TCS Daily

Is Democracy the "Countercause"?

By Josh Manchester - September 15, 2006 12:00 AM

Tom Ricks' book FIASCO: The American Military Adventure In Iraq has been climbing the charts of late. Interestingly, Ricks cites another work called Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice by David Galula as being vital to understanding the fight in Iraq today.

Galula was a French officer who served in Greece, Algeria, and China, and observed various insurgencies firsthand. His work is peppered with colorful anecdotes such as the things he learned after being captured by the Chinese Communists. Nevertheless, it very much attempts to develop a theory of counterinsurgency warfare that is relevant today, despite the differences between Communist fighters and those of the Islamist ilk.

Galula believed that the population must be divided into three groups: the favorable minority, who will always favor the side of the counterinsurgent; the insurgent minority, those who are the actual fighters and organizers for the insurgency; and the rest of the population, which lives between the two sides and can be swayed in either direction. He further claims that insurgencies are always motivated by a cause, and that counterinsurgencies must have a cause, as well, if they are to succeed:

"The strategic problem of the counterinsurgent may be defined now as follows: To find the favorable minority, to organize it in order to mobilize the population against the insurgent minority."

Every operation, whether in the military field of in the political, social, economic, and psychological fields, must be geared to that end.

"To be sure, the better the cause and the situation, the larger will be the active minority favorable to the counterinsurgent and the easier its task. This truism dictates the main goal of the propaganda -- to show that the cause and the situation of the counterinsurgent are better than the insurgent's. More important [sic], it underlines the necessity for the counterinsurgent to come out with an acceptable countercause."

All of this struck me very forcefully today while attending the 5th Annual Defense Forum in Washington, DC, and hearing Ricks give the keynote address. Ricks told the story of Army Colonel H.R. McMaster's method of addressing the sheiks and imams in his area of operations upon arrival in Iraq in 2005:

"McMaster told the Iraqis that when the American military first invaded Iraq, they were like men stumbling around furniture in a dark room. Now, the Iraqi government has turned on the lights for us, and the time for honorable resistance has ended."

Ricks stated that this level of courtesy, used by McMaster even while implicitly threatening those who opposed him, is both necessary and extremely effective in the Arab world because the core value of that society is honor, or dignity, or respect. Ricks believes that when "Americans speak to the Iraqis about freedom, something is lost in translation."

To use Galula's terminology and theory, an independent observer must conclude that democracy is the "countercause" the US seeks to advocate in the Middle East. But to use Ricks' anecdote of Colonel McMaster, perhaps this is not the strongest or most effective countercause we might be using. Instead, perhaps we could link the honor that is so important to Arabs to what we define as freedom. Or perhaps we might attempt to dissociate jihad -- especially the suicidal variant -- from those actions which are perceived to be honorable.

These are tall orders but certainly possible for what has already been called a "long war." Surely we are up to the task.

Josh Manchester is a TCS Daily contributing writer. Find more of his writing here.



It CAN be, but it MUST be linked to security for their values
Which can summed up in the typical Asian mindset: Face.

If we project TV views of American and EU cities, telling the Iraqis this awaits those that build instead of destroy, this can work. If we show American people in those cities, Most iraqis will be turned off to the scantly clad women, not wanting thier daughters to be like ours, and as a father of several girls, I can relate quite a bit.

We need skilled PR to bring this around, not Madison ave PR, they think sex sells world wide, they are WRONG.

We need skilled people running things like McMasters.

One thing that doesnt get discussed in the west is the mindset of the east, this is because we are soaked in PC BS, even on the right it has infected us.

One of the scary and difficult aspects of "face" as an Asian concept is at base it is an in-ability to admit doing any wrong, be it accidental or not. Face in Asia means not haveing to be embarassed for your actions even if they are wrong. this will be worked around, changed, or be the rock this ship sinks on.

Personal Responsibilty
The West has a culture that promotes individuality, individual acheivement and individual responsibilty.

