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Broken Windows in Pakistan

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As a good libertarian, I really HATE the idea of America being the world police. Like Gary Johnson of Team America, I don't WANT the responsibility or the guilt for the inevitable screw-ups.

But as Gary's woman explains, we to some significant extent get stuck with the responsibility like it or not, because we're the main country on Earth with the power to be able to do anything. If we simply refuse to accept the responsibility — as in Darfur — then there's no one to stop some pretty ugly stuff.

Team America image

Even at that though, maybe not everything in the world is ours to fix. Plus, we can't do EVERYTHING. Unfortunately Darfur has to fend for itself. It's a mean old world.

Team America image

But we do pretty much HAVE to act sometimes, even just in our own defense. Stupid stuff they do in Muslim countries effects US. Back a couple of years before 9/11, I was thinking strongly that we should make some move to destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan when they blew up the Buddhist statues carved into the mountains. I felt bad on libertarian grounds for thinking that way, but I figured that anyone who would be that determinedly spiteful about these thousand year old religious statues was some dangerous sonsabitches that needed put down. My seemingly evil instinct turned out to be far more right than I even suspected.

Thus, after 9/11 and six years in Afghanistan, I'm not a bit pleased to see reports like this from the Pakistani side of the border region NBC report:

In the middle of the night, someone slipped leaflets under barbershop doors throughout the Bajaur Tribal Agency. The warning was hand-written in Pashto, the language of the Pashtun tribes who inhabit the border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The leaflets read: "SHAVING BEARDS AND TRIMMING BEARDS IS UN-ISLAMIC AND IS FORBIDDEN. VIOLATORS WILL BE KILLED."

But that’s not all.

This latest threat by local Taliban militants comes on the heels of an announced ban on music — music that is sold in CD shops or even played in somebody’s car. If the Taliban are to be believed, this is one more sin against Islam and a crime punishable by death. It’s one more alarming sign of the so-called Talibanization of Pakistan’s tribal areas.

This has me thinking of mayor Rudy Giuliani's famous "broken windows" crackdown on minor crimes and violations in New York City. Nip it in the bud before it gets out of control – again.

With these radical Muslim types, and certainly the Taliban in particular, it's pretty clear now that letting such things go is bad business for US. These same Taliban schmucks that were blowing up the Buddhist statues were even then running interference for their Al Qaeda brothers as they planned 9/11. Perhaps if we'd smacked them down then, we might have avoided 9/11.

But plans to attack the U.S. continue, even after we've overthrown the Afghan government and spent six years drinking with them. It's a tough part of the world, and these are obviously some of the most determinedly ruthless and malicious jerks on the planet. You kill a bunch of these cockroaches, and another bunch comes scrambling out. But letting it go just isn't a viable option. Otherwise, they'll be back over here again.

I don't know what to do. There just aren't any good, simple and clearcut solutions. But broadly, it seems that we should be cutting a considerably wider swath of destruction to get at as many of these malicious bastards as possible before they come back on US again.

Stuff like this report makes me considerably more impatient with issues of Pakistani sovereignty and fine diplomacy. I would be likely to support direct U.S. attacks on these tribal strongholds of Taliban/Al Qaeda. I'm sympathetic to the precarious position of President Musharraf — but I'm caring about his problems less and less.

We've been extremely patient with his Pakistan government largely on the grounds that if he were killed or overthrown, the next government would be likely far worse. So, we've given him YEARS to try to get a better handle on his Muslim rednecks. But to a large extent, he either can't or won't. It doesn't sound like his government is even pretending to have any authority in this border region. At some point, if Musharraf can't or won't deal with the Al Qaeda/Taliban elements, then WE have to do it ourselves. These are the people who gave us 9/11.

So at this point, I'd be pretty open to smacking these Taliban rednecks even on the nominal Pakistani side of the border. It does not behoove us to let this stuff go, even if it might cause the radicals to come to power in Pakistan. If that happens, we might have do yet some more killing.

Nation building is an extremely difficult enterprise — see Iraq and Afghanistan. But we can easily enough DESTROY a bad government — again, see Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps we'll end up needing to kill the next government of Pakistan — rather than letting Taliban types take possession of nuclear weapons. We CAN kill as many people as we need to, and destroy their stuff. That would eventually solve our problem, as rubble doesn't cause trouble.

But even if you have the will, these extremely tribal border areas are notoriously difficult to physically get to and even more difficult to socially penetrate. But you'd think that the likes of some of these oppressed barbers might be persuaded to discreetly help some U.S. special forces types find and eliminate people who are absolutely and seriously threatening their lives.

As logical as that seems though, you gotta know that such a request is going to come off like Team America showing up to assuage our Muslim friends. Oy.

Team America Muslim friends image

Hey, I know I start sounding like Dr Strangelove talking like this, but I take no glee in considering the advocacy of murder, no matter how necessary it is.

I'd hate to have to just take out whole towns to get at these bastards. We'd be lucky to get at the specific Taliban elements that way, and end up taking out the barbers as well. But then at some point, the possibility of that type of action might be what it takes to motivate people to co-operate.

I don't know how much of what we can do with any finesse. I don't know specifically militarily what to advocate. That's out of my pay scale. I just know we need more and bigger sticks, and more willingness to use them against our enemies.

Otherwise, what are we supposed to do, just wait around for them to come back on US again?

 

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  • moonraven

    Another ersatz libertarian–who wants to tell everyone in the whole world how to tie their shoes!

    Wise up–the Taliban are nothing compared to the Bush Gang. The Bush Gang also did 9/11–so you can stop blaming that on Al Quaeda/Afghanistan/ the Usual 22 Pakistanis. And the Bush Gang did the atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq and Guatanamo and everyplace else tey say they are bringing democracy on the end of the gun barrels.

    Now the corrupt cretin is smearing his cynical platitudes in Sao Paulo. Good thing Chavez is in Argentina to tell him to take his phoney bolivarism and shove it up his ass.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Both the Taliban and the nasty old christian-leaning US believe in the idea of sin. The difference between the two is that minor sins like beard cutting and listening to music are punishable by death in Pakistan, while similarly minor sins are between individuals and their god here in the US. That’s a fundamental distinction and says everything about why we’re at war.

    [Edited]

    Dave

  • moonraven

    There are no rational people on this site except for this poster–and even I don’t choose to be rational all the time–so your comment is really silly now, isn’t it?

    The Taliban became the bad guys in the eyes of the Bush Gang when they backed out of the pipeline deal with Occidental Petroleum. That’s the bottom line, nothing more below it.

    As for dynamiting the Buddhas–a piece of cracker compared to the Bush Gang’s complete destruction of the Cradle of Civilization and all the artifacts in the museums.

    I don’t believe in sin.

  • moonraven

    Just for the record, beard-cutting and listeing to WESTERN music are not punishable by death–or anything else–in Pakistan.

    Stupid statements like that are the result of never bothering to research ANYTHING, [Edited] Dave.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    So you didn’t even bother to READ the article? No one suggested the government of Pakistan was threatening people with death, but the Taliban certainly are. The government of Pakistan is not necessarily the enemy of civilization – though they may be allied. The Taliban certainly are inherently opposed to any kind of free society.

    I don’t believe in sin.

    I should hope not. You’d have a hell of a time living with yourself if you did. Does it not worry you that your atheistic socialist female existence is exactly what the islamic extremists would most like to terminate?

    Dave

  • The village idiot

    Your such a naughty bitch moonbat. You turn me on.

  • moonraven

    Dave: Don’t shit us. YOU wrote that those acts were punishable by death in Pakistan.

    Not only that, but you implied that the Taliban were in control in Pakistan and that we were at war with Pakistan.

    [Edited] Read you post number 2. I didn’t write that drivel.

    Not much of anything bothers me, [Edited] Dave. I live quite happily in muslim countries. The US is a much more dangerous place for women to live–or for men, too.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Punishible by death IN Pakistan is not the same as punishable by death under the laws of the government OF Pakistan. I realize that the nuances of correct English are lost on you, but you might at least try to read what I wrote.

    Dave

  • The village idiot

    Dave, why do you even address these fucking idiots?

  • Paul2

    About that “article” that has a very bad, racist approach:

    1. The US doesn’t go to war because of “responsibilty” or to “spread freedom”, but to achieve economic and political hegemony.

    2. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are NOT the same people, therefore they cannot be equated and the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11/01. They don’t even speak the same language.

    3. The US government together with the Pakistani secret services substantially supported the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, because they wanted a strong central government so they could have that pipeline built. Later the Taliban refused to have it built and thats a main reason why they were bombed.

    4. Its the US government and their ridiculuous double standards that have institutionalized Musharraf. First he was “General” Musharraf, having no democratic legitimacy, sitting on a big pile of nuclear weapons. Then suddenly when the US needed him, he became “President” Musharraf.

