October 23, 2007

Two Anniversaries To Forget

Today marks two significant anniversaries in American politics. Rick Moran notes that a Mercedes truck drove in front of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut twenty-four years ago today and gave the Islamists an eventual victory in our retreat from the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon:

When the bomb detonated, it may have been the largest non-nuclear explosion in history up to that time (we used the “Daisy Cutter” in Afghanistan which weighs 15,000 lbs). The entire barracks building was lifted off its foundation and when it came down, it collapsed in a heap of cinder blocks, plaster, and dust. A few seconds after the blast, another suicide truck bomber crashed into the French military headquarters detonating a similar device. All told, 241 Americans lost their lives in the blast. Another 58 French paratroopers died in the other attack that day. It was the worst day for the Marines since the battle of Iwo Jima and the worst day for the US military since the first day of the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam.

While it is not a rock solid certainty that Hizbullah, acting on direct orders from Iran, was behind the attacks, the preponderance of evidence certainly points that way. At the time, Hizbullah was in its initial stages of formation, being trained by Revolutionary Guard units who had infiltrated Lebanon through Syria. At first, Hizbullah was not an independent actor in Lebanon, receiving its orders directly from Khomenei’s Iran. The US had just given Sadaam Hussein more than two billion dollars in aid to fight Iran and the thinking is that Khomenei wanted to get back at the US for our support of Iraq. When US forces pulled out the following February, it was simply gravy from the Iranian point of view.

So for 24 years, we have been in an undeclared war with Hizbullah and, by extension, Iran. Or, at least Iran has been at war with us. We have pretended that no such conflict exists under successive US presidents, Republican and Democratic, liberal and conservative. Occasionally, history intervenes and tries to rouse us out of this stupor but so far, to no avail. In 1984, Hizbullah attacked our embassy, killing 5 Americans. In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked by Hizbullah and a Navy diver was savagely beaten to death. They kidnapped and murdered CIA officer William Buckley and Colonel William Higgins, a Marine serving with the UN at the time. (They were kind enough to forward videos of the murders to our government). They fired on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. They have operated around the world, killing Jews wherever there’s a soft enough target to hit.

Twenty-four years of unacknowledged war against the US, and it started in earnest on this day.

The second anniversary also resonates to this day as well. Twenty years ago today, the Senate rejected the nomination of Judge Robert Bork, 58-42. Gary McDowell calls it a war for the Constitution in today's Wall Street Journal:

Twenty years ago today the United States Senate voted to reject President Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court. The senators may have had every reason to believe that was the end of the story. However ugly it had been, however much time it had taken, Mr. Bork's defeat was only one more routine sacrifice to partisan politics. But time would prove wrong anyone who actually thought that. Mr. Bork was politically transformative, its constitutional lessons enduring.

To many at the time (and still today) it was inconceivable that a man of Mr. Bork's professional accomplishments and personal character could be found unacceptable for a seat on the Court. Warren Burger summed it up for many when he described Mr. Bork as simply the best qualified nominee in the former chief justice's own professional lifetime -- a span of years that included the appointments of such judicial luminaries as Benjamin Cardozo, Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter. Such praise was no empty exaggeration. ...

In an earlier day such an appointment would have been celebrated as adding breadth, depth and luster to the highest bench. Instead, the nominee faced a mauling by those who set out not only to destroy him personally but to discredit all that he stood for as a jurist.

This may have been the Fort Sumter of this particular war, but the battleground had formed for decades prior to the first battle. This blot on the history of the Senate began when the judiciary began taking it upon themselves to legislate through judicial fiat rather than restrict itself to using the actual text of the Constitution to decide cases -- and more importantly, to determine its own jurisdiction. The courts became a policy branch with no accountability, and the Supreme Court became a superlegislature.

That informed the twisted process that barred one of the giants of legal scholarship a place on the bench. The point of judicial nominations no longer focused on talent and acumen, but on policy and bias. It followed from the stakes involved that Bork's opponents could not allow him to sit on the court, not because he didn't legitimately qualify for the appointment, but because they didn't like his politics. It presaged all of the judicial confirmations that followed in Senates controlled by both parties, and at the center of all lies Roe v Wade, the decision that resulted from a ridiculous presumption that the Constitution had emanations and penumbras that overrode state rights and legislative jurisdiction.

