Friday, June 09, 2006

Pedicaris Alive or Raisuli Dead

Talk Left raises the possibility that torture may have been used somewhere in the process of hunting down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. 

The U.S. does not approve of torture, claims President Bush. Does anyone have any doubt that Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly, the Iraqi customs inspector who turned on Zaqarwi after being arrested and held for months by the Jordanian police, talked as a result of being subjected to torture? ...  So now we use information gained from torture to murder our target. What makes us different from them?

Alan Dershowitz, although not disapproving of Zarqawi's demise nevertheless maintains sight of the fact that the method used to kill Zarqawi has often been condemned as a crime. Solomonia quotes the Harvard law professor from a Yahoo news article:

As the civilized world justly celebrates the long overdue killing of Abu M Zarqawi, it must recall that his death was brought about by what has come to be known as "targeted assassination" or "targeted killings." This is the same technique that has been repeatedly condemned by the international community when Israel has employed it against terrorists who have murdered innocent Jews. When Israel targeted the two previous heads of Hamas, the British foreign secretary said: "targeted killings of this kind are unlawful and unjustified." The same views expressed at the United Nations and by several European heads of state. It was also expressed by various Human Rights organizations.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan once observed that we were all entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts. In fairness its possible, even probable, that the Jordanians were less than gentle with Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly. There is certainly a chance that he was tortured in the very real sense of the word by the Jordanians, though no one knows this to be true. There's also a fairly high probability that, legally speaking, Alan Dershowitz is right that from the point of view of the 'international community' "targeted killings of this kind are unlawful and unjustified."

Of course it is also possible that Mr. al-Karbouly, knowing the reputation of the Jordanians sang like a canary rather than find out if their reputed ferocity was real. And it is conceivable that it's actually not illegal to target specific individuals in war. But let's suppose for the sake of argument that the Jordanians did torture al-Karbouly and that targeted assassinations are in fact illegal. What then?

The interesting thing about the Zarqawi case is that it allows one to examine the effect of necessity over law in an actual case. There's no need for a hypothetical like "what if you could save Europe by targeting Hitler?" or "what if you could save the lives of hundreds of children by torturing a terrorist?" In this case the hypothetical is actual. This has the effect of inverting the roles of the principles on trial. Would it be justified not to resort to unlimited measures in order to hunt down a person responsible for killing thousands of individuals? Can one ever allow a person like Zarqawi to live a single day more knowing that hundreds and perhaps thousands of innocents will die for our scruples? How many lives is a punctilious observance of the Geneva Convention worth? One, one hundred, one thousand, one million? And if a million is the price, what are our principles except for sale. The only question being the price.

Yet, some would say, if the ends justify the means then where do we stop? Historically the Allies did not stint at incinerating Hamburg and Dresden to beat Hitler; to level Hiroshima and Nagasaki to avoid a bloody invasion that may have killed even more Japanese. Nor did they stick at engaging in unlimited submarine warfare or machine-gunning the survivors of sinking Japanese troopships in the Bismarck Strait. We flatteringly call them the Greatest Generation not only because they bore the burden of the fighting but more importantly because they conveniently carried a burden of moral responsibility that we would never care to face. The Greatest Generation committed atrocities to secure victory. Because atrocities they were. Regrettable but past and so we could forget them. And for sixty years their victory kept us from needing to make such choices and we were glad of it. Until we faced our own war. 

I don't mean to refute Talk Left's reproof, because I'm not sure if there are any canonical answers to the question of when it is proper to cast away the law. But I think it's important to make the choices clear to the public. It's dishonest to promise to keep them always safe; to ever "connect the dots" yet simultaneously promise never to match savage men for savagery. It would be better to tell the truth: that if in order to maintain our values we must sometimes stop short of harsh methods, we must also risk and spend lives to preserve those ideals. That if we hold them dear enough then a price must be paid for keeping them. In the very same way that US soldiers must daily risk their lives to obey rules of engagement. And a public unwilling to bear that risk should take the moral burden upon itself and change the rules rather than expect men to transgress them in secret for its guilty peace of mind.

In the last analysis, the preservation of a civilization's values is never free. It is possible to play by whatever rules we feel that our deepest civilizational values compel us to observe. But we must pay the price. We can, like the early Christians choose to face the lions rather than renounce our beliefs. But no one should have any illusions about the lions; and those Christians were virtuous precisely because they had no illusions about the lions. Our willingness to fight by the strictest legal standards must be matched by a corresponding willingness to sacrifice in order to uphold those standards. It may be necessary to bleed and to bleed at home to uphold our beliefs. Or change them. Talk Left merely poses the dilemma. But the choice is ours. The tragedy of the West is that it is simultaneously impatient for safety; intolerant of hardship and unable to bear guilt. The demand for no body bags; no protracted war; no inconvenience; no painstaking effort also means, in it's own way, a secret demand for no law.


Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Teddy Roosevelt was a great president, and The Wind and the Lion was a great movie. Candace Bergen with a Model 97, oh, yeah.

6/09/2006 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

You are a great thinker, Wretchard.

It seems to me that the sheep do very little in this war to reinforce the attitude among the sheep dogs that their exertions and sacrifices to protect the flock are worth it. Far too many of the sheep are cheering the wolves.

6/09/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

"What we have here is a soldier who let his dog get too close to a detainee, and the dog barked," she told the jury."

SPC (until recently SGT) Santos A. Cardona paid the price for liberal guilt.

Hostile media forces us to pretend terrorists are covered by the Geneva Convention. It's a form of lawfare.

6/09/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

Why is the Geneva Convention relevant. Outside of being a record of how lawyers wish the Franco-Prussian war had been conducted the conventions are a joke that no enemy of the US since WWI has complied with. Further, since Zarkawi is not a state actor, nor a party to the convention. he was not entitled to its protections.

6/09/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

There was a break in the news about Zarqawi on UK television this morning, and a face appeared in an interview which was a blast from the past: Mikhail Gorbachev (pontificating briefly on this occasion about Russian billionaires evading taxes).

It suddenly stuck me that the Western left, including the anti-war pot-bangers and the 'international law is sacred' crowd, have gone down Gorbachev's path.

Noticing a yawning gap between their account of the world and what is actually happening they are proceeding to give the rest of us a wonderful ongoing lesson in how just utterly clueless they are. By constantly adapting their story in ever less plausible ways, they themselves (just like Gorbachev) seem irresistibly driven to disassemble their own power base (control of the media, unions and other leftist institutions) by repeatedly shredding and re-shredding their credibility among ordinary people.

Just as the 'Gorbachev show' was, this is an amazing thing to watch, because they can't seem to help themselves. They appear compelled to continue, as he did, until there is just no scrap of their formerly fearsome reputation which remains. For instance, how many more years can go by with the MSM's pretensions and biases being held up to daily ridicule and contempt by bloggers before their grip on the popular imagination is just gone? It's a process already well advanced, as much of the younger generation already gives them no attention at all.

I used to wonder what the Western left would do after the Gorbachev-led collapse of the Soviet Union. Naively, I expected for a moment that they might apologize, but it rapidly became clear that would never happen, so I watched and wondered. It never occurred to me that they might repeat their slavish devotion to the Soviet model by faithfully imitating its pattern of a decade-long, self-initiated total implosion. But here they are, ranting away in the way Wretchard describes.

What did we do to deserve this gratuitous self-immolation of our enemies? It must have been something right.

6/09/2006 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Dear Wretchard,

Waiting for my violin lessons from Betty Dayton in her cozy little studio in Oxnard back in the early 1960’s I often read Life Magazine. Lots of pictures, but they usually illustrated clearly-written articles. Over the decades since then there are several articles that repeatedly come to mind as foreshadowing some of the dilemmas we face now.

One article documented one of the community committees that had been formed to decide which patients with failing kidneys would receive the life-saving dialysis newly available. It was hideously expensive. Budget-busting technology meant a community might only have a single dialysis machine for a city with a population of hundreds of thousands; training was demanding; there was no such thing as disposable tubing. Everything had to be thoroughly washed and sterilized between sessions to avoid killing patients with septicemia.

The hospitals selected house-keeping mothers, mailmen, teachers, firefighters, small-business owners, and charged them with the awesome task of deciding who would live and who would die.

Somewhere in the following decade, America largely gave up on such dilemmas. We became a nation that cannot abide moral ambiguity. We seem to honestly believe that just by changing the words we use to define a problem, the universe is obliged to behave as we want.

There is a price to pay for that denial. A very small part of that price is paralysis in the face of crisis.

6/09/2006 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...


What makes you think that those who fought WW2 considered what they were doing to be morally wrong?

We believe we have the luxury of fighting the wolf at the door with a quaint set of rules. No it is worse than that we believe we have the moral right to set the rules for those fighting the wolf in our behalf.

The primary difference between us and the greatest generation being they understood that they were not destined to win. They understood that they would have to fight and that victory was not guaranteed. We seem to believe that we can set any rules and we will still win.

In a nutshell I don't give a damn if they did torture whomever. If they need a volunteer to torture someone they capture I will willingly volunteer, not because I want to hurt anyone but because I don't believe we should take victory for granted.

Taking a look at what Halsey had to say to his sailors I don't imagine he was up at nights worried about being to harsh to the enemy. Here was Halsey's sign to his sailors upon their arrival at a Naval Base. This is how people who are standing at the Gates of the Village fight an enemy they are not so arrogant to believe they can win easily.

Kennedy [ John F. Kennedy - then (1943) a junior officer in the US Navy] ready to disembark after more than a month at sea, was standing at the rail off Tulagi, reflecting on a large billboard that Admiral Halsey had ordered to be erected on the commanding hillside. The message fairly screamed at Kennedy and other newcomers - "
You will help to kill the yellow bastards
if you do your job well "
[From "PT 109 - The Wartime Adventures of President John F. Kennedy" by Robert J. Donovan]


. . . our ships searched east of Samar for other stragglers and for our airmen who had ditched the day before. We found no Jap ships, but Japanese swimmers were as thick as water bugs.
I was having breakfast when Bill Kitchell burst in and cried, "My God Almighty, Admiral, the little bastards are all over the place! Are we going to stop and pick 'em up?"

I told him "Not until we've picked up our own boys."

. . . when we had recovered all the Americans, I ordered our destroyers "Bring in cooperative Nip flotsam for an intelligence sample. Noncooperators would probably like to rejoin their ancestors and should be accommodated." (I didn't want to risk their getting ashore, where they could reinforce the garrison.) The destroyers brought in six.

[From 'Admiral Halsey's Story' by Halsey & Bryan]

6/09/2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Unlawful combatants are afforded rights under The Fourth Geneva Convention, which we basically follow out of fear of future war crimes trials. There is no will to resist the massive outcry that would be raised over summary executions.

Many on the Left will hound President Rodham until she extradites her predecessor and his Secretary of Defense over to The Hague.

6/09/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

"Targeted killings" are illegal?

Okay, this may be a dumb question to those more versed in international law and the rules of warfare, but I ask it in all honesty: How is killing Zarqawi any different from the targeted killing of Yamamoto in World War II? Is the leadership of the opposing side a legitimate target, or not?

6/10/2006 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger altoids1306 said...

"The difference?"

The difference, obviously, is we are (possibly) torturing individuals who are complicit in acts of terrorism, so that we can assassinate those who have killed innocent civilians.

Compare that to terrorists, who torture and kill innocent people.

The lengths to which the Left will go to maintain its ideology of moral relativism is as astonishing as it is stupifying.

6/10/2006 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


You are the first person I have come across to mention Yamamoto.

The Evolution of Tactics: A Moral Look at the Decision to Target Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander in Chief of Japan’s Combined Fleet

The only real differences I see in the two cases is that, so far as we know, no Japanese were tortured in locating Yamamoto, and Yamamoto was a serving senior officer in the legimate regular armed forces of a Westphalian nation-state with which the US had formally declared a state of war, unquestionably a lawful combatant.

6/10/2006 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

There was a Medal of Honor winner who died recently named Desmond Doss. He was a conscientious objector who spent most of the day under fire in Okinawa lowering wounded men to safety. Doss had certain principles, and the difference so far as I can see, is that he knew he might have to pay for them. That he might be shot as indeed he was shot. Say what you will, he walked the walk.

I've often asked myself what fighting terror according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules would entail. It would involve, to begin with, the knowledge that you were putting yourself at a handicap; and to resolve to compensate in ways that would neutralize that handicap. Against an opponent like Al Qaeda that would involve generating as much combat power as necessary; creating technologies that would offeset any self-imposed limitations; robotics, computers, lasers, RF chips, etc. And over and above that, it should be necessary to accept whatever costs come with fighting cleanly. And to resolve to win in spite of that.

How often in our own lives have we rejected the shortcuts. Oh we know what they are. Cooking the books, inflating the resume, telling the lies, intriguing against our fellows. And we reject the shortcuts fully knowing we place ourselves at a disadvantage. But we accept the price of playing by the rules and compensate in what ways we can to level the field.

