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November 25, 2006


And then there's Lebanon. And Iran in the background, with ties to Hizballah. The Saudis fear the Iranians and have ties to the anti-Syrian factions in Lebanon, so that is on Cheney's agenda as well.

Pulling out of Iraq and concentrating on the other pressing mid-East problems, seems to me to have more potential to reduce violence and move toward stability in the region than staying in Iraq at the cost of more US lives and treasure. I say get out while we still can.


you are right. There is no good obvious path to take. You could be right about just pulling out as the best course. Or not.

As for the Democrats, why do you say they have had only 2+ weeks? Do you mean they didn't have a plan to begin with, other than "immediate withdrawal?" Maybe they don't have a good plan any more than the Bush Administration, but don't excuse it by saying that they just popped up out of nowhere and found themselves in an unexpected mess.

The Arabs are hot blooded, full of temper, full of confidence, and then excuses.
The Sunni's from the old Republic Guard consider themselves the "Warrior Class" from long ago in that area. That and their experience under Saddam is why they have confidence. Unfortunately both sides or all three sides if you divide out the Iranian Shia into a separate class have had a lot of experience learning to fight the US effectively as "insurgents." Also in the old days, these "trained former military officers" the Sunni, had armor, planes, artillery, etc. They don't have these any more with the exception of mortors and a few small antiaircraft guns.

They could attack the GreenZone but would then be thrown back quickly. Any assault would require a massing of forces that would be of particular interest to our aircraft. These roam around all day hoping for a big enough target. After the initial assault, the aircraft would mop up. Additional aircraft are only minutes away. Tanks are closer in distance, but require more time to maneuver.

The problem for the US is how to bring peace to the area. We can bring effective war quite well and very quickly, but peace has eluded us.

Jodi, "We" can't bring peace to the area. We are not gods. If people want to fight, the only peace possible is the peace of the graveyard. We can't kill them all to bring about peace.

The Iraqis have to want peace, and they won't as long as they can use us to do their fighting and fight us. Mostly fight each other. The insurgents have killed almost 3000 foreign fighters (mostly US) and tens of thousands of Iraqis. (We have killed a large share too, which has not made us any friends or brought peace.) Right now we seem to be fighting the Shiite militias. If the Sunni army attacks the Green Zone and we bring in those air fortress planes and all our artillery to support the Shiite government and blow them to smithereens, we will displease the other Sunni governments in the area. Maybe that's what Cheney is telling the Saudis we are going to do if the Sunnis attack, in the hopes that the Saudis will dissuade them. But what can the Saudis offer them? Not their country. Maybe money to make up for loss of oil revenue if Iraq divides. Besides, attacking the Sunnis to save the Shiite-dominated government basically hands the victory to Iran.

It is an impossible mission, and no soldiers or marines should be asked to die for a hopeless cause just to preserve a leader's fantasy that he is a "war president."

And as for the Democrats, this is Bush's war and he is the President. He is the Commander in Chief. He has to want to end the war. There are no magic solutions now, it's too late. Bush has to want to get out, otherwise the Dems can only cut off the funding after an investigation detailing what a failure it is.

Any time the Sadrists want to overrun the Green Zone consider it done. How are you gonna use aircraft to drive back a night assault in an urban environment? You can't tell the 'good guys' from the bad. Tanks are very vulnerable in that same environment and would not be an option.

The fantasy that American troops can go anywhere and do anything they are ordered to, in Iraq or anywhere else, is just that pure, ill-informed fantasy. It's been that since Vietnam but our 'leaders' unrestrained by an ignorant and self-centered electorate have repeatedly demostrated that this nation no longer has the capablity or desire to lead the world. We just want to be obeyed.

That is no longer a viable approach to foreign policy.

There are approx. 140,000 of our troops in a nation of 25 million. Many are in hundreds of miles from the Kuwait Border, a doubtful sanctuary, and if the balloon goes up we could see a replay of

Bush and Cheney are no longer in control of the situation and have finally realized that.

