The neocons finally begin to concede

“It didn’t work.” Thus spake William F. Buckley:

One can’t doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samarra and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “the bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted — to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans.

Now, one hopes the neocon mission will be to salvage the concept of World Democratic Revolution instead of further risking it. The alternative is a grand event to inspire war against Iran. As poisonous as the former is, it is hugely preferable to the latter. This column by Buckley is a sign that optimism is not unwarranted.

The reason Iraq failed is that the postulates were stupid from the start. There was never any reason that Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims and Kurds were going to stick together without a dictator forcing them to do so without mass slaughter, the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia should have been evidence enough for any logical observer. As for the wonderful drug that is democracy, I couldn’t help but laugh when I read a minor columnist clinging to the now-outdated argument that we must stand by Israel because it is the only Middle East democracy, ignoring the free and democratic elections in Iraq and the Palestinian Authority.

By that logic, Hamas must now be our ally. What a tangled web we weave, when ourselves we practice to deceive….

Watch for the democratic government of Iraq to do these two things prior to the 2008 election: a) launch a large-scale anti-Sunni pogrom, and b) call for the eliminatio of Israel.


Trust me, I have no idea what’s going on

Pruden on political strategery:

Once they’re no longer regarded as the toughest party on national security the Republicans will be burnt toast. Not even Karl Rove’s dream of a mighty coalition of Muslims and illegal Hispanic immigrants will be enough to put Humpty Dumpty together again. “Vote Republican, we’re not as bad as you think” is persuasive only as long as the tough guys put first things first. The Great Seaports Giveaway is enough to persuade a lot of Americans, including reliable and devoted friends of George W. Bush, that maybe the Republicans really are as bad as they think.

John McCain argues the point, a reasonable one, that George W.’s stubborn determination to fight the war against Islamist terror entitles him to a pass on the ports. “We all need to take a moment and not rush to judgment on this matter without knowing all the facts,” the Arizona senator says. “The president’s leadership has earned our trust in the war on terror, and surely his administration deserves the presumption that they would not sell our security short.”

True enough, and George W. Bush still looks light-years safer than Al Gore or John Kerry. But the president’s remarkable morning-after explanation that the first he knew about the sale of control of six of the nation’s most important ports was what he got from the newspapers is not exactly what Americans expect to hear from a president, any president, and proves once more that trust must be earned anew every day.

I think this administration is probably long overdue for the smell-test council suggested by the Fraters Libertas a few days ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’m convinced that the president is devoted to interests inimical to the nation, but someone is going to lie to me, I’d prefer that they not insult my intelligence while doing so. At least you can take the trouble to make it sound good.

How many days is it until the Lizard Queen begins her rule? I’m almost looking forward to it, in a sickly fascinated way. It’s been very interesting to see how the scenario is playing out… I’m still waiting for her to make her move to become Champion of the Southern Border.


Asking out

The die is cast once you lose your champion. It’s as true in the publishing world as it is on the field of Warhammer fantasy battle. I sent in a written notice to my publisher a few days ago, informing them that they are in breach of contract, having accepted a certain, long-awaited novel more than 18 months ago without publishing it. Accompanying the notice was a request for termination and reversion, which would allow me to recover the publishing rights without having to wait six months for the automatic provision to kick in.

I did so because the vice-publisher who happened to be the editor that first offered me a book contract departed the company in favor of another publishing house. While the book survived – for the second time – a catalog kill review conducted by his replacement, a conversation with him left me convinced that there’s no future for my books there.

This isn’t a bad thing, since there’s not only another publisher who is interested in publishing the book, there’s also an editor at a third publisher who wants to publish a fantasy trilogy set in the world of the five novellas. And to top it all off, I was exchanging emails last week with a Very Big Name – we’re talking major articles in Time Magazine – who read and liked my unpublished Chronicles of King David, of all things.

