April 4, 2007

Freeing the hostages.

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he will pardon and set free 15 British sailors and marines being held in Iranian custody."

108 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

He will pardon them?

I beg your pardon?

David said...

The pragmatic mullahs overruled Ahmadinejad and his radical supporters and ordered the release of the hostages. The mullahs prefer long-range strategic pressure on the west as opposed to Ahmadinejad who prefers short-term tactical confrontation.

The mullahs understand that the situation in Iran is volatile as Ahmadinejad's popularity is declining. They also understand that the seizure of the sailors was another phase in the propaganda war against the west. Ahmadinejad senses weakness in the resolve of the west and is turning up the pressure with an eye toward Pelosi's visit to Syria.

The mullahs appreciate the presence of three carrier battle groups in the area, including the French, and do not want a military attack on their country. Ahmadinejad is bluffing and the mullahs called his hand. Dissident groups in Iran are causing problems for political stability there as they push for regime change.

The real hostage in this case is western resolve against terrorism. Ahmadinejad desires confrontation in an appeal to Iranian nationalism. The mullahs, students of history, do not want to provoke an increasingly isolationist U.S. like the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor.

Tweaking the nose of the American dragon runs great carries great risk. They understand that poll driven pols are unpredictable. The mullahs are biding their time waiting for the 2008 elections in a classic version of good cop/bad cop. The left wing democrats in Syria, including some weak-kneed republicans, are the Keystone Cops under Murtha.

Bruce Hayden said...

I hadn't realized that there were three carrier groups in the area. I thought that there were only two (at least of ours, which is really what counts).

Nevertheless, they have made their point, gained a little status by thumbing their noses at us, and now are backing down. By pardoning the sailors, they almost look magnanimous. Never mind that they were most likely seized in Iraqi waters.

A couple of other things though. I think that it was fairly obvious to them that we were at least considering hitting or even seizing Kharg island, their major oil terminal. While they could play havoc with shipping in the Gulf, they really couldn't keep us from shutting down their oil exports, and doing it fairly easily. It should also be remembered that Iran is facing economic hard times, that the government there maintains power partially through subsidizing a lot of things, notably gasoline, and that shutting down Kharg island would devistate the country.

Also, my guess is that the next time that they try to seize coallition forces operating in or near Iraqi waters, they are going to have a much harder time - like maybe facing air strikes from those carrier groups. Something like the 9/11 hijackers - they succeeded partially because we didn't actually believe that they would do it, but now that we know that they would, a lot of people are just not going to sit in their seats as hijackers crash their planes into buildings. More like UA 93.

Freder Frederson said...

The left wing democrats in Syria, including some weak-kneed republicans, are the Keystone Cops under Murtha.

Give it a rest. There was a Republican delegation from the house in Syria just last week. Pelosi's trip would have to have been cleared by the State Department. For the President and his minions to complain about it is the height of hypocrisy and rank politics.

Freder Frederson said...

While they could play havoc with shipping in the Gulf, they really couldn't keep us from shutting down their oil exports, and doing it fairly easily. It should also be remembered that Iran is facing economic hard times, that the government there maintains power partially through subsidizing a lot of things, notably gasoline, and that shutting down Kharg island would devistate the country.

At least it shows somebody sane is still be listened to in both this country (or maybe Britain--I don't know if we would have showed as much restraint as the Brits) and Iran rather than clearly insane warmongers like Bruce.

Devastate Iran? Have you considered what it would do to our economy? Sure we could shut down Iran's oil exports. And with nothing to lose, Iran could stop all exports out of the Gulf. Any idea what the price of oil would reach the minute the markets opened, $150, $200 a barrel? Ever consider what would happen if the Shiites in southern Iraq decided to stand in solidarity with their Iranian brothers and started hitting our vulnerable supply lines from Kuwait to Baghdad.

I didn't think so.

David said...

Freder;

The mullahs told Ahmadinejad to cave because of the threat posed to them by the presence of U.S. naval forces, including a French taskforce, in the Iranian littoral. The Republican Guard took a minimal risk in pirating the poorly defended Brits. Had the Iranians tried that with the U.S. they would be missing a dinghy with a machine gun and several Guards.

My advice to you, Freder, is stay cloistered in your cumbaya existence and don't play poker, highstakes or otherwise. The Iranians lost big-time on this situation as evidenced by their reference to Muhammad, the last refuge of a regime fighting for survival.

Hoosier Daddy said...

At least it shows somebody sane is still be listened to in both this country (or maybe Britain--I don't know if we would have showed as much restraint as the Brits) and Iran rather than clearly insane warmongers like Bruce.

Would you consider kidnapping another nation's soldiers who were in Iraqi waters conducting UN mandated operations an act of war?

If not, why?

Any idea what the price of oil would reach the minute the markets opened, $150, $200 a barrel?

Maybe that's what it has to take for the West to finally get serious about creating a viable alternative fuel. No more Middle East dependence, OPEC nations can can become irrelevant like say, Darfur, Somalia, et. al., reduced carbon fuel burning so we have clean air and Algore will be happy.

Smiles all around.

Tibore said...

Doesn't look like Iran gets much out of this deal. As I said under my other username over at Belmont Club, Britain gets it's sailors back at the cost of a simple letter promising not to violate the border "again" (not that they've done it before; all that letter amounts to is a promise to not change any behavior, since the Brits weren't in Iranian waters to begin with), and some ridiculously condescending praise for "proper" stances from Iran. In return, Iran doesn't get it's diplomats taken in Irbil back (assuming they were "diplomats" to begin with), and they definitely don't get to influence any aspect of the UN nuclear sanctions. The most they've done regarding sanctions is that they've managed to deflect public attention from them. That's all.

In terms of concrete gains, Iran's gotten nothing. In terms of publicity gains, they've gotten very little, if anything. The taking of British sailors is something the Iranians simply shouldn't have done.

David said...

Bruce Hayden;

Kitty Hawk -Forward deployed
Eisenhower -Deployed
Reagan -Deployed
Stennis -Deployed

Freder Frederson said...

