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25 April 2011

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walrus

Having just finished reading "Finest Years - Churchill as Warlord", I'm thoroughly depressed.

Firstly, as Max Hastings points out, supporting, and perhaps arming, rebels proved to be a less than winning strategy during World War Two primarily because said rebels proved to be largely un-biddable after the primary target was dealt with and proceeded to use their new found powers to advance ideas we didn't approve of.

The policy dimension is also an issue, for example Churchill advocated the return of the Greek Monarchy while promoting democracy elsewhere - shades of the current Saudi Arabian and Bahrain problems.

The second reason for my depression relates to it being ANZAC day yesterday - where we celebrate taking part in a disastrous military campaign, as colonial cannon fodder, dreamed up by the aforementioned WSC. A practice we have since repeated multiple times, and will no doubt continue..

Basilisk

I concur. The Headquarters compound is a legitimate command and control target. Toothlessness is a conclusion that can be reached only by one who has never seen the detonation of a Mark-84 General Purpose bomb. Their laser-guided and GPS-guided cousins are even more impressive.

William R. Cumming

Again in agreement with you PL. And of course hoping we are correct!

Thomas

Walrus,

Below is a link dealing with empathy in politics which may interest you.

http://therumpus.net/2011/04/on-the-novels-of-politicians/

If you are correct about Obama, then let us hope he decides to take out his anger and frustration on Col Qathafi. At least one positive would come out of it all.

Norbert M Salamon

Colonel:

Getting rid of Colonel Qathafi might be easier, as was the case with Sadam and the Taliban, but the price was the almost collapse of the USA's credit . Another run at a longer term war, and it is debatable if the past colonial powers: USA, UK, Fr and It. would survive the economic repercussions in a world with rising oil demand and falling oil supplies [and falling USD].

Do recall that this year is the first time that Iraq's oil production surpassed that of 2003, and that Kuwait has never recovered pre Sadam invasion levels.

Notable in this issue that both Iran and Venezuela [the latter having the largest recoverable oil reserves accoding to US Geographical Survey] are below optimum exploration and development due to USA foreign policy.

bth

If we can get his mercenaries to call it a day...

One wonders what an offer of a few grand cash each and a free trip home to the Sudan or Chad or wherever could produce for us?

The image of MQ in a bunker with a Walther would warm the heart of any Pan Am 103 relative.

MJ

Walrus

your depression is misplaced. Churchill merely misread European and post-Empire sentiment entirely. He even misread post-War British electorate sentiment and was thrown from office.

Government is not monolithic, nor is war, nor is humanity. We cant judge Saudis by the Saudi regime; we can only judge the regime by itself. We now enter the second great phase of history post WWII. The Arabs shake off their post-colonial masters and wake from their slumber. The Muslim Brotherhood is merely the middle class face of this movement. A muslim version of the Christian Democratic right if you will. Nothing in itself to be afraid of.

We already have something far worse in charge in Saudi. And in the rest of the current regimes come to think of it.

omen

rebels getting organized:

Recently, that chaos has begun to fade as rebels organise themselves. At the front, fighters now carry paper badges in plastic slips that list their name, number, and "brigade". Newer identification cards are smaller, made of plastic, list blood type and feature a barcode.

Weapons carry individual numbers – Bukatwa's rifle had "309" painted on the wooden stock. These are recorded and linked to the fighter's ID number when a brigade supply centre distributes arms.

Rebel commanders have begun confiscating guns from those who don't belong to the military force or who are deemed unreliable. Poor or trigger-happy fighters are sometimes "retired", either sent home or given a menial task, such as sweeping floors.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/04/201141942947854663.html

stickler

Every time I hear people talking about the impending bankruptcy of the USA, I roll my eyes. Here's why:

1) Federal tax reciepts as a percentage of GDP are lower today than they've been since 1950.

2) You think the dollar is weak? You might be right. So you sell your dollars and buy ... what? Euros? Yen? Renminbi? The dollar's days as world reserve currency may be numbered, but they're not over yet.

euclidcreek

Mr Stress of Cleveland writes: "The older Von Moltke and other Prussians refered to American Civil War armies as armed mobs chasing each other around the country side"

Patrick Lang

euclidcreek

Yeah, well, von Moltke "never met Bobby Lee and his boys." pl

bth

I note with some interest this WaPo article about fuel shortages in MQ controlled areas. One wonders how long his sole remaining refinery will operate in these troubled times.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/libyan-security-forces-protect-gas-stations-as-lines-lengthen/2011/04/27/AFw8GcyE_print.html

bth

Note that desperate struggles continue along western supply lines. I think the refined fuel embargo is working.

Fred

I wonder what von Moltke would have done if beset by Forrest or Sheridan not to mention Farragut and Porter?

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