Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Red Harvest 3

The Red Mosque siege is over, with many dead and wounded. Bill Roggio followed the operation and is acutely aware that although the reported action is centered on Islamabad, the true breadth of the conflict between Musharraf and the Pakistan's Islamists is far larger.

The situation in the Northwest Frontier Province, a base of support for the Red Mosque, remains tense. Over “20,000 tribesmen, including hundreds of masked militants wielding assault rifles, protested in the frontier region of Bajaur, led by Maulana Faqir Mohammed, a wanted cleric suspected of ties to al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri,” the Associated Press reported. Faqir has sheltered Zawahiri in the past.

Although the battle for the Red Mosque is over, with miitant cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi dead, the real question is whether the larger War for Pakistan has only just begun. Indian blogger Sepia Mutiny quotes a succinct assessment from the Times Online:

Political analysts believe that a confrontation between the Government and Islamists is now unavoidable. “It is a defining moment for both the country and the nation in the battle against militancy and religious extremism,” said Shireen Mazari, the chairwoman of the Institute for Strategic Studies, based in Islamabad. “There is no going back.”

The crisis in Pakistan now has at least three dimensions. The first is military. Bill Roggio, much ahead of the war coverage fixated on Iraq, chronicled the rise of the Taliban in the Northwest Frontier provinces. It is a fact that parts of Pakistan are now partly or wholly controlled by radical Islamists and possibly al-Qaeda. But Musharraf's regime also faces a legal crisis of legitimacy. Frederic Grare of the Carnegie Foundation describes it:

The end of Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s era in Pakistan approaches. Since March 9, demonstrations have mounted to protest his dismissal of the independent chief justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry. On May 12, protests resulted in carnage during which more than 40 people were killed, mostly from the opposition. The pro-Musharraf Muttahida Qwami Movement (MQM) was held responsible by the majority of the Pakistani press. The Pakistani army’s authority is now being challenged like never before. A taboo has been broken and Musharraf’s government has made mistake after mistake, exposing its true dictatorial nature and also its weakness.

In other words, Musharraf has lost support because he is a military dictator. Grare without the slightest sense of self-irony proceeds to recommend supporting Democracy in Pakistan, and essentially supporting a regime change -- to empower the democratic forces.

The restoration of democracy — the re-establishment of civilian power according to the 1973 Pakistani constitution — is ultimately the only reasonable policy option in the short, medium and long terms. This restoration does not mean the “elimination” of the Army, but simply its withdrawal from politics. The military could be given a role through the National Security Council but would no longer be the domineering entity.

To encourage Pakistanis to pursue such reforms, the U.S. (and others) must stop allowing multiple objectives to be traded against each other, and instead recognize that terrorism, Afghanistan, Kashmir and democratization are related. They all require an end of the Army and intelligence service’s domination of Pakistan’s policy-making.

The rich vein of irony present in these remarks I will leave the readers to mine. But the underlying point should be well taken. Many of America's allies -- who are now preferred by those who favor "stability" and "realism" in response to alarm at efforts to "bring Democracy to Iraq" and who see even Saddam Hussein in nostalgic terms -- these allies, are really authoritarian regimes. Musharraf's is simply one of those authoritarian regimes. Now we are told that such strongmen are unstable. Musharraf will soon be compared to the Shah. It will be called "madness" to support him. The same people who argued Iraq was "lost" because a Saddam was toppled will now argue that Pakistan is about to be lost because we won't help ease Musharraf out of power. Frederic Grare argues that a Pakistan without Musharraf will make a semi-soft landing under the aegis of some other more legitimate miltary strongman. That may well be true, but we have nothing but Grare's word for it. Iran was "lost" in weeks -- because we eased the Shah out of power -- though Carter did not think it would end that way. Realistically, once a power struggle erupts in Pakistan, it will take an Old Testament prophet to anticipate how it will finally play out. It's a dilemma, and I will pose no answer to it. However that may be, the crisis may now be upon us if the Red Mosque incident has provided the match to the powderkeg.