Maybe that's what it has to take for the West to finally get serious about creating a viable alternative fuel.

Actually, Hoosier, the only disagreement I have with you here, is I think the time to do this was September 12, 2001. The opportunity and the motivation was there, and George Bush could have rallied the nation (and probably Europe as well) around an Apollo like effort to once and for all extricate ourselves from the mess of the middle east, but he blew it.

My advice to you, Freder, is stay cloistered in your cumbaya existence and don't play poker, highstakes or otherwise.

Me, you are the one willing to go all-in with a pair of twos. The Brits successfully bluffed and won. The Iranians backed down and the Brits never had to admit that they entered Iranian waters. They didn't blow the Iranians out of the water (which of course they could have easily), triggering a war for which we, and the British, are ill-prepared, incapable of winning in any meaningful sense, and could make the current situation in Iraq infinitely worse.

Would you consider kidnapping another nation's soldiers who were in Iraqi waters conducting UN mandated operations an act of war?

Of course it is. But that doesn't mean you have to go to war over every act of war.

What possible good could come from a war against Iran under current circumstances. The best case scenarios are sheer fantasy.

Mindsteps said...

David wrote:

The mullahs told Ahmadinejad to cave because of the threat posed to them by the presence of U.S. naval forces, including a French taskforce, in the Iranian littoral.

David, where did you obtain this information?

Joe said...

I go with Tip O'Neill's quote "all politics is local."

To me this appeared to be a planned operation made mostly for domestic consumption.

The remainder was a gambit to help settle a border dispute in Iran's favor. If the British conceded that their people were seized in Iranian territory, Iran would use that to further their border claims. (Similar tactics have been used before by many, perhaps most, countries.)

Peter Palladas said...

Hurrah! Rule Britannia. Yellow ribbon time - not that we go in for that sort of thing.

Glad it's over. Now where were we on Iraq? Oh yes, still at war. That was a line we did cross.

Bissage said...

Actually, it was CTU’s plan all along to get Agent Pelosi into Syria where she would be within range so Chloe could download the files to the headscarf that amplified the mind control rays that overpowered the mullahs who overruled Ahmadinejad who released the hostages who went to a bar to celebrate where they were commanded by a one-armed Russian to attack the terrorist they saw on tv.

Doyle said...

Instahack is clearly dismayed by this development, presenting it without comment (kinda like Ann, coincidentally) and with links to the usual freaks decrying British cowardice, etc. etc.

Hate to see these bright-eyed warmongers so disappointed. At least they could have tortured them, for Chrissakes. Am I right?

Daryl Herbert said...

Hate to see these bright-eyed warmongers so disappointed.

This is the result we wanted. At least, it's what I wanted.

With the soldiers back safely, we can continue to fight the Iranian agents in Iraq and squeeze the Iranian economy, which is killing Ahmadinejad's popularity at home.

The only question I have is whether we've given Iran back any of its agents for this, or if Iran really gave up under this pressure.

hdhouse said...

david david david....try and pull you head out of your ass for a bit...take a deep breath....slow that pulse.

Perhaps you would care to share the Wheaties cereal box where you get your intel.

The "mullahs" know full well there will not be an attack on Iran, carrier groups considered. There isn't a military expert anywhere who gives us a snowball's chance in hell of anything other than airstrikes. we can't blockade them because it will force oil prices to the moon and make the rest of the world crazy. we certainly can't invade unless david .. david .. david.. you want to enlist..

and, if you didn't get it from the news...this was a Brit problem and a Brit set of negotiations and messages and "work out".

And the stupidity of your crap with Murtha et al just stinks and you know it. You can't sniff his boots.

David said...

Freder:

You missed the boat again. The Russians are flexing their oil muscle on the Europeans not the Middle East. Putin is attempting to strengthen Russia's position in the world through control of oil supply pipelines into Europe. Interesting that recently Russia purchased Oregon Steel that manufactures armor for the U.S. military.

The war in the Middle East is being exploited as a diversion by the Russians to mask their overriding goal of reestablishing themselves on the global stage. The U.S. can handle $5.00 a gallon gas. The Middle East oil producing countries are living hand-to-mouth on oil revenues. Any drop in price or production is an assault on the regimes viability.

The Middle East, like the cut-and-run appeasers throughout the world, are the equivalent of barking dogs as the Russian caravan passes quietly by.

If some Americans spent half as much time considering history and global politics as they do sports trivia we would spare public discourse a lot of useless conversation.

Ricardo said...

"But that doesn't mean you have to go to war over every act of war."

This may be one of the smartest quotes I've read on this blog in years. Someone advocates engaging the brain, before shooting the guns.

Finally! Thank you! Thank you!

Fen said...

Yes, we've heard that before:

If we don't offend Hitler, he will leave us alone - Europe 1938

and, if you didn't get it from the news...this was a Brit problem and a Brit set of negotiations and messages and "work out".

Actually no. It was a UN problem:
..."In fact, they're U.N. aggressors. HMS Cornwall is the base for multinational marine security patrols in the Gulf: a mission authorized by the United Nations. So what's the U.N. doing about this affront to its authority and (in the public humiliation of the captives) of the Geneva Conventions? Short answer: Nothing." - Mark Steyn

http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/321825,CST-EDT-steyn01.article

David said...

hdhouse;

I served my tour already during Viet Nam so I don't have to share my bona fides with you or anyone else. I also experienced your ilk while I was transiting various bases and airports during that time. I have no illusions about who is suffering cranial/rectal inversion.

Your "military experts" are ignorant and/or politically motivated. Like you, they resort to ad hominem attacks and utter refusal to discuss the facts in the face of analysis. You and your experts are not the target of my research and analysis. There are those who are beginning to realize that your rhetoric and posturing is a hollow facade in the face of radical terrorism being exported around the world.

Multiculturalism is a failed and suicidal policy. Assimilation is the bane of radical Islam and is the underlying thesis of the GWOT.

David said...

Ricardo;

Just how many little acts of war does it take against your culture before you realize that your way of life is being destroyed slowly in the manner "death by a thousand cuts?"

Mike said...

