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17 July 2006

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wtofd

"You see the irony is what they need to is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's all over..."

So Syria calls the shots for all guerrilla warfare in the ME? Got it.

Oh, and that bread looks delicious. Although Babs is upset you're chewing with your mouth wide open.

zanzibar

The Bush-Cheney administration pushed to get Syria out of Lebanon and cheered the "democracy" thing that made Hizballah a legitimate political player with a seat at the table of power in Lebanon. Now calling Assad to reign in Hizballah????

"it is virtually inevitable that Israel will re-occupy a piece of South Lebanon. De-population of that strip may be in the cards to prevent guerrillas action there in the future." - PL

The question is how deep the occupation zone will be? Will it include the water rights to the Litani river? And will Hizballah be content to move further north and get longer range Iranian missiles or will they be more active with on-going guerilla attacks into the occupation zone? What will be different this time compared to the last 18 year occupation of southern Lebanon by Israel?

Geoff

Is there another word for "De-population"?

John Howley

Once more, we will learn what happens when have a clueless non-enity in charge of the world's most powerful country during a major international crisis.
Recent evidence of Bush's mental state:
(1) above-cited remarks;
(2) citing Iraq as a model of democracy and religious freedom while standing next to Putin (who said "No Thanks" and the room burst into laughter); and
(3) pre-G8 press conference with Merkel where the brewing ME crisis was a main topic and Bush made not one, not two, but THREE jokes about eating pork while Jews and Muslims were preparing to slaughter one another.
I think I'll go have a good cry at the FDR Memorial....

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Will you please explain why you stated the following: "by a combined Israeli/US ineptitude and incomprehension that stagger the mind."

Where do you see ineptitude & incomprehension?

jonst

Babak,

I doubt the comments section has a big enough memory to allow for a proper and complete accounting of the staggering "ineptitude and incomprehension". You could start at Sharon's visit to the Temple back in 2000 that helped light the fuse of the infatata. (SP?) at the Aug 2001 briefing at the Crawford ranch and the lack of any reaction by the Pres. You could start at Tora Bora. You could start lots of places. And go from there until you run out of 'ink'. As to waiting for the Lebannese forces...it will be akin to Waiting for Godot.

And no matter is said the Arabs will believe this is simply an end run to the Litani water. It will never fly.

Babak Makkinejad

jonst:

Understood, but all those can be understood as actions and decisions of men who intend to wage war and are certain of victory. Thus they do not need to care.

I hope that I may be wrong.

W. Patrick Lang

Geoff

Reconstruction? pl

W. Patrick Lang

Babak

Ah! I sense a conspiracy theory in the making. Remember I operate on the basis of Occam's Razor.

The collective US/Israeli belief that a political/military/religious force can be pushed out of an area through air attacks and artillery fire is bothe inept and uncomprehending.

zanzibar

Have the mullahs once again gamed Bush in the middle eastern bazaar?

It seems by drawing in Israel into a conflict in Lebanon using their Hizballah proxies they have changed the perceptions for UN cover and sanctions for their nuclear activities.

Now the conflict can clearly be labeled by them as fighting the US/Israel zionist aggression and jewish conspiracy against muslims. As it is it seems that just like our troops call the Iraqis as Hadjis the Iraqis call our troops Jews.

We really are in trouble if the major leaders of the free world like Bush and Blair have such a simplistic approach to complex world affairs.

Charles Cameron

Col Lang:

I doubt the comments section has a big enough memory to allow for a proper and complete accounting of the staggering "ineptitude and incomprehension".

Are you writing a book, perchance? May we hope?

You could start at Sharon's visit to the Temple back in 2000 that helped light the fuse of the infatata. (SP?) at the Aug 2001 briefing at the Crawford ranch and the lack of any reaction by the Pres. You could start at Tora Bora. You could start lots of places. And go from there until you run out of 'ink'...

irene

zanzibar,
Have the mullahs once again gamed Bush in the middle eastern bazaar?

have you seen emptywheel's new post? it lays out her take on your question. in the process, it also covers the ineptitude and incomprehension thing. very worth reading, including the comments.

Dr Slop

Occam's Razor may be the diametrical opposite of the astounding and possibly crucial One-Percent Doctrine:

"...the creation of Dick Cheney, who in large measure is running U.S. foreign policy. It comes from a meeting in November 2001. The vice president is being briefed by CIA and NSC about a harrowing intelligence disclosure that Pakistani nuclear scientists had met with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri a few weeks before 9-11 in Kandahar around a campfire. This, of course, is a meeting whose implications no one needs to sketch out.

"As the briefing proceeds, the vice president says that we need to think about 'a low probability, high impact event' in a different way. By the end of the briefing he has that different way and says, 'If there’s a one percent chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon' -- essentially that WMDs have been given to terrorists -- 'we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It’s not about our analysis or finding a preponderance of evidence. It’s about our response.”

Ron Suskind - http://www.prospect.org/web/view-web.ww?id=11719

How to respond effectively when you are missing 99 percent of the evidence is an interesting conundrum -- but we can see what happens when you have a go at it -- against a multitude of entities that you do not begin to understand.

ked

Israel may well push far enough into S. Lebanon to establish a buffer zone (if they think they can handle ground combat "Iraq style"), request the UN take over, & reserve the "right" to strike Hezbo assets that might reach the homeland.

