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Keyword: wretchard

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  • Needle in the Haystack (What are the chances of christmas bombing intel changes being implimented)

    01/08/2010 9:08:11 AM PST · by ckilmer · 4 replies · 202+ views
    Pajamas Media | January 7, 2010 | Wretchard
    Belmont Club January 7th, 2010 5:54 pmThe needle in the haystack Today President Obama described the steps he was taking in order to improve the defense against terrorism. The video of his remarks is below. His thesis is simple. Intelligence analysis failed. The raw data existed to potentially support pattern recognition, but nobody recognized the pattern. President Obama announced general steps to improve the analysis. embedded by Embedded Video YouTube DirektThe second broad measure announced was an additional investment in newer and more stringent bomb detection technologies in aviation security. Taken together, both steps represent a lot of effort....
  • The Lordlings

    10/30/2009 3:14:39 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 25 replies · 902+ views
    Belmont Club | 10/30/09 | Wretchard
      Belmont Club October 30th, 2009 12:43 pmThe Lordlings Peggy Noonan adopts a meme that has been sweeping the blogs of late, the idea that America’s elite is broken; so broken she says, that it doesn’t know it’s broken. In a WSJ article, she describes the current and disastrous reign of “callous children”; people who have “never seen things go dark” and are leading their nation into the abyss.  For the first time, she says, the national mood is one of despondency. There are no solutions because the problems come from within. The heirs have grown strange and wayward. They...
  • After the Surge

    03/31/2008 9:42:32 AM PDT · by billorites · 4 replies · 693+ views
    The Belmont Club | March 31, 2008 | Wretchard
    About three days ago, when the clash between the Iraqi Army and the Madhi army was in its fourth day, I asked a senior officer returned from Iraq after his presentation whether Maliki would go all the way against Sadr. He said he didn't know, but added that militias were a problem that had to be eventually addressed. Another questioner asked about the quality of the Iraqi Armed forces, and on this point the answer was more definite. The quality was uneven. Many parts of it were rudimentary; some parts of it were extraordinarily good.But the subject of the talk...
  • Niall Ferguson on the 21st Century

    08/25/2006 1:54:55 PM PDT · by Renfield · 101+ views
    Belmont Club | 8-26-06 | Wretchard
    ~~~~snip~~~~ France and Iran, to name just two powers, may have the appetite for empire but not the teeth. And America by contrast and despite Niall Ferguson's longing for a strong hand in the world, may have the teeth but not the appetite. If the European Union project could called putting a French jockey atop a German horse, the attempt to create an "international" world order might be described as a scheme to harness American muscle to a transnational agenda. Unfortunately and to the everlasting resentment of internationalists, the US refused to put its economy and military at the service...
  • Forward Together [compares Iraq to the Congo under the UN "help"]

    08/23/2006 6:35:23 PM PDT · by 68skylark · 1 replies · 340+ views
    The Belmont Club ^ | August 23, 2006 | Wretchard
    One story that went the rounds in the Philippine National Penitentiary concerned the Cockroach Men. To hear the Bat tell it, the guards were always listening for escape plans being tapped out on the walls. "If you started tapping on walls, the guards would figure out you were trying something." No one asked the Bat how he knew, though he unquestionably belonged in the Big House. But you forgot that part and listened to the story. "So these two guys were about three cells apart on the row and they had to communicate without the guards knowing. How do you...
  • Belmont Club: Forward Together

    08/23/2006 8:01:12 AM PDT · by ckilmer · 242+ views
    Wednesday, August 23, 2006 Forward Together One story that went the rounds in the Philippine National Penitentiary concerned the Cockroach Men. To hear the Bat tell it, the guards were always listening for escape plans being tapped out on the walls. "If you started tapping on walls, the guards would figure out you were trying something." No one asked the Bat how he knew, though he unquestionably belonged in the Big House. But you forgot that part and listened to the story. "So these two guys were about three cells apart on the row and they had to communicate without...
  • The Sad State of the World

    05/30/2006 5:22:31 PM PDT · by 68skylark · 8 replies · 388+ views
    The Belmont Club | May 30, 2006 | Wretchard
    Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, East Timor. Four states currently in the headlines the most worrying thing about which -- apart from that each has a Western presence which may continue for years -- is that they may be joined by other countries jolted into collapse by any unpredictable crisis. A huge natural disaster, epidemic or internal conflict could precipitate many of the countries referred to as "failed states" into complete collapse. For two successive years (2005, 2006) Foreign Policy has listed the 'most failed' states based on twelve indicators which attempt to measure the degree to which each has broken...
  • Rummy "lied"

