iraqi airspace well just give the IFF to the Israelis and let it go. We can claim ex post facto that they stole our IFF code.

I think to keep the attack non nuclear it will require the US. We have just tested and are building the biggest conventional bombs since Barnes Wallis bombs of WWII. They're 30,000lbs HE, modern HE. The method will be to hit the same spot repeatedly until the hole in the ground is 100 ft deep, below what intelligence tells us the Iranians are currently..but only time will tell.
From the political side if it looks like the rEps are gonna lose big in'08 then George could hand the next administration a nice package to handle, which should occupy them for some time.

5/22/2007 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Buddy,
You asked in your 10:12 if I had seen the article..I had not. Interesting, and now I have to be quiet.

5/22/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Buddy,

I was over at Flares and ole Rick Ballard is now removing my posts because he doesn't agree with me or rather my style.

What a little dictator. wretchard never did that, 2164 never did that, but Rick ballard couldn't handle my comments. Wow ..

5/22/2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT WMD For Algore.
Shades of Unstoppable Global Warming!
---
The Faithful Heretic

Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common grist for current headlines. “What do they find when the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?”

We recall the two-year-old report saying a mature forest and agricultural water-management structures had been discovered emerging from the ice, seeing sunlight for the first time in thousands of years. Bryson interrupts excitedly.

A silver mine!
The guys had stacked up their tools because they were going to be back the next spring to mine more silver, only the snow never went,” he says.

“There used to be less ice than now.
It’s just getting back to normal
.”

What Leads, What Follows?

---
---
Long ago in the Army Air Corps, Bryson and a colleague prepared the aviation weather forecast that predicted discovery of the jet stream by a group of B-29s flying to and from Tokyo. Their warning to expect westerly winds at 168 knots earned Bryson and his friend a chewing out from a general—and the general’s apology the next day when he learned they were right. Bryson flew into a couple of typhoons in 1944, three years before the Weather Service officially did such things, and he prepared the forecast for the homeward flight of the Enola Gay. Back in Wisconsin, he built a program at the UW that’s trained some of the nation’s leading climatologists.

How Little We Know

Bryson is a believer in climate change, in that he’s as quick as anyone to acknowledge that Earth’s climate has done nothing but change throughout the planet’s existence. In fact, he took that knowledge a big step further, earlier than probably anyone else...
HT - Limbaugh

5/22/2007 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/22/2007 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Sorry, habu. Rick is a good guy--let me guess--immigration debate?

I've never in my born days seen an issue set off so many testy discussions. Hell, it's even coming home with the kids from school. Faculty members are refusing to speak to each other. And that's here in Texas which is half Mexican anyway. What a grinding, grinding mess.

Please don't let it start up here on this thread--I was just answering habu, not putting up my dukes. Feh.

5/22/2007 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: three year rule

The Iraq War II was won in three weeks, to the great pleasure of the public. The rest is history.

5/22/2007 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

will say that the CPUSA must be tickled pink (!) to see so many principled conservatives going for each other's throats. We better shake this shit, boys & girls, or Aunt Hillary gon' sell us all down de ribber.

5/22/2007 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Alexis said...
Of course. What do you expect when people stateside talk of giving Iraq to our enemies on a silver platter?

Ironic, when you consider that this was supposed to be a quick victory delivered on a silver platter, a fact that most of the commentators on this thread ignore. When the Bush administration promised and planned only for a quick war (Wolfowitz to Shinseki: "Drop Dead"), they couldn't then admit error and ramp up the deployment to levels realistic enough to have a fair shot. Nor could they actually substantiate their illusory victory by placing a pro-American political bloc in power. Too late did they discover the obvious facts about Chalabi and his lies.

Three year rule? Does anyone remember Rumsfled's "doubt" that the war would last six months? Why would it? Remember "stay the course"? How about Bush's "Never stay the course"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X6FCYhV_uE
(check it out at 2:59 on the video)

Or Bush's sudden realization that Rumsfeld's plan, so long defended, was actually one of slow failure?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/16/AR2007011601505.html

How could one trust this man after all of the above? This was not an administration that was prepared, or adequately prepared the American people, for this horribly misguided war.

I've received some ribbing for my "overestimation" of Iran's capacities in Iraq, but I guess we'll have a better sense of who's right this Summer.

5/22/2007 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

People in and out of the admin were also predicticting, from about the hour of noon on 9-11-01, that we were in a war that would last ten or 50 years.

I remember it clearly.

Sure, there were rosy scenarios in there re Saddam's army, and sure that army stole a march by going to ground and coming back up as terrorists, and sure OIF is a nasty grind.

But anyone who was paying attention to the "10 to 50" is yet to be surprised at anything besides how few expert "I-told-you-so's" have had any better ideas re how to cope with the jihad.