  • Paul2

    “I was thinking strongly that we should make some move to destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan”

    Maybe you should have told your “responsible” government acting in “self-defense” that they shouldn’t have supported the Taliban in getting to power in the first place.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Paul2, you have a legitimate point there about US involvement in the Taliban coming to power, at least to some extent. Let me also lump in historical US support for the Hussein regime in Iraq. Those things haven’t worked out so good for US, but it’s not because we were trying to be evil and stupid. We were trying to support what we thought were less bad people against our worst enemies. That hasn’t worked out so good in the Muslim world in recent decades.

    But that still doesn’t address what we should be doing NOW. Should we just accept the Taliban and Al Qaeda because we were sort of supporting them at one time? Seems like 9/11 kinda changes things.

    Even if we were wrongly supportive 25 years ago, that doesn’t mean that we should just let them go. Indeed, that would seem like just that much more reason why it’s our responsibility to exterminate these cockroaches.

    But other than that, you and Moonraven are just making stuff up. Your nonsense about Afghan pipelines and 9/11 conspiracies are just so many urinal dookies.

    I’d be all ears, however, for any vaguely sane person of a leftish persuasion what has some ideas for something to do in our defense that might actually do us some good besides bombing and killings.

  • troll

    Al – your position seem a bit hollow and incomplete as you don’t advocate prophylactically nuking Riyadh

  • MCH

    “Perhaps if we’d smacked them down then, we might have avoided 9/11.”
    – Al Barger

    Never too late to enlist, brother Barger.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    That’s nice guys, but do any of you have any arguments against anything in my story? Do you suppose your frankly less than clever sarcasm will prophylactically protect us from Al Qaeda elements in the uncontrolled Pakistan border region?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I’d be all ears, however, for any vaguely sane person of a leftish persuasion what has some ideas for something to do in our defense that might actually do us some good besides bombing and killings.

    We could give them lots and lots of money.

    Dave

  • troll

    Saudi Arabia is the primary source of the radicalism and terrorist funding – we ally with them at our own risk

    Al says – *We CAN kill as many people as we need to, and destroy their stuff. That would eventually solve our problem, as rubble doesn’t cause trouble.*

    rubble does cause trouble unless you are willing to go all the way to genocide – are you ready to go there – ?

    and we’ve been over solutions before – which involve marginalizing the area – rendering its resources less critical to our national security

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Troll, would you describe the US subjugation of Japan in WWII as “genocide”? I’d definitely consider going that far, depending on the circumstances. I’d probably support going that far if necessary to stop Iranian mullahs from having nuclear weapons.

  • Clavos

    Al – your position seem a bit hollow and incomplete as you don’t advocate prophylactically nuking Riyadh

    You wanna bomb the Saudis with radioactive rubbers??

  • troll

    no Al our actions in subjugating Japan weren’t genocide…merely crimes against humanity

    — so you’re willing to go to nukes… which cities are on the short list – ?

    perhaps we could blow up/irradiate the entire Afghanistan/Pakistan border as a display of strength

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Now the corrupt cretin is smearing his cynical platitudes in Sao Paulo. Good thing Chavez is in Argentina to tell him to take his phoney bolivarism and shove it up his ass.”

    Yes, it’s a “good thing” that the former military coup-leader, and now quasi-dictator, Hugo Chavez Frias is there to tell everyone how evil the USA is…

    Do you realize that most South Americans who come to the USA think Chavez is a lunatic? I know quite a few. I work with them, and I am friends with them. Chavez is poison.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “There are no rational people on this site except for this poster–and even I don’t choose to be rational all the time”

    ROTFL!!!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “The Taliban became the bad guys in the eyes of the Bush Gang when they backed out of the pipeline deal with Occidental Petroleum. That’s the bottom line, nothing more below it.”

    Yes, of course. 9/11 and the murder of 3,000 Americans had nothing to do with it.

    Oh, wait! Bush did that! I forgot!

    ROTFL!!!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “I am quite sure–and would bet just about any amount of money on it–that camels are much better at fucking than Dave Nalle is. Or you, for that matter.”

    There you go. An anti-American leftist praises bestiality, while the ‘comments editor” ignores yet another personal attack…

    [RJ: Firstly, I’d like to remind you, as I believe you already full well know, that I’m in Europe. At the time certain comments were made above, I was asleep!

    I’m ever so sorry about that and, whilst I’m at it, please let me apologise in advance for having full time work, a personal life and a few other online activities that keep me a little busy. These activities unfortunately prevent me from monitoring the incisive political debate that takes place here in real time twenty-four hours a day.

    I’d like to further apologise to you and anybody else who has been truly offended by any remarks made by anybody on this site at any time past or present, which is also obviously my responsibility. I shall shop myself to the mysterious troika that rules the Blogcritics multiverse for immediate re-programming.

    Further apologies must go to anybody offended by your quoting of a now deleted comment. I would have deleted your remarks above too but, after due consideration, decided to leave them for coherence’s sake. That and the fact that praising bestiality seems an odd conclusion to draw from the original remark.

    So there you go, RJ.

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor and part time humanoid.]

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Marry me moonbat. Will give you a life of luxury. We can live with Billy Bob in the trailer park. Beer in the frig, pit bull fights every Friday night, sitting on the sofa out in the grass and eating fried chicken. Life just dont get better then this.”

    LOL!!!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Dave, why do you even address these fucking idiots?”

    Dave Nalle is a modern-day Atlas. He has been condemned to a life of upholding Reason and speaking the Truth in front of the faces and into the ears of the blind and the deaf. That is his eternal punishment, one he accepts fully.

    Me, I’d just buy a gun.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    About that “article” that has a very bad, racist approach:

    Nice. You get two points for immediately labeling the author as a “racist” in an attempt to preemptively discredit his post. You must have gone to university!

    The Taliban and Al Qaeda are NOT the same people, therefore they cannot be equated and the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11/01.

    So…the Taliban didn’t give safe-haven to Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda??? What fucking planet do you live one?

    The US government together with the Pakistani secret services substantially supported the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, because they wanted a strong central government so they could have that pipeline built. Later the Taliban refused to have it built and thats a main reason why they were bombed.

    Yeah, 9/11 had nothing to do with the US intervention in Afghanistan…

    As for the pipeline, has it been built yet? I mean, it’s been over five years! Surely the evil hegemonic US government, and its Afghan and Pakistani puppets, have completed this pipeline by now, no?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Perhaps if we’d smacked them down then, we might have avoided 9/11.”
    – Al Barger

    Never too late to enlist, brother Barger.

    Good to know the high school sports writer for the Helena Independent Record hasn’t run out of material!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    no Al our actions in subjugating Japan weren’t genocide…merely crimes against humanity

    Well, in that case we definitely should have invaded the Japanese home islands with ground troops instead! Sure, hundreds of thousands of additional lives on both sides would have been lost, but it would have been the humane thing to do!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    big Al…no time for me to do more than just read this at the moment…but you raise some interesting points, remember that Pakistan IS a nuclear power, and they have been guilty of proliferation already…

    for RJ in #31 – “Atlas”???? d00d, stop cupping his nuts so gently…you’ll get Santorum upset with you

    to be continued….

  • Mohjho

    “At some point, if Musharraf can’t or won’t deal with the Al Qaeda/Taliban elements”.

    Two different organizations Al. You want to kill them all?

    “I’d hate to have to just take out whole towns to get at these bastards.”

    I don’t really think you hate this idea.

    “As a good libertarian, I really HATE the idea of America being the world police.”

    Your a bad Libertarian.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Taliban and Al Qaeda, totally different? That’s just being willfully dumb. “Two different organizations Al. You want to kill them all?” Preferably, yes.

    Troll [comment 20], I doubt there’d be any need for nuclear weapons in the Pakistan border region – but could involve a lot of devastation short of that.

    Smaller tactical field nukes, nuclear bunker busters, might in fact be a serious consideration in busting up deeply buried and fortified Iranian nuclear facilities, though.

  • MCH

    “Me, I’d just buy a gun.”
    – RJ Elliott

    Save some money and join the military, they’ll provide you one for free!

    (If you can make it through boot camp)

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Ah, yes. Let’s give the Bush administration another chance to get it right, this time with nuclear weapons! That ought to just about do it.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Lee, again, mere sarcasm is not any kind of an answer. Plus, it might not be President Bush that would need to do such a thing. It could be President Clinton or President Giuliani.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    No, Al, your best shot is definitely with Bush. He’s got the mindset you need to start WWIII.

  • Clavos

    WWIII is already under way. Ask OBL or any other jihadist.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Someone needs to update Lee – WW3 started about 5 years ago.

    Dave

  • James Sharp

    Sure talks big for a short fat guy with a swollen thyroid. LOL

  • troll

    (RJ #29 – when I labeled the fire bombing of Japanese cities and the use of nukes crimes against humanity I was following LeMay’s usage as reported by McNamara)

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    There’s no way to tell that he’s short or has a swollen thyroid from that picture.

    Dave

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    #38: Damn, I keep forgetting we don’t have to declare those things anymore!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Lee, again, mere sarcasm is not any kind of an answer.”

