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Friday, 2 December 2005
I Took,
You Took,
He Tookie
Which Is Out of Place?

If you choose Tookie as the word out of place, you would be correct as far as the grammatical rules of English Verb Conjugation are concerned.

As to the individual (I don't call rabid dogs that brutally murder innocent people a Man) called Tookie- Stanley Williams there are a range of reactions.

In the THE TOOKIE FILES By Michelle Malkin she writes


Convicted murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the co-founder of the violent Crips gang who is on Death Row in California, is Hollyweird's current cause celebre. He is scheduled to be executed on Dec. 13 after 24 years of legal wrangling. The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to hold a clemency hearing Dec. 8.

Among the Save Tookie brigades: Snoop Dogg, Bianca Jagger, Jesse Jackson, Margaret Cho, Mike Farrell, Jason Alexander, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Bonnie Raitt, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, and Noah Wyle.

I wrote about Williams' bleeding-heart worshipers back in 2000, when he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize:

San Quentin prison officials report that juvenile delinquents idolize Williams. His propaganda has been endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus. As part of an ongoing public relations campaign to soften his image while he ties up the courts with specious legal appeals, Williams has been profiled sympathetically by People magazine, Time, the Los Angeles Times, and the ethnic press. He even appeared on a TV special introduced by President Clinton. Barbara Becnel, a crusading journalist who "edits" Williams' writings, once gushed that if the death-row inmate had "been raised in Brentwood instead of South Central, he'd be head of the state Democratic party."

Williams' groupies would have us believe that their Nobel Peace Prize nominee is a helpless victim of his environment, addled by low self-esteem, forced to turn to violence by racist oppressors, and now apologetic "for the atrocities which I and others committed against our race through gang violence." Spare us the sob story. Here are the cold-blooded facts missing from Williams' Nobel Peace Prize application:

Williams was convicted of murdering four innocent bystanders with a sawed-off shotgun in 1979. There was nothing peaceful or compassionate about the way [Albert Owens], Thsai-Shai Yang, Yen-I Yang and Yee Chen Lin died. Owen[s] was a white teen-age clerk at a 7-11 convenience store, shot twice in the back of the head -- execution-style -- as he lay unarmed on the floor during a hold-up. A witness testified that Williams mocked the gurgling sounds Owen[s] made as he lay dying. "You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him," the witness quoted Williams.

The Yangs were Taiwanese immigrants who, along with their daughter Yee Chen Lin, were gunned down during a motel robbery two weeks after Owen[s] died. Half of the daughter's face was blown off by the shotgun blasts, former L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Robert Martin told me in an interview this week. Williams called them "Buddhaheads," Martin recounted, and robbed them of petty cash.

Williams has yet to apologize to the victims' families. When the trial ended, Martin told me, Williams muttered to the prosecution team, "I'll get every one of you m-----f-----s."

Spoken like a Nobel laureate.

Of course our Tookie has a multitude of supporters. He has his own website.

Tookie's Corner

He's got a book written about him. You may order the autobiography of Stanley "Tookie" Williams, Blue Rage, Black Redemption from Damamli Publishing Company. He even has his own movie. Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story played by Jamie Foxx, it is eery that Jamies birthdate 13 December 1967 and Stanley's date of execution Dec 13, 2005 are on the same day.

Yes those who hold forth that Stanley Williams is a redeemed man and has much to offer society are legion.

Then there are thos who think Stanley Williams is
not a special case but that the execution should be halted because.

Celebrities and Redemption Aren't the Point. States Shouldn't Kill.
No Special Break for Tookie

"Williams's case is about the power of redemption, his supporters say, but I think it's more about the power of celebrity. The state shouldn't execute Williams, but only because the state shouldn't execute anybody -- the death penalty is a barbaric anachronism that should have been eliminated long ago, as far as I'm concerned. But it can't be right to save Williams just because he's a famous desperado (or former desperado) with famous friends, and then blithely go back to snuffing out the lives of other criminals who lack his talent for public relations"

What does make him special, according to his supporters, is that he has been so lavishly repentant about the culture of violence he helped create.
Of course, there are hundreds of other men on death row who repent of their crimes and would appreciate a little executive clemency, but they don't have movie stars pleading their cases. Oh, and also lacking a publicity machine are the four people Williams was convicted of killing.

For me, this case just reinforces my belief that there is no way the death penalty can be fairly applied. Among the ranks of the condemned are few genuinely innocent men -- although one is too many. But death row is brimming with genuinely repentant men, not because some divine revelation has hit them but simply because they have grown older.

Tookie Williams is 51; his body has softened, his rage dissipated. The state of California will not be killing the same man it sentenced to death 24 years ago. But don't buy the argument that he's a special case, because he's not."

So it seems there is a division in the clemency side. One thinks his redemption and make him a special case the other that No one should be executed and he is not a special case.

Someone give me the odds on how many of these "we cannot execute any one person because we might kill and innocent", proclaimers ALSO support Abortion?

Mike Farrel is also a Supporter

General statement by Mike Farrell concerning Stanley Tookie Williams

To Squiggy from Mike

Because there's been a significant reaction to the press coverage of my opposition to the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, I thought it might be a good idea to post a general statement for the benefit of anyone who has a question or concern.

I thought it was already quite clear that I oppose the death penalty. That means I'm against all state killing regardless of whether the individual in question is guilty or innocent. But some of those who have communicated their upset either aren't aware of that or feel this case should be an exception. Let me try to be more clear.

I believe killing is wrong. That being so, I believe that the state (or the people in a civilized society) have a special responsibility to always act in a manner that honors the principles of humanity that underpin our society. For the state to kill teaches that killing is appropriate under certain circumstances and, by extension, provides justification to those who believe that their particular case or circumstance warrants it as well. The young, in particular, learn behavior from us and this requires that we always reach for the higher standard

That apply to the unborn Mike? Is it against your moral standards to kill them? Me I am just an Unteachable Ignorant Red State Voter, I DO think that
"killing is appropriate under certain circumstances"
Though if someone were to be chopping Mike Farrel up with an axe, I might be willing to listen to him expound on his non-violent principles while he expired. Think he would? if he saw someone running up with a shotgun or would he be screaming
"Kill Them. KILL THEM!"

Despite being in agreement with Eugene Robinson Captain's Quarters in Celebrity Death Row Spotlights illuminates some glaring inconsistancies.
(One other point: does anyone else notice that three of four of Tookie's victims were Asian shopowners? Angelenos know what that entails for the gang culture of LA. These weren't just gang-banging murders but hate-crime executions, just the same as the dragging death of James Byrd. I notice Danny Glover and Jamie Foxx aren't clamoring for those murderers to get clemency from the governor of Texas, so why are they arguing for Tookie?)

I don't support the death penalty. Unlike the clueless Hollywood celebrities who manage to hijack this issue, I don't view the condemned as victims and moral guideposts, either. The elevation of Tookie to philosopher disgusts and sickens me, and it undermines the efforts to convince people of the uselessness and overreach of the death penalty.

But there is ONE THING I have not heard anyone mention or speak of. Particularly those like Mike Farrel who out of conviction, compassion and principle oppose this execution.

I it the other night when I heard Farrel talking about all this on TV.

If I could have looked him in the eyes after he had finished. I would have asked him something like this.

A lot of effort, and work has been expended to keep this bloodthirsty butcher alive , how about the families of the victims? What are their lives like these days.
Those who have lost loved ones at the hands of this thing, have they recovered? Do they still suffer.

Do you know?

Have you bothered to inquire.

Do you care?.

Linked to
third world county at Friday Featured Blogger/Open Post
Stray Dog at The Week in Review From You-Know-Who...
Bloggin' Outloud at Pastor Mark to Shave the Yetis
Right Wing Nation at Friday Open Trackbacks at The Absolutely Earliest In The Morningest Friday Open TrackBack Post
The Conservative Cat at Funny Stuff


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 10:24 PM CST
| Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Updated: Saturday, 3 December 2005 3:05 AM CST
Only An Avid Reader Could Understand
One who reads the printed word on paper not on a monitor, and one who reads the printed word in bound version, not in throw away.

