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December 05, 2009



The surge may awaken Ayers though and that would be a good thing..for Cashill.

Thomas Collins

The Taliban folks don't seem to be impressed (see LUN). Let's hope they are singing a different tune in 2011.


Ras back down to -14 today.

Today’s update is the first based entirely upon interviews conducted after the President’s Tuesday night speech on Afghanistan. The results are little changed from before the speech indicating that the President did not receive a bounce in the polls from his presentation.

Seventeen days in a row of double-digit negatives. Only five days in the past month of single-digits.


Seems logical, he hasn't delivered on any tangible results, no one really believes 100,000 were saved, this cycle


In the spirit of "self back patting" I'm going to simply note that these articles raise issues that I've been posting on for the last two weeks at least, with numerous informative links. I guess there's a "sly dig" in there, too. :-)

Captain Hate

White House officials say it was Mr. Obama himself who pressed the idea of a surge of his own, openly acknowledging in a meeting that he had criticized it harshly during the campaign.

I'm still puzzled how anybody could take him seriously when, during the summer of 2008, he claimed that even though the Surge succeeded he was still against it. I've noted a few of my moonbat friends on Facebook admitting that if Bush would've given the Tuesday speech they'd have been vehemently against it; they still cover their hind ends with some nonsensical "maybe he will execute it better" casuistry, which I don't press them on in the hope that they'll eventually see the Jug-eared goof for what he is.


until they deleverage the drug trade and cut off a major portion of the funding, the Taliban can afford to sit back and wait.

Unfortunately, this also means going after the Pakistani side of the business, where there is no hope of success. The leading Tolly's are all in it up to their eyeballs now.

I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't being smuggled into Pokkiston in the same trucks that are delivering supplies to our troops.


oops, double negative...


Whom to awaken? Hey, there's a no-brainer for sure: The Neocons, of course! Neocons Get Warm and Fuzzy Over ‘War President’

Indeed, their approval of the White House’s decision to commit 30,000 troops is the culmination of a campaign led by the newly formed Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).

FPI held its first event in March, titled "Afghanistan: Planning for Success," and a second event in September – "Advancing and Defending Democracy" – which focused on counterinsurgency in combating the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The newly formed group is headed up by the Weekly Standard’s editor Bill Kristol; foreign policy adviser to the McCain presidential campaign Robert Kagan; and former policy adviser in the George W. Bush administration Dan Senor.

Kagan and Kristol were also co-founders and directors of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a number of whose 1997 charter members, including the elder Cheney, former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, and their two top aides, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Paul Wolfowitz, respectively, played key roles in promoting the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Bush’s other first-term policies when the hawks exercised their greatest influence.

The core leadership of FPI has waged their campaign in countless editorials and columns published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Weekly Standard.


Senor described himself as "pleasantly surprised" and "quite encouraged by the president’s decision" in a Republican National Committee sponsored conference call.

"It seems to me that Obama deserves even more credit for courage than Bush did, for he has risked much more. By the time Bush decided to support the surge in Iraq in early 2007, his presidency was over and discredited, brought down in large part by his own disastrous decision not to send the right number of troops in 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006," wrote Kagan in the Washington Post on Wednesday.

"Obama has had to make this decision with most of his presidency still ahead of him. Bush had nothing to lose. Obama could lose everything," Kagan concluded.

The theme of heralding Obama as a stoic decision-maker in the face of an administration and Congress that seek to "manage American decline" – as Kagan wrote – was also echoed by Bill Kristol in the Washington Post on Wednesday.


In the interests of fairness--and I'm nothing if not consistently fair ("self back patting" alert)--here is another Neocon's take on Obama's "policy":

Strange how an allegedly compelling speaker is unable to fake even perfunctory determination and resilience. Strange, too, how all the sophisticated nuances of post-Bush foreign-policy “realism” seem so unreal when you’re up there trying to sell them as a coherent strategy.

Obama should be in grade school not the oval office. He really is a jerk.