    This coming from a guy who uses a marionette movie to inform his geo-political positions. Get that irony award ready.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Re. #42. Read my comments on the AUMF on another thread – or several of them. We don’t need to declare war because according to the AUMF and the courts we’ve already declared war on the entire world.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Wow, did the ignoramuses of the site come out of the woodwork when I left this thread!

    Folks who knew nothing about the Afghan pipeline–despite the mainstream media being FULL of it when the Talibanes agreed to it after being wined and dined in Texas! (The same folks who are incapable of googling….)

    Folks who believe that the malcontents who leave a country are representative of its mainstream population! (In the case of Venezuela, RJ–who has never been to Venezuela–is now another expert on the country. That’s like saying that this poster–who left the US almost 15 years ago–is representative of you redneck jerkoffs….right.)

    Folks who believe every lie out of the mouth of the Bush Gang! (And who then have the nerve to repeat them here….as if everyone on this site was as gullible.)

    Folks who have the nerve to write trash like the piece of it that we are responding to–filled with misinformation, lies, racist hate and just plain old assholism!

    I am sure glad that I am the malcontent expatriate that I am–would not want to even be in the same room with you folks. Extras from Deliverance–all of you.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    ATTN CHRIS ROSE: Obviously there are some comments here in violation of policy, but I would appreciate your forbearance if you could in regards to stuff about me, such as comment 39.

    All the spiteful nonsense about me here may be taken as usefully illustrative of the larger debate in the country. Some of us are trying to give serious consideration to tough choices about dealing with really dangerous people in the world who mean US harm. Whereas as an attempt at such discussion meets with opposition ranging from mere sarcasm about the current president and deteriorating from there.

    For the record, I’m 5’9″ – if that is of any consequence to the validity of my arguments.

    Bicho – Puppetry and animation are not valid forms of artistic expression? You see no serious thought or consideration in Team America?

    Personally, I most often get my best valuable real insights into the human condition from comedy rather than drama.

  • http://moonraven moonraven

    I consider an uninformed racist like the OP to be much more dangerous than ANY of the folks he has written about.

    It’s uninformed racists like the OP and his genocidal government who have made this world a very dangerous place to be.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    No, I just find it amusing that you use TAWP in your article, but then castigate someone else for using sarcasm.

    And you might get more sympathy about the posting of insults if you didn’t write things like, “but ‘faggot’ is the PERFECT word for John Edwards.”

  • http://moonraven moonraven

    He will get no sympathy from ME under any circumstances.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Re #44: Rather a large undertaking–and sounds kind of paranoid, and a bit lonely–but, hey, if you really think we should…

  • troll

    Al – after the devastation along the border that you predict how many boots on the ground will be required to control the area following the Japan model – and how would that be arranged (its being Pakistan and all)

    and if you’re trying to have a serious discussion about how to fight the Afghanis and Pakistanis sheltering OBL & Co as you state then you need to address US force strength…we’ve learned by now that it takes lots of troops to secure a population

    do you as a faltering Libertarian advocate a draft to deal with these bad guys – ?

    and I’m still not clear what your plan for dealing with the Wahabis is

    as for the tactical nukes…are you willing to risk provoking an exchange with the other nuclear nations to prevent Iran’s joining the ‘club’ – ?

    and how long do you think humans will survive when nukes are viewed as tactical weapons…legitimate for use in wars around the world – ?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Troll- Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now you are actually trying to make serious arguments against my hawkish outlook – and perfectly legitimate ones.

    No, I’m certainly not favoring a draft. That’s no good. That’s one good natural democratic limit on our aggression: We have to find young people willing to do the fighting.

    But hiring more troops seems a very good idea, and would be worth investing money in. We may need to offer better pay and benefits to sweeten the deal. But that’ll only appeal so far if our recruitment pool is skeptical of our cause.

    Also, I suspect we could free up a lot of troops with serious re-consideration of ALL our foreign troop deployments. Why have we got troops in over 100 countries? Seems like we’ve got fighting to do mainly in a couple, but we need to re-justify all of it. We’ve got troops in Freedonia why exactly?

    I’m looking at use of the military mostly in a punitive manner at this point. The purpose of armies is to kill people and break things. We would probably in retrospect been better to have knocked out the Hussein regime and come home quickly. The nation building part is where we’ve gotten in some trouble.

    I don’t know what the military options in the Pakistani border territory are. But I certainly don’t forsee any attempt at a US occupation of any of that territory.

    The point would likely be more to identify and eliminate as many of the Taliban/Al Qaeda radicals as possible. Seems like the tough job is finding them, the intelligence.

    There’s using nuclear weapons, and there’s using nuclear weapons. Dropping a full strength nuclear bomb on a population center is one thing, but a small tactical bunker buster to get down into buried reactors and such is something else.

    What, you think that if we used a couple of nuclear bunker busters in Iran, then Russia and China would come nuke us? That wouldn’t make any kind of sense.

    But in fact, the most likely reaction would be a minimal pro forma protest at the UN for various local consumption, and quiet relief that we’ve dealt with the terrible threat of nuclear Iranian mullahs.

    Beyond that, it’d put the true fear of God into all but the truly suicidal elements of all those bad neighborhoods. They’re welcome to hate US, so long as they fear US too much to tolerate radicals in their midst. Fear is the great teacher, as Charlie Manson said.

    And your poetic apocalypse about how we’d be legitimizing the use of nuclear weapons is touching, but not seemingly in keeping with the real world. In the real world, mostly the people we’re worried about are not even vaguely operating on any basis of appeals to fair play or “legitimacy.” What would make it “legitimate” for Iran to nuke Israel would be having the ability to do it.

    These monsters are not going to give forbearance because the US plays nice. Such things in those parts seem to mostly be interpreted as signs of weakness of spirit, and vulnerabilities to be exploited. Whereas, a small demonstration of what we are willing and able to do would likely impress them much more.

    The likely blowback to a quick but major strike on the Iranian government, military and especially nuclear facilities would be substantial – but probably not nearly as substantial as the horrors that would likely come from a nuclear Iran.

    Do you have any better idea how to control them?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    To my way of thinking, the main flaw in Mr Barger’s premise is that whilst the USA may possess all the youthful power in the world, it lacks a significant amount of mature judgement, making it entirely unsuitable for the fantasy role of the world’s policeman.

    The attacks on the Taliban government of Afghanistan and the Baathist regime in Iraq, combined with the complete failure to seriously damage, never mind destroy, Al Qaeda or to resolve the continually grumbling crises of Saudia Arabia and Israel are ample evidence of that.

    I share a general concern about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, regardless of where they might be, but trying to demonize Iran this way seems entirely counterproductive.

    Could someone please explain how exactly a nuclear Iran, surrounded by American bases or allies as it is, and completely outmatched by the vast US nuclear arsenal, would be in a position to credibly threaten anybody?

    Even if the regime there was so completely insane as to attack Israel, the response from both Israel and the USA would be justifiably massive.

    One thing I consider you to be entirely mistaken about is the reaction to any nuclear attack on a country such as Iran. I suspect what we have seen taking place since 9/11 would rapidly come to be seen as insignificant in the wake of any such extreme action.

    It’s simply not possible to “control” Iran or any other nation for that matter. It is possible to develop stronger links with the many different peoples around the world so as to diminish the likelihood of precipitate action by anybody.

    That takes a lot more commitment, humility and patience than seems to be apparent in the attitudes on display here. Of course, if the basic attitude is going to be an assumed arrogance towards others rather than a sincere wish to engage, that all becomes far more difficult.

    Al, whilst I have decided, this time, to respect your request not to censor any personal insult to your good self, it won’t become standard practice.

    Please clarify something for me though, did you seriously mean to compare US policy to the murderous madness of Charles Manson? I sincerely hope not.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Chris Rose, thank you for your forbearance regarding comments here.

    Still, I’m unimpressed with your business about how the US needs more “humility” in dealing with violent psychos who are trying to kill US. Why, if we were just more humble, Al Qaeda would just lay down their arms like good little lambs.

    Besides which, your comments don’t strike my ear as being the least bit humble. You surely SOUND awfully proud and arrogant about your superior “humility” and presumed “mature” worldly Euorpean sophistication.

    Could someone please explain how exactly a nuclear Iran, surrounded by American bases or allies as it is, and completely outmatched by the vast US nuclear arsenal, would be in a position to credibly threaten anybody?

    A half dozen different ways. For starters, the world is scared to death to confront them NOW, without nuclear weapons, even though they are clearly the #1 world sponsors of terrorism. How much more intimidated will the world be if they actually have nukes? How many ways short of absolutely a nuclear attack will they immediately start pressing their wicked malice?

    Plus, they can always count on Western appeasers to make excuses for them as they do now when they eventually slip some nuke to Hezbollah or Hamas or some newly created group to use on US or Israel. They can always count on the useful idiots to run interference for them, claiming even some utterly implausible deniability.

