History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Friday, April 30, 2004

    Politics and the Fallujah Protection Army

    As no doubt many of you have heard, the Marines have started to lower the tempo in Fallujah and move their troops back, and let the Fallujah Protection Army take over. The US has tried to use Iraqis to help fight the insurgents in the past, but with mixed results. Many Iraqis don't want to fight other Iraqis (and foreign jihadis), for a variety of reasons, including simple fear of getting killed, to fear of angering the tribe to which the insurgent may belong (if a member of one tribe kills a member of another tribe, that tribe will kill someone belonging to the first tribe in revenge, in which case the Iraqi who started this in the first tribe will face severe punishment from his tribe), to religious reasons, or perhaps some sympathy with the insurgents, for whatever reason. The FPA might prove different, for several reasons. For one, it has a serious Sunni Arab leader who has some experience, General Jasim Mohamed Saleh, in the Iraqi Republican Guard. The RG was feared by Iraqis as Saddam's personal miliary force seperate from the regular army, and so he will have some fear attached to his name. The US has thus far avoided using former Bath'ists, and for good reason. The Shi'ites and the Kurds both fear and hate them, and would possibly revolt if they came into serious positions of power. However, the US has started to slowly integrate low level Bath'ists into the CPA and other Iraqi bodies, despite that fear. This is being done for several reasons. For one, former Bath'ists are quite common, and preventing them from ever re-integrating into the system will create a lot of hostility, and help fuel the insurgency. Secondly, many have skills that will be quite useful in the future Iraq, and keeping them out of the system creates a drain that is simply dangerous at this point. Iraq needs as many skilled professionals as it can get. Any high level officials will likely be out of a job for good, but the low level people need to be allowed to join the government and other Iraqi bodies in order for the Sunnis to participate in the New Iraq, and to make this whole thing work.

    This takes us to the FPA, and General Saleh. The US faces several problems in Fallujah. One of them is that a final push is politically dangerous, in that many civilians may be killed, and given the current problems emanating from the scandal over US Mistreatment of Iraqi Prisoners (I will blog on that tomorrow), the US needs to avoid bad press. Hence the US will keep the current strategy of "Constriction" of the insurgents in Fallujah. There is a problem with this, however. It takes a lot of time, and a fair amount of US Marines are involved in this. Marines who could do more important things elsewhere. Well, maybe not more important things, but things that are less noticeable. Something that is interesting, and rather sad when you think about it, is that Iraqis killed by their fellow Iraqis garner far less media attention than Iraqis killed by the US. Such is the state of Media in the ME and Europe. The Fact of the Matter is that insurgents killed by the FPA will garner far less media attention than those killed by the US military, and this extends to civilians accidently killed as well. After all, in the eyes of the European media, Arabs kill each other all the time, so it isn't big news. And the Arabic media won't focus on it because then it looks like there are people in Iraq who are on the US side. Therefore, by using the FPA to control Fallujah, the US can reduce the amount of bad press that might result.

    The FPA will not be as effective as would US Marines, that is a given. They don't have the training, equipment, discipline or spirit, and thus they will be less effective and likely have higher casualties. However, those things can be remedied over time. The US has been training Iraqi police in Jordan, along with other para-military units. Also, training has been going on in and around Fallujah as well. At first the FPA will probably only set up a cordon, and act defensively. Marines will be present for backup, and may do the occasional raid. However, once the FPA has fixed any cohesion problems, it will almost certainly begin limited offensive operations. Slowly but surely, the insurgents will be squeezed, and squeezed some more, until they are in a small pocket. In which case the FPA will likely have its true Baptism of Fire. General Saleh will have a number of motivations to make sure that his troops follow orders and get the job done, from simply monetary reasons to the fact that success will enable him to seek a high-up position in the new Iraqi military. It is not sure whether or not he will be able command his troops effectively and get the job done, but I don't doubt he will try his hardest in the process.

