Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lo Down Ho Down

Foreign Policy Initiatives debut shindig was by all accounts - a successful lo down ho down. Remaining true to their mission statements those crazy cool daemoneocons put the 'party' in non partisan by hooking up with GOPer's and Donkies like Senator McCain and Congresslady Harmon.

"Afghanistan: Planning For Success" was the name and victory was the game.

Fully crunk military cats on hand to point out that killing killers is a very workable military solution included Former Commander of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan and Director, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University General David W. Barno and Carnegie's Dr. Ashley J. Tellis.

The real treat though was featuring the Kagan brothers - Dr Robert of Carnegie and Dr Frederick of American Enterprise.

Robert Kagan is kinda like the philosopher King of 'daemocrazy' - the idea that fun and free choice - eventually trump everything and that Great Satan really is Great.

Frederick Kagan is the cat that thought up Surge in the Iraq Study Group. His AfPak plans are pretty cool too.

In advance of the NATO summit in Strasbourg-Kehl and on the same day as the international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague, this conference was a unique opportunity to reflect on recent developments and examine the options confronting Great Satan with insights from leading analysts and members of Congress.

Sounds sweet! right?

Hold up!

Faster than one could say "Taming American Power" Foreign Policy Magazine's resident Great Satan and Little Satan hater - Realpolitik fanboy Dr Steven M Walt freaked out and pointed out that America Unbound would totally queer the mix on sucking up to intolerant and illegit regimes instead of confronting (or Regime Changing) them whenever the need or opportunity arises.

Decorum prohibits repeating many of his incorrect, boring and inappropriate handwringing defeatist rambling rants - though his closer is a hoot!

"So the fate of the "Foreign Policy Initiative" should be regarded as a litmus test. Is the United States genuinely capable of learning from past mistakes, to include learning whose advice deserves to be ignored?"

Carebeful Doc!!

After all - Realpolitik's track record is much worse - a corrupt, ammoral cult of stability that brought no peace, no stability, no containment, and no peace.

Realpolitik IS the litmus test for genocide, terrorism, oil embargoes and wars.

And in a way - Foreign Policy Initiatives- is proving Great Satan has learned "...from past mistakes..."

Pic - "Lo Down Ho Down"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Doha Ha

It's time! Arab League kicks off their summit today in Qatar and looks like another in a long line of non profit jawflapping events that produce little agreement - much less an action plan that inspires action.

Arab League's entire raison d'etre' is to:

“draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries.”

'Safeguarding sovereignty' is pretty much happy talk for maintaining power at all costs.

Like when Sudan's fellow despot Field Marshal President For Life came under fire for intolerant genocide against his own dear people. Arab League freaked when the Internat'l Criminal Court called it and issued arrest warrants for current ruler - 1st time in history.

Majesties, Excellencies and Highnesses will all be on hand. Certainly a great chance for Iran to launch a killing decap strike and render Arab League totally hapless, helpless, clueless and hopeless.

While the list of illegit leaders and/or sychophantic fanboys of regimes (various and sundry) is incomplete - here's the VIP's possible to attend - and may cause as much drama, hissy fits and racket as wearing a thong to church:

Iran's Pres Ahmedenejad -

Rumor's Mill grinds out that Qataris invited Iran's fiery little rocketeer as an 'Official Obsever" Pyramidland and Saudiland freaked and objected. Latest buzz reveals Ahmedenejdad won't daytrip down to sunny sunny climes. Keep an eye on the Radar Screen though - a dramatic, unannounced visit would be more in style.

Sudan's Criminally indicted Leadership -

Omar Bashir. Thanks to tons of support for Sudan's dictator in Arab League, he'll make it. Despite concerns he would be arrested in accord with the International Criminal Court warrant.

While he's made showy trips to Cairo and Eritrea, he may pull another fast one. If he does, brace for an extremely, richly deserved distraction frenzy.

Egypt's President Life Hosni -

Mubarak has been trying to destroy the summit, flying around trying to convince other leaders not to attend, and the failure of the Palestinian talks thus far mean that he has nothing dramatic to present. Current word is that he will not make it. This may hurt the summit, but also risks highlighting Mubarak's feeble diplomacy (after all, Hosni is the cat that failed to deliver Palestinian reconciliation charade).

King Abdullah of Jordan -

Still PO'd over Qatar's cable Al Jazeera's expose' that his pa was a CIA spy, Abdallah will be there. He always attends summits, and pointed out that al-Jazeera and Qatari's gov were two entirely different critters.


Any Fatah-Hamas breakthrough will want repstatives of both sides there, those hoping to maintain the containment of HAMAS will not. Qatar, which has hosted Khaled Meshaal before - land is a big advocate of a unity government, will likely invite him again. Whether he comes and what he does will be closely watched.

Nuri al-Maliki PM of Iraq -

The Iraqis reportedly decided to send their Prime Minister instead of President Jalal Talabani, which could be taken as a signal of their growing political integration into the Arab world and Maliki's personal growing involvement.

So - depending on the shows and no shows - what kind of agenda will be realised?

Syria. The leading storyline will be the nature of Syrian engagement. The Saudis have been driving a rapprochement with Syria which has become one of the key elements of the shifting Arab order. Summit watchers will be looking to see how this plays out in the deliberations, in the personal dynamics (will there be a recreation of the famous "couch summit" in Kuwait, where the Saudis literally sat Bashar al-Asad down with his rivals for the photographers?), and in the final statement.

It's linked to the American outreach to Syria (i.e. the Feltman/ Shapiro visit), to the endless struggle over Lebanon, to Syria's role in the intra-Palestinian struggles, and to the possibility of movement on the Syrian-Israeli peace talks. Expect to see a big show of Syrian amity.

Palestinian unity talks. The hopes of having a national unity government to present in Doha ended this week, after the talks stalled. The talks will likely continue on the margins in Doha, but don't expect a resolution.

And of course - how to cut a deal with Little Satan.

2002 Arab Peace Initiative is still on the table, but won't stay there forever.

"Will Lebanon, whose policy is dictated by Hiz'B'Allah, agree to peace with Israel even if a peace agreement is reached with Syria? And will fundamentalist Sudan be in any hurry to shake hands with Benjamin Netanyahu? And what will the Palestinians propose? Peace in Ramallah and war in the Gaza Strip? Even the Gulf states will find it hard to form a uniform policy on Israel."


Will the summit focus more on Little Satan or on Iran? Whether the summit frames the major challenges to the Arab world around Little Satan or around Iran will be carefully monitored -- as will how confrontational the Arabs are towards the Iranians.

Art - "Dohahaha"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Girls Are Back In Town

Way back in the last millennium - way before 'Hard Rock' magically xformed the genre into "Classic Rock" an Irish group stormed the charts, clubs and concert halls with a killer tune that still gets the blood pumping and the feets a thumping.

Thin Lizzy's essential "The boys are back in town" featured dual harmony lead guitars, a walking talking bass line and a drum beat that just would not stop (fully stocked with jazzy snazzy hi hat punches and signatures).

