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Monday, July 04, 2005 Mohammed Cartoons courtesy of Michelle Malkin>
A Spoonful of Courage
Asked sometime ago to participate in a blogburst by
Jay Tea over at Wizbang, here is my contribution late and unpolished. I plan on adding more links and spitshine as the day goes by since life intruded and Im late. But WILLisms isnt and I will be adding more links at they come online. Here is Jay Tea's entry into the fray...seeing a trend here and feeling like my take might be a bit over the top oh well. Uh oh hehe...Take a look at Jeff Harrell's take over at The Shape of Days. Pink Flamingo Main Page

A Spoonful of Courage

Through some amount of good fortune, I have been able to piece together the beginnings of a history so to speak, of the failures that led to this state of affairs inside of what was once the greatest country in the world. If one were kind this would be called a brain dump but I felt that we needed to start somewhere and so here we are in a shelter in Washington DC with a very rough outline of the tragedy that befell the city on the hill.

No one realized exactly how delicate our nation was in regards to withstanding the barbarians at the gates until they were standing outside banging the doors down. That delicate web of trust, communications and basic humanity, ended up lasting only days when it finally came under dedicated attack. A word about the title of this piece “A spoonful of courage” for many of us who look back on the evidence presented to President Bush we wonder what might have happened had the President just a spoonful of courage more.

September 12, 2002 the President unconvinced of his ability to convince the American people of Saddams links to terror, even with the confirmation that Saddam Hussein harbored terrorists like Abu Nidal and Abdul Yasin Rahman, told his staff that an invasion of Iraq was off the table. He admitted that the evidence of Saddam’s complicity was powerful, even acknowledging that the meeting in Prague between Al Ani and Mohammed Atta probably happened on more than one occasion but he simply did not feel that the American Public would accept a war that wasn’t specifically focused on Osama. Notwithstanding Saddam’s attempted assassination of a former President and Saddam’s attempt to contract with Islamic radicals in contact with Atta to blow up the European Headquarters of Radio Free Europe. Regardless of Saddam actually being on record threatening the US with terror strikes by individual arabs in conversations with Ambassador Glaspie prior to the 91 Gulf War, President Bush believed that trying to drag the country to war with Iraq without the support of those around him would result in his being isolated and make his chances for a 2nd term impossible. Moreover, when one polled those who he would need, it was clear that any attempt to bring Saddam Hussein to account would lead to harsh battles within and without the administration. Some measure of the extent of the divisions in the Government follows as well as a quick look at the Mainstream Media.

Having failed to convince this reluctant warrior President that Saddam’s terrorist ties marked him for overthrow a few of the patriots not yet discredited inside of the Administration attempted to argue that his violations of the terms of the Cease Fire signed in 1991 were cause enough to overthrow Saddam. They presented evidence that purported to show Saddam in violation of the agreement to stop all production and research into WMD’s. Also shown to the President was evidence of his continued oppression of certain groups within Iraq which was also a clear violation of the cease fire. It was thought amongst those in favor of overthrowing Saddam that a case could be made in the United Nation Security council in regards to Saddam’s expulsions of Weapons Inspectors. They argued that a legalistic approach might allow the President to gather some allies which they understood might stiffen his back just a bit.

President Bush belived that attempting to prove that Saddam had WMD’s would be next to impossible since Saddam had been trained well as a Soviet Client. The Soviets explained to Saddam the best way to hide WMD programs was to never label them as such. Just as a magician used a simple slight of hand to make rabbits disappear, so the Soviets would assure Saddam, he could have his weapons blend into the background using the simplest of tricks. For instance all nations require the use of pesticides in agriculture and coincidently many of those same pesticides are the basis for some of the most lethal chemical weapons known to man. President Bush understood how easy it would be to deny such weapons. He also understood that between the times the buildup of men and equipment would start in Kuwait and Turkey, Saddam and his allies in Europe would have those weapons that could not be hidden out of the country to neighboring countries, just as Saddam had sent his Air Force to Iran in 91. No to use the excuse of WMD’s was exceedingly dangerous to President Bush’s ability to win his second term and nothing was going to prevent that from occurring.