(I actually received the first email from said VBN from mid-2004 on my old laptop, but I’d never responded to it since I didn’t note the name and I basically ignore everything that mentions television, the movies or anything remotely having to do with Hollywood. I had to fire it the old machine again to figure out when that other novel had been accepted, happened to notice his email, and found myself wondering why the name seemed so familiar. So, I sent a very belated email asking if he was THE VBN, and was shocked when that turned out to indeed be the case. Strange, but it goes to show that you just never know who is reading your website.)

Anyhow, who knows will come out of any of this, but one thing remains clear. I am the king of being paid not to publish. If anyone else requires me to not write or not publish a short story, novel, or screenplay, please contact me and I will be happy to not write it for you. Be warned, however, my word-rate is high.


The easy out

Urban Cougar comedy:

At 41, Chicago comedian Tracy Tedesco is beating back guys in their 20s like she was giving away Xboxes. Tedesco is the definition of an “urban cougar.”

The label used to be an unflattering characterization of middle-aged, boy-hungry single women. But as more women shed the traditional taboos about age and dating, the name has been taken on as a badge of empowerment by sexy, older professional women who prefer the physical and spiritual qualities of younger men.

Look no further than the celebrity world for proof that the movement is growing. Some of Hollywood’s hottest actresses have taken on younger mates, and a number of male celebrities in TV and music have chosen girlfriends who are several years their senior.

This would be massively amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic. I’m sure men admire Jessica Simpson and Adriana Lima for their “spiritual qualities” too. This is a perfect demonstration of how women are capable of entirely missing a point, then celebrating their misunderstanding. The older woman has always been a male fantasy precisely because it represents an ideal situation, sex without the pressure of commitment. A man in his twenties will cheerfully date a hot older woman, since there’s no pressure, no hassle and no future to the relationship. It’s an in that comes with an automatic out, like a hooker that doesn’t charge.

Among cougars, Adler also cautions the marriage-minded and the biological tick-tockers to think carefully about the lifestyle. “Is this really going to last long-term?” she asked.

“There can definitely be a spark in the bedroom between younger guys and older women,” she said. “But if an older woman is really looking to settle down, they have to make sure they’re not wasting time just for fun.”

That is a concern for Tedesco. She did not expect to be in the position she’s in–she wanted to be married and have kids by now…. She has dated several younger guys in the past five or six years, including one 24-year-old, when she was 37.

The ironic thing is that she probably considers herself to be intelligent. The evidence clearly suggests otherwise. In another five or six years, it’s almost inevitable that she’ll be a toothless, clawless cougar, with neither the marriage nor the casual relationships.


IED efficiency

From Dunnigan’s Strategy Page:

IEDs have been around for several generations. The only reason they are getting so much ink in Iraq is because the terrorists are unable to inflict many casualties on American troops any other way. The Sunni Arab fighters in Iraq are, historically, a pretty inept and pathetic bunch. This can be seen in the amazingly low casualty rate of American troops. By comparison, an American soldier serving in Vietnam was over twice as likely to be killed or wounded.

IEDs were used in Vietnam, but caused (with mines and booby traps in general) only 13 percent of the casualties, compared to over 60 percent in Iraq. The reason for this is one that few journalists want to discuss openly. But historians can tell you; Arabs are lousy fighters. Hasn’t always been this way, but for the last century or so, it has. This has more to do with poor leadership, and a culture that simply does not encourage those traits that are needed to produce a superior soldier. In a word, the North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong guerillas were better, and more deadly, fighters. Contributing factors include better training and equipment for American and Coalition troops. But most of the reason for the historically low casualty rates in Iraq have to do with Iraqis who don’t know how to fight effectively.

IEDs are another matter. They are mainly a matter of technology, planning and careful preparation for the attack. These are all things Iraqis are good at. You also suffer a lot fewer casualties by using IEDs, so the weapon is good for the morale of the users. So over the last three years, the IED has been used more and more. While only 5,607 IEDs were placed in 2004, there were 10,953 encountered in 2005. But American troops responded to the threat. In 2004, about a quarter of IEDs actually went off and hurt someone. In 2005, that rate declined to ten percent, and is still falling.

