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December 08, 2006

H&I* Fires, 8 DEC 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.

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...


First off: Break a leg Big Bro'. You don't need luck 'cuz you got skillz, but I'm wishing you luck anyways.

Second: gollum's back hurts. Seems everyone and their Mother has been coming down with both boots on the ISG and the regional talks recommendation. Oi. Getting jumped by Ralph Peters with biblical metaphors leaves a nasty welt. And being called 'Nevil' by the Boston Globe doesn't quite leave the same kind of hurtin', but it still stings. Barnett is calling 'hack!' over the ISG. Even SWWBO is taking a turn dropping an atomic elbow. Man, does it suuuuuck to be at the bottom of this dogpile.

Well, tdaxp kinda has my back. Thanks Dan. Barnett still calls 'Hack!' but sees what I see: playing for time to rebuild support back home. I think. Even with MountainRunner trying to hold up the ISG as not entirely crap we defenders of it have been savaged. No lemon juice throwing please.

I think I'm going to hide down in Castle Argghhh! Purgatory. It may be cold. The parachuting hamster may steal the blankets and eat all the Pringles. But at least nobody can jump from the top rope.


I'm in Stand-To! For those who don't know, it's "a daily compendium of news, information and context for Army leaders," an official Army publication [see the bottom of the RH column]. - FbL


Warning! NSFW (In a Miss Thang Environment, especially!) Graphic new photographs of a newly discovered atrocity in Iraq, allegedly perpetrated by the Myrmidons of the US Armed Forces. We gotta cover the bad with the good, people, much as it grieves me to do so. -the Armorer

Former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick dies at age 80. There is more info over at the AEI website......Princess Crabby


Greyhawk seizes the high ground in the Weblog Awards! -the Armorer


This is a hoot. Google "touchy-feely liberally retards Democrats" and see what news organization pops up as "Number One in Google." Snerk. Good on ya, Chuck. -the Armorer


I want one of these coloring books! Really! H/t, Chris M. -the Armorer


These days, I can think of few subjects that would motivate enough Americans to support a nationwide push to amend the Constitution.

This might.

I'm not talking something complicated trying to balance the separation of powers with, say, an amendment establishing a means to overturn a SCOTUS decision (Senate supermajority override, whatever). I'm talking about an amendment that doesn't change the national charter but clarifies it, i.e., one that would specifically state that the Second Amendment does, in fact, include the individual's right to keep and bear arms. In other words, a SCOTUS assault on what I think a majority of Americans take for granted being met not with a lot of harrumphing and rending of garments, but a quick, spare and cogent rejoinder that you don't have to be a ConLaw prof to understand, might just sail through the states. Comments, John? -Instapilot (H/T to Glenn Reynolds)

*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".

Comments on H&I* Fires, 8 DEC 2006
fdcol63 briefed on December 8, 2006 09:42 AM

Iran, and its proxy Syria, are and have been CAUSING the problems we face in Iraq, Israel, and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Engaging in talks with them to "resolve" the problems that THEY have been causing is absolutely ASSININE and makes no sense.

They have been causing these problems because it is their STRATEGY to have us fail, and to create conditions in which THEIR influence and power is increased by our failure and defeat.

How ANYONE believes that they either can, or would, help us achieve our goals and ensure conditions that are mutually beneficial to both sides in this conflict is beyond me.

"Negotiations", "talks", and "dialog" with Iran and Syria will only REWARD their subversive strategy - at a much increased cost to us.

AFSister briefed on December 8, 2006 10:19 AM

Those pictures confirm it- our troops really are eating babies in Iraq. I KNEW IT.

Toluca Nole briefed on December 8, 2006 04:44 PM

Love the third picture.

Masked Menace briefed on December 8, 2006 05:28 PM

Well, Iran could stabilize Iraq. They would just make them an Iranian province.

Of course, that wouldn't solve the problem we've been trying to fix for the last 3 and a half years. It just changes the names on the (metephorical) uniforms.

Consul-At-Arms briefed on December 8, 2006 06:08 PM

I've linked to you here regarding the Ralph Peters article:

Neffi briefed on December 8, 2006 06:09 PM

I want the coloring book too! Note the rather crude depiction of the Type 53(?) suppressed pistol....

Cricket briefed on December 8, 2006 10:41 PM

I rather like the idea of ME decided whether or not I want a gun instead of Nancy Pelosi.

ry briefed on December 8, 2006 11:58 PM

fdcol, and trying to deny them by main force has done what exactly?

Okay, maybe you aren't reading everything I write. I'm pretty wordy and that's understandable.

I'm talking short term and mostly for domestic audience (yes, they benefit a little too. It's unavoidable). We make a deal that gives Iran some of what they want to get what some of what we want. We enjoy a stabilization of Iraq for a few years. We come up with something like the One China, Two Systems agreement. They break it we now have a fait accompli to attack them. We also bolster domestic support for Iraq (which is beginning stumble on toward bugging out).

