Saturday, February 16, 2008

Picador

Is Hezbollah preparing to be struck or preparing to strike?

Ynet quotes a Lebanese newspaper which says Hezbollah has gone to full alert following the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus, ordered 50,000 of its fighters to high alert, and evacuated most of its openly used buildings in south Lebanon in order to prepare 'to curb any Israeli aggression.'" VOA reports Syrian and Iranian officials met Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal and Ramadan Abdullah of Islamic Jihad presumably do discuss a response to Mughniyeh's death. Hezbollah itself has filled Mugniyeh's vacancy by appointing a new commander in secret.

In the meantime the FBI and DHS warned state and local law enforcement authorities to watch for retaliatory strikes by Hezbollah. The joint bulletin said that "while retaliation in the U.S. homeland is unlikely, Hezbollah has demonstrated a capability to respond outside the Middle East to similar events in the past". This, while Israel's chief of staff has "ordered land, air and naval forces on alert to ensure the defense of the northern border and of other Israeli interests," and its facilities abroad hunkered down.

The question on both sides of the line is who is going to move next. Judging by reactions Mughniyeh's death was both a tactical and strategic surprise. Internal investigations into security breaches indicate Syria, Iran and Hezbollah themselves ares still trying to figure out how Mughniyeh was hit. But the secret appointment of a new Hezbollah head and evacuation of their buildings in South Lebanon suggests they also haven't decided why they were hit. There is palpable uncertainty in Damascus over whether Mughniyeh's death was a one-off or the first blow of a wider campaign against them.

Syria in particular must be nervous, following the recent destruction of a mysterious facility in the Syrian desert in which Israeli cyberwar played a large part and the suspicious outage in undersea fiber optic cables serving the Middle East.

The problem facing Syria and Iran (together with the terrorist menageries based in their capitals) has two aspects: where to strike back and how quickly. In deciding the terrorist leaders must calculate whether their response will provoke a full-scale attack by Israel and or if their return blow will come too late to prevent yet another blow upon them.

The terrorist dilemma is compounded by the 2008 Presidential elections in the US. An attack on an American target would re-energize the conservative base. A war with Israel would force every American Presidential candidate to take a definite stand in the conflict. Either could doom Barack Obama's bid for the White House -- as well as efforts by Congress to defang the surveillance of terrorist suspects. Of course if Syria had any problems estimating possible effects on American politics, Assad could ask his guests. As the NY Sun observed on Feb 15, "one of Mr. Obama's foreign policy counselors, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a long-time critic of Israel, and one of Mrs. Clinton's national finance chairs, Hassan Nemazee, were meeting with President Assad".

It is also complicated by the situation in Lebanon itself. Hezbollah's efforts to take over Lebanon politically could go up in smoke if it provoked a wider war with Israel. At the same time neither Damascus, Teheran or it terrorist minions could afford to appear helpless. They must strike back without being sure how hard or how quickly.

The fear in both Damascus and Teheran today is probably that some other unexpected and unattributed blow will descend on it from out of the blue. A blow hard enough to hurt but a short of war; a blow likely to have come from either America or Israel but not for certain. One that will leave them exactly where they are now, but with a few more teeth missing.




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30 Comments:

Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The bad guys must be wondering if their greatest weapon -- the legalistic attitude of their enemy -- is running out of ammo.

2/16/2008 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

It would be nice if Hezbollah had an "accident" in one of their ammo dumps.

2/16/2008 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Israel's heavy response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in 2006 has made Hezbollah gun-shy. They must now calibrate their attacks. But they don't know where the threshold is because Israel sets it. Anything they do might -- or might not -- cross the line. That perception was reinforced by the strike on Syria. Damascus crossed some invisible tripwire and Israel intentionally keeps it invisible.

During the Cold War, when the structure of conflict was governed by deterrence, predictability was a virtue. Today in the War on Terror, deterrence no longer applies and neither should predictability.

2/16/2008 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger regretleft said...

just a hunch - but I think it will be mostly quiet in ME for the next 9 months as everyone holds their breath waiting for Obama - a top aide - an infamous anti-Israeli (at least), Carter era advisor - now in Damascus with baby Assad -- surely there's little to be gained by exploding the Lebanon/Israeli border now or in the near term future - even Brezinski must have his red lines, no?

2/16/2008 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

"Today in the War on Terror, deterrence no longer applies and neither should predictability."