The reason KAL007 was shot down was the captain made a mistake and the first officer was too intimidated by the culture to correct the captain.

It is not our responsibility to convince those in Asia our way is better. Either they learn to adapt or die, figuratively or literally.

To see what Iraq can and should be like, Iraqis can look to Kuwait and the Gulf emirates. Many Iraqi men got a look at Kuwait druing the brief occupation in 1990 (and engaged in an orgy of plunder and vandalism). I'm sure they learn about these prosperous, secure, semi-secular places from TV, newspapers, travelers adn so on.

I don't think most Iraqis are at all interested in a Taliban-style government. The Al-Quaida in Iraq crowd has no chance of taking over. They carry on with their senseless murders under cover of the fights between different militias and so on.

Good post
But KAL007 wandered into Soviet territorial air space because the captian made a mistake and the first officer was too intimidated by the culture to corret him.

It was shot down due to Soviet paranoia; they knew it was an airliner, they had fighters in escort position, they could have forced it to leave Soviet airspace; instead they shot it down and tried to say it was a U.S. spy plane. It wasn't even a U.S. airliner or christ sake.

The Most Successful Form of CI Warfare
Is genocide, unfortunately, or something like it. You don't coddle the civvies, you kill them. They're the "sea" that the "fish" (insurgents) swim in, according to Mao Tse Tung, who knew a thing or two about asymmetrical warfare. To drain the sea, you have to massacre so many of them that it makes support of the insurgency untenable.

I wish it weren't so, but it's so.

Arab expats
are all over the west and the USA.

They have satellite TV. They know what the west is like, but they don't want to **** of the zealots because they will kill them.

Religious police in Saudi Arabia tried to shoot out satellite dishes when they first cropped up.

Enlightenment Principles Are The Countercause
Democracy, that is, unlimited mob rule, is NOT the "countercause". Enlightenment principles are the countercause to Dark Ages militant Islamism, particularly: exclusive reliance on reason and science, rule of law, inalienable individual rights, freedom, and capitalism.

I agree, the enlightenment is the ideological foundation for all free nations of the world.
At the same time we need to understand that as Crusaders of the Enlightenment, were going to have a long hard battle in front of us.

Sure. I was thinking about ordinary people who aren't wealthy enough to be expats.

Need to convince over 50% of Americans first.

Crusaders of the Enlightenment
If we are the Crusaders, bringing enlightenment by the sword, it would appear that the antonym of insurgency is brute force.

Those who oppose us vill pay the price
"It is not our responsibility to convince those in Asia our way is better. Either they learn to adapt or die, figuratively or literally."

Is this the reason Iran Air flight 655 was shot down?

It was shot down because it appeared to be a threat to US Navy vessels engaged with enemy (Iranian) patrol boats.

"During the critical seven minutes that Flight 655 was airborne,
Captain Rogers and his CIC watchteam were integrating a multitude of
ongoing events. Specifically, V).NCENNES was en aged ?n a high-speed
surfa% battle with at least two groups of Iran an small boats--all of
which had the capability to inflict serious personnel and equipment damage
on VINCENNES and MONTGO4ERY. Any one of these could have been a terrorist
platform prepared to make a suicide run against either ship. At the same
time, she was monitoring one of her helos which was airborne and had
already come under attack from the Iranian small boats. CIC was also
tracking an Iranian P-3 military aircraft airborne approximately 60
nautical miles to the northwest which was presenting a classic targeting
profile. (i.e., furnishing information to an attack aircraft.) Captain
Rogers was g.ven and assumed tactical command of the MONTGOMERY and SIDES.
He was also prepared to assume tactical command of U.S. combat aircraft
ordered in and approaching the scene from outside the Persian Gulf.
Additiora~ly, VINCENNES was dealing with a fouled gun mount and maneuvering
extensively to keep her remaining gun unmasked to engale the multiple
target threat. At one point she was forced to make a full rudder turn at
30 knots which caused the ship to heel sharply Tnd added to the drama."