Only a return to judicial modesty and strict construction can end the fight that Ted Kennedy started on the back of Robert Bork. And only by opening our eyes to the Iranian war against the US can we deal rationally with the threat the mullahcracy poses to our interests.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Two Anniversaries To Forget:

» The Splodydopes Started It from Blogs 4 Brownback
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the suicide bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon taking 241 American lives.  The terrorists started their cowardly war against us decades ago.  The United States will finish the War on Terror, with a ... [Read More]

Comments (37)

Posted by Carol Herman | October 23, 2007 4:43 PM

I'd recommend that people go look at one book, for sale, at Amazon. CRAIG UNGER'S HOUSE OF BUSH/HOUSE OF SAUD.

It tells quite a few stories that to many remain "unknown." It goes back to Beirut. Circa 1983. And, what Reagan did do following the bombing of the Marine barracks, killing 141 fine American men.

Here's the scoop. The Saud's provided BUM information. And, Americans planted bombs around an apartment building. Killing 160 Lebanese. But not a single bad guy!

Later, because Bandar faced the angry "insiders," he gave up the name of his chauffeur.

That's right. That's a quote. Laughingly told by Bandar. How he supplied the name of man who "hoaxed" the Americans into believing they had a shot at killing the monsters who planned the assault on the barracks.

Bandar laughs at how easy it is to give "up" a source like that. HA. HA.

Yes, Reagan then pulled the plug. We left Lebanon.

If you've read DEBKA today; you'd learn we have military types (like Dayton), who are building "bases" to train the Lebanese army, so they can "take out Nasrallah." HA. HA.

Bush is over his eyeballs, now, in the slop he's been serving.

But one thing's for sure. Israel does NOT want IN, into Lebanon. They're more than welcome to run their country.

Think of it this way. Arik Sharon, in 1973, not only "pulled Israel's coals out of the fire," he was set to go into Cairo. WHen he got his "STOP NOW" Order. "Do not pass the Suez Canal. Do not go into Cairo."

So, there you have it. Jews are not going into Lebanon or eygpt.

You think those places smell clean?

Let them rot.

As to Bush. Let's hope he doesn't get to do his major achievement. Promised to the saud's. That the road map is dead. The arabs get to have a terrorist state; laying there. Right next to Israel's right to exist.

You think I'm kidding?

Then you haven't read Daniel Pipes. Maybe, I should just go and retrieve it? I can do a copy & paste.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 23, 2007 4:50 PM

The Saud's have their man in the White House, now!

I hope Daniel Pipes doesn't mind my doing this. But you'll learn about this un-named war, a whole lot better if you see this, too:

Annapolis blues

By Daniel Pipes

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Bush administration's plans to convene a new round of Israeli-Arab diplomacy on Nov. 26 will, I predict, will do substantial damage to American and Israeli interests.

As a rule, successful negotiations require a common aim; in management-labor talks, for example, both sides want to get back to work. When a shared premise is lacking, not only do negotiations usually fail, but they usually do more harm than good. Such is the case in the forthcoming Annapolis, Maryland, talks. One side (Israel) seeks peaceful coexistence while the other (the Arabs) seeks to eliminate its negotiating partner, as evidenced by its violent actions, its voting patterns, replies to polls, political rhetoric, media messages, school textbooks, mosque sermons, wall graffiti, and much else.

Damage will be done should the Israeli government make "painful concessions" and get a cold peace or empty promises in return, as has consistently been the case since 1979. This lop-sided outcome would, once again, boost Arab exhilaration and determination to eliminate the Jewish state.

Contrarily, should the Israelis resist a joint U.S.-Palestinian position, I see a possible crisis in U.S.-Israel relations of unprecedented proportions — worse than 1975 or even 1957. That's because, in part, the stakes are so high. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has stated that "the United States sees the establishment of a Palestinian state, a two-state solution, as absolutely essential to the future of not just Palestinians and Israelis but also to the Middle East and, indeed, to American interests." If a Palestinian state is "absolutely essential … to American interests," whoever stands in its way will presumably pay a heavy price. As I have been arguing since November 2004, U.S.-Israel relations are hanging by a thread. Annapolis renders them yet more vulnerable to disruption.

