Re: Shots across the bow?

1

Maybe it will be coordinated, so Israel would attack Syria at the same time we attack Iran? I mean, if you're going to have a nice regional war, might as well go all Risk-like.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:32 PM
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I hope we've been steadily building up our armies in Australia.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:35 PM
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I don't know if we have Siam.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:37 PM
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I think there's a part in the Bible that implies that David's kingdom extended to the Euphrates at one point. Most scholars agree that that was never a historical reality, but I don't know if that includes crazy Zionist scholars.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:44 PM
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Let's not get so distracted by goings-on in the Middle East that we fail to notice the armies massing in Kamchatka.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:44 PM
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We don't have *any* troops with which to attack Iran, and even the complete batshitters recognize you can't wage war against a country like Iran with air strikes alone. The idea of US war against Iran is an absolute, total nonstarter.

More worrisome is the idea of an Israeli war against Iran, obviously bankrolled by the US and possibly with US air support as well.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:47 PM
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Most scholars agree that that was never a historical reality, but I don't know if that includes crazy Zionist scholars.

The term is not used in this sense in mainstream Israeli discourse, and nowadays no prominent Zionist or Israeli intellectual or political figure openly advocates pursuing such borders.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:53 PM
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I realize that quote doesn't address whether any Zionist intellectuals believe a kingdom stretching to the Euphrates ever actually existed, but I think the question it does address is of more practical import.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:55 PM
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Okay, I can't remember which of the "historical" books makes such absurd claims for the size of David's kingdom, but it seems clear based on the verse from Genesis that whoever claimed it was trying to have David "fulfill" God's promise to Abraham -- a pretty typical propaganda type of move, and it's unclear to me that anyone would've taken it "literally."

Even just from my reading of the Old Testament, it seems intuitively impossible that David literally could've ruled over such a large area, even if he was like 20 times better than any other king of Israel.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 3:59 PM
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I hope we've been steadily building up our armies in Australia.

In a roundabout way.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:00 PM
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I'd like to believe this isn't being coordinated with the White House in an attempt to goad Syria or Iran into something that could be spun into a casus belli. I mean, I really, really want to believe it. But.

Believe what's comforting right up until the White House confirms it.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:01 PM
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9: I think you're underrating King David. The only reason that he didn't fuck the shit out of bears is that they were all too scared of him and left.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:02 PM
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6, 7: Let's don't try to predict the behavior of our batshit crazy friends, please.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:03 PM
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The idea of US war against Iran is an absolute, total nonstarter.

Dismiss it as rumor or paranoia, but Larry Johnson thinks that this week's loose nukes might be a part of staging operation for an Iranian expedition.

(I'm not so sure that it isn't paranoia myself, but OTOH, I don't think there's anything these crazy bastards won't do.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:19 PM
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Who will fight? We don't even have enough troops to maintain the surge in Iraq.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:33 PM
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Who needs troops when you've got nukes?

(Yes, this reasoning is insane, but so is the administration.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:35 PM
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Larry Johnson's theory makes no sense. The US is perfectly capable of transferring nuclear weapons from base to base in more or less complete secrecy. There is nothing to be gained by pretending it was an accident.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:36 PM
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Let me join our friends at Lawyers Guns & Money in saying that I have more reasons than just admiration for my grandfather's service in the Army Air Corps for wishing that the Air Force weren't its own fucking branch of the military. I wouldn't be surprised if the LeMays-for-Jesus over there think that they can carpet-bomb the mullahs into submission.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:38 PM
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Your grandfather was in the AAC, snark? Mine too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:39 PM
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The US is perfectly capable of transferring nuclear weapons from base to base in more or less complete secrecy. There is nothing to be gained by pretending it was an accident.

I think the theory is that someone leaked the transport and "accident" is the cover story.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:39 PM
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I'm probably the only person here who watched the FoxNews Republian debate last night, right? The candidates were not exactly rational on the subject of Iran.

Duncan Hunter---who's on the Armed Services committee, right?---had the most elaborately wankeriffic plan for "dealing with the Iranian threat." It involved bunker-busters and then some follow-up ground incursions. I assume that's the general military plan, even though Hunter sounded like a self-important dork for droning on and on about it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:52 PM
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Who the hell is Duncan Hunter? There's someone running for President I've literally never heard of?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:53 PM
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wishing that the Air Force weren't its own fucking branch of the military.