Old Lurker

Has Carol Herman returned to JOM under a new name?


Anduril, you want to stop ticking us off, no more garbage from antiwar, Capisce, who really seem to ignore the Salafi menace


No, She's at Don Surber's being increasingly elliptical


But let's add that the "dithering" charge loses a bit of its force if the additional troop request was for 40,000 new troops over eighteen months, rather than more quickly.

I don't see how. The charge wasn't over the speed of deployment, but because it was taking him forever to make a decision, any decision.

Steve C.

I'll give the President credit for asking the right question about why deployments take so long.

The deployment schedule was staffed, re-staffed, briefed, re-briefed and massaged all the way from Kabul to the Pentagon. Every headquarters and "stake holder" had their say. What arrived on the President's desk was a "consensus" (I don't know if the science was settled).

But when the Commander in Chief says jump, well all the boys and girls ask "how high". The problems and priorities of DA, FORSCOM, TRANSCOM and all the dog's breakfast of alphabet soup organizations suddenly fade into insignificance.

The military is a can do organization. But without clear orders and command direction, it becomes just another lumbering bureaucracy focused on internal needs.

Kudos to the President for demanding expedited deployments.

(Of course my skeptical side thinks that DoD supplied a conservative estimate fully expecting that the President would be disappointed in Option A and demand they "do better".)


you want to stop ticking us off, no more garbage from antiwar

Thanks for the advice, narciso. Next time I feel the urge to stop ticking you (pl.) off I'll bear that in mind.


"I want this pushed to the left."

The Obama Presidential philosophy in a nutshell.

Rob Crawford

Anduril, you want to stop ticking us off, no more garbage from antiwar, Capisce, who really seem to ignore the Salafi menace be in the pay of the Salafis.



Sorry, I'm a foreign policy/national security hawk but I don't believe we can win (win what?) in Afghanistan because, we don't really seem to want to win.

We are now so feminized, so politically correct, we are trying to fight a war without hurting, much less killing anyone.

Furthermore, trying to fight so called "extremists" is futile because we refuse to admit who the real enemy is:

Islam. There are no Afghan "extremists" or Iraqi "extremists". They are simply fundamentalist Muslims.

And we allow muslims to populate our country through mass immigration, at the the time as fighting militant Islam?

Ain't gonna work, sorry.

Dennis D

I despise Chickenhawks like Obama and Biden.

Well, apparently private acknowledgment of Bush's rare successes is just part of Obama's effort to put partisan rancor behind us and regain the national unity we had after 9/11.

The last time Obama mentioned the Iraq surge in a positive way, he said it had turned out better than anyone could have imagined, even Bush. That was when I realized I had reached a point of no return with my dislike for Obama.

Lee Siegel at the Daily Beast, in the meantime, could have been hanging out with us here at JOM during the elections.
The Zero Sacrifice Presidency.


errol, it's not just linking to antiwar.com that ticks "us" off--expressing such views (which I agree with) ticks "us" off. "us" of course refers to the Neocon hive mentality. "us" just blocks out unwelcome references to reality.


The last time Obama mentioned the Iraq surge in a positive way, he said it had turned out better than anyone could have imagined, even Bush. That was when I realized I had reached a point of no return with my dislike for Obama.

Indeed. That way of phrasing it was as much as to say that Bush deliberately put our troops in danger not hoping for much. Such naked contempt for the troops exists, but not on Bush's part.


"when the Pentagon first came to President Obama two months ago with a plan that stretched over 18 months, he offered up some withering questions. He turned to Gen. David H. Petraeus..."

Where the heck do we get Times reporters who use adjectives like "withering" in order to make our "dithering" Obama seem tough.

When I read "withering" used like this I simply know the reporters a hack and quit reading. He asked some questions you moron. Maybe tough questions, maybe difficult to answer questions. But "withering" questions?

Kiss my ass!

Buford Gooch

Anduril, were you born a butthead, or did you have to work hard at becoming one?


daddy, I agree. I can't imagine Obama being capable of saying or doing anything that would cause Petraeus to even blink let alone wither.


lol - "withering." You are so right, daddy.


