A Mass Delusion?

Compassionate For days now my telephone has been ringing with calls from people who want me to tell them that sanity and adult leadership are returning to the shores of the Potomac.  A man called today to have me say a few words for his national radio network.  The theme of his program was clearly supposed to be that the cumulative effect of; the Iraq Study Group, the wipeout of Republican power in the Congress, the assembly of Bush ’41 elders and the coming of the newly resuscitated Robert Gates to the Pentagon mean that – ALL WILL BE WELL!!!

I told the foreign gent that I would believe that to be true when I begin to see something in the President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces which makes me think that "the decider" has decided a different decision.  I don’t see it yet.

I watched his press conference yesterday and what I saw is a man who is writhing in what must be torture for him.  He is no longer able to scold the American people for fear that they may savage him yet further, but is still enraged by resistance to his will.

Let’s see what his reactions are to the recommendations of the Baker -Hamilton Group ….. Then we will know.

Pat Lang

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44 Responses to A Mass Delusion?

  1. Michael D. Adams says:

    “The Band, Elwood, the Band!”
    –Jake Blues 1978
    Hell, they may as well dig up William Casey while they’re at it. Yeah, let’s
    put the “I ran Contraband” “back together and do a Reunion Cover-up tour.
    Nothing is going to change but the office assignments in Congress.
    “Saddam, Now More Than Ever!” Like Bill Lind says, “He’s tanned, rested, and ready to go.”

  2. John in LA says:

    It is tempting to think that we may turn a corner and that sanity may prevail. But the return of the Bush 1 advisors, retired from their careers and frankly out of the loop (14 years out of the loop)doesn’t promise great things.
    –Do we see anyone who can get us out from under the Zionist cabal?
    –Do we see anyone who looks at Arabs/Muslims with anything more than contempt and disdain?
    –Do we see anyone with a vision for what American foreign policy needs to be in an era of acute pressure on oil resources and spiraling violence in the Muslim world?
    Some things aren’t going to change — certainly, the Taliban are still one bullet away from the bomb.
    Kim Il Jong is goin to drive us crazy, holding a gun to the head of the Japanese.
    Global warming is still going to throw of hundreds of millions of migrants.
    HIV runs unchecked through Africa and, increasingly, Asia.
    The American economy is still wholly dependant on foreign oil and foreign loans.
    The Chinese are still shorting the dollar.
    Jim Baker? Bob Gates? And…George Bush is still as stupid as ever.
    Oh, The Israelis just slaughtered 18 civilians in Palestine.
    Going to be some payback, don’t you think?

  3. Robert in SB says:

    Bushes body language with Pelosi today spoke volumes. Her sitting back, spine straight, extending only her forearm out to shake. 43, in contrast, leaning forward,out, arm stretched out all the way, a grimace on his face, his body turned sideways protectively. She has his balls in jar on her trophy shelf, and he knew it.

  4. clif says:

    Pat could you be saying “Trust but verify”, what Bush says?

  5. zanzibar says:

    I am not holding my breath that we will see a magical transformation in DC and the Decider’s attitude. I am not sure it is in his DNA to compromise. Rather his whole political ethos from Texas on has been to demonize his opponents character. Note that just a week ago he was telling Americans that if they elected Democrats the terrorists would win.
    It was not many minutes after all the comity at the White House today that the Decider decides to send back Bolton’s nomination. He pushed the Military Commissions Act in 11th hour before the elections. Now he wants to send controversial legislation to the lame duck Congress.
    If Jim Baker presents publicly anything contrary to what the Decider wants I would be very surprised. I know the Democrats at this juncture are hiding behind the ISG recommendation while they come to terms with their new found power after all these years in the wilderness.
    In any case there is no easy way out in Iraq? How are we going to get Sadr and Hakim to come to terms let alone the myriad Sunni factions?
    Hopefully the Decider is chastened by the verdict of the American people. This was a monumental decision by the American electorate repudiating the Decider’s politics of division and his judgement as well as the corruption in Congress. Not only did the Democrats win the House and Senate, they won several governorships all across the country. States as diverse as Colorado, Ohio and New Hampshire flipped completely. The Decider has got a decision to make – will he share power as required under our constitution or will he succumb to his self-righteousness? Will the Democrats misread their mandate? I hope that the fresh blood and influence of people like Senator-elect Jim Webb and others will cause the Democrats actions and behavior to be measured.

