Olmert to Rein In Military Operations and Pull Back

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I just had a call from Jerusalem and have been informed by a senior source inside the Israeli government that Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will abide by the terms of the UN Resolution which has support of all the key members of the UN Security Council.
This Resolution — while only a Chapter 6 non-binding resolution — calls for withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon while a 15,000 member Lebanon military force monitors Israel’s pull-out. The Resolution also calls for Hezbollah and Israel to immediately cease hostilities and offensive military operations.
More on this later, but Israel’s nod of deference is positive, even if fragile. And we still need to see if Hezbollah behaves or defies this diplomatic effort out of the mess that Hezbollah’s incursion into Israel helped trigger.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

45 comments on “Olmert to Rein In Military Operations and Pull Back

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  4. Steve Clemons says:

    POA, Alec, and others — stand down. Don’t get dragged down a line of mutual recrimination with people you don’t know. Debate the issues and policies — but STAY OUT OF THE PERSONAL. I really mean it.
    I’m a blogger and I have far more important things to do than monitor crappy conversation. This blog used to have a reputation for good discourse.
    But I’ve really had it. I will begin blocking people who engage in any further ad hominem attacks. you won’t be notified. It will just happen.
    best,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  5. alec says:

    alec is most likely an ardent democrat, and an ardent jewish democrat at that. For him, when Israel is involved, its Israel first, as many ardent jewish democrats see things. An ardent jewish democrat of the Israel first persuasion will defend Bush in his unwavering support of Israel, defend the neo-cons in their plans for Israel, defend Israel no matter what, period, end of story, and anyone who says anything against israel or their supporters are vilified nyc style. A nasty bunch there. So that’s what you are dealing with with alec, a smart alek, wiseguy, nyc jew who is an ardent democrat and Israel firster. There’s a million of them, and nyc is where you’ll find the most belligerent, believe me.
    ok, alec, curse me out, nyc style.
    Posted by Burro Park at August 12, 2006 08:05 AM”
    hahah! wow. let’s talk about my religion?!? that’s great. what about yours, burro park?
    nice of you to generalize and demonize a heterogenuous group of 1 million people! but, i guess this doesn’t count as anti-semitism, right?
    bigot!
    further, i have NEVER defended bushco on this blog. i’ve merely defended myself from ruffians and bigots like you.

    Reply

  6. Steve Clemons says:

    Folks — This thread is disappointing, but you folks have set the temperature. When I’m attacked by someone, I usually keep my cool — try and engage the person in a discussion about what I meant, or try to understand where they are coming from — and in nearly every case, we are able to proceed on civil terms, even though we may disagree.
    It’s not evident that you folks are trying to do that with each other. The fact that this medium allows anonymity — and perhaps even promotes extremist posts doesn’t justify it.
    The lines in this thread and the highly combative nature of some of what you have written show that that is what you have wanted. The posts do repel many who would otherwise comment. They email me directly instead.
    I’d like to ask those of you who find yourself engaging in any kind of attacks against others — any kind — to desist. Make your comments about policy and ideas. Challenge other’s ideas — but stop engaging in ad hominem attacks. If you are attacked, ignore it — and push on regarding the merit of whatever your argument is.
    Whomever said they hoped I would go through and police this will be disappointed. I’m trying to write about real wars, real diplomacy, real strategy. I don’t have the time or interest in engaging in a thread where the kind of attacks I have seen here go on.
    I will turn off the comments for the entire blog if we don’t see a rapid correction.
    What I am asking for is reasonable — and as I’ve engaged with nearly all of you in private emails — I know that you all have the ability to be mature.
    Be mature now.
    Thanks much,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  7. Burro Park says:

    alec is most likely an ardent democrat, and an ardent jewish democrat at that. For him, when Israel is involved, its Israel first, as many ardent jewish democrats see things. An ardent jewish democrat of the Israel first persuasion will defend Bush in his unwavering support of Israel, defend the neo-cons in their plans for Israel, defend Israel no matter what, period, end of story, and anyone who says anything against israel or their supporters are vilified nyc style. A nasty bunch there. So that’s what you are dealing with with alec, a smart alek, wiseguy, nyc jew who is an ardent democrat and Israel firster. There’s a million of them, and nyc is where you’ll find the most belligerent, believe me.
    ok, alec, curse me out, nyc style.