If you are one of the above and particularly if you are one of the few who ever got in trouble as a child for reading under the covers with a flashlight instead GO TO SLEEP! it's a school night!

You will understand this little tale, you might even chuckle if something like this has ever happened to you.

Sometime back a friend came to me with a book he had just finished reading and said, "This is really good and I thought you might want to read it before I returned it to the person from whom I borrowed it."

Been there? Then you understand the obligation and the temptation, to yourself loan it to yet another friend who might like to read it before you return it to the person from whom you borrowed it. ;-)

But in this instance it turned out to be unnecessary to return that particular book. It did look interesting and also familiar. It was when I opened it up and saw some notes written in the front, in my handwriting that I realized that the owner of the book was me

You see I had loaned it to a friend a year or so previously, who I thought might like to read it, and obviously they had loaned it to yet another friend, who might like to read it before they returned it.

I had no idea where that book had been in its journey, but it had finally made its way back home.

Linked to
third world county at Friday Featured Blogger/Open Post
Stray Dog at The Week in Review From You-Know-Who...
Bloggin' Outloud at Pastor Mark to Shave the Yetis
Right Wing Nation at Friday Open Trackbacks at The Absolutely Earliest In The Morningest Friday Open TrackBack Post
The Conservative Cat at Funny Stuff


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:26 PM CST
| Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005 9:02 PM CST
Thursday, 1 December 2005
Da Plan Da Plan!
National Strategy
for Victory
in Iraq

Topic: Iraq War
Tatoo is hollering Da Plan, Da Plan
Lots of strident voices have been raised, demanding Da Plan. Well here it is.
The full document is a 38 page pdf file.
Below is the Executive Summary. Enjoy.
It's not Fantasy Island, it's

The National Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Hat Tip Captain's Quarters at Read My Lips: No New Timetables

He also released a book on the Iraq war strategy for those who just haven't paid any attention over the past two years. Bush and the White House should have just subtitled it "FOR THOSE WHO STILL THINK THAT THE US MILITARY DEPLOYS HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD WITHOUT A PLAN FOR SUCCESS".

November 30, 2005

The following document articulates the broad strategy the President set forth in 2003 and provides an update on our progress as well as the challenges remaining.

"The United States has no intention of determining the precise form of Iraq's new government. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people. Yet, we will ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another. All Iraqis must have a voice in the new government, and all citizens must have their rights protected.

Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more."

-- President George W. Bush
February 26, 2003

Table of Contents

National Strategy for Victory in Iraq - Full PDF Document

November 30, 2005
National Strategy for Victory in Iraq

Full PDF Document (386KB)

Executive Summary


Strategic Overview

  • Victory in Iraq Defined

  • Victory in Iraq is a Vital U.S. Interest

  • The Benefits of Victory in Iraq

  • The Consequences of Failure

  • Our Enemies and Their Goals

  • The Strategy of Our Enemies

  • Our Strategy for Victory is Clear

    A. The Political Track (Isolate, Engage, Build)

    The Security Track (Clear, Hold, Build)

    The Economic Track (Restore, Reform, Build)

  • This Strategy is Integrated, and its Elements are Mutually Reinforcing

  • Victory Will Take Time

  • Why Our Strategy Is (and Must Be) Conditions-Based

  • Our Strategy Tracks and Measures Progress


Strategy in Detail

  • The Political Track in Detail

  • The Security Track in Detail

  • The Economic Track in detail

  • Organization for Victory


  • The Eight Pillars

Executive Summary


Helping the Iraqi People Defeat the Terrorists and Build an Inclusive Democratic State

  • Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages

    • Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.

    • Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.

    • Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.

  • Victory in Iraq is a Vital U.S. Interest

    • Iraq is the central front in the global war on terror. Failure in Iraq will embolden terrorists and expand their reach; success in Iraq will deal them a decisive and crippling blow.

    • The fate of the greater Middle East -- which will have a profound and lasting impact on American security -- hangs in the balance.

  • Failure is Not an Option

    • Iraq would become a safe haven from which terrorists could plan attacks against America, American interests abroad, and our allies.

    • Middle East reformers would never again fully trust American assurances of support for democracy and human rights in the region -- a historic opportunity lost.

    • The resultant tribal and sectarian chaos would have major consequences for American security and interests in the region.

  • The Enemy Is Diffuse and Sophisticated

    • The enemy is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida. Distinct but integrated strategies are required to defeat each element.

    • Each element shares a common short-term objective -- to intimidate, terrorize, and tear down -- but has separate and incompatible long-term goals.

    • Exploiting these differences within the enemy is a key element of our strategy.

  • Our Strategy for Victory is Clear

    • We will help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. To achieve this end, we are pursuing an integrated strategy along three broad tracks, which together incorporate the efforts of the Iraqi government, the Coalition, cooperative countries in the region, the international community, and the United Nations.

  • The Political Track involves working to forge a broadly supported national compact for democratic governance by helping the Iraqi government:

    • Isolate enemy elements from those who can be won over to the political process by countering false propaganda and demonstrating to all Iraqis that they have a stake in a democratic Iraq;

    • Engage those outside the political process and invite in those willing to turn away from violence through ever-expanding avenues of participation; and

    • Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis, and facilitate Iraq's full integration into the international community.

  • The Security Track involves carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency, developing Iraqi security forces, and helping the Iraqi government:

    • Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven;

    • Hold areas freed from enemy influence by ensuring that they remain under the control of the Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence; and

    • Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.

  • The Economic Track involves setting the foundation for a sound and self-sustaining economy by helping the Iraqi government:

    • Restore Iraq's infrastructure to meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy;

    • Reform Iraq's economy, which in the past has been shaped by war, dictatorship, and sanctions, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future; and

    • Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare of all Iraqis.

  • This Strategy is Integrated and its Elements are Mutually Reinforcing

    • Progress in each of the political, security, and economic tracks reinforces progress in the other tracks.

    • For instance, as the political process has moved forward, terrorists have become more isolated, leading to more intelligence on security threats from Iraqi citizens, which has led to better security in previously violent areas, a more stable infrastructure, the prospect of economic progress, and expanding political participation.

  • Victory Will Take Time

    • Our strategy is working: Much has been accomplished in Iraq, including the removal of Saddam's tyranny, negotiation of an interim constitution, restoration of full sovereignty, holding of free national elections, formation of an elected government, drafting of a permanent constitution, ratification of that constitution, introduction of a sound currency, gradual restoration of neglected infrastructure, the ongoing training and equipping of Iraqi security forces, and the increasing capability of those forces to take on the terrorists and secure their nation.

    • Yet many challenges remain: Iraq is overcoming decades of a vicious tyranny, where governmental authority stemmed solely from fear, terror, and brutality.

      • It is not realistic to expect a fully functioning democracy, able to defeat its enemies and peacefully reconcile generational grievances, to be in place less than three years after Saddam was finally removed from power.

    • Our comprehensive strategy will help Iraqis overcome remaining challenges, but defeating the multi-headed enemy in Iraq -- and ensuring that it cannot threaten Iraq's democratic gains once we leave -- requires persistent effort across many fronts.

  • Our Victory Strategy Is (and Must Be) Conditions Based

    • With resolve, victory will be achieved, although not by a date certain.

      • No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one.

    • But lack of a timetable does not mean our posture in Iraq (both military and civilian) will remain static over time. As conditions change, our posture will change.

      • We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process advances and Iraqi security forces grow and gain experience.

      • While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may organize.

      • Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete.


Helping the Iraqi People Defeat the Terrorists and Build an Inclusive Democratic State


"Our mission in Iraq is clear. We're hunting down the terrorists. We're helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We're advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren."

