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09 November 2006

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Will

this is interesting for 1.4%
"Democrats may have conquered both houses of Congress, and so have Jewish politicians. Number of Jewish senators rises from 11 to 13 and number of Jewish representatives jumps to 30 thanks to six new faces creating all-time high of Jewish politicians in Congress. Another precedent: First Muslim elected to House"
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3326053,00.html.

If George Felix Allen had won, it would have been 14 Jewish Senators. But how is Jewish defined?
Harold Ford is defined as Black but he is as much European as black. In this day and age we are ALL part jewish, arab, german, african.

But they are not all stupidly hawkish like Lieberman. Maybe some good will come out of it.

Through, Isabella (Zaida, daughter of the last Abbassid Emir of Seville and descended from the Prophet Muhammad )consort of Alfonso VI, Imperator Hispania and King of Leon, Galicia, & Castille, Arab blood flows throughout all the royal bloodlines of Europe and consequently commoners as well.

Armand deBorchgrave says the Iraq Study Group is resurrecting the Abdullah Beirut Peace Initiative which guaranteed a full warm peace with trade and was signed by all 22 Arab countries including Saddam Husain's Iraq. Maybe this is the dangle in front of the Arabs for unity or acquiscene in bombing Iran.

Much as Madrid and Oslo was promised for Gulf I.

Espabila, Favila, que viene el Oso!"

JustPlainDave

According to USN PAO, the Enterprise carrier strike group is presently on port visit in Lisbon, having rotated at the beginning of November. Eisenhower is in the Arabian Sea (I'm guessing either "on station" or near to it, judging from previous deployment patterns). Elements of the Boxer group are variously in the Gulf or the Arabian Sea.

Patrick Henry

Pat...

I share your observations and Concerns during this Transistion in the Status of Our government ..Its Operatives and its Operations and Conduct..

There naturally have to be Strong personal Reactions..
going on among Bush..his administration ..His Party..and among the Democrats..as well..

At Least our Government..as it was Intended to be..is intact..
with Checks and Balances..Over Sight..and more EQUAL Representation..

We Have shown the world that Our Democracy Survives..That we can change policy and Regulate government through Ballots...Not Bullets..That this was a REVELATION Revolution..That Once Again United the People..and the People SPOKE..We Held Onto Our Constitution..The Dreams and Efforts of Our founding Fathers..The "Spirit of 76" That tells Us to.."CARRY ON..."..and the Flag of Our NATION Yet another Conflict..The Stars and Stripes...and all They represent..

So far we are seeing some PUBLIC effort to Put EGOS aside..Establish Protocol and diplomacy..Negotiate and Govern for the good of the people and the Nation.. I Think I will take Time for Bush to get over it..But he has to face reality..There WILL Be Oversight..The People have Spoken..


Let us Pray that our Nation continues to move Ahead in a Responsible Way Now..
and With the Best LEADERSHIP and Good Judgement and Good Government Our Leaders CAN and WANT to put in PLACE..

We have shown the World and the Iraqis how Democracy Works..What we do next Bears Watching..
how We resolve our Differences..Co~Operate and Move ON..

Can That process happen in Iraq..?? Hand joining Hand..Even if there is Underlying Suspicion..distrust and resentment at the Time..
??
Can we still find Ways to make PEACE..? Resolve Differences..??

Who will Lead The way..??

Mean While.. the Watchmen will Keep Watch..

Thank you Col.Lang..

MarcLord

Walrus,

Quoting you: "the economic center of gravity teils a little more towards Asia every day."

Russia is getting into the WTO as we speak. Think about the deals that had to be struck in back rooms for that to happen.

Bush is going to hear over and over that we can't win in Iraq without Iran's help. And I believe he very badly wants to win in Iran.

taters

I'm not sure how much of a difference it will make with Rep. Ike Skelton And Sen. Carl Levin as chairs of the respective Armed Services Committees but I certainly have faith that Ike Skelton will do a much better job than Duncan Hunter, who swallowed everything - hook, line & sinker fed to him by the neocons. As far as Carl Levin goes, he is my senator here in Michigan. I am proud to be a constituent and I respect him very much - and even though we have differed on some things, he has always taken the time to fully respond to me ( I know staffers may be at play here )and his responses are never a generic form letter. I also believe the soon to be ranking member John Warner to be a decent man whom I respect. Levin is definitely not partial to the neocons, most of you recall that it was him questioning Gen. Shinseki about the number of troops required and when Shinseki responded, his response was called "wildly off the mark" by some creep who is now president of the World Bank. Pardon me for not stating his name but I feel like I have to shower when I say it....

MarcLord

Freudian slip: previous post should've read, "...and I believe he very badly wants to win in IRAQ." (Not Iran, as written).

