Showing posts from March, 2003
Ticket to Paradise The Arab volunteers who are eager to fight the US in Iraq will be as disappointed as the jihadies who rushed to Afghanistan when that war began. There are several reasons why a human bomb campaign will not save Saddam. The human bombers in Isreal do not attack military targets because they are so difficult to hit. Almost all the human bomb attacks in Isreal are in civilian areas aimed at school kids and elderly people. For those who think the bombing of the Marine's in Lebanon is instructive, they are wrong. Those Marines were not in a combat role. The Reagan Administration was also not willing to launch a war against terror. The US is already in one now. The general in charge of the troops who were killed in the car bomb attack in Iraq has issued orders that all vehicles are to turn around immiediately. If they fail to do so in five seconds, the instructions are to destroy the vehicle and the people in it. That should buy the "martyr" his
Arab Fantasy World Ralph Peters Has an excellent discussion of Arab mentality as reflected by Arab television. Expectation Wars The whining of some media types this week about why Iraq has not surrendered yet may be based on the opening psy-op moves by the Pentagon to get Iraqi commanders to surrender. Certainly initially contact with Iraqi divisions around Basara did result in surender. Since that time there has been no contact with the regular Iraqi army. The Republican Guard is trying to hang on around Baghdad, but they have not had direct contact with US ground forces. Along the supply line there has been unorganized raids by illegal combatants. Suicide attacks are for losers, and are employed by people who perceive themselves as losing. If 4,000 Arabs have decided to be rats jumping on Saddam's ship of state they will very likely find the death they seek, but it unlikely they will have many successful attacks on US forces. At this point of all the casualties
"Are We There Yet, Daddy?" The press corps in Washington seems determined to make a case that plan for the war is a mess that is being adversely impacted by the clever strategy of Saddam. Notwithstanding the fastest advance in history, the press corps seems ready to surrender. It is time to pull their skirts over their head and run in circles screaming. At the White House press briefing on Friday, questioners seem especially upset, that the President and the military did not agree with their screwy analysis. It was a performance that makes one happy that they are not in charge of the war. They have created a target rich environment for Saturday Night Live parodies.
Wargaming Gen. Wallace The US no doubt did not practice having buses drive into M-1 tanks or armored personel carriers. Of course, when it happened in Iraq it was a disaster for those on the bus. While the US may not have wargamed having illegal combatants attack supply lines their results have been the same as that of the bus driver, they all failed and most or either dead or POWs. That is the problem with the NY Times and Washington Post articles quoting Gen. Wallace as saying they had not wargamed for what was happening. Wargamers do not usually wargame for stupid responses to the use of force. The fact that our forces may be surprised by Iraqi's irrational acts is not militarily significant and should not be page one news.
Context at Al Jazeera Al Jazeera fuels an obsession with the civilian suffering in the war to liberate Iraq. Where context is missing is pictures of a man who bled to death because Saddam's thugs cut his tongue out, or a woman is killed for waving at US troops. Al Jazeera's intrepid journalist are blind to the evil of the Baathist regime. Al Jazeera presents a picture of whining victims of accidents as if the suffering was deliberately imposed, while ignoring true evil that is deliberately imposed.
The War on Terror in Iraq As the war to liberate Iraq goes forward, it is becoming clear that the country was a true terror state with a regime that maintained power through terroizing its own population. The forces attempting to attack US supply lines are part of the apparatus of the terror state. The Sadam Fedeyeen are the Baathist enforcers who cut peoples tongue out, gouge childrens eyeballs and now grab boys to force them to fight and kidnap relatives to force men to fight. With the recent finding that al Queda had troops fighting for Saddam, it is not surprising they would be comfortable with a terrorist regime.
Oil for Food and Dependency The move to get the Oil for Food program up and running again makes sense for the coalition. Humanetarin asistance is going to be needed and it a good idea to have Iraq pay for it. The Oil for Food program has been a way for Saddam to excercise control of the 60% of his population that is dependant on the program. If those people caused any trouble Saddam could cut off their food and that of their relatives. For now during the transition to a new government they will be dependant on the coalition. This will give them added incentive to turn on their former oppressors. One of the urgent task for a new government in Iraq will be to get people off the dependancy merry-go-round and into productive work.
French Choice Lets see, do I want a murderous despot to win the war or the country that liberated France. Incredibly the French foreign minister could not say who he wanted to win the war while he was in London trying to "mend" fences.