    Using para-military groups like the FPA poses a number of risks, of course. The first one, is the fact that it is a semi-military force headed by a former Republican Guards general. This likely has more than a few Kurds and Shi'ites on edge already. I suspect that the US will make sure and keep the FPA in the Fallujah region for the time being, and keep them far away from the Shia strongholds in the south or the Kurds in the north. The fact that there are Kurdish and Shi'ite troops in the FPA likely helps as well. Then there are the traditional problems with para-military groups. They in some ways resemble mercenaries, and they have proven dangerous and less than useful throughout history. To quote the political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli:

    I say, therefore, that the arms with which a prince defends his state are either his own, or they are mercenaries, auxiliaries, or mixed. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy.

    The FPA will need to be kept on a tight leash, or else it will either accomplish nothing or attempt to set itself up as the rulers of Fallujah. Perhaps the best solution in time would be to move large parts of the FPA into the regular Iraqi army, either as starting cadres, or perhaps bolstering less experienced troops. Then the FPA could be either disbanded, or perhaps morphed into a form of provincial militia, similar to the US National Guard.

    For another good take on the situation, Wretchard's Belmont Club is always a good place to check out.


    Rumsfield's War, Powell's Occupation

    So says Barbara Lerner, in this NRO piece.

    I don't have time to give my thoughts right now, I will post more on this later.


    North Korean Nuclear Program Larger than Previously Acknowledged

    North Korea may have at least 8 nukes, or at least that is what the government may acknowledge now. North Korea's Nuclear Program , if larger than previously acknowledged, may explain why the US is so keen on a Missile Defense Shield operating sometime soon.

    Hat Tip: Hugh Hewitt


    Thursday, April 29, 2004


    Steven Den Beste has a new post up, explaining why teen rebellion and independence are not necessarily equal. Needless to say, Read the whole thing.


    Excellent News from the Middle East...

    The US funded Alhurra TV channel has made a strong showing for itself in its first few months, according to an article from Reuters.

    The telephone survey of 3,588 people aged 15 or older in 13 cities was done by the French research company Ipsos-Stat in early April for the the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees all U.S. international nonmilitary broadcasting.

    The results showed Alhurra -- in its first two months -- is being watched by an average 29 percent of the satellite-equipped households in seven countries, including a high of 44 percent in Kuwait and a low of 18 percent in Egypt.

    The survey also found that an average 53 percent of the viewers consider the channel programming to be reliable or somewhat reliable. This includes a high of 70 percent reliability felt by Saudis and a low of 37 percent reliability among Syrians.

    The high numbers from Saudi Arabia are possibly a good measure of what the Saudi people really think about their leaders and also might be connected to the fatwa issued against it. Sometimes being illegal makes something far more alluring than normal. Hopefully this is merely the beginning of a progressive trend, and Alhurra forces other Arab media sources to be more truthful.

    Hat Tip: LGF


    Wednesday, April 28, 2004

    The US Fights Back

    Wretchard at the Belmont Club has done an excellent job at analyzing the situation in Fallujah. One of the things that he has covered is the massive and coordinated propaganda effort underway against the US. Reporters were used by the insurgents in a manner that suggest the involvment of Special Forces operatives from either Syria or Iran. This massive propaganda effort was having some success initiailly, and the US didn't appear to be doing much about it. However, it now appears that the US is playing some psychological games of its own, conducting serious pyschological warfare against the insurgents, and taking steps to counter propaganda. This includes playing Rock Music at night to prevent the insurgents from sleeping, as well as other steps. One of the more important steps has been to confuse the insurgents about future US intentions vis-a-vis Fallujah, concerning whether or not the Marines will make a big push. The military and the White House have sent conflicting messages about whether the Marines will be allowed to go into the city with full force to crush the insurgents. Some have taken this behavior to indicate that the US isn't sure what steps to take to deal with Fallujah. I don't believe that this is the case. Rather, the uncertainty is deliberate, a psy ops effort directed at the insurgents. The insurgents aren't sure if the Marines are going to make a big push, or if they will hold back and try to strangle them slowly, in a python maneauver. The uncertainty works against the insurgents because they are unsure what strategy to put into place. If they expect the Marines to make a final push, then they should build up an area where they can hold their final stand, and try to kill as many Americans and innocent Iraqis as they can. However, if the Marines continue with the python stranglehold, then it would be better for them to work on building a mobile defense, and to spread out their ammo and weapons, so that blockbuster air strikes, like the recent ones that produced massive secondaries, don't occur. Also, this would help the insurgents break out of the city should that show itself to be a smart move. The insurgents now are unsure what strategy to follow, allowing the Marines to set the pace of events.