We could do that too in the GWOT, if there were broad bipartisan support for a moral war, supposing that were not an oxymoron. We could even say, 'we know that innocents are going to die but of what we consider evil we will not drink'. But instead we had the 9/11 Commission, after which the politicians promised we would be forever safe and never resort to savagery. We have the human rights activists who demand we take responsibility for keeping everyone safe and play according to 19th century rules. Something for nothing. And therein lies the poison of the lie. Not that others believe it, but that we believe it ourselves.

6/10/2006 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Dementia or Dilemma?

"And a public unwilling to bear that risk should take the moral burden upon itself and change the rules rather than expect men to transgress them in secret for its guilty peace of mind." Wretchard.

A damaged survival chromosome confounds the Left. They survive in their hot house of theories, ideas and moral righteousness because they are nourished and protected by better men endowed with no self-doubt and incurable common sense. They know they are damaged and hate the uncomplicated and the brave for reminding them. It is a rare man that has the unmitigated gall to stand up to them. A man I have berated is probably one of this rare breed, Donald Rumsfeld. Alan Simpson comes to mind. In commentary and punditry, Pat Buchanan and in a bizarre way Alan Dershowitz and Ed Koch.

It is time to put all these dilemmas up for scrutiny and discussion and protect those that protect the demented philosophical quislings of the Left.

Wretchard is dead on.

6/10/2006 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Diodor Bitan said...

Funny how the "torture doesn't work" party line evaporated.

6/10/2006 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

I wonder if this is a reverberation from Z-parted?

Pakistan strikes 'militant camp'

Helicopters and ground troops assisted in the operation
Pakistani security forces have attacked a militant hideout near the Afghan border, killing at least 15 guerrillas, the military says.
It says rockets and helicopters were used in Saturday's pre-dawn attack in the tribal region of North Waziristan.

Pakistani security forces have been battling Taleban and al-Qaeda supporters in the area.

6/10/2006 02:01:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. -- John Stuart Mill

6/10/2006 02:19:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Two thoughts. First: while it has long been the policy of the US not to target Heads of State explicitly (though we did w/ Saddam), I would question whether targetting an enemy general in a contested area is the same. I was also going to mention Yashamoto. And how many times have we heard about letting OBL & Mullah Omar escape in Waziristan. Although, Mr. Dershowitz is correct. The US, UK, and other credible governments have at times decried the use of this tactic by the Israelis. Though I've never been particularly disturbed by the helicopter induced carbeque myself.

Second: Illegal by what standards? And which court has jurisdiction to prosecute? Who's going to enforce the verdict? Also, for all the philosophizing and thought experimentation, if the interrogator doesn't stand to gain from a confession that doesn't contain actionable intelligence, then he has little reason to torture.

Unlike, say, Soviet Russia, where any confession signed with broken fingers would do; we (hopefully) are not seeking to indict the individual with aggressive interrogation that may be considered torture. Rather, we (again, hopefully) are seeking actionable intelligence that can save the lives of Allied soldiers and civilians. I think that's a bright-line starting point in the discussion of the morality of applying physical or psychological discomfort and pain to a suspected enemy agent.

6/10/2006 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

We seem to believe that we can set any rules and we will still win. Pierre Legrand

Excellent insight, Pierre.

The lengths to which the Left will go to maintain its ideology of moral relativism is as astonishing as it is stupifying.

The left wishes to maintain power. Claiming moral superiority is the means.

W, excellent post and follow-up. How often in our own lives have we rejected the shortcuts. Oh we know what they are. Cooking the books, inflating the resume, telling the lies, intriguing against our fellows. Sadly, in my case, not often enough.

This makes me feel guilty, a classic target for the morally superior Left, priests, Imams, to name a few of the same persuasion.


6/10/2006 03:32:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

What makes us different from them ?

1. 1776
2. Constitution and Bill of Rights
3. 10 trillion dollar GDP
4. We are the nexus of the entire
world. Without our support the
world as we know it would be
totalitarian and tribal.
5. Our dead can vote in Cook
County, Ill. and Broward
County, Florida.
6. Who's gonna stop us? 9-11
deligitimized entire sections
of the Geneva Convention.
7. Because we know that we will
return to normalcy once we
have put an end to this era
of terror.
8. We are the greatest
humanitarian nation to ever
exist. Our tax freedon day is
June. We spend trillions on
humanitarian causes worldwide.
9. War is all hell and yet we
already use only minimum of
10. Because as Tony Blair said
in his address to a joint
session of Congress.
"Because history has put
us in this time and
place and only we can
do the job"

6/10/2006 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Following on...

"Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"

Oscar got it right. The Left does it with a kiss. It's their love of humanity, you understand, and not your's.


6/10/2006 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Go ask the dead at Arlington how we are different.


6/10/2006 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Just been over to Daily Kos.

"As far as wishing the soldiers a safe return, who the hell doesn’t want that? But when it comes to the day-to-day operations of occupation I can’t condone what’s going on over there and I won’t pretend I do."

Yes, everything's simple to the simple minded.


6/10/2006 04:06:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

"Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

-George Orwell

6/10/2006 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

How are we different from them?


6/10/2006 04:13:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well said indeed!

I believe it was Gen Sherman - who burned my home town to the ground - that said "It is good that war is so terrible so that we not come to love it so much."

Mind you, in the analyses used by some, stern language and involuntary exposure to PG14 entertainment qualifies as "terrible."

One of our tasks must be to show our enemies that war was us is more terrible than they ever imagined.

6/10/2006 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...


The attribution for your quote goes not to Sherman but to Robert E. Lee.

6/10/2006 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Duty, Honor, County?

well some are really faithful to there counties but I think it goes, hold on tight.

Duty, Honor, Country.

Whew....that one day of spelling and a half day of typing at Two Dot,MT. for the cowpokes really hurt.

6/10/2006 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/10/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Oh well, I'll go next.

Where I come from (Ireland), its Duty, Family, Me, County (not Country), Honour.

Honour is last because it is often the refuge of scoundrels.

And of course, honour is spelled with a u.


6/10/2006 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Pennsylvania lawmaker gave no warning before telling members he would challenge Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland for the majority leader role, and the news sent a shock wave through the Capitol.
"Our goal is to win the House back, and if there's an open seat, I'm the candidate," Mr. Murtha said.
Shocked and angered party members, who have been working to appear united as Republican approval ratings decline, said Mr. Murtha's move could potentially devastate their efforts.
"This is a huge disruption and a major distraction and it's not what we need right now," a senior Democratic aide told The Washington Times. "It's a surprise and members don't like it."
The aide compared the announcement to a "grenade" thrown by Mr. Murtha, a decorated war veteran, and accused him of putting his own ambition above the party's needs.
Another Democratic aide said Mr. Murtha is "putting the cart before the donkey."

6/10/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger snowonpine said...

Has anybody noticed the totally bogus and contrived nature of the Talk Left statement? First the question is asked "does anybody doubt that torture was used?" Without any proof whatsoever the speaker then takes it as fact that torture was used. This allows him to rant on about how the U.S. has used information obtained by torture to "murder our target." Setting up the argument this way allows him to ask, "are we (who used torture and murder) any better than they are?

First, I have no idea if the Jordanian authorities used torture or not. Second, even if torture was used, would that necessarily forbid us from using the information about Z-man's location so obtained?

In view of the thousands of "murders," torture and beheadings Zarqawi has planned, ordered and participated in, I find no problems with summary justice. If the "murder" of Zaqawi is so abhorrent, what was the alternative? Risk our troop's lives to capture him, maybe losing him in the process and, if we caught him,the prospect of years worth of legal wrangling before, maybe, a trial?

6/10/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

How are we different than them?

Well, "we" are divided into two groups, depending on how they answer, "Where do we want to get to, and how do we propose to get there."

The first group is engaged in a race toward civilization and the second cannot see the difference between us and them.

6/10/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As so many here have commented upon, previously, the entire area of media manipulation is in flux.

Many believe that the MSM, led by the NYTimes, is an active enemy to the US.

As destructive to the US as little Z ever was. Thomas Fredman, a columinist at the NYTimes has this to say about the future of Media. It echos some other comments made here, recently.

"... Q. Is it fair that your columns are hidden behind a pay wall on the New York Times Web site?
A. I do not like being behind a pay wall. But I love the fact that I have the freedom to go to JFK, get on an airplane and fly to China without asking anyone’s permission. The only way I can have that freedom is if the New York Times has the income to do that. So I’m really torn. On the one hand, I feel really cut off from my audience. On the other hand, my newspaper has got to find a way to grow its profits.

Q. Has it been a money-maker?
A. I just don’t know. It’s cash-flow positive. We’re caught between dead trees and bits and bytes. We’re in this transition. I just don’t know—whether it’s NEWSWEEK, The Washington Post, The New York Times—how the pay model and the advertising model are going to come together to produce the kind of revenue to do the go-wherever-you-want, whenever you want journalism that you and I have grown up with. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. A healthy press is really essential to a healthy democracy. I just really wonder how healthy, financially, the traditional mainstream news organizations are going to be. ..."

Publishing and advertising media are all about cash flow, that is the driving concern in the Insudtry. When the flow dries up, as the old line Media begin to lose it's monopoly of distribution, the MSM will loose it's ability to drive issues.

Kill the Advertising revenue stream, and the "Liberal Press" will dry up. The Inet is on the threshhold of crimping the major players flow.

There's a new breeze blowin'

6/10/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Let's see if I get this:

1. Assume something a certainty of which we have no proof. (i.e. use of torture)
2. Make judgment and take action upon #1. (i.e. shame on selves; rebuke the heroes who ran down the mad dog Zarqawi)

I suppose that Zarqawi was more honorable because he did not torture anyone to capture Nicholas Berg.

I'm just not tragically hip enough to get it...or, perhaps, I'm just not given to whining, crying and ninnying.

Zarqawi was a butcher and a thug (of long and documented standing). It was well demonstrated that innocents were at extreme risk so long as he remained free. You have to be pretty a.)stupid and/or b.) insensitive not to see that.

6/10/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

If we are not even allowed to selectively target our enemy in an operation that spares the lives of innocent others, then what are the acceptable circumstances under which we may engage in this war?

Soon after word of the bombing came out, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Ambassador Khalilzad on CNN, wanting to know about "collateral damage" ie--How many innocent civilians were killed in the operation that dispensed of Zarqawi?

Imagine the moral dilemma for us had he been housed in a populated area. Imagine if his host had children running about. Imagine if we just conceded there is nothing we could do that might risk the lives of anyone other than Zarqawi--and he and his supporters knew it.

In that scenario it seems to me we would never get the clear (and relatively clean) kill shot with which we took out this monster.

No, we shouldn't allow ourselves to be constrained by an overweening, obsessive concern for moral niceties. To do so, it would seem to me, would allow truly immoral agents like Zarqawi much freer reign. Someone will have to explain to me how such an outcome would accrue to the good.

6/10/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Comments!

We know that there is a large segment in our 21st century society of post-modern, anti-American, anti-capitalist thinkers. Most of Europe, Canada and a sizable minority of Americans think this way. The conundrum is how to wage war against a perceived threat in spite of the "loyal" opposition. Where the fundamentalists more successful in their barbaric atrocities post 9/11, the task would be less encumbered by the relativistic "thinkers."

Pierre Legrand's insight into the WWII survival mentality in the face of an unknown outcome is excellent but I would liken our current situation to that of our country prior to Pearl Harbor. For too many, 9/11 was not the wake-up call and I fear that nothing short of a truly devastating nuclear attack will silence the left. Nothing mobilises the warrior instinct like the sounding of women wailing over their dead children.

Until the worst comes, we will be ham-strung by our secular, moral relativists whose morality is based on the false illusion of humanism.

The left displays their true character whenever they raise the issue. We can debate them, we can ignore but we must not appease them. We must not hand our critics the rope of an International Criminal Court or expanded UN powers.

The issue of torture is a tar-baby which we must avoid and so far, the Bush administration has handled the issue well.

6/10/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If Z had been in a populated area, if many civilians were in the AO, Z would have gotten a pass.
US Rules of Engagement so order.

As the Marine Captain explained to his men in Ramadi, the US does not return fire if the streets are crowded, we'll just get the Terrorist some other day, when the risks to innocents are lessened.

Those are the Rules we propagate, why be shocked when some complain if it appears those US Rules may have broken in a zealousness to kill.
Just for "Political" gain.

It is the enviorment our policies and actions have helped to create. When the Enemy evolves into common Criminals and War becomes a Police Chase, why expect less from the professional ambulance chasers.

It is the logical extension of criminalizing the War on Terror.

6/10/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Desert Rat,

That being the case, wasn't Zarqawi quite the fool to isolate himself so?