-- President George W. Bush
June 28, 2003


As the central front in the global war on terror, success in Iraq is an essential element in the long war against the ideology that breeds international terrorism. Unlike past wars, however, victory in Iraq will not come in the form of an enemy's surrender, or be signaled by a single particular event -- there will be no Battleship Missouri, no Appomattox. The ultimate victory will be achieved in stages, and we expect:

  • In the short term:

    • An Iraq that is making steady progress in fighting terrorists and neutralizing the insurgency, meeting political milestones; building democratic institutions; standing up robust security forces to gather intelligence, destroy terrorist networks, and maintain security; and tackling key economic reforms to lay the foundation for a sound economy.

  • In the medium term:

    • An Iraq that is in the lead defeating terrorists and insurgents and providing its own security, with a constitutional, elected government in place, providing an inspiring example to reformers in the region, and well on its way to achieving its economic potential.

  • In the longer term:

    • An Iraq that has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency.

    • An Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country.

    • An Iraq that is a partner in the global war on terror and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, integrated into the international community, an engine for regional economic growth, and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region.


  • The war on terrorism is the defining challenge of our generation, just as the struggle against communism and fascism were challenges of the generations before. As with those earlier struggles, the United States is fully committed to meeting this challenge. We will do everything it takes to win.

  • Prevailing in Iraq will help us win the war on terror.

    • The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror.

      • Osama Bin Laden has declared that the "third world raging" in Iraq, and it will end there, in "either victory and glory, or misery and humiliation."

      • Bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri has declared Iraq to be "the place for the greatest battle," where he hopes to "expel the Americans" and then spread "the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq."

      • Al Qaida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has openly declared that "we fight today in Iraq, and tomorrow in the Land of the Two Holy Places, and after there the west."

        • As the terrorists themselves recognize, the outcome in Iraq -- success or failure -- is critical to the outcome in the broader war on terrorism.

  • What happens in Iraq will influence the fate of the Middle East for generations to come, with a profound impact on our own national security.

    • Ceding ground to terrorists in one of the world's most strategic regions will threaten the world's economy and America's security, growth, and prosperity, for decades to come.

    • An emerging democracy in Iraq will change the regional status quo that for decades has bred alienation and spawned the transnational terrorism that targets us today.

    • The terrorists' perverse ideology is countered by the advance of freedom and the recognition that all people have the right to live under democracy and the rule of law, free from oppression and fear, with hope and optimism for the future.


  • Helping the people of Iraq is the morally right thing to do -- America does not abandon its friends in the face of adversity. Helping the people of Iraq, however, is also in our own national interest.

  • If we and our Iraqi partners prevail in Iraq, we will have made America:

    • Safer...

      • by removing Saddam Hussein, a destabilizing force in a vital region, a ruthless dictator who had a history of pursuing and even using weapons of mass destruction, was a state sponsor of terror, had invaded his neighbors, and who was violently opposed to America;

      • by depriving terrorists of a safe haven from which they could plan and launch attacks against the United States and American interests;

      • by delivering a strategic setback to the terrorists and keeping them on the run;

      • by delivering a decisive blow to the ideology that fuels international terrorism, proving that the power of freedom is stronger than a perverse vision of violence, hatred, and oppression.

    • Stronger...

      • by demonstrating to our friends and enemies the reliability of U.S. power, the strength of our commitment to our friends, and the tenacity of our resolve against our enemies;

      • by securing a new friend and partner in the fight against terrorism in the heart of the Middle East.

    • More Certain of its Future ...

      • politically, by bolstering democratic reformers -- and the prospects for peaceful, democratic governments -- in a region that for decades has been a source of instability and stagnation;

      • economically, by facilitating progressive reform in the region and depriving terrorists control over a hub of the world's economy.


  • If we and our Iraqi partners fail in Iraq, Iraq will become:

    • A safe haven for terrorists as Afghanistan once was, only this time in some of the world's most strategic territory, with vast natural resources to exploit and to use to fund future attacks.

    • A country where oppression -- and the brutal imposition of inhumane practices, such as those of the Taliban in Afghanistan -- is pervasive.

    • A failed state and source of instability for the entire Middle East, with all the attendant risks and incalculable costs for American security and prosperity.

  • Furthermore, if we and our Iraqi partners fail in Iraq, the terrorists will have:

    • Won a decisive victory over the United States, vindicating their tactics of beheadings, suicide bombings, and ruthless intimidation of civilians, inviting more deadly attacks against Americans and other free people across the globe.

    • Placed the American people in greater danger by destabilizing a vital region, weakening our friends, and clearing the way for terrorist attacks here at home. The terrorists will be emboldened in their belief that America cannot stand and fight, but will cut and run in the face of adversity.

    • Called into question American credibility and commitment in the region and the world. Our friends and foes alike would doubt our staying power, and this would damage our efforts to counter other security threats and to advance other economic and political interests worldwide.

      • Since 1998, Al Qaida has repeatedly cited Vietnam, Beirut, and Somalia, as examples to encourage more attacks against America and our interests overseas.

    • Weakened the growing democratic impulses in the region. Middle East reformers would never again fully trust American assurances of support for democracy and pluralism in the region -- a historic opportunity, central to America's long-term security, forever lost.

If we retreat from Iraq, the terrorists will pursue us and our allies, expanding the fight to the rest of the region and to our own shores.


  • The enemy in Iraq is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida. These three groups share a common opposition to the elected Iraqi government and to the presence of Coalition forces, but otherwise have separate and to some extent incompatible goals.

    • Rejectionists are the largest group. They are largely Sunni Arabs who have not embraced the shift from Saddam Hussein's Iraq to a democratically governed state. Not all Sunni Arabs fall into this category. But those that do are against a new Iraq in which they are no longer the privileged elite. Most of these rejectionists opposed the new constitution, but many in their ranks are recognizing that opting out of the democratic process has hurt their interests.

      • We judge that over time many in this group will increasingly support a democratic Iraq provided that the federal government protects minority rights and the legitimate interests of all communities.

    • Saddamists and former regime loyalists harbor dreams of reestablishing a Ba'athist dictatorship and have played a lead role in fomenting wider sentiment against the Iraqi government and the Coalition.

      • We judge that few from this group can be won over to support a democratic Iraq, but that this group can be marginalized to the point where it can and will be defeated by Iraqi forces.

    • Terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida make up the smallest enemy group but are the most lethal and pose the most immediate threat because (1) they are responsible for the most dramatic atrocities, which kill the most people and function as a recruiting tool for further terrorism and (2) they espouse the extreme goals of Osama Bin Laden -- chaos in Iraq which will allow them to establish a base for toppling Iraq's neighbors and launching attacks outside the region and against the U.S. homeland.

      • The terrorists have identified Iraq as central to their global aspirations. For that reason, terrorists and extremists from all parts of the Middle East and North Africa have found their way to Iraq and made common cause with indigenous religious extremists and former members of Saddam's regime. This group cannot be won over and must be defeated -- killed or captured -- through sustained counterterrorism operations.

    • There are other elements that threaten the democratic process in Iraq, including criminals and Shi'a religious extremists, but we judge that such elements can be handled by Iraqi forces alone and/or assimilated into the political process in the short term.


  • Despite their competing goals, these disparate enemy elements share a common operational concept: Intimidate, coerce, or convince the Iraqi public not to support the transition to democracy by persuading them that the nascent Iraqi government is not competent and will be abandoned by a Coalition that lacks the stomach for this fight.

    • The enemy's strategy, in short, is to intimidate, terrorize, and tear down -- a strategy with short-term advantage because it is easier to tear down than to build up. But this strategy is not sustainable in the long term because it is rejected by the overwhelming mass of the Iraqi population.

  • Enemy Lines of Action. The enemy seeks to ...