"Remember that chick that used to dance a lot - every night she was
on the floor shaking what she's got - when I tell you she was cool - she was red hot - man she was steaming"

In a way - Thin Lizzy's ode to being wild, free and desirable kinda makes a great soundtrack for the newly unleashed daemoneocon think tank called "The Foreign Policy Iniative"

"The United States remains the world’s indispensable nation --
indispensable to international peace, security, and stability, and indispensable to safe-guarding and advancing the ideals and principles we hold dear."

Who is sweetly talking such sweet talking sweet talk?

Weekly Standard's Bill Krystol for one. Along with fellow PNAC cat the super savvy Dr Robert Kagan.

The old school Iraqi Provisional Gov spokescat Dan Senor is there too and it looks delish!

"Mission Statement
In 2009 the United States--and its democratic allies--face many foreign policy challenges. They come from rising and resurgent powers, including China and Russia. They come from other autocracies that violate the rights of their citizens. They come from rogue states that work with each other in ways inimical to our interests and principles, and that sponsor terrorism and pursue weapons of mass destruction.

They come from Al Qaeda and its affiliates who continue to plot attacks against the United States and our allies. They come from failed states that serve as havens for terrorists and criminals and spread instability to their neighbors.

The United States faces these challenges while engaged in military operations across the globe, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. The sacrifice of American lives and significant economic expenditure in these conflicts has led to warnings of U.S. strategic overreach, and calls for American retrenchment.

There are those who hope we can just return to normalcy--to pre-9/11 levels of defense spending and pre-9/11 tactics. They argue for a retreat from America’s global commitments and a renewed focus on problems at home, an understandable if mistaken response to these difficult economic times.

In fact, strategic overreach is not the problem and retrenchment is not the solution. The United States cannot afford to turn its back on its international commitments and allies--the allies that helped us defeat fascism and communism in the 20th century, and the alliances we have forged more recently, including with the newly liberated citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our economic difficulties will not be solved by retreat from the international arena. They will be made worse.

In this new era, the consequences of failure and the risks of retreat would be even greater than before. The challenges we face require 21st century strategies and tactics based on a renewed commitment to American leadership.

The United States remains the world’s indispensable nation -- indispensable to international peace, security, and stability, and indispensable to safe-guarding and advancing the ideals and principles we hold dear."

A total non profit org - FPI will be promoting:

*Continuing Great Satan's worldly engagement--diplomatic, economic, and military—in the world and rejection of policies that would lead her down the path to isolationism;

*Robust support for America’s democratic allies and opposition to rogue regimes that threaten American interests;

*Human rights of those oppressed by their governments, and U.S. leadership in working to spread political and economic freedom;

*Strong military with the defense budget needed to ensure that America is ready to confront the threats of the 21st century;

*Internat'l economic engagement as a key element of Great Satan's foreign policy in this time of great economic dislocation.

"FPI looks forward to working with all who share these objectives, irrespective of political party, so that the United States successfully confronts its challenges and make progress toward a freer and more secure future."

This unrepentant realization that America ain't what's wrong with the world, that with allies, friends or all by her lonesome Great Satan is the indespensible (and She's dangerous!!) nation remains vital meds for America fans.

FPI features an email alert to keep you hooked up with all the latest news, gossip, dossiers and designs.

"Guess who just got back today? Those wild-eyed boys that had been
away Haven't changed, haven't much to say But man, I still think those cats are great..."

Pic - "Friday night they'll be dressed to kill..."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

44's Neoconservatistic Bent

Daniel Larison, in his post attacking Barack Obama's commitment to American success in Afghanistan, demonstrates it's not so much the administration's policy that bothers him, but the policy legitimacy the administration's military and civilian reinforcements give to the "evil" neocons:

If it was a fantasy in Iraq “to use military and civilian power to promote democracy, nurture civil society and rebuild failed states,” it remains a fantasy today. It makes no difference what label one gives to it, and it is certainly not a fantasy that only neoconservatives embrace. If Americans have not learned by now that such efforts are folly, and more important that they would not be worth it even if they turned out to be successful, it may indeed say something about our national character. What I fear is that Obama, who has always been an interventionist with great confidence in this fantasy of what American power can achieve, believes that the “energetic and ambitious response” is what the American public desires and will support for years to come ....Because Obama is setting far too ambitious goals for Afghanistan with too few resources, while largely neglecting (or exacerbating) more significant problems inside Pakistan that are gradually making our position in Afghanistan untenable, he runs the risk of jeopardizing public support for the much more limited and achievable security goals that are in our interest and the interest of Afghanistan’s neighbors. In the end, he will have the support of the fantasists who led us into Iraq and liberal internationalists who are still invested in the idea of nation-building, and he will have to face the growing numbers of people who have grown weary of a Long War that has ceased to make any sense (if it ever made sense in the first place).

Let me start with this last part first: The "Long War" is the war on terror, and to question if it ever made sense "in the first place" is precisely why "paleoconservatives" are rightly marginalized as unpatriotic. When the U.S. was attacked in September 2001, the "paleos" were quick to blame the U.S. for its expansive foreign engagement as triggering a generously deserved "blowback." Virtually no one else in American politics felt the same way, except for a few hare-brained academic radicals, the same folks who would later agitate for a "million Mogadishus" on American forces.

When the Iraq war came, Patrick Buchanan made unhinged anti-Jewish attacks on the Bush administration's neoconservatives, asking "whose war" is this? Of course, "losertarians" like Justin Raimondo have made common cause the leading factions of the neo-Stalinist left, and here we have Daniel Larison excoriating the Iraq deployment as "folly," as if U.S. forces under General David Petraeus had not engineered the greatest military/strategic turnaround since World War II. And this is after even some of the most hardline "paleos" have conceded to reality in acknowledging the magnitude of the American victory.

What's actually funny is that Larison - for all his verbosity - doesn't actually say anything of value to the policy debate. I mean, who can honestly say that Americans have "no real national interest" in a safe, secure, and sustainable Afghanistan? Indeed, what would even be an actual interest then? Even an "offshore balancing" approach to U.S. stragegy assumes the potential for the U.S. to be pulled into events on the periphery - precisely because the the U.S. in primus inter pares in world affairs, and there is an extant demand for American leadership in providing public goods in world commerce and international security.

But Larison has no answer. Any engagement beyond America's shores would qualify as "frittering away our resources to no apparent purpose," and umpteen citations to "genuine" conservatives like Andrew Bacevich or arch-appeasers like Matthew Yglesias doesn't alter the fundamental truth that there is evil abroad, and that there is a job to be won in combating it.

Who you gonna call?If folks are going to criticize Obama on Afghanistan, it should be for not doing enough.

As Michael Yon noted this week, "the increase of 21,000 U.S. troops is likely just a bucket of water on the growing bonfire." Michael Yon is hardly a "neocon," although the very "fantasists" that Larison excoriates have suggested that despite Obama's caution, "the president is pragmatic in the best sense of the word."

The opposite of "pragmatic" is impractical or irrationally ideological, and so it's worth considering who's really in a "fantasy" world here, the president or Mr. Larison?

