Friday, October 26, 2007

Give Us This Day

With Ramadi now quiet, the Marines have declared war on garbage. That's the LA Times reporting.

"Good. That is good," the lanky Marine said in a quiet, almost reverential tone as he watched workers load filth into the back of an orange dump truck. "It makes me happy, just to see them working."

I think it would be dangerous to assume that success will always continue uninterrupted. Thomas a Kempis, in his Imitation of Christ says "the devil ... never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour." And though they probably haven't read a Kempis, you can be sure al-Qaeda is working on a plan.

BGen David D. Phillips, speaking at a blogger telephone conference I attended, described the joy he experienced recently watching a Unity parade in Ramadi with Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts carrying the Iraqi flag, with the municipal fire department marching behind and a tootling brass band in the van. He thought he'd never see such a sight in Ramadi, of all places. And whether or not it lasts, for a space at least, valor has bought peace.

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world,
but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set,
uprooting the evil in the fields we know,
so that those who live after may have clean earth to till.
What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.


Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

Looks like Thomas a Kempis is invoking 1 Peter 5:8.

10/26/2007 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger jafco said...

Wretchard is invoking Gandalf in "The Return of the King". Thought-provoking stuff. Great job altogether, W.


10/26/2007 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger cellec said...

Wretchard, help me please!

I'm afraid I simpy lack the intellectual stamina to refute the latest gibberish from Francis Fukayama.

Am I crazy, or are Fukayama's comments really just a heartfelt plea for America to voluntarily re-distribute it's hard-earned power for the sake of The World's collective self-esteem?

Would dearly love to hear what you think of his essay.

By the way, I've been browsing the Belmont Club for the better part of 4 years now, and have never left a comment.

Sorry the first one has to be so downcast but I just find it so enervating that at this late date, the best advice a "leading intellectual" like Fukayama has to offer is for America to essentially apologize for promoting Democracy and standing against chaos.

10/27/2007 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

I think FF is disappointed that history didn't end on the appointed date--the one appointed by him, that is. Instead we're working on the dates appointed by bin Laden. Or the President of Iran, who has penciled it in for the day he turns into The Mahdi.

Many years ago I read of Marx, and how he came up with a math formula which proved his theory of the "immiseration of the working class." But he made a math error that, when corrected, showed workers becoming more wealthy rather than poorer. Now, this knocks down one of Marxism's pillars but whenever I told a Marxist about it, the news would have zero effect. It's not that they would argue about it--quite the opposite. A person who disputes everything would simply treat it as dead air.

As a fourteen year old, I was a Socialist. And when I had thoughts that would lead me to question Socialism, I found myself mentally changing the subject. The third or fourth time this happened I caught myself doing it. And I thought: If I want the world organized on these principles, then I best make sure they stand up to the critical examination of a fourteen year old boy. Well, it really couldn't so I became a more conventional liberal (of the 1964 variety).

Years later I realized if I hadn't stopped myself on the fourth occasion, by the sixth it would become automatic process: The "selective uptake of data" would have begun. The leftist mind becomes PC before inflicting it on the world. A now it's become scientific by taking over science, which have become Social.

I think this is something we all do. But the left wants to tear down the established order and raise up an unexamined future. The rest of us just want to vote for the lesser of two evils.

10/27/2007 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

The one, key, piece of information I really want is some sense of whether the calm spreading across Iraq is the result of:

a) We've double-tapped most of the key tangos and scared the rest $#|+less, or

b) They've gone underground to rest, re-fit, and create enough relative calm to induce the Americans to go home. Hudna 2.0 if you will.

10/27/2007 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger John J. Coupal said...

It IS amazing that people like Fukayama still hold prestigious positions in prestigious universities. That will change, as such people are shown to be reliably wrong in their important writings and predictions.

The daily presence of allied military personnel throughout Iraq gains precious experience at establishing a democracy among the barren sands of the Middle East.

We are gaining invaluable knowledge for countering urban guerilla warfare, which will be around for some time to come.

10/27/2007 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doc Mike said...

