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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Deuce ☂ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/10/2006 05:56:00 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 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 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  
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 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  
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  
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  
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  
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 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 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 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  
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  
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 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  
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 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  
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

Jivita waters are infused with hydrosols:
Extracts from flowers, resins, and bark.
Jivita extends its commitment to sustainable practices by using biodegradable PLA bottles.
Jivita's specially made bottles from NatureWorks are made from a renewable biopolymer material derived from corn and use over 60% less fossil fuel than their conventional plastic counterparts.
JIVATAWATERS featured at this year’s Green Fest in San Francisco

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

I wonder when W is going to comment on the Gitmo suicides. I do hope very much the left isn't going to raise another hue-and-cry about this issue.

After all, what the fuck were wardens to do? Set them free? Hell, the conditions I saw from pictures in the media is way, way, wayyyy better than the military prison I worked in, and our inmates never committed suicide.

Oh well, three less fools for us to kill. Would that more islamists kill themselves in prison.

6/11/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

one by one
civil aid, "The Posse Comitatus Act, passed in 1878, generally prohibits ... ...from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States"
Though they may be used that way overseas, true, they are not trusted to act as Police in the US.

The Haiti operation was one where US troops were integrated with native forces "Selecting about twenty gendarmerie,"
While I and others have advocated for this type of deployment in Iraq, it has not developed.
Haiti proved to be an ultimate failure, regardless. Upon US withdrawl a series of tyrants proceeded to impoverish Haiti and it has required numerous other occupations and invasions, since.

The Constabulary- this was a specificly designed Force
"The final decisions relating to the organization of the Constabulary reduced the authorized strength to 32,750 exclusive of the squadrons under the jurisdiction of Headquarters, Berlin District, and Headquarters, United States Forces, Austria. It was headed by a corps-type Headquarters, ... ... Thus, the United States Constabulary at the end of 1946 included three brigades, nine regiments, twenty-seven squadrons, and 135 troops, as well as headquarters and service units."

There is no similar unit in the Order of Battle, in Iraq, today. None with " uniform of the Constabulary trooper was designed both to make him easily recognizable ... ... To make the troops more distinctive they were given bright golden yellow scarves, combat boots with the smooth outer surface, and helmet liners bearing the Constabulary insignia and yellow and blue stripes. ..."

The Constabulary Force was specificly trained for the Mission,
Early in the planning stage the need for a Constabulary School became evident. The Constabulary trooper, it was seen, must know, not only the customary duties of a soldier, but also police methods, how to make arrests, and how to deal with a foreign population. A school was also needed to develop among the members of the Constabulary a spirit which would lift them towards the required high standards of person appearance, soldierly discipline, and unquestioned personal integrity.

The Constabulary School was established at Sonthofen, Germany, ... ... The curriculum for Constabulary officers and noncommissioned officers included instruction in the geography, history, and politics of Germany. The technical and specialist training for the trooper included the theory and practice of criminal investigation, police records, self-defense, and the apprehension of wanted persons. The trooper's indoctrination in the mission of the Constabulary gave him a knowledge of his responsibilities and the functions of the Constabulary. The Constabulary School has standards comparable to those of Army Service Schools in the United States.

There is no comparable training or course available in Iraq today.
Today's leadership is not providing the troops the level of training that would meet the Standards of the US Army, circa 1948, today.

Someone is responsible for that, cannoner you can tell US who, no doubt?

6/11/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Doug, thanks for the link to the Guardian article on Haditha.

Here's the link to the original GUARDIAN post online:,2763,1553969,00.html

One item in the article caught my eye as having a distinctly false ring: "With so many alleged American agents dying here Haqlania bridge was renamed Agents' bridge. Then a local wag dubbed it Agents' fridge, evoking a mortuary, and that name has stuck.

Any of you other readers know Arabic?

Sorry, but I'm extremely skeptical that wordplay based on English rhyme would survive translation into Arabic, or that a the local population would use Colloquial English as the writer suggests.

I HATE to dismiss the article in its entirety, because it sounds as though the place was a perfect example of a nest of vipers that needed emphatic housecleaning.

6/11/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

CSI Iraq, your own link, cannon man
"...Once we step back and allow the Iraqis to take the reins, the kid gloves that come packaged with our queasy western culture are going to have to come off if they are to be even remotely serious about stamping out the criminal underworld committed to destroying their country from within. They can‘t afford to play nice like Mr. Rogers; they’re going to have to think like Dirty Harry. Because anything less and they’ll all end up like Sonny Corleone. ...".

