Sunday, February 25, 2007

Easier Said Than Done

By slow degrees, the seriousness of the insurgency in Southern Thailand is entering mainstream consciousness. The International Herald Tribune files a report which first emphasizes its seriousness then describes its most eerie characteristic, its anonymity. First the seriousness.

Some are already calling it war, a brutal Muslim separatist insurgency in southern Thailand that has taken as many as 2,000 lives in three years, with almost- daily bombings, drive-by shootings, arson and beheadings. It is a conflict the government admits it is losing. A harsh crackdown and martial law in recent years seem only to have fueled the insurgency, generating fear and anger and undermining moderate Muslim voices. ... The insurgents seem to be taking their war to a new stage, pitting local Buddhists against Muslims by attacking symbols of Buddhism — Thailand's dominant faith — with flamboyant brutality.

Now the anonymity.

The insurgency is all the more difficult to combat because it does not show its face. Unlike similar movements around the world, this one has not set out its demands or published a manifesto. It is a collection of violent groups without an identifiable central leadership. ... "We are fighting a ghost," said Chidchanok Rahimmula, a lecturer in security at Prince of Songkhla University. ...

People are afraid now to stand close to a government official or a soldier or police officer, she said, potential targets of bullets or bombs.

"When we are in a restaurant, if we see a soldier or policeman nearby we hurry to leave," Chidchanok said. "In the shops near the university, if a soldier or policeman comes to buy something, the owner says, 'Quickly just buy something and leave.'"

Southern Thailand, she said, had become "a kingdom of terror, a kingdom of fear."

"We really wonder about their identity and how they can be doing this," she said of the insurgents. "They are destroying their own society. They kill the teachers. They kill the teachers who teach their own children."

But the anonymity that the International Herald Tribune describes is only partial.  Much is known about some of those who are causing the trouble. The International Crisis Group has listed out the known insurgent groups. But less is known about their goals: is it separatism or a Caliphate; about their funding and who ultimately directs the insurgency.

Armed separatist groups have been active there since the late 1960s, with particularly virulent violence in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The largest and most effective group of several operating then was PULO (Patani United Liberation Organisation), which called for an independent Islamic state but whose thrust was more ethno-nationalist than Islamist. ... But new strains then appeared, with four particularly significant groups emerging or re-emerging, and major violence erupting in early 2004. The major groups active today include: BRN-C (Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Coordinate, National Revolutionary Front-Coordinate); Pemuda, a separatist youth movement; GMIP (Gerakan Mujahidin Islam Patani, Patani Islamic Mujahidin Group), established by Afghanistan veterans in 1995, committed to an independent Islamic state; and New PULO, established in 1995 as an offshoot of PULO and the smallest of the active armed groups, is fighting for an independent state.

The South Asia Analysis Group thinks the chief foreign influence comes from Pakistan, and in particular groups based in Waziristan, where al-Qaeda is resurrecting itself in a new Dark Tower. In their view, Thais trained in Waziri madrasas provide the principal stimulus for the fighting in Southern Thailand. The strategic importance of Pakistan in the War on Terror was brought home by a leaked British intelligence report that literally thousands of jihadis were in Britain waiting to strike. It also asserted that Southwest Asia had surpassed the Middle East as the incubator of terrorism.

Entitled Extremist Threat Assessment, the document, which was drawn up this month, also discloses that Afghanistan, where more than 7,000 British troops will be based by the end of May, is expected to supersede Iraq as the location for terrorists planning Jihad against the West.

But finding out who masterminds the southern Thai insurgency would only get halfway. The remainder of the problem is what to do about it. Suppose it were true that Pakistan were the source of the terrorism? Lost in the criticism of US efforts in Iraq is the sad fact that no one, not the British nor anyone else, has found a way to "get at" terrorist havens without crossing borders. Against these threats -- in Iran, Waziristan and elsehwere -- how far will diplomacy and engagement go against shutting down the jihadi breeding sites? There is no escape from fighting terrorism and those who fancy themselves so much smarter than President Bush may now come forward and propose something a little more specific than a mere schedule of withdrawal as a strategy. Maybe the UN could convene a meeting to find a solution, but the proceedings will probably go something like this.

"You have heard why we are here. Anyone who has a good plan for ridding us of the cat will please tell of it. The meeting is open to all."

"Let us all run at him suddenly when he is not looking for us, and each give him a bite. That would surely kill him," said one brave mouse.

"But how many of us do you think he would kill?" said another mouse. "I will not risk my life nor that of my family." "Nor I"; "nor I"; "nor I," said many other mice.

"Let us steal his food and starve him to death," suggested another.

"That will only make him hungrier for mice," they replied. "That will never do."

"I wish we might drown him," said another; "but I don't know how we could get him into the water."

At last a little gray mouse with a squeaky voice went up to the front and spoke:

"I have a plan that will surely work. If we could know when the cat is coming, we could get out of his way. He steals in upon us so quietly, that we can not escape. Let us find a little bell and a string. Let us put the bell on the string and tie the string around the cat's neck. As soon as we hear the bell, we can run and get out of the cat's way."

