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May 13, 2007

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dood - u linked teh wrong post.

I has a korekt link.

(This lolcat doesn't approve of the blogosphere's horrible incivility.)

Oops, Atrios linked to the Matthews post. Carry on. Nothing to see here (except this kitty).

I have drilled one too many holes in the kitchen cabinet but it is now baby-proof.

my irises are blooming...For some reason I thought you were referring to your eyes, and for a second, I explored the metaphor. Or is it more a conceit, than metaphor.

rilkefan: I put knobs on my kitchen cabinets (took us 3 years to find the right ones) this weekend. Fortunately, the several wrong holes I made are hidden by the plates of the knobs. I would have gotten away with it too if I hadn't joked about it.

For some reason I thought you were referring to your eyes,

Not an unreasonable reading, given:

my grading is done, and as soon as I give a talk tomorrow and finish up the letters of recommendation,

So she's almost finished with her pupils.

Groan

So she's almost finished with her pupils.

Who, no doubt, deserve a good lashing

Thanks for asking.

There was nothing out of the ordinary going on until the other day when I heard cute animal noises coming from the fireplace. Then a funky zoo odor.

Squirrels, methinks.

So, I climbed to the roof and noted sizable scat around the chimney. O.K., let's see what we can see from the other end.

I open the fireplace screen and the flue, and on my back with my head in the fireplace wielding a balky flashlight, I shine the light up the chimney.

Suspended about 8 feet up, there sits what looks like Davy Crocket's hat rack. Raccoons, sleeping, but moving in slow motion, one set of eyes looking back at me.

At that moment, I felt like Sigourney Weaver exploring a passageway in that abandoned basecamp and spotting a backlit Alien, its legs and arms slowly waggling.

I narrowly miss cracking my skull on the brick getting out of there and consider my options. The cat is at the top of the stairs considering hers.

Later, after dark, I hear the raccoons in the backyard having a nasty family discussion -- growling, spitting, scurrying, etc.

I consider lighting a fire and then somehow trapping the raccoons into a bag and then transferring them into a cage on the roof. A helicopter, chainmail, and my son suspended upside down from a hook cross my mind.

Then I envision my wife arriving home tonight from work and looking out on the patio and seeing me and the cat inside a small cage surrounded by seven raccoons sitting in lawn chairs, sharing cookies.

Time to call Ghostbusters.

Who, no doubt, deserve a good lashing

eye, that they sorely do.

This is really getting cornea.

Monica Goodling is apparently a Cylon.

Monica Goodling is apparently a Cylon.

but not one of the sexy models, alas.

and, wow, they sure are trying to scapegoat her for this.

On a more serious note, I found this description of how the British eventually succeeded in Northern Ireland and wonder how true is it. Would Jesurgislac or anyone else familiar with the matter care to comment?

The piece is from a review of a book by Martin Van Creveld. The reviewer is William Lind.

...
Yet it is precisely as a summary that The Changing Face of War has value, and not just to undergraduates. Chapter Six, "The New World Disorder, 1991 to the Present" summarizes what a state needs to do to prevail over non-state forces. It does so most usefully in looking at the British Army's success in Northern Ireland, one of the few cases where the state's armed forces have won.

How did the British do it? Van Creveld puts it best:

First, unlike President Bush in 2001, the British did not declare war, which would have removed a whole series of legal constraints and put the entire conflict on a new footing. Instead, from beginning to end the problem was treated as a criminal one…

Note that, in contrast to what we hear from the Bush administration and the U.S. military, van Creveld sees the removal of restrictions on what troops can do as a disadvantage. He understands that in Fourth Generation war, the counter-intuitive is often correct.

Second, much of the day-to-day work was left to the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary). Its members, having been locally recruited and assigned lengthy stays at their posts, knew the area better than anyone else. Accordingly, they were often able to discriminate among the various factions inside the IRA as well as between terrorists and others…

Third, never again (after Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972, when British troops fired into a crowd and killed thirteen people) did British troops fire indiscriminately into marching or rioting crowds

Fourth, and in marked contrast with most other counterinsurgents from the Germans in Yugoslavia to the Americans in Vietnam and elsewhere, not once in the entire struggle did the army bring in heavy weapons such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, or aircraft to repulse attacks and inflict retaliation…

Fifth, never once did the British inflict collective punishment such as curfews, the cutting off of electricity and water, demolishing houses, destroying entire neighborhoods. . . As far as humanly possible, the police and the army posed as the protectors of the population, not its tormentors. In this way they were able to prevent the uprising from spreading.

