Thursday, May 18, 2006

A debacle, indeed: revisiting the Iran embassy hostage rescue attempt

This piece from the Atlantic Monthly Online, "The Desert One Debacle," about the Carter administration's attempt to rescue the embassy hostages in Iran in 1980, is a sobering read.

I vaguely remember the incident--just one in a long line of frustrations connected with that sorry spectacle. But the details--which I'd never read before--are a case of "whatever could go wrong, did go wrong;" from vicious sandstorms, to the utterly improbable coincidence of the planes' initially encountering a truck and a civilian passenger bus as they landed in the desert, to a fatal airplane crash. Debacle, indeed; the planes never even came near Tehran.

Perhaps it's a good thing they didn't. From the evidence in the piece, the loss of life would likely have been even greater had they done so. It's very difficult to believe that this mission ever had any chance of succeeding. Not only was the weather problem in the desert underestimated, and the assault force relatively small (one hundred thirty two men maximum, with some planes expected to encounter technical difficulties and drop out), but here was the game plan for controlling crowds around the embassy:

Another presidential directive concerned the use of nonlethal riot-control agents. Given that the shah’s occasionally violent riot control during the revolution was now Exhibit A in Iran’s human-rights case against the former regime and America, Carter wanted to avoid killing Iranians, so he had insisted that if a hostile crowd formed during the raid, Delta should attempt to control it without shooting people. Burruss considered this ridiculous. He and his men were going to assault a guarded compound in the middle of a city of more than 5 million people, most of them presumed to be aggressively hostile. It was unbelievably risky; everyone on the mission knew there was a very good chance they would not get home alive. Wade Ishmoto, a Delta captain who worked with the unit’s intelligence division, had joked, “The only difference between this and the Alamo is that Davy Crockett didn’t have to fight his way in.”

At any rate, it didn't come to that. After flying through vicious sandstorms, landing in the desert, and encountering a Mercedes passenger bus filled with ordinary Iranians (who were promptly searched by the Americans and prepared to be flown out of Iran for the duration of the mission), the rescue attempt was aborted because too many aircraft had been rendered inoperative.

Then, as the evacuation of the planes was underway, one of the helicopters crashed into a transport plane on the ground, causing a conflagration and the death of eight members of the assault force. From the description of the scene, it's a wonder the death toll wasn't higher.

Reading about the hostage crisis brings back gut-wrenchingly bad memories: the endless negotiating, the arrogant posturing of the hostage-takers, the seeming impotence of our government. It's easy to recall that it was long; at the time, it seemed nearly endless, but the actual length was astounding: 444 days. The incident was one of the reasons Carter lost the Presidency (and rightly so), suffering the final ignominy of the hostages' release on Ronald Reagan's Inauguration Day.

In retrospect--and perhaps even at the time--the entire hostage crisis was a debacle, not just the rescue attempt. The consensus is that Carter's mishandling of the situation caused the US to be perceived as weak and vulnerable.

This recent Salon article contains a telling vignette on the subject, from the Iran of 2004:

So it was that I stood impatiently before the window to check out while the [hotel] receptionist took his sweet time to retrieve my American passport from the cubby behind him. He held it for a long, strange moment before he slid it my way. Wistfully, he said: "How I wish I had a passport like that." Off we were, talking about the election. The receptionist hoped President George W. Bush would defeat Sen. John Kerry. He hated the Democrats, he professed. It wasn't my first encounter with this Iranian enthusiasm for the Republican Party, as unfathomable as it was widespread. Under the Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, after all, the United States toppled Iran's popular nationalist prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953, consolidating power in the hands of the brutal and despised shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Under the Democratic President Bill Clinton, the United States finally apologized for engineering those events. I asked the receptionist to explain. "Jimmy Carter," he replied with disgust. "He could have stopped this Islamic Revolution, and he didn't." When it comes to Iran, where revolutionaries identified Carter with every bad turn the United States had ever visited on their or any other third-world country, and where Americans would come to associate him with haplessness and defeat, somehow everything the president from Plains, Ga., did would always be wrong. His presidency, already a fragile vessel, shattered on the shoals of the Iranian hostage crisis -- those 444 days at the end of his single term when the staff of the American embassy in Tehran was held captive by militant students. From then on, he would forever be linked in the American mind with the humiliation of seeing one's countrymen blindfolded, helpless, surrounded by angry mobs of Shiites -- believers in a religion most Americans only dimly apprehended, revolutionaries who hated the United States for having supported a regime most Americans were barely conscious existed. And now, 26 years later, this Iranian hotel worker in a single gesture renounced his country's revolution and laid it at the feet of the very president whose likeness Iranian revolutionaries burned in effigy as they massed outside the seized embassy compound.

48 Comments:

At 1:58 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I vaguely remember the incident--just one in a long line of frustrations connected with that sorry spectacle. But the details--which I'd never read before--are a case of "whatever could go wrong, did go wrong;" from vicious sandstorms, to the utterly improbable coincidence of the planes' initially encountering a truck and a civilian passenger bus as they landed in the desert, to a fatal airplane crash. Debacle, indeed; the planes never even came near Tehran.

Allah smited the Americans, we shall jihad for Allah all day long and go to harem all rest of night.

It's easy to recall that it was long; at the time, it seemed nearly endless, but the actual length was astounding: 444 days.

Teenagers break and start crying under harsh police interrogation in the first 48 hours. I think you can basically crack anyone's will in 444 days. I tend to think most of the embassy hostages would have paid to get into Gitmo if they could have avoided being taken hostage by the Iranians.

Everybody wants what they don't have. When they get it, they'll start complaining about something else. Iranians are no less human than normal in this aspect.

Bowden has a new book out, publicized on Day Side on Fox, about the Iranian situation. He actually interviewed the hostages and hostage takers, about the beatings and how the hostage takers renounced their act. Leaving the hardcore hostage takers like Amanie, the true believers, in stark contrast.

Regardless of why the Iranian hotel worker said what he said, the principle remains the same. The 444 days showed that Iran had the backing of their God, and that it was a "sign" of the End Times. Even fanatics need encouragement, and they got it. They did the rest afterwards.

 
At 3:11 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

I heard the news of the taking of the hostages with a friend of mine while we were touring in Europe. The mood of people we met while we were traveling was one of amusement at the "stupid Americans" for not reacting with greater anger and harshness to the seizure of the embassy and the taking of hostages. Later, while we were In a campground in Florence, Italy, a British fellow camper came up to us and said, "Do you know what your idiot Carter has done now?" and proceeded to describe the "rescue" debacle.

That was indeed a dark time for America, when "our idiot Carter" was in charge.

 
At 3:49 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Carter wasn't being a wimp because of his inherent wimpiness (although that was a factor).

He was following Zbigniew Brzezinski's "Grand Strategy" of using Islamists to fight communism.

Given that we're currently fighting a "war against terrorism" by allying with terror-supporting states (see the KSA and Libya), encouraging the establishment of Sharia-led regimes (Afghanistan) I'd guess that we're still fighting old cold war enemies, not Islamists or terrorism.

From Amir Taheri's America can't do a thing

Carter had decided to support Khomeini in the context of the so-called "Green Belt" strategy developed by National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. That strategy was based on the assumption that the United States and its allies were unable to contain the Soviet Union, then expanding its zone of influence into Africa, the Indian Ocean region and, through left-leaning regimes, in Latin America. To counter that expanding threat, Brzezinski envisaged the creation of a string of Islamic allies that, for religious and political reasons, would prefer the United States against the "godless" Soviet empire.

The second stage in Brzezinski's grand strategy was to incite the Muslim peoples of the Soviet Union to revolt against Moscow and thus frustrate its global schemes...


...The embassy raid came just days after the Brzezinski-Bazargan meeting in Morocco and, by all accounts, took Khomeini by surprise. It is now clear that leftist groups opposed to rapprochement with the United States had inspired the raid.

Khomeini saw it as a leftist ploy to undermine his authority. He was also concerned about the possibility of the United States taking strong military and political action against his still fragile regime.

Deciding to hedge his bets, the ayatollah played a double game for several days, waiting to gauge the American reaction.

According to his late son Ahmad, who had been asked to coordinate with the embassy-raiders, the ayatollah feared "thunder and lightning" from Washington. But what came, instead, was a series of bland statements by Carter and his aides pleading for the release of the hostages on humanitarian grounds.

When Iranians accuse Carter of encouraging the Islamic Revolution, they're absolutely right. Unfortunately, both the Democrats and the Republicans are still planning to follow the outlines of Carter's 'grand strategy'. I don't know why - maybe they're incapable of thinking of new ideas, or maybe they really think that the Chinese are going to nuke us someday (after investing billions in our economy).