Unpredictability is a deterrence in itself.

2/16/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger murray said...

Reminds me of the scene from the Godfather when Michael Corleone, Al Paccino, takes out the bosses of all of the other mafia families and assumes his father's mantle as numero uno.

2/16/2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger regretleft said...

"deterrence no longer applies and neither should predictability."

Classical deterence depended on a peculiar admixture of both predictablity and un-predictability - all underwritten by a presumption of shared rationality and rational decision making ... it's that presumption rather than predictabilty per se that has fallen out of the equation. - perhaps it was the 12th Imam who blew it out of the water.

2/16/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

In the two notable HB/Iran revenge operations in Argentina and Khobar towers the investigations were impeded by lack of cooperation from local authorities. In Argentina the President was paid millions by Iran and in the Khobar towers bombing the Saudis, for their own reasons, refused to cooperate with the FBI.

The attackers benefitted greatly from this lack of cooperation. By the time there was proof of their involvement the urge for quick retaliation was gone.

I doubt that HB will retaliate within the US or Europe because their involvement would be found out quickly. They're more likely to retaliate in a Moslem country or some other tyranny or somewhere in Africa where the investigators are not likely to be very motivated or competent.

BTW, I kind of doubt that 50,000 HB "activists" are really lining the border with Israel. There would be more news sources reporting this and the Israelis would probably have some comment about it if it were true.

2/16/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Derek Kite said...

Now that Iraq is stabilizing, they have a military with serious fighting experience.

And they have some grudges to nurse. What countries in the ME contributed people or resources to support those who terrorized the Iraqi people? More interestingly, which countries didn't?

There are some serious debts to pay. To whom do Iraqis owe their lives? Especially among the group that has been fighting the longest with the US?

Another question. How easy would it be for an Iraqi to set a car bomb in Lebanon? As opposed to an Israeli, American, or even French?

If Hezbollah suspected this, how would they react?

Hmmm.

Derek

2/16/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Elijah said...

"BTW, I kind of doubt that 50,000 HB "activists" are really lining the border with Israel."
....................

The most significant development in southern Lebanon since the end of the 2006 war is Hizballah's construction of a defensive line north of the Litani River. Whereas all territory south of the Litani falls under the jurisdiction of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), territory north of the river is off-limits to UNIFIL.


same geography, differnt perspective-

But now, locals say, Hizbullah is seen more frequently in these remote hills just north of the Litani. "They have always been in the area but there's a lot more movement now," says one man who lives in the vicinity but requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject.

2/16/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

the mutual defense pact between baby assad and the mouldy mullah's plays a role in the dance. Iran appears now to be wed to a situation that it cannot control and whose chaotic spin out at this time is not to their or Syria's advantage.

But we can use it, to ours.

2/16/2008 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

I counter to most people here think an attack in the US is likely.

1. Neither Iran nor Hezbollah understand the US and view the US through their own experience. That of the hardest hard man who kills with impunity intimidating the locals and seizing power.

This was their MO in Iraq, in Saudi (Khobar Towers -- to intimidate the US and Saudi) and Argentina (retaliation for stopping assistance in their nuclear program). In all cases it "worked" to Iran's satisfaction.

2. US advisors including Brezinsky and Hillary's man, Pelosi etc. I'm sure were never ASKED about terrorism etc. Nor did they bring it up. It would have created cognitive dissonance for their "peace" process of talk talk talk and that Assad could not have happen given his initiative to stymie US attacks by links to US domestic opposition.

3. It is likely that the Mullahs and Assad and Hezbollah read Obama's strength and Dem hamstringing of the NSA as a sign that the Americans will surrender if there is one more big attack killing thousands.

After all, what did Osama hope to accomplish with 9/11? He genuinely thought it would collapse US society, the way fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan (the "harder" enemy) collapsed to his view, the USSR. And Osama was by no means a stupid man with no education -- a trained civil engineer he had some exposure to the West.

In sum, I think an attack will be likely, here in the US, than abroad. I think it will be a mass casualty attack, either a truck bomb (Hezbollah has proven it's ability to do so) to destroy a building Tim McVeigh style, or perhaps a series of bombings, to even a nuclear attack.

One thing to consider about Hezbollah -- like Yamamoto, they prize surprise above all else, always think they can get it, and want an emotional impact.

