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February 11, 2008



I thought at least one of the premises were wrong. so I Googled "1st Cavalry Division" and this came up, from the relevant section:

"In early 2003, select divisional units were designated to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom through the initial phase of combat culminating in the liberation of the Iraqi people from the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein.

These specialized units, including attack helicopters from 1-227 Aviation Battalion provided aviation assets to the operations; maintenance support for the battalion was provided by the 615th Aviation support battalion. Airfield security was provided by 1-21 Field Artillery. The 68th chemical company as attached to 3rd Infantry Division serving as a Hazardous material response team.

On 24 March 2003, helicopters of the 1-227th engaged the elite Republican Guard Medina Division. An AH-64D Apache piloted by Chief warrant officers’ Williams and Young were downed by enemy ground fire.

Chiefs Williams and Young became the first 1st Cavalry Division POW’s since the Korean War. Twenty two days later Williams and Young along with other US POW’s were rescued by US Marines.

Operation Iraqi Freedom II

In the fall of 2003, the division as a whole was ordered to prepare for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom II. In preparation, for deployment the Division provides training at National Training Center, Joint Readiness Training Center and at Fort Hood. Training included combat operations, working with city services and cultural awareness.

In January, Division elements began deploying to the theater of operations and in April 2004 the division assumed command and control of Task Force Baghdad. During the division’s tour of duty, Task Force Baghdad’s ranks swelled to more than 39,000 uniformed members including active duty, reserve, national guard Soldiers, US Marines, and international coalition partners.

The Division engaged in multiple lines of operations simultaneously to defeat the enemy and win the support of the Iraqi people. Combat Operations, Train & employ Security Forces, Essential Services, Promote Governance, and Economic Pluralism) while mutual supporting, were discrete, the sixth – Information Operations – when used properly amplified the effectiveness of everything the Division did. The Division helped the Iraqi people forge a new, democratic government --- the first in that nation’s history.

Two major events in the march toward true democracy occurred during the division’s year in the Iraqi capital: first, the coalition returned sovereignty to the people of Iraq in June 2004; and second, the national elections of January 2005 demonstrated the resolve of the Iraqi people to gain control of their own country.

The division transferred authority to the 3d Infantry Division in February 2005 and completed redeployment on April 2.

So right there, I become suspicious of the entire premises of said report. The State Department 'vaunted' planning group' was really a figment fed to David Reiff's and
expanded by Packer, Diamond, and other accounts. Interesting how they left out the role of the 4th I.D, which was delayed in deployment by our friends the Turks; with imput from Marc Grossman, maybe.

Bill in AZ

This sounds like another hit piece on President Bush (er... gotta keep the obligatory meme alive... "who screwed up the war in Iraq").

Timmermans "Shadow Warriors" has a considerably different take on this, and given what we know about many of the players, I would be more inclined to believe the Shadow Warriors version of this.

Some important things that came into play: CIA was hopelessy wrong on their estimate of simple infrastructure - water, electricity, etc.
Several agencies, or members within agencies such as State Dept and CIA, deliberately or stupidly interferred with the plans that had already been formulated - most importantly having to do with Chalabi and a group of people he had ready to go in and smooth the transition.


Couldn't coordinate with the State dept?

One of Washington's most prominent conservative lawyers, sent to Iraq to help the fledgling democracy develop its legal and judicial institutions, has charged in a blistering memo to U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker that the State Department and Foreign Service have "brought to Iraq the worst of America — our bureaucrats" and become "an albatross around the neck of the Coalition command."

State is part of the problem, and only minimally part of the solution. An awful lot of screwups belong to the beauracrats there, but they won't own them, just like Ari Fleischer and Colin Powell wouldn't own Valerie Plame.

Axis of Weasels.


Isn't this special.

The military force was adequate but the planning was shiddy. Bombs, rockets, tanks and planes can be manufactured and soldiers recruited and trained but government bureaucrats with brains are always in short supply.

Charlie (Colorado)

That's right: the planning was inadequate, there were too few troops, and as a result we took, held, liberated, re-established a popularly-elected government in a country the size of France, and crushed al Qaeda in Iraq while exhausting its resources world wide, with fewer casualties then we sustained on and directly following D-Day.

What a bunch of dopes.


Charlie--that is an excellent retort--And on behalf of the gang, I want you to know how happy we are that fame has not caused you to abandon your friends. (Smooches)



Obviously you didn't get the meme-o.
Iraq is a debacle, a mess, a quagmire.

Carry on.

Rick Ballard


Are you suggesting that the KSA owned Arabists at State couldn't have done a much better job at something that they've never been successful at before had they just been given the chance? What about the amazing progress in Bosnia? What about the peace that reigns in Israel? The calm that has descended upon Darfur? The great strides made in Zimbabwe?

Surely those examples alone are sufficient evidence of the power of diplomacy when coupled with the awesome intelligence on tap at State. After all, they were able to conjure up a phantom Army with capabilities which did not exist in 2003 in support of their very detailed "plan" which, unfortunately, never actually addressed the problem of governance of a feudalistic islamic society with the thinnest veneer of modernity superimposed upon it through the sheer brutality of its leadership. I'm sure that slight oversight would have been easily corrected very quickly as evidenced by the examples given above.