    Reply

  8. Carroll says:

    Would you guys please quit responding to alex,xman,brian whoever…please….
    If you ignore him he will go away. You should be able to tell by now he is most likely a highschooler or a foreign college student here on a visa just jerking around.
    Responding to his posts is just cluttering up this place.
    Thanks

    Reply

  9. alec says:

    now you tell me who is destroying this blog? you tell me who is a troll? you tell me who is offensive?
    steve, PLEASE CLEAN UP THE GARBAGE ON YOUR BLOG. there will NEVER be any way of presenting and discussing dissenting ideas in this forum as long as people like POA, and many, many others continue their malicious condemnation and personal attacks.
    the inmates are running your asylum

    Reply

  10. alec says:

    what a great guy, mr poa: did i really deserve this?
    i’m an ardent democrat….bablahblah…..,
    Posted by alec
    You’re a lying sack of shit.
    (Sorry Steve, but I have had it with this sanctimonious posturing fraud. If I get banned from your site so be it, but before you do that, read back a number of threads. This guy Alec is a complete and utter asshole, and there is NO reason that Carroll or I should have to put up with his irritating tripe and insults. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on.).
    Posted by Pissed Off American at August 11, 2006 12:37 AM

    Reply

  11. alec says:

    my levelheaded response to an out of control km4 post:
    Bush approved RED Alert YESTERDAY
    I wish Americans woke up and realized that this SICK administration only loves power, power, and more power. They will do anything to hold onto their power–even if it’s to politicize terrorist acts and benefit from them.
    “The Republican party of George W. Bush doesn’t care about America, or Americans. It only cares about its sick perversion to power, wealth, greed,
    and deceit.
    I am saying what everyone American should be saying or thinking: How fucking disgusting of the Bush administration to politicize it and slander
    Democrats with it.
    How fucking UN-AMERICAN.”
    i’m an ardent democrat, but this is just ridiculous, km4. don’t believe the hype.
    Posted by alec at August 10, 2006 10:59 PM
    NOW…. for the least irritating contributor here, poa, look what he said in response:
    (see following post – can’t cut and paste in here)

    Reply

  12. alec says:

    POA wrote:
    “His horseshit is designed to irritate and deflect.”
    well, pissed off american, what are your comments intended to do, edify and heal? isn’t your first name ‘irritate’? the irony never stops with you!
    “There is a set regimen of posting tactics and styles that are designed to DESTROY a blog”
    wow! the conspracies never end with you guys! just remember folk, in the immortal words of ray davies, “paranoia – self destroya.”
    “troll shit”
    as opposed to poa shit? or are you really referring to other world views, alternatively described as:
    d i f f e r e n t o p i n i o n s
    ‘In light of Steve’s recent admonitions, I hope he takes the time to read through alec’s crap, and expend the effort to block the slimey little pissant before he succeeds in totally destroying the blog.”
    mr black pot; meet mr black kettle.
    i’ll repost your response to my innocuous comment from several threads below. it was the most offensive remark i’ve ever read on this blog – ever.
    “If not, I’m out of here, it simply isn’t worth the irritation.”
    good riddance.

    Reply

  13. Pissed Off American says:

    You are giving alec too much credit. He is neither neo-con nor zionist. He is troll. His horseshit is designed to irritate and deflect. There is a set regimen of posting tactics and styles that are designed to DESTROY a blog, and simply make the irritation of wading through the troll shit not worth the effort of posting. In light of Steve’s recent admonitions, I hope he takes the time to read through alec’s crap, and expend the effort to block the slimey little pissant before he succeeds in totally destroying the blog. If not, I’m out of here, it simply isn’t worth the irritation.

    Reply

  14. Pissed Off American says:

    no, i does not. it calls for hizbollah to cease all hostilities and the idf to cease all offensive military operations. and since everyone knows israel only defends itself, it basically means it can do whatever the hoot it wants as long as it’s not ‘offensive’ . have you read the resolution? it stinks. basically blames hizbollah for everything, calls the idf prisoners abducted and calls for their return while calling the lebanese ‘detained’ and for a ‘settling of the issue’, just like palestine is going to be settled. this stinks. it’s a neocon wetdream.
    Posted by annie
    And if I am not mistaken, there is no provision for Israel’s withdrawal.

    Reply

  15. Marky says:

    There are some highly articulate Zionists who comment on here from time to time—people who actually engage in discourse. Alec, on the other hand, is nothing but a self-popping zit who only brings his pus to lob at other commenters.

