Thursday, September 15, 2005

Galloway Versus Hitchens

The debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens will not change policy, but if nothing else it demonstrates how far the modern Left has strayed from its roots. Contrasting the perorations of the two debaters is instructive. I've paraphrased their words because I don't have the transcript available, and am guided only by my memory. But it may give you the flavor of the exchange.

Hitchens: How can you speak of President Talabani occupying Iraq? He was born there, though he had to move a few times, because the villages he lived in were destroyed by George Galloway's pal, Saddam Hussein. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which Talibani represents, is the recognized contact party of the Left in Kurdistan. They and the Communist Party of Iraq -- which is participating in the current government -- are fighting for their lives against the most vicious and medieval theocracy on the face of planet. Let those of you who imagine yourselves members of the Left -- as I gather from the zoo noises in evidence -- after examining the scars you have endured in your twilight underground struggle against Dick Cheney ask yourselves: who have I betrayed?

Galloway: No matter how many flyswats you have, no matter how much flypaper you employ, if you live beside a swamp it is no defense against the monsters that will come from it. There were no Al Qaeda in Iraq before George Bush brought them there. They are there because your country and my country brought them there. Not a single dictator in the Arab world could exist without the support of America. If I cannot appeal to your heart, let me speak to your mind. You will continue to endure 9/11s; you will continue to know fear until you give the Muslim countries their due. Until you stop Zionist and racist oppression, you will have no peace.

For a moment I imagined that Hitchens was alone in the room with the Left -- and from the temporary quiet perhaps he was partly successful -- asking, 'where is your pride?', 'where is your shame?'. Galloway took the lower road. He appealed to fear, cunningly raising the prospect of ruin, should his listeners fail to see things his way, unwittingly insulting his audience even as he pandered to them. They traded more than one insult. Galloway called Hitchens a drunk. Hitchens responded that if he had found home in a bottle, Galloway was still traveling from one dictator to the next, looking for a kennel he could call his own. Perhaps Hitchen's most telling insult, all the more effective because it was delivered slowly and a straight face, was recounting how George Galloway traveled to Damascus to endorse the men who helped fund the death of Casey Sheehan and then asking what manner of man would then travel to America to solicit the political support of the dead man's mother.

A lot of conservatives were cheering for Hitchens because he is on "our side". But that is coincidental. Hitchens, as will be evident to anyone who heard him address members of the audience as 'comrades' and invoke socialist solidarity is still a man of the Left who has merely remained true to the internal logic of his convictions. It puts him on the side of those fighting for republican forms against absolutist theocracies; and if that is the same camp as George Bush's then so be it. In that context, the contrast between Hitchens and Galloway is less of belief than of integrity: Hitchens opposes Al Qaeda because of his Leftist beliefs; Galloway supports Al Qaeda in despite of them; and to the traditional socialist this can only be explained by the inducement of cash. That was Hitchen's wider and subliminal reproach to the audience: what manner of men would pay to hear to George Galloway? Call yourselves anything, but don't call yourselves 'progressives'.


Blogger Doug said...

The Fear Grows in Damascus .
Analysts believe that Assad canceled his New York trip for two reasons: U.S. officials couldn't guarantee his entourage immunity from arrest if Mehlis and the Lebanese government issued a warrant, and, more important, he feared the risk of turmoil in Damascus if he were to leave now.

What an invigorating spectacle, to watch as the rule of law squeezes the arrogant men who treated Lebanon as their private fief. Some of them are in jail; others are trying to cut deals; still others are said to have defected to other countries. Credit goes to Lebanon's new government, which was tough and united in making the surprise arrests, at dawn on Aug. 30, of the security chiefs. Rumors are spinning in Beirut and Damascus about which members of the Assad regime are ratting out their friends. A Paris-based newsletter, Intelligence Online, wrote that a Syrian intelligence colonel had defected to France with information about the Slovakian-made explosives that allegedly killed Hariri.
Being an Ignatius piece, GWB and the US Military get no credit.
As expected.

9/15/2005 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now if we could just get them to finger Galloway!
We could share a celebratory drink w/Hitch!

9/15/2005 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


Re the Ignatius piece. If you listed out all the things that have happened in the four years since 9/11 it would be an astoundingly long ennumeration. Afghanistan, AQ Khan, Iraq, Libya, UN, Indonesia, Indian alliance, fall of the EU, reelection of Howard, Bush, Blair, Araft, Gaza and Lebanon. You could extend the list much further if you wish.

Yet despite that, there's a sense that President Bush has lost his sense of urgency and mission; that he is acting too PC. There's some truth to that, but part of the reason I suspect, is that the War on Terror has grown so broad and acquired such a momentum that it can no longer be steered by direct action.

But that does not mean it can be left to drift. The quiet surrounding the White House can either mean it has brought the wheel amidships or it is thinking through the next move. I don't know which it is.

9/15/2005 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger Bat One said...

Listening to Galloway, it's hard to imagine that those who paid him all that cash could possibly think they'd got their money's worth.

Perhaps if Galloway were to model himself and his public pronouncements more closely after Joe Biden...

9/15/2005 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

I went to the Victor Davis Hanson versus Arianna Huffington debate last night - from my blog :

"Last Night I went downtown to the Devos Convention Center to see Victor Davis Hanson debate Arianna Huffington.

We got to the Center and I spied a Lexus driving up with several John Kerry stickers still on the back of the car. I shook my head, dreading a swarm of moonbats at this debate. When we finally found the correct place to go, it seemed to be filled with a collection of college students, and what seemed to be plenty of old people who must enjoy this type of thing. Well politics are either for the naive young, or the old. Several obvious college professor types who've never worked an honest day in there life appeared here n' there.

The debaters were introduced and we were given the debate format. Each was supposed to discuss whether or not the U.S. is an empire and given 25 minutes to make their point. After that, they were given 15 minutes to rebutt the other person's presentation. Hanson went first and started with a great historical perspective of the United States current affairs. Then the power went out. We had to wait 4-5 minutes before it came back up. He continued on, laying out a brilliant argument about the current state of America and why we are not Imperialistic - but the bringers of good things to the world. Democracy, popular culture, technology, education, etc. The only reason we are considered Imperialistic is because of Middle East false grievances, Western European jealousy, and an elite intellegensia who feels guilty about their positions in the world. He touched on many subjects and presented well. There was much applause.

I was kind of guessing that Huffington was going to go into a political lefty screed, and boy was I right. She went right into Iraq to prove why America was Imperialistic - and it mostly seemed to be type talking points regurgitated. But that's exactly what the tinfoil hat moonbats wanted to hear. They don't want an argument or debate - they want someone to agree with their narrow paranoid mind view. She droned on for 25 minutes with an annoying Zsa Zsa Gabor voice touching just about every paranoid lefty talking point - Rove, WMD, Cheney, Haliburton, puppets of the U.S.,etc. The moonbats ate it up. I was mocking her off and on to my old boss, his wife, and my wife. We got sushed a few times, but I really didn't care. Who can listen to this kind of junk? At least stick to the material and offer a decent debate, instead of re-hashed talking points that can easily be shot down.

Victor Davis Hanson did that exactly. He rebutted for 15 minutes, and had the facts at his fingertips. He is an excellent debater and I was sad that we left right after he talked. I couldn't stand to hear Arianna's voice or whining anymore, so we headed over to the Boar's head to have a beer and discuss the weak arguments of the Left. They should have invited a history professor who was progressive, at least that would have been more interesting to hear then Michael-Moore paranoia.

The modern Left is so depressing. They offer no solutions.I read on the Little Green Footballs website about the rest of the debate. Apparently there was a Q&A session afterwards filled with tin-foil hat conspiracy theories."

I was felt kind of weak willed leaving when I did - but that woman's voice - and bad debating skills. Isn't anyone trained in making argumentative points anymore? It could have been interesting - but at least I got to hear one of my favorite authors - VDH.

9/15/2005 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

Listening to the debate, it was very obvious that Hitchens has not abandoned his socialist ideology. But it was so enchanting to actually hear reasoned words coming from the mouth of a Leftist; it was exhilarating to hear someone of the Left who still has a MIND and is willing to think with it, rather than to mouth mindless slogans and oppose everything that Bush does as a knee-jerk reflex. If I had to debate Hitchens on communism, then I would gladly throw his own words (used to describe how the Left has betrayed its "ideals" in the last several decades) back at him, and suggest how we could surely agree that the millions of senseless deaths and the profound human misery that occurred under regimes that subscribed to his ideology.... I might even think I could convince him. This is what it would be like to have someone in opposition you could actually respect.

9/15/2005 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger enuff said...

While I didn't see the debate, I expect it like any other display of the left, a play on emotions and their respective hot-buttons, rather than the application of cold reason and hard logic in a very mean and cruel, un-Utopian world.

9/15/2005 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Wretchard, Doug,

If you haven't done so already, you must watch Bush's speech to the UN delivered yesterday. Watch it as from a distance and feel the enormity of American power; listen to the words and hear something great and unknown. You can watch it on if you missed it.

It is something that must be watched. Watch his eyes, read his body language. The leader of the free world threw down the gauntlet yesterday, to allies and enemies alike, and by doing so he has exposed his agenda. He is still moving forward, and the UN will be his vehicle. Last chance, it seems, for that austere body to substantially affect the foreign policy of the new United States imperium.

I would very much like to have a seating chart of the assembly. Bush seemed to punctuate his strongest statements with his eyes, and I would love to know who it was that drew them.

9/15/2005 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger WillyShake said...

Thank you for this thoughtful commentary. What I like about this (besides the back-handing of Galloway which he has clearly earned) is that Wretchard takes Hitchens on his own terms--without knee-jerk cheerleading that is blind to the reality of Hitchens position. This is not only smart, but mature. I know that from my own experience it is very difficult to recognize and accept another person's honest perspective, and it is hard to overcome the temptation to misconstrue and let things (& people) be where they are.

9/15/2005 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Let us deal with Galloway and Hitchens with their own words.
"Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life."
"I once tried to calculate how long the post-Cold War liberal utopia had actually lasted. Whether you chose to date its inception from thr fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 or the death of Ceausescu in late December of the same year, or the release of Nelson Madela from prison or the referendum defeat suffered by Augusto Pinochet, it was an epoch that in retrospect was over before it began. By the middle of 1990 Saddam Hussein had abolished Kuwait and Milosevic was attempting to erase the identifty and existance of Bosnia."
One pines for the lost Workers Paradise that never existed. The other realizes that the period where we could "study war no more" was a matter of a few months at best...

9/15/2005 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Within the democratic framework, it is not the differing positions that is of import, but the acknowledgement of the Victors victory, in elections.
In Iraq it is not whether or not the Constitution is ratified in the first go, or the fifth, the importance to the future is Sunni participation in the process.

While I have not often agreed with Mr Hitchens stance in the past, I have always enjoyed his work. In regards to Iraq and the Mohammedan Mahdi Millenium Wars, I think he sees that "Progress" cannot be achieved by siding with the Mohammedans.
It is humourous to think that Bush and Blair are the definition of "Progressives" in the 21st century. Bringing greater liberty to 50 million people, allowing them a voice in their own destinies, is neither a regressive nor conservative approach, but such Progress, in such a short period of time, as to be Revolutionary.