    • Weaken the Coalition's resolve, and our resolve at home, through barbaric mass-casualty attacks, public slaughter of Iraqi civilians and hostages, infliction of casualties on Coalition forces, and use of the media to spread propaganda and intimidate adversaries.

    • Destroy confidence in the Iraqi government by sabotaging key essential service (oil and electricity) nodes and by derailing the political process.

    • Damage trust in Iraqi Security Forces through propaganda, infiltration, and barbaric attacks on the weak and the innocent.

    • Sabotage Iraqi unity through propaganda against the Shi'a majority punctuated with attacks intended to spark sectarian conflict and civil war.

    • Establish safe havens to plan attacks and conduct intimidation campaigns.

    • Expand the fight to neighboring states and beyond.


  • Our Strategy is Clear: We will help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. To achieve this end, we are pursuing a comprehensive approach that involves the integrated efforts of the entire United States Government, the Iraqi government, and Coalition governments, and encourages the active involvement of the United Nations, other international organizations, and supportive regional states.

  • Our strategy involves three integrated tracks -- political, security, and economic -- each with separate objectives, but together helping Iraqis to defeat the terrorists, Saddamists, and rejectionists, and secure a new democratic state in Iraq.

The Political Track

(Isolate, Engage, Build)

    • Objective: To help the Iraqi people forge a broadly supported national compact for democratic government, thereby isolating enemy elements from the broader public.

    • To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government:

      • Isolate hardened enemy elements from those who can be won over to a peaceful political process by countering false propaganda and demonstrating to the Iraqi people that they have a stake in a viable, democratic Iraq.

      • Engage those outside the political process and invite in those willing to turn away from violence through ever-expanding avenues of peaceful participation.

      • Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis, and facilitate Iraq's full integration into the international community.

The Security Track

(Clear, Hold, Build)

    • Objective: To develop the Iraqis' capacity to secure their country while carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency.

    • To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government:

      • Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven.

      • Hold areas freed from enemy control by ensuring that they remain under the control of a peaceful Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence.

      • Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.

The Economic Track

(Restore, Reform, Build)

    • Objective: To assist the Iraqi government in establishing the foundations for a sound economy with the capacity to deliver essential services.

    • To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government:

      • Restore Iraq's neglected infrastructure so it can meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy.

      • Reform Iraq's economy, which has been shaped by war, dictatorship, and sanctions, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future.

      • Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare of all Iraqis.


  • Progress along one of the political, security, and economic tracks reinforces progress along the other tracks. For example:

    • As the political process has moved forward, terrorists have become more isolated, leading to more intelligence on their leadership and hideouts from Iraqi citizens, which has led to better security in previously violent areas, a more stable infrastructure, the prospect of economic progress, and expanding political participation.

    • As security operations in Fallujah, Mosul, Tal Afar, and elsewhere have killed or led to the capture of high-level terrorists and insurgents, residents in those areas have come forward to participate in the political process, registering and turning out to vote in vast numbers, and providing local residents a meaningful voice in the new Iraq.

    • As economic activities have progressed, ordinary citizens have returned to normal life and developed a stake in a peaceful Iraq and thus become motivated to support the political process and cooperate with security forces,

  • Part II of this paper will discuss the three tracks -- political, security, and economic -- in more detail, so Americans can better understand the elements of our vital mission, the nature of our strategy, why we believe this strategy will succeed, the progress we are making, and how our government is organized to help Iraqis ensure lasting victory in Iraq.


  • Our Strategy Is Working. Much has been accomplished in Iraq, including the removal of Saddam's tyranny, negotiation of an interim constitution, restoration of full sovereignty, holding of free national elections, formation of an elected government, drafting of a permanent constitution, ratification of that constitution, introduction of a sound currency, gradual restoration of Iraq's neglected infrastructure, and the ongoing training and equipping of Iraq's security forces.

  • Yet many challenges remain:

    • Iraq is overcoming decades of a vicious tyranny, under which governmental authority stemmed solely from fear, terror, and brutality. Saddam Hussein devastated Iraq, wrecked its economy, ruined its infrastructure, and destroyed its human capital. It is not realistic to expect a fully functioning democracy, able to defeat its enemies and peacefully reconcile generational grievances, to be in place less than three years after Saddam was finally removed from power.

    • We and the Iraqi people are fighting a ruthless enemy, which is multi-headed, with competing ambitions and differing networks. Getting an accurate picture of this enemy, understanding its makeup and weaknesses, and defeating it, requires patience, persistence, and determined effort along all three strategic tracks.

    • Terrorism and insurgencies historically take many years to defeat, through a combination of political, economic, and military tools. Iraq's violence is different from other such conflicts, where insurgents often had unified command and control or mounted a successful campaign to win the hearts and minds of the population. Nonetheless, Iraq is likely to struggle with some level of violence for many years to come.

    • The neighborhood is inhospitable. Iran and Syria have failed to provide support to Iraq's new government and have in many ways actively undermined it. The region, while including some cooperative actors, has only recently mobilized to support the emergence of a democratic and stable Iraq.

    • The Sunni community is still searching for strong, reliable leadership. Although many Sunnis also suffered under Saddam, leaders from their community generally associated with the Ba'ath Party, not the opposition to the regime. The Sunni religious community, moreover, is less hierarchical and more dispersed, which is reflected in Sunni politics. As a result of these realities, few Sunni leaders have spoken for the larger Sunni community in Iraq. Elections in December will produce elected Sunni leaders who can represent their community with legitimate authority.

    • Many Sunnis are also coming to terms with the reality that their community no longer monopolizes power in Iraq. They are grappling with their role in a democratic country in which they are a minority, albeit with constitutional protections for minority rights and interests.

    • Many of Iraq's communities remain skeptical of the central government and nervous about the creation of an Iraqi state where power is concentrated in Baghdad. Their allegiance to a united Iraqi government will depend upon the central government demonstrating the will and capability to govern effectively and fairly on behalf of all Iraqis.

    • Earlier efforts to correct past wrongs have sometimes alienated Sunnis who were not complicit with Saddam's crimes. Iraq's leaders need to find a middle ground -- between pursuing justice for every past wrong and leaving the past unexamined.

    • With democratization has come the emergence of new groups, not all of whom have shared the goal of a free, pluralistic, and democratic Iraq. Some groups -- like members of the Mahdi Militia -- have sought to maximize discontent with the Coalition presence and have at times clashed violently with other parties.

    • The continued existence and influence of militias and armed groups, often affiliated with political parties, hamper the rule of law in some parts of Iraq. These groups have also infiltrated the police forces and sparked violent exchanges in areas of the country that are otherwise peaceful.

    • Iraq's economy is still shackled with many vestiges of a highly centralized economy and stagnant and corrupt institutions. Creating new institutions, reforming old ones, and developing new policies will be necessary to encourage economic growth. The prosperity of average Iraqis will be enhanced only if Iraq reduces the massive subsidy programs that burden its economy.


  • Success in the short, medium, and long run will depend on progress in overcoming these challenges and on the conditions on the ground in Iraq. Our strategy -- along the political, security, and economic tracks -- is establishing the conditions for victory. These conditions include:

    • Progress in the Iraqi political process and the increasing willingness of Iraqis to forge political compromises;

    • Consolidation of gains in the training of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF);

    • Commitment to and implementation of economic reforms by Iraqi leaders;

    • Increased cooperation of Iraq's neighbors;

    • Expanded support from the international community;

    • Continued support of the American people.

  • Although we are confident of victory in Iraq, we will not put a date certain on when each stage of success will be reached -- because the timing of success depends upon meeting certain conditions, not arbitrary timetables.

    • Arbitrary deadlines or timetables for withdrawal of Coalition forces -- divorced from conditions on the ground -- would be irresponsible and deadly, as they would suggest to the terrorists, Saddamists, and rejectionists that they can simply wait to win.

    • No war has ever been won on a timetable -- and neither will this one.

