Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Storm clouds over Baghdad

Iraq the Model adds this eyewitness account of the hornet's nest stirred up by the Shi'ite mosque explosion. His bullet points are reproduced verbatim below.

  • President Talabani promises to make rebuilding the shrine his personal responsibility and to donate the required money from his own.
  • Head of the Sunni endowment sheikh Ahmed al-Samarra'I announces that he will allocate 2 billion dinars (~1.4 million $) for the rebuilding of the shrine from the treasury of the Sunni endowment.
  • Huge demonstrations in many of Iraq's provinces including Samarra and Mosul where thousands of people condemned the attack.
  • The top 4 Shia Ayatollahs hold a meeting at Sistani's home to discuss the situation.
  • The Association of Muslim scholars and the Islamic Party condemn the "criminal act".
  • Retaliatory attacks on reportedly 29 Sunni mosques and the Accord Front warns from the consequences of such violent reactions.
  • Jafari in a press conference calls for national unity and the leaders of the UIA hold a meeting. A press release is expected to come soon.
  • The Iraqi TV opened the phone lines to receive the reactions of the audience to the attack and hosts Sunni clerics and politicians in an attempt to relieve the tension.
  • Baghdad is in undeclared emergency situation, shops closed and streets nearly empty.
  • Tight security around the shrine of Abu Haneefa in Aazamiya district of Baghdad, this is considered the top shrine/mosque for Sunni Muslims in Iraq.
  • Masked gunmen attack Shia protestors in at least one neighborhood in western Baghdad and armed clashes in Ghazaliya and Hay al-A'amil.
  • People exchange phones calls with their relatives and friends to check on them and discourage them from leaving their homes.


Bill Roggio's appreciation of who the perps are is given below:

The likely culprit is al-Qaeda in Iraq, or groups underneath the newly created Mujahedeen Shura Council. Zarqawi has desired a sectarian war between Shiites and Sunnis since his entry into the conflict, as he clearly stated in his letter to Osama bin Laden. al-Qaeda in Iraq has gone to through great pains of late to deny this, and will very likely not take credit in such an overt attack on the Shiite faithful. Silence and uncertainly will play into their hand, and feed conspiracy theories on who committed such an act. But the nature of the target and the sophistication of such an attack undeniably points to al-Qaeda. The detained “commandos” will be thoroughly interrogated, and the FBI will likely be called in to determine the nature of the charges used to destroy the dome.


The good news is that there are enough cools heads on both sides to try to keep the lid on. That fact alone attests to the accomplishment of those who have tried to build a unitary Iraq. The bad news is that the pressures -- stoked by parties unknown, though Iraq the Model suggests they are "foreign terror groups" -- may be too much to handle. The description above depicts a city going into voluntary and involuntary lockdown and implies, to me at least, the average Joe doesn't want the streets to run with blood.

This is going to be a test for the security apparatus of Iraq. My own hunch is that they will need to identify the perps quickly and hunt them down so that Iraqi society can confidently repose the task of justice to the authorities. The problem will be if the perps are across some nearby border.


Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

Does this make it easier to attack Iran? If a link could be found to Iran, would that be sufficient to start a war?

2/22/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

W: The problem will be if the perps are across some nearby border.

Like Iran?

2/22/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mrs. Davis beat me to it.

2/22/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read a quote from one demonstrator saying that were waiting for the government to bring the perps to justice. Encouraging.

The danger is that the perps will escalate the violence in their efforts to provoke civil war.

It looks like Joe Iraqi wants the system to work but his patience is not unlimited.

2/22/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger luminary said...

'Only the dead have seen the end of war.' -- Homer

2/22/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

My own feeling is that no state will acknowledge this act. It's too explosive. But that doesn't mean one isn't involved and if there's a state sponsor -- and that's an "if" -- then some kind of unmistakable message may need to be delivered. Somebody upped the ante. Does one call and raise?

Here's where the value of being three years in Iraq, three years on the ground will come. At least there are assets on the ground, though how good remains to be seen. The Iraqi Sunnis and Shi'ite elders will have to come up with a determination of whodunnit. Then they are going have to select from a menu of unsavory choices, like being in the cafeteria from hell. What they don't want to do is strike out blindly because that's what the terrorists obviously want. Either that, or hold on tight and hope the whole thing blows ovre.

2/22/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

If indeed it is foudn to be a "foriegn terror group" and they can be proved to have foreign sate backing, directly or tacitly, this could be a plyed into a big plus/
If the people of Iraq can jointly see foreign terrorists as a threat, - as has been happening, as Sunni groups increasingly disagree with imported Jihadists - then the glue of nationality will well and truly be set.

If it is to be a "civil war" against foreign terrorists and their local supporters - then I can hardly think of anything better.

By the way, latest reports I see say 90 retalitory attacks on Sunni mosques.

2/22/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

What a dangerous but possibly brilliant exit strategy.

Open question - America to Iraqis: Which of you would like to be allied with U.S.?

I see that some Kurds in the back have a hand up. Anyone else want to be on the winning side?

Only two more? Thanks for the fish.

2/22/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


Terrorist politics is fundamentally a mortal to the Middle East. It has been their curse; it may be their death. None of the regimes and societies in the region can defeat it, though they hold the key to defeating it. But the organizing principle to fight terrorism must come from without, where notions of law and order are not yet wholly lost, and the idea of sectarian conflict is no longer in control. That means that the Middle East and Islam can only rid itself of terror with the aid of the United States.

It's a strange conclusion, but I think it's true. Personally I believe that Arabs and Muslims are not so different at heart from anyone else. They want to live, maybe in strange ways, but yes, they want to live. Is it possible to pull off a limited war on terror before the flames spread and consume everyone? That has always been the question and it has been posed in miniature in Iraq by the destruction of the mosque.

2/22/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

stay the course, doug

2/22/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My off topic comments on port security are on previous thread.
Also, Hewitt interview with Admiral is at Radioblogger.
Hewitt was not impressed.
I have a stomach ache.

2/22/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dershowitz up next on Hewitt.

2/22/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

If the free world were united on the concept of making Iraq and Iran 'free', we would see winning as simply hiking downhill back home.

The free world is divided, thus our aim is one where we are forced to walk up hill while being pelted by bird crap.

Iraqis and Iranians are in the same dilemma. I can see why an Iraqi or Iranian might lay low before putting their head on the line. Some have.

The free world, as we all know, does a disservice to those who are not free by cowing to the bullies.

Rightly or wrongly, we do not live in a time where soldiers are chopped up in a meat grinder by superiors who can say 'go now'. The free world has given up all effort. America is close to saying enough is enough.
In the US we talk about the split between Red and Blue State Americans. EUrope is all blue, Britain uncertain. We climb uphill by choice.

2/22/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Banished from Iraq to the Shi'a stronghold of Baghdad, the Glory of God made public His mission: the unity of humankind!

By explicitly rejecting this, the governments of Iraq and Iran have condemned their people to unmitigated suffering, unless and until they strive to accept the ONE-ness of the people around them: they'll find solutions for their suffering when they seek to celebrate their similarities instead of exploiting their differences!

2/22/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Are you suggesting a Glass Onion?

I told you about strawberry fields,
You know the place where nothing is real.
Well here's another place you can go,
Where everything flows.
Looking through the bent backed tulips,
To see how the other half live.
Looking through a glass onion.
I told you about the walrus and me-man,
You know that we're as close as can be-man.
Well here's another clue for you all,
The walrus was Paul.
Standing on the cast iron shore-yeah,
Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet-yeah.
Looking through a glass onion.
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.
Looking through a glass onion.

I told you about the fool on the hill,
I tell you man he living there still.
Well here's another place you can be,
Listen to me.
john: i buried paul
Fixing a hole in the ocean,
Trying to make a dove-tail joint-yeah.