Why else to you think they are over there talkin' to da Wogs tryin' to save their racist, jingoist asses?

Last time BushFool wanted to talk with the Iraqi leadership they came to him. Last time DickHead Cheney wanted to talk to the Saudi's they came to him.

Wake the fuck up. The party's over.

Well done Mimi as always, thanks.

Jodi, I would invite you to consider that this is a terrifically insensitive statement: "The Arabs are hot blooded, full of temper, full of confidence, and then excuses."

May I remind you that a lot of taxpaying U.S. citizens are of Arab descent and I suspect some are commenters at TNH.

Do you have a link for this statement, because I'm not inclined to take your word for it?

How do you know that any ethnic group is "hot blooded, full of temper, full of confidence, and then excuses."

Are the Arabs the only "hot blooded, full of temper, full of confidence, and then excuses" or are there other?

Have you tried RedState? That's a blog you might find more accepting of statements such as "The Arabs are hot blooded, full of temper, full of confidence, and then excuses."

WRT to your idea of using Aircraft to defend the Green Zone, it's like using close air support in Manhattan. Innocent civilians will die in huge numbers as a result of our close air support. That's just going to make the Arabs and Persians hate us more than they already do. I suspect a lot of those people have relatives in the U.S. Why are our soldiers and pilots defending the Green Zone?

We have air and ground supremacy, we all understand that and especially the Iraqis understand that. Showing off our skills at killing people isn't the issue. There are no "military objectives" in Iraq for the U.S. This is a battle for hearts and minds and the military doesn't win those.

Please read up on the Posse Comiatatus Act.
It's against the law in the U.S. to use the military to "build a government." If it doesn't work here, it won't work in a foreign country.

MK, you are mostly right, and entirely right on our prospects of establishing and enforcing a peace in Iraq.

I have two quibbles with your above posts, however. First, the Sunni former officers are highly trained and very expereinced in combat, and this combat is in cities. The absence of armor and artillery is significant, but not critical for them to defeat the Shiites. Their lack of airpower may be more significant, but well-trained and combat experienced higher officers will know enough to avoid disaster from aviation. An inferior force commanded by such officers canbe expected to counter larger and better equipped forces. This is why the Shiites have wanted the U.S. forces to remain in country for now. We are the force equalizer for the Shiites.

Second, the U.S. has very little artillery in Iraq. Artillery is an area fire weapon which causes a great deal of collateral damage in combat, especially in urban terrain. The U.S. has been disbanding artillery units and retraining them as infantry for several years now. This started under Rumsfeld's "Faster, Smarter, Lighter" program and was sped up when we needed more infantry troops and couldn't draft them. I don't know enough to pass judgement on this shift in weapons systems, but it is a fact and it means we have very little tube artillery in Iraq.

What we have now is aviation resources to use in place of artillery. Getting tanks in to support the Green Zone would cause them to run a gauntlet much like the one in BlackHawk Down, but geared towards armor. Experienced Iraqi armor officers will know how to take out a lot of our tanks before they can reach the Green Zone in the middle of Baghdad. The availability of suicide bombers will make that easier. If nothing else, tanks moving rapidly to reach the Green Zone can't easily see infantry, who can take them out. So the tanks get slowed down to the speed that supporting infantry can move and watch out for them. Once the tanks enter Baghdad the many hiding places available in a city will make that movement even slower. That gives the insurgents a lot more time to overwhelm the GZ.

In short, don't assume that the experienced insurgent officers are tied to tanks, artillery and avaition equipment. Many of these guys spent 8 years fighting the Iranians. They have a command and logistics structure the Shiites can't match. The much greater number of shiites would only be significant if they were trained, equipped and in the correct places to fight the insurgents, and the insurgents know enough to spot the weak locations and go through them. Once that happens, the Shiites become a disorganized mob easily mopped up.

