Saturday, September 29, 2007

Not All Criticisms of the Surge Are Correct

This post by Andrew Sullivan on September 10 has him complaining that the surge only reduced attacks to the levels of eighteen months ago.

While I believe that the surge will not reduce violence long-term, this is not exactly a fair attack, because it ignores the larger picture, which is not the number of attacks in a particular month, but the trends.

That is, his complain only has validity if the violence has stabilized at that level. As long as the violence is trending downward, there is always the possibility that it will bottom out at a level at or below what we saw in 2003 and early 2004, when the war was still fairly popular.

Certainly the trend in hostile coalition deaths is still downward - for now.

That is all.

Withdrawal Isn't that Hard

We keep hearing how it will take a year or more to leave Iraq even if we started getting out right now.

Greg Cochran explains that that is baloney and that we could get out in mere months.

The gist of the article is that most of the "logistical problems" come from the belief that (a) we cannot leave behind anything, including non-combat equipment (e.g. furniture) (b) that soldiers must be taken directly to America to be "out of Iraq," and (c) leaving by land is more dangerous than it actually would be.

The only presidential candidate so far to mention this is Kucinich.

That is all.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pravda News and General Petraeus

Glenn Greenwald makes some good points about the Brit Hume "interview" of General Petraeus.

That is all.

A Laughable Line

While I can certainly understand why the top-tier candidates would have a problem going to the Values Voter Debate, and I am not outraged that they did not, I do find this quote in their defense, by Michael Barrett of Strattanville, Pa., hilarious:

They just see this 'debate' for what it is, a 'Christian' ambush of the top four candidates with Farah as the hired hitman/moderator. You want to have an honest debate with a fair moderator, such as [Sean] Hannity or Brit Hume, [then] they would have shown up.

Right. Hannity and Hume are known for even-handedness.

That is all.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Choose "Separation of Church and State" or Big Government. You Can't Have Both.

As Barry Loberfeld masterfully explains.

The way that liberals get away with pretending that they believe in "separation of church and state," as opposed to an atheocracy, is by defining atheism and secularism as inherently non-religious in nature and therefore immune to the First Amendment (e.g. it is perfectly acceptable for the state to annound atheism as the established church), or by defining "religion" so narrowly that "freedom of religion" is simply the freedom to claim a faith and to practice it in one's own head. The right to actually practice one's faith in one's life is dependent on its servility ot the values which the state wishes to impose.

So they pretend to believe in separation of church and state" while believing in big government, ultimately working toward the oppression and suppression of religion.

That is all.

Webb Amendment Fails

The "longer deployed than at home" policy is policy for the near future.

So the next time McCain or anyone like him talks about "support the troops," tell him to shove it and to say what he really means:

"BOW BEFORE THE GREAT GOD DUBYA!"

That is all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sorry for Light Blogging

I suffered a repetitive motion injury last week at work. It didn't really lay me out, but my shoulder blade hurt all weekend (as in, I couldn't turn my head or get comfortable enough to sleep for more than three or four hours). It's all better now, but I just haven't felt like blogging much.

That is all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Troops in Vietnam

Most of the arguments that we were betrayed in Vietnam are based on the idea that Vietnamization worked and that all we needed to do was to provide funding and bombing runs to keep South Vietnam viable.

Proving that he in insane, Norman Podhoretz appears to imply in his latest bromide that Nixon should have kept U.S. ground troops there en masse:

In 1972, Richard Nixon was elected by landslide to a second term as president, but in campaigning against George McGovern's call for us to withdraw from Vietnam, Nixon did not sound an opposing call to fight on to victory. On the contrary: He too promised to get us out of Vietnam. The difference was that he also promised to accomplish this with our honor intact.

In other words, we should have kept fighting on the ground. I suppose that Podhoretz is disappointed that we didn't keep up the 1968 level of casualties throughout the 1970s.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One Thing That Would Be Interesting to See...

...Would be 1 minute of the broadcast on September 11, 2001, right before the terrorist attacks and then see how the report first came out. All the videos I have seen so far start with the attacks themselves. I never saw the new break originally (I didn't hear about the attacks until all of the planes had crashed and both towers had collapsed) and think it would be interesting to see how it suddenly broke into the morning news reports.

That is all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

All Arabs/Muslims Are the Enemy

Stanley Kurtz makes a valiant attempt to equate the Sunni insurgency with Al Qaeda, largely in response to this piece by Andrew Tilghman.

Distilling his piece to its essence, he makes 3 points:

(1) The primary goal in Iraq is to stay there so as to fight entities in Iraq that will threaten us. There is no "victory point" that we are working toward. We are staying in order to stay. [Presumably he also wants Iraq as a forward base so that we can do the same with the entire Middle East].

