COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thunder from The Chief of Staff, British Army. Here, Here. Press & Bloggers Distort His Words. General Gets Nervous.


"Let's face it, the military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in. Whatever consent we may have had in the first place may have turned to tolerance and has largely turned to intolerance. I don't say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them." - General Sir Richard Dannatt, who took over as Chief of Staff six weeks ago...

"I think history will show that the planning for what happened after the initial successful war fighting phase was poor, probably based more on optimism than sound planning.

"The original intention was that we put in place a liberal democracy that was an exemplar for the region, was pro-West and might have a beneficial effect on the balance within the Middle East. That was the hope, whether that was a sensible or naïve hope, history will judge. I don't think we are going to do that. I think we should aim for a lower ambition."

Sir Richard also lamented the disappearance from British society of what he called the "broader Judaic-Christian tradition" which underpins the Army. General Sir Richard Dannatt, who took over as Chief of Staff six weeks ago, has warned the commitment to Iraq "exacerbates" problems faced by the UK in other parts of the world. He urged Mr Blair to give up his ambition to see a liberal democracy established in Iraq and settle for a "lower ambition", warning that British troops were not invited into Iraq and the time when they were welcome has passed.

He said: "When I see the Islamist threat in this country I hope it doesn't make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country. Our society has always been embedded in Christian values; once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind. I think it is up to society to realise that is the situation we are in.

"We can't wish the Islamist challenge to our society away and I believe that the Army, both in Iraq and Afghanistan and probably wherever we go next, is fighting the foreign dimension of the challenge to our accepted way of life. We need to face up to the Islamist threat, to those who act in the name of Islam and, in a perverted way, try to impose Islam by force on societies that do not wish it.

"It is said that we live in a post-Christian society. I think that is a great shame. The broader Judaic-Christian tradition has underpinned British society. It underpins the British Army."

He added that he had been "outraged" that a soldier recovering in hospital was told by an objector (Muslim) to remove his uniform, and had complained to Mr Browne that the "covenant" between the Army and the nation was being ignored. "I said to the Secretary of State the Army won't let the nation down but I don't want the nation to let the Army down," he said.
Army chief says British troops should be pulled out of Iraq
By Andy McSmith
Published: 13 October 2006The Independent

84 comments:

  1. I posted a couple of weeks ago, that on my recent trip to France, I detected a real swing away from the multi-cultural clap trap amongst the Europeans and British in particular. I hope the assholes over at the BBC get the message. Isn't it great when someone goes off message? I hope he stays there.

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  2. Well, if all those old warnings about what happens when Man turns his back to God actually are anything beyond quaint old folklore, I suppose we are seeing a replay of it in our time. I mean, there it is--what else could it be?

    Maybe it has always been tied to our own behavior, to our own human nature, and never did require an actual presence of the traditional Invisible Guy Who Lives in the Sky and Who Gets Mad If We Stray From Him.

    No, there's plenty enough evidence mounting up that the whole thing is a mite more subtle than those old oral-tradition stories could hope to get across to the masses of ignoramuses. More subtle, but no less a boundary line, no less a guardrail, for humanity.

    Can't help but note that the Amish attended the killer's funeral in large numbers. This is still astounding the world--everyone who is looking, that is--when the Amish themselves are just following the old story about forgiveness being a virtue, and virtue being an ideal.

    Ah--much blather at late hour--g'nite all.

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  3. The question is, do we have the moral fiber that it will take to stand up to a militant Islam?

    These comments from the British General were picked up by an AP writer only in regards to pulling out of Iraq and the political implications.

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  4. From the same page of the Independent, a story that is overlooked and illustrates what the West is up against:
    A British man has admitted he plotted to use a radioactive "dirty" bomb and other explosive devices to carry out terrorist attacks in Britain and the United States.

    Dhiren Barot, 34, a Muslim convert from Willesden, north London, has become the first person in the United Kingdom to be convicted of conspiracy to murder in relation to a terrorist offence.


    A Muslim convert plotting to use radioactive dirty bombs. Despicable.
    Is it surprising that the Independent's third lead story is subtitled "Murder and Torture are the Price of Peace in Chechenya."

    Before this is over, we may be forced to do many things that we will not be proud of...We have to ask ourselves do we do those things or let the terrorists have their way with us. Say, with a radioactive dirty bomb or small pox or a car bomb.

