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July 09, 2010

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Tom R

Is Afghanistan likely to revert back to being a safe-haven for Al Qaeda if the US withdraws?

The answer to that question should dictate our long term strategy, with "long" being defined as whatever length of time is required to make the answer to the question "No". That is a position most conservatives should not have a problem agreeing to.

Clarice

As for the schism nonsense..let me suggest that carving up the spoils is a waste of time until you are in power and there are like actually some spoils. In the meantime, I see a bunch of powerless pundits yapping.

fdcol63

A lot of these "younger" pundits are merely inexperienced Millenial nitwits who don't know what the f**k they're talking about.

There ought to be some level of minumim standard pre-requisites they must meet before they're allowed to pontificate in print or on the air.

fdcol63

Besides preventing Afghanistan from becoming another pre-9/11 terrorist sanctuary, there are 2 other very impoortant strategic goals for our continued presence there:

1) Preventing AQ and the Taliban from seizing control of Pakistan and its nukes.

2) Maintaining a presence on Iran's eastern border - to keep encouraging pro-democracy Iranian factions to overthrow the mullahs themselves or, failing that, to provide staging areas and support bases for military action against Iran if that ever becomes necessary.

Both of these goals are aided by having the Afghan populace on our side and otherwise friendly to us. "Nation-building" is an important element in fostering these goals, but should be secondary to them.

George Ditter

It is not possible to win a war when you have committed to a firm date at which time you will agree that you lost and give up. There would still be a Nazi Germany if FDR had pledged in the Spring of 1944 to withdraw our forces from Europe by April of 1945.

LouP

There are very good reasons that we should prosecute a war in Afghanistan. That is not the issue, and it's the lack of understanding of the issue by pundits and knee-jerkers of both sides that's causing "the issue."

I have no idea what Bush would have done in his third term, but I firmly believe that once he had decided, he would have been firmly committed to following it through. And he would have done everything in his power to line up the civilians in his administration to support a single strategy.

What do we have now? An uncomitted president who can't even get his VP, his SOS, his Ambassador, and however many "special envoys" he's appointed to line up on the same page.

Damn right, it's Obama's war, because of the way he's going about it, which is going to get a lot of Americans needlessly killed - without a committment to success.

Old Lurker

"In the meantime, I see a bunch of powerless pundits yapping."

Bumper Sticker of the week, Clarice.

Anyone who thinks the post election spoils are in the bag are eating some of those CA brownies.

Clarice

OT: Warren Gebert on Bolden's NASA nonsense
http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=28731

Steve C.

I can't help but think that Obama has an endless loop of Vietnam running in the back of his mind.

One of the reasons LBJ escalated the war in Vietnam was because Republicans had been bashing Democrats over "losing China" for 15 years. (short version, they are soft on communism)
LBJ was hesitant to escalate (which explains his piecemeal approach) because of his fear that the war would swallow his presidency. It did.
Now comes Obama. The smartest president ever, allegedly, who has set his own trap with his own mouth. He beat Bush over the head with the good war in Afghanistan to score political points. Obama meet your petard. With the full knowledge of what happened to LBJ he is attempting to not let Afghanistan swallow his presidency. How does he do that? Same approach as LBJ, piecemeal escalation. This guy has no courage. He could have used his detailed analysis to wind down the war quickly. It would be controversial, but he could probably make it stick. Instead he cheese pares the generals over troop levels and then sets an unrealistic deadline.
I'm not arguing a drawdown is the right course of action. Only that he had the chance and he did not take it. Now he's stuck. His left is unhappy, the right is unhappy and the middle is just plain confused. This guy brings dissatisfaction wherever he goes.

matt

no one ever thought Afghanistan would be easy. It is the ultimate asymmetrical war and these people fight sort of like O'Rourke put it ("Is this fight private or can anyone join in?").

Having said that, the jury is well out and either we are in or we're out. Either we commit the resources to succeed or we bail out.

The Dem's have never wanted to commit those resources. They never wanted this fight. Afghanistan is the shiny object they are using to distract us as they mess up Iraq.

Everything the Administration has done to date shows they are saying one thing while doing another. Whatever happened to the GWOT? While the president is reaching out to the Muslim world, more and more radicals are disappearing into Pakistan/Afghanistan.

We now have NASA reaching out to the Islamokooks, and instead of the 40,000 troops requested, Hamlet gave them 30,000 only after 3 months of agonizing. 40,000, by the way, was the lowest number envisioned by the military.