2/22/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

I would think that Syria is a more likely site of origin for the perpetrators than Iran. I have a hard time believing the Iranian government (as important as their faith is to them) would allow incidents against fellow Shia in an attempt to destabilize Iraq.

2/22/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Strawberry Poppies Forever.

2/22/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Dubai-bai Love, dubai-bai sweet caress,
Hello loneliness, I think I'm agone
Everly Bros-(you're too young to remember, Doug)

2/22/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger garys said...

Anyone else notice that the MSM has already started chanting "Civil War, Civil War"? Not that they're biased or anything.

2/22/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

MSM/Dems have just gone nutz--yesterday it was all about releasing the Gitmo detainees (and trusting hostile Arabs), today it's all revoking the ports deal (and not trusting allied Arabs).

Reminds me of Kerry calling for more troops to be sent over, and bringing home the troops, both in the same speech.

2/22/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I'll take responsibility for bombing the mosque. It was farmers like myself that created the first surplus allowing the folks to grow leading to the axial age and the 'Great' religions and the unending nonsense to follow. Surely things were as well during the paleolithic great hunt--and the art was good too--those caves in France. These contending monotheisms may well explode the globe, in the year of our lord whomever. I apologize.

2/22/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Those cave paintings, by the Cro-Magnon, are so incredibly good that you have to wonder if we haven't been on the skids for a loooong time, hey?

2/22/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

The animal forms--forms of eternity--flowing into time as gift to us--so goood!--the first true temples in the history of the world. I read somewhere the Cro Magnons had bigger brains than ourselves on average. Devolution?

2/22/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

23 Al-Qaeda suspects escape from Political Security Prison:

The escape happened a day before the trial of top Al-Qaeda suspect Mohammed Hamdi Al-Ahdal and 14 suspects accused of involvement in terrorism operations in Yemen, especially the 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole.

This incident is expected to outrage the U.S. administration, which will be disappointed and likely inquire about security at the prison as well as in Yemen. The U.S. administration believes Yemen is Bin Laden’s ancestral home.

23 Al-Qaeda Suspects

2/22/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Yeh--the cave painters were 6' tall on average, and the result of pretty rigorous 'survival-of-the-fittest' conditions.

Debka is saying the mosque-eteers were a four-to-six man AQ team trained by Zarkawi.

2/22/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Sam, the same Debka page reports seven of those 23 have been recaptured.

2/22/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bill liked that Mummy 'cause she was tall.
He was a real Mosque eater himself, I guess.

2/22/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Washington was 6'4.
But he's dead.
And White.

2/22/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Washington refused to shake hands; his greeting was the bow. The next pres, and all since, have used the handshake.

2/22/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"(and not trusting allied Arabs). "
Neither do Gafney and Hewitt who worked on infiltration in Reagan Admin.
Likewise Ledeen, et al.

2/22/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Minh-Duc said...

Having been to Iraq and befriended many Shiites, I am very sympathetic to their cause. The concern that Iraq would become a hostile Iranian vassal state is nothing but hysteria. The Shiites in Iraq showed incredible restraint. Despite a thousand years of persecution, despite having witnessed their kins being murdered and raped by Saddam goons, despite numerous attacks on their places of worship, there is no reverse ethnic cleansing. It shows that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an anomoly, an exception, within Shiite Islam.

2/22/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

6:12 PM,
Bill had an alternate for special cirumci, er stances.

2/22/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

read this, too.

2/22/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Buddy, 7 re-captured, missed that info. Thanks for that.

2/22/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Have you listened to Hewitt interview of the Coast Guard Admiral yet?
There's an mp3 and transcript I think at Radioblogger.

"I guess the issue comes down to whether one concludes that the UAE is "demonstrably unreliable" as Michelle puts it, or whether they are "very, very solid partners" as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs says.
I can see how smart folks can disagree.
Hewitt and Gafney see it as a country w/plenty of Al Q and a infiltration risk.
Hewitt says they are Hiring UAE nationals, Admiral says Company, not Coast Guard does background checks.
...with proper controls and regulations, of course.

2/22/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I just listened to Tommy franks on FoxNews talking about his own experience with UAE--he puts them high, very high, as friends. The US Navy uses the port heavily--busier than any stateside naval base, and the USAF has a critical UAE airbase that is a huge complicating factor for Iran to deal with.

Additionally, just my own experience--UAW will be so hyper-careful careful with security, knowing the estakes and optics, that those six ports will probably be our safest.

UAE and USA have a tremendous amount of linked private enterprise links as well as deep, long diplomatic ties. If we can't win this war without Arab allies, who then will be our Arab allies?

If AQ wants to send a bomb thru our ports, I doubt seriously if what's holding them back is the fact that Dubai Ports has no operations contract with USA port authorities.

Meanwhile, we sh*t on a friend.

Yes, I know the record of origination of some of the 19. Taliban Johnny is from California, so? Really, Doug--this is villagers-with-pitchforks level stuff.

2/22/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Hah--meant UAE, not UAW. Frodo-ian slip.

2/22/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Don't count the Iraqis out yet. Sistani and company are openly meeting and talking. This may also nudge the elected fellas into actually making a "guvmint." Finally. I am under the impression that these guys like to sit around and chat and drink tea a LOT.

Thank gracious for Bush. Really, one has to agree with the religious folk: God put him here, and he is quite literally the only hope for a great many people, here in the West, and in the Middle East too.

Although. I think we will be totally exceptionally lucky if we get out of 2010 A.D. without a nuclear war...

And think... counterfactually... what if Al Gore were President of the USA??? Hmmmm?

2/22/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Of course, I could be dead wrong--AQ could've set the whole Dubai Ports contract up, and intends to bribe and/or blackmail a US Coast Guard command, using the proximity advantage. This would certainly put a wedge between USA and the Gulf States allies.

2/22/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, it's Hewitt, Gafney, Ledeen, etc.
At least they're educated villagers, w/national Security Credentials from Reagan Years.

Starling lives there, he's a believer, called the Union Connection before almost anyone.
Consensus is, it could well be politically DOA.
Who knows.

2/22/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Another thought: many people disagree that this is a "War" because, according to them, you have to have a "State" before you can have a "War." Otherwise, I guess, it is a "Raid."

I WISH people knew something of History. Like. The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) anyone?????

2/22/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How do you reconcile your contention that
"only an idiot would argue"

with the credentials of those that disagree?

2/22/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Watch for some of those credentialed critics to have second thoughts in the coming days. Dammit, everybody's gone hysterical in this world.

2/22/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

your 7:10...I don't know, Doug.

2/22/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's what's happening man, get on the peace train.

2/22/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

"It's a strange conclusion, but I think it's true. Personally I believe that Arabs and Muslims are not so different at heart from anyone else. They want to live, maybe in strange ways, but yes, they want to live. Is it possible to pull off a limited war on terror before the flames spread and consume everyone? That has always been the question and it has been posed in miniature in Iraq by the destruction of the mosque." Wretchard

There's a part of me, Wretchard, that wants to hope in that assessment. As a Christian humanist I certainly am a bit more opimistic about the human race, but not naively so as I was many years ago when I was a big supporter of Marxist Liberation Theology. However, the realist in me understands that, however much there may be Muslims who want to avoid an armageddon of their world and would be willing to change their violent outlook, their traditional writings are there to be picked up again by another generation of true believers in the mad, mad vision and rantings of a sociopathic 7th century demon. Thus, I believe the only acceptable outcome for the good of humanity is the eventual repudiation of that heresy from the desert. If you talk to converts from Islam to Christianity they all, without exception, exude a confidence in their newfound faith and a detestation of the religion of their upbringing. They all call Islam a fraud and a violent, misogynistic totalitarianism.