Hearts & minds til it sticks in our craws, then B-52s. Anyone could've written the script from the get-go. Political wars, economic wars, resource wars, friends & enemies co-mingled in every street. Figure it out for us, reocon. We're listening. Oh, wait "we shoulda caught bin Laden at Tora Bora". Feh.

Tomorrow is the thing that matters. Bush is history. Time for a new tune. What will General Pelosi do?

5/22/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Buddy,
yeah what you said..

Well, I can't say I told ya so but from the get-go I was for levelling the place and rebuilding after we put the fear of God in 'em and showed them not to F**K with us.
It was a tried and true method but was received with all kinds of PC behavior that we could do this and that.
Well, my reponse is now if we HAD done it that way the entire ME would not hate us an iota more than they already do, but the upside would be they'd fear us and not be so troublesome.
We're a nice country. We'd have put then all up in Katrinavilles in the desert away from the cities we were going to destroy..or not..I personally prefered or not.
Now we have what is known in international relations classes taught at the Kennedy School at Harvard as "a mess"

But this is AMERICA and all we need to do is call MESSES-R-US and they'll come clean it up ..now back to the mall.

5/22/2007 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

P.S.

In the true spirit of political name calling I'm promoting the Speaker of the House as Nazi Pelosi..it has a ring to it and they've been using it on George so
tu quoque!

tu quoque

basically it's "same to ya fella"

5/22/2007 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

It is clear as day that Iran is aggressively attacking Iraq - where are the Iraqi special forces, Iraqi intel, Iraqi bomber wings or Iraqi tank brigades that could respond to this?

For the past couple of years there has been a story of how America was geting Iraqis to stand up and take some of the burden in their own defence and how well this was working out. Now it is clear that what America meant was that Iraqis would stand in for American troops in the failed practice of running a localised COIN operation. The Americans have (yet again) screwed up and made a new Iraqi army without any offensive capability to stop Iran with. Perhaps this was a hedge against the possibility that Iraq would turn anti-American, if it was it has become a self-fulfilling possibility.

5/22/2007 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Humor is a saving grace, habu. Thanks for having so much of it, even if it is dark as hell.

5/22/2007 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Buddy,
When I make the permanent move to Montana in three years I'm stpp'n by your town.We can have a soda and say howdy..I would consider it an honor.

Of course you'll have to visit the Montana hacienda.

5/22/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Great--my place is perched on the Devil's Backbone, half the roof drains to the Colorado river basin, the other half to the Guadalupe river basin. Why you can damn near SEE Montana from here. Just a few bob war fences and a skinny cow or two in between.
:-D

5/22/2007 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Skookumchuk said...

Any fishin' at yer place? If so, I might show up on your doorstep uninvited. :-)

5/22/2007 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Reocon: "Ironic, when you consider that this was supposed to be a quick victory delivered on a silver platter,..."

And in point of that it *was* a quick victory delivered on a silver platter as evidenced by the speed with which we took Bagdhad and the fate of Saddam Hussein. ^_^

What is being discussed here is the fact that the Democrat Party is a gang of surrender monkeys who are prone to throwing away victory at every chance they get. One of several reasons that their party has become unfit for office. :P

5/22/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Chavo,
Thanks for the link! ^_^

If the Democratic Party surprises me and really does redeem itself, it will be because of men like Senator Bob Kerrey, Zeke Miller and Ed Koch.

5/22/2007 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Buddy and Towering B:

Well, it’s true I am afraid. Recon is “right.”

Just before we invaded Iraq in 2003 the President said “You just watch, this thing will be over in a flash.”

Problem is, it was President BILL CLINTON that said that. And “his” people – the “Bush lost the Election so he is not MY President” people – all heard that and today are all P.O.ed that they were “lied to.”

Funny thing, though, when “their” President Bill Clinton lied to them about every 15 sec for years and years they saw no problem in it. In fact, it was a virtue, they said.

5/22/2007 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

I'm sicked by what has happened to the Republican party and that so many so-called conservatives forgot first principles by embracing a war of liberal internationalism that could not be won. To win it would require a massive welfare state intervention to build a secular, middle class Iraqi society, one oppossed to Shiite and Sunni Islamism. Fat chance turned to no chance given how cheap this war has been run. Failing in those half-efforts, and overselling how quick this war would end, Bush has handed our republic over to the Democrat party.

It can no longer be denied. Bush should have finished off Al-Qaeda instead of launching a war that has given it renewed strength and, according to the LATimes, more funding:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-na-binladen20may20,0,5307690,print.story?coll=la-home-center

If a Democrat had done this, would we not want him impeached?

5/22/2007 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

From the LATimes article cited above:

Just months after the CIA deployed dozens of additional operatives to its station in Islamabad — as well as bases in Peshawar and other locations — Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced "peace agreements" with tribal leaders in Waziristan.

Driven by domestic political pressures and rising anti-American sentiment, the agreements called for the tribes to rein in the activities of foreign fighters, and bar them from launching attacks in Afghanistan, in exchange for a Pakistani military pullback.

