Friday, April 28, 2006

Welcome Back, Stephen

Pursue: to strive to gain or accomplish. I most certainly did read the Dulfer report, and found Saddam to be "striving to gain or accomplish" nuclear weapons capability. Keeping your scientific base intact is pursuit of a renewal of the program. Just as Bin Laden was "Intent on striking in the US" so was Saddam intent on obtaining nuclear weapons capability.

Dulfer's testimony was given1/28/2004. I wonder if Dulfer would give the same odds now that new evidence has emerged. We know that Russian operatives helped Saddam move something out of Iraq, and into Syria. Why would Russians help Saddam move something benign? New evidence indicates that WMD were being moved.

As for the sanctions, it's nice that you trust them to last forever or until the good guys are running Iraq. The European Journal on International Law, however, has not viewed them as particularly effective, and has proposed instituting time limits on sanctions. Read their 2002 proposal matter at It seems to me that Saddam had a light at the end of the tunnel. Besides, the sanctions were corrupted. When thugs have wealth and power, they always find a way to use it. The only way to defeat that is to remove the thug. The only way to remove Saddam, was militarily.

* Although Saddam clearly assigned a high value to the nuclear progress and talent that had been developed up to the 1991 war, the program ended and the intellectual capital decayed in the succeeding years.

Nevertheless, after 1991, Saddam did express his intent to retain the intellectual capital developed during the Iraqi Nuclear Program. Senior Iraqis—several of them from the Regime’s inner circle—told ISG they assumed Saddam would restart a nuclear program once UN sanctions ended.

As for your link to the book, I have to say this is not up to your usual standards of argument. First, you link me to info that, if done properly, would take considerable time to respond to. Certainly, you already have read the book, and you could've pointed out the pertinent ideas . I read two reports on the book, then followed the news link. What I found is not enough to support your claim that consequences speak for themselves.

One report stated,
Success in Iraq will require an extensive commitment of financial, military, and political resources for a long time. The United States cannot afford to contemplate early exit strategies and cannot afford to leave the job half completed.
Isn't this exactly what the Left wants to do?

The other read,
UN missions are nearly always undermanned and underfunded, with uneven troop quality and late-arriving components. But despite these handicaps, the UN success rate among missions studied-seven out of eight societies left peaceful, six out of eight left democratic-substantiates the view that nation-building can be an effective means of terminating conflicts, insuring against their reoccurrence, and promoting democracy. The authors conclude that the UN provides the most suitable institutional framework for nation-building missions that require fewer than 20,000 men-one with a comparatively low cost structure, a comparatively high success rate, and the greatest degree of international legitimacy. American or other major power leadership is, by contrast, needed for operations which require forced-entry operations or force levels in excess of 20,000 soldiers. Unfortunately, the United States has been less successful than the UN in learning from its mistakes and improving its nation-building performance over time, and this is reflected in the lower success rate among US-led missions studied in this series.

It does not say that the US is ineffective where <20k soldiers are required. It says that the UN model, typically "undermanned" was nevertheless, historically successful. I thought you were trying to make the argument that undermanning the effort would end in failure. The left calls for more troops, and early withdrawl, neither supported, as far as I can tell, by the authors of the book.

This was the only thing I thought supported your argument at all.
# Relying on its soft power attributes of impartiality and legitimacy, the UN is sometimes able to succeed in stabilizing post conflict societies with remarkably small forces sizes. The U.S., more reliant as it must be upon hard power, has had less success in Afghanistan and Iraq when employing the characteristic UN approach of the small footprint, or low profile.

Stephen, please explain what the authors mean by legitimacy. I question the legitimacy of a body that levels sanctions that it can't protect from exploitation, and resolutions that it won't defend from defiance. Also, please show how the US attempt at small footprint (which I presume to mean less troops) has created the larger number of casualties, and not some other cause. Also, why must the US rely on hard power, unlike the UN?