The labels are reversing and that, more than anything else, annoys the thinking Left

9/15/2005 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Heraclitus said...

Some interesting insights in regards to the American Left and its relationship to the Soviet Union was provided by the Polish Ambassador Count Jerzy Potocki who had wide connections in pre-WWII Washington.

The left's infatuation with Saddamm is that they saw him as a "little Stalin" right down to his physical appearance. An Elvis sighting so to speak.

9/15/2005 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Slibinas said...

"Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life."

What a turd. He should have come to and lived in USSR as I did for a very long a time as I was born there. Never once have I regreted leaving it or that it no longer exists... Some Workers Paradise...

9/15/2005 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


Though I'm sure Mr. Hitchens' mind doesn't work that way one should recall his admiration for Leon Trotsky, who Stalin persecuted and ultimately murdered. Anyone who admires Trotsky would recoil at the sight of Stalin impersonator.

In fairness, Saddam is much better looking human being than Stalin, who was short and had a physically deformed arm, artfully concealed by selective photography. He also had an overpowering halitosis, for he feared dentists so much that he let his teeth rot. Yet as Piers Brendon points out in The Dark Valley, the premier line of Socialist perfume produced in 1930s Moscow was something called "Stalin's Breath". The history of the Left is full of ironies like that. From that perspective, people like George Galloway are not only unremarkable, but inevitable.

9/15/2005 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

If any of your liberal friends think Hitchens is a born-again conservative, recommend they read The Trial of Henry Kissinger

Of course, I also enjoyed No One Left to Lie to: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton .

Wretchard is correct, Hitchens demonstrates intellectual integrity. Remember back when "liberal" meant "A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority"?

9/15/2005 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Desert Rat: VDH put this all in perspective. He reminds us that the creation of the U.S.A. was based on extremely liberal, downright radical concepts.
In contrast, the economic and political approaches that we think of today as "the Left" are in fact totally reactionary and a retreat from the original American concepts based on human worth and dignity, an attempt to return to the days of kings, queens and serfs.
American Conservatism = the Real Radical Liberalism.

9/15/2005 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger jane said...

I watched Bush address the UN yesterday without sound (not on purpose). Looking at the faces and body language of Bush's listeners it appeared that they were listening to the most important and respected man on this earth. It is hard some days to remember that the bulk of us desire and work toward the good and the free, but I was reminded yesterday.

9/15/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Minh-Duc said...

There is a terrible inconsistency of the Left when it comes to the War in Iraq. For years, the Left accused the US of supporting dictators against the oppressed people. Now the US changed it policy, and stand with the people against a dictator, they fail to recognize to see that change.

Hitchens bases his position on the strength of his Leftist ideology - that he is truer to his belief that his fellow Leftists. He looks at Iraq and see that as a Leftist, he has to support the war. To oppose the war is to betray is leftist ideology.

Of course, the War in Iraq change the paradigm of politic. I never thought I would be on the same side as Hitchens and oppose many of conservatives who call themselves realists. Left, Right and Liberal, Conservative as labels no longer make sense.

9/15/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger jane said...

I watched Bush address the UN yesterday without sound (not on purpose). Looking at the faces and body language of Bush's listeners it appeared that they were listening to the most important and respected man on this earth. It is a shame we have come to love the petty and loud so much that many will never know that they may well have lived alongside one of history's greats.

9/15/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

This is why Chris Hitchens is soooo important to our effort.

Seeing Hitchen's remarks about other events (e.g. on the death of Pope John Paul II) have made it quite clear what he is about. He is a leftist that sees the Islamic Utopian threat exactly for what it is.

While I hope those on the left come around to a more right leaning world view on all sorts of affairs (economics, social policy etc) I have a bottom line and that is they should see radical Islamic utopianists exactly for what they are. That is what drives me soooo nuts about nutters such as CodePink and them protesting the war against the Taliban and criticizing the West as a male dominated woman oppressing society all at once.

Hitchen's comment to Galloway about Galloway looking for doghouse next to some Arabic tyrant is a good one and more substantive than what one may suppose.

I don't think Galloway is even so highly-principaled as to be a money grubber. I think it is plain old fashioned hate for America. I would bet, if it was decide to reinstall Saddam Hussein as the Iraqi head of the Iraqi state, Galloway would then become Talabani's loudest supporter.

9/15/2005 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

After reading "The Terrorist Network", it struck me how much we can blame communism and its fellow travelers for the age of terrorism. Terrorism in its first instance is an attack on liberal democracy; it is dangerous because it turns our strengths against us and makes the virtuous society untenable. The communist revolutionaries of the 70's knew that democracies were highly impotent against terrorism. People want safety more than liberties, and governments that could not supply the former would end by taking away the latter. Once the society is militarized and oppressed, the patient communist can find the fodder he needs to feed the beast of revolution. Start by stealing from the rich to feed the poor, and eventually the wind and the people are at your back. With such justification is tyranny and fascism embraced over democracy; this is the reason far-Leftists cheer dictatorship and abuse. Abuse and oppression are necessary preconditions of revolution, and revolution is what they fight for. If democracy is two steps away from the Worker's Paradise, tyranny is but one.

Thus, the Tupamaros could celebrate their accomplishment of fascism, though it was much different than what they desired, because their biggest enemy had been discredited and defeated. They had pushed society down the slippery slope to communism, and the end would justify the means.

Galloway makes common cause with fascism, but he is not for it. Both Osama and Galloway believe the same thing. To rebuild, you must first tear down. To create, you must destroy.

The War on Terrorism is a final insult added to communism's injurious defeat. Instead of devolving our liberties at home, America took it upon herself to change the world. The revolutionary narrative was incomplete; nobody ever thought what might happen if America pushed back. The price of that omission is now being shouldered by our erstwhile enemy Osama, and his unfortunate allies the Baathists and the Taliban. As an Emperor once said, he has paid the price for his lack of vision.

The power and influence of America has now reached every state on this planet, by necessity and by right. Something great and unprecedented is underfoot, a unique story our enemies did not predict and cannot believe. America has become an Empire of the Mind, and she is pressing her advantage. In her vanguard are the real true believers.

You might say the revolutionaries are dreamers, but they are not the only ones. Not by a long shot.

9/15/2005 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

American Conservatism = the Real Radical Liberalism.


I have been "jacking-up" (in a gentle fashion) those around me who refer to leftists as liberals.

9/15/2005 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

"The Terror Network", I mean.

9/15/2005 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Rocco DiPippo has good article over at FrontPage Magazine, Traitors in the Cradle of Liberty that gives a good picture of Galloway, his admirers and his purpose for coming again to the US. It sounds as if he's basically here as an agitator for the anti-war, anti-Bush crowd. I hate to make an ad hominem attack, but what a scumbag.

Desert Rat
Within the democratic framework, it is not the differing positions that is of import, but the acknowledgement of the Victors victory, in elections.

I agree Rat. The Democrats should quit harping about the 2000 Presidential election being stolen by Bush in Forida and the stealing of the 2004 election by him in Ohio.

9/15/2005 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Oops. Here's a good link for the DiPippo article.

9/15/2005 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


The contrast in messages you highlight is important on another level. Hitchens makes a call to principle, while Galloway offers a depressingly familiar defeatist rationale by warning of further violence.

That is, don't provoke them, or they'll kill more of us than they already intend to. A great recipe for those comfortable living on their knees.

As for the charge that we're somehow responsible for the Arab world's failure, this is another 'Goldilocks' critique -- wherein we are either 'not sufficiently engaged with' or 'propping up' this or that unsavory regime. Galloway's crowd would be first to decry any interference by the West in the sovereign affairs of these nations (e.g.: Iraq)

9/15/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

With regard Osama, do not doubt for a moment that he is a man of vision. He has achieved his envisioned goal, a Crusader Invasion of a Mohammedan country, twice.
He is safely bivouacked in the mountains of Central Asia. Protected by our Ally in the WoT and the original backer of the Taliban, Pakistan.
In the Battle of Iraq he has bled US for almost three years, now. Costing US at least a thousand lives and billions of dollars.
Cost to Osama and aQ have been minimal, at best. A few thousand dead martyrs and some millions of siphoned oil income dinars.
The Mohammedans continued and growing success in Africa is cause for optimism in his camp, not despair. In Iraq he will continue to portray US and ISF military force as a paper tiger, unable to protect the civilians of the country from his minions.
The civilian casualties in Iraq, London, Madrid, KSA, Morocco, Bali and New York serve to show that the US lacks the ability to defend our Allies or ourselves from his reach and retribution.
Osama is on track to his Caliphate.
So far he has been on time, on target.
We are the ones operating from behind the curve.

9/15/2005 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger oldefogey said...

Please excuse the long post – I do not post often but felt that the following analysis by George Friedman on the annivesary of 9/11 would be of interest to most of the regular posters. This is from a subscription service so I can not link. You’ll just have to scroll past if you have no interest.

Four Years On:
Who is Winning the War, and How Can Anyone Tell?
'By George Friedman

Four years have passed since al Qaeda attacked the United States. It is difficult to remember a war of which the status has been more difficult to assess. Indeed, there are reasonable people who argue that the conflict between the United States and al Qaeda is not a war at all, and that thinking of it in those terms obscures reality. Other reasonable people argue that it is only in thinking in terms of war that the conflict makes sense -- and these people then divide into groups: those who believe the United States is winning and those who believe it is losing the war. Into this confusion we must add the question of whether the Iraq war is part of what U.S. President George W. Bush refers to as the "war on terrorism" and what others might call the war against al Qaeda. Even the issues are not clear. It is a war in which no one can agree even on the criteria for success or failure, or at times, who is on what side.

Part of this dilemma is simply the result of partisan politics. It is a myth that Americans unite in times of war: Anyone who believes they do must read the history of, for example, the Mexican War. Americans are a fractious people and, while they were united during World War II, the political recriminations were only delayed -- not suspended. The issue here is not partisanship, however, but rather that there is no clear framework against which to judge the current war.

Let us begin with what we all -- save for those who believe that the Sept. 11 attacks were a plot hatched by the U.S. government to justify the Patriot Act -- can agree on:

1. Al Qaeda attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, by hijacking aircraft and crashing or trying to crash them into well-known buildings.
2. Since Sept. 11, there have been al Qaeda attacks in Europe and several Muslim countries, but not in the United States.
3. The United States invaded Afghanistan a month after the strikes against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon -- forcing the Taliban government out of the major cities, but not defeating them. The United States has failed to capture Osama bin Laden, although it captured other key al Qaeda operatives. The Taliban has regrouped and is now conducting an insurgency in Afghanistan.
4. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration claimed that this was part of the war against al Qaeda; critics have claimed it had nothing to do with the war.
5. The United States failed to win the war rapidly, as it had expected to do. Instead, U.S. forces encountered a difficult guerrilla war that, while confined generally to the Sunni regions, nevertheless posed serious military and political challenges.
6. Al Qaeda has failed to achieve its primary political goal -- that is, to trigger an uprising in at least one major Muslim country and create a jihadist regime. There has been no general rising in the Muslim world, and most governments are now cooperating with the United States.
7. There have been no follow-on attacks in the United States since Sept. 11. Whether this is because al Qaeda had no plans for a second attack or because subsequent attacks were disrupted by U.S. intelligence is not clear.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather to provide what we would regard as a non-controversial base from which to proceed with an assessment.