    Crazy is their trump card, though. I wouldn’t actually call them crazy, but simply malicious, willfully deluded, and suicidal. But the effect is the same. Mullahs with nukes would be a different kettle of fish than a nuclear USSR because pretty many of them don’t care if they bring ruin on their country or even get themselves killed. We pretty much have to legitimately fear that nuclear mullahs would consider it worth it to get themselves nuked and go on to their 72 white raisins for the privilege of finally getting to destroy Israel. They really DO have “strange love.”

    In short, these people are going to do absolutely everything that they can get away with, and then go another step beyond that as they have been doing for decades now until they are stopped dead in their tracks.

    It’s simply not possible to “control” Iran or any other nation for that matter. It is possible to develop stronger links with the many different peoples around the world so as to diminish the likelihood of precipitate action by anybody.

    That second sentence about “stronger links” is simply nonsense Euro-UN speak without relation to actual facts on the ground. All our foreign aid, diplomatic missions, UN resolutions and all have not done jack squat to protect US. The US Marines, however, are considerably more effective.

    We surely cannot control individuals or government diplomatically that don’t wish to be co-operative. But we can KILL them quite effectively, which absolutely solves the problem. Rubble doesn’t cause trouble. See Japan, 1946.

    One thing I consider you to be entirely mistaken about is the reaction to any nuclear attack on a country such as Iran. I suspect what we have seen taking place since 9/11 would rapidly come to be seen as insignificant in the wake of any such extreme action.

    What idea of human motivation are you working with there? The suicidal psychos are already coming after US. But the more that other folks see that attacking US or harboring those that do can seriously get you destroyed, the less they’ll do such things.

    Which, again, doesn’t mean that some folks wouldn’t really, really hate US. But they do already, and fear can instill common sense in even German and Japanese psychos, when sufficiently impressed with fire bombing and nuclear weapons.

    That’s the point of invoking Charlie Manson. Oh, you’re crazy and psycho? Two can play at that game. And real first circuit bio-survival TERROR can be educational to even the crazy. Again, see Japan, 1945. That Manson is wicked and evil doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a legitimate point in that regard.

    I have no DESIRE to be nuking and killing – which is more reason to support a stronger military and harsher response to ongoing provocations from our enemies NOW. It’s the basic strategy of peace through strength. The more clear that it is that we’re not tolerating a lot of violent nonsense, the less likely we are to have to absolutely prove it on a bigger scale.

    Whereas, the Rose/Euro/Neville Chamberlain approach emboldens enemies to bigger and more deadly provocations until we get hit hard enough that the US public won’t care much about niceties like civilian casualties and even President Obama would have to unload.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Al, you’ve made this entirely unsubstantiated claim, that I’m being arrogant or something, on more than one occasion and seem unable to accept my assurances that I’m not feeling that way at all. Unless you’re going to go so far as to suggest that I lack personal insight or am outright lying, maybe you’ll have to give some serious consideration to the idea that maybe you’re projecting.

    That kind of insecurity seems to be reflected in your international political view that the US is seriously at risk from a comparatively small number of obvious extremists.

    If you want me to take that idea seriously, you surely must lay out a scenario in which you see that happening, for I struggle to imagine how that might come to pass.

    To my way of thinking, the larger battle, if you want to cast it in such militaristic terms, is the battle of ideas. At the moment, the USA, despite holding most of the aces, is playing a particularly poor hand.

    Hopefully the latest military strategy being introduced in Baghdad, whereby the US military are actually going to get out of the green zone and actually live in the neighbourhoods they are policing will start to pay off for them, as it has in Basra where the Brits have done this for years quite successfully.

    Your scenarios for Iran are entirely possible in theory and I would assume most Western governments have also considered them and have suitable responses planned. That would be the rational thing to do and if I learned my government hadn’t, I’d want them replaced asap for incompetence.

    On the other hand, there are reasonable hopes that other outcomes could prevail. For a start, there is no homegenous mindset in Iran and, despite the obviously strong temptation to do so, no dictatorial or even particularly repressive measures have been introduced there. Talking about Iranians in terms like “these people” is superficial and simplistic in the extreme.

    The best way to maintain good relations with other countries is through strong economic and social ties. Your “Rubble doesn’t cause trouble” argument, though superficially attractive, really doesn’t stand serious consideration. Although, I can see why, thinking of this kind would indeed make one worry about a nuclear armed Iran in a weird tit for tat type old testament way of thinking.

    You try, hopefully in vain, to paint my argument as one of appeasement, which I don’t for one second accept.

    I do however agree completely that many countries are far better at playing the game of political brinksmanship than the USA and many other countries like Britain et cetera. Lines should indeed be drawn in the sand and the crossing of them not tolerated.

    That breeds respect on either a political or a personal level, whereas the weasel words of the majority of politicians right across the political spectrum most assuredly do not.

    I think it’s about time the Western nations learn to stand up for themselves in a meaningful way, tough and fair, warts and all, rather than twisting and turning wildly in a foolish effort to be nice to everybody.

    Sorry for rushing through this, gotta go for a bit.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    The Iranian government is playing brinksmanship. That’s not US playing cowboy. We either have to respond with the threat of force – backed up with the willingness to actually use it, or accept Iran as a nuclear power. The former seems a lot less dangerous to me than the latter.

    By “these people” I did not mean every Iranian, but the governmental regime. I might HOPE that making as nice as possible with the people while increasingly squeezing the mullahs militarily would break in the direction of giving the impetus to internal dissidents to oust the bastards and bring in more reasonable people.

    But that’s obviously not happening NOW, and we need sticks to either improve that motivation, or ultimately to take out the regime directly if that’s not working.

    Or we can just dick around like we’ve been doing, and wait till we’ve got something far more dangerous to deal with, which seems to be the near certain outcome of the current path.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    it appears to come down to Al being willing to nuke the shit out of anybody deemed a “target”, and fuck any innocents caught in the blastwave

    that’s one position, but let’s take a peek and some of the ramifications, from Al himself…

    “No, I’m certainly not favoring a draft. That’s no good. That’s one good natural democratic limit on our aggression: We have to find young people willing to do the fighting.”

    so..do you mean hiring more mercs from KBR/Sandline/DynCorp etc?

    or do you think the current policy of outsourcing/offshoring jobs at the entry/mid levels will help to drive more young people into the military as a stable career, and thus fill the ranks for more failed military adventurism?

    part of my problem with your thesis, brother Al, is that you advocate stepping up general policies which have NOT FUCKING WORKED so far, in ANY way, shape or form…no bin Laden, al Qaeda/Taliban on the rise, and the mess in Iraq

    al tend to show that those running the Show right now have at best no fucking clue…or are criminally incompetent

    you talk about tactical nukes and the like, as if they were an actual option…lemme take a second and try to explain why the military, much less the State department, disagree

    basicly, if you DO use them, then the Chinese, Russians, Indians and Pakistanis all get a green light to use such “limited” weapons when they see fit…buh-bye Chechnyans, Tibetans and some others who are a bit troublesome… not to mention all the fun on the India/Pakistan border

    now,l you know, i am all for fucking up the Taliban/alQaeda … it’s always been my position that everything went to hell the moment it was decided to outsource going into Tora Bora, that error compounded dramatically by pulling all resources into Iraq on a political, rather than military timetable..

    and there’s the nut of it, politics, NOT military strategy or diplomacy…add to it the Consultants and Contractors …all of whom are mercenaries who whispered into Rumsfeld’s ear and he bought it all…lock stock and ak-47…they make more money by NOT solving the problem..a low intensity, eternal conflict is good for their bottom line, but NOT for the people who actually have to live in the world…

    “The Iranian government is playing brinksmanship. That’s not US playing cowboy.”

    who is playing what?

    or had you so soon forgotten the “axis of Evil” bit…which cost a progressive Iraq politician the presidency, and put this shithead in the job…or even the fact that this bit of bullshit political rhetoric fired up uncle Kim and all that brouhaha

    poor thinking to try and blame others for “brinkmanship” when it wasn’t they who started it at all…now that poor bit of international diplomacy places U.S. into having to deal with much of the current mess

    the whole “carrot and stick” bit doesn’t work if the mule doesn’t know the options …

    a bit of Wisdom from down the Jersey Shore

    “you can lead a horse to water, but it takes strength and determination to drown the fucker”

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Oh Jaz, it’s so cute how you make up stuff and present it as mine. it appears to come down to Al being willing to nuke the shit out of anybody deemed a “target”, and fuck any innocents caught in the blastwave

    The weasel part is that “anybody deemed a ‘target'” isn’t it? As if I’m just casually saying, hey, look at me the wrong way and we’ll nuke ya.

    As to having sex with any innocents, that’s pretty weasel-y of ya too. I’m against the killing of innocents. But sometimes that’s unavoidable. If SOMEBODY’s innocents are going to get killed, better theirs than ours.

