The Failure of the U.S. and its Surrogates Talking to Iran

I’m republishing this piece written on June 2008 that is showing the total failure of the Obama administration to tackle and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and whose initial diplomacy was that by talking to the Mullah’s regime it would persuade the latter to abandon its determination to obtain a nuclear arsenal.  

By Con George-Kotzabasis

A response to:

Talking to Iran is our Best Option

By Ivo Daalder and Phillip Gordon of the Brookings Institution, and advisers to Barack Obama

Washington Post, June 29, 2008


Ivo Daalder and Phillip Gordon, the two savants of the Brookings Institution, have a brief to advise Barack Obama to start “talking to Iran without preconditions”, but they should not allowed to do so at the grief of America’s national interests and the security of the civilized world. The rationale of such advocacy is based in “rescuing a failed policy” of not talking to Iran for 7 ½ years that has made the latter, according to our two analysts, stronger and therefore more intransigent toward American and European demands encapsulated in the precondition that Iran suspends its nuclear enrichment program before any commencement of negotiations between the opposing parties. Further, they claim that such diplomatic overture by the U.S. would enable the latter to “test that proposition” of the Iranians, that they “seek only the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the right to nuclear technology”.

It’s almost beyond belief that Daalder and Gordon would be proud to present themselves as the enfants terrible on the stage of diplomacy and in the art of Talleyrand, as their suggestion to “test” this dissembling proposition of Iran behind which is attempting to build its nuclear arsenal, is terribly infantile and politically risible. It’s like a law officer testing a professional thief whether he has stolen the goods of a house by asking him to show him the master key that has opened the lock of the house.

As to their claim that for the last 7 ½ years there have not been any talks with Iran is completely in opposition to the facts. The Europeans, and many of them voicing the proposals of their American “ventriloquist”, have been speaking with the Iranians openly as well as sotto voce for a number of years, and putting their own, and indirectly American, proposals before them to no avail. Indeed, Daalder and Gordon concede this by saying that “all of them… [The Europeans] repeatedly presented Iran with a list of benefits Iran would receive if it suspended enrichment”.  The latest truckload of carrots were transported to Tehran by Javier Solama, European Foreign Policy Chief, few weeks ago only to be turned over and rejected by Iran’s Mullahcracy.  


Such advocacy rests on the assumption that the present Iranian Leadership under Ahmadinejad is a rational actor, and its participation in such negotiations would have a great chance to resolve the problems confronting the two parties in a rational manner.  But such assumption has been completely discredited by the regime’s statements of holocausting Israel and its direct support of Hesbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, two of the most irrational and fanatic groups in the region.    


Abandoning the Field of Battle for Diplomacy is to Admit Defeat

I’m republishing the following for the readers of  this blog.

The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War

By Zbigniew Brzezinski  Washington Post, March 30, 2008

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

This is old fogy strategic thinking on the part of a former National Security advisor. For any nation that is already fighting its enemy by means of military operations to abandon the latter and open instead the door of negotiations and diplomacy, as Brzezinski proposes, is to admit defeat, as one would have to negotiate now with a more emboldened and confident enemy from a position of weakness. In such conditions of military “surrendering”, especially to a religiously inspired fanatic enemy, it would be utterly foolish to consider and believe that such a nation, in this case America, could achieve any of its initial goals through diplomacy, other than its conditions of “surrender”, is to make a mockery of the art of Talleyrand

And to accuse McCaine that he proposes for Iraq 100 years of war “until victory”, is a blatant and shameful lie and stains indelibly the intellectual integrity of Brzezinski.


War on Terror Must Include Imams who Preach their Baneful Doctrine in Mosques

By Con George-Kotzabasis

It’s utter foolishness to fight al Qaeda and its sundry holy warriors in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia and at the same time allow the “sires” of the jihadists to propagate from the sanctuaries of their unholy Mosques their poisonous doctrine against the West and its Great “Satan”America. They should be immediately arrested and incarcerated by special urgent retrospective legislation passed at least in all the countries of the West.