    Reply

  16. km4 says:

    alec you are the epitome of a juvenile and deluded sorry ass Neocon and/or Zionist.
    Grow up and get a life !

    Reply

  17. alec says:

    what a bullshit “community.” neocons and zionists getting desperate? HA! what about you fascists?
    the thought police are running rampant in here. a bunch of know-littles masquerading as experts.
    it’s so gratifying to know that you’re all so empowered! the joke is on you, kids.

    Reply

  18. Matthew says:

    Hal: If you want a comment thread that states that Israel is always right and good and everyone else (USA excluded, of course) is evil, go to Little Green Footballs. Whining about other posts is pure weakness. Here is what Israel means to me: 300 murdered Lebanese children this month. That’s the IDF for you.

    Reply

  19. km4 says:

    > This has been about the worst comment thread ever.
    When Neocons and Zionists get desperate their shit hits the fan and stinks up the place.

    Reply

  20. annie says:

    chophouse, you questioned who printed the original report of the anduction. it was forbes via AP
    07.12.2006, 05:41 AM
    “The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to look for them.
    The forces were trying to keep the soldiers’ captors from moving them deeper into Lebanon, Israeli government officials said on condition of anonymity.
    The Israeli military would not confirm the report. ”
    http://www.forbes.com/technology/feeds/ap/2006/07/12/ap2873051.html
    of course the story changed very quickly.
    all the initail reports claimed the soldiers were abducted in lebanon. there was supposed to be an investigation but israle started bombing before it could get underway.

    Reply

  21. Bill says:

    Hal,
    Can’t agree with you more. From the very first comment, it’s a gutter in here. I can’t believe some of these folks even understand what Steve is writing about.

    Reply

  22. annie says:

    The Resolution also calls for Hezbollah and Israel to immediately cease hostilities and offensive military operations.
    no, i does not. it calls for hizbollah to cease all hostilities and the idf to cease all offensive military operations. and since everyone knows israel only defends itself, it basically means it can do whatever the hoot it wants as long as it’s not ‘offensive’ . have you read the resolution? it stinks. basically blames hizbollah for everything, calls the idf prisoners abducted and calls for their return while calling the lebanese ‘detained’ and for a ‘settling of the issue’, just like palestine is going to be settled. this stinks. it’s a neocon wetdream.

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    chophouse …..
    the UN observer reports document the back and forth incursions of Israelis into Lebanon and each side kidnapping each other’s people and trading prisoners back and forth
    basically proving that Isr seizing on this particular one was …well…an excuse.
    I didn’t save the a link but you can find it easily by googling UN Observer Report most likely
    one thing that happend in Feb of this year was Hez trying to take an israeli and then the Israelis crossing into Lebanon and killing a 14 year old boy in Lebanon which added more fuel to the flame……

    Reply

  24. Hal says:

    This has been about the worst comment thread ever.

    Reply

  25. DonS says:

    . . . like the good old days when every PLO move was a terrorist attack and every Israeli move was a reprisal.

    Reply

  26. alec says:

    “There is no way that Israel is going to be bound by this resolution. While continuing to MURDER non-Hizbollah civilians, they will point to another Hizbollah missile attack, or they will contrive an infraction on the part of Hizbollah, and they will press on with the destruction of Lebanon. It is the way they do things.”
    hi, poa. just thought i’d remind you that you don’t know what you’re talking about. it’s not worth pointing out your utter ignorance or anti-israeli bias. they are both probably birth defects.

    Reply

  27. alec & me says:

    ‘Any politican who votes yay on US taxpayers paying for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon needs to be voted out of office so take names.”
    just curious; who are you talking to, Carroll?

    Reply

  28. alec & me says:

    ‘Any politican who votes yay on US taxpayers paying for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon needs to be voted out of office so take names.”
    just curious; who are you talking to, Carroll?

    Reply

  29. alec & me says:

    ‘Any politican who votes yay on US taxpayers paying for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon needs to be voted out of office so take names.”
    just curious; who are you talking to, Carroll?

    Reply

  30. alec & me says:

    ‘Any politican who votes yay on US taxpayers paying for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon needs to be voted out of office so take names.”
    just curious; who are you talking to, Carroll?

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    More crapola, more UN drivel, more diplomatic excretment….
    And according to Rice, the US and the international community is going to pay for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon’s infastructure.
    Makes you want to barf.
    Any politican who votes yay on US taxpayers paying for Israel’s destruction of Lebanon needs to be voted out of office so take names.

