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20 October 2006

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Frank Durkee

Snow went out of his way to shoot down several of the Iraq alternatives being floated around at this point. I think the Col. is correct. A reason for all the action might simply be cover for the increasingly sombre assments comming out of the WH and pentagon.

Abu Sinan

"After-battle reports of Hezbollah commanders now confirm that IDF troops never fully secured the border area and Maroun al-Ras was never fully taken. Nor did Hezbollah ever feel the need to call up its reserves, as Israel had done. "The entire war was fought by one Hezbollah brigade of 3,000 troops, and no more," one military expert in the region said. "The Nasr Brigade fought the entire war. Hezbollah never felt the need to reinforce it."

Reports from Lebanon underscore this point. Much to their surprise, Hezbollah commanders found that Israeli troops were poorly organized and disciplined. The only Israeli unit that performed up to standards was the Golani Brigade, according to Lebanese observers. The IDF was "a motley assortment", one official with a deep knowledge of US slang reported. "But that's what happens when you have spent four decades firing rubber bullets at women and children in the West Bank and Gaza."

http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HJ13Ak01.html

W. Patrick Lang

Abu Sinan

This comment did not belong with this post. pl

W. Patrick Lang

Frank

However clever they may be, the friends of the adminisration are incapable of this wide a manipulation. pl

kim

cripe, you're really depressing with this honest and accurate assessment thing.
so here's my uninformed and fantasy laden but totally sincere question.
what's the chances of a "draft pat lang for prez 2008" movement?

Michael D. Adams

My current time constraints prohibit proper defense of my following suppositions. Perhaps this weekend. That said:

1) I do not think that on proper review there has been a legal order given in this whole damned criminal action against Iraq.

2) Since all parties, civilian and military, have failed to honor their oaths to defend the Constitution from all enemies, (in this case domestic) what's the problem with telling an obviously insane psychopath usurper (GStK) to shove it. Ay, Capn' Queeg?

3) Since the Constitution has been abrogated the the default founding document now in effect is the Declaration of Independence which leaves a lot of latitude for corrective action.

See You in Gitmo,
(GFtK)
Ever So Sincerely,
Michael D. Adams
Proudly descended from a long line of American Terrorists starting with Francis Marion who was probably gay with an name like that;-)

confusedponderer

PL,
I read an interesting article titled 'Empires in Decline' by Michael T. Klare in the Asia Times. He also makes the point that however foolish it would be to attack Iran, the decider might be very much indifferent to the facts on the ground. Without really being a declinist myself, I think he makes a good point.
Thinking the US almighty the Decider will probably feel the irresistible urge do what he feels he, that is the US military, gotta do, be it only to claim a place in the history Books - as a wanna-be reincarnation of Winston Churchill. Tools of choice would be Air Force and Navy.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HJ19Ak01.html

"I believe that the common wisdom in Washington regarding military action against Iran is wrong. Just because American forces are bogged down in Iraq, and Rice appears to enjoy a bit more authority these days, does not mean that "realism" will prevail at the White House. I suspect that the response of declining British and French imperial elites when faced with provocative acts by a former subject power in 1956 is a far more accurate gauge of what to expect from the Bush administration today.

The impulse to strike back must be formidable. Soon, I fear, it will prove irresistible."

I really hope they will resist it.

Will

Seventeen or so shopping days left until Democrat Xmas- the first Tuesday in November. Hope Santa comes.

Control of the Legislative branch and thus the whole country we may owe to one South Asian-American plucky college student who followed Senator Maccacca around with a TV camera until he cracked.

Fitzie could have exercised some Prosecutorial discretion and taken out Bush's best friend Rover but dealt Pumphead a devastating blow by "scooting" out his prime enabler who indubitably will be pardoned.

It'll all sort out in the next fortnight or so, everybody including Kim Jong Il is trying to cool it. There may not be a last minute October surprise. Of course I could be wrong, and often have been.

Best Wishes.

phantom

What is GStK?

zanzibar

I'll be very surprised if the Decider changes course. He's got 2 more years and if the Democrats win a majority in the House, he will get them on the defensive pretty soon with his well honed propaganda operation. For the Decider to change course would be admitting to a mistake and defeat. He's not going to do that. Better to tough it out and hammer his opponents for losing the war.

