is the iraq war lost?

The Washington Post asks whether the Iraq war is lost.

The answers by various people interviewed pretty much divide on partisan lines. Fred Kagan of the AEI says no, but it's going to be a long hard slog. Unheard is his sigh of relief that it won't be him or his privileged chickenhawk friends taking that slog and the IED shrapnel that comes with it.

Victor Davis Hanson says not yet, because American wars are lost in the mind. This is strictly true. It's not likely that America will ever be defeated in a stand up war of logistics and heavy firepower. If America is willing to put up the bodies and the cash, it will generally win any war it cares to fight. On the other hand, it may also become not-America in the process.

In Iraq, for instance, the U.S. is not willing to actually put up the several trillion dollars it would take to actually undo the damage it has done in Iraq as well as build up the infrastructure to a level where the Iraqis will consider U.S. occupation better than self-rule. At the same time, the U.S. is not willing to put half a million to a million riflemen on the ground (not including the administrative and logistical troops to support that many riflemen). Nor is the U.S. willing to accept the inevitable casualties that come with minimizing civilian deaths in Iraq.

In all of the above, what would be necessary would be for the U.S. to conduct the war in Iraq for the good of the Iraqis. Even if GW Bush and team of evil weren't leading the U.S. government, the U.S. government is incapable of any such consideration. They don't even have a lot of consideration for the american soldiers in Iraq. They don't even have the consideration to tell the truth when a national icon (Pat Tillman) is killed by friendly fire. Instead they out-and-out lie to his family and the nation.

It would still be possible to "win", by killing off perhaps 25% of the Iraqi citizens. At some point, enough barbarity will completely cow the citizens being tortured and killed. On the other hand, I don't know any Iraqis. It might take killing off 75% of the Iraqis to win. And the rest of the Muslim world would be completely radicalized.

Unfortunately, for GW Bush and EVIL, they can't even carpet-nuke Iraq (and might as well spend some on Iran too). That would make the oil inaccessible and piss off some nearby allies. But U.S. allies are expendable, the problem is the oil would become inaccessible. Nuking just the cities would leave enough insurgents out in the towns and deserts that it would still be necessary to either send in riflemen to finish the job or use hundred-thousand-dollar smart bombs to kill off anyone still left alive. And then it would be difficult to convince any oilmen to work in a country where a shift of the wind could bring radioactive sand.

So, yes. Likely the war is lost. To win, it would be necessary to become completely altruistic (impossible, even U.S. AID has so many strings attached it's not worth accepting), or put down enough men to calm the country down or just kill them all. In the latter case the war for humanity would be lost. The Americans losing it first, and the rest of the world after, as America looks at itself and either collapses in horror, or decides to make the best of a bad situation and attack and invade anyone who has a lollipop the U.S. wants.

As it is, it's probably not even necessary for the U.S. to make Iran and Iraq a wasteland or even kill off 15-10% of the population (already accomplished in Iraq, although much of it not directly) to make the U.S. a target for terrorist attacks from islamists and fellow travelers. It's probably too late already though. The Islamists will attack America for the next hundred years because of the Iraq fiasco. I'm going off to the sidelines where there is peace.

To be clear, I advocate none of the above. I'm just looking at U.S. options and things that are likely to result. In fact, I advocate that the U.S. leave Iraq, take all military units larger than a company of embassy guards back to the U.S. and stay there. If an embassy can't be defended by a company of Marines, take the embassy out too, clearly the U.S. has done enough damage in that country to piss off the natives. Go home. Protect your borders, stop making things worse in the world.



Sol made lasagna last week. That was very good. Lots of mozzarella, lots of parmesan, and lots of processed cheese food :-). This weekend there was more lasagna since everyone hadn't had enough of the first batch. The meat sauce was running a bit low, having been used for the first batch, so we cut up some of our Earle's bavarian sausages and used that instead of the meat. The sausages are a good counterpoint to the cheese and bechamel and the lasagna this time was even better than the first batch.

I doubt if we'll have lasagna every week. That much carb probably isn't good for us, but it sure would be a wonderful thing :-). Maybe once a month we can have it. I will negotiate with sol and her mom :-).



no men in that generation

John Derbyshire says that, "I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I'd at least take a run at the guy."

