The Agonist: Money, Oil and Power. Agonist is an interesting read. Here’s a good piece about the highground of global politics. Also points out where the UK may be headed and China too.
Cannot find Weapons of Mass Destruction. The funniest site I’ve seen in a long time. Someone did a spoof of the “Web Page cannot be displayed” message that Internet Explorer shows and change it to “Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed.” Hilarious.
Ludwig says I missed it and this went through the blog world a few weeks ago. Oh well, I’m behind. It is the #3 hit on google when you search for “wmd”
Passion for PeaceA great piece by Friedman as usual. The Rumsfeld doctrine of small-force, high-tech armies may be great for winning wars, but you need the Powell doctrine for winning the peace: a massive, overwhelming investment of soldiers, police and aid. We should be flooding Iraq with people and money right now. Start big and then build down — not the other way around. Ditto on the politics side. In destroying the Iraqi Army and Baath Party, we have destroyed the (warped) pillars of Iraqi secular nationalism. We need to start replacing them, quickly, with alternative, progressive pillars of Iraqi secular nationalism; otherwise, Shiite religious nationalism will fill the void.
War in Iraq. A good analysis of what might have happened to the Iraq Army. I would love to know the real story.
Rumsfeld Stands Tall After Iraq Victory (washingtonpost.com). let’s hope he uses his power well. he’s got a lot of it. from the piece he is taking over the cia and the state department in essence. and will shrink the army in favor of special ops and airpower
The Command Post: Pentagon sees end of combat. More units are moving in, notably the 4th ID and the 3rd ACR, but the 82nd Airborne’s one brigade goes home. The 1st Armored will rotate in and the 3rd ID will rotate out.
End of ‘Major’ Combat, Fall of Tikrit, Anxiety Over Syria. Wow, what a difference a week makes. We went on vacation to Hawaii and it looked like a long hard conflict and we’re back this week and it is all over. Gives someone much to think about. I still think that we did this and were very lucky. I’m still a believer personally in the Powell doctrine of massive force with lots of multilateral backing. Obviously, that view is in its twilight in the current administration.
“Iraq Chaos No Surprise, but Too Few Troops to Quell It”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19587-2003Apr13.html. This shows some reasons why.
“Confused Start, Decisive End”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14839-2003Apr12.html. Great insiders view. Some excerpts: The most important meeting of the war may have been the one held on the morning of Saturday, March 29, on a wooded ridge in the Maryland countryside, at the Camp David presidential retreat. Some retired generals were arguing that U.S. forces in Iraq should wait for reinforcement from the 4th Infantry Division, and some Army officers on active duty privately agreed with that view. Several people close to Bush said the calculated risk of plunging ahead was driven partly by the realization that it was important for Rumsfeld’s ambition of transforming the military into a lighter, more agile force. Slowing down on the battlefield threatened to suggest a reversal of the administration’s key defense policy. So there you have it.
“How 3 Weeks of War in Iraq Looked From the Oval Office”: Another insiders view. But quickly, a new argument took its place. It was about postwar Iraq ? who should run it, who should determine which Iraqi leaders should emerge from the seed-corn democracy the United States intended to sow. “Same players, same departments, just a different version of the same fight,” one senior White House official said. But in the first week of April Mr. Rumsfeld reopened the issue, writing a letter to Mr. Bush saying that he wanted to fly the exiles into the country and give them control of the south. That would give Pentagon favorites, including Ahmad Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, a huge advantage in the eventual leadership of the country. Ms. Rice to come into the White House press room on April 4 to describe what the new government would look like. “She had to set down the law for a lot of these guys,” one senior official said. No sooner had she done so, though, than Mr. Chalabi was flown to southern Iraq with a group of lightly armed supporters, to the surprise of American diplomats.
“Bush vetoes Syria war plan”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,937105,00.html. Let’s just hope that folks are listening. It’s pretty clear that there are those who want to go right at it. Amazing. In the past few weeks, the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, ordered contingency plans for a war on Syria to be reviewed following the fall of Baghdad. Meanwhile, his undersecretary for policy, Doug Feith, and William Luti, the head of the Pentagon’s office of special plans, were asked to put together a briefing paper on the case for war against Syria, outlining its role in supplying weapons to Saddam Hussein, its links with Middle East terrorist groups and its allegedly advanced chemical weapons programme. Mr Feith and Mr Luti were both instrumental in persuading the White House to go to war in Iraq.
Interesting pieces to read:
* Bernard Lewis on Iraq. An incredibly smart guy. He points out that the “The kind of regime represented by Saddam Hussein has no roots in either the Arab or Islamic past. Rather, it is an ideological importation from Europe — the only one that worked and succeeded (at least in the sense of being able to survive).”
* “Impact of Embedding”:http://silflayhraka.blogspot.com/2003_03_16_silflayhraka_archive.html#200021064. Great comment on what happens when reporters are actually in line units.
Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.
He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone to call home.
The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his call to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request shook his head and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant.
Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the Marine closest to him responded without a moments hesitation, ?Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call the parents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl “Brian”:http://annatopia.com/wall/archives/000266.html “Buesing”:http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/orl-asecleeguy26032603mar26,0,2533023.story of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing?.
At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was ?Where do they get young men like this??.
I completely agree. I’m sorry I missed the piece on CNN. BTW, “The Wall”:http://www.annatopia.com/wall/ is a blog that remembers all the soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Hard to read
Daily Kos: “A Lack of Character”. I have no idea who Officer X is, but, it sounds all too real to me. The way a big corporation would work. Hopefully, it will all work out in the end. Will be interesting to see who really controls the Iraq reconstruction/occupation in the administration.
“Leaders misjudged Iraq”:http://www.helenair.com/articles/2003/03/30/montana/a08033003_03.txt. Those top civilian leaders “think all wars are small wars that will be over quickly,” Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk told The Billings Gazette in a telephone interview Friday. They made a big mistake in underestimating the Iraqis, and they think air power alone can win the war, he said. “The highest levels (Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz) think this is simple, that the Iraqis would fall apart like the Taliban” in Afghanistan, he said. “The idea that the Iraqis would welcome us was very naive. There are a lot of people there who have a lot to lose if Saddam goes