But U.S. officials said there was little evidence that the tribal groups had followed through.

"Everything was undermined by the so-called peace agreement in north Waziristan," said a senior U.S. intelligence official responsible for overseeing counter-terrorism operations. "Of all the things that work against us in the global war on terror, that's the most damaging development. The one thing Al Qaeda needs to plan an attack is a relatively safe place to operate."

Some in the administration initially expressed concern over the Pakistani move, but Bush later praised it, following a White House meeting with Musharraf.


I don't think blaming the Dems will get us anywhere on this one. Conservatism must face up to the truth about our present President and his record.

5/22/2007 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Buddy,

People in and out of the admin were also predicticting, from about the hour of noon on 9-11-01, that we were in a war that would last ten or 50 years.

I remember it clearly.


I remember that too, sounded big and ambitious and worthwhile. In the rest of the World we was impressed and a little scared.

Only now we see that the American plan for this grand war was to have the Army camp in a Middle Eastern country whilst every terrorist decides where to attack next. The American plan consisted of two offensives and now presumably 7 - 47 years of not much else. Not ambitious or impressive and confirms that America is a declining force, the world is not even a little scared.

5/22/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Skook--yep, got a few catfish in the stock tanks (y'all probably call 'em "ponds", giggle). Come ahead!

Reocon, by your reasoning, it was impossible to know the outcome of what we did do, but the outcome of everything we didn't do is as perfectly clear as a bell.

How do you do it?

Also, how do you take an article from the LATimes and build a foreign policy theory out of it?

Also, did you know that every time any two entities fight, both sides will make greater and greater efforts the more the other side fights back?

And that it goes on escalating like that until one side (or both sides) quit, or at least quit escalating?

Of COURSE the jihad is amping its efforts. For one thing, some people in this country are giving them hope and ambition, so why wouldn't they fight harder?

But, just to make the point, take a look at Axis recruitment and production in 1944--after for all practical purposes (in our hindsight game) they were doomed.

How could we have prevented those last few hundred divisions being raised in Germany and Japan?

Why, easy, just quit the war in 1943 --call it a draw.

They'd have respected a treaty (just like the Communist International did the Paris Peace Accords) and we could all have lived happily ever after.

5/22/2007 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

unaha-closp, I have no explanations with which to argue your atmospherics. I just fuss at reocon because he's treating alternate history fantasies as if they would have certainly happened just the way he asserts.

5/22/2007 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's just so easy to say things like "we should have finished AQ" --as if having Saddam, Oil/Food, No-Flys to maintain, all in our rear would have no effect, as if AQ was certain to've cooperated if only not for OIF, and have allowed us to've certainly "finished it" by some point in recently past time.

5/22/2007 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

How could we have prevented those last few hundred divisions being raised in Germany and Japan?

By attacking Germany and Japan. But we did that already, so guess I don't really understand the question.

Why, easy, just quit the war in 1943 --call it a draw.

No, that's not right. They would have still recruited them or spent the effort on fortifications or started a nuclear weapons program or invested heavily in lederhosen production.

Of COURSE the jihad is amping its efforts. For one thing, some people in this country are giving them hope and ambition, so why wouldn't they fight harder?

For one other thing, they really have no fear of losing. Immediately post Iraq invasion Gaddaffi capitulated and crawled to ask to be friends with America, now he is back in the Islamist universalist fold. He presumes America will not follow through with any threats, but knows that Al Qaeda will.

5/22/2007 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

Here's what I know.

18 DEC 72 - 29 DEC 72.

11 days. 741 B-52s launched. 729 completed their missions. 15,000+ tons of HE dropped on North Vietnam.

26 DEC 72.

North Vietnam raises the flag to get back to talks to free our guys and end the war.

It only took nine years of finger fucking and grinding 55,000 young men into the dirt.

Too bad the bombing didn't continue until Hanoi offered unconditional surrender. What would that have been, ten more days?

Twenty days of BUFFs, B1-Bs, and B-2s on a random rotation on Kharg Island, Tehran, Natanz, Islamabad, Karachi, Jeddah, Medina, Basra, Al-Anbar, Ramadi, Helmund, et al at the time and place of our choosing would have had an effect on the Islamist world back in October of 2001.

Too bad we tried to be everyone's best politically-correct friend.

5/22/2007 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Brother d-day,

Say it again louder..the NVA Via General Giap said the bombing was breaking them...our leftests gave them the will to go on.
We bombed and then didn't nad then did again but LBJ fu8Ked that war all to hell. We could have bombed haiphong and hanoi to rubble but the soviets had ships at haiphong and LBJ was afraid of a war with them.

We can't keep being afraid to kill the enemy. The desert environs of the ME are made for nuclear war.

i have and still do maintain that we make the Stria a parking lot and Tehran into a place taht the Persian refugees look down on from their caves i the snow coverd Elburz mountains to the north.

But we have a nation of girlie men, metrosexuals...weenie nation.

