ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Surge - A Primer from Hugh Hewitt - Pretty Good Explanation

This analysis of the thinking behind "the surge" makes pretty good sense to me and can be found at Hewitts's blog.

Thursday, January 11, 2007
FAQ
- The Surge!!

Posted by Dean
Barnett
1:09 PM

1) How in the hell are an additional 20,000 troops going to make such a
big difference when we already have about 140,000 troops in Iraq? It makes no
sense! Cut and run!!

First, calm down. We’re going to walk through this analytically, not
sprint through it hysterically. The current troop level in Baghdad is only
13,000. Most of the 20,000 new troops are going to be headed to Baghdad. That
means we’re going to increase our troop complement in Baghdad by roughly 150%.
In other words, as regards the Battle of Baghdad, this is an enormous tactical
adjustment, not a symbolic gesture.

2) Hmmm. Interesting. I didn’t know that. Why didn’t the president say
that last night?

This is where things get a little dicey. Most of the fighting has been in
Baghdad. And Baghdad has been the symbolic center of things. And yet only 10% of
out troops were in Baghdad. This doesn’t say anything good about the Bush
administration.

3) Why did they do that? Why were so few forces in Baghdad?

To know the truth, we’ll probably have to wait for the memoirs to be
written by the war’s principals. And even then, most of those will probably be
self-serving and dishonest. The most reasonable explanation is that the Bush
administration was so fearful of casualties that it hesitated to put a
significant amount of troops into harm’s way.

4) Do you think that’s why Bush finally last night admitted to
errors?

When you make such a significant tactical adjustment after three years
of doing something else that didn’t work, it’s pretty clear that whoever was
doing the initial strategizing screwed the pooch. Big time. The President knows
the buck stops with him, and he did the right thing taking the blame. It is his
fault.

5) The president’s critics, the bloggers who act like 20,000 troops is
just a symbolic addition to the 140,000 who are already there – do they
understand how the addition of 20,000 troops to Baghdad represents a radical
change in troop strength in the key area of the conflict?

I doubt it. It actually makes me laugh to hear and read some of these
people comment on complex military matters without acquainting themselves with
the most basic facts. Take Andrew Sullivan. Please. In his
“analysis” of the speech
last night, Andrew tossed around troop figures
without having the faintest idea of what he was talking about:
“If the
president tonight had outlined a serious attempt to grapple with this new
situation - a minimum of 50,000 new troops as a game-changer - then I'd eagerly
be supporting him. But he hasn't. 21,500 U.S. troops is once again, I fear, just
enough troops to lose.”

6) What’s wrong with that? Andrew wanted 50,000 troops. Big deal.

Mentioning a troop number without saying what those troops are going to
do is an intellectually vacant and frivolous exercise. It’s a low form of
positional bargaining, throwing out numbers without attaching those numbers to
anything concrete. If Andrew’s going to hurl out the number 50,000, he should
give a hint as to what he’s going to do with those 50,000. He should also
specify why he thinks 20,000 isn’t an adequate number for the task at
hand.

7) Which is?

Pacifying Baghdad.

8) Where did the number 21,500 come from?

Out of a hat. Just kidding. But that is where figures like Andrew’s
50,000 came from.
The surge strength number comes from Dave Petraeus’
estimate of what will be necessary to win Baghdad. Petraeus is breaking Baghdad
into nine neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will get a contingent of 2500 Iraqi
soldiers (probably ones trained by Petraeus) supported by 600 American troops.
This number, the plan figures, will be sufficient to clear the neighborhoods and
then hold them. In previous encounters, we would clear and retreat. This is a
very significant difference. The total surge into Baghdad, counting Iraqi
troops, will be well over 40,000.

9) What else is new?

The rules of engagement have finally changed. The Shiite militias will
be targeted for destruction. This is important. For any government to be
legitimate and effective, it has to have a monopoly on the use of violent force.
Even though the Maliki government might be philosophically friendly to the
Shiite militias, the government would be (and has been) worthless with those
militias running around.