The debacle is still going on.

 
At 4:08 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

I remember that sinking feeling, the counting of the days on the evening news, the black-out feeling of the report of the rescue mission. In Tehran there were jubilant scenes as thousands of people celebrated the failure… A weak resolve gave life-give waters to the spawning Islamic Revolution, our preoccupation in the 80’s, a half-eye on the rising menace, the reality of 9/11 awakening a dream of false security to what was all to clear, the demise of our alliance with Europe held hostage to a immigrant population, only one more great appeasement and the circle will be completed; our withdrawal from Iraq. Such a frenzy would rock the world that Muhammad would all but manifest to lead the bloodlust.

 
At 4:19 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger chuck said...

Under the Democratic President Bill Clinton, the United States finally apologized for engineering those events.

Like a drunk the day after, Clinton is big on apologies. Maybe he should apoligize to the American people and the World for Carter.

 
At 4:42 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger chuck said...

After my previous comment I got to thinking: which presidents in the last hundred years didn't have some major personality defects? My knowledge of the early presidents is pretty hazy, but here is my first cut at the list.

1) Bush 43
2) Bush 41 (?)
3) Ford
4) Eisenhower
5) Truman
6) Coolidge
7) ?

Anyone have ideas for additions/deletions?

 
At 5:19 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Carter micromanaged and hamstrung the rescue attempt at every turn. As I understand it, he had Pentagon planners build in so many go/no points that anybody looking at the plans and understanding the attitude behind them, had to know they would fail; such plans practically begged soldiers on the ground to declare the mission impossible and bug out. These instructions for non-violent confrontation with people surrounding the embassy are just another example of his stupidity.

Carter is a puffed up righteous toad of a man who continues to strut around on the world stage meddling and giving aid and comfort to our enemies. His Nobel Prize and hammer wielding skills have given him quite the image in the MSM. However, from the comments I have seen over the years, many people who have worked for him think he was one of the meanest, most spiteful people they ever encountered.

 
At 5:24 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Doug said...

Neo, the linked article is an excerpt from Bowden's book "Guests of the Ayatollah" that covers the whole hostage crisis. It's a fabulous book, every bit as good as this excerpt would indicate.


Although Carter deserves a lot of criticism for his handling of the hostage crisis, the Desert One debacle does not deserve to be laid at his feet. As Bowden covers in the book, the military's ability to execute such a complicated cross-service mission were very immature in 1980.

The military and Carter were both aware of the risks, but proceeded because they had few other options available to them at that point. Interestingly, the miltary regarded getting the Delta Force to Tehran as the riskiest part of the mission. They were more confident in Delta's ability to extract the hostages once in position.

 
At 6:37 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

after all, the United States toppled Iran's popular nationalist prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953, consolidating power in the hands of the brutal and despised shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Mossadegh had communist ties and was installed after his predecessor was assassinated. The policy of the US was to support allies, especially against communists and Mossadegh was about to take over the government of an ally(the Shah) in a coup. The CIA, refreshingly loyal to Presidential administrations in those days, assisted the British and the Shah in a counter coup which resulted in Mossadegh’s trial, guilty verdict and imprisonment. He died years later of natural causes while under house arrest. A good bit of British wealth was rescued(Mossadegh had appropriated British-owned refineries in Iran) by helping the Shah remain in power and the counter coup ended any effective Communist ambitions in the Middle East. But Communism is like the herpes virus in that it can remain dormant for long periods and flare up again in times of extreme cultural anxiety.

What the quoted article doesn’t make clear is that the Shah was no more or less brutal than most Middle Eastern leaders and that the Shah was mainly “despised” by the same group of religious fanatics that presently rule Iran with an iron(and brutal) fist: the mullahs. Why? Not because he was “brutal,” brutality being a hallmark of those who despised him, but because the Shah was attempting to usher Iran into the twentieth century. His modern attitude and sensibility threatened sharia and might have led to the women getting uppity and possibly showing too much of their faces and ankles - threatened the power of religious fanatics to remain the arbitrators of all segments of existence. Mossadegh was their answer to the threat.

 
At 7:14 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

For his own reasons, Carter wanted the Shah to fall, and the Ayatollah to take the Shah's place. Carter was genuinely sympathetic to the ayatollah and what he was trying to achieve. He never got over the shock of betrayal, after he had helped the Ayatollah gain power. He never accepted it, always felt there had been some kind of misunderstanding.

Carter was always a closet revolutionary. His judgement has been warped by that self-identity.

 
At 8:28 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Carter loved communism and the Left. It's ridiculous to believe he was trying to fight it, regardless of the strategy.

 
At 9:18 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Here's another debacle.

Murtha and atrocities

 
At 9:29 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:32 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

By 1978, 33% of university students were female with 2 million in the workforce. 190,000 were professionals with university degrees. …. The Islamic Republic was established in January, the Family Protection Law was abolished by a declaration from Imam Khomeini’s office in April and by March women were barred from becoming judges….read more

Note: This is just one source on the Internet. I suspect, from long-ago reading and viewings of other documentation, it is at least in part true that women in Iran were on the move, stepping out, until CRUSH ….Islamic Revolution and the rule of Sharia.
God only know what happened to these courageous women.

If only Europe and the American Left would help out on Human Liberation, people everywhere then might live in some semblance of peace and prosperity. What part of, “Democracy is better than Totalitarianism” do they not understand? The fact is, they do understand. [Actually some people are simply to immature]

Sadly, “Economics” trumps other people’s “chance” of a pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness”. For Western Europe it is trade on a big time scale; technology, arms, oil. For the American Left it is selling “I Hate Bush” T-shirts. Which just goes to show that a little justified “counter-crushing” by willing liberal democracies is the just resolve; they decide we resolve. Realpolitik.

 
At 9:54 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Ymarsakar said...
Here's another debacle.
Murtha and atrocities

I saw, of course, “wild animal in the headlights” Nancy Pelosi chiming in on this, gah

The Left will pray -- they will pray for the invention of atrocities and/or the embarrassment of the administration. Either way this goes, war is hell, civilians get killed, the unfortunate [for the Left] yet critical distinction here is that if it did happen, we are debating it, there is no cover-up.

If it is true that unarmed civilians we shot down, and I hope to God it’s not – information has been out on this incident [last year?] almost instantly after the allegation and has till this day been under investigation.

I served [Peacetime/Cold War]. I have at least a remote inkling of an understanding of the stress our soldiers face.

 
At 10:16 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There's a complex double blind about the overthrowing of the Shah.

There's two logical premises overlapping here.

1 America overthrew the Shah.

2 America installed the Shah.

It's really bad though, when a Leftist, Carter, was in charge of the US, and the US was believed to be supporting the Shah after overthrowing another pro-communist dude.


He was following Zbigniew Brzezinski's "Grand Strategy" of using Islamists to fight communism.


Some logical contradictions.
Leftists like Carter or the revolutionaries don't overthrow a Shah that was trying to reform Shariah in Iran, to fight "communism".

"Communist" "revolutionary" "fascist" are somewhat interchangeable because they use a lot of the same methods and have the same goals.

When the Islamic revolution started in Iran, the Carter administration saw it as the confirmation of its assumption that only Islamists could muster enough popular support to provide an alternative to both the existing regime and the pro-Soviet leftist movements.

So what we have in the end, is not CIA people interfering in things America shouldn't, what we have is a Leftist President supporting Leftist revolutionary goals against the Revolutionary Soviets... Why does this look like it's not real?

You might ask why I say the Iranian Revolution was a Leftist Revolution. I suggest you look back to Hitler and his NAZI party. Perhaps the better example is Mussolini in Italy. A lot of extreme totalitarian governments are produced from socialist, Leftist, and communist revolutions. Why? Ask orwell why totalitarians are fueled by the Left, he should know.

But anyways, the revolutionaries in Iran were promised a progressive paradise on earth against the brutal Shah. Guess what happened. The mullahs took power, and boom, it's all over but the dying and the torture.

of course, Khomenini was worried about Leftists, he had to purge them because they were no longer of use.

a lot of revolutions are hijacked by people other than the grass roots revolutionaries, you know.

If I was Bush and a vindictive person, I would parade the Iranian 444 days over and over again in front of the media, whenever Carter gets out of line and opens his mouth to talk about elections. I'd also use it as a propaganda ploy to increase hate against Iran, creating domestic support which matters, compared to international support which does not in terms of raw usable power.

Nearly 1,000 Americans were killed, including 241 Marines blown up while sleeping in Beirut in 1983.

