Thursday, April 10, 2008

About more than just Iraq

The Ayatollah Sistani has sent a message to the Mahdi Army: "the law is the only authority in the country". The question of whether Sistani would pull Sadr's chestnuts out of the fire in the same way he saved him in his earlier adventures has been answered: not this time.

Sistani spoke through Jalal el Din al Saghier, a senior leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a rival political party to the Sadrist movement. Saghier was clear that Sistani did not sanction the Mahdi Army and called for it to disarm.

"Sistani has a clear opinion in this regard; the law is the only authority in the country," Saghier told Voices of Iraq, indicating Sistani supports Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and the government in the effort to sideline the Mahdi Army. "Sistani asked the Mahdi army to give in weapons to the government."

The conflict between Maliki and Sadr was from the beginning a struggle for supremacy within the Shi'ite community in Iraq. It was not, as some have claimed, a kind of entertainment or show of strength staged by the Iranian leadership to demonstrate how they could switch the violence on and off in Iraq. As events as have shown the switch is no longer in Iranian hands.

Amir Taheri in the New York Post claims that that Maliki's actions against Sadr were a spoiling attack timed to break up a "Tet Offensive"-style operation designed to grab headlines in the crucial period before General Petraeus was due to testify before Congress. Teheran was counting on simultaneously seizing key communities in the belief that America would not have the reserves to intervene nor Maliki the nerve to act on his own. It was, Taheri writes,

a gamble that proved too costly. That's how analysts in Tehran describe events last month in Basra. Iran's state-run media have de facto confirmed that this was no spontaneous "uprising." Rather, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to seize control of Iraq's second-largest city using local Shiite militias as a Trojan horse. ...

The Iranian plan - developed by Revolutionary Guard's Quds (Jerusalem) unit, which is in charge of "exporting the Islamic Revolution" - aimed at a quick victory. To achieve that, Tehran spent vast sums persuading local Iraqi security personnel to switch sides or to remain neutral.

In an earlier post, I speculated in the comments that Maliki's attack might have been designed to foil a public relations spectacular near the November elections. I wrote on March 31:

if you want speculation, I'll give you some. But it's only speculation, without much of a factual leg to stand on. My guess is Iran was planning something close to November in order to help shift the US elections to the Democrats. McCain was going to run on Iraq, and the Ayatollahs were going to pull the rug right out from under him. For reasons that accorded with Maliki's own self-interest and also with Bush Administration's, the boil had to be lanced now. Think of it as a spoiling attack.

Taheri's article claims the goal of the Iranian-sponsored Tet was far more immediate, designed to exploit the gap left by the British withdrawal before it could be filled by newly-raised Iraqi battalions. In this space they would run rampage. Then, according to Taheri, they hoped the Najaf clergy would broker a ceasefire to freeze the gains which Sadr's militia hoped to gain in the first hours of surprise. Unfortunately for Sadr, Maliki struck first. And as in boxing, no punch hurts so much as the haymaker that beats the one you were in the process of throwing. Taheri writes:

Tehran's decision to make the gamble was based on three assumptions:

* Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wouldn't have the courage to defend Basra at the risk of burning his bridges with the Islamic Republic in Iran.

* The international force would be in no position to intervene in the Basra battle. The British, who controlled Basra until last December, had no desire to return, especially if this meant getting involved in fighting. The Americans, meanwhile, never had enough troops to finish off al-Qaeda-in-Iraq, let alone fight Iran and its local militias on a new front.

* The Shiite clerical leadership in Najaf would oppose intervention by the new Iraqi security forces in a battle that could lead to heavy Shiite casualties.

Thus the refusal of Sistani to intervene -- worse still his statement that "the law is the only authority in the country" -- meant the end of JAM's last hope. Sadr can no longer hope for salvation by listening for the bell. Any bells that he hears are ringing in his head.

But Sadr is really small potatoes though the many newspapermen perversely think of him as the uncrowned king of Iraq, and the "winner" of the recent confrontation. What recent events really signify is that Maliki, not Iran's Khamenei, is the master of southern Iraq, or at least that the control of southern Iraq is now in dispute between the two. This means that there are now two political power centers in the Shi'ite arc. One center is based in Teheran and the other is based in Iraq. While the hard reality of a properous Kurdistan and the presence of a Sunni population whose insurgency was only so recently beaten (and which may flare up upon provocation) means that the Shi'ites can never control all of Iraq, southern Iraq is now the locus of an alternative polity within Shi'ism. Thus, Iran's failed gamble is not only a foreign defeat for the Qods; it is a domestic political setback for the theocracy.

Because the stakes are so high Iran has no choice but to lick its wounds and try again. This is one fight Teheran really can't afford to lose. As Amir Taheri says, "this was just the first round. The struggle for Iraq isn't over." The second round, when it comes, will probably be a variation of the "Tet" strategy, just as this was.




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115 Comments:

Blogger whiskey_199 said...

I would add that from Tehran's view, the worst possible outcome would be a McCain victory. While overt bombing and such would not be on the agenda, covert counter-terror ops would. Qods Force would be matched by Azeri, Arab, and Baluchi Separatists getting aided by Special Forces.

THIS option has had some bipartisan support since Pablo Escobar, witness the various books Mark Bowden has written on this model. As long as there are not any awful episodes like Blackhawk Down.

Politically we are very constrained from using our full force because our ruling elites are deeply divided. In that sense the best news is Oliver Stone's Pablo Escobar movie was cancelled due to lack of financing. It was dangerous precisely because it was propaganda designed to undercut the one tool our political consensus allows us short of desperate nuclear responses.

Iran's fractured tribalism is a problem for them as much as Iraq's tribalism is for Iraqis. Iranian leaders know better than most how vulnerable they are to counter-terror, and how that would lead not collapse but coups from lean and hungry men below who'd promise tougher action, better results. There is always a Navajo tribe willing to do anything to kill the Apache, even knowing they too will end up losers. That's how Cortez conquered Mexico.

Iran had to act now, before it was too late. I agree the battle is not over but it is as much about forestalling any McCain-led counter-terror to Qods Force as it is Iraq itself. Iraq is a giant unsinkable US Aircraft Carrier, a threat to Tehran which wants the US out of the gulf entirely and has bet on both nukes and Iraq subversion to get it.

Of course, they might get lucky if Obama/Hillary wins, but Tehran's leaders always hedge their bets.

[Clearly politics in the US are in a waiting mode -- after the Election, the new President will direct policy.]

4/10/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The analysis, if accurate, means that Iran got more than just outpointed in the first round. They got knocked on their ass. The Iraqi central government, and the military, get stronger with each day spent in Basra. Iran will have to punch a lot harder to stay in the fight.

If Maliki is the least bit judicious in keeping the right (loyal to Baghdad) tribal leaders in control of Basra's economic infrastructure after the bulk of the federal troops withdraw then Iran's irregulars will be looking at the same weak hand as al Qaeda in Anbar. They can't accomplish squat without the acquiesence of the tribal leaders.

I don't know of anybody who can accurately bring out the behind the scenes play for top dog status among Shia clerics between Sistani and Khameni, but it must be an interesting dialogue.

I learned from a video lecture that the Revolutionary Guard has replaced the clerical establishment as the most influential extra-governmental institution in Iran. A few years ago if you wanted to do business in Iran you worked with a cleric's family. Now you must work with an IRG family member. It seldom bodes well when governments are militarized.

4/10/2008 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Thus, Iran's failed gamble is not only a foreign defeat for the Qods; it is a domestic political setback for the theocracy.Because the stakes are so high Iran has no choice but to lick its wounds and try again. This is one fight Teheran really can't afford to lose. As Amir Taheri says, "this was just the first round. The struggle for Iraq isn't over." The second round, when it comes, will probably be a variation of the "Tet" strategy, just as this was.

Which means, at best, the Democrats' election cycle diplomacy failed. (At worst, they were in on it.)

And an added danger for Iran's mullahs, anything they actually get started could trigger the Herman option, or whatever response the administration has planned to completely derail Iran's nuke weapon program.

4/10/2008 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

Who is the most authoritative voice in Shi'ite Islam today?

Is it the discreet, almost recluse Sistani in Najaf, Iraq who forced the American superpower to bow to his wishes? Or is it the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei? Who has the upper hand, Najaf or Qom?

4/10/2008 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

No Larry, the US is going to walk away from the Iranian nuclear program. Westhawk seems to agree.

Missile Defense allows us to shoot down their missiles, even aimed at Europe (that was the NATO deal). Politically, the US is constrained from taking overt action. The Left is strong enough (I blame Bush for not acting to prevent this, it was predictable when Moveon paraded around protesting bombing Afghanistan days after 9/11).