Fred said: "Actually, Hoosier, the only disagreement I have with you here, is I think the time to do this was September 12, 2001. The opportunity and the motivation was there, and George Bush could have rallied the nation (and probably Europe as well) around an Apollo like effort to once and for all extricate ourselves from the mess of the middle east, but he blew it."

You really are naive. Hoosier Daddy is right. It will take a dramatic increase in price. That day is coming, and when it does it will be very painful short term but good in the long run.

Mindsteps said...

David - from your writings you appear to have your 'finger on the pulse' of what's happening. Please share where you obtained your information, for example "The pragmatic mullahs overruled Ahmadinejad and his radical supporters and ordered the release of the hostages." and "The mullahs told Ahmadinejad to cave because of the threat posed to them by the presence of U.S. naval forces, including a French taskforce, in the Iranian littoral. "

My own bias is that we need to obtain data that has a great deal of reliability and validity before intervening in the middle east. Moreover, once we obtain this good data, we should stick very close to it and limit our desires to speculate. I think there are serious negative risks when using weak data and/or when our conjectures regarding this area stray to far from good data.

Doyle said...

Mark Steyn never finished high school.

Ricardo said...

David: I see a bigger picture than you do. You're afraid, and reacting out of that fear. I'm trying to keep the world from blowing up. Sometimes my way has to include violent cataclysmic force, and I'm prepared to use it when necessary, but more often it includes using the full-range of options available to me. It seldom includes posturing for the press, or shooting off pea-shooters just for effect.

hdhouse said...

david david david....now its the russians and a conspiratorial drive to dominate the world, to make sure our kids grow up under what? communism? or is it your bonefidas. look ace, a few million fought in viet nam..it doesn't make you thought process unique..it makes you a vet. the two don't necessarily equate.

now to your facts and analysis...well david david david you got the anal part of analysis right. let me give you a hint. there was no analysis and you have zero facts to back up your no-analysis. at least you haven't here.

so did that ol' noggin' out of you butt and try again.

Der Hahn said...

This isn't the first time that the Mullahs have slapped down Ahmadinejad. More info and links here.. I'm not sure I agree with the assesment that it was our gunboats that did it, but there are elements in the Iranian governemt that we can deal with.

I'm not sure where some people get the idea that any military action in the Gulf/Staits of Hormuz area would cause permanent triple digit oil prices. Is the situation that much different than back in 1987 'Tanker War'? If the Iranians didn't have the will or capability to shutdown oil traffic then, have they obtained it now?

Doyle said...

I served my tour already during Viet Nam so I don't have to share my bona fides with you or anyone else.

"...yet I do so right off the bat anyway. Nuke the whales!"

Internet Ronin said...

Mark Steyn never finished high school.

Neither did Thomas Edison. Nor Rosa Parks. Nor Richard Branson. What's your point?

Internet Ronin said...

Apparently, they will be coming home. Isn't that nice!

David said...

Bruce;

Add the Nimitz to the list. The Reagan is keeping an eye on North Korea and China.

House;

Address the possibilites and quit resorting to name-calling. On second thought, keep ignoring thoughtful conversation and do what you do best. You make my point as you live up to your predictability.

I will do your homework for you. What do Putin, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, Russian steel maker Evraz, and assassinations of Russians who don't toe the Putin line have in common? Hint: the 'double tap' is a potent behavioral modification technique.

You are operating out of your league, House!

Revenant said...

that doesn't mean you have to go to war over every act of war

Duh.

But it is important to respond to acts of war with a harsher response, unless the nation committing the act of war is quick to apologize and make amends. Anything less rewards nations for committing acts of war -- this creates a feedback effect where the nation commits larger and large offenses, for larger and larger rewards, until finally they go too far and war really DOES break out. Based on what we publicly know about this latest Iranian hostage-taking it appears that the Brits did nothing. Iran committed an act of war, violated international law, and scored a big propaganda victory by doing so.

So my question to the anti-war whiners is this: why, exactly, should Iran refrain from committing further acts of war against us or our allies in the future, when it knows there are no consequences for such acts?

Fen said...

Doyle Mark Steyn never finished high school.

Internet Ronin: Neither did Thomas Edison. Nor Rosa Parks. Nor Richard Branson. What's your point?

Dolye's point is that he can't refute anything Steyn has said.

And that since his own education left him with no tools but invalid assertion and ad hom, he deserves a refund.

Fen said...

this creates a feedback effect where the nation commits larger and large offenses, for larger and larger rewards, until finally they go too far and war really DOES break out.

And following the French model of diplomacy from WW2: the appeasers will insist we shouldn't do anything while the enemy grows in strength; then later insist we can't do anything because the enemy has grown too strong [see: Gamelin, betrayal of Poland]

David said...

mindsteps;

If you are looking for good data you are looking at the forest and not the trees. Analysis uses the same methods as scientific discovery: disparate random datum that put together make an assumption begging to be proved or disproved.

This concept was most recently referred to as "connecting the dots." The failure of our intelligence agencies to predict 9/11 after bin laden attacked the WTC in 1993 speaks volumes about firewalls, Jamie Goerlich during the Clinton years and the failure of the CIA to share information with the FBI. Sandy Berger effectively sanitize history by stealing documents that proved the malfeasance during the Clinton years.

Real world politik is being subverted by cheap political power grabs. History will question whether abu ghraib was as significant as Sandy Berger stealing archived classified history for political gain.

Joe Baby said...

This would've been a great opportunity to sink half the Iranian navy and make the other half afraid of water.

hdhouse said...

david: have you ever been to russia? have you ever lived there? do you know any real russians?

thought not. you've been reading too many tom clancy novels while trying to get your head out of your ass.

so you are sooooo conspiratorial...where did our 8 billion go that was first reported missing in Iraq at the time of the russian oil deal?

Sloanasaurus said...

And with nothing to lose, Iran could stop all exports out of the Gulf.

How exactly would Iran be able to do this?

Mindsteps said...

David

We need both the forest and the trees. When the stakes are high, don't you think reality needs to stongly inform political ideology and intense emotion?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"But that doesn't mean you have to go to war over every act of war."