6/10/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yep, he was none to clever.
Alienating his "base", as it were.

6/10/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Biff said...

TalkLeft wrote: Does anyone have any doubt that Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly, the Iraqi customs inspector who turned on Zaqarwi after being arrested and held for months by the Jordanian police, talked as a result of being subjected to torture?

As one of the other commenters mentioned, does this mean that TalkLeft believes that torture works?

6/10/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rat, 7:44:

I wrote:

"Nothing mobilises the warrior instinct like the sounding of women wailing over their dead children."

I think this statement applies universally.

You have often said that "the war is over and what remains is police work." That being the case, there is something to be said for the "Softly, softly. approach."

It may be a task which our military has traditionally been unaccustomed but it is one that they are learning.

6/10/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger PD Quig said...


You are far too hopeful. A nuclear attack would only draw even greater reproof from the Left for us not having somehow miraculously rid the world of such weapons -- starting, of course, with our own stockpile. No, the only (slim) hope of the Left recognizing the need to fight would be to have one of their own in the White House when the attack occurs. Unless and until they hold the reins of power, there will be no common ground...only a patch of dirt over which the tug of war proceeds.

6/10/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are two parts to your response, both correct to varying degrees. One presents a greater challenge.

It is true that the US Military has not often been utilized as Police. As Ms Rice said in 2000, they are not suited for it, the military is lethal.

Your second observation
"it is one that they are learning." is all to true.

It is also a greater Challenge for the US, that it is so.

If we need a Constabulary Force, for Iraq or future missions, we should design and build one.
We've had enough time to at least acknowledge the need and begin the process.

Instead the US Marines, the World's finest "shock troop" force is being devalued and retrained. Without visable debate as to the wisdom of the redesign and, or the retraining of the Corps to a new "Police" standard.

The RoE's that the Marines now use and train to, 24/7, as Iraqi Policemen, will not suit them well in a Beach Assualt or siezing southern Iran.

Soldiers, Sailors & Marines fight as they train and now, as you say,
they are training to be Policemen.

A truely major error, I think.

6/10/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger mcparsons said...

I recently re-read Tuchman's The Zimmermann Telegram. She recounts the tale of a British born Hungarian wireless operator in Belgium who is induced to provide, piece by piece, copies of the German code. When has delivered the final piece he fears for his life and demands that his British contact secret him out of the country. He is never heard from again. The unprovable implication is that an innocent, even a heroic ally, is murdered to protect the invaluable information he had brought. The morality is murky. The calculus in lives is very clear cut.

6/10/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

since we're talking about "international law" I think its appropriate to talk about the "we are the world we are the children" strategists. Here's one group: the bilderburgers. an interesting addition to the guest list is Ahmad Chalabi. (say what?)

World's who's who hold secret talks in Ottawa ^ | Jun 09 9:57 PM
Posted on 06/10/2006 7:43:54 AM PDT by Semus Dynnen

World's who's who hold secret talks in Ottawa Jun 09 9:57 PM US/Eastern Email this story

The world's political elite, top thinkers and powerful business folk gathered here for an annual, ultra-secretive Bilderberg conference as heavy security kept conspiracy theorists and curious onlookers at bay.

Global luminaries such as former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, US banker David Rockefeller and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands were greeted at the airport by limousine drivers holding single-letter "B" signs late Thursday, said local reports.

They were quickly whisked away to the Brookstreet Hotel in a serene suburb of Ottawa for three-day talks on oil markets, security concerns tied to Iran's nuclear ambitions, terrorism, and immigration, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

Conspiracy theorists who follow the group accuse it of plotting world domination at its informal annual gatherings.

But, Richard Perle, former US defence policy advisor, upon his arrival in Ottawa, denied allegations the group crafts public policy behind closed doors. "It discusses public policy," he stressed to a Citizen reporter.

A statement from the group said the meetings were private to encourage "frank and open discussions."

But skeptic Daniel Estulin, who flew from Spain to try to cover the conference, said their intent is to "create a world government ruled by an elite group of people whose main objective is to control all the natural resources on the planet."

Another local observer commented to the Citizen: "There are all sorts of gaps in what politicians say and do. This is just another example of the circumventing of the democratic process."

The talks are by invitation-only. Because discussions are off-the-record, the group has been subject to similar criticisms and speculation about its intentions since 1954 when the first conference was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands.

Several sources say Poland's Joseph Retinger, former Belgian prime minister Paul van Zeeland, and former Unilever chief executive Paul Rijkens organized the first meeting to unite European and US elites amid growing cross-Atlantic tensions a half-century ago.

Its success spawned similar talks at posh hotels and palaces in Europe, the United States and Canada each year since.

Other attendees seen arriving in Ottawa on Thursday included former Canadian ambassador to Washington Frank McKenna, Royal Dutch Shell chairman Jorma Ollila, former World Bank president James Wolfenson and Scandinavian Airlines chairman Egil Myklebust, according to reports.

Former New York governor George Pataki, Iraq's deputy prime minister Ahmad Chalabi, the heads of Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, the Royal Bank of Canada, several media moguls, and cabinet ministers from Spain and Greece, were also expected to attend.

6/10/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we had crystal balls or a long history and recollection of colonialisation, we could have foreseen the need for a constabulary in time to raise and train one. Instead we are forced by circumstances to train one in the field. This is an "on the job" education and I don't see how it can be avoided. So, I wouldn't characterise it as a mistake. The mistake would be in not doing it.

6/10/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Dr 7:44

The Marine Captain explaining the ROE's which we've flogged mercilessly is following orders . We all understand that.

But, I just gotta say (mostly for my own sanity) that if we changed those antiquated rules the civvies would soon learn to get the f*ck out of the street pronto. Hit the deck,just get out of the line of fire. So you cut 'em some slack and post the rules, drop leaflets,loudspeakers, whatever, letting them know that things have changed and they'd better just stay inside when the shooting starts, cause death is about to come on that pale horse.
I'm sick of the handcuffs costing the lives of our young men and women.
Of course now with a sovereign government in place they'll have to drop the leaflets. Oh God have mercy.

6/10/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I saw the movie X men last night which looks to be one seriously confused comic book confection of the catastrophic effect one world government ambitions have on personal relationships. Something I've never seen before was that a holocaust victim was portrayed as the chief bad guy.

6/10/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PD Quig, 8:31:
I'm afraid you are right. I try to be optimistic but I don't think this world is ever going to get better.

6/10/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

When one loses the infinite, there are no good deaths, no good tortures, and no good sacrifices.

Oh, hello, Michael Berg.

6/10/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we were really "training one in the field" the rotations would be longer, but they are not.

Marine Capt. Scott A. Cuomo argues in the June edition of Marine Corps Gazette that the U.S. military should make "embedded training teams," living and fighting with the Iraqi security forces, its main effort. He says frankly of his own combat experience in Iraq: "We did very little to truly help indigenous security forces protect the populace from the insurgency." ..."

6/10/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

"The mistake would be in not doing it."

Whit, that's precisely true. We can wring our hands over perceptions (and they are only perceptions) that some sort of degradation of fighting skills is occurring but if these ROE's were truly as onerous as they are being made out to be enlistment and retention figures would show it.

A just argument can be made and sustained that we wouldn't be involved in this had the world (or just the US) reacted appropriately to the '72 Olympics terrorism - and the establishment of OPEC as a funding mechanism but that makes no difference today and today is what must be dealt with.

Americans may not like long wars but quitting on this one is out of the question. Not because we are incapable of withdrawing and betrayal of our promises, as long as Kerry & C. hold office that will always be a possibility but because our quitting would just feed the terror beast. We might quit but they won't.

Aside from the fact that a well and broadly trained constabulary force may be precisely what is needed for the forseeable future both in the ME and possibly in South America and Africa. Looking around, there aren't many beaches worth storming - nor many armies capable of defending them.

6/10/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It did not take a fortune teller to know, two years ago, that the US wanted to secure Iraq.
The old COIN manuals had been thrown away, 'cause we ain't fightin them kinda wars no mo'.

Col. Happersett got a kick out of it when the Pentagon sent an debrieving team to his Ranch to listen to his War Stories.

The techniques required are tried and true, the application of many of them are verbotten today.
We can demand Pedicaris Alive, but Raisuli Dead, that violates his natural "rights".
Indictments, Warrants and Judgement must all come first.
Before Raisuli could be threaten today.
Even the Osama Dead or Alive Warrant's authority does not cross the Pakistani Border.
No extraditions from Warizistan.
The Taliban were removed from power in Afghanistan for that Offense, why do they get a pass in Pakistan?

6/10/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So, Mr Ballard, we can discount the Chinese as a conventional threat?
The F-22 can be canceled?
No new Main Battle tank improvements required?

Funny that is not what the Pentagon describes in it's Policy Papers. If it was, then I'd see the wisdom.

But the "new" Miltary, under Mr Rumsfeld's modernization is not at all Contabulatory. Not in the least.

The new Stryker Brigades and the 4th ID not so designed.
We are transforming the Force, doubly so. One time on paper, another on the ground.

Reenlistments are driven by the large finacial incentives being offered. Those with young families and what they consider "mountains" of debt have few options.
Dangle $10,000 - 20,000 USD in front of a 22 or 23 year old, about one in five take the incentive and reenlist.

Why are 4 out of 5 leaving?

6/10/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I said if we had "a crystal ball"...but we don't.

It's encouraging to me that Captain Cuomo is given a forum to present his argument.

We can't have our cake and eat it too.

First, we are critisized for needlessly exposing our soldiers when the Iraqis themselves must be doing their own heavy lifting.

Now we're critisized for not doing enough to help the Iraqis.

Sure, there's a middle ground but finding it is not so easy.

As far as Marines training as Police and thereby being ruined for real combat operations, I don't buy that argument. As was just pointed out, there are no imminent beacheads to assault. I think these guys can wear these various hats.

6/10/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW: It's good to be Buddy Larsen back on another recent thread.

Where have you been?

6/10/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Americans may not like long wars but quitting on this one is out of the question.

But didn't John Murtha tell us we couldn't win this one?

It seems to me if that is the case it makes no difference whether we quit or not; it all comes to the same end, which is our ignominious defeat.

6/10/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


As usual, you have isolated and illuminated a crucial question. The comments to this post are terrific as well.

To me those who cling to a hope that we can win this war without, as it were, getting our hands -- and our ideals -- dirty, fail to appreciate how fragile a veneer civilized values are. (Of course, if we aren't careful, we ourselves can imperil that veneer.)

Yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger had a few beautiful paragraphs, the best I have so far read, about the danger Mr. Zarqawi posed:

[begin quote]

If nothing else, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi understood that the effect on people of unrelenting mass murder in the global village would be corrosive. As with September 11's second falling tower, Zarqawi knew that he could force everyone in the dazed world community to participate via information electronics in every beheading, in every bombing of Iraqi police stations or open-air markets, and in every homicidal IED (improvised explosive device) detonated beneath American troops.

Zarqawi understood that promising to make constant murder a phenomenon of the world's life, and proving he could deliver on that promise, would corrode the possibility of normal human relationships everywhere -- among Iraqis, between Iraqis and coalition forces, and in the U.S. between supporters of the Iraq war and those opponents of the war who abhor terrorism but have simply gone numb before Zarqawi's limitless capacity to kill. Western Europe has been made supine.

Now he has been killed, and this should rightly be called a moral victory.

[end quote]

Jamie Irons

6/10/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We have taken a Ground Operation in Iran off the Operational Table, then, whit?
Siezing those southern Iranian oil fields is no longer a viable option?
For that is the most readily available and oft mentioned Beachhead in the Region.
If we are not going there, you may be correct, we aren't going anywhere.

The Russian Foreign Minister must have been right then, the Military Option in Iran has been taken off the table.

Intervention into Warizistan will not be happening, anytime soon either, aye?
As aQ trains on in it's new Sanctuary.

6/10/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Warner said...

I'm still trying to figure out how Karbouly, captured a YEAR AGO, would know where Zarqawi was three days ago.

I have the feeling someone else provided the more decisive information.

I'm celebrating. It's a major morale booster for the forces of democracy in Iraq, and a giant demoralizer for those who believed Zarqawi was an invincible "Minuteman."

The real question is, What's the difference between "Talk Left" and those who want a free Iraq?

We believe in freedom, fairness and the rule of law, and we rejoice at each triumph of democratic forces. "Talk Left" is glum. It believes Saddam should have been left to torture and murder Iraqis forever.

6/10/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sometimes I think you are a double dipper currently employed by the DAG (Devils Advocate General):)

I think I can safely say that no one knows what will happen with regard to Iran. All we can do is plan for the various scenarios.

Afghanistan is not Iraq. You were talking about Policing Iraq. Are all the additional NATO troops in place in southern Afghanistan? If so, have we moved ours to the border with Warizistan. Is the stage set. Will the Taliban confront us and the Pakis at the same time? Will the Pakis show some will and determination? We should have some answers soon.

