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July 29, 2006

Comments

The notion that the Powell Doctrine flouts the principle of proportionality seems very strange to me. As I understand it, it's just a reformulation of an old military saying: the more you use, the fewer you lose. Desert Storm was as good an example as you could wish for. AFAIK even the Iraqi army suffered few deaths. It could certainly be said that some of the attacks on infrastructure were excessive. That's got nothing to do with the Powell Doctrine itself, as applied to the declared objective.

. . . and of course overwhelming force is only one element of the Powell Doctrine. Curiously absent from the formulation in the wiki piece is the personal resolution of the C-in-C: could it be that the resolve of the President, while necessary, is so far from sufficient as to be unworthy of mention?

Von: Powell was also right about exit strategy, and here's where the Iraq war has been so fundamentally flawed in the past 2 years as to be unworthy of continuation. We've had several opportunities to plausibly declare victory and leave, and every time we pass one up, it becomes more likely that our ultimate departure will look like flight, not victory. This failure stems from the non-attainable nature of the goals we've set. Guess Powell was right about that too.

No matter: anyone saying that Powell's principles are valid in the post-9/11 world is just a loser-defeatist anyway.

Nor can I make them realize that they themselves bear part of the blame for the disaster

really ? what influence does a cheeto-stained warblogger have on the IDF ?

von: I think it was not morally justified, because any action that involves the amount of destruction that this one involved and is stupid cannot be justified. The only thing that could possibly have justified this was the prospect of a peaceful northern border. (Note the word 'possibly'; I don't necessarily mean that it would have justified it; just that it's the only plausible candidate.) Without that, it's just a lot of dead people and a devastated country, for the sake of knocking out a few easily replaced missiles and killing some equally easily replaced fighters.

And if it was predictable that this wouldn't work without costs Israel was not willing to pay, then it's worse.

Note, for the record: the fact that I blame Israel for its decision to prosecute the war as it has does not mean that I do not blame Hezbollah for its actions. It's not as though there have to be good guys and bad guys. Sometimes there are just loathsome rejectionists and people who lay waste to countries for what they should have known would be no good reason.

And again, I think that the first day or two of bombing, if directed at Hezbollah targets, was justified. During that time they apparently took out most of Hezbollah's longer-range rockets. After that time, we could have forced them to leave, thereby providing them with an exit strategy that would not have raised questions about whether Hezbollah had somehow won, and that would have preserved the idea of the IDF's strength a lot better than the subsequent fighting has done. But we didn't. And a lot of innocent people have paid for it.

von: I think it was not morally justified, because any action that involves the amount of destruction that this one involved and is stupid cannot be justified.

I was just coming in to post this. War is only ever justified because of the reasonable hope of a good outcome: if you're killing people and have no good reason to think your actions will make anything any better, you are unjustified no matter how you've been attacked.

Fwiw: the http://www.exile.ru/2006-July-28/a_hezbollah_upon_all_of_thee.html>war nerd at exile.ru says that Israelis are simply bad soldiers. They do have the firepower and they are good at stomping a defenseless opponent, but they are wusses and no match for the Hezzies.

von: where an undermanned army has won every battle but still cannot win the war ...

Reminds one of the British army against another bunch of terrorists ... (at least prior to the French intervention).

Moltke's dictum "Klotzen nicht kleckern" or Forrest's "git thar fastest with the mostest" does not work because guerrilla movements do not have lines of control or operation centres that can be cut off and eliminated.

Vietnam's futile search and destroy missions or countermeasures against Mosby's Confederacy show the futility of trying to apply conventional warfare logic, which Powell's doctrine clearly is, to guerrilla warfare.

jaywalker: I have never signed on to the 'Iraq was doomed to failure' argument, since it has never been clear to me that it applied in thee early days of the war in Iraq. At that point, it seems to me, we had a lot of popular sympathy, though people were waiting to see what we would actually have been like. Had we gone in with enough troops to really secure the country, or at least crucial parts of it, and then set about immediately to let people hold at least local elections, and generally been as wise and decent as we could have been, I think the insurgency would have been a lot less successful, and we might have been able to make things work out.

I still opposed the war, both because this was by no means a sure thing and the alternatives were awful, and because of a whole bunch of other concerns (international legitimacy, preserving our freedom of action, etc.), but I don't think it had to fail, per se. Though yet another one of my reasons for opposing it was that I thought that the Bush administration was not at all likely to do it right, if Afghanistan was any guide.

