Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 19, 2006

WB: Total War


[O]ver the years I've become progressively less certain what the ultimate decision would be -- and whether and when the American military would flinch from the implications of that choice.

Total War

Posted by b on December 19, 2006 at 01:18 PM | Permalink


nice to see you back, billmon.

happy festivus (for the rest of us.) we'll toast you in Hamburg for your part in making the strange tribe that evolved from the whiskey bar.

sadly, I wonder if we'll find out about the awful alternative sooner rather than later (i.e. before the next congress is in session.)

Posted by: fauxreal | Dec 19, 2006 2:40:43 PM | 1

The Frat Boy Who Would Be President seems to be dimly thinking he can back the Shiites and Kurds against the Sunnis (the so-called "80 Percent Solution") while simultaneously splitting al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army away from SCIRI. If that isn't a receipe for an even more comprehensive clusterfuck in Iraq, I don't want to know what is. Certainly the Pentagon no longer agrees with this miserable failure of a strategery that equates staying with winning, because staying is losing more men, money, material and morale every day we remain in Iraq to save Bush's sorry ass.

Posted by: Fed up | Dec 19, 2006 3:04:15 PM | 2

it already is a genocide, and most Americans are not even noticing

Posted by: Susan | Dec 19, 2006 3:44:34 PM | 3

There was very little outrage (actually, none) when that report came out estimating 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of our invasion. There was a little bit of press coverage, which always stressed that the estimate is controversial and disputed (i.e., who knows what the real number is, and who really cares anyway?), and that was it.

If the number was 2 or 3 million it wouldn't make any difference at all. Americans are by and large (and in a "democracy" its only the by and large that matters) completely unwilling to confront the reality of what has happened and is happening in Iraq. In fact, the larger the disaster gets, the stronger our refusal to let the horror penetrate our defenses will grow.

Posted by: Scott | Dec 19, 2006 3:52:58 PM | 4

welcome back Billmon... wish the circumstances compelling you to hoist your pen were different, but they aren't...

Posted by: crone | Dec 19, 2006 4:26:55 PM | 5

Mass butchery OR defeat? so pessimistic, billmon. The Bush Pirates can do both with their eyes closed.

Posted by: Rowan | Dec 19, 2006 4:27:00 PM | 6

Don't jump to conclusions. JCS opposed to inc. troops in Iraq.

Posted by: jj | Dec 19, 2006 4:30:09 PM | 7

Billmon, so glad to have you back. Your words were missed.

Posted by: Historical Wit | Dec 19, 2006 4:35:52 PM | 8

kudos for linking to heart of darkness, one of my all time favorites i nominated forthe best post @koufax last year.

hope this means you'll be posting for the season billmon.

to anyone interested in hamburg i will reiterate my offer that there is some extra $ avalable for assistance. some other posters have offered too

Posted by: annie | Dec 19, 2006 5:05:50 PM | 9

I keep hoping that a good dose of milk of magnesia will stop the nightmare but all I get is the shits. The nightmare continues.

Posted by: pb | Dec 19, 2006 5:17:29 PM | 10

to anyone interested in hamburg i will reiterate my offer that there is some extra $ avalable for assistance. some other posters have offered too

All around not a bad place to be if WWIII breaks out over the holidays.



Posted by: | Dec 19, 2006 5:39:19 PM | 11

Youtube: Former CIA Official Exposes Bush Administration Fraud

Flynt Leverett worked as a senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, the NSC, and he was a CIA analyst.

Also see, Censored former official: White House blocked op-ed with no classified data

See you in the camps...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 19, 2006 5:47:02 PM | 12

well, unnamed poster, in that case I plan to go to The Netherlands and ask for asylum.

Posted by: fauxreal | Dec 19, 2006 6:24:24 PM | 13

OOps that was me at 11 sorry.

Posted by: Bea | Dec 19, 2006 6:27:10 PM | 14

The "surge" is to provide extra bodies and sandbags to protect our bases and our Billion Dollar Embassy when Israel and America start bombing Iran this spring. Things will get white hot in Baghdad, and every cook, clerk and aide de camp will be manning a foxhole before its over.

The extra carriers moving to the Gulf in January for the ostensible purpose of impressing the Iranians are actually going there to take part in a 30-day bombing campaign.