    Words can not Begin to Describe the Insanity

    Koreans died to save Kim's portrait?

    Whether true or not, this story being reported gives not a hint, but a full blown declaration of the insanity of the North Korean regime.

    via- The Command Post


    Lid about to be opened on the UNSCAM case?

    Tim Balir links to an article in the NY Post concerning the corruption involving the UN "Oil for Food" Program.


    WASHINGTON - A former manager in the scandal-scarred oil for food program will tell Congress today how top U.N. officials running the program deliberately looked the other way, congressional officials said last night.

    Frenchman Michael Soussan, a former program coordinator for the $100 billion fund, is expected to be the star witness of a House International Relations Committee hearing looking into Saddam's gigantic $10.1 billion rip-off.

    Committee sources said Soussan, now a New York-area writer, is expected to give the first, under oath, public account from an insider about how top U.N. officials were aware of Saddam's oil smuggling and kickback schemes but chose to let him get away with it.

    Allegations surfaced in a Baghdad newspaper earlier this year that Benon Sevan, the director of the program, was among 270 sympathetic international political and financial figures who received sweetheart oil deals from Saddam. Niles Lathem

    This could possibly spell the end of the UN as a serious institution, at least in the eyes of the American People. Many in the UN not mentioned might have been involved as well. Definitely something to keep your eye on. This bribery is apparently quite common in the UN, and goes quite deep. It has only just begun.


    Tuesday, April 27, 2004

    Bring Back War Bonds

    It is time to bring War Bonds back. The US Federal Government is currently experiencing budget problems, primarily from the costs of the WoT. Either as a result for funding the US military, or because of lowered taxes from the economic damage of 9/11. At this point in time, raising taxes would cause economic damage that would eclipse the current problems with the budget, a case of the cure being worse than the disease. Cutting spending on various social programs would be another step to take, but domestic concerns prevent the President from advocating that. Support of the Congress is necessary to keep the WoT going, and thus spending cuts, which would be highly resisted by Congress(which won't want to cut benefits to constituents), are out of the question. However, unless the US wants to be in debt to foreign nations and investors, we will have to find another way. This is where War Bonds come in. By issuing bonds that specifically go to the various department involved in the WoT (essentially DoD, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Defense), we can help reduce the burden of the cost of the war on the Federal Budect. Long term low interest bonds would be much smarter, financially speaking, than relying on foreign capital. It would also, in acting as a long term source of revenue for those who purchased them, motivate people to be more aware of the budget situation, as it would directly affect them and their revenue. Salience is extremely important in politics.

    Poster's should also be used as well, like the one already linked to. Another type that would be extremely important would involved members of the Coalition of the Willing. An example is here. Reminding Americans that we have allies, and that they are putting a lot on the line is extremely important, especially given the unilateralism charges thrown out constantly by a certain part of the political Left.


    Does Hell Freeze Over?

    For those of you who love physics, and those who also find theology a fascinating matter, Joe Katzman at Winds of Change has an excellent post up on the subject.

    Does Hell Freeze Over?