The war against global terror should be not only against its armed contingents but also against its religious ideologues. It should be a war on all fronts. And the imams who operate in the West inciting and recruiting young Muslims to their “caliphatic” cause should not be permitted to claim any rights under the loose garments of human rights lawyers.

Hood of Inquisition on the Head of Clive Hamilton

By Con George-Kotzabasis

To associate the skeptics of climate change with the repudiators of the link between AIDS and the HIV virus and with the conspiracy theories of 9/11 and the “Larouche delusions,” shows clearly that professor Clive Hamilton rests his case on an intellectually very weak reed. Further, to presume, as he does, that all skeptics are deliberate “denialists”and “contrarians” lacking scientific arguments and considering them to be “irreverent” to the scientific evidence presented by the supporters of climate change, like him, is to put the hood of the Inquisitor on his head. The Spanish Inquisition is alive and well in the censorious strictures of  professor Hamilton.


In the beginning was the deed… ‘war’. As strife is the fate and glory of mankind, to paraphrase the illustrious philosopher Heraclitus

The following text, written on July 3, 2007, is a slightly modified reply To Colonel Dr. David Kilcullen, the Australian advisor to General David Petraeus commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, on his paper New Paradigms for 21st Century Conflict, published on June 23, 2007 in Small Wars Journal blog.

By Con George-Kotzabasis


In the sad “roll call” of the heavy casualties that your brave soldiers are sustaining as a result of the initial mistakes of the occupation, your paper is most encouraging and sanguine with its fecund and rich crop of ideas and its attempt to “split the atom” of the conduct of war in the age of godly inspired global borderless anarchic terror. As you correctly point out, all the paradigms of past wars, in an era when one is fighting a shadowy not easily identified enemy clad in civilian clothes and not less frequently in women’s, with a deadly belt around their bi-gender midriffs, and whose mode of warfare is not to fight its foes openly and directly but stealthily, are completely obsolete. This is why the “ancien regime” of war paradigms must be overthrown, since the line of their success has reached the end of its tether.

The   new regime of paradigms must have as constituent parts the art of diplomacy, political virtuosity, and military might. But its parts will not have equal value. The enemy we are engaged with is not a rational enemy, but an irrational one of whose fighting fervor and suicidal attacks emanate from his perceived special relationship with his God. Hence, he is not prone to listen to the calls of “earthly” reason, since he only listens to the calls of an “afterlife”. He cannot be pacified by diplomatic and political concessions or by economic rewards, and he will accept the latter only as a respite that will enable him to build his forces for future attacks. Nor will he be “contained” in his aggressive actions by the threat of overwhelming military force, and indeed, not even by nuclear deterrence, as a rational actor would. In such a conflict, diplomacy and politics will play an auxiliary part to the primary and vital part of the military. And in this “unholy” trinity, it will be the military that will be calling the shots. If in past, more transcendental philosophical times, the goal was for philosopher-kings to rule, in our, more down to earth and dangerous times, it will be soldier-savants in the major part that will determine the strategies and the course of war.  Political elites will have the important quest and duty of (a) bringing together a notable alliance of nations against the jihadists and the states that support them, (b) supplying their military the material and spiritual wherewithal to wage war, and in the case of America, the Commander-In-Chief by exercising his constitutional right wisely in his selection and appointment of the best commanders on the ground render to them the freedom  and the discretion to use the appropriate methods and armaments, that will defeat the enemy, as it’s the vocation of soldiers to wage and win wars not the politicians, and (c) along with the media, will have the historical responsibility to unify their people behind the great and Herculean task of their armed forces.