We have roughly a thousand infantry troops in Baghdad trying to clean out the insurgents. These are in addition to whatever the normal defenses of the GZ are. These are the effective troops to counter the insurgents in the case of an attack on the GZ.

Other than these two minor quibbles, I agree with you.

Rick B, thanks for an excellent analysis. I completely agree that the Sunnis can control Baghdad.
Can the Sunnis iyo, exert control south of Baghdad? If so how far without Iran intervening?

There's a reason people call her Moron O'Donnell. If/when the Dems have a plan, how does she expect them to implement it? The only way it could be implemented is for W to embrace it as his own, and that's never going to happen (unless, of course, their plan is to stay the course and achieve victory).

why do you people keep responding to jodi ???

anybody stupid enough to expouse air support as a method of DEFENDING an urban base shouldn't merit your time

forget the racist proclivities and focus on how stupid jodi's military solutions are

let's just bomb the green zone back to the stone age, and forget about the fact that most of the people in the green zone are our allies and puppets

hey jodi, once we unleash our air power on the Green Zone, where the fuck are our troops supposed to retreat to ???

bombing our own main headquartes and supply base doesn't seem like such a bright idea to me

I've heard of soldiers calling down massive air power on their own positions as a defensive action, but only when the position is overwhelmed and nearly captured

thinking like jodi is what led us into this disaster, so why does anybody bother debunking the fool ???

IIRC, wrt Jodi, she has family serving in Iraq.
Jodi, I am deeply grateful to your family members in Iraq for their service to our country. It's not their fault, they are over there. We are doing our best to support them, by getting them out.


I doubt that the Sunnis can exert control anywhere that is predominantly Shiite with no Sunnis close by. That won't stop them from conducting raids and terror attacks, but that is far short of control. From what I can tell the insurgents don't operate effectively anywhere there are no people living, and I doubt the Sunnis could infiltrate large numbers of insurgents into Shiite towns or cities. As long as the U.S. provides close air support, that should remain true.

The towns the Sunnis control are either north or west of Baghdad in what are principly Sunni regions. But Baghdad is mixed with a lot of all tribes living there, which seems to me to make it the central battleground. That's why the Green Zone is so likely as a target. It is symbolic of the American occupation and it is available to attack.

If it seems that I am mixing insurgents in an insurgency with Sunni and Shiite sects in a Civil War, I am. At the moment the real situation seems to me to be a bit of both with Civil War beginning to predominate. I don't think there is any way to sort the two out yet, and there won't be until or unless the two principle sects decide to divide the nation and all the Shiites move to Shiite areas and all the Sunnis move to Sunni areas. Recalling the history of the creation of India and Pakistan, that is likely to be a very messy and incomplete process. I also think it will be unlikely, since it will mean an acceptance of defeat by the Sunnis.

Thanks for the comments. I always learn something from them. Khartoum is an interesting analogy. The Mahdi Army. I really can see our troops getting cut off and having a hard time evacuating from Iraq. They ought not to disperse them too much.

I agree that the Sunnis could probably take Baghdad (at least defeat the Shiites). I was thinking of the country as a whole. I suppose that besieging the Green Zone is the beginning of the partition of the country. I don't think most Americans realize just how hopeless our position in Iraq is.

First off, some here don't seem very well informed, at least about current military procedures, capabilities and the arrangements in Iraq. The Green Zone is us (USA). Yes there are others there because it is the most protected area in Iraq, and we let "friendlys" stay there in order to keep them safe... The US controls it.

I never said the Sunni's couldn't fight the Shia. Their problem would be fighting the USA. It was said earlier that the Sunnis might "start an assault on the Green Zone." I assume that that means an incursion attempt against the US security around that area. Not lob a mortar shell from way across the city. They do that already. Not sneak a bomb vest into the sandbagged area [[preparatory to an attack]] right outside a restaurant frequented by US contractors and US Officers as they successfully did. (Consider that a remark from personal experience.)

