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Us Military in Surrender Talks With Iraqis



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From CNN:

U.S. officials said Wednesday that surrender negotiations have secretly begun with key Iraqi military officials in hopes that some military units will not fight U.S. and coalition forces if there is war.

The Pentagon is not handling these communications, officials said, but instead other elements of the U.S. government are conducting them.

One senior official said that some parts of the Iraqi military already may have agreed not to fight.

These efforts underscore assessments by the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency that the leadership around Saddam Hussein is brittle. Officials have been making that view somewhat public as part of an effort to publicize what they say is Saddam’s vulnerability.

The Moab



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A friend of mine who’s a military ordinance buff, fan of Mack Owens and who works in the defense industry just sent me this IM re Owen’s piece on the Mother of All Bombs:

JG, you must stop the presses on the MOAB article. Not to be a nit (though that’s exactly what I am being), the Daisy Cutter, and now the MOAB, are not fuel air explosives, as noted by the general media and now Mr. Owens. FAE get their oxidizers from the air; bombs usually provide their own. The Daisy Cutter and the MOAB are NOT FAEs, they are just really, really big bombs.

I have no dog in this fight. I just like the “boom” part.

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Deadlier Than War



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I’ve been wanting to write a piece directly on the subject of how containment — as a moral argument — is morally offensive for quite a while. Walter Russel Meade does precisely that today in the Washington Post, and brilliantly so. If you want to argue that containment is preferable to war as a national security argument, that’s intellectually acceptable. But if you want to make the moral argument that containment is better, you have to demonstrate why more pain and death over a long period is preferable to less pain and death over a short period. And that’s a hard argument to make in moral terms.

Web Briefing: January 26, 2015

This Made My Day



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I’m getting all sorts of nice email from people who attended the debate last night, including from fools who think I lost (just kidding). But this is my favorite so far. Under the subject header “Goldberg Beats Bon Jovi at Wheaton!”:

Jonah,

My high school age daughter [name withheld] and I caught your debate at Wheaton last night. Afterwards you were kind enough to sign her “Wimps!!” issue of NRODT. As we were leaving, she turned to me and said, “This is SOOOO cool! My friend [name withheld], she’s always bragging about how she went to a Bon Jovi concert and then met the band. But this, this is WAY better!!”

I’m telling you Jonah, you’re gonna have to start selling t-shirts. I
can see them now: “Jonah Goldberg World Tour 2003 – Feel the Federalism!”.

Thanks for an enjoyable evening, and congratulations on your little one.
Best to Cosmo…”

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Moab



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You can watch yesterday’s test here, from the Defense Department.

Total Brink



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Need it be said that an Iranian bomb could easily get into the hands of terrorists, who will not hesitate to use it against the United States? So an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be a boon to the United States, just as Israel’s earlier strike on Saddam’s reactor was. Nonetheless, in the current circumstances, such a strike could also be the match that ignites chaos in the Middle East, and the world. Right now, we are on the brink with every member of the axis of evil.

Suicide/Genocide



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We cannot now rule out an Osirak style strike on Iran by Israel, although this would surely be a political disaster at this delicate moment in the Middle East. A preemptive Israeli strike on Iran might easily tip the balance of Arab anger and really ignite the Arab street against an American invasion of Iraq, or against an American occupation in progress. But how can America handle this problem? In the short term, there is probably little we can do. My guess is that we have secretly negotiated a level of de facto cooperation from Iran for our invasion of Iraq, and we will be loathe to upset that. On the other hand, once the U.S. controls Iraq, we may be able to bring pressure on Iran. But with crises in Korea and Iraq about to explode. This Iranian situation is an even worse nightmare than it would be on its own–if that’s possible. Again, read former Iranian president Rafsanjani’s remarkable threat of suicide/genocide.

Iran Fright



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Lawrence Auster’s blog has a deeply frightening entry on the situation in Iran. Auster combines Time’s latest account of nuclear progress in Iran with an important piece on the subject by Michael Ledeen. Ledeen points out that former Iranian president Rafsanjani has already directly threatened Israel with nuclear annihilation–even announcing that he is willing to trade nuclear death in Iran for the total destruction of Israel. This is a sort of national suicide bombing with literally and openly genocidal intent. Here is a report on Rafsanjani’s threat.

Sex & The Military



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For a quick read on the problem of sex in the military, see this 1996 piece from the New York Times, by Eric Schmitt. It shows the usual NYT bias, but nonetheless gives a good sketch of the problem. For a longer and more substantive brief against coed basic training in the military, see the following 1997 report by James Anderson of The Heritage Foundation. Notable here is the link between coed training and sexual abuse, as well as Anderson’s pointing to the Marines as a model. The Marines are the one service that still segregates the sexes during basic training–and it works. Finally, for a superb book on the problems of women in the military, see Stephanie Gutmann’s, The Kinder Gentler Military.

Soldiers & Civilians



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There was plenty of interest in my posts yesterday on coed dorms and training in the military. So here’s some further comment and reading. First, it’s important to emphasize that military life and civilian life are not the same. The military trains men to be disciplined and act with honor, but also to kill. It’s not always easy to turn that aggressiveness off. The military also emphasizes rank, and this leads to complicated attempts to limit fraternization between superiors and those they command. And military training and education emphasizes group cohesion in a way that ordinary higher education does not. For all of these reasons and more, coed living and training in a military context are more complicated than coed living in civilian universities.

Watch Today



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Kudlow coming up this hour.

Serbian Prime Minister Killed



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Sense of Congress



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About Congress’s bold, courageous decision to rename French fries “freedom fries,” I can only say that I’m sorry H.L. Mencken isn’t around to give such boobery the scorn it deserves. I’m all for Congress expressing its disgust with the French, but come on, guys, picking on fried potatoes? I mean, really.

Depressing



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Do a google search for “parenthood” and the first return is “Planned Parenthood Federation of America.”

John Kerry’s Favorite Poet



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Ah, Neruda, Ramesh. Here’s a poem by John Kerry’s favorite (a Stalin prizewinner, no less), written on the occasion of Uncle Joe’s death:

“To be men! That is the Stalinist law!


…We must learn from Stalin


his sincere intensity


his concrete clarity


…Stalin is the noon,


the maturity of man and the peoples.


Stalinists, Let us bear this title with pride.


…Stalinist workers, clerks, women


take care of this day!


The light has not vanished.


The fire has not disappeared,


There is only the growth of


Light, bread, fire and hope


In Stalin’s invincible time!


…In recent years the dove,


Peace, the wandering persecuted rose,


Found herself on his shoulders


And Stalin, the giant,


Carried at the heights of his forehead.


…A wave beats against the stones of the shore.


But Malenkov will continue his work.”


North Korea to Test Again



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Headed Toward Alaska



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Muslim Support



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Don’t Call



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I can’t stand telemarketers, and so I’m pleased that their obnoxiousness will now have to overcome a federal “Do Not Call” list. They have only themselves to blame for this mess.

For The Record



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I’m told Aaron Browne used the phrase “Groundhog Day diplomacy” Tuesday night. Now, granted that was not the most creative phrasing ever, but, I do need to go on record noting: I did not and will never steal a line from Newsnight. The Corner said it first.

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