Tounge in Cheek
You can't really "Crusade" for the Enlightenment.

You can encourage Iraqies to throw of thier shackles to Dark Age ideals, however the struggle against those who wish to wish to sustain an unenlightened world must be fought by Iraqies. The movement can not be legitamite or genuine with the U.S. leading the way, all we can do is support it.

How you play the game is more important than winning or losing.
It is possible in the struggle against evil to become more evil than that which one is struggling against.

Let's make sure we never cross that line.

The Enlightenment is a snare and a delusion
Josh Manchester is of the opinion that if non-Muslims treat Muslims with “honor” and “respect,” the Mohammedans will be won over to American-style Enlightenment with its “democracy” and “freedom” so beloved by American shoppers who have long since lost their own culture.

Mr. Manchester seems blissfully oblivious to the fact that said Americans are kept in their current trance state only by an unremitting blizzard of propaganda and advertizing, a storm that does not exist in the Islamic lands in anywhere near the same intensity.  Our political, post-religion illuminati are mainly obsessed with trying to fashion the appropriate propaganda to diddle with the deep unconscious of the Muslims in the same way they do with Joe Sixpack.

Alas, the soul of the Mohammedan is impenetrable by such means.  Americans are so much in love with the fact that by carpet-bombing millions of White Christian Germans they were able to terrorize them into obeisance, that they lack the capacity to understand that terror does not work against brown Muslim Asiatics.  Scarcely a day goes by when some American politico, right or left, does not blather about conquering the nasty ***** and how World War II has some kind of relevance for Iraq and Afghanistan today.  So we are supposed to speak with sweet reason and wield a big stick.  But terror works both ways, and the ragheads can use it just as well as the U.S. Air Force or as the Jews who use American cluster bombs.  Muslim culture, after all, is one in which Muslims cut off the heads of their OWN DAUGHTERS if they defy Sharia law and “dishonor” the family.  The gruesomeness of Islam is inveterate and constitutional - something Americans, with their love of ecumenism, globalization, melting-pot-ism and kum-bay-ah, simply cannot grasp.

The one and ONLY way to subdue jihadist fanaticism is religious conversion.  Conversion, that is, to a version of Christianity which is similarly intense, but not quite so savage.  Something like fundamentalist Baptism or extremely conservative, pre-Vatican II Catholicism.  Since this is abhorrent to the illuminati, it is impossible for the American “moderate” to deal with Muslim reality.  Treating the insurgent populations with “honor” and “respect” (to say nothing about feeding them Enlightenment-style lines about “freedom” and “democracy”) is meaningless and will be viewed as a sign of weakness.  The literal meaning of “Islam” is “submission” - allegedly to Allah, but in fact to whoever has the power to kill you.  It does NOT mean “peace.”

Thus President Bush is right.  This is going to be a long war.  Because it will never end.  Never.

I just wanted to hear you yelp.

Actually Iran Air 655 was shot down in similar circumstances to KAL 007-- except that it was broad daylight and Iran Air 655 was inside its air lane, which KAL 007 was not. But don't listen to me. Here. Read all about it:

Apparently they mistook an A-300 Airbus for an F-17 and shot it down without bothering to make a visual ID. That's a mistake anyone could have made-- in a commmercial air lane.

That depends on what you label as evil
Which is worse, killing 50,000 in a fast, hard military campaign or allowing 500,000 to die because of politics or doing nothing?

Which is worse, water-boarding, sleep depravation, sensory exposure/denial; or beating, cutting off limbs, disembowling (while alive), electrical shock to sensitive areas, etc. unto death?

You have to define evil and not cross that line while, at the same time, not hamstringing your people so they are unable to be effective.

one thing we can agree on, it is a fine line and we don't want to cross it.

