"The trick is in knowing what the Iranians are offering and besting the offer. In the event that it's a vision, a plan, you bring a better one, all the while acknowledging - rather than trying to artificially sever - the various and considerable relationships of two neighbors."
A guest post from Trish:
Desert Rat had this to say a few days ago:
"As I read that Mr Bush asked for another $90 Billion USD to fund the War on Terror through the end of his tenure, the argument of the unknowable future looks awfully thin. Despite what [Dick] Morris wrote
"The 'what ifs' we were to leave Iraq to the Iraqi.
They cannot be answered, so the US must remain, because no one knows what may happen were we to leave.
"Past piss poor performance demands we continue a pace.
"Sorry, but I'll vote no on that."
Many millions of Americans share this general sentiment and my own years-long cantankerousness on the subject of US involvement in Iraq leaves me, a McCain supporter, extremely sympathetic to this wholesale rejection of staying the course. And so I began to think about what the most radical mainstream alternative on offer - which I understand to be Obama's - might entail. (Can you sensibly combine 'radical' and 'mainstream' like that? I hope so.) Barack Obama's stated intent is to begin withdrawing combat troops immediately upon taking office and to complete their redeployment in 18 months. This proposal has, let's face it, the signal virtue of ending the drip, drip, drip of US casualties in an endeavor for which domestic support has long been on the wane. The question is, what then?
Contrary to those who will insist that this necessarily means the abandonment of the Iraqi people and their democratically elected government, it would more likely mean an extension of the mission of propping up a weak state whose continuing alliance is valuable to us, and hopefully to Iraq - but doing so by different means. These means would not be a rejection of the soon-to-be-completed, and in many ways successful surge, as they would instead be capitalizing on its hard-won gains.
The mission overhaul would ideally entail three chief elements: An extremely generous, steady, and strategically targeted stream of reconstruction; equally generous, steady, and strategically targeted training and advisory packages; and adequate stay-behind security for these elements. Additionally, it would require a politically deft country team on good terms (or eminently capable of getting there) with the Iraqi leadership. This is indispensable (and frequently overlooked) as keeping and maintaining a strategic alliance means shepherding policies and agreements that go your way rather than the way of your opponents.
One would expect this, yes, nation building effort to be long and costly, just not in terms of US lives. There should be no illusions of brevity or ease, especially as the Iraqis themselves will have to take the initiative. Institutionally weak states do this through a long process of trial and error and, hopefully, positive growth.
The understandable objection comes that absent a considerable military presence, external threats become overwhelming. This needn't be so. Concrete challenges to a fledgling, internally divided, yet sovereign Iraq are best met the old fashioned way, through contravening inducement to local groups, provincial, and national governments. The greatest current challenge in this regard is Iran - due very much to the present, largely Shiite character of the Iraqi government itself. Because dictating relations between the two is an impossible proposition, one has to focus below the level of the government on points of strategic entry and influence. Successful reconstruction, especially, at these points has considerable and lasting payback.
Now I've gone and done a lot of Obama's thinking for him, if he hasn't already. This is obviously by no means a comprehensive proposal - that I leave to professionals. And rather than intending to encourage a vote for Obama, or Hillary, come November, I merely hope to brighten Desert Rat's day. He knows, after all, and is going to be the first to point out, that much of this was recommended by him, based on his own experience, some time ago.
It can be done.
Well, sitting here at 6:40 AM, T-36 hours till the Thesis-Day landings, listening to the birds chirp outside, there's a lot to chew over.ReplyDelete
First off the bat though, I think you vastly overestimate our ability to target anything reconstruction-wise. Not to overly dismiss the smart and dedicated people putting their head to what is a pretty intractable problem to begin with, but we generally don't know what the hell we're doing on that score.ReplyDelete
One of the first questions that must be asked, when pondeering future policies is "how is the current policy faring?"ReplyDelete
With a large standing US combat force in Iraq, how is Iran's influence, im Iraq. being contained?
Is that now the "Mission"?
The Iranians cannot launch a conventional military invasion of Iraq, with the US troops there, but that could be accomplished with a lessor ground presence and more air support, in the case of an invasion.
But the real influence that Iran brings to bear, in Iraq, is cultural and political. Realms where an active Coalition military presence is counter productive.
This is evidence within Iraq at the extremes. Basra and Kurdistan. Iran's influence is less in Kurdistan, where there was little Coalition activity than it was in Basra, a key city to the occuppation and one which the US declared success, well over a year ago.
Another question to be asked, what is the downside, for US, to Iranian influence, in Iraq?
The oil would still flow, at Saddam's production levels, as it does today.
Just as the Iranian oil flows to its' customers.
The Iranians influence in the Region is basically sectarian, not ideological or military. The other local powers can match them at evey turn. The Sunnis of the Gulf have more resources than Iran, so why does the US bear the burden of containing Iran?
Where is the Sunni participation, in blood or treasure to the containment policy, if it is a vital interest, to them?
Poor planning has provided piss poor performance by the US.
A lack of Mission clarity.
A political problem that we have been using the wrong tools to solve, the horse is already gone, we can stop guarding the barn door.
In the news this morning:ReplyDelete
BAGHDAD — Iraq's first lady escaped unharmed Sunday from a bomb attack in downtown Baghdad that struck her motorcade, injuring four body guards.
President Jalal Talabani's wife, Hiro Ibrahim Ahmed, was headed to the city's central National Theater to attend a cultural festival when her motorcade was hit in the Karrada district, according to the president's office. It was unclear whether she was the target or the attack was a random bombing.
Certainly an internal Iraqi affair, whit.ReplyDelete
The US has not entered Mexico, with combat troops, even though open street violence rages just miles from the border.