10) Sounds like there will be a lot more killing.

Yes. Unless the militias and Al Qaeda back down. Neither seems
likely.

11) How about the Democrats? What do they want?

Honestly, they want to call the mission a failure and withdraw.
Interestingly, not a single Democrat has seen fit to address the tactical wisdom
of the surge (or escalation as they prefer to call it). Not a single donkey has
challenged the potential efficacy of Petraeus’ plans with anything resembling a
detailed analysis. All they do is holler their favorite new one word slogan –
“ESCALATION” – and get out of Dodge.

12) Why don’t they assess the plan in a serious and responsible
manner?

Good one! You think the Democrats want Petraeus to testify before the
Senate and argue military tactics with Dick Durbin and the Admiral of
Chappaquiddick, Ted Kennedy? They know they’re out of their league when talking
about such matters, so they avoid the conversation altogether.

13) Do you think Democrats are aware of the kind of tactical things
that we’ve just discussed here?

I doubt it. Frankly, I doubt that a lot of Republicans are either. The
intellectual incuriosity of our Congress-people is truly breathtaking. You have
guys and gals on the intelligence committee who five years after 9/11 don’t know
whether Al Qaeda is Sunni or Shiite. I have a hard time believing that our
solons have really crunched the numbers and analyzed the tactics regarding the
battle for Baghdad.

14) So they’re just playing to their nutroots base?

Sam Brownback doesn’t have a nutroots base and he’s against the surge.
On its face adding 20,000 troops to the 140,000 already there does admittedly
seem to be, as my dear old Uncle Willie said this morning, a “band-aid.” The
problem is most of our congressmen don’t look beyond the surface. So when a
lightweight like Republican Gordon Smith of Oregon refers to the surge as a
“Hail Mary pass,” I’m quite willing to believe that he says such things not out
of malice but out of ignorance regarding the tactical sea-change that the surge
represents.

15) Whoa! Really lashing out at the Republicans there. What’s the deal?
Enforcing some kind of party loyalty or something?

Democrats can at least defend their antics as garden-variety partisan
idiocy. Republicans saying the same sort of things can’t hide behind the curtain
of serving their party. They’re just being idiots.

16) But what if Gordon Smith came out with a comprehensive assessment
of what is tactically necessary to subdue Baghdad this afternoon? Would that
change your mind?

Frankly, there’s a greater likelihood of unicorns flying out of my ass
this afternoon than Gordon Smith demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of
anything. In other words, I’ll deal with Senator Smith’s comprehensive
assessment when he delivers it.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

What Winners - Jonah Goldberg Says It Well - Democratic Perfidy

Lawrence of Arabia described Britain after its betrayal of the Arab Uprising during World War I as "Perfidious Albion."

Hard to improve on this from Jonah Goldberg found at today's NRO in describing the Democratic position, or lack thereof, regarding Iraq:


January 12, 2007, 0:00 a.m.What Winners - They flip and they flop, but the Dems don’t want to win.

By Jonah Goldberg

Americans are torn between two irreconcilable positions on the Iraq
war. Some want the war to be a success — variously defined — and some want the
war to be over.

Conservatives are basically, but not exclusively, in the “success” camp.
Liberals (and those further to the left) are basically, but not exclusively, the
“over” party. And many people are suffering profound cognitive dissonance by
believing these two positions can be held simultaneously. The motives driving
these positions range from the purely patriotic to the coldly realistic to the cravenly political or psychologically perfervid.

Parsing motives is exhausting and pointless, but one fact remains:
“End it now” and “win it eventually” cannot be reconciled.

With Wednesday night’s speech, President Bush made it clear that he will
settle for nothing less than winning. He may be deluding himself, but he at
least has done the nation the courtesy of stating his position, despite an
antagonistic political establishment and a hostile public. What’s maddening is
that the Democratic leadership cannot, or will not, clearly tell the American
people whether they are the party of “end it” or “win it.”

Give Senator Ted Kennedy his due. He not only wants the thing over,
consequences be damned, but he’s got the courage to admit it, as he did Tuesday
at the National Press Club.