Al Queda in Iraq British interrogators get first evidence of al Queda assistance in Iraq. POW's have told British troops of al Queda participation.
Desperation Iraqi illegal combatants are now using intimidation and coersion to force children to fire weapons on their behalf. Moral bankruptcy with this regime has no bottom. Saddam is one of those guys who never comes up with an answer when someone suggest, "Why Not...?" At the Pentagon briefing Wednesday Tori Clarke seem to have some difficulty dealing with a question on whether these illegal combatants could be targeted. Obviously they can and should be targeted. They should not be treated as POW's when captured, but as illegal combatants separated from Iraqi Army troops who would be intimidated and organized into resistance groups by these Saddam true believers. By keeping them separate it will be easier to target these people for war crimes prosecutions after the war. The rules of engagement permit US forces to return fire whether they are being shot at from hospitals or mosques. The question of whether US forces are hampered by their rules of enga
Basra Resident Pointing Out Targets to Brits The Brits are getting targetting help in Basra from residents who sneak across the booby trapped bridge to tell where the Baathist thugs are hiding, themselves and their weapons.
Idiots on Parade Reports this afternoon suggest a column of 20 vehicles, some of them armored have left Basra headed toward British postions. There is another reports that a 1000 vehicle column of Republican Guard is headed toward Marine units moving toward Baghdad. It is hard to imagine a greater gift to coalition forces, getting these vehicles out in the open on a highway where aircraft can destroy them, rather than having to digging them out of defensive positions. The attacks on supply lines have been disasterous for his forces. Iraqis lost up to 300 troops in a fight with a US armored column over the evening. His uncoordinated raids should have no effect on the operation. The Civilian Casualty Show The hypocrits at Al Jazeera are showing what are claimed to be civilian casualties in Baghdad. The so call injuries appear to be staged. Considering the way Saddam's thugs fired directly on civilians in Basra yesterday the crocidile tears should not be believed.
Deception and Opportunity Dressing in US uniforms so you can kill Iraqi troops who want to surrender is not the act of someone confident of victory or the loyalty of their troops. It is the immorality of someone desperately attempting to avoid collapse. The NY Times and others have characterized the Brits' rescue of shiites in Basra as a change of strategy. The coalition always intended to prevent Saddam massacres. This operation should have little impact on the action at the "tip of the spear" closing on Baghdad. The only thing slowing that operation has been the foul weather and the clean up afterward. This is not a change of strategy or plan.
War Crimes It is not surprising that someone who would accumilate WMD would hide weapons and illeagal combatants in a hospital. Nor is it surprising that Saddam would use illeagal combatants feigning surrender to ambush US troops. It is not surprising that he would have his thugs dress in US uniforms and get Iraqi troops who want to surrender into a position to kill them. He is a war criminal and those who follow his unlawful orders are war criminals. The Defense Department should get it war crimes tribunals ready to go the work as soon as combat is over.
Basra Uprising The shiites have started fighting the Baath Party thugs Saddam left to control the city. The Brits are moving in now to assist the shiites. Some reports have indicated that the head of the Baath Party in Basra has already been killed.
The Not Enough Troops Quagmire As American forces make the most rapid advance in the history of warfare, some critics are saying that the US does not have enough forces in the area and that a quagmire is likely. The facts on the ground tell a different story. The ground attack has now been underway longer than the ground campaign lasted in the '91 war with advance that has covered close to 300 miles. In the '01 war there were approximately 200 US fatalities, so far in this campaign there have been around 25. It is also interesting that none of these casualties have been inflicted on "the tip of the spear." Most casualties have come from raids and ambushes along supply lines. None of these attacks have effected the battle plan. For a quagmire to occur the Iraqis would need to sustain a raiding strategy after their army is defeated. There are several reason to believe this is unlikely. The experience in the port city Umm Qasr is instructive. The "re
Desert Storm 2003 A strong wind out of the southwest will blow through Iraq as the attack on the Republican Guard goes into full swing. While it will hamper some of the US's sophisticated weapons, it will have little effect on the tanks and precision munitions. If the Iraqi attempt to use chemical weapons , it is very likely that the strong winds will blow the weaponized poison to Iran. It will certainly not linger in the battle area very long with winds in excess of 30 miles per hour. Of course, it will be interesting to see how many artillery pieces the Iraqis have left to launch such an attack.
