Open Thread – 11 April, 2010

I have been involved in taxes and some real work today and tomorrow.  pl

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16 Responses to Open Thread – 11 April, 2010

  1. JohnH says:

    Ah, yes. Catherine Deneuve and the unforgettable Indochine, a great movie! It should be mandatory viewing in Washington.

  2. Ken Roberts says:

    What do people think about the nuclear weapons treaty recently signed? Thanks!

  3. confusedponderer says:

    Avigdor, no, Joe Liebermann says he the Senate won’t ratify it.
    How come I am not surprised.

  4. WP says:

    It seems that the rules of engagement in Afghanistan are counter-productive and will never result in success until the civilians are protected.
    We own Afghanistan and the people there are under our protection, essentially some sort of quasi American citizens. Until we start looking at the Afghans that way, we will never succeed. At the very least, Afghans should be viewed as voting constituents. You lose the election when your voters are randomly killed, with our without military justification.
    It is all politics and police work.

  5. Paul says:

    He’s against Obama’ plan because Joe wants us to develop Israel’s next generation tactical nukes.

  6. Fred Strack says:

    Ken, I think the treaty is a good idea.
    WP, we own Afghanistan; Afghans are quasi American citizens? No, we don’t and they aren’t.

  7. VietnamVet says:

    Sometime long ago, after I cane back to the World, I decided that the only win the Vietnam War was to make South Vietnam the 51st State. It didn’t happen then. It won’t happen now in Afghanistan.
    Then, there must be a reason why in my lifetime the USA has fought five unwinnable wars from Korea to Iraq. It has to be in our Nature:
    First, War enriches Profiteers.
    Second, Social Conservatives love killing Others (most recently Communists and Muslims).

  8. reader says:

    please cite your constitutional authority regarding Afghan quasi-citizenship rights. I’m not talking about efficacy of COIN here, just the legal justification. The Afghans, and the Iraqis, are not citizens, and therefore have no constitutional rights. They have rights under international law. I’ll tell you plainly, I’ve issues with the inherent Wilsonianism in your statement. Are we going to extend US law to Afghans as well? In that case, I think we might need to bring in Mr. Dostum for questioning about some containers.

  9. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Don’t understand why people claim the sole objective of the GOI in a pre-emptive strike is to degrade or destroy Iran’s capability to produce nuclear weapons.
    The Wurmser option (revealed by Cheney) makes clear the Israeli intent, and it is one that follows the historical paradigm that Tom Segev richly illustrated in his book, 1967.
    The historical paradigm consists of three acts. First, an Israeli provocation that receives scant attention in the msm. Second, an Arab and/or Muslim response, one that receives massive coverage in the global press, therefore laying the foundation to justify Israeli military action under the notion of self defense. The final act: a massive retaliation that achieves the GOI historical goal so well described by Jabotinsky. Greater Israel and the land.
    The Wurmser option in 07clearly shows that Israel wants the US to conduct the third and final act, which would result in the destruction of Iran while Israel continues its policy of occupation.
    So odds exist that the objective is not necessarily to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities in a pre-emptive strike. Under this reasoning, the objective of a limited strike is to generate step two in the historical paradigm: an Iranian response against US interests that will lead to step three: a massive US response.
    When following this line of thinking, one Jericho III missile potentially is all that it takes to lead to steps dos and tres.
    Undoubtedly, the Israelis know that they can achieve the objective of step one rather easily. That is why they attempted to push the Wurmser option with Cheney in 2007.
    Now they are attempting to determine how the USM and the American public will respond to an Israeli strike. It seems to me they have concluded that Obama will not give the GOI the support it needs. So that leads to conclusion that the GOI must begin to take down the Obama presidency.
    This approach increases odds of societal disintegration in the US and may result in the need for new organizing principles to unify a body politic.

  10. KHarbaugh says:

    As all of you know, in intelligence there are always two questions:
    capabilities and intentions.
    Suppose that the Israel and/or the United States
    does airstrikes against Iran,
    to eliminate the infrastructure that worries it.
    Three questions:
    what is the upper bound on the harm Iraq’s Shiites could do to U.S. forces in Iraq?
    My understanding is that
    there could be MAJOR problems with regard to supply lines,
    both from hostiles performing interdiction
    and in that much of the labor itself is provided by
    indigenous forces whose loyalty could turn on a dime
    (the “Arab treachery” paradigm).
    Further, the Iraq National Army (Shiite part of it, anyhow)
    could perform a Frankenstein.
    Is there, in the open literature,
    any place where worst case estimates are made for this situation?
    Second, moving beyond the question of what could the Shiites do,
    are there forecasts as to what they would do?
    Or is it really possible for anyone, even the Shiites,
    to know what they would do?
    Finally, is there anyone in the political decision-making chain
    (Congress, the executive, even the media)
    who really cares about what happens to the U.S. Army,
    as long Israel has yet another threat eliminated?
    I mean, they can play yet again the
    “nobody looked ahead” line.
    It seems that those who make errors that,
    while they may harm the U.S., end up benefiting Israel
    always end up being made whole.