Nothing to add, but I'm stunned that the NYT's wants to go on this hobby horse again-not enough troops, except when forces are increased, now it is now too much. The meme that wouldn't die.

The NYT must have a pretty good line into what the new Winter Soldier is planning and 2004 and 2005 seems like a good place to focus.


Yeah but all those magnificent successful examples were "accomplished" without an active enemy conducting asymetrical war strategery.

(sarcasm off)

This seems to me like one of those situations where the will to win is more important than any plan.


OT: Tom Lantos died. That was quick.


It's still too early in the day to solve the problems of the world. Instead lets laugh at other people's computer problems (sorry if you've already seen this:


Girlfriend 6.0 vs. Wife 1.0
Comparative Trial

Last year a friend of mine upgraded from GirlFriend 6.0 to Wife 1.0 and found that it's a memory hog leaving very little system resources available for other applications. He is now noticing that Wife 1.0 is also spawning Child Processes which are further consuming valuable resources. No mention of this particular phenomena was included in the product brochure or the documentation, though other users have informed him that this is to be expected due to the nature of the application.

Not only that, Wife 1.0 installs itself such that it is always launched at system initialization, where it can monitor all other system activity. He's finding that some applications such as PokerNight 10.3, BeerBash 2.5, and PubNight 7.0 are no longer able to run in the system at all, crashing the system when selected (even though they always worked fine before). During installation, Wife 1.0 provides no option as to the installation of undesired Plug-Ins such as MotherInLaw 55.8 and BrotherInLaw Beta release. Also, system performance seems to diminish with each passing day.

Some features he'd like to see in the upcoming wife 2.0.

1. a "Don't remind me again" button
2. a Minimize button
3. An install shield feature that allows Wife 2.0 be installed with the option to uninstall at any time without the loss of cache and other system resources
4. An option to run the network driver in promiscuous mode which would allow the system's hardware probe feature to be much more useful.

I myself decided to avoid the headaches associated with Wife 1.0 by sticking with Girlfriend 7.0. Even here, however, I found many problems. Apparently you cannot install Girlfriend 7.0 on top of Girlfriend 6.0. You must uninstall Girlfriend 6.0 first. Other users say this is a long standing bug that I should have known about. Apparently the versions of Girlfriend have conficts over shared use of the I/O port. You think they would have fixed such a stupid bug by now. To make matters worse, The uninstall program for Girlfriend 6.0 doesn't work very well leaving undesirable traces of the application in the system. Another thing -- all versions of Girlfriend continually popup little annoying messages about the advantages of upgrading to Wife 1.0.


Bug Warning

Wife 1.0 has an undocumented bug. If you try to install Mistress 1.1 before uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MSMoney files before doing the uninstall itself. Then Mistress 1.1 will refuse to install, claiming insufficient resources.

Bug work-arounds: To avoid this bug, try installing Mistress 1.1 on a different system and never run any file transfer applications such as Laplink 6.0. Also, beware of similar shareware applications that have been known to carry viruses that may affect Wife 1.0. Another solution would be to run Mistress 1.1 via a UseNet provider under an anonymous name. Here again, beware of the viruses which can accidently be downloaded from the UseNet.


Tech Support Suggestions

These are very common problem men complain about, but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 6.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a Utilities & Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is indeed an operating system and designed by its creator to run everything.

It is unlikely you would be able to purge Wife 1.0 and still convert back to Girlfriend 6.0. Hidden operating files within your system would cause Girlfriend 6.0 to emulate Wife 1.0 so nothing is gained. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the program files from the system once installed. You cannot go back to Girlfriend 6.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this.

Some have tried to install Girlfriend 7.0 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under "Warnings - Alimony/Child support". I recommend you keep Wife 1.0 and deal with the situation.

I suggest installing background application program C:\YES DEAR to alleviate software augmentation. Having installed Wife 1.0 myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Partnership Faults (GPFs). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur, regardless of their cause. The best course of action will be to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE. In any case avoid excessive use of C:\YES DEAR because ultimately you may have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the operating system will return to normal. The system will run smoothly as long as you take the blame for all the GPFs.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but very high-maintenance. Consider buying additional software to improve the performance of Wife 1.0. I recommend Flowers 3.1 and Diamonds 2K. Do not, under any circumstances, install Secretary with Short Skirt 3.3. This is not a supported application for Wife 1.0 and is likely to cause irreversible damage to the operating system.

Best of Luck,
Tech Support


Yes, I saw that Jane. What a life Lantos had.
I am always moved by the stories of people who must have thought their lives were too much to bear at one point, then go on to accomplish great things.

Rick Ballard

I suppose the planning concerning Iraq could be compared to the extraordinarily precise plan used to deal with the contingencies which have arisen since the widely forseen collapse of the Soviet Union. The magnificent efforts by the CIA in compiling the intelligence necessary to accurately predict the collapse of our foremost foreign adversary allowed RAND and other think tanks to accurately predict not only the timing of the collapse but to forwarn us with precision as to the events which have occurred in subsequence.

I'm sure that there are shelves upon shelves full of plans to deal with the coming collapse of China as well.

And I'm sure that Tinkerbell will live as long as we keep clapping.