Iraq's Mogudishu Moment Showing abused American POW's on Iraqi TV was a huge mistake for Ramadan and the gang. There is nothing like documenting your war crimes. In the sick mind of people like Osama and Saddam, there is the thought that all it takes to rattle US policy is to show some dead or abused GI's. Actually what happened in Somalia was the sight raised the question of "What are we doing here, where we really do not have a dog in this fight?" That is not an issue in Iraq, and the brutal treatment of our people only reinforce the determination to rid the world of the thugs running Baghdad. While the caualties are unfortunate, they are not significant in terms of the operation. People who resort to raiding strategies do so because they do not have the means or the will to use a more effective strategy. The fact that Saddam & Sons are reduced to sending raiding parties out as illeagal combatants, out of uniform and feigning surrender just show
Ameriphobes Protest over the war to liberate Iraq seem to have no rational argument. People who compare President Bush to Hitler are ignorant of history and current facts. If they are making the analogy as a form of insult, it becomes more meaningless--insults should not be confused with rational argument. While there are some who oppose the war because they wished to continue to pursue means that have failed over the last 12 years to disarm Iraq, most of the opposition that has lead to demonstrations in the street is the result of a phobic reaction to the use of force by the US for any reason. In this country these demonstrators are doing more damage to the Democrats left wing than they are to the political position of George Bush. Meyer's Agrees Gen. Meyers, speaking on Fox News Sunday, agrees with the points below under Message Traffic in Baghdad. He also mentioned the focus on destroying delivery systems for WMD. Where are the Refugees? II Jordan has cons
UNilateral Word Abuse Tom Freidman is abusing the word "unilateral" today calling a coalition of over 40 countries unilateral. He is writing this nonsense from France where people are shocked and awed at Chirac's actions. While this action is not unilateral, it is clear that multilateralism is being over praised. Multilateralism was one of the reasons Saddam was not removed from power in '91. Coalition warfare can be a limiting factor in not only the goals of a conflict, but also the efectiveness with which is fought.
Message Traffic in Baghdad Reports of light message traffic between Baghdad and Iraqi troops do not necessarily mean they are not communicating. Since the Iraqis know the US is reading their mail, they have probably switched to messages written on Saddam's steno pad that he was reading his speech from the other day. It will be a problem for him once the troops make contact with American units. This would suggest that he has given them contingencie orders on how to respond should certain events transpire. His current lack of response may be a rope a dope strategy to avoid communication, take the blows and wait untill US forces are concentrated near Baghdad to launch his bio-chem attacks. His problem will probably come down to whether his delivery system survives. The WMD will likely be delivered by artillery or missile. Artillery is not hard to spot and will probably be destroyed by US forces before it can be used. The missles will be more difficult to spot, but he has t
Where Are the Refugees? This war may be unique for the insignificant number of refugees. There does not appear to be great fear of US forces liberating Iraq. After the war it will be interesting to see how the 20% of Iraq's population that are already refugees return to the country.
Chemical Disarmament If the US was successful in knocking out Saddam and "Chemical Ali" on the opening night of the war, that could explain why Iraqi forces have not used their chemical arms. It is logical to assume Saddam would tell troops to use them only on his direct order. If he has been killed or incapacitated, the order would not be issued. Iraq is a top down society and no commander could use these weapons on their own iniative. If the "top" is really down it is very likely to weapons will not be used. As the Third Infantry Division approaches Baghdad, the US will soon find out whether this weapon will be loosed.
Getting Out of Baghdad Top security and military officials have been seen attempting to make a get away from Baghdad before US units reach the city. According to Fox News, frantic digging was seen after the initial strike on Saddam's bunker and there are reports he was seen being carried out on a strecher. If this report is correct it would suggest that the US needs to put a blocking force in place on the roads to Syria to capture thse guys before they escape.
Chirac Vetoes UN Role for Reconstruction Concern that the UN may be involved in the reconstruction of Iraq lessoned when Jacque Chirac said the French would oppose a UN resolution that put the US and UK in charge of rebuilding Iraq. Keep it up Jacque. If he wanted to have the UN continue to be an irrelvant institution, he could not have made a better policy decision.
Anti War Pukes San Francisco demonstraters have given literal meaning to my description of them as anti war pukes. Night Fall in Baghdad As it gets dark in Baghdad, the networks are in "shock and awe" watch mode. While it may come tonight, with US forces meeting little resistance it may not happen until the troops get to Baghdad. If resistance occurs at that point it could trigger the fire works show the nets are looking for.
