Thursday, November 16, 2006

Let Iraqis be Iraqis

I think we've probably done all we can in Iraq. I'm tired of calls for more boots when it would only mean more Americans killed. Abizaid's insistance on not getting tougher, just stepping up training, makes the most sense to me. I wouldn't take McCain's opinions over his, because Abizaid is of Arabic (Lebanese) extraction and speeaks Arabic. I think he knows more about the problems than any 20 Senators put together.

In the linked column above, Ralph Peters says we're not killing enough bad guys. The problem with that is that in Iraq, it's hard to tell who the bad guys are and often, as in the case of Muqtada al-Sader, if you killed some of those who deserve it, there would be a massive entifada against us. He's the son of a famous and beloved cleric martyred by Saddam.

What's going on is a struggle between Shias and Sunnis for the soul of Islam, and we can't afford to get involved in the middle. I don't know how things will work themselves out, but the quickest way I know of to get out with honor is to step up training of local forces.

I'm reading Robert Kaplan's book Imperial Grunts, which explains how our Special Forces function around the globe, training local elite troops and leaving it for them to train others. I don't know if our training will hold in Iraq. We're trying to instill Western honor into people who have their own system already. There's no way to guarantee that once we're gone, things won't heat up again.

But we have broken the yoke from the necks of Shiites. and we've seen that they are willing to risk life and limb to vote. And if we back a Shiite government against foreign terrorists and bombers, I think they'll be able to preserved human rights that will never be allowed by any of the fundamentalists, Sunni or Shia.

Kaplan's book suggests to me that we should begin pulling out regular "occupation" troops and leave a lot of Special Ops teams with a mission to training, equip, teach, without our presence being such an attractive target for outsiders to come into Iraq. The incentive not to interfere should be that we still have air supremacy and could send an army anywhere in a short time to do to any other regime what we did to Saddam's. We might leave chaos, but that is their problem not ours. America needs to serve notice that our military is not an NGO, to be played like the UN or its "Peace keeping teams." We need to make it known that we are watching, and can move swiftly to take out the enemies of freedom when they make themselves known, repeatedly, if necessary, until the locals get the picture and start taking care of their own problems. No war need last more than a month anymore, if followed up by teams like those who presently work with the government of Colombia.

I admit this is largely pipe-dreaming, but I don't think it enhances our reputation to take over a country and then get bogged down in nation building, while our vaunted weapons and soldiers get cut to pieces with cheap low-tech weapons like RPGs and IEDs, which are nothing more than booby traps. We should fight geurrillas with our own and make ours the most lethal and scary ones anywhere.

To do all this, Congress needs to quit yelling about oversight and human rights, and learn that you can't win wars with humanitarian aid any more than you can with candy and beeds.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just like Napalm

I love the smell of Democrats self-immolating in the morning.

Looks like I spoke too soon . . .

At least about the lack of litigation this time around. The Democrat candidate in Florida's 13th District has gone to court.

Meanwhile, back at the fever swamp,

The Foxophobia and homo-GOP-ophobia continue undiminished by the cool breeze of a Democrat victory. The Lamont wing of the Democrat party must be feeling used, with all the attention being paid to the ISG report.

Get set for an amazing transformation

From the chief corrupter in the "culture of corruption" to an honest, hardworking lobbyist representing his clients. I love the photo. "Can I get an 'Amen!' somebody?"

And where's Murtha in that photo?

Which reminds me, how come nobody is making a fuss over Harry Reid being a Mormon? Is he viewed as less active or less faithful or something? I'm pretty sure he paid tithing on the income from his land deal in Las Vegas, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't have a current temple recommend.

I still think he's pretty mousey to be the leader of anything, but they also serve who only stand and wait.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Romney again.

Larry Sabato spoke at the University of Utah and told students that Mitt Romney's religion could derail his candidacy. I guess this ignorance and prejudice will always be with us. A large part of it is stirred up by ministers who see the massive growth which together with the fact that Mormons have a lay ministry.

Two main criticisma are made of the LDS church. The first is the claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not Christian, because it doesn't accept the Nicene Creed with its doctrine of the trinity. When one considers what other Christian churches teach, you have to stop and think how their teachings looked to the Jews, Romans and Greeks. Or, how the Greek and Roman religions seemed to anybody else, it seems pretty clear that familiarity removes a lot of strangeness. The Nicene Creed was adopted after an assembly of bishops convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine who wanted the theological conroversies of the day settled so that they would quit declaring each other heretics. They were pretty much agreed that revelation had ceased with the Apostles, which is exactly the point. Mormons believe that the original church with the original offices, authority and new revelation was restored.