Good summary, Charlie (C). We should also establish a graveyard of memes; eg: Taliban spring offensive (last year) and son of Taliban spring offensive (this year); the civil war in Iraq; the Quagmire in Afghanistan/Iraq etc; The rebellious Anbar province; the myth of Falluja, Ramadi, and any other "AQ controlled town." Iwelcome other nominations.


Also, I think it's important to note how it fits in with the "Bush is all powerful" meme. In that world, nothing that our enemies or allies does matters. Rumsfeld's plans were stupid and wrong and Petraeus's plans are wonderful, and if we had just implemented Petraeus's plans back in 2003 everything would have been wonderful in Iraq from day 1 of the invasion. Because in this world, all of the successes of 2007 are a result of Petraeus's wonderful strategies, while nothing of any consequence was caused by AQI's barbarism and the widespread Iraqi revulsion towards it, or the simple time-consuming process of Iraqis figuring out how to live with their neighbors day in and day out without a secret police around to interfere.

Iraq was always a totalitarian state within the living memories of virtually everyone there. How to not be a totalitarian state is something that they have to figure out for themselves. The only thing that outside troops could have ever done in that process is to remove the totalitarian state, and give the Iraqi people time and space to develop the political will to be a democracy. (And understand that AQI had the exact same operational tactic: to create a barbaric reign of terror which would give the Iraqi people time and space to develop the political will to become a fanatical Islamic state. And the shiite militias, too -- their goal was to drive enough of the sunnis out of Iraq so that the remaining sunnis would develop the political will to be enslaved by the shiites.)

Having watched this was unfold over the last 5 years, I am convinced that the most important cause of all of our successes (or, more importantly, the Iraqi people's successes) in Iraq has been the passage of time. Time for AQI to show its ugliness and time for the Iraqis to see that no redeeming characteristics of caliphate-style rule were going to appear. Time for local communities to figure out how to police their local criminals. Time for enough rounds of tit-for-tat revenge killings to go around that people realize that they are fundamentally harming their own families more than if they allow the rule of law to punish criminals. Time for the Saddam-era bureaucrats to decide who was going to join the new order and time for them to integrate with new people in the new bureaucracies and time for them to forge relationships to get things done (which is what the best civil servants ever do in any circumstance.)

To the Bush-is-all-powerful-and-all-evil crowd (or maybe Cheney; it's hard to keep track!) Bush could have waved his magic wand at any time and made Iraq a perfect quiet sleepy democracy. Since he didn't wave his wand, he is evil. My objection to the assertion that McCain is "right on the war" is that McCain is firmly on the side of the magical thinkers when it comes to the evaluations of the conduct of the war. With the magical thinkers, there is never any context of time. There is only "Rumsfeld's Failures" and "Petraeus's Successes" (and did we mention that McCain is the #1 most important person responsible for "Petraeus's" successes?) It is inconceivable to McCain and the Magical Thinkers that if we had tried the policies in a different order that the progress of the war might actually have been pretty much the same -- because the policies that have been most effective in bringing about the political progress in Iraq are not our policies at all, but the massive policy failures of our enemies. The political will for an orderly, democratic state has been mostly created by the barbarism and thuggery of al Qeada and the shiite militias and the various and sundry local criminal gangs.


State Department? Powell and Rice are amateurs and into their African Americanesse. The planning of the war seems to be CIA avoiding it. Afghanistan planning and funding seems to be the opposite with planning going to the intelligence committee, funding through USAID(CIA);to pals(CIA) in NGOs. Iraq was all military and Afghanistan was all CIA. This seems to be the answer, but the reality of the CIA and its agents staying in place is the fact that NATO wars are treated different from US wars. NATO is a lost org. The next step is to go into a non combat role, but that is what Afghanistan was until the insurgency in the south when some CIA agents wanted more money. NATO will be two tier and combat roles will have to be done by the Americans. They run the country through their CIA and that's who can do the combat. Canada is throwing out the government and a vote will bring the troops home until their is a non combat role. This is necessary because of the American CIA running Afghanistan. The liberals began the war and can end it.

i guess TSK9 isn't the USF guy.

Kryto Commen tater ended up going the other way, so he wasn't nice and probably should be left alone.


Sour grapes. High grade nutrition for the left.



Call me crazy, but any military operation where two of the chief initial criticisms were 1) that the Museum of Old Stuff was insufficiently protected and

2) that the zoo animals weren't properly considered in the planning indicates, to me, a raving military success.

Could it have gone "better"? Sure, but the information gathered from this exercise is used, if needed, for the next war, if necessary.


cathyf, while I agree with the general thrust of your comments, consider this: "The political will for an orderly, democratic state has been mostly created by the barbarism and thuggery of al Qeada and the shiite militias and the various and sundry local criminal gangs."

Is it not more the case that what is possibly coming to pass is a (somewhat) orderly state (of sorts) but not a democratic one in our sense of the word: a modus vivendi has been worked out among the various warring tribes, religions and ethnicities which conforms largely to time honored traditions in Mesopotamia--minus Saddam. There's still a fair amount of barbarism and thuggery, but it's more within the bounds of traditional societal structures and is exercised by traditionally recognized authorities. And the traditional centrifugal tendencies within a supposedly unified state are still present as well, just as they were under Saddam.