As for the fall-out, I think it's just as reasonable that the Media, Democrats, and the "Democratic Coalition" of Larry David-style Yuppies (in "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Blacks, Hispanics, and various leftwing interest groups such as Code Pink, feminists, ANSWER, gay groups etc. WILL press for a surrender.

That such an attack will provoke a political civil war between those advocating surrender (see Rowan Williams, Obama "the First Muslim President" ala Toni Morrison with Bill Clinton "the First Black President") and those advocating fighting.

It would certainly draw the lines. Nationalists ala WWII, and appeasement-driven surrenderists ala the Bund in WWII. There would be not much in between. And I'm not certain who would win, ultimately.

2/16/2008 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

the secret appointment of a new Hezbollah head and evacuation of their buildings in South Lebanon suggests they also haven't decided why they were hit.

Isn't it about time we teach these maggot bastards that just being Hezbollah is reason enough to get their butts blown to Hell and back? No other justification is needed. Terrorists everywhere need to start waking up dead so regular that you can set your watch by it.

Wretchard: During the Cold War, when the structure of conflict was governed by deterrence, predictability was a virtue. Today in the War on Terror, deterrence no longer applies and neither should predictability.

Terrorism relies in large part upon uncertainty. It plays upon the fear that a strike could happen anywhere at any time. How is it that we shouldn't begin instilling the exact same sense of uncertainty in our enemies?

I have long maintained that the West needs to enact a vigorous campaign of targeted assassinations so extensive whereby jihadists everywhere all feel obliged to look over their shoulder before shouting "death to America". Only when that level of uncertainty and fear has been generated can the West even begin to claim any progress in fighting Islamic terrorism.

Exhelodrvr1: Unpredictability is a deterrence in itself.

I just wish we had the courage to make entire Muslim nations uneasy over the prospect of massively disproportionate retaliation pursuant to any further terrorist atrocities. It is now clear to me that had Mullah Omar's hometown of Kandahar, Afghanistan disappeared in a firestorm of carpet-bombing within hours of the 9-11 atrocity, the entire MME (Muslim Middle East) might be one Hell of a lot more circumspect about their appetite for terrorist attacks.

Like it or not, the West must learn to terrorize the terrorists. So long as the vast majority of Muslims tacitly or overtly support terrorism, they too must share in the worry over whose city disappears next. Nothing will change until—after each new terrorist atrocity—enraged and homeless Muslims freshly bombed out of their abodes storm their city's biggest mosque and start stacking up dead jihadis like so much cordwood.

WadeUSAF: Iran appears now to be wed to a situation that it cannot control and whose chaotic spin out at this time is not to their or Syria's advantage.

But we can use it, to ours.


Absolutely and if Bush has any sense he will keep ratcheting up the pressure until the unstable chaotic elements that Iran and Syria pretend to control cascade into an avalanche mode whereby the law of unintended consequences begins to rule the day.

Iran and Syria—along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan—have some major Hell to pay for their constant meddling with global security. It's long past tea for them to be taught some serious object lessons about the dangers of promoting mayhem. Pakistan has already begun to experience this with the uptick of bomb vest attacks in country. Now is the time to encourage similar destructive feedback cycles in all of these terrorist regimes.

This is especially the case in how, as Wretchard notes:

The terrorist dilemma is compounded by the 2008 Presidential elections in the US. An attack on an American target would re-energize the conservative base. A war with Israel would force every American Presidential candidate to take a definite stand in the conflict.

If Bush still has two lonely neurons left firing in that vacuuous braincase of his, he'd damn well better make sure that the Democrats are not given any chance to stay mute about whose side they're really on.

Revving up Islam's fear factor can only help spotlight just how dangerous these Muslim wingnuts really are. Better for things to careen out of control now while there is a chance of American military response than waiting until some spineless democrat has grabbed the reins of a horse they don't have the skill to ride. Let the democrats do their damnedest to spin more cries for "death to America" into some sort of good news. The American public is effing tired of being told to turn the other cheek even as Islam bloodies the other on a daily basis.

2/16/2008 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

Disengaging from Israel while engaging with ME states and organizations such as the Pelosi democrats are doing will definitely shift the predictability of the ME. I would expect that Israel would be able to act much more unilaterally than before in attempting to protect its people.

Ultimately as the pendulum sways further away from Israel's side, there will be a point where conventional operations will not provide adequate security any longer. I think that if we see eight years of democrat policies in the ME, the chances are better than 50/50 that we will see the first nuclear weapons used since WWII.

