Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Modern Homage to Catalonia

Iraq the Model describes what Maliki is doing to attract more insurgent groups to the negotiation table -- and how the holdouts are striking back. The Iraqi Prime Minister, in a backhanded acknowledgement of where the insurgency is supported from, made a tour of neighboring capitals.

The announced objective of the tour is to garner regional support for al-Maliki's reconciliation initiative and probably al-Maliki decided to make this tour after some insurgent groups have called for giving the Arab league and certain Arab countries a role in this project, meanwhile there are other groups alluding to a possible American pressure on these countries to play a constructive role referring to Khaliazad's earlier visit to Saudi Arabia.

And to those who argue that Iraq is on the verge of civil war, perhaps the most accurate comparison is with the Spanish Civil War, in which a global conflict played itself out in miniature within a single country. It is in effect, a cockpit in which global opponents are fighting through Iraqi proxies.

We must not forget that the conflict in Iraq is in fact an indirect conflict between the neighboring countries and America and among the neighboring countries themselves (a sectarian-ethnic conflict between the Arabs and Iran, a political conflict between Iran and America and another political conflict between Arabs and America and this one originates form the difference in the visions of America and Arabs for the region. Not to mention other smaller conflicts). Unfortunately the only Iraqi elements in these conflicts are the Iraqi parties that accepted to fight this conflict on behalf of Iraq's neighbors.

Will Maliki succeed? The indicators are mixed.

Al-Sabah is even reporting that yet more insurgent groups are joining the club: "sources said these groups are considering making a joint announcement in which they will declare dropping their weapons and joining the talks with the government within 15 days; this time the sources are talking about the "largest of the militant groups" that make up the bulk of the resistant groups." ...

On the other extreme there is the anti-reconciliation camp of which the association of Muslim scholars whose spokesman al-Dhari keeps saying that "no resistance groups had accepted al-Maliki's initiative" and even said the names presented by the media as names of militant groups did not exist. ...

Another report, this time from al-Mada gives an impression that al-Maliki wants to open as many dialogue channels as possible to encourage insurgents to come forward and talk to him even if no mediators were found. The paper says that al-Maliki announced a special email address to allow anyone-especially insurgent willing to reconcile-to allow them to contact him directly over a safe line. ... By the way, I couldn't get that email address, it was displayed only once on local TV and only for a few seconds "to avoid spam mail"!!

A special email address. Who said insurgents were living in the 8th century? We are now living in a world when special email offers of sudden wealth from ex-Ministers in Nigeria may jam a negotiating channel and where the success of the negotiations themselves are less a function of battlefield victory than public perception and private terror.

This reconciliation plan continues to face serious challenges and the worst of which is today's barbaric attack that killed and wounded dozens in Baghdad, in "Sadr city" to be more accurate. I'm afraid this attack will inflict more harm in the future than it already did today because it's similar to the Samarra bombing in its goals and this one I see as a blow directed at the reconciliation plan because the type of target suggests so. The attack carries the marks of al-Qaeda and this terror organization is learning to choose their targets carefully; they did see for example that assassinating relatives and colleagues of the members of the Accord Front did not deter them from joining the political process and becoming part of the cabinet because they were determined to do so. So this time in order to avoid similar results they did not target the parties that are willing to reconcile and chose the side that openly declared its rejection for the reconciliation plan and is well known for being a violent trend.

The attack on the "Sadr city" marketplace which may have killed over 60 people is a perfect example of how terrorism works. In concept it is no different from the al-Qaeda attack on Spain that brought down the Aznar government and installed Zapatero. Or 9/11. The Philip Bobbitt quote used in the last post applies exactly in this situation.

It is precisely because the Madrid attacks reversed an election that terrorism succeeded. Terrorism is the extension of al-Qa’eda’s diplomacy ... The attacks were, very simply, about democracy. They were an attempt to impose an answer on this question: will democratically elected governments be able to pursue their policies on the basis of the judgment of their institutions or can their leaders be tempted into ransoming their population when the public is hostage to violence?

Terrorism is extortion in the service of politics. Attacks on civilian targets are whole-page advertisements taken out to flog these wares on a reluctant public. The military power of terrorists is negligable. Despite the fantasies of those who imagine Iraq to be Vietnam, with divisions of NVA sending tanks down the road to Saigon; with legions of laborers dragging artillery pieces across the mountains to pound surrounded French garrisons into submission -- it is not that. Rather, it is a development of the techniques pioneered in the Algerian conflict against the French. It is the political and media power of terror which is important, not their military strength.  And in a takeoff from Omar's riff on Maliki's email anecdote, I would venture to say that terror would have won against the US and the West already despite the vast power of America were it not for the Internet, which has ironically made it possible for neutralize the propaganda power of terror. The Internet makes it possible to show terror up for the murder that it is. To strip it of supposed justification. To remind people of what is never mentioned in the papers: that Osama like all men goes and takes a shit. Made it possible to answer back. In a way, the Internet and the blogosphere is the sole remaining voice the victims; whether of terror or counter-terror.

That fact doesn't mean that Maliki will succeed. But it gives him a chance; a chance he would not have had in the golden 60s everyone hankers after. If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has demonstrated anything, it is the power of terror to thwart peace for decades. Everything that terror has learned in Gaza and the West Bank will be thrown at the new Iraqi government. And half the battlefield is right here, on your screen.


The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has just made a key Jihadi manual, the Management of Savagery available for download. The USMA site also provides links to commentary: Stealing al-Qaeda's Playbook. The authors of Stealing al-Qaeda's Playbook say:

Naji articulates a grand strategy for defeating the United States. First, he observes that after the rise of the two superpowers following World War II, nations allied themselves with the United States or the Soviet Union in return for financial and military support. The jihadi movement had been unsuccessful in the past because the superpowers propped up these proxy governments and convinced the masses through the media that they were invincible.

The solution, Naji says, is to provoke a superpower into invading the Middle East directly. This will result in a great propaganda victory for the jihadis because the people will 1) be impressed that the jihadis are directly fighting a superpower, 2) be outraged over the invasion of a foreign power, 3) be disabused of the notion that the superpower is invincible the longer the war goes on, and, 4) be angry at the proxy governments allied with the invading superpower. Moreover, he argues, it will bleed the superpower’s economy and military. This will lead to social unrest at home and the ultimate defeat of the superpower.

Naji does not suffer under the illusion that the jihadis can defeat the United States in a direct military confrontation; rather, the clash with the United States is more important for propaganda victories in the short term, and the political defeat of the United States in the long-term, as its society fractures and its economy is further strained. Naji observes that this strategy was used with great effect against the Soviet Union and that it will work against United States. Indeed, it may work better against the United States because it does not have the ruthlessness or resolve of the Soviet Union.  Interestingly, Naji does not explicitly say that the U.S. invasion of Iraq has played into this strategy, but he does counsel his jihadi brothers in Iraq to be patient, telling them that victory can come at any time. Once the U.S. withdraws from Iraq, he forecasts, its media halo will dissipate and the regimes that supported it will be vulnerable. The jihadis should quickly take advantage of the situation by invading countries that border Iraq, where they will be welcomed as liberators.

If you read the re-read Omar's post in conjunction with the Management of Savagery and Stealing al-Qaeda's Playbook it is clear that a democratic, or even semi-democratic Iraqi government represents a direct challenge to the Jihadi Grand Strategy. An existential challenge. Omar understood that the war in Iraq, far from being the optional extra John Murtha thinks it might be, is the central theater in a global conflict. It is the Spanish Civil War of our time. The Jihadis themselves understand the centrality of politics within that war; the importance of the "media halo" and have a clear idea of what happens after they drive the US from Iraq. A better idea perhaps then many Western politicians have themselves.

The interesting thing is how Naji's playbook has and has not worked out as planned. True, the US accepted battle in the Middle East, but I think to the Jihad's surprise, the US fight in Iraq was not predominantly conventional, but largely an intelligence war fought by local, not European allies. Those tactics have largely defeated or al-Qaeda's organization to the point where the second factor now gains prominence. That second factor is the emergence of a large Shi'a component within the fight, a direct consequence of elections, through which the US can exploit the fracture lines within the enemy ranks, not just locally, but globally. Those factors underlie the negotiations now taking place in Iraq. Think of it: this has never happened to the Jihad before. Not in Algeria, Afghanistan or anywhere else. They are fighting for their political lives in a country which hates them, though the same cannot be said of Western intellectual circles. But this is where the Internet comes in.


Blogger Radcliffe said...

In light of this post and the recent uproar over the NYT-cum-leak scandal, would it be better for the news media to demystify and expose terror for what it is -- with the clear justification that this is necessary for our side to win, and the need to shelve objectivity in favor of picking a side to win and contribute with better coverage.