    They say that ham-fisted Russia has done everything to Chechenya short of nuking it. They have bombed it, shelled it, blasted it to pieces and yet the terrorists still get into souther Russia, taking over a school and killing children by the score.

    How do you deal with an enemy like that and do they bring murder and torture upon themselves?

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  5. The general is taking some real heat now, of course the press is not picking up all that he had to say, not like the crack worldwide hard hitting news team of the Mobile Globile Elephante Free Presse, two times winner of the Golden Tusk Award.

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  6. Gentlemen, You gotta like this news from Reuters. It puts two US carrier groups in the Persian Gulf by next weekend, with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and Expeditionary Stike Force 5 in the Indian Ocean. Things could heat up before elections.(Enterprise is there now & Eisenhower is on the way. Naval interdiction exercise said planned for Gulf

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  7. The General deserves great credit for confronting the problem, and for that he will receive disdain.

    He is, of course, absolutely right. The churches of Europe are empty museums. Yesterday, in the UK, a young girl of English ancestry was sent to play with a group of Muslim girls, all of whom spoke Urdu and none of whom spoke English. She returned to her teacher and complained that she couldn't understand them. For that, she was declared intolerant and taken away by the police.

    This is where we are. The mountains of Wales of studded with minarets. The Netherlands will be Muslim-majority in 20-25 years, and much of Europe will be right behind them.

    2164th - you may have felt a Sarkozy-esque conservatism in France, but the simple fact is that French of European ancestry are not at even a sustainable population, while the Muslims who are relegated to the Soviet-looking banlieus are already a majority of the population under 18.
    Yes, this general gets it. But the apparatchiks at the BBC will demean him and squelch his message.

    Buddy - your reminder of the Amish is an excellent one - something the Muslim world simply cannot understand, because forgiveness is not in the vocabulary.

    As Victor Davis Hanson points out, in the remaining salons of Old Europe, the elite look down their noses at the crass American Bible Belt, the Nascar fans, and mega-churches.
    What they don't realize is that the United States Army is populated, and motivated, by just such a society, and but for the U.S. army, the Europeans would already be a vanquished civilization, victims of an anti-Western jihad.
    Put a mike on that general, please.

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  8. So the General's answer was "unilateral retreat?"

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  9. British General piss me off.

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  10. Road, I also noticed a lot of young European French woman that looked very pregnant! The liberals in Europe and the US have had a great ride since the sixties. We are reaping what they have sewn. Trust me, we will win this thing. Let's hope the General does not buckle under. Others will pick up the torch if he does.

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  11. No, rufus, his message is to acknowledge and fight the War that they just may be able to win, at home

    That Post Modern warfare has yet to win a War, anywhere. It is a failed Doctrine, one that we are fully invested in.

    That is what he is retreating from. He knows that we cannot "win" in Iraq, it's his job to not let the Brits face a 'Nam style defeat. That is and will be much worse than a redeployment from the Iraqi's Religious Civil War.

    Mr Rumsfeld's "transformation" is applicable only to a Military that fights other militaries, not peoples.
    The US and England do not fight people in this Post Modern era, just evil tyrants and their uniformed Armies. Not evil peoples.
    The peoples are "liberated" even when they do not want to be.

    We reject the very concept of evil peoples, now.

    All hail the Religion of Peace.
    They've got the ball.

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  12. British General piss me off.

    Cornwallis and Montgomery come to mind. They never change.

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  13. For the Brits, there is no "over there" the enemy is already "here".

    That is his point. If the Enemy is not identified, it'll never be beaten.
    Pay homage to the Religion of Peace
    For they are on the March, they are the World

    But England, too, like Korea in '50, is out of or our Zone.

    The Omni-power paper tiger, cannot secure or destroy Ramadi, Iraq in forty months, let alone Baghdad.

    That does not nor will not spin to a Successful War or even campaign.

    The US Military has failed it's Government. Why do no heads roll?

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  14. Ah Rat, go see a doctor. Get some medication. This constant litany of whining, and negativism is just plain crap.

    The Army can't destroy Ramadi! The Army has let the country down! Piss!

    If the fucking general had something to say, he should have said it to the civilian leadership, not the press. Yes, Montgomery jumped into my head, also. And, the fucking press conference-giving Brit in Afghanistan, negotiating "reconstruction" troops through Headlines.

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  15. It's not the General, rufus, he is a symptom, not the cancer.

    Why not Ramadi, why not Baghdad?

    Is it all to be blamed on Peter Jennings or Walter Cronkite?