    05/05/2006 11:07:16 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 73 replies · 2,361+ views
    Belmont Club | Friday, May 05, 2006 | Wretchard
    Friday, May 05, 2006 Rummy "lied" Andrew Sullivan says the man who heckled Rummy was Not some crazed lefty. The man who demanded that Rumsfeld answer the questions we all want to have answered turns out to be the man who gave former president George H. W. Bush his daily intelligence briefing. And he was right in the exchange; and Rummy was factually wrong. Yep: Rumsfeld lied. Quelle surprise. No not some crazed lefty. The man was Ray McGovern, who Sweetness and Light noticed was part of Daniel Ellsberg's Truth Telling Project. Here's the relevant blog entry from the Belmont...
  • Belmont Club: Pretty pictures 2 (True Picture of Situation in Iraq)

    04/02/2006 5:25:02 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 3 replies · 1,639+ views
    Belmont Club | 4/2/2006 | Wretchard
    The Belmont Club History and History in the Making Friday, March 31, 2006 Pretty pictures 2 It's kinda nice when an Iraqi resistance conference provides some confirmation for the pictures I've been drawing. Iraq the Model's latest posts throws more light on the relationship of the "political struggle" in Iraq to the insurgency. These days in Beirut, the fourth conference for supporting the "Iraqi resistance" is being held. It came only less than a year after their grand failure 3rd conference which we wrote about back in August.The most notable statement given during this conference was made by Hasan...
  • Belmont Club: Pretty pictures

    03/31/2006 6:05:31 AM PST · by ckilmer · 7 replies · 988+ views
    Belmont Club | 3/31/2006 | Wretchard
    The Belmont Club History and History in the Making Friday, March 31, 2006 Pretty pictures The situation in Iraq is sometimes hard to understand without drawing diagrams. Let's diagram the situation in Iraq according to Jill Carroll, a hostage who was recently released. Voice: Why didn’t they save you?Carroll: Well, I think the Mujahedeen are very smart and even with all the technology and all the people the American Army has here, they still are better at knowing how to live and work here and more clever, despite all the technology of the American Army, still more clever and...
  • US, Mahdi forces clash

    03/26/2006 3:03:58 PM PST · by 68skylark · 20 replies · 802+ views
    The Belmont Club | March 26, 2006 | Wretchard
    Healing Iraq has news that a US force has clashed with Moqtada al Sadr's troops: American forces clashed with Mahdi army militiamen at the Ur district (Hayy Ur), west of Sadr city in Baghdad. It seems an American force attempted to raid a husseiniya in the area and was resisted by militiamen inside.Between 18 and 21 militiamen have been killed, and the Al-Mustafa Husseiniya was reported to be badly damaged in the ensuing firefight.I was on the phone with a colleague who lived there and he described it as a battlefield. Apache helicopters and jet fighters are still circling the...
  • Leaving the 20th century

    03/21/2006 7:27:05 AM PST · by 68skylark · 4 replies · 226+ views
    The Belmont Club | Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | Wretchard
    As more information becomes available about the recent past it becomes necessary for revise the conventionally accepted picture of the War on Terror in the light of new revelations. One site that illustrates the forthcoming flood is the Pajamas Media Iraq files dedicated to covering newly released documents confiscated during OIF. More new documents have just been released and one can only guess what's in them. Some of the documents have already suggested that Saddam may have been in contact with Osama Bin Laden before September 11 to plot terror attacks against the US, though to what extent is yet...
  • In Plain View [excellent commentary on Operation Swarmer -- "Thank you MSM!"]

    03/19/2006 7:37:30 AM PST · by 68skylark · 33 replies · 676+ views
    The Belmont Club ^ | March 19, 2006 | Wretchard
    More on Operation Swarmer.From the AP: Troops rounded up dozens more suspected insurgents today, including the alleged killers of an Iraqi television journalist. ... Also, police there say they have captured a Sunni extremist who confessed to leading a gang that killed hundreds of Shiites in recent months. Washington Post, Fighting Smarter in Iraq Three years on, the U.S. military is finally becoming adept at fighting a counterinsurgency war in Iraq. Sadly, these are precisely the skills that should have been mastered before America launched its invasion in March 2003. It may prove one of the costliest lessons in the...
  • Belmont Club: Asymmetrical warfare, 1906

    02/19/2006 6:34:50 AM PST · by Cannoneer No. 4 · 69 replies · 1,154+ views
    Belmont Club | February 19, 2006 | wretchard
    Then the US Army did something the Spaniards had not been able to accomplish in three hundred years. It seized tactical control over the entire area of Mindanao, including the hinterlands, using combined American-Filipino teams whose exploits were almost unbelievable.
  • Belmont Club: The Root of All...(Where does the Palestinian Authority get its funding?)