If we are going to make it a US responsibility tp police the streets of foreign lands, let's do Mexico, first. That would have an immediate impact on criminal activity and violence, both there and here, almost immediately.
Desert Rat: If we are going to make it a US responsibility tp police the streets of foreign lands, let's do Mexico, first. That would have an immediate impact on criminal activity and violence, both there and here, almost immediately.ReplyDelete
Better yet, let's finish the border fence, and when there is criminal activity and violence here, after they get out of prison, they go back over the fence. It's working real good on the Green Line in Israel, as well as the Gaza Strip. If the Mexican gangs get Katusha rockets to shoot over the fence because they can't get over anymore, we can deal with that later.
Robert Novak, always coming forth with the Inconvenient Truth.ReplyDelete
The bill passed by the House April 23 would "temporarily" suspend those rules through March 2009, and the plan is for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as president to get rid of them for good. Because the president is not subject to "pay-go" requiring offsets for lost revenue, the government would lose $17.8 billion over five years and $42.2 billion over 10 years, according to nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates.
With state governors lobbying for the suspension, the House Energy and Commerce Committee was all for it. Two Republican committee members told me they had received the high sign from the party leadership that it was all right to vote for the cleverly titled "Medicaid Safety Net Act" (sponsored by Democratic committee chairman John Dingell).
Conservative opposition changed the climate. Inside the committee, John Shadegg of Arizona and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee turned against it -- arousing the ire of the committee's ranking Republican, Joe Barton of Texas. When Barton argued that all 50 governors support the bill, Shadegg replied he did not care about governors. "If you believe Medicaid has gone out of control," Shadegg told me, "why would you vote for this bill?"
In a closed-door House Republican conference before the April 23 vote, Minority Whip Roy Blunt opposed the bill on procedural grounds because there was no opportunity for amendments. All Republican leaders voted against the bill, but their vaunted whip operation was dormant. With a rare opportunity to go on record against entitlements,
House Republicans voted 128 to 62 for spending.
Democrats were unanimous as the bill passed 349 to 62.
Soon to be not even Republican in name only
Michael Yon ReportsReplyDelete
News reports of Burma cyclone deaths have gone from 300 to 4,000 now BBC is reporting 10,000.ReplyDelete
We've got to be on the countdown to drawdown.ReplyDelete
What we need to do is take care of the outlaw militias, establish a modicum of law and order and get out.
Reconstruction should be left to the Iraqis and Iraqi money.
We did what we set out to do. Get Saddam. The rest was pie-in-the sky but we had to learn that the hard way.ReplyDelete
The only problem I have with "disengagement" is the vulnerability of Israel. Lately, though, it appears that Israel will be let to go it alone. There is no desire anywhere in the west to confront the Iranians in any meaningful way. (Not that I am advocating anything.)
Despite Hil's statement that we would "obliterate Iran," for now, the best way to deal with Iran is through its surrogates. Obliterating them if necessary.
Other than insane Iranians accelerating the return of the Mahdi, I see light at the end of the Iraqi tunnel. Afghanistan, now that is another problem. A poor country, a weak and impotent central government, heroin, bordered by the largest population of insane Islamists in the world.
Now that is a problem.
First of all, it ought to be pointed out that in the event all combat troops are withdrawn, we will not be leaving Iraq. SF/SOF are not combat troops, which (politically useful) technicality most people are unaware of; neither are many air elements. DOD won't be departing Iraq. DOS infrastructure (and all of the agencies that huddle with it) will remain as well. Which is all a round about way of saying that there will be a residual mission - and unless someone has made up their minds to cut loose the Iraqi state (improbable in the extreme) that mission will be, as I said, supporting that state largely by different means, or means given a shift in emphasis.ReplyDelete
Given that we aren't leaving under the most "radical mainstream" scenario, what are we likely to do, and can it work?
Cutler, with regard to reconstruction:
...we generally don't know what the hell we're doing on that score.
Mon May 05, 06:46:00 AM EDT
It's worked in Afghanistan and Iraq both, in some cases going back years.
(Asadabad is a good example, but there are countless tiny ones.)PRTs and other, independent elements have been able to improve local conditions, often by simply providing heretofore nonexistent "amenities." And often this is most successful when it comes through a private conduit rather than, say, USAID or JSOC. Such development (a better term than reconstruction) is the greatest enhancement to and maintainer of security. But these efforts, along with all others, are incremental.
Rat wonders why it's our job to contain Iran. It's important to do so within Iraq in order to prevent a goodly chunk of it from drifting off into the sphere of influence of Iran, in which case we would have a genuine Iran/Iraq/Syria axis. If you want to complain about the lack of Sunni commitment there, you'll have to talk to the Awakening. Outside of Iraq, I don't suppose by any means that the containment is ours alone, nor even otherwise confined to Sunnis. What other countries pursue at the strategic level is largely unknown here, but it's a given that they seek to advance their own interests against competitors and antagonists alike.
You are absolutely correct that the big green machine is counterproductive in the sense that it is concretely opposite "Iraq for the Iraqis," which is the only rubric under which nation building - building nationalism, really - will fly.
If you wish to walk away from that, say so.
I think if we withdraw our combat troops there is a good chance the current governing system in Iraq will fail. There is a strong possibility that there will be civil war. We should work to prevent such occurences but we should also be prepared for them to happen without feeling the necessity of reinserting our troops.ReplyDelete
With respect to Afghanistan, Obama seems ready to continue with, and perpetuate, a similar 'finger trap' ala Iraq or so I gleaned from his interview yesterday.
Oil: $120.15 as I write this.ReplyDelete
The stakes are too high; the consequences of a "mistake," too serious.