The third dimension to the Pakistani crisis is international. President Musharraf is not the only President under siege. The Democrat Congress, aided by dissident Republicans, threatens to unilaterally pull US troops out of Iraq, though the details are not yet clear. President Bush, battered by unpopular domestic and international policies, is in a weak position while the Democrats have yet to articulate a war policy except one of withdrawal. Washington is governed by a man who can hardly turn the wheel of state and men who will not touch it, content to pelt the captain with tomatoes and old shoes.

And hovering over everything is one background factor. Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state. Its fall to Islamists or spiral downward into an indecisive chaos would, coupled with the three factors mentioned above, unleash a perfect storm. One can realistically imagine a situation where America is withdrawing from Iraq, Pakistan falling into chaos and war breaking out in Lebanon all at the same time while Washington politicians are preoccupied with crafting sound-bites for the 2008 elections. Of the three factors affecting the Pakistani crisis, the only one which can be addressed directly is to create a real consensus on fighting the War on Terror. To create a strong American strategic sense of what should be achieved and a real appreciation of the stakes involved. Otherwise a terrible crisis may break out upon the world with no strong hand in Washington to deal with it.


Blogger al fin said...

One can realistically imagine a situation where America is withdrawing from Iraq, Pakistan falling into chaos and war breaking out in Lebanon all at the same time while Washington politicians are preoccupied with crafting sound-bites for the 2008 elections.

No, I think that situation will occur after the 2008 elections--but only if the US Democrats control the executive and the legislative branches.

Contemporary leftist politicians in the US know nothing about how the world is secured from rogue elements. They are appeasers par excellence, but have few other aptitudes.

7/10/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

It seems to me that the one link between the three crises of Lebanon exploding, America withdrawing, Iraq burning, and Pakistan imploding, is the core cause of 4GW movements: The decline and fall of the legitimacy of the state.

We are witnessing the rise of a new medievalism. The states that survive in the future will more resemble the Germany of 1618 rather than the Germany of 1648, 1871, 1939, 1945, or even the present.

I'm not sure what the answer is, apart from building myriad local institutions capable of withstanding the rise and fall of the state: Institutions like the Anbar Salvation Council.

As a seperate issue, I know the US military had plans as recently as 2002 to enter Pakistan to secure the nuclear sites there, by forced entry if required. It might not be a bad time to review those plans.

7/10/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

OF COURSE, a terrible crisis will happen with no one at the wheel.

Our political class is afraid of tackling the difficult subjects of what to do in a post-Cold War world where many threats abound: Pakistan, Iran, AQ, and home-grown Jihadists.

But just as important as the drift towards crisis externally is the pacifism and weakness in the West internally. To me it's because a comfortable elite finds the solutions (military actions to enhance deterrence) more dangerous than losing cities.

If US cities are lost (I fully expect it) elites delude themselves thinking they can retain control by real strong lectures on thought crimes. When of course they'll be turned out. But they'd rather lose cities than their sole control of power.

Dems are having a debate devoted entirely to Gay issues on the "gay network" LOGO. A more complete demonstration of an unserious political class could not be found.

My guess: by August, Syria will have invaded Lebanon and declared war along with Hezbollah against Israel, likely using various WMDs to kill great amounts of Israel's civilian population. At the same time Pakistan will pass into Taliban/AQ control. At the same time Congress will cut off funds and an immediate withdrawal from Iraq ordered. By Sept-Oct we may see Iranian nuclear tests successfully conducted.

And a year after that? Several US cities gone. I think it's clear that AQ/Iran believes that nuking several US cities would cause us like Spain to surrender.

7/10/2007 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Smitten --

I don't see a permanent decline of the nation-state. I do see a massive overturning of the elites in the West.

The Cold War consensus on military force by elites worked reasonably well (no global nuclear war): don't get into military conflicts as they might escalate into nuclear exchanges, make "deals" that prevent nuclear war, keep your strategic forces ready but draw down your conventional forces.

This played into the hands of elites that increasingly became more female-dominated, and obsessed by status. Also hostile to young men of ordinary background advancing through military service. No Andrew Jacksons for them, thank you very much. Instead, Joe Wilson (wealthy, well-born Amb.) and his trophy wife who married up.