True, not if you don’t mind having your nation being a door mat. The problem here is Iran has a history of doing these kinds of things. Heck they did it 3 years ago to the Brits and got away with it so how many of these ‘acts’ does it take before you say ok, nuff talk we’re no longer going to tolerate your bad behavior and take action through either forceful economic sanctions or military options.

I’m all for diplomacy but I think in this particular situation, diplomacy simply gives credibility to a regime that committed a blatant act of war and will more than likely do it again as the worst they can expect is a UN resolution that expresses grave concern.

David said...

House;

I have met Russians. They appeared at our infirmary during the 60's when they developed appendicitis or some other ailment while deployed to watch us. Turns out they enjoyed listening to our sports broadcasts since there wasn't much of interest coming out of Moscow.

They usually had one thing in common. One minute they were plowing a field in the Ukraine and the next they were conscripted and placed on the front line with little or no food and equipment near the Fulda Gap as cannon fodder.

I drew the conclusion, since proven correct, that they were less than enthusiastic about sacrificing their proletariat selves so that some minister in Moscow could drink Vodka in a Dachau on the Baltic.

Which brings us back to the Ukraine. Because the left-wing of the democratic party, and certain wobbly republicans with no spine, are fanning the flames of irresolution, the Orange revolution their is foundering as Putin attempts to bring it back under Moscow's umbrella. Poland and Germany would love to deprive Putin of this prize but can't since politics in Washington have effectively weakened Bush to the point of inaction.

Eight billion is chump change in a multi-trillion dollar economy. Look at the pork in the latest budget for troop support then talk to me about wasted money.

The negotiations continue back-channel with the mullahs. The Iranians are trying to strengthen their hand by showing Bush they can cause problems in southern Iraq. The shiites live there and the Brits are leaving soon. This is the Middle East version of "Let's Make A Deal." It comes down to what happens to Iraq's Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds and Iran's quest for nuclear power. Did I mention that Russia is helping build the nuclear reactor for the Iranians at Bushehr? The only thing remaining to bring the reactor on line are those pesky russian fuel rods.

"Pahkah, DA?"

David said...

Mindset;

Political ideology maybe. Cold calculation, certainly. Emotion? No.

Excellent question. What is the political ideology prevalent in the west today? Arguably it is mutli-culturalism based on moral relativism. How can one stand up for something when everyone is correct in their opinion thus nobody can, therefore, be wrong?

Fen said...

I’m all for diplomacy but I think in this particular situation, diplomacy simply gives credibility to a regime that committed a blatant act of war and will more than likely do it again as the worst they can expect is a UN resolution that expresses grave concern.

I must admit, from a purely objective perspective, its laughable to watch how easily the Iranians play the appeasement-weasel crowd.

To paraphrase Manchester: one imagines Chamberlian sitting across from Satan, with the dawning realization that he has just traded his soul for the promise of future negotiations

hdhouse said...

david...
if that is your view of "russians" and you have "met a few", well i tip my hat to you. you are a national asset, a treasure, the veritable Karnak the Invincible.

ohhh and mr. russian expert, Dachau was a concentration camp. Dacha is Russian for "house". Moscovites don't summer at the Baltic very much its 500 miles each way. you should take the train..it is very nice...but then again you know everything about russians.


ohhh and the chump change...lost about the same time of the sale of the yukos...that was the point ohhh russian expert.

and russia's interest in Iran? look at a map oh wizard and wise one. it's not oil.

next time you drag russia into this it would be helpful if you just had the slightest idea of what you are talking about...

Fen said...

Hey house, whats your theory? You seem to be keeping it a secret? Or do you just not know enough about foreign policy to do anything other than throw stones from the sidelines?

Freder Frederson said...

Poland and Germany would love to deprive Putin of this prize but can't since politics in Washington have effectively weakened Bush to the point of inaction.

Bush has weakened the military to the point of inaction. Our ground forces are on the verge of breaking because Bush has tried to fight this war on the cheap. Sure he can bomb Iran using Naval and Air Force assets, but he certainly can't launch a ground assault. The Marines and Army are completely tapped out. And Bush has no one to blame but himself. He never bothered to commit either the personnel or materiel necessary to maintain our ground forces to fight the war we are fighting, let alone expand it. So all this tough talk about expanding the war to Iran is sheer madness. In fact, within the next year we won't even be able to maintain the troop levels we have in Iraq.

Joe said...

Bush has weakened the military to the point of inaction

Budget cuts have weakened the military. But who cares about invading anyway? I'm not opposed to just bombing the shit out of Iran then using special forces to destroy select targets. It's probably what we should have done in Iraq.

Daryl Herbert said...

Frederson, I invite you to imagine just how much damage we could do to Iran with airstrikes and a naval blockade.

The country has only one gas-producing refinery. That's not just for exports, it's for domestic power generation as well. If we took that out, Iran's economy would grind to a halt. They wouldn't have revenue from exports, they wouldn't have gasoline to move trucks and tanks, they wouldn't even have air conditioning.

There are two reasons not to do this. One is that it would seriously harm the global economy and piss off a lot of people. Two is that Iranians might rally 'round their leader in such a crisis.

There are two ways around the second problem: one is to bomb the refinery but let them rebuild immediately. The Iranian people will be very angry, but as soon as the crisis is over they will stop rallying around Ahmadinejad. Two is to convince them that the crisis is the result of Ahmadinejad's arrogance and bad decisions, so they will blame him instead of us. Releasing the hostages makes that more difficult.

Getting around the first problem (that the world wants Iran's oil exports) is very difficult, but dramatically increasing Iraq's outputs and convincing Kuwait/Saudi Arabia to increase theirs would go a long way. I doubt that will happen, at least at this point in time, but all of those states are afraid of Iran and it might become viable in the future.

David said...

House;

Freudian slip. Also, I stand by my statement that summer on the Baltic is better than winter in Moscow. What has 500 miles got to do with distance in Russia if you are rich?

As for Yukos, Khodorkovsky was arrested and still incognito in a Gulag while Yukos was taken over by Moscow.