  6. Walrus says:

    Col. Lang,
    I think you are absolutely right. Nothing has changed…..yet. I’m not sure that change is going to be for the better either, because the unholy allaince of the military/Industrial complex is still lobbying and to some extent controlling the Republicans and if anything the Israel Lobby has even more clout with the Democrats than they did with the Republicans. For this reason, an attack on Iran is still on the cards in my opinion because both these groups have a vested interest in entangling the U.S. in a major shooting war in the middle east – not the sideshow that is Iraq now.
    The resulting violence in Iraq and elsewhere after such an attack would see the Dems Co-opted into supporting a real shooting “war on terror”, the draft and more “anti terror” measures.
    We will only have a rational foreign policy and the chance of peace when someone puts a stake through the heart of the “Project for the New American Century” – a project that is really calling for a rerun of the “old” American century and a maintenance of the status quo.
    Before WWI, Kaiser Wilhelm II used his foriegn policy of advancing Germany’s claim to “great Power” Status as a similar excuse to head off rising pressure from the working classes for democratic and social reforms. Look what happened to him….and to Germany as a result.

  7. Les Izmore says:

    Mass delusion is what got the US where we are today in Iraq and as you point out it seems to be continuing. The situation in the Middle East has always been very complex. The Bush/neo con crew sold the American people, and many others, a bill of goods by promising easy quick solutions to historical dilemmas. Now those same people believe a change in direction will end the war to the satisfaction of all the players. This is not going to happen. It will take many years and much effort to repair the incredible amount of damage that has been done by this reckless adventurism. Already Richard Perle and his warmongering cohorts are extracting themselves from their deep responsibility for these morally bankrupt policies. One side effect of the change in Congressional power is that now the Bush/Cheney cabal has a scapegoat to point at in 2008. “We told you, stay the course and it would have all worked out. The appeaser Democrats have failed in Iraq.” This shift in power does open a window of opportunity to redirect our foreign policy but I fear both parties remain more concerned with increasing their domestic advantage than addressing the problems created by our self serving imperialism. We can only hope to make long term changes for the better in the Middle East by involving the people of the region at all levels to fix this very broken wagon. Personally I see the replacement of Rumsfeld by Gates as a sideways step in this project. God help us all.

  8. Green Zone Cafe says:

    Well, I am glad about the return of balance and accountability in government. Especially Webb winning – Sic Semper Tyrannis, indeed.
    As for Iraq, I am of mixed feelings about all this. I worked with many Iraqis who bought into our bullshit about democracy, etc. To leave now would put them in an uncomfortable situation. On the other hand, muddling through will sap American strength for decades.
    Reminds me of what an Army captain told me – “What, they never heard of the old American bait-and switch?”

  9. Will Raiser says:

    The reaction of one with reasoned experience.

  10. Trent says:

    Stratfor suggesting the ISG will call for direct talks with Iran. Can’t imagine the Decider listens to that while trying to push Bolton through.

  11. anna missed says:

    I can’t imagine how Bush is going to make through the next couple of years. The common assumption that Bush prefers living in a “bubble” is most likely a misnomer for his predilection for happy talk and yes men, and not so much a will toward solitude or reflection. The problem for Bush now, and from now on, is that he will be living in a “bubble”, except this time it’s the fishbowl variety “bubble” — with all its attendent implications, investigations, innuindos, and most of all blame. This cowboys goinna ride that final two miles into the sunset, all, all, alone.

  12. arbogast says:

    There is not a lot to add to Col. Lang’s assessment.
    George Bush is a fundamentally corrupt man. The war in Iraq was, for him, a means to an end: political dominance in the U.S. With political dominance came the opportunity for him and his cronies to loot the national treasure. The looting will continue until he is out of office.
    The war, which has been his political trump card, has turned against him. In fact, he has become the most hated man in America, because people now see him as the plutocrat opportunist that he is.
    If the investigative arm of the House (led by Dennis Kucinich, a name we will be hearing more often) starts turning over the stone of the Republican Party, George’s last two years in office should be almost what he deserves.
    But will sanity prevail? Will he start an orderly withdrawal from Iraq? Will pigs fly?

