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November 08, 2006

H&I* Fires 8 NOV 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite.

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Cliff May got it best, I think, at The Corner:

In a Nutshell [Cliff May]

The Democrats said: “Had enough?”

The Republicans said: “It could be worse!”

The voters said: “Let’s find out.”

Then there's this:

Dem House [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Remember all those claims by Democrats about how awful it was that GOP passed things in Congress with narrow GOP majorities?

From Steny Hoyer this morning: "In fact, as Nancy and I have stated, our intention is to run a more civil institution that is open and transparent, and to seek bipartisan support for our agenda. However, if the other side chooses to obstruct rather than to cooperate, we must be prepared to secure the votes necessary to move our legislative priorities. And, I believe that I have established a strong track record in this regard over the last four years."

-the Armorer


ABC sNooze just posted a flash -- evidently the SecDef decided the temperature was getting a tad too warm and has left the kitchen. No link yet -- 'twas a live announcement just prior to the POTUS bipartisan pep-talk. -- BillT


Heh. If he'd done it a month ago, it might have mattered yesterday. -the Armorer


*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

Denizens | Permalink | Comments (31) | General Commentary
» The Thunder Run links with: Rummey Steps Down!
» PC Free Zone links with: It is America That Has Lost
Comments on H&I* Fires 8 NOV 2006
Boquisucio briefed on November 8, 2006 10:50 AM

Sound like the representative for my old district in Maryland is taking some lessons from The Sopranos **shudder**

Chuck Simmins briefed on November 8, 2006 12:22 PM

Rumsfeld resigns. New SecDef to be Robert Gates, ex-CIA

AFSister briefed on November 8, 2006 12:37 PM

Anybody know anything about Bob Gates, other than he's ex-CIA?

Does anyone else feel like someone threw water on the Wicked Witch and the world is melting?

ry briefed on November 8, 2006 01:01 PM

Now I'm mad. The day AFTER the election? That's blaming Rumsfeld for it all when it wasn't his fault alone(the election, lest some jagoff try to take liberty with my 'trons). I know many around here have little love of the man, but he was tapped to do Transformation and wound up fighting two wars he really didn't want(he wanted China). This sucks.
Just roll over and play submissive Bushie boy. Yeah, that'll make the dems think they have to respect you and work with you. Just play their prison ho. You could've done this a million times better than this.

jim b briefed on November 8, 2006 01:19 PM

With everyone focused on the elections comes this from Gateway Pundit

"Saddam Breaks Down in Court, Begs For Mercy From Judge

The following is a translation by Haider Ajina from the Iraqi Buratha news of November 7, 2006:

Saddam collapses and ask for leniency and mercy from Judge.
By Muhsin Aljaberi

It seems that Saddam is using a new approach in dealing with the court. It reflects his desire for forgiveness for his crimes. This new approach only started after he was sentenced to hang for his crimes in Dujail. Sources in the high criminal court handling Saddam’s cases said that the dictator did not anticipate this verdict or the seriousness of the court.

Saddam believed the lies of his fellow Baathists media and propaganda (which was directed by his defense team under the leadership of Khalil Alnuaimi), which was saying that the USA wishes to negotiate with him and that Rumsfeld wished to reinstate him to stop the violence and other such lies. Thus the court’s sentencing him to hang came as a big shock to Saddam. "

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 8, 2006 01:24 PM

Ry, tell us how you really feel now. Don't hold back!

Jim B, let his tears soak his hood, drying as the air rushes past during the drop.

However he goes, he'll go better than the people he had fed to the chippers.

Masked Menace© briefed on November 8, 2006 02:20 PM

Perhaps they won't drop him, but instead hoist him up.

It'll take longer.

Neffi briefed on November 8, 2006 03:12 PM

Well,(ahem)... at least Saddam has a timetable and an exit strategy from Iraq...

AFSister briefed on November 8, 2006 03:17 PM

Makes me wonder if Rummy stepped down today, the day AFTER the elections, as a way of saying to the rest of the country (and the world), "Ok. You win. I'm outta here... find a new scapegoat".
I dunno.
It stinks to me.

Boquisucio briefed on November 8, 2006 05:44 PM

Hey Ry - Is THIS , what you think will happen in the Dem's pokey?

bad cat robot briefed on November 8, 2006 06:01 PM

They could hang him over a plastic shredder, and use a springy rope ... gotta have some respect for the traditions he established, eh?

