Guns of August, Redux

courtneyskiniSome may well call this a fantasy, but is it? Or is it what happens when America takes the gloves off, and decides some more winning is in order.

“On July 29th 20 Iran successfully launches a Shahab rocket and orbiting satellite, proving it has a formidable functioning delivery vehicle, then announces it has produced sufficient fissionable material at its Natanz facility to build two nuclear bombs in 2017 and begins work on underground test facilities in the basalt formations beneath the great salt desert of Dacht-e-Kavir.

Supreme Leader Ali Khameini announces boldly that his nation has manufactured weapons-grade fissionable material enriched to nearly 100% (in lieu of 5% enrichment for peaceful nuclear reactors).

Two days later Great Satan launches the most audacious regional series of regime changes ever implemented in history, Officially dubbed ‘Operation Boundless Freedom” Allies and enemies alike refer to it as ‘Operation Great Satan”

3 Iranian submarines are destroyed – 1 in the Med, 1 in the Atlantic and 1 in the Indian Ocean. Another surrenders and defects near Barcelona.

Naval and air force assets at Bandar Abbas are hit with a combination of missiles and a French- Saudi Amphibious assault from Qatar and the UAE. Waves of Tomahawk cruise missiles streak through Persian aerospace from ships and subs – effectively targetting the Iranian air force – air fields, missile sites and air defense systems are struck down within hours.

Communications are totally co opted or overwhelmed cybernetically. B2 Stealth bombers sortee to to strike IRRGC command and control HQ’s.

“American warplanes and missiles carefully avoid striking research reactors in Teheran and Ispahan as well as the nuclear reactor at Bousher–less than 100 kilometers from Kuwait–as well as the centrifuges themselves at Natanz in an effort to prevent the spread of radioactive material to nearby population centers.

However, other missiles producing electromagnetic pulses do knock out
virtually all of Iran’s electric grid and computer systems”

Airborne troops from Great Britain and Great Satan sieze all passes through the Zagros mountains – effectively cutting Iran in half.

Special Forces strike and hold especial clerical compounds in Tehran and Qom right before Friday prayers. Nearly 20% of Iran’s ruling praetorian guards and mullahs are captured, killed or missing by breakfast time.

Armed insurgencies break out across Iran as ex and au currant MEK groups strike, sieze and hold towns and cities.

Great Satan’ s seaborne regime changing Marines hit the surf just north of the Litani river in Lebanon and methodically grind and leap frog straight through the heart of Hiz’B’AllahLand.

Known missile batteries and weapons caches (many in innocent civilian rich areas) are captured by chopper borne marines and French commandos or trashed.

HBA’s command complex in Beirut is clamped shut by heavily armed Marines after precision cruise missile strikes.
Al Manar – HBA’s ‘suicide channel’ seems to be co opted – running a marathon of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” in Arabic overdubs. All communications in the ME are totally wacked – from Bashar’s Al Sana network to Al Jazeera – regular programming has been replaced with the most outrageous cable quality programming Great Satan can jam like “Playboys Girls Next Door” and choice selections from ‘Girls Gone Wild’

Within 5 days, Iran is reduced to a state of near paralysis, unable in any sense to retaliate militarily, its entire economic infrastructure in shambles. By this time the largest armored division in history has left Iraq and “Old Ironsides” is within striking distance of a thunder run into downtown Tehran.

via GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Guns Of August, more at the link.

Will it happen like that, of course not, this is a theoretical. But something very like it could happen if Iran pushes Donald Trump. He has given no indication, ever, that he plays to do anything but win. And a two-week war, followed by the other country starting to rebuild itself, and remember Iran under the Shah was a pretty secular place, and there are still lots of non-Moslems there, fits that description, I think.

You, of course, remember all the hand wringing back before the Iraq wars about Saddam’s vaunted troops, how good they were and how we would take enormous casualties, and how they had stood off Iran for a decade. Yeah, the answer is two words “Thunder Run”, or if you prefer “73 Easting”. That we’ve been thrashing around attempting to assassinate individual terrorists for a few years because of a lack of leadership, does not indicate that is all we can do.

And something else here, this version is from Great Satan’s Girlfriend, but the study was written by Francois Heisbourg. The bio states this:

For there are some extraordinary surprises in this consummate, if brief, but brilliantly conceived work by the man who is perhaps Europe’s leading global thinker–chairman of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, adviser to French presidents and ministers of defense and foreign affairs going back to Valery Giscard d’Estaing and top adviser to French arms makers from Thompson to Matra.