But when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
come to a fork in the road, they follow Yogi Berra’s advice and take it. On one
hand, they tell the president they want this war brought to a close. On the
other, they refuse to use their power of the purse to do exactly that, opting
instead for a symbolic resolution. It may be the wisest political course for
them, but it does a disservice to the nation by making the Iraq debate the
equivalent of boxing with fog.

Here we have a president forthrightly trying to win a war, and the
opposition — which not long ago favored increasing troops when Bush was against that — won’t say what it wants.

This is flatly immoral. If you believe the war can’t be won and there’s
nothing to be gained by staying, then, to paraphrase Sen. John Kerry, you’re
asking more men to die for a mistake. You should demand withdrawal. But that
might cost votes, so they opt for nonbinding symbolic votes.

Another Democratic dodge is the demand for a “political solution” in Iraq,
the preferred talking point among Democrats these days. This is either
childishly naive or reprehensibly dishonest. No serious person thinks that peace
can be secured without a political solution. The question is how to get one. And
nobody — and I mean nobody — has made a credible case that the Iraqis can get
from A to B without more bloodshed, with or without American support.

Saying we need a political solution is as helpful as saying “give peace a
chance.” Peace requires more than pie-eyed verbiage. In the real world, peace
has no chance until the people who want to give death squads another shot have
been dispatched from the scene. It reminds me of the liberal obsession in the
1980s with getting inner-city gangs to settle their differences with break-dance
competitions. If only Muqtada al-Sadr would moonwalk to peace!

Wednesday, Bush finally acknowledged what Americans already knew: The war
has not gone well. But he also acknowledged what few Democrats are willing to
admit: If we leave — i.e. lose — it will be a disaster, a geo-strategic calamity
for America and possibly a genocidal one for the Iraqis.

One moral argument against the Iraq war in 2003 was that it would create an
enormous humanitarian crisis in the form of refugees spilling over the borders,
which in turn would destabilize the region. That didn’t happen. But it would be
the most likely result of a U.S. withdrawal now. Yet that’s a risk the antiwar
crowd is suddenly willing to take.Bush declared that “victory will not look like
the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender
ceremony on the deck of a battleship. . . . A democratic Iraq will not be
perfect.” This sober, stubborn emphasis on victory puts Bush at odds with much
of official Washington. He wisely refused to abdicate his war responsibilities
to lead to the Iraq Study Group and instead launched a broader effort to find a
way to win in Iraq — a goal former Secretary of State James Baker explicitly
dismissed.

Bush came up with the “surge” plan. Will it work? Nobody knows. But the one
thing the American people know about George W. Bush is that he wants to win the
war. What the Democrats believe is anybody’s guess.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Thursday, January 11, 2007

VDH on the Surge & The Democratic Obsession with Defeat

Victor Davis Hanson (my favorite Democrat) has this excellent article in National Review Online:

The Surge Gamble
All eyes now turn to Baghdad and Sadr City.

By Victor Davis Hanson

This was not Churchill, not FDR, and not JFK Wednesday night, and there was not quite enough about winning and victory — but the content was still good enough.

Many of us were skeptical of a surge/bump/increase for an obvious reason: Our military problems in Iraq have been tactical and strategic (too-slow training too few Iraqis, arrest/release of terrorists, too many targets off limits, patrolling in lieu of attacking, worry over our own force protection rather than securing the safety of Iraqi citizens, open borders with Syria and Iran, etc.) — and not a shortage of manpower.

So the increase — no one knows whether the 20,000 number is adequate — could make things far worse by offering more targets and creating more Iraqi dependency if we don’t change our operations. But if the surge ups the ante by bringing a radical new approach on the battlefield as the president promises, then it is worth his gamble.

All the requisite points were made by the president, almost as if were quoting verbatim Gen. David Petraeus’s insightful summaries of counterinsurgency warfare — an Iraqi face on operations, economic stimuli, clear mission of clearing terrorists out of Baghdad, political reform, a “green-light” to go after killers — while addressing the necessary regional concerns with Syria and Iran.