    Reply

  32. niclea says:

    POA, Defender of Truth,
    They started a monster war over the capture of two of their soldiers, so it will be very easy for them to start up again unless Hezbollah really put the Don’t Tread On Me fear into them and they are desparate for an out and don’t want no more getting roughed up in the south which will be never ending.

    Reply

  33. Pissed Off American says:

    There is no way that Israel is going to be bound by this resolution. While continuing to MURDER non-Hizbollah civilians, they will point to another Hizbollah missile attack, or they will contrive an infraction on the part of Hizbollah, and they will press on with the destruction of Lebanon. It is the way they do things.

    Reply

  34. erichwwk says:

    For a peek into the future:
    Comment by Erich Kuerschner, HCR 74, Box 24614, El Prado New Mexico87529
    Cell: 505.770.3338 erichwwk@laplaza.org
    Retired public choice economist: property rights, feasibility,
    public finance, benefit-cost analysis, non-market evaluation, EIS
    at Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Thursday, August 10, 2006
    Re Draft, SWEISS for Continued Operation of LANL
    Thank you for this opportunity, which I trust will not be the last one to comment in public, and thanks to all who contributed to this EIS. I am a bit embarrassed by the generality of my comments, but hope you will understand. Today was only my second opportunity to view the LANL SWEIS update for the 1999 EIS, as I explained in Los Alamos on Tuesday. This EIS is too important to not give it appropriate attention. A mistake here could have enormous REAL cost to
    Americans, current and future.
    Recently we all heard Gen Pace and Gen Abizhiad, after a long pause and careful selection of words, state that that insurgency in Iraq is at an all-time high (unexpected??), and we “could/may” move toward a civil war.
    Today John Arquilla, Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, appeared on c-span 2. When asked about whether or not Iraq is experiencing a civil war, he answered “of course. A civil war is when people within a country fight each other. End of story.”
    He also claimed the “shock and awe” is productive only against nation states. In today’s GWOT, weapons with large collateral damage are useless. He also wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle,
    “The long war is the wrong war. Sooner or later in a long war, terrorists WILL get WMD”. We are spending $1.25 billion a day on the military, and that much/ week in Iraq. (I assert economists claim these pecuniary costs account for only half of the ACTUAL economic loss, measuring costs and benefits on an accrual, rather than a cash basis.).
    Dr. Arquilla recommends in his July 16 article, that military spending should be cut 10%/ year to make us stronger. These wars will be fought and won by men, information, and good will, NOT big and expensive hardware, and that these excessive expenditures are weakening National Security, a point shared by many other military experts. There is considerable belief in the military that our existing stockpile, and perhaps nuclear weapons in general, are obsolete in modern or guerilla/terrorist warfare against small horizontal network cells. And of course to use these as “preemptive measures is a “Nuremberg Trial” type of violation of International Law and Treaties, as these weapons are essentially advanced Auschitzes (albeit very unselective) concentration, extermination, and cremation camps. Any person advocating such a use belongs in Jail, not in charge of resource allocation decisions.
    My understanding of the LANL SWEIS is that LANL is mandated to reevaluate their ongoing operations in terms of Cost/Benefit, to justify and be held accountable for its operation, and to update operations to reflect current conditions (especially current prices for substitutes, complements, and current valuations of costs and benefits). The hard numbers generated here for BOTH market and non-market inputs and outputs, with the assumptions and non-market evaluations and methodology made explicit are then to be used to analyze and quantify the Costs/Benefits from alternative operations within certain reasonable ranges. The fact that the PIT production increase is not a self-standing EIS implies to me that there is previous EIS’s addressing that issue, but I have been unable to find the documentation. As best as I can tell, in terms of Air Quality, Water Resources, etc. a serious effort has been made (but I am not really qualified to say much here, beyond methodology)(.
    However, I am frankly shocked to find no evidence of such scientific effort to do an economic evaluation of this project. I do likely have an earlier and deeper exposure to the intent of the original NEPA than perhaps anyone on the study team, having worked with the Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill Environmental Study Group (Under Howard McGee), the group I believe did the first EIS (Baltimore Beltway under DOD) in 1972. I worked on the second EIS (I-80N through Southeast Portland, Oregon – the Mt. Hood Freeway), which I believe caused NEPA to conclude that without studying broad substitutes to the “preferred class of solutions”, one could easily adopt the preferred solution, that , when compared to broader alternatives, would reveal that the preferred choice , was in fact, a greatly inferior choice. It became clear that the use of“needs” was often the culprit, and one needed to talk in terms of supply and demand, cost/benefit, and QUANTIFY ones choices.The “no build” (as we called it) became a mandatory option, as it was agreed that this option merely meant that one was seriously looking for the OPTIMUM solution, and not merely comparing the preferred option to some other options within a LIMITED field. One needs to explore REAL alternatives to a perceived “need”. Speaking in terms of “needs” closes the discussion, and rather than helping find the best solution, it actually PROHIBITS the solution from even being explored.