From the beginning, then, it has been unclear whether the United States saw itself as fighting a war against al Qaeda or as carrying out a criminal investigation. The two are, of course, enormously different. This is a critical problem.

The administration's use of the term "war on terrorism" began the confusion. Terrorism is a mode of warfare. Save for those instances when lunatics like Timothy McVeigh use it as an end in itself, terrorism is a method of intimidating the civilian population in order to drive a wedge between the public and their government. Al Qaeda, then, had a political purpose in using terrorism, as did the British in their nighttime bombing of Germany or the Germans in their air raids against London. The problem in the Bush administration's use of this term is that you do not wage a war against a method of warfare. A war is waged against an enemy force.

Now, there are those who argue that war is something that takes place between nation-states and that al Qaeda, not being a nation-state, is not waging war. We tend to disagree with this view. Al Qaeda is not a nation-state, but it is (or has been) a coherent, disciplined force using violence for political ends. The United States, by focusing on the "war on terror," confused the issue endlessly. But the critics of the war, who insisted that wartime measures were unnecessary because this was not a war, compounded the confusion. By the time we were done, the "war on terror" had extended itself to include campaigns against animal rights groups, and attempts to prevent terror attacks were seen as violations of human rights by the ACLU.

It is odd to raise these points at the beginning of an analysis of a war, but no war can be fought when there isn't even clarity about what it is you are doing, let alone who you are fighting. Yet that is precisely how this war evolved, and then degenerated into conceptual chaos. The whole issue also got bound up with internal name-calling, to the point that any assertion that Bush had some idea of what he was doing was seen as outrageous partisanship, and the assertion that Bush was failing in what he was doing was viewed the same way. Where there is no clarity, there can be no criteria for success or failure. That is the crisis today. No one agrees as to what is happening; therefore, no one can explain who is winning or losing.

Friedman was and is a supporter of the invasion of Iraq for the following reasons.

1. To bring pressure on the Saudi government, which was allowing Saudis to funnel money to al Qaeda, to halt this enablement and to cooperate with U.S. intelligence. The presence of U.S. troops to the north of Saudi Arabia was intended to drive home the seriousness of the situation.
2. To take control of the most strategic country in the Middle East -- Iraq borders seven critical countries -- and to use it as a base of operations against other countries that were cooperating with al Qaeda.
3. To demonstrate in the Muslim world that the American reputation for weakness and indecisiveness -- well-earned in the two decades prior to the Sept. 11 attacks -- was no longer valid. The United States was aware that the invasion of Iraq would enrage the Muslim world, but banked on it also frightening them.

Friedman continues in this manner and finishes with this assessment.

Figuring out how the war is going four years after 9-11, then, is like a nightmare fighting ghosts. The preposterous defense of U.S. strategy meets the preposterous attack on U.S. strategy: Claims that the United States invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the people competes with the idea that it invaded in order to give contracts to Halliburton. Nothing is too preposterous to claim.

But even as U.S. politics seize up in one of these periodic spasms, these facts are still clear:

1. The United States has not been attacked in four years.
2. No Muslim government has fallen to supporters of al Qaeda.
3. The United States won in neither Iraq or Afghanistan.
4. Bin Laden is still free and ready to go extra rounds.

So far, neither side has won -- but on the whole, we’d say the United States has the edge. The war is being fought outside the United States. And that is not a trivial point. But it is not yet a solution to the president's problems.

9/15/2005 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


You 7:25 comment is, perhaps, your best ever.

9/15/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...


Osama is a man of limited vision. He got exactly what he asked for, but somehow it is not what he asked for.

9/15/2005 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger T said...

You've got to hand it to Hitchens, at least he's not afraid of debate, like wretchard, and the majority of people who post here.

9/15/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I challenge iotm to disprove the existence of the Invisible Unicorn.

9/15/2005 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Fear of debate or unwillingness to waste time with repetitious jousting?

I fall into the latter category. So, if you don't mind, I'll not be rising to the '(de)bait'.

9/15/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

I challenge IOTM to think

9/15/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

"kstagger said...
I challenge IOTM to think "

Impossible! Galloway has proven beyond all doubt that his and IOTM's kind NEVER THINK !!!

9/15/2005 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger tim maguire said...

That's a great point about leftism I've thought all along but rarely said for reasons of personal preservation:

Iraq is a liberal war. The war against Islamofascism is a liberal war. True liberals support it.

When it broke out, liberals were given the choice of remaining true to their principles or maintaining their sense of superiority to George Bush.

For most, the choice was so easy they didn't even realize they'd made a choice. Because most liberals today don't have principles, they have poses.

Sadly, what Dissent Magazine used to call "the liberal who cannot be taught" has come to dominate the left side of the political divide.

9/15/2005 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"...the War on Terror has grown so broad and acquired such a momentum that it can no longer be steered by direct action.

But that does not mean it can be left to drift."

- Wretchard

Well, I wholeheartedly agree with the "so broad" characterization.

It is time to re-read (or read, as the case may be) Jeffery Record's SSI paper, "Bounding the Global War on Terror," published in December 2003. []


In the wake of the September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorist attacks
on the United States, the U.S. Government declared a global war on
terrorism (GWOT). The nature and parameters of that war, however,
remain frustratingly unclear. The administration has postulated a
multiplicity of enemies, including rogue states; weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) proliferators; terrorist organizations of global,
regional, and national scope; and terrorism itself. It also seems to
have confl ated them into a monolithic threat, and in so doing has
subordinated strategic clarity to the moral clarity it strives for in
foreign policy and may have set the United States on a course of
open-ended and gratuitous confl ict with states and nonstate entities
that pose no serious threat to the United States.
Of particular concern has been the confl ation of al-Qaeda and
Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a single, undifferentiated terrorist threat.
This was a strategic error of the fi rst order because it ignored
critical differences between the two in character, threat level, and
susceptibility to U.S. deterrence and military action. The result has
been an unnecessary preventive war of choice against a deterred
Iraq that has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic
terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing
the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable
al-Qaeda. The war against Iraq was not integral to the GWOT, but
rather a detour from it.
Additionally, most of the GWOT’s declared objectives, which
include the destruction of al-Qaeda and other transnational terrorist
organizations, the transformation of Iraq into a prosperous, stable
democracy, the democratization of the rest of the autocratic Middle
East, the eradication of terrorism as a means of irregular warfare,
and the (forcible, if necessary) termination of WMD proliferation to
real and potential enemies worldwide, are unrealistic and condemn
the United States to a hopeless quest for absolute security. As
such, the GWOT’s goals are also politically, fi scally, and militarily
Accordingly, the GWOT must be recalibrated to conform to
concrete U.S. security interests and the limits of American power.

The great Prussian philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz,
believed that the “fi rst, the supreme, most far-reaching act of
judgment that the statesman and the commander have to make is
to establish the kind of war on which they are embarking, neither
mistaking it for, not trying to turn it into, something that is alien to
its true nature. This is the fi rst of all strategic questions and the most


9/15/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger dan from cos said...

Desert Rat, The fastest growing religion or Dogma in Africa is not Islam. The Saudi's pledged $5 Billion three years ago to kick start Islamic proselytizing of the continent, but those darn pesky Christians just keep racking up the numbers. Why? Because these poor souls need Hope and that is what Christianity brings. Islam brings despair. Based on this simple misrepresentation of yours, I guess we must therefore discount the rest of your analysis.

9/15/2005 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

A videotape of the Hitchens v. Galloway debate will be broadcast on C-SPAN2 on Saturday, September 17 at 9:00 p.m.

9/15/2005 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

wretchard said:

The quiet surrounding the White House can either mean it has brought the wheel amidships or it is thinking through the next move. I don't know which it is.

I'd be looking for nuclear armed B-2's taking off for Diego Garcia to put them closer to Iran's nuclear facilities.

9/15/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/15/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...


"The result has been an unnecessary preventive war of choice against a deterred
that has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable al-Qaeda."

Emphasis added.

I know this may be somewhat nitpicky in the context of the criticism of specificity but these particular assertions make Record's perspective somewhat suspect. Namely, there was material evidence both then and now that Iraq was not effectively deterred from pursuing objectives counter to American strategic interests. Furthermore I disagree that Al Qaeda is "undeterrable". I don't think any of us knows enough to ascertain whether activities in Iraq are genuinely "deterring" attacks on the United States, for instance, by causing the enemy to concentrate its resources in the Middle East in hopes of a "victory" against the vaunted American military. But this may be the rationale behind maintaining some higher intensity conflict there versus naming a specific enemy, declaring specific objectives with respect to this enemy, achieving these objectives, declaring victory and then withdrawing completely so that the region could freely stew in the toxicity of its own bad- yet globally harmful- ideas.

Preview is my friend.

9/15/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

On the other hand, current events seem to suggest that Al Qaeda and its ilk have lost the hope of achieving some kind of "victory" against American military might per se. Consequentially I think it is very likely that the American presence in Iraq is going to be substantially reduced in the near future, but I hesitate to say whether this is a matter of months or years.

The war will move elsewhere- and hopefully not to the mainland United States.

9/15/2005 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger T said...

Nathan, my proof that god doesn't exist applies to invisible unicorns as well. Had you bothered to read my essay you'd know that.

How is Iraq a war against "islamofascism"? Saddam Hussein through his repressive manner of dictatorship kept the wraps on all those "islamofascists" and had Iraq as a very secular country. The US invasion undid all that and now you've got the country divided down ethnic and religious lines which plays to the religious nuts. If the invasion of Iraq truly was part of a "war on islamofascism" then it must be judged as a horrible failure. I don't know where you'd come up with that idea in the first place.

Bush's justification was WMD and connection to Al Qa'ida. Those lies fell through and he came to this getting rid of evil dictatorships and bringing freedom and democracy bullshit. Those have fallen through so now it's about fighting terrorism, which wasn't a problem in Iraq before the invasion.

And you know what's fucking hilarious? All you lot are so worried about Islam, yet you're a bunch of religious lunatics defying reason and devoutly worshipping god. Could you be any more Islamic? Not only that but you want religion to be used as the basis of repressing civil liberties, such as gay rights. Islamic leaders who complain about the "secular" US threatening their values are naive and unworldly. They've already won, the US already has sharia law enshrined, just with a different name and tradition, it's still the same crap.

I honestly don't know how you people sleep at night being so utterly wrong all the time. But the worst part about it is that you're arrogant, and actually think you're right, but when challenged, you fucking cower like the pussies you are, and it's nothing but insults. Should someone like me who can cut through your bullshit quite readily get fed up with your closed-minded power worship and throw a few cutting factual comments back at you, it's the end of the goddamn world and you cry to your mothers about the great offense I've caused you.