Your milblogger tells US neither we nor the Iraqi can win the fight, staying the course, that only US superior strength keeps US from becoming Sonny Corleone. Found on road dead.

Then Catch and Release is mentioned
"...But the humor recedes when you come to find you're often dealing with a 50/50 chance of conviction in Iraqi courtrooms (at best). Not only do you have to worry about being shot at or blown up again next week, you have to worry about the exact same guy behind the trigger. Same time... same place... same guy.

This revolving door of catch and release is a common frustration among soldiers and Iraqi citizens alike. Nothing is more demoralizing than making a righteous snare of a known terrorist than the knowledge that he was promptly released by a Baghdad magistrate due to “lack of evidence” or an administrative snafu. Three weeks later he’s back on the streets planting bombs. The absurdity of it all forces troops in combat to often have to think and act more like Eliot Ness than Audie Murphy.

Ms Rice was right in 2000.
What she said is still correct.

6/11/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

To get his Ministers approved Mr Maliki has release 4,500 detainees in the days since mini Z went down.

How many will return to their home town and take up arms, again.

6/11/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Mad Fiddler 8:46,

I thought the same thing about the Englisd/Arabic rhyme. Probably a too strong gin and tonic while typing.

Peter UK .."Zarqawi may not have been killed in their name,but he was certainly killed for their sake."
I am not sure what you mean here. Care to expand your thoughts a little?

6/11/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Peter, After a re-read I understand.

6/11/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" Nothing is more demoralizing than making a righteous snare of a known terrorist than the knowledge that he was promptly released ...

The reality of "Catch & Release" is a lot more demoralizing then old beach bums bitchin' about it, I'd wager.

6/11/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Zhang Fei said...

rwe: 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.

Could you explain to me how America's survival was at stake when we set Axis cities alight? Let's take this from the beginning. The Germans had lost the Battle of Britain by the time we entered the war, and were in no position to cross the English Channel, let alone the Atlantic Ocean. The Japanese never had the strength to take Hawaii, let alone the mainland.

If we fast forward to the part of the war where we were able to burn Germany's and Japan's cities down, it was obvious at that point that we were winning and they were losing. The main points of contention were (1) whether they would surrender only after we physically overran their cities (Germany) or well short of it (Japan) and (2) when these dates would be. Let's face it - the public had no problem with burning Tokyo down or A-bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki not because the survival of the nation was at stake, but because the survival of their loved ones - who happened to be in uniform via a universal draft - was at stake.

That is what happens to public sentiment about enemy civilians when it has some skin in the game - it discards the theoretical ruminations of philosophers far from the scene of battle about what is or isn't moral. Our boys in uniform were innocent, too - they weren't in it for loot, slaves or land.

6/11/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"This revolving door of catch and release is a common frustration among soldiers and Iraqi citizens alike"
Over and over we hear Iraqi (and Afghan) citizens complain that security is not being enforced.
They live there, as do their sons, daughters, and parents.
Much like the plaintive calls from California citizens, treated with utter contempt, disdain, and self-righteous condescension by POTUS.

6/11/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


6/11/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Dear zhen fei,

You said, "The Germans had lost the Battle of Britain by the time we entered the war, and were in no position to cross the English Channel, let alone the Atlantic Ocean. The Japanese never had the strength to take Hawaii, let alone the mainland."

Those observations were made ONLY IN HINDSIGHT. They were by no means clear at the time. In fact, German forces at any time COULD have been ordered to attempt the crossing, but only at a great cost. It is ONLY by examining captured documents after the end of hostilities that we can now say that Hitler reckoned it was not advantageous to squander his forces on an invasion of the British Isles, while his submarines were doing a wonderful job, thank you very much, of starving them of supplies they needed to prosecute the war against him. If you take off your blinders, and consider how recklessly Hitler spent his nation's manhood in other battles, your reasoning is shown for the fraud it really is.

The incineration of Hamburg and Dresden were atrocious, yes, but they were done at a time when Nazi Germany had occupied or at least had undefeated armies operating in (here I'm depending on my memory, so I could be wrong on particulars) Poland, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Algeria, Romania, Morocco, Bulgaria, Libya, Norway, Ukraine SSR, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, France, Belgium, The Nederlands, Italy, Iran, et cetera. Even after American and British forces had crossed the Rhine, Hitler had sufficient strength to throw over 200,000 troops, including five HUNDRED tanks and 2,000 artillery tubes against the Allied forces in his Ardennes offensive (We called it the Battle of the Bulge; German nomenclature was Die Wacht am Rhein.) That was while fending off the Russian armies on their eastern frontiers. The Germans had something on the order of 23 divisions remaining that late in the war. Even if I'm off by a third, Germany was still vigorously resisting the Allies AND the Russians right up to the final weeks before surrender by Admiral Karl Dönitz.