Raymond B briefed on November 8, 2006 07:46 PM

Right or Left, Blue or Red, I don't really care. I do care if they actually pay some attention to domestic America and get us going in the right direction again. We are the number one consumers in the world, we should also be the number one creators in the world. Lets get domestic A merica competitive again. I also want someone who will take care of our proud military, you guys deserve it.
Raymond B

OD briefed on November 8, 2006 08:27 PM

I know four things about Bob Gates. The first is interesting but probably irrelevant: Bob Gates was in up to his neck in Iran-Contra, and only just escaped indictment because the CIA DDO Clair George refused to testify against him, himself getting indicted for his trouble.

The second is that, according to Bush at War, Gates 1991 confirmation hearings for the DCI job were pretty rough, not surprising given his history.

The third is that Gates is a confidant of GHWB. Looks to be a guy from the Scowcroft strain.

The fourth thing I know about Gates is fascinating, hugely relevant, and I can't believe it's not getting more coverage: Gates is a member of the Baker Commission.

So all those questions about whether SecDef or POTUS would accept the Baker recommendations seem to have been answered - POTUS has just replaced SecDef with a Baker commissioner.

I could be wrong, I suppose, since Gates could be a dissenting voice on the commission, but it looks very much like Daddy Bush's men have grabbed the steering wheel.

Can they stop the car going off the edge of the cliff?

You already know my opinion on that.

OD briefed on November 8, 2006 08:35 PM I won't bore you with it.

By the way, I think it's very mean of you all not to have noticed that I called Rummy's departure three days ago right here.

Where's my credit?

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 8, 2006 08:55 PM

I found the Gate's choice... bemusing.

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 8, 2006 08:57 PM

Owen, I've been crabbing about Rummy for some time. Years even. Ry keeps giving me grief over it.

And you want credit for some johnny-come-lately carp? Puh-leeze.

I'm a subscriber to the theory that Rummy might have been gone some time ago if it wouldn't possibly have looked like a buncha retired Generals get to tell the President what to do.

Bad precedent and all that.

On the plus side, I just got a transit chest for my smooth-jacket Vickers. Nice interestingly marked Canadian one, by the looks of it.

OD briefed on November 8, 2006 09:06 PM

I totally recommend checking out Bush's historic press conference today, in case anyone missed it. So many highlights, even a veiled shot at Karl Rove.

GW was in top form, I thought. He's almost impossible to dislike when he's in that mood.

I especially liked his answer to the question of why he had sworn blind a week ago that he was keeping Rummy to the end, when he'd already decided to replace him. He said: "The reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you onto another question was to give you that answer."

In other words, I lied, because I had to. I find that refreshingly honest and I notice no-one jumped on him for it. It's a pity he then decided he'd gone too far and backed away from it.

But as the tough questions went on, he began to tire and made some big slips. His answer on whether he'd really helped the religious right's agenda was so weak. He claimed not to understand the question and said nothing about his judicial appointments.

And when asked why he'd been so optimistic before the election, he dropped a huge clanger: "I thought when it was all said and done, the American people would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security."

Blaming the American people is the ultimate no-no in US politics.

Rummy too seemed to be saying the voters were too dumb to appreciate his greatness, when he said the war is "little understood" and "complex for people to understand". Lucky for him it is, or he would have been gone three years ago.

Anyway, c'mon guys, you can't blame the American people. Even if they did support the invasion then back off. The American people is never guilty. Everybody knows the correct playbook move at these moments is to blame the IRAQI people for everything.

OD briefed on November 8, 2006 09:16 PM

That Vickers transit chest will be useful John, if you have to flee Kansas before the advancing Communocrat hordes. You can always stay with me in Canada. Your Vickers can, anyway.;)

As for my Rummy prediction, you forget I made it after all the other Rummy doomsayers had been scared off by GW's assertion last week that Rummy would be there to the bitter end.

Your suggestion that Rummy might have gone earlier without the Generals' revolt is also spot on in my opinion.

Anyway, I've got to hit the sack, I'm in England right now and it's 3am. Idiot that I am, I managed to book a flight for the evening of the 7th, completely forgetting that I would miss the election.

cw4(ret)billt briefed on November 8, 2006 10:29 PM

I managed to book a flight for the evening of the 7th, completely forgetting that I would miss the election.

I'll have to get on Harold Dean's case for neglecting to mail you your Absentee Ballot, Owen. Geez, you have a qualification a lot of the Demmy voters in North Jersey *don't* -- you're still *alive*...