I fail to see any meaningful difference between Marxism and Islam. Both wish to dominate the world and impose an orthodoxy on the rest of us, by force if necessary. In fact, Islam is the stronger of the two ideologies and thus far, far more dangerous.

2/22/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I didn't mean 'idiot', I meant, well, here comes another Big Battle of the Demagogues, and just maybe Hewitt, Ledeen, et al are just disgusted at the poor presentation, and angry at the administration blundering.

Flip your question, and account for Tommy Franks and Condi Rice?

2/22/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seems a perfectly logical place at which to arrive, actually, given the trail of insanities and inanities leading up to this point.
Not to mention infinite perfidy and treachery fueled by the vilest of intentions and motivations.
Other than that...

2/22/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

My biggest port fear all along has been mob influence in the unions, and what a quick billion in gold could do. To lots and lots of people, of either US political party.

2/22/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

How many people 20 years ago would have believed possible the performances on foreign soil of Algore, Carter, and Clinton?

2/22/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The Alpha Male and his mad mad tale.

2/22/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

At least Algore is nuts.
That's somethin.

2/22/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger GCC Advancement said...


Rumors are that z-man is in Iran. If true, what does that tell us?

2/22/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think they sincerely are concerned about infiltration.
Listen to the interview.
Couldn't hurt.

2/22/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

To me the weirdest thing the Admiral said was that background checks are done by the company, not the coast guard, or whoever.
Gafney also.

2/22/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt was always a cheerleader, even for Harriet Myers.

2/22/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Time for a bike ride. Therapy, you know.

2/22/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Nothing's easy to figure anymore. Fog of war, global battlefield, mostly without gunpowder.

2/22/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bombs severely damage one of Iraq's most famous Shiite shrines:

Shiite leaders in surrounding countries, including Iran's most influential cleric body, the Qom Shiite Seminary, also responded quickly.

“Ayatollahs in Qom have condemned the explosion and announced one day of public mourning,” Hashem Hosseini, head of the seminary, told state-run television.

Bombs Severely Damage Shrine

2/22/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Up until now Al Qaeda's made the mistake of acknowledging their attacks, taking the majority of the blame squarely on their shoulders (at least for those Iraqis who aren't deluded enough to think it is the CIA/Israel/US/fill in the blank. It'll be interesting to see whether or not they've learned their lesson.

2/22/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Meanwhile, we sh*t on a friend.

"...this is villagers-with-pitchforks level stuff."

Amen, buddy.

2/22/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Rumors are that z-man is in Iran."


Funny, my bet was always Yemen. But he'll soon turn up dead in that vast expanse of haystacks in Pakistan.

2/22/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Thanks, Trish. The Gulf SDtates are thrown in solid with the allies--thet are allies. Dubai is building the world's tallest skyscraper, and all the Gulf States are heavily-invested in the US economy. The fear is that an Arab AQ sleeper cell could work into Dubai Ports, and, cripes, I guess there is a point there. But following the logic, most of the London Bombers were Brits, and a Brit company--that is currently operating the 6 ports--is what's being bought by Dubai Ports.

Cnooc took our rejection of the Unocal sale, and went straight to Iran, and got exclusive rights to an entire new oilfield.

I don't have any answers to any of this, other than things like our rejecting Dubai Ports undoubtedly thrills AQ and our other enemies in the world. Divide and conquer.

2/22/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

This is Iraq's 911. Thanks Osama. You screwed up again, old buddy.

The reason is that this is has become a shared national experience and it will unify people. Its something all people across tribal and religious grounds can empathize with and something leaders and people can rally around.

2/22/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


Or were you referring to Zarqawi?

2/22/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I agree completely, buddy, on all points.

Hopefully, Bush will stick his ground on this issue. But I already see a prediction (perhaps a lone prediction) at NRO that he'll back down. More's the shame.

2/22/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Amazing. Carter backs UAE seaport-operations deal. Handing Bush political poison is more important to Carter, a former US President, than national security. John Snow and Bob Dole should both be arrested.

2/22/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ian Wood said...

They blew up the Golden Dome over the tombs of the 10th and 11th Imams. The 11th Imam (Hasan al-Askari) was the father of the 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi...the same al-Mahdi whose whose Return Iranian President Ahmadinejad apparently thinks will be hastened by his acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The al-Askari mosque also houses a slightly smaller, more elaborately decorated domed shrine called Maqam Ghaybat, which was supposedly built over the cellar into which the Imam Mahdi disappeared before his occultation (hence his attribution, the "Hidden" Imam) in 873. As far as I can tell from photos, that dome is intact.

Does that mean anything? Maybe they just didn't have enough explosives.

But if, say, you answer to Iran, maybe you don't want to blow up the shrine where the Mahdi was last seen.

Incidentally - the al-Askari mosque is the same mosque that Marines stormed in Oct. 2004 because "insurgents" were launching attacks from it.

2/22/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/22/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

The next few days will be decisive. We are on the brink.

2/22/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/22/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

If Iraq plunges into civil war, we are going to see a massive reorientation of -isms.

The worst development, for the world, will be the ascendancy of American isolationism, and the death of American interventionism.

At the end of that road lies insanity (this was written in 1999):

It is to be hoped that in the wake of Kosovo, the realization that this kind of geo-strategic frivolity and ad hoc-ism, this resolve to act out of moral paradigms that now command the sympathy but do not yet command the deep allegiance of Western public opinion-at least not to the extent that people are willing to sacrifice in order to see that they are upheld-will no longer do [...]

The conclusion is inescapable. At the present time, only the West has both the power and, however intermittently, the readiness to act. And by the West, one really means the United States.

Those who argue, as George Kennan has done, that we overestimate ourselves when we believe we can right the wrongs of the world, must be listened to seriously. So should the views of principled isolationists. And those on what remains of the left who insist that the result of such a broad licensing of American power will be a further entrenchment of America's hegemony over the rest of the world are also unquestionably correct.

But the implications of not doing anything are equally clear. Those who fear American power are-this is absolutely certain-condemning other people to death [...]

However controversial it may be to say this, our choice at the millennium seems to boil down to imperialism or barbarism.

Reiff is not merely speaking about the barbarism of our enemies. Eric S. Raymond writes of where we're heading:

And this time, a West with a chauvinized America at its head would smite the Saracen with weapons that would destroy entire populations and fuse Mecca into glass. The horror of our victory would echo for a thousand years.

2/22/2006 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Luck running out for bin Laden and al Qaeda:

In its annual terrorism report, Aegis, which assesses global risks for governments and international companies, said the net was closing on the leaders of bin Laden's al Qaeda group.

The report also predicted Iran would back down in its dispute with the west over its nuclear ambitions with an agreement to allow it to use foreign-supplied enriched uranium for reactors, thus avoiding sanctions or any military action.

''They are going to take it as far as they can but they will step back,'' Armstrong said. ''It's only aggressive brinkmanship.''

Luck Running Out

2/22/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UAE: Think fine ports, airfields, the "STRAITS OF HORMUZ," Iran.

2/22/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The worst development, for the world, will be the ascendancy of American isolationism, and the death of American interventionism."

By what 'isolationist' party? The Democrats or the Republicans?

2/22/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

'Tis only a matter of faith that we can conquer and transform, right Aristides?

We only need faith.

2/22/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bud 5:20 PM,
I thought the Du Bai Brothers did that one.

2/22/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From Storm Clouds:
Starling David Hunter said...

Doug said: "you scooped every form of media by a week about Democrats getting religion on Port Security AFTER the unions started leaning on them! WSJ has an article, Limbaugh has increased security since being threatened, (not by Islamists, Unionists!) I'll see what links I can find."