# The review of U.S.-led operations suggests that the higher the proportion of stabilizing troops to population, the lower the number of casualties they suffered and inflicted. Significantly lower force-to-population ratios in Afghanistan and Iraq, in contrast to Bosnia or Kosovo, have been accompanied by much higher casualty levels. Accordingly, the authors recommend that the U.S. abandon efforts to emulate the low profile, small footprint approach to nation building that has traditionally characterized the UN approach, and return to supersizing the missions America leads, as it did throughout the 1990's.

Here, the authors have pointed out the correllation been high troop numbers and lower casualty rates, but have not proven the cause and effect relationship. Were there other correllations? I see this mistake often, the confusion between correllation and cause. It's unlikely the authors are making this mistake, but you are, and I'd like to know what their opposition thinks. And when did this book come out? A couple of weeks ago, I heard on the news that US casualties have been decreasing since last december.

As for your quote of Wolfowitz, I'd like to see it all, and in context, and from something other than a Left wing blogger saying that's what he said. I think they're not lying that he said it, but I believe he meant that the oil would pay Iraq's expenses. Otherwise, we would have to have confiscated their oil to pay our expenses. Furthermore, Iraq's facilities are not at full capacity, and it's new government is very young. Oil deals in long run could still pay off for the US. Way to think in the short term, guys. Lack patience much? This has not been a long war by historical standards.

And no, my friend's experience is not a joke. Why do you insist on coming to my site to insult me? I am not a liar, nor is my friend. I trust Larry's personal account of his experiences over your poll any day. Perhaps you could elaborate on exactly what question the poll asked. For instance, did it ask "Would you like to have all US forces out when you can run your own country"? Or did it ask, " Do you want all US forces to leave right now, so you can handle the threats on your own"? Why, I think my answer would be different depending how the question was phrased. That's why I'm distrustful of polls, and refrain from using them.

Stephen, how long did it take you to pump out that shit? It took me 4.5 hours to expose it for what it is. Thoughtful work takes time. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave me much time to deal with burnyourtires who has not learned to edit his ideas into concise, cohesive argements. Don't worry burnyourtires, your spanking is forthcoming. I addressed Stephen ahead of you because though he is wrong, he is lightyears ahead of you in the skill of argumentation. I considered him a higher priority.

And now, if you'll excuse me, my lawn needs to be mowed.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thanks, Gateway Pundit!

How fortunate for me! As I was seeking information to debunk arguments of my not-at-all insulting friend burnyourtires, I ran across someone who already has! This really shouldn't have surprised me, since, fortunately, burnyourtires offered nothing new or original.

This brilliant post by Gateway Pundit has already done the work, and I couldn't have done it better. Any lunacy left unadddressed in the post is likely to be found in the comments thread in which an anonymous moonbat barks the usual underdeveloped points. Also be sure to follow his links to similar posts.

Off the top of my head, without even having to try, here is a defense of the "mistakes" by Bush, Rummy, et al, posted by burnyourtires. I just hope he's still reading. His words, alleged Bushie mess-ups, are in bold.

" . . .Greeted with flowers". I have a friend whose son Larry served in Falujah. He loves the Iraqi people, and he says they love marines. This doesn't mean every Iraqi feels the same. Just the liberated ones do. Larry says the problem is with imported terrorists. But what does he know, he was only there.

"Republican Guard let go". You don't know this was a mistake. How do you know they wouldn't have stayed united under another Baathist oppressor, creating a new enemy to depose? You don't know. Experts disagreed, and still do, but you think you know. This isn't even as good as 20/20 hindsight, because in hindsight, we still don't know what would've happened if the Republican guard was left intact.

"No WMD" Wrong again. The latest translated documents show that WMD were being moved out of Iraq prior to the invasion. We've posted on that here: (Yet another reason to believe Saddam had WMD), be sure to follow the links. There's more in Gateway Pundit's post by him and his readers.