I don't understand your point?

Joe Baby said...

You want to see a weak military, look at our allies the Brits.

Why is no one speaking of this?

Laughing on camera, giving statements, pointing to maps, wearing track suits. Bizarre.

All within days of being captured. This speaks volumes.

They should have pounded the crap out of something Iranian simply to avenge the lost honor of the hostages.

Good Lord, what will happen next time? Song and dance? People quoting Wodehouse, i.e. the Iranians are good chaps? Will they simply convert and be done with the suspense?

Bah.

Freder Frederson said...

but dramatically increasing Iraq's outputs and convincing Kuwait/Saudi Arabia to increase theirs would go a long way.

Gee, maybe you can get a pony too. Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can't magically wave a magic wand and dramatically increase their oil output. Destroying the infrastructure of Iran (which of course we could easily do) and then just letting the chips fall where they may would be the height of recklessness. Yeah, I'm sure after we bombed them back to the stone age, the sixty million people of Iran would just love us.

Just how insane are you?

Freder Frederson said...

one is to bomb the refinery but let them rebuild immediately.

Do you have any idea how long it takes to build a refinery (hell, how long it takes to put out a fire at a refinery).

Freder Frederson said...

Budget cuts have weakened the military.

And who has been responsible for requesting the Pentagon's budget for the last six years? Bush had a Republican congress during war time, he could have gotten any military budget he asked for. He simply refused to fund the military as though it was at war. He even refused to put the war in the regular budget, instead requesting funding through a series of "emergency" appropriations, so the cost was kept off-budget.

Joe said...

And who has been responsible for requesting the Pentagon's budget for the last six years?

God, you're naive. We live in a Republic. No president, regardless of party, can just get whatever they ask for. That aside, the budget has been increased, but simply doing that won't change the size of the military overnight.

Of course, your entire premise is bogus anyway. Our military isn't on the verge of collapse or any such liberal mamby-pamby bullshit you spew.

One way to save big bucks is to close most of our overseas bases, especially in Europe. Are you for that? Or like most liberals do you still hold onto the idiotic concept that the main purpose of the military isn't to destroy things?

Joe said...

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can't magically wave a magic wand and dramatically increase their oil output.

Are you shitting me? Damn right they can do that. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait pretend they are tapped out in production to drive the price of oil up.

Besides, most out oil doesn't come from the Arabian Peninsula anyway. (And we can start drilling off the coast of Florida tomorrow, but I doubt you're for that either.)

Daryl Herbert said...

Do you have any idea how long it takes to build a refinery (hell, how long it takes to put out a fire at a refinery).

That depends on how hard you hit it. If we just nibble on the edges, it would cause serious problems for the Iranians without taking too long to fix.

Mike said...

Yeah, but the permits take forever.

Oh, wait...

The Drill SGT said...

I for one am glad the Brits are free.

I expect a couple of lessons have been taught at least to the RN on this one:

1. They need to relook the ROE
2. They need some "code of conduct" classes.

Beyond that, my position aligns pretty much with a great Beldar post from last week :

http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2007/03/why_is_this_not.html

Mindsteps said...

Excellent question. What is the political ideology prevalent in the west today? Arguably it is mutli-culturalism based on moral relativism. How can one stand up for something when everyone is correct in their opinion thus nobody can, therefore, be wrong?

It's interesting. You identified moral relativism, where nobody can be wrong, as the predominant western ideology .....Could a religious based political ideology (e.g. contemporary conservatism) be characterized as one where everyone else, except the holder of the religion, is wrong?

Maybe, neither ideology in extreme is the way to go. Here's where good data can be helpful.

Freder Frederson said...

One way to save big bucks is to close most of our overseas bases, especially in Europe. Are you for that?

I have been for closing the bases in Europe since I worked for the Army in Germany in the mid-90's and saw first-hand how much money was wasted, and how much outright waste, fraud and abuse there was, over there. Prior to Germany, I had worked at the Pentagon. Things that would have literally gotten people thrown in jail in the U.S. were routine in Germany.

but simply doing that won't change the size of the military overnight.

But the president didn't even start to increase the size until this year.

Our military isn't on the verge of collapse or any such liberal mamby-pamby bullshit you spew.

Then why are we sending units back to Iraq with less than a year's rest?

Pogo said...

Re: "I don't understand your point?"

hdhouse has a point, but if he'd only wear a hat, no one would notice.

Joe said...

I have been for closing the bases in Europe since I worked for the Army in Germany in the mid-90's and saw first-hand how much money was wasted

We're in agreement on something then. Now if we can just get everyone else to agree. (I'm actually mystified that the Democrats don't use this as an issue.)

Then why are we sending units back to Iraq with less than a year's rest?

Because no soldier needs a year's rest. That is so beyond silly, it astonishes me.

Mike said...

We're in agreement on something then. Now if we can just get everyone else to agree.

Who doesn't agree. My guess is the Germans.

Mike said...

Or the French.

David said...

Mindset;Religious Based Political Ideology-Contemporary Conservatism.

You could characterize it as you suggest but it would be wrong no matter your religious persuasion.

There is a third path beyond the false premise that the end justifies the means or the means justifies the end. The end is a means unto itself.

Simply put, it requires a belief in something that is basic to what we all have in common: the intrinsic worth of the individual. That is a concept worth fighting and dying for. That is an irreducible primary. Break that covenant, or whatever you want to call it, and you distance yourself from the society. Distance yourself far enough from society and at some point the right to move freely, if at all, within the society of mankind is forfeited.

It requires a fealty to a concept higher than oneself that also supports the sanctity of life. Without life the rest is moot. The conundrum resides in the confrontation between those who would destroy it and those who would protect it.

The one thing that used to bring all Americans together regardless of race, religion, gender, or politics was patriotism born from assimilation. Attack my neighbor and you attack me.

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee!"

Freder Frederson said...

Because no soldier needs a year's rest. That is so beyond silly, it astonishes me.

Are you in the military? Do you know anyone currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan? Do you know the purpose of rotating troops in and out of the the combat zone? You do realize that some military personnel are on their third and even fourth tour?

