Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today's clips, quote and links

  • From TAC: The liberty swing vote.
  • From MCJ: If there’s a disaster, you’re on your own for 4-5 days, unless you’re lucky enough to be reached by (as in Katrina) the Navy, the Coast Guard, or local people in boats to rescue you. FEMA, at best, offers loans and loan guarantees for rebuilding after the fact for those who survived. Volunteer agencies and, where properly organized, state and National Guard efforts, do much more for actual relief efforts in the immediate aftermath. The garbage about Bush and Katrina was always garbage. The Feds simply are not equipped to do what people think they can.
  • From RR: The truth about Iraq and Afghanistan, and was Petraeus’ greatness just a media myth?
  • Invisibility cloaking-field development under way. Like the Philadelphia Experiment legend and later ‘Star Trek’ (I wonder if the ‘Star Trek’ idea came from the WWII legend).
  • Just saw The Adjustment Bureau which I like for obvious reasons. Plus Emily Blunt. Noteworthy: Thompson’s first speech. Fits the PC narrative. Obligatory mentions of fascism (not in itself evil) and the Holocaust and none of Communism, which murdered more people. Commie memorabilia’s kitsch. Nazi’s not.


  1. As I understand it, Gen. Petraeus was not great by any means. He was just less-than-totally-incompetent at CI warfare, which made him seem like a genius compared to the sub-imbecilic bozos who were running things before him (who refused to even admit that an insurgency was happening). Recognizing that Counterinsurgency requires a different strategy than conventional warfare is the first step back from disaster. A better step back is recognizing that CI warfare is almost never worth the tremendous cost in time, blood, treasure, and moral ambiguity.

  2. Re: the liberty swing vote

    The Republicans could nominate Lew Rockwell and it still wouldn't matter. If every registered Republican switched to the Libertarian Party tomorrow, it still wouldn't matter. All a libertarian/conservative candidate can do is split the white vote. That is an inevitability in a country where half the citizenry lives off the other half. With every other ethnic group voting Democrat at rates of 60-90+%, the numbers just aren't there.

  3. Re: Iraq, Afghanistan, & Petreus

    First of all: "In truth, only a fraction of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who deploy, are ever under fire."

    This is not true for Iraq & Afghanistan. Military personnel who normally don't "see" combat--e.g., combat service support and combat support--now experience combat routinely in the form of IEDs which have killed and wounded more service personnel than combat itself (rifle bullets, etc.).

    Second, I read Broadwell's bio of Petreus. She paints the picture of a hugely competent general. Now let's assume this is true for the purpose of what I am going to say. I will use her "truth" [yeah right!] to demonstrate that we shouldn't be in Afghanistan.

    What is the description of an end-state the U.S. policy makers want to see in Afghanistan as/after American troops are withdrawn? According to what I have read in Broadwell's book it is a fully trained and capable Afghanistan military and national police force of 300,000 people! Also, well-trained local police at the village level where for Afghanis (a mythical person--there really isn't a real country called Afghanistan) all politics is local. Now how is Afghanistan going to fund a 300,000 man army/national police force? What does Afghanistan export to pay for this? . . . oh yes! Opium! Hardly. So a "successful" counter-insurgency now to be run by the Afghanistan gov't will require on an annual basis billions of U.S dollars in the form of foreign & military aide. Can't be done; we cannot afford it! Of course this assumes that the Petreus of the recent past is not a myth and that the Afghanis will behave as a nation-based people, and that their military and police forces will be competent and effective. Yeah, right!

    1. One other thing: Our special ops forces are not designed for counter-insurgency. Rather they are insurgents. Supporting a native insurgency was the original purpose behind the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and they are pretty good at it when you look at how they took down the Taliban in the early 2000s. Also, I don't think a resurgent and victorious Taliban will be so anxious to invite al-Qaeda to base themselves in Afghanistan again. After all, even without an in-country presence the U.S. is still capable of damaging the Taliban severely. IOW, al-Qaeda is not worth all the fuss 'n bother.

  4. "Commie memorabilia’s kitsch. Nazi’s not."

    There's a commie-themed bar in Cambridge, MA called "The People's Republik". Had I massive sums of money to burn, I'd try to open another establishment across the street and call it "The Fourth Reich", festooning the walls with "Kitschy" Nazi memorabilia. The city would probably deny my request for operating permits on the grounds that that was "offensive".


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