Technically, you can't blow up more than about 100 people with a VBiED suicide pack. That would require an expansive wave type of explosive, the thermobaric systems used by Russia and the Marines. The Marines were crushed by the collapse of their barracks building. Like on 9/11. They were crushed to death, without air or hope.

Death to America takes on a different meaning there.

 
At 11:05 PM, May 18, 2006, Blogger Doug said...

al fin: For his own reasons, Carter wanted the Shah to fall, and the Ayatollah to take the Shah's place. Carter was genuinely sympathetic to the ayatollah and what he was trying to achieve. He never got over the shock of betrayal, after he had helped the Ayatollah gain power. He never accepted it, always felt there had been some kind of misunderstanding.

Can you cite any evidence for those statements? I am no fan of Jimmy Carter, but that doesn't match up well with his actions as president.

On New Years Day 1978, Carter was in Tehran, and toasted the Shah as an "island of stability". Neither he, nor the CIA, nor the State Department had any inkling that the Shah would only retain power for another year. Carter at no time indicated that he wished to tear down one of the "two pillars" of US Middle East policy.

Nor did Carter assist Khomenei and the Iranian Revolution in any material way. From the time the Shah fled until the embassy takeover, there was minimal contact between the two governments. At the time of the takeover, the US was exploring various ways of engaging the new Iranian government (spare parts for the Shah's military equipment, restarting monitoring of the Soviets on Iran's northern border, etc.) but none of them had really gone anywhere.

 
At 12:17 AM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

it is at least in part true that women in Iran were on the move, stepping out, until CRUSH ….Islamic Revolution and the rule of Sharia.
God only know what happened to these courageous women.


Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran is an amazing book about an Iranian woman who welcomed the revolution when young and then found herself and other women crushed by it. She is a literature professor and she sets up an underground women's reading group. They read Western books in the light of their situation. As I recall, most of the group ended up coming to the West eventually.

A fine, thoughtful book.

 
At 4:31 AM, May 19, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

And what made it easy for Carter was that he did not have to do anything, overtly, to overthrow the Shah. He merely had to stand by and do nothing to support the Shah, when a pittance of support would have cut Khomeini's military support off at the knees.

It was much like the democratic party congress and the fall of South Vietnam. The democratic legislators did not have to do anything, overtly, to cause the final triumph of the communists over the South. They only had to refuse any aid.

In hindsight, persons without facts assume such revolutions and conquests were inevitable. Other persons realize that the situation could have been altered dramatically in many ways.

 
At 7:15 AM, May 19, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Thanks Jack -- I'll see if our library has it.

 
At 8:45 AM, May 19, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Leftists like Carter or the revolutionaries don't overthrow a Shah that was trying to reform Shariah in Iran, to fight "communism".

Carter may have been a leftist, but he definitely opposed the Soviets. His administration had wanted to install neutron warheads on missiles deployed in Europe, but his plan was opposed by the Europeans who called it a 'Capitalist' bomb. The Neutron bomb was famous for killing people while leaving buildings intact.

Brzezinski's attitude towards communism was (and still is) like Ahab's to the White Whale. He hates them with a passion that's pretty much beyond reason. His organization, Peace in Chechnya, is willing to support the Islamist groups that carried out the Beslan attacks.

And there were no concerns about Islamism or Sharia back then. For decades, American presidents admired the honesty and purehearted motives of the deeply religious mujahideen.

 
At 11:19 AM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Doug said...

"And what made it easy for Carter was that he did not have to do anything, overtly, to overthrow the Shah."

Do you have any evidence that Carter wanted the Shah overthrown? If Iran had been invaded by the Soviet Union, Carter would clearly have used military force - he said so explicitly in the Carter Doctrine. But he wasn't willing to do so to suppress a popular revolution.

"It was much like the democratic party congress and the fall of South Vietnam."

The closer analogy, in my opinion, was Reagan's decision not to prop up Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, which lead to his exile shortly thereafter.

Not even the Iranians knew they were headed for a theocracy in 1979. Their revolution was a mixture of many political factions, and was fueled by well-justified grievances against the Shah. It was only later, and in part due to the hostage crisis, that the Mullahs acquired the absolute authority that they still hold today.

 
At 11:31 AM, May 19, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

On Carter/Shah Overthrow

Role of US Former Pres. Carter Emerging in Illegal Financial Demands on Shah of Iran

Our Endangered Patience

Jimmy Carter and the 40 Ayatollahs

Carter Sold out Iran 1977-1978

I can’t say if these are peer reviewed, because I don’t have time to check – but this might get you started. Look at the citations, if there are any. Also, research the authors.

 
At 12:06 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Stunning links, Nyo, thanks for doing my research for me.

All I can say is, I never believe what I want to believe just because I want to. However, Carter's behavior and acts of betrayal against the duly constituted authority of the United States Constitution is rather consistent with Carter's venal and ruthless methods.

I always believed that the Democrats were rich corrupt robber barons at heart, their interest only in exploiting minorities and people weaker than they are. Bullies with lawyers and the US army in other words. Democrats do not lack ruthlessnes, because they are the US War Party.

If Nyo's first link portraying Carter is true, then that is consistent with my logical premises. Even if it is inaccurate, Carter's behavior and psychological profile would almost necessitate something similar.

If it isn't corruption with the Shah, then it is accepting the Nobel Peace Prize because they wanted to embarass Bush. All in all, personal benefit to Democrats like Carter, is not refused just because of their noble and kind spirit.

 
At 12:22 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Thanks -- and yes these links are just starting places. If you really want to dig towards the truth, then evaluate the authors, their citations, etc...

 
At 12:43 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'd like to know why Mary believes Carter was fighting communism. I'm not talking about facts or cites or evidence. I'm refering to the reasoning behind Mary's belief that Carter, while a Leftist, would still fight the Soviet Union.

About the neutron thingie, the military industrial complex did exist. But what the Democrats did not tell you was that the military industrial complex was developed by and intended to benefit Leftists like Carter's administration. It makes sense, no?

You don't set up a military industrial complex that relies upon political favors to create favorable war for business, for the party NOT IN POWER. Which the Republicans were not in power, and the Democrats championed defense and what not. Reagan himself, if you recall, came from the Democrats. Republicans were isolationists, what military industrial complex could make a profit by buying Republicans up? Nobody. Which means what? It means the peope making the neutron bomb were basically selling a bloated contract to Carter and the American people.

As noted, the neutron bomb has no fall out. Therefore it has a chance to be used "more". Which meant, deterence would go down the toilet if there was no nuclear fallout. MAD doesn't work when there's no mutual to the assured destruction.
The Leftists were concerned about the new weapons. I am concerned about the destruction of humanity, and Carter was concerned about making a buck and getting the Soviets to back down by developing a new weapons system.

Think about it, Carter wanted the Soviets to back down by developing a NEW WEAPON system. The Soviets do not back down. One of the reasons why they crashed, was because they spent so much money on their military, that their economic infrastructure collapsed. The only question is, did Carter really think the Soviets would back down, like the idiot that he is, or was Carter openly trying to give the Soviets a reason to arm up?

But many left-wingers and liberals in Europe and America dubbed it the "capitalist" bomb and condemned it for making nuclear war more likely.

You have to ask yourself mary, if Carter was a Leftist, why did he support a neutron bomb? Assuming a neutron bomb existed that is, and worked as advertised.

This you can count on above all else. When the Left calls you a dictator supporting CIA agent, you can be assured that it is the Left that supports dictators. When the Left calls you a unilateralist, be assured that you are most definitely a multilateralist. When the Left calls GitMo a gulag, you can be assured that GitMo is a 5 star resort. When the Left calls a general credible, you can be assured that general is not credible. When the Left says John Kerry and John Murtha are war heroes, veterans of Vietnam, you can be assured that Kerry bought his medals and Murtha was working as a S-2(intel) in a staff position in the Marine Reserves.

When Carter says Bush supports dictators and is an oppressor for overthrowing regimes in native countries. You can be assured.

 
At 1:22 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Here's a millblogger's plans to deal with Iran, based upon Sun Tzu and Clausewitz

My only comment is that a lot of these things can be tweaked based upon what else you want to do. For example, any naval blockade can be split between either after China vetoes or before China vetoes. Depending upon the time chosen, the results and leverage is different.

 
At 1:35 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I'd like to know why Mary believes Carter was fighting communism. I'm not talking about facts or cites or evidence. I'm refering to the reasoning behind Mary's belief that Carter, while a Leftist, would still fight the Soviet Union.

I don't know if Carter was anti-communist, but he was anti-Soviet. Brzezinski was also anti-soviet.