One of President Bush’s closest domestic advisors, Grover Norquist, who was also considered an expert on Arab matters explained to President Bush that it was impossible for Saddam Hussein to escape from the box the United Nations had him in. He had no funds and no visible desire to overthrow anyone, notwithstanding his repeated attempts at invasion of countries on Iraq’s border. Grover also explained that Seymour Hirsh had done some marvelous investigative work into the claims of Islamic Radicals offering their services to Saddam and had found it to be a pack of Zionist lies fed into the willing ears of that tool of Israel, Ahmed Chalabi. Grover reminded the President that there were many around him that supported the terrorist state of Israel. Personally, the President found Grover to be a bigot but the fact was, Grover was a powerful figure in Washington and crossing him would be a fight, the President didn’t need fights in his march towards a 2nd term.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff explained to President Bush that they, regardless of what Donald Rumsfeld claimed, could not hope to invade Iraq with less that 500,000 soldiers. It was obvious that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were setting a condition that could not be met since the total Armed Services amounted to less than 1.5 million people. That was exactly their intention since getting into wars was a perfect way to ruin a perfectly good career. They knew war provided plenty of opportunity for mistakes and loads of ways to look bad, in addition making mistakes was not the best way to retire if one hoped to go into politics or business. After all who hires a former General who lost or bungled a battle or war but if you were instrumental in avoiding war who knew? Another nail in the coffin for those few in the Cabinet recommending an invasion of Saddam’s Iraq was the JCS claim that those divisions could not possibly be assembled prior to 2004, nearly 2 years away. Finally word brought through channels told the President that should he still proceed, a certain General on the JCS would retire and make it known that the JCS considered an invasion to be dangerous.

The CIA who were collectively still feeling the wind of the bullet of blame due to their failure to detect 9/11 didn’t see any need for a re-evaluation of their methods. Indeed, to many inside of the agency to examine what faults lay within the agency was to admit failure and that simply was not going to happen. With an unhealthy number of analysts who simply believed that, anything to do with the Middle East was some sort of Zionist plot it was child’s play for opposing intelligence services to deceive them. In addition, the CIA had long since lost its taste for the down and dirty work of Human Intelligence gathering. One had to get ones hands dirty and given the rules set for them by politicians, whose imaginations stopped at the border of the next election, getting ones hands dirty was a sure way to lose your retirement, which was the ultimate game over for bureaucrats. With no Human Intelligence, except for those agents kindly provided by the enemy to lead the CIA into false flag operations, to say that the CIA was flying blind was to overestimate its capability, in reality it was flying blind, deaf and dumb. Ignorance and prejudice were the order of the day and woe on to anyone who might try to correct the situation. When James Woolsey had attempted some minor reforms, the door had swung so quickly on his exit that marks were left on his pants.

So when people would quote the CIA as saying that while there were connections there was absolutely no evidence of active collaboration between Saddam and Al Queda what they were really quoting was an agency in full cover your ass mode. A government agency much more interested in avoiding the blame for failed analysis than in protecting this country. Apparently, it never occurred to anyone that this was possible; to imagine that the CIA might intend to deceive was beyond the imagination of anyone in Congress or the Press. Of course, imagination was to consensus as oil is to water and given that consensus was the best way to avoid having your ass hanging out it was the preferred philosophy of large organizations in the US government and the press. Witness the childlike embrace by the MSM of any reports from the CIA regarding the WOT; the CIA took full advantage of this embrace to cover the asses of those bureaucrats most at risk and to destroy those politicians who wished to expose its incompetence.

President Bush took note of the fate of those who attempted to reform the CIA and decided that discretion was the better part of valor. He understood that while the CIA had long stated that Saddam was linked to Al Qaeda this was no longer the position of the majority of the analysts who rightly forecast that if this were accepted people might start wondering why the CIA hadn’t done anything about it. With his eye on the next election, the President decided not to pick a fight with the CIA so no one was fired, transferred, or even mildly rebuked and worst of all no debate about those connections made it very far. It is worth noting that the President’s focus on the next election made him not one bit different from any other politician.

As an aside it’s amusing to look back on those movies made about the Intelligence services of the United States. Hollywood always seemed to imagine that our agents were several cuts above even the legend of James Bond. Looking back at the facts of the matter one can only laugh at that characterization. The CIA bore no resemblance to the OSS of old.

The FBI, if anything could be funnier and sadder at the same time than the CIA, was both twice as funny and four times as sad as the CIA. Two organizations that had fearsome reputations with people around the world were in fact toothless tigers, or worse. If the CIA only wanted to vacation in embassies around the world drinking the finest wines and hitting all the right parties the FBI was simply pedestrian when it came to protecting this country. Arrests are what made the typical FBI’s agent world revolve as arrests were the stuff that led to promotions and protecting the country was secondary to getting promotions for far too many inside of the FBI. We might as well had Barney Fife chasing the terrorists than to have the FBI an organization with the imagination of a block of wood chasing them.