Similarly, Japan's ruling council had ordered training of regiments of housewives, shopkeepers, trash collectors, and children armed with sharpened bamboo stakes to resist the anticipated American amphibious landings. The military fanatics were unmoved by the appalling suffering of the Japanese public throughout the fire-bombings of Tokyo and other major cities. Those raids using "conventional" high explosives and incendiaries killed far more civilians than did both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bomb blasts. Yet the Japanese high command were still arguing against capitulation until after the second A-bomb.

You argue from information you have SIX DECADES AFTER the events as though the people making the decisions at that time knew for a certainty the same history that WE know now only as a result of their determination to prevail. If they had faltered, or hesitated, or refrained then, the war's outcome could easily have been otherwise, and we might never have had the chance to read the captured documents that tell us how near a thing it was.

6/11/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

sorry "zhang fei"

6/11/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

11:58 AM

6/11/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Prior to this action, Japan possessed general naval superiority over the United States and could usually choose where and when to attack. After Midway, the two opposing fleets were essentially equals, and the United States soon took the offensive."

6/11/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

However, I agree with Zhang Fei to the extent of acknowledging that the public felt more empathy for the American Fighting Man, and I doubt if half of the populace treated them with a disdainful indifference/lack of caring.

6/11/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger sbw said...

Rat said, "As Ms Rice so aptly put it, in 2000, the US military is "not designed to build a civilian society."

Right, again, Rat. But they sure are designed for site prep. ;-)

6/11/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Or as some do here as pawns equal in value to our adversaries from primitive times.
"Crimson Robes and Headless Corpses"

Sounds like part of a very dark refrain.

6/11/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Right, again, Rat. But they sure are
designed for site prep. ;-)
Mission complete, on to Damascus!
The Dominos would have fallen, and fewer heads would have rolled.

6/11/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's not just 'Rat/Arizona, Smacko: This Map shows the rapid descent into lawlessness across the nation in just 15 short years.

Sorry my previous link was incorrect, I will delete it.

6/11/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Previous Caption:
"Click to see what Two Criminally Negligent Presidents have done to your state.
...and now some join GWB in saying that he and Bill screwed up so bad it's too late to do anything except make it worse.

6/11/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If that is what it has occurred smacko, I'd say their Democracy has emerged, the Foreign threat about "rolled up" and it's time for US to start to leave, or no?
What new Mission will there be?

As to equating Mr al-Sadr with mini Z, not much chance of that.
Z was a foreigner, a stranger in the strange land, himself. Few Iraqi will mourn his passing.
Mr al-Sadr's position is not at all similar, I'm afraid. The window for his demise opened and closed without action being taken. Now Mr al-Sadr is a committed democrat, he controls the majority in the largest minority.
As predicted by Mr Bremmer, years ago.

6/11/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Disgruntled Iraqi soldiers walking away from army in large numbers
Iraqi soldiers in Al Anbar province are leaving their army in droves, draining much-needed manpower from fledgling Iraqi security forces and preventing U.S. troops from reducing troop strength in the volatile region, U.S. and Iraqi military officials say.
See story LINK

HADITHA, Iraq — Iraqi soldiers in Al Anbar province are leaving their army in droves, draining much-needed manpower from fledgling Iraqi security forces and preventing U.S. troops from reducing troop strength in the volatile region, U.S. and Iraqi military officials say.

Lousy living conditions, bad food and failure to receive regular pay are the main reasons behind the exodus, which is running at least several hundred soldiers a month, the officials say.

“Many of my soldiers have not gotten paid in six months. Sometimes, they don’t eat for two or three days at a time. I tell my commander, but what else am I supposed to do?” said Lt. Moktat Uosef, a 29-year-old Iraqi army company commander based in Husaybah.

6/11/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm waiting to see Tigerhawks explanation of Madamn Halfwit's performance wrt
Malloch Brown's Message to America!

6/11/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat, re 12:30 PM:
Just think:
Way back in 1990 we could still assert that we were a nation of laws, and not be totally off the mark.
But then that Economic Depression fueled by lack of labor starved Millions, and Toilets were filthy across America.

6/11/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Reenlisment bonuses are not available for Iraqi soldiers, nor is regular monthly pay, it seems. Their Junior officers order the Iraqi troops to "strike" for food & pay.