Brzezinski is still fighting imaginary Soviets and we're still listening to the lunatic.

Carter may have been fighting the Soviets to make a buck or to shore up the military industrial complex. Whatever. His actions and his support of Brzezinski indicate that he was anti-Soviet, for his own reasons. Actions speak louder than words.

The problem is, we're still following his policies, allying with Islamists to fight Brzezinski's shadowy red menace. The current war is being sold to us as a war against terrorism because that's the only war that Americans will support, but it's not.

- If we're fighting terrorism, why did we choose to attack Iraq, the nation that had the least amount of involvement in the 9/11 attacks? Why didn't we attack Iran then?

- If we're fighting terrorism, why are we allied with the worst terror supporting states? Saudi Arabia and the Sudan were about as culpable as the Taliban were in the 9/11 attacks.

- If we're fighting Islamism, why have we installed an Islamist government in Afghanistan? Why are we planning to install an Islamist government in Iraq?

- Islamist terror-supporting states are, for the most part, economically and strategically vulnerable, militarily weak and intellectually backwards. Why should a war against these weak states take decades? Why should a war against such pathetic enemies be called the 'long war'?

There is no war against terrorism. We're cozying up to Islamists who want to kill us in the hopes that we can use them to intimidate the Chinese and the 'soviets'. We're willing to go to war to save Taiwan but we look the other way as Islamists destabilize governments around the world. Do we really believe that the Chinese are planning to attack us after they've invested billions in our economy?

Both parties, Republicans and Democrats, are more threatened by chanllenges to their power than by terrorism. A powerful China threatens their status, and that frightens them more than 9/11 ever did. They're more interested in playing expensive realpolitik games than in fighting terrorism.

Most Americans care about terrorism because it threatens their lives. So, the politicians market their realpolitik games as a war against terrorism. But their actions indicate that they have no real plans to fight terror.

 
At 1:38 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Doug said...

"I'd like to know why Mary believes Carter was fighting communism. I'm not talking about facts or cites or evidence. I'm refering to the reasoning behind Mary's belief that Carter, while a Leftist, would still fight the Soviet Union."

On the one hand, we have the facts and cites and evidence about Carter's actions while president. On the other hand, we have Ymar's syllogism that Carter was a leftist and no leftist would fight communism. Which should we believe provides the better description of the real world in which we live?

I would recommend you read the wiki entries for Carter Doctrine and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Carter's foreign policy was ineffective, but he was plainly opposed to Soviet expansionism.

I would also like to point out that nyomythus's first link is bunk. It asserts that Carter planned the hostage takeover with Iranian Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan to help his domestic political fortunes. In fact, Bazargan's government fell as a result of the hostage seizure, and it was a major factor in Carter's loss to Reagan in 1980. Beyond its factual problems, the observant reader will note that it is entirely based on third-hand reporting by anonymous sources - you wouldn't accept that kind of "evidence" in an MSM piece, and you shouldn't accept it here just because you like the conclusions the article draws!

 
At 4:33 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

Maryatexitzero has thoughts:

- If we're fighting terrorism, why did we choose to attack Iraq, the nation that had the least amount of involvement in the 9/11 attacks? Why didn't we attack Iran then?

If your wanting to subdue some more dangerous despots after you’ve just deposed a dangerous regime in Afghanistan you’ve got to start somewhere and for 13 years Saddam had been violation his terms of surrender after his foiled invasion of Kuwait. Saddam was shooting at US aircraft, kicking UN inspectors out of Iraq, refusing to account for his WMD arsenal, had tried to assassinate an American ex-President, etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum. He was a good start.

Why not Iran? Because, as we are finding out today, it is politically unfeasible to mount a military action against Iran. I wish it were not.

- If we're fighting terrorism, why are we allied with the worst terror supporting states? Saudi Arabia and the Sudan were about as culpable as the Taliban were in the 9/11 attacks.

I’m sorry, but no. I don’t believe the Sudan or Saudi Arabia were culpable for 9/11, except perhaps very, very indirectly. Before I swallow an assertion of this type I’m going to have to know just why Mary thinks Saudi Arabia and the Sudan were culpable.

- If we're fighting Islamism, why have we installed an Islamist government in Afghanistan? Why are we planning to install an Islamist government in Iraq?

The US hasn’t “installed” governments in Afghanistan or Iraq. Those countries are forming their own governments, having their own elections, etc. The fact that some aspects of the governments that these countries are forming are distasteful to Western democratic sensibilities only serves to underscore the relative independence of the political process in both countries. Other than specifying an elective process and forbidding some figures from former regimes from taking part I don’t think the US has been particularly dictatorial in the post-war government building.

- Islamist terror-supporting states are, for the most part, economically and strategically vulnerable, militarily weak and intellectually backwards. Why should a war against these weak states take decades? Why should a war against such pathetic enemies be called the 'long war'?

Mary descends into hyperbole with “decades.” The US deposed Saddam only 3 years ago.

There is no war against terrorism. We're cozying up to Islamists who want to kill us in the hopes that we can use them to intimidate the Chinese and the 'soviets'. We're willing to go to war to save Taiwan but we look the other way as Islamists destabilize governments around the world. Do we really believe that the Chinese are planning to attack us after they've invested billions in our economy?

I think Mary has it backwards. The US is cozying up to Russia and China in hopes they can intimidate the terrorists. China planning to attack? I certainly don’t think anyone in the administration or Congress thinks China is planning to attack the US. I do agree that the US has in the past looked the other way in regards to terrorists. In fact this passivity may have much to do with the current terrorism boom.

Both parties, Republicans and Democrats, are more threatened by challenges to their power than by terrorism. A powerful China threatens their status, and that frightens them more than 9/11 ever did. They're more interested in playing expensive realpolitik games than in fighting terrorism.

I don’t think either party feels much intimidated by China’s ability to threaten their status. I will agree that the Democratic Party is lackadaisical in respect to terrorism. Their main concern seems to be to somehow bring Bush down.

 
At 6:43 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Doug said… Carter's foreign policy was ineffective, but he was plainly opposed to Soviet expansionism.

Hmmm (2 seconds later)

ineffectual and plainly opposed are pretty much synonymous in the business of foreign policy ESPECIALLY when you are dealing with a barbaric Islamist mindset.

 
At 8:14 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I’m sorry, but no. I don’t believe the Sudan or Saudi Arabia were culpable for 9/11, except perhaps very, very indirectly. Before I swallow an assertion of this type I’m going to have to know just why Mary thinks Saudi Arabia and the Sudan were culpable.

There is that theory that Osama put so many Saudis because he wanted the US to attack Saudi Arabia, trash mecca and medina, inciting an Islamic backlash and increasing Osama support. Bush didn't seem to fall for it.

It doesn't really matter what I, or we, or Bush wanted to invade Iraq for. Those reasons are individual based and none of them are automatically going to be Mary's regardless of whether Mary hears them or not.

We could say, I guess, that Iraq was the low hanging fruit, the weak spot, of Arabia. With a guaranteed pro-American and militaristic faction called the Kurds in the north, and one of the few Arab nations that has a majority Shia population, which would give us allies against the Sunni and Sufi based Al Qaeda. This would set up a roadblock for both Saudi Arabia, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, and Syria's Baathists.

The real question is, why Mary thought Iraq was not the better target.

His actions and his support of Brzezinski indicate that he was anti-Soviet, for his own reasons. Actions speak louder than words.

The only reason why you believe that is because of the Taheri article. You're just going to buy whatever Taheri says is the case?

- If we're fighting Islamism, why have we installed an Islamist government in Afghanistan? Why are we planning to install an Islamist government in Iraq?


People see Bush and they see a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. They have about as much justification believing that as you do believing that Karzai is an Islamist fundamentalist leader of a theocratic government.

Go ahead, list your justifications for why you're right, and Karzai is a fundamentalist Islamic leader.

- Islamist terror-supporting states are, for the most part, economically and strategically vulnerable, militarily weak and intellectually backwards. Why should a war against these weak states take decades?

Cleans wars are expensive, they also take longer. Asymmetrical warfare is also very long. The main reason why it should take decades is because very short wars and immediate victories don't really matter. The war is not going to end just cause you have a victory parade after Saddam is gone.

The shorter the war you want us to make, the more casualties we will take in the long term and the less success we will have crushing the guerrilas and terroists. You think the USA is omnipotent and can just wave a wand, and everyone's heads will fall off? Be realistic. We could do that, but that would be extermination, not war.

Do we really believe that the Chinese are planning to attack us after they've invested billions in our economy?