Will these “benchmarks” work? Only if the Maliki government is honest when he promises that there will be no sanctuaries for the militias and terrorists. So when the killing of terrorists causes hysteria — and it will, both in Iraq and back here at home — the Iraqi-American units must escalate their operations rather than stand down.

The American people will support success and an effort to win, whatever the risks, but not stasis. We saw that with the silent approval of Ethiopia’s brutal rout of the Islamists in Somalia, and our own attack on al Qaeda there.

The subtext of the president’s speech was that our sacrifices to offer freedom and constitutional government are the only solution for the Middle East — but that our commitments are not open-ended if the Iraqis themselves don’t want success as much as we do.

But why believe that this latest gamble will work? One, things are by agreement coming to a head: this new strategy will work, or, given the current politics, nothing will. Two, the Iraqis in government know this time Sadr City and Baghdad are to be secured, or it is to be “see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya,” and they will be on planes to Dearborn.

Finally note the pathetic Democratic reply by Sen. Durbin, last in the public eye for his libel of American troops (as analogous to “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others”). There was no response.

Durbin simply assumed credit for the Bush policy of deposing Saddam, fostering democracy, and then blamed the Iraqis and said enough was enough. Not a word followed about the effects of a rapid withdrawal. In other words, the Democratic policy is that anything good in Iraq they supported, anything bad they opposed. And they will now harp yet do nothing — except whine in fear the surge might actually work.

So where does that leave us? All eyes now turn to Baghdad and Sadr City and our courageous Americans fighting in them. If they are allowed to rout the terrorists, all will trumpet their victory; if we fail, President Bush alone will take the blame.

In other words, as in all wars, the pulse of the battlefield will determine the ensuing politics. So let’s win in pursuit of victory, and everything else will sort itself out.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is victorhanson.com.

And his assessment of Durbin is spot on. After the surge speech, Brian & I trolled the Nutroots stomping grounds, Democratic Underground and DailyKos. All of them were decrying the attempt to secure victory in Iraq, but offered no alternative strategy.

As Ted Kennedy said on January 9th, the Democrats are upset and confused because the White House is "obsessed with victory."

While I don't expect the Dems to be obsessed with victory, I would settle for them being at least slightly interested in victory.

Rather, the dems are obsessed with defeat.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Perfect Depiction of the Democratic Party

So, on the big issues of the day, where is the Democratic Party? Where is their plan? Have they offered any constructive criticism at all?

No, they depth of their Iraq policy position is shallower than the paper it (isn't) printed on.

Here's the post at the Democrats.Org blog... What do they criticize? the surge? the timeline? the strategic goals? No... they poke fun at the appearance of the policy documents:

The Old Plan vs. The "New" Plan

The first plan, from 2005. The second plan, the "new" one. It's in landscape format.


Well, you know what the Dems forgot to include in that post... and they didn't include it because it doesn't exist - The Democratic Plan for Victory in Iraq.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thoughts on the speech

Thoughts on the speech from the President this evening. In case you missed it, Drudge has a text copy on his site which can be found here.

1. Bush really gives a bad speech. It reads much better than his presentation of it. I know, I know, he rarely gives a good speech. That just makes it harder since my expectations are so low. I think freshman speech 101 students could do a better job. A little more feeling, Mr. President. Please. It's important.

2. The left gets one of its wishes. The president gives a "buck stops here" statement and accepts responsibility for any mistakes that have happened:

The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people – and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.
3. The stakes for leaving prematurely were well defined in the speech:
We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale. Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.
Any competing plan must address this issue. To allow massive killings of the civilian population and the collapse of the democratically elected government to violence and thuggery is unconscionable. A failure in Iraq is not just limited to Iraq either, but also here at home:
The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

4. Many pro-Iraq war and respected bloggers (Victor Davis Hanson, Mark Steyn) have criticized "a surge" without a change in rules of engagement. More bodies on the ground will not provide a victory. It looks like such a change in ROE is part of the plan:
In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods – and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.