So this struggle will continue. Each side has too much to lose, but each is constrained. Iran is hoping for a Democratic victory and dare not act too provocative until after the Election. The Administration also hopes for a victory in the Election and thus cannot give ammunition to the isolationist.

Each is trying to use proxies and indirect methods to force the other out of Iraq.

4/10/2008 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Gotta hand it to Ayatollah Sistani, a cleric who seems to believe in a secular government being more beneficial for the citizens of Iraq and his flock.

The Najaf School has legitimacy among the Shiites of Iraq. Hopefully the govt acquires more as well. The Khomeinists running Iran seem more and more as the "weak horse" along with the Quods Force. Hopefully their theocracy withers.

Hopefully the Herman Option will be discounted as a viable tactic. It is not really a good idea. Better ideas are on display on the Small Wars Journal site. The ideas of global COIN and assistance to govts dealing with islamist insurgency are better. This is the new face of war as I see it through the 4GW prism.

The religious facet of the COIN is in the favor of the Iraqi govt and the Coalition. Hopefully this trend is consitent.

I pray this is so.

Salaam eleikum Y'all!

4/10/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

elijah,

Pray Ayatollah Sistani (peace be upon him) lives long and has many good students.

Salaam

4/10/2008 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Pray Ayatollah Sistani (peace be upon him) lives long and has many good students.

Whether Sistani lives long or not, his ideas provide a starting point for decoupling Islam from tribalism. The logic of separating a relationship with the creator from partisan politics is the key idea to healing not only Shi'ism's political divisions, but the wider conflicgs within the Muslim world.

When Gerecht spoke of the explosive potential power of a Shi'ite experiment with democracy he was probably thinking in geopolitical, not theological terms. But it is undeniable that Sistani's idea of the separation between mosque and state (by his standards, but accept them for what they are) is in direct conflict with the ideas in Teheran. It is therefore an intellectual bomb. And the religious significance of the last weeks was that Teheran could not strangle its rival in the cradle.

4/10/2008 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So then Taheri's thesis is that the AWOL Iraqi police were a one-time only buy-off with Iranian funds? And not an infiltrated part of Mookie's larger militia?

I wonder if they'll be allowed back into the government fold in reconciliation, or when Maliki (and Sistani) will get tired of reconciling with cowards, traitors and terrorists and just string them up.

I've also been reading black and white back&forth depictions of the Brit pull-out from Basra, but it increasingly appears that they were *driven* out of Basra and didn't pull out of their own volition. Something to keep in mind next time we're looking for allies who will stand and have our backs.

Finally, Maliki must have better intelligence than the Americans, because I'm reading that his move came as a surprise to the generals, too, and they were scurrying to keep up. I wonder why he didn't inform them sooner, and what the sense of urgency was about.

4/10/2008 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

One article. One statement by Sistani. Is it all a done deal that law is supreme? The law has always been supreme in that area, it was and still remains sharia law. I didn't do a microscopic reading of the article but "the Law" was never defined.

This certainly would not only be a decoupling from tribalism but a repudiation of Islam, the philosophy/quasi religion. That leaves me highly skeptical that one Sistani can alter what thousands of years has established. Are they abandoning sharia law for Western law?

I guess it's a good step ,but I'll remain a skeptic a while longer. Usually changes of this magnitude are messy as we have witnessed over the past five years.

4/10/2008 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

How long does it take Iran to plan such a strike? I would think it was OK'd maybe 18 months ago. About the time the Democrats crafted their foolish pull out time table and almost made it law.

The idea was to tell the Iranians when we could be caught between two stools -- one third out of the country, one third on the highways south, one third stranded up north.

Of course after the Uprising was approved it would be tough to call off. Rather than Iran's Tet perhaps it was their Bay of Pigs. In fact a puppet government in Basra calling in "volunteers" may well have been part of the original plan (That would be literal suicide with the US still deployed in fighting form, so that part would be scrapped).

How will this affect President Obama's summit with Iranian Leaders? He couldn't deliver them a US military humiliation (a rout on the route out) so why would they trust him when he says he will hand them the entire middle east? I think he will have creditability problems.

4/10/2008 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Hdgreen: How long does it take Iran to plan such a strike? I would think it was OK'd maybe 18 months ago. About the time the Democrats crafted their foolish pull out time table and almost made it law.

Eighteen months ago US deaths numbered 2,700. Now it's 4,000. That's 1,300 families who don't think the timetable would have been foolish.

4/10/2008 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

One article. One statement by Sistani. Is it all a done deal that law is supreme? The law has always been supreme in that area, it was and still remains sharia law. I didn't do a microscopic reading of the article but "the Law" was never defined.

No it is not a done deal. We are witnessing an unfinished struggle in which we may be defeated. In Petraeus' words "the results are reversible".

This fight still has a long way to go. But the first step is to defeat Iran in Southern Iraq. Not just militarily, but politically and theologically.

It is the nature of things that things will go see-saw and back and forth. Right now the Coalition landed some good blows. But like Taheri says, it ain't over.

4/10/2008 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

The best possible thing to do now – or in about, say, 7 months – would be there to be a “Tet” in Iran that resulted in at least the temporary loss of Mullah control of a few population centers. Say ones down in the south. Where the oilfields are. And then add in a Kurdish uprising in the North.

Two can play this game.

4/10/2008 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wretchard,

This is yet another example of a direct challenge to militant Islam.

And, this coming from a theological center in Islam.

So, the Terror Turds have to increasingly battle the cartoonists and their own intelligencia.

We laugh at them.

And, there appears to be a reformation in the forming.

I don't think al-Qaeda, Hammas, and Hizbollah thought they would be in the middle of this mess.

I would rather not be in their shoes.

4/10/2008 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Aenea has conclusively demonstrated that s/he/it is a leftist progressive troll devoid of common sense or new ideas. Those who wish to joust with it may do so for the fun of it (if battering your head against a KosKids wall can be fun), but I'm going to start ignoring any posts with its name at the top or that are replying to any of its imbecilities.

Aenea - begone with you back to your pink Berkeley buddies. You bring nothing to either the party nor to the fight.

4/10/2008 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Aenea, the loss of a war would not be cost free.

Eighteen months? In wars 1,300 can be lost in 18 days or 18 hours or even 18 seconds (perhaps close to that number died on the Arizona on Dec. 7).

Withdrawing while in contact with the enemy is the most difficult military maneuver. Absent the surge Iraqis would join the militias and insurgent groups -- choose up sides for when the US left. And they would all attack the US as we left. They would even attack schools and Markets of the towns along the way. The BBC would blame it all on the US, so why not take out the soft targets?

Iran and Syria may well have sent whole brigades (disguised as civilians or pilgrims) to join the attacks. A farewell kick in the butt. Plus a thousand truck bombs. What a sight.

I think we would have lost more than 1300 if the Democrats had their way. That is my opinion of course. You are welcome to yours.

And I hope I sounded nicer than Nahncee.

4/10/2008 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

After the Southern Iranian “Tet” a “Democratic Republic of Southern Iran” is declared and the U.S., Iraq, Great Britain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia hasten to recognize the new government and also pressure the U.N. and the rest of NATO to do so.

Then, it is announced that Iran has developed a nuclear weapon! A mysterious car crash on the GW Parkway kills the authors of the Intelligence Estimate that said that no such thing would happen, and then – the Rebels in Iran announce they have stolen the nuke! Global Warming fanatics are heartened to hear the weather forecast in Tehran is 4500C with scattered mushroom clouds – and sure enough it comes true, but proves to be transitory. The governments of Iraq and Turkey send in 50,000 heavily armed relief workers to help with the cleanup. The U.S. announces that it will help the new Govt of Southern Iran (known colloquially as “the part of the country that does not glow in the dark” rebuild its oil fields. The price of crude drops to $15 a barrel. Non-radioactive Iranians rejoice when the U.S. announces that its first ambassador to the new republic will be Pamela Sue Anderson.

Guess I am channeling Tom Clancy….. I better start typing!

4/10/2008 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Iran is launching its Tet Offensive on more than one front. Recent developments in Syria bear close watching. Stratfor has an extensive analysis here...
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/rumors_arab_israeli_war_and_sum_routine_events

My analysis:
1) Syria received Saddam's WMDs (nerve gas and biological agents) and passed them along to Hezbolah.
2) Hezbollah received long range missiles from Iran which can deliver the WMDs anywhere in Israel. This also explains Iranian dictator Ahmadinijad's apocalyptic rants vis-a-vis Israel.
3) Mossad has infiltrated Hezbollah, and is aware of the imminent attack plans. Washington has been informed.
4) The September attack was a preemptive strike at the WMD cache which wasn't completely successful.
5) The US Navy is there to shoot down Hezbollah missiles aimed at Israel.
6) This being an election year, Bush won't reveal what is going on, because Hezbollah would simply stand down until after the November election and the liberal doves would accuse him of crying wolf.
7) Israel is exercising its civil defense apparatus in preparation for a massive WMD missile attack.