  11. Ah Catherine again and clearly a fixation of the blogger and me.
    Well a different theme! The election of 1912 is looming larger and larger in the historical analysis of the events leading to WWI and thus WWII and the cold war. More and more frequently analysis is appearing arguing that if Teddy Roosevelt wins in 1912 then no WWI and what follows from that “if” a big “if”!Somewhat difficult to easily summarize why this analysis seems to be gaining in frequencey and coherence but my real point is otherwise. As we face the 2012 Presidential election do you think third parties might again be a big factor? Teddy outpolled the Republicans but if he did not run as a “Bull Moose” or the Republicans not nominate some one other than TEDDY perhaps no Wilson. What is of interest is that Teddy is becoming ackowledged as the most intellectual President of the 20th Century and Wilson a “fake” intellectual. It will be an interesting backdrop to the runup to the 2012 election as some signs of disenchantment haunt both parties. If such a poll could be conducted it would be interesting to see how the major powers would see their interests expressed in the Presidential campaign in the US in 2012? Not an election expert but under the recent SCOTUS political contributon rulings can a foreign government be majority owner of a domestic corporation and thereby legall provide funds to US candidates?

  12. Medicine Man says:

    Col. Lang:
    Did you happen to watch Andrew Bacevich’s interview with Bill Moyers:
    I don’t have any specific questions about the program but I am curious what you think of Mr. Bacevich’s line of thought on the topic of Afghanistan.

  13. zanzibar says:

    You are making an assumption that Obama needs to be taken down for Israel to achieve its 3 step tango. What makes you believe that is necessary?
    It would seem that Obama could be easily “swayed” to be a willing participant.

  14. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    You may a great point, imo. My primary argument is that the GOI’s military objective of a limited first strike is not necessarily to eliminate Iran’s nuclear capability but to satisfy step one of a historical template that was clearly evident in the strategic approach of Wurmser and Cheney.
    Cheney clearly was on board. Obviously the GOI will have to adjust the template to the new administration. So, as you aptly pointed out, the GOI’s goal is to persuade Obama, by whatever means, to become a willing participant or, alternatively, to destroy his presidency.
    In my opinion, you can get a decent snapshot of “real time” Israeli intent by reading Caroline Glick, Jeffery Goldberg, and Drudge. The approach of each is different, as they are in part targeting different audiences but, again, imo, you can see certain common denominators.
    The endpoint I wanted to emphasize is that under almost all scenarios, at least that I can think of right now, the US is facing increased odds of societal disintegration. From the viewpoint of Likud Zionists, if societal disintegration in the US will further its goals, then so be it. If the death of US soldiers will further such goals, then so be it.
    And from the disintegration comes new organizing principles. Factoring in the wisdom of the anti-Zionist rabbis, let’s hope that one of the new organizing principles is not a rise in anti-Semitism in the USA. But one of the analytical assumptions they give us is that Zionism will trigger anti-Semitism because increasingly people will associate Zionist atrocities — including the death of US soldiers — with all Jewish people as well as with Judaic values.

  15. Cosmoskitten says:

    You are terribly misinformed about the United States Constitution. In some cases it speaks about citizens and in other cases about persons.
    Your claim that non-citizens have no constitutional rights is simply false.
    For a reference, see

  16. zanzibar says:

    I agree with you that Bibi would love to instigate a provocation that would lead to our military carrying out the destruction of Iran.
    My point is that I am not sure that Obama is a bulwark against the Wurmser/Cheney strategy. He too pays homage at the AIPAC altar and depending on the electoral circumstance could be persuaded to acquiesce to that game plan. Note how he is making deals with Russia and China to abandon their “sponsorship” of Iran which could be setting the stage for ultimatum and action.
    Following your earlier references to the Satmar rabbis I have read many of their documents. It is very interesting that they draw a sharp distinction between Judaism and Zionism. That being Jewish is not synonymous with being a Zionist. That point is however obscured by our lazy media and of course the Zionists. Their concern that Zionism would lead to antisemitism is a legitimate concern. Today however the average American except those that congregate at locales like SST has not connected these dots but in fact continue to believe in the pablum that Israel is the only US “ally” in the ME and consequently we have an obligation to prop up the Zionist state against the evil hordes of Muslim terrorists that seek their destruction.
    I also share your concern about societal disintegration. But my belief is that it comes as people begin to lose confidence in the leadership of our institutions and come to believe that our government is at the epicenter of a racketeering operation. That there is no longer rule of law as the elites are held to a completely different standard than the rest of us. Since I follow the financial world closely – I mean specifically here about the money laundering and fraud and socialization of losses – and the lack of DoJ inquiry let alone indictment.

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