FF, like most war critics, offers specific criticisms without offering specific alternatives.
We must always consider the depressing possibility that things are going as good as they possibly can.
For example, the recent "Anbar Awakening" seems to be the result of our failure to keep order in the Province. This allowed AQ to take over and demonstrate in no uncertain terms just how bad life under their rule could be. Would the tribes have turned had they not had this hard lesson? Or was it a necessary step - like a drunk hitting bottom before getting his life back in order?
If this is the case, then it would seem that our short-term failure in securing the province was a necessary condition to our long-term success.
Even the wisest cannot see all ends.

10/27/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"the devil ... never sleeps..." nor do der Teufelshunde.

10/27/2007 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

It may be America wanted to place her power in that neck of the woods in order to isolate Iran. We have to be there to be able to do something. I admire the efforts of Americas soldiers and marines. Reinlistment numbers are an interesting phenomenom. They are the New Greatest Generation and hopefully America's future leaders.

Mistakes were made but is't that always the case? The human factor is a major factor in all endeavors. I believe the problem in Iraq after the start of the insurgency was the debate in the adminsitration and Pentagon over how to deal with it, the OODA Loop if you will.

The current strategy lead by Petreaus is the A in OODA. I believe it is working. If the momentum can be maintained and the hudna is not allowed to happen. Iraq has a very good opportunity to succeed.

The next sea change does need to take place in the halls of academia. Hopefully many of the retired military officers become professors. What a great thing to observe as the leftist ideas are challenged and defeated.

Look up preventative warfare folks. It is a concept put to the test in Africa and the Phillipines and seems to be working.

Salaam eleikum Y'all!

10/27/2007 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Off topic: Caroline Glick has written a scary article about the up coming assault against the Iranians. IMHO, her analysis is excellent and it is clear that we're about to go after the bastards.

I greatly admire the courage and determination of our President (I'd vote for him again). Going after the Iranians ***IS*** the morally and tactically correct thing to do. However given the uncertainties and potential downside risk, I don't think I would have the courage to give the start order for this upcoming attack.

I'm so glad I do not have to make these sorts of decisions.

10/27/2007 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Francis Fukuyama wrote:

When I wrote about the End of History almost 20 years ago, one thing that I did not anticipate was the degree to which American behaviour and misjudgments would make anti-Americanism one of the chief fault lines of global politics.

About twenty years ago, I scoffed at the very conceit of claiming an "End of History". Unlike Mr. Fukuyama, I thought there would be a rise in anti-Americanism due to the simple fact there wasn't another major power available to act as a punching bag for all of the hatred on Earth. Serbia came close, but by stopping Serb atrocities, America ironically stopped Serbia from being the principal target of Muslim hate.

What Mr. Fukuyama fails to understand is that the era between 1989 and 2001 of so-called "American hegemony" was a house of cards. It is not wise to boast of being "the world's only superpower" while letting one's military atrophy. It is certainly unwise to say, "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?"

Despite America's isolationist sentiment, the Clinton administration intervened in Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo; it also expanded NATO toward Russia's borders. Internationally speaking, the United States wound up with unfunded mandates -- a forward global posture without the political will and military expenditure to back it up.

The bill came due on September 11, 2001. We would either curl up in a ball or we would increase our military expenditure commensurate to the international responsibilities America had assumed in the previous twelve years. The spending has partially caught up but America's will has not. Meanwhile, the rest of the world noticed that America's military was not as powerful as it had appeared. The problem wasn't al-Qaeda, but the disconnect between America's word and its shrunken stick.

Anti-Americanism tends to rise not with American strength but with American weakness. Anti-Americanism abroad also rises whenever anti-Americanism becomes popular in America; the power of American fashion is such that reflexive anti-Americanism in America spreads throughout the world, riding the tide of American culture. There are those who like the idea of American cultural strength coupled with military weakness, but that combination always invites barbarians to attack.

The era of 1989-2001 was an afterglow of the Cold War. From now on, we must pay for our power. From now on, we must be careful not to promise or threaten more than we can credibly accomplish.

10/27/2007 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Please allow me to introduce myself
Im a man of wealth and taste
Ive been around for a long, long year
Stole many a mans soul and faith
And I was round when jesus christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But whats puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

* * *

And I *do* hope we're going after the bastards in Iran, too.