Getting out of Iraq will be deemed a defeat - another Vietnam from a PR perspective. Whoever orders that will face that burden and we don't have any politician with courage for that. The President that orders withdrawal will be pilloried by his opponents for losing the war. The Decider will be long gone by then. So it will be a muddle for sometime.

D Joyner

If we were to make the following assumptions: 1) robust number of trained and equipped US troops in the 300,000 range 2) Unlimited budget 3) Political will across the center of both parties -- is it then even conceivable that a McCain style option (way more troops) would deliver a stable, unified, US-friendly Iraq? Is it even possible to pacify Iraq at this stage?


I've not heard anyone with any expertise speak to this in detail, rather, the experts seem to be lining up on the opposite side of the argument.

And, as you have pointed out, we are being prepared for some unpalatable solution (to my way of thinking) coming from the Iraq Study Group whether or not the President decides to knock it down.

arbogast

If, as I maintain, the original plan was "On to Tehran" in a matter of weeks or months after the Iraq invasion, George has a particularly bitter pill to swallow, largely because he has been beaten by Iran. He hasn't just not conquered Iran; they've beaten him. They will forevermore have an influence in Iraq that they could never have had under Saddam. And oil.

So he has two problems. First, a potential political problem if those Diebold voting machines don't do the trick on election day. Two, a crushing defeat in Iraq.

Given the infantile state of his mind, I would say that there is at least a 50-50 chance that he will try a "Hail Mary" in the near future.

What I don't think he wants is ridicule. And he's coming perilously close to a kind of universal ridicule that would really hurt.

So, once again, a "Hail Mary". That way he can be the "Hero of the Gulf" even if the entire effort goes up in flames.

It's interesting. Because he did so much harm, people don't really ridicule Hitler even though he was patently ridiculous (exception: Charlie Chaplin). All Bush has to do is a lot more harm, and then people won't ridicule him.

clio

I agree that this administration has no intention of changing course. Bush has already said that he would continue his present Iraq policy if his supporters were reduced to his wife and his dog.

I previously thought that this war would just grind on at stalemate level. In the last few days I have begun to think that the guerrillas have become strong enough to force the pace.

Is there more/any likelihood of policy change forced by events on the ground?

GSD

The Republican Party will resemble the Donner Party once this election is over...

The fundagelicals want a divorce from the business folks who are barely talking to the libertarians....

Bush will be a legendarily lame duck president and may well helicopter his family to Paraguay to avoid criminal prosecution.

-GSD

Keone  Michaels

If the Baker group is unable to broker some kind of arrangement that POTUS sees as a "deal," perhaps one that will also benefit his Saudi friends, then the situation will indeed be dire.

In that case, the only leverage will be legal if the Dems take the house or senate. Impeachment, etc. POTUS has broken many laws in some folks perception. That is the nub of it in my opinion. And that is what makes the stakes so high as Mr. Bush has said. It is a very dangerous situation given the stubborn and ignorant persona of the president.

Freeman

A few minutes ago I heard President Bush say: "We will stay, we will fight, and we will win in Iraq."

Well, so be it. But I no longer have any idea what winning means in Iraq. As I write, British troops have been placed on standby to re-occupy areas of southern Iraq previously handed over to the Iraqi government.

Meanwhile, there is a large naval build-up taking place in and around the Persian Gulf, and the opportunities for inadvertant miscalculation or deliberate mischief, by either the US or Iran, are too finely balanced for comfort.

What happens next?

lina

Sometimes I wish it was Paraguay.

Where's Francis Marion when we need him?

Col. Lang isn't running in 2008, but will be offered a Cabinet position in the new administration (unless he gets "disappeared" between now and then for his subversive electronic speech).


julie

Faith based reality. Is iot such madness rather than objective circumstances that brings down great nations?

Miami - The top US general on Thursday defended the leadership of defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said marine General Peter Pace, chair of the joint chiefs of staff.

Rumsfeld is "a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know ... quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building", Pace said at a ceremony in Miami.