If the press were to do this, if they were to tilt to our camp in the war even just a little, would it help us win the war? Could such a tilt be managed without ending the process of self-critique and audit of the government by the fourth estate?

7/01/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


Maybe you are right about the power and will. But this is why I think the Internet may have fundamentally altered the rules. It's been compared to the Gutenberg revolution. Before Gutenberg, people got their knowledge of the Bible orally, from preachers at a pulplit. Getting someone to read aloud was the most common way to access information from far away.

Gutenberg allowed people to read texts for themselves. And the power of obscurantism was broken. But not forever. With the rise of the mass media age, a new pulpit arose. Just as the Hunchback of Notre Dame was about the death of the building-as-message at the hands of the book, the TV revolution not coincidentally corresponded with Vietnam. I'm not saying things were this simple, but there was that effect.

7/01/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

I had occasion to see stats on how many readers a number of "conservative" blogs were reaching in aggregate and it was a very large figure. This doesn't mean that the "conservative" point of view will take over the world. But it does make make it extremely difficult for the Left to score it's "knockout" blow. It creates the political equivalent of the "fleet in being".

Despite maxing out their media and academic resources, the Left has not been able to shut down the GWOT. Nor even if they could regain the White House is there any prospect of any more than a marginal recovery of advantage. Their problem is fundamentally strategic. The Jihad and conservatives are now key rivals in the Dominant World View industry on the Internet. The Left can't weaken the conservatives without strengthening the Jihadi world view, which rivals it now for the mantle of the Revolution. And it can't weaken the Jihad without strengthening the conservatives. They can play coalition politics. But they will discover, as Hitler discoverd in the middle of Russia, that the moment when they could bestride the world was over.

7/01/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I posted this Ledeen link in the previous thread.
Would be interested in your thoughts about how Al Queda fits in with Ledeen's picture.

The Iranian threat is both religious and murderous.

Yes, they want to spread their doctrine, they do indeed want to create (Qom-version) Islamic republics all over the world, but that can come later. The main mission is to drive us out of the Middle East, above all from their eastern (Afghanistan) and western (Iraq) borders.
The prime instrument for this mission is terrorism, and they do not care at all about the ethos of the terrorists.
Indeed, as I reported some months back, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told his closest advisers late last year that Iran now controlled all the major terror groups, religious or Marxist, Sunni or Shiite.

We are wrongly focused on the Iranian nuclear threat, which is obviously worth worrying about, but this excessively narrow focus has distracted us from the main threat, which is terrorism. The mullahs are not going to nuke our fighters in Iraq; they are going to kill as many as they can on the ground with IEDs, suicide terrorists, and assassins.
And we have given them a free hand in this murderous campaign instead of unleashing political war against them in their own country.
We hear lots of talk from the president and the secretary of state, but there is no sign of the sort of aggressive support we should be giving to the forces of freedom inside Iran

7/01/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard 5:51 PM,
I think a major reason the left has trouble gaining traction is that the leaders of the Democrat Party, most reporters, and seemingly almost all editors, are little more than 3rd rate platitude and poll-byte spouting 60's "academics" whose academics are anemic, to put it kindly.
Hewitt regularly gives examples of the legal knowledge of many bloggers, versus the almost total IGNORANCE of the reporters "covering" the story.

7/01/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Michael Ledeen watches Iran closely and has far better sources within it that I could dream of having. My own thinking, though perhaps it is wishful, is that we are close to shifting our emphasis to Iran. Robert Kaplan says that for the US ground forces, Iraq is in wind-down mode.

My own guess is that the long-awaited second front (shades of Overlord) will wait on three key things: 1) the strengthening of the Iraqi government; 2) the rebuild of our intel and covert capabilities; and 3) the elections in 2006 and 2008. Just as internal politics plays a huge role in the Jihad it plays a major role in the West. There is a war in the West; a real war. Its principal weapons are ideas, speech, education, politics. Most conservatives are picking up those weapons for the first time, in an ideological sense at least. And they are still very much inferior, man-for-man to the seasoned fighters of the Left. But it's getting more even all the time.

7/01/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Latest example:
NY Times being clueless about any of the mechanics of the intelligence game.
...and of course, devoid of morality, as always.

7/01/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, the left excels in the warfare aspect, but their sorry state of "mind" shines through:
"Global Warming! Global Warming!"
...don't know if Hillary has lent her unlimited intellect to that task, however.

7/01/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The most powerful exposition of the Lameness of the Media, week after week on the Limbaugh Program, are his sound editor's productions featuring 6-12 MSM "Heavyweights" repeating the EXACT SAME WORDS that are the chosen template for the week.

7/01/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

Doug - "Global Warming! Global Warming!"

I was at the Vet the other day, paying out to pick up an animal, when the receptionist made some ofthand remark about the weather, and this guy, parked with his dog in a corner chair said, "It's definitely because of Global Warming--I saw it on TV last night." At first I thought maybe he was joking, but then noticed he was wearing sandals. I'll bet his pit bull wasn't a wimpy liberal.

7/01/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


7/01/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Funny you should bring that up:
Here is something I was going to post in response to something 2164th wrote last night, but got too late.
(Humbolt story is true, btw)
Our Monopolistic Educational establishment has so dumbed down the population that brainlessness of a magnitude that could only be found by picking up a LSD Laced Hippy in Humbolt County and talking to her while giving her a ride to her polyethylene geodesic dome/home in the forest is now touted nationwide in the person of Al Gore.
It's in his movie: It's gotta be true.
This lady would make predictions of coming world-scale disasters based on the amount of rain during the past season, or the aberrant behavior of a Brown Bear in the forest:
Now, ABC News asks viewers to send in their local examples of "the effects of Global Warming" presumably to add to the great knowledge base already compiled by Algore.
45% High School Graduation rate in LA School district.
10 years ago, Gay activists said they would never promote their cause in the schools:
Today they demand it, academics and parents be damned.
Feminists still rule at Harvard.

7/01/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"".....compensation is derived from whatever lifts him above his present inadequate state and makes him superior to all others.
This brings the child to setting a goal, a fictitious goal of superiority which will transform his poverty into wealth, his subordination into dominance, his suffering into happiness and pleasure, his ignorance into omniscience, and his ineptness into creativity.
Global Warming.
With a Pit Bull for Real World Insurance!

7/01/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

The Left is making a huge blunder in not aggressively fighting al-Qaeda and being seen fighting al-Qaeda.

Whatever else can be said about the Right (and conservatives in general), those Leftists who never waver in the prosecution of this war will have their seats at the victory table. Meanwhile, if al-Qaeda were to ever come even close to victory, those convenient idiots of the Left will be left with nothing other than the occasional scrap Islamists may leave for their dogs. If that.

(One should not assume that al-Qaeda will reward those who would betray their kin to them, for why should al-Qaeda not see someone who would betray them too at some later time?)

Those Leftists who truly seek the power to implement their revolution of economic democracy would do well to see that the anti-Qaeda agenda, even George W. Bush's agenda at that, is a vast improvement over anything the Islamists have to offer. Indeed, the Left would do well to contest the field over who can fight this war more effectively. (As it is, the Bush administration is winning this contest by default.)

Remember, the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation was built under the Franco regime. Similarly, the Bank of North Dakota has flourished under successive administrations of conservative Republicans. Nothing like Mondragon or the Bank of North Dakota was ever built in Saudi Arabia!

Whatever happened to the notion of defending the bourgoisie against a gang of orientalist neo-feudal reactionaries? What I see is a "beggar's march" of defeatism from the privileged counterculture instead.

7/01/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

*Kurt* Adler:
"In such cases, instead of trying to overcome the deficit, the person will construct symptoms on which he can blame the failure or accuse others, or point to fate, heredity or his upbringing for his failure to overcome the difficulty.
He will not even try to overcome the difficulty because if he should fail, it would show his incompetence. The contradiction between the low self-estimate and the high self-ideal remains unresolved

(From "Socialist Influences on Adlerian Psychology," by Kurt A. Adler)

7/01/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

indeciperable ?
My apologies, whit.

Took only two oaths in my life, outside of marriage vows. Both times to defend the Constitution, from all enemies, foreign or domestic.

Not to be a "Republican" or "Democrat". Not to support Mr Bush, or Mr Kerry, right or wrong.

The US is under assualt, the President has a strategy to combat those that attack US. The Military is not effectively engaging that strategy.
The litney of locales and stories from Iraq, Mosul, Tikrit, Taji, Hasitha and Baghdad all prove the point.
There is an institutional dysfunction in the US military. It is hindering the overall US effort. The Military branch of the Federal Government is, however, the most functional of the bunch.
Or there would be no empty civilian billets in Baghdad.