That’s good news, regardless of how skeptical one is regarding the wisdom of playing nation-building. One thing I’ve wondered is if it would make sense to widen the roads most often travelled by US forces to such an extent that anything planted offroad would have to be so large as to be easily detectable. I find it difficult to imagine that the explosives in the IED’s are so powerful that they’d be undetectable if the roads were two or three times as wide.

This seems so obvious as to be hardly worth mentioning, but asphalt and active road crews are surely less expensive than Humvees, military hospitals and long rehabilitations. And perhaps they’ve already been doing this; I doubt the media would see fit to report the fact that Highway Whatever is now thirty feet wider than before.


The will of the people

Representative democracy at work in South Dakota:

As the South Dakota House of Representatives gave final approval today to a bill aimed at banning most abortions and creating a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, Gov. Mike Rounds said he’s inclined to sign it.

The House gave final approval to the bill with a 50-18 vote Friday afternoon.

The will of the people of the sovereign state of South Dakota is abundantly clear. It is highly probable that an unknown number of United States Supreme Court justices will disagree, probably a majority.

Now how, I ask, can anyone simultaneously argue that the will of the black robes should triumph, but that we must shed American blood and spend American treasure to establish democracy elsewhere throughout the world?


The blogroll burgeons

Res Ispa’s much anticipated debut leads the pack of the latest Voxologisti. There’s not much there yet, but we expect much from the one person that can make us consider rethinking our positions from the mere fact of his opposition.

  • 704 Houser Street
  • New Victorian
  • Your Image Here
  • Your Silly Girl
  • The Homeland Security State
  • Brainbiter
  • The Daily Fletch
  • Skymusings
  • Pontificating With Bartleby
  • Eaglewood’s Nest
  • If you requested to be listed but aren’t, it’s likely because you failed to follow the directions. 1. Ask. 2. Provide your blog name and blog URL. 3. Have a link to this blog. Please note that this is not a conventional blogroll, it’s primarily intended for the regulars to be able to find each other and have a convenient means of spinning off any tangential discussions that are not pertinent to those happening here.


    Busted

    Pretty Lady corrects a clumsy suitor:

    Pretty Lady had to chastise the Pundit, once upon a time, not so long ago, whilst the Pundit was still single and actively chasing females on Nerve.com. He complained to her, “I get chatting with a woman, and everything seems to be going fine until I give her my phone number. Then things just trail off.”

    Hello? Pretty Lady was momentarily speechless…. “Once you give them your phone number?” she inquired.

    “Yes, I don’t want to ask for theirs, lest they think I’m stalking them,” the Pundit replied. “That way they can decide whether to call me or not.”

    Gentlemen, I respect your delicacy, but listen to me: never do that. Please.

    The poor Pundit was falling into a trap made of false liberalism. His motives were pure; unfortunately, too many of the motives of those who went before him were not. Thus I had to explain to him what these women already knew; that a man who gives a woman his phone number is generally either 1) insecure, submissive, passive-aggressive and pathetic; or 2) an arrogant user who sows phone numbers as seeds for booty calls. In effect, such a man is saying, “I don’t want to get entangled, but if you want sex with no strings, give a buzz and I’ll oblige you. If I’m free.”

    This is why you have to read things all the way through before jumping in with both feet. I was on the verge of taking exception, as I quite liked the hassle-free, sensitive, New Age equalitarian male approach of giving a promising girl a number and telling her to call, when I hit (2), in much the same manner as Wile E. Coyote encounters a cliff. Ah, well. As usual, the Lady is on target with regards to matters romantic.

    However, regardless of who calls whom, I can assure you that it is VERY important to remember what name you’ve given out. For some strange reason, the fair sex apparently looks rather askance on a failure to remember the appellation to which one is supposed to answer.


    The impeachment calls grow louder

    I’ve been in favor of impeaching George Bush and removing him from office for some time now. So, too, has the most lunatic quarter of the Democratic Party, albeit for very different reasons. I find it interesting to see that a sizeable number of Republicans are beginning to agree as well, as one can see in WND’s recent letters to the editor:

    “Why would anyone be surprised that Bush is enthusiastically turning over port management to the Arabs? He’s put the Mexicans in charge of our southern border. Is there even a border there anymore? Impeach Bush.”