5/22/2007 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

Amen Habu, amen.

Our country has decided to ignore all lessons of the past and re-learn the hard way every time.

One day, we will launch missles and bombers to stop this foolishness, only after millions more have died.

I pray I am wrong.

5/22/2007 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...
Reocon, by your reasoning, it was impossible to know the outcome of what we did do, but the outcome of everything we didn't do is as perfectly clear as a bell.

How do you do it?


Well, Buddy, I knew just a little bit about the region before this war. Just a bit. And I'm part of a community of retirees that knows more, alot more. So here's just a sample of what I was focusing on that didn't get covered to my satisfaction before the launch of the war:
1. Shiite Islamist parties were the best organized and largest among the emigre community and had the deepest ties to Iraq.
2. Reconstruction of Iraq I thought would be massive, requiring a tremendous state capacity that the US would be unwilling to finance. Plus, I had some sens of how corrupt the country and the region are. This ain't Japan.
3. Iranian influence could be seen all throughout the Shiite Islamist parties in #1.
4. Any sort of democracy would very likely lead to a victory of the parties in #1.
5. The whole damn country has been primed for war or dissolution since Gertrude Bell.
6. You can't squeeze the Anbar province without a Northern front, but Turkey denied us one. I lost $200 on a bet that the war would have to be delayed due to that obvious strategic imperative. Never bet on the intelligence ;( of this administration. You can read my comments on this blog since 2005 to find out if my concerns have been justified or not.

Now this wasn't exactly classified, was it? Me and about 4,107+ others saw this coming. We're called conservatives.

As for the LATimes, I know it sources are accurate because you can hear the same thing through the AFIO. If you doubt its claim that AQ is getting plenty of money and recruits from Iraq, can you cite an opposing source?

5/22/2007 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

No, i don't doubt it, reocon. I'd be surprised if there was any place in Islam that wasn't sending contributions to AQ.

I'm just wondering about the purpose of your whole approach.

For example, when Turkey backed out, okay, that was a blow. But summer was coming on and several hundred thousand allied troops were cooking in the desert at their jump-off points.

So, you were surprised that the Turkey snafu didn't delay the invasion? Really?

Are you bitter at FDR over the bloody disaster of the hedge rows of Normandy?

Should Ike have held off until that fact--analogous in its unknowness to the fierceness of the Anbar jihadis--was known?

Until ALL the unknown unknowns were known?

I dunno --maybe you're right. Time will tell. That is if we have enough of it.

Maybe Terror, Inc., in control from Moscow to Islamabad to the Horn to Caracas to Jakarta, was just destined to be, and we all should realize that and go back in time to before we pissed it off, and have us a hindsight do-over.

5/22/2007 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...

I'm just wondering about the purpose of your whole approach.

For example, when Turkey backed out, okay, that was a blow. But summer was coming on and several hundred thousand allied troops were cooking in the desert at their jump-off points.

So, you were surprised that the Turkey snafu didn't delay the invasion? Really?


Yes, I was. It wasn't my analysis initially but that of an old colleague who convinced me that without a Northern front much of Saddam's "irregulars" could melt away into Anbar and further North causing no end of heartache and a guerilla war. I thought that very convincing and assumed for some reason that the administration saw it too. Probably because that old peer was not as retired as I was.

Are you bitter at FDR over the bloody disaster of the hedge rows of Normandy?

Should Ike have held off until that fact--analogous in its unknowness to the fierceness of the Anbar jihadis--was known?


Naw, I'm pissed at FDR for other reasons. (What Senator was it who said that Social Security "took all the romance out of life"?) My beef with the Bushies is very simple. We're not talking hedgerows here, we're talking basic sociologic and bureaucratic facts that were readily verifiable. There were tons of intelligence and military analysts, realists, real conservatives, and even pundits (The American Conservative) who saw this coming, and for their objections and reasoned positions, they were called liberals, racists, even "unpatriotic conservatives" (by that sniveling Canadian toady, David Frum). We'll sure, old timers like me are half-senile, but then how'd we get it so right?

For instance, back in 2005, Wretchard watched SCIRI and Dawa win elections and declared "victory" in Iraq. Where the hell did that come from? If you knew even a modicum about those scum you had to realize that their Shiite Islamist agenda was antithetical to ours. They were corrupt, pro-Iranian and couldn't be trusted. They had been officially declared terrorist organizations and adjuncts of the Iranians back in the 80s!!!

What I witnessed was not a "hedgerows" kind of basic miscalculation, but an open war against conservatives who made the right calls on VITAL points. Vital points that were established on facts that were semi-public (SCIRI's long history, for instance, is not hard to come by.) Try as some Bush worshippers might, that record can't be flushed down the memory hole.

So tell me Buddy, what made you think this massive LIBERAL project in nation-building could be pulled off by this administraion? Do you believe it was just hedgerows that tripped us up or a deeper strategic and even philosophic failing?