"No Iraq govnt set up in 2003, when it should have been"--I'm going to take your word that a Bushie said it would be. Any way, ooh! Heads should roll for this! What difference does success make now, when there was no Iraqi govnt in 2003?

"Not enough troops" Prove it. BTW, a quote of someone else's opinion has weight, but it is not proof. If high-ranking general so-and-so disagrees with high ranking govnt official, it's still a matter of opinion until we know the facts. So please, show me the data that says that sending more troops would've reduced casualties or expense. Show me the data that says we didn't need those troops on reserve. Remember, Bush was criticized for not having troops available for stateside deployment in the hurricane Katrina crisis.

"Iraq oil would pay for the war and the rebuilding"-- Actually, it wasn't promised the oil would pay for the war. How nice would that be? "Here's your freedom! BTW, you owe us $300 billion. Oh, and we're leaving. Good luck with the remaining Baathists, and the foreign terrorists vying to fill the power vacuum!" Is this the brilliant diplomacy of the Left? The oil is meant to pay for the reconstruction. It hasn't yet, but you're right, we should get out now, before it does. Do you play the stock market with that buy high, sell low mentality? How very short-sighted.

"mushroom clouds over Knoxville" How can you read and watch so much news and still be so uninformed? The Bushies never said we'd find nukes. They did say Saddam had a history of having and using WMD, none of which could be shown to have been eradicated. The Dulfer report showed that Saddam did indeed have WMD programs and was pursuing nuclear capability. Who wanted to wait until he's up and running before trying to stop him?

I wonder what burnyourtires thinks of the mistakes of the last sitting democrat president? Did he make mistakes? Some think so, and they don't even work for FOX.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Shrill as I Want to be

Sub Cultro is an outlet for expressing ideas. Sometimes, our ideas are about how certain other ideas are stupid. By extension, and to the extent they hold those ideas, people are stupid. To paraphrase Forest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid [thinks]".

If you find yourself reading this blog, and feeling insulted, you have options:

1. Make a valid argument showing that we're wrong. Whining about mean words is not a substitute for a good point. Valid arguments contain evidence, and a logical conclusion. If your logic is faulty, or your evidence unreliable, we'll point that out, but we can't promise not to call you stupid.

2. Don't read my blog. This may be the only reliable way to avoid ever feeling stupid.

3. Grow a pair. Dare to feel stupid, I do. Embrace intellectual humility. Stop whining.

4. Throw out the baby with the bath water. You're not obligated to really consider the ideas here, especially if you don't like their shrill packaging. Refuse to take us seriously. Repeat this mantra brought to us by the ever gracious, never insulting Al Franken: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonnit, people like me".

Here is an option you don't have: whining that we call people stupid. That will induce us to exercise our least favorite option, deleting your comment.

Mean or shrill language does not invalidate an idea. "Insulting" is not synonymous with "wrong". Deal with it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Helicopters in my Backyard

Here is a cell phone video of the silver maple seed pods helicoptering down into my yard. Despite the problems these trees cause, this is a beautiful spring event.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Republicans are not Conservative :: Columns :: Free speech on life support by George Will - Apr 16, 2006:
Candice Miller, R-Mich., said that restricting 527s would combat ``nauseating ugliness, negativity and hyperpartisanship.'' Oh, so that is what the First Amendment means: Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech unless speech annoys politicians.
I have tired to use the terms Democrat, Left and Liberal to make distinctions such as Democrats are OK, but liberals are not and Leftist are the Enemy. The same goes with "The Right." There are two major kinds of Conservatives: Religious and philosophical. Libertarians have a similar dichotomy: libertines and Libertarians in the mold of Charles Murray and Boortz. Republicanism is a way that some on the right align themselves for the purpose of political party voting, but that does not mean that we agree philosophically.

These distinctions aside, there is a major difference between Dems and Repubs -- or there should be. The Dems a party of people whose political ideology stems from Relativism. They do not always know that, of course, but that is the philosophical foundation. The Republicans are the opposite -- or should be.