Given the state of Statesmanship these days, it is impressive how the serious players are getting their way - right and wrong.

canuck

A Crisis Foretold

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=11730>A military solution for the Middle East is dead.

The article looks yearningly at the expertise of a former Fatah leader, but his party’s time of influence came and went. Better to engage the current Hamas and Hezbolla leaders as well as the elected governments of Lebanon, Syria and Iran. I do not believe the United States is capable of being an honest broker for these talks. What better place to hold them than in Lebanon where all the parties are close enough to attend. Possibly Kofi Anan might be seen as possessing enough neutrality to chair such meetings? However, the selection of the chairman should be left to the principals involved. An immediate ceasefire of hostilities would facilitate a peace agreement. The meeting should be restricted to affected Middle Eastern countries. It makes no sense to exclude the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Michael Singer

Dear Col. Lang, Is it Israel's unwillingness to be "humiliated" that motivates them to re-occupy S. Lebanon.....or....is it their unwillingness to have a terrorist organization on their northern border capable of raining hundreds of little Fajr 3's and 5's or worse down on their citizens?
Other serious question: I want to know what the "ineptitude" is you speak of? Killing civilians is pretty awful and destroying a neighborly government is also pretty awful. Is there more? Michael Singer

W. Patrick Lang

Michael

Tribal bullshit.

Israel has bitten off more than it can chew and will suffer for it. pl

Patrick Kennedy

George Will is http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001542.php> mad .

He should have included http://thinkprogress.org/2006/07/17/woolsey/> James Woolsey in his piece.

MarcLord

Oh bloody #?*$^%@ hell! The chess pieces are set at 1914 again. And I've already got the title of the great book that explains the debacle in retrospect: I'll call it "A Civilization Too Far."

Please, please, someone tell me this gang of skirt-chasing, electile dysfuntional AA fugitives isn't going to attack Syria or Iran for Israel. I've been thinking it through for days, and now my wife is threatening to call the Department of Health and Human Services on me. Here's why:

1) On the one hand, the BushCulties are certainly insane enough to fall for it, and visions of Apocalypse dance in their heads. On the other hand, the army is already stretched out and has its nuts firmly and breath-takingly locked in Iraq's vise.

2) On the one hand, the Straussian neo-pissants see Israel's military position will become untenable after enraging the entire world, so they're all "Apres moi le beeg nuke." On the other hand, Bandar Bush and the Moguls know a wider war will blow up their oil facilities real good and put the Bin Laden family and the merry Wahabists on the throne.

3) On the one hand, Cheney and the Bush family don't really care about wrecking the dollar, the country, and the Constitution so long as their shareholders are happy. (Anyhow they're packing hard gold specie now. What the hell do you think was in the C-130 Cheney flew out of Baghdad? He was laughing like a James Bond villain climbing back on the plane.) On the other hand, the powers that be will be ready to terminate with extreme prejudice if the Katrina Brigade screws this one up and flushes half their wealth down the crapper.

The bright ray of hope in all this is, Iran keeps beating the pants off us without firing a shot, and Israel sees that as demonstrable fact. Do you see my problem here??

Sonoma

Colonel: You're an establishment guy.

In this situation, will the Joint Chiefs follow orders they believe wrongheaded?

Or, if they choose to resign, will it matter? In that eventuality, wouldn't the administration merely promote those sympathetic to their agenda to take their place?


W. Patrick Lang

Sonoma

There is no tradition in the American military of resignation in refusal of orders. pl

Sonoma

Respectfully, Colonel, my question did not touch on tradition. However, it was an unfair one. After all, how could you possibly know?

That said, in light of the strategic blundering of the past few years, it's a legitimate speculation.

After all, had it been their call, the chickenshit, big mouth, airwave bully boys who carry water for this administration would have had the USA unleash a regional war this past weekend.

So I think it reasonable to wonder if the Chiefs would resign, rather than obey orders at odds with their military sensibilities. And, if they did, what then?

W. Patrick Lang

Sonoma

Don't be dense. I answered you. The JCS will never refuse an order of any kind. To do so would be to defy the tradition of military acceptance of elected authority in the USA. The only possible exception would be a presidentia l order to act against the other two branches of the federal government. pl

Sonoma

"The JCS will never refuse an order of any kind". That's understood. It's a textbook response, and a proper one, at that.

But, in your opinion, are any of the current Chiefs prepared to resign, rather than follow orders that offend their military sensibilities? For all I know, none of them are, under any circumstance.

And I don't think it at all dense of me to ask that question. Quite the contrary. I doubt I'm the only American who wonders if a sense of proportion excists in the highest levels of our military that might serve to check our current, and reckless, political leadership.

Just resignations, Colonel; not a coup.

Can you envision that scenario? Or is too far fetched to believe that type of integrity excists at that level of command?

zanzibar

Sonoma

"integrity" would mean that JCS follows the orders of the duly elected leaders and the constitutionally defined commander of the armed forces.

The JCS provides their advise to the constitutional commander of the armed forces, the duly elected President of the USA. But the final decision is with the President and its the duty of the JCS to follow those orders despite whatever reservation they may have. If they do not follow those orders they are liable to court-martial for dereliction of duty and insubordination. We should not have it any other way.

The solution to the point you raise is political. We the people have responsibility to elect officials to the executive and legislative branches and "recklessness" needs to be dealt with there, either through constitutional balance from the legislature or being fired by the electorate.

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