Patterico's Pontifications

1/15/2012

The Known Unknowns of 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 10:22 am

[Posted by Karl]

Consider this the flip side of the question of what the casual voter — as opposed to political junkies — might know about the presidential candidates in 2012.  The question was largely prompted by a new Pew poll showing many voters do not know basic facts about the Republican candidates.  In the poll, 69% of registered voters knew that Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House, but only 53% could identify Massachusetts as the state where Mitt Romney served as governor and just 44% of voters could identify Ron Paul as the candidate who opposes US military involvement in Afghanistan.

The numbers are better for Republicans and their leaners: 75% knew the Gingrich question; 59% knew the Romney question; and 51% knew the Paul question.  Even so, these are numbers that suggest that the October KFF tracking poll – showing nearly three quarters of the public, including seven in ten likely Republican presidential primary voters, say they don’t know enough about Romneycare to have either a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of it — might still be fairly accurate.  More significantly, the Pew poll expressly gives the R/D/I breakdown for these questions, but only gave answers including leaners for GOPers and Dems.  A little back-of-the-envelope math confirms the stereotype of truly unaligned voters as the least informed.  The youth vote is also among the least informed, which may not be surprising, but notable given that Ron Paul’s campaign touts its support among the young and inependent.

It is also worth noting that Pew did this quiz poll during a period where over half the news was about the presidential election.

These results are not particularly depressing; the politically engaged need to remember that to everyone else, we are at the beginning of the process and that many voters will not engage themselves until their primary or the general election.  These factors, and uncertainty about the eventual nominee(s) are why head-to-head polling is basically meaningless at this point in the cycle.

However, the politically engaged should keep the early level of ignorance in mind more than we probably do on a day-to-day basis.  Given polls like those from Pew and KFF, how much importance should we put in last month’s ABC/WaPo poll question asking whether Romneycare, Gingrich’s experience and Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy are major reasons to support or oppose them?  How much weight should we put on arguments that candidates like Romney and Paul are electable based on early head-to-head polling?  How much weight should we put on the claim that Romney’s and Paul’s negatives are priced into their stock because they ran in 2008?  Or that Gingrich’s negatives are well-known because of his relatively high name ID?  How much weight should we put on concern (or enthusiasm) that the increase in support for Paul since 2008 signals a fracturing of GOP foreign policy consensus?

The answer to all of these questions would appear to be: “Not very much.”   At least, people should not place undue weight on such arguments.  Yet the establishment media and even political junkies often talk and behave otherwise.

–Karl

88 Responses to “The Known Unknowns of 2012”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (5a613f)

  2. :roll: Why does juiceboxgrad get away with being a douschemonger.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  3. Dohbiden,

    That’s really above my pay grade. Pat should be back on Monday.

    Karl (5a613f)

  4. Racist deniers

    JD (318f81)

  5. IMHO, the casual voter doesn’t know who the Vice-president is, cannot name either of their Senators and is not entirely sure how many Congressmen they can vote for, let alone who they are.

    But they have opinions and are willing to share them.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  6. Line of the night at the Huckabee forum:

    “Are you better off than you were $4 Trillion ago?”

    Just keep repeating this over and over and over and over and over. Eventually, the proudly ignorant moderates and independents will get it.

    Ed from SFV (637328)

  7. Here’s one I didn’t know…

    “This morning on “Meet the Press,” former Speaker Newt Gingrich repeatedly insisted that he and the other candidates should be evaluated based upon their respective records. Fair enough. As it happens, Gingrich may be the only nominee who actively sabotaged an important conservative reform effort. Even though the protection of property rights was a plank in the Contract with America, and the enthusiasm of the property rights movement had been important in the GOP takeover of Congress, Gingrich personally prevented property-rights-protective reforms of the Endangered Species Act from passing the House and then gave one of the most liberal members of the Republican caucus and environmental activist groups a de facto veto over environmental legislation…”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/288157/gingrichs-record-property-rights-jonathan-h-adler

    Colonel Haiku (b486eb)

  8. none of these hapless Rs look anywhere near as electable a Obama looks beatable

    it’s a thing

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  9. *as* Obama looks beatable I mean

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  10. Let see, property rights, back then, as opposed to a policy, Reagan had taken issue with 50 years ago,
    that’s a bit of a poser,

    narciso (87e966)

  11. this Adler person is a lazy lazy reporter … that whole little snippet thingy he dashed off is useless Mr. Colonel he can’t even report the title of the article

    useless

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  12. I don’t know. I just have this pervasive feeling of doom.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  13. Well, I just hope Obama runs with Hilary as VP, so that we stand a chance with the impeachment.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  14. 5, 8. I get that people are busy with their lives, but all the retired people I know think Ogabe is just saddled with a raw deal.

    I mean, if the people with time on their hands, multimedia computers and wide screen TVs from the age of liberal education are just collecting checks and planning their next trip, what do we expect from the rest?

    I had a link the other day from Monty’s doom, the average retiree has 47 times the assets after debts of the 35 year old head of family.

    The Dark Ages have already started.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  15. Karl:

    Drop the other shoe, will ya?

    Please enumerate the unknown unknowns of 2012, as well!

    Dafydd

    Dafydd the Rulemaker (632d00)

  16. Obama is gonna get spanked like the red-haired stepchild he is.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  17. This is nothing new.

    Democracy sucks. Everything else sucks worse.

    Beldar (1d6209)

  18. I wonder what Meghan Paris Hilton Mccain thinks?

    And will Anne Hathaway be unwanted love competition for the first lady whose butt has its own zip code?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  19. Comment by Dafydd the Rulemaker — 1/15/2012 @ 5:39 pm

    Please enumerate the unknown unknowns of 2012, as well!

    1) The rescue of the Euro. It might involve the president and get controversial

    2) War with Iran some time in March or April.

    It’s actually hard to tell what will develop. There could be all kinds of scenarios involving different countries. This is all happening at a time when the Assad regime in Syria is in trouble, yet groups that want to change Egyptian foreign policy are gaining ground in a so-far powerless Parliament.

    3) Congress failing to do anything when the Supreme Court partially overturns Obamacare in June, yet the court creates an untenable status quo. Republican nominee, and the Congress, is put on the spot by Obama.

    4) Conflict with Pakistan when Obama really tries to crush Al Qaeda in North Waziristan.

    5) Tottering North Korean government.

    6) Obama gets into an open fight with the National ICE Council (immigration union) over their resistance to his selective deportation policy. Union is backed by Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Republican nominee is pressed to take sides.

    7) Opposition research by Democrats gets leaked.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  20. 8. http://www.americanselect.org/ selects somebody designed to cause maximum disruption for Republican Party.

    Actually that’s a known unknown. An unknown unknown is something you have no idea about. A year ago, the possibility of an uprising against Qadaffi was an unknown unknown. If not a year ago, certainly a year ad half ago.