"A very good plan," said Mr. Longtail. "We will ask our leader to say which mouse shall put the bell on the cat's neck."

At this there was a great outcry. One said, "I am so little that I can not reach high enough to bell the cat." Another said, "I have been very sick and am too weak to lift the bell"; and so the excuses came pouring in.

At last Mr. Graypate called to the crowd, "Silence! I shall choose no one. Who will offer to bell the cat?"

It was very quiet in the meeting. One after another of the younger mice went out. None but the older ones were left. At last they too went sadly home. No one would bell the cat.

Who will neutralize Iran and clean up the problem in Waziristan?


Blogger Richard Heddleson said...

Not I.

2/25/2007 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Bill C said...

And what about the lazy, arrogant hamsters!

2/25/2007 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

It is Southern Thailand now. It could be anywhere tomorrow. Let us look at this from the concept of lex parsimoniae (law of succinctness).

George Pólya, published a book in 1945, "How to Solve It".

His approach, simplistically is:

If you are having difficulty understanding a problem, try drawing a picture.
If you can't find a solution, try assuming that you have a solution and seeing what you can derive from that ("working backward").
If the problem is abstract, try examining a concrete example.
Try solving a more general problem first (the "inventor's paradox": the more ambitious plan may have more chances of success).

We know the problem in the world today is Islam, the Qu'ran and it's dictates to it's followers.
It is not compatable with human freedom.

There's no need to over analyze the problem. Islam is the problem.
Kill enough of them and they will cease their aggression, at least for a period. The period of course will never last because of the tenents of Islam and the teachings of Mohammad. The clash of Christianity and Judaism with Islam
will never cease until Islam is destroyed.

2/25/2007 07:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its all being played over and over again.. you know when you deprive certain people of growth or certain specific region of its potential, then the opportunity to organize such type of violence increases as you have lot of angry & alienated people out on street. Had there been better growth opportunities in southern Thailand, i doubt if situation had turned such bad.

2/25/2007 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The Koran is the DNA. The Ummah does the Transcription and Translation. The Expansionist Murder is the Protein Synthesized.

2/25/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

It's Islam.
It's not lack of opportunity.
It's the dictums of Islam.

It is the hate of modernity, and the jealousy of a bastard religion.

It's as simple as picking a point on the compass rose and there, finding Islam, you will find hate and murder. Tell me when that has not been true since Mohammad?

The only "peace" to be found with Islam is with Islam. Islam will not allow for any other peace.

2/25/2007 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

It really is just not objectively true that there is no effective response available to this sort of threat.

Russia for instance appears now to have overcome the problems it was formerly experiencing in Chechnya. It did so by:

(a)advertising that it cared nothing for world opinion (which has sent all the whiners off to complain about other conflicts)


(b) setting various groups of Moslems at each others' throats, picking its own side based on a single criterion - lack of interest in attacking Russia.

Not coincidentally, Putin enjoys enormously high approval ratings in Russia, particularly over his policies regarding Chechnya.

The difference is that Russia is united on his issue, has a consensus around a determination to be as ruthless as the threat requires, and has no shyness about making this plain to everyone. Presto! No Islamist threat.

Western countries by contrast are currently disunited, desperate to turn back to internal squabbles and 'social issues', and scared to death of 'international public opinion'.

Continued pressure from Islamists will in the end make us more like Russia is today (and no, this will not require us to surrender our democracy, as it did not during the Civil War, WWII, or any other wars). Then, and only then, no Islamist threat.

The price we pay in the meantime will be decided not in the end by our enemies, who will just keep plinking away at us, but by how many punches in our face turn out to be necessary to convince us to unite and confront our opponents.

2/25/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jewish Odysseus said...

Habu wrote:

The only "peace" to be found with Islam is with Islam. Islam will not allow for any other peace.

I fear you are being too kind. As we review the centuries of Islamic conquest and dominance, we see that, far from peace, the intramural savagery between Muslims was, if anything, even more extreme than that meted out to the kaffirs.

And today in Iraq...Algeria...Afghanistan...Turkey...all through the Dar al Islam (Realm of Islam), the believers continue to butcher each other with astonishing gusto.

So let us not imagine that, if we all suddenly decided to convert to Islam, that we would finally be allowed to live in peace.

I'm not sure that Islam per se needs to be destroyed, but it surely needs a smashing, through and through purge. Something like southern Sudan in reverse, for about 80 solid years, from Morocco to Mongolia, might suffice.

2/25/2007 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

Who will neutralize Iran and clean up the problem in Waziristan?

Nancy Pelosi.

2/25/2007 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

The strategic question implied in both Iraq and the September 11 attacks is this. Through extreme and total atrocity, Islamists have found a way to incite race war anytime and anyplace they want. In essence, they are pushing the strategy of Charles Manson to its limit, where sufficient evil can be used to force non-Muslims to respond to Islamist provocation.

Seen through the lens of Islamist strategy, the fallacy of Charles Manson was to think he could frame black people for killing white celebrities when he would have been more effective causing sufficiently massive casualties among black people to ensure the race war he had envisioned.

