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Sunday, June 27, 2010

"A democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War," Gen. George C. Marshall



Endless war, a recipe for four-star arrogance
By Andrew J. Bacevich Washington Post
Sunday, June 27, 2010; B01

Long wars are antithetical to democracy. Protracted conflict introduces toxins that inexorably corrode the values of popular government. Not least among those values is a code of military conduct that honors the principle of civilian control while keeping the officer corps free from the taint of politics. Events of the past week -- notably the Rolling Stone profile that led to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's dismissal -- hint at the toll that nearly a decade of continuous conflict has exacted on the U.S. armed forces. The fate of any one general qualifies as small beer: Wearing four stars does not signify indispensability. But indications that the military's professional ethic is eroding, evident in the disrespect for senior civilians expressed by McChrystal and his inner circle, should set off alarms.

Earlier generations of American leaders, military as well as civilian, instinctively understood the danger posed by long wars. "A democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War," Gen. George C. Marshall once remarked. The people who provided the lifeblood of the citizen army raised to wage World War II had plenty of determination but limited patience. They wanted victory won and normalcy restored.

The wisdom of Marshall's axiom soon became clear. In Vietnam, Lyndon B. Johnson plunged the United States into what became its Seven Years War. The citizen army that was sent to Southeast Asia fought valiantly for a time and then fell to pieces. As the conflict dragged on, Americans in large numbers turned against the war -- and also against the troops who fought it.

After Vietnam, the United States abandoned its citizen army tradition, oblivious to the consequences. In its place, it opted for what the Founders once called a "standing army" -- a force consisting of long-serving career professionals.

For a time, the creation of this so-called all-volunteer force, only tenuously linked to American society, appeared to be a master stroke. Washington got superbly trained soldiers and Republicans and Democrats took turns putting them to work. The result, once the Cold War ended, was greater willingness to intervene abroad. As Americans followed news reports of U.S. troops going into action everywhere from the Persian Gulf to the Balkans, from the Caribbean to the Horn of Africa, they found little to complain about: The costs appeared negligible. Their role was simply to cheer.

This happy arrangement now shows signs of unraveling, a victim of what the Pentagon has all too appropriately been calling its Long War.

The Long War is not America's war. It belongs exclusively to "the troops," lashed to a treadmill that finds soldiers and Marines either serving in a combat zone or preparing to deploy.

To be an American soldier today is to serve a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of armed conflict without end. Once begun, wars continue, persisting regardless of whether they receive public support. President Obama's insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, this nation is not even remotely "at" war. In explaining his decision to change commanders without changing course in Afghanistan, the president offered this rhetorical flourish: "Americans don't flinch in the face of difficult truths." In fact, when it comes to war, the American people avert their eyes from difficult truths. Largely unaffected by events in Afghanistan and Iraq and preoccupied with problems much closer to home, they have demonstrated a fine ability to tune out war. Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag.

Throughout history, circumstances such as these have bred praetorianism, warriors becoming enamored with their moral superiority and impatient with the failings of those they are charged to defend. The smug disdain for high-ranking civilians casually expressed by McChrystal and his chief lieutenants -- along with the conviction that "Team America," as these officers style themselves, was bravely holding out against a sea of stupidity and corruption -- suggests that the officer corps of the United States is not immune to this affliction.

To imagine that replacing McChrystal with Gen. David H. Petraeus will fix the problem is wishful thinking. To put it mildly, Petraeus is no simple soldier. He is a highly skilled political operator, whose name appears on Republican wish lists as a potential presidential candidate in 2012. Far more significant, the views cultivated within Team America are shared elsewhere.

The day the McChrystal story broke, an active-duty soldier who has served multiple combat tours offered me his perspective on the unfolding spectacle. The dismissive attitude expressed by Team America, he wrote, "has really become a pandemic in the Army." Among his peers, a belief that "it is OK to condescend to civilian leaders" has become common, ranking officers permitting or even endorsing "a culture of contempt" for those not in uniform. Once the previously forbidden becomes acceptable, it soon becomes the norm.

"Pretty soon you have an entire organization believing that their leader is the 'Savior' and that everyone else is stupid and incompetent, or not committed to victory." In this soldier's view, things are likely to get worse before they get better. "Senior officers who condone this kind of behavior and allow this to continue and fester," he concluded, "create generation after generation of officers like themselves -- but they're generally so arrogant that they think everyone needs to be just like them anyway."

By itself, Team America poses no threat to the constitutional order. Gen. McChrystal is not Gen. MacArthur. When presenting himself at the White House on Wednesday, McChrystal arrived not as a man on horseback but as a supplicant, hat (and resignation) in hand. Still, even with his departure, it would be a mistake to consider the matter closed.