The ROE's are the most restrictive we have ever worked under and casualties are rising rapidly.

Having said that, this was not unexpected. COIN is the toughest kind of fight because it is intellectual, not kinetic. Not that I think most Afghans will willingly come out of the 15th Century, but perhaps they will see it is not in their best interests to beat their old ladies, wipe their ass with their hands, and shoot at their neighbors on a weekly basis.

I say build some halal McDonalds, get 'em hooked on Islamoprah, and spray the poppies with Agent Orange. If there is anyone who can turn it it will be Petraeus and we'll know in 9 months. In the meantime, the pundits should STFU.

Soylent Obamacare

1) Preventing AQ and the Taliban from seizing control of Pakistan and its nukes.

2) Maintaining a presence on Iran's eastern border - to keep encouraging pro-democracy Iranian factions to overthrow the mullahs themselves or, failing that, to provide staging areas and support bases for military action against Iran if that ever becomes necessary.

3) Placing Pakistan's back against a pro-democracy, pro-India country, denying them strategic depth in any ensuing showdowns on the subcontinent.


The answer to that question should dictate our long term strategy, with "long" being defined as whatever length of time is required to make the answer to the question "No". That is a position most conservatives should not have a problem agreeing to.

4) Providing an anchor point for a larger long-term (say, 30 years) "Silk Road" strategy encompassing economic development and snuffing out bad actors in the 'stans, Chechnya, as well as the usual suspects in Iran and Pakistan.

Neo
Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops, according to a recent report by a British-based media agency.

Reporters from the media agency spotted and took photos of a few "monkey soldiers" holding AK-47 rifles and Bren light machine guns in the Waziristan tribal region near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The report and photos have been widely spread by media agencies and Web sites across the world.

According to the report, American military experts call them "monkey terrorists."

It's been 50 years since the last "Monkey Gap."

Clarice

Hi, Soylent!

MTV, Matt..MTV..Beam it in--give everyone free tvs to see it..MTV and maybe cocoa puffs and cheetos; Mcdonalds and dunkin doughnuts...

Jane says obamasucks

Hey Soylent, did you ever send me that email?

Soylent Obamacare

MTV, Matt..MTV..Beam it in--give everyone free tvs to see it..MTV and maybe cocoa puffs and cheetos; Mcdonalds and dunkin doughnuts...

Carpet bomb with iPods. If we're going to be imperialists, let's start by being cultural imperialists, which accomplishes what we're really after anyway.


Hey Soylent, did you ever send me that email?

Not yet Jane. Because I suck.

DCD

Code C.

I think they gave their balls to Andy and she likes them.

Soylent Obamacare

Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops, according to a recent report by a British-based media agency.

Meh. That's old hat. Beware of this guy. Bad dates.

Very dangerous Indy. You go first.

Neo

The monkeys were predicted LUN

Jane says obamasucks

Well I don't think you suck - I just want to make sure it doesn't go into my spam filter, which seems to think I really really really want to buy viagra and don't want to hear from any of my friends.

Parking  Lot

((There ought to be some level of minumim standard pre-requisites they must meet before they're allowed to pontificate in print or on the air.))

or vote

Parking  Lot

((A lot of these "younger" pundits are merely inexperienced Millenial nitwits who don't know what the f**k they're talking about.))

John McCain's twit of a daughter comes to mind

ScaliB

as metrical or whatever it's called the US gave up. O stalled, got a bunch killed, fired a guy who had to be cause he couldn't do his job and now we've given up. US lost and that's what O and the dems wanted, why hope they'll change?

daddy

I don't knpw Parking Lot,

You put some pix of ">http://www.inewscatcher.com/timages/de2d7764b57db0feaf504c1da502007e.jpg"> Megan McCain in a bikini in the Yukon and you might just be able to destroy the entire Global Warming agenda of the Left.

Ignatz

McCrystal initially wanted 60,000 to win with a bare minimum of 40,000, correct?

Petraeus is a great general but history tells us a great general hampered by a feckless, meddling CIC who will not let him do all he needs to win and a nation not committed to victory faces a nearly impossible task.
When you dump that ill fated combo into the one spot on earth that is historically perhaps the most assiduous in harrassing and waiting out foreign armies and couple it with Barry's asinine withdrawal date I don't see how it can end well.

LouP

Hey, look on the bright side: PETA's soon going to be over there protesting the training of monkeys!