And then there is the very uninformed person who asks "how are you going to use an aircraft "to drive back a night assault in an urban environment?"
Obviously he doesn't know much about aircraft weaponry or how air support can be called in very precisely. And it is done all the time.

As for my comment "hot blooded, full of temper, full of confidence, and then excuses," I stand by it. If you haven't seen it first hand, then perhaps you need to watch TV sometimes. Or the Internet where the Arab stations stream their video feeds. You will see all sorts of examples of what I spoke of. I did notice that the person that objected to that statement was deliberately and very clumsily trying to bait me into saying something else that might not be so obvious. I can only say to that person (first hand observation, again) that they are obviously not very clever.

When men, (and I ask the readers here who I am speaking of), customarily run outside and fire their weapons into the air for just a wedding celebration, or in frustration because they are being bombed, and I don't mean they are firing at an enemy, it begins to look like maybe they are a little volatile, [[at the very least.]]

Now I know that freepatriot is still suffering from the realization that his fondest hope ("Mr Conyers call your first witness.") was just so much smoke and mirrors. I think [[maybe]] he comes from the Vietnam era, where "carpet bombing" and massive nalpalm drops were used, and I only say that that is not what I speak of. Nor am I talking about calling in bombs on your own position.

What I speak of is done all the time very precisely, though of course as in all war type activities, errors are made, and people die. However it is SOP if an area is being assaulted. [[And you do try to get the bad folks, and not the good folks.]]

The planes and many other advanced weapons systems of the US are wonderously accurate. [[I like to think that some work I have enabled has helped there.]]

Now it is a wonder to me that so much turmoil was caused when I said that a Sunni attack on the US in the Green Zone could be defended against very well. I would think that any, but someone wanting to carry on in a ridiculous manner, would give us (the USA) that much credit. Perhaps though, many here are upset at the sudden gentling and mild demeanor of the victorious Democratic Party?

Remember that most of the 3,000 US dead were not killed in frontal assaults, or direct firefights, but with IEDs, snipers, sneaky suicide bombers, accidents, as soldiers went by in convoys or patrols. What was spoken of above was about a direct assault. That would be a gift to the US. A quick way to get rid of a whole lot of nasty military type Sunnis. That is why the little crouched over frowning guy in the turban, Muqtada al-Sardr doesn't try it any more with the Mahdi Miitia. (Two times were enough to show the error of direct assaults on the US.)

And finally I will bet on the US if there is an assault on the Green Zone. And yes some of ours will be killed, but many, many more of theirs. That is what war is about.

NOW FOR THE IMPORTANT STUFF!!!!!=============>>
Now did I say the US should still be over there? NO I didn't!
Did I say that one more man, woman, or child should be killed over there? NO I didn't!
I only point out the difficulties no matter what we do.

I have also tried to correct some mistatements, and now it appears some popular misconceptions here.

And I might not have said Happy Thanksgiving yet, but I was waiting for this Saturday.

Florida WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And yes, I would have liked Ga Tech to have won also, (that was a squeaker) but let us be happy with the important one!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

If we listened to the people who were supposedly knowledgeable about this fight in Iraq there was supposed to be a reduction of US forces to about 30,000 by the end of 2003.

That sure didn't happen.

The same people that constantly crow about US military superiority use silly phrases about "sneaky" insurgents.

Were the US special forces in Afghanistan wearing turbans and riding horses "sneaky" too?

There has been a constant overestimation of the prowess of the US military.

If things were so great, the US wouldn't be mired in two wars without an end in sight.

Pride goeth before the fall.


IMHO, this discussion above overlooks WHO the US is fighting.

On Thursday, the Times reported 72 well-trained insurgents were killed in a significant battle in Diyala, Iraq. The insurgents had a training camp set up and the US airforce dropped in and apparently killed them all.

Was that a good thing?

Let's assume most of these guys were Iraqi citizens. They probably were. We might speculate also that maybe one of their family members were killed as a result of US military intervention, and so they joined up in this group to train themselves handle a weapon (for whatever reason). But then here comes the US military, guns blazing and ready to kill'em all, let God sort'em out.