Art - "Rocket Ho" by invisible consequential

Friday, March 27, 2009

Little Satan's Sudan Strike

Gossip and rumours about Little Satan's day trip to deliver a wicki smack to Iran via Sudan sends very clear signals in a hood where often times it's what is not said as opposed to what's actually spoken.

Since HAMAS and Iran both are hooking up with the only regime sporting a leader for life that also happens to have multiple arrest warrants out for him ( first time for a sitting leader) - Little Satan risks very little. Blaming Great Satan is a nonstarter.

After all, tough to feel sympathy for a genocidal regime getting the Smacky McAssy treatment.

Unverified sources indicate a quartet of Little Satan F 15's sortee'd for the 1400 mile trip.

Getting there requires a flight of about two and a half hours, most likely a flight path along the Red Sea coast, below Saudi and Egyptian radar with aerial refueling.

4 Ra'Am F15 Little Satan mods popped up over Sudan's beachfront turf, hung a tighty righty and annihilated 39 people trucking along in 17 trucks.

The quiz is:

What all were those trucks toting?

For Iran's missile base in the Strip - the addition of the Iranian Fajr 5 would be significant.

Fajr-5 missile is launched from a mobile platform (which is awful truck looking btw), she supposedly has a range of between 60-70 kilometers.

45 miles for the unmetrical.

Fajr 5 is constructed by the Iranians, reportedly with help from NoKo and China.

Just like Katyusha and Scud, max range is only accurate to like a radius of around one kilometer. There are unconfirmed though believable reports that Iran has tested a chemical warhead for the Fajr-5.

Addition of Fajr 5 into the Strip (chemical Warheads or not) is scary indeed. Little Satan's tender and sensitive goodies could well be in range of such a launch from the Strip.

Not to mention the only target HAMAS seems to go for - innocent civilians.

Iran learned from the Sudan strike that Little Satan has excellent intelligence, and that she can, and she will roll the dice to strike enemy enablers.

But Iran already knew that.

Rumours that Little Satan vaporized Mullah made missiles on the very first day of the retarded rocket war of '06 in Lebanon, sweetly buzzing and blitzing super sensitive suspect sites in Syria - not to mention knocking off cats like Hiz'B'Allah murder expert Imad Mugahniyah and Syrian General Mohammed Suleiman shows that Little Satan got game in the shadowy world of precise intell.

Little Satan's Sudan tour de force means Little Satan could act out any time - anywhere she wants in the greater ME.

It also means Iran may be wanting Commonwealth Russia to speed up delivery and deployment of the dreaded S300 Super Future Air Defense Network too.

Art - "We operate in many places near and far, and carry out strikes in a manner that strengthens our deterrence."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sultan Of Swat

When a February peace deal between Pakistan's government and pro-Taliban cleric Sufi Mohammed promised to reimpose sharia law in the country's war-torn Swat Valley, world attention focused on the pact.

Swat, once known as the "Switzerland of Pakistan," had been consumed by a violent Taliban uprising and a tough government response that left 1,500 dead and sent 200,000 citizens fleeing. Under the terms of the agreement, the rebellion would end, the military would gradually withdraw, sharia law would be imposed, and the government would have a prisoner exchange. At least a dozen suspected Taliban have already been released.

Skeptics worried that the deal amounted to no more than a capitulation to militants; the Pakistani government insisted it could bring real calm. "There was a vacuum ... in the legal system," Amir Haider Khan Hoti, chief minister of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), told the Washington Post. "The people demanded this and they deserve it." Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi defended the move as a "quick dispensation of justice" and "not any appeasement towards militants."

One month later, it's clear the deal is a disaster. The agreement was signed between Sufi Mohammed's militant group, Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Mohammadi (or TNSM, meaning Movement for the Establishment of the Law of Mohammed), and the government of the NWFP, with the approval of the federal government. The two sides differ in their interpretation of it, and even as sharia courts began operating March 18, disputes over the judges remained. Violence continues, making the term "peace agreement" a misnomer. Worse, the pact has consolidated Taliban influence and set a dangerous precedent for further negotiation.

To be sure, the clamor for sharia was genuine. In the lawless environment, ordinary people readily considered appeasing the Taliban as a means of providing security for them and their families. And having served as the judicial code throughout the 1990s, sharia seemed to offer what the government (which controls no more than 20 percent of the region) never could: quick and fair justice for a community starved for exactly that.

Regrettably however, Pakistan signed the agreement from a position of weakness. The Army was hesitant to undertake another major counterinsurgency operation in Swat when two earlier ones had failed to dislodge the militants from their hide-outs. The secular Awami National Party in power in NWFP also preferred a negotiated settlement. And the population could hardly stomach further military action. Even if the deal meant significant compromises in their quality of life, people thought, peace would represent an improvement.

But the dispute over the deal's terms could be fatal. Sufi Mohammed has refused to accept the present panel of judges presiding over qazi, or sharia, courts. He has announced the formation of his own qazi courts, appointed nominees, and warned all lawyers to stay away. Many lawyers are reported to have fled the region on the threat. Far from compromising, the Taliban do not intend to integrate sharia into the existing judicial and bureaucratic structure. Their aim is nothing less than the transformation of the entire legal and administrative system.

Serious implications follow from the Swat deal. Already, Mullah Fazlullah, the son-in-law of Sufi Mohammed, has become a de facto ruler of the area -- the modern-day equivalent of the wali who ruled Swat until 1969 when the region became a province of Pakistan. Moreover, it will be impossible to prevent the demand for sharia from spreading to other parts of the country.

If that happens, Pakistan could end up operating under two legal systems -- sharia in the west and civil code in the east. It is even possible that militant groups in Punjab will demand the right to impose Islamic law in their own strongholds.

Had the government been able to use the peace deal to secure a foothold in Swat, introducing a strong administrative structure that could provide a reasonable level of governance, the move could have been justified. But the opposite has happened. The militants have outsmarted both the government and the military.

They have consolidated the Taliban's position.

And this is only week four.

Submitted by General Talat Masood (ret) Pakistani Army

Art - "Swat Valley's Creep of the Week"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RIP War On Terror

Superfly smart guy Xian Brose (Oh! He got game baybee!) has an interesting obit on the end of The War On Terror. Well, at least the end of that name. The killing of jerks, creeps and intolerant militants will sweetly continue as Great Satan sweetly continues to hound and confound her enemies.

"Have you heard? The war is over! The "Global War on Terror," that is. At least for speechwriters at the Defense Department:

"Reports that the phrase was being retired have been circulating for some time amongst senior administration officials, and this morning speechwriters and other staff were notified via this e-mail to use "Overseas Contingency Operation" instead. "

So this means an end to preemptive strikes against "gathering threats", no more hard slogging on the "central fronts" (either Afghanistan or Iraq), a quick resolution to that whole Guantanomo problem, and no more need for the president to worry about what authorities he has to detain "enemy combatants", or whatever you want to call them?

Well, no, no, no, and no."

The new name - "Overseas Contingency Operation" while terrible may be way better than the idea of the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism.