No, a political idea is not basic enough: Human is...
The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.
The way we define 'human' determines our view of self,
others, relationships, institutions, life, and future.

problems in human experience are the result of false
and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

Human knowledge is a fraction of the whole universe.
The balance is a vast void of human ignorance. Human
reason cannot fully function in such a void; thus, the
intellect can rise no higher than the criteria by which it
perceives and measures values.

Humanism makes man his own standard of measure.
However, as with all measuring systems, a standard
must be greater than the value measured. Based on
preponderant ignorance and an egocentric carnal
nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton
task of excuse-making in behalf of the rule of appe-
tites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands.

Because man, hobbled in an ego-centric predicament,
cannot invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist
lacks a predictive capability. Without instinct or trans-
cendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with
foresight and vision for progression and survival. Lack-
ing foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and
is unwittingly committed to mediocrity, collectivism,
averages, and regression - and worse. Humanism is an
unworthy worship.

The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with
a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the
foot-dragging growth of human knowledge and behav-
ior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and
validated in His Word, the Bible, brings a transcend-
ent standard to man the choice-maker. Other philo-
sophies and religions are man-made, humanism, and
thereby lack what only the Bible has:

1.Transcendent Criteria and
2.Fulfilled Prophetic Validation.

The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival
equipment for today and the future. Only the Creator,
who made us in His own image, is qualified to define
us accurately.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the


What a bunch of one-sided crap
This is a very bad hack job.

The Soviets scrambled fighters who were recorded questioning the order to shoot down KAL 007. It was obviously a civilian aircraft and they did not shoot out of visual sight of it. While the vehicle was off course, it was flying straight and level at appropitate cruise altitude.

Iran Air 655 was in a declared "combat zone" and on a descent course resembling, on radar, an attack vector. This came just 6 weeks after the U.S. Frigate Samuel Roberts was seriously damaged by an iranian mine and a year after the Frigate Stark was hit by an Iraqi Exocet. U.S. forces had declared they would defend themselves and American warships were on a heightened state of alert. The Ticonderoga-class cruiser Vincennes picked up the plane on radar and made a command decision to protect their ship; they fired a Radar guided missile and took out the target. Unfortunately, the Vincennes wasn't exactly where she thought she was and the plane was on the edge (not well within) of the approved flight zone. Broad daylight or not, the difference is that the Vincennes never saw the airplane, it was just a blip on the radar (much like the Iraqi Mirage that hit the Stark). Still, it was the master of all screw-ups and shouldn't have happened. But the comparisons between KAL 007 and Iran Air 655 are only that they were both civilian airliners shot down by military personel.

BTW, there is no such active duty animal as an F-17; They took it for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat they suspected was armed with air-to-ship missiles. You don't get visual indentification at 50-150 miles; the exocet has a 100+ mile range; the Stark didn't get a visual either; neither did the Iraqi Mirage that fired the exocet at it.

Again you ignore the idea of intent. without a doubt, the Soviets made a decision to shoot down an airliner, even after getting visual confirmation that it was one. Why? they were convinced the U.S. was using civilian aircraft to spy on on the Soviet Union.
The Vincennes was attempting to protect itself, in a declared "protection" area, after two American Warships were badly damaged in the same area; one by a long-range anti-ship missile.

What part of "no comparison" do you not get in this one?

Soviets were in a battle?
The point of my post was HOW KAL wound up in Soviet airspace.

And obviously 'FAIR' did not read the Iranian incident report or chose to ignore it to defend the Soviets.

What is an F-17?

How do you visually ID an airplane miles in the air and several miles away from a ship?

An airplane can remain will out of visual range and attack a ship. Therefore, an ship has to have means to destroy an airplane beyond visual range. And it does, and did.

The Soviets could have and maybe they did fly right up to the airplane and saw it was a commercial airliner and shot it down anyway.

Even if they thought it was a military recon airplane, they know they are not armed.

Soviets were in a battle?
The point of my post was HOW KAL wound up in Soviet airspace.

And obviously 'FAIR' did not read the Iranian incident report or chose to ignore it to defend the Soviets.