The other option is invasion of Iran and Syria. Are we ready for that? Could we pull it off? If the answer is no we then we HAVE to try something else to keep the invasion of Iraq turning into 1974.

I want to win too, damnit. I would much rather steam roll Iran into the f'n ground. But I accept the reality of what we're capable of and the neccessity of the political situation which denies us such an option. I'd rather take the short term loss than risk the absolute loss---ala not only Vietnam but Somalia as well (hey, Hillary is running. What would an Obama do? J. F'n Kerry?). I don't like it anymore than you do fd. But it's a damn sight better than watching the public support fall out from underneath and potentially kill the entire global war on terror.
I want to win and this is the best path forward. YOu can hate it, and me, all you want. You don't have to like it. You just have to do it.

Justthisguy briefed on December 9, 2006 08:54 PM

On the Parker case: There's an 18-page thread about it over on The High Road. I'm about halfway through it; very heavy dense chewy reading, there. It's a shame that the issue has to come up at all. I, too, would like a clear restatement of the 2nd, with words like, "and this time, we really mean it!"

Heck, the Civil War was mostly fought by amateurs. Very *earnest* amateurs. Some say that's why it was so bloody. It definitely decided the issue, though, for better or worse. A lot of people these days don't seem to understand that the ballot doesn't amount to much if not backed up by at least the possibility of the bullet. It was universal access to guns which gave us the age of democracy, dammit! (with all of its evils)

Harvey briefed on December 9, 2006 10:38 PM

Actually ARGGHHH! is #1 for "touchy-feely liberally retards Democrats".

But PBS is still a close second :-)

Justthisguy briefed on December 9, 2006 11:16 PM

Harvey, I don't think I catch yer meaning, there, exactly. Could you expand and expound a bit?

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 10, 2006 08:56 AM

Harv - hoist on my own petard!

fdcol63 briefed on December 11, 2006 09:30 AM


Sorry about the late reply .... I'm not ignoring you! Just been crazy busy at work, and my home computer is disassembled for some home remodeling.

The problem, as I see it, is that we won't have "years" to enjoy a "stable" Iraq from any kind of deal we make with Iran, and I don't think we'd see a similarity between the China-Taiwan situation. And I just don't think anything good will come out of "making a deal" with states like Iran and Syria who see such deals resulting from weaknesses that they will take as license for further aggression and hostility.

In a perfect world, we'd have plenty of time to give the "reformers" and other more moderate, less anti-American/anti-Western/anti-Semitic elements in Iran and Syria to take matters into their own hands so they can revolt and overthrow the mullahs and I'm-A-Mad-Dinner-Jacket THEMSELVES, and solve the problem for us.

But, as always, the primary question is this: "How much time do we really have before Iran goes nuclear?"

As we've seen from countless examples, especially in cases dealing with very closed and authoritarian regimes which have shown their willingness to harshly repress any dissent from their own people, our intelligence gathering capability is limited. More often than not, we under-estimate and misjudge their true capabilities and their true intentions.

However, I'd prefer to err in our assessment on the side of CAUTION, rather than sit by and do nothing while hoping for the best. I'd rather that WE control our own destiny, rather than wait for fate or the generosity of others who have clearly shown their hostility towards us.

Also, we can not act as if we are the ONLY major deciding factor in the equation. And by this, I don't mean that I understand that we must take "multilateral" counsel from others like the UN, the EU, or other Arab states. By this, I mean ISRAEL.

A nuclear Iran under the control of the radical mullahs will force neighboring "moderate" Muslim states to accelerate their own nuke development programs to counter the threat that Iran poses to them. The problem here, of course, is that nuclear proliferation in these relatively unstable Muslim regimes is a very dangerous thing that would very probably lead to possession of nukes by radical Islamist terrorist elements if and when these radical elements seize control from the so-called "moderates".

After all, if they can seize control from the "moderates" in Iraq if the US pulls out prematurely due to our lapse of will, they will know they can do it elsewhere.

However, the greatest danger that I see, one that I've commented on before here at Castle Argghhh and elsewhere, is Israel being forced to deal with Iran on its own, due to the failure of the US and the rest of the "international community" to help resolve the existential threat that a nuclear-armed Iran and its Syrian/Hezbollah/Hamas proxies poses to Israel.

Quite frankly, I think history has shown that Israel can not rely on any state other than the US for assistance with its security. If the Israelis arrive at a point where they realize that they cannot even rely on the US to help resolve the Iranian threat, then the Israelis will be forced to deal with it by themselves.

The odds for another successful Osirak-style attack on Iranian nuclear facilities are pretty much zero due to the distances involved, improved Iranian air defenses, dispersal of numerous sites, and hardening of those sites. The Israelis are good and heroic, but they just don't have the conventional resources to deal with this.

We're foolish if we think we can sit by, risk nothing, and hope that the Israelis will be able to do our dirty work for us because we're too afraid and unwilling to commit ourselves to the task in the hope that we can achieve "short term gain" at their expense by "dealing with" Iran and Syria.