If you think of men like Andrew Jackson, or Pappy Boyington, or Matthew Ridgeway, they certainly would have answers and plans for the distributed terror threat today: a series of whacking big sticks and demonstrated use of same.

With the total reverse of the Cold War Elite consensus: get into fights to show you're willing to fight, make no "deals" and build up your conventional forces massively so that enemies fear to attack you.

Naturally this means lots of opportunities for Sgts and Lts. to enter into politics, as combat vets, likely with expanded GI bills etc. It's a profound threat to the elites.

We will lose cities, that's inevitable. We will kill a lot of people in turn. That's also inevitable. But the change will be in that we will be a much more "flat" and socially equidistant society. No more Joe Wilsons and Valerie Plames, instead a lot of Pappy Boyingtons.

7/10/2007 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Nate said...


I doubt that folks such as you mentioned would have much of an impact. Note that several superstars of World War II fought in Korea (to a stalemate--only because of the genius of Ridgway), and others fought in Vietnam--an outright defeat. Boyington, Ridgway, LeMay, and MacArthur would be as much at a loss today as the unfortunate polish Cavalry that charged Guderian's tanks in 1939. Their heart was in the right place. It's just that the age of knights had passed. Likewise, the age of mass firebombing of cities is over, as are the days of Inchon and the Cactus Air Force.

They one guy who might have a clue is Boyd.

That said, if we found a way of implementing the Hama model of COIN on a wide scale without media scrutiny, I think you might have a point. But media is now everywhere, and fragmented. They are uncontrollable.

No. The state is certainly in decline, and the cancer of the ungovernable spaces of the world is spreading.

7/10/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...


While it is an answer far from perfect, self-organized groups have been stepping into the breach in some limited way. The most obvious, but limited example, is the blogosphere, which is fighting part of the information war wholly without government direction. We are the army, in some sense.

Maybe in Third World countries, this "self-organization" takes the form of raising up communities, tribes or factions against the 4G Islamists themselves. Not that this makes anyone safer in the long run. My lesser known Fourth Conjecture asserts that anything a private Islamic terrorist group can do a non-Islamic terrorist group can do as well or better. The example I gave was that nothing in principle prevented an anonymous suitcase nuke from going off in Mecca than it did in New York. Afer all, there are more non-Muslims with Nobel Prizes in physics than Muslims.

The whole point of the War on Terror was to get this privateering under some management. That's a restatement of the Three Conjectures, which basically says that if we the let thing run away from us then it may go critical. I say management; not control. The hour for control is long past. Unfortunately -- and I think your insight here is fundamentally correct -- the State is in decline, but their leaders still act like the controls were wired to the rudder, when in fact the aircraft is flying in response to forces they do not suspect exist.

7/10/2007 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger ForNow said...

Yes, the Fourth Conjecture.

In 2002 & 2003 at L.com I was posting about the acceslerative advance of technology leading to where private groups and individuals could unleash mass horror. If we can't stop WMD-ambitious cranky despots and terrorist subcultures, we'll hardly be able to handle the further threats which will come thicker and faster as time goes by.

When you, Wretchard, became famous in the blogosphere, I thought, now here's somebody who can explain it convincingly. But it hasn't worked as well as one might have hoped.

And our leaders, our Congress, etc., don't talk openly about the ultimate stakes. We don't want to alarm people we don't want to alarm people we don't etc.

I know somebody, a Dem partial insider, whom I asked a few years ago, are the Dems cynical or stupid on foreign policy, and the answer was: they're stupid, they don't understand the policies which they're criticizing.

Yet I have the notion that leftists have some notion of allying with islamoterrorists, in order to bring capitalism to its knees and then take over, declare free cheese, and thereby cause the islamoterrorist threat -- arising solely from "conditions" -- to evaporate forever. "What about the islamofascist threat?" I once asked a leftist -- "That's just conditions!" came the dismissive response.

Now scary times seem on the way, as the USA prepares to give up some more pieces of its soul, consign allies to the meat-grinder, punish all who have stuck their necks out to side with us for their freedom and ours, punish, too, all those Americans who enlisted. In these regards I think that at least some Dem pols know what they are doing, trying to roll the Vietnam syndrome into an Iraq syndrome and defang the USA worse than ever.

