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Today, God save the Queen, the country is in the hands of pathologically aggressive Cold War leftovers, in particular Mr. Genghis Pompeo. In light of his desire to get America into a war with Iran, plus the acrid whiff of desperation wafting from the White House, plus increased provocations against Iran, one may wonder about such a war being used to distract from Mr. Trump’s woes. At risk of repeating myself, some thoughts on said war.

A point worth considering is that wars (very) often do not go as the aggressors plan. We might consider this when pondering any martial eruption against Tehran.

For example, when Napoleon invaded Russia, he did not plan for Russian troops to march in the streets of Paris. Which is what happened. The American Civil War was supposed to last an afternoon at First Manassas; wrong by four years and 650,000 dead, equivalent to 6.5 million today. When Germany invaded France in 1914, it expected a short, victorious war of movement, but got a bloody four years of attrition war. Then it lost. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, their plans did not include American Gis diddling their daughters in Tokyo. Which is what happened. When Hitler invaded Russia, Russian troops drinking in Berlin was not among his war aims. When America attacked Vietnam, leaving with its tail between it legs was not a hoped-for outcome. When Russia invaded Afghanistan, it did not expect to lose. Which it did. When America invaded Afghanistan…you see the pattern.

Now, Field Marshall Pompeo seems to want a war with Iran, a country with eighty million people, a fine army, and massive missile forces within range of Israel and of much of the world’s oil supply. As an example of strategic brilliance, such a war would rank up there with drinking wood alcohol.

But this is not surprising. In fact, it is habit. Americans begin their wars by overestimating American capacities, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the nature of the war they are getting into. Then they forget and do it again, world without end. General Pompeo seems prepared to respect tradition.

Why does the American military lose its wars? In part because it prepares for the wars it wants to fight, not the wars it does fight. The Navy in particular, important for a war in the Gulf, is designed to fight other navies like itself, which do not exist. It is essentially the Navy of WWII, upgraded. (Should the Japanese Imperial Navy come back it will be ready.) But a war against Iran would be, at least in the beginning, almost entirely an air war and, despite masturbatory fantasies of fern-bar Napoleons on Pennsylvania Avenue, air wars kill lots of people, last forever, and seldom produce victories.

Those ardent of air power always promise quick and cheap victory. Buffs of military history will think of Douhet, de Seversky, Mitchell. But it doesn’t happen. Years of bombing Hanoi and Afghanistan or, for that matter, of Germany and Japan proved neither quick nor decisive. The first two did not result in any victory nor the second two in a quick one.

Why does the military prepare for World War II? For several reasons. First, heavy armament, fast and loud airplanes, and Godzilla tanks appeal powerfully to male romanticism. Second, these things call to a man’s joy in cooperating with others in hunting packs. Third, modern weapons feed the masculine love for controllable complexity, screens, dials, computers, radar, reactors. Fourth, conservatism. When you have invested a lifetime and billions in anything as glorious as carriers and strategic bombers, you don’t want to give them ump

If you have watched night flight operations on an aircraft carrier, thirty knot wind whipping over the bow, endless dark ocean, an F-18 howling at mil power and then the cat shot…it’s Star Wars, baby, and men aren’t going to give it up.

American wars have failed in part because of a pattern perhaps first observed in Vietnam and since diligently repeated. America invaded with its usual hooha about saving the world from communism, terrorism, evil dictators, socialism, of bringing to the benighted dusky locals the precious values of truth, justice, the American way and perhaps of apple pie and virginity. Those being brought these things don’t see them in quite the same way. The Viets, sick of being invaded first by the French, then the Japanese, then the French again, had not asked for any of these precious offerings, perhaps especially virginity. To them the Gis were not saviors but just more goddam white invaders. They didn’t need any.

The Americans didn’t understand this. They still don’t. They believed their own reviews, which they largely wrote. In Vietnam the GIs were now in a country which most didn’t know where was. It was a country with a very different race, utterly different culture, utterly different religions, and speaking a language that not one American in a thousand spoke decently or, usually, at all. GIs came to detest the locals, whom they called gooks, dinks, slopes, zipperheads, and rice-propelled paddy maggots. Small town boys from Tennessee are not compulsively multicultural. They killed a lot of locals, sometimes for sport, that being the nature of counter-guerrilla war.

If Sitting Bull Pompeo tried to put American ground forces into Iran this is exactly what would happen.

In such wars the Americans, thinking that they are the good guys, start training the Viets (Iraqis, Afghans, Laos, Bodes, Kurds) to fight what the Americans think are the bad guys, meaning other Viets (Iraqis, Afghans, etc.) for the benefit of the invaders.

Take the phrase “preternaturally stupid,” and nurture it, give it a gym membership, high protein milk shakes, have it do lots of pushups, and it may get robust enough to describe the foregoing incomprehension. But probably not.

Predictably—very, very predictably, so predictably that only a West Point trained lieutenant couldn’t figure it out—this doesn’t fly with the locals. If the Chinese invaded your state and tried to get you to kill people in a neighboring state, would you be wildly enthusiastic? So our Viets (Afghans, etc.) fight poorly, desert to the enemy with their weapons, and take part in insider attacks while their local officers charge the Americans for nonexistent soldiers. And so, year after year, US officers say that with just a little more time, a little more money, they will get the Afghans to stand up for their country, which has nothing to do with it.

Why doesn’t the military learn? Because it is designed not to. If this is not literally true, it comes close.

To begin with, the military is an organization of the herd. It demands conformity, obedience bordering on the kinky, compliance, and a lack of expressed thought. It gets people who are comfortable with this. Those of more independence leave after their first tour.

Would you think it extreme to call them “weirdly ovine”? Ask yourself what you would think if your boss required everybody in your office to line up in a square with thumbs precisely along trouser seams, feet at a forty-five degree angle, staring straight ahead, while he inspected you to see whether you had dressed yourself properly. In this environment independent thought is neither encouraged nor tolerated.

A final thought that Pompeo Africanus might ponder, but won’t because he does not read this estimable column. In starting one of America’s ritually idiotic wars, it would be a good idea to have a Plan B in case things don’t go as the Powerpoint jockeys say they will, and a what-then in case the war unexpectedly works. When the dog actually catches the car, what does it intend to do with it? If the military captures Baghdad? Is there an exit strategy? If the Revolutionary Guards do not assume a fetal position and beg, which they won’t, and the war goes on year after year? If, oops, Iran closes the Strait more effectively than some committee in the Five Sided Wind Tunnel predicted? Or sends forces into neighboring countries, which the US could not defeat by bombing or with ground forces?

Nuff said.

Old timers with an interest in the military may find this Wapo piece interesting.

Note to readers: Back in 1927, this astonishingly virtuous column was wrong about something, or thought it was, shocking the world and causing orbital fluctuations. Since then the entire staff has sought to prevent a repetition. But it failed. The death of Saint Floyd, which we believed to be murder, seems not to have been. This account, by a cop, is accurate, correct, plausible, or some combination thereof, in every word, and I speak as one with a great deal of time around cops. Why the video was not released when it would have made a difference, I cannot fathom.

 

Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice. Not recommended for Democrats, has been linked to apoplexy in feminists. What the critics are saying: Psychology Today: “Fred deserves his own entry in the DSM-V.” Ms. Magazine Aaaaaaagh!”

 
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  1. meamjojo says:

    I think Fred & Hunter S. Thompson would have been great together!

  2. Pompeo isn’t President; Trump is. And he said while campaigning that the Bush/0bama wars were wasteful, stupid, and unnecessary. So far, he has not started any new wars. The last President not to start a war was Carter. I don’t know why Fred assumes Trump will.

    • Agree: northeast
  3. American Citizen 2.0 says:

    I liked the link to the story about the M1 Abrams tank. Most people would say it was vindicated by the battle of 73 Easting. Good to see that Fred has been Fred since back in the day.

    And say what you will about Mike Pompeo, he has, at the behest of the now singular Koch Brothers Inc, done more than any other American politician to secure the existence of Jewish people and a future for Israeli children. Wouldn’t you love to have someone like him working for us here in America?

    Far from fighting a war with Iran, America should embrace them with open arms and throw the Saudi’s under the proverbial bus.

  4. unit472 says:

    I would note that Saddam Hussein’s ‘battle hardened’ million man army lasted all of 100 hours in combat against the US and its coalition partners in 1990 before it fled the battlefield. That was a pretty good performance as Iran could not achieve the same result in 8 years of war against the same Iraqi Army though you seem to feel Iran could do better against the US military based on no evidence.

    In 2001 the US toppled Mullah Omar’s Taliban in under two months using local Afghan “Northern Alliance’ ground forces and US airpower. Again a rather remarkable achievement given it was a quick ‘ad hoc’ operation.

    In 2003 the US military again went to war against Iraq and it took two weeks for the US Army to capture Baghdad and topple Saddam Hussein’s regime. Again pretty impressive. Moammar Khadafy thought so too as he abandoned his nuclear ambitions , turning over his WMD equipment to the British and adopting a pro Western foreign policy, partying with Silvio Berlusconi and grooming his son in England to succeed him.