That is an excellent observation, daddy.

Who supposedly withered under Obama's questioning? Petraeus? Betrayus?


“I want this pushed to the left,” he told advisers, pointing to the bell curve. In other words, the troops should be in sooner, then out sooner.

Stand by for a complete vindication of GWB's decisions in Iraq.


Maybe tough questions, maybe difficult to answer questions. But "withering" questions?

I think this might be correct, actually. Remember, he was speaking to a member of the military and probably holds him in withering contempt.

That's how I'd understand "withering" in this context.

Just Ducky

"Here is coverage and a link to McChrystal's August assessment; his troop request came separately"

Leakage aside, it is bewildering that you still want to air the incredible MacChrystal after his recommendation letter for Pat Tillman's commendation, clearly a case of friendly, not hostile engagement resulting in his untimely death.

MacChrstal is not just a liar, but a fucking liar.

But that was BushWorld, and this is now.


I see that "Capitalism: A Love Story" will be out on DVD on Dec. 29.

Aw shucks, too late to get it for anyone for Christmas.


anduril, what is a neocon? Please define...


Maybe he scratched his temple with his middle finger and the reporter thought that indicated withering questioning. Obami seems to use that gesture often.


But that was BushWorld, and this is now.

And poor lil' ducky's world continues to become more unbearable every day. Did you mar the paint scraping your bumper stickers off? Of course - no chrome bumpers on a Prius!


Ducky- are you upset that Obama hand-selected McChrystal to lead in Afghanistan?


"What takes so long? What’s so hard about this?"

"Actual work involved, Mr. President. Inconvenient, I know."


anduril - next time in standard English please. I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Fred Beloit

Steve C: "The military is a can do organization. But without clear orders and command direction, it becomes just another lumbering bureaucracy focused on internal needs."
The U.S. Army I am familiar with (no one serving in my time could be serving today) was indeed a can-do organization. The Army could not be called inefficient. It was, considering only the tasks it was given and not the human element, over-abundantly efficient. If a truck was to be boarded at 0630, the troops fell in by the trucks at 0600. In the corporate world I learned that a meeting set for 9:30 AM usually started at 9:35 or so, if all the key players had arrived by then.


Can anyone take our Kenyan in Chief seriously? The man HIDES HIS ACADEMIC RECORDS, HIDES HIS COMPLETE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, spent his ENTIRE LIFE in and around anti-American radicals, communists, socialists, anarchists and moooslims.

I'm all for fighting, killing, destroying radical Islam. But nation building, building mosques and madarassas for moooslims is not fighting. "Protecting" the population is not fighting.


High (and expected to rise in 2010) unemployment and our Dear Leader won't push policies to reduce immigration. We still "import" about 1.5 million people per year. Why?

Enforce the law, deport illegal aliens, reduce legal immigration for the next few years. We're not obligated to accept half the world's population.


Anyone interested and seriously paying attention has known that this is exactly what would happen once the Bush Surge started racking up successes last autumn. Of course this includes basically no one on the Left. Barack declared Afghanistan the Good War, a War of Necessity to avoid showing himself as the wuss he is. No, he didn't mean it. He thought things would be so bad in AfPak AND Iraq by now that EVERYONE would want to get out. Ooops. The predictable consequences of bug-out proved to be worse in the public mind than prosecuting the war both because conditions improved and the hypothetical chaos of full withdrawal became more immediate, kind of like those Lefty legal types who might have objected to the KSM disaster but didn't because it was hypothetical, until one day it was real.

But the anguished tears of the War is Not the Answer crowd are the sweetest nectar. The Obama Surge? Surely, you jest, and quit calling me Shirley.


megapotamus, that was just cruel. Pass the nectar, please.


errol, I was playing off narciso's post: Anduril, you want to stop ticking us off, no more garbage from antiwar, Capisce, who really seem to ignore the Salafi menace

E. Nigma

The success of the Surge in Iraq was based on several points:
1) Clear, Hold and Build
This was based on clearing various parts of the troubled parts of Iraq (largely Greater Bagdad), holding those areas for the Iraqi government (using the trained-up Iraqi Army), and building up infrastructure for the Iraqis to win their hearts and minds.