Seriously, what's the point? Does engaging and killing citizens - whether they are armed or not - bring peace to their country? Who here can seriously say "YES, IT DOES"? Please explain.

I challenge everyone/anyone who visits this site to try to justify why the US military would engage Iraqi civilians in the manner that did (as it was reported/described by the NY Times 11/23/06).

As I see it, your justification would first need to provide moral grounds; and if you make it that far, explain why politically, why it would make sense to do so.

I don't think you can.


I am only saying that our military is better than their military, and can beat down any attack. I am not saying that the insurgents, the civil war types, the hate types, and whatever else is there will stop fighting. (As long as they are alive.) These things go on and on. Look at Northern Ireland, the MidEast.

Yes our military did all it could do, and well, but if you have people willing and eager to die to kill because their preachers have told them that is how they can have a "nice" afterlife, then whether we kill them, or they kill themselves while trying to kill us, it will not stop them. We would have to kill them all to stop them if they have that kind of will. The problem in Iraq is politics and religion which in that area seems to be the same, which is both local and global. 140,000 troops isn't going to solve that.

You mistake the politics for being there, with the job our military is doing. One may be stupid, but the other is brave, and honorable.

Today MAUREEN DOWD, NYT, Published: November 25, 2006, wrote an Op-Ed piece: NO ONE TO LOSE TO [[In Iraq, the only question is, who can we turn the country over to?]]

She is right. No one is beating us. We just can't make them behave. To many people over there seem to be some kind of religious/vengeance driven homicical maniacs.


those people were dangerous. They could have surrendered. Then it might have been a moral issue. ((By the way there is a lot more to that story than you related.)

No one is beating us. We just can't make them behave

spoken like somebody who has no idea who Sun Tzu was

hey jodi, about 2500 years back, a military genius figured out that "When you can't make them behave" and you are not visably winning, you're LOSING

you just keep on thinking that modern bombing is accurate and neat, and pray that you never have to learn the truth

if you're getting your military advice from MoDo we can be sure you're not a serious military thinker

try Clauswitz or Sun Tzu some time, you might learn something

or keep reading MoDo, and you can sound fashionable in the freeper community

Great post Mimikatz!

We need to step back to get some perspective. Saddam had a very good and professional military until they were destroyed in Gulf War I. Although most of the top echelon of the officer corps were Sunni there were large number of Shia in the military too. The Iraqi military was a secular institution and provided upward mobility. Although Saddam was a dictator his rule was not about sectarianism and provided for an Iraqi identity. Through his brutality he clamped down on tribal and sectarian challenges. He suppressed the Kurds and the Shia uprising while enabling an Iraqi "middle class" that could move ahead as long as they did not challenge him. The Sunni and Shia got along mostly under Saddam's thumb.

George Bush initiates a war of choice on false premises and removes major Iraqi institutions overnight and then creates a sectarian formula based "government". What did he expect would happen? Kumbaya! The Iraqis are fighting each other for power and the spoils that go with it. The Sunni factions run the gamut from ex-Baathist to ex-military to salafists to tribal. The Shia have many factions that were sheltered in Iran - SCIRI, Dawa the most prominent. Then there is Sadr's more home grown groups. And within these factions there are groups that operate independently although nominally they align with the larger entity. So the war is not only between Sunni and Shia but also among Shia factions and Sunni factions. Each one jockeying for power and wealth.

The Iraqi state has collapsed. Iraq is in a state of anarchy. Each atrocity begets more atrocities and the spiral of reprisals keeps escalating. Iraq is basically disintegrating. Can the US military do anything about it? No. They have not been able to prevent this chaos from unfolding so far. Even if we bring in another 100,000 troops how to prevent all these Iraqi factions from not attacking each other? Its not going to happen. I believe its also a myth that Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia can control what's happening. How do you control chaos? How do you prevent the families of the hundreds of thousands of slaughtered Iraqis from not exacting revenge when that is part of their culture? The only way this ends is either through exhaustion or an alignment of factions defeats the others. A good example is Afghanistan after the Soviets were defeated. All the warlords and Mujahideen groups went after each other until the Taliban defeated all of them except the Northern Alliance and they were getting ready to go after them when 9/11 happened.