With neocons, you have to remember that their real plans are not revealed to mere mortals like ourselves. What they tell us is never, ever what they actually have planned. Their mental framework operates on several levels of Machiavellian deception, none of which needs to be too closely tied to reality.

What they have planned for this spring is to have the extra troops in place, and the extra carrier and subs, and then have the good fortune to have Israel bomb one of Iran's enrichment sites, "forcing America to respond" to save freedom, motherhood, and apple pies everywhere.

And the Democratic Congress that's supposed to investigate and control these raving loons? They can go enjoy oral congress with camels, for all the good they will do.

These neocons are about to make history, and let us all catch up with them as best we can.

Posted by: Antifa | Dec 19, 2006 7:23:56 PM | 15

glad you're back

wingnut acquaintances have been murmuring that bush hasn't been ruthless enough and outright genocide has always been their preferred strategy

Posted by: bcf | Dec 19, 2006 7:52:38 PM | 16

from the article billmon quotes:

What Gates may not realize, but the generals should, is that once an “all or nothing” offensive like the “surge” contemplated has begun, there is no turning back. It will be “victory” over the insurgents and the Shia militias or palpable defeat, recognizable by all in Iraq and across the world.

considering the history of fights against "insurgencies" over the decades, not just by the U.S., but also by Russia in Afghantistan, etc. ...well what would you think is coming if the this whole mess isn't stopped? how many have to die before americans demand some decency?

Posted by: fauxreal | Dec 19, 2006 7:56:23 PM | 17


You feed my worst fears. I cannot refute you.

ABC and The Washington Post have stories about Bush seeking to enlarge the Armed Forces.

We need a palace coup, in the Congress of the United States.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Dec 19, 2006 8:15:50 PM | 18

as b real has pointed out with some clarity - once you have conducted genocide against your own indigenous population & in lieu of being criminalised for it - you make it into an integral element of your country's mythology - the complicit or active genocide of the other - comes easy

i want to repeat what i've sd here often - that as far back as the war againgst the phillipines - genocide has always been an implicit part of the strategy - of the u s empire

for a century - they have tried to rub their hands clean by using compradors & puppets & vassals & valets to do their bidding - but in iraq as in vietnam - they have to get blood over their own uniforms

fallujah was this tempire's guernica, lidice, riga or babi yar

if this empire could clean the middle east of its arab people - it would & as you say - without flinching - but this time they are well & truly defeated & time will measure not only the death of the innocent iraqi people but it will also be a measure of the depravity & degredation the empire will extend in its last breath

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19, 2006 8:35:28 PM | 19

Ok, I will come.

Yey, cheers, whopee!

Now down to details. I am booking flight tickets, so I would like to check the schedule.

As announced a month ago, some Moon of Alabama folks will meet in Hamburg, Germany on new years eve and throughout the following week.

We'll watch the fireworks over the harbour docks, we'll party and maybe tango here on January, 3rd and we'll roam Berlin on the 4th and 5th.

So meetup on the 31st, then I will arrive with a plane that day. Does it take long to go from Lübeck airport to Hamburg? Then party (bring party outfit, good mood and money for whiskey (liquids forbidden on planes besides high taxes in Sweden), check, check and check).

I may have a meager salary but I still live in Sweden so I have got a long vacation and once I have made the flight I better use it. When are you people planning to go home? On the 6th from Berlin or are you hanging out in Hamburg some more?

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Dec 19, 2006 9:20:32 PM | 20

Nice to hear from you again Billmon

Don Rumsfeld said:
"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."

its no more than a small consolation that Rumsfeld's army for whatever reason, has not quite proven to be the living-dead barbarians it would take to do the deed.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 19, 2006 9:20:55 PM | 21

skod! Don't forget the trunk with the holes in it.

4-5 or 6 for Berlin. One leaves Hamburg on the 8th and another on the 9th. I'm bringing a snorkle. When do you want to return to the old country?

Posted by: beq | Dec 19, 2006 9:31:32 PM | 22

r'giap :

And the depravity and degradation must not be allowed to evaporate this time, as after the other wars.

There must be an Anglo-American War Crimes Tribunal.

It is necessary to derail the train, if we are to rip up the track.

There is always a future. We must perservere.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Dec 19, 2006 9:31:42 PM | 23

Really good to see Billmon back!