Interesting times...

4/10/2008 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Peter,

Imagine the outcry when chemical or biologic weapons are shot down over Syria - or, regretfully Jordan and/or Iraq...

Will the moronic libs 'blame America first'?

Will it all be some Jooooish plot with the backing of the now bankrupt - but omnipotent - Carlyle Group?

Did Halliburton mix the chemicals in a torture chamber in Guantanamo?

Did Rumsfeld shake hands with a Terror Turd, and give him the missiles?

Only time, and the warped minds of the left will tell!!!

4/10/2008 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Fen said...

the US is going to walk away from the Iranian nuclear program. Westhawk seems to agree. Missile Defense allows us to shoot down their missiles, even aimed at Europe

So what. Any Iranian WMD attack is going to be delivered asymmetrically, via terrorist proxy. Consider the damage to the Gulf Coast if a freighter detonates nuclear cargo 3 miles offshore.

Pre-emption is the only way to go.

4/10/2008 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Fen: So what. Any Iranian WMD attack is going to be delivered asymmetrically, via terrorist proxy. Consider the damage to the Gulf Coast if a freighter detonates nuclear cargo 3 miles offshore.

A surface detonation of a 20 KT device on the water three miles offshore would produce surprisingly light damage. This is the damage produced by the Hiroshima blast, by radial distance from ground zero. And that was an air burst designed to maximize the impact.

4/10/2008 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Peter Grynch: 1) Syria received Saddam's WMDs (nerve gas and biological agents) and passed them along to Hezbolah.

And the Hezbos sat on them while they had their ass handed to them in the Lebanon War two years ago. I'll buy that. Why don't we just let the Iranians develop their nukes then, since the Muzzies are reluctant to use WMDs even in war time.

I got a better theory: There's no Iraqi WMDs.

4/10/2008 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Fen said...

A surface detonation of a 20 KT device on the water three miles offshore would produce surprisingly light damage

Yes.

Now switch over to the weather channel, watch as they describe storm fronts moving across Texas. Pay close attention to where the weather patterns lead. Now run your sim again and account for fallout.

4/10/2008 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

There may or may not have been WMDs in Iraq. Saddam's plans as detailed by the Duelfer Report show he wanted to reconstitute what he had (which shocked everyone in 1991-93).

What I disagree with is the idea that things happen "top-down." IMHO that's a fallacy or fantasy. Very likely guys on the ground will determine what happens, and command/control are breaking down as the US political consensus is paralyzed and Iranians suffer infighting. Ahmadinejad would clearly like to be more aggressive, sensing Western Weakness. He's likely seeing push-back on the more conservative Mullahs who have property/wealth at risk.

What is pretty clear is that there will be only one winner, eventually. If Iran can't kill Iraq as a Shia rival, US Aircraft Carrier, and so on, they face a mortal and asymettric threat that they know is dangerous.

As for Israel, I would expect coordinated action by Hamas and Hezbollah to further erode Israel's fragile consensus and military power. Israel has been shown up to have not much military strength outside of the Air Force and Nukes. Hezbollah beat them soundly in Lebanon, and were better equipped and supplied. Better led too.

Israel of course desires peace but not the only proven means to get it (defeat your enemies). Hamas has shown they can with impunity rocket Israel and will likely simply increase what they do to Tel Aviv's neighborhood, slowly. Siege warfare. Israel can't really respond because their politics are paralyzed.

Aenas makes my point earlier. Suburban, coddled, naive, inexperienced Westerners can't imagine that there is a cost to defeat by "Tribes with Nukes." Aneas looks at Iraq in isolation, and figures that an additional 2,000 dead or so (while tragic) are the only costs. Forgetting that Osama sits in Pakistan, close to nukes, where everything is tribal and based on fear, intimidation, and status gained through killing the enemy. Being seen as "weak" by retreating from Iraq with 2,000 more casualties practically begs Osama to propose to his tribal allies inside Pakistan's military: "Give me a few nukes and I can destroy America. If they will run at a few thousand dead, imagine how they will surrender if we kill millions."

Aenas can't understand our reality: we live in a world with Tribes with Nukes(tm). Iraq, Afghanistan, everything is predicated on being seen as the "strong" tribe. If the casualties were ten times what they were they'd be worthwhile as opposed to 7 million dead in NYC and DC.

It is GWB's failure, politically, to pound this point home that has so constrained us.

4/10/2008 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

RWE, you need an agent.

...

And an editor.

Good stuff.

Would you like to try a graphic novel???

4/10/2008 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

O/T

How long can you naysayers truly believe the US and Israel will let this go forward?

Spy photos reveal 'secret launch site' for Iran's long-range missiles

The secret site where Iran is suspected of developing long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching targets in Europe has been uncovered by new satellite photographs.

The imagery has pinpointed the facility from where the Iranians launched their Kavoshgar 1 “research rocket” on February 4, claiming that it was in connection with their space programme.

Analysis of the photographs taken by the Digital Globe QuickBird satellite four days after the launch has revealed a number of intriguing features that indicate to experts that it is the same site where Iran is focusing its efforts on developing a ballistic missile with a range of about 6,000km (4,000 miles).
http://tinyurl.com/3z2mf4
London Times

4/10/2008 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/10/2008 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Aenea'

Well Teresita it's almost good to see you have reinvented yourself.

Too many clues to the style. And you're still as uninformed as ever.

Folks this is Teresita who posted for a long time at the Elephant Bar.

4/10/2008 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

habu:

If anything happens to Iran's military or nuclear capability, I don't want to know anything more than the existence of some mysterious rumors that there was an accident somewhere. Accidents will happen, even in the best of times.

4/10/2008 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Alexis,
Yeah , I know what you mean. Accidents do happen.

4/10/2008 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Fen: Now switch over to the weather channel, watch as they describe storm fronts moving across Texas. Pay close attention to where the weather patterns lead. Now run your sim again and account for fallout.

I suppose the answer would be one of these jobs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Fallout_shelter_photo.png

But that means stashing money away and food and supplies, which is the opposite of the ramped-up consumerism the government told us to embark upon in the wake of 9-11.

4/10/2008 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Whiskey_199: Aenas can't understand our reality: we live in a world with Tribes with Nukes(tm). Iraq, Afghanistan, everything is predicated on being seen as the "strong" tribe. If the casualties were ten times what they were they'd be worthwhile as opposed to 7 million dead in NYC and DC.

Who said anything about running? When given by Joe Biden a (hypothetical) power to destroy al-Qaeda completely in any one country, Ambassador Crocker chose Afghanistan over Iraq. In other words, Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the Central Front In The War On Terrorism. Obama realizes that, and his platform is to disengage in the Iraq side-show and get back to hunting down Osama.

4/10/2008 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Tharkun said...

nahncee said:

Finally, Maliki must have better intelligence than the Americans, because I'm reading that his move came as a surprise to the generals, too, and they were scurrying to keep up. I wonder why he didn't inform them sooner, and what the sense of urgency was about.

I believe the explanation is simple: Maliki understood that if he informed the American generals, they in turn would dutifully inform their civilian commander, i.e. President Bush.

Once President Bush knew Maliki's plans, Condi Rice would know. Once Condi Rice knew, the State Department and CIA would know. Once they knew, the "Shadow Warriors" in those agencies referred to by Ken Timmerman in his recent book, who have worked diligently to undermine and sabotage our officially stated national policies would have leaked the information to al Sadr and the Iranians.

Whatever his faults, and I believe they are many, Maliki is smart enough to recognize just how divided, corrupt and untrustworthy our civilian leadership and chain of command is. No matter how honorable and trustworthy General Petraeus and his team are, the people they work for and answer to are not.

4/10/2008 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

As Westhawk has posted many times, Iranian nukes + Ballistic Missiles are a threat to Israel and Europe.

The NATO deal for Missile defense was likely the biggest issue on that front. The US, constrained at home, is not going to be able to take out Iran's missiles. Iran might use nukes with ballistic missiles, against Israel, but they're likely to be capped like Pakistan is with only around 100 or so missiles/nukes being able to be produced. This give them power but not on the scale of the US.

Iran has a tradition since 1983 of using Hezbollah to blow stuff up. In contradiction of Salzman, I think it's quite likely they'd use the "nuclear truckbomb" option with deniable proxies. In that way, the US is likely more vulnerable than Israel.

I see a replay of the same factors at play in the late 1990's. Clinton was unable to summon the political will to stop Pakistan from going nuclear, the result of that decision is the nuclear umbrella for Osama. What is different now is that the world system is more "unstable" with more players at lower levels able to do what they want.