The ideal of "clash of civilizations" is merely warmed over Fascism and Ku Klux Klanism, with the word "race" (or class, for Marxists) replaced by "civilization". The meme of the so-called inevitability of conflict among cultural groups was central to Nazi thought, Ku Klux Klan thought, and most (if not all) Fascist ideologies in the 1920's and 1930's.

The only reason way for cultural warfare to become inevitable is for a critical mass of provacateurs to commit sufficient evil to ensure its inevitability. Using the Islamist strategy, a madman can ensure either tyranny or war based upon whether someone wears purple clothes by using a strategy of mass atrocity against large numbers of people who wear anything purple on their body. Alternatively, a madman could selectively target people who play contract bridge for mass murder. With a sufficient body count, a madman can create an ethnicity where no ethnicity had existed before (or where the identity was at best vague, hazy, and superficial) and can ensure a "race war" or "clash of civilizations" based upon any arbitrary criterion that suits his fancy.

Al-Qaeda appears to be refining an insidious form of social control, where a murderer can dictate how a society defines itself by simply killing a sufficient number of people who fit within a certain criterion. Free societies need to find a means to stop those who use murder to instill cultural divisons on their terms.

2/25/2007 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal said...

Funny how many cats in the world that need belling.

On February 1 I resorted to the same analogy at comment #1.

Let me proceed to where you’re leading.

SCOTUS members may be removed for high crimes and misdemeanors. Surely their violation of the Constitution is a high crime. But ever since Chief Justice John Marshall it has been accepted dogma that the words of the constitution are subject to SCOTUS interpretation.

This humpty-dumpty wrinkle is of course subject to challenge. But who is going to lead the charge? Would not the mice be pounced upon by the cat? Who will bell the cat?

Problems differ depending upon the nature of the cats.

But in all instances, not knowing ones enemy invokes Sun Tsu's prediction that one would then be lucky when one loses only half ones wars.

Ones enslavement was then assured when one did know oneself. Did not The Terror cease only when a Corsican became emperor?

Wretchard, are you not suggesting all this is leading up to a global Bonaparte?

2/26/2007 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal said...

Ones enslavement was then assured when one did NOT know oneself.

2/26/2007 01:34:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Jewish Odysseus,
Yes. I agree. An I'll chosen phrase on my part. If the only "peace" in Islam was Islam the why the Sunni/Shiiite divide?

Actually what I was trying to be so psuedo intellectual about wasa the old Marxist-Lenininst definition of peace. In their world "peace" was only achieved when all resistence to Marist-Leninist thought ceased. insequently when they talked about a "peace" treaty with anyone it meant simply give up tour way and adopt ours, then there will be peace.
Thanks for the righting the ship.

2/26/2007 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger PapaBear said...

One thing you can be sure about regarding the war in Southern Thailand: somebody is funneling money to the terrorists.

With al-Queda, Osama was just a liaison between the operations chief (Zawahiri) and the money men ( the Golden Chain ) who are the real board of directors. Take out the financial support, and al-Queda withers and dies.

Similarly, in southern Thailand, there is a group behind the scenes which is providing resources for the terrorists. Find them, take them out, and the situation goes away.

The big problem is that we currently do not have the stomach to go after well-connected money men. There are signs that the Golden Chain has members within the Saudi Royal Family.

I also suspect that China has some fingers in this. It is in their interest that the West tire itself out fighting a long war with Islamism, so that the West will be weak and vulnerable when China decides it's ready to make their move.

As far as the current scene in Thailand is concerned, the terrorists have the advantage of being able to disappear into the local Muslim population, where they figure they will be as hard to find as needles in a haystack. They do not envision anybody getting angry enough to simply torch the haystack

2/26/2007 05:22:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

The old saying that the only difference between an optimist and a cynic is experience is alive and growing daily in my old bones.

If there's one thing certain in this world is that there's always enough money from some source to fund the good and the bad. Sometimes the money may be flush, other times a trickle but money is never a problem.
Divining who benefits from terrorist behaviors in one area verses another, well good luck with that one. It's more of a parlor game even for our "highly trained and ultra sophistacated" intelligence people.
As I've previously stated since 9-11 the amount of brain time devoted to who's on first, no who's on second is astronomical, but when you boil down the pig and just get the lard, well it always comes back to Islam and it's historically relentless aggression against all other philosophies and religions.
And the sideline quarterbacking going into it's fifth year has passed the point of absurd.
It's like chess. You don't dare enter a chess match with an unalterable plan, you constantly adjust,redeploy,maneuver, out think the opponent....that's all we're trying to do.

But I can tell ya one thing's always the other guys fault things aren't going right or that you just lost your queen because you didn't see the rook in time.

2/26/2007 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger El Jefe Maximo said...

The trouble is: we don't need to bell the cat, so much as we need to BE the cat. . .

