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30 October 2006


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i want to point jonst to this article by Naomi Klein, Baghdad Year Zero

I don't know if it strictly applies but gives an insight into the neo-con mind. Make what u will of it.
I think their (non)approach to things is an amalgamation of various kinds of philosophies and thinking, each one more lunatic than the other.


Unmitigated Audacity :

neo-feudal order is exactly what i think neo-cons are aiming for.
its their dream world.Global free for all where all is fair and means don't even matter. no more civil society(as much as it exists)

--i think i need some fresh air.


After reading the article Baghdad Under Siege, the first issue that struck me was not the threat of the Shia blocking the lines of supply from the south. The real threat is if the Sunni insurgents truly break the lines of supply. This represents a threat to both the American occupiers and the Shia inhabitants of Baghdad. If people think that the Americans would have problems re-supplying themselves, then just think of the problems they would also have meeting the basic needs of the approximately two million Shia living in Baghdad.

The second issue is how sincere the American administration is in backing the Maliki government. It seems to me that if they want "Iraqi forces to stand up so that the American forces can stand down" they would allow the Iraqi army greater firepower so that it can take on the Sunni insurgents. This the American forces are quite clearly not doing.

He added that later two Iraqi regular army platoons turned up in Balad with little military equipment. When they were asked by locals why their arms were so poor "the reply was that they were under strict orders by the US commander from the [nearby] Taji camp not to intervene and they were stripped of their rocket-propelled grenade launchers".

Duncan Kinder

According to Juan Cole, Sunni guerrillas are engaged in a "seige of Bhagdad" strategy which appears generally to be consistent with Col. Lang's "cut off supply lines" thesis:

Patrick Cockburn suggests that such actions are not random violence, but rather are part of a Sunni Arab strategy of surrounding and cutting off Baghdad.

Cockburn is correct. The Sunni Arab guerilla movements have been attempting to cut off Baghdad for some time, and have at times successfully imposed a fuel blockade on it. So far the blockade has been stacctto and not very successful. But if they really could blockade the capital, they could deprive the Iraqi police and army of fuel for their vehicles, and then execute them. This step could only come, of course, once the US begins withdrawing. Once that process starts, the Shiites had better start negotiating with the Sunni guerrilla groups, or else it wouldn't be long before the Green Zone fell.


holy_bazooka & Unmitigated Audacity,
I disagree, and disagree strongly, about the point that the neo-cons seek a neo-feudal order. The neo-cons put quite an emphasis on the State, the US in particular. Sure, neo-liberals see global free market as the ultimate destiny of mankind, but neo-cons are not like that.

Look at John Bolton, if anything, he is against the UN because it impedes US 'policies of the free hand'. In international law that means going back to the era before WW-I. In the sense that they want to re-establish (US) gvt control in so many aereas they are in fact outright reactionary. Yes there is the Ledeen school of 'chaos breeds opportunity ...', but that sentence is incomplete without the proper ending "... to increase US power". I also feel their patriotism is heartfelt and deeply serious, no matter how counterproductive and debased their policies.

In fact, a strategy aimed on establishing 'global benevolent hegemony' can hardly go along with dismantling of the state per se - dismantling state sovereignty for every country other than the US is merely a means to the end of achieving US dominance.

When the neo-cons happen to act in unisono that's not so much because they have an all-out masterplan but a shared mindset and worldview. Chalmers Johnson said something along the line: "One doesn't need to tell geisha what to do, they know what to do." So do the neo-cons.

They are acting on their own, with a very much alike worldview. That eans they require minimum coordination. Bolton for instance doesn't report or take orders from Cheney. He knows what to do. That's creating the echo chamber effect.

These people are working in perfect understanding, and to uphold that occasional phonecalls and dinners are absolutely sufficient.


I remember when that ambush occured. The guard unit escourting the convoy was cherry and did not know the route. Some of these poge backwood guard units are like the guy said-too incompetent to even work a fastfood joint.

and some aren't


Looking at the no-win situation of Iraq, I thought I'd revisit the old Comical Ali quotes from the early days of the invasion. Frightening reading:

1. "Iraqi fighters in Umm Qasr are giving the hordes of American and Brtish mercenaries the taste of definite death. We have drawn them into a quagmire and they will never get out of it."

2. "Now even the American command is under siege. We are hitting it from the north, east, south and west. We chase them here and they chase us there. But at the end we are the people who are laying siege to them. And it is not them who are besieging us."

3. "The simple fact is this: they are foreigners inside a country which has rejected them. Therefore, these foreigners wherever they go or travel they will be rained down with bullets from everyone. Attacks by members of the resistance will only go up."

4. "Washington has thrown their soldiers on the fire."

5. "I can assure you that those villains [American's and British] will recognize, will discover in appropriate time in the future how stupid they are and how they are pretending things which have never taken place."

6. "I told you yesterday that the shock has backfired on them. Indeed, they are shocked because of what they have seen. No one received them with roses. They were received with bombs, shoes and bullets. Now, the game has been exposed. Awe will backfire on them. This is the boa snake. We will extend it further and cut it in the appropriate way."

I remember at the time chuckling, but with a touch of nervousness. Who's laughing now?

etuska sieben

Reply to Jonst: starting with 'round about 98% of the German and Jewish intelligentsia in late 1920's/early 30's...?

Happy Jack

Should I assume that Task Force Smith is no longer part of the curriculum at West Point?

W. Patrick Lang


Those kids get very little military history. The Army does not believe in history, thinks it largely irrelevent.

The curriculum at WP is a college curriculum. pl


"Their ahistoricity is so bad that arguments that involve history have to be couched in other language in order to get them to listen"

Col., this short statement says truth not only about the military but about the society at large - it is sometimes shocking that any reference to history makes one appear scurrilous... in the eyes of interlocutors

I agree with one other comment that this blog is one of the best I have seen.

PL for Pres.!


I saw this article and thought of this thread immediately. It sounds like a convoy was over-run and a number of prisoners taken:


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