Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The key theater in this global war is Iraq. Our troops are serving bravely in that country. They're opposing ruthless enemies, and no enemy is more ruthless in Iraq than al Qaeda. They send suicide bombers into crowded markets; they behead innocent captives and they murder American troops. They want to bring down Iraq's democracy so they can use that nation as a terrorist safe haven for attacks against our country. So our troops are standing strong with nearly 12 million Iraqis who voted for a future of peace, and they so for the security of Iraq and the safety of American citizens.
President George W. Bush, Speech, Charleston Air Force Base, Charleston, South Carolina, Tuesday, 24 July 2007.
The herd animals on Capitol Hill – from both parties – just can’t wait to go over the cliff on Iraq. And even when the media mention one or two of the successes achieved by our troops, the reports are grudging.Quite true, but what of it ? Even assuming, as I do, that Col. Peters is correct about the situation on the ground in Iraq, the military facts are irrelevant. President Bush's excellent speech quoted above (hat tip, Belmont Club) is so right on so many things: right about the need to beat al Qaeda in Iraq, correct that victory in Iraq is central to doing that. But President Bush is, unfortunately, wrong about the key theater of this war. We are losing this war today because the Democratic Party, the media and academia here have decided that we should. Our enemies have a superior operational concept: exploitation of our media, and manipulation of politicians who think that defeating Bush and his “illegal war” serves a higher, better purpose than winning it. The center of gravity is in Washington, LA and New York, and not Baghdad or the Sunni triangle.
We will never manage to win this war or any other unless we become better at employing the media – which, in the new era of total war – is just another weapon like everyone and everything else. No future war plan will be complete without a media strategy. One of President Bush’s gravest strategic mistakes in this war (the others may be discussed another time) was to sit quietly in the White House in 2003-05 while the insurgency gathered steam, and his political enemies developed their arguments, rather than pushing Rumsfeld sooner to find a strategy and spending every day tirelessly explaining and agitating: bringing people to his side on this war.
Can the war effort (both in Iraq and in Afghanistan) be saved ? Unclear. The military is doing all it can, and more. But victory depends on political factors that the President has allowed to slip beyond his control. We are now in the position of praying for our numerous enemies to make a mistake.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. . . .After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.Rep. Keith Ellison, speaking on subject of 9/11 to a conference of atheists, (quoted in Daily Telegraph, 16 July 2007) ([brackets] in original).
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The al Qaeda organization generally carries through on its threats, or tries to, so I don’t think that Mr. al-Zawahari is indulging in bluster. It seems more probable that Mr. al-Zawahari truly believes “very precise retaliation” is necessary: that the “insult” to Islam of a knighthood for an extraordinarily tedious author that nobody but the ivory-tower literati reads can indeed only be redressed by blood.
Obviously Mr. al-Zawahari has something ghastly in mind, but carrying through on such threats seems to me to be rank political lunacy. If Mr. al-Zawahri and company really want to revive support in the West for the war, and provide cover for politicians to take active measures against their own Muslim minority populations -- “precise retaliations” or repeating 9/11 is a sure road to that objective.
Perhaps the weakness of al Qaeda and militant Islam in general is that what its followers see as keeping faith with their God necessarily involves what amounts to a death wish for their own civilization ? Yes, yes, al Qaeda and its radical friends wants to wipe out the decadent West: to bring death to America, to Israel, and to the apostates and re-establish the caliphate, but at the end of the day, I just don’t think they’re big enough. The West has more money, more guns, and may Study War No More because it’s too good at it. (By war, I don’t mean Iraq, I’m talking about the all-out kind -- Dresden and Hiroshima. This beast must not be roused again, and al Qaeda is playing with it). The question before the House is: how many of us will Mr. al-Zawahiri and company be allowed to kill before the West decides that If There’s No Hoof-and-Mouth Disease, There Won’t Be Any ?
Islam must save itself from Mr. al-Zawahiri and those like him, such as Mr. Ahmadinejad. The hour is very late.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Monday, July 2, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Saturday 1 JulyGlass rose slightly during night. A fine sunny morning with gentle breeze from the west and southwest. At first some mist in the hollows. This very favourable because it concealed the concentration of our troops. . .
A sergeant of the 3rd Tyneside Irish recalled seeing "away to my left and right, long lines of men. Then I heard the 'patter patter' of machine guns in the distance. By the time I'd gone another ten yards there seemed to be only a few men left around me; by the time I had gone twenty yards, I seemed to be on my own. Then I was hit myself." The whole of the Tyneside Irish brigade, of four battalions, nearly three thousand men, was brought to a halt inside British lines. . .One of its battalions lost 500 men killed or wounded, another 600. . .John Keegan, The First World War, (Vintage Books, New York, 2000), at p. 295.