What hilzoy said, with one addition. Garner had a chance because he had the right idea. When they fired him and decided to treat Iraq as a profit center instead of a cost center they threw it away right then.

hilzoy: Had we gone in with enough troops to really secure the country, or at least crucial parts of it...

This is where the idea breaks down; that number of troops (250-300K) is and was simply unavailable to us, logistically and politically. It would have meant pulling them from a lot of other places, which would have meant raising questions about the invasion and occupation that would have risked public support for it.

That's why Shinseki's testimony was treated so harshly: it was a recommendation that, if actually followed, would have called off the project. Or at least moved it off the admin's (politically crucial) timetable.

Going in with that number of troops might also have been accomplished with participation from many other countries, but that would have meant convincing them, and that would have risked exposing the lies and twisted intel that were used to whip up domestic support. And/or would have taken many months, delaying the invasion and diluting the political gains.

"If we'd gone in with more troops" is counterfactual, structurally counterfactual. There is no way in which that could have been accomplished without undermining the political support for the war and/or changing the timetable (which was crucial to reaping the expected domestic political gains from it).

"If we'd gone in with more troops" is counterfactual,

Excuse me? 350,000 troops would have been a sizeable fraction of our available strength, but it was hardly impossible. It almost certainly would have altered the timetable, but I see no reason to believe it would have altered the political calculus of the war, since it would have been a clear extension of the Powell Doctrine that most people would have viewed as a logical move.

You are talking about success or failure of the Iraq war as if you know what the goal of the war was. But you don't; you may have some goal in your mind that has nothing to do with reality.

Suppose Ron Suskind is correct (and I think he is) that the main goal was "to make an example of Saddam Hussein so others would not exercise similar temerity"; then nothing you say here seems to make any sense: alternatives? popular sympathy? elections?

Failure to do what - make an example of Saddam Hussein? Who says it was a failure and what does it have to do with elections?

I mean, yeah, obviously it has been a failure: while they did demonstrate sufficient brutality and willingness to use brutal force, they also demonstrated their weakness, limitation of the use of brutal violence, just like the Israelis in the last couple of weeks - but this is clearly not the 'failure' in the sense you mean. I suppose this could even count as success of a sort.

Nell: it might have undermined support for the war, but imho that's fine: if doing the war right is pollitically impossible, then that's that. On its military impossibility I bow to Andrew's knowledge; I'd add that if we had started right, those troops would (I would imagine) not have had to stay as long. -- I mean, it seems to me that in wars in which you end up occupying foreign territory, first impressions matter, and had the first impression ordinary Iraqis had of us been: tough but fair, willing to provide security; and surely a lot better than Saddam, then I don't think it's at all obvious that the insurgency would have succeeded.

abb1: I'm thinking of success as: toppling Saddam, creating some sort of representative government that was stable, and leaving.

And note that I already acknowledged (11:04) that the fact that this administration was in charge means that all of this is completely counterfactual.

Andrew -- 350k [i]is[/i] impossible. Maybe not for a rapid invasion -- in and out int hree months, but for a year long deployment? No way.

The Army is breaking trying to keep the 130k or so in the field. You can't seriously think we could have deployed [i]three times[/i] that number for the length of time required, do you?

If we have that sort of slack, why haven't we used it? Why is the Army breaking trying to keep 1/3 that many deployed?

Morat20: Andrew knows the answer to this question a lot better than I do, but I would have thought that a lot depended on how long, exactly, you had to keep that number in place. The army is having trouble as it enters its fourth year of troops in Iraq; it's not clear that it would have had nearly as much trouble had it had to maintain a seriously higher number for a considerably shorter period of time, and then been able to scale down to a force capable of providing backup and training to the Iraqi army.

Morat,

I am noting that 350,000 was possible for the initial invasion. To keep them there longer would have been difficult, but hardly impossible. Recall that the use of one-year deployments is a relatively recent development. Once upon a time the Army went to war and vowed not to come back until it was over over there.

To maintain that large a force indefinitely would certainly have meant we would have needed to build up the Army or we would faced greater problems in maintaining the Army in its current form. Was expanding the Army impossible? I'm not certain; had the administration pushed for such a measure in response to the September 11 attacks, they might well have been able to sell it.