    New Post at the Belmont Club

    Wretchard at the Belmont Club has a new post about the current situation in Fallujah. As usual, it is worth your time to check out.
    Link here.


    Terror Attacks in Syria

    There has been at least one, and probably more, terrorist attack inside the Syrian capital of Damascus. The Command Post Global War on Terror Page has the details. Apparently the UN building is on fire, and at least 1 UN worker is dead. This is fascinating, and possibly good news, in several respects. First, Syria has thus far remained immune to Al Qaeda attacks, no doubt in part because of harsh Syrian oppression of religious groups that might sympathize with Al Qaeda. Also, Syria's support for the various anti-Israeli Palestinian terror groups has given it a legitimacy lacking for nations such as Jordan. If Al Qaeda has decided to attack Syrian targets, it might mean one of several things. One is that Syria has taken to cracking down on Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Jordan, and AQ has returned the favor. Another is that Al Qaeda has failed thus far to make attacks work in other Arab countries, and thus may try to use attacks in Syria to achieve its political goals, which could include simple things as material support and sanctuary to overthrowing the Syrian government and attempting to install a pro-AQ Wahhabi government in its place. Until more information is available, I will withhold further judgment.


    The Reform Party of Syria is stating that the attacks may have been staged by the Syrians.

    Unknown assailants attacked an empty UN building today in the Mazza area west of Damascus with grenade launchers and small arms. Eye witnesses said that the building caught fire.

    SANA, the Syrian news agency, reported that the security forces had matters under control within hours. It first said that three men were captured and one fled the scene, then they recanted and said that three were dead and one was captured. Reports from Syria also claim that a Syrian security agent and a woman died during the attack.

    No explanation was given as to who might the assailants be or why they would attack an empty building in Mazza where foreign embassies and ambassadors' residences are located nearby. Reports that it could be the work of al-Qaeda were also discounted given that al-Qaeda rarely get caught and that their targets are usually large with large explosives. Further, al-Qaeda attempted to use explosives with chemical weapons that came from Syria to attack Jordanian targets so why would al-Qaeda not use the same spectacular targets and means of delivery inside Damascus?

    The only explanation one finds in this bizarre episode is that the whole event might have been staged by the security apparatus of the Syrian regime for the sole reason to offset the mounting pressure on the regime. Such an event can provide a credible cover under which Baschar al-Assad can make claim to the importance work his ruthless and autocratic regime serves to protect western interests.

    I have no idea whether or not this might be true, but it is certainly something worth looking into. Given that the recently thwarted Chemical attack in Jordan came in part or full from Syria, it would certainly be in the interests of the Syrians to make it appear that they are at odds with Al Qaeda.

    Hat Tip: The Corner


    Monday, April 26, 2004

    History in your Hands

    Via American Digest, an amazing article about a book worth 1.5 million dollars US.

    Published in Latin in 1540, the book is one of the few remaining first editions of the Narratio prima by German mathematician Georg Joachim Rheticus.

    Three years before famed astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus published De revolutionibus, the revolutionary treatise stating that the sun, and not the earth, was at the center of the universe, Rheticus published Narratio prima.

    To hold a book such as this is to hold history in your hands. For some, all of their live that matters is something that can be held in hand and read by a complete stranger ages later. This book is a testament to progress, and to human courage as well. Defying religious authority in order to promote the truth and to expose corruption takes a courage that few men posses. Galileo suffered greatly for his advancing of science, and many others shared his fate. Truly, we all owe them greatly, for, as Sir Isaac Newton once stated, If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.. Without giants in the past, we would have no one to stand on in the present. And the future would be no better off than today, if not worse.

    For an example of someone showing some bravery in the face of religious authority, check out The Religious Policeman.