2) Providing the relative peace for political reconciliation among the Sunnis and Shias of Iraq, and all the other disparate factions.

3) Marginalizing the terror factions, such as al Qaeda in Iraq and the Sadr Brigades.

The improved and trained-up Iraqi Army was essential for #1. The US simply did not have enough man-power or native identity to do it alone.
The reconciliation had to take place among the factions. It was an Iraqi thing.
The Sunni Awakening in Al Anbar went a long way to marginalizing al Qaeda.

In comparison, the Taliban are on both sides of the border of AfPak(largely ethnic Pashtun); is this the so-called Durand Line?
As someone said, they are natives. How do we get after them outside of a stand-up fight?

What is the status of the Afghan National Army? My impression of it is that it is worse off than the Iraqi Army at a comparable time. Getting the Afghan Army trained will take a lot longer than "18 months". This, in my humble opinion, is the real deal-breaker. Creating an analogue to the "Sons of Iraq" among the non-Pashtun Tribes might work in parts of the country, but I have not seen a plan yet.

Petraeus book on COIN that was written as doctrine was pretty well structured around the problems in Iraq and similar states. Afghanistan is pretty different, in a lot of not-so-good ways. Many of the concepts of COIN will work if applied in different ways, but some kind of national identity must be forged to get disparate factions and tribes in Afghanistan to fight together to deny the Taliban and al Qaeda of control of the country.

Worrying about whether Obama dithered or not is secondary as to just how the addtional forces will be used, given the limited time base allowed. GWB committed us to support Iraq no matter how long it took.
Who will ally with us among the tribes of Afghanistan when they know we will be tapering off in 2 years?

Melinda Romanoff


I believe the Petraeus strategy is a child of the Pacification of Algiers, 1956-8.



Oh, you guys may scoff, but - "Little resistance on day 2 of US-Afghan offensive", says the AP, as their anti-Americanism is overcome by their Democratic partisanship.


E., what have you been drinking--or smoking? The surge of troops took place after we had stood by and watched as the Shiites cleansed large areas of Sunnis and both groups had cleansed the Christian Iraqis. Then, with the Sunnis' backs to the wall, we stepped in and offered them huge amounts of money, weapons and training, in turn for their help against al Qaeda. The Sunnis we armed and trained were former terrorists whom, in exchange for help against al Qaeda, we armed against the Shiites. Iraq is primed for another--yes, another--savage civil war when the opportunity arises.

OTOH, I agree with you generally re Afghanistan.

Melinda, I'd be interested in your reasoning. I don't think there's anyway that the US is willing to conduct a campaign with the savagery and ruthlessness that the French did in Algiers. Just sayin'.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali explains why Muslims should be kept our of the West: Swiss ban on minarets was a vote for tolerance and inclusion.

What if the Swiss voters were asked in a referendum to ban the building of an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles as a symbol of the belief of a small minority? Or imagine a referendum on building towers topped with a hammer and sickle – another symbol dear to the hearts of a very small minority in Switzerland.

Political ideas have symbols: A swastika, a hammer and sickle, a minaret, a crescent with a star in the middle (usually on top of a minaret) all represent a collectivist political theory of supremacy by one group over all others.

On controversial issues, the Swiss listen to debate, read newspapers, and otherwise investigate when they make up their minds for a vote.

What Europeans are finding out about Islam as they investigate is that it is more than just a religion. Islam offers not only a spiritual framework for dealing with such human questions as birth, death, and what ought to come after this world; it prescribes a way of life.

Islam is an idea about how society should be organized: the individual's relationship to the state; that the relationship between men and women; rules for the interaction between believers and unbelievers; how to enforce such rules; and why a government under Islam is better than a government founded on other ideas. These political ideas of Islam have their symbols: the minaret, the crescent; the head scarf, and the sword.