Had we gone in with 350,000, of course, we don't know what might have happened. That's the trouble with counterfactuals; one can establish an inital counterfactual easily, but trying to determine the second and third order effects is far more difficult. Would the larger number of troops meant we could have pulled out earlier, because that many troops could have prevented the initial breakdowns in order that quickly soured the Iraqi populace to the occupation? Or would a larger force simply have provided a greater number of targets.

My point remains: we could have performed the initial invasion with a force of 350,000-400,000. After that, the variables are too great to be certain of the consequences.

I'm thinking of success as: toppling Saddam, creating some sort of representative government that was stable, and leaving

I understand, but you're not running the government. The government executes the war and the government has its objectives to achieve. And, perhaps, the government's definition of success is different, so where does your definition fit in there?

Their definition of success was punishing Hussein for disobedience and installing obedient Chalabi instead.

As congressman Tom Lantos told his friend from the Knesset:
"My dear Colette, you won't have any problem with Saddam. We'll be rid of the bastard soon enough. And in his place we'll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you."

So, you see, in respect to the real objectives of the war your definition of success would be a failure.

If I could sum up my opposition to the invasion of Iraq, as opposed to my reluctant consent to the invasion of Afghanistan, it would be along the lines of "folks who are expecting flowers, parades and democratic good feeling are all very sentimental and good-hearted, but I think what will end up happening if we insert ourselves between the Sunnis and the Shia and the rest of the crazy people is that we will end up being forced to systematically slaughter a good part of the population to make ourselves feel better about our good intentions. Then we will refer to our good intentions, from the pulpit, and the editorial boards, and the swaggering genuises running the show, as Will."

In other words, things are going to become miserably assymetrically clarifying. I hope everyone is happy. I'm going to try and keep my kid out of what's happening, but if he is harmed in any way, I'm going to go assymetrical for one final, overwhelming, clarifying moment.

I realize it is terribly elitist of me to think that the good folks living over there don't deserve democracy, and freedom, and an XBox at any cost, but wait until you see how elitist I become once the tough guys have slaughtered a good postion of the deserving.

So, the Podhoretz comments do not surprise me, nor will it surprise me if we carry out his clarifying suggestions. It might turn out that Saddam, the murdererer tyrant was also a stabilizing murderous tyrant, for the time being.

Here's the deal, though. After their proxies finish carrying out their suggestions, Podhoretz and the rest of the Weekly Standard crew and the NRO crew and the Redstate crew get to stand in front of a firing squad, after proper adjudication and government-funded legal representation. Posting rules force me to suggest that the rifles used will not fire bullets but spit out little flags that say, "Shut up, forever, at least until we can change the posting rules back to where one can demand just retribution."

Bush and his crew knew they were incapable of going after the real culprits of 9-11, so they sought out weaker wicked peoples. Can’t let the lynch-mob at home get wise to your weakness.

Israel can’t go after the Hezbs, and certainly can’t get Iran, so they went after the weaker folks “lacking in democratic values.”

The Israeli and American elites are not above acting like despots.

Bush and his crew knew they were incapable of going after the real culprits of 9-11

Could you elaborate on this, please?


If 9-11 was the intense and shocking moment the Pres. And all of us, kept insisting it was, why the switch to Hussein and Iraq?

We were in a war mode, and all the admin. could think of was Hussein and Iraq.

The Saudis and the Pakistanis seemed to have had more to do with 9-11.

It seems the admin. Has a hands off policy on Bin Laden, the Saudis, and Pakistan.

I don’t think the US and Bush is as strong as they want folks to believe. The fact that the real 9-11 actors are still our allies seems to suggest that they either told Bush hands off, go after weaker prey or something way more cynical and terrifying.

Thank you for the elaboration.

SomeOtherDude: consider a simpler explanation. Our President, as shown by his recent remarks about freedom, his earlier remarks about how Russia should try Iraqi-style democracy, etc., his idea that Beijing is in the 'neighborhood' of St. Petersburg, etc., is an incurious guy without much sense of what's actually going on in the world. Iraq, however, had made it into his head, thanks to his Dad, and when he needed to get bad guys, among whom he is not inclined to distinguish, Iraq leapt into his not very crowded mind; and there were people around him with agendas of their own willing to encourage him.