During Vietnam, the United States military cracked from the bottom up. The damage took decades to repair. In the seemingly endless wars of the post-Sept. 11 era, a military that has demonstrated remarkable durability now shows signs of coming undone at the top. The officer corps is losing its bearings.

Americans might do well to contemplate a famous warning issued by another frustrated commander from a much earlier age.

"We had been told, on leaving our native soil," wrote the centurion Marcus Flavius to a cousin back in Rome, "that we were going to defend the sacred rights conferred on us by so many of our citizens [and to aid] populations in need of our assistance and our civilization." For such a cause, he and his comrades had willingly offered to "shed our quota of blood, to sacrifice our youth and our hopes." Yet the news from the homeland was disconcerting: The capital was seemingly rife with factions, treachery and petty politics. "Make haste," Marcus Flavius continued, "and tell me that our fellow citizens understand us, support us and protect us as we ourselves are protecting the glory of the empire."

"If it should be otherwise, if we should have to leave our bleached bones on these desert sands in vain, then beware of the anger of the legions!"

Stanley McChrystal is no Marcus Flavius, lacking the Roman's eloquence, among other things. Yet in ending his military career on such an ignominious note, he has, however clumsily, issued a warning that deserves our attention.

The responsibility facing the American people is clear. They need to reclaim ownership of their army. They need to give their soldiers respite, by insisting that Washington abandon its de facto policy of perpetual war. Or, alternatively, the United States should become a nation truly "at" war, with all that implies in terms of civic obligation, fiscal policies and domestic priorities. Should the people choose neither course -- and thereby subject their troops to continuing abuse -- the damage to the army and to American democracy will be severe.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. His book "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War" will be published in August. He will be online at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 28, to chat. Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.


103 comments:

  1. I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward.

    GEORGE WASHINGTON - April 21st 1778

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  2. Yes, that was a major theme of those that created the institutions, interest, or some reward

    You can see that all over the old writings.

    Practical men, in a simpler, less confusing time. Men that hadn't come up against the moslems, in a world not needing the daily drink of oil, a world of the horse and buggy, it's beautiful language, but does it really work today?

    We can sustain an indefinite trip to Afghanistan, most people don't even think about it, the question is should we?

    We got sucked in, now it is hard to get out, but most people really don't care.

    Who have you talked to that thinks it's an existential affair?

    I'm for the B-52s.

    Get it over with.

    I'm for the Habu solution, which seems to me to make more and more sense. Sometimes you just need to get it over with.

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  3. "...a belief that 'it is OK to condescend to civilian leaders' has become common..."

    The horror. And what an entirely fresh horror it is.

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  4. The horror. And what an entirely fresh horror it is.

    Not an entirely fresh horror from history's perspective, but it is from ours, as we are still a new nation. We certainly should fight the tendency.

    We don't want a Franco, except as a last gasp, no matter what mee'mi might say. And she, like Quirk suggested, is just hung up on uniforms. I asked her, and she admitted, she is goo-goo for anyone in a uniform. It's one of the things I don't like about mee-mi, she's a sap for anything with what she thinks is power.

    I'd rather have a women with a fly rod, mee-mi with a Royal Coachman.

    And a camper that says, on the back,

    "if this camper is rockin', forget about knockin'"

    an old bumper sticker out this way.

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  5. The horror. And what an entirely fresh horror it is.

    Not an entirely fresh horror from history's perspective, but it is from ours, as we are still a new nation. We certainly should fight the tendency.

    We don't want a Franco, except as a last gasp, no matter what mee'mi might say. And she, like Quirk suggested, is just hung up on uniforms. I asked her, and she admitted, she is goo-goo for anyone in a uniform. It's one of the things I don't like about mee-mi, she's a sap for anything with what she thinks is power.

    I'd rather have a women with a fly rod, mee-mi with a Royal Coachman.

    And a camper that says, on the back,

    "if this camper is rockin', forget about knockin'"

    an old bumper sticker out this way.

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  6. "We certainly should fight the tendency."

    The tendency to what?

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  7. The tendency to have a military culure, which, as a farmer, I sure don't want.

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  8. "The tendency to have a military culure..."

    Too fucking funny, bob. In any number of ways.

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  9. Well, she who must be obeyed (and I love Rumpole) has to sleep.

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  10. Well good night Trish, but we really don't have a military culture here yet in the good old US of A.


    We might in the future.

    You just think we do because you've been around the system too long.

    You and your husband should buy a small farm. Get back to reality.

    By the way, I've got one for sale, in southern Ohio. 13 acres, beautiful house, barn, frontage on the Ohio River, just right for you and your husband, and your retirement.

    Contact me through Deuce.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. The interesting development, in the last few threads, the realization that the America we pine for, has been destroyed by the Military Industrial Complex that came to power after WWII.