Mazouq, would your preventative warfare in AFrica and the Phillippines have anything to do with Rwandan genocide, Muslims beheading Christian school girls, or Darfur/Sudan? If so, I must say I prefer our version of warfare which is to kick the door in to whatever ticky-tacky country is causing the trouble, and kill as many of the bad guys as present themselves.

Alternatively, if a country or a region (or a religion) is judged to be too far gone and there are no innocents left, hitting them from the air and vaporizing the whole shooting match is also a viable option.

Both of our options have been proven repeatedly to work. I can't say that your examples are too awe-inspiring or make me want to embrace them.

10/27/2007 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...


Absolutely not. What I am thinking of is the efforts of SF and USMC working with locals building schools and countering the Islamofascist agenda.

In the past I mentioned the concept of an Armed Peace Corps. This is basically what is working in the places I mentioned. A lot of this work is being done teaming up with local Muslims.

These methods are also utilized as part of the Petreaus Doctrine in Iraq.

It is more cost effective and it is giving Americas troops insight to better understand local culture/politics and hence be more effective in waging 4GW.

As a student of John Boyd one of my favorite quotes of his concerning winning is, "people, ideas and technology in that order". What is turning the Iraq situation around is ideas. The Bush Administration, State and Pentagon have begun to understand 4GW thinking and Petreaus, et al are proving it can work.

I humbly submit the following articles by COL William Lind, USMC RET. Although he opposed America's Iraq effort, his thoughts are worth a read.

FMFM 1A, Fourth Generation Warfare Rev 4 (178 KB PDF) dtd 18 June 2007

10/25/07 Light Infantry. Another manual in the 4GW series by the Imperial and Royal (K. u. K.) Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps. As the manual says, "... [light infantry] is the only one able successfully to counter the challenge imposed by the current transition towards the Fourth Generation of War." [189 KB PDF]

If you follow military affairs you can see evidence the ideas in these two works are being put in practice.

BTW, Sympathy for the Devil really gets them on the floor when I sing it karioke! It is one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs.

Salaam from Marzouq, lover of love, hater of hate and seeker of truth; one who answered The Call but does not believe everything he reads; one who has love for America, the US Constitution and her Soldiers/Airmen/Sailors/and especially Marines.

10/27/2007 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Wretchard --

It's nice that we are seeing parts of Iraq build a civil society after Saddam's sadism. And certainly an Iraq that is not building WMDs or otherwise engaging in dangerous anti-American acts as a matter of high government policy is a welcome relief.

BUT ... I'm not optimistic about other changes. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt have the same problem: lower-level police and national security folks making the decision that it's better for their life expectancy (and their families, kin, and clan) to simply let terrorist activities proceed against America than take action to stop it.

This is why Saudi Arabia still funds AQ across the globe. Why Egypt allows horrible anti-American libels (see also Turkey) in it's films, TV/Radio, newspapers, books, etc. Why Pakistan is witches's brew of AQ and the Taliban.

I don't think we will have a solution to that problem until horrible amounts of blood have been shed. Because we essentially have a war of the peoples.

BOTH America and Islam are divided. In America, elites who form the new "priesthood" of a comfortable life (what Peggy Noonan nailed in her column) are dead set against America, Americanism, Patriotism, and ordinary people. As Susan Faludi's new book makes clear, there is no room for say, Feminism and fighting Jihad. When a plane is deliberately crashed into a building, no one needs a feminist. Rather firemen, police, fighter pilots, and perhaps ballistic missile submarines or SAC.

The Western Ruling Class (it applies in Europe too) believes 1989-2000 is the norm and will last forever -- and hates/fears competition from upwardly mobile ordinary people. Hence the decision to import great masses of Third World immigrants and replace Western Culture. THIS fight is deeply tied to the fight against Jihad.

Meanwhile the Islamic Ruling Class faces the new, hungry, young lions that wish to use Jihad as the means to gain an Empire. Osama and Ahmadinejad have been quite open about this. Kill both of them and the problem still remains. Unless Muslim society is transformed to the point of no longer being Muslim in any meaningful way, the social order will always have promotion of hungry outsiders seeking Jihad to gain power.