5. I was pleased to see some carefully worded sections on an expansion of the war effort, specifically with regards to Iran and Syria:
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

The fight is on against the suppliers of the insurgents. The Patriots and Carrier strike group are specifically mentioned as warning to Syria and Iran.

6. The diplomacy minded realists get a paragraph as well:
We will use America’s full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists – and a strategic threat to their survival. These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors – and they must step up their support for Iraq’s unity government. We endorse the Iraqi government’s call to finalize an International Compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region – to build support for Iraq, and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.

Note that the diplomacy is aimed at the "middle players" in the region. Not with Iran and Syria, but with the states in the region that are on the fence. They don't want a weak Iraq, or worse, an Iranian/Syrian puppet regime, but neither do they want an American victory. Diplomatic actions aimed at explaining the economic benefits to a stable and successful Iraq may ease some of the tensions in the region.

7. The paragraph aimed at the new Democratic majorities in Congress seemed to have missed Dick Durbin entirely as he failed the standard set by not explaining how the cut and run strategy will be more likely to succeed.
In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If Members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms. It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.

The closing paragraphs are to be remembered in the following year. Patience will be required, but it will be for the better.
Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a Nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed. Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can and we will prevail.

Jim from GatewayPundit provides his always cogent thoughts. I liked the line aimed at the media as well, but felt it was a throwaway line. Most people will quickly forget it.

Hugh Hewitt echoes the attention on Iran:
Crucially Iran heard a hint of measures beyond the borders of Iran, though in the sort of terms that none can object to. When the president spoke of destroying the networks aiding the terrorists, he meant the Quds Brigades and the other Iranian agents at work in Iraq, and the placement of the paragraph cannot be misunderstood.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC:Brian

Oliver Willis to Iraqis: Drop Dead

Interesting post by Oliver Willis (aka the Twinkie-meister):

[...]
Iraq is screwed. It's screwed because there were no weapons of mass destruction and no plan to deal with the American occupation and the resulting insurgency. We're almost four years into this war and no wiser. Iraq isn't anywhere near a functioning democracy and most of its people are frankly not interested (they're more interested in a tribal Islamic republic). I fail to see the reason why, in order to demonstrate how "serious" they are, why Democrats must play this game with American lives again. What is the worth of playing up one's foreign policy credentials among the DC elite when all it leads to is more caskets shipped home and the continued spread of international terrorism?

Not sure what no WMDs has to do with the current situation on the ground. Perhaps it was just a reflexive reference... couldn't help himself. Or more likely, Iraq is still a domestic political tool for OW and he cannot allow himself to stop using it to score political points.

And yes, the occupation did not go well, but I believe it was miscommunication between Bremer (a State Dept guy) and the military planners that resulted in our current situation. The initial plan was to allow Iraqi military & police infrastructure to remain in place, meaning that a large occupation force would not be required. Bremer & Co wanted to de-Baathify the troops and liquidated the whole lot. Thus, security vacuum because we brought enough fighting troops to kill the enemy, but not to police the largest city.

Back to the twinkie-meister:
I don't know of anyone that knows that Iraq will be a mess if we leave, but it's already a mess today. The choice is no longer between Iraqi fantasy and wimpy retreat. It's between dead Iraqis and Americans or dead Iraqis. Neither choice is great, but that's the hand the Bush administration has dealt us. Arguing about this like there's a magic bullet position to take is silly.

Oliver - I know that Iraq will be a mess if we leave - a worse mess than it is today. If you'd like to wager on it, I'd be happy to put my money where my mouth is.

The Iraqi people want security... without security, progress in any other area is temporary if not impossible.

That you would tell Iraqis (who trusted us and participated in one of the few democratic acts in the Middle East) that it was all for naught is a terrible message to send, not just to the Iraqis, but to other people in the region, such as the millions of students that are struggling to change the regime in Iran. If we demonstrate that they cannot count on America to support their desire for freedom, why would they even make an attempt? I point you to these words from President John F Kennedy's inaugural address:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more.
[...]
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
It's a shame that the Left has become so isolationist and unwilling to support the seeds of freedom in a troubled part of the world.