    Also, I’m becoming more and more skeptical of “innocent civilians” a good part of the time. If you’ve got a Pakistani village infested with Al Qaeda, then the locals know it. They know they’re there. They’re feeding them and helping them. At the very least, they’re turning a blind eye to them.

    If they’re so innocent and not wanting killed, then they need to run these sunsabitches off, or help US do it.

    If you want to accuse US of brinksmanship, fine. I’ll own that. I know I’m being a dick, within the Team America usage of the term. That’s by intention. Better a dick that people fear than a pussy that’ll lay down and let them kill away.

    you advocate stepping up general policies which have NOT FUCKING WORKED so far, in ANY way, shape or form…no bin Laden, al Qaeda/Taliban on the rise, and the mess in Iraq

    I suppose that some of that is subjective interpretation, but mostly you’re wrong there. To a substantial extent, current policies ARE working. Again, no major attacks on our shores since 9/11. That’s definitely a shape of working.

    Also, I don’t see Al Qaeda on the rise. They’re not entirely squished, but we have thinned the ranks considerably, and they’re more playing defense than offense.

    Iraq has been successful overall, though we kind of got ourselves into a trick bag – mostly by being NICE. We took out the Hussein regime quickly and relatively cheaply. We’ve gotten bogged down, soldiers getting killed, the military stretched thin, and stuck in the middle of sectarian crap by trying to rebuild the place.

    In retrospect, we should have hit a little harder at the front end to better thin out the bad guys – particularly meaning that we should have greased Al Sadr and as many of his people as we could identify, then declared victory and came home.

    The occupation is what’s taken 90% of the casualties and resources. Being more discriminating in the destruction takes more resources and manpower and danger to our troops. Going door to door looking for the bad guys is more dangerous and expensive than taking out the neighborhood.

    But if we don’t crack more heads a little more ruthlessly now in a more nearly controlled manner to get a handle on this stuff, taking out neighborhoods and whole towns is what we’re likely going to end up doing in the heat of passion after the next 9/11.

    But in the meantime, we get to feel good about our superior sensitivity to the supposed innocent civilians.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “That kind of insecurity seems to be reflected in your international political view that the US is seriously at risk from a comparitively [sic] small number of obvious extremists.”

    *Cough* 9/11 *Cough*

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “please let me apologise in advance for having full time work, a personal life and a few other online activities that keep me a little busy.”

    Hmmm. Since our current “comments editor” is so very busy, perhaps the duties of the job should be split amongst a few others as well?

  • zingzing

    “Also, I’m becoming more and more skeptical of “innocent civilians” a good part of the time. If you’ve got a Pakistani village infested with Al Qaeda, then the locals know it. They know they’re there. They’re feeding them and helping them. At the very least, they’re turning a blind eye to them.”

    no, at the very least, they’ve got an al qaeda gun pointed at their head. remember that part? the evil thing? yeah.

    as for your “iraq is working” postulate… eh… hmm… i’m not sure that our army being in iraq keeps 95% of the world’s terrorists from coming over here. if there hasn’t been an attack since 9/11, then we haven’t done much of anything to prevent another one… we’re just making one more likely.

    and as for your “it’s the occupation/rebuilding that’s so difficult” thingie… well, yeah. that’s what we’ve been doing for the last couple of years. if we could have gone in there, plucked saddam and the baathists out, then floated back up to our spaceships, rushed over to the hague or somewhere, dropped em off and gone home, i’m sure we would have done that. but when you remove a country’s government and destroy its infrastructure… you can’t leave without chaos ensuing.

    iraq is not working. it’s a disaster that keeps our defenses half a world away.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    not trying anything even vaguely “weasel” like Al..but thanks for the insult..if i have erroneously interpreted your point of view i can only say i had naught but your words to go on

    but you do nothing to dissuade me from that being your approach to realpolitik…this latest comment says more about your willingness to step into inhumanity…and i wonder, what can cause someone to decide it’s ok to blow up civilians…and what makes someone with that attitude any different, or better than the psycho fuckers who blew up the trade towers?

    you keep preaching you want U.S. to be feared

    2 problems with that

    1 – “never scare a small man, he’ll kill you” – R.A.H.
    it’s exactly the scare tossed into Iran and N Korea from the brinkmanship of the “axis of evil” bit…stupid for that reason, and even worse..if it WAS true…then more than fucking stupid to advertise it before being ready to deal with the problem

    2 – who decides, and why?
    this entire fiasco, post Tora Bora has been a prime example of either criminal negligence, or deliberate deceit…everything from the original bits of bullshit that were and have since been discredited, to the continual fuck ups in both Iraq and Afghanistan….the Keystone Cops ran a better operation

    so you expect anybody to trust and follow these pigfuckers into more war, when they haven’t finished what they started yet?

    ok..could go on, but why bother?

    nothing can be accomplished, and you have no real desire to figure things out, just justify your decisions

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    North Korea had been illegally working on nukes, and Iran had been supporting and financing international terrorism, long before the “axis of evil” speech…a speech which now seems almost prescient!

    But, hey, it’s all Bush’s (and America’) fault, right?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    RJ, when you stop typing like a mongoloid with a lobotomy syndrome, you will get to sit at the big people’s table

    please to cite ANYfucking TIME i’ve “blamed America”?

    you can’t do it, so spare me the bullshit, eh?

    you can try to cite a time when i have been factually incorrect…there are a few, and each time it was pointed out, i immediately agreed and apologized

    now ..before “axis of evil” there were cameras and inspectors 24/7 at every facility..THAT is a real fact, deal with it

    take a look at the president and government of Iran BEFORE “axis of evil” and now…everyone, including the State department under Bush thought it was a progressive movement, with a lot of hope…trying to detach itself from the mullah’s and making progress

    after the speech,the populist psycho, mullah approved, wins in a squeeker..largely due to anti-american rhetoric

    go and look both up, and correct yourself, junior..you do so well sometimes, but are blissfully ignorant at other times…the problem is, you don’t know the difference between the two…it seems

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “jaz” – If you honestly believe that Iran is a “progressive” democracy, the person with the extra chromosome isn’t me…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “now ..before “axis of evil” there were cameras and inspectors 24/7 at every facility..”

    In North Korea? Really?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    The problem with liberals in this country is twofold: they too easily believe that their own country/government is the real problem in the world due to endless MSM propaganda, and they too easily believe in the “pacifistic” tendencies of anti-American dictatorships who want to kill us all…

    I encourage all of them to “vacation” in Tehran or Havana for a few months…and then come back with an “objective” report…

  • Michael Koplin

    There is interesting discussion here. However, I must say that some of you should travel to nations like Pakistan and see the realities.

    I traveled to Pakistan in December on a business trip and the perception that media paints was totally different from my personal experience in Pakistan.

    There are certainly more open minded, pro-western people in Pakistan. The country is in a period of change/reform/transition towards democracy.

    The people to blame for the Taliban problem is not the Musharraf regime, but the former democratically elected but corrupt leaders such as Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, and Qazi Hussain Ahmed who pervertly used democracy and run democracy. The religious/opposition party, MMA is anti-Musharraf.

    Dictatorship is definately not a wise decision, but Malaysia and Singapore have been under long term dictatorships but we seemed to be quiet then.

    Unlike the founding fathers of the United States, Pakistan has only had one founding father and he past away within two years of it’s creation.

    The reality is that once we catch Bin Ladin, we will leave Pakistan and forget about Pakistan until there is another war.

    We are in complex times where we won’t know the outcomes of our strategies until 20 years down the road.

    We must make decisions based on information, culture of society, tradition and education, not decisions to achieve revenge on emotion. Attacking Taliban right now will help us win the short term battle, but it will hurt us in the long term War.

  • zingzing

    rj: “”jaz” – If you honestly believe that Iran is a “progressive” democracy, the person with the extra chromosome isn’t me…”

    he said “was.”

    “”now ..before “axis of evil” there were cameras and inspectors 24/7 at every facility..”

    In North Korea? Really?”

    he was referring to iran.

    “The problem with liberals in this country is twofold: they too easily believe that their own country/government is the real problem in the world due to endless MSM propaganda, and they too easily believe in the “pacifistic” tendencies of anti-American dictatorships who want to kill us all…”

    while you to readily believe that everyone wants to kill us all. before bush’s speech, things were easier in the world. after, they have become more difficult on a diplomatic level. we are being forced towards a nasty, nasty war. do you want this war? are you going to go fight it? it is the less than diplomatic insanity of the leaders of n korea, iran AND the united states that is putting us in this position. blame america? sure, they’re part of it. blame america first? nah, just at the same time.

    “I encourage all of them to “vacation” in Tehran or Havana for a few months…and then come back with an “objective” report…”

    hey, you too. see you when you get back. wait, havana? sounds nice. good music scene. how do you say “i am canadian” in spanish? yo soy… hmm.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    #65 – read what i wrote again,, RJ…try not moving your lips while doing it…a “more progressive” is better than a foaming at the mouth mullah fueled psycho, which we have…was the previous presidency some kind of sterling Republic…hell no…was it better than what came after?…yep, by anyone’s standards…the point is, the axis of evil bullshit, besides being a strategic blunder…also made things worse in that country vis a vis their relationship with U.S.