  • Lack of a timetable, however, does not mean that the Coalition's posture in Iraq (both military and political) is static. On the contrary, we continually adjust our posture and approaches as conditions evolve and Iraqi capabilities grow.

    • Coalition troop levels, for example, will increase where necessary to defeat the enemy or provide additional security for key events like the referendum and elections. But troop levels will decrease over time, as Iraqis continue to take on more of the security and civilian responsibilities themselves.

    • We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process consolidates and as Iraqi Security Forces grow and gain experience.

      • As Iraqis take on more responsibility for security, Coalition forces will increasingly move to supporting roles in most areas. The mission of our forces will change -- from conducting operations and keeping the peace, to more specialized operations targeted at the most vicious terrorists and leadership networks.

      • As security conditions improve and as Iraqi Security Forces become increasingly capable of securing their own country, our forces will increasingly move out of the cities, reduce the number of bases from which we operate, and conduct fewer patrols and convoy missions.

      • While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may gather and organize.

    • As our posture changes over time, so too will the posture of our Coalition partners. We and the Iraqis must work with them to coordinate our efforts, helping Iraq to consolidate and secure its gains on many different fronts.


  • We track numerous indicators to map the progress of our strategy and change our tactics whenever necessary. Detailed reports -- both classified and unclassified -- are issued weekly, monthly, and quarterly by relevant agencies and military units.

    • Many of these reports with detailed metrics are released to the public, and are readily accessible. For example:

  • Some of the most important metrics we track are:

    • Political: The political benchmarks set forth in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546 and the Transitional Administrative Law; the number of Iraqis from all areas willing to participate in the political process as evidenced by voter registration and turnout.

    • Security: The quantity and quality of Iraqi units; the number of actionable intelligence tips received from Iraqis; the percentage of operations conducted by Iraqis alone or with minor Coalition assistance; the number of car bombs intercepted and defused; offensive operations conducted by Iraqi and Coalition forces; and the number of contacts initiated by Coalition forces, as opposed to the enemy.

    • Economic: GDP; per capita GDP; inflation; electricity generated and delivered; barrels of oil produced and exported; and numbers of businesses opened.

  • Other indicators are also important to success, but less subject to precise measurement, such as the extent to which principles of transparency, trust in government institutions, and acceptance of the rule of law are taking hold amongst a population that has never known them.

  • These indicators have more strategic significance than the metrics that the terrorists and insurgents want the world to use as a measure of progress or failure: number of bombings.

    • The following pages break down the three tracks of our strategy -- political, security, economic -- and explain the logic behind them in more detail.

"The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi, and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden. For the sake of our nation's security, this will not happen on my watch."

-- President George W. Bush
June 28, 2005


Helping the Iraqi People Defeat the Terrorists and Build an Inclusive Democratic State


Linked to
TMH's Bacon Bits at Bacon Break ? (Stealth) Open Post
Right Wing Nation at Wednesday Open Trackbacks at Middle of the Wednesday, Practically Thursday Open Trackbacks
Choose Life at Cowering Chicken Open Post at Space Aliens Inhabit Bodies of Democrats: No Sign of Intelligent Life
Lee over at Right Thinking from the East Coast
Bush now needs to show a clear strategy as to why finishing the job is critical. This speech today is a good sign that, finally, he?s getting it. I hope he understands that this can?t be a one-time thing, that this message has to be stated over and over and over to get the pint across, especially in the face of a hostile media and a determined opposition. But the argument is there to be made, he just has to figure out how to do it.
This may be a good start.


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 1:12 AM CST
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Updated: Sunday, 20 May 2007 11:41 AM CDT
Tuesday, 29 November 2005
Let Them Eat Cake
Some people have so little connection or conception of the life of the Average American, that even when they think they are working towards their best interests, usually without even consulting those they claim to represent, they can do more harm than good.

A case in point is the current Witch hunt against WalMart.

They claim "that the retailer is bad for poor Americans"

We read further in Prog-Mart at Right Thinking From The Left Coast and Wal-Mart -- The Poor American's Greatest Ally? at Right Wing News.

This claim is backward: As Jason Furman of New York University puts it, Wal-Mart is “a progressive success story.” Furman advised John “Benedict Arnold” Kerry in the 2004 campaign and has never received any payment from Wal-Mart; he is no corporate apologist. But he points out that Wal-Mart’s discounting on food alone boosts the welfare of American shoppers by at least $50 billion a year. The savings are possibly five times that much if you count all of Wal-Mart’s products."

But we hear from the pitchfork and torch crowd, Target and Costco are SO superior. They don't mention the fact that.

The average Wal-Mart customer earns $35,000 a year, compared with $50,000 at Target and $74,000 at Costco. Moreover, Wal-Mart’s “every day low prices” make the biggest difference to the poor, since they spend a higher proportion of income on food and other basics. As a force for poverty relief, Wal-Mart’s $200 billion-plus assistance to consumers may rival many federal programs. Those programs are better targeted at the needy, but they are dramatically smaller. Food stamps were worth $33 billion in 2005, and the earned-income tax credit was worth $40 billion.

Now it is no surprise that elitist would think the stores they shop at, which have higher prices are run more progressively. What is surprising is that this much maligned dirty Capitalist Enterprise actually benefits the Working Poor MORE than some of our lauded Government Programs.


let's say we accept Dube's calculation that retail workers take home $4.7 billion less per year because Wal-Mart has busted unions and generally been ruthless. That loss to workers would still be dwarfed by the $50 billion-plus that Wal-Mart consumers save on food, never mind the much larger sums that they save altogether. Indeed, Furman points out that the wage suppression is so small that even its "victims" may be better off. Retail workers may take home less pay, but their purchasing power probably still grows thanks to Wal-Mart's low prices."

I ask anyone out there with the slightest modicum of reasoning. Would you spend $4.70 for a coupon that would give you $50 off your next grocery bill or a total of $200 off all of your bills? Would you think you had been "taken advantage" of???

Besides the above interesting bits of information, how do those who protest WalMart treat the people they employ?

Some time back in a Post called What's Wrong With This Picture? I looked at that issue.

The story was of a Union hiring Temp Workers to walk picket lines to protest WalMart's mistreatment of it's workers???

What sticks out to me is that these people are walking long hours in the hot sun for next to nothing for a pittance. They are protesting working conditions that compared to theirs look like paradise.

What happens if they do a REALLY good job? Well then the Union calls the Temp Agency and tells it they do not need these workers anymore, BUT if they can get jobs in a Union shop all by their own efforts?

Why the Union will be HAPPY to represent them and collect their dues.

That was the Story folks, Temp Workers, under conditions that any Union would shout from the rooftops in condemnation, if a corporation were to so shabbily treat their employees. To be sent out into the streets unemployed should they be successful in their picketing?

Let us call a spade a spade they are running a literal sweatshop operation outside in 100+ temperatures and when they no longer need these workers, they will discard them.

The Union justifies their actions with this sentiment

"This is an informational picket line only," Hornbrook said. "We're paying these people. They were out of work before (joining their picket lines). This is an in-between-jobs stop

What do Unions call Corporations if they were to be foolish enough to make the above statements?

These witch hunters know not one blamed thing about how the people with low paying jobs, live, work or shop.

To them all they can say is WalMart is BAD you need to shop Target, Costco, pay more.

The peasants are out of Bread? Let them eat cake.

Prowling the blogverse for kindred spirits I found who relates his isolation,

"I am tuned in to the Walmart-bashing that's going on because the "Social Action" committee of my congregation is heavily promoting the campaign to bring the giant retailer to heel. Tactics have included protests that enlist children and explicitly liken Walmart's practices to those of inner-city sweatshops of a hundred years ago.

And the thing of it is, even though this is blatant anti-corporatist leftism, many of those involved cannot even imagine that what they advocate is so much as debatable, much less a flawed partisan position.