    That the warnings that Ike gave, they were not heeded, and the Federal institution most respected by the conservative "Right", the military, has been the major recipient of government spending, since the 1960's.

    The same period that our host bemoans the "diminishing" of the America he loves.

    As we continue to spend more money on defense that the rest of the Whirled, combined, we are still afraid of the boogie men.

    Now mainly consisting of sheep herders, border bandits and lovers of goats, in Afpakistan.

    The fear mongers are having to dig deep into absurdity, to maintain their storyline of US vulnerability.

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  13. The same period that our host bemoans the "diminishing" of the America he loves

    One has three possible reactions to cultural changes:

    *dissatisfaction.

    *indifference.

    *satisfaction.

    From my view, my experience, my observations I conclude the culture has gone in the wrong direction.

    i will give an example. In a large American city, there is a remarkable public nature preserve that is also a park. In the park along the creek is an old inn that is now a restaurant.

    On Friday evening,In front of the restaurant, chairs were set up and a young couple were in the middle of their wedding ceremony. The couple had their back to the creek.

    Two musicians were ready to play and friends and relatives were gathered for the planned service.

    As they were exchanging vows, three young Puerto Rican teens, probably 17-18, started yelling and screaming and taunting. They were on an upper path across the creek aware of the ceremony and intent on disrupting it.

    No one did anything about it.

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  14. If that restaurant was in Birmingham, Al, or Jackson, Ms, and that young couple wasn't lily-white, then they wouldn't have been able to get a hamburger, there, in the early sixties, much less tie the knot.

    The Country has changed/is changing. A lot is for the better; some isn't.

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  15. We are wasting a lot of our money in Afghanistan. Money that could be spent on Energy Independence, and "policing" unruly teenagers.

    I supported the "War to Secure the Oil Fields." I thought it was necessary. I was Wrong. I regret that.

    I supported trying to "kill Osama." I still think that was the Right thing. But, we missed. He's gone, and we don't know "exactly" Where. But, we're pretty damned sure he's not in Kandahar.

    Now, we've reduced our Patriotic Youth to running a Protection Racket for the International Opium Cartel. It's Time to "Bring'em Home."

    We're One Step away from Madness. Approaching Delusional. Time to hit the "reset."

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  16. To bring up Walt Whitman again, I think America is a great experiment.

    I think Miss Teresita is wrong to think that just because we have jet travel that the races will intermingle. Joe Campbell would disagree with me. He thought it was inevitable that with trade and intercommunication we would all be one, finally. Joe agreeing with Miss T. I'm not so sure. Look at Japan, or China, there is not much intermingling going on there, and not for the last thousands of years.

    WE are the experiment. If we can make it happen here, it might be possible. I hope it does, but it's just an experiment, I have no idea what the outcome will be..we are really the least 'racist' country on earth. You want 'racism' go to China...from their point of view we are all 'white ghosts'.

    And the blacks and browns don't even count.

    That's real 'racism'.

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  17. Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

    When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it. As U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the official in charge of the clean-up operation, explained in a press briefing on June 11, “We have skimmed, to date, about 18 million gallons of oily water—the oil has to be decanted from that [and] our yield is usually somewhere around 10% or 15% on that.” In other words, U.S. ships have mostly been removing water from the Gulf, requiring them to make up to 10 times as many trips to storage facilities where they offload their oil-water mixture, an approach Koops calls “crazy.”

    Avertible Catastrophe

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  18. Excellent, Rufus.

    GWB would have waved that crap off with the same ease that The Won gave GM to the unions, or did a shake-down of BP for use by his Chicago Mafia.

    Some might say there is no difference, but GWB would have saved the gulf from unnecessary destruction.

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  19. That's another rare photo of the inside of a can of whoopass.

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  20. OTOH,

    Thad Allen, BHO, and the 'Crystal are Gods.

    To some.

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  21. BHO has no problems shaking down business but has not suspended or relaxed EPA rules or Coast Guard Regulations.

    Why hasn't he? I think he needs photos and video of oiled birds, marshes and beaches.

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  22. BHO is running the Gulf disaster like we have run "wars" via carefull attention to anal retentive ROI's.

    ...but we'll all meet again in PC Heaven, so it's worth it.

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  23. All unions should be outlawed, allowing new unions to form from the wreckage caused public employee unions and their co-conspirators in government.

    BHO should be declared God of Public Employee Unions.

    ...and replaced by a human POTUS.

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  24. Awhile back, I predicted that a deal would be struck with the Taliban:

    NYTime today:
    KABUL, Afghanistan — The drive by President Hamid Karzai to strike a deal with Taliban leaders and their Pakistani backers is causing deep unease in Afghanistan’s minority communities, who fought the Taliban the longest and suffered the most during their rule.