This bill is a Liberal bill. It abandons good valid principles to adapt to a unique situation to affect a result that is good for a minority. It is controlling, paternalistic and disgusting.

What will happen this fall? The best we can hope for is another crop of R-politicians like we had in '94. That is unlikely since we are the Majority. Probably people will vote for candidates who say the right things, but have no chance of winning and we will lose the Majority in the Senate. If this happens, though, maybe that will allow some Conservatives to win the next round.

Rumsfeld, The Generals and Tom Barnett

I was in the smoke shop yesterday and a very interesting conversation was in the air. When the topic turned to the generals who are calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, one of our friends pointed out that they are Army generals.

Now, if you have not made yourself familiar with Tom Barnett and his book The Pentagon's New Map, you are way behind the curve. His plan, which Rumsfeld supports, drastically alters the role of the Army. Note that you don't hear many Airforce generals complaining.

Although our "smoking man" was quick to give credit for this idea to Krauthammer, he seems to have inside knowledge himself. You see, a classic gentleman's smoke shop often attracts a certain kind of client. (There is one in particular who proves the point best. He is well known among the long-time regulars to be CIA, however, he will not admit it.)

It was clear yesterday that my interlocutor was an expert of sorts. He did admit to having inside information about the Navy's new submarine plans and that these Navy based these plans on exactly the roles laid out by Barnett.

You are likely to hear the moron brigade discuss this issue without this context as they do here. Again we have an example of Conservatives as the party of fluidity and adaptation and Liberals as backward looking, calcified idiots.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Censoring South Spark

I am disgusted by the stupidity of Comedy Central and the other Liberal morons who agree with them. This is another case of Liberals accusing Conservative of the very thing that they do themselves. They have been crying that this administration is destroying our Constitution and Bill of Rights, yet here we have a real example of exactly that and they applaud it.

I am happy that some liberals agree with South Park, but all Americans should cherish Free Speech. As Kyle said, it has been easy to be "for Free Speech" for decades, but now, when it is difficult, is when it matters.

America does not negotiate with terrorists. This is not really any different. Besides, if you think that airing or censoring an image of Muhammad really changes anything, you are a fool -- pehaps I should say "useful idiot."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

This is a bit scary

lgf: Orwellian Image of the Day

This is the same Iran that may be on the new Human Rights council at the UN -- you know, the one with no more HR violators. This is the same Iran that wants to "wipe Israel off of the map."

Honestly, they really believe in the 12th Imam and this is exactly how the feel about The Bomb. It is their salvation. Moonbats think that Bush wants to start Armeggedon. Well, these guys really do.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Perception, and What Really Matters

Watching Michelle Malkin speak before students at her alma mater, Oberlin College, I heard some disturbing commentary.

Many students there disagreed with Michelle that there have been great strides in the civil rights movement. They denied there had been any progress at all. Apparently the attendees of this very good private college have it just as bad as this woman did.

Honestly, they couldn't admit there's been any progress since this.

They claimed that this sort of thing is just as bad.

Where would they get ideas like that?

I could be wrong. After all, there are still plenty of underprivileged black children who are denied access to the schools that might help them.

Wisdom from Eleanor Roosevelt

Great minds discuss ideas.

Average minds discuss events.

Small minds discuss people.

Conservatives Progress Liberals Stagnate

Girl on the Right

Even though my dishwahser erased the logo from her mug from Cafe Press, we still like her.

Isn't interesting that the Progressive party isn't. They are so calcified that they can not adapt to the changing world whereas conservatives are willing to make huge changes in public policy -- breaking with tradition, mind you -- to suit new situations. When you argue from principles which are time tested, you are not blinded by rhetoric nor are you bound to certain ideas.

Sometimes you have to change the rules. The changes cannot be without merit, of course. The problem is that Liberal Thought is incapable of producing meritorious ideas (except by accident).

It takes wisdom to change well and the Left is unwise.