5/22/2007 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I dunno, reocon. It doesn't help your case to call everyone who thought Saddam was intolerable, a "Bush worshiper", though. Bush is having major troubles with congress, right, with some of the electorate, right, with the terrorists in Iraq, right. Did he have to fight a GWoT, inquiring minds want to know --or want to say "no".

But tell me, if Bush had listened to reocon and his well-connected contacts, and eschewed ushering Saddam to the noose, would Europe be now, finally, after 40 years of slippage, waking up to the reality of the world?

I do not how your sense of perspective works, but mine says that Merkel & Sarkozy were earthquakes (just look at their currency & markets since Merkel), and that they embody a united west coming back into being, and that a united west is the only thing that ever had a chance against the correlation of forces against it, and that united, nothing else has a chance against a united west.

Lots of perhaps justified impugning of Bush-in-detail yet to come, but if the western Phoenix arises from the moral ashes of yr 2000, then perhaps the allied blood-sacrifice in Iraq is what will have animated the rising.

5/22/2007 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

You know, you'd be right about the "nation-building" diss, had Bush just rolled out of bed one fine morning and just for the hell of it decided to install himself a democracy in a nice normal middle east.

IOW, your critique would be much more effective if you would admit to the context and then try to honestly deconstruct it from there.

5/22/2007 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...
I dunno, reocon. It doesn't help your case to call everyone who thought Saddam was intolerable, a "Bush worshiper", though.

Ultimately, Buddy, it was never about removing Saddam, it was about reconstructing Iraq. How many times during the 20th century did a dictator fall, yet the country in question slipped further into Hell? You can start with Cousin Nicky and work up. No, Saddam was "intolerable" only to the extent that we could insure something unambiguously better after he was gone. That's why he was tolerable to Bush I, even after the Gulf War.

Merkel and Sarkozy won owing to economic conditions and the tendentiously sad state of socialist parties. Two cheers for them. Even today, national security is not a high polling issue in Germany and America is not exactly popular right now in either country.

Buddy Larsen said...
You know, you'd be right about the "nation-building" diss, had Bush just rolled out of bed one fine morning and just for the hell of it decided to install himself a democracy in a nice normal middle east.

IOW, your critique would be much more effective if you would admit to the context and then try to honestly deconstruct it from there.


The context does not change the content of social conditions in the Middle East. A democratization project of ambitious scope only looks tempting to the degree you actively deny political, cultural and econo-social realities on the ground. Indeed, according to Bob Woodward's interviews with Condi Rice for "Bush at War", Bush had planned both to overthrow Saddam (pre-9/11)and remove the Taliban before he gave any thought to what would follow. Democratic globalism arrived around mid-2002 by my calculations.

BCers have this tendency to wave around Wretchard's "Three Conjectures" like their stone-blasted commandments and not . . . conjectures. And one of those conjectures hasn't fared too well now has it? Let me repeat: Islamofascist parties can win elections, easily in fact, if they're running in opposition to a perception of US Imperialism. That's as basic as its been proven correct.

5/22/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yep, Hugo proves that even communists can win elections.

The key is free elections. If they are regular and scheduled, and constitutional, and transparent, then the idea is, eventually free trade, free markets, and freedom itself at least has a chance to influence, and in time even guide, the culture.

Easy to laugh at this apparent naivete, but the middle east has a history that makes this notion at least arguably the best set of odds available.

What are the alternatives? Fighting with other big powers over who gets to pay tribute to the current strongman?

What kind of world was "oil-for-food" (operating through the UN) building, reocon?

One that would be peaceful, and that would not drain the USA of its human, financial, and military capital? You are never far from iterations of cost, but what about the cost of not fighting this tower of babel? One of those costs is easy to see--it is the cost of having waited through the 90s to fight it, and is the current cost we are paying now.

How about another delay, say, until even reocon was ready? What will the cost have been by then?

Joe Kennedy didn't want to fight Hitler--advised Britain to concede, to ask for terms. He thought the cost of fighting Hitler would be prohibitive. But no one would listen, so soon enough the world was at war. Maybe he was right--maybe WWII was avoidable. But, at what cost?

There is a reason for double-entry bookkeeping, a reason that a ledger has two sides.

Anyone concentrating solely on the outlay for OIF on the one side of the ledger can of course operate freely in a target-rich environment. The costs being avoided, that is, saved, are hard to prove, because they weren't incurred.

It's the critic's advantage.

5/22/2007 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

And your implication that economics is what elected Merkel & Sarkozy is pretty much spin, you know.

Of course economics are decisive, but the two leaders just happened to be pro-American, and they just happened to campaign on that, and they just happened to pretty much echo recent elections all over Europe which also (according to the global press) involved policy directly related to cooperation with USA.

If economics is all it is, why not elect the economics and stick with the old anti-Americanism? Odds are, Occam's Razor and all, that's how it would have been, if reocon was right.

5/22/2007 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...