Hard rain is going to fall.

7/10/2007 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

fornow - re Dems stupid or cynical... I believe both, and tend to believe that of the two, cynicism is in greater abundance.

I posted the following under another thread in 2006. It seems appropriate for the current discussion:

I emailed the following to Pat Santy after her recent blog post "The Answer Is No" :

Dear Dr Santy,

I spent 8am on 9.11.2001 in bed, laid up with a pinched nerve that made my right arm feel like my face after dental work.

My wife woke me by telephone sometime past 8, telling me to turn on the television. I hardly moved for the next several hours, unable to tear myself away from the unspeakable evil we all saw that day.

Our little neighborhood in xxxxxxx, XX, was directly affected by what happened. (Name), a recently remarried father of a Brady Bunch minus one, was somewhere above the 100th floor in the North Tower. He died when the building finally came down.

Today, almost five years after 9/11, I am coming to the conclusion that the Left (internal and abroad) has become nearly as dangerous as modern Islam, so much so that your piece "The Answer Is No" could have very well been written about it.

It's hard for me to believe that the Left has become so infected with BSD that they'd actually put the country at risk, but what other conclusion can one reach? Having watched the Plame affair, the NYT exposure of sensitive anti-terrorist tools, etc, it is apparent that the Left has decided that the reaquisition of power is so important that if it takes hobbling the war effort to the point that we get hit again in order to discredit Bush/Republicans, then so be it. (Scoop Jackson would spontaneously combust if he knew what his political heirs are doing.)

Today, from my perspective, that makes them traitorous bastards. Once we get hit again (and I am increasingly concerned about the possibility), then again from my perspective, this would make them accomplices to mass murder. I have little doubt that in the privacy of their foul hearts, they believe the loss of thousands more Americans is worth it if it pries the reins of power from George Bush.

I doubt that they've considered what sort of world they might inherit after a 2nd successful mass casualty event... though frankly, I don't think they care one way or another. In my opinion, this makes them even more repugnant. "Give us the reins of power," they say, "and we, enlightened as we are, will put a peaceful end to this mess."

So, they resist the war effort at every turn, perhaps to the point that those trying to fight the war become so hamstrung that it opens the door for a terrorist WMD attack.

Consider a hypothetical -

It's February 2007 - a heavily loaded container ship moves slowly up the Hudson.

At 12:10 pm, with nearby streets full of people heading out for lunch, a fission device hidden in one of the containers detonates.

The blast wave kills anyone outdoors within a half mile radius. The immediate death toll would run into the tens of thousands at minimum.

The associated EM pulse would render all unshielded electronics useless for miles around, effectively cutting off Manhattan and its surroundings from the outside world.

The days that follow would be gradually filled with images of unsurpassed horror as survivors begin to make contact with family, friends, etc.

Considering all the businesses that headquarter in NY (stock market, for example), it's not hard to imagine the entire country grinding to a halt.... if for no other reason than a significant loss of confidence in the ultimate stability of the nation. "Why," a trucker might reason, "should I continue to deliver the goods I carry if they (and I) might be vaporized in a second WMD attack? I should go home and stock the storm cellar with drinking water."

The President, regardless of political affiliation, will not be afforded the option of failing to respond in kind. Failure to hit back swiftly, and in overwhelming fashion, would only further erode citizens' confidence in national stability, while at the same time it would so inflame the population that the President would be forced to step down, or quite possibly (for the first time in history) be removed by a citizen coup.

The gloves would have to come off.

The only viable response to a nuke on the Hudson would be multiple nuclear strikes at targets of great importance to Islam... starting, for example, with an obliterating strike against Qom and against Medina... and possibly an arab capital. And yes, innocents would die... by the thousands. But it's the only "language" islamists understand.

The immediate result in the US would be a significant stabilization of the populace ("Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!" The President is taking it to'em!!!!! Maybe we'll come out of this ok after all!").

This should be followed up with a prime time television address, stating the following non-negotiables (in response to islamic terrorism):

1. If, from this moment until the end of time, a nuclear device (or some other WMD) is detonated in an American city, America's response will be to wipe three Arab/Islamic cities from the face of the earth, starting with Mecca, and including an as-yet untouched Arab/Persian capital.