Now, back to Oliver:
The argument that not staying in Iraq forever will be a victory for Al Qaeda is equally silly. In the case of Iraq, Al Qaeda has already won the PR war. We, by mistake and incompetence, have proven right many of the things they've said about the West and specifically the USA. We went to an Arab country, invaded and occupied on trumped-up pretenses and when we got there allowed anarchy to take hold while also torturing citizens. What more has Al Qaeda got to say? Thanks to the Bush presidency, their rhetoric is as strong as ever.
[...]

Al-Qaeda and affiliated Islamofascists (including Iran) will see our "redeployment" from Iraq for what it will be - a retreat. They will be emboldened, just as they were emboldened when Clinton pulled us out of Somalia.

You state that Al Qaeda has won the PR war. If this is true, I lay the blame directly at your feet and the feet of the Dems and the liberals in the MSM. While the Dems paid lip-service to supporting the President and our efforts in the beginning, that sentiment was disingenuous. Within days of the Afghanistan campaign, the Left was calling it "another Vietnam." The same is true of Iraq, when the troops had to halt for the sandstorm. It is worse to authorize a war that you don't believe in, sending American sons & daughters into the breach, when you know that in the end you will make every attempt to undermine their efforts in order to score political victories domestically.

*** Update ***
Cox & Forkum provides this cartoon:



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I'm Not Sure Which is Worse: The Situation in Iraq or the Behavior of the Democrats

It is no secret that I was opposed to the Iraq war from the start. It was my opinion then, and now, that anyone with a lick of sense could see that what has come to pass was inevitable. Civil war was about the only possible result. Pax Americana was not feasible the way we went about things. My opposition was born of what has come to be called paleo-con thinking. Traditional conservative thought a la Pat Buchanan and Bill Buckley. I point this out only to establish my bona fides as both a conservative and an opponent of the war.

The question of whether to go to war has been mooted by time and events. What has not been mooted is how we fight the war. Were mistakes made? I think so.

We brought a knife to a gun fight.

This was not a war to fight with conventional forces in a conventional manner. In my opinion what was called for was covert war, asymetric warfare, of the dirtiest and wettest kind. Total all-out terror committed against the militant fascists and their secular allies like Hussein. We needed Bill Donnovan and Bill Casey not W.T. Sherman or George Patton. Kill the enemy and leave it to the Iraqis to sort out their own affairs after that.

But that is not the way we went. Other decisions were made based upon what we must assume was solid thinking. That the decisions turned out to be wrong is not something to second guess now. The issue is what do we do to rectify the situation?

That brings us to the Democrats. Do they bring anything helpful to the table? No. I am apalled. Their consistant anti-American stance, aided and abetted by the MSM, makes me cringe. It is clear that they think we have lost the war, though they lack the moral courage to even say that, and they want us to surrender as soon as possible by "redeploying."

And so we have Teddy (burrrrp, hic) Kennedy giving his prequel announcement of his opposition to the "troop surge" the President is likely to announce tomorrow. Imagine what the enemy, and our troops, must think of this sort of behavior. What is this man thinking?

And he is not the only one.

Frankly, I still think we are going about this is the wrong manner. I am not convinced that 20,000 or 100,000 more troops will make much if any difference. I do think certain individuals having unfortunate and fatal accidents could make all the difference in the world.

Chris Mathews asks an interesting question, "Can someone convince me that things will be any better five years from now then they are now?" A fair question that deserves a fair answer. Obviously more of same will not result in a good answer.

But the simple truth is, as Colin Powell pointed out: we broke it, we own it.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Monterey John

Joe Klein Has an Epiphany

Well, while he may not recognize it as an epiphany, perhaps with some applause for this post and some guidance he'll realize that when the Right cause the Left "Anti-American," there's some fundamental basis for the charge. Here's Klein:

19:34 pm
Now that I have your attention
Posted by Joe Klein | E-Mail This | Permalink | Comments (0) | Sphere It!