    Your problem Reed is you conflate military objectives with political one and blame the US military for the failures of US foreign policy. Bush #1 knew better than to try and build an Islamic democracy on the Euphrates but his idiot son could not accept the victory his military handed him in 2003. Instead of turning power over to the Iraqi Army and leaving them to sort the country out he assigned the US military the task of ‘nation building’ in both Iraq and Afghanistan when they are only trained and equipped to engage in ‘nation busting’.

    I see no risk of a ground war with Iran. If fighting comes it will likely consist of US airpower taking out Iranian infrastructure, weapons factories and perhaps decapitation of Iranian leadership as we did with Soleimani.

  5. Ederd says:

    “If the Chinese invaded your state and tried to get you to kill people in a neighboring state, would you be wildly enthusiastic?”

    If it were people in NV, NM, CO or UT then – NO. But CA? Perhaps not wildly enthusiastic – would consider it.

    • Replies: @RVBlake
  6. turtle says:

    Pompous-ass-eo needs to go.
    The post of Jabba the Hutt lookalike/thinkalike is already filled, by this critter:
    https://calvert.house.gov
    Yee.
    Ha.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  7. zimriel says:

    Fred’s wrong about Vietnam. As usual among American midwits, he skips from 1968 to 1975. He doesn’t consider that the Viet Cong lost. He doesn’t know about the 1972 North Vietnamese invasion which got destroyed, by South Vietnamese troops.
    By 1972 South Vietnam needed only one thing from the US: a supply-line. Otherwise it was fine. In that much, it compares well with South Korea and West Germany at the time.
    And in part South Vietnam got to where it was, in 1972, thanks to that bombing campaign against the North, which gave it the breathing-room it needed.

    • Agree: ruralguy, Ace
    • LOL: Piglet
  8. ruralguy says:

    Most technological innovation in America derives from the U.S. Defense department. An Italian economist analyzing an Apple iPhone found 95% of its technology derived from Defense research. The same applies to almost all technology developed in this country. It succeeds in research, because it imposes military discipline in research and development. I’ve worked in both the commercial and defense world. Generally, commercial products are developed without discipline and are vastly inferior, to what is produced in the Defense world.

    From WW2, onwards, the powerful strategic thinking that arose in the military, was shaped by some of the best research scientists in the nation. Few Americans have had the experience of seeing the power of this organization. Weapon systems are typically planned in 15 year road maps that are supported by massive amounts of spending on studies in both the Government and in industry. The innovation is impressive. When a defense company receives a request for proposal, it typically has 5-15 years of solid research on every aspect of that system. It can develop the specs for the world’s most sophisticated weapon systems in a short 45-60 proposal period.

    Operational plans are developed to achieve objectives, scientifically and with good quality control. Our performance in every war would have been spectacular, if not for the restraints caused by political leadership. With Science, decades of background research and development, and quality control through procedural approaches, it’s easy to achieve strategic objectives. This planning is upset by our political leadership, not because of our Military.

    Yet, all of that effort and cost in developing the world’s greatest military and its potential in pushing the nation forward in a well planned strategic direction has been wasted, with the Marxist rot sweeping through the nation’s schools, media, and corporations. The typical American is a lost pup, fat, dumb, lazy, and easily controlled by others, because they fear expressing any thought that isn’t popular. They need military discipline to change this. We should turn over the government control to our Military. They have the organizational power, back by solid scientific reasoning, to provide a purposeful path forward for the nation.

  9. I’m not sure where Fred wants to go with this article on Pompeo, but I always enjoy reading Fred’s work.

    I remember the first Gulf War, and how the Iraqi army was touted as the fourth or fifth greatest fighting force in the world. Stormin’ Norman made short work of them, but President Bush had the good sense not to invade Iraq nor try to occupy it.

    I feel relatively confident that the US could put a big hurt, militarily, on Iran…but why? Iran is playing in their own sandbox, and is only a regional threat. Attempting to invade, and control, a large country, with a very foreign populace, is not going to end well for anybody.

    There are as many opinions on Floyd as there are people, but we do seem to have problems with the way we police our cities:
    1) maybe any given community should police themselves as they see fit
    2) maybe white cops shouldn’t patrol black neighborhoods
    3) maybe all cops should have bodycams, and they should always be on
    I don’t know what the solution is-I just hope we figure it out before we descend into a race war

  10. “US officers say that with just a little more time, a little more money”

    This is the “mo” strategy to prolong pointless wars. “The solution is mo money, mo troops, mo time”

  11. SafeNow says:

    Fred forgets a benefit to waging insane wars. This was the premise of an old movie called “Twilight’s Last Gleaming.” Burt Lancaster seizes an ICBM silo, and gains launch capability. Burt’s price to surrender: The U.S. government must acknowledge the real motive for waging the inexplicable Vietnam war: Show the Chinese and Russians that the U.S. is militarily insane, and thus prevent a military adventure by those nuclear powers.

    Surely the Vietnam war accomplished that. But the demonstration of institutional insanity does not last forever. It must be renewed again and again. Surely the Middle East wars did that, and another war would renew it yet again. I can’t prove it, but I believe Pompeo and colleagues discuss this. N. Korea’s Kim has established a presumption of insanity cheaply by comparison.

  12. @zimriel

    He doesn’t know about the 1972 North Vietnamese invasion which got destroyed, by South Vietnamese troops. By 1972 South Vietnam needed only one thing from the US: a supply-line. Otherwise it was fine.

    This is fake history that appeared during the Reagan years. I became so irritated by this nonsense that I produced a short documentary to debunk this BS.

    • Thanks: Biff, Bill Jones, Herald
  13. @unit472

    All that means the MIC can win a battle or two, not that it can win a war.

    The USA would lose any kind of war with Iran. KSA and Iraq would cease to trade oil. Israel would nuke Iran but then cease to exist and all history will know about the Jews will be gratuitous nuking.

    To be able to fly over a devastated land does not mean we won a war.

    • Replies: @unit472
  14. @unit472

    I see no risk of a ground war with Iran. If fighting comes it will likely consist of US airpower taking out Iranian infrastructure, weapons factories and perhaps decapitation of Iranian leadership as we did with Soleimani

    Your analysis of the US military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan fails to account for the military failure in both countries. While it is obviously true that bombing coupled with troop presence defeated conventional armies, the real war was insurmountable for the US military. This should have been the lesson learned in Vietnam, but the US military never has learned anything. Fred is right: they still think they are fighting in WWII.

    A ground war in Iran would be a fatal error. And Iran would destroy no only the US Navy, but as much oil producing infrastructure as possible in the surrounding area.

    Sadaam’s army couldn’t defeat Iran’s. Either will US’s.

    The US Military is an abject failure. This is only one step away from being made clear to the entire world.

    • Agree: foolisholdman
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  15. @zimriel

    Fred is right about Vietnam. The Viet Cong did not lose. South Vietnam was a failed and fake colonial construction. The corrupt oligarchs in the South needed a lot more than a supply line from the US, whatever that means (it’s really gibberish but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt). They needed their people to support them. They didn’t have it.

    It’s hysterically stupid to try and pretend that Vietnam was anything more than an abject American failure, a waste of life, time, resources. A country that has people like you saying the things you do can’t learn from its own mistakes.

    Guess it will take something much stronger to teach you and other apologists the lesson that the defeat in Vietnam should have.

    • Agree: Harold Smith
  16. Escher says:
    @ruralguy

    Generally, commercial products are developed without discipline and are vastly inferior, to what is produced in the Defense world.

    Couldn’t disagree more. What you say may have been true in the past, but military research and weapons development is a black hole of corruption and incompetence, judging by the various programs that are delayed and not delivering anything like what was promised.
    Commercial products have to succeed in a competitive and demanding market, and built to spec AND on time.

  17. @ruralguy

    Oh dear — you are … confused.
    ” Our performance in every war would have been spectacular, if not for the restraints caused by political leadership.” Not necessarily. It can be argued that the military in Vietnam did not apply tactics & operations suitable to its environment. Yes, those tactics in small part were dictated by the weapons & formations developed over the years — largely with the objective of defeating a peer competitor like the USSR. The military failed to adapt what it had to the Vietnam circumstances.
    (The US could have employed a strategy similar to that of the UK in Malaysia).
    “…it’s easy to achieve strategic objectives. This planning is upset by our political leadership, not because of our Military.”
    The government & military are separate aspects of a single nation. The purpose of war is to achieve political objects using military means. Strategy is a military interpretation of those political goals.

    “We should turn over the government control to our Military. They have the organizational power, back by solid scientific reasoning, to provide a purposeful path forward for the nation.”
    Essentially what you want is the destruction of US democracy (& the Constitution) & a military dictatorship,like Japan in the 20 -40’s, Spain from 30’s to 70’s, as Chile, Argentina, the Philippines [?] had in the 70’s & Thailand has now.
    That you are confused is adequately demonstrated by this: ” The typical American is a lost pup, fat, dumb, lazy, and easily controlled by others, because they fear expressing any thought that isn’t popular. They need military discipline to change this.” Its bad that Americans are controlled by others & fear to express unpopular thoughts — therefore they need the regimentation of military control. Yet the entire point of the military is to create organization through efficiency, compliance, hierarchy, discipline — all the kind of things which make people “easily controlled” & fearful in expression.
    There are things to admire in the military — but as a basis for society & culture ? God help us – NO.