G Save

Consider - of all the things to " convince the more conspiratorial minds in the Muslim world that the United States really was a bunch of Christian crusaders out to conquer and convert them, this was it."

"There were good reasons to make this change, now as then. If you think this conflict is more akin to a "global counterinsurgency," as I came to believe, and as Secretary Condoleezza Rice both stated and wrote as recently as last year, then it is less a military struggle with a political component than a political struggle with a military component. "

"Overseas Contingency Operations" is a lot like an ancient dVd of the pow! zap! Batman show.

Must. Stay. Awake.

"There is a trade-off, however. Dropping the war talk may build support for the mission abroad, or at least make it more tolerable, but it may reduce support for it at home. Regardless of what we call it, to be successful in this conflict requires significant domestic spending and unprecedented, often controversial authorities, even by Obama's standards, as he is learning.

Mobilizing and maintaining public support for these commitments is in large part why the War on Terror was proclaimed in the first place.

"We could speak of fights, and confrontations, and violent extremism, and everyone would know what we were talking about. The policies wouldn't change. And we would avoid signalling that the most powerful nation on earth was at war with Islam, which though obviously wrong, most Muslims believed nonetheless. "

"The Obama administration has now made this trade off, whether it knows it or not, and it did so most likely for "Anything But Bush" reasons above all. That said, it's a trade off I'm comfortable with, even though I would never, ever refer again to the "Overseas Contingency Operation." Ever.

What matters most are Obama's policies, and with all due respect to Dick Cheney, I am less worried by the largely symbolic changes I've seen on that front -- for now at least."

Art - "Great Satan's War on Terror"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top 20 Tyrants

It's time! Parade Magazine unleashes the top 2o despots, Dear Leaders, Supreme Leaders, Dr General Presidents For Life, Dr Field Marshal Presidents For Life, Royal Highnesses and August Brilliances.

Despite the catchy (and several uncatchy) titles these cats wield, the model for all of them is pretty much the same:

An aversion to freely elected Gov oversight on the judicial, civie control of the military, free, uncensored press, unbridaled internet access, equal rights for girls and minorities, a nat'l treasury openly accountable - and of course - periodic and transparent elections.

They also faithfully follow Natan Sharansky's recipe for needing tons of enemies - internal enemies and external enemies - to justify myriad machinations like Secret Police, Religious Police and the Fashion Police.

Totally intolerant - they cannot help but seem to act out against any democracy in weapons range.

Check out the top 10 and even exercise your right to vote in the "Worst Dictator in the World Poll"

Art "Chimp Dictators" by invisible consequential

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Race Is On

In the capitals of Western nations, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man regarded as the father of the Pakistani atom bomb, is regarded as a maverick with a criminal past. In addition to his well-documented role in developing a nuclear device for Pakistan, he helped Iran and North Korea with their nuclear programs.

But since his release from house arrest a month ago, Mr. Khan has entertained a string of official visitors from across the Middle East. All come with messages of sympathy; and some governments in that region are looking to him for the knowledge and advice they need to fast track their own illicit nuclear projects.

Make no mistake: The Middle East may be on the verge of a nuclear arms race triggered by the inability of the West to stop Iran's quest for a bomb.
Since Tehran's nuclear ambitions hit the headlines five years ago, 25 countries -- 10 of them in the greater Middle East -- have announced plans to build nuclear power plants for the first time.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Oman) set up a nuclear exploratory commission in 2007 to prepare a "strategic report" for submission to the alliance's summit later this year.

But Saudi Arabia is not waiting for the report. It opened negotiations with the U.S. in 2008 to obtain "a nuclear capacity," ostensibly for "peaceful purposes."

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and Oman) set up a nuclear exploratory commission in 2007 to prepare a "strategic report" for submission to the alliance's summit later this year. But Saudi Arabia is not waiting for the report.

It opened negotiations with the U.S. in 2008 to obtain "a nuclear capacity," ostensibly for "peaceful purposes."
Egypt also signed a nuclear cooperation agreement, with France, last year.

Egyptian leaders make no secret of the fact that the decision to invest in a costly nuclear industry was prompted by fears of Iran. "A nuclear armed Iran with hegemonic ambitions is the greatest threat to Arab nations today," President Hosni Mubarak told the Arab summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia two weeks ago.

Last November, France concluded a similar nuclear cooperation accord with the UAE, promising to offer these oil-rich lands "a complete nuclear industry." According to the foreign ministry in Paris, the French are building a military base close to Abu Dhabi ostensibly to protect the nuclear installations against "hostile action," including the possibility of "sensitive material" being stolen by terrorist groups or smuggled to Iran.

The UAE, to be sure, has signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. forswearing the right to enrich uranium or produce plutonium in exchange for American nuclear technology and fuel. The problem is that the UAE's commercial hub, the sheikhdom of Dubai, has been the nerve center of illicit trade with Iran for decades, according to Western and Arab intelligence.

Through Dubai, stolen U.S. technology and spent fuel needed for producing raw material for nuclear weapons could be smuggled to Iran.

Qatar, the smallest GCC member by population, is also toying with the idea of creating a nuclear capability. According to the Qatari media, it is shopping around in the U.S., France, Germany and China.

Newly liberated Iraq has not been spared by the new nuclear fever. Recall the history. With help from France, Iraq developed a nuclear capacity in the late 1970s to counterbalance its demographic inferiority vis-à-vis Iran. In 1980, Israel destroyed Osirak, the French-built nuclear center close to Baghdad, but Saddam Hussein restored part of that capacity between 1988 and 1991.

What he rebuilt was dismantled by the United Nations' inspectors between 1992 and 2003.

With Saddam dead and buried, some Iraqis are calling for a revival of the nation's nuclear program as a means of deterring "bullying and blackmail from the mullahs in Tehran," as parliamentarian Saleh al-Mutlaq has put it.
"A single tactical nuclear attack on Basra and Baghdad could wipe out a third of our population," a senior Iraqi official told me, on condition of anonymity.

Since almost 90% of Iraqis live within 90 miles of the Iranian border, the "fear is felt in every town and village," he says.

Tehran, meanwhile, is playing an active part in proliferation. So far, Syria and Sudan have shown interest in its nuclear technology, setting up joint scientific committees with Iran, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. Iranian media reports say Tehran is also setting up joint programs with a number of anti-U.S. regimes in Latin America, notably Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador, bringing proliferation to America's backyard.

According to official reports in Tehran, in 2006 and 2007 the Islamic Republic also initialed agreements with China to build 20 nuclear-power stations in Iran. The first of these stations is already under construction at Dar-Khuwayn, in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan close to the Iraqi border.

There is no doubt that the current nuclear race in the Middle East is largely prompted by the fear of a revolutionary Iran using an arsenal as a means of establishing hegemony in the region. Iran's rivals for regional leadership, especially Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are aware of the propaganda appeal of the Islamic Republic's claim of being " the first Muslim superpower" capable of defying the West and rivaling it in scientific and technological fields.