Piotr Chmielarz

I don't think so that this election will change something .In my opinion democrats are the same stupid bands as Republicans.

John Howley

Nothing has changed...and everything's changed.

The election offers little guidance on Iraq policy, after all. The people voted for "change the course" in Iraq by voting Democratic but they are split, roughly, between those who think we need to send MORE troops and those who think we should "redeploy."

McCain will seek the votes of the former. (I like his Straight Talk schtick too but it is only a schtick.)

Sheriff Waxman will at least keep a closer watch on our tax dollars.

Soonmyung Hong

I think Mr. Gates is far better SecDef candidate than Mr. Rumsfeld, but I'm concerned about his heavy intelligence manipulation records.

Two former CIA SOVA(office of SOViet Analysis) guys wrote an exellent book about their works and analytical methodologies. In several chapters, they described how Mr. Gates politically pressured SOVA.

It is written in 1998. So it doesn't biased by partisanship.

I posted it's excerpt on my blog.

Will

Pardon my careless post above. Of course there were no Abbassidis in Spain. AbdrRahman founded the Sunni Ummayad Calliphate of Cordoba but upon Coroba's breakup up in a succession struggle

"The Abbadids comprised a Muslim dynasty which arose in Al-Andalus on the downfall of the Caliphate of Cordoba (756–1031). Abbadid rule lasted from about 1023 until 1091, but during the short period of its existence it exhibited singular energy and typified its time. The name of the dynasty should not be confused with that of the Abbasids of Baghdad."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbadid

So in that time frame there was the quasi-Shiites in Baghdad- the Abbasids, The Shiite Fatimids in Cairo whose dying embers were put out by Salidin, and the Ummayad refugees of Damascus in Spain. Note Cordoba in its Ummayad prime was a city of 450,000 people.

Everyone has heard of the al-hambra architectural landmark. Hambra means red. It is also the root for jackass in Arabic-Hebrew because that is the color of wild asses.

Best Wishes Will

Best Wishes Will

Avi Singh

Dear Col. Lang,

I've been browsing your blog for months. I would like to suggest a possible alternative that might be on the way.

Why is the admin so eager to push the deal with India through?

Because India has the only significant standing army in any democracy, with experience fighting insurgency. Not just any insurgency, but the same players that are in Iraq: Lashkar e Toiba, Khalq e mujahid etc etc. The same organizations (and probably the same people) were in Kashmir before 2003, and are in Iraq now.

The Indian army has a standing strength of well over a million (there are more than 350,000 troops in Kashmir, a piece of land about the size of maybe NY state.

It would be to the advantage of the Indian Army to fight the Islamic insurgents in Iraq rather than in Kashmir.

So why has a deal not been struck yet? Well, because India IS a democracy, and the US is not all that popular right now in the Parliament.

As a matter of fact, the previous Indian administration had allegedly agreed to consider contributing troops to the 'alliance' in late 2002. However, with typical ham-handedness, the same people who negotiated the troop request in Delhi, flew to Islamabad the next day, and conferred MFN status on Pakistan. That squelched the deal right there.

Now, four years later, with a nuclear deal in place, it might be possible to offer India a mutual defence pact, such that Indian troops (most of which are on the Indo-Pak border) can, with some confidence, be redeployed under blue helmets to Iraq.

Easily done? No. But it is possible. For the Indian Army, if offered sufficient compensation both organizationally and to the soldiers individually, you can bet that a deal is possible. After all, do you know what is the salary of an infantry rifleman in the IA: about 100 USD.

I have a feeling that the haste in ratifying the Indo-US treaty is the beginning of a series of steps that are designed to lead to the US army being partially or completely relieved by UN troops, drawn substantially from India. Maybe.

Regards,
Avi

blowback

abrozgast - just how are the Israelis going to get to walk up the Champs Elysee. They couldn't even defeat a rag-tag militia equipped with a few anti-tank missiles. The Israelis have never taken on a modern western army and quite frankly they would be stupid to do so. The Israeli army might have been hard once but it is now "a bunch of arrogant pricks who wouldn't last ten minutes on a European battlefield."
Do not forget that France has nuclear attack submarines so any invasion fleet the Israelis could put together would be sunk somewhere in the Mediterranean. In war there are eventually only two types of boat, nuclear attack submarines and those that have been sunk by nuclear attack submarines.
As well as nuclear attack submarines, France also has nuclear missile submarines so any country stupid enough to invade metropolitan France would suffer very considerable damage.
Also France is a member of NATO so the United States and the United Kingdom along with all the other members would be required to assist France. NATO is more important to the United States than Israel will ever be.
If Bush and Rice have any sense (which I sometimes doubt) they have probably already told the Israelis to behave themselves. Oooops, I spoke too soon.