"Some damn fool thing in the Balkans" could send the balloon up.

4/10/2008 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Tharkun: No matter how honorable and trustworthy General Petraeus and his team are, the people they work for and answer to are not.

I agree. Fortunately, we are close to a regime change in the civilian leadership in Washington, assuming we don't get President Grandpa.

4/10/2008 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Petraeus points to war with Iran

Are Iranians then murdering Americans, asked Joe Lieberman

"Is it fair to say that the Iranian-backed special groups in Iraq are responsible for the murder of hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians?"

"It certainly is. ... That is correct," said Petraeus

The following day, Petraeus told the House Armed Services Committee, "Unchecked, the 'special groups' pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq."

Translation: The United States is now fighting the proxies of Iran for the future of Iraq.

It's Bombing Time

4/10/2008 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Ohhhhh, Tharkun, I *like* your domino chain. Very nice indeed.

And some folks are trying to force Dr.Rice on McCain as a VP possibility.

And McCain has his heels dug in, sternly insisting that *all* ways of dealing with Middle East terrorism are still on the table, by which we (and the Iranians) are supposed to infer that he's just as read to nuke them as Dubya will be.

I really really really want Rice tucked away back in academia somewhere that she can't hurt anyone any more. Berkeley would be satisfactory.

4/10/2008 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Fortunately, we are close to a regime change in the civilian leadership in Washington, assuming we don't get President Grandpa.

Teresita, why the name change?

You fingerprints are all over your posts...."regime change" overused and terribly hackneyed, wouldn't you say?

4/10/2008 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Tharkun said...

Aenea said...

Tharkun: No matter how honorable and trustworthy General Petraeus and his team are, the people they work for and answer to are not.

I agree. Fortunately, we are close to a regime change in the civilian leadership in Washington, assuming we don't get President Grandpa.

While you may agree with my statement, it is clear you do not fully understand it.

Regardless of who "wins" the upcoming election, the actual "regime" which runs things will be unchanged. As far as the regime is concerned, just like the soldiers they order into battle, Presidents too are expendable.

4/10/2008 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nahncee: ya think?
---
LINK

Signorile excerpted a brief quote from Kessler's book on his blog.

"After she became secretary of state, she came to a party at Blacker's house, kicked off her shoes, and began dancing through the night to rock and and roll," Kessler wrote. "Blacker, who is gay, wanted to show his partner how tight her behind is; he postulated that if he aimed a quarter at her butt, it would bounce off like a rocket. He was right. Rice, who was dancing, didn't realize what he had done until everyone began laughing hysterically. She was flattered -- and proud."

4/10/2008 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Doug...why did you pull your post at 9:07 ? It looked good. Then poof.

4/10/2008 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I decided Wretch's link in his post was sufficient.

4/10/2008 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Doug,
Are you aware that Newsweek called The Raw Story "left leaning and muckraking?"

4/10/2008 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Doug do you have the link you deleted ? I'd like to read it.
Thx

4/10/2008 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

No, I checked it out after Tami Bruce made some references to Condi's private life not being able to stand the scrutiny of a campaign.
...not exactly a left wing muckracker.

Of course she dislikes Condi's policies as much as Nahncee and I.

4/10/2008 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's in Wretch's post, honest!
Check out:

"Amir Taheri in the New York Post claims that that Maliki's actions against Sadr were a spoiling attack timed to break up a "Tet Offensive"-style operation designed to grab headlines in the crucial period before General Petraeus was due to testify before Congress."

4/10/2008 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sam said...

On his radio show this morning, Bill Bennett told the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol — who had a personal meeting with President Bush yesterday — that a “conclusion” he drew was that the hearing was “less an argument for getting out of Iraq than going into Iran.”
After suggesting that Iran may “have to pay some price at some point on their own soil,” Kristol said that President Bush authorizing an attack of some kind before he leaves office is not “out of the question”:

BENNETT: Do you think there’s any chance that, and we won’t ask you to reveal anything confidential, do you think there’s any chance that we might take some action against some aspect of the Ira…against Iran, let’s put it that way, before the president leaves office?

KRISTOL: We didn’t really talk about that, in all honesty, directly. I don’t think it’s out of the question.Into Iran

4/10/2008 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Thanks Doug...
I mentioned the left wing ,muckraking of The Raw Story simply because that's how Newsweek characterized it.

And it Newsweek is saying that well, ah, gotta be som'n there.


But hell everyone in publishing has an agenda now so what diff does it make? Lefty here, Righty there ... read 'em all and use your experiences to filter out the garbage from each side.

4/10/2008 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buchanan, of all people, agrees with Liebermann and Kristol!

4/10/2008 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Doug re: your Going into Iran...my 9:43 adds some other spices to the same story line. Claims that recent testimony has things looking like a more imminent attack than I have been predicting.

4/10/2008 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cutler said,
Researching for my thesis I came across this:

Eerie reading, because it predicted many of our problems in Afghanistan at a time (Jan. 2002) when very few people had even the slightest clue, or wanted to even bother thinking long-term.
Probably somebody whose work to keep an eye on.

4/10/2008 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, Liebermann was on Hewitt discussing that.
I never thought it was right not to make them pay a price for killing our guys.
Liebermann said we KNOW where 3 training camps are.

4/10/2008 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(would have been far preferable to start doing it 4 years ago)

4/10/2008 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Better late than never.

Sack time..

4/10/2008 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/10/2008 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

About September of 2004 (working from memory here) word reached us stateside that Syria's Dentist-King son of Hafez al-Assad, sent two commercial jets from Damascus to Khartoum, capital of Sudan.

Sudan is the nation where a factory resided which on a time became the target of some highly-sophisticated cruise missiles, which then President Ungovernable Weenie commanded be sent winging to destroy it. Word was that it was the factory where Osama's hideously deadly chemical weapons were being cooked up. After the attack, that characterization was admitted to be dubious; the place may have been after all filling bottles with law-abiding Aspirins. The hapless late-night janitor who was sent to meet his maker may have paid a price for William Jefferson Clinton's desperation to distract an impeachment-minded Congress.

German periodical Die Welt reported that those Syrian jets carried chemicals and military experts trained in the deployment of said chemicals. Within weeks of their deplaning, a number of observers in Darfur described attacks using deadly chemical agents by the Islamic Janjawid forces against Black African villages.

Hmmmm.

Let's see. In the U.S. the Left spent most of a year in dilatory tactics, dragging their feet, demanding that Bush refrain from the sort of military adventurism they'd applauded when their boy was the one ordering the assaults. In short, they did everything possible to delay the impending showdown between the West and Saddam H.

Mr. H --- no dummy --- used the time prior to the attack to load somewhat into the holds of various Russian transport aircraft, and the beds of trucks comprising scores of convoys which then skedaddled 'cross the Syrian border. What do you suppose was carried on those trucks?

It wasn't billions of dollars of U.S. currency; that was found in a vast underground complex of storerooms many meters below Baghdad. Even the missing treasured antiquities the stinking Left were so quick to lament when they thought they could blame Bush, ended up trickling back to the Museums from humble Iraqis who had undertaken to protect many of them at their own peril.

So... What was carried in all those trucks and planes?

A decade's collected arabic-language Penthouse and Hustler magazines?

Thousands of bottles of fine Iraqi Wine from the drained swamps of the Shat-al-Arab?

Two Hundred Thousand copies of the blessed Qur'an for the instruction and elevation of wayward Syrian Muslims?

What the hell do the Left-Limping Liberals THINK was in all those vehicles?


"Oh, Gee. Well, war is coming." says Saddam to self, "...and the West is seriously annoyed at me for not telling them what I did with all my toys... And, look, those wonderful Russians have all those hundreds of trucks, and just scads of airplanes... "

"But Fearless Leader, surely the Americans will guess that the trucks and planes are loaded with all the finished warheads, and the containers filled with chemicals, and the plans and equipment and yellowcake for your nuclear program! What if they BOMB SYRIA?"

"That's Bashir's problem."

Has anyone ever calculated the cost of those convoys? Just the fuel alone musta been a pretty sizeable cost.

What was in those trucks?

4/10/2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gold fillings and al-Q diamonds for the sparkling inlays?

4/10/2008 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Mad Fiddler,
It was said at the time of the great truck convoys to Syria that they contained the atypical baby aspirin of the pale horse label.

I'm sure since we didn't want to sacrifice giving away how good our satellites have become , complete with sensors that can detect a dirty diapered one year old, we let known only the fact that we "thought" the Russian trucks were filled with the WMDS. The fact that we did identify the movement as being conducted under the auspices of the Speztnaz speaks volumes.