What is an F-17?

How do you visually ID an airplane miles in the air and several miles away from a ship?

An airplane can remain well out of visual range and attack a ship. Therefore, an ship has to have means to destroy an airplane beyond visual range. And it does, and did.

The Soviets could have and maybe they did fly right up to the airplane and saw it was a commercial airliner and shot it down anyway.

Even if they thought it was a military recon airplane, they know they are not armed.

This theory fails to explain the American Civil War's Insurgencies
Any student of history will realize the flaws here by asking the question would the author's thesis have worked in the Civil War's insurgencies? In Missouri where partisan warfare was waged with unending fury for four years does anyone believe the warfare could have ended or been eliminated through applicantion of the author's thesis?

In too many situations there is no way aq partisan movement can be eliminated except through the use of militaryforce. Another example where the author's thesis collapses is Napoleon's occupation of Spain.

Apparently Roy forgets the uses Islamists have for airliners
But Roy tends to forget whatever they tell him to in the madrassa.

Good dhimmie.

The truth about flight 655
You're exceedingly well defended.

I notice you offer no refs, where my account is in accord with most analyses. Flight 655 was, for instance, inside Iranian territory although not by much. And the Vincennes had no radio capable of contacting the pilots on any frequency they would be monitoring-- they only had the International Air Distress frequency. So this flight, well within its flight path, never had a chance.

Check the wealth of detail here, and the testimony by various American naval officers in a position to have known the truth of the matter.

No matter. The Navy exonerated itself-- of course-- and you have also found them harmless. The point here is that few outside the circle of the faithful were fooled. It was an impetuous blunder, and has reaped a lot of bad feelings.

Truth is not exactly Roy's lingua franca
Apparently Roy never heard of the Stark nor does he have any idea of the capacities of an Aegis class cruiser.

Great post Pauled
Boy you nailed him. Were you a swabbie? I remember when the Stark got hit and it was no accident. Roy is so full of crap its unreal.

Spoken like a member of an extinct race
Only someone with a death wish utters such a sentiment. It betrays the mindset of a fervent non combatant. The only thing that matters is winning. Anyone who utters the nonsense that you become evil by fighting evil forgets that the US didn't become a nation of ***** by beating Hitler's legions.

Such an argument betrays the idle mendacity and limited candle power of someone whose knowledge3 of warfare comes from playing with his GI Joe and listening to Cindy Sheehan.

You are quite in error
One only look at the holy war declared against the British in India and the manner in which the British smashed it and brought peace to India. In the same fashion, the Moro Rebellion was crushed in the Philippines because western forces used the methods that cowed Islam. There is nothing mystical about Islam, its been crushed for centuries. What is lacking today is the self confidence and will that nations had in the 19th century.

That's the way you talk....
when your not really in the game.

good point
I don't think the author is all wet, but there is no "one size fits all" answer. No can't miss playbook.

The two incidents are comparable
I'm not "defending" the Soviets (nor is FAIR) but only comparing the two incidents. KAL 007 was far off their flight path, while Iran Air 655 was well within their flight path, some miles from where the battle was being fought. Itchy trigger fingers in my view contributed to both incidents.

Why did the Soviets shoot KAL 007 down? Here's the most commonly held view:

"It is generally believed that KAL 007 was mistaken for a USAF RC-135 that was flying a routine electronic electronic intelligence mission northeast of Kamchatka at about the same time. The primary long-range Soviet radar systems were not operational at the time, so as the RC-135 flew on its "racetrack" course it appeared on the inbound leg, turned around, and then disappeared again. This pattern was repeated several times, until Flight 007 flew inbound on a track approximately 70 miles to the RC-135's inbound leg at roughly the time the plane should have re-appeared on their radars. This time the radar contact did not turn outbound again, giving Soviet forces what they believed was a rare opportunity to intercept it. The U.S. routinely conducted Burning Wind SIGINT/COMINT flights to test the
USSR's air defense systems (and over the years lost several planes on such missions)."