I'm still of the opinion that one lesson of Iraq (aside from choosing our wars carefully) is that we need to get better at counter-insurgency, not totally ignore it as the Powell Doctrine would have us do. Most enemies of the United States will not make the mistake Saddam did in 1990-91. Most of them won't offer us a stand-up conventional fight. We should build an army capable of fighting in whatever environment and under whatever circumstances become necessary. And then we should be still try to choose our fights wisely, but at least we'd be better prepared on the occasions that we choose poorly.

Powell doctrine... overwhelming force... 350k troops

There seems to be a lot of mixing of issues.

First, it seems self evident that we did go in with overwhelming force. So to claim that the reason we're failing is because the Powell doctrine wasn't followed seems transparently foolish to state. The Powell doctrine was quite clearly addressing the war, not the occupation.

Second, regardless of whether we could have gone in with 350K troops initially, it's clear that we couldn't sustain it for any length of time. And if you can't actually follow through, then it seems just as incompetent to actually start something you can't possibly finish. It also seems wildly optimistic to think that we would be in an out given our experience in the Balkans - and other past occupations to school ourselves on.

Third, even if we had 350K troops, we don't have the skill mix for an occupation. As we've been observing, the training required for winning wars isn't exactly the training required for winning the peace. The skill sets are quite different and quite frankly, we have never had the skill mix to make this occupation successful - something that should be crystal clear. People trained to expertly kill aren't exactly the people required to rebuild a society.

Finally, given all of this, it's pretty ludicrous to believe we can invade another country - twice as large - while we're still pinned down in Iraq and have anything even remotely approaching success. Iran simply isn't an option and anyone calling for it should be shown the door.

As a footnote, I'd like to point out that in the first gulf war - a war where we certainly had the numbers we're talking about - the first Bush decided it was an impossible task to take and hold Baghdad. So it seems fairly clear that it wasn't the lack of soldiers trained to kill that was the problem. From the first Bush's memoirs:

Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in Mission creep,' and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome." --- George H.W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft, A World Transformed (1998), pp. 489-90

it seems self evident that we did go in with overwhelming force.

Only if you're not familiar with how the war unfolded. (Which would not be surprising, as the full history of the war was not well documented during the fighting.) The battle for Iraq was a close-run thing. Our victory was predicated on the high-quality of our army and some brilliant generalship. Iraq could very easily have gone bad, despite the appearance of an easy victory.

The other reason the US war in Iraq is doomed to failure is not only the military side - which has been partially discussed above - but also the will to failure entailed in providing massive amounts of "reconstruction" funding to, and only to, large US corporations, who then spent most of it on themselves. As has been discussed before, if the Bush administration had been genuinely intent on making a peaceful democracy, they needed to begin by providing funding to Iraqi companies with Iraqi employees to rebuild the infrastructure that had been destroyed, both in 2003 and earlier. That wasn't their intention, and they didn't, and that alone would have ensured failure in Iraq, never mind the military failure.

Israel is currently engaged in slaughtering Lebanese people and destroying the fragile Lebanese economy: it's clear that these actions will only serve to strengthen Hezbollah.

If Israel were interested in making peace with Lebanon, they would need to consider how they could provide economic support to a nation with no reason to trust Israel: what reparations would Israel be prepared to pay for the destruction they have wrought?

Only if you're not familiar with how the war unfolded.

Well, okay if you say so. But I think my larger point still remains.

I'd recommend you check out Cobra II for a history of the war, if you're so inclined.

Hmm. I had always assumed that the Powell doctrine meant that one should use overwhelming force relative to the whole mission the armed forces were being used for (leaving aside e.g. national guard assistance in times of natural disasters etc.). In this case, whether or not the force was more than enough to take Baghdad would be beside the point, no?

And I second the recommendation of Cobra II. It will also make you hope that someday Donald Rumsfeld is, say, in the stocks, and you can spend a nice long time telling him exactly what you think of him, at your leisure.

Hilzoy, can we have an example? Clearly, the Powell doctrine was dictated in reference to the first gulf war where there was no occupation. Now I would certainly agree with the point that it shold be the whole mission, but up until the second Iraq war and the unravelling of the occupation, I don't believe anyone had this interpretation.