The minaret is a symbol of Islamist supremacy, a token of domination that came to symbolize Islamic conquest. It was introduced decades after the founding of Islam.

In Europe, as in other places in the world where Muslims settle, the places of worship are simple at first. All that a Muslim needs to fulfill the obligation of prayer is a compass to indicate the direction of Mecca, water for ablution, a clean prayer mat, and a way of telling the time so as to pray five times a day in the allocated period.

The construction of large mosques with extremely tall towers that cost millions of dollars to erect are considered only after the demography of Muslims becomes significant.

The mosque evolves from a prayer house to a political center.

Imams can then preach a message of self-segregation and a bold rejection of the ways of the non-Muslims.

Gotta run.

Melinda Romanoff


Did you read the Rand paper? It's only 12 pages.

Or are you referring to the movie, Algiers, depicting what happened after Galula was removed by the hyper-left in Paris?

Big difference, many more layers here than what is normally discussed.


Notice you didn't define neocon before ya ran anduril...

Do ya use the word without any clear idea of what you mean? Does anyone know what it means (as it is used and abused in the blogosphere)? On the interwebs, it seems as fuzzy as the "Bush Doctrine."

I have a feeling you use the neocon "insult" to mean any hawkish conservative who disagrees with you.


HotAir has an amazing piece up. Turns out that when McChrystal was told to defeat the Tollybahn, nobody really meant for him to, you know, actually defeat the Tollybahn.



The way I read it, the neocons that really came into there own, after the disastrous Carter administration, were out flanked by the realists who endorsed the Iraq card, the embrace of the Saud regime as a partner.
we've seen how well that worked out. It was their experience, Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, that brought forth the PNAC vision. Yet is arguable that this force at the Pentagon was counteracted by the realists at State, that foisted the likes of Bremer, on the Iraqis in a strange relapse of Cromer fever, that worked out real well.

Barry Dauphin

Doris Kearns Goodwin's futrue history book: "The comparison between presidential styles could not have been starker. Bush dithered when everyone at the Pentagon and in Congress were begging him to undertake the surge because it was clearly going to win the war. In contrast, Obama had to fight his own aides and harsh critics on the right to send troops into Afghanistan on a mission most thought would fail, but Obama was convinced would succeed. He made his decision in record time."


But the question is, who will Goodwin plagiarize that from?

Barry Dauphin

But the question is, who will Goodwin plagiarize that from?

Andrew Sullivan


Obama's delayed under-trooped surge = 30,000 Taliban jobs created or saved.


As you might guess, when I hear "Doris Kearns Goodwin," I think, "plagiarism." In a similar way, I hope for Michael Mann and his cabal to enjoy a like fate, such that when their names are heard in the future, people think, "climate fraud."

E. Nigma

I'm sure Petraeus was aware of what happened in Algieria (good and bad), as he is a pretty smart guy (obviously much more than most of us). There is always the common thread to any Counter-Insurgency of:

1) Separating the "insurgents" from the populace, as the general population is always the "ocean" that the insurgent "fish" swim in.
2)Winning their hearts and minds with security and prosperity (relatively speaking).

We have to separate the Taliban from the populace in Afghanistan. Among the Tajiks and other non-Pashtun tribes, that can be made to work.
But I wonder how we make that work in the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan?

"Look, there goes cousin Hamid and Mohammed with their AK-47's to shoot at the foreigners. Good luck, boys!"
They will be telling stories about this at tribal campfires a hundred years from now. How do we get inside their circle and persuade family to turn against family? They will play both sides of the street for their own personal profit.


Also along the lines of Goodwin and Mann, I've just read George G.M. James' _Stolen Legacy_, which purports to show that the Greeks did not develop their own philosophy but rather stole it from the Egyptians who were much more advanced along the lines of philosophical inquiry.

