Excellent, to-the-point, brief and comprehensive post by VDH. Please note the final paragraph, as it mirrors exactly what I have thought all along Bush as politician, President, Commander in chief, and his legacy therein...T
Are They Serious?
Sens. Jack Reid and John Kerry replied to the President today. Their arguments were quite astounding: that the good news that suddenly Sunni tribal leaders are joining the Americans to defeat al Qaeda is proof that we need not be there and can now turn over the fight to Iraqis and Special Forces. But wait, that is precisely what the surge was for: a sudden conventional knock-out blow, to give the Iraqis enough confidence to take over the job, as the Americans begin to downsize in the next two years. The suggestion that the surge hasn’t had positive effects with the Sunnis is lunatic. And more to the point: throughout this entire year in Iraq, not a single Democratic leader, other than Joe Lieberman, can either appreciate some good news, or voice any resolve that we can defeat the enemy. The net result is the Democrats are positioning themselves into a corner in which any good news from Iraq de facto is fatal to their election prospects. No wonder the room was nearly empty as the Senators droned on.
Lincoln went through Gens. Burnside, Halleck, McClellan, McDowell, Pope, and Rosecrans before finding Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and Thomas. In World War II, we never did get Mark Clark out of Italy. No need to mention the train of generals in Vietnam before Creighton Abrams turned things around. Good generals study the errors of their predecessors as they wait for history’s call. In the case of Sherman and Grant, the key difference that marked them as great men, other than an instinctive genius for tactics and strategy, was insight into the mind of the enemy, especially his motivations and contradictions, and a complete calmness in the face of the battle hysteria around them and the backbiting at home.
I preface all that by saying I believe Gen. Petraeus is the right commander after Franks, Sanchez, and Casey, unflappable in the face of bad news at the front and politicking at the rear. If we can give him a year, he will stabilize the country—and the US will have pulled off the impossible of establishing some sort of consensual society, analogous to a Kurdistan or Turkey, in the heart of the ancient caliphate.
How will we sense any progress? Mostly to the degree which Democratic rhetoric insidiously lessens, as Sens. Like Biden, Clinton, Obama et al. begin to hedge their bets in fear that good news will embarrass them around midyear next. Some more thoughts:
Republicans Bad, but Democrats Worse?
That might sum up polls that show overwhelming anger at President Bush—and even more disdain for the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Why the general anger at government?
Seventy percent of the American public now thinks Iraq is a mistake. That’s about the same majority that four years ago once thought it was a wise idea to go in to remove Saddam Hussein—and the result of a narrative that is only the IED and suicide bomber, interspliced with Abu Ghraib.
In addition, a weak dollar, continual budget deficits, and huge foreign debt to China and Japan don’t faze most Americans directly. But they do tend to add to general doubt over the economy—a depression only made worse by high gas prices.
It matters little whether Americans are hypocritical about illegal immigration—wanting closed borders and cheap labor all at once. They still feel angry that American sovereignty on the southern border has been lost, while millions of illegal aliens among them simply ignore the law.
As a result of this discontent, President Bush has barely a 30% approval rating. Yet the leading presidential candidate of his party, Rudy Giuliani, still runs ahead of Democratic leader Sen. Hillary Clinton in tracking polls.
Why Haven’t Democrats Taken Better Advantage Over the Anger at a Lame-duck Republican President?
First, things are not quite as bad as they first look. Americans are frustrated over Iraq, but not quite sure that we can precipitously leave—or that Iraq won’t be stabilized.
Last year the Democrats wanted new tactics, more troops, a change in command, and a new defense secretary—and got all that with the surge, Sec. Gates and Gen. Petraeus. If the Sunni insurgents of Anbar keep turning on al Qaeda, and the government can achieve some compromises—Iraq could devolve into something like present-day Afghanistan: messy and an irritant, but far better than the alternative of either a Taliban theocracy or Saddam-like dictatorship.
For all the shrill rhetoric about the excesses of wiretaps, the Patriot Act, renditions, and Guantanamo, the Democrats for now won’t end these security measures. It’s hard, after all, to complain too much when al Qaeda hasn’t attacked us in six years. House Speaker Pelosi didn’t help the Democrats’ case by flying to meet with Bashar Assad, the Syrian dictator who helps terrorists to murder democratic reformers from Lebanon to Iraq.
On the economic front even with climbing gas and food prices, overall inflation remains relatively low. So is unemployment. There are no longer cries of a “jobless recovery.” Interest rates are tolerable. The stock market has reached all-time highs. Most displeasure is over others doing better, rather than not doing well yourself.
