Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday...Sunday...Sunday....where action is the attraction...

Bruce Kesler -" Interagency Coordination Requires Dems & Reps To Come Together"

Top billing. The issue, while seemingly a dry one of inside-the-beltway bureaucratic wrangling among deputy assistant secretaries really could not be more important for increasing the resiliency of U.S. foreign policy. Why can't the United States respond effectively to nimble 4GW groups ? Look to the lack of "operational jointness", " unified action" and " System Administration" and the plethora of turf battles and bureaucratic empire building. More on this topic in the near future.

James McCormick -"Iklé — Annihilation From Within"

A deep and probing review at Chicago Boyz of an important book (I'm reading it now).

Gabriel Kolko at DNI -" The Age of Perpetual Conflict"

Kolko is the well known Marxist historian and one of the more credible scholars (i.e. he's a real historian, not a Noam Comsky type polemicist) with an unrelentingly critical view of the United States. I'm holding this one up as a negative example; as a vigorous argument for isolationism and for a weakness of reasoning that assumes as static benefits of global interventionism ( bad actions deterred by the potential of intervention are ignored but are assumed to continue after a shift to isolationism) as a given while counting only the costs.

Catholicgauze -"Turkish Payback to Ralph Peters and Signs of Things to Come? "

I agree this is disturbing. I am no expert on Turkish politics but there seems to be an emerging strand of crypto-Islamist rejectionism of the West in Turkey that is larger than issues over Iraq. To hazard a guess, anti-Americanism is partly a safe "euphemistic" discourse to hide opposition to secularist Kemalism ( which if you oppose openly in Turkey -or even not so openly -that gets your party banned and perhaps you a jail sentence). Anti-Americanism or anti-Westernism can be presented as Turkish nationalism, even when it masks an ideology that is decidely transnationalist.

Marc Schulman - "Who Is George Soros? "

Speaking of disturbing. George Soros appears to be becoming unhinged. Does he realize that he - a major Democratic Party and liberal organization contributor - is openly suggesting introducing Kangaroo Courts to try Republicans and conservatives or is he so isolated in a bubble that he does not realize how that statement sounds to folks who are not on the MoveOn.org email list ?

How would Soros like somebody saying " We should de-naturalize and deport politically active, authoritarian, crackpot, billionaires who violate the Logan Act ?"

Gunnar Peterson - "Protect the transaction"

System security expert Gunnar Peterson opines on Col. David Kilcullen's post Two Schools of Classical Counterinsurgency from his professional perspective.

That's it.

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Up until recently, we could count on the nationalists in Turkey as allies and the islamists were a minor component. Now the islamists are more popular and the nationalists no longer have much in common with the U.S. From their perspective the U.S. threw them overboard at the first opportunity in favor of the Kurds. The idea of a Kurdish state, begining in Iraq and backed by oil money from the Kirkuk region, is simply not acceptable to the nationalists. The idea presented in the link that you posted, that we have done nothing to harm Turkish interests (as they see it) is not correct.

Mark, read something on the
the Peninsular War:

"The Peninsular War was a major conflict during the Napoleonic Wars, fought on the Iberian Peninsula by an alliance of Spain, Portugal, and Britain against the Napoleonic French Empire. Known as the Spanish War of Independence (Guerra de la Independencia Española) in Spain and in other countries, and as Invasões Francesas (French Invasions) in Portugal, the war began when French armies occupied Spain in 1808 and lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814.

The Peninsular War was one of the first wars of national liberation and the first guerrilla conflict (a term coined for this war). Its course was largely dictated by Spanish irregulars and the failure of Napoleon's large armies to pacify the people of Spain. French units in Spain forcibly hugged their vulnerable supply lines, were always in danger of being cut off and overwhelmed by the partisans, and were unable to achieve decisive results."

See also:
I've liked and respected Marc Shulman for a long time, but I found this post (or, more accurately, the Peretz piece he uses as its basis) repugnant. Clemons does a much better job with the whole issue. When you slime your opponent for now blowing his cover and getting himself shipped to a concentration camp at the age of 14, you've reached a new nadir.

Indeed, this strikes me as much more anti-semitic in character than the people Peretz routinely accuses of being out to destroy the jews because they don't agree with his hard-right position on Israel.
Very interesting blog on Turkey:

Erkan's field diary
"This is a blog to register Erkan Saka's fieldwork days for his dissertation thesis project on Turkish journalism and the European Union (EU)."
Hi Dr. Dan

I'll give you that expecting a 14 year old Soros to have blown his cover during the Holocaust is ahistorical and unreasonable. His age and the extremity of his circumstances are strong mitigating factors in evaluating his actions in wartime Hungary.

For today though, Soros appears to be in no danger and with all the wisdom of age, calls for (interpreting his de-nazification trials remark literally) trying tens of thousands of Americans who disagree with his political views. (Set aside the ludicrous comparison between the Nazi Party and the Republican Party. Perhaps Soros believes that, if so, strike another mark in the crackpot category)

If Pat Robertson made a similar remark about liberals and Democrats how would we characterize it ? Remember the chorus that followed Robertson's comment on assassinating Chavez ?

Hi dimitar,

The Peninsular War was one of Europe's most brutal conflicts prior to the 20th century. Pity, as Joseph Bonaparte would have been a far more intelligent, humane and pragmatic ruler of Spain than the idiotic and fractious Bourbon dynasty Napoleon tried to replace. The Spanish lost but Wellington won.

Much thanks for the links.
Mark, I don't have any problem with going after the substantive argument. But that's not what the bulk of Marc's post is about.
True. Can't argue with you regarding A.F. but for me, I stuck with the substance of Soros' remarks rather than his bio.
Given he put his big dumb foot in his mouth on this one with the Nazi reference (isn't that like a Cardinal rule of debating or something? no Nazis?), but Soros was talking in general about the utter lack of remorse, guilt or punishment for those (from the President on down) who have bungled the Iraq war so badly, and probably made a serious error in the first place by going to war in Iraq the way they did. Now they're trying to do the same incompetent show with Iran. Are we to trust them to get more Americans killed, destroy more American credibility and interest and waste another trillion dollars?

Sometimes people we despise say something that is true. Soros is an idiot but on this he is absolutely correct that these people must be stopped, let alone punished for their crimes against the country.
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