The primary and pivotal role that the military will have in this conflict rises from the nature and characteristics of this, unarguably, long war. First, the latter is not only global but also borderless. Strategically, it’s the ultimate absurdity when the terrorists or insurgents can find safe haven by crossing the borders of the country where they are waging war, that the nations that are engaged in war with them should continue to respect the national sovereignty of nations that allow their enemies to enter and use their own territories as safety zones and conduits of military supplies. (The strategic mistakes of the Vietnam War and the Cambodian sanctuary must not be repeated.) Those who are fighting them must pursue them over the border and destroy them. If international armed outlaws can cross the borders of sovereign nations then the lawful nations who are trying to apprehend them and punish them, have every right to cross these borders too. And the commanders on the ground will decide when to do so on the spot and expeditiously without being obstructed by the dilatoriness of political and legal deliberations. The nations that ostensibly are against terror, must sign a covenant with those nations whose armed forces are engaged in war against it, that they will allow these forces to cross their borders whenever their commanders on the ground consider this to be necessary.

Secondly, because of the simplicity in launching their lethal attacks-it takes only a “girdle” to spread havoc-this is an anarchic terror with no central command to plan its attacks. Every ordinary humdrum fanatic can find few brothers in their desire to pursue the seventy-two virgins. The Islamist fanatics like bin Laden and Zawahiri are not leaders in control of their forces, but sorcerer’s apprentices who have released the genii of terror without being able to control its actions that politically and strategically would have maximum impact. This is illustrated by many examples, the latest ones are Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, and the terrorist group in Palestine who hold the British correspondent and who refuse to obey the orders of Hamas. And, indeed, this anarchic element of terror could be its Achilles’ heel. As strategically commanders who lose control of their troops are bound in the end to lose the war.

Of course, as you correctly point out, their leaders will use even these random actions of the terrorists in their propaganda to influence people in the West. And it might be true that their propaganda is on the winning side, but this not due to their cleverness but to the fact of the openness and transparency of democratic societies of whose political, media, and public response is so predictable. This multi-celled terror whose cells are spread in many parts of the world, both in Muslim countries and in the Muslim diaspora that has flooded the West, can only be dealt effectively by military and special forces led by their commanders on the ground improvising the best tactical responses and techniques that will cower and destroy this cellular body of terror. It’s therefore the nature and the long duration of this war that makes the paramountcy of the military the sine qua non for the defeat of this global menace.


Moreover, psychologically and strategically, it’s of the utmost necessity to transplant the fear of terror into the hearts of the terrorists themselves. As only this boomerang of terror can defeat terror. This can be accomplished, as I had suggested six years ago (This proposal was sent to the Whitehouse on November, 2001), by setting up a covert global operational plan that will enlist the best active and non-active soldiers from an international pool and deploy them as hit squads. This clandestine group of transnational condottieri will aim at the elimination of the jihadist leaders as well as the religious radical preachers, wherever they happen to reside in the East or in the West. In my opinion it’s a stupendous folly while your soldiers are fighting the insurgents and terrorists in the foreground of battle to allow your “rear” to be inundated by a proliferation of fanatic recruits that are sired in rabbit numbers in the background of the Mosques and the madrassas which continue to supply the ranks of the terrorists with new recruits in greater numbers than you can eliminate them. The unanswerable as yet question is whether the leaders of Western civilization will have the mettle and sagacity to use uncivilized methods and means to defeat this barbaric horde, whose eschatological goal is to put an end to civilized life. One must be “brutally unsentimental’ as to the use of the instruments of war, to quote Roy Jenkins from his magisterial biography of  Winston Churchill, as the latter  was in the use of poison gas in the First World War.

Finally, your concept of  “anthropology”, that sheds like a beacon its light upon the turbulent sea of terror, searching not only for the causes of this turbulence but also for the social, civil, and political unrest and repercussions upon people who breathe this terror day and night, and how the counterinsurgency should address them, is most interesting. And it’s cheering and heartening to see that your new tactics to clear and hold and isolate the insurgents from the civilian population show some positive signs in the al Anbar province. I would only couple it with its other half “anthropotheology”, since this martyr’s terror is mainly fuelled with the fire of Allahu Akbar.