Maggie briefed on November 8, 2006 11:18 PM

Gates is a Baker man. It's no surprise and I think it's a good choice. The only surprise I'm finding here is the people who are surprised. I knew he was going right after the election. Although I did think it would be a few days. Other than that.....I knew Rummy was going before Thanksgiving. Does anyone here think it's a bad thing? I love the press conferences and his little sayings ("absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" is my absolute favorite!) But he should have been gone long ago!

ry briefed on November 9, 2006 05:48 AM

Yup. I got after John for going after Rumsfeld in the past(and not just Rumsfeld, but the reasons he was after Rumsfeld and interventionists in general). I had my reasons, and not just 'but he's Bush's guy!' type ones.

I spent much of my life living on the Pacific---you know, the theatre you all seem to forget at just about every turn(except when Kartman Jong-IL bangs his spoon on his high chair, then you all, well, more like most, get a twitter. Only to forget about him the next week.). He wanted to give us what we needed for dealing with threats in the Pacific(like the supercruising F-22, a bunch of new destroyers and the LCS(really just a big frigate) to deal with someone's plan to control the coastal waters as entry to battlespace denial because we'd need them all to deal with fights in the Pacific(not a whole lot of land for Big Army to move its mechanized formations is there?) . He accepted that we are an interventionist nation now, bucking an old engrained trend, but we still think like an isolationist one with our check book(so we attempt to slash the mil beyond just bare bones at every turn); and was attempting to build a force capable of handling the responsibilities with the manpower constraints imposed by Congress(the dolt!).
That pissed a lot of people off(people on the left because it was potentially antagonistic to the PRC and people in the Services who wanted to do it the old way because they knew it worked regardless of money and manpower problems that are on the horizon that could make doing it the tried and true impossible.).
ANd I find myself in agreement with Barnett on this about Rumsfeld: he did the invasion masterfully, but was ill equipped to do the occupation. Just didn't have the mental toolset. So he humped the football on it.

I'll miss Rumsfeld. I'll miss him because I have to live with the PAcific being a forgotten region of threats to us, our interests, and liberalism(not to mention most of my family being square in the sights of PLA and NorKor missiles---yeah, you can kiss ballistic missile defense goodbye now too.) again after a brief period of time actually getting some meager amount of attention. I'll have to live with East Coasters thinking it's all about threats to the Atlantic Seaboard towns again, and with their dominance in the media thereby the nation's attention(all about threats to NYC and DC all the time.). I spent the 80s and early 90s that way. Doesn't mean I like it, particularly since I think the real threats to the US and how we do things lay out in the Pacific instead of in the Arabian Penninsula, but I can live with it.
Just don't be surprised that if something bad happens to the West Coast I don't blame you all(well, except for Sgt. B, Brab, BCR and other west of the Rockies Denizens) for it because you all hated Rumsfeld, the first SecDef that cared about the Pacific in a good long while.

"Anyway, c'mon guys, you can't blame the American people. Even if they did support the invasion then back off. The American people is never guilty. Everybody knows the correct playbook move at these moments is to blame the IRAQI people for everything."
Really? Then why was the book 'What's The Matter With Kansas' written if not to blame the American people for being 'to stupid to vote their own interests properly' by voting for republicans? Why was the whole 'if you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention' meme started if not to say that all the political ills of the nation were the fault of people too stupid to understand anything? Jesusland? The talk of seceding to leave all the idiots in the middle of the country while all the smart people lived in place like Cascadia or formed a new province of Canada in the wake of the '00, '02, and '04 elections?(I got a ton more if you want) This is a laughable claim not supported by the evidence. It's actually par for the course in American politics. It's apparently served the Democrats well. So why not adopt it? Oh, that's right. it's a vile and evil practice.
"Rummy too seemed to be saying the voters were too dumb to appreciate his greatness, when he said the war is "little understood" and "complex for people to understand". Lucky for him it is, or he would have been gone three years ago." If that's so bad why have the democrats been doing exactly this for 6 years? Again, dubious claim, since it's only bad when the Bush Admin does it but never once was there a statement to the effect that it was evil to do so by the other side.
And he's right. The war is little understood. Most people, smart and good people like Alan for instance, think this, The Long War, is a retributive war and as such makes Iraq difficult to understand. MOst people don't understand why we have to commit large sections of our forces to issues outside of Afghanistan and Iraq. They just don't. The national, and int'l, attention span just isn't that great(and proll'y never was). So, stating that obvious fact makes him evil, eh? Fine. I can live with being labeled evil right along side him then.