    9. Election conflict in Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  21. 21. And number 10? Don’t just quit with number 9, number 9, number 9,…

    People have to work in the morning.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  22. 8}Obama is revealed to be a cipher and his rich snooty hollyweird voters are left under the bus.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  23. So Huntsman is out, endorsing Romney. Guess we knew that.

    Check one off at number 8.

    So what are the chances of a military coup, and does the SS lay down their lives without a Goldman Sachs contract?

    Ogabe can arrest anyone without habeas corpus.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  24. I really hope someone decks Jane Fonda.

    Wow Mick Jagger Huntsman is out………….so good.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  25. 24. How long after Greece folds up shop before Turkey seizes Cyprus?

    Who will kill all their Christian’s first, Nigeria or Egypt?

    Will Hugo die quietly en suite or ‘splode like a pus engorged boil on camera?

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  26. 18. You’d think with Meggie out there somewhere on cable, McLame would crawl into a bunker and STFU. Dad of the year.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  27. Well no Mccain doesn’t STFU.

    I think someone will shoot a grenade at Hugo.

    And I think Turkey will seize Cyprus in 2016.

    And I think Egypt will slay the last of their Christians.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  28. Re: 1. Rescue of the euro. The Germans(said with a nasal Peter Lorre quality) have decided, without official imprimatur as yet, that Greece must go and that this is feasible.

    ‘Feasible’ leaves a little something to the imagination.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  29. 2. Armageddon.

    I was sort of hoping this might get pushed back a few, but I’m married so what the hell.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  30. Comment by gary gulrud — 1/15/2012 @ 7:33 pm

    So Huntsman is out, endorsing Romney. Guess we knew that.

    We didn’t know that. Well, we knew Huntsman wasn’t going anywhere, but it was a real surprise he was dropping out before the vote in South Carolina. he had gotten an endorsement from a major newspaper. But he said he didn’t want to get in the way of Romney.

    Check one off at number 8.

    Oh, the idea that Americans Elect was going to name Huntsman. I think some other people wanted Huntsman for that. They are looking for some famous person who take the usual Republican position on the budget but a very leftists national security policy. Huntsman had something of the same foreign policy as Ron Paul.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  31. So what are the chances of a military coup

    In Pakistan, very dangerous. Drone strikes were just resumed after a 2-month hiatus, owing to the attack on Pakistanis soldiers, where maybe a certain amount of incompetence helped, but the Pakistani Army has never told the U.S. just where they have soldiers and where they do not, and when their soldiers are not at border posts, they are used sometimes by the Taliban/Al Qaeda. Now the leader of the Pakistani Taliban may have been killed by a drone strike. Basically it’s this: It;s a fight to death because if Pakistanis supported terrorism were totally destroyed hey think people would find out what some people in or associated with the Pakistani military have done. What they’ve done and who was involved: that’s an unknown unknown.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  32. Now here are the interesting changes in the world:

    Regarding number 2: The United States just now (Friday, published Sunday in the Israeli press) canceled the joint military exercise with Israel – because, and the Administration said in almost so many words, they were afraid Iran would take it too seriously!. Why would they do when supposedly this it is exactly the message they want Iran too take? Yes, but not that it is imminent. Iran still seems anxious for a confrontation. China is cutting back (finally) on its imports of oil from Iran and they may be only because they actually expect something to happen.

    What about the problems the Syrian government has? That’s not stopping Iran. They still have this plan for a big war – or at least involving Hamas and Hezbollah rocket attacks on Tel Aviv – and it has to involve Syria. The Iranian plan for Syria now is to replace Assad with the Moslem Brotherhood. That probably won’t be so easy to pull off. Assad is not that much of a fool. Meanwhile he finally got delivery of Russian arms so he can shoot more people — but wait, what will happen with the Russian government? And what will Turkey do?

    But Iran anyway is still on course, they think that Assad only needs to be replaced by the Moslem Brotherhood and everything will be OK for them. In the meantime, these sanctions are going to start really biting now – and remember Pearl Harbor.

    Somebody in the U.S. military says blocking the Straits of Hormuz might work a\on a technical level (it’s not like convoys in World War II, even a tiny chance of being sunk is enough to stop commerce)

    If Iran actually finds itself blocked from selling oil or importing gasoline, they might decide if they can’t use the Persian Gulf, they won’t let anybody else use it either. (Or they might really have a different surprise attack in mind)

    You might say, wait, they could give up their nuclear program. But Iran, like Saddam Hussein before him, doesn’t think all the opposition against them, is based solely on weapons considerations.

    (That’s why Saddam wanted George Bush and Rumsfeld to think he still had chemical weapons – he was relying on the Turkish Parliament double-crossing Bush to stop the war. So long as Bush thought Iraq had chemical weapons he couldn’t start the war after the beginning of April because it would get too hot for all the soldiers to wear their chemical warfare gear. And he thought Turkey backing out would upend all the plans and he would be safe at lest through October maybe longer as Bush maybe would not be able to maintain the mobilization because it cost too much money. The only thing is, Bush went ahead with the Iraq war even without Turkey. It wasn’t as crucial to his military plans as Saddam Hussein thought.)

    OK, so Iran, like Iraq before it, won’t believe getting rid of their weapons of mass destruction would end the sanctions. It won’t even be a question: Iran will assume that in normal circumstances the sanctions, once imposed, won’t be removed until they stop supporting terrorism and the human rights situation improves – pretty much meaning the end of the regime. That’s at least anyway what Russia and China probably are telling Iran. Russia under Putin has said so publicly – they oppose sanctions because they say they won’t in fact be removed if Iran merely gets rid of its nuclear program. They’re will be other reasons to keep them.

    Russia probably secretly prefers a U.S. military attack on Iran, aimed just at the nuclear program, which won’t end the regime.

    Obama is probably giving a last shot at sanctions. But anyway, if let’s say he was thinking of doing something like this cancelled exercise, he would not want Iran to think so!

    Basically, really, they expect Iran to drop its threats and cave into to sanctions, thinking Iran cannot tolerate a stoppage of oil exports. Iran however may be thinking that once the sanctions are imposed they’ll never be taken off so long as the same people are in charge. They won’t believe it’s really possible to get them removed short of a military defeat for the U.S. And they do believe they can sink a aircraft carrier or two and drive the U.S. from the Persian Gulf and then the sanctions regime will be over. So they attempt to get the sanctions removed by military action.

    And then would North Korea think now is the time? But the leadership situation is uncertain. Of course it’s really being run by China.

    The planned reductions in the U.S. military and the progress of the Iranian nuclear program would mean maybe action, if any, would be this year. He is setting up a situation where basically you cannot wait another year, or at least not two.

    Or maybe not – he’s ruled out placing any large army on foreign soil and now is planning to get rid of the armies, but what he thinks he might do, he’s going to keep.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  33. and does the SS lay down their lives without a Goldman Sachs contract?