We set out to Protect the Oil Fields. We have huge airbases in Iraq. We have the 7th Fleet in Dubai. Massive Military Stockpiles in Kuwait. We can fly the B-2 from Diego Garcia. The F-22's from Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, or Oman. The Marines are sitting in Afghanistan. They have their own tanks, Cobras, Artillery, and Logistics.
Without the ME oil the world dies. We Ain't Going Nowhere.
"What we need to do is take care of the outlaw militias, establish a modicum of law and order and get out."ReplyDelete
Been at it five years, Mr. Rumsfeld. What's your time line?
"Reconstruction should be left to the Iraqis and Iraqi money."
Why not leave it to the Iranians?
Snark aside, Iraqis certainly can pony up for their reconstruction, and this can be privatized, preferrably under an umbrella group, to a great degree - which has the bonus of bringing in other influences.
"The Iranians influence in the Region is basically sectarian, not ideological or military."ReplyDelete
"I think if we withdraw our combat troops there is a good chance the current governing system in Iraq will fail. There is a strong possibility that there will be civil war."ReplyDelete
There's a low level civil war going on right now. The problem is that the US is backing the Iranians.
Sure thing, mat.ReplyDelete
No question about it.
The Iraqi, even those that Iran has supported in the past, do not want a Mullahocracy in Iraq.
The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq's Mr al-Assad exemplorary to that fact.
The ties that bind the Iraqi to Iran are sectarian. The age old intramural Muslim battles and distrust, sectarian in nature, Sunni v. Shia.
Quite true, trish, we can leave a presence of 30 to 50,000 noncombat troops in country with more than enhance lethality to an opposing force.
Leaving the streets of Iraq to the Iraqi.
The oil will contiue to flow, rufus, regardless.
Iraq is still producing a Saddam era levels, the natives will maintain those levels. There is no realistic timeline to an increase in production that requires an ongoing $100Billion USD annual security expense by the US of A.
I do not advocate abandoning Iraq, few in the political sphere, even Obama, seem to advocate that.
We could surely hand off all the internal security combat missions to Iraq by June of 2010.
That is Obama's proposal, in a nutshell
"I think if we withdraw our combat troops there is a good chance the current governing system in Iraq will fail."ReplyDelete
Given that the collapse, disappearance, disbanding of the Iraqi army left (a) us and (b) the malcontents, our own conventional combat redeployment will leave (b).
I can tell you right now how that's probably going to be dealt with.
You get one guess.
I guess "blue". What you talkin' bout trish?ReplyDelete
And true too, trish, I think we could have been in that postion now, if different advise had been followed, pre-Surge.ReplyDelete
The drawdown and handover option was on the table, then.
It was rejected.
McCain's program, more troops, became the chosen path. The wrong path, then and now.
If McCain were to be elected, we'd stay on that wrong path, he's learned the wrong lessons over the past 50 years, his experiences leave him ill prepared for the coming events.
We support all sides, mat.ReplyDelete
It's the American Way.
Always back the winner
"We could surely hand off all the internal security combat missions to Iraq by June of 2010."ReplyDelete
With some exceptions, I agree.
The mission overhaul would ideally entail three chief elements: An extremely generous, steady, and strategically targeted stream of reconstruction; equally generous, steady, and strategically targeted training and advisory packages; and adequate stay-behind security for these elements. Additionally, it would require a politically deft country team on good terms (or eminently capable of getting there) with the Iraqi leadership.ReplyDelete
Essential to the success of the transition described above may be the effectiveness of the contractors who are being slotted into the MiTT's organizational charts. I've read the military is interested in developing its "advisory" as well as "humanitarian" capabilities. Given this, how much less capable are we at achieving this transition, compared to where we'd like to be? Is it even believable that we lack these capabilities?
Westhawk's asks a number of questions.
abu muqawama is much more critical about what would be necessary for any helpful strategy.'
However, an alternative is suggested:
"One possibility is to decompose brigades into their constitutent units to be paired with Iraqi units down to the company level to monitor, mentor, train, and advise them. The Marines have experimented with a similar model in parts of Anbar (such as al Qaim) with great success, and Iraqi security forces have also made strides as a consequence of partnering with U.S. units in Baghdad during the surge. Maybe the Army should take a page from these experiences before they write a check to more contractors."
Feith's recently published book "War & Decision," IIRC, describes how our defense bureacracy malfunctioned during the last "transition" - that from active combat to the post-conflict - and how at the least an entire year was lost (and arguments could be made this was longer).
If we were to get exercised about the usage of contractors, what really are our options, if our defense establishment does not yet have this capability? How can we improve our contractor force? Don't we have to be more demanding clients? Anyone read anything about evaluating these contractors' effectiveness?
The malcontents that are going to rush in, again, at various points, ash. That's a given. Where the ISF proper can't fill the vacuum, other elements will.ReplyDelete
Last thing we want to do is say we're leaving Iraq, even if we are. Do it kind of slow, little here, little there, see what happens. Keep the options open. Why a big rush? We need a slow hand on this.ReplyDelete
The Iranians are sending arms personnel military technical assistance to Iraq Afghanistan Syria Lebanon Gaza, and that's just what we clearly know about. Why do you say that "the Iranians influence in the Region is basically sectarian, not ideological or military"?ReplyDelete
I agree, Rat, and Trish. The Iraqis will run their own shop. We'll be on the Big Bases looking over the oil (Saudi, Kuwaiti, Omani, Abu Dhabi, Iraqi, etc.)ReplyDelete
"We support all sides, mat."ReplyDelete
LOL! But some you support more than others.
All good questions, dynamite; so good, in fact, that like a diligent press secretary I'm going to pick somebody else's brain for satisfactory answers. I just may get them.ReplyDelete
Good to knowReplyDelete
"Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who last year helped pass legislation establishing a bipartisan commission on wartime contracting, said, "We cannot ever permit another contracting disaster like we have right now." When President Bush signed the bill in January establishing the commission, his signing statement cited it as a provision he might not implement."