Putting aside these deep and inescapable problems, the talks face two practical challenges: On the Palestinian side, "Fatah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas" (as JWR contributor Caroline Glick calls him) is an extremely weak reed. "There is no responsible Palestinian leadership that could deliver a newspaper on time in the morning," the Jerusalem Report's Hirsh Goodman notes, "much less a peace agreement that would stand the test of time."

On the Israeli side, Ehud Olmert's prime ministry could crash if his skittish partners abandon the ruling coalition. Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu have warned against dividing Jerusalem and other steps. Ehud Barak, head of the Labor Party, reportedly will reject any plan denying freedom of movement to the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni could bolt if a Palestinian "right of return" is not renounced. That a recent poll finds 77 percent of Israelis think their government is "too weak to sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians in Israel's name" increases the chance of defections.

These grim prospects raise the question: Why, after nearly seven years of staying aloof from Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, has the Bush administration now succumbed to the bug? Some possible factors:

• Iranian threat: Rice sees an opportunity for U.S. diplomacy in a Middle East realignment resulting from Iranian aggression, both actual (Hizbullah, Hamas) and future (nuclear weapons).

• Inaction worse: If nothing is done, Kadima's already dismal standing in the polls will continue to fall and Fatah's tenuous hold over in West Bank will erode. The prospect of Likud and Hamas succeeding Olmert and Abbas pleases the Bush administration no more than it does those two men.

• Legacy: Zbigniew Brzezinski has articulated the foreign policy establishment's hopes for Annapolis and its dim view of Rice: "She realizes that her legacy right now is really very poor. If she can pull this off, she will be seen as a real historical figure."

• Civil rights: Rice believes in a bizarre analogy between West Bank Palestinians and southern Blacks.

• Messianism: Both George W. Bush and Rice seem to view themselves as destined to resolve Arab-Israeli hostilities. One interlocutor recounts that "she believes this is the time for the Israeli and Palestinian conflict to end."

Rice's comment echoes both George H.W. Bush's 1991 statement that "the time has come to put an end to Arab-Israeli conflict" and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's 2005 announcement of his intent "to resolve this problem once and for all." But, as Irving Kristol has memorably observed, "Whom the gods would destroy they first tempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict."

Posted by Sweating Through Fog | October 23, 2007 5:10 PM

"It presaged all of the judicial confirmations that followed in Senates controlled by both parties, and at the center of all lies Roe v Wade, the decision that resulted from a ridiculous presumption that the Constitution had emanations and penumbras that overrode state rights and legislative jurisdiction."

Well put - I find it amazing that leftists complain about today's "activist court." I always like to challenge them to point to a single decision of the current "right wing" court that affected their lives in any way. Something of the magnitude of the school prayer decision. Or the astonishing "one man one vote" decision that forced all 50 states to reapportion their legislators, and ignored the explicitly not "one man one vote" apportionment of the U.S. Senate in the Constitution. Talk about activist court!

There is only one way this will end. A court will go to far, and some Huey Long-type politician will adopt the astonishingly easy and wildly popular stance that he will simply ignore what a politically biased court said. The careful balance of constitutional powers will suffer, and we'll all be the worse for it.

Posted by Fritz | October 23, 2007 5:32 PM

Is it reasonable to call our military presence in Lebanon at that time a "peacekeeping" mission? There was no peace to keep. There was a civil war, and the US was lobbing shells from battleships offshore in support of one side in that civil war.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | October 23, 2007 5:59 PM

Capt. Ed, this is one of the best pieces you've done. Excellent.

The only thing I would change is the title. I would have entitled it, " Two Anniversaries To Always Remember."

Thank you for this, today.

Posted by The Real Sporer | October 23, 2007 6:23 PM

How is it that Islamic terrorists killed hundreds of Americans in their sleep before W invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam?