Brain Dead in Baghdad While it is unclear whether the attack that opened the liberation of Iraq killed Saddam, the actions of the Iraqi military are those of a brain dead organization so far. The coordinated heavy bombardment has been postponed while Iraqi units discuss surrender with US defense officials. In the meantime the Marines appear to be moving toward the liberation of Basara the third largest city in Iraq. Army units are driving across southern Iraq on their way to Baghdad and should be there sometime on Friday. The US Defense Department reports that US units are also on the ground in northern Iraq. There are reports that four oil wells have been set on fire, a realatively small number compared to the 800 set ablaze in Kuwait. If Saddam is still alive, he apparently is not exerting effective control at this time.
Arrogant Word Abuse One of the latest word being abused by liberals is "arrogance." Because the US and Bush have pursued the use of force to disarm and liberate Iraq and were unpersuaded by the liberals arguments for appeasement and dithering they are called arrogant. Those who use this term in this fashion, think it is arrogant to disagree with their assessment--talk about arrogant.
Saddam and the Syncophants Watching what is reported to be an address by Saddam last night, viewers had to endure a lengthy introduction that piled praise on the murderous despot. He did not have his gang around smiling and saluting this time. Perhaps those guys were in the bunker that got bombed. If this was Saddam, it looked like he borrowed Tariq Aziz's glasses. He also forgot to brush the black shoe polish on his mustashe. Perhaps his mustashe had been cursed upon (see "Curse be up on your mustashe" below).
First Strike News reports indicate cruise missles and bombs from stealth fighters struck bunkers south of Baghdad. Targeted were five leadership targets including Saddam and his two sons. It is possible that mutiple missles and bombs were targeted on the same coordinates to burrow deeper underground. It is interesting that the decapatation strikes were done prior to knocking out communications. This should permit intelligence to be gathered on the effectiveness of the strike, from communications by survivors or those looking for survivors. There may be more decapatation strikes before the "shock and awe " strikes begin. While there are some reports of ground forces fighting in the Basra area, reporters embedded with units in that area say they are still in Kuwait.
Priorities The Dems insistance on getting cost estimates for the war to liberate Iraq suggest they have other priorities when it comes to spending on national security. It is no accident that Sen. Daschle's meldown on the war took place in front of a government employee union meeting. If you listen to the Dems you get the impression they would rather be sending defense money to their constuiency groups than attacking terror at it source. The same debate will be heard when the focus turns to North Korea and Iran.
You Are Probably a Liberal If... think the NY Times is "right down the middle." Daschle Meltdown Continues Sen. Daschle refused to back down from the ledge he poised his party on. He still does not comprehend how factually incorrect his assertion was. George Will and Jonah Goldberg give excellent critiques today.
Undiplomatic Dashle Sen. Daschle's feigned sadness over the "failure of diplomacy" was made at a meeting of the biggest losers of the 2002 election. He spoke at a public employees union gathering. It was Daschle's pandering to public employees unions that cost the Dems control of the Senate. Daschle, at the unions behest had loaded the bill creating the Homeland Defense Department with union rules that would hamper the President's ability to manage the new department. After he lost control of the Senate, the Dems backed down and gave Bush the bill he wanted. From Daschle's emotianal nonsense at this meeting, it would appear anger over the double loss has not dissapated.
Iraq and Al Queda Laurie Mylorie raises interesting connections between "Yousef " and "Mohammed" and how their papers tying them to Kuwait were altered during the Iraqi occupation. She thinks both may be fictious identies created by Iraqi intelligence officers. This evidence suggest that a direct tie may be found between the al Queda attacks since '93 and Iraq. Saddam's Next 48 Hours President Bush gave Saddam a couple of days to pack a few things and leave Iraq so that war could be avoided. Saddam's fantasy world does not permit bad news so he cannot comprehend how bad his situation is. He is reputed to be quick to kill the bearer of bad news so it is very hard for him to get realistic assessments. He will soon get a first hand knowledge of his situation, and he will not be in a position to kill this messenger. He may then decide to kill himself.