Doug, thanks for the ringing endorsement of my Port Authority post. I am working on an update and so forward to any links you can uncover and pass along. We'd all be better off and better informed if the MSM weren't so easy to scoop ;-)

As with one of my Danish Boycott posts, the update will include some reactions of my MBA and undergrad students, all of whom are having a hard time understanding the resistance in some quarters to this deal. Part of my job this week was explaining them to that not everyone was opposed.

One rather humorous story I can pass along concerns one of my Palestinian students who wrote about this.

Like most of the kids here, she claims to bear no ill will against the US but definitely doesn't like Bush or the Republicans. Yesterday I happened upon her in the student lounge working on her blog entry. She asked me what was a "veto". I asked why she wanted to know and she told me Bush had said he would veto any attempt to block the sale. It seems she assumed he was putting the kabosh on it. (No, she didn't actually use that Yiddish term!)

When I explained to her that though Bush has yet to veto anything, I believed he would do so and help the deal go through, there was stunned silence. I could see the wheels turning...maybe Bush doesn't actually hate all Arabs.

2/22/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Mercy, that (Aristides link) Eric S. Raymond essay would make a wonderful gift to send to one's leftish and/or disinterested friends & family. Really a beautifully truthful piece of writing.

Doug, that band just mispelled their marketing slogan, "Do Buy Brothers".

2/22/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Funny detail:
When Limbaugh was reading the amounts the unions contributed they were... underwhelming.
5 k to Hillary
9 k to someone else
4 k to Senator Doaks
That wouldn't even be considered a tip by the NEA.
Course they aren't political, and there is no law against 10 million teachers volunteering part of their lives and their retirements to hire the non-political Union Leaders.

2/22/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, you of the particularly keen insight into the NEA -- please read the Raymond essay and consider whether the dumbing-down self-esteem movement in the government schools is really just an unfortunate accident, or not.

2/22/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Actually Starling's comment was from
"Disappointment in Samarra"

2/22/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cartoon Sparks Union Riots

2/22/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Lot More Port Stuff at Limbaugh Site

I told you last week, John Gambling, who is on WABC in New York, two hours prior to this program is, had Ann Compton of the White House press corps on during that whole Cheney kerfuffle, and he said, "Ann, what about this port story?"

She had no idea what it was. She had no idea what it was. All last week the media's marching orders were: "Screw Cheney! Get Cheney! Indict Cheney! Hope that Whittington dies. Make David Gregory the new pope of media, whatever," but this news has been out there long before the Cheney thing hit. I've been doing more research, folks, and I'm going to tell you much more than you probably know, maybe more than you will want to know about just how tentacled the United Arab Emirates already are in this country, and I'm also going to tell you the real reason that Chucky Schumer and Hillary Clinton oppose the deal, and it isn't national security.

They are simply trying to get themselves established as caring about it, because they know the last four years they've done a lousy job of making the American people think they have any interest in our national security. They've been out there trying to tell us we don't have any enemies, and all of a sudden we've got one, the United Arab Emirates, of all people.

That's what makes a (n Arabian) Horse Race.

2/22/2006 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Mansoor Ijaz:

Washington's bout with Islamophobia also ignores the reality of Dubai's future direction. A metropolis already, it is rapidly becoming the prototype city-state that could serve as an important example for the future in Muslim societies bedeviled by high unemployment, low literacy rates, bad trade policies, and authoritarian political structures. It is managed and led by a cadre of young, highly educated Arab and Muslim professionals who seek to transform the world's stereotype of Islam by developing and running businesses transparently, with integrity and with an increasingly democratic and accountable corporate culture.

2/22/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My views of DP World's takeover
(I don't think you're in his vision, Mika!)

I have a vision. I look to the future, 20, 30 years. I learnt that from my father, Shaikh Rashid. He is the true father of modern Dubai. I follow his example. He would rise early and go alone to watch what was happening on each of his projects. I do the same. I watch. I read faces. I take decisions and I move fast. Full throttle.

That is the attitude of business in Dubai. Setting a vision and fulfilling it till the end, with no room for slack. And I am sure that this will be the attitude of DP World when it starts its operations in USA.

2/22/2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Above by one of Starling's students, Nazia Moghul, a young woman who was raised in Dubai.
...guess they are a little more enlightened than the Taliban.

2/22/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...on women, if not Jews!

2/22/2006 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

It's sort of like ole Lawyer Whittington said, standing there before the mikes in front of that Corpus Christi, Texas, hospital, amazingly fit-looking considering the weight of over six hundred tons of lead cannonballs lodged inside his internal organs, "There will always be some level of risk in everything you do in life."

2/22/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

In the last year, Kuwait has voted in women's suffrage (and since women outnumber, it's permanent), and KSA has lifted its proscription against doing business with Israel. I'm no multiculti, but I applaud vigorously these hidebound old Arabs striving to liberalize their societies. Those two events are mighty, earthshaking, quakes in their place and time, and for us Amis--who've for generations been been proselytizing just such liberalizations--to ignore the events, or to forget about them because we're just careless, is not at all how we would want to be treated were the shoe on the other foot.

An "attaboy" is a powerful thing--and all it costs is attention.

2/22/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

from Aristides Raymond Link.

They got everything they wanted, huh, Bud?
How many operations have ever been so successful?
The schools have been Stalinist Tools for Decades.

"The most paranoid and xenophobic conservatives of the Cold War were, painful though this is to admit, the closest to the truth in estimating the magnitude and subtlety of Soviet subversion. Liberal anticommunists (like myself in the 1970s) thought we were being judicious and fair-minded when we dismissed half of the Right’s complaint as crude blather. We were wrong; the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss really were guilty, the Hollywood Ten really were Stalinist tools, and all of Joseph McCarthy’s rants about “Communists in the State Department” were essentially true. The Venona transcripts and other new material leave no room for reasonable doubt on this score.

While the espionage apparatus of the Soviet Union didn’t outlast it, their memetic weapons did. These memes are now coming near to crippling our culture’s response to Islamic terrorism.

2/22/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I heard Whittington was brain dead in some obscure Midwest Hospital, and that guy on TV was a double.
'Rat will know:
He's got sources in the Teetotalers w/Guns Gang.

2/22/2006 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

...and the deadliest memes are the psychological; the ones which have the characteristic of eliciting an opposing reaction that--if one doesn't keep the mind engaged with the heart--can make them prophetic.

2/22/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Re the "double" story--wonder how the moonies would like it if people started making up crazy things about their side of the aisle. You know, Pelosi and Reid getting caught en flagrante in that VW under the bay bridge.

2/22/2006 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

All 300 employees at that obscure hospital have been murdered to keep them quiet. And to keep the families from noticing, filled in by FBI doubles wearing masks.

2/22/2006 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pretty hard to keep the heart out of it when you've got kids.
Assuming you've still got some humanity left where the left left off.

2/22/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

A long assumption, in point of fact.

2/22/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Berkeley Barb had Pictures of that one.

2/22/2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

and that's how they start.

2/22/2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/22/2006 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/22/2006 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/22/2006 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/22/2006 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/22/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

My first thought was: there goes the Sistine Chapel. We're in the raw sewage worse than animal phase now; destruction backed up by thoughtful malevolence. The bill for the silence after the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas will get paid. It will get paid.

2/23/2006 01:55:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Oh Hearts and Bytes.

What a marvelous opportunity for a propaganda coup against the RoP.

If only we had a propaganda department that believed...

Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Because, as all management consultants know, if you need to remake a corporate culture, first you have to destroy it. Here's our opportunity.

An opportunity, sadly, to be lost. Nice guys come last.


2/23/2006 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

What propaganda coup are you talking about?

2/23/2006 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

That the RoP is a Religion of Evil.

Destabilise. Break apart. Bit of a fight. Last man standing is the winner. Shiite/Sunni - who cares?

Then put back in your image.

Now, if you want a good laugh, read this.

