“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."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why are we not getting Carter's advice on Iran? He usually has more to say.

Carter's hand still felt in Iran
Last Updated:March 26. 2007 11:00PM
Published: March 27. 2007 3:30AM
Times Daily
Where is Jimmy Carter when we need him the most? The former president who has spent his post-White House years giving his successors the benefit of his foreign policy expertise whether they wanted it or not, has been curiously reticent when it comes to Iran. After all, no U. S. president past or present has more experience with the Persian menace than Carter.

The latest U.N. sanctions against Iran for its determination to enrich uranium with the quite obvious goal of becoming a nuclear power mark almost 30 years of unsuccessful efforts by the civilized world to control a radical rogue regime that got its start because of Carter's misguided policies.

In fairness, however, the former peanut farmer's mistakes were compounded by the tunnel vision of several other administrations that focused unswervingly on Saddam Hussein, whom we now know was merely a loud mouthed con artist when it came to international dealings and a vicious thug and bully at home.

George W. Bush's willingness to accept the fiction of Iraq's secret efforts to build weapons of mass destruction, as Oliver Hardy used to say, has gotten us into another fine mess, while the Iranians clapped their hands in glee over the demise of their Sunni enemy and the installation of a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad. While Saddam's efforts to develop WMDs turned out to be so clandestine that even he didn't know about them, the Iranians were on the road to the real thing.

It is now hard to believe that these new sanctions imposed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council will have the impact intended. The Iranians are nothing if not resilient and stubborn and hard nosed when it comes to dealing with the West. Their apprehension of 15 British sailors and marines in Iraqi waters is a case in point. They also realize that the super powered United States is in no position to do much more than call them names like "evil,'' strained as its military is with the twin problems of Iraq and Afghanistan. Certainly, no one else, including the Russians, is about to back up the tough language-militarily.

The real laugh in all this, of course, is the constant insistence by Internet dummies that an invasion of Iran is next on the Bush agenda and that such an action is imminent. Invade with what? U.S. forces are so depleted in men and materiel that they would have a tough time staging a successful landing on Granada (anyway, we've already done that). Oh sure, we could bust Tehran with a hydrogen bomb and set off a chain reaction of death and destruction unlike the world has ever seen. But get serious.

There was a time, of course, when the threat to level the Iranian capital, backed up with the righteousness of a country whose sovereignty had been violated, might have nipped all this in the bud. But that was when the religious fanatics broke into our embassy and held Americans hostage for more than a year while Carter dithered, something he did a lot of despite his Naval Academy education. Not to open old wounds, but as a lesson for those who don't subscribe to the past is prologue concept, it was Carter's decision to pull the rug out from America's longtime ally in Iran, the shah, and clear the way for a religious zealot with 11th century ideas, that started us on the road here in the first place.

Carter then reinforced growing Iranian dislike for American infidels by permitting the shah to receive medical treatment in the United States although he had been warned of the consequences. This led to the embassy invasion and his decision to use such powerful negotiators as his onetime baggage hauler and then White House chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan, in unsuccessfully trying to free the hostages. Brilliant.

It has been all down hill for the United States in this area since. Ronald Reagan, pressured by the relatives of other victims kidnapped with the backing of Tehran, became embroiled in the Iran Contra nightmare and the first George Bush set the stage for the second's actions by kicking Saddam out of Kuwait in Desert Storm, then wisely withdrawing sooner than some would have liked. We knew then how light a threat Saddam was, but Bill Clinton nurtured the strength illusion.

So, pinning much hope on the economic sanctions is probably unwise. The entire Middle East has been so destabilized by the mess in Iraq that to contemplate what might occur next is an exercise in depression. The radical Persians want to fill the power void and are well on their way to doing so. They really should thank Carter.

Dan Thomasson writes for Scripps Howard News Service.


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  2. Jimmah Carter dares to rank Presidential blunders...

    Anderson Cooper: "In the history of mistakes that administrations have made, how big do you think this Iraq operation has been?"

    Jimmy Carter: "Well, obviously, it will be judged in retrospect after the whole thing is over which may be a few years in the future, but up until this point, it's been a horrible mistake. One of the worst mistakes we’ve made."

    (Cooper closed the interview: "Former President Jimmy Carter who also, of course, brokered the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel."

    During Tuesday’s "Situation Room," Wolf Blitzer phrased his query in a remarkably similar manner:

    Wolf Blitzer: "In the scheme of things, how big of a blunder was it in terms of foreign policy blunders that American presidents have made?"

    Jimmy Carter: "One of the -- it's going to prove, I believe, to be one of the greatest blunders that American presidents have ever made."

    Blitzer: "Bigger than Vietnam?"

    Carter: "I think it's going to be a close call, but perhaps much more vividly known by the rest of the world than Vietnam was.

