Test to Destruction

One of the people I most admire online is Richard Fernandez, AKA Wretchard, who is the host of BELMONT CLUB. He is bloody brilliant, and I wish I could write half as well as he. I commend his work THE THREE CONJECTURES to the attention of all; because it is the best explanation of why we needed to at least try George II’s “nation building” effort in the Middle East, and what is the most likely course of events since that initiative has been undermined by the current regime. Here is a link to the old archive copy at the previous incarnation of the site.

For the last few days over there, we have been discussing the Wisconsin attempt by the Democrats to overturn the results of the election, the series of crises in the Middle East as governments crumble, and of late the fiasco [it is a fiasco, but it is too much to detail here] of our evacuation of our nationals from Libya. We have left most of them behind, and damn near did not get those we did get out, out. Those details are being studiously ignored by the MSM. Our fleet is out of position, drastically; and it gives every appearance of being by advance direction of the National Command Authority. You need to go back through all the threads and comments to and including February 20, 2011 to catch it all.

In his thread today, Obama’s almost-hostage crisis, Wretchard offered a comment that illuminates much of what we are seeing, and gives us a hint as to the future. It is going to be a very busy future.


#7. wretchard

My guess is that the President’s engagement queue is now fully saturated. It’s lagged now, because he has to respond to about a dozen fully blown crises in a time-sliced manner, while the actors in each crisis simply focus on their own slice in near real-time.

1. Wisconsin and the midwest Red states;
2. Afghanistan;
3. Egypt;
4. Libya;
5. Iran;
6. Bahrain;
7. Yemen;
8. North Korea;
9. the Federal shutdown of government;
10. Pakistan

all on the boil and developing fast.

And looming right on the horizon
1. Saudi Arabia;
2. Energy prices;
3. Bankruptcy of California, Illinois, etc
4. Collapse of the Euro;
5. the bond markets;
6. court challenges to Obamacare;

He’s responding in penny-packets to challenges like Pakistan in ways guaranteed to make them bigger. Because what he knows, and perhaps all he knows, is “kick the can down the road”, there is no closure to anything anywhere.

So the engagement queue is likely to grow ever longer, which means the lag will grow to the point where problems proceed essentially unengaged. At this rate, the administration will have the equivalent of a nervous breakdown inside of two months.

If something like a terror attack happens, Obama will essentially be down on the canvas, looking, like Primo Carnera during the Max Baer fight, for the truck that just hit him. He needs to simplify, consolidate, shorten lines. This is what every chess player does when he finds himself in an impossibly tricky situation. But that requires a sense of strategy; to understand where to simplify, what to hold, where to fall back. And like Niall Ferguson said, the problem with President Obama is not only that he doesn’t have a strategy, he doesn’t even know he needs a strategy.

His campaign background may now be working against him, as is his lack of executive experience. He is now in a situation where it is not about talking points, not about looking good behind a podium. It is about actually be able to do something. And so far, it seems like he doesn’t have a clue.
February 25, 2011 – 4:10 pm

Everything IS getting worse, and the cycles are getting faster and faster. His OODA loop is the size of that bloody great wheel thingie in London, and the problems are bullets shooting through the middle of it. Everybody and everything he has to deal with is inside his loop. He is already operating as far outside the Constitution as he can get away with.

I don’t often agree with Newt Gingrich who is a member in good standing of the Political Elite class. But today he gave a speech warning Obama that in effect, if we were a country of laws, he would be impeached. There are plenty of grounds now, just not a Senate that would convict. There is no such thing as a Democrat who would put the law and the Constitution above holding on to, and abusing power. But that condition will not obtain forever. The Wheels of Justice grind slowly, but exceedingly fine.

It is getting to that point that is going to define that very busy future I spoke of.

It is a characteristic of tyrants who have time and opportunity before falling, to flail out trying to destroy not only enemies by any means, but also allies who have obviously failed to prove themselves worthy because of his failure. The case that comes to mind is Hitler’s “Scorched Earth” order of March 19, 1945. Or perhaps Saddam Hussein’s destruction of Kuwait as his forces were ejected. Or perhaps even more apt, the purges in the last year of Stalin’s life, killing vast numbers of innocents.