2/23/2006 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Seems like they're doing a pretty good job of that themselves.

2/23/2006 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

But only in Iraq right now. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

We have a global problem.

There's a cartoon there, somewhere.


2/23/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As ole Bob Marley was fond of saying
"Every ting gonna be alright, every ting gonna be alright."

Just take a real deep toke and
"Every ting gonna be alright."

Don't worry, be happy.

We're on Course and we're Stayin' it, come Hell or high water, or this sandbar we're grounded on.

Every ting gonna be alright

2/23/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Update from the Southern Front

" ... Ecuador declares state of emergency
By Hal Weitzman in Lima
Published: February 23 2006 01:47

Ecuador declared a state of emergency on Wednesday and sent in the military to quell unrest in one of its oil-rich Amazonian provinces after protests shut down the country’s two main pipelines.

The government action came in response to deteriorating public order in Napo province. On Monday, protesters occupied a facility owned by Petroecuador, the state oil company, forcing it to shut down its main pipeline and suspend exports. Hours after the company lifted force majeure and resumed production and exports, activists stormed a pumping station on the privately-operated OCP pipeline, forcing it to close.

Protesters clashed with security forces in Napo on Wednesday, where 24 pipeline workers were being held hostage ... "

Financial Times

The Iranians, Mr Chavez and his Marxist cronies at FARC, they have NOTHING to do with this either.

"Cause every ting gonna be alright"

Fire up that phat boy.

2/23/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ... Last August, demonstrators blew up pipelines with dynamite and vandalised pumping equipment, provoking Petroecuador, the state oil company, to suspend exports for two weeks and pushing US crude oil futures up $2 a barrel in New York.

Ecuador is South America’s fifth biggest oil producer and the region’s second biggest exporter of crude to the US. It normally produces 525,000 b/d, most of which is pumped through the OCP pipeline. ... "

2/23/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A thousand cuts, no single slice worthy of reaction.

In a "Long War" we'll bleed, a lot.

2/23/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Brits, with a large land Army couldn't silence the Americian Press. Thomas Paine and Ben Franklin, they wrote their storys and spun their Propaganda.
The NAZIs & Commies, they could get some "good" US Press on occasion, but the Press was never surpressed by either of them.
'til NOW.
The Mohammendans have cowered the American Press. Left, Center & Right.
We have never faced such a DEFEAT before. The US Government approves.

"Stay the Course" is now the Battle Cry of Freedom.
Which, if we were winning, would be a reasonable shout, but we've lost the free Press in Boston and elsewhere across the Land.

Look to Mr Lincoln, Mr President.
Fire your Generals and replace them. The current Officer Corps is not serving US, well.

2/23/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"no single slice worthy of reaction."
Hey, there was 9-11, I think, maybe.
Maybe it's all the Racist Bigots that supported Bush that make them angry.
The ones that prove what bigots they are whenever they disagree with "the course."
Why else would one disagree?
At least with Ike it was just a Golf Course.
I love it when conservatives play the race card.

2/23/2006 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In Nigeria, at least, the Christians have tired of turning their "other cheek"

"... ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) -- Revenge attacks against Muslims killed at least 20 people in the southeastern Nigerian city of Onitsha on Wednesday after days of anti-Christian violence killed dozens in the mainly Muslim north. ... "

My daddy, he told me long time 'go
"If you ain't winnin' you're losin'"

"But every ting gonna be alright"

2/23/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The US Government approves."
If not, you are an Islamophobic racist.
(but I suspected that all along, CAIR told me)

2/23/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How could 2 ex Presidents and the Current one be wrong about the 'toons?
Off with their heads!
Danes must Die!

2/23/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe Mika will know how that UAE company can find the Port of Haifa when it doesn't exist.
But if he doesn't care for the course, HE's the racist.

2/23/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

9-11, doug, that got a reaction all right.
Chased those Taliban guys out of their mud huts in Afghanistan, right into their mud huts in Pakistan or Iran.
Other than that, no great reaction from US.
aQ still exists, the Taliban still exists, the Wahabbist recruiting & education systems still exists.
No major change, there.
We have removed the greatest threat to the Saud's Kingdom, Saddam.
He is still at trial, as is Mr Milosovich, from Serbia. Five years he's been on Trial. That seems to drag on as well.

To whomever said that not catching those two Serb Generals gave proof that killing Osama was an unreasonable Goal. I say this'
Failure at one task does not excusr failure of another. Cascading Failures do not excuse themselves, sorry.

Serbia/ Kosovo, just another wxample of a US War left unfinished, stalemate is consider satisfactory as an outcome.
Perhaps such a Strategy was required against the Soviets. Time has marched on, though. It is time to stop fighting our last Enemy and begin fighting the "New" one.

New Blood in the US Leadership will be required, for new thinking.
Or the failures will continue to Cascade.

2/23/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bennett & Dershowitz on the Cartoons and The Free Press

2/23/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"So far as we can tell, a new, twin policy from the mainstream media has been promulgated:

(a) If a group is strong enough in its reaction to a story or caricature, the press will refrain from printing that story or caricature, and
(b) if the group is pandered to by the mainstream media, the media then will go through elaborate contortions and defenses to justify its abdication of duty. At bottom, this is an unacceptable form of not-so-benign bigotry, representing a higher expectation from Christians and Jews than from Muslims.

2/23/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"There should be no group or mob veto of a story that is in the public interest.

When we were attacked on Sept. 11, we knew the main reason for the attack was that Islamists hated our way of life, our virtues, our freedoms.

What we never imagined was that the free press -- an institution at the heart of those virtues and freedoms -- would be among the first to surrender."

2/23/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bill & Allen, you & I, doug.
We see it for what it is.
The defeat of Ameican Principles by the Enemy of Rational Civilization.
We are gettin' our ass kicked and the State Deptpartment and the President applaud.

The Skull & Bones, just who are those fellows in their "Secret Society" and what are their Goals. As real a Group as the Tri-Laterals, and in greater positions of Power in the Society.

Some may laugh, but they don't know Preppies. Like Mr Kerry & Mr Bush, two peas in a Fratboy pod.

2/23/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...all backed by the WSJ.
Business can do no wrong.
Trains must run on time.
Santorum is a racist.
Fascism is Freedom!

2/23/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/23/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The one on the right was the one on the left, and the one on the left was on the right...
It's a free-for-all.

The right has chosen the weapon of the left:
Villification of those who disagree.

2/23/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Look to Mr Lincoln, Mr President.
Fire your Generals..."

And promote your colonels! (95% of whom are at least smart enough to say, "Mmmmm, no thanks.")

2/23/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

My simple minded question is:
Why can't FBI or Coast Guard do background checks?
(it offends, is the answer, I'd bet)
Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement

"The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to court orders.
It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate U.S. government requests.
Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.

2/23/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish says stay the course on the ports.

2/23/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then we could begin to define the Challenge, trish.

Are todays colonels such wimps as to decline the Challenge and leave their Careers, 95% of them, really?

We'd have to find some Majors then, or bring in some new can do Blood from outside the Military Systems, untainted by Defensive thinking.
People conditioned to Win.

If it is as rotten as you think, trish.

2/23/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger vbwyrde said...

I wonder if the reason Al Qaeda wants a civil war in Iraq is in order to get the entire populace armed and dangerous so that they can then "suddenly" turn the entire war between Sunni and Shia into a flash war against "the occupiers"?

With the whole population up in arms I wonder how well our guys would do? Once chaos strikes I wouldn't want us caught in the middle, and I'm concerned that that's exactly what's about to happen as we try to "pacify" the situation instead of ramping up for a Fast Exit.