I think a lot of people feel that way.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:54 PM
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Duncan Hunter is heavily ensconced in the military procurement racket (which is why he's under investigation for massive corruption), so his views are likely reflective of what at least some portion of the military-industrial complex thinks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:54 PM
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The Israelis do occasionally do this. Equally, the Russians today invaded my sodding air defence identification zone; like they did daily through the cold war.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:55 PM
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Who the hell is Duncan Hunter?

He's a congressman from California who is apparently running for President to distract people from the numerous corruption investigations in which he is a prime target. Close ties to Duke Cunningham, Jerry Lewis, et al.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:56 PM
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Hunter was fucking bragging last night about having put up the Tijuana stretch of border fence. I used to have a great photograph of me in front of that fence---the thing literally goes about a half-mile out into the ocean. It's a monstrosity.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 4:59 PM
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12: David was nothing compared to his quasi-pagan, philandering son, Solomon. And later, Omri of the northern kingdom had his act together. The rest of those kings were total fuck-ups.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:05 PM
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I think the theory is that someone leaked the transport and "accident" is the cover story.

Still, makes no sense. Barksdale AFB is the site of a large B-52 force, has been for a long time, and will be for a long time to come. The same goes for Minot. They both have nuclear weapons present. If you wanted to transfer weapons from one to another, you'd load them on a cargo plane with some guards and fly them down, and if anyone leaked it, you'd send them off to Leavenworth for the rest of their life and make a statement saying "The US routinely moves nuclear weapons from one location to another. We will not comment further."

Besides, Minot is closer to Tehran.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:08 PM
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I think the theory is that someone leaked the transport and "accident" is the cover story.

Except that there's no point in transporting them as preparation for an attack, as pointed out here:

there's no need to 'stage' the ALCM's to the Middle East, as the BUFFs would take off from the US. Nor is there a need to stage them to a particular base in the US, as the BUFF can't reach the Middle East from anywhere in CONUS without air-to-air refueling. On top of which, Barksdale is also one of designated storage sites for both ALCM's and their warheads, and thus there is no need to stage them there - as they already are there.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:12 PM
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Dammit, pwned.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:13 PM
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Ok, then.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:14 PM
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Now, is it possible (and scary!) that the AF has recently increased the amount of training or operations that it does with nuclear weapons and that lead to this accident? Yeah. But doing it to secretly prepare for an attack on Iran? No way.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:15 PM
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Shots across the bow

What is the origin of this phrase?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:22 PM
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What is the origin of this phrase?

Naval combat? Fire a warning shot in front of the other guy's ship to convince him you mean business?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:28 PM
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34-35 Yep.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:38 PM
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Thanks. That's sort of what I thought,, but I wasn't sure. I think Apo's using it wrong.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:44 PM
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37: nuh uh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:45 PM
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Not a kind of facial involving a pretty little bow in her hair? A non-defiling kind of facial?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 5:47 PM
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It really looks to me like it could a period of extreme brinkmanship leading to negotiations. The problem to me is that the Bush wants too much from Iran:not only shutting down the nuclear program, but an end to "interference" in Iraq. That is not only not going to happen, I don't think it is possible.

Won't link to Pat Lang's blog, but Hezbollah is rebuilding, re-arming and fortifying in Lebanon like they are expecting another Israeli invasion.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 6:42 PM
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22: He's easier to remember if you think of him as Duncan "Lemon Chicken" Hunter.

Usually first runner up to Tom Tancredo in my personal "most loathesome GOP Presidential candidate" sweepstakes.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 6:54 PM
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Hey, where did the link go?

let me try again: Lemon Chicken


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 6:55 PM
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19 - Yeah, but embarrassingly I don't know where he was stationed, etc., since he didn't like to talk about the war. I should see if my parents still have his Purple Heart report around to get some details.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 7:31 PM
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Let's hope that this doesn't lead Teo to discover that he's my sister daughter sister and my daughter cousin.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 7:32 PM
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44: well honestly why else would you have fucked him?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 7:34 PM
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My grandfather was the flight surgeon on the Marrakesh-to-Cairo troop transport plane. One time, Humphrey Bogart was on the flight during a USO tour and when the plane passed over Casablanca my grandfather pointed it out to him. (I'm pretty sure I've told that story here before.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 9:01 PM
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And snark has lots of reasons for fucking me, thankyouverymuch.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 9:01 PM
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And snark has lots of reasons for fucking me, thankyouverymuch.

