Loose Lips: BBC

From the Telegraph in England.
Politicians reacted in disbelief to the revelation that for over two hours yesterday, the BBC News website carried a request for people in Iraq to report on troop movements.

At least this reveal the stupidity of the BBC. At most, it reveals their willingness to aid and abet the enemy.

Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always;
Come follow me, and I will give you rest.

[From a prayer card I found on a base in Anbar Province, Iraq.]

a must read from Michael Yon

Thoughts flow on the eve of a great battle. By the time these words are released, we will be in combat. Few ears have heard even rumors of this battle, and fewer still are the eyes that will see its full scope. Even now—the battle has already begun for some—practically no news about it is flowing home. I’ve known of the secret plans for about a month, but have remained silent.


Iraq and Syria

More and more i wonder how successful our endeavors in Iraq will be if we continue to wage a 4 front war. The first front is for political stability in Iraq. Stability, not control. The second front is the destabilizing interference from Iran. While a lot of attentions of late have suggested a military action is imminent against Iran, I believe this is unlikely. The third is the home front, and here I believe the Bush administration has done fairly poorly convincing the American public of the need to take the fight to the enemy and of winning in Iraq. The fourth front is Syria. Like its patron Iran Syria is actively trying to destabilize Iraq. In addition, Syria, also funded by Iran, is also trying to destabilize Lebanon and Israel.

Given that Iraq is surrounded on two fronts with hostile forces, Iran and Syria, success in Iraq cannot be had until either Syria or Iran is confronted. I believe Syria to be a better target than Iran. Firstly, Syria is surrounded by friendly forces: Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. Secondly allied military forces are available to assault Syria in terms of Israel. Syria should thus be tempted to tip its hands militarily either against Lebanon or Israel. Israel should be allowed and encouraged to counter militarily. It is also conceivable that French forces could be sent to secure Lebanon. Thirdly, the size and terrain of Syria is more amenable to military action. Fourthly the military lessons learned from the Iraq invasion and occupation could be better applied to Syria than Iran. Iran also has oil, unlike Syria, and more negative publicity will result in "another" war for oil.

The Assad regime needs to go. Only once Syria is removed as a hostile force can and should Iran be confronted. Only once Iraq is more stable can Iran be confronted, and this won't happen as long as both Syria and Iran are hostile. Syria is an easier and better target. Iran is also a more difficult target in its own right. Iran is a much larger territory and has more difficult terrain. Iran's population is larger. And its military forces more fanatical. In addition, Pakistan is currently too unstable for there to be instability and turmoil in Iran as well.

Once Syria is removed, stability and democracy can encompass the entire Mediterranean part of the Middle East.


Subversion: Demoralization

HT: Belmont Club:
Former KGB agent and Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov explains how the KGB worked from within American universities to demoralize our society in a generation. (Pajamas Media)

I do believe that continued influx of immigrants and refugees from former communist country slows down the demoralization subversion of America. It is interesting to me how, as one such immigrant, i view the foolish ideologies of some Americans as an selfish and ignorant result of too much freedom. Yet this suggests that this outcome was by designed by America's enemies.


Thought for the Weekend

Since the start of the war in Iraq, 170,000 people have died in car accidents in America. Remember to buckle up.

Source: WSJ

G8: Bush & Global Warming

Previously I have reported on Bush's green home. I find this article from WSJ fairly amusing in how credit is rarely given where it is due when it comes to Bush.
There's been a capitulation on global warming, but it hasn't happened in the Oval Office. The Kyoto cheerleaders at the United Nations and the European Union are realizing their government-run experiment in climate control is a mess, one that's incidentally failed to reduce carbon emissions. They've also understood that if they want the biggest players on board--the U.S., China, India--they need an approach that balances economic growth with feel-good environmentalism. Yesterday's G-8 agreement acknowledged those realities and tolled Kyoto's death knell. Mr. Bush, 1; sanctimonious greens, 0.