    In our case, DOD wanted us to stick with some asphalt/concrete engineering ROW/ construction to alleviate what was perceived to be a sub optimal configuration in moving vehicular traffic from the east side through to West Portland, across the Willamette River (i.e., don’t redefine the problem, or look at solutions outside of our suggestions)
    Once we realized what that would do to neighborhoods, the CBD, and especially when we realized what the Bridge/ River Crossing solution would have to look like, regardless of any designated route/ configuration, it became clear to us that this would be an atrocious choice- rather than improving things, it was quite possibly be evenh worse than even doing nothing. Everyone agreed
    we should define the problem broader (e.g. was the final product REALLY to move cars/trucks, or was a large part really to move ideas, and bring residences/commercial activity, and manufacturing closer together? After much haggling with EPA and DOD, they agreed, and the “no build” was born. Thank god that DOD and the Federal Highway Department was enlightened enough to admit past mistakes, change the process, and avert an irrevocable planning disaster for Portland. While I am not current on changes to NEPA, I would hope and assume that any changes to NEPA of which I am not aware would improve, and not retard our ability to be accountable and manage our mission and mandates.
    We REALLY need to do this here. Looking only at PIT production, I can see no benefit for “extra” PITS (we have sufficient for existing nuclear weapons stockpile until 2038). The planned new facility is projected to have a life span of –I believe- 25-30 years. So even for the life of the BUILDING, it is likely that seems NO BENEFIT is being derived from expanding PIT production. The building may even be obsolete before any perceived benefits are accrued.
    There are rumors that the PITS are for DIFFERENT Warhead configurations, but if so it seems that would be in violation of US law, US Treaties with other nations, and International Law. And if I somehow miss the benefits, I suggest the fault is at least partially in the report, which does not make these benefits obvious.
    An article by Nobelist Friedrich Hayek, “the Use of Information in Society”, clearly states the two centuries old conclusion that economics is about optimal decision making – i.e. optimal allocation of resources (tangible or not). As Hayek explains: “If we posses all the relevant information, if we can start from a given system of preferences, and if we command complete knowledge of available means, the problem is one of pure logic. That is, the answer to the question of what is the best use of resources is implicit in our assumptions. The conditions which the solution of this optimum problem must satisfy have been fully worked out, and can be best stated in mathematical form: put at their briefest, they are that the marginal rate of substitution between any two commodities or factors must be the same in all their different uses.” The American Economic Review, September, 1945 pp518-530 (The article actually improves on this, but I do not have time to expand here).
    Those wishing a fuller analysis (to include risk, uncertainty game theory, etc) are referred to Paul Samuelson’s Foundations of Economic Analysis, (also quite old), or more modern advanced micro-economic texts and manuals. Much of the practical applications and analysis was in fact developed by the military, Input and Output analysis, Game Theory, Baysean Algebra, and Pure Cost/Benefit being some of these tools. My father, a career civilian employee for the USA and USAF in the area of internal and external missile guidance, participated in NIE’s in the area of Missle and Nuclear Threat at RAND while a USAF employee, and used this methodology in
    his development of NIE’s.
    So. Where in the EIS are costs defined, and the REASONABLE ALTERNATIVE to PIT production-the responsibility to work towards a REDUCTION in nuclear warfare discussed (Also a MANDATED MISSION of LANL) much less quantified and compared? THIS is the CRITICAL area in which we need to leave opinions and beliefs at home, and use the best minds to develop accurate information and scenarios. To do less would be irresponsible to ALL US Citizens. How is it possible to choose a “preferred” alternative w/o going through this exercise? Is that not what the ultimate purpose of and EIS in general, and THIS LANL SWEIS in general actually are.
    I don’t need to remind DOE and the preparers of this EIS, that failure to frame national security correctly is what results in the ultimate demise of many Great powers, Germany, USSR, and North Korea being the obvious examples. To be haphazard here, and not use our BEST ECONOMISTS
    as part of the process, to inventory the “reasonable alternatives to national security, develop proper production functions and benefit functions and to quantify the marginal costs and benefits of each. We owe it to our present and future citizens to do the best be can to ensure that we get the “most Bang for Each Buck/$ – no pun intended. We can only do this by comparing marginal costs and benefits of the appropriate economic and social relationships.