Sixth and most important of all, by and large both the RUC and the army stayed within the framework of the law. . .From (1972) on, the British refrained from arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and illegal killings…

The most important insight of all, though, (came) over dinner in Geneva in 1995. My partner on that occasion was a British colonel, regiment of paratroopers, who had done several tours of duty in Northern Ireland. What he said can be summed up as follows…

the struggle in Northern Ireland had cost the United Kingdom three thousand casualties in dead alone. Of the three thousand, about seventeen hundred were civilians….of the remaining, a thousand were British soldiers. No more than three hundred were terrorists, a ratio of three to one. Speaking very softly, he said: And that is why we are still there.

http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_4_23_07.htm


My question is this a reasonable description of the events? I suspect some of the Bristish actions have been somewhat whitewashed in the retelling, but is it whitewash or wildly off base?

I am so insulted.

Raccoons

Ammonia will drive them out, probably safer than trying to use a fire.

This part made me LOL:

McCain: clearly the democracy in Iraq is undermining our effort to establish a democracy in Iraq

Tim: how the fuck long is it going to take

McCain: well we fought a bloody civil war 100 years after the Revolution in 1776 so you figure it out

Timmeh: Iraqi referendum?

McCain: dood Iraq is too precious to be entrusted to the Iraqi people

I find what is happening in Karachi to be very disturbing.

This is an open thread, so I guess we won't be hearing from bril, who always waits for posts about the genocide in Darfur and such to interject his latest diatribe about the Democratic culture of corruption. It's a pity, really, because you'd think this might be the place.

This got a laugh out of me:

Tim: dood you are now officially making no sense at all

McCain: I'm not afraid to go anywhere and speak gibberish at any time

A disturbing number of news outlets seem to think that Chrysler is being bought by a talking aardvark.

Does this mean we can look forward to the Chrysler Feminist-Homosexualist Axis soon?

There's going to be a fairly interesting article in the NYTimes tomorrow regarding the confirmation hearings for the CIA's general counsel and his (alleged) role in approving any "enhanced interrogation techniques" - or at least that's what I hear.

KCinDC: Well, between a talking aardvard and a three-headedhound guarding the gates of the underworld, I'm not sure I wouldn't pick the aardvark.

From (1972) on, the British refrained from arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and illegal killings…

In what universe? I guess Armagh was just a figment of the women prisoners' imagination?

There's also the whole business of the Brits allowing their moles in the IRA hierarchy to murder quite a number of people -- and never even get the intel that supposedly made it "impossible" to hold those moles accountable.

Let's just say that British staying-within-the-law would not be my explanation for the apparent success of the northern Ireland peacemaking.

Due to open-thread realities, I should have noted that my comment was responding to Donald Clarke's Creveld material at 1:09 pm above.

And now I have four hours of meetings so this is a post and run. Sorry.

Nell said at 5:22 pm

"From (1972) on, the British refrained from arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and illegal killings…

In what universe? I guess Armagh was just a figment of the women prisoners' imagination?

There's also the whole business of the Brits allowing their moles in the IRA hierarchy to murder quite a number of people -- and never even get the intel that supposedly made it "impossible" to hold those moles accountable.

Let's just say that British staying-within-the-law would not be my explanation for the apparent success of the northern Ireland peacemaking."


Thank you Nell. I thought it sounded too good to be true. I do like his points about the British not trying to employ tanks, artillery, and fighter-bombers, though. What do you think the main causes of the apparent British success were?

Eeyah! Via FDL, I learn that the NYSun had the astonishing idea that the best person to review Tenet's book was ...

Judy Miller???

Donald, it is an idealized view.

Furthermore, the main reason (I think) that the conflict in Northern Ireland is now drawing to an end, was the acknowledgement that the reason people in Northern Ireland were willing to join one or other of the terrorist groups was because of injustices, both perceived and real, that had to be remedied. That willingness to negotiate with terrorists so that they would cease to be terrorists is entirely missing from that point-by-point bulletin.

Thanks, Jes. I was thinking it was too good to be true. I tend to agree with your explanation as well. I am not sure it would work as well with a less organized and disciplined group than the IRA.


Thomas Sowell: the dumbest man in punditry, or simply the most dishonest ?

Cleek,
one does not rule out the other.

Well I am the writer of The Bobblespeak Translations, so I thank everyone, especially Obsidian Wings. I also did the Dem and Republican debates so feel free to drop by!

Thanks you, Bobblespeak author!

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