    01/29/2006 4:44:03 PM PST · by ckilmer · 7 replies · 737+ views
    Belmont Club ^ | Sunday, January 29, 2006 | wretchard
    Sunday, January 29, 2006 The root of all ... The Council of Foreign Relations describes the Palestinian Authority's financial system this way: Where does the PA government get its funding?From a combination of overseas assistance and tax collection, Abuznaid says. He estimates that taxes—from businesses in the territories, as well as a customs tax collected by Israel and then paid to the Palestinians—account for about 40 percent of the PA budget. Donations from abroad make up the rest. The PA has run into budget trouble lately, running a massive deficit and sparking the wrath of European donors by adding thousands...
  • don't Read The Belmont Club (gloomy nuclear Iran scenario)

    01/19/2006 7:03:25 AM PST · by finnman69 · 13 replies · 364+ views ^ | 1/19/06 | Clayton Cramer
    Don't Read The Belmont Club It will not make you happy and cheery. Wretchard points to a recent study of what happens when Iran gets nuclear weapons, from the U.S. Army War College. Short of invasion, there's probably no way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons--which will likely lead Arab nations in the region to get nuclear weapons as well, as a way of deterring Iranian ambitions. (They may all be Muslims, but Iranian desires to be the big cheese of the region will probably trump religious similarities.) The comments on the article are quite thoughtful, and very disturbing....
  • The Coming of the Bomb [good read]

    01/17/2006 7:10:28 AM PST · by 68skylark · 26 replies · 1,525+ views
    The Belmont Club | Jan 17, 2006 | Wretchard
    Readers may want to download and read Getting Ready For A Nuclear-Ready Iran, from the US Army War College. It's a wide ranging discussion of the entire Iranian nuclear weapons issue set within the larger context of nonproliferation strategy. The basic premise is that it probably impossible for the US to stop an Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, short of a full-scale invasion. And once Iran acquires nuclear weapons it will simply be a matter of time before Arab states follow. Yet, the truth is that Iran soon can and will get a bomb option. All Iranian engineers need is...
  • Missing in Action:The Democrats

    01/15/2006 9:01:52 PM PST · by the Real fifi · 8 replies · 741+ views
    The American Thinker ^ | 1/15/06 | Clarice Feldman
    Belmont Club describes the growing war between the Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda in Iraq and the coming showdown with Iran .The author,Wretchard, a keen observer, notes that much of the Democrat opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom is because the now minority party views it all through a prism of Bush hatred. So great is this hatred, he says, that it has left the Party without a foreign policy or defense plan as we near a very critical junction in Iraq and now Iran. A hatred which critics observe keeps the party from looking beyond its own nose to see...
  • Belmont Club: The other side of the hill

    01/09/2006 5:29:35 AM PST · by ckilmer · 8 replies · 335+ views
    1/9/2006 | Wretchard
    Monday, January 09, 2006 The other side of the hill Since the New Year several events have been progressing in parallel and the question is whether they collectively make up a larger story. The narrative threads are listed below.The Al Qaeda Counteroffensive, by Bill Roggio describes the attempt by the hard core of the insurgency to scupper negotiations to form a coalition government in Iraq. al-Qaeda and the insurgency began the New Year with an anemic offensive of thirteen car bombs in Baghdad and northern Iraq which resulted in only twenty casualties, no deaths. The past two days have seen...
  • Belmont Club: Baghdad county

    12/08/2005 7:38:40 AM PST · by ckilmer · 3 replies · 329+ views
    Belmont Club | Thursday, December 08, 2005 | wretchard
    Thursday, December 08, 2005 Baghdad county Bill Roggio's last two posts from Iraq, Patrolling Haqlaniyah and On the Offensive in Ramadi describe a situation in which military operations have become a handmaiden to politics. Not American politics primarily , but Iraqi politics. For a sense of what that kind of politicking looks like Iraq the Model's synopsis at Pajamas Media is close to the best. Basically, the various tribes, religious and ethnic groups (even the Christians) are maneuvering for votes: including, surprise, surprise, the Sunni insurgents. "The new and interesting thing in this election is the large-scale participation of Sunni...
  • And Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