As to your last point, that was my point - it doesn't matter if you have enough soldiers to take Baghdad. You have to have enough peace keepers and millitary police to rebuild the society.

WRT Cobra II, I'm already of the mind that it was incompetent all the way around. And I'm not that much of a war buff to worry about reinforcing the details of this viewpoint I already have. And it will be interesting to see how future generations view this period when (hopefully) the propaganda harpies have all died off.

I seem to remember many a right winger beating the anti-war left over the neck and shoulders with how great and how easy a victory Baghdad was and how the naysayers got it wrong. The fact that this, too, was proven to be yet another myth of this enterprise doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

The Iranians are no doubt confident that no one would be so depraved as to disregard the sanctity of an embassy . . . .

I read recently (in Kinzer's Overthrow which can't be recommended enough) that the initial motivation for taking the US embassy in "79 was to prevent the US from re-installing the Shah after the revolution, as we had done in the 50s. None of which makes it forgivable, but it suggests a motivation somewhat more desperate (and therefore less intentionally disrespectful) than we were being sold at the time.

I was skeptical of the Iraq War at its outset.

Call it faulty memory, Von, but I was surprised to read that...can you point to a post? Am I rewriting blog history on the fly? Not that it matters, except, of course, to teach me to trust my memory less.

We can't accomplish anything if we continue to regard what's going on in Iraq as a "war". It's an "occupation". Big difference. Wars are about fighting battles and defeating armies; occupations are about preserving order. American troops are terrific "war" soldiers and crummy "occupation" soldiers.

If we count the current situation as a "war", there is no obvious "victory condition" and just leaving counts as a defeat. A successful occupation would end when we turn the whole place over to somebody else.
Anybody else.

You all will notice, our whole ME experience is now busy discussing Iraq and what went wrong, and not about those who executed 9-11.

Hilzoy, I never doubted that US forces could quickly take out the Iraqi army (already crippled by the defeat of the First Iraq War and UN sanctions). The real question was if somebody could build a viable Iraqi state.

In my opinion, it was nearly impossible to create something approaching a democracy out of the brutalized Iraqi society that had witnessed a terrible war against Iran, ethnic cleansing in the North and South as well as a thuggish Baathist regime. Furthermore, the lack of democratic traditions, tribal elements, the unclear distinction between state and church and the importance of oil as the only resource complicated the matter.

Given the US track record in nation-building in South America, Philippines, Vietnam etc. I think an intervention would have had only a very slim chance of success. Removing Saddam was not worth the expected suffering (primum non nocere). They did also not have a comprehensible exit plan (no. 1 lesson learned in Vietnam).

A dream team could have made it. Not the freak show that went in. What doomed the occupation was a lack of empathy. Ignorance of the language and culture led to stupid, arrogant, dehumanizing and criminal behaviour. "Hey, stuff happens", was Rumsfeld's commentary about the looting of mankind's heritage. Colin Powell, whom I consider a decent chap, should have resigned prior to the invasion.

Not to be nit-picky, but I don't think the Powell doctrine applies to post-war peacekeeping in Iraq. More troops were needed to secure the peace -- not to defeat Saddam Hussein. But it was not just a lack of troops that doomed the effort since the goal of reconstruction is the military goal covered by the Powell doctrine.

All one has to do is compare the energy and wisdom that went into post WWII reconstruction in Germany and Japan to the criminally irresponsible Iraqi reconstruction to know why this mission failed (assuming with best efforts it could have succeeded anyway -- an dubious proposition). The logic of war supporters was to point to the post WWII experience to justify rosy predictions about the post Iraq war, but then ignore (for three years running now) that Bush and crew made no attempt to emulate that success. When forced to chose between conduicting the post-war in a poltically expedient way versus the correct way, they deliberate chose expediency over doimg the right thing, and then because of expediency, kept ignoring the disasterous consequences or earlier bad choices. Bush supporters abetted this misconduct.

As for Israel, its intention seems focused on terrorizing Lebanon in general in order to weaken Hezbollah, rather than a concerted effort against only Hezbollah. The overkill air campaign (a terror campaign, basically) was justified as part of a broad military effort against Hezbollah, but now it seems that Israel does not have the intent to actually realize those broad objectives. It was cover for terror by aerial bombardment.