Friday Roundup

Cleaning out some tabs, interesting stuff that we’ve been hoarding.

 

Well, yeah, he makes some sense to me, at that,

From Melanie Phillips:

The hand-wringing by western politicians and commentators over the appalling humanitarian catastrophe in Aleppo reveals something far worse even than the nauseating virtue-signalling of pointlessly blaming themselves for having decided not to bomb Syrian President Assad’s forces. It reveals they still don’t understand just how morally culpable they actually are.

The current breast-beating is all about how the US and Britain made a terrible mistake in not bombing Assad’s forces years ago in this dreadful war.

But the issue that made them back away was valid then and remains valid now: that those who might come to power if Assad were removed would be as bad, if not worse, for both the Syrian people and the rest of the world.

People were, however, totally missing the point then just as they are doing now. Assad is the puppet of the Iranian regime whose infernal purposes, in gaining regional power in order to perpetrate genocide against Israel and jihadi terrorism against the west, he dutifully serves. Iran needs Assad in power. Without Iran, Assad would not be committing these atrocities. To stop him, the west needs to stop Iran.

Seems to me, she has a point, rather as if we had let Germany conquer Russia while we dealt with Japan. The Schwerpunkt the Grossgeneralstab called it. Apply force where it will do the most to damage the enemy, not the least.

Our heroes are old and stooped and wizened, but they are the only giants we have. Today, when we talk about Americans boldly going where no man has gone before, we mean the ladies’ bathroom. Progress.
-Mark Steyn on the passing of John Glenn

Churchill on America and Britain

No one can think clearly or sensibly about this vast and burning topic without in the first instance making up his mind upon the fundamental issue. Does he value the State above the citizen, or the citizen above the State? Does a government exist for the individual, or do individuals exist for the government?
I hold that governments are meant to be, and must remain, the servants of the citizens; that states and federations only come into existence and can only by justified by preserving the ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ in the homes and families of individuals,
I judge the civilization of any community by simple tests. What is the degree of freedom possessed by the citizen or subject? Can he think, speak and act freely under well-established, well-known laws? Can he criticize the executive government? Can he sue the State if it has infringed his rights? Are there also great processes for changing the law to meet new conditions? Judging by these standards, Great Britain and the United States can claim to be in the forefront of civilized communities.

Still so, as proved this year.

Heh!

doughnuts

All three from Ace’s

An American Hero Story here

In a remarkable World War II story that almost went untold, a devoutly Christian US Army sergeant refused to turn over his Jewish soldiers to the Nazis, even after a gun was placed to his head. Now, 30 years after his death, the Jewish people are showing their appreciation for his bravery.

Roddie Edmonds was a humble man and didn’t speak about his experiences in World War II, even when his children inquired. When he passed away over 30 years ago, his widow gave his wartime diaries to their son, Baptist Pastor Chris Edmonds, in Maryville, Tennessee.

Sergeant Roddie Edmonds in uniform.Photo by: Yad Vashem/Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago, one of the pastor’s daughters read through the diaries for a college project and was amazed at what she found. Despite being taken prisoner of war shortly after arriving in Europe, her grandfather was a hero.  He had saved hundreds of Jewish soldiers, motivated only by his Christian belief.

Edmonds was a Master Sergeant with the 422nd Infantry Regiment in the US Army. On December 16, 1944, just a few months after arriving in Europe, Edmonds found himself fighting in the disastrous Battle of the Bulge. The last major German offensive campaign of World War II, it caught the Allied Forces by surprise, resulting in 89,000 casualties. On December 19, Edmonds and an estimated 23,000 other American soldiers were taken prisoner by the Germans.

The sound of American Heroism: “We are all Jews,” Edmonds calmly replied.

Iran’s defense minister: Trump could trigger “world war” and “destruction” of Israel if he provokes Iran

Thinks he's qualified to tell the United States what to do

Thinks he’s qualified to tell the United States what to do

Well! I guess we’ve been warned.

During his campaign, Trump was strongly critical of the agreement that saw Iran agree to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions on its oil industry and finances.

In September 2015, the billionaire told a crowd: ‘Any commander-in-chief worthy of defending this nation should be prepared to stand up on 20 January 2017 [inauguration day] and rip to shreds this catastrophic deal.’

He also called the deal a ‘disaster’ and ‘the worst deal ever negotiated’.