Illegal immigration is still a hot button issue. But recent beefed-up enforcement, some economic progress in Mexico, and worries about deportation have made it harder to cross the border. And the public is optimistic that there will be a lot more, not less, border enforcement.
And Something Else…
There is a second reason why the Democrats should be careful. Most of the corrections for Mr. Bush’s perceived mistakes are not necessarily liberal ones. A lot of anger over the war—the first pullback from Fallujah, the reprieve given Moqtada Sadr, the restrictive rules of engagement—is voiced from the political Right: talking loudly while carrying a small stick.
Ditto the nature of criticism of the economy. Americans don’t want new federal programs, higher taxes and more spending. Instead, they fault the Bush administration for its vast new entitlements, bloated budgets, and growing national debt. Again, the outrage comes mostly from conservatives.
On immigration, most Americans want a fence, strict enforcement of the law and more security. Hot-button issues like amnesty and guest workers can come later. In other words, the recent Bush immigration reform legislation, backed by most Democrats, was seen as too lax rather than restrictive.
In sum, most voters wanted President Bush to give the military more leeway on Iraq, balance the budget, and close the border. And they still can’t quite decide whether a Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton would be more likely to do what the President did not.
So what will determine the next election? If Sen. Clinton or another Democrat can make the case that George Bush was too directionless on Iraq, spent too much money, and left the border wide open, she will probably win. But if Iraq calms down and Gen. Petraeus succeeds, while Sen. Clinton and others call for more taxes, more programs, amnesty, etc. then they will achieve the unlikely: three continuous Republican administrations.
The Furor Over Bush
Spent a week with some diehard conservatives, what one might call his hard-core base. All of whom seem to detest Bush. Part of it is immigration, big spending, federal programs, bad or rather embarrassing appointments, and Iraq. But part of it is simply piling on and hoping not to be seen as the lone nut who thinks Bush can pull off a successful presidency. I was very disappointed that we pulled back from Fallujah, let Sadr off, saw Franks quit almost as soon as the insurgency started, kept seeing Bremer everywhere on TV with his blazer and hiking boots, and all the other half measures that empowered the insurgency—but not to the degree that I lost hope we could win. The US military is too good for that.
So the real irony is that should Petraeus stabilize Iraq, if Korea really has given up its weapons, if the world comes together on Iranian proliferation, Afghanistan gets quieter, and either bin Laden or Zawahiri gets captured—while the economy stays strong and an immigration fence is built, then mirabile dictu Bush will leave office in a good position to be praised in 10 years for preventing another 9/11, removing Saddam and the Taliban, decimating al Qaeda, and stopping nonproliferation. He needs some luck, must not listen to his short-term politicos who always choose apparent advantage over principle, and must keep his resolve. I told all that to some prominent Republicans—and was laughed at for it.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Excellent, to-the-point, brief and comprehensive post by VDH. Please note the final paragraph, as it mirrors exactly what I have thought all along Bush as politician, President, Commander in chief, and his legacy therein...T
Posted by Navitor69 at 4:38 PM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I wish there were more people to hear me say "I told you so". I told them that Iraq was the left-wing's Vietnam, it's route to absolute power. I told them that these left wing nuts were looking for a scandal to take out Bush, the way they rationalized that Clinton was unjustly targeted (don't mention "Marc Rich" or "Selling Nuclear secrets to the Chinese for campaign cash). Take a look also at "the %20 Solution" by Krauthammer, here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/19/AR2007071901969.html
God looks after children, drunkards, and the United States of America- Otto von Bismarck
It's now quite clear how the results of the surge will be dealt with by domestic opponents of the Iraq war.
They're going to be ignored.
They're being ignored now. Virtually no media source or Democratic politician (and not a few Republicans, led by Richard "I can always backtrack" Lugar) is willing to admit that the situation on the ground has changed dramatically over the past three months. Coalition efforts have undergone a remarkable reversal of fortune, a near-textbook example as to how an effective strategy can overcome what appear to be overwhelming drawbacks.
Anbar is close to being secured, thanks to the long-ridiculed strategy of recruiting local sheiks. A capsule history of war coverage could be put together from stories on this topic alone - beginning with sneers, moving on to "evidence" that it would never work, to the puzzled pieces of the past few months admitting that something was happening, and finally the recent stories expressing concern that the central government might be "offended" by the attention being paid former Sunni rebels. (Try to find another story in the legacy media worrying about the feelings of the Iraqi government.) What you will not find is any mention of the easily-grasped fact that Anbar acts as a blueprint for the rest of the country. If the process works there, it will work elsewhere. If it works in other areas, that means the destruction of the Jihadis in detail.