    Must confess though, that I didn't consider this:

    The leaders of the country’s Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara communities, which make up close to half of Afghanistan’s population, are vowing to resist — and if necessary, fight — any deal that involves bringing members of the Taliban insurgency into a power-sharing arrangement with the government.

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  25. Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara communities... will fight the Taliban.

    Well, there you go. Dump Karzai and throw in with these guys.

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  26. Them resistors look like good sacrifice material to me, Whit.

    ...like we sold out the Velvet Revolution set.

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  27. Remember, you can't Buy an Afghani; but, they're pretty easy to "Rent."

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  28. Overture to Taliban Jolts Afghan Minorities

    A interesting article. It's too bad that despite being the longest running 'war' in US history, we're no farther along than we are. I'm pretty sure that the US populace has lost interest in South Asia.

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  29. The "Trillion Dollars of Minerals" didn't work. Time to try a "New" Meme.

    The "Freedom-loving Tajeks." Been there, seen that. Remember the Montagnards?

    Time to go. If you ain't got your "Star" by now, too bad.

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  30. I was actually thinking of the Cedar Revolution, but BHO already did it to Poland anyhoo.

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  31. rufus said...
    Remember, you can't Buy an Afghani; but, they're pretty easy to "Rent."

    ---
    My favorites were the Tora Bora payoffs.

    Exceeded only by those temporary truces.

    (forgot the Taquia name for same)

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  32. The Poles are about the only ones over there worth caring about. The Czechs are fun, in a comedy-relief sort of way.

    None of them's worth fighting over, though. Interestingly, the Russians seem to have come to this conclusion before we did.

    The Russians want their pipelines through the Caucassus; we want their oil (yes, we are importing oil from Russia.)

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  33. "The Netherlands government, which owns its own ships and high-tech skimmers, gives an oil company 12 hours to demonstrate it has the spill in hand.

    If the company shows signs of unpreparedness, the government dispatches its own ships at the oil company’s expense.

    “If there’s a country that’s experienced with building dikes and managing water, it’s the Netherlands,” says Geert Visser, the Dutch consul general in Houston.
    "

    ---
    Barry's too cool and laid-back to fall for such uptightness.

    Sixty Days is not enough.

    Chill.

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  34. Obumfuck decided, Immediately, that he would try to parlay the spill into a Cap and Trade Bill.

    In short, he wanted it to be as bad as it could be. No other way of figuring it.

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  35. Not to mention protecting
    "AMERICAN JOBS"

    The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer —
    but only partly.

    Because the U.S. didn’t want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels.

    And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.

    A catastrophe that could have been averted is now playing out. With oil increasingly reaching the Gulf coast, the emergency construction of sand berns to minimize the damage is imperative.

    Again, the U.S. government priority is on U.S. jobs, with the Dutch asked to train American workers rather than to build the berms.

    According to Floris Van Hovell, a spokesman for the Dutch embassy in Washington, Dutch dredging ships could complete the berms in Louisiana twice as fast as the U.S. companies awarded the work.

    “Given the fact that there is so much oil on a daily basis coming in, you do not have that much time to protect the marshlands,”
    he says, perplexed that the U.S. government could be so focussed on side issues with the entire Gulf Coast hanging in the balance.

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  36. Only the entire Gulf Coast.

    No big whoops.

    Barry's Cool.

    Just ask the MSM.

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  37. Sure has disappeared from the front page of the NY Times.

    ...as if the spillcam had gone black.

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  38. You might be right about China and Japan, Bobal, but if China really wants to be a superpower they will need to copy us in every way, with aircraft carriers and democracy and a melting pot.

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  39. Hard to feel sorry for the Cajuns. First they whine about the Government response, then they whine about the Moratorium.

    I do feel sorry for the folks over in the Fl Panhandle, though. They had nothing to do with the mess.

    Of course, if they'd been running their cars on home-grown ethanol I'd be even more sympathetic.

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  40. The EPA will have to come up with two standards:

    Allowable hydrocarbons returned to the environment as a result of union work:

    Whatever.

    ---

    Foreigners:

    99.9985% pure

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  41. rufus said...

    Hard to feel sorry for the Cajuns. First they whine about the Government response, then they whine about the Moratorium.

    ---
    You are one sick puppy Rufus!

    First you sell insurance,

    Now you sell Socialism!

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  42. Ethanol powered, tho,
    so no problemo.

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  43. "they whine about the The Moratorium"

    ...are we to be hydrocarblon free until Nirvanna Arrives in the form of ethanol power.

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  44. "I do feel sorry for the folks over in the Fl Panhandle, though. They had nothing to do with the mess. "

    ---

    Except for driving and consuming more energy than "The Cajuns"

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  45. Working to produce oil = BAD

    Consuming Oil = Good

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  46. ...at least that's the way California Liberals see it.