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  18. @ruralguy

    We should turn over the government control to our Military. They have the organizational power, back by solid scientific reasoning, to provide a purposeful path forward for the nation.

    You mean the current military, who suffers from the same marxist rot you mentioned in the same paragraph? The same military which sees fit to staff their officer corps with DMV employee archetypes and which is more concerned about matching skin color bandages and transexuals serving than defending our frontiers?
    I would rather give the levers of power to my boston terrier.

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  19. @unit472

    You are a merciless er… the language fails me. I so hate that every word you uttered here, is true.
    May I point out that human armies are not in the habit of shooting at people using radioactive scrap metal, they do not poison civilian waterworks for en entire geographic region, they do not like making war from behind women and children. They don’t burn down an entire city overnight and claim moral victory.
    Deprived behaviour by deprived people. When we see them coming, only the stupid and the sacrificial heroes stand and fight, the brave tries to get the women and children to safety before he returns to face his enemy in battle.
    That gentlemen’s pause in hostilities is then used to throw more radioactive bombs on their places of safety?
    By the time the troops arrive, they patrol bloodsoaked rubble, and go home as childkillers, sick and infected by the chemical and radioactive weaponry you thought contains unadulterated Freedom and Democracy for the heathen ragheads.
    And then their government finds no excuse for them to claim medical care, hah!
    …and nowhere has there ever been an army with so many defectors yammering and moaning and complaining about medical bills and their feelings of abandonment.. Ever!
    Nooitgedacht, Dresden, Hiroshima, Allepo, Mosul… the Hive has no humanity.

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  20. Renoman says:

    Fred Reid God of truth! Go Fred.

  21. @unit472

    Fredo, you forgot 1812 … ya know, the war where we were going to liberate the Canucks, but instead got to watch the Brits burn the White House. But turning lemons into lemonade, it made Old Hickory a hero of Presidential Timber, and a catchy drinking song was turned into a national anthem.

  22. Realist says:
    @Gordon K. Shumway

    Pompeo isn’t President; Trump is. And he said while campaigning that the Bush/0bama wars were wasteful, stupid, and unnecessary. So far, he has not started any new wars. The last President not to start a war was Carter. I don’t know why Fred assumes Trump will.

    Trump hired Pompeo as well as all the other belligerent warmonger assholes. Either Trump agrees with these hegemonic pricks…or he is a fucking idiot

    • Replies: @Herald
  23. Realist says:
    @unit472

    Unit 472 is defective and must be decommissioned.

  24. Realist says:
    @zimriel

    Fred’s wrong about Vietnam. As usual among American midwits, he skips from 1968 to 1975. He doesn’t consider that the Viet Cong lost.

    That is bullshit. The US lost over 58,000 young men…to make the rich and powerful more so. The Viet Cong now control Vietnam…the US lost their ass. And the US had no legitimate reason to be there as is the case all over the planet.

    • Agree: Ann Nonny Mouse
  25. Escher says:

    A boots on the ground invasion isn’t necessary to break the back of the Iranian regime. A large scale bombing campaign will be enough, followed by fanning of secessionist flames in the non-Persian parts of the country.
    We’ve seen this playbook in action in Libya and Syria.

    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  26. Rahan says:

    If the Chinese invaded your state and tried to get you to kill people in a neighboring state, would you be wildly enthusiastic?

    There are, I’m told, more answers than one to this question these days…

    • Agree: nokangaroos
  27. ruralguy says:
    @animalogic

    The military cannot achieve political objectives, if the politicians are psychologically emotional adolescents. Our politicians are lost pups pretending to be leaders. They have no purpose or sense of direction.

    K-12 should use discipline to show the children to think rigorously and to think with purpose. That’s not what is happening. From K to 12, the nation’s childrens’ thoughts are shaped by highly effeminate teachers who mostly think with emotions. My children are high school age. I’ve seen this in every school they’ve attended. The male teachers are often more effeminate than the female teachers. Very few instill disciplined thought in children. Children are also subject to peer pressure, where they learn to fear not being accepted. Marxists use this fear and emotional thinking to their advantage. Americans are terrified of being called a “racist” or “supremacist,” so they conform their thoughts to Marxism, especially from K-12-college. There are very few independent thinkers in America. Yes, the military and old classical schools use compliance, hierarchy, and discipline to force children to think rigorously and to work as a team. By doing this, they reform the child from an emotional thinker subject to peer pressure, to a child who can think rigorously and within a team. They show children to think with a purpose, instead of thinking like stray lost pups. America needs leaders and people who can think with rigor. The Military can supply both, through compulsory service and compulsory k-12 military schools.

    • LOL: Chris Mallory
    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  28. ruralguy says:
    @Uncle Nyarlathotep

    Yes, it’s sad it suffers from the Marxist rot infecting our schools and media. It needs reforming.

  29. Rich says:

    Fred admits he was wrong about St Floyd, I wonder if he’ll ever admit he is wrong about the Vietnam War and bombing campaigns? Operation Linebacker forced the N Vietnamese to come crawling to the negotiating table, begging for peace terms. The result was a well negotiated peace that led to the release of American POWs and respect for S Vietnam’s sovereignty as well as removal of American troops 2 years before the North’s victory. (Way back in 69 the VC had already been destroyed as a fighting force). After the coup that removed Nixon and control of Congress went to communist sympathizers on the Left, the US no longer supplied its former ally with the weapons and air power it had promised.

    A successful, limited, air and naval war against Iran seems very possible. Destroying Iran’s air force and naval capabilities, leaving it a toothless tiger shouldn’t be all that difficult. An invasion and successful occupation, maybe not, but it’s also unnecessary. I don’t think a war against Iran is even necessary, but if they decide to go that way and keep the goals within reach, similar, maybe, to the campaign to force the Iraqis out of Kuwait, there’s no reason it can’t be called a win.

    • Troll: Harold Smith
  30. unit472 says:
    @Ann Nonny Mouse

    The ability to fly over Germany and Japan was basically the entire Allied strategy of WW2. In the Pacific this required advancing the ‘bomber line’ to within range of the Japanese homeland. In Europe it meant degrading the Luftwaffe to the point it could no longer effectively oppose Allied bombers.

    In both cases once achieved the Germans and Japaneses were literally ‘toast’. Their cities were firebombed, their ports and rail networks ceased to operate and war production ground to a halt. The Japanese were reduced to arming their population with pointed sticks to take on the American Armies heading their way in November, 1945. Fortunately for them Truman had a couple of nuclear weapons that forced the Japanese Emperor to call a halt to the war and save his people and himself from being slaughtered.

    Air superiority is still the sine qua non for success. As I mentioned , decapitating Iranian leadership means you don’t have to fight their army. When more generals than privates die in a war its a good thing. If Iran’s Ayatollah’s and Generals start getting turned into hamburger meat like General Soleimani did the survivors will eschew ‘martyrdom’ in favor of a less confrontational policy against the US.

    • Replies: @ruralguy
    , @Curmudgeon
    , @zimriel
  31. @ruralguy

    ” We should turn over the government control to our Military”

    You mean these perverts?

    Thanks for the laugh.

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  32. ruralguy says:
    @Bill Jones

    LOL. We’ve gone from tough soldiers storming the beaches of Iwo Jima (my uncle was shot there), to the Obama-ination of cross-dressing soldiers and 75% American children who are too fat, dumb, and or drugged up, to meet recruitment standards. I read these soldiers didn’t want to cross dress but the Red Guard that permeated Obama’s socialist admin forced them. In the Chinese cultural revolution, they used this humiliation to shame them into rejecting the four olds (old custom, old culture, old habits, and old ideas). That’s whats happening in America. Our Red Guard is canceling our history, our culture, our statutes, firing people who resist from their jobs, etc. Enlightening people with your ideas on the Unz board isn’t going to stop this. At this point, only the military can stop them.

    Thanks for the laugh.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
  33. Vidi says:
    @unit472

    Your problem Reed is you conflate military objectives with political one and blame the US military for the failures of US foreign policy.

    As Carl von Clausewitz said, “war is politics by other means”. If you don’t win the subsequent peace, you also lose the war — especially if you were the aggressor (as the US definitely was against Iraq in 2003).

  34. ruralguy says:
    @unit472

    Good point. Warfare has changed significantly since even the Gulf War, because the proliferation of cell-phones and the internet allows individuals to be tracked and taken out. Software can use statistical inferences from each person’s network of contacts, financial transactions, and other info to track elusive individuals. If anyone believes they are anonymous and safe on the internet or when using spread-spectrum cell phone operating near the noise floor of signals, you are wrong. Everyone person can be tracked and monitored. There is no need to destroy large chunks of a nation’s infrastructure, in WW2 warfare. Like surgery, it’s best to use precision.

    • Replies: @Rev. Spooner
  35. Phibbs says:

    I used to be a Born-Again Christian/Zionist. I know how Pompeo thinks. His theology is misinformed and wrong. His main goal as a Born-Again Christian are to look after the interests of the rogue, apartheid, terrorist, enemy state of Israel. All Born-Again Christians worship Satan — and they don’t even know it.

    • Replies: @SeeSee
  36. vox4non says:

    “In no instance has a country profited from prolonged warfare” ~ Sun Zi.