Nor is that all. Diyala province, promoted in media as the "new Al-Queda stronghold" appears to have become a death-trap. The Jihadis can neither defend it nor abandon it. The Coalition understood that Diyala was where the Jihadis would flee when the heat came down in Baghdad, and they were ready for them. A major element of surge strategy - and one reason why the extra infantry brigades were needed - is to pressure Jihadis constantly in all their sanctuaries, allowing them no time to rest or regroup. A blizzard of operations is occurring throughout central Iraq under the overall code-name Phantom Thunder, the largest operation since the original invasion. It is open-ended, and will continue as long as necessary. Current ancillary operations include Arrowhead Ripper, which is securing the city of Baqubah in Diyala province. Operation Alljah is methodically clearing out every last neighborhood in Fallujah. In Babil province, southeast of Baghdad, operations Marne Torch and Commando Eagle are underway. (As this was being written, yet another spinoff operation, Marne Avalanche, began in Northern Babil.)
The Coalition has left the treadmill in which one step of progress seemed to unavoidably lead to two steps back. It requires some time to discover the proper strategy in any war. A cursory glance at 1943 would have given the impression of disaster. Kasserine, in which the German Wehrmacht nearly split Allied forces in Tunisia and sent American GIs running. Tarawa, where over 1,600 U.S. Marines died on a sunny afternoon thanks to U.S. Navy overconfidence. Salerno, where the Allied landing force was very nearly pushed back into the sea. But all these incidents, as bitter as they may have been, were necessary to develop the proper techniques that led to the triumphs of 1944 and 1945.
Someday, 2006 may be seen as Iraq's 1943. It appears that Gen. David Petreaus has discovered the correct strategy for Iraq: engaging the Jihadis all over the map as close to simultaneously as possible. Keeping them on the run constantly, giving them no place to stand, rest or refit. Increasing operational tempo to an extent that they cannot match ("Getting inside their decision cycle", as the 4th generation warfare school would call it), leaving them harried, uncertain, and apt to make mistakes.
The surge is more of a refinement than a novelty. Earlier Coalition efforts were not in error as much as they were incomplete. American troops would clean out an area, turn it over to an Iraqi unit, and depart. The Jihadis would then push out the unseasoned Iraqis and return to business. This occurred in Fallujah, Tall Afar, and endless times in Ramadi.
Now U.S. troops are remaining on site, which reassures the locals and encourages cooperation. The Jihadis broke (and more than likely never knew) the cardinal rule of insurgency warfare, that of being a good guest. As Mao put it, "The revolutionary must be as a fish among the water of the peasantry." The Jihadis have been lampreys to the Iraqi people. Proselytizing, forcing adaptation of their reactionary creed, engaging in torture, kidnapping, and looting. Arabic culture is one in which open dealings, personal loyalty, and honor are at a premium. Violate any of them, and there is no way back. The Jihadis violated them all. The towns and cities of Iraq are no longer sanctuaries.
The results have begun to come in. On July 4, Khaled al-Mashhadani, the most senior Iraqi in Al-Queda, was captured in Mosul. On July 14, Abu Jurah, a senior Al-Queda leader in the area south of Baghdad, was killed in a coordinated strike by artillery, helicopters, and fighter-bombers. These blows to the leadership are the direct outgrowth of Jihadi brutality and the new confidence among the Iraqis in what they have begun to call the "al-Ameriki tribe".
We will see more of this in the weeks ahead. The Jihadis have come up with no effective counterstrategy, and the old methods have begun to lose mana. The last massive truck-bomb attack occurred not in Baghdad, but in a small Diyala village that defied Al-Queda. An insurgency in the position of using its major weapons to punish noncombatants is not in a winning situation.
You will look long and hard to find any of this in the legacy media. Apart from a handful of exceptions (such as John F. Burns of the New York Times), it's simply not being covered. Those operational names would come across as bizarre to the average reader, the gains they have made impossible to fit into the worldview that has been peddled unceasingly by the dead tree fraternity. What the media is concentrating on - and will to continue to concentrate on, in defiance of sense, protest, and logic, to the bitter end - is peripheral stories such as the Democrat's Senate pajama party, reassertions of the claim that the war has "helped" Al-Queda, and the latest proclamation from the world's greatest fence-sitter.
