Category Archives: War Commentary

The Beginning Of A Bloodba’ath?

Would this have happened a week ago?

Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that there are a lot of old scores to pay. It happened in Europe after the end of the Nazis, and it’s been delayed in Iraq by fear of the return of Saddam, but it may be beginning now. The most challenging period may lie immediately ahead, in the struggle to prevent a full-fledged civil war, and keeping the whole country from being thrown out with the Ba’ath water.

[Update at 3 PM PST]

Here’s a more in-depth story from the WaPo.

Nima said the assassinations have centered on Hussein followers implicated in violence, not all former party members. The murders seem meticulously planned, and the perpetrators leave behind no clues, he said. With few leads, detectives have made little progress in figuring out who is killing the Baathists, but Nima said this does not trouble him.

“There’s only a limited number of them. Once they’re all dead, this will have to end,” he said.

The Beginning Of A Bloodba’ath?

Would this have happened a week ago?

Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that there are a lot of old scores to pay. It happened in Europe after the end of the Nazis, and it’s been delayed in Iraq by fear of the return of Saddam, but it may be beginning now. The most challenging period may lie immediately ahead, in the struggle to prevent a full-fledged civil war, and keeping the whole country from being thrown out with the Ba’ath water.

[Update at 3 PM PST]

Here’s a more in-depth story from the WaPo.

Nima said the assassinations have centered on Hussein followers implicated in violence, not all former party members. The murders seem meticulously planned, and the perpetrators leave behind no clues, he said. With few leads, detectives have made little progress in figuring out who is killing the Baathists, but Nima said this does not trouble him.

“There’s only a limited number of them. Once they’re all dead, this will have to end,” he said.

Shelly Had His Number

Just to finish off this glorious day:

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The Continuing Quagmire

Now that he’s in custody and supposedly cooperating, I wonder if Saddam will have anything to say about this.

I should add, head over to Instapundit, The Corner and The Command Post for a steady roundup of the news and reaction to it. The press’ reaction is the most interesting.

[Update just before the President’s statement]

OMG! As if things weren’t bad enough for the idiotarians, on the same day as Saddam’s capture, after years of prodding, cajoling and threats, the inimitable Iowahawk has finally started a blog. Behold it, and despair.

[Update just before noon]

He’s continuing to build the site in real time. I just checked a few minutes ago, and he now has finished (or at least better populated) his “About” page, and he’s steadily adding to the blogroll. No Paypal button yet, though, despite his admonition.

They Blew It Again

Some Iraqis say they won’t forget how France has behaved, first in doing everything possible to keep Saddam in power, and now in stiffing them on aid. I think that Chirac has forgotten how long peoples’ memories can be in that part of the world.

And these folks are supposed to be experts on diplomacy?

I suspect that when it comes to having contracts honored and getting debt repaid, the French (and Germans) just went to the back of the bus. In fact, I hope that Iraq explicitly repudiates Saddam’s odious debt to France. I doubt if it would damage their ability to get loans anywhere else.

Lileks

…accidentally slipped a screed, dripping with fury at the hypocrisy of the war whiners, into a bleat.

In short: the same people who chide America for its short-attention span think we should have stopped military operations after the Taliban was routed. (And they quite probably opposed that, for the usual reasons.) The people who think it’s all about oil like to snark that we should go after Saudi Arabia. The people who complain that the current administration is unable to act with nuance and diplomacy cannot admit that we have completely different approaches for Iraq, for Iran, for North Korea. The same people who insist we need the UN deride the Administration when it gives the UN a chance to do something other than throw rotten fruit.

The same people who accuse America of coddling dictators are sputtering with bilious fury because we actually deposed one.

Complain, yes! Carp! Criticize! Bitch! Moan! But there’s a difference between criticizing the particulars of the Normandy invasion, and insisting that Hitler can be contained with bauxite sanctions. (Imagine if these people had been running papers in the 40s: enough troops? Supply line problems? Plans in place for getting the Berlin power grid up? Oh no! Battle of the Bulge! Quagmire! Bastogne is a mess! Roosevelt lied, Private Ryan died!) To those who sniff ‘this isn’t World War Two,’ I’ll agree: it’s worse. It’s going to be longer, meaner, and it sprawls across every map. Its ultimate severity won’t be apparent to some people until a band of god-bothering raisin seekers sneaks a nuke into Baltimore on a cargo container.

Go read it.

The Plot Revealed

The Evil Jews (TM) are going to kill Arafat with poisonous death rays beamed into his brain, according to the loons.

I think they’d better tighten up their own foil hats–the poisonous death rays, emanating in the form of photons from their lunatic screeds into their brain via their ocular nerves, and phonons reverberating across the air of the mosques, have driven them so far around the bend, they can’t see the bend from there.

“Iran Is Winning This War, Not America”

Michael Ledeen has a disturbing article over at NRO, which points out the foolishness and irrelevance of the statement by the anti-war types that “there’s no proof that Saddam had anything to do with September 11.”

Many of our analysts are currently falling into one of those linguistic traps that Ludwig Wittgenstein used to warn us about. They constantly ask, “which organization do these terrorists come from?” But they should be asking the empirical question: “Does it still make sense to talk about separate terrorist organizations?” I have been arguing for the better part of two years that we should think of the terrorists as a group of mafia families that have united around a single war plan. The divisions and distinctions of the past no longer make sense; the terror mafias are working together, and their missions are defined by the states that protect, arm, fund, and assist them: Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

“Iran Is Winning This War, Not America”

Michael Ledeen has a disturbing article over at NRO, which points out the foolishness and irrelevance of the statement by the anti-war types that “there’s no proof that Saddam had anything to do with September 11.”

Many of our analysts are currently falling into one of those linguistic traps that Ludwig Wittgenstein used to warn us about. They constantly ask, “which organization do these terrorists come from?” But they should be asking the empirical question: “Does it still make sense to talk about separate terrorist organizations?” I have been arguing for the better part of two years that we should think of the terrorists as a group of mafia families that have united around a single war plan. The divisions and distinctions of the past no longer make sense; the terror mafias are working together, and their missions are defined by the states that protect, arm, fund, and assist them: Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.