    #66 yep..look it the fuck up, you can even view some of the security footage…part of the UN records (as well as the international atomic energy commission record, with their inspections)

    #67 – “I encourage all of them to “vacation” in Tehran or Havana for a few months…and then come back with an “objective” report…” – been to both , your point? my personal info is out of date, but i do have personal contact with some who have been to both in the last 3 years…how about you?

    you still ain’t earner the right to sit at the big table yet, RJ…you might want to give up trying to be another dittohead, and think for yourself…i know you can, i’ve read you doing it

    but most of this shit is just that, spewed by rote from your AM indoctrination

    for RJ.

  • zingzing

    ugh–disturbed?

    icky, man, icky.

    whatever their politics, and i didn’t watch it, ugh.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    nothing about politics, zing…

    “liberate your mind”

    but lemme see what i got for ya….

    how’s this?

  • zingzing

    oh. good. god.

    no.

    hrm.

    my taste in metal tends toward the experimental end.

    christ, it started playing. you must be kidding.

    gimme some napalm death, naked city, mr bungle, jesu, godflesh, um… what’s that john zorn/material group? hrm… buried secrets was one of their albums… there’s so much good metal… you don’t have to do that…

    i like it ridiculously harsh and fast, or really slow and pretty. or just harsh.

    gimme big black any day. i’m sure they have no videos.


    oh well, here’s one–chris!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Jaz, we seem to be hitting a point of diminishing returns here, but I want to re-iterate a point that I’ve made elsewhere. You go on with the hand wringing about killing civilians, and how can we even consider such a thing. Think of all the poor folks we’ll kill if we move against Iran. That’s a valid consideration.

    But how many MORE civilians will get massacred there and elsewhere if we do nothing and let the mullahs get nukes? Do we deal with that threat NOW and take on ourselves some amount of inevitable civilian casualties – or accept the seemingly very high likelihood of hundreds of thousands and more getting killed in strikes and retaliation, or even just through emboldened mullahs short of actually using the nukes?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    Al asks – “But how many MORE civilians will get massacred there and elsewhere if we do nothing and let the mullahs get nukes? ”

    the answer is “we don’t know”…anything else is a lie…and the justification you are trying to use is the same failed “reasoning” that got us fucked up in Iraq and is failing in Afghanistan

    i understand your concerns, and share some of them

    but here’s the thing…in the realm of military strategy, you MUST finish what you start before engaging in another front in any conflict…this is a universal axiom…but this Administration doesn’t appear to understand that…so Afghanistan/Pakistan is a problem that should have been resolved before Iraq, and both of these need to be resolved before there is any military leverage for dealing with Iran diplomatically

    as for “mullahs with nukes” – i don’t like the idea either, but nuking them first is NO answer due to ramifications in the long term realpolitik, some of which i spoke about earlier in the thread

    how about worrying about the mullahs that ALREADY have nukes first…you know, like Pakistan?

    MUCH more dangerous right now than something that may or may not happen years down the road (with as few centerfuges as Iran has online right now, it would be years before enough fissionable material could be produced to even begin live testing, much less a finished device in production)

    as for your doomsday concerns…again, sounds like the bullshit before Iraq, and the facts available do not demonstrate the urgency you suggest

    definition of a neocon a republican that thinks the Matrix is real

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    oh yeah..and for zing…

    “we’re taking over this town”.

  • zingzing

    bit of a test. not sure how to do all this.

    for jaz, not a suggestion

  • zingzing

    damn it! what the hell… am i doing something wrong? trying to insert a link. having no joy. it doesn’t tell me there is a banned word… it just refreshes and nothing has happened.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    zing, you are not alone…i’m missing a long comment to Al…

    never fear Chris Rose is very good at fixing these kind of things…

    something completely different.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    You’re doing it perfectly zinger (bet you haven’t heard those words from a woman! ;-p ), it’s just the anti-spam software chose that moment to have a brainfart!

  • zingzing

    ha, little do you know chris. actually, that’s true, i have never heard those words. then again, she really didn’t have to put into words what wordless vocalizations convey more perfectly.

    ok, i’ll try again…

    don’t let this thing show up three times, chris, or, “perfect! perfect! perfect!”

    for jaz, nasty stuff

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    zing – yer links are fucked…you have to take them from the right hand box that says “url” and NOT from your browser’s top bar…because of the “related search” parameters in the URL

    just trying ta help….

    the Tao of D’oh.

  • moonraven

    This, as usual, is just silly.

    You folks haven’t been anywhere near Iran–nor anywhere else in the Middle East.

    It’s your ignorance and the ignorance of the rest of the folks in the US that your government depends on to do whatever the fuck it pleases–geopolitically speaking.

    Get on a plane to Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad and spend a few months there. Then tell us what you actually SAW–not what ole Georgie Porgie Bush told you that he read in a comic book….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    moonraven, check comment #70..i have indeed been to the ME on a few occasions, but years ago

    “You folks”…is a sweeping generalization that is thus shown to be inaccurate

  • zingzing

    and she also seems to assume that everyone agrees with al. but of course, we are talking about metal. not the middle east. boring old middle east. i want some brutality! gimme black metal.

  • moonraven

    I don’t assume anything.

    I said this thread was silly. And it is.

  • moonraven

    jaz: Years ago cuts no ice with me.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    moonraven says – “You folks haven’t been anywhere near Iran–nor anywhere else in the Middle East.”

    which i prove is inaccurate

    then the goalposts get switched, no time constrain was initially mentioned…

    oh yes, moonraven..i could give an aerial fornication bisecting a rotating pastry about what does or does not cut ice with the likes of you

    have a nice day

  • zingzing

    moonie–point. al barger’s politics usually are.

  • moonraven

    The point, jaz, is whether or not you KNOW a country or a region. If you visted the Middle East years ago, you do NOT know it.

    We live in a fast-moving world.

    But then, I forgot: you don’t give a fuck.

    Just one of the reasons why this thread–and YOU–are both silly.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    again, i don’t give a fuck about your opinion…different beast than just not caring

    now, go up and read what i typed in #70 again..i do mention sources that are personally known to me, who are still in that part of the world and from whom i get info on a regular basis

    you keep making assumptions with no basis in either factor reality, which is the sole reason that your opinions/writing are completely meaningless

    reading comprehension for the win, you might also want to take off whatever colored glasses you wear that color your perceptions when it comes to things and people you know nothing about

    you might get taken a bit more seriously with just those few adjustments…

    your welcome

  • moonraven

    I also don’t give a fuck about YOUR opinion.

    Happy now?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    you are immaterial to my emotional state, but thanks for the nice thought…

    have you gotten over being proven wrong so blatantly yet?

  • moonraven

    I am never wrong.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    now you prove yourself a liar as well…

    you said – “”You folks haven’t been anywhere near Iran–nor anywhere else in the Middle East.””

    i showed you where i had earlier stated i had indeed been to many nations in the region, and still have personal contacts there

    that means you were wrong, Q.E.D.

    stating you are “never wrong” after definitive proof to the contrary indicates you are either delusional, or an outright liar

    my thoughts on which is accurate.

  • moonraven

    Compared to you, I am omniscient. That is all that matters.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    ah..so it’s both a liar and delusional…hopefully you will eventually get some treatment for that

  • moonraven

    And I repeat: This thread–and YOU–are both just silly.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jaz,

    Not looking for any arguments here, just asking a polite question. Where did you happen to be in the Middle East and approximately when?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    a few places many years ago, unfortunately it’s not something i can speak freely about

    not trying to be evasive, but that’s the only answer available

  • moonraven

    Probably he was in a stroller. No wonder he remembers nothing.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    incorrect once again, moonraven

    i was old enough to vote, drive and drink legally, and i have more than merely memory to go by

  • moonraven

    I haven’t seen anythiung from you.

    You are just making it up.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    the delusional believe as they like, and nothing can alter their twisted Perception…

    i’m quite content to allow my own veracity to be determined by Readers based upon the consistent quality of Content i’ve provided, and is a matter of Record, here on BC

    i’ve ALWAYS said never believe any single Source..look shit up, and make up your own mind

    as to the matter at hand… the Conversation was between Al and myself…of course you are more than welcome to chime in…everybody is.. but the Context was as i’ve described (with a side bar twixt zing and myself)

    the Question was something Ruvy asked of me, and i Answered as best as i am going to

    therefore….convincing you is not anything worthy of consideration in the matter… Ruvy and i have quite a history of Conversation, and i am content that he will understand what i’ve said in Response

    enjoy your evening

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Marthe,

    Jaz and I have been discussing (and mostly disagreeing on) various issues on this site over a year now. But he is honest, a gentleman and a scholar.

    Nuf said…

  • moonraven

    bullshit–100% pure.

  • moonraven

    Ruvy,

    This is a virtual site. No one is anything. Don’t be silly.