More details on the proposed Wartime Contracting Commission:
* Establish an independent, bipartisan eight-member Commission on Wartime Contracting to study and investigate federal agency contracting for: (1) the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan; (2) the logistical support of coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom; and (3) the performance of security and intelligence functions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
* Expand the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction’s (SIGIR’s) authorization beyond Iraq Reconstruction and Relief Funds. In consultation with the Commission, the newly-expanded SIGIR will conduct audits of wartime support contracts for logistics, security, and intelligence functions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan. The collaborative effort between the Commission and SIGIR will result in specific findings and recommendations to improve inter-agency wartime contracting.
* Study and investigate the impact of the government’s growing reliance on civilian contractors to perform wartime functions. It will assess the extent of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement of wartime contracts, and the extent to which those responsible have been held accountable. The number of contractors (180,000) now exceeds the number of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (156,247).
Also, see Content from Opencongress.org
It looks like we have the idea that its worth exploring the option of fining them...at least when they kill someone with guns - not sure what we should do about poor electrical work...
I suppose the above may have been PR to smooth over the fact that the contractors fired their weapons and killed people in a very public way.
Its worth asking, which is the greater detriment to national security: unintended civilian deaths (which seem markedly scarce) or shoddy work on the part of contractors, especially as this work relates to reconstruction tasks, i.e. the critical "build" that follows after clear and hold?
""We could surely hand off all the internal security combat missions to Iraq by June of 2010."
With some exceptions, I agree."
Wasn't the recent fighting with Sadr's militia instuctive in this matter? The ISF faced failure until we stepped in. We don't step in....
"The malcontents that are going to rush in, again, at various points, ash. That's a given. Where the ISF proper can't fill the vacuum, other elements will."
If we withdraw there is a good chance the ISF will fracture into the sectarian components it is made up of and all of Iraq will be 'malcontents'.
Look what happened when we left Vietnam. How are we going to support our presence in country without all those combat troops? Simple answer, we can't.
Iraq's economy is expected to boom in the coming year, despite political and security problems, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says.ReplyDelete
"It's worked in Afghanistan and Iraq both, in some cases going back years.ReplyDelete
(Asadabad is a good example, but there are countless tiny ones.)PRTs and other, independent elements have been able to improve local conditions, often by simply providing heretofore nonexistent "amenities." And often this is most successful when it comes through a private conduit rather than, say, USAID or JSOC. Such development (a better term than reconstruction) is the greatest enhancement to and maintainer of security. But these efforts, along with all others, are incremental."
"Such development (a better term than reconstruction) is the greatest enhancement to and maintainer of security."
Yeah, that's the conventional wisdom. I've read a good deal of nation-building/other literature repeating it. Another disclaimer is that at the moment I know more about the experience in Afghanistan than Iraq, but I think there's some carry over.
I'm not a "development expert" (though, from I know of its overall record over the past 50 years, that doesn't necessarily mean much), but I'm a little skeptical of it. It reminds me of the Weekly Standard piece we dealt with a few months ago, suggesting that the one of the biggest problems in Pakistan is "lack of social services," so we should pull money out of hard infrastructre to deal with it. I get the sense with the academia as it is, we've all drank a certain sort of kool-aid and it shows in various ways.
We have very little idea of the extent the development funding works and get overly focused on inputs and anecdotes. A few years ago according to many people the PRTs were a groundbreaking concept that could make a real impact in Afghanistan, today everyone realizes that they were a relatively puny effort that was completely uncoordinated. In comparison with the size of the country, they've gotten bigger, but aren't much bigger. Money goes to certain parts and segments of the country, but not to others.
You're right, it's an incremental process. Unfortunately, to a great deal we're twisting in the political wind over that time and are still highly hostage to events that we don't control. That's always true to an extent, of course, but especially true in these two places I think. In the end, all that incremental work can go for nought if the wrong person is killed, the wrong area flares up, or some other event occurs. It sucks being that vulnerable.
The first question I should have asked, however, was:
"What areas are you talking about targeting? And in what manner?"
Trish, I'd love to learn what you discover - as both a commenter and a tax payer.ReplyDelete
Does anyone know of any internal DoD group responsible for the contractor business? Who would arrive on my doorstep if I created my own contractor business with the intent of profiting off US funds, with poor quality work being my cynical business model above the bottom line?
Also, I've read anecdotally that most reconstruction funds that we think are flowing into the Iraqi economy are instead going to US companies. Its not as if I'm aghast at US companies making money, but what a thing it would be if the Iraqis received that FDI? Does their economy not have the ability to spend such funds efficiently? How much less than that of KBR that we've exported there, for instance?
Time to invest in Iraqi dinars, Katchoo. If it goes to hell, we can use them as wallpaper.ReplyDelete
"Not Abandoning Iraq to Iran"ReplyDelete
That title, I believe, misconstrues what would happen should we leave. Iraq is a very fractous place and if we left there is little reason to believe Iran would then waltz in to do as they please. The Sadr folk and the Sunni would be two obvious groups who would resist Iran's rule. It is more likely that Iran would assume a similar position as we currently occupy - parents stuck hugging the tar baby.
Ash, Saddam and Iran found out they were mutual tar babies when they went to war for most of the 1980s. If the world's only superpower is having tar baby problems in Operation Iraqi Freedom, then other much weaker nations like Iran are in for a shock if they try to take a crack at it. I only wish Bush put as much ingenuity into getting out if Iraq that he used to get out of Vietnam.ReplyDelete
The development bidness got to be one great bidness for a young unethical man to make a fortune in these days, if you can find a niche not occupied by Halliburton, etc.ReplyDelete
Some months before the war was openly committed to by Bush, I was sure we were going, cause the ads by Halliburton in the paper here, in this mill town, were looking for folks to see and experience the wonderful Mid-East.