What does this mean? That we have "young lions" seeking to topple existing Muslim regimes through Jihad as a path to power (and taking control through cultural and physical battles in Europe and America) openly allied with the West's Ruling Elite. GWB is part of the problem for falsely claiming Islam is a "Religion of Peace" or that Muslims are not our enemy (of course they are, they could hardly be otherwise).

Against this we have ordinary people in the West who represent an existential threat to the ruling Elites AND Muslims. Muslim society is breaking down radically in contact with the West. Social failures are obvious but cannot be addressed (subjugation of women, lack of intellectual freedom, stifling social organization) and remain Muslim. The Jihadis represent the struggle to destroy the West before it destroys Islam's social order. The open support for Jihad by Elites represent the mirror image of this.

10/27/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Derek Kite said...


Take Fukayama as a contrarian indicator.

No need to explain or even examine. Simply take what he says, modfy 180 degrees, and you are probably close to the truth.

Anti-Americanism as an indicator of anything indicated weakness in the expressor. I live in a country that whenever the government in power is in trouble of some sort, they blame the americans.


10/27/2007 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Richard Heddleson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/27/2007 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Richard Heddleson said...

I live in a country that whenever the government in power is in trouble of some sort, they blame the americans.

Well, that certainly narrows it down.

10/27/2007 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Mazouq - who's going to pay for your armed peace corps? As a taxpayer, I'm perfectly willing to fork over ginormous sums of money to provide for the protection of myself and my country.

Equally, I am totally unwilling to continue to fork over even more huger sums of money to provide food, water and air conditioning for bunches of people who are too stupid, too lazy, and too greedy to get up in the morning and go to work and build their own country.

In Saudi Arabia we see an obscenely rich country that has to import 100% of the labor required to run its infrastructure(s) because they are too good to get their hands dirty themselves. If and when the house of Saud is overthrown or they finally run out of oil, I think it would be totally 100% OK to let them starve to death while they figure it all out for themselves. I'm not willing to spend a single sheckel on helping a country like Saudi Arabia figure out how to survive in the 21st Century.

I also have Africa fatigue. We have been contributing money pretty much yearly for decades now, trying to help Africa stand up on its own two feet and subsist on its own. So far, they still haven't figured it out, and if anything, with the advent of AIDS they are *worse* off.

At what point does one check off a mental tick that says, "dodo bird time" and just walk away and let them die?

Finally, what is the quid pro quo for all this help you're wanting our USMC and others to provide? The continued hatred and belittlement of the United States of America by the UN and the rest of the world? Why on earth would we Americans want to PAY for the privilege of being told we're evil, when we can hear that for free from our loony leftists here at home?

10/27/2007 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts marching! Wow, I wonder where Norman Al Rockwell is to record it for posterity. I bet there's no movement for gay scout leaders in that part of the world.
Glick's article is chilling. Comments on her article on the Realclearpolitics web site make it seem pretty easy sailing to crush the Iranian snake. Maybe!Maybe not! When the dogs of war are loosed the outcome is never assured. A nuclear Iran is not acceptable ,but let's not downplay the carnage that Imad
Mugniah and his merry band of monsters can loose on the soft seams of the West. It is a time for much prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to help us crush the moon god's minions.

10/27/2007 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Bill said...

"Glick's article is chilling. Comments on her article on the Realclearpolitics web site make it seem pretty easy sailing to crush the Iranian snake. Maybe!Maybe not! When the dogs of war are loosed the outcome is never assured."

History is full of examples where the attacking general did everything right (4:1 numerical advantage, favorable terrain, element of surprise, etc.) but still lost. When reading the letters exchanged between Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman, I was struck with how analytic and cold blooded General Sherman could be prior to a new campaign. General Grant would ask Sherman whether he could take a particular city and Sherman would respond with an estimate of the thousands of predicted Union casulties necessary to acheive success. Like most good generals, Sherman saw his troops as coin with which he purchased victory. It's no wonder that Sherman was constantly depressed and always on the verge of insanity. No doubt similar calculations are being made concerning the upcoming Iranian campaign.

Why can't the damned mullahs see reason? Do they really think their 12th Iman / Easter Bunny is going to save their bacon? How can such foolish people be in positions of power over the lives of millions?