  • moonraven

    The bullshit referenced belongs to jaz.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Looking as comment #74, I do have a few thoughts to share here. I’ve never been to Jordan, and the one time I was in the Sinai, it was under our rule, not that of the Egyptians. I never visited Pakistan, and doubt that I’d be admitted entry, given that my passport has that six letter curse word to the Moslems who run Pakistan – “ISRAEL”. And I do live here in Israel and have no intention of moving. Period.

    A number of years ago anthropologist Dr. Shalva Weil of the Hebrew University visited a Yusufzai tribe of Pakhtun living near the “Line of Control” that separates India and Pakistan. The result of her visit was an article for Jerusalem Report called “Our Brothers, the Taliban” (sorry, couldn’t get a link).

    The Pakhtun (most of the Taliban are Pakhtun) ALL claim to be descendants of the ten tribes of Israel. And they are damned proud of it. So far as they are concerned, we Jews are the scum from the wrong side of the tracks. The Pakhtun tribe of Afridi, for example (the ones who control the Khyber Pass), claim descent from the Tribe of Ephraim.

    Any MizraHi Jew could tell you that the Pakhtun are descendants of the tribes of Israel “lost” to the Assyrians about 2,800 years ago when the ancient “Kingdom of Israel” was conquered. Any MizraHi Jew could tell you that the “Jews” of Bukhara, are not really Jews at all but Israelites from the tribe of Reuven (that thought comforts me – the tribe of Reuven lived and did not die) who kept their links to Hebrew and to the Torah. The Pakhtun did not, but continue many of the customs of the Israelite religion, such as lighting candles on Friday night, and wearing sidelocks (I never thought that this was an Israelite custom, but it is).

    It is only the Ashkenazi Jews who have been too stupid to recognize who their relatives are. Unfortunately, this country is under the control of secular Ashkenazi Jewish elites, who are not only ignorant of much that the MizeraHim know, but who do not give a damn about being Jews at all. So far as they are concerned, they want to be Europeans of Israeli extraction. For them, G-d is just an abstraction to be forgotten, the faster the better.

    So what is the bottom line here? The Taliban and most other Pakhtun are not exactly my bosom buds. Most of the Pakhtun are proud to be Children of Israel. It allows them to look down on fellow Moslems because they can claim descent from the Prophet Yakub. But that is as far as it goes, so far as they are concerned – right now.

    But these are still brothers of mine, fellow descendants of the Patriarch Jacob. And things CAN change.

    Just an observation: While I do not like the Taliban at all, I do not want to see them murdered off – on spec. They are, after all, my brothers, fellow children of Israel, and they weren’t ALWAYS Taliban. The Taliban is a relatively new bunch out of Deoband, India. And their influence can be countered.

    And the Pakhtun can learn the truth about their brothers, the Jews. If they have been smart enough to survive this long, they are smart enough to shed the bullshit the MSM tosses around about us, and distinguish the truth from its lies…

    Hope infuses the soul with steel and allows it to thrive and survive in the worst circumstances, and things are getting bad here.

  • MAOZ

    Ruvy #109 — The Pakhtun are Muslims, yes?

    Muslims claim that it was Ishmael rather than Yitzhak who underwent the Akeida, yes? (That’s the basis of Eid-ul-Adha, if I’m not mistaken.)

    You believe they’re telling the truth about that? (I.e., tantamount to saying that the Torah is a lie.)

    If you ask me, I say that [assuming my understanding of their account of this event is correct] the Muslim account is not to be believed.

    And with that in mind, I say to myself: “The [Muslim] Pakhtun claim to be Children of Israel. Is that claim any more reliable than the Muslims’ claim vis-a-vis the Akeida?”

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    MAOZ,

    Let’s be crystal clear here. Moslems view their religion as the original one, the default of Adam. They recognize Ya’acov as a prophet, as they recognize Moshe, Yosef and David. But the Pakhtun claim descent from Ya’akov, not Ishmael.

    The Pakhtun have been claiming descent from Israel for over a thousand years, and have never hurt Jewish merchants from Kabul who travelled in their lands over the centuries. These things have been cited for several centuries of writings, both in Persia and from Jewish sources. Until recently, the Pakhtun relationship to Islam was a thin one, at best. For the most part they called themselves Moslems and let it go with that. The Taliban changed all that.

    The story with the Pakhtun is that they converted to Islam from the Israelite religion, but as descendants of a prophet, they look down on other Moslems… And they do have long noses…

    The point is that they were Israelites long before they were Moslems and the names of their tribes (Rabani, Yusufzai, Afridi), along with the terms they use to describe the tribal and subtribal divisions – “Hel” and kahal (Hel is spelled with a Het and likely related to the Hebrew Hayíl, “kahal” should be obvious) gives evidence of this. Further research into Pakhto (a Farsi derived language) will be necessary to substantiate the links.

    Check out the works of Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi, a Pakhtun from India studying here in Israel who has spoken twice at the Israel Center. Google the guy up on the internet.

    I’m inclined to believe Dr. Aafreedi, a fellow Israelite seeking to cement ties between his people and ours, along with fellow Jews who are MizraHim, as well as Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Bohrer and Dr. Shalva Weil, authorities in this field.

  • sridhar

    The broken windows theory has come for a bit of stick by crimnologists who believe that the achievements of Guliani in eradicating crime in New York was highly hyped up. The complex interplay of sociological factors were responsible for the rise in crime in New York. Moreover, some experts hold the view that crime was already on the decline at the time Guliani took over as Mayor.

    But Al more to the point: may not be a bad idea to apply Broken windows to American foreign policy.It may significantly reduce terrorism in the world.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Noted military historian “jaz” writes:

    but here’s the thing…in the realm of military strategy, you MUST finish what you start before engaging in another front in any conflict

    Right. Just like the US during WWII first took out the Japanese before going after the Germans?

  • MCH

    “Noted military historian “jaz” writes:”
    – RJ Elliott

    At least jaz has actually served in the military, thereby understanding that words without action are meaningless.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    oh yes, and for RJ…look how well fighting on 2 fronts worked for Germany

    it IS possible to be done, but NOT on the cheap with so few troops in each theater

    but, you knew that

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “jaz” wrote:

    in the realm of military strategy, you MUST finish what you start before engaging in another front in any conflict [emphasis mine]

    So…I pointed out a conflict in which that wasn’t the case, thereby destroying “jaz’s” argument. “Jaz” then cites an example of where his little theory did hold, and then moves the goalposts by saying:

    it IS possible to be done, but NOT on the cheap with so few troops in each theater

    And you wonder why liberals aren’t trusted on national security issues…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    ah RJ…in actuality i was attempting to demonstrate why the axiom is one to strive for when speaking about military strategy…even the example you use is fraught with times when all concerned would rather have only had a single front to deal with

    sorry if you thought i was trying to move anything, in actuality all i was attempting was to demonstrate my point…and in the case of th eUS in WW2, there were factors outside of operational control concerning where and when to enter each Theater of Operations, weren’t there?

    you carefully neglect that fact in your analogy, because otherwise it would not hold up when it was pointed out that the ENTIRE timing for all things Iraq were NOT forced, but OPTIONAL and completely at the whims of those in Operational command

    in WW2, on one flank were were attacked, on the other helping Allies fend of an expansionist

    Iraq neither attacked us, nor were expanding anywhere…they had been contained pretty damned successfully (yeah i know, there were incidents…but ten years of cost and death which doesn’t touch the toll in blood and treasure spewed out in the last few years, does it?)

    if you understand these things so well..do please explain the reasoning behind the date and time chosen for the Iraq invasion besides the political?

    what indicators do you know of that the rest of us don’t concerning the level of mission goal accomplishment in Afghanistan was achieved before resources were curtailed?

    i’m seriously interested, because i cannot find the answers to either of those, and they form the root of my thesis that it was fucking piss poor judgement to stop in Afghanistan with the job not even half finished and bin Laden still romping about (you remember him, the guy who planned the operation that hit on 9/11?…he’s kind of famous..) to shift to sending in too few troops in Iraq with insufficient equipment and preparation…

    enlighten us, RJ…we seek your Wisdom

    no wonder the definition of a neocon is a “republican that believes the Matrix is real”…

  • MCH

    “And you wonder why liberals aren’t trusted on national security issues…”

    Actually I “wonder” more about war-wimps who’re content to send someone else to fight their battles for them.

  • Clavos

    no wonder the definition of a neocon is a “republican that believes the Matrix is real”…

    What’s “the Matrix?”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    ummm…the movies with Keanu Reeves

    you gotta get out more, Clavos…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    in WW2, on one flank were were attacked, on the other helping Allies fend of an expansionist

    So, Saddam wasn’t an “expansionist” when he invaded Iran or Kuwait?

    But yes, you’re correct in saying he didn’t invade the US directly. Then again, neither did Germany in WWII…

    Of course, Hitler was a bad man and needed to be stopped. But Saddam was a bad man when he tried to assassinate former President Bush, no?