The insurgency has basically won, and we've joined sides with them as they have come to a modus vivendi with us, as well--after all, invasions and the presence of invading armies are a traditional part of Mesopotamian society. The question to be answered is not whether the Iraqis are better off--they're pretty much the same as before, minus whatever the number of casualties and refugees--but are we better off without Saddam and is that result worth whatever we expended to achieve it.


The reason I wrote: The insurgency has basically won, is that we have had to adjust our goals from Western style secular democracy to tribal/religious/ethnic power sharing on a communitarian basis (not a Western style individualistic basis). There's been give and take on both sides, but the end result is something that Iraqis recognize as their own country and is recognizably foreign to us--far more foreign than any Western country.


found this little nugget towards the end of the article...

More broadly, it suggested that there was a need to change the military’s mind-set, which has long treated preparations to fight a major war as the top priority...

OMG-the Army plans for war and leaves post-war planning to civilians...someone quick, get a memo to State, the Army is counting on them.

found this nugget in another RAND-Europe study [.pdf warning and sorry for the length]:

the State Department, through its Future of Iraq project, considered the wider aspects of Iraqi nation-building. The OSP, formed in August 2002, produced a range of guidance on issues ranging from de-Ba’athification to the future of the Iraqi army. This guidance was to inform later decisions taken by coalition officials in Baghdad.

The Future of Iraq project was especially noteworthy in that it brought together scores of Iraqi opposition figures during 2002 and early 2003 [note: most likely INA figures from the 1990's failed coup attemts] to examine how Iraqi politics, society and government institutions could be reformed [note: this has always been curious; thinking about the parable of the old wineskins] after the removal of Saddam’s regime.36 This process usefully assembled many of the Iraqi intellectuals and opposition activists who were to be involved in post- Saddam politics, and addressed many of the political and institutional issues that would have to be considered.37 However, although the project enabled the US government to expand its contacts with Iraqi exiles, it did not produce plans for Iraqi reconstruction that could be translated into practical action.

Its on p.10 the report itself is 27 pages, and don't believe it is the same one as referenced in the NYT article. I've found a traunch of 2005 reports from the GAO titled "Rebuilding Iraq..." but nothing like an AAR descibed in the NYT article. My take on all this is that the State Dept held a bunch of conferences, muscled the DOD out of the process, a task the DOD wasn't enthusiastic about anyway, and at the end, State was less informed and less prepared and have been pointing the finger of blame ever since. Still it doesn't make much sense to me to dredge up 2 1/2 year old studies and claims of it "being buried because it was an embarrassment". Rumsfeld is gone and the top ranks of the Army have been churred. Can't figure why it would even still be a useful issue, it doesn't even help the terrorists in Iraq at this point.


My understanding is that DoD thought it best to simply turn over civilian administration to the Iraqis which Gen Garner was preparing to do. Powell insisted on State taking over the post-war aspects and Rice acceded to his demands. And THEN State pointed fingers at Rumsfeld and the President and everyone else for their own incompetence in carrying out the mission to thich they insisted on being assigned.


Did the report cited in the NYT mention the botched job Colin Powell did in pre-war negotiations with Turkey?

Recall: the 4th Infantry Division was set to depart our NATO base in Turkey and invade Iraq from the North, only the Turkish government wouldn't allow it. By the time the 4th ID was ferried out of Turkey by ship, circled around, and entered the theater via Kuwait, the invasion phase of the war was over. They missed it.

Thanks Colin. Thanks, too, Marc Grossman.

Charlie (Colorado)

And THEN State pointed fingers at Rumsfeld and the President and everyone else for their own incompetence in carrying out the mission to which they insisted on being assigned.

Its also interesting to do a little Kremlinology here. Most all the big Beltway Bandits/defense think tanks have their strongest ties with one agency or another. SAIC is heavily Air Force; Booz Allen is NSA; MITRE is DoD. RAND is very heavily CIA.

Other Tom

Charlie nailed it pretty good, as far as I'm concerned.

Eisenhower said, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

Mike Tyson said, "Everybody's got a plan until they get hit."

I think I would take exception to Anduril's suggestion that Iraqis are neither better nor worse off than they were under Hussein. Although I wholeheartedly agree that what counts is whether the US is better off, it does seem to me that Iraqis are now entitled to a degree of hope that they couldn't have dreamed of under Saddam. And certainly Iraqi Kurds are far better off, and I would think the Shiites are as well. The Sunnis, not so much, but screw 'em.

Other Tom

I was talking about Charlie's earlier post, although his latest is on point as well.

Other Tom

Meantime, the punters over at Tradesports have dropped Hillary like a hot rock. She's down to 30 cents now, and I'd have been pretty stupid to buy at 39 yesterday.

God how I want that couple out of our lives.


I agree wholeheatedly. We need a good broom -not the one Hillary is riding- to sweep clean.


Other Tom, I never suggested that Iraqis "are neither better nor worse off than they were under Hussein." I was simply saying that Iraqi society has, after a period of intense turmoil, reverted to something like a state of nature. There is, of course, a significant difference, in that the Shia now have significantly more sway than they have traditionally had. So there has been change, but change that the Iraqi society can accommodate. But this result is a far cry from Democratization or whatever the war cry of the neocons was. It may be that it is nevertheless an outcome that benefits the US, but it isn't what we went in hoping or assuming would be the result. How full the cup is has yet to be determined and may depend upon future US policy.