2. Every islamic state, including Pakistan, will either declare their possession of nuclear weapons (or technology), or declare that they have none. Those that have will IMMEDIATELY dismantle everything pertaining to it, right down to the last hex nut. We will be coming to your doorstep to collect every last piece - have it ready before we arrive. If......... if a state declares it has no nuclear weapons/technology, and is later found to have lied, this will trigger the nuclear destruction of that state's capital city. This cycle will repeat itself until everything nuclear is accounted for.

3. Every islamic terrorist organization will immediately and completely disarm. Then, they shall disband, never to reconstitute. Leaders will be handed over to US military custody. Failure to comply will result in additional strikes against the country/countries that provide terrorist organizations safe harbor. Additionally, you will be invaded, deposed, and if not killed outright, brought safely to a war crimes trial as expeditiously as possible.

Will something like this happen? It's possible, I suppose.

This scenario could one day unfold before our eyes if we fail to crush this enemy NOW... but the Left opposes decisive action at every turn.

Yes, some innocents (on both sides) would be killed if we bit the bullet and performed a 21st century General Sherman across the arab world. However, I believe the number of innocents such an action would cost pales in comparison to the vastly larger number that would die if the above nuclear scenario actually plays out.

The Left, in its rabid commitment to ruining everything in which George Bush is involved, may very well open the window of opportunity for a nuke on the Hudson... and instead of suffering losses of 5 to 10k overseas to go with the 3,000 lost on 9/11, we might lose 100k in Manhattan alone... along with how many thousands upon thousands of muslim children who have nowhere to flee as a MIRV pops open high over Medina....

This is the risk the Left takes in its efforts to regain power... and it clearly demonstrates its lack of fitness for it.

What empty, soul-less, evil bastards. What incredible contempt for human life. What incredible contempt for Americans. What incredible contempt for America.

Is the Left compatible with freedom and democracy?


As scenarios go, this seemed over the top to me, even as I wrote it... but no doubt I'd have felt similarly to the suggestion that someone would fly airliners into the towers.

We will eventually win this war... but because of the failure of our government to pull together and do what needs to be done, we won't start kicking some serious @ss until a 2nd mass casualty event is delivered to our backyard. Many more will die on both sides as a result of the dithering of our leadership.

In the aftermath, someone will say "It didn't have to be this way..."


It will be a hard rain... but we will eventually prevail against it.

7/10/2007 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

All too much focus is still on military solutions to an ideological struggle diffused within some 80 nations.

All while our "heroes" are being whacked easily by communities that cannot suffer collective retribution by present boy scout rules that say "precious civilians" that help plant bombs and happily watch as infidels are burned alive and ripped apart are inviolate. All while we burn through 3 billion a week on "helping noble freedom lovers" who presently plan on shutting "the West" out and turning over oil industry leases to China, India, KSA, Iran, and Egypt instead.
Instead of spending not even a week's worth of "heroes" military costs - on helping set up an alternative to Saudi Arabia's Wahabbist mosques and madrassahs in 70 countries.

It's not just Pakistan that has the "moderates" slowly being snuffed out by Saudi money and Wahabbist radical Salafi school minions. Since 2001 with all The Idiot's talk of his "heroes" and high tech wonders and noble purple-fingered democracy-loving "folks" and all the armchair generals talking 4GW, how urgent it is to invade Syria and Iran to "liberate" them and save the "generals" Special Friend.....

With all that, we have the Saudis and Iranians staffing and building hundreds of new mosques and madrassahs in Europe, N America, Latin America since 9/11. Radical mullahs now give "spiritual guidance" to thugs in prison across Europe and America but fortunately blocked in what the ACLU would call "less religiously tolerant" nations...

Use of the veil has exploded since 2001 in nations like Egypt, Germany, Canada, Surinam, Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, and locales like Londonistan and Dearborn.