The term islamofascism that you use is interesting. You are the prototypical fascists. You cling to a foolish national identity because your own lives have been rendered pointless and meaningless because of the alienation of consumer capitalism. You cheer on the blending of corporate and empirical interests, as Mussolini said this was the purest form of fascism. You are utterly offended by dissent, to the point of wishing to effectively control it through a puppet media and through vile character assasinations on the personal level. You are misanthropic to the core, you believe americans are some kind of superior master race. Fascism, my dull minded southern friends, is typified not by a few terrorists responding to Empire, but by those who endorse and support a xenophobic Empire and cheer on the deaths of anyone who is not part of your master race.

You are surprised when terrorists strike out against the US and it's lapdogs, yet if anyone effected by US foreign policy were to read the comments and articles of this blog, whether they live in Syria or Haiti, the notion of innocent civilians would disappear, and terrorism would not be a desperate striking out of violence, but a reactionary take down of vile everyday people who are filled with hate and contempt for their fellow humans.

Lucky for you, most Americans aren't as brainwashed and desperate for some kind of identity, something bigger than themselves to identify with, that they will actively support the goals of Empire when it means slaughtering members of their own kind. Without people like me giving the views of real people who aren't slack jawed yokels willing to open up wide and swallow any amount of shit that the authorities will drop into your mouth, the American people might be hated as much as the horrible oligarchy that runs the country. I've personally stopped more terrorism against the US by talking to people around the world and shattering the myths of american society.

It's fitting that you survive solely by contradiction, since that's another one of the hallmarks of fascism, the utter abandonment of logic in favour of emotional and faith based pleas to the absurd.

Yes Belmont Club, you are the true fascists of the 21st century.

9/15/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...


First test of whether a blogger is fascist:
1) If you insult the blog on which you comment and your comment stays up, it isn't fascist. As you say, control of communication is the ideal of fascism.

Additionally, you might explain how those of us who haven't seen the inside of a church regularly in a while fit your "Fundamentalist American" profile.

Finally, you may want to consider the pot/kettle nature of this comment:

"I honestly don't know how you people sleep at night being so utterly wrong all the time. But the worst part about it is that you're arrogant, and actually think you're right"

Uhm, aren't you displaying the attitude you're attacking? It's funny, but kind of weakens your argument. You might read up on irony, it's a strong rhetorical tool when used intentionally. Accidentally applied, however, it eviscerates you.

9/15/2005 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse Clark said...

iotm, though I do not agree with your statements, thank you for representing your point of view. A one-sided argument is quite boring and teaches nothing, so thank you again for the parry.

9/15/2005 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Nathan, my proof that god doesn't exist applies to invisible unicorns as well. Had you bothered to read my essay you'd know that.

In a tremendous and undeserved courtesy to you, I did read your essay, and I have been trying to make you understand the critical flaw in your entire argument for several days now. This flaw is endemic of everything you write, including your own hate-filled screed above.

You start- from the very beginning- by assigning logically contradictory properties to some object. Then you show that those properties are contradictory. Obviously, this a feat that most people with motor skills would not find intellectually challenging. Furthermore, while this speaks volumes about the state and nature of the Abrahamic religions today, the nature of your own argument speaks volumes about your contempt and hatred for any kind of divinity at all. And this is where your pretense at logic fails you.

Let us study why this is so.

I have given you an object with two properties. The object is invisible, and it is a unicorn. One of these properties is a definite: the object is invisible. The other property is an abstract: the object is a unicorn.

Now, I have given you two properties of this object. You thus have three options. You may attempt to demonstrate that either of the two properties is illogical, or you may attempt to demonstrate that the two properties are incompatible.

Have at it!

9/15/2005 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

iotm, you are a legend in your own mind. Now run along and stop trolling for your blog that has no readership other than the spam programs.

9/15/2005 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I'm all for debate and intellectual parry, but IOTM is the not the one to carry that burden. Stopping terrorism on one hand, an evil Empire on the other, he seems to have his plate filled at the moment. For IOTM these are heady days, full of glorious contribution, I am sure. I worry his sacrifices may not leave much time to carry the water of dissent here at Belmont Club.

After all, he is only human, except when he's role-playing.

9/15/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


B-2? That is SO 2003!

Vandenberg Launches Minuteman III

This is an interesting little nugget: "... the 20th Air Force’s Airborne Launch Control System executed the launch aboard a U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury aircraft."

9/15/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse Clark said...

(Regarding Galloway's statement that there were no al-Qaeda in Iraq before the 2003 Iraq War.) His statement has some nagging discrepancies, such as Zarqawi's network and Abu Nidal, but that's beside the point. The flood of Iraq with al-Qaeda fighters, whether anticipated or not, is in fact a positive, because the short-term solution for terrorism is military action that will either kill or disrupt the terrorists. The more insurgents that flow into Iraq from Syria, Iran, etc., the more crowded the shooting gallery gets, and the more get taken down. Every al-Qaeda member engaged in combat in Iraq is too busy to mount strikes elsewhere and, given their casualty ratio, will never live to do so. Meanwhile, in accordance with the long-term solution to terrorism, which is to eliminate the political atmosphere that fosters it, Iraq is slowly developing into a country where the people have their own say. It's almost like a magic trick, where one hand distracts the eye from the movements of the other, which then produces the result you tried your best to see through, but knew was coming anyway.

9/15/2005 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

dan from cos
yeah those Christ followers in Darfur are just kickin' Mohammedan ass.
"...those darn pesky Christians just keep racking up the numbers..." yeah, of being victims of rape, relocated by force and murdered, that is.
In Somalia the Mohameddans are in control. Not the Christians.
While it may well be true that there are more and more Christians being converted, more and more Mohameddans are armed and ready for ethnic cleansing to commence.

Disregard what you will, as you wish, as the Christians turn their other cheek, the Mohameddans will be doing their best to take their heads.

A short visit to Darfur would set you right, but then I'm sure that where ever cos is, it is a long way away, from there.

9/15/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When Stalin is reputed to ask about the Pope's "Divisions", it is always taken as a sign that Stalin did not understand the Pope and the Church would outlast him.
Which it did.
It seems a shame, though, that at least 20 million people had to die, of unnatural causes, before the Soviet Union did.
Now a new threat emerges to the West, another newer religion... Mohammedism, the Imams and Mohameddans are derided and ridiculed for THEIR lack of Divisions.
As dan from cos and others bury their heads in the sand, secure in the knowledge that the Mohameddans would never kill entire peoples, would never commence a genocide, even though they already have.
Welcome to the Munich Syndrome, dan from cos.

9/15/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Iotm! You are a natural. Shakespeare style, kid.

THere is no problem with considering them one undifferentiated threat, because they basically are one. There is, of course, no other solution. Hopefully this initial volley will be followed by pure militarism - Damascus decapitation, something against Iran. I'd say Iran decapitation but for some reason they're "invulnerable." That, of course, is complete crap, but I don't have the logistical information to provide any even flippant analysis. You people, though, who continue to believe this terrorist threat is distinct in any important way from the Arab and Muslim world - which you refuse to look at, always - are just complete morons. Complete and utter freaking morons. Congratulations.

9/15/2005 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the numbers and profiles of the out country terrorists that were captured/ killed in the Tel Afar combat last week does not confirm or conform to your theory. The majority of those combatants were not Mohammed Atta's, no the reports are that they were young and inexperianced, trainees, so to speak.
The aQ terrorists migrating to Iraq are not the same ones that are part of the "International Threat" profle. Those fellows are already in Europe or here.

It is time to come to grips with Osama where ever he is, who ever is protecting him.
Porter Goss knows where he is, it is well passed time to get him.

9/15/2005 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the book, 1776, by David McCullough, his promotes the idea that if Washington had been killed or captured in New York, the Revolution and the Insurgency would have gone with him. That the Revolution lived in the person of Washington.
The Mahdi Wars are personified, on the Mohameddan side, by Osama. I do not believe that "another" would step into his shoes. They may well try, but Osama has been wearing them a long time, and the Legend is Large. Those shoes would be hard to fill
As would have Washington's.

9/15/2005 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ever wonder where the 50,000 men that were reported to have gone through the aQ/ Taliban training centers in Afghanistan went?
Did 50,000 men really train in those camps?
Are they waiting, at home, for the "Word"?
Why are they all not flooding to Iraq, turning the tide with their numbers?
Have they all been killed, or captured?
Inquiring minds.

9/15/2005 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...


All of the above?

9/15/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They could be at "home". If you think that Osama and his boys believe in, and work their plan. Their REAL push comes in '06 & '07.
We bleed in Iraq 'til then.
If there really were 50,000 trained combatants processed through those Afghan camps, their disposition is VERY important.
We know of at least a dozen or so US citizens that went through the Afghan "Course".
How many got there and back,
under the radar?

9/15/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

I can not vouch for the authenticity of this, I got it in an e-mail from a Jewish friend of mine. I suppose I should verify on google or something, but it looks authentic. The author must have been quite young at the time of the original publication. I have always thought he had something to do with the formation of Iraq out of the bones of the Ottoman empire.

This from one of the most potent purveyors of great thoughts on the planet, written in the days before political correctness ruled.

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”

—Sir Winston Churchill, from The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899).

9/15/2005 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the more things change, dave h, the more they stay the same.

9/15/2005 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bill Roggio comments on the situation in Samarra and Rhamadi.
The Iraqis are coming!
The Iraqis are coming!

He closes with this
"...The involvement of the Iraqi Army crucial to this effort as it shows the fence-sitters that government has the capacity to apply their own force, and the political will to use it. ..."

The Iraqi National Army has always been our end game gambit, it is to bad it took so long to mobilize it.

9/15/2005 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

The Great Debater cowers from a debate. Big surprise.

9/15/2005 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The Iraqis are coming!
The Iraqis are coming!"

- Desert Rat

Okay, how far are they, do you figure, from coming ON THEIR OWN? Not being sarcastic; truly wondering.

I read this yesterday at Back to Iraq 3.0, Christopher Allbritton's blog, in which he seeks to advise those considering freelance work in Iraq:


One option, however, is to embed with the U.S., British or other Coalition forces. You will be safe, relatively, and you’ll get to see parts of the country other than Baghdad — which is thick with journalists anyway. It’s an interesting experience, and I’ve found, in my experiences, the accusations of censorship — with one exception — to be grossly exaggerated. If you get a cool commander, he probably won’t give you any grief.


Oh, and forget about embedding with the Iraqi forces. The Ministries of Interior and Defense don’t allow this and they don’t operate independently of Coalition troops anyway. Also, they’re often so poorly trained and possibly infiltrated you would be in even more danger from the Iraqi troops than from random, street-level violence in Baghdad — which is why the Coalition and Iraqi ministries don’t allow embedding solely with Iraqis. A journalist killed or betrayed by the troops he’s supposed to be embedded with is very bad PR.


9/15/2005 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well I saw a unicorn, once.
Either that or a real skinny rhino.

Invisibility, now that is right out of HG Wells. I take it on faith that he never told a lie, or streched the truth. Really he was a forecaster of things to come, like J. Verne or that Nostradamus fellow.
So yes, there could be invisible unicorns, I have just have not seen one, yet.
Just like most of the other gods that mankind has worshipped through the ages, known to be, but yet unseen.