Got A Watch

By economic center of gravity, I was referring to China/Japan/South Korea etc., not Iran - who has natural resources but little else. Thanks for quoting, but I ain't the Walrus. Still don't understand the rest of your post, MarcLord, rephrase in English please.

Russia will be ushered into the WTO with open arms due to 10,000,000 very solid reasons - the number of barrels of oil pumped and sold every day. Who can argue with that much oil and natural gas?

Arbogast, do you really think the French are going to militarily restrain Israel and America if they decide to attack Iran? Please, I think not!

On the issue of UN troops, I can't see ANY nation wanting to send troops to Iraq as blue helmets. They will offer all the verbal and moral support possible, but actually putting personnel in is highly unlikely. Look at the failure of NATO to get more troops to Afghanistan, then multiply.

As to what American foreign policy SHOULD have been, just look at China, whose brilliant exercise of soft power hs them gobbling up resources and gaining influence all over the world while the West sleeps. Better start learning key phrases in Mandarin like "How may I serve you, Master?"

Marcello

"The French have a carrier task force off Lebanon (I believe). That carrier task force would never in a million years become part of a strike against Iran. Conceivably, its presence is a huge thorn in the side of both Israel and the US."

The IAF has nearly 400 modern combat aircrafts. The Charles de Gaulle probably does not carry more than 40 planes.
Should the need arise the israelis can crush the french forces in theatre with overwhelming numbers, if anything else.The logistical implications of Israel projecting significant ground forces across the Mediterranean make Seelowe look like a well thought out plan in comparison even before the capabilities of the french navy are taken in consideration (and nuclear submarines are not invincible).
I am sure that the original poster was only joking anyway with his remarks about Casablanca.

searp

I am not convinced. W will feel pressure from 3 directions:

(1) Congress. The Dems were elected to change things in Iraq, and they know it.
(2) The Republican party. W and Dick may not be running for anything, but there are a bunch of Republicans running for all sorts of things in 08.
(3) The Pentagon. How else to take Pace's line about a new study? Pace and Abazaid wouldn't be out there generating attention for a study that comes back saying "stay the course".

I'd say it is a fair bet that a big chunk of troops are home in '07.

zanzibar

Avi Singh

If the Indian politicians - I guess the Congress party want to send Indian riflemen in the middle of a raging civil war that is more like anarchy so they can make a few bucks like another $50 per rifleman - they'll be voted out in the next election.

Its a meatgrinder down there in Iraq! The Indians didn't do too well against the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and had to withdraw their soldiers. They also paid a price with the assasination of a Prime Minister. And its not like the Indian military have quelled any insurgenices yet that exist in many areas in India not just Kashmir and have been running for many decades. The Gandhi family in power in India maybe more circumspect.

Avi Singh

Zanzibar:

I am suggesting that it is a possibility. Perhaps the only possible source of troops if US troops are going to be replaced.

And you are right: the Muslim insurgency in Kashmir is definitely not quelled. However, that goes to show how hard it is to quell insurgencies that are supported by a willing donor nation - in this case, Pakistan.

BTW, it is only since 9/11 that the persistent 'whining' of the Indian government is being heard: that the so called 'domestic' insurgency is comprised of foreign fighters in the main. From Sudan, England, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Malaysia : you name it, they have recovered passports to show for it.

The fact that the Indian Army has been fighting these guys, with almost overt support from you-know-which neighbor, is not necessarily an indictment of the Indians: as we have seen over the last few years in Iraq, a well funded and manned insurgency is not trivial to quell.

Also, the experience of the Indian Army IS being shared with the US army; there have been units training with India at the Indian Army's Counter-insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS), located in NE India. Whether that support is going to result in troop deployment is hard to predict.

As you suggest, the current Indian government, run by the Indira Congress Party, is not too eager to get into the troop export business.

I have relatives in both the Indian and US armies, and my sympathies are with the grunts: infantrymen in particular. Hell of a world we find ourselves in today.

Avi

Byron Raum

I'm rather amazed that foreign fighters in Kashmir would be carrying passports with Pakistani visas on them. Would the Pakistanis be really so dumb as to allow these people to be wandering around carrying passports? I thought the ISI was famous for not being dumb. If this really is true, it actually points to lack of collusion with the Pakistani government.

confusedponderer

Byron Raum,
[lecturing pundit tone] ... or it is the _proof_ for the Pakistani government's ongoing collusion with the Taliban - as we all know the ISI folks are too competent to implicate themselves.

[with gravitas] That they seem to be so clearly implicated, considering their competence, rules out mere sloppyness and leaves no other possibility but intent: To generate the impression not to cooperate with them, they issued them visas! Cunning! But they can't fool me!

Huh, my brain is feeling hot.

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