The situation as it stands is very close to that of the final phase of Vietnam. Having for several years confused that country's triple-layer jungle with the rolling plains of northwest Europe, William Westmoreland in 1968 turned over command to Creighton Abrams. Though also a veteran of the advance against Germany (he had been Patton's favorite armored commander), Abrams lacked his predecessor's taste for vast (not to mention futile) multi-unit sweeps. After carrying out a careful analysis, Abrams reworked Allied strategy to embody the counterinsurgency program advocated by Marine general Victor Krulak and civilian advisor John Paul Vann.
Abram's war was one of small units moving deep into enemy territory, running down enemy forces and then calling in massive American firepower in the form of artillery or fighter-bombers for the final kill.(Anyone wishing for a detailed portrayal of this style of operations should pick up David Hackworth's Steel My Soldiers' Hearts. It will surprise no one to learn that Hackworth claims that the strategy was his idea and that he had to fight the entire U.S. military establishment to see it through, but it's a good read all the same.) This was a strategy that played to American strengths, one that went after the enemy where he lived. By 1970, Abrams had chased the bulk of the Vietnamese communists across the border into Cambodia and Laos.
But Vietnam also had its ruling narrative, one that had no room for successful combat operations. That narrative had been born in 1968, at the time of the Tet offensive. Tet was a nationwide operation intended by North Vietnamese commander Nguyen Vo Giap to encourage the Vietnamese people to join with the Viet Cong and PAVN in overthrowing the government. It was an utter rout, with the communists losing something in the order of 60,000 men. The Viet Cong were crippled as a military force, and never did recover.
But panicky reporters, many of whom had never set foot on a battlefield (not to mention figures at ease with manipulating the facts, such as Peter Arnett), were badly shaken by the opening moves of the offensive, among them an abortive attack on the U.S. embassy grounds at Saigon. Their reportage, broadcast and printed nationwide, portrayed a miserable defeat for the U.S. and its allies, with the Viet Cong and PAVN striking where they pleased and making off at their leisure. The media portrait of a beleaguered American war effort was never corrected, and became the consensus view. (This process was analyzed in detail in Peter Braestrup's Big Story, one of the most crucial -- and overlooked -- media studies ever to see print.) After Tet, there could be no victories.
The success of the Abrams strategy was buried for twenty years and more, as the myth of utter U.S. defeat was put in concrete by "experts" such as Stanley Karnow, Frances FitzGerald, and Neil Sheehan. Only with the appearance of revisionist works such as Lewis Sorley's A Better War and Mark Moyar's Triumph Forsaken has the record begun to be set straight.
That was how it was played at the close of the Vietnam War. That's how it's being played today.
And what do they want, exactly? What is the purpose of playing so fast and loose with the public safety, national security, and human lives both American and foreign?
Generally, when someone repeats a formula, it's because they want to repeat a result. And that's what the American left wants in this case. During the mid-70s, American liberals held political control to an extent they had not experienced since the heyday of FDR. The GOP was disgraced and demoralized. The Democrats held the Senate, the House, and the presidency. There was absolutely nothing standing in the way of their maintaining complete power for as long as anyone could foresee... until Jimmy Carter's incompetence proved itself, which caused the whole shabby and illusory structure to fell apart in a welter of ineptitude and childishness.
The American left wants a return to the 1970s -- without Jimmy Carter. (Okay, without disco, either.) They want a cowed GOP. They want control of the institutions and the branches. They want a miserable, defeated country they can manipulate. And they want it all under the gaze not of the Saint of Plains, but of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who can assure that left-wing predominance will continue for a generation or more.
Will they get it? That's a question worth some thought. Because as it stands, neither of the program's necessary elements is coming to fruition. The war is not being lost, and their great political scandal has fizzled.
The other half of the equation was Watergate. Vietnam would not have been anywhere near as much a disaster without it. Watergate paralyzed the Nixon administration. It turned Nixon himself from an odd, unlikable, but incredibly capable politician to a half-crazed ghost sobbing in the Oval office in the middle of the night. It transformed his last great triumph -- the Paris peace accords that ended the war on an acceptable standoff -- into ashes. The left wing of the Democratic Party, shepherded by people like George McGovern and Mark Hatfield, proceeded to undercut the settlement as quickly as they could manage. Two separate appropriations acts passed in June 1973 cut off all further aid to the countries of Southeast Asia. (A third such act passed in August 1974 has gained more attention but it only duplicated the effects of the first two.) From that point on it was a matter of time. Nixon resigned a little over a year later. Less than a year after that, in April 1975, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia all fell.