    War without Victory, it;'s all the rage. Who takes the blame or the credit, depending upon perspective, or course.
    The Military or the President?
    You tell me, which has misjudged the situation so badly and failed to accomplish the moving Goal, in forty months.

    Hail the Religion of Peace
    Hail it's defenders
    Hail Mr Bush, for he is four square in Islam's defense

    Vote Republican Values
    Vote Foley on Nov 7

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  16. Go Vote Dem if you feel that's best.

    But, Don't Blame the Army/Marines for "Following Orders!"

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  17. Whose orders?
    Who ordered the Army and Marines not to win?

    Let's get a name of the one who designed the campaign.
    General Franks led the Invasion, who has planned and led the Occuppation?
    There must be a name, a desk where the buck stops, no?

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  18. This issue, post modern warfare, makes the Election small potatos, rufus.

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  19. Trish; 9:35:01 AM

    Not only did the Republican elite dance with the Devil, they fornicated and bore his young, willfully mutating solely for the sake of electoral victory. Indeed, victory at any price is the mantra of the modern conservative. Hence, the rise of that paragon of raw opportunism, James A. Baker III.

    So divorced from historical conservatism have the most vociferous of the base become that the father of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley, has been branded a heretic. No doubting voices, or calls for reform are tolerated - victory at any price.

    With due respect, if Mr. Bush is a Republican/conservative, I am a Jesuit Cardinal.

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  20. That's exactly right, Rat; we're learning a new way of walking.

    But, turning Congress over to the Dems is not small potatos.

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  21. No, rufus, we've been walkin' this walk forever.
    There are no new lessons, other than we have done a poor job.
    They say Iraq is a one off, they are nuts. Both historicly and projected into the future.

    You tell us that this "war" is about securing Oil and energy.
    Well, amigo mio, who is consistently our #1 or #2 supplier.
    But Mexico.
    Where the Revolution has already begun.

    A one off asymetric oil war, right.

    But you forgot to tell US where the buck for this failure in Iraq stops.
    Did the Military fail or was it the elected or appointed Politicos that drop the ball?


    Who gave the Orders, who devised the Plan? Who had the Authority, who takes Responsibility?

    Where do we go from here?

    The British General thinks the Home Front is collapsing, while his Army is forward deployed.

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  22. William F. Buckley couldn't, and shouldn't, be elected "Dog-Catcher."

    If you liked the Hoover administration, you would love one presided over by Bill Buckley.

    It was Buckley/Hoover type Republicans that virtually insured a serious recession every four or five years, and a "Depression" every twenty, or so.

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  23. Mexico just elected a "Conservative," free trade President. All they need is a little more taxes from the wealthy, and more favorable conditions for foreign investment.

    Besides, I still don't see the "Failure." We're trying something very difficult, and it hasn't been utterly successful, yet, but I don't see where it can be labeled, "Failure." I'll betcha AQ doesn't think we've been a "Failure."

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  24. The aQ War in Iraq?
    That's over, General Casey has said so, except in Anbar, where the natives will suppress them.
    No, you're a bit behind the "enemy" curve in Iraq.
    Sen Warner, back from a "fact finding" trip said as much when he said it may just be time for a "new" Authorization, since the first has been fulfilled.
    As has Mr Baker, in a round about way.
    Even Mr Bush, when he explaine that "Changing Course" is still "Staying the Course".

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  25. A military campaign where, 40 months after siezing the Ememy Capital, it is still unsecure, is not a failure?

    That is how we now define military success, in War?

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  26. We've obtained the desire effect, in Iraq and the Region, or we have not.
    There is success, there is failure.
    There is an End Game. Performance does count, eventually, even to those satisfied in the knowledge that we will continue with muddling through the problem.

    Nov 7, the Dems will gain seats. If they do not take control of the Congress, they will have at least siezed the agenda.
    The Dems will be ascendent, even at 14 & 4.
    They'll control the next Supreme choice, to be sure.

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  27. Well, isn't this interesting. Afghanistan has 10 times more Oil and Gas than the Russians thought.

    Here's More

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  28. I don't understand why y'all feel so let-down and mis-led. We were all told, from the get-go, to expect this mess to be in our faces for many, many years. "10" was often said, as was "50".

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  29. If there were to be a Speaker Pelosi, just think of the shuffle on K Street.