I really, really like the "culture imperialism" approach, though. Obama can carpet bomb the Taliban with PETA, feminists, ACLU lawyers, DOJ supervisors, people of - ahem - alternate lifestyles, Code Pinkers, environmentalists, and hashish heads. Solves two problems at once. Where's the patriotism of the Left if they can't get behind this idea?

Extraneus

Petraeus is a great general but history tells us a great general hampered by a feckless, meddling CIC who will not let him do all he needs to win and a nation not committed to victory faces a nearly impossible task.

Well put. I've been thinking that since there isn't one thing Obama has done that is in our interests, the outcome of the Afghanistan operation isn't likely to be. The generals might do their best in spite of him, but his strategy, motive and objective will not be in our interest. We already know that.

bgates

How come it's a schism when it involves Republicans so far out of power they're writing for Politics Daily, but it's healthy intellectual ferment when it involves the President, VP, and SecDef contradicting each other in public every few days for the first year of the term?

MTV, Matt..MTV..Beam it in--give everyone free tvs to see it

Give me two hours of that, and I'd become convinced of the righteousness of jihad against America.

Clarice

You would, bgates, but you aren't an oversexed, totally repressed rural boy who's never seen a woman who doesn't look like a tent.

narciso

One wonders about that, Qutb, who was the first of this modern generation of intellectual jihadists grew up in a Westernized colony of Egypt, not the barren Nejd desert. He never saw Western women, who
didn't wear the hijab

Extraneus

Are you able to support that statement, Clarice?

Captain Hate

You would, bgates, but you aren't an oversexed, totally repressed rural boy who's never seen a woman who doesn't look like a tent.

Ya know, when you scroll to the bottom of a thread and see that, it leads you to wonder what infestation of trolls or other manifestations of dysfunction could've ever led to that comment. But the only thing that would fit in that description was a link to Mega McCain.

Clarice

Heh--we are debating whether the way to win in Afghanistan isn't cultural imperialism--bombarding the yoots with MTV and junk food. bgates says it wouldn't work for him.
I can't prove he's not one of those yoots, but he sure doesn't seem like one.

Janet

LUN US started negotiating spy swap before arrests

Does seem very sketchy....as do most things out of DC these days.

narciso

Meanwhile, this whole shebang, seems to have been a kabuki dance all along, in search of
a spy swap. And it turns out they are all Russians, and Heathfield (Bezmurov) but 'these are not the droids you're looking for, move along, you may go about your business'

Clarice

Janet, Skandia's comment there echoes my own thoughts. Something vile there.

matt

Afghanistan Broadcasting Corp. - Fall Lineup

Who Wants to Be A Mullahionaire?
Name That Stan.
Mullahoprah Winfrey
What's My Line (with Burquas)
I Married a Martyr
Haqqani Do That?
Talib, or not Talib?
2 1/2 Mullahs
Little Mud Compound on the Prairie
How It's Made (hammer,lever, flush toilet, IED)

Janet

LUN is Skandia's comment.
Exactly.

narciso

Btw, I thought of going to see Inception next week, but on second thought, in the LUN 'not so much'

Neo

Frankly, I really get tired of the pundits trying to out-pundit each other, especially when they go after stuff that isn't illegal.

There is enough illegal cr@p going down at the DOJ (and ... name that cabinet post) ... and they are wasting their time beating up Mr. Steele. Please go hit yourselves with a 2 by 4 ... multiple times .. please. If it doesn't help .. repeat till it does.

narciso

What's the line that comes to mind 'the beatings will stop, when the morale improves'

It is curious who has not said a word, publicly, about this whole matter, but who probably relayed her displeasure at the statement

hit and run

Clarice:
You would, bgates, but you aren't an oversexed, totally repressed rural boy who's never seen a woman who doesn't look like a tent.


Bookmarked. That'll come in handy some day.

narciso

Here's a review of that book I mentioned last night, that really gets it fundamentally wrong, in the LUN

JM Hanes

fdcol63 & Soylent:

Yes,yes,yes,yes,yes!

Anyone who thinks Afghanistan will just revert to some sort of status quo ante backwash has just not been paying attention. In fact, that's precisely the problem with most of the opining on this subject.

 Ann

Nephew of Justice Thomas ‘Tased’ at New Orleans Hospital

There are no details, but this story worries me, a lot.

Spines R Us

Stop by for our BOGO sale!

Stephanie

Speaking of BOGO sales.. how bout a BOZO sale?

The comments section is priceless.

LUN

JM Hanes

The Thomas story sounds appalling, Ann.