Dem's Undiplomatic Argument Sen. Daschle and other Dems are shedding crocidile tears over "the failure of diplomacy" leading to war. This is disingenous and ridiculous. If diplomacy had succeeded, the US would have gotten a vote in the UN agreeing with what the US is going to do anyway. It is ridiculous to say that diplomatic failure will be the cause of US deaths. The argument also does not pay appropriate blame on French and German bad conduct. All the so called undiplomatic language by Rumsfeld and others was in response to attempts by "old Europe" to undermine a policy that the US had decided was in its vital national interest. When people are stabbing you in your back, it is not undiplomatic to lash back. What the Dems are doing is taking the side of the French, something that is not even good politics since a majority of Americans are angry about the French actions. It is too bad the Dems are not on the US side on this issue.
Azore's Summit Gives UN "One Day" To Come Up With a Resolution The UN was given an ultimatum to come up with a resolution dealing with Saddam's violation of 1441 at the summit in the Azores. The message was clear that after that time Bush would be making his announcement of a war to liberate Iraq. It was clear from the tone of Bush and Blair that the chances of a diplomatic solution are remote. The meeting seems to have been called to put a formal end to UN dithering on the subject. The vision of states who have no interest or troops in the matter bargaining for their vote between the US and Iraq's representive on the counsel, France, was unseemly. To the extent the UN has been harmed by this episode it has been a self inflicted wound.
Al Queda & Iraq Al Queda recruiters are using the war to liberate Iraq as a recruiting tool. This is one of the inconsistencies of the anti war movement. While they claim that their is no evidence that Iraq is responsible for terrorist acts against the US for the last 12 years after the '91 Gulf War, they claim that the war of liberation will case more attacks by al Queda.
Freidman Frys NY Times columnist Tom Freidman has suggested that Tony Blair is a more articulate spokesman for the war to liberate Iraq. Freidman may like the sound of his voice and his turn of phrase, but polling data suggest that Bush has been more successful at persuading his public than Blair. Outside of their home countries they appear to both be misunderstood by the Euro wimps and peace pukes. These people who oppose the war to liberate Iraq have completely failed to make a case for leaving Saddam in power so that he can continue to butcher his own people and threaten his neighbors as well as this country. If inspections worked Saddam would have been disarmed 60 days after the end of the '91 war as he was required to do by UN resolution. The slow stroll to war has taken over 12 years. Some five years after the Iraqi Liberation Act became US policy it is time for regime change in Baghdad. Perhaps the Euros reeducation can then commence. They have already polluted
Special Ops Isreali sources suggest that Special Operation forces are already at work in Iraq's western desert. The B-1 strike on Friday was on mobile radar facilities in the area Saddam used for launching scuds in '91. The report suggest that US Marines along with Jordian special forces are participating. War Summit? Den Beste says that the press briefing after the summit in the azores will probably be an announcement of war with Iraq. He also has interesting things to say on future dealings with the French. His take on the move of ships to the Red Sea is similar to that under Monday, Monday below.
Monday, Monday A vote on a new UN resolution has been put off until Monday, the day that was to have been the deadline for Iraqi compliance. This news coincides with reports that US navel forces in the Med are being moved to the Red Sea to position themselves for attacks on Iraq. The timing appears to coincide with keeping Saddam guessing until Monday on what will be proposed at the UN. Hopefully, nothing will be proposed and the liberation will begin.
The Last, Last, Last Mile Hopefully President Bush is going to the Azores to meet with Blair and Aznor about what to do with the UN. The answer seems obvious. Blair has already declared his willingness to go without a UN ticket, as has Bush. They both need to take action and quit being jerked around by the French and other lesser powers who are trying to prop up a murderous despot. Even the UN's goal is inadequate because it does not require regime change of a recedivist violator of UN resolutions. If any regime has earned a death penalty from the UN it the one in Iraq, yet the UN will not act. Continued dithering at the UN is not leadership. It is giving a gift of time to Saddam who is reportedly move his forces into postion to attack US forces in Kuwait. These forces are at their most vulnerable while waiting to attack. If allies cannot go without UN approval, the US should go without them and not subject our troops to further delay. After Iraq is liberated let the
Uh-oh Sweden says it will have to cut off arm sales to the US if it liberates Iraq without UN approval. I guess the previous resolutions do not count in Sweden.
Labour's Crazy Aunts The war to liberate Iraq has managed to free up the left's crazy aunts on both sides of the Atlantic. Democrats lost party discipline with their antiwar fringe around the time of last year's election. The Brit's crazy aunts while making some noise, have only recently started to howl. In the short run they will not be able to stop the war of liberation and in the long run they may give the Tories an opening to return to power. The crazy aunts would leave Saddam in power to brutalize his own people and threaten others, a solution the French seek. They all should pay a heavy price for this position.