2/16/2008 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Sammy small said:

"I think that if we see eight years of democrat policies in the ME, the chances are better than 50/50 that we will see the first nuclear weapons used since WWII."

Restating Sammy's opinion as a question: If Obama wins then will we see nuclear war in the Middle East before Obama leaves office? Big questions in my mind: Does nuclear war in the Middle East mean that one or two American cities get nuked as well? If American cities get nuked, does Obama serve out his term or is martial law declared, Obama declared incompetent and removed from office by a military take over?

2/16/2008 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Whiskey_199 wrote:
I counter to most people here think an attack in the US is likely.

An attack in the US is coming; no doubt about that. The question is timing.

Should jihadists wait until the new Democrat is being sworn in, and drop the big one then. They might reasonably predict that the new Democrat president will immediately capitulate -- it's Bushes fault for having US forces overseas. But there is a small chance that the new Democrat could simply reach for the nuclear football to show that he/she/it is not to be trifled with.

Or the jihadists could blow something up shortly ahead of the election -- looking for the Spanish effect to strengthen the groveling candidates they want.

Or Jihadists could move earlier, driven by their own internal needs. A summer of jihadist failures in Iraq & Afghanistan wouldn't be good for their standing in their own communities.

The attack will come, no doubt. But in a situation where lots of tinder is awaiting a spark, the most likely outcome is that the best laid plans of all participants will be cast aside by unanticipated events.

2/16/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Hezbollah doesn't retaliate. It may say it retaliates, but that is utter nonsense. After all, what is it really retaliating against, the fact that Americans or Israelis are still breathing? Is Hezbollah "retaliating" for the affront of refusing to pay tribute to a bunch of monsters?

Hezbollah has an agenda -- global conquest. And its smallness doesn't mean it isn't dangerous. The attitude the Hezzies (and their Iranian patrons) and al-Qaeda have toward the United States is a lot like the attitude of Henery Hawk from Looney Tunes. Their attitude is, "I'm a chickenhawk and I'm gonna get me a chicken." And all the while, our foreign policy establishment runs around and acts like Foghorn Leghorn.

It's rather sad how the creators of Looney Tunes seem to have understood the dangers of these Islamist upstarts more than either our foreign policy establishment or most ordinary Americans.

2/16/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Obama's candidacy ITSELF is part of the civil war in the West. If he were to become President we would see American cities nuked and President Obama apologizing. He would not be removed. We would not see a military dictatorship.

We would see the collapse of Democrats as the fear and pandering to terrorists increases, since no nation likes defeat and the ability of enemies to impose their will on the people unopposed.

Then, we would see either impeachment and conviction or a resignation and a wild swing the other way, i.e. nuke our way out of trouble by killing about half a billion Muslims.

I don't think Obama has much of a chance to get elected, because he's too hard-left. His "Global Tax on America" program alone could defeat him. Obama represents the wishes of the Left -- mostly white yuppies and various ethnic/grievance groups -- to turn back the clock and party like it's 1993. Ignoring the WTC attack of course.

It's interesting to speculate what would have happened had Ramzi Yusef been successful in toppling one tower into the other and killing at a stroke 50,000 Americans.

Ultimately this is not a fight the US can escape, despite Yuppie wishes. The only question is how we will enter it and how much death and destruction we'll endure.

2/16/2008 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger felix said...

Hezbollah is part of the overall radical islamic movement--the local chapter, if you will, of radical islam for South Lebanon. The most effective policy, IMO, is to to deny visa entry to the US (and other countries) to radical islamists. Defined as anyone supporting the instititution of sharia law in the host country or advocating jihad as a means of settling territorial disputes. Likewise legally deporting non-citizen radical islamists. Immigration policy can be more effective than the military in this case.

2/16/2008 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Don't often completely agree with W_199 but in this case he might be spot on. Well said.

The ME simply don't understand US, but which other groups in the world do, either, besides maybe the Aussies? Certainly not the EUs and UKs, nor most of the CAs.