  3. While it is fun to poke fun at Mr Carter, his empowerment of radical Mohammedans in Iran, of the boycott of the Soviets and their Olympics and the embargo of grain sales to them, as well as his sweaters.
    All of those fubars pale in comparison to the Bush Administration, the Congress and the Supremes and their reaction, in 2006, to physical attacks on US property and interests, at home and abroad.

    This gross ineptitude can be, really, summed up in a single word. A decision by the Supremes, and the Congress and Executives' reaction to that decision.


    One does not have to take my word for it, the National Review described the snafu.
    They describe this Decision in a single word, as well Outrage

    " ... the Court had to invoke (and distort) “Common Article 3” of the conventions, which applies only to civil wars taking place within the territory of a single country, as opposed to international conflicts. The Court argued, absurdly, that because al Qaeda is not a nation, it cannot be in an international conflict: so the global War on Terror is not “international,” ..."

    The Congress reauthorized the Tribunals to comply with Hamdan and Art 3, as requested by the Bush Justice Department, and not to over turn the Decision by "Internationalizing" the War.

    Each of the Islamo-fascist conflicts are local and not inter-connected, as per the Law of the Land.

    So there you all have it, not only has Mr Bush failed to define the Enemy, he and the Congress have denied the true scope and scale of the Conflict.

    Compared to Mr Carter's feckless behaviour, worse, as Mr Carter did not send GIs to battle under knowiingly false presumptions.
    Those presumptions having nothing to do with NBC (1960's venacular) or WMDs (from today's lexicon) in Iraq.

    No, Mr Bush still cannot, or will not, tell the US Public the truth, about the nature of the Enemy.

    It has cost the Government the resolve of its' people.
    Living a lie just does not get 'er done, not when it comes to fighting a War.
    The only force that has been decieved is US people.

  4. The Tillman family is dissatisfied with the Army findings in what was the fouth or fifth investigation ofSp4 Tillman's death, alledging a further cover-up. They are requesting a Congressional investigation:
    "Perhaps subpoenas are necessary to elicit candor and accuracy from the military," his family said in a statement Monday night ..."

    Last year, nothing wold have come of the request, this year, those Generals will be subpoenaed, and brought to the Hill, to testify.

    Will they take the Fifth, or speak to the truth of their dishonor.
    I bet they will be taking the Fifth. Just like Gonzo's Chief of Staff has said he will.

    We shall see what we will see.

  5. Exactly right, Rat!

    Bush is < or = to Carter, < in the greater scheme of things.

    Beck said it on his show this morning; "...the Democrat Party has raped all decent Democrats that remain in the Party, and the Republicans have done the same over the last few years" (quoted as well as I can remember).

    I'm not known as a unite(r), but one thing I do believe is that we need to unite against BOTH major political parties!

  6. allen thought that since no UCMJ charges were brought, all appeared kosher. Perhaps it is, or ...

    The latest investigation reserves its strongest criticism for Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, the now-retired three-star general who was in charge of Army special operations.

    "We found compelling evidence that Kensinger learned of suspected fratricide well before the memorial service and provided misleading testimony" on that issue, the report said. That misrepresentation, the report said, could constitute a "false official statement," a violation of the Military Code of Justice.

    Because Kensinger is out of the military, it would be difficult to charge him criminally, however.

    If the real culprit has skated away, why charge the underlings, unless they are just enlisted men?

    No sense ruining an officers' career.

  7. Mr. Carter, the chirping cicada.

    In other news, an update for you 2614th, on an article that caught my eye yesterday-

    Previously, Fri Feb 23, 06:53:00 PM EST...
    "In the European model, would Palestinians and the citizens of neighboring countries be eligible for citizenship or movement across the border? What characteristics do these individuals possess?
    The religious states (i.e. citizens) throughout the ME are burdened with the consequences of being religious states (Islam) first and secular nations second."
    Population dynamics are a variable in the long war.

    March 26, 2007 -
    The halt of...Jewish immigration to one of two key Arab pre-conditions for engaging the Jewish state in peace talks.

    Our Arab sources reveal that the two conditions will be incorporated in the final resolutions approved by the Arab League summit in Riyadh on Thursday.

    1. Israel must halt Jewish immigration so that the Israelis leaving the country or revoking their citizenship are not replaced by newcomers

    So the right of return for Pals, but no new Hebrews; or Israel dying a slow death with population dynamics.

    Unrelated, interesting that Israel has just recently conducted missile defense drills with today's headlines.

  8. DR,

    re: allen thought that since no UCMJ charges were brought, all appeared kosher. Perhaps it is, or ...

    You need those meds adjusted.

  9. Carter has no right to rank Presidential blunders. He is THE Presidential blunder. He has been very quiet since he was caught Plagiarizing his latest book. But since he is a darling of Big Media, it was swept under the rug, much like Alex Haley's plagiarizing of "Roots." It seems bashing Bush has become quite the rage at EB, but he does not deserve to be compared to Carter, not yet, anyway.