I can sympathize with James' underlying motivation, which is to dispel the notion that the people of the African continent are backward and have made no contribution to civilization. But the book is a stunning display of sophistry and only succeeds, in my view, to demonstrate that the author is a crank.

Example: "According to Pythagoras, the supreme good in man is to become godlike. ... But the precise purpose of the Egyptian Mysteries was to make man godlike by the purificatory agencies of education and virtue. Consequently it is clear that Pythagoras obtained his doctrine directly from the Egyptian Mysteries."

Well, heck yeah. Because, after all, there haven't been any other religious belief systems in the world that have embodied the idea of aspiration to godliness. Right.

Interesting book, but full of sloppy logic and "this must be true because I insist it is true, regardless of whether there might be other explanations" arguments.

(Why I read the book: It was referenced in Mary Lefkowitz' _Not Out of Africa_, a much more solidly researched book.)


That Washington Post by Kornblut and Young, is almost as fulsome as the hypothetical Goodwin column, just embarassing all around,
to cover up for the One's ineptitude


Tapper says the WH is now calling 'cap and trade' legislation ' 'energy independence legislation'.

I presume that is because under the proposed law Americans use so much less energy with our throttled back economy that there is no need to either import or develop more sources.


And isn't the whole point of it to be energy co-dependent on the rest of the planet?


PaulL--What Jones says makes a lot of sense. Its what needs to be heard. But it only works if Obama says it. He didn't, he hasn't, and he needs to. He won't. There is the nub of the problem.


E. again, I'm very much of a mind with you re Afghanistan. Sorry if I came on rather strong about Iraq, but I believe that the "Surge" there has been oversold as a cause of the current state of relative equilibrium. What really led to the present situation was that one side (the Shiites) in the civil war got the upper hand over the other side (Sunnis) in some very important sectors (Baghdad in particular) and the Sunnis saw that they might not only end up ethnically cleansed from the country's largest city but also frozen out of oil revenue (Anbar has no oil to speak of). At that point their only choice was to cut a deal with the US, just as our only choice was to cut a deal with a major wing of our former terrorist enemies. But to cut that deal they had to turn on their erstwhile allies, al Qaeda. As you very correctly observe, that same dynamic is not present in Afghanistan among the Pashtun and never will be.

Melinda, if you'll link the Rand study you refer to I'll read it. Oh, wait, I see you LUN. OK, I'll read it and comment later. My belief going into the Rand paper is that the Algerian situation is not a good fit for the tribal and religious dynamics at work in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I'll see about Rand.


As usual, you take a surprisingly narrow view of the situation, It is more accurate to say that the 70 years of Shiite disinfranchisement from the Golden Square Fascists to the Baathist, was partially reversed in the last few years. Much like
the Anfal against the Kurds

The Pashtuns through out the North West Frontier,the majority and they never let you forget it. The Sunni tribesman in Iraq,have never been a majority yet they act like they have always.


Melinda, I just scanned through the Rand study and I'm sorry to have to tell you that it's deeply flawed. Most obviously, at no point in the entire study does the author even mention that the population of Kabylia is a different ethnic, linguistic and cultural group from the Arabized parts of Algeria. The population of Kabylia is Berber (related to some of the tribes of the Moroccan mountains), their language is quite distinct from Arabic and the Berbers have had a long history of resisting Arabization. While they are predominantly Muslim, their version of Islam is viewed with deep suspicion by Arabized Muslims. In particular, the status of women in Kabylia (which the author briefly refers to) is quite different than among the Arabized population. The Berbers in France have also shown a tendency to slough off Islam to a far greater degree than Arabs and Christianity remains a presence in Kabylia itself.

With that in mind, the author fails to address questions such as the ethnic identity of the rebels as opposed to the local population, the relation of the insurgency in Kabylia (its origins, causes, etc.) to the insurgency in the Arabized parts of Algeria (the major cities, for example). Kabylia, to this day, resists integration and Arabization, and was heavily targeted by the radical Muslim insurgency in Algeria during recent years.