The second criticism is that Mormonism is a cult. As I understand it, a cult is a religion formed around an individual, such as David Koresh, Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite. The enemies of Joseph Smith thought that the LDS religion would cease to be once they killed him, but he was replaced by Brigham Young and a series of other prophets who have guided it to its present size, around 12,000,000 world wide. The only individual central to this church is Jesus Christ himself.

The Boston Globe has already made claims that Romney's campaign is being supported by the LDS church, but the church doesn't endorse or allow its property to be used in support of political candidates. Of course, trying to claim that this should prevent Mormons from contributing personally would be like arguing that the Kennedy damily shouldn't be taking donations from Catholics.

If Mormons don't care what religion other politicians are, why should anybody else care if Romney is a Mormon? I think I'm safe in saying that he won't be having adulterous relationships, like some others. I'd think Evangelicals would support a candidate who shares their moral values and actually lives by them. The real issues should be what his character and abilities are and what his views on national issues are. His management ability has been proven over and over, and he has the kind of charisma that Reagan and Kenneday had. He's probably much less likely to talk about his faith in public that George W. Bush does, and to be a much more unifying leader, to the extent Democrats would let him.

Well, it IS more open. Honest? Time will tell.

Jack Murtha has come out swinging, basically saying that Pelosi owes him the majority leader position. I wonder if this is a preview of his "leadership style."

I guess he needs to "lash out" after the Washingon Post editorial today, and this NYTimes story that backing Murtha is a risky move for Pelosi.

I. for one, welcome our new Democrat overlords.

Give Mike Allen credit.

His report on Pelosi's support of Murtha for Majority Leader doesn't pull punches.

Back to the Non-war on Non-terrorism

Al Qaeda still seeking nukes. Apparently their hatred of everybody else hasn't been assuaged by the Dem victory.

Psst. The election is over.

I get the impression that the Washington Post having spent reporters' time to build a case for vote fraud, should Dems lose again, feels that it has to publish it all so it won't go to waste.

And USA Today thinks it's real news that Bush's approval ratings are down. I'll bet it doesn't link this to the steady drumbeat of partisan criticism the media have published for the past 3 years.

At this point, if the WaPo told me the sun would come up tomorrow, I'd want a second source, but even if this is true, I don't care. Anybody who has witnessed the last few elections takes it for granted that, had the Dems lost, we'd all be watching reports of litigation and charges of cheating by the Republicans. Since Republicans don't play by those rules, we can proceed with the business of changing over and try to ignore Washington for another 1.75 years.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Guilty Pleasure

Tony Robinson, who played Balrick in the popular BBC Black Adder comedy series shown on PBS, has hosted two series of The Worst Jobs in History shown on the The History Channel International. We have some pretty terrible jobs today, like slaughtering cattle, cleaning stables, etc. but the jobs he reports on seems to include a number what involve collecting and standing in urine, turning rotten seasnails into purple or blue dye, tanning cow hides, handling manure int the Wattle & Daub method of building walls in the very ear perious. These are wonderful programs, but definitely an not for those with weak stomachs. Discovery Channel has its own show calle Dirty job which have included artificially inseminating horseas and cows. sexing chicks, cleaning and unblocking seweram, chumming on a fishing boat.
These are the kings of factoids

The regrettable vote

Jim Geraghty had the reaction closest to mine to the elections. My contempt for the MSM and the national Democratic Party hasn't lessened. My frustration with the Republicans, particularly the Congressional ones, the dishonest and venal ones as well as those like John McCain who have to be the groom on every wedding cake and the corpse at every funeral. As Hugh Hewitt says, whatever the question is, "electing more Democrats" cannot be the right answer. But sometimes, it's the only way to clear out the jerks who are hurting the party and don't have the sense to go quietly. I guess I'm not the Republican I used to be.

What worries me is the right wind conspiracy theory types who are the most likely ones to have voted against Republicans, on the theory that "there's not a dime's worth of difference."

Two words

Base closings.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

American Credit

Sigh! I really hate it when we encourage people to trust us and they do, and then the Democrats force us to break our word. This is the second time we've done this. The process in Iraq is delicate and requires patience, but the Media and the Democrats have the patience of a two-year old.