In his good days [and may whichever Deity is turning the crank of the universe this week have mercy on us these are his good days]; he has attacked and severely damaged the rule of law, the economy, energy production, and the Constitution. I leave it to the Gentle Readers to consider for themselves what Buraq Hussein will do if and when he stares down into the abyss and knows that there is no reason to hold back in attacking those he hates, because it is all over. [I think it is going to involve mass casualties.] And to prepare themselves as best they can mentally and physically.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito.

LC Subotai Bahadur, Lord Pao An


  1. 1
    LC HJ Caveman82952 growls and barks:

    And to prepare themselves as best they can mentally and physically.

    I have thought about it a great deal, Subotai…a great deal indeed. I have done what I can, given my situation and means. My best buddy told me, after seeing my preps, I have done more than ninety-eight per cent of the population. I leave that to your imagination…….

  2. 2
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    I hate to say this, Subotai, but you’re right.

    Pissident Petukh isn’t doing a thing to deal with the problems we already have for the very simple reason that he has no fucking clue how to deal with any sort of problem, much less triage when they flood you, and the only result is that they’re going to pile up until they overwhelm us because we are, in matter of fact, a vessel with nobody at the helm.

    Our only salvation is to follow the ancient law of the seas: When the captain loses his mind or becomes incapacitated in any other way, you lock him in his cabin to keep him out of the way while you deal with shit.

    It’s either that or wait until we have to deal with it anyway.

    There is no “third door”.

  3. 3
    Shaitana growls and barks:

    cans cans and more cans. Lucky the stores are having great sales right now. Just need more ammo darnit.

  4. 4
    LC BOATS growls and barks:

    Like most of the LCs here I have seen this storm brewing for some time and like others I have been laying away supply s and making plans. I know I don’t have everything in place yet but am close, I don’t consider Obama any less nuts than Gaddafi and imagine him to act the same way when he knows his end is near. When the shit hits the fan I wont be going alone. :em96:

  5. 5
    Dragineez growls and barks:

    So I remember reading a while back that sales of guns and ammo had gone through the roof. So much so that suppliers were having a hard time keeping up with demand. That being the case, the cost of such items were steadily rising. Does anyone know if that is still the case?

  6. 6
    americanexpat growls and barks:

    #5 Draingeez:

    Well, one of the on-line guns and ammo dealers whose website I frequent does seem to have dwindling stocks of some of the most common firearms. Long lists of Brownings, Colts, Glocks, Rugers, and Sigs are sold out. Beretta, FN, and HK seem to be holding their own, however, and there are plenty of those lovely Kimbers in stock. No issues with ammo stocks that I’ve seen. Prices do not appear to be rising, at least on this one website. Can’t vouch for what you’ll find at your local gun dealer; living overseas as I do, I can only fantasize about adding to my Stateside collection except during those infrequent occasions that I’m home.

  7. 7
    LC TerribleTroy growls and barks:

    Oliver North is saying we don’t have a carrier battle group in the med for the first time in years. What we do have in the Med is the inability to extract our countrymen and TWO Iranian “warships.” I’m Really looking forward to the next “peace flotilla” (NOT). Now, why we dont have a Carrier Group in the Med (or at the very least one on the way) is beyond me. I would pick up the phone and get one of those moving quick fast and in a hurry. Probably wouldnt hurt to send a MEF along for the ride (if one doesnt already exist in a battle group). Next (a old saw with me to say the least), I would open up drilling for oil and natural gas, at the very least this would calm the oil market. Next, tell our farmers to grow FOOD. There is a reduction of food worldwide, we need to be in a position to help ourselves and others.

    Just those things, two statements and a phone call to Sec Def would go a long way. We can handle our internal stuff. The way I see it, if we have our own food and energy and the Euro collapses or the ME goes completely tits up we will fare a helluva lot better than if we stay on our current course.