Didn't all of the Islamic hate against us begin with the Iraq invasion.

I rarely criticized Ronald Reagan, then or now, but he should have simple bombed Bagdad ahd Tehran into, quite literally, the stone age afte the Beirut bombing. It was a clear act of war and should have provided the opportunity to smack 'em hard before they were so organized and armed.

Posted by Cycloptichorn | October 23, 2007 6:31 PM


"Twenty-four years of unacknowledged war against the US, and it started in earnest on this day."

Then you would agree that those who sold arms to Iran, or who do business with them currently, are guilty of aiding our enemies?

I don't see how you could not believe that this is true, if you honestly think that we are in an unacknowledged war with Iran.

Posted by kingronjo | October 23, 2007 6:50 PM

Another despicable act by the Republicans of the Senate was not keeping Moonbat Ginsburg off the bench. If they had publicised her background she never would have made it on. And if she did, those who voted for her in the South and West would have had to hope their opponent in the next election wasn't paying attention.

Posted by davod | October 23, 2007 6:53 PM

Some time ago I read that the Democrats threatened to cut off funding to the Lebanon peacekeeping force after the bombing of the Marine barracks if Reagan did not withdraw the troops.

Unfortunatley, I cannot find the link.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 23, 2007 6:57 PM


Reagan did try to bomb the building that he was told housed the perpetrators to the Marine bombing.

The Saud's supplied the information. NOT ACCURATELY. But Americans supported the hiring of goons who set about a residential neighborhood. When our bomb went off there were 160 dead Lebanese.

Bandar was called on the carpet. So, to make amends, he gave up "the name of his chauffeur. That's how he phrased it.

People, to the Saud's are garbage.

We should not be playing with them. But we are.

Reagan got out of Lebanon, because that country is a TRAP! The tourism business has gone to hell in handbasket. However, they are the world's supplier of hash hish.

Just like in Afghanistan, our military is dealing with the "farmers" who own Afghanistan. And, are in the opium business.

Yes, the Taliban are back! This time? They're not threatening to clean up the opium business.

While the locals hate our guts.

Hopefully, before we leave, we blow up every damned road we built; so that military equipment could get into place, to destroy the soviets.

Yes, it worked. But then, so what?

Someday? The "adventure" Bush put this country's diplomatic course on, will come home to roost.

No. We still have not come together, as a country. There's a big divide running right down the middle.

You think the Bonkeys will lose? Why? They're only providing the Ma & Pa Kettle Show. With Nancy Pelosi driving the fire truck like she's the head of the Keystone Cops.

That generates laughter.

Playing with the saud's, however? That's not gonna grow you a middle. That's not gonna influence the mainstream.

As to "voting and holding noses" ... what do you think 2000 was all about?

Posted by Solomon2 | October 23, 2007 7:07 PM

The point of judicial nominations no longer focused on talent and acumen, but on policy and bias.

All too true. What kind of government do we have? "A republic, if you can keep it" is what Ben Franklin said.

I argued these points with a freshly-minted law school graduate in the 80s: "Wouldn't you rather have a justice who is a strict constitutionalist?" and he replied, "No, because that would mean restricting abortion." - because he didn't think "abortion rights" could ever have majority support in Congress. That thinking still dominates today...

Posted by old trooper | October 23, 2007 7:24 PM

Ememies of Freedom celebrate as We Remember and Grieve.

Patriots Remember and Liberals are off to give
away the Nation for a brief time of feeling in power.

Sad Business. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi still sleep safe here by the efforts of folks that they despise.

Posted by amr | October 23, 2007 7:37 PM

We did respond to the Gulf States appeal for help in 1988 and fought The 1988 Tanker War against Iran and won. But as with the 1991 War with Iraq, we didn't follow up our victory with additional measures to remove the cause of the problem; in both cases the government. Especially in the case of Iran, since it has been at war with us since 1979. So look where restraint has gotten us in both instances.