(The price tag for this, which liberals don't care to bring up, was over 2 million dead in Cambodia, 165,000 dead in Vietnam, another 200,000 plus drowned and murdered on the high seas during the exodus of the boat people. Laotian numbers can only be estimated but must have been in the thousands. The price of Indochinese "peace" was nearly twice that of the war itself.)
And that, in case you were wondering, is what Plamegate was about. The Democrats needed a scandal - and not merely a run-of-the-mill, everyday scandal, but a mega-scandal, a hyper-scandal, something that would utterly cripple the administration and leave it open to destruction in detail. The targets were Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, held by the MoveOn crowd to be the actual brains behind Adolf W. Chimp. When nothing at all could be dug up on the administration principals, the scandal was effectively over. Knocking off a vice-presidential aide might cause excitement within the Beltway, but nobody in the real world could be expected to care. It may be a bitter thought to I. Lewis Libby that he was taken down through sheer proximity, like a bystander during a drive-by shooting, but it was in the very best of causes. Libby's sacrifice not only saved the administration, it may well save tens of thousands of Middle Eastern lives in the years to come. (This also explains why the President was so circumspect in dealing with the investigation - he knew exactly what the opposition was up to, and could afford to give them no ammunition whatsoever.)
Plamegate ended last Thursday with a judge throwing Plame's suit out of court on strictly technical grounds. (This is something of a disappointment - I would really have liked to see what that pair of hustlers would do when cross-examined by a competent defense attorney.) People like John Conyers are trying to create a conflagration by blowing on the embers of the attorney firings and the vice-presidential subpoenas. To no avail. Scandals, like forest fires, occur only when conditions are perfect. Through their failed efforts, the liberals have in effect set a backfire, surrounding the administration with wide barriers of burned-over ground. The Democrats themselves have rendered Bush unassailable, and all the slumber parties, the empty votes, and the rhetoric are intended to camouflage that fact. Bush will have hard days yet, but he will not be Nixonized. He will be able to fight his war as he sees fit.
That means a continuation of the surge, and of the strategy of General Petreaus. Will that be enough? It's impossible to say. But the past few months have been the most surprising in the entire Iraq saga to date. I have a feeling that Al-Queda (and the media, and the Democrats), will have a few more surprises coming in the months ahead.
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Posted by Navitor69 at 9:36 PM
Sunday, July 01, 2007
The word is finally getting out, and I am proportionally encouraged. Soon, perhaps, we will all be able to publicly ridicule these bumbling socialist fools, as the author of this fine article does with relish. Enjoy!...T
There are some who, lacking the ecstatic thrill of any other faith-based religion, wish to believe that the Earth is in the early stages of an unprecedented climatic change which will see temperatures soar, the polar ice caps melt, rising sea levels flood our coastal cities -- general devastation on the biblical model -- all because we insist on driving petroleum-fueled private automobiles and using electricity generated by burning coal.
Burning that stuff releases into the atmosphere large amounts of carbon dioxide, you see, a "greenhouse gas" that contributes to the ongoing warming of the planet.
Now, this is almost entirely fantastic nonsense. The planet is currently warming at a rate of perhaps one degree a century, part of an ongoing cycle of global warming and cooling which (ice cores and other fossil records tell us) has been ongoing for millions of years. This is caused not primarily by CO? levels -- changes in atmospheric CO? loading actually trail temperature shifts by decades or even centuries -- but rather by fluctuating solar activity. Even if CO? were a factor, most of the CO? in the atmosphere comes from volcanoes and the natural processes of the oceans, not from man-made sources.
Since wiping out mankind would have a minimal impact on climate, what good do you think a few rich folk switching to "hybrids" will do?
If warming continues at the present rate, the most significant impact is likely to be a small increase in the amount of previously frozen ground on which people could grow wheat.
The global warming hysteria will be remembered as one of those episodes of "the madness of crowds" which saw bands of flagellants wandering Europe urging folks to finish work on those cathedrals real soon because the world was going to come to an end at the millennium, in 1,000 A.D., and the minor panic of Oct. 30, 1938, when numerous radio listeners were taken in by the realistic Orson Welles broadcast of "The War of the Worlds."