My understanding of the Algerian war is that the insurgents (the FLN) which operated in Kabylia was never able to exercise more than temporary control because they were either outsiders or because, while having some local roots, they were trying to import a foreign ideology that was opposed by the local Berber population. Accounts that I've read are replete with references to the FLN "coercing" support and resources from the locals. I believe this is what made the locals receptive to the French, something that the author hints at. This is a very different situation from either Iraq or Afghanistan--except that in Iraq the al Qaeda contained many outsiders. Still, the Iraqi Sunnis would never have cut a deal with us if they hadn't found themselves with their backs against the wall in their civil war with the Sunnis.

Here's an important passage from the Wiki article re the FLN (Algeria):

Its nationalist outlook was also closely interwoven with anti-Colonialism and anti-Imperialism, something which would remain a lasting characteristic of Algerian foreign policy; but also with pan-Arab solidarity. This latter aspect led to the denial of or refusal to deal with the separate Berber identity held by as many as 30% of Algerians, something which caused fierce opposition and led to the splintering of the movement immediately after independence, as Hocine Aït Ahmed set up the Berberist and pro-democracy Socialist Forces Front (FFS).

Short story: the study is deeply flawed as regards Algeria itself, and so is of limited value at best in understanding Iraq and of essentially no value at all with regard to Afghanistan.

Charlie (Colorado)

anduril - next time in standard English please. I have no idea what you're trying to say.

That might be a feature.


Oh God, first clarice, now Charlie. They're like tag team stalkers. Can't seem to get enough of my stuff. I suppose I should be flattered...


Do ya use the word without any clear idea of what you mean?

Yeah, that's it.


Using wiki as the main source against a Rand report, why not this in the LUN


Pointing out that the link was about the Ka byle, and not just the FLN might have helped


narciso, did you read what you linked? It could have been written by the author of the Wikepedia article, and certainly adds zero to it. Here's the entire section that has any reference to Kabylia--the entire focus of the Rand study:

Although successful in engendering an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty within both communities in Algeria, the revolutionaries' coercive tactics suggested that they had not as yet inspired the bulk of the Muslim people to revolt against French colonial rule. Gradually, however, the FLN/ALN gained control in certain sectors of the Aurès, the Kabylie, and other mountainous areas around Constantine and south of Algiers and Oran. In these places, the ALN established a simple but effective--although frequently temporary--military administration that was able to collect taxes and food and to recruit manpower. But it was never able to hold large fixed positions. Muslims all over the country also initiated underground social, judicial, and civil organizations, gradually building their own state.

Reading between these few lines, we see the same picture: that of a largely coercive, military movement based heavily on ideology rather than a truly indigenous movement with local support. This is very different from Anbar where there was widespread local support for the insurgency (although not necessarily for al Qaeda) and the local sheikhs leading it. The Anbar Awakening was the realization that, holy shit! are Sunni brothers our being cleansed in Baghdad and we could be frozen out of oil money in a Shiite dominated Iraq if we don't get the Americans to help us out. It's time to cut loose from al Qaeda--they don't have our local interests at heart and don't share our local culture and values anyway. The situation in Afghanistan is even worse than that for us.


You reading the linked Rand study might have helped, too.


So, by your own reading, wasn't Iraq a harder nut to crack than 1950s Algeria, considering where the seat of the insurgency
was in. Also would it have made more sense
in fighting the Shia central government, than the Salafi interlopers.


Yes I read both, Galula's analysis holds up 46 years later, despite the admitted limitation that is mentioned in the intro. Massu's hardline tactics, although necessary
probably backfired thanks to the media environment


Don't think ">http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6945976.ece"> this has been linked yet.

Seems the wounded troops at a Brit equivalent of Walter Reed Army Hospital closed the curtains around their hospital beds and refused to allow Prime Minister Gordon Browne to use them as a photo-op on his visit. Basically told him to get stuffed.

Perhaps they are the Brit equivalent of Chris Mathews "enemy camp."