Here's the WaPo.

Raw Story adds some details, and says that Thomas was admitted "after a possible suicide attempt," but I don't see anything about that at the source they cite:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is reportedly "outraged" after security guards at a New Orleans-area hospital were accused of punching and tasing his epileptic nephew, a news report states.

Derek Thomas was admitted to West Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Thursday, after a possible suicide attempt, reports ABC affiliate WGNO

When the Supreme Court justice's nephew refused to put on a hospital gown and said he wanted to leave the hospital, doctors ordered security to restrain him.

Security guards "punched him in his lip, pulled out more than a fistful of his dreadlocks and tasered him to restrain him," a statement from Thomas' family said.

Shortly afterwards, family members say, Thomas suffered a "massive epileptic seizure."


narciso

Since when do you tase someone at a hospital, this is the second dodgy incident to happen in the Big Easy, the first was that assault
on that Jindal staffer

Dave (in MA)

I heard a blurb on CBS radio that the State Dept.'s "Reset" of relations with Moscow is being credited for why the spy swap was able to happen so quickly. I guess Pooty-Poot and his pal Dmitry were impressed with Secretary Cankles offering up her Overcharched Button after all.

Jack is Back!

Regarding tazing at a hospital: Anyone been reading "The Overton Window" at the beach?

Seeing that post above by JMH just brought the book to mind.

Yesterday my father-in-law happened to fly from Brussels to Vienna in time to watch the transfer of the good Russkies for the bad Russkies. His plane landed and he could see at the far end of one of the taxiways near a cargo area the two planes and lots of traffic activity. I guess that was it.

I agree with Skandia = this is too pat, too fast, too slick and very worrisome. Someone, either the Russkies or Us wanted someone pretty bad. Supposedly, we had these folks under surveillance for 10 years and now all of a sudden we decide to nab them and exchange them. Is Putin pulling a fast one - I don't see Obami being smart enough to be the one pulling.

BR

Divine Chess.

Pops

A much better strategy in Afghanistan is to turn Kandahar into a Christian cultural center and Giant Christian Cathedral.

The Muslims are well known for building Mosques in places they conquer, so let's give them a taste of their own medicine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxFzFIDbKpg

Pops

The Russia spy deal stinks to high heaven. Why the big hurry to get this done? What was the big rush?

Did they even give the Russians time to talk? Find out who they recruited?

They biggest question Congress and the media should be asking is why it was so important to get this done quickly? In addition, were any of the Russians even asked if they wanted to defect? Were they asked to turn on Russia and remain here and disclose everything they knew?

Why are they being treated so shabbily, thrown back to Russia without even inguiring if they wanted asylum.

Pops

Apparently noone in this adminstration wanted any of these Russians to remain on US soil, free to talk and free to be called before Congress to find out their contacts in the US government.

BR

I have this huge craving for blinis right now!

BR

Oh, sweet liqueur - A 1001 Tales from a Dacha on DR.

Jane says obamasucks

When the Supreme Court justice's nephew refused to put on a hospital gown and said he wanted to leave the hospital, doctors ordered security to restrain him.

I'm sure the DOJ will get right on it.

Janet

Pops, When are you filing to run for office? We could use you here in Northern Virginia to replace Jim Moran.

bunkerbuster

Narco claims: Qutb, who was the first of this modern generation of intellectual jihadists grew up in a Westernized colony of Egypt, not the barren Nejd desert. He never saw Western women, who didn't wear the hijab.''
Wrong again, Narco. Qutb's experiences in America at a Teachers College in Colorado (now the University of Northern Colorado) are part of what turned him against the West. He was strikingly Jerry Falwell-like in his insecure prudishness about what he saw as the lascivious behavior of American co-eds, and, remember, this was the early 1950s. While in America Qutb criticized dances held at Church halls where "the atmosphere was full of desire" and the dance floor "replete with enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests". He was offended by the features of the "American girl", the "round breasts, the full buttocks, shapely thighs, sleek legs." It should come as no surprise that the founder of radical Islam was primarily trying to work off his outsized frustration at not being able to get laid...Plus he was "black" -- by 1950s U.S. standards, anyway -- and he really didn't like the way he was treated because of that...

Janet

WaPo has an article today in their On Faith section telling how the Mexican drug cartels - or one anyway, is using a Christian book "Wild at Heart" for evil inspiration. LUN

Yeah, I'm sure that book is why the cartels are so evil & they do what they do.
BTW it is a wonderful book and I hate the WaPo.