    They are probably not yet corrupted, but is something for any president to watch out for, Anwar Sadat and Indira Gandhi were killed by their protection. And they didn’t help Benazir Bhutto.

    In all three cases it was all basically the same organzation

    Ogabe can arrest anyone without habeas corpus.

    Well, the Supreme Court could actually step in, you know. And what law enforcement officers would do this thing?

    There’s great danger in making anything seemingly legal.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  34. How long after Greece folds up shop before Turkey seizes Cyprus?

    Turkey won’t change the status quo in Cyprus. They’ll stay with he lines of 1974. (YOu know the Cyprus crisis was the argument Kissinger used to get Nixon to resign)

    By the way, Rauf Denktash, the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, installed by Turkey, and the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from its inception in 1983, until 2004, just died.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/14/world/europe/rauf-denktash-who-led-turkish-cypriots-dies-at-87.html

    Who will kill all their Christian’s first, Nigeria or Egypt?

    The Christian population is not going to get out of Nigeria. This may affect a city or a province or two. In Egypt you could get refugees, but they won’t really attack the Copts except when they try to repair or build new churches – a big no-no in Islam in some interpretations. The prime interest of the sponsors of the Islamists is alliance with Iran and war with Israel and isolation from Europe and the west (to protect their rule)

    If Iran can get a war started, they’d like Egypt to join in on their side. It won’t happen this – the old guard in the military is still around.

    Will Hugo die quietly en suite or ‘splode like a pus engorged boil on camera?

    Interesting question. Some people think he doesn’t really have cancer (but maybe the Cuban doctors told hm that)

    The danger there is alliance wit narco-traffickers.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  35. 31, 32. Because of 1, and 2 alone, and their certainty in coming months, who gives a rip about the election?

    Seems someone hasn’t been entirely candid with us on why Iran’s central bank hasn’t been shut down ages ago.

    The euro will survive, even rebound quickly, but hyperinflation is very likely following Greek default. It’s the only way to ameliorate rates in the short term and, yes, central bankers can pull a Madoff by saving their country one day at a time.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  36. Comment by gary gulrud — 1/15/2012 @ 8:03 pm

    2. Armageddon.

    I was sort of hoping this might get pushed back a few, but I’m married so what the hell.

    No Armageddon. For one thing, first Greece has to be entirely absorbed into the European Union and lose its independence and identity, and then become independent again, without any jurisdictional connection to the previous Greek Greek state.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  37. * previous Greek state.

    (Daniel 7:22)

    There have been three so far, and the third is maybe now just going under.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  38. Comment by gary gulrud — 1/15/2012 @ 7:21 pm

    21. And number 10? Don’t just quit with number 9, number 9, number 9,…

    Well, it doesn’t have to be exactly 10, but OK, the outcome of the Presidential election in Mexico. Will PAN lose? Or will they win, thanks the votes of all the Mexican illegal immigrants in the United States, whom the government of Mexico didn’t use to encourage to vote, but who now vote in consulates and by absentee ballot and no matter how poor they are here, have an interest in conservative government in Mexico that supports law and order – at lesat if that government protects their interests in the United States.

    What will happen with the drug gangs?

    People have to work in the morning.

    Not necessarily. It’s a federal holiday, Banks and Post Offices are closed, most schools.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  39. The more important thing is if Palin had Ed Hardy pantyhose.

    /Jukeboxskeetshot

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  40. 37. I’ll have to study with that in mind. My half serious calculations from Daniel, given the completion date of the Dome at 692 gave us a couple of decades at best possible permutation.

    Don’t see how it could take that long tho.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  41. My deepest hook is first week of September, tainted falafel confines Jughead to his deathbed, or talking smack on the court he receives an elbow and severe cerebrovascular injury, or say, a Libyan shoulder-fired enema, or…

    Anyway Hill graciously accepts the entreaty of a broken nation to Nomination and Greaseball Gypsy Princess is monstrously hosed.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  42. Comment by gary gulrud — 1/15/2012 @ 9:07 pm

    3 2. Because of 1, and 2 alone, and their certainty in coming months, who gives a rip about the election?

    Oh, the election will still be important, when it comes, but this could certainly profoundly affect the polls – not just the events but what the candidates say and do..what Obama does. It’s the issues that could change.

    Seems someone hasn’t been entirely candid with us on why Iran’s central bank hasn’t been shut down ages ago.

    I don’t know the history of this.

    I don’t think actually it is because anybody needed their oil.

    As I said, the thinking in Iran very well could be: Once shut down, it’ll stay shut down regardless of what Iran decides then about their nuclear program, because there are other issues with the Iranian government. But Iran could think that it might be be able to militarily force the collapse of the sanctions.

    The euro will survive, even rebound quickly, but hyperinflation is very likely following Greek default. It’s the only way to ameliorate rates in the short term and, yes, central bankers can pull a Madoff by saving their country one day at a time.

    It is not so easy to start hyperinflation, but this is one possibility that has no business being ruled out. If so, there may not be any shelter.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  43. Comment by gary gulrud — 1/15/2012 @ 9:25 p

    37. I’ll have to study with that in mind. My half serious calculations from Daniel, given the completion date of the Dome at 692 gave us a couple of decades at best possible permutation.

    Don’t see how it could take that long tho.

    A couple of decades is the minimum. The next Greek state doesn’t have to occur anytime soon after its incorporation into a bigger state,

    Besides you have that date: The evening and the norning of December 31, 2299/January 1, 2300. (Dating system not endorsed by the vision – it’s just he date humans commonly use)

    And that’s not the end.

    Daniel 7 actually comes after Daniel 8 for one thing.

    To attempt to undo the successful prediction, the whole dating system is changed so that the collapse of the empire no longer happened in 2300.

    After all, there was one change already before. Had we used the Seleucid Era, 1989 would have been 2300. So change it retroactively ala Isaac Asimov’s story “The Last Trump” But you can’t do that.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  44. tainted falafel confines Jughead to his deathbed,

    A case can be made tat two presidents were poisoned: Zachary Taylor in 1850 (with cholera bacteria) and Warren G. Harding in 1923 (with something unknown)

    The death of Zachary Taylor came at a very convenient time for some people – he would not have signed the Compromise of 1850. People from the south followed developments from England much more cholera and someone could have known how cholera was spread. There is probably little doubt he was given cholera – the question is, was intentional. Most doctors didn’t even believe in the correct theory of transmission. That would have protected any killer(s) I don’t understand how this arsenic story was taken so seriously. And I wonder if there’s some historical evidence I don’t know that President Zachary Taylor could have been killed on purpose.

    Harding of course there were government scandals.

    There was a special prosecutor, but Owen Roberts never got to the bottom of all that. Harding seems to have had a number of possible poisoning episodes if you interpret things that way and no two sources agree on his exact cause of death. If poisoned it would have been by a woman – but not his wife.