I think its insanity to keep our troops in the middle of this chaos. But Bush will not accept responsibility and will not do the right thing because he is worried about his "legacy" and his ego will not allow him to accept that he f***k'd up big time. Instead all the war cheerleaders will be fighting the political battle of "who lost the war". Although its pretty clear to common folks - the corporate media and the DC punditocracy will keep coming up with new ponies while evading the obvious. Bush unleashed anarchy in Iraq. Let's stop pretending that he or the US military can do anything about it now. Better to bring our troops home while we still can rather than wait and do that under more difficult circumstances.

Since Bush is C-in-C and since he will not do the right thing and since he got us in this mess on the basis of lies, I say impeach him and Cheney. Its a travesty to lose another soldier or marine's life!

I am getting impatient with the media with thier lapdogging of the gop and then, turning and growling at the democrats.
we are not going to let them do this to us again.
I think we should all start writing some nasties to the networks or news programs and keep writing until they finally get it through thier little heads that after sniffing Ws ass for the past 6 years they better not dare start on us again. We will not tolerate it.

the revolution WILL BE TELEVISED

beginning January 4, 2007

Mr Waxman may have a delay, as he has too many targets to choose from

Mr Rockefeller has announced that the "Phase Two" investigation of the pre-war intel on Iraq

Mr Obey is ready to begin hearing

and Mr Conyers gets to call his first witness

CSPAN is going to come of age in a few months

oh, and did I mention that scooter libby is gonna use a suicidal defense in his criminal trial in week two of the revolution

that act of desperation won't be televised, unfortunatly

but we get to read about it here, so we all win in the end

Maybe not Khartoum, but possibly the Green Zone will come to resemble Dienbienphu?

Jodi, nothing in Iraq is random. Did you hear about the torture killings of the Sunnis kidnapped from the Education Ministry? That was Shia led revenge for prior Sunni killings. They took the victims to a neigborhood in Sadr City, tortured them and killed them. Did you hear about the car bombings in Sadr City? That was Sunni revenge for the Education Ministry and the car bombs went off in exactly the Shia neighborhood where the torture killings took place.
Jodi, I know this kind of detail isn't in the New York Times and the WaPo, but that's why we get our news from the blogs. These aren't spoiled kids throwing a tempertantrum. Everyone in Iraq pays protection, usually to several groups. If you don't pay protection money, you're definitely dead. People with police uniforms are not to be trusted by one or more groups, because one or more groups usually owns them. Same way with the Iraqi brigages. They are in "someone's pocket." Thugs and criminals are hired and well paid by the various militias to carry out these attacks. If they supplement their income, no one cares, as long as they are stealing from a non-alligned militia.
Read about the Hatfield's and the McCoys (W.VA), the Johnson County War in Wyoming, the Lincoln County War (Billy the Kid) in New Mexico, or the Arizona War (Earps vs. the Cowboys). That's what's going on in Iraq on a much, much larger scale.

Interestingly, the group we fought in Diyala were evidently Sunnis, while the ones we fought in Baghdad were evidently Shiites (Mahdi Army). This is my point. It is anarchy. Sure, we can always kill more people than they can. We could nuke the country back to the stone age too. But what's the point? That's what I meant about the only peace being the peace of the graveyard.

When everyone is fighting everyone, who are we fighting? We would be much better getting out of the middle and let them sort it out, although we bear a huge responsibility for creating this mess by decapitating Saddam's government and then destroying the institutions like the Army and civil service that held the country together.