BR

Yes, Pops, from Russia's viewpoint, it's why wait for China to gobble up our misbegotten communist offspring in the West. Better to clean up the mess by exposure.

PS - you guys, don't forget to implicate the Clintons' 92-93 era.

Pops

BR,

All we need is Al "Flaccid Chakra' Gore to remind us of the cigar stuffing President.

I just was saying to a friend, remember back when the Democrats just screwed the interns and not the country?

Pops

Bunker:
""He was strikingly Jerry Falwell-like in his insecure prudishness about what he saw as the lascivious behavior of American co-eds"""

I would describe that as more Farrakhan, Rev Wright and Samir Shabazz like.

Thomas Collins

Bunkerbuster is in competition for this month's "Good Progs Equate Jihadists to American Religious Conservatives" award of the month (see his or her "Falwell-like" remark). It's sad how so many progs have to use this prop as an aid to denying the existential threat that jihadism poses to us. Islam has its jihadists, America has its religious right. I guess progs, with higher IQs than we wingnuts, see connections that we in our bitter clinging don't perceive.

narciso

I know, TC, a church social in dry Greeley in the 40s, there's a touch of incomprehension here, he apparently wasn't a big sports fan either

Danube of Thought

Minus 14 at Raz today.

narciso

What has he done that has his earned him, six points in a week, is it the Arizona lawsuit

Rick Ballard

It could easily slip back to single digits (momentarily) next week if BP is successful in getting that new cap on the well. The MFM will make sure that BOzo gets the win even though his willful ineptitude and malfeasance regarding skimmers and the Jones Act has exacerbated the damage throughout the situation. I hope Anadarko follows through on its refusal to pick up a share of the money extorted from BP by BOzo. There is no reason for Anadarko shareholders to pay for BOzo's failure to mitigate.

It's going to be interesting to see if the watermelons will be successful in turning this into a deep water drilling China Syndrome situation. Killing deep water exploration would be a boon to the state owned energy companies which need $70 (minimum) oil in order to maintain their facade. Abdullah, Chavez and Putin all agree it would be a very good thing. Lula is a bit ambivalent about it.

Parking  Lot

((He was strikingly Jerry Falwell-like in his insecure prudishness about what he saw as the lascivious behavior of American co-eds, and, remember, this was the early 1950s))

I guess he was never able to score a date.

BR

LOL, Pops. I was actually thinking about the Clintons' sellout to China, still ongoing with Hillary's recent visit to China and Obama's subsequent Executive Order - the standdown on Chinese espionage.

I bet the Russians know a lot about all of that, too.

glasater

Here's the connection the Black Panthers/black radicals have with OBL--according to Pat Dollard:

Black Panther’s President Sh!tbag Praises Bin Laden...

pwr

As much as I like Coulter and Reihl, conservatives were backing the escalation. I heard some grumbling about it, but it was primarily about not being in the war to win it or half-assing the escalation. This is the problem with Steele's comment. Even with a split, there should have been more vocal opposition to short-changing the mission when the troop escalation decision was made.

Do conservatives want to be like the Democrats with Iraq? I don't think so. The Steele comment takes them down that path.

Personally, I would like to win and do whatever it takes, regardless of the political transformation (may be necessary, but seems less likely than it was for Iraq). However, my feeling is the same as it was before the increase, if Obama is not interested in winning, then we should leave.

Also Kristol was a Steele defender until this last remark. Not a strong defender, but still backing him.

Buck Smith

We can fight the Taliban much more effectively at much lower cost by being less squeamish. Deterrence will work against radical Islamists. But to be credible deterrence policies must be articulated and believed. Here are two policies that would go a long way to changing things.

1. If there is a major Islamist attack on the US, even 1/100 the size of 9-11, US will conduct a Sherman-style campaign in the tribal areas.

2. If Pakistani nukes are used against the US or US troops in the region, US will conduct Lemay-style fire-bombings of major Pakistani cities

glasater

There are some conservatives who seem to think that if they praise Zero on doing--somewhat--the right thing the administration can be persuaded to do "more right" things down the road in other areas of concern.
I am one person who is not so deluded that Zero will ever do the right thing in any endeavor and especially in Afghanistan.

Soylent Obamacare

He never saw Western women, who didn't wear the hijab

Not true narciso! Qutb actually wrote Milestones as a response to the wicked decadence he had witnessed at the University of Northern Colorado in the 1950s.

Donna Reed must be stoned!

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