Who is the Enemy in these two Wars that are Authorized?
Wahabbists, not as an Ideology, according to Mr Bush or the Sauds.
Shia Muslims, not according to Mr Bush or Mr al-Sadr.
It obviously is not the Taliban or aQ ideologists in Pakistan, the land where the US fears to tread.
Iran? The is no War Authorization, no punitive raids, no end to the nuclear cascade in sight.
The US borders are undefended, violated daily by foreign infiltrators. Promises to secure those borders, dating from Jan '02 go unfulfilled.
Sunni Nationalist reactionaries in Iraq's Civil War, is that whom the Global War on Terror has targeted as our Enemy?
Has the GWoT devolved to that?

Supporting the Shia against Sunni in an Iraqi or possibly Regional Civil War?
Or trying to be an "honest broker" 'tween the two sects

It is not Mr Buchanan that is indeciperable, IMO.
It is Mr Bush, the spread between the rhetoric and the reality is what is indeciperable, to me.

7/01/2006 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat 8:16 PM,
Get yourself a skull and some bones, harvest some of those Desert Mushrooms, and meditate on that skull and them bones.

7/01/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's funny, bobal:
I posted my advice to 'Rat before seeing yours!

7/01/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.

—Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854), p. 12

7/01/2006 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As a fellow that's built a hogan, that's walked and ridden over the desert, across the Pima, Hopi and Navalo lands, I'll tell ya' one thing, doug.
It's rough out there.
Breeds tough folk, the desert.

I dumped on that skull and bones lifestyle, oh, about 35 years ago, now.
Left the boarding school, the Ivy League track and the East Coast elites for the endless horizon of the frontier. Then, later, travelled the world as a self styled Warrior Prince, saw a lot, learned even more.

Never looked back, if Jr had not decided to head off to War, I wouldn't have cared half as much.

7/01/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

bobal recalls a vivid memory for me as a young man:

Standing by my dad's 50 gallon drum burn barrel, stirring up things with a rake, the better to finish them off, my mom arrives with the Presbyterian Minister, who she knew I despised.
I made some Richard Pryor-like comment about those burning Buddhist priests...
"Those f...... are Crazy!" type thing, w/o the F-word, of course.
Minister makes some comment as to how I might come to rue the day, blah blah blah.
Next thing you know, the Draft Board came calling!
Thoreau sketches the main theme on which there will be multiple variations, suggesting the citizens of Concord are more puzzling than appears at first sight for they have "appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways. What I have heard of Brahmins sitting exposed to four fires and looking in the face of the sun; or hanging suspended, with their heads downward, over flames;...or measuring with their bodies, like caterpillars, the breadth of vast empires; or standing on one leg on the tops of pillars - even these forms of conscious penance are hardly more incredible and astonishing than the scenes which I daily witness"
At root is a duality of vision that the Italian writer, Cesare Pavese, noted in the American outlook - "a sort of double vision through which from the single object of the senses, avidly absorbed and possessed, there radiates a sort of halo of unlooked-for spirituality." Perry Miller had defined the ambiguity, which at times spills over into confusion, in an address to the Thoreau Society in 1960. He argues that the author at times demands a scientific view of nature, but at others acknowledges "a wise purveyor [who] has been there before me:"
The unlooked for spirituality of Richard Pryors's perspectives on life!
(I only saw his early local stuff before he became popular, which was sheer genius, and some of his movies)

7/01/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Read Edward Abbey for some of the flavor of the modern Southwest, Monkeywrench Gang is kind of light,
Desert Solitare a bit more philosphical.

I'd reccomend The Brave Cowboy (1956), it was Edward Abbey's second published novel. The book later became the basis for the 1962 movie, "Lonely are the Brave", with Kirk Douglas starring.

Mr Abbey examplifies alot of folk, here in the Southwest. Wikipedia says this of him...

"... Sometimes called the "desert anarchist," Abbey was known to anger people of all political stripes (as well as environmentalists). In his essays the narrator describes throwing beer cans out of his car, claiming the highway had already littered the landscape. Abbey has been criticized by some for his comments on immigration and women. He differed from the stereotype of the 'environmentalist as politically-correct leftist', by disclaiming the counterculture and the "trendy campus people" and saying he didn't want them as his primary fans, and by supporting some conservative causes such as immigration reduction and the National Rifle Association. He devoted one chapter in his book "Hayduke Lives" to poking fun at left-green leader Murray Bookchin. However, he reserves his harshest criticism for what he calls the military-industrial complex, "welfare ranchers," energy companies, land developers and "Chambers of Commerce," all of which he believed were destroying the West's great landscapes. Abbey refused to be ideologically pigeon-holed by the left or the right; above all he was a staunch advocate for wilderness preservation and ecological protection. Abbey thrived on controversy and his popularity has proven to span generations. ..."

Most of the "welfare ranchers" are gone. Grazing leases not renewed by the BLM, killing off the "family cattle ranch" economicly.

7/01/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What a day:
I FORGOT about Richard Pryor immolating himself!

7/01/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Driving that train, doug.

7/01/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"above all he was a staunch advocate for wilderness preservation and ecological protection"
Time Mag had TR Roosevelt as it's yearly special:
Had some neat video of him caught on moving celluloid.
High Acheiver, to put it mildly:
A weak, asthmatic child, his dad talked to him as a teen, he took up the challenge with a vengance!
I think it said he wrote 11 books?

America's First Environmentalist.
...shown with Ansel Adams or John Muir.

7/01/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The "Silver Streak," 'Rat?

7/01/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

"Omar understood that the war in Iraq, far from being the optional extra John Murtha thinks it might be, is the central theater in a global conflict. It is the Spanish Civil War of our time. The Jihadis themselves understand the centrality of politics within that war; the importance of the "media halo" and have a clear idea of what happens after they drive the US from Iraq. A better idea perhaps then many Western politicians have themselves."

We ought to be fair to GWB and acknowledge that this has been his publicly announced strategy since just a few days after 9/11. The 'idiot' got there literally years before most of the intellectuals (feigned surprise).

7/01/2006 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It's like hauling coal to Newcatle around here.

500,000 man Army, perhaps, but not all US.
The Iraqi have volunteered and supplied 200,000 men, so far. We do not train or utilize them well. That is laid at the Army's door, justifiably or not.

In the Sudan, Somalia, Warizistan there is a need for a Force to match the Enemy, it will not be US citizens. Mr Bush is on Course when he says the Iraqi must carry the water, the Military is not transforming itself to the task of allowing them or others to help themselves help US.

That is the historical operating norm for the US Army, at least in my life experience.

7/01/2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Doug, I was thinking of the Grateful Dead
Driving that train...
High on cocaine

Fire and brimstone.
for Mr Pyror, anyway.

7/01/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Which Scale did you pull on trying to get that rattler out of the barrel?

7/01/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The synopsis of Silver Streak reminded me of this gem I hope to see:
Bury Me in Kern County (1998)
A "Cops"-styled TV show tapes the arrest of a man (Judson) charged with selling home made speed.
His mother, seeing the broadcast, dies of a heart attack on the spot.
His wife (Mary Sheridan) then decides to join with her drug addled sister (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and decide to rob a convenience store to get the money for the bond and for the funeral expenses. However, upon arriving they find the store already being robbed. Deciding to rob the robber, they give chase and end up killing him - only to find that it is the husband just released from jail. Events follow that places the two sisters at odds with each other.
Rajskub is "Chloe" on 24: which I have not seen either.

7/01/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I agree with wretchard. The Internet has altered the rules of the propaganda war.

In years past if one side had Big Media in their hip pocket they had the war won. But, it's a new era and monopolizing the MSM doesn't guarantee victory.

Now that the left has just about max'd out their MSM resources the battle field is actually beginning to tilt against them.

Their shelf life is running out. They sense it and are doing desperate things (revealing secret programs and posting the addresses of top Administration and Defense leaders).

This is a huge risk to the left and the MSM. The damage could be quite large.

Now, money men play a huge role. There are plenty of wealthy Arabs who can influence entire MSM outfits.

I sense that the MSM is being bought by big money players and has little choice but to go with the money. This has worked in the past but may not work in the present - given the nature of the Internet. The money men can be exposed.

While reading CQ's post on the developing crack in the "innovative" political prosecution of Tom Delay I can't help but note that leftist billionaire George Soros and his "nonprofit" funds keep popping up.

Apparently, Ronnie Earle's partisan prosecution of Tom Delay was dealt a serious blow. And, it now looks like Soros and his leftists buddies are being exposed.

The main backer of Earle is TRMPAC. Two of the backers are Soro's entities.