Actually, it is more like after America has invested billions in the Chinese economy. Since America is buying stuff from China, not the other way around, it isn't Chinese dollars being invested in our economy but American trade dollars being invested in Chinese manufacturing.

So, the politicians market their realpolitik games as a war against terrorism.

Your belief that the United States leadership in charge of military and strategic goals, is focusing on real politek as the strategic foundation is laid out in this manner. With some pro and anti justifications.

The United States refuses to support the status quo, instead favoring self-autonomy in Iraq and Afghanistan. You would have us believe the US focuses on realpolitek, inspite of the sacrifices in blood and treasure liberating the Iraqis and Afghanistanis, because of Amir Taheri and some anti-Soviet strategist.

That's not a favorable balance for belief. Realpolitek is Carter getting rid of the Shah cause he prefered someone else. People power, Carter has always favored. Real politek is not liberating two countries in the Middle East. It makes no sense for people who support dictators to want to get rid of them, and spend a huge amount of cash and lives to do it.

Let me outline it for doug.

Do you have any evidence that Carter wanted the Shah overthrown? If Iran had been invaded by the Soviet Union, Carter would clearly have used military force - he said so explicitly in the Carter Doctrine. But he wasn't willing to do so to suppress a popular revolution.

First of all, any evidence that Carter wanted the Shah overthrown is not believed. Ex Post Facto. One defense. Provide the evidence, and he shall disbelieve it. Fair, I suppose.

Second defense used by doug. Carter does things because Carter says he will do them. No, that can't be assumed. Politicians say a lot of things, like they will rescue the hostages or not negotiate with terroists. They fail to do them anyways.

First it was, Carter let the Shah get overthrown because the revolution was a Leftist popular one, and Carter wasn't willing to interfere. Then it was Zbigniew Brzezinski's strategy that made Carter support the overthrowing of the Shah in favor of Muj forces. Which one should we believe? I suggest neither.

On the one hand, we have the facts and cites and evidence about Carter's actions while president.

Ja, like the fact that Carter said he'd use military force in his Carter Doctrine therefore he obviouslly would have done it! Carter didn't use military force to repel Soviets, that's not a fact, a cite, or an evidence. Except the evidence that it didn't occur. That's not a fact, that's called circular logic to believe Carter used military force to support the Shah cause he said he would if the Soviets invaded. Look, he didn't, it didn't happen, and nobody's going to believe it would have happened based upon the "evidence" that he said he would have done it.

Brzezinski also became a leading critic of the Bush administration's "war on terror." Some painted him as a neoconservative because of his links to Paul Wolfowitz and his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard, which frankly discussed U.S. empire. He wrote The Choice in 2004 which expanded upon The Grand Chessboard but sharply criticized the Bush administration's foreign policy.

In this case, presumably Mary is arguing that Bush is doing Brzezinsky's strategy and Brzezinsky is disagreeing with his own strategy... There's too many inconsistencies and senseless statements that don't jibe.

On the other hand, we have Ymar's syllogism that Carter was a leftist and no leftist would fight communism. Which should we believe provides the better description of the real world in which we live?

Obviously Doug believed my syllogism because Doug believed that Carter did not move against the Revolution against the Shah, cause it was a popular (read Leftist) one. I suppose asking people to disbelieve things that Doug already believes in, makes a lot of sense to some people, but I hope this kind of sloppy reasoning isn't indemic.

I really don't think it's wise to believe that Carter was anti-Soviet just cause one of his advisors came from Poland and was quite anti-Soviet. That's about as believable as saying we should believe that Carter would have used military force to support the Shah, cause that was what was in Carter Doctrine (and that sentence was written by Zbigniew Brzezinski too).

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force. (full speech)

This, the key sentence of the Carter Doctrine, was written by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser. Brzezinski modeled the wording of the Carter Doctrine on the Truman Doctrine, and insisted that the sentence be included in the speech "to make it very clear that the Soviets should stay away from the Persian Gulf."


It seems more and more, like whatever carter would do against the Soviets came directly from Brzezinski. Ain't that convenient.

Besides, Carter lied. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Carter didn't use military force against the Soviets. Carter sold some weapons, and that was about it, to the muj.

It's really sloppy argumentation and methodology on doug's part. The cites he is refering to is actually not quotes, but just anecdotes he recalls directly from memory. That would be valid if he is arguing from a common sense perspective, but that's not why Doug says he is right. Doug says he is right cause he has the evidence and the cites on his side. Recollections of dim memories of what happened 2 decades ago is neither evidence nor a cite, just to be clear.

you wouldn't accept that kind of "evidence" in an MSM piece, and you shouldn't accept it here just because you like the conclusions the article draws!

Let me outline the logic so that people don't get confused.

While I wouldn't believe a MSM story about Marine atrocities cause their anonymous sources said it happened, I would believe a reasoned and logical conclusion that is both consistent in the framework of reality and does not bear any logical flaws. What's the difference? The difference is believing something is true cause somebody's source said it was true, and believing something is true because the logic and reasoning is persuasive. Nyo's link has both a persuasive and logical argument. Your argument, Doug, is that because Jimmy Carter didn't use military force to support the Shah as a US ally, we should believe that based upon Jimmy Carter's actions that he was anti-Soviet.

No, that doesn't work.

See this is the problem with people who treat debates based upon whose source they believe in. That's just the logical fallacy of believing things based upon authority. They don't use logic, they don't scan their reasoning, and thus we end up with this junk in their argumentation.

Beyond its factual problems, the observant reader will note that it is entirely based on third-hand reporting by anonymous sources

Keep talking about the "source" and you might even qualify for argumentum ad nauseam as well as Argumentum ad verecundiam.

We already know that Doug doesn't believe in Nyo's sources. But then again, Nyo didn't say Nyo believes X cause of the sources. And neither did I, I said I am inclined to believe Nyo's first link's analysis because it makes sense. What part of it "makes sense" do people not get?. I call this the lawyer version of debating. Using evidence only and never basic reasoning.

 
At 8:26 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Do we really believe that the Chinese are planning to attack us after they've invested billions in our economy?

If China attacked the U.S. the world economy would collapse, millions would starve, an unfathomable dark age would ensue, yet this might be the surprise attack we weren't counting on. In a way, the American Left is like the Muslim squatters of Europe, singular drops of innocent water, a flashflood waiting for an earthquake.

 
At 9:24 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

ymarsakar - you say:

Actually, it is more like after America has invested billions in the Chinese economy. Since America is buying stuff from China, not the other way around, it isn't Chinese dollars being invested in our economy but American trade dollars being invested in Chinese manufacturing.

No. China has invested billion in US treasury bonds in an effort to keep the dollar from sinking. From 'The Economist':

Not only has China's disinflationary impact caused low short-term interest rates, but China is also partly responsible for the low level of long-term bond yields. To keep its exchange rate pegged to the dollar, China was the biggest buyer of American Treasury bonds over the past year. In the first six months of 2005, its foreign-exchange reserves increased by more than $100 billion, to $711 billion, of which about three-quarters are in dollars. This has also kept capital costs artificially low.
Who calls the shots?


For many decades, global monetary policy has been set in Washington. When the Fed raised interest rates, global monetary conditions would tighten. Today, however, thanks in part to China's purchases of T-bonds, low long-term bond yields have offset the rise in American short-term interest rates over the past year. The yield on ten-year bonds is currently lower than before the Fed started to lift interest rates in June 2004. America's sovereignty over its monetary policy has therefore been eroded, with a given rise in short-term rates producing much less monetary tightening than in the past. To that extent, global monetary policy is increasingly being set in Beijing as well as in Washington

China's rising status as an economic superpower (with nukes!) directly threatens the status of our government, and they don't like it. Haven't you read any of the hundreds of articles about the Chinese century?

Then we have Cheney prattling about the the "Soviet bear"

In 2002, Cheney explained why we invaded Iraq. It had nothing to do with terrorism. We went in to protect the Sauds.

.. in August, 2002, seven months before the war started, Cheney warned that Saddam would be able to seize control of the world’s economic lifeline if he acquired weapons of mass destruction: “Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror, and seated atop ten per cent of the world’s oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world’s energy supplies, directly threaten America’s friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail.”

In Cheney's own words, he was following the Cater doctrine.

In Cheney's own words, democracy and terrorism were not relevant in his decision.


Conversely, can you prove that we are fighting Islamism or terrorism? How many Islamist regimes have we overthrown? How many have we allowed to take over?

How many times have we criticized or directly threatened Islamist regimes? How many times have we directly threatened the red menace? How many Chinese embassies have we bombed? How many Islamist-state embassies have we bombed?

Are there any circumstances under which we have definitely promised to go to war with an Islamist nation? How about China?