Do you have the least clue wtf you are talking about?

Joe said...

Freder, the purpose of a military isn't to train. I don't care how many tours someone does. Really don't. If they don't like it, don't reenlist. But to suggest that for every tour of duty, a soldier needs a year off is absurd.

And, as and FYI, my nephew just returned from Iraq.

David said...

Freder;

Do you know the meaning of the phrase:

"Semper Fidelis?"

The guys I know want one thing. To go back and be with their buddies to the end. Sure there is the normal bitching and moaning about conditions and certainly there are a few who don't want to go back. Who would blame them. But most do because they believe that what they are doing is important enough to risk death and trauma.

St. Crispin's Day speech, Shakespeare, says it all!

Fen said...

You do realize that some military personnel are on their third and even fourth tour

Yes, entire units have reenlisted and then volunteered to go back to Iraq a 3rd and 4th time. Interesting how you spin that as a negative indicator.

hdhouse said...

Dave..well semper fi to you big buddy...but the point Freder made and IS TRUE is that for regular army they are in for a nickel in for a dollar but for national guard troops who go back and forth sometimes now 4 times on tour with indeterminant time at home...quite another story...don'tcha think? ohhhh don'tcha think.

Fen said...

but the point Freder made and IS TRUE is that for regular army they are in for a nickel in for a dollar but for national guard troops who go back and forth sometimes now 4 times on tour with indeterminant time at home

If it concerns you so much, why haven't you enlisted?

Joe said...

Last I checked, the National Guard was an all volunteer force. Many Guardsmen have earned decent money doing only training. If they suddenly balk at actually using that training then they are shits.

David said...

Freder;

Nobody said life was fair. The guys in the guard understood the risks involved when they joined. Stay focused on the mission and remember, you can't support the troops without supporting the mission.

In the future it would be prudent to have a larger standing military to avoid this sort of situation. Clinton gutted the military and we are paying the price now.

NSC said...

Very happy to see them released, but sad to see how they acted in captivity - shameful that was - with TV appearances apologizing for basically existing, wearing designer suits given to them by their new friends, and shaking hands with Ahmadinejad himself. And all this without even a decent water-boarding too. Maybe they threatened to serve them tea without milk.

And before I get slammed with a chickenhawk label I will point out I served already.

Freder Frederson said...

But to suggest that for every tour of duty, a soldier needs a year off is absurd.

Nobody gets a "year off". The purpose of the year back in garrison is to refit and retrain, not to take a "year off". You are an idiot.

So is Fen for saying entire units "volunteer" to go back to Iraq. Units don't volunteer to do anything. The military assigns them to do so. As for reenlistment, or "simply not reenlisting", that is often not an option between stop-losses, gambling with being called up as part of the IRR if you choose not to reenlist, or being told you will be transferred to a unit that is slated to be deployed if you don't "voluntarily" reenlist (which means your enlistment will be extended until the end of the deployment), reenlistment is often the best of several bad options.

Freder Frederson said...

In the future it would be prudent to have a larger standing military to avoid this sort of situation.

Why has Bush only belatedly bothered to expand it? Why hasn't military recruiting emphasized the war and appealed to patriotism?

Freder Frederson said...

Or the French.

The French kicked our military forces out of their country (and stopped participating in the unified military NATO command--although they remained in NATO) in the mid sixties.

Fen said...

Nobody gets a "year off". The purpose of the year back in garrison is to refit and retrain, not to take a "year off".

Not exactly - the purpose is to refit and retrain so you can be deployable [SORTS]. For example, my LAR unit was usually T-3 or T-4 because [under Clinton] we did not have enough 25mm rounds to properly train our gunners. Units coming home from a combat zone don't have that problem.

Fen said...

So is Fen for saying entire units "volunteer" to go back to Iraq. Units don't volunteer to do anything.

No, the personel [in entire units] reenlist together and then volunteer to go back on 3rd and 4th tours [not necessarily with their previous unit]. Of course "units" don't get to decide where they are going.. geez.

Revenant said...

Why has Bush only belatedly bothered to expand it?

Because he made the wrong choices about how to secure post-liberation Iraq and took too long to correct his mistakes. In short, because he's done a bad job running the war.

Why hasn't military recruiting emphasized the war and appealed to patriotism?

Because money is a much better motivator than patriotism.

The French kicked our military forces out of their country (and stopped participating in the unified military NATO command--although they remained in NATO) in the mid sixties

They did not, however, encourage us to leave NATO or Europe altogether -- quite the opposite. France realized that by cutting ties with us it could reap all the benefits of alliance (since our troops in Germany, Italy, et al. were still there to prevent Soviet aggression) without shouldering the costs and risks associated with it. It was a smart, if sleazy, political move, allowing them to be free riders on our efforts.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Gee, maybe you can get a pony too. Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can't magically wave a magic wand and dramatically increase their oil output.

Nonsense. They did it all the time during the good old Cold War days when we asked them to, the Saudis that is.

In the future it would be prudent to have a larger standing military to avoid this sort of situation.

That does beg the question. We have around half a million active army plus another 150K and change in the Marines yet are ‘strained to the breaking point’ trying to rotate 140,000 troops in Iraq. I’m not a math whiz but for some reason I’m trying to figure out why with that many active personnel, we have NGs running patrol in Anbar.

Then again, after Gulf War I, we pretty much drew down a bunch of divisions. Heck, I remember 25 years ago we had 250,000 sitting in Germany waiting for the commie hordes to come crashing through the Fulda Gap.

As for prudence, some might argue that we avoid places like Iraq altogether.

Bissage said...

So wait a minute: Is the end result of this incident a public relations victory as it demonstrates to the Iranian people that British sailors and marines are cowards?

I sure hope not.

Fen said...

I think the end result is that the appeasement weasels will insist Iran can be reasoned with. Perhaps Carter & Pelosi will shuttle over to arrange another nuke deal, as per North Korea.

NSC said...

So wait a minute: Is the end result of this incident a public relations victory as it demonstrates to the Iranian people that British sailors and marines are cowards?

I sure hope not.