    07/23/2005 5:08:38 AM PDT · by Renfield · 237+ views
    Belmont Club ^ | 7-23-05 | Wretchard
    What thread runs through today's top world headlines? (This selection was obtained by running the search URL "" at July 23, 2005 03:00 Zulu) Blasts in Egypt Kill at Least 49 at Sinai Resort Police seeking London bombers shoot man dead Blast rocks Beirut after surprise visit by Rice Kidnapped Algerian envoy had refused Iraqi offers of bodyguards Ummah must initiate joint war against extremists: Musharraf Sunnis to continue boycott until demands met Tribal elders who aided hunt for al-Qaida-linked militants shot ... Terrorism: brigades threaten Rome, Amsterdam and Copenhagen Rice: Israel must coordinate disengagement with PA UN reform to...
  • Testimony Before Congress (The Belmont Club - reviewing where we are in the war on terrorism)

    02/17/2005 4:02:59 AM PST · by 68skylark · 3 replies · 281+ views
    The Belmont Club | February 17, 2005 | Wretchard
    The Counterterrorism blog links to the testimony of intelligence, finance, defense and military officials before Congress on the status of the War on Terror. The intelligence testimony unanimously identifies the key threat to America as Al Qaeda and the 'Sunni Jihadist movement', referring to both in the same phrase as essentially comprising the same set; their choice of weapons a Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) attack on America. Operationally, they are adapting to the heightened  Homeland Security defenses using covert methods or under the guise of charities, religious organizations, academe and the like. The intelligence community unanimously believed that...
  • The Curtain Rises (The Belmont Club, on what's next after Iraq)

    02/16/2005 7:27:33 AM PST · by 68skylark · 24 replies · 1,356+ views
    The Belmont Club | February 16, 2005 | Wretchard
    The US has recalled its ambassador to Syria to indicate its anger at Damascus over the assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. CNN reports: State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States has "made it clear" it wants Syria, which maintains some 16,000 troops in Lebanon, to use its influence to prevent such attacks. ... "I have been very careful to say we really don't know who committed this murder at this point, but we do know what effect the Syrian presence in Lebanon has," Boucher said. "And we do know that it doesn't bring security for...
  • The Last Throw (The Belmont Club)

    02/09/2005 10:34:22 AM PST · by 68skylark · 7 replies · 453+ views
    The Belmont Club | February 9, 2005 | Wretchard
    Nelson Ascher's The Berlin Wall's Revenge argues that a Left shorn of its Communist goals by the fall of the Berlin Wall has become an enterprise dedicated to revenge. They have only things to destroy, and all those things are personified in the US, in its very existence. They may, outwardly, fight for some positive cause: save the whales, rescue the world from global heating and so on. But let's not be deceived by this: they choose as their so-called positive causes only the ones that have both the potential of conferring some kind of innocent legitimacy on themselves and,...
  • The Wave of the Future (The Belmont Club)

    01/28/2005 8:21:10 AM PST · by 68skylark · 11 replies · 664+ views
    The Belmont Club | January 28, 2005 | Wretchard
    Joshua Micah Marshall thinks Simon Rosenberg should be the next DNC Chair. As most all of you know, there's a heated race going on for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, something that hasn't happened since before the Clinton era. The race will be decided in about two weeks; but so far I've only done a handful of posts about it. ... If I were one of the four-hundred-odd people who have a vote in this race, I'd be voting for Simon Rosenberg. And I'd feel very strongly about the vote and cast it without reservation. Mr. Rosenberg's political...