There's no real accounting for any of this money. Damn, I knew I shouldn't have gone into podiatry.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Miss Katz, glad to see you posting here. This is a less pretentious version of Belmont Club. Here it's Amateur Hour 24/7. It's a little bit nicer, but there's a much smaller audience.ReplyDelete
"Also, I've read anecdotally that most reconstruction funds that we think are flowing into the Iraqi economy are instead going to US companies."ReplyDelete
This is true in Afghanistan, so it wouldn't surprise me if it was true in Iraq as well. In Afghanistan 75 percent of international aid is tied, meaning that it has to be done by donor country companies. Part of this, however, isn't greed, but the result of the simple fact that the locals lack the capacity to do it themselves. We rely a lot on contractors, but this is also inefficient due to the high levels of insecurity and overhead costs.
Overall, think about the efficiency of economic planning, then place it in the context of a warzone where there's extremely little oversight.
Cutler (and not meaning to ignore anyone else; this one's easier): Strategically targeted reconstruction entails consultation with the local community and government and with the national government and it is tailored to your own military/diplomatic objectives. It is proactive rather than reactive and does require smart people.ReplyDelete
We aren't lacking for those who can. Though DOS is currently less equipped than DOD in this regard.
If you want to look to successful grass roots organizations in the region study Hamas and Hezbollah.ReplyDelete
What Iraq really needs is some good jet boats built by our builders here in town to patrol the Tigris and Euphrates. Would be perfect for that. Also, for water skiing on those rivers.ReplyDelete
Forgive me, I'm in a kind of cynical mood here this morning.
We export a lot of jet boats to Brazil for instance. Can run in a foot of water. Double hulled. Fast.
"We rely a lot on contractors..."ReplyDelete
...who in turn can rely very heavily on (local or regional) subcontractors, which is where most of your fraud, waste, and abuse enters the picture.
Crafty people are certainly making a killing, all across the board.ReplyDelete
If you want to look to successful grass roots organizations in the region study Hamas and Hezbollah.ReplyDelete
How do you define success?
Whit was asking in a past thread for some juicy Hagee comments. I stumbled across a few today:ReplyDelete
"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist."
- Pastor John Hagee in his book What Every Man Wants in a Woman (Charisma House, 2005)
"Only a Spirit-filled woman can submit to her husband's lead. It is the natural desire of a woman to lead through feminine manipulation of the man...Fallen women will try to dominate the marriage. The man has the God-given role to be the loving leader of the home."
- Pastor John Hagee in his book What Every Man Wants in a Woman (Charisma House, 2005)
Hamas has been particularly successful at parlaying inexpensive local grass roots aid into political power.ReplyDelete
Thompson on McCain and judges.ReplyDelete
May 1968, 40 years later.ReplyDelete
ash:"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist."ReplyDelete
- Pastor John Hagee in his book What Every Man Wants in a Woman (Charisma House, 2005)
How about a book, What Every Woman Doesn't Want in a Man. We can start in chapter one with a picture of John Hagee. Seriously, guys, morbid obesity isn't attractive.
DR: We support all sides, mat. It's the American Way. Always back the winnerReplyDelete
Wow, that explains the response of the US media to the cartoons of Mohammad published by the Europeans a few years back. The only way to see them here in Seattle was to go online, because there was a blackout in the two largest fishwraps, the Seattle Times and the Post-Unintelligencer. In fact, the only print media which carried them was The Stranger, which is a free weekly independent newspaper with a GLBT tint. And how did the Islamoids repay Seattle for "backing the winner" and being being so sensitive to their feelings? By attacking the Jewish Federation building, killing one woman and seriously wounding several others.
Insidious, creeping fundamentalismReplyDelete
Two words re: the continued presence of US in the heart of the Caliphate.ReplyDelete
They will get through and our people will die. Doesn't go over well stateside.
Another big problem with a continued heavy presence in the Caliphate is the cost...ReplyDelete
Apparently over half of the US wants more handouts from the government.
It's too easy to convince the public that they can't get what they want because of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Paris, 1968--bunch of spoiled brats throwing paving stones.ReplyDelete
I googled Ash's John Hagee quote and Whoa! Every left leaning blogger and special interest group in the world is trying to equate Hagee/McCain with Obama/Wright.ReplyDelete
It doesn't matter that Hagee was simply an endorser and Wright, well you know, "My spiritual advisor and mentor for twenty years."
I would like to read whole of Hagee's text but I admit it sounds bad. Not as bad as Wright's rants but certainly inappropriate.
But knowing the left, I wouldn't be surprised if it's total ashwipe, hogwash. Not saying it is...just saying.
Phew, that was close. Our problems are over. Hillary vows to smash OPEC. I always vote campaign promises.ReplyDelete
Now about that substandard sewer in our neighborhood...
"Paris, 1968--bunch of spoiled brats throwing paving stones."ReplyDelete
Yes, a good portion never grew out of it.
Concerned about the length of your dress, the cut of your tie? Uncomfortable in your own skin? Go to the Crossdressing Support SiteReplyDelete
"If it exists, it's on the web."
Obliverate Iran, smash OPEC!ReplyDelete
Man alive, two for five
Where has this Billary been?
She's "wearing the pants", Rat.ReplyDelete
Existentialism and Crossdressing
Crossdressing and the "Hero's Quest"
on the site above.
"Crossdressing and the Hero Quest" sounds like Joseph Campbell on LSD.
Totally predictable, whit.ReplyDelete
The Wright wave will crest, then break, with the Hagee wave still at sea, headed to the beach.