The difference from those earlier episodes of mass folly, however, is that there is a group of folks with an ulterior motive beating the drums for this one. These are jealous socialists who want America to be a lot more like Europe, punishing "rich people" for the gall of freely driving where they want, when they want, in their "wasteful" private automobiles. This gang wants prohibitive taxes on cars and gasoline, with the money to be shifted into mass transit boondoggles that will require us all to enjoy much more togetherness, singing "Kumbaya" in three-part harmony as we live in quaint urban walk-ups and ride around packed into little tin trolley cars in a neater, tidier world a lot more like Sweden, or possibly the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour."
These people still say they're fighting "to protect the environment." But they've pulled off a massive shift, largely unnoticed, in the meaning of that word.
It used to be that we said we wanted to improve man's life by cleaning up man's environment. We wanted to reduce sulfuric fumes in the air and toxic crap in the water, the same way we'd try to train a particularly slow-witted kitty-cat not to poop in his own food bowl.
By "the environment" we meant "mankind's environment" -- the fresh air and clean water and green trees that make our human lives healthier and more pleasant.
Last weekend, however, the Review-Journal ran an editorial ridiculing the radical greens for fighting a pipeline needed to transport drinking water to Las Vegas from east central Nevada by using their usual cat's paw -- insisting the plan would damage some obscure minnow in some pond in Utah.
"It appears that the R-J editorials have hit a new low," wrote one of these characters. "The childish, blind-eye editorial in Sunday's paper was pathetic. Apparently whoever wrote (and approved it) feels that man is the only thing on earth worth saving ... and damn the environment if it gets in their way!"
So now "the environment," as used by these zealots, no longer means "the environs of mankind, which make mankind's life healthier and more enjoyable" -- presumably including plenty of clean drinking water. Rather, the term has been skinned and cured, turned into sheep's clothing and draped over a lurking wolf. The term is now used to mean "pristine nature, a beautiful thing which is endangered by the ongoing prosperity and procreation of human beings, a foul invasive enemy whose numbers need to be reduced through thirst and other means to protect each weed and bug."
That's a big change, worth remembering the next time you're tempted to say, "Of course we all consider ourselves environmentalists ..."
But, all that said, let's pretend for a moment we agree that Earth is heating up, as punishment from the Goddess Gaia for our hubris in daring to tame the wilderness, putting in stand-alone houses and sewage lines and Wendy's drive-through windows.
If these Chicken Littles really believed this, what would they be doing? They'd be looking for proven ways to really cool things down, of course.
How about examining the historical record for the approximately 200 years for which we have reliable weather data? Look to see if there was a period when the weather cooled down, all of a sudden, and what caused it.
Google "Year Without a Summer." From April 5 to 15, 1815, Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in the Dutch East Indies (modern-day Indonesia) blew up, ejecting 40 cubic kilometers of volcanic ash (more than twice as much as the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa) into the upper atmosphere.
Other volcanoes -- La Soufrière on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean in 1812 and Mayon in the Philippines in 1814 -- had already built up a substantial amount of atmospheric dust.
That stuff stayed up there, in the jet stream, for more than a year. Sunlight was reflected off that orbiting cloud of crap and had trouble getting through. The "Year Without a Summer," known colloquially as "Eighteen hundred and froze to death," was 1816, in which severe summer climate abnormalities destroyed crops in Northern Europe, the American Northeast, eastern Canada and even China.
In May, frost killed off most of the crops that had been planted. In June, two large snowstorms in eastern Canada and New England resulted in many human deaths. In July and August, lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania.
In Europe, food riots broke out and grain warehouses were looted. A recent BBC documentary tallied up 200,000 deaths.
Clearly, if anyone believes Earth is warming catastrophically and that we need to do something, the only proven solution is to start throwing as much crap into the atmosphere as we possibly can, right now.
Clean nuclear and natural-gas-fired power plants must be shut down and immediately replaced with coal plants burning the softest, dirtiest coal -- peat would be better -- that can be found. "Smog inspections" will take on a new meaning as our cars will be checked regularly to make sure each is pouring out the densest possible cloud of carbon particulates and lifesaving black soot.
Since every little bit counts, we may also have to make tobacco smoking mandatory for everyone above the age of 10.
Now is not a time to hesitate, to refuse to make the minor sacrifice of breathing some slightly less healthful air. Global warming is a crisis, baby! It's time we all set aside our selfish desire to keep our yard furniture free of drifting soot and share the sacrifice! Think globally; act locally. Do your part!
Pollution -- massive, smoky pollution -- is the only answer!
P.S. -- This is actually going to happen, whether we like it or not. The explosion of the Yellowstone caldera, already overdue, will make Tambora look like a kid's sparkler. The real ecological challenge of the coming age will be global cooling.
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