  10. The Paper Tiger is rattling it's sabre.

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. Navy on Tuesday began its largest demonstration of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, led by a pair of aircraft carriers and backed by warplanes flying simulated attack maneuvers off the coast of Iran.

    The maneuvers bring together two strike groups of U.S. warships and more than 100 U.S. warplanes to conduct simulated air warfare in the crowded Gulf shipping lanes.

    The U.S. exercises come just four days after Iran's capture of 15 British sailors and marines who Iran said had strayed into Iranian waters near the Gulf. Britain and the U.S. Navy have insisted the British sailors were operating in Iraqi waters.

    Given the anti-war, anti-military, anti-administration frenzy currently engulfing the body politic in the US, I don't think the Iranians will be much bothered the activity in the Gulf. The hapless Bush administration has assured that will be the case. We need someone with more credibility to rattle the sabre. Too damn bad that the Vincennes has been de-commissioned. Nothing builds credibility like a couple of hundred of dead Iranians floating in the gulf.

    And has Bush dispatched his Secretary of State to warn the Iranians of the consequences of their transgressions? No. Like his predecessor Bill Clinton when in domestic trouble, he has dispatched her on a fools errand to brow beat the Israelis into concessions against those who would destroy her.

    Today, Rice's newfound mania for peacemaking comes when local conditions negate any possibility of peace. Just last month the Saudis promised the Palestinians a billion dollars and so paved the way for the Mecca accord, where the Iranian-sponsored Fatah terror group surrendered to the Iranian-sponsored Hamas terror group. In so acting, the Saudis brought about the formation of a Palestinian government openly committed to the use of terrorism as a tool to ensure Israel's destruction.

    International conditions also ensure that Rice's peacemaking will fail to make peace. Regionally, Iran ups the ante daily against the US-led coalition in Iraq. Domestically, the Democratic-controlled Congress works daily to prevent the US from fighting its enemies. Globally, states as far-flung as Russia, China and Venezuela make deals with terror governments to check US power.

    The program that Rice has come to the region to advance does not even have the benefit of a peaceful facade. The Palestinians make clear every single day that they do not and will not accept Israel's right to exist in any borders, and that they will not work to combat terrorism against Israel. The Arab League, and its member states, for their part, have repeatedly announced that they will brook no change in their "peace" plan which, if implemented will bring about Israel's rapid destruction.

    In behaving as she does, Rice, like Clinton before her, is aided by a politically weak and strategically incompetent Israeli government that is willing to sacrifice Israel's long-term security for the benefit of prime-time photo opportunities with bigwig American leaders and Arab potentates.

  11. Sewage 'tsunami' hits Gaza ..........must be Allah's will.

    In other developments Panama Yellow continues to lose touch with reality claiming in a post today that what Jimma Carter did in 1979 pales in comparison to Geo. Bush's mistakes.

    I think what were witnessing is the babblings of a semi credible source whose gone 'round the bend.

    Let's all kep him in our thoughts and hope that the condition goes into remission.

    Panama yellow works under the illusion that an avalanche of tripe will suffice for veracity, proven over the past few days as being sophmoric in scholarship and recalcitrant in useage of modern terminology. These are usually proceeded by a canister of dense do-do gas.

    It is apparent to even casual readers that Panama Yellow belongs over on or some othe anti-American blogsite.

  12. "I am utterly amazed to find so little real faith and courage under difficulties among public leaders and men of intelligence. The average public mind is becoming alarmingly sensational," wrote Lincoln's secretary, John Nicolay, as torrents of bitter criticism rained down on his boss. Bad news of any kind "is enough to throw them all into the horrors of despair. I am getting thoroughly disgusted with average human nature." And John Nicolay never met Nancy Pelosi!

    One of the ironies of the success of a presidential vision is that later generations -- and sometimes even the same generation -- can simply not imagine that there was any other outcome possible. This is not only never true, the now-accepted view of a presidentially created reality usually hung in the balance as it was being birthed.
    Historical Vision Derided

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  14. It's enough to cause somebody to be off balance to cause them a fall.

    Those that think a full military invasion of Iran is advisable or likely are indeed, as you say, dummies. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't have all the military assets necessary to forcefully answer any Iranian misadventure.

  15. It seems that ITT has been fined $100 million dollars for selling night vision technology to China AFTER setting up a dummy corporation to handle the deal.

    So how does former Us. Rep Curt Weldon (R) PA and his replacement retires Navy Adm Joe Sestak fit inot the picture...? Who else but Sandy Berger, former Clinton National Security Asviser and chief China lobbyist.

    Seems that Berger hosted several fund raisers for the Squid Sestak, (D) PA, which included money from guess who? ITT..