Except, ahm, no. Among college kids, where are the men? They've all been feminized. One guy gave his life for his students, but he was a holocaust survivor. He had the balls his maker gave him. It's sad that so many died, but frankly, no one was willing to die that his brother (or sister) might live. On the attack, some will be injured, perhaps a few might die. But most would live and win the day, gloriously. Unfortunately, no american cares about glory anymore.


Doveryai no proveryai

Some guys (who use macs, I guess, from the domain name) decided to verify whether in fact, "paths are made by walking".

Could this be construed as graffiti and the perpetrators sent to jail? After all, a snowplow operator who plowed the private driveway of a heart patient was fired for his private act of kindness.


animal meditation

There's a blog dedicated to animal pictures, and this particular link, to cute pictures of anthropomorphized animal love. It's very cute, although those iguanas are arresting. Probably quite a bit of photoshop there, but cute.

There's also an article on how meditation can change the structure of the brain.

Interesting, and not a 50th of the interesting links I've seen these past few days :-). Unfortunately, I only blog interesting links very randomly. Oh wait, out of the mouths of babes is hilarious.


anti-war christians protest in DC

wow, finally. some christians are against the war and protest against it in D.C.

How about some Gandhian tactics, have some ten thousand christians walk over to the white house and be arrested? Are there any christians out there willing to be tortured and probed internally for, ahh, illegal items stored in their internal cavities? (even if there aren't any).

Any Christians out there willing to be tortured for the love of God?

Not that I care, really. Those people are Americans. Some of them might be mistreated, but as a practical matter, almost none of them will be tortured or mistreated since they're not going to stay indefinitely in jail.

It's a good thing, though, that there might be SOME thinking going on in America. Every day that thinking goes on perhaps decreases the time toward when there will be no more torture in Guantanamo (well, one can HOPE, right?) and no more murder or imprisonment of everyone above 5 feet or so in Iraq (U.S. forces used to dragnet a whole neighborhood and arrest and imprison everyone above 5 feet tall, now they just let their Iraqi alternates do the job, the Iraqis torture and kill the targets IN PLACE rather than waiting for them to be brought to jail, where the witnesses can be controlled).

Mamang's birthday

Tomorrow is my mother-in-law's birthday.

We've got a gift, Timmy has a gift, and we're having taco salad and either two roast chickens or, more likely, one roast chicken and one baked chicken a la Manang. I've got a bottle of Inglenook's California Red (an unassuming but comfortable wine). I had a big pack of Tostitos, but we piled into that a bit early tonight (this is separate from last night's big pack of Tostitos :-), so we'll just have half of it for tomorrow. It'll be a good accent on the taco salad though, and we've got some cheaper taco shells to round out the taco salad. Sol made a lovely garden fresh salsa yesterday from fresh produce from the market. We'll have the same tomorrow. Yum.

We bought mild gouda, mozzarela and parmesan cheese today, which reminds me that we'll also have baked ziti, woohoo!!!

I have GOT to leave work early tomorrow :-). Which means I've got to end this post so I can get to bed early, wake up early, and get to work early. It's all connected, maaaahhhn.

Stupid in the media

Reason Magazine has an article, Stupid in America, Why your kids are probably dumber than Belgians.

But the title misleads. That's not stupid in America, it's just ignorant. The educational system sucks. The individual students aren't stupid, they just aren't being taught what Belgians are taught.

I'm all for school choice. I agree that the government's "monopoly" on elementary and high schools is a stupidity. Any legislated monopoly is a stupidity because monopolies will find the path of least resistance for anything. And in those valleys that lead down to the plains and the sea there isn't much excellence to find. The excellence is on the mountain tops, or out in space.

So there's stupidity there, and the title can be accurate, but the article trolls for readers by painting the students stupid and focusing on that in the title (although the rest of the article does a pretty good job).

On the other hand, I'm not an American (thank the Lord for that) and I don't have any standing in that debate. Don't really care much about it, either except in the way that a weak educational system in the USA keeps the people insular, uninterested in the world at large, and prey to venal government and fundamentalist preachers who prefer their flock dumb or dumber, the better to fleece them. A majority of such sheep make the world a far less safe place because they're so easily led into destabilizing wars.