Sorry to disagree Maggs, but he should still be there. He understood that we face many threats and not just one. He wasn't going to put all our eggs in one basket(The ME). He wasn't going to win the Med and the Persian Gulf only to lose Asia and Oceana and S. America and Africa(like TF Cape Good Hope isn't a drain on manpower that could be better used to win Iraq and Afghanistan!). Such a terrible guy for doing that, dontchaknow. Doing the right thing in the long term instead of the politically expedient thing is such a bother. (Rather akin to the post Vietnam RIF in my eyes. Necessary to get the job tasked to do, win the Cold War, done with the budget approved by Congress. Even if it pissed people off, ruined careers and families, and alienated the Brass.)

Meh. Where's my rootbeer(Henry Weinhards, less than 1% but more than 0% alcohilic)? I'm gonna go sulk now.

I gotta get out my old rolodex and start plugging back in to China watching groups and The Blue Team to fight for attention to something other than crazy Arab/Moslem terrorists, which is less a threat than a Pacific/Asia dominated by the PRC to the order(liberalism, human rights, free trade, etc) we established by fighting the Cold War. The Wife is going to be pissed about me doing that, since it means long nights for me with her sleeping by herself, but it needs to be done to combat the farkin' myopic/vertical thinking we're dealing with here.

Cricket briefed on November 9, 2006 08:10 AM

Saddam's defense team is crying foul...that many points of law were missed and it wasn't really a trial. Anyone hear that bilge? Did Saddam get a *koff koff* fair trial? To my way of thinking, he was tried in Iraq by his own people. If he were to be tried by a jury of his peers, he would have Castro, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Lenin, Attila the Hun, Franco, Mussolini, Noriega and others.

Just sayin...

Cricket briefed on November 9, 2006 08:12 AM

Decisions decisions; a bungee jump over a shredder or a 110 foot hover...and no paperwork.

Maggie briefed on November 9, 2006 08:25 AM

Ry - He didn't need to put all his eggs in one basket to do a good job in Iraq....he just needed to configure his plan (or let the guys on the ground configure more on their own) to meet the needs of that particular situation. He had a better plan for the invasion than he had for the peace. It showed. Had he been replaced early enough, the general public would have been none the wiser. Now he is out *and* an object of scorn and that's too bad. He did some important and transformational things as SecDef and he deserves a better legacy than he will have.

Barb briefed on November 9, 2006 08:46 AM

I am sorry to see Rumsfeld go, but I'm with John on the timing. If 'twere going to happen anyways, it should have happened earlier. If done a month before the election, it might have had a positive swing.
I don't think that Rummy was the only man for the job, either, and I expect Gates to 'see the whole chessboard' as well.

jim b briefed on November 9, 2006 12:50 PM

And on the topic of how things are change .... Reports are Iran delighted. Israel disturbed by the Dems taking over.

Any bets on how soon bombs will land in Iran?

I am betting Israel is feeling abandon in the face of Iran going nuclear and feels the Dems will do nothing to prevent it.

Time to go it alone?

OD briefed on November 9, 2006 01:25 PM

I rather doubt the Democrats will abandon Israel, Jim, since 87% of American Jews just voted Democratic.

Ry, one could interpret Rummy's focus as meaning that (a) he preferred the Navy to the Army, and (b) he wanted to start a Cold War with China. And a lot of people have been saying just those things about Rummy for years.

The amazing thing is that after more than three years of war in which the Army and Marines have borne almost the entire brunt and cost, Rummy was insisting that the Army budget stay the same in relation to Navy and AF. That's just crazy.

ry briefed on November 9, 2006 05:18 PM

"Ry, one could interpret Rummy's focus as meaning that (a) he preferred the Navy to the Army, and (b) he wanted to start a Cold War with China. And a lot of people have been saying just those things about Rummy for years."
First thing is I don't get is why they say that like it's a bad thing? You know, having to fight in the Pacific isn't really going to call for many tanks(particularly when tanks can't swim).

I'm sure lots of people have said that about Rumsfeld. So let me ask them this: if the PRC isn't really going to follow a peaceful rise, and them doing so makes Islamic terrorism look like a Sunday school picnic (which it does), wouldn't you like to have the capability to do something about it? Naw, let's just worry about Iraq and Afghanistan right now and then have to scramble around and take massive casualties if we have to go somewhere else and fight using a neglected AF and Navy. Screw having thought ahead and bought what we need. It's just so much smarter and gooderer to focus on the present while ignoring the future.