2/26/2007 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

one of the great weaknesses of becoming the "king of the hill" is that then everyone all knows who to beat and WHERE to beat you.

from newly re-formed Taliban/Al-Qaeda areas of pakistan, afganistan, thailand, to hamas controlled areas of "palestine", to hezbollah, syria & iran, and let's not forget the ghettos of france, the suburbs of england, denmark, sweden & canada (AND THE USA) these very smart, ruthless islamic nutcases are taking over...

so whose to say in 5 years, that when shria law starts to take over an area, that these areas are not targets by OTHERS using covert means?

The difference is that last time i checked the islamic nutjobs USE western tools they really dont INVENT anything. In time darwin shall prevail, all across the globe islamic shria societies will show growing mortality rates, declining healthcare, decaying infrastructure.

So maybe it is time to admit publically "defeat" and withdrawl behind walls, or partition...

And then let's cut off all water, electric, medicine, vaccines, computers, telecom, advance munitions, food, international travel and access to these islamic nutjobs that seek ethnically cleansed areas...

as bibi used to say... drain the swamp. BUT you 1st have to get the rodents to all LIVE together in the swamp 1st.

oh... and destroy or TAKE the middle east's oil..

2/26/2007 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

" one, not the British nor anyone else, has found a way to "get at" terrorist havens without crossing borders."

The Viet Nam era failure precondition of permitting our enemies safe haven based upon geography has asserted itself. The act of denying us pursuit based upon borders is not the act of a friend or an ally. When such a denial benefits an army that does not identify or uniform itself, I must question whether the friend or ally is either.

2/26/2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"And then let's cut off all water, electric, medicine, vaccines, computers, telecom, advance munitions, food, international travel and access to these islamic nutjobs that seek ethnically cleansed areas..."

That is a prescription for allowing the Euros to maintain their socialist fantasyland. Can you say "Oil for Food"?

2/26/2007 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

A popular refrain is that killing Islamists only brings in two more to kill and on and on. They have no desire to live in this world so they have always sought to dominate it totally or actively seek the next world.
That does not make it an intractable problem, in fact it simplifies the equation. The problem is we've forgotten how to fight and kill with ruthless,unmerciful brutality. We have managed to teach US Marines to act like the USO Forgot How to Fight
Long an advocate of a decimation of worldwide Islam (to get their attention and show our resolve) we've gone the other way with tin horn, not superpower results. Soon we'll get to fight them right here. At least our supply lines will be shorter. I wonder if they'll move the government to Cheyenne Mountain?

Oh and the easier equation. Start levelling entire cities with air power..they will think about things when everything is gone. And if everything that is gone includes them...problem solved.

Those who persist in denying the ageless formula for winning a war by total war are simply prolonging the killing and division within the country. Kill'em, kill'em all, for they have shown they will gladly do the same to us.

2/26/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Forgot How To Fight

2/26/2007 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

Korea and safe havens. Vietnam was just a follow on to that "limited war" concept.

Now, in this qiuckly closing window the world is still unipolar.USA,USA...we should irradiate Iran. We can't wait for an internal uprising that may never happen.
Syria...we should forget they even have a border and just wipe ou their air force and ground forces.

It ALWAYS comes back to the fact that we fight them there or here, but make no mistake, they are going to fight us. And given enough time they'll nuke us.

The concept of proportional response is a loser. Wipe them out there and they will kow tow. If not it'll be Mullah Murtha running the show here.

But,but,but what about X,Y, and I said right now it's a unipolar world....f*ck X,Y,and Z and do the job.

2/26/2007 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger ziontruth said...

On the war of minds front, the Southern Thailand jihad is one of the most important. It breaks every one of the assumptions the Leftists make about this war.

It is not because of "racism", because it's almond-eyed people against almond-eyed people there.

It is not because of "foreign policy blunders", because Thailand doesn't have any troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, nor does it "one-sidedly support Israel".

It is not because of any "occupation", because the Muslims of Southern Thailand have been living there for centuries, not terribly distressed by their Buddhist neighbors or rulers until recently, when the prospect of dominating them became apparent.

Apart from conspiracy theories, the only explanation for the jihad in Southern Thailand is Islamic imperialistic aggression. But as this puts a huge dent in the Leftist "non-Western resistance to Western colonialism" narrative, they will try their hardest to bury this news or to ignore it or to explain it away ("Tiny minority of extremists" etc).

The solution for the Thais, as it is for non-Muslims everywhere, is nothing short of the Kahane Treatment: force the Muslims to leave the way of jihad, on pain of mass expulsion. Politically incorrect? No doubt. Culturally imperialistic? You betcha. About to be a matter of life or death a few years from now? Count on it.

2/26/2007 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

...Could it simply be that the inner logic of ethnic decline now shapes the United States' Iraq policy, rather than social engineering?

Civil war and partition, unpleasant as this might be for Iraq, may be good for US interests.
A devilish thought, which is better, to have Iraqis shooting at American soldiers, or at each other? As in finance, volatility favors the player with the most options.

A full-dress civil war in Iraq and an incipient civil war between Fatah and Hamas in Palestine promise a period of bloodshed of indefinite duration (taking away the glorious death of the jihadist-see BC post) - and America's strategic position will be stronger as a result... provided that it can neutralize Iran (but we are told by some that this is the realm of the absurd).