    Except of course those that benefit from instigating such wars. Perhaps it is beyond high time that Congress takes a more thoughtful role in restraining scum like Pompeo from starting a war, unless it has been corrupted. Then the US will remain stuck in a vicious cycle until its treasure and blood are spent and see out its days like the Spanish empire.

  37. Phibbs says:
    @Rich

    Rich, the Israeli-Occupied Government in Washington D.C. wants war with Iran. Iran will destroy Israel and kills tens of thousands of Americans with their missiles. You fail to realize that.

    • Replies: @Rich
  38. @Gordon K. Shumway

    Trump was lucky that Iran and Russia did not react to him launching dozens of cruise missiles based on lies about chemical weapons use by Syrian government more than once. With Pompeo and Abrams in place and before the elections, he may not be lucky again if he makes a wrong move.

    • Agree: Ultrafart the Brave
  39. Rich says:
    @Phibbs

    Once the balloon goes up, anything can happen. I understand that. But the Persians have given no indication they can fight and win. Their last major war, against Iraq, resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead Shiites, with no measurable success. If the US and/or Israel were to keep the war restricted to destroying the Iranian air force and navy and inflicting some damage to their army, I don’t think the Iranians would go to their missiles. Israel has missiles, too, and so does the US. None of it seems particularly necessary, however, at least to me, but I don’t have all the intelligence available to those in the know, so maybe, after all these years, decades actually, of talk of a war with Iran, maybe it will finally happen. We’ll see.

  40. Personally, as an elderly, homebound, disabled veteran of the war in the old Republic of Viet Nam (i.e., a “STAR WARS” movie fan, I love referring to, “the old Republic”!), I want President Trump to keep his campaign promises to immediately end all of America’s wars in all foreign lands, and to immediately bring all of our troops back to the United States of America.

    I reckon a lot of other Americans might like to see President Trump do that, too, so why doesn’t he do it?

    Then, I’d like to see President Trump take drastic measures to undo all the damage which the traitor, Abraham Lincoln, did to our divinely inspired Constitution of our United States of America.

    Maybe then, the sovereignty of the individual states and the unalienable rights of the individual citizen might actually be restored.

    By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the recommended articles, “AN ACTIVE-DUTY OFFICER ANALYZES THE LATEST GEORGE FLOYD VIDEO”, and the Friday 01 January 1988 article, “REFORMERS”, and of course, I’ll be sharing all three of these articles on my FACEBOOK page.

    I circumvent the FACEBOOK censors by highlighting, copying, and pasting these articles into a Microsoft WordPad Rich Text Format document, being sure to remove all references to the UNZ web site.

  41. @Rich

    A successful, limited, air and naval war against Iran seems very possible. Destroying Iran’s air force and naval capabilities, leaving it a toothless tiger shouldn’t be all that difficult.

    … says the armchair general.

    What was it that the author said about American warfare? Oh, that’s right –

    Americans begin their wars by overestimating American capacities, underestimating the enemy, and misunderstanding the nature of the war they are getting into.

  42. @unit472

    If fighting comes it will likely consist of US airpower taking out Iranian infrastructure, weapons factories and perhaps decapitation of Iranian leadership as we did with Soleimani.

    You are assuming that the air power will be able to complete their missions. How many US drones have the Iranians taken control of while in flight? If it looks like the shtf, is on the way, the Russians will have provided, if they already haven’t, the electronics jamming technology used to turn the USS Donald Cook into Donald (Sitting) Duck.
    The Iranians have had Silkworm missiles for some time. They are fired from pickup trucks and hit Mach 3. The Persian Gulf is 210 miles wide maximum. No USN ship is safe. If the US uses Saudi and Iraqi bases, there is a real possibility that the locals will take up arms and attack the bases. The same thing will happen in spades if Afghanistan is used.
    Comparing Iraq to Iran is just silly. Iraq had no air defense and is relatively flat. Iran has air defenses and is mountainous. Air strikes will not be a cakewalk.
    I find your mindset of decapitating the leadership disturbing. It would openly invite whackjobs to assassinate US Presidents.

  43. @Rich

    After 18 years of war, Taliban still controls significant part of Afghanistan. Iran with thousands of missiles and Drones etc. will be a formidable force now than at the time of Iraq Iran war. Hubris and Reason are incompatible.

    • Agree: Ann Nonny Mouse
  44. @unit472

    Life, like chess, consists entirely of a single move, made by me, and guided by my genius.

  45. @unit472

    Germany is a bad example. It played by the rules of engagement established by the Treaty of Westphalia. It’s air force was designed for the battle front. Britain began ramping up Lancaster production in 1937. Contrary to international law, it was overflying “neutral” Belgium and Holland to attack German civilians. Most of the damage done to Germany came after the Eastern front was opened, and the Luftwaffe being heavily engaged there.
    Rosenfeld got his wish, the US got the British Empire by encouraging Poland not to accept Germany’s peace offering and encouraging Churchill, the sot, to go to war on credit.

  46. @unit472

    That’s what they always say…and then the war drags on for 10, 15, 20 years.

    “We’ll just airstrike them”.

    This has worked once or twice. It worked with Libya in 1986.

    But, um, you cannot hold a country with Air Strikes.

    Worse yet, is the domestic bill. The US is so broke after 20 years in Afghanistan that parts of California look worse than Kabul (Though I’ve never been there). I’ve been to Dubai, which made Michigan look as poor as Bangladesh.

    Gen Z are busy trying to burn down Federal buildings. Which of them want to serve in a war? Back in 2001 there was just-barely-enough patriotism left from the Clinton era to rally a volunteer army.

    There is a boom-and-bust, slash-and-burn way of thinking in America. A bipolar streak. The public is all mawkish for war, gets it, spends the next 20 years regretting it.

    The first thought of some big-city Wop like Pompeo is that the poor, broke, underemployed rural hicks will volunteer. They may not this time. They’ve been called deplorables for too long for some grinning Democrat President who hates their guts which they know.

    During the nineties, the old normal America still had some value. Bush vaguely represented this. He was your average Normie. Not terribly articulate, not terribly bright, but generally affable and a guy you could play pool with.

    There is no normal now. Its a culture war. its wealthy people complaining that poor people are taking dumps on the sidewalk outside the entrance to their Metropolitan opera because they are homeless.

    There is also a difference between a border war like Iran and Iraq had and an actual invasion. An actual invasion runs up a death toll of about 1000 a week. Iran’s neighbors, included the American liberated Iraq, will join in and soon millions of guerrilla fighters will pour into Iran.

    Economically, Iran will win because the US will finally be bankrupt.

    I came of age in the 90’s having been born in 1974 and I can remember when it was unheard of for a normal white man to be homeless. I can remember when the US had the best highways. When our transportation was the best. Even in the nineties, consumption was conspicuous. Now we are a second-world country. Poverty is common. We lost our Triple A rating.

    The next war will plunge us to the standard of living of India, and not the Baniya castes. The US infrastructure will collapse. Our immigration problem will lessen because Mexicans will be sneaking over the border to get back in Latin America. At that point, the middle class will probably revolt. Young people already are. Young white people in 1992 would never have joined in the LA riots. They had wives, careers, a house, something to do.

    The Left of course won’t care if the rubes and hicks die by the thousands in Iran but a draft will result in a civil war.

    China will doubtlessly funnel money and arms to Iran. The Soviets may do so to.

    The GOP hicks often come out in support of war because they served in peacetime. I was a USIA clerk and partied with Marine Embassy Guards at the Marine House Bar so I know the camaraderie…they don’t call it a “tour” for nothing.

    So they get worked up and start supporting a war and then the bill comes. The VA bills. The deficit. Etc.

    • Agree: turtle
    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  47. @Rich

    I don’t think the Iranians would go to their missiles.

    Well, I guess now we can all rest easy.

    Never mind why the f#ck so many armchair generals seem so keen to launch crimes of aggression against Persia in the first place???

    Who’s your daddy? No, seriously. Remember the USS Liberty – and you want to pick a fight with Iran? After Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria (anyone seeing a pattern emerging here?)…

    Not to mention 3,000 of your OWN PEOPLE on 11 September 2001.

    As the saying goes, “With friends like these…”…

  48. @Rich

    Their last major war, against Iraq, resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead Shiites, with no measurable success.

    That is true, but there is missing context. Post revolution, the Iranian military was purged, as is the case after all revolutions. The Iranian government had dated US equipment, and couldn’t get parts. The war was a ground war fought in an area where it was difficult for either side due to the terrain. Even tanks were of limited value off road. Many of the Iranians fighting the Iraqis were volunteers, and received a minimum of military training.
    I suspect the Iranian military today is significantly better trained and equipped than during the Iran-Iraq war.

    • Replies: @Rich
  49. KA says:
    @Gordon K. Shumway

    Trump has not started one because we have redefined the war . Sanction is war . Russia or China would have attacked USA if it did what it did to Iran .

  50. @Curmudgeon

    It would openly invite whackjobs to assassinate US Presidents.

    The precedent was set long ago with the public execution of JFK by the American security services. No “whackjobs” required.

    The blatant murder of Solemani has now legitimised the targeting of American officials by the security services of other nations, and not just by American security services.