    To argue against doing this is to reveal ignorance of planning and resource allocation, and the fine work being done in this field at our many excellent universities, think tanks (such as RAND), and military academies (especially the Naval Postgraduate School).The consequences of a bad decision here would dwarf the negative consequences of the War in Iraq and Lebanon (both initiated by the US) and Katrina. Keeping blinders on and not admitting mistakes would EXPLAIN previous bad choices, a small consolation for not only “throwing good money after bad”, but also put the USA on a potentially fatal course. And unlike the DOD case cited, in THIS case the alternative suggested (nuclear arms REDUCTION) is not even outside the LANL mandate, but is an EXPLICIT MISSION MANDATE. So I beg you, please do your homework and give us the marginal tradeoff between weapons REDUCTION as well as weapons Increase.
    To NOT do so, in light of the nearly 100% public preference for the alternative, and the MANDATE for pursuing this alternative, would be worse criminal negligence – it would be treasonous to the American People.
    Notes:
    ·
    1. Please lets do this SWEIS right. Documents were not made available in Taos and Espanola until after the first hearing in on Tues, August 8. Thus this comments is superficial and only loosely related to the actual LANL SWEIS. When the USAF was advised of a similar problem in their proposed “bomber training route” EIS, they extended the comment period appropriately in Taos. A Sept 20 deadline helps some, but most helpful and important is the time allotted for citizens to review the EIS before the comment period. There was no opportunity to ask questions of consultants except before and after the comment period. Please consider a few additional meetings, and one in Taos were there are many interested and qualified commenters, provided they DO have 30 days between the availability of the SWEIS in Taos, and a comment period where we have informal access for at least an hour before, and an hour after, the actual comment period. Thank you!
    2. Apologies for minimal references. I’ll do the best I can to cite relevant pages in the document that pertain to my concerns that the MAJOR socio-economic concerns were ignored. I have been told that there were qualified economists working on this 4-volume document identified by name and expertise in an Appendix, and I will try to find them, and discuss concerns directly. Frankly I am delighted that Mr. Owens, the project manager has a degree in Resource Management and should share my concerns, and can only hope my concern that this is only a B.S. is offset by experience. Jeffrey Rikhoff, has a Masters In Regional Planning and Economic Development, as well as 18 years experience However, the fact that Jennifer Smith Has only 1 years experience
    (and that in non-relevant endeavors) may explain the superficialness of the alternatives section for which she appears to be responsible. I will look again, but I am dismayed that there was no doctoral level expertise apparent to address socio-economic concerns as I have outline.
    John Eichner seems responsible for Chapter 5, Socioeconomics. In Reading Sect 5.81 Socioeconomics carefully, I am concerned with the level of his socio-economic understanding and experience, as experience suggests to me he either has an engineering concept of ala US Corp of Engineers, or was prohibited from doing a meaningful analyses. To see the core of an EIS dismissed in eleven (11) sentences, in one half page is an insult to both the economics profession, and present and future citizens. Table 5-30 appears the extent of the effort to quantify “expected socioeconomic changes”. Unfortunately, these changes are the least significant.
    3. Socio-economics is purported to be addressed in Sect 4.81. Again, it seems the author sees socio-economic changes as working through income, rather than through product produced as I suspect even the average citizen sees “socio-economic impacts as occurring. (In fact, to the nation these “apparent” impacts disappear, as in a market economy any regional changes can be expected to be totally offset by national changes in the opposite direction for all but changes in output or product produced. I have not been able to identify who has responsibility for Sect 4.8.1.
    It pains me to say this, but I would not pass even a freshman microeconomics student for submitting such a cursory response as exists in Pages I-1 to I-6, and Sect 4.8.1 (Pages 4-115 to 4-120 and Sect 5.8.1 (page 5-111).
    Hopefully I will soon find more adequate work, and the problem is merely one of indexing or proper inclusion in the Table Of Contents (the section in Part 1 on needs was found later, though not included in the Table of Contents? Why?) But if not the reason that Iraq is a failure ( and turning out almost exactly as I predicted publicly), is obvious. Lets not make the entire GWOT
    such a FIASCO. We have the talent in the military, and in private and public organizations. Let’s
    not do more “Team B” or what has been called “voodoo economics”. We may fool ourselves and smooth the way to enacted our “preferred or predetermined” alternative. Unfortunately, there are serious consequences to doing this and REALITY will ultimately come into play, making fabricated science painfully costly. An error here is not only what “sinks ships’, but what “sinks nations and empires”. Please use our best talent.
    08/10/06 03:26:22 PM