If we really are fighting a war against terrorism, I can't imagine a less efficient way of doing it.

 
At 9:44 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Go ahead, list your justifications for why you're right, and Karzai is a fundamentalist Islamic leader.

Are you talking about Karzai, the leader of the sharia-led Islamic Republic of Afghanistan? Or are you talking about the Islamist warlords who helped us fight the Islamist Taliban?

I’m sorry, but no. I don’t believe the Sudan or Saudi Arabia were culpable for 9/11, except perhaps very, very indirectly. Before I swallow an assertion of this type I’m going to have to know just why Mary thinks Saudi Arabia and the Sudan were culpable.

Do you have time to do a few hours of reading?

A few links (leading to many more links)

Saudi Arabia still funding terrorism

Hate is a WMD

Terrorism isn't a desperate act fueled by revenge

The Grand Strategy of the Headless Chicken

Ambassador Turki

Fahd Death lifts crude

Proof that Sudanese government officials were as involved with al Qaeda as the Taliban:

from the US State Department:

Does Sudan sponsor terrorism?

Yes. The country has been on the State Department’s list of states that sponsor terrorism since 1993, and the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Sudanfrom 1996 to 2001 because of its involvement with terrorism. The Islamist Arab government that controls most of the country has provided sanctuary to terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, and has let terrorist groups plan and carry out operations from Sudan.

.. State Department officials stress major areas of concern still remain. In October 2004, theUnited States designated the Khartoum-based NGO Islamic African Relief Agency as a supporter of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Has Sudan harbored al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups?

Yes. The country has given shelter to Islamist and Middle Eastern terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, which used Sudanas its main operational and training base from 1991 to 1996. International investigators suspected that at one point it had become a financial hub for the terror network since September 11; al-Qaeda operatives have reportedly spirited large amounts of gold into Sudan.

[that gold came from Iran]

One of the Saudi government officials involved with al Qaeda is currently our Ambassador from Saudi Arabia, Prince Turki.

Saudi officials were named when Sept. 11 families attempted to sue them. All were aquitted due to diplomatic immunity, not because they were innocent.

Mary descends into hyperbole with “decades.” The US deposed Saddam only 3 years ago.

Actually, it's Rumsfeld who is descending into hyperbole. The 'decades' estimate is from his 'long war' speech:

The United States is engaged in what could be a generational conflict akin to the Cold War, the kind of struggle that might last decades as allies work to root out terrorists across the globe and battle extremists who want to rule the world, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday.

Rumsfeld, who laid out broad strategies for what the military and the Bush administration are now calling the "long war," likened al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin while urging Americans not to give in on the battle of wills that could stretch for years. He said there is a tendency to underestimate the threats that terrorists pose to global security, and said liberty is at stake.

Osama may be as nasty as Lenin and Hitler, but miltarily, he and his supporters are comparable to Grenada. As Mark Steyn said, the Arab armies combined make Belgium look butch. Proof of their weakness - the Six Day War. Why should a fight against Grenada-strength opponents take decades? It makes no sense at all.

Why not Iran? Because, as we are finding out today, it is politically unfeasible to mount a military action against Iran. I wish it were not.

It's militarily unfeasable to mount a military action against Iran because we're tied up in Iraq, following the Carter doctrine.

The US hasn’t “installed” governments in Afghanistan or Iraq.

No, we allowed Islamist governments to take over. Just like Carter.

The US is cozying up to Russia and China in hopes they can intimidate the terrorists

We may be cozying up to them because they kind of own us, but I don't think the members of our government are happy about that.

 
At 10:20 PM, May 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

China's rising status as an economic superpower (with nukes!) directly threatens the status of our government, and they don't like it.

If the reason you believe that our government is beholden to China is because of economic reasons, then why isn't China beholden to the US given our superior army, navy, and air force?

In Cheney's own words, he was following the Cater doctrine.

Which would make Cheney different from Carter, in that Cheney actually follows Carter's doctrine.

In Cheney's own words, democracy and terrorism were not relevant in his decision.

Cheney doesn't have any words. Because Cheney isn't here, and he didn't say he supported what you said he supported. So it is not as if Cheney is the authoritative God people like me should bow down to cause you say he says what you think is right. Being supported by Cheney is not an indication of either Godhood or Correctness. Besides, Cheney doesn't decide American policy, that would be his boss, Bush. The one that actually got elected.

Conversely, can you prove that we are fighting Islamism or terrorism?

Can you prove Cheney doesn't take into account democracies or terrorism in his decision? I know, rhetorical question. Let's be clear here. Nobody's going to prove anything to you Mary, if you won't believe it. Convincing or persuading you that America's strategic goal is to spread democracy in the Middle East to replace dictatorships, is an entirely separate matter. I do know that it wasn't solely the forces of dictatorships that blew up US Marines with IEDs, you know. So, presumably, we are fighting Islamism and terrorism because Islamism and terrorism are fighting us. That's not even a logic chain, that's a double take.

How many Islamist regimes have we overthrown?

1

How many have we allowed to take over?

-1 Kuwaitt's voted in women's voting rights. A stronger argument can be made that we went into iraq twice to protect Kuwaitt... not Saudi Arabia.

If you're arguing that Carter did this or that, or the anti-Soviet Polish guy did this or that, and this means "we", meaning whomever you are talking about at any specific time, are not fighting Islamism and terrorism then you have a problem. It's called common sense. Obviously, if you mean "we" to include Carter as well as Bush and everyone else, "we" is not "we" but "everyone". Everyone, does not do the same thing all the time. Carter is not we. If Carter was we, then we would not be fighting Islamism because Carter loves Islamicfascism. We, meaning me and people who agree with me, are fighting Islamic fascism instead of supporting dictators, because presumably "we", are the ones fighting Islamic fascism instead of supporting dictators.

How many Chinese embassies have we bombed?

1

Is there like a point to your questions, or what?

If we really are fighting a war against terrorism, I can't imagine a less efficient way of doing it.

Conclusions. After some back and forth about why mary believes America is not fighting against terror, I still don't know much more than I started out with. It's obvious what Mary believes, about Saudi Arabia, Cheney, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. But if you remember, I asked why Mary believed in those things. That's a different question, and I still don't know the answer to be honest. But that's okay.

Maybe I need to elaborate on what I'm seeking here. I'm not seeking to convince you, Mary, that the sun is black or that the lunar eclipse is blue, to use hyperbole. To the extent that I am curious, I am only curious as to what your justifications are for your own personal beliefs. This means what exactly? It means I'm asking for your logical premises, I am not asking for any corrolaries, evidence, facts, cites, events, or anything else.

Let's take Mary's reasoning about Saudi Arabia. The same applies to Kuwaitt, so why doesn't Mary believe it is Kuwaitt we are protecting, not Saudi Arabia?

Let's another one of your reasons, Mary. Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney didn't mention democracy... therefore Mary believes democracy did not factor in his decision makings. Problem is, why does Dick Cheney's decisions matter compared to Bush's?

Do you have time to do a few hours of reading?

Road block 1. Look, when people ask the question of why, it doesn't take long to answer once you get the answer. It does take awhile to figure out the answer. Which means, there are probably only 1 or 2 logical premises at the root of a person's beliefs. Everything else, concerns the how, the whats, and the when.

No, we allowed Islamist governments to take over. Just like Carter.

So I guess it goes something like this. We are using Carter's pro-Islamic strategy because we are just like Carter.

Are you talking about Karzai, the leader of the sharia-led Islamic Republic of Afghanistan?

I am talking about Karzai. Why? Because that was the name I used. I don't see a problem here, because when I say list your justifications about x and karzai being the leader of a fundementalist government, presumably I am asking about Karzai. Just to be clear, of course.

 
At 7:43 AM, May 20, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

But if you remember, I asked why Mary believed in those things. That's a different question, and I still don't know the answer to be honest.

As I said, actions speak louder than words. Bush says that we're fighting Islamism and the states that support and aid terrorism. He said:

We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.

But he didn't do that. Instead, he allies with those states and allows them to continue to fund terrorism. If Al Gore had been in office he would have done the same thing, because allying with terror-supporting nations has been our policy for years. We have no alternative plan.

 
At 10:45 AM, May 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

But he didn't do that.

Defunding Hamas is not drying up terroist funds. Invading terroist sponsoring nations like Iraq and Afghanistan, is not going after terroists where they live.

You want some complete Total War thing, which is not the same thing as saying Bush hasn't done these things. You want him to do more of these things, you want him to committ the United States to Total War through obliteration. Don't call that doing Bush's strategy for him. That's an entirely different strategy.