    Sniper Tactics

    Strategypage has an article describing how sniper tactics are starting to dominate the Iraqi Battlefied. Recent innovations in optics, new weapons, and superior training are allowing for more accurate soldiers and marines, and a much deadlier force. This is an interesting development, in so far that before the First World War marksmanship was considered one of the most important skills, if not the most important skill any soldier could have. It was practiced ceasingly. Rifles were built for accuracy, bolt action rifles were the standard infantry weapon at the time, and troops were trained to fire them accurately for hundreds of yards. However, the First World War changed that. The advent and mass introduction of machine guns and heavy artillery quickly surpassed the bolt action rifle in firepower. The vast majority of deaths caused in the First World War were from machine gun and artillery fire, not rifle bullets. In fact, the trench warfare that pervaded the conflict helped speed the development of another weapon, the hand grenade. It soon became the weapon of choice by many troops, for several reasons. Not only was it relatively easy to use, it also allowed troops to attack without exposing themselves. It also helped them avoid humanizing their enemy, something that makes it difficult to shoot someone, especially when you can see their face. Snipers also emerged from that war, but there is a problem with being a sniper. You can often see the face of the enemy when you use a scope, and it is extremely difficult for a human being to shoot another without some severe psychological motivation. See the killology website for details on the pschyological cost of killing. World War two showed the introduction of automatic weapons that could be used by individual soldiers and carried easily, intiatially thorugh sub-machine guns, and then through the introduction of assault rifles at the end of the war (German Sturmgewehr ). Rate of fire, and not pinpoint accuracy, was what counted. However, new training techniques and superior troops quality has enabled snipers to become much more common place, and their role on the battlefield looks to expand greatly. Sniping, a word whose origin can be found here, present many advantages as a tactical tool for the battlfield of the future. The pinpoint accuracy lowers the chance of collateral damage, and therefore reduces civilian casualties. It also requires less ammo, and therefore reduces the burden on soldiers. Lastly, there is the significant terror element involved. An Article in the Boston Globe gives a picture of experiences of Marine snipers in Fallujah. Sniping is very much in keeping with 4th Generational Warfare, described here by Joe Katzman of Winds of Change. Psychology can be a very powerful tool in the right hands, and the US military, and the Marines in paricular, are masters of using whatever tools are available to finish the job.


    Good Reporting

    Lt Smash links to an article from the North County Times, a newspaper local to the San Diego County Area. It has done an excellent job covering the Iraq War thus far.

    Says Smash:
    The reporting is better than that in many of the "national" newspapers.

    Worth your time, so go check it out.


    The Status of WMDs

    Solomon at Solomonia links to an article at Insight Magazine, which states an interesting premise: That reports of WMD discoveries have been underplayed in the press, and/or under-reported by the administration. Some parts of note:

    Both Duelfer and Kay found that Iraq had "a clandestine network of laboratories and safe houses with equipment that was suitable to continuing its prohibited chemical- and biological-weapons [BW] programs," the official said. "They found a prison laboratory where we suspect they tested biological weapons on human subjects." They found equipment for "uranium-enrichment centrifuges" whose only plausible use was as part of a clandestine nuclear-weapons program. In all these cases, "Iraqi scientists had been told before the war not to declare their activities to the U.N. inspectors," the official said.

    "Saddam Hussein's prohibited missile programs are as close to a slam dunk as you will ever find for violating United Nations resolutions," the first official said. Both senior administration officials spoke to Insight on condition that neither their name nor their agency be identified, but their accounts of what the United States has found in Iraq coincided in every major area.

    It is painfully obvious to everyone, except those willfully blinded by their hatred of either America or the President, that Iraq was in clear violation of numerous UN resolutions. The Hussein regime had no intention of disarming as requested by the UN, and did what it wished when the UN was looking away. No large stockpiles of what has so far been identified as WMDs have been reported, but such stockpiles are far less dangerous than the equipment and facilities to make them. Many WMDs have a shelf life of only a few years, perhaps a decade at most. No, the true threat was always the ability to manufacture such weapons and sell them to hostile parties, and most importantly, to share the expertise and equipment needed to produce WMDs with those who would attack America and US allies.