The key is free elections. If they are regular and scheduled, and constitutional, and transparent, then the idea is, eventually free trade, free markets, and freedom itself at least has a chance to influence, and in time even guide, the culture.

Easy to laugh at this apparent naivete, but the middle east has a history that makes this notion at least arguably the best set of odds available.


It's not just laughable, it's truly thoughtless, as in it doesn't think about the actual conditions in these societies. It's just an empty assertion that first assumes:
1. That these are actually viable states that would survive a democratic process and not fragment into warring regions and ethnicities. (E.g. Iraq, Rwanda Somalia, Palestine, Lebanon and Yugoslavia).

2. Read Mansfield and Snyder's "Democratization and War", Buddy. Try the issue in Foreign Affairs September/October 1995. Democratizing states have a high tendency to stutter and fall out of the pathway to liberal democracy which you so optimistically outline in the first paragraph above. Mansfield and Snyder discuss how unstable internal coalitions lead these transitioning states to war. A lack of internal cohesion leads to a search for a common enemy. In the Middle East, who do you think that enemy will be Buddy?

3. Buddy, what do you think the foreign policy of a "democratic" Middle East, replete with strong Islamist parties, will be towards Israel? Have you given it much thought? How many of the Shiite Islamist parties in Iraq are pro-Hezbollah?

Buddy Larsen said...
And your implication that economics is what elected Merkel & Sarkozy is pretty much spin, you know.

Of course economics are decisive, but the two leaders just happened to be pro-American, and they just happened to campaign on that, and they just happened to pretty much echo recent elections all over Europe which also (according to the global press) involved policy directly related to cooperation with USA.


So you both assert that I'm right, that "economics are decisive" but that explanation is too complex. Uh-huh. So if "economics are decisive", just how decisive were they? Can you give me examples of Sarkozy and Merkel actively campaigning on being pro-American, or did they soft-shoe their moderately more American stances?

You also cite "elections all over Europe", yet fail to mentin any. Well surely not Spain, the UK or Italy, right? What elections were you referring to?

5/23/2007 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Question for Buddy Larsen, Aristides, or any other BCer who wants to take a crack at it. Are you a Bob Kerrey-style "principled liberal"?

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Y2VlYzQyYTk3MWYzNDkxMzM1YzZiMmM0NmY2OGQ4ZTY=&w=MA==

Senator Kerrey is a principled liberal. Only a principled liberal could so vividly capture the cynical irony here. Though conceived as vital to our national security, the Iraqi chapter in the war on terror has been conducted, since Saddam’s expulsion, as a Wilsonian experiment. It assumes — against all reason and experience — that we’re all one human family, that everyone craves freedom, that everyone would use freedom the same enlightened way, and that we, the superpower, have a special obligation to make it happen. If the experiment were being conducted by liberals, rather than by George W. Bush, Democrats would be its staunchest defenders (and conservatives its wariest skeptics).

Iraq, however, is a frustrating slog precisely because it is an exercise in democracy building, not mere jihadist repulsion. Sen. Kerrey wants to have both Bush’s grandiose democracy project and Webb’s Spartan terrorist smacking … all without occupying anyone. It can’t be done.

We want, of course, to believe that we can democratize Islamic radicals into submission — it’s much more congenial than killing them or cooling their jets in Guantanamo Bay so we can get the intelligence needed to kill them before they kill us. But it’s a fantasy. The cold record shows that jihadists are much better at using democracy to pursue their ends than democracy is at quelling jihadist pathologies.

5/23/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Reocon, you can't have UK. You can have Spain & Italy, tho neither elected on anti-americanism per se. I get all the rest, including most of the new eastern European states, plus little backwaters like Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. You can have Venezuela (with an asterisk), Bolivia, and one or two Latin American arguables. The Asian Tigers 9where so much of world eco growrth generates) elect governments sympathetic to "allied interests" too, you'll note.

Okay, so you want to characterize Merkel & Sarkozy as "soft-shoeing" something as critical as their foreign policy platforms? Go ahead--it's your credibility, not mine.

Did i misuse the word "decisive"? I didn't mean to agree with your assertion that economics were the only issue in those two elections.

And re the difficulty of coping with rest-of-world political systems, yes, I agree with you, nothing is easy, everything is complex, we should stay out of others' business as much as others will allow us to.

Let me ask you a question: Do you really believe we 'can', or do you just believe we 'should', wash our hands of the rest of the world?

Honest question. Think it through, in terms of global trade, and the billion or two people now becoming able to lift themselves out of extreme hand-to-mouth poverty, for the first time in human history.

Don't tell me they were all fine hand-to-mouth, because that cat is out of the bag, and has been since tv images from the first world started beaming into the third world.

Try to look forward, reocon. Get over that sepia-toned infatuation with that simpler world we all miss. Lament that it is no more? Yes, me too. But now what?

5/23/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

So you call me a Liberal, reocon? Well i'm not so sure you're a Conservative.