In that context, Tehran's development of long-range missiles and the Muslim world's first space satellite are considered political coups

Mohamed al Quwaihis, a member of Saudi Arabia's appointed parliament, the Shura Council, warns of Iran's growing influence. Addressing the Shura Council earlier this month, he described Iranian interferences in Arab affairs as "overt," and claimed that Iran is "endeavoring to seduce the Gulf States, and recruit some of the citizens of these countries to work for its interests."

The Shura devoted a recent session to "the Iranian threat," insisting that unless Tehran abandoned its nuclear program, Saudi Arabia should lead the Arabs in developing their own "nuclear response." The debate came just days after the foreign ministry in Riyadh issued a report identifying the Islamic Republic's nuclear program as the "principal security threat to Arab nations."

A four-nation Arab summit held in the Saudi capital on March 11 endorsed that analysis, giving the green light for a pan-Arab quest for "a complete nuclear industry." Such a project would draw support from Pakistan, whose nuclear industry was built with Arab money. Mr. Khan and his colleagues have an opportunity to repay that debt by helping Arabs step on a ladder that could lead them to the coveted "threshold" to becoming nuclear powers in a few years' time.

Earlier this month, Mohamed ElBaradei, the retiring head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty has become a blunt instrument in preventing a nuclear arms race. Meanwhile, the U.S., France, Russia and China are competing for nuclear contracts without developing safeguards to ensure that projects which start as peaceful undertakings are not used as cover for clandestine military activities.

The Obama administration should take the growing threat of nuclear proliferation seriously. It should try to provide leadership in forging a united response by the major powers to what could become the world's No. 1 security concern within the next few years.

Pic "Ready! Set! Go!"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crescent Wars

The first cat to bring up Iran's plan for demonic hegemonic designs was the super savvy Yossef Bodansky in the essential (in any library) "Secret History of the Iraq War" (He was also the first cat to mention that Great Satan had better look out for a young Persian fed and funded wanna be Ayatollah with several tons of issues nom d'guerre'd Mookie Al Sadr).

King Abdullah of Jordan brought it up too - and was instantly siezed upon to drop that kinda crazy talk because it only served to queer the mix on any sunni shia concilliations.

While several cats tended to dismiss that idea - Iran's crescent from Persia to the Med and Red seas - events since 2004 seem to bear out that this is way more than a hot! fantasy for Mullahopolis (unlike the creepy old guy that is always in front of Claire's at the mall with his Nikon Cool Pic).

Ex Great Satan spy guy Robert Baer points out that Iran has proved to the world that the Mullahs particular brand of mohammedism - their designer version via shia - is in fact the ONLY kind that can stand up to Little Satan and decisively defeat and/or stalemate Little Satan's blatant diss to ineffective, corrupt leaders for life, regimes that lose every war they fight and provide nothing for their own people except the secret police, the religious police with an intolerant fashion posse that only serve to uphold a most unfun mix of tribalism, despotism and often mohamedism.

"Iran's star is rising. And now with a friendly Shia government in Baghdad, it will rise a lot faster. On the other hand, the old Sunni order-the foundation of American interests in the Middle East-is edging toward collapse.

How long can Pakistan and Saudi Arabia hold on?

For the first time in the history of Mohammedism, Shia domination of Mecca is not unthinkable. Nor is an Iranian empire in the Middle East.

Was Khomeini right after all, that Iran would ultimately defeat America, the Great Satan?"

Enter the rowdy think tank Hanks from Great Satan's RAND Corp.
"Saudi-Iranian Relations Since the Fall of Saddam
Rivalry, Cooperation, and Implications for U.S. Policy"

Comprising 4 parts - available in PDF - the study agrees that things are off the hook - Lebanon and Palestine are being absorbed from sunni places into shiny shiny victorious shia faces that threaten the entire ME - from President for Life Hosni's Pyramidland - where shia conversions are rapidly hooking young people all the way to the Land of the Pure (in a way making a case moi made and was ridiculed for by a supposedly savvy Harvard cat that Pakistan herself IS a weapon of mass destruction)

The conclusions reached for Great Satan's options are somewhat suspect -

"1. View Saudi Arabia Less as a Bulwark Against Iran and More as an

U.S.-Saudi interests are aligned against Iran in many ways, but Riyadh
is unlikely to act in lockstep with Washington’s strategy. Indeed, the
current Saudi-centric containment strategy appears to have been overtaken
by events, with the Kingdom pursuing a nuanced approach that
incorporates elements of accommodation, engagement, and rollback..."

2. Seek Saudi Burden-Sharing in Iraq, but Not to Counteract Iran

As noted above, it is important that the United States not exaggerate
Saudi Arabia’s influence over Sunni factions in Iraq or view it as analogous
to Iran’s influence. The Saudis themselves appear to recognize this
and are diversifying the breadth and intensity of their contacts with a
wide range of Iraqi political factions.

The United States should encourage this trend, but with the understanding that these levers should work toward the stabilization and equitable political development of Iraq, rather than the targeted rollback of Iranian influence.

3. Encourage Saudi Initiatives on the Arab-Israeli Front

Iran’s militant nonstate allies are players in this strategy, dependent on Syria as a key conduit. Much of the focus by Saudi Arabia is geared toward eliminating this conduit by wrestling Syria away from Tehran.

Yet Riyadh is unlikely to find a compromise with Damascus on the Hariri issue, and, given the durability and robustness of the Tehran-Damascus axis, energy might be better expended on other areas.

4. Push for Domestic Reform in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to Mitigate

The mid-1990s have shown that genuine efforts toward integration
and dialogue between rulers and their Shi’a populations has the
effect of lessening Iran’s attractiveness as an external patron.

Conversely, the hardening of anti-Shi’a discrimination and backtracking
on reforms could make Shi’a public opinion swing more toward more
radical domestic factions who are influenced by Iran or who seek to
emulate the Hizballah model in the Gulf.

5. Avoid Actions That Inflame Iranian Perceptions of External
Meddling in Its Affairs.

While much of this fear is undoubtedly exaggerated, Washington can mitigate it as a source of Saudi-Iranian tension by abandoning the idea that domestic dissent inside Iran can be engineered from the outside.

If, on the other hand, this idea grows, the potential for what one Saudi interlocutor called a “dirty war” escalating among proxy groups outside the territories of each country could grow, to the detriment of U.S. interests and regional stability.

6. Pursue Saudi-Iranian Endorsement of Multilateral Security for the Gulf

Capitalizing on this dynamic, the United States should work toward a more cooperative Gulf security arrangement that recognizes Iran as a valid player
but assuages Saudi and Gulf concerns about Iranian dominance."

Filled with happy talk about the sunni shia Crescent Wars, RAND's study is actually a conceptualiation of what "The Devil we know" predicted:

"What it comes down to is this: Iran is the most powerful and stable country in the Middle East-a country the United States must either fight in a new war or come to terms with."

Art - "Crescent Wars"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

If U Seek Amy

Actually, it makes a lot of sense!

Friday, March 20, 2009


She's hotter than a firecracker and twice as loud! 24 yo Maria Segeyev - a philosphy student in Commonwealth Russia is a rising political czar.