    By 1963 it was no longer possible to get close enough to president so as to poison him, like it had been in forty yrs before,.

    I could get into: Probability Zero?

    ( a serial killer of presidents)

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  45. 42. “I don’t think actually it is because anybody needed their oil”

    Agreed. Prolly not even the two warheads purchased from Kazakhstan in ’92. Russian doomsday machine more likely.

    Effin’ France is behind it, whatever the hold up.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  46. 44. SF, you are full of surprises.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  47. One known unknown not mentioned: Obama’s running mate. All Biden provides is assassination/impeachment insurance. And he’s not Hilary, who provides the opposite. If the election is in any way iffy (i.e. if the economy has not rebounded sharply, which I don’t expect), Obama will dump Biden in a flash. But for whom?

    Kevin M (563f77)

  48. 48. “Missed it by that much” 2012

    http://theothermccain.com/2012/01/16/dr-strange-glove-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-mitt/

    or

    Costa Concordia. The island is just a few decks from the ship.

    My three year old has swum further from the boat or to a raft tramp from the dock, no lie.

    What in the world was the ship doing?

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  49. #

    45, 42. “I don’t think actually it is because anybody needed their oil”

    omment by gary gulrud — 1/15/2012 @ 11:57 pm

    Agreed. Prolly not even the two warheads purchased from Kazakhstan in ’92. Russian doomsday machine more likely.

    I’m not sure I follow you.

    I don’t believe Kazakhstan or Ukraine ever had any nuclear weapons. They may have had physical custody but they didn’t have the codes needed to use them. The United States paid a lot for buying up nuclear weapons – compensating Russia – really a big swindle

    Now there is another thing about nuclear warheads or weapons being sold. For years there was a scam going on by Russia. This was “red mercury”

    Complete scientific nonsense. But it was supposedly a cheap way of building a nuclear bomb. The kind of people making these decisions wouldn’t know the difference between uranium and some other element,like tin, and why one with one it should be possible to create a nuclear bomb and not with another.

    And this was sold many times to different people.

    Here’s a website that (some years ago) takes this whole red mercury thing seriously and argues with the official government statements that this is a hoax.

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/analysis_poovey_010803_redmerc3.html

    Effin’ France is behind it, whatever the hold up.

    A lot of times France wanted trade, but I don’t know and it was Germany or German companies, that were really trading with Iran.

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  50. Correction o 37: That should be

    * previous Greek state.

    (Daniel 8:22) Not 7:22.

    The first kingdom is the successor to Alexander the Great who governed mostly only Greece. (Other generals got two bigger parts)

    The second one is the Byzantine Empire – it’s actually the Roman Empire but they changed the capital, and they changed the language, and they lost most territory.

    The third one is the Greek state that was created in the 1820s.

    For there to be a fourth, this one has to lose its identity, most likely be being absorbed into a greater common market, and then later on,
    a state is created again from the same people, but with no legal connection..

    The third

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  51. Sarkozy is much more of a hawk on Iran, then Chirac, or Villepin, part of the old Gaullist hangers on, their oil comes in part from Total’s concessions in Sudan,

    narciso (87e966)

  52. I should explain Saddam Hussein’s thinking in 2003. The best conclusion David Kay and others came to was that Saddam Hussein didn’t co-operate with the inspectors because he wanted Iran to think he still had chemical weapons.

    No, I say, it is not Iran whom he wanted to think he still had weapons of mass destruction – it was George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld whom he wanted to think that!

    He thought that President Bush was both MORE MOTIVATED and LESS DETERMINED to invade Iraq than he was.

    More motivated: The weapons of mass destruction were not the reason, but human rights, revenge for having wanted to assassinate his father, and wsnted to finish the job his father abandoned in 1991 and erase the blot on his record was the reason.

    Less determined: If it was military to challenging, he would back off.

    Now by having Bush and Rumsfeld believe he still retained chemical weapons, he ensured that a war could not take place between about April and November, because the U.S. soldiers would all have to wear chemical warfare gear.

    His strategy was too run out the clock.

    He knew that the U.S. war plan involved also attacking from Turkey. He bribed people in Turkey so that Turkey gave permission – and then at the last minute withdrew it. Members of the Turkish Parliament reversed their position.

    So it seemed to Saddam Hussein, that George Bush would then have to call off his war.What about what would happen in the fall of 2003? Bush maybe would not be able to maintain the mobilization so long because it cost too much money.

    wanting

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  53. Well Sammy, as Pfarrer’s book on the Bin Laden raid indicates, from the wikileaks, it’s not at all clear
    that the WMD’s were totally destroyed, as they record hundreds of incidents where they targeted
    coalition troops, which matches records recovered
    in Abbotabad, about future attacks

    narciso (87e966)

  54. Comment by Kevin M — 1/16/2012 @ 12:34 am

    One known unknown not mentioned: Obama’s running mate. All Biden provides is assassination/impeachment insurance.

    Like Spiro Agnew for Nixon?

    And he’s not Hilary, who provides the opposite. If the election is in any way iffy (i.e. if the economy has not rebounded sharply, which I don’t expect), Obama will dump Biden in a flash. But for whom?

    Biden doesn’t positively harm the ticket. And
    Presidents don’t dump their Vice Presidents. The closest recent example was Ford, but Nelson Rockefeller had never been on a national ticket with him. Eisenhower contemplated replacing Nixon in 1956 but wanted Nixon to agree, arguing that a Cabinet Post would be better preparation for President (remember the successors to Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 and Calvin Coolidge in 1928 were Cabinet members not the Vice President. That was also true in the early years of the Republic with Jefferson being followed by his Secretary of state James Madison, and Madison by Monroe and Monroe by John Quincy Adams (the last albeit in a very contested election)

    Nixon wouldn’t take the bait.

    In the 1800s, the vice president tended to be replaced in every election, stating with Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and 1916, if a president was renominated so was his Vice President (except for the third and fourth terms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  55. Comment by narciso — 1/16/2012 @ 7:08 am

    Well Sammy, as Pfarrer’s book on the Bin Laden raid indicates, from the wikileaks,

    Wikileaks goes up to Feb 2010. I didn’t know about this book. What’s in the book?

    You have to remember also, that any weapons bin Laden contemplated using would come from Pakistani stocks.

    There were radioacitve materials in Iraq..

    it’s not at all clear that the WMD’s were totally destroyed,

    It’s a complete mystery. But I’d suspect they were. Some arguments were used on Saddam Hussein to get him to do it. His generals and other underlings I would assume were afraid he might give orders to use them in a crisis, when losing war, and they would not be able to refuse and then they’d be prosecuted and executed. The way to prevent that was for them not to be around because he destroyed them before Possible argument: The way to make sure the inspectors never found them was for him not to have them.