It's not Dienbienphu--that was a fortress in the jungle, if memory serves. This is a city that once had several million people. And I repeat--who, exactly, is the enemy?

Thanks Janinsanfran for the link to the Dienbienphu site. Fascinating. It was an armed camp in a valley. The biggest French base in Indochina. The site says:

General NAVARRE considers Ðiên Biên Phú as the fortified unit by far the most powerful ever realised in Indo-China. One did not imagine that the enemy could install heavy calibre guns within range of the camp in the neighbouring mountainous zone, totally inaccessible. And if it were the case, our artillery and aviation would soon destroy them. That was the specialists’ opinion.
Of the VIP's who visited it before the battle began in March, 1954,
All were said favorably impressed and none of them expressed the least concern. Mr. de CHEVIGNÉ was particularly peremptory: " it is impregnable " he said. General BLANC declared to him: " It is Verdun! ".

So much for wars of occupation fought by colonial or neo-colonial powers with superior force against people who really don;t want to be occupied. It is a losing proposition, as history shows. We should have known better, since we wrote the book on throwing out foreign occupying powers.

I just wish the world would radically accept that extremist thinking is the result of severe invalidation. What's that mean? It means it comes from an environment in which personal experiences are invalidated and treated as if they are unimportant or unreal. As a culture we do this and cause full fledged cultural distortions that are perpetuated. Invalidation is a primary ingrediant of almost every form of violence. What a war says is this: these lives and the pain they express are not as important as the change we are trying to make. Period. Why does this cause extreme thinking?? because when you cannot trust your own personal experience because the world has decided that your experience is inaccurate, you turn to outside structures to validate your experiences and to make decisions. Fill in the blank with any of the following: religion, drugs, alcohol, gangs, terrorist groups.

When you cannot trust your personal experience you look to answers outside of yourself to tell you what to do. You need to be able to distinguish facts from feelings and validate both in order to make logical decisions. If you cannot do this or trust this, the mind will create structures to make decision making easier. Black and white thinking then replaces logic. Religion replaces free thought and free will.

How does this work? If you were traveling down a mountain side in your friends car, and the brake light comes on. What would your reaction be, if your friend did nothing, said nothing? You would likely ask about the light thinking perhaps your friend just didn't see it. Let's say your friends says "I have no idea why that would be on." But keeps driving and does nothing. Now what will you do?? The natural response when your fear is being invalidated is to get louder. So you may ask again. and again. And eventually you might even yell or grab the wheel or whatever?? All human beings will over react when they are not being heard. The path we choose and it's effectiveness would have to do with our ability to regulate the emotion and find a solution. If we have never been validated for our emotional responses we might be likely to engage in extremes in thinking and feeling to solve the problem. We might be likely to decide to ignore it, until the fear builds to a crescendo, or we will try to "control" what we determine is the problem "the driver is ignoring me, or the brake light is on." Rational thought would lead us to attempt a discussion but if that discussion is ignored and we start to gather other facts that tell us that the brakes are not functioning properly, we might move to more extreme solutions.

The point is that when people are chronically invalidated they develope a lack of emotion regulation, they develop cognitive dysregulation which means black and white thinking. They develop impulse control problems because they cannot regulate emotions without outside help. (no internal emotion regulation provided by combining emotion and facts to determine effective solution), the inability to regulate thought, emotion and impulse leads to identity disorders. People with identity disorders look to outside sources, structure, organizations to define themselves. These issues are present in every case in which a culture has been decimated by another one.

Dictatorships, slavery and military life are purposely invalidating. It is the reason that gangs are such a huge problem in poverty stricken areas. It is why the military engages in invalidation techniques in basic training. It is to destroy the current identity and replace it with a new one. This is much easier to do with kids and much easier to do with kids who are already exhibiting symptoms of an invalidating environment. What could be more invalidating than poverty?

Then we can also look to the history of african american, just about anyone not wasp in america, and find a history of extreme invalidation and trauma. We find this problem in women who have been sexually and physically abused.