6/10/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger oseaghdha said...

Excellent post.
Talk of WWII and the "Greatest Generation", neccessarily brings to mind images of Dresden and Tokyo. That they shouldered the moral burden is indeed their greatest deed.
I believe Gen Cutis Lemay said, "All war is immoral, and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier."
Fortunately, he was a great soldier, unencumbered by transi-laywers.

6/10/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

Well I'm glad we're having this conversation because it shows we are human beings with a smidge of morality and yes superiority; you can bet that al quaeda didn't have qualms about killing innocent people - that is their modus operandi. But the conversation will cease after so many innocent western dead - then, as with WWII, the killing will scale up to monsterous levels and we will win.

6/10/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

made me laugh, whit.
The DAG.

I am happy the little Z is dead, I'm happy 6 or 7 of his associates went with him.
Like to send a lot more along on the lightning ride.

The window of opportunity to "close this deal" still exists.
The is little experience, it seems, in Government Agencies at "closing". DoD does not have the fire, it's Missions drag on for decades with unfulfilled Mission Creep. Exampled by Korea, Kosovo & Germany.
The State Dept., humorous idea for them, closure.

When Mr Bush leaves office, in Jan. '09 there is no telling whom or what will replace him.

As each day goes by the storyline line advances. The IHT the NYTimes International voice is already got the next phase of Iran '06 negotiation requirement in play.
The story by, Hans Blix, is plays to the next stage of the Game.
Don't forget those other 27,000 nukes

Because it's really, still, all about US.

6/10/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Juan Golblado said...

I apologize for going off topic, especially in such a fine thread as this one. I don't know what I think is right wrt these issues. I'm reminded of Robert McNamara of all people who said (in The Fog of War), Americans should think very hard about how they feel about killing, how much evil they are willing to do in order to do good (that was a paraphrase, my best recollection).

So I'm very grateful to Wretchard for raising the issue here and grateful for many useful insights. I'm thinking...

Now I'm going to go off topic.


meme chose's comment about the self-destruction of Gorbachev is interesting. He compares Gorbachev to the western left and says the western left is self-destructing as Gorbachev did.

I dunno how true all that is but there's truth in it, and it makes me think about what came after Gorbachev.

Yeltsin was a desperate clown and he gave way to a hard man. The only thing they had in common was they very much wanted to preserve the Russian state. Gorbachev was like a western post-modernist leftist and seemed to have lost faith in himself.

Would a self-destructive left in the west give way to a yahoo populist like Yeltsin, some sort of Michael Moore surrounded by lawyers and propped up by sharks?

And would that give way to a grim, extreme, no-frills nationalism-and-nothing-else, on the order of Putin once the integrity of the state was obviously threatened?

That's hard to imagine. But I think it is worth trying to imagine.

I used to think that common sense was going to triumph even on the left and certainly among the US and the rest of the people who live as part of western civilization. But watching how the pomo and anti-war, anti-gwot left is gaining ground in unexpected places like the Netherlands and the UK, not to mention the rest of Europe (where it is less unexpected) and even in the US (where Rodham Clinton is about the least bad that the Democrats have to offer and they seem to be on the rise), I'm afraid it is all too possible that we could lose this war -- not against the barbarian totalitarian terrorists but against the sophisticated totalitarian wolves in sheep's clothing.


Sorry for the interruption.

6/10/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The NGC LITENING pod was the other option. I was exuberant that the SNIPER was used but later came to suspect that the LITENING was used because the later has an operational C-Band data link that allows FACs on the ground to observe and validate ground coordinates in a classic man-in-the-loop fashion. Such things are essential in urban and cluttered battlefield environments but not nearly necessary in sparsely populated farming regions.

The air cover loads up weapons and loiter in the area of operations awaiting tasks in a tag team manner. Nothing more of a let down for an F16 jockey than to RTB with a full load of bombs. I bet that the pilot who had to refuel is spittin’ mad.

I find it particularly delicious that the operations have sewn the seed of doubt inside the Al Queda’s organization. That is priceless.

6/10/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Never mind the previous comment. Forgot to cut and paste the new one.

Your frequent mention of beachheads reminds me of a conversation I had with a Marine staff sergeant I had a couple of months ago regarding amphibious assault doctrine: “We do not establish beachheads any more. We attack through objective.” How this doctrine of maneuver warfare washed with the aftermath of the thunder runs through Baghdad has yet to be seen. How a force smashes through enemy resistance and than sets up community relation centers at the end of hostilities remains to be seen. The problem is just that. The end of hostilities and the Sunni’s just weren’t ready to concede that point. For that matter I am a proponent of total war. The enemy must know in the end that it is the end. But whereas the Japanese were humbled by their demise and the collapse of the quant notions of divinity, the WehrWolves had no such misgivings. Martial law and summary executions solved the problem. But I think that the much justified beating of Rodney King was a seminal moment of the 20th Century. The genie is out of the bottle and any jack@ss with a video camera is now in the game of mainstream media.

6/10/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...


I agree I always like it when Buddy drops in; Jamie Irons too.

6/10/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I want to stand up for our good American wives--and all the wives in other countries as well. I almost--almost--feel sorry for Z-man--that he was not able, or did not want, to have a really good long lasting relationship with the better half. But he chose his path--and missed a good part of the meaning that can be gotten out of life.

6/10/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

How are we different than them?We're different because we don't take the cat from Hard Left or Heard Left or Herd Left out and shoot him for being a heretic.The moralizing on the left is so hypocritical it is stunning.When you advocate saving rats and aborting babies;embrace Mao and Stalin and fear Reagan;champion depravity and seek to bulldoze churches;you ought to just shut your yap.
Murtha as the voice of the DNC would be clarifying.The pedal to metal surrender party.Clarice Feldman on American Thinker makes the case that Haditha may be a hoax.If true that might sink Murtha's dreadnought.

6/10/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Bobalharb,Don't know Z's orientation,but doesn't Arab culture have a rich history of fudgepacking?Maybe he was committed to one of his comrades in Jihad.

6/10/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger notBobDobbs said...

Its moral to kill combat forces but not leaders?
Is this because most leaders in the west come from the ranks of lawyers so they want it made clear that it is immoral to target their asses but moral to target the kid living at the corner?

6/10/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

How are we different from them?

We'd rather live and let live, but sometimes they give us no other choice but to kill them.

6/10/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I have always been struck by the fact that the U.S. Military consulted lawyers before launching the attack that killed Adm. Yamamoto. Considering the nature of WWII, and that of the war with Japan in particular, those kinds of considerations seemed to be irrelevant at best and absurd at worst.

I think that Wretchard’s point is that the people who fought WWII on the Allied side did not ignore such considerations, but did not give them the overriding priority that so many seem to demand today.

The atomic attacks on Japan are frequently cited as an example of one “atrocity” being used to avoid greater ones. But there were other decisions that went the other way.

Neither Japan nor the U.S. had signed the treaty prohibiting the use of poison gases, and a plan was devised to secretly use gas in an extended naval bombardment of Iwo Jima. Not even the gunners would be allowed to know what they were firing. This would have been coupled with a deliberate leak - using a code the Japanese were known to have cracked – on the unexpectedly successful results of a new Death Ray, which had not only killed the target animals on the test island but also a number of natives on an island some 10 miles further away. After hearing Iwo Jima mysteriously cease communicating – by virtue of extensive jamming of its radio communications – and then fall to an invading force in an apparent walkover, the Japanese would put 2 and 2 together and then sue for peace. The plan was approved at every level – and then came back from FDR marked “No.”

The lives of thousands of Marines were considered to be secondary to the horrors associated with the use of “war gases.”

They did not ignore the kinds of moral decisions we are familiar with in WWII but they were capable of seeing the larger picture.

6/10/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

More Strategic than Moral?
Instead, they burned them alive in their holes.

6/10/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Taliban Surging in Afghan Shift From U.S. to NATO

As American forces hand over operations in Afghanistan to NATO, the Taliban is making its strongest show of force since 2001.
Complete Coverage: The Reach of War

6/10/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Moral Victory #1
" As with September 11's second falling tower, Zarqawi knew that he could force everyone in the dazed world community to participate via information electronics in every beheading,"
Haven't watched a single one.
Moral Victory #2
Wouldn't hesitate to torture the crap out of the scumbag if I felt so inclined.
Moral Victory #3 that did not happen:
Would have flattened whatever number of Pashtun Villages was necessary to prevent the recruiting/harboring/resurgence of the Taliban.
But GWB has grown "morally" since he implied he would also back in 2002.
Like his being too "moral" and compassionate to enforce our laws to protect our homeland.

6/10/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trangbang 11:54 AM:
That's the Inner Jihad.

6/10/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/10/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

You make some interesting points.

You said in one post that you tried to be an optimist.

I've heard it said that the difference between an optimist and a skeptic or pessimist is ......experience.

Thank goodness that in this country we have had leaders from Washington on down that, even in the face grave circumstances remained optimistic and got the job done. Improvise,adapt,overcome.

6/10/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/10/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think I get the gas morality idea:
Use could lead to mass deaths beyond what would be possible with Napalm?

6/10/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The new Iraqi Interior Minister, check out the resume

"... Soon after the American invasion, Mr. Bolani plunged into politics. He began in an office of Moktada al-Sadr, the rebellious anti-American cleric, according to a former colleague, and moved on to become a deputy to Abdul Karim al-Muhammadawi, a Shiite from the south, on the American-appointed Iraqi Governing Council at the time that L. Paul Bremer was the country's chief American administrator.

He joined Hezbollah in Iraq, but moved on from that party in 2005, said the colleague, who asked not to be identified because he felt it would be betraying Mr. Bolani's trust. In the elections in December, he ran unsuccessfully on a ticket with the former Iraqi exile, Ahmad Chalabi, with whom he traveled to the United States for the first time in his life in November.

al-Sadr, Hezbollah and one visit to US with his newest patron, Mr Allawi.
Is this the best of a bad lot?

6/10/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Two decades back I had to do a film transfer in Manhattan, and looked up an old friend while I was there. As we strolled down the sidewalk I kept noticing crude outlines of sprawled humans, similar to the taped outlines that had become so iconic of crime scenes. When I asked my friend, he explained that an anti-nuclear demonstration was scheduled for later that day. The activists had placed those outlines to remind people of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki whose shadows left by the flash of the weapon were presumed to be their only remains.

By that time in my career as a filmmaker I’d delivered several films for FEMA on nuclear civil defense, radiological monitoring, and the medical effects of ionizing radiation. And I’d done a fair amount of reading on the history of science, physics, astronomy, and the diplomatic and military history of the 20th Century. In particular I’d read forty or fifty books on World War II and the research leading to the development of the atom bomb from Roentgen, Rutherford, Bohr and the Curies to Oppenheimer, Teller, Fermi, Groves, and Szilard.

I’m not claiming to be intelligent, mind you. Only pointing out that I’ve gone to the effort of educating myself with sources readily available to ANYONE. You don’t have to have to be able to derive the formulae to grasp the concepts. High school science (assuming you actually pay attention in high school) gives you the tools you need to make sense of most of the technological issues you face as a consumer and voter now.

By the early 80’s I was damned tired of hearing Clearasil-smeared adolescents who can’t distinguish a proton from a crouton lecturing the rest of the world about the evils of nuclear power, while heedlessly availing themselves of every electrical convenience the consumer culture can crank out.

I couldn’t conceal from my friend my irritation as I pointed out that even a flare used for night-time photography can leave a human’s shadow on an otherwise charred surface, if it’s not too far away and besides, if there was enough energy to vaporize the human that cast the shadow, there was enough energy to smash the wall, blah blah blah... In a couple of sentences I’d made it clear where I stood on the issue of nuclear power. My friend turned on his heels and stomped away after impugning the legitimacy of my parents’ nuptials, and suggesting I try impregnating myself.

Now, after all that, here’s my point:

The episode underscored for me how the LEFT has succeeded in framing any discussion of nuclear power (and many other issues) in a context of such utter irrationality that anyone who contradicts even the most outrageous claims is treated with fear, loathing, contempt and righteous fury.

Sayeth the Left, “Where logic fails, use a damn great club.”

6/10/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bobalharb, 11:07:

Was yours standing over your shoulder when you wrote that?

It's an honor and a privilege to read and be read by better men than myself.

6/10/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Generally, the maximum amount the military pays for a death or property damage is $2,500, though payments of as much as $10,000 are permitted with the approval of top commanders.

Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of Multinational Forces in Iraq since January, has made it a priority to look for ways to ease tensions with civilians arising from the presence of American troops in Iraq.

He told National Public Radio in an interview last week that making condolence payments had become a standard response by the military. The practice, he said, is "common in this part of the world — it means a death payment, a death gratuity, so to speak — it is part of life over here." ..."