Not that the president's handling of the climate issue has been stellar. The science of global warming is still unsettled, yet Mr. Bush in 2002 caved and laid out a voluntary emissions-reduction program. Instead of getting credit, he's spent the ensuing years getting shellacked for not doing more. This has laid the groundwork for today's calls for mandatory curbs that would harm the economy. It's also given Washington an excuse to re-micromanage the energy sector. Think ethanol.

But compared with Kyoto, Mr. Bush's vision has been sublime. The basic Kyoto philosophy is this: Set ever lower mandatory targets, ratcheting down energy use, and by extension economic growth. The program was viewed by environmentalists and politicians as a convenient excuse for getting rid of unpopular fossil fuels, such as coal. In Kyoto-world, governments exist to create draconian rules, even if those dictates are disguised by "market" mechanisms such as cap-and-trade.

President Bush's approach is opposite: Allow economies to grow, along the way inspiring new technologies and new forms of energy that lower C02 emissions. Implicit is that C02-control technologies should focus on energy sources we use today, including fossil fuels. In Bush-world, the government is there to incentivize industry, coordinate with it, and set broad goals.

Take your pick. Under the vaunted Kyoto, from 2000 to 2004, Europe managed to increase its emissions by 2.3 percentage points over 1995 to 2000. Only two countries are on track to meet targets. There's rampant cheating, and endless stories of how select players are self-enriching off the government "market" in C02 credits. Meanwhile, in the U.S., under the president's oh-so-unserious plan, U.S. emissions from 2000 to 2004 were eight percentage points lower than in the prior period.

Europeans may be slow, but they aren't silly, and they've quietly come around to some of Mr. Bush's views. Tony Blair has been a leader here, and give him credit for caring enough about his signature issue to evolve. He began picking up Mr. Bush's pro-tech themes years ago, as it became clear just how much damage a Kyoto would do to his country's competitiveness. By the end of 2005, he admitted at a conference in New York that Kyoto was a problem. "I would say probably I'm changing my thinking about this in the past two or three years," he said. "The truth is, no country is going to cut its growth or consumption substantially in the light of a long-term environmental problem." He doubted there would be successor to Kyoto, which expires in 2012, and said an alternative might be "incentives" for businesses. Mr. Bush couldn't have said it better.

Or consider nuclear plants. President Bush has pushed hard for more nuclear, with its bountiful energy at zero C02 cost. This was long anathema to British and German politicians, whose populations are virulently anti-nuke and who balked at any official recognition of nuclear benefits. As Kyoto has ratcheted down other energy sources, nuclear has looked better. By 2005, the G-8 document out of Gleneagles contained an explicit acknowledgment that nuclear energy mattered. The EU's energy pact, signed earlier this year, also contained a nod to nuclear. Europe has also gone from trying to banish coal, to using tech to make it cleaner.

Then there's Mr. Bush's insistence that any "global" program must include big emitters such as China and India (Kyoto doesn't). Though it received little press, the U.S. in 2005 started the Asia-Pacific Partnership, a voluntary climate pact between it and Australia, Japan, South Korea, China and India. Unlike Kyoto--in which a government sets a national target for emissions, and then forces a few unlucky industries to make cuts--the Partnership gets industry execs from every sector across the table from relevant government ministers, and devises practical approaches to reductions. This parallel diplomatic approach has proved far more acceptable to countries like China, and played a role in that country's own recently released climate plan.


Lebanon 6: Lebanon

Last summer the Lebanese government had the opportunity to reassert its territorial integrity when Israel invaded. Back then I suggested that the Lebanese crush Hezbollah by providing an anvil to the Israeli hammer. Afterward, arrangement could have been made with Israel to make it appear that it was the Lebanese army that was driving south that led the Israeli army to withdraw. The Lebanese government either chose not to act, or was unable to act (more likely). All the more pity in that unfinished business will always reassert it self as new business. The "insurrection" by the Palestinian refugee and terrorist are clear example of this. At least the Lebanese government is now acting. I hope not too late.

Previous posts:
Lebanon 2
Lebanon 3
Lebanon 4
Lebanon 5