I wonder if that is the AQ strategy behind the formenting of civil war in Iraq? Quite clearly they don't care how many people get killed so long as they can get a propaganda victory and arm up more "youths" for suicide missions. I'm guessing that Al Qaeda wants nothing less than to trap our forces inside of Iraq and pit them against the entire combined population. No matter what happens after that, they get a win - think of the propaganda value. "Satan-America blows up school (ommitted: from which insurgents were shelling our forces on the retreat) killing 100 small innocent children who were sweetly singing little happy-songs and trying to study the Koran!" Propaganda Score!

And in the end, of course, they would simply claim that the US started the whole civil war covertly (unprovably but who cares?) in order to wipe out Iraq and steal the oil and crush Islam.

The Iranian President Aminthejohn is already making the claim that the 1200 year old mosque was blow up by America and the Zionists.

I don't like this setup. Throw an Iranian military expedition at the Gulf of Hormez to block it with the hulks of bombed out ships and you have a serious situation in terms of withdrawl. I'm not fond of these ideas, believe me, but they seem possible to me, so I thought I'd toss them out there for your consideration. I'm not trying to be a wet blanket - I'm trying to indicate that maybe our guys ought to think about this possibility and making some contingency plans around it, possibly.

Under the circumstances I would prepare our troops for either

1) A sudden departure under fire with contingencies for Hormez being blocked (overland escape), or,
2) A super-fortified desert encampment that gets airdrops of supplies... as in Cirlce those Wagons! And get ready to wait it out. Then get ready for a orderly retreat, or reinvasion to re-establish good old Law and Order.

What I don't want to see is us oodling along on the Diplomatic Track, and suddenly suprised at being surrounded by a sea of hostiles with movtovs, car bombs, and general chaos. That would be a definite Suck.

I hope, of course, as usual, I'm wrong. Nevertheless, Cassandra has spoken.

2/23/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

President's 'different standard' spin doesn't fly

Defending the proposed sale, Bush said Tuesday, "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a great British company."

OK, I will step up. Let's begin by noting that the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates are different countries, with different histories.

2/23/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, your link to WaPo--did you read the article?

WaPo is literally salivating, in every choice of words, to invoke some innuendo-ish scandalous something-or-other.

The down-column nut graf is that their interviewee--whom you can be dead certain is a WaPo 'friendly'--can't even say worse on record than that the US due-diligence "...wasn't lax but wasn't draconian either".

The 'secret' this and 'secret' that, means that nobody served the story on a platter to WaPo or AP.

Extract your head from your behind, please.

2/23/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Extract your head from your behind, please"
--- I said, a tactic of the left, as was your pitchfork comment.
So the WaPo is most likely full of it.
Why can't WE do background checks?

...and then why is Pinkerton's article also a head up my ass moment?

Why was the Taliban recognizable when Israel wasn't?

Those fine folks watch Al Jiz all day:
Is the WaPo worse than that?

2/23/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"Are todays colonels such wimps as to decline the Challenge and leave their Careers, 95% of them, really?"

Rat, if only the Challenge were purely military.

The politics is suffocating, soul-sucking. Been that way seemingly forever. Not quite as bad as it was before the war, but bad it is.

2/23/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

"I wonder if the reason Al Qaeda wants a civil war in Iraq is in order to get the entire populace armed and dangerous so that they can then "suddenly" turn the entire war between Sunni and Shia into a flash war against "the occupiers"?

2/23/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

And the captains and majors are jumping ship, rat, in goodly numbers.

2/23/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I dunno...I'm as shocked over the Port story as anyone. I just dislike the WaPo angle of attack, that's all. Gotta be the most intellectually dishonest rag in the country next to them others what are even worser.

2/23/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

And, to repeat, I really hate to see UAE get dung-flung. It hurts us, believe me, with the folks who are sticking their necks out to be on the allied side. The background story--that USA has been an unreliable ally in the past but that those days are over--goes back in full rotation.

2/23/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Did you read the 8:27 link?

I think we are on dangerous ground when POTUS plays the race card while he is defending a country that is "not free," recognized the Taliban, and does not recognize Israel.

I have nothing against doing business with them, but turning it into a black white issue is a destructive tactic.

...As Pinkerton says, use the SAME standards.
Instead the Admin has descended into character assasination of most of his base.

2/23/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Which of course suits Wapo and ilk just fine--this whole civilizational shift and the war spinning off it is, to the parochials of the WapO and ilk, nothing but a skirmishing fracas around the fight for the White House.

2/23/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's not the messenger, buddy.

I do not think it makes much difference who owns the stock in the Port Manager.
If there are spies amongst the UAE Management team at any Port, the FBI should catch 'em. They will be easy to watch, hiding in plain sight.
Is the UAE on the Enemies list?
Not Mr Bush's.
Not Mr Carter's
Not Mr Clinton's

They are on the Ally list.

The UAE also funds al-Jeezera.
Founded & Funded it, like Pakistan founded & funded the Taliban.
Like Pakistan it has no responsibilities for it's off spring. You remember Pakistan, our bestest ally.

Stay the Course, and pass the ammunition,
Stay the Course, and swing into Position.
... and We'll all go Home

2/23/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

"I wonder if the reason Al Qaeda wants a civil war in Iraq is in order to get the entire populace armed and dangerous so that they can then "suddenly" turn the entire war between Sunni and Shia into a flash war against "the occupiers"?

They want the war that so far we have refused to give them, that's all.

Any given "problem" in Iraq today is the direct result of our fastidious, meticulous obsession with "Collateral Damage" from the very start in the invasion of 2003. We were far more concerned about legally justifying the invasion and squeamishly avoiding civilian casualties than formulating a plan for the utter and complete and humiliating defeat of Islam.

This is an enemy that sooner (hopefully) rather than later (most probably) must experience the cold horror of the all-out war of anihilation that their diseased societies and amoral religion has brought upon them.

Any problem that Iraq is experiencing right now is absolutely mirrored by pre-World War 2 Japan and Germany. But not post-World War 2.

They "hope" to start a "civil war?" Funny, nobody tried to do that in Japan and Germany in 1946. I wonder why?

2/23/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The left is wrong, the WaPo is wrong, that does not make the admin right, or folks like James Glassman, who now freely label people like Santorum RACISTS
in his defense of Governments that are a tad less liberal than Santorum.
Why not condemn the conservative bashing at the same time you condemn "bashing" the UAE?

2/23/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

And for the record, trish's husband walks on water.

2/23/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Like Pakistan it has no responsibilities for it's off spring."
But Israel is 100% responsible for seeing that the
kum bay ya

2/23/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

Since when did the mass slaughter of Sunni Imans/terrorists become such a matter for alarm?

Terrorist attacks against muslims and their holy places - as opposed to civilized targets - by other muslims seems like a brilliant, outstanding idea!

I've written before that we should find a way to ENCOURAGE the annual Haj stampedes.

This is analogous to Nazi upon Nazi violence, or pre-War Japanese tribes massacring other tribes - the REAL question is how can you ENCOURAGE such things!!

A nuclear Iran would not be nearly as terrifying if you can figure out a way to encourage it to use its nukes against Syria or Pakistan.

2/23/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

It's time to correctly partition Iraq. Iraq should never have been Iraq in the first place.

Let's fix what the French and British screwed up in 1919 and give the Kurds the north (with their oil), the Shiites the center and south (with their oil) and the Sunni islamofascists the west (they can eat sand).

2/23/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

According to the WSJ, conservatives are wrong on the Border, wrong on Dubai, wrong on illegals.
Not to mention racist, isolationist, Islamophobes.
Good to be loved.

And as rat says, at one level, the ports are beside the point:

It's the honesty of the discourse that's taking it in the shorts. well as what this country used to stand for.

...knock Denmark for publishing 'toons, defend folks that don't have elections and their "right" to try to bankrupt Denmark in the name of Allah.