Posted by burt | October 23, 2007 8:04 PM

"it may have been the largest non-nuclear explosion in history up to that time (we used the 'Daisy Cutter' in Afghanistan which weighs 15,000 lbs)" This phrase is truly off the wall. The largest one I'm aware of was at Canadian Forces Base Suffield Alberta, Canada about forty years ago. It was funded by the US for the simulation of nuclear blast affects. It used 500,000 lb. of high explosive.

Posted by daytrader | October 23, 2007 8:09 PM

As a side note this is also the anniversary of the invasion of Grenada and removal of the tinhorn Cuban puppet and the Cuban advisers.

Posted by Charlie | October 23, 2007 8:20 PM

Anyone who refers to the Ninth Amendment as an "inkblot" does not belong on the Supreme Court.

Posted by John L. | October 23, 2007 8:23 PM

The emanations & pemumbras were frin Griswold v. Connecticut--which led to Roe.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | October 23, 2007 8:44 PM

daytrader said

"As a side note this is also the anniversary of the invasion of Grenada and removal of the tinhorn Cuban puppet and the Cuban advisers."

Actually you're 2 days off, it happened October 25th 1983, or long before many people like Cyclops were even born.

Believe it or not, I have an audio cassette recording I made that night while I was roaming the radio bands (I would leave the recorder on while tuning around). CBS Radio News reported it this way:

"US Marines and US Rangers are in action tonight on the island of Grenada...objective: victory!"

How times have changed...CBS would never use the word "victory" in these BDS times...

PS, check out how the Leftists at wiki spin the Grenada episode.


Posted by onlineanalyst | October 23, 2007 9:02 PM

Today in The American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord describes how conservatives themselves cost the Bork nomination because of insisting on "the whole loaf". Unhappy with a number of freshmen legislators for varying reasons, conservatives cost the party its numbers by very narrow votes and,thus, cost support for Reagan's position on Roe v. Wade and his nomination of Bork. The upshot of the piece is that conservatives who stay home or vote third party out of principle often defeat the principle that they espouse.

Summation paragraphs:
James Dobson has been a good friend to the conservative movement. A genuine leader. And Evangelical Christians are a vital part of the conservative coalition. But one wishes he and they would go back and take a more in-depth look at exactly why Robert Bork is not Justice Bork right this minute and why Roe v. Wade was not overturned in 1992. The reason, of course, is that just enough conservatives thought like James Dobson in 1986. Bare percentages of conservatives in six states decided, for varying reasons, to "stay home (rather) than vote for half a loaf of bread." So believing, they would not even listen to President Reagan.

The potential irony in all of this for James Dobson and Evangelical Christians is that by absenting themselves from active support for whomever the next GOP nominee may be, it would in fact be they themselves who have effectively sealed Roe v. Wade into American law forever. A version of this has already happened in 1986. Can it happen again? Yes, it can.

Read the explanation in full: http://www.americanprowler.com/dsp_article.asp?art_id=12199

Posted by J.M. Heinrichs | October 23, 2007 9:31 PM

Close, but that was a DRES project which involved "recycling" old explosives from Canadian war reserve stocks. US organisations were invited to gather data for simulations/modelling.

The larger effort was at Ripple Rock in Seymour Narrows, BC. It used 1375 Tonnes of HE. Photos are at http://www.vancouverislandabound.com/tamingof.htm.

White Sands Proving Grounds have fired one in the 4kT range.


Posted by hunter | October 23, 2007 10:24 PM

Captain, I would second the idea that the proper name for this is "remeber", not forget.
Rep. Stark - er, 'Laughing'- stick it in your pie hole.

Posted by Monty_inBC | October 23, 2007 10:41 PM

Re: - largest non-nuclear explosion.
Demolition of Ripple Rock.

[...] With 1,375 tons of explosives packed into the peaks, April 5, 1958 was the date set for detonation . On that day, at 9:31 a.m., Dr. Victor Dolmage, consulting engineer for the Ministry of Public Works, pushed the plunger that set off the largest non-nuclear explosion ever. [...]

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 23, 2007 11:45 PM

Actually, Laughing, some of us do care. As with Somalia, the withdrawal from Lebanon has made life for our armed forces far tougher in the current war, not to mention tougher for the Israeli ones as well.