  51. Rich says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Maybe they are better equipped and trained, maybe they aren’t. The Israelis seem to bomb their forward positions at will, with no response from Iran. Their allies are still under siege and it was the Russians, not the Iranians, who saved Assad. I remember all the stories about how tough Saddam’s soldiers were up to the start of the first Gulf War, once the bombs started falling, not so much. From what I see, as an outsider looking in, the US should be able to disable the Iranian air force and navy fairly quickly, and then inflict serious damage to the army, without a serious ground invasion. I know once those US Army generals get in the planning phase, they want boots on the ground and more medals on their chests, but if leadership can avoid the trap of a ground war, I can’t see Iran coming out victorious in any way. And even with a US ground invasion, I’d still give the win to America by heavy odds. Of course, with the caveat, that once the war starts (if it ever starts, which I doubt), anything can happen.

    • Replies: @Ann Nonny Mouse
  52. zimriel says:
    @unit472

    Well, you tried. Thanks for that. Unfortunately we’re arguing with idiots (let’s be charitable and use the purest, Greek definition) who don’t know the difference between an indigenous resistance (the VC) and a foreign army (the NVA).
    Also joining in are the marg-bar-Amrika crew who are invested in this “empire”‘s destruction and disgrace. Those aren’t even idiots; they cannot be taught.

  53. @unit472

    Many things have changed since Iran Iraq war.
    Iran now has significantly advanced missile technology. Accuracy of their missiles attacking U.S. bases following Gen. Soleimani assassination, downing the U.S. Drone when it entered Iranian space are some examples.
    Iran and it’s allies are significantly strong in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Eastern part of Saudi Arabia etc.
    Main Iranian rival in Middle East, Saudi Arabia is significantly weaker due to low Oil prices and involvement in Yemen. Iran has now better relations with some of Sunni countries such as Qatar, even with Turkey.
    Iran is an essential node in Belt Road Initiative. Iran and China recently signed long term agreements of several hundreds of Billion dollars Worth. De-Dollarization is relentlessly progressing among China, Russia and Iran trades.
    Iran is protected by S-300 Missile defense. Their forces in Syria are protected with S-400. Iran has the capability of closing Strait of Hormuz, shooting up Oil prices and playing havoc with Derivatives.

    • Replies: @unit472
  54. @Rich

    It’s the Russians who will save Iran. An American war with Iran will definitely mean war with Russia. The end of the USA.

    An independent, non-American Iran is crucial to the safety of Russia. The Iran conflict would not be worth it to America unless it’s really another step in the conquest of Russia, unless that’s the real American hidden motive.

    Remember, otherwise this is total insanity. Iran has never posed a threat to the USA.

    So Iran will win, will remain independent, there’ll be no USA, and the world will be at peace.

    • Replies: @Rich
  55. Rich says:
    @Ann Nonny Mouse

    Under no circumstance will Russia fight the US over Iran. None. Russia isn’t going to risk a nuclear holocaust and the end of civilization over Iran. They would actually gain from a war because the price of oil would skyrocket as Middle East oil would be in limited supply.

    • Replies: @Ann Nonny Mouse
  56. unit472 says:
    @Lawofkarma

    Yes, all that and yet, things blow up in Iran ( and Lebanon) and the Israeli Air Force goes where it wants.

    Now I could tell you Uganda has an XYZ-500 super duper air defense system and it is formidable but if you learn the only thing it has shot down was a civil airliner full of your own nationals would you still be confident in it when things are going boom in the night and your government tells you it is just ‘another’ pipeline explosion.

    If so, you’d be an idiot!

    • Replies: @Lawofkarma
    , @Colin Wright
  57. I remember that one day in the 1980’s Reagan threatened to bomb Iran. The following day the evening news program on one of the major networks showed a graphic of submarines off the US shore and said that Soviet submarines had moved closer to the US overnight. An older man watching the news with me said that in his view, this was the Soviets’ response to Reagan’s threat against Iran. That was a different time, of course, but who knows what is privately said between governments.

  58. @Gordon K. Shumway

    So far, he has not started any new wars.

    And there you have the problem for the loony left, the neoliberal warmongers, the Chicom trolls and the Never Trump regime change maniacs. He’s not playing the game properly. This leaves us with the usual spittle-flecked responses to Trump’s unauthorized and dangerous peacenicking.

    “He’s surrounded by people who want war!”
    “He thinks about starting a war!”
    “He says belligerent things!”
    “He’s disrupting the world order!”

    And so on. But until he actually sends U.S. troops to a foreign country to die, he’s still much more anti-interventionist than Obama.

    • Replies: @GomezAdddams
  59. @unit472

    I guess only way we will find out would be when and if there is shooting war with Iran.
    Everything is otherwise speculation based on the limited information we have.

  60. The Saker has run a pretty good series of articles discussing the dangers faced by the U.S. military in regards to an Iranian War, that I recommend anyone feeling gung-ho about the Hegemone’s chances read. A simple thing though is to look at Operation Millenium Dawn and see its (initial) results. That or the simple fact the U.S. elite have simply not seen fit to invade our of fear.

  61. unit472 says:

    No, the prohlem is your inability to absorb the real time information we do have.

  62. anon[457] • Disclaimer says:

    If the clusterF__K that was the Venezuela “coup attempt,”invariably involving pompass and abrams, is any reflection of their talent at regime overthrow planning, I do not believe Iran has anything to worry about.

    The two hapless troopers captured were just sent up river for 20 years and were sold out by those above on the gravy train.

    It behooves all other former troopers to be mindful and very careful as to who and what they hook up with for future ‘coup attempts.”

  63. Savageone says:

    I don’t know if you ever served but if you have you weren’t very observant. It was not the military that fought the wars to stalemates or defeats. It was the politicians, who didn’t have the stomach to finish what they began. As someone who flew many missions over North Vietnam refueling countless bombers and fighter-bombers, I can assure you the war there would have been over in less than a week if we had bombed Hanoi and Haiphong Harbor instead of miles of jungle. The same would happen in Iran if we unleashed the airpower necessary to level Tehran, which we could do ten times over. I just watched “75 Years After Hiroshima” and we learned 75 years ago that when you destroy a couple of large cities, the country’s leaders tend to get the message and stop their bad behavior. But our politicians failed to learn the lessons learned then. My cocncern is our nuclear weapons are now getting very old and we will lose them if we don’t use them, so let’s drop the big ones and see what happens!

  64. The United States hasn’t fought a real, all-out war since the invasion of this continent. Only then did we fight with the expressed aim of eliminating our opponent and seizing his land. Everything else has been police action.

    Sorry, I just don’t see the purpose of speculating about who would win what when we, the USA, have never fought with the gloves off. Kill them all, men, women and children. Sow the fields with their rotting flesh, it’s good fertilizer.

    Shocked? That just proves my point. You cannot imagine a real war in which we’re fighting for territory, for all the marbles.

    So, for all of you who’ve said “the USA can’t win a war, hasn’t won since WW2”. Rot, just rot. How can you know? You have nothing to point to, no cases in which we’ve even tried.

    I’m not saying we should fight a war of total conquest, just that that differs from wars to place in power a friendly political party etc., so-called limited wars and you can’t say that just because we failed to achieve political ends, therefore the US military is impotent or incapable. How many times during the Korean and Vietnam war did our generals complain that the politicians had tied their hands, making the war impossible to win?

  65. Currahee says:

    Thanks, Fred. Bought your book.

  66. The only good thing about a war with Iran is that it will definitely be the end for Israel.

    Other than that, it will be a lose-lose all around.

    • Replies: @Antiwar7
  67. @unit472

    ‘Yes, all that and yet, things blow up in Iran ( and Lebanon) and the Israeli Air Force goes where it wants…’

    Keep thinking that technological supremacy is a trump card.

    We’re counting on it. Things will play out so much faster that way.

    You’ll win for sure. Go for it.

  68. @Rich

    We’ll have to wait and see. Russia knows where every American military base is, and knows exactly which have nukes. They’ll all disappear in the first few minutes. And also knows where every American submarine is. And is technically vastly more advanced than the MIC. And knows the USA is broke and must have war, urgently. And is not broke.

    Understand that all the sanctions and terrorism and threats against Iran, all that IS war against Russia. With Iran under American occupation, Russia is finished.

    • Replies: @Rich
  69. @Savageone

    You are wrong.
    Usually, it’s not that politicians don’t have the stomach to finish what they begin. They don’t begin a war that will go on for years, brings in other countries, results in huge casualties and domestic protests, and can only be won by committing genocide. They begin a war that can be won fairly easily and without all that. And then they find out that that war was a figment of theirs and others’ imagination.
    It is you who is dragging them into having begun something they did not.

  70. orionyx says:

    Can anybody here say “Russia”?

    Russia has said clearly that if it were attacked, Iran would not be alone.

    Perhaps that’s what the assorted great apes in Washington want: a war with Russia, and a nuclear war at that. After all, they’d all be safe in their bunkers watching porn.

  71. @paranoid goy

    So true.

    The US needs a war brought at their doorstep. The elites could then taste what physical courage, the skin in the game part of war does to them. Only this can alter the mindset of decision makers and revisionism of military approaches. Wipe out the distinction between a video game and a tasty dish out of their own kitchen.