2/23/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's not da Plan, mon.
We got da Plan, we stickin' to da Plan.
No madder, mon, realidad, we stickin' to da Plan.

The real deal is that the President said that the Generals will recognize Victory in Iraq, when they see it.
Knowing Generals, there must be a Standard which to be Achieved.
Wonder what it is? It's a secret, though, the US Goal.

That's what Tony Roberts says guarentees Management success you know.
Keeping your Goals secret, from yourself and others.

That way, as you stumble lost, towards an unknown Goal, your friends cannot help, they don't know where you're trying to go.

2/23/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


I don't know whether you're coming from right field or left field but you're off the playing surface most of the time. Unceasing complaint and whining is tiresome no matter which side of the spectrum it comes from.

2/23/2006 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Rat, if only the Challenge were purely military."
How could LBJ micromanaging 'Nam be wrong, but Admin backing catch and release, civil rights for the enemy, wimpy ROE's, and et be right?

2/23/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It is not at all I that is unceasing, it is the News.
It is the Cascading defeats, not reporting of them that is tiresome.

From Pakistan to Iraq, Darfur through Algeria. Across the Atlantic to Cuba and Latin America, the News is not good.
The fault lies not with the Messenger, peterboston, but the Message.

Wake up, dear pb, the Mohammedans have Muzzled your Hometown Press.
The Boston Harbour no longer tastes of tea, that standard of Patriot must have moved on, long ago.

Post the good news. pb
Post the advances of our Forces
Link away, I'd love to see 'em.

Where the Mohammedans are rolling back,
where the Marxists are being defeated
where Freedom is on the March.

Where our Banners Fly High

not hide in the shadows, for fear of making people upset through the excercise of our Freedoms.

2/23/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, I don't even know who Glassman is, and I stay as far away as possible from the endless Santorum Controversy.

Marshall Blucher married his horse but that didn't help Napoleon any.

The old-fashioned values of pre-60s America strike me as a golden age, tho, if that is what the Santorum thing is all about.

2/23/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

What do you think of the Pinkerton piece?

2/23/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Alleged Al Qaeda response to the retreat from Somalia, 1994, as reprinted on's blog recently:

We congratulate you, ourselves, and all Muslims for that great victory in the land of Islamic Somalia....

I would have liked to write on this subject unemotionally and somewhat objectively, were in not for my overwhelming desire to kiss the heads and hands of all those who took part in this action....

General observations on the operation:
1. The Africa Corps did not enter the Somali arena with a clear vision, specifically a strategic vision, either militarily or politically.

2. Likewise, Americans did not enter the Somali arena with a clear vision of the objectives of its presence. Moreover, its vision of East Africa and the Horn of Africa failed to crystallize. I believe that the buffoon Clinton was motivated by election considerations and a personal inclination toward flamboyance, as if for a fleeting moment he believed the falsehood that he was the leader of the most powerful country in the world.

These are not just my words. Rather, this is the considered opinion of many inside America and abroad. What was the result? The result was that our amazing Corps was equal to America for the first time, but in a limited area —the area of darkness regarding a strategic vision. So how were our amazing Corps and its starving African Muslim allies able to be victorious over the greatest power in the world today?

... The Muslim victory in Somalia over the America has profound implications ideologically, politically, and psychologically that will require lengthy studies. You have the duty to record notes about these implications and keep them until it is time to study them in depth. Just the same, there is an important observation that we must not ignore, which is that the Americans were not defeated militarily in Somalia. Effective human and economic losses were not inflicted on them. All that happened was that the Somali battle revealed many of their psychological, political, and perhaps military weaknesses.

5. The Somali experience confirmed the spurious nature of American power and that it has not recovered from the Vietnam complex. It fears getting bogged down in a real war that would reveal its psychological collapse at the level of personnel and leadership. Since Vietnam America has been seeking easy battles that are completely guaranteed. It entered into a shameful series of adventures on the island of Grenada, then Panama, then bombing Libya, and then the Gulf War farce, which was the greatest military, political, and ideological swindle in history.

The outcomes were 100 percent guaranteed. Even so, the Americans brought with them forces from 30 countries to take the blows on their behalf, should events not turn out the way they were supposed to. In the end, the Arabs, the Europeans, and Japan paid the costs of the war, plus fees!

America wanted to continue this series of farces. It assumed that Somalia was an appropriate space for another ridiculous act. But the Muslims were there—so the great disaster occurred. They fled in panic before their true capabilities could be exposed.

6. In Mogadishu and Beirut, urban deterrence operations caused the American forces to flee in a shameful and humiliating manner. Doesn’t this demonstrate the importance of this type of warfare and the need to develop our warfare capabilities in terms of personnel, training syllabi, equipment being used, its level of technological advancement, development of security syllabi, development of security procedures, and training of competent elements for the security field.

2/23/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Golden Age insofar as individual ideals, of course. Not voting for economic depression, or Jim Crow.

2/23/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

My view is we should try to get along w/the ME as best as possible, but not at the expense of trashing our own values while turning a blind eye to their shortcomings.
...and certainly not calling folks racists because they dare to question

2/23/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

pb - it's Buchanan's got rat's tail. i had these debates daily until about a week ago when i couldn't stand the repetition any more. i can sympathize with some of his criticisms but the general atmosphere of collapsed morale indicates more than an analytical preoccupation.

2/23/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Where is the Pinkerton piece, Doug?

2/23/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I think people understand practical-security profiling. I know I would, if the terrorists were Scandinavian, and I as a result got the fish-eye.

2/23/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

My view is we should try to get along w/the ME as best as possible, but not at the expense of trashing our own values while turning a blind eye to their shortcomings.

...and certainly not calling folks racists because they dare to question
Do business with them, don't justify it dishonestly, and in the process trash our own.

...and take appropriate SAFEGAURDS rather than claiming they are no different than us, or Britain, or Australia.

There ports are valuable, their airfields are valueable, there friendship is valuable.
That doe not make THEM US.

2/23/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy, Pinkerton is the 8:27 link.

2/23/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy 9:33 AM that is Dershowitz's argument.
(which makes you both more upfront than GWB is re "profiling")

I never would have believed I would agree with him so much.
Did you read the Summers stuff?
He's been stellar on that imo.

2/23/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Buchananism, Ron Paulism, it's spreading--exactly asa predicted in that great Aristides link. Both ends of the spectrum want a general American Pull-Back, and both ends say that the reason the center is not on board is because the center just don't know nothin'. And if they're right, then they'll've been right, in that ole self-fulfilling prophecy way.

2/23/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

But that does not mean every disagreement is of a piece of that Buddy, anymore that arguing for an aggressive policy does not necessarily lead to
"War of Civilizations, and etc."

2/23/2006 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I get really tired of folks like Opotho that instantly jump from a disagreement to accusing you of lusting for Nuclear Holocaust. well as being a bigot.

2/23/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, you 9:36 is an argument for a due-diligence that IF abrogated is a deadly serious admin failure.

But from the cry-wolf dep't, the admin is going to be accused of due-dil failure no matter what, in any case, in every case. Objective is to turn out of office the object of all the belly-achin'. This is a fact--even tho the belly-achin' may sometimes have an element of truth to it.

Look, Bush, the admin, the generals, the war, none of it is going perfectly, but to say it is all a failure is to say you know what the world would look like right now under any other admin's leadership over the duration.

One thing's certain, the leader of the free world needs backing, or the free-world's enemies profit.

2/23/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The only way out, buddy, is to identify the Enemy and commence destroying it.
Otherwise, we will be coming Home.

Whether in Victory or Defeat will be open to debate, amongst US, but not others.

I begin to know how the Delta Force operators must have felt, on the eve of Operation Anaconda.
The Enemy is not camped on the valley floor, but dug in, on the mountains, in first class improvised fighting positions.

