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December 05, 2007


Can't I stock up on beer instead?

Out here in Western Washington we are disproving Biblical prophesy: it isn't the ffire next time after all.

I couldn't get into work this morning due to excessive amounts of water.

So stocking up on beer sounds good.

I have never personally seen a really flood before. I've seen rivers overflow but his was an honest to god flood, cars up to the windows, waves lapping on the front porch.

The good news is that the rescue crews are rescuing animals along with people.

not that this has anything to do with the NIE.

I keep thinking that FINALLY the utterdishonestly of the Bush ad. willbe apparent to all, but I've thought that before...

This is the man who chaired the Intelligence Estimate. State Department career. Stanford grad. Torpedoed the Bolton nomination. Who would question the intentions of a government official with a smile like this?


Dark days for Israel.


Is it bad for Israel that the US is not going to attack Iran? On the short term, maybe yes. In the long run, Israel is going to have to live among its neighbours for centuries ahead. The US will not be always there, making sure that no evil befalls on her. Geopolitics and allies change. Today's ally is tomorrow's foe.

In perspective of centuries, the longer time Israel has to build stable, peaceful relations with other countries of Middle East, the better it is for her.


Israel is filled with Infidels. It is surrounded by the Umma. The conflict is a religious one and, if it is ever solved, would end a 1400 yr tradition. Unlikely in the age of modern weaponry.

Iran now smells weakness:

‘Everything in the past is past, and with me, you start over,’

‘None of your proposals has any standing.’

--Iran’s new ‘diplomat’ Saeed Jalili, regarding previous commitments made by his predecessor Ali Larijani to the Europeans, as quoted in the New York Times

Publius makes light of the ‘end of days’ reference. But the fact remains that religious texts are very meaningful to large segments of the populations on both sides of the conflict. If things get hot, they will take on even more meaning.

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.”

That could mean gammas and neutrons. And the Israeli leadership knows it.

Oh yeah, Israel is surrounded with a number of Islamic countries. It is a small country, which cannot afford to lose a single war. In this respect, it is reminiscent of the crusader states of the same region nine hundred years ago.

The key is that Islam is not a single malfeasant monolith. Its supporters are humans, with human aims. Israel has very good chances of surviving, playing skillful diplomacy backed with her great military power, if she can prevent the "Umma" from uniting. As it stands, the US aggressions in Middle East have generated nothing but a more solid Islamic front against the west and against Israel. Future US aggressions would not do anything to break this.

Left alone, the muslims concentrate on bickering among themselves, rather than unite against others. To imply the opposite case, would be saying that God is truly among their side, not on ours.


You are very intelligent. I was learning to iron a uniform in 1986, got it right, and showed up to listen to an address by a Reagan General. Somebody asked the General if we were supporting the Iranians or the Iraqis in their conflict. Paraphrased response:

“Whichever side is losing, because they’ll be worried about each other instead of us.”

No reference to “ordinary moms and dads” or “freedom for the Iraqi people” or “purple thumbs”. The Shiite leadership directed their folks to vote. It gave them their victory over the Sunnis that had historically ethnically cleansed Shiite families. It was an idealistic, ignorant, and foolish strategy.

Our troops belong in buried concrete bunkers, behind barbed wire, somewhere in the sands. Their mission should be to be there if needed.

Well, time for sleep. Ran across this essay last night. It is about a man’s dream and is powerful.


It’s going to be an interesting Century. A good time to be alive (and have some bottled water in the basement), in my opinion.

Enjoyed your thoughtful comments Lurker.

I enjoyed reading Paul Johnson's excellent piece. Thanks, Bill. It is a magnificent fantasy, yet physically improbable. The location of the narrator is only some five kilometers from the imaginary ground zero. Through ground, the sound of initial explosion would arrive at Notting Hill in about a second. The narrator would take maybe five or six seconds to arrive at the rooftop. Indeed, the blast wave (arriving roughly at the speed of sound) should be reaching him in circa ten seconds. Then, the rooftop is about the worst place to be in.

The narrator is seeing a ground-level or very low-level nuclear explosion of very large magnitude. (You need a multi-megaton weapon to cause a fireball of the size described.) The greatest problem is that our narrator should not be seeing anything at all: he would be blinded and burned by the intense heat radiation emitted by the fireball. The house should be burning already.

A bad thing in stories of this kind is the helpless attitude. The good old "duck and cover" is very solid advice. It is useless, of course, if you are too near, but in an area a dozen kilometers away from the blast, covering behind any solid wall might help. Even a ditch would be pretty good. You avoid the intense heat, block off most of the initial radiation and may remain to see another day. Not a beautiful day, but a day still. On that day, the society needs help from all its members, so it's the individual's duty towards other people to try to survive.

OK I’m still up (Busch beer). Johnson’s piece was his dream, and nuclear weapons are, in general, overrated. 15 kilotons is for kids (thus scripture, Israelis, and Iranians). Things can get slippery though. Dial-a-yield and stuff like that.