As to whether Iraqis are better off or not, ultimately they are the ones who need to answer that question. I'm not sayin' I disagree with your assessment of how the Iraqis may view their situation.


What really stings is that Powell always comes out of these battles smelling like a rose when he's the one who caused the mess. (Yes, I've quite turned on him after the Libby business where he behaved most perfidiously IMO, but looking back on it it seems he has consistently traded his ability to leak unflattering things about the Administration to the press in return for hagiographic coverage of himself.)


I'm pretty sure that the military is on to the weasel Powell, Clarice.

If his behaviour about Plame, and toward Bush about the War, is passive aggression about his UN speech, then he is going to roast in Hell.


He's the ultimate politician Clarice. He does nothing that is not political while appearing completely apolitical. It's quite a talent.

Other Tom

I share the general contempt for the scheming Powell, and have felt this way for a long, long time. I would rather have a viper in my boot than Colin Powell in my cabinet.

Concerning the latest from RAND, let us nibble on a few historical factoids, just to provide a little context:

--Seven hundred fifty US soldiers were killed in a rehearsal for the D-Day landings.

--At the outset of World War II, US Navy submarines were armed with the Mark 14 torpedo, which unfortunately did not detonate upon striking enemy hulls.

--At the battle of Okinawa roughly 5,000 American sailors were killed by Japanese suicide bombers, for which the Navy was not adequately prepared. But they kept on fighting, and they won.

--Following the D-Day landings the US tanks could not penetrate the hedgerows that crisscrossed the countryside of Normandy. The GI's went back to the beach and salvaged a bunch of the triangular steel hazards the Germans had placed at the waterline, welded them to the front of the tanks, and away they went through the hedgerows.

--After the first wave of Marines landed at the Tarawa atoll, succeeding waves were unable to cross a reef some 800 yards offshore because of the onset of an unusually low "neap" tide. The Marines were forced to offload at the reef and wade ashore under withering fire. One thousand men were killed in the 72 hours it took to secure the one-square-mile Island of Betio. (Quick show of hands among the American press corps: "How many of you have ever heard of Betio?")

I am growing rather weary of the second-guessing. When you win, you ought to savor the victory, salute the people who earned it, and shut the ***k up.


Speaking of Saint Colin, anyone see him interviewed by Wolf Blitzer yesterday? Talk about self-serving comments - Powell has it down to a science!




Deals are going to made with each super delegate to get their support.

Since you've said nobody owns you because you haven't taken any lobbyist money, will you now be owned by any super delegates?

Yes or no.



God how I want that couple out of our lives.

We all do. But I'm not willing to cede anything to Obama who has Samantha Power as senior advisor!

We should be very very careful what we wish for.


Well, O has marshmallow talk down so pat, even Powell has suggested he might support him. But Michelle doesn't--unleash her!


Can't figure why it would even still be a useful issue, it doesn't even help the terrorists in Iraq at this point.

Why, to keep Bush from being re-elected, of course. That, and I imagine they think it tars McCain by association.


My objection to the assertion that McCain is "right on the war" is that McCain is firmly on the side of the magical thinkers when it comes to the evaluations of the conduct of the war.

Yep, and his statements of late about "getting Bin Laden" seem to indicate that if we could just eliminate Osama, this whole thing could be over. I'd like a show of hands for anybody that beleives that? Anybody?


Not me.


I have been emailing an associate about political positions on social policy and the economy and have reached a conclusion: I don't have to convince anyone stop being a fool; I just have to recognize when they are one.


Well, if al Qaeda and the Taliban keep blowing up civilians in pakistan, we're going to have another awakening on our hands.

Which means the conditions will be getting better and better for us to actually get Osama and Zawahiri and all those good folks.

BTW, anything more on the rumor that we got Ghdahn (I don't remember how to spell it!)?


Romney was right, of course. This is a war within Islam. It was perceptive of him AND good to say out loud as a presidential candidate.

But my feeling was that romney would simply let them battle it out....not good enough.

Bush actively poked and prodded because the status quo was dangerous.

I haven't a CLUE what McCain would do. None.


Yep, and his statements of late about "getting Bin Laden" seem to indicate that if we could just eliminate Osama, this whole thing could be over. I'd like a show of hands for anybody that beleives that?

I don't think there is much indication that McCain believes that. I'm fine with him on the war. And I'm thrilled with him on earmarks.

The rest - not so much.

Bill in AZ

On Drudge, some comments from Chertoff regarding possibility of attacks...

Chertoff recognizes it has been more than six years since al Qaida launched the Sept. 11 attacks, but some experts say that's how long it took to plan them, suggesting the U.S. may close in on another spectacular attempt by Osama bin Laden to topple the U.S. economy.

Bin Laden should just wait - we're about to freely elect someone who will topple the US economy. Hillary and Obama are equally up to the task.


What was the RAND prescription before the war?
All wars have disasters,it is the nature of the beast.All wars are entered into with the lessons learned from the last which prove wrong.No matter what the planning the next war will be different.


McCain will do what the Mad King Pinch tells him to do.