"I was young and needed the money" is actually only two reasons.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 9:06 PM
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My grandfather was in the Army band. Actually, I'm not sure whether he was in the Army Band or one of the organization bands, but the fact remains that he played the trumpet for freedom.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 9:17 PM
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My great-great grandfather was an LDS chaplain in Eastern France in WWI. Christ, that must've sucked.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 9:20 PM
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Some googling suggests that rfts' grandfather was in the Army Air Corps Band, so I don't need you any more, teo.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 9:32 PM
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That's a relief.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 9:38 PM
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It really looks to me like it could a period of extreme brinkmanship leading to negotiations.

That's sort of what I thought during the run up to the last war.


Posted by: zwichenzug | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 10:31 PM
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Personally, I plan to support Duncan Hunter's bid for the Presidency, but only if he chooses Fred Thompson as his running mate, because I'd be really happy to put this bumpersticker on the the back of my car:

Hunter Thompson '08


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 11:41 PM
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My grandfather was an infantryman, a Doughboy, but WW I ended before he ever shipped out for Europe.
I was one of the last men drafted for Viet Nam, but the war ended before I got out of advanced training.
Hmmm. Wonder what's in store for my son.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 11:43 PM
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My grandmother used to tell a story about a refugee kid from Germany staying with her family in Switzerland during the Great War, curling one arm around his soup bowl as if he were afraid that someone would steal it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 11:47 PM
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Duncan Hunter should team up with Ron Paul, so they'd each have a first and last name.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 6-07 11:48 PM
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One of my grandparents flew recon in the Pacific. Another, a possible crypto-Jew, still recieves checks for service to the Reich. I am comity made flesh.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 12:02 AM
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My paternal grandfather was a career soldier [not an officer although I believe he was a Sgt Major by the time he finished]. He joined the some time in the early 1920s, and spent most of his time in India and Sri Lanka being imperialist. WWII he was mostly in North Africa and Italy -- he was one of the guys in the 'phantom' army the British set up to fool Rommel and he also spent a lot of time scooting about the desert with a mostly Indian platoon finding and disrupting German field telephone lines.

He was then in the Indian Army leading up to and immediately following independence. The Indians kept on a number of British soldiers for 2 to 3 years as part of the transition. He spoke several Indian languages.

My other grandfather was in the RAF -- he was ground-crew working as some sort of aircraft mechanic. I think he spent most of the war in or around Britain, but he was sent to Palestine after the war and was there leading up to Israeli independence.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 12:48 AM
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Are we talking about military relatives? My dad served on a submarine.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 12:52 AM
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The Syrian government charged Thursday that Israeli aircraft dropped "munitions" inside Syria

Munitions. Not bombs.

overnight and said its air defenses opened fire in a new escalation of tensions between the decades-old foes.

Air defenses active, did not down any Israeli aircraft.

It was unclear what happened. Syria stopped short of accusing Israel of purposely bombing its territory,

They woke up the Syrian air defenses with some star shells to draw heat seekers.

The reported path also would have taken the jets near Iran, whose growing power and anti-Israel government worries leaders of the Jewish state.

'Towards Iran'... unless they actually went into Iraq.

I'd like to believe this isn't being coordinated with the White House in an attempt to goad Syria or Iran into something that could be spun into a casus belli. I mean, I really, really want to believe it. But.

Shooting down an unarmed UN inspection down with a happy face painted on it, is not the same thing as shooting down the armed jets of a hostile foreign power that has decided to aggress on your air space. If anything, if the Syrians had managed to shoot down an Israeli jet, the Israelies would've looked like assholes and mooks at the same time. ('You got shot down by the SYRIANS?')