    There's more to this story than we are being told ...

  16. No, you miss the point, amigos.

    It's the propaganda war that the current Administration is still failing at. Not the substance or the War, necessarily.

    That is on the difference in the perceptions, in DC or in the living rooms of the US. That some of you, or your predecessors in the blogsphere continue to miss.

    Always on the sunnyside, refusing to face the realpolitick losses. Always with the comma, "if only" ... "we could" ... "we should" ... or the best, "It doesn't really matter"

    Not, "Look at Tehran burn"
    nor "Nantz is destroyed"

    Then the ever famous,
    "Well you just wait, 'til later!"

    Name calling when all else fails.
    Wonderful stuff, the stuffing of Victory!

    When Gonzo's Chief of Staff replies
    "Senator, I refuse to answer under my Fifth Amedment Right against self-incrimination" that'll play real well in the living rooms across the US.

    What happens when the Generals mimic that reply. Or will they try to spin the truth and suffer Scooter's fate?
    Perhaps they will attempt to mimic Ollie North, but that would take the courage of their convictions to be shown to the world.

    Mr Blair warns of the "Next Phase" but then his staff quickly comes, to "clarify", it means they'll make certain evidence public.
    Not take decisive action.

    Again the US Navy is out on patrol, but not a single Iranian target is destroyed. That'll come, later, maybe. Just hours before Mr Bush's tenure ends, perhaps?

    Does anyone believe the Generals will not be called to testify on the Hill? Or that when they are, that Executive Privilage will be extended to them, as well as Mr Rove?

    Not likely.

    Perceptions mount of further Administration incompetence, while some cling to legalities, there are others who try to discredit the messenger, while the perceptions escape unchallenged and unscathed.

    Typical of the Administrations stance on so many thing, Gonzo's fiasco just the most recent.

    Abu Ghraib, that was once the Army's great failure in the War on Terror, per Mr Rumsfeld.
    Enlisted men and women flaunting the Rules, taking pictures of their sexual foreplay with and fraternity hazings of the Iraqi detainees, then e-mailing those pics to their friends, back home.
    "Having a blast, wish you were here!"

    These Generals, though, in the Tillman deal. By not divulging the truth when they knew it, that's going to be much much worse, for the Army.
    Just wait and watch. It'll be a field day for those that REALLY do not appreciate the military.

    But nothing criminal, so it does not matter, to some. Any more than the noncriminal burning of uniforms in the field or in effigy matters to others.
    The folk that control the messages and the public's perceptions, they'll ignore the effigy and will focus like a laser on those Generals and the burning of a uniform, in the field.

    Whether I self medicate, or not.

  17. Still think, bob, that the Oscar, the Nobel Peace Prize and the Democratic nomination goes to AlGore.

    OSLO, Norway - Former Vice President Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world’s attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker said Thursday.

    “A prerequisite for winning the Nobel Peace Prize is making a difference, and Al Gore has made a difference,” Conservative Member of Parliament Boerge Brende, a former minister of environment and then of trade, told The Associated Press.

    But, who knows.

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  19. Gag Reflex: Carter has no right to rank Presidential blunders. He is THE Presidential blunder.

    Bingo. It would be like Clinton pronouncing who was the bigger philanderer, FDR or JFK.

    He has been very quiet since he was caught Plagiarizing his latest book. But since he is a darling of Big Media, it was swept under the rug, much like Alex Haley's plagiarizing of "Roots."

    After a five-week trial in federal district court, Courlander and Haley settled the case, with Haley making a financial settlement and a statement that "Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his book Roots."

    LOL. The materials "found their way" into his books. Alex Haley should run for Attorney General. Instead of admitting to plagiarism, the materials from the earlier book just got up and walked into his book. Instead of admitting to being a liar, he could say "mistakes were made".

  20. Dissent or Daily Kos, perhaps It would fit those two blogs as the metronomic anti Americanism increases in it's shrill tone.

    IF you had read the 1:09, "Historical Vision Derided" it might give you a better perspective.
    And if saying a dog has leas when it does is name calling, well, dogs have fleas and birds have lice.

    It's the absolute constant focus and attacks on everything this administration does that calls to mind how a general can perform with such valor at Saratoga and later be turned at West Point?

    However a heavier cascade of sludge poured on the President and his war policy doesn't win in the end and discourages the troops in the field, undermining their faith in the Commander in Chief. Lincoln was derided by everyone during the war as a big ape and worst, but he proved right in the end.

    The Daily Kos is waiting with open arms.

  21. US Senate Republicans Say They Will Not Block Iraq Bill

    Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate say they will not try to block passage of an Iraq war-spending bill, even if it includes a troop withdrawal deadline.

    Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says his party's goal is to pass the bill quickly, because he knows President Bush will veto it. He predicts Democrats will then be forced to redraft the bill without conditions.