  13. blowback says:

    It is probably a good thing that the boy Bush doesn’t read the newspapers otherwise he might have read something like this:
    One by one, Daddy’s wise men are coming back to rescue the struggling son.
    I shudder to think what it would have done to his over-inflated ego.
    However, the more important issue is what this portends for Iraq. Will we see the US military being used to “put down” the Shiites? It was beginning to look that way before the elections with the lockdown of Sadr City and the pressure on Maliki to use the Iraqi army to liquidate the Shiite militias.

  14. Johnek says:

    President B and Rumsfeld are just marionetes in the marionete theater.
    The real actors Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz etc are no longer to be found in the media.

  15. arbogast says:

    I do have a possible career move for George, however.
    Now that Israel is conducting mock bombing raids on French troops in Lebanon, I would say that the possibility of a conquering Israeli army marching down the Champs Elysee cannot be ruled out as the backdrop for a new version of Casablanca starring George and Condi.
    I admit that Condi as Ingrid Bergman is a stretch, but George as Humphrey Bogart is clearly within the realm of possibility. They both went to Andover, for starters.

  16. arbogast says:

    Israeli troops marching down the Champs Elysee could be the backdrop for a new Casablanca starring George and Condi.
    Hollywood would probably want to bring the name up to date, though, and just call it White House.
    French Forces Almost Fired On Israeli Jets
    F-15s Dived on Peacekeepers In Lebanon, Defense Official Says
    By Molly Moore
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Friday, November 10, 2006; A22
    PARIS, Nov. 9 — French peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon came within seconds of firing missiles at Israeli F-15 fighter jets that repeatedly dived on their positions last week…

  17. Nabil says:

    I celebrated with a nice dinner. Bye bye Rummy, you smarmy bastard.
    I am not expecting a balanced US mideast policy to come out of this, but I am expecting some inquiries, some real questions, some real answers, and some real accountability.

  18. Byron Raum says:

    Col Lang’s description is, of course, astute, as always. If you want to know what Bush is thinking, the last person to listen to is Tony Snow. What he’s thinking is, of course, “The American people are complete morons.” Rumsfeld has said as much.
    Nothing shows that Bush is capable of changing. But the majority of Bush’s power came from the fact that he had a supine Congress and Senate. The reason Bush is seething is because his support group has been chastened; he’s tried ramming through legislation like he’s used to doing, and been told to go away. It is still too early to decide that the Democrats will be spineless. Rather, all the jubilation and excitement is good because it steels people to the possibilities of extreme change. Most pundits and politicians agree that the Democrats have been handed a new mandate and hopefully this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Unfortunately, it’s not going to be overnight. In fact, it’s going to be several months before the Democrats come in, vote themselves in charge, get settled in and start looking around.

  19. John in LA says:

    ‘Gates will uphold solid US-Israel ties’
    Departing Ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon said Thursday that he expected Israel’s strong strategic relationship with the US to continue should Robert Gates be confirmed as the next secretary of defense.
    Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post by telephone from Washington that Gates would be heading a department which is “very supportive and cooperative with Israel,” and that he believed the nominee would continue that tradition.
    According to Ayalon, “We always were reaching out to Democrats and Republicans. We develop and cherish bipartisan support at all times, and I think it will pay off now as it always has.”

  20. John in LA says:

    We can’t get ahead of ourselves. Sure, Rummy was an objectionable old crank; Cheny a dissolving Jaba.
    But, as noted in an earlier post, the Beverly Hills set control the Democratic party. And the Beverly Hills set believes only in shoveling money at Israel and shooting into crowds of Arabs… while murmuring emphathetic noises about notching up minimum wages and “caring”.
    The scary part will be when the Beverly Hills AIPACers and the Beverly Hills “Persians” get to work on the Democratic leadership.