This is a fun tool to blow up a city near you.


The calculator goes up to 4 megatons. The Russians achieved 60 megatons back in the 1960s. Putin scares me.

Nuclear weapons scare me. Together with biological weapons, they pose a continuous threat to the continued existence of our species. However, seen from here, Finland, our neighbour Putin is not a particularly insane person. When I open the curtain in the morning, I am not waiting to see the mushroom cloud blooming over my hometown. Still, in accordance with the law, we have a blast shelter in the basement.

We've lived with Russians for centuries, with relatively few wars. With skillful diplomacy and a good military to back it up, we can keep on living in peace with Putin, too.

However, the FAS has a point: no one would use a nuclear weapon with a yield over 4 Mt. If you are capable of manufacturing such weapons, you also have access to missiles that can hit their targets with relative accuracy. Then, you may select your target areas with more care and erase only those targets that raise your anger. A 500 kt weapon is much cheaper and much easier to transport to target via missile.

What scares me is that people like Bill, who believe a false interpretation of Revelation should guide American foreign policy, are so close to the current political leadership of this country.

Have we considered the possibility that Kagan is just stalling for time? You know, so that in a month or so when everyone forgets about this NIE, he can say, "Well, we tried diplomacy but it didn't work because Ahmadinejad denies the holocaust! We gotta bomb Iran!"

I guess I just tend to assume that whenever a neocon says something ostensibly reasonable, it's just a pretense. That heuristic seems to have held up so far.

What scares me is that the American left and the "No Gays in Iran" guy are both declaring victory. Why are they so often on the same side of the issues today? How do we distinguish their positions from each other?

Myself, I find the most telling part of Kagan's piece is in his intro: the fundamental assumption that the removal of a pretext for a military attack on Iran should be framed (from the Administration's POV) as "With its policy tools broken..." It's a sad commentary on the state of this country's diplomatic standards these days that belligerent military action is widely assumed (and not entirely incorrectly) to be the policy of first, rather than last, resort in dealing with Middle East issues.

I think Kagan's column is, on its face, quite a sensible analysis: however, his recommendations are pretty much obviated by his closing sentence:

The Bush administration needs to be smart and creative enough to play it well.


A few tips for distinguishing, greeg:

One believes gays are inferior beings and deserve punishment; the other believes they're normal people who should have the same rights as anyone else.

One believes women are inferior beings and should be restricted in their rights; the other believes they're normal people who should have the same rights as anyone else.

One is interested in spreading the idea that we're involved in a Clash of Civilizations; the other thinks it's a better idea to avoid driving the reasonable Muslims into the arms of the wackos.

One wants to impose his religious beliefs on the population as a whole; the other wants everyone to be free to practice or not practice religion as they choose.

One is a fan of torture, arresting protesters, and manipulating elections; the other is strongly opposed to all that.

In fact, Ahmadinejad sounds a lot more like a member of today's Republican Party than like any "leftist" I've encountered.

Not being a member of the American left or Ahmadinejad, I couldn't tell you. I'm sure some of the commenters here could, though.

Old-school realists like me are "declaring victory" (if that's how you want to put it) because the NIE gives more ammunition to our argument that bombing Iran is unnecessary and unwise.

Can't I stock up on beer instead?


During the 80's, when it seemed like we were in a big old game of chicken with the USSR, a good friend of mine who was then on wagon always said that if he ever heard the civil defense sirens go off, he was heading for the roof with a six pack and a pack of cigarettes to enjoy the big show.

This is the man who chaired the Intelligence Estimate. State Department career. Stanford grad. Torpedoed the Bolton nomination.

Fabulous. Do you have his contact information? I'd like to buy him a drink.

Israel is filled with Infidels. It is surrounded by the Umma. The conflict is a religious one and, if it is ever solved, would end a 1400 yr tradition.

The "Umma" has more or less precisely the same quality of existence as the Body of Christ (in its religious sense) or Christendom (in its political one). All are interesting concepts, even powerful ones in certain contexts, but none represent real-world political actors in any meaningful sense.

Israel has, among its neighbors, nations whose attitudes toward it range from hostile to cautiously friendly. I think it's unlikely that they would find sufficient common ground to present a united front toward Israel.

It is about a man’s dream and is powerful.

Here's my powerful and disturbing dream.

Over thousands of years, prophetic minds look into the future and see an apocalyptic end.

Late in time, folks with dark minds read their writings, and are fascinated by the nihilistic violence of the imagery. They are compulsively drawn to it, and can't help but bring it about.

The prophecy fulfills itself, through the agency of folks who are fascinated by the sheer evil of it. Blood calls to blood.

"I am become Shiva, destroyer of worlds". Who said that again?

It'd make a great movie, wouldn't it? Kind of a circular, self-referential "Donnie Darko" thing, but with that Bible edge that's so popular these days.