10/27/2007 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Do they really think their 12th Iman / Easter Bunny is going to save their bacon?

Of course not. Don't be ridiculous. Mullahs don't have any bacon in the first place, so why would it need to be saved?

10/27/2007 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Nahncee --

Iranian leaders are neither stupid nor inexperienced. They have made their careers by well, killing people. Political prisoners, opponents, etc. That leads to errors in their judgement (the account people weak who have not personally killed others as they have).

What Iranian leaders are banking on is continued divided leadership and pacifism in the West, as those threatened by any military action against Iran (elites who would lose political power, feminists, etc.) delay any action until it is too late. Saddam thought that Chirac and Schroeder and Putin plus the Peace Lobby would stop Bush cold. He had his reasons, Bush 1's failure of nerve in the Gulf War made this not unreasonable.

When it is "too late" i.e. Iran has both nukes and ballistic missiles then they can threaten with impunity anyone. Including the US. They can stage another 9/11 or bigger in the US with impunity behind a nuclear shield. Even strike first either through a deniable and 'unprovable' terrorist proxy or a "decapitating" strike against leadership. Taking millions of casualties and still "winning."

Considering that Iran lost about a million men and boys, including hundreds of thousands of basiji -- young boys used as human wave mine clearance -- this strategy is not unreasonable as it's worked for them before.

10/27/2007 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Do they really think taking millions of casualties is acceptable? That is the question.The million they lost fighting Saddam ;it was Saddam who tripped the trip wire. The million dollar question in this war on Islamo-fascism is are they willing to risk turning the middle east into cinders by letting the nuclear genie out of the bottle? The naifs and fairies of the left think that kind of evil doesn't exist in human hearts,with the possible exception of Chimpy Mcbushhitler and Darth Cheney. The motivation for grinding the mullahs' collective faces in the dirt is if one nuke goes off in any city all bets are off and its the end of the world as we know it and no one will be feeling fine.

10/27/2007 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

whiskey - it was a joke ... muslims / mullahs / pigs / bacon.

Literally, you are right, of course.

10/27/2007 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

HDgreen said, Or the President of Iran, who has penciled it [the end of history] in for the day he turns into The Mahdi.

As far as I know, Ahmadinejad is the most prominent politician in Iran who spouts that particular brand of Shi'ite eschatology. I wonder if you are aware of President Ahmadinejad's true role in Iran. He doesn't have the power to unleash the military, that is in the hands of the Ayatollah Ali Khameni (successor to the Ayatollah Khomeni who took power in the revolution). Just as Israel has a Prime Minister who wields the real power and a "president" who goes to state funerals and cuts ribbons, Ahmadinejad is just a lightning rod the mullah's put out there to draw the wrath of America while they manipulate things behind the scenes. And he's working out real good, because the Bush Administration has painted Ahmadinejad as the second coming of Stalin or Hitler in the run up to their next war in the Middle East.

10/28/2007 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...


Word of threat of preemption against Iran may be causing the people of Iran to think and see there is less risk in overthrowing the islamofascist mullahs.

Preventative warfare as I descibed may be more effective than preemptive war at this time and near future.

The situation in Iran may even be less of a problem than the situation in Pakistan.

Again I recommend the articles by Lind.

Kind regards.

10/28/2007 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...


Go to blackfive blog and check out their views on COIN and read the article they link.

These folks not only know of what they speak, they put it into action. Many are operators and have been there and done it.


10/28/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Word of threat of preemption against Iran may be causing the people of Iran to think and see there is less risk in overthrowing the islamofascist mullahs.

Threat of preemption did NOT cause any of the following peoples to overthrow their murderous governments. Why on earth do you think that would change in Iran?

--North Korea
--Pre-WW2 Germany
--the dreadful Palestinian whatever they-are's under Arafat

...and finally, the most recent and blatent example of a country being tortured and exploited by a deranged and murderous ruler, Iraq.

Pretty much the *only* country that ever rose up and told a King to take a hike and made it stick is the United States of America. And India throwing out the Brits. And that's because we both were separated by a big honking ocean, the royalty in question was nuts or grieving at the time, and we were willing to fight for it.