If they would war only among themselves it would be a pity, but not such a great problem. It would then be a self-correcting problem which hurts only themselves. Unfortunately, the United States tends to kill off foreigners at a very high rate since they won't keep their stupidities to themselves and insist on exporting them to others.

Stay at home, America. Perfect yourselves and leave the rest of us alone.


Diving in June

Sol, Timmy and Loida, Timmy's nanny, are going to Camiguin with me in June. We've got a full week and a half in Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin. We'll arrive in CDO, spend a few days arranging things for Timmy's Catholic baptism, and then go to Camiguin, spend a week or so enjoying the hot springs, the cold springs, the waterfall, and trying to dive every day :-).

I'm sure timmy will love the hot springs. I don't think we'll let him in the cold springs or the waterfall pool since the water there is very cold. But he'll enjoy looking at everything and will be wide-eyed for the whole week, I'm sure.

I had a LOT of dental work done over the last two and a half months and I'm a bit concerned about the diving. If there are holes in my porcelain caps (the adhesive wasn't smooth enough to remove all the holes) then I'm not going to be able to dive (the air in the holes expands as you dive deeper, creating pressure that results in nerve pain). I hope there are no problems. If there are, well, I suppose I'll have to make do with snorkelling from now on. I don't mind that too much. Diving is great, but having my next half-lifetime be dentally comfortable is a big deal too. I can deal with the compromise and maybe I'll just take up mounting climbing instead :-).

I'm really looking forward to diving Sunken Cemetery. That's a great dive spot a few hundred meters off from the Sunken Cemetery marker in Camiguin. I've dived there I think only once, and sol hasn't dived there yet. It's a great reef dive, not too deep (well, maybe there's a deep dive there, but I haven't done it since I wasn't deep dive qualified yet back then). I saw my second scorpionfish there (the first time was at the White Island dive sanctuary, a great coral garden and unfished reserve off White Island, that's a few hundred meters to the East (right) of that wikimapia spot.

White Island is sometimes named alphabet island since the shape is usually a "C", but sometimes changes with the season, wind and waves.

Sol and I have both dived off White Island (for our drift dive qualifying dive for the advanced open water certification) and we saw a HUGE grouper during that dive. It scared the heck out of me when it seemed to just suddenly become visible and then materialize somewhere else, it was so fast.

I don't think we'll be able to take pictures of fish that move that fast this time around, but we'll be able to take a lot of pictures when my sister sends the dive case for our camera over this month or next. We're certainly going to be taking a heck of a lot of pictures so that, finally, I'll have dive images to post rather than just describing dives and dive sites and posting links to wikimapia ;-).

Naturally, when we go over, we'll stay at CamiguinAction. We always dive with them (along with the occasional waterfall rapelling/canyoning. We love the resort too. I bought a bunch of pretty tropical windchimes for our bedroom so Timmy has something to look at, and I'll bring several over for the resort. We've got one of dolphins, but Timmy doesn't look at that as much as at the caterpillar/butterfly windchime set, so maybe we'll bring the dolphins chimes over and diggi can put that at the dive shop itself.

Timmy's baptism will be toward the end of the vacation, on 16June in Cagayan de Oro. I'm hoping that Josine will be able to come to the Philippines then, although that looks a bit less likely just now since the family is pitching in to help pay for my stepfather's emergency heart surgery in California.

An Enemy of the People

So it seems that a distinguished law professor who saw active service in the USMC in Korea and was in the reserves several times the number of years that GW Bush was goofing off pretending to be a reserve pilot is on the terrorist watchlist for criticizing GW Bush. And then they stole his luggage.

Yep, I'm not a distinguished anything, nor have I ever been in any military service, but I'm pretty open about how Bush and Cheney are evil (well, more Cheney, really, Bush is just a dumbass who works pretty hard to be a bastard). Another reason not to go to the United States then, although, a minor one since I wouldn't go there anyway because it would be a sin.

The best way/place to have KFC

I was at the Gateway in Cubao with Sol. We do that once in a while, like every week or two. Sometimes it's for movies, sometimes for buying Earl's sausages at Shopwise. Always we drop by the food court because there's a San Miguel Draft beer stand there. SM Draft is a bit hard to find.