    That way he could get the sanctions lifted. he wanted other countries to think he didn’t have them, to get the UN not to support sanctions, and to deter alliance with the United States in a war against Iraq, but he wanted the United States to think he did, to deter an invasion.

    and they record hundreds of incidents where they targeted oalition troops, which matches records recovered in Abbotabad, about future attacks

    What’s this?

    Sammy Finkelman (9a6ee5)

  56. Pfarrer mentions this as well, the problem was they couldn’t find a technical person as gifted as KSM
    to plan the operation, the closest was Abu Ubeydah
    al Masri, who passed not so long after the TATP plot.

    narciso (87e966)

  57. 49. Start here:

    http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/kazakhstan/

    then

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Mihai_Pacepa

    eventually you’ll get to the story of the two agents escorting the weapons into Iran.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  58. 50. Ok, let me know when you resolve all the ambiguities therein.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  59. It’s much more likely that they be annexed, by Turkey, the strongest regional power as they were in
    1517.

    narciso (87e966)

  60. 55. January 24th ahead of Shrub’s attack, Sharon said Russian engineers were shipping WMD into Syria.

    Following Iraq’s ‘submission’(actually withdrawal) in Amman domestic terrorists were picked up with 20,000lbs of WMD.

    One of the early discoveries in the desert to the northwest of Baghdad was a buried bunker at an airstrip with 500 drums of cyclosarin, labeled “insecticide” by the media.

    Shrub was a good guy but a symp, managed to outmanuver Powell but not the saboteurs in DC, Langley, etc.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  61. Biden doesn’t positively harm the ticket.

    Biden made two career-ending errors in his debate with Palin, only she didn’t have the confidence to destroy him with them.

    [Judiciary Committee Chair] Biden laughed at Palin’s (true) statement that Article I of the Constitution was about the Legislature, correcting her by saying that Article I was about the Executive.

    [Foreign Affairs Cmtte Chair] Biden asserted that the French had driven Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and that Bush’s incompetence had let them back in. Never mind that the French cannot drive Hezbollah out of Paris, let alone anywhere else.

    The press’ fact-checkers were noticeably absent.

    Imagine this fool debating VP candidate Gingrich. Although against Perry he’d do OK.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  62. SF: Biden doesn’t positively harm the ticket.

    Comment by Kevin M — 1/16/2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Biden made two career-ending errors in his debate with Palin,

    Obama did worse. He made as bad a mistake about McCain’s health plan as Ford did about Poland, but nobody noticed, not just McCain.

    only she didn’t have the confidence to destroy him with them.

    Not confidence. Knowledge.

    Although there one place – in an interview with ABC Charles Gibson – where she actually knew things, but she did not have the confidence in her own knowledge to know that Charles Gibson was speaking nonsense (There was no “Bush doctrine” that anybody outside of ABC News knew about. In the January 2008 pre-New Hampshire ABC Presidential debates Gibson had also used that term, but he’d defined it for the Presidential candidates)

    [Judiciary Committee Chair] Biden laughed at Palin’s (true) statement that Article I of the Constitution was about the Legislature, correcting her by saying that Article I was about the Executive.

    [Foreign Affairs Cmtte Chair] Biden asserted that the French had driven Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and that Bush’s incompetence had let them back in. Never mind that the French cannot drive Hezbollah out of Paris, let alone anywhere else.

    The first requires you know the Constitution almost by heart and the second one requires some knowledge of history. I think it was maybe Israel except I’m not sure Hezbollah even existed in 1983.

    The press’ fact-checkers were noticeably absent.

    Imagine this fool debating VP candidate Gingrich. Although against Perry he’d do OK.

    Gingrich catches some things and he doesn’t catch others. But I don’t know that Gingrich would take the job.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  63. John Batchelor is discussing possible coup in Pakistan.

    Sup Ct wants o hold PM in contempt because he won’t re-open corruption investigation into Zardari.. Military watching.

    Military interfering short of a coup. Maybe remove the president. Keep all political parties in check.

    Nobody is saying this but the real issue is secret support of Al Qaeda. This is all done by the ISI..

    Gov Perry lumped Turkey together with Syria. One guest says Rick Perry is underprepared.

    Turkey actually does have problems. It semi-supported Hamas. Not all good like John Batchelor has it.

    Mitt Romney gotten away with avoiding much on foreign policy. Broad brush strokes no detail

    Romney had to agree to release his tax returns. But only after April 15. They say this could create an issue bigger than Bain. Tax rate paid.

    Now somebody used the words “Bush doctrine” Noot clear in Romney endorses it.

    Rawalpindi may think Romney would be more against them since one adviser is Indian who negotiated an agreement with India.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  64. Wikipedia will shut down on Wednesday in protest against the two Congressional bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, often called SOPA, and the Protect IP Act, which is often called PIPA.

    Content will be replaced by text and harangue against the bill plus Congressional contact information.

    Wikipedia says for an instance an article about Pirate Bay might not be allowed to link to it.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  65. They might be going for a puppet like Leghari who replaced Bhutto in the early 90s.

    narciso (87e966)

  66. U.S. Israeli military exercise being rescheduled for the summer. Of course by the summer the world may be considerably different.

    11) Civil War in Gaza between Hamas and Islamic Jihad possibly coming up. Hamas is worried Iran wants to replace them with Islamic Jihad. Maybe there’s a new group coming to the forefront in Iran that wants to do it. All the people there are Sunnis, but now many in Islamic Jihad have converted to Shiism. Hamas attacks Islamic Jihad converts.

    12) But in the meantime there may be conflict with Israel. Israeli military people say it is not a question of if, but when. Gaza being armed. They have long range Grad rockets and anti-tank missiles that originally came from Libya (a lot of things, weapons and cars were stolen and snugged through Egypt to Gaza in 2011)

    Rockets keep being shot at Israel. Israel getting more nervous about waiting. Situation could explode at any time, and Iran could do it as a diversion (analysts like to say diversion, The claim was 2006 was a diversion.)

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  67. Obama is against the two bills (as of Saturday) but the activism continues. So – the Wednesday Wikipedia shutdown.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  68. Comment by narciso — 1/16/2012 @ 8:02 pm

    They [Pakistani military] might be going for a puppet like Leghari who replaced Bhutto in the early 9os

    ??? That was Nawaz Sharif.

    Wikipedia also lists Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi (August 6-November 6 1990) Balakh Sher Mazari (April 18-
    May 26, 1993) Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi (July 18- October 19, 1993) and Malik Meraj Khalid (November 5 1996-17 February 1997)

    The first and the last immediately followed Benazir Bhutto, the other two Nawaz Sharif.

    The bad guys may still not be ready to openly take over. The U.S. might cut off aid at least.

    Wikipedia says http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javaid_Laghari that Leghari was on the Pakistani Atomic Energy Commission and the IEEE.