I also agree entirely with our confrere in this discussion, Hawkwood.

Well done, Dr. Kilcullen

Delenda est Carthago                          

Surge Accomplished both Goals the Defeat of Jihadists and the Reconciliation of Iraqis

The following was written on March 2008

 By Con George-Kotzabasis

The critic of President Bush turns the tail of  his “priority” into the head priority as only by doing this he can make his argument that the “surge failed in its primary task”( By early 2008), i.e., to achieve political reconciliation.  But the primary task of the Surge was not political reconciliation but the reduction of violence and the cooperation of Iraqis to fight and protect themselves from the suicidal jihadists of al-Qaeda. It’s on the pivot of the reduction and relative elimination of violence that political reconciliation will eventually rest.

The first paragraph of Bush’s announcement, which the critic quotes, ironically demolishes his own argument, as the promise of the Surge, in the words of the President himself, was that by “reducing the violence inBaghdadwill make reconciliation possible”.

And as I predicted in a paper of mine published on my blog Nemesis, on March 2007, under the title “Blueprint for Victory inIraq”, the Surge would succeed in defeating the insurgency and would open the door to reconciliation between Iraqis and to democracy.

Clausewitz and the Involvement of the Military in Politics

I’m republishing this piece for the readers of this blog.

In Presidential Sweepstakes McCain Sees Stars

By William M. Arkin

Washington Post December 19, 2007

A response by Con George-Kotzabasis

If Clausewitz’s dictum is correct that ‘war is the continuation of politics by other means’, then Arkin’s “dictum” that ‘the military…stays out of politics,’ is a caricature of reality.

I am using Clausewitz’s dictum to illustrate that one cannot separate war from politics if the military arm which is engaged in hostilities is going to be successful in defeating an enemy. Politicians to make the right decisions about a war must rely for their concrete data on those engaged directly in war, i.e., the military, even if these data could be influenced by the beliefs and values of the latter. Therefore the “rule” that decrees that the military should not be involved in politics, as Arkin argues, is an oxymoron.

It’s a farcical rule and goes against the grain of all experience. A perfect admittance of this reality was the questioning of General Petraeus by Congress, of the former’s military report on Iraq, when its democrat representatives, and indeed, many from the media and the anti-War movement, like MoveOn org, accused Petraeus of being involved in politics, since they all considered his report of being politically biased as it purportedly supported the policy of the Bush administration on Iraq.

Ironically, the critics of Petraeus while upholding the fiction that the military should not be involved in politics were admitting at the same time that the general’s military report was influencing politics. As indeed it should have done. Where else politicians would get their information so they could make their judgment about the policies that are needed for the conduct of war?

It’s absurd! One cannot put the political beliefs and values of the military in general, and of its commanders in particular, that inevitably flow into the political process, in the straitjacket of an unrealistic rule that ordains that the military stays out of politics.


Denigrating Public Education Again

I’m republishing the following short text for the readers of  The Global…

By Ian Keese On Line Opinion, May 2, 2008

 A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

One would expect Ian Keese, being part of the elitist Educational Establishment of public education, to applaud it. But in the penultimate paragraph of his article he exposes the frivolity of his argument. He asserts by a fabrication of the facts that “the majority of teachers and administrators in both functions choose lower pay and lower perceived status” (perceived is the operational word) for the sake of their students. He would have us believe that among all the competative professions, teachers and administrators of schools are divinely blessed with that rare value of altruism.

However for those of us who are not fugitives from reality, we are cognisant of the fact that while teachers and administrators in government schools get lower pay because of their real, not perceived, lower educational status (no relation to altruism.), their counterparts in private schools get higher pay because of their higher educational status.

No person in any profession who is proud of his vocation and his abilities would choose lower pay and lower status because of some sort of altruism toward those whom he serves. His goal is to educate his students not to flash his badge of altruism as a sign of being a good excellent teacher.