  8. 8
    LC Darth Scoundrel growls and barks:

    We haven’t had a carrier permanently stationed in the Med since the first Gulf War. Ollie knows that, he’s just stirring up shit. Unless Obungles hasn’t already signed the order, there is either a carrier group or a gator freighter with a fully assembled MEU heading in that general direction from the Gulf (which is why the Ditch is so vital to our national interests, BTW), methinks the MEU would be of more use in that situation. The gator freighter would have LCACs and helos for evacuation and Marines for security. Pretty much SOP for any time anything gets interesting, but with this guy it seems the “interesting times” are piling up.
    I have two Russkie rifles that I have plenty of feed for, one Japanese rifle that I don’t which would probably stay at home anyway, and a couple of shotguns for everything else. I’m far enough away from the city that I would have a bit of time to get farther before the hordes showed up, I have a good map and I know the back roads. I have enough to shelter the storm until the rebuilding effort takes hold and skills to aid in that effort, and if I don’t make it I plan on dying on my feet.
    And taking as many of the bastards with me as I can manage.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    LC Subotai Bahadur, Lord Pao An growls and barks:

    #7 LC Terrible Troy and # 8 LC Darth Scoundrel

    In the threads 2/20-2/25 I mentioned over at BELMONT CLUB in the posting above; we were discussing both the desirability and and feasibility of seizing and holding Libya’s oil fields and infrastructure for our use, and the situation of foreign nationals. I recommend everybody goes over there and look. There is just too much to bring over here. Picture threads with 70-100 comments, and a lot of the commenters are wordy bastards like me.

    Short form on seizing the oil fields. No. We do not have the cushion of forces available, the NCA would never do anything to benefit this country, we would be defending high value and fragile assets from guerillas over a long and tenuous supply line, under NCA dictated ROE’s that would be designed to require failure and kill as many Americans as possible.

    On the evacuation and military involvement. We traced the movements and locations of all our CVBG’s and ARG’s over several threads. It is not good.

    1} After the ENTERPRISE CVBG and the PONCE and KEARSARGE ARG went through the Canal at the beginning of this mess, we were down to one (1) DDG in the Med.

    2) The NCA did NOT ask for any input from the DoD or the Navy, and did not ask for or about ship movements. This per SecDef. As far as I know, other than the one DDG noted below, they have not modified any deployments since our forces left the Med. The military was specifically EXCLUDED from planning for the evacuation for fear of irritating Khaddafi. State handled it all.

    3) Americans in Libya were as follows: 50-100 embassy staff and dependents, roughly 500 US nationals plus any legal non-citizen dependents that they may have, 5,000-6,000 US-Libyan dual nationals. We have an absolute duty to get the embassy people out and as many of the US nationals/dependents as humanly possible. If a dual national shows up with passport and legal dependents; yeah we’ll take them; however they are scattered all over Libya and our nationals are mainly either in coastal cities [Tripoli and Benghazi mostly] or in the oil fields in the interior. Look at those numbers.

    4) The State Department’s sole effort was to charter the trimaran ferry MARIA DELORES and send it to Tripoli. The MARIA DELORES is small, far smaller than the ships used by other nations. She cannot handle bad weather, and apparently State only looked at maps and not weather charts. She only holds 400 or so. It took several days to get her there. I suspect that they chose the MARIA DELORES instead of a larger ship, because it was cheaper.

    5) In that time, the Chinese evacuated 14,000 of their nationals by chartered ships, the Greeks and the Turks thousands more each [airports are closed and technically so are the ports, but the port closure seems not to have impeded other countries]. The Brits reportedly had the guided missile frigate HMS CUMBERLAND tied up to the dock at Benghazi, weapons trained to landward, and she was taking on Brit families. HMS YORK is said to have arrived yesterday. The Germans have chartered ships picking up their nationals, and have 2 frigates and a supply ship coming at 4 bells and a jingle. The Italian Navy sortied from port as soon as it started, but I haven’t seen anything specific about them being there. The two Iranian ships that transited the Canal are reported to be in the area now. AND A CHINESE GUIDED MISSILE FRIGATE ARRIVED EARLY YESTERDAY FROM OFF OF SOMALIA!

    Late last night, FOX News reported that the US DDG was staying over the horizon off of Libya.