    They voted for the Timetable Bill
    but really were against it.

    Where have we heard that kinda line, before? How much damage did it do to the one that said it, or something oh so similar, with the Public?
    Just how stupid did he sound?

    If Mr Bush vetos, the Dems will keep passing the same Bill. Letting Mr Bush veto it again & again & yet again.
    Until he runs out of money.

    And now, with Tony out of the lineup, who are they going to call on to spread their spin?

  22. I've never promised to leave and not come back, until Mr Bush or Mr Olmert did what I thought they should.
    As did you, amigo mio.

    So, as an avatar of your word, go back to where you've been. Or stay around, I certainly do not care about your verasity or much else about you.

    Mr Lincoln and his Administration were "saved", prior to the election, by aggresive military action by his Generals and Army.

    Ironically, it was the actions of the apolitical William T. Sherman that probably affected the outcome of the presidential race more than the actions of any political figure. Sherman, who hated politics and hated politicians, saved Lincoln's reelection hopes with his dramatic capture of Atlanta just a few months before the election. As positive results from Grant's campaign finally began to dribble in, the future for the Union began to look bright. Voters naturally responded to the prospect of victory by showing new confidence in the man at the helm.

    By comparison Mr Bush is poorly served by his Generals.
    Hope springs eternal, though

  23. Actually, no, tatorpossum

    I had hoped Mr Snow would revitalize the Bush Teams' spin machine. He certainly tried, to the best of his abilities, which are considerable.

    The young lady that took his place, this morning, while easy on the eyes, will just be grist for the DC mill.

  24. Should we go back and compare the thoughts of Mr Lewis to the realities of Hamdan?

    Or just call me more funny names?
    As if "desert rat" were a serious moniker.

    My game is to have a good time, while showing the foolishness of the true believers of demi-Gods with clay feet.

  25. A little emotion creeping into the analyses.

    Perhaps the opposite of love and friendship is not hate - but indifference

    sam said...
    - Mon Mar 26, 11:34:00 PM EDT

    This view sounded eerily familiar to General Vinod Saighal's perspective (contrast the two)
    - Fri Jan 05, 02:13:00 AM EST

    and still completely relevant to the conversation at hand.

    ...Iran will in all probability be taken out. The US was looking for a plausible casus belli. The Iranians have given one, almost on a platter, to George W. Bush. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his backers would be making a grave mistake in presuming that the low rating of the US President will force him to change course. The US President and his team, notably the Vice President, Dick Cheney and the Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld have been accused of messing up the intervention in Iraq. They are said to have won the war, only to lose the peace. Their opponents have read the US presidential hierarchy wrong.

    George W. Bush is not a quitter. He has already spoken about World War III and the long drawn out war on global terrorism. Before his second term comes to a close George W.Bush will knock out Iran. Unless there is a political earthquake in the US at the end of the year the US attack on Iran is a near certainty. This time round George W. Bush and his team aim to get it right. They would have learnt from the mistakes made in Iraq. This time round they aim to come out clear winners. The Iranian nation will be pulverized in the process, so that there is no doubt left in anyone’s mind about the outcome.

    Against all the advice coming in from various directions, should the US President still decide to hit Iran his own party the Republicans as well as the Democrats will once again rally around him as they did after 9/11. So will the American nation. At that point in time the US President’s ratings could again go past the 50 percent approval mark. George W. Bush is aiming to quit the White House a winner. He can only salvage his diminished glory by a successful outcome in Iran. The Iranians must not give him that opportunity. For the sake of the survival of the nation the Iranian leaders must back down in the face of the US determination to not let them get away with overt or covert nuclearisation.

    In spite of the welter of opinions expressed about the options available to both sides the Iranians may be making a mistake by pushing the US to take the extreme step. Should the Americans decide to hit Iran, they would go for a knockout blow. It would not be a question of pushing the Iranian nuclear programme back by several years. The Americans, should they decide to go all out, have the technological means to finish Iran as a civilized nation for decades to come. Sabre-rattling by the Iranian President –actually designed to deter the US from attacking by highlighting Iran’s retaliatory potential – will only ensure that the Americans do go all out. There will be no holds barred. Neither the arms deals with the Russians nor any clandestine help extended by the Chinese would be able to save the Iranians. The Arabs or the Sunni Muslim nations are not going to lose any sleep should Iran go under, really go under. The Iranians would be well advised to back down.

    Finally, this was an interesting read from last night =

    People speak of “the military option” against Iran as if it consists only of a massive ground invasion, huge air attacks and an occupation like Iraq. Nonsense. We have so many options - some of them secret, that we should begin employing now. For example, there are ways to...fry electronic systems with an electromagnetic pulse that isn’t created by detonating a nuclear device. The next time the Iranian navy sits in port one dark night, such an “EMP” weapon could render its ships inert.