Ergo, the Iaraelis are checking their flight path to Iran. Makin' sure the Syrians haven't emplaced any exciting new missle installations or anything. Routine. For yer acts of aggression.

m, 20% off at Best Buy


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 12:53 AM
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He said he knew an officer who wanted to have a sub of his own when he retired, that he could keep in his backyard and throw rocks at.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 12:54 AM
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Did you really grow up on naval bases, ben? That would kind of shock me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 1:04 AM
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Why the hell not. For your 'Same fuckin' shit, different fuckin' day' files:

Khadafy Not a Paper Tiger [William Safire, March 9th, 1981]

WASHINGTON -- When Ronald Reagan was asked by Walter Cronkite about the Soviet feelers for a summit conference, the president allowed as how "It would make it a lot easier" if the imperialism of Soviet surrogates were to be moderated. The first example he pointed to: "Khadafy in Chad."

While the American dovecote is all aflutter about our plans to protect a small, neighboring nation from communist take-over, it is silent about the recent seizure of Chad -- a half-million-square-mile nation, twice the size of Texas -- by the Libyan dictator, Moammar Khadafy.

Nobody disputes the extent of the Soviet presence in Libya. Thirty-five hundred Soviet and East German advisers help command Khadafy's 35,000-man army, training the Libyans in the use of Soviet weaponry, while Russian pilots show Libyans how to fly the latest MiG-25s and MiG-27s.

BUT THE DOVES in congress, many of whom stopped the Ford administration from preventing the Soviet-Cuban takeover of Angola in 1975, are complacent about the Soviet-Libyan takeover of Chad.

They view the Libyan strongman as an Arab aberration, a passionate nut who provides a haven for professional terrorists, criticizes the Palestine Liberation Organization for being insufficiently anti-Israel, who hires a presidential brother to gain influence at the White House, who proclaims himself the leader of a mysterious "third force" in the world -- but who is nobody to take seriously.

Khadafy is no nut. He has proven himself to be a shrewd, charismatic leader with Messianic vision; like Castro, he is dependent for arms on the Soviet Union, but unlike Castro, his country sells 700,000 barrels of oil to the United States every day.

He has a strategic mission that not enough of us take seriously: to undermine and help overthrow the conservative Arab states like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco; to establish a Saharan empire stretching across North Africa to the Persian Gulf; and then to bridge the Arab and African worlds with a reach south through Chad to Zaire and Uganda. [You forgot Mauritania! If he controls all of Africa, he gets five extra armies per turn! -m ]

How is he going to do this from a base of 3 million Libyans? Egyptians outnumber Libyans more than 13-1; there are even more Israelis than Libyans. Answer: with money, daring and a superpower friend.

KHADAFY SYSTEMATICALLY supports rebellion and terrorism throughout the Arab world, from the Polisarlo gunning for the king of Morocco to the Palestinian Arabs gunning for the Egyptian president. He is putting together his "pan-Arab Legion" and has achieved new momentum with the conquest of Chad.

From Chad, he gathers new forces to threaten the Sudan, which would give him control of the headwaters of the Nile, and an ability to inflict great damage on his hated Egyptian rival. Chad also borders on Niger, which is thought to be as rich in uranium as Chad.

But to dominate the Arab-African world, he needs the ultimate weapon: an atomic device. That is where his money talks. Twenty billion in oil profits every year can help buy his "Islamic bomb."

The Pakistanis regularly and furiously deny that Khadafi is financing their atomic development; but 20 tons of "yellowcake," a uranium oxide that can be processed into nuclear fuel, was stolen by Libyans in Niger two years ago. Khadafy with a bomb would be a super-Khomeini, holding nations hostage.

The French, whose African interests are threatened, are miffed; the African states, worried about their own internal opposition, are making surly noises -- although Tanzania cheerfully sold 1,000 Libyan prisoners back to Khadafy for $40 million.

LEST CHAD BECOME this generation's Sudetenland, the Soviet Union's latest Libyan mischief calls for local response by France and Chad's African neighbors.

In addition, the United States should no longer actively discourage President Sadat from taking whatever action is in Egypt's military and economic interests.

But a local response to the Libyan aggression needs some assurance that the Russians will not intervene -- hence, the strategic importance of the suggestion that a summit may be possible if the Soviets were to back off their support of "Khadafy in Chad."

Copyright New York Times News Service, 1981

m, yes, they really are that crazy, just any case you had any lingering doubts


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 1:09 AM
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Did you really grow up on naval bases, ben? That would kind of shock me.