I love it! First day of Swampitude and the left-wing blogosphere--which is overpopulated by illiberal leftists and reactionary progressives--is already attacking me: 24 mostly mingy comments about my Left Behind post, many of which seem to be steaming off a post by Greg Sargent, who writes a blog called The Horse's...Mouth.
The illiberal left just hates it when I point out that the Democratic Party's naivete on national security--and the left wing tendency to assume every U.S. military action abroad is criminal--just aren't very helpful electorally. The fact that I've been opposed to the Iraq war ever since this 2002 article in Slate just makes it all the more aggravating. But it's possible to have been against the war and to hope for the best in Iraq. I'd bet that the overwhelming majority of Americans who now oppose the war are praying for a turn for the better in Iraq. Listening to the leftists, though, it's easy to assume that they are rooting for an American failure.
And so a challenge to those who slagged me in their comments. Can you honestly say the following:

Even though I disagree with this escalation, I am hoping that General Petraeus succeeds in calming down Baghdad.

Does the thought even cross your mind? As for me, it's easy--I've been rooting for U.S. success ever since the invasion because, after the overpowering arrogance and stupidity that led to this disaster, we owe some peace and stability to the Iraqis and the region. For the record, I'm outraged Bush is ignoring the election results and the reality on the ground in Iraq. I think he is sending more young American lives into an impossible situation. I am fairly certain that Bush will wallow amongst our worst presidents for getting us into this mess. But I hope events prove me wrong. I don't even care if Bush gets credit for the "victory" and smirks all the way back to Texas. --joe klein

Now, for those of us that have been engaged in manipulating monitoring the Left since 9/11 and watching them strike ever Anti-American pose imaginable, all we can say is, "Welcome to the party, Joe! What took you so long?"

Yes, the statement you wrote about wishing for Petraeus to have success in Iraq does not sit well with the Democratic base... and to some extent, it's the fault of the Democratic leadership because they cultivated this sentiment for decades and especially since the defeat of John Kerry.

This is what alienated many of the "security Moms" post-9/11: the reflexively anti-American positions taken by the Left. This pushed many former Dems and even liberals to realize that their side just wasn't serious about success in the War On Terror.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Viva La Hugo!

Well, it looks like Hugo is keen on sending his country into a death spiral economically. Fortunately, he still has the oil which will allow him to continue providing free chickens to the population. Of course, when the oil stations break down because of inadequate investment, might get a bit tricky down in Venezuela.

Chavez: Will Nationalize Telecoms, Power
Jan 08 3:35 PM US/Eastern

By IAN JAMES
Associated Press Writer

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced plans Monday to nationalize the country's electrical and telecommunications companies, calling them "strategic sectors" that should be in the hands of the nation.

The New York Stock Exchange immediately halted trading in CANTV, Venezuela's largest publicly traded company, which was singled out in Chavez' speech. The decision was also likely to affect Electricidad de Caracas, owned by AES Corp.

It was the boldest move by the Venezuelan leader since he was re-elected by a wide margin last month promising to a more radical turn toward socialism in Venezuela.

"All of those sectors that in an area so important and strategic for all of us as is electricity all of that which was privatized, let it be nationalized," Chavez said in a televised speech after swearing in a new Cabinet.

"C.A. Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV), let it be nationalized," Chavez said. "The nation should recover its property of strategic sectors."

Chavez threatened last August to nationalize CANTV, a Caracas-based former state firm that was privatized in 1991, unless it adjusted its pension payments to current minimum wage levels, which have been repeatedly increased by his government.

Of course, the national interest argument can be made of almost any sector... automobile production, healthcare, IT call centers... all of them have been targeted by the "protectionist" Left and Right as being strategic to the US economy and thus should protected from foreign competition. Chavez is just taking the next step and nationalizing the sectors.

And keep in mind that this is just weeks after Hugo stated that an opposition TV station would be shut down, which elicited cheers from the DUers.