We entered an era of fascism back in the year 2000 when the nation accepted the appointment of the Chimpanzee in Chief by the Supreme Court.

But the fascism has now snowballed into monstrous insanity. The idiot in the White House is determined to do what he wants to do, regardless of all legal and moral considerations.

To send more troops to Iraq now is just plain crazy. Even if they are being sent as support troops because of a planned attack on Iran, to send them is still crazy, because the idea of attacking Iran is crazy.

This is terrible.

Posted by: Roland Stroud | Dec 19, 2006 9:34:54 PM | 24

@Antifa #15

You speak with such certainty, and I don't doubt you. But can you share any sources with us?


Posted by: Bea | Dec 19, 2006 9:36:34 PM | 25

I have never been to Germany, to Europe.

Will those Americans heading off to Hamburg please do a bit of research there into how the unblinking incorporation of a nation's monstrous war crimes into its collective consciousness is accomplished?

We desperately need that information.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Dec 19, 2006 9:37:18 PM | 26

JFL - I believe that r'giap will be conducting a seminar on this subject. Attendence is compulsory.

Posted by: beq | Dec 19, 2006 9:40:03 PM | 27

all empires turn their own depravity on the head & call it innocence

the u s was able to call a war of anhilation against the vietnamese -( a war which cost the vietnamese anywhere between 3 - 5 million people ) - a war that was completely premeditated in its cruelty - was somehow able to say it was a victim of its own innocence & then spend three decades in infantile & self serving sob stories

the german nation was able to transform the extermination of european jewry, almost the entirety of gypsies in eastern europe & the death of 20 million russians into an economic miracle & also into a self serving sob story about them all under the sway of somebody else - where no one knew anything or were only following orders

the french in indochina & algeria - wars of great & profound cruelty was transformed into unnecessary soul searching about self(ves)

the australian peoiple have liquidated almost all its aboriginal population & those that are left they need to degrade further & further - the more to feel - such cultivated creatures

the history of the accumulation of capital in our times has been one long bloodbath with the tears being wept not by the victims but by the perpetrators - not for what they have done but for what they are about to do

from monsters morality is borne that only rupert murdoch can mediate

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19, 2006 9:59:09 PM | 28

If the Dems let this thing happen, then we will know once and for all we are truly screwed. That it doesn't matter who we vote for, the horror show will go on and we will continue to be terrorized by whoever the fuck is *really* running things.

The miracle of Nov will be nothing but a mirage.

Posted by: pb | Dec 19, 2006 10:00:14 PM | 29

Looks like there are some things that can bring Billmon out of quasi-retirement!

Regarding the possibilities for total war, how do 20,000 or so troops more less make a difference though? If the U.S. really is intent on wracking up the body counts, they'll do it the old-fashioned way, with B-52s.

Then there's the question of who to butcher. So far, only the Sunnis seem viable candidates. Not sure what our friends the Saudis will have to say about that though. The SOBs running the show in Washington might get a very nasty surprise if they try to make good on more rubble/less trouble...

Posted by: faux facsimile | Dec 19, 2006 10:11:25 PM | 30

. Not sure what our friends the Saudis will have to say about that though.

that may be the point. it's not our troops they are considering, if SA comes in they will be fighting iran by proxy. the 'real ' beginning of the regional war that has been the neocon wetdream. they only have 2 more years. the chance of another neocon presidency seems slim to none (pleeease...)

we are almost out of the birthpang phase , moving into labor pains..

Posted by: annie | Dec 19, 2006 10:31:59 PM | 31

maybe the pushing phase actually..

Posted by: annie | Dec 19, 2006 10:33:15 PM | 32

Updated list: bring party outfit, good mood, money for whiskey and trunk.

8th seems like a fine day to fly home. Cheapest possible tickets bought, check.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Dec 19, 2006 10:34:12 PM | 33

I'm sorry for being particularly dim about this "surge" (or Flucht nach Vorne, it you prefer), but after having read the reports and the ensuing debate, I still utterly fail to see the the point. I have no doubt whatsoever that the proposed bloodbath will take place... but what, if anything, is the stated objective here?

Iraq is and will continue to be a hemmorhage for the USA... it has caused the hemmorhaging of political capital, international goodwill, the US Treasury and too many human lives on all sides to accurately count... is the idea to plug the leak with still more bodies?? I've heard the bloodthirsty wingnuts wailing that "We didn't use enough force" (they haven't been "muttering" on the datasphere, bfc at #16, they've been shouting from the virtual rooftops)... which begs the question: "Bush didn't authorise enough force to do what, precisely?!" What in the hell is it that war proponents are even after anymore (since the Iraqis didn't give them their rose-petal parade like a good little client state) if not complete extermination of the indigenous population?

Antifa at #15 said "...their real plans are not revealed to mere mortals like ourselves. What they tell us is never, ever what they actually have planned." So they don't even have to state objectives at all anymore?! We'll just know it's been a "victory" when somebody on "our" side arbitrarily declares it?

And has nobody given any thought to where the boots for this "surge" are going to come from? The US military has been scraping the bottom of the barrel to recruit for its "all volunteer" force, rounding up the worst social misfits it can muster... and it still hasn't been enough. For at least a year now ...and as late as this week I have heard about the sorry state this quagmire has left the US military in (a reality even the fucking Decider himself can't block out)... so where do you conscript, shanghai, coerce and cajole enough people (forget about qualifications... any warm body willing to bleed and die for the Emperor will do) to participate in this fiasco??? Jesus Christ... of course this "surge" will be homocidal, has nobody noticed that it will be suicidal as well????

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 19, 2006 10:52:30 PM | 34

MONO, since when did anything like rational thought have anything to do with this "adventure"? You ask too much in this age of enlightenment.


Posted by: allen | Dec 19, 2006 11:30:48 PM | 35

faux facsimile? whatevah.

skod- look forward to seeing you.

Iran dropping dollar.

Analysts said Tehran had been steadily shifting its foreign-held assets out of dollars since 2003 and that Monday's announcement was unlikely to affect the value of the dollar, which has weakened significantly in recent months.

An Iranian spokesman said all its foreign exchange transactions would be conducted in euros and its national budget would also be calculated in euros as well as its own currency.

"There will be no reliance on dollars," said Gholam-Hussein Elham.

"This change is already being made in the currency reserves abroad."

sorry if I missed this earlier, but didn't see it here.

Posted by: fauxreal | Dec 19, 2006 11:38:30 PM | 36

Rowan: Mass butchery OR defeat? so pessimistic, billmon. The Bush Pirates can do both with their eyes closed.

And their office freezers and ass pockets wide open ...

*slams empty shotglass hard on the bar*

No vodka, barkeep. It's high time my drinkin' matches American democracy: good and hard. :-)

Posted by: Sizemore | Dec 19, 2006 11:47:09 PM | 37


& also into a self serving sob story about them all under the sway of somebody else - where no one knew anything or were only following orders
This seems to be the state of the art in the United States right now.

I do remember the German Chancellor standing up and "just saying no" to XLIII when invited to join the "adventure", and that he scored big politically for doing so. I contrast that with the behavior of the English, for instance.

I'm not looking for miracles here, just some steady progress. Since we've made none that would be a great improvement.

I think An Anglo-American War Crimes Tribunal would help focus attention on the crime. It would take a long time and be very detailed and explicit, as trials are. It would help.

For the destruction of the physical German infrastructure I would substitute the destruction of the US economy. Not that I hope for it, just that it seems likely.

Then we too can have our own economic miracle.

Hope there's a Chinese Marshall plan forthcoming.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Dec 20, 2006 12:48:45 AM | 38

they only have 2 more years.

Don't count on it. If they haven't seen fit to abide by any other laws, what makes you think they will give a rat's patootie about term limits? This is not the type of project you walk away from midway and leave to lesser mortals. What was it that idiotic general said a while back... that Iraq "is like a work of art in progress... it's not clear yet what will emerge from the various blobs..." When you are the Decider, next only to God (and even that is dubious, in my mind), and you are giving an Extreme Makeover to the freaking World, do you think that term limits are going to stop you?

PS How do you like my new TV show idea? Extreme Makeover: World Edition... Don't call us; we'll just show up at your ports, airports, and land border crossing points, with our charging troops who'll be screaming, "Surprise! Your country has been selected for an Extreme Makeover! Everyone hit the floor and don't count on ever getting up again! Now where the hell are those blasted Oil Fields..."

Posted by: Bea | Dec 20, 2006 12:53:58 AM | 39

It is good to see billmon post, even if only now and then.

In a sense this whole mess started when Bush, frightened out of his wits by 9/11, called up Arafat and offered him a state.

The Israelis were outraged, but they hid it well. They adapted their rhetoric to echo everything Bush said about terrorists, until they were able to define Arafat as one, confine him, and essentially (if not actually) kill him.

Then the US invasion of Iraq made the Israelis overplay their hand. Even they didn't think the US could screw it up as bad as they have.

Now, facing either a humiliating retreat by their great enabler or some sort of final blood bath, they did make some overtures the other day. Olmert actually mentioned financial support for Palestine, though not the road map.

Can we demand that Israel give us their real bottom line for a two-state solution? Can we pull troops out of Baghdad and start asking for help from the UN and other major countries? Can we call a peace summit?

Can we get a march on Washington? What kind of catastrophe does it take?

I sympathize with the fear, the exhaustion, the end-of-our-rope feeling on this thread.

Posted by: Cecrops | Dec 20, 2006 1:18:21 AM | 40

Mono (post 34),
Your questions are the same ones I have been asking myself. Nothing makes sense right now, perhaps it doesn’t to the empire’s leaders either, and that is why we are being kept in the dark. Awhile back I noted that preparations were being made to accommodate troops in Qatar and possibly Saudi Arabia (Cheney’s meeting there not long ago.) Perhaps I had it wrong in thinking this was for pulling the troops out of Iraq in a hurry to prevent a repeat like the Saigon departure disaster. Perhaps there really is going to be one last surge – one last “college try” by the stupid “decider”. But just how dumb are these guys? Perhaps this last “surge” is just a false story to cover for the preparations of pulling out as I still think Bush and all have an ounce of intelligence. But then I think the U.S. is pulling out just to get the troops out of harm’s way when Iran gets bombed! What a disaster in any scenario imaginable. I am totally in the dark.

Anglo-American War crimes tribunal would be good – the American public needs to be enlightened, myself included.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Dec 20, 2006 1:19:14 AM | 41

no enlightenment, they need to be grounded

Posted by: b real | Dec 20, 2006 1:31:10 AM | 42

attacking Iran still seems to be a distraction from the main goal which is to salvage Baby Bush's legacy as well as the Repubs.

also, the Iranians seem confident enough in either their defensive position or in the belief that the danger of attack has waned, hence they are dropping the petro-dollar.

there will be no attack on Iran without Papa Bush's say so. And is just not his style. He is an old-school realist, not an apocalyptic visionary.

it should also be noted that Baby-Bush/Cheneys relevance going forward depends on keeping as much of their agenda on the radar even though their real grip on power has waned seriously, with more to comee.

The Iranian decision to drop the petro-dollar is very consistent with the growing rollback of Baby-Bush agenda.

when we see the neo-cons jumping ship & critisizing Baby-Bush and attacking James Baker, its clear things have changed quite a bit.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 20, 2006 2:50:23 AM | 43

first of all, welcome to all the (former) lurkers who have posted here. It is always nice to see new names.

Some of us are still trying to make sense or see the logic in the latest move(s). Antifa is most likely right in regards to the real plans but who knows if the cheney admin has any at all? I think it was Bea who linked a story on how Israel started their last campaign against Lebanon with absolutely no planning. Perhaps these people are so confident (and why shouldn't they be) that they can just wing it.

when all else fails, follow the money. that is what it is always about. who will make short time gains and who will make the long money? then you just have to figure out who is in a better position to have their agenda advanced.

others have commented that the US public is not at all queasy over killing millions of brown people. sadly that is all too true. I have yet to hear outrage from anyone (and that includes europeans that I know). Until corporate media starts doing "human interest" stories on everyday Iraqis the general public will continue to blissfully ignore all the pain and suffering they are causing to so many people.

SKOD, really glad you can make it. check the german train system for transportation from Lubeck to Hamburg. and they do have an english page if you are not comfortable with german. also for booking a hotel. Now if someone could talk Deanander into coming....

Posted by: dan of steele | Dec 20, 2006 3:00:05 AM | 44

@Dan (o'Steele) - have you clicked on DeA's recent link? Looks like she's retired, sold/selling her house & is selling all her stuff. Looks like the Big Move is finally in the works for her...

Posted by: jj | Dec 20, 2006 3:10:58 AM | 45

what rememberering giap said#28

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 20, 2006 4:11:38 AM | 46

its not clear what the Israelis are thinking, but to strike Iran knowing Iran will take it to American interests wherever it can, leading inevitably to "uncontrollabe open-ended war" between Iran & the USA, would be breaking uncharted new ground in the USA-Israeli alliance.

and this is at a time when USA influence is at an uimaginable low on all fronts, burdened militarily by two quagmired wars, burdened by massive debt & deficits and the structurally receeding dollar.

the neo-cons may still have a trick or two left but they also face much increased challenges from the always incumbent establishment. The old-guard in the persons of Papa-Bush, James Baker, Bob Gates are not going to be kept out of tthe loop on Iran, regardless of what the neo-cons think.

Add to this the fact that neo-con strategy has so far proven to be disastrously inept - ref Iraq.

the neo-cons may already be living off past glories. In effect, they may no longer represent any more of a force today than they did before the Bush era.

meanwhile the attack-on-Iran timeline keeps getting moved back as quickly as it expires, yet again. Even as neo-con influence wanes. Even as the neo-cons turn on Bush & Baker.

also, no one is morre mindful of all this than the Iranians. They are normally very cautious and are very capable of being pragmatic when theres a lot on the line. But the trend of their conduct correlates too much with the stumblings & fading of the neo-con agenda to be just a coincidence.

of course, theres always the possibility that the Iranians are bluffing, but its not really their style to put so much at stake on bluffing alone.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 20, 2006 5:00:51 AM | 47

William Pfaff: The Menace of Dienbienphu

These options are none of them serious. Even if any of them offered a “solution,” the United States now lacks the power to carry out any of them in a manner that would actually change the situation in a positive way.
Hence weekend reports from Washington spoke of a mood of fatigue, frustration, retreat from engagement, and disposition to “shift responsibility for Iraq’s problems onto Iraqis” (to quote a Washington Post report). This is not unexpected (I wrote three years ago that George Bush eventually would leave Iraq in shambles, accusing the Iraqis of being unworthy of America’s efforts to help them); but it too comes a little late, like the other listed options.
The United States is in a situation where it is politically incapable, for domestic reasons, of doing anything other than going on with what it is doing. And yet going on leads towards a probable political Dienbienphu, sooner rather than later, and conceivably a military Dienbienphu – or several of them, in scattered and vulnerable U.S. bases.

Posted by: b | Dec 20, 2006 5:09:43 AM | 48

It may be that the moment has passed. The empire may not end with a bang, but with a whimper.

Posted by: DM | Dec 20, 2006 5:32:08 AM | 49

Add my voice to the chorus! I've missed you and the your moral, rational voice. So, so glad you're back!

Posted by: Msquick | Dec 20, 2006 5:32:35 AM | 50

off topic

@askod - 33 - please email me immediately - address is on the About page - thx.

Posted by: b | Dec 20, 2006 1:06:21 PM | 51

On my way home for the holidays, I check the news one more time and see "Bush plans to raise troop levels." Marvelous, I think.

Congratulations, America. The Democrats fed you a line, that they were for change in how the war would be run. And you fell for it, and you have your change - escalation!

Am I jumping on the Democrats too much here? Well, other than Harry Reid's agreement, there's the simple fact that the Democrats have publicly refused to not support the war effort in any tangible fashion, and have also declared "Stay the course" to be ineffective, and have also declared that the war must be won. This leaves no option except to raise troop levels, an event that only could have occurred with the sacking of Rumsfeld - a direct reaction to the Democratic victory.

And if you believe this is a "temporary" escalation, I have a bridge made of yellowcake uranium to sell you.

The term for it is "bait and switch." The other war party has no quibbles with why the war was fought. Minor quibbles with how the war was started. The only significant difference was that they thought the tactics were wrong. Ran a bunch of pro-war candidates, in support of pro-war leadership, promising a change. America, naturally, fell for it. What are they going to do, not vote? (other than the well-over-half of the voting population that didn't vote.)

Posted by: Rowan | Dec 20, 2006 2:46:01 PM | 52

Oh Baby, I'm about to surge!

I'm sorry if that's a little vulgar; but I was reminded of what one American general said a few days ago, considering that the foolhardy tactic of committing all an army's military reserve without specific objective is described as "shooting all our bolts".