The debate becomes which minister had more influence on the parishioner, who really was a parishioner, and so on.
But Mr Hagee will gain his share of the limelight. McCain will as well.
With Obama look to his Minister, but with McCain just look to his in-laws.
Convicted felon for a father-in-law.
Ran an organized criminal enterprise, one Federally prosecuted with over 50 convictions, Mr Hennsley took the fall for Kemper Marley. None the less, it's been a long relationship with organized crime, on Mr McCains' part.
If you want to look to successful grass roots organizations in the region study Hamas and Hezbollah.ReplyDelete
Organizations to be admired, for sure. But I know what you are trying to say, they deliver pizzas, health care, and what not, or so it is said.
For an effective organization, look to the Arizona mafia, McCain and Company, like Rat says.
McCain fights for our borders, language and culture by opening a Spanish language campaign web site.ReplyDelete
John McCain's newest website.ReplyDelete
Proof is in the tasting
He is running, wants to be President of America.
He definately sees America, not the United States. A tad ahead of the curve, but he's getting on in years.
His "experience" leads him to the America viewpoint.
From the Pole to his birthplace, America, one Land, one People.
Let US Celebrate the Patriots
McCain, who announced that he will attend the annual convention of the National Council of La Raza in San Diego on July 14, said Cinco de Mayo is a chance for Mexico to celebrate its path to freedom.
“On this day in 1862, a small group of Mexican troops overcame overwhelming force to win the Battle of Puebla. Today, we join together to remember the sacrifice that these Mexican patriots endured, as well as the struggles of all those around the world striving for freedom. We recognize as well the important friendship that exists between our country and Mexico, and celebrate the many contributions Mexican-Americans have made to our society, culture, security and economy,” he said.
It's all doug's fault, anyway.
... Sen. John McCain said Monday the tenor of the immigration debate has hurt the way Hispanic voters view the Republican Party
McCain on Monday empathized with Hispanics who have been mistreated and said low-income Hispanics are often the first to lose their jobs when someone come to the United States illegally.
He underscored his view that those who came to the U.S. legally take priority over those who entered the country illegally, but said that still means the issue can be addressed "in a humane and compassionate fashion, understanding families, understanding all the aspects that affect the lives of all human beings."
McCain, who represents a border state with a large Latino population, said he thinks he will do well among Hispanic voters, partly because of his "long record working with Hispanic leadership."
"I know the people, I know the patriotism, I know the loyalty, I know the respect for the family, the advocacy for life," he said. "Everything about our Hispanic voters is tailor made to the Republican message."
McCain also pledged to attend the National Council for La Raza's convention in July, the largest national Hispanic civil rights organization which seeks to improve opportunities for Hispanic-Americans.
Asked if he would face criticism from his more conservative backers, McCain stressed his party is all encompassing.
"My party is an inclusive party, my party reaches out to every citizen, every American who shares our views and our optimism and our belief in the principles of this great nation," he said.
"I will make sure we go to places where I may not get the majority of their votes. But the job I have is to reunite America, to make sure that people know that I will be the president of all the people whether they vote for me or not."
Feliz cince de mayo a usted, Rato. El sito es en me 'favorites', ahora.ReplyDelete
Estamos Unidos con McCainReplyDelete
We are united with McCain
and celebrate the many contributions Mexican-Americans have made to our society, culture, security and economy,” he said.ReplyDelete
That'll torque Doug off when he checks in.
When's McCain going to campaign in Mexico City, anyways?
Estamos Unidos con McCain
If my Spanish is a little rough it's cause I never really knew any.
Rat, the decision was announced today, over the vehement opposition of Representative Sali, to open a Mexican consulate in Boise. Now we need that like a hole in the head. It was also announced the other day, our Latinos here now make up nearly 10% of the population, though you wouldn't know it from the looks of things in this part of the state. None of his would come as any suprised to you, I'm sure. Not being surprised that the people, and the people's representative, seem to have zero say in things like this. I'm listening.ReplyDelete
Of that 10%, bob, the majority are legal residents, mostly US citizens.ReplyDelete
Or so I'd suppose.
Down here the percentage of Latinos is higher, signifigantly higher.
It is an interesting phenomenoum to watch, the migration of a culture. Slowly but steadily blending into the mainstream.
But changing the course of that stream and the content of the water.
Bobal: Latinos here now make up nearly 10% of the population, though you wouldn't know it from the looks of things in this part of the state.ReplyDelete
Bobal, who picks the crops hereabouts, white junior high school kids on their summer vacation?
"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick."ReplyDelete
Even with the lipstick, the Doberman is more attractive.
Anyway, I've come across too many fake Ariel Sharon quotes and other made up propaganda to believe anything that comes out from the mouth of Leftist/Jihadi propagandists.
It should be the kids. Or, mechanize the industry. Which is doable.ReplyDelete
Another day, another X+ Number Of 'Pickers'ReplyDelete
By the way, nearly anybody can grow their own tomatoes. Or many of them. Even in a condo, you can grow a few. We grow our own here, in an area of maybe 8' x 8', good for six months.
Just who is Barack Obama? IBD sheds some light.ReplyDelete
May they all go tits up. The They Deserve It, They've 'Earned' ItReplyDelete
Whit, some people think you can't tell anything about a person by the company they keep, but I think they are very wrong.ReplyDelete
Me too, bob.ReplyDelete
You asked what to read in re Colombia.
Wait til June and get on the SIPRNET.
The country is in a mental malaise and Lost Wages is feeling the blues.ReplyDelete
We haven't seen any real recession numbers yet, but a depression seems to have settled over the asylum. As a society we seem to have developed national bipolar disorder. We enjoyed the long bull run manic years, now it's black days.
It's all in the head.