    That'd be the new craze,

    The K Street Shuffle

    similar but not near as fun to watch as the Duffle bag drag

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  30. There's several generations of mentally-indoctrinated jihadis to work through--and to work through in such a manner as to optimize our chances of creating no more generations of 'em in the future.

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  31. Oh Piss, Rat; You'd bitch if they were going to hang you with a "new" rope.

    BTW, Rasmussen now has Talent at plus 1, which I translate into, plus 3.

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  32. That was the War on Terror, buddy, not the War in Iraq.

    The Vulcan mind blend did not begin 'til later.
    Iraq pays for it's own reconstruction, etc.

    The links are easy to find, it's old stomping grounds.

    Moving Goal Posts created a "Long War", in Iraq. If this and that is and has been the Master Plan, let them take full credit for it's success.

    The Military has failed to secure the major cities in Iraq. That's a fact. We have failed to secure Baghdad in 40 months of occuppation.

    If that is not a failure of Doctrine, let US be clear that we have achieved the desired effect.

    Returns, again to the Doctrine of "Catch & Release". Who defends that program, why does it exist, if not to prolong the War?

    Other wise we could have let Iraq slip into Sectionalize, Fractionalized, Secrtarialize fragments as soon as Saddam was in a cage. Why wait 32 months to claim success for that achievement?

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  33. Go take a nap, Rat. you're confusing doctrine (laid out by the politicians,) and execution (carried out by the Armed Forces.)

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  35. No, rufus, training and operational doctrines are key to military operations, the military designs it, themselves.
    Been there, done that.

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  36. All that has changed in Iraq, really, since Saddam's ouster is the ascendence of Mr al-Sadr.

    The Sunni were armed and in place
    The Badr Brigades of the SCIRI existed
    The Kurds were secure
    We've built the ISF, of which we command 80% of the force and it's use

    32 months of war in Iraq, to empower Mr al-Sadr.
    Now that is real success.
    Someone deserves the credit

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  37. Here's a thought
    The US has rotated aprox 600,000 troops through Iraq. For the sake of the math, we'll use a force size of 150,000, for a factor of 4.

    aQ was said to have fielded a Force of aprox. 5,000 combatants at any given time. Using the factor we can surmise that 20,000 Mohammedans rotated through Iraq.
    With aprox 4,000 of those killed.

    That leaves a surplus of 11,000 trained Mohammedan combatants to be spread across the World, outside the US Zone.

    aQ combatants, trained Force multipliers in the old SF tradition or just border bandits lookin' for booty?

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  38. Earth is more or less the same size it has always been for the purpose of debate. Time has been compressed, but point “A” remains point “A” and point “B” remains point “B”. Therefore, no matter how fast an aircraft, how speedy a ship, or how mobile an armored brigade, none can occupy both point “A” and point “B” simultaneously.

    Had Mr. Bush kept his promise of rebuilding the US military, the addition of the equivalent of an Army division per year of his current six year presidency would have made it more probable, at this date, to have secured both point “A” and point “B”. Unfortunately, he did not and the military, therefore, cannot. The disappointment with Mr. Bush comes from those realities. Moreover, a “Long War” is not a strategy or a plan, although it could have led to both had the administration had the wisdom to see the difference.

    As to the fiscal policies of Mr. Hoover and Mr. Buckley, if as bad as Rufus states, then, the genuine conservatives over the past three generations have been Keynes, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Rayburn, Johnson, Gephardt, Mitchell et al. Republicans and conservatives owe these men an eternal debt of gratitude for sparing the US economy from the ravages of Freidman and the Austrian economists. Had Mr. Bush run as a Johnson democrat, there could be no criticism. In that he ran as a fiscal and small government conservative, leaves his former supporters perplexed by either his lack of integrity or his lack of competence.

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  39. GWB a mirror image of LBJ
    Uncontrolled spending
    No win war

    Both "from" Texas, one a Native son, the other a carpetbagger come back North with his spoils.

    Times they are a changin'

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  40. That Iraqi TV station that was attacked, had yet to even go on the air full time.

    Despite its mixed staff, the station had a reputation among Shiites as a "Sunni channel." The station had not even gone fully on the air, broadcasting only test programs: patriotic songs calling for Iraqi unity _ but also ones denouncing the "U.S. occupation."

    That may have been enough to convince Shiite militias that the station was a supporter of Sunni insurgents.

    "These people don't want the welfare of Iraq. Targeting a satellite channel is a message to scare the others working in the media" to toe a careful line in what they broadcast, said Kamil, the station's executive director. He said he would ask the channel's other directors to consider moving the offices to another Arab nation to broadcast into Iraq from there.