1) The Open Society Institute

2) The National Association for Public Interest Law (NAPIL)

See: Michael McCullough

And see first comment in Captain Ed's post

If Soros is attacking the Bush Administration in this fashion one can guess how the oil wealthy Arabs are doing it.

Once the money men are exposed the next item will be the method of dealing with them. They maybe wealthy, influential and mobile but there are ways of dealing with them.

7/02/2006 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

What did Maji say? Bog down the superpower? Fracture it? Osama Bin Laden is now exhorting the Sunni to fight the Shi'a. This is Zarqawi's old line. What? Did the ghost of Zarqawi convert Osama or is not now clear that Zarqawi's line was al-Qaeda's line all along. But CNN buys the old lie.

"Osama bin Laden in a tape posted on the Web encourages Sunnis in Iraq to retaliate against Shiites, deviating from al Qaeda's stand of not promoting sectarian violence."

Here is revealed the true depth of the Jihadi reversal. Despite the mistakes, had we the wit to understand just how bent into pretzels the enemy has become there would be ample ground for cheer. Remember, the US went into the very heart of the Middle East. Their Fort Benning. And twisted them into this. Now if we could only fix what was broken and emphasize what is working there would be every prospect of success.

Unfortunately, we can't pursue; can't exploit victories because to a large extent we too are split into our own Western Sunni-Shi'a mode. And so they may slip away through the Falaise Gap of the 21st century and those who let them get away not even aware of their blunder.

The really interesting thing about reading the Jihadis is how they seem far more intelligent, strategically savvy and determined than the Left. The days of Lenin and Trotsky are long over. Today's poor relicts can't see beyond gender issues, global warming and sexual politics. If the end of the West comes, it's last conscious thoughts will not be of defiance but of genuine and pathetic surprise.

7/02/2006 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Starling said...

wretchard said..."I had occasion to see stats on how many readers a number of 'conservative' blogs were reaching in aggregate and it was a very large figure."

Prior to last fall's launch of Pajamas Media, most of the big political blogs ran Blog Ads. Going to the the Blogads site it was surprisingly easy to find and download weekly page views and other data for those blogs.

So easy, in fact, that I undertook a quantitative empirical study of the effect of page views, the number of ads, and political orientation on the price blogs could charge.

I posted my summary of that analysis on my blog the same week that Pajamas "went public". Here's a link for anyone who is interested. The post was picked up by BusinessWeek Online and a handful of bigger blogs.

Among the more interesting findings was this: while there was not a signficant difference in the number of weekly page views at conservative and liberal blogs, the distribution of the page views was: Conservatives and liberals predominated in different regions of the spectrum.

The impact that this uneven distribution had on ad price and revenues was notable and pronounced: controlling for other factors, liberal blogs were able to earn more, on average, than their right-of-center counterparts.

A follow up study to determine the effects in the post-Pajamas era is already underway. Drop me a line if you want to know more.

7/02/2006 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Below does not seem to jive with your description of Dubai's government.
What was up with that?

Shariatopia - Written Summer 2002

Notable results of Islamic fundamentalism include the Taliban’s beating girls for going to school, Saudi police keeping girls from fleeing a burning school because they did not have their head-scarves on (condemning them to incineration), Sudan’s institutionalization of slavery, Nigeria’s stoning sentence for a woman impregnated by rape, Dubai’s jailing a Frenchwoman who was gangraped for adultery under sharia, and Iran’s mullahs considering legalizing prostitution under the rubric of “chastity houses” and “temporary marriage” run by the government (presumably officials would get revenue and other pleasures generated by these).
Multiculturalists insisting on equality of cultures turn a blind eye; hypocritical racism of low expectations for other peoples is perhaps too painful to acknowledge.

7/02/2006 01:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Again, back to the Ledeen link, I'd be interested in your thoughts regarding the issues in your last comment in light of this from the Ledeen piece:
Who’s a Shiite?

The single greatest distortion of reality in the war is that old chestnut about the profound hatred and total incompatibility between Sunnis and Shiites.
The truth is that Sunnis and Shiites happily cooperate when it comes to killing Americans, Europeans, Jews, Christians, Suffis, Bahais, and anyone else who can be defined as an infidel and/or crusader. This has been going on for a very long time. In the early Seventies, for example, the (Shiite) Revolutionary Guards were trained in Lebanon by the (Sunni) Fatah of Yasser Arafat.

Obsessed by this great distortion, our analysts have lost sight of the profound internal war under way within Shiite Islam, the two contending forces being the Najaf (Iraqi, traditional) and the Qom (Iranian, heretical, theocratic) versions. Tehran fears ideological enemies inspired either by democracy or by Ayatollah Sistani’s (Najaf) view of the world, which is that civil society should be governed by politicians, not mullahs.

Thus it is a mistake to assume–as it is so often—that Shiites in Iraq are automatically pro-Iranian. No matter how many times smart people such as Reuel Gerecht detail the intra-Shiite civil war, it just goes in one ear and out the other of the intelligence community and the policymakers.

7/02/2006 01:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"If the end of the West comes, it's last conscious thoughts will not be of defiance but of genuine and pathetic surprise."
Truly Pathetic Tombstone:
(although a little funny in a gallows sort of way)


7/02/2006 01:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And of course, this:
"Indeed, as I reported some months back, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told his closest advisers late last year that Iran now controlled all the major terror groups, religious or Marxist, Sunni or Shiite."

7/02/2006 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


Great post and analysis. I think part of the reason for what you observe is a difference in the structure of the Left-Right blogosphere. Although it would be oversimplifying thing so to say it, the ROC blogs are individual voices -- what someone called with some hint of disparagement the "blogger kings" -- while some of the bigger LOC blogs are actually communities. Like the Daily Kos.

The higher daily page views are only attainable, I think with group blogs, because blogging is a game where the users generate a lot of the content. Comments, groups blogs, etc will bring in their niches to view threads and subthreads. In blogging more than anywhere else, the Long Tail prevails.

One other consequence is the differential influence LOC and ROC blogs have. The LOC blogs, because they are in effect, minipolitical parties, immediately translate into party influence. Exhibit A: the Daily Kos.

On the other hand, the biggest ROC blogs really function differently. They are meme generators. Only a few, if any, are linked at the hip to the Republican Party.

There have been calls for the ROC blogosphere to become more Kos-like. But I think the reason this is hard is because their constituencies are also fundamentally different. In consequence the blog substructure will be correspondingly different.

I think this going to change because events will increasingly make it both possible and necessary to link up analysis to action. You are already seeing blogs creating their own network of correspondents; serving as enablers of demonstrations, free-whoever type campaigns, etc. And this can only increase into the future. More I can't say except that you folks, not I, am the Belmont Club, in a fundamentally literal sense.

7/02/2006 01:59:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

...we can't pursue; can't exploit victories because to a large extent we too are split into our own Western Sunni-Shi'a mode. - Wretchard

Yes, there is a divide in the USA ( Western Sunni-Shi'a mode ). But, here that divide tends to widen during run ups to elections and shrinks after elections.

Let's hope that it shrinks after the election.

7/02/2006 02:05:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


Michael Ledeen is onto something here. If you look through the papers you'll find a lot of the trouble in Shi'ite Iraq is Shi'a on Shi'a. I think that among Islamic factions more than among nations, America will have no permenent friends, only permanent interests. That said, our permanent interest does not lie in destroying anyone, but disrupting the efforts to forge a weapon that will kill us. We are the disruptor ray. So we would be foolish not to be aware of the age old factions that exist.

I remarked some time ago that it would be a fundamental mistake to define the problem in the terms of Islam, simply because that system of notation does not lend itself to posing a soluble problem. By definition it leads not to any Caliphate but to destruction. Therefore we must pose the solution in terms of a rational notation. And that means regaining confidence in ourselves, after which I think we will find that the Islamic factions will find clarity in our notation. Our first and biggest error was to accept the absurdist terms of the debate.

7/02/2006 02:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard 1:59 AM,
The Democrat "Leaders" don't have the brains to listen LESS to the blognuts,
the Republican "Leadership" does not have the brains to listen MORE to the ROC blogs!

7/02/2006 02:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Smacko from the previous thread:
Ledeen Link:
"Obsessed by this great distortion, our analysts have lost sight of the profound internal war under way within Shiite Islam, the two contending forces being the Najaf (Iraqi, traditional) and the Qom (Iranian, heretical, theocratic) versions. Tehran fears ideological enemies inspired either by democracy or by Ayatollah Sistani’s (Najaf) view of the world, which is that civil society should be governed by politicians, not mullahs.

