April 01, 2005

New Democrat National Security Blog

What is this world coming too? Suzanne Nossel has started a blog?!? I know Suzanne from the Council, in particular from a roundtable we worked on together a few years back (not suprisingly, we sparred a tad over language while cobbling together the final draft--now we can do it in cyberspace!). Anyway, she's smart as a whip and one of the most promising up and coming Democrats I've met on foreign policy issues. Look for particularly helpful insights from her on the U.N. (Suzanne worked for Holbrooke while he was U.S. Ambassador there). For instance, don't miss her take on Kofi and oil for food. Her co-bloggers look similarly on-the-ball; so look for a new quality addition to the blogospheric national security discourse. Go check Democracy Arsenal without delay!

UPDATE: It's new blog time! Here's one dedicated to deconstructing the public statements of academics. And, why not start with Brian Leiter's hyper-ventilations...?

STILL MORE: "If you were about to jump from the 95th floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11, what would your last thought be? Next to my family, I'll tell you what mine would be: Get the bastards who did this. How are we doing?".

New blogger (another!) The Cunning Realist gives you his take. He underestimates or ignores many of the major in-roads we've made against al-Qaeda since 9/11, and is rather hyperbolic in his descriptions of Pakistan, but he's still got a point when he writes:

Bush's record of public comments on this is shameful. At a White House press conference in March 2002 he said, "He's [UBL] just--he's a person who's now been marginalized. I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him to be honest with you. I truly am not that concerned about him."

Can you imagine if---just a few months after 9/11---a President Gore said breezily that he "truly was not that concerned" about the person who had organized and financed the murder of thousands of American civilians? How would Conservatives have reacted?

Well, yeah, B.D. would have given Al Gore a hard time I'd think.

P.S. Yes, I'm catching up on blog E-mail tonight...

Posted by Gregory at April 1, 2005 02:15 AM | TrackBack (39)

Like Greg, I found the post about Pakistan, Bush and Bin Laden interesting and thought it made some good points. Worth reading. It is here under the post title "The Marginalization Outrage." There are some other provocative posts on that blog as well:


Posted by: DCInsider at April 2, 2005 03:28 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No need to speculate about what President Gore would have done in 2002. He would surely have been impeached forthwith after 9/11 had it been revealed that he did nothing, after being told by outgoing Clinton that AQ was a really big deal, and told by the briefers half a year later that AQ was determined to attack in the US.

The question is, what would President Lieberman have done. My guess is that maybe a better job at winning the war on AQ. Although it's hard to guress what the effect would have been in the ME to a Jewish president leading the charge.

That is to say, that counterhistory is really impossible, even at the smallest level.

Posted by: Charleycarp at April 3, 2005 03:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hmmm. Sure, why not? Might be healthy for the exchange. Let's take a look.

Oops, what's this? A link to Operation Truth?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Prediction: Failure