The problems of emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, interpersonal chaos, distress intolerance and identity disturbance exist wherever one culture has subjugated another.

What then historically happens is that the leading culture further invalidates the subjugated culture and the damage continues for centuries as these issues are passed down from family to family. Then the ruling party uses the symptoms to validate the necessity of using more power and control. This is why our jails are full of african american men. Examples of this include the strife of the american indian, the french in canada, african people in emperialized africa, african american people in america, where there is drug addiction, religious intolerance, etc...

This pattern has not always been fully understood but today we understand that this is a fundamental problem. This kind of trauma causes deep changes in the brain and makes flexible thought difficult and emotion regulation extremely difficult to teach without a structure that firsts validates the trauma. The combination of trauma with invalidation creates pathology.

Unfortunately, the perpetrators of society exist because of their primary structure of denial which is to deny, minimize and blame the violence on the victims. This further invalidates and further damages the culture. Where ever we engage in cover-ups and denial we perpetuate the symptoms of those who were victimized by the actions of the government.

There are solutions, but the solutions require a new way of interaction, a new understanding of the human brain, and that we follow the paths of some of our greatest leaders and teachers. People like Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King role modeled the solutions. The answers exist within us, but require a paradigm change. We must be willing to accept the damage that is caused by violence and invalidation and we must be willing to replace this behavior with the behaviors of accountability, validation and acceptance. (problem solving). Our forefathers role modeled flexible thinking. They role modeled problem solving. They role modeled some abilty to accept the perpetrator in all of us, by creating a balance of power, the bill of rights etc...

I believe this is the fundamental divide in the world today. I believe the only solution is to validate the true nature of the damage caused by violence toward one and other and until we accept the consequences of violence fully, we cannot change the problem. We are still in denial about the consequences of violence.

Thanks Janissanfran, completely agree with Mimi Katz, the Green Zone is the new Dienbienphu.


back in the day - (of sun tzu)AND Stalin, and Hitler, and others earlier, ..., they had the will to conqueor, and when needed they would just kill everyone, man, woman, and child, and pile the the heads by the gate of the city. Or they would make slaves of the young, beautiful, and compliant.
That was the failure of the British Empire in India. The British developed civility.
The USA has done likewise, so we need to let go.

I quoted Maureen, because usually (besides Bush) I don't agree with here. But she is very intelligent.

ab initio,

I agree with almost 100% of what you said. (Did I just say that?) :)


whatever you took before that last post, I suggest that you avoid it in the future. jimpson? lsd? mushroom? brake fluid? [[bad stuff]]

john casper,
I agree.


No. Entirely different situation.
I must say that, though it was a black mark against France from which it really has never recovered, it was a sterling moment for La Legion Etrangere. Unfortunately for them, I am told that the quality of their officer core had been reduced greatly. (One of my brothers is really keen on military history. He is the one that has gone back to that cesspool.

I have to love yours and sara's spirit, but you both continually underestimate the lust and greed for power that is in mankind.

Actually, I said the Green Zone is NOT Dienbienphu, which was a fortified camp surrounding an outpost in a valley with few people around it by the time the Viet Minh attacked. The Green Zone is in the middle of a moderately large city. That is a huge, huge difference.

The analogy I was drawing is that Dienbienphu was thought to be impregnable, and the French thought their arms and defenses were far superior to anything that the Vietnamese had. Bad but familiar miscalculation. Apparently the most devastating weapon the Viets had was something the French called (in translation) "Stalin's organ," a missle with a huge (for the tiem) warhead. Wonder what capabilities the Iraqis really have?

Arthur Silber has the most intelligent analysis of the situation at present.


you are right. It was others that said or implied that Dienbinphu was like Green Zone in more than being a "target."

The problem with the French position was one of resupply of men and munitions, as well as too few men to begin with. Actually American pilots were involved in what resupply there was, and were honored some months ago.

My brother was excited about it.

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