Brits Ready to Escape UN Quagmire Tony Blair made it clear to Parliament that he was ready to take Britain to war with Iraq without another UN "resolution." He apparently has firmed up enough support in his own party plus the support of the Tories to get Parliamentry action. This willingness thwarts the French plan to split the UK from the American alliance. During the London press flap over Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's statement that the US would go forward without the UK if it had to, Blair was hosting Herr Schroeder at 10 Downing Street. Unlike the French the German's appear to be trying not to burn bridges in their opposition. Chirac is acting like a man with a lot to hide. For someone who says he is for disarming Iraq, he shows a lack of desire to do anything serious to bring it about. His policy is going to be doublely bad for France after an American led regime change in Baghdad. The French will have alienated the Americans and will probabl
Rep. Moran's Jewish Problem Democratic Representative James Moran from Alexandria, Virginia blamed the war to liberate Iraq on Jews who support the war "and could stop it if they wanted to." The Europeans and Arabs have been quick to blame anything they find unpeasant on a jewish conspiracy. When someone says such utter nonsense it is hard to believe that he has not devoted some thought to such a conspiracy. Someone once asked Golda Meir why jews were so smart. She responded that the jews wandered in the wilderness of the middle east for 40 years and settled in the only spot with no oil--is that smart? Her point is that as smart as many jews are if they were really out to rule the world through some cabal why would they choose to suffer in Isreal? While the liberation of Iraq may benefit Isreal by removing the paymaster for human bomber families, it will benefit the citizens of Iraq far more. Another term used for this "jewish conspiracy" is &quo
Trying Too Hard at UN It is time for the administration to explain why it is expending an extroidary effort to get a UN resolution it has already said it did not need. If it is to keep Tony Blair on board, or some of the other allies, then it shows the weakness of a multilateral approach to the problem of Iraq. Jumping through hoops at the UN gives hope to Saddam and opponents of his overthrow like France. The US is permitting its national security objectives to be blunted and obstructed by people who are not concerned with US national security. This debate needs a cloture vote this week. The case that it would make Turkey or some other state feel better about the US operation to remove Saddam simply shows their lack of commitment to the project and their hope to thwart it through the mucking around of France and Germany. To make these countries really show their cards, blow off the UN and do what needs to be done and take a roll call of the countries that helped.
South Korea's Tripwire The 37,000 US troops in South Korea have been described as a trip wire that will trigger a US response to an invasion by North Korea. With the South raising objection to these troops the US has proposed removing them or moving them away from the border. The new South Korean administration seemed shocked by the suggestion and promptly rejected the idea, not from fear of losing a US response to an invasion from the North, but because they think it would make a preemptive strike by the US against the North more likely. Are these guys an ally of the US or are they just holding US troops as hostage to their agenda?
French Toast The French say they share the US goal of disarming Iraq. However, their idea of the meaning of "serious consequences" as set forth in Security Council Resolution 1441 is to add additional inspectors. Since they only disagree witht he US in the means of disarmament at this point, one can only concude that they feel that keeping Saddam in power, even if disarmed, is in their vital national interest. It is clearly more important to them than their relations with the US. The reality is that they favor disarmament only as an alternative to regime change. Before the US started pushing for regime change the French were trying to get the Iraq sactions lifted. Their goals appear to be getting the best deal they can for Saddam.
Carter the UNilateralist Former President Jimmy Carter lost further credibility with his Sunday op-ed in the NY Times. He continued to make the bogus claim that the US would be acting unilaterally if it did not get the approval of the UN for liberating Iraq. He is probably responsible for converting more Democrats to Republicans than any Democrat in history and appears to be adding to that record. He continues to engage in word abuse by falsely claiming that a mutilateral force led by the US in a war of liberation in Iraq is UNilateral. It is easier to see why his presidency was a failure.
French Kiss Watching the French performance in the UN debate on a new Iraq resolution is a reminder of the scene in "Blazing Saddles" where the sheriff is surrounded by an angry mob so he pulls his gun and points it to his head saying the equivalent of, "Back off or I will shoot." The US message to the French should be in the words of a country song "Get your tongue out of my mouth this is a good bye kiss."