Let's let him know he is not alone folks. ;-)

Linked to
Those Bastards! at If it's Tuesday, it must be an OTA open trackback day
NIF at The wheels on the bus ...
Don Surber at Bush the Reformer & Open Post
Right Wing Nation at Tuesday Open Trackbacks
The Business of America is Business at OpenTracks: Train Tracks Edition at Middle of the Tuesday Open Trackbacks
The Conservative Cat at Ecosystem


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:22 PM CST
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Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005 2:46 AM CST
The New TTLB Rankings
It seems Truth Laid Bear is reconfiguring the Blog Ecosystem, so I am no longer a Large Mammal, but have devolved to a Marauding Marsupial.

Well if I am going to be a Marsupial, then I choose to be one that fits my mood at this outcome.

Meet Kentuckydan Marsupial

The Tazmanian Devil


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 9:13 AM CST
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Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005 9:20 AM CST
The Lizard Brain

Some say we humans have been pieced together over the eons. Last added, and first in the brain is the frontal cortex our reasoning centers, the spiritual part the Angel Brain, behind that are the portions that sometimes get us in trouble, call them the Monkey Brain.

But at the back base of the skull, resting on the top of the spine, is the Ancient Reptilian Brain, that brain we had in the beginning.

Now the Lizard Brain knows only 3 things how to Feed, Fight and F^$K. If it can figure out how to do these things without being Eaten, it will do them the same way EVERY TIME.

There are those who think that politicians are a form of Reptile, and they do have certain similarities to the Lizard Brain.

We have a group of Politicians who have been using three simple concepts for almost thirty years without getting eaten/not re-elected, so of course they will do everything the Same Way, EVERY TIME.

These concepts are: Any Military Action is Vietnam, The Military is BAD and we could use that money better elsewhere, and America is ALWAYS at Fault.

We can count on this group to react to ANY geo-political situation in the same manner that has worked for so long.

So when I saw. The Afghanistan Effect in Big Lizards after reading about the lies, the distortions and the twisting of the truth I realized in awe I was in the presence of the Lizard Brain.

But evolution doomed the ancient giants of the Reptile era and in like vein the dinosaurs of the Mainstream Media will be eaten alive by the tiny scurrying blogs and troops returning from the Middle East.

"And just as the Afghanistan Effect was the beginning of the downfall of the Soviet Empire, with its Ministry of Truth that told only lies, so too will the Reverse Afghanistan Effect be the beginning of the end of mainstream media hegemony over "the truth." People have already lost confidence in the news media (note how out of synch the media journalists are with the American people in this poll). And in just a few short months, when massive numbers of troops begin returning home, having secured a tremendous victory in the Mesopotamian heart of the Middle East... well, the MSM may never again regain its face."

Can you say Credibility Gap. and we rest at a precise historical cusp today. Along with the troops returning home, as a legacy of the Cold War at this point in time we have about 25 million Veterans in this country. They, their families and their friends are the largets voting block in this country, and they are beginning to realize just how much and for how long they have been lied to. NOT the Bush lied and they died, but the continuous we will play politic, say one thing now and later lie and say the opposite.

It has been true all through the history of this Nation that any prolonged conflict has ushered in a new body of leaders rising out of that conflict.

The simplistic might conclude that military life gives one a taste and a desire for power.

I choose to believe that SERVICE the ultimate service of protecting the Body Politic by placing one's own body between it and danger engenders a nobility and a desire to continue that service.

The Lizard Brains and the Media Dinosaurs of the Vietnam Era do not realize that their time is passed.

There will be a reckoning when the truth emerges from the troops return. The voice of those who were there and not in hotels in the Green Zone will be heard.

It will be answered by those who once stood and pledged.

"I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

and also by their families and their friends at the polls.

Some realize that the counter balance to Liberty and Freedom is Responsibility and Service, freely offered without coercion. There are those who will never be able to understand this.
But we learn from Protein Wisdom that people are starting to wake up!

"Full disclosure: I am not a pollster, nor am I a licensed statistician?so take my analysis with a grain of salt. But if I?m reading this right, 70% of Americans believe that Democratic party criticism of the war is motivated by partisan political impulses?a desire for power, to put it more forcefully?rather than a desire to help the US win the war in Iraq.


Similarly, 70% of Americans think that the Democrats? attacks on the war are damaging troop morale, which necessarily creates unnecessary problems in battlefield execution.

70% "

Linked to
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NIF at The wheels on the bus ...
Don Surber at Bush the Reformer & Open Post
Right Wing Nation at Tuesday Open Trackbacks


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:59 AM CST
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Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005 10:55 AM CST
North Korea: Missile Tests and Regional Impacts
This just in my email box from "Strategic Forecasting, Inc."
By Rodger Baker

North Korea has done it again. A week after it tested seven missiles, including the long-range Taepodong-2, a resolution condemning its actions has stalled in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), South Korea is criticizing Japan for hyping the launch, Japan is openly discussing changes to its constitutional military restrictions, and the United States is asking China to use its negotiating capabilities to bring some stability to the situation. If North Korea was largely marginalized leading into July, it is now once again the center of attention -- and controversy.

Defying repeated warnings from the United States, Japan, South Korea and even Russia and China, North Korea launched not one but seven missiles, early July 5 local time. Most were short- or medium-range Hwasong or Nodong missiles; the first launch was timed to coincide with the Independence Day launch of space shuttle Discovery in Florida. But it was the third missile, the long-range Taepodong-2 -- believed to be capable of striking Alaska or Hawaii -- that garnered the most attention.

Pyongyang accomplished quite a bit with the July 5 launches. First and foremost, it has shocked the world with multiple tests while managing to avoid a military confrontation with the United States. It has been able to gauge the effectiveness of improvements in its ballistic missile program -- particularly with the short- and medium-range models that pose a more significant threat to regional security than the Taepodong-2. And it has once again exposed and exploited rifts in Washington's Northeast Asian alliance structure.

Moreover, with disagreements stalling any actions against North Korea at the U.N. Security Council, it is China that appears poised to gain the most from Pyongyang's actions.

Taepodong Failure and U.S. Relief

North Korea had placed the Taepodong-2 on its launch platform more than a month prior to the test launch, as if posing it for U.S. spy satellites and reconnaissance aircraft. Several times, Japan or others announced that a launch was imminent, and each time there was a corresponding cry for restraint, and increasingly overt threats from the United States and Japan -- including calls to shoot the missile down in midflight or even strike it before it left the launchpad.

When the Taepodong-2 finally lifted off, at shortly after 5 a.m. local time, it produced more of a fizzle than a bang. The missile didn't fly over Japan. It didn't place a satellite into orbit. It didn't fulfill a bold, unofficial threat by Pyongyang and land off the coast of New York. In fact, it flew within parameters for just 40 seconds, before either breaking up or suffering engine troubles and veering off course. It landed in the waters between North Korea, Japan and Russia a few minutes later.

The failure was quickly labeled by international media, observers and U.S. officials as an embarrassment to the North Korean regime and a demonstration that Pyongyang lacks the wherewithal to pull off a successful test or to threaten the United States. The additional six missiles were written off as little more than upgraded, inaccurate, short-range SCUD missiles. The initial condescension towards North Korea's technical capabilities was coupled with condemnation of the tests and contradictory recommendations for follow-on actions.

But not all the details of the missile's flight path are clear. According to some reports, the missile performed normally for some 40-42 seconds, burned out and fell into the ocean. Other reports suggest a catastrophic failure, fragmentation of the rocket or a fire. Some estimates put the total flight time at around two minutes, while the South Koreans have said total flight time was seven minutes -- during which the missile traveled 499 kilometers from its launch facility.

Given the available information, it is very likely that the missile suffered system damage during the most critical and stressful part of the launch. This is certainly the picture the United States is projecting, and apparently with some relief. In the weeks leading up to the launch, Washington had touted the strengths of the U.S. missile defense system, moved tests forward on the calendar and warned that the option of shooting down the Taepodong-2 was clearly on the table. The failure of North Korea's missile, however, kept Washington from having to make the difficult decision of whether to carry through with that threat and shoot it down in flight.