Why was it off course?

"The International Civil Aviation Organization conducted two investigations into the incident. The first took place soon conducted two investigations into the incident. The first took place soon after the accident and the second occurred eight years later, after the data recorders were released in 1991 . Both concluded that the violation of Soviet airspace was accidental; the autopilot had been set to either left-of-course in heading mode or had been switched to INS when out of range for a lock. This left the airliner on the constant magnetic heading chosen when the craft left Anchorage. It was determined that the crew did not notice this error or subsequently perform INS checks that would have revealed it, due to a "lack of situational awareness and flight deck coordination".

But I know these aren't your real points. It's just knee-jerk contentiousness on your part.

In both cases the attackers maintained they had attempted radio contact. In neither case was it successful, as they did not have the right commercial frequencies. It was just two of those things that happen in tense moments, when someone is under pressure and has immense firepower at his disposal.

Therefore you can't swing the club of KAL 007 without also swatting the crew of the USS Vincennes.

The future in Iraq
There are probably few Iraqis today thinking about how nice the place would be if it were more like Kuwait. What most are thinking is that it used to be a country with a viable (if sluggish) economy, full employment, law and order in the streets and an oppressive political culture. Under our tutelage it has become a chaotic war zone with no economy, no personal safety or rule of civil law, and no prospects for any political solution short of full scale civil war.

I wonder which future they prefer.

Secondly, there is no longer such a thing as an "Iraqi" outlook. The Kurds are building an independent Kurdistan. The Shiites are building a theocracy modelled on Iran. And the Sunni Arabs are building a long-term insurrection that involves the forcible taking back of their income base in the oil resources of the other two groups.

Al Qaeda in Iraq is a marginal group of malcontents who are mostly foreigners from places like Jordan and Chechnya. All Iraqis recognize them as an insidious and destabilizing force. They have no future in any version of Iraq.

To me, the least likely outcome will be that either the Sunni or the Shiite Arabs will come to love the United States and to heartily adopt our plans for their nation. The Kurds, on the other hand, are our guys.

The likeliest outcome I do see resulting from our gamesmanship is the diplomatic weakening of US prestige around the world; a deepening of our fiscal crisis due to the huge unpaid expenses resulting from this war (a war that is far, far from being resolved); and a deepening of the divide within the American public on this issue. In a word, I don't think the adventure was worth it.

Time will tell.

Soviets not under attack
"The chain of accidental circumstances that would lead to the catastrophe began at takeoff, when the crew selected a magnetic heading mode for the autopilot to guide their aircraft towards the west coast of Alaska. (They had been cleared directly to this point and were not required to follow any specific flight corridor.) Once out over the northern Pacific, they planned to engage their inertial navigation system (INS), which had been properly programmed, to control the airliner through its autopilot.

Because the radio beacon normally used for navigation between Anchorage and the coast was out of service for maintenance, the crew had to rely on the less familiar heading-mode method. The exact setting they seem to have chosen, 246, was taken right off the standard navigation charts. It should have been "close enough."

But when the airliner crossed the Alaskan coast an hour later, the INS never took command of the autopilot, and the plane continued on the magnetic heading selected just minutes after takeoff for only the first leg of the journey. Either the crew forgot, or they manually engaged the INS when they were too far off the course it was automatically computing. In the latter case, the INS computers would not "capture" the autopilot, which would continue following the original compass heading. The switch would be in its correct position, and the problem would have shown up only on a small indicator easily overlooked, as it has been in dozens of similar navigation errors.

The recovered DFDR showed that the auto-pilot was controlling the flight path in a constant magnetic heading from four minutes after takeoff until the airliner was hit by Soviet missiles. The crew should have double-checking their course (as required by airline policy and by good airmanship), but pilots often have made exactly this kind of mistake. In one incident shortly after the shootdown, a 747 went sixty nautical miles off course in just two hours. A year later, a Southwest Pacific Airlines charter over the North Pole to Europe went almost a thousand miles off track and was headed toward Soviet air space before the crew finally realized they couldn't pick up any expected radio beacon. "

Here is another link:

The Vincennes was actively engaged in combat operations. The Soviets were not.