    Is the author speaking about HPM's briefly discussed here?

    The Iranian reaction would initiate the next phase/

  26. As a young man, in 1974, I was riding on a bus traveling from Beirut to Damascus. The man I sat next to was an English-speaking Iraqi whom I asked at one point in our conversation, "Can you describe your nation in a sentence?" "No problem," he immediately answered. "We Iraqis are the most barbaric people in the world."

    It is, therefore, unfair to blame the Bush administration for not anticipating such a determined "insurgency." Without the mass murder of fellow Iraqis, there would hardly be any "insurgency." The combination of suicide terrorists and a theology of death has created an unprecedented form of "resistance" to an occupier: "We will murder as many men, women and children as we can until you leave." Nor is this a matter of Sunnis murdering Shiites and vice versa: college students, women shopping at a Baghdad market and hospital workers all belong to both groups. Truck bombs cannot distinguish among tribes or religious affiliations

    A New Form Of Evil

  27. Will Bush initiate an attack on Iran? I would guess not unless he is really backed into a nasty hard corner. I think that the Israeli attack on Hezbollah was a 'test' of the concept of a war with Iran (two proxies duking it out). It was not a successful operation and it told the Bush admin. quite a bit about what a war with Iran would look like. No cakewalk there.

  28. I have read that or similar stuff for years, elijah, all the way back to 1979.

    Perhaps, this time, it will come to pass. Perhaps not.

    I'd bet on the not.
    But could lose that bet, now wouldn't that be somethin'.

    I wagered that the US would roll on into Syria, mat, as mika, told me, oh no, Iran's oil fields those are the targets, we'll have 'em by Air Assualt by March, either '04 or '05 or both. Depending upon the year of the thread.

    habu, he was sure we'd nuke 'em by Nov '06. Just this last September.

    It's almost April '07.
    Maliki wants his Country back by November, of this year.
    Time will tell.

  29. Trish,
    Wrong. My theme from the beginning was to bomb,bomb,bomb, totally destroy the enemy.
    That proved too much for those who do not understand that VICTORY has no substitute. Most on this blog thought that was way out of bounds. Well if we had I guarantee you we'd be rebuilding right now without all the insurgent bull shit because their entire infrastructure would be GONE.
    Did I on occasion mention the ROI's were to mellow, hell yes, anyone who advocates,as I did wiping out 100 million Islams doesn't cotton to at minimum not returing rifle fire.
    Once again the weak sisters can in with give peace a chance. DR still chides my Natanz bombing endorsement

    As far as the cascade of sludge daily falling on Bushes head from the likes of DR don't do the troops who have access to this blog one damn bit of good. In fact I submit that he's gotten closer to John Kerry's position on this war. Tell me Trish how some soldier in a hot zone likes pulling up the EB and reading that shit?
    Plus I never compared our troops to the Greatest Generation as being not up to them in ability. What I said was the Baby Boomer generation was a sorry ass one compared to the Greatest Generation. Don't fuck with my words.

    Finally Trish,
    And if George W. Bush is Lincoln and this is the Civil War, you have nothing to worry about - least of all any commenter to a little-known weblog.

    I know the loss of support at home won the war for the North Vietnamese. I also know that soldiers read blogs. If you want to be an electronic dissenter and morale killer on this blog that's your decision but count me out....I don't have anything to worry about but sorry asses like yours and DR's undermining our troops and the war effort. You COULD spend time looking up how much is WORKING over there, schools,hospitals,markets,training etc...but that isn't in the syllabus for the new blogging anti war people like you.

  30. No, habuster, I do not chide the request, the thought is pure. The execution did not occur.
    Nor will it, soon.

    I chide your verasity, not your your tactical predilictions, in a none existent war.

    I take issue with your advocating Civil War in the US. But you an McVeigh see things similarly, so there you go.

    Elections and law enforcement not enough for you, habu. You seem to really want to take that fantasy shot you never got.

  31. The eminent British military historian Jeremy Black reconfirms Clausewitz in his study War in the 21st Century, arguing that war "involves a constant– the willingness of organized groups to kill and, in particular, risk death." Material factors are "less important than its social, cultural and political context." In other words, THE HOME FRONT IS THE DECISIVE THEATER OF WAR. American forces that are superior in the overseas theaters of combat may be defeated, not by any failure of those who are there risking death, but by the BETRAYAL of those who are consumed by domestic luxuries and cannot bring themselves to think about the brutal realities of a dangerous world.

  32. Panama Yellow Belly,

    Tell me. Have you sequestered Jr. so they can't recall him to active duty? Have you sent him to Canada.
    I remember you saying that you sent him to Iraq and I replied,no, the United States Marine Corps sent him to Iraq.
    Has your noxious Kerry anti war position gotten Jr. to toss someones elses's medals over the WH fence?