    6) Yesterday morning the State Dept. chartered ferry finally left after being kept in port 3 days by weather, and made it to Malta. She had <200 Americans and dependents on board, with the rest of the ship filled with Europeans. Go back and look at the numbers. We left a lot of people behind. Think of that when “Teh Won”‘s regime starts bragging about how well they handled this. Over at BC, one of our regular commenters has been in intermittent Smartphone email contact with an American friend in Tripoli. He and other Americans are stuck there, hiding barricaded in their homes surrounded by hostiles [Khaddafi’s mercenaries]. Deaths and hostages are still distinct possibilities, and the blood will be on the hands of Buraq Hussein.

    Oh, one other thing. Unless Associated Press is deliberately lying to make the regime look bad [NOT gonna happen], the State Department was charging fares for the ferry ride before allowing boarding. It is possible that Americans were turned away because they arrived only with the shirts on their backs.

    Compare that with what happens when the military does it. Our “Gators” got 25,000 Americans safely out of Lebanon in the middle of a shooting war a few years ago. I don’t think there was any question of paying for the ride to Cyprus. They were American civilian men, women, and children in trouble and our Warriors evacuated them, fed them, cared for them, protected them, and got them to safety. It’s what they do.

    7) I said that we were tracking deployment schedules at BC. We don’t keep a standing force in the Med, but our deployments are normally kind of like a conveyor belt, designed to allow us to divert to cover emergencies around the world. The crisis in Libya is coming up on two weeks old, and there was the preceding crisis in Egypt. There was no lack of strategic warning that we may need to pull our people out of N. Africa. The normal Navy response is to be in the area, leaning forward. Somebody had to tell them otherwise, someone not wearing a Navy uniform.

    We had no CVN’s ready to surge on the east coast. We have two CVBG’s in the Arabian Sea. 22nd MEU is in workup for deployment at Camp Lejeune and if they sailed today it would take 15 days to get there. BUT! The PONCE MEU was in company with the ENTERPRISE and the KEARSARGE ARG during the day of February 16 steaming south at 20 kts. in the Red Sea NW of Jiddah [I found pictures]. If they would have turned the PONCE around, she could have been there with 900 Marines, landing craft, and helicopters, before the MARIA DELORES left. But ‘Teh Won’ did not want to irritate Khaddafi, and I rather suspect that the optics of rescued Americans safely in the hands of the US Marines was something that disgusted him. They would rather leave our people behind.

    A State Department spokesman yesterday said that they were hoping any remaining Americans would make it out as corporations try to get their people out, privately. I take that to mean that they are done trying to rescue our people.

    Troy, I appreciate your bloody-mindedness, but we don’t have an MEF we can send [a reinforced Marine Division with organic air. The Original Floating Can o’ Whup-Ass]. An MEU would suffice nicely. As for why we don’t have a CVBG always in the Med. Count the number of CVN’s and escorts we have left, and the number of places we need them. We are covering, barely, with what we have. But we have to be allowed to. The regime has no such intention. I would love having a CVBG in the area, but an MEU will do in this case, if allowed. All Marines train for NEO [Noncombatant Evacuation Operations] before every deployment with a MEU, and they have had a lot of chances to put that training to use. They can do this. And if it turns into a combatant evacuation; well they are our Marines. ‘Nuff said.

    I do wonder what the reaction of Buraq would have been if the CNO had quietly ordered the PONCE to turn around or to loiter in the Eastern Med for a while and then head west as the situation deteriorated. If when this got really bad, if the Navy would have stated that we have an MEU there, he probably would have had a breakdown. Or ordered her to go to France and anchor.

    LC Subotai Bahadur, Lord Pao An

  11. 11
    DarthBane growls and barks:

    Well remember, in the middle of all the crises ongoing and looming, the Obama admin. thought it was a swell idea to announce it would defend DOMA, then turned out to be colluding with Diane Feinstein who was, wouldn’t you know it, getting ready to introduce a bill to repeal DOMA.


    Nice to know they have their priorities in the White House, isn’t it?