    He is also the author of three books, “Reflections on Benazir Bhutto”, “Leaders of Pakistan” and “Creative Leadership”. Laghari gained a national and international reputation during the “fake degree” saga of the parliamentarians in Pakistan in summer of 2010, when he took a principled stand and had HEC verify the degrees of all parliamentarians. As a reesult, a large number of parliamentarians were disqualified from the parliament. During the process, he received multiple threats, including to his life, and his younger brother, Farooq Laghari, a bureaucrat, was arrested by the Sindh government.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  69. Maybe I confused him with this;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghulam_Ishaq_Khan

    narciso (87e966)

  70. Pfarrer’s book:

    SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden by Chuck Pfarrer

    One comment on an Amazon review says like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RT1G3IINV2L1J/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#RT1G3IINV2L1J

    (Four typos and misspellings corrected)

    Posted on Nov 26, 2011 2:36:21 PM PST
    Boilerman says:

    Well articulated review; however, my problem with this book that, “makes history come alive” is that it is filled with inaccuracies in dates & time lines, acronyms, equipment types, locations, etc. If you think this is a master piece of historical writing, then you don’t know your history very well.

    The last 40-45 pages of the book that focus on the actual mission are entertaining and may or may not be close to the way it actually went down, but after dealing with 160 pages of incorrect information and assumptions how do you expect a reader to believe anything the guy says? Especially in the absence of any citations or factual data to back it up. I gave the book 2 stars because most of it is a complete waste of time. I must be one of those “Trolls” you talk about in your review since this was only my second review even though I have probably ordered 100 books from Amazon in the last 5 years. I read every military history book I can get my hands on and this is one of the most inaccurate books I have ever read. I have read a lot of well written military histories that I thoroughly enjoy but have never written a review on them. I guess that is unfair but I have a career, family, & life and don’t wish to spend my entire free time writing reviews on Amazon. This book was so bad I felt compelled to write one.

    The bottom line is this book may be a good read if your only goal is to read a book that “comes alive,” but for those of you that want to read non-fiction books based on facts then don’t read this one.

    That really should be a separate review, but the person I guess really did leave few reviews and it is here as comment number 2 (of 6) to the leading favorable review.

    The revewer replies in part:

    The author, in his forward, clearly admits that he’s had to change the names of people, equipment and locations to comply with the still classified nature of this mission (and others that he’s privy to.) That’s a pretty heavy burden on a historian — especially one who is first out of the gate this close to the actual event.

    Boilerman comes back:

    Lisa, it is you who did not read my post very well. I said, “after dealing with 160 pages of inaccuracies” (which has nothing to do with the Bin Laden mission). The first 160 pages of this book are filled with inaccuracies. I was not referring to the Osama mission because I have no idea what really happened on that mission. As you point out, it is still classified. The mission may have happened the way the author says. Then again, he may just be drawing on his past SEAL experience to write a book on the way he would have planned it and then pass it off as truth. None of us know for sure do we?

    The author does say in his forward that he has changed names and locations due to the classified nature of the mission. That argument you present does not hold for the declassified missions he refers back to in the first 160 pages of the book…

    Also:

    Anybody who has read military history books would know this. He clearly makes a host of mistakes while writing this book. He gives incorrect dates & time lines to many of the events he describes, incorrect acronyms, incorrect aircraft and equipment names, etc. I could go on and on. I explain all of this in my review. There are so many mistakes in his “version” of the Son Tay Prison Raid that it begins to sound like a completely different mission. He tells us the soldiers trained at “Offutt AFB in Florida.” Offutt AFB is just outside of Omaha NE, NOT in Florida. This is NOT classified stuff we are talking about here. This is common knowledge to anybody who has read a few military history books. This is just one example of his inaccuracies. Another one is his assertion that Delta Force is to blame for the failure of Operation Eagle. That is ridiculous. Operation Eagle Claw failed due to mechanical malfunctions of the USN RH-53D helicopters (not Marine CH-53′s like Pfarrer inaccurately writes), leaving the operators with too few helicopters left to safely continue the mission. I could go into more detail on this too but I won’t. I could go on and on and on with this but the bottom line is he wasn’t changing things to protect classified material. He was making mistakes.

    She answers that they’ll have to disagree and..

    My father had pretty high security clearance in Viet Nam as a key aide to William Westmoreland and there were things he wouldn’t tell me even two months before his expected death from cancer. I tend to take any military book I read that deals with actions later than WWI with a grain of salt as I believe there are still secrets being held on to and still misinformation being disseminated about those missions.

    People could have lied to Chuck Pferrer. If that’s the only source for something, well, actually I would try to see if it makes sense, as well as compare it with other accounts, but you can’t rely on it.

    Look at part of another review:

    Additionally, the personal attack on him and the comments from the White House are suspicious. If he were a “crack pot” or clueless, they would leave it alone. He simply isn’t a “pawn.” This is the only book officals have commented on, likely because it is correct and thus dangerous.

    No, I think if is the only one attacked as inaccurate it probably is.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  71. Well based on this, from the wiki, he was mistaken about Offutt;

    Helicopter and A-1 Skyraider crews were put together from instructors at Eglin and personnel returned from Southeast Asia. Two crews for C-130E(I) Combat Talons[19][n 5] were assembled from squadrons in Germany and North Carolina.[20][n 6

    narciso (87e966)

  72. Furthermore, I’d never heard this part, before;

    02:19,[56] Apple 01 (after observing Banana fire on the site) landed the Greenleaf support group outside the south side of the secondary school, thinking it to be the target prison compound. Unaware that it was 400 meters from the objective, it lifted off to relocate to its holding area. The “secondary school” was actually a barracks for troops

    narciso (87e966)

  73. Pamela Geller to be accused of being a racist anti-communist in 5…4…3…2…1…

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  74. Pfarrer apparently has the kind of ignorance so bad that he would not be able to recognize an obvious lie, and that does not argue well for him being right on anything startling.

    Now of course all the bad reviewers could be lying but they don’t all say the same thing, as is typical of organized campaigns. I think the bad reviewers are real.

    Another reviewer says:

    He recounts private discussions between the CO of SEAL Team Six and the commander of JSOC, which indicates that he either has incredible sources or is a complete liar.

    Just from these reviews I’d say the odds are at least 3-1 he’s a liar – and if so, he’s lied about a lot of things. Maybe he motive can be deduced from seeing how he’s changed things. Some are no doubt errors, or fictionalizations, but other changes my be lies. Let me say here I never like it when anything has been changed. usually when that happens a lot of things don’t make sense.

    I’d still like to know exactly what he claims bout WMDs. If true it will actually make sense, and fit with other information, including what came out later. If false, it’s unlikely to. And if true, the idea itself would be almost self-verifying, because it ties loose ends together in a way that would be difficult for someone to guess.

    Another review:

    Beyond the detailed descriptions of past missions, I was fascinated by the way Chuck wove in the Muslim perspective through the unfolding events since the loss of Palestine in 1948. It makes it clear to the layman how these fanatics came to arrive at their system of beliefs.