No, I didn't.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 1:11 AM
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Egregiously on-topic, but there's a reason Mr. The Editors chose Tweety as his co-pilot: he's smart. Or, at least, fairly reliably non-stupid.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 1:29 AM
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Am I the only veteran here?
McManus?
Anyone?


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 1:52 AM
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67:No. Do I talk like I know anything about the military? I don't mean to.

A draft number scary but just high enough. Something like 125 when they got to 80 or something. Spent my young adulthood with Vietnam vets, but they didn't say anything useful.

As a 50s-60s kid, all of my older relatives served, but they didn't talk about it. One uncle with Patton in Africa, one turret gunner outa Sicily, another a Chaplain in Normandy. Not a word.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 2:11 AM
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Sifu has the wisdom that only tequila brings.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 2:18 AM
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mcmanus @ 68 :
nah, I just figured you were about the right age.
I'm an unfogged noob, don't know most people's backstories.
My draft number was 87 for the 1952 cohort drafted in 1972: they took up to the low 90's in my county. The next year, 1973, they drafted up to number 4, and then the draft was dismantled.


Posted by: joel hanes | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 2:50 AM
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Maternal grandfather in Air Force, WWII, Pacific theatre. Supposedly he had a mistress in the Philippines. Paternal grandfather stayed stateside in WWII. Worked in the shipyards in the Bay Area. Dad avoided 'Nam with college deferments.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 3:46 AM
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IDP's a vet; Idealist, who isn't commenting these days, was career army until he retired and went to law school.

My family has an infallible record for being the wrong age to get shot at. One of my grandfathers lied to get into the WWII Navy despite being too old for it, but ended up tooling around the Caribbean and never saw a shot fired. And my dad was in the Army in the sweet spot after Korea stopped being violent and before Vietnam.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 5:45 AM
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My dad -- armed with only a flashlight and an empty holster -- defended our nation from the commies during the Cuban misssile crisis. It took a while, but finally he and his landlubber cohort figured out how they were supposed to use these tools to protect their land-locked naval base, should the russocuban hordes rent motorcycles or something and head inland: they'd blind them with the flashlight, then thwap 'em over the head with the holster.

I've never been prouder of him.

One of my grandfathers worked in Cuba during WWII, as a Lieutenant with the codebreaking operation there. Unfortunately he died before I was old enough to thoughtfully ask him about it. I do know that he had three servants, during the war.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 6:17 AM
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My grandfather was in the army in WWI and ended up stationed on the US/Mexican border. He shot a guy's ear off, which turned him into a pacifist. My grandfather, not the one eared border crosser. He also ended up catching malaria, which turned him into a semi-invalid and led to him dying fairly young in 1953 -- not that he had any luck convincing the guv'mint to help with the medical bills. My father was a radarman in the navy during Korea. He volunteered after a bunch of his teammates from a semi-pro baseball team were killed at Inchon.


Posted by: zwichenzug | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 6:23 AM
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And my dad was in the Army in the sweet spot after Korea stopped being violent and before Vietnam.

Mine too. Mostly he has stories about what an incompetent tank commander he was, and lots of photos of him with hot German babes.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 6:31 AM
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I was relieved that the draft ended while I was in high school -- I'd had plenty of time to think about the prospect of dying for Nixon's sense of honor, though.

Maternal grandparents both Army brats;* maternal grandfather West Point '33, retired as MG in '66. So, WWII, K, VN (where he was presented with the daughter of a Montagnard chief as a ceremonial bride of some sort -- wore a colorful bracelet she'd given him to amuse my grandma). We spent plenty of time together in the 70s, in not always polite disagreement about politics/Watergate (but seeing eye to eye on trout and the Western landscape). I got a kick out of driving my grandma to the PX, me with a ponytail, but two stars on the bumper getting all the attention.

My mom's brother: West Point '57, went to USAF, flew F-4s in VN, 3 tours. He has strong views about some of my work, so we talk about other things.