Not here at the mausoleum, though!ReplyDelete
Trish, at her own expense, is putting paper umbrellas in everyone's drinks.
Just see if anyone bothers to thank her.
Yeah, you pick a Monday night to show off your largesse.ReplyDelete
No, whit, it's not.ReplyDelete
There are public perceptions that are leading indicators. The "numbers" lag reality.
Especially as they are "normed" to show less volitility.
No "shocks" allowed.
Granted we have gone through boom and bust, before.
But denying the Bust is immenient does not dissuade it.
Economics is thr "science" of mass psychology.
Whit, Paul "The Raven" Krugman, Mister Doom and Gloom, says we have probably weathered the banking crisis. But just when you thought he might write a positive article, he finds a cloud in that silver lining and says Bernanke's very success at doing a MacGiver on the economy will push off needed reforms, unless the Democrats sweep Congress and the White House. His article is called Success Breeds Failure which would make George Orwell very proud.ReplyDelete
No, not all in the minds but I think the funk is still there. Funk and fear.ReplyDelete
Hey, it's the little things that count, mister.ReplyDelete
Yes, that is very Orwellian. I'm sorry though, I'll have to pass on actually reading Krugman as I doubt that man could earn a living anywhere other than the NYT.ReplyDelete
You asked what to read in re Colombia.
Wait til June and get on the SIPRNET."
Can't wait. Someone else told me that I'd drool when I saw their library.
In the meantime, I'm going to grab this, even if it is a bit out of date.
Here is one of the most accurate measures of economic health, it's down 80% from last year. From 4.4% growth to .9% at the US's leading retailer.ReplyDelete
Thursday, May 05, 2005
CHICAGO — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Thursday confirmed that April sales at its U.S. stores open at least a year rose 0.9 percent, meeting its forecast, as food sales made up for modest demand in general merchandise.
The world's biggest retailer had estimated Saturday that same-store sales rose 0.9 percent, near the middle of its forecast for sales to be flat to up 2 percent.
The company also forecast a 2 percent to 4 percent increase in May same-store sales.
Last year, Wal-Mart (search) recorded a 4.4 percent gain in April same-store sales, but this year steep energy prices and unusually cool weather in parts of the United States curbed consumer spending
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Bet that when food sales and the inflationary pressures being felt there are "normed" out of the statistics that there was a drop in same store sales, at Wal Mart.ReplyDelete
Just a theory.
Miss Katz wrote: His article is called Success Breeds Failure which would make George Orwell very proud.ReplyDelete
The Ten Commandments of Neo-Patriotism:
1. Suspicion of Muslims breeds confidence.
2. Be safe - Be suspicious of strange linen headgear.
3. Liberty, Equality, Salvation, Information.
4. Eternal Vigilance against Islam is the price of prosperity.
5. Regret NOTHING - Report everything. Trust in Homeland Security.
6. Loose talk is noose talk. Be a live Christian, not a dead traitor.
7. Be alert - Some Muslims look normal.
8. Is there a Muslim in your family? Contact the FBI, get them renditioned.
9. Trust in haste, regret at leisure - Trust at leisure, regret in haste.
10. Don't suspect a friend is Muslim - Report him.
Worth a link.ReplyDelete
Screwed that one upon, Prince Harry gets medal.ReplyDelete
Trish: Trish, at her own expense, is putting paper umbrellas in everyone's drinks.ReplyDelete
Thank you Trish, I'll have one of these.
I'm glad to see Harry favors his mother's side of the family, when it comes to looks.ReplyDelete
Can I get Lee Marvin holding one of those?ReplyDelete
Someone photoshop, please.
(When you said "we" keep tons of rice in the household, to whom were you referring?)
Malaysia was considering banning locally grown rice from being taken out of the country to prevent shortages, a Cabinet minister said Monday.ReplyDelete
The move was aimed at cracking down on shoppers from Singapore and Thailand who have been taking advantage of cheaper rice and other food items in neighboring Malaysia. Malaysia is not a rice exporter and imports about 30 percent of its needs, but local rice is cheaper than in neighboring countries.
On Saturday, the Asian Development Bank announced emergency funding to help poor countries struggling with rice prices. But it warned that the price of rice and other farm products could keep rising and that would stifle economic growth in the region.
Plunging into Uncertainty
Here you go, trishReplyDelete
Trish: (When you said "we" keep tons of rice in the household, to whom were you referring?)ReplyDelete
It varies. When my primary focus was Godblogging, I'd get a co-worker to come over and stand in as my "husband" for some pictures so I had the proper credentials, otherwise there would be...unwanted digressions. But when that Godblog pulled a "Larry Kudlow" and disabled comments, I didn't need that cover story anymore. And now there's a lot of addicted bloggers who need a new home.
For Sam, with his knowledge of zombies--ReplyDelete
CAMPAIGN OF THE LIVING DEAD
By Dr. W.R. Marshall, Ph.D
May 3, 2008
“Someone should call a priest, or the National Enquirer: Hillary Clinton has now come back from the dead four times.” John Dickerson, Slate.com, April 23, 2008
Dickerson is on to something. He’s found the thread and now it’s time for him to do a bit of the old Woodward & Bernstein and follow this thing all the way into an underground parking lot if he has to.
Unfortunately, we live in the era of the 24 hour news cycle, where both those who report and those who watch have ADD, so by now some celubutante has run her car into an animal shelter, or a presidential candidate has said 'hard', 'harsh' or ‘severe’ about some part of the electorate, and we’ve all been distracted from the horrifying truth that Dickerson disclosed.
But I’m too distracted to be distracted by the endless distraction of newsfortainment, so I picked up where Dickerson left off…and you’re not going to like what I found:
Hillary Clinton is a zombie.