    What is interesting is the amount of pesticide reported by inspectors.

    At Karbala, U.S. troops stumbled upon 55-gallon drums of pesticides at what appeared to be a very large "agricultural supply" area, Hanson says. Some of the drums were stored in a "camouflaged bunker complex" that was shown to reporters - with unpleasant results. "More than a dozen soldiers, a Knight-Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman, and two Iraqi POWs came down with symptoms consistent with exposure to a nerve agent," Hanson says. "But later ISG tests resulted in a proclamation of negative, end of story, nothing to see here, etc., and the earlier findings and injuries dissolved into nonexistence. Left unexplained is the small matter of the obvious pains taken to disguise the cache of ostensibly legitimate pesticides. One wonders about the advantage an agricultural-commodities business gains by securing drums of pesticide in camouflaged bunkers 6 feet underground. The 'agricultural site' was also colocated with a military ammunition dump - evidently nothing more than a coincidence in the eyes of the ISG."

    Why go to all that trouble just to hide common agricultural pesticide. Something was obviously going on that was covert, the question is: what? Since pesticides are often the key ingredients of nerve gases, Iraq possibly had organized a means by which it could produce nerve gas quickly, by adding in the essential ingredients right before they are needed. Hence the storage of pesticides in camo bunkers.

    It is apparent that what is happening on the ground is not being reported in full. This leads to the question of: why? Is the press deliberately not reporting stories that might justify the war on one of its core tenets, Saddam's WMD programs? Or is it something else? Is the Bush administration deliberately keeping the true extent of the discoveries quiet for another reason? An October Surprise? A move to create disinformation and confuse Iranian or Syrian intelligence operatives? Even though some questions have been answered, we end up with more unanswered questions that we started with.


    Sunday, April 25, 2004

    History Well Understood

    One of the best explanations for the need to understand history has just surfaced on a website that is in many ways surprising, an Iraqi blog, "The Mesopotamian." Someone who couldn't have spoken freely 18 months ago has neatly summed up something that philosophers and historians have attempted since the beginning of time. That is progress.

    Read it here. The permalink isn't working at the moment, I will fix it when it is.


    Islamism v Feminism

    Tim Blair links to an article by Pamela Bone exposing the treatment of women in Islamic societies. It exposes, among other things, the dire straights of Muslim women, who are oppressed in a manner incomprehensible to those raised in the West.

    This example is not the most gruesome, but in many ways the most stunning:

    Lahore: A girl, Kauser, 17, was strangled by her elder brother because she had married of her own will. She returned home and asked her family to forgive her but her brother strangled her with a piece of cloth. - The Daily Times.

    A simple act of self-determination, the corner-stone of the Western Liberal Democratic system, is sufficient to lead a brother to murder his sister, in order to "redeem" the family honor. The stark difference between the Free West and the Totalitarian world that the Islamists desire could never be more apparent than this.

    Pamela Bone also mentions the film Osama, the first to come from Afghanistan since the Taliban was removed from power. Osama is really a girl who is forced to disguise herself as a boy in order to provide for her mother and grandmother. The end of the article relates to it, and is worth repeating. See it and weep; or better still, rage. Anger alone can't solve anything, but it can provide the drive necessary to accomplish what must be done. We should, we must be angry about what the Islamists have done, and continue to do. But our anger must be focused, and not lead into hate; rather it should create in us a determination to see this war ended, the Islamist movement discredited and destroyed, and the world free.