Oh, and the Club For Growth has this excellent post:
The 'Cliff' of Nationalization

See this stock chart? This is what happens when a tyrant decides to nationalize a company. It loses value...rapidly.

According to Publius Pundit, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez decided yesterday to take control of CANTV, a telecom company. The receipts of its stock, which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, immediately cratered before trading was halted. CANTV is Venezuela's largest publicly-traded company and the country's only firm that's traded on the NYSE. Well, probably not any more.

And the Dems think that Bush is listening in on his citizens... imagine what they'd think if the US nationalized the phone companies.


Ahhh, the glorious revolution continues!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, January 08, 2007

Somalia - Impeach W for Going on the Offensive!

Here's the story:

CBS: U.S. Strikes Al Qaeda In Somalia
WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2007(CBS/AP) A U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports exclusively.

The targets included the senior al Qaeda leader in East Africa and an al Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, Martin reports. Those terror attacks killed more than 200 people.

The AC-130 gunship is capable of firing thousands of rounds per second, and sources say a lot of bodies were seen on the ground after the strike, but there is as yet, no confirmation of the identities.

The gunship flew from its base in Dijibouti down to the southern tip of Somalia, Martin reports, where the al Qaeda operatives had fled after being chased out of the capital of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops backed by the United States.

Once they started moving, the al Qaeda operatives became easier to track, and the U.S. military started preparing for an air strike, using unmanned aerial drones to keep them under surveillance and moving the aircraft carrier Eisenhower out of the Persian Gulf toward Somalia. But when the order was given, the mission was assigned to the AC-130 gunship operated by the U.S. Special Operations command.

If the attack got the operatives it was aimed at, reports Martin, it would deal a major blow to al Qaeda in East Africa.

Shhh... don't tell the Lefties, but the Somalia attack is just to fracture the new Dem majority in Congress. I mean, with Cindy Sheehan being the Cheerleader-in-Chief for Nancy & Harry, we thought it'd be great to remind everyone that there's a war on Terror goin' on...

And lest you forget (or are not familiar with) what an AC-130 gunship can do.... Imagine this: a howitzer cannon pointed at you - from 20,000 feet and deadly accurate and can hunt down an individual person... again, a cannon that will seek out an individual person.

After arriving on target, the AC-130 starts a constant left turn, pivoting around the target area and keeping it's guns (all on the left side) focused on the target zone.

See this video where an AC-130 takes out an Al-Qaeda base in Afghanistan. Also note that the mosque is left untouched - because of the Rules Of Engagement that religious places are the "safe base," just like the couch is when you were playing tag in your house and you were 5.

Caution - Graphic Footage Follows:


Oh, and could it be that one of my predictions for 2007 has come true so early? Perhaps time will tell.

And of course, the Left is none too pleased that we're on the offensive against the Islamofascists. Here's reaction from DU:
BushOut06 (1000+ posts)
Mon Jan-08-07 11:01 PM
Original message
Impeach the motherf*cker already

How many more countries is this asshole going to be allowed to attack before he leaves office in '09? We're already sending a huge armada towards Iran. We've illegally occupied Iraq, racking up more deaths than the 9-11 attacks, and killing untold hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. He invaded Afghanistan, killing even more innocent civilians, for WHAT? Bin Laden is still free, and the Taliban now control much of the country. We're on the verge of war against North Korea, who has already tested one nuke and may be ready to test another. He lent covert support to a coup against Venezuela's duly elected president.

And this doesn't even begin to go into his domestic crimes!


The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Mon Jan-08-07 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Everything is justified by using some sloppy & stretched to the limit

overly optomistic sense of "plausibility". Unfortunately, the only way to prove a bastard like him wrong is to play out each of these policies to the ultimate failure that they all end up in. It's been going on since the start, tax cuts to reduce the deficit, The Iraq war, the "road map" to peace, no child left behind, and so on.
For some reason, I get the feeling that these two aren't on board with this whole War On Terror thing....

See Malkin for more and Mudville Gazette for more info on the situation in Somalia.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler