The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Recent Actions in Congress on Iraq

When the US House of Representatives passed their non-binding resolution that stated disagreement with President Bush's "troop surge" to Iraq, I had the thought of how useless and counter-productive such posturing was. The resolution did nothing to change the US government's political grand strategy for fighting the war in Iraq, or anywhere else against the Islamist radicals. The Democratic-dominated House was elected on the perception that the party of Jefferson, FDR and JFK would begin the process of disengagement from Iraq's civil war. The majority party leadership has only begun what may be a long, bitter process, much like it was in Vietnam after Jan. 1968. The resolution itself offered no alternative, or at least publicized one. It simply said, without any provision to enforce a new a policy, that the Administration leadership on the war was lacking.

Fair enough; but we must think how much aid and comfort to America's enemies was offered by such partisan (about 17 GOP representatives joined the Democrats in the vote) public relations. The effect of the resolution may have even more negative impact on the morale and effectiveness of US forces in Iraq. Demoralized troops are not motivated; unmotivated troops stop caring; careless troops die, and die in greater numbers. If the Democrats were serious about changing the direction of the war, they would have been better served by presenting their own grand strategy for the politics of the war. Instead, what we got was grandSTRanding for the benefits of voters, their perceptions, and the polls.

The war is presenting many hard choices for the United States and its military. The next move by the Democrats, led by Rep. John Murtha, is to use the power of military appropriations to emasculate strategic flexibility by placing conditions for the use of funds in the war appropriations bill due to come to a vote this spring. The Congress is threatening to use a Constitutional power over government funds to create war policy. That is also a disengenous play. They will not offer any alternative for fighting and winning the war politically, the grand strategy of the approach to conflict and fighting. Taking the power to direct the war policy away from the Administration, where it rightfully belongs, and bringing unto themselves the power move troops, define objectives, and execute operations is fundamentally wrong. Whereas the Administration was wrong to go beyond political policy, and take away military policy from the uniformed services, the Congress assuming the role of strategos procurator is fright with future failure.

Historians may even be reminded of the Athenian assembly listening to a demogogic traitor and ordering an expedition to Sicily, when the more reasonable people knew it would turn into the catastrophe that led to their defeat in the war against Sparta. In such demos assemblies, like Congress, voting unto themselves the public treasury at the risk of insolvency is the normal procedure. Intoxicated with the power over the purse since World War I and the really big, tax-funded budgets, can Congress be expected to prudently manage the policy of war and peace? If they can not even stop earmarks, how can they conserve the military resources, assets, and MOST IMPORTANTLY the lives of US soldiers? The Murtha Plan is a strategy for losing "less painfully" than painfully "winning decisively." In this war, we must win. Winning, even if a perception, translates into deterrence against all present and future enemies. We are much more secure with finding a means to win, even in terms like libertarian internationalism suggests, than losing in the short-term.

Although I've disagreed with the Bush Administrations approach to this war from Oct. 2002 (with documentation), I feel the ploy Congress is setting upon will be disastrous. Such Congressional meddling in policymaking was disastrous for Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in 1973-1978. This time, the stakes are far greater. We cannot afford to let demagoguery, partisanship, and public relations rule the use of strategy!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Interesting Developments on Iran

Last weekend, US commanders in Iraq rolled out evidence of Explosive Formed Projectiles (EFPs), a sophisticated weapon used remotely to ambush US forces in Iraq with shaped, hardened projectiles fired along roadsides. The US is pressing a case that Iran is responsible for arming insurgents and militia's in Iraq with these EFPs, which are more more complex, apparently, than the "homemade" Improvised Explosive Devices used against US and Iraqi government forces.

Earlier this week, an anti-Iranian terrorist group set off a car bomb near Iran's Pakistan border. The Sunni Muslim group, Jundallah, operates supposedly from bases in Pakistan against Iran's Shi'a controlled theoracratic government. Iran's Islamic Republic New Agency said, no doubt with the authority of the government, that "This [act of terrorism] was done by a group that gets support from America."

In recent weeks, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice claimed in testimony before Congress that she knew nothing of a proposal from Iran in early 2003--before Operation Iraqi Freedom--to open direct discussions with the US leading to more normalized relations between the countries, estranged for almost 30 years. The proposal was relayed from Iran through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. The US and Iran have no diplomatic relations and communications are done by the "good offices" of Switzerland. A former National Security Council aide to then-National Security Advisor Rice said that she is lying about not knowing of the offer.

What does all this mean? Where will it lead the US? These are the types of questions that will dominate American policy-makers, as incidents, accusations, and proxy attacks increase over the coming months. Is the American public being fed more spin in order to prepare it for open conflict with the regime in Tehran? Is Tehran doing the same thing with its population--preparation for a political-military showdown with what it calls "The Great Satan"?

This is becoming an ominous trend of events. The future is not written in our time, yet. War between the US Great Britain versus Iran would be even more destructive and deadly for the Middle East, and for the American homeland, than Iraq.

As we at The Cepia Club have been claiming, the control of US foreign policy by the elite ranks who have run it for decades is becoming far more dangerous to world peace and American freedom that any external enemy we have had since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Cepia Club cannot emphasize enough the need for awareness and activism by "the people" of the American nation to fix these core problems in concept and execution of United States Grand Strategy. It is getting late in the day for this sombre, self-centered age to rise above its willful ignorance and complacent apathy.