The Haditha survivors were offered $2,500 per dead civilian, but the families reportedly felt short changed by the palrty payment offer.
I'd be a bit miffed if an Iraqi or terrorist killed my daughter and then offered me $2,500 in compensation, to make me whole.

I remember the indignation that occurred when a Saud pronce offered a few Million USD in relieve compensation, right after 9-11.

He was acting per his cultural norm for a sympathetic ally, we refused his offer and insulted him for it. A typical piece of cultural ignorance involving US interaction with Arabs.

6/10/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

For several years, the Taliban could only field a few hundred men in scattered groups in mountainous areas. Now they to have 12,000 fighters, while coalition estimates add up to perhaps half of that.

Even though several hundred insurgents may have been killed in fighting this year, the Taliban are recruiting ever greater numbers of local people, the officials said.

Many Afghans interviewed expressed frustration that the American-led coalition, which showed such strength in 2001, was now failing to stem the resurgent Taliban and that as a consequence people were dying.
In neighboring Helmand Province travelers have reported that the Taliban are running a series of checkpoints north of the main highway up to the towns of Sangin and Kajaki.

A former mujahadeen commander and landowner in Panjwai, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals from the Taliban, said, "We told the government for months that the situation was bad, that the Taliban were coming and killing people and that it would get difficult if they became too numerous."

He and many other villagers abandoned their farms and brought their families to Kandahar.
"The Taliban could get into the city, if the government is still sleeping," he said. He added that he had seen members of the Taliban walking around in Kandahar.
"I don't think the government can turn it around now," he said.
"It is entirely unacceptable for a nonstate entity, such as the Taliban, to exercise a state function by trying and punishing an alleged criminal," Mr. Despouy said in a statement. "The return to the practice of making a public spectacle of the execution harks back to the worst excesses of the old regime."

6/10/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If you did not read the NYTimes, doug, you would not learn these things, that must be false tales, deceptions and misreporting.
The NYTimes must be expelled from your Universe, then smacko will tell you all you need to know, doug.

He'll decide what we all need to know and what to think.
No need to worry our little heads with reality and on the scene reporting, have faith in NATO, they'll git 'er done.

Soon as Deputy Fife finds their bullet.

6/10/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug: As a courtesy to you, I held my nose and read that NY Times article that you linked to. My problem is that the NYT have so disgraced themselves that I doubt their motives and discount their reporting.

We know the Taliban have been reconstituting for some time now but anyone can go cherry picking to slant an article which I am sure was done for this one. Thanks for reiterating the salient points because it was a confusing read. I just did not want to read it a second time to understand it.

6/10/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The tenor and details of the Times piece mirror that of Michael Yon, in whom I have nearly unlimited trust.

6/10/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm concerned about a rapid shrinkage of institutions like the Times:
Their editorial worthlessness is well known, but it takes a LOT of resources to cover all the stuff that gets covered by the newspapers.
Resources that at present are available nowhere else.
The combination of Blogs to debunk plus the MSM is much prefered over Blogs w/o the MSM imo.

6/10/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Trangbang referenced the American Thinker article exploring the possibility of a hoax being foisted on the public with regard to the Haditha story. It's well worth reading. Link

6/10/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad the Military was not given permission by the higher ups to watch that ABC Video of Warhizistan 2 years ago showing active recruitment, training videos of raids across the border, and etc, and then RESPOND appropriately.
Not being an expert, I would have left it up to them whether to go for cluster weapons or heavy iron.

6/10/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

Some terrific comments here.

The conundrum is how to wage war against a perceived threat in spite of the "loyal" opposition. Where the fundamentalists more successful in their barbaric atrocities post 9/11, the task would be less encumbered by the relativistic "thinkers."

Pardon me while I set the stage so you know what drives my comment to that quoted statement above.

At the village gates we stand, behind us our children, wives, family and friends too weak to fight huddle and await the results of our fight. Among them lie those who seek to befuddle us with their quivering protests. To a certain point I am willing to withstand their carping beyond that they start to hinder the which point they become part of the problem with not much distinquishing them from the enemy except that they don't have the balls of the enemy. After that distinction becomes clear, things are likely to go ill for those who cheer for our defeat.

But I find myself agreeing that we are not yet truly at war. It is such a terribly sad thing to consider that it may take upwards of a hundred thousand or more dead of our fellow citizens for the United States to feel the sort of wrath that this war requires for victory.

We are all so numb both on the left and right to the apparent fact that we are dealing with a group of people intent on murdering us all. On the right we have a President telling us to act like nothing has happened and to get on with our lives and on the left...well they are too idiotic to consider.

I would remind everyone that Hitler, Tojo, Stalin and Mao would have thought it was a wet dream to have had the ability to attack the centers of our greatest city dropping two of its tallest buildings killing thousands and for an encore successfully attacking the Military Headquarters of the most powerful military the world has ever known. These people we all seem so intent on underestimating managed not only to do that but to also have network television televise the entire event...we got to watch on worldwide television while the single most successful attack on our country was launched. All around the world everyone got to watch our countrymen and women jumping to their deaths enveloped in flames. All around the world people got to watch while Donald Rumsfeld performed triage...bless his heart. And were it not for a handful of our fellow common citizens, not our marvelous and brave soldiers, but common citizens our Capitol Building itself would have been destroyed.

To finish the picture of us at the gates ready to fight. There are absolutely no rules for that fight in my mind except to win. I will not sacrifice my daughter for my honor...I will not parlay my mother for my ability to sleep well at night knowing I have followed some bizarre set of rules. No the only rule I will follow is win, whichever way I can. I am not so arrogant to believe I can win with rules. I have seen this enemy and I know that only by focusing on winning can I hope to prevail.

When we talk about sacrificing some unknown soldier for our ability to feel good about ourselves let us instead substitute our most beloved and see if we are still willing to make that "sacrifice". Let George Bush sacrifice his daughters to some set of Marquis de Queensbury rules...let Grandstand McCain sacrifice his sons for his absurd rules. If they feel so strongly that they are willing to sacrifice THEIR children then I will consider their idea. But not until then until then we fight to win...nothing less.

6/10/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Limbaugh read that piece. Sweetness and Light has been on that really well.
Here's some links he left re: the Left's SELF CONTRADICTORY arguments re the departed Z guy. pbuh.

Nuking the Latest Kook Conspiracy Theory
Now Zarqawi and Al-Qaeda *were* in Iraq before the war, and *did* have ties to *secular* Saddam, with Bush's sinister blessing to get a war for oil...

• Facts: American Thinker

New York Times


Washington Times

6/10/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Agreed, Pierre.
GWB's condescension toward those on our side grates on me, period.
...only compounded by his "compassion."
"I would remind everyone that Hitler, Tojo, Stalin and Mao would have thought it was a wet dream to have had the ability to attack the centers of our greatest city dropping two of its tallest buildings killing thousands and for an encore successfully attacking the Military Headquarters of the most powerful military the world has ever known"
What if we had informed Hitler he could simply move East 100km and enjoy a Sanctuary again, ala the Clinton years redux for Mullah Omar and perhaps bin himself?

6/10/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug: Re the MSM, you're right. One can only hope that more conservative outlets like Fox and Washington Times will flourish.

I'll say it for Buddy Larsen, "Amen."

6/10/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"When we talk about sacrificing some unknown soldier for our ability to feel good about ourselves "
And for some, there's that nagging feeling about THEIR children, wives, parents, and etc.

6/10/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There have been two Congressmen report upon the briefing they recieved from the Military.
One was Mr Murtha, the other Minnesota Republican John Kline, also a retired Marine Colonel, who echoed Mr Murtha's claims.
I'd rather not quote him 'cause it's damning for the Marines involved.

The evidence in the report that these two retired Marines heard and based their opinions upon is more than the word of a miscreant doctor and a reporter on a rampage. I'd surmise.

The Republican representitive, Mr Kline, what motivated him to jump to conclusions and pronounce judgement, if not some straight forward evidence?

6/10/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Does Tinkerbell get royalties on that Star Dust?

6/10/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Kline blogs

"... Author: John Kline
Dated: Monday, July 26 2004 @ 10:08 AM Central Time
Viewed: 139 times
This afternoon I am leaving to spend several days visiting our Minnesota National Guard troops in Kosovo. As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn first-hand how operations in this area are progressing.

Last October I had a similar opportunity, when I was joined by several of my colleagues from the Armed Services Committee for a Congressional delegation tour of the Middle East. The most rewarding part of this trip was the time spent talking with our troops. There is no better way to analyze a policy than to hear from those who are tasked with carrying it out. ..."

Seems like a Resonable Man
WaPo vote index shows he's a Party man, on time on target.

6/10/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Desert Rat,

Who knows? I admit I don't. I certainly don't know what Murtha knows, all I know is I don't trust him.

I'll wait for the full investigative report.

6/10/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why doesn't Hewitt, the blogosphere, and etc get behind the lady that's running against Murtha starting now?

6/10/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/10/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha! ha!

When I was a kid, we had monkeydust.

Now the military has Stardust. It's a testament to American ingenuity and superiority.

Listen up jihadis, you can run but you can't hide.

We're gonna "smoke em out and get em on the run."

6/10/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well here she is, doug, Diana Irey.
Send cash or ?

I don't like her Hime Page, John Murtha is mentioned three times before Diana's name is seen in the copy.
In total Mr Murtha's name appears twice as often as hers, on HER Home Page.
Ms Irey seems out of her depth

But who knows...

6/10/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

So DR, the marines and army that are reenlisting at record rates are only doing it for the money?

Exactly how many years does one have to reenlist to get that amount?

Are you absolutely sure that none, not a damn one, is doing it because they believe in what they are doing?

Obviously the Marines that you worry so much about are only motivated by money. And they are not fiscally smart, as well, as to get the upper Zone B rates, a reenlistment of 6 to 10 years is called for.

If they are only doing it for the money.

DR, you are an embarrassment

6/10/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

And as to the media as it pertains to Afganistan reporting.

Roggio's reports from the ground in Afganistan are that the recent 'Taliban offensive' were actually the coalition offensive.

Yet you state we should not doubt the accuracty of the NY Times reporting.

Yep, you are still an embarrasment

6/10/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

usually four, smacko, sometimes six, there's a multiplier effect, I'm told.
No, not all reenlist for the bonus, alone. But it sways it's fair share. The troops need the money, just to stay finacially even and in the Service, if they have families.

Look to reports of up to $45,000 being paid to some MOS's for a six year reenlistment. That is a long way from a extra three day pass and $1,500 for four years they offered "back in the day".
The troopers are also deserving, the bonuses, they should be increased, I'd think.

But No, not you smacko, you'd have 'em do it like draftees, penniless and beholdin'.

But still you did not answer the initial question, smacko
Why do 4 out of 5 not reenlist, even with the bonus monies available?

Riddle US that, smacko.

6/10/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sure looks a lot better, 'Rat!

6/10/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

re: torture.

I can't find the reference in a quick search, but I remember some reference to the DoD publishing records that suggest that every PoW in North Vietnam cracked under torture (and that information was passed in trade to the Soviets). Ditto, but less so, in Korea.

The PoWs came to an agreement among themselves - "talk when you feel you can't take any more, but tell the rest of us what you said."

Which suggests that most (at least American) people will do whatever it takes to stop long term suffering, starting with the truth, and if that doesn't end it, doing, signing, saying whatever the captors demand.

re: targeted killing.

Targeted killing (assassination) is a lot more humane than general killing. i.e. killing one rabid dog v. an entire pack. I don't understand the objection. Certainly everyone who is targeted knows they are a target. They could always surrender. Be it in Israel or Iraq or any other place in the world. They could even surrender to some neutral country or body. The fact that they do not makes targeted killing the lesser of two evils, a bad choice (kill the rabid animal) and a worse choice (see the rest of the community infected and die).

6/10/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The essence of the stories, smacko, from both Iraq and Afghanistan, from bloggers, MSM and Mr Roggio a dispatch blogger all carry the same message lately.

perhaps it caused by US actions, by US allies's action or by Enemy actions. Or by reactions from any of the fore mentioned.
But thw fact remains that after multiple years of responsibility and authority the US has not supplied a Security Solution to any of the Occuppied Territories, yet.

6/10/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


But if the reasons were only fiscal, how much could they make in the private sector during that same time period? More or less than the $7000 /yr over base pay they will recieve for reenlistment.

And yes they deserve every penny and more.

And only DR can twist record reenlistment rates into a negative.

6/10/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


I get it, its all about a Security Solution!


I understand that, as you said on a previous thread (I paraphrase as I'm to lazy to thread search) "I get the 'democracy thing' just not in Iraq".

So as a stalwart foreign policy Realist, you know believe that it is all bout the 'Security Solution' for Afganistan and Iraq. Very Neo of you!!