The food court also has a Kentucky Fried Chicken food court space there. And I thought (but didn't follow through, I'll do that next week), that the perfect way to have San Miguel draft would be with KFC Hotshots (which, at least, aren't McDonald's Mcnuggets, which are 56% corn.


Easter this year has been great. It's a very long holiday in the Philippines. The holiday started on Maundy Thursday and continues til this coming Monday (not sure what national holiday that is, but it's a holiday).

Today, Easter Sunday, we went to the Market! Market! mall at the The Fort. Sol's church is near there, so I go to the mall while she's at worship. Normally I bring my laptop and read my mail on battery power. Today I walked around with Timmy in his stroller. He had a lot of fun goggling at the Gift Market, at all the colorful novelties for sale. It was a lot of fun for me too, since he was having so much fun and was no trouble at all. For lunch sol, her sister, timmy and I went to Sushi-ya, our favorite japanese restaurant. That's always very good. We also made reservations for after the baby dedication (which is what her church calls baptisms, we're having the Catholic baptism in Cagayan de Oro when we go in June).

After a rest when we got home, Sol was convinced to go to the beauty parlor for a haircut and foot spa (or something). Timmy was very easy to put to sleep (the excitement of the day tired him out, maybe), and we then had wine, Tostitos corn chips, homemade salsa (tomatoes, onions, garlic, lemon juice, chili flakes, salt, pepper, catsup) and cream cheese :-).

I've just finished off the wine and am about to go to bed. Tomorrow, the same. Heheh, we've got another bottle of wine, another pack of chips and more tomatoes, onions, garlic, etc :-).


Why GW Bush isn't going to hell

Here's why George W Bush isn't going to hell. It's a poster in New Zealand that says "Hell. Too good for some evil bastards." with a picture of GW Bush in it.

I saw this long ago and it certainly strengthened my desire to immigrate to NZ, where freedom still rings and where they don't oppress and kill other people just because they have weapons they need to test and war profiteers they need to fatten.

Also, the immigration process has been incredibly professional and it's nice to see an immigration policy that is reason based (based on the needs of the accepting country) rather than incredibly dysfunctional, as in the U.S.

In later news, there have been some complaints about the advertisement but the coverage, and the decision are similarly reason-based and reasonable. The advertisement fails some parts of the Advertising code but not all parts referred to in complaints.

The defense is serious:

Cinderella (the company that owns the pizza chain being advertised -- ed) told the board the billboard was erected to capitalise on the growing sense of outrage that was building around the invasion of Iraq and the role George Bush had played.

"We believe, and given the even greater opposition to the war in Iraq and George Bush's plummeting popularity among voters in the US, that the billboard was not only socially responsible, but incredibly prescient given events that have unfolded subsequently," the agency said.

and, amusing:

"As it stands, George W could certainly fit within the genus of bastard identified as a `Bad bastard' (bastardus skullduggerus), or arguably for a subgroup of this particular type of bastard – the `real bad bastard' – although that is not for us to say," the agency said.

If they let my family in, I'm going to so enjoy NZ.


Wow, Crepe

Wow, Ken Silverstein, in Harper's magazine quotes.

It's never pleasant to favorably cite Robert Novak. “Beneath the asshole,” Michael Kinsley once said of him, “is a very decent guy, and beneath the very decent guy is an asshole.”

I'm irritated by Novak, but now I'll never be able to use that beautiful line against Krauthammer who is even more an asshole than I've ever seen Novak be.

Hmmm, I see that there's a lament Why, oh Why does Charles Krauthammer Get Published by a Respectable Newspaper? with the money quote:

Chuck Krauthammer is a pseudo-intellectual hack; like so many right-wing "thinkers", his appeal comes from his ability to use long words in the service of arguments that would be transparently stupid to an eight year old.

I wouldn't work that hard. The man is an asshole, that's all. There's a lot of bile in that asshole, but not much else. Anyone who believes what he says is either an asshole or too stupid to be worth anything. Or both.


That's not enough

GoofyBlog says, about Cheney's lies




Let's get 'er done

He missed one thing.


If they go to jail, they won't stay there long. The next Republican administration will pardon them, and the next dumb Democratic administration might do it anyway in the spirit of bipartisanship. No, no. After the execution:



Bury at sea.

Take No Chances.

And if he comes back, take a wooden stake and bury it in his chest.