Thus it is a mistake to assume–as it is so often—that Shiites in Iraq are automatically pro-Iranian.
(sorry for repetition)
Smacko said,

I have read that 10,000 pilgrims a month are coming to Najaf from Iran.

And interesting enough, the articles that speak about capturing the Iranian fighters also include that this particular fight was against one of the Shite militias.

Wish we had more info on exactly what and who.

7/02/2006 02:21:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Part of the reason for the existence of al-Qaeda was as a counterweight to the original Islamic Revolution of Khomeini. The recent broadcasts by OBL exhorting the Sunnis to rise up against the Shi'a really shows the depth of fear which the OBL faction fears for the only enemy as ruthless as themselves. The Great White in terror of the Megalodon.

Whether by happenstance or design, Iraq is on a major faultline in this war-within-the war. And that fact poses certain dangers as well as presents opportunities.

We really ought to dig into this far more deeply and my knowledge on the finer are points are very sparse.

7/02/2006 02:40:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Caroline Glick talks about the Israel-Gaza.

7/02/2006 02:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reminiscent of Ledeen on the US Govt! and confirms what Hewitt's Israeli friend Yoni says.
So much denial, sometimes it drives you crazier.
She sure seems to have good sources in DC.
Poor Yoni predicted all this happening, now he has to watch.
An illustrative example of the upshot of their appeasement/giveaway:
The Palis get to move their rocket launches closer to Israel!

7/02/2006 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The discussion here is very important, including the point that bin Laden finally admitted that he is anti-Shiite. "United they stand, divided they fall."

In prior threads some people on this blog have imagined a worldwide conspiracy theory threat from Islam, one which assumed that every Moslem thinks alike, agrees on every issue, and is in secret and perfect communication with the others on how to destroy the west. The supposed conclusion from this incorrect idea was that we were supposed to occupy the entire middle east, and it wasn't worth talking to any Moslems because they were all part of the secret conspiracy anyway.

But as the discussion in this thread shows, Islam is divided into many groups. Moslems have many different views and don't have perfect communication. They don't always agree with each other. We can divide and conquer.

Terrorism from radical Islamic groups is just one area we need to protect ourselves from. We could be attacked with WMD from some group on the left, or a right wing group like Tim McVeigh's.

7/02/2006 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Or we could get hit by an asteroid:
It's my understanding that the FBI pretty well rolled up the right wing groups here.
Think we have a lot more to fear from Islamic terrorists, and like Glick and Ledeen both say, many of them fight in the same wars differences notwithstanding.

7/02/2006 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> It's my understanding that the FBI pretty well rolled up the right wing groups here.

What was McVeigh's "group" size, two people, maybe three at the most? How could the government have rolled up all possible two man groups?

They still haven't caught the terrorists of the only successful WMD attack in US history, the anthrax attacks. In fact those are good examples that are possibly and probably not Islamic sponsored. Given that they targeted left wing Congressman, the perps may have been right wing.

7/02/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

McVeigh's group size, well into the thousands.
Some of them operating out of an OK compound of neoNazis, Elohim City.
Mr Nickols was taught the finer points of bomb detonation by Mohammedans in the Phillipines, according to Mr McVeigh's lawyer.

The was a connection between the Mohammedans and the Nazi, here in the US.
While the "skin heads" tend to be "christian" they are as driven by hate of the Jew, almost as much as the Moammedans.

7/02/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

McVeigh's "cell" may have numbered as many, or few, as five, but the geoup. thousands.

7/02/2006 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm most worried about blue-haired white grandmothers wresting control of Airliners and crashing them into public parks in Hawaii.
Everybody has their special perspective, I guess.
Irey on Fox Video at Light Seeking Light. Bad Makeup, good takedown of Madman Murtha
"To clarify: the title is excerpted from Act 1 of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. The full quote goes: "Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile; So ere you find where light in darkness lies, Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes." It's a warning against spending too much of your life in academic pursuits."

7/02/2006 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pretty cool tag-team here 'Rat:
If I get down to 2 hours sleep, they'll never get a minutes rest!

7/02/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Non-Islamists are coming!
The Non-Islamists are coming!
Everybody to get from street!

(From the Movie:
"The Russians are Coming!")

7/02/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Try to dodge all you want, but as McVeigh and the antrhrax terrorists showed, all it takes is one or two people to prepare and deliver the terror.

McVeigh was a loner that brow beat one other guy into going along. That's all it took. No consipiracy, no islamists, none at all. Just a loser who washed out of special services and wanted to pay everyone back.

We don't know if it was more than one guy on the antrhrax because they disappeared without a trace. Looks like it was just one right wing guy from the military establishment who didn't think everyone was taking his specialty, anthrax, seriously enough, so he released some to show them. Since he was a right winger, at the same time he targeted Democrats like Tom Daschle.

7/02/2006 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Communists were similar, w.w.,

"which assumed that every Moslem thinks alike, agrees on every issue, and is in secret and perfect communication with the others on how to destroy the west."

Substitute Communist for Muslim.
China did not agree with the Soviets, on much. Fought a Border War that killed thousands, all the while, conspiring together against US.

The defeat of the Communist Nation ates came through their desire to compete with US, economicly.
The Mohammedans do not suffer from that weakness.
To defeat the Mohammedans, Muslims must be utilized, or genocide is the only other option.
Yesterday, today or tomorrow.

War or retreat are the options
How to wage the war, the only worthy debate.

7/02/2006 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Karen or Karensky nailed Wu last week:
Mothers would know.

7/02/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

And they were wrong about the communists too. Absolutely wrong. There was no massive conspiracy theory. Anyone who calls themselves a communist supposedly believes in a certain economic system but that doesn't mean they have a Vulcan mind meld that connects them mentally with each other communist on the planet.

7/02/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

9-11 was quite a show.
Like wu, my 12 year old thought all it took was MS Flight simulator.
Little did he know, it took incredible discipline, coordination, training, test flights, etc etc etc plus 19 committed madmen including the brillian Atta.
(I lied about my son's age just to be Bratty.)

7/02/2006 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wu Weak.
You are full of it.

7/02/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Brilliant Atta
Well educated, too.

7/02/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tell that one to the families of GI's lost to Russian Weaponry in Vietnam.
They will be impressed by your DEEP insights.

7/02/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

9-11 cont.
...and half a million bucks.

7/02/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Speaking of the communists, I can remember what people used to say about old Russia, the Soviet Union. They said there were no moderates there, no real dissidents, that it was useless to try to divide and conquer. They said that we either needed to nuke Russia into extermination, or invade the country, kill 90% of the people, and then the 10% would be passive enough to submit.

History showed they were wrong, that the Soviet Union collapsed peacefully, and that there were moderates in Russia.

Now the same thing is being played out with Islam, and the same arguments are being made, that there are no moderates and there can be no compromise. It is impossible to compromise with any Moslem group we are told, they are all an inter-connected whole, all determined to jihad to the end. So our choices we are told, are the same as the supposed ones for the Soviet Union, either nuclear war, or extermination of most of the Moslem world.

7/02/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Starling said...


This case is well-known here. The woman in question is named "Touria Tiouli". The attitude on the part of the Dubai government in her case can be partially explained by by this quote from the Guardian "A spokesman for the Union of French Citizens Abroad said: "While she is French, she will be seen there as Moroccan and Muslim. In the United Arab Emirates, North Africans are really the lowest of the low."

An British expat and acquaintance of mine whose nom-de-blog is "Secret Dubai" had this to say about Ms. Tiouli's ordeal:

And let's not forget Touria Tiouli, a French businesswoman who was raped by three local men, one at least of them so high-born or highly wastad that he was never even investigated. She was charged with adultery, it took intense, high-level diplomacy to secure her freedom. Her book Brisée : En prison à Dubai pour avoir été violée is available on Amazon. Until the UAE deals properly with victim's rights, gives abused women proper protection, and stops treating rape as something shameful or wicked on the woman's part, it's hard to feel much sympathy over the international flack it's currently getting over the Ports deal.

While I'll be hard pressed to defend the local government's record in this instance, they do seem to be taking this a little more seriously. Last fall after I arrived there was another case like this... a flight attendant, I think from the UK, accepted the offer of a lift from four, local, young men. They assaulted her and ended up getting jail time. Still, old habits die hard. The rapists' attorney asked to have the woman brought up on charges of having an "illicit affair." It didn't happen though.

On a related note, you might find interesting this post on my blog about law and order in Dubai. It's entitled "Dubai does Dallas". It's about the Grammy award winning US music producer, Dallas Austin, who landed in Dubai's airport in May with a few "grammies" of party favors. He plead out today. Sentencing is scheduled for July 4th.

7/02/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Russia collapsed peacefully,
Tra la la
la la
la la
No dust-ups in Afghanistan, and etc.
Osama would know.