We would be well to keep the pressure on the actual terrorists but otherwise pull back - have the courage to admit we failed badly outside the 1st year in Afghanistan, whacking a few thousand "evildoers" of the 100 million or so still out there, and uncovery of AQ Khan's nuclear network -- And recalibrate ourselves to a non-losing strategy. And figure how we will finance future military adventures. Right now, the whole burden of paying for the "noble Iraqi" experiment - some 800 billion inc. interest, will be by taxing our children and grandchildren to repay the Japanese, Chinese, Saudis, Jewish and Gentile financiers of Europe...

7/10/2007 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Triton'sPolarTiger said... Democrats! Democrats! Liberals! All at fault for not supporting my beloved Maximum War Leader and Churchill resurrected and his valiant band of Neocons, Sharanskyites, Corporate Globalists, and Wilsonians....

Allowing reality to briefly intrude, I posit that the history books will assign blame on both sides for the unbelievable cluster fuck America has been mired in since 2002.

And along the way the side issues that get so much media attention - Plame, Abu Ghraib, failure to have all-knowing perfect intelligence on everything...will give way to the real mistakes:

1. Allowing the ideological advancement of radical Islam to proceed unhindered while we fretted over "terrorist leader whack a mole".

2. The media and many politicians undercutting the USA for personal gain.

3. The idiocy of not bothering to understand Muslims, failing to have a Post-war plan.

4. True moments of unforgivable incompetence by Bush, Cheney, Military Generals, the Neocons in matters like leaving all Iraq's ammo dumps unguarded and watching insurgents loot them openly so as to better blow up the Idiot's "heroes" later. Like the moronic nation-wide search for a dead pilot, throwing all the Sunnis out of work to create an Army of shadow killers, failing to see our "radical Shiite Iraqi friends" were Iran's friends, not ours. The years absolutely pissed away while leading Iraqi pimps and thugs sipped mint tea, worked 3 days every month for 100s of thousands in US taxpayer dollars a year, and "debated" the exciting new progressive, democratic Iraq..

5. The obsession of the Left about "terrorist civil liberties", law enforcement approach to enemy combatants, and insistance that America must be pacifist unless it is to intervene in some bumfuck country we have no strategic interest in.

6. Routine lies and self-deception from the Neocons running the Pentagon to the Generals to field command officers to lowly privates insisting for the last 4 years that they had all the resources they needed, things were going swell, and they were winning a little bit more each day. The "heroes" of the military have as bad a credibility problem now as they gained for themselves in Vietnam as blind suckups...

7. Utter failure by both Democrat and Republican leadership to mobilize the nation or our allies in an ideological struggle - insisting that the "heroes" of a small volunteer military and their "wonder weapons" could replace diplomacy, strategic communications, a mobilization of a true reconstruction force, an intense government funded program to train up Americans to be fluent in Muslim languages plus Chinese,,

Well, guess what, a small peacetime volunteer military wasn't enough...

8. Failure of the West over the past 30 years to meet and agree on a strategy to cripple radical Islam or aggressive Zionist colonization until the present crisis stage was reached.

9. Dangerous new philosophies of multiculti, it was best to have no kids born to Westerners, an obligation to tolerate the intolerant that all but begged for a radical Islamist invasion past the Borders of the Ummah.

10. The whores of capitalism, who don't care about the future as long as they can make money today and buy all sorts of stuff....oodles and oodles of cool stuff - and money and materialism matter far more than preserving their culture, working to ensure jobs their kids & grandkids do are as good.

7/10/2007 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Smitten -- why is mass action, with big militaries obsolete? Because CNN doesn't like it? THAT constraint along with a lot of others will go away likely when we lose several cities.

What makes a Boyington or LeMay far more effective than our current POLITICAL leaders is that they studied the enemy, identified their weaknesses, knew their own, and fought to maximize their strengths against the enemies weakness to kill as many of the enemy as possible.

If we killed say, most of the men between say 15-50 in the hostile Muslim nations: Iran, Pakistan, Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Libya, who could fight us or threaten us? And of course expelled the rest residing in the West.

Is this not a big military, big state action? Will not the people demand it after we lose several cities?

In 1940 Pete Seeger, Father Coughlin, and Lindbergh were all united to "avoid Mr. Roosevelt's War for the Jews." By Dec 12, 1941 that alliance was over.

The Media is not an iron collar. Father Coughlin's show was shut down shortly after Pearl Harbor.