I note Ron Paul is having trouble getting out of the "zero" digit, on any polls other than internet fuzzy-wuzzies.

I don't like nation-building. i don't like entangling foreign alliances. i don't like Bushism's big-government war-fighting. But i also don't like my descendants under Sharia. can't we find a way to put the jihad back into remission, so we can all go back to worrying about hemlines and shark attacks?

I haven't listened to Bob Kerrey since his disgraceful "911 Commission" performance, when he wouldn't reign in that Ben Veniste psycho.

5/23/2007 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Simple question: if our strategy should be something other than the support of governments which will self-police their own terrorists, then what should it be?

Remember, we don't want to have to kill everybody, if we can help it.

5/23/2007 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...

Okay, so you want to characterize Merkel & Sarkozy as "soft-shoeing" something as critical as their foreign policy platforms? Go ahead--it's your credibility, not mine.


Buddy, we have wandered far off topic but I've a simple way to cut through our meanderings and get us back on. Do you believe that Sarkozy and Merkel supported the Iraq War? You seem to imply that they did, and the European electorate has come to see it their way. If Merkel and Sarkozy both opposed the Iraq War, what does that do to your thesis?

Let me ask you a question: Do you really believe we 'can', or do you just believe we 'should', wash our hands of the rest of the world?

No of course not. Such a thing would be impossible and so much of our present day economy is now "globalized". The question is, to borrow from the political science theory of neorealism, what our policies should be within the world system as the positional hegemon. In order to understand that system better I propose two readings for you. "The Perils of Empire" and "The Perils of Occupation". You can find them here, and believe, me, they are "forward looking". http://www.realisticforeignpolicy.org/

Should we make our footprint bigger and "impose" democracy in states were the inevitable backlash will kill any chances of success? I note you didn't tackle any of the three points I raised. Why is that?

Buddy Larsen said...
So you call me a Liberal, reocon? Well i'm not so sure you're a Conservative.


Well, only if you would call Edmund Burke, Friedrich Hayek and Ike conservatives. Actually, I'm an "Old Whig" with a strong realist streak, a "conservative" only by today’s neologic standards. As to you, you sound an awful lot like a modern liberal, a Bob Kerrey liberal. You've read the National Review piece by Andrew McCarthy by now, so what's your answer. You may dislike him, but how is your position different from Bob Kerrey's?

If it was a Democrat that had started the Iraq War would you still have supported it on the same liberal principles you now espouse, or is McCarthy correct that conservatives would have opposed this terribly misguided charge if a Dem had been leading it?

What I'm asking Buddy, is if you really have any principles here, or are you just painting yourself into a partisan corner. You know (?) that the philosophers I cite (Burke and Hayek) railed against the dangers of assuming a universal potential for liberal democracy. What philosophers do you stand behind in your faith that we can create a liberal, secular, stable, pro-Israel, pro-US democracy in Iraq?

Conservatives are coming around, Buddy. They've come to realize all the mistakes and the lies and the treacherous ground that liberal Wilsonianism has taken them and they're abandoning the Democratization project in droves. Don't take it from me, read the National Review, and then ask yourself whether or not you're the tail end of the tail end: one of those psuedo-conservatives who can't yet face up to how they've been taken in by a liberal theology of democratic revolution.

5/23/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, you make a good case, reocon. And i'd agree with most all of it, thematically, except for the one fact that motivates me to keep arguing with you: sans USA in the Persian Gulf, AQ, or the Mullahs, or the Kremlin, or all three together, can take over OPEC price & production policy (I know that's oversimply stated, but it's true) and over-price/under-produce the western world to whatever extent it may choose.

Yes, i know, we will respond with alternative fuels, conservation, etcetera--but these responses will have marginal effect on maintaining the global system in the current mode.

Right now the average USA family spends 6% of its income on energy. At the end of Carter's admin, that number was around 15%.

That's where we'll go again, immediately, if you get your way.

After a year there, we'll go to 25%, or whatever number the enemy calculates is a few cents below what will send us back to the Gulf D-Day style.

The objective will be a capital transfer from west to east, a maximization of return on a depleting asset, and, "empire' or "caliphate. Whatever the Great Game will yield. Pride. Validation. Revenge.

You will say, that's just numbers, what about our troops? You got me there--I'd not trade blood for money. But I don't run the country. A good strong depression, a foreclosing economic prospect, will make hawks of many folks.

Am I exagerrating? Not intentionally. The choice is to muddle through trying to achieve the admin's goals, or to give it up. What are the odds that #2 will insure a future worse than #1? I'd say ten to one.

What if we listened to you and in a year or two a few bombs go off in Riyadh and oil goes to 200, 300/bbl?

You must know that despite the beauty of your anti-Wilsonian principles, we are not ready for that, and the results will be painfully severe.

We're not in a foreign policy classroom, you know. We're in the world.

You say I'm blinded by partisanship. I say not me, but maybe you.