  21. Guthrum says:

    I am writing from England, I admire your writing and candour. Our Prime Minister is on the rack and probably only has a period of weeks to survive for backing Bush. The impression here is that Bush 1 is having to bail out Bush 2, and surround him with ‘trusted’ advisors and to stop any further rot. This whole episode has been a monumental foreign policy disaster for both of our countries.

  22. Got A Watch says:

    The point of maximum danger may be right now, with 3 carrier task forces staring down Iranian forces around Iran. A manufactured “incident” could occur at any time, and then the real shooting will start. Israel is still pressing for an attack on Iran. If we can get through the Christmas period quietly, then maybe the danger will diminish.
    The forces of darkness have been pushed back, but they are still active. Meanwhile in the real world, the economic center of gravity tilts a little more towards Asia every day, and I read of few in Washington who would acknowledge this cold fact in public. America has but a handful of years to begin to turn this trend around, or face irrelevance akin to that of the UK today – a country who continually talks and acts more important than they actually are to any but their own citizens.

  23. arbogast says:

    Got A Watch: You have perhaps implicitly explained in your post why the Israeli’s are trying to scare the French. The French have a carrier task force off Lebanon (I believe). That carrier task force would never in a million years become part of a strike against Iran. Conceivably, its presence is a huge thorn in the side of both Israel and the US.
    Colonel Lang, do you have any thoughts about this? It certainly goes to the very heart of “What happens next?”
    In all the gyrations about “change in Iraq”, if my thinking above is correct, we will hear nothing about the UN. But the UN is the only hope for a future for Iraq.

  24. John Hammer says:

    By the time the Democrats take their positions and get their staffs in place, the New Hampshire Primary will be less than a year away. In short, the dems have about nine months of play time before the real battle begins, and they do not have the luxury of running against Bush or Cheney in 08′.

  25. Will says:

    this is interesting for 1.4%
    “Democrats may have conquered both houses of Congress, and so have Jewish politicians. Number of Jewish senators rises from 11 to 13 and number of Jewish representatives jumps to 30 thanks to six new faces creating all-time high of Jewish politicians in Congress. Another precedent: First Muslim elected to House”
    If George Felix Allen had won, it would have been 14 Jewish Senators. But how is Jewish defined?
    Harold Ford is defined as Black but he is as much European as black. In this day and age we are ALL part jewish, arab, german, african.
    But they are not all stupidly hawkish like Lieberman. Maybe some good will come out of it.
    Through, Isabella (Zaida, daughter of the last Abbassid Emir of Seville and descended from the Prophet Muhammad )consort of Alfonso VI, Imperator Hispania and King of Leon, Galicia, & Castille, Arab blood flows throughout all the royal bloodlines of Europe and consequently commoners as well.
    Armand deBorchgrave says the Iraq Study Group is resurrecting the Abdullah Beirut Peace Initiative which guaranteed a full warm peace with trade and was signed by all 22 Arab countries including Saddam Husain’s Iraq. Maybe this is the dangle in front of the Arabs for unity or acquiscene in bombing Iran.
    Much as Madrid and Oslo was promised for Gulf I.
    Espabila, Favila, que viene el Oso!”

  26. JustPlainDave says:

    According to USN PAO, the Enterprise carrier strike group is presently on port visit in Lisbon, having rotated at the beginning of November. Eisenhower is in the Arabian Sea (I’m guessing either “on station” or near to it, judging from previous deployment patterns). Elements of the Boxer group are variously in the Gulf or the Arabian Sea.