    Loss of Palestine? All becomes clear. Chuck Pfarrer is working for an Arab intelligence agency, probably either Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
    His general goal: To spread misinformation. Just degrade knowledge. Secondary goal: Avoid certain truths if they come up. Tertiary goal: Special lies.

    And one idea that agency may be peddling is something about WMDs. Let’s see who else is saying
    the same thing, then we’ll know who’s doing it.

    He may actually be accurate on some technical things that first published reports first got wrong.

    Another review has:

    The author, a former Seal, gave information about past events that helped explain the Middle East.

    I’d like to know what he said.

    P.S. His October 23, 2003 Op-ed looks almost OK.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  75. Here’s an accusation of lying:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1083298

    U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has denied Pfarrer had any access to Team Six.

    “Neither USSOCOM nor any of its elements have provided access to or given permission for any member of Special Operations Force to be interviewed about the operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden,” command spokesman Ken McGraw told CNN. “To the best of my knowledge, neither USSOCOM nor any of it elements have reviewed the book SEAL Target Geronimo.”

    And look at these “revelations”

    1) Zawahiri arranged for bin Laden to be found by using a courier whose cover (he knew?) had been blown. And he’d also betrayed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And by the way, as Bin Laden’s personal physician(!!) from 1984 to 2003, he’d tried to kill him twice before, once trying to get the Russians to kill him, and the second the second time by withholding medicine for his Addison’s disease.

    That’s another revelation: bin Laden had Addison’s disease!

    You know what this sounds like? Something Stalin might have accused his closest aides of.

    2) The Stealth Hawk helicopter did not crash land on arrival at the compound. It crashed wehen leaving..

    3) The famous photo of U.S. President Barack Obama and his cabinet looking intently at a monitor shows their reaction to the chopper crash, not bin Laden’s body. The chopper crash that supposedly took place after it was over (I think the official story this was while they were waiting to hear what would happen while they were out of contact with the Seals were busy raiding the place. There was no live video from the scene. Ony video from a briefer)

    4) SEAL commandos did not engage in a 45-minute firefight through three floors of the compound, said Pfarrer. The first team in the 38-minute operation landed on the roof and went directly to bin Laden’s bedroom. (I heard that correction – now I wonder if it is)

    From the Star article:

    Pfarrer’s account of the raid comes 85 per cent of the way into the book, which recounts the birth and evolution of the Navy SEAL operation and its role in anti-terrorism, the making of bin Laden, the history of Israel and the Middle East and the politics and economics of Al Qaeda.

    Lots of room for possible disinformation here.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  76. Comment by gary gulrud — 1/16/2012 @ 10:29 am

    January 24th ahead of Shrub’s attack, Sharon said Russian engineers were shipping WMD into Syria.

    I don’t recall this coming from Sharon, but I heard this claim. One problem I had is, if this was done, Saddam Hussein wold know he’s never see his weapons again. In 1991, right before the start of the Gulf War, he’d sent his airplanes to Iran (I think) in order to prevent them from being destroyed on the ground, and he never got them back.

    There was some sort of a Russian convoy which was suspested or accused of transporting WMDs to Syria.

    F ollowing Iraq’s ‘submission’(actually withdrawal) in Amman domestic terrorists were picked up with 20,000lbs of WMD.

    I was able to find this 2006 NewsMax story:

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/1/29/133526.shtml

    the chemical weapons used by top al-Qaida terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi in a foiled 2004 plot to attack Amman, Jordan were the same weapons Saddam Hussein transported to Syria before the U.S. invasion.

    But chemical weapons are poisons, not explosives.
    He also said another thing. During the first Gulf War (1991) Saddam Hussein was barely deterred from using chemical weapons.

    Gen. Sada also detailed on Saturday the Iraqi dictator’s plan to launch his own WMD attack during the first Gulf War, explaining, “He wanted to attack Israel with chemical weapons.”

    The top Iraqi military man recalled a meeting of senior defense ministers where Saddam ordered: “I want you to do two things that are very important – to attack Israel and to attack Saudi Arabia with chemical weapons.”

    Gen. Sada said the planned WMD strike was to be carried out by 98 aircraft, including Soviet-built Sukhoi 24s, MiGs and French-built Mirage jets.

    “One wave would fly through Syria and the other wave through Jordan and then penetrate to Israel,” he said.

    Gen. Sada recalled that he was the only one to raise objections, warning Saddam that such an attack would surely provoke a nuclear response from Tel Aviv.

    “I told all this directly [to Saddam] and everybody was listening. If a needle was dropped on the carpet you would hear it,” he told Crowley.

    After presenting a nearly two-hour-long argument against the WMD attack, Gen. Sada said Saddam was finally persuaded to pull the plug on the deadly operation.

    One of the early discoveries in the desert to the northwest of Baghdad was a buried bunker at an airstrip with 500 drums of cyclosarin, labeled “insecticide” by the media.

    Shrub was a good guy but a symp, managed to outmanuver Powell but not the saboteurs in DC, Langley, etc

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  77. Right up to the start of the war, the U.S. thought Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons.:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/28/world/nation-war-field-intelligence-army-reports-iraq-moving-toxic-arms-its-troops.html

    ITH V CORPS HEADQUARTERS, near the Kuwait border, March 27— Statements from Iraqi prisoners of war and electronic eavesdropping on Iraqi government communications indicate that Saddam Hussein has moved chemical weapons to the Medina Division, one of three Republican Guard divisions guarding the approaches to Baghdad, Army officials said.

    The Army officials said they strongly believed that Mr. Hussein would use the weapons as allied troops moved toward Baghdad to oust him and his government.

    Officials with V Corps said intelligence information pointed to Mr. Hussein deploying 155-millimeter artillery weapons with shells carrying mustard gas as well as sarin, or nerve agents, an especially deadly weapon. Mr. Hussein used these chemical agents against the Iranians and the country’s Kurdish population in the 1980′s.

    Army officials said monitoring the movement of chemical weapons was sometimes difficult because Mr. Hussein often hid chemical pellets inside bunkers that carried conventional armaments.

    But some military officers said Mr. Hussein had, in the last week or so, moved the artillery pieces that could fire chemical weapons into hiding, not only near the Medina Division, south of Baghdad, but in western Iraq. Officials said Iraqi officers had been warned by the United States, through leaflets and other means, that they would be held responsible for war crimes if they participated in a chemical attack.

    Intelligence officers said the apparent deployment of chemical weapons by Mr. Hussein was not merely a sign of rage by the Iraqi leader toward the Americans. Although deployment of the weapons would give the lie to Mr. Hussein’s denial that he had them, officers said that Mr. Hussein might be calculating that the step would actually turn to his advantage, and stunt the American assault.