The reports of the Enemy's true disposition is not in accordance with the Battle Plan.
The first hand recon reports are discarded as "unreliable".
Yes, Delta Force operators, the "Best" we've got, are considered "unreliable".

Proceed according to Plan.

Discredit the Messenger, proceed as Planned.
Full Speed Ahead!
Damn the torpedos!

2/23/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yep - they could be right. And a more honest version of isolationism than the Left's.

2/23/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I agree Bud, but he can't keep claiming that his friends are no better than our enemies, and sometimes worse, as in damning people for having
"different standards."

That's one of Pinkerton's points.

2/23/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

Dan said...
pb - it's Buchanan's got rat's tail. i had these debates daily until about a week ago when i couldn't stand the repetition any more. i can sympathize with some of his criticisms but the general atmosphere of collapsed morale indicates more than an analytical preoccupation. indicates Rat's projection of his own personality.

2/23/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Not blind backing--but cynical insinuations of deliberate flim-flammery points precisely to the administration of crooks that the MoveOn crowd posits. I can't think of a better way to lose the war than for the right to pick up the meme. as far as the meme itself, the stats, the history, the record, all speak against it. the only thing speaking for it is, well, on the left side, soviet politics, and on the right side, impatience with the soft short-term goals that are needed in order to meet the hard long-term goals.

2/23/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/23/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...


OIF was bound to give an awful lot of people second thoughts, even buyer's remorse. (It certainly has the Pentagon.) There is nothing surprising about that.

But isolationism is hardly a popular political force to be reckoned with in the United States today.

2/23/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

Doug said...
I get really tired of folks like Opotho that instantly jump from a disagreement to accusing you of lusting for Nuclear Holocaust. well as being a bigot.

I'm no bigot

2/23/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Did you listen to the Hewitt interview with the Admiral yet?

It's the SPECIFICS that can be debated, the rest is mere bickering.

Who does the background checks is a specific for instance.
Hewitt asks good questions,
the answers are worth listening to.

2/23/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rat, it boils down to, do a billion Muslims give Uncle Sam any credit for his "measured" response?

I'd say that the number of terror incidents around the world point to a stasis at best in the enemy camp--meaning that the man-in-the-street (or at least the mid-level opinion-makers in Islam) are in fact appreciating Uncle Sam's "measured" response. You say, "if we ain't winning we're losing"--well, considering we hold 99.9% of the ground, and the governmewnts, and the institutions, and the finances, that your bromide goes times-ten for the enemy.

2/23/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The report also predicted Iran would back down in its dispute with the west over its nuclear ambitions with an agreement to allow it to use foreign-supplied enriched uranium for reactors, thus avoiding sanctions or any military action. "
What I wonder about that is how will we know it's not No Korea all over again?
Who will verify, and how?

2/23/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

read this, from somewhere up-thread, for a straw in the wind.

And Hugo must stand for election in December.

2/23/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Texas is about 5 min behind HI right now!

2/23/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/23/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So, buddy, the Enemy is holding only .01% of the Ground?
Is that in Boston, Washington or Paris?
Or all of them combined?

We hold the Ground and the People in the PA, Warizistan, Syria, Sudan, the list goes on and on?

How about Nigeria, the attacks on the Infrastructure, there.

If we hold, buddy, 99.09% of the Ground, it'd be "OVER, OVER THERE".

Fact is, we hold whereever our troops are, not much else.

Any news from Route Irish?

2/23/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

trish 10:05 AM
Agree to the extent that
"nativism", "xenophobia," "Islamophobia," "racism," "Isolationim," "Vigilantism," and etc have been shamelessly overused.

Sometimes folks just disagree.

2/23/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

These spontaneous attacks on Oil Industry infrastructure, around the World, they're just happenstance, aye, buddy?

Or part of a larger picture.
Not even a Regional picture, but a Global one?

Trouble is, we're not prepared, so we deny there is a Picture. It, like those Jihadi in Warizistan may just "fade away" like an old Polaroid image.

Not likely.

But when the King is in his skivvies, everyone should admit it.
It's well past time for a Royal refit.

2/23/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rat, "Fact is, we hold whereever our troops are, not much else."

But where can the anti-terrorist armies *not* go, where is ground denied?

Where can AQ build a capital?

2/23/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

It seems to me the debates here have become recriminative instead of constructive. "Stay the course" is used to insinuate, and "war" is used to deride. Vindication has become the highest ideal: ramparts are built to protect it, from which "told-ya-soes" are launched with reckless abandon. What is lost is any sense of movement.

Okay, so our democracy thesis may soon be falsified. What then? Is it enough for those who disagreed with it to gloat at our difficulties, deride our leaders, say "piss off" to the Iraqis, and light up a cigarette and make a toast to failure? Should they not take this opportunity to register their arguments, their prescriptions, and their advice?

Another question that goes unanswered here is whether the thesis has truly been falsified. Is engaging Islam in ideological warfare inherently abortive, doomed to fail? Or was the principle correct, and the execution a mistake?

Should we discard our goal of political revolution? Should we tweak it? Should we moderate it?

These are questions that remain unanswered. Of course, failure is far from a foregone conclusion, but for those who act as if it's already here, I think it is time to start thinking about the future.

2/23/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Warizistan, buddy, that is where the Capital of aQ is.
Where we fear to tread.

2/23/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Once again the super-intelligence of the blogosphere hands a potential enemy a key idea.

Swell guys.

The problem with the web is that the normal restraint people would feel in real life is swept away.

2/23/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

No, I fully agree the oil attacks globally are of a piece, and calculated to drive the price of crude up, so that the percentage drained off to the terrorists is nominally that much greater. But, how does a 'pull-back' put anything but an acceleration on that strategy?

2/23/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, guys, I'm to dense to know the secret red river refers to at 10:35 AM.
Now that it's out, can I know too?

2/23/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


There are still Nazis in Germany and Commies in Russia. Do we take out a classified ad so that we can surrender to them, or just nuke the planet and get 'em all?

2/23/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Red River,

I'm not being purposefully obtuse, and I remember your saying this in the past about discussing military plans for an Iranian invasion, but what in this threat has given a leg up to our enemy?

2/23/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

thread, not threat.

2/23/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was hoping you would be able to tell me, Aristedes! see above

2/23/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A pull back does not.
Only offense will.

But if offense is "impossible"
Then War is an insinuation, not a seies of Battle.
War, by other means, is something other than War.
It's Politics. I have not heard the debate, in Congress, on how we should affect the Politcal Outcomes in Iraq.
No, the Law is to "Support the Emergence of a Democratic Government".
We have achieved Success.

What NEW Goals should be set, by Law.
Congressional Act or by Presidental Order.
But let US see it, please.

If it cannot be Articulated, it cannot be Achieved, Guarenteed.

2/23/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Lincoln--altho by every metric winning, was on his way to losing the 1864 election to McClelland, the soldier's soldier, whose platform was a negotiated peace on the grounds that the costs had become unbearable.

Then Billy Sherman gave him Atlanta just in time to win the election and preserve the Union.

And yes it continued to be hell for the dogfaces for another year.

And yes that is truly regrettable, and yes it has truly stood those dogfaces in the highest honor for all time.

But I'm sure that meant little to moms and dads putting their 19 yr-olds into the ground. It is well and truly heartbeaking all around.

2/23/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If, pb, they CONTROLLED Germany, then yes, I would support a War against them, but they do not.

While the KGB controls Russia, today, we were never engaged in a "Hot" War with the Soviets, so no, I would not start one, today.

We will be entering a period, though, where the Russians will be siding with Iran, Hamas, et al in their Foreign Policy formulations.

They WILL provide Iran a nuclear Cover Story, and, very likely, a spot under the Russian Nuclear Umbrella.

2/23/2006 10:49:00 AM  

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