6/10/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

As well,

Not to shoot holes in DR's grand UAI/Sadr/Iran boogeyman, but it seems that the newest danger is Shite on Shite voilence:

6/10/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No ,not a negative, a reasonable question.
One assumes that 100% were amped up at the time of their initial enlistment.
Basic, AIT, on to the Real Deal.
Four years later, the reality of the experience cause 80% to walk away.
Not all leave the Service to find finacial success elsewhere. With allotments, bonuses and other various specialty pay schedules the Military can offer a competitive package with double dip opportunities for the far sighted.
But still 80% leave after their first enlistment. That is considered a "success".
I wonder why?

6/10/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

re: anarchy, "supplying security"

I don't think "security" can be "supplied" in today's way-of-war (i.e. not total war). The Israelis can't do it with 10x the relative forces. We have much more constrained rules of engagement and likely could not do it with 20x. Best we can do is tamp down the inter-faction murder by killing any (new) fascist leadership until the average Iraqi can deal with it. Until then it'll be about as bad for the average Sunni triangle Iraqi as living in Baltimore's drug and gang infested areas. Barely tolerable.

One thing we should do is declare how little we can do and that they (and the world) should expect no more. Because we don't believe in socialism, all these countries should know we expect them to help themselves after we give them a helping hand.

re: armed forces as peacekeepers.

I'd not used soldiers for peacekeeping for more than the time it takes to train and blood the locals (training being a traditional role of SOF). And over time I'd continue to ask countries we've rescued to return the favor by providing peacekeepers and training in new trouble spots (as we've done with many of the newly free eastern european states)

6/10/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

More violence, purple on purple, that's good news for US, now a days, aye smacko?

Get the Rat, bad and tragic news becomes "good" if it get's a debate point on the Rat.

ha ha.

Iraq spinning out of comtrol, into a black hole of violence, no that does not aid Iran, no, not in the least.

Does not keep that War Premium on petrochemicals sky high.
$500 Million USD extra for the Sauds each and every day, in War Premium cash flow.
Iran exports 3.8 million barrels a day. The War Premium is estimated at around $35 per barrel, now.
A little over an extra $130 Million USD per day for running that unacceptable cascade.

6/10/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Don't know DR.

But the Army is reenlisting at lest 6% over goal the last three years.


Google search is your friend

And I guess 4 of 5 is a positive if you consider not meeting these goals is a negative. According to your MSM.

6/10/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Army set it's Goals, it meets them or not. They are having some challenges with the Guard and Reserve units now, I've heard, but nothing some bonus cash will not solve, I'd wager.

It is not "my" MSM any more than it is yours. The only media stocks in my porfolio is Sirius.

You're good at calling folks names and being some what rude, smacko, but you never have an answer to the questions.

Security Solutions, that is what Occuppiers are responsible for. it comes with the territory. You break it you own it, 'til you can hand off.
From before the first day of the Invasion, the only folks there ever were to hand off to, were the Iraqis. Never the UN, nor the French, nor the EU.

It was always going to be US 'til the Iraqis could handle it, did not need to be a Seer to see that.

6/10/2006 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...


The article I linked to has differant ideas than your own on how the military is exceeding thier goals.

Is the 'Security Solution' just the latest DR whipping stick? Maybe it will work better than your 'reenlistmant rates' one.

From a Realist perspective, the single biggest balance against the Shia of the Iranian mullahs and the Wahhabi element of Sunnis, is Sistani and his quitism version of Shia.

Found via quick google search

As long as the pilgrims keep coming to Najaf and the seminary there pumps out students, we (you/me/us) we are winning.

6/10/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

And what disturbs me DR, is that most of what I have learned about Shia, Sistani, and the differances between the Iranian and Iraqi versions I have learned at Belmont, in the comments, or linked from the comments.

Which is why it annoys me so much to see you constantly lumping UAI/SCIRI/Sadr/Shia/Iran into on big scary group.

6/10/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When the Shia vote as a Bloc in the UIA, smacko, they "Do" get lumped together.

Their petty differences, though often fatal, succumb to the greater calling. That is how the Shia are behaving, today, as aPolitical Bloc.
If Mr Sistani, where to pass, where will the current generation of Shia turn to for leadership and who will restrain Mr al-Sadr?

The violence benefits both Iran and the Sauds. Until the Iraqi can put a lid on it, we are letting the purple fingered freedom lovers down.
We've let the Model brothers down, their brother-in-law most of all.
Perhaps Iraq's still just feeling it's oats, or sowing them.
Either case it is the US responsibility, we cannot pull out, so how do we succeed?
What is the bst way to secure the Sadr City section of Baghdad, within the RoE's, or Ramadi or Haditha? And do it quicky so our Enemies do not profit an extra $630 Million USD per day for to much longer.

6/10/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

*When,* not "if,"
with apologies to believers in the Eternal Sis-man. pbuh

6/10/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

But a year before the joined in the voting block, Badr and Sadr were battling in the streets.

Yes the security situation needs to improve. Yes the Model brothers deserve it.

But it may probably get worse before better. Much like Tigerhawk posits about the Sunni trading Zman away, It may be that Sistani or SCIRI/Badr may 'trade' away Sadr for lasting peace. Purple on purple may be the only way.

As well for voting blocks and lumped togather, please referance Doug and Buddy butting heads over immigration. :)

And finally, as to a Sistani succesor, that is a worry. I know he himself formed his philosophy from the Grand Ayatollah in Najif before him.

Check the link out from my post, Qom and Najif are producing other Ayatollah's of the same philosophy as of late 2004.

My understanding is that Sistani's version of Shia (religion and politics seperated) is the norm, and that the Iranian version was created of whole cloth in order to allow the Revolutionary Council to govern.

6/10/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

But Doug

The eternal Sis man is for building a wall on the border. You should get along well :)

6/10/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I think you are right about the Shia and the Iranians and the Mullahs, but in all Religions there are those on true path and everyone else.

I grew up in the Mao era and his missive about Politcal power growing out of the barrel of a gun, is and was true. It is also true for Religious power as well. Religious power often grows from gun barrels, that was one of Mohammed's gifts to the World.

Now we will soon see how much political power grows out of 3.8 million barrels of oil exported each day.

6/10/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tehran Times
Help Wanted:
Paddy's is Growing!
Escorts needed for the Persian Kitten Lounge.

6/10/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Free Trade and Open Borders will make them just like us.
Like it did with the Chicoms.

6/10/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Hubub in Hibhib: The Timely Death of al-Zarqawi:

It is not yet known who will now take Zarqawi's place as the new all-purpose, all-powerful bogeyman solely responsible for every bad thing in Iraq. There were recent indications that Maliki himself was being measured for the post, after he publicly denounced American atrocities and the occupiers' propensity for hair-trigger killing of civilians, but he seems to be back with the program now.

The announcement of the new bogeyman is expected sometime in the coming weeks.

Hubub in Hibhib

6/10/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Will consider older model Ford Focus plus 1,500lbs Ammonium Nitrate.
Must be in gd running condition, brakes not necessary.

6/10/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Slo Joe ads,
""We must give credit where credit is due," said Democratic Sen. Joe Biden, in a rare television appearance. "I have my differences with the way the Administration is conducting this war, but the elimination of Zarqawi is, I believe, a turning point, comparable to the capture of Saddam Hussein, the first Iraqi elections, the second Iraqi elections, the formation of the first Iraqi government and the formation of the second Iraqi government. This is not the end, or even the beginning of the end, but it is, I believe, the end of the beginning. And no, I didn't plagiarize that. I made it up my own self."..."

6/10/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

MNFI Spokesman MG Caldwell Briefing - 27:05

Select the 2nd video thumbnail dated 6/9.

6/10/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger tbrosz said...

What makes us different from them?

Zarqawi died on a stretcher, being taken to medical assistance. Next question?

6/10/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Insensitive Comment:
These poor but noble people could not afford a stretcher for Nick Berg.
That's certainly not their fault.

6/10/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A stretcher and a box.

6/10/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Another interesting take on Iraq/Iran Shia. From right after the invasion.

And yes, from another google search :)

6/10/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger woof111 said...

Desert Rat said

D...dangle $10,000 - 20,000 USD in front of a 22 or 23 year old, about one in five take the incentive and reenlist.

Why are 4 out of 5 leaving?

That's an odd perspective since reenlistment rates have been above normal rates throught the present conflict..

Soldiers re-enlist beyond U.S. goal
By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Soldiers are re-enlisting at rates ahead of the Army's targets, even as overall recruiting is suffering after two years of the Iraq war.
The high re-enlistment rates would make up about one-third of the Army's projected 12,000-troop shortfall in recruiting, although the re-enlistments won't address some key personnel vacancies, such as military police and bomb-disposal experts.

thursday, august 25, 2005
High Re-Enlistment Rates in Combat Units

Army chief says re-enlistment strong, force not broken. (Hat tip: Ethel.)

WASHINGTON (AFP) - High re-enlistment rates in combat units that have served in Iraq shows the army is far from being a broken force despite a likely shortfall in recruiting, the army’s chief of staff said.

“I think we’re a heck of a long way away from the breaking the army. It is a lot more resilient than people believe,” General Peter Schoomaker told reporters here.

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Jan 22 2006

The Navy has announced a voluntary early separation program for sailors who have a projected separation date prior to October 1, 2006. Continued high reenlistment rates, low attrition, and successful recruiting efforts have once again resulted in a projected surplus of sailors, so the Navy is offering an opportunity to some of them for early discharge.

Dedication Is Visible Among new Soldiers
Christian Science Monitor | November 10, 2005
WASHINGTON - On a day when the warriors of America's past will talk of great sacrifices long remembered and old friends not forgotten, a new generation of Soldiers deployed to the far corners of the Middle East is beginning to pencil in the first lines of its own story.

It is already obvious that this is a force unlike any America has sent to war - older, more diverse, and all volunteers. But gradually, the ways in which these wars spawned by Sept. 11 are shaping these troops are also becoming apparent.

In the midst of a war with no clear endpoint, the ultimate judgment of this generation of fighters must wait for Veterans Days to come. But if World War II veterans were perceived to be the greatest generation and Vietnam's conscripts a lost generation, then those who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today could be called the dedicated generation - convinced of America's cause and determined to shepherd it through days of dust and destruction.

It is perhaps most apparent in reenlistment rates, which continue to exceed the Pentagon's goals more than four years into the war on terror. Yet more deeply, military sociologists suggest that this war is having a profound and unique effect on many men and women, putting them face to face with the struggle for freedom and giving them a greater sense of purpose....

It was always true in the volunteer army that a percentage only serve one tour. Hint: The Army ranks are pyramid shaped, e.g. Only one out of 10,000 officers make general.
Why indeed Desert Rat are reenlistment rates so HIGH?

6/10/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

After due consideration, I have concluded targeted killings are indeed immoral:
All our rifles should be sighted in 4 feet high.

6/10/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" although the re-enlistments won't address some key personnel vacancies, such as military police and bomb-disposal experts."
Dear Evildoers:
Please cut down on the IED's 'K?

6/10/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Couldn't be a connection between the MP shortage and the ROE's, could there?
"Gaurds needed, must be sensitive to detainees with Excrement Throwing Disorders."

6/10/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

My recollection of the legal instrument addressing “targeted assassinations” is that Reagan in 1981 announced an executive order banning the use of assassination as a method of eliminating heads of state.

The relevant Presidential directives are: Executive Orders # 11904 - Gerald Ford, 1976; # 12036 - James Earl Carter, 1978; and #12333 - Ronald Reagan, 1981. The U.S. government has generally defended its military attacks aimed at the residences or locations of hostile leaders as differing fundamentally from clandestine attacks by covert agents. (from

Since the assassination of JFK radical sycophant worshippers of Fidel Castro have claimed an ever-expanding list of assassination attempts on Fidel’s life by agents of the U.S. government. They are as devoid of documents as the construction workers rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Nevertheless, the allegations seeming self-evident to them, they then infer that Kennedy was assassinated by agents of Fidel, to show that the U.S. ought not to dabble in such affairs, cause they can backfire. The death of saint JF evidently is regarded as utterly just, if tragic, in that context. CIA Bad; Saint JFK died for our sins.

Anyhow, Zarqawi was an international outlaw to all nations (excepting a few of the more extreme Islamic governments); head of no state.

Most significantly, there is no law enacted by the House and Senate of the United States banning or providing any criminal sanctions for targeted assassinations initiated by our government. They are part of the integrated toolset of warfare
along with ambushes and aerial bombardment, artillery fire, infantry assault, torpedoes, cruise missiles, etc. Throughout history, when armies have met, the opposing forces have attempted to capture or kill the leader, since armies historically have dissolved, or faltered, or simply surrendered at the loss of their leader. It is a strategy in effect, that minimizes casualties.