Prophecy-wise, though, I find John's apocalyptic dream less unsettling than the Hopi "Gourds of Ashes" vision.

In any case, if we do manage to be nuke ourselves into oblivion, life will go on without us. We're not the only fish in the sea.

To imply the opposite case, would be saying that God is truly among their side, not on ours.

Here's a thought for you. Try it on and see what you think.

God loves everyone the same, and takes no side in human conflicts, other than to weep at our stupidity, greed, and violence.

Let’s not forget, children, the Apocalyptic Christians believe anybody who speaks of peace in the middle-east is a pawn of the anti-Christ.

According to this group, Peace is Satanic.

God Bless and Merry Christmas!


“That Day will not come unless the APOSTASIA (“The Apostasy”) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition . . . and then the lawless one will be revealed . . . the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders . . . (II Thessalonians 2:3, 8-9)

“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy extraordinarily and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.

Through cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart, and by peace he shall destroy many. He shall even rise against the Prince of Princes; but he shall be broken without human means.” (Daniel 8:23-25)

“In his place shall arise a vile person . . . he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue . . . THE PRINCE OF THE COVENANT . . . after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully . . . he shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places . . .” (Daniel 11:21, 22b, 23a, 24a)

Has anyone seen Bill and Nostradamus at the same time?

Anyway, the thing I've been pondering is the notion that Dick Cheney would be disappointed or bothered by the findings of the NIE. I obviously don't know that such a notion is true to any degree, but it's out there. I first heard this idea asserted by a reporter on NPR while driving home from work the day the NIE was released.

Assuming there is any truth to this (or not, I guess), it would be disturbing to think that the Vice President of the United States would prefer that Iran did have an active nuclear weapons program simply because it would support his militaristic foreign policy stance toward Iran. Without it, the administration would be more likely to listen to Rice and attempt (Holy Crap!) diplomacy.

It parallels the caricature of those opposed to the Iraq War as "defeatists who want us to lose just so they can be right" that's been floating around for a number of recent years.

A bit on Cheney:

But, they said, the US will be hard put to maintain a sense of urgency following the release of the new NIE.

However, the new NIE will make it harder for proponents of military action against Iran to argue their case.

One source, who has close links to US intelligence, said that members of Vice President Dick Cheney's staff continued to call for military strikes against Iran "on a daily basis".

Senior military officers and intelligence officials are understood to have grave reservations about an attack on Iran - not least because it would be unclear how a military confrontation with Iran could be brought to a conclusion.

greeg is an obvious troll and I won't bother replying to him. I will simply note that he displays a good example of a remarkably common tactic among trolls and other hatemongers. I first encountered it at the age of 11 in a grade-school class on logical reasoning. We were reading a book, called "Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery," which I recommend to all parents.

The book included a passage in which two children, having just learned what a syllogism is, heard two greeg-brains sounding off in a bus. The greegers (egregiousers?) said, basically, "That Jane Fonda, she's always trying to get us out of Nam, she must be a Commie." One of the kids scribbled down:

Jane Fonda wants the US out of Vietnam.
The Communists want the US out of Vietnam. (Not) Therefore, Jane Fonda is a Communist.

"I noticed that too," said the other girl.

I was much older than that before I found adults who are so lost to shame as to introduce this sort of faux reasoning into conversation. I preferred my innocent belief that this sort of thing only occurs in fiction.

How do we distinguish their positions from each other?

Yeah, especially when both Ahmadinejad and a certain Democratic Senator both sport that collared shirt and jacket but no tie look.

Kind of makes you go "Hmmmmm..." doesn't it?

I think you guys are missing the whole Republican show. That is, Bush and many of his gendered confused cohorts within the Party need to be "on-the-verge-of-acting-manly."

This kabuki dance Bush and Cheney perform is not over. Never underestimate tribal politics within the RP and the word, "wimp."

When I was stationed in Pyongyang, this one NCO orders a cappuccino. Takes a half hour. When he gets it, he says, "What's the difference between this and coffee?" The maitre d' says, "Buy one, get one free."

Ahmadinejad gives me the creeps.

In the comic Book X-Men you will find that the Main Character, Dr.CharLes XaVIer has all the roman numerals in his name to equal 666/DCLXVI. You might think it just an accident except that in both Daniel and Revelation 10-men are given power with the Beast666. The roman numeral for 10 is X. Do the X-men represent those 10-Men? An why does the X-men symbol look like a SWASHSTICKA? and why is the Bad guy, Magneto, Jewish? Of couse I believe the real antichrist is MAITREYA as posted at www.satansrapture.com because his name in Hebrew calculates to 666.

Something else you might find interesting is the X-Men character, Night Crawler, he is both Catholic and German, Just like Pope Benedict the 16th. Although he is an X-men Character he is also drawn as a sulfur smelling Demon. It make you wander if there is a love hate relationship between the antichrist and the Pope? And one other question is, is the writer of the comic, Stan Lee, in the illumanati?

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