Look, while I'm very suspicous of the PRC I'm willing to 'talk softly while carrying a big stick', willing to attempt a soft kill but understand the need to have the force to deal with the problem if talking doesn't work(which it just might not). If that's antagonistic or 'wanting to create a Cold War with China', fine. That's because the situation demands it. It is borne out of a reasoned and principled position, but one I'm sure people aren't always going to agree with.

We aren't sure what China's doing. different China watchers come to different conclusions. We understand them less than we understood the Soviets with there existing signs that there may be problems(Bare Branch-ism, the rather odd indoctrination of the last two generations in the belief of a Greater China and it being their turn to be the sole global super power, etc.)

"The amazing thing is that after more than three years of war in which the Army and Marines have borne almost the entire brunt and cost, Rummy was insisting that the Army budget stay the same in relation to Navy and AF. That's just crazy."
no, that's the agreement that's existed since the Air Force split off from the Army and was honored during every other conflict since. That's not some creation of Rumsfeld's to screw the Marines and the Army. That's realizing that all three major services have platforms at the end of their lifespans and need to replace them and a major change in how they're going to fight in the future is also underway. That's seeing to the needs of the whole DoD to meet ALL the responsibilities laid upon it(like sending the most recently updated AEGIS ships out to the Sea of Japan and having the Kitty Hawk at sea 50% of the time, or the NAvy doing TF HOA to do try and deny safe havens to terrorists as they shift safe havens, costs which aren't spectacular and rarely seen but none the less important to the overall strategy and responsibilities of the nation.) and not just looking to Afghanistan and Iraq as the sum total thereof.

So yeah, throw Rumsfeld under da' bus. He actually did his job and that's just wrong. Get Rumsfeld for actually trying to fathom what would come next and be prepared for it. The temerity of that prick.

I guess not having worn the colours gives me a very different perspective since I'm not beholden to anything or having to worry about compatriots. I can come clinical and mercilous. Tough. That's what grande strategy requires. That's not what you should fault Rumsfeld for doing since that was what his job was about, and not just fighting the Long War against Islamic Transnational Terrorism. The gall of this man to try and chew gum and walk at the same time!

Boq: You're a wicked, wicked man. ;)

ry briefed on November 9, 2006 05:31 PM

Maggs: I'm not ducking you, dearie. Just trying to figure out how to respond appropriately. It feels like there's much you discussed with SB, including a short hand, that I'm unfamiliar with that's hobbling the effort. Would rather not start out on the wrong foot with you('cause Jess would brain me if you decided to figh dirty).

What exactly do you mean by 'configure'? I've never heard that Rumsfeld told commanders they couldn't do this or that(evidenced by the vastly different means in which the 4th ID commander and Patreus chose to go about their business). You're going to have to elaborate on this a little bit for me to see what it is you want me to get.

Maggie briefed on November 9, 2006 06:18 PM

Owen, regarding your quote -
"Ry, one could interpret Rummy's focus as meaning that (a) he preferred the Navy to the Army,..."
My answer - of course he does, so do I!!!!

Ry - I never thought you were ducking me. My problem with D.R. was his unwillingness to let others in, to share power. For example, to let State in on more stuff. Running all of Iraq was more than one man could do, even one that I admired so much as D.R. I just meant that dealing with the Iraqi Army should have been left to the military (the way MacArthur was left to deal with the Japanese army after WWII). Who would better understand the best way to deal with them?
Have all the warm fuzzy people at State deal with civilians (D.R. is neither warm, nor fuzzy).
This all could have been much worse were it not for our military, on the ground, doing the right thing and being the best PR our country could hope for. However, as wonderful as they fabulously as they performed under circumstances they were not trained really should have been handed over to State.

I've not said much on this topic before because he was in office and I believe that was not proper. But now he is out and it's time for going over these mistakes.

And yes, SB influences my opinions..........and I influence his.

jim b briefed on November 10, 2006 08:23 AM

Since the H&I Thingie is stuck ... but life goes on.

On 10 November, 1775 there was born in Tun's Tavern in Philly Pa, a Corps of Marines.

Happy 231st Birthday Marines!

Wherever 2 or more Marines gather today, there will be a party.

Semper Fi