    11/12/2004 2:18:38 PM PST · by swilhelm73 · 40 replies · 9,145+ views
    NROTC ^ | 11/12/04 | Jonah Goldberg
    Wretchard at the Belmont Club has a really outstanding post about the problems and challenges a society faces when its democratic apparatus loses the moral superstructure it was originally housed in. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. As Wretchard notes, America's founders took it as a given that the larger society had the sort of moral controls and institutions necessary for a healthy society. The machinery of the American democratic system was largely -- though certainly not entirely -- amoral. This tracked the consensus of the Scottish -- i.e. the good -- enlightenment as opposed to...
  • The Day (The Belmont Club -- unusually good, as always)

    09/01/2004 6:26:01 PM PDT · by 68skylark · 10 replies · 643+ views
    The Belmont Club ^ | September 01, 2004 | wretchard
    The seizure of 200 schoolchildren with their parents in Russia, for a total of perhaps 400, presumably by Chechen terrorists, caps a stemwinder of a newsday. The amazing thing is that the headlines were all of a piece: 12 Nepalis executed in Iraq; 2 French journalists held hostage in Iraq; 16 killed in twin bus bombing attacks in Israel; 10 dead in a bombing attack on a Moscow subway. So swiftly did they overtake yesterday's events, the two Russian jetliners downed by Chechen suicide bombers that they might have been one event. So it was no coincidence that the principal...
  • Posting Will Be Light (Belmont Club) [good, short summary of Swift Vets story so far]

    08/28/2004 4:40:07 PM PDT · by 68skylark · 22 replies · 824+ views
    The Belmont Club ^ | August 28, 2004 | Wretchard
    Posting will be light over the coming days due to the pressure of work. Three stories -- all related to the war in some fashion -- are at the heart of the news. Topping the bill is the dispute between John Kerry and the Swiftvets over the legacy of Vietnam. In second place are the continued developments in Iraq, particularly in Najaf and in Anbar province. Third position is held by the attacks on two Russian airliners which were most probably perpetrated by Chechen terrorists. The original accusations by the Swiftvets group against John Kerry's Vietnam service claims have set...
  • World War 4

    08/17/2004 9:04:26 AM PDT · by Renfield · 29 replies · 1,198+ views
    Belmont Club ^ | 8-17-04 | Wretchard
    First readers, then Instapundit, link to Norman Podhoretz's World War IV. This extensive article is nothing less than an attempt to understand the Global War on Terror in the context of the last 60 years. Podhoretz compares the manner in which GW Bush met the threat posed by radical Islam to Harry Truman's response to the Soviet Union, and to a lesser extent, the way Roosevelt faced global fascism. The articles argues that in terms of scope, potential deadliness and the fundamental nature of issues, the current struggle against radical Islamism ranks as a World War. Podhoretz lays out the...
  • Belmont Club: Najaf

    08/13/2004 6:27:42 AM PDT · by John Jorsett · 5 replies · 756+ views
    Belmont Club ^ | August 13, 2004 | Wretchard
    At this writing the US Marines are in the process of surrounding the Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf, Moqtada al Sadr has been reported thrice-wounded and a British journalist from the Sunday Telegraph has been taken hostage in Basra to back up Sadr's demand to lift the siege against his forces. Operations are also under way against groups affiliated with Sadr in certain Baghdad neighborhoods. Operational developments are moving so quickly in Najaf that the reporters can hardly keep up with it. But in general, US forces appear to have cleared the giant Najaf necropolis to the very walls of...
  • World War 3

    08/10/2004 1:33:42 AM PDT · by Cannoneer No. 4 · 40 replies · 1,584+ views
    Belmont Club ^ | August 10, 2004 | wretchard
    The US is rolling on three fronts. The first is against Sadr in Najaf. The BBC quotes President Bush as saying US forces are "making pretty good progress" in Najaf. The New York Times has a John Burns piece entitled U.S. Is Tightening Grasp on Rebels Encircled in Iraq. It begins with the dry assessment that "American forces besieging militiamen of a rebel cleric in a shrine and cemetery sacred to Shiite Muslims tightened their cordon on Monday, warning that the rebels had been left no way in or out." The Guardian thinks America is also looking across the border...
  • The Revolution Within the Revolution

    06/22/2004 5:17:34 AM PDT · by Renfield · 27 replies · 462+ views
    Belmont Club ^ | 6-22-04 | Wretchard
    The particular venom with which the Liberals regard President Bush is at heart a reaction to what they perceive as a coup de etat directed against the carefully constructed edifice of their historical achievements. To understand why the President and individuals like Paul Wolfowitz are described as "illegitimate", one should not, like the man who doesn't get the reference, look to the Florida chads or US Supreme Court decisions. Liberals not talking about that kind of statutory legitimacy. Rather they are referring to what is perceived as a brazen attempt to negate the cultural equivalent of the Brezhnev doctrine, the...