When push comes to shove, an isolated Israel will do what it must to stop Iran: They will most likely be compelled to conduct their own pre-emptive first strike against Iran with their own nukes. My own personal belief is that Israel will know that it will get only ONE chance to achieve any kind of long term strategic advantage from this strike, being fully aware of the likely response from their Arab neighbors and the UN, as well as even the US (especially a Democratically-controlled US), and will expand their targeting to include sites in Syria and perhaps other threatening states. Things could quickly escalate into a very nasty situation from this point, and I don't think "Armageddon" is too far from the mark.

By failing to stop Iran's aggression and nuclear ambitions NOW, and by preventing proliferation elsewhere in the Muslim world, we will allow conditions to develop that will not only pose great risks to US here at home, but we will also allow the existential threat to grow that Iran poses to Israel. I don't think we'd see any "short term" gain ANYWHERE, and even if we did, we'd create LONG TERM consequences that are truly frightening to contemplate as Israel is forced to take matters into their own hands to deal with Iran alone.

The bottom line is that many people will die, no matter what we do. However, which path we follow will determine just how many, just how wide the death and destruction is, and whether they are predominantly civilian or military, and whether the deaths are here in America's streets, or in Iraq, Iran, Israel, Syria, or elsewhere.

ry briefed on December 12, 2006 12:30 AM

No hassles FD.
We're thinking the same types of thoughts, but in anti-parrallels apparently. I'm not talking about this being a long term thing. Look at the 'Band Together or Hang Seperately' thread. Just long enough for the people's opinion to change. That's something measured in months or weeks, but not measured in years.
The China-Taiwan thing was just a for instance. It was to highlight that to get something you have to give something aspect of int'l relations. They aren't just going to come around all of a sudden and decide we're right, and then stop opposing us. Their leadership is convinced to the core they're right and aren't likely to shift without some shiny bauble to entice them to. Making a deal to respect their nuclear power program(a deal we never fully intend to honor) in exchange for them to reign in the militias or look the other way while we annihilate them is that bauble.
Why go the 'Dirty Tricks and Bastardy' route? What else have we got?
Iran is continuing its nuclear program as we speak. So is DPRK. We have nothing to stop them cold with. Osirak type actions are just delaying actions, and delaying actions with serious consequences---nuclear fallout is no laughing matter and likely to piss off both Japan and Pakistan/Afghanistan if we were to hit either Pyongyang's group or Tehran's group of reactors. The environmental and health costs of such things is staggering. Osirak was hit before it was online. ( , That isn't the case in either the Iranian or DPRK cases. Those suckers are live. Osirak-ing is out because of that.

Which leaves us with........ regime change. But with what? So we do a draw down(not a withdrawl). We get Iraq stabilized somewhat. We prop up a strongman who can bring the country together some how and look the other way as he beats the snot out of opposition groups sponsored by Iran and Syria, but we do it on the down low. It's Dirty Tricks and Bastardy.
We use the time to get our gear back up to 100%(all those tanks and armored vehicles sitting in depots waiting repair...).
Then we have real options for dealing with Iran. DPRK remains odd because of the PRC which won't want a Western style democracy sitting on its border any time soon. Otherwise we have jack while we continue to slog along in Iraq and other things go to hell.

I don't want to sell Isreal out. But I have to ask: are we in this for the US or are we in this for Israel? Isreal is an ally and all, but we shouldn't be tied down in long term strategy by their fears. Who wears the pants in the Israeli-US relationship?

By seeming to toss them under the bus in this manner(and if you're reading Haeretz(sp) you know how they're already feeling betrayed over the Baker/ISG report) we buy the means to actually shape things in the long term. With zero ramifications by doing so? absolutely not. There's lots to not like in this plan. Creating another Pinochet, looking fickle and faithless, giving Iran/Terrorists a PR victory,...
But what else have we got at this point? I'm not talking surrender. I'm talking dragging out the negotiations for a surrender the way Robert the Bruce did in myth with his 90 day negotiation enabling him to then attack instead.

I'm saying play 'stab them in the back' instead of frontal assault. Well, more like look meak and then frontal assault. Dirty Tricks and Bastardy. Why? Because being straight up players hasn't gotten us where we need to be fast enough. Fewest number of dead bodies with the greatest level of long term gains is the only measure I have at this point because winning at these matters is so important.

Don't think of what I'm saying as being the same stuff you see it being portrayed on TV and in the smug democrat websites as the admission that we're beaten and leaving. Nope. I'm saying let's do something to change the current dynamic with an end run. It isn't noble. It isn't nice. It isn't honest. but it can be far more effective in securing those long term goals(a non-nuclear Iran or an Iran not ruled by the IRC; a democracy on the borders of Syria, Jordan, Iran, and Saudi with how that'll effect those nations; securing the global oil supply security(we get less than 20% of our oil from the ME, but the rest of the world is largely dependant); eliminating or isolating nations that harbor and support terrorists;...) Not surrender but subterfuge.

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