A more limited military campaign in south Lebanon against only Hezbollah, and not accompanied by broad rhetorioc, would have served its purpose. The perception that it is not succeeding stems directly from Israeli rhetoric -- it is not "winning" almost purely because it is not achieving what it claimed it set out to achieve. But maybe that was just fluff to cover for a punitive air campaign of terror against Lebanon in general?

Serious miscalculations nonetheless. Perhaps this should be a variant of the Powell doctrine -- make sure you actually intend to use overwhelming force to achieve your stated war aims, rather than overstating your war aims.

Wow, now terrorists are using planes to bomb buildings, instead of crashing into them.

Not to be nit-picky, but I don't think the Powell doctrine applies to post-war peacekeeping in Iraq.

It really is kind of a stretch to understand how "overwhelming force" applies to peace keeping. While firm force is clearly needed, the occupation isn't a war. In retrospect we can reinterpret and extend Powell's doctrine, but I thin it's quite a stretch to claim he was talking about anything other than winning the battles.

Call it faulty memory, Von, but I was surprised to read that...can you point to a post?

I'd also be interested if you have the time.

I think the idea that the Powell Doctrine doesn't apply to post-war situations is completely wrong. The operative concepts for peacekeeping/nationbuilding are clarity of the mission, essential nature of the mission, clear exit strategy, and even more than adequate force to accomplish the mission.

One can take Powell as a trio of negatives: you don't get involved without a damn good reason, you don't wing it, and you don't cheap out. Fine rules for the post-conflict phase (which, in a situation like Iraq, is really indistinguishable from conflict).

To support CharleyCarp's point, Gen. Anthony Zinni used the Powell doctrine in talking about the post-invasion occupation when he spoke at VMI in October 2002.

After running through the reasons why he opposed the Iraq invasion, he laid out a set of prerequisites for doing it right, if it were going to happen. The first one of those was to go in with an overwhelming force, partly to make the invasion phase quick but more to ensure that order could quickly be restored and maintained, because of the depths of the resentments and grievances different parts of the population had towards each other.

The resistance came as no surprise to Zinni; he predicted it that night, as well as sectarian fighting between Sunni former military and Shia militias.

Somebody spoke of lessons - I think we learned that we need to elect better people.


Hahahahhahah!!


Oh, that's a good one. I laughed so hard I've still got tears running down my face.

Lebanon is stuck with Hezbollah and we're stuck with the Republicans. Frankly, Lebanon has a better deal. We might not lose a few hundred civilians and displace most of a million, but we have lost every thing else. We are no longer americans, but something else, something creepy and tinged dark by a dirty, gray, evil smelling fog.

Witness the Pod. We are become the evil we sought to end.

Aren't we the kewl kidz.

Jake

Speaking of Podhoretz and butchering civilians, you guys might want to pop over to Redstate to view the new push, in posts and threads by Gamelittlecock who apparently butchers civilians from behind a keyboard like Podhoretz, and some guy whose name escapes me, to win the November elections --

-- namely, butchering civilians, just like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah do, in much of the Middle East.

I think 51% of the electorate are ready for it. You can kind of feel the bloodlust building, can't you? It has started in all the usual places, with all the usual suspects, where all good things have started over the past 7 years. Let the apocalypse begin.

Actually, I endorse nuking the entire place, from the Indian border to the Mediterrenean, but only if Podhoretz, Gamecock and the other guy are strapped to the nukes. Or if they pay more taxes to accomplish this regrettable but necessary task.

Which is why it won't happen. A failure of Will on their part.

John Thullen: I don't know if "thanks" is the word I want, but something for the link.

As best I can tell, the idea that breaking a nation isn't something you do for kicks, but only when it's absolutely necessary for some extremely good purpose, like defeating Nazi Germany. doesn't seem to have occurred.

The question I always have about people like this is: how on earth did they get to this point -- the one where their basic humanity seems to have gone into total eclipse?

The question I always have about people like this is: how on earth did they get to this point -- the one where their basic humanity seems to have gone into total eclipse?

See: Moe Lane, the redstate years.

A failure of Will on their part.

Au contraire: by cutting taxes, these nukes pay for themselves.

We must bring God's gift of democracy, freedom, and peace to the Middle East.

Say it once more with feeling.

Kill them all.

Iraq leapt into his not very crowded mind

Delicately put!

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