    In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.
    -Winston Churchill

    On a thread at Little Green Footballs, I posted a short quote from Debka , an Israeli site that specializes in the Intelligence and Analysis business. The quote in question was this:

    DEBKAfile reports: Bush administration secretly designates Sunni former major general Abdullah Shehwani Iraq a’s next strongman supported by newly-appointed mixed Sunni-Kurdish-Shiite military command

    I stated that this statement was a fabrication, and not only that, it must surely have been an attempt at strategic disinformation. My reasoning for that comes from a hypothesis of mine: Debka is affiliated in some way with Israeli Intelligence. As part of that affiliation, they sometimes do "tasks" for the agency in question. This is not the only possibility, the equally likely one is that Debka is the Intelligence world equivalent of an internet tabloid, reporting rumor as fact. Attempting to determine which is the case is extremely difficult, as little information is available on Debka, its personnel and history. Also, the subjects covered are often of a covert nature, and it is difficult to verify if they are correct or not, even long after the fact. However, they have been proven right on occasion, the issue of Turkey and its refusal to allow US troops to stage from there for the Iraq War as an example.

    This is where the Winston Churchill quote comes in. During WW2 secrecy was paramount, and Churchill recognized that. The concept of strategic disinformation fully developed during the conflict, and was practiced numerous times, from Normandy to the invasion of Sicily. The idea was this: plant false information that would be picked up by the enemy, who would then be fooled into believing it, and act in a manner that would be disadvantageous to him. In order to protect the truth, you would need to surround it with lies that would fool the enemy, confuse him, if not completely throw him off track, at the very least reduce the value of any real information he acquired.

    Now Debka comes into play. If the rumors of their connections to Israeli Intelligence are true, why do they sometimes report "information" and why do their exclusives not always pan out? I speculate that Debka is involved, at times at least, in the business of strategic disinformation. They report just enough truth to get people interested, and "break" stories just often enough to get people to subscribe. Often stories that wouldn't hurt Israel (and possibly others) if they are released, or stories that need to be "leaked". However, they then fill their reports with information that is either patently false or devoid of any real meaning. This reduces the value that Debka might represent to hostile forces that might have evil designs on the Jewish State. By promoting disinformation, the truth is often obscured, and anyone with interest will have to question just what is true and what isn't. The intelligence world is full of doubts and uncertainties, and Debka might be designed to encourage those doubts, and to create more uncertainties. If it is reported on Debka, how do you know if it is true or false? If you have heard that same rumor elsewhere, does the fact that it is on Debka mean it might be accurate, or does it mean that it is in fact disinformation?

    Now, as for the actual report from Debka itself, it is false for the following reasons:

    1. The US would not pick a Sunni to be the next strongman. That would infuriate both the Kurds and the Shia. It would never work, and would guarantee a civil war. I could think of few things that the US could do that would be worse.

    2. The article in question states that the US has insufficient troops to take Fallujah. This is not the case. US forces available are more than capable enough to take Fallujah and eliminate the insurgents inside. My hypothesis on the US taking a "wait and see" attitude concerning Fallujah was a) to promote the IGC and moderate Iraqi leaders, and b) to buy time to fix the other problems in Iraq. The Fallujah crisis has inflamed Iraqis elsewhere, and helped fuel the fire behind Sadr's attempted uprising. Likely the US will solve the Sadr problem first, and then deal with Fallujah, or perhaps solve both at once in order to force the insurgents to choose between which battle-ground to reinforce.

    3. President Bush has been using the word democracy in nearly every sentence where Iraq has been mentioned, including, it should be noted, after things have "gone downhill" in Iraq. If he were to allow such a plan to move forward, he would have made a flip-flop that would dwarf any made by John Kerry, who is known for them. Changing positions like that would give Kerry an excellent opportunity to attack the President's credibility. Bush isn't going to support something that would likely ensure that he won't be elected.


    Saturday, April 24, 2004

    The Beginning

    History does not repeat itself. The historians repeat one another.

    -Max Beerbohm

    Here at History's End, we hope to avoid repetition. To know the past is to understand the present, and those who comprehend the present control the future. History is not abstract, not simply tales and stories lying within the musty pages of an old book, history is all around us. History's End is devoted to the understanding of our world; past, present and future.

    To History, and to the Future.

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