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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

 

Never Said it Would Be Easy

If you think things are a mess and you are depressed about the bloodshed in the Middle East, reread the Blog entry from July 16. The escalation of this conflict was quite predictable, and when you are involved in one of these unconventional wars against terrorist guerrila's, they never go quickly. And they really get messy. The terrorists purposely put civilians in harm's way, knowing that when they get killed, their opponents will be blamed for somehow not fighting the war safely enough. What a crok! What happened to "war is hell" and all that. The fact is to pursue victory in war, you must be ruthless, heartless, and methodically savage. Apologies are really extraneous and unnecessary. It's why we haven't done particularly well since Vietnam, somehow we have to meet this civilized standard. The media really does the good guys a disservice by playing up the civilian deaths as atrocities or mistakes.

Frankly, my view is that we are fighting a ruthless, facist enemy that targets civilians, and I don't think either Israelis or Americans should lose any sleep over the sad but unavoidable civilian deaths and injuries that have occurred. Actually, the Israeli's have warned Lebanese civilians to leave the battle zones. That's as much consideration as they could ever expect.

It is a little embarrassing to hear Secretary Rice call for a quick cease fire. The right move now is to let the Israeli attempt to destroy Hezbollah play out. If they are unable to complete the mission on their own, I would favor redeploying some of our troops from Iraq or Afghanistan to help them. This should not be ended while the terrorists remain a viable force.

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On July 28, I bought 400 shares of NR at 5.81 for my IRA. Then, on 7/31, I sold 300 shares of NG out of the taxable account for 16.72, halving my position. These shares had gone long term, since I bought them for 8.30 in April of 2005. There was a hostile takeover offer at 14.50 on the table, and obviously, the market has priced in a competing bid that has not yet materialized. I'll sit on the short term gains to see whether anything else happens.

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