We offer our self, our ideas and our resources, to individuals and groups who want to do something in order to create a better world. Our vision begins with the person and the family; it will have the most impact in the community. From there, change happens elsewhere. For those leaders who await the call: this is your first call. For those masses who want inspiration, The Cepia Club can only do our best. We have been fighting this war for over a decade already. We would like you to join us, and we will join with you in partnership: To create positive change.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Concerns About Military Action Against Iran


In the May 1, 2006 issue of The Cepia Club Strategy Gazette, the feature article in that newsletter (our inaugural issue) stated an either/or propostion in addressing Iran's nuclear capability R D. ( ). The stance the article took was Iran should have basically two choices: normalize its relations with the United States, or face military action to stop it from developing such capability. It is still our belief that any such capability even in a peaceful context gives Iran the option to weaponize its research. It is also still our belief that Iran is a revisionist state that seeks to upset international order and assert dominance in the Persian Gulf. As a radical state with a history of terrorism, the West under the guise of NATO can never let Iran develop nuclear weapons. The risks of Iran being an irresponsible and irrational nuclear power are too great, based on Iran's international behavior.

The context of "normalized" relations with the United States was stated in our newsletter as requiring a US initiative: a security and cooperation conference for the Indian Ocean Area involving all the countries in Africa and Asia surrounding the Indian Ocean, and to include the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and several others with dominant economic interests in regional peace, for example Japan. The idea of the Indian Ocean Area Conference on Security and Cooperation was further refined in Vol. 1, No. 4 ( of the Strategy Gazette in the article "Libertarian Internationalism." Only the US can lead such an effort to bring stability and peace to this most volatile region of the globe.

In Vol. 1, No. 1, The Cepia Club, as mentioned, put forth the idea that if there is to be military action against Iran, it should be directed at crippling Iran's oil industry--temporarily and selectively with strikes at storage and transport choke points and to involve a tight blockade. It is still believed by the Club that such a campaign would have similar effects as the attacks on Germany's oil industries in World War II: It would immediately leave Iran with no military option to resist conventionally or interfere with US operations in Iraq. The accompanying effect of such targeted strikes on Iran's oil choke points is that it will weaken Iran's government and most likely lead to the overthrow of Iran's theocratic system with a persistent Allied effort over the course of 4-6 months. The people would vote with their cars and light bulbs. We have no doubt that this course of action would have more permanent effect on changing Iran's behavior by destroying the government's credibilty than attacking Iran's nuclear facilities directly.

Such a plan to attack Iran's oil-based economy might have made a difference in the spring and summer of 2006. There would have been an element of surprise. Now, however, it looks increasingly certain that there will be military air strikes on Iran, perhaps by June of 2007. Corporate interest will not allow the US and its allies to in anyway damage Iran's oil facilities for fear of economic consequences with the international oil markets being disrupted. From the available public information on such sites as (see reference link above), the air strikes will target Iran's nuclear research and development facilities. As we implied in May 2006, such targets are "hardened," being underground. There is also the uncertainty of destroying them completely without the use of tactical, low-yeild nuclear weapons. And there is the even greater risk that intelligence has not identified all the possible, even the most important, facilities. All of these risk, when calculated, especially in crossing a nuclear threshold, make for disaster for the entire world.

Furthermore, in even contemplating air strikes at this stage, Iran is much more prepared, inside its own country with active and passive measures of military and civil defense, but it has no doubt prepared a world-wide network of terrorist cells and agents to unleash on its enemies. We can not be so gullible as to think that Iran has not infiltrated the United States with such terror weapons and personnel. (This brings the importance of southern US border security in clearer focus).

The Cepia Club stands by its statements in May 2006. Now, the time for that passed, mostly due to the Israel-Lebanon War in July-August 2006. The only hope for solving this issue is the alternative method we have set forth: Libertarian Internationalism as a new world-wide political paradigm. The LI proposal is inherent in the idea of an Indian Ocean Security and Cooperation Conference. Time is running out for the world before insanity pushed by events out of control bring the world to the brink of a true catastrophe of near holocaust proportions.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Club Update--Publications

Issue # 4 of the first volume of The Cepia Club Strategy Gazette was finished and mailed a week ago today. There were some nice compliments on both the look and the content of the new issue. That publication concludes our first full year of operating the newsletter. We did a fairly good looking and interesting reading newsletter four times since May 1, 2006--on time every three months. That alone is a proud accomplishment. This last issue we even sold our first full page ad. The writing, editing, formatting, production, and distribution methods of the Gazette were refined during volume one. Beginning April 1st of this year, the Gazette in Volume Two is scheduled to be a bi-monthly newsletter. We hope for even more progress in improving quality of our production and the quantity of our readership. One of my goals for the second volume is to find one more staff writer. Chuck B. had some articles in the first four issues. Having two other writers beside myself will break up a reader's monotony of hearing my opinions all the time. Although I will try to establish an editorial "voice" for the Gazette, other views corresponding to the Club's vision and values, mission and commitments, etc. will add even more diverse open-mindedness and professionalism to our publication.

The next numbered issue (#4) of the Paper Series is in the planning stages. Material has been collected. The topic will be something to do with "computer security and access." Chuck has provided the written content.

It is time to do another Freedom-zine America, #8 in the series. The topic is under review.

The website has been improved for search engine compatibility. Since we use frames for the website, we had to do some special modifications to what has already been posted. New material is under construction--including more Radio and TV material, and SCVL bulletins. About the SCVL, as the proprietary trustee of the group, I plan on taking it into a different area of libertarian advocacy--less Libertarian Party and more Cato Institute-type activities. The SCVL location on the Club site will be a big part of that evolution. It will remain a discussion-centered forum, but it will undergo some refinement of purpose and intent.

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