    Reply

  35. erichwwk says:

    ” … the mess that Hezbollah’s incursion into Israel helped trigger.”
    Way to go, chophouse. Join the “reality based” club.
    Steve, you once asked me if Bernard Brodie ran in my circle. He did not, and I had no clue who he was. As I do take your interests to heart, a bit of research led to a book, War and Politics, which I obtained from :
    Marine Corps Command and Staff College
    Training and Education Center
    Marine Corps Combat Delopment Comman
    Qantico,Virginia 22134-5050
    GREAT stuff, filled in a few holes, especially from Churchill’s “Balance of Terror” to the Wohlstetter Paper, “The Delicate Balance of Terror”. (This thread was the basis of the BBC 3 part series which , at the request of Cannes Film Festival, was remade into a film, the rage of Europe a while back. We’ve all seen it, and it’s widely available and widely shown, right?)
    Anyway, one cannot read this book without realizing that the lack of planning and understanding of “what is at issue and how it all works” is not in the military, at least not in the “think tank” part. (Have you heard the Nixon tape-online- where Nixon and Rumsfeld discuss how Donald might best maximize his power?) GREAT TIP Steve, thanks.
    One of the rules of engagment is that he who selects the “time and place” of engagement has a significant tactical advantage – call it the “sucker punch” play.
    To understand what is happening in Lebanon, one should review the neocon strategy for the ME.
    Actually it precedes the neocons by a bit, but ex-matman Donald (willing to trade CIA dirty tricks for political power – BTW just who do you think was responsible for Watergate, and is it clear just how he got power?) had the testosterone to pull it off.
    Iran and Syria are on the table as the next step in widening the war. Iran’s main defense was the Hezbollah, willing to fire the highly mobile (but highly uncontrollable) ROCKETS (lets not confuse these with MISSILES folks).
    As the prep to chipping away at Iran (in addition of course to demonizing the Moslems- come on Steve, you LED a conference offering an empirical based view of reality as opposed to one fabricated only to soften political opposition- Steve you KNOW these are generally the best and finest, w/ advanced professional degrees, married, etc.), it was decided to address the rocket issue first.
    The plan selected was to wait for the Hezbollah to take some Israeli soldiers hostage, as was proclaimed they would do after Israel doublecrossed the Hezbollah over a controversial
    Hezbollah prisoner -confessed murderer of an Israeli man, wife, and child- name slips me) by not releasing him as finally agreed
    in 2004. When tat for tit (or tit for tat) happened, the Israeli’s were prepared to morph this into the “excuse” – 9-11, Reichstag’s Fire, Remember the Maine, Tonkin Bay, etc and attempted the shock and awe – overwhelming force- to take out the rocket retaliation response of Iran towards Israel when the US was able to find an opportunity to attack Iran. One does have to AGREE on what the “reason” is (as we know WMD was selected for its best softening public outrage, not for any other reason. Demonizing Saddam was the backup plan).
    It was known it would be a tough mission, but not nearly as tough as it has actually been. So, to those of you feel the Hezbollah “started” this war, I challenge you to logically explain your position, while FIRST stating the ABSTRACT RULE of how a starter” is to be determined. Is it by who is the FIRST to use shock and awe in a continuum of “tit for tats”. How does one distinguish between a “tit” and a “tat”? (I don’t believe it has anything to do w/ the FCC or Janet Jackson :-)” Is the STOCK of prisoners held, or the circumstances under which they are captured, relevant?
    Hang on to your hats, folks. You haven’t seen ANYTHING yet! What do folks believe will be the Israeli’s (and US’s) response if things don’t go well for thye Israeli’s, and the misinterpreted threat of The Iranian President were to appraoch reality? Would Israel refuse to use nuclear weapons? How do folks envision this all unfolding.
    Sorry for the cynicism, but I’ve seen this movie before, and know how it ends. I love America, but America is in some deep doo dah. And not to burst the optimist’s bubble, I don’t see a pony.