If, hypothetically, the Persian Gulf were to go up in flames and the price of oil were to double, the US economy would tumble into recession. China's even more oil-sensitive economy would experience a double blow, in the form of higher energy costs and reduced exports to its major markets in the industrial world. By the same token, if Central Asia were to slide into chaos, the biggest loser would be Russia.

In a January 7 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Edward Luttwak of the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote, "Civil wars can be especially atrocious as neighbors kill each other at close range, but they also have a purpose. They can bring lasting peace by destroying the will to fight (taking away the glorious death of the jihadist-see BC post) and by removing the motives and opportunities for further violence."

The so-called Palestinian issue has been subsumed into the broader problem of containing Persian imperialism, and the Palestinians have been left to fend for themselves, rather like the Kurds - but without the Kurds' language, 3,000-year history, and success in creating institutions of self-rule.
- Adapted from Spengler

...Struggling along, no strategic vision at all -

The central objectives of American Capitalism in the region include:

1) Containment of Iran.
2) Detaching Central Asia and the Caucasus from Russian domination.
3) Opening up the area as a major supplier of oil and gas, - in order to diversify global energy production and thereby reduce the power of oil states (Sunni Wahhabism).

The Western Route (via Turkey): favored by Turkey, the United States, Israel, and the EU.

February 25, 2007 -
Turkey and Israel are acknowledging that they are once again discussing the possibility of constructing underwater pipelines from the Turkish port of Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon. Ceyhan is now the Mediterranean hub of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. That pipeline connects Ceyhan to Caspian Sea basin oil sources. Interestingly enough, Israel could ship the oil through pipelines to its Red Sea port of Eilat, and then load the oil back on tankers for shipment to East Africa, India, or East Asia (Japan and China). This is an interesting option for Caspian Sea oil exporters, like Azerbaijan, because it bypasses the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran often threatens to close. The pipelines don't yet exist, but the Israelis are supposed to be willing to put up the capital. Two other undersea pipelines could be constructed, one to carry natural gas and another to ship electricity. Turkey's new hydro-electric power stations are coming on line and Turkey has electricity to sell.

As far as the USA is concerned -

1) A step toward export of hydrocarbons from the Caspian resources to the Western markets in order to decrease the degree of dependence on the Persian Gulf oil (Sunni Wahhabism).
2) Denies Iran oil and gas pipelines of the Caspian region in order to block the expansion of Iran's influence and any financial gains
3) Reduction of the degree of Russian influence on Caspian countries
- Sun Feb 25, 08:57:00 PM EST

And Pakistan...

...It appears that the US has broached with Pakistan the issue of "help and assistance" in respect of its standoff with Iran. At any rate, the timing of Musharraf's tour of the pro-American Sunni Arab capitals Riyadh, Cairo and Amman last weekend was important. The hurriedly arranged tour followed consultations of the US secretaries of state and defense in Riyadh.

In a rare gesture, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia personally received Musharraf at the airport at Riyadh. Also, a grateful Saudi king conferred on Musharraf the "King Abdul Aziz Prize", Saudi Arabia's highest award. For some obscure reason, Musharraf has become the first-ever Pakistani leader to receive such an honor.

Equally, Pakistan and NATO seem to have finalized their agreement establishing an institutionalized framework of cooperation. NATO and the US have been pressing Musharraf for early conclusion of such an agreement. But Pakistan has been dragging its feet. Without doubt, Washington will appreciate that Musharraf has once again braved potentially vehement domestic opposition to deliver on a key US demand.

Formal NATO-Pakistan cooperation is bound to impact on the "war on terror" in Afghanistan. As the NATO spokesman succinctly put it, Pakistan will henceforth become "part of the solution". The million-dollar question for regional powers is whether the Taliban also will become "part of the solution".

At the same time, emerging ties with Pakistan will enable NATO to begin to reduce its dependence on Russian airspace (and Russian goodwill) for ferrying supplies for troops in Afghanistan. Not only that: at a time when Israel's formal admission to NATO is under active discussion, NATO will have already established a foothold on the Persian Gulf region's eastern periphery. Most important, the configuration works to the great advantage of the US in the event of an outbreak of military hostilities against Iran, which borders Pakistan.
- Mon Feb 26, 01:16:00 AM EST

2/26/2007 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

"It is not possible to reduce oil revenue to any level that will cripple these countries."

Sorry, I am going to need more convincing.

Could you please explain then why Sunni Saudi Arabia is so worried that Shia Iran will close the straight of Hormuz or attack Oil fields with their Shahab-3s / Zelzal-3s?

Ever heard the term of Iran threatening to use the "oil weapon?"

Tell us the function of Patriot missile batteries in the Persian Gulf arena?

- Iran Threatens to Use the "Oil Weapon"

Various elements in Iran's political arena threatened to use the "oil weapon" in the event of a U.S. attack on Iran, and to interfere with the oil supply to the West by closing the Strait of Hormuz.