    At least 18 people were killed in new violence reported Friday around the country. Gunmen shot to death six women and two young girls near the mostly Shiite town of Suwayrah, south of Baghdad, as they collected vegetables in a field Friday morning. Two girls with them were kidnapped, police said.

    Day-long curfews imposed every week on the Islamic day of prayers in Baghdad _ the epicenter of violence _ appeared to help contain killings there. A special curfew was imposed in the northern city of Mosul after a clash Thursday night between gunmen and police that left eight gunmen dead.

    ...

    In Thursday's attack on the station, some two dozen gunmen pulled up to the Shaabiya station in cars and broke in at 7 a.m. Much of the staff has spent the night in the building, working to get it ready to go on the air by mid-October, and some were asleep when the attack occurred.

    "They killed them in their beds," Kamil told The Associated Press.

    The station's board chairman Abdul-Raheem Nasrallah, a Shiite, was the head of the Justice and Progress Movement, a small, secular party that failed to win any seats in parliament in 2005 elections.

    The party advocated unity between Iraq's divided communities, something Nasrallah promoted at the station. "He told the staff to avoid sectarian bias, he had wanted Kurds, Shiite and Sunnis on the staff," said Kamil, who was not at the station during the attack.

    Residents told a U.S. patrol that checked the site later that the gunmen drove five trucks with Iraqi police markings, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Stover said.

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  41. So when the Islamists gain sufficient numbers in this country to begin a replay of the greiviences outlined in the Declaration of Independence and begin altering our laws to reflect sharia what do we do?
    Do we wait for their population to increase to the point of Europes? The popular thinking is that it is too late for the European countries to avoid an Islamic takeover. Dhimmitude or death will of course follow for all none believers.
    But what if we started deporting all Muslims from the US now?. What if Europe did the same?
    Civil war? Well you can have your civil war now or you can have it at a later date in a weaker position.
    We can aid Europe now or allow it to go Islamic, thus rendering NATO the hollow shell it has initiated. By aiding Europe we must kill or deport the masses of an antithetical philosophy to Western thought and values. Killing is preferential, since they will simply continue to mutiple, gain a sufficient number of nuclear boms and ICBM's to deliver them, and hold hostage at a distance what they cannot within the host.
    This clash of civilizations is not going to stop in our lifetime or our childrens lifetime unless we kill half to three quarters of all Islamists. If you believe otherwise then bring on the fairy dust to cleanse the problem.
    And when men with 7th century ideas are running our industries how dark do you think the work will be, morally,scientifically , and phiosophically?
    It is time to kill a quasi-civilization, as you would a spreading pandemic disease.

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  42. So You Still Think Democrats Are American?

    Read this from the Communist Party of the USA and then you tell me? I tried pointing this out last week but few bother to take any notice of the similarities. Read on fellow, knowledgeables.
    Commie or Democrat

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  43. Like tess said, a Commie is a Liberal in a hurry.

    Rat, the Italian Campaign--the analogy is the WWII Italian Campaign. more later.

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  45. We still have Omaha Beach, the Hurtgen Forest, Market-Garden, the Bulge, yet in front of us. Better quit playing them dirges.

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  46. Not to mention Iwo, Peleliu, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa.

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  47. No, buddy, it's 1971 or '72

    We are not on Offense my friend, have not been for years, now.

    You are still a modern warrior, in a post modern age. There ain't no Dresden comin', nor a Bulge.

    The enemy has no Armies and their peoples are our friends.

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  48. Trish said,

    "The Military Leadership bought an idea it shouldn't have."

    Although the pride of modern business management, the concept of "buying in" may be of questionable value for the military. But for the sake of argument, suppose it is. What did leadership buy into? How many plans have come and gone, with a shrug and the lame excuse, "Mistakes were made?"

    With respect, I fault military leadership not for following orders but for lacking the talent to inform the public, concurrent with the events, of the abysmal lack of civilian direction.

    Did any military leader honestly expect anything other than timidity, and I make the distinction between timidity and caution, when, for example, the Marines were told to capture Fallujah but, by the way, there should be minimal collateral damage to infrastructure and non-combatants?

    The fault for failure in TWAT lies squarely with the Bush administration. The fault for drawing the public's attention to the failure of civilian leadership lies squarely with a military leadership, who always had available a receptive Congress.