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  47. "For starters, we won't soon end our "addiction to fossil fuels." Oil, coal and natural gas supply about 85 percent of America's energy needs. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects energy consumption to grow only an average of 0.5 percent annually from 2008 to 2035, but that's still a 14 percent cumulative increase. Fossil fuel usage would increase slightly in 2035 and its share would still account for 78 percent of the total.

    "Unless we shut down the economy, we need fossil fuels. More efficient light bulbs, energy-saving appliances, cars with higher gas mileage may all dampen energy use. But offsetting these savings will be more people (391 million vs. 305 million), more households (147 million vs. 113 million), more vehicles (297 million vs. 231 million) and a bigger economy (almost double in size). Although wind, solar and biomass are assumed to grow as much as 10 times faster than overall energy use, they provide only 11 percent of supply in 2035, up from 5 percent in 2008.

    "There are physical limits on new energy sources, as Robert Bryce shows in his book "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future." Suppose an inventor "found a way to convert soybeans into jet fuel," Bryce writes. "Even with that invention, the conversion of all of America's yearly soybean production into jet fuel would only provide about 20 percent of U.S. jet fuel demand." Jet fuel, in turn, is about 8 percent of U.S. oil use..."


    NYT


    .

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  48. You're confused Doug. It's the Cajuns that want to make a mess, and then have Me pay to clean it up.

    Like All true Republicans, they want to "Privatize" the Profits, and "SOCIALIZE" the Costs.

    I had a couple of kids like that. They're gone now. I don't need any more.

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  49. They've got ol' Bryce-poo working overtime, don't they?

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  50. I wondered where Mick and Keith disappeared to during the conference in Spain.

    Now I know. During yesterday’s World Cup game between the US and Ghana the camera panned to a close-up of Mick J yucking it up with Bill Clinton.


    .

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  51. Bryceepoo is pretty much full of shit.

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  52. Leaders at Summit Talks Turn Attention to Deficit Cuts

    "Mr. Obama said the two leaders were bound to have different approaches given their country’s separate budget outlooks; Britain’s debt is bigger than that of the United States, measured against the size of their respective economies. “But we are aiming at the same direction, which is long-term sustainable growth that puts people to work,” Mr. Obama said.

    "Mr. Cameron added, “Those countries that have big deficit problems like ours have to take action in order to keep that level of confidence in the economy which is absolutely vital to growth.” He joked that he could not afford to pay for the helicopter ride that Mr. Obama had given him Saturday from the isolated site of the Group of 8 talks to the subsequent G-20 session in Toronto..."



    Cost Control vs Stimulus. Fiscal Responsibility vs Jobs

    Right now I can't blame Obama for putting jobs first. The big problem is that what he has done so hasn't generated them. The GOP continues to shoot itself in the foot however with their 'You Cut' program and their blocking of extensions on unemployment benefits.

    It was said of the Arabs, "They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." The same can be said of both political parties here.


    .

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  53. The Guru of the Bryceepoo set was Ted Patzek. He proved, conclusively, that it would require the entire US corn crop to supply 10% of our Gasoline supply.

    That was 7 years, ago. They were still quoting him last year.

    Today, we're supplying 9% of our gasoline with ethanol, and using, after allowing for DDGS, about seventeen, or eighteen percent of our corn. We've increased our "Production" that much, which means we're pretty much at zero.

    With the cost of ONE Year in the Mid East I could have us off Foreign Oil in 5 Years. Bryce be damned. And, Fox News, and the NY Times, too.

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  54. "Bryceepoo is pretty much full of shit."

    You're 'Dark Side' is showing again Ruf.



    .

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  55. Oh, Trust me, Q; THAT was Not my "Dark Side."

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  56. I share your pain brother.


    You preach the religion of the Biofuel. I try to share the wisdom of the mystic Christian Rosenkruez.

    But the world isn't buying.

    Their loss.

    .

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  57. There they go, Q, including Coal and Natural Gas, as part of the "Fossil Fuel" challenge.

    While Coal and NG are certainly fossil fuels, they are not part of the liquid energy challenge that we are facing.

    Providing a false baseline to the scope and scale of that challenge, from the very start.

    The "Real Objective" is to replace the million barrels of oil we have imported from Saudi Arabia, on average, each and every day of 2010, so far.

    That is not 85% of our energy usage, far from it.
    Replacing that Wahhabi oil with US Growth Energy is an achievable target.

    Coal and Natural Gas, even though they are in the fossil fuel mix, are not imported. There is little or no economic dislocation with their usage, as compared to Wahhabi oil. Those folk at the NYTimes, always good for the simple spin.

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  58. The "Real Objective" is to replace the million barrels of oil we have imported from Saudi Arabia, on average, each and every day of 2010, so far.