High dollar US troops take offense at the strikers. Discord prevails between the Allies.

All for want of some dollar bills, at the front. Passing the buck, it takes on a whole new meaning in Iraq.

It once was said to stop at Harry's desk, the buck did. Now one wonders if it even gets to Baghdad.

This will all be fixed, soon. There is a "new" Minister of Defense to square it all away.

The fate of US Marines and Soldiers rests squarely on his Iraqi shoulders. As it should be.

6/11/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Hey, folks! I concede that the United States and its people are flawed. We've had slavery, lynchings, political corruption, hypocrisy, laziness (even in people that AREN'T welfare recipients!), impure additives in food, unsubstantiated claims in advertising, the crass exploitation of sex in advertising, and improper euthanizing of unwanted pets by PETA employees. Back before World War II, the U.S. public seemingly was routinely contemptuous of Japanese and other asians, in a way that we cannot comprehend now. I can remember a time in America when black people in many southern states were obliged to drink from fountains marked for their use, and had to stay out of bathrooms and restaurants marked "Whites Only."

On the other hand, many of those distortions are past. And part of the reason is that we have public libraries where ANYONE can read about the full range of human activities, history, science, arts, from any place on the globe, any time in human history (except parts of China and the Islamic world...) We have public schools that may not be as good as we wish, but they still provide education to all. We have a form of government for all its flaws that has allowed the public outcry over perceived abuse of Presidential power to force one resignation, and the near-removal of several others, without resorting to a mutiny of the troops and blood running in the streets. We mostly are able to get to and from work, school, and the market without having to step around corpses left rotting in the street. We don't hang, dismember, torture, or disappear dissidents at either end of the political spectrum no matter which party is in power. And most people pay most of their taxes, without requiring the government to send around thugs and enforcers, complaints about IRS tactics notwithstanding.

And finally, we can publicly argue with each other about our country's flaws, faults and shortcomings, mostly without fear of having someone bash in our doors at night and take us away.

That freedom seems to be very much in danger in the coalescing fascism of the European Union, and is definitely not a part of most of the Islamic world.

6/11/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes cannoneer, I read your links. They confirm what I've been saying.

Troops are not Police, but can become Police, with intensive training.
The troops deployed to Iraq have not recieved the type training offered the Constabulary Force in Germany.
They cannot patrol in "painted helmet liners". You may or may not know what that is, but a helmet liner is no helmet. It is Peace time headgear. Not like the kevlar our troops wear on their heads.

As I said, today's military does not meet the training standard established circa 1946-48.

That is the point, cannoneer.

Sending ill trained to the task required into the fight, then on to Leavenworth, when they fight as previously trained. Then US Psych Ops cannot control or, according to you, even compete in the after action battlespace.

But we should stay this course?

6/11/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

... The examination comes after U.S. authorities altered their account of how the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq died, first saying he died outright in the airstrike but then saying he survived and died soon after. "The autopsy is completed. However, we are not releasing results yet," Maj. William Willhoite said. ...

... Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Baghdad, said Saturday the decision to fly in forensic experts was made shortly after al-Zarqawi's death. The airstrike also killed five others, including al-Zarqawi's spiritual adviser, Sheik Abdul-Rahman.

"I think if we don't do a full autopsy then that might irresponsible on our part," Caldwell said. "I think we sort of owe that just for this reason: How did he actually die?"

He said the U.S. government thought it was important enough "that we grabbed two people in the last 48 hours and told them pack up and move to Iraq." ..."


6/11/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think we should send massive teams of forensic scientists to the Graveyards of France, and find out just how bad some of our GI's were in those evil days gone by.
As I said:
Some of my schoolteachers were probably part of LeMay's Firebombing.
I'm checking out.
Not Worthy, ya know.

6/11/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Fiddler, wrt our Multicultural Public schools, and their effects on new arrivals, mostly illegal, from the South, I quote Tom Sowell:
Thomas Sowell
Intellectuals' ability to think of people in the abstract is a dangerous talent in a world where people differ in all the ways that make them people.

Some free-market advocates argue that the same principle which justifies free international trade in commodities should justify the free movement of people as well. But this ignores the fact that people have consequences that go far beyond the consequences of commodities.
Commodities are used up and vanish. People generate more people, who become a permanent and expanding part of the country's population and electorate.