  33. As for GIs reading a blog and getting discouraged, funny stuff that.

    This story is what kills morale, according to Jr., as we discussed it yesterday.

    He was all gung-ho, tellin me that, yes Staff Sgt. Wuterich did the "right thing" in Haditha.

    Then we got to specifics, as to the RoE that Marines operated under. He like Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt and Lance Corporal Steve Tatum, had been in Fallujah during the second battle. In Fallujah anyone in the city was consider hostile, this was not the case in Haditha.

    Operating under the Fallujah RoE's, of a year prior, Marines Sharratt and Tatum did their jobs, well. But those RoEs did not apply in Haditha, where the Marines were operating as policemen, not combat troops.

    Hostile intent and identification were the bywords, there.

    "Frank, help me understand. You’re in a residence, how do you crack a door open and roll a grenade into a room?" Pelley asks.

    "At that point, you can’t hesitate to make a decision. Hesitation equals being killed, either yourself or your men," he says.

    "But when you roll a grenade in a room through the crack in the door, that’s not positive identification, that’s taking a chance on anything that could be behind that door," Pelley says.

    "Well that’s what we do. That’s how our training goes," he says.

    Which is what Jr told me was "old school", they do not train that way now. No identification, no grenade. The Marines in Haditha that day were tasked with a Mission they were not trained for.

    Jr was amazed that Staff Sgt. Wuterich was charged with 18 murders or that Sharratt and Tatum
    would each be charged with murder.

    How could those Marines be charged?

    Well, I said, the Rules had changed. With no positive ID there is no legit shot at unarmed men or "blind" grenades tossed into rooms.
    But that's not how we trained he said, echoing SSgt Wuterick's confusion as to why he is in trouble, today.

    As allen said the other day, if those Marines are charged, likely they're in the wrong. UCMJ and all that.

    That reality burst Jr's Marine morale, as he's off today to join the AZ National Guard for a three year stint of weekends and Border Patrols, not the talkin' about the snafu that Iraq is.

  34. Still no desire to talk Mr Lewis's theory as opposed to Hamdan reality, habu?

  35. OK everybody...straw poll..



    Hey, initial indications are that a huge majority favor winning...good job. Keep the faith.

  36. US Senate Republicans Say They Will Not Block Iraq Bill

    Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate say they will not try to block passage of an Iraq war-spending bill, even if it includes a troop withdrawal deadline.

    Why? Because Mr Bush will veto the Bill, and defund the troops. Hope he keeps breathing, though.

  37. Both sides "playin politics" with our GIs lives.

  38. Well, when I finish reading Mr. Lewis, THE MAN who knows all , sees all, and has a special ME decoder ring we'll take up the Hamdan situation...just develop a bit of patience.

    Anyway with the newest poll numbers just in on winning the war Hamdan will just be a small portion of what we can discuss. But as I said, when I finish with Mr. Bernard Lewis on the ME and Islam then we'll go into Hamdan.

    Would you recommend all four volumes of you Churchill's, "History of the English Speaking People" too? You were citing that as the definitive for some of your terminology. I guess I'd better read the last three volumes since you might go atavistic on me and start talking in Sanskrit. The I would be in a world of hurt cause my Sanskrit is real rusty.

  39. rufus,

    I think Tony Snow would more appreciate prayers than swears.

  40. Someone call 911 for Trish, I think she stopped breathing.

  41. Is this a trip or what?

    Hey anyone see that "300" movie.
    I've read some disturbing reviews on it's authenticity to the real happenings.

    Plus, just as a curiosity, did it use animation to a large degree.
    Somehow I can tolerate animation with formations of C-47 a la Band of Brothers, but animated warriors with bulging muscles just doesn't cut it.

    So how many stars? 1,5?

  42. Rufus,
    I was devistated to read about Tony this morning. It just makes you ask the question we've all asked before ...why? Why such a great guy?
    God bless him.

  43. Bitter, but not to sweet, you are, amigo mio.

    Try the beach, catch a wave.
    Slam a brewski. Take a breath.

    Find some inner peace.

    You're from FL, as I recall.
    Home of those special Foley Republican values. To bad for his replacement in the Election.

    "Vote Republican Values, punch Foley"

    Didn't quite make the grade, as a vote getter.

  44. Habu1,

    The US coalition forces are not playing to win. So question to ask is what game ARE we playing, and why are they not playing to win?

  45. Btw,

    I've always said that Iran will have its turn as soon as the Iraqi oil is secured. The Shiia will soon learn to regret their duplicity. The latest being, the setup of the British sailors.

  46. They aren't playing to win because we don't have a clue who we are playing against.

  47. I thought the english plain enough to be easily readable, even with the misspellings and punctuation errors.
    Is it this reference you do not like?:
    Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says his party's goal is to pass the bill quickly, because he knows President Bush will veto it.