  27. Patrick Henry says:

    I share your observations and Concerns during this Transistion in the Status of Our government ..Its Operatives and its Operations and Conduct..
    There naturally have to be Strong personal Reactions..
    going on among Bush..his administration ..His Party..and among the Democrats..as well..
    At Least our Government..as it was Intended to be..is intact..
    with Checks and Balances..Over Sight..and more EQUAL Representation..
    We Have shown the world that Our Democracy Survives..That we can change policy and Regulate government through Ballots…Not Bullets..That this was a REVELATION Revolution..That Once Again United the People..and the People SPOKE..We Held Onto Our Constitution..The Dreams and Efforts of Our founding Fathers..The “Spirit of 76″ That tells Us to..”CARRY ON…”..and the Flag of Our NATION Yet another Conflict..The Stars and Stripes…and all They represent..
    So far we are seeing some PUBLIC effort to Put EGOS aside..Establish Protocol and diplomacy..Negotiate and Govern for the good of the people and the Nation.. I Think I will take Time for Bush to get over it..But he has to face reality..There WILL Be Oversight..The People have Spoken..
    Let us Pray that our Nation continues to move Ahead in a Responsible Way Now..
    and With the Best LEADERSHIP and Good Judgement and Good Government Our Leaders CAN and WANT to put in PLACE..
    We have shown the World and the Iraqis how Democracy Works..What we do next Bears Watching..
    how We resolve our Differences..Co~Operate and Move ON..
    Can That process happen in Iraq..?? Hand joining Hand..Even if there is Underlying Suspicion..distrust and resentment at the Time..
    Can we still find Ways to make PEACE..? Resolve Differences..??
    Who will Lead The way..??
    Mean While.. the Watchmen will Keep Watch..
    Thank you Col.Lang..

  28. MarcLord says:

    Quoting you: “the economic center of gravity teils a little more towards Asia every day.”
    Russia is getting into the WTO as we speak. Think about the deals that had to be struck in back rooms for that to happen.
    Bush is going to hear over and over that we can’t win in Iraq without Iran’s help. And I believe he very badly wants to win in Iran.

  29. taters says:

    I’m not sure how much of a difference it will make with Rep. Ike Skelton And Sen. Carl Levin as chairs of the respective Armed Services Committees but I certainly have faith that Ike Skelton will do a much better job than Duncan Hunter, who swallowed everything – hook, line & sinker fed to him by the neocons. As far as Carl Levin goes, he is my senator here in Michigan. I am proud to be a constituent and I respect him very much – and even though we have differed on some things, he has always taken the time to fully respond to me ( I know staffers may be at play here )and his responses are never a generic form letter. I also believe the soon to be ranking member John Warner to be a decent man whom I respect. Levin is definitely not partial to the neocons, most of you recall that it was him questioning Gen. Shinseki about the number of troops required and when Shinseki responded, his response was called “wildly off the mark” by some creep who is now president of the World Bank. Pardon me for not stating his name but I feel like I have to shower when I say it….

  30. MarcLord says:

    Freudian slip: previous post should’ve read, “…and I believe he very badly wants to win in IRAQ.” (Not Iran, as written).

  31. Piotr Chmielarz says:

    I don’t think so that this election will change something .In my opinion democrats are the same stupid bands as Republicans.

  32. John Howley says:

    Nothing has changed…and everything’s changed.
    The election offers little guidance on Iraq policy, after all. The people voted for “change the course” in Iraq by voting Democratic but they are split, roughly, between those who think we need to send MORE troops and those who think we should “redeploy.”
    McCain will seek the votes of the former. (I like his Straight Talk schtick too but it is only a schtick.)
    Sheriff Waxman will at least keep a closer watch on our tax dollars.

  33. Soonmyung Hong says:

    I think Mr. Gates is far better SecDef candidate than Mr. Rumsfeld, but I’m concerned about his heavy intelligence manipulation records.
    Two former CIA SOVA(office of SOViet Analysis) guys wrote an exellent book about their works and analytical methodologies. In several chapters, they described how Mr. Gates politically pressured SOVA.
    It is written in 1998. So it doesn’t biased by partisanship.
    I posted it’s excerpt on my blog.