From the above Telegraph story about Gordon Brown:

"Another soldier, who lost his right leg after being caught in a mine blast in Afghanistan, said that more than two-thirds of the 25 soldiers on the ward closed their curtains. He, however, decided to speak to Brown.

“I wanted to find out how the guy’s head worked,” he said. “I was interested in what he had made of his trip to Afghanistan and what he had learnt from it.

“I feel that even if someone is a moron, he should have the opportunity to defend his moronity. [His response] all seemed rather textbook and not from the heart.

“It is quite obvious to anyone that Brown is not concerned, it is almost as if we [the soldiers] are the product of an unwanted affair.

“The straight fact is this: we don’t like the man, he has done nothing for us and continues to kick us in the teeth over equipment and compensation.”

Thank goodness our press knows better than to print such "withering" comments about our leaders, for morale and all that---unless of course they are Republicans when of course it's necessary to get all the innuendo out there.


Briefly, here's a slightly different angle on what I've been trying to say about the Iraq situation. "Surge" and "Awakening" true believers want to believe that we've transformed Iraq into a wonderful new democracy. What we've actually done is twofold:

1. We've allowed Iraq to be reconstituted as an Islamic Republic--which hardly seems to me to have been worth the expense.

2. We have presided over an Iraqi civil war in which the Shiites were the big winners. All three major communities in Iraq are now (with our active assistance) armed to the teeth and determined to defend the interests that they were able to establish and possibly recover those that they lost. It's not a recipe for stability and peace.


IMO, it is a whole lot better than having Saddam in Power.


Don't be too sure, pagar. Read Codevilla on the other thread--TC's recommendation, and a good one. What this GWOT has done to the military and to the deficit has not been good for the US. In a republican form of government, it's always best to look for the best cost benefit trade off in matters of war and peace, and that was not done.


IMO, it was done. Pres Bush and the US military did an outstanding job of of producing good results at a best cost benefit trade off. Especially, when one considers actions by the Democrats, like Sen Rockefeller's trip to Syria to make sure that the enemy knew what was going on.

" SEN. ROCKEFELLER: No. The — I mean, this question is asked a thousand times and I'll be happy to answer it a thousand times. I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq — that that was a predetermined set course which had taken shape shortly after 9/11.

While Democrats in Washington are berating the White House for having prewar intelligence wrong, a high-profile U.S. senator, member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, who has a name more internationally recognizable than Richard Cheney's, tells two putative allies (Saudi Arabia and Jordan) and an enemy who is allied with Saddam Hussein (Syria) that the United States was going to war with Iraq. This is not a prewar intelligence mistake, it is a prewar intelligence giveaway.

Syria is not only on the list of state sponsors of terrorism and the country many speculate is where Hussein has secreted weapons, it is also the country from which terrorists are flowing into Iraq to fight our troops and allies"

    Do ya use the word without any clear idea of what you mean?

    Yeah, that's it.

I'm guessing since you won't define it, then that is the case.



You always keep everyone on their toes. Thank you and keep it up.

No one seems to want to talk about the School Czar but they will because of people like you that care and broadcast it.

The phony outrage at President Bush for eight years have blinded people to the real outrage before us now.

I just hope common sense wins in the end.



There is one other thing that the war in Iraq has done, and it is very very important:

It let us know whether Islam and democracy are fundamentally compatible.

When there is a mushroom cloud over the middle East some day, I won't be feeling uncertain.


It let us know whether Islam and democracy are fundamentally compatible.

I'm not sure whom you mean by "us." I have never been in any doubt whatsoever that Islam is incompatible with representative government in the Western sense.

Old Lurker

Drudge reports that the Saudi's want Climategate investigated.

Maybe that's the answer to Rick's response to Clarice's thought re huge litigation over the EPA's upcoming CO2 limiting regs. Now there really might be funding for the EPA challenge.

BTW, the upcoming EPA finding is top story on the WSJ today.


I hope you understand the difference between personal conviction and empirical demonstration.

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