Soylent Red

Powell insisted on State taking over the post-war aspects and Rice acceded to his demands. And THEN State pointed fingers at Rumsfeld and the President and everyone else for their own incompetence in carrying out the mission to thich they insisted on being assigned.

Bingo, Clarice.

Anyone else remember how fast and efficiently we took down and then stood back up Panama (Operations "Just Cause" and "Promote Liberty")?

There are reasons for our success in that (granted, smaller)conflict. One of the key ones is how 5th and 7th Groups, and Delta, handled the military and civil service during the transition from kinetic to post-kinetic. They basically took them out in the woods and told them, "Once we get rid of your a**hole bosses, we'll let you guys go back to doing the wonderful job you were doing before."

Another reason, and one I harp on a lot, is the force structure. Look into the groups involved. Nary a coalition partner, but there were a hell of a lot of SOF, MPs, paratroops and light infantry, who are much better suited to support and stabilization operations. Even so, there were at least a couple of weeks of post-kinetic unpleasantness. Luckily the force structure was such that it could handle it.

Gen. Powell was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs during that operation. So theoretically, he should have learned a lesson which could easily have been applied as Secretary of State (my reason one) and could have provided valuable insight into the correct force structure (my reason number two) in light of the successful operation he oversaw 14 years earlier.

Maybe the big brains over at Rand can do a study on why Gen. Powell didn't, apparently, do either.


I saw this brief while at RAND and if you follow its conclusions to the end then you would have predicted the failure of the surge.

This brief will come back to haunt us in the future because it contains a new set of conventional wisdons that are flat wrong.

Soylent Red


BTW, anything more on the rumor that we got Ghdahn (I don't remember how to spell it!)?

Bill Roggio reported it on Thursday and I haven't seen anything related to it one way or another. And I've been looking hard.

Well, if al Qaeda and the Taliban keep blowing up civilians in pakistan, we're going to have another awakening on our hands.

Yup. An incompetent insurgency has the exact same effect as a wildly competent counterinsurgency.

Biting the metaphorical hand that feeds you, dontcha know.


This article seems absurd when you consider how many diapers used by the like of the Times and the left over that sinister office in the basement in the Pentagon - office of "plans"

Damned if you do and if you don't. Surprised TM bought it though.


Marvelous jerry. Are you the other kim?

Other Tom

I don't read McCain's comments about getting bin Laden as indicating he believes that will end the matter of terrorism. I think he simply wants that bastard to be gibbeted, as most of us do.


Last I read Gadahn's friends said they'd not heard from him since Jan 22 when he was heading to a big meeting which apparently was in the very same place a Patriot issile was heading.

Looks like the FBI CI op is now functioning now that Szady is in the private sector promoting the martial arts.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,330320,00.html>Chinese spies in DC and LA

Rick Ballard

"they'd not heard from him since Jan 22 when he was heading to a big meeting festive wedding which apparently was in the very same place a Patriot missile viscious Wedding Party Seeker missile was heading deliberately aimed. Untold innocents were killed and maimed in the unwarranted attack.

[AP editing applied]


There were 72 virgins for bridesmaids.

Charlie (Colorado)

... he has consistently traded his ability to leak unflattering things about the Administration to the press in return for hagiographic coverage of himself.

Historically back to, oh Alcibiades there have been two major kinds of general: political generals and fighting generals. Grant and Patton and Schwartzkopf (oh, my!) were fighting generals; Eisenhower and MacArthur and Powell were political generals. Now, my general dislike and contempt of MacArthur basically knows no bounds (my Dad was 8th Air Force; those who understand will understand) but he did manage, as military ruler of Japan, to do a helluva job with an essentially political situation. Eisenhower kept the Allies in line, managing to mostly keep Churchill from micromanaging the ground war, keep DeGaulle under control, and still was generally admired even by the peolpe who didn't like political generals.

In Gulf War phase I, GHWB was actually pretty brilliant to have a political general doing the political generalling and a fighting general doing the fighting.

Powell might well have made a good President --- it meant getting to "stand out in front where the pretty girls could see him." As Secretary fo State, he apparently mostly still thought he ought to be President.

Cecil Turner

Man, I'm getting tired of the "too few troops" and "no plan" memes. Both "proven" by stupid non sequiturs like MPs taking over the police functions for the entire country, or sealing the borders "was not a priority."

I'm having a hard time seeing what the excess troops were supposed to be doing under Abizaid/Casey's "hands off" approach. There is no indication there were major missions awaiting troops, until the strategy shift underlying the "surge." And while we can argue about whether State's desire to play nice or MNF Iraq's policy of limiting intrusive US troop presence was responsible, there is little doubt that the insurgency flourished during the relative inaction of this period.

It's hard to tell much about the Rand study from the Times's no-doubt incomplete analysis. But trying to lay the blame for later dysfunction on Franks is more than a bit hard to credit, and it's hard to see why an Army study should make recommendations for State plans and policies. Unless the Times cherry-picked the points it thought made political hay, then Gen Lovelace would appear to have the right of it: “The RAND study simply did not deliver a product . . ."

In hindsight, it's fairly obvious the turnaround took place with the advent of Petraeus's new COIN operational strategy; so any study that misses that point is self-evidently off-track.