9/15/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd say that, ready or not, the ISF will be "large and in charge" by May or June '06
The US elections in November '06 and the exasperation of the Public with the lack of seen military progress will spur our withdrawal.
We will spin the December '05 Iraqi election as Victory for US, which it will have been.
Logistical support, trucks etc, will have to transferred from US stocks to Iraqi control.
A status of forces will be worked out, hopefully with US withdrawing to the desert, leaving Iraq and it's cities to it's own devices.

The REAL thought is what if Osama's published plan and timeline is accurate. As we are attempting to withdraw, from Iraq, those 50,000 trained Jihadists are unleashed in their "Home" countries. Iraq, KSA, Jordon, Turkey and Egypt in Arabia. Indonesia and the Philippines in the Pacific and across Europe. 2006 is to be the Year of the Mahdi, according to them. They will not strike here, in the US, until after the European Campaign is underway. We are targeted for late '07 & '08, in time to impact US Presidental elections.

9/15/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

desert rat,

The scenario of Al Qaeda shifting its scene of attacks to Europe and the US is an interesting one. It is contingent on two things: first the ability to deploy and maintain contact with those 50,000 jihadis; the ability to launch operations in their home countries.

Two observations. The more time passes between the Afghan days and the present, the more tenous their hold on those men becomes. They age, get fat, start businesses, get married. Second, they need to exercise those networks today and I don't see any sign of that. Consider London. The men they used in the bombings were dopes recruited from the local fish n' chips.

I don't deny that they'll try to carry out their timetable. I just wonder if they'll be able to.

9/15/2005 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Where'd you get the timeline, Rat? I've never seen it.

9/15/2005 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I recall reading - I think it was Scheuer - that of x fighters graduated out of the Afghan camps, a small percentage is trained as terrorist operatives. I would assume this is true today, in camps located elsewhere.

You don't need 50,000 to wreck havoc on a handful of nations. And at least some of your guys can be -will be - local "pick-ups" without extensive or any AQ training.

9/15/2005 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

it's been linked to a couple of times in the past, right here.
rick ballard or buddy larson, not sure which, posted it once.

Their warning order is pretty much in the public domain.

That is the challenge with all sleeper agents, atrophy.
And yes, in London the aQ had the advantage of in country insurgents, born in place, that were much more than "useful idiots". The got active particpents, riding their bow wave, that have never recieved instruction or funding from the "Source". Now that is a force multiplier.
The numbers of "active" agents required for a Worldwide campaign is limited , 9-11 needed all of 20, Madrid about the same.
If only 500 of the 50,000 are really available and ready, well, cry havoc!

9/15/2005 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


Bill roggio has the schedule of Mohammedan events listed at this site

7 phases

9/15/2005 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Thank you, Rat.

From USA Today:

Iraqis in Insurgency More Elusive
USA TODAY | September 13, 2005
WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence is struggling to expose elements of the insurgency in Iraq made up of former members of Saddam Hussein's regime, John Negroponte, the nation's intelligence chief, said in an interview Monday.

Joint U.S.-Iraqi military efforts have damaged the network of foreign insurgents led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, though Zarqawi himself remains at large, Negroponte said. Indigenous Iraqi insurgents, led by former members of Saddam's ruling Baath Party, have been tougher to track down.

The "former regime elements ... seem to have very good operational secrecy," Negroponte said in a wide-ranging interview with USA TODAY reporters. "And thus far it's not been that easy to make a dent in that part of the insurgency."

Though foreign fighters, mainly Sunni Muslim Arabs from Syria and Saudi Arabia, have grabbed headlines with suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Iraqis, Negroponte said Iraqis dominate the insurgency. Despite intense focus on Iraq, where 138,000 U.S. troops are deployed, U.S. intelligence has not been able to produce anything more than a "speculative" estimate of the insurgency's size, he said.

Based on everything he has seen, Negroponte said, the insurgency is neither gaining strength nor weakening appreciably. The insurgency's stubborn resistance to U.S. and Iraqi military efforts has complicated the development of a democracy.


9/15/2005 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

But Cordesman said that what commanders are seeing in Iraq is less fighters from ME countries than from...Africa.

9/15/2005 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

If Osama has people in place to do a major worldwide strike, he will just be inviting major, worldwide retribution on his religion, at least his version of Islam.

9/15/2005 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Africa, where dan from cos assures me Christian conversions will stem the Mohammedan tide.

Except it seems in Darfur.

Back on 2 Aug W posted comments made by "...General Jack Keane, the former vice chief of the Army has apparently ... he has said at a luncheon yesterday that U.S. forces had either captured or killed some 50,000 insurgents so far this year. ..."

Figure that half of those are going thru the catch and release cycle that LTC Kurilla's assailant survived. It still means that 25,000 KIA are not slowing the Insurgents down. The low number of out country fighters in detention means the Iraqi Insurgency is substantially home grown.

9/15/2005 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Why would he believe that?

After Madrid?
There was no retribution, in fact, capitulation.
After London...none
After 9-11 he achieved his goals of tying down the US in a long and costly conflict.

Where are we going to retaliate? Warzistan. That is certainly a target rich enviorment, if ever there was one.

Destroy Mecca? Bomb the Rock?
Not likely.
Clean out the Mohammedan ghettos of Europe? Possible, but unlikely.

Osama is a long way from London, Paris and Rome.
If we know where Osama is, and Goss says we do, there is no excuse for inaction.

9/15/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Goal is to isolate the US from it's traditional allies, while at the same time crippling our economy with the Oil weapon.
He has described oil as their "Nuke".

In '06 & '07 we may see just how good oil production infrastructure and pipeline security is or is not in Panama, Mexico, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey & KSA.

Remember the intermediate Goal is to topple the Governments of Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and KSA. If Assad tumbles in Syria, see doug's first post link, then Syria jumps to the head of the line. Both for Osama and Saddam's Baathists looking for a new home.

9/15/2005 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Al-Qaeda's operatives now dominate the ideologues:

Ajai Sahni, an Indian scholar, wrote in March 2004 that "the Islamist terrorist agenda is more inflexible than most of us imagine, and its ends are defined, not in terms of the transient political parameters of the discourse of international relations, but by a perspective rooted in religious absolutisms that will endure long after the reverberations of the crises of transition in Afghanistan or in Iraq have come to an end."

Meanwhile the crises in Afghanistan and Iraq are far from ending, and could be prolonged. The operatives do not possess the same endurance as the ideologues, but their strategy currently dominates the ideology.

9/15/2005 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Has anyone ever hazarded a guess as to how many Iraqis went through the camps?
...don't think I've ever heard mention of it.

9/15/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

7/7 bomber's video blames Blair policy:

The deputy chief editor of al-Jazeera, Ayman Gaballah, said the Qatar based channel received the tape yesterday by means it would not discuss. The tape was 15 minutes long and contained several clips of fighting in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

Scotland Yard said it would study the tape

9/15/2005 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I do not know of any numbers of those released through the Iraqi justice system.

We released 1,000 in a day, during the Constitution negotiations.

In the Baghdad practice runs by the ISF, many people were swept up and detained, how many of those have been released, only they could know.

The 82nd deployed some men, less than 1,000, I recall, as Guards for increased detention capacity.
That would put our current detention capacity at, a guesstimate, of 25,000 - 30,000. Up from the 18,000 we were housing in May.

9/15/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Or Iraqis through the Afghan training camps?
That question is way beyond my pay grade or extrapulation capacity.

9/15/2005 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I lose: It was the second.

9/15/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Goss may know the answer to that, doug, but I have not seen any data to figure a way to even guess.
I am not sure that 50,000 really were trained at those camps.
Assuming they were, where did they go?
Warzistan, are they assimulated into the 300,000 armed natives there?

9/15/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...


You've got it backwards. How many afhans went through the iraqi training camps?

9/15/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe they'll just assimilate wherever they can find someone like Galloway to vote for:
He will become the hero of jihadi co-option.
Here they could vote for the woman in Washington state that so appreciated Osama.
And that Georgia gal that hates this racist country so much.

9/15/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not the first time.

9/15/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Welcome to civil war:

Undeclared civil war in Iraq has been raging for months. Now it's "official": using the customary audio clip on a website, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - who may or may not be a cipher, but is certainly the leader of Monotheism and Holy War, or al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers - has declared "all-out war" on Iraqi Shi'ites.

Yet one more heavily hyped Pentagon/Baghdad production yielded no box office results - for obvious reasons. The Salafi jihadis, reportedly a couple of hundred, who were holed up in Tal Afar easily melted away, like the fish in Mao Zedong's pool of resistance.

"Zarqawi" - cipher or not cipher, performing or not performing miracles with just one leg and a US$25 million bounty on his head - has caused tremendous havoc since pledging allegiance to al-Qaeda in October 2004 , when his network adopted its current denomination, al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers (Tanzim al-Qaeda fi Bilad al-Rafidayn) and Osama bin Laden recognized him as the jihadi-in-chief in Iraq in a December 2004 audiotape.

9/15/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Afghans Through Iraqi Traing Camps

9/15/2005 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


It will be a civil war when the Kurds and Shi'ites start setting off bombs among civilians in Ramadi, or opening fire on the Sunni towns with the artillery which they possess. One could call it a civil war when they start mortaring Sunni pilgrims in Samarra or operating a closed city full of slaughterhouses and distributing the video on Al Jazeera. So far only the "militants" have done that; and the media think it is inspiring.

The US experienced a Civil War at first hand in the 1860s. Mannassas, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor. Whole cities were beseiged. Sherman marched from Atlanta to the Sea.

More recently there was a Civil War in Spain. People ate rats. Sometimes they ate people. Whole towns like Guernica were smashed. Thousands of priests were executed, nuns were raped. More thousands were executed summarily.

I think we will know a civil war when we see it.

9/15/2005 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

"I'd be looking for nuclear armed B-2's taking off for Diego Garcia to put them closer to Iran's nuclear facilities".

That was DONE, Long Ago!!!!

9/15/2005 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If 20,000+ Sunni Insurgent KIA does not count towards Civil War against the Iraqi National Government what does?

Are they at war with US or the new Government?
I tend to think they are at war with the newly elected Government and will be if we are there, or not.
Like the Earps at the OK Corral, you can tell there's a fight coming. The protagonists have told the town it's coming, then it does.

The Ratification Election count down is at 30 days, same timeline as proposed Samarra and Rhamadi cleansing, re:

9/15/2005 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Odd that what seems so repugnant in Wretchard's description of signs of civil war is so accepted and even admired in the fearless freedom fighting insurgies.
Whoda thought fighting (against) freedom would become a heroic quest?

9/15/2005 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Who will be riding the "Strong Horse" in Iraq, on 16 October.

9/15/2005 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not that drunken sod, my favorite Trotskyite, Chris Hitchens.

9/15/2005 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wouldn't a healthy Civil War require more than a 20k commitment?

9/15/2005 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Wretchard, Rat,

I agree there is no civil war. Just interesting what some people think 'though like this guy from Hong Kong so I throw it up on the board.