As I said, actions speak louder than words.

But you don't believe what you say. Since you're talking about Al Gore doing what you think he would have done, but since he wasn't President he didn't do what you think he would have done, now did he?

Actions of hypothetical characters aren't real actions. And Afghanistan and Iraq are real actions, regardless of the hypothetical character actions you said would have happened.

 
At 12:20 PM, May 20, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

Mary wrote earlier: If we're fighting terrorism, why are we allied with the worst terror supporting states? Saudi Arabia and the Sudan were about as culpable as the Taliban were in the 9/11 attacks.

My response: I’m sorry, but no. I don’t believe the Sudan or Saudi Arabia were culpable for 9/11, except perhaps very, very indirectly. Before I swallow an assertion of this type I’m going to have to know just why Mary thinks Saudi Arabia and the Sudan were culpable.

Mary’s reply: Do you have time to do a few hours of reading?[links to articles]

Mary, I don’t dispute that individuals in Saudi Arabia are probably funding terrorism. And I certainly don’t trust the Saudis. The situation in Saudi Arabia with terror-funding is like the US had with IRA funding – not officially sanctioned but nothing much done to stop it, either(BTW, I concede the Brits have every right to be miffed at US hypocrisy on the IRA issue). And Sudan is definitely a terror-sponsoring state. But your assertion was that the Saudis and the Sudanese were culpable specifically for 9/11 and I see nothing in the linked articles to support it. BTW, if you believe Sudan and Saudi Arabia are the “worst terror supporting states’” you haven’t been paying attention. The country that sponsors the most terror is Iran.

On the “decades” assertion, I think it rather obvious from my response(“The US deposed Saddam only 3 years ago.”) that I was referring only to Iraq and thought you were referring only to the Iraq war. Yes, I agree with Rumsfeld that the larger world-wide religious war, above and beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, may take decades.

Why should a fight against Grenada-strength opponents take decades? It makes no sense at all.

In fairness, I don’t believe all the countries on the State Departments list of terror-sponsoring states are as militarily weak as Grenada was. Cuba, Iran, Sudan and North Korea may take awhile to win over diplomatically or subdue militarily. Three are off the list(Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan) but it has taken several years of military actions to get them off the list. Four more could easily take decades, don’t you think?

It's militarily unfeasible to mount a military action against Iran because we're tied up in Iraq, following the Carter doctrine.

No, actually the US could mount a devastating military action against Iran from afar using just one or two US nuclear submarines. After such a strike Iran would be reduced to the Stone Age. It’s political opposition here at home that prevents such an action, not any lack of military resources.

No, we allowed Islamist governments to take over. Just like Carter.

The US has recently deposed 2 belligerent governments. And how many governments did Carter’s administration depose? Just like Carter? Mary, you really do need to watch the exaggerations. Were you wanting the US to totally dictate the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq? Puppet governments? Oh how the anti-war crowd would scream if that were the case! Bush would be impeached by now!

I’m aware that there are monetary exchange and trade deficit points of contention between the US and China, but that is hardly reason to believe as you originally asserted that China is causing US politicians very much anxiety. This type of bloodless economic conflict happens too often with too many countries to cause anxiety.

 
At 11:00 PM, May 20, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

But your assertion was that the Saudis and the Sudanese were culpable specifically for 9/11 and I see nothing in the linked articles to support it. BTW, if you believe Sudan and Saudi Arabia are the “worst terror supporting states’” you haven’t been paying attention. The country that sponsors the most terror is Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the Sudan are as culpable as the Taliban. So was the UAE. So was Iran.

If you read Robert Baer's Sleeping with the Devil or Robert Baer's Hatred's Kingdom you'll see that members of the Saudi government directly supported terror. Members of the Saudi government are currently encouraging Saudi suicide bombers to go into Iraq.

Yes, I agree with Rumsfeld that the larger world-wide religious war, above and beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, may take decades.

The way we're fighting it, yes, it will. It can take forever to get somewhere if you stand in place, shooting yourself in the foot.

Cuba, Iran, Sudan and North Korea may take awhile to win over diplomatically or subdue militarily.

What do Cuba and North Korea have to do with the fight against Islamist terrorism? This is the problem with this 'war against terrorism'. Are we fighting the commies or the fascists? If we'd tried to fight both at the same time back in the early '40's, we would probably have lost both wars.

And why is Cuba still an enemy? They're a toothless regime.

The US has recently deposed 2 belligerent governments. And how many governments did Carter’s administration depose?

According to some accounts, Carter's administration deposed the Shah.

Our actions are similar to Carter's because our government is willing to tolerate oppressive Islamist governments in order to achieve their goals.

We allied with the Wahhabis to depose the Soviets. We invaded Iraq, in part, in order to help our Wahhabi 'allies.' Since these alliances are currently bleeding our economy, this time the Islamists are helping the Reds defeat us.

I’m aware that there are monetary exchange and trade deficit points of contention between the US and China, but that is hardly reason to believe as you originally asserted that China is causing US politicians very much anxiety.

US politicians are more interested in maintaining their power and status than in protecting Americans. That's what their actions indicate. China's growing economy doesn't threaten me all that much, nor does it threaten most people, but it does threaten politicians.

They're still at war with Cuba, because Cuba is a commie state. Cuba doesn't threaten the lives of American citizens, but they don't respect the US government. Therefore, they're an enemy.

Saudi Arabia directly threatens the lives of American citizens, but they pretend to respect the US government. They're our "good friends".

Politicians don't see things the way we do.

 
At 12:10 AM, May 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Saudi Arabia and the Sudan are as culpable as the Taliban. So was the UAE. So was Iran.

If they are all culpable as you say, then there should have been no target preference. One country owuld have been as good as another. But that doesn't seem to be what you are arguing however.

If you read Robert Baer's Sleeping with the Devil or Robert Baer's Hatred's Kingdom you'll see that members of the Saudi government directly supported terror. Members of the Saudi government are currently encouraging Saudi suicide bombers to go into Iraq.


The question remains however, why Mary believes Iraq and Afghanistan were the WRONG first targets. We're not talking about if Saudi Arabia did or did not support terrorism, we're talking about why Saudi Arabia in Mary's view, is a superior first target than Iraq or Afghanistan.

According to some accounts, Carter's administration deposed the Shah.

Since the Shah was a US ally and progressive, and presumably Saddam was neither progressive nor an ally, there's really no comparison between what Bush did and what Carter did.

Our actions are similar to Carter's because our government is willing to tolerate oppressive Islamist governments in order to achieve their goals.

Carter did a bit more than "tolerate" oppressive regimes, he installed one in Iran.

We invaded Iraq, in part, in order to help our Wahhabi 'allies.'

Again, Mary's ignoring the fact that Kuwaitt was helped more by Iraq invasion than Saudi Arabia.

 
At 12:18 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

I wrote earlier: But your assertion was that the Saudis and the Sudanese were culpable specifically for 9/11 and I see nothing in the linked articles to support it. BTW, if you believe Sudan and Saudi Arabia are the “worst terror supporting states’” you haven’t been paying attention. The country that sponsors the most terror is Iran.

Mary’s reply: Saudi Arabia and the Sudan are as culpable as the Taliban. So was the UAE. So was Iran. If you read Robert Baer's Sleeping with the Devil or Robert Baer's Hatred's Kingdom you'll see that members of the Saudi government directly supported terror. Members of the Saudi government are currently encouraging Saudi suicide bombers to go into Iraq.

I repeat: Mary, I don’t dispute that individuals in Saudi Arabia are probably funding terrorism. In fact, there are probably individuals in government and elsewhere in society in every Muslim country in the world who are giving money and other aid to terrorists – individual Muslim business leaders, Muslim politicians, Muslim government officials and Muslim clerics all over the Muslim world are probably contributing, in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. In fact, Muslim “charities” in Europe and the US are probably also doing their part to contribute to the terrorists in the world wide religious war currently playing on the world stage. But your assertion was that the Saudis and the Sudanese were culpable specifically for 9/11 and I see nothing in the linked articles to support it.

I wrote earlier: Yes, I agree with Rumsfeld that the larger world-wide religious war, above and beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, may take decades.

Mary’s reply: The way we're fighting it, yes, it will. It can take forever to get somewhere if you stand in place, shooting yourself in the foot.

So your answer is to declare war on all Muslim states? Really? Or do I have your strategy wrong? Maybe you could give us a condensed version of what you think the US should do about terrorism because I think I may be interpreting your statements incorrectly in regards to a strategy against terrorism.

I wrote earlier: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and North Korea may take awhile to win over diplomatically or subdue militarily.