Great Britain's Daily Mail reveals she's

"already tipped to become a minister, and perhaps achieve her goal of ruling Russia. Happy to exploit her glamorous looks, Maria Sergeyeva has emerged seemingly from nowhere to become a leading propagandist for her hero, Vladimir Putin, her country's 'Iron Man' Prime Minister.

'Maria is a potent combination,' says a supporter in Putin's party, United Russia. 'She can sway crowds with her passion, her looks and her punchy style, but she also reaches out via her blogs and webcasts to places that normal politics fails to go.'

Although Sergeyeva claims that she holds no official position in the Young Guards, she is suddenly ubiquitous in Russian society - writing newspaper articles, attending political rallies (which, unlike so many others, don't get banned) and pontificating via the internet. One recent speech that was made available online had 140,000 hits, crashing the political website hosting it.

Her nationalist rhetoric is blunt, if not outright incendiary. At a time when racist attacks in her country are at unprecedented levels, she recently told immigrants to leave.

'They grab our work,' she said. 'Immigrants should work in places where Russians don't want to, or they should go back home.'

She went on the offensive against former chess champion Garry Kasparov, one of Putin's few critics, saying he 'sold himself to American spies'. Another opponent, writer Eduard Limonov, was dismissed as having 'the face of someone who is psychologically abnormal'.

She declared: 'I personally consider them my enemies. They cast doubt on things that are very important to me: the integrity of Russia and its sovereignty.'

Boasting that she wears almost exclusively Russian-made clothes rather than Western designer labels - she has a fondness for pink bikinis - Sergeyeva urges drivers to follow her example by shunning foreign cars."

Nom de guerre'd "Masha' this party girl really loves to party.

'I'm at a conference. Drunk - and after the banya [sauna]. It's 3am. A plastic glass with champagne in one hand and single malt whisky, 12 years old, in the other. So I drink champagne after whisky. And wearing nothing but stockings and flag of Cuba. This is my way of finding adventures.'

She is critical of the West, especially America, seeing the world through the same prism as her leader. 'Only the United States is our real competitor,' she says. 'When they provoked war in Georgia and revolution in Ukraine, I was so angry.'

Despite all her anti-Western rhetoric, Sergeyeva idolises Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill - she carries a book of his quotations in her handbag.

'I love Thatcher and Churchill because they are self-made leaders,' she says. 'I think Thatcher and I have some similarities. I don't like how my voice sounds when I am making speeches and I have read that Thatcher corrected her vocal cords to make her voice sound better - I may do the same. She worked hard. She is a good example for me.'

Insiders believe she has a long political career ahead of her. 'It's likely that she'll be very successful,' predicts politician Robert Schlegel, himself a former Nashi member. She is tipped to join Schlegel soon in the Russian parliament.

Although she collects guns and is a proficient markswoman, she insists: 'I am not so violent. I also love dancing. I love the Hustle, Arabic dance and Latina.'

But politics will always come first. 'I would like one day to become President or at least Prime Minister,' she says. 'I don't think Russia is ready for a female president. On the other hand, in 20 years' time, when I am 44, this may change and it will be the right time for my presidency.'

In the meantime, she proudly recalls the achievements of another of her role models, on whom history's verdict is somewhat equivocal.

'I adore Catherine the Great,' she says. 'Now she was a great leader.'

Shout out to Yevgeny Bendersky for the heads up

Pic "Masha finds adventures while drunk and wearing nothing but a Cuban flag"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Little Satan Goes Ballistic

At a recent lo down ho down, populated by all the populars, an event occurred.

Essentially (and btw - j'ever notice that guys' attention spans seem only about as long as whatever object they are threatened with?) A certain chauffeur began eyeing a certain element that was way too tall and even worse - very pretty - at the expense of his own arm candy.

Not for long!

Said chauffeur's consort totally freaked and caused a scene.

Tired of the games, nonprofit jawflapping and sincere blocs chock full of insincerity she finally said the heck with it and let loose.

She went ballistic.

In a way this event - true story - could be applied to the recent study unleashed by Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Provocatively entitled "Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Development Facilities " this hefty (114 pages PDF) details naughty details like "Strike Package" did and includes Little Satan's magical mythical missile cadre.

Put together by the indomitable Dr Abdullah Toukan this not so brief brief includes:

Little Satan's Nuclear Weapons and Ballistic Missiles

Iran Nuclear Weapons and Ballistic Missiles Program
• Timeline when Iran produces it’s first Nuclear Weapon
• Options to deal with Iran’s Nuclear Program within the Time Frame

Iran Nuclear Targets
• Mission Planning Payloads
• Little Satan's Strike Force Required
• Iran Missile Sites

Little Satan's Air Force: Aircraft Mission Capabilities (which includes the following sexyful see thru bit)

"Mission Analysis:

Approximate range to the furthest target Esfahan is some 1,110 nmi. When approaching the 550 nmi range, the F-15Es and F-16Is need to refuel on the way to Iran and on the way back.

Refueling can be done in three ways:

Refueling from KC-135A and KC-10 tankers.
Buddy Refueling between F-15Es and F-16Is (Whoa!)
A temporary landing strip, along the Syrian, Turkish and Northern Iraq region, where aircraft refueling is available.

The total maximum strike package was around 80 aircraft, all the 25 F-15I in the Little Satan's Inventory and 55 F-16I/C. The F-15E would then need 5 to 6 KC-130s to refuel from, and the F-16Is would require 6 to 7 KC-130."

Also included are Syrian and Iranian Air Force capabilities, inventory and au currant Order of Battle - plus anti aircraft batteries of missiles and artillery.

The dreaded Russian Commonwealth super future Air Defense system - the S 300 is now a done deal with Persia - any Air Force quickies would need to be done before their delivery and deployment make an airstrike a less than sure thing.

This is where Little Satan's magical mythical ballistic projectiles come into the pic:

Little Satan's National Security Doctrine:

"This is based on the perception that Arab countries are determined to destroy Israel; that Israel has no reliable international allies and must take care of itself; there is an asymmetrical balance of resources versus the Arab Countries in Demography, Geography, Economic Resources, Structure of Armed Forces in terms of man power.

Operational Military Doctrine:

"That Israel must have the capability to deter any possible Arab attack, and if deterrence fails then Israel must strive for an early war termination if war breaks out. That any war with the Arab countries would have to be short and decisive.

"That the war must quickly be carried into and fought on Arab territory giving rise to a rapid offensive and high degree of mobility to sustain continuous forward movement.

Little Satan's Nuclear Doctrine

"A nuclear capability is needed to deter threats to Israel‘s existence. The possible acquisition of nuclear weapons by any Arab or non-Arab Muslim State in the region is considered as a direct existential threat to Israel. Israel should prevent all States in the Middle East Region from developing a nuclear program that it sees as a threat, or attempting to acquire nuclear weapons. Israel has deliberately maintained a nuclear policy ambiguity about it‘s own nuclear weapons program.

The purpose of the nuclear ambiguity policy was based on the belief that it had introduced an effective ―deterrence through uncertainty. Arab states were never sure that Israel would use a nuclear weapon in retaliation to it‘s survival in the event of a major war, or if any of the Arab states try to acquire a nuclear capability.