Rumsfeld has faced a storm of criticism and calls for his resignation, largely over his handling of the Iraq war.

But he got a strong show of support from the military establishment at Thursday's ceremony, where navy Admiral James Stavridis took over Southcom's command from General Bantz Craddock.

"He comes to work every day with a single-minded focus to make this country safe," said Stavridis, who was a senior aide to Rumsfeld before taking on the Southcom job.

"We're lucky as a nation that he continues to serve with such passion and such integrity and such determination and such brilliance," said Stavridis.

Michael D. Adams

As it turns out, Peter Pace along with King George, is now also considered a comedic genius in certain parts of China as indicated by recent reports that Sun Tzu has laughed all the dirt off his grave.


Top US general says Rumsfeld is inspired by God

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061019/pl_afp/usmilitarypolitics_061019193550

Agence France-Presse | October 19, 2006 11:05 PM

Money Graphs....

The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rumsfeld is "a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know ... quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building," Pace said at a ceremony at the Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami.

Will

Google wasn't much help but live.com delivered

" God Save the King | Main ... GStK! Pat Lang. "

Best Wishes

DSP

What is the difference between Iraq and Vietnam? Jay Leno answered that last night: Poppy could get "W" out of Vietnam, but he can't get him out of Iraq.

Cloned Poster

I think PL should have said......... PS: see my post below for reality check.

JM

We have to consider that sectarian strife and chaos in Iraq is precisely what some courtiers in the Bush admin are aiming for, along the lines of the "analyses" written by Wurmser, Perle, Feith, et al. well before the war.

If the destruction of Iraq is part of the program, why bother leaving. Hole up in the biggest embassy in the world and wait until the smoke clears. I'll bet that's what the majors (e.g., ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP) are suggesting.

Walrus

Let me be the first to state the bleedin' obvious about General Pace's comments.

I don't care if Rumsfeld spends his days in drunken carousing in a homosexual bordello provided he gets results. His work habits are totally and completely irrelevent.

As for Paces comment about Rumsfeld being "inspired by God", I find it extremely alarming that any General would say such a thing. It is even more alarming when one thinks of anyone inspired by faith being allowed near nuclear weapons.

On a rational level, it calls into question both his own and his commanders decision making processes, and if Pace's comment is accurate, and he really believes in Faith based decision making, then he should be immediately removed.

Most of the worlds miseries in the last 500 years have been inflicted by leaders who believed they were informed by a higher ideal, often god given, that led them to engage in suicidal statecraft.

I would strongly prefer to be governed by the meanest, devilish SOB, provided they based their decision making on rational analysis of reality instead of living in this Neocon fantasy world sold to them by the PNAC.

I believe Bakunins quote will provide the final epitaph for this administration:

"Religion allows people to inflict unspeakable cruelty and misery on other people and still sleep well at night, safe in the knowledge they are doing the Lord's work."

I really believe America is in deep trouble and I fail to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

confusedponderer

Arbogast,
I think you're mistaken. It's about clean-breaking. The original battle plan was to stop in Baghdad on the way to Damaskus, depriving Hezbollah support, waiting out Israel crushing them while blocking the Lebanese-Syrian border, and then to attack Iran, and then deal with Saudi Arabia.
In its way that approach is quite logical and consequent. The only problem lies in it's utter impossibility. Had it been possible, and succeeded, it had unmistakenly underlined America's dominance (not to mention neo-con genius), and set a precedent. That's what the neo-cons wet dreams were and probably are about.

Reality interfered. Getting bogged down in Mesopotamia prevented the original plan. So, in and neo-con-world, the recent glorious victory by Israel's invincible forces, was only slightly imcomplete because the Syria (and Iran) had not (yet) been regime-changed, so that Hezbollah had safe-haven and support. It's all Syria's, and Iran's fault. That view also explains Israel's current sabrerattering.

It's all about silver bulleteers seeking hardware fixes for political problems.

It underlines for me that in the age of Al Quaeda the neo-cons still view problems through the cold-war-prism, when guerrilla wars were almost always proxy wars, and when guerrillas had client states. It's beyond their grasp that an entity like Hezbollah, despite state support, can exist on its own.

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