Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday: Dead Quiet.

I have been watching the events in Iraq with increasing incredulity.  If you'd told me the Iraqi army would fold up and blow away, I'd have believed it.  They don't have much of a reputation. They tangled with Israel in 1948 and 1973, and were no threat.  They fought World War I all over again against the Iranians in the 1980's, and neither side showed to advantage although the Iranians demonstrated an interesting proclivity for suicidal frontal attacks. I guess they never studied World War I much at their religious schools. In the two Gulf wars the Iraqi military was largely a bad joke. So their current performance against an Al Qaeda offshoot, ISIL, is not surprising. What does surprise me is that our government seems to have been expecting better. The troops who tried to train the Iraqis could have told them what would happen. You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. We always seem to get stuck trying to make an army out of dross. Remember Vietnam?

The Al Qaeda group seems to be sweeping all before it, except when they accidentally bump into the Kurds and have to fight the Peshmerga. That hasn't worked out well for them, so they are bypassing the Kurds when they can.  Iran is making noises about sending the Revolutionary Guards into Iraq. I hope they do. It was the Revolutionary Guards who masterminded the Beirut Bombing. It would be sweet to see Al Qaeda and those guys stacking each other up like cordwood. The Shiite and the Sunni killing each other may save our bacon.  It was something very similar that allowed the Crusader states to survive in Palestine much longer than they could have otherwise. I regret the vast quantities of advanced weaponry, such as stingers and Apaches, that we've lost to Al Qaeda because the Iraqis ran away and left all the supplies and equipment intact. Tens of thousands of the best small arms, tons of ammunition, a nice present for Islamic terrorists.  It seems our government has to learn some lessons every few years or so all over again. Remember the helicopters being pushed off the decks of the ships off South Vietnam?  For years after the end of the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese were selling F5 fighters, M48 tanks, M60 machine guns, M16 rifles, M1911 pistols, and every other nuts and bolts part of a military to any purchasers who showed interest. A lot of it wound up in the wrong hands in Central and South America.

We live in interesting times.

Whatever is going on in the rest of the world, here in the woods it's quiet.  I went out at dawn, and it was cool with a nice breeze blowing.  Supposed to be very hot by afternoon.  We are going to run into town this morning for a quick trip to Walmart before the church mob shows up.  Primarily we need some eye drops for one of the cats who has an eye infection.

The rest of the day, I'll stay inside where it's cool.  Tomorrow we are going to the lumber yard to get some boards for our garden beds, and I hope we can get started on that when it's cool in the evening. Not much else planned for the week.


  1. As Kissinger famously said about the Iran-Iraq war: "Pity both sides can't lose".

  2. History does repeat its self. Correct me if I'm wrong but the Nazi raise to power was because of the German defeat in WW1.?? The Iraqi's are much like the French of WW2, When the going gets tough, give up. I have always been one to support our troops. But sometimes you wonder what the heck the Idiots in D.C. are thinking.

    1. The treaty of Versailles set the conditions that led to the rise of National Socialism. The French were vindictive, the English went along, and the Americans were small potatoes and powerless. Wilson saw what was happening and went home.

    2. I was just talking to someone about this today. There is no doubt that the seeds of WW2 were sown in the wrap-up of WW1. The Germans took it in the shorts and it left them in a position that allowed someone like Hitler to come up and gain power. The hyperinflation that followed WW1 (and the reason for it) set up the stage for Hitler to come up and promise to restore German glory and power...which was what the Germans really wanted to hear at that point. The rest is, as they say, history.

      Africa will always be Africa, as they say. I suspect this saying applies to a large portion of the mideast as well.

    3. I've been here and there over the world, and I never saw anything like the middle east. I could tell you stories about Lebanon that you simply wouldn't believe. You would be sure I was making it up. But nobody could make those things up. If it wasn't for the Israelis I'd say everyone there is completely insane.