WMD's are in Syria and we'll find out eventually via some HUMINT sources who will have had enough bombing by Israel as we destroy Iran. The Crocker and Patreaus testimony has upped that timetable considerably.

4/11/2008 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

I'm gonna beat this subject like a rented mule.

Syria WMD Programs Locations
36°02'02"N 37°21'03"E


This article is fairly definite on Syria nad the Iraqi WMD's

Syrian locations Id's as location of Iraqi WMD's

4/11/2008 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

In a chain-of-command sort of way, would Petraeus know if Dubya has "payback time" pencilled in on his calendar for the morning after the elections?

Seems like he should, and his subtle implication answers to Congress referring to the future in Iraq could be read that way.

What *will* the generals do about American troops if a few ginormous bombs go off next door?

4/11/2008 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Tharkun: Regardless of who "wins" the upcoming election, the actual "regime" which runs things will be unchanged. As far as the regime is concerned, just like the soldiers they order into battle, Presidents too are expendable.

That's scary, if you think about it. You are saying the President had no choice but to invade Iraq, and the next President will have no choice but to remain in Iraq, because the decisions of the President are irrelevant to the people who really run things. Of course this is Coast-to-Coast fodder, and totally unfalsifiable, like all grand conspiracy theories.

4/11/2008 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Habu: I'm sure since we didn't want to sacrifice giving away how good our satellites have become , complete with sensors that can detect a dirty diapered one year old, we let known only the fact that we "thought" the Russian trucks were filled with the WMDS.

That reminds me of a guy who kept telling Art Bell he invented a car which ran for 100 miles per gallon of water from the garden hose, which he would love to demonstrate for the mainstream media, if only the oil companies who took it away would give it back to him.

4/11/2008 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

A bit off topic, I see the estimates for North Dakota oil came in at 3.6 billion barrels, much lower than the 200 billion number floating around. This means we will not have to turn North Dakota into a wildlife refuge or fight wars over it.

Of course big oil could have paid off the USGS to deflate the numbers. Why? To keep the price of oil up and the costs of leases down. I hear they do stuff like that.

4/11/2008 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Mad Fiddler:

Although I have had some limited success in non-fiction writing, my attempts at fiction remain unrecognized. Which is to say, unpublished and unpaid.

And perhaps that is for the best. My first fiction piece hypothesized the development of a certain weapons system. I thought the short story was not too bad, and at least as good as other stories I had seen published, but it was rejected by the first magazine I sent it to.

I was considering sending the piece to another magazine, but then across my desk at work came a classified message stating that all references to THAT VERY TYPE of weapons system were henceforth classified - and the FACT that it was now classified was itself classified.

I had no idea that we actually were working on such a system. Good thing that the magazine rejected it. The security types would have never believed that it was my own idea.

4/11/2008 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

aenea,
"Ambassador Crocker chose Afghanistan over Iraq.In other words, Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the Central Front "

Hardly. Crocker just realizes that it will be simpler to defeat al-Queda in Iraq than in Afghanistan.

4/11/2008 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Aenea, you are a whining spoiler and unregenerate contrarian.

How recently have you looked at Google Earth?

A couple of nights ago, I happened to look up views available to ANYONE with an online account, and checked a local military base.

Google Earth actually provided labels for the various classes of destroyers and nuclear-powered subs tied to the dock, and supplied the actual names of the carriers. I could count the troops striding across the tarmac to their chopper. A trained observer could get all sorts of information from clues we civilians have never paid any mind.

And that's for the lower-resolution satellite images that are available to average Joe, Pyotr, or Sayid.

Sneer all you like, but the fact is that governments often know facts and have technologies which they must hide.

Remember Coventry.

The free Poles had reconstructed the Nazi "Enigma" device, and with that, the British were able to decode a substantial number of Wehrmacht communications, including references to an impending raid on the militarily insignificant city of Coventry. If any warning were given to the citizens, though, this would probably alert the Nazis that their security was compromised. Churchill decided that preserving their window into Nazi radio traffic was supremely important.

4/11/2008 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Athlon said...

The war situations in Iraq are getting worse day by day. The Democrat’s support for the war to continue means that it will stagger forward in anticipation of the mission getting collapsed.

Today Iraq is no longer called a unified country.

We have forced some 2 million Iraqis to take shelter elsewhere as their home have turned to ashes. Equal number of people fled from the country. Countries like Jordan have maximum number of refugees there.
magnetic bracelet clasp

4/11/2008 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

RWE,

Robert Heinlein (however you feel about his later stuff where he discovered human sexuality) seems to have had a more drastic experience like the one you describe.

Just as WWII was winding down, he published a short story in which he described an air attack in which the planes trailed streaming clouds of radioactive dust over a city.

He was visited by some very stern FBI agents, and subjected to a period of humorless questioning.

Eventually, they reached the conclusion that his writing was based on science that had already been public knowledge before the war, and he was allowed to live and prosper.

This might be apocryphal.

4/11/2008 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Mad Fiddler: How recently have you looked at Google Earth?

The other day when I installed it in Mandriva Linux. They finally got rid of the annoying stop-start jerkiness that plagued non-Windows installs of Google Earth.

Sneer all you like, but the fact is that governments often know facts and have technologies which they must hide.

Thank you for revealing that. Gosh, now I don't have to go to the Auditorium to get my annual NCIS Counterintelligence Brief to keep my ####### Clearance up to snuff! Parking is so hard to find on base, and it's quite a walk.

4/11/2008 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

Sistani's authority is moral, not political, and the Quietist Shi'ah philosophy is sectarian and individualist, not active and invasive. The Kho's and the Kha's maniacs would prod the twelfth Imam from hiding, while Sistani's Branch believes in preparing the self for the Imam's appearance, when ever that occurs. The power struggles and philosophical rumblings are akin to early RC doctrinal heresy. Sistani's influence is also the only reason Sadr is still alive today.

The Shi'ah as a whole have not determined one way or another, who is the apostate, and who holds the religious authority. That revolutionary bent of the Iranian Mullahs is still too much for most Iranians, much less Iraqis. Sistani's choice of Najaif as his theological base says volumes about the difference \between the direction at Qom and his own teaching. Loosing face militarily, and loosing authority religiously means the mullah-tocracy is loosing political legitimacy as well. If the Qud's forces as has been alleged, were arranging for business favors they have lost substantial authority as well during this latest round of action. There are aspects of the Anaconda plan that extend and reverberate far and deep into Iran, except, so far, kinetic engagement. Diplomacy so far follows the echo's, intent on shaping perception as well as gleaning and guiding intentions. I believe Ambassador Rice quietly and consistently continues efforts supportive of the long term goal of the Anaconda like aspects of General Petraeus.

4/11/2008 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Mad Fiddler,

Aenea is an poster of days gone by under the name Teresita. She use to blog At the Elephant Bar, then faded. He style has not changed, nor he intellect and discrimination on what's important or not.

Her modus operandi is as you've described. She loves to take a statement you've made, contort it beyond recognition and then have you try to untangle it and restate it. She's a pain..

Her choice of always challenging me goes way back to a comment she made about US Marines machine gunning Japs at Guadalcanal, calling it murder. Being a former Marine I took exception and since her avatar for years was her pic she looks Oriental so I asked he to explain Japanese Unit 731..she never would.

Unit 731

Unit 731 was a horror beyond anything the Germans did..interesting though disgusting history.

4/11/2008 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Aenea said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
aenea,
"Ambassador Crocker chose Afghanistan over Iraq.In other words, Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the Central Front "

Hardly. Crocker just realizes that it will be simpler to defeat al-Queda in Iraq than in Afghanistan.


And he wanted the more complex route to defeat al-Qaeda (Afghanistan) because the military loves a challenge!

Read it again. I said Crocker chose Afghanistan over Iraq as the one place he would devote all his resources to destroy al-Quada, if he was forced to choose one country. That is an implicit admission that Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the central front on the GWOT.

4/11/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger mark said...

Wretchard wrote: "But it is undeniable that Sistani's idea of the separation between mosque and state (by his standards, but accept them for what they are) is in direct conflict with the ideas in Teheran."

Yes. One can check out Sistani's his opinions at the vast web site http://www.sistani.org/html/eng/

The opinions of Sistani are not going to be mistaken as religion-in-conversation-with-Enlightenment, for sure. But such as his opinions are, I'll take them over the Khomenist version of Shia Islam.

There's a great scene in "I, Claudius," wherein Claudius needs to deal with the surging power of the general Sejanus. Claudius, a fool as far as the elite is concerned, brings in Sejanus's brutal sidekick Marco and makes a deal. "Get a dog to kill a dog," says Claudius to his advisors. End of Sejanus.

