Monday, June 21, 2004

Good Analysis

The Belmont Club continues to offer readers excellent analysis of, and insight into, the War On Terrorism. Sunday's posting analyzes what's behind the shift to attacks in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Good stuff.

After reading it you might want to scroll up to The Enemy Offensive Begins which discusses the Iranian seizure of three small Royal Navy craft. A couple of excerpts from Belmont Club:

"The origins of the seizure, which have no apparent operational rationale, are rooted in the April 2004 offensive against Coalition Forces in Iraq. Iran saw that the US was unwilling to engage in large-scale combat operations against either the Ba'ath in Fallujah but more importantly against Moqtada Al-Sadr in Najaf in an election year. Instead, American commanders attempted to finesse the situation by applying limited and targeted force hand in glove with political warfare. Teheran saw that if those were the rules they were willing to play."

"Although the Iranians may try to dominate the agenda with the usual television parade of hostages and prisoners, just as their terrorist counterparts in Iraq and Saudi Arabia do with their captives, the only real question should be how to humiliate the Mullahs. Tables were made to be turned. They should be made to remember this day so that if their miserable theocracy lasts another ten years they can never bring themselves to look at a calendar opened to the month of June without trembling."

The next few days will be interesting. Will this seizure serve as a pretext for an attack against Iran's nuclear weapons production facilities? Will the Brits handle this themselves or will they enlist our aid? What are the consequences for Iran if they don't release the eight crewmen? What are the consequences for the West if we let them get away with it?

Good News

"Americans are paying markedly less attention to Iraq than in the last two months. At the same time, their opinions about the war have become more positive. The number of Americans who think the U.S. military effort is going well has jumped from 46% in May to 57%, despite ongoing violence in Iraq and the widening prison abuse scandal. And the percentage of the public who believes it was right to go to war inched up to 55%, from 51% in May." From The Pew Research Center

A recent Harris poll shows Bush over Kerry by 10% among likely voters.

Ten Percent!!?? Viewpoint predicted last month that Kerry was going to do very poorly among minority voters and that this would be fatal in November. He hasn't given us any reason to alter that prediction, but we'll see how the summer goes. Maybe Kerry will claim to have been W.E.B. DuBois in a previous life.