  3. The third world has a poor track record of applying US style Republican form of government. Uneducated masses will never understand the writings of Locke, Roussau, and Paine. Until they do, they will continue to live in squalor. They will never fight for their freedoms. We can no longer step in and save these people if they won't even help themselves. So once again, we have wasted the lives of many great American men in Iraq and Afghanistan...and for what?--Troy

    1. Agreed. We were better off with Saddam running the show in Iraq. Since it turned out his weapons of mass destruction were bogus, the whole evolution was a mistake. I don't feel sorry for the Iraqis. If the whole country was on fire I wouldn't p#ss on it to put it out. But what a loss of good people from our country for what return? I supported the war because I believed President Bush and General Powell. I should have known better, particularly after the Beirut experience, but I didn't.

  4. The saddest thing of all is so many of our young men's lives wasted, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have always said that the Middle East and Afghanistan are not worth the life of even one American or Australian. If we need to ensure that oil producing countries keep the flow coming to the west than lets just forget this fantasy of bringing "Democracy" to the region, Islam & Democracy are exact opposites and we are fooling ourselves if we think it is going to take root in the Middle East due to our efforts.. We just need to prop up whoever is selling us the oil and quarantine the rest of the region, I'll wager it will be a lot cheaper in dollars and lives than the last 10 years or so.

  5. I agree.

    Remember this scene from Henry V?

    Bates "It's enough to know that we are the King's subjects. If his cause is wrong, our obedience to the King clears us of the responsibility of it."

    William: "But if the cause is not just, the King himself will have a lot to answer for, when all those legs and arms and heads chopped off in battle shall join together on Judgment Day, crying "we died at such and such a place."

    Islam is not a belief system that will accept Democracy. And who says our system is best for the whole world? At least, who other than the politicians in D.C. I say be practical, make arrangements with whatever strong man is running whatever country, and let it go at that. If they want to slaughter each other wholesale, that's their affair.

    I think we could have neutralized the Taliban in Afghanistgan without invading the place, if we had accepted reasonable goals from the get go, and not had all these lofty ideals that were never practical anyway.

    1. I do Harry, that's the only Shakespeare play that I like. You know the old British Empire controlled a large part of the world by having just such arrangements with local "rulers" who knew if they got too far out of line one morning they would wake up to the sound of shells hitting the palace from a British battle fleet, followed by a quick abdication in favour of the next inline.

  6. lots to say.
    think give away of iraqi arms to al qaeda was the obama goal.
    as far as insanity-- they [middle easterners, even the Christians] marry back into their own families and have done for centuries. they are many of them literally insane. many of the rest are on the edge.
    as far as afghanistan; when my great great grandfather was with the east india company in india the czar's troops and spies were vying with the british for the damned place.
    who the hell wants it? i'll tell you.[ info from impeccable sources.]
    well, over the weekend i had the privilege of speaking to two who say it's the opium!! say the dark side of governments are making fortunes on it!!
    good thing hell is a vast place.

    ideals-- only the soldiers have these high ideals. they are being used in the worst way.
    good thing hell is a gargantuan place!

    deb h.

  7. Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this looks familiar. If ISIS times it right they could get Baghdad to fall in Spring of next year for the 40th anniversary.

    Will Bergdahl be the new Robert Garwood?

    For your own store of knowledge, the amount of hardware left behind is quite impressive. Israel turned up quite a few M16 and M16A1's still in the original shipping cartons that came fro Viet Nam.

    DOD states the following hardware was left behind in '75:
    (Viet Nam and Cambodia)
    114,000 M1911A1's
    946,000 M16A1's (!!!!!)
    15,320 M60's
    65,500 M79's
    63,000 M72 LAW's
    550 tanks (M48A3 and M41A3)

    1. God, that's depressing.

      I watched some blond bimbo on the news tonight, one of Obama's staffers. She said that we were going to send the Iraqis more arms and ammunition to enable their Army to stand up to ISIS.

      Idiots. Idiots. They don't understand anything about what motivates men to fight, or how you lead soldiers. They make McNamara look like a military genius.