I do not want to demean Sistani by using the dog analogy, nor imply anything negative about the Anbari's regarding their re-alignment decisions. We acknowledge both "for what they are." But one probably should note that so far the US has been doing a good job in backing the right dogs.

4/11/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Habu: Her choice of always challenging me goes way back to a comment she made about US Marines machine gunning Japs at Guadalcanal, calling it murder

The Japanese sailors in question were helpless swimmers who had abandoned ship. The US sub didn't have to shoot them, they could have just steamed away. Shooting them was about as cowardly as torturing prisoners of war and then letting a low-level female private take the fall for executing procedures developed well before-hand. Oh, wait, sorry, did I say torture? I meant "enhanced interrogations"!

4/11/2008 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

On a time I went through the process, applying for clearance in order to read a script I was asked to bid on. (I was given clearance, but that was almost 30 years ago...)

After all the interviews, I also was the one who had to develop a procedural manual for my bitty little company to follow in handling classified materials. That was to get the facility clearance, in addition to the individual clearances.

Doing the manual was a real education.

The people I was working with, and the literature they provided for guidance, made it clear that there were harsh penalties for breaches, even unintentional ones.

Anyone who has been through that process can't hide behind the sort of lame fumbling Sandy Berger did trying to excuse his crimes destroying and hiding documents from his time with the Clinton administration. That guy betrayed the country, and should be rotting in a cell somewhere.

Pour encourager l'autres.

4/11/2008 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Mad Fiddler:

I recall that Heinlein story. Actually, in WWII Astounding magazine published a story on the development and use of an atomic bomb. The editor, John W. Campbell, took the story sent him and cleaned it up by correcting the physics in it, so it was scientifically accurate as to what was known at the time. And it just so happened that the author lived in … Los Alamos, New Mexico.

So the FBI investigated damn near every science fiction writer in the country, including Campbell, Heinlein, and Asimov. As it turned out, the author in Los Alamos had nothing to do with the Manhatten Project and everyone stayed out of jail.

Anyway, that weapons system I thought up back in 1982 has yet to be utilized or even admitted to exist. So I ain’t talking.

But it would be perfect for handling Iran...

4/11/2008 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

I've seen footage of a Japanese pilot in the water who pulled the pin on a grenade and held it to his chest, exploding before he could be given assistance (or "captured" if you prefer) by a passing destroyer. The film was taken by a U.S. Navy Photographer. There are thousands of documented incidents of Japanese military personnel refusing to allow themselves to be taken prisoner, using grenades, mines, and hidden improvised "booby-trap" weapons to injure and kill U.S. GI's.

Of course the Bad Old U.S. (Hollywood) had racist propaganda films, depicting the Japanese soldiers as bandy-legged buck-toothed sub-humans with coke-bottle glasses. The Japanese propaganda told their soldiers and civilians that the U.S. soldiers would indiscriminately murder them, rape the women and girls, and eat the babies.

After a few battles in which the Japanese demonstrated fanatical belligerence, seeing a Japanese in the water swimming toward your submarine (a fairly vulnerable vehicle) discretion meant placing the integrity of your vessel above other considerations. Japanese aggregate behavior had made it clear to US Marines and sailors that they had to assume hostile intent from all Japanese, even when they were appearing to surrender.

It's instructive to look at the behavior of North Korean prisoners of war during the "Police Action" 1950-53.

4/11/2008 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

By the way, my clearance was issued under the Reagan Administration. I had 'fessed up and come clean about a whole lotta intemperate behavior in the wild days of my youth.

Giving *me* clearance (cognizant agency on request) sure underscores that the government were pretty darned ecumenical in their trust.

4/11/2008 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

I have for a long time felt that Syria is the central front in the war on Islamic extremisms of all flavors.

Without Syrian complicity all but the stuff in SA is impossible, and even some of the Pakistani shenanigans are nigh on impossible without Syrian participation. Heck, even Al Sadr was educated about and made promises by Heavies in Hez, since deceased, and their allies from Quds in Damascus. Not that the intellectual capital is there, just the availability to so much mischief.

However to take them out without first building a sympathetic Islamic base would be foolish, same it seems for Iran.

The azhats that undermine so much administration policy and planning are the same no matter who is in charge. Their sympathies lie not with the nation but with a failed and flawed ideology which changes names from time to time to protect the traitorous and keep the naive in a steady state of stupid.

4/11/2008 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Wadeusaf said:

"The azhats that undermine so much administration policy and planning are the same no matter who is in charge. Their sympathies lie not with the nation but with a failed and flawed ideology which changes names from time to time to protect the traitorous and keep the naive in a steady state of stupid."

There's a political and social process that will be started after the Islamic Fascists nuke their first American/European city. The logic of the Third Conjecture tells us that as a consequence millions of innocent Moslems will die needlessly. However through the same logic, many moonbats are going to spend time in prison (if they don't get lynched). Human beings are too stupid to be entirely rational. Periodically, they need to have their noses rubbed in reality.

4/11/2008 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

So if we had gone after AQ in the tribal areas of Pakistan -- and done it from Okinawa, like General Murtha would want -- exactly how would that have worked? And how many times a week would we hear complaints from Democrats about leaving the Tyrant Saddam in power with the WMD everyone in the world knew he had.

Their arguments run in circles. Just stay where you are and they will come back. For them it is about achieving rhetorical advantage, not winning a war. It is, at its base, about gaining power.

4/11/2008 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/11/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

4/11/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

"Crocker chose Afghanistan over Iraq as the one place he would devote all his resources to destroy al-Quada, if he was forced to choose one country."
An intellectually weak argument made by Senator Biden for what purpose?

Instead of if you can't beat em join em, members of the Demogogic Party have chosen to change the conditions of the debate a la the Columbian trade agreement. The politburo had nothing on our Joe, no nothing at all. So when were the Dem's leadership planning to start acting like the adults they claimed they were? Equal time under a fairness doctrine will never be enough, maybe we should propose to regulate via truth in advertising.

4/11/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Hdgreene said:

"Their arguments run in circles. Just stay where you are and they will come back. For them it is about achieving rhetorical advantage, not winning a war. It is, at its base, about gaining power."

Only argue with rational people (don't waste your time arguing with moonbats). Hold up moonbat opinions as opposing examples when trying to convince a rational person of your point-of-view. Recognize politicians who pander to moonbats and do what you can to remove them from power.

Moonbats have a huge advantage since they have the power of stupidity behind them. Fighting stupidity is like trying to stop a glacier.

4/11/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

What the President needs to do:

Habu, regarding my comments in the last post about the chances of a post-election attack on Iran. I agree 100% with you that we have to militarily destroy Iran's nuke program (and its navy, and its terror training bases, and its leadership, and any concentrations or bases of its revolutionary guard, and its missile program). There is no other viable means to stop them. As a result, I want (to the extent a rational person can want to start a war) the president to attack Iran.

What I think the President will do:

I do not think that he will attack Iran. Krauthammer does not think so either. He thinks that we should get working on plan B - deterrence. Though, he recognizes it is far from clear that it will work. I agree with him.

Not to downplay too much the risk of Iran using its nukes, but I think that the bigger problem with Iranian nukes is how they will enable Iran to act more aggressively to attack us and our allies by proxy (or even directly) and spread their hegemony over the region. Their nukes will greatly raise the pain threshold we will be required to incur before we retaliate (so high that it probably won't happen). Open military retaliation will essentially be off the table. We will be left to work though proxies. Iran is better at it (long practice and the freedom to resort to any means, no matter how brutal, gives them the edge). It won’t go well for us – though some of our allies may help in that regard (I also worry that when Iran has nukes current local “allies” may align with Iran, having looked at us and Iran and concluded that Iran is the greater threat and the stronger horse (locally)).

Iran might attack with nuclear weapons - but they will certainly use them as a shield to more aggressively pursue the crap they have engaged in since the revolution.

Apparently GWB has calculated that he cannot take the necessary action or he has weighed the potential difficulties with Iran in the future vs. the certain difficulties of an attack on Iran (and the fallout in Iraq and elsewhere) and has decided to punt it to the next administration (hoping that while the facts develop something favorable for us will happen).

Sorry to go off topic here.

4/11/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I read Krauthammer just the opposite: that diplomacy hadn't worked on Iran, so Bush was going to have to go for "deterrance" of another sort. I'm reading that as some sort of physical "deterrance" as in "nuke the SOBs". I suppose it could also mean boycotts or the other sorts of tut-tutting that worked so well with Saddam and North Korea but since he didn't go into details, I was thinking that he didn't want to freak people out by spelling out exactly what sort of "physical deterrance" would be necessary.

4/11/2008 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

the law is the only authority in the country

All taqiyya, all of the time. This stands for all of jackshit because the "law" that Sistani is referring to is sharia law, which means that anything goes for whatever reason Sistani or any of his other thug warlords can come up with.