Elham Amin-Zadeh, member of Iran's Parliamentary National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said: "There can be no reservations regarding Iran's being the strongest country in the Persian Gulf. We have a great deal of say in the Strait of Hormuz, and this means that we can use various tools in this region... If we apply temporary restrictions in this region [i.e. the Strait of Hormuz], the blow will be to the countries that use this maritime passage, temporarily or permanently..."

Heshmatollah Falahat-Pishe said: "The military threat to Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz is a threat to 46% [sic] of the world's oil and energy [supply], and this is considered the most strategic energy [source] in the world... Instability in this region may undermine the world economy, and it is Iran, more than any other [country], that guarantees the security of this strategic waterway... Under certain circumstances of insecurity, these passageways will easily fall into difficulties, and in this way the flow of oil will cease... The countries that host the American soldiers in the region are considered to bear the chief responsibility for the insecurity of the Persian Gulf..."

- No doubt that AQ receives funding from narcotics.

2/26/2007 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, stepping in, dan, I'll tell you the scenario.

At the onset of hostilities with Iran the oil pipeline in Panama is destroyed in multiple locations.
Rebuild 6 months.

At this time the pipeline flows 24/7 west to east. The Chinese are currently building Canal capable tankers for Hugo.
Iran's flow to China stops due to the War, Hugo sells to China, instead of US, transhipping the Canal with his own fleet. Profiting both ways.

The KSA:
About two-thirds of Saudi Arabia's crude oil is processed in a single enormous facility called Abqaiq, 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Bahrain. On the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia has just two primary oil export terminals: Ras Tanura - the world's largest offshore oil loading facility, through which a tenth of global oil supply flows daily - and Ras al-Ju'aymah. On the Red Sea, a terminal called Yanbu is connected to Abqaiq via the 750-mile East–West pipeline. A terrorist attack on each one of these hubs of the Saudi oil complex or a simultaneous attack on few of them is not a fictional scenario.
Energy Security

Terrorists, let alone an attack from a Nation State, like Iran, in a defensive counterstrike.

Russia, it picks up the slack in China that Hugo cannot meet.

Then there is Mexico, their infrastructure is vulnerable, as it is here in the Homeland. Pipelines, refineries, etc.
Soft targets, if not all, then many.

Not even mentioning Equador and Nigeria, both of which have been shut down by terror attacks, previously.

Six months of world supply shortage, that much can be foreseen.

All the Players met in Havana, last October. Keep their flows near normal, stick the US with the shortages. It's doable

The foe has the capability, capacity though, that's something else again.

2/26/2007 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

Thank you for the conversation.

1) Are you foreseeing Iranian sabotage of its oil flow in the event of an attack upon it?

Those are not my words dan but those of the Iranians (see previous post).

However their logic may be flawed since..."the fungibility of oil and the multiplicity of sources and the degree of unlikelihood attending a simultaneous shutdown in KSA, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and SE Asia renders oil-cripple price spikes temporary."

One wonders then why we wouldn't decrease Gulf oil dependency (and our Navy patrolling those sea lanes) and utilize these alternate sources you mention. Would Caspian sea hydrocarbons be considered as one of the multiplicity of resources?

2) But of course there are thousands of unprotected miles of pipelines - they cannot be protected except in a very specific and limited, defensive and reaction-based way, right?

Exactly right. The Alaskan Prudhoe Bay Oil field and pipelines come to mind in addition to the pipelines in Iraq that are constantly attacked by Islamists.

3)Did Saddam's destruction of the Kuwaiti oil fields cause a massive spike in prices?

I don't remember either, but there was a Gulf War I. Did it have anything to do with oil? Probably not, due to the multiplicity of oil sources you discuss.

Moreover, how could it (Kuwaiti oil fields) be a catastrophic oil sabotage if there are so many other multiplicity of sources?

Also, i don't know how you are defining "temporary." Is that days, weeks, months?

Perhaps you are correct and Persian Gulf oil is not very important. i've been wrong many times before.

Hi DR.

2/26/2007 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

closing the Strait of Hormuz would be an act of war

...easily remedied by the navy.

If you say so.

...Iran could launch successive waves of explosives-packed boats against U.S. warships in the Gulf, piloted by "Ashura" or suicide bombers. The first wave can draw on more than 1,000 small fast-attack boats operated by the Revolutionary Guards navy, equipped with rocket launchers, heavy machine-guns and possibly Sagger anti-tank missiles. In recent years, the Iranians have used these small boats to practice "swarming" raids on commercial vessels and U.S. warships patrolling the Persian Gulf.

A second wave of suicide attacks could be carried out by "suicide submarines" and semi-submersible boats, before Iran deploys its Russian-built Kilo-class submarines and Chinese-built Huodong missile boats to attack U.S. warships. The 114-foot Chinese boats are equipped with advanced radar-guided C-802s, a sea-skimming cruise-missile with a 60-mile range.

Iran's naval strategists believe the U.S. will attempt to land ground forces to the east of Bandar Abbas. Their plans call for extensive use of ground-launched tactical missiles, coastal artillery, as swell as strategic missiles aimed at Saudi Arabia and Israel tipped with chemical, biological and possibly nuclear warheads. The Iranians also plan to lay huge minefields across the Persian Gulf inside the Strait of Hormuz, effectively trapping ships that manage to cross the Strait before they can enter the Gulf, where they can be destroyed by coastal artillery and land based "Silkworm" missile batteries.