    That's what "drill, baby, drill" is all about. Using oil from our waters and territories.

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  59. "The "Real Objective" is to replace the million barrels of oil we have imported from Saudi Arabia, on average, each and every day of 2010, so far..."

    You guys have sold me. As a matter of fact, I have been trying to get my still done out on the patio but someone keeps coming by and sabotaging my efforts.

    Now I have a couple of guys in sun glasses parked across the street in a dark colored Crown Vic.


    .

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  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  61. You'll never get there with "Drill Baby Drill".

    Not politically possible, any time soon, and the energy is not renewable, ever.

    So once it is gone, it's gone forever.

    Returning US to the hands of the Wahhabi and Hugo, because the US did not seek a solution that put an end to the ADDICTION.

    We would simply replace the pusher, who has a very limited source, with the Drill, Baby, Drill plan.

    Ethanol, from switch grass is renewable and localized. Never leaks and does not pollute the environment.

    None of which can oil claim.


    There is a difference between heroin and methadone.

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  62. From 1972: convert to propane

    Certainly this could be done to trucks.

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  63. Propane:

    Propane is a three-carbon alkane, normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. It is derived from other petroleum products during oil or natural gas processing.


    Not the answer, I'm afraid.

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  64. Gas is still $2.85 here. That's about the same as a gallon of pure water water at Albertson's.

    But I agree we have to do something and do it now, this won't last.

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  65. That guy and gal that's trying to raise a family on $38,000.00/yr don't have to buy that bottled water, but they Have to buy that 100 gallons of gazzoline every month.

    An extra $1.00/gal, and they just got hit with a sizable "Tax" Increase.

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  66. An extra $2.00/gal, and they've got BIG problems.

    We found out in 2008 that some of them couldn't drive to work, and pay the mortgage.

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  67. The A-Whale bills itself as the largest open-water oil skimmer in the world, and it’s at least very impressive. Originally an oil and ore tanker, the ship’s owners recently refitted the ship to do exactly the kind of work that the US so desperately needs in the Gulf of Mexico, and to do it on a vastly larger scale than current operations can handle. According to the ship’s project manager, the entire American effort in 66 days has skimmed off 600,000 barrels of oil. The ship’s owners claim that A-Whale can skim 500,000 barrels a day.
    So where is the A-Whale now? In the Gulf? Not yet. It’s on its way there after being tied to a dock in Norfolk, Virginia, and won’t be allowed to join the cleanup effort until the Coast Guard and the EPA figure out whether it meets their standards (h/t Deb Singer on Twitter):

    Day 68 - Why isn't the A Whale in the Gulf?

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  68. Rufus says: If that restaurant was in Birmingham, Al, or Jackson, Ms, and that young couple wasn't lily-white, then they wouldn't have been able to get a hamburger, there, in the early sixties, much less tie the knot.

    The Country has changed/is changing. A lot is for the better; some isn't.


    First, I agree with Deuce and the negative changes in our culture, and his example is spot on.

    Second, Rufus, being quite familiar with the metropolitan area in which you reside, and which should have been included in your comment above alongside Jackson, MS and Birmingham, AL, let's see how much has changed for the better for those of color (meaning blacks).

    CRIME RATES

    With a crime rate of 100 per one thousand residents, Memphis has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities.

    For Memphis, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). According to NeighborhoodScout's analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Memphis is one in 64.

    Memphis Has 2 of 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in U.S.

    Memphis has second highest homicide rate behind Detroit. These high crime rates come from

    INFANT MORTALITY RATES

    When I read the statement above in Sunday’s paper I had to stop, take a breath and read it again…I was speechless. The Commercial Appeal published a Special Report in Sunday’s paper regarding the high infant mortality rate of babies in Memphis, TN. The city has the highest infant mortality rate among the nation’s 60 largest cities.

    The area with the highest infant death rates in Memphis are within the cities’ zip code 38108. Zip code 38108 which is part of North Memphis, includes the neighborhoods of Douglass and Hollywood. This area has higher infant death rates than some Third World countries where babies die from serious malnutrition, illnesses and poor overall health care. This North Memphis neighborhood has a largely black population that struggles with issues of poverty and high crime rates. Teen pregnancy is at an alarming rate and young mothers often don’t have the knowledge, skills or money to carry, birth and raise healthy babies.

    http://blackgirlthinking.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/memphis-tn-highest-infant-mortality-rate-in-the-nation/

    South Memphis Ghetto

    I could go on and on, but that's a pretty decent sample. In one sense a lot has changed, in that blacks and others of color are not discriminated against according to race or color. On the other hand, those of race/color, especially blacks, continue to use it (their color and racism) as an excuse for their own failures. So, a lot has not changed.

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  69. "Well good night Trish, but we really don't have a military culture here yet in the good old US of A."