It is an irreversible process --
Unlike commodities, people in a welfare state have legal claims on other people's tax dollars.
Immigrants in past centuries came here to become Americans, not to remain foreigners, much less to proclaim the rights of their homelands to reclaim American soil, as some of the Mexican activist groups have done.
Today, immigrant spokesmen promote grievances, not gratitude, much less patriotism. Moreover, many native-born Americans also promote a sense of separatism and grievance and, through "multi-culturalism," strive to keep immigrants foreign and disaffected.

Hispanic activists themselves recognize that many of the immigrants from Mexico -- legal or illegal -- would assimilate into American society in the absence of these activists' efforts to keep them a separate constituency. But these efforts are widespread and unrelenting, a fact that cannot be ignored.
In short, they teach them to become good America Hating Victimology-Obsessed Leftists.
On average, Hispanic families received four times more welfare per family than white non-Hispanics.

6/11/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Upper-level U.S. commanders are hesitant to provide direct and permanent logistical support to the Iraqi army.

They hope that by allowing the Iraqis to manage their own problems through their Ministry of Defense, they will learn from their mistakes and develop independently.

But some Marines in the field believe the U.S. forces also should help the Iraqis, because the coalition needs them to win the fight in Anbar. Lt. Col. Nick Marano, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine regiment in Al Qaim, suggested that the U.S. military should take over the Iraqis’ payroll process to ensure troops get paid consistently.

The lawlessness in Anbar will take years to resolve, and the Iraqi army provides one of the only realistic hopes for reducing U.S. troop levels, said Lt. Col. Norman Cooling, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines Regiment in Haditha.

The insurgent activity is directly proportional to the force density in the area. But that force density doesn’t have to be American. That is why the Iraqi security forces are so important,” he said.

6/11/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Zhang Fei said...

Doug: "Midway" "Prior to this action, Japan possessed general naval superiority over the United States and could usually choose where and when to attack. After Midway, the two opposing fleets were essentially equals, and the United States soon took the offensive."

Midway occurred in June 1942. The fire-bombings of Japanese cities - which killed hundreds of thousands - occurred in early 1945. All this stuff about an existential threat to the nation is simply wrong. By the time we were in a position to burn their cities to the ground, the only question wasn't whether they were going to lose - it was how and when. The primary threat they posed was to the GI casualty rate - the more of them were alive, the fewer the GI's who would come back in one piece.

6/11/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We are teaching the Iraqi lessons, rather than winning the War.
Ass backwards thinking, IMO

Whoever prioritized, and put "Training Iraqis for tomorrow" ahead of "Winning in Iraq today" is an example of how the "Long War" is spin for systemic dysfunction.

6/11/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Zhang Fei said...

doug: However, I agree with Zhang Fei to the extent of acknowledging that the public felt more empathy for the American Fighting Man, and I doubt if half of the populace treated them with a disdainful indifference/lack of caring.

The entire population had blood relatives in the military - 14 million served out of a population of 140m. Everyone had some skin in the game. Indifference is a word you use when strangers are doing the fighting, not when your husband, father, son or brother is involved. The typical emotion during WWII wasn't indifference to headlines about distant wars - it was a paralyzing fear of that knock on the door, following by a polite greeting from a man in uniform.

6/11/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

400,000 times?
I forget.

6/11/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Other deaths in service (nontheater) 113,842

6/11/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Zhang Fei said...

mad fiddler: Those observations were made ONLY IN HINDSIGHT. They were by no means clear at the time. In fact, German forces at any time COULD have been ordered to attempt the crossing, but only at a great cost. It is ONLY by examining captured documents after the end of hostilities that we can now say that Hitler reckoned it was not advantageous to squander his forces on an invasion of the British Isles, while his submarines were doing a wonderful job, thank you very much, of starving them of supplies they needed to prosecute the war against him. If you take off your blinders, and consider how recklessly Hitler spent his nation's manhood in other battles, your reasoning is shown for the fraud it really is.

Again, you're missing the point. By the time we were able to burn their cities down, late in the war, there was no existential threat to Britain. Dresden was incinerated in 1945. Hamburg was burned down in 1943, after the Germans had lost close to a million men dead, wounded or captured at Stalingrad, and Axis Forces in North Africa had surrendered, and just before the Allied landings in Italy were about to begin.

This has nothing to do with decades of analyses - it's got to do with serious German defeats involving the loss of entire armies - defeats that put paid to the notion that they threatened the existence of Britain, let alone the United States. What Hitler thought is of no particular importance - he may have had the delusion that his men could cross the English Channel, but the objective reality is that the RN and the RAF stood in the way. And once he invaded the Soviet Union - again, before the US entered the war, the option of an invasion of Britain was closed to him.