This has led to panic among US allies in the Gulf, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has claimed.

via Iran’s defense minister: Trump could trigger “world war” and “destruction” of Israel if he provokes Iran

And so the Jackals circle and whine. My thought is that if Iran is hell-bent on having a war with the United States and our allies, as it has seemed since the 70s, then it would be best (least bad, really) to just do it now, before they get nuclear weapons. Ambitious sods, aren’t they? One remembers that Saddam’s Iraq fought this bunch to a stand still for 10 years, I see little to make me think they have learned anything.

Still, I suppose if they want to try this on, at some point we will have to accommodate them, even if to us it looks like a waste of blood (mostly theirs) and treasure. We do have maritime trade, and our allies, including Israel to protect, and maybe a sharp lesson would be salutary for others as well.

For me, the key lessons from the last 16 or so years are these.

  1. Think hard, before voluntarily going to war, it’s almost never a good idea.
  2. We have no mandate to fix every problem in the world. We do have allies we’ve pledged to defend.
  3. If one must fight, fight hard and win decisively.
  4. This ain’t the Pottery Barn, if we didn’t start the war, we have no obligation whatever to clean up the mess, or pay for it. We may choose to do so if we reckon it’s in our interest, but it’s voluntary. You want to play with the big kids, well the big kid rules are in play.

East of Eden

146968_600In 1949, the Truman administration withdrew the American forces occupying South Korea and in January 1950 the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, delivered his famous ‘Perimeter Speech’ which pointedly placed Korea outside our perimeter. It was a major blunder. In June 1950, North Korea attacked, causing the Korean War. The war was fought gallantly by amongst others, the very US forces that had been withdrawn. It was a costly mistake, in both treasure and blood. The war ended mostly because the newly elected General Eisenhower would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons to end it.

Why are we rehashing this now? Because a similar scenario faced Obama in 2009. In Iraq, we had defeated everybody who cared to play. Yes, the initial war (and especially its aftermath) had its problems, mostly caused by not enough troops there to do the job of pacification. But again, when Bush bit the bullet and committed to the surge, eventually the country was pretty much pacified.

In his rush to leave Iraq, Obama made the same sort of blunder. Unlike Truman, he didn’t immediately institute repairs, however costly. Going all the way back to World War II, we had been a counterweight to any and all the extremist groups in the area. Jess said a few day ago, that Britain never had all that much force east of Eden, but British forces were feared. The same was true, except occasionally for the United States. The Middle East never required huge forces over time. Although, at times, it did require large forces, as during the gulf wars. What they did require was the absolute support of Israel, and some small forces, in theater, and the fact of large forces available. That was enough to hold the balance, and keep the fanatics, mostly quiet. That was really not all that much strain for America. Simply having a few thousand troops in Iraq seemed to intimidate all the nutters into keeping the peace. And, in fact, it was safer than Chicago is now.

In a way, it was a less stable counterpart to the Cold War. The forces were held in equilibrium, not so much by what America would do, as by what she could do. But even what she would do was impressive. I doubt many Arab powers were unimpressed by the steady flow of American supplies, flown nonstop from CONUS by the Air Force, during the Yom Kippur war in 1973, in the face of denied overflight rights from all Europe. Who doesn’t want friends like that? You think that maybe had something to do with peace between Israel and Egypt, signed a few years later at Camp David, and which has held (mostly) ever since? Much the same is true for Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, problematic as its religion has always been for the US.

This carefully wrought work of generations, starting possibly with Eisenhower’s intervention, against our two oldest allies, Britain and France, in Suez, in favor of Egypt. This is what Obama has ruined. he has brought it to the point that no one in the region, has any trust in the word of the United States, nor should they. Over the last 8 years, we have proved to be a feckless, toothless allies, almost always willing to support the wrong side.

The post-Pax America  middle east is proving to be a cesspit, that threatens the health of the entire world. Jess’ title was (and is) apt. The tectonic plates are in fact shifting, and where they will end up and the earthquakes they will cause is unknowable but very unlikely to be good for much of anybody.

Lessons? Probably a few. The main one might be that countries driven by the voters are not very reliable over the long term, at least usually. Perhaps living under the existential threat of the Soviet Union forced the people of the United States to buckle down and think long-term, but perhaps instead it was the World War Two generation’s horror at what they had to endure to repair the mistakes of their father’s generation that caused the unusual situation. I think it likely was both. There’s something that sharpens the mind, when in elementary school, you are seriously practicing “duck and cover” that the softer generations that followed mine will never know. or maybe they will, on the streets of home, as the terror attacks mount.

