Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Crunch time again 2

Iraq the Model has this update on events:

March 29 -- People here are still urging politicians to get done with the negotiations and form a government and although they have given up the high hopes they had once of a government that can get all things right, they still hope that forming the permanent government can at least stop the deterioration in some critical aspects of life and prepare for putting things back on the right track again after the last few months that have been the roughest for Iraqis since Saddam was toppled.

Most of the debate in Baghdad today was about the alleged message from Bush to al-Hakeem telling him to replace Jafari with another candidate. The simple people I meet at work have made a simplified version o their own of this story that goes like this "Bush told the government that if they don't agree on a president, I will appoint that I choose"! This is followed by a "whatever, maybe this can put an end for this mess" which reminds me that we still believe in firm and direct orders from a boss thinking that one shout or frown from him would be enough to solve the dispute while negotiations seem boring and taking forever, something not unexpected with all the stress and frustration Iraqis have to deal with.

On the other hand the local media was more interested in yesterday's negotiations that were resumed after being suspended for one day after the raid on Sadr's militia. Anyway, the latest sessions seem to coincide with a call from Sistani to the leaders of the UIA to go back to the table and accelerate the process.

Bill Roggio writes in an email to say:

March 29 -- I think your post is pretty fair assessment of the situation in Baghdad and the political situation in general. If you haven't seen my post on the UIA, I think you'll see there is much we agree on. We are definitely at a 'crisis point' and the crisis is more political than military in nature. The attempt to remove or marginalize the Sadrs from the political process is now underway and the outcome is by no means certain.

The player to watch here is SCIRI (the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq). Muqtada al-Sadr has threatened Hakim, SCIRI's leader, as well as other members of the United Iraqi Alliance if Jaafari was not chosen as Prime Minister. It appears there is a real break between SCIRI's political wing and Iran (which is why Iran is throwing its weight behind Sadr.) SCIRI's Badr Brigades are said to be Iranian controlled, and may very well be, but the political party itself is not. They support Sistani, who leads the leads the Najaf school of Shia Islam, and opposes the Qom school which is based out of Iran. This is a major schism in Shiite Islam. Sistani opposes the Khoemeist brand of governance. SCIRI does not back Sadr, and will be the kingmaker here. SCIRI can cross the lines (and Fadihla will likely follow) and create the unity government. My opinion is the Army will back the unity government. The Iraqi Army has acted as an apolitical organization to date, and there is no indication this will change.

My estimation is the Iraqi Army should not be considered a militia or firmly under the political control of one party. I saw no evidence of this while in Iraq, and no convincing evidence of this from afar. I am of the mind the worst 'sectarian attacks' are being conducted by Sadr's Mahdi Army, al-Qaeda/insurgents, and rogue elements within the police force. al-Qaeda and the insurgency has a vested interest in discrediting the security services, and are conducting attacks that are designed to destroy the credibility of the institutions of the police and Army. We've found army/police ID cards & uniforms far too many times on raids for it to be a coincidence. The Army units are either partnered with US forces or have MITTs embedded, and it would be difficult for them to conduct sectarian attacks without U.S. forces being aware of their actions. I have no doubt there are rogue elements of the police forces (and bringing in some militia units into the police en masse was a big mistake.) The U.S. needs to get the equivalent of MITTs into the police forces ASAP.

On the operations north & west of Baghdad - one small correction, there have been 7 operations in 10 days. I do not think these were make-work operations to keep the Iraqi Army from conducting mischief in Baghdad, but legitimate counterinsurgency operations. The Iraqi forces have been working closely with Coalition units for some time now and are now putting their training to work and are beginning to take the initiative and lead in fighting the insurgency.

The center of gravity is definitely in Baghdad - the politicians, the militias, the Coalition, the media, are all concentrating their forces in the Capitol (for different reasons). As I stated last winter, the insurgency is moving back to the heartland of Iraq. This is not to say the insurgency isn't still being fought in provinces such as Anbar, but the insurgency realizes fighting in the sticks (or sands) is not having an impact on the political process. Outside of Baghdad the U.S. and Iraqi forces are essentially routing the insurgency. While the insurgents may still be able to plan roadside bombs or conduct sporadic small scale assaults, they are unable to prevent the rise of the influence of the Iraqi Security Forces and the establishment of local government and police forces. There have been no claims of "Islamic Republics" or "no-go zones" for some time, and cities such as Mosul, Tal Afar, Husaybah, Haditha and even Ramadi have made real progress in the past six months. The security and services in these cities are not perfect, but are a far cry from where they were one year ago.

Baghdad itself is a mess. I believe the rise in kidnappings and mass-murders in Baghdad is directly related to the insurgency relocating back to Baghdad. They are making a push to destroy the political process. The insurgency recognizes the police are the weak point (politically and physically) and are trying to exploit this. Sadr's actions are feeding into the destabilization of the security situation. For this reason he is being targeted.

You are correct: going after Sadr (and by default Iran) is a far thornier problem than dealing with the Sunni insurgency and al-Qaeda.


The Iraqi Army is apparently solid, in part because it operates in close partnership with US forces. The militias, while pesky, are probably not very capable in operational terms. The political aspects remain the most difficult, but they are not at an end, as Iraq the Model's post shows.

I'm somewhat  bemused by reports that Wretchard has gone "gloomy". I think it's important not to understate what the Coalition has achieved so far. It's been historic and probably unprecedented. But it's also important never to underrate the difficulties and to describe them as accurately as possible. Analysis should be persuasive on the basis of facts and reasoning and not on emotions.

Some time back there was a shift from the "insurgency" theme to the "civil war" theme. All the old names -- remember Fallujah? Tal Afar? Mosul? -- have gone to page 2. My guess is that we have gone into a new kind of game or endgame. It's important to recognize this. For some people it's always 2004 and everything is an undifferentiated soup, without phases and without developments. It's important to look at the new situation closely precisely because Act I may have ended and Act II Scene I about to begin.


Blogger Mike H. said...


3/29/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/29/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

Act I was the invasion, proper...

Act II was the expulsion/ suppression of AQIZ and co-option of Arab Sunnis...

Act III is the bleeding of the Shia militias via competitive recruitment, lancing blows and chronic disruption...

It is imperative that Iraq exports more crude. Each incremental barrel comes at the expense of Iran. THAT is how you weaken the mullahs.

Increased revenues make it possible for the government to out bid any of the militias for talent. It worked for Louis the XIV. It can work again.

3/29/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Laura Ingram on the radio just pointed out that there is no coverage at all of the fact that 1 MILLION Shia pilgrams in Iraq recently completed their pilgramage to their holy cities - and a total of 12 were killed. This is literally an order of magnitude less than a few years ago.

This also tends to confirm the belief that the focus is Baghdad.

We have been wondering about an Iraqi "Tet". This looks like it.
Or maybe each phase of the war will have its own Tet."

I think the most significant report from Iraq came a few weeks ago in a WSJ article from our "Iraq the Model" friend. He recounted a discussion with his father, who pointed out that the conflict would not just stop but had to be fought on for the foreseeable future, and that it was unreasonable for him to expect the Americans to solve what was a home-grown Iraqi problem.

3/29/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

The schwereplunkt of this campaign is increased Iraqi crude exports.

Such increases hobble the ambitions of the mullahs while funding Baghdad.

An extra 1,000,000 barrels per day would swing the tide.

An extra 2,500,000 barrels per day could displace Iran’s exports entirely.

Go against the wallet. It works.

Certainly that is how Iran intends to wage war.

3/29/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

terrorism is intolerable. Saddam's regime was intolerable. Everything else flows from those two truths, and the meaning of 'intolerable'.

3/29/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Maybe it's worth repeating that so long as the national army retains it's unit integrity these machinations are just background noise.

3/29/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

I wonder how much the Iranians are willing to spend, both cash and political capital, to win out here.

Obviously, a major withdrawal of US forces from the region helps their bargaining position when their nuke program reaches D-day.

This would be a great opportunity for the US to set up cointel operations on the Iranians. I doubt the US has the assets in place to do so, but I wouldn't mind a pleasant surprise.

3/29/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Evanston2 said...

Trish, re-read Wretchard's post. He points out that we've entered a different stage in establishing a new Iraq. This is the "short term" to which you refer. Beyond that will be another stage (near complete U.S. withdrawal to bases, only providing air, logistics, and medical support) and after that either total withdrawal or a limited presence along the lines of S. Korea or Europe. As Wretchard indicates, the military conflict is now over and the focus is political (internecine strikes within an Iraqi government context). This has clearly been developing since I toured Iraq in 2004. Get current and quit thinking you're being intelligent by pointing out that something is "short term." Pray tell, what actions can be sustained indefinitely in this finite universe?

3/29/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Iran to launch massive naval wargame titled "Holy Prophet" on March 31

Up to 500 vessels of all sizes will participate. This is but another example of how irrational the mullahs can act. Whatever the USN does not already know about Iran's naval capabilities will be put on a brightly lit stage to study at our leisure.

3/29/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

This can work in the short term. What happens when the posture must revert to the norm and Iraqi security forces go back to doing what they were doing before, which is freelancing?

You can create any future scenario you want. Why is this a more certain outcome than any other?

3/29/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The freelancers appear to be the minority. Roving bands of criminals can create mayhem but they do not determine outcomes. These criminal bands will eventually be eliminated.

The key for me is the integrity of the national army.

3/29/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

From wikipedia in full

" ... Adel Abdul Mahdi (Arabic: عادل عبد المهدى ) is one of the two current (February, 2006) Deputy Presidents of Iraq and a leading candidate for prime minister under the United Iraqi Alliance.

A Shia Muslim, Adel Abdul Mahdi is a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). He was formerly the Finance Minster in the Interim government.

He is a trained economist who left Iraq in 1969 for exile in France. He worked for French think tanks and edited magazines in French and Arabic. He was born in 1942. Adel Abdul Mahdi is also referred to as Adel Abd al'Mahdi, as well as other various derivations, this highlights the continual difficulties of transliteration from Arabic into English. ... "

From Forbes

" ... Mahdi was repeatedly jailed for this opposition activities in the 1960s, before the Iraqi government stripped him of his job and passport in 1969, a year after the Baath party took power, ushering in decades of dominance by Saddam.

Mahdi used his time in France to acquire degrees in politics and economics from French universities, eventually heading the French Institute for Islamic Studies think-tank and editing magazines in Arabic and French.

He also spent time in Iran, the former base of SCIRI, in which he served as the group's representative in the northern Iraqi province of Kurdistan from 1992-1996. ... "

3/29/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This fellow, Robert Dreyfuss, writes of meeting Mr Mahdi last November. Must say this about Mr Dreyfuss, he calls 'em like he sees 'em.

" ... Last week I had a chilling encounter with one of the monsters responsible for the Murder Inc. units run by Badr and by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). At a Washington think tank, I met Adel Abdul Mahdi, Iraq's so-called deputy president and a SCIRI official. When I asked Mahdi about reports that Iraqi police and interior ministry squads were carrying out assassinations and other illegal acts, he didn't deny it—but, he said, such acts were merely a reaction to the terrorism of the resistance. "There is terrorism on only one side," he said. "Inappropriate acts by the other side, by the police—this is something else. This is a reaction." As far as civilian casualties in Sunni towns, he had this to say: "You can't fight terrorism without attacking some popular areas."

I also asked him about the Badr Brigade, the Iranian-backed paramilitary force that is the main domestic army propping up Abdul Mahdi's Shiite coalition, he said "they are disarmed," which is patently absurd. He added: "They participate fully in the political process."

Abdul Mahdi had this to say about Fallujah, the city that was obliterated by the U.S. armed forces a year ago. "It is one of the most peaceful areas in Iraq. I don't know whether the people are happy or not. But it is one of the most peaceful cities."

Make no mistake. The gangsters now running Iraq are our creatures ... "

" ... The military in Iraq is scrambling to limit the damage from the stunning revelation about the men who are running Iraq today. We toppled Saddam—and in his place we've installed a hundred mini-Saddams. ... "

Who is Mr Mahdi?

Which is, more or less what Mr Rumsfeld said last week. That if we left, it'd be like reinstalling Saddam.
Seems like Mr Dreyfuss agrees, but does not think our presence is stopping them.

3/29/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


The MoD was talking uniforms not units. There is zero evidence of any renegade army units.

3/29/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

From 9 Mar 06
" ... Talabani was trying to force the hand of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the country's senior Shiite politician and head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
Abdul-Mahdi heads the Shiite parliamentary bloc loyal to al-Hakim.
A senior Shiite politician, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity nature of the information, said Abdul-Mahdi signed Talabani's presidential decree after U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad sought al-Hakim's intervention during a meeting Tuesday.
Political insiders now say al-Jaafari's candidacy depends on how the bloc loyal to al-Hakim and Abdul-Mahdi decides to vote. Al-Hakim and Abdul-Mahdi are widely said by politicians to oppose his nomination but have held back from outright opposition because they fear incurring the wrath of al-Sadr. ... "

So twenty days have passed since Parliment was called to order and dismissed.
No Palace Coup to date.

3/29/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

desert rat,

"Which is, more or less what Mr Rumsfeld said last week. That if we left, it'd be like reinstalling Saddam. Seems like Mr Dreyfuss agrees, but does not think our presence is stopping them."

What's murky and not even being glimpsed through the layers and layers of spin that surrounding Iraq, going back to memos about the No-Fly Zone, yellowcake and what have you, is what the game plan should be for winning the political war. For winning the end game. We are hung up over whether the "looting" of the antiquities museum in Baghdad happened and stuff like that. But just as there's been no acknowledgement of what has been gained, there is no appreciation of what is left to gain and no public discussion of the plan to gain it.

3/29/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Wretchard, if pols like Joe Liebermann were leading the discussion for the oppo party, the entire debate would be infinitely more productive. As it is, the oppo party leadership encourages the lowest debate at the lowest levels. And of course, gets it.

3/29/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I know rat will say it's the prez' fault--and maybe it is, but all I see is the impossible situation of a prez making the speeches as full of info as he can, and the oppo unfolding answers written before the speeches are even delivered, calling them 'lies' (whenever possible), and 'warmed-over repetition' (otherwise).

3/29/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

It is very simple for me. I do not care about the Shiite, the Sunni, and Sistani or for that matter any other Islamic tribe. I care about US Security, UK security and the preservation of western civilization. I personally feel that Islam is fatally flawed and un-redeemable. There is no military in the world that can do what the US can. I want to preserve it for battles worth fighting and to achieve US strategic interests. I despise the left. They are bankrupt of ideas and I do not want to feed their propaganda with another absurd war with no good result in sight. I do not believe Iraq is worthy of American blood and treasure. I prefer a Stonewall Jackson who knew when to fight and when to regroup. I am not interested in saving a failed political agenda. It was a worthy goal, but it is a failure and is not going to work.

3/29/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But buddy, Mr Reid, Kennedy and Ms Pelosi do not have a Goal for Iraq, nor a Plan for a War on Jihadists.
Lamentable perhaps but that should not deter Mr Bush and his team.
From formulating and promoting their Plan for the Future.
Perhaps it is a genetic "vision" thing, but I say that in just partial jest.

How is Victory defined and just who are we at War with, where?

These are basic questions that are answered, unerringly, as "you know" or "Everyone knows".

Believe it or not, everyone does not know.

3/29/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Office of the Vice President
March 29, 2006


11:45 A.M. EST

Q: So the Democrats now have a plan. They call it Real Security: The Democratic Plan to Protect America and Restore Our Leadership in the World. My question to you is, is there any difference in your mind between strategic withdrawal and retreat?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, and, frankly, that would be exactly what Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda types have been predicting and betting on all along -- it's the idea that if they kill enough Americans, they can force us to change our policy.

Q: You mentioned bin Laden who likes to talk about strong horse versus weak horse. He has predicted that the United States would become a weak horse. Are you saying that the Democrats, rather than as they have promised to do, to capture bin Laden, that they'd be giving in to him instead?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't think there's any question about that if you were to withdraw from Iraq. The al Qaeda presence there is significant.

Q: I've talked to a number of people who have been in Iraq. The same stories keep coming back, which is that Iraqis increasingly are taking responsibility for military and police actions. Do you think it's conceivable or even likely that by the end of this year, there will be fewer American troops on the ground in Iraq?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that's a possibility, but we've been very firm, Tony, in refusing to put a timetable on it. We talk about it in terms of conditions on the ground.

Vice President

3/29/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

......And another thing while we are tilting at windmills...the Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank and playing world chess Bobby Fischer style. The Soviets, (and that is what they are) are maximizing our discomfort wherever possible.We do not need a Dr. Pangloss as President.

3/29/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Cheney and Mr Snow believe Osama is in Iraq?
That to begin to withdraw from Iraq lessens the chance to capture Osama?

Is that what they said, or what?

3/29/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wretchard, the plan is so simple, it's shocking that it needs splaining to some people. Any 3rd grade child should've been able to grasp it.

It's a four legged stool. You must keep 3 legs secure while you fix the forth. Otherwise, the stool falls. (Pun intended).

leg 1 = Iraq
leg 2 = Iran
leg 3 = Saudia
leg 4 = Pakistan
stool = world economy

3/29/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

The conditions on the ground in Iraq should not be allowed to deter us from remaining focus on the WOT. It is the reason we went to Iraq.

We knew Afghanistan was the first phase and Iraq was the second. We achieved our objectives. Now it's time to let the indigs slug it out. Hopefully they will do so politically, which takes time and compromise. If they choose violence,which I predict they will, so be it. It's their choice - not ours.

I agree with peterboston that the Iraqi army is the key. And so far they have held. If we need to keep advisors there to prop them up, so be it. But let them do the heavy lifting when it comes to patrols & security.

As Jefferson stated correctly, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It holds true for all peoples, not just US.

They must earn their liberty. Only then will they hold on to it dearly.

On to Iran, Syria, Pakistan!

3/29/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

le rat needs the 20 year plan so he never runs out of opportunities to call it a failure.

3/29/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...


I don't think that's what they're saying. I think they're saying an early withdrawal would hand it over to Al-Qaeda.

3/29/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

I was wondering whether this war a parody. But it's a real live AP story.

"They spoke at a news conference at Union Station, near the Capitol, in front of banners reading "Real Security." They were flanked by some of the Democratic Party's top authorities on national security, including retired Gen. Wesley Clark and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

In the strategy, Democrats vowed to provide U.S. agents with the resources to "eliminate" Osama bin Laden and ensure a "responsible redeployment of U.S. forces" from
Iraq in 2006. They promised to rebuild the military, eliminate the United States' dependence on foreign oil by 2020 and implement the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission."

This, in some quarters at least, passes for strategy.

3/29/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


I suppose that you favor a withdrawal from Iraq at the earliest. Do correct any misapprehension.

Obviously, it is my opinion that we are there for the long haul. The G-d forsaken place is too strategically valuable to leave in the hands of the people this site has examined, today. That being the case, we might just have to take a lesson from the British in India: the coalition will provide leadership at the lowest acceptable level (?) and the Iraqis will supply the muscle. Ugly? – To be sure. Who knows, Iraqi units may develop the same affection and respect for their American handlers as has been our experience elsewhere.

3/29/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Show me the success, pb.
Link away.

Stay the Course with the new Iranian front man,
or the old front man.

Or back to Saddam, as Mr Rumsfeld says, the replacements we've installed are not improvements.

If that is success, in Boston, no wonder Teddy owns the place.

3/29/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Fact Sheet: Strategy for Victory: Freedom in Iraq

On March 29, 2006, President Bush Delivered Remarks At Freedom House And Discussed Critical Aspects Of Our Mission In Iraq. The President discussed the stakes in Iraq, our efforts to help the Iraqi people overcome past divisions and form a lasting democracy - and why it is vital to the security of the American people that we help them succeed.

Today, Iraqis Are Working To Resolve Tensions And Divisions That Saddam Hussein Aggravated Through Ethnic Cleansing And Sectarian Violence. The argument that Iraq was "stable" under Saddam - and stability is now in danger because we removed him - is wrong.

The Terrorists And Saddamists Are Failing To Stop Iraq's Democratic Progress. The enemy tried to stop the transfer of sovereignty...

Our Work In Iraq Is Difficult But Vital To Our Security. The terrorists know that when freedom sets root in Iraq, it will be a mortal blow to their aspirations to dominate the region and advance their hateful vision.

Fact Sheet

3/29/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Robert Kaplan Interview - Iraq

Mark Steyn Interview - Immigration

3/29/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yes, doug, from Mr Kaplan's piece

" ... But the occupation of Iraq is a civil military challenge. Even artillery officers—the most conventional kind of army officers who are trained for major combat and nothing else—have found out that most of what they're doing in Iraq is cultural and political, not military. ... "

3/29/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


The Kaplan interview is very interesting but describes a dangerous situation where captains and majors actually know more about policy then Senators. I'll trade you this link, "The Last Helicopter" from the WSJ, where "The Dr. Kissinger of Islam," Mr. Abbasi is doing the rounds of Teheran boasting that American policy consists of getting onto evacuation helicopters; that the current administration is an exception that will soon be put to rights:

But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's defiant rhetoric is based on a strategy known in Middle Eastern capitals as "waiting Bush out." "We are sure the U.S. will return to saner policies," says Manuchehr Motakki, Iran's new Foreign Minister.

When the last helicopter leaves New York where does it go? There's a question that can be answered in a soundbite.

3/29/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Based on that success, would you advise the Army to look at Mosul as a kind of model city, replicating the same tactics in Baghdad and elsewhere?

The U.S. military doesn't need advice from me. They're already doing this over their email networks. What I'm doing in this piece isn't teaching the military anything. I'm just reporting what they're learning and taking it to the general reader.

It's amazing how much and how fast first and second lieutenants and captains are learning on the ground. You have a generation of junior officers who are going to go back to staff colleges and enrich curricula like we've never seen before. Because they're going to go back knowing that most of what they were taught at war colleges was not useful in Iraq. Everything they needed to know in order to be successful, they had to learn by themselves.

Judging from your piece, the U.S. military has resorted to working within the tribal Iraqi system, at least for the time being.

Yes, it has. One thing about the U.S. military in Iraq is that it's non-ideological. Making statements in Washington about building democracy is one thing. But on the ground, officers are working with tribal leaders in Mosul and other places. They're going to democratic council meetings but then working behind their backs with the tribal leaders, because it's the only way to make progress. In a crucible of war, you toss out ideas that don't work. Everything is oriented toward what works.

3/29/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I saw that.
And some think they don't make plans based on what the media says here.
Quite a long list of folks waiting to see what happens.

3/29/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Wretchard, your "where will the last helicopter from New york go?" reminds me of Martin Niemoller's statement. A German Reverend, an early Nazi who saw thru it and fell away, and in 1945 said:

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

3/29/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I've seen Dreyfus interviewed on TV. He reminds me of that ex-Marine, ex-UN weapons-inspector, book-writer, and, it turned out on independent discovery, hired employee of some big Wahab--what was his name? Scott something or other.

Dreyfus definitely has an axe to grind, he's grinding it for somebady, and it ain't you and me.

3/29/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...


re: "captains and majors actually know more about policy then Senators."

As is so often the case, history may prove them to have known more than their senior military leadership as well.

3/29/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

One of the very important parts of the American system is that if "captains and majors actually know more about policy then Senators", this is a FAILING OF THE DOD!

If the DOD isn't sending these same captains, majors, and colonels to brief Senators (or, perhaps more importantly, their staff) they are failing. If the DOD is sending them 'round, then it is failing to express why it is important for the staffers to pay attention. Either way, for better or worse (I suspect better), the military is ultimately responsible to the civilians here.

I lost the thread of your posts somewhere. Is al'Mahdi an Iranian proxy? If so, do you think that's a bad thing?

In re:

"When the last helicopter leaves New York where does it go? There's a question that can be answered in a soundbite."

As the US has discovered, Power Projection is far more costly than Power Protection. I ain't real worried about the last helicopter leaving NY. When it can't land in Omaha, then there's a problem. Remember, when it comes down to it, there are still large areas of the country where gun ownership is still better than 1 per capita. If you think the Sunni Triangle was bad, try occupying the triangle defined by Nashville, TN; Dothan, AL; and Atlanta, GA. And I know for a fact that some of those ol' boys have surprises waiting for ANY government who tries to invade.

3/29/2006 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bush Wanted War:

There remains, though, the little matter of what was in Bush's gut -- not his head, mind you, but that elusive place where emotion resides. It was there, in the moments after 9/11, that Bush truly decided on war, maybe because Saddam had once tried to kill George H.W. Bush, maybe because the neocons had convinced him that a brief war in Iraq would have long-term salutary consequences for the entire Middle East, maybe because he could not abide the thought that a monster like Saddam might die in his sleep.

Whatever Bush's specific reason or reasons, the one thing that's so far missing from the record is proof of him looking for a genuine way out of war instead of looking for a way to get it started. Bush wanted war.

Bush Wanted War

3/29/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

brett l,


You have hit upon the problem!

For four years, I recall, the Air Force leadership (O6 and above) has been deeply embroiled in an existential crisis: what shall be the color of the latest, up-to-datest battle dress uniform (BDU)?

Four years ago, it was the blue and white “Tiger stripe ensemble (grrrh!!!) The USAF even had general officers field testing. Last year it was the pixilated “Tiger stripe battle dress (grrrrh!!!!). Last week (and this will be the last, they swear) the Air Force upper management put forth the pixilated, pied, futuristic BDU, with subdued tiger stripes (grrrrr!!!!!). Although ABSOLUTELY essential to the Air Force, say the powers that be, the latest prototype will not be ready for issue, sadly, until (hold your hat) 2010.

This will come as quite a shock, I know, but many company grade officers, having actually served time down-range instead of in the dehydrating desert of the Pentagon, thought the Army or USMC camouflaged BDU was just fine, thank you very much. Obviously, a distinguishing Air Force patch was preferred. That just goes to show what they know about service pride and loyalty.

I do believe that an anonymous poll of junior (E1 – O 5) Air Farce service members would show unambiguous laissez-faire. Most working stiffs would agree: if oversized egos can ever be assuaged, let the brass have beanies instead of scrunched hats. In fact, give them humongously large propellers on their beanies, if that will make them happy. Let generals have 14 carat gold propellers if that will make give them a sense of autonomy. Golly, if necessary, let colonels have sterling propellers. If a uniform can be had sooner than latter, order all junior ranks to spin plastic Air Force blue propellers. But, by all means, get on to something of consequence, like the war, perhaps.

3/30/2006 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

Pelosi, Reid push security agenda:

If Democrats win back the majority, they said, they would expand health care for active-duty troops, military retirees and veterans. Republicans yesterday were dismissive of Democrats' rhetoric.

"I'm surprised that after months of searching for an agenda, Democrats have finally rallied around the Republican plan for success in the war on terror," said first-term Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican.

Security Agenda

3/30/2006 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

Nice post, especially Rogio's explanations about SCIRI and Sadr. I've linked to you here:

3/30/2006 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT - Cartoons in Canada.
Dear Western Standard reader,
Our magazine has been sued for publishing the Danish cartoons, and I need your help to fight back!
As you know, the Western Standard was the only mainstream media organ in Canada to publish the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
We did so for a simple reason: the cartoons were the central fact in one of the largest news stories of the year, and we're a news magazine.
We publish the facts and we let our readers make up their minds.

Advertisers stood with us. Readers loved the fact that we treated them like grown-ups. And we earned the respect of many other journalists in Canada who envied our independence. In fact, according to a COMPAS poll last month, fully 70% of Canada's working journalists supported our decision to publish the cartoons.

But not Syed Soharwardy, a radical Calgary Muslim imam.
He asked the police to arrest me for publishing the cartoons. They calmly explained to him that's not what police in Canada do.
So then he went to a far less liberal institution than the police: the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Unlike the Calgary Police Service, they didn't have the common sense to show him the door.
Earlier this month, I received a copy of Soharwardy's rambling, hand-scrawled complaint. It is truly an embarrassing document. He briefly complains that we published the Danish cartoons.
But the bulk of his complaint is that we dared to try to justify it - that we dared to disagree with him.
Think about that:
In Soharwardy's view, not only should the Canadian media be banned from publishing the cartoons, but we should be banned from defending our right to publish them. Perhaps the Charter of Rights that guarantees our freedom of the press should be banned, too.

Soharwardy's complaint goes further than just the cartoons. It refers to news articles we published about Hamas, a group labelled a terrorist organization by the Canadian government. By including those other articles, he shows his real agenda: censoring any criticism of Muslim extremists.

Soharwardy's complaint should have been thrown out immediately by the Alberta Human Rights Commission, just like the police did. But it wasn't. Which is why I'm writing to you today.
According to our lawyers, we will win this case. It's an infantile complaint, without basis in facts or law. Frankly, it's an embarrassment to the government of Alberta that their tribunal is open to abuse like this.

Our lawyers tell us we're going to win. But not before we have to spend hundreds of hours and up to $75,000 fighting this thing, at our own expense. Soharwardy doesn't have to spend a dime - now that his complaint has been filed, Alberta tax dollars will pay for the prosecution of his complaint. We have to pay for this on our own.

One of the leaders in Canadian human rights law, Alan Borovoy, was so disturbed by Soharwardy's abuse of the human rights commission that he wrote a public letter about it in the Calgary Herald on March 16th. "During the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create such commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech," wrote Borovoy, who is general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Censorship was "hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions. There should be no question of the right to publish the impugned cartoons," he wrote.

Borovoy went even further - he said that the human rights laws should be changed to avoid this sort of abuse in the future. "It would be best, therefore, to change the provisions of the Human Rights Act to remove any such ambiguities of interpretation," he wrote. That's an amazing statement, coming from one of the fathers of the Canadian human rights movement.

I agree with Borovoy: the law should be changed to stop future abuses. But those changes will come too late for us - we're already under attack. The human rights laws, designed as a shield, are being used against us as a sword.
We will file our legal response to Soharwardy's shakedown this week. And we will fight this battle to the end - not just for our own sake, but to defend freedom of the press for all Canadians.

Do you believe that's important? If so, I'd ask you to help us defray our costs. We're accepting donations through our website. It's fast, easy and secure. Just
You can donate any amount from $10 to $10,000. Please help the Western Standard today - and protect freedom for all Canadians for years to come.
Yours gratefully,
Ezra Levant, Publisher
P.S. Remember, Soharwardy's complaint will be prosecuted using tax dollars and government lawyers.
We have to rely on our own funds - and the generous support of readers like you.

3/30/2006 02:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sensitive to a fault
Political correctness can end up killing a lot more than just good conversation
Mark Steyn - Monday,27 March 2006
The free world is shuffling into a psychological bondage whose chains are mostly of our own making.

The more we hedge ourselves in with "hate speech" regulations, the less we're able to hold any genuinely inquiring discussion on the issues we face.

And once that's the case, as the angry young men in the streets have figured out, you might as well just burn and kill to get your way.

Canada and Europe need more free speech and less free incitement to murder.
Instead, on the vital question of the age, we're retreating into darkness--one intimidated cartoonist, one browbeaten editor, one beleaguered publisher, one terrified Danish schoolgirl at a time.
Mark Steyn

3/30/2006 02:50:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

We should immediately work to institutionalize the Goodsense Slap. Not a take-off-their-head kind of thing, but a good backhander across the chops when a Clockwork Orange boy like that yahoo character opens his mouth.

It may actually knock a little good sense into an otherwise empty head, but even if it didn't it would move the Conversation a little bit off the dime.

3/30/2006 04:03:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Just to add a little perspective. The period between the Declaration of Independence (Revolutionary War) and the US Constitution was 13 years (1776 - 1789). During the interim period the states operated as independent fiefdoms and even had the power to make binding treaties with foreign governments. Massachusetts had an armed rebellion. The governor raised an army of 4,000+ mercenaries, paid for by Boston merchants, to put down an insurrection by citizens from the Western part of the state. There were engagements. People died. The Westerners continued a guerrila campaign of murder and arson for several years.

The Bill of Rights, which is what most people think of as the Constitution, was rejected in 1789 and people like Thomas Jefferson voted for the Constitution anyway because as Jefferson put it, "a half a loaf is better than none." The Bill of Rights is really the first 10 Amendments and it took an additional two years of intense effort to get them accepted.

Two years after the US Constitution was ratified President George Washington raised an army of 13,000 (as large as the Revolutionary War army) and marched it into Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Mountain states to enforce the Federal fiat on recalcitrant US citizens.

The ideological and identity difference between US residents is the 18th century were probably far less divisive than they are in present day Iraq, and 18th centry Americans didn't have to deal with interference from hostile foreign neighbors.

The doomsayers calling Iraq a failure for not reaching the perfect end point in 3 years are, at a minimum, historically ignorant.

3/30/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Great post PB. Whiskey Rebellion, Shay's Rebellion, all sorts of fractious goings-on in our early days as a constitutional democracy.

3/30/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

If our forefathers had had modern weaponry, we may never have made it. The flintlock was expensive--no petrodollars or ruples buying 'em, and it took a long time to load and fire. So fewer transgenerational blood fueds to be fought out.

3/30/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Peterboston: Good summary. And then there was that little matter of the War Between the States. And in the 60's Massachusetts tried to make it illegal for its residents to serve in Vietnam. While Cambridge, MA declared itself a nuclear-free zone in the 80's, refusing to participate in deterrance, but still reaping the rewards of it.

And let us not forget "Democratic Europe". When we formed our democracy, they were all - at best - a bunch of "off with his head" monarcharies. They would never have "developed" constitutional democracy without our example - and in the end it still had to be delivered to them by us, strapped to the back of a Sherman tank.

The same thing is true of Japan, Korea, Taiwan and any number of other Pacific nations. The only difference is that more of the tanks making the delivery were amphibious.

If the criticism is that constitutional democracy is being delivered by us to Iraq, strapped to the back of an M-1 Abrams ... well, there is a lot of precedent for that, successful precedent.

3/30/2006 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

There's a lot of gloom right now but I remain optimistic.

As PB points out the transition from British rule to self determination took America quite a while, and those guys were culturally adapted for it.

I see two looming issues. The first is a seeming lack of resolute men and women in Iraq. All this haggling might be an important aspect of the Arab/Muslim culture but we're not talking about buying sheep in the souk, we're talking about forming a government and moving on with the hard work of quelling the violence.

I believe that the expression of frustration by both the Iraqis (ITM for example) and the Americans will propel these guys toward compromise.

One critical aspect of this is an understanding that Americans will not commit forever with out some signs of progress. It's just not our style. The meter is running and I feverently hope that the politicians in Baghdad understand this.

next, I am reminded of Orwell and 1984. One of the themes I recall from this book was that power is often used simply to sustain itself.

Listening to Andy McCarthy on Bill Bennet's show this morning I thought about that. Who, in the muslim world really has power? It's the so called religious leaders. Are they going to simply step aside and allow their subjects to chose a life without their iron grip? I hardly think so.

so perhaps we do need to recalibrate here. Perhaps the historical precendent isn't the American revolution, but the European renaissance.

That was a long and bloody struggle for religious self determination. The church acted to preserve itself as the ultimate arbiter of moral authority while various regions warred to preserve or protect their version of the christian faith.

America, in part, was a by product of these wars of religion. A new world, built on a protestant vision was an essential factor in early settlements.

Perhaps we are facing the same process. futher, the muslims face a challenge that many christians didn't. When the dutch and the spanish went at it, they rarely had to contend with the chinese or even the muslims.

now, Islam has an opportunity to reform itself, while an interested world watches.

Will it take hundreds of years of low level conflict and religious persecution? Or can Muslims see modern life as the goal and drive the reform effort to achieve it?

3/30/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...


As to Mr Mahdi and his loyaltys.
He was educated in France, lived in Iran and was the SCIRI representitive in Kurdistan for a number of years, in the '90's.

The connections between SCIRI and Iran are well known. That Mr Mahdi is a major player in SCIRI would make him, at least, sympathetic to the Iranian position.

Many people, like that fellow, Mr Dreyfuss, believe SCIRI is Murder Inc.. Mr Bush and his team, obviously did not, but Mr Rumsfeld believes that SCIRI and the rest of the Iraqi Government is as bad as Saddam. If we were to leave Iraq, those we left behind, in charge, would turn against US, as bad as Saddam.

While I found this unbelievable, when I first read Mr Rumsfeld's remarks, they seem to be ringing true.

So, yes, Mr Mahdi and all of SCIRI is sympathetic to Iran, perhaps not as much as Mr al-Sadr, but they are all on the same team.

No it does not make much difference, here in the US, whether it is Mr Mahdi or Mr al-Jafari that is elected Irq's PM.

The schism that Mr Roggio refers to, between the "political" and "action" arms of SCIRI may exist.
But Mr Sistani has called for Shia unitity to be the utmost responsibility of Shia politics. So far, despite the best hopes of most posters and some Iraqis, there is no breakdown within the UIA.

c-low, google Mr Mahdi's name, the Forbes, wikipedia and Mr Dreyfuss are right near the top. By relating the information and it's source I did not validate the sources, only revealed them.

You, and others, are free to evalute the source, coming to your own conclusion as to it's reliability.

If you have not ascertained by now, I am niether of the "Right" nor "Left". Neither label adequately describes my politics.

I am happy for you, though, if your political thoughts can be inscribed on a bumber sticker.

3/30/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger lumberjack said...

Think one raid was enough to put Muqtada al-Sadr back on his heels? That's not rhetorical, I really wonder. He seemed to fold like a cheap lawn-chair when he faced the coalition a few years back. And even then many were saying, "OK so he's backing down but he's going to remain a threat; let's keep an eye on him"

I hope that behind closed doors, somewhere in Iraq, Sadr is now getting the gospel read to him, ie the fire next time.

3/30/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...


Thanks for tying it all together for me. I got lost on the timeline there.

3/30/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Thanks peterboston, buddy and rwe for reminding us that the biggest things we accomplish involve sacrifice, hardship and setbacks and suffering.

Hell, our grandparents accepted all of these as appropriate trade-off for the priviledge of living.

Today, unfortunately, these things -- along with inconvenience and the very existence of suffering -- are 'proof' of failure and of the unworthiness of an undertaking.

3/30/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

I'm sorry, Trish. But after so many years of spin, projection and wishful thinking passed off as analysis in the pages of our newspapers, I have little faith that our scribes know what's really going on with regard to the White House's Iran strategy -- and, frankly, I'd be quite alarmed if they did.

The policy may, indeed, be in disarray, but the blind men in our media groping the elephant aren't in a position to tell us that.

3/30/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

O/T but bracing, Peggy Noonan at a dinner for holders of the Medal of Honor:

"...recipients sounded a refrain that lingered like Taps. They felt they'd been awarded their great honor in part in the name of unknown heroes of the armed forces who'd performed spectacular acts of courage but had died along with all the witnesses who would have told the story of what they did. For each of the holders of the Medal of Honor there had been witnesses, survivors who could testify. For some great heroes of engagements large and small, maybe the greatest heroes, no one lived to tell the tale. And so they felt they wore their medals in part for the ones known only to God."

3/30/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I am not sure that virtue is the only "good".
Though self-control ranks high on the list of personal goals.

swore an oath, twice, to defend the Constitution. That continues to be my paramount concern.

Some of the enemies of the Constitution are in the Government.
Others are not in the Country at all.

3/30/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...


Ledeen's a pretty astute Iran hand, although none of us looking in from the outside know how much is 'policy' and how much is 'ad hoc' -- and how much of what appears ad hoc is adaptation to fast moving circumstances.

I say this not as a defense of what appears to be the current strategy, but because I'm given pause by all the stuff we're still learning about what didn't seem to make sense at the time during previous wars.

Are we spectators, surveying the field of play and the actions of all on it, or are we somewhere in Plato's cave, certain we are making sense of shadows?

The older I get, the more humbled I am by the march of history, both past and before my astonished eyes.

3/30/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The older I get, the more humbled I am by the march of history, both past and before my astonished eyes"
...but then again,
I'm just a whippersnapper.

3/30/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Foreign Policies that are unknown, that cannot be articulated nor explained to the Public, will not succeed.

This is, again, just basic Management Principles.
If the Country does not understand, or trust in the Decision makers judgement is shaken, more information must be released.

If you and I do not understand the US's Iranian Policy, how can our Allies or Enemies.
No Enemy is intimidated by smoke and mirrors nor what are percievd as empty threats.
Teddy Roosevelt understood this well, Mr Bush's communication skills have never been his strong suit.
The Country will not long follow Mr Bush's Policies, when he is gone, without short term success along the way.
After three years Mr Rumsfeld has declared Iraq to be no better off than before the invasion. Our Security not enhanced, our Allies in Iraq to be either false friends or incompetent.
Perhaps Mr Rumsfeld remarks about Iraq and the US defeats in the Information War are just LLL projections upon his pysche, but if his remarks put him amongst the ranks of kool-aid drinkers as well, also, then all IS lost.

3/30/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

That was the PRINT page, which had the whole thing, I went to the regular page first which was partial for non subscribers.
Try looking for a Steyn ad at the Standard, then click the print page.
I'll try again later.

3/30/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eggplants don't grow well in NY City.

3/30/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They don't set the pace with salsa, either, there in NYCity

3/30/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Came up for me, if this doesn't work, tell me.
Meanwhile, I'll look for the non-print page.

3/30/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Peter Pace?

3/30/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ever had "Pace" "Salsa?"
(pasturized, but passable)
...everything else rots pretty quick here, unless you have a party.

3/30/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You'd have to watch TV, doug.

3/30/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Stepping through the looking glass.

The President of the United States did not convince or cajole the Europeans into putting their own integrity on the line in dealing with Iran.

The President of the United States has not said publicly and repeatedly that Iran will not have nuclear weapons and that no options are off the table.

The Secretary of State of the United States has not said publicly and repeatedly that Iran will not have nuclear weapons and that no options are off the table.

The Secretary of State of the United States did not convince or cajole the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to act unanimously on Iran nukes. Definitive no. Unanimous yes.


Gee. You're right. There's no clue towards the United States policy objectives vis vis Iranian nukes.

3/30/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rush say's it's not "amnesty."

...just kidding:
He means:
Unless you believe in the tooth-fairy at 40.
Yesterday his stand-in compared America's future to GM's,
when the BILLS
for the Free Lunches
come due.
(what Social Security Crisis?:
Import Muslims like Europe)

3/30/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Danmyers: Actually the term "Cynic" is derived from a man in Greece - Diogenes- who decided that he would abandon all the restrictions and obligations of his community except those he found acceptable and became a "citizen of the world". If Athens was attacked, he felt no obligation to join in the defense since he was just as much a citizen of the attacker - or of some other city across the sea that happened to be at peace.

The term "cynic" is derived from the Greek word for "dog", since he proposed to live in the streets, drifting from handout to handout like a stray canine. Personally, the dogs I have known show far more civic-minded spirit than the guy who used their name to label his own irresponsibility.

As Lee Harris points out in his book "Civilization and Its Enemies", the current "citizens of the world" who populate much of the "peace" movement have cynicism as their basic philosophy rather than the idealism they so often profess.

Now I sound like Wretchard.....

3/30/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Shanklin's got a new one of McCain complaining because he can't get Americans to work.
(For $15 for two days work doing his lawn)
I'll re-link my LA Times article some day:
Sick, Corrupt Situation in Calif.

3/30/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Breaded Eggplant should never be Half-Baked.

3/30/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Damn, even George Will is on board, now, doug.
" ... As debate about immigration policy boils, augmented border control must not be the entire agenda, lest other thorny problems be ignored, and lest America turn a scowling face to the south and, to some extent, to many immigrants already here.

But control belongs at the top of the agenda, for four reasons. First, control of borders is an essential attribute of sovereignty. Second, current conditions along the border mock the rule of law. Third, large rallies by immigrants, many of them here illegally, protesting more stringent control of immigration reveal that many immigrants have, alas, assimilated: They have acquired the entitlement mentality spawned by America's welfare state, asserting an entitlement to exemption from the laws of the society they invited themselves into. Fourth, giving Americans a sense that borders are controlled is a prerequisite for calm consideration of what policy that control should serve. ... "

Guard the Borders and face facts

Hard to understand why the Federals refuse to enforce the Law.
Fear of an LA mob, all 500,000 of 'em?
Is personal self interest overriding the Rule of Law?

Why not defend the Country from unarmed invasion?
From the Constitution
"Section 4 - Republican government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence. ... "

The Federals have failed to enforce the guarantee, at least in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Representitives of Colorado, Utah, Nevada amongst others feel the same. The Governors of AZ and NM have both declared a "State of Emergency" due to the Invasion.

peter boston called upon the States to handle this Invasion, themselves. This is clearly prohibited. Congress shall...

"...To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, ... "

" ... No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay. ... "

So it would seem that AZ and NM could go to the Mexican Border, with Militias, and start shooting the invaders.

Mr Bush has already called the civilian border watchers "vigilantes". He would go ballistic, would he not, if Arizonians marched to the Border to defend it, with weaponry?

Perhaps it goes to the definition of "Invasion"
Can there be an UNARMED Invasion of the US?
Could it refer to an asymetrical invasion?
I certainly think so.

3/30/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I've prayed for years Rush would finally get it:
This morning he showed he put some of the final pieces of the puzzle together...
Then to top it off, he gets a call from a Rich Florida Farmer
Proving our point:


3/30/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Eggplant (chuckle) yup, she is for sure a speechwriter first and foremost.

3/30/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Meanwhile the House of Lords is convinced they can sell this:

"Yeah, we can't solve the problem now, but after we give the vote to Ten Million Illegals,
We won't worry about the "Hispanic" vote like we do now


3/30/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It is not the Work, it is the pay.
Pay enough, the Work get's done.

We can work out the proper requirements for the size of the unskilled Labor Force, through the Law.
With debate, compromise and votes.
Much better than an abandonment of Responsiblitiy by the Federal Law Enforcement branch of Government.

To allow the Mexico to violate the Border and "dump people" is much more damaging to US economic interests then allowing China or EU to "dump steel" in the US market.

But then 500,000 people in the streets of LA, they cannot be wrong. Can they?

3/30/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...


re: Luther & Reformation

Luther and his fellow reformers desired to reconstitute the church catholic, to return it to an ideal past of piety and purity; and, with good reason, I might say. They were, it must be recalled, reformers; they were not revolutionaries, although the church came to that view in short order. At the time of the Renaissance the church had been high-jacked by “mafia” families such as the Medici and Borgia, whose rapacious greed and lust for power had reduced the church to ridicule and disgust.

Would that Islamic reformers(?,!!) had such an ideal past as that sought by the Christian reformers, but it does not. Would that Islam were under the thumb of some bastard son of some bastard pope, but it is not. Although merely a guess, if one were to return to Vienna (1683), Vienna (1529), or Constantinople (1453), Muslims behaved much as they do today. Islam is Islam; it was ever thus; there is nothing to reform. The current orthodoxy of Islam is as pure as it has ever been.

3/30/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Like I say, I'll relink my LA Times piece.
Made me realize how much better things were in Bracero days, with farmers providing housing, food, etc.
Today, they live in SQUALOR next to multi-million dollar houses:
We could provide food, medical, and first class HOUSING for Workers, for much less than it's costing now.
...and I finally heard what VDH did not like about the Bracero Program on Ingraham:
Like today:
There was no provision to enforce the TEMPORARY residence.

His family home is now surrounded by
FORTY PERCENT ILLEGALS his legal Mexican relatives watch their lives disappear into the crimepit.

3/30/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

jWhen I lived in San diego the mayor (now and occassional Rush stand in) Roger hedgecock started a program called "light up the border" People drove to the Otay mesa, parked thier car but left the lights on so that the border was lit well enough to see the guys crossing.

the people on the border are facing the same situation as the people in Baghdad, if the putative government won't get it done, they must do it themselves. And I believe they will.

3/30/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Islam already had a reformation. It's called Wahabbism

3/30/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...


It be the same as invading, it would be invading.
Which we could do.
We'd destroy their conventional force.

Paris, London, Amsterdam and Berlin will be burning.
Oil infrastructure across Africa and Latin America, including Mexico, will be burning.
Mr Chavez will embargo US, there being a worldwide oil shortage, selling instead to China or Europe.
LA will be burning.
The oil & gas pipelines that cross America will be burning.

Or not.

The Enemy has the capacity and the ability to inflict heavy damage upon US and the rest of the "West".
We have the ability to destroy the Enemies economy and conventional military capacity, as to his concurrent asymetrical response.
Time may tell.

3/30/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now he's connected that his rich farmer caller was the guy that was going to be SUED,
back in
Under Simpson Mazzoli:
But nobody ever was -
Last year there were THREE
Employers cited for hiring illegals!
(probably Walmart at the behest of Union lobbyists)

3/30/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

bobalharb, 10:36 AM,
That would be an Aircraft

3/30/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

10:38 AM,
Desert Rat has really bad nightmares.
At least there weren't any
Black Helicopters.

3/30/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, doug, Wal-Mart hires subcontrators that hire the migrants. That way Wal-Mart maintains deniability.
Just like the US Government, they use proxies for the "dirty" work.

So, you see, Wal-Mart really did not know who was working in their Stores, every night.

3/30/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The oil & gas pipelines that cross America will be burning."
If they can do it then,
why don't they do it NOW?

3/30/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


3/30/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Think about that one, rufus.

3/30/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"So, you see, Wal-Mart really did not know who was working in their Stores, every night. "
Maybe they had GOVERNMENT "Security!"

3/30/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Have not Lady Di and the Baron done recon on possible Mohammedan B Team base camps? Are there not hundreds of these facilities around the US?

One of the pipelines into Phoenix sprung a leak, a while back, causing a spot shortage and a major spike in gasoline prices. The pipeline broke in a residental area, most of the residents were unaware of it's presence.
Needless to say, it is undefended.

Infrastructure crisscrosses the US in a similar manner. As in NYC the passengers on the trains can be "spot checked", but there is little security in that, when hundreds of miles of track are open soft targets.

Just one latin american gang, MS-13, has a Federal database of 5,000 known members. The ICE spokesman said it was not a complete list.
I worked with the fathers of many MS-13 members, they were, are mercenaries.
They are but one group of potential turmoil, connected directly to Mr Castro, Mr Chavez and Mr Ortega. All of which are aligned with Iran.

The open border, to the South, allows easy infiltration routes, into the US for anyone.

3/30/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

They could torch Calif in the Summertime.
Even Malibu.

3/30/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

We had an arsonist in our forest, many neighbors lost it all.
Took years and many fires to find him.
...and it was a NATIONAL Forest!

3/30/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As to why not now, easy.
The Iranians lose.

If they start the Game, they lose the Game. US response, like the French, would be massive.

But if we start the Game, and they respond.
The US Public's as well as the World view and perceptions will be very different.

Look to the usual suspects to announce it US fault, that we "started it".
How long would/ could we persist in fighting an expanded War of Choice?

Theirs is a defensive stance, not Offensive

3/30/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You would be defensive too, if you saw our Nuke Arsenal and related delivery Vehicles!

3/30/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Better to Infiltrate and Overwhelm.

3/30/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...



Would it not be correct to say that Wahabbists are attempting reformation?

Would not the Shi'a et al find any such reformation revolutionary?

3/30/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How did Allen, 11:21 AM, answer the Plant at 11:23 AM?

3/30/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The ancient kingdom of Bactria"
I studied Biology in College,
but I never heard of that one.
...but then I'm a Pineapple.

3/30/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

11:56 AM,
I think Politics would demand a
Glass Iran Policy.

3/30/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

danmyers: Hey that was not a put-down! After all, it was not your defintion.

Personally, I was very surprised to hear about the origin of "Cynic."

Mentioned it to an actual professional historian (as opposed to an occasional dabbler, such as myself) - who basically replied to the effect that "Sure, everybody knows that."

Wonder what else the professionals know? That they think we do?

I'll bet that Wretchard knew.

3/30/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, rwe/"dabbler,"

Have you ever heard of an "Alan"
in Honolulu?

Guy's a walking WWII Naval Encyclopedia.
...course, he was there!

3/30/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Haven't read the Will piece yet, 'Rat, but part Pure Demagoguery:
That train of 11 million people that's IMPOSSIBLE to deport.

(Medved is arguing his point.)

What Medved and he leave out, is that we COULD almost immediately deport the

With outstanding arrest warrants, simply empowering the LOCAL POLICE.
Like the old days.
We can pay fox for his PRISON.
...even build it w/US LABOR!

3/30/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"There was a significant Hellenistic society in ancient Afghanistan but it disappeared after the local climate dried out (same thing happened in Northern Africa)."
I wonder how many would be wet enough due to Microclimatological Change, if the original vegetation had not been eliminated, sometimes by improper grazing?

3/30/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Medved is smarter than me, but he can't see how he's picking and choosing facts to support his arguments:
Just like when he used to sell Encyclopedias.
(constantly conflats deporting EVERYONE, with deporting CRIMINALS)
...our Economy CAN stand the loss of 500,000 CRIMINALS!

3/30/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:38 PM
I thought WE were the World's Greatest Polluters!
(as the Kremlin's Cesspool continues to melt into the ecosphere!)

3/30/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

desert rat said...

“Mr Chavez will embargo US, there being a worldwide oil shortage, selling instead to China or Europe.”

Chavez is stuck. The only refineries that can process his crude are in America. It’s that thick and sour. No matter what he says, it will end up at our door.

Surprisingly, America is better able to weather troubles in the Gulf because we already use the lowest quality crude. BTW, there is a hefty spread between light and heavy-sour crude.

“Paris, London, Amsterdam and Berlin will be burning.
Oil infrastructure across Africa and Latin America, including Mexico, will be burning.”

Getting Iran to wildly expand the scope of the conflict would be a boon to America. It would compel valor. Perfect.

3/30/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Chavez has torn a page right out of the Middle East playbook. Don't agitate against the United States unless you want your oil profits to triple. One doesn't have to out think the US. It will broad cast it's every move, every vulnerability, air it's dirty laundry, out the skeletin from it's closet, and tell you where the treasure is buried, just read the NYT.

3/30/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

you did, you did!
I was feeling feable before that!

3/30/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

So one thing I'm hearing is that civilizations have interacted with each other for as long as man has been able to trade and travel.

but I still wonder about reformation of Islam. Because if it cannot be reformed, then we are facing a periodic repeat of 9/11 as various factions within the religion decided to enforce the various mandates to spread the faith by any means necessary.

I just don't see that as a long term solution.

Isn't it possible that Islam look impregnable now because the people who benefit from the current situation wish to maintain it?

What middle aged Italian cardinal who has fought some bitter battles to achieve his rank will simply allow an upstart like martin luther to diminish his revenue stream?

What Mullah is going to say: it's your choice folks, you can chose islam or you can chose something else, you're adults and it's ok.

No, what I see is a reaction to threat. The situation with that one guy in Afganistan painted a very ugly picture of the Muslim faith and it's so called leaders.

Loosening the iron grip on the minds of the people in the ME will take some serious work, but it is possible.

3/30/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

“Eggplant said...

The ancients had really lousy farming practices and a poor respect for the environment. They didn't know about crop rotation or soil fertilization. They'd keep farming a plot of land until the top soil was ruined and then move on. Ephesus was a major sea port but its economy was ruined because its harbor silted up due to poor farm practice. Lead poisoning was a big problem in the ancient world. They drank water from lead pipes and ate their food off of lead plates.

12:38 PM”

The years 536 – 539 AD show that terrible darkening swept the Earth. Contemporary accounts describe it in end-of-the-world terms. Constantinople suffered a starvation pandemic and virtually collapsed. Crop failures in the middle east plainly destroyed Petra and Sodom via complete drought. Modern archeologists have always wondered why the Petrans just upped stakes and disappeared. Ditto for those around the Dead Sea.

The Meccans are almost certainly related to the Petrans: one and the same. Mecca and Medina still had ground water, and was a magnet for survivors. It was this snap fusion of tribes that set the stage for the unification of paganism under mohammed, just a few generations later when populations were still recovering.

It is events such as this that crush civilizations and cause mass migrations.

Likewise, extremely favorable localized weather creates a human population bloom ( ie Mongols ) that must push out. The Mongols were WW0. They set the whole world on fire.

Most records point to them as the destroyers of Persia and Bactria enroute to India.

3/30/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Our relationship with Mexico is simular to Israel's with Palestine. Right of return. Our land. Racism. Water rights. Government corruption. If we don't pull our collective heads out of our own collective @sses there is going to another construction boom; gated communities. Then curfews. Anybody who doesn't see that this is a situation that has gotten out of control and needs decisive measures now is out of their mind. Mexiestinians are getting bolder, more beligerant, and more violent. There vast swaths of 'no-go-zones' in California. A friend of mine who wasa an agent for the state Department of Justice said they didn't go to southeast San Diego after dark. Someone had stolen the identity of an employee of mine and had an address down there. I dressed up in a suit and put my 45 ACP in a sholder harness to go talk to the landlord. Before I got too close the insurgents were scouting me out and following me. I put my piece on the dashboard and rolled down the windows because I didn't want to blow out my ear drums when the shooting started. The Apt was on a dead-end street and I drove right by because it is a no-go zone in daylight. The cops will go. One unit to go to the door and 2 to keep a protective perimeter. I am armed and argubly dangerous. I was sweating bullets. We are creating our own Bosnia. If I wouldn't walk the street in broad daylight, how would you like to know yoiur mother can't go to the store without an armed escort. The real Mexican American war has not yet begun, but it is certain as hell to happen because of a bunch of mealy-mouthed do-gooders can't keep a war from happening when they are calling whities racists.

Viva la Raza!

3/30/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Eggplant said...
Christianity then morphed again after the Reformation into what we have today.
Issac Newton in the late 1600's who was held in Godlike status wrote numerous tomes against trinitarianism and the belief that Jesus is fully God.

Anti trinitarianism was the hot topic of the first half of the 19th century. It is one of the subtexts of Melville's Moby Dick.

Starting with the mid 18th century with fringe denominations like the unitarians and then later in the 19th century with the Mormans and the Jehovah's witnesses and then finally in the mid 20th century unofficially by all the mainline protestant congregations--protestantants by and large gave up on believing that Jesus is fully God.

Protestants such as they are-- in Europe today mostly believe in the old Arian Heresy that Jesus is fully man but not fully God. (There are some small exceptions.)

In the USA some major league splits occured in all the major denominations in the 1970's which have produced the Arian liberal denominations we have today and the conservative evangelical denominations that have reaffirmed that Jesus is both fully Man and Fully God.

imho major changes in theology tend to coincide with major paradigm shifts in science. I think we're in one such major paradigm shift in science.

3/30/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great Post should be required reading for our all caring, all informed, all up to date Senators!
(wish Rush would make today's program a free download: His callers were PERFECT)
...think his old buddy, Econ Professor Hazlitt? from UC Davis has finally finished off his education on the matter:
He's given up Several Shibboleths that are no longer reflective of reality.
Bud had a neat post a few threads back pointing out differences in Texas, but I think he's starting to see from VDH, us, and the Tube, that CA, at least, is OUT OF CONTROL.
(and politically unable to regain it now that Arnold has proved to be a 1st Class Sellout to his friggin Wife's family, and Hollywood friends, and, and...)

I vary between despair, anger, rage, depression, F.... It!, and so forth, but, having kids, and a belated appreciation for what we owe this country and our heritage, F.... It! is not an option:
We all gotta do whatever we can come up with.

At our local forum right after 9-11, someone linked to a webpage of someone down there that described his daily unbearable situation, and why he had to be LEAVING.

...You never know how many might change minds when made aware:

He sure woke me up to the fact that the entire state is becoming worse than my little town was when it became TJ Norte 30 years ago.

Meanwhile my sister lives a mile away down there, and pretends it does not exist!
...and her Son, has become a Multimillionaire Real Estate Banker/Vp at a very young age!
(with a high school education! [but a great Irish Dad who was a Coach])
My sis pretended HE didn't exist after she became liberated!
She's the one that's anti-gun even AFTER the last riots when a neighbor guarded the place with and AK-47!
I just don't know!

3/30/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You're too Bald and shiney to get elected anyhoo!

3/30/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You stimulated me into coming up with THE SOLUTION:

Repeal Women's Suffrage in exchange for the Muzzies giving up Sharia, wife stoning, gay hanging, and the rest, with the promise that THEY can repeal suffrage in 100 years when they've totally lost all conception of being Arab Men!

3/30/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

“Dan said...

blert, where'd you get that info about the Petra/Palestine migration to the Hijaz?

Does it have anything to do with the supposition that Islam was formed in Palestine and only then flowed back into Arabia and followed the Arab armies?

2:16 PM”

You’re very close. The Petrans brought their craft skills, rock carving, to Mecca right along with their alphabet. The earliest koranic work is in this script, yet more generations after mohammed. It has been assumed that mohammed went to the script; instead the scribes migrated to Mecca.

Going back to Palestine was a primal urge for mohammed, a reconquista. You must notice how it dovetails with his injunction to never cede territory.

Contemporary accounts describe intense meteor showers and a gloomy sky much in the manner of a nuclear winter. The Sun gave light without heat, and pretty poor light it was.

The departure of the Petrans is clear cut. The unresolved question: where did they go?

It is my conjecture that they went to the nearest friendly ground water source. The migration occurred under extreme stress, no time to fight or get picky.

It has forever been the rule among the Bedouin that even an enemy must be given comfort against the desert for three days. This time it worked out a bit longer. Having come from a trading/ staging center, you can figure the Petrans to be wealthy enough to buy their way in. Being from afar they were not a party to ancient grudge.

If the Petrans didn’t go to Mecca then they must have beamed-up. There is simply no other trail of their culture to be found but the ancient koranic script.

All other trading/ staging centers in Arabia also shut down at this time. NASA has been able to find some of the famous locations from the Bible under the sands of Araby with space-based radar. It is astounding to see the trails pop-up when imaged.

BTW 536-539 AD seem to be the end for American native tribes in the southwest. Anybody depending upon the Petran technique of water capture was wiped out.

These critical years are mentioned in Oriental accounts, too.

Apparently, the Earth passed through a belt of space dust crossing the plane of the elliptic that was so vast that it took years to pass. It is now recognized that such dark jets of dust do circle our galaxy. They are now part of the modern astronomical model of the galaxy.

The wild, extreme testimonies from the period were forever dismissed in the modern era because the world they described was so extreme that belief was impossible. With modern science it is now known that the descriptions fit nuclear winter like a glove.

Lastly, many now believe that this disaster was the true back-breaker for the Western Roman culture. As in the black death, but worse, civilization really did break down. No town was passed over. Only by fishing could one survive.

Which brings us to the mythic quality of fish in the human diet. When drought hits the land, fish are the premium reserve food. Hence the resonant imagery of Christ and fish: bounty in the face of extreme hardship.

3/30/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Somebody described McCain Pefectly on Ingraham or Hewitt the other day:
"He's more easily convinced of the TRUTH of his own BS than the vast majority of us!"

3/30/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That way he can be Mr. Straight Talk without Laughing all the time.

3/30/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt is replaying the Michael Ware Interview:

3/30/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...


The nice thing about trees and their growth rings: they don’t lie – not by the thousand, worldwide. They give the game away forensically. Sunlight collapsed and took all agriculture with it. Without enough sunlight, the oceans failed to deliver rainfall. Total ecological free-fall.

3/30/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Could it have been that their Comm and GPS Birds were taken down by that comet cloud?
...I'm still trying to figure what happened to all the advanced tech Air/Spacecraft that Calypso Louie talks about.

3/30/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mr. Ware is full of it:
And a LAWYER as well!
Terrorist Enabler and Mouthpiece.

3/30/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hugh's reaction to come:
Transcript at Radioblogger.

3/30/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...


Layoff the OxyContin. It’s affecting your wit.

3/30/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Read this, and the stuff below it at radioblogger!

HH: Because we talked about this on CNN. Do you think Iraq is better off today, just...than it was under Saddam? Do you think that...

MW: Well, I was never here under Saddam. My period during Saddam's regime was in the Kurdish North, where with U.S. air cover, they've forged their own autonomous sanctuaries. So I never lived under Saddam, and I can only imagine what the horrors were like, and what the restrictions were like.
All I can tell you that life here right now is extraordinarily difficult, and there's a lot of killing going on, and there's a lot of deprivation going on, and to be able to compare that to something I never saw is a bit difficult for me.

3/30/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, if you got Perpscriptions that stuffs legal, ain't it?
although the "Best" I've had was Percocet:
Made both me and my wife so miserable that both of us chose Tylenol.
Different Strokes.
Okie Heroin Indeed!

3/30/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Speaking of Crunch Time Politics here in the good ol' USA, doncha just love it that CBS is bringing the latest, hot Al Qaeda propaganda directly to Prime Time TV?

They have "Osama's bodyguard" re-stating all of Osama's latest tapes and boasts on CBS 60 Minutes.

Brought to you by the same patriots who brought us the "fake but accurate" forged documents to attack Bush a month before the election.

Is this nuts?

3/30/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ware was Z's confidant.
Somebody called him Tokyo Rose:
More effective imo, not so obvious to MSM Consumers.
Ernie Pyle live, from the Bunker!
(Hitler's, of Course.)

3/30/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

HH: Well, do you think the Russian people were better under Krushchev than they were under Stalin?

Neither of us saw Kruschev or Stalin, but both of us...

MW: Yeah, I wouldn't have a clue, you know?

HH: You wouldn't have a clue? Really?

3/30/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/30/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, including the Wit put down too, I'll bet bobhalbarb!

3/30/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Regarding Michael Ware, was it Wretch who said that sometimes the media bias almost worked in our favor? The jihadis feed their propaganda to the western media. They print it and both of them start reading it and believing it.

3/30/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Islam's Uncertain Future:

Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom, is also the editor of Radical Islam's Rules: The Worldwide Spread of Extreme Shari'a Law (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005). Stan Guthrie, a Christianity Today senior associate editor and author of Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, interviewed Marshall.

You distinguish between two kinds of Shari'ah, or Islamic law, as understood and implemented by Muslims worldwide. What are they?

In the last three years, I've been to various parts of the Muslim world talking to people about Shari'ah. I use the term extreme Shari'ah for the sorts of things that happen in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Pakistan-people getting accused of blasphemy or stoned for adultery, and so on.

So most Muslims would not agree that, say, the punishment for theft should be amputation of one's hand?

Correct. They see that as something that used to be done, but not really fitting for the sorts of societies we live in now, that it's not the core of what Islam is about.

Does this attitude point to modernizing tendencies in Islam?

There are modernizing tendencies, but [a larger factor is that] the vast majority of Muslims in the world live in Africa and Asia, not in the Middle East. Their views on Islam are not very precise.

Uncertain Future

3/30/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oh, OK!
Savage claims GWB said,
"Nationalism is Dangerous!"
While he was in Mexico:

Was he talking about American Nationalism in the USA,
Mexican Nationalism in the USA?
One thing's for sure:
We can do without.
Likewise for "RECONQUISTA."

3/30/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ware interview reminded me more of Wretch's great "Haifa Street"
...for Ware to have 40 or so meetings with the evil Wahabis and more than that with the Sunnis, he must have become quite "familiar" with some rather unpleasant folk responsible for lots of innocent and US Forces Deaths.
...but Hugh's main concern is how he had to color his REPORTING to pull that off.

3/30/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Excellent report from Bill Roggio on the goings on in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Very good news from the former, not bad news from the later.

3/30/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mullah Omar, huh?
Damn! Gotta get a website!
I found my neat animated gif of these guys
Talibombed getting the fuel-Air treatment, but Blogger turns it into a jpg.
I got pretty creative after 9-11, with a special emphasis on Fuel Air Weapons!

3/30/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Awesome stuff. Thanks, Rat.

3/30/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bush: United States Will Leave, 'But Not Retreat' From Iraq:

"If we were to let the terrorists drive us out of Iraq, we would signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word," he continued. "We would undermine the morale of our troops by betraying the cause for which they have sacrificed.

We would cause the tyrants in the Middle East to laugh at our failed resolve and tighten their repressive grip. The global terrorist movement would be emboldened and more dangerous than ever.

No Retreat

3/30/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"Anyway, my point is: If Christianity and Buddhism can change then so can Islam which is a relatively young religion."

This is certainly true.

However, if I had to bet on whether those fundamental reforms are going to happen precisely when we need it, as fast as we need it...well those are long odds.

3/30/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...


Muslims themselves can and must propagate an understanding of the "right" Islam, and thereby discredit extremist ideology. Yet to accomplish this task requires the understanding and support of like-minded individuals, organizations and governments throughout the world.

Our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision of Islam, one that banishes the fanatical ideology of hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.

After the War

3/30/2006 09:07:00 PM  

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