Little Satan's nuclear ambiguity policy has been stated by a number of Little Satan cats in the past leaders in such statements as:

― Little Satan will not be the first to use nuclear weapons and
― Little Satan will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East

The Arab States‘ of course view that such ambiguity nuclear doctrines can never be considered binding in case of war.

Little Satan has never officially admitted that it possesses Nuclear Weapons, and is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"Many see the present status of Israel as an ―Undeclared Nuclear Weapon State, at the same time it has become to be recognized as possessing a very sophisticated arsenal of nuclear weapons."

Little Satan's missile family - the 'Jericho' I and II have a limit of about 500 and 1500 kilometers respectively.

Niether could hit any targets in Persia.

Unless there is a Jericho III.

"There are reports that Israel is developing a Jericho III missile, based on a booster it developed with South Africa in the 1980s. Jane‘s estimated that the missile has a range of up to 5,000 kilometers and a 1,000-kilogram warhead. This
estimate is based largely on a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency estimate of the launch capability of the Shavit booster that Israel tested on September 19, 1988."

42 Jericho III's armed with a 750 kg Warhead would be required.

Any strike by Little Satan against the mullahs and their precious nuke power factories would unleash pure heck.

"Immediate retaliation using its ballistic missiles on Israel. Multiple launches of
Shahab-3 including the possibility of CBR warheads against Tel Aviv, Israeli military and civilian centers, and Israeli suspected nuclear weapons sites

Using proxy groups such as Hezbollah or Hamas to attack Israel proper with suicide bombings, covert CBR attacks, and rocket attacks from southern Lebanon."

And that's just for starters -

"Regional Security

Iran would withdraw from the NPT based on the argument that it needs to acquire
nuclear weapons to deter any further aggression by Israel and the U.S.

Destabilizing Iraq through the Shia against US occupation, further arming insurgency groups when possible.

Support and upgrade Taliban capabilities in Afghanistan.

Increase the threat of asymmetric attacks against American interests and allies in the region, especially against countries that host the US military such as Qatar and Bahrain.

Target U.S. and Western shipping in the Gulf, and possibly attempt to interrupt the flow of oil through the Gulf."

While all this certainly sounds scary - and it is - it may actually make more sense to launch a far larger ambitious assault aerially againt the entire regime in Iran. Tough to see how Iran could be any more PO'd than the above.

After all, Great Satan "would certainly be perceived as being a part of the conspiracy and having assisted and given Israel the green light, whether it did or had no part in it whatsoever."

So - Little Satan - and/or Great Satan have a tiny tiny window to act out in.

One end of the window is Iran's upcoming elections - both Madame Sec and Especial Envoy Dennis Ross admit there is little point in non profit jawflapping til then.

The other end of the closure is delivery and deployment of the S300 AAD System with all it's accoutrements.

And then there is the cat the Persians call "Mr Iran"

Little Satan may just say the heck with it and let loose.

She may just go ballistic.

Art - "Little Satan Goes Ballistic" by Kerank

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hot Stuff In Siberia

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Drone Wars

BAE Systems just bought Advanced Ceramics Research Inc., a small Arizona-based maker of UAVs, or drone aircraft.

Perhaps this is a sign that Pentagon is getting into the drone wars as much as possible. Reckon the first carrier to carry mainly stealthy, long-range, naval UCAVs -- that is, combat drones -- will be named the USS Obama?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the drone wars, Great Satan shot down an Iranian drone that was in Iraqi airspace, according to Major-General Abdul Aziz Mohammed Jassim, head of military operations at the Iraqi Defense Ministry. He didn't disclose how this was done.

Plus Little Satan is a suspect about drone chicanery queering the mix on Persia's satellite launches recently

Also some funny stuff for Great Satan and allied air forces to sweetly cackle about - news that the Russians are having a hard time with a large part of the Russian MiG-29 force found unable to fly safely.

Art - "These aren't the drones you're looking for"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nuclear Mullahs

It's official! Iran's hand picked president and resident fiery rocketeet made the announcement about Persia's illicit hook up with space racing nuclear powered world powers.

At least - that's what the Russians say - Iran's state controlled media hasnt yet made the announcement.

This is significant. As Great Satan's largest moustache ever once put it - it kinda sucks talking about living with a nuclear Iran because it makes you start thinking about how to live with a nuclear Iran.

Case in point?

Great Satan's Truman Nat'l Sec Project has corralled several super smart cats like Madelaine Albright, Ann Marie Slaughter, John Podesta and Leslie Gelb.

Despite using the name of Great Satan's one and (so far) only nuclear Regime Changer these cats have devised a tiny tiny brief (in PDF) about accepting and containing an illegit nuke powered regime:

"The good news is that Iran’s military is a shadow of its former self. Iran devotes a
smaller percentage of its GDP to military spending than any of its neighbors in the
Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates excepted.1 Iran’s annual defense budget of $6-$8 billion is approximately 1/100 of the $711 billion the United States devoted to the Department of Defense, nuclear weapons, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in fiscal year 2009.

Nor can Iran make up this conventional gap via mass fanaticism. The people of Iran are tired of their system of government and its poor handling of the Iranian economy. According to one poll, 61% of respondents expressed opposition to Iran’s form of government, while 68% favored normalized relations with the United States.

The Iranian regime commands too few military resources and too little domestic support to engage in territorial aggression against its neighbors, our allies, or the United States itself. Iran is not a major threat to the United States, and we should not allow our own rhetoric to puff up a paper tiger

The bad news is that since Iran cannot compete with the United States in conventional terms, it has adopted asymmetrical tactics that can inflict real harm on America and our allies.

Instead of armoring squads of soldiers, it has armed squads of suicide bombers, mounted speedboats with missiles, and funded fifth-column networks in neighboring countries.

These tactics are designed to make it a deadly proposition for the U.S. and its allies, such as Israel and some Gulf States, to cross Iran.

The Iranian regime also funnels tens of millions of dollars per year to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Whether it’s supplying Hezbollah during the Israel-Lebanon War of 2006, arming Shiite militias in Iraq, or supporting Hamas’s demands during Israel’s recent excursion in the Gaza Strip,
Iran has the ability to activate terror cells and cause chaos throughout the already turbulent Middle East.

Moreover, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – funded outside the regular defense budget – is an elite fighting force that controls billions of dollars of its own and wields tremendous power"

This is where it gets weird. Mindreading the mullahocacy in Iran:

The real question is what Iran would do with a nuclear weapon?
Would the Iranian regime ever actually use a nuclear weapon, given the threat of massive retaliation? After all, the United States feared what Stalin and Mao would do with nuclear weapons, but they were effectively deterred.

The same logic might apply to Iran: Iran must realize that it would face massive retaliation if it ever used nuclear weapons against the U.S. or its allies

The problem is that suicide and martyrdom play an essential role in Iranian theology.

In the words of Ayatollah Khomeini, father of the Iranian Revolution, "the natural world is the lowest element, the scum of creation."