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  36. clem says:

    ” …. that Hezbollah’s incursion into Israel helped trigger.”
    Nice chain yank, Steve. Got the dawgs all barkin’ to the tune ya wanna hear.

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  37. fulminator 2 says:

    “… targeted assassinations and kidnappings ….” are the least of it!

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  38. John says:

    Let’s hope that the resolution has enough teeth, not just to restrain Hezbollah, but to punish Israel for targeted assassinations and kidnappings on Lebanese territory. If not, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

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  39. Carroll says:

    Steve..please quit saying “Hezbollah’s incursion into Israel”…we know these incursions have been going on for some time from both sides…
    Besides..here’s what one of your and my favorite persons has to say about the Lebanon deal..
    “Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell’s former chief of staff at the State Department.
    “This whole business is nuts – unless, of course, you believe what the rumormongers are beginning to pass around,” wrote Wilkerson in reference to the Lebanon war in an e-mail exchange with IPS. “[T]hat this entire affair was ginned up by Bush/Cheney and certain political leaders in Tel Aviv to give cover for the eventual attack by the U.S. on Iran. At first, I refused to believe what seemed to be such insanity. But I am not so certain any longer.”
    (Inter Press Service)
    Most of us have seen this for what is was from the begining…not because we are smart but because we aren’t bothered or influenced by the superficial and phony rules of intercourse that go on in politics between the good guys and bad guys and see Cheney and the neo’s for exactly what they are…although I gave you hell for Wilkerson not speaking out long ago what I am seeing is it takes the good guys a long time to come to terms with the fact that their neighbors in goverment can operate with motives that are purely evil to most people.

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  40. Peter Eggenberger says:

    You might take a peak at articles and columns in Ha’aretz. It seems likely that Olmert & co. wanted the resolution desperately, to get themselves out of a parlous situation that they, not Hezbollah, got themselves into. It’s odd that you belong to the Israel-is-an-automaton theory: The theory that Hezbollah’s actions pushed a button on the Israel automaton, and everything Israel did is Hezbollah’s fault.

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  41. xyz says:

    Israel did not lose. They destroyed much more of Lebanon than was destroyed in Israel. They killed far more Lebanese than Israelis killed. They hold Lebanese land. This does not sound like a country who lost. They made their point.

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  42. haigerloch says:

    “…… mess that Hezbollah’s incursion into Israel helped trigger” the plan for the destruction of Lebanon, the murder of Lebanese civilians all in the ill conceived belief that Hezbollah could be eliminated, all because two soldiers were captured. Or in other words premeditated murder as this Israeli plan had been decided upon years before. Or in other words Not an eye for an eye, but two arms and a leg for a pin prick. And to top it all off the Israelis did this over the top act of aggression full well knowing that many of their civilians die from the inevitable Hezbollah rocket barrages. Insane. And they done all they have done for nothing, they lost. Criminal.

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  43. chophouse says:

    Steve,
    ” … the mess that Hezbollah’s incursion into Israel helped trigger.”
    While it is true that the vast majority of media reporting use this formulation, the actual facts regarding the precise position of the Hezbollah capture have never been laid out. As you are aware there were several initial reports, from varying media, that the captured Israelis were on Lebanonese territory when they were captured.
    I am curious why no one has written of this disparity in accounts and attempted to investigate to set the matter straight. I can’t blame this on ‘The Lobby’, but I do think it is awfully curious that nobody has taken this task on. It seems like a pretty straight journalistic task, straight out of journalism 101, to nail down the ‘where’ of the who, what, when, where, why aspects of the story.
    It may be a situation where it is just impossible to actually know at this date, but I would love to see somebody investigate the genesis of the opposing storylines and explain how they came to be in the first place. And even more importantly, why the one narrative has supplanted what was originally an open discrepancy.

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  44. km4 says:

    So perhaps ‘the consort’ was more influencial on ‘The Decider’ much to the chagrin of lunatics Cheney and Rumsfeld and their army of neocon psychopaths.

    Reply

  45. God says:

    If past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior why would anyone think that Field Marshall Olmert would abide by the terms of any mandate by the UN?
    Field Marshall Olmert is in a way doing to the Lebanese what the Nazis did to the Jews, i.e. slaughtering the innocents by the thousands with speed and force.

    Reply

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