    I know, bob. That's what I was laughing about.

    And we certainly don't desire one ourselves.

    As for men in uniform? I can speak for myself along with any number of military wives and plenty of women in the general population: They indeed stir something down deep.

    It has little or nothing to do with power, but bearing, for which the uniform is a kind of adornment.

    And that bearing is so much a part of them that we've who've been around them forever can spot a military man at a hundred yards in a pair of go-to-hell shorts and ancient t-shirt.

    It's been many years since my husband wore a uniform every work day or even once a week. I usually have to wait for some special occasion.

    I am deprived.

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  70. Meant to include these in my last post:

    Blacks in Memphis Lose Decades of Economic Gains this one in particular highlight the flaws of Barney Franks social justice as implemented through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, ACORN and other instruments of "social democrat" policy

    Tennis Shoes over Power Lines in South Memphis - drug dealer's retail locations

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  71. Thanks for the offer on the farm, though.

    He is a farm boy and would like to get back to it.

    Not being a farm girl, but merely having spent my lazy summers on them, I'd like one that takes care of itself.

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  72. Yeah, I could have used Memphis, or St. Louis, or Mobile, or Tallahatchie, or whatever. I just picked out two random Southern cities. I guess they could have just as easily been Midwestern cities or East Central cities.

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  73. England was thrashed by the Hun again without a second Miracle at Dunkirk.

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  74. I think the options are hay, or tomatoes. There was tobacco, but the allotment was lost. It could be easily irrigated if needed, but they get lots of rain there. We have a teacher that is a part time tomato farmer, he farms it for free for keeping an eye on the place. I'ts got some real good timber. My son is headed back to fix up the house, which needs some minor things. It is a nice relaxing place, may 30 miles out of Huntinton, W.V. Kentucky is right over there. The underground railroad cam right through that area.
    There is some town, up the river a bit, or down the river, can't recall the name, that is famous for that.

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  75. It was back in southern Ohio I picked up mee'mi, and took her under my wing. This fall she'll be off to the grad school, can you believe it. They grow up fast, and in her case quite lusty.

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  76. I'd like one that takes care of itself.---

    Hay or alfalfa is you best bet on that. Once you get it established it's about as work free as you can imagine.

    Don;t do animals, they always are wanting something or other or getting sick.

    This place has a heck of a lot of deer too, always getting in the tomatoes, he offered to get me a special hunting license so I could shoot them off the back porch. We never seem to succeed in getting back there, something always intervenes.

    We do have the eight U of Idaho football plays in a duplex, more like a dorm, it's a good place for them to live, and it's good they live together.

    mee'ni has been told it's off limits to her

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  77. The husband would love to take the family farm in northwest CT but I've made enough sacrifices over these many years to gently but firmly say, "Absolutely not."

    Winter is not my friend and I will not plant my happy ass that far north.

    Also, if I may be permitted a gross generalization, New Englanders are a crabbed and insular bunch. Even the transplanted New Yorkers leave much to be desired.

    But the long, harsh winter is the deciding factor. Just will not do.

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  78. "mee'ni has been told it's off limits to her"

    She goes for football players, hm?

    The truly discerning female goes for soccer players and your track and field guys. Even baseball players are a stretch for us, though Andy Pettitte opened our eyes to the, ah, marvels of that sport, pitching for the Yankees in the '96 Series. He certainly did.

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  79. Spend summers in CT. Come winter, go south.

    Sounds good to me.

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  80. I suppose that could work, whit.

    Does not solve the lesser problem of having to spend a good portion of the year living among and mixing with the cranky provincials.

    I'd need a support group.

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  81. After a couple of years at the EB, I would think you are well suited for living amongst cranks.

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  82. Dear Anon,

    Quick Quirk obviously believes he has discovered that we are identities, playing the EB and he for fools....No change of identity is required for that, Anon :)

    ReplyDelete
  83. Dozens of House Democrats had threatened to vote against a
    ban on swaps trading on grounds the trade would move overseas.

    Instead a compromise solution allows banks to stay involved
    in foreign-exchange and interest-rate swaps dealing, which form
    the bulk of the $615 trillion over-the-counter derivatives
    market. They also could participate in gold and silver swaps
    and derivatives designed to hedge banks' own risk.

    But they would need to spin off dealing operations that
    handle agricultural, energy and metal swaps, equity swaps and
    uncleared credit default swaps.


    Swaps Trading

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  84. This is Trish's buddy. Sure he's got a Nobel Prize, but so does Barack Obama.

    Paul Krugman Now Laughingstock On Two Continents

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  85. Top officials in President Hamid Karzai's government have repeatedly derailed corruption investigations of politically connected Afghans, according to U.S. officials who have provided Afghanistan's authorities with wiretapping technology and other assistance in efforts to crack down on endemic graft.