7/02/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Your idea that Mc Veigh and Nickols acted "alone" is not based on the facts, w.w.
But most folk do not like the picture, when the dots are connected.
The perception is to scary.

The FBI did infiltrate and "roll up" a lot of the network, under the radar.
This is a pretty good story of the network utilized by McVeigh

7/02/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The collapse of the Soviets had nothing to d with stopping the pipeline to Western Europe, Afghansistan or the expense of keeping up with US in missle defense. Had nothing to do with the Sauds keeping the price of oil under the "fair market" value, bankrupting the Soviets.


I lived through most of the period in question, w.w. I do not recall calls for "nuking" the Soviets in the '60's or later.
Perhaps you are thinking of General Patton, back in '45. He may have been right, coulda shoulda, woulda.
All it cost not to was 100,000 US KIA in Korea and 'Nam.

7/02/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Back to sanity from a few moments of blog-ranting!
Grammies :-)
Some of the backwards looking types over there don't seem that much different than the ACLU here, or the NEA, which wants to condemn black children to educational Hell in perpetuity.
Here's hope for the future if the GOP ever gets over it's mindless pandering to the "Hispanic Vote."
Flake joins Blackwell!
Democrats for Blackwell 06/30 11:15 AM]
This is a great move by the Blackwell team:
All the GOP would have to do to become a semi-permanent majority would be to take on the NEA and give Black Parents what they want:
Educational Choice.

7/02/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> The collapse of the Soviets had nothing to d with stopping the pipeline to Western Europe, Afghansistan or the expense of keeping up with US in missle defense. Had nothing to do with the Sauds keeping the price of oil under the "fair market" value, bankrupting the Soviets.

Those as well as division among the Communists were among the many non-military factors that helped bring the Soviets down. That is my point, that I disagree with the Neo-con theory that some have said here, that we need to invade every country in the middle east. Full scale invasion wars like Korea and Vietnam were part of defeating Communism, and Afghanistan & Iraq are part of defeating Islam, but they should be a last resort.

7/02/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In regards Iran, our old buddy Seymour Hersh is writing in the the New Yorker again.

Interesting piece, it's verasity, well it is written by Mr Hersh.

7/02/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"division among the Communists "
The stellar efficiency of a command economy in modern times was an inconsequential detail. a literal reading of the Koran.

7/02/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Leverett told me that, without a change in U.S. policy, the balance of power in the negotiations will shift to Russia. “Russia sees Iran as a beachhead against American interests in the Middle East, and they’re playing a very sophisticated game,” he said. “Russia is quite comfortable with Iran having nuclear fuel cycles that would be monitored, and they’ll support the Iranian position”—in part, because it gives them the opportunity to sell billions of dollars’ worth of nuclear fuel and materials to Tehran. “They believe they can manage their long- and short-term interests with Iran, and still manage the security interests,” Leverett said. China, which, like Russia, has veto power on the Security Council, was motivated in part by its growing need for oil, he said. “They don’t want punitive measures, such as sanctions, on energy producers, and they don’t want to see the U.S. take a unilateral stance on a state that matters to them.” But, he said, “they’re happy to let Russia take the lead in this.” (China, a major purchaser of Iranian oil, is negotiating a multibillion-dollar deal with Iran for the purchase of liquefied natural gas over a period of twenty-five years.) As for the Bush Administration, he added, “unless there’s a shift, it’s only a question of when its policy falls apart.” ..."

7/02/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

wu wei said:

"Speaking of the communists, I can remember what people used to say about old Russia, the Soviet Union. They said there were no moderates there, no real dissidents, that it was useless to try to divide and conquer. They said that we either needed to nuke Russia into extermination, or invade the country, kill 90% of the people, and then the 10% would be passive enough to submit."

I started my early career monitoring Soviet air challenges on the DEW line. I was part of TAC and SAC and went on to be an analyst monitoring Soviet missile launches from Plesetsk, Tyua Tam and Kapustin Yar. I had deep intimate knowledge of forward Soviet capabilities and political dissent in the Soviet Union, of which there were plenty. That is why gulags were created and used. The Soviets had a hard time keeping some of their most sensitive intelligence people in line. Read Igor Gouzenko. There is not one word in this paragraph that is true. Please identify your source if you can.

7/02/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


i am a huge klutz. because of my bratty nature, people think i'm an only child. sometimes mistaken as a Muslim because of my family name. i don't like watermelon. coffee? its caramel macchiato. tea? chamomile tea.

7/02/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Tyura Tam. what's a missing "r" amongst friends?

7/02/2006 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

w.w. most likely is sourcing the same folk that think we lost in 'Nam casue we used to much force.

7/02/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

War is a tender thing.
Like prey in the claws of predator.

7/02/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Wow, I shouldn't sleep! Missed a great discussion!

Doug (8:59 PM):

It's funny you should quote these lines from Thoreau:

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind...

I'm always referring to them, and many others from Walden, which I have read so many times I practically know it by heart. What first turned me on to Thoreau was my fantasy, as a sixteen-year-old, of living alone in the Alaskan wilderness (!), in preparation for which I read all the books of a Canadian named Bradford Angier, who justified his lifestyle by citing Thoreau! It was only later I came to appreciate what a poet-in-prose HDT was!

As to the question of how unified the Muslims may be in their views of jihad, this recent Michael Totten report from Iraq is illuminating.

Jamie Irons

7/02/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey! I came up with that my own self:
This not sleeping routine has possibilities. a miserable Sunday, for instance.

7/02/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Poet-Doctor arrives just in time:
What's your prognosis on my 7:27 ?

7/02/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Bradford Angier"
A blast from the past, to be sure!

7/02/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The largest Sunni Arab bloc in parliament will stop attending the legislative meetings until a kidnapped colleague is released, the head of the group said Sunday.

Lawmaker Tayseer al-Mashhadani and seven of her bodyguards were kidnapped Saturday at a checkpoint in a Shiite area of the capital. One of her bodyguards escaped.

Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi Accordance Front, called other members of parliament to do the same.

"We in the Iraqi Accordance Front have decided to suspend our participation in parliament meetings until our sister is released," al-Dulaimi said, putting the blame for her kidnapping on security officials because they are responsible for the safety of Iraqis. ..."

That group accounts for 16% of the Parliment.
Goin to hell in a hand basket.

7/02/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Shoulda been here for the Ed Abbey discussion as well; he was a kind man, it seemed to me, because he wrote me a very considerate reply to a fan letter I wrote him, even though at the time I was probably pretty close to being one of those liberal academic types he despised.

Lonely Are The Brave was a terrific film; I believe Kirk Douglas said it was his favorite of all he had done.

It was also notable for the first film appearance of Carrol O'Connor, who saw through Meathead even before the California voters did.

Jamie Irons

7/02/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...


War is a tender thing.
Like prey in the claws of predator.

I'm just waking up, or I'm dense as usual, but you'll have to elaborate a bit on your question about prognosis...


Jamie Irons

7/02/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Carrol O'Connor seeing through Meathead.
What a vision!

7/02/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nuff said,
I thought it had possibilities as a great work.
...but it is 4:41 am
Cheap American Beer!

7/02/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

As Koizumi says:
"Love me Tender"
Wu Wei would know.

7/02/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

James Webb, no liberal to be sure, is coming out swinging in the race for the Virginia Senate seat

"... "I have believed strongly that when things aren't working well, it is the responsibility of our leaders to admit it, and to fix the problem," Webb said Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address. "Some say that speaking out against a war is disloyal to the troops. Whoever says that should consider what it's like to be a troop, wishing someone would speak the truth." ...
... "I'm reminded of another time, with a leader who truly understood war," Webb said. "He claimed that 'the old administration cannot be expected to repair what it failed to prevent.'" ..."

Speaking of course, of Ike.

Mr Allen reached into his bag of tricks and "... says Webb has offered widely conflicting views on how and when to withdraw from Iraq and claims Webb would back a "cut-and-run" strategy similar to that offered by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a Webb supporter. ..."

The answer to every critic, accuse them of "cut and run". That is wearing thin, perhaps. The folk in Virginia will decide which fellow is "more right".

If it is close, though, Mr Allen's opportunity to take a shot at the White house will be diminished, regardless of who wins.

7/02/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I'll have that Rabbit Tender, Please, go.

7/02/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Red in tooth and claw.
...and wu will be pleased to know they're not a monolithic Communist Conspiracy!

7/02/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Often, w.w.,
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

7/02/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"A Tiger is a Tiger"

7/02/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Webb's radio remarks capped a week of searing rhetoric between Webb and Allen's campaign over a constitutional flag-burning ban that the Senate killed Tuesday.