Today, Iran has sophisticated EM-53 bottom-tethered mines, which it purchased from China in the 1990s. The EM-53 presents a serious threat to major U.S. surface vessels, since its rocket-propelled charge is capable of hitting the hull of its target at speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. Some analysts believe it can knock out a U.S. aircraft carrier.

"I think it would be problematic for any navy to face a combination of mines, small boats, anti-ship cruise missiles, torpedoes, coastal artillery, and Silkworms," said retired Navy Commander Joseph Tenaglia, CEO of Tactical Defense Concepts, a maritime security company. "This is a credible threat."

2/26/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

A few more scenarios. What to do?
Remain in paralysis by analysis forever?
That's a domain so large no light can even escape it.
Bargain with them? Over what, turning our back on modernity? Converting to Islam?

Complicating the solution with a million scenarios doesn't address the single biggest issue of killing them by the hundreds of millions.
Save you breath and don't tell me it can't be done. I know it can be done.

Will unbelieveable hardship befall the earth. You betcha. Any way you slice it it's coming. So you can wait and eat it then or get it done now BEFORE they have an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

This pipeline, that pipeline, this terminal ,that terminal...the ghillie suits hiding the tough decision to wipe them out. Nuke them now or eat a nuke later.

Public not ready. Nope, never would be either. Takes guts and leadership of the sheeple to do what needs doing...killing those whose entire life on this earth is now dedicated to f*cking up everyone who lives outside Islam.
If we had nuked Tehran and Damascus last year the Muzzies wouldn't be thinking about pipelines, another several million would have died within the year from famine,disease, and death would be their occupiers. Get it done now. They can go back and live in the desert wadis' where they came from.

2/26/2007 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Kill the imams. Get rid of recruiting. The young men are already conditioned by the time that al-Qaeda starts its pitch.

2/26/2007 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Go tell the Spartans, habu

They might listen
Mr Bush isn't.

2/26/2007 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Too few Spartans.
Wrote CIC.
Wrote CMC, asked him why he was turning the Corps into the USO.

We serve 'em up now or we eat several of theirs' in five years tops.

The rest is just letting the clock tick down until they have the bomb and delivery system.

Perhaps you saw this article.

We've Forgotten How To Fight

2/26/2007 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

This is from a WSJ interview in 1995..history repeating..General Giap made the same statements too.

Subject: Vietnam War Interview

Vietnam War Interview
What did the North Vietnamese leadership think of the American antiwar movement? What was the purpose of the Tet Offensive? How could the U.S. have been more successful in fighting the Vietnam War? Bui Tin, a former colonel n the North Vietnamese army, answers these questions in the following excerpts from an interview conducted by Stephen Young, a Minnesota attorney and human-rights activist [in The Wall Street Journal, 3 August 1995]. Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of North Vietnam 's army, received the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. He later became editor of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of Vietnam . He now lives in Paris , where he immigrated after becoming disillusioned.
Question: How did Hanoi intend to defeat the Americans?
Answer: By fighting a long war which would break their will to help South Vietnam . Ho Chi Minh said, "We don't need to win military victories, we only need to hit them until they give up and get out."
Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi 's victory?
A: It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.
Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?
A: Keenly.
Q: Why?
A: Those people represented the conscience of America . The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.