I disagree profoundly that the State is in decline. Yes the Army of 1940 had no tanks and Patton maneuvered in Louisiana with trucks with the word "Tank" painted on them. But Defense spending is only what, 3% of GDP.

Lose a few cities, and that will go to around 15% or higher. In WWII it was around 25%. It could probably go that high.

7/10/2007 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Herman Richard Matern said...

Reading thru all these blog "answers" it is appalling to see not one word of praise for what our kids are doing there now - today. If what they are accomplishing even now, as I write this,is done as well as the current efforts for only 3 more months the answer to the major problem in the ME will have been so well clarified that there will simply be no further intelligently, or even dishonestly, denying that they have shone the world the way out. 1.It was two weeks ago that the mullahs of Anbar approached the mullahs (chaplains) of the Marines to help them set up a conference as to how they can put their best efforts into bringing about an atmosphere and the specifics for reconstituting their society into peaceful and productive new life. And of course the chaplains only too gladly helped them pull it off. Then a couple weeks later all the Anbar politicoes invited their Shia counterparts in the neighboring provinces to join with them on 7 July for another conference all uniting together to discuss the best methodologies to promote peaceful reconstruction. And the Shia came! To Anbar! The Sunni "lost province" of Anbar! Now we hear well over 90% of the Iraqi people are very anxious to assure every pollster that they do NOT want the Americans to leave Iraq now. The information as to whom and where the terrorists are, the locations of the planted and unplanted IEDs, the arms caches are coming in from the populace now to the MNF so fast that the troops can hardly work thru it all fast enough to keep up. Police forces of the LOCAL people are forming up again with great gusto and the Neighborhood Watch idea is being set up all over the nation. These are the political changes that mean something - not the crap that our Congress or the Iraqi parliament decide. The US congress now has 1/2 the popularity that GWB has - and that is pretty godawful. Did you hear about the Marine, yeah a kid, who refused to be evacuated after his Hummer hit a roadside IED and had his leg shattered and would sign no papers to be evacuated until the paper jockies came out from Ramadi and he was properly reenlisted. Aint gonna have anybody telling him he has to be evacuated back to the states and discharged when he intends to be back with his buddies to get the most important business in the world settled NOW and he and his buddies will be doing it. Omar Fadhil of "Iraq the Model" doesn't say that there is now a glimmer of hope, or there's now a chance of success. He calls the changes in Baghdad thus far - simply "astounding". Write and call the idiots in Congress with their 14% approval rating and scream at them till they HAVE to hang up on you. They'll get the picture- and that if they don't you will be down shortly. To shortchange ANY of these troops, without question the finest group of fighting men in the history of warfare - with intelligence I simply cannot fathom - is the most heinous behavior since Judas Iscariot - "and don't kiss my cheek either." Reserve a special part for their undeniably humungous osculatory prowess. LTC Johnson in Diyala, or LTC McFarland in Anbar, or Col Crissman in Hit,such diligence and savvy. How do we get such men as that, and for sheer guts, Mary Ann Hester? You got real heroes to look up to and y'all can't do anything but hang black crepe over the actions of a bunch of utter snookums in DC?

7/11/2007 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

Whiskey-I never said anything about mass-action by military forces not being effective. In fact, I'm a fan of it, and I'm a supporter of the draft (read my blog on that). If anything, conscription would help to stop the bleeding, allowing/forcing Americans to take a part in their institutions, and ensuring that policy is being conducted appropriately on a mass scale. A common, first hand knowledge of military matters by a large part of the civilian population would reacquaint people with war, so that it becomes something personal, and so that they realize that wars are "Won" or "Lost", not merely "Ended", as Charlie Rangel and other Dems would have us believe.

Herman-As one who'se been to the sandbox a couple of times, Here! Here! I agree with you.

7/11/2007 04:47:00 AM  
Blogger antithaca said...

"recognize that terrorism, Afghanistan, Kashmir and democratization are related"

rich vein of irony indeed...

7/11/2007 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Smitten -- fair enough. I don't see the current Media environment or low military spending as permanent features of the West.

More akin to unique circumstances of the Cold War which generated a very flawed elite. Which seems to be coming to an end.