We now have the reputation of being pansies. Bloody the Americans' noses a bit and they run away. If Obama or Paul make it into office, the pansiness will be affirmed.

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 23, 2007 11:50 PM

Actually, Laughing, some of us do care. As with Somalia, the withdrawal from Lebanon has made life for our armed forces far tougher in the current war, not to mention tougher for the Israeli ones as well. Reagan made a big mistake in ordering that withdrawal and leaving the entire country to Hezbollah.

We now have the reputation of being pansies. Bloody the Americans' noses a bit and they run away. If Obama or Paul make it into office, the pansiness will be affirmed.

Posted by possum | October 24, 2007 1:37 AM

BTW the French barracks were hit that same day in Beirut in 83. They had an aircraft carrier off shore (I think it was the Charles DeGualle) and retaliated by striking the Hezbollah camp. I have heard that a US SEAL team spotted for the French that day. Can anyone verify?

Posted by lexhamfox | October 24, 2007 1:46 AM

The massacre in Beirut deserves a little distance from the Bork issue.

Posted by TyCaptains | October 24, 2007 2:34 AM

So Ed, no mention of Reagan cutting and running?


On Feb. 3, Reagan had told the Wall Street Journal, in an exclusive interview, "As long as there is a chance for peace, the mission remains the same. If we get out, that means the end of Lebanon." In a barb directed at House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. (D, Mass), Reagan had said, "He may be ready to surrender, but I'm not."

The next day, in his weekly radio address, Reagan had said the dangers of the U.S. mission in Lebanon were "no reason to cut and run." "If we do," Reagan had added, "we'll be sending one signal to terrorists everywhere: They can gain by waging war against innocent people."

In the statement issued by the White House the evening of Feb. 7, however, Reagan announced that he had ordered the approximately 1,400 Marines in Beirut to begin "shortly" a phased withdrawal to U.S. ships offshore.

What a joke.

Posted by metriculo | October 24, 2007 3:28 AM

Well, the appeasement went far beyond just pulling out of Beirut.

Remember Reagan's deputy national security advisor, McFarlane, traveling to Tehran with a chocolate cake for Ayatollah Khomeini?

Remember the HAWK missiles and F-14 parts provided by Oliver North to the Iranians? I think Jimmy Breslin once wrote that North would burn in hell for his betrayal of the fallen Marines of Beirut by arming their killers.

Posted by Davod | October 24, 2007 4:26 AM

Did te Dems threaten to take away funding from the Beirut mission. Sure sounds like it from the comments of Tycaptain.

Metriculo: Did North burn in hell?

Posted by the friendly grizzly | October 24, 2007 6:38 AM

Regarding Bork. Yes. An amazing legal mind. But back in about 1999 or so I got curious: what was all the excitement about? I actually READ some of his articles, papers, and decisions.

Call me nuts (and many have), but he came across to me as being every bit as eager to use the badges and guns of government to enforce his interpretation of What is Right and Good as ANY Ginsberg or Reinhardt (sp?) or member of the 9th Circuit. I likely will be asked to return my conservative membership card but I for one am glad he was blocked.

Posted by Michael Smith | October 24, 2007 7:03 AM

Captain wrote:
It presaged all of the judicial confirmations that followed in Senates controlled by both parties, and at the center of all lies Roe v Wade, the decision that resulted from a ridiculous presumption that the Constitution had emanations and penumbras that overrode state rights and legislative jurisdiction.

There is no such thing as "states rights". Only individual human beings possess rights.

The vast majority of people today have forgotten -- or never knew -- that the original American system of government was founded on the notion that the individual citizen acts by right, being free to do anything except that which is legally prohibited by law -- whereas government acts only by permission of the citizens, with the Constitution serving to define what the citizens have given government permission to do. In short, the system was based on the idea that individuals may do anything they please, except that which is prohibited by law, while government cannot do anything except what it is specifically allowed by law, as defined in the Constitution.

Thus, the Constitution was never intended to be a document that defines the rights of the citizens -- which is why those who originally drafted it refused to put in a bill of rights. Rather, it is intended to be a document that details the strict limits on what government may do.