9/15/2005 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The participation levels in the Elections are key. If the Sunnis can shut down the new Constitution, setting up another round of prelim. elections in December, good for them, we win.
If they cannot stop the Ratification, but participate in December, good, we win.
If the Sunni vote as a block and lose in October and boycott December we'll have an indication that there are few political options left.

9/15/2005 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

Desert Rat,

Alwaays the strong horse! The U.S. Marines! :)

Semper Fe!

9/15/2005 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Never thought about a Mobile Darkroom in the midst of the Civil War!

9/15/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

More Iraqis Joining Zarqawi's Cause:

"They're going to be extremely disappointed when they fail, and they're going to believe this is the result of fraud and being cheated out of what they deserve," one of the U.S. officials said. "There's going to be some real ratcheting up of Sunni disaffection with the process."

The trial of Hussein, scheduled to begin next month, is also likely to add to a sense of victimization among Sunnis, analysts say.,0,6289555.story?coll=la-home-headlines

9/15/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Before I looked at the link. I thought it would be a lap top.
Wrong Civil War.

9/15/2005 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff Kouba said...

I can't help but watch debates like this and think something is wrong underneath the surface when people cheer someone like Galloway.

9/15/2005 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Ah, Wretchard, Rat, you foolish infidel fascists, if you have read iotm's "Proof" of the nonexistence of God (right next to his perpetual-motion machine schematics and free-energy machine) you would have realized that the fallacy of composition doesn't hold.

There is a civil war because there are obviously violent occasions; just like you can have a big family if all of the members are big, the episodic deployment of paramilitary tactics equates to a concerted effort of society-level violence.

Nah just kidding. Iotm's still an idiot.

9/15/2005 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Total US Population 31 million - 1860.

.Casualties In The Civil War .
At least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War, and some experts say the toll reached 700,000. The number that is most often quoted is 620,000. At any rate, these casualties exceed the nation's loss in all its other wars, from the Revolution through Vietnam.
The Union armies had from 2,500,000 to 2,750,000 men...

9/15/2005 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The current US Civil War involves lap dances.

9/15/2005 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I would say anything beyond a slap on the wrist would qualify Saddam for Sainthood in the Anals of Victimology.

9/15/2005 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

I Expected More From Bush, Cheney
By Ed Koch:

Some will say, “Koch, you are criticizing those you have told us to vote for.” Yes, that is true in this case. It harkens back to one of my rules when I was mayor. I said, “Government is not for my friends,” going on to explain that to be in my government, if you were a friend of mine, you had to be far better than other applicants for the job. I expected then and continue to expect now more from my friends.

I still admire, respect and support Colin Powell, President Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld for the positive, even great, contributions they have made to the U.S., particularly their courage in taking on international terrorism. But that should not and will not stop me from being critical when their actions or inactions merit a public rebuke. If that be disloyalty, so be it.

9/15/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here's a real pro-American Perspective:
Didn't realize we waged total war on Fallujah:
. Iraq Again: The Human Cost of the Assault on FallujahBy: Bahu VirupakshaPosted: Friday, December 03, 2004 on Discussion on History and PoliticsMessage Board: Politics
The American and their collabirating forces the British have declared Fallujah "Liberated". Dutifully the Western Media has reported this with all the usual claptrap of showing extreme "restraint" in the face of grave provocation from the "terrorists". I am sure decent law abiding citizens everywhere will be shocked to learn that in the two weeks of fighting that preceded the so called liberation, almost all the buildings in Fallujah have been destroyed. There is not a single mosque still standing in the city. This achievement of the Anglo_American forces is entirely due to the wanton and masssive use of air power on an undefended city. In fact, in toltal disregard to the norms of warfare, the USA and its collaboratinf forces used the dreaded Cluster bombs and bunker destroying bombs in specifically civillian targets. Even their hand picked "Prime Minister" Allawi, who claims to have given the "go ahead" signal for the assault has spoken of the unacceptable levels of civillian casualities. As usual, on international organization is being allowed to see the extent of Anglo American depradations in Fallujah.Credible reports from non Arab news sources state the children and women were not allowed to leave Fullajah once the fighting began. It is now estimated that nearly 15,000 people were destroyed in the battle for Fallujah and the streets are littered with dead and decaying corposes, hurting the sentiments of Arabs a great deal: Islam enjoins respectful burrial of the dead before decomposition of the body sets in.


9/15/2005 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Ever wonder where the 50,000 men that were reported to have gone through the aQ/ Taliban training centers in Afghanistan went?
Did 50,000 men really train in those camps?
Are they waiting, at home, for the "Word"?
Why are they all not flooding to Iraq, turning the tide with their numbers?
Have they all been killed, or captured?
Inquiring minds.

The number I heard was actually much larger, maybe twice that, but I can't remember for sure. In fact, however, a good portion of these men are already occupied, fighting in remote places such as the Phillipines, Kashmir, Chechnya, etc. Afghanistan was jihadi boot camp.

9/15/2005 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Today, doug, the Union Army has a strength of 1,500,000 Active & Reserve.

Comparative loses in Iraq, to US Civil War Union losses of 22%

Total Force would = 330,000 KIA
Deployed OIF Force would = 30,360 KIA

Actual Losses = under 2,100, to date = .0014% of Total Force or .015% of incountry deployed force.

find the Cost of Freedom
buried in the ground

9/15/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They could well have processed 100,000. I do not know the accurate number. If it is the higher number, the next question is how many are in their Force, Worldwide?
What is the real size, strength and probable disposition of the Mohammedan Mahdi Army.

9/15/2005 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Pre-election chaos erupts:

About 40 gunmen attacked a police post in the mountainous Char-Chilo district of Uruzgan province late Wednesday, provincial Gov. Jan Mohammed Khan said. Police killed three of the attackers and arrested one after a two-hour gun battle, he said. The others escaped.

There were no casualties among 20 police manning the checkpoint, Khan said.

Khan also blamed the Taliban for the killings of seven men whose bodies were found in the province Tuesday along with their voter ID cards.

9/15/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger hollymer said...

Just read your comment about Bush's UN speech...I agree that this is a leader still very much on target. He actually said that the US would lift all trade barriers if other countries would do so also. What a great leadership move. Imagine a world where sugar is grown by poor countries and not subsidized in North Dakota and Florida...

9/15/2005 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I must say that George Galloway looked like an idiot!

George Galloway picked the biggest megaphone in the world and so did his advisory. George Galloway assumed it was the '60s - but it was not. He sounded very rabid and stupid. Most people came away with the idea that George Galloway was Snake Oil Salesman - nothing more. Anybody who has been in the Western USA knows a Snake Oil Salesman when they see one (Los Angeles was a bad place for him to speak).

The rest of Mr. Galloway's analysis from other posters is on target.

Galloway is an aging bowel movement.

9/15/2005 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Short with overpowering Halitosis."
How tall is R. Redford?

The premier line of Socialist perfume produced in 21st Century Malibu will be "Redford's Revenge."

9/15/2005 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Heraclitus said...

Wretchard wrote:

"Consider London. The men they used in the bombings were dopes recruited from the local fish n' chips."

Interestingly, this bombing occurred the day after London won the Olympic Games venue in competition with Paris. It was also the 61st anniversary of the British bombing of the French town of Caen (the original British objective on D-Day 30 days before) which killed something like 5,000 French civilians.

I also thought Stalin had a deformed foot reminiscent of the cloven foot of the Devil?

They say after his wife, a long time communist, returned from the starvation of the Ukraine and bitterly berated him, Stalin shot her with his own hand.

As for Trotsky and his murder by ice axe in Mexico City, I'm reminded here of a handgun crime committed at 2:00 am on a street corner resulting in the death of one crack dealer by another, that is, the "good riddance" factor.

9/15/2005 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Fernand braudel writes:

I'd be looking for nuclear armed B-2's taking off for Diego Garcia to put them closer to Iran's nuclear facilities.

Unless there is a clear and present danger, no matter how much our "special friend" Israel demands a take-out, we won't do it. We have an unpopular President that now has even Republicans questioning his foreign and domestic leadership ability. We have spent 230 billion so far on Iraq, Bush wants between 250-300 billion for his post-Katrina Great Society programs, and he is still pushing the latest installment of his tax cuts for the wealthy - ending estate taxes on multimillionaires. Oil hovers at 70 a barrel and could go to 130-150 a barrel if oil production is shutdown in Iran.

You think Congress would authorize War on Iran? With nukes?

In your dreams.

9/15/2005 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

"If 20,000+ Sunni Insurgent KIA does not count towards Civil War against the Iraqi National Government what does?"

Fair enough, but by that definition Iraq would have been in Civil War during the 1980s and 1990s, when Saddam killed at least that many Shi'ites and Kurds, maybe more. I think Human Rights Watch or some such put the figure at 500K killed by Saddam.

The difference between Saddam and the current Iraqi government is that the transitional government, at least until this point, hasn't embarked on genocide or flooding out the Sunnis. The civilian targeting has been all on the insurgent side. Many of the 20K KIA have been combatants. The "Civil War" Zarqawi is praying for is the kind of mindless mutual extermination that transcends logic. I'm not saying getting there is impossible, but I don't think we're there yet.

9/15/2005 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

An Overview of U.S.-Israel Diplomacy: The Disengagement Deal on Paper:

On the eve of the unilateral Gaza withdrawal, Ariel Sharon explained his action to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot: “I`ve reached a deal with the Americans. I prefer a deal with the Americans to a deal with the Arabs.”

Sharon`s disengagement plan arose from several convictions: (1) unless Israel produced an alternative, the world would impose the Geneva Accord; (2) the Geneva Accord did not provide Israel defensible borders (and contained a “right of return,” purportedy limited, that would in practice de-legitimize Israel), and (3) Palestinian observance of such an agreement would be – to put it mildly – uncertain.

I. The First Promise

the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan.

II. The Second Promise

there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel`s security.

III. The Third Promise

Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism.

The Roadmap envisions a settlement negotiated between the parties based on [UN Resolutions] 242, 338, and 1397, that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and includes an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee issue.

Sharon`s deal was thus to exchange disengagement for the following American promises: (1) no political discussions with the Palestinians before they dismantle terrorist organizations and infrastructure; (2) no return to indefensible Auschwitz borders, but only to borders Israel can defend without reliance on Palestinian promises or third-party guarantees; and (3) American led efforts to insure Gaza does not threaten Israel.

9/15/2005 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish, 10:12 AM
You seem immerse yourself almost exclusively in literature critical to our policies.
(any particular reason WHY?)
I have come to the point where I don't try to rebut it all of point by point, because it becomes and exercise similar to "debating" MOTI, ie a pointless waste of time.
But I won't restrain myself from tossing in a few things that somehow get completely left out in the piece you quote:
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, Syria, Philippines, Indonesia, India, Lebanon, Libya, and etc. to include also wretchard's first comment on this thread.
Seems sufficient reason for our efforts, which being human endeavors, are forever flawed, but not always foolish.

9/15/2005 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

There's something more to it than mere Neocon madness.
Far as I can tell at least.
Were we energy independent, the calculus would be different, but something beyond homeland defense would still be called for.
...and the idea that Iraq is responsible for our deficiencies here at home is ludicrous at best.