But in both cases, had the shooters positively identified the aircraft, they would probably not been shot down.

Moral relativism
If the damage done to the EP-3 Orion by Chinese fighter pilots has caused it to be destroyed, would that have been an equivalent event to KAL 007 or the the Vincennes?

In the game of survival, there are no rules.
The strong survive as nature shows us.

Many in the USA and in the world believe in individual liberty and respect for law and do not crave power over their fellow humans.

Others do not have such sentiments. These people must be destroyed figuratively or literally if we want liberty and rule of law.

Roy Bean's Fantasy Island
Roy you'd better get on the plane. This was Saddam's Iraq.

A nation that only knew war. Over 500,000 men dead, not a family didn't have a relative who wasn't killed or maimed.

When Saddam was busy invading his neighbors he happily wiped out domestic opponents, real and imagined. We now know over 500,000 Iraqis disappeared during his regime. My personal favorite was the mayor of Baghdad who was in charge of major construction projects. To insure these were completed on time he used Mercedes to reward superior performance and provide incentives. Unfortunately these were meant for the Baath party big wigs, and when the mayor found out about Saddam's concern he fled. Unfortunately the mayor forgot his family. So Saddam notified the mayor all would be forgiven if he returned, otherwise he would allow his sons to perform elective surgery on his wife and children. Depending on Saddam's assurances the mayoor returned. Silly man. He and his family were hung from the Jedriah bridge until they rotted.

Ah the joys of full employment in a communist paradisewith a 3rd world twist or how the government uses the people as slaves and Roy calls it full employment. Nice try Roy.

Law and order=rape rooms and shredders. Well just imagine what sort of law and order we'd have in the US if Roy were king. (shudder)

Personal safety-one could walk the streets in Baghdad in safety as long as the press gangs didn't force you into the military or Uday didn't see your daughters and rape and mutilate them if she resisted. Of course, at midnight if there was a knock at the door you knew what was going to happen.

Civil Law-well we can understand Roy's love of Big Brother but most of us wouldn't consider this civil law or care to live under it. Now Commissar Roy on the other hand longs for the return of the gulag and the ovens.

Roy given your analysis of the past your predictions on the future will doubtless be just as accurate.


Your lefy religion is showing
Wiki? whatever dude. Still it is accurate, if a bit biased; but you read too much into it.

You also read too much into my post.

I do not "exonerate" the captian of the Vincennes; but his lone mistake, that lead to the situation where this airliner was shot down, was in not being absolutely sure of his own position. If his ship would have been where it was supposed to be, this would not have happened. If it had been where it was supposed to be and they rest of the scenario played out the way it did, I would indeed exonerate him. It was an honest, though avoidable, mistake in a proven combat zone. None of that was the case with KAL 007.

And it is becoming quite obvious, on this point, that you wouldn't know the truth if it bit you on the nose.

References to what?
The record on this is public knowledge. My references are the ship names, google them. While you are at it, google the official reports on all three incidents (Vincennes, Stark and Roberts).

You reference which is anything but and is just more left-wingnut garbage then you add wiki? Get real!! I do not consider anything of that nature a reference.

Yes I was, 1979-1985. Huh, imagine that, I was in the Navy when this happened. Guess what? My battle group was on it's way to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf when the KAL 009 incident happened. I was on the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Ranger (CV-61) and our planes flew cover for the recovery mission. We heard the recorded raido intercepts from the Russian fighters asking for confirmation before shooting down the airliner and they clearly knew it was a civilian airliner.

The Vincennes did not visually identify the aircraft because, if it was armed with exocets, that would not be possible before you were toast. They tried everything to contact the plane and it did not respond so they shot it down. The Vincennes was at fault though, as they were out of position which was the base cause for the whole incident. Still, in a war zone, this is an understandable, if not forgivable, mistake.