Mary’s reply: What do Cuba and North Korea have to do with the fight against Islamist terrorism? This is the problem with this 'war against terrorism'. Are we fighting the commies or the fascists? If we'd tried to fight both at the same time back in the early '40's, we would probably have lost both wars.

Terror-sponsoring states are the problem, not religion.

More from Mary: And why is Cuba still an enemy? They're a toothless regime.

Tell it to the political prisoners jailed and executed by Castro. Read the State Department’s blurb on Cuba, an excerpt from which I’ll quote: “The Government of Cuba maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and North Korea, and has provided safe haven to members of ETA, FARC, and the ELN.” Castro will do anything he can to screw the US.

I wrote earlier: The US has recently deposed 2 belligerent governments. And how many governments did Carter’s administration depose?

Mary’s reply: According to some accounts, Carter's administration deposed the Shah.

Only in the sense that Carter’s passive, apologetic foreign policy played into the mullahs’ hands. And the Shah was friendly toward the West, not belligerent, so your example does not pertain to my question – but we both know the real answer – Carter did nothing in retaliation and by doing nothing encouraged Iran to do more mischief.

Mary wades in: Our actions are similar to Carter's because our government is willing to tolerate oppressive Islamist governments in order to achieve their goals.

Mary, the problem is not Islamic regimes. The problem is Islamic regimes that attempt to wage war against the US and its allies by using terrorists as their proxy military. As far as I’m concern anyone has the right to adhere to any religion they want, as long as they don’t try to use the religion as an excuse to perform murder.

Mary asserts: We allied with the Wahhabis to depose the Soviets. We invaded Iraq, in part, in order to help our Wahhabi 'allies.' Since these alliances are currently bleeding our economy, this time the Islamists are helping the Reds defeat us.

In WW2, the US allied with the Soviets to defeat Hitler. Much later the US assisted the Afghans against the Soviets. In diplomatic terms it’s known as ‘shifting alliances.’ We invaded Iraq for a lot of reasons but none of them had anything to do with “Wahhabi allies.” You do understand, don’t you Mary, that if the US has an alliance with a country that that alliance is not necessarily forever? That a country may not be an ally in one era but may become an ally later?

I wrote earlier: I’m aware that there are monetary exchange and trade deficit points of contention between the US and China, but that is hardly reason to believe as you originally asserted that China is causing US politicians very much anxiety.

Mary’s reply: US politicians are more interested in maintaining their power and status than in protecting Americans. That's what their actions indicate. China's growing economy doesn't threaten me all that much, nor does it threaten most people, but it does threaten politicians.

I’ve seen a growing realization among US politicians that China is an economic opponent. Nothing new in economic opponents. There’s always an economic competitor on hand. Remember when the media had a feeding frenzy because Japan was going to ‘own’ America? But I really don’t think China’s economic shenanigans are causing a lot of anxiety in DC. Economic shenanigans are too commonplace to cause anxiety.

Mary asserts: They're still at war with Cuba, because Cuba is a commie state. Cuba doesn't threaten the lives of American citizens, but they don't respect the US government. Therefore, they're an enemy.

Cuba is a repressive state run by a dictator that used murder and pretended to want democracy to achieve his position. Cuba was the beginning of the Communist movement in Latin America and Castro has never given up trying to export Communism. As long as Castro is in power Cuba is a threat.

Mary asserts: Saudi Arabia directly threatens the lives of American citizens, but they pretend to respect the US government. They're our "good friends".

I repeat: I don’t trust the Saudis but then I’m sure Roosevelt didn’t trust Stalin, either; strategic alliances are not based on trust but on mutual interests and power.

Mary says: Politicians don't see things the way we do.

You can say that again.

 
At 5:15 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Actually, Roosevelt did trust Stalin, giving him many post-war concessions during their conferences. It was Churchill that always warned about fascism and totalitarnian communism. But Churchill also knew how to bite off more than he could chew by forcing Germany and Russia to fight together.

Carter did trust the Ayatollahs, Komeini. Bush trusted Chirac and Blair. But Bush does not trust Saudi Arabia however, or Syria, or Iran, or even particularly Pakistan and Libya.

 
At 10:41 PM, May 21, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

The Government of Cuba maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and North Korea, and has provided safe haven to members of ETA, FARC, and the ELN.” Castro will do anything he can to screw the US.

The Government of the Sudan maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism and has provided safe haven to members of al Qaeda. The Government of Saudi Arabia maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism and has provided safe haven to members of al Qaeda. The Government of the U.A.E. maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism and has provided safe haven to members of al Qaeda.

ETA, FARC and the ELN have not murdered thousands of American citizens. But, the UAE, the Sudan and Saudi pretend to cooperate with our government. That's why they're our close allies.

We're not fighting a war against terrorism. We're fighting a war against anyone who won't do what we say, we're fighting the dessicated remains of the cold war because we're used to doing that, we're figting a war against some bad guys but not the bad guys who pretend to do what we say because they're pretending to help us fight the other bad guys.

Do you think the American people would have supported a some bad guys but not the bad guys who pretend to do what we say because they're pretending to help us fight the other bad guys. . Do you think Americans would have support the realpolitik mess that we're currently 'fighting' now? No. That's why Bush sold it as a war against terror.

I'm not saying that we should fight this war another way, although I really think we should. But, our politicians will always work in their own interests, the are happy in their cold war rut, so they'll do what they please.

However, when they try to sell the next war as 'anti-terrorism' there's no way I'm buying it.

The worst part is, even though we're not really trying, we're fighting terrorism much more effectively than the Europeans. They're hopeless. Sometimes I seriously doubt that nation-states ('helped' by the UN, of course) are able to handle the problem at all.

 
At 10:04 AM, May 22, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

Mary says: The Government of the Sudan maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism and has provided safe haven to members of al Qaeda.

Sudan is a terror-sponsoring country – no dispute about that.

The Government of Saudi Arabia maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism and has provided safe haven to members of al Qaeda.

I don’t dispute that Saudi Arabia may maintain diplomatic relations with embassies, etc. with Iran and other terror-sponsoring nations. Such a relationship would be very useful for those ‘back-channel’ contacts with the US. But when I Google “Saudi Arabia al Qaeda” all I get is a lot of examples of the Saudis killing al Qaeda.

The Government of the U.A.E. maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism and has provided safe haven to members of al Qaeda.

Sorry, Mary, but I can’t just take your word. Your going to have to provide some credible links before I’ll buy into it.

ETA, FARC and the ELN have not murdered thousands of American citizens.

You mean that if terrorists murder other people and not Americans, that’s OK?

But, the UAE, the Sudan and Saudi pretend to cooperate with our government. That's why they're our close allies.

I don’t think the UAE and Saudi Arabia deserve to be placed in the same category as Sudan. I think that they do more than “pretend.” Although I’ll grant you that ultimately the Saudis and the UAE are not to be trusted too far.

I am interested in any links you may have about “the realpolitik mess.” I’m not sure just what you mean by “the realpolitik mess” but it sounds interesting.

We're not fighting a war against terrorism. We're fighting a war against anyone who won't do what we say, we're fighting the desiccated remains of the cold war because we're used to doing that, we're fighting a war against some bad guys but not the bad guys who pretend to do what we say because they're pretending to help us fight the other bad guys.

That’s your interpretation. My analysis: The US is fighting the chief “bad guys” and saving the little “bad guys” for later. One war at a time is enough, don’t you think?

Mary, at least you recognize that there is a terrorism problem and seem to be for action against terror-sponsoring states.

 
At 5:43 PM, May 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Civil arguments are such a surprise once you know the alternatives.

 
At 8:25 PM, May 22, 2006, Blogger Richard Aubrey said...

Eric Haney, early member of Delta Force, has some information in his book, although I don't think he participated.

 
At 3:58 PM, July 18, 2008, Blogger roadveteran said...

The pro-Israeli trash (neo-cons as a disguise/ruse) nce again attempt to create the lie that the Shah was a bulwark of civilization in Iran. The facts are that he was a despot; that Israel sold the resources to Iran that kept the American made F-4 Phantoms (and their Air Force) in the air: I.E. Tires, missles, avionics, etc, all items provided to Israel by Americans and that provided the Israelis with oil while putting at risk our rescue force and the hostages.
As a student of history I feel for the Iranians. We have historically been mislead in our MidEast policies by the pro-Israeli trash that is essentially disloyal anti-Ameriocan filth that strives only to meet the needs of Israel no matter how many Americans must die.
The real "final solution" is to shit-can Israel and seek to mend fences as Americans who strive as independents.
Time to take out the trash: Dump Israel.

 

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