Those inside of the FBI who were serious about trying to protect the country and like the CIA there were still people in both organizations trying, were handicapped by the simple fact that the FBI was not a counter terrorism agency. When it functioned at its best the FBI was in fact a Law Enforcement agency. Law enforcement agencies wanted arrests, counter terrorism operations like counter intelligence operations were hardly ever about arrests but much more often about following terrorists using all means to find out where they go and who they associate with. Counter Terrorism has always been about preventing events from happening regardless of what needs to be done, which in a big picture way explains a great deal on why we failed so often and so horribly, we were not willing to do what needs to be done.

The press now well protected by a very activist Supreme Court played its role. The death of 2 conservative Justices prior to the end of President Clinton’s term had allowed the appointment of 2 justices who believed that the Constitution was a “living” document. When the issue of the freedom of the press came up they found new meaning in the constitution that defined the Press narrowly and coincidently excluded the new media from its protections. It was explained that this new media would compromise several aspects of the MSM that would directly affect the public good, which had become the new standard for the Supremes. There were two major issues along those lines, the first issue was the MSM accusation that the new media would be careless and that counter factual stories would reach the public. The second and far more compelling reason for the Supremes was the fact that if the New Media was successful it might cause the MSM to lose market share which would damage the public good by reducing the taxes paid by the MSM. Some had a theory that new forms of news media along the lines of web logs might just provide the sort of counter point to the MSM that was so desperately needed. That would never be known since web logs were still born due to the new rules the Justices found constitutional.

The public never really understood that the real fights in Washington were about power. They also didn’t realize the hush that came over Washington after 9/11 wasn’t so much out of respect for those we had lost but out of fear of the public. The biggest fear being that the public themselves might ask exactly where had all that money been going if it was possible for a few disgruntled Arabs to accomplish with so little what a whole host of enemies prior to them had not been able to accomplish. Neither the Soviets nor the Nazis had ever come close to the sort of destruction that was visited upon us that day.

And yet there we were 60 years later, after our World War with the Nazis and after trillions of dollars spent on the defense of our nation, watching a group of supposed amateurs destroying two of our tallest buildings in the middle of our largest city. Not only that but these same amateurs were attacking our Capital and the center of our military headquarters nearly killing the Sec of Defense of the most powerful nation the earth. Shockingly it might have all been so much worse had Flt93 hit its target, the United States Capital Building, but it had been brought down, not by some super secret James Bond like agent, but regular citizens. After all those trillions of dollars spent to defend us, it was left to a band of citizens to defend the capital by themselves in hand to hand combat with an enemy that by all rights should not have been able to hijack a taxi. No, the hush you witnessed out of Washington DC on 9/11 was the same sort of hush you hear from children who have managed to destroy something precious who are now waiting very angelically to see what sort of retribution will follow.

When we did not march on Washington to demand accountability they slowly moved away from the scene of the crime and ever so slowly got back to business as usual. And like the creeping of the tide, a realization came upon both Republican and Democrat, bureaucrats both on the left and right all understood that the protection of the credibility of the government was absolutely paramount. Admit to some small errors and deflect all other errors by creating new bureaucracies and rearranging old ones. But above all maintain the control of the government. The MSM was a big help that day and in all the days that followed.

Given the handicaps surrounding him President Bush might be forgiven his inability to come to grips with the threats that gathered on the horizon. Though some faulted him for a lack of imagination and courage because of his desire to “get back to normal” after 9/11, it is almost impossible to imagine that mere courage and a gut instinct could have changed any of the situations. It was simply inconceivable that the President with all the opposition arrayed against him could invade Iraq and President Bush didn’t exceed anyone’s expectations.

These reports on Saddam come to us from the back channels of the Iraqis National Congress, which had managed a spy in close to Saddam that had tried to warn us of our mortal danger but both the CIA and the Mukhabarrat in a startling and unintentional co-operation discredited his warnings. Never satified with merely ignoring news that didn’t dovetail with their pet theory the CIA leaked his identity to the MSM who in the interest of public service published it. Within minutes his entire family and friends were on their way to the sort of torture that was merely inflicted as punishment by Saddam. Each ended their day by being dropped into a shredder while being filmed by camera men for later propaganda and as a video report to Saddam.