  12. 12
    LC PrimEviL growls and barks:

    Tripoli is the least of our worries from a strategic viewpoint. Bahrain, Yemen, and Djibouti are keys to a
    Shia lock on both the Arabian and Persian gulfs. Don’t think that if the Shias topple those respective governments,
    That Tehran won’t be in there calling the shots. The effects on global shipping will be incalculable. The probability
    of Tehran giving material aid and training to the region’s pirates looms large, as well.

    With our 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, the need to defend the Naval base, and all the dependents, when faced with a possible Iranian expropriation by force, could make for a really ugly showdown.

    I’m no fan of the House of Saud, but right now, we can’t afford to let things go to Shiite. As ugly as pan-Sunni
    Caliphate might be, we really don’t need a new Shia Persian Empire added to the mix. If Tehran gets the Bomb, then
    The Sunnis will crap their collective knickers, and move to go nuclear, also. That’s a situation that could go bad in a
    big way really fast.

  13. 13
    americanexpat growls and barks:

    #12 PrimeEvil:

    I don’t minimize the Iranian capacity for mischief, that has been demonstrated repeatedly over the last 30+ years, especially as our current pResident continues to vote “present” while the world swirls down the toilet. And Bahrain just might work out for the Iranians. It’s close, it’s heavily Shia, and Iran already has a history of meddling there.

    But Yemen, not so much. Most Yemenis Shias belong to the “Fiver” (Zaidi) school of Shia Islam, which shares more beliefs with mainstream Sunnis than it does with the “Twelver” brand of Shia practiced by the Iranians. A key difference is over the role and divine inspiration of Islamic clergy. The Fivers are closer to the the Sunnis, in that they believe imams are not divinely inspired, nor are they infallible, which is opposite of what Twelvers believe. Fiver Islam also does not follow Khomeini’s velayat-e faqih doctrine (guardianship of the Islamic jurists, i.e., rule by the mullahs) either. So, if you’re a Yemeni Shia, it’s likely that neither Ahmadinnerplate nor Khameini floats your boat very much.

    Djibouti is Sunni, similar to Somalia, with lots of folk practices mixed into their Islamic religious beliefs. This isn’t to say that the Iranians couldn’t go into either Yemen or Djibouti with wads of cash and buy loyalties. But to expect much support on the Red Sea coast, based on supposed commonality of Shia belief is, in my view, a long stretch.

  14. 14


    president bobblehead’s doing goooooood. At least according to someone who I debated with on Facebook yesterday. We were arguing his “response” and half-assed evacuation of American citizens and I referenced the British and Chinese military’s participation to get the job done effectively. The lib said that obama has to be careful because he is constantly criticized for anything he does…..I responded that if he were that sensitive to criticism then maybe he was in the wrong job…..debate ended there, as the owner of the facebook page we were arguing on said that I had gone over the top.

    seems that president bobblehead isn’t the only one oversensitve to criticism.

  15. 15
    irish19 growls and barks:

    Shaitana says:

    cans cans and more cans. Lucky the stores are having great sales right now. Just need more ammo darnit.

    I’ve noticed that many cans now come with expiry dates. You may want to consider more dried or home-canned if you have the equipment.
    And definitely more ammo and components for those who roll their own.

  16. 16
    Shaitana growls and barks:

    The ones I have so far, none expire before 2 yrs minimum which at that point if I can’t get my own food by then well… then I guess Im screwed. Don’t forget the expiration dates these days are usually VERY conservative to avoid lawsuits.

  17. 17
    MrSpkr growls and barks:

    Is anyone else here having flashbacks to the Carter administration? I could easily see American hostages being seized in any of several Middle Eastern states — and an impotent Obama standing helpless at the wayside.

  18. 18
    irish19 growls and barks:

    Shaitana says:

    The ones I have so far, none expire before 2 yrs minimum which at that point if I can’t get my own food by then well… then I guess Im screwed. Don’t forget the expiration dates these days are usually VERY conservative to avoid lawsuits.

    True enough on both counts. When you start growing your own food, might I suggest looking into heirloom or open pollinated varieties. You will likely have to plant more for the same yield, but you will never have to buy seeds again.
    Many of the big seed houses stock some heirlooms. However, if you want to do it right, check out the Seed Savers Exchange. The catalog is amazing!.