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This is the way wars start…

So President Obama is sending 300 military advisors to Iraq. They are absolutely (hand on heart) not going to do the fisticuffs. Honest. Isn’t that how Vietnam started? I know how it ended for I have seen the extremely moving Vietnam War Memorial in DC. It has 58,000 names on it. Seriously, you have to see it in the flesh – so to speak – it really doesn’t work on TV. It is very poignant because it is very shiny so you see your own face floating amongst the names and you think, “Could’ve been me”. Anyway, it looks like The Big O is ramping-up a war. Magic. To put it bluntly hasn’t the USA (and us) expended more than enough blood and treasure in Iraq already? I normally hate any analogies between sport and war because one is supposed to be fun and the other deadly but seeing as the performance of Iraqi troops against ISIS has made the England football defence look competent and brave I’ll risk it. I mean after ten years of training from the US (and us, and others) they dropped their rifles the second they heard the bullets singing. Brilliant and not to put too fine a point on it this is not our fault. If Iraq falls it does off their own bat. It is no longer our job. Having said that it was never our job. A tragedy wrapped around a farce. This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.


  1. John Galt says:

    For Sale – Ex-Iraqi military surplus rifles. Never used. Only dropped once.

  2. NickM says:

    One of the reasons there are so many AK-47s kicking around Iraq is that after the trouncing in ’91 everyone deserted and flogged their rifles for the bus fare home. You could pick one up for 3 bucks.

  3. Julie near Chicago says:

    Glenn Beck has a theory their purpose is to blow up the Fortress, er, new billion-dollar-plus Embassy building in Baghdad.

    His ME specialist, Buck Sexton, thinks the 275 troops sent there are evacuation specialists. He thinks the chances are good for an all-out civil war between Shi’a and Sunni, in the middle of which we* do not wish our people to be caught. He sees this as a re-play of the 2006-2007 attempt at proxy war which would have ended up involving the whole “region,” and which was only “brought back from the brink” because we sent in 160,000 troops to put it down.

    (*I agree with the “we” as long as the Sith is not included in that term. If Obama turned out to have the slightest concern for the fate of American civilians, let alone govt. or military personnel, I would need instant treatment for heart attack.)

    Anyway, the Beck-Sexton 4-minute discussion is food for thought. For those whose computers either don’t hear or don’t speak, there’s a transcript at the source.

  4. Mr Ed says:

    Why do ‘we’ always pick the side that can’t fight?

  5. Julie near Chicago says:

    Mr Ed, it is a mystery.

    I am wondering if you, Nick, Paul, Mr. Galt, our host, and any interested others would care to join me in setting up shop on Minerva. (Of course we’d have to watch out for those dratted Tonganese gunboats.)

  6. NickM says:


  7. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    J i C ~ also, what?

  8. Julie near Chicago says:


    There was a project dreamt up by Libertarian philosopher and professor Dr. John Hospers and some others, maybe around 1970 or 1975? — I forget exactly, but the FoAK probably knows — to set up a libertarian colony, to be named “Minerva,” on some uninhabited island in waters that were claimed by Oz, Tonga, and a couple of other global superpowers down that way. I think also that the island was unowned or had been purchased by the group (I always assumed it was purchased). Whether or no, the Tonganese decided they weren’t puttin’ up with no furriners squattin’ in their back yard, even though the place was flooded with the Pacific Ocean and looked likely to remain so, and sent a fleet of one or maybe two gunboats, which approached them in a threatening manner, guns aimed. The way to bet was that the guns were not only aimed but armed, and that Dr. Hospers et al. decided it would be wise to abandon the project and returned to the States.

    Probably our host Near Zanzibar is well aware of this incident, and can make corrections and fill in gaps if so moved.

    An online pal of mine who is a history buff, especially military history, an attorney, a Second-Amendment Activist, and of libertarianish-conservatish political disposition, and probably within 10 years of my age, likes to bring up this incident as an illustration to the “pure-theory, blue-sky” libertarians (the ones who are all for self-defense, provided somebody has already nuked New York, Los Angeles and San Antonio) that libertarianism is a great ideal but if somebody who doesn’t buy it happens to show up with guns and all you have at hand for defense is your theory, you’re in trouble.

  9. NickM says:

    That is the thing. We can tool-up with AR-15s and Glock 17s but when push comes to shove you need heavy metal and that costs more than micro-nations can ever manage. How much does an aircraft carrier cost? Exactly. Well, too much. The dumbed-down (or to use the BAE Systems jargon, “fitted for but not with”) Type-45 Destroyers of the RN are a classic example. They cost GBP700m a go. We’re only going to have six. How many, vastly more competent, Arleigh Burke’s do the USN have? The Type-45 is not compatible with the Merlin ‘copter, it is fitted for, but not with, torpedoes, and only some of them are being retro-fitted with piss-poor Harpoon missiles. No land attack capability other than a 1950′s vintage gun. No short range air defence other than the antediluvian Phalanx system (and I bet it doesn’t have the upgrade to allow it to take on the little suicide boats the likes of the Iranians use – I will bet dollars to donuts on that

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