There were real reservations about acting on those threats. First, while Washington has confidence in the missile defense system, that confidence is not 100 percent. If North Korea had fired its missile and a U.S. intercept failed, it would be the U.S. Defense Department and the Bush administration with pie on its face. More importantly, such a failure could undermine whatever psychological deterrent the missile defense system currently provides.

But perhaps even more troubling for Washington was the prospect that a strike against the North Korean missile would succeed. First, there is a question of where the intercept would take place -- and where the debris would fall. But the second question is how North Korea would respond. Pyongyang has one key consideration in its actions: ensuring regime survival. North Korea structures its defense force and projects a prickly personality in order to dissuade the United States or others from attacking. But Pyongyang knows that its capabilities are limited and that, in a war with the United States, it ultimately would lose.

Though it feels threatened by Washington, the North Korean leadership does not view launching an offensive war as a logical act. North Korea is outgunned and outclassed by the United States; launching an invasion of South Korea or an attack on Japan or the United States would be a surefire way to ensure regime change in Pyongyang. If Washington shot down its missile, however, the North Korean elite might view that as a guarantee of imminent U.S. military action -- and Pyongyang might strike out at its neighbors to inflict as much pain as possible, seeking to disrupt any U.S. invasion or attack plans.

But even barring such a reaction, allowing its missile to be shot out of the sky by the U.S. military would trigger significant stresses for North Korea -- both within the elite and from the broader military and society. The regime would question whether it could maintain cohesion and stability without retaliating. For Washington, then, either a failure or a success of the U.S. missile defense system could lead to open hostilities in Northeast Asia. The best thing Washington could have hoped for was that North Korea's missile would fail -- even before the button would have had to be pushed for the intercept.

And Pyongyang knew this as well.

A Scrubbed Launch?

There is some possibility that North Korea intentionally scrubbed the launch. On the one hand, simply putting the missile away after leaving it on the pad for more than a month would have been viewed as capitulation -- and that could have weakened the internal cohesion of the regime. A launch became necessary practically as soon as the missile was rolled out (unless Washington had given in to Pyongyang's calls for bilateral talks).

But on the other hand, while North Korea has always walked close to the line, it has been very careful not to cross it. A successful Taepodong-2 test could have shifted the strategic calculation of Japan or the United States toward North Korea. Tokyo already had warned that if any part of the Taepodong-2 fell on Japanese territory, it would be considered an act of war. And while Washington has been relatively lax toward North Korea, aside from rhetoric and the occasional economic lever, all bets would be off should North Korea demonstrate the ability to pose a concrete threat to the U.S. mainland.

For Pyongyang, a controlled launch failure presented a better outcome than risking an accident or simply putting away the long-range toy. A picture-perfect satellite launch would have been the best outcome, but it is questionable whether North Korea actually believed it would be able to pull one off. After all, few space programs have ever managed to develop new systems without many failures along the way.

Other Missiles and Regional Tensions

Whether Pyongyang failed to succeed or succeeded to fail, the Taepodong-2 was not the only missile launched that morning. There were many motives behind North Korea's additional launches. First, everyone was already expecting a Taepodong-2 launch; if Pyongyang had launched only that rocket, the psychological impact already would have been discounted. There would be little leverage. Second, if the North Koreans knew they would scrub the Taepodong-2 launch, they would want to demonstrate a variety of capabilities to cover for the failure.

Finally, and more significantly, North Korea is intending again to trade its missile launches for concessions from its neighbors and the United States. If a moratorium on missile tests is coming anyway, this launch represented a final chance to assess improvements to North Korea's missile systems, particularly as the country so rarely tests its ballistic missiles. Testing six short- and intermediate-range Hwasong and Nodong missiles -- the real bulk of North Korea's missile force -- would allow the country's military to learn more in a single day about their own capabilities and upgrades than they had in the entirety of the preceding decade.

It is these overlooked missiles that are the true face of North Korean missile technology. Pyongyang's Nodong missiles have the capability of reaching most of Japan, including U.S. bases in Okinawa. North Korea has more than 100 of these mobile missiles, making them an extremely valuable commodity. And its short-range Hwasong series can strike anywhere in South Korea and potentially parts of Japan.

The combination of short-, medium- and long-range missile tests helps to explain the political intent behind the July 5 launches. Dividing any coalition that forms against it has been a key aspect of North Korean foreign policy. The regime in Pyongyang has played skillfully on the differences in strategic thinking of trilateral allies Japan, South Korea and the United States. The current diplomatic spat between Tokyo and Seoul over the extent to which North Korea's missile tests should be dramatized is a key example of just how easily these rifts are exploited. The time and effort the United States is expending to convince the world that Washington and Seoul are on the same page is another.

Stalled at the Security Council

In the UNSC discussions, Russia is expected to abstain from any resolution to punish North Korea -- but China well might veto one, so Tokyo and Washington are delaying any vote on the issue. But though Moscow is not actively joining in attempts to have North Korea sanctioned, Russian authorities have found it difficult to conceal their frustration with Pyongyang. What is clear from initial statements, particularly about the safety of Russian ships and aircraft in the missile test zone, is that the North Koreans never bothered warning Russia before lobbing missiles off its coast.

Amid all of this, China appears to be the least fazed by the North Korean tests.

But China also may have had prior notice about the launches. Initial comments credited to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill suggest that China was notified about the tests before they occurred. Officials in Beijing have countered that they were told of the launches a few hours before North Korea formally announced them -- but still days after they actually had taken place. Either way, the Chinese once again have found the world turning to them for a solution.

Given the Security Council deadlock, China is the only viable path to negotiations with North Korea. In fact, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Richard Bolton has said the Security Council vote was delayed so that diplomacy through China could continue. Washington and Seoul both have called for Beijing to talk to Pyongyang, and the Chinese already had conveniently arranged for a relatively high-level delegation to visit North Korea.

For China, the missile launches have reinforced Beijing's importance to the United States and even Japan. Neither Washington nor Tokyo is prepared to strike back at North Korea militarily -- over either the missile tests or the ongoing nuclear crisis. Both have opted for sanctions and attempts to isolate North Korea, but these paths require the assistance and participation of South Korea and China. And even if Seoul were fully on board, China would remain as North Korea's primary lifeline. China can undermine any U.S. efforts to isolate or punish Pyongyang -- or it can facilitate dialogue.

In the weeks leading up to the missile tests, Beijing had proposed various ways to restart the stalled six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program -- talks from which both Washington and Pyongyang had basically walked away. As the primary coordinator and host of the talks, Beijing has leverage with all the participants -- but China found few takers (aside from South Korea) for its recent proposals. All of that changed, however, when North Korea actually tested the missiles. Washington sent envoys to Beijing and held out the possibility of bilateral talks with Pyongyang (which North Korea has demanded in order to discuss economic sanctions and frozen assets) on the sidelines of the six-party discussions.

While it is not certain that China facilitated the North Korean missile tests, it does seem that Pyongyang was certain the tests wouldn't trigger China to turn on it. If Beijing were truly upset, it could make that rather clear to North Korea in very painful ways. It hasn't. Rather, the Chinese have called on all parties to return to dialogue -- dialogue facilitated by and benefiting China. Meanwhile, North Korea is sitting back and studying the deadlock at the U.N. Security Council, the cracks in the U.S.-South Korea-Japan alliance, and the fact that the world's attention has again turned back toward Pyongyang.


North Korea considered its 1998 Taepodong-1 launch a brilliant success. Only two years later, Pyongyang had gone from being an international outcast and sidelined nation to the center of diplomatic activity -- with normalized relations across Europe and with Canada and Australia. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il hosted then-South Korean President Kim Dae Jung in Pyongyang for the first ever inter-Korean summit in 2000. North Korea gained economic and diplomatic ties and began to break past the constraints of a relationship that had been based primarily on U.S. pressure and Chinese handouts.