It is thus inappropriate for judges to look for "emanations and penumbras" to protect our rights. The proper approach would have simply been to point out that the Constitution does not grant to government the power to regulate a woman's reproductive functions, and that unless the Constitution is amended to grant that power, no government entity, federal or state, can claim that power.

Posted by Captain Ed | October 24, 2007 7:23 AM

Micheal, that's not correct. The Constitution limits federal power, as the 10th amendment makes clear: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Under your interpretation, states and localities would have no power to regulate education, either.

Posted by PHB | October 24, 2007 7:41 AM

Don't be too sure about who won the tanker war. Six months after it started the West forced Iraq to offer peace terms. Since this was almost certainly Iran's objective in the first place the strategy worked.

In 1988 Iran did not have an advanced missile capability. Today they have missiles that can take out Israeli ships with advance electronic countermeasures. Israel claims this is because the Captain did not turn on the countermeasures despite being in the middle of an active war zone. Since he has not been cashiered its pretty obvious this is untrue.

It does not take much to take out a supertanker with a surface to ship missile. Iran can also take out the oil terminals of any gulf state that provided logistical support for the attack.

During the Gulf war the allies fielded just short of a million troops against Iraq's 1.2 million. Today the US is already fighting two wars and can only field 130,000 or so soldiers in Iraq.

The happy talk about an attack being a cakewalk did not turn out to be true in the case of Iraq, it is even less likely to be true in the case of Iran which has twice the population, a modern military and has not had its military units degraded in a six year war.

The inability of the neo-cons to grasp the worst case scenario is very troubling. In this case the worst case scenario would be that Iran sinks a US capital ship in the early stages of the war. There is a reason China has bought six supercarriers but hasn't actually built one. It certainly is not that they lack the money, remember that the US owes China. Quite likely their naval engineers have concluded that modern missiles make the supercarrier obsolete. They might well be wrong but its probably not a good idea to find out.

Thats not the worst case scenario however, the worst case would be that the Iranians make a land offensive and capture Basra, cutting off the US supply lines in Iraq.

Now imagine that this has all taken place in 48 hours or so and that 5,000 or more American servicemen have already lost their lives. The establishment is not going to be backing Bush's new unilateral war, they are going to be baying for impeachment.

So far the mullahs have profited from every one of the Bush administrations actions in the region. The US has taken out Saddam for them and defanged the Taliban. The US almost installed their man as Prime Minister - Chalabai was certainly an Iranian agent in the 1990s. So why would this be any different?

If the worst case pans out the Mullahs end up with it all, they would have control of Iraq, Southern Afghanistan and increase their influence in Syria. In fact they would pretty much unite and control the whole Shi'a world. Domestic opposition would be totally crushed.

Posted by burt | October 24, 2007 8:29 AM

J. M. Heinrichs, thanks for the correction and education. You were generous to call me close. Although my example was inaccurate, my point that Beirut was not among the largest chemical explosions was reinforced by your post.

Posted by Artie Curtis | October 24, 2007 10:16 AM

I remember when Bork was shot down. I wasnt following politics very closely then, and I had the impression that Bork was the Great Satan who would destroy all our Constitutional rights. But the perception I had of him was the one the liberal media put out there since that's where all the news and information came from. I'm only sorry there were no blogs or talk radio back then. Judge Bork may be on the SCOTUS today if there had been.

Posted by Dr. Mercury | October 24, 2007 10:51 AM

Er, Ed? Two people (at least) have mentioned the backwards title of the article.

"Two Anniversaries To Forget"

Are you suggesting we forget them this year, or should we start forgetting them next year?

Didn't you mean "never" forget?

Posted by Chimpy | October 25, 2007 2:02 PM

“As a side note this is also the anniversary of the invasion of Grenada and removal of the tinhorn Cuban puppet and the Cuban advisers.”

Reagan ordered the U.S. military invasion of Grenada on Oct. 25, 1983.
Reagan used the invasion to deflect public outrage from the bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, just two days before, on Oct. 23, in which 241 U.S. personnel were killed. The 241 Marines killed returned to Dover AFB about a half a day after the invasion of Grenada.

Post a comment