In the context of warfare which normally tosses lethal munitions at buildings, towns, structures, and stands of trees without being able to identify the intended human targets except as “probable enemies” it is insane to argue that targeting an individual is somehow immoral. Especially when that individual has internationally distributed videotaped beheadings and executions of bound helpless captives over which he presided. Only the most demented and depraved moral monster would characterize his targeted death anything other than a blessing.

It would be interesting to find out from some barking Leftist just precisely who would be a legitimate target for U.S. military?

The Posse Commitatus Act of 1878 (U.S.Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 67 §1385; text available at makes it illegal to use military forces in civilian law enforcement, so as long as the Left has its way, military fighter jets would be breaking the law to attack any hijacked passenger jet. Hijacking is a criminal act, see? Prosecutable by Grand Juries and District Attorneys. Ditto for a shipping container with a hidden dirty bomb, nuke, or bio-chem device. Ditto for plague-infected Jihadis deplaning at U.S. airport terminals.

What turds-for-brains are the Leftists!

6/10/2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

This'll get ya revved up!

Malkin on Zarqawi

Crank it up, dudes!

6/10/2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

After 9-11 clarity was brought on the irrational disdain for firearms when the purportedly rational argument was made that it would be wrong to allow pilots to be armed, but just fine for AF Pilots to bring down loaded Jetliners over our cities.

6/10/2006 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Zhang Fei said...

I think the guys at Talk Left are saying that if we're not "better" than they are, what's the point of living - we should really go to the nearest cliff and leap onto the rocks below. As far as I'm concerned lefties are welcome to kill themselves over their guilt that we could be capable of using the results of torture of nail Zarqawi. To me, the whole point of this war isn't some abstract principle - it's to teach the enemy the meaning of the kind of bowel- and bladder-loosening fear that will induce him to avoid repeating incidents like 9/11.

Why are people so delicate in their humanitarian sensibilities these days, as compared to how people felt in WWII? Because during WWII, we had a full tenth of the population - 14 million men - in the military. Everyone had some skin in the game - the lives of brothers, sons, fathers, husbands, etc were at stake. When the scale of mobilization is that extensive, everyone wants rules of engagement that will minimize the possibility of a loved one coming back in a pine box.

I don't have any loved ones in the military. But my view is that one soldier's life is worth the lives of a million enemy civilians. The Department of Proportionate Response clearly has a different view. Which is why if there's ever a universal draft under the present rules of engagement, I plan to be somewhere else. I have major disagreements with the administration about the present rules of engagement. I'll be damned if they throw my life away while their children are cooling their heels in rear echelon jobs.

6/11/2006 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Moral superiority on someone else's Dime, or worse yet at the expense of their lives, is neither moral, nor superior.

6/11/2006 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

The only way I can make sense of the utter pathetic blindness and paralysis of the barking leftists of the West, is to keep foremost in mind that most have foresworn faith in any supreme being as evidence of dumbness.

You know there is a term that is used among the intelligentsia for people too smart to be hoodwinked into believing something as silly as God? The refer to themselves now as (I am NOT making this up) “brights.”

This neologism was coined by Paul Geisert circa 2003, transported by insights and inspiration from his participation in the November 2002 Godless American March on Washington. That was a congeries of some 2,000 atheists, humanists, and “freethinkers” who marched through the downtown and ended up on the Mall to focus attention on ... ? Well, themselves. (Sorry, I just didn’t intend to use this to promote their views, rather to critique.)

Whatever the arguments and logic they advance to attack the notion of God, or a spiritual existence beyond the material world, they are merely arguments, advanced by extremely finite and falliable beings. Regardless of the I.Q. scores of any atheist, each is just a puny being not substantially better equipped — by any cosmic scale — to assess the universe and its nature than would be a paramecium or yeast cell.

It’s sad really — more bathos than bombast even — to claim such an embarassingly self-aggrandizing honorific as “brights” to distinguish themselves from the losers so dumb they still believe in Santa Claus. Because from all I’ve managed to dredge up, that’s pretty much how they regard anyone who is not a declared atheist.

But at least, those folks are open about their arrogant dismissal of the rest.

Not so with the Democrats and Socialists of the West.

The U.S. Democratic party has for the last few election cycles — when they aren’t hysterically accusing the Republicans of rigging the voting machines — circulating instructions to the grassroots activists to try to fain some semblance of respect or at least tolerance for people with religious convictions. They seem convinced that if they can achieve the appearance of sincere... well, ... acceptance of the necessity of ... well, ... inviting those types into the tent, they might have a little better shot at regaining their dominance.

But it is precisely this condescending dismissal of spirituality, of faith, of the sublime possibility of a God, that renders them utterly incapable of comprehending the fanatacism of the Jihadi.

When you have spent your life denying the existence of God, denying the rationality and intellect of anyone else who declares they believe in God, you seriously diminish your own power to assess the thought processes of an enemy who feverish DOES believe in a living God. The mind of a Jihadi to clothe himself in a vest filled with symtex and a hand-switch detonator is terra incognita to the atheist, who comprehends nothing as being worth risking or casting away one’s life, because one’s life in the present reality is all there is.

The materialistic dialectic of Marxism does not prepare its adherents well for dealing with Islamic Jihad, already some twelve centuries on as Engels and Marx hatched their communist theory.

The Leftist-Socialist-Marxist experiment has shown itself to be bereft of vision in solving the problems of 19th century Capitalist excess; it sustained itself into the late 20th century only by eating tens of millions of its own children, and now lies prostrate and pissing on itself assaulted by Islamic primitives.

There probably are places where atheists feel oppressed by an atmosphere of spirituality, or a surfeit of Christian rapture. They deserve their sanctuary, as does each of us. I don’t claim to know the nature of existence...

But the alleged “brights” don’t deserve to dominate and ridicule the rest of us who have the humility to allow there might be realms beyond our reckoning. And, maybe precisely because they value NOTHING but their own sorry selves, they seemingly don’t have much to contribute to the contest with fanatical Islam.

6/11/2006 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A 1% change in retention, say from 20% to 21% of the available pool is portrayed as a 5% gain in reelnlisment.
1% of the total = 5% of the subgroup. So the rate of reenlistment can have major swings based upon a small shift in the total group.

But the reality is still that an average 4 out of 5 get out.
In this time of War, why are so many leaving?

6/11/2006 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The key is to "turn on" Jihadists to the concept of sustainability.
Once that goal is acheived, and their humors are normalized by the wonders of Aromatherapy, they will see the folly of needlessly terminating sustainable life prematurely.

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6/11/2006 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The reenlistment rates, if they are to be considered high, are so due to the bonus system. Or so it's been reported to me.
Folks overlooking the systemic problems for the personal cash.

6/11/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The Mad Fiddler @ 10:40 PM.

Thank you. That is my recollection as well, regarding "targeted killings" or assassinations. There is not--nor should there be--any prohibition against targeting rogue killers like Zarqawi. Maybe our prerogative to take out certain individuals should be extended to include certain heads of state, but I'll leave that thought for another day. (Or for another, more qualified or smarter, person to elaborate upon.)

6/11/2006 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Sam 11:19:

Sweet link. It made my morning. The Left is only understood if you listen to that pathetic dope Berg, progenitor( I cannot bring myself to type father) of Berg, "The Headless". Berg Senior, still with his head attached, talked about his sadness over Zarkawi suffering and dying, being human and being killed because he was.... and he goes on and on.

I watched the video of his son, having Zarkawi's foot on his head, and slowly being sawed off. An excruciating screaming horrible death in slow motion. Zarkawi held up his son's still draining severed head, and yet, Berg is saddened by the Z death and mad at Bush!

Someone, slighty to the right on the cynical scale, may conclude that Zarkawi got the wrong Berg head.

6/11/2006 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

BOOT (Back On Off Topic):

Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, 26, is telling a story that seems somewhat at odds with the one that Representative (ironic word, that) Murtha is telling the world: "It will forever be his position that everything they did that day was following their rules of engagement and to protect the lives of Marines," said Neal A. Puckett, who represents Wuterich in the ongoing investigations into the incident.

6/11/2006 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Once Jihadidists are enlightened, the Hajob will be replaced by vestaments of all natural fabrication, being a blend of lyocel, wood pulp fiber and naturally grown linen.

6/11/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Unless you are an unlucky one with a Liberated Woman:

At that time my life changed. I realized I was a slave of man. I realized that my appearance was my success alone. And I realized how easily those who had what I had could replace me. I realized that they just wanted me as a picture, like a woman in a magazine, before them. They couldn’t possess me, but to look was enough for them.
Well, they could not own me. Allah already had taken hold of my heart. Elhumdullilah. I wasn’t a slave of the creation no more. I was a slave of the Creator. They would not use me anymore. They would not find pleasure in my appearance any more. If they wanted to benefit from me, it would be for my intellect alone.

Islam gave me my freedom, and gave me respect, and gave me dignity, and allowed me to become a means of appreciation for my mind, knowledge, and thoughts alone. I became free of men’s lust.
I became free of them using me to promote their corporation. I became free from their secret pleasure with me, and them steeling my ideas for presentation in turn to move me forward, with me not realizing they were still always keeping me behind them. I became free of all their false illusions of success.
I was free…I was now free…I was finally free!
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Jannah, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).'' (3:185)

6/11/2006 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

zhanf fei: you are confusing cause, effect and delusion. In WWII, our national survival was at stake, it was obuous to everyone, - and they were right. They were not interested because they had a relative in the game - they were just plain interested, and that was why so many peopel were in the game.

Many people have not been able to see a relationship between any war since and our national survival. One big reason is that the low expectations racism of the Left toward minority groups has been applied to whole nations and more.

And then there are those that don't desire our national survival, anyway. And there are those that consider reality a terrible inconvinience relative to their personal objectives.

The "Left" has managed to absorb all of these viewpoints simultaneously. They are quite capable to simultaneosly saying that we should not defend ourselves and pointing out that we should do it in a more efficient manner. They are capable of simultaneously complaining that measures taken against terrorism are trampling on their freedoms and being objectively supportive of ideologies that would eliminate those freedoms.

6/11/2006 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe Berg Seniors Brain is in one of those boxes found outside Z-Man's Pad.
I mean, SAFEhouse.

6/11/2006 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Great link, sorry story.

Looks like they are prepping to hang this Marine Captain "out to dry"
Kevin B. McDermott, who is representing Capt. Lucas M. McConnell, the Kilo Company commander, said Wuterich and other Marines informed McConnell on the day of the incident that at least 15 civilians were killed by "a mixture of small-arms fire and shrapnel as a result of grenades" after the Marines responded to an attack from a house.

McConnell was relieved of his command in April for "failure to investigate," according to McDermott. But the lawyer said McConnell told him that he reported the high number of civilian deaths to the 3rd Battalion executive officer that afternoon and that within a few days the battalion's intelligence chief gave a PowerPoint presentation to Marine commanders.

"It wasn't a situation that dawned on him as the captain of Kilo where it was like, 'Okay, guys, we need to conduct a more thorough investigation,' " McDermott said. "Everywhere up the chain, they had ample access to this thing." ...

...The defense attorneys said the rules of engagement -- which vary depending on the mission, level of danger and other factors -- are likely to become a central element of their cases because those rules guide how troops can use deadly force on the battlefield. One Marine official said such rules usually require positive identification of a target before shooting but noted that the rules are often circumstantial.

"Once you go back over it, you have to determine if they applied the rules," the Marine official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the Marine Corps does not discuss rules of engagement. "Did they feel threatened? Did they perceive hostile intent or hostile action?" ..."

As I have said many times
Peception is Everything, even Reality

6/11/2006 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The defense attorneys said the rules of engagement -- which vary depending on the mission, level of danger and other factors -- are likely to become a central element of their cases

6/11/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Powerpoint presentations trump everything, even Reality

6/11/2006 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Did they feel threatened?

Now why the hell would anybody have felt threatened? Why do they even have guns?

Isn't it past time to take their guns away so they can't kill any more civilians?

6/11/2006 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Regardless of the I.Q. scores of any atheist, each is just a puny being not substantially better equipped — by any cosmic scale — to assess the universe and its nature than would be a paramecium or yeast cell.

Atheism is a proposition, as is religiosity, about something for which there is no falsifiability. I am in agreement with you in that limited sense: such a proposition is arrogant in the extreme.

However, your statement above is substantially incorrect.

Whatever one thinks of God, one must make one concession: science has reduced the arena in which he makes his presence felt. Mysticism has given way to God the Law-Giver, as far as cosmology is concerned (this is not making a claim about Jesus). There is still plenty of room at the bottom for God's handiwork, but God at the macro level is no longer necessary to explain events.

6/11/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Marine Corps public affairs officers reported that the civilians had been killed in the bomb blast, a report that Puckett believes was the result of a miscommunication."
My guess is the "COVERUP" was not a result of any involved, or the chain of command, but the above, pursued
By one Tim McGirck.