Pyongyang sees the same sorts of benefits in its future this time around. It has grown expert at creating artificial crises, from which it reaps economic and political benefits in exchange for merely maintaining the status quo.

In recent years, Washington has attempted to simply ignore North Korea rather than giving in to its temper fits. After all, if a kid in a toy store holds his breath while demanding that a parent buy a new toy, doing so only encourages the behavior -- whereas waiting for the kid to pass out and then start breathing again puts the kibosh on the temper fits. Or at least, that is the theory.

But North Korea always has an extra ace up its sleeve: geography. If the issue were only between North Korea and the United States, Pyongyang would have been ignored into submission years ago. But while its Taepodong-2 failed, its regional missiles proved quite effective. And neither Seoul nor Tokyo can feel as confident as Washington that North Korea really won't do something too crazy if left to stew in its own isolation. When Washington turns a deaf ear, Pyongyang pokes Tokyo and Seoul -- and when they cry out, the United States is drawn back in.

And until a new option is found to be effective, it seems that Beijing is destined to benefit -- as the only voice that can soothe the savage North Korea.
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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:57 AM CST
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Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006 7:22 PM CDT
Monday, 28 November 2005
The Open
Trackback Alliance IV
For Monday

When I first started upon my journey through the blogverse I created a Statement of Purpose
Now upon reading it, one can realize that I did not hold to every detail of that original statement, but from it's basic premise, I have never swayed, in my belief that the Blogs are in fact the Committees of Correspondence of the Second American Revolution.

And that it is a Revolution of Information, no longer can we afford and allow elite gateways to control what we can see, hear and discuss.

One of the most important discoveries I make in those early days was the website of Samantha Burns, which included a unique informal community of bloggers, who not only linked to each other but actually browsed and read the blogs they linked to.

Later I was honored to be allowed to join another more formal blog community. At that time I decided that while I welcomed blogs that wanted to link to me, I was not that interested in simply joining blogrolls to add links. After that I made no more attempts to join any blog alliances. I have been kept busy supporting the linkages I have and at times I feel guilty that I cannot get around to all the websites on my blogroll as I could when it was smaller.

So why do I welcome this recent invitation to join the Open Trackback Alliance? Have I reconsidered my former decision?

No I am posting and joining this Alliance because it is RIGHT for me to do so.

Because it FULFILLS my original Statement of Purpose that the Blogs are indeed the 21st Century Committees of Correspondence, whose duty and honor it is to SHARE information, thoughts, ideas, news and to discuss the same. To diligently search for the truths that lie behind the distortions and half-truths of the Legacy Media.

What the blogs associated with the Samantha Burns site did informally, and without structure, this Alliance only aids and structures. There is in fact no conflict between what I do now, and what I decided to do sometime ago.

For I believe that those bloggers who find their way, here and in particular from the Blogs associated with Sam.


Some of us are more Serious, some of us are more lighthearted and some post the common ordinary things that make one smile and recall that Life without the simple things to treasure is meaningless.

And it is important that all have a platform from which to speak.

As I understand this process you can link to this post and trackback to this post on ANY subject or post you think important. It is open. I will repeat this every Monday.

The Committees of Correspondence welcomes your intelligent comments. And also welcomes you to join the


Open Trackback Alliance

Blogs that Trackback to this Post:

On Monday
Liberal Common Sense with Mass Extinction of Large Mammal Report
third world county with Monday's Featured Blog?and Open Post
The Real Ugly American with This Soldier can speak for himself!
The Business of America is Business with How do Arab Businesses Stack Up?
Freedom Folks with Refuting Gutierrez (Part One): Family Values
Diane's Stuff with Mucho Uniform Por Favor
TMH's Bacon Bits with Bird Flu Mutating in Humans

Y'al come back now, Y'heah? ;-)


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 12:16 AM CST
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Updated: Monday, 28 November 2005 9:19 PM CST
Friday, 25 November 2005
When I was Ten Years Old
When I was ten years old, we lived on an Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It's called Midway Island that fits the location for sure.

Yep I am a Navy Brat, there is no was, you are or you aren't a Service Brat, and if you are, you are always one.

I think it was the machine gunfire that woke me up that night. It turned out they were having exercises, but sometimes ten year old boys are not told these things.

I sat in the window and heard the sounds of the guns and looked at the tracers and the anti-aircraft fire against the night sky and I was AFRAID.

I need to date myself, this was a few years before the Cuban Missile Crisis, but even ten year old boys of that era, knew who the Russians were and at that point in time, that night I just knew they had come.

Like I said I was frozen at that window in total terror, UNTIL, I saw the Marines running towards the beach in full kit.

Then I was all in one instant, no longer afraid. I knew that those big strong men, who played with us kids in the sandlot behind their barracks and my Daddy would not let ANYTHING Bad happen to us.

I knew I was safe because the Marines were between me and danger, I do not recall the slightest bit of doubt.

So some may understand how I felt when I read.

This Is How The Left Supports The Troops? in Common Sense Run Wild

Amanda: Do you not feel guilty that you are helping in the killing of innocent Iraqis - what did they do to deserve what has happened to them? You can always choose not to go. As for prayers and sympathy to your family - forget it! And when you get back and realize all the death and destruction (which you helped to cause) is a complete waste - don't say you have not been warned.

That's one sample of many hostile comments left at the blog of Grey Hawk. She's a 35 year old wife mother and U. S. soldier currently stationed in Iraq with the 101ST Airborne Division.

Someone has also managed to hack Grey Hawk's site and was able to prevent her from posting memorials to her fellow soldiers. It's one thing for the left to question the war, I have no problem with that, but to seek out and attack a member of the military is despicable. How's that for supporting the troops?

Most Americans live safe, tranquil lives. They will never know or experience how it feels to know you are going to die horribly and then upon the mere sight of Americans in uniform running to place themselves between you and danger the instantaneous feeling of "I will be safe, I will be protected".

And maggots like those written about in this story do not DESERVE to live in a country where that is the rule

They deserve to live in the kind of country with the kind of regime that does things like this.

In a society where members of the secret police can come, and do come, to your homes and with total impunity, enter your house and take away a parent to be tortured (the sort of torture where they cut out your tongue or amputate your arm at the shoulder), a mother or sister to be raped, a child to be shot in the neck and his body dumped in an unmarked grave.

That, my friend, was life under Saddam Hussein.

Those words were written in Why We Blog ? It Is Not Fundamentalism, It Is Not Blind Allegiance to the White House; It Is Common Sense by the authors of !No Pasaran!

Had I, my wish, I would place those who try to prey on the emotions of our troops in an alternate universe where all they worked so hard to have continue for the Iraqi people did, and let them experience it.

Common Sense Runs Wild ends its post with this information.

UPDATE: In response to this post I'm already getting hate mail and foul comments. Well save your breath idiots. My blog isn't a free speech zone. If you're polite and courteous you're welcome to stay. If not your comment will be deleted and you'll be banned. If you're desperate to spew your filth do it on your own damn blog.

I would feel honored to get such mail. It would tell me I stand on the side of the Light and not on the side of the Darkness.

Thank a Soldier Week is Dec 19 to 25 don't let it pass without doing something about it.

Linked to
third world county at Riffing Off Dumbledore/Open Post
Stray Dog at Friday OTA Extravaganza - Special Wednesday Edition
Bloggin' Outloud at Special Thanksgiving OTB Party
NIF at Happy Thanksgiving!
Don Surber at Tide Lifting All Boats at BOTA XI
Right Wing Nation at Thanksgiving Weekend Open Trackbacks
Stop the ACLU at Weekend Open Trackbacks


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 2:32 PM CST
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Updated: Saturday, 26 November 2005 12:23 AM CST
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Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 4:28 AM CST
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Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006 11:48 PM CST

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