[AP editing applied]

Good point. No Iraq post-mortem can possibly be complete without mentioning our abysmal IW efforts . . . and the active oppositon of many political foes at home and abroad, and full-time support of enemy propaganda efforts by our own media.



What is your main objection to Samantha Power?

And while we can argue about whether State's desire to play nice or MNF Iraq's policy of limiting intrusive US troop presence was responsible,...
But, apparently, we are not allowed to argue that the presence or absence of talented Iraqi leaders in particular places was responsible for anything. We are not allowed to argue that al Qaeda has actual theological arguments, nor are we allowed to argue that it matters how convincing Muslims find those theological arguments. And we are certainly not allowed to argue that individual Iraqi faithful Muslims who heard these theological arguments in theory were unable to find fault with them, but then when they saw how al Qaeda behaves in actuality (torturing people for fun and calling it "virtue"; raping women and calling it "modesty"; etc.) they were able to identify theological flaws that were not otherwise so obvious.

No, none of that could be "responsible" for anything, because that would make it obvious that that are things that happen in the world that are not under the control of American voters.

The usual nasty slogin is that "Democrats think that Republicans are the enemy, and Democrats believe that Republicans think that Democrats are the enemy. While in fact Republicans think that the Islamofascists are the enemy." So, which mindset goes along with the search for "responsibility" for what has happened in Iraq which only allows the set of possibilities to be one or another official action and/or policy of the US government?


Nevermind I google d her.

An unfailing belief in the UN and ICC


You should always ask yourself why now. Why now is the NYTs running this? Are the beefing up Powell because he is supporting Obama? Is Tommy Franks on the short list for McCain VPs? Condi?


Wow--Mike Huckabee just called to ask for my vote on Tues..(I hung up.)


Get ready. I've heard a rumor that the NYT is working on a story about dual use nuclear equipment and WMD-type material stockpiles not being protected by US troops when we took over Iraq.
Also, it could be that the US has already captured BinLaden and are holding him for an October surprise.


Get ready. I've heard a rumor that the NYT is working on a story about dual use nuclear equipment and WMD-type material stockpiles not being protected by US troops when we took over Iraq.

How would that benefit the we shouldn't have gone there and Bush lied crowd?

Also, it could be that the US has already captured BinLaden and are holding him for an October surprise.

I think bin Laden is dead. However, they have been making the claim that Bush had him and was holding him everytime there is an election. I hope this time they are right.


Powell is a member of the Sacred United Exclusionary African Church of the Obamasiah in America and has come out. Rice will follow soon, but she won't buy into the Chicago chapter's control of foreign policy money through the troops under the First Leader's control at Africom, the Global United Exclusionary African Church of the Obamasiah in America. Powell ceding control seized by the State Department Sacred United Exclusionary African Church of the Obamasiah and tribal leaders in America, global to Rice was a sacred plan so Rice, of the Church Most Sacred United Exclusionary African Church of the Obamasiah(Chicago) in America could rule the non tribal leaders and peoples of Iraq and, later, Afghanistan; non military ngo financing through USDAID and most sacred member aspirants(non Chicago) could control the funding of non troop Most Sacred Aspirant works of the Non Tribal Most Sacred Aspirants of the United Exclusionary African Church of the Obamasiah in America global non Africom chapter.

They are all Islamist Infidels who must be converted to the United Exclusionary African Church of the Obamasiah in America Global Tribe.


Get ready. I've heard a rumor that the NYT is working on a story about dual use nuclear equipment and WMD-type material stockpiles not being protected by US troops when we took over Iraq.

How would that benefit the we shouldn't have gone there and Bush lied crowd?

I'm really kind of kidding, because it's a story they've already run twice-- once on the eve of the 2004 election. It was supposed to make Bush look like he didn't plan enough to protect us, and it had the extra benefit of having been leaked by one of Kofi Anan's minions.
I'm not sure how it was supposed to square with the idea that Bush lied, but the NYT gave it a good go.
A good enough go that I can only imagine them resurrecting the story again.

Rick Ballard


It could just be reinforcement. Pelosi was babbling failure yesterday and the Times followup may just be Copperhead Venom Strengthener.

It's not as if we're going to see a big spread on the Jefferson bribery trial or the Risen subpoena any time soon.


Sad, I am not sure I follow or agree but I'm delighted to see you are well enough to post again!



Why now is the NYTs running this?

My guess is that Winter Soldier II, in getting ramped up for March, is sending free promotional materials to favored journalists at NYT's, WaPo, 60 Minutes etal. They might have some special guest star lined up from the 2004-2005 time frame. I was thinking it might be [formerly] BG Karpinski from abu-Ghraib with other tales of abuse at other "black sites".


Bummer, it's "sed" not "sad"...


Bummer is right.


Not too long ago on CNBC--the tech reporter announced from RIM--Research In Motion--that all Blackberrys were down, There is/was some type of massive outage of their servers(?)

Calling on Rich to help figure this one out.

Rick Ballard


It's McCain's fault.

Just wanted to be first.

RIM crashed last April as well.

hit and run

I Blame Global Cooling

Rick Ballard

McCain is the cause of Global Cooling, H & R. It's obvious what's happening - go for a long enough walk and you'll find a dead sparrow near the path. McCain again.

hit and run

I had written InstaGlenn and suggested he create a variant on his shtick:

"They told me if John McCain were nominated to be the Republican candidate for President, [insert item here]. And they were right!"