9/15/2005 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad husker is not still commenting to give some up close examples of "Super Wealthy Rich" folks doing their duty and donating the family farm to DC for diveying up first to the DC crowd and friends, then the leavings for the welfare set and etc.

9/15/2005 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Was GWB just jogging around Crawford one day when he came up with this crazy War on Terror Idea?

9/15/2005 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Pakistan's economy turns the corner:

When Musharraf seized power in October 1999, Pakistan's external debt - a staggering $38 billion - to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio was over 60 percent, today it has come down to 37 percent, said Nadeem Naqvi, CEO of AKD securities, one of the brokerage houses.

"No doubt 9/11 has been the most critical factor in the restructuring of high-cost debts and a renewed inflow of new resources from donor countries, the World Bank and the ADB (for infrastructure projects), replacing the expansive with soft loans," said Naqvi.

One indicator of the renewed trust in the business environment is registration of 410 new public and private companies in IT, Telecom, and the Energy sector with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in August alone.

9/15/2005 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Doug, what is this concept of a 'War On Terror' that you speak of? It confuses and enrages us; the truth is much darker.

Ten thousand years ago in the dark forested mountains of evil Appalachia there was a terrible secret cabal of Secret Terror sworn to the secret magical arts of puppy-blending and kitten-killing. This was the first cabal of the Shriners, the forerunners to the great evil worshippers of Azahoth and the girl scouts.

In the hallowed halls of blood and mayhem, and terror, there arose the sound of many gavel blows as the great hall of murderous mayhem and fingerpuppetry filled with the evil assembly who shall be Assembled But Not Named. Oh, there was much drinking of the punch of Terror and bingo, of Darkness. Mini-cars were driven and much sorrow of Terror was sown.

Lest you forget the place and time so far away and long ago, every year the great puppeteers of public propriety deign feign ne designs to foist upon us by Those Who Are All Evil and The Evil Terror of All Terrors Who Shall Never Be Named, But Begins With An "I" and Ends With "srael."

And now you know the secret meaning of Christmas, of Terror.

This War On Terror is likely to go the way of the war on poverty and the War on Drugs (and the war on slavery and the war on piracy).

Foolish chickenhawks and their conspiracy-lite 'theories.'

9/16/2005 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

What we call Islam is a mirror in which we see ourselves:

Sitting in the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a metal arrow on the ceiling of my hotel room pointing to Mecca and the television showing a female news presenter in full hijab, I feel impelled to write about our troubles with Islam.

1 The fundamental problem is not just Islam but religion itself, which is superstition, false consciousness, the abrogation of reason.

2 The fundamental problem is not religion itself, but the particular religion of Islam. Islam, unlike western Christianity, does not allow the separation of church and state, religion and politics.

3 The problem is not Islam but Islamism. One of the world's great religions has been misrepresented by fanatics such as Osama bin Laden.

4 The nub of the problem is not religion, Islam or even Islamism, but a specific history of the Arabs. Among 22 members of the Arab League, none is a home-grown democracy.

5 We, not they, are the root of the problem. From the Crusades to Iraq, western imperialism, colonialism, Christian and post-Christian ideological hegemonism have themselves created this antipathy to western liberal democracy.

6 Whatever your view of the relative merits of the west and Islam, the most acute tension comes at the edges where they meet. It arises, in particular, from the direct, personal encounter of young, first- or second-generation Muslim immigrants with western, and especially European, secular modernity.,3604,1570236,00.html

9/16/2005 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Somebody finally makes some sense out of all this craziness.

9/16/2005 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You, and Sam, of course!
Onward Neocon Soldiers!

9/16/2005 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Doug --

Was GWB just jogging around Crawford one day when he came up with this crazy War on Terror Idea?

As good a place as any to hatch Bush's catchphrases.

Evildoers. Hero 1st Responders who Keep Us All Safe. Tax cuts will strengthen our war against the people that hate our freedoms. Free the women from their Burquas. Noble purple-fingered Sunni Iraqis. He gassed his own people!(showing utter ignorance of Iraq politics - Saddam was 1st loyal to the clan Tikriti, then to allied tribes, then to the Sunnis - everyone else was not "his own people" but actual or potential enemies")

Axis of evil. Vast stockpiles of WMDs. Stay the Course!! Freedom is messy. They really want to be secular democracies and we can spend our way into peace.

4 years into this and we still have slogans, no enemy named, insistence that the rich need more tax cuts, and a complete aversion to asking more than 1% of America to sacrifice for the WOT. No arabic, urdu, pashtun, farsi, and indonesian language schools established. No strategic communications established. America's borders open. Emergency planning a Potemkin Village of crony bureaucrats writing grandiose plans to one another, blowing 10s of billions doling out "counterterror" shiny new half million dollar fire engines to bumfuck towns all over the country, not having even a rudimentary center connecting towns, states, and Feds with reliable comms and decision-makers.

9/16/2005 01:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You're calling for Civil Defense:
That would be going backwards in time.
Plus it might not represent a sufficient commitment (In Dollars) to "Homeland Defense".
I'll leave foreign policy to other word warriors.

9/16/2005 02:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sensing and Son .

9/16/2005 02:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Steve’s grandfather, Col. (ret.) George D. Stephens, USA, is a World War II veteran who made eight combat amphibious assaults in the Pacific. Since those days he’s always had great respect for US Marines.
Lt. Col. Kuhn kindly dropped by our little family group after his short talk to the troops. Several families came to see their Marine off and I am pretty sure that the battalion commander spoke to every one. We had a good conversation for quite awhile. I told him what I had told my son the night before, that I was deeply envious of my son and his fellow Marines. Some people reach the end of their lives still wondering whether they ever made a positive difference in their country or the world. Marines don’t have that problem, and neither, of course, do soldiers, sailors, airmen or Coast Guardsmen.

My son and his fellows are producers of freedom, not mere consumers of it. And those who only consumed freedom will one night lie in their beds and think themselves accursed that they didn’t serve with them

9/16/2005 02:56:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Um, only the media and its enthralled audience members could give a rat's what the name is as long as we are the rights muslims and scaring the rest of the ones who aren't on our side. It isn't a conspiracy. A politician faces certain restrictions. We have taken over two muslim countries in four years.

However much the media and political oppoistion occasionally make use of the stupid indeterinacy of "the war on terror," only the truly stupid or psychotic solipsists don't Actually know what's happening here.


9/16/2005 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"You seem immerse yourself almost exclusively in literature critical to our policies.
(any particular reason WHY?)"

Because - gasp! - I am critical of our policies.

"I have come to the point where I don't try to rebut it all of point by point, because it becomes and exercise similar to 'debating' MOTI, ie a pointless waste of time."

Rebutting is not essential, in any way, to your assumed duties as BC's political officer, ideological hall monitor, and administration pom-pom girl.

9/16/2005 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The current Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, has claimed that there had been a Civil War in Iraq prior to US intervention.
Read it here on your site a day or so ago.
aristides quotes him as saying

"... In the new Iraq, there will be no victors, and no vanquished...

Thank you, America, for your dignity and courage. We fought together to end a civil war. There was a civil war, a civil war of Saddam Hussein against the people of Iraq. ..."

I would tend to agree with him. The body count during his term of office WAS indicitive of Civil War, even by those gruesome standards you describe from the past.

9/16/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

By Jalal Talabani's standard the US is already engaged in Iraq's Civil War. Has been from day one.

The lack of understanding on the part of the Public's is indicitive of the poor strategic communications by the Bush/ Blair administrations.

dan, there are many, many people in the US, about 60% now a days, that do not understand. They are ALL not truely stupid or psychotic solipsists.
They are people that NEED leadership and communication.
People that need and want understandable Goals and ways of attaining them.
A country like US cannot be led with winks and nods.
Much as some would like it to be, the US is not a Frat House and cannot, successfully, be run like one.

If the only Goal of the Global War on Terror is, as the President says, to make my Grandchildren safe, then we are fighting this War, today, on the WRONG Front.

9/16/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

6,000 unarmed invaders enter the US daily and Osama runs free.
The CIA Director, Porter Goss says he knows where Osama is.
Why is he still on the loose?
Why is he not besieged, by US?

How did a few hundred out country terrorist trainees in Tel Afar and the Euphrates River Valley become the focus of the GWoT.?
Even a few thousand, in all of Iraq, are not worth the BILLIONs we'll have to spend chasing them.

We are playing right out of Osama's book and into his hands.

Why not Osama, we know where he is.

9/16/2005 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In a WSJ article

WSJ w/ President Talabani

he says a number of interesting things.
"... Mr. Talabani also singled out another of Iraq's leaders, the oft-criticized Ahmed Chalabi. "Among civilians, Dr. Chalabi especially has been active in preventing war between Sunnis and Shiites," he said. ..."

"...but the Sunnis are divided into small, often tribal groups: "Saddam didn't permit any kind of Sunni leadership to emerge." Right now, he said, the Sunnis need assurance that the government can protect them, as in the current joint U.S.-Iraqi offensive against the insurgents in Tal Afar.
Up to now, he said, the anti-insurgent offensives in the Sunni Triangle essentially have amounted to a policy of "liberate and leave." This time with Tal Afar, they intend to stay: "We must keep some forces there or arm local people to defend their freedom." ..."

9/16/2005 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The article goes on to say

"...He acknowledged that Iraq's transition poses a challenge in the region:
"All Arab states are afraid of a democracy. A democratic Iraq with different nationalities--Kurds, Arabs Turkomen, Shiites, Sunnis--will inspire all the Middle East. The Sunnis of Saudi Arabia, the Kurds of Iran, Syria, Turkey--when they see this, it will inspire all of them. For that reason none in the Middle East is helpful in having a democratic Iraq." When he is asked to discuss Syria and the current terror inside Iraq, he declines to stay on the record. ..."

9/16/2005 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

sam said...
6 Whatever your view of the relative merits of the west and Islam, the most acute tension comes at the edges where they meet. It arises, in particular, from the direct, personal encounter of young, first- or second-generation Muslim immigrants with western, and especially European, secular modernity.
the problem with this analysis is that there is instability on all of Islam's boundaries without exception. Consider China India Indoniesia, Phillipines Thailand, Etheopia, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Nigeria, Chad and all the states in central asia. There's just no place in the world where the Moslem coexist peacefully with their neighbors and it doesn't matter whether they are top dog, middle dog or underdog.

9/16/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

Trish: your 5.13 post is the most offensive I've seen from you. Just because you read causality backwards does not mean others may not point it out (and should be subjected to puerile insults for doing so).

9/16/2005 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

From previous thread:

trackersmurf said...
By the way, I don't know if you guys saw the Col McMasters statements to Stars and Stripes...

U.S. troops find chemical weapon in Tal Afar stronghold
U.S. commander derides enemy’s ‘unscrupulous’ actions

By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Thursday, September 15, 2005

ARLINGTON, Va. — While taking down the insurgent stronghold of Tal Afar, U.S. troops discovered a crude chemical weapon, the commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment said Tuesday.

The troops had just entered a building when their ears and throats started to burn, said Army Col. H.R. McMaster in a briefing to reporters.

U.S. forces determined insurgents had rigged the chemicals to explosives, McMaster said, though he did not identify the type of chemical.