But whatever the cause, Obama has thrown away the carefully crafted perception of power that sustained quasi-peace in the middle east for generations. What will replace it, other than deadly chaos, is unknown. Although the Pakistani guaranty of Saudi territorial integrity may provide a gruesome clue.

I do know this, whatever (if anything) that is to replace that chaos, America will have to lead, and the will to do so has been lacking for ten years. If she doesn’t, and that doesn’t really mean she’ll have to intervene that often, but she must show her inflexible will on behalf of her friends, or chaos will ensue, and likely envelop Europe as well.

Syria, Just War, Unlikely Allies, and a Bit More.

So tonight Parliament will vote on joining us, the Russians, the French and some others in air attacks in Syria (they already are in Iraq). It’s a contentious issue, as you might imagine. Obama’s throwing away the belated victory that GEN Petraeus gave us left a foul taste in their mouth, as it did many of ours.

Jeremy Corbin is against it, of course. He is against it as near as I can tell because it might be good for western civilization. That said he may be right, even if for the wrong reasons. David Cameron claims to lead a Christian nation, and in fact, there are many exemplary Christians in the United Kingdom. But if he truly believes that, he should be able to justify intervention on Christian grounds. That is difficult.

When Christian nations go to war (and that is what this amounts to) they should be guided by the Just War Theory. This was mostly written by Thomas Aquinas, and later expanded by The School of Salamanca.  For the most part, we all abide with the Roman Catholic Church’s Just War Doctrine which states:

  • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
  • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
  • there must be serious prospects of success;
  • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated (the power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition).

And this is where the problem is. There is almost no chance of air strikes achieving peace if the they abide with proportionate force. Those are what in logic we call an “AND Statement”. They all have to be true, and that cannot happen. So Corbyn is arguably right, but because his premise is so wrong, he is essentially eliminated from the discussion.


I see the New York mob has told ISIS that they will protect New Yorkers as well. many are treating it as somewhat of a joke. That’s easy to do, but it’s not all together. If one were to look at World War Two, one would find that the mafia (under Lucky Luciano) had much to do with keeping the Port of New York working smoothly, they do have some power, and it’s not always used for evil. There’s also this, one of my nieces used to live in Brooklyn, in Gambino’s neighborhood, in fact, and during the days when New York was out of control. But not her neighborhood, she says she barely had to lock her car, security was so good, and no, it wasn’t the NYPD. Don’t look gift horses in the mouth, the Mob isn’t a bunch of do-gooders, but when our interests coincide, it’s better to have them on our side than not.


George Will writing in The Washington Post speaks of Hitler, not as a madman, but as the implementor of a coherent worldview. It is a far more scary view than as a madman, especially if we were to apply it to a nuclear Iran. Here’s a bit:

Snyder presents a Hitler more troubling than a madman, a Hitler implementing the logic of a coherent worldview. His life was a single-minded response to an idea so radical that it rejected not only the entire tradition of political philosophy but also the possibility of philosophy, which Hitler supplanted by zoology.

“In Hitler’s world,” Snyder writes, “the law of the jungle was the only law.” The immutable structure of life casts the various human races as separate species. Only races are real and they are locked in mutual and unassuageable enmity, in Hitler’s mind-set, because life is constant struggle over scarcities — of land, food and other necessities.

One group, however, poisoned the planet with another idea. To Hitler, says Snyder, “It was the Jew who told humans that they were above other animals, and had the capacity to decide their future for themselves.” To Hitler, “Ethics as such was the error; the only morality was fidelity to race.”

Source: Does Iran’s anti-Semitism run too deep for deterrence?

Hat tip and more from: Hitler’s worldview

 

I really meant to write today about the ridiculous crony-capitalist fraud-o-rama taking place in Paris this fortnight, but it will have to wait for another day. As long as India says go away, and China and the US are not willing to go back to the thirteenth century standard of living, it’ll be ignored, just as Kyoto was. Another good reason not to elect Hillary! though.

 

 

Peace is Our Profession

pan2

Stategic Air Command

Strategic Air Command; via Wikipedia

In still another demonstration of the consequences of decline of American leadership, as the seventieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki approach, we are once again forced to confront the horrific moral problems of the use of nuclear weapons.

As is, or should be, well-known, Truman and American leadership had no doubt at all about the morality of the use of atomic weapons in the case of Imperial Japan. As stated here:

It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26 was issued at Potsdam.  Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of  ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.