Sons of Osama There are various disputed reports of the capture of two of Osama's sons in Afghanistan in the area where it meets Iran and Pakistan. If the report turns out to not be correct it still could have the effect of causing Osama to attempt communication with them at a time when the search for him is very intensive and that could be one reason the report surfaced from a local Pakistani official in the border region. The border area where Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan could be a desirable hide out because it gives someone on the run the choice of two different borders. There have been recent reports indicating Saad bin Laden was seen in Iran. That is a logical place to run when being pursued by forces from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Regime Change in Vietnam? A reporter referred to regime change as an objective of the war in Vietnam. Regime change was never an objective in that war or even hinted at. In fact, LBJ specifically stated that it was not an objective. If that had been one of the objectives, and if it had been vigorously pursued, that war would not have been a quagmire. The question posed to Bush was based on a false premise. The North Vietnamese never saw the kind of force Iraq is going to see in the first week of this war. If they had, they would have lost too.
Iran's Turn in the Barrel Iran whose leading export is terror will be the focus of the next battle in the war against terror. It is not expected that it will require the use of force as is the case with Iraq. It is possible if the UN fails it chance, that it will have no involvement in the next phase. The UK will be very involved because of its intelligence assets in the region. With the recent sightings of al Queda fighters in Iran including Saad bin Laden, son of Osama, it may be easier to get the world's attention. With the fall of Iran, Hezbollah will lose its state sponsor and have to scramble for survival. The fall of Iraq puts the Iranians in a difficult strategic position with US forces on the east and west borders.
Giving the UN a Chance Bush's challenge to the UN is to answer a question in much the same way a judge presents a question to a jury. Is Saddam Huesein in compliance with 1441? It is clear that Bush thinks not, and he thinks no one else can honestly answer the question other than no. By framing the debate on these terms, he avoids the question of whether more inspecters or more time will resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the French. The question then becomes will the French give an honest answer to the question. The unfortunate aspect of this situation is that Saddam gets another couple of weeks to plan his attacks against the US and its forces. For a party on the defensive that is a valuable gift of time that Bush is making to help some of his allies. While coalitions have some strengths they also can be very costly in terms of the lives that are put in jeopardy because a course of action is taken to placate an ally. In World War II the war in Europe w
Multilateral Mess Most of the problems surrounded Iraq are the result of trying to respond to Saddam's bad behavior multilaterly. The '91 war ended with Saddam still in power because the multilateral coalition had ruled out his removal as an objective. Since that time attempts to disarm him have been a multilateral failure. Among many silly things being said by actors like the liberal fantasy president of West Wing is that inspections work. If they worked we would not be having a problem with Iraq and there would have been no need for 16 additional resolutions. The recent embrace of inspections by the French and the liberals in this country is disingenious. They only embrace inspections because they think they can avoid a regime change in Iraq. If the US was not ready to do a regime change in Iraq, these same people would be content to leave Saddam in power and lift the sactions. The calls by some liberals for a more vigorous inspection regime and spreading the n
Curse be upon your moustache A muslim conference turned into an insult exchange when the Iragi delegate told the Kuwaiti delegate to "sit down you monkey." He also heaped abuse on the Kuwaiti's moustache. Iraqi diplomacy is interesting to watch. They certainly know how to win friends. Too bad the Kuwaiti representative did not get a chance to tell the Iraqi delegate, "your grave awaits you."
Iraq Threat Trips Al Queda Mansoor Ijaz has a facinating article in National Review Online that demonstrates how the war with Iraq and the al Queda drive to retaliate actually led to the capture of Mohammed and his friends. According to Ijaz, who has sources in Pakistani intelligence, Mohammed's desire to set up retalitory strikes to counter the US war with Iraq led to information that eventually sent him to Hotel California. This makes it even more clear how wrong the Democrats were in saying that Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror. It turns out it was a trap for the terrorist.
Al Queda's Banker Arrested with Mohammed was Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi who sent and received money for the 9-11 hijackers. His arrest may be more significant than current press accounts realize. He may be a key figure in finding al Queda's source of funds, where existing funds are located and where the money is being sent to finance on going plots. In some ways he could be even more valuable than Mohammed in the battle to strangle al Queda resources. If he had account numbers and bank records, it could be devastating for the terror network.