While it would be nice to Sadr hung out to dry, I'm not counting on anything until that snaggle-toothed tub of lard assumes room temperature.

Saghier told Voices of Iraq, indicating Sistani supports Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and the government in the effort to sideline the Mahdi Army.

Notice how he used the term "sideline" and not "crush"?

"Sistani asked the Mahdi army to give in weapons to the government."

After all, polite requests always work so well with Muslim insurgents.

The conflict between Maliki and Sadr was from the beginning a struggle for supremacy within the Shi'ite community in Iraq. It was not, as some have claimed, a kind of entertainment or show of strength staged by the Iranian leadership to demonstrate how they could switch the violence on and off in Iraq.

Which probably means that it was a "show of strength staged by the Iranian leadership to demonstrate how they could switch the violence on and off". All taqiyya, all of the time.

Tehran's decision to make the gamble was based on three assumptions: * Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wouldn't have the courage to defend Basra at the risk of burning his bridges with the Islamic Republic in Iran. * The international force would be in no position to intervene in the Basra battle ... * The Shiite clerical leadership in Najaf would oppose intervention by the new Iraqi security forces in a battle that could lead to heavy Shiite casualties.

All of which were most likely true at the time. I can only wonder what sort of mil-spec cattle prod Washington must have used to make Maliki sprout a set.

Because the stakes are so high Iran has no choice but to lick its wounds and try again. This is one fight Teheran really can't afford to lose.

Let's all hope it comes right in front of the election. I'd love to see the Democrats openly hunger for an American defeat and increased battlefield losses that would "bolster" their position. I doubt Middle America would stand for such blatant treason.

Giving Iran a major smackdown with minimal losses would be the best thing McCain could hope for to boost his chances.

PeterBoston: Iran will have to punch a lot harder to stay in the fight.

Which should only serve to expose their duplicity even more. Let's see how the democrats can justify wanting to negotiate with a regime that is evermore openly conducting war against American interests.

whiskey_199: Iran is hoping for a Democratic victory and dare not act too provocative until after the Election.

So, how will cooling their heels for the next HALF YEAR burnish their image of being the region's major power? Iran will need to head back into the fray long before then. All of which will make for "interesting times".

NahnCee said: ... when Maliki (and Sistani) will get tired of reconciling with cowards, traitors and terrorists and just string them up.

As in, "when pigs have wings"? The mechanic rarely discards his tools. Maliki and Sistani are the usual Muslim warlords. I find it very improbable that either one will abandon the time-honored tradition of duplicity and underhanded weasling that Muslims are so extremely fond of.

I'm reading that his move came as a surprise to the generals, too, and they were scurrying to keep up. I wonder why he didn't inform them sooner, and what the sense of urgency was about.

Perhaps because Maliki is no friend of America? One more time:

Maliki told Taher: "We declare our acceptance of democracy, but in reality, we are tricking them [the Americans] in order to topple Saddam and come to power." Taher writes: "I swear to God that this is exactly what he said!" … Maliki is anti-American, and has expressed his anti-American views to friends and in private discourse.

Habu: This certainly would not only be a decoupling from tribalism but a repudiation of Islam, the philosophy/quasi religion. That leaves me highly skeptical that one Sistani can alter what thousands of years has established. Are they abandoning sharia law for Western law?

I wouldn’t bet a plugged nickel on it. Both Afghanistan’s and Iraq’s alacrity in re-embracing shari’a law has persuaded me that neither is serious about democracy or anything remotely approaching it. All taqiyya, all of the time.

Tribes with Nukes™

That’s a keeper, Whiskey_199.

4/11/2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Zenster, doubtless you are right and we would do well to remember your various cautions.

However, things *do* change -- both peoples' perceptions as well as tactics on the ground, and it seems to me to be equally foolhardy to be quoting today that which may have happened several years and many battles ago, and then basing your future on that.

I see no difference in the way we should be treating Maliki with the way we've historically treated our Cold War enemies, the Russians: TBV (Trust but Verify).

Actually, I'd love to see a new election to get him turned out of office, but I fear it's already too late for that and that he's glommed on to the Iraqi Presidency with Mugabe-like tendrils.

4/11/2008 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Eggplant: There's a political and social process that will be started after the Islamic Fascists nuke their first American/European city...many moonbats are going to spend time in prison (if they don't get lynched). Human beings are too stupid to be entirely rational. Periodically, they need to have their noses rubbed in reality.

Yeah, rational reality is anticipating the first terrorist use of nuclear weapons so we will be justified in forming a lynch mob to murder the ones who sought to treat terrorism as a law enforcement issue. Check.

4/11/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Nahncee:Actually, I'd love to see a new election to get him turned out of office, but I fear it's already too late for that and that he's glommed on to the Iraqi Presidency with Mugabe-like tendrils.

We can withdraw our protection of al-Maliki anytime we want to. Ahmedinejad's puppet Muqtada al-Sadr can't wait for his turn to take over the country. Iran will then control all their oil, and 80% of Iraq's oil, which will equal or exceed the output of Saudi Arabia. Then you can come on here and say, "Mission Accomplished!"

4/11/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

The BBC Reports:
A relative and key follower of radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has been shot dead in the Iraqi city of Najaf.

Riyad al-Nuri, the director of the cleric's office in Najaf, was killed by unidentified gunmen near his home as he returned from Friday prayers.

Moqtada Sadr's spokesman in Najaf, Salah al-Obeidi, said the continued US presence in Iraq was to blame for the killing.

Earlier, US forces said they had used an unmanned drone aircraft to kill six Shia militant fighters in a missile strike in the Sadr City area of Baghdad.

The US said the group had rocket-propelled grenade launchers and mortars.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7342694.stm

4/11/2008 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Steeple said...

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments; I really enjoy the dialogue here.

I have nothing to add ideologically, although I tend to align with PeterBoston's philosophy. I do want to correct Aenea's error on crude oil production. At current production rates, Iran + Iraq only equals approx. 70% of Saudi production. Meanwhile, Saudi future production is increasing while Iranian production likely declines.

We in the US need to get on the ball and drain the swamp by getting on every reasonable, economical effort (scratch ethanol) to reduce our liquid hydrocarbon consumption and reduce the funding to the people who mean us harm. The lack of coherent energy policy has been the greatest Bush disappointment to me.

4/11/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Here is what we have:

1. The neocon effort to change tribal ways (correctly identified as the source of our conflict with them) predictably failed because we did not have the force to put them all in reservations and erase their culture.

2. GWB failed repeatedly in his duty to explain and justify his policies, what his aims were, and fight back politically against his enemies, allowing Moveon/Code Pink/ANSWER to dominate the political space. [Which is eerily like passivity among Shia Democrats allowing SCIRI/DAWA/Badr dominating their politics.]

3. Krauthammer is correct, Bush (see #2 above) has no means to do anything other than hand over the situation to his successor, who will be presented with fait accompli -- Nuclear Iran the way Clinton allowed NK and Pakistan to go nuclear. The only response is automatic destruction of Iran (and Pakistan) if the US (and possibly some allies) are nuked via shipping container and/or ICBM. Westhawk is also correct in that STate/CIA are dictating US policy over Bush, having beaten him politically, and walking away from the Gulf.

4. Iran's constraints with Dems are to avoid publicity that undercuts Obama's appeal. Meanwhile Ahmadinejad wants to be the global Tribune/Caliph for Muslims. His goal is get Obama, where he has to be "soft" and appeal to Muslims worldwide as their leader, where he must be provocative. He is probably the most unpredictable figure in the mix. Depending on which way he leans.

[I must address Aeneas's comments. She wants a war of survival conducted on "moral" terms like a police engagement. A more foolish and luxury-driven attitude is hard to imagine. In survival, the only "morality" is what works to keep one alive. All else is folly. It is typical of wealthy and foolish people to look back and judge for preening moralism and status-seeking. If Aenae's were truly concerned with humanitarian issues she would have judged those who sought isolationism, pacifism, and appeasement instead of a strong TR-big stick to deter events like WWII. Had the US had a whacking great Navy, Air Force, and Army with bases in Europe and China, both Hitler and Tojo would have been deterred, and possibly overthrown, for fear of engaging a fully militarily capable US. Weakness is it's own evil. Pacifism a vice that only the truly rich and protected by others can afford.]

We now have tribes with Nukes(tm) (thanks Zenster) and the challenge is not just Iran, or Pakistan, but the inevitable Saudi, Turkey, Egypt, Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, etc. getting them as well. Disaster.