And the real justification is this:

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked 70 years ago. 34 years ago Paul Fussell wrote this important essay, ‘Thank God for the Atom Bomb’.

21 year old 2nd Lt. Fussell commanded infantry in WWII France. Later, he had to sit around waiting to invade Japan and die. That was the general expectation of the vets of the European theater – they didn’t think they’d survive Japan.

Then Aug 6th happened.

When the atom bombs were dropped and news began to circulate that “Operation Olympic” would not, after all, be necessary, when we learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live. We were going to grow to adulthood after all.

Do read that essay linked above, and the link here and think about that last line. One Million American soldiers and most of the population of Japan thought that in August of 1945.

The essay ends this way:

Harry Truman was not a fascist but a democrat. He was as close to a genuine egalitarian as anyone we’ve seen in high office for a long time. He is the only President in my lifetime who ever had experience in a small unit of ground troops whose mission it was to kill people. That sort of experience of actual war seems useful to presidents especially, helping to inform them about life in general and restraining them from making fools of themselves needlessly – the way Ronald Reagan did in 1985 when he visited the German military cemetery at Bitburg containing the SS graves. […]

Truman was a different piece of goods entirely. He knew war, and he knew better than some of his critics then and now what he was doing and why he was doing it. “Having found the bomb,” he said, “we have used it. . . . We have used it to shorten the agony of young Americans.” The past, which as always did not know the future, acted in ways that ask to be imagined before they are condemned. Or even simplified.

Paul David Miller writing in The Federalist did a pretty good summarization of the case for the moral use of nuclear weapons.

Because nuclear weapons are so big, they are hard to use in a discriminating way. Drop one bomb and you are almost guaranteed to kill far more people than is militarily necessary.

It would be easier to argue for the immorality of all weapons under the guise of pacifism—all weapons, all war, and all violence are always wrong—but that is neither what the president argued nor what most Christians or most citizens instinctively believe. According to the just war tradition, Biblical passages like Genesis 9 and Romans 13 permit—even obligate—states to wage war in pursuit of a just cause. As part of the covenant God established with Noah and his descendants after the flood, God mandated that we pursue violent offenders with the sword: “From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man” (Genesis 9:5). God specifically did not reserve for himself the duty to strike down violent aggressors, but chose to delegate the task to us. This is the foundation of the state’s legitimate coercive authority and the reason most Christians have not been pacifists. “Rulers do not bear the sword for no reason,” Paul wrote (Romans 13:4), “They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” The “sword” is a violent, coercive tool: states exist under God’s mandate to uphold order in this fallen world.

States can, therefore, wield weapons. Why not nuclear weapons? The best moral argument against nuclear weapons, as opposed to other kinds of weapons, is that they violate the just war principles of discrimination and proportionality. The principle of discrimination says that in fighting a war justly, we are obligated to discriminate between enemy combatants and civilians and avoid harming the latter as much as possible. This is a simple extension of our obligation to love our enemies and our neighbors: we should strive to kill as few of them as necessary. Because nuclear weapons are so big, they are hard to use in a discriminating way. Drop one bomb and you are almost guaranteed to kill far more people than is militarily necessary. Hiroshima was the headquarters of Japan’s Second General Army and Nagasaki was a major industrial center for war materiel, both legitimate wartime targets—but the nuclear bombing of those cities killed up to 250,000 people, almost all civilians.

Continue reading: In Defense Of (Some) Nuclear Weapons.

He does a good job here and I think you should read the whole thing. One place where I think he falls down a bit, is in making a clear delineation between tactical and strategic. What he says was true, in the early 60s and perhaps through part of the 70s, but with the deployment of Minuteman III, Peacekeeper, and Trident, American strategic warheads returned to around 120-800 or so kiloton range with a circular error probable (CEP) of approximately eighty to one hundred and twenty meters. They are the ultimate smart bombs, specifically designed to destroy Soviet missile silos, and thus actually fall under counterforce rules. The countervalue weapons are all gone from the American inventory.

Remember the heady days in the early 90s when history had ended, and we had a ‘peace dividend’ to waste on corrupt programs? Those days are gone, Father Time has restarted the clock, and the most horrendous part of recent American foreign policy is that now, seventy years after the first use of atomic weapons, we again must contemplate the moral way use them again.

Experience is indeed the best teacher, and we threw away ours in a dream of eternal peace, one hopes that relearning the lesson is not as expensive as it could be.

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