Saddam Hussein and his allies had always boasted to anyone who would listen that the US was nothing more than a paper tiger. Whenever he would make this claim prior to the 91 war everyone brave enough to speak their mind in front of such a dangerous man would remind him that Japan had once thought the very same thing. Saddam had no doubt that the America which had suffered thousands of casualties, inflicted even more and dropped 2 Atomic Weapons was gone. After the 91 war, the spectacle of the US celebrating a victory brought a few people up short on their opinion of the US since it was beyond understanding that the US would simply quit and allow Saddam a free hand inside of his own country. Not only that but that the US would actually help Saddam by lifting the No-Fly zones for his helicopters while they mowed down the Shiites and the Kurds, the very same people who had been encouraged by the US to revolt.

Then after the attempted assassination of a Former President of the United States, the US had merely sent a few cruise missiles into Baghdad as retaliation and even those were admittedly sent in the middle of the night so as to not hurt anyone. It became something of a joke that the United States was full of men who acted like women, who flinched at the first sign of resistance. The Somalia operation only brought the joke out in the open with the lip chewing antics of a President who wanted to feel your pain but who believed that the Military was part of the problem.

After the success of the 9/11 operation which Saddam's proxies had successfully carried out he was vastly amused by the contortions the West went through to excuse all of the evidence implicating him. He was fond of saying that if he ever needed some lawyers to defend him in court he would surely ask the CIA to stand in. It was almost as if they didn’t want to believe that he had been serious when he threatened them before the 91 war. Saddam didn’t understand how a country that was so powerful could be so self delusional but on the other hand he could be very thankful for it.

He had to admit though that he was surprised by the fact that the United States had not withdrawn from the ME yet. He didn’t realize that it was less bravery and more politics as usual by people who didn’t realize that the hammer would continue to fall until they started behaving in a way that was profitable for Saddam.

On September 10, 2004 at 8:47am Eastern two 20 kiloton weapons went off one each in San Diego over the Naval base and New York City. Both were airbursts which broadened the destruction along with a limited EMP effect. At 9:15am a message came through from Al Queda that if the United States didn’t immediately abandon all ME Military Bases, all Pacific Bases in the Far East and start withdrawing troops from the DMZ of Korea that 2 more weapons would go off in unnamed cities. This message was broadcast to the American Public by CNN and Fox News both of which were broadcasting from sites set up after 9/11 in the Western desert in case of an attack on NYC. At 10:00am Eastern what remained of the rest of the east coast electrical grid was knocked off the air by an EMP burst caused by a Scud being fired with a 5 kiloton warhead from a ship off shore. The airburst in the ionosphere knocked out almost all of the electronic devices in the North Eastern Seaboard. At 10:30 am Eastern another airburst caused by another 5 kiloton warhead carrying scud carried on the deck of a Libyan Freighter immediately stopped life we knew it on the west coast.

So with 4 warheads the United States was brought down. Not completely to be sure as many in the small towns and rural area's understood how to scratch by without the conviences brought by the many benefits of electronics. But the cities were another matter entirely as the water supply ceased due to the fact that all the controls for water purification were microprocessor driven and those were destroyed. Food distribution networks froze for the same reasons.

All of this paled in comparison to the sheer panic that ensued. People not understanding who was attacking understood one thing quite clearly the enemy was targeting large cities. The exodus away from such cities by people blind to the the realities of the countryside supporting so many displaced citizens had never been forcast by anyone. Now without the benefit of plans millions of people surged into the countryside. What they might eat no one knew, where the water would come from was also an unknown but none of those considerations loomed as large in the mob's mind as the sheer panic of being incinerated in a nuclear fire.

In certain capitals of the ME old men sat down to contemplate the success of such an unlikely alliance. The dream that had been theirs all of their lives was at hand, the Great Satan was by all measure defeated. Like all great regimes of the past it had been brought down by the sort of arrogance that prevented it from seeing how it could be defeated. Just as 9/11 had been completely unexpected by a people who could not imagine such old men being so audacious so to this latest attack was completely unforseen.

On September 11, 2004 President Bush announced the full withdrawal of the United States Military from the ME, Far East and Korea. On September 12 a military coup replaced the entire executive branch of the government as well as the legislative. Martial law was declared
Pierre Legrand @ 7/04/2005 10:00:00 AM
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