2/16/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

Ah, but it is the Lebanese Army's reaction to the Sunni group of criminals in the PLO Camp that has Hezbollah feeling a wee bit rattled. The growth in experience and grit of the Lebanese Army is the one aspect of the Lebanese situation that keeps the Hezzes in check. If they start too much junk in the So. they will find themselves between the Lebanese army in the north and the "cough" Peace keepers or perhaps the Israels in the south. Lebanon's citizens are turning hard against them, and short of civil war they cannot hope to gain political power. Now would not be an opportune time to get in a dust up with either the rest of Lebanon or Israel, unless Syria is prepared to go to war with both. I don't think the Syrians are in any way near to ready for such an operation.

So with Lebanon retaining sovereignty and the tribunal threatening to teethe, Syria must be feeling the heat of International Criminal law being brought to bear on the Assad Gov"t. That is why the visits with Pelose, Obama's and Hillery's staff. It is their way of escaping the mess of Lebanon in exchange for peace with honor in Iraq. However the success of the Surge spoiled the fun for all of them. China, with its huge appetite for oil could be a tempering influence on the Mullah's. But Syrian government's reticence to either A) give Assad the heave ho, or B) face off with Israel, leaves Hezbollah to posture and places the best laid plans of Assad and mullah's open to the whim of the totally torqued off Lebanese or the
action of the March 9th POS er party (not to be confused with the March 14 Beriut Spring group).

There is also the possibility of coordination with Hamas in the Sinai to consider along with any regional activity. That is where Imad's loss will have greatest effect or so my less than educated guess would tend to believe. Beyond the expression of political and military ambition in the region, efforts in the US are secondary and at this time not worth the effort. That too may change.

2/16/2008 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Eddar, Level 70 Dwarf Hunter said...

With the Feb 15th Jerusalem Post report about French security forces capturing that cell, I was a bit bothered by a few details. Kept jumping out at me:
"On January 30, French security services raided a Paris apartment and arrested six Arab men. Three of the men - two Lebanese and one Syrian - were travelling on diplomatic passports. According to the Italian Libero newspaper, the six were members of a Hizbullah cell. Documents seized included tourist maps of Paris, London, Madrid, Berlin and Rome marked up with red highlighter to indicate routes, addresses, parking lots and "truck stopping points." The maps pointed to several routes to Vatican back entrances.

Libero's report explained that the "truck stopping points" aligned with information the French had received the week before from Beirut. There, Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah had convened a conference of his senior terror leaders where he ordered them to activate Hizbullah cells throughout Europe to kidnap senior European leaders."


The French have got to be insanely angry at this point. There's been a lot of "buzz" since then.

I just can't help but think that the big story is the fact that the terrorists were using diplomatic passports to plan attacks on Capital cities in Europe. It's practially an act of war itself.

And this time, there's a clear set of nation-state bad actors.

2/16/2008 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Sammy Small: I think that if we see eight years of democrat policies in the ME, the chances are better than 50/50 that we will see the first nuclear weapons used since WWII.

Absolutely! The democrats' policy of appeasement literally guarantees a Muslim holocaust. Such spinelessness will continue to embolden our foe until an atrocity of such unbelievable horror is unleashed whereby only a nuclear retaliation shall be deemed appropriate.

2/16/2008 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

Let me lay out my fairly simple forecast:

To date: Arab/Muslim states/organizations continue to attack Israel to eliminate its existence.

To date: U.S. policy provides technology to enhance Israel's capabilities while at the same time providing political backing. This type of policy ensures Israel will be measured in its actions if it wants to continue to receive backing and support.

Changed policy: Arab/Muslim states/organizations begin to receive political support while Israel's is reduced, and its technology transfers are minimized, thereby eliminating the need for Israel to kowtow to U.S. desires of measured responses.

Changed policy implications: Increased Arab/Muslim states/organizations capabilities and U.S. backing enables enhanced efforts to eliminate Israel, leaving Israel to go nuclear without outside intervention.

2/16/2008 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger rickl said...

Zenster said...

Isn't it about time we teach these maggot bastards that just being Hezbollah is reason enough to get their butts blown to Hell and back? No other justification is needed. Terrorists everywhere need to start waking up dead so regular that you can set your watch by it.


It's long past time for that. And I would include radical imams, in every country in the world including our own. They need to start having "accidents." (Deniable, of course.)

2/17/2008 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Should jihadists wait until the new Democrat is being sworn in, and drop the big one then. They might reasonably predict that the new Democrat president will immediately capitulate -- it's Bushes fault for having US forces overseas.

