A first draft, perhaps, of the REAL history of the Iraq War

From Bill Whittle, at Eject! Eject! Eject![*1]

We’ve spent a lot of time with John Boyd, because I and others believe his theories not only won the war, but if properly applied they might do the nearly impossible and win the peace as well.

If I understand this enigmatic and complex man correctly, he came to the conclusion that there was something beyond the Perfect Sword; something beyond even the Perfect Swordsman. Because as Sun Tzu pointed out, there is a level of warrior satori beyond even that. Beyond them both lay Swordlessness.

Swordlessness is not peace and it is certainly not surrender. Swordlessness uses nothing but the enemy’s sword against him. Perfect Swordlessness is a sublime victory so complete that there is no fight at all. It is over before it begins.

General Petraeus – just perhaps – is in the process of winning such a victory in Iraq. By brilliant diplomacy, deep understanding of the culture and the judicious use of gunpowder and money, it appears he has severed most of the Sunni tribes from al Qaeda and used them as “Awakening” peacekeeping militias against their former allies. General Petraeus is not fighting the last war; he is fighting the next one. He did not arrive there and just hope for the best. He observed. He oriented. He decided. And he acted. And then he observed again to see what effect he had. And again. And again.

This is not firepower. This is not attrition. This is, rather, an intelligent, delicate, sophisticated, maneuver-based strategy. A light, but sometimes deadly touch. Fingertip control. Water flowing downhill, into the cracks which our enemy cannot fill.

And while you can criticize the President for not taking a relatively unknown, low-ranking general and giving him the whole ball of wax sooner, you might also note that Gen. Creighton Abrams’ radical change of strategy in Vietnam was implemented only after it was well and truly too late.

If this continues, Gen. Petraeus will have walked into the camp of the enemy and used his own sword against him. That is a profound species of victory.

God willing, the REAL “first draft of history.”

A Plan to Kill Everyone

Michael Totten[*1] , from Fallujah:

It has been months since the jihadists have been able to murder anyone in Fallujah. Only a few weeks before, however, a handful showed up on a street corner and handed out anti-American snuff films on DVD. Apparently they thought the local civilians would be impressed. They were not. They called the Iraqi Police, and the propagandists were taken away to the jail.

The main Jolan market was up ahead, but first we passed through a neighborhood that, unlike almost anywhere else in Iraq, received 24 hours a day of electricity.

Lieutenant Barefoot pointed up toward the sky. “See the electricity poles?” he said. I did, and I was amazed.

The neighborhood was wired properly as though it were part of a modern First World country. Gone all of a sudden were the hideously tangled rat’s nest of wires and cables that make up most of Iraq’s electrical grid.

In fact, electrical wire rat’s nests are common in “Third World” countries, even ones much less troubled than Iraq.

Go and read Totten’s full article at michaeltotton.com (there’s pictures there, too).

John Tierney and the climate “availability cascade”

In the New York Times[*1] , no less:

Slow warming doesn’t make for memorable images on television or in people’s minds, so activists, journalists and scientists have looked to hurricanes[*2] , wild fires and starving polar bears instead. They have used these images to start an “availability cascade,” a term coined by Timur Kuran, a professor of economics and law at the University of Southern California[*3] , and Cass R. Sunstein[*4] , a law professor at the University of Chicago[*5] .

The availability cascade is a self-perpetuating process: the more attention a danger gets, the more worried people become, leading to more news coverage and more fear. Once the images of Sept. 11 made terrorism seem a major threat, the press and the police lavished attention on potential new attacks and supposed plots. After Three Mile Island and “The China Syndrome,” minor malfunctions at nuclear power plants suddenly became newsworthy.

“Many people concerned about climate change,” Dr. Sunstein says, “want to create an availability cascade by fixing an incident in people’s minds. Hurricane Katrina is just an early example; there will be others. I don’t doubt that climate change is real and that it presents a serious threat, but there’s a danger that any ‘consensus’ on particular events or specific findings is, in part, a cascade.”

Once a cascade is under way, it becomes tough to sort out risks because experts become reluctant to dispute the popular wisdom, and are ignored if they do. Now that the melting Arctic has become the symbol of global warming, there’s not much interest in hearing other explanations of why the ice is melting — or why the globe’s other pole isn’t melting, too.

“Climate Change” increasingly has very little to do with the honest scientific study of Earth’s climate (which, of course, has been changing constantly since the Earth accreted from the primordial stuff in the early millenia of the Solar System).  Climatism, the worship of the Earth’s Climate (As It Exists Today Right Now, Forever And Unchanging) a strange melange of power-seeking, money-grubbing hucksterism, feel-goodism, and ashes-and-sackcloth self-loathing and hatred for the species homo sapiens, all bundled up into one pseudo-religious straw man which was once called “Global Warming” before that became a bit too specific for the new Climatist priesthood, lead by St. Albert of Gore.  Their main tactic is in ginning up a sense of impending doom, a tactic which has largely been as successful as it has been disingenuous.

“Climate Change” isn’t about science.  It’s about creating a new religion out of whole cloth.  If you believe in “Climate Change” you will be saved.  If you don’t, you’re a “denier” and will be cast out of Heaven.  Everything bad is caused by Global Warming[*6] .  Everything good is Green.  For the children.  And the polar bears.  Or something like that.

There is no god but Gaia, and Al Gore is her prophet.  Peace and carbon credit-derived profits (that’s profit, not prophet) be upon him.

Meanwhile, we still have much to learn and debate about how the climate works, how much of the warming we’ve seen is because of increased solar activity rather than increased CO2, whether or not CO2 level is a leading or a trailing indicator of warming, if warming is due to the growth of urban areas and/or socioeconomic factors, or if warming has leveled off since the late 1990’s.  There is so much we do not know.  (We do, for instance, know that most of the “experts” of the UN’s IPCC panel which is leading the climatist crusade with St. Gore were not experts in atmospheric sciences or climatology, however.)  But that doesn’t stop the Congress from banning almost all incandescent light bulbs[*7] , starting in 2012.

Less religion, more science, please.

What I Don’t Believe

A partial list of Things I Do Not Believe:

Global warming/climate change being primarily driven by human influence
The USDA Food Pyramid as a guide to healthy nutrition
Intelligent Design as a scientific theory
String “Theory” as a scientific theory
The Iraq War was a Bad Thing
Government Bailouts help anybody at all in the long run except politicians
You (singularly or collectively) know better than me how I should spend my money.