Posted by: Tommy G at April 4, 2005 01:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You want an example on how easy the campaign to root out Bin Laden, would be, if we didn't have the inconvenience of Iraq; eh; well let's look at the history in one province; Waziristan; from one recent main reference; #which is based several contemporaneous sources; local religiously motivated insurgent leader during what could be considered the fourth of the major British wars in the Afghan/Indian periphery;)as background events in 1901-1902 during one incursion against the Mahsud tribe; "From November 1901 to the end of blockade; Indian Army losses were 32 killed and 114 wounded . . .68 killed, 129 wounded. #Sixty three men were killed and 166were injured on a 23 April 1860 attack on the Palosin camp. . .33 men were killed and 86 wounded forcing the Barai camp in May 1860" This was out of a force of 5,000 men, 100 were killed and 261 were wounded.# (n 89; Cardew, F.G. Bengal Native Army Calcutta; 1860. )A generation later, in 1881,' 8 & 24 out of 8531,. . .1894; 45 & 75 wounded out of 11,150 men. . .Tochi Valley in 1897& 61, out of 8,000'In the spring of 1917, during that little thing, called the First World War, around the time, the Russians bailed out, and the Americans came in " a convoy was attacked . . .(n. 86.Howell, Mizh (a monograph on one Waziri tribe, by a long serving British colonial officer who rose to the rank of India's foreign secretary,' a friend who reviewed it characterized it as "what a waste"casualities included two british officers, fifty three sepoys (Indian soldiers) it characterized it as "what a waste"casualities included two british officers, fifty three sepoys (Indian soldiers) Then there's the Third Afghan War; which was fought almost entirely in Waziristan, which finally forced the Brits to give up
Their claims on Afghanistan. One instance involved the siege of the garrison at Wana,
The regional capital of Waziristan. . A mutiny ensued and muck like the retreat from
Kabul, three quarters of a century ago, it ended badly, “Of the 1800 men of the militia
In Wana, 1100 deserted and 100 were killed, . . . Regular force was forced up the Punjab ha;lfway from the Tochi Valley, to Miranshah, and at Jandola, a garrison remained in place, yet British authority in Waziristan had collapsed.# Less than a decade later, the pre-eminent Arabist spy, Sir Lawrence, was operating in that same area, under the name of “Aircraftman Shaw”Ross,, out of Miranshah. Another more contemporary source; Referring back to the predecessors to these brave souls, #Describes the Waziri’s this
Way.” Of course the most frequent commentor on the Waziri, and their clashes with
The British, is of course , the frontier poet and scribe of Empire, Rudyard Kipling,
In his novel, stories and poems, relates the three quarter of century of clashes on the
NorthWest Frontier. In one poem. “The Young British Soldier#, the fate of said
Soldier facing the local ppoulace, which can either be Afghan or the likes of brethren
Tribes like the Waziri, is typified by the macabre sounding advice :’When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plain,and the women come out, to cutout what
Remains just roll up your rifle and blow out your brains” , In another tale, “the Fore & Aft,another verse, #’’Two thousand pounds of education, drops two a ten rupee jezail,
(the local gun of choice,) when facing the likes of the yusufsai, Even tales, supposedly
About the Boer War, # such skirmishes as the Tochi, Malakand,(where Churchill began
His military career, against the likes of predecessor of the Faqir)& Buner( the future
Marshal Roberts of India & South Africa, made his mark) valleys. In the poem, “The
Screw Guns”# the Afridi, (one particular branch appear as the Afreedeman), They
Appear again in Kipling’s master work of ‘The Great Game”, Kim#, in Chapter 2;
One of the leading American ethnographers of the Pushtoon, Charles Lindholm, http://www.bu.edu/anthrop/faculty/lindholm/index.html, refers to Kipling,And his real life colonial analogue Col. Warburton, of Kamal Khan, chieftain who
Appears in the “Ballad of East & West”, the dubious and contradictory view of the
Pathans, appears in an intro to a Pashto handbook, of all things; referenced
here; “…his is not the race to be despised and crushed by brute-force, although, perchance, this is the only force of which he has conscious knowledge. Rather should we un-remittingly strive towards knowing the man as he is, by learning his language; towards making ourselves familiar with him and his surroundings; towards eradicating, slowly but surely, his ignorance and his waywardness, by a treatment, stern but well-considered, just, and in harmony with the religious beliefs, traditions, and customs of his country; withal towards a policy of clemency, encouragement, and protection; of paternal approbation; not of discouragement and extermination.”

Posted by: narciso | April 4, 2005


Posted by: narciso at April 5, 2005 03:39 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sorry, Sorry - Look, that's my fault...Something from OP Truth followed me back through the portal. Damn.
See? I knew I shouldn't have gone over.

I'm truly sorry about that...how embarrassing.

Remain very still - perhaps he'll go away

Posted by: Tommy G at April 6, 2005 01:25 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Actually, the Bush 'Usama bin who?' comment is PERFECT. It uses the media to disrespect the enemy, instead of inflate them.

Remember, the audience includes all those 17-year-olds in the madrassehs who are deciding how to spend their lives, plus media types and heads of state in Muslim countries.

The comment lands a rare counterblow on the enemy via the media.

Posted by: ChrisPer at April 7, 2005 03:49 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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