6/11/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well enough trained, and with enough common sense to know their "Superiors" are screwing up,
Big Time:
"Uosef, who lives with dozens of Iraqi troops at a small patrol base near the Syrian border, said his soldiers are brave and eager to fight when needed.
But the day-to-day living could prove to be the Army’s fatal flaw.

“It’s a big problem,”
Uosef said. “If nobody does anything, I think that all the soldiers will go home and not come back. And without soldiers, what will we do

6/11/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yep, three days of cultural familarization, last I heard. Jr was both a native for a cycle and then a trainee.

Myself, last trained troops about 25 years ago. I am sure human nature has changed a lot since then.

How about yourself, you last trained troops when?

In the Constabulary Corps, which I have also advocated for, an entire 12 week cycle would be needed. 90 days of Police & Cultural training. Just like in Germany, post WWII., as you so graciously linked to.

I'd also advocate implementing a program similar to the one you linked to re: Haiti.
Our host mentioned a similar program in the Philipines. A few Trainer-Commanders leading native troops into combat, decisivly.

As well as a Program, similar to the KATUSA progam in Korea, but reversed ratios.
In each Iraqi unit, I'd have 15 to 20% of the manpower US troops, spread more or less evenly throughout those units.
Language skill would be gratly enhanced and we'd gain extended cultural knowledge. It has worked extremely well for the ROK.
We could have that type of program running for 4 or 5 years and posiively impact their Military and it's relations with US for a Generation or more.

6/11/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

you say
"We have the best trained Army and Marine Corps in history,"

To which I'd agree.
But trained for what?
Shock troops or Constables

Historicly Marines and Soldiers have not trained to be Policemen or Peace Corps workers on steroids.

Perhaps we should retrain all the Marines to be Policemen. That may be an idea worthy of discussion and debate.

What does the US need the Marines to be?
Combat troops or Constables?

Condi says they cannot be both, she speaks for Mr Bush, then and now.

I vote for combat troops with combat video teams in tow.

How about you, cannoneer, what standard do you think the Marines should train to, combat or constable, 'cause they are not the same.
Mutually exclusive, actually.
Per Ms Rice.

6/11/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Robert Schwartz 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."

Zarqawi sawed off heads from bound, helpless victims on film and then showed clips of those deeds on web sites in order to glorify Allah, to gain adherents to the jihadis' cause, and to strike fear into his enemy. I would not do this nor would I approve of our government or military personnel doing it. If there were no law against such behavior I would not have it done for I would not have us become in any way like the jihadists, let alone become them, in some cause that opposes theirs, no matter how just our cause is. I do not need an international agreement to tell me that this is wrong, that it destroys the soul of those who do these things and warps the souls of those that approve of such things.

It is not just that these people that Zarqawi did this to were non-combatants and not military personnel who may be considered fair game for the enemy to kill in the field of honorable battle, even if not to commit such attrocities against captured, bound and helpless military personnel. It is that such actions ought not to be done to any sentient, let alone human, being. We should not do this or approve of it being done on our behalf whether the act is outlawed by international agreement or not. We should not do it because of what such actions make of us.

The same with torture. This is the letting loose of a barbarous inclination in the human soul. Are we barbarians? Do we require an international agreement to tell us that torture is barbarous or that torturing another human being makes the torturer a barbarian or that approving of torture makes us barbarians? I would hope not. We don't torture because we are not barbarians, not because some document signed by our country says we should not.

Someone might say that, because our enemy are barbaric, because if we fail to stop them they will brutalize thousands, tens of thousands or millions of others, our failure to stop their barbarity will make us responsible in some way for those thousands or millions of brutal deaths, and that therefore we must at times act brutally toward our enemy in order to stop his vastly greater brutality. Someone might say that, having succeeded in stopping Zarqawi from brutalizing others, possibly many others, we are justified in treating one prisoner brutally -- or in permitting another country to do so to our benefit. Yet that is a barbarian's ethic/morality that may easily lead to our brutalizing prisoners ourselves instead of having other's, in nations less queasy about brutality than we, do it for us. After all, if brutalizing the brutal is justified for Jordanians to do, why is it not justified for us to do? Why not cut out the middle-man?

To me, our enemy's much greater brutality can never justify our own nor the brutality of any other nation on our behalf.

Does this mean that I think that we should not have acted on the information that may have been extracted with the aid or torture in order to stop Zarqawi? No. But neither do I question why the Geneva Conventions are relevant. It is relevant because by ignoring the Conventions, we become those that the Conventions were drafted and by us approved in an effort to prevent us from becoming.