Q: How could the Americans have won the war?
A: Cut the Ho Chi Minh trail inside Laos . If Johnson had granted [Gen. William] Westmoreland's requests to enter Laos and block the Ho Chi Minh trail, Hanoi could not have won the war.
Q: Anything else?
A: Train South Vietnam 's generals. The junior South Vietnamese officers were good, competent and courageous, but the commanding general officers were inept.
Q: Did Hanoi expect that the National Liberation Front would win power in South Vietnam ?
A: No. Gen. [Vo Nguyen] Giap [commander of the North Vietnamese army] believed that guerrilla warfare was important but not sufficient for victory. Regular military divisions with artillery and armor would be needed. The Chinese believed in fighting only with guerrillas, but we had a different approach. The Chinese were reluctant to help us. Soviet aid made the war possible. Le Duan [secretary general of the Vietnamese Communist Party] once told Mao Tse-tung that if you help us, we are sure to win; if you don't, we will still win, but we will have to sacrifice one or two million more soldiers to do so.
Q: Was the National Liberation Front an independent political movement of South Vietnamese?
A: No. It was set up by our Communist Party to implement a decision of the Third Party Congress of September 1960. We always said there was only one party, only one army in the war to liberate the South and unify the nation. At all times there was only one party commissar in command of the South.
Q: Why was the Ho Chi Minh trail so important?
A: It was the only way to bring sufficient military power to bear on the fighting in the South. Building and maintaining the trail was a huge effort, involving tens of thousands of soldiers, drivers, repair teams, medical stations, communication units.
Q: What of American bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail?
A: Not very effective. Our operations were never compromised by attacks on the trail. At times, accurate B-52 strikes would cause real damage, but we put so much in at the top of the trail that enough men and weapons to prolong the war always came out the bottom. Bombing by smaller planes rarely hit significant targets.
Q: What of American bombing of North Vietnam ?
A: If all the bombing had been concentrated at one time, it would have hurt our efforts. But the bombing was expanded in slow stages under Johnson and it didn't worry us. We had plenty of times to prepare alternative routes and facilities. We always had stockpiles of rice ready to feed the people for months if a harvest were damaged. The Soviets bought rice from Thailand for us.
Q: What was the purpose of the 1968 Tet Offensive?
A: To relieve the pressure Gen. Westmoreland was putting on us in late 1966 and 1967 and to weaken American resolve during a presidential election year.
Q: What about Gen. Westmoreland's strategy and tactics caused you concern?
A: Our senior commander in the South, Gen. Nguyen Chi Thanh, knew that we were losing base areas, control of the rural population and that his main forces were being pushed out to the borders of South Vietnam . He also worried that Westmoreland might receive permission to enter Laos and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
In January 1967, after discussions with Le Duan, Thanh proposed the Tet Offensive. Thanh was the senior member of the Politburo in South Vietnam . He supervised the entire war effort. Thanh's struggle philosophy was that " America is wealthy but not resolute," and "squeeze tight to the American chest and attack." He was invited up to Hanoi for further discussions. He went on commercial flights with a false passport from Cambodia to Hong Kong and then to Hanoi . Only in July was his plan adopted by the leadership. Then Johnson had rejected Westmoreland's request for 200,000 more troops. We realized that America had made its maximum military commitment to the war. Vietnam was not sufficiently important for the United States to call up its reserves. We had stretched American power to a breaking point. When more frustration set in, all t
Tet was designed to influence American public opinion. We would attack poorly defended parts of South Vietnam cities during a holiday and a truce when few South Vietnamese troops would be on duty. Before the main attack, we would entice American units to advance close to the borders, away from the cities. By attacking all South Vietnam 's major cities, we would spread out our forces and neutralize the impact of American firepower. Attacking on a broad front, we would lose some battles but win others. We used local forces nearby each target to frustrate discovery of our plans. Small teams, like the one which attacked the U.S. Embassy in Saigon , would be sufficient. It was a guerrilla strategy of hit-and-run raids. [looks like a re-writing of history with the benefit of hindsight]
Q: What about the results?
A: Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise;. Giap later told me that Tet had been a military defeat, though we had gained the planned political advantages when Johnson agreed to negotiate and did not run for re-election. The second and third waves in May and September were, in retrospect, mistakes. Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out by all the fighting in 1968. It took us until 1971 to re-establish our presence, but we had to use North Vietnamese troops as local guerrillas. If the American forces had not begun to withdraw under Nixon in 1969, they could have punished us severely. We suffered badly in 1969 and 1970 as it was.
Q: What of Nixon?
A: Well, when Nixon stepped down because of Watergate we knew we would win. Pham Van Dong [prime minister of North Vietnam] said of Gerald Ford, the new president, "he's the weakest president in U.S. history; the people didn't elect him; even if you gave him candy, he doesn't dare to intervene in Vietnam again." We tested Ford's resolve by attacking Phuoc Long in January 1975. When Ford kept American B-52's in their hangers, our leadership decided on a big offensive against South Vietnam .
Q: What else?
A: We had the impression that American commanders had their hands tied by political factors. Your generals could never deploy a maximum force for greatest military effect

2/26/2007 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

What if its worse Habu? What if the Bush admin. has taken to funding Sunni terrorist groups in Lebanon (as a check against Hezbollah) while supporting Shiite Islamists in Iraq (as a check against Sunni terror groups). I'm not, in any way, endorsing the following Hersh(ie) article, I just want to throw it out for the sake of argument:

I do so because Cheney did visit Saudi Arabia not so long ago, and that trip leaves me wondering what he and the ol' fox, Prince Bandar have been cooking up. Is aligning with unreconstructed Salafists really just part of the "birth pangs of the New Middle East"?

2/26/2007 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Habu said...

Check you link. It looks abbreviated at the end. The article didn't materialize.

But let me say this. I get on the net to say what I want to get off my chest basically. It's my primal scream if you will.
I thought three years ago it was time to decimate the Islams. It was like farting in a strong wind.

I really don't have the inclination to attempt any more analysis of this war. My position is to simply kill and keep killing.
Consequences are going to come about no matter what we do so we might as well use all our power and we're not. We're not even coming close.
The post I put up at 7:30, the link, is by a Colonel who you've no doubt seen on FOX..he sums it up pretty well.
I just think it's time to get the big weapons out and level some cities ... in the long run that won't cure the problem because the problem is an antithetical religion and ideology to basic human freedom. This state of the world could go on for generations and many say it will.
I think if you kill enough of them, 20-40 million they'll chill for a hundred years ...but like the Colonel says in his article..we've forgotten how to fight. And you only fight to win..the demarche the Democrats are outling could cause very serious internal problems within our own domestic population....

2/26/2007 08:24:00 PM  

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