As noted by others, Pink Floyd's "the Wall" is as old today as Chattanooga Cho-Cho was in 1969 at Woodstock.

7/11/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Cedarford, there is more than money to support our effort in Iraq and elsewhere. So please stop with the “putting our children and grandchildren deeper into debt” crap.
As it stands the war effort in Iraq consumes 28% of the United States military’s total budget. And the military consumes 24% of the total Federal budget not counting Social Security. 28% of 24% equal about 7% of the Federal budget. Chump change. The fight in Iraq is essential, no? You make noises like you think so (carping about this nation isn’t on a war footing). So what you should be railing about is the other 76% of non-essential spending the Federal government is doing, and driving our children and grandchildren deeper into deft. Why is Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s Congress burning through $400 million a month just to support their activities? Why is the US government burning through $7 billion month for Education? Something that Constitutionally it has no authorization to do so. Something it has usurped from the States. How about $8 billion a month in price supports and other Agriculture related items. How about $5 billion plus a month going to support the bloated Federal bureaucracy? How about $1.5 billion a month in misguided and often misspent (stolen) Overseas Assistance? Or how about the astounding nearly $54 BILLION A MONTH the Feds spend on Health and Human Services. Like I said, the war in Iraq is chump change.

7/11/2007 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...


What your describe is 5GW.

Salaam eleikum!

Smitten Eagle Sir,

It is good to see you again. just finished Frans Osinga's thesis and found it very good. If you notice, it is difficult to discuss the issue of 4GW. Wretchard gets it but most posters here do not.

It is somewhat discouraging and it reminds me of how Boyd had to steal pentagon computer time to make his achievements and why he never made general.

I pray you make general soon!

Salaam eleikum!

7/11/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

I was having dinner at my liberal/socialist mother's house this evening. We were watching ABC and the report came in that Ladybird Johnson had died. This report came just after a report on alQueda penetration into USA.

My mother started to debate me because I remarked how good it was the LBJ was a one term president. She agreed but she started to give me all kinds of hell. She got in my face yelling with her mouth full and spitting food all over me!

I said,"mom, you are spitting on me." She said,"good" and really spit on me! Then she told me to leave.

It is so sad that the woman who gave me life is my mortal enemy!

Folks it is gettin dicey. Marzouq the sane conservative getting spit on. A couple of months ago she hit me in the face with a footstool bloodying my nose.

Gotta give her credit, she is tough and capable of violence. So are liberals and socialists, folks!

The gaps will be exploited here in USA. Chaos will ensue. VBIEDs and snipers will be roaming the freeways! Anarchists will blow up Starbucks! America will be no more!

Da shit is about to hit da fan. My family life is a microcosm of world affairs/politics/war.

On the subject of nuclear revenge for a nuke attack on USA. We SHALL have global warming then! Humanity shall be back to the tribal game. I wonder if Mad Max will be Jew, Christian or Muslim. will it really matter?

Salaaaaaam freekin eleikum Y'all!

7/11/2007 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger ForNow said...

Mr. Matern, I didn't mean to be "hanging black crepe." I'm trying to figure out ways to talk that might reach waverers, not to mention libs who originally supported the war. I haven't figured it out yet. (Incidentally, this talk of Fourth- and Fifth-Generation Warfare is something that I'm going to try out). I did figure out ways to convince quite a few at L.com that isolationism is no longer an option. Acceleration of general development of technology adaptable for mass destruction etc.

I don't want to sell our people short but I don't want to sell RESOLVE by offering a prognosis of success in two or three months. During the runup to the Iraq war I periodically argued (not here but at L.com and, I think, Tim Blair's site) that Iraqi WMD "all dressed up and ready to rumble" were not a needed reason for the war and that we (Republicans and conservatives generally) shouldn't promise that US forces would find that sort of thing. I wish I had made that point oftener and more strongly. But you're right. Our people in Iraq richly deserve the chance to achieve some new kind of success. The bar keeps getting raised, and they keep meeting it. A few decades ago, it would have been considered idiotic to call the current situation in Iraq a failure.

I think your comment is great and I'm sending it out to everybody.

7/11/2007 07:17:00 PM  

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