It reminds me of that time in the 19th Century when General George Armstrong Custer surged into the Little Bighorn.

Also it brings to mind one of George Carlin's old comedy routines about Vietnam. All that business about "not pulling out too soon" ..."it's not manly to pull out before your finished", and all that.

Majority Leader-Elect, Senator Reid, comforts us by observing that a little, temporary surge will be OK.

But at least, as Carlin observed so long ago, this language is as explicit as possible, in describing just what it is that we're doing to the country we've invaded.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 20, 2006 6:58:41 PM | 53

never mind Copeland, I wish I could say this without being too vulgar or tacky but this entire matter could have been contained in any best litle whorehouse in Texas.

"Bust em imperium, bust em ... golden shower imperium, gold me ... !!!"

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 20, 2006 8:46:01 PM | 54

Nothing moves most Americans like SHAME. Mass killing of "others" far away by Americans or others-NOT going to do it. If we "nuke" Iran tomorrow and the result is a loss of alot of our soldiers in Iraq,and god knows how many innocents, well, it was for a good reason.

But for some reason, watching our fellow citizens drown on our TV in our country in New Orleans, La. moved us to shame. Did not make us "follow up" of course. But, we are not too good with being reminded of our shame or our lack of follow up. But we are darn good at finding a "scape goat" (happens every day in major corporations in the USA every day).

And George Bush became the "scape goat" for New Orleans. Conventional wisdom says Iraq was the deciding factor for the recent election results and I say, Baloney! It was New Orleans and I say the poll results for 41's performance can be tracked accordingly. We are absolved of all guilt over New Orleans by just blaming George Bush. And he WILL go down as the worst president in history, if like minds breed like minds, because he shamed us in New Orleans, on TV, in front of the rest of the world (not that what is happening to those very same former New Orleans right now will move us). Iraq will not even be a blimp on the screen.

So if you think there will be some big mass movement in this country to stop George Bush from "nuking" Iran, Iraq and just about any where else in the world, forget it. We, and I mean the pulsing, collective "we" that makes up the late, great U S of A, will only be worrying about what we are serving for "Christmas" dinner and whether we have the "right" gift for someone or the other.

The rest of the world needs to understand, we (alot of us) have had a standard of living that you only envision if you win the lottery. We grew up enjoying the fruits of your exploitation (we were not really aware of that, we were just "hanging out"). And we simply do not know how to adjust to reality. And gosh darn, do not try to blame us, because we will sort of be oblivious to the effect to the rest of the world as we try to adjust to the "new order". Cause, gosh darn, we will go down, but we will go down fighting. And, for us, I am so ASHAMED!!!!

Posted by: Mary Moore | Dec 20, 2006 9:19:56 PM | 55

Just FYI: Some peace and justice groups are organizing anti-war demonstrations for Saturday, January 27 in the U.S. This will be a few days after Bush delivers his State of the Union address, and about three weeks before Congress has to pass a funding bill for the rest of this year (since they failed miserably at passing a normal full-year budget by the start of this fiscal year.) I am hopeful that these demonstrations will have more impact on Congress than so many of our prior efforts appeared to do.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Dec 20, 2006 9:27:19 PM | 56

In the third paragraph, I mean president 43 not 41.

Posted by: Mary Moore | Dec 20, 2006 9:44:46 PM | 57

As far as I remember the call for more troops has been just as much democrat as repub. And the democrats seem more set on militarising society - you know, patriotic service and some college funding for all, that kind of cosy stuff.

I interpret ‘more troops’ as a poor response to a chaotic situation, like the gambler who throws more money away after losing. ‘Surge’ - against whom, to accomplish what? I don’t think so. It will just be more of the same. (Mono above expresses it better.)

A Family in Baghdad has the testimony of an arrested Iraqi (scroll down to Wed. December 6.) It details the usual atrocities, actually worse, as many people are killed and one bomber at least confesses and is not jailed for even 5 minutes; gives a good description of various places, who runs them, and what the Americans did following protocol to gather testimony etc. about torture. A madhouse of violence and insane empty bureaucracy. The US has lost it completely. There is no strategy here.>link

Antifa, good post, but I still maintain, no attack on Iran.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 21, 2006 6:14:12 AM | 58

Oh I forgot, good to read Billmon again, I missed him.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 21, 2006 6:16:15 AM | 59

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