More than that, it demonstrates that the British government is a paper tiger now - somewhat unable and certainly unwilling to go to the mat for their troops, no matter how they managed to get themselves captured or how they acted once there.

hdhouse said...

david and fen...you guys must be one in the same. just gotta be. God wouldn't create 2 like you!

anyway, fen...why don't i enlist? i'm too old shithead. sorry. I'm too old. but i did serve my country for 8 years. how many for you?

and david: when people signed into the national guard 5-6-7 years ago we were as memory serves, NOT AT WAR and the national guard was being used as a facility of the STATES, not as part of the regular army...

they didn't enlist with the expectation WHATSOEVER of being overseas for 30 months, back home just long enough to assess the damage done to their lives and shipped back over because President WOOWOO has an idea.

Yup you guys gotta be one in the same.

hdhouse said...

David said...
"Clinton gutted the military and we are paying the price now."

I'm really tired of being nice to you David. Children read this. Don't lie. Tell the Truth..the TRUTH...You know damn good and well the the major troop reductions after the dispersal of the USSR and the virtual end to the cold war came during BUSH 1 not clinton. Ya know, I can forgive a low IQ...I mean you gotta be an accident of birth...but stupidity when the facts are so easily checked...thats another story. The emphasis was placed on the national guard for reserve as it was easier and cheaper than full time professional troops. I guess that little factoid just blew right by you.

get a life. get a brain. if you can't buy, then rent.

David said...

Freder, et al;

There was no plan for post Saddam Iraq because we naively, as it turned out, thought that the oppressed Iraqi populace would return to civilized behavior singing "ding dong the wicked witch is dead!"

That did not happen to any great extent and, in any case, enjoyed a brief honeymoon before returning to revenge, sectarian violence, and terrorist infiltration.

I am cynical enough to believe that had Bush and Rumsfeld gone in with a quarter million armed troops there would have been howls of protest from the left regarding overkill. That is what happened in GW1 when the first President bush stopped at the gates of Baghdad because of the destruction of the Republican Guard on the so-called "Highway of Death!"

Never have so many BMW's, Mercedes, and Ferrari's been destroyed in one battle in the history of man! OH The HUMANITY! In any case, we stopped and allowed the Republican Guard to regroup, franchise rape rooms, gas the Kurds, and live to fight Americans, Shias, and Kurds another day.

The elephant in the room of public discourse is the constant bushwhacking that goes on as the left-wing America haters demand to have it both ways. Too many troops, too few troops, decreased funding for the militry, increased expectations for the military, fight AQ in Mogadishu then pull out when coalition forces come in after we have a kill ratio of about 50:1, support our troops then throw ROTC off campuses then collect millions under the Solomon ammendment, squack about armor for the troops then cynically attach pork to a military funding bill in a brazen tactic to force Bush to veto the same bill, vote for Petraeus for one last attempt at victory with new ROE then telegraph to AQ that we will deny funding for the same war effort and mark the calendar for departure date and time from Iraq.

Pathetic!

David said...

House;

Do me a favor and don't be nice. I want the real you to shine forth in all it's glory as a talking point for the elections of 2008.

I respect your opinion but disagree with it!

Freder Frederson said...

We have around half a million active army plus another 150K and change in the Marines yet are ‘strained to the breaking point’ trying to rotate 140,000 troops in Iraq.

Well, first of all we may only have 140,000 in Iraq, but there is another 50,000+ in Kuwait and the surrounding countries that never gets mentioned that supports the troops there. Plus, we have another 30,000 in Afghanistan. Theoretically we have a full division in Korea (but not really, at least one brigade has been constantly been either in Afghanistan or Iraq for the last couple years), and another in reserve in Hawaii (plus Marines) in case things get hot in Korea (again this Division has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq). So currently, actively deployed to war zones you have around 250,000 personnel. Military Doctrine says in a perfect world for every soldier and marine you have deployed you would have two in garrison, one getting ready to deploy, one recovering from deployment. So just for the holding pattern we are maintaining now (neither winning nor losing) we should have 750,000 active duty (not National Guard or Reserves, because they are only supposed to called on for combat when the very survival of the nation is threatened) ground combat forces. And of course there should be an adequate extra force for any contingencies (e.g., Iran tried to do something stupid).

Freder Frederson said...

That is what happened in GW1 when the first President bush stopped at the gates of Baghdad because of the destruction of the Republican Guard on the so-called "Highway of Death!"

Oh yeah, it was that uber-leftist Norman Schrwatzkopf who ordered the halt the destruction of the Republican Guard in Gulf War I.

Freder Frederson said...

Military Doctrine says in a perfect world for every soldier and marine you have deployed you would have two in garrison, one getting ready to deploy, one recovering from deployment.

And before you start telling me how are soldiers are wimps and "that wasn't the way they did it in WWII". Bullshit. The standard in WWI and II was one week on the front line two weeks off. Remember , once you are in Iraq, you are on the front line every freaking day for a year!

Mike said...

The French kicked our military forces out of their country

Gee, Einstein, no kidding. The allusion was the the French wanting our forces to stay in Germany to keep the Germans from invading again.

Freder Frederson said...

Gee, Einstein, no kidding. The allusion was the the French wanting our forces to stay in Germany to keep the Germans from invading again.

I guess I'm just tired of the stupid "the French are cowards and surrender to the Germans" jokes. The French beat the Germans in WWI and it was the British, not the French, that cut and run in 1940. That Churchill lied about the events of 1940 and blamed the French for the collapse of the line in June, and that so much of the English speaking world bought his lies is one of the great injustices of the twentieth century.

I don't know if Churchill was a better leader or better at dodging blame for his own horrible failures. Gallipoli should have condemned him to life as a gentleman farmer. Yet somehow he was able to redeem himself. Turning tail and running against the Germans in 1940 should have earned him the same ignominy as Chamberlain two years before, yet somehow he was able to blame the French for the disgusting retreat of the British to Dunkirk.

Mike said...

The comment speaks to the Germans propensity to invade their neighbors rather than to French cowardice, though Rev's comment regarding the integrity of the French government is apt.