4/11/2008 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

Zenster,

Ali Sistani is not a warlord. He holds no position other than that of a Cleric, he has no militia and holds no political office. His position and percieved power comes from his take on Shi'ah Islam which is Quietist, and the respect which he and his opinion, is held in all of Islam, and in the region. That he does not ofter flex his opinion is huge. That he and his followers do not cling to Sharia in the same blind and bullheaded manner of AQI or the mullahs in Iran is not an accident.

He isn't going to have deep discussions of Kant with the philosophical heirs of Thomas Jefferson, but he is able to understand the situation and call for calm and clear thinking. Moat muslims respect him enough they listen.

4/11/2008 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Aenea's choice:
OBAMA EXPLAINS GROWING SMALL TOWN AMERICA RESENTMENTS: '

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Yeah, like BLACK People in the SMALL TOWN of Los Angeles don't particularly like the ethnic cleansing being applied to them by "immigrants," with the full protection of the "pro-immigrant" one time Gang Banger, and presently gang-friendly administration.

Obama has such keen insight into, and love of this country.
Not.

4/11/2008 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Let me add, once Bill Clinton allowed Pakistan to go nuclear, in the 1990's, without using military force to stop it, it was clear that Osama bin Laden would have a nuclear shield to hide behind.

There is no, zero, zilch, nada possibility of "winnning" Aneaes in Afghanistan. At best we can hold the line. Because Pakistan's nukes mean Osama can hide in Waziristan behind Pakistan's nukes anytime he is threatened. Eventually he WILL kill a US city with them.

The cost of Bill Clinton's kicking the can down the road will be:

Loss of one or more US city.
Requirement to kill half or more of Pakistan.

This is the reality of Tribes with Nukes(tm).

4/11/2008 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Doug did Obama really criticize other people for their anti-trade sentiment? I guess it was a quote. That's hypocrisy.

4/11/2008 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Whiskey_199: Let me add, once Bill Clinton allowed Pakistan to go nuclear, in the 1990's, without using military force to stop it, it was clear that Osama bin Laden would have a nuclear shield to hide behind.

Pakistan only went nuclear because Nixon allowed India to go nuclear in 1974 without using military force to stop it. Then Bush-43 allowed North Korea to go nuclear in 2006 without using military force to stop it. So where's the precedent for Republican Presidents using military force to stop rogue states from going nuclear? There isn't one.

4/11/2008 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Aenea,
So what you are saying is preemptive military strikes against India, Pakistan, North Korea and, now, Iran would have been okay?

But you don't like Bush 43's preemptive strike against Iraq because after-the-fact we couldn't conclusively prove he had nukes actually in development?

Don't forget, Iran is currently maintaining "plausible deniability" so that, if attacked, they can claim there peaceful civilian power plant was blown up by the evil Crusaders in an attempt to steal their oil.

BTW, Bill Clinton didn't simply roll over and "let" North Korea develop nukes, he actually supplied them with the uranium they needed. And failed ex-President Jimmy Carter was the one who convinced him it would be a good idea to do so.

4/11/2008 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger shivermetimbers said...

Aenea

"Eighteen months ago US deaths numbered 2,700. Now it's 4,000. That's 1,300 families who don't think the timetable would have been foolish"

I am not sure I agree to what you are alluding to. Nearly every military member I have spoken to, or have heard/read through interviews saw their mission as important. They have often volunteered to go back to Iraq on repeat tours as they felt that they had a mission to see fulfilled.

There are some things important enough that we value them over our own lives. These men and women, and their families, I think, understand clearly, the risks involved, yet feel the mission they are doing important.

This is no different than the firemen and policemen who ran into the twin towers. What was going through their minds at the time. Yes, you might just lose your life, but your mission was more important - saving others.

I think the families of the fallen heros fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the police and firemen understand this to. So, to raise the issue that 1,300 families would not think the time table foolish, I wonder what their reaction would be if you really did ask them.

4/11/2008 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Fen said...

So, to raise the issue that 1,300 families would not think the time table foolish, I wonder what their reaction would be if you really did ask them

As a former Marine, I would reply that people like Aenea only use our death stats to support their anti-war politics. They don't give a damn about us or our families.

4/11/2008 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Peter Grynch said...

Aenea,
So what you are saying is preemptive military strikes against India, Pakistan, North Korea and, now, Iran would have been okay?


No Peter, I was trying to paint the absurdity of trying to stop a nation from developing nuclear weapons with military force. The only time it worked was when Israel hit Iraq in 1981, and that was because Israel's back was against the wall. The US lifted nary a finger to stop the USSR, China, India, and North Korea from going nuclear, but whiskey_199 has no problem laying Pakistan's nuke at the feet of Bill Clinton's inaction. In reality, we can't stop anyone from going nuclear, but we can fall back on deterrence.

4/11/2008 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Fen:As a former Marine, I would reply that people like Aenea only use our death stats to support their anti-war politics. They don't give a damn about us or our families.

You say "anti-war politics" as though it was a bad thing. The negation is "pro-war politics" and what does that do for the troops or their families? It's called the Department of Defense, not the Department of Occupation.

4/11/2008 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Aenea said...

Shivermetimbers: This is no different than the firemen and policemen who ran into the twin towers. What was going through their minds at the time. Yes, you might just lose your life, but your mission was more important - saving others.

Saving others. Who made it the role of the US military to save people living under dictatorships? I realize Afghanistan was paybacks for 9-11 but why the invasion of Iraq? Why are we just saving the oppressed people in Iraq but we aren't saving the oppressed people who live in North Korea, or Zimbabwe, or Darfur? Oh, got it. Oil. That explains why we need to bring democracy to Iran too, but not Syria.

4/11/2008 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger shivermetimbers said...

Aenea,

"Who made it the role of the US military to save people living under dictatorships? "

Whether you think we should have gone into Iraq, or not, we are there now. Walking away, which is what we would be doing if we pulled out now, before the place is stabilized would be shameful. I think this is a key reason the brave men and women who serve want to see this through.

What I don't understand is that things are improving; why is it so difficult for anyone who opposes this war to see the benefits if this turns out to be a success? i.e. Iraq becomes a democracy and a friend of the US in an important part of the globe. That scenario is important for the humanity's interests and far outweighs any hatred of Bush and the Republicans.

4/12/2008 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/12/2008 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger elfman2 (display name was "Bill") said...

aenea said: "Eighteen months ago US deaths numbered 2,700. Now it's 4,000. That's 1,300 families who don't think the timetable would have been foolish."

I'm sure that many, if not most, of even those families have respect for the principles their lost members promoted with honored and have figured out that that retreat from al-Qaeda does not result in less casualties.

4/12/2008 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Saddam Hussein celebrated the September 11 attacks. This is post facto incitement. However, there are some people who do not regard this celebration of the September 11 attacks to be a casus belli.

If celebrating the September 11 attacks is not a casus belli, then perhaps journalists from Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines shouldn’t be held responsible for inciting mass murder either.

4/12/2008 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

Islam is going through a regression. Most Islamic countries are moving back to the sixth century. Any secularist non-Islamic influence in government is being squeezed out.

Hopefully, Sistani's calming influence in Iraq will translate to other countries.

4/12/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger meleager99 said...

"Hopefully, Sistani's calming influence in Iraq will translate to other countries."

Hopefully, we have people gaming the possibility of supplanting the Qom branch with the Najaf branch of Shi'itism.

meleager

4/12/2008 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Wretchard,

Iran's whole strategy has been dislocated.

They must have paid good money to get the tribes to arise at the proper time.

So who will they buy the next time? Who can they trust to stay bought?

If they are going to do it again they are going to have to march armies across the border. How desperate are they?

4/12/2008 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

davod,

Islam is regressing only in the respect that it is going through the Ghost Dance phase.

4/12/2008 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Aenea said, "I was trying to paint the absurdity of trying to stop a nation from developing nuclear weapons with military force. The only time it worked was when Israel hit Iraq in 1981"

Question: Hasn't military force been succesful in preventing nuclear weapons EVERY time it has been tried? It is only the fact that it is tried so rarely that explains the various rogue nuclear states. Cuba no longer has nukes thanks to military action by JFK, and Libya gave up their pursuit of nuclear weapons as a result of our military actions with respect to Saddam. Rogue nuclear states develop nuclear weapons when the greatest impediment they have to fear is a Strongly Worded Memo from some UN nabob.

4/12/2008 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger davod said...

"Cuba no longer has nukes thanks to military action by JFK, and Libya gave up their pursuit of nuclear weapons as a result of our military actions with respect to Saddam."

We have no idea if Cuba still has nukes. Just as we do not really know if Libya divulged eveything. I do know that despite Libya being brought back into the fold of the international community or maybe because of it Gadafe appears to be moving back to the darkside.

This at the same time everyone is helping him improve his economy and oil production.

4/13/2008 03:47:00 AM  

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