It is not for the sake of Zarqawi, or of the prisoner who may have been tortured into giving up Zarqawi that we should follow the Conventions, even if the Conventions do not apply to this enemy. It is for the sake of us not becoming once more that which we have supposed ourselves to have ceased to be: barbarians.

6/11/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Standing Face to Face with a Hypothetical Atomic Atta, knowing he knows where the Bomb is in Manhattan, and how it is wired:
My Dear Man, please tell me where that bomb is, and how it can be defused.

Screw you, Crusader Doug!

Ok, Whatever, let's watch!

Hijacking Haditah - Michael Yon

Ben was the first up the stairs, and he took four bullets. Only then did his buddies throw flash-bangs and eventually shot down the terrorist who killed Ben. All the Iraqi kids were fine. But Ben Morton died. Soldiers cried that night.

The next day I stood where Ben died. He was killed the day after his first wedding anniversary. His beautiful bride Elaina was so heart-stricken that shortly thereafter she went to a deserted lake and wrote with a stick in the sand:

I love you SGT Ben Morton

Love Elaina

When I traveled to Kansas and stood where Elaina took her own life, I tried to fathom her pain.
I visited Ben’s grandparents in Arizona and still correspond with them frequently, and I visited his fine parents in Wright, Kansas.
I also visited Elaina’s wonderful parents near Kansas City. These are fine, fine people.
Ben believed in the mission.
He believed in America.
But one of his final wishes was to be buried in his country clothes. He was considering making the Army a career, but he saw it as his job and his duty, and his reasoning was that a man should not be buried in his work clothes.
When his casket arrived, Ben’s mother and bride changed him from his uniform into his country clothes, and he was buried in Wright, Kansas, where Elaina rests now by his side.
They are together again.
I visited their grave. We lost two fine Americans, and their parents lost their children, because our people are taught to control their fire.

6/11/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Barbarians we are, indeed we should be, eh Doug? First, you pose a situation in which someone may find themselves one day, although real life is rarely so simple as hypotheticals. For instance, in your hypothetical we know that Atta knows the location of the bomb and how it is wired. In real life, we are unlikely to know that Atta has such knowledge. What this means is that, in your hypothetical, we know that if we can just get Atta to tell us, our chances of being able to save hundreds of thousands of people are very good. In your hypothetical, there is no chance that we will have tortured a man that does not know where the bomb is or how it is wired. In real life, well, you placed yourself in the role of interrogator, how far are you willing to go if we simply remove the highly improbable certainty that Atta has the information needed to find and disarm the bomb?

Second, you are using a hypothetical that may, indeed, never arise to justify the use of torture in a situation that does not involve an atomic bomb in Manhattan. How, exactly, does your hypothetical justify use of torture in order to track down Zarqawi? It's not like killing Zarqawi will prevent us from ever facing a nuke in Manhattan.

6/11/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"...real life is rarely so simple as hypotheticals."
Truman could have sacrificed more of our men instead of burning 700,000 men, women, and children alive.
However, it was not that simple either, was it, since many civilians would have been killed along with our soldiers had we invaded the mainland instead.

This could go on ad infinitum, eventually in real life most people make a choice, all leaders must.

Truman chose to detonate 2 atom bombs.

Where would the Z man dying fit in the Barbarity Scale up against those 700,000 burning alive?

Should we have gone in with troops and given him a lethal injection?

Might neighbor children have been harmed in the raid?

If Z had escaped, how many more might have died?
It's just all too barbarous to be involved with.
Eat, Drink, and be Merry!
Happy Z-Day plus 4, or whatever.

6/11/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

You make an excellent argument against someone else and against an argument that I haven't made.

Haven't said a word about WWII, Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Nor did I say a word about the method of Zarqawi's death or the civilians killed collaterally.

I spoke about torture and it's effects on the souls of torturers and of those who approve of torture so I'm somewhat at a loss to understand the point of most of that last comment.

As for Zarqawi, I shed no tears for his passing. I have no doubt that a live Zarqawi would continue killing -- how many is unknowable -- but the killing will go on with a dead Zarqawi. How many new jihadis will join the fight because they wish to emulate Zarqawi whose wedding to 72 virgins was so recently celebrated and how many deaths will they be responsible for? Who knows? Will the number of dead from new recruits directly resulting from news of Zarqawi's demise outweigh the deaths for which Zarqawi would have been directly responsible for? There are no end to such pointless questions, pointless because they are ultimately unanswerable.