    Military officials said that, in the event of a chemical attack, American forces might receive an early warning if satellite photos picked up Iraqi units wearing protective gear against chemicals at a weapons site. Officials said the protective clothing was usually worn at least one hour before the launching of a chemical weapon. But officials also said that well-hidden Iraqi artillery sites about to launch such a weapon could possibly avoid detection.

    Since the war started, American soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait have been threatened by Iraqi missiles, but any missiles that may have been launched have so far been intercepted and destroyed by Patriot missiles. No chemical weapons have been used against allied troops to date.

    Col. Tim Madere, the V Corps chemical officer, said he was not alarmed about the potential for a chemical attack.

    ”The soldiers have gone through training and know what to do and know how their equipment works in the event we get hit,” he said. ”But it’s a concern because most soldiers have not experienced real agents.”

    Colonel Madere said such an attack would slow down the advance on Baghdad, but not seriously set back the effort to depose Mr. Hussein.

    There are reports that Iraqi forces killed or injured more than 20,000 people in attacks against Kurds and other Iraqis in the 1980′s that involved nerve and mustard agents.

    Mustard gas is a blister agent that causes medical casualties by burning or blistering exposed skin, eyes and lungs. It can remain a serious hazard for days and, if inhaled, may lead to death.

    Nerve agents such as sarin, cyclosarin and tabun act within seconds of absorption through skin or inhalation. Untreated, the agents cause convulsions, loss of consciousness and death.

    The United States military in Kuwait and Iraq not only carry protective gas masks and protective clothes, boots and gloves, but also antidote kits for nerve agents. These include atrophine as well as pralidoxime, which must be injected quickly after exposure to the gas.

    In a report last year, the Central Intelligence Agency said that Iraq had not accounted for 15,000 artillery rockets. In the past, these rockets were the preferred means for delivering nerve agents. Iraq has also not accounted for about 550 artillery shells filled with mustard agent.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  78. Woo and Yay.

    Newtlear energy has me languishing less today.

    sarahW (b0e533)

  79. Comment by sarahW — 1/17/2012 @ 7:27 am

    Newtlear energy has me languishing less today.

    Rush Limbaugh really praised him today.

    There was (almost) no hint of this in a long New York Times article today (and barely a hint elsewhere)

    They all write about attacks against Romney.

    15 paragraphs into the article – no let’s start with 14 – you find:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/us/politics/forceful-attack-against-romney-in-republican-debate.html?sq=romney%20williams%20debate&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=all

    Yet Mr. Gingrich, who is trailing Mr. Romney narrowly in some polls here, was in top debate form and often seemed to overshadow Rick Santorum, who is battling Mr. Gingrich to emerge as a more conservative alternative to Mr. Romney.

    In fact, Mr. Gingrich won some of his loudest and most sustained applause when the liberal Fox News analyst Juan Williams pressed him on his call for schoolchildren to work as janitors, for his description of Mr. Obama as a “food stamp president” and remarks that Mr. Williams said, to loud boos, seemed “intended to belittle the poor.”

    At one point rolling his eyes, cocking his head to the side and saying with mock impatience, “Well, first of all, Juan,” Mr. Gingrich seemed to revel in using Mr. Williams as a foil.

    “The fact is more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history,” Mr. Gingrich said, a claim that is numerically true but ignored the depth of the recession that Mr. Obama inherited when he took office. “I know that among the politically correct, you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  80. There’s an Op-ed piece about how bad it all was:

    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/newt-gingrich-and-the-art-of-racial-politics/?hp

    That’s the way I like to spend my Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: watching Newt Gingrich sneer at Juan Williams, a black man, for having the temerity to ask him if his condescending remarks about the work ethic of poor black people are indeed condescending:

    Juan Williams: Speaker Gingrich, you recently said black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also say poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. Can’t you see that this is viewed as at a minimum as insulting to all Americans but particularly to black Americans?

    One little thought: It’s insulting to say that there is no work ethic among many black Americans – which anyway is not exactly what he is saying, although he does have that about learning how to work. It’s insulting to say that, but in the same debate we learned that it is NOT insulting to say that many blacks are felons – so many that it is a form of racial discrimination to deny felons the right to vote!!

    Well, of course there is an explanation for that. Completely wrong, and absurd, but there is an explanation.

    The explanation is that supposedly, the blacks are being convicted unjustly or unfairly in circumstances that a white person would not be.

    But everyone who has lived in or near a major American city or who has had any extensive
    contact with the criminal justice system knows that the opposite is the case.

    There is a higher crime rate among blacks – not a higher conviction rate – a higher crime rate and a lower prosecution rate. Crime is punished less, and when it is punished less you get more of it.

    If you can believe in a higher illegitimacy rate, and nobody denies that, you can believe in a higher anythjinmg else too.

    It’s all cognitive dissonance.

    There’s no ready at hand explanation (aside from explanations that are both invidious and wrong) so they just ignore it. ِ

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  81. 80 “Rick Santorum, who is battling Mr. Gingrich to emerge as a more conservative alternative to Mr. Romney.”

    So why isn’t it enough to be the handsome father of a handsome family?

    I won the season’s office football pool once, but had to spend the whole of evey Thursday evening, late, to edge out a lady, chemical engineer, from IA.

    Life is too short. Take a DNF.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  82. In the debate the explanation for so many blacks being felon was that they were convicted of drug crimes. And this supposedly is victimless or not really bad

    In New York, many people are in jail for possessing guns.

    Bu that is sometime used because it is an easy conviction.

    Theo overall conclusion they want people to reach is just absurd.

    Sammy Finkelman (68a4ee)

  83. Anwar Sadat and Indira Gandhi were killed by their protection. And they didn’t help Benazir Bhutto.

    In all three cases it was all basically the same organzation

    Huh?! Sadat and Bhutto were killed by Islamists; I could buy that there was a connection between the two groups. But Gandhi was killed by a Sikh; how would he be connected with Islamists? Sikhs and Moslems don’t usually get along.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  84. So Spain and Italy are spiraling into depression, Greece and Portugal destined for default.

    Now looking like Germany has to exit the euro to save economic union.

    gary gulrud (1de2db)

  85. 84. Sikhism was an attempt to syncretize Hinduism and Islam. The enmity between them is rather one-sided.

    gary gulrud (1de2db)

  86. Sikhism was an attempt to syncretize Hinduism and Islam. The enmity between them is rather one-sided.

    If you mean that Sikhs don’t hate Moslems, then I don’t see how you could be wronger. Sikhs are a warrior caste that made its chops fighting the Moslems. They still carry daggers with them to remind them of that military heritage. They venerate saints who fell in battle with the Moslems. And they ban halal meat.

    Milhouse (d7842d)

  87. 87. And shouldn’t warriors despise assassins wearing dresses, shooting from behind children?

    I have a ton more respect for Sikhism and Sikhs than the rest of the combatants. Jains are the only innocent party.

    gary gulrud (d88477)


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