* My grandmother's father wrote a memoir, which I've converted into blog form. My grandfather's father should have done: there's an officer's club named for him; one of the Army museums has a collection of his stuff, including a Toledo cavalry sword he got from a Moro 'insurgent' in the Philippines.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 6:59 AM
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My Dad will happily tell you how he did his Vietnam service stateside.

he didn't like to talk about the war

This was true of my grandfather, otoh, Army Air Corps pilot, European theater. Very different story, when you could get a little of it.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 7:00 AM
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My paternal grandfather was fine about talking about his war experiences, but I think that was partly because he was a career soldier. He was a soldier for nearly 30 years, so WWII wasn't some uncharacteristic episode in his life, but rather an extension of what he'd already been doing when the war started. I'd imagine the experience of war is very different for someone coming into it from civilian life. That said, I don't remember any 'heroic' stories, his stories were mostly comic.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 7:08 AM
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My paternal grandfather was infantry during WWII, in France. He has never really spoken of it, at least not to me. My other grandfather was in communications in the AAC during WWII (mostly in Italy, IIRC - he died about 10 years ago), then spent the rest of his adult career in the Air Force, retiring a lieutenant colonel. He had a bazillion stories.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 7:21 AM
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One of my grandfathers lied to get into the WWII Navy despite being too old for it

My maternal grandfather lied about his age to get into the Navy in WWI (too young). He ended up on the Covington, which was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of France.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 7:32 AM
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78:He was a soldier for nearly 30 years, so WWII wasn't some uncharacteristic episode in his life, but rather an extension of what he'd already been doing when the war started

There is a line I have always liked, from a lifer non-com on VJ Day:"Thank goodness. Now we can get back to real soldiering."

I didn't mention my dad, who was in New Guinea and the Marshalls. I have researched New Guinea, but know nothing about whatever happened in the Marshall Islands.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 7:56 AM
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53- When you think mcmanus is not being paranoid enough, it's time to take some sort of pill.
My grandfather was in WWII and didn't meet my dad until he was 1. That's about all I know- I can't even place where he served more specifically than Europe or Africa, he's never talked about the actual war part, only the being away from home aspect. He's a conservative (denomination, not polically) Jew, so I'm sure he was quite motivated.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 8:07 AM
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So I looked up the Marshall Island campaigns. My dad was Army not Marines, and might have said "Tarawa" if it was Tarawa, so likely one of the other four or so.

I really am getting fed up with the people dissing Wikipedia. One intro article, 5 long articles on each of the island campaigns, good linkage to general Pacific Campaign. I have a link to the official US Military History site, which is probably better, tho perhap too detailed, and harder to navigate.

Wiki is just fine for me. The other day I looked up leprosy, and a show on the History Channel had literally everything wrong. Wiki was terrific.

If PNH ruins or kills my Wiki, I am gonna get really pissed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 10:16 AM
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McManus, I'm fighting the Wiki fight this very minute at Crooked Timber. Three people I usually like are the opposition.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 10:23 AM
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My other grandfather was in the Marshalls. He had an uncle named Marshall, so in one letter home he wrote "What's my uncle's name?" to indicate where he was while evading the censors. When his family got the letter they couldn't figure out what the hell he was talking about.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 10:54 AM
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Wait, what's "the Wiki fight" now?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 11:12 AM
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Grandad Bill; grew up as an orphan in Woolwich in the depression, worked loading vans, learned radio at night school, joined the Navy in 1939 as a volunteer. Atlantic convoys, helped to sink U-47(!), was sunk himself...later sailed in a battleship in the far north, and a destroyer in the Mediterranean.

He took part in the British support to the Yugoslav Partisans; it was where he stopped being a communist, he claims. After the war, he was one of the first people to move to Basildon when they built it, and got a job at what is now part of BAE, electronic engineerin'. He worked on the very first radar speed trap...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 11:20 AM
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Some people think that because open editing has pitfalls, Wikipedia isn't worth the effort.


Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 12:57 PM
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1.) My paternal grandfather was born in 1910. He'd have been in his early 30's when the US entered the war. I'm not sure why he didn't serve.

2.) His father was born in 1871--too old to have served in WWI.

3.) My paternal grandfather worked for a company that did defense work, so he didn't serve. His brother was a bombardier who was an officer of some type. He spent most of the war as a German prisoner of war. I don't think he talked about it much, but he was pretty happy as a POW and glad that he wasn't in danger for most of the war.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 7-07 1:09 PM
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I think this means things are worse than I thought.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 09-11-07 4:06 PM
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