    ...

    Critics say Karzai's initiatives are meant to appease the international community. "It's all a show," lawmaker Sayed Rahman said, noting that no senior government official has been imprisoned on corruption charges.

    ...

    A key capability is a U.S.-provided eavesdropping system that allows Afghan investigators to intercept cellphone calls in the most populous parts of the country.


    Corruption Cases

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  86. Bipartisan support/cover for Obama to clear out the State Dept recalcitrants and flex the deadline? (Feinstein occasionally shows flashes of common sense; Boxer, never.)

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/27/senators-raise-option-diplomat-shake-afghanistan/

    ReplyDelete
  87. Travis Davies, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said that while an examination of greenhouse gases is warranted, plenty of studies have already been done and have found emissions to be comparable to other sources of crude oil.

    ...

    Officials with TransCanada have said that the thinner pipes and higher pressure have been proven safe. They say that leaks would be unlikely and, if they happened, would be swiftly addressed.

    ...

    Jane Fleming Kleeb is spokeswoman for BOLD Nebraska, which promotes clean energy alternatives and other causes. She said there are no standards for such oil pipelines in Nebraska, unlike Montana, where regulations forced some rerouting of the project.


    Wary of Pipeline

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  88. Bryceepoo, where Are you?

    California Utilities close in on 20% Renewable Energy.

    This isn't nearly as hard as they would have you believe.

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  89. The gum flapping EB troll goes on and on about how "laws" hamstrung the Obama admin's ability to accept the able assistance of the Dutch. The problem was not laws, but bullshit EPA regulations, which Obama could have overridden, had he inquired about what the problem was, or asked any of the questions that Guliani pointed out that Obama had still not asked 60 days later.

    From Avertible Catastrophe: Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million — if water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

    When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it. As U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the official in charge of the clean-up operation, explained in a press briefing on June 11, “We have skimmed, to date, about 18 million gallons of oily water—the oil has to be decanted from that [and] our yield is usually somewhere around 10% or 15% on that.” In other words, U.S. ships have mostly been removing water from the Gulf, requiring them to make up to 10 times as many trips to storage facilities where they offload their oil-water mixture, an approach Koops calls “crazy.”


    How fucking stupid is that? How could anyone in charge not demand that it be done differently? After all, if the fucking Magic Negro can waive 150 years of bankruptcy court precedent on behalf of his union buddies, why can he not waive a few dipshit EPA rules (or disband the whole fucking agency - after all, Reagan fired all the FAA flight controllers) to help out tens of millions of people on the Gulf Coast?

    Why? Because he doesn't give a shit about them, the Gulf Coast or the United States of America.

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  90. But J Wahhabi, there has been so little oil spewing, it would not fill 1/7 of the Astro Dome, you told US.

    I think it was the Astro Dome, any way, there was no need for those Dutch ships, because there was so little oil spewing, early on.

    While, just a few days earlier, you told us that the oil was self-cleaning, in that giant Maytag machine that is the Gulf of Mexico

    The amounts of oil spewing, from the Deepwater Horizon fiasco, they seem to be growing, exponentially. So, those Dutch ships, have been waived in.

    It was only just yesterday that you told us the spew was almost inconsequential, today it is evidence of Presidential incompetence.
    Could be both, or neither.

    Depends on which of your varied opinions holds sway in your brain, at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  91. "This is Trish's buddy."

    And yet he hasn't called or emailed in months.

    What's up with that, Paul?

    ReplyDelete
  92. The gum flapping troll attempts to provoke defensiveness where none is warranted. My opinions are varied, as they range across multiple subjects, however, they are not in conflict (which is what it appears the troll clumsily attempted to suggest).

    Go eat worms, troll.

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  93. Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, will this week warn the public to brace itself for a summer of “increased casualties” as troops engage in more intense fighting.

    ...

    However Nick Harvey, Dr Fox’s Lib Dem armed forces minister, warned yesterday that public support for British troops had suffered “huge damage” because of the Iraq war.

    ...

    “It is a difficult message to get across,” he said at a memorial service in Plymouth. “We would be much further on in Afghanistan now if we had not diverted attention off to Iraq in 2003."


    Should Open Talks

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  94. Or, for Trish, I guess I should've said "tournure de phrase".

    Sorry.

    A little slow, just trying to keep up with her journey...

    .

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  95. bobal was talking about getting more doctors in schools a while back.

    I wonder if this was what he was thinking about?


    .

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  96. I learned a new phrase this early morning: le non-dit.

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  97. Not only are they extremely varied, they are at odds with themselves, J Wahhabi.

    So the reality is that your rants are a bit, shall we say ... addled, most of the time.

    Confused, without a center to hold.

    ReplyDelete