“We evacuated the civilians from the area and we demolished that building without a hazard to the people,” McMaster said.

He said several families were living near the building, suggesting insurgents intended to detonate the chemical weapon to harm them and blame it on coalition forces, he said.

Also the good Colonel is the one who kicked off the 73 Easting engagement back in Desert Storm back when he commanded Eagle Troop 2/2ACR....

It's fitting he's handling this now...

9/16/2005 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

But I don't think Doug is offended, ex-dem. I think he's flattered.

9/16/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Flattered, but not Flattened.

9/16/2005 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger dbsfacs said...

Galloway is a vicious anti-semite whose speaking style rivals Hitler. Some irony.

I was told that the Senate have the goods on his involvement in the oil-for-food scam and are just waiting for the right time to use the info. Hope it is soon but they are a bit busy just now.

9/16/2005 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

<---Insert Juan Cole Quote Here.--->

9/16/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

So Norm Coleman the Jew, won't let Galloway off Scot Free?

9/16/2005 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(Does a Celebratory Porn Porn Dance in his Kilt.)

9/16/2005 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

I am waiting for Mr Galloway, M.P., to say that Saddam "also built the motorways [autobahnen] that the Americans have now destroyed or rendered unsafe to travel."


9/16/2005 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sometimes even Scots Get the Jews.

9/16/2005 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Easily Flattered, (even by himself) enjoys Scotch Costard.

9/16/2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I have already given one imperative on this thread, so I might as well give another. Read Imperial Grunts by Robert Kaplan.

"The effort in Iraq, with its large-scale mobilization of troops and immense concentration of risk, could not be indicative of how the U.S. would act in the future. It was in Colombia where I was introduced to the tactics that the U.S. would employ to manage an unruly world."

A managerial Empire for a nation of MBA's. This highlights the folly of analyzing Iraq, and Vietnam for that matter, too broadly. As Kaplan says, the world is Injun Country, and our small bands of adventurous men are trying to mid-wife civilization and decency across the entire globe. I commented earlier that it is in the vanguard of the American imperium where you can find real true believers. Read this book and you will see the truth of that statement, and be proud.

Another point Kaplan makes is more worrisome. Colombian FARC and ELN are being supported by Chavez, and he has trained these terrorists to sabotage the Colombian oil pipe-line so the U.S. will be more dependent, and therefore more beholden, to Venezuelan oil. Chavez is also handing out Venezuelan ID cards to men from Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Chavez is Castro's protege, and it must be remembered that Castro, in 1967, began the era of international terrorism with a grand meeting of Leftist radicals in Havana, and afterwards became a type of centrale for terrorist leaders and funds. The agenda of the 1967 meeting was to destabilize democracies everywhere, thereby setting the stage for communist revolution. From this meeting of the terrorist minds sprang Europe's terror decade of the '70's which spilled over into the Middle East.

It is no secret that there is a common cause between the radical left and the radical right, what Claire Sterling referred to as Red and Black terrorism respectively. What is Chavez up to that we, as amateur analysts, cannot see? I'm afraid Chavez is planning to annex the choke-point of the American economy and thereby gain disproportionate influence and power, while retaining plausible deniability for the attacks. The tactic of blowing up Colombia's oil pipe-line could easily be transported to the Middle East, or Mexico, or even Canada, our number one supplier, leaving Chavez the arbiter of the price and supply of American oil, which would increase his influence immensely. A Castro with oil is a scary proposition, but an oil-rich Castro in control of U.S. supply, who wields terrorism freely and unapologetically, and unlike the real Castro young and still virile, is a serious national security threat, ripe for the Chinese to massage to their advantage.

I do hope we are not being blinded by the concentrated risk of Iraq. If we are to get out of this century still the leader of the free world, it is going to take the eternal vigilance of Americans, both military and civilian, to remain the former and preserve the latter.

9/16/2005 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

All that Chavez can do is to increase the cost of oil. He cannot stop the nations of the free world from obtaining oil. Understand that increasing the cost of oil will only bring alternative sources of energy online earlier. Chavez can only achieve an earlier date of bankruptcy for his country by attempting to choke off the oil supply of North America.

9/16/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

To be more specific:
'Rat has his criticisms, but he seems to back his arguments with reliable sources.
Folks that use Mr. and Mrs. Plame for sources and Jaun Cole don't qualify, imo.

9/16/2005 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt says
Take that C4, the brilliance and efficiencies of Stalinist Bureaucracies.
...that's how the Bannana Republic of Hawaii saves money in the monolithic Dept of "Education."
Then they let them go to H... while gobbling up 30c/kwh diesel fired e l e t r i c i t y.
Keepin Kids Cool.

9/16/2005 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pay your FEE, MA.

9/16/2005 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Banana" "electricity"

9/16/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And the American Left/MSM/Dems have so polarized things against the military/Bush, that obvious threats lack public support.

9/16/2005 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/16/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Stones Cry Out Calls Hugh: He wrote the plan!

9/16/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

You needn't be more specific, Doug. I understood you quite well the first time.

Stay vigilant, comrade. Stay on guard. Above all in your own mind. The enemy of the People, he seeks influence everywhere, but especially there.

9/16/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He wrote the plan, but still does not know how much a trailer costs:
They told him cost is no object.
(Of course not: It's YOUR Money!)
"During the summer of 2004, FEMA ran a disaster simulation exercise in which a fictional hurricane named Pam hit the New Orleans area. The purpose of the Pam simulation was to help FEMA and local authorities in hurricane-prone areas to prepare for future disasters."

9/16/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thank you Commander Cole.

9/16/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hugh's plan is simply give 100k voucher, or whatever trailers would cost (installed) to 300k families.

9/16/2005 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yoni says Al Queda is setting up office in Gaza, cost of AK-47's and ammo has gone down 60%, says he predicted Hamasistan months ago.

9/16/2005 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mitt Romney for President!
...calling for Mosques to be wiretapped.
Lawyers want Able Danger probe to be Private.

9/16/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Be careful shouting "Politics of Denial!"

Nearly ALL of America, now, is based on scoffing and denial, despite such denial being named specifically as "damnable heresy" in the Christian Holy Book! (IIPeter 2:1)

And Christians all across America have been taught by their clergy to "scoff and deny our lord who redeems us" has returned.

To be a Christian, today, requires (of necessity) the denial of the return of 'the righteousness that is Christ'; denial of Jesus' ability to KNOW that His words would point to 1844; denial of Jesus' purity of intent in choosing words which would, 3 times out of 3, come to fruition in 1844! (Matt 24:14, Luke 21:24, Matt 24:15)

And on top of THAT denial, massive chicanery is foisted on the people!

9/16/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

d'Rat: The CIA Director, Porter Goss says he knows where Osama is.
Why is he still on the loose?
Why is he not besieged, by US?

If they learned where he is, they can also learn who he is in contact with. The longer they observe, the more the network of contacts becomes visible.

9/16/2005 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Al Fin attempts to reassure:

All that Chavez can do is to increase the cost of oil.

Oh, it that all? Yeah, shortages and another dollar a gallon on the West Coast and idle refineries up Texas, Louisiana way are no big deal.

He cannot stop the nations of the free world from obtaining oil.

Of course. The "genius of the market" will rest in the hands of the big oil companies to contract the long-haul tankers that will replace short haul Venezuelan traffic - assuming we can contract the tankers China is not using, if any. The oil companies of course will suck up the extra costs so they don't affect the consumer, just as the oil firms are using their windfall profits on exploration to help find more cheap oil instead of putting it it safe real estate ventures. NOT!

Understand that increasing the cost of oil will only bring alternative sources of energy online earlier.

Earlier than the last energy crisis 30 years ago brought alternative sources of energy online earlier?

Chavez can only achieve an earlier date of bankruptcy for his country by attempting to choke off the oil supply of North America.

Oil has gone from under 30 dollars a barrel to almost 70 a barrel since Bush has been running the country. Chavex makes huge profits on any barrel he sells, even when he knocks price down to 50 a barrel for Lefty countries. The rise of China and it's ravenous natural resource hunger after America gutted it's industries, the sadly named WoT, means that Chavez is rolling in oil wealth and in no more danger of going bankrupt than Warren Buffet is.

9/16/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/16/2005 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

cedearford those that think as you do must live a miserable life. Do you look for the boogyman in everything you see?

PS. Speaking of high energy costs, it would be those that think as you do that would protest the loudest if Bush was proposing expanded drilling in Alaska or new nuke plant construction...sad

9/16/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I'd say that, ready or not, the ISF will be "large and in charge" by May or June '06

- desert rat

The Iraqis CAN operate independently. We do not want them to, however, because once they do we lose effective control over their actions and behavior. The trust and confidence is not there, so it is our policy to keep them joined with Coalition forces.

It is not simple competence, but rather trust that is absent. We do not wish to be associated with the battlefield crimes of others. This isn't the only issue of trust determining the policy, but a significant one. And it complicates both a withdrawal to the border and indefinite garrisoning there.

9/16/2005 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

This isn't unique to Iraq. It's the same in Afghanistan.

9/16/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What specifically is the concern in Afghanistan?
(easy to see in Iraq, not so easy for me, at least in Afghanistan.)

9/16/2005 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

C4, In Calif. last week's power outage in LA interrupted refinery operations, so they expect gasoline shortage! on the ragged edge!
Denial, Indeed, Carridine!

9/16/2005 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

The concern is that indigenous forces operating independently will likely or invariably do so in a manner that is grossly at odds with the accepted Western norms of war. We've seen (the administration and Pentagon have seen) the outrage over panties on the head and naked human pyramids. But these are truly, absolutely nothing compared to the unfettered inclinations of Arab and Afghan fighters. (Tough neighborhood; tough people.) Who wants these latter on the front page of Time or Newsweek, when we are there supporting those militaries and those governments?

9/16/2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But in Afghanistan wouldn't it just be against the enemy? (Taliban AQ)
ie No civil war concerns?
I would hope they would have free reign with the Taliban, but what do I know in this day of PC Rules Everywhere.

9/16/2005 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Put Time and Newsweek under command of Potus.

9/16/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

To ABC's Surprise, Katrina Victims Praise Bush and Blame Nagin.
. .
- Limbaugh

9/16/2005 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Voice of Katrina Victim

9/17/2005 01:57:00 AM  
Blogger pidgas said...

During the debate, Galloway brings up Juan Cole's "refutation" of Hitchen's "10 reasons" essay in the Weekly Standard. In the remarks that followed, Hitchen's comments (in a rather off the cuff fashion), that Juan Cole claims to speak Arabic and Farsi though he has "no experience" in the region.

Dr. Cole says has a rather convincing refutation of this assertion on his website. Of course, he can't help but narcissistically ascribe the "whisper campaign" regarding his credentials to an elaborate Karl Rove-type campaign.

9/17/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Yr. Fthfl. Svnt. said...

Quoth Willyshake:
"Wretchard takes Hitchens on his own terms--without knee-jerk cheerleading that is blind to the reality of Hitchens position. This is not only smart, but mature."

I agree. It is also honest, a trait I value.

9/18/2005 01:09:00 AM  

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