  34. Will says:

    Pardon my careless post above. Of course there were no Abbassidis in Spain. AbdrRahman founded the Sunni Ummayad Calliphate of Cordoba but upon Coroba’s breakup up in a succession struggle
    “The Abbadids comprised a Muslim dynasty which arose in Al-Andalus on the downfall of the Caliphate of Cordoba (756–1031). Abbadid rule lasted from about 1023 until 1091, but during the short period of its existence it exhibited singular energy and typified its time. The name of the dynasty should not be confused with that of the Abbasids of Baghdad.”
    So in that time frame there was the quasi-Shiites in Baghdad- the Abbasids, The Shiite Fatimids in Cairo whose dying embers were put out by Salidin, and the Ummayad refugees of Damascus in Spain. Note Cordoba in its Ummayad prime was a city of 450,000 people.
    Everyone has heard of the al-hambra architectural landmark. Hambra means red. It is also the root for jackass in Arabic-Hebrew because that is the color of wild asses.
    Best Wishes Will
    Best Wishes Will

  35. Avi Singh says:

    Dear Col. Lang,
    I’ve been browsing your blog for months. I would like to suggest a possible alternative that might be on the way.
    Why is the admin so eager to push the deal with India through?
    Because India has the only significant standing army in any democracy, with experience fighting insurgency. Not just any insurgency, but the same players that are in Iraq: Lashkar e Toiba, Khalq e mujahid etc etc. The same organizations (and probably the same people) were in Kashmir before 2003, and are in Iraq now.
    The Indian army has a standing strength of well over a million (there are more than 350,000 troops in Kashmir, a piece of land about the size of maybe NY state.
    It would be to the advantage of the Indian Army to fight the Islamic insurgents in Iraq rather than in Kashmir.
    So why has a deal not been struck yet? Well, because India IS a democracy, and the US is not all that popular right now in the Parliament.
    As a matter of fact, the previous Indian administration had allegedly agreed to consider contributing troops to the ‘alliance’ in late 2002. However, with typical ham-handedness, the same people who negotiated the troop request in Delhi, flew to Islamabad the next day, and conferred MFN status on Pakistan. That squelched the deal right there.
    Now, four years later, with a nuclear deal in place, it might be possible to offer India a mutual defence pact, such that Indian troops (most of which are on the Indo-Pak border) can, with some confidence, be redeployed under blue helmets to Iraq.
    Easily done? No. But it is possible. For the Indian Army, if offered sufficient compensation both organizationally and to the soldiers individually, you can bet that a deal is possible. After all, do you know what is the salary of an infantry rifleman in the IA: about 100 USD.
    I have a feeling that the haste in ratifying the Indo-US treaty is the beginning of a series of steps that are designed to lead to the US army being partially or completely relieved by UN troops, drawn substantially from India. Maybe.

  36. blowback says:

    abrozgast – just how are the Israelis going to get to walk up the Champs Elysee. They couldn’t even defeat a rag-tag militia equipped with a few anti-tank missiles. The Israelis have never taken on a modern western army and quite frankly they would be stupid to do so. The Israeli army might have been hard once but it is now “a bunch of arrogant pricks who wouldn’t last ten minutes on a European battlefield.”
    Do not forget that France has nuclear attack submarines so any invasion fleet the Israelis could put together would be sunk somewhere in the Mediterranean. In war there are eventually only two types of boat, nuclear attack submarines and those that have been sunk by nuclear attack submarines.
    As well as nuclear attack submarines, France also has nuclear missile submarines so any country stupid enough to invade metropolitan France would suffer very considerable damage.
    Also France is a member of NATO so the United States and the United Kingdom along with all the other members would be required to assist France. NATO is more important to the United States than Israel will ever be.
    If Bush and Rice have any sense (which I sometimes doubt) they have probably already told the Israelis to behave themselves. Oooops, I spoke too soon.

  37. Got A Watch says:

    By economic center of gravity, I was referring to China/Japan/South Korea etc., not Iran – who has natural resources but little else. Thanks for quoting, but I ain’t the Walrus. Still don’t understand the rest of your post, MarcLord, rephrase in English please.
    Russia will be ushered into the WTO with open arms due to 10,000,000 very solid reasons – the number of barrels of oil pumped and sold every day. Who can argue with that much oil and natural gas?
    Arbogast, do you really think the French are going to militarily restrain Israel and America if they decide to attack Iran? Please, I think not!
    On the issue of UN troops, I can’t see ANY nation wanting to send troops to Iraq as blue helmets. They will offer all the verbal and moral support possible, but actually putting personnel in is highly unlikely. Look at the failure of NATO to get more troops to Afghanistan, then multiply.
    As to what American foreign policy SHOULD have been, just look at China, whose brilliant exercise of soft power hs them gobbling up resources and gaining influence all over the world while the West sleeps. Better start learning key phrases in Mandarin like “How may I serve you, Master?”