But not just any zombie. Not your old skool, undead, slow moving, flesh-eating, inarticulate zombie. Nor is she your modern, more athletic, lighting fast, highly communicable zombie. And she isn’t your pork barrelin’, budget-bustin’, gutless congressional zombie. Not even your big-talkin’, bigger spendin’, Cheney lovin’, screw the little guy, Republican zombie.
This is a whole new breed of zombie…and there’s more than one…and they’re multiplying exponentially…
It’s an entire race of soulless, hyper-political, super atomic Hillary zombies, who feed on one thing – POWER!
Think about it. What else could it be?
How else could she do six talk shows – many of which are on at the same time – in one morning?
How else could she show up at campaign appearances on opposite sides of the state – at the same time?
It’s too late now. We should have boarded up our windows and doors, lit bonfires in the front yard, had the greatest minds in America working on a cure. Sure, we’d still be facing a small crisis in erectile dysfunction, but if we’d put the same kind of Manhattan Project-like energy into the zombie Hillaries problem that we have into making sure baby-boomers could still get wood, we wouldn’t be faced with most destructive force to the Democratic Party since Mike Dukakis strapped up and climbed into an M1 Abrams tank.
Now the Democrats have to live with the very specific undead among them. Every day they infect more people. Ever day they infect the Party, making it weaker, scattering survivors, who hide out in root cellars and caucus rooms waiting to vote…afraid to vote the ‘wrong way’. Those who escape infection today will eventually have to make their way to Denver for the convention – which is just what the super atomic zombie Hillaries want.
What’s left of the Democratic Party will all be in the same place at the same time – in the same room with the zombie Hillaries. It’ll be a bloodbath. It’ll make the films of George A. Romero look like Three Stooges outtakes. It’ll make Chicago ’68 look like a Boy Scout Jamboree. No one will escape, the entire party will be infected. The survivors, what few there are, will limp away and hide. The zombie Hillaries will insure a McCain victory in November, and he’ll finish the work Bush/Cheney started.
Then, we’ll all wander the wasteland that was once America.
And four years from now, when it’s time to do this all over again, when the virus has become pandemic, we’ll crawl out of the wreckage to find the only candidates running, are super atomic zombie Hillaries
That's just wrong, T.ReplyDelete
Wow, DR, I saw that movie in the drive-in when I was a wee lass of five. Summer of 1970. It came out in the theaters the previous fall. Mostly I napped through it, but then my parents made sure I woke up when the whole town started collapsing into the tunnels they made.ReplyDelete
And you have yet to evidence any fundamental beliefs whatsoever.ReplyDelete
Trish: And you have yet to evidence any fundamental beliefs whatsoever.ReplyDelete
I believe I'll have another Rum & Coke, with a rainbow drink parasol.
But you're probably right, I have no rock-solid static belief system. It dynamically evolves to accommodate my environment, lest I be Overtaken By Events. This explains why I prefer capitalism to centrally-planned economies, and adhere to the idea that a document like the Constitution (or scripture) is a living breathing thing, not a collection of dead letters.
Anyone remember that scene in Alien?ReplyDelete
Bobal, that article is a crock. Hillary isn't back from the dead, that's the spin her campaign is putting out there, and the media loves it because they are banking on a brokered convention for their ratings. It's so close in Indiana no one can tell who's going to win the state, but it doesn't matter, because they will split the delegates almost evenly, on account of the independent voters being allowed to weigh in this time, unlike PA. Obama will win NC and pickup four or five over Clinton there. Then there's Oregon and a few others, and it's over. We've known the superdelegates will choose the nominee for weeks now. Obama has come through the Wright storm with all his masts intact. Howard Dean wants all the superdelegates to start declaring who they want now, and no later than the end of June. So relax, pop some corn, and wait for things to pan out.ReplyDelete
Relax, or talk about aliens? I'm only relaxed, talking about aliens. Tensed up all the time otherwise.ReplyDelete
I was reading this book "No-Man's Lands" by Scott Huler, about Odysseus and the Odyssey. He compared Odysseus to Pete Rose, and, since his e-mail was in the back the book, I sent him a note, saying I never thought of Pete Rose as being Odysseus. He wrote back and said, 'Well, who do you compare him to?ReplyDelete
He's got me there, as I never really thought about it. In todays world, you would you compare Odysseus to?
who would you compare...ReplyDelete
Help me T., you know stuff.ReplyDelete
Tom Sawyer, with his ability to talk?ReplyDelete
I'm no zombie expert but as for 4 years from now I'd like to see these 2 guys throw there hats in:ReplyDelete
Jon Huntsman Jr.
He has presided over the strongest economy in the State's history and has championed the largest increases in education funding in the State's history while simultaneously providing the largest income tax cut and one of the most significant tax reform packages in the State's history. Huntsman campaigned on paying for the expenses associated with the state's explosive growth rates by expanding the economy.
Hoeven's governorship has also included a number of high-profile lawsuits brought against the state on everything from water management to hunting licenses to prison abuse. In 2004, when up for re-election, Hoeven faced Democratic challenger Joe Satrom. Hoeven won re-election by a vote of 71 to 28 percent.
Ed Koch says It Ain't Over Til It's OverReplyDelete
Looks like Hillary takes Indiana, comes close in North Carolina, wins huge in West Virginia next week, and wins Kentucky, too.
To be fair and accurate, this would not be entirely a matter of personal self-interest by members of Congress. There is a prevailing Democratic concern that the party could destroy its modern coalition for the long-term, thus itself, if it reversed a delegate verdict for Obama.ReplyDelete
There is powerful irony here, of course. The Clintons have long owed their political lives to the black vote, first in Arkansas and then nationally.
Now they stand to be defeated by it.
Vote will Tell
General Petraeus as Odysseus.ReplyDelete