Iran did manage to rise up once before and throw out a cancer-stricken Shah, but look what they replaced him with. It does not speak well for the national gestalt, intelligence level, or maturity nor bode well that they'll be any more human or humane if they could manage it again.

Waiting for beat-down, uneducated, unarmed, backwards humanity to get it together to overthrow powerful and murderous tyrants or leaders is a hopelessly optimistic mug's game. I just simply do not see it happening.

And after all the attempts to over-throw nasty governments in South America, I'm not real thrilled about the CIA helping out, either.

10/28/2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

My hope is there are things going on we do not know about. There are some hints in the media, small "pings" discussed on milblogs.

IMHO bombing is not the best course. One acceptable scenario would be hit on revolutionary guards/al quods bases and key leaders.

10/28/2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Bill: The motivation for grinding the mullahs' collective faces in the dirt is if one nuke goes off in any city all bets are off and its the end of the world as we know it and no one will be feeling fine.

When the balloon goes up, would you rather be an Islamic Republic with one nuke "tested" in Tel Aviv and maybe one more in reserve, or a Democratic Republic with 10,000 nukes plus an operational shield and a President with experience starting two wars (and leaning toward an apocalyptic eschatology) with his itchy finger on the button? Iran would be MAD to do it.

10/28/2007 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...


I was talking to my mechanic awhile back and I told him Iran is a nation where the radicals want to use twelve nukes to destroy Israel and the moderates want to use six.
I may have been off by two or three nukes, I don't know.

I said for years that the regime's reform "program" was a sham and that former President Khatami (Better known as "what's his face") had no real power as President--that he was a front to impress the West. So, yeah, I'm aware of what you say about Ahmadinejad.

Stalin became party Secretary. Not much of a job until he used it to take over the Soviet Union. Hitler was appointed Chancellor because those making the selection thought they could control him.

A year ago I thought Ahmadinejad was there to be sacrificed if Iran had to back away from its nuke program. That may have been the original plan, but plans sometimes change whether we want them to or not. His support in the Security Forces may be too strong to toy with him, we just don't know.

I think the Terror Masters will push on through until they get nukes--and if they succeed the real terror war will begin.

World leaders seem much less inclined to score against George Bush on this issue, which can only mean they are worried about Iran (very worried). We should be too.

10/28/2007 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

Simon BOlivar did the same thing for much of South America in the early 1800's; so did the Russians in 1917, and the French in 1789.

10/28/2007 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

What on earth are you talking about, helo? The key words are to "make it stick". Most of South America is a basket case, as is Russia post-Bolshevik, as is France post-Chirac (actually post deGaulle, but we won't pick nits).

The key to a revolution is whether you're better off afterwards. If you're not better off afterwards, then what difference is that from having large stern American kick your door in and MAKE you behave?

At least with American intervention, the new, better behavior seems to stick.

10/28/2007 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

Seems to me "making it stick" implies that the overthrown type of government stays away, and the new type of government stays for a lengthy period. All of my examples apply. And South America, Russia, and France also meet your criteria for being better afterwards, assuming that you are referring to the majority of the people and not just for the elite.

10/28/2007 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

"Why can't the damned mullahs see reason? Do they really think their 12th Iman / Easter Bunny is going to save their bacon? How can such foolish people be in positions of power over the lives of millions?"

They don't live in the same world we do, eggplant.

"Word of threat of preemption against Iran may be causing the people of Iran to think and see there is less risk in overthrowing the islamofascist mullahs."

Iran is a theocratic dictatorship, with an internal security service recruited for fanatic loyalty from non-Iranians. Such a a regime cannot be overthrown internally.

An external force has to at least degrade the internal security forces to the point of ineffectualness before the regime could be overthrown from within.

10/29/2007 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

It comes, IMO, down to this: most -- by far most -- people prefer not to have a boot heel stamping on their faces forever. Kneecapping the stompers therefore seems like a good plan.

11/01/2007 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Don't keep slipping back into thinking of the Mullahs as Iranian Rulers. They have repeatedly said that they'd be OK with Iran getting wiped out if it advanced the cause of the Global Caliphate/Ummah. You can't effectively constrain people like that with threats against the economy or military or population except in the short term over which they visualize those things as being useful.

11/01/2007 09:58:00 AM  

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