Welcome to the Hotel California Shaick Mohammed, the al Queda operations officer is probably at the CIA's Hotel California where as the song goes, you can check in, but you can never leave. The most likely location for this exclusive hotel is probably Diego Garcia in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It is probably not much fun to be Mohammed these days. He will have plenty of opportunity for conversation with management. Alternatives to Turkey The commanding general of US ground forces for Iraq had indicated there are several alternatives to moving troops through Turkey, including air lifting part of the 4th Army into position. With special forces already in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq, it probably would not be that difficult to secure an air base for unloading troops and equipment. While the 4th has been initially assigned the northern attack, it might be easier to move several Marine Expeditionary forces into place similar to the operation that took over t
NY Times Finally Notices Bush Has Gone Into Regime Change Mode As noted here last Thursday, Bush's AEI speech signaled that the war with Iraq was about more than just disarmament and Security Counsel Resolution 1441. The French have been left sputtering to catch up with the newly framed debate on Iraq. Thomas Friedman also noticed today that the President is serious about regime change and bringing democracy to Iraq. While he has long been an advocate of democracy in the middle east, he appeared to just be waking to Bush's seriousness of purpose as well as his boldness. He went on to suggest that Bush's rejection of Kyota and the ABM treaty have made his coalition building more difficult. It is arguable whether that is the case, but what should not be arguable is that it is in the US interest to reject both treaties. If the Euros are so hot for a global warming treaty, let them come back with one that is fair to the US. It is not even in their interest to saddle
War Cost Estimate Part II A question for the Dems who have been hectoring Bush administration members for an estimate of the cost of liberating Iraq, "What would you consider a reasonable cost for such an operation? As they answer that questions the Dems should also consider why the American people have no confidence in them on national security issues. The fact of the matter is that those asking the question do not want to spend anything liberating Iraq. Did any one in Congress ask how much Operation Overlord was going to cost in World War II? How about the attack on Okinawa? As I stated below, the Dems have different priorities and are willing to accept the risk posed by Saddam Huessin's sanity in order to achieve them.
"Your Grave Awaits You" Crown Prince Abdullah's response to Col. Khadafi at the Arab League Summit in Egypt. Khadafi, who despite being the dictator of Libya, has never been promoted from the rank of colonel, had accused the Saudi's of being under US control. While Abdullah was offended by the charge, most in the US thought it ridiculous for anyone to think America controls Saudi Arabia. Saddam should get the same message.
Multilateral Madness The pursuit of a mutilateral strategy in Iraq has been a mistake. The administration has been pressured by Democrats and allies to bring as many countries into a coalition as possible as if that gives the enterprise some legitimacy in and of itself. In hind sight, it would have been better to ask for volunteers and get on with the regime change in Iraq. It would have been over before any protesters hit the street. The Turkish parliament has apparently saved the US taxpayer around $30 billion by rejecting the use of Turkey as a launch point. Apparently the use of Turkey would have created a greater dilemma for Saddam because he would have to split his forces. It would also make it easier to protect the oil fields in northern Iraq. All military plans include alternatives, and the one the US will now use will have some surprises for Saddam because he cannot now predict exactly how the attack in the north will occur. The US forces are flexible enough to
Capture of 9-11 Planner Pakistan's arrest of Shaikh Mohammed does more than cripple the terrorist organization, it is also cripples the argument of the anti war Dems who have been arguing that the war in Iraq is a distraction from the war against terror. It was a ridiculous argument anyway. In world War II the US fought on several fronts at once on a much grander scale than either the war against terror or the war against Saddam. This has been mainly a Clinton administration argument to avoid taking effective action against Saddam, the way they did for eight years. If you are looking for an excuse to not do what is needed you can usually find it. It is a much harder excuse to make now.
Debating Points Den Beste gives a great analysis of the arguments of those who oppose the liberation of Iraq.
Dem's Demand for War Cost Estimate There are at least two reasons for this request neither of which is flattering to Democrats. The first is the search for a gotcha sound bite when the actual costs are known. The other reason is that the Dems have other priorities that they want to spend money on. They would prefer to put the cost of regime change in Iraq behind Democrat priorities like drugs for the elderly and other social programs. Similarly most of the expenditures they want on homeland security are not to increase security but to send money to their consitituiency groups in the hopes of buying more votes. At this point the Democrats who have a terrible reputation on national security issues, appear to be confirming the public's low opinion of them on this issue. Dean's Continued Language Abuse Howard Dean is a recidivist abuser of the term UNilateral. Friday he continued to mislead audiences by claiming that the US action against Iraq is unilateral. H