5/23/2007 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Buddy Larsen said...

Yes, i know, we will respond with alternative fuels, conservation, etcetera--but these responses will have marginal effect on maintaining the global system in the current mode.

Somehow you've neglected nuclear power in that list. What do you think its long term adaptation will do to our energy problems? It's seems to be a little known fact, but France has been able to partially buffer itself from the usual sway of energy costs by running 70% of its grid off nuclear power. I've some limited faith in nuclear power and I'm curious and to why it seems to fall through the cracks of so many discussions. Electric cars are getting better all the time:
http://www.teslamotors.com/

Am I exagerrating? Not intentionally. The choice is to muddle through trying to achieve the admin's goals, or to give it up. What are the odds that #2 will insure a future worse than #1? I'd say ten to one.

You seem to have set our options between a culturally ignorant democratization process that ends up with Islamofascism or simply giving in. That's ridiculous. How can you even write such a thing? We will fight this through counter-insurgency methods and by pitting our enemies against one another instead of jumping between them and trying to get them to make nice.

Buddy, what do you think is holding the AQ/Iran alliance together? You know AQ's stance towards the Shiite apostates. How long do you think Iran would tolerate that with the US gone?

You say I'm blinded by partisanship. I say not me, but maybe you.

Well Buddy, if you've been reading the comment section you know I loathe Dems and am revolted by what has happened to the Republican party, so you tell me who I'm suppossed to be a partisan of. I can't really get with the Libertarian/Ron Paul crowd, though I'm glad to have a little diversity in the conservative field. If you can find a candidate for me, I'm listening.

What about yourself? You haven't really risen to the challenge of distinguishing yourself from Bob Kerrey's style of liberal internationalism, so I might just have to conclude that you're a confused Bush partisan who fell for his unthinking liberal agenda. An agenda that placed us in the present quagmire. If I'm wrong, and you fundamentally differ from Bob Kerrey's liberal foreign policy (read the McCarthy piece I linked to) then please write back.
Best,
RC

5/23/2007 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Reocon, the difference between you and me is, I try to align myself to the country's vital interests, while you try to align the country to your own vital interests. There's this gigantic multi-generational continental re-balancing going on, and your country is trying to cope with it on myriad fronts, and you have picked out a detail, a poli-sci sub-theory of OIF, to describe all the world-shaking, all the earthquakes and explosions, all the expectant, worried throngs of people amove on the face of the world.

It's a classic fallacy, a reductio ad absurdum. Furthermore, despite what you say about being a "real" conservative (whereas my ilk is "pseudo"), your action brief is functionally little different from say Michael Moore's or Cindy Sheehan's --or Achmadinejad's, or Osama bin Laden's.

All that said, it's been interesting jousting with you.

BTW, I left "nuclear" off that list because it wasn't a list, it was a reference to what would be on such a list. Yay France--but can we build a hundred or two nuclear power plants in time to get us to work Monday morning, if say there's another 1973 oil embargo? "Time" has to figure into our airy contemplations, doesn't it?

As far as claiming Kerrey, I read his statement, it was mother/sister sister/mother, I can't comment much either way. It's just another word salad.

National Review, BTW, which you mentioned as being "in " your camp --don't you mean to say that on occasion, NR prints something that contains an element not diametrically opposed to your camp?

5/23/2007 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hell, i KNOW it's a quagmire. EVERYbody knows it's a quagmire.

But you can't stop there --describing the problem is *not* the end of the problem!

So, Bush is a gigantic screw-up? Fine. Now what? What are we gonna do about terrorism ?

And please don't give me a DNC verbal formula --what I mean is, where will we find the attitude (not to mention the allies) we need to win, after we lose?

You do realize that it's a relative world, and one cannot just get weaker all alone in a vacuum. We weaken, the enemy strengthens that much times two ("times two" because momentum is so much in the formula).

Mistakes, yes yes, many many --but there are no do-overs, there's only the morrow.

5/23/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Sure, we're gonna defeat Terror Inc and the Caspian Axis, with Special Forces, after we blow outta the Gulf, leaving a hundred thousand native-hued co-workers on YouTube having their heads cut off, after we yank the rug out from under all our new European allies and send that continent scuttling to make peace with Islamism, after we present the KGB with the gift of the ages, after we encourage the worst of the ChiCom faction in the PRC to go hot wherever it wants (Taiwan) before the chance passes, after we get Howard, Harper, and Abe humiliated and likely toppled, after all that and so much more, why, we'll just send in the Special Forces !

Send 'em in where? New Orleans?

5/23/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

if you're a graybeard, reocon (as you said upthread), then surely you recollect the events of 1975-80? Do I need to recount them for you, or mention the millions of graves? Or point out that those five years did USA--and the free world--and the ordinary people of the planet--so much damage that those five years are precisely what we the human race is STILL trying to recover from?

5/23/2007 02:10:00 PM  

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