Not Caution but Decisiveness Will Win the Day

By Con George-Kotzabasis

A short reply to: Caution Needed with Libya  By Steve Clemons

The Washington Note March 18, 2011

To call for caution when one is entering the field of battle, is to show how out of depth one is in matters of war. Now that the U.S. and its European and Arab allies, with the backing of the UN, have decided and are preparing to cross swords with Gaddafi, what is needed is a resolute, clear, swift, and decisive strategy to crash the Gaddafi forces in a series of prompt and sudden attacks. However, before they do that, the U.S. and its allies should make a threatening declaration addressed to the Gaddafi loyalists and mercenaries, that if they refuse to abide to the conditions as set up by the United Nations, then they will be totally destroyed by the arms of the Coalition. As I’ve argued three weeks ago, such a threat has more than a great chance to force the Gaddafi loyalists to abandon the dictator and hence lead to the collapse of the regime without the Coalition forces firing a shot.

My strong belief is, that if the U.S. and its allies ultimately deal a coup de main with their overwhelming power to the Gaddafi loyalists in the event they persist fighting the Opposition forces, they will melt like butter under the heat of the Coalition’s ordnance.

While Outside Intervention by Mercenaries in Libya Occurs U.S. Plays Fiddle about the Necessity of its Own

 By Con George-Kotzabasis

The Arab world is no longer the plaything of autocratic rulers who govern it according to their whim and fancy, but is subject to a universal will for freedom. 

A spectre haunts the White House the spectre of political dilettantism. While military intervention by mercenaries is taking place in Libya in support of the tottering regime of Muammar Gaddafi, the Obama administration is hesitating to involve itself directly in the historically momentous events of the country and tip critically the balance in favour of the insurgents. Instead, it is imbued with the predilection of Nero to play the fiddle while Rome is burning, i.e., Gaddafi starting the genocide of his own people. Libya provides not only a unique geopolitical opportunity for the U.S. to act on the side of justice and set a historic paradigm that could lead to the freedom of peoples from the autocracy of exploitative and murderous regimes in the Middle East and beyond, but doing so at the least expense of its own human and material resources.

 In circumstances when the Gaddafi regime is too weak and unable to defend itself by its own military forces and is compelled to bring in foreign mercenaries to save itself, the U.S. does not have to invade the country by its own military forces but merely provide the insurgents with “antiaircraft systems so that they can enforce a no-fly zone over their own territory,” as Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to the Bush administration, has suggested. Also, it could insert special operations teams, as it initially did in Afghanistan that defeated the Taliban within five weeks, to give guidance to the rebels and render prompt information to U.S./NATO aircraft to bomb the Gaddafi military installations and forces. And as the destruction of Libyan air-defence radars and missile batteries might be required, this could be accomplished by using missiles launched from submarines and warships. Hence American footprints on the ground would be so tiny they would be hardly visible. And yet it would be the presence of this invisible American ‘phantom’ combined with the threat of using U.S. airpower that could utterly determine the defeat of the Gaddafi loyalists and its international disorganized amateurish bands of  mercenaries, and lead, with almost mathematical precision,  to the overthrow of the murderous regime.

And as I have said in an article of mine only a few days ago, the remarkable weakness of the regime and its total inability to defend itself by its own armed forces, as a result of widespread defections both from its military and political ranks, and its last resort to employ mercenaries for its survival, makes its ever dwindling supporters highly vulnerable to psychological warfare. A declaration of U.S./NATO of a no-fly zone and a no-use of air-defences accompanied by a clear threat that in the event that these two conditions are violated by the loyalist forces of Gaddafi, then an unexpected decimating destruction would be unleashed upon those forces by the military might of the U.S. and NATO. This in itself could bring the crumbling of the regime. It could be the most sagacious and least costly involvement by the United States in efficacious regime change without firing a shot.

Voila un strategie