Allen supported the amendment and criticized Webb for opposing it. That brought a scathing reply from Webb's campaign describing Allen a coward who sat out the Vietnam War "playing cowboy at a dude ranch in Nevada." Webb has begun referring to Allen using the middle name he is known to detest: Felix. ..."

A chicken hawk's posturing vs. a real war hero. In Virginia, it just may play out for Mr Webb. Lots of real veterans in Virginia.

7/02/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Smacko 8:00 AM,
Won't be the first time for me!

7/02/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Ten four, C-4

7/02/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember that the Mohammedans are permitted to lie, to advance their cause.
Remember also that Osama's son is reputed to have found refuge in Iran.
Defense Pact was forged just this past Feb, by Syria nad Iran.
The Iranians welcome the violence in Iraq and are not bothered by Iraqi Shia losses in the Civil War.
Thus they could support Osama's call to religious violence, in Iraq.
We are trying to keep a lid on the violence in Iraq, that is how short term success is being quantified.
Long term success, in the "Long War" may call for a different tactical approach, indeed.

Those 10,000 pilgrams, perhaps some are advocates of Sistani's ideology, perhaps others will convert. Some though may be Iranian agents, or supporters of Mr al-Sadr's ideology.
That is the downside. I argued over a year ago that the cross border traffic would benefit US, it would if Iraq was seen as a model to be emulated, by Iranians.

I do nt know if that is realistic at this point or not

7/02/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...


I do not get Allen, a real light weight. I have one problem with Webb. I find it hard to believe he is a Democrat, unless you go back to a Scoop Jackson.

7/02/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Or Andrew Jackson, or Mr Truman, or any of a long list of Democrats.

The Republicans have no better claim to defending the Nation.
There is little long term success to be shown, yet, for their policies.
To leave the Borders unsecured, even after the attacks within the US is, for me, an example of their own short comings in that regard.

That the Generals that have not aggresively implemented the President's strategy for standing up the ISF are still in place, well that merely seconds the meme.

Not really a dimes worth of difference, except in the rhetoric.

7/02/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Desert Rat,

Re: Dems and defense

As a practical matter you're probably right, but the Dem's problem is political.

Take a look at their leadership: Dean, Reid, Durbin, Pelosi, Boxer, Murtha, Kerry. Sloganeering is easy, but they're cut and runners.

Would policy change should the Dems regain power in November? Probably not, but they're doing their damndest to blow another midterm.

7/02/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I agree with that old dad, those folks are dumber than rocks.
That is why Mr Webb could either be a breathe of fresh air, or a one of.
If he wins, it could be the dawn of a new Democratic age, or not.

The Dem leadership does seem to represent their constituents. Mr Gore did get more votes than Mr Bush, just not in the right counties.

The Dems do represent the positions of a large number of Americans. Right or wrong.

7/02/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember also that the cumulative number of votes for the Democrats in the Senate, a minority, were greater than the cumlative total for the Republican Senators, the majority.

The Dems have just as many supporters as the Republicans, just not the geographic dispersal.
That is how the System is operating, today. Doubt that this course of things will continue indefinately.

7/02/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Desert Rat,

Although I'm a Republican, I'd welcome the rebirth of a strong, coherent loyal opposition.

If for no other reason than they might make my guys shape up.

Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania certainly have races to watch.

God knows we need poilitical talent on both sides of the aisle, and there's damn little in Washington.

7/02/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The AZ race between Mr Kyle and Mr Pederson is shaping up to be tight as well.

General dissatisfaction with the rhetoric of the status que could do Mr Kyle in. Having under 500 Guardsmen on the border, instead of the 6,000 promised, or the 2,500 scheduled, does not help Mr Kyle.

The House, historicly, does not change majorities unless the Senate does as well.

Time will tell

7/02/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

desert rat,

When the governing party won't deliver on promises, they deserve to get beat.

I think the current Republican majority is built less on Republican strength than on Democrat weakness. I hope that changes, qand border security just might be a litmus test.

But then again, McCain is from Arizona.

7/02/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Arizona has, with immigration from other States, of which Mr McCain is a prime example, become a bit bi-polar.
It is by no means a solid Red.
Purple at best, trending blue as more Californios come here each day.

7/02/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

The analysis and comparison of present Iraq and pre-Franco Spain and the Spanish Civil War is a very astute comparison. The Democrats and Left are stuck making the comparison with Viet Nam because so few people would have any idea about pre-war Spain. Oh well, what do the facts have to do about anything? Thanks again for the best blog on the net.

7/02/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Spanish Civil War
A prelude to the Soviet vs Germany portion of WWII, perhaps, but not I'd say the entirety of the European War.

There was no Second Front in Spain.
It was communists vs fascists, with the democrats few and far between.

That third leg of the stool was missing in the Spanish War. Or so it always seemed to me in my reading of the extended coup.

Historical revisionism has effected the Spanish Civil War more than most, I wager.
The Generalisimo garnered no sympathy from the Media of the day, or in the post WWII era. The tales of the Royalists popularized in print and screen, but not portrayed as the Communists that came to dominate the antiFranco cause, in all reality.
The propaganda and fallout of that Civil War helped to solidify the "Left", Picaso's work comes first to mind. Hemingway's work as well portraying the Royalists in an unrealistic light.
If ever there was a target for the "Left" to demonize, it'd be Franco. He may well have neen a demon, in his own right, so it may have been an easy task.

Franco defenders are hard to find, like Mr Marcos from the Phillipines. But both held sway for decades, without revolts. So some major segments in their respective countries must have appreciated them.

7/02/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

fred's point
"they won't stand up to fight our guys"
is a double edged remark, to be sure.

Why would anyone expect them to?

That was my first thought.
We are not the direct advesary in anyone's fight, now. Also the US brings a technological advantage that predetermines the battle.

So, to gain victory, the US must take the fight to the targets. Which for any variety of reasons, we do not often do.

Mr Maliki has an 18 month timetable he is working to fulfill.
He has offered terms, as required by Islamic law.
He has taken his tour of the nearby capitals, the discussions known only to the participants and the flies on the wall.

How long does his committment to diplomicy and reconciliation extend, before he takes more decisive actions to stem the anarchy?

Weeks, months? The clock is ticking, if he is a serious man then the responsibility for failing to provide security in his Capital will weigh heavily upon him, no?

7/02/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There is this fellow named "charlie" and steve at threatswatch reccomended a blog, OPFOR, where charlie posted a opinion piece.

Titled Two Views of Terrorism. It is not very long and I concur with steve, It should be read by most everyone and contemplated.

Then think of catch and release and the current mission of our troops in Iraq.
Then ask yourself,
which view dominates reality?

7/02/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In Ledeen's defense, he is not calling for an invasion of Iraq, never has in recent memory.
Seems you are piling the failures of Mr Bush and the State Dept on his shoulders:
You and I know Iraq did not have to go this way, I think.
Could have been done better in any number of ways, mostly by not ignoring history, ancient as well as recent.
Same with Syria:
How much did it cost for Israel to "invade" the Doctor's airspace last week?
The cost of some Jet Fuel.
Yet all this time, our air assets have gone unused, even to blow up Jihadi staging areas.
What's up with that?
Ledeen's war would not have cost a Trillion Bucks in my estimation.
...on and on.
Just like GWB's domestic record:
Worse than a mere disappointment, a downright disaster in many ways.
Bush is not a neocon in my book, nor a conservative:
A con perhaps, certainly in some ways sell-out globalist.

7/02/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

invasion of IRAN

7/02/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just because a New England Yankee moves to Texas, it don't make him a good ole boy, now does it?

Mr Bush, Mr McCain and a whole bunch more, put on some boots and bought themselves hats.

The Crown Prince of the Pacific is still a royal in his own mind.
Married the Beer Barons daughter.

7/02/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And Bush would probably give Hawaii back to the Royal Hawaiians if the GOP Congress does not show enough spine to not give him the opportunity.
Meanwhile China laughs their way to the bank, the better to buy military toys that were invented and perfected here.
Free Trade Uber Alles!

7/02/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Married the Beer Barons daughter. "
Maybe THAT's what that special bond he has with Kerry is about:
That and the fact they BOTH served in Vietnam.
Highly Decorated War Heros, you know.
Like Murtha.
I still say if more in the GOP had served, that little game would never have the traction that it still does.
Luckily, Coulter has the balls to not worry about being called a Chickenhawk when she calls out all the Various DC "Heros."
And now she takes on the biggest and bestest and purest heros of all:
Those all caring underpaid saints raising your kids to be good...
pee butts indeed.