    • Replies: @paranoid goy
  72. @Savageone

    So, you take pride in being a brave American soldier, good for you, never had to face a warrior yourself, eh? If you ever did honest work, you would know that modern warfare is not about winning or losing, it is about keeping the population subdued so the ruling scum can claim ownership of the land. Bombing Hanoi may have stopped the war, but how would that clear the land of peasants and “unsustainable activities” like farming and schooling?
    Besides, if you don’t destroy everything, how will you tax the workers for “reconstruction” by international corporations? That is (apparently) how “the Economy” works. By borrowing. Dollars. By the bankers in Hanoi. Which were not blown up. So they can borrow.
    Geddit?

  73. @PetrOldSack

    The elites could then taste what physical courage, the skin in the game part of war does to them.

    Nah! The last time someone tried that, the bastards just shipped off to Poland via Treblinka, where they hid in saftey while the Yankenbrits bombed millions of White people to hell.

  74. Biff says:
    @zimriel

    There never was such a thing as South Vietnam. Ever. Completely made up out of whole U.S. government cloth. The U.S. had a few proxies that dissolved like sugar in water once the U.S. left.

  75. GHzman says:

    @unit472

    I would note that Saddam Hussein’s ‘battle hardened’ million man army lasted all of 100 hours in combat against the US and its coalition partners in 1990 (sic) before it fled the battlefield.

    Except, Saddam’s ‘battle hardened’ units weren’t used in Kuwait in 1991. He kept them safe in Iraq in case the US decided to invade. The ‘troops’ the US and its favorite lapdog Britain fought, were useless conscript cannon fodder. A turkey-shoot proves nothing.

  76. @ruralguy

    We should turn over the government control to our Military. They have the organizational power, back by solid scientific reasoning, to provide a purposeful path forward for the nation.

    We would have to be desperate to do that.

    Shouldn’t take but 10-15 years, 25 tops. Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.

  77. Rich says:
    @Ann Nonny Mouse

    You actually believe the Russians can stop an American nuclear attack? You can’t be serious. The only time in the last 30 years that Russian and American troops met in the field was the Battle of Khasham where the Russians were soundly defeated. What you anti-Americans don’t realize, at your own peril, is that there are several different Americas within the US. The one that controls the MIC, and the soldiers and Marines themselves, are tough, battle tested veterans. This is a much different America than the rear support kids in high heels and cross dressing supply clerks. I’m not saying Russia doesn’t have a strong, technologically advanced military, I’m saying neither side wants to fight the other because both know it would result in a victory for neither. As for Iran, it was formerly in the US sphere of influence, and even today, it isn’t really in the Russian sphere. A US war with Iran benefits Russia, at least in the short term, and maybe in the long term, too as it ties the US up in another Middle East craphole while the Russkies can keep selling oil and gas to everyone else.

    • Replies: @Ann Nonny Mouse
  78. History shows that nations end up getting the war they are seeking to avoid, not the one they wrongly convince themselves they are going to win. There is a pattern.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  79. mrsynaky says:

    Lets give a credit where it is due: Trump administration unlike Obama and Bush has not started deadly wars (Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya) costing trillions of dollars , hundreds of thousands of death and millions of refugees.
    The pressure that Pompeo is putting on Islamo Fascists ruling class in Iran is something millions of Iranians have asked for, do not let mullah’s have access to easy petro dollars. So far the approach has been good one and it does not need to escalate to a war, occasional sorties here and there like the one that was done on Snake Soleimani should do the job!
    There is no doubt that military industrial complex is too large and costing too much, $700 billion a year at the time of debt and fiscal shortages is outrageous. Let’s hope if Trump is elected in his second term he will start doing something about it, I won’t see anything coming from dementia Joe.

  80. Padraig says:

    Always fun to read Fred. Not mentioned in the article is Pompeo’s Zionist flavored evangelical Christianity which conflates biblical prophesy and US foreign policy. Like Sean Hannity, Pompeo sees the sacred duty of the USA’s foreign policy to defend the interests of Israel by neutralizing every other threat to its Greater Israel project. Meamwhile, the USA turns a blind eye to the sufferings of the Palestinian people, whose property is stolen year by year in the remaining West Bank and many are confined to an open air concentration camp in Gaza where Israel embargoes many essential goods. Most Americans are ignorant of what goes on in the world including the Middle East, since our corporate media is totally corrupt and controlled directly or indirectly by the oligarchic interests which are heavily invested in the military-industrial complex.

  81. @ruralguy

    If everyone can be tracked and monitored it would have been done and the enemies would have been eliminated. Israel is the leader in this tech, so what’s stopping them? Here’s a link for you, enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onR7PD3Grc0

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  82. “Why does the American military lose its wars? In part because it prepares for the wars it wants to fight, not the wars it does fight. ..”

    America fights wars to burn off inventory, not to win.

    The fighting serves to camouflage the plundering.

    In RVN America fought to burn inventory, kill off the working class, keep the fake Cold War going, and keep the supply lines of opium open.

  83. @Rich

    So the USA has to use a different method to take over and plunder an obedient Russia? Stepwise? Creeping? Afghanistan… Georgia… Ukraine… take over ownership of Iran, plant US bases all over it? Encroach more and more till there’s nothing left of Russia except an obedient puppet, if that?

    Why do you think the USA is at war with Iran? Why break the nuclear deal and impose terrible sanctions for a manifestly false reason?

    Why are there sanctions on Iran? Why not luscious, lucrative trade with Iran?

    Iran posed a threat to no-one, was not going to attack Israel though it may have helped resist Israeli aggression. Is on the opposite side of the planet from America. This is totally American aggression, nothing, nothing else.

    So why? Total insanity? No, Russia!

    Putin is intelligent enough to know that, while Russia is ahead in weapons technology, this American aggression means it is absolutely, totally, totally essential that the USA suddenly cease to exist.

    I’m not saying that can’t change. Russia and China will support Iran. The US may be deterred till it is totally broke. But the decline of the US is making US aggression more and more urgent. It has to do it while it can.

    But go on preening yourself. That’s okay.

  84. @ruralguy

    The typical American is a lost pup, fat, dumb, lazy, and easily controlled by others, because they fear expressing any thought that isn’t popular. They need military discipline to change this.

    I take it you have not been in the military, except perhaps as a senior officer? As a private soldier (And most soldiers are) I can assure you that “expressing any thought that isn’t popular” is (ahem!) “somewhat frowned upon”. I know from experience, I’ve tried it! The only thing that military discipline might change in those who are ” fat, dumb, lazy, and easily controlled by others” is the fat.
    Oh! Come to think about it, it might also teach them to disguise their lazyness, with fake application. (“Bullshit Baffles Brains!” Old Army proverb.)

  85. Another example of comedic criticism is the assertion that the Army builds combat vehicles of flammable ar­mor. The M2 Bradley, a sort of armored personnel car­rier, uses aluminum armor. Various objections may be raised to aluminum armor, particularly in naval use (the Navy uses it extensively), and there are serious reasons for doubting whether the class of vehicles in general or the Bradley specifically is militarily advisable—but these are grown-up questions. The Reformers, seeking to lampoon rather than to describe, have decided that aluminum burns. (Hah! Dumb Army, makes incendiary vehicles.)

    It is true that it is difficult to set fire to aluminium armour, but it has been done. During the Falklands War the Argentinian Airforce shot at the British battleship, HMS Sheffield (which was built of aluminium armour) with an Exocet missile. Because its fusing was mis-set, the missile did not explode on impact, but penetrated the armour and the rocket continued to burn, inside the ship. It set fire to the ship and the crew was unable to extinguish it. Water reacts vigorously with burning aluminium which takes the oxygen out of the water to fuel the blaze, generating hydrogen in the process which burns in the air to help things along. HMS Sheffield sank after about (IIRC) three days.

    According to Wikipedia this is not true, they say this though: ”

    The sinking of Sheffield is sometimes blamed on a superstructure made wholly or partially from aluminium, the melting point and ignition temperature of which are significantly lower than those of steel. However, this is incorrect as Sheffield’s superstructure was made entirely of steel.[29] The confusion is related to the US and British navies abandoning aluminium after several fires in the 1970s involving USS Belknap and HMS Amazon and other ships that had aluminium superstructures

  86. @Escher

    A large scale bombing campaign will be enough

    I am reminded of the misprint in the first edition of Mrs Beeton’s monumental work, where on the subject of making jugged hare, it said “First catch your hare”.

  87. AgBars says:

    Mike Pompeo: West Point Grad, top of his class. Captain, 7th Cav., Harvard Law School, House of Reps, CIA Director, Sec. of State, etc.

    Fred Reed: E3 Pogue

    • LOL: northeast
    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Vidi
  88. @ruralguy

    You cannot have an exploitative Ruling Class which educates the Working classes’ children to think rigorously and logically! How long do you think they (the RC) would last? The idea is preposterous!

    What sort of “Marxists” are you talking about? What is their relationship to the teachings of Marx and Engels? It seems to me that “Marxist” is the latest, most fashionable cuss-word, but perhaps you can enlighten me?

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  89. @Jeff Stryker

    Born in 1974, you’re a bit young for senile dementia!

    China will doubtlessly funnel money and arms to Iran. The Soviets may do so to.

    The Chinese may, I doubt much money will come from the Soviets!