Fen said...

David: That is what happened in GW1 when the first President bush stopped at the gates of Baghdad because of the destruction of the Republican Guard on the so-called "Highway of Death!"

Freder: Oh yeah, it was that uber-leftist Norman Schrwatzkopf who ordered the halt the destruction of the Republican Guard in Gulf War I.

Non sequiter. Who else would order the military to halt? John Kerry? The point is that CINC was forced to tell the generals to order a halt because our liberal weasels started whining about the carnage.

Fen said...

Freder: The French beat the Germans in WWI

Indeed they did. But everything honorable about France died in the trenches of that war.

Freder: I guess I'm just tired of the stupid "the French are cowards and surrender to the Germans" jokes.

France had THREE military assistance treaties with Poland. One even explicitly spelled out the number of divisions France would send towards Berlin if Germany ever attacked Poland.

Thats what made the last stand of the Poles so tragic - they fought bravely, knowing that they need only hold out for a few more days, because per the treaty, French tanks would be plunging into the heart of Germany.

France never even mobilized.

So yes, the French are treacherous cowardly weasels not to be trusted. It is better to have them as an enemy, because they always betray their allies.

Mike said...

I remember being conflicted during GW1 regarding whether we should stop or go to Baghdad. My concern about continuing was the potential mess we'd have with the aftermath. Turns out, we'd be stuck with it in either case. Would have been better to do it then. Hindsight is 20/20.

Fen said...

HdHouse: why don't i enlist? i'm too old shithead. sorry. I'm too old. but i did serve my country for 8 years.

I call bullshit. Unless you were some POG holding a desk.

how many for you?

12 years. USMC. 2D & 3D LAR BN.
And you smell like a shitbird to me.

Fen said...

mike: I remember being conflicted during GW1 regarding whether we should stop or go to Baghdad.

We actually weren't allowed to - no UN mandate and a coalition of Arab allies that would have turned on us and surrounded our logistics if we had tried.

But what I was talking about was the "valley of death", not any march to Baghdad.

Mike said...

Fen- I know what you're refering to, and I know we didn't have a UN mandate, but it would have been over before our allies would have had time to squawk, don't you think? And everybody would have been better off.

hdhouse said...

fen...next time wear your headgear. prevents a lot of brain injuries.

and speaking of this thread and freeing the hostages...

David said...

Fen;

No discussion of French military 'brilliance' would not be complete without discussing General Maginot and his line of bunkers on the Maginot Line. How an entire country could overlook the possibility of an end run around these hugely expensive bunkers is indicative of French arrogance.

After the 3rd Republic in France fell bringing in the collaborationist Vichy regime and Marshall Petain, the French provided new meaning to the word appeasement.

Their attempt to rule Europe fell when their own citizens turned down the EU constitution. Now they sit and watch a resurgent Germany eclipsing their glory as Angela Merkel becomes the brains and the brawn on the European continent.

Thanks to socialism, France now has a small military presence best known as 'petite testicles'.

"I would rather have a german division in front of me than a French one behind me."

General George S. Patton

"Going to war without the French is like going deer hunting without your accordion."

General Norman Schwartzkoff

"As far as I am concerned, war always means failure."

Jacques Chirac, President of France

The way the French go to war, that statement is true in more ways than one.

David said...

Fen;

From a former squid I thank you for your service! Semper Fi!

OUTSTANDING!

David

RogerA said...

My guess--and I think we are all guessing here--follows David's initial point. My understanding is that one technique the Mullahs use effectively is to play off the revolutionary guards against the rest of the Iranian bureaucracy--I doubt Amhadinejad would have released the sailors unless the mullahs intervened--now WHY the mullah's intervened is another even more speculative question.

I share the view that the mullahs are "rational actors." They have to balance domestic politics and foreign issues. And I havent the remotest idea whether the Iranians too this action for internal reasons, external reasons, or both.

Another issue is the impact of these actions on the price of oil. Even though the US only gets about 20 percent of its oil from mid east sources, oil is a global commodity, and shortages anywhere in the supply chain will raise the price of oil whether supplied by Iran or Canada or Mexico. Assuming the Iranians are rational actors, once the price of oil reaches some threshold point, alternative sources, shale oil, and other technologies become profitable, and oil will cease to be a weapon. The issue for the Iranians is how long can the keep alternative sources from supplanting petroleum as a primary energy source.

RogerA said...

And sincee there seems to be the usual cry for "links, links, my kingdom for a link," Google Valid Nasr, currently at the Naval Postgraduate School for his views on the Islamic revolution; there are also some other good pubs and position papers out of the NPS.

Also Google "Anthony Cordesman" for his views on Strategy and Iran.

Mindsteps said...

David wrote:

You could characterize it as you suggest but it would be wrong no matter your religious persuasion.

Simply put, it requires a belief in something that is basic to what we all have in common: the intrinsic worth of the individual.

For the most part, I have no idea what you are talking about and how it relates to the hostage issue. However, I will disagree with the contents of some of your assertions.

The intrinsic worth of the individual may characterize some (or all) religions (I am not a religious scholar, so I cannot say for sure), however this belief is not exclusive to religion. You do not have to be religious to place life as the highest value and do not have to believe in god to maintain that life is the precious. Moreover, I suspect that most religions have a whole host of beliefs, in addition to "the instrinsic worth of life" tenet that complicate, interact with, and inform people's behavior.

hdhouse said...

Then there is the simplier explanation that this was just at test to see how things line up. More and more there are questions about the actual location of the Brits, their not putting up a fight, etc., some of this may be germane ..some not. But at the end of the day, who got what?

The Brits got zero or so it seems. Iran got a ton of information on things would line up, public opinion, who talks, who blusters and mostly if those 3-4 carrier groups floating around over there are on hair trigger or in the wait and see mode.

We got zip except for some really stupid debating here and there.

So don't you think there must have been something else going on? Some other thing afoot that we don't see, probably won't see?

I thought before and I feel certain now that his was a put up job..prearranged and almost choreographed..the key was that the Brits didn't fire a shot and on release they were given presents.