However such questions seem beside my point.

6/11/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Craig Harman,

I do not endorse torture as a policy. Neither do I oppose it if one is faced with a unique and terrible dilemma. As a matter of policy I do not choose to kill people but faced with a situation where all other options have been exhausted, I will kill. The dilemmas of war and terror and survival make conventions seem remote and hollow to one in the white heat of life or death decisions. I do not understand men that are so stalwart in their belief that they will die on principle. I find that idea neither admirable nor understandable. It is foreign to my beliefs and instincts. It is close to the mind sets of the nineteen 911 hijackers. They died on principle. The use of extreme coercion to extract information from such men seems modest when compared to the likely results of their principles. Does that mean that I have no principles? No, my ultimate human right is to stay alive and protect others in my care. I serve no greater practical or theoretical purpose in life. If someone takes steps to take that right away from me, they forfeit. They are no longer protected by the rules of life. Such men, when they cease to be guided by the rules of decent human life should expect to reap what they sow. So it has always been and should always be. The principle is simple. You live, and when confronted with evil that has you in mind, confront the evil proportionately and if need be, make him suffer or die for his principles.

6/11/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

I suppose that all war is barbaric but war can be waged in a civilized manner and, for the most part, we have done so. I'm not talking about the obviously regrettable loss to civilian lives than any form of warfare entails and that the warfare chosen by the jihadis, within the most highly populated cities in Iraq, will be high no matter how careful our troops are.

Mine is an argument that we not crawl down into the moral shitpile that the jihadis seem so bent on conquering: being as deliberately brutal as they can be. You see, such brutality works for them -- there are many in their cultures that think 'the more brutal, the better' when dealing with the West. For our part, however, brutality does not work well. We torture helpless prisoners, and more jihadists are made, support is lost both at home and abroad.

It is a measure of something that there are people defending torture by Americans. I'm not sure of what it is a measure but I'm pretty sure that whatever it measures is not a good thing.

6/11/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Burning alive = Torture to the recipient.

Only outsiders can make other distinctions.
Some like to think their distinctions are absolute, and superior to others.
A way of deflecting responsibility, but only in the abstract.

In Mr. Yon's example above, might more children have been saved (as well as 2 Americans) in the big picture with more aggressive ROE's had it shortened the period of chaos in the city/war?

Some like to pretend that is not even a possibility.
Yet another way of denying responsibility for choices in life.

6/11/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


You are quite correct. The bombing of Dresden was unconsionable.

The Germans should have surrendered. Before it happened.

That they didn't is most unfortunate.

6/11/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I suppose that all war is barbaric but war can be waged in a civilized manner..."
And if waging it in such a manner results in a protracted struggle and more lives lost than a more "brutal" invasion, what is the meaning of "more civilized?"

Simply the wrong choice of methods, to my mind.
The ability to reason, figure, and make estimates and choices based on same entails responsibilities.
No free lunch.

6/11/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Dear zhang fei,

I apologize for tendency to attack; your gracious reply reminds me I sometimes neglect to keep in mind there are actually other humans out there in addition to the pixels and ascii characters. I visited your highly interesting website, and will try to continue dialog offline, if you like. Sounds like you have much to say, with a fair amount of background.

Please excuse my intemperate rant.

It's important to clarify that we're here to converse, and persuade, and learn, not just vent. I'll try to leave that for the folks at DU.

6/11/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

m simon...

Hamburg and Dresden got the wrath of God treatment because Zyclon B was revealed to be manufactured there by A.G. Farbin.

The allies had a constant intel effort to discern new threatening technologies and weapons plants.

It took a while to find the Zyclon B factory after the original was destroyed near Hamburg.

Note the signature treatment both cities received.

6/12/2006 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

DR, I believe that we need both a constabulary and shock troops. This may be simplistic but I look at it as two steps: taking ground and holding ground.

both are tough tasks but they require dramatically different techniques.

Your idea of "integrating some of our soldiers into the Iraqi units makes a lot of sense. A big reason why (IMHO) we've struggled to hold ground is our lack of understanding of the culture we invaded. since the ME will be a sore spot for the foreseeable future, training that improves our abilities simply makes sense.

One thing that I am trouble by is the response of America's academia. The stubborn refusal of the various middle eastern studies departments to fill a pipeline with educated people willing to help us in the GWOT is frustrating. the ghost of edward Said lives on, much to our regret.

6/13/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Scipio said...

Let's hope it hurt the bastards!

6/13/2006 02:08:00 PM  

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