  90. Biff says:
    @AgBars

    Mike Pompeo: West Point Grad, top of his class. Captain, 7th Cav., Harvard Law School, House of Reps, CIA Director, Sec. of State, etc.

    Must’ve wore out five sets of knee pads getting that far.

    • Replies: @AgBars
  91. ruralguy says:
    @foolisholdman

    Marx and Engels were philosophers whose concepts were never validated by real-world experience. There were three significant variants of applied Marxism, adopted as real experiments: Maoism (China), Stalinism (Soviet Union), and French communism (France, Cambodia). In all three cases, to make Marxism practical and validate the theory, required remaking people into ideal socialists. Leftists often rightly claim that pure communism has never been implemented, but that is rather foolish, because communism is a poorly defined theory. Every implementation of it has required brutal methods, to make the application fit the theory. A Marxist can’t dwell in an incomplete theory. They must validate their ideas with an actual experiment. All three significant experiments have failed. That is true Marxism, not an incomplete theory.

  92. Anon[189] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    TL;DR

    I assume it’s another recycled article that Fred has written a dozen times before.

    What I will say is that no American should have any trust and confidence in the government. It is unbelievably corrupt and run primarily by corporate America and it’s only interests are solely with big business.

    Anyone who currently enlists in the military is not very smart.

  93. ruralguy says:
    @Rev. Spooner

    It’s funny that people think Israel is a powerful nation. Its GDP per capita ranks 36th — below Puerto Rico and Slovenia. It’s not the leader that you might think.

    The technology does exist and is being used, but U.S. laws don’t allow it domestically. That is going to change. As the demographics change, there is a good chance the left will assume one party control of the nation, as is the case in California and many U.S. cities, unless they implode. But, if they do assume power, the thought of them tracking people, as China does, should strike fear in every conservative. The left has mass murdered 100 million people in the last 100 years, but Conservatives treat them with deference, instead of taking harsh action against them. Our only hope is a military take over. People don’t get it, but it doesn’t matter, because internet talk and voting lacks purpose — it never achieves anything.

    I enjoyed the cartoons — I remember those characters.

    • Replies: @Reactionary Utopian
    , @Biff
  94. @ruralguy

    The technology does exist and is being used, but U.S. laws don’t allow it domestically.

    Uhhh, have you heard of this guy called Snowden? What does US “law” have to do with what goes on in the US?

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  95. RVBlake says:
    @Ederd

    Violent “antifa” who had recently been rampaging through one’s hometown assaulting Whites and destroying businesses? Hmm

  96. Biff says:
    @ruralguy

    The technology does exist and is being used, but U.S. laws don’t allow it domestically.

    You should never, ever be taken seriously again.

  97. @ruralguy

    Yep, you’re a Fascist.

    Germany, Italy and Japan thought the same thing.

    Innovation happens in many spheres for many reasons.

    I’ve worked within the defense industry. What you say reads like some bullshit PowerPoint presentation some corporate ahole put together to impress a group of generals.

    Fred Reed is the real deal. You’re just some jacked up military corporate dick sucker who believes his own bullshit

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  98. ruralguy says:
    @Reactionary Utopian

    I had worked on contracts with most of the intelligence agencies and all branches of the Defense Department. Snowden’s claims that they are engaged in constitutional violations is nonsense. The technology he described is real and very sophisticated, but it is not being used illegally and domestically, although there might be “access.” Procedures exists to ensure it is processed legally. Today, almost all of the processing of data is through software, not “spies” as depicted in movies. That software is developed to comply with U.S. laws. The data handled by people is handled in operational centers by fixed procedures to ensure compliance with operational requirements and to ensure quality control. It is very impressive. Any use of data not in compliance with these requirements requires a court order. In all of my years working in that world, I never saw any violations of U.S. laws.

    The people working on these systems are far more law abiding than the general population. To get a high-level clearance required extensive proof that you are law abiding, normal, and not a risk, so the “operational” and developmental centers that handle this data are staffed by professionals. Long ago, the security background checks used “lifestyle” and “morals” checks, so they they selected people who were extremely professional and extremely mature. You can’t say that about private industry that doesn’t work on defense matters. I left that world long ago, but I doubt it has changed in the interim. It’s funny how people on these internet boards see people working on these systems as monsters violating laws. That’s not reality. They are very normal and professional people doing their jobs.

    The danger is what will happen when the leftists assume control. Americans should fear misuse of these systems, as the Chinese government does to its people. The leftists will misuse them. They murdered 100 million people in the past 100 years. That’s why we need to the military to step in, as our government starts to fail.

  99. ruralguy says:
    @AintNoMouse

    “Fascist,” “ahole,” “dick sucker,” “believes his own bullshit” are mere ad hominem attacks expressing silly emotions. It’s not a rigorous argument. I’ve been retired for years, so how can you claim I’m a corporate ahole trying to impress people?

    I like manners and I always try to be respectful to others. I’m often wrong. In retirement, I work on several math proofs every day, so I’ve learned not to “believe my own bullshit.” To do those proofs, requires humility and an ability to see your own errors.

  100. Ace says:

    Fred, the US didn’t leave Nam with its tail between it legs. It had the country secured after a military victory and turned it over to the S. Vietnamese. You may remember the term “Vietnamization.” The Dem scum-sucking bottom feeders gave it all away. Too, LBJ and Nixon allowed sanctuaries to exist in Laos and Cambodia until Nixon sent us into Cambodia. Thereafter the Delta was as quiet as a New York nursing home. I was there.

    The air war on NVN was indeed drawn out. Somehow it didn’t help to have LBJ personally selecting targets and establishing absurd ROE so that a missile site could be bombed but one under construction couldn’t. Then there was Nixon’s bombing of Hanoi. It was horrific and the enemy was just about to run out of SAMs when he stopped it. They were terrified he’d resume it and were on the verge of suing for peace. Fred Reed wrong on bombing in Vietnam.

    PS — I’m a conservative and I have absolutely nothing invested in heavy weaponry or the sturm und drang of jet engines and night carrier launches. I want that stuff brought home and an end to asshat politicians, diplomats, and contractors who are indifferent to the national interests and the suffering of foreigners caused by our dumb ass, illegal foreign wars.

    • Replies: @Anon
  101. In good old days strong nations carried out wars of aggression to plunder weaker adversaries. America, for many decades now, has used military might abroad to enrich weapon manufacturers and contractors enabling them to plunder the US treasury under guise of patriotic wars.
    American war dramas and excitements are sideshows of great entertainment value whereof lots of revenue will also flow.
    Pentagon generally sees these wars as good opportunities for carrying out military exercises under realistic conditions.
    The Wars in Afghanistan and Midddle East will end when contractors give up hope of making money in these regions.

  102. AgBars says:
    @Biff

    Perhaps, but I’d like to buy Fred for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he is worth.

  103. Vidi says:
    @AgBars

    Mike Pompeo: West Point Grad, top of his class. Captain, 7th Cav., Harvard Law School, House of Reps, CIA Director, Sec. of State, etc.

    Fred Reed: E3 Pogue

    If Pompeo (“we lied, we cheated, we stole”) is typical of the US officer corps, no wonder the US lost in Vietnam — and is losing in Afghanistan.

  104. dfdnole says:

    I pasted the link in Facebook and they blocked it effing crazy

    • Replies: @The Saigon Kid
  105. S says:

    A final thought that Pompeo Africanus might ponder, but won’t because he does not read this estimable column.

    Interestingly, Pompeo’s name is simply the original Italian for an ‘Anglacized’ Pompey.

    Pompey, it will be recalled, was one third of the First Triumvirate which informally ruled over the late Roman Republic. The other two triumvirs were the Roman billionaire and real estate speculator Crassus, and his [Crassus’] young up and coming protege, Julius Caesar.

    It all started to come crashing down when Crassus made his ill advised and disastrous decision to launch a military campaign against Parthia (ie present day Iran).
    L to R: Julius Caesar, Crassus, Pompey

    In this way, from his behavior and surname emerges the figure of a historic character, because Pompeo in Italian means nothing more and nothing less than Pompey.

    Both have their family origin in the same region of Italy and the Roman was with the Optimates, the conservatives of the Roman Republic.

    Trump, Jared Kushner, and Pompeo (far right), at US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights ceremony in Washington (March, 2019).

    https://thediplomatinspain.com/en/2018/11/pompeo-and-pompey/

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Triumvirate

  106. @dfdnole

    I circumvent the FACEBOOK censors by highlighting, copying, and pasting these articles into a Microsoft WordPad Rich Text Format document, being sure to remove all references to the UNZ web site.

    The URL for my FACEBOOK page is:

    https://www.facebook.com/writesong

    Because I’ve posted a lot of other stuff, you’ll need to scroll well down the page to see FRED REED’s most recent articles.

    John Robert Mallernee
    Vernal, Utah 84078

  107. @Curmudgeon

    “I find your mindset of decapitating the leadership disturbing. It would openly invite whackjobs to assassinate US Presidents.”

    And the downside?

  108. Corrupt says:

    Bombing Hanoi worked… it brought the desired effect – bringing the north to the peace table.

  109. @restless94110

    “The US Military is an abject failure.:.

    Only to those who misunderstand its purpose.