    And, yes, Hitler was attacking our allies during WWII, so we had to respond, right? But didn’t Saddam attack Israel, a US ally, by funding suicide bombers?

  • MCH

    “And, yes, Hitler was attacking our allies during WWII, so we had to respond, right? But didn’t Saddam attack Israel, a US ally, by funding suicide bombers?”

    And so your “response” is writing a bunch of phony empty rhetoric on a blogroll?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    RJ…again your are attempting to conflate two completely different things, but that’s ok..whatever works for you

    you might notice that we invaded Iraq, what…10 years after he did Kuwait..oh wait a second, we invaded him right then too…

    i should know better, there’s just no reasoning with some folks

    i’ll just leave it at the simple fact that there is a clearly documented Record here on BC form both you and i about Iraq

    i’ve been right, you’ve been incorrect on almost all counts

    sell your partisan neocon dittohead schtick somewhere else

    nobody is buying it any more

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Awww…you’re not responding to the actual arguments in my comment, but instead calling me a “neocon” (a slur if there ever was one) and leaving it at that.

    Color me unsurprised…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    RJ..i usually do respond, and civilly…when you actually do have arguments in the comments on something i’m reading

    scroll up and read it again…

    i’d even give you a pass on the neocon bit, if you could show me where you have deviated from their Agenda in your own rants around here…

    it’s not usually your positions that i find distasteful…there are times i even agree with some of what you say

    but your own bomb throwing tactics ( can you say giant thalidimide baby, and all kinds of broad brush slurs against every democrat/”liberal” any chance you get…just to dig?…shouldn’t bug me…not being one, but still…geeez d00d)

    so…how’s this, unless you have somehow changed your mind/position on everything concerning Iraq…how about we let our records speak for themselves?

    now…as for your liking to be colored…whatever floats your boat, i guess

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Fun facts from Iraq:

    MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today.

    The survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis found the majority optimistic despite their suffering in sectarian violence since the American-led invasion four years ago this week.

    One in four Iraqis has had a family member murdered, says the poll by Opinion Research Business. In Baghdad, the capital, one in four has had a relative kidnapped and one in three said members of their family had fled abroad. But when asked whether they preferred life under Saddam, the dictator who was executed last December, or under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, most replied that things were better for them today.

    Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month.

    By a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias. More than half say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces.

    Looks like those wild and crazy Iraqis, who are actually on the ground and dealing with the situation every day, are more positive about their country than Democrats are about theirs!

    But, hey, I’m just a “neocon” who doesn’t know nothin’…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “i’d even give you a pass on the neocon bit, if you could show me where you have deviated from their Agenda in your own rants around here…”

    Try reading this

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    never said you didn’t know anything, just that you have been consistently wrong when it comes to Iraq…

    but what the hell, i’m willing to listen…all i Ask is that you answer one simple Question on the matter first…

    why invade in March of 2003 before finishing in Afghanistan, catching bin Laden and rebuilding Afghanistan into the “shining beacon of democracy” that was talked about?

    for all of me, i can’t find any decent reason for the timing…i also have misgivings about the need to do so, but set that aside for a moment….why then? you invade in the spring due to the weather, but that window occurs twice a year, especially for such a short operation as the invasion

    we know all the things the Administration has said, most of which have since turned out to be incorrect…but the thing is the urgency….why then?

    now, as to the “civil war” ….you are aware that the Pentagon this week stated that it was indeed a civil war in Iraq right now?

    you put up a poll of 5000 in a country with millions in population…there is NO source info on the page you link to…nor methodology for the poll

    so, did somebody just stand in Kurdistan, handing out hundred dollar bills and asking them to sign the poll? was it Gallup and company with a perfectly plotted data gathering formula?

    your source leaves much to be desired, and flies in the face of the last few months news ….but hey…it IS possible, i’m just saying the source you cite provides NO data to justify their claims

    you still bummed out about November, ain’t ya…it’s ok, the pendulum swings every few years

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    see…now that was one of the best things i’ve read from you…and since you can at least partially address stuff, with only minor partisan rantings…i’ll stand corrected

    you ain’t a hard core neocon, you just got fooled by them..i was incorrect…mea culpa

    all i have ever asked is that folks should learn the hard and horrible lessons from this fiasco, not to let partisan blinders lead to unquestioning acceptance, especially in weighty matters such as War

    fair enough for ya?

    you really want to score points…i’ll pass out the day i see you admit when someone you politically oppose it right…but i will say, this has been pretty close

    my issue has always been when Ideology and partisanship is placed ahead of facts and reason… i don’t give a fuck WHO does it, it just damages and distracts but never solves problems

    and it should be all about solving problems, eh?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “why invade in March of 2003 before finishing in Afghanistan, catching bin Laden and rebuilding Afghanistan into the “shining beacon of democracy” that was talked about?”

    I can’t explain the timing of the invasion of Iraq. But “finishing” in Afghanistan was not exactly going to come anytime soon, regardless of the number of troops we sent there. Hell, we haven’t even “finished” in the former Yugoslavia yet, and that “mission” was on BJ Clinton’s watch!

    As for bin Laden, he is just one man. Bush fucked up (bad) by rhetorically making this whole “war on terror” about bin Laden immediately after 9/11.

    But if bin Laden died tomorrow, of natural causes, or in a firefight, what exactly (tangibly) would change? Well, it would be a propaganda coup for the US and its allies, but other than that, NOTHING!

    The ideological “mission” of bin Laden would live longer than he did, and he would become a “martyr” to those who wish us ill. Killing bin Laden is in no way a “decisive victory” for the US.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “fair enough for ya?”

    You’ve been quite fair in that analysis, yes. It is a permanent scar on my psyche that I supported this war so vehemently, yet the results have been so … ambiguous at best.

    However, I do not believe retreating now is the correct course to take. Apparently, neither do the Iraqis themselves…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “you really want to score points…i’ll pass out the day i see you admit when someone you politically oppose it right”

    Dennis Kucinich was right… ;-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    well..i had just typed up a very nice bit as part of this reasonable discussion

    and i got the fucking “banned word” bit again…check and tried 5 different things…nothing

    so, thanks for the Thoughts…RJ, but fuck this shit, i’m not gonna go line by line to try and figure out what’s tripping the filter after wasting this much time trying to decipher it

    enjoy yer day

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Jaz: Every time the banned word message appears, there is a numeric code in it. All you have to do is tell me that number and I can tell you what the problem is…

  • S.T.M

    Gentlemen … if I can add one thing to this discussion about Afghanistan and Iraq. Engaging in any counter-insurgency campaign of this kind is fraught, and successful outcomes (depends on your view, I guess) can realistically take decades. Most Iraqis absolutely hated Saddam and the Baathists and are not ungrateful for his removal so I hope the US has the will to at least remain for a time in the hope of helping to turn Iraq into the kind of place that 90 per cent of the locals want it to be.

    I can tell you with certainty that the reason the US is increasing troop numbers in Iraq is not so that it can deliver one all out, final body blow to the insurgency.

    It is so that the coalition can move from shoot ‘em up strategies to what is being described as “armed social work”. Or that hoary old chestnut: hearts and minds. To do that means increasing the number of troops substantially. It also means that many of the soldiers who are now coming in may well not be involved in a shooting war of the type that is exploding across our TV screens every night. It will be more about making sure that Iraq’s new infrastructure – schools, power, water, sewerage, hospitals, jobs, public transport, police, and the new military – is secure in the wake of counter-insurgency operations and can function properly as the basis of the new society. Afghanistan is much the same – we just hear less about it. Let’s all hope – for the sake of the Iraqi people in particular – we haven’t left it too late.

  • S.T.M

    Clav: “What’s “the Matrix?”

    Lol. I am making you an honourary Aussie.

  • troll

    RJ says – *I do not believe retreating now is the correct course to take. Apparently, neither do the Iraqis themselves…*

    from the article/poll that he quotes – *More than half [of those polled] say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces.*

  • troll

    Stan – let’s hope your 90% figure is off base as it leaves a huge number of ‘insurgers’ – even if 5 million Iraqis had been killed or driven out of their country since ’03 10% would be around 2 million…

  • troll

    Stan – judging by the numbers required in the Balkans it would take several hundred thousand troops to do successful ‘armed social work’ in Iraq (ie – secure the population)

    where should these boots come from – ?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    Christopher…i am aware of how the function normally operates…there was NO number code,and the error wouldn’t clear until i left the site, and came back…

    thanks anyway

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Bloody irritating, innit?

  • MCH

    “But, hey, I’m just a “neocon” who doesn’t know nothin’…”

    Actually the major difference in any debate on the military between Jaz and RJ being the fact that the former has actually served.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Actually the major difference in any debate on the military between Jaz and RJ being the fact that the former has actually served.”

    The high school sports writer for the Helena Independent Record apparently doesn’t understand that an Ad Hominem attack is a logical fallacy…or more likely, he doesn’t care…