6/11/2006 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

the Marine Corps does not discuss rules of engagement

I believe ROE's are classified.

Thus all the bitching about ROE's on The Belmont Club is based on second or third hand information.

A point about which the main ROE critics need to be reminded.

6/11/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


6/11/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Thus all the bitching about ROE's on The Belmont Club is based on second or third hand information."
Michael Yon would disagree, as would the Colonel nearly done in by the rules.

6/11/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Post the ROE's for Anbar province, doug. I'll wait.

6/11/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Rules at Haditha, cannoneer are what it's all about.
Exactly what they were holds the key to the lives of a Marine squad.
So says their Defense Lawyer.

I believe the Lawyers for the Marines, how are the Rules interpreted and judged, when and by whom, that is what this Haditha case is going to be about.

Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich's life hangs in the balance of those interpretations and judgements.
Just like OJ's did.
Justice will be served in a similar manner, from someone's perspective, no matter the outcome.

Bet the Staff Sgt, does not have a secured private retirement portfolio to fall back on, though.

6/11/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Cannoneer, re "rules of engagement".

I was thinking about that just this morning, wondering: Heck, just what ARE the rules of engagement?

I realized right then I don't have a clue. Probably not one of us--excepting those who might actually be there--does.

6/11/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Haditha Our Media Won’t Tell You About
Kurilla's wounds are not real unless the rules are not published, and his words therefore carry no weight?

6/11/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Aristedes said:
"but God at the macro level is no longer necessary to explain events."

Your logic puts the Macro Level at the pinnacle of events. You have not proved the Macro Is the Pinnacle. God, arguably holds the high ground, which puts him in the enviable place of being at least one step higher than you consider.

6/11/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

I'm a bright, but I have no problem figuring that others don't think the same way, and are in fact willing to die for their beliefs, in god, or otherwise. Haven't 9/11 and countless incidents since then proven the power of fanaticism sufficiently?

The problem is, what does a sane person believe in? Fanaticism towards liberty and life is no vice for most of us, but I reckon the islamists don't exactly believe in the same things most of us do.

I have nothing but admiration for the troops in Iraq fighting a war while besieged on all fronts. Even the home front.

I wish the leftists would let the soldiers do what has to be done in Iraq and Iran. They're contributing nothing towards solving the problem, so shut up already!

6/11/2006 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"unless the rules are published"
Alleged criminals are punished in the market. The Guardian witnessed a headmaster accused of adultery whipped 190 times with cables. Children laughed as he sobbed and his robe turned crimson.

6/11/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It seems the RoEs are forever changing and flexible, cannoneer.
Here is one Marine Lt's recollection of these highly classified "Rules"
"... Marine Reserve Lt. Jonathan Morgenstein, who served in Anbar province from August 2004 to March 2005, said that the account offered by Wuterich's attorney surprised him a bit.

"When I was in Iraq," Morgenstein said, "the Anbar-wide ROEs [rules of engagement] did not say we had the authority to knock down any door, throw in a hand grenade and kill everyone." Still, he said, if someone in a house in Haditha was shooting at them, the Marines' response may have been within procedure. "If they felt they took fire from that house, then that may be authorized."

A Marine who served near Haditha in November said it was not unusual for Marines to respond to attacks "running and gunning" and that it was standard practice to spray rooms with gunfire when threatened. "It may be a bad tactic, but it works," he said. "It keeps you alive."

It just may have been an illegal tactic that kept those Marines alive. Someone in VA will get to decide if Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich did the "right" thing or spends 20 years in Levenworth

That and the Marine Captain in Ramadi that ordered his men not to return fire, if there were "to many" civilians on the street. He described his personal adendum to the RoE's

The Marines in Haditha may have been within the Rules, or not. It makes little difference in the Court of Public Opinion, ask OJ, if verification is needed.

6/11/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

""When I was in Iraq," Morgenstein said, "the Anbar-wide ROEs [rules of engagement] did not say we had the authority to knock down any door, throw in a hand grenade and kill everyone.""
Marines should pretend they were born yesterday, have no real need to continue breathing, and politely knock at the door and wait for a response.

6/11/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Doug 6:06:
Very important post.

6/11/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Too bad I screwed it up.
"Kurilla's wounds are not real unless the rules are published, and his words therefore carry no weight? "

6/11/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

The revision without objection is so ordered.

6/11/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

It seems the RoEs are forever changing and flexible

So you admit you don't know what the ROE's were in Haditha in November or what they are anywhere in Iraq, now, but you know you don't like them and it's all Bush's fault?

6/11/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes, doug, if it is unwritten and unread, it did not occur.

The news is only bad if you read it.
Ignorance is bliss.

There are no problems in Iraq that need to be addressed, everything will be fine, later, on the next guy's watch. That is what I hear from the White House. perhaps it will be, but those in charge today will get no credit for it.

Iraq is racked by anarchy, by every account. It will take just one more appointment, a different Minister, to solve this delemia.

But no change in course, yet. There is to be another meeting tomorrow, in Washington, where Baghdad's fate will be decided.
Do not think Mr Maliki was invited to attend.

6/11/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger C-Low said...

But But But buttt I thought "torture" never acheived results???????

F*ck*ng A*shats I hate people who change thier story and supposed foundations of thought from issue to issue.

My appologies Wretchard for the cussing couldn't think of another way to put. I can respect people who disagree with me on principle wrong or right but to take one of your major points and flip it for the next debate with imunity just enrages me. The LLL's do it regularly and in the public forum usually unchallenged either by their opponents or the media.

6/11/2006 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

6:36 AM
"MANYANA" is the watchword.
We're just Bushed 'til then.

6/11/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I admit that those that did and do operate under them do not like them, thinking they are inadequate to the task.
The exact rules for November will be Public soon enough, so we can all try to discern what the meaning of is, is.

The Court of Public Opinion, cannoneer, the Battle is being lost, there. Haditha is but a symptom, but a telling one.

Rep. Joe Kline, Republican, another
retired Marine on the Armed Services Committee was given the same briefing as Mr Murtha.
Mr Kline refered to the actions at Haditha as "an atrocity".
The resurgence of "Core Values" training confirms where the Corps Commanders come down on the issue.

They understand the CoPO better than you, they are trying to get ahead of the information curve, preemptively. Doubt if they make it, though.

The problem lies deeper than Mr Murtha. He is just another scapegoated strawman, this time.

Mr Kline's reportage on the briefing, that would be considered accurate and double sourced. If there is enough for him to believe the Charges, there will be enough to hang the Corps.

"run and gun" ain't gonna sell, not when babes in arms are in the photos. It's the new way of post modern War, learn to live with it.

6/11/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Hijacking Haditha By Michael Yon

Consider this important point raised in the recent memorandum that General Barry McCaffrey (ret) prepared for West Point summarizing his observations from his April 2006 assessment of Iraqi Freedom.

"7th - We face a serious strategic dilemma. Are U.S. combat troops operating in a police action governed by the rule of Iraqi law? Or are they a Coalition Military Force supporting a counter-insurgency campaign in a nation with almost no functioning institutions? The situation must remain ambiguous until the Iraqi government is actually operating effectively. WE CURRENTLY HAVE EXCELENT RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ROE) GOVERNING THE USE OF LETHAL FORCE. These rules are now morphing under the pressures of political sensitivity at tactical level [Casey-level or below, not Bush- or Rumsfeld-level]. Many U.S. soldiers feel constrained not to use lethal force as the option of first instance against clearly identified and armed AIF terrorists — but instead follow essentially police procedures. Without question, we must clearly and dramatically rein in the use of lethal force — and zero out the collateral killing or wounding of innocent civilians trying to survive in this war zone. However, the tactical rules of engagement will need constant monitoring to maintain an appropriate balance."

6/11/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger woof111 said...

I remember the indignation that occurred when a Saud pronce offered a few Million USD in relieve compensation, right after 9-11.

He was acting per his cultural norm for a sympathetic ally, we refused his offer and insulted him for it. A typical piece of cultural ignorance involving US interaction with Arabs.

We should have beheaded him.... another common form of interaction of westerners with Arabs

6/11/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

A lot of cops don't like their ROE's, either, rat.

Why don't you spread some gloom about how law enforcement in America is doomed?

And base it all on second- and third-hand accounts, aye, matey.

6/11/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"learn to live with it"
I still think the Kefaufer Hearings were the turning point:

Truth is always the victim when Politicians and TV Cameras are present together.

6/11/2006 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

perhaps, woof, you are correct.
But the President believes the Sauds are friends and allies.
He does not believe, as Mark Steyn does that they are basicly pre-primitive in nature

The Saudis, who are famously "our friends," behead folks on a daily basis. Last year, the kingdom beheaded six Somalis for auto theft. They'd been convicted and served five-year sentences but at the end thereof the Saudi courts decided to upgrade their crime to a capital offense. Some two-thirds of those beheaded in Saudi Arabia are foreign nationals, which would be an unlikely criminal profile in any civilized state and suggests that the justice "system" is driven by the Saudis' contempt for non-Saudis as much as anything else.

Beheading another Arab Cultural norm we must learn to accept and live with.
'Warmongers' have a point: It's a war

6/11/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Soldiers and Marines are not Policemen, cannoneer.
That is and has been the crux of the matter, the one you continue to ignore.

Ms Rice was right, soldiers make lousy cops.

6/11/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Re Dougs 6:06 PM link: The Haditha Our Media Won't Tell You About.

Here is the literal last word on the subject: ...remember this article when you hear the denizens of Haditha express their outrage at the "American atrocities" they claim to have witnessed.

6/11/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Doug's 6:06 AM, sorry.

6/11/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the Country, cannoneer.
In most cases the Local Police cannot apprehend them. These illegals make up a major portion of the prison populations in California, Texas, and Arizona.

There is a crisis in Law Enforcement in the US, open your eyes or take a trip and you'll see ample evidence of that, first hand.

Mr Gonzalez believes the best way ro handle the crisis is to "decriminalize" it.
Like not reading about it, just make it legal, and the problem dissappears.

6/11/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Rat, it looks to me that it is soldiers who are still needed in Haditha, not police. Not yet.

6/11/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Tell SGT Leigh Ann Hester she's a lousy cop, rat.

6/11/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

She was trained to be a cop
from the 617th Military Police Company

The boys in Haditha were not.

6/11/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The article was published in 2000, before 9/11 had changed American thinking.
“The President must remember that the military is a special instrument. It is lethal, and it is meant to be. It is not a civilian police force. And it is most certainly not designed to build a civilian society.” Who was the author? It was Condoleezza Rice, who was foreign policy adviser to George Bush, then a Republican candidate for the presidency. She is now the Secretary of State.

6/11/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

" reenlistment rates" are tangential. Divining why they are up or down is like arguing poll results. Polls are a blunt instrument. Besides, neither relenlistment rates nor popularity polls offer justification for or against what is being done in Iraq.

Sensible discussion of opposition to what is being done in iraq requires one to be able to clearly state the good reasons for being there and then offer cogent arguments against them. So far, all that has been offered are clichés and straw men. One good reason for being there includes the establishment of civil society built on peaceful problem resolution that the Baathist regime didn't apply either inside or outside of Iraq. Enlistment rates and popularity polls contradict that.

6/11/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Smacko said...


Your back to the ROE again.

But now it's not the actual ROE, it's the perceived ROE. The media ROE, the DR ROE, the possible ROE, the 'special' ROE.


Because perception is truth. The Haditha 'massacre' is real, wether or not it happened, because the media plays it that way. The ROE is real, wether it was in play or not, because DR plays it that way.

It's funny. I was talking to my brother last week. In his 6 years as a Ranger, he could not remember any ROE, any training, anything....that covered capping kids in cold blood, as alleged by the media happened at Haditha.

But Haditha was a massacre, whether it happened or not, because the media says so. Because the ROE is at fault, whether it is or not, because DR says so.

6/11/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Soldiers and Marines have been pressed into the constabulary role since the founding of the Republic, rat. You have perhaps heard of the Indian Wars?

Aid to the Civil Power, rat.

Gendarmerie d'Haiti

The US Constabulary

Soldiers and Marines CAN maintain order when called upon to do so rat, whether you like it or not.

6/11/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

there are many good reasons to be in Iraq. The specific goals have shifted over time.
Your idea " establishment of civil society built on peaceful problem resolution " may be generalized as "encouraging the emmergence of a democratic government". If we can truely parse the meaning of "encourage".

As Ms Rice so aptly put it, in 2000, the US military is "not designed to build a civilian society.".
Nothing has changed in the design of the military since 2000 to create that ability. So if Ms Rice and the facts on the ground are to be believed, the US military is not the right instrument to create a civil Iraqi society, to paraphrase Mr Rumsfeld, "We have the wrong skill sets in Iraq".

6/11/2006 07:58:00 AM  

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