    “I’m confident that the very best thing for our nation would be for President Bush to veto any legislation by Congress that would delay or block the management of ports by the United Arab Emirates. President Bush’s veto would effectively cripple his administration for the next two years and thereby eliminate even the possibility of Congress approving his “guest worker” amnesty treason.”

    “Bush threatens veto over the U.S. ports deal? It is now obvious that President Bush has gone insane. I am ashamed to call myself Republican. God help us.”

    When even the Three Monkey Republicans are beginning to see just a speck of evil in the man, his time is growing short. It’s amusing to see Three Monkey strongholds like National Review Online flailing about trying to find something, anything to defend, demanding that “cooler heads must prevail” and everyone is “going overboard”. This, from the very people who demand that unless we throw out the Constitution, create a police state and invade every country that looks at us the wrong way, we are COMMITTING NATIONAL SUICIDE!!!!!! But regardless of whether giving Arabs control of our shipping ports will sentence the nation to certain doom or won’t cause any problems at all, the fact that Bush will veto Congressional acts that get in the way of his Arab friends, but not those that violate the Constitution demonstrates to everyone very clearly where his true priorities are.

    The man is an oathbreaker, a traitor to the Constitution, to the country and to the American people. He should be impeached and removed from office. If the Republicans don’t do so, they are risking an upset of stunning proportions in 2008, if not 2006. Remember, when a political party or a nation-state appear to be at their most powerful, the next step is a decline, and more often than not, it is a sharp one. And remember also that I have been predicting that the Lizard Queen has been anointed and she will be the next president for over a year now.

    She’s been lurking quietly of late, hasn’t she.


    Of Spartiates and Demos

    Wheeler lauds the Spartans in a discussion of men, women and family:

    The Spartans had a Noble culture designed around virtue and excellence and in being a Man. Very different from America—being a banavsos is what defines manhood in America.

    And Renee rightly pins down the irony:

    W. Lindsay Wheeler, are you aware of the fact that Spartans regularily practiced eugenic forms of infanticide? Were you aware that families only took care of their children until they were around 6, after which they were raised by the state? Were you aware that the women were also rigourously trained in athletics, such as javelin throwing? Oh yes, that sounds exactly like a “noble” society.

    What Renee misses despite her correct disdain for what passed for Spartan family life, Wheeler is likewise correct to point to the distinguishing nobility of Spartan culture.

    Sparta was the epitome of Greek aristocratic oligarchy, merely expressing a willingness to fight for Sparta on the part of a male not of the Spartiate class was enough to justify a death sentence. And yet, despite its cruelty and its extreme class delineations, Sparta also demonstrated how an aristocracy can be significantly superior to a democracy during the Peloponnesian War, not because it was the victor in that conflict, but because, ironically enough, Sparta reliably demonstrated that she represented the more humane culture.

    Athens, too, practiced infanticide. And during the war, it was the democrats who were far more prone to commit mass murder than the oligarchs, as shown by the Athenian massacres at Scione, Melos, and the massacres at Corcyra supported by an Athenian fleet. Furthermore, it was not the oligarchic Spartans who were to blame for the massacre at Plataeus, but the democratic Thebans, who were taking vengeance for the Plataean murder of Theban hostages ten years before.

    As late as 410, the total war democrats in Athens were refusing to grant the war-weary Spartans the peace they requested, a foolish decision in light of coming events. Six years later, in victory, noble Sparta showed far more magnanimity than democratic Athens ever had to its defeated foes, despite being urged to justly treat the Athenians as they had the Melians by Thebes and other Lacedaemonian allies. Moreover, a Spartan general could fail without being put on trial, as VDH notes in his new book, an Athenian general either died in battle, was put on trial and executed, or if he was lucky, merely exiled.

    There are ugly aspects to aristocracy, to be sure. It too is often an enemy of freedom. But regardless, don’t be misled into thinking the history of democracy is anything but one of merciless and total war, an inevitable decline into imperialism and mass slaughter.