But Bush (and more generally our political elite) have already unconditionally surrendered to Saudi Arabia after they attacked us on 9/11. Worse still, Bush has in fact turned of our military forces over to the terrorist leaders in Riyadh. It is only the stranglehold of partisan emotionalism that denies your mind the oxygen to reason your way to this obvious fact yourself. In response to being attacked by Saudi Islamic extremists, Bush quickly pulled all troops out of Saudi Arabia. He launched the eminently justified invasion of Afghanistan but quickly castrated the operation there before it could do any real harm towards Saudi interests in either Pakistan or Afghanistan. The eunuch-ized campaign in Afghanistan continues only to provide a diversion for the US public from the truth of US capitulation. But the main force of surrendered US troops are now fighting FOR Islam in Iraq, for the imposition of Sharia law in Iraq; for the “Religion of Peace” against secularism in Iraq. In short, our forces are fighting for the interests of militant Islam which means Saudi Arabia (and Iran). And yes, a few jihadis are thrown into the mix in Iraq to provide the thinnest of fig leafs. And yes, radical Islamists like Ayatollah Sistani are made our by the media to seem reasonable, and terrorists from groups like Al Dawa are made to seem like statesmen. But in the end our 160,000 troops in Iraq acting to ensure the force necessary to coerce the formerly secular Iraqis to submit to Islam. If one accepts the premise that Islam is evil, and I believe most people do, then doesn’t it follow that a secular tyrant in Iraq is far preferable to an Islamic democracy?

The amazing fact is that the US political elite, through the magic of partisan emotionalism, have been able to conceal the obvious fact of the US submission to Saudi Arabia from most Americans. But how else would it have been read if after the US were attacked by Japan in 1941 if we launched an attack not on Japan but instead on Japan’s enemy -- and imposed the ideology of Japanese militarism on the defeated people?

So how much further would a Democrat President be able to surrender without creating a huge public backlash?. The emotionalism of partisan divide would work against the interests of the Saudis in that case. We are now supplying the Saudis with $30 billion in arms. We are selling them our financial institutions. The Saudis openly threaten the British with terrorist attacks if they investigate bribery charges, surely they do the same to their conquered US puppets All these things would come up for fierce debate with a Democratic President.

The fact is that the US surrender to Saudi Arabia would be exposed if a Democrat were elected. For this reason alone it is vital that a “hawk” be elected so that the American people can sleepwalk their way to servitude to their Saudi masters.

2/17/2008 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

"So how much further would a Democrat President be able to surrender without creating a huge public backlash?."

I doesn't matter. They will have pulled back before any reaction.

2/17/2008 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

At this point in Iraq, US troops are fighting for Allah. They are fighting to impose Islamic rule on Iraq. The proper response after 9/11 would have been to launch a war to impose a secular democracy on Saudi Arabia. Now if that goal took one hundred years it would have been worth it and supported by a majority of Americans.

But instead of invading the land of the Islamists, we invaded the land of the secular tyrant who murdered and tortured Islamists (among others). In order to keep his people free from the ruthless mullahs. One US candidate has pledged to keep fighting for Allah for another one hundred years. In other words not only does this candidate accept Bush’s surrender, he wants to increase the terms of our servitude towards our new Saudi masters until the 22nd century. The other candidate(s) is(are) much less clear on the matter, they certainly are not questioning the surrender but seem to be limiting the terms of our servitude towards the Saudis at least.

So a pullback from Iraq is not surrender. It is a pullback from servitude to Allah by way of the Saudis.

2/17/2008 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I just can't help but think that the big story is the fact that the terrorists were using diplomatic passports to plan attacks on Capital cities in Europe. It's practially an act of war itself.


That same thought occurred to me when I read about Saudi's Bandar threatening terrorist attacks on England if Blair kept investigating his bribery practices.

Did Bandar intend to buy some home-grown Pakistani terrorists living in London, or was he going to import his very own terrorists from Syria, Yemen or the Sandbox?

And if Bandar did intend to buy and import himelf some terrorists, how did he intend to get them into England to do their dirty deeds? I'm thinking diplomatic passports, since he was and I think still is a Saudi diplomat.

2/17/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Whiskey_199 said:

"I don't think Obama has much of a chance to get elected, because he's too hard-left."

I wish I had your optimism. Silver tongued demagogues like Obama have been democracy's greatest curse since ancient Athens. Don't under estimate the potential for stupidity of mesmerized voters.

2/17/2008 06:27:00 PM  

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