    • Replies: @restless94110
  110. Anon7 says:
    @ruralguy

    “We should turn over the government control to our Military. They have the organizational power, back by solid scientific reasoning, to provide a purposeful path forward for the nation.”

    Kind of like this. Would you like to know more?

  111. H. Henry says:

    The Viet Nam war was fought to stop the spread of communism, and that mission was fulfilled, No other countries have become communist since we left. 100,000,000 people died at the hands of the murderous commie hoards. Do their lives matter? Are they just anomalies that don’t count? If the communists ever take control of America, there will most likely be a purge. Russia, China, Viet Nam, Cuba, Cambodia all suffered under the bloodthirsty commies. And I want to thank every man and women who served in that dirty war. Thank you for your service.

    • Replies: @Begemot
  112. Mike Pompeo can apply for the future re-run of “The Meaning of Life” in the role as Mr Creosote.

  113. @Bragadocious

    Good point—like the good old days of Monday night wrestling. 4 years have gone past and USA has NOT made any new wars but Trump has had all the war hawks around and some have gone ( Johnnie Bolton) but what frightened me was that name later down the Card –KAMALA —7 feet tall – 400 puinds of black fury entering the squared circle. Politics just like pro wrestling —talk talk talk —

  114. Begemot says:
    @H. Henry

    US combat troops officially left South Vietnam in March 1973. South Vietnam and Cambodia both became communist after the US left the war in Vietnam, both events occurring in April 1975. South Vietnam also disappeared as an independent country. How was this a success for the US in stopping the spread of communism?

    • Replies: @Ace
  115. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ace

    @Ace, if that was an American victory, I would hate like hell to see an American defeat.

    • Replies: @Ace
  116. It’s amusing that those who take the most potshots at what we do are the ones who have the fewest solutions to problems they don’t acknowledge exist.

  117. @Bill Jones

    Those who think the military has any other purpose than to defend the nation misunderstand being an American. As I said, those that misunderstand the military’s purpose are in for a huge shock when things get jiggy with the rest of the world in the near future.

  118. President Trump is not going to start a war with Iran. Fred, we love ya’ dude, but you gotta come up to speed on our MAGA POTUS.

  119. Ace says:
    @Anon

    It was an American political defeat but an American military victory. Read Frank Snepp’s Decent Interval for the back (true) story on that.

    The North was terrified of American bombing and came within a hair of surrender after, I think, the Christmas Bombing of Hanoi. The attack on the NVA sanctuaries in Cambodia sent them fleeing. The mining of Haiphong, late as it was, had the intended effect. The S. Vietnamese Rangers had secured IV Corps and Giap succeeded after he persuaded a very hesitant politburo to let him put his toe across the border and see if the Americans reacted. We didn’t and the rest was history, esp. after the S. Vietnamese saw that Congress was cutting off further military support, even though they had a year’s worth of supplies in hand.

    With respect, if you think this counts as an American military defeat I think you are mistaken.

    We paid a high price for our little morality play known as Watergate. As we do now as well for our pestilential leftist infestation.

  120. Ace says:
    @Begemot

    Ask the Democrats in Congress at the time. They did their best to ensure that Vietnam became communist which was, breaking news, what our troops successfully prevented until then.

    The fall of Vietnam and the abandonment of Cambodia were the high tide of commie expansion in Asia. It was in all the papers.

    • Replies: @Begemot
  121. Begemot says:
    @Ace

    Don’t you understand that the year 1975 comes AFTER the year 1973? The sequence of events is important in understanding how things are related.

  122. In my studied opinion, to explain why our boys fought in Vietnam, there actually WAS a real world objective, that armchair generals and diplomats simply do NOT wish to acknowledge.

    The very possibility that I am right threatens their secure self righteous bubble of moral superiority.

    Wanna know why we fought there?

    Look at what Kissinger negotiated for, and got, in return for us leaving! The short version: Dr. K got an end to Commie insurgencies in SE Asia!

    That ensured that the intl. shipping lane through which all Persian Gulf oil transited, (Straits of Melaka), remained secured for passage of our tankers.

    Don’t think that matters?
    Ask yourself why Cuba has never f**ked with OUR Guantanamo base, which sits on THEIR sovereign land.

    Gitmo guards the Mona Passage, through which all US shipping from our East coast, headed to the Panama Canal, passes. BTW, the Dominican republic, on the other side of Mona Psg is a de facto vassal state to the USA, as well.

    Tinpot Castro dick-taters KNOW that if they so much as mumble the words, “viva la revolucion”, loudly enough for the lowest private at Gitmo to hear, Kooba will immediately get to know the 101st airborne, the 82nd airborne, and 2 or 3 US marine divisions, up close and personal!

    Raul Castro can send his tin soldiers to swashbuckle all over the 3rd world, fighting against hungry and poorly armed bush people, but Raul and bro Fidel wisely wanted NOTHING, to do, with Uncle Sam’s fighting forces.

    Yup, keeping the Straits of Melaka, the international shipping lane that runs between Indonesia and Malaysia open, for the 900 oil tankers and container ships that pass through, every day, FOREVER, was a reason to fight.

    It is, now, too. China knows THAT!

    BUT, what China will choose to do is a story for another day!

  123. When I was serving in the old Republic of Viet Nam (i.e., as a “STAR WARS” movie fan, I love saying, “the old Republic”!) as a soldier in our own beloved United States Army, I was only a Specialist Four, E-4, Field Radio Relay and Carrier Equipment Repairman (MOS 31L20), i.e., “in the rear with the gear” (but do NOT call me a “REMF”!), and certainly not the brightest or bravest guy there.

    I remember that folks in our good ol’ United States of America were always telling me how stupid I was for being in the United States Army and volunteering to serve in the old Republic of Viet Nam, and I kept hearing over and over and over that our United States of America was fighting an “undeclared war” in the old Republic of Viet Nam (i.e., Note that, “Viet Nam” is TWO words, not one).

    But, to my way of thinking, the “TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION” actually constituted a formal Declaration of War against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam by the United States of America.

    As formally requested by the President of the United States, the Resolution authorized Congress to appropriate funds, it authorized the implementation of military force against a foreign power, it specified who the enemy was, and it laid out exactly what our objectives were.

    Also, our United States of America did NOT lose the war in the old Republic of Viet Nam!

    All of our military combat forces were returned, undefeated, to the United States in 1973.

    It would be another two years, in 1973, before the government and military forces of the old Republic of Viet Nam finally capitulated to the overwhelming invasion of the Communist hordes.

    One source of amusement for me is that history repeated itself in my biological family (i.e., I was adopted).

    In the 1860s, the North invaded the South. my ancestor fought for the South, and the South lost.

    In the 1960s, the North invaded the South, I fought for the South, and the South lost.

    Anyway, rightly or wrongly, them there’s my thoughts on the subject, and I’m sticking to my story.

    John Robert Mallernee
    Vernal, Utah

  124. Antiwar7 says:
    @Colin Wright

    Israel will launch nuclear weapons if they’re going down. You want that?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  125. @Antiwar7

    ‘Israel will launch nuclear weapons if they’re going down. You want that?’

    You mean like South Africa did?

    When push comes to shove, no nation has ever chosen Armageddon. Even Imperial Japan surrendered.

    Israel will just compromise to keep from being isolated, and as Palestinians gain more power, the Jews will begin to leave, and at some point the name and the flag will be changed. There won’t be a Last Battle.

    She’ll die with a whimper, not a bang. Stick around for twenty years and watch.

    • Replies: @Wielgus
  126. Wielgus says:
    @Colin Wright

    Yes. I notice Fran “Jesus was a mamzer” Taubman defends Israel but does not actually live there. Poor material for a last stand at Masada, methinks…

  127. SeeSee says:
    @Phibbs

    Ieosus/Jesus is a satanic entity, meaning ‘beloved of Zeus.’ It was the name given to Yahooshua by bible translators to make the budding Christian religion more appealing to pagan Greeks, who worshipped Zeus.
    See http://www.eti-ministries.org for more details.

    Peace

    Chachi

  128. Spud says:

    Fred,
    I love your commentary and mostly agree. But sometimes I think you cross the line due to your antipathy (shared by me) toward the US government. However, I’m something of a fan of Mike Pompeo due to his no nonsense approach to foreign policy. I find him to be a suitable compatriot to Bill Barr as Attorney General. I don’t think he wants a war with Iran but rather understands that the Arab sides with the man with the “strongest horse” which in this case is Mike and the US.
    Perhaps it will succeed without any need for a war. But then, the Iranian leadership is notable hard headed and could provoke more than we really want. It’s their funeral and I think they will be a bit circumspect in signing their own demise.
    Spud

    • Replies: @Herald
  129. Herald says:
    @Realist

    Either Trump agrees with these hegemonic pricks…or he is a fucking idiot

    Those alternatives are a long way from being mutually exclusive.

    • LOL: Realist
    • Replies: @Realist
  130. Herald says:
    @Spud

    Of course, you are entitled to have a view on these matters.

  131. Realist says:
    @Herald

    Those alternatives are a long way from being mutually exclusive.

    How true.

  132. Rooster99 says:
    @Rich

    During the Iran-Iraq war the Iranians were crippled by western sanctions whereas Saddam was lavished with weapons, money and encouragement by America and her lapdogs.

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