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  49. trish said...
    I don't know what you really want of our military leaders.

    I want to see General Shoemaker use the same political adroitness in support of "A" mission in either Iraq or Afghanistan that he used recently during the budget process. His handling of Mr. Rumsfeld was brilliant, while not publically insubordinate. General Shoemaker is too bright a man to do no better than his "not losing" formulation.

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  50. General Dannatt has today said that he was misunderstood and by saying that "we need to get out of Iraq soon," he meant that to be two or three years and not before the job is done.

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  51. Well, if you subscribe to the notion that there has to be someone besides the enemy at fault, then yes it's not difficult to see with hindsight perfection.

    I think you guys are too hard on your leadership.

    We're not on offense, rat? We have 200,000 soldiers across the ME, and we're not on offense?

    I know what y'all are saying, you're extremely eloquent, so I understand it, and agree with a lot of it.

    But, the post-modern war is precisely what we are fighting, rat.

    You say we are in such a war, but then complain at the "middlin" strategy it requires.

    That's where I can't follow ya--I stumble over the contradiction.

    Could we do it all better? Without a doubt. But in the end, it's either hearts & minds, or B-52s. there is no political will for the B-52s--as you well know.

    As far as Allen's beef that the admin's great failure is *that*, the failure to build the war will, the question must be asked, is it possible, in the current environment, to build such? I mean, if 911 did not do it, what on earth can? Is there some formula of persuasion that GWB can use, that would have a greater impact than the WTC falling on 3000 New Yorkers?

    Is it '71-'72? Only your polling place will know.

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  52. Post modern warfare is a FAILED Doctrine.

    As long as we adhere ot it, Victory will be lost.

    Look to Korea as the oldest US example of post modern warfare, the unending stalemate.

    What risks have diminished with regards the NorKs, after 50 years of Ceasefire & Negotiation?.
    I'd submit, not a one. They pose a greater threat to World stabilty now, more than ever before.

    In Lebanon and Gaza post modern warfare has failed the Israeli.

    Identify the Enemy, buddy. It's not Mr al-Sadr, he and the ISF are all that keep Mr Maliki in the Green Zone. Who are we empowering with the 325,000 men of the ISF?

    Will the ISF hold as the strategic center or fractionalize along with the Country. That is the only real test of the Iraqi Federals, can they command the Army?

    The General is right though, it's time for the Iraqi to govern Iraq.

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  53. buddy larsen,

    re: military building war will

    It is the failure to "try" to build the will that I fault. Can anyone point to an instance where a serving senior officer has pointed out the obvious: that as often as not, the running of the war has been a cluster f**k? Certainly, following 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the invasion of Iraq, the public supported the administration and the military option. Even an incurable optimist cannot fail to see the erosion of that support due to countless false steps, cultural ignorance, and material miscalculation. Does reciting the past aid the future? Not as long as we fail to grasp the lessons, but instead search for maladroit excuses.

    Mr. Rumsfeld was a pilot. Mr. Bush was a pilot. Their military service to the US in that capacity is admirable. That said, the American experience in TWAT, to date, suggests that neither is a von Clauswitz.

    At long last, men such as General Shoemaker have begun to obliquely question the credentials of civilian leadership in all things military, such as budget and procurement. Whether, at this late date the effort is too little and too late remains to be seen.

    Regrettably, they were silent on matters of policy and strategy. Because of this, the damage done to military esprit de corps and to public perception of military competence may be incalculably negative. We have traveled this road before. In the present circumstance, the US hasn't the luxury of awaiting another Ronald Reagan.

    DR is routinely faulted for negativism. He is rarely praised for perspicacity. If he has the same acumen in stock investing that he has in reading the politico-military landscape, Benjamin Graham would be proud.

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  54. buddy, we've had this discussion before, but no, having troops forward deployed on mega bases is not being on offense.
    Not in a tactical sense.

    The troops mere presence does not win hearts and minds nor impress the foe. Not any more.

    Familiarity breeds contempt, buddy. The longer they know US and do not fear US, the more contemptable we become.

    Our greatest strengths percieved as weakness.

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  55. Obviously, we're protecting the Sunnis, so that KSA will weight OPEC toward the west, and keep using western financial systems.

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  56. Is this so heathen & scabrous, if the intended effect is to prevent a future major global war over scarce resources? Perhaps a war among the industrialized blocs?