  38. Marcello says:

    “The French have a carrier task force off Lebanon (I believe). That carrier task force would never in a million years become part of a strike against Iran. Conceivably, its presence is a huge thorn in the side of both Israel and the US.”
    The IAF has nearly 400 modern combat aircrafts. The Charles de Gaulle probably does not carry more than 40 planes.
    Should the need arise the israelis can crush the french forces in theatre with overwhelming numbers, if anything else.The logistical implications of Israel projecting significant ground forces across the Mediterranean make Seelowe look like a well thought out plan in comparison even before the capabilities of the french navy are taken in consideration (and nuclear submarines are not invincible).
    I am sure that the original poster was only joking anyway with his remarks about Casablanca.

  39. searp says:

    I am not convinced. W will feel pressure from 3 directions:
    (1) Congress. The Dems were elected to change things in Iraq, and they know it.
    (2) The Republican party. W and Dick may not be running for anything, but there are a bunch of Republicans running for all sorts of things in 08.
    (3) The Pentagon. How else to take Pace’s line about a new study? Pace and Abazaid wouldn’t be out there generating attention for a study that comes back saying “stay the course”.
    I’d say it is a fair bet that a big chunk of troops are home in ’07.

  40. zanzibar says:

    Avi Singh
    If the Indian politicians – I guess the Congress party want to send Indian riflemen in the middle of a raging civil war that is more like anarchy so they can make a few bucks like another $50 per rifleman – they’ll be voted out in the next election.
    Its a meatgrinder down there in Iraq! The Indians didn’t do too well against the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and had to withdraw their soldiers. They also paid a price with the assasination of a Prime Minister. And its not like the Indian military have quelled any insurgenices yet that exist in many areas in India not just Kashmir and have been running for many decades. The Gandhi family in power in India maybe more circumspect.

  41. Avi Singh says:

    I am suggesting that it is a possibility. Perhaps the only possible source of troops if US troops are going to be replaced.
    And you are right: the Muslim insurgency in Kashmir is definitely not quelled. However, that goes to show how hard it is to quell insurgencies that are supported by a willing donor nation – in this case, Pakistan.
    BTW, it is only since 9/11 that the persistent ‘whining’ of the Indian government is being heard: that the so called ‘domestic’ insurgency is comprised of foreign fighters in the main. From Sudan, England, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Malaysia : you name it, they have recovered passports to show for it.
    The fact that the Indian Army has been fighting these guys, with almost overt support from you-know-which neighbor, is not necessarily an indictment of the Indians: as we have seen over the last few years in Iraq, a well funded and manned insurgency is not trivial to quell.
    Also, the experience of the Indian Army IS being shared with the US army; there have been units training with India at the Indian Army’s Counter-insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS), located in NE India. Whether that support is going to result in troop deployment is hard to predict.
    As you suggest, the current Indian government, run by the Indira Congress Party, is not too eager to get into the troop export business.
    I have relatives in both the Indian and US armies, and my sympathies are with the grunts: infantrymen in particular. Hell of a world we find ourselves in today.

  42. Byron Raum says:

    I’m rather amazed that foreign fighters in Kashmir would be carrying passports with Pakistani visas on them. Would the Pakistanis be really so dumb as to allow these people to be wandering around carrying passports? I thought the ISI was famous for not being dumb. If this really is true, it actually points to lack of collusion with the Pakistani government.

  43. confusedponderer says:

    Byron Raum,
    [lecturing pundit tone] … or it is the _proof_ for the Pakistani government’s ongoing collusion with the Taliban – as we all know the ISI folks are too competent to implicate themselves.
    [with gravitas] That they seem to be so clearly implicated, considering their competence, rules out mere sloppyness and leaves no other possibility but intent: To generate the impression not to cooperate with them, they issued them visas! Cunning! But they can’t fool me!
    Huh, my brain is feeling hot.

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