He and many of his followers, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, subscribe to an apocalyptic vision of the end times whereby the sacrifice of life on earth is justified in the eyes of God.

While the regime may be willing to encourage individuals to sign up for suicide squads for the greater glory of Iran, it has showed no signs of a willingness to forfeit its own existence.

However, if the regime was teetering or threatened, there is a real possibility that they may boost their domestic standing by using terrorist organizations to spark a conflict with Israel, then launching, or seriously threatening to launch, a nuclear missile to protect their co-religionists in the region.

Even if Iran’s leaders do not wish to instigate nuclear war, their possession of nuclear weapons would give them a major bargaining chip. It would boost their standing in the region, possibly leading nearby Gulf States, long-time enemies of the Persian nation, to invest in nuclear weapons of their own.

They would be able to issue more credible threats and interfere with American and European interests with greater impunity. It would also deepen the hold an oppressive regime has over its people – people who wish to be a normal country integrated into the rest of the world. This is the more likely, but seriously problematic, scenario.

Iran is already spreading terror throughout the Middle East. The possession of a nuclear weapon would allow the Iranian regime to safeguard its existence from perceived threats, and to increase its power at the expense of the greater good of the international community and its own people."

So how do these cats envision putting up with such a wicked regime?
Not to let the cat out of the bag - they do have some good ideas (and some that decorum prohibts mention - yeah - they suck that bad) - though it's nothing new


Be Crystal Clear. We must make it crystal clear that Iran’s use of a nuclear weapon will elicit a punishing military response from the United States
We cannot prevent the existence of fanaticism, but we can make it more likely that pragmatists in the Iranian government will outmaneuver the fundamentalists if we make our intent to respond with overwhelming force absolutely clear.

A credible threat to retaliate will make Iran’s leaders think twice about using a nuclear weapon, making a nuclear weapon less useful.

Credible Deterrents:

Create Some. Missile defense advocates are pointing to Iran as a principal reasonfor continuing our strategic missile defense program.

They have a point.

Today's missile d
efense priorities emphasize small arsenals from threatening states.

clearly fits the bill.

There remain serious questions about the technological feasibility of the system, and worries about whether it will ever be a credible deterrent.

But the premise is not to be dismissed lightly: the best way to reduce the worth of states acquiring nuclear weapons is to render those weapons ineffective.

A credible deterrent undercuts Iran’s ability to use missiles, making a nuclear weapon less useful"

Dr Josh Muravchik (Oh! He got game!) drew a very nice picture for the wave of designer dialogue that kinda sorta crashes the party.

"Eventually the United States and Iran will be reconciled. This will happen not as a result of diplomacy but in one of three ways: a change of heart by Iranian rulers, replacement of the Iranian regime, or in the way that the US and Japan finally became friends."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

AfPak Surge

Experts, textperts, choking smokers, and weak minded jokers caution restraint and call for a doubters conference about the wisdom and means of Great Satan extracting righteous payback.

Dexter Filkins is a good example - after dissing the Iraq war and proclaiming that the Iraq Surge was totally incorrect in "Forever War" , Dex takes his 0 - 2 insight into the freshly christened "AfPak Surge.

Essentially, AfPak is a no win scenerio. After all, rowdy tribal cats defanged mighty mighty Collectivist Time Russia and took the 'pie' right out of "British Empire".

Only warmongering doofuses, bloodthirsty neocons and an unhealthy, unsubstansiated fear of of mythical terrorists, intolerants and creepy time traveling loser loving martyr seeking girl fearing Talibanistic super troopers would insist on keeping the fight alive and indulging in something so incorrect and flat out counter productive as an 'AfPak Surge"

Thankfully a double dose of Kaganite is out there too.

Dr Kimberly Kagan of the Institiute for the Study of War, her super smart other half Dr Frederick Kagan - the cat who invented the original Surge and the ever crunk Max Boot (love that name!) inject some much needed steel into spineless spines.

"No one in Afghanistan — from the American commander, Gen. David McKiernan, to those village elders — underestimates the difficulties that lie ahead.

But no one we spoke to on an eight-day journey (arranged for us by Gen. David Petraeus, the head of the military’s Central Command) that took us from Kunar Province on the Pakistan border to Farah Province near the Iranian frontier doubted that we can succeed, or that we must do so."

Frederick, Kimberly and Max point out some of the problems are self inflicted and can be easily remedied

"Efforts to develop a countrywide strategy will no doubt be hampered by the confused and often counterproductive NATO command structure. A big part of the problem is that, unlike American headquarters staff members who train together for a year before deploying into a combat zone, NATO staff members from many nations come together for the first time just a few weeks before heading out to Afghanistan.

And most of them rotate out after six months; a lack of continuity means a lack of cohesion. A NATO officer even admitted to us that his headquarters is “partially dysfunctional.”

"Seven American ground brigades are likely to be in Afghanistan by the end of the year — two of them focused on training and the rest on combat. Two or three more might be needed next year to provide security in western Afghanistan, which has almost no United States forces. That would result in 45,000 to 55,000 ground troops, plus support units, as compared to more than 160,000 (22 brigades) in Iraq at the height of the surge. "

"There is no question that we can succeed against these much weaker foes, notwithstanding the support they receive from Pakistan and to a lesser extent Iran. President Obama’s recent decision to send 17,000 additional troops is a good start. While increased security operations will result in a temporary increase in casualties, that spike should be followed by broad reductions in violence, just as with the Iraq surge.

"There are many who claim that a large-scale commitment isn’t necessary. Some say we have no interest in making Afghanistan a functioning state — all that matters is preventing Al Qaeda from re-establishing safe havens, and we can do that by killing terrorist leaders with precision air strikes or covert raids.

"The key question for those who advocate pulling back is this: Where will we get the intelligence to direct the raids? If we have few troops on the ground, we will have to rely on intercepted communications. But seven years into the fight, the terrorists have learned a thing or two about keeping their communications secret. The only way to get the intelligence we need is from the residents, and they won’t provide it unless our troops stay in their villages to provide protection from Taliban retribution.

"This struggle is not just about Afghanistan. It is also about tracking and effecting what is going on in Pakistan’s tribal areas. That is where the global Qaeda leadership is. It is the nexus of terrorist groups including the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is implicated in the Mumbai, India, attacks last November; the Tehreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi, which now has control of the Swat region in Pakistan; and Baitullah Mehsud’s Pakistani Taliban, which are said to have plotted the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister.

"From their positions across the border in Afghanistan, American forces can literally see these areas. They can also gather invaluable intelligence from, and spread our influence to, the tribes that straddle the frontier. But we get that vantage point only as long as we have something to offer the Afghans — security, improved quality of life, hope for a better government.

"If we abandon them, we will become blind to one of the most dangerous threats to our security, and also hand our most determined enemies an enormous propaganda victory — their biggest since 9/11.

"Make no mistake: there is hard, costly fighting ahead in Afghanistan.

"But the fight is worth pursuing, and the odds of success are much better than they were in Iraq when we launched the forlorn hope known as the surge. "

Art - "Great Satan loves enemies! They taste just like chicken"