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  57. I get the feeling that before long, we'll be up to our chins in war. Real war. Its looking more likely everyday that we are being propelled into the religious war that we have been so desparately trying to deny.

    The other side isn't going to let it go until someone gets nuclear device and precipitates the apocalypse.

    In the meantime, hold your horses.

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  58. No, but then it's 1938 and Mr Bush & Company know it, and have not adjusted to the threat.

    So either it is WWIII or just before, aall the while Mr Bush is funding future defense at Chamberlin levels, knowing that we are unprepared for that Global conflict.
    Or it's just a brush fire against vorder bandits that we can muddle through, regardless of circumstance.

    We are on that second course and presume our Captain competent. Defense spending continues on a downward trend,
    If look to budgeting realities and not rhetoric, we are fighting border bandits in the MidEast and Central Asia. But not prepping for Global War.
    Conventional or Asymetric.

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  59. Look, there's 1.5 billion umemployed people under 18 on the planet. We either find 'em work, or put 'em to war. The admin people who are clearly running a police rather than military operation in Iraq, are trying to grow the world economy and put 'em to work. Because otherwise, there's gonna be a heap o killin'. For anyone (like me, half the time) who feels that the heap o killin' is likely inevitable, then yes, the sooner the better,

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  60. The administration spent a trillion dollars securing the homeland. A trillion dollars on a fence that wasn't built and a war that isn't fought and a political and information agenda that isn't being implemented. Ok. So you say it a matter of political will driven by public opinion controlled by big media.

    What you fail to observe is that it is Jihadi subsidies and bakshish money that is driving the hostile media and academia. And what happens when those Jihadi petro dollars start pouring into the alternative media. Where would we be when the Jihadi petro dollars move on Google, and Goggle starts turning on the filters, as they're already starting to do.

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  61. That's a very good point Matty.

    Oil money is buying the major universities, a chunk of Fox News and who knows what else?

    Saudi servers constantly scan the web; they know what's being written.

    It looks like an alignment is happening Sunni/US and allies vs. Shia/Russia, China, et al.

    The day is coming.

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  62. Once again, matt reminds us that a goodly portion of our troubles are the doings of the enemy.

    related, i wish somneone would investigate those retired profs running the "911 Truth" movement. There's bakshish behind that, you can be sure. With Scott Ritter, it was an investor in his to-be-written "book".

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  63. A mere 400k, and the jihadis had an ex-Marine, ex-UN weapons inspector, all-American boy in his youthful exuberence, all over the media during a critical USA election.

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  64. whit @ 4:27, China is in the same oil spot we are in--China may yet align with us. Already do, economically. Militarily is still in play tho.

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  65. So is Russia, Buddy. Magna will soon start producing Russian cars. Too bad Napoleon was such a fat head.

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  66. "I'm a soldier," said Gen Dannatt. "We don't do surrender, we don't pull down white flags. We will remain in southern Iraq until the job is done - we're going to see this through."

    Mr Blair's official spokesman said the general had the Prime Minister's full support.

    I guess he got what used to be called a major ass chewing, or in his case a general ass chewing.

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  67. 2164th,

    re: general ass chewing

    Yet, a private ass chewing as well.

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  68. Magna is a helluva story--a Ford-like one-man bootstrap--in Canada, no less. Russia joins the WTO end of 07. Maybe there's hope for the world. The Consumer as Savior.

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  69. The Consumer as Savior; A pure Hellvana. :D

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  70. well, *somebody* has to be a shallow, heartless bastard, might as well be me!
    :-)

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  71. Air-America went belly-up today, admitting $20mm liabilities, $4mm in assets.
    (*pardon me*) Ha ha ha ha ha (pant pant) Ha ha ha ha aha ahaaa....

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  72. Truth is, trish, that was just the start of the War. Any fool with out of the box experience could have told 'em that.

    Duped, if they were, cause they wanted to be.

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  73. H/T to Michelle Malkin


    Stark Words About the Navy From a Former Navy Secretary


    "We're building only five ships a year; we're on the way to a 150-ship Navy"

    “The ultimate threat, he says, is China, which "is now building their 600-ship Navy…”

    "Costs for ships are way beyond what they should be, even allowing for inflation. It's being managed by a bureaucracy, not by accountable people. When I was in office my last budget was $11 billion and we built 28 ships; last year's budget was about $11 billion and they built five ships. That's not inflation, that's unilateral disarmament."

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  74. good article--but remember, he's a McCain man, so ya gotta wonder how much of his story is politics.

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