    Better Mr McConnell's political gamesmanship be out of sight, or out of mind?

  48. d'Rat

    We need some optimism from you. How long before we see orange mushroom clouds over the kabba?

  49. After, mat, Rudy take the reins, or not at all.

    Only guy in the Game that has a personal score to settle. But he's been divorced, used Gun Control to control crime, favors abortion rights and slept in a gay couples apartment when his wife threw him out of the house.
    All the negatives that could be imagined to win in the Bible Belt.

  50. DR,

    Let's assume that the commanding officer of the Marines you reference is not as dumb as a post. In fact, why don't we assume he is a good Marine, as is the case with the vast majority of officers and NCOs. We might even safely assume he has career advancement in mind. Therefore, it is unlikely that the officer sits around all day figuring out how many of his Marines he can send home in shackles.

    Cold blooded murder doesn't fall under RoE. To my knowledge, the government of the United States has not based heart of its case on RoE; rather, the government contends that murder was done. Because a defendant plans to argue at Court Martial that he was operating under the RoE does not make it so. Eventually, the Court Martial may agree with the defendant; but at the moment, that is not the case. An opinion or tactic is not a fact, inconvenient as that may be.

  51. d'Rat

    Hey, Rudy is MY choice! Are you calling me an optimist! :)

  52. re: "Troops," quite properly, do not give a flying fuck and are not dependent on the fever swamps of the blogosphere for mood maintenance or confidence-tuning. If you think otherwise, you're kidding yourself.

    Trish has spoken, therefore, it must be fact.

    Troops are constantly sharing information (often humorous) found on blogs. Try Blackfive, if in doubt.

  53. good stuff, guys, keep it up. This is better than watching NCIS and THE UNIT. I think I will get another glass of wine and hit REFRESH >>----->

  54. Glad to see you back, Habu. I agree with you - DR's tone, attitude and style would fit much better at Kos or Moveon, and not just because of his anti-Bush, anti-war bullshit. His evasive, throw-up-a-bunch-of-unrelated-bullshit obfuscation tactics and know-it-all, self-righteous, arrogant commentary would fit right in. I try not to read his and Doug's poisonous crap, and lately that's all I see when I make it over to the Bar. They even comment on their own comments when nobody else does, which is increasingly common. Anyway, lately I have found that there's no need to tarry when visiting the EB. Perhaps your and Possum Tater's return will change that.

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. It is really quite funny reading these comments at EB. rufus and habu whining that DR is not sufficiently optimistic and engaging in cheerleading for the Bush admins performance. RAH RAH, go team, say naught that goes against the grain of what WE hope to be true. I guess you guys would luv for the host here to moderate the comments so only the sunshiny positive shit shows. That is exactly what they are doing over at ITM in the comments (the moderator has purified it for your reading pleasure). Just because you want US to succeed and any amount of coercion to get others to agree won't make the reality of the situation conform to such idealistic wishful thinking.

    DR may be a depressing sardonic ass but that doesn't change the poignance of his observations. And Trish, man, I certainly have come to appreciate the intellect that lay behind the Military elite of our country (or under, on top of, ;) ). Any words of praise from me, here, is a damnation I understand but...

  57. It is interesting reading that the blog has turned less optimistic than 6 months ago. Whit and I ocasionally talk on the phone and exchange little notes in the back posting area.

    We have both observed that we try and find more upbeat stories, but let's face it this is never going to be a maggie's farm. I don't do pie recipes or pin-ups.
    I am a serious person by nature, and we live in serious times. I have accomplished what i wanted to here.

    All things end. They tire and maybe the EB is reaching its apogee. when I see that happen the Elephant will be closed. I promise not to let it die a slow and painful death.

  58. 2164th: All things end. They tire and maybe the EB is reaching its apogee. when I see that happen the Elephant will be closed. I promise not to let it die a slow and painful death.

    Ironic, because it was when Wretchard starting closing threads for comment over on the BC that the EB was born as a place for the more active, less serious posters to land. Maybe someone could start an afterhours blog called "Praying to the Porcelain Throne" for those revellers who had to much to drink here at the Bar. But I don't really think the EB will die. About ten years ago there was a chatroom on Undernet called #bible, but the management put too many rules into effect, which stifled the discussion, so the "crowd" moved over to #scripture where the rules were a lot less restrictive and we've been there ever since.

  59. You're doing an excellent job, guys. The stories you run are top rate, and the analysis as well. A slow painful death is the way of the brave. That is, until the new medications kick in, finally.

  60. Trish: Go back six months and the difference in tone is striking.

    Go back to the Israel-Lebanese War of 2006 to see a channel full of commentators waiting for something...anything...bad to happen to Hezbollah....followed by the realization that Bush had been running the Iraq War exactly the same way Olmert ran the flare-up with the Hezbos...followed by the election.