This isn't an exact fit to his shtick, of course, but it's close enough for a mention.


Well, Rich could figure it out, but since his blackberry is down, we're hosed! ;-)



I thought the same thing when I first read "sed". Great "sad" is back. Not so. Sed is not sad.


Oh. Bummer it is, Cathy.


Rick-Thanks for the link.

Since this Blackberry thing came about so close to the cable cutting thing--I put on my "anduril" hat;^)

Tip from Kudlow's show today and Gary Schilling--go "short" China.

hit and run


I Prefer Campaign Offices With Flags That Are, You Know, American

Barack Obama seems like a really pleasant, reasonable guy.

And then you find one of his campaign offices has a Cuban flag with Che superimposed over it on the walls.

Well, Obama did say he wanted to lift restrictions on travel or send money to Cuba...make the answer in that quiz C, I guess.



An unfailing belief in the UN and ICC

Yep. And a fervent desire for Obama to speak with ahmadinejad personally.


Clarice, Are you looking for a cabin buddy? ;)

National Review is sponsoring a Provence and Burgundy riverboat cruise this May 2-11 (twoooo-la-la nights in Paris followed by a week sailing down the Saone and Rhones rivers, from Chalon-sur-Saone to Avignon, with Lyons and Arles and a few other beautiful ports along the way). It has been sold out for months, but someone has just cancelled, and now we have a situation where the person next on the waiting list needs to share a two-person cabin. So we have a middle-aged Great American lady looking for similar (non-smoker please) to buddy-up on this great experience. The cost for the trip (not including air) is $4,399. To get complete info about the cruise visit http://www.nrcruise.com/Pages/pricing.htm. If you’re interested in sharing the last cabin, contact me at [email protected].

hit and run

Obama y Che, hermanos y compañeros...

¡Si, Se Puede!


¡Somos el cambrio!





Not I,Ann.


Sister Souljah, meet Brother Guevara.

Rick Ballard

"Tip from Kudlow's show today and Gary Schilling--go "short" China."

Boy, that's shocking. Why would anyone short a mercantilist state dependent upon the slave labor of an aging and declining population which invests in T-bills with a less than 4% yield rather than in its own infrastructure?

Don't those guys recognize the wave of the future? Why a country which receives economic aid equal to 40% of its cash GDP has to be the best bargain in town.


Only kidding, Clarice.

I just thought a non-smoking Great American lady reminded me of you.


Thank you,Ann..You ar e way too generous.


Not generous at all, Clarice. Just sincere!

How do we find out if the four people arrested today have given money to the Clintons.

Four Arrested for Passing Secrets to Chinese Goverment

JM Hanes


In checking out the Gateway article, I was enormously gratified to see that Hesham Islam has been booted from the Pentagon, and Stephen Coughlin has survived. Kudos to Bill Gertz and Claudia Rosett for carrying that banner!


J M Hanes,

I am reminded (it seems daily) of how outrageous it is that
these people are employed by our goverment.

On top of that, you put Hillary, a wolf in wolf's clothing or Obama, a wolf in lamb's clothing, winning the election and it is scary.


When I consider that but for two miracles we would not have had the tremendous worldwide economic expansion of the last seven years, or successful prosecution of the war on terror, I must believe in a miracle this November. Those two miracles were, of course, Gore choosing an anti-democratic argument in Florida, and Kerry believing he could pass himself off as a war hero.

Here, we have nearly polar opposites; Obama, a naif, and Clinton, a Borgia. What is the chance we won't have a miracle?


"Mike Huckabee just called to ask for my vote on Tues..(I hung up.)"

Eve of VA GOP Primary 2/11/08: Huckabee Closes-In On McCain: Big movement in Virginia following Mike Huckabee's strong showing over the weekend in Louisiana, Kansas and Washington state. On the eve of the Virginia Republican Primary, it's John McCain 48%, Mike Huckabee 37%. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll released 72 hours ago, McCain is down 9, Huckabee is up 12. McCain had led by 32, now leads by 11. Among Conservative voters, McCain had led by 21, now trails by 5. Among Pro-Life voters, McCain had led by 20 points, now trails by 6. Among voters in Southeast VA, McCain had led by 28, now trails by 12. Among voters focused on Immigration, McCain had led by 16, now trails by 17. Among voters who attend religious services regularly, McCain had led by 24, now trails by 2.


Huckabee just thinks he's a miracle.


Why hasn't the Huck just requested that God smite McCain?



Found this item, seems that Pew is up to there old tricks.


Didn't hear about it until you mentioned it. My tinfoil hat is on a bit tight this evening-was more worried about the Iranian rocket tests and was looking up some pictures for the Teapo Dong 2 [NK]. In other news, seems that more fighting broke out on the Gaza-Egypt border today, so much for it being "sealed".


UK Times:
The acting director of a Baghdad psychiatric hospital has been arrested on suspicion of supplying al-Qaeda in Iraq with the mentally impaired women that it used to blow up two crowded animal markets in the city on February 1, killing about 100 people. Iraqi security forces and US soldiers arrested the man at al-Rashad hospital in east Baghdad on Sunday______________
Words fail

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