7/02/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the ability to be on time and on target, the US Military has no peer on earth.
To build a civil society, it is ill suited, as Ms Rice said in 2000. It should not be tasked as civil police, as Ms Rice also stated in 2000, yet the President and his General Staff do assign it that Mission.

Read an interesting speculation about the two soldiers recently butchered. Being as they were from the same Unit as the rape / murder suspects, the motive was tribal or clan revenge. Not related to political terrorism at all.
Just tit for tat

7/02/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's in the mail, I SWEAR!
"We are the World, we are the...
Funny, I was just talking to my wife about how back when the military was used to WIN Wars, the American GI's were our best ambassadors in terms of ultimate outcomes:
Japan comes to mind, lesser examples are the Phillipines, Germany, South Korea, and etc.
Since we've gone fuzzy and multicultural however, we're rapidly losing everybody but Japan, who knows we're their only prayer with the Chicoms.

7/02/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The non-PC subject concerned how much better citizens filipinos make these days than new arrival Mexicans.
Even MORE non-PC was my lament that we did not invade Mexico for real at some point.
Oh Well, Doug is headed for the ash heap of history, and the USA seems to be circling the globalist drain.
Even Ross could not foresee all the ways that it sucks.
Even Ross did not count all the ways it sucks.

7/02/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Depends on the meaning of the English Language, trish:
It's a brave new world when new "conservatives" sound more like New Age.

7/02/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The great editor left in an extra Ross draft.

7/02/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

If Soros is attacking the Bush Administration in this fashion one can guess how the oil wealthy Arabs are doing it.

Once the money men are exposed the next item will be the method of dealing with them. They maybe wealthy, influential and mobile but there are ways of dealing with them.

Does this mean that the NY Times is freaking out about financial transactions being mined for information because sooner or later someone is going to discover that Pinch and/or Keller is on Saudi Arabia's payroll?

7/02/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Admin Probably withold the info, protect the Times, no matter what the cost:
After all they are enemies, they always come first.

7/02/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

G_d, Smacko,
I was about to nominate you valedictorian, or prom queen til I got down to John Stuart.
Mind putting quotation marks on next time?

7/02/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I don't think he comes up to fellow Scot Galloway's ranking on the Jihadi Acceptability Scale:

"During his time as an MP, Mill advocated easing the burdens on Ireland, and became the first person in parliament to call for women to be given the right to vote.
In Considerations on Representative Government, Mill called for various reforms of Parliament and voting, especially proportional representation, the Single Transferable Vote, and the extension of suffrage.
He was godfather to Bertrand Russell.
I guess Bertrand would bring him up somewhat with the Commiesymps, though.

7/02/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

The military power of terrorists is negligable. Despite the fantasies of those who imagine Iraq to be Vietnam, with divisions of NVA sending tanks down the road to Saigon; with legions of laborers dragging artillery pieces across the mountains to pound surrounded French garrisons into submission -- it is not that.

Similarities between Vietnam & Iraq:
Foreign involvement - check.
Zero insurgent victories - check.
Withdrawl tied to American politics - check.
Media opposition - check.

The post infers that the NVA was a significant military threat. Yet they achieved no victories and captured no territory.

Is it Fantasy to say the NVA was a negligable threat and the North won by out-lasting America in the court of public opinion?

7/02/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not so fantastic to any of the 50k KIA, their families, or even all of us that even had a chance of becoming one more negligible statistic.
Any threat we can overcome goes into the negligible category?

7/02/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Yes. They posed only a weak threat in battle and were backed by nations which could have been crushed within weeks.

How many this time? 5000 if it is over by 2008, maybe 10,000 if it takes until 2012 to withdraw.

7/02/2006 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

William Blake - The Tyger

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
answer: yes.
But why ask?
answer:unitarians in the USA and higher criticism schools in europe were already demoting Jesus from being fully God and fully Man to being just a man. Consequently, understanding of the depravity in man, the seriousness of sin and the terror and wickedness in nature was also lost.

7/02/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Yes. They posed only a weak threat in battle and were backed by nations which could have been crushed within weeks. "
The Soviet Union and China?
Surely I'm missing something here, or...

7/02/2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

The only people supplying men were North Vietnam and Laos and some Cambodian factions. N. Vietnam was the main strength and it was a negligable threat.

The Soviet Union nuclear arsenal is where this fantasy of equivalence falls over (well spotted). The reason Vietnam could not be won was that the price of victory might have been global nuclear destruction. The equivalence of global nuclear destruction to the current reason (a likliehood that oil will go north of $200 for 6 months to 2 years) is indeed rather flimsy.

7/03/2006 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger Starling said...

wretchard said..."Starling, Great post and analysis. I think part of the reason for what you observe is a difference in the structure of the Left-Right blogosphere. Although it would be oversimplifying thing so to say it, the ROC blogs are individual voices -- what someone called with some hint of disparagement the "blogger kings" -- while some of the bigger LOC blogs are actually communities. Like the Daily Kos."

Thnx. Since this is a little bit off-topic and because I had a lot more to say in response, I posted a my remarks to my blog, in the
"Comment on Belmont" series.

7/03/2006 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Good to have you aboard. Tucson is a pleasent place, the perpetual Democratic stronghold of AZ.

While Prescott and central AZ rode with the Union, Tucson favored the Confederates. Our one Civil War battle occurring midway between Phx and Tucson, at Piacho Peak.
Wasm't much of a battle, really more of a skirmish.

The rift, though has never been fully healed. The Civil War only exemplifies long held animosities between Tucson and central AZ.
Tucson being both much older and more culturally Mexican than Phoenix.
The University of Arizona (Tucson) amd Arizona State University's (Phoenix) rivalry in sports helps keep those traditions alive.
UA has been winning, lately.
But ASU is a world famous "Party School". Some things are more important than basketball, though UA is pretty competitive in partying, as well.

7/03/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Reading of the Palistinians demand of a prisoner exchange, Cpl. Gilad Shalit for 1500 Palistinians, the moral equivalence struck me.

The Palistinians have linked the lives and set the values. All of their fates should be shared.

The implication that Cpl. Gilad Shalit would be killed if the exchange not made, should be answered with a non-negotible equivalency.
1 for 1500, seems fair to me,
as in live, also in death.

7/03/2006 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Iraq the Model reports
"... The mostly Sunni populated Aadhamiya district in eastern Baghdad came under heavy mortar fire this afternoon. The bombardment lasted for about 30 minutes and I could count more than a dozen explosions ..."

If the US was at War, then counterbattery fire, or aerial attacks upon the firing positions could be possible, well within the 30 minutes that the barrage lasted.

Neither are reported by Mr Model.

When the US was targeted, eariler in the War, counter battery was used. Perhaps the decision of fire would cause to much collateral damage.
We'll get those mortars, later.

7/03/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Grey said...

I am convinced that the strongest right wing pro-democracy argument is honest discussion of alternatives. Starting with Vietnam history, on this 27th anniversary of the ending of the Khmer Rouge.

The SE Asian alternative in 71 was: more War or Genocide. The anti-war folk chose genocide. The results of their policy MUST be fed to them, over and over, until their responsibility for NOT fighting evil is accepted.

They didn't want genocide, but that's what their "cut and run" policy led to, as the pro-democracy folk said at the time.

The Left must hear: anti-war in Vietnam meant support for genocide -- the Left idea of peace was accepting the murder of thousands.

7/03/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Reading the translation of “The Management of Savagery” (Abu Bakr Naji, translation by William McCants, from I haven’t gotten through more than the first twenty pages or so, but I want to thank Wretchard for the link. I am struck immediately by the seeming calm and dispassionate analytical style. I frequently picture in my mind’s eye the Jihadis in their hidey-hole, trembling with righteous rage, conversing with flying spittle and bulging eyes, surrounded by the furniture of terror — fuses, timers, whetstones, matches, dartboards featuring the faces of Bush and Cheney, laptops, and some strong arabica coffee in dainty demitasse cups, with dates and pomegranates.

Seriously, though, the writer thinks big thoughts. The most glaring flaw in his analysis — which leaps out immediately — is his unquestioned and certainly unproven assumptions. For instance, Russia was not defeated by the mujahideen so much as by its own internal collapse, which made the Afghan exercise seem irrelevent. The Soviet withdrawal wasmuch more a response to the long-building internal crisis of the Soviet system. The cost of the Afghan adventure was a shaving accident by comparison. For Abu Bakr Naji to claim that the mujahideen had thrown off the invader, without acknowledging the larger context of Soviet and world affairs, just shows the delusional aspect of the Jihadi mind.

But it should be no surprise that a man named for the First Caliph, the immediate successor to the Prophet Mohammed, should have such a toplofty view of things.

There must be ways to take advantage of that sort of tunnel vision.

7/03/2006 11:05:00 AM  

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