THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 464 April 30 - May 6, 2007
Highlights this week:
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April 30, 2007
Before we start: radio talk show hosts who ought to know better are now saying that the Clintons took from the CIA the authority to operate in the United States. They ought to know better. For better or worse, the FBI has always had exclusive operations jurisdiction in the US and the Caribbean, this from the first days. The Bureau and the Company have always disliked and distrusted each other. Clinton did make some changes in the way the Company operates, none of them for the better in my judgment, but much of what I am hearing from both sides in this matter is nonsense. I haven't read Tenent's book (which is causing this storm) but I will.
We now return to the debate that began last Saturday. First go read that material.
So far we have Oliver North's statement, and Greg Cochran's critique. We will continue that shortly.
There are three points to keep in mind here. First, the war is going to cost considerably more than $100 billion a year, for many years. It is also going to exact a huge price on the composition and morale of the Army. A long overseas war inevitably makes for a different Army -- and National Guard. It almost by definition cannot be an army of citizen soldiers with families and ties in the United States. Do not neglect that cost.
Second, there will be a heavy cost in US credibility of commitment. One cost of Viet Nam (incurred by Kennedy who authorized the removal and resulting murder of Diem) was the message that if you invite the United States to come help you, you personally may not survive. A second message was that even if your country prevails and wins with the aid of the US, it still may not survive against a determined enemy because the US will abandon you. For good or ill, a US withdrawal from Iraq will send similar messages now. (Of course no one in Iraq invited the US in. Chalabi and the exiles did, but Chalabi has got smart enough to distance himself from the US once it was clear that he could not ride in triumph to Baghdad and install himself on the throne of the Hashemites.)
Third: the US is a uniting force in the Middle East, but the union is one of opposition to US meddling. Syria and Iran are not going to cooperate to make life easier for us if we stay in the region. For good or ill, we are seen as allies of the Israelis, and very good allies at that, who put Israeli interests ahead of US interests. We need not debate the truth of this hypothesis; whether the US actually puts Israeli interests ahead of US interests is not important in this matter. If you want to see what non-Israeli people in the Middle East think of the United States, here is a source sent by a reader some time ago:
I have hesitated to post this link because while it is
important, it is hardly a balanced presentation. I have asked Joel Rosenberg
to comment on this film with a view to posting his comment with the link,
but he hasn't had the time. His comment is now in preparation. He also sends
Let me emphasize this again: that film shows what most of the non-Israeli people of the Middle East (and for that matter many of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel) believe to be true. Any military or political solution to the Iraqi situation must take this into account.
Fourth: Iraq was never a nation, and rebuilding it into one is not possible without a long-term occupation force. The Kurdish region, which at the moment is a staunch ally of the US, will not submit to a central government of Iraq without considerable pressure and force -- and its forces cannot stand up to the Turkish Army. And while Turkey is divided between its secularist Army and an Islamist majority, the entire Turkish populace is united in opposition to an independent Kurdistan on its borders. Note that Turkey is the closest thing to an ally in the region that Israel has. Note that Turkey and Iran have many differences, but are united in opposition to an independent Kurdistan.
There are other points of debate, but these will do for a start. Responses will be in Mail.
|This week:||Tuesday, May
There is new material in yesterday's debate. Go read that first.
Here is Joel Rosenberg's comment on the propaganda film. My apologies for its delay: it got stuck in a spam filter even though Joel is of course whitelisted.
I have errands all morning. My day seems to be eaten by locusts. The column will be up sometime today (it is done) and the Iraq1 debate continues. This is a matter of some importance.
I am back from one errand: the AAA battery service guy installed a bad battery. That's the source of my latest problem. I am having the Ford agency deal with this for me. At some point I will have a reliable car again...
This afternoon with luck I will finish two more chapters of Inferno; there are only 3 or 4 to go. I am weary of being nibbled to death by ducks...
May 3, 2007
I am pleased to report that my automobile problems are over. My 1998 Explorer is working properly, and I ought to be able to get back to work now. I got several hundred words done yesterday afternoon, and I'll get more done today.
We are back on schedule. INFERNO ought to be done by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, A STEP FARTHER OUT, and TWO STEPS FARTHER OUT, are being formatted as e-books. The first will be done in under a month, and the second not all that long after. Both will be made available to subscribers when they're ready. I'm slowly adding content to the subscriber section.
The debates on the future in Iraq have been productive.
And now I need to get to work...
I turned on George Noory tonight. Oh my good heavens! It's zeta talk! We control gravity, can disappear into another dimension, IQ 287 on average, have the means to teleport, eliminate the repulsion force and it's faster than light, much faster, this is hard for humans to visualize, end of Zeta talk
Holy moley. If you missed it, it is not describable. End of zeta talk.
Chaos continues at Chaos Manor, but it is beginning to be organized. Provided that I don't starve first, I should finish this novel in a few weeks. As I write this I have email from Niven returning what I sent him yesterday. I'll have a look before my walk.
My days keep being swallowed by tiny time thieves, but I should get through another chapter this afternoon.
It is probably time for me to write an essay on the history of deposing presidents while bringing a defeated army home, although I am horrified at the necessity of doing so: it used to be that most of those who thought to engage in politics knew a fair amount of history.
But now it is time for a walk.
I have come back and updated the mail page. The Iraqi debate continues but it will close soon as there is little new to say.
Cleaning up some URL's I have left in my log that may be of interest:
You may find http://www.flickr.com/photos/edyson/436978253/ amusing
And http://www.poetry-archive.com/m/opportunity.html has a poem we were required to memorize in fifth grade, a practice I recommend.
And http://www.zetatalk.com/poleshft/p00.htm will astonish you. End of zeta talk.
Now to go work.
It is long, and you may read it in chunks, but I saw little I would not agree with.
He could be maddening sometimes. When he worked for me, he would play Rogue even though there was plenty to get done. The last straw was when Roberta found him asleep in front of the screen -- which was showing Rogue.
He was also enormously loyal, and inspired several memorable characters. Those who read Lucifer's Hammer, Footfall, and Fallen Angels will know the kind of person Frank wanted to be and sometimes was.
Many years ago when I rode motorcycles we rode up to Northern California along the Pacific Coast Highway. I didn't know much about the machines, but Frank kept both of them running -- and managed to sing for our supper. He had brought his guitar. I was willing to pay for drinks in order to get people's stories, but Frank saw to it that we never had a bar bill. It made for a memorable trip and I collected a number of characters.
So Hairy Redd is gone. We'll miss him. Farewell, old friend.
This aye night, this aye night, every night and all
From Brig o' Dread whence thou may'st pass, Every nighte and alle,
If ever thou gav'st meat or drink,
|This week:||Saturday, May
I have posted a new bloc of J0anne Dow's Daily Diatribes.
May 6, 2007
He can't possibly be right, now can he?
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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