No, the Stark was no accident. Though, it was possible (though, all things considered, not probable) it was an accidential targeting. Remember, the Iraqis were going after Iranian commercial shipping and that meant targeting anything in a certain shipping lane. The Stark was, indeed, in that "wrong lane" but on purpose. Our ships were there to stop the targeting of commercial shipping and to keep the sea lane open to international trade. The Iraqis knew this. Thus, whether or not they were sure of their target, the Stark was not an accident in any book. Add to that the fact that a marginally trained pilot should be able to tell the difference between a warship and a commercial vessel. (I'm not going to say exactly why I know this for obvious reasons.)

BTW do you remember the vicious critism of the Stark's crew by the navy? They were equipped with a radar that should have let them know they were being targeted (remember the discussion of the "Attack Profile" of the Iranian airliner) and, if they were paying attention, they had the new phalanx point defense system on board that was capable of shooting down the exocet missile. The U.S. military is very unforgiving of this type of mistake.

Yes, roy is more than clueless; he is antogonistically anti- anything American.

What makes you think you know so much? Is some lefty web site pretending to have their finger on the pulse of public opinion?

You know not whereof you speak. It was a desperatly poor sh**hole w/ a murderous gov a few years ago. In a couple years it may compare to Columbia, Mexico or Russia which is to say dangerous and poor by our standards but much better than before. If not, you can say you helped.

My piece does not argue for "one-size fits all" solutions
In fact, see the archive of my previous work here, especially the piece entitled "Bipolar Disorder." It is the never-ending search for one-size fits all solutions that frequently hinders us.

Middle East satellite TV

If you check it out, they have quite a selection.

Your piece doesn't. I was reacting to the comments I read. Your observations about the honnor/shame aspects of Arab culture shouldn't be expected to apply to Missouri or Spain (well maybe Spain a little). How about we negociate with Bin Laden and we offer him Spain if he stays out of Iraq and Amnerica? Ha ha.

The only sattelite TV I saw in Iraq was controlled by GI's. When NFL football wasn't on, we mostly watched Italian porn. I don't know what that means, but it's fun to remember.

If there is no common ground what can be accomplished
Since Democracy and Islam are opposites there can be no mutual ground for understanding. As a counter ideology it can only work with those anxious to throw off the shackles of Islam. This is at best a poor prospect. Far better to demonstrate howeach group in Iraq is more likely to prosper in concrete trms than try to compete with 72 virgins. The option of Democracy vs any other ism never worked else where. So why push it now?

The devil you know
I guess for Roy, hope is not a concern. Stability is most important.
At least those half a million dead knew who was killing them.

Roy and hope are an oxymoron
Did you know that Saddam's Iraq required permission of the government to leave? That it claimed as a citizen anyone born of Iraqi parents regardless of where they were born. One of the most disgraceful things I ever saw was a US citizen who was "kept" in Iraq because as the child of Iraqis the government would not permit her to leave the country despite the fact that she had been born in the US and did not speak Arabic. The US government did nothing.

moral relativism
That's usual for him. He also thinks the hizbolah and the israelis are the same kinda animal. And he's consistently anti-american. RE the ship taking out the plane though; it's quite right to maintain an 'exclusion zone' I think you call it; ie nothing comes within a certain radius or it's taken out. Not the same as all with the US plane in russia. Here's an example of what happens when you don't maintain vigilance; apparently the Cole got hit that time in Yemem because in their efforts to be ever so PC and not give offense to their hosts, the US ship did not maintaine the level of readiness that would have been normal; they should have spotten and taken out the rubber dingy even at the risk of disturbing the dinner plans that the ambassador might have had with the yemen dictators.

Many, probably most Iraqis are very religious. Very few are interested in the radical Islamist/Talibani/Sharia law thing. For an example of a succesful more or less democratic government look next door at Kuwait.

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