(2) All Sunnis are the enemy and any Sunni who commits violence is Al Qaeda.

(3) Long-term bribing of various populations to be quiescent is an acceptable status quo.

The problem with most of his arguments is that he automatically assumes that any Iraqi who deals with Al Qaeda must have desires outside of Iraq. He assumes that anyone who is interested in the local conflict must also be interested in the global conflict of Al Qaeda vs. the U.S., or the broader conflict of the Muslims vs. the west.

This quote epitomizes his problem:

Although surge-supporting analysts say that AQI drafts Baathist insurgents to carry out terror attacks, Tilghman favors analysts who say it’s the other way around. The truth, says Tilghman, is that native insurgent forces are “coopting a steady stream of delusional (AQI) extremists seeking martyrdom” into their local feuds. What Tilghman doesn’t get is that this is how the tribal game is always played. Every player thinks he’s the one cleverly making use of his duller allies for his own ends. And of course, every player is in part correct. To a degree, AQI is using the locals to support global jihad, while the locals are also using AQI to support narrow tribal or sectarian ends.

Yes, to a degree Al Qaeda is co-opting the locals for its own ends. But those ends are local ends even for Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's main goal in Iraq is to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq - not necessarily to get us to leave, but to bleed us there and to take away resources. There is little to no evidence that the Iraqis using Al Qaeda for their own local ends have any interest in helping Al Qaeda beyond the mutual goal of hurting the U.S. military forces in Iraq (although some of the Iraqis almost certainly want us to leave, which Al Qaeda may not want). Put another way, the Iraqi involvement in "global jihad" is likely limited to the part of "global jihad" happening in Iraq - there is little Al Qaeda could use them for if our troops were not there.

A given players own primary identity or ends don’t necessarily stay fixed. A truly successful charismatic religious leader — and a militarily successful jihad — heightens a tribesman’s identification with pan-Muslim jihad.

But do we have much evidence of this? Do we actually see Iraqi tribal leaders becoming terorist leaders?

Essentially, Kurtz wants to blur all distinctions so that all Arabs or Muslims are Al Qaeda, and so that completing crushing the entire Arab/Muslim world and holding it under our heel is the only way to protect us.

I think that this is a very foolish way of thinking.

That is all.

Friday, September 07, 2007

An Very Interesting Article on Ron Paul

From the Wall Street Journal.

That is all.

The Link Between Immigration and Poverty

Much of the "growing inequality" of the U.S. comes from the fact that we are importing poor people. This is true independent of whether or not increased immigration is a bad thing; if you add poor people to the country, the nominal poverty rate will be higher even if everyone is better off, because the new poor people's incomes are suddenly figured into the statistics, and their previous lower incomes in their home countries are not counted.

Roert J. Samuelson makes this point in Newsweek, which is terribly important at a time when we are being told how awful our growing inequality problem is.

Thanx and a tip o' the hat to the VDARE blog.

That is all.

A Liberal Appreciates Ron Paul

Richard Blari, though not a Ron Paul supporter, is nonetheless jazzed by the grassroots effort behind the Paul campaign.

I'm sure I found this via the LewRockwell.com blog, althoguh I don't have the permalink right now.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wow.

The highlight of the debate was the Huckabee-Paul exchange.

That is all.

Craig vs. Giuliani

Personally, I'd like to see Craig stay in office and the "resroom" business just go away. I don't care about his personal life as long as he doesn't flaunt any peccadilloes or peculiarities and try to normalize them.

Which is why I find Giuliani a lot more offensive than Craig. Giuliani's problems he airs out in public and wants us to accept them. He shows no shame, no sense of sin or repentance, or realization that he has done wrong. He is a pathetic little man, whose assault on traditional values is much worse than the alleged hypocrisy of Craig.

That is all.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Dave Mangan

Takes an utterly stupid (unless he is being consciously evil) position on the DNC's justified retaliation against Florida.

The reason for having Iowa and New Hampshire vote first is so that the candidates can actually campaign for a little bit in small, low-cost states, so that there is at least a chance for the little guys to compete against establishment, big-money candidates.

Obviously, folks like "Dumb (or devilish) Dave" just want us to be restricted to the establishment buffoons.

Of course, he seems to be excited about Giuliani potentially doing well in Florida, and if he's one of the "Giuliani'll kill the ragheads and that's good enough for me!" crowd, then that explains everything.

That is all.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

Summary:

The